Previously the Avengers and the X-Men squared off on the beach of Utopia, the mutant homeland. The X-Men won the day, but Hope Summers ran away from both teams rather than have either one choose her destiny. Both teams were able to track her signal to five different locations, so this time the tournament has the Avengers and X-Men split themselves into five small teams each, fighting in each location as they search for Hope.
Five teams have to be built for slightly shorter battles. There are some limitations; Beast and Wolverine aren’t allowed on the X-Men’s side as they are filthy splitters. Hope isn’t allowed on either side as she’s on the run. The five teams have to share a team keyword, such as X-Factor or New Mutants. Each team was to belong to a different group and each character couldn’t be duplicated as everyone’s around the world searching at the same time.
The X-Men team would be the easiest to make as most mutants have been an X-Man at some point. Then there’s the recently-released Wolverine & The X-Men set which brought a lot of X-Force and New Mutants characters. A few people share the X-Factor keyword, so the remaining team was a difficult choice. Sadly there aren’t many Generation X characters, so I picked Excalibur, as I could just about make the team.
My teams were as follows:
Excalibur: Longshot to provide probability control and thrown knives. Shadowcat to ferry people around and support them. Warlock to turn into a dune buggy, ram people and be an all-round weird Swiss Army Knife of a character.
New Mutants: Magik from the Phoenix Five who appear later in the series, as a flying death beast. Magma who is like a borderline-psychotic lava Firestar. Shatterstar who is basically a man with crazy massive swords and that’s a good substitute for character.
X-Factor: This was possibly the hardest team to build. 300 points was a ton back in the day, but two massive overhauls later and 300 points is barely anything. I had Layla Miller to resurrect people and use the near-essential Outwit & Probability Control powers. I wanted to use Polaris as her Telekinesis power allowed fast placement of people around the map. Originally I wanted to use Strong Guy as a tank to move into place, but that was heavily veto’d by the X-Men’s captain so I picked three Multiple Men as their replacement. One is the original, the others his ‘dupes’.
X-Force: I wanted to use my limited edition Cable from the last game as he hunts Avengers and damn it, he was my prize. He could phase through things and do two attacks in one go. Spiral is a whirling dervish of blades who can teleport. Then I needed enough points to fill the rest and I decided Wolfsbane would make for something sharp to throw at the enemy, especially if I could make her carry a Phoenix Shard.
X-Men: Cyclops was a must, as the Avengers Vs X-Men version is one of the best I’ve seen. Emma Frost is a great support piece, and with 75 points left after that, I took Professor X. This makes a team filled with Mind Control, Probability Control, Leadership and not a great deal of mobility.
Next, on to the tournament!