• Civil War: Block the Blitz


    Bard Blitz. It's on the forefront of everyone's minds and even with the recent Relentless ban, it's still an incredibly powerful card and any team using it can be a bit tough to deal with. Thankfully with a new set comes new opportunites and new answers to meta issues. Today we're going to take a look at two of these potential tools coming in Civil War to help mitigate the Blitz: Black Widow and Speedball.


    While the starter versions of Black Widow were a bit unimpressive, the common "Mistress of Pain" makes up for what the starter versions lack. "Black Widow can block any number of character dice with a printed fielding cost of 0". If you look at the main threats in a Bard Blitz team, sidekicks, Miri Riam, Morphing Jar, and the Half-elf Bard him/herself, they are either always a 0 fielding cost or only have a 1 fielding cost on their level 3 side. More often than not, Black Widow will be able to block most, if not all of the attacking characters in the Blitz. As an added bonus, with the banning of Relentless, she won't be easily stopped as a blocker, though things like Cloudkill and the Falcon that makes sidekicks unblockable still need to be watched out for.

    As a three cost, Black Widow is easily grabbed in the first two turns and offers a wall that will certainly slow your opponent down and hopefully allow you to start working towards your pieces of offense rather than being kept on the ropes by the "Relentless" onslaught.


    A newcomer to the Dice Masters world, Speedball could potentially make quite the splash in the meta in dealing with Bard Blitz and other heavy hitter strategies. The common Robbie Baldwin says "When Speedball is dealt combat damage, deal damage to each other character die equal to the amount of damage done to Speedball." One of the things that makes Bard Blitz so hard to deal with is the consistent +3D or +4D attacking characters get, giving you very little value for your blocks as most of their attackers will remain standing and just attack again the next turn. Speedball as a blocker gives you the board clearing value that is desperately needed when facing off against the Bard. If he blocks a 6/6 Miri Riam (and takes that damage), ALL characters take 6 damage and that will very likely clear the board. This does have the drawback that it hits your own characters as well, but if you're blocking everything thrown at you by the Bard Blitz, they were likely going to be KOed anyway. The other drawback is this retaliatory damage from Speedball would occur after damage is resolved, so any unblocked character would still do its full damage to you. However, clearing both players' boards on your opponent's turn leaves the board completely open on your turn and your prep area full of KOed characters that could come back and potentially swing the game in your favor the next turn.

    Another nice thing about these two potential answers is they are both of common rarity. You won't need to be hunting through multiple gravity feeds to get them for your team and won't have to shell out heavy cash.

    Unfortunately none of this will be terribly helpful for the fast approaching WKO2s since Civil War will not yet be legal for them, but it does show there is at least potential light at the end of the tunnel. These are only two possible stopgap solutions, and there is quite a bit still unknown from Civil War that could provide much needed Blitz relief. Obviously neither Black Widow or Speedball on their own are a win condition, but they both give you the opportunity to slow down the Blitz, keep fighting, and get to your win conditions rather than being stuck in defensive play for the duration of a game. Most valuable of all, you have a chance to take back control of the game, dictate its pace, and make your opponent second guess throwing his attackers at your wall of blockers.
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      Common Speedball should also be pretty amazing in draft, and if you have a taunt Global (like Bane), you can pull their Hulk into Speedball for a total board clear
    1. whisperni's Avatar
      whisperni -
      I don't know why, but every time I see something like this I want to make the character a villain and then attack it with

      Super ineffective, but also super fun to make your opponent block your characters from attacking your other characters. I used to do it to jocasta super ineffectively as well.
    1. whisperni's Avatar
      whisperni -
      It is really too bad how amazing these cards are to stopping Bard Blitz on their own, except for the fact that a staple in Bard Blitz is Prismatic Spray which reduces all of these cards back to basic blockers. Until there is a decent counter to prismatic spray besides our sad friends doomcaliber knight and constantine I don't see these as super strong counters to Bard Blitz.
    1. flight602's Avatar
      flight602 -
      That's exactly what I was thinking, spray ruins both these
    1. themadking's Avatar
      themadking -
      I laughed real hard at the intro pictures. Well done, you found the true start to the civil war
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Only I understand the Mistress of Pain ability as if any face has a printed fielding cost of 0?
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Quote Originally Posted by themadking View Post
      I laughed real hard at the intro pictures. Well done, you found the true start to the civil war
      That pic is totally the scene in FL. We even have a chicken sacrificing Stark Look Alike.
    1. Flexei's Avatar
      Flexei -
      Quote Originally Posted by The0retico View Post
      Only I understand the Mistress of Pain ability as if any face has a printed fielding cost of 0?
      It's any character who's current level has a printed fielding cost of 0. Mistress of Pain could block 4 Morphing Jars if they were all level 1 or 2, but if they were all level 3, should would only be able to block 1 of them (the level 3 face has a fielding cost of 1).
    1. Flexei's Avatar
      Flexei -
      Quote Originally Posted by whisperni View Post
      It is really too bad how amazing these cards are to stopping Bard Blitz on their own, except for the fact that a staple in Bard Blitz is Prismatic Spray which reduces all of these cards back to basic blockers. Until there is a decent counter to prismatic spray besides our sad friends doomcaliber knight and constantine I don't see these as super strong counters to Bard Blitz.
      Yes, Spray still stops their abilities, but spray still has to be purchased, has to go through the bag cycle, and has to be rolled. The need for spray slows the bard team down slightly and gives you an opportunity to get your own stuff in place, and with relentless gone you should also hopefully have time to build up more blockers and Black Widow and Speedball here help keep things from getting out of control in the meantime. They're not game winners. They're game win facilitators.
    1. g0rd0npg's Avatar
      g0rd0npg -
      Quote Originally Posted by Flexei View Post
      It's any character who's current level has a printed fielding cost of 0. Mistress of Pain could block 4 Morphing Jars if they were all level 1 or 2, but if they were all level 3, should would only be able to block 1 of them (the level 3 face has a fielding cost of 1).
      Will this mean that Black Widow cannot block multiple sidekicks since they don't have a "printed" fielding cost of 0 ? They have a fielding cost of 0, but I don't think they have a printed one.
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      Quote Originally Posted by g0rd0npg View Post
      Will this mean that Black Widow cannot block multiple sidekicks since they don't have a "printed" fielding cost of 0 ? They have a fielding cost of 0, but I don't think they have a printed one.
      It's printed on the die.
    1. Flexei's Avatar
      Flexei -
      Quote Originally Posted by g0rd0npg View Post
      Will this mean that Black Widow cannot block multiple sidekicks since they don't have a "printed" fielding cost of 0 ? They have a fielding cost of 0, but I don't think they have a printed one.
      As pk said, it's printed on the die. The biggest reason to specify printed fielding cost is things that would increase or decrease the fielding cost would not affect this. I believe there's a Venom in this set that increases the fielding cost of sidekicks by 1, but their printed cost would still be 0.
    1. Anchorman70's Avatar
      Anchorman70 -
      "Unfortunately none of this will be terribly helpful for the fast approaching WKO2s since Civil War will not yet be legal for them"

      When is Civil War being released? When will it be tournament legal?
    1. Flexei's Avatar
      Flexei -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anchorman70 View Post
      "Unfortunately none of this will be terribly helpful for the fast approaching WKO2s since Civil War will not yet be legal for them"

      When is Civil War being released? When will it be tournament legal?
      Civil War is supposed to be released May 11th. Per WizKids rules, a set must be out for 1 full week to be tournament legal, so Civil War will be tournament legal on May 18th.
    1. jojodadevil's Avatar
      jojodadevil -
      Quote Originally Posted by Flexei View Post
      Civil War is supposed to be released May 11th. Per WizKids rules, a set must be out for 1 full week to be tournament legal, so Civil War will be tournament legal on May 18th.
      Do you know the date of TMNT is to be released?
    1. Flexei's Avatar
      Flexei -
      Quote Originally Posted by jojodadevil View Post
      Do you know the date of TMNT is to be released?
      Last I heard was May 25th, but I don't have any concrete source for that date.
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      From Alliance (distributor) site:

      Attachment 5040
      Attachment 5041
    1. BenSaidScott's Avatar
      BenSaidScott -
      Really interested in Speed Ball looks like a really fun card to play. But oh man I hate Bard. The card is just way too broken. Even at a 6 cost it would be broken.
    1. JustK's Avatar
      JustK -
      The OP Scarecrow is actually my favorite to stop a Bard Team. It is a 4 cost mask that states : While Scarecrow is active, you can't be attacked by characters with an A of 2 or less.

      This stops the bard on 2 of his 3 sides and is the same 4 cost with about the same fielding cost as Speedball and Black Widow. Unfortunately it is an OP card so not as readily available. It also has a max 2 on the card.

      It is unfortunate that I see this card in my deck and need it there to stop just one card that seems to be so prevalent in the meta now. I almost wish that the card was a super rare. Of course, that would ruin the game in another way, think Tsarina and Gobby back in AvX days. If you didn't have one or the other or both, you did not win.

      So, unless something changes, either play with bard, or play with Scarecrow for me. At least at the most competitive level.
    1. BenSaidScott's Avatar
      BenSaidScott -
      Having played against Bard a lot recently I'm going to say that Imprisoned is the best way to stop Bard. It's unaffected by Spray, and most other ways of protection Bard teams generally carry. And it removes Bard's best asset, other cheap characters to gain the buff. If you can capture enough sidekicks and other characters your opponent is going to have a much tougher time getting the variety of characters he needs for Bards buffs plus the couple of characters he needs to win. Only problem is that you then need to be able to respond by killing your opponent in one hit. It really is super effective.