• Greatest Stories Ever Rolled: Avengers: X-Sanction

    Welcome back to the Greatest Stories Ever Rolled. We take a look at the comics that inspired and impacted us and recreate those teams, stories, or events in Dice Masters.

    Maybe it was the 90s cartoon, maybe it was the action figures, maybe it was the comics themselves, but Iíve always been an X-Men guy. Specifically, X-Force. More specifically, Cable. Cable is the baddest mother around, and there are plenty of stories I could use to demonstrate this fact. Unfortunately, Cable isnít that great in Dice Masters. He can do a few things well, but heís just expensive. A 4/5 cost character with a total fielding cost of 5 that has comparable stats to some 2/3 cost characters. His global ability is interesting, but I know Iím not the first to say this: you are typically paying 2 energy for 2 simultaneous globals because you want to use 1 of them. I wonít let that stop me. I never said I was making great teams, just thematic ones. Iím going to use Avengers: X-Sanction as my source material this time around. #MakeCableGreatAgain #HeWasNeverGreatInTheFirstPlace #AtLeastHeIsFasterThanDialUp

    Story: Cable sacrificed himself during the ďX-Men: Second ComingĒ storyline to save his adopted daughter Hope. He had to let the Techno-Organic virus take over his body, and throw himself in to a portal that was destroying organic tissue. He was able to hold the portal open long enough to save Hope, but the portal closed on him, seemingly killing him, leaving only a severed robotic arm behind. One of the most powerful images Iíve seen in a story is Hope, having just lost her father, curled up on the ground, crying, clutching Cableís arm. The Cable/Hope relationship is one of my favorite in comics. Fast forward to the Avengers: X-Sanction series. We see Cable, not dead. The portal that collapsed on him did not kill him, it only sent him far in to the future, to a barren wasteland of nothing. However, the Techno-Organic virus he had to let overtake his body IS killing him. He only has a single day to live. Heís told that the events that lead to the destruction of everything all started when the Avengers killed Hope. Cable is now focused. With merely 24 hours to live, he must travel back in time and stop the Avengers before they kill his daughter. Thereís no time to find an alternate solution. No time to talk things out. Cable must stop the Avengers by any means necessary.

    Holy crap, Iím getting goosebumps just writing about this story. Iím not going to spoil the ending, because I think itís amazing, and you should read it. But we are going to build a team around Cable going back in time to defeat the Avengers single handedly. In the story he had a game plan, strategy, and weaponry specially chosen for each member of the Avengers. While we canít surround Cable with the exact items he took back in time, we can arm him to the teeth with action dice. Our team can consist of Cable and nothing BUT action dice. YeaÖ Iím up for the challenge.

    Cable: Time Traveler. I really wanted to take the 4 cost so it could be a first turn purchase, but his ability is so useless compared to Time Traveler. So, we will deal damage to our opponent regardless if we are blocked or not. In a perfect world we will be able to force the block, and then use his ability. But that combo takes 4 bolts! Thereís a reason this Cable doesnít see much competitive play.

    Prismatic Spray: Lesser Spell. The ultimate answer against any team. Enough said.

    Cerebro: Supercomputer. This can seriously slow down just about any team. Tired of your opponent constantly fielding Oracle for 0 on every face? Use Cerebro. This could easily be a first turn purchase.

    Ring: Lesser Gear. Just the global. This will let us fix a bit of energy, since we will be needing bolts so often to either buy Cable or trigger his abilities. Thereís also some globals youíll see later on that this could make this inclusion pivotal.

    Kryptonite: Green Death. Targeted character blanking is nice. But do you know whatís even nicer? Bolt energy. I could see this being an early purchase in many games just to get the bolts going through my bag. Itís really a toss up between this and the rare Potion from FUS, but this action could be more useful than giving a Cable the Fast keyword for a turn.

    Vibranium Shield: Symbol of Freedom. The only action chosen for this team for a purely thematic reason. At one point Cable steals Capís shield during their fight, and itís another great scene: Cable with Captain Americaís shield fighting Captain America using Cableís gun. Since Cable is our only character, and his fielding cost is so high, once he gets out, we want him to stay out. Paying to refield him every other turn would suck. The shield adds a bit of needed protection at global speed, especially since we are bringing a force block global.

    Captain Coldís Cold Gun: Frozen ďFirearmĒ. Another answer at global speed. The perfect response to Half-Elf Bard. Can also be used to clear out an opposing character before you attack. Again, versatility is important. Also, and this is key, Cable likes guns.

    S.T.A.R. Labs: Guided Development. I love this one, because we could be sending Cable to his death when he attacks to get that damage in on the opponent. Regenerate gives him a great chance to stay in the field. Since itís Continuous, we can get it out and wait until itís at its most useful. Again, giving Cable Regenerate at global speed could be the difference between winning and losing. And that global! We have 1 character, and a ton of action dice. Granted, some of them are continuous to stay in the field, but some are not. Kryptonite and Spray, not to mention whenever we do use one of those continuous dice, will all be cycling through. A global to keep up ramp and get a sidekick out of rotation will be very helpful.

    Basic Actions

    Cone of Cold. ďBut Randy, how is this thematic?Ē ďCable has lots of different guns. Heck, he even has Captain Coldís Cold Gun above.Ē ďBut this is supposed to be a magic spell.Ē ďCable stumbled upon a freeze ray. Deal with it.Ē But really folks, this is mainly here for the global. It just so happens I can loosely justify its inclusion through freeze ray logic. Letís say Cable is blocked, and we are sitting on 2 bolts and 2 fists. We can use the Cone of Cold global twice, giving him +4A, then use the 2 bolts to trigger his ability sending all of that damage to your opponent. Itís an expensive combo, but with the Ring global, getting these specific energy types is more feasible.

    Resurrection. I know, I know. I used Resurrection in last weekís GSER as well. And even though comic book characters rarely actually die, it was believed for some time that Cable died at the end of Second Coming. While he technically wasnít ďdeadĒ, he was reinserted in to the active comic book universe for the first time in nearly a year. Thatís as much of a resurrection as most characters get. This team needs one thing badly: a decent engine. Ring/Res provides that.

    Strategy: So how on earth do you pilot this team? I ran it last night in a couple casual games against a dragon team. I realized some serious problems. My only targeted removal is in the form of force block global and attack with Cable, or Captain Cold's Cold Gun which can only remove a character with a D of 3 or less. That's not good enough. I thought Cerebro was a great call, but with characters that hit the field and me having no way of removing them, it's mostly useless. I need a way to clear the field, stop opponent from walling up. As crazy as it is, the other 5 cost Cable, Techno-Organic may be the way to go. That would at least keep my opponent's wall in order. If I'm not using Time Traveler, Cone of Cold isn't needed. I'd consider Betrayal to bring some much needed direct damage. Using the Cable that damages everything and Betrayal might not be the best combo. The 4 cost Cable, Man of Action, may also be of some use with the Vulnerability basic action. That would give me the removal I need. and either Cable's global or ability would give me the point of damage needed for the KO. I guess I wrote off the other versions of Cable too quickly. For this limited format, they might not be as bad as I thought.

    I lost both games I played with this team, hard. But I think there's something to a single character surrounded by actions. It might only be a mediocre or casual something, but there could be potential. I definitely limited myself too much. Red Dragon would have been great for this team. Some more D&D could also be the way to go, using a character with Equip and some Gear. Anyways, exercises like this are two-fold. Not only do we get to relive some cool comic book moments, but it gets us out of our comfort zone as a reason to experiment with unorthodox team builds.

    That being said, this team may work best against another team built with a certain comic book story in mind. Specifically, the team of Avengers that Cable faces in Avengers: X-Sanction: Captain America, Iron Man, Falcon, Red Hulk, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. Throw Vibranium Shield and Cyclops on the team as well to seal up the thematicness. So, your homework, should you choose to accept it, use those 7 characters and the action I just listed and build a team. We'll send the two teams at each other and see who wins. Will it turn out like the comics or will we rewrite history?

    Also, If you have any requests for future teams, send me a message or leave a comment below. Until next time.
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      I don't know what else to say except: *slow clap*
      I really am starting to love this series.
    1. Jwannabe's Avatar
      Jwannabe -
      I'm a fan of vulnerability with characters that can damage on command like technorganic and sets up overcrush nicely. It would also be thematic with how you described cable picking out weapons for certain opponents.

      Oh and your article reminded me of one of my favorite xforce/Avengers moments.

      (Xforce #13)
    1. Adimantium10's Avatar
      Adimantium10 -
      A great, fun series that was a good lead-up to AvX and a fun, if not challenging, team! I love the thematic teams and the creativity used to try and make a difficult thing even a little viable. Hear hear!
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      Looking forward to reading this comic run soon. Great theme team!
    1. GNGJ's Avatar
      GNGJ -
      #Randy , Cable is my favorite too! I'll be so disappointed if this Deadpool set doesn't have an X-Force/New Mutants connection.