• Greatest Stories Ever Rolled: Flashpoint

    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.

    So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2 weeks, you’ve probably heard that Dice Masters constructed play is getting split in to Modern Age and Golden Age formats. Many players are excited about this, because Modern Age is going to be promoted as the chosen format for upcoming (and presumably future) official Wizkids events. While most players realize that rotating out older cards gives new players a chance to dive in to a much more manageable library of cards and gives older players a chance to hit the reset button on what may be perceived as a predictable and unexciting meta environment, there are players who are not happy with this news. Players that feel slighted that all the time and effort they put in to following the game to this point is kicked to the curb. I do think the majority of Dice Masters players are happy and relieved to hear this news, but it’s not hard to quickly find ourselves on the other side of that fence. Since we do look at comic book storylines here on GSER, and hitting the reset button on an existing product in an effort to draw in a new fan base is far from an original idea, let’s look at one of the more controversial “reset buttons” in recent comic book history. Buckle in DC fans, we are looking at Flashpoint. Let’s dive right in.

    :Potential Spoiler Alert: I do not watch The Flash TV series. But I've heard that the Flashpoint story is part of a storyline on the show. I have absolutely no idea how close the show sticks to the comic book storyline. So, if by telling you things about the comic, it spoils a bit of what happens in the show, I'm sorry. Again, I'm just talking about the comic, and it should not be assumed that the same events happen in the show. Anyways, on to the comic...

    The Flash ruins everything. The end.

    Oh, you want a more detailed synopsis? Fair enough. Barry Allen wakes up with no Speed Force powers, on a very different Earth. He believes he’s somehow found himself in a parallel universe, with no knowledge of how he got there. This new world is a very different place. Citizen Cold (our regular universe’s Captain Cold) is a good guy, Cyborg is the world’s quintessential hero, and Superman seemingly never existed. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are both villains now. Barry is lead to believe that his foe Reverse Flash, aka Professor Zoom, aka Eobard Thawne, is behind what’s going on. It is later revealed that Barry traveled back in time to save his mother’s life, which set about changes in the timeline that produced the world he’s now living in. So it’s Barry’s own fault the timeline got messed up! At the end of the story, Barry gets his Flash powers back, and has a chance to go back in time to prevent his meddling in the timeline. He does this, but not everything goes back to the way it was. It’s much more in line with the original DC timeline, but not to the point that old pre-Flashpoint storylines continue. The DC universe is a brand new place moving forward from this point.

    From a comic book reader standpoint, this event was the aforementioned “reset button”. This launched an era in DC comics known as the New 52. All titles were relaunched in this new timeline, with new #1 issues. So many people were pissed. Years and years of storytelling and history were written out of DC continuity. Some characters were even relegated as never having existed! This was an extreme reboot of the DC universe. Some readers are still irritated when they think about all the classic adventures that never officially happened. Last year, DC launched its Rebirth event that set out to return some characters and title to their pre-Flashpoint status quo. Never the less, this reboot, in an effort to boost sales, made a lot of existing fans feel insulted. So, in honor of Modern Age and Golden age formats, rotating older cards out, and trying to appeal to new players, let’s make a team based off of the Flashpoint world that Barry Allen woke up to.

    Follow along here!

    Barry Allen, Central City Streak – Of course Barry is on the team. I chose this one because for most of the story he is depowered and relying on others to help him. We have some other fist and bolt characters I’ve chosen so that bonus will hopefully not go to waste.

    Professor Zoom, Inescapable Fate – Professor Zoom turns out to be a pretty important part of helping the Flash figure out exactly what happened, and how to try to fix the timeline. I like this one because if your opponent has no energy in reserve for your turn, this could be an easy win condition.

    Captain (Citizen) Cold, Leonard Snart – Remember, we said he was a hero in the timeline Barry helped create. I like this version because it’s another way of making it hard for your opponent to block you. So, even if they pay the energy to negate Professor Zoom’s ability, C Cold still takes one of those blockers out of the equation.

    Captain (Citizen) Cold’s Cold Gun, Beautifully Designed – Of course we have Citizen Cold’s gun. Brought the one that prevents an attacker on the */** face. Maybe I need the rare instead. Both have advantages. You can make the call yourself.

    Cyborg, Mentor – Cyborg was the Flashpoint timeline’s equivalent to Superman. So I want to bring the most well rounded version of this character. This team is shaping up to have more high cost characters than average. You will likely be operating with less characters than your opponent. A pre-keyword Underdog ability.

    Booster Gold, High Publicity Hijinks – Booster Gold is one of the only other characters to have memory of his pre-Flashpoint life. Booster ends up having his own adventure fighting Doomsday, first in Coast City, then in Gotham City. Booster nearly dies on multiple occasions, but is saved by his new friend and ally Alexandra Gianopoulos. She ends up sacrificing herself towards the end of the story to save Booster, before Barry changes the timeline again. I know we will have some issues purchasing our high cost characters. Being able to send Booster to Prep might be the only way to purchase one of our expensive characters.

    Batman, Speedy Recovery – The Flashpoint timeline’s Batman isn’t Bruce Wayne; it’s Bruce’s father Thomas Wayne. In this timeline Bruce is the one that died that fateful night outside the theater, and Thomas was driven to a life of vigilantism. His mother, Martha, was driven to madness over the death of their son and became this timeline’s Joker. I love the unique take on Batman and the Joker in this story. Thomas becomes a very important hero helping Barry, and even giving Barry a letter to Bruce before the timeline is destroyed. I went with this version mainly because it’s only 4 cost.

    Superman, Trinity War – Superman IS in the Flashpoint story. It’s just that he was recovered by the government to be tested upon and studied instead of being raised by the Kents. He is freed from containment towards the end of the story, but lacks all of the character traits we’ve come to expect from Superman. That’s what I went with this version. He has the monster stats at a pretty good price. But he’s not the Superman we know and love.

    Thrown Car – We have a bunch of moderately high cost characters with offensively skewed stats. Being able to give two of them Overcrush at a time is great. But seriously, out of the 7 characters on our team, the lowest level 3 attack value is 5 (Booster Gold and Professor Zoom). Even if we look at level 1 attack values, our lowest is 3. It’s going to be tough to get all the 4 or 5 cost pieces to sync up, but if we can, it’ll be awesome. Thematically… umm… readers were angry enough to throw cars after the events of Flashpoint changed the entire DC Universe.

    Cone of Cold – We want to Overcrush. Citizen Cold has a Cold Gun. We are using said Cold Gun. We can justify this for the global to pump up our Overcrushers.

    Strategy: In a world without your opponent bringing you global ramp, it could be a very slow game. I’d probably try to buy the Cold Gun first turn, because it’s our only die to purchase for less than 4 cost (yes, Cone of Cold, but that’s just here for the global). The first character I purchase would probably be Booster Gold. If our opponent brings Resurrection, I would absolutely use it on my first turn. This team needs you to be rolling 5 or more dice per turn early on. Booster Gold, Cyborg, Captain Cold, and Batman are all 4 cost, and being able to but one and use Res is nice. Ideally, I would like to attack with a few characters, while having Cold Gun in play, and sitting on a Thrown car. Let’s just say I have Booster Gold, Cyborg, Captain Cold, and Batman all attacking. I wait until blockers are declared. Pick which two to give Overcrush to via Thrown Car. THEN, use the Cold Gun to take care of a blocker for one of those Overcrushers. That allows more overcrushing damage to get through. Even in a far from perfect scenario described above, using Cold Gun on a a character blocking an Overcrusher is a nice source of damage they may not have seen coming. All in all, any global ramp our opponent brings will benefit us greatly. If they are just relying on character abilities to ramp up to their win con, we are probably behind the 8-ball.

    So, what do you think? Was Flashpoint a slap in the face to long time readers? Is there any comparison between a comic book rebooting its entire universe and a collectible game rotating older cards out of its most heavily promoted format? As always, let me know what you think of this team, changes you would make, and any specific stories you’d like to see in the future. Roll on!
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Flashpoint killed Booster's solo series and gave us a lackluster JLI book. Booooo!

      But this is a solid article
    1. cnhiggins's Avatar
      cnhiggins -
      So... you can wait to use thrown car until AFTER blockers are declared? Does this also work with the basic actions that grant overcrush as well? I have been doing it wrong!
    1. Randy's Avatar
      Randy -
      Quote Originally Posted by cnhiggins View Post
      So... you can wait to use thrown car until AFTER blockers are declared? Does this also work with the basic actions that grant overcrush as well? I have been doing it wrong!
      Oh no! Yes, you have doing it wrong. After blockers are declared, the active player can play actions or use globals. Then they pass to the inactive player just as in the main step. Once both players are done, then combat damage is resolved.
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      I enjoy this feature very much, I hope it continues for a long time.