Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Batman Arkham Origins HeroClix Preview's it's Biggest Villain: The Black Mask

The new Batman: Arkham Origins Video Game's Biggest Villain has been revealed for the upcoming HeroClix set: Black Mask.

Roman Sionas, AKA the Black Mask may not be the toughest foe of the Dark Knight, as revealed by his need to hire Assassins to do his bidding, but he's no slouch either.

Hiding behind a conga line of False Facer Henchman and a pile of money, Black Mask raises the bar for the villain who had a lukewarm reception by players as a Rare in 2012's Streets of Gotham set with a short, expensive dial that did not return much efficiency for the cost.

This new version brings better attack values to the table, which he can chain with the Batman Enemy team ability.

He's got some standard Big Boss powers including Mastermind, Outwit, and Perplex, but it's his special powers that will make this figure a monster on the battle map.

Specifically, the VAST FORTUNE (special attack power) provides the mobile challenged Gotham City Underworld keyword a little positioning power. The power reads:

Give Black Mask a Power Action and all adjacent friendly characters that have the Assassin Keyword or share a keyword with him may immediately be given a move action as a free action.

Now, a swarm of Underworld TA figures surrounding the 'Mask will be able to move (and possibly carry others) into position and then attack.

This is great for figures that don't have a move and attack ability like Charge or Running Shot, and even better for the B dial of the False Facers from SoG who have Plasticity and Poison when Black Mask is present.

The villain's dial starts out with a strong defense - hiding in the Shadows he'll be hard to target with ranged attacks, and should he be hit, he'll pick up Mastermind to help drive incoming damage onto loyal Henchmen.

He picks up a little offensive power mid dial where his damage spikes to 3 (4 with Perplex) and he grabs a Tommy Gun to unleash some ranged combat power with Energy Explosion.

Late dial he picks up a few of my favorite powers to see: opponents knocking him onto Willpower may be in for a surprise, especially if they though Black Mask was locked down with a token.

Poison will also help soften a few foes that get too close.

For 100 points he's easy to fit on a 300 to 400 point team and enough of a threat without being the biggest target for an opponent's attacks. Plug him, some Assassins like David Cain and Lady Shiva, and a swarm of generic Henchmen onto a team and overrun the opposition.

The Black Mask can then marshall his forces from the rear, frustrating opponents with Outwit and Perplex, while providing enhancement to his minions - either the 32 point false Facers from SoG or the new Black Mask Thugs from the HeroClix Batman Arkham Origins video game adaptation (which we'll look at next!).

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