F.U.N. Focus: ATLANTIS again [part 4: 101-125 points]

Posted on July 19, 2014

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This  F.U.N. Focus (previous parts here) continues, being a needed update to a far-too-long article reviewing all characters with the Atlantis keyword in much better bite-sized installments.

These are the main hitters for this keyword: the killer sharks, the maneaters, the 101-125 bracket. It ain’t safe to go in the water!

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101-125 points: maneaters
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Aquaman (Brightest Day): This 105-point version of the character changed the game for Atlantis. Not only is he another solid Charging, Super Strong and Invulnerable attacker, but he also brings more skills to the theme:

  • Close Combat Expert on the first half of his dial so that he can still deal 5 damage even after he’s used his heavy object — or shift his AV to a can’t -miss 11;
  • HSS-lite via his transporter symbol;
  • Another taxi (and one who can tote his own meat shields);
  • One of the longest range values of the theme, 8, via his mid-dial SP “Tentacle Whip” (when in water);
  • Perma-line-of-fire to targets in water using that same SP;
  • Mind Control, contiguous with the SP;
  • the 2nd healer of the theme — one with a usable AV this time;
  • and the biggie: “The Undead Sea,” a Trait that deals 2 damage to all enemies who helped KO an Atlantis member that turn. Suddenly those fragile but long-dialed HT Aquaman pieces and the tougher but short-lived Atlantean Warriors are no longer quite such inviting targets: either they’ll be mostly ignored for fear of the retaliation, making their tie-up/shielding role last longer, or they’ll draw the fire of tougher Invulnerable and Impervious enemies unafraid of the damage, leaving your bigger pieces alone.

As a Transporter, he can’t use Submerged, so he needs meat shields to protect him from range attack. His trait encourages you to build some onto the team and his SP helps him stay effective when hiding behind them and his Transporter ability helps him position them.
This Golden Age piece is best run with the 10-point Armor Piercing feat on larger teams to get the most of his trait and with Lunge to make him a more potent fighter. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 4 of 5 stars. His weakness is that you won’t want to run his strong but short dial on the front line to preserve his damaging trait, but he’s got the combat ability of a lead attacker.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Armor Piercing, Lunge, Automatic Regeneration

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Aquaman (DC 75th Anniversary) at 106 points feels like a downgrade from his sculptmate Brightest Day Aquaman with only 10 AV and only Move And Attack to grant mobility. But this Aquaman has Leadership, Mind Control (with a +3 AV against Atlantis keyword) and, most of all, his SP “Rise From the Deep” that allows him to warp in water terrain within his speed value and hit with natural 4 damage. It’s enough to give this version of the Sea King a look if you’re certain to have water terrain to use. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2.5 of 5; add a star for mostly-water maps
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Lunge, Justice League (Silver Age), Justice League: Generation Lost, Justice League International

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Attuma (Fear Itself): Atlantis teams live and die by the presence or absence of water terrain. This 109-point piece is the cheapest guarantee in the game outside of map choice or, in Golden Age, the Opened Hydrant — and more flexible than both. He bears a trait allowing him to plant six separate water terrain squares 6+ squares away from foes once per game.

That.
Is.
EPIC for Atlantis!!!! Finally, teams aren’t at the total mercy of map design to get use of water-based abilities (even many of the previous “bring your own water” techniques only worked on clear GROUNDED terrain) as this can put water even on rooftops.

Oh, there’s more, too. Foes within 6 squares of him in water can’t take power actions while he’s got his SP, and he’s a solid if unremarkable brick.
Short of it being a DC-only event, no Atlantis team with characters bearing a water-activated ability should be without Fear Itself Attuma.

EVER!

HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 4 of 5

CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Contingency Plan, Lunge

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Aquaman (Teen Titans 015) If one seeks an Aquaman in this point range, maybe this piece is the best choice. Just like its 80-point level, 110 buys an Invulnerable transporter with an opening SP that grants 7 range and penalty-free AV on Move and Attack ability when starting a turn in water. He’s even more pushable thanks to another click of his DV SP that heals him if he starts a turn with 2 tokens. And unlike the 106-pt. Aquaman, he starts with Super Strength to hit very hard with his 11 AV and natural 4 damage. He’s the only choice for Modern Age games, too. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 4 of 5
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Justice League (Silver Age), Justice League Dark, Justice League: New 52, Justice League. Lunge

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Aquaman (Justice League New 52) And then there’s one more Aquaman in this 105-111 range to consider. His 10 AV and 8 (+2 if he starts the turn in water) Speed don’t seem so hot, even backed by Invulnerable 18 DV and 4 damage. But his 8-click dial is longer than most and he really ought to be run with his lady Mera because if she’s KO’d, all his stats get a permanent +1. So running him in Golden Age with the 6-point Mera pog turns him into a starting 11 AV, 9 Speed, 19 DV and 5 damage PLUS Super Strength by as early as turn 2. This Aquaman is definitely worth considering. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3.5 of 5. Add a star if Mera dies.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Justice League (Silver Age), Justice League Dark, Justice League: New 52, Justice League, Contingency Plan

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Hulkmariner (Incredible Hulk): One of the only Impervious figs in Atlantis, this Hulked-Out hero brings more than just a tough hide to the theme. First, his Sea Smash trait can Neutralize a target with a high enough attack roll, though that’s nothing to count on. Better is his ability to grab extra objects from water terrain much like Garth [Crisis] but without the limitations. Finally, there’s his chance to Revert to either of the GG Namors. 115 points isn’t too much to pay for this. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3 of 5.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, Hulked Out Heroes (though it’s mostly useless for him)

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Tempest (Crisis): Expensive (116 points) and soft-shelled, the former Aqualad is here for one reason: portable water terrain. His SP duplicates the Opened Hydrant effect, making him a must-run for water-dependent teammates. His Mystics TA, Barrier, double-target 6 range (with Incap and Energy Explosion) and Perplex are welcome icing to this cake. He’s not as essential now, with other sources of water in the game. But he’ll help the Atlantean cause every time he’s fielded. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 3.5 of 5.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Submerged, New Teen Titans

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Rookie Sub-Mariner (Fantastic Forces): the first non-swimmer on the roster, R Subby offers basic brick and taxi skills. His best point is that he’s a wild card thanks to the Minions of Doom TA. Team him up with the also-116-point Tempest to copy Mystics or with one of the Atlantis characters with Defenders TA(s) or with a Justice Leaguer equipped with one of their many ATAs. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2.5 of 5 stars. Add a half-star if teamed up with good TAs to copy.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis

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Namor (Galactic Guardians 009): Though he starts with fearsome stats — 11 AV Super Strength, 18 DV Invulnerability, 4 damage — it’s all hobbled by only having Transporter Move and Attack to make a first strike, which drops his AV to a middling 9. If he wants to hit harder with his natural 11, he loses his hit-and-run ability. His trait granting adjacent Defenders the Swim ability is pointless to Atlantis. He’s not even a swimmer. Imperious Wet for 120 points. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 1.5 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Defenders, The Order

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Namor (Fantastic Forces): The 122-point LE of the Fantastic Forces REV offers a stronger and longer dial than the Rookie but no TA. No feats necessary, but Mercenary could be useful when teamed with costlier figs with team abilities. HEROCLIXIN’S VERDICT: 2 of 5 stars.
CARDS TO CONSIDER: Atlantis, Mercenary

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What’s scarier than sharks in the open sea? Orcas. See the apex predators — 126 points and higher — in Atlantis next time.

 

 

 

 

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