F.U.N. Focus: the Legion of Super-Heroes [part 8]

Posted on February 19, 2014


2011’s Superman set gave us the Legion motherlode with a whopping 11 choices to fill out the team with. Suddenly, building a formidable Legion team seemed within the realm of possibility.

Star Boy (Superman 007) adds another Telekinesis fig to get Legionnaires into position. With only the single opening click of the power, though, he’s instead best fielded for his Mass Increase trait that shuts down foes with 4 squares from starting Running Shot, Hypersonic Speed or Charge actions and halves their speed. He’s a short-lived and soft-skinned 78-point stall technique that might buy the rest of the Legion a chance to do something before he dies. A fairly essential member at this point. Hidden Charm: After pushing off TK, he’s got two-target Incap with Running Shot and an end-dial Pulse Wave, so he’s not all finesse.

Brainiac 5 (Superman 008) brought key supporting powers to the team courtesy of his SP bundling Outwit and either Perplex or part-time Probability Control. Better is that he was more survivable than most characters in his cost range with Invulnerability. Hidden Charm: He also can help an adjacent Legionnaire by granting it Toughness. Any number of soft-shelled LSHers could thus benefit.

Supergirl (Superman 010)
With 11 Speed and AV with HSS, she’s the flat-out best leading attacker for the team — and at 200 points, she ought to be. She also brings the Superman Ally TA for the wildcards. If only she were Indomitable, she’d be perfect. But with HSS on click #2 as well, she’s worth pushing in the right situation. She can lead a Legion team of any build. Her 100-point dial is much less imposing but still brings the best starting AV and damage for the cost. Hidden Charm: She could loan the either Kryptonian ATA to the wild cards, too, for a needed AV bonus on certain elevated terrain, or any one of three different Justice League ATAs granting, respectively, +1 AV against a team symbol, bonus to Leadership rolls, or +1 DV against enemy fliers/sharpshooters/giants/Indomitables.

Sun Boy (Superman 022) is that other mobile, mid-cost ranged attacker the Legion’s needed since 2007’s Lightning Lad. At 79 points, he brings Running Shot+ Penetrating/Psychic Blast + Pulse Wave to the game. Though he’s completely armor-free, he’s nonetheless a front-line must for any Legion team. Hidden Charm: Don’t be afraid to get in base with a Running Shot Pulse Wave. Mid-dial Poison makes him dangerous in close, and he’s got Willpower for his whole back end.

Earth Man (Superman 023) is an interesting piece to use. First, he’s a bit of a swiss army knife thanks to his Absorbancy SP allowing him to copy adjacent attack powers, friend or foe. Paired with his opening Running Shot, that offers a fair number of options likely to show on his Legion teammates:

  • Telekinesis
  • Pulse Wave
  • Penetrating/Psychic Blast
  • Incapacitate
  • Energy Explosion, though with only one target, he’s not very good at it
  • Super Strength. Surprise a foe by using Running Shot to throw a light object 8 squares. Or pick up and effectively drop an item in the same round.

He pushes off a good 18 Toughness click to 17 Invulnerability, so it may be apt to use him for his close combat prowess. Regardless, when Earth Man’s on the team, one may want to want to opt to Legion Lost a team ability that rewards adjacency, since he’s going to need to link up with teammates’ powers to get his 98 points’ worth.
Hidden Charm: He’s the cheaper option to bring in the Green Lantern Honor Guard ATA, which allows a swarm team like the Legion to not really waste a single attack as each one, hit or miss, improves the AV of each subsequent attacker. Also, enemy Cosmic keyword can’t use standard Speed powers when he’s on his first few clicks, making him a silver bullet against them.

Invisible Kid (Superman 024) is an essential new addition to aid the Legion’s bunker formation or to help its top fighters stay alive. He does it with his “Shared Invisibility” SP that grants Stealth to a single adjacent Legionnaire. He’s also got his own natural traited Stealth bundled in with his ability to not be seen at all when he’s token-free. ‘Course, this means he needs to be TK’d around to maintain his Full Invisibility, which may not be the way one wishes to burn TK actions. So he’s probably best sent out next to a patch of hindering terrain early on to serve as a later safe point for a Hypersonic or Running Shot pal who needs a hidey-hole. But don’t overlook his second-click Perplex, either, if it’s safe for him to push to get it. The Legion can always use another Perplexer, especially at his 53-point cost. Hidden Charm: Remember Colossal Boy, a potential Defend piece whose Great Size crippled his ability to do so safely on an all-Legion team? With I-Kid here giving him constant Stealth, the big guy can fulfill that role as effectively as Shadow Lass, with the added plus of using Perplex over peoples’ heads.

Matter-Eater Lad (Superman 025), despite the ridiculous name and powerset, is far from just being a points filler — though he excels at that role. He’s an invaluable addition to the Legion for these reasons:

  • he’s dirt-stinkin’-cheap. Only 35 points and there’s just four characters out of 80+ that cost less.
  • he’s a tie-up threat with Exploit Weakness and a steady 9 AV.
  • …who Steals Energy to stick around after click 1.
  • And he eats walls and objects, including relics. Need an unconventional attack vector on a cramped map? He’s your man. That indestructible hammer relic on the other force troubling you? Send him out to try and heft it, then just eat it if he fails the relic roll. Not enough hindering terrain to work with? Munch away some blocking and leave crumbs for a Legion bunker.

Hidden Charm: He can munch as a free action, so he could work together with Element Lad and Brainy at the beginning of a turn: Break a hole through blocking terrain, B5 Outwits or Perplexes, then E-Lad closes again. Almost as effective is for M-E-Lad to break the wall, move so Brainiac can see, then Element Lad plugs the hole with Barrier before repairing it permanently next turn.

Princess Projectra (Superman 038) made 2011’s list of worst pieces of the year, but she’s not completely worthless. First, like Brainiac and Invisible Kid, she grants a defensive ability to an adjacent Legionnaire — in her case, it’s Super Senses. Second, she’s a short-range Barrier fig that can help ward off enemy fire. Third, she’s pushable to Mind Control and, later down her dial, Smoke Cloud, Stealth and Prob Control. Her 70-point price is steep for her somewhat limited combat or support utility — she’s a back field piece without much effect on the front line game the way an Outwit or Perplex fig would have — but she can turn a game’s tide at the right moment. Hidden Charm: Along with the equally costed and not-so-efficient Element Lad, she can maintain constant Barrier for a Legion bunker to hide behind.

Wildfire (Superman 039) is all about firepower thanks to Energy Explosion and Ranged Combat Expert on his top dial, giving the Legion another heavy shooter. Unfortunately, he doesn’t start with Running Shot (that comes on click 2), so he’s going to need aid from TK to really pull his weight. His stats also aren’t super for his 132 cost. But he’s got a self-healing SP that could come in handy. And his end-dial clicks bear an SP granting Poison and Pulse Wave if someone chases him down to bypass his ESD. Hidden Charm: He’s the first (and only?) Sharpshooter for the Legion, so he’s key for sniping at those foes in the back row.

Starman (Superman 041) is the slightly more grown-up, much more mentally ill version of Star Boy. For 99 points, he mainly brings his JSA symbol and team ability to the team at large, enabling a Legion in proper formation to finally solve its history of low defense values by replacing them with Starman’s and a few others’ 18 DVs. He’s also a Perplexer and, with a push, an Invulnerable Running Shot fig (though you’ll have to give up his 18 DV to get it). Hidden Charm: His Speed SP gives him Phasing/Teleport and if he uses it to base enemies, he knocks their AV -1 for a turn, making him an unorthodox tie-up character.

Next: A fella from Smallville