HeroClix Perth Featured in ‘The Golden D6’

One of my articles has been published in this month’s edition of The Golden D6Obviously I’m pretty pleased with this. If you’re into miniatures gaming, then check out The Golden D6 and let me know what you think of my article.

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Take care.




Injustice League Monthly OP Kit Dials

Thanks to some crowdsourcing from the awesome folks at HCRealms, we have the dials for the Injustice League monthly OP kit coming to your local venue in a matter of days. Before I put the dials under analysis, here’s a reminder of what the sculpts look like:


The Lex Luthor sculpt is a reuse of the Justice League: Trinity War sculpt, and Sinestro is a reuse of the War of Light: Sinestro Corps. War scenario pack sculpt. Captain Cold’s sculpt is a new, unique sculpt and looks amazing. A lot of people don’t like the New 52 look but I’m a fan of it. That’s no to say, though, that I don’t like the classic look; I’m a big fan of Captain Cold in general.

On to the dials.

First, Lex Luthor:

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At 110 points Lex Luthor packs a bit of a punch with a very respectable 11 attack, and 4 damage. His Running Shot and range of 6 (three targets) is also pretty good. If combined with his “Kryptonite-Tipped Tranq Darts” trait, Lex can be a bit of a nuisance. Remember that all you have to do is hit your target(s); you don’t have to damage them. So if you make a good attack roll against your targets and can’t otherwise damage one of them, you can give them an action token – as suggested earlier – to be a nuisance.

Lex Luthor transitions into a nice Charge/Exploit Weakness combination mid-dial so while he’ll not be as menacing from range, he’ll have options for melee attacks and will still be able to make use of his trait (hitting a single target, obviously).

I’ll also add that this version of Lex Luthor may make a pretty good candidate for the 2016 convention exclusive Lex Luthor ID card.

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This is a very team-friendly Sinestro. It would have been nice to see a cheaper Sinestro but 150 points for what he offers is pretty good. A Running Shot, Penetrating/Psychic Blast combination is always nice, and with a range of 7 he’ll have an overall reach of 13. 11 attack, 4 damage, and a defense special power that gives him Energy Shield/Deflection (+2 to defense value against ranged attacks) as well as adjacent friendly characters. It’s a simple dial, and that’s a good thing for newer players to the game. For the more experienced players, I don’t think Sinestro is a competitive piece, but I’d love to see someone have a go at making him competitive. Perhaps someone sees something there that I don’t see.

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Captain Cold is the crown-jewel of the set and that’s putting the new sculpt aside. He’s 60 points and as far as nuisance pieces go, he’s going to be one of the worst offenders for a long, long time. Did you ever stick out your tongue and plant it on a light pole during snowy, wintery weather?  Well this Captain Cold simulates that effect with that special defense power.

Captain Cold is going to keep characters with Phasing/Teleport, Hypersonic Speed, Sidestep, Charge, Running Shot, etc. stuck in the same spot helplessly. It’s not just the afore mentioned powers that Captain Cold’s Barrier will “block”, but any speed powers that require activation (i.e. be it through a power action, free action, etc.) like Mind Control, Flurry, and Force Blast.

Let’s remember that Barrier allows you to place four [Barrier] markers on the map within range (at least one of them has to be within line of fire) so with that kind of spread you can potentially lockdown an entire opposing team. In addition to being able to do so from 6 squares away (Captain Cold’s range), you may move up to 3 squares before placing blocking terrain markers. That’s an effective reach of 9 squares.

Captain Cold also packs some Enhancement so you’re going to want to have him next to your team’s sniper or cannon before you do your Barrier trick, and the Calculator team ability makes Captain Cold a wildcard so make the most of your friendly characters’ own team abilities (or Additional Team Ability; assuming they’re copyable).

Like Lex Luthor, Captain Cold has a 2016 convention exclusive ID card so obviously this piece will be a great candidate for that, and at 60 points he’ll be able to be called in by almost anybody. Even a one-off “Barrier-to-make-your-tongue-stick-to-the-pole” will frustrate your opponent and prepare your team nicely for a follow-up attack.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this Captain Cold! Sure, he lacks the offense his The Flash set counterparts have, but he’s a cheap nuisance, and even in the competitive game that’s as good as gold.

Overall, this is a monthly OP kit that you should get your hands on. Do your best to collect all three pieces.

Injustice League Monthly OP Kit, June 2016

You’re probably already aware that in June we’ll see an Injustice League OP kit come to stores where HeroClix is played. This is an OP kit that has me particularly excited because I love Captain Cold. The new Captain Cold sculpt looks amazing but I’m wondering how they’ll top The Flash set dial (FL038 Captain Cold).

Alongside Captain Cold there’s a Sinestro re-sculpt (new dial), and a Lex Luthor re-sculpt (new dial). I feel like we’ve been getting a lot of Lex Luthor lately so I’m indifferent about a new Lex Luthor. We do, however, need a new Sinestro as the last one from Justice League: Trinity War was only really good at his 200 point level. A cheaper Sinestro would be great.

Anyway, here’s what the sculpts look like:


Like I said: that Captain Cold sculpt looks amazing!

If you happen to have dial information, please spoil/share it with me!

Battle Report: 500 pt. Golden Age constructed, no character above 100 pts.

Last night my local venue ran an event: 500 point Golden Age constructed, no tactics (except for ATAs), no equipment, no ID Cards, etc., no characters above 100 points, and it must be a theme team. This is what my team looked like:


E Martian Manhunter, 100 pts
The Flash, 85 pts
Elongated Man, 81 pts
R World’s Finest, 75 pts
John Constantine, 59 pts
Oracle, 50 pts
Atomica, 25 pts
Batman/Superman Robot, 25 pts
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
500 pts, ‘Justice League’ theme, +8 to map roll, 5x TTPC

Both Martian Manhunter, and The Flash are very good attacking pieces, and with the inclusion of Oracle (ffsog001) with her ability to move friendly characters into place, a la “Moving The Pieces Into Place”, getting within reach of my opponent – even with Martian Manhunter’s lack of Running Shot up front – wasn’t much of a problem.

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Where Oracle’s special power shined though was moving World’s Finest into position. World’s Finest has the “Duo Attack Ability” which means they can – by being given a power action – target a single opposing character with a close or ranged attack, and attack them twice (as a free action).

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World’s Finest has a healthy range of 7, so with half movement (through Oracle; 9 halved becomes 5, rounded up from 4.5… in HeroClix you always round up), that’s a reach of 12 squares which is very, very good. World’s Finest’s real strength, however, lies in that trait “World’s Finest Team”. No, not the part that says their powers and abilities can’t be countered (although that is very good); the other bit: their combat values can’t be decreased. This means that when World’s Finest uses the Duo Attack ability, their damage value won’t be affected by the damage depletion modifier. Ordinarily – with combat abilities like the Duo Attack ability – the damage depletion modifier would trigger with the second attack, meaning that you’d do 4 damage first and then 3 damage with the follow-up attack. Not World’s Finest. Because World’s Finest’s combat values can’t be decreased, they’re doing 4 damage for the first attack, and 4 damage for the follow-up. So a total of 8 damage against a single target is very, very nice. Sure, World’s Finest at 75 points is only three clicks deep, but you’re getting a lot of bang there. High reward for high risk.

What I wish I could have executed last night was giving World’s Finest a free move action through Oracle, on the way pick up a heavy object (+2 to close combat damage), and end up adjacent to an opposing character to perform a close combat duo attack: 6 damage on the first attack, then 4 on the follow-up. 10 in total. Devastating. But alas the opportunity to pursue such a manoeuvre did not present itself.

Martian Manhunter, and The Flash performed as I expected they would; they were both very difficult to land a hit one due to Stealth or good mobility. If Martian Manhunter took damage, he landed on a click with that Shape Change special power (if a Shape Change roll is successful he is healed of one click). The Flash had three Speed Force tokens on him so at that point he had Sidestep, and could ignore Hindering Terrain, and Elevated Terrain for movement. For 85 points The Flash is a remarkable piece, but the MVC (“Most Valuable Character”) in my team was this guy:


Against a team consisting of characters with Hypersonic Speed or Charge for close combat, Elongated Man was able to fend off Hypersonic Speed or Charge close combat attempts thanks to his “Gingold Soda” trait. That Plasticity stopped opposing characters getting adjacent to Elongated Man and anyone else huddling around him. Elongated Man’s special Outwit power “My Nose is Twitching” with that lovely range of 8 and all of that Improved Targeting helped in keeping a certain speedy X-Men character at bay, and preventing Kitty Pryde (prime) from performing her “Phasing Attack”. Elongated Man looks goofy, but he’s a great piece. I’m tempted to use him in the 300 point Modern Age constructed format but I’m not sure if he’s a competitive piece. If you’ve used to him to good effect in that format, please let me know.

As far as my battles went, there was only myself and one other player at this particular event, but we weren’t going to let a meagre turnout spoil our fun. We played two games; he played an X-Men team consisting of characters from the recent Uncanny X-Men set, and I managed to win both. The first game was a timed game (50 minutes) and I won on points, 130-75. The next game we played until “last man standing”. At the end of that game he only had his Scarlet Witch standing where as I was left with a full-health Martian Manhunter, a full-health Flash, Atomica, and Elongated Man whom had each taken a single click of damage. My friend had put together a very formidable team (his Age of Apocalypse Weapon X scared me, and Pixie served as a great support piece), but his dice were his worst enemy on the night.

I love Golden Age games almost as much as I love Modern Age games; it’s good playing in formats where there isn’t a great need to be competitive. Sure, winning is great, but the fun comes from playing characters that you wouldn’t play on a regular basis. It was good giving newer pieces a road test and giving some love to some older pieces. Thank you, Good Games Joondalup, for hosting the event. I’m looking forward to the next one. 🙂

Wizkids Open, May 14 2016 – A Perspective

Apparently there were some big-deal events taking place around the United States of America over the weekend, and you could argue it was a big deal because the format for those events was 300 point Modern Age constructed; the last big event for that format prior to set rotation/retirement this year (June 1). It was a last hurrah for Power Batteries, War of Light entities and some other “meta” pieces that have had quite a significant impact on the competitive scene for the last couple of years.

Some of the winners and their winnings teams have been shared over at HCRealms, and while I’m not going to give a blow-by-blow account of how things went (because, well, I wasn’t there), I am going to share my thoughts on a couple of the winning teams and why I like them so much.

Firstly, the winner from the Wizkids Open in Leeds, Alabama: Easton Brock. He played:

uxm047 Mystique, 60 pts
+Ophidian, 25 pts
uxm047 Mystique, 60 pts
+Parallax, 25 pts
uxm047 Mystique, 60 pts
+Ion, 25 pts
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Orange Power Battery, 2 pts
Orange Wall construct, 10 pts
Orange Axe construct, 6 pts
Orange Spotlight construct, 6 pts
S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 ID card, 5 pts (nfaos007b Peggy Carter)
Nova ID card, 5 pts (gotg031 Nova)
Triathlon ID card, 5 pts (avas013a Triathlon)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
300 pts, ‘Brotherhood of Mutants’ theme, +3 to map roll, 3x TTPC

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Why three of this piece? One Mystique would be enough trouble, but three that you have to be adjacent to at the beginning of your turn in order to target? You’re going to be burning a lot of actions without availing much just to try get next to Mystique, and if you do manage to have a character adjacent to her at the beginning of your turn, you’ll also have to get passed her Shape Change. Mystique’s strength is her ability to keep opponents at an arm’s length with that traited Force Blast: give her a move action then use Force Blast as a free action. If your characters do not have any immunity to knockback (e.g. Charge, Combat Reflexes), you’re going to have a bad time.

By having Ophidian equipped to one Mystique, by choosing Pulse Wave through Ophidian you can prevent your opponent from using it (i.e. the Orange Power Battery’s “Emotional Spectrum” ability) thus making it impossible for your opponent to ignore Mystique’s “Shapeshifter” trait and effect. You can also “greed away” your opponent’s Shape Change (among other things) as – apart from Pulse Wave – Mystique does not have anything to get around that (that is if it’s coming from another source like a construct, equipment, etc.).

Mystique is a really, really good piece. I don’t think anyone counted on anyone playing more than one of her on a team. Great work, Easton!

While my next favourite pick didn’t win, the player, Luke Grace, placed second at Owensboro, Kentucky:

Takion, 175 pts
+Proselyte, 25 pts
Ultron Drone (Phalanx), 30 pts
Batman/Superman Robot, 25 pts
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Indigo PB, 2 pts
Constructs (unknown by report)
S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 ID card, 5 pts (SR Nick Fury)
Iron Man ID card, 5 pts (Phoenixbuster Iron Man)
Batman ID card, 5 pts (JLTW SR Batman)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
~300 pts, ‘Cosmic’ theme, +3 to map roll

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I’m sad that this guy is being rotated out of Modern Age this year. As far as centre pieces go, Takion is about as good as it gets. Hypersonic Speed that allows you to Pulse Wave instead of a ranged combat attack? Sure, you’ve got to get up close to use it, but that’s damage that will cut through anything as it ignores most things. Takion’s “Conduit of the Source” trait also ensures that opposing characters won’t be using Probability Control or Perplex against him, and given that every man and his dog will be sporting Probability Control, you’d pick that over Perplex. Takion also had his own Probability Control so very rarely are you going to be missing an attack with him.

With Proselyte equipped to Takion and by playing the Indigo Power Battery/Indigo Tribe ring, Takion will get +1 to all combat values (except damage). With Proselyte equipped you’ll also be able to increase his damage and choose Perplex to increase his damage value (preferable) again. At this point, Takion would have the following combat values:

Movement: 11
Attack: 12
Defense: 19
Damage: 5 (+1 through Proselyte, and using Perplex to increase damage again)
Range: 8

Against a single target, 5 damage Pulse Wave is devastating. Using the Indigo Power Battery’s “Emotional Spectrum” ability, it would have made Takion very difficult to catch and attack too. Luke’s opponents would have to get within four squares of Takion to be able to draw line of fire, and unless you have Hypersonic Speed yourself or a long range Charge or Running Shot, you’re not going to catch Takion easily.

The inclusion of the Ultron Drone (Phalanx) is great too. Drones, although costing 30 points to include in your force, are considered 120 points until KO’ed. At 120 points the drone will be able to call in Nick Fury using the S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 7 ID card, and we all know how good that Nick Fury is. Takion has the option of calling in Phoenixbuster Ironman, and JLTW Batman too; both very good pieces to call in.

The Batman/Superman Robot is in there for some colossal retaliation, and that could mean a handy 2 penetrating damage every once in a while. As far as this team goes, you’re not going to mind losing your Batman/Superman Robot as he’s only 25 points and can serve as a bit of a decoy to coax your opponent into thinking they’ll get an easy 25 points. That could set Takion up for another Hypersonic Speed/Pulse Wave attack for 5 damage again.

It’s a really well-made team. It’s a shame it placed second!

Did you keep up with the WKO events over the weekend? Was there a team that you liked? If so, comment below.

Until next time.

Team Building With ID Cards

I’m going to continue with my Decent ID Card Characters series with the next article, but today I thought I’d do something about team building and incorporating ID cards in to your build without using the Round Table or Teleporter resource.

ID cards by themselves are very useful and – with the right build – can be just as good used in a team without the Round Table or Teleporter resource. Before we dive into building a team around ID cards, a quick recap:

  • 1x ID card in your build per friendly character on the map (e.g. three friendly characters on the map = 3 ID cards; but there are some exceptions);
  • At the beginning of your turn you can give a friendly character a power action (given they do not already have an action token) to call in a character of equal or less value (i.e. a 75 point character cannot call in a character greater than 75 points);
  • the ID card character is placed adjacent to the character that called it in;
  • The ID card character cannot be carried, be given double power actions, be assigned resources, or be replaced;
  • Your opponent scores 5 points as soon as you use an ID card to call in a character;
  • At the beginning of your next turn the ID card character is returned to your sideline; and
  • The ID card character is returned to the sideline if it’s not within five squares of the character that called it in or if it removed by some other game effect

I’m now going to throw together a team using the 300 point Modern Age format (with 2016 set rotation in mind). Don’t expect anything meta here; this is just for kicks:

WF002 Superman, 90 pts
WKD16-006 The Flash, 85 pts
WF018 Batman, 60 pts
SMWWG002P Batman/Superman Robot, 25 pts
Pandora’s Box, 12 pts
+Wrath, 4 pts
+Envy, 4 pts
WFWDID-002 Batman, 5 pts
WFWFID-007 Black Canary, 5 pts
WFWFID-019 Katana, 5 pts
AVASAVID-015 Triathlon, 5 pts
300 pts, ‘Justice League’ theme, +4 to map roll, 3x TTPC

As you can see there I have four friendly characters on the map, so that entitles me to four ID cards. The decision to use those four ID cards specifically was influenced by a couple of things:

  • the availability of ID card characters at a cost comparable to friendly characters on the map; and
  • the usefulness of the ID card characters

I don’t plan on calling in any characters with the Batman/Superman Robot, but I wanted to make sure that there was a fourth friendly character on the map to warrant a fourth ID card. Let’s take a quick look at the ID card characters I’ll be using for those ID cards:

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Summarising their usefulness:

Batman (85 points) – Charge, Precision Strike, and a nifty special power that gives hit targets an action token.

Black Canary (77 points) – Running Shot, Pulse Wave, and that special power that grants an enhanced version of Force Blast (N.B. Pulse Wave + Force Blast = nasty!).

Katana (68 points) – Charge, Blades/Claws/Fangs, and Exploit Weakness, with a trait that gives +1 to attack and damage if she targets an opposing character with the highest value on its force.

Triathlon (60 points) – Charge, Flurry, and a very respectable 11 attack, and 3 damage.

Batman/Superman Robot being the exception, all friendly characters will be able to call in an ID card character, and when you build a team with ID cards, you should plan/ensure that – if one of your characters gets KO’ed early – you’ve got at least one other character than can call in ID card characters.

Superman is 90 points; he can call in all four ID card characters.

The Flash is 85 points; he can call in all four ID card characters.

Batman is 60 points; he can only call in one of those ID card characters: Triathlon.

Don’t include ID cards that complement your team; don’t even include ID cards that have useful inspirations. Include ID cards that have decent ID card characters that can kick butt for you. Remember: you’re bringing in a full-health character for five points, and across the four characters I’ve chosen for that team, for 20 points (i.e. four ID cards at five points each) – assuming you hit your target(s), don’t roll critical hits, and you’re dealing base damage – a total of 14 damage could be dealt (Batman’s 3, Black Canary’s 3, Katana’s 2, and Triathlon’s Flurry for 6)! There’s not a single ~20 point character that can be that effective; there are ~100 point characters that struggle to be that effective!

In summary:

Two’s company; three’s a crowd. If you’re going to use ID cards without the Round Table or Teleporter resources, then aim to have at least three ID cards in your build (for the 300 point Modern Age constructed format). Three’s a crowd, but that’s bad for your opponent, not you.

Who’s callin’? Don’t rely on only one of your friendly characters to do the calling in. Take the ID card characters’ cost into account as well: ensure they can be called in by at least one more friendly character on your team as I have demonstrated above.

Bang for buck. Give thought to what you’re going to get in return for that 5 point investment per ID card character. Go for maximum impact; go for glory; and go for the eyes, Boo! There’s no point in calling in an ID card character that’s only going to love-tap your opponent. Ultimately it’s going to be your friendly characters on the map doing the most work, but it’s the ID card characters that could prove to be the key factor in determining who wins and who loses. Even if that ID card character knocks out a 40 point generic, you’re still up by 35 points. That said, go big. If you miss, all you’ve lost is 5 points for calling in that character.

I’ll be back later in the week with another instalment of Decent ID Card Characters. Until then, let me know how you go with your team building and feel free to comment below with your questions and thoughts on what you’ve read today.


Animal Man: Buddies for Buddy

Animal Man (real name: Buddy Baker) made a much anticipated return to HeroClix as a 2015 Convention Exclusive figure. I won an Animal Man at Australian HeroClix Nationals last year (yay for me) but only recently have I discovered his potential. While I’m not willing to share all of my tricks, I will discuss the one thing that makes this character quite good: his trait.

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“One With the Animal Kingdom” for a free action allows you – at the beginning of your turn – to choose a character with the Animal keyword from your sideline and use a standard power from their character card until your next turn. The characters with the Animal keyword on your sideline can’t be over 200 points. The number of characters allowed on your sideline is determined by the format/team build: 3 characters per 100 points (capped at 15 characters). So in a 300 point game (the “norm” for HeroClix tournaments and Official Play) you’d be allowed nine characters on your sideline.

So who’s good to buddy-up with Buddy? Which characters with the Animal keyword (that are 200 points or less) should you have on your sideline? I’m going to recommend five for Modern Age (taking this year’s set rotation into consideration) “animals” for you (in no particular order).

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I’ve opened up with the Super Rare Donatello as opposed to the Common, or Chase mainly due to the fact that there are other characters you can get Charge, or other movement powers from. What makes this version of Donatello great to have on your sideline is his support capabilities: Perplex, and Support. These powers will make Animal Man (remembering that you can only pick one standard power during your turn) a good source of support, whether it’s being done by increasing a friendly character’s attack value, decreasing an opposing character’s defense value, or using Support to heal a friendly character that’s taken more damage than desired. Animal Man’s attack values make him a reasonable healer (i.e. Support), but if you want Animal to shrug off a bit more damage and you’ve been knocked off your first click, you can also choose Invulnerability to have Buddy channel the toughness of a turtle’s shell.

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Streaky is the OP kit prize from the World’s Finest set. There’s a lot to love about Streaky as a sideline character for Animal Man. First of all, there’s Hypersonic Speed. This will make Animal Man really annoying as most characters with Hypersonic Speed tend to be. Hit and run, hit and run, and hit and run. Then there’s a good dose of Flurry, and Blades/Claws/Fangs for Animal Man to choose. If you’re on your first click, you can combine one of these with Charge: Charge and Flurry, or Charge and Blades/Claws/Fangs. Heck, take Streaky’s Precision Strike to combine with Charge to ignore a target’s Super Senses, or Mastermind. Put Kitty in your corner; Animal Man will love you for it.

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Klaron the Witch-Boy isn’t a character that deserves the Animal keyword, but since his familiar, Teekl, is an animal and attaches to his base, the Animal keyword has been granted. Lucky for us! Energy-Shield/Deflection, Precision Strike, Combat Reflexes, Regeneration, Stealth, and Probability Control… Klarion’s a must for your Animal Man sideline!

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You’ve probably cottoned on to the fact that I like Probability Control… a lot! Yes, Protector has Sidestep, Toughness, and Regeneration, but if Klarion’s not in your collection and you’re after a character with the Animal keyword with Probability Control, then have Protector on your sideline. Even when Animal Man is not so useful offensively, he’ll still be of great use to you by providing your team with Probability Control.

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I’m finishing with First Born deliberately. I mean, just look at that dial! Charge, Super Strength, Exploit Weakness, Close Combat Expert, Plasticity, Invincible (another favourite of mine), Impervious, Invulnerability, Combat Reflexes, Exploit Weakness, Sidestep, Steal Energy, and Flurry! It’s a pity that you can only choose one power but, that said, you’ll learn how to be creative with power combinations. For example, when Animal Man is on his last two clicks of life and has that damage special power (“Survival of the Fittest”), you can combine that with Charge for a Charge/Exploit Weakness attack. You can also use Steal Energy with a close combat attack to regain a click of health, or use it as you push your character to effectively ignore pushing damage (if your attack is successful, that is).

Animal Man is a fun character to use and dare I say he’s good enough to use competitively. You’ll just need to work out how to make a good thing better.

Thanks for reading.