• Reading the Rainbow - Rainbow Draft Weekend 2 Prep (Uncanny X-Men Edition)



    Hello again everyone, and welcome to Reading the Rainbow. This article series about my favorite Dice Masters format (the Rainbow Draft), and not about my favorite song from a 1939 film ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow"). Rainbow Draft lets everyone come in on essentially equal footing and play with teams that are constructed on the fly.

    Rainbow Draft Weekend was a great event in 2015 (and earlier this year in Canada). Rainbow Draft Weekend Part Two is going to be more of the same. One of the sets that we have the opportunity to draft is Uncanny X-Men. UXM was the second set released for Dice Masters. Due to the supply issues with Avengers Versus X-Men, it was many people's gateway into the game. Either way, there will be plenty of excited Dice Masters loving nerds waiting to get their grubby draft-paws on this set again.


    Exhibit A: Dice Masters loving nerd waiting to get his grubby draft-paws on this set again

    Let's take a closer look at this set, and see what cards and strategies to be on the look out for.

    [top]See It? Snag It!


    First, what are the cards that you have to take if they come floating through your hands? There are several great ones, but I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites in draft.

    Namor - The Sub-Mariner



    Unblockable Atlantean? Yes please.

    Toad - Tongue Lashing



    Here's the thing about Toad - Tongue Lashing... he's very good. When your opponent has to attack with everything but Sidekicks, you get to decide how many characters they get to have in their field before you get to swing with your attack. On two of his three faces, he even does two points of damage to them as soon as they attack. This card has proven to be devastating both when I have used it and when I have faced it in draft.

    Ant-Man - Biophysicist



    This is my (not so) secret (anymore) weapon in UXM draft play. Ant-Man is one of my favorite characters in both Dice Masters sets he's been a part of. At a cost of only two with a Total Fielding Cost of 1(!), he can jump right in and start doing some work. Especially on that level three face. It only takes four level three Ant-Men to win a game.

    Cerebro - Supercomputer



    Isaac and Stuart recently talked about this on our Top 10 Mask Character list. This card, especially teamed up with Professor X, is great in draft. When you purchase it and use it, you either get sweet, sweet energy to power your PXG (Professor X Global), or you can make one of your opponent's cheap draft winners into an energy drain to get onto the field. It doesn't seem like a big difference, but two additional energy to field something adds up.

    [top]That Heroic Elephant In The Room


    Let's take a moment to talk about Heroic. Here are the ten draftable characters with this keyword:




    For those of us who either don't know, or have blocked this Keyword from our memory, let's revisit what it does:

    Heroic: Dice with Heroic can pair up with other dice (different character) that you control that have the Heroic ability. Place paired up dice side by side. Heroic takes place at the same time a character is fielded. Dice may only be paired up with one other die (the new partner replaces the old one). They attack and block separately.
    Every time a Dice Masters player sees Heroic after not thinking about it for a little while, they have that thought: "I bet I can make this work. I bet I can make a Heroic team!" I'm here to say to you that no, you likely cannot. While on the surface it seems like a decent ability, it just doesn't work out. The characters are a little expensive, and the abilities are, for the most part, a bit underwhelming. Each Heroic character has better versions in draft, and that lofty goal of making something out if it is virtually unobtainable.

    Just some real talk from your friendly, neighborhood Narwhal.

    [top]All About Those Globals


    This set really shines in the Global abilities that are contained within. Here are the different abilities you'll run across.

    Ant-Man - Uncommon and Rare

    Pay . Switch the A and D values of one of your characters.

    My favorite Global from UXM. Sadly, though, it's not as great when limited in-set. Still, there are some uses for it ("Heck On Wheels" Overcrushing Professor X Team anyone?)

    Cable - All Versions

    Pay . Deal 1 damage to target enemy character. That character must block this turn (if able).

    Another great Global. This time, it's a Force Block (which is great) and a Magic Missile Global (which is also great) rolled into one. You do have to pay for both, even if you only want one. Luckily, thanks to a later Global, energy tends to be a bit more... available.

    Iron Man - Common and Super Rare

    Pay . Target character gains the Villain affiliation.

    This is the original "Villain Maker" Global. In a draft, it can pair well with Mystique - Raven Darkholme (+1A/+1D for each other Villain in the field), or any Basic Actions that punish your opponent for having Villains. It can also give the Super Rare Iron Man Double Attack, which can be work well if you give him Overcrush. Of course, you'd have to draft a Super Rare Iron Man in the first place...

    Mister Sinister - Uncommon and Rare

    Pay . Each player chooses one of his characters to take 3 damage.

    Mister Sinister - Nasty Boy is another card I probably should have listed in the SISI (See It? Snag It! - everything has acronyms now) above. The Global alone can be fantastic. Do you have a relatively weak character with a great When Fielded ability? Use this Global, KO it, and force your opponent to damage one of theirs.

    Pyro - Uncommon and Rare

    Uncommon - Pay . Draw and roll 2 dice from your bag. Keep any bolt results rolled. Return the rest to your bag.
    Rare - Pay . Draw and roll 2 dice from your bag. Keep any bolt results rolled. Return the rest to your bag.

    If you need some energy or want to take a stab at pulling some SKs out of your bag... sure, give this a shot. You can also use this Global to refill your bag, if you need to do that for some reason.

    Sentinel - Uncommon and Rare

    Pay . One X-Men character must block this turn (if able).

    Yup. I mean, you can totally draft Sentinel if you want this Global. It's a thing you can do. Protip: Don't.

    Storm - Common and Rare

    Pay . Change the target of an action die that targets a character die to the character die of your choice.

    This can be a pretty nice Global ability, especially if someone wants to do some Polymorph shenanigans. Consider it wisely, of course, since it can be used against you if you are planning on using some Actions for nefarious purposes.

    And... that it is for Global abilities from the Uncanny X-Men... oh, wait... there is one more minor one:
    PROFESSOR X - COMMON AND RARE

    Pay . Move up to 2 Sidekick dice from your used pile to your prep area.

    Here it is, the vaunted and ballyhooed PXG. It is those things for a reason. This is the most influential card (until that darn Bard, of course). I would only suggest not trying to bring this if you have constructed a team of two and three cost characters and would simply never need the energy. If you do not know how to use and abuse PXG, please visit DMDiceMasters' excellent video tutorial here: PXG Tutorial.

    [top]What Rhymes With Basic Action?


    For the past few RDW2 focused articles, we have supposed that your venue will be limiting Basic Actions to in universe only. But, what if you could use any BAC your heart desired? Let's focus on a few from the D&D sets that could be helpful in any draft, but maybe specifically with UXM. There has been enough written about D&D BACs to fill a book at this point, so we're going to look at a couple of the lesser used ones. Also, we done did a podcast last week about selecting Basic Actions at Rainbow Drafts. Here, have a listen.


    Each of your characters gets +1A and +1D.
    ** Two of your characters get an additional +1A and +1D.


    I really like Blessing, even if it's not as flashy as some other BACs that give bonuses. I think this would pair beautifully with Uncommon Falcon and his ability to make your Sidekicks unblockable. Swinging for 4? How about 8? How about 10 with bursts? That's not bad.


    Target character die gets +XA and +XD, where X is the number of NPC dice in your opponent's Used Pile when you use this Action Die.
    Global: Pay . Deal 1 damage to target character die.


    We know that, because of PXG, people will be keeping Sidekicks either in their Used Pile or over in Prep. If you use this BAC before you pass priority to your opponent to use PXG, then you'll catch them with the highest number of SKs possible. Since this die takes a snapshot when played, you can expect to net around a +4 bonus to Attack and Defense... with potential for more.



    Just one more piece of business this week before leaving, and that's the Quick Six. We'll take six booster packs and, with no consideration for dice in the Rainbow, our second pile of cards, or the third letters of each opponent's name, will choose the best card. When I cracked open my six Civil War packs, this is what I found:




    Lots of duplicates in this hand, but let's see which one we should take.

    Venom - This is the Common Venom, and the least good of the three. Still, it's got a great die for the cost.
    Baron Zemo - We have three Zemo dice in our hand alone, so I imagine the Rainbow will be filled with them. The Rare with his unblockable when something is KO'd power might be nice here.
    Thor - Probably not unless you are Rare drafting.
    Moonstone - We have a couple of these in our first hand, but probably not a first pick. If she wheels around and a Baron Zemo isn't still in there, then maybe.
    Moon Knight - I can see this card being handy if you managed to get a couple of Caps... but that's about the only way.
    Goliath - I might consider the Uncommon here. For one more, you can have an Overcrushing 8/8 (7/7 from the die and +1/+1 when you use the Global to activate his ability). That's not bad.
    Bullseye - Too situational, especially in draft.
    Black Widow - She is pretty great. Being able to block all Sidekicks, not to mention anything else with a 0 Fielding Cost is huge.

    So, I think the real choice is "Rare-on" Zemo or Black Widow. I think both are unlikely to come back around. If I have to choose, which I do, then I think Zemo will edge out Widow. We know there will be plenty of dice in the rainbow, just from our hand alone.



    So, there we have Reading the Rainbow for this week. What did I get right? What did I miss? What strategies have you used in Uncanny X-Men drafts that I neglected to mention? What is your favorite type of pie? Please comment below and let me know!

    Next week, we'll continue our analysis of draftable sets for Rainbow Draft Weekend 2. Also, if you haven't already done so, check out Dave's Level Up article about Post Game Draft Evaluation. It's a very good read. Until next week: crack some packs you crafty drafters!
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Jauron's Avatar
      Jauron -
      Good read!
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      Great article. I've never understood why this Namor doesn't get more play. I always use it for an X Men team. Now, if I'm not playing X men, it's a hard choice between this one and his Avengers affiliated "action kill" version (because Lantern Rings, like diamonds, are forever).
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      Quote Originally Posted by StrangeBrew View Post
      Great article. I've never understood why this Namor doesn't get more play. I always use it for an X Men team. Now, if I'm not playing X men, it's a hard choice between this one and his Avengers affiliated "action kill" version (because Lantern Rings, like diamonds, are forever).
      I like Namor to stop Vicious Struggle.
    1. ccm00007's Avatar
      ccm00007 -
      Another great article! UXM is a weird one to draft, if only because PXG makes every single high-cost character potentially buyable. And on that note...

      On characters you should snag: Uncommon Cable. This is a siege-breaking machine. KO'ing all sidekicks and low-toughness characters is fantastic in draft.

      And of course, the uncommon Falcon's an absolute show-stopper, almost as much as in constructed.

      In addition, though, I'd like to mention a couple of characters that, while not first picks, are great to look out for:

      -Iceman: Mister Friese. This one is deceptive because his printed attack will almost never be his actual attack during your turn. It will be his printed attack +3 so long as you field a character. 5/6/7 attack on a 4 purchase cost with good defense and decent fielding costs? If he's available in the middle of a pack and there's no obvious pick for your strategy, grab him as a secondary win condition. He's hard to find dice for, but even one can cause quite a bit of pain.

      Next up, equally important: Black Panther and X-23 (any of them, really). That's another deceptive one, because you look at the ability texts, and it's just, "Meh". But look at these attack stats: 7 or 8 attack on a 4 or 5 cost is very rare in dice masters. Their toughness is low, yes, but bring Archnemesis (for the global) and that's easy to fix. Add an overcrush action die (with Cable's force-block), and you're all set.

      And finally, She-Hulk: Lady Liberator. Up to 7 attack, hard to kill, requires two blockers. When the game walls up, she's a character you want on your side.

      It's pretty obvious that this set wasn't designed with draft in mind; it's weird to play in that format. It's still fun, though the really big, strong win conditions (ant-man rush, flying sidekicks, Cable board wipe, etc.) can really wreck a game...
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      ccm00007 is bringing the good stuff right there!
    1. vash989's Avatar
      vash989 -
      Heh, this article takes me back, I think I was the first one in our draft group to actively draft and use common Toad. He really put the brakes on the Ant-Swarm :P
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      Quote Originally Posted by vash989 View Post
      Heh, this article takes me back, I think I was the first one in our draft group to actively draft and use common Toad. He really put the brakes on the Ant-Swarm :P
      I think you were. If I remember correctly, you also brought the pain with Namor at least once. It's been at least 18 months, and we've drafted once or twice since then...
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      My first UxM draft, I got PXG, UC Ant-man and the only UC Ice-man in the rainbow. I then proceeded to buy Falcon (2cost), pxg2x. Turn 2 buy Iceman, pxg 3x. Turn 3, field Iceman, ant-man swap, field falcon, swing for 9. Pxg2x. Draw iceman, and do it again.
    1. Yort's Avatar
      Yort -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      My first UxM draft, I got PXG, UC Ant-man and the only UC Ice-man in the rainbow. I then proceeded to buy Falcon (2cost), pxg2x. Turn 2 buy Iceman, pxg 3x. Turn 3, field Iceman, ant-man swap, field falcon, swing for 9. Pxg2x. Draw iceman, and do it again.
      This is similar to what my friend did to win our UXM RDW2 last night, with the difference being he used Imprisoned to wipe the board and swing with Iceman. Most people didn't know what hit them.