• Constantine "Hellblazer" - The (New) Ultimate Two-Drop?

    Edit: New information added below!

    I want a card that gives me a turn to deal with Hulk. I want a card that stops Gobby in its tracks. I need more time to deal with Tsarina, and there's no way that I'm going to dedicate my entire deck to it by including Genetic Expert. Nova is getting me down and I can't do anything about it until my next turn. It may be too late!

    Your cries have been heard, your prayers have been answered. His TV show may be canceled, but John Constantine is very much alive.

    First off, can we talk about that card art? It looks sweet. Constantine being the hardcore guy he is. But we're not here for the artwork, oh no. Constantine wipes the text right off of cards, and you can get him out as soon as turn three with a normal ramp pattern, and that is one of the craziest things that we've seen in this game. This is probably why WizKids gushed about it. This is a seriously great article written by Jimmy, who did the Twitch coverage during Nationals. Check it out!

    The Pros:

    This gives you a one-turn reprieve against anything that you're scared of. It fits right in to the normal ramp strategies because it's just a two drop. This is so simply stated, but such a huge thing.

    He requires a stronger dedication to removal to get off the board; he can't be pinged once or twice by Slifer or Magic Missile on two of his three levels because he carries three defense. This is huge, and a negative against two-drops like Ant Man, who despite the potential of things like High Hopes, never really has the defense to stick if your opponent is saving energy.

    Plus, if you drop this on turn three (you can even get it turn two - difficult but POSSIBLE!) it seriously mitigates the first player advantage because the first big thing they field will be toothless until you've had the chance to regroup. This is not quite going far enough to be a permanent solution, mind you, but it buys you a most precious resource - time. Time isn't everything, and some things just give you time to stave off death for one more turn. But that one extra clear/draw step can be vital. When we talk about aggro vs. control and role selection, we always note that every C&D you give your opponent is a chance that they stabilize and come back at you. The inverse is true - every C&D you buy yourself is a chance that you get what you need to execute your plan. Constantine can deliver that.

    That alone makes it incredible.

    He's also killer in Quadrant Theory:

    Development: He's a two drop, so check. He can get in the way of some ramp due to his needing a but that's ok. We'll discuss that below.
    Parity: Field him and KO something that's stalling with your removal. It may come up character next turn on your opponent's roll, but you can stop that from mattering by naming that die. Not perfect but usable. He excels at keeping Parity from turning to losing, though. And he excels at keeping parity moving long enough for you to open the floodgates.
    Losing: He can give you that critical Clear-and-Draw step that you need to hold off a loss and stabilize the board.
    Winning: He gives you the chance to bypass your opponent's attempts to return to parity by rendering a key character toothless, letting you close the door.

    This guy performs.


    The Cons:

    As with everything, it comes down to ramp. The big way to make up for a poor roll is to have multiple options, such as If you don't get the masks and were hoping for Resurrection to hedge your bets, you may be out of luck without that second shield. You need to have the equivalent of or in order to be ok - and of course no pawns.

    Your odds increase if you bring Blue Eyes White Dragon. Then, you're just fine with the a pawn plus the equivalent of a and . It's up to you how much hedging you want. Some people like to be assured of things and they'll run Resurrection, BEWD, and PXG all at once. For my part, I'd say that if this is my two drop, I consider dropping resurrection - but then, there's the cool thing that Resurrection can do, allowing you to pluck up your turn three purchase into your prep area since everything else is in transition. Further, Resurrection actually gives you the chance to field Constantine before any potential turn three craziness that your opponent may have in store. So maybe I will keep Resurrection. Wow.

    Lots of choices! This is why we playtest!

    I may be stretching to call this next one a "con", but you need to assassinate or otherwise mitigate this fielded character that he is wiping before your opponent's next turn - perhaps even before your opponent gets priority - or you're right back where you started. Without reliable removal, this isn't quite as good. However, I'll grant that even without removal, it still gives you a turn to set up something that can deal with whatever you were scared of. Maybe that extra turn gets you to Lord of D/Ring for example, or gets you to a Green Goliath.

    --
    NEW! - The great thing that negates this con? He pairs extremely well with Psylocke: Kwannon and Blue Eyes White Dragon: Monstrous Dragon. Name your die, say, Hulk. Your opponent couldn't use him. Now, it's your turn - roll and field your Kwannon, assassinate Hulk, and then pay to activate Blue Eyes. Now you can purchase your discounted die and you have Psylocke set up for next turn. It's even better when you get two Psylockes in there.

    I tested this and over three games, my opponent could not once get a functional Hulk to the board. It's going to need much more time in the oven, but early returns look great.

    This works because, thanks to PXG, you know with a high level of certainty what your opponent will roll this turn. The character doesn't have to be drawn from the bag for this to take effect, it just has to be one that you name before the clear and draw step. That's it.

    Back to the original article...
    --

    He's not unstoppable. There are plenty of things that can and will remove him. The longer he stays on the board the better for you, but if he bought you a turn one time to stabilize when you really needed it, then he was worth it.

    The trick is to have a plan, and go for it - as it is with so many other aspects of this crazy game that we call Dice Masters.
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      Please let me get him in my gravity feed. <3.
    1. paradox22's Avatar
      paradox22 -
      Quote Originally Posted by RJRETRO View Post
      Please let me get him in my gravity feed. <3.
      Great article; and good news "HIS" show may NOT be cancelled!

      http://comicbook.com/2015/04/14/cons...-canceled-yet/
    1. zacgree's Avatar
      zacgree -
      I have to admit I am excited for this card. How much do you guys think the value on this will be? I am guessing around the Red Dragon SR ($25-30)
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Hey, I didn't know that! Good news for fans of it.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by zacgree View Post
      I have to admit I am excited for this card. How much do you guys think the value on this will be? I am guessing around the Red Dragon SR ($25-30)
      Wow, that's tough to say. I think this one could be higher *IF* things like Hulk Smash remain popular. The more winning strategies focus on one favored character to mess things up, the more chance he creeps up higher.

      This could well be the most useful super rare since Gobby/Tsarina. I don't think that's hyperbole/new set shininess blinding me.
    1. Meatman's Avatar
      Meatman -
      I really like how it appears that WK is responding to challenges that have developed as they roll out each new set. It feels like they are attempting to put elements in place that address some of the Meta (or non-Meta) things that have developed...I'll explain what I mean...(I only collect the superhero sets, so I'll stick to that...if others agree feel free to beef up my observation with comments relative to YGO or D&D)

      With AVX, the meta was fairly clear...low cost hi aggro teams that got at you quickly (Gobby, Black Widow, Beast). This created a whole slew of cards that had absolutely no place in the meta, becuase they were either too expensive and/or they took too long to implement thier intended effect...

      Along comes UXM...and we have PXG...which has a very accessable way of getting more expensive characters out earlier...addressing the very problem that AVX created for us. I now might be able to find a way to make Colossus or Doctor Strange into a viable strategy becuase I can access them sooner. However, another situation develops where really heaving hitting abilites on some of these more expensive cards become very powerful and are now relied on very heavily (Hulk).

      Now we have DCJL (is that our new abbreviation?)...and Constantine comes along. He presents a solution to the big heavy hitters, but at the same time doesn't inhibit the early ramp that PXG provided to us. Will be interesting to see what develops from here and if a different type of card becomes an absolute Go-To essential (assassins perhaps?)

      With the limited amount of time we'll have between the DCJL release and the AOU release...WK probably won't have time to "respond" to a trend that has developed...so hopefully they have done thier homework, and will be able to provide us with something in the AOU set that will continue to evolve the game and present a new potential strategy...

      Good Times with Dice Masters!!!
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      DCJL is what I will be using. That or DJL.

      I do wonder if some global ability limiting will take place soon. I do think the globals are a bit too strong, although it makes the game so different.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Meatman, I have to agree, and that was something that I was thinking of as I started to play with this one. That said, obvious counter to it is to have more than one bomb to work around. Hulk plus Wolverine or plus Iceman could still be pretty dangerous, but you get yourself a far better chance when Hulk can't clear your entire board with ease.
    1. fun4willis's Avatar
      fun4willis -
      FYI... Regarding Constantine "Hellblazer", The Dice Masters Rules Team just posted the following:

      http://wizkidseventsystem.com/bb/vie...e66bd1df808250
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      Thanks for posting that. Answers some questions, but Constantine is still going to be great.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by fun4willis View Post
      FYI... Regarding Constantine "Hellblazer", The Dice Masters Rules Team just posted the following:

      http://wizkidseventsystem.com/bb/vie...e66bd1df808250
      That makes it better in some situations.

      On the one hand, if your opponent chooses to not field the Widow, then the existing one would be fine, of course. On the other hand, not everyone will sacrifice a die that way. On the imaginary third hand if she comes up energy you've wasted your pick.

      So far, I find he's best to deal with a Hulk or something. BUT we have yet to see how he stands up to targeted removal. There's probably enough ramp available that even if he does get pushed away, you can get him right back out pretty fast.
    1. Trevor W.'s Avatar
      Trevor W. -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      Wow, that's tough to say. I think this one could be higher *IF* things like Hulk Smash remain popular. The more winning strategies focus on one favored character to mess things up, the more chance he creeps up higher.

      This could well be the most useful super rare since Gobby/Tsarina. I don't think that's hyperbole/new set shininess blinding me.
      I actually think that it'll totally depend on distribution numbers over the actual demand for the card. Because the earlier SR cards were in shorter supply, those cards spiked in price and really haven't come down much at all, especially Gobby and Tsarina. But we've seen a much more normalized price crop up in the singles market for SRs that has managed to stay in the $30 range since those two hit the secondary market.

      Constantine could certainly change that up, given that he's bound to be extremely popular, but I'd still venture a guess and say that his resting place will be in the $30 range because I expect the print run for DC to be much larger than previous print runs.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      This is true. Between availability and the tools to step around him, it could be a crapshoot. Still, "When Fielded" characters hate him.
    1. JoeB's Avatar
      JoeB -
      Lucked into getting two of this card in my gravity feeds, hoping I can play him optimally.