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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 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

round-1-2-4-17

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

round-2-2-4-17

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

round-3-2-4-17

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!