• Relentless: why this was inevitable.

    If you haven't already heard, word was passed down today that Relentless and Swords of Revealing Light are going to be banned effective May 1, at least temporarily, as a result of their global abilities that make opposing characters unable to

    The restriction of this global is excellent for Dice Masters. These globals were enablers, pure and simple, and skewed the meta in so many different ways ever since they were implemented in Uncanny X-Men and then reaffirmed in Yu-Gi-Oh. The upcoming Civil war set ensures that the effect remains in the game, but in a much more manageable form: ďTarget character cannot block unless its owner pays one life.Ē

    There are lots of reasons why I celebrate it. Letís dig in.


    First - Itís been everywhere. A bit too everywhere.

    Letís look a trip down Memory Lane. Remember Spiderbomb, the archetype that required an errata to Spider-man to defuse? Relentless. Right there in the deck list. The original version of High Hopes, the turn three kill Patch/Avengers deck, featured this global.

    At US Nationals 2015, Relentless was absolutely a factor. Several teams - including that of the eventual winner, Dave Walsh, had it in their list. At least three more people had it in the top eight of the Canadian Nationals that same year.

    Letís move on to worlds. The runner-up? Yup, he had Relentless in that list. Thatís part of how you get a lone Wolverine through for 12 - make sure that nothing can block it.

    How about some of the teams that have dominated since then?

    Guy Gardner Rush absolutely features Relentless, and I think we can agree that this team has legs. Avoiding blockers is how it is so lethal so early. Bard Blitz is a newer kid on the block, but after the wKO Ottawa and the recent weekend of PDCs featuring our favorite singer, we know thatís a solid choice. It has relentless as well - without it, a turn three kill is far more up to chance.

    Without Relentless/Swords, these teams are still very good and can still perform, but it evens the playing field and prevents situations where players have a high probability of winning before the opponent does anything. Of course it can still happen, but itís about it being assured. Squads like Bard and Guy suck the fun out of things when they're that consistent.

    Now, these teams are popular, but itís not that theyíre everywhere. Rather, itís about what this global ability has, time after time, been demonstrated to do to the game - and that over time, it's impact has allowed teams to be less and less interactive.


    Second - It makes for odd deckbuilding choices

    Itís not really that people shouldnít learn to take their lumps. Of course they should. However, Relentless created a situation where a player could do nothing wrong and lose. There is no counter for Relentless save pre-emptive measures - namely, Human Paladin. The prevalence of Relentless takes Paladin from something that one may slot for the global if theyíre concerned about heavy direct damage to one that must be included because it answers the Relentless threat as well. Mera also became heavily favored because, while she would never be fielded, her global could mitigate the combat damage that you're forced to take.

    I fear Relentless. So, I'll put in Paladin. So you'll put in Spray. So I'll add a Magic Helmet (which still needs to be clearly ruled). So you'll add Constantine Antihero. And the best goes on. Worse, the things that I need to add to mitigate Relentless are almost universally defensive and do nothing to help me win. Stranger still is that if I want to win with combat damage, one of those counters, Mera, hurts me, makes it more difficult for me to win.


    A Whole New World

    Banning this card creates more options, while still allowing existing archetypes to be viable. It enables a game environment where the roll of the dice actually matter. In a game called "Dice Masters", I am certainly in favor of that.
    Comments 41 Comments
    1. Wargfn's Avatar
      Wargfn -
      Thank your the excellent write up and the trip down memory lane. In the end it is about allowing people to play the game vs. showing up to be locked out before you have a chance to play.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wargfn View Post
      Thank your the excellent write up and the trip down memory lane. In the end it is about allowing people to play the game vs. showing up to be locked out before you have a chance to play.

      Indeed. The fact is that Relentless has always been on successful teams in the game, and it has developed to a point where you must play it or play around it. That's what people are missing. Of COURSE there are counters! But you either have to play the card or play a counter or you lose. No fun.
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Not convinced at all. Guy rush has multiple alternative options. Bard has no reason to drop Spray. But if you are right, I guess good for the game.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by The0retico View Post
      Not convinced at all. Guy rush has multiple alternative options. Bard has no reason to drop Spray. But if you are right, I guess good for the game.
      Can't spray away blockers.
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      Can't spray away blockers.
      I was reacting to the second reason about "arms race". There is no reason to drop the Spray from the team just because opponent won't be running Paladin, since it still stops most of the counters. Early blockers like sidekicks can be stopped in multiple ways - using Cloudkill, Giant Spider or in case of Guy rush also Spectre global might work. I think these alternatives would mean, that there is no reason to drop Mera or Constantine. I don't expect much to change, but I am looking forward to be proven wrong.
    1. KennedyHawk's Avatar
      KennedyHawk -
      I feel like all this will do is promote more control teams.

      This wouldn't bother me if the timed rules and time limits weren't so atrocious.

      At the two WKO I attended every single Top cut game with at least one control game went to time in game 2. Every round had 2-3 games going to time in swiss all revolved around control.

      It really sucks to lose to a poor timed out system rather than the actual game and this change will only increase the frequency in that.
    1. alleyviper's Avatar
      alleyviper -
      Their time rules wouldn't bother me as much if they hadn't just recently changed it so that life totals don't matter at the end of timed rounds, it still results in a tie.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by KennedyHawk View Post
      I feel like all this will do is promote more control teams.

      This wouldn't bother me if the timed rules and time limits weren't so atrocious.

      At the two WKO I attended every single Top cut game with at least one control game went to time in game 2. Every round had 2-3 games going to time in swiss all revolved around control.

      It really sucks to lose to a poor timed out system rather than the actual game and this change will only increase the frequency in that.

      The alternative is that you watch someone kill you before you do anything, or you make someone watch you do the same.
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Quote Originally Posted by alleyviper View Post
      Their time rules wouldn't bother me as much if they hadn't just recently changed it so that life totals don't matter at the end of timed rounds, it still results in a tie.
      Can you please reference the source for this rule change?
    1. bahamut7's Avatar
      bahamut7 -
      I have been saying for years the Relentless Global was such a boring win condition and took away the entire point of building teams. As much as I hate the idea of any card being banned ( I prefer better options to be released and players moving onto better options), I have to agree that this will help a lot of players become better and make the game more interesting.

      Now if we can just amend two certain Hulks we will be in business....
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by bahamut7 View Post
      I have been saying for years the Relentless Global was such a boring win condition and took away the entire point of building teams. As much as I hate the idea of any card being banned ( I prefer better options to be released and players moving onto better options), I have to agree that this will help a lot of players become better and make the game more interesting.

      Now if we can just amend two certain Hulks we will be in business....
      Better options = power creep. Which is also why some kind of rotation will need to happen soonish. That way you can have different options that people will use. There are too many cards for which "strictly better" versions of them would be far too broken to exist.
    1. bahamut7's Avatar
      bahamut7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      Better options = power creep. Which is also why some kind of rotation will need to happen soonish. That way you can have different options that people will use. There are too many cards for which "strictly better" versions of them would be far too broken to exist.
      Yea, I am seeing that creep as well. I also am wary of bans because once it starts, when does it end? Honestly, when I played Guy teams, it never bothered me, but when I see relentless (doesn't matter what the team actually is) I always sigh and prepare for a roll off. So, I like it and dislike it at the same time. It does lessen the dependency on Paladin which is definitely good.
    1. ElraE's Avatar
      ElraE -
      I honestly think instead of banning, they should just change the rules, so that all globals can only be used once each per turn. This would solve future globals becoming too powerful also.

      The game should be about team building and team synergy, using character abilities, not globals. After JL came out with its lack of globals, I actually thought the game was starting to phase them out. Sadly it was just an anomaly.

      I don't want this game to become another Heroclix. That game became a joke with new errata, and bans every other week. If a player needs to check online to see if he can use a card or character, there is something wrong with the system.

      I'd love to see the game get away from a player having to stockpile energy on his turn, just to use counter tactic globals.

      I see their purpose in levelling the playing field if one player has superior cards, I just think their usage has become the core of the game mechanics. Which I believe really hurts the creativity in the game.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      People need to settle down and drink some apple juice (or Apple Cider. There's a place here that makes some good stuff). This is a single ban and they indicated it would be temporary. The effect is returning in Civil War with a drawback. The teams that could have used it are still tier one; this just requires them to be more interactive.

      And this is the kind of card you ban - not Guy or Bard - because it attacks a problem, not a symptom. Remember that unlike Clix, Lang and Elliot have a say here.
    1. KennedyHawk's Avatar
      KennedyHawk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      The alternative is that you watch someone kill you before you do anything, or you make someone watch you do the same.
      Agree to disagree. I think banning was a poor move. It's a band-aid that will most likely not be lifted until we see rotation.
    1. CobraCommander's Avatar
      CobraCommander -
      I was prepared to have 4 slots in a team JUST to deal with the relentless bard/guy stuff. But now I don't have to. Maybe I CAN use some of the other cards that have been hidden away for a while now because the egg timer is longer than 3 turns? We'll see how it goes. I'm excited because rush is still there it's just not 99% guaranteed for a T3 kill. It is temporary so I guess no matter what side of the coin youre on... all good things... As far as the hate for globals... I dont like them but I dont dislike them. Heck, some cards are all about them (sparkles beholder) so it's fair to say theyre as much a part of the game as anything else.
    1. Stormyknight's Avatar
      Stormyknight -
      Bans are healthy if they make a mistake. I'm sure they never intended for the game to end before turn 4.
    1. Walsh's Avatar
      Walsh -
      Spider-bomb was my deck list too. Sorry, I just liked Relentless. xD
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Walsh View Post
      Spider-bomb was my deck list too. Sorry, I just liked Relentless. xD

      Wild Walsh appears!
    1. Walsh's Avatar
      Walsh -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      Wild Walsh appears!
      Forever lurking lol