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ol_Dut
04/27/2006, 09:41
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A long time ago on "Justice League Unlimited", Elongated Man was lamenting with Booster Gold that he was put on crowd control because Plastic Man was already in the fight and was told, “We don’t need two stretchy guys”. But how about the world of clix as it pertains specifically to Collateral Damage? Do we need four versions of this stretchy guy? OK, so he turned into a vase for two days, we understand the power there, but does Ralph have it all over the REV? Or is it the other way around? Come on in and let’s find out!


Click on “Replies” to continue.

ol_Dut
04/27/2006, 09:45
LE Ralph Dibny - #202
Points: 70
Type: V different
Clicks of Life: 6
Range: 4
Targets: 1

Ralph Dibny’s Gains v. Vet Elongated Man
Most immediately noticeable is the fact that Ralph starts with Perlex on his first two clicks, instead of Probability Control (PC). He also gains two clicks of Plasticity over the Vet (in place of Charge and a click of Leap/Climb). Ralph also picks up an extra click of Toughness on click four to help him stay in the game a little longer. And, while it could be perceived as neutral dial tinkering, I prefer to think of starting with Incapacitate as a tangible improvement.

Ralph Dibny’s Losses v. Vet Elongated Man
Ralph’s blatantly obvious loss is the exclusion of his JLA team ability which was omnipresent in his REV. As stated above he drops a click of Charge and Leap/Climb, as well as both clicks of the Vet’s Outwit further down the dial. Numerically, Ralph gives up a click of eight (8) attack, a click of three (3) damage, a click of eight (8) movement, and picks up a six (6) attack on click six, two clicks of one (1) damage and a six (6) move on click on click five. On his attack track he also forfeits a click of Incapacitate. This feels like a lot to give up to save a mere five (5) points over the Vet.

On a sideways note, Ralph is missing something in comparison with LE Plastic Man. See, LE Plastic Man, he’s a mailbox. He’s got Stealth – he’s going in kind of a different direction. LE Ralph Dibny? He’s just standing there looking like Elongated Man. He’s got that big fist which doesn’t really scare me, and that big hand that’s just kind of creepy. To wit, “Abra-Abra-Cadabera. I want to reach out and grab ya.” Couldn’t he have been a crate or a soda machine or something if Plastic Man could be a mailbox?

Neutral Dial Tinkering
Well, if you don’t have Charge, it doesn’t really make much difference if you start with Leap/Climb or with Plasticity, so we’ll call that NDT. Probability Control shows up on clicks three through five versus being on the Vet’s first through third clicks, and most will likely see this as neutral at best.

Cards That Work
Since Ralph dropped the JLA team ability, and depending on the rest of his squad, it may make sense to play the Disbanded battlefield condition to rob your opponent of TAs as well. This card would be slick if Ralph was joined by Michael Jon Carter, Ted Kord, Captain Marvel (CD LE), Capt. Nathaniel Adam and Exp Fire in an odd little 498 point theme team with only E Fire’s TA going to waste.

In order to make the most of his Perplex and Probability Control, the Nanobots feat will help him recover from the damage he will inevitably take, and can effectively get him back to the top of his dial.

If ol_Dut had to Choose
LE Ralph Dibny vs. Veteran Elongated Man? It all comes down to the fundamental question of why does Elongated Man exist? Not in any real kind of existential, 4AM discussion over the 8th pot of coffee kind of way, but rather in the most basic context of the game kind of way. Why does EM exist? The answer? To bring Probability Control to the Justice League of America. That and a bunch of people wanted to see him made. However, 99% of the time, I, like everybody else, will reach for Vet Elongated Man because he’s got three upfront clicks of PC and a very annoying 17 defense with Super Senses. That’s great support. With three (3) damage and Charge, he can also take it to the bad guys if he has to, but most of the time he’s going to be laying back consistently and quietly saying, “Re-roll. Re-roll. Re-roll.”

Ralph doesn’t give us much of this type of fun and is in fact suffering something of an identity crisis. He’s got Perplex, average to low attack and damage values, and he starts with Incap. Is he support or is he offense? Ralph isn’t sure. With that four range, however, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to put him anywhere remotely near a place where he’d get any value out of that Incap. He’ll be in the rear with a line of sight to his teammates, ready to give them a little shot of juice when ever they need it. That being the case, I’m blowing a bunch of points on a power I don’t want to use because it would be bad for Ralph’s health. With the Vet, by the time he gets Incap, the PC is on it’s way out and he needs to get into position to use the upcoming Outwit and the Incap could be a lifesaver.

With Ralph, if you use him as support, you’re wasting the Incap. If you get aggressive so that you can use it, by the time he gets PC, he’s going to be in the wrong part of the battle field and the wrong part of his dial to use it more than twice if he’s lucky. Likely he’ll get hit, call for a re-roll if he has it to use, and maybe escape without a scratch. But by the middle of his dial, he’s down to a 16 defense with Toughness and the odds won’t be with him for long and my guess is he’ll get blown up before he derives much value from PC. Or do you ignore the Incap, and use the Perplex as much as you can while pushing off of it so that in turn four you have some PC at your disposal on your own terms? So it’s all odd conundrums facing Ralph. Which power to ignore – the Incap or the PC? Thumbing your nose at these issues, you could also just opt for Rookie Plastic Man, since for 30 points less he starts as a Perplexer and finishes as a pure tie-up piece. And he’s a stretchy guy, as well.

This is why the Vet is a better choice. He knows who he is. He’s a support guy. Crowd Control. He’ll be saying,”Almost got ‘em Superman, why don’t you re-roll and try it again.” Or, “Not so fast Bizarro, you don’t get to crush Supes like that! Re-roll ya goofball!” Thanks to Charge, he can take an opportunistic swing if he has to, or he can save it for doing clean up duty once the “A” team has done the heavy lifting. When everybody knows their place - how they’re expected to contribute - things just work out so much better.

Quick and Dirty Price Tag: $10 or less should get you Ralph most of the time. Since he’s outgunned by the Vet EM, I really can’t advocate going higher for him.

That’s all for this week- my apologies to Steve Miller. Next time, even more Collateral Damage!

Thanks for reading!

doczoom
04/27/2006, 11:47
I don't remember Ralph ever being able to shapechange and mimic objects like Plastic Man but I could be wrong...

tidge
04/27/2006, 12:16
This is one of the LEs that I can unequivocally put in the "nonplussed" column.

The primary cause for my dislike is the cost/clicks ratio is over the magic 10:1...and with only six clicks of life, that's a deal-breaker for me. There are many figures that I'll use even if they fall on the bad side of that equation, but Ralph just isn't bringing enough to the table, IMO.

The secondary complaints are the choices of powers, especially the ever-pricey Incapacitate. The only saving grace is that he has got a range of 4, instead of the sadly too-frequent 0-range. Somehow I think increasing his targets (or his range) would not have made him much pricier, and would have made him that more effective.

What would I have done differently? Short of a major dial shake-up, the only thing I'd consider would be giving Ralph the Batman Ally TA...while certainly not a 'regular', Batman has consistently admitted that Ralph's detective skills are among the greatest in the DC galaxy of stars...IIRC Ralph played a big part in one of the Detective Comics/Batman 'century issue' celebrations (along with Sherlock Holmes?)

Anywho, at 70 points, the Bat Ally TA wouldn't be fodder for abuse, and his powerset would be a nice change-up from most of the other Bat-Friends.

Arkham
04/27/2006, 12:22
Ralph is just a stretcher, he can't shapeshift.

They even made a joke about it in "Formerly Known as the Justice League"

SimonMoon5
04/27/2006, 12:24
I don't remember Ralph ever being able to shapechange and mimic objects like Plastic Man but I could be wrong...

He can't. Which is why his line about being a vase was so weird and wrong in the cartoon. (Remember guys, cartoons *always* screw up the characters. Don't rely on cartoons for evidence of what people can do!)

However, I will concede that in his own series (okay, his mini-series, if you want to get all technical), Ralph was able to turn his hands into the shape of a growling dog. But that's pretty much the only time (that I can recall) Ralph doing any shape-changing stuff. He's just a stretcher. All he does is elongate. Hence the name.

Grinner
04/27/2006, 13:20
He can't. Which is why his line about being a vase was so weird and wrong in the cartoon. (Remember guys, cartoons *always* screw up the characters. Don't rely on cartoons for evidence of what people can do!)

Or if you do rely on the cartoons, remember the rest of the scene ;)

After Ralph says he turned into a vase for two days, Booster says, "No you didn't." And Ralph agrees with him. So even the cartoon didn't necessarily get it wrong - everyone just forgets the rest of the exchange.

ol_Dut
04/27/2006, 14:03
Or if you do rely on the cartoons, remember the rest of the scene ;)

After Ralph says he turned into a vase for two days, Booster says, "No you didn't." And Ralph agrees with him. So even the cartoon didn't necessarily get it wrong - everyone just forgets the rest of the exchange.

Yeah, but I like that line. For some strange reason I like the thought of Dibny turning himself into a vase and staying that way for two days. Whether he did it or not, or even could do it or not, it's just funny to envision.

Besides, the guy's been through alot lately and if he wants to tell some tall tales, I'll go along with him.

archaon02
04/27/2006, 14:31
My favorite Ralph scene is when he's playing Rock-'em-Sock-'em Robots with Flash.

VermillionSL
04/27/2006, 14:53
i still like the e raplph best...

but thats prolly cuz i dont have any vets of him...

yet.

spider_ham
04/27/2006, 15:43
The Experienced is most balanced of the four. Cheaper than the V/LE and wearing the classic purple/white costume.

Grinner
04/27/2006, 16:23
The Experienced is most balanced of the four. Cheaper than the V/LE and wearing the classic purple/white costume.

Which just goes to show different people want different things :)

I like the exp best too, but the one thing I don't like about him is that he has the lavender & white costume.

winndwalker
04/27/2006, 23:52
The experienced shows up a lot at my venue, and he's really irritating to deal with. IMO he's the best of the lot. Ol' Dut should have at least mentioned that he's more cost effective. I'll never use the vet personally because I've seen what the blue can do.

Mjolnir
04/27/2006, 23:55
but the one thing I don't like about him is that he has the lavender & white costume.
Exactly! but still a good fig..

Answerman
04/28/2006, 01:10
In the Elongated Man mini seres by gerard jones and the late great Mike Parobek, Ralph dsid engage is some shape shifting to a limited degree.

I'm sure that this is the one of the only times hes demonstrated the ability to shape shift.
And I wouldn't be surprised if this was the only time hes done so.

BigSoph
04/28/2006, 11:00
He can kind of shapeshift but it is VERY limited

He should have had a longer range. He can REALLY stretch (it is his main power!)

It should have gone 4/6/8 REV

And an 8 range Elongated Man with Plasticity can have trick shot! Something opponents may forget!

tidge
04/28/2006, 11:11
He should have had a longer range. He can REALLY stretch (it is his main power!)
...
And an 8 range Elongated Man with Plasticity can have trick shot! Something opponents may forget!

I feel the same way about the range for the 'stretchy guys' (Mr. Fantastic, Plastic Man, Ralph Dibney). They have been typically burdened with points-ineffective powersets (incapacitate, grounded, plasticity) so boosting their usefulness with longer range/more targets seems like a no-brainer, especially given that the extra targets and/or more range seems to be pretty inexpensive.

The applicability of Trick Shot would be gravy...but burning the points for trickshot on a 4-range character is not a good return for that investment.

olcottr
04/28/2006, 14:42
Did EM really have a life outside of the JLA? Comic-book wise, that is.

Grinner
04/28/2006, 16:20
Did EM really have a life outside of the JLA? Comic-book wise, that is.

Yep. He originally showed up as supporting cast in Flash long before he joined the old JLA. During his JLA time he was a regular character in backup stories (much the same way Green Arrow had lots of stories but not his own title) in series like Adventure, Brave & the Bold, and Detective. Post-JLA and pre-ID Crisis he & Sue moved to Opal City, becoming one of the city's guardians when Jack Knight (Starman) retired from the hero life to raise his child.

tidge
04/28/2006, 21:39
Post-JLA and pre-ID Crisis he & Sue moved to Opal City, becoming one of the city's guardians when Jack Knight (Starman) retired from the hero life to raise his child.

Don't forget, the Golden Age Starman had a couple of kids.

Nickel97
04/28/2006, 21:48
He definitley gets played on the Grand Guignol theme team. I'm happy I've got one.

Grinner
04/29/2006, 12:20
Don't forget, the Golden Age Starman had a couple of kids.

Golden Age was Ted, Jack's father. Jack gave up being a superhero to raise his son (the end of the James Robinson series).

tidge
04/29/2006, 17:06
Golden Age was Ted, Jack's father. Jack gave up being a superhero to raise his son (the end of the James Robinson series).

Thanks for the correction Grinner, I had forgotten allabout that little tyke!