Top Ten HeroClix of 2013: No. 7

Posted on January 3, 2014

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No. 7

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Batman [Gotham City 001]

As Batman figs go, this one is fairly standard, stats- and powers-wise: Running Shot. 11 AV. Toughness. Perplex. What makes it the No. 7 HeroClix of the year is the trait, Utility Belt:

UTILITY BELT: At the beginning of the game, choose a standard attack or damage power that Batman does not possess somewhere on his dial; Batman can use that power this game.

So, no picking Perplex or Prob Control or Outwit. That only leaves a bunch of options to address threats and opportunities based on the force he’s facing:

  • Blades/Claws/Fangs for a 66% shot at higher melee damage
  • Energy Explosion, which works well with his two arrows
  • Pulse Wave, great for dealing with Mystics and armor and, well, ANYTHING
  • Quake, if he foresees a need to hit a bunch of foes up close
  • Super Strength, if he foresees a need to hit one foe up close really hard — or to be able to set down his own portable hindering terrain
  • Incapacitate, which, while available to him, is a bit of a waste as we’ll see
  • Penetrating/Psychic Blast, for dealing with armor, but with his lowish damage, perhaps…
  • …Precision Strike is the better anti-armor choice as it also deals with the Masterminds and Super Sensing targets he might face
  • Smoke Cloud for if he wants to blunt the AV of the enemy for his team’s sake — not to mention the cover it gives a Bat Ally like himself
  • Poison, if he sees some soft-skinned melee attackers/tieups in his future
  • Steal Energy for that second wind against the melee fighters who’ll get to him in his Stealthed position
  • Battle Fury for that corner case of a match where he’s dealing with anti-Stealth Mind Control or a team full of Stealthed Shape Changers
  • Exploit Weakness when a punchout with armored foes looks inevitable

Or he can choose based on his own team’s build to best support it:

  • Telekinesis for his team’s mobility
  • Ranged Combat Expert for extra firepower once in position
  • Support to fill a combat medic role
  • Enhancement for his team’s firepower
  • Shape Change to add some added protection other than Bat-Stealth
  • Close Combat Expert to shore up that low damage
  • Empower to shore up allies’ punching power
  • Leadership for the benefit of a swarm team

As if that sort of flexibility weren’t enough, he also has a SP granting Incapacitate — which is why it shouldn’t ever be chosen via Utility Belt — that can be used for free when he’s got no tokens. That won’t be often, as he’s got Indom and at 115 points he’s not likely to be idle. But it’s a nice option for him to potentially dump two tokens on a foe in a single turn by using the free Incap then doing a regular Incap action later in the turn.

As we harped on a bit, his damage is a bit low, starting and staying at just 2, and this along with his price keeps him on the lower end of the Top Ten. But with so many ways to work around it, this dark knight detective is truly ready for anything and rates as Heroclixin’s No. 7 clix of 2013.

Next to all that…

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…how does Omen [Teen Titans 053] manage to tie?

By cheating.

Omen’s SPs don’t care about line of fire. So she can not only Mind Control you from behind a wall of meat shields (whom she can Mastermind damage to), but she can knock down a stat -2 before or after or instead of. (So there’s that corner case where the normally stealthy Bats might actually want Battle Fury to stop her from taking control of his head.)

She’s a wild card and Incap piece and, if you don’t mind adding 2 whole  points, she can use the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. ATA to get a quasi-phasing movement ability going.

Once the enemy actually claws its way in close to her and manages to get her to mid-dial, she’s got Willpower and Steal Energy to maybe heal a bit (although with only 1 damage, it’s iffy whether she can hit hard enough to do so). Probably more important to the team during her late dial is her Prob Control.

Like Batman, her low damage output for the cost keeps her from rising closer to the top. But Omen has the potential to warp a game well beyond what anyone can prepare for, earning a share of the No. 7 spot on Heroclixin’s Top Ten of 2013.

Honorable Mention

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Bat-Mite [WizKids D-010], even with his ability to place his Idol and give it a free attack made more risky post-Watch List, is still worth the 65 points. 1) He’s a 10-range Stealthed PC and Outwitter. 2) He can cut off attacks against him or his Idol just by trying to shoot ’em with Incap. 3) His successful Super Senses gets him out of adjacency for free. Paired with the right Idol (i.e., one that can take getting an inopportune click of unavoidable hurt), the little pest is still quite viable.

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Cyclops [Avengers Vs. X-Men] can Outwit through walls, then shoot you through them. He can shoot you when you base him. He can shoot others while based. And you can’t dodge the damage or shirk the damage or nullify the damage. He’s got better Leadership than most. If he weren’t so soft and expensive for his short dial[s], he’d have maybe blasted his way onto the Top Ten proper. As it is, look for him to blast his way through AvX in Q1 2014.

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