Tag Archives: wildcards

Building with Wildcards

As a longtime HeroClix player, I’ve already found a few favorite team abilities (see my post about Mystics here), but I also enjoy passing around such abilities to characters who wouldn’t necessarily have it. Thus, the Wildcard team abilities–any one of the six symbols below means that the piece can share many different team abilities.

Why Wildcards Are Awesome

Wildcards sharing abilities can become game-changing very quickly. For instance, 77-point Spider-Girl can borrow the Mystics team ability from Jason Blood and start damaging her attackers every time they hurt her, too. Borrowing an Avenger’s free move ability increases team mobility if you’ve got a lot of Wildcards to move around, and passing around better attack values courtesy of Bat-Enemy team can make even your second-string Wildcards good for something!

In essence, Wildcards can help round out your team–if you have a lot of ranged S.H.I.E.L.D. pieces, for instance, and you need a little close-combat to help them out, you can easily include a wildcard close-combat piece like Timber Wolf or Iron Fist to give you another person to help you kick up range or damage without being as squishy as your range pieces.

Some Caveats to Remember

  • When selecting team abilities, choose one aggressive or movement TA and one defensive–such as Bat-Enemy and Danger Girl, Avengers and Mystics, or Ultimates and Bat-Ally. That way, you can wildcard to the aggressive TA during your turn, and then wildcard to the defensive one when it’s your opponent’s turn.
  • Choose your team-ability-bearing pieces wisely–make sure they can defend themselves if your opponent tries to attack them first. POGs with TAs are notoriously fragile and shouldn’t be relied on as the sole source of a TA.

Some Aggressive Team Abilities

  • Ultimates, Superman-Ally, Avengers Initiative
  • Ultimate X-Men, 2000 AD
  • Batman-Enemy, Sinister Syndicate
  • S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • HYDRA, Police, Morlocks
  • Masters of Evil
  • Injustice League

Some Defensive Team Abilities

  • Mystics, Arachnos, CrossGen
  • Batman-Ally, Kabuki
  • Defenders, Justice Society of America, Alternate Team Ability Fantastic Four
  • Teen Titans, X-Men
  • Hypertime, Kingdom Come

Some Movement Team Abilities

  • Green Lantern Corps
  • Avengers, Justice League of America, Brotherhood of Mutants, Top Cow
  • Serpent Society

Team Abilities That Aren’t Worth It For Wildcards:

  • Crime Syndicate (easier just to use a Wildcard with Prob naturally on the dial)
  • Superman-Enemy (hard to set up, easy to destroy)
  • Crusades (very situational and doesn’t come up often enough.)
  • Guardians of the Globe (again, very situational.)
  • Suicide Squad (ideally, your Wildcards shouldn’t be dying…easier to use X-Team or Teen Titans for healing)
  • Regular Fantastic Four (doesn’t work when a wildcard dies)

Watch Out for Uncopyable Team Abilities!

TAs like Power Cosmic, Quintessence, and Outsiders can’t be copied by Wildcards–check the Player’s Guide list of Team Abilities before you build a wildcard team, just to make sure your selected team is actually legal!

Try Out Your Own Combos!

The Wildcard team building strategy is all about customization–trying all sorts of Wildcard characters and combos of TAs until you find what you like. Start off by adding a few different Wildcards to your favorite team, and see what happens!

You Hurt Me, I Hurt You: The Mystics Team Ability

In HeroClix, most gamers typically gravitate towards high-damage, high-attack pieces, especially the ones that can move and attack in the same turn. Pieces with 11 or 12 attack, 3 or 4 damage, and either Charge, Running Shot, or Hypersonic Speed are the “Most Wanted Clix.”

I am not one of these gamers–in fact, the pieces I choose for my collection could be labeled “second-stringers” at best. If I have a 10 attack showing among my teams, it’s an unusual team for me. Most of my teams are made up of support pieces and a few solid but not overpowered pieces. It’s only when people begin to play against me that they realize those smaller pieces are actually serving another purpose besides attack: they are all Mystics. And they are FAR stronger than my opponents recognize, until it’s too late.

What Is The Mystics Team Ability?

The Mystics team ability (not to be confused with the “Mystical” keyword!) is indicated by any of the following team symbols on a HeroClix figure’s base:

From left:  Mystics, CrossGen, Arachnos

Any of these three symbols, printed on the back of a character’s dial, mean that if an opponent attacks and successfully damages this figure, the attacking figure takes 1 unavoidable damage. It’s a “You hurt me, I hurt you” strategy–very reactive in playstyle, since it depends on the other person making a successful attack.

Mystics In Practice

This might seem counterproductive at first. Why would someone want their own figures to be damaged? Doesn’t that mean you’ll be beaten faster?

Not necessarily! 😀

Run Lots of Support with Mystics

Here’s the primary beauty of the strategy: more often, the people I play against are not running pieces that have Support (the ability to heal a friendly character). I, however, am running one or two pieces with Support (also known as “Medics”). If one of my Mystics pieces takes a wee bit too much damage and is in danger of being KOed, I simply get him or her back to a Medic while some of my other Mystics pieces take over. In a few turns, my hurt Mystic is back on top click, and the opponent’s pieces have likely taken more damage in the meantime, either from a Mystic hit or from actually being attacked.

Run Wildcards with Mystics, Too!

One way I love to run Mystics pieces is to run them with a bunch of Wildcards–a list of Wildcard team symbols follow:

From left:  Spiderman-Ally, B.P.R.D., Minions of Doom, Legion of Superheroes, Calculator, Freedom Phalanx

The reason? Wildcards can copy the Mystics team ability. Suddenly, Young Superman is a Mystic–you deal him damage, you take a damage! Spider-Girl is a Mystic, too–you deal her damage, you take a damage! And so on.

So, if my whole team is full of Mystics such as these, and you don’t have a Support piece, you are in trouble. True, your pieces might deal more damage to mine at first, but I likely have more Wildcard Mystics ready to fill in for the one who’s running back to the Medic. Not only that, but the Wildcard pieces help round out the team with some higher damage and attack, as well as some strong abilities of their own, like Charge, Incapacitate, or my favorite, Super Senses. (I roll a 5 or 6–your attack misses my character. I roll a 1 through 4–my character takes damage, which means yours takes a damage, too. It’s a win-win!)

Important Pieces of Strategy

This team ability works best if you have a lot of small point-value characters rather than a few large point-value characters. Having a Mystic over a hundred points is great, but you’re not going to have a lot of room for support, other Mystics, or Wildcards. My favorite strategy is to actually choose two of the cheaper Mystics (Zatanna Zatara, Jason Blood, Nightshade, etc.) and build my team full of Wildcards and Support from there. That way, I have the Mystics team covered, but I also have room for attacking pieces that will likely take some damage along the way.

Try the Mystics team ability sometime if you’re looking for a different way to win. Sometimes, an opponent’s successful attack can work against them!