• Greatest Stories Ever Rolled: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract

    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.

    I’m a Marvel guy, through and through. But a few of DC’s characters and stories have captured my attention and admiration over the years. I’ve always been a fan of the Batman family of characters; specifically Nightwing, Azrael, and many of the rouges. Deadshot had a solo mini-series some years ago that was a lot of fun to read. All of the various chromatic lanterns are interesting; the Blue Lanterns are my favorite. I also love the Teen Titans. For a long time, I overlooked them as “just another DC team book” or “Justice League lite”. I’m not afraid to admit it, but the Teen Titans cartoon (the original, not Teen Titans Go) is what changed my mind. I went back and read some older TT comics, and wow… are there some great stories. Today, the Greatest Stories Ever Rolled will look at what is probably the most famous Teen Titans story: The Judas Contract.

    Story: The Judas Contract is important for many reasons. It’s not only the culmination of many different plot threads, but there is a lasting impact that many events just don’t see. Newest Teen Titan member, Terra (with geo-kinesis, the ability to control and manipulate the earth) is discovered to be a traitor. She gives Deathstroke all the information he needs to take down the Titans. At the request of the evil H.I.V.E. organization, Deathstroke attacks each Titan, one at a time. The only Teen Titan that is able to elude Deathstroke is Dick Grayson. After befriending Deathstroke’s son, later known as Jericho, Grayson ditches his Robin alter ego to become Nightwing for the first time. Nightwing and Jericho infiltrate H.I.V.E. headquarters. Jericho uses his mutant powers to possess Deathstroke’s body, helping Nightwing fight the H.I.V.E. agents and free the captured Teen Titans. Terra, very clearly now a traitor, goes out of control. Beast Boy (known as Changeling at the time) doesn’t believe Terra is truly evil. He believes that Deathstroke brainwashed her, and tries to reason with her. It doesn’t work. In a final moment of rage, Terra uses her powers to bring H.I.V.E. headquarters down on top of everyone. The Titans survive, with new ally Jericho and the villainous Deathstroke, however Terra is killed.

    Well, the team of Teen Titans that Deathstroke attacks is Robin, Starfire, Wonder Girl, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. So let’s start there.

    Robin: Teen Titans Team Leader – I know Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing partway through this series, but we’re making a Titans themed team. And he is Robin in the first issue. So this works. I think Robin will really be key for this team to work. Plus, a Resurrection-esque global. Great!

    Wonder Girl: Cassie Sandsmark – Here’s the crux of our control. Per the Polymorph ruling on WKRF, we can be confident that the spin down/up effect of Robin’s ability functions the same as Polymorph’s. Which means, Wonder Girl can choose a new target for the spin down. This will allow us to keep opposing characters at lower level while keeping our characters at higher levels. Plus, she’s an easy 2-cost purchase to start the game off with.

    Starfire: Koriand’r – Direct damage based on how many Teen Titans are in play, on a team centered on Teen Titans. This seems like a no brainer. In games that become very wally, this breaks the stalemate.

    Beast Boy: Gar – He’s not great, but he’s slightly pumpable. And with our Robin/Cassie combo, having a 4A/4D that can pump to a 6A/6D for only a 3-cost is pretty cheap. If rolls go south early, we can go for him. But he’s likely a later pick up.

    Cyborg: Technis Imperative – Cheap Titans are what we want, so why go with the 5-cost? Because I think his double-blocking ability, combined with only taking full damage from Crossover characters, could be huge in the current meta. We don’t want to totally assume that these teams we make here at GSER will face top tier competition. However, this Cyborg is custom made stopping those Bard or The Front Line teams. Plus, his global can help prevent getting screwed on rolls. Being able to turn a sidekick in to a shield is especially good on this team with the Robin global. Booya!

    Raven: Rachel Roth – Cheap Titan for Starfire, and can keep my other Titans alive if there’s a mass KO effect (more on that later). I don’t need to have the rare Raven, making my Titans untargetable. I want them to be targetable, as long as I have Wonder Girl out. Common Raven fits this team better.

    Deathstroke: Slade Wilson – Here more for thematic reasons than anything else. Remember when I said Jericho possesses Deathstroke’s body to help Nightwing defeat the H.I.V.E. agents? Well, that’s our justification for putting Deathstroke, sworn enemy of the Teen Titans, on this team. I can’t imagine us ever really purchasing him, but let’s take the one with Regenerate, in case there’s a mass KO effect (hmm… that’s the 2nd time we’ve mentioned that).

    The final character is none other than the star of the story, Terra.

    Oh, you’re unfamiliar with her card? Well, here it is!

    Terra: The Judas Contract – This card is about as thematic as it gets. She conveniently has the same stats/energy type as GAF Zatanna dice, in case you can’t find your Terra dice. With a Crosspulse ability KOing all non-Teen Titans, this recreates the final moments of the comic event. It was debated in the design stage if this should be an Impulse, Crosspulse, or Sacrifice triggered ability. It was decided that Crosspulse would be the way to go mostly because we felt it provided difficulty in pulling it off, as well as mimicking the short notice characters would have to a building fall down on top of them. She is the closer for this team. The second you have enough attack power among Teen Titans to get the win, you go for her Crosspulse ability.

    Basic Actions

    The Oppression Begins – Deathstroke had the Teen Titans all bound and captured, except for Nightwing. He systematically took them out at their weakest points. That describes this action perfectly. With the Robin/Wonder Girl combo we mentioned above (and will go in to a bit more detail in a moment) it will be easy to ensure your opponent’s characters are at level 1: the best chance for them to have a fielding cost of 0. The only Teen Titans you have to worry about having a fielding cost of 0 are level 1 Beast Boy, level 1 Raven, and level 1 Robin. Terra at level 1 and 2 also has 0 fielding cost, but this action is an alternative to Terra’s field-clearing ability. I considered Shockwave because of its specification of level 1 characters, but I think The Oppression Begins will get the job done well enough, at one less cost.

    Side Note: You can sub in Shockwave if you really want, because that would thematically fit with Terra’s ability to cause the ground to quake.

    Teamwork – While the Teen Titans mostly rely on Dick Grayson to save them this time, Deathstroke’s plan to take them out, one at a time when they least suspect it, is a true testament to their teamwork. This basic action can be used in conjunction with Terra’s Crosspulse ability to end the game. For instance, if all I had in play was level 1 Robin, Wonder Girl, Raven, and Beast Boy, (our 4 cheapest characters on this team) but I had Teamwork come up action, and enough energy to purchase Terra, activating her Crosspulse ability, I could swing through for 19 damage. Any of those characters on level 2, would give me the needed point of damage to win. And we already mentioned above how easy it will be to spin our characters up.

    Strategy: This is by far the most complete team we’ve made here at GSER to date. What we really want is on turn 3 to have both Robin and Wonder Girl in the field. So, once the two of them are in the field, use Robin’s ability. Spin one of your Teen Titans down, and spin another up. But Wonder Girl says when a Teen Titan is targeted, you may change the target. So you change the target of the “spin down” to an opposing character, while spinning up one of your own Teen Titans. Ideally, we get 3 energy and a sidekick turn 1 to buy Robin. Turn 2 we buy Wonder Girl and use Robin’s global. Depending on what you’re facing, the next few turns could look differently. With Starfire’s direct damage, and highest attack power out of any Teen Titan, not to mention the possibility of dealing her direct damage on multiple turns making it easier to reach the win, she should be able to get the job done with a couple other high level Titans. Level 3 Robin, level 3 Wonder Girl, and level 3 Starfire, all attacking with the Teamwork basic action comes to 21 total damage. If your opponent has Captain America or Hulk or some other means of wanting direct damage, avoid Starfire. If Starfire isn’t going to work, you may need to buy your smaller Titans like Beast Boy and Raven to get the needed damage after you clear the field. If they are building to Bard or The Front Line, look for Cyborg as quickly as possible. If you have to spend energy to field both Robin and Wonder Girl, another Wonder Girl may be your only option on turn 3. Always look to using Cyborg’s global. You know sidekicks will not play in to your win condition with either Terra or The Oppression Begins. It’s nice to have a blocker, but at the cost of being able to purchase Cyborg, it’s probably worth getting rid of.

    If your opponent won’t let you play with Terra because they claim it’s “not fair” or “cheating” or “collusion”, bring Ring of Magnetism: Action Attraction to use with Wonder Girl. That’ll teach ‘em.

    As always, I hope you like this edition of Greatest Stories Ever Rolled. Questions, comments, and suggestions all go below. Roll on.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. stoney79's Avatar
      stoney79 -
      I just love this series. Being encouraged to try cards and teams I would never use and also to read comics I would have over looked. Keep it going!!!!!
    1. agentj's Avatar
      agentj -
      I saw what you did there (Booya!). I enjoyed the cartoon as well.
    1. gkpon66's Avatar
      gkpon66 -
      Keep up the great articles Randy. Enjoying catching up on comic knowledge and fun themes. Gary