ADVANCE REVIEW: WizKids Games DC HeroClix No Manís Land Month 4 Prize Kit
Poison Ivy, Flash Grenades, and Robinson Park in March...
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It doesn’t seem possible but we’re already halfway through the HeroClix No Man’s Land tournament series! Players have been visiting the different locations of Gotham City as depicted in the classic 1999 storyline in which Gotham City is excised from the country after a devastating earthquake, forcing its inhabitants to fend for themselves while various gangs carve the city into their territories. The first month’s tournament provided participants with the new Utility Belt resource dial, and each subsequent month has added new gadgets and weapons that they can use in future games. Each event also has special prize figures for the winners and best sports, and that continues in March with the No Man’s Land Month 4 prize kit featuring Poison Ivy, Flash Grenade special object, and the Robinson Park map!
One of the most iconic and well-known of Batman’s rogues gallery is the alluring yet deadly Poison Ivy. Once a well-respected botanist, Dr. Pamela Isley took her obsession with plants too far when she began a career of eco-terrorism. Adding plant-based powers to her arsenal of knowledge and madness, Poison Ivy would again and again threaten Gotham City and the safety of the world, though at times she would fight on the side of good. During No Man’s Land Ivy set up her territory in Gotham’s Robinson Park, harboring wayward children and creating a mini paradise within the chaos of the ruined city. Clayface discovers her and locks her down, forcing her to do his bidding (in his scheme to sell produce) until Batman arrives to free her. While the Dark Knight holds his own against Karlo, it is Poison Ivy who eventually defeats the other villain with a seemingly fatal kiss.
Poison Ivy has appeared in HeroClix several times over the years (including in the recent Batman set), steadily growing in power. The No Man’s Land prize figure is the most powerful single figure Ivy yet (though there is a powerhouse duo with Harley Quinn) at 98 points, and she brings a lot to the table. Before we get to that, though, check out that figure! Ivy is a natural to include an interesting base or terrain feature, and WizKids came through with a really cool sculpt for this new version. The verdant beauty emerges from a woodland scene complete with mossy carpet at her feet and a towering growth of vines and tendrils at her back! Large growths and small shoots intertwine and flow in a really detailed sculpt, and small flowers peek out of the plant life. Ivy herself stands tall with one knee slightly bent, her arms waving in the air as she wields her plant magic. Completing the unique look is the crazed botanist’s highly textured classic outfit and hair that flows straight up into the air. Of course most of Poison Ivy and her base is green, but the different shades used on her costume as well as the red flowers, brown bracers, and orange hair give the figure added depth and plenty to look at.
So what does No Man’s Land Poison Ivy bring to the table for almost 100 points and one-third of your build? Like Ultimate Clayface before her she has the Batman Enemy Team Ability so she can share or borrow attack values with allies. Ivy has no range, but comes equipped with Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering Terrain (shown as a Trait on her card) so she can move freely through the foliage that she loves so much. Her dial is fairly straightforward; she starts out with an interesting combo of Stealth, Poison, and Support before picking up Mind Control and Defend mid-dial, then switching to Stealth, Blades/Claws/Fangs, Regeneration, and Support again at the end. Her attack values are solid, rising to an 11 mid-dial and never dropping below a 9, while her Movement and Defense numbers are solid if not remarkable (only her Damage is noticeably lacking with 2s and 1s). However, Poison Ivy is really all about her two Traits! “Plants Grow Wherever She Walks” lets her drop a Plant object in a square she moved through; Ivy counts these immobile objects and their adjacent squares as adjacent to her and she can draw lines of fire and count range from any of them. Then “Control Over All Vegetation” lets Pamela do a variety of things with her Plants like creating more, turning one into blocking terrain, blowing one up to destroy blocking or a wall, or even launching an area effect Incapacitate attack on all opposing characters adjacent to one! While not a point and click character, Poison Ivy is going to be a lot of fun to play with specific back up and on certain maps that let her use her full plant potential. Last but not least, Ivy has the keywords Arkham Asylum, Gotham City Sirens, and Scientist.
While only the winners and best sports will win Poison Ivy, everyone who plays in Month 4 will receive the participation prize of the next Utility Belt item, the Flash Grenade! Similar to the Batarangs and Gas Pellets, the Grenades are represented physically by a tiny yellow Utility Belt pouch, this time opened to reveal five silver canisters branded with gold Bat symbols and “FLASH GRENADE.”
In play they can be used as either a 5 point Relic (picked up on a roll of 4-6) or attached to the Belt as a Resource for 1 point. Both versions give a character access to a new grenade type called, appropriately “Flashbang.” While they do no damage, Flashbangs target a square within 8 range and apply a token to all hit characters who have no tokens. The Relic version gives a character the Throw a Grenade ability (Flashbangs) and +3 to his or her Grenade Pool. Meanwhile, the Utility Belt resource provides a steady supply; all the character has to do is be given a Power Action to throw one (with +1 to Grenade Pool that turn). In addition, characters hit by the Flashbang can’t draw line of fire until cleared!
So how do you get the Flash Grenades and Poison Ivy? Well, this month’s big battle takes place in Poison Ivy’s home turf, Robinson Park! Gotham City’s equivalent to New York’s Central Park, it was named for Jerry Robinson, artist and creator of Robin and the Joker. The map version is a very pleasant expanse dotted with plenty of foliage (hindering terrain), two fountains and a pond (water terrain), two statues (blocking terrain), and two areas of elevated terrain at the rooftop of a gazebo and the entrance to a building along one edge. This is really a multi-purpose map that can be good for all sorts of teams, especially with the evenly spaced out water.
Since this is No Man’s Land every match has a chance for a seismic event; a result of 3 or less on 2d6 rolled at the end of each player’s turn means you flip the map to reveal Robinson Park: Post-Cataclysm! While the park has suffered some damage, namely the sinking of the pond and four holes in rows 17-24, it has also been wholly taken over by Poison Ivy with huge plants everywhere! That means more hindering terrain and blocking, and it’s all in a much more haphazard manner than on the pre-earthquake side. Players who get dropped onto this side mid-game will have an interesting time adjusting to the massive changes, especially those with no flying characters. Watch out for all of the elevation changes as well, with the newly opened holes at #1, the ground level at #2, and the rooftops now at #3.
For Month 4 of No Man’s Land WizKids suggests an interesting 400 point Sealed format using one Batman booster and four Streets of Gotham single figure boosters. Mixing things up with figures from two different sets, this allows for the possibility of plenty of Batman allies and enemies along with a variety of Primes and Chases. Check with your local venue to find out when it’s holding the tournament, or check out the “Find a Store” feature on HeroClix.com to locate a game near you. Keep in mind that you need to participate in a few No Man’s Land events to be eligible to compete in the Month 6 finale. Finally, in each tournament you pick a gang affiliation for even more glory and special prizes. Good luck in Month 4 winning Poison Ivy!
Stay tuned to Figures.com for more HeroClix reviews coming soon!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of WizKids Games