DC HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman Design Insight

Design Insight- Sebastian Faust


Design Insight

Hello everyone, my name is Patrick Yapjoco.  My teammates— Kevin Afrooz and Justino Jimenez— and I had the incredible experience of winning the inaugural WizKids HeroClix Team World Championship in 2014 at Gen Con.  It was probably the most exciting format that I had ever played and we wish to give a kudos to WizKids for coming up with such a great format to add to the HeroClix World Championship— incorporating a team environment to Heroclix is just genius.  But, that’s not what I’m here to talk about… I’m here to give you some Design Insight about the new Sebastian Faust figure in the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman set— the figure we picked to design as part of our prize for winning the HeroClix Team World Championship.

First, let’s take a quick look at Sebastian Faust’s background. Sebastian Faust is the son of the nefarious magician Felix Faust. His soul is sold by his father to a demon named Nebiros in exchange for power, but the demon cheats and grants the power to Sebastian instead of his father. Sebastian Faust uses “soul” magic and is able to steal the souls of others, granting him their abilities and powers, as well as recharging his powers. Faust’s powers include healing, regeneration, matter transformation, teleportation, and scrying. He primarily worked with the superhero team The Outsiders, and then later on he worked with the government organization Checkmate as a consultant against magic.  He is also associated with the Shadowpact and the Sentinels of Magic during the Day of Judgment storyline.

Why did we choose Faust? For starters, we wanted an “unclixed” figure, and, like many of you out there, we are HUGE fans of figures that have never been made before.  We also wanted to have an open-ended power set, and what better way to have that than a mystical character.  Lastly, we wanted something somewhat obscure, but still known in the general sense.  Sebastian Faust fit the bill perfectly.  Choosing Sebastian was Kevin’s suggestion— we felt Felix Faust is already well-known and wanted to give his son some shine.

DC HeroClix: Superman/Wonder Woman- Sebastian Faust

When designing the powers/abilities and dial, we wanted something under 100pts so the figure would be versatile.  We also wanted 7 clicks to show his survivability— although he is not particular durable (he uses his powers to heal himself), so we opted for the standard mystical defensive powers in Energy Shield/Deflection and Super SensesFaust isn’t super-powerful, so we felt that a figure that ended up around 100pts was a good representation of his power level.  We also wanted to delve into the “soul magic” a bit and come up with new ways to represent mystical characters.  The standard damage power set for mystical characters has always been Outwit, Perplex, and Probability Control.  We initially gave him Probability Control and Perplex to represent his Pocket Dimension, but we felt that was “old hat.”  So, I suggested to the design team using a power seen in the Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Movie set:

THE BIG THREE: When making an attack roll, Captain America may roll 3 dice instead of 2 and then choose 1 die to ignore.

Without batting an eye, they loved it and it was immediately added.

The next thing we wanted was his regeneration powers.  We originally made him with Steal Energy, but from range as well and also had him able to deal 1-damage to heal 1-damage as a free action within 3 squares.  They felt that was too powerful so we compromised and that’s how he got the current Steal Essence.  This made it a power action to an opposing adjacent character, but it now deals penetrating damage.  Obviously, he has Regeneration on the back end to further represent his healing powers.

Lastly, for inspiration for his Soul Magic trait, we took a look at a power from the Marvel HeroClix: Guardians of the Galaxy set:

MEMORY LEECH: Dire Wraith can use Precision Strike. When Dire Wraith KO’s an opposing character, place that character on this card on any click. Dire Wraith can use any standard powers that character possesses on that click.

We felt it was another good representation of soul magic and we just simplified it to include any power on the card, thus giving you the Soul Magic trait.

One more aspect of Faust that we wanted to add was his ability to “Shadow Walk”— which is basically teleport between shadows.  Sidestep and Stealth were what we originally came up with, but they just didn’t give the right feel of stepping through shadows.  So, we took a look at a power seen on Lydea Mallor from the DC Comics HeroClix: Superman and the Legion of Superheroes set:

WRAPPED IN SHADOW: Lydea Mallor can use Smoke Cloud and Stealth. Once per turn, when Lydea Mallor occupies hindering terrain and is given a non-free action, before the action begins or after actions resolve, you may place Lydea Mallor in any square of hindering terrain within 5 squares and line of fire.        

It was an almost perfect representation of Shadow Walk, but we wanted to make it unique, so the design team suggested that instead of triggering before being given a non-free action, it was just linked to his Sidestep.  We felt it was perfect and, after some tweaking, you get Faust’s Shadow Walk in its current state.  To keep the points down, we just cut the Stealth part.

To round off the design, we decided to keep the combat values pretty basic, if somewhat below average.  This was by design to keep his point value down and the dial longer.  His keywords are diverse, to say the least.  Of course, you can always play him on a Mystical themed team, but the fun starts when you look at Shadowpact, Outsiders and Checkmate teams.  Faust can be used as a secondary attacker primarily, but on a Checkmate team where you can use the Checkmate ATA, he can be a serious primary attacker.  With a lot of Perplexes and great special damage power, you can use Checkmate Knights and Pawns to pump his damage and range to hit for massive amounts of penetrating damage.  He is cheap enough so that you can easily play a swarm Checkmate team to fully exploit his damage potential.  If going with Shadowpact, Nightshade is a perfect pairing with Faust.  At 140 points, that still leaves lot to work with point-wise.  She can carry him around and use Smoke Cloud to help Faust Shadow Walk into position. With other pieces like Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon to round out the team, Faust will have the necessary support to do battle, and don’t forget that awesome Shadowpact ATA to counter Mystics!  Lastly, Outsiders themed teams offer a variety of options.  Faust can be used with Red Arrow (Crisis) as a nice 1-2 punch, as after Red Arrow shoots, he can use Smoke Cloud.  Then Faust can use Shadow Walk to get into position and shoot as a follow-up.  You can pair him with Halo for transport (as well as using the Outsiders team ability), or for more Shadow Walk-ing fun you can play the “Out of the Shadows” Batman so they can both “port” together!

We love how our figure turned out and we had a blast designing it.  Our hope is that everyone has a fun time playing our figure and enjoys the game play.  We wanted to have a good figure, but not too-powerful that it sucks the fun out of playing the game.  We would like to thank the entire WizKids staff for giving us the opportunity and honor of designing our own figure. This is just another reason why this game is the best game out there.  I hope Faust does well for you in sealed tournaments, and remember, when in doubt, Perplex the attack!