Pros: New team abilities and powers; great characters
Cons: Collecting the entire set is costly
Marvel Comics created a new alternate universe called the Ultimate line. This universe is an up-to-date, re-imagined look of the mainstream Marvel Universe set in a more realistic environment. In other words, it has a more real word grittiness. Not surprising, the Ultimates line caught on fire. In fact, a lot of Marvel Comics latest movie properties follow more of what is depicted in this universe than the normal one. It was only a matter of time before WizKids HeroClix line injected this brand into its gaming set with Marvel HeroClix: Ultimates.
As indicted by the title, the Ultimates rule this roost. The inclusion of the Ultimates version of these heroes also means that new team abilities are added into the fray.
Members of this team ignore the effects of hindering terrain on movement, combat, and powers and team abilities.
Any gamer will tell you just how important this team feature is when playing. On a given map, there are designated areas that cause game pieces to stop in mid-motion or reduce the amount of damage given to an opponent because of these hindering terrains. This new team abilityUltimatesnegates all of that, as any figure sporting this team symbol can ignore these obstacles. When a character like Ultimate Hawkeye needs to strike, his firepower damage isnt sacrificed as a result, or when Ultimate Thor starts charging at you, he doesnt have to stop in midstream motion because of these hindering terrains. The full gamut of these powers is definitely displayed to terrifying results.
Members with this team ability: Ultimate Black Widow (Veteran), Ultimate Captain America (Experienced, Veteran), Ultimate Hawkeye (Experienced, Veteran), Ultimate Hulk (Unique), Ultimate Iron Man (Unique), Ultimate Thor (Unique)
The Ultimate version of the X-Men is also included as well, and they are more powerful than their mainstream counterparts, at least in the gaming world so far. They, too, also have a new team ability that works solely for them.
At any time during the game, choose an opposing team or character for this team member; once this choice is made, it may not be changed. This team member gets 1 to its attack value against the chosen team or character.
This ability can be quite brutal if you can strategically use it properly. The objective of this team ability is to increase a characters damage by 1. So for example, Ultimate Wolverine already starts off doing 3 damage to his opponents. By selecting a certain character or team, whenever he attacks that opponent, his damage increases by one until that opponent or members of that team are eliminated from the board (or if Wolverine perishes first). This is a great feature if you have a few powerful X-Men in play and want to team-up against a powerful opponent like Ultimate Thor or Ultimate Hulk. The increased 1 damage can make a huge difference and can swing the tide in your favour.
Members with this team ability: Ultimate Beast (Experienced, Veteran), Ultimate Colossus (Experienced, Veteran), Ultimate Cyclops (Rookie, Veteran), Ultimate Marvel Girl (Rookie, Experienced, Veteran), Ultimate Storm (Rookie, Experienced, Veteran), Ultimate Wolverine (Veteran)
Even though there is an Ultimate version of Magneto and Sabretooth in this set, they still use the old Brotherhood team ability.
You may give a member of this team a move action that does not count toward your allotment of actions for the turn.
This may seem like a useless team ability but it allows players to move more characters in a round of play without taking any penalties. The free movement allows characters to advance quickly and help tie up the opposing characters from doing anything (or at least make them waste a turn trying to escape). It should be noted that both Ultimate Cyclops and Ultimate Wolverine were once members of this group. It looks a bit weird having these two side with the enemy but its also great to have this team ability on hand. It makes their usefulness a bit more versatile.
Members with this team ability: Ultimate Cyclops (Experienced), Ultimate Magneto (Unique), Ultimate Sabretooth (Experienced, Veteran), Ultimate Wolverine (Rookie)
Another new team added to this set is the Morlocks. These subterranean race of mutants are associated with the X-Men universe.
When it makes a close combat attack, a member of this team gets 1 to its attack value for each friendly character that is both adjacent to this team member and the target character.
This team ability makes sense for this group, as they tend to travel in clusters. Individually, they are not powerful. But together as a collective, they can do some serious damage. Imagine a gang of four Morlocks attacking you, and the one doing the damage increases its strength by 3 because his buddies are beside him. Now imagine a cluster of Morlocks doing this at the same time. Yes, I would run away as well.
Members with this team ability: Callisto (Rookie, Experienced, Veteran), Morlock (Rookie, Experienced, Veteran)
The Ultimate versions of Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus and Electro also make it into this set, but not every character in the Ultimates is from that universe. The regular versions of Marvel characters are included into the mix, such as the Punisher, Lizard, Wrecker, Captain Britain, Ghost Rider, Hellcat and Mysterio to name a few.
While each character receives three versionsRookie (yellow ring), Experienced (blue ring) and Veteran (red ring), its the Unique figures (silver ring) that fans always want the most, depending on power level. From its name, Uniques only get one version of that character. The two most powerful game pieces in this set are definitely Ultimate Thor (at 186 points) and Ultimate Hulk (at 182 points). Both are good and bad in its own way, but definitely hard to beat. The point values may look high, but given what some other ones have been in the past, this is a very good deal. Ultimate Thor definitely has the advantage with his power of flight and comes out hitting hard in the beginning. But Ultimate Hulk literally becomes a powerhouse in the middle of his dial while other characters are getting weaker. The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets.
Each booster pack contains four randomly inserted, pre-painted figures. That means collecting the entire set can take a longer time than expected. It can take a while to collect all the figures in this set. Usually, hardcore gamers will by a whole box of boosters hoping to complete the entire collection. For the most part, this never happens as a few Uniques will elude the entire set. Marvel HeroClix: Ultimates clearly elevated the game with its newest team abilities and stronger game pieces. Even though this series is now retired for tournament play, I still enjoy using the characters from this set. The fun factor is definitely evident especially when you pit Thor against the Hulk.
List of Characters
#004-#006 Hellfire Guard
#010-#012 Sentinel Trooper
#016-#018 Princess Python
#025-#027 Ultimate Black Widow
#028-#030 Ultimate Storm
#034-#036 Ultimate Hawkeye
#040-#042 Ultimate Spider-Man
#043-#045 Ultimate Beast
#046-#048 Ultimate Wolverine
#055-#057 Ultimate Electro
#058-#060 Ghost Rider
#061-#063 Ultimate Cyclops
#064-#066 Ultimate Captain America
#067-#069 Ultimate Sabretooth
#070-#072 Ultimate Doctor Octopus
#073-#075 Ultimate Colossus
#076-#078 Ultimate Marvel Girl
#082-#084 Captain Britain
#086 Baron Zemo
#089 Ultimate Iron Man
#090 Mr. Sinister
#091 Crimson Cowl
#092 Ultimate Magneto
#094 Goblin Queen
#095 Ultimate Hulk
#096 Ultimate Thor
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Xplosioin Booster Pack