Posts Tagged ‘Venom’

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

WizKids is about to release its third Team Pack, Maximum Carnage. So far, all three Team Packs have been Marvel. I mentioned this in the last Team Pack review, but I’ll say it again – I would love to see a DC Team Pack at some point. A Bombshells Team Pack would be awesome!

You can find the review video for the Maximum Carnage Team Pack on YouTube, here.

Team Pack

With this new Marvel Dice Masters Team Pack, you can replay or rewrite the way Maximum Carnage played out! Side with Carnage and some of the other devious and murderous Villains, or choose to side with Spider-Man and his allies and try to bring down Carnage before it’s too late! You can even build a team where Carnage and Spider-Man are on the same side and take the story clear off the rails! This Team Pack pairs well with any of the other Dice Masters sets and is a great way to boost your current team or start a whole new team build!

00 Team Pack

Pack Contents

~ 24 Character Cards
~ 16 Dice

Keywords

There are two returning keywords in this set, and no new ones.

Deadly
Regenerate

Affiliations

There are three returning affiliations.

Avengers
Spider-Friends
Villains

It’s worth noting that this Team Pack is the first time that we’ve seen Marvel Villains with the “V” instead of the Hydra logo for their Villain affiliation. I hope this wasn’t an accident and that they convert all Marvel Villains to the “V” so we can have a Hydra affiliation later!

Characters

Black Cat

Keeping the Bloodhounds at Bay has an interesting ability, but it’s highly situational. Your opponent has to roll and then reroll the character dice onto their level three side. If you have Black Cat active, they’re going to reroll those level three characters to try for a lower level or energy. Possessive and Nine Lives are both cards I would consider playing. Nine Lives is a great blocker! She’s got beefy defense on all three levels and she has a chance to Regenerate. Her attack stats are lacking, but this a character you likely will want to use for defense and not as an attacker. The same can be said for Possessive, which is my favorite of the three. It’s awesome to have a character with a defense like Black Cat’s and also have a While Active ability. Her ability makes her a big nuisance that your opponent may want to deal with while you’re building up to your win condition. She’s not an expensive character to purchase or field, which is another bonus!

Black Cat is a returning character, with a new design for her dice. Her die image is of her hand holding a diamond.

Captain America

Captain America has the only Global ability in the set, on two of his three cards. S.T.A.R. Labs Global is much better in my opinion, but if you don’t want both Globals on your team, then Cap’s Global is okay. The benefit to Cap’s Global is that it only requires a generic energy and a Shield instead of a Bolt and Shield to use. “How “Bout a Hand, Son?” is a card I’d love to use on a Golden Age Flying Sidekick team. Behind You is a situational type card, but could be useful if you paired it with a Villain making ability or Global. My favorite is Squad Leader, who can give all of your Sidekick character dice Deadly until end of turn, when you field him. There is a minor text formatting error on Squad Leader – the Deadly keyword is not bold. Not a huge issue, but just in case someone tries to argue that it’s not a keyword – it is definitely a keyword.

Captain America is a returning character and has the same die design as his Civil War die, but a different color scheme. His die image is of him running and throwing his shield. The dice cannot be interchanged with previous versions.

Carnage

No Pain, No Reign and Red Slayer have similar abilities in that they can use the abilities of another die when the appropriate conditions are met. No Pain, No Reign can use a When Attacks ability on another target character die when he attacks. Red Slayer can use a When KO’d ability on a target character die when he’s KO’d. Both are interesting abilities that could have their own uses if you build a team around particular abilities that trigger or activate when a character attacks or is KO’d. My favorite is definitely going to be Unfinished Business. I’m such a sucker for control cards and this similar to my beloved Oracle: Master Investigator. It only taxes them on your turn, not theirs, but it makes them pay two more instead of just one more. I see him being much more useful in Golden Age than the other formats. He cost five on all versions and he’s got some crazy stats. He’s got a 0/1/1 fielding cost and his attack and defense are fantastic! I like this guy and when we do a Golden Age event, he’s replacing Oracle on my team.

Carnage is a returning character with a new design for his dice. The die image is a profile of Carnage’s head and looks to be the same image for the set logo.

Doppleganger

Doppleganger!!! I loved Doppleganger in the comics and I’m so excited to see him in Dice Masters. All of his versions do something nasty involving Sidekicks. Living Fractal is really cool in that you can steal their Sidekick that they rolled, but the downside is that you can’t steal their Ally dice from their Reserve Pool. Ally character dice are not Sidekicks until they enter the Field Zone. That makes him a little less cool, but he’s still useful for stealing their Sidekick dude(s) on their turn. With the way this card reads – if your opponent uses Parallax’s Global to reroll an Ally that’s already in the Field, and it comes up on a character face, you can steal it. That makes him significantly better. I like Predator too, but he’s kind of situational unless you’re using Ra’s al Ghul’s Global from the Batman set. Then you can control who’s a Villain and who isn’t. My favorite is Six Arms because you can blow up all your opponent’s Ally dice and Sidekick dice just by fielding this guy, and then deal damage to your opponent as well! He only cost four to purchase, where the other two version cost five each. He also has great fielding costs and great stats too. I really like this guy and he may find himself on my Villain team.

Doppleganger has made his Dice Masters debut in this Team Pack! His die is a new design and his die image is the outline of his eyes.

Iron Fist

Iron Fist… I know you were in Maximum Carnage, but did we need another Iron Fist so soon? I don’t particularly like any of Iron Fist’s cards in this Team Pack because they don’t fit my play style. All of his abilities have something to do with you having or spending Fist energy. Sensei is similar to Beast Boy: Animal Magnetism from War of Light with a few differences, but still fairly similar abilities. Beast Boy lets you roll Sidekicks from your Used Pile in an attempt to get Fist energy, and he also gets a defense boost. Iron Fist cost one less than Beast Boy and has better stats overall. Let the Silence Speak lets you deal damage to character die, that isn’t blocking, equal to Iron Fist’s attack for the cost of a Fist energy. You can pump his attack up to make that a lethal blow on big defensive characters. Rolling Thunder Cannon Punch lets you pay as much Fist energy as you want to deal that much damage directly to a character die, but only once during your turn. He only needs to be active for you to be able to use that ability. Out of the three Iron Fist cards, I like Let the Silence Speak the best.

Iron Fist is a returning character with the same die design as his promo card, but instead of opaque green, his dice have a shimmering green color. His die image is his face mask. The dice cannot be interchanged with previous versions.

Shriek

Oh – my – goodness. Sonic Beam is my new best friend! She’s a new Dwiz – but better! She cost the same, has better stats overall, and doesn’t have to target a die! She is the answer to that pesky Raven on those Ring Teams. Raven protects dice – not cards – so Shriek can maneuver around Raven. I love this card so much right now. But what is this next card? Dark Empathy ignores all text on opposing character cards when she’s fielded!!! Wow!!! She cost one more to purchase and you need to field her to gain that benefit, but oh my Pinkie Pie! She’s a monster! And then we have Sandra Deel who stops both players from activating Globals when she attacks. I like her, but I think I’d rather use Wonder Woman: Ambassador of Peace from the Superman Wonder Woman Starter instead. Sandra Deel is still good though – because she prevents the use of lots of combat oriented Globals, like Blink-Transmutation.

This is Skriek’s Dice Masters debut! Her die is a new design and her die image is a profile of her head with her hair hanging down.

Spider-Man

There are a few other Spider-Man cards that I would rather use than these, but I do like Better Way. He’s useful against those nasty blocker types that always seem to get in the way. Staying True is cool, but I wish he kept his ability until the start of your next turn, so he would help defend against Overcrush characters. War of the Heart is great for those teams that use a lot of Alfred Pennyworth: MI-5 dice. He pairs really well with Captain America: Squad Leader from this very Team Pack. Spider-Man has great stats overall and all his versions cost four to purchase. He’s a great character for any casual game.

Spider-Man is a returning character with the same die design as his Avengers vs X-Men and Uncanny X-Men dice, but with a different color scheme. His die image is the spider emblem from the chest of his suit. The dice cannot be interchanged with previous versions.

Venom

We’ve only seen one other four cost Venom card, so it’s great to see that all three of these cost four! Corruptor is cool, but situational. There are cards that spin dice down, but it seems like an awful lot of work for a single When Fielded ability. Lethal Protector has a controlling ability that I can get behind! You only need to give a die the Villain affiliation if it doesn’t already have it and field Venom and steal it for the turn. My favorite of Venom’s cards is My Other. His purchase cost is great for this ability and you can attack with him or Fabricate him, and then use him again later! His stats are great, but can be troublesome if you’re wanting to use his When Fielded abilities multiple times. But he does only cost four to purchase, making multiple die purchases affordable and beneficial!

Venom is a returning character with the same die design as his Civil War dice, but with a different color scheme. His die image is a side profile of his head with his tongue lashing out. The dice cannot be interchanged with previous versions.

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.

00 Dice

There isn’t a die in this Team Pack that I don’t like. Even the simply designed Doppleganger has a ‘cool’ look to it. My favorite dice are Spider-Man and Black Cat. I love Spider-Man for his coloring and Black Cat has the perfect die image for her character! I also like that they’re reusing some of the previous designs and stats for some of the characters instead of popping new ones out all the time. And I’m a huge fan of the new Iron Fist die color. The promo die was a plain, opaque green and this one has that really pretty shimmer-swirl green. That also helps players tell the two dice apart for competitive level events. I also love that they used (or appears they used) Carnage’s die image as the set image. And Shriek has a really pretty image on her die too and is close to being a favorite of mine as well.

Final Thoughts

Team Packs are marketed as add-ons for starters; to help boost your starter cards or even as jumping on point for a new team build with the help of some booster packs. I think WizKids has done an excellent job with this Team Pack and out of all three of the current Team Packs, this is by far the best! The Doctor Strange Team Pack was okay and the Defenders Team Pack is one that I want to forget, but this new Maximum Carnage Team Pack is a must have for any player, in my opinion.

Not every Team Pack needs a meta breaking card. If most of the Team Pack has playable cards for casual players and then one or two that might appeal to competitive players, then I feel like it’s a good product. In my opinion, this Team Pack is formatted the way that every Team Pack should be. There are affordable characters; all the characters have good stats; lots of the characters have interesting or unique abilities; there is a potential meta card (or two… or three… or more); all of the character choices are appealing and thematic in regards to the Maximum Carnage comic story; and all of the dice are pretty, amazing, or cool in some way.

This is a great Team Pack and I can’t wait to play with these cards!

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, and especially to WizKids for allowing me access to the product for this article and my review video!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

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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!

 

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

venom-abandoned-the-stinger

Ruling – Ability

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

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

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

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

Affiliations and Types

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

Examples

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Official Sources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Competitive Play Rating

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

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

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

Casual Play Rating

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

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

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Roll on, Dice Masters!