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Black Scorpion

Reviewed 12.12.2005

Average Rating: 3.5

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst. 3 ... average.
5 is the highest rating

The Le Indy Clix may have been a commercial failure, but the line lives on in other forms. In the latest incarnation, we have Black Scorpion, a 72 point non-flyer that can be only obtained by buying the City of Villains pc game (a superhero MMORPG).

We start out with the City of Villains team affiliation (TA). This comes directly from the Mystics TA found in the DC universe (but not Marvel), and it is very powerful.

City of Villains TA: When this character takes damage from an attack, It deals 1 damage to the attacker. This damage may not be evaded or reduced.

That pretty much says it all for the TA. It's simple, powerful, and cannot be reduced. And on Black Scorpion, it lasts for 8 clicks of life. Not too shabby at all. As a matter of fact, I would say it is one of the best TAs in the game.

Black Scorpion has a pretty average starting stats, with no powers in the speed slot except for Charge at the very end for 2 clicks.

This will limit his starting 4 clicks of Super Strength (SS), but that's okay because he also starts with 4 clicks of Close Combat Expert (CCE), which cannot be used with SS anyway. He may have a range of 4, but he is clearly made for close combat. With CCE we are looking at 3+2 damage for the first click of life and 2+2 for the next three -- and he does not need to move to get an object! Clearly he can do some damage.

The downside though, is his less than stellar attack value, averaging about 8 for the first half of the dial. But even with that average, rolling an 8 isn't too hard to hit an opponent with a defense of 16.

2 clicks of Invulnerability and then 3 of Toughness is good enough to keep him alive for a bit, but then nothing for the last 3 clicks of life. You would think that a man in armor would have at least toughness across the entire dial. What really hurts though is the average defense of about 13 across the dial. This is not good in any sense of the word.

In any case, we move past the SS and CCE to the 5th and 6th clicks of life, where Black Scorpion sports Quake and Ranged Combat Expert (RCE). This is an odd combo as one is for close combat while the other is for ranged.

QUAKE: Give this character a close combat action. This character's damage value becomes 2 if it is greater than 2. Make a single attack roll, and compare the result to the defense values of all opposing characters adjacent to this character. Each character that takes damage suffers knockback.

First I will discuss Quake, which is always a great ability to have. An attack value of 8 is good enough to deal 2 damage to adjacent foes. The problem is the next click of life, where the attack value drops to 7 and the damage value drops to 1. This makes Quake less useful.

RCE is a little better, since he can deal 2+2 or 2+1 damage to a single target, which is far more potent against an opponent with damage reduction. However, the same problem with the attack value applies here, as well as the pitiful range of 4.

I think Quake and RCE is a bit wasted here in these two clicks. They are certainly useful, but I fear that the horrible defense values means he will take damage and skip right over these clicks of life.

The last 2 clicks of life are fairly useless. His damage does bump back up to 2 and 3, and he gets 2 clicks of charge, but the rest of the combat values are practically unusable. Still, being able to move 3 spaces and dealing 2 or 3 damage this late in the game is very better than a lot of figures out there.

So what's the final verdict? This is a tough one for me. I certainly don't think you can build a team round this figure, and he definitely is not a front line attacker. However, he can be a good secondary attacker if you build your team right.

His overall low combat values are very problematic for me, but on the other hand it allows you to heal him very easily with a medic. Then again, to effectively use him you need him in the thick of combat at all times, and medics cannot heal when it or Black Scorpion is next to an opposing figure.

All is not lost though, for his saving grace is his City of Villains TA. It'll take at least 3 hits from opponents to take him down; getting a guaranteed 3 clicks of damage is better than I have done with 100 point figures in the past. I sure do love that team affiliation.

For 72 points I would have to rate him a solid 2.5 out of 5 with his less-than-stellar combat values. But with the City of Villains team affiliation, I have to bump him up to 3.5 (possibly 4 with the right team). Yes, this TA is that good. Not only does it translate to guaranteed damage to the opponent, it also makes them think twice about attacking (a lot of players are afraid to push, so you can bet they are also afraid to take that TA damage).

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

(Poor combat values, but lots of life combined with a fairly high damage and a fantastic team affiliation)

--The Le (pronounced Tay Lee)

contact: TheLeGames@gmail.com

website: www.TheLeGames.com

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