• Reading the Rainbow - Rainbow Draft Weekend 2 Prep (Amazing Spider-Man Edition)

    Hello again everyone, and welcome to our fifth (and final) Rainbow Draft Weekend 2 Prep edition of Reading the Rainbow! Today, we are going to focus on The Amazing Spider-Man set. I know there are a lot of... opinions about this set, but there is fun to be had! If you line up for a Rainbow Draft and find that you are doing ASM, this info can help make a difference between coming in last, or coming in next-to-last! Let's take a look at Spider-Man*!

    *His Amazing Friends not included. Void in Ohio. Your results may vary.

    [top]First, a Word About Keywords

    The Amazing Spider-Man contains some unique keywords that, due to cards from this set being generally less popular in Constructed play than others, get overlooked. Let's go over those, though, so you don't have to ask "What's Underdog do again?"

    So... what does Underdog do again?
    Underdog - This ability can be used when you have fewer character dice fielded than your opponent. Sometimes the character wont need to be fielded.
    Alright. What about Aftershock?
    Aftershock - When this character leaves the Field Zone because of your opponent (damage from their characters or actions, getting KOd, being removed from the game, sent to the Used Pile or Reserve Pool) you must use their Aftershock effect.
    And, Sacrifice just means the same thing as KO, right?
    Sacrifice - Sacrificed characters are moved from the Field Zone to the Used Pile (often as a cost or penalty).
    ... and there you have it. It'll come up in your ASM Rainbow Draft, so keep these in mind.

    [top]See It? Snag It!

    There are a few gems (both hidden and obvious) in the Amazing Spider-Man, especially when we are talking about drafting.

    Black Widow - Stinger

    Black Widow - Stinger hits several of my criteria for a good Rainbow Draft character. First, she is an extremely low cost card to purchase and has a decent fielding cost spread (0/1/1). She also has a direct damage component with her Aftershock ability. If you can grab this card, you are also going to want to get as many dice for her as possible. Then buy her, field her, and attack!

    Mary Jane - MJ

    Overcrush can be devastating in Rainbow Draft. Walls tend be built, so someone has got to tear them down. Mary Jane - MJ gives a non-Villain Overcrush and, if it happens to be Spidey himself, throws a little more attack onto the pile. Also, don't you know, she's another two cost body for blocking.

    Vulture - Adrian Toomes

    This guy. Even after the errata, he is deadly damaging powerful. If you can remove a character from the field, Mr. Toomes gets that big +4 bonus. There is also the blocking component, which is sadly overlooked. Dealing that point of damage to all attackers can make a difference.

    [top]Combos and Strategies

    Sable and Vulture

    Weren't we just talking about this guy? This is probably the best known combo in this set. Before Vulture was given its errata, it was a game ender. Now, unless your opponent is packing a way to remove attackers from the Attack Zone or Swap/Lower Attack Values, it is merely a game changer. Sacrifice Silver Sable, Vulture gets his +4 attack and is unblockable.

    Tyrone and Tandy

    Here are the Peanut Butter and slightly different Peanut Butter of this set. Cloak & Dagger team up very well when you can manage to be the Underdog. Keep in mind that if you are going to attack with a couple of BIG Overcrushing characters, your opponent will likely block with enough to cause you to lose your Underdog status for next turn (depending on how they roll on their turn). If you can pair your Cloak & Dagger against their three Sidekicks, however, then you can swing for major damage.


    Ok, so I'm cheating a little bit. This is a combo that we haven't seen too much of... and I'm a little surprised. If we can get our favorite Butterbean impersonator into play, then we can start pinging him with damage from the Magic Missile Global. With his 5, 6, and 7 Defense we can make sure that our opponent will run out of characters, energy, or life in short order.

    [top]In-Set Globals

    There aren't many Globals to work with in-set. Let's take a look at what we should be looking out for when drafting.

    Agent Venom - Common and Rare

    Pay 1. Target character die gets +1D.

    This Global is probably the most straightforward ability of all time. Pay one energy of any type, gain one point of Defense. This would go extremely well with the "Pingpin" combo mentioned above.

    Mysterio - Common

    Pay . Once during your turn, each player may draw a die and place it into their Prep Area.

    This is the only native ramp to this set, and it benefits both you and your opponent. It's got a tremendous downside, as giving your opponent a die and letting them roll it before you get to access your prep area is a dangerous game. Hopefully they'll return the favor and give you a die on their turn.

    [top]Retroactively Reading the Rainbow

    Before I won the WIlly Wonka-esque contest to host this article series, our good friend Shadowmeld steered the ship. He previously did a few about The Amazing Spider-Man. Go check them out for even more info on drafting this set.
    Episode 0 - Globals
    Episode 1 - Economy
    Episode 2 - Win Conditions
    Episode 3 - The Rainbow
    Episode 4 - The First Hand

    [top]Putting It All To Use (ASM 6-Pack)

    Ok, so we've talked about cards to look out for, combos to chase, and Globals to... Global. Let's take a look at twelve cards and see if we can sniff out our draft winner!

    This is a fairly solid hand for our first pick. This set has several "draft worthy" characters, and a glut of them jumped into our first six packs! Let's go down the list...

    White Tiger - We've been given a couple of White Tigers in our opening hand. She can certainly be a reasonable character in draft with a three cost to purchase, but that fielding cost is a little less reasonable. Still, you could do worse. Especially with her ability to add Attack with fielded Sidekicks.
    Spider-Girl - This version of SG has a decent When Fielded ability... as long as you are the Underdog.
    Spider-Woman - I have a friend (let's call him Mike). This version of Spider-Woman is like catnip to him. He cannot help himself. Buy the Spider-Woman, try to Regenerate her, more often than not take 1 damage when that fails. Since you cannot choose to attempt Regenerate or not, you are always risking taking damage when she is KO'd. A bit risky, in my opinion.
    Gladiator - Not a bad card, per se, but not great in draft either. He'll certainly wheel so, if you want him, you will get another chance.
    Black Widow - The Uncommon version of Black Widow is not quite as good as the Common, but isn't bad either. Good states for a three cost, and the Aftershock ability allowing you to KO two target Sidekicks isn't bad.
    Firestar - With a total fielding cost of 6, Firestar is almost too cost prohibitive for a draft... unless she has a spectacular ability. This version of Firestar, at least, does not.
    Sandman - This is certainly my favorite character in the set that has been portrayed in cinema by a cast member of the fantastic sitcom Wings.
    Luke Cage - This card's worth is contingent on drafting Spider-Man... and that's too risky for such a mediocre ability.
    Iron Spidey - This is our other high cost card in our opening hand. If I'm drafting a six cost card first, it had better be a game winner. Iron Spidey is not.
    Daredevil - This card will probably be taken by the time this pile comes back around to us, but there are better choices for the first pick.
    Ghost Rider
    - I like a good Aftershock ability, and this is isn't bad. With a Defense of 3/4/5, it might be a bit difficult to get her KO'd.

    Here is where I'd normally waffle on which character to take, but our choice is clear. While this version of Black Widow isn't the best version, she's more than serviceable. And, if Stinger comes floating through our hands, we'll be very glad to have that additional BW die.

    I hope everyone is having fun with their Rainbow Draft Weekend events. On July 30th, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel a small piece to play at The Rusty Scabbard in Lexington, KY. Everyone there was extremely friendly and gracious. All eight of my games (across both drafts) were hard fought and, no matter the results, everyone was super great. If you are in the area, I cannot recommend this store enough. Then, on July 31st, I attended another great RDW2 event at Heroes Comics & Gaming in Louisville, KY. Once again, it was a fantastic day with a great group of people. All in all, it was easily the two best days of Dice Masters ever. I'm planning on talking a little more in depth about my experiences next week.

    That pretty much wraps it up for this week. I hope that this series has given you a good starting point going into some of the RDW2 drafts. If you have any additional thoughts or strategies, please add them below. Until next week: keep cracking those packs you crafty drafters.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. gkpon66's Avatar
      gkpon66 -
      Butterbean? Wow, there is some ancient boxing history. The only thing I found that worked during this set of RDW's was to pray. My fellow drafters were all too cagey on the ways of drafting and getting a well fleshed out team proved to be very difficult. It was a good time at all places though. Thanks for the great write up as usual.
    1. ccm00007's Avatar
      ccm00007 -
      Thanks for taking the time to do all of these. Always a good read, and a good refresher prior to RDW2.

      But yeah, ASM...The set that you draft because the store has nothing else available. The fielding costs are terrible on most characters, and win conditions (outside of the basic actions you bring) are very hard to find. I personally believe some of the cards are very underrated in constructed, but the set is really not the best to draft, in my view.

      I should point out, though: That Silver Sable is the best in-set win condition, bar none. Whether Vulture's around or not, pick her. She's not as crazy since Vulture was errata'd, but she still creates unblockable characters. Pair her up with Scarlet Spider, uncommon Lizard, or any other character with really high attack. And since there aren't many of her around, grabbing her creates a big advantage for you. In pretty much every situation, she'd be my first pick, maybe even above Stinger (and I'm a huge fan of Stinger).

      There are also a couple of cool characters that, while not first picks, are important to look out for:

      -Black Cat: Probability Control. Also known as "Storm: African Priestess with a bit more punch". Spot removal that sends to used is welcome in draft, and she can hit pretty hard too.

      -Scarlet Spider: Ben and Lizard: Sewer Dweller: I put both together because they have similar stat lines. While both exemplify the awful fielding costs that plague this set, having up to 6 attack on a 3-cost is no joke. I prefer Scarlet Spider if I'm not running a Villain-based strategy, as his 3 toughness at all levels makes him less vulnerable to Magic Missile or Shocking Grasp. If you want to run villains in an ASM draft, though, Lizard is a must, as he's the cheapest villain that's actually worth playing in this set.

      -Carnage: Insane: You won't see many of him, but decent stats and overcrush when you play an action die can really help you break through a wall of characters. Use with a stat-boosting basic action for nasty shenanigans. Hard to purchase at 6, but nothing a Shocking Grasp or Villainous Pact can't fix.

      -Rhino: Persistent Vengeance: Sending sidekicks (or allies!) to used can mess up your opponent's strategy. He also works as a very decent beatstick, and can get pretty hard to deal with at max level. Again, slightly expensive to purchase at 5, and his fielding costs are bad, but with what he gives you, he can definitely be worth using.

      -Iceman: Chilling. If you want a really, REALLY messed-up draft strategy, take him, use Vicious Struggle and Magic Missile, and wreak havoc. You probably won't win, but it can make for a good laugh or two.
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      Quote Originally Posted by ccm00007 View Post
      I should point out, though: That Silver Sable is the best in-set win condition, bar none. Whether Vulture's around or not, pick her. She's not as crazy since Vulture was errata'd, but she still creates unblockable characters. Pair her up with Scarlet Spider, uncommon Lizard, or any other character with really high attack. And since there aren't many of her around, grabbing her creates a big advantage for you. In pretty much every situation, she'd be my first pick, maybe even above Stinger (and I'm a huge fan of Stinger).
      You aren't wrong, and I should have added her to the SI?SI! section. My only real hang up about her is the Sacrifice keyword... I hate it. Sure, you're sending through an unblockable character, but unblockable doesn't equal unstoppable...

      That being said, yes, Silver Sable is pretty fantastic.