HeroClix fans!

DC HeroClix: Justice League Unlimited is coming soon, and within that set there’s a big, bold, exciting experiment: Team Up Cards

Within this set, players will find special “Team Up” cards they can utilize instead of a character’s regular card, which will grant certain bonuses depending on how their team is built.

Check out this Hawkgirl card to get a sense of what they’ll look like:

In this example, as long as you have Green Arrow on the map, Hawkgirl will have added defense against ranged attacks (but her 18 defense is nothing to sneeze at). Hawkgirl will also have other Team Up cards that give her different bonuses depending on which of her allies are on the map.

Team Up cards will appear pretty frequently in boosters, but there will be a large variety of them. In fact, this might be the HeroClix set with the most team-building permutations we’ve ever done (it’s complicated – we haven’t crunched the numbers). However, these cards also come with a restriction: “You can’t choose a Team Up card if any characters on your starting force share a name.” What this means is that you couldn’t utilize multiple copies of the same character (e.g. Batman) on your team that might look exactly the same but play differently (it easily could get confusing).

We suspect that most players won’t be able to hunt down every Team Up card, and while there is a lot of variety, many are based around slight tweaks to who you can team up with. We have a few goals that we hope these cards accomplish.

The first of these is fairly straightforward: surprise and delight. Perhaps you’ve seen 10 other Team Up cards that are very similar, but this one has a particularly cool and interesting combination that you haven’t seen before. We hope Team Up cards create exciting moments like these for our players as they learn the near-endless ways characters can interact.

Second is metagame diversity. We believe there will be many viable teams that can be constructed thanks to the wide variety of cards that have been designed. With most games being played at 300 points, it will simply be impossible to cram all possible combos into one team, much less optimize them.

Third is unexpected teams.  We look forward to seeing events where a particular combo is satisfying and exciting because the player had something rare to their local play group and decided to try something they otherwise might not have.

Fourth, community building.  It’s hard to create something that’s easy to acquire but also worth trading.  However, with Team Up cards, you’ll end up with several cards that may not be a fit for your team, but should have value to others who are looking for a particular combination of heroes, providing trade opportunities and fun interactions in the community.

Fifth, we hope that these cards will land in the hands of new players as well as those who don’t necessarily buy a significant amount of product. Acquiring even one of these cards should create a variety of opportunities for them. Primarily, we hope that new players will take advantage of these cards to build more powerful teams for themselves than they might otherwise be able to with a fledgling collection. Some players will go on to refine those teams and tactics, while others might trade these cards for other HeroClix to cater to different strategies.  This also encourages these players to finish a team that works well with the card (see community building above). In particular, plenty of these Team Up cards will grant bonuses when paired with characters from the Justice League Unlimited Starter Set, making them accessible to new and experienced players alike.

Sixth, HeroClix veterans are likely to find fun combos when they take characters from Justice League Unlimited and team them up with characters from outside of this set. Building teams with characters from multiple sets is always fun, but Team Up cards are going to give this facet of HeroClix an exciting twist.

Seventh is great storytelling. We hope the storytelling possibilities that Team Up cards introduce will add new layers to the HeroClix experience. Sure, Hawkgirl and Doctor Fate have teamed up. Yes, their abilities are diverse and synergistic. But with the benefit of a Team Up card, you’ll be able to get the specific feel of how they worked together during memorable episodes of Justice League Unlimited like Wake The Dead (see preview below). You could say the same about Huntress and The Question playing well together, but the dynamic was especially brilliant in Double Date.

Eighth and last, these Team Up cards will help keep Sealed events feeling fresh. You and your opponent might both open similar teams, but they could end up having key differences from one another. At large events like Team Nationals and Team Worlds, adding variety to the sealed product will help test team building and tactics in new and interesting ways.

We’re looking forward to everyone enjoying these new Team Up cards in their own way. Keep your eyes peeled for previews as we get ready for the release of this awesome set!