Some minis clearly serve the role as adventuring heroes, and I’ve got favorites among these also.
This mini is among the rarely used favorites. I like it so much, despite that dragonborn aren’t optimized to serve as hand-crossbow rogues. This doesn’t often catch the attention of players in D&D Encounters, but I’ve used this mini in custom adventures to represent a polymorphed copper dragon to great success. It is a memorable mini that holds a personality well.
While I’m not a fan of necromancy, this tiefling seems a better choice for a wizard, sorcerer, warlock, or witch than several other tielfings. I’ve found that every other D&D Encounters season seems to draw this mini out of the box—making it a rarely put away mini for my collection.
Oh, I like this mini so much. I like the pose, the colors, and the orb. I’m simply surprised that this rarely used mini gets no love from players. I’ve tried to encourage players to allow this mini to represent their wizard to no avail. It is strange to me, but players don’t seem interested in the black wizard.
I’ve used this largely as an NPC in custom adventures, and on occasion as a PC for myself. I’ve found this rarely put away mini also stands among the rarely used minis for D&D Encounters players. The colorful character with a generic pose is a great mini, but doesn’t seem to garner attention from everyone.
This mini is possibly the most rarely put away mini in my collection of humanoids. This has been used in each and every season of D&D Encounters and each and every custom adventure at least once. It has been a fighter, cleric, warlord, paladin, warden, battlemind, and a variety of NPCs. This might be representing the Zhentarim—a villain of the Forgotten Realms—yet the ambiguously generic appearance lends itself to a host of other personifications.
Although the official rules of D&D Encounters would not allow a changeling in most seasons, our group typically allowed some leeway. As such, this became a rarely put away mini, since players found it was a good stand-in for vryloka, changeling, revenant, drow, and vampire. It wasn’t often, but enough that I rarely felt the need to put away this mini from season to season. It sure helps that the dark red coat and aggressive pose make it a good-looking mini.
This has served as a quintessential rogue for most human, elf, half-elf, and eladrin PCs. This is a rarely put away mini which has been more than worthwhile over the years. I’ve never been quite as pleased with any other heroic mini.
This is a break-out surprise for me. This seemingly seductive femme fatale has become a rarely put away mini among D&D Encounters players as well as being a PC from a custom adventure. This mini has great coloration and an excellent pose.
As one of my favorites, this rarely used mini is also a rarely put away mini. It sits in both camps largely because I found few players interested in a halfling or gnome. This did become the PC representation for my wife’s gnome sorcerer; however, in D&D Encounters no one seemed interested. In another custom adventure, this was a brief cameo NPC.
Only once have I seen a dwarf swordmage played with this mini. As a rarely used mini, I suppose I could live without it, but among the dwarves, I really like this mini. It does have a sprinkling of strong dwarven features, but otherwise seems to enjoy a personality which is more cosmopolitan, especially sporting a cloak which seems elven and a sword which seems human. I could be reading it wrong, but to me, this dwarf is distinctly well exposed to other cultures.
I do like this mini, but it is rarely used. In fact, its best use has been a cameo NPC role in a custom adventure. When I look back, it is a favorite, but I could have gone without and never felt the lack.
I love to see characters that extend beyond the stereotypes. In the dwarf sniper, there is a little bit of stereotype—a dwarf which tinkers with machines and optics comes to mind—and a little bit outside the stereotype—a dwarf wearing leather or hide, using a ranged weapon. This is a rarely used mini, yet in its most memorable usage, a player agreed to drop his trend of Eladrin Mages in favor of a Dwarf Slayer. With a bit of work, he and I created a Slayer that could focus on ranged basic attacks using a superior crossbow. He did have a battleaxe available as needed. It turned out great and the entire season of Lost Crown of Neverwinter was enhanced for the presence of our Heir of Delzoun sniper.
This isn’t a humanoid, but among the tiny minis which can serve as familiars, this is my favorite rarely used and rarely put away mini. It usually served a reskin role for pixies, falcons, pseudo-dragons, and the like. I once used it as a cameo NPC spot for a swordmage with alias, "The Blazing Bat."