Posts Tagged ‘First Turn Rule’

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

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

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

Starter Box

Starter

Box Contents

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

Rulebook

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

RulebookRules Change Noted 1

Rules Insert Card

Rules Insert

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

Rules Insert Back

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

Keywords

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

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

Affiliations

We don’t have any new affiliations in this starter, but there are some returning ones.

Justice League
Team Superman
Villains

Characters

Artemis

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

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

Giganta

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

Jimmy Olsen

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

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

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

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

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

Character Thoughts

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

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

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

Basic Action Cards

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

W Dimension Door, BAC

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

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

W Misdirection, BAC

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

W Plot Twist, BAC

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

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

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

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

W Resurrection, BAC

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

W Save Civilians, BAC

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

W Small Step For Man, BAC

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

W Take Cover, BAC

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

W Team Up, BAC

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

W The Outsider, BAC

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

W Truce, BAC

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

BAC Overview

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

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

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

Action Reminder Cards

Action Reminder Cards

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

Dice Bags

Bags

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

Starter Dice
Sidekick and Action Dice

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

Character Dice

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

Character Dice

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

What are your favorite cards?
What cards do you think will make it into the various metas?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Special thanks to WizKids and The Reserve Pool for the use of their sites. And a very special thanks to WizKids for sending me this starter to review and discuss with all of you!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

 
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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!

 

Earlier this morning, we had WizKids drop a new rule change on us. While many are welcoming the new rule, the timing is questionable. The first round of WizKids Open events are still going on, and the new rule goes into effect on Friday – the day before the next batch of WKO events. While I agree that the timing is pretty bad, a majority of the community has been begging for a fix to the first turn advantage issue so this isn’t a bad thing. It shows the community that WizKids is listening and trying to fix things that could be a potential problem.

Personally, I’m not crazy about the new rule, especially since the official playmats have a ‘Dice Bag’ section and no spot for ‘Out of Play’ which would be incredibly useful. Our locals did a test of the first turn rule when we heard that WizKids was looking into it. You can find our results, here.

Here is the official New Rule Announcement text:

Dice Masters – New Rule Announcement

Hey Dice Masters fans!

As part of our efforts to improve Dice Masters and communicate with our player base, we wanted to give some insight into how we have processed feedback from the community and are addressing a growing concern. Most importantly, we wanted to highlight a change to the way the game is played.

New Rule: The player who goes first in a game of Dice Masters, on their first turn, only draws 3 dice from their bag during their Clear and Draw Step, and places 1 die from their bag out of play.

How did we get here?

Many Dice Masters players felt that going first was a big advantage. The fact that going first in a heads-up game is an advantage isn’t a surprise, but many players felt the magnitude was too severe. They felt like losing the random chance of going first put them at such a severe disadvantage, with all other things being equal, that they would still lose to a less skilled player. Were they right? That was our first step to investigate.

We had a small number of playtest groups focus on trying to determine how likely the first player was to win when two aggressive teams faced off in a mirror match? Depending on the particular mirror match in question, we were seeing the first player won somewhere between 72% and 76% of games. In total, our playtest groups logged over 100 games just trying to determine the current state of the first turn advantage.

Across many, but not all of those games, we collected notes about what was creating games where the second player would win in an upset. Between those notes and the rate at which the first player was winning the game, we were confident that going first was actually, and not just anecdotally, too much of an advantage. This led to an important question: how can we fix this?

There were a few different options that were available to us, some of which are below:

  1. The first player only draws 3 dice on their first turn
  2. The first player only draws 3 dice on their first turn, and places a die from their bag out of play
  3. The second player rolls 5 dice on their first turn
  4. The second player gains an extra energy on their first turn

There are tradeoffs in each of these approaches. Some options emphasize giving the first player less, and others emphasize giving the second player more. One of our goals was to change the probability of winning to be as close to 50/50 as possible.

Problem: Changing the flow of bag refills

Experienced players understand that timing their purchases to when their bag is going to refill is a fundamental skill of Dice Masters. Option 1 and 3 both have a big impact on how your Sidekicks and purchased dice flow through your Used Pile and bag. Normally, rolling an extra die in a future turn will cost you an energy now. Part of the advantage of such an effect is that, when used early, the quality of the dice you’d be drawing from your bag greatly increases. Changing the flow of bag refills with options 1 or 3 would restrict future card designs.

A subset of this problem happens when the second player rolls 5 dice on their first turn. This means that player 2 would potentially have access to a 5 cost character on their 2nd turn, which at that point in the game might mean dropping a huge bomb on their opponent. While certain strategies may exist to combat this, players shouldn’t feel obligated to pack those into every single team or risk getting run over by an incredibly quick 5 cost character.

Problem: Memory effect

Option 4 captures part of the idea of option 3 by giving the second player more energy to spend, but it creates the need to remember you have an energy you can’t see, as well as having an inelegant feel to it. Experienced players may be used to extra energy from what’s often called “bag burn” but by the time they first experience or capitalize on that rule, they’ve probably played dozens of hours’ worth of Dice Masters. Someone experiencing the game fresh is significantly more likely to forget they had that invisible energy to spend. Perhaps they remember after it’s too late to spend the energy – in that case they were not just more likely to lose, but they’d also feel bad about a mistake they made.

As for elegance, having the second player do something different from a normal turn instead of the first player doing something different creates a full turn of the game for each player to forget about that difference.

The winning option from our internal testing and theories was Option 2, to have the player who goes first start with a single die out of play and only draw 3 dice from their bag. We found that there was a marked improvement for the second player’s chance of winning, but we wanted to make sure that it was still true for players out in the wild, not just in the Dice Masters Lab. WizKids selected some stores, and set experimental tournaments into motion.

We found that across all the games at those tournaments, the first player won only 59% of the time out of over 250 games. We believe this average to be representative.

When will this change take place?

For official tournaments, the new rule for going first should be applied as of Friday November 11th, 2016.

For tournaments, other than WizKids Open events, stores may choose to implement the new rule by either unanimous player consent at the beginning of the event, or by including the “New Rule” text from the beginning of the article in their WIN event listing at least 1 full week prior to hosting the event.

This new rule supersedes existing rulebooks. Due to the rapid pace we work at, the Marvel Dice Masters: Iron Man and War Machine Starter Set and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dice Masters: Heroes in a Half Shell Box Set do not include this update to the rules. Our upcoming DC Comics Dice Masters: Superman and Wonder Woman Starter Set will include the new rule for going first as part of its text.

I’m very happy that WizKids is listening to the community. This is definitely not a bad thing, even with the odd timing. I had hoped that we would have seen the rules change drop after the first WKO season, since it had already begun, but I suppose they released it as soon as they could.

At least the rest of this batch of WKO’s will be consistent with the next round of WKO’s in 2017. Only one weekend of WKO’s was able to slide past the new rule. There is a week to test team adjustments, which will probably just be learning purchase order for first turn. This is a minor adjustment compared to say, a whole set dropping and being legal just in time for a major event.

Thanks to WizKids for the work that they put into this issue and for implementing a fix for it, even if the timing is weird. Communication from WizKids is always a positive no matter how minor. Even if it’s only a simple answer on the rules forum to a question that isn’t super complex, it’s still communication and shows effort.

I also wanted to mention one of the answers that WizKids gave on WORF. I’ve seen the question popping up more and more so I’m really glad they answered this. I’ve seen several folks ask if they win the die roll/coin flip to go first, can they choose to go second? The answer is, absolutely – you get to choose. You can find the ruling, here. This is important going into the next batch of WKO’s since the new rules will be in effect.

Good luck to all those testing for and playing in the upcoming WKO events!

Roll on, Dice Masters!