Modern Minor Leagues

Greetings fellow nerds,

I thought it would be appropriate to start with a brief introduction. My name is Joe Easton, I’m a husband, father of an eleven-week-old son, western NY resident, I work for “the man” in corporate America, . . . and I just can’t seem to kick this Heroclix habit of mine. While Heroclix was my first gaming love, it was the gateway to many other games: VS System, Raw Deal, Magic the Gathering, Warmachine, Dicemasters, . . . and back to Heroclix. My Heroclix journey started in the summer of 2002 when flipping through Inquest magazine. The print ad depicted X-Men staring down a much larger Sentinel and I was hooked. Without a smart phone, I hit the phonebook and started calling comic book and hobby shops in the area until I found a hit. Some chore negotiating with the mama bear ensued, and shortly we were off to the races snagging my Infinity Challenge starter.

I played until 2006, when the introduction of IndyClix was the catalyst for the disintegration of my local playgroup (people hate change . . . how dare they get rid of Soaring J) I dabbled in Captain America/Incredible Hulk for a brief period from late 2010 into 2011. I bought a Wolverine and the X-Men brick on a whim in 2013 because the team bases looked AMAZING, snagged a Flash brick when it came out, but a return to school for a software degree put a halt to my Clix endeavors in the fall of 2014. In 2016, I moved to Buffalo and stopped into a local collectible store on a Saturday when in town looking for apartments. It just happened to be the Saturday of that venue’s once-a-month Heroclix event. I made a few Facebook contacts, chatted for a few minutes, and was on my way. That group of guys ended up welcoming onto their Clix team “Team Buffalo Wings” and here we are over 2 years later, with a carefully placed elephant curtain in my son’s nursery hiding an entire six-foot shelf of Heroclix.

With the introduction taken care of, let’s get into the premise of this (hopefully) recurring article: to cast a spotlight on some Modern clix pieces that I think have the potential for a place in the competitive meta game, but currently don’t have an established spot, thus their “minor-league” status. (Disclaimer: a piece may have posted an outlier top 8 finish, but nothing covered will be a part of an established competitive archetype)

Without further ado, our premiere subject is none other than:

His trait and special damage power immediately jump out as his bread and butter:

Any time a power that normally costs you an action in a 300-point game is replaced with ‘FREE’, I would highly suggest giving it a second glance. Even better, this FREE support is further bolstered by an increase to the d6 result. This ability (along with his Perplex) comes with a caveat; it can only be used for characters with the Monster keyword. Additionally, the chase Frankenstein’s Monster can get a double Perplex. I think one of the things that has held Dr. Frankenstein back is the perception of him as a pair with his creation, and this is simply not the case. While Frankenstein’s Monster is not a bad figure by any stretch of the imagination, he just boils down to a relatively basic Charge piece that lacks any sort of Improved Movement and is further inhibited by Battle Fury (I’ve considered Pip, but ideally, you’re wanting a Monster theme team to ensure maximum utility of Dr. Frankenstein).

If we’re building a Monster theme team, we need other Monsters, right? Here’s a quick list of some of the Modern stalwarts with the keyword:

Monster has great Colossal Retaliation selection, but the lack of a reliable taxi hurts the mobility of the team. Bizarro Green Arrow and Giganto & Namor (GN) stand out because of their stop clicks pairing effectively with FREE support. While Mini Shredder is a great piece, the lack of a taxi really limits his appeal (on a themed version at least). Currently, it feels like there are so many ways to get around Bizarro Green Arrow that he wouldn’t be a consistent source of protection. At 30 pts, Dr. Frankenstein is vulnerable, but expendable given your propensity for retaliating. Much in the way that X-Men teams deploy two Moiras, we’re going to start with two Dr. Frankensteins. I think GN pairs nicely with the doctor, so having 2 different instances of GN carrying around Dr. Frankenstein will allow for some initial hits to be made. Giant Reach and Quake both give GN ways to engage in close combat while still maintaining utility to be healed without being based. With the Monster theme, finding a map with a lot of blocking terrain when you win initiative would be a big advantage (ex. Star Trek Underground). With GN’s carrying around Dr’s, I was looking for a utility piece, and I circled back to Goblin King. Having 2 instances of FREE support allows me to more comfortably push Goblin King, freeing up my pick-a-power choices to something other than Willpower/X when he has a token. Additionally, this is built in defense in case you run into a Darwin team. I did give some thought to Baxter Stockman from Unplugged, as well as Grim Reaper from Undead (for the Monster damage bonus), but I felt having someone providing some Outwit/Prob to my team would be most beneficial to the GN landing their attacks.

I’m partial to variety when running multiple retaliators, so I’m opting for one each of Groot and Surtur. The amount of Perplex you have available makes Surtur very formidable. I could even see dropping an ID for double Surtur, but I think having the Walking Woods as additional sources of damage will nicely take some of the focus away from your GN/Dr. combos. I used the remaining points for 3 ID cards (Wolverine SR, Brood X, and Leech) and a Symbiote (intended for Goblin King). Being able to call in Leech with your Support piece is valuable, but you could certainly opt bigger given the presence of Goblin King on your team. Here is an attempt to get Dr. Frankenstein a look at the big-league level:

Set Name Pts
UND002 Dr. Frankenstein 30
UND002 Dr. Frankenstein 30
AIG017R Giganto & Namor 50
AIG017R Giganto & Namor 50
TMTG001P Surtur 25
AIG025P Groot 20
WI040R Goblin King 75
XID Wolverine 5
MVID Professor X 5
XID Leech 3
SFSMS101 Symbiote 6
299

 

For a more budget-friendly iteration, the Wolverine ID can easily be swapped with another less expensive option, and you could save some additional dough if Surtur were to turn into Groot #2. I’ll say good bye with a list of 3 figures that I think have potentially powerful synergy with Dr. Frankenstein. Until next time, just remember there’s no crying in Heroclix!

Bonus List:

TMNT Unplugged Baxter Stockman (80 points)

  • LEVEL BOSS trait pairs nicely with the FREE Support, he’s a flier who could carry Dr. Frankenstein, and comes with Outwit

Avengers Infinity Hulk (150 points)

  • The stop clicks offer multiple opportunities to FREE Support and erase opponent’s attacks. Could be helped by a powerful call-in option at 150 points alongside Storm to for when just diving in headfirst isn’t quite enough.

Elseworlds Bizarro Police (50 points)

  • “BIZARRO D.N.A. DEGRADATION: Bizarro Police takes a maximum of 1 damage from attacks. When Bizarro Police is hit with an attack and his defense value is equal to the attacker’s attack total, KO Bizarro Police. This power can’t be countered or ignored.”
  • With 15 defense and this power all the way down the dial, he’d be easier to heal than most, and potentially a nightmare to kill. Would likely need to venture outside of theme for this one, looking at Trelane/Unseen as best candidates to ensure the Bizarro Police give your opponent a sufficient headache.