Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

WizKids is about to release its annual DC Starter and I’m super excited about the characters that it brings back as well as the new characters it introduces! Be sure to check with your friendly local game store and reserve your copy today. The Monthly Solicits page currently shows a release date of July 12, 2017.

You can find my review video with Mr. DDK on YouTube, here.

Starter Box

Starter

Box Contents

~ Superman Wonder Woman Rulebook
~ 2 Dice Bags
~ 12 Basic Action Dice
~ 16 Sidekick Dice
~ 16 Character Dice
~ 24 Character Cards
~ 10 Basic Action Cards
~ 4 Action Reminder Cards
~ 1 Rules Insert Card

Rulebook

This is the first time we’re getting the first turn rule change detailed in a rulebook. It was announced on November 7, 2016 and you can find it on page 2 and 8.

RulebookRules Change Noted 1

Rules Insert Card

Rules Insert

The rules reminder card is a great quick reference tool for all the affiliations and keywords in the set. This particular rules insert details the first turn rule change.

Rules Insert Back

The back of the rules insert card has a bump for tournaments, which is a great promo piece.

Keywords

You will not find any bold text keywords in this starter. There are plenty of character abilities and a few Globals between the Basic Actions and Characters.

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 have any new affiliations in this starter, but there are some returning ones.

Justice League
Team Superman
Villains

Characters

Artemis

I’m thrilled to see an Amazon, even if she’s from a different tribe than Diana, she’s still an Amazon. I hope WizKids will eventually add an Amazon affiliation along with many of the other notable Amazon characters. I think all of the versions of Artemis are interesting. Her two When Fielded abilities are very manageable with her TFC (Total Fielding Cost) of two. She’s got really good stats as well, and a purchase cost of five isn’t totally out of reach. I think my favorite version is Renouncing Olympus. I don’t build teams that are centered on keeping Sidekicks in the Field, and this is a great way to keep my opponent from building up a wall. Did I mention that I love having another recognizable Amazon character in the game?

Cheetah
Cheetah is one of my favorite Wonder Woman villains. I love all of her abilities and they all fit the character. She’s not an expensive character to purchase and her TFC is three with a fielding cost of one on all levels. She only has one When Fielded ability, but I don’t think her fielding costs are an issue at all, especially when you factor in her stats as well. I think I want to try using Goddess of the Hunt on a new Villain team I’m brewing. She seems like she would fit best with that build. But each version can easily find a place on a team somewhere!

Giganta

I’m super thrilled to see another Wonder Woman villain in the starter! Even though she isn’t my favorite Wonder Woman villain, I do like her in the comics. I didn’t like her versions from the Green Arrow and The Flash set, so I was glad to see her back again. Her abilities are very thematic for her character and I like them all, but Standing Tall is definitely my favorite! It just so happens that Standing Tall is the only character card with a Global in the starter. Her Global fits with her ability perfectly! You can give her Overcrush with Upgrade – Proton Cannon from the Iron Man and War Machine starter to help her punch through your opponent’s defenses. Her dice stats are the same as her previous set. She’s got really good stats and her fielding costs are great too! My villain team is going to end up having a bunch of Wonder Woman villains on it!

Jimmy Olsen

This is Jimmy Olsen’s debut! Signal Watch and Superman’s Pal are both good for any team that uses Superman or Supergirl. It just depends on your team build and play style. Seeing Is Believing is definitely interesting… but I’m not believing in him. It stops him from being targeted by opponent’s Globals, and stops damage from non-targeting Globals which is cool, but it only prevents Jimmy from taking the damage. And it only works while Superman or Supergirl is active. I just feel like the ability is over complicated and probably not worth using. At least I can build a decent Team Superman team now that we have Conner Kent in the Batman set and Jimmy Olsen! I have too many teams to build and not enough time to build them.

Steve Trevor
Steve Trevor, ally and love interest of Wonder Woman, is making his debut! I like all three cards. Bachelor in a Bind doesn’t have ability text, but did you see those attack stats and fielding cost?! He only cost two to purchase making him a fantastic card for lots of teams that need those cheaper dudes. The Man from A.R.G.U.S. is actually really cool. Steve Trevor has a defense of one on all sides, but he has a 2/3/4 attack line. If you have Wonder Woman active and way to give Steve Trevor Overcrush, he becomes an instant threat. Themysciran Liason is fantastic! You can purchase Wonder Woman for three less when he’s KO’d. With that defense line of 1/1/1, it’s not hard to KO him. His ability will allow you to purchase Wonder Woman outside of your Main Step, and then you get to Prep her too! Perfect!

Supergirl
Finally! A Supergirl I can get behind! Her dice at the exact same model as her World’s Finest dice, but a reversed color scheme. I definitely prefer these dice and this card art to the WF versions. All in the Family feels like it should have been a Flip card. I like her ability, but I wouldn’t want to put her on a team and then not face off against a Villain team. I like Guarding National City, but I hate having a TFC 5 or higher on characters that have a When Fielded ability. Aside from that, she cost seven… I Have All Your Powers! has to be my favorite Supergirl card and ability. I like to give dice Overcrush or make them unblockable. She’s the perfect card for me!

Superman
Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, it’s Superman! Superman’s die is the same model as his World’s Finest die, but not the same color style. I prefer the other color style, but I like his stats which are the exact same as Supergirl. Superman has abilities similar to Supergirl’s on some of his cards. Phone Booth also feels like it needed a Flip side and Symbol of Hope does not have an ability that appeals to me for the cost of the character. Living in a World of Cardboard seems kinda cool, but he needs Overcrush or to be unblockable. Sounds like a job for me! Oh, and he’s Justice League – not Team Superman. Guess I need to start looking at Justice League characters now too.

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is the epitome of awesome and now we have some Dice Masters cards to reflect that. With Child of Clay, you can use Unstable Canister on your team and no longer fear it being used against your characters. She’s easy to purchase, but you don’t want her leaving the Field if you can help it. She has a TFC of three which is isn’t horrible, but most of the time I end up rolling the highest level face when I don’t want it. Her fielding costs fit for the stats she has on each level. Ambassador of Peace is another Global stifling ability that stops both players from using Globals on their character cards. This would be better if it just stopped your opponent and not you too. It doesn’t stop either player from using the Globals on Rip Hunter’s Chalkboard or S.T.A.R. Labs, but it stops a player from using Parallax’s Global if it’s on their team. Reflections is probably the most powerful of all three cards. She stops one of the biggest meta cards – Lantern Ring: Limited Only By Imagination. She does cost five, but if I see Ring across the table, I’m going for Wonder Woman first.

Character Thoughts

There are plenty of great beginner character cards in this starter. There are cards that work very well with other cards in the starter, and then you have other cards that make for great additions to existing teams or good starting points for new players to begin building a team with.

There are at least two character cards that I see potentially making it into the Modern Age meta. One of those is Wonder Woman: Reflections for her amazing Lantern Ring stopping ability, and the other is Steve Trevor: Themysciran Liason for his ability to help you get Wonder Woman easier. I’m not totally sure about Steve Trevor, but he is definitely handy. There is a third character that very possibly could find a foothold in Modern Age meta, and that’s Giganta: Standing Tall. With the upcoming X-Men First Class set, she could come in handy.

Team Superman definitely got a needed boost in this starter. For all those folks out there that are struggling to make a Team Superman team function, you’re definitely going to want Jimmy Olsen. I believe that with the addition of Conner Kent from Batman and Jimmy Olsen from this starter, those casual Team Superman builds are going to be running a lot smoother.

Basic Action Cards

Now it’s time to take a look at all ten of the Basic Actions cards that you’ll find in the Superman Wonder Woman starter. Five of these cards are revamped cards, and five are completely new cards, though some of them have similarities to previously released Basic Actions.

W Dimension Door, BAC

This is a revamp of Dimension Door from the Dungeons and Dragons: Battle for Faerûn set. I mentioned this in the video and I’ll say it again; this card should have been called “Boom Tube” to fit with the theme. I know they make references to ‘dimensional doors’ in various media, but I really want this card to be Boom Tube. The art is Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (I think) jumping through a Boom Tube, so at least there’s that.

But as for the card ability – I love it. I don’t like the purchase cost, but if it was any less, it’d be too good. I want to pair this card with that awesome Giganta and just make her totally unblockable. This card also pairs well with the Supergirl: I Have All Your Powers! in the starter.

W Misdirection, BAC

Misdirection is a new Basic Action as far as I can tell, but it has similarities to Teleport. I definitely prefer Misdirection over Teleport for tons of reasons. With a purchase cost of two, this a great card to add to your team if you don’t like Mutation. The additional Prep ability on the burst and double burst is absolutely great! We have definitely been missing those additional dice in the Prep Area. I could totally see using this with some Back For More cards because of that prepping ability. I really like this card and it very possibly could see some Modern Age meta play.

W Plot Twist, BAC

Plot Twist is a new Basic Action, with a really unusual ability. So, WORF, I’m totally going to be asking you about this card. Do I draw from my opponent’s bag, or do they? Can I look in my opponent’s bag before drawing or does that still go against the general rule that you can’t? Do they roll the character dice or do I?

My assumption is that you draw the dice from their bag and roll the characters. I don’t think you would be allowed to look in the bag before you draw because it’s not your bag.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of someone taking my dice bag from me and drawing from it. It just doesn’t feel right… I don’t feel comfortable drawing from my opponent’s bag either. It’s like a safe zone that you know you’re opponent can never violate… until now! This is not a card that I will ever play. I would totally be okay with my opponent drawing the dice, letting me roll the characters, and then fielding any characters I roll for free. Since the card doesn’t specify, I believe that any energy you roll would go to your Reserve Pool, which you could use at your discretion until end of turn.

This is a very powerful card and I’m glad it cost five to purchase. Potentially denying your opponent the chance to draw those two character dice on their next turn could be devastating.

W Resurrection, BAC

This is a revamp of Resurrection from the Dungeons and Dragons: Battle for Faerûn set. You have no idea how happy I am to see this card back. The next one I want back is Nasty Plot, which was a highly underrated card. But for now, I’ll be content with Resurrection. While most use it for its Global, the action ability is not without its benefits. It does cost four to purchase, so it’s a die I don’t buy unless I’m in desperate need of a boost.

W Save Civilians, BAC

This is a revamp of Save Civilians from the DC Justice League set. I have never liked this card. It cost too much for what it does. You have to field a Sidekick to get the ability to trigger – after you use the action die. It works for each Sidekick and that you field, and an Ally will trigger this ability. That’s the only saving grace for this card. Sure, it gets you dice in your Prep Area, but you have to roll this die and roll Sidekicks (or Allies) on the same turn. I feel like it’s too much work for not enough pay off.

W Small Step For Man, BAC

Small Step For Man is a new Basic Action that can be punishing for both players, unless you’re planning ahead for the X-Men First Class set… and using Giganta. I didn’t make the connection with how good this card can potentially be in the future until after we filmed the review video. I’m now looking forward to using this card later! This ability is not a targeting type ability either. There are very few abilities in the current Modern Age meta that don’t target. This is a great way to get those troublesome characters onto a lower, more manageable level.

W Take Cover, BAC

This is a revamp of Take Cover from the Marvel Avengers vs X-Men set. This card is all about the defense. If you’re worried about your characters getting KO’d, then you better be looking at Take Cover. If the die is rolled on a burst or double burst, you can give a character a total of +5D. If that’s not enough, just pay as much Shield energy as you have and they get even more defense! This card pairs well with those other cards that swap the attack and defense of a character.

W Team Up, BAC

Read carefully! This is not a revamp of Teamwork. Team Up is a new Basic Action. There are a few abilities and Globals that give affiliations to characters that could potentially make this a huge nuisance to play against. Team Up only cost four to purchase and if you’re already using three of four different affiliations, you could beef up each of your characters for some massive damage. Now imagine this card paired up with a card like Gorilla Grodd: Force of Mind where all those attacking characters have Overcrush and an additional +1A. I think I just found a new Basic Action for my Grodd team!

W The Outsider, BAC

This is a revamp of The Outsider OP card, with updated wording. In the video, we were discussing the Prep part of the ability. If you draw a die that isn’t a Villain, it goes to your Used Pile. If that die was a Sidekick, the Sidekick goes to you Used Pile and The Outsider action die goes to your Prep Area. That’s such a confusing and complex ability that I don’t want to buy the die and use it, just to save me from having to explain how it works… But I’ll be happy to use that Global! It goes really well with my Two-Face: Double Deal, or a Hit-MonkeyHe’s A Hitman. Who’s a Monkey. turned Villain!

W Truce, BAC

Truce is a new Basic Action that could become very useful against those characters that can’t be targeted, like Raven: Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos! You would want to use characters with a When KO’d ability like Alfred Pennyworth: MI-5 or even Steve Trevor: Themysciran Liason from this starter. This ability does not target your opponent’s characters, so it gets around that Raven ability. Truce is only a purchase cost of three, which is very affordable. And you don’t necessarily need characters with abilities, because your plain Sidekicks will work for either end of this ability.

BAC Overview

Half of the Basic Actions in this starter are revamped cards with updated wording. Most  of those revamped cards are ones that needed to be brought back into Modern Age for various reasons. The only BAC that I don’t like seeing revamped is Save Civilians, but maybe there’s something coming down the pipeline that I don’t know about that makes this card more fun. With only two Starters each year, there need to be mostly good BACs and none of those silly ones.

I really like most of the new BACs as well. I cringe at Plot Twist every time I read it. It makes my soul ache. The idea of some strange hand reaching into my dice bag is just too much for me to take! That may sound silly to many of you, but for someone like me that suffers from varying degrees of social anxiety, it’s a big deal. I surely don’t want to stick my hand in a strange bag either. That card is very unsettling to me.

But overall – the Basic Actions are really good and well worth investing in the Modern Age copies of the revamps.

Action Reminder Cards

Action Reminder Cards

There’s nothing super special about the reminder cards. They’re Blue, Purple, Orange, and Red.

Dice Bags

Bags

I most definitely like the artwork bags more than the plain colored bags. I like to collect these bags too.

Starter Dice
Sidekick and Action Dice

Sidekicks and BA Dice
You get a standard assortment of Sidekick Dice and Action Dice.

Character Dice

You only get two of each character die in the starter. If you’re wanting to put three or four dice on a particular character, you will need to buy a second starter (or trade, exchange, etc.). It’s never a bad thing to have duplicates of the character cards and BACs.

Character Dice

Giganta’s dice are not easy to see because of her icon color. I love Jimmy Olsen’s camera as his dice icon, but I wish his die wasn’t such a flat green. Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor have the best looking dice out of all of them.

Final Thoughts

We haven’t had a starter that was this awesome since World’s Finest. It works within itself, but can also be easily integrated with current teams. Many of these cards can be the corner stone for a completely new team! The characters are all thematic in choice and abilities. The card art is beautiful on all the cards and the dice are pretty, overall.

I also think there are several must haves for the Modern Age meta, one of them being Wonder Woman: Reflections for her Lantern Ring stifling ability. That ability is just too good and I plan to use three or four of her dice for a particular build I’m thinking about. Steve Trevor and Jimmy Olsen are also great characters and purchasing two of these starters for max dice is probably not a bad idea. I also think Misdirection and Truce have their own places in Modern Age. If you’re not interested in the characters, the Basic Actions alone are worth the purchase.

This is definitely the starter to buy if you’re new to the game, and totally a worthwhile purchase for veteran players as well. WizKids has done a great job with this starter and I can’t wait to get my hands on another one!

What are your favorite cards?
What cards do you think will make it into the various metas?
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. And a very special thanks to WizKids for sending me this starter to review and discuss with all of you!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

 

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

I wanted to post the show notes here so everyone could see what we were referencing in the round table video. You can find that video, here.

 

Batman Round Table Show Notes

 

Segment One – General Stats (Aaron and North)
  1. Purchase Costs
    a. Commons (40)
    (2) 11     (3) 9     (4) 10     (5) 9     (6)
    b. Uncommons (40)
    (2) 5 (3) 10     (4) 14     (5) 6     (6) 5
    c. Rares (36)
    (1) 1 (2) 2     (3) 12     (4) 8     (5) 7     (6) 4     (7) 2
    d. Super Rares (8)
    (2) 5 (3) 10     (4) 14     (5) 6     (6) 5
  2. Energy Type Totals
    • Shield 10/10/8
    • Bolt 10/10/9
    • Fist 10/10/10
    • Mask 10/10/9
    • Crossover 4
    • Non-Crossover Super Rares – Two Shields, One Bolt, One Mask

3. Fielding Cost
(1) 11 (2) 6     (3) 6     (4) 10     (5) 2     (6) 1     NBA – 4
~ Catwoman and Robin have the same fielding costs of 0/0/2.

4. Character Stats
~ White Lantern Dove on level 3, she’s a 4/10, with a purchase of 4.
~ Conner Kent, cheap Team Superman character with good stats.

Segment Two – Cosmetics (Hannah)
  • Art
    • Batgirl – gorgeous
    • Batwoman – gorgeous
    • Classic art is great for a few cards, like The Riddler and Ace.
    • The Penguin – super creepy in a cool creepy way.
  • Foils
    • Catwoman – Diamonds
    • The Joker – Crazy Eyes
    • White Lantern Dove – gorgeous
    • Firefly – well done and very pretty
  • Dice
    • White Lantern dice are a different color from previous White Lantern dice, but the Black Lanterns are all the same.
    • Cool Dice – Batwoman, Mr. Freeze, Owlman, Dove, Utility Belt
Segment Three – Abilities and Globals (Jamie and North)
  • Jervis and his confusing wording.
  • Batwoman (u) and Ra’s Global (c) – Kat
  • Bat Signal (r) and The Riddler (r) – North
  • Red Hood (c) (for Hannah) and Rip Hunter (c) – Travis
  • Parademon (u) – Jamie
  • Darksied (sr) – North
Segment Four – Highlights (Aaron and Jamie)
  • The Flip mechanic is really fun in casual games and could be better than folks give it credit for in a more competitive setting.
  • Drafting – can be difficult if your plan goes awry, but it’s still really fun.
  • There are plenty of cheaper characters that have decent abilities, or just good stats, that can help existing affiliations.
  • The synergy between the character abilities in set is really good, and it blends well with already existing character abilities.
Card Scans

All of these cards were ones we talked about from the Batman set. These first two scans are not mine. I borrowed them from Google.

DarkseidTeh Riddler

These are my scans.

Ace the Bat Hound, Taking a Bite Out of CrimeBatgirl, Carrying the MantleCatwoman, Slippery Allegiance aCatwoman, Slippery Allegiance bConner Kent, Project CadmusFirefly, Ted Carson_0001Ra's al Ghul, Mystery and PowerRip Hunter, Navigate the Sands of TimeThe Penguin, Iceberg LoungeBatwoman, Code of Honor aBatwoman, Code of Honor bParademon, Strength in NumbersBat-Signal, Out of the DarknessZ The Joker, One Bad Day aZ The Joker, One Bad Day bZz White Lantern Dove, The Awareness to Live

Thanks for checking out the show notes and watching our second episode of DDK’s Round Table!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

 

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

Logo

The Batman is here! I was excited for this set because of the characters that it could potentially bring. I wanted a Batwoman card, really bad, and we have her in this set! The Batman set does not have a starter or collector’s box – only a gravity feed. Here’s my review and pull list from the new DC Batman set!

You can find a checklist for the set, here. I like printing mine so I have them handy during drafts.

Batman Box

Promo Card and Pack Insert

W Batgirl, Carrying the Mantle

WizKids has been offering a blank sketch card with their Gravity Feeds recently. The promo for this set is Batgirl: Carrying the Mantle. I really like that they’re offering a variant incentive for large sealed product purchases. Since it’s only a variant, players that only want functional copies of cards won’t feel like they’re missing something. For collectors, this is a great incentive for them to make a larger purchase.

They chose a card that’s also the participation prize in The Animated Series OP Kit, which I thought was a little disappointing. But, it is a free ‘thank you’ incentive for buying a whole feed and I don’t want to seem ungrateful, so it’s the most minor of complaints.

Rules Insert

I much prefer the rules insert to the WIN promotional card. You can find the insert online, here. Make sure to check the WizKids Keywords page to see the current and updated wording on Keyword Abilities. My only real issue with this particular insert is that they put Swarm on the card and not Boomerang. Swarm has already been featured outside of the D&D sets and I didn’t think it needed to be on the insert, but Boomerang definitely does!

Gravity Feed
Commons

We pulled 112 common cards; 9 of our commons were foil. We didn’t get any duplicate foil commons. I highlighted the ones we pulled foils of with red text, and the total includes the foil version.

x2     #01     Ace the Bat Hound
x2     #02     Bane
x3     #03     Bat Signal
x2     #04     Batarang
x3     #05     Batgirl
x3     #06     Batman
x4     #07     Batwoman
x4     #08     Big Barda
x3     #09     Catwoman
x3     #10     Commissioner Gordon
x3     #11     Conner Kent
x3     #12     Darkseid
x1     #13     Dove
x3     #14     Firefly
x3     #15     Harley Quinn
x3     #16     Hawk
x3     #17     Hawkgirl
x3     #18     Huntress
x3     #19     Hush
x3     #20     Jervis Tetch
x3     #21     Killer Croc
x2     #22     Mister Miracle
x3     #23     Mr. Freeze
x3     #24     Nightwing
x2     #25     Orion
x3     #26     Owlman
x3     #27     Parademon
x3     #28     Ra’s al Ghul
x3     #29     Red Hood
x2     #30     Rip Hunter
x3     #31     Robin
x3     #32     Talia al Ghul
x2     #33     The Joker
x4     #34     The Penguin
x3     #35     The Question
x2     #36     The Riddler
x2     #37     Thomas Wayne
x3     #38     Two-Face’s Coin
x3     #39     Two-Face
x3     #40     Utility Belt

Uncommons

We pulled 50 uncommon cards; 9 of our uncommons were foil. We pulled all but three of the uncommons and none of our foils were duplicates.

x2     #41     Ace the Bat Hound
x1     #42     Bane
x2     #43     Bat Signal
x0     #44     Batarang
x1     #45     Batgirl
x2     #46     Batman
x0     #47     Batwoman
x1     #48     Big Barda
x1     #49     Catwoman
x2     #50     Commissioner Gordon
x1     #51     Conner Kent
x2     #52     Darkseid
x1     #53     Dove
x1     #54     Firefly
x2     #55     Harley Quinn
x1     #56     Hawk
x2     #57     Hawkgirl
x1     #58     Huntress
x1     #59     Hush
x1     #60     Jervis Tetch
x1     #61     Killer Croc
x1     #62     Mister Miracle
x1     #63     Mr. Freeze
x1     #64     Nightwing
x1     #65     Orion
x1     #66     Owlman
x3     #67     Parademon
x1     #68     Ra’s al Ghul
x0     #69     Red Hood
x1     #70     Rip Hunter
x1     #71     Robin
x1     #72     Talia al Ghul
x1     #73     The Joker
x1     #74     The Penguin
x2     #75     The Question
x1     #76     The Riddler
x1     #77     Thomas Wayne
x2     #78     Two-Face’s Coin
x2     #79     Two-Face
x2     #80     Utility Belt

Rares and Super Rares

You won’t get all the rares in one feed, but you get a good amount of them. We pulled 16 rares and none of them were duplicates; 4 of our rares were foil. We also pulled two Super Rares, which are foil.

#84     Batarang
#87     Batwoman
#88     Big Barda
#89     Catwoman
#91     Conner Kent
#92     Dove
#95     Hawk
#96     Hawkgirl
#98     Hush
#99     Jervis Tetch
#100     Killer Croc
#102     Nightwing
#104     Parademon
#109     Talia al Ghul
#113     Thomas Wayne
#116     Utility Belt

#120     The Joker (Super Rare)
#124     White Lantern Superman
(Super Rare)

New Ability Keywords

Boomerang – Action dice with boomerang are re-rolled after they’re used. If they reveal an action face, add them to your Prep Area.

I really like this ability. You have a fifty-fifty chance at getting to add that action you just used to your Prep Area to roll next turn! There is a huge opportunity for this ability to do some pretty cool stuff with other abilities like Back for More from the Deadpool set. It just depends on what Back for More ability you use.

Common Ground – When a character with Common Ground attacks with at least one Villain character die, you get to use their Common Ground ability.

So I think this particular mechanic is going to be a lot of fun in casual settings. I don’t think there will be a huge showing in the competitive metas, but I like how Common Ground works and seems like it might be a lot of fun to use with the Flip cards like the common Catwoman and rare Nightwing.

Flip – Character cards with Flip have two different faces, with different affiliations and abilities. All dice in all zones are represented by the face up side of the card, regardless of which face the card was on when the die was fielded or purchased. At the beginning of each of your turns, you may flip any card with the flip keyword to its other face. There also may be game effects that direct you to flip cards. Only cards with two faces may be flipped.

I think this particular mechanic has huge, and I mean HUGE, potential. We have a good spread of it here in its debut set with lots of casual level cards, but the potential that some of these Flip cards have is so awesome. There are definitely some Flip cards that should be carefully considered for meta teams. I’m excited to see how folks build with them and build around them too!

Gadgeteer – When a character die with Gadgeteer attacks, you may roll an action die with a Continuous effect in your Used Pile. If you roll an action face, you may move it into your Field Zone.

So, I really like Boomerang, but Gadgeteer is super amazing! I would love to be able to get a Cold Gun back into my Field Zone instead of having it cycle through my bag. I think this is a really useful ability and I love that WizKids did two different abilities for Continuous and non-Continuous Actions.

Stun Token – Certain characters let you place Stun tokens on cards. While a card has a Stun Token on it, its dice cannot attack or block. The owner of the card with a Stun Token on it may pay two generic energy at any time they could use a Global Ability to destroy the token.

Now this is super cool and super thematic for Mr. Freeze and he should have had this ability a long time ago! It won’t remove text, but it could compliment the rare Cold Gun on a team. You could Cold Gun a character with troublesome text and put the Stun Token on the character that needs to attack or block to activate their ability. I love control cards and the Stun Token is a new mechanic I will totally be testing with.

Returning Keywords

Ally
Continuous

Fast
Intimidate

Regenerate
Suit Up (Not currently listed in TRP’s Lexicon.)
Swarm

New Affiliations

There are several returning affiliations like Villains, Batman Family, etc, but this is a brand new affiliation!

New Gods Affiliation
New Gods

Favorites

Here are several of my favorite cards from my Gravity Feed. Be sure to check out my Gravity Feed Unboxing video to see all of our pulls! Sorry about that video being backwards though… We didn’t realize that flipping the camera view on the phone would literally flip the image.

Favorites 1

Firefly: Ted Carson (left) – It’s no secret that I like using direct damage (Nova and Colossus rares from AvX) to KO my opponent, so Firefly is definitely high up on my list. There are plenty of good, cheap Bolt type characters over all of the sets to make this card a star on a variety of teams. There are also lots of Bolt characters in this set that would make this particular card a really good draft pick. His purchase cost is only three, meaning you could easily buy him on your first turn. You just need to be sure you grab enough of those other Bolt dudes!

Huntress: No Rest for the Wicked (center) – Here’s another direct damage type card, but I chose this one as a favorite because she deals her damage to a character instead. I really like that she only cost one energy to field on her level two and level three sides. I think she would go well on a draft team with Firefly since she’s a Bolt character and she only cost three to purchase!

Orion: God of War (right) – So this guy – he doesn’t really go away. There aren’t many cards that remove characters without KO’ing them, but there are a few. This dude has got some pretty awesome stats and a decent ability for his purchase cost. I’m not sure how good he’d be in draft, but a casual team would show him the love he deserves! I already have a New Gods team that I’m cooking and this is one of my picks for that team.

Favorites 2

Red Hood: Jason Todd (left) – Wow… this is familiar… where have I seen this before? Oh – Guy Gardner! But what’s this? He doesn’t have to attack each turn! Sure, he costs one more… but that’s just one more and he has better stats on level two and three. This is definitely one to watch for in a draft and also in the Modern Age and Prime metas.

Two-Face: Two Sides of the Same Coin (center, side a; right, side b) – My locals know how much I love my WF Two-Face, but this one actually gives him a run for his money. With Fast showing up on more cards and possibly becoming more popular, Two-Face’s Side A is really good. It even says ‘opposing’ and it’s not limited to an affiliation or lack of one! But if you’re against a team that’s not using Fast or Regenerate, no big deal! You just flip him over to Side B and he has Fast AND Regenerate! Crazy! Something else that’s crazy is that he’s a Bat-Family affiliated character on one side and a Villain on the other. This is such a fun looking card and I really want to try him out. He has the same dice stats as the WF Two-Face and also cost five to purchase, but that’s okay with me! He may get picked up really quick in a draft too – so be on the lookout for him. If you don’t get him, someone might use him against you!

Favorites 3

Utility Belt (left, side a; center, side b) – Here’s another Flip card, but this time it’s a non-basic action card. The Utility Belt has to start the game with Side B down, but when you activate the ability on any burst face, you can flip it from Side A to Side B. It’s a Continuous action on both sides too, so if you don’t have a legal target when you roll it, you can field it and activate it later. I like the Utility Belt for it’s… utility. It’s a great way to boost your Bat-Family character’s stats and it only cost three energy to purchase. For a Continuous stat booster, I think that’s more than fair! You do need to send it to the Used Pile in order to activate it, but that’s why you should think about some Gadgeteer dudes.

Hawk: Might Makes Right (right) – I love this Hawk. Imagine a team with him, Dove, and Fabricate. You can increase Hawk’s attack stat and then Fabricate Dove for a little extra damage. Not that he really needs a stat boost. He’s an attack beast on level two and three. He’s still manageable for someone looking across the table at him, because his defense is only a 2/2/4. A Cold Gun can handle him on two sides, and then a Cold Gun plus a blast from an Unstable Canister Global. He’s not overpowered, but he is really awesome! He’s absolutely my kind of card!

Favorites 4

Parademon: Strength in Numbers (left) – If I didn’t throw this guy in my favorites, then what kind of Swarm lover would I be? This is by far, my favorite Swarm character! I can use a whole team of Swarm dudes and just deal damage to my opponent when I draw a Multiple Man, Parademon, Mindless One, and whatever I can find with Swarm from FUS that’s still Modern Age. Those all have to be Swarm triggered draws, so I need at least one of each in the Field to get the full benefit of this ability. Like most other Swarm dudes, their defense isn’t the best. This poor Parademon only has a 1/2/2, but regardless, I still love him! It’s what’s on the inside that counts!

Ra’s al Ghul: Fighting Death Himself (center) – Ra’s has a pretty good ability, but I like him mainly for his Global. He shuts down those nasty Villain teams by removing what brings harmony to their strategy – their affiliation! This is the first affiliation removing Global and I love it! If Villains are an issue in your meta, throw this guy on your team! His ability works fairly well with his Global and like I mentioned before – it’s pretty good. I like control pieces, but I don’t like paying six energy for them. But he does have some fairly beefy stats too, making that purchase cost more justifiable.

Rip Hunter: Through the Vanishing Point (right) – Oh my Pinkie Pie. What’s happened here!?!!? This guy is ridiculous! He guarantees you the chance at that game winning piece and not just once, but every single time you draw it! No more botched rolls for that die, so long as Rip Hunter is in the Field. This card is absolutely ridiculous, especially for his stats and purchase cost too. It takes some effort to get rid of him and I expect that this dude is possibly going to see some major meta play. Control players like me will most definitely be looking into this guy.

Favorites 5

Dove: The Light of Order (left) – We saw Hawk earlier, so here’s Dove! I absolutely love this Dove. All of her versions cost four so there isn’t a cheaper one that’s better to pair with the uncommon Hawk. This one helps a lot while you’re building up to buying Hawk. When your opponent attacks, they are attacking into an eight defense character. If you take damage from any source, you get to spin all of your Dove dice to level three. You can very easily have a wall of level three Doves by the time you’re able to purchase Hawk. I can’t wait to try this team out! It just seems like loads of fun!

Nightwing: Protector of Blüdhaven (center, side a; right, side b) – This Nightwing is just too good. It’s easy to put an Alfred in the Field so Nightwing can attack, and his stats are really good for a two cost character. While drafting, a common Catwoman is a must have for this particular card. She makes it that much easier to attack with Nightwing on either side. You could get a lot of damage in very early in the game. If you’re drafting and you see this dude – don’t pass him up!

Final Thoughts

With the lingering disappointment of the Defenders Team Pack, I really needed this set to be super awesome amazing fantastic, in order to bring my spirits up. WizKids did not let me down at all! I think it more than makes up for it. I can’t wait to start integrating these cards and begin my prep for Origins. I won’t be playing in Nationals, but I was thinking about playing in the World’s Qualifiers, just for fun. Using newer cards that haven’t been fully tested in a competitive meta is always fun!

This set looks like it will be so much fun to draft! I had loads of fun drafting Deadpool, even though many folks outside of our local meta don’t care for it. But Batman looks to be even more fun and super exciting! There are plenty of low cost characters as well as characters with decent or really good abilities that will make that first pick really difficult.

The foils in this set are absolutely gorgeous! Of the foils I’ve seen so far, the Joker is my favorite. He’s got some cool, crazy eyes! I can’t wait to get more of this set and I’m excited for the upcoming foil hunt for this set.

What are some of your favorite cards in the set?
How do you think the meta will shift, if at all?
What cards are you excited to try in a casual setting?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at
Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

 

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

WizKids has released its second Team Pack, The Defenders. I hope they plan to release some DC Team Packs at some point, but so far there have only been the two Marvel ones, and another Marvel one scheduled for release later this year.

Logo

I did an unboxing video for The Defenders Team Pack and you can find it on YouTube, here. I goofed toward the end of the video though. I meant to say, “check out my review article” – not “check out my review video” – Oops!

Team Pack

02 Team Pack

Pack Contents

~ 24 Character Cards
~ 16 Dice

Keywords

There is one returning keyword in this set, and no new ones.

Returning Keywords:
Overcrush

Affiliations

There is a new affiliation and a returning affiliation.

New!
Defenders

Returning

Villains

Characters

Clea

Star Crossed has a ruling on WORF in regards to Overcrush – which is important to mention here. A character with Overcrush that is ‘blocked’ with Clea’s ability will deal it’s full damage to the defending player. Don’t use Clea’s ability to ‘block’ a character with Overcrush unless you want to take the full amount of damage. Since that character is declared blocked, it would also remain in the Field Zone. Not sure I like Star Crossed much and I don’t like Mistress of the Dark Dimension‘s ability that much either. On Stranger Tides is the only version of Clea I like, but at a cost of six, I don’t think she’ll be making any of my casual teams – especially since every version of Doctor Strange is also expensive to purchase.

Doctor Strange

I was desperately hoping for a cheaper Doctor Strange. There are now nine versions of Doctor Strange in Dice Masters. Three of them have a purchase cost of six and the the remaining six have a purchase cost of seven. Why can’t I have a five cost Doctor Strange. Hulk has a five cost version! I mean, is that too much to ask? He doesn’t need to have the incredible stats that both dice versions have. He’s a powerful character, sure, but there can be versions with less attack and defense if it means a cheaper purchase cost.

As for the abilities, Book of the Vishanti – thank you WizKids for the wording clarification! I would like the ability if we didn’t already have Lady Deadpool that’s cheaper (by two!) and does almost the same thing for a Bolt. The Doctor is In feels like an ability that belongs in AvX or Uncanny X-Men. But not every card should have a super awesome ability. Shields of the Seraphim would have been cool, if we didn’t already have a three cost Scarlet Witch (purchase cost of FOUR) that puts a die in the Prep Area at the cost of one energy. I do love the art choice for this card though – that’s something at least.

Hellcat

Thank goodness – a character cheaper than five! It’s Patsy! is a lesser version of Lyssa Drak from War of Light. For anyone tinkering with Lyssa Drak, this would be her replacement when WoL eventually rotates to Golden Age. Hell’s Belle – I love this card. I didn’t care for her ability at first, until I realized that I have various ways to get her into my Prep Area. She’s only a purchase cost of three as well, so you could buy multiples of her and keep them cycling – preventing your opponent from potentially purchasing their win condition. Demon Sight for Sore Eyes has a cool ability, but it’s way too conditional for a competitive format, and even more so for casual. I’m not sure she would be worth teching into a team build with the current metas. I like this artwork as well, and I know very little about Hellcat. This card kinda makes me want to check her out books.

Hulk

I just don’t like any of these Hulk cards. If I had to choose one, I’d probably choose All the Rage, but his purchase cost and fielding cost is way too expensive for that. You also want to keep him active, meaning you’re not getting the full benefit of his beefy attack stat. I guess the others have their place on various team builds, but not for me.

Iron Fist

I read Healing Hands first and thought, “Cool. I like this ability, but may be difficult to manage each time I’m ready to attack with him.” I was a little disappointed to see his purchase cost was five, but at least he’s under six! Then I read Pulling Punches and thought, “Now this is unique and interesting. I like this one better.” There are ways to force Sidekicks into your opponent’s Field Zone so you could always get at least one damage on your opponent with this ability. Not too bad for a five cost, but still, he could have had a purchase cost of four and been fine. Then I read Holding Back the Storm. My eyes lit up. It felt like this card was made for me – a DDK kind of card. It’s really easy to not field any characters. His attack stats then become 6, 7, 9. Holy stat increase Batman! Give him Overcrush or make him unblockable and he’s a beast! Sounds like the perfect gimmick combo team for me to build! His purchase cost of five is totally justifiable for his ability and stats – which also makes it a DDK card. I don’t usually build teams with win conditions that have a purchase cost less than five.

Jessica Jones

Mother of the Year Award – not the worst, but no. Not worth it for a character with a purchase cost of five and low defense. She can be blasted out of the Field with an uncommon Cold Gun on any level. No thanks – next. Ladies’ Night – this could be somewhat usable. It doesn’t specify opposing Globals or opposing character abilities and it doesn’t say ‘other’ character dice. You could target her with a stat increasing Global and get double what you pay for. I think I like this one a little. This sounds like another DDK gimmick combo card! Redeemed is okay too. She’s not the best, but not awful. You can give her Overcrush and your opponent can’t Blink her back. They can still Cold Gun her though! That’s why I don’t like her near as much. Ladies’ Night can stand up to a Cold Gun blast on your turn, after you get the use of her ability. She may get blanked, but she keeps those applied bonuses!

Loki

And here we have… a VillainWhat? Why on Earth 616 is there a Villain in the DEFENDERS Team Pack? I’m all for diversifying affiliations in certain releases, but with such a limited number of cards in the Team Pack, don’t do that. I’d rather have had a half-way decent Daredevil or a better Moon Knight! *Sigh*

The only Loki that I feel has a remotely decent ability is Master of Delusion. But because of his purchase cost, and because he needs to be fielded to use his ability, he’s not that great. I’m not impressed at all with any of the Loki cards. I definitely would have rather had a four cost Daredevil or Moon Knight in this spot.

Luke Cage

Harlem Raised – the only card with a bolded Keyword on it. And the funny thing is, he doesn’t just have it. You have to reroll him – if he’s blocked – to give him Overcrush. And if he lands on level one or two, congratulations, he now has a two or three attack and Overcrush! I wish you could see my face right now… I’m very confused and trying to understand WizKids’ choices for many things in this Team Pack.

But there is a glimmer of hope. Always Forward can buff your other Defenders, which is awesome. But he has to be active, and he has a purchase cost of five. The upside to his purchase cost being five is that you probably only need one of him because with a defense line of 5, 6, 6, he’s probably not getting blasted out the Field anytime soon. I look at Street Sweeper and I’m a little happier, but then I see his purchase cost and I’m not happy anymore. If I’m going to buy a cost reducer of any kind, it’s not going to be one that costs the same or one less than a die it’s reducing the cost of. He’s got that additional ability that lets you prep a die when you field a Defender character die, but I’d rather have had a three or four cost Street Sweeper with just the cost reducer on it.

Positive note – I absolutely love the art on this card. At least Daredevil was in this Team Pack somewhere!

Character Thoughts

Oh boy…These characters are all so expensive, except for Hellcat, and most of the abilities on the all the cards are underwhelming. It’s a rare occasion when I can’t find something in a starter or team pack that I really like. I just don’t know what to say about this Team Pack. I don’t think this is the best Team Pack for a beginner and I don’t think many advanced level players are going to find these cards useful or even fun to play with. The overly expensive characters are not fun – they’re frustrating. You typically just waste a spot on your team for them because most games are done, or close to being done, long before you get to purchase those characters.

I’ve heard TRP say this and I agree with them – if a character costs six or seven energy to purchase, it better be winning you the game. None – zero – zip – of these expensive characters do that.

Character Dice

You only get two of each character die in the Team Pack. If you’re wanting to put three or four dice on a particular character, you will need to buy a second Team Pack (or trade, exchange, etc.). It’s never a bad thing to have duplicates of the character cards, but I’d rather just have max dice in one purchase.

03 Dice

I like the image and color choices for the Iron Fist die and the color of the Doctor Strange die. Clea’s die has the ‘shimmer swirl’ look to it, so it’s pretty as well and I love Hellcat’s kitty image. But of all the dice, Loki’s is definitely my favorite. But I want to talk about Luke Cage’s die for a moment.

04 Luke Cage With Markers

After filming the unboxing video, I asked the owner of my FLGS (Jeff), if he knew what the image on Luke Cage’s die might be. He studied it for a minute or two and concluded that he wasn’t sure what it was. We continued looking at this image for the better part of ten minutes, trying to figure out what it was. We didn’t think it was a flexing arm at first because we were both looking at the shoulder as the fist. I’m sure it was a sight to see us both flexing and trying to recreate the backward view we were seeing. We decided it couldn’t be an arm – it had to be a cracked stone or a wonky heart of some kind. We were searching any mental knowledge that we had of Luke Cage for a heart or stone reference and came up empty handed. I was about to leave when it suddenly hit me. We were looking at the arm backward. *Sigh*

WizKids, you have successfully trolled me, and Jeff, whether you meant to or not. Nice one. You’ve apparently claimed a few other victims too as most of the folks that have commented on my social media pictures also thought it was a weird heart of some kind.

It did give me a giggle on my way home from my FLGS last night. When I got home, I showed the die to Mr. DDK and asked what he thought it was. He quickly – without any hesitation – responded, “It’s an arm. It’s flexing, like this. See, here’s the fist.”

I felt even more silly than before. But I see it now!

Final Thoughts

I’m so disappointed in this Team Pack. I know this article probably sounds like one long rant, but I’m not going to sugarcoat how I feel or curb my opinions to appeal to the masses – or WizKids. I love WizKids and Dice Masters, but I want to give an honest opinion on their products. We’re all entitled to our own opinions and if you disagree with me, that’s totally fine. Maybe you see something that I don’t, or maybe most of these cards fit your style of play, but for me, this was a wash. Hellcat is the best character in the Team Pack. Is it worth buying the Team Pack just for her? In my opinion – No. Sorry, WizKids, but I’m not a fan of this Team Pack.

I know this is a broken record type statement, but less than max dice in the Team Pack is still an issue. That’s all I’ll say about it because I’ve complained about this particular topic on more than just a few occasions.

Just because I personally don’t like the Team Pack overall, doesn’t mean I won’t be tinkering with some of the cards. I like Iron Fist: Holding Back the Storm. That’s totally a DDK type of card. I don’t mind that he costs five to purchase because he has great stats and his ability is really nice too. I will most definitely be tinkering and brewing with Holding Back the Storm. I think he’ll be fun to play around with. I need to buy another Team Pack though, just in case I want to use four dice for Iron Fist or Hellcat.

What are your favorite cards?
What cards do you think will make it into Modern Age or Prime metas?
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!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

WizKids has decided to make starters an annual release instead of releasing them with each gravity feed (I can’t tell you how happy my wallet is right now!). I feel like this is a really good move on their part because it makes it easier to format a rotation and also makes it easier and more affordable for new players to enter into the game. To my understanding, Marvel and DC will each have an annual starter release.

banner

You can find my review video on YouTube, here.

Starter Box

starter

Box Contents

~ Iron Man and War Machine Rulebook
~ 2 Dice Bags
~ 12 Basic Action Dice
~ 16 Sidekick Dice
~ 16 Character Dice
~ 24 Character Cards
~ 10 Basic Action Cards
~ 4 Action Reminder Cards
~ 1 Rules Reminder Card

Rulebook

Standard rulebook, but it does not detail the first turn rule change. WizKids had already announced that the earliest rulebook to detail that change would be the DC Superman/Wonder Woman starter rulebook.

rulebook-cover

Rules Reminder Card

imwm-rules-insert

The rules reminder card is a great quick reference tool for all the affiliations and keywords in the set.rules-insert-back

The back of the rules reminder card has a bump for tournaments, which is a great promo piece.

Keywords

There are several returning keywords in this set, as well as a new one.

Returning Keywords:
Ally
Continuous
Fast
Iron Will
Overcrush

New Keywords:

Suit Up – NAME
Suit Up is a new keyword ability in this starter. Each character with Suit Up has the name of another character or characters directly after it. When you purchase a character die with Suit Up, you may KO the named die in order to field the Suit Up die at level two.

Suit Up can only happen when you purchase the Suit Up character die. It replaces the location of where the purchased die will go. If you purchase the die and place it into your Used Pile and continue with your turn, you will not be able to back up to use Suit Up.

I really like Suit Up because it lets you field that character die at level two, even though you have to KO another (specific) character to do it. This ability can be particularly useful with characters that have a When Fielded or When KO’d ability, like Pepper Potts: Stark International for Rescue’s Suit Up.

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

New!
Stark Industries

Returning

Avengers
S.H.I.E.L.D.
Spider-Friends

Characters

howard-stark

So… I like all three of Howard Stark’s cards. I can think of several teams that each one could find a home on. Brilliant is definitely going to find a home on my casual version of Hugs that I played at the WKO. I can easily take La Jinn off the casual team build and put Howard Stark in his place. I guess Iron Will is a good benefit too, I just haven’t seen it used much. I love Expert Businessman for any of my Overcrush teams (and I have several). Father is great for any Sidekick/Ally based team because he can’t be the target of Globals on his burst side. They’re all fairly good in their own way and I’m sure folks can find at least one of these that they like. I want to throw a reminder out there for sacrifice – A sacrificed character will go to the Used Pile and not the Prep Area. I’m sure folks can find a way to use this to their advantage, but it’s something to keep in mind when playing Brilliant or Expert Businessman. They also require that you do it at the start of you turn, which is a specific timing and reduces the amount of shenanigans, but they’re still really good cards. Howard Stark could also find a place on a S.H.I.E.L.D. team. His costs are low and he’s a Mask character too. There are plenty of uses for Mask energy, even in Prime.

hulkbuster-iron-man
Rocket Powered Punches is really the only one of the Hulkbuster Iron Man cards that I like. I’m sure there are plenty of folks that like Model 36 for his ability to barrel through those cost six or higher characters, and Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good’s ability to gain life from KO’ing a six or higher cost character die, but those are not my style. I prefer to Suit Up a cheap Iron Man into Rocket Powered Punches. It could really throw off your opponent’s game if they aren’t expecting it! I don’t think these cards are going to see much play in unlimited, but depending on the pilot, we might see some make an appearance into Prime.

iron-manor

Celestial Slayer is definitely my favorite of the three because it’s got the ability and Global of the other two versions in one card, but it rightfully cost one more to purchase. If you like just the ability or just the Global, you could get one of the other two for one less on the purchase cost. To use the Global, you don’t really need to purchase the die, so what would hurt to use Celestial Slayer instead of Earth X? I love cost reducers of all kinds, and the fielding cost on some of the Stark Industries dudes are kinda high. Spinning one dude down to decrease that fielding cost could be the difference between some wasted energy and being able to buy a cheaper dude. One energy can make a difference. I’m a little excited for future Marvel sets to see what new Stark Industries characters we get! You could definitely build a solid, casual Stark Industries team just form this starter, but the prospect of improvements is always exciting.

iron-spider

I like Version 2.0 because he’s a cheap Stark Industries character. Waldoes is too, but I’m not sure his Suit Up is all that useful. Spider-Man: “Public Menace!” is the only Spider-Man I can think of to use with Iron Spider: Waldoes. You could always use Iron Spider for itself. I’m not sure I like Waldoes at all. Hopefully we’ll end up with a better Spider-Man in the future that we could pair with him. For a Stark Industries team, I’d much rather use Version 2.0 though. Too Cool For Words, not Iceman, looks fun but he may be a little harder to maneuver as a four cost on a Stark Industries team. If there were other two or three cost Stark Industries characters, other than Rescue, I would definitely consider Too Cool For Words instead of Version 2.0. All of these Stark Industries characters make me excited to try this theme team out! Worth noting, Iron Spider is the name of this card, but the one in the Amazing Spider-Man set is Iron Spidey. That means you could use both, but Iron Spidey will not work for Suit Up.

jarvis
Oh my! An Avengers Ally!!! This could be rather useful. I really like all of Jarvis’s cards, but Chief of Staff is probably my favorite, even with a purchase cost of five. I think he needed to be expensive though, because it’s not too hard to field a bunch of zero-low fielding cost characters and then drag the game out because you just gained a bazillion life. I’m glad his purchase cost is five, and it doesn’t mean he isn’t viable in certain formats, just that he’s got the right cost for his ability. I really like that Butler has that Global that we saw on Iron Manor, but if you’re using Jarvis with Avengers, it’s not going to be all that useful. I guess that’s why he has that direct damage ability on him that does ability damage to a character die equal to the number of character dice you fielded that turn – and it counts Jarvis, so you’re doing at least one damage. I think I like Loyal Confidant and Chief of Staff equally. It just depends on the team, really.

rescue
Mark 1616 is perfect if you need a cheap Stark Industries character, but she only has a max dice of two. Resilient and Catching a Jet are both awesome for using their Suit Up abilities with their other card abilities. You purchase a Rescue, KO a Rescue in the Field Zone (sending it to the Prep Area), and then field the purchased Rescue at level two. Next turn, I get to roll that Rescue that I just KO’d and hopefully get to use her other ability. I really like Resilient more than Catching a Jet, but they each have their place. I would likely use Resilient on Stark Industries team, or almost any Prime team. Her ability works whether she’s active or not… How good is that?! It’s similar to Rescue: Stark’s Equal from the Civil War set, just hurting and not healing. Too bad you can’t use both on one team.

space-armor-iron-man
Model 5 is a cheaper Suit Up character with the Stark Industries affiliation. No other frills, just Suit Up. He’s okay, but I like Deep Space and #14-C much more! I can’t decide which one I like better. I guess Deep Space would be my pick if I didn’t want to add a six cost character to my team, and he’s got some potential for life gain. #14-C has that possible KO avoidance and Overcrush on two sides.Such tough decisions with Space Armor Iron Man!!! I like two too many!

war-machine
And yet another dilemma. I like all three of War Machine’s cards. I like Model II because he’s the cheapest and has Fast. I like “Rhodey” because he also has Fast, he has the additional ability to do direct damage to my opponent if he KO’s a character with combat damage, and he only costs one more to purchase. There are plenty of ways to boost an attack stat in Dice Masters, making this guy pretty good. I’d likely pick him over Model II, unless I just couldn’t put a four cost character on my team… But honestly – I usually have room for four cost characters. I also really like JRXL-1000, and not for his Suit Up. He’s Fast, and Sidekicks can’t block his level one side. You can always boost that attack stat to do more damage, and he only costs four to purchase.

Character Thoughts

I like lots of these characters, especially for a more casual setting. I think these are great characters for a new player to start with and build off of. There are lots of fun gimmicks and different types of abilities that make the game interesting. I think any player could enjoy building and using a Stark Industries team for any fun local event.

On the more competitive end, I think one or two characters might squeak into the unlimited and Prime formats, but overall, not many are going to find a place in the most competitive metas at this time.

I would still recommend purchasing at least one of these starters for some fun characters to build teams with. For a new player, I definitely recommend the starter for the characters, or even two starters for the max dice.

Basic Action Cards

This starter has some really interesting Basic Action Cards that are new to the starter, and it has some revamps of older Basic Actions Cards. If the characters weren’t enough to prove this starter is worth buying, hopefully these Actions will!

w-armor-wars-bac

I’m not a fan of this card. Suit Up is too new and there are only ten cards with the keyword. I guess if you were playing in a semi-limited type format where players were supposed to use Iron Man and War Machine cards, then I could see someone possibly using it. This card is likely not going to be in the unlimited major meta or even Prime, unless Rescue finds a place, which I doubt too. One thing that I do like about this card is that it causes loss of life and not damage. That’s typically a big deal because you can’t effectively redirect or avoid it. Life loss is a mechanic you would need life gain to overcome.

w-cone-of-cold-bac

Cone of Cold from Battle for Faerûn has been revamped! It needed it too. They updated the wording and for those that didn’t want Dungeons and Dragons Dice Masters, they now have access to this BAC. It’s a great way to spread the damage around, but if your opponent only has one character die and you have two, your dice are getting blasted too – unless that’s what you want. I like that both Cone of Cold cards say that you can’t use that action if there aren’t at least three character dice in the Field Zone. I like that Global for teams that use a force block ability as well. Overall, I like this card for both the Action and the Global. The revamping of the wording makes it much easier for newer players to understand.

w-hypervelocity-bac

Wow! What?! This card is so crazy. This Action Die hangs out in the Field Zone and slowly depletes each player’s life if they don’t attack. Hypervelocity causes loss of life and not damage, which is a great way to get damage across with minimal resistance. You have to keep an aggressive streak or you’ll start to lose life as well! It looks like action removal is going to be a major addition to many teams, because unless this is on one of the two burst sides, it’s not leaving! There isn’t a ton of action hate in Prime – if any… so watch out for this in Prime. Folks may be adding some life gain cards to their team to help balance that loss of life.

w-one-against-many-bac

Here is yet another great direct damage card. This card is ability damage and not loss of life, so any abilities to reduce, alter, redirect, etc are viable for folks to use against this ability. I still really like this card for some of the Prime Storm: Extra Lightning teams floating around. It’s not a huge deal if your opponent doesn’t field many characters because it’s still going to do a minimum of two damage. It’s a little expensive to purchase against a team that doesn’t look like it’s going to be putting dudes in the Field Zone though.

w-smash-bac

Here we have a revamp of Smash! from AvX. They have updated the wording on this card as well. I love seeing these older BACs being revamped. This makes them available for Prime, and also more easily accessible for new players. I’m not big on using Smash! for the action, but the Global is great against Overcrush. If Turtle Van isn’t your style, you can always go for Smash! if Overcrush is a problem you’re running into.

w-suprise-attack-bac

This is a revamp of Surprise Attack from Age of Ultron. This is another card with updated wording that definitely reads better than it’s AoU version. I haven’t used this card a lot in the past (if at all…), and I guess this is an okay BAC, but there are definitely better ones out there. I’m still not a fan of this particular card, but even so, glad they revamped it for newer players!

Upgrade BACs

The last four BACs in the starter are all called Upgrades and each have a specialization. They all cost two energy and they each have a risk/reward for using them on specific energy type characters. I like this idea a lot and I can’t wait to try some of these on some Prime teams! These also make for great limited additions when you can’t decide what to use and you don’t want to bring Power Bolt because your opponent may want to buy it too. I also really like that they called them all Upgrade – Specialization. That leaves room for them to make different BACs that have a name like Smokescreen that’s different from Upgrade – Smokescreen.

w-upgrade-fortification-bac

Upgrade – Fortification
The name sounds stout and sturdy, like a character with Iron Will. When you use this action, your character will gain Iron Will. The risk to doing this is that you will lose two life if that character is not a Shield energy type. It’s a risk vs reward type of card, so if you want your Gorilla Grodd to have Iron Will, it’ll cost you two life. And since it’s loss of life, you can’t get around it as easily without life gain. I like this Upgrade because you don’t typically see Iron Will on any team. There are several characters with Iron Will, but they just aren’t worth playing in a competitive meta. I think this Basic Action may make Iron Will a more usable keyword.

w-upgrade-proton-cannon-bac

Upgrade – Proton Cannon
Wow, that sounds like it could shoot thru anything, like a character with Overcrush. This Upgrade will give one of your characters Overcrush, but if they aren’t a Fist type character, they get KO’d at the end of the turn. This is another risk vs reward, but for certain teams, that risk may actually be the reward. I think Lady Bullseye: Attack on Two Fronts just got a a Proton Cannon attached to her.

w-upgrade-smokescreen-bac

Upgrade – Smokescreen
This Upgrade sounds like something a ninja would use to sneak away or sneak around a bunch of folks. When you use Smokescreen on a character die, that die gets +1A. If it’s a Mask type character die, it can’t be blocked. So there isn’t a risk on this Upgrade because you get the +1A no matter what. You benefit more if it’s a Mask type character die that you use it on. I can think of a few Mask type characters that would great to pair this with.

w-upgrade-unibeam-bac

Upgrade – Unibeam
And lastly, the Unibeam. It sounds like something a character would use on a more focused attack, maybe to take someone out before they had a chance to do anything to them. When you use Unibeam on a character die, it gets +2A – not too shabby for a two cost action. But if that character die is a Bolt type, it gains the Fast keyword. That sounds about right for a Unibeam! So like Smokescreen, no real risk, just an even better reward for using it with a Bolt type character die.

BAC Overview

There are quite a few new BACs that I really like, mainly the Upgrades, but a few others too. I like the assortment of abilities on the BACs, and I’m really digging the increased use of loss of life instead of just throwing damage in there. With the increase in abilities that use loss of life or paying life mechanics, we might actually see an increase in the use of cards that have life gain. Hypervelocity is definitely my favorite of all the Basic Action Cards and I can’t wait to start building around it!

Action Reminder Cards

action-reminder-cards

There’s nothing super special about the reminder cards. They’re Cyan, Orange, Pink, and Gray.

Dice Bags

bags

I most definitely like the artwork bags more than the plain colored bags. I like to collect these bags too.

Starter Dice

Sidekick and Action Dice

sidekick-and-action-dice
You get a pretty standard assortment of Sidekick Dice and Action Dice.

Character Dice

You only get two of each character die in the starter. If you’re wanting to put three or four dice on a particular character, you will need to buy a second starter (or trade, exchange, etc.). It’s never a bad thing to have duplicates of the character cards and BACs.

character-dice

Final Thoughts

The only negative thing I have to discuss about the starter is the number of character dice. I’m not sure if WizKids is entertaining other options or not, but I would like to see this changed in the future. I would be okay with certain characters only having a max dice of two while most of them have a max dice of four, and then changing the packaging to accommodate the extra dice. The TMNT characters have a max dice of three… but a box big enough to hold more than four of each. I’d pay five more dollars just to get max dice with my characters. If Mr. DDK and I both want to use Howard Stark with max dice, we will have to buy four starters… Maybe releasing the starters in the big box format, like the TMNT boxes, would be a solution to the max dice issue because they would have plenty of room for the dice. They could keep a lot of the characters as a max dice of four, and reduce some of the more expensive characters to max of two and put the max dice for each character in the box. I have never found a moment that I wished I had three Splinter, Shredder, or Krang dice… they could have easily been a max of two to allow for a fourth die on the cheaper dudes, like the Foot Ninjas. Maybe this is something WizKids can look into doing? I’d rather buy two big box releases, like TMNT, than four starters to accommodate two players.

I really do like the starter contents though. I like how fun and easy the characters are to use and understand. I love the new and revamped BACs. I really hope they continue to make different ‘Upgrade’ styled cards for BACs. Those fit very thematically in the starter and all of them have fun and interesting abilities, especially for a draft team! I love the idea of a Stark Industries themed team and can’t wait to build it and play it – after I buy a second starter for the additional dice I need. I like the Suit Up ability too, but I hope they continue it and add more of the needed characters with abilities that will have better synergy. It’s still a fun and unique ability to play around with and I plan to use Rescue and her Suit Up in my Stark Industries team.

This is a great starting place for a new player. You can add a Team Pack to the starter and roll with it!

What are your favorite cards?
What cards do you think will make it into the unlimited or Prime metas?
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!

 

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!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

I was finally able to get my hands on some of Turn One Gaming’s Kaboom! sleeves a few months ago. I haven’t written a review about them yet because I wanted to use them for a while to see how they held up. I have a brief review video on my YouTube channel, here. Please remember to subscribe! It’s much appreciated.

Turn One Gaming Supplies

Turn One Gaming Supplies has not disappointed me yet with any of their products. They have cool looking D6’s in various styles; good for Experience counters in Dice Masters or for various uses in other games. They’ve also got dry erase token cards for games like Magic: The Gathering. I’ve got a Turn One Roll Master Playmat that I did a review article on, which you can find here. But I have been itching to get my hands on these sleeves.

Kaboom!

I love the Kaboom sleeves art because they match the Roll Master Playmat art. It’s bright, vibrant, and sharp. It’s got a classic comic book feel to it, which is perfect for a game that is primarily focused on comic related content.

kaboom-sleeve-t1

Matte

The sleeves have a matte finish on both the front and the back, meaning the picture has a matte finish. This is not a commonly used technique among other gaming sleeve producers. I wasn’t sure how I would like having the matte on both sides, but it’s actually very pleasant. The sleeves feel like velvet, and even though you don’t typically shuffle your cards in Dice Masters, I did shuffle test them several times. They shuffle so smooth and easy, like silk through your fingers. They don’t feel slippery like other new sleeves and they don’t fly out of your hands while trying to shuffle either.

The picture below shows a sleeved Dice Masters card and a one without a sleeve. The matte finish actually dulls the glare from the overhead lights. I purposely took the picture with the matte sleeve catching the worst possible glare, and the unsleeved card catching the least possible glare.

t1-vs-no-sleeve

Durability and Quality

So far, my sleeves have held up quite well over the past couple of months. I’ve taken my teams and shoved them in my dice bag and thrown the bag in the car; the bag has had tackle boxes and binders fall on it; the sleeves have been bent and twisted – which does result in damage to the sleeve; and I’ve shuffled the sleeves many times over. The only thing that seems to do noticeable damage to the sleeves are things you’d expect, like twisting the sleeve or purposely trying to scratch the sleeve. But when used appropriately, the sleeves feel like they hold up better than others. I haven’t noticed the usual bits of grime that sleeves pick up from being handled and I haven’t seen any blemishes on the picture or the front. I also haven’t had a sleeve tear or rip while sleeving cards. I’ve had plenty of other brands rip while I was putting cards in them.

Overall, I feel like the Turn One Gaming Sleeves have a slight edge on durability.

The only complaint that I have about the sleeves are that the cards slide up in the sleeve and look like they’re trying to slide out. It’s almost as if the sleeve bottoms are too tight and push the card upward. The cards have never slid out of the sleeve enough that the card was fully exposed, but the edge has exposed itself over time. It’s a minor inconvenience, but I’d rather have to pack my cards down on occasion then have too much excess on the sleeves. Sleeve excess makes for difficult shuffling and also leads to an easier to damage sleeve.

Ordering, Pricing, and Packaging

You will likely need to order any T1 supplies from one of the retailers listed on their site, or have your FLGS check with their distributor on the availability of T1 products. There is a store here in my town, so I do not order anything from online retailers unless the FLGS tells me that they are not able to get the items. I’m a huge advocate for supporting your local brick and mortar stores.

The T1 Kaboom sleeves and Benjaminge sleeves come in packages of 100. That’s a huge amount of sleeves for anyone that only wants to buy a handful for a Dice Masters team. And since they hold up so well, you likely won’t be needing that many extras. If you’re like me and have a double deck box full of different teams, then you very well may need the entire package of 100. But it wouldn’t be a bad thing to team up with anyone else wanting the sleeves and make the purchase together and divide the loot between you. You can usually find the T1 sleeves for anywhere between $9.99 and $11.99, depending on the location.

Sleeve Comparisons

These sleeves are not any more expensive than a package of 80 count KMC sleeves, and you’re getting 20 more with T1. KMC 80 count and T1 100 count packages are typically between $9.99 and $11.99, depending on where you shop. I got my package of Kaboom sleeves for $9.99 at my FLGS.

There are cheaper options, such as UltraPro. I am not a huge fan of UltraPro products, but I will default to them if there isn’t something else I like better. They are probably one of the biggest suppliers for all kinds of gaming products. I’m hoping T1 moves up in the gaming world and takes that spot. Most folks will default to UltraPro, just because they’re slightly cheaper. They offer 50 count packs of sleeves for $3.99 and 100 count packs for $7.99. They have a wide variety of colors, but I do not like their picture sleeves at all. I have issues with the picture peeling or getting scratched because of it’s glossy finish. UltraPro has an even cheaper option than these. We call them penny sleeves, because they are 100 count packs of super thin, very cheaply made sleeves. They are not meant to be shuffled and they damage super easy. They usually retail for around $0.99 for a package of 100, which is another reason folks call them penny sleeves – they cost roughly a penny each.

There is another popular brand of sleeve that I do not use mainly because I think they are overpriced. The sleeves are called Dragon Shields and there are lots of competitive TCG players that swear by those sleeves. I wouldn’t normally consider that brand when shopping for sleeves. I’ve had plenty of their sleeves in the past and I did not like them at all. I often found miscut and uneven sleeves in the very same package. When you pay between $11.99 and $13.99 for a box of 100 sleeves, you expect them all to match up. I have also found color distortions in the same box that made the entire box unusable in the particular game we were playing at the time. I also dislike the feel of their sleeves and how they shuffle. Needless to say, they never got much of money to begin with.

Between KMC, UltraPro, and T1, I’m going to choose T1 every time. I feel like I’m getting a high quality product for a reasonable price.

Final Thoughts

I’ve asked several of my friends that play Magic on a regular basis, how they liked the Benjamins sleeves they purchased. All of them really like them – almost all of them want to purchase more. The only complaint that I’ve heard so far is the same issue I have with the sleeves being a little too short. They all said that it wasn’t a huge issue, but one that they’d like to see fixed. They all loved the sharp, clear images on the sleeves, but they all want to see more picture options too. All of them love the feel of the sleeves as they shuffle their decks. It’s safe to say that the Turn One sleeves are a hit at our local venue.

I’m not sure when I’ll need another pack of sleeves, but I would totally purchase different picture styles and sleeve my various teams differently. I also play the My Little Pony CCG, and I’m waiting on some more girly type picture sleeves to put on my favorite decks.

Additional Turn One Gaming News

T1 has announced that they’re going to have Space Invaders themed products including playmats, sleeves, dice, and even a deck box! I was super excited for the sleeves, because both of the picture styles look so cool, but then I read that they were only going to have a glossy back and crystal clear front. I’m not excited about that, but I would like to check out the quality of the glossy finish on their sleeves and compare it to their matte finish. I do like that they are offering them in a 50 count package for $4.99, which means they’ll probably average in price from $4.99 to $5.99 depending on your location.

I give them major kudos for the Space Invaders products, and I hope to see the sleeves released in a matte finish as well. I hope that they eventually offer the Benjamins and Kaboom! sleeves in a 50 count package as well.

Have a unique or interesting accessory?
Have an accessory that you can’t play without?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and show it off!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

I was recently browsing the Dice Masters Reddit when I came across an interesting post. It was someone asking folks what they wanted on a playmat, if they could have anything. I jumped on the opportunity to share my idea of the perfect Dice Masters playmat. The kind soul on the other side of the screen offered to create the design for my playmat – which made me super excited! When he was done, I couldn’t have been happier.

full-mat

Artwork

Mr. Glen put the images together on the playmat. He did everything he could to find the perfect images and edit things to make them exactly how I wanted them. He went out of his way to adjust his regular layout to match what I wanted, such as moving the life tracker, removing certain custom zones, and shuffling things around to how I wanted them. He has several designs available on his Etsy page (PlaymatMasters) for folks to order. Please be sure to check out his work, because he has this uncanny ability in choosing the most perfect images as well as a great editing sense – making him a unique and amazing talent.

If you want him to make a specific design with a certain character(s), you can message him with your request. He’ll be able to tell you if he’s taking on new design projects, pricing, and how long it’ll take to design if you’re wanting something that’s not currently offered in his Etsy store.

The communication between Mr. Glen and I was great. He was always polite, friendly, and open to discussion. I feel like I made a new friend in my dealings with Mr. Glen.

So if you like a design he currently has available or you want him to add a character design to his store, send him a message.

The pictures below have some closeups of the artwork that Mr. Glen put together. Click on any image to get a better look at it.

Inked Gaming

After Mr. Glen sent me the PDF file, I needed to send that file to a place that prints playmats. I had never used Inked Gaming before, but I have seen their playmats around my FLGS. I felt comfortable enough to send them the file and have them print my playmat.

Ordering and Pricing

There was a little confusion when I first tried to order my playmat. Inked’s website is mostly user friendly, but when you upload the PDF, you don’t get a preview of your playmat. That’s what had me confused, but I messaged Inked on Facebook and they promptly responded and assured me that I was using the site correctly. The pricing is $24.99 for a 14″ x 24″ custom playmat. The thickness is 1/16″ which is about the same as other playmats from companies like UltraPro.

Processing, Shipping, and Packaging

My order processed fairly quickly, I assume. I ordered my playmat on a Wednesday and it arrived that Saturday. I’m fairly certain that they processing didn’t take more than a day. I wasn’t given a notification in regards to when the order finished processing, which is fine with me. They did notify me when it shipped. Shipping for orders over $40 is free (in the US) through Inked. Since I only ordered the one playmat I had to pay shipping. Shipping was only $5.30, which isn’t bad for standard shipping on a package larger than an envelope. The playmat was shipped in a cardboard shipping tube with the ends taped thoroughly to prevent any potential damage or loss of item. I was very happy and impressed with the processing and shipping.

Playmat Quality

The quality of the playmat from Inked is about what you would expect. They’re very much like a playmat from UltrPro, which should hold up for a long time if treated well. I’m not disappointed in their quality for the price. Most playmats with artwork are priced around $19.99 – $29.99, or $6.99 – $9.99 for plain colored mats. For a custom mat, $24.99 seems more than reasonable. If you add in the shipping charge, I paid just over $30 for my playmat from Inked.

As a side note, many folks prefer a mat that can be washed. Inked sent me a response in regards to washing and drying their mats and mousepads.

Thanks to the dye sublimation process, our playmats and mouse pads are machine washable. Use the delicate cycle (or handwash) with a typical laundry soap. (DO NOT Bleach) Lay flat to dry.

Final Thoughts

I will be adding Mr. Glen’s Etsy store to my list of nifty sellers, as well as a link to Inked Gaming.

My Turn One Gaming playmat is officially retiring – or moving over to Mr. DDK’s side of the table. I loved that mat so much, but my new custom MLP mat is definitely the best mat. There are many reasons beyond the obvious that make this mat the best. Mr. Glen added the Pinkie and Rarity cupcakes in the Basic Action areas just to fancy it up. It was a happy accident that they are pink and purple, and that he put them on the same sides that I use my pink and purple Basic Action indicators on. I wanted Pinkie and Rarity’s cutie marks as my life tracker. I love the clouds as the card spaces because they give the illusion that my cards are floating on puffy cloud pillows. I wanted Luna’s cutie mark somewhere on the mat, and he found a great place to put it – right where the cards go! It’s like Luna is protecting each card. Mr. Glen added a cute detail that made me giggle by calling the Field Zone, Equestria. He wanted to fancy the background up, and what works better than confetti and stars!

I chose each pony to go in each area for specific reasons. I chose Sombra to represent the Attack Zone because no matter how hard he fights who he is, he can’t change it. He will always be the evil king that everypony sees, regardless of how he actually feels. His quote in the speech bubble says, “You want to fight monsters, little pony? I’ll give you monsters.” I chose Nightmare Moon for the Used Pile because she was used by the Nightmare Forces to do hateful and evil things. They amplified the resentment buried inside Princess Luna and made her into a monster. She was able to come back from that with the help of Twilight Sparkle and her friends, which is why I chose Luna for the Field Zone. She came back from the corruption and stands by her new friends and family to protect Equestria from any evil or hatred that would try to invade. Her speech bubble says, “Together we will defeat the Nightmare Energy and it will never hurt anypony ever again.” Of the mane six, my two favorites are Rarity and Pinkie Pie. I wanted Rarity in my Prep Area because of how hard she works to prepare gifts for her friends throughout the show. She’s also the representative of the Element of Generosity. I feel like rolling extra dice from my Prep Area is a generous gesture of the game mechanics. If you know anything about MLP, you know that Rarity can be a drama queen at times – which is why Mr. Glen added her drama chaise just above the Prep Area as a little ‘KO’ reminder. I love it so much – it’s so perfect! I saved Pinkie Pie for last. I wanted her in the Reserve Pool because she has an endless reserve of happiness, friendship, and joy. She is a very special pony to me.

Pinkie Pie – She’s the favorite pony of my dear friend, Colt. Colt passed away in August of 2016. He was a young, up and coming teacher, and a very good friend of Mr. DDK and myself. He was highly intelligent and was a quiet fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. And his name really was Colt. We even joked about his name being Colt and him being a fan of a cartoon about ponies. He asked me to keep it between the two of us that he was a fan, but he had eventually told others before he passed. I know he wouldn’t mind me telling folks about him now. If not for Colt, I would have never given MLP: FiM a chance. He convinced me to give the show a chance, and I did. I shared many of my memories with Mr. Glen as he was making my playmat and I don’t mind sharing a few.

I was down in the dumps one day, while watching over my FLGS, and Colt had stopped in for a visit. He told me, “One can not be sad while listening to Pinkie singing about smiles.” I hadn’t seen the newest episode yet, so he pulled it up on iTunes and I watched one of my soon to be favorite episodes, “A Friend in Deed”. That episode is basically me – I want to be friends with everyone and it makes me sad when folks don’t like me. One of my favorite MLP songs is also in that episode, Smile Song. That song makes me feel better when I’m having a bad day, so Colt’s logic has held true – even today. Colt and I both had tiny Pinkie Pie figures from the mystery bags and we carried them around in our pockets for the longest time. Whenever we saw each other, we would each pat our own pocket and smile at each other. Folks come and go in our lives. The memories are sometimes all we have left. Colt will be missed very much by all of his friends and family, but I will always have Pinkie to remind me of the best memories of my friend. His love of Pinkie lives on through me. Friendship truly is magic – don’t let anyone tell you different!

Thank you, Mr. Glen, for such a special playmat.

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Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and show it off!

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Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

I recently received the fantastic birthday gift of a personalized acrylic dice tower by Litko Game Accessories, from Mr. DDK. They make all kinds of different accessories for many different games. They have accessories for just about any kind of game from RPG’s and board games to ‘Space Fighter’ games like Star Trek: Attack Wing and Star Wars X-Wing. You can find almost any type of enhanced accessory that you want on their site.

Ordering and Pricing

The ordering process was not complicated and the customer service was fantastic. I emailed Litko about a custom dice tower since there wasn’t an option on their website for it, and I was promptly emailed by a gentleman by the name of James H. James was very polite and professional and made every effort to be sure I was happy with how my product was going to look. It was a very positive ordering experience with.

The price was not what I was expecting. It was only a little more than their standard pricing. The towers are very affordable and not that expensive to have customized. The amount for the tower, customization, and shipping was under $30 in total.

Processing, Shipping, and Packaging

The processing for their custom orders is a minimum of two weeks. I placed my order on December 15, 2016 and it arrived on January 9, 2017. That seems very reasonable to me, considering I placed my order so close to the holidays. I was expecting it to take at least another week, so I was not disappointed with the processing of my order.

They shipped my order on January 5 and it arrived on January 9, which is a total of three business days. The shipping time was appropriate and what I expected. They provided a tracking number as well, which is always appreciated!

My tower pieces were banded together with a rubber band and then placed in a large plastic bag. The bag was placed in a shallow box with lots of packing peanuts for company. The tower was secure and safe and didn’t have much room for any internal shipping damage to potentially happen. They wanted to make sure my order arrived safely, and it showed.

The Tower

I’ve had acrylic towers in the past, but they always felt brittle and I was afraid I was going to break them. They were also really loud as the dice tumbled through them. The towers from Litko do not have that brittle feel to the acrylic. The pieces feel sturdy and I don’t feel like I may break it while assembling it.

The assembly is just like any dice tower and I have the diagram that Litko emailed me pictured below. Assembly is not overly complicated; you just need to pay attention to which piece is which before beginning to assemble it.

Dice Tower Art.gif

After I assembled the tower, I tried to pick it up by the front and back pieces – not a good idea. The tower will fall to pieces, just like any other dice tower. I then tried to pick it up by the sides, and it moved easily with no problem. The tower does flex and move a little, but that’s expected as all towers have that wiggle room. I would not recommend gluing any dice tower together. The edges of the tower are smooth and not sharp or raw looking.

The tower itself has two tumbler shelves and the bottom ramp for the dice to roll through before entering the tray area. I’ve rolled 12-15 dice through the tower without much trouble. Some of the dice will end up outside the tray or on top of other dice when rolling that many at once. It’s not a huge issue for me, but if you want a larger tray, Litko sells larger towers. Rolling 4-10 dice, which is more likely in your average tournaments, the tower performs as expected. The dice are well randomized by the tumblers and it helps contain the dice so that they don’t fly all over the play area.

I asked for the fluorescent pink acrylic, but the picture on their website looked more red than pink. I asked about the coloring and he told me that it appears to be more red in color to some folks, which didn’t matter that much to me. Looking at the tower in certain lighting makes it look a little red, but it looks mostly neon pink to me. The edges where it was cut look like they have an orange hue to them, but it looks really cool.

Etching

I requested my logo be added to the front and back of the tower, and that they increase the size of their logo on the sides. The etching is clear and legible, and it looks so cool! There are really small details on my logo and they all came out clear and crisp. I couldn’t be happier with how the etching looks. It shows up really well on the color I chose too.

The pictures I took do not do justice to the dice tower, but you can view them below.

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Final Thoughts

I love accessories and I love finding ones I can customize. I’ve been eyeing the Litko dice towers for a while and Mr. DDK told me to order one as my birthday present. I was super excited and I was not disappointed at all when it arrived. The tower exceeded my expectations all around and the customer service that I received from James was exceptional. I look forward to scoping out more of their accessories for several of the board games I like to play a lot. My tower will not be the last thing I order from Litko.

Litko will be added to my list of ‘recommended sellers of nifty accessories’!

If you make custom goodies and would like me to write a review article about your product, please contact me and I’ll give it a good look over and see if it’s something a Dice Master may be interested in. I’m always looking for something unique, cool, and useful for players.

Thanks to Litko for making such a fine product and being so accommodating with my order.

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Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

We finally got our Speedsters Organized Play Kit in this week, and just in time for the weekend!

Participation Card

Jay Garrick: Leadfoot Blank Sketch Card is the participation card. I did a CCW article for this particular card and you can find it here. Jay Garrick is a reprint of the Jay Garrick: Leadfoot card from the Green Arrow and The Flash set.

w-jay-garrick-leadfoot

My ratings for this card are the same as the ones in my CCW article. I haven’t changed my mind on those but at the time I wrote my CCW article, the PDC Prime format hadn’t been announced yet.

Jay Garrick: Leadfoot Prime Rating

So, I really like this card for Unlimited. I like it even more for Prime. There are plenty of Globals that players can abuse in Prime and Jay Garrick can help you stop them from using them, or at least force them to pay more of their energy to use them. As previously mentioned in my Unlimited rating, he works great with S.T.A.R. Labs Global. If you don’t use that energy for Jay Garrick, you can potentially use it to shuffle some Sidekicks around. I don’t think he’ll be on every team, but he’s totally worth checking out, especially for those nasty characters that have an ability that only Crossover characters can affect. Do not overlook this character for Prime – he might be the piece you need.

Jay Garrick: Leadfoot gets a rating of three out of five stars.
3 Stars

Fellowship Card

Barry Allen: Fastest Man Alive is the Fellowship card. Lots of venues and TO’s determine who gets Fellowship in different ways. I’ve seen folks draw names, vote, roll dice, or even give it to the last place player. At our venue, we have everyone who is eligible roll a D20. The player that rolls the highest number gets the Fellowship card.

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Barry Allen is a Bolt and Fist Crossover character with the Justice League affiliation. Crossover characters must be purchased with at least one of each of their energy types. You are allowed to use Wild energy to purchase a Crossover character. For example: If you had three Fist energy, one Shield energy, and one Wild energy, you would be able to purchase Barry Allen because the Wild counts for the Bolt requirement of his purchase cost. He’s also got a max dice of three – worth noting because many OP exclusive cards have different max dice counts. His dice can be found in the Green Arrow and The Flash set.

Barry Allen has the Fast keyword, which allows him to deal his combat damage before other characters that don’t have Fast. If there are multiple characters with Fast, they all deal their combat damage at the same time, before other characters without Fast.

He has another ability that says Villain characters with the Fast keyword deal no damage to Barry Allen dice. This ability does not specify combat damage or ability damage, so any Villain with Fast that can deal ability damage to Barry Allen dice, would not be able to. This also prevents Barry Allen dice from taking combat damage as a blocker or if he’s blocked by a Villain with Fast.

Competitive Rating

For an unlimited setting, this is probably one of the better Barry Allen/Flash characters, but he would require your opponent’s character to have Fast and be a Villain. There are multiple ways to make characters Villains, but only one way that I can find at the moment to give an opponent’s character Fast. This is totally a conditional card. I love that he has Fast built in, his cost can be reduced, his attack stats are really good, his defense isn’t terrible, and his fielding costs aren’t the worst. I don’t see him making it into the meta though.

Barry Allen: Fastest Man Alive gets a rating of one out of five stars.
1 Star

Prime Rating

For Prime, there are way more options for playable characters with Fast and some are even Villains already. As for ways to give a character the Villain affiliation, not so much so. But I think this card may be able to squeak his way out as a heavy attacker since he already has Fast. Another benefit is that he’s a Crossover character. Like I mentioned above with Jay Garrick, this could be useful against certain teams that benefit from their opponent not using Crossover characters. And while cost reducers are far and few between in Prime, Barry Allen only costs five energy, which is very affordable in the Prime format. I wouldn’t overlook this card, but I don’t think he’s the next big OP card.

Barry Allen: Fastest Man Alive gets a rating of two out of five stars.
2 Stars

Casual Rating

Barry Allen’s abilities are not overly complicated for a beginner to understand. He doesn’t have reminder text for Fast, but finding a definition for it is not a problem. WizKids keeps their Keywords Page updated and that’s where I would suggest players go to find information on keywords they aren’t familiar with. The Reserve Pool has an extended Lexicon page in their Wiki, which is the next place I would suggest players go. Both of those sites are extremely useful for players of all skill levels. Barry’s other ability might be slightly confusing at first for a brand new player, but a little explanation about the Villain affiliation should clear it up quickly. The part about damage is fairly clear, since it doesn’t say only combat damage or only ability damage, but a newer player may not realize he prevents ability damage from Fast Villains. I think this is a great card to use for damage type examples and I don’t think he’s too confusing for a newer player, after his abilities are explained. But because he needs to be explained so much, I can only give him a rating of three stars. If WizKids used the same Villain affiliation symbol for all Villains, I may have been able to bump him up to four stars. The different Villain affiliation symbols still cause confusion among new players, especially when an ability uses only one of the symbols, like Barry’s.

Barry Allen: Fastest Man Alive gets a rating of three out of five stars.
3 Stars

First Place Prize Card

Professor Zoom: Thief is the first place prize card. To get this card, you’ll have to place first out of all the players in the tournament. With myself and Mr. DDK, if we win first place, we always forfeit the first place OP card to the next player. Sometimes, our other players that have won the card in a previous event will pass it down if they win a second event.

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Professor Zoom is a Fist character with the Villain affiliation. Like Barry Allen, he’s got a max dice of three and his dice can be found in the Green Arrow and The Flash set.

Professor Zoom also has the Fast keyword, like Barry Allen.

Professor Zoom’s second ability says that you can pay two less for the turn, to purchase his dice as long as you use a Cosmic Treadmill die. Cosmic Treadmill is a Non-Basic Action from the Green Arrow and The Flash set and it has a common, uncommon, and rare version. You would need to use the Cosmic Treadmill die before attempting to purchase a Professor Zoom die.

Competitive Rating

I don’t see this card hitting any unlimited competitive team. His purchase cost is too high for his stats and the only beneficial ability he has is Fast. His other ability requires you to bring, purchase, roll, and then use a Non-Basic Action that may not be worth considering for the current unlimited meta. I don’t see this card being a good consideration for any unlimited team, even if the team was built around it – I think it would be way too slow to be effective.

Professor Zoom: Thief gets a rating of zero out of five stars.
0 Stars

Prime Rating

I think that the limited amount of cards in the Prime meta could be beneficial to higher cost cards like this. Sure, he requires the Cosmic Treadmill to be completely useful, but someone out there could possibly build a Prime team around Cosmic Treadmill and Professor Zoom. Cosmic Treadmill: Antique Shop Discovery could be a particularly great card with Multiple Man, while also allowing you to purchase a Professor Zoom die. I wouldn’t completely overlook this card, especially since he’s already got Fast and his cost can be reduced. You could potentially roll up a Fast 5A/5D character that only cost one to field. I like him for Prime and may even play around with him for my Prime team.

Professor Zoom: Thief gets a rating of three out of five stars.
3 Stars

Casual Rating

I like this card for beginners. It points the player directly to another card in a current set and the player gets a benefit from actually purchasing and using that die. I think I love this card! Professor Zoom’s abilities are not hard to understand and don’t need lots of explanation. Even though the reminder text is not present for Fast, it’s not difficult to grab a current rulebook or even check the previously mentioned sites for reference on how Fast works. I could definitely recommend this card for a player of any skill level.

Professor Zoom: Thief gets a rating of four out of five stars.
4 Stars

Final Thoughts

For those without a local scene, are they worth traveling for? It really depends on the individual. If you gotta have every blank sketch variant, then you should be looking for these events in WIN. If you love every Barry Allen/Flash card ever, you better be looking for the events too. If you’re looking for the best meta cards, you may be able to pass on this event – if you would have to travel.

If your local scene is hosting Speedster events, I would definitely encourage every local to try and attend the events. While I don’t think these are meta breaking cards, I think there is some level of playable material in the kit. I like all of the cards for different reasons, and while Barry Allen may be confusing for some new players, you should totally try to get one if you love Barry Allen as a character.

This is a decent kit for Speedster fans with three well-known characters to comic and TV series fans alike. I like the character choices and I love the connecting art on Professor Zoom and Barry Allen. I like that Jay Garrick is the sketch variant, because I’m totally gonna try to get a John Wesley Shipp version done. I liked him much better as Jay Garrick than as the Flash – but that 90’s Flash series was fun to watch!

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Which card do you like from this kit?
Which card do you think may see meta play, unlimited or Prime?Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!

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Special thanks to The Reserve Pool for the use of their site.

Roll on, Dice Masters!