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My last article,Top 5 Overrated HeroClix, generated a lot of discussion. Of all the comments I read, I was especially interested with the praise and complaints about one particular character: Crisis Nightwing. Is he good? Is he bad? Or is he just overrated? Inquisitive players want to know…!
Nightwing screams one thing to me: utility. Right off the bat (see what I did there?) Nightwing starts off with three Team Abilities. The Batman Ally will obviously keep him hidden and Titans will help him heal others (or get healed himself), but the real gem is the Outsiders Team Ability. This ability isn't seen too often in the battlefield because it tends to raise the figure’s point-cost too much, but here it’s perfectly placed on a 79 point figure. Why is this useful? Because this TA allows you to stop all combat modifications on a single figure until your next turn.
Let's take a look at some of the modifications the Outsiders TA can stop or hinder:
- Standard Powers: Perplex, Ranged Combat Expert, Close Combat Expert, Combat Reflexes, Energy Shield / Deflection, Enhancement, Hypersonic Speed Option 2 (if it still existed).
- Team Abilities: Hydra, Shield, Ultimate X-men, Police TA, 2000AD, Green Lantern Corps (alternate feat card)
- Special Powers: Master Tactician (cr Deathstroke), Leading the Attack (cr chase Superman), Emerald Archer (Green Arrow). Give Me Your Tired, Give Me Your Poor (cr Uncle Sam), Tactics (av Ares), Sharpshooter (av Hawkeye), Gamma-Saturated (mu Maestro), Wand of Watoomb (si Dr. Strange), Bounty Hunter (jl Lobo), Killing Joke (aa Clown Price of Crime), etc…
Don't forget -- you can use it on your own team members too! That's right, just use the Outsiders TA on your own Darkseid, and he’ll be able to use Omega Effects option 2 (penetrating attack) without taking the -2 damage penalty! You can also use Outsiders on your own figures to counter your opponent’s perplex (I hate it when opponents Perplex down my attack / damage). How about using it on JL Batman (Future)? His Datarangs wouldn’t suffer the -1 damage anymore!
Make no mistake, those first 3 clicks makes Nightwing incredibly potent as a supporting figure. Think about everything that's packed into those three clicks: Batman Ally TA, Outsiders TA, Titans TA, Leadership, Perplex, Incapacitate, Smoke Cloud, and six keywords – this makes him incredibly versatile. He’s also got Combat Reflexes and Energy Shield / Deflection for those 3 clicks, effectively giving him a defense no less than 18 against nearly all attacks (19 on the first click!); he’s not going to get hit anytime soon.
Even late in his dial he's a close combat machine, with Leap/Climb, Flurry, Perplex, and Outwit. Thanks to Combat Reflexes (for the entire dial), he has a minimum of 17 against all close combat attacks and the Batman TA to keep those pesky ranged attackers at bay.
When it comes to pure numbers, Nightwing is above average; not showing off, not falling behind. His speed drops normally, but his attack and damage values are very good in the middle. His biggest potential downfall is his relatively low damage (2 for most of the dial), and mediocre range of 6. This really isn’t a problem, since he's not meant to be a main attacker – he’s your utility piece, so shoot and scoot! Remember: Outsiders, Perplex, and Outwit all have a range of 10!
The biggest mistake is building a team with Nightwing as your center piece or primary attacker. He is neither of those. Yes he has Leadership, but it's misleading since he’s barely a secondary attacker – he’s more of a tertiary attacker (note that Leadership is a very cheap power when it comes to points). Nightwing is first and foremost a utility figure, and it would be unwise to treat him as anything else.
If you want a primary/secondary attacker, I recommend these alternate figures instead of Nightwing: cm Nebula (65 pts exp), ul Punisher (65 pts exp), sn Bullseye (65 pts vet), alpha Batman (60 pts), Alpha Clayface (60 pts), sn Nick Fury (63 pt), cr Red Arrow (73 pts), cj Green Arrow (50 pts vet), alpha Nightwing (70 pts), cd Metamorpho (70 pts exp)
Keep in mind that Nightwing possesses the Titans TA for the first three clicks, so Wildcards can make very good use of it. He also has a full dial of Leap / Climb, so he can run away from any situation if things get too hot; then again he also has a full dial of Combat Reflexes, good attack values, and potentially Perplex, Outwit, and possibly Incapacitate… so staying to fight isn’t a bad option either! Even on the last 3 clicks, we’re looking at a close defense of 17 or 18, outwit, and Flurry – so he’s certainly a threat for his entire dial.
When it comes to damage output, look at these combinations:
- 2 damage or Incapacitate (1st click),
- 2 damage + Perplex (2nd-3rd),
- 2 damage + Perplex + Flurry (4th click)
- 2 damage + Outwit + Flurry (5th)
- 1 damage + Outwit + Flurry (6th-7th)
With those types of combos, he’ll be able to deal damage to any opponent, even those with Impervious.
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