Everyone is familiar with the disappointment that was Hypertime REV Superman. And by now most of us have seen what a real Superman figure should look like, in the form of KC Supes and REV Icon Superman.
Along that line, this is an article series discussing some of the biggest losers in HeroClix – That is, figures that should bebig bads, but ended up being big duds. With some discussion on what made them so disappointing, and what they could look like if remade now.
Also, like Superman, this won’t include figures that finally got it ‘right’ on the second (or 5th) try. It also doesn’t include figures that were formerly powerful/playable, but have fallen from grace (like Thanos for example).
Time after time, the Hulk has had more tries to get it right, and missed, than any other figure in the game. (Well, except maybe Electra, but she at least has a couple really good representations.)
Yes, there are a couple versions of the Hulk that are ‘good,’ but for all his strength, and his point cost, none of them come close to capturing the raw power and devastation the Hulk should be capable of. Lease of which is the 201 point “Savage Hulk” from Xplosion.
When designing (and playing) a Hulk the first thing we need to accept the fact that the Hulk is going to start with an activation click. This hurts him, but it’s too accurate to disregard. Still, there are ways around that, and it doesn’t have to totally kill his playability. (Feat cards are a good way to get a figure going quickly; Double Time is the easiest and cheapest of the bunch.) Also, making his first click (puny banner) actually useful wouldn’t hurt either. Outwit, Perplex, Stealth, or even Shape Change (I don’t wanna hit a guy with glasses!), would go a long way towards helping that first click.
Even so, the biggest problem facing all the Hulks so far is that they take so long to get going. It’s not just the activation click, but even after that there’s a few more clicks to “Hulk up” before the figure is any good.
This is where the mechanics of the game run up against comic reality; When Banner turns into the Hulk, he’s immediately dangerous. At no point has the Hulk ever appeared and not immediately been able to pick up a truck, or smash a building. He starts off dangerous, and gets stronger. But in clix, he can’t start off too strong, or there’ll be nowhere up for him to go!
What he needs is a nice balance, and not as big a change. Start off with good AV and Damage, and get better, but not drastically so. A 10 AV increasing to 12, and 4 damage peaking at 6 is enough of a change without needing to be dramatic (like going from 8 AV to 13, that’s too drastic.)
The second biggest problem is mobility. In the process of getting the Hulk going, he either ends up moving out and pushed, a sitting duck. Or he pushes and clears back in the safety of his own starting area and then has to take a few turns to get into battle. Thus, even though L/C is totally accurate, functionally the Hulk needs several clicks of Charge to be useful.
And not advocating that every figure needs a movement power to be good, but in this case we’ve seen that a half dozen variations of L/C with movement just don’t work. Because it already takes him several turns to push to get going. So once he’s up and running, let him go!
However, the biggest thing the Hulk needs to be playable is to get going quickly after he is pushed. The Ultimate Hulk captured this excellently; he gets right to it with good AV and Damage, and goes up from there. But he still takes too long to get really good, and still has trouble moving.
On any Hulk fig over 150 points, he’d need at least a 10 AV to get started with. Charge with high movement would also be helpful. The one hulk that did start off with charge (Grey Hulk) had too low an AV on his charge clicks to make any real use of the power.
One option could be to give him base 2 damage on that first click with Super Strength and Leap/Climb. This would allow for a Pounce maneuver – pick up an object to increase damage, plus the bonuses to AV and Damage, and push him to a better click, and there you’ve got a winning combination. However, designing a figure specifically around a specific feat card might not be the best solution.
A better idea is that once the Hulk is ‘activated’ have him really get going on click 3 and peak on clicks 4 & 5. Possibly even with base 6 damage. If necessary, balance out that 6 by giving him Quake instead of SS, or even just leaving that slot blank. When the Hulk is that enraged, he doesn’t pick stuff up, he just smashes everything.
Regenerating is also a staple power of his, but has been overlooked on nearly every version.
So, finish out a deep (10 or 11 click) dial with 3 clicks of Regeneration; Enough Regen to:
- Justify playing Auto Regen.
- So that he’s not easily knocked past those clicks.
- And so he can take a hit and then regenerate back to a dangerously good click, twice as mad as before!
Finally, play with the points and powers so that he’s in the 155 – 175 point range; just right to load him up with a few Feat cards without overloading his cost. We’ve recently seen from Vet Sub-Mariner and LE Cain Marko (Juggernaut) that it’s definitely possible to make a very good figure in the 150 point range.
This is key, because a Hulk that starts at 200 points is already too many points to be effective.
It is also about time to get another regular continuity REV Hulk. We’ve had a number of Uniques, and 1 REV ‘alternate’ in the gray Hulk, but haven’t had a ‘regular’ REV Hulk since all the way back in Infinity Challenge.
Really nice article Azs. I completely agree with you on this one. The Hulk has not had an accurate representation in clix for as long as the game's been out. I like a lot about Ultimate Hulk, but always had a problem getting him into position with as many points as he is.
Here, here. Now that we've finally got a playable and punishing Juggernaut, it just makes the lack of a monsterous and playable Hulk that much more glaring. Your ideas for damage values and powers are interesting, and since we've seen a Hulk with Quake in MM, it's not outside the realm of possiblities. Dropping Super Strength mid- to late-dial in favor of straight damage makes some comic book sense as well, and would do much to aid gameplay as well. Once you're in the mix, who has time to go get another object? Just being able to stand there and bash someone for huge damage without an object is much better.
Hulk has been conspicuously absent from the last few sets. And now that we have "baby" hulk from MM, and a nice version in Ultimates, now we need the true entitlement incarnation, and whether he be an REV or a Unique doesn't matter to me. As long as he's got a lot of Charge, big damage and attack values and some Regen I'll be happy. Even if he's 200 points or a little more, as long as quality is assured and satisfaction and playability are gauranteed that's enough for me.
Wait, no it isn't. Where's my new She-Hulk????
Great work, azs! Though I do object to Hulk being a called a "big loser". How about just saying he's "dialistically challenged"?
First, the Hulk isn't a "transporter." Yeah he might carry someone once in a while, but its not his M.O. So to make him a Transporter because the game mechanic might suit him, even though the intent of the mechanic doesn't, might be pushing it.
Also, the HSS-lite that the Transporter ability grants totally isn't in the Hulk's style. He doesn't run past someone and take a swipe at them; he charges in and then stands his ground!
Finally, it still wouldn't really solve his fundamental problems. Any Hulk shouldn't really start with more than a 10 AV on his first 'activated' click. At that point, the move/attack part of the Transporter ability would have him hitting with an 8 AV, which is the problem he has right now. So that wouldn't be much of a solution.
Sure it would be alright when (if) he gets to a 12 AV, but that would be a few clicks in, and at that point he should already be based with his opponent (or at the least shouldn't suffer an AV decrease.)
Charge is still the best solution for him.
That, or some kind of feat card designed with him in mind.
I agree with lots of charge over transporter for Hulk. A new R/E/V set would be nice if done right, there are a few uniques that could represent the Hulk and keep him fresh. War, Meastro, Dark Hulk, F4 Hulk, and the one I'm working on Cpt. Universe Hulk.
I agree with azs. In my eyes, giving Hulk transporter is akin to the current dishing out of Psychic Blast for almost every possible power or tactic that's not represented in the PAC. There are other (and most likely cheaper) ways to make the figure effective. Giving Hulk transporter would probably end up like another Sam Guthrie. In other words, good intentions but way too expensive to be playable.
All Hulk REALLY needs (besides a click of Outwit or something on his activation click) is better mobility. L/C works thematically but this is Hulk we're talking about. And since he CAN make huge leaps and the like, just give him Charge with a REAL nice movement. 10 or 12 would suffice. That would make him REAL dangerous like he should be without resorting to weird tricks and representations with the rules like giving him transporter. Because then all that would happen is that we'd see Hulk carrying around cheap outwitters constantly.
Hulk plus high movement Charge along with Unstoppable and possibly Movethrough would be all he really needs.
Quote : Originally Posted by M_Tuttle
I have to give Kaitouace points for hitting the nail on the head.
So here I go adding to Kaitouace's sig again, but he hit the nail on the head. FOOM is very playable.
I'd love to see a beast like this! 17 Defense with Regen would be super cool for Hulk. And even when you aren't using the Charge, you'll still get a decent AV with huge damage plus the ability to pick up an object on the way.
I totally agree with you on a few things:
1. Banner click should have Outwit
2. Hulk shouldnt be a Transporter (he doesnt 'hit & run')
3. His first Hulk click should be able to have Pounce, and the second click go to Charge.
4. Two or three clicks of Regen is nice, but it has to have a high defense number to back it up.