Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

I’ve just had the greatest weekend of Dice Masters! I went to this WKO with the intention of playing a non-meta win condition and just having fun with it. I wanted to focus mainly on chatting with old friends, making new ones, and trying to make the experience fun for everyone. I hope that everyone else had as much fun as I did!

I also want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day! Spread the love!

turtle-hug

My Team

my-team

You can find my team here, on DM Retrobox.

I changed my mind about Grodd – I’m a woman, and therefore change my mind frequently and for no reason at all sometimes. I had been test playing this team as well as Grodd and was really liking Grodd, but in the end, I’m glad I decided to play my competitive version of Gandhi instead.

This team earned a new nickname from a friend this weekend – Hugs. My win condition is Colossus. His ability allows each character die of level two or higher to deal two damage my opponent at the end of my turn. The idea was to field dudes and keep them there if possible and spin them with the Poly Global when I needed to. Poly was there as a potential purchase to help me get dudes into the field or get opposing dudes out of the field. Blink was a crucial piece to help me survive unblocked attackers or bring my taunted level 2-3 characters back to the field.

The rest of the pieces are either utility to help me get to Colossus or meta control pieces. Blue-Eyes and PXG were a must for Colossus to even get going. Elf Thief was an easy pick for the team because he costs two and if my opponent was using Rip Hunter’s Chalkboard Global, I could Rip a Thief on turn one for some early game momentum. Oracle was another easy choice. She is supposed to chill in the field and tax my opponent when they use a Global. Scarecrow was a card I added through test playing. I test played against Bard variants and decided that this Scarecrow was the best piece to add for what I thought would be a predominant piece on other teams. Cold Gun was a really easy choice over Dwarf Wizard. I’m so sorry, my poor DWiz… I loved you so, but in all my test playing with Mr. DDK, I ran into many problems with losing my DWiz to his Cold Gun and Imprisoned. I ultimately decided that an action die would give me more versatility than a character.

For my final card, I had a difficult time choosing. I didn’t know what to add to my team to help it or what I could add to slow my opponent to more my speed. There were a few options that I ran through. One of the options was RareCrow (Scarecrow: Hallucinogenic Vapors), but that would mean I would have to take off Scarecrow: Legion of Doom and I wasn’t willing to sacrifice him. Another option was Rip, just on the off chance my opponent didn’t bring it. There were loads of other options, but none of them seemed better than Rip. I don’t like Bard so he wasn’t even considered. I’m not a fan of Hellblazer, but I did consider him at one point. I decided to test play what I had, with Rip as my eighth card, against some Ring variants. I had way too much trouble with them, so I started digging for a possible response. Ronin came up as an option and I just wasn’t feeling the flow with him on my team. Then, like a glorious ray of sunshine, beaming through the clouds onto a field of pink and purple flowers, I remembered Lex Luthor.

I love my Grodd team and I want to play it in something big, but when the universe tells me to play something else, I listen. I always go with what I feel is right and Colossus just seemed right. I had test played both teams for a while and did all my adjusting to both teams while mulling over which to play. Grodd was a shiny new toy for me, but I’m glad I went with the team I first started working on.

Round One

round-1-lauren-hack

Lauren H. was my first round opponent. Apologies for the glare on that gorgeous full art Joker. When I sat down across from Lauren, I was so happy to see her playing a team with a rogue win condition. I have so much fun against fellow players that use something outside the box. Her team was really fast compared to mine, and before I knew it, Angels with Helicarriers were smacking me in the face for double their attack. I think the highlight of the match was seeing two unblockable level two-three Angels with Helicarriers flying at my face while Nick Fury was active. Each of those Angels would have hit me for twelve damage. And seeing her team function like that was amazing, and absolutely a highlight.

I only survived the aerial onslaught because of Blink, which allowed me to push both of her attackers back. I had an Oracle and a Scarecrow in the Field Zone with Colossus, and Scarecrow was stopping her lower level Angel from attacking. She had her Invulnerability Global to increase their attacks in order to get around Scarecrow, but I kept energy handy each turn for Blink. She had hit me for quite a bit with a couple of Angels before I got my Scarecrow in the Field, and if not for Blink, she would have very likely defeated me. She played an excellent game and I couldn’t have asked for a better opponent for my first round. Lauren is a beautiful person and really fun to play against. I hope to see her again at a future event! Many hugs to my new friend!

Record after Round One: 1-0-0

Round Two

round-2-dennis-beard

I got to play against Dennis B. in round two. I’ve seen him in the Facebook groups plenty and was excited to be playing against him! He was playing some characters that I’ve been tinkering with as well, Katana being one of them. I loved that he was using Superhero Registration Act – I think it’s a highly underrated card. But then I saw his Betrayal and Iron Fist. Both are not nice against my team. I wasn’t sure which way this match was going to go, but I was determined to have fun either way. Playing against someone as nice as Dennis, it’s easy to have fun and enjoy the match. I got super lucky and had really good rolls, while Mr. Dennis was not as lucky. He attacked me with Tsarina and Iron Fist, knocking my life down quite a bit, but then his characters weren’t being nice to him. I was able to get set up before he could get anything going for him. He needed to get a Hulk, or at the very least a Nightwing, to help clear my dudes out of my field.

I had fun, but it would have been more fun if his dice had been nice and rolled halfway decent for him. I get that it’s a dice game, but Tsarina is the meanest die out there. When she’s on a two fist side and I reroll her hoping for a character, she always comes back up as energy – usually a single fist. I watched that very thing happen to Mr. Dennis and I was heartbroken for him. I still enjoyed chatting with Mr. Dennis, who is super nice and a very good sport. I almost cry when Tsarina does that to me, but he took it in stride and pushed on in our match. He did the best he could with what his dice gave him. I really want to play against Mr. Dennis again one day because he’s such a pleasant person to chat and play with, which makes the game that much more fun.

Record after Round Two: 2-0-0

Round Three

round-3-craig-richards

I faced off against Craig R. in round three. He was playing a Bard variant, which I knew I would have some trouble against. We both had average rolls, with the exception of his Imprisoned die. It did not want to roll up an action face for most of the game. I was able to slowly chip away at his life total with Colossus until he finally got his die to roll on the side he wanted. He then scooped up most of my field, leaving me with only two blockers against a Bard army. When he attacked, he wasn’t able to deal lethal damage to me, which returned my characters to me from Imprisoned. I was able to get my Colossus, Oracle, and Scarecrow back into the field and all of them were level two or higher. This put his life total at six. I realized I didn’t have enough Cold Gun dice to stop all the Bards he had and I thought I was done for because of the massive army that was going to be attacking me next turn. I had forgotten my Scarecrow had returned to the field which would prevent all of his characters from attacking. He had a Dwarf Wizard in the field that had my Oracle blanked. We were about to sign match slips when a spectator pointed out that he couldn’t legally attack and KO me if my Scarecrow wasn’t blanked. We realized our mistake and continued our match.

I felt like the most horrible person in the world at this point, and I told Craig that if he didn’t win, I was going to feel even worse. He used the energy he had in his Reserve Pool and KO’d his Wizard in an attempt to roll and blank Scarecrow on his next turn. He also had an Imprisoned die to roll that turn too. He had to get his Imprisoned die in order to secure his victory, but it didn’t roll for him. He could have used his Wizard, but I could use my Cold Gun when priority was passed to me and KO or blank the Wizard. I was not happy about this victory at all. I felt so awful about it, and I still feel a little bad about it – even now. Craig was a real gentleman and very polite about the situation which I know couldn’t have been easy for someone that was trying very hard to qualify for Nationals. We did get to play again later – which definitely was more fun.

round-3-craigs-army

This was the army that was staring me in the face. It’s missing the Dwarf Wizard because this was taken after the match was officially over. I will discuss my opinion on Bard’s ability later, but all of these characters would have had a +12 to their attack and defense if those Bards had been able to attack.

I’m just glad that Craig did well and made it into the semi finals. He was a great player and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to play against him multiple times in this event.

Record after Round Three: 3-0-0

Round Four

round-4-michaela-kuba

I was so very excited to play against my fourth round opponent and she tried to make me feel better about what happened in my previous round. I’ve had plenty of conversations in Facebook groups with Michaela K. I loved the episode of TRP’s podcast where she was interviewed and was also a guest host. I heard she was making the trek to Owensboro and I couldn’t wait to meet her! I was lucky enough to get to play against her, even though I knew exactly what was going to happen when I saw that she was playing Beholder. Beholder was the biggest weakness for both Colossus and my Grodd team because I couldn’t tech for Beholder on either team without compromising my team. But Michaela is a great player and pretty much as nice as I expected! Our match didn’t go very long before she blew me up with Beholder and Front Lined Kobolds and Sidekicks. I did what I could, but it wasn’t much. A slow control team like mine does not stand a chance without RareCrow or an action tech like End of Days or Oppression Begins. But I couldn’t risk swapping one Scarecrow for another and even though I lost to Michaela, I think I made the right call in the end. My Scarecrow was way more beneficial in my other matches than RareCrow would have been. I don’t mind losing to a player like Michaela, especially since she was playing such a strong team. I’m still super excited to have met her and I definitely can’t wait to meet up with her again at a future event. Even if we don’t get to play against each other at the next event we’re at, it’ll be awesome just to chat with her again!

Congratulations to Michaela on her Top Eight finish!

She has her tournament report up on The Reserve Pool, which you can find, here. I love seeing multiple reports from the same event because it gives players a multi-perspective view of a single event. Please be sure to check out her article as well. I always enjoy reading her work.

Record after Round Three: 3-1-0

Round Five

round-5-josh-kerner

Something pretty amazing happened in the fifth round. I got paired against the same fifth round opponent that I had last year! Josh K. is a super cool guy with a really nifty playmat. Josh and I had fun last year and this year was more fun. I was happy to see him playing another rogue team this year, and that Bard is not the nasty Bard, it’s Half-Elf Bard: Apprentice Order of the Gauntlet. Travis (Mr. DDK) and I like this particular version of Bard, so to see someone playing it at an event of this level made me very happy. It was even more awesome that Josh was playing it! He has a way with rogue teams and if you aren’t careful, he can have you KO’d before you know it. I was being careful and he still Magic Missiled me and attacked me Angels enough that before I knew it, I was at three life! Scarecrow saved me a lot in this game by keeping level one Angels from attacking me. I was using Polymorph to swap his level two-three Angels out with other Angel dice, putting them in at level one. He used his Enrage Global to boost their attack so he could attack with them. Poly-Global is great to use with Elf Thief dice and then feed them to Blue-Eyes, or attack with them, just to see if they get through. This was the only match that I remember attacking in, and if I hadn’t attacked those few times, the outcome would have definitely been different. Luck was on my side again in this match. He had rolled all three Magic Missile dice, got two of them on an action face, but he needed all three of them to secure a victory. With me at next-to-no life, and him sitting in single digits as well, I only needed to end my next turn. Using Poly Global on Thief dice and then cycling them is what helped me get my lower level characters up to Colossus range. I even used Poly Global on my level three Colossus to spin another level one character up, just to push that additional two damage. I ran the risk of him being easier to KO by doing that, but it was the right call.

I was so excited to see Josh and the other players from Indianapolis. They are a great bunch of folks and they’re always fun to play with. I look forward to playing against Josh again in the future and I can’t wait to see what uniquely awesome team he brings nest time!

Congratulations to Josh on his Top Eight finish! Josh finished Top Eight last year as well at Owensboro. I’m rooting for him to finish Top Four or better next year!

Record after Round Three: 4-1-0
Top Eight Seed – 3rd

Top Eight

round-3-craig-richards

I couldn’t have been happier to see that Craig and I would be playing each other in our top eight match. I really wanted to play against him again, and we took special care to pay attention to all of our dice in these matches – lesson learned! I had some pretty terrible rolls, but Craig’s Imprisoned die continued to roll bad. His victories were relatively quick, even with the bad rolls on both sides. I couldn’t keep a character in the Field after he got one of his Imprisoned dice to roll an action face, which left me completely vulnerable to attack. His Bards made quick work of me in both games. We had much more fun in these matches. It didn’t feel as stressful and we just cut up with each other most of the time as we were more carefree and just happy to be in top eight. We both earned our foil, alt-art The Front Line and foil Big Entrance from making it to the top eight. The Big Entrance was the one card that I wanted really bad from this event because I use Big Entrance on lots of my teams.

my-spoils

I was so very proud of my team for doing so well for me. I was so very proud of Craig too, because he was trying so hard to get his Nationals qualification. There were going to be three qualifications given out from this event, meaning three of the top four players would qualify. As the matches around us finished, we realized that one of the top four already had his qualification, meaning all of top four would be qualified for Nationals! This was super exciting and I was so very happy for Craig. He fought his way up and earned his qualification.

It was a pleasure to play against Craig, and I’m so glad that he got his qualification from this event. He finished in the Top Four and I know how much it meant to him to achieve that goal. I’m also happy to have made a new friend in Craig as well as the other folks from St. Louis! They’re a great bunch of folks and also really great to play against.

Congratulations again to Craig on his Top Four finish, as well as his Nationals Qualification! He absolutely deserves that qualification.

Final Standing in Top Eight – 8th

Final Thoughts

So, I set out to use a crazy rogue win condition, play some Dice Masters, and write about the folks I played against. I think I accomplished that. I had so much more fun this year than I did last year. It felt like there was no passage of time as my friends were arriving and greeting me. You can’t get that warm, fuzzy feeling in any other competitive gaming community. I’ve been around a lot of those other scenes and none of them can even compare to Dice Masters. I got to play against an old friend from last year and lots of new folks. My opponents are no longer opponents – I call them friends. I’ve never seen a community of players like this and it makes my heart swell with joy. I also feel like I picked the best possible team to play. Colossus is definitely all Hugs. My buddy Joe said that I was playing Ponies without using Pony characters. I didn’t realize it until he pointed it out, but he’s totally right. My team matched that awesome MLP playmat! Lots of folks were commenting on how cool and unique it was and I totally have Mr. Glen to thank for that (Review article, here).

Now the world is not all full of sunshine and rainbows, though I wish it was. I have never been so upset in a match as I was in round three against Craig R. He was a really good sport about it and he was upset as well, but I think for different reasons. It really didn’t make me feel good to win that round and when I realized that I was going to win, I couldn’t hold back the tears. I’m super sensitive and wear my heart on my sleeve. But got to match back up in top eight and that was much more fun. So it all worked out in the end and I felt much better about it all after Craig defeated me in top eight.

As far as the meta goes, I didn’t go there with a meta team. Yes, I had meta control pieces, but my win condition is so far from the meta that lots of folks don’t know that card exists. I play different and unique win conditions in order to give those cards a chance to shine, even if every round is a loss, those cards were used and loved for a time. I didn’t go to win – I went to have fun. I feel like everyone should go with that mindset. We drove about three and a half hours, paid $15 entry fees, and had zero expectations about winning. The focus was completely on the fun for me. But Travis and I have discussed the state of the meta for hours upon hours with each other and our locals. We all dislike Bard, with a great passion. Bard should not have the ability it does for a character that only cost four to purchase. We hope they’ll errata the card to a While Active effect, so it won’t stack, but still be a very viable meta piece. If they don’t then I hope they errata it to something to keep it from being too overpowered. Bard’s ability to stack its buffs is just too much. As you saw in my picture above, Craig R. had a +12A/+12D buff to EACH character die. That was an impressive army he going. I just think Bard has too much power and not enough responsibility and he needs to be taught how to be responsible!

I didn’t have room for a Beholder tech, and if there had been a flood of Beholder teams, I would’ve been losing each match for sure. It was a risk I took, mainly because if I had to face a bunch of Beholder teams, I wanted it to be over quickly and not drawn out. I did put it out there on my Facebook that Beholder was my weak spot, but I honestly thought I’d see more Ring variants. I didn’t play against a single Ring team, but I know there were some there. I put a very specific card on my team to help me against Ring teams. Because of how specific Lex Luthor’s ability is, he was of no use to me the entire tournament. I basically played with a seven card team the entire tournament. But that’s part of the risk you run when you’re building and don’t know what the meta will look like at a particular venue. Cold Gun could have been useful against Beholder, but it’s not always the easiest thing to buy and you need them cycling consistently to keep yourself alive against Beholder.

The top eight at Owensboro consisted of my team, Josh K.’s rogue team with Protection Bard, Beholder/Imprisoned, a Mask Ring team, and four Bard variants. I’m happy that we only had four Bard variants in the top eight, but that quickly became the Bard top four slugfest. I’m totally not disappointed that I didn’t make it further, as I didn’t expect to do anywhere near as well as I did. But I thought at least one of the other non-Bard (I’m including Josh’s team as a non-Bard team) teams would make it. I’m proud of all the players in this event. They all played the best they could and I hope that everyone had fun. I didn’t have to try too hard to have fun because everyone was fun to be around!

I know how much it killed Travis’s soul to play with Poly-Venom Bard. He didn’t want to play it, but he wanted to do well and he felt that his Bard variant would get him at least into top eight. He ended up finishing second, losing to Mr. Craig H., in an epic defeat that made the entire crowd erupt into a huge uproar of excitement! They each had won one game and time had been called after they finished their second game and before they had begun their third game. They had to start their third game in turns. I wasn’t watching the game too closely because I always get so nervous when Travis is playing and I don’t want to make him nervous! I did watch the final turns of the match and saw where Travis had a lead on life (by one!) and Mr. Craig H. needed at least two Sidekicks to secure a victory. He rerolled three of his Sidekicks that were showing energy and two of them hit a Sidekick face! Travis jumped up cheering along with all the spectators! Mr. Craig has visited us in Dyersburg before and so Travis and I were thrilled that he won the event! Travis said that it wasn’t really a loss a for him because a friend won, and I couldn’t agree more. There were many hugs between the two of them, cheers, and lots of congratulations going around to everyone for a well-played tournament. Travis and Mr. Craig H. earned their Nationals qualifications in the top four alongside Craig R.

Travis did tell me that RareCrow was his MVP for most of the event, so I bet the KO King from Double Burst will be tickled to hear that!

Big Bang is a stand up venue with the most amazing Tournament Organizer, Mr. Jason A. Cory C. was a wonderful judge and they deserve some super kudos for rocking this event like pros. The event ran smoothly and quickly with a break after round three for lunch. All the players were prompt in finding their seats and everyone seemed to be having a great time. We had 22 players and most of the teams were either rogue or variants of meta teams with a personal tweak. The other employees at Big Bang are always helpful and very patient with folks. Thank you Big Bang for having a copy of IvX #1 for me to pick up! Our store is still waiting for our copies that were short from our order… One of the employees got down into the comic boxes with me, trying to help me find a copy of Uncanny Inhumans #6 (I still can’t seem to find it anywhere – besides online). Great store and great tournament location!

Congratulations again to all those that got their Nationals qualifications!

What have you built or seen that looked like fun to play?
What was one of your highlights from a match?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

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