Since the Avenger’s Assemble set has been out for a while I thought I’d try something new and do a write up for the set detailing my ten favorite figures from the set. I will say that you won’t see Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, or the Hulk on this list. They’re all in this set and they’re great too, but I have other versions of them from previous sets that I’m more than happy with already.
I was really happy when I heard that Wizkids was getting around to making a version of Rage for this set because he’s been appearing in comics for years without any presence in the game. He’s got some great keywords, allowing him to join a number of theme teams including: Avengers, Brute, Initiative, and New Warriors. Rage is really straightforward and he’s a great figure for a mere seventy-four points. He starts off with average stats Leap/Climb, Super Strength, and Toughness. After two clicks he swaps Toughness for Impervious and gain Charge coupled with Battle Fury. His combat abilities also climb steadily peaking at an attack value of twelve, a defense of eighteen, and a damage value of four. He only keeps his Impervious for three clicks, but if he’s used well they can be quite effective. Rage’s major weakness is a lack of any way to come back from or resist penetrating damage, so characters with Exploit Weakness, Penetrating/Psychic Blast, or Outwit can knock him out quickly. However I think Rage will be overlooked more often than not allowing him to slip in and dish out so serious damage before he gets beaten.
2) Black Widow
I pulled Black Widow for a sealed tournament the other night, and then I wound up using her as my primary figure in the three-hundred point game. She is my favorite version of the character to date and I think she’s one of the better figures in the set. Her keywords give you plenty of options for using her such as: Avengers, Champions, Lady Liberators, Martial Artists, Marvel Knights, S.H.I.E.L.D., and Spy. With traited Stealth and Shape Change as well as Super Senses for half of her dial she has an excellent chance of avoiding any damage that might come her way. She also has a nice range of useful powers including Precision Strike, Perplex, and Outwit allowing you to adapt your strategy as play progresses. Her modified version of Poison even lets you choose when to activate it at any point during your turn. Overall I think she’s a fantastic figure even though I think you need to play her well to get the most out of her.
I’ll never forget the first time I read a comic featuring the New Warriors, they’d team up with the Scarlet Spider to take down some sort of giant robot monstrosity. Turbo’s costume was interesting and I always thought the character had a unique look. This will probably be one of those characters you’ll see a lot of in years to come, for fifty points Turbo is an inexpensive and highly effective taxi. Most of her powers are about what you’d expect including Sidestep, Toughness, Super Senses, and Close Combat Expert. However her Trait “This Armor is Awesome” gives Turbo Energy Shield/Deflection, and it allows her to use force blast as a free action after she hits a single character with a close combat attack. With keywords like: Armor, Initiative, Loners, New Warriors, and Reporter I’d be surprised if Turbo doesn’t become a mainstay figure on some of the expanded teams.
4) 3-D Man
I’m not going to lie, 3-D Man is on my list for one reason and one reason alone. That’s his ability to shut down teams that rely on Stealth or Shape Change. If you’ve ever found yourself on the bad end of a team of Dire Wraiths you’ll understand why I fantasize about unleashing this figure against them partnered with something that can kick them around the table. Aside from that he’s still an interesting piece with above average stats. He’s got a special version of Perplex that allows him to use it up to three times per turn, but only on himself and he can’t increase his damage value more than once. At the end of your turn if you use this ability you roll a single d6 and if the result is a 3-D Man takes one click of unavoidable damage. His keywords are Agents of Atlas, Avengers, and Initiative but I have to admit I’m disappointed that they didn’t include Skrull Kill Crew.
I’m thinking Manifold is going to become a common sight on Avengers theme teams. The reason is his trait Portals of Space and Time. This trait allows him to carry up to three friendly characters that share a keyword with him regardless of their combat symbols. Then if you give him a free action you can increase the defense value of friendly adjacent characters by one until your next turn. Thankfully his keywords only include Avengers and Secret Warriors so we’re not going to see him teamed up with anything like the Marvel Zombies. He has some handy powers like Phasing/Teleport, Hypersonic Speed, Telekinesis, Precision Strike, Barrier, Energy Shield/ Deflection, and Probability Control. He’s only fifty-eight points so he’s definitely an economical support piece who can help you set up a great offensive, or pull off a speedy retreat.
Justice is another longtime member of the Avengers and the New Warriors who hasn’t been well represented in Heroclix recently, the last time he got a figure was way back in the Supernova set so it is nice to see him with a more modern figure. So what do you get for sixty-four points? Justice is clearly a support piece with lots of great secondary powers like Telekinesis and Empower, and his primary defensive ability is Energy Shield/Deflection so he’s clearly meant to advance your forces from the rear. He also has a special version of Force Blast that I find truly fascinating. Basically he uses Force Blast, but if the knockback would be ignored he deals a single click of penetrating damage, and places it into a square adjacent to the one it occupies. There are so many figures that can avoid knockback in one way or another I think this would come into use fairly often.
7) Living Lightning
Any member of the Rangers is going to end up in my collection, and I was glad to see a few of them turn up in this set. Living Lightning serves as the ranged powerhouse for the team with three targets, Running Shot, and Penetrating/Psychic Blast on his opening click. Thanks to his movement of elven and a range of seven squares he can definitely cover a lot of ground very quickly. He’s got traited Energy Explosion as well which the damage dealt to opposing characters with the Armor or Robot keyword by two, so you could potentially dish out five points of damage to a group of targets depending on what you’re shooting at. With only the Avengers and the Rangers for his keywords and his cost of a ere eighty points I think he’s going to be widely overlooked despite his potential to dish out quite a lot of damage.
I’ve had an older version of Falcon for a while now, but I was really excited when I heard he’d be getting an update in this set. For his first three clicks he has a special movement power that makes him one of the most mobile pieces I’ve ever seen. As long as he doesn’t have an action token he can be given a movement action as a free action, and he can use Close Combat Expert during that turn. He can’t use the carry ability when he moves this way, but with flight and a movement value of twelve he can definitely sail into and deal some damage quickly. He also has a special defensive power that allows you to choose either Energy Shield/Deflection or Combat Reflexes until he chooses again, and since it is a free action there’s no downside to swapping. While he has that power if he’s target with a ranged combat attack he can always use Super Senses. He swaps powers halfway through his dial and gains Charge, Quake, Willpowers, and Perplex. To me this version of Falcon is great because he’s a reasonably powerful harasser that is too mobile and dangerous to be ignored for long. He’s got some great keywords too including: Avengers, Heroes for Hire, and S.H.I.E.L.D. so you have some great options to employ if you’re looking for a theme team.
9) Justin Seyfert
At a glance this figure isn’t terribly impressive, and since most people won’t recognize him right away I think he’s going to be ignored. However I think he’s a fantastic piece in his own way. Justin can designate a friendly figure with the Robot keyword as his Sentinel and he has a variety of abilities that he can use to improve his Sentinel’s performance in combat. His special attack power allows you to grant his Sentinel a move action as a free action and then make a close or ranged combat attack by giving Justin a power action. Beyond that he’s mostly a support piece meant to unleash a wave of powerful attacks by a robot, and for forty points he can fit with most team builds. His biggest limitations are that his keywords only include Initiative and Sentinel, and he is in serious danger of being taken out of the game quickly as he only has four clicks and Super Senses to keep him alive.
Sandman may be one of Spider-Man’s most recognizable foes, but he’s also been an Avenger and a member of the Wildpack during the short periods of time that he tried to reform himself. Sandman has one of the best sculpts in this set and he has an interesting blend of powers that can be used to deal with a variety of enemies. The always entreating duo of Sidestep and Poison is present on his dial, along with clicks of Exploit Weakness, Impervious, and Phasing/Teleport. His trait Quicksand and Concrete allows him to use Barrier and Smoke Cloud, and then place himself in one of the squares he placed either in when they’re removed. Given his low movement and lack of any sort of move and attack abilities that’s sure to come in handy, plus you can keep advancing him while reducing the combat effectiveness of your opponent’s pieces. He fits well onto quite a few teams with his keywords including: Avengers, Outlaws, Sinister Syndicate, and Wildpack.