Welcome to the first article in this Heroclix series! My name is Dan Starr and I’ve been playing Heroclix for over five years, starting around the Incredible Hulk set. In this series we’ll be looking at comic accurate themed teams that are inspired by some of my favorite comic book issues.
For those unfamiliar with the game Heroclix is a miniature table top game primarily using comic book characters. Players try to knock out their opponent’s team before the opponent can do the same to them. Each figure has their own point cost which is used when building your team. I decided on trying to stay around a 500 point build total for each article. I’ll explain the pros and cons of each figure and why I chose that particular version of that character for the team.
For this first article I decided to go with a line-up from a more recent X-men story: Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey #1. If the title didn’t give it away the story is about the Phoenix Force resurrecting one of the founding members of the X-Men, Jean Grey. After a series of strange mutant-related incidents occur all over the world the X-men send several teams to investigate. The team for this article will focus on the team sent to the headquarters of the original Hellfire Club. This force comes in at a total of 485 points, leaving space for game elements like special objects or ID cards.
The first figure on the team is the Limited Edition Colossus figure.
The most expensive figure on the team pointwise, this Colossus has several advantages over Colossus figures in the same point range. The first is his trait that lets him Carry a friendly figure while moving, potentially allowing you to lock down one or more of your opponent’s main attackers. The second reason this figure was chosen was because he starts with the damage power called Leadership, which can possibly allow Colossus to remove action tokens off of friendly characters, increasing the number of actions your team can make each turn. His higher than average attack and damage stats made including him on this team almost a no-brainer. The only downside I can see with this particular piece is his starting defense of 17, which isn’t that hard to hit. But in the end if you can keep Colossus near friendly characters to back him up this disadvantage isn’t something you’ll have to worry about.
The next figure to make the team was Colossus’s sister Magik from the recent Xavier’s School expansion.
Although she wasn’t in her demon form in this particular story, her powers and other special abilities made her a must have for this team. Her Darkchylde trait gives her the power Steal Energy, keeping her in the fight as she heals 1 click of damage every time she hits with a close combat attack. Coupled with her Mystics team ability that damages any enemy foolish enough to attack her, Magik can quickly weaken larger threats on the board, forcing your opponent to rethink their plan of attack. Her special movement power makes her an unusually mobile piece, allowing you to either get up in your opponent’s face or run away quickly if things go bad, with the free movement essentially increasing the distance she can move in one turn. Top off all of this with Stealth, which forces your opponent to waste their turn trying to reach her for close combat as she can hide from range attacks in hindering terrain. There weren’t really any downsides to this piece, pretty much making her an auto-include on this team as well.
Next figure on the team is Nightcrawler from the Days of Future Past set.
In my opinion this version of Nightcrawler is one of, if not, the best Nightcrawlers in the game. His trait grants him both defense powers Combat Refelexes and Energy Shield/Deflection which increase his printed defense, meaning that regardless of the type of attack Nightcrawler gets a +2 bonus to his defense. This Nightcrawler also increases the team’s mobility thanks to the Phasing/Teleport power and his ability to Carry a friendly character. He also gets a special version of Probability Control, which forces your opponent to reroll their attack, and it can’t be ignored. His only real downside is that he lacks any damage reducers, so if hit, he can potentially go down fast.
Next we come to the Prime version of Kitty Pryde from the Uncanny X-men set.
Once again we have another figure with Phasing/Teleport and Stealth, allowing Kitty some protection as she moves across the battlefield toward the opposing team. Super Senses increases her chances of avoiding your opponent’s attacks while Exploit Weakness allows Kitty a chance to deal some damage through your opponent’s damage reducers, softening them up for the rest of the team’s attackers like Colossus and Magik. A longer than average dial and a STOP click at the end makes Kitty one of the better X-men figures in her point range.
One of the last two figures on the team is Storm, also from the new Xavier’s School expansion.
Storm provides the team with another source of Leadership, as well as the power Perplex, allowing you to raise a stat of a friendly character OR lower one stat on an opponent’s figure for a turn which can be crucial in close matches. Also being able to Carry up to 3 friendly characters is a huge advantage for the team. Her trait which grants a free Student ID card is also an asset that can’t be overlooked while building your team.
Finally we come to the last figure on the team…Jubilee.
If you’re like me and grew up watching the X-men cartoon in the early 90’s chances are you’re probably not a huge Jubilee fan. But before you decide not to include her on the team at least check out what she can do. She starts with Running Shot which allows her to move and then attack enemies at a distance. Her special attack power allows her to lower the attack and defense of any enemy she hits, possibly forcing your opponent to play defensively for a turn. She also has a trait allowing her to move and make a close attack, essentially allowing Jubilee to attack enemies whenever and wherever you need her for the entire match. Her only downside is her lack of defense against close combat attacks so be careful where you place her on the battlefield.
All in all this X-Men theme team covers a lot of bases, providing many sources of support, mobility and offense that will hopefully give you the edge in achieving victory at home or at a weekly tournament.
That wraps up the first article in this series. Thanks for reading. I intend to do at least one of these articles each month so any feedback or suggestions for future issues are always welcome in the comments below.