Heroclix Rules Question

The Dilemma of Choice

Replacement Figures

Since Brave and the Bold debuted the Alter Ego mechanic, HeroClix players have enjoyed a variety of game effects that allow them to change their characters mid-game. Besides Alter Ego, there are mechanics like Morph, Weapon Swap, Split, and Merge are just some of the mechanics that have brought players options during their battles to customize their forces against their opponents’ strategies.
To help keep games running smoothly, the concept of the “sideline” was introduced in the July edition of the Comprehensive Tournament Rules. In short, all replacement characters are supposed to be listed with your primary force when you bring your force to the tournament. What’s more, the default sideline is three characters for every 100 points of your build total. So a normal 300 point match would allow no more than 9 sideline characters. 15 characters is the default maximum number for the sideline, no matter how large your build total is.

In this article, I want to help clarify the rules related to replacement characters. Although not technical game terms, I’ll be using “original character(s)” to refer to the characters that have used some game effect to be removed from the map and “replacement character(s)” to refer to the characters that were brought into the game by that same game effect.

Who Can Replace Figures?

One line is being added to the rulebook to cover some oddball situations. As of today, you are only allowed to replace characters if the original character is from your original force. No more using Mind Control to force a replacement on your opponent – sorry!

Point Values

The point value of a replacement character is always considered to be the point value of the original character. This is most clear on Alter Ego type characters as the “super hero” version always has an orange point value listed on it as a reminder. With other mechanics, like Morph and Weapon Swap, the point values have always been the same. With Split and Merge, this can get a little complicated.

Let’s say I’m playing my brand new Avengers Prime figure. This is a 400 point character that allows me to replace it with Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. If I use the Chaos War versions for splitting, I’d be using:
• #001 Captain America (60 points)
• #024 Iron Man (110 points)
• #038 Thor (200 points)

During the match, if my opponent only KOs Captain America and Thor, then he would have earned 260 points. However, if he KOs all three characters, instead of earning 370 points, he would earn the 400 points from Avengers Prime, because when all 3 are knocked out, it is like knocking out the original, higher point character.

The same thing works if you use the Merge ability. Let’s say I’m using the Avengers Movie versions of these characters:
• #001 Captain America (75 points)
• #004 Thor (200 points)
• #006 Iron Man (160 points)

I set the characters adjacent to each other and use Merge, and now my opponent has to deal with the 400 point version of Avengers Prime. Sadly for me, a few lucky hits and they are knocked out. Instead of only earning 400 points (the cost of Avengers Prime), my opponent scores 435 points – the total of the original characters.

Other Game Effects

Besides victory points, there are lots of other ways in which replacement characters are connected to their original versions. For example, if a power were countered on the original character and the replacement character would normally possess that power, it is also countered on the replacement character.

If an original character had super strength and was holding an object, then the replacement character would be holding it too – unless it couldn’t use Super Strength, then the object would be placed on the map in the same way as would be done when losing Super Strength.

Even markers and other game effects like Sabretooth’s Mortal Wound would transfer from the original character to the replacement character.

This all leads up to the big question… how does this work with Split?

With most replacements, you are either changing one-for-one or you are replacing a group of characters with a single game piece. In those scenarios, this transfer is simple to understand. But what happens when one game piece becomes many?

The answer is that the active player can choose how these game effects get distributed among the replacement characters. Let’s say that Avengers Prime began the game on my force and it was assigned the Avengers: Heroic Age ATA. When I use Split, I now have 3 characters on the map that could all qualify for this ATA. At this point, I need to choose which one of the three can use the ATA.

Objects, relics, and even resources can be distributed according to the player’s wishes.

What’s more, if the split characters were to merge together again (bringing all of these game effects back together as well) and then split a second time, the player would be permitted to redistribute the game effects in a different pattern, if so desired. Let’s look at some specific mechanics and look at how they would work with replacement characters:


Many players build teams around a central keyword in order to get the themed team bonuses. Replacing characters can sometimes lead to situations where the replacement character does not have the keyword like the rest of your team. People often ask what happens with your themed team bonuses.

The answer is that your team is STILL a themed team. The only time you “check” the keywords for a themed team status is when you reveal your force. Once it’s a themed team, it remains a themed team. Now, that said, the replacement character who does not have the shared keyword does have one disadvantage – since it does not have the keyword, it can’t use the Themed Team Probability Control. A keyworded character could still have one of the replacement character’s rolls rerolled, but the replacement character itself would not be able to use the TTPC.

Additional Team Abilities

If the original character and the replacement character both have the keyword, then the original character would have paid the cost of the ATA and the replacement character would then be allowed to use the ATA.

If the original character has the prerequisite keyword while the replacement character does not (say Norman Osborn and Green Goblin with the ATA Thunderbolts), then obviously the replacement character would not be allowed to use the ATA.

Lastly, if the replacement character picks up a keyword for an ATA your force is using that the original did not have (for example – an Asgardian team with Donald Blake that changes into Thor) then the replacement character would not be allowed to use the ATA. And no, you are not permitted to “pay the points” for the potential replacement character that may join the force later.


Since game effects travel from the original character to the replacement, relics and their properties travel the same way. So if you have rolled for a relic and succeeded, then one of your replacement characters is given the relic. If the original character rolled for a relic and failed, then all replacement characters are considered to have failed as well.


I hope you found the above information helpful. As always, if you have any questions, there are various forums on the internet that I and the deputies frequent and you can always email us directly at