EDIT (02 OCT 2013): Okay, over on www.heroclix.com, along with the post introducing the “Watch List” back on 13 SEP 2013 with this: http://heroclix.com/announcements/announcing-heroclix-watch-list/#axzz2gbKZUATM, on 01 OCT 2013, WizKids did a follow-up post: http://heroclix.com/heroclix/heroclix-watch-list/heroclix-watch-list-update/#axzz2gbKZUATM. No changes announced yet.
Pulling this post “forward in time”, adding some comments.
So, I’m going to mark down some ideas for Spiral. I disengaged some time ago over on HCRealms.com from the “Complain about Spiral” crowd, so if I’m repeating somebody else’s ideas here, sorry, it’s not intentional. I was thinking about this stuff today at lunch. (Keeps my mind off of [EDIT: Whoa, hey, why’d I put that in there, that’s gotta go].)
So, here ’tis:
I do hope that WizKids continues with creating “portal powers”. there’s some neat stuff they could do. Like with Immobile Special Objects, or Special Terrain on maps, or “booby-trapped” Relics, that force a roll and creation of a portal that might “suck” characters through.
EDIT: Below includes the original post from 05 AUG 2013.
The preview today over on www.heroclix.com is a remake of Spiral, a character that last got “clixed” way back in CLOBBERIN’ TIME (2002) —
Sweetness. Love what WizKids Design Team is doing lately with markers and tokens in special powers, Traits, and other game effects. I hope this power shows up on Blink of the eXiles team, when she finally shows up. (She was quite popular in the last Fan Vote.)
Well, first a remake Longshot, now Spiral. Really, really hope this means Mojo is in WXM. Or follows within the next year. Wonder if they’d ever include Major Domo as well?
EDIT: WOW. Reading some of the reaction to the preview over on HCRealms. Re-reading the Trait. Yeah, I see the “first strike” abuse concerns.
We’ll have to see how it actually plays out, I think. At 106 points in a 300 point team build, it sounds like a great way to accidentally strand a friendly character far from support after making such a first strike.
I wonder if language to the effect of “… when taking a move action” at the end of the definition would help? Or, why restrict it to *only* friendlies? Hmm.
EDIT II: HCR poster by the name of CapnMorgan has this well-reasoned post —
CapnMorgan: “So I bring up the HCRealms site and get a nice surprise, we’ve got a new figure for the upcoming set. She’s just a bit over one hundred points so she won’t be too difficult to play with. She’s not indomitable which is a good counter to her trait considering most folks don’t use medics. Her trait is also nice in that it allows turtle busting/getting around snipers, or even catching those pesky Team Bases without having to use Ghost Rider with the Heroes for Hire ATA. She’s got plenty of keywords that are use-able with different builds both DC and Marvel. She’s got a respectable 6 range, so you don’t have to worry about her pulse wave going off on your own figs. Her phasing with high movement means you can sneak behind enemy choke points, clear and then use her trait to keep the game from resembling a WWI battlefield no man’s land. Another use of this ability might be a classic MedEvac so that your friends can make it to the medic/general safety. Will people use this as a new version of the classic TK brick combo? Most likely, but I like to think it’s got more uses than that.
“So to sum it up, she’s got some pretty good stats especially for a 300 pt game. Her trait is a DPA and she’s not indomitable, so you’re either going to need to make that action count, or have a medic standing by. She’s got pulse wave, but only a 6 range to keep it manageable seeing as how she’s a close range fighter. The probability control is a nice touch and thanks to the rules change, her range on that prob control is only a 6 so no backroom camping for her! All in all, she offers some great combos but must keep somewhere close to midfield to use all of her points. If you get her too close then she’s toast, but if you park her in the rear then you’re wasting over a hundred points on a taxi.
“On a relatively goofy/nerdy note, you can play her with a swarm of Skrulls and reenact the Manhattan invasion from the Avengers movie. Considering she works for MOJO, it’s all right!”
EDIT (07 AUG 2013): Okay, so the concerns about this figure being overpowered all rest on the concerns of the “Alpha Strike”. Spiral sets up a portal in her opponent’s starting area, the biggest, baddest gun on her team rushes through and either manages to devastate the opponent’s entire team, or its single biggest, baddest figure. Game over in one turn. Got it.
I still see Spiral getting “stuck” thanks to that double-power action (received two action tokens to create the portal, and as a result takes pushing damage), whether she stays where she is or gets carried through the portal by that “Alpha Striker” teammate. She needs a turn to clear.
May be smarter if your “Alpha Striker” (heh, sounds like it should be a Jaeger name in Pacific Rim) has either Move & Attack combat ability or Hypersonic Speed, to zip through the portal, then attack, then zip back, as opposed to carrying her through. The most talked-about character for this has been the ASM046 Ghost Rider at 145 points. (Leaves 49 points left on a 300-point tournament team.)
Can’t help but agree with those that think it relies too much on that “Alpha Strike” being successful. And your opponent also putting all his eggs in one basket with a single “Big Gun”, and GR taking out that big gun first. If your opponent’s team isn’t constructed that way, or the “Alpha Strike’ is bollixed, both sides are in for a slog.
I still think that if Spiral *actually needs* “rebalancing”, then her Portals have to be a two-way street; strip out that “friendlies only” language. Not exactly inaccurate, from a comics standpoint.
Other suggestions have ben to tie placement of portal markers to Spiral’s range value, or another set value. Or have them disappear like Barrier or Smoke Cloud tokens. Both ideas have merit. Another suggestion follows the “disorientation” trope: characters moving through it have to stop on the other side, and their action ends (pop out, look around to get their bearings).
Anyway. Hope the “portal marker” powers continue to mutate and crop up. As I said, hope Blink gets a version of it. Maybe Dr. Strange, too. Back in the mid to late 1980’s/early 90’s, when I still cared enough to buy an X-Men related title, I seem to remember an obscure villain character named Pipeline, did something similar. Heck, portal markers work for a lot of invading extra-terrestrial aliens and extra-dimensional “chthonic entity” threats.