Posts Tagged ‘Marvel’

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

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

Logo

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

Team Pack

02 Team Pack

Pack Contents

~ 24 Character Cards
~ 16 Dice

Keywords

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

Returning Keywords:
Overcrush

Affiliations

There is a new affiliation and a returning affiliation.

New!
Defenders

Returning

Villains

Characters

Clea

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

Doctor Strange

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

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

Hellcat

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

Hulk

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

Iron Fist

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

Jessica Jones

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

Loki

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

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

Luke Cage

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

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

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

Character Thoughts

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

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

Character Dice

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

03 Dice

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

04 Luke Cage With Markers

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

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!

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

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

turtle-hug

My Team

my-team

You can find my team here, on DM Retrobox.

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

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

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

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

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

Round One

round-1-lauren-hack

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

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

Record after Round One: 1-0-0

Round Two

round-2-dennis-beard

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

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

Record after Round Two: 2-0-0

Round Three

round-3-craig-richards

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

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

round-3-craigs-army

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

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

Record after Round Three: 3-0-0

Round Four

round-4-michaela-kuba

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

Congratulations to Michaela on her Top Eight finish!

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

Record after Round Three: 3-1-0

Round Five

round-5-josh-kerner

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

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

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

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

Top Eight

round-3-craig-richards

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

my-spoils

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

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

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

Final Standing in Top Eight – 8th

Final Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations again to all those that got their Nationals qualifications!

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

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

This was our last opportunity to play test with our locals before the WKO. Unfortunately, many of our players were either out sick or working, leaving us with only four total players. Mr. DDK volunteered to sit on camera each round so that everyone else had a chance to be on it at least once. I don’t think any of us are ever excited about playing under the eye of the camera every round. You can find the videos on my YouTube channel.

My Team

my-team-2-4-17

You can find my team here, on DM Retrobox.

Same concept as last week, except the one minor change I made. I replaced Elf Thief for Constantine: Antihero. I intended to use Hellblazer, but completely forgot I had Antihero in my bag. At least this helped me make up my mind on which Constantine to use.

Round One

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You can see my first round match on YouTube, here. I purchased a Slander really early because he Ripped an Oracle and I wanted to be able to use my PXG or other Globals without having Oracle tax me. I would have purchased Cold Gun instead if I had the right energy, but this is the exact reason that I added Slander. It’s helpful at times when you can’t get your Cold Gun. Oracle is a huge problem for me, but I can’t add her to my team because I really don’t have room for her. I instead use control pieces that help reduce or eliminate her effect but can also be used for other troublesome cards as well. But she’s still an issue, as she was in this match. Near the 7 minute mark in the video, I keep a Cold Gun with no bursts so I could KO Oracle. I was so focused on getting her out of the Field that I probably should have just rerolled the Cold Gun in hopes of energy. I would have had enough to purchase Grodd with the Bolt/Fist energy side of Cold Gun. I don’t think it would have made that much of a difference in the end result of this match, but it’s something for me to keep in mind for future games where it could make a difference. I took a massive beating from this team, but Mask Ring is my ultimate weakness.

Record after Round One: 0-1-0

Round Two

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I faced off against Craig in the second round. I knew that if he was able to get a few good hits in with Hit-Monkey before I could get Grodd up and going, I would be done for. He purchased a Flying Car early to put it on Hit-Monkey’s card. He also purchased a few Hit-Monkey dice, but wasn’t able to get them to go off. I purchased Grodd as early as I could, with the help of some Tsarina and Guy dice that decided to roll double energy instead of characters. He couldn’t get his team going and my team performed much better than in my first match, enabling me to secure my first victory.

Record after Round Two: 1-1-0

Round Three

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I had to face off against Olivia’s Vicious Struggle team in round three. This is not your standard VS team, so playing against it is a little different. You not only have to worry about her VS dice, but you also have to pay attention to her characters. I completely forgot about her VS dice and went right for my win condition. I was afraid I had made a huge error by doing this, since you need to play the VS Mini-Game against VS teams. I knew if I could get some Tsarina dice in the Field and put her life low enough, she would have a more difficult time against me. I purchased Grodd very early in the match and with the help of Tsarina and Guy, was able to pull off a victory before her VS destroyed me. I had to time my attacks carefully, so as not to conflict with any active VS abilities. Watching life totals is crucial in matches like this as well. If you watch the video where Olivia faced off against Travis, you’ll see why Vicious Struggle is such a risky team to play. Olivia ended up in third place and won a Scarecrow: Legion of Doom.

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

Final Thoughts

While Antihero is somewhat helpful against a team that relies on Action Dice, I don’t find him to be as useful as I’d like. I can make them reroll one action die, once. If they’re using Parallax and playing the Lottery, there is a really good chance that they’re going to get that die back on the face they want. Playing with Antihero in this event just confirmed that I need to use Hellblazer instead. I think that final change should round out my team to how I want it. I am at a huge disadvantage against Mask Ring teams with this team. I’ll be sure to get some more testing in during the week with Mr. DDK, and anyone that ventures up to our FLGS throughout the week.

Thoughts on the WKO

I’m super excited to see all of my old friends from last year that are able to venture out again. I’m even more excited to meet all the new friends that I’m going to make this year, because I know of lots of folks that are planning on going that I haven’t met yet – and I can’t wait!!! I don’t think I can express my excitement adequately in words, so I’ll let this picture of Pinkie do it for me.

super-excited-pinkie-pie

I’m not expecting to win any matches this year – at all. Last year was just pure luck. I know some of you may be thinking, ‘why drive four hours and pay $15 to play a rogue team that you’re convinced will lose?’

Because I can, and because it’s not about winning. I’m strictly focusing on having fun with my rogue team, meeting folks, and just the overall experience of it. It’s not a defeatist outlook. As long as I’m happy playing my team and walk away with at least one new friend, I’ll feel like a winner!

I had so much more fun hanging out with folks than I did winning my matches last year. Sure, winning is awesome, but it’s not what the game is about for me. I want to find fun combos or different team builds and run with those – win or lose. I don’t expect to see any Grodd teams or many other rogue teams. I do expect a flood of Ring, Vicious Struggle, and Bard. I refuse to play VS because I don’t think it’s a healthy card for the game, but don’t think I won’t play the mini-game. I also won’t play Bard because I don’t like Bard. I won last year with a Ring team – Nova Ring. I will not play another Ring team regardless of how good it is, because I want to play something different from last time. I do not and I will not criticize anyone for playing what they want to play. If you’re wanting to play VS, then play it. I won’t ignore you or be rude to you just because I don’t like the card. I want everyone to play the team they want to play and have fun!

I hope to meet lots of new friends and have lots of fun this year! If you don’t know me, you can find me pretty easy – I’ll be in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt, and TMNT pajama pants (if Mr. DDK lets me out of the house in them). Don’t be shy – because I’m super shy around folks I don’t know. Safe travels to all my fellow Dice Masters out there!

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!

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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

 

For this week’s confusing card of the week article, we’re going to take a look at Stepford Cuckoos: Celeste from the Marvel Deadpool set.

w-stepford-cuckoos-celeste

Ruling – Ability

Stepford Cuckoos has a When Fielded ability. This type of ability only works when you move the character die into field either from your Reserve Pool by paying its fielding cost or by an ability that specifically tells you to field the character die. Swapping the die into the Field Zone or moving/placing the die by other means will not allow you to use the When Fielded ability.

This ability is not optional, meaning you must do as much as you can of her ability as you’re able to do. If you field her and your opponent doesn’t have any character dice in the Field Zone, you must still move one of your character dice to your Prep Area.

If you only have the Stepford Cuckoos die that you just fielded in the Field Zone, she must target herself. You may choose her as your target for her ability instead of another one of your character dice. Your opponent gets to choose which of their character dice to target. The wording of her ability suggests that each player choose one of their own character dice and not that the controller of Stepford Cuckoos gets to choose both.

Character dice that are moved by the Stepford Cuckoos’ ability are not considered to have been KO’d. You would not gain the benefit of a KO ability, like the ability on Jade: Jennifer-Lynn Hayden.

Stepford Cuckoos’ ability does not say that one player should reveal their choice before the other. If this becomes an issue, the active player should reveal their choice first, since the active player has priority.

Miscellaneous Card Information

~ Stepford Cuckoos: Celeste is a Mask Character.
~ She has the X-Men affiliation.
~ She has a max dice of four.
~ This card is an Uncommon and is #76 of 124.

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:
Stepford Cuckoos fielded with other characters in the Field Zone.

~ I have one level one Stepford Cuckoos die in the Reserve Pool, and a Sidekick die in the Field Zone. My opponent has two Sidekick dice and an Oracle die in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I field my Stepford Cuckoos. I choose to target Stepford Cuckoos with her ability and my opponent chooses to target one of their Sidekicks. Both dice are then placed in the appropriate Prep Areas.

Example Two:
Stepford Cuckoos fielded with no other characters in the Field Zone.

~ I have one level one Stepford Cuckoos die in the Reserve Pool. There are no other characters in the Field Zone on either side.
~ (Main Step) I field my Stepford Cuckoos. My opponent doesn’t have any characters to move. I only have the Stepford Cuckoos, so I must target her and move her to my Prep Area.

Example Three:
Stepford Cuckoos and KO abilities.

~ I have one level one Stepford Cuckoos die in the Reserve Pool and no characters in the Field Zone. My opponent has a Jade: Jennifer-Lynn Hayden in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I field my Stepford Cuckoos. I only have the Stepford Cuckoos, so I must target her and my opponent must choose Jade, but they will not get to use her ability because she’s not being KO’d.

Official Sources

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

You can find a relevant When Fielded ability ruling on Miri Riam: Beacon In The Darkhere.

Turn Order Summary Reference

turn-order

Unlimited Competitive Play Rating

I don’t see this card being particularly useful in the current meta. She has the potential to rid the field of troublesome characters without KO’ing them, but your opponent still controls which one of their characters gets targeted by her ability. They could easily target and move a Sidekick instead of their big nasty. She’s rather handy for unique form of ramp, but not completely reliable – and PXG is still legal in the unlimited meta. I don’t think folks should throw her in a box and forget she exists though. There could be a card or cards in a future set that make her very worthwhile. She’s worth keeping in the back of your mind, but she’s not a card I expect to see in many major unlimited format events.

Stepford Cuckoos: Celeste gets a rating of two out of five stars.
2 Stars

Prime Play Rating

I played with this card over the weekend in our Prime event and I absolutely love this card! My only mistake was not using enough of her dice. She’s a form of ramp and partial control in prime. I would definitely recommend her if you’re having trouble purchasing larger characters or having issues with your opponent’s characters that are in the Field. Even though they have the power of choice, you’re still making them choose a character that won’t be in the field the rest of the turn. That’s a tough choice between a Ronin and an Oracle when you know you’re opponent could use attack pumping Globals and they have potential Overcrushing attackers. Her fielding costs make me love her even more, because even on her level three side, I still feel like I’m benefiting from her. I would not be surprised to see Celeste or even Mindee on prime teams. Do not overlook this card – she is worth testing with!

Stepford Cuckoos: Celeste gets a Prime rating of four out of five stars.
4 Stars

Casual Play Rating

The only reason Stepford Cuckoos does not get a five star rating from me is because beginners or newer players may not realize that she can be targeted with her own ability. This could potentially lead to misplays or even a dispute over how her ability is supposed to work. She’s still a great card for a beginner, so long as they understand that she can be your target for her ability. Newer players may not fully understand why you would want to move one of your own characters to the Prep Area, but that’s strategy that comes with experience. I think Celeste is perfect for teaching beginners and newer players about the benefits of having those extra dice in your Prep Area every so often – Especially one that can move an opponent’s character out of the Field Zone. Some players may not realize that they do not get to pick both character dice when they field her, but that’s easily explained. She’s a great card for a new player to add to a team and highly recommend her for players of all skill levels.

Stepford Cuckoos: Celeste gets a casual play rating of four out of five stars.
4 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!

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

 

For this week’s confusing card of the week article, we’re going to take a look at Hit-Monkey: He’s A Hitman. Who’s a Monkey from the Marvel Deadpool set.

w-hit-monkey-hes-a-hitman-whos-a-monkey

Ruling – Ability

Hit-Monkey has an ability that can be activated when he’s blocked. When he’s blocked, you may pay a fist energy to assign Hit-Monkey’s combat damage to the defending player as if he wasn’t blocked, but only for that turn.

His combat damage has no effect on the character or characters that block him, because you are using his ability to redirect his combat damage to a different source other than the blockers. Hit-Monkey would not deal damage to his blockers, but they would deal their combat damage to him, possibly KO’ing him.

If you pay the fist to use Hit-Monkey’s ability and an effect would remove his card text, you would no longer be able to assign his damage to your opponent. This is because his card would have been blanked before the Assign Damage portion of the Attack Step. You would only be able to assign damage to the characters blocking Hit-Monkey. You would not get the fist energy spent for his ability back.

It is also important to remember that even though you’re able to assign his combat damage to your opponent, Hit-Monkey is still considered blocked and would gain no benefit from effects that affect unblocked characters.

If the blockers are not able to KO Hit-Monkey, he would return the Field Zone during the Clean Up Step. This is because he was blocked, but not KO’d. It does not matter that he assigned his combat damage somewhere else, only that he was blocked and not KO’d. If he’s KO’d, then he will go to the Prep Area.

Miscellaneous Card Information

~ Hit-Monkey: He’s A Hitman. Who’s a Monkey is a Fist Character.
~ He has no affiliation.
~ He has a max dice of four.
~ This card is an Uncommon and is #58 of 124.

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:
Hit-Monkey blocked and not KO’d.

~ I have one level three Hit-Monkey die in the Field Zone and one fist energy in the Reserve Pool. My opponent has one Sidekick in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) I assign my Hit-Monkey as an attacker, placing his die in the Attack Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) My opponent assigns their Sidekick to block my Hit-Monkey, placing it in front of his die in the Attack Zone. Since Hit-Monkey has been blocked, I can now activate his ability. I spend the fist energy (placing it Out of Play) to activate Hit-Monkey’s ability. Hit-Monkey will now be able to assign his combat damage to my opponent instead of the Sidekick.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I do not use any Action dice or Globals. I pass priority to my opponent and they choose not to use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step – Assign and Resolve Damage) Hit-Monkey assigns his four damage to my opponent. The Sidekick assigns its one damage to Hit-Monkey. Damage resolves simultaneously after it’s been assigned, so my opponent takes four damage and Hit-Monkey takes one damage. Hit-Monkey has a defense of three, so he is not KO’d by the one damage from the Sidekick. The Sidekick is not dealt any damage, so it’s not KO’d.
~ (Clean Up Step) Hit-Monkey is blocked and not KO’d, so he is placed back in the Field Zone. The Sidekick blocked and was not KO’d, so it’s placed back in the Field Zone. All effects end and all dice that are Out of Play are placed in the Used Pile.

Example:
Hit-Monkey blocked and card text is blanked after his ability has been used.

~ I have one level three Hit-Monkey die in the Field Zone. I also have one fist energy and a Flying Car: Buckle Up! action die in the Reserve Pool. My opponent has one Sidekick in the Field Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) I assign my Hit-Monkey as an attacker, placing his die in the Attack Zone.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) My opponent assigns their Sidekick to block my Hit-Monkey, placing it in front of his die in the Attack Zone. Since Hit-Monkey has been blocked, I can now activate his ability. I spend the fist energy (placing it Out of Play) to activate Hit-Monkey’s ability. Hit-Monkey will now be able to assign his combat damage to my opponent instead of the Sidekick.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I use my Flying Car action to give Hit-Monkey a +3A/+3D, but it removes all of Hit-Monkey’s ability text. I pass priority to my opponent and they choose not to use any Globals.
~ (Attack Step – Assign and Resolve Damage) Hit-Monkey assigns his seven damage to Sidekick that’s blocking him. The Sidekick assigns its one damage to Hit-Monkey. Damage resolves simultaneously after it’s been assigned, so the Sidekick takes seven damage and Hit-Monkey takes one damage. Hit-Monkey has a defense of six, so he is not KO’d by the one damage from the Sidekick. The Sidekick has one defense and is KO’d by Hit-Monkey’s seven attack.
~ (Clean Up Step) Hit-Monkey is blocked and not KO’d, so he is placed back in the Field Zone. The Sidekick is placed in the Prep Area because it was KO’d. All effects end and all dice that are Out of Play are placed in the Used Pile.

Official Sources

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

Turn Order Summary Reference

turn-order

Unlimited Competitive Play Rating

As much as I like this card, I think he’s too difficult to work with in an Unlimited format where there are better cards. His ability is good and I think that the right pilot with the right team build might be able to make him work. It takes special care and specific building to make something like this viable though, so I don’t think he’s a card that will see a lot of Unlimited play in the current meta. He’s still a good card, just not the best choice for this particular format. I don’t think he’s fast enough for the current speed of the meta.

Hit-Monkey: He’s A Hitman. Who’s a Monkey gets a rating of one out of five stars.
1 Star

Prime Play Rating

I don’t think this card is getting the recognition it deserves for the Prime format. I think this card may see more play, and even a few top positions in some upcoming PDC events. If it doesn’t, I would be very disappointed, but not surprised since he doesn’t get much love anyway. I could be totally wrong about this card, but it seems like such a good card with the current list of available cards. There are still plenty of build options for using a card like this and not a whole lot of ways around it. I suspect Captain Cold’s Cold Gun: Frozen “Firearm” is going to make every team list, but there are ways to play around those. Hit-Monkey may not be everyone’s style, but I think he has great potential and folks would be remiss to not give this card a shot on a team.

Hit-Monkey: He’s A Hitman. Who’s a Monkey. gets a Prime rating of four out of five stars.
4 Stars

Casual Play Rating

It’s not often that a card receives a five star rating from me, especially for a beginning or casual player. I don’t think a card ability can be written any more clear than how this one is written. It even has reminder text that helps remind the player that the combat damage is not dealt to the blocking character(s). The confusion around this card begins when you get into more advanced level of play, like the examples in the WORF ruling. But for beginners and casual players that don’t see a lot of the competitive type cards, this is probably one of the best cards to start someone off with. This character’s ability is great to play on its own or with some combo cards, which is one of the reasons it’s such a good card for beginners. I can easily recommend this card for a player of any skill level.

Hit-Monkey: He’s A Hitman. Who’s a Monkey gets a casual play rating of five out of five stars.
5 Stars

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Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

For this week’s confusing card of the week article, we’re going to take a look at Punisher: War Journal from the Marvel Civil War set.

I’m also adding a new Prime Rating to each of my Confusing Card of the Week articles. They will follow the same rating system as the Unlimited Competitive Rating, since Prime is also a competitive format. You can find a breakdown of how I choose my ratings on my sticky article, Helpful Sites and About this Blog.

w-punisher-war-journal

Ruling – Ability

Punisher has a When Fielded ability. This type of ability only works when you move the character die into field either from your Reserve Pool by paying its fielding cost or by an ability that specifically tells you to field the character die. Swapping the die into the Field Zone or moving/placing the die by other means will not allow you to use the When Fielded ability.

“Field a character at level one from Used Pile.” This type of wording would allow you to use the When Fielded ability.

“Move a character from your Used Pile to the Field Zone at level one.” This type of wording does not allow you to use the When Fielded ability.

Punisher says when you field his die, each non-Sidekick character die that you field for the rest of the turn gains the keyword, Intimidate. Each non-Sidekick character that enters the Field Zone after Punisher will be able to use Intimidate.

Intimidate is a When Fielded ability that allows that character to remove another character die from the Field Zone until end of turn. You can target an opposing character die or one of your own character dice. The removed character die is placed to the side next to your character cards, but do not place it on the character cards. Nothing else can effect the removed dice because they are no longer in the play area.

At the end of turn, the removed character dice will return to the Field Zone at the level they were on when they were removed. These dice do not return until the Clean Up Step, so they will not be eligible as blockers during the Attack Step.

When a character with a When Fielded ability is returned to the Field Zone after being removed by Intimidate, you do not get to activate that ability. The returning character dice are not being fielded.

A character with the Ally keyword would not be able to use the Intimidate granted by Punisher’s ability. When a character with Ally is fielded, they are considered a Sidekick as long as they are in the Field Zone. You are not able to use Intimidate on your characters until they are fielded. If Ally were a triggered ability, like a When Fielded ability, you would be able to choose the order in which they triggered. Ally is a static type effect that happens as soon as the conditions are met. This does not give you a window to use Intimidate.

Miscellaneous Card Information

~ Punisher: War Journal is a Fist Character.
~ He has the Thunderbolts affiliation.
~ He has a max dice of four.
~ This card is an Uncommon and is #92 of 142.

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:

~ I have a Punisher die, a Sidekick die, an Alfred die, a Wolverine die, an Oracle die, and four fist energy in my Reserve Pool (all my character dice are level one). My opponent has a level three Hulk die and a Sidekick die in the Field Zone.
~ (Main Step) I spend one fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to pay Punisher’s fielding cost, and then field my Punisher die. All non-Sidekick characters that I field for the rest of the turn will gain Intimidate.
~ (Main Step) I spend one fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to use the Global on Anger Issues and target my Punisher die to give him +1A (for a current total of 5A).
~ (Main Step) I field my Sidekick. The Sidekick does not get to use Intimidate.
~ (Main Step) I field my Alfred. He is an Ally as he enters the Field Zone, so he does not get to use Intimidate.
~ (Main Step) I spend one fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to field my Wolverine die. He is not a Sidekick, so he gets to use Intimidate. I target my opponent’s Hulk die and my opponent moves that die next to my character cards, showing that it’s removed from play.
~ (Main Step) I field my Oracle die. She is not a Sidekick, so she gets to use Intimidate. I target my opponent’s Sidekick die and place it next to their Hulk die.
~ (Main Step) I pass priority to my opponent. My opponent does not use any Globals, and passes priority back.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Attackers) I assign my Punisher, Wolverine, and Sidekick as attackers.
~ (Attack Step – Assign Blockers) My opponent does not have any characters to block with.
~ (Attack Step – Actions and Globals) I spend my last fist energy (moving it Out of Play) to use the Global on Anger Issues and target my Punisher die to give him +1A (for a total of 6A). I pass priority to my opponent to give them an opportunity to use Globals. They do not use any and pass priority back to me.
~ (Attack Step – Assign and Resolve Damage) All of my attackers are unblocked and assign their damage to my opponent. Punisher would deal six damage, Wolverine would deal four damage, and the Sidekick would deal one damage, for a total of eleven damage. These unblocked characters are now placed Out of Play.
~ (Clean Up Step) All dice that are Out of Play are moved to the Used Pile. All effects end (unless otherwise stated). The two characters removed from play by Intimidate are placed back in the Field Zone on their previous levels.


Official Sources

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

You can find an official definition for Intimidate on the Keywords Page.

You can find additional information on Intimidate in The Reserve Pool’s Lexicon page, here.

Turn Order Summary Reference

turn-order

Unlimited Competitive Play Rating

I do not see this character making it onto any competitive unlimited team. He cost high, his TFC isn’t good for what his ability does, and he is conditional. I say he’s conditional because there are plenty of competitive teams that don’t need active character dice and not many (if any) of your own characters that benefit from returning to play without being ‘fielded’. Vicious Struggle teams don’t normally field any characters. Other teams would likely not be threatened by the temporary removal of their characters. It might be an annoyance for the one turn, but then you would need to cycle Punisher, and any other characters you’re using with him. If WizKids rules that you can use Allies with Punisher, then that may make him a little better, but still not a card I’d consider for a competitive format.

Punisher: War Journal gets a rating of zero out of five stars.
0 Stars

Prime Play Rating

With the loss of Elf Thief and the lack of cost reduction, this card does not seem very useful in Prime. I will admit, he’s more appealing for a Prime format where you’ll likely see more teams with characters that stay fielded, but you still need to work hard – probably harder – to get this crazy combo to go off. I wouldn’t expect to see him in any top teams in the Prime format either. There are still much better options for crazy combos, and even fun combos that require much less work and are not as frustrating to get functioning.

Punisher: War Journal gets a Prime rating of one out of five stars.
1 Star

Casual Play Rating

I don’t particularly like Punisher for casual play either. His ability can be confusing and difficult to use in a casual setting. A more experienced player could use this card as a teaching tool, but I think there are better alternatives for that. I think the right pilot could run a team with him and cheap fielding characters effectively, but it still would require specific card choices and a really good understanding of the game. If you’re playing in a casual setting and you want to try something different, then maybe this card could give you that. I can’t recommend this card for a brand new player, but more experienced players might be able to build a fun team with him.

Punisher: War Journal 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!