Greetings everyone! Welcome to the re-launch of Two Clicks From KO! My name is AJ and I’ll be your guide for all things here on the site. For our first article, we’re going to dig right in to a new series called “Chase or Pass?”, where I’ll analyze chases from a certain set (mostly the newest) and chat about whether they’re worth tracking down or passing up.
Some of you may know me as a recent guest on the show. You may also know me as the writer and creator of the popular Clix Fix blog. Regardless, I’ve teamed up with Aaron to provide you all with more regular content here on the web. I’ll be bringing you weekly articles that will cover everything from team builds to reviews, and everything between. I may not be the only one here as well; Aaron, Jay, and everyone else associated with Two Clicks From KO may stop by and jot down some fresh content for you, too!
As I mentioned in the header, for the first article in the ‘soft relaunch’ of the site, I’m starting up a new series in which I talk about a chase series in depth and highlight their strengths, weaknesses, and whether or not you should get them. Each chase will have two different ratings: casual and competitive.
Casual will cover games with friends and your everyday LGS (local game store) play whereas competitive will cover potential WKO (Wiz Kids Open) and ROC (Realms Open Championship) play. Some pieces will be good for both, some for only one, and some might even be poor in general.
For today’s Chase or Pass, I want to cover Avengers Defenders War. Usually sets will have a theme for their chase line, and AD War kind of had one. These figures were much like Avengers Assemble in that they were sort of alternate versions of the characters. I say sort of because we have some modern continuity folks like Hulk, Steve Rogers Cap, and Hawkeye. I suppose a good way of phrasing the chase theme would be other appearances of these characters. Still, this isn’t as tight as say the Joker’s Wild chases which were straight up Bizarro chases, or Superior Spider-Man where we had different Spider characters from alternate realities. Basically, the theme in this set is a little tough to pin down.
Let’s kick things off and get right into it!
65 Points, 6 Clicks, 8 Range (Single Target). No Team Ability. Avengers, Martial Artist, and S.H.I.E.L.D. Keywords. Improved Targeting: Ignores Hindering Terrain and Characters.
Hawkeye is a downright power house and is surprisingly strong for his very low point cost. While he lacks reducers and has a very low defense (averaging at 16), his attack and damage potential more than make up for it. With 11 attack all but one click on his dial, he’s already much better than 90% of ranged attackers at his same point cost. Hawkeye goes through two shifts; his first is an absolutely devastating alpha strike that lasts for 3 clicks and has the potential to ping every opposing character for 1 damage with Precision Strike (remember that the new rules will let this get around Invincible, too), while the back half turns him into a very deadly single-target sniper.
The benefits to Hawkeye is that aside from his killer damage output-to-cost ratio, he’s got two very good keywords in Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D., making him very easy to theme with. While he isn’t Indomitable, he’s still very efficient, and even if he gets KO’d off one action, he’s still more than likely going to dish out enough damage to make him worth it. Also, because his special power, Rapid-Fire Trick Shooting, allows him to use Running Shot as a free action rather than just make attacks, he can get a lot of benefits from Enhancement placed strategically around the board, or even with tiny characters that he can carry (hello H.E.N.R.Y.!). Suddenly a brick with Enhancement in their damage slot looks a lot better. This will help alleviate that damage depletion modifier and make him hurt a bit more. Lastly, it’s very important to note that he ignores hindering, which not a lot of characters do these days, and adds to his insane kit.
Casual: Absolutely. He’s on the verge of dirty play that will make your friends upset when you play him, but his lackluster defense and lack of Willpower will corral his power levels.
Competitive: Hawkeye could see some competitive play, 100%. Just the idea that he can take every single piece off of it’s top click is huge, and a lot of figures out there rely on their top click to be worth their points. More than anything, Hawkeye is always going to pull his weight in damage, and his point cost is easy enough to fit onto teams as a secondary or tertiary attacker. Probably a good bet to get him.
80 Points, 6 Clicks, 4 Range (Single Target). Mystics Team Ability. Martial Artist, Mystical, Ruler, and The Hand Keywords.
Shadowland Daredevil is kind of a cross between a ‘ruler’ piece that sits back and helps out a theme team and a surprisingly good scrapper who eagerly wants to get into the fight. Like Hawkeye, he lacks reducers on his entire dial which makes sense for Matt, but he’s certainly more adept at getting his hands dirty. His attack values are still very strong with 11 on the first half of his dial, while the rest of his numbers are mostly average. Traited Stealth is a big deal, but the lack of Improved Movement on Daredevil is a bit strange. The ideal place for him is on a Hand team as he can buff them considerably and has no limit to the amount of ninjas he can pump out. Mystics and his special Super Senses, Mystical Senses, ensures that if you’re engaging Matt, you’re going to take damage no matter what. That makes him dangerous, as does his 3 clicks of Flurry mid-dial.
While the Devil has a pretty strong melee dial, it’s just a little overcosted for 80 points in terms of what he’s trying to do. With no Willpower to help him continue his assault and a soft 17 defense for a melee piece, he’s a little too risky to accomplish what you want to do with him; get him in people’s faces so he can buff his ninjas. It’s also problematic that he doesn’t get his buff power, Demonic Appetite For Pain, until he’s three clicks in. Let’s be honest, how often does a Super Senses piece live passed the first hit? Not long, and that’s because most players will dedicate a lot of damage if they know they can get through it to effectively neutralize an easy piece early. While he might become a little better once Precision Strike doesn’t inherently stop Super Senses, he’s a little dangerous right now. It should be noted though that Mystical is one of the strongest keywords, so you can certainly do something with that.
Casual: If you like The Hand and want to have some fun, there’s no reason to not pick him up. Still, I would wait a while for his price to drop more before jumping on him. For $20, he’s cash. Anything higher is a little questionable.
Competitive: With the rotation of ATA’s, there’s really no reason for Matt to see competitive play. The amount of work you have to do to get around his shortcomings is just too much. If you’re going Mystical, why not play Dr. Strange, Earth’s Guardian instead for the exact same cost? He’s unfortunately a pass.
70 Points, 6 Clicks, 4 Range (Single Target). No Team Ability. S.H.I.E.L.D. and Soldier Keywords.
While I’m a little bummed that we have two chases named Captain America (makes talking about them a little difficult), Samantha is an absolute stunner. Our first Indomitable chase is a close combat master and has all the hallmarks including Combat Reflexes, Charge, and Super Strength. Three clicks of 11 attack is still way above average at this point cost, and she’s about even on clicks of health for her cost. Her As long as she isn’t targeted by range, she’s a very strong scrapper with fantastic support powers with Perplex up top and a mid dial of Probability Control. While the dial might look a little average (sans the wonderful attack values) for her cost, it’s her trait that really makes her pure gold. Samantha here breaks a fundamental rule of Heroclix in that she can be given a non-free action after being carried. On top of that, she modifies the speed value of whomever carries her by +3.
Let that sink in for you. Not only are you buffing the move speed of popular taxi’s like Overdrive, Vanisher, and Renet Tilley, you also get to take any action after being carries. While that’s almost always going to be the Charge on her dial, there’s no end to what she can do. This gives her a better threat range than TK does. While she can’t hold an object and be carried, you can certainly use your opponents (or place your own by them) so that you gain access to more damage on the approach. With her Perplex, she can keep herself at a 21 defense against melee, ensure she hits with a 12 attack, or turn any heavy object into an ultra heavy by upping her damage. The greatest part about her is that once she takes a hit (if she lives), she’ll be even stronger with Probability Control on an attacker. Lastly, both of her keywords are very strong, although neither has one of the bigger taxi’s in the game.
Casual: If you like strong pieces, get her. With no reducers to protect her, she isn’t point-and-click, and takes some finesse to maximize her effectiveness.
Competitive: Don’t sleep on Samantha. I have a feeling she’s going to be the star of the chases and once people realize just what she can do, they’ll realize why the rule was created of ‘no action after carry’. I foresee a lot of play in her future.
90 Points, 6 Clicks, 6 Range (Two Targets). No Team Ability. Marvel Knights and Soldier Keywords.
Rachel feels an awful lot like Hawkeye to me in that she has 11 attack on 5 of her 6 clicks, is rather squishy (albeit she does have Toughness but an average 17), and does one thing but does it very well. When you think of Modern Competitive, what piece do you think of most? If your answer was Jakeem Thunder, you get a fantastic No-Prize! (bravo if you get that reference). Yes, pick-a-power is a big deal and always has been, and Rachel not only gets to pick from a variety of powers, she also gets to hand one out to an adjacent friendly character. With selections like Blades, Energy Explosion, Pen/Psy, Precision Strike, and Ranged Combat Expert, Rachel can pretty much adapt to whatever she needs to deal the most damage possible. Pieces like this are always a lot better than they seem on paper because of how much value you get and how many roles they fill.
While the Marvel Knights keyword is getting a bit stronger, Soldier is very good and can give Rachel a wonderful ally in the form of Nick Fury. How great would it be to give Nick Ranged Combat Expert, or Pen/Psy for one of the smaller guys that’s causing problems? Rachel also has an outstanding trait in that she counts as The Punisher for all game effects, even off the map, which makes her a very awesome candidate for The Punisher Van. This same trait also gives her a once-per-game save that says if she would be KO’d, you turn her to her last click instead. This is important as Pulse Wave can get through her, but anti-STOP pieces like Dead Girl can’t. Put all this together and the fact that she’s Indomitable and you’ve got one heck of a ranged attacker.
Casual: The amount of flavor here is off the charts. If you’ve got yourself one of them fancy Punisher Vans, you 100% should get her. Another piece that’s capped a little in power levels based on what else you’re running.
Competitive: There are two main blocks to keep Rachel out of competitive; no Running Shot and her point cost. Still, she’s absolutely worth her cost and when someone can find a way to abuse her, she should be a pretty big deal. I would say it’s a safe bet to get her.
25 Points, 6 Clicks*, 4 Range (Single Target). No Team Ability. Armor and Scientist Keywords.
There seems to be a divide on what the Clix community’s thoughts are on Riri. Half of us feel that she’s just a wasted fill of 25 points that’s not reliable while the other half think she’s a competitive staple that’s just waiting to see play. I happen to be in the later group. Let me try and persuade you to my side.
Iron Heart provides just about all the support a team will need for 1/12th of your build. She’s got all three of the big support powers, pretty decent stats with some good defense values, and flight + Sidestep to position your team. Statistically on paper, there would be absolutely no reason to not play her for 25 points, until you look at her trait. Riri doesn’t take damage like everyone else. She starts with a Broken Armor token and basically, she gambles every time she’s damaged (not hit), with a possibility of being KO’d on a single Poison piece or if you have killer luck, needing 6 separate sources to take down. Statistically speaking, she has a good chance of living through three of these hits, so let’s play off of that.
For 25 points, you get a taxi that has Outwit on top dial, which is getting a huge overhaul to become one of it not the best power in the game, which moves into Prob and Perplex, and she can taxi your pieces around. Even if she manages to drop on two hits, she’s still going to pull her weight. Most pieces today with the same point cost will only have 2-3 clicks of health anyways, and probably won’t survive more than one attack whereas Riri can survive multiple. In my honest opinion, she’s one of the best support pieces we’ve gotten in years. The fact that she has the insanely powerful Scientist keyword tips the scales to make her a powerhouse.
Casual: No-brainer. There’s no reason not to add her to your arsenal of support. If you like her, I would pick her up before the rules rotation hits.
Competitive: It’s really up to you. My personal advice would be to get her; heck, get two. She’s not unique and the value you’re getting here is astounding. I wholeheartedly believe she will be a very big deal. Still, I won’t hold it against you if you disagree.
75 Points, 7 Clicks, 5 Range (Single Target). Avengers, Hydra, and S.H.I.E.L.D. Team Abilities. Avengers, Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Soldier Keywords.
Steve is undoubtedly the most talked about chase from this set. His dial is insanely efficient with a 12 attack up front and only hits a 10 on click 4, and he barely pushes the ‘1 click for 10 points’ formula. His three different team abilities makes sure that he’s going to help your team in every regard, and his trait instantly grants you a named theme team if you’re splitting Avengers and Hydra, as well as sharing the Hydra team ability. Cap is a huge team player and will absolutely make Avengers teams something to fear. While his Energy Shield top dial is a little worrisome with Charge and no reducers, Steve’s best spot is staying back with your allies, buffing their range, lowering opposing defense, and taking shots from 5 squares out. When Leadership is overhauled in June, Steve will be able to pull tokens off of anyone on his team, making him even stronger than he is now. His values and powers also makes him strong throughout the entire game, especially with his last two clicks of Prob.
Cap has another trick up his sleeve, too. Another Unexpected Betrayal gives him a Deadpool-Ultra-Chase trait that gives him a shot at completely mitigating an attack by one piece once per game, and unlike Deadpool, this can’t be Ouwitted. With the influx of powerful, low-cost Avengers from this set like the common Black Panther and Uncommon Hawkeye, and the fact that Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is sticking around for another year, expect to see big things from Captain Not-America. Pieces like Hydra Agent H will also be a big deal, as well as other forgotten Hydra pieces that are low cost and can now become quite strong with their new Avenger pals.
Casual: I would only recommend the Captain if you really dig theme teams. If not, I would pass. He’s just a little too strong to drop down in home games and might generate some nasty looks by your friends. Also, his cost is a bit on the extreme side right now.
Competitive: I see no reason to pass on Cap. His incredibly efficient dial, nearly guaranteeing map choice, and fantastic keywords makes him a strong pick for competitive play.
200 Points, 8 Clicks, 0 Range (Single Target). No Team Ability. Brute, Cosmic, Monster, Ruler, Warbound, and Warrior Keywords. Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain.
It seems in the last few years, Hulk has gotten some wonderful treatment with his dials, and the Worldbreaker is no exception. Although he starts off with sub-standard values for a 200 point piece (10 attack, 17 defense?), he turns into one of the strongest pieces around once he hits his third click, which happens to be a STOP click. Indom and traited Colossal Stamina makes it so that the Hulk will never stop if he chooses to, so your opponent can never count on having a turn to rest. He’s also got traited Super Strength which is nice, but the loss of ultra heavies will impact that slightly. While he might be a little laughable on those first two clicks, he turns into a god on clicks 3 through 5 and if your opponent manages to actually damage you before those clicks, they’re going to have a really bad day. He also becomes unstoppable at this point as characters and terrain no longer prevent him from moving and he no longer halves his movement from Charge.
What’s great about this Hulk is that unlike the Age of Ultron versions, you still have 100 points to play with, and once he actually Hulks out, he gains Outwit protection. While keywords like Monster aren’t particularly strong and don’t offer much support, he does have some better options like Warrior, Ruler, and Cosmic. It’s important to note that while this Hulk does feel unstoppable, he’s far from it. Penetrating damage can still burn him down while he’s on those fantastic clicks, and he still can only attack one piece a turn. While the new Leadership rules won’t specifically help him that much, 200 points is still plenty to pull anything from your team. Lastly, Hulk looks to be a wonderful piece for ID call-in’s as he isn’t that great early on and has that wonderful point cost which can summon an awful lot of strong pieces.
Casual: If you like the Hulk, he’s one of, if not the best Hulk around. You will feel like you’re playing an actual Hulk with him. Caution: his cost is pretty nuts right now.
Competitive: He’s probably a pass for competitive. While he’ll do work at an LGS, 200 points is just so much to pay for a strictly melee dial for WKO’s or ROC’s. He’s a solid 50/50 and should be carefully considered, but don’t expect to win large events with him.
105 Points, 6 Clicks, 4 Range (Single Target). No Team Ability. Martial Artist, Mystical, Ruler, Wakanda, and Warrior Keywords. Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering and Elevated Terrain.
Shuri has a great dial for a melee master, and has plenty of defense packed into her dial with Combat Reflexes, Super Senses, and Stealth all built into her first three clicks, and she has a fantastic Outwit that also lowers the defense of her target by 1 until her next turn. That said, Shuri is a little lacking for her 105 points. First of all, she isn’t Indomitable which is pretty surprising since she has the same lifespan as the first Captain America chase and is 35 points more. Second, with no reducers, she’ll probably only last one or two hits before she goes down. You need to be graceful when playing her so that you can actually get value out of her fairly short dial. Shuri is a delicate chase that requires smart play rather than jumping the gun and rushing, and to be honest, that’s what I kind of like about her. Black Panther has always been a character that calculates his moves, and Shuri feels like she plays how her brother thinks.
The back half of her dial is worth it if you can manage to get her there without ending up on a KO click. In terms of team play, there’s not too much you can do with her taking up more than 1/3 of your build. She’ll most likely be played with other Mystical characters as it’s one of the best generic keywords out there. Green Lantern from Joker’s Wild could be a deadly combination with her giving you a total of -2 to defense on your opponent and taking out their reducer so that Shuri can easily slice her way through. Even so, she’s frankly just too many points to see any real play. Expect her price to drop even more substantially as the set gets older. I can almost guarantee she’ll see the $20 mark before too long which is when I’ll get mine. At least she has a gorgeous sculpt.
Casual: Yeah, she’s a keeper. While she does have her fair share of weaknesses, she’s still efficient and is tough to deal with. She feels like a definitive Black Panther dial and shouldn’t provoke any glares.
Competitive: She’s a hard pass along with Daredevil. There’s so much more you can include on a team for her points. Klarion and Green Lantern come out to the same cost, and I know which of those options I’d rather play.
I hope you all liked this initial article for the Two Clicks From KO relaunch and found it informative and helpful. Not all articles will be this length as reviews of pieces tend to take more space, especially covering whether they’re going to see competitive play.
Are there any aspects that I missed about these chases, or some incredible combination that will push some of these into meta staples? Is there a particular chase that excites you more than the rest? We’d love to hear about it! Sound off in the comments below.
I’ll see you all next week. Remember, the real fun begins when you’re Two Clicks From KO!