Posts Tagged ‘Bonus’

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

This is the corrected article. Thanks to Michaela for making me think about my original ruling and dig a little deeper!

For this week’s confusing card of the week article, we’re going to take a look at Howard Stark: Expert Businessman  from the Marvel Iron Man and War Machine Starter set.

w-02-howard-stark-expert-businessman

Ruling – Ally

Ally is a keyword that means the character will count as a Sidekick in addition to any other type that it currently has, but only while the character is active in the Field Zone. A character with the Ally keyword does not count as a Sidekick in the bag, Prep Area, Reserve Pool, etc.

A character with Ally will become a Sidekick the very moment that it enters the Field Zone. This is not an optional keyword and you cannot trigger it because it applies the instant the character is fielded. This matters specifically for abilities like the one on Punisher: War Journal.

Ruling – Ability

Howard Stark’s ability is definitely a interesting one. You can only use it at the beginning of your turn, before you start your Clear and Draw Step. You can sacrifice a Howard Stark die to give the characters your active characters that you control a +2A for the rest of the turn. You may sacrifice any number of Howard Stark dice and each will give a +2A, but you must do it before your Clear and Draw Step. This ability is optional to use. If you start your Clear and Draw Step and didn’t sacrifice a Howard Stark die first, you cannot back up because you missed the timing window for his ability.

When you sacrifice a character die, that die goes Out of Play until the Clean Up Step where it then goes to the Used Pile. When a die is Out of Play, game effects cannot affect those dice. Examples – Professor X: Recruiting Young Mutants Global cannot be used on Sidekicks Out of Play and Reclaim cannot be used to get a Howard Stark die into the Prep Area on the same turn it was sacrificed.

The buff that Howard Stark’s effect gives affects all characters you have active in the Field Zone at the time you sacrifice his die. Each of his dice that you sacrifice will give your active characters a +2A. If you sacrifice two Howard Stark dice, you characters that are in the Field Zone will get a +4A until the end of your turn. This type of ability is an applied bonus.

Miscellaneous Card Information

~ Howard Stark is a Mask Character.
~ He has the S.H.I.E.L.D. affiliation.
~ He has a max dice of four.
~ This card is a Common and is #2 of 34.

If you purchase the Iron Man and War Machine starter set, you will get all the cards, but not maximum dice for each character. You will need two starters for maximum character dice because those dice are not available in any other set.

Examples

These examples are for information purposes only, to show what would happen in certain scenarios. I am not suggesting that these examples are the best outcomes for each scenario and each example only features relevant parts of the turn, not the entire turn.

Example One:
Sacrificing more than one Howard Stark.

~ I have two level one Howard Stark dice and three Sidekick dice in the Field Zone.
~ I begin my turn by sacrificing one of my Howard Stark dice. This will give my three Sidekick dice a +2A until end of turn. I sacrifice my second Howard Stark die, giving my Sidekick dice an additional +2A for a total of +4A until end of turn.
~ (Clear and Draw Step) I clear any dice remaining in my Reserve Pool from the previous turn and draw four dice from my bag. Any character dice that I draw, roll, and field, will not get the +4A buff.

Official Sources

WizKids Official Rules Forum (WORF) does not have a ruling for this specific card.

You can find an Ally ruling in the Punisher: War Journal ruling, and many other rulings, here.

You can find a ruling about Sacrifice, here.

Turn Order Summary Reference

turn-order

Unlimited Competitive Play Rating

While I think this card is quite good, I don’t see anyone playing it unless Bard gets an errata or somehow makes the banned list (not likely). He costs one less than Bard, but you have to sacrifice him for his ability. Someone like me would try to use Stark in a major event, but I don’t see him making many team lists out there. There are better options for his type of ability – the big one being Bard. He does have the advantage of getting around Cold Guns though, so he’s not a card I’d forget about anytime soon just on the chance that we see a WizKids rotation that hits Bard.

Howard Stark: Expert Businessman gets a rating of one out of five stars.
1 Star

Prime Play Rating

I think this card is great for Prime, but I don’t expect a lot of folks to play him if they aren’t using Overcrush. He’s got great fielding costs, especially since you may be sacrificing him! But if you’re using Reclaim, he could easily be churned many times over for some pretty devastating results. Just remember that you don’t want a Reclaim die the same turn you sacrifice him, because he’ll be Out of Play on the turn he’s sacrificed. I have the perfect place for this card on my Grodd team and I can’t wait to try him out.

Howard Stark: Expert Businessman gets a Prime rating of three out of five stars.
3 Stars

Casual Play Rating

Howard Stark’s ability is absolutely confusing. I’m not sure why I thought it was a static type bonus, but he had all of us here confused. Thankfully, Michaela mentioned that it might be applied and not static, which got me to thinking and digging deeper. Glad she said something! So, Stark is lucky I don’t knock him down to a three for causing so much confusion. The needed knowledge for sacrifice can be obtained easily if the player is looking for it. Some new players may confuse sacrificing for KO’ing, but once they know the difference, it’s not usually an issue. Lots of players forget or don’t know that sacrificed characters go Out of Play instead of the directly to the Used Pile. It’s a common mistake among players of all skill levels. I can still easily recommend Howard Stark for players of all skill levels, even with his earlier confusion. He’s a great card, and he offers a great way to showcase the rarely used game mechanic, sacrifice.

Howard Stark: Expert Businessman gets a casual play rating of four out of five stars.
4 Stars

Mistakes Were Made!

And this goes to show everyone – I absolutely do make mistakes. I’m definitely not perfect and for all my understanding of the game, this one card tripped me up today. I’m a one person operation here, but I will usually consult with Mr. DDK and a few of the other locals that are more competitive for their opinions, just to be sure I’ve got my interpretation right. Very rarely do we have this issue, but Howard Stark had all of us fooled today! But I’m still so glad I picked him for the Confusing Card of the Week. Never be afraid to question things you think may not be accurate. You could save someone a world of problems, like Michaela did for me today! And don’t be ashamed or embarrassed by a mistake. Admit the mistake, pick yourself up, and roll on!

Opinions on this card? Leave a comment!
Is there a card your confused on?
Is there a combo that seems too good to be true?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

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

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.

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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!

 

With the WKO quickly approaching, I decided to give one of my team considerations a test run in our tournament. If you watch the tournament videos on my YouTube channel, I have to apologize for the excessive amount of background noise. The store is very busy on Saturday nights and it’s really hard for me to play and mitigate the excessive noise at the same time. Hopefully, the regulars will get used to me filming and be a little more aware of their volume and conversation content. My irritation shows a little in the videos and I apologize for that as well. It’s very frustrating when you can’t hear what the person sitting across from you is saying.

You may hear me reference someone named Donatella, but that’s just my life tracker.

donatella-2

My Team

my-team-1-28-17

You can find my team here, on DM Retrobox.

I want Lady Bullseye to work – really bad. But I think she’s too difficult to maneuver in such a fast meta. I do love Overcrush though and it’s almost as if Gorilla Grodd was made for me. Mr. DDK suggested using Tsarina and Guy Gardner with Grodd, which I thought was a good idea so I did it. This has been one of the team ideas I’ve been throwing around for the WKO, so I figured that this would be a perfect chance to test it. I added Elf Thief for Mask energy and little bit of control, which I never used – not in a single game. Cold Gun is there to help me get around nasty characters like Dwarf Wizard or Ronin. Rip, PXG, and Blue-Eyes are all utility cards. I chose Slander as one of my Basic Actions because it works like Cold Gun but doesn’t damage – just in case I need to blank a character without damaging it. It’s also one cheaper and doesn’t require specific energy, but it’s not Continuous like Cold Gun. I chose Invulnerability for it’s Global, and because I might be able to use its ability if I bought the die.

Round One

r1-1-28-17

You can watch my first round match on my YouTube channel, here. I was up against North and the Unlimited version of his Satchel team. My first purchase was probably wrong in this game. I couldn’t decide between Guy and Tsarina and I Ripped a Guy instead of Tsarina. I think I would have been better off with Tsarina instead of Guy because when I rolled him on my next turn, I got stuck with him on a character face. I would rather have had a Tsarina since she doesn’t have to attack each turn. I also got a little purchase happy when I bought Grodd early game and I didn’t reroll any Sidekicks in an attempt to get a Shield to Rip him. I was left with a Bolt and I didn’t really have anything to use it for. I hate when that happens because I feel like I’m wasting resources. I ended up purchasing one of North’s Imprisoned dice to help me get around Ronin and any potential blockers, as well as removing characters he could spin down in order to prevent Tsarina’s ability damage. We did make an error in the game where I had Imprisoned his Ronin, but he didn’t return his Ronin after Tsarina damaged him with her ability. He should have gotten Ronin back and been able to use him as a blocker, since Imprisoned would have left before the Assign Blockers portion of the Attack Step. It happened again later when I was attacking for lethal damage. I didn’t realize that until watching the video and writing this report that we both overlooked that. If I had been paying closer attention to the card abilities, Tsarina would not have been part of the final attack and I would still have been able to claim a victory. I unfortunately won the first round with two unintentional game play errors, but without the video, I wouldn’t have noticed it.

Record after Round One: 1-0-0

Round Two

r2-1-28-17

You can watch my second round match on my YouTube channel, here. I was facing off against Hannah’s Action Burn team in round two. This match was relatively short, and a bit of a revenge match from last week. The tables were turned this week and I didn’t roll as well as I would have liked, much like the trouble Hannah faced last week when her team wanted to give her issues. We both had a rough start, but Hannah’s team bounced back quickly and there wasn’t much I could do. I probably should have purchased as many of her Magic Missile dice as I could, just to slow down her damage output. I shouldn’t have Ripped my second Grodd, even though it didn’t matter much in this particular game, but I should have purchased more Guy and Tsarina dice instead. Sometimes games just don’t go the way you’d like them to and this was my moment for the bad rolls. Hannah did well with her comeback, and she made the right choice in clearing my field with her Magic Missile Global so that she could attack and secure her victory.

Record after Round Two: 1-1-0

Round Three

r3-1-28-17

I got to face off against one of my own teams in round three. Olivia wanted to use a variation on my Girl Power team, so I let her borrow it. She fielded lots of Sidekicks early in the match and even purchased a she-Hulk early game. Black Cat was a troublesome character as she made me reroll some of the characters I needed to keep in the Field. Luckily, they all came back up on character faces, but the threat of them leaving the Field scared me a little. I Ripped and purchased a Grodd around mid-game, but I needed to get my Guys back in the Field. They were proving to be very difficult to work with since they are required to attack each turn. When it came time to start attacking, Guy came through for me. She blocked my first big attack of Grodd and Guys, which returned most of them to the Field Zone. I drew what was left of my Guy dice and some Tsarina dice and was attacking for lethal damage on the turn after my first major attack. She had mostly Sidekicks as blockers and no way to avoid the massive amount of Overcrush damage from my Guys.

Record after Round Three: 2-1-0
Final Standing: 3rd

Final Thoughts

I hope that everyone takes something away from this report – especially from my mistakes. We are not defined by our mistakes, but by how we learn from them. I’m so glad that error was caught on video because this gives everyone a chance to review it and make mental notes about it so that they don’t make that mistake later, or have it made against them like North did.

Now, about the team itself. I really love this team. It’s definitely a top contender for what I’ll be playing at the WKO. I do not like Elf Thief though, and I’m probably going to replace him for either Constantine: Hellblazer or Antihero. While I like Cold Gun, I almost feel I don’t need it if I’m using Slander. Sure, it does damage and it possibly blanks a dude, but Slander blanks too. I definitely  don’t think I need both, and I’m probably swapping one of them for something else. I just have to decide which one to take off the team and what to put in its place. I like Tsarina, Grodd, and Guy as the main core of the team, so that won’t be changing. It’s nice to know that I don’t necessarily have to have all of the pieces to win as they’re all great on their own. They’re just really silly together and I love it!

What are some changes you’d make without changing the spirit of the team?
Have a build you like better?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

I apologize for the lack of tournament reports the last few weeks. We’ve hosted events each week, but I was working on videos and neglected to get pictures of my opponents’ teams the last few weeks. I think I have a decent understanding of how to use my camera and software now, at least enough to get some featured matches up on my YouTube channel. Please subscribe to my channel on YouTube so you don’t miss any upcoming review videos or featured tournament matches!

I want to mention that we do not do ties in our local events. All of our players are aware that in larger events such as a WKO or PDC event, if you go into turns and do not defeat your opponent by reducing their life total to zero, the match ends in a tie.

My Team

my-team-1-21-17

You can find my team here, on DM Retrobox.

Ever since the release of the Deadpool set, I’ve been trying my hardest to find a way to make Lady Bullseye work. It’s almost impossible in an unlimited format, because it’s too difficult to get all the proper pieces to align perfect every time. But I thought I’d give it go in a prime format to see if I could make a somewhat functional team with her and Gorilla Grodd. Putting those two together is almost a no-brainer – they’re perfect for each other. I chose Stepford Cuckoos: Celeste for a few reasons. She can target herself or I can use her to target one of my Lady Bullseye or Multiple Man dice that may be stuck in the field. She gives me an opportunity to remove a potential blocker or trouble character from my opponent’s Field Zone as well. Even though my opponent gets to choose which character they move to the Prep Area, it’s still a benefit for me. Multiple Man: Pile On! is an easy choice. He’s got a max dice of six, Swarm, and only cost two. Agent Carter: Answered the Call was another easy choice, for that bit of control. I may not have an Elf Thief to steal energy, but my opponent is going to waste an energy to field a Sidekick or any character with the Ally Keyword. I like my control pieces and Captain Cold’s Cold Gun: Frozen “Firearm” was an easy choice as well. Bane: Professional Criminal and Wasp: Fashionista are both great control pieces for their Globals. I could taunt a character into attacking and either block it to KO it, or let it through to force it back into the bag cycle. The force block Global is key for Lady Bullseye and Grodd. I use it on the character that Lady Bullseye targeted with her ability to ensure I get my double damage Overcrush. I chose Heroes in a Half-Shell and Too Big To Fly for my two Basic Action Cards to help boost my attackers if I needed that extra push. Too Big To Fly’s ability is extremely beneficial in getting rid of troublesome characters.

Round One

round-1-1-21-17

My first round match was the featured match. You can watch the video on my YouTube Channel, here. If you watch the video, you can see that Hannah didn’t have the best rolls and I had pretty decent rolls. I was able to Rip a Grodd in this game, and she didn’t have many ways to stop or counter Overcrush. I’ve seen her team in action before and it’s a really good team, but her dice didn’t want to roll for her this time.

Record after Round One: 1-0-0

Round Two

round-2-1-21-17

Round two I found myself facing off against Mr. DDK. I suspected his team was going to be rather speedy and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I used my Cuckoos to clear some of his characters out of the field, helping me slow down his progress a little. This particular match made me realize that I need to add one more Cuckoos and reduce Agent Carter by one. If I would’ve had a third Cuckoos die, my match may have gone much easier for me. He purchase all of his Rocket dice, but thanks to the Cuckoos I used, it kept many of them in rotation and out of the Field. His Lockjaw helped him regain some of the life I chipped away at early in the game. Agent Carter made it more difficult for him to field his Sidekicks for Justice. He used his Motorcycle Global to great effect during our match. I originally thought that this card was terrible, but that was before PDC announced Prime, and Motorcycle isn’t terrible for Prime. I fielded a Grodd very early against Mr. DDK, which I’m convinced helped me defeat him. Once I was able to get enough characters fielded and several Lady Bullseye dice circulating, I was able to overcome his defenses for my second round victory.

Record after Round Two: 2-0-0

Round Three

round-3-1-21-17

I’ve seen North’s Satchel team in action several times over the last few weeks as he’s worked on fine tuning it. I was thrilled that he played it in our first local Prime event. I know that several folks out there think Satchel is terrible, but this team won our event. It was slow going for both of us in the beginning, but we were both able to pick up speed a few turns in. He was using Oracle: Master Investigator, which slowed me down a little, but not a lot. She made it harder for me to Rip and purchase certain characters, like Grodd. His Ronin absorbed several of my Overcrush hits throughout the match. I tried to cycle my two Cuckoos to the best of my ability, but when I needed both to roll a character face, they didn’t. He did well in keeping a Cold Gun with burst(s) in the Field Zone in order to blank Grodd when I attacked. We went into turns, but even with my final attack, I couldn’t get enough damage through. My biggest mistake in this game was not purchasing my Cold Gun dice. By the time I realized I needed them, it was too late. North defeated me and took first place in our first prime tournament.

Record after Round Three: 2-1-0
Final Standing: 2nd

Final Thoughts

This was our first experience with the prime format in a tournament setting. Lots of things were as I expected, and others were a bit different. I expected the rounds to take a little longer as the games would go many more turns than they do in an unlimited format, and this turned out to be true in our event. I also expected to have a difficult time in buying and fielding Grodd, but this was not as difficult as I originally thought. He is a very expensive character and without ramp or cost reducers, you would think him impossible to obtain. There are several ways I tried to get around the ramp issue, like with Stepford Cuckoos and Multiple Man. They worked amazingly well, but I did realize that I need one more Cuckoos die an one less Agent Carter die. I’ve also considered changing out Heroes in a Half-Shell for Superhero Registration Act. My one concern in doing so is that I won’t have my cheaper action to purchase if my dice don’t roll the energy I want or need. Having that action that only cost two energy is a major plus, especially if my opponent is using Rip, allowing me to Rip it on my first turn for a potential two extra energy on my second turn. I’m not sure I want to make that change, but I’ll be testing it in the future. I was very pleased with how my team performed. I did some minor play testing with Mr. DDK against Bat-Family, but I didn’t test it against the team he played in the tournament. I felt like I should have tested it against other builds, just to get the feel for how it would play against other things that weren’t Bat-Family. But overall, I really like this team and I can’t wait to try it out again!

What are some changes you’d make without changing the spirit of the team?
Have a build you like better?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

We played a limited event this past Saturday and this type of format is becoming a local favorite. Each player pays a $10.00 entry fee and they are allowed to choose ten boosters from any set that the store has in stock. Players can mix and match if they choose, but the best strategy is usually to choose ten from the same set. We had Battle for Faerûn, World’s Finest, Green Arrow and The Flash, and Deadpool in stock.

My Team

my-team-12-10-16

You can find my team here, on DM Retrobox.

I chose all ten packs from Deadpool. When I opened my packs, the cards I saw that stood out were several Deadpool affiliated characters, and one Lady Bullseye. I was definitely hoping for at least two of her dice, but I only pulled one, so I had to figure out something else. I volunteered to run the store that night so that the owner could spend some time with his family at a Christmas party. When you’re working and trying to build a team, you don’t always get the same amount of time as others to build. I threw a bunch of dudes together and hoped for the best! I picked all the Deadpool folks – without reading them, Free Chimichangas because it gives a defense boost and Deadly, Multiple Man because he has Swarm and I had two dice for him, and Lady Bullseye because – why not? Knowing my time was extremely limited on building, I grabbed Hulk Out and Resurrection for my two Basic Actions. I knew I couldn’t go wrong with a little ramp and Hulk Out to go with Lady Bullseye isn’t a bad idea.

Round One

round-1-12-10-16

My round one opponent had decided to build from the D&D stock. I loved having both Resurrection Globals to use, and that definitely helped me. I was not excited to see that Magic Helmet on my opponent’s team. It was a great counter piece to my Dogpool. I realized I had made a mistake when building my team by adding Outlaw. I only had one die for her, which made her a totally useless character. I could always use her for fodder, but her ability was bunk for me. I also made a huge mistake during this match. I was so focused on buying all of my Deadpool characters (except for Outlaw), that I neglected to buy any of my Hulk Out dice. This gave my opponent an opportunity to use his Big Entrance die and the three energy he rolled to buy all three of my Hulk Out dice at once. I didn’t think I was going to be able to pull off a victory in this match when he started fielding big characters, like his Minotaur, but some well placed blockers and well timed attacks left him practically defenseless. My characters were beefy on defense and heavy on attack stats, helping me find a path to victory. It was a glorious game of agonizing over when to attack and how to block. These are the games that make you feel good, regardless of who won and who lost.

Record after Round One: 1-0-0

Round Two

round-2-12-10-16

I found myself sitting across the table from Mr. DDK in round two. I always have the hardest time defeating him in any game, constructed or otherwise. I was fortunate though, that he missed my Resurrection Global for a turn or two because he didn’t notice it, which I feel slowed him down a little. He hit me pretty hard with a level three Angel Dust, but I blocked most of his other attackers. Letting Angel Dust through was a good choice because she went to the Used Pile and she had to cycle back through his bag. I only needed my Kidpool this game, because my opponent brought that glorious Anger Issues Global. Add a Hulk Out or two into that mix and it was game over for Mr. DDK. I considered myself very lucky that some of his dice didn’t roll for him and most of mine rolled on the side I needed or a side that I could use. He did some major damage though, so it wasn’t a cake walk. I did feel like I could lose the game on any turn if he rolled what he needed. That’s the nature of the game though. It was still a fun match with some back and forth and attacking/blocking strategy.

Record after Round Two: 2-0-0

Round Three

round-3-12-10-16

I apologize for the picture. I totally forgot to snap a picture before we packed up, but he was kind enough to unpack his stuff before he left so that I could at least get a pick of his cards. It was totally my fault that I didn’t get the picture I wanted and I have to thank my opponent again for doing this for me.

This game was incredible. I was fielding characters left and right, and he was constantly attacking me with his Purple Worm. It was pretty intense for several turns, because one misplaced blocker could have put either of us in jeopardy. I took a chance on one of my last turns and attacked when he had several characters. I knew he couldn’t clear my field completely so I’d have some blockers left if he rolled his characters back up. My two Deadly Deadpool dice were very useful this entire match, and even more on this particular attack. I was left with several character dice after the combat was done and my opponent was rolling all of those characters I KO’d on his turn. I was hoping only one or two would roll. He rolled his dice and none were characters. He rerolled the character dice, and luck was on my side – they all came up energy! I will not turn down a victory, but I do not like winning when my opponent has no options and can’t defend themselves – even if it’s because of a bad roll. But aside from how the game ended, the rest of the game was tons of fun. I’m very happy my opponent came to play and he ended up in third place for the event.

Record after Round Three: 3-0-0
Final Standing: 1st

Final Thoughts

We only used ten packs for our first sealed event a while back, and part of me thought that ten packs wasn’t enough. After playing this format a second time with only ten packs, I think ten is probably going to be the magic number. Some players will end up pulling great cards that have wonderful synergy together, and some won’t pull anything that works together at all. It’s not what you pull, but how you use it – with a bit of luck. I definitely had some luck on my side for this event. My team did not have anything that actually worked together for a super cool effect. Lady Deadpool and Kidpool were about all I had, and Lady Deadpool’s ability only made her cheaper to buy – nothing else after you had her. Kidpool worked with any of my Deadpool characters. You don’t have to have a team that functions like a constructed team in an event like this. Everyone is working with what they’ve pulled so everyone is kinda on the same page. Even pulling a Super Rare doesn’t guarantee you win – I had one rare (Dogpool) and I didn’t use his ability a single time. The rest of my team was common and uncommon, and I just threw everything together without really reading most of the cards. In my opinion, the Deadpool set is really good for limited events like sealed and drafts. Everyone is so used to drafting with sets that have cards with crazy good Globals or they play way too much constructed, that they don’t see how much fun this set is. I’m so glad I picked Deadpool to use in the sealed and I would totally do it again.

What are some changes you’d make without changing the spirit of the team?
Have a build you like better?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

Today, we’re going to take a look at Motorcycle: Vroom! from the Marvel Deadpool set. I get lots of questions about when a player can use an Action die, so I chose one of the newer Non-Basic Actions for this week’s CCW. This is also the only card with a Global Ability on it in the entire Deadpool set.

2-motorcycle-vroom

Ruling – Ability

Motorcycle will give a blocked character that you control +1A and +1D. This bonus will last until the end of turn.

The only time you can use an Action die is during your turn in the Main Step or after blockers have been assigned in the Attack Step. The timing for this die is specific. You must have a blocked character to be able to use this Action die. You can only use this die during the Attack Step, after blockers have been assigned.

You can only target your blocked character with this die. This ability does not allow you to target an opponent’s character. If you were to take control of an opponent’s character die, it would then be a legal target.

Action dice that are not used during the turn will go to the Used Pile during the Clean Up Step. If the Action dice are on an energy face, they stay in the Reserve Pool.

Ruling – Global

The Global Ability says that you can pay a Fist energy to remove a blocked character die from the Attack Zone. The Attack Zone is part of the Field Zone.

If you do not have a legal target for this Global, you cannot pay the cost for no effect. There must be a blocked attacker in the Attack Zone. The target can be either yours or your opponent’s.

Affiliations and Types

Motorcycle: Vroom! is a Fist Non-Basic Action and does not have an affiliation. This card also has a Max Dice of four.

Examples

These examples are for information purposes only, to show what would happen in certain scenarios. I am not suggesting that these examples are the best outcomes for each scenario.

Example One:
Regular use of the Action ability.

~ I have one Sidekick in the Field Zone and one Motorcycle on an Action side in my Reserve Pool. My opponent has a Sidekick in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) I assign my Sidekick to attack, moving it into the Attack Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) My opponent assigns their Sidekick to block, moving it to the Attack Zone and placing it in front of the attacker.
~ (Attack Step – Actions/Globals) I decide to use my Motorcycle Action and target my blocked Sidekick die, giving it a +1A and +1D. I pass priority to my opponent so that they can use Globals if they can or want to do so. They do not use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step – Assign/Resolve Damage) My Sidekick deals two damage to the blocking Sidekick’s one defense and the blocking Sidekick deals one damage to my Sidekick’s two defense.
~ (Attack Step – Assign/Resolve Damage) My opponent’s Sidekick took enough damage for it to be KO’d and it is sent to the Prep Area.
~ (Clean Up Step) My Sidekick did not take enough damage to get KO’d and will move back into the Field Zone. All dice Out of Play are moved to the Used Pile and all effects end (unless otherwise stated).

Example Two:
No legal targets for the Action.

~ I have one Sidekick in the Field Zone and one Motorcycle on an Action side in my Reserve Pool. My opponent has a Sidekick in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) I assign a Sidekick to attack, moving it into the Attack Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) My opponent does not assign any blockers.
~ (Attack Step – Actions/Globals) I cannot use my Motorcycle because I do not have a blocked character to target. I do not use any Globals and neither does my opponent.
~ (Attack Step – Assign/Resolve Damage) My Sidekick deals one damage to my opponent’s life total and is moved Out of Play.
~ (Clean Up Step) My Motorcycle die is moved to the Used Pile. All dice that are Out of Play are moved into the Used Pile and all effects end (unless otherwise stated). 

Example Three:
Turn player using Global.

~ I have one Sidekick in the Field Zone and one Fist energy in my Reserve Pool. My opponent has a Sidekick in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) I assign a Sidekick to attack, moving it into the Attack Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) My opponent assigns a Sidekick to block, moving it to the Attack Zone and placing it in front of the attacker.
~ (Attack Step – Actions/Globals) I spend my Fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to use the Global on Motorcycle targeting my Sidekick. My Sidekick is moved out of the Attack Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign/Resolve Damage) There are no attackers to deal damage to the blocking Sidekick or my opponent. The blocker does not have an attacker to deal damage to. No damage is dealt.
~ (Clean Up Step) The blocking Sidekick is moved back into the Field Zone because it was not KO’d. All dice that are Out of Play are moved to the Used Pile and all effects end (unless otherwise stated).

Example Four:
Non-Turn player using Global.

~ I have one Sidekick in the Field Zone and one Fist energy in my Reserve Pool. My opponent has a Sidekick in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) My opponent assigns a Sidekick to attack, moving it into the Attack Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) I assign a Sidekick to block, moving it to the Attack Zone and placing it in front of the attacker.
~ (Attack Step – Actions/Globals) My opponent has a chance to use Actions. They don’t use any. They now can use Globals, but choose not to and pass priority to me. I spend my Fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to use the Global on Motorcycle targeting my opponent’s Sidekick. Their Sidekick is moved out of the Attack Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign/Resolve Damage) There are no attackers to deal damage to the blocking Sidekick or my life total. The blocker does not have an attacker to deal damage to. No damage is dealt.
~ (Clean Up Step) The blocking Sidekick is moved back into the Field Zone because it was not KO’d. All dice that are Out of Play are moved to the Used Pile and all effects end (unless otherwise stated).

Official Sources

WizKids Official Rules Forum (WORF) does not have an official ruling for this specific card.

You can find the ruling about using a Global for no effect, here.

The picture below is the Turn Order Summary from the back of the Civil War Rulebook.

turn-order

Clean Up Step detailed on page 11-12 of the Civil War Rulebook.

Competitive Play Rating

This card seems to be pretty terrible for competitive play. One might think the Global would make it worthwhile, but even the Global seems poor. We have Distraction and Blink – Transmutation which are much better versions of the Motorcycle Global because they don’t require the character to be blocked in order for you to pull them back. The ability on the card isn’t particularly useful. Unless we have a rotation that includes sets all the way up to Faerûn Under Siege, I don’t see this card making it onto any serious competitive team.

Motorcycle: Vroom! gets a competitive play rating of zero out of five stars.
0 Stars

Casual Play Rating

Motorcycle may not have the most useful ability or Global for the competitive scene, but I could see someone trying to use it on a casual team with the Deadly Keyword. This is great teaching tool for timing, but I can’t recommend this card for a beginner. A player with a better understanding of the turn order could probably find a fun use for this card. I still don’t feel like the card itself is particularly useful with other cards that do similar things or have better versions of the abilities.

Motorcycle: Vroom! gets a casual play rating of two out of five stars.
2 Stars

Opinions on this card? Leave a comment!
Is there a card your confused on?
Is there a combo that seems too good to be true?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

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

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

Today, we’re going to take a look at  Lockjaw: Fiercely Loyal  from the Marvel Deadpool set.

lockjaw-fiercely-loyal

Ruling – Ability

Lockjaw’s ability is a While Active ability. It doesn’t matter how many Lockjaw dice you have in the Field Zone, only that you have at least one for his ability to work. While Active abilities are like a light – they’re either on, or off.

Before your opponent’s Clear and Draw Step, you name a non-Sidekick die. If your opponent draws that die, each of their character dice in the Field Zone will take two damage and all of your Lockjaw dice will get +2A. The only stipulation for this ability is that the named die be a non-Sidekick die. You can name any Character or Action die, including a Non-Basic Action die.

Lockjaw’s ability only checks that the named die was drawn, and does not trigger for each of the named dice drawn.

If your opponent has any dice that are KO’d by this ability, those dice are not eligible to be rolled during the Roll and Reroll Step on that same turn.

This Paragraph is Out of Date – See Update Below!
There is still some debate over when this ability can trigger during the turn. Some players believe it triggers only during the Clear and Draw Step, while others believe that it would trigger at anytime during the turn. I have inquired about this on WORF. Until I have an official response to clear this confusion up, I have ruled that the ability only works during the opponent’s Clear and Draw Step. Through my interpretation of the wording on the card, it sounds as though the ability only checks for the die during the Clear and Draw Step. I would think that if it was intended to check for the die during the entire turn, the wording would be a little more specific like: “If your opponent draws that die this turn…”. Hopefully WizKids will respond soon to my follow up on the current WORF topic. I will update this article when there is an official ruling.

*** UPDATE! ***

WizKids has made an official ruling on when Lockjaw’s ability triggers. They have ruled that Lockjaw will trigger outside of the Clear and Draw Step. My ruling is not in line with WizKids, so I am adjusting my ruling to correspond with theirs. You can find the update on the original Lockjaw ruling, here.

Miscellaneous Card Info

Lockjaw: Fiercely Loyal is a Shield Character and has the Inhumans affiliation. This card also has a Max Dice of four.

Examples

These examples are for information purposes only, to show what would happen in certain scenarios. I am not suggesting that these examples are the best outcomes for each scenario.

Example One:
One active Lockjaw.

~ I have one Lockjaw die active. Before my opponent’s Clear and Draw Step, I name Multiple Man.
~ (Clear and Draw) My opponent clears their Reserve Pool into their Used Pile and draws four dice from their bag.
~ (Clear and Draw) They draw three Sidekick dice and one Multiple Man die.
~ (Clear and Draw) All of their active characters will take two damage, and my Lockjaw will gain +2A.

Example Two:
Multiple active Lockjaw.

~ I have three Lockjaw dice active. Before my opponent’s Clear and Draw Step, I name Multiple Man.
~ (Clear and Draw) My opponent clears their Reserve Pool into their Used Pile and draws four dice from their bag.
~ (Clear and Draw) They draw three Sidekick dice and one Multiple Man die.
~ (Clear and Draw) All of their active characters will take two damage, and my all three of my Lockjaw dice will gain +2A.

Example Three:
Drawing multiples of the named die.

~ I have one Lockjaw die active. Before my opponent’s Clear and Draw Step, I name Power Bolt.
~ (Clear and Draw) My opponent clears their Reserve Pool into their Used Pile and draws four dice from their bag.
~ (Clear and Draw) They draw three Power Bolt dice and one Sidekick die.
~ (Clear and Draw) All of their active characters will take two damage, and my Lockjaw will gain +2A.

Example Four:
Dice KO’d by Lockjaw’s ability.

~ I have one Lockjaw die active. My opponent has three Sidekick dice active and one Wolverine die in the Prep Area. Before my opponent’s Clear and Draw Step, I name Multiple Man.
~ (Clear and Draw) My opponent clears their Reserve Pool into their Used Pile and draws four dice from their bag.
~ (Clear and Draw) They draw three Sidekick dice and one Multiple Man die.
~ (Clear and Draw) All of their active characters will take two damage, and my Lockjaw will gain +2A.
~ (Clear and Draw) The three Sidekicks will be KO’d and sent to the Prep Area.
~ (Roll and Reroll) My opponent rolls the four dice they drew plus the Wolverine die that was already in their Prep Area. The Sidekicks that were KO’d on this turn will remain in the Prep Area until their next turn.

NEW! Example Five:
Named dice drawn outside of the Clear and Draw Step.

~ I have one Lockjaw die active and my opponent has two Sidekick dice active in the Field Zone. I name Multiple Man.
~ (Clear and Draw) My opponent clears their Reserve Pool into their Used Pile and draws four dice from their bag.
~ (Clear and Draw) They draw four Sidekick dice.
~ (Roll and Reroll) My opponent rolls and then rerolls the four Sidekick dice and the result is a Shield energy, two Mask energy, and a Sidekick.
~ (Main Step) My opponent spends the Shield energy (placing it Out of Play) to use the Global on Resurrection. The die that’s drawn is Multiple Man. My opponent’s two fielded Sidekicks take two damage and my Lockjaw die gets +2A.
~ (Main Step) My opponent fields the Sidekick in their Reserve Pool. It doesn’t take damage because it wasn’t active in the Field Zone when Lockjaw’s ability was triggered.

Official Sources

You can find the official ruling on WizKids Official Rules Forum (WORF), here.

Competitive Play Rating

Lockjaw’s ability is definitely interesting and potentially useful, but I feel like he’s only going to be really good in certain local metas. He’s probably not good against a Vicious Struggle team or even a Front Line team. I can’t just toss this card aside and claim he’s not viable in certain metas though. He only cost four to purchase and has a TFC of one – which is pretty awesome. His stats aren’t horrible for a defensive character, and his ability could give him some bite with that bark and possibly change your opponent’s mind about attacking. I can give him a rogue team rating, but he’s not a card that I see turning up on every team.

Lockjaw: Fiercely Loyal gets a competitive play rating of three out of five stars.
3 Stars

Casual Play Rating

If not for the confusing text on this card, he’d easily have earned three, maybe four stars from me for casual play. He’s a great card once a player understands exactly how he works. He’s got a great purchase cost, good stats, and an awesome TFC. I just wish his ability was a little easier to understand for a beginner. Players with a better understanding of the rules could probably find ways to use this card in casual play and I encourage those players to use Lockjaw. He’s not a terrible card, he just needs a bit of explanation to help players better understand how he works.

Lockjaw: Fiercely Loyal gets a casual play rating of two out of five stars.
2 Stars

Opinions on this card? Leave a comment!
Is there a card your confused on?
Is there a combo that seems too good to be true?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

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

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

Today, we’re going to take a look at  Venom: Abandoned the Stinger  from the Marvel Civil War set.

venom-abandoned-the-stinger

Ruling – Ability

Venom’s ability is a While Active ability. While Active abilities work regardless of how many of that character’s dice are in the Field Zone. While Active abilities are like a light – they’re either on, or they’re off.

Venom’s ability says that you may pay a Mask energy to give your Sidekicks either a +1A or a +1D until the end of turn. Allies will benefit from this ability because they count as Sidekicks while in the Field Zone.

There is no limit to how many times this ability can be used, provided you have the resources to do so. You are not required to choose the same bonus each time you use Venom’s ability in a single turn. If you use it once to give an attack bonus, you may use it a second time to give a defense bonus.

This ability can be used anytime you could use a Global Ability because it does not have a required trigger. Abilities like this are similar to the new keyword ability, Synergy. It’s almost like a Global that your opponent doesn’t have access to, but it requires you have the character active in the Field Zone.

Affiliations and Types

Venom: Abandoned the Stinger is a Mask Character and has the Thunderbolts and Villain affiliations.

Examples

These examples are for information purposes only, to show what would happen in certain scenarios. I am not suggesting that these examples are the best outcomes for each scenario.

Example One:
Ability use in Main Step (either player’s turn).

~  (Main Step) I have one Mask energy and two Wild energy in my Reserve Pool. I have two Venom dice and three Sidekick dice in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend one Mask energy (moving it Out of Play) to give all three of my Sidekick dice +1A.
~ (Main Step) I spend one Wild energy as a Mask energy (moving it Out of Play) to give all three of my Sidekick dice +1D.

Example Two:
Ability use in Attack Step (turn player).

~ (Attack Step) I am the turn player, or active player. I have two Mask energy in my Reserve Pool. I have one Venom die and two Sidekick dice in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) I decide to attack with my two Sidekick dice, moving them into the Attack Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) My opponent doesn’t have any characters to block with.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I can now use Action Dice, but I don’t have any that I want to use. I then look at Globals and abilities that can be used as Globals. I choose to use Venom’s ability.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I spend one Mask energy (moving it Out of Play) to use Venom’s ability and give my two Sidekick dice +1A.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I spend one Mask energy (moving it Out of Play) to use Venom’s ability a second time and give my two Sidekick dice another +1A. This gives my Sidekick dice a total of 3A.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I pass priority to my opponent. They do not use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step – Assign and Resolve Damage) My opponent will take a total of six damage from their life and my Sidekicks go Out of Play.
~ (Clean Up Step) All of the dice that are Out of Play move to the Used Pile. All effects end unless otherwise stated.

Example Three:
Ability use in Attack Step (non-turn player).

~ (Attack Step) I am the non-turn player, or inactive player. I have two Mask energy in my Reserve Pool. I have one Venom die and two Sidekick dice in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) My opponent attacks with a character that has two attack and one defense (2A/1D).
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) I decide to block with one of my Sidekick dice.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) My opponent can now use Action Dice, but doesn’t have any to use. My opponent does not use any Globals. My opponent passes priority to me.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I spend one Mask energy (moving it Out of Play) to use Venom’s ability and give my two Sidekick dice +1D.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I spend one Mask energy (moving it Out of Play) to use Venom’s ability a second time and give my two Sidekick dice another +1D. This gives my Sidekick dice a total of 3D.
~ (Attack Step – Assign and Resolve Damage) The attacking character is 2A and 1D. My Sidekicks both have 1A and 3D. The attacker will assign its one damage to my blocking Sidekick’s three defense and my Sidekick will assign its one damage to the attacker’s one defense.
~ (Clean Up Step) My Sidekick is not KO’d so it returns to the Field Zone. My opponent’s attacking character is KO’d and goes to the Prep Area.

Official Sources

UPDATE!
There has been a ruling added to WORF for abilities like Venom’s. You can find it, here.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any official sources regarding abilities that don’t have specific triggers. I hope that WizKids will either answer my question or another submitted by someone else about this on WORF. I recently had a discussion on Reddit in regards to these type of abilities. This is the argument I made for my ruling on these type of abilities (edited the card example and some grammar):

Without official guidance, we’re left to deduce when these abilities can be used. It doesn’t make sense that they would function at an odd place in the turn order without explicit instruction. That narrows down where they can be used to the Main Step and the Attack Step. Most logically, it should be available during the Main Step. That means that the turn player could use Venom’s ability at any time during the Main Step. That shouldn’t be a dispute at all for this type of ability. The dispute is over the Attack Step and non-turn player turn.

Venom does not say that you must use his ability during the Main Step. This is enough to make me believe that they turn player can use it during the Attack Step after blockers are assigned, which is when most other abilities and Globals would be used. It doesn’t make sense that you could use it before blockers or after assigning damage.

Venom does not say that he can only be used on your turn. He doesn’t say that he can be used on your opponent’s turn either. But based off of other card abilities, I would say that there would be stipulations in the text saying that you can’t use it on your opponent’s turn. The only time a non-turn player can do anything on the turn player’s turn is after being passed priority during either the Main Step or after blockers are assigned in the Attack Step.

One could argue that because it doesn’t say you can use it on your opponent’s turn that it’s not an option. At this moment, the only argument I have against this is that there are other abilities that can be used on your opponent’s turn that aren’t Globals and they don’t say anything about what turn you can use them. Most of these type of abilities have a specific trigger, but there is evidence of the option to use an ability on an opponent’s turn.

This reasoning is why I’ve ruled abilities like Venom’s as usable anytime you could use a Global Ability, or as though it was a Synergy ability. Always check with you TO ahead of a tournament and see how they wish to rule the card. Until we have an official ruling on WORF, it is possible that these type of abilities could be ruled differently at other venues.

As a general etiquette rule, you should always ask your TO about cards that don’t have official rulings. You are always free to share my rulings with your TO, but remember that my rulings are not official as I am not affiliated with WizKids.

I absolutely believe that abilities like this are the exact reason WizKids created the Synergy keyword. Another Reddit user mentioned this as well. I am very happy that they created the keyword and I hope that they make an errata for cards like Venom that help clarify when these abilities can be used. There isn’t a huge list of cards with abilities that don’t have specified triggers, so making a list of them and giving them Synergy in an official errata would clear up so much confusion.

Competitive Play Rating

Venom totally has potential to be a beast in competitive play, but what hinders him is his purchase cost. There are great Ally characters that could benefit from Venom, but the meta still moves a little too fast for Venom to gain any decent momentum. I could see someone using him as a rogue card or on a rogue team that could catch opponents off guard and slide into a top cut somewhere. If he was a four cost character, he’d be awesome! His fielding costs and stats are on point and the new Swarm Multiple Man (Deadpool set) would be great with Venom! I hope that this card finds its place in competitive play someday.

I also think the confusion over his ability may deter some players from trying to use him. The inconsistent rulings in different locations would be a huge problem for anyone trying to use this card on a regular basis.

Venom: Abandoned the Stinger gets a competitive play rating of three out of five stars.
3 Stars

Casual Play Rating

I’m not a fan of this card for casual play. The biggest reason is the lack of an official source for the use of his ability. You can explain how a card is supposed to work (or how you believe it’s supposed to work), but newer players benefit from being able to see and refer back to the source if need be. This causes lots of confusion and earns him low marks for casual play. If your locals have a good understanding of the rules and how the turn order works, I see no issue with players using Venom. The problem will start when a new player joins the group. As a TO, be consistent with your local rulings and if you decide to change a ruling, make sure all your players are clear on the change and why you made it. If you’re a casual player reading this and your TO has ruled differently than I have in my article, you can show them the article, but don’t be combative over their ruling. TO’s have the final say in their local venues, unless they can see an official ruling states differently. Not everyone will interpret card text the same and as I mentioned before, I’m not affiliated with WizKids.

Venom: Abandoned the Stinger gets a casual play rating of one out of five stars.
1 Star

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Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

Today, we’re going to take a look at Black Canary: Volatile from the DC Green Arrow and The Flash set.

black-canary-volatile

Ruling – Ability

Black Canary has the Impulse keyword ability. Impulse abilities happen when you purchase that character’s die and do not require that the character be active in the Field Zone for the ability to work. These abilities are optional because the definition of Impulse says that you may immediately use the ability when you purchase the character die.

You may also reduce the cost of the Impulse character die (Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Monstrous Dragon) and still gain the benefits of Impulse. You may use Wild energy if you do not have the required energy face to purchase an Impulse character and still gain the benefit of the Impulse ability.

When you purchase a Black Canary die, a target Crossover character gains +2A and +2D until the end of the turn. Crossover characters are special characters that have more than one energy type. Barry Allen is an example of Crossover character. When you purchase a Black Canary die, you may target a Crossover character if one is available. You are not limited to targeting your own characters with Black Canary’s Impulse ability. If your opponent has a Crossover character die in the Field Zone, you may target their die instead.

Black Canary’s ability will only grant the bonus to one die, even if you have several of the same character die in the Field Zone.

Bonuses last until the end of the turn unless otherwise stated. The bonus from Black Canary’s Impulse is a standard bonus that lasts until the end of the turn.

If you purchase an Impulse character die and do not use the Impulse ability, you will not be able to use it later in the turn. You must use it immediately when you purchase the Impulse character die.

Impulse can be used each time you purchase that character’s die. If you purchase more than one of the same Impulse character die in a turn, you get to use the Impulse ability each time, unless otherwise stated. With Black Canary’s Impulse ability, you can give the bonus to the same character or different characters, as long as they’re Crossover characters.

Affiliations and Types

Black Canary: Volatile is a Fist Character and has the Justice League affiliation.

Examples

These examples are for information purposes only, to show what would happen in certain scenarios. I am not suggesting that these examples are the best outcomes for each scenario.

Example One:
Regular Impulse purchase (multiple of the same character active)
.

~ (Main Step) I have one Fist energy and three Bolt energy in my Reserve Pool. I have one level one Barry Allen die and one level two Barry Allen die in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step)
I spend all four energy (moving the dice Out of Play) and purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I choose to use it and target my level two Barry Allen die, giving that die a +2A and +2D. The level one Barry Allen remains unchanged.

Example Two:
Reduced cost Impulse purchase.

~ (Main Step) I have one Bolt energy and two Wild energy in my Reserve Pool. I have one Barry Allen die and one Sidekick die active in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend the Bolt energy (moving it Out of Play) and KO my Sidekick to use Blue-Eyes White Dragon’s Global.
~ (Main Step) I spend the two Wild energy (moving them Out of Play) to purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I choose to use it and target my Barry Allen die, giving that die a +2A and +2D.

Example Three:
Unused Impulse purchase.

~ (Main Step) I have a Fist energy and three Shield energy in my Reserve Pool. I do not have any character dice in the Field Zone. My opponent has a Barry Allen die in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend all four energy (moving them Out of Play) and purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I do not want to give my opponent’s Barry Allen the +2A and +2D bonus so I choose to not use Black Canary’s Impulse ability.

Example Four:
Multiple Impulse purchases.

~ (Main Step) I have two Fist energy and six Mask energy in my Reserve Pool. I have one Barry Allen die in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend one Fist energy and three Mask energy (moving those four dice Out of Play) and purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I choose to use it and target my Barry Allen die, giving that die a +2A and +2D.
~ (Main Step) I spend my last Fist energy and my last three Mask energy (moving those four dice Out of Play) and purchase a Black Canary die (which goes to the Used Pile).
~ (Main Step) I must use her Impulse ability as soon as I buy her die. I choose to use it and target my Barry Allen die, giving that die a +2A and +2D.
~ (Main Step) My Barry Allen die now has +4A and +4D because I used Black Canary’s Impulse on his die two times.

Using this same example, if I had two Crossover characters, I could target each one with a Black Canary purchase instead of just targeting one of them.

Official Sources

You can find an official ruling referencing Crosspulse and Wild Energy, here.

Page 20 of the Civil War Rulebook Powers, Abilities, and Card Text talks about when effects end. The section under it, Bonuses and Damage, has information about attack and defense modifiers.

Official Rules Insert for Green Arrow and The Flash:

02-insert-card

Competitive Play Rating

Black Canary is not a card I would expect to see in any competitive constructed format. It’s not that she’s a bad card, I just think she doesn’t have what it takes to make it in competitive constructed. Her purchase cost is okay, but not with those stats. Her ability is exclusively beneficial to Crossover characters, so that’s another downside to using her. You would need to build a team that used her and a Crossover character as a potential focus for the team. Right now, I’m not sure that’s a team that would do well against Vicious Bards. Crossover characters require more precision in purchasing their dice as well, which could slow or stall a competitive team. Sorry Black Canary, you’re not my pick for a competitive team.

Black Canary: Volatile gets a competitive play rating of zero out of five stars.
0 Stars

Casual Play Rating

When you start looking at casual settings, Black Canary could be a fantastic character for a beginner. Her ability can be explained easily, she’s not expensive, and her stats are okay for a more casual environment, all of which earn her high marks for casual play. I think someone could easily make a team with her, Barry Allen: Super-Sonic Punch, and Hulk Out, just for fun. I might even do that – just because it sounds like lots of fun to play. I can easily recommend Black Canary to any player of any skill level – which is another reason she gets a higher casual rating. She isn’t a plug-n-play type card though, which keeps her at a three star rating.

Black Canary: Volatile gets a casual play rating of three out of five stars.
3 Stars

Opinions on this card? Leave a comment!
Is there a card your confused on?
Is there a combo that seems too good to be true?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

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

Roll on, Dice Masters!