Superman and the Legion of Superheroes – Cheetah Review

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~Amber

With the move finalized and the house settled, I’m going to be picking up where I left off with the figure reviews. However with SLoSH right around the corner I’m going to be doing up the final figures for that set first before moving on to do the ones that have been previewed for Days of Future Past. First up is the Uncommon Cheetah and her Prime Version. Cheetah is a long standing villain of Wonder Woman’s. She’s featured in the set as part of the Legion of Doom sub-theme. The first version is Priscilla Rich, who is the first villainess to don the Cheetah costume and appropriately she’s wearing her costume from her first appearance as well (Wonder Woman #6 – 1943) The Prime version of the figure is Barbara Ann Minerva – the version most of us born in the ’80’s are familiar with. Unlike Priscilla (who was a spoiled rich kid with a split personality that liked to play dress up) Barbara was cursed/blessed by an ancient African God that granted her powers and allowed her to transform her body into a werecat. Cheetah first appeared in Clix as the Barbara Ann version in Cosmic Justice back in 2003. She was seen again in 2005 in the Icons set as the Deborah Domaine version (Cheetah II) This will be the first time we see the Priscilla Rich version in clix (who will also be featured in the Legion of Doom Fast Forces, which will be released alongside the SLoSH main set)

Cheetah Uncommon – Cheetah I Priscilla Rich

017a-Cheetah

The Sculpt

In comparison to the other figures that have been previewed for this set this version of Cheetah is falling a little flat. Overall she just looks rather bland, however that’s not really the designer’s fault when we take into consideration that this is a character that was pulled from a Comic which was released in the ’40’s. Even though the colour is bland given what they were working with the pose feels like it could have been more. While not a direct reusing of past Cheetah sculpts the pose isn’t anything more than it’s been in the past either. At least the last time we saw Tigra (Marvel Comics’ equivalent character) she was perched all cat like on a tree branch, though I suppose that isn’t a fitting pose for an American Debutante in need of Psychiatric help. Instead of the countless action poses we could have gotten for this character (who did go toe to toe with Wonder Woman when she debuted) we get a boring ‘Meow, this Kitty has Claws’ pose.

The Dial

Much like her Sculpt Cheetah’s dial isn’t much to look at, however once again taking into account the era Priscilla came from that’s not all that surprising. Cheetah comes in at 50pts for 5 clicks of life. She has all standard combat symbols with 0 Range. She has the generic Past Keyword along with Legion of Doom and Villainy Inc and possesses no Team Ability. She does however have Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering which is becoming standard for a character like this (which is actually rather useful, in the past a character like her would have been given Leap/Climb with no other offensive movement powers and get stuck half the game) Cheetah also has a trait Hatred For My Prey, which is likely to come into play right off the bat. Once per game you may give her a free action to pick an opposing character. As long as that character is on the board she modifies all her combat values (except Range) by +1. Also if that targeted character happens to be Wonder Woman she gains Exploit Weakness. A lot of times characters get long winded traits that are so situational they never get used, this one however makes the character much more effective and would be pointless to go without.

On the dial itself she starts off with 8 Movement with Charge, 9 Attack with Blades/Claws/Fangs, 16 Defense with Super Senses and 1 Damage with no powers. These numbers aren’t impressive in the modern era of Heroclix which is where her trait comes into play. Having a 4 Charge (8 halved) turn to a 5 Charge (9 halved, always rounding up) that ignores Hindering is a huge difference, as it does with that 9 Attack turning to a 10 and that 16 Defense to a 17, even her Damage going from 1 to 2 still puts her in a good probability range to use her Blades/Claws/Fangs instead of straight damage (personally I only use B/C/Fs whenever my figure has 1 or 2 damage, it gives you a 2 in 3 chance of doing more damage). Granted she only gets these modifications so long as her Prey is still on the board but strategically if you choose the biggest bad your opponent has to offer she’ll likely see that boost for the entire duration that she’s on the map. Her second click is identical to her first. By her third click her values start to drop, her Movement drops drastically from 8 to 6, her Attack drops to 8 from 9 but her Defense and Damage stay at 16 and 1 respectively. For her final two clicks we start to see her power set change, her 6 Movement changes to Leap/Climb – which gives her the increased chance to break away as well as ignore elevated, outdoor blocking and opposing characters for movement once she’s broken away. Her Attack stays at 8 with Blades/Claws/Fangs, her Defense drops to 15 but she gains Close Combat Reflexes, which will give her 17 in close quarters (18 if her Prey is still on the board) and her damage is still 1 with no power. On her final click she still has the same powers but her Attack value drops once again to a 7.

Cheetah is not a game breaking piece, especially this version of her but she is still good for 50pts of filler and you might get lucky to get a 6 on a Blades/Claws/Fangs roll. With all the other big hitters that will be coming out of the Legion of Doom Sub Theme, Cheetah might end up being just the perfect piece you need to fill up that Theme Team.

Cheetah Prime – Cheetah III Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva

017b-Cheetah

The Sculpt

I know with Primes they usually reuse the sculpt from the original piece and just slightly alter it, be it through a paint job or a different extremity (In this case a different sculpted Head) but for a figure like this, where the different Villains that have worn this persona are so vastly different from each other, I wish we could have gotten something more. The ‘Meow, this Kitty has Claws’ pose barely worked for a Villain like Priscilla but for a character like Barbara who’s imbued with the power of an Ancient Guardian God and can actually transform from a regular human being into an actual Humanoid Cat, this type of pose seems like a huge missed opportunity. This is the version of Cheetah I expect to see lurking in a tree, perched on a rock or pouncing on an unsuspecting prey. In the end it’s still a nicer sculpt than the one from Cosmic Justice.

The Dial

The Prime Cheetah comes in at 90pts (a considerable jump from the regular version) for 6 clicks of health. She has all standard combat symbols and 0 Range. She has the generic Animal, Scientist, Society keywords along with the non-generic Injustice Society one. She also has the Calculator Team Ability which will allow her to copy any other (copy-able) Team Ability. This version not only comes with Improved Movement: Ignores Hindering but also Ignores Characters which keeps her from having to roll to break away. She also has a trait, We’ve Danced This Dance Before, which gives her Close Combat Reflexes and when she has no action tokens she can use Exploit Weakness (once again this is a power you have to keep in mind your sequencing, since the action token is assigned after actions resolve she can move and attack using Exploit Weakness so long as she started the turn clear)

Looking at the top of her Dial she has 10 Movement with Pounce My Prey, 11 Attack with Blades/Claws/Fangs, 17 Defense with Toughness and 3 Damage with Shape Change. Her White Movement Power gives her Leap/Climb (though since she already ignores hindering and characters this just gives her the extra privilege of ignoring elevated and outdoor blocking) and when she finishes a move action she can make a close combat action for free. This amounts to her having full movement charge, which is Huge! She can easily cross 10 squares unhindered by terrain and slash someone’s face off as she can use her Blades/Claws/Fangs in conjunction. Now that she’s in your face she’s got Close Combat Reflexes bringing that 17 Defense up to a 19 along with Shape Change which gives her a 1 in 3 chance of not being able to be targeted in the first place.

She keeps this White Power into her second click along with the rest of her powers from the previous one. Her Movement drops to 9 which is still rather effective with that full movement charge, her Attack drops from 11 to 10, her Defense stays the same but her Damage drops to 2 (which I personally find better for her Blades/Claws/Fangs) By click 3 she loses her White Power and gains Charge instead with an 8 Movement. Her Attack stays the same with Blades/Claws/Fangs, Her Defense drops to 16 with Toughness (which is a bit of a trade off, now you want her in Close Combat to bring up her defense but she’s starting to hurt and might not want to be or last in the fight much longer) Although she does still have Shape Change which still gives you that chance that she can’t be targeted. Click 4 gives us some new powers. Her Movement is still 8 with Charge but she loses her Blades/Claws/Fangs to gain Poison (the right time to have her in Close Combat) Her Defense goes up to a 17 but her Toughness is traded for Super Senses, her Damage stays steady at 2 and we are introduced to another White Power, Pressing My Advantage, which gives Cheetah Outwit but only to target characters with 2 action tokens. This is my own personal favourite combo – Poison and Outwit. Most opponents don’t always pay attention to Poison and even less think you’re going to use Outwit to take out their Defense Ability just to get a Poison in but sometimes that one click of damage can make a world of difference (especially when you don’t have to roll to deal it) This combo has been improved recently with the introduction of Sidestep (which she’s sadly lacking on this click) all of which are free actions that can be given at the beginning of your turn, Sidestep, Outwit Defense, Poison. Cheetah’s Outwit however can be very situational and may not always see play. You may go up against a team that doesn’t have Indomitable or Willpower or an opponent like myself that isn’t always fond of pushing their characters. This click is repeated with the Attack and Defense going down and her final click she loses Charge and has a 7 Movement, but the rest stays much the same – 9 Attack Poison, 17 Defense Super Senses, 2 Damage Pressing My Advantage.

The Prime Cheetah isn’t going to be breaking any meta any time soon but she’s a solid figure that has the possibility to deal a lot of damage while being highly maneuverable. Since she’s a Prime you’re only allowed to have one on your team which could work for a Theme Team of Injustice Society but she’s not likely to take Alyosha Kraven’s place on an Animal team just yet.

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