• Reading the Rainbow - Rainbow Draft Weekend 2 Prep (Age of Ultron Edition)



    Hello again everyone, and welcome to Reading the Rainbow. This series is devoted to the Rainbow Draft (and not Rainbow Road, which is a great Mario Kart track but doesn't really need an article series on a Dice Masters website). The Rainbow Draft is my favorite way to play, as it allows you to experience two games in one. First, you have to draft a team of up to 8 cards and 20 dice, then actually play some games with a team created from what you select. It is, as the kids say, a smashing good time.

    We are hurtling headlong toward Rainbow Draft Weekend 2. These events will begin on July 30th, and run for the next month. Stores were given a selection of different sets to choose from for their events. Last week, we talked about the most likely selection for the DC portion of RDW2: War of Light. It was, if I may say so myself, a pretty decent article. I'd suggest that you go and read it. The rest of us will wait. Go on. It's right here.

    Here we see an image of TRP User DraftAttackMac923, taken just moments ago by my SpyNarwhal Drone, reading last week's article. Way to go DraftAttackMac923! I can see your thoughts being provoked from here!


    Today, as you could likely tell from the title of the article, we will be talking about Age of Ultron. This set was released in July of 2015. While some may say it is not as flexible as War of Light or Civil War, Age of Ultron (or AoU to its friends) makes up for it with the brutality of some of its cards and the sheer mass of super humanity that can be brought to bear. Let's start by taking a look at the most important one-shots you'll find in a draft.

    [top]See It? Snag It!


    Even if it seems to be all about the quantity, Age of Ultron does have some quality as well. Here are a few of the things to be looking for.

    Wasp - Founding Avenger


    We're going to start with a draft card that is virtually perfect. Wasp - Founding Avenger only costs three, and has a great character ability. Be wary of people bringing Vicious Struggle, however, as this will allow your opponent to eventually start whittling away at your life while using Global abilities. Her high fielding cost is also a concern, but you do not want to leave this card on the table... even if you aren't going to use it.

    S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent - Need to Know Basis


    ... and here we have the hard counter to Wasp. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent - Need to Know Basis is a great card to draft, as it allows you to force a reroll of your opponent's Avengers. This set is lousy with Avengers. This is also a very low cost purchase for some blocking. Do not allow your opponents to draft this card, especially if you plan on using any Avengers.

    Beast - Bouncing Blue Beast


    The last of the stand alone cards I would grab (at least, without the Red Stripeys), Beast - Bouncing Blue Beast is phenomenal. Life gain is actually viable in drafts, since your opponent is likely not going to just line up for one giant swing for 20+ damage. Triple B might be one of the most aggro cards, as you will want to attack with him at every opportunity. It gives your opponent that choice; Do I take damage, or give two life? This is a sleeper card, and one that you should pick if given the chance. If you can get four Beasts? That might win you the draft.

    Once Again, Some of the Super Rares



    Typically in a Rainbow Draft, you will grab any Super Rare that you come across. When dealing with Rainbow Draft Weekend, though, you might be a little more discriminating. That being said, here are three Super Rares that can make a real difference in your team.

    Jocasta - Patterned After Janet: Your opponent will not want to attack and will not want to block when this die is out there. Couple with a force block Global (like on the Ultron Drone) for some pure magic. Remember, per the ruling on the WizKids Rules Forum, the damage to your opponent is only done the very first time a Jocasta die takes damage that turn.

    Magneto - Magnetic Monster: In Constructed, he used to be a superstar. Then, after some rulings clarifications didn't go his way, his stock fell. In draft, though, he's still pretty handy. He'll stop Wasp, Ultron Drones (we'll get to that in a bit), and more!

    Thanos - Infinite: Thanos is awesome. I know, I know, he's a ten cost character in draft. If you can put together a Villain team (or make one of your other characters a Villain), and deal some combat damage, then it might be worth grabbing this guy. Having a potential 9/9 Overcrushing character that costs four (or TWO!) would be extremely helpful in your quest for drafting glory.

    [top]Combos and Strategies

    War of Light was all about tribalism (affiliations or teamwork or what-have-you). AoU, OTOH, is not. For the most part, any two or three randos can team up and make a decent accounting for themselves. But there are a couple of combos to be found and, when you do, it's like a mushroom and pineapple pizza of awesome!

    Papa Bear and Baby Boy
    or and

    Both the Common and Uncommon Ultron Drones are great in this set. Both Drones become absolute MONSTERS when Ultron - New World Order is thrown into the mix. The Uncommon Ultron Drone - 1 of a Million is especially dangerous in this combo. Use the Drone's Global to force a character with a high fielding cost to block, then attack with the Drone. Capture the defending die, and deal damage equal to the fielding cost AND three more from NWO Ultron himself. It's easy to set up and works extremely well.

    Guardians of the Galaxy


    If you are a fan of aggressive play... listen up. Field your Starhawk - Precognitive, then field your Rocket Raccoon - "Blam! Murdered You!" Each character gains +2A. Then, you know, attack with them! Rocket gets another +2A, giving him a potential for 8 Attack. Walls are a thing, so throw in yet another Guardian of the Galaxy, Gamora, and see what happens.

    Calling an Uber


    I had a friend who built a Constructed team around this combo, back when all she had were Age of Ultron cards and dice. And it worked. If you can land the Helicarrier on its level 2 or 3 faces, then you can use Iron Man's global to make everything a Villain. Use the Carrier on Tinhead himself, and rack up the bonuses from Helicarrier (+3A) and Iron Man's abilites (+1A per Villain). It takes lots of , but it sure is fun.

    [top]In-Set Globals

    There are four different Globals you will see on your character cards when you are drafting AoU.

    Wasp - All Versions


    While these appear to be the same Global, keep in mind that the Common and Uncommon versions of Wasp can use the Global any number of times. The Rare, however, is limited to once per turn.

    Ultron Drone - All Versions


    Force Attack and Force Block Globals are insanely useful in Dice Masters. Any time you can force your opponent to do something that he or she may not want to do, you are winning just a little bit. And, obviously, the character that gets the most benefit from this is likely the Drone itself.

    Iron Man - Tinhead


    We've already talked about this Global above, but again... if you need a Villain for WHATEVER REASON, this is your guy.

    Gamora - Raised by Thanos


    The last in set Global on a character, this is kind of a doozy. Sure, you can use it for character removal, but I'd also recommend finding some nice "When Fielded" abilities, and then knocking out your own blocker to get to roll that die again next turn.

    [top]Satisfaction From Basic Actions

    Choosing Basic Actions is hard (more about this coming very soon). You have to consider the ins and outs of using something that is powerful but that your opponent also has access to. For this article, let's assume that your event is limited to in universe selections... so, let's look at some Marvel Basic Actions Cards.


    Age of Ultron might as well be called Age of Walltron vis--vis Rainbow Drafts. If you get a chance to get damage over or through that wall, you have to take it.


    I used to think that Resurrection and Villainous Pact were the only way to go, at least as far as Ramp-protunities. I'm starting to see other possibilities in cards like Gearing Up and Nasty Plot. Over the long term, these might provide a better boost than a bank. Superhero Registration Act can be mentioned here, however I really do not like giving my opponent an opportunity to KO one of their own characters. Sometimes that can be a little... risky.


    If you can manage to get some affiliated characters out, these two BACs are the way to go. One is an "And", and one is an "Or"... but both give at least one character some bonus attack when it counts.

    [top]Retroactively Reading the Rainbow!

    Shadowmeld, before leaving Reading the Rainbow in my "capable" hands, wrote several fantastic articles about Age of Ultron. Go and have a looksie before the big event!

    Age of Ultron - Economy
    Age of Ultron - Win Conditions
    Age of Ultron - The Rainbow
    Age of Ultron - In Set Combos
    Age of Ultron - Too Many Choices
    Age of Ultron - Knowing What You Need
    Age of Ultron - The Rent Is Too Damn High
    Age of Ultron - Big Decisions
    Age of Ultron - The Champ



    Before we wrap it up this week, I thought we'd run through a Six Pack. Normally, when drafting, you take everything into consideration (the number and type of dice in the Rainbow, what cards are missing when a hand wheels, the air temperature in the room). For this, though, we are simply going to look at the cards and give reasons why we might (or might not) pick a certain card. Today we are going to be opening six packs of Justice League!




    Ok, then. We have a few directions we can go with this team and, no matter what we do, the person we are passing to is going to love us for giving them something good. Let's take a closer look:

    Lantern Power Ring - I actually really like this card, especially because it is in a draft set that contains a lot of great Villains. It is a little slow, and not a blocking body, and isn't in the top 3 from this hand. Let it go, and hope it comes back around when nothing else is there.
    Swamp Thing - KO'ing things is fun, but not a first pick ability.
    Black Manta - Wow. We have the Common and the Uncommon. The Common (David) is a 2 cost character that lets you deal some damage (potentially) directly to your opponent. The 3 cost (Deep Sea Deviant) is one of the marquee cards from this set. Either would be a strong choice, especially if you are putting together a Villain team.
    Sinestro - High cost for a draft, but more Villain love. That Global can do some good work for you too. Sinestro, though, is the definition of a supplemental pick. Look for him when your hand comes back around.
    Green Lantern - This is a reasonable ability, I suppose, but not good enough to consider taking him first. In draft, a 5 cost character should be able to win you the game, or get you in the barn at least.
    Brainiac - See above. Except, this time, without the reasonable ability. It could come in handy in a very specific situation, but he's probably one that'll be given to someone when there are only two to choose from.
    Blue Beetle - This guy is part of the best three card combo in Justice League. If you open a pack with him in it, then he's possibly your number one pick. As you can see, even Non-Villains give Villain Love.
    Cheetah - The One-Woman Win Condition. You want her on your draft team, and you do not want to face her. She is your first pick in this set. Her cost, stats, and ability make her the perfect draft card.
    Wonder Woman - Yet another strong card in this hand. Most of our cards are geared toward a Villain team, but if you are going Heroic... she's your pick.
    Zatanna - Sometimes the characters that are in the Starters for a particular set pale in comparison to the really good version from the boosters. This is not one of those times. #ThrowingShade #YouStillRockInConstructed #HashtagsComeInThrees
    Booster Gold - Dave... I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry.

    So, all in all, we had a pretty good pull. What to pick? Cheetah, probably. If there were no Common Cheetah in that set, then the choice would be between one of the Black Mantas (I lean toward the Uncommon), or even Blue Beetle. The Common Cheetah is good as gold in drafts, though, so she is certainly the number one pick.



    That does it for this week's article. I wish we could devote multiple articles to each set, but with RDW2 coming up we just have to hit those high points. Please comment below if this is helpful, and with any additional information or strategies I have (likely) missed. Also, what about that six pack eh? Is there a reason NOT to pick Common Cheetah? Have any stories of derring-do where you eschewed the set's all-stars and still won it all? Let us know below! Next week, we'll continue our look at likely draft sets for your Rainbow Draft Weekend experience! Will it be a Marvel or a DC? FIND OUT IN 7 DAYS!

    Until next week, though: crack some packs you crafty drafters!
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Someday... SOMEday... The card will come out that makes Booster Gold good. And probably by that time, Booster will be rotated out...
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      Someday... SOMEday... The card will come out that makes Booster Gold good. And probably by that time, Booster will be rotated out...
      We all want Booster Gold to be good. I'm hoping for some surprise love in the next set. It'll be Bizarro-World, what with a fantastic Flash and a boffo Booster.
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      Someday... SOMEday... The card will come out that makes Booster Gold good. And probably by that time, Booster will be rotated out...
      I made a c/uc Cube of all 3 cost characters (and BAC's). My son and I both tried very hard to get Booster to have his day in the sun, but he never could do it. He got cut...
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      I know that we strive to keep TRP "Meme free"... but this is what happens when I write an article while watching Doctor Who.

      Attachment 5614
    1. ccm00007's Avatar
      ccm00007 -
      Great writeup; I really wish this would have been available before RDW Canada. Anyway, having done a couple of AOU drafts recently, there are a couple of things I'd like to point out:

      -on S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent: If you can't get the rare, the uncommon is fantastic too. Fielding an Avenger for free each turn may not sound like much, but without much ramp, paying 2 or 3 to field a character is painful in drafts. Not a first pick, but a great support card to pick up if you're doing an Avengers-based strategy.

      -Rocket Raccoon: That common doesn't need any combos to do well; it's probably the set's best win condition in draft. And while Starhawk's the best way to add offense to him, don't forget Star-Lord; he's more likely to be available in draft, and the added defense can help Rocket survive against the Wasp global.

      -Phil Coulson: I refer to the common, that gives +1A to sidekicks and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. When the game walls up, making sidekicks hit for 2 each is incredibly useful.

      And on another note, I wonder how long it'll take them to get RDW2 in Canada...
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      Quote Originally Posted by ccm00007 View Post
      Great writeup; I really wish this would have been available before RDW Canada. Anyway, having done a couple of AOU drafts recently, there are a couple of things I'd like to point out:

      -on S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent: If you can't get the rare, the uncommon is fantastic too. Fielding an Avenger for free each turn may not sound like much, but without much ramp, paying 2 or 3 to field a character is painful in drafts. Not a first pick, but a great support card to pick up if you're doing an Avengers-based strategy.

      -Rocket Raccoon: That common doesn't need any combos to do well; it's probably the set's best win condition in draft. And while Starhawk's the best way to add offense to him, don't forget Star-Lord; he's more likely to be available in draft, and the added defense can help Rocket survive against the Wasp global.

      -Phil Coulson: I refer to the common, that gives +1A to sidekicks and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. When the game walls up, making sidekicks hit for 2 each is incredibly useful.

      And on another note, I wonder how long it'll take them to get RDW2 in Canada...
      I agree with all the things you said so much that I made a haiku about one of your points:

      Rocket Raccoon eh?
      He works with all other dice.
      Plus two attack? Sweet!


      Thank you. I'll be here all week, and make sure to tip your server.
    1. Connor_MacLeod's Avatar
      Connor_MacLeod -
      Really glad you've decided to go journo and give up all your secrets before tournaments.
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      Quote Originally Posted by Connor_MacLeod View Post
      Really glad you've decided to go journo and give up all your secrets before tournaments.
      Not all. I didn't give away my trick for using Uncommon Captain Universe.

      Oh, all right. The trick is to not use Uncommon Captain Universe.
    1. Axyz's Avatar
      Axyz -
      Thank you so much for this article! It was awesome reading all of the strategies that came from AoU. I honestly didn't want to draft this set for RDW 2, but I'm glad we did. It was funny that during the passing rounds of the draft people kept passing up the SHIELD Agents. I eventually saw the rare being passed around. Apparently, no one (other than me, thanks to this post) knew about the rare allowing you to reroll your opponent's characters. I managed to field it on it's burst and proceeded to make my opponents reroll their high cost Avengers characters. I managed to stop my opponent's rare Giant Man strategy and I won 1st place. So thank you for helping me win the full art Hulk: GG. It was the only Marvel full art that I needed!