Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

WizKids has released another complete box set for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! This set is called, Heroes in a Half Shell. If you purchase this box set, you will get the entire set, max dice for each character, and a bunch of other goodies!

TMNT 2 Heroes in a Half Shell.png

This box can be played as a stand alone product, added with the previous TMNT Box Set, or mixed in with the vast library of Dice Masters cards to enhance any team for various formats. This box set is great for casual players and seasoned players alike. If you’d like to take a look at the previous TMNT Box Set, you can find my review here.

You can find my review video on YouTube, here.

Dice Building Game Box Set

boxes

Box Contents

~ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rulebook
~ 4 Color Coordinated Paper Playmats
~ 4 Color Coordinated Dice Bags
~ 12 Basic Action Dice
~ 32 Sidekick Dice
~ 48 Character Dice
~ 48 Character Cards
~ 10 Basic Action Cards
~ 4 Action Reminder Cards
~ Collection Tray with Clear Cover

Rulebook

Both this rulebook and the one from the first box have the doubles start up rules in the back. The rulebook feels durable and looks really nice. It’s one I’d like to keep on me as my reference rulebook.

rulebook

Keywords

There are several returning keywords in this set, but you won’t find any new ones.

Ally
Overcrush
Swarm
Turtle Power

WizKids has a comprehensive list of Keywords on their site. You can also find expanded descriptions for all the keywords on The Reserve Pool‘s site.

Affiliations

We don’t see any new affiliations, but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle affiliation returns in this box set. The other affiliation you’ll find is one that crosses over almost all other IPs, Villain.

Characters

If you haven’t seen any or most of the 2012 animated series, but plan to watch it later – you may want to skip reading some of this. I discuss lots of things from that series which could be seen as spoilers.

april

April makes her second appearance in Dice Masters. This time, she looks a little different. We now have the 80s animated version and the 2012 animated series version of April. She’s a Shield character and all of her versions have a cost of two. She has the Ally keyword on all three cards and each card does something directly related to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle affiliation. Please take note – she does not carry the TMNT affiliation herself! No Mere Damsel is absolutely my favorite of all three because she’s easy to purchase and helps reduce the cost of your other TMNT characters. A cheap character with Turtle Power seems really good for any team built around the TMNT affiliation. I don’t think any version of this April will make it into the unlimited scene, and it’s not likely she’ll see Prime play either unless someone finds a super awesome TMNT team build.

casey-jones
Casey Jones is back again as a Fist character with a purchase cost of two and three. Penalty Box is pretty handy for gaining life, but life gain is not all that prevalent in unlimited or Prime. I think he may be a nice tech piece for someone that can’t decide what their eighth character should be and it’s great that he has a Global already built in that helps his ability. I don’t like either of his other cards in this box. Penalty Box is not a bad choice for playing in casual or limited type event. Casey Jones would be an easy addition to any team that needs a cheap character. Although he’s not a Villain affiliated character, he could still be added to a Villain team and wouldn’t necessarily break theme because he was a vigilante that wasn’t always a friend of the Turtles.

donatello

Donatello is my dude! All of Donnie’s versions cost five energy, and we see the return of Turtle Power to the Turtle cards on Notice Me!. I don’t think Turtle Power is especially useful on characters that cost more than three or four. Something I like about all four Turtles is that they all have a version that does something similar to Intellectually Inclined. When they attack, they can each deal two damage to target character die or opponent if you pay an energy that corresponds to their energy type. Donatello is a Bolt character, so when he attacks, you can pay a Bolt energy to deal the two damage. I like that they all have a similar ability like that. Intellectually Inclined is my favorite of the three. Technologic would only be useful in a limited format where you’re only using the TMNT box sets. I don’t think that any version of Donnie will make it into unlimited play, but it’s possible that Intellectually Inclined might find a rogue home in Prime.

foot-ninja
Foot Ninjas are back! They are Bolt characters that all have the Ally keyword and all cost three energy. Shinobijutsu has the Swarm keyword as well, but it has the same issue as the other Swarm Foot Ninja from the first box set – max of three dice. I find Swarm to be much more effective when you have four or more dice for the card. Shinobijutsu also works with Shredder, so if you’re playing this guy in a limited setting, he may be fun. But then I saw Stick to the Shadows and fell in love with this card. I’m the type of player that loves Overcrush or direct damage, like the type of ability damage on Stick to the Shadows. The only trouble you might have is getting two or three of them active at the same time to attack with. I can see this version possibly making a splash in the Prime format, but not likely in unlimited. I don’t much care for the ability on Glass Jawed.

hamato-yoshi
First newcomer card – Hamato Yoshi. Hamato Yoshi suffers from an identity crisis over the various canons for TMNT. In one canon, he was the man that owned Splinter. Splinter watched and mimicked his movements while he was practicing martial arts. Splinter mastered the martial arts from his cage. Splinter went on to become the mutated rat we all know and love. In another canon, Hamato Yoshi was the adversary of Oroko Saki (Shredder) and was followed by Saki to the US. Yoshi was later exposed to mutagen causing him to mutate into a rat-man because he was mostly in contact with rats since he was living in the sewer with them.

Now, as for card abilities, I don’t like any of them. None of these type of cards fit how I play. All of the versions are expensive Shield type characters, and even the Global on Shidoshi isn’t good enough to justify adding him to a team. If you’re looking at him for limited or casual play, I’d probably go with Shidoshi. He would help your other attackers get through and with his huge defense, he might just survive!

karai
Karai is another new character to Dice Masters. She’s no stranger to fans of the comic and the 2012 animated series. Her card art comes from the 2012 series. She’s a four cost Fist character without an affiliation, and all of her versions do something in relation to Sidekicks. I really like Dark Lineage, because she could help slow the damage coming from Front Line teams. You have to keep her in the Field Zone though, which is not easy to do since Front Line typically runs Imprisoned (in unlimited) and they would snatch up any Karai threat. I could see her being really useful in Prime, casual, and limited. I’m not excited about Torn Between Two Worlds, but she could potentially eliminate a threatening Ally. I like anything that’s cheap to purchase and buffs my Sidekicks, like Uneasy Alliance. My favorite is definitely Dark Lineage, even though I like Uneasy Alliance a lot.

leatherhead
Leatherhead – the Cajun Gator that’s typically a villain in the TMNT universe, but becomes an anti-hero of sorts in the 2012 series canon. All the fun, conversational characters seem to cost the most… He’s also a new character to Dice Masters. He’s a five and six cost Shield character that does something with TMNT characters on all his versions. Of all of them, I like I Guarantee! the best, but none of them seem good for unlimited or even for Prime. In a limited format where you’re only playing with the TMNT boxes, I Guarantee! would definitely be my pick for a Villain team. He’s got some really beefy stats too and his fielding cost isn’t bad.

leonardo
Leonardo is our next Turtle in the box. All of his versions are five cost Fist characters. Fearless Leader has Turtle Power, which like I mentioned before, I don’t like on a five cost character – even in limited. Multifolded Steel is kind of interesting, if you somehow found a way to use the TMNT affiliation effectively. Plight of the Eldest is by far the best of the three. He has that cool ‘burn’ type ability that you can pay a Fist energy to use when he attacks. Just like with Donnie, I don’t think Leo is gonna see any unlimited play, and possibly only a rogue status in Prime. As for casual and limited, I could totally see someone finding a use for one the Leo cards.

metalhead

Metalhead makes his debut in the Dice Masters world. This character has a majorly distorted backstory. And like his backstory, his abilities are all over the place. Rogue Robot, purchase cost of five, gets an attack and defense buff for each other non-Metalhead TMNT affiliated character die – not character, but character die. This could potentially make him a monster of an attacker or defender. I’d say he’s probably my favorite of the three, but he’s not going to see any unlimited play and most likely not any Prime play either. His place to shine is limited and casual. Dissociative Identity works with other non-Metalhead TMNT character dice, making that die unblockable when he attacks. I don’t see him making it into unlimited or Prime either. Upgrading the Arsenal is probably the best candidate for Prime, but I doubt he’ll even make it to a rogue status. When he’s fielded, you can deal damage to a Villain die equal to his attack. It’s good, but not great. I still prefer Rogue Robot for fun stuff.

michelangelo

Here’s the party dude, Michelangelo! His five cost Turtle Power version on Booyakasha! is at the bottom of my list. Insatiable Appetite is the direct damage ability version, and since Mikey is a Mask character, this makes him very useful. Chuck and Chuck II: The Sequel has a very situational ability. There are ways to manipulate blockers and attackers to help ensure that situation happens, but it takes a lot to set up and use. Insatiable Appetite is my favorite and it looks like all those similar burn ability Turtles are going to my preferred versions. I don’t think any of Mikey’s cards will see any unlimited play and maybe only a rogue status in Prime, just like his brothers. For casual and limited, Insatiable Appetite is the way to go!

raphael

Rude dude Raphael is a five cost Shield character with the awesome ‘burn’ ability on Nightwatcher. He also has Turtle Power on Controlling His Temper, which is not exciting. Second Son could be useful in limited because he keeps your TMNT affiliated characters safe from being targeted by opposing action dice and Globals. I like Second Son a little more than Nightwatcher because his ability could be somewhat useful in a Prime format, depending on what TMNT affiliated character you can effectively use. As far as unlimited goes, there isn’t much that can break into the current meta unless it’s cheap and fast. I would love to give Second Son a try in casual and limited.

renet-tilley

Speaking of cheap, Renet Tilley is only a three cost Bolt character with decent abilities for all her cards. This is her first appearance in the universe of Dice Masters. Now, Renet has been around for a long time, but most folks don’t have a clue who she is. She has a lot to do with time traveling, which already scores her some negative marks in my book (as a character outside of Dice Masters). I don’t like needless time travel and she was a careless Time Master in the 2012 series. She is a friend of the Turtles, but she does not have the TMNT affiliation on her cards. As far as her card abilities go, 79th Dimension of Null-Time is definitely my favorite. Being able to spin that Cold Gun over to a burst face is HUGE! She’s likely going to see play in both unlimited and Prime. Impeccable Timing has an interesting ability that I need to play around with before saying I like it. Apprentice Timestress is a lesser version of Kang: The Conqueror or Scarlet Witch: Controls Probability. I can see all of her versions finding homes in limited and casual play, but 79th Dimension will most likely make it into unlimited and almost certainly into Prime. As a side note, the t on the end of her first name is not silent.

shredder

Shredder is a huge iconic Villain in the TMNT universe, so his cards deserve to be huge in purchase cost and have outrageous abilities that you’ll probably never get to go off. Surprisingly, Shredder has two versions that only cost six to buy. I know, it’s still a six cost character, but I expected him to be seven and eight costs. Scarred is interesting, but most likely not as useful as he could be since he costs six and then you need to Field him. His monstrous eight cost version, False Bushido, is not worth the effort it takes to get that ability to go off. Dining on Turtle Soup! is easily my favorite of the three. There are Globals that can force a character to attack, or better yet, force multiple characters to block and only attack with Shredder. That seems so silly and fun – I really want to build around that for our next event. Getting him into the Field could be difficult, but that’s when Polymorph Mutation comes in handy. He seems like a fun casual character, but I don’t see him making any team in unlimited or Prime.

slash

Slash is another of those Villains turned anti-hero later in the 2012 series. I kinda wish we had a version that wasn’t a Villain for that reason since they used the 2012 series art for the card. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m super excited to have Slash in our Dice Masters world. He’s a Bolt character with a purchase cost of five on all cards and each version has an ability that has something to do with ‘burn’ type ability damage. Specimen 6 deals damage equal to his attack to target opposing character die that isn’t blocking him. I like it, but I don’t love it. He won’t see unlimited play and I doubt he’d make a rogue status in Prime. Portal from Dimension X deals damage equal to his level to an opponent when he’s KO’d. You can pair that with Blue-Eyes or a Fabricate keyword to get some direct damage in to your opponent. It’s a relatively expensive way of burning your opponent and I don’t see it being used in unlimited or even Prime. Never Liked the Name “Spike” has a when KO’d ability as well. He deals damage to your opponent equal to the total amount energy in their Reserve Pool. I could see this being used in unlimited, if he didn’t cost five to purchase. I’m not sure how much Prime play he’ll see since there aren’t many effective or useful ways to KO your characters to get the most out of his ability. I like this version the best though, because I can easily use him in a casual setting and have fun with him.

tiger-claw

Tiger Claw is a new character to the TMNT universe, as far as I can tell. This is also his Dice Masters debut. There are several other tiger/cat mutant like characters, but I think this specific character didn’t come around until the 2012 series. Tiger Claw is another one of those expensive Villain characters, but one of the abilities and the stats almost make me want to attempt to play this card. I feel like Lost Humanity is too expensive for his ability, and Kraang Experiment just doesn’t seem good to me. I don’t like KO’ing my opponent’s character dice like that because it gives them more dice to roll on their next turn. I don’t see either of those two versions making it into unlimited or Prime. Seeking Vengeance is the version that I like the best and I’m a sucker for pricey characters that I can’t play in unlimited. I love Cheetah: Cursed Archaeologist, and Seeking Vengeance’s ability and attack stats are double that of Cheetah’s. Unfortunately, his cost is double too. I don’t think this card has a place in the current unlimited meta and I’m not sure he’ll make it in Prime either. As for the casual scene, this guy looks like loads of fun for a Villain team!

triceraton

Triceratons are a race of alien creatures that look like a triceratops-man thing. In almost all the TMNT universe canon, they’re strictly villains, which makes them Villains in Dice Masters! I welcome Triceraton to the Dice Masters universe! Triceraton is a Fist character with purchase costs of four and five. Cretaceous Crusher is the only four cost and he has no ability text. There are definitely cheaper Villains with better abilities for unlimited, and probably Prime too. But if you really need a four cost Villain with no ability, here he is! For limited play, he’s a great addition to a Villain team since he’s one of the cheapest. Orders from Captain Zorax gets a bonus of three to his attack, but only when he attacks. That would make his level one attack a total of six, and his level three attack a total of eight. That’s not too shabby. Loyal to a Fault has one of my favorite words as his keyword – Overcrush. I’d like to be able to buff his attack stat if I were to use this version, and there are definitely ways to do that. I think I like this dude better than the other two versions. For unlimited and Prime, I can’t see any Triceratons making the cut. For casual and limited, I think these guys are a great addition to Villains.

Character Thoughts

Renet Tilley is by far the most useful of all the characters in the box. Foot Ninjas and Karai are also good. Is the box worth purchasing for just those three characters? Maybe, depending on how bad you want or need those abilities. If you’re not excited yet, wait until you see the Basic Action Cards.

Basic Action Cards

The biggest selling point for this box set is probably the vast assortment of Basic Action Cards. Sure the characters fun and some are possible meta dudes, but with revamps of some major meta BACs in this box, I can’t think of a better argument to buy a box or two – that’s right, I said two.

w-haymaker-bac

Hello Anger Issues! I can’t tell you how happy I am to see a revamp of Anger Issues that will be legal for Prime. I have an attack buff and Overcrush all in one Action with Haymaker. This card is really high on my list of favorites for the BACs in this box. It’s a great card for all different formats from unlimited and Prime to casual and limited.

w-ingenious-tactics-bac

I did a quick search on DM RetroBox for a card that did something similar to this and I couldn’t find one. This ability seems really familiar to me but I can’t find where I’ve seen it. Ingenious Tactics is an interesting card. Using this action die will prevent all combat damage to each of your attacking character dice. I really like this BAC, but I’m not sure how I’m going to use it yet. It’s handy for keeping your dudes in the Field when your opponent’s blockers will likely get KO’d. I’ll be playing around with this to see if I can find a use for it, but the one major deterrent is the cost. If I’m paying five for an action, it better be AMAZING.

w-momentum-bac

Everyone is going crazy over this BAC. I don’t think folks are going to realize how much of a risk it is to use it until they try it on a team. Everyone went crazy over Pizza! until they realized how much is clunked up their bag and wasn’t as useful as they thought. I don’t think this die is gonna clunk up your bag or slow you down, but the risk you run by using this on your team is that your opponent can nab all of them before you even have a turn. I really love the ability on this BAC, but if my opponent brings this and I go first, I’m stealing all the Momentum.

w-mutation-bac

Welcome to Prime, Polymorph. This revamp made me happier than Haymaker. I’m a big  Poly-Player so it’s safe to say that Poly is getting replaced with Mutation. I love Turtles, so if I can replace a card with a TMNT version, I’m so going to. I don’t think this card needs much of a review since it’s a major unlimited meta card. Now it gets a shot in Prime, which I imagine it will be on many teams out there.

w-mysterious-shredder-transport-bac

Okay, several folks aren’t excited about this BAC, but I am. When a character is sacrificed, it doesn’t get KO’d, therefore it doesn’t gain the advantage of a When this character is KO’d ability. Mysterious Shredder Transport only costs three to purchase and has a great benefit. It’s a form of removal, which is not something we have a lot of in Prime. In an unlimited format, sacrificing characters could gum up someone’s bag or ruin someone’s plan. I really like this card and I’m totally gonna test it.

w-nefarious-broadcast-bac

Nefarious Broadcast is another BAC that I think could be highly useful. It can clear buffs or other active effects that come from Global Abilities and stop Globals from being used for the rest of the turn. This hurts you too, but if you’re not relying on active Global effects or planning to use any Globals, then you have nothing to worry about. It only cost two to purchase, so it’s an easy turn one purchase on a bad roll. I imagine someone will find a way to work this onto a team in unlimited and I can see it being used in Prime – especially since there are buff Globals available in Prime. For casual and limited play, it could be useful but completely depends on the local meta.

w-reclaim-bac

Escape Incarceration, minus the Resistance, has found its way into Prime… wait – it’s already Prime-Legal. Reclaim does cost one less than Escape Incarceration, which could be what makes someone choose Reclaim over Escape Incarceration. Escape Incarceration didn’t take off in unlimited, and I don’t see Reclaim finding a foothold either. As far as the Prime format goes, it’s possible we could see Reclaim over Escape Incarceration. A really bad roll on turn one could leave you with only two energy instead of three – and the wrong energy type too. This wouldn’t be a bad backup option and may be more useful to you than Nefarious Broadcast. In a casual and limited atmosphere, this BAC is definitely one I’d recommend over Escape Incarceration. It’s simpler to use and cost one less to buy.

w-speedy-delivery-bac

This is a revamp of Enrage from Uncanny X-Men. I can’t say that I’ve ever found a use for Enrage in an unlimited format where Invulnerability was available to me. There are plenty of taunt Globals out there, so the best thing about this BAC is the Global. This gives us a Bolt energy buff Global for Prime, which I don’t think we had. There are times where I’d rather have a Bolt buff than a Fist buff Global. It’s not a BAC that I’d toss to the side and forget about, but it’s not one that’s high on my list of BAC’s.

w-splinters-teachings-bac

This BAC is a revamp of Transfer Power from Uncanny X-Men, and a combination of Monster Reborn‘s ability and the Global on Mystic Box from the Yu-Gi-Oh! set. Transfer Power is a very useful card in unlimited, and now we have a revamp of it for Prime. I imagine that Splinter’s Teachings will see lots of play in Prime. For casual and limited, this is an awesome card, and not just for it’s Global. Like its predecessor, it only cost three to purchase, making it a good buy on your first turn if you don’t get the right energy for your characters. I would definitely recommend this BAC for both the competitive formats as well as casual and limited play.

w-unstable-canister-bac

Here is my second favorite BAC in this box set, the Magic Missile revamp. I love Mutation, but Unstable Canister is a close second. The major difference between Unstable Canister and Magic Missile’s abilities are that Canister references a TMNT affiliated character and Magic Missile references an adventurer. This BAC will allow Batman Family Bat-Bomb to go off easier with a more reliable way to KO Alfred dice in the Prime format. It’s also great for Storm: Extra Lightning on a Prime team. For a casual or limited format, this is a great card. BACs that cost three or less are ones that I prefer.

BAC Overview

Wow! Talk about a loaded box! This box has all the major BAC abilities that anyoen could want! Oh, except for Big Entrance… I love that card almost as much as Polymorph. I would love to be able to use it in Prime. Here’s hoping it’ll see a revamp in the Superman/Wonder Woman starter. But really, you couldn’t ask for a better comprehensive assortment of BACs. Not only does this help new players that can’t afford all those different starters, but it helps other players that didn’t want to purchase D&D products. Good call, WizKids.

Action Reminder Cards

action-reminder-colors
The four Action Reminder Cards are color coordinated with the four Turtles, which is a nice touch. It makes it easy for players to use their favorite color of the four, or play with their favorite Turtle’s color.

Paper Playmats

playmats

Just like the previous box set, the paper playmats’ artwork and color coordinate with the four Turtles. There are lots of reminders and tips on the playmats to help new players.

Dice Bags

The four dice bags are the normal paper bags that we’ve seen in the previous box set and other starters. The dice bags have artwork and colors that coordinate with the Turtles, just like the first box set. I love that they do that, making it easy for anyone to pick their favorite Turtle and represent them. #TeamDonnie Purple for me please!

Action Dice and Sidekick Dice

sidekicks-and-action-dice
You’ll get enough Sidekick dice for four players as well as four different colors of Basic Action Dice. The Actions are color coordinated with the four Turtles, just like the bags and playmats.

As with the first box set, each of the Turtles have their very own dice designs. These are the dice for each of the four Turtles from the first box set.

01 Turtles Dice

These are the dice for the four Turtles from the new Heroes in a Half Shell box set.

tmnt-2-turtles

I think I like the first set’s dice best, but images on the second set’s dice are cool too. They used silhouettes of the Turtles from the 2012 animated series.

Storage Box

The picture on the right shows the box with both sets of dice and cards, including both sets of Sidekicks and Basic Action Dice.

The first box set didn’t have the clear tray cover which caused lots of transporting issues. Dice would slide and bounce all over the box, and even jam themselves in such a way that the box lid would lift up and possibly spill the contents everywhere. I’m so happy that WizKids added the clear cover to this box. I can put all of my TMNT dice in this second box and not worry about the box lid coming off just because the box tilted or slid onto its side in the car.

Final Thoughts

There were major improvements from the first box set. I loved the first box, but I’m in love with this one. When a new player joins our group, this is going to be the very first product that I recommend for them to purchase – not just because I love TMNT so much, but because you can’t find a better assortment of vital and useful card abilities in any other Dice Masters starter or box set. If you’re new to Dice Masters or you’re trying to help a new player with recommendations, this is the product to look at. Many of these cards are great for casual and limited play, but also highly useful in the new PDC Prime format and even unlimited.

Aside from the obvious usefulness of many of the cards for unlimited and Prime, I love how the cards work so well together within the box too. A new player can combine both box sets for even more Turtle fun! These two boxes make for a great purchase for any Turtle fan that wants to play a game using their favorite TMNT characters but doesn’t want to jump all in to the larger world of Dice Masters.

WizKids has done some amazing things with the additions of the Box Sets, the yearly Starters, and the Team Packs. It makes the game more affordable for folks that also play other collectible games, therefore keeping those folks in the community. It also allows players like myself to expand into the other games that WizKids produces, like HeroClix, where I wasn’t able to before. I really feel like WizKids is on the right track, so long as they can better balance their release dates. That’s another growing pain that younger games experience and the balancing act will come with time. They’re just now introducing the yearly starters, so once they find the best form of product releases, the release date balancing should improve. I’m excited for what the future holds for Dice Masters. I hope that WizKids decides to branch out into other IPs and release them as all inclusive Box Sets.

What are your favorite cards?
What do you think of the Dice Building Game box?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Special thanks to WizKids and The Reserve Pool for the use of their sites.

Roll on, Dice Masters!

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