• Team Brew Switcharoo 10: X Marks the Spot

    Hello everyone! Today, once again, I'd like to try an experiment. I am going to take ten randomly chosen cards and try to turn them into one fun team. I will try to do this by only swapping four cards out for others of my choice. Before I make my selections, however, I will randomly select a "Meta Rule" that will dictate the direction the build will take. This is not our first rodeo and, while the team itself isn't always successful, it is important to keep in mind that it is the journey and not the destination. This is not to be confused with The Destination, which is the home of the 2016 PDC Kentucky State Championships on April 23rd.

    Using the fantabulous Dice Masters website dm.retrobox.eu, I have randomly selected our starting ten cards:

    That looks like a fine starting point, and I already have a few ideas on where we can take this team. It is all going to depend, however, on the Randomly Selected Meta Rule (or RSMR is you are into that whole brevity thing).

    To celebrate Wrestlemania this weekend, I decided to go down to our local pro wrestling school and sign up for a beginner's class. I thought a little time in the squared circle would help get those creative team brew juices flowing. I climbed through the ropes and into the ring, and was greeted by my trainers The God of Pain and Wanda. TGoP (which is what his friends call him) smiled broadly as he warmly took my nerdy (yet delicate) hand in his massive mitt. I turned to greet Wanda in kind but, instead of a hearty hug, I was quickly taken to the mat. Wanda proceeded to twist my arms and legs into what I can only describe as a "pain pretzel".

    After untangling myself, I began to crawl toward the apron to hopefully escape to the floor... but Wanda was not done. As The God of Pain looked on with a mixture of fear and sorrow, Wanda began raining fists, elbows, and steel chair shots onto my prone body. The only thing that I could hear over the sobs of my large friend as I was pummeled was the laughter of a one hundred and fifteen pound destructive force of nature. To Mr. of Pain's credit, after the beatings were finished, he did pull himself together enough to drive me to the emergency room.

    While the doctor was cataloguing my various injuries, I heard him muse to himself: "Hmmm, the codes for the various contusions and fractures this out-of-shape man-child has sustained spell out No Matching Affiliations. That is oddly specific and fortunate for anyone writing an article on a website wherein they make a team for a collectible dice building game." Not one to look a gift near-fatal-run-in-with-a-psychotic-wrestling-dervish in the mouth, I decided to use this as our meta rule this week. I also, for the umpteenth time, wondered why I don't just use a website that randomly selects something from a list of inputs defined by the user... but such a thing would be a lot of work and probably doesn't even exist.

    Let's take a look at what we have to build from. Given our Meta Rule, we really lucked out. We only have one Affiliation on the entire team, and, since he relies on an affiliated character for his ability to really pay off, he is a pretty clear cut choice to be removed. We also have everyone's favorite 2-cost character Constantine - Hellblazer. And, there is the uncommon AvX Nick Fury, who can give a tiny buff to one lucky Avenger.

    On the other side of the coin, we have the aforementioned Munk. Without being able to pair him with an affiliated character, he is virtually useless. We also have two direct damage BACs, which is just asking for trouble. We might want to swap one of those out for something that may be a bit more helpful. Also, the team is a bit... generic. One problem that we may run into is trying to build around what we already have, when what we have isn't really pointing in any one direction. That being said, I think I have a few ideas.

    First things first, I think we'd be remiss to not use Nick Fury's buff. We get to pick one Avenger, so we need to make it count. Out of our 100 or so options, I think we're going to start by swapping Munk for Hawkeye - Avengers Disassembled.

    Hawkeye can really do some good things for us here. Pesky SKs giving you problems? There you go. What about a Joker that is giving you fits? Hawkeye can help. When we add in that extra +1 A from Nick Fury, options begin to present themselves.

    For my second swap, I'd like to increase the value I'll get when I knock out one of my Hawkeyes. I also would like to remove the potential for some direct damage to be purchased by my opponent. My second swap will be Fist of Fury for Invulnerability.

    There are a few different pumps available on BACs, but I feel like this one is the best for our purposes. We can treat this as a one sided Magic Missile, because every time we pump our Hawkeye before KO'ing him will lead to one additional damage against our opponent's characters.

    For our third swap, I think we need the gas to power our KO engine. Simply put, the best choice we can make here is to add the most popular ramp in the game. Our next switcharoo will be Curse of Dragon for Professor X - Trainer.

    I don't need to say anything about this card. Pay a , put two sidekicks in your prep area. Done correctly, it can keep your bag empty and ensure you have all the energy that you'll ever need.

    Finally, our fourth swap. One of the downsides to bringing PXG is, of course, you are giving that same tool to your opponent. But, there are ways to make it more difficult for them to use the ramp you so thoughtfully brought. Our final swap will be Gladiator for Oracle - Master Investigator.

    Not only is Oracle a that can power our PXG, but she will essentially cut our opponent's Professor X ramp in half. That's not even considering the strain she'll put on their economy for any other Global they may wish to use.

    Our team is set. Let's scatter some dice around on the cards and see how things look.

    x3 x3 x2 x3
    x3 x2 x2 x2

    We have a pretty decent team here. I would play it like this: first turn, try to purchase Constantine and save some masks (hopefully) for ramp. Turn two, purchase a Nick Fury (or Oracle) and continue maintaining the ramp. By turn 3, we can start purchasing our Hawkeyes and work our way up to Doctor Strange. Along the way, remember to control your opponent with Constantine by naming the biggest threats that they could possibly draw and field. As with any Hellblazer, keep a special eye out for potential targets that have When Fielded abilities that we just don't want to deal with. With proper control and ramp, it'll only be a matter of time until we can KO enough characters to swing in for lethal damage. Doctor Strange will be our heavy hitter, and the longer we have him out, the more free BACs we can pick up. We will need to be careful about grabbing those Power Bolts before our opponent, so we might want to purchase them outright instead of waiting for Strange to see the field.

    Overall, I feel like we were successful with our build. Our "No Shared Affiliations" rule didn't really hurt us too much. This version of Hawkeye is one that we don't see played that often, and it could keep our opponent on their toes... especially as their attention will be focused on the much more common Connie and PXG. But, it's not what I think about this team that matters... what do YOU think?

    Could we have gone with a different Avenger or X-Men? Should we have shoehorned a villain or a D&D monster on instead? Did I swap out a game winner for something that will end up costing us the game? The nice thing about this experiment is that, with so many cards to choose from, one hundred different players could potentially come up with one hundred different swaps.

    Hopefully you've found something in this week's article that will help you with your homebrew. Even if it is a guide of what NOT to do when putting together a team, I'm happy if these articles entertain or help you in any way.

    Until next time: keep creating combos, brewing boffo bands of battlers, and throwing things at the wall to see what sticks!
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Fun as always. Restrictions brew creativity. I would hope that this sort of series would inspire people to try Hybrid Constructed.
    1. Jwannabe's Avatar
      Jwannabe -
      YaY! This Hawkeye is one of my favorite characters.
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      Always a fun article to read. I really like the Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Invulnerability combo, and I think I will be using it or something similar. When I saw the original draw, even after the rule, I immediately thought of getting some effect, like a Global. to take advantage of the shield heavy line up. Especially if I was keeping Dr. Strange, who costs a lot, I might choose to get Resurrection, mainly for the Global. Thanks again for the inspiration.
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      Quote Originally Posted by StrangeBrew View Post
      Always a fun article to read. I really like the Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Invulnerability combo, and I think I will be using it or something similar. When I saw the original draw, even after the rule, I immediately thought of getting some effect, like a Global. to take advantage of the shield heavy line up. Especially if I was keeping Dr. Strange, who costs a lot, I might choose to get Resurrection, mainly for the Global. Thanks again for the inspiration.
      There were some interesting Shield characters in there. I had thought of trying to build around Gladiator with a couple of affiliation givers and a way to give him Overcrush. Giving him +4 or +6 Attack would have been fun if we could have made the blocking character a Villainous Bat Family Spider-Friend.
    1. Awesome Dave's Avatar
      Awesome Dave -
      This is my favorite series out there on Dice Masters. Oddball, I'd like to throw down a sort of gauntlet if I may. Would you consider a mini-challenge, if not a full on team, for creative ways to use less than desirable cards and make them actually work?

      My example: SR Hulk - Warbound. What insane creativity would it take to actually pull off the aftershock on that bruiser, and to use the effect at the right time that would benefit you in the game? I pulled that card a few months ago (only been playing for four months) but I love to imagine fun ways to use it. As it is, though, I've never even put him on a team. I just like the concept of the creative thinking present in these columns and wondered if that could be applied to a specific card to build around.

      It wouldn't suggest anything like common vixen, though. I'm thinking more of cards that have some gimmick or other that is very hard to use, but when used in just such a wild and creative way, actually do something GOOD.

      Have a good one!