• Greatest Stories Ever Rolled: With Fiends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

    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, We have done quite a few of these GSER articles, bouncing back and forth between Marvel and DC comic stories, and even took a brief pit stop to look at some Indy comic characters we would love to see in Dice Masters some day. Marvel and DC are not the only IPs in Dice Masters though. We also have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, I feel that just about any classic TMNT story would include Leo, Mikey, Donnie, Raph, Splinter, April, Casey, and a revolving door for a potential 8th character. I don't know much about Yu-Gi-Oh, but none of the main characters from that series are in Dice Masters; only their Duel Monsters. That leaves us with Dungeons & Dragons. There have been some pretty popular stories that came out of the D&D sourcebooks, whether they are famous quests that many players have gone through, or novels written taking place in the D&D universe. So, let's take a look at one of my favorite stories taking place in D&D Forgotten Reals. You might not be familiar with it, so let me read you a bit. That's right, before diving in to making our Dice Masters team, we will have a brief story time so we are all on the same page.

    With Fiends Like These, Who Needs Enemies? - Chapter One

    The day had arrived. The Demon Prince, Lord of Undeath, Orcus, was prepared. All the plans that he put in to motion were finally coming to fruition. It was a day that no one would soon forget. It was Orcusís wedding day.

    When he awoke, he could barely believe it. Today he would marry the most lovely, vile, beautiful, degenerate bride that he could possibly dream of. But first, he wanted to make sure everything would go just right.

    He assembled his groomsmen. First, Gabe the Glabrezu. Gabe was always concerned for his friendsí wellbeing. If there was a worrier in the group, it was Gabe. Despite his whiney, worrisome demeanor, he would always put aside his fears and do what was needed for his fellow fiends. Next, Fergal the Balor. While having a peculiar name, Fergal was as fierce and monstrous as they come, and as Orcusís best friend and most trusted ally, was best man for the wedding. It was Orcusís big day, but Balorís responsibility that it went off without a hitch. Lastly, Orcusís Hell Hound, Smokey was to be the ring bearer for the ceremony. Orcus and Smokey had been close for years. Smokeyís inclusion in the wedding was insisted upon by Orcus. Although she did not agree at first, his bride soon made the concession to allow Smokey to be a part of their big day.

    Fergal the Balor was running down the list of everything that was taken care of to put Orcusís mind at ease. The flowers were to be delivered shortly. The bakery had the correct time and place to drop the cake off for the reception. Even the 100 White Dragons to be released after the ceremony were all set and ready to go.

    Orcus clutched the small box containing the wedding rings inside. Everything seemed ready. He was finally starting to relax. He opened the box, to gaze upon the rings that would be a symbol of his bride and his everlasting love/hatred.

    Nothing.

    The rings were missing. Orcus began to fume with anger. Fergal and Gabe tried to calm him down, but steam immediately filled the room. Suddenly, the steam revealed a message written on a mirror. The message read, ďHarpers were here!Ē It was clear as day, the elf thieves of the Harpers had done this. They were notorious for being the greatest thieves around. Only someone of their expertise would be able to steal the rings right out from Orcusís own room. Fergal the Balor placed a hand on Orcusís shoulder. He assured him they would get the rings back, as he glanced at Gabe the Glabrezu out of the corner of his eye. Gabe nodded. Smokey barked in agreement. The 3 of them would venture out and retrieve the rings before the ceremony.

    As they quickly left the cathedral, Fergal called the Pit Fiend who was in charge of releasing the White Dragons at the ceremony. His name was Percival. Fergal needed to know if Percival had any extra White Dragons they could ride to quickly take them to the Harper hideout. Percival reluctantly told them that there were no extra White Dragons. Fergal pleaded that there had to be some way for them to reach the Harper base, explaining their situation to him. Percival knew it would be catastrophic for the entire land if their Lordís wedding was ruined. He told Fergal and his friends to hurry, and that he would let them use his own personal dragon to reach the Harpers in time.

    When Fergal, Gabe, and Smokey arrived, Percival was already waiting outside with his Red Dragon. Percival started to explain how this Red Dragon had over 100 extra horsepower, was more aerodynamic, and even had a little extra breath weapon in the tank. Fergal had no time for explanations though. He quickly grabbed the reigns to the dragon, as Gabe scooped up Smokey and hopped up as well. The three were off to find the stolen rings, with no time to waste.
    Wow! What a great story. I'm sure many of you were already familiar with it. It really is a modern classic. Anyways, let's dive in to the team built around this story. Follow along HERE!

    Orcus, Demon Lord of Undeath - Even though the story follows the adventure of Fergal, Gabe, and Smokey, Orcus is the reason for the story. This is the best Orcus in my opinion.He counts as a fiend (that's important for later) and can call upon any other fiend to instantly come in to the field.

    Balor, Greater Fiend - THIS is why we want Orcus to be counted as a Fiend. Balor and Orcus can constantly try to Gate one another. If you haven't ever played with this combo before, it can overwhelm very very quickly. It just takes a little luck.

    Glabrezu, Apprentice Fiend - Remember when it mentioned Gabe was the worrier of the group? This card depicts that perfectly, protecting all other fiends from any damage other than combat. This eliminates the threat of some forms of removal, but depending on what we are facing, he may not be needed. A perfect answer for potential threats, but not necessary for us to win.

    Hell Hound, Lesser Fiend - We don't see Somkey too much in that intro, but as I'm sure you're aware, he really shines later in the story. Making it easier to buy and field Fiends negates some of the hefty fielding costs we have. Hell Hound is very important to getting this team started off right.

    Pit Fiend, Lesser Fiend - Man... this is one of the cards I'm most disappointed about losing in the Modern rotation. That aside, he helps this team go from 0 to 60. His fielding cost is a slight hindrance to the discount he gives, but if we already have the Hell Hound out, then that's not a concern. It is a little thematic that in the story our adventurers need to get somewhere fast, so they call Percival the Pit Fiend, and this version of the Pit Fiend really speeds up this team. What a crazy coincidence.

    Ring, Epic Gear - This is the treasure that was stolen in the first place. We would be remiss if we didn't include it on the team. Plus, it's one half of a very nice engine. Let's see if we can fit a draw mechanic on this team to reproduce the Ring/Res interaction.

    White Dragon, Minion Dragon - We actually don't see the White Dragons in the early part of the story, but they are mentioned by name. 4 cost, Breath Weapon 1. It could be what we need to break through with some of our attackers.

    Red Dragon, Epic Dragon - Opposed to the White Dragon above, we actually DO see the Red Dragon at the end of that intro. We probably won't be going for this 7 cost when we have characters like Balor and Orcus who can help us get more characters, but he has Breath Weapon 3, and brings a global that can help us get a Basic Action much easier. Since I already know what actions we are using, I'll tell you that "Yes, we want that ability.".

    Mutation - I'm not entirely sure if any of these Fiends are mutated, but they are very ugly. I wouldn't be surprised. Plus, this action is great for getting a Fiend in to play to quickly trigger its "when attack" or "while active" ability.

    Villainous Pact - I really don't think there's a better description of the unholy union between Orcus and his bride-to-be. Also, this gives us the draw mechanic we desperately need for Ring global to be effective.

    So, what do we do with these characters? I'm glad you asked. I'm so thankful I was lucky enough to find a story about Fiends that just so happened to have just about all the pieces I would want in a perfect D&D only Fiend build. It's almost as if the above story was written especially for this type of article. So weird.

    Strategy wise, we want our first two turns to purchase Mutation and Pit Fiend, and be able to use the Villainous Pact global to guarantee them both on turn 3. This only works by going 2nd. You buy Pit Fiend on turn 1. Turn 2, you start with 5 dice in Used. Use Red Dragon global to buy Mutation. This puts 6 dice in your used pile. You want to use the Ring global to leave only 5 dice in Used. If you rolled a sidekick this turn, the die you pull from used will be used on the Villainous Pact global. If you already have an energy that can be used for that in Reserve, you might as well pull out a sidekick. Now use Villainous Pact global, to draw one. One goes to Prep, the other 4 sit in your bag. Now, turn 3, here's where we get crafty. Pay 1 to field the Pit Fiend. He costs 1 on every face so he's easy to plan for. We want Mutation to come up Action here. Since all Fiends cost 2 less, we can pay 1 for the Hell Hound. Pay close attention to how many dice are in your Used Pile. We want to use Mutation to send our Hell Hound in for our Pit Fiend. "But Randy, if I have a sidekick in, should I Mutate the Hell Hound in for the sidekick instead?" "No!" Because you want to get to a point where you have 5 dice in your Used, one of which is the Pit Fiend you just brought out, and use Villainous Pact global. You may or may not have to use the Ring global to get to this point. Always always always be aware of having 5 dice in your Used when cycling through the use of Villainous Pact/Resurrection/OP Robin or whatever other draw mechanic you might use. Drawing 1 die when 5 are in Used guarantees you know exactly what you are rolling next turn. When you limit the randomness of a game, and are able to know exactly what you will get, it lets you plan and prepare better. Now, Turn 4, we are probably rolling 4 sidekicks and the Pit Fiend. Pit Fiend fields for free thanks to the Hell Hound we put in last turn. We still have 4 energy leftover and Fiends cost 3 less, thanks to the combination of Hell Hound and Pit Fiend. This brings Balor's cost down to 3. We can buy him and use Villainous Pact global to guarantee we are rolling him next turn. Turn 5, field Balor, try to gate Orcus. Feel Free to swing with Pit Fiend and Balor if you don't sacrifice board state in the process. You want those buys going through your bag, refielding them.

    Recap:
    Turn 1 - Buy Pit Fiend
    Turn 2 - Buy Mutation. Make sure 5 dice in Used, use VP global.
    Turn 3 - Field Pit Fiend, buy Hell Hound. Mutate HH in for PF. Make sure 5 dice in Used, use VP global.
    Turn 4 - Field Pit Fiend, buy Balor at a discount. Use VP, bonus if you can make sure 5 are in used.
    Turn 5 - Field Balor, Gate for Orcus.

    From there you just assemble an army that your opponent is not capable of simply letting through. Force your opponent to make bad decisions. Force them to block with what they don't want to. And if they let stuff through, make sure it's characters like Pit Fiend or Balor that you want cycling through your bag. Also, keep in mind there are some oher characters that would make this team flow even better, but they just didn't fit in to the story. The rare BEWD is great on this team to KO your own Balor and Pit Fiend, guaranteeing their "when fielded" abilities next turn. Cloudkill is really good here, since you could just go for your own Glabrezu to ensure it cannot be used against you. This is a really fun build that unfortunately loses some key pieces to the Modern rotation. However, Orcus and Balor still remain Modern legal, and combo so nicely with one another to overwhelm an opponent. Let me know what you guys think in the comment section below.

    Roll on.

    Oh, P.S. Don't tell anyone, but the above story isn't an existing story... I wrote it just for this article because I wanted to make a Fiend team. I figured D&D wasn't getting enough love in this series. Let me know if you're interested in hearing the next part of the "With Fiends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?" story. Something tells me that another team could be built around the second part if needed.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. gkpon66's Avatar
      gkpon66 -
      Just what I needed to make it thru the last day of the week! Great write up Randy, . Gary
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      I just got a fiend team working the way I liked it (with Swarm Kobolds for ramp) and which isn't now modern legal.... I'm hoping the next D & D set will have more fiends. I love this version of Glabrezu as a way of shutting down Cloudkill on a Fiend team (making it a safe BA to bring). Great article.