Heroclix Review: Blackest Night Starter Set Rankings

Recently released to Heroclix players is the Blackest Night Starter Set. Along with a map (the Oan Science Cells), updated rules, dice, and a Powers and Abilities card, this set came with seven brand new figures. Let’s review them from worst to best. You can see their full dials in the Heroclix Gallery.

7. Lex Luthor – Orange Lantern Lex is easily the worst figure of the set. He’s a whopping 160 points for only seven clicks with only six range. That’s annoying given he only starts with Mastermind for defense, meaning he needs fodder to pawn off damage to. Telekenesis early is useful, but at his cost he’s better as an offensive option, though a paltry 3-damage makes that far from the ideal idea. He’s clearly meant to be played in close, where his second click poison and super Outwit (he gains a standard speed, attack or damage power from someone adjacent he outwits). Of course, with only 3 damage, this ignores where he’d prefer to use his Outwit- on opponents defense. Impervious and Invulnerability on clicks 3 through 6 give him a bit of longevity, but really only a bit, as all he can do at that point is use his Outwit and chip away or Mind Control and take feedback damage.

6. Scarecrow – Luckily, as Yellow Lantern Scarecrow shows us at 85-points, the rest of the set is filled with characters who are at least good. Scarecrow, with his 8 range and 8 move Running shot, has a long swing and, as a flied, doesn’t have to worry about hindering terrain shortening his move. Sure, he’ll only hit for two, but with perplex, that isn’t a huge worry, and, kept at range, his 16 defense, 18 with energy shield, 19 in hindering, should keep him safe. He will eventually likely get hit and when he does should land on Super Senses, Poison and Exploit Weakness. The latter two make him dangerous in close, while his SP at this point makes sure he can create some space for safety. He gets Psychic Blast to make his damage stick at range and, to get at range, any attack that works for him deals knockback for awesome positioning options.

5. Flash – Okay, 140pts is a lot for this Blue Lantern, but, and this is a big but, he can Hypersonic in and out from 14 away while dealing an Impervious busting 3 damage. When he runs away, he can also hide behind an ally, lending 1 to their damage with his Enhancement and perhaps another one with his friendly character only perplex. Add in 19 defense at range in hindering with Super Senses and you have a top notch pest. After those early clicks, he gets defend to share 18 or 17 defenses with his allies, as well as probability control to try and avoid, and make, hits. Finally, he finishes with TK and Phasing. While not perfect, he can at this point still potentially deal 3 damage by TKing an object at an enemy.

4. Mera – At 85 points, Mera is a must-have for any aquatic team as she can swim or fly, dealing 4 damage all the while, charging in from 5 squares away and sporting toughness for a touch of longevity. Her damage is her main bonus here, as the early four on her is great, but better is that for every hit she takes, she gains a Rage Counter that modifies her damage by one. Getting two of these shouldn’t be too difficult and effectively gives her a 4-damage all dial. Best of all, at no point, unless she’s healed, do the rage counters go away, so for 85 points, what is essentially a full dial of four, or, at worst, three damage, is tough to beat.

3. Green Lantern – I’ve been hearing this 150 pt, 7 click dial be called the best in the game, and while he’s great, I just don’t see it. The reason for the praise is that on 5 of his 7 clicks pushing damage instead heals him via his SP. That’s great, except one of the times it doesn’t heal him is a defenseless 17 defense shape change/barrier click that will get him down to the vulnerable end dial quickly. His first click is probably his best with 4 damage, Running Shot, TK and Invulnerability giving options, especially with his 10 range, but once he’s off those first two Invulnerable clicks, he’s got to use that Range extremely effectively or he’s going to get beat to death without move and attack or damage reducers. He can be devastating, but must be played too carefully to be truly elite.

2. Wonder Woman – In nearly any other set this 218 pt beatstick would be the best. Her first click is the definition of deadly with 10 attack and Super Strength to go along with her 4-damage probability, someone is likely going to get hit for 6 when she charges in if for no other reason than her Probability Control gives her multiple chances to hit. 17 Defense Impervious offers great protection too, but for now I’ve described multiple Wonder Woman figures. What makes this one stand out is her 8 range. That offers a ton of options for keeping bad guys at bay, as does indomitable, allowing her to push freely, and some Close and Ranged Combat Expert for extra damage. Sure, Mind Control and Incapacitate are probably wasted points, but for 218 points with this many tricks, it’s still worth it.

1. Atom – At 65 points, the game has a new go to healer. When Atom heals, his attack becomes 12 automatically, making him all but a guarantee to succeed. Better, his second click has 19 defense willpower and shape change to keep him safe. When he doesn’t have that combination he has Energy Shield to boost his defense at range to a 19 or so and, eventually, Outwit to make opponents pay. He isn’t the versatile piece Wonder Woman is, but as a deadly specialist, he’s hard to top.

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