Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Ten of the best heroclix traits ever
When they started adding "traits" to heroclix game pieces, they changed the face of the game forever. I think it's the most innovative change they made since Hammer of Thor. Better even than "white" powers.
A trait is a special ability signified with a star emblem on the card and dial. A trait is always in effect or available for use (unless stated otherwise on the card). Traits are the most powerful effect you can find on a dial because (as of yet) very little can cancel them.
Team abilities can be cancelled and virtually any power can be outwitted. Even feat cards can be stopped if the pre-requisite is messed with. I have gone through my entire collection and selected my own choices for the top ten best of traits ever. I had some pre-requisites about my choices.
1: 150 points or less: This is in order to fit in those 300 point teams. Awesome for low points, is hard to argue against right?
2: Benefit to team: Just being able to use a power is hardly the coolest you can do and this list should prove that. I do choose a couple of self serving traits, but mostly I wanted to select those that affect more than one figure.
So, lets' check out the list!
10: HARRY LELAND: Mass Increase: "Opposing characters within 4 squares of Harry Leland can't be given actions to use Charge, Running Shot, or Hypersonic Speed and halve their speed values when given a move action."
Harry is quite possibly the best tie up piece ever. He may not hit hard, but that really isn't his job. He slows people down so his buddies can hit them. For all he lacks in numeric stats he does have a nice 18 defense. Not bad for some fat dude that just stands there, eh? His 53 point cost is worth the effect, even if you lose him, he does his job to set up your opponents. Just have a heavy watching over and waiting to step in. And before you say his range for the power stinks, put him on the map and count spaces. Four in each direction means nine in a row. Finally, note that it says NOTHING about line of sight. To me, that means "works through walls".
9: LEECH: Power Negation: "Other characters within 6 squares can't be given power actions."
You know where Leech needs to be? Right next to Harry, that's where. Leech may affect your team too, but he doesn't cancel traits. Also, he doesn't cancel all powers, just "power actions". Not all powers require them. For that matter, what this trait stops is; charge, mind control, force blast, hypersonic speed, running shot, smoke cloud, telekinesis, barrier, regeneration, ranged combat expert, support, close combat expert and of course, any power that specifies it is a power action. The right characters can protect Leech just fine, such as a flurry/blades type. He doesn't last long or at all if hit, but he has stealth and can hide behind some characters. His power also says nothing about line of sight.
8: GREEN LANTERN (75th- Alan Scott): Light the Danger: "Green Lantern ignores stealth. When a character takes damage from his attack, that character can't use Stealth this turn."
Shut off someone's stealth with a damage dealing shot? Sweet! This is someone who could carry around Leech for kicks and giggles. He has willpower and impervious. Leech has no effect on those or the psychic blast. I know there are plenty of "ignore stealth" types out there. The point here is that he turns off stealth for the benefit of the rest of his team. So now, all your shooters can aim at the stealth guy. GL is a great ranged adversary and that indomitable (willpower) just makes him that much nastier.
7: CYPHER: Crack Enemy Communications: "At the beginning of the game, choose a team ability that an opposing character can use that isn't a Wild Card team ability OR a team ability that a Wild Card can't use. Friendly characters can use that team ability this game in addition to their other team abilities as long as Cypher is on the map."
I don't know if many noticed this, but most traits of this kind require a shared keyword. This one doesn't! So you don't have to have a themed team to abuse the heck out of this trait. Are your opponents Ultimates? So are you! Are they Mystics? So are you! Keep Cypher out of the action and let your heavies abuse and use your opponents team abilities, for just 38 points!
6: ROCKET RACER: Ain't nothing goin to stop me: "Rocket Racer ignores all terrain for movement purposes except indoor walls and indoor blocking terrain."
Yes, this is self serving, but it's a very good self serving trait. Yes, he's short lived and 60 points, but he can be a major thorn in someone's side and the Spiderman team ability doesn't hurt either. Heck, use him with Cypher! I realize this has happened before, but only as a special power. As a trait it's much more lethal. Even without his hypersonic, he can go about where ever he wants. That's awesome positioning power.
5: ROJHAZ: Living in harmony with nature: "Rojhaz can use Stealth, ignores other character's Stealth, and ignores hindering terrain for movement purposes."
Not only is this a great self serving trait, but it's great for three reasons. Count them above, he gets a three way whammy in ability. Since he starts with running shot on top of this and an "okay" 5 range, this comes in handy. I do note they missed putting the star on his dial, but it shows on his card. Oops. At 70 points, this makes Rojhaz a nice ranged support or even close combat attack piece.
4: MENTALLO (Marvel): Mental Radar Sense: "Mentallo ignores other character's Stealth."
So why is this so awesome in this case? Mind control and psychic blast, that's why. It may be a self serving trait, but he can mind control someone right out of Stealth and into the open. Having the Hydra team ability doesn't hurt either.
3: DIRK ANGER: Insane Leadership: "Dirk Anger can use Leadership. Other characters can't use leadership. Opposing characters within 4 squares of Dirk Anger can't use team abilities."
I'm liking the amount of shut down in this list. Wipe out all other leadership use on the map and team abilities within 4? Note this also does not state "line of fire". Knocking out the power Cosmic and Mystics is super. Play him with Cypher and you can use them, but they can't? Awesome! Dirk's perplex and his own stealth are nice too, but his trait is a great game controller.
2: DOCTOR STRANGE: Eye of Agamatto: "Dr. Strange ignores the effects of characters and hindering terrain (including team abilities that give hindering terrain bonuses) when determining line of fire."
Shoot through anyone to target anyone, how awesome is that? He can perplex or psychic blast anyone he feels like within his range on the right maps. His 18 defense with the power to share (Defend) makes him a super all purpose tool. He could even hang out with Leech and still use most of his powers. He's the highest point cost on this list at 149 and worth it all.
1: NIGHTCRAWLER: Extra-dimensional Teleportation: "Nightcrawler ignores the effects of terrain and characters on movement."
It's only fitting that the winner of the 2011 World Championship (also played by several others at the same event) makes number one on my list of pieces with the best traits ever. Just having him with perplexers is insane, never mind the Gem of Cytorrak. His movement is long enough to get him past Harry and Leech. Worried about damage if he's not in a theme? Nanobots will take care of that. Put him with Dr. Strange for a chance at that double perplex and watch your opponent swoon.
I really think many of these figures could work in a team together, but any way you put them, they have the most awesome traits out there.
Honorable mention goes to Prof. X. The only reason he didn't make the list is because of the keyword limitation. Still, using his powers through any Xman on the map (so long as the Prof stays in his starting zone) is hard to ignore.