Today in our “Meet the Skylanders” series we look at the two Air element characters that are available: Sonic Boom and Whirlwind, two winged dragons that look quite similar but behave very differently in the game.
With the other two Air element Skylanders not yet released (Zeus-styled Lightning Rod and turtle-powered Warnado) this is one of the least populated elements which can mean they are particularly hard to find. However, with fresh stock of both Sonic Boom and Whirlwind appearing on Amazon this week, lets take a close look at what makes these two tick.
|Sonic Boom||Single Pack | Triple Pack | Loose||280||50||18||30||25||403|
|Whirlwind||Single Pack | Triple Pack | Loose||270||50||18||50||25||413|
|Lightning Rod||Unreleased – check here||290||43||18||30||25||406|
|Warnado||Unreleased – check here||310||35||30||10||25||410|
|Eruptor||Single Pack | Triple Pack | Loose||290||35||18||30||25||398|
|Flameslinger||Single Pack | Triple Pack||250||50||24||40||25||389|
|Ignitor||Starter Pack | Loose||290||43||12||40||25||410|
|Terrafin||Pirate Seas Pack | Loose||310||35||18||30||25||418|
|Prism Break||Triple Pack B | Single Pack||290||35||18||30||25||398|
|Bash||Triple Pack C | Single Pack | Loose||310||35||12||20||25||402|
|Legendary Bash||Legendary Triple Pack | Loose||310||35||24||20||25||414|
|Dino Rang||Single Pack | Triple Pack E||300||43||30||30||25||428|
Sonic Boom is one of the original Skylanders characters and available in both Triple ($30 Amazon) and Single ($20 Amazon) packs. She joins Stealth Elf, Hex and Whirlwind in the growing cohort of female characters. My son was initially unsure of her gender until his older sister helpfully pointed out that only girls lay eggs — good thinking, I thought.
It’s this egg laying that is most unusual about Sonic Boom. Unlike the attacks of other Skylanders, Sonic Boom’s Egg Toss creates up to three miniature versions of herself that then attack the enemy. Although these attacks start off quite weak, upgrading them via the Medea Griffin path makes it very effective. This is the topped off by the Soul Gem upgrade that grants the baby Sonic Booms with their own Roar attack.
Sonic Boom’s other attacks are for close combat and revolve around her ability to Roar and deafen enemies. This can be upgraded via the Siren Griffin route to grant her improved range and damage. Like other close ranged characters this can be good for new/younger players as there is only minimal targeting involved.
The toy figure itself makes the most of Sonic Boom’s dragon characteristics with claws, wings and a bright yellow beak. My kids have made up a whole series of games for Sonic and the other flighted Skylanders that involves them racing round a hazardous course in and around our living room.
This ability to fly in the game (once purchased via the Let There Be Flight) upgrade, grants Sonic Boom access to areas of the map that are restricted by water access. However, the ability to fly doesn’t mean that you can avoid performing the jumps/puzzles encountered on most levels. Even flighted Skylanders have to jump across gaps — something my kids found rather disappointing at first.
Whirlwind was one of the original set of Skylanders released but was only available at selected retailers and in Single pack form ($21 Amazon). This led to the figure being much sought after, and contributed towards the decision to release Whirlwind again in the third wave of figures in a Triple pack with Double Trouble and (other retail exclusive figure) Drill Sergeant ($50 Amazon).
Like other air characters Whirlwind has the ability to fly and is a winged dragon-style toy. As mentioned above, this led my kids to develop a collection of winged characters — Cynder, Whirlwind, Spyro, Drobot, Sonic Boom and Zap — more for the imaginary games they like to play with them than their abilities in the game itself.
Whirlwind’s attacks come from her combination of dragon and unicorn ancestry. She can attack with either a projected rainbow (paradoxically named Rainbow of Doom) or a close combat storm attack (Tempest Cloud). Although these are less visually impressive and less novel than Sonic Boom’s abilities, Whirlwind’s upgrades soon distinguish her from the pack.
You have the choice to develop either rainbow attacks (via the Ultimate Rainbower path) or storm summoning (via the Tempest Dragon path). A good tip for making the most of Whirlwind is to save your money for the Rainbow of Healing ability. This enables you (once her Soul Gem is found in the Creepy Citadel) to heal the other Skylanders who she is fighting with.
I often play as Whirlwind with my youngest son. This way I can act like a guardian healing him when he gets into trouble. The ironic thing is that my older children have taken to doing the same in reverse — they play as Whirlwind and heal me when my gaming skills aren’t up to theirs.
Like all the air characters Whirlwind is fast — and gets even faster once Dragon Flight is unlocked. Her main weakness is in a lack of armor, which can make it tricky to land some of her close combat attacks without sustaining damage herself.