• Wish Upon a Phoenix

    Building upon Evan's article about Swarm yesterday, I just HAVE to share one of the craziest builds that I saw at Nationals - and this is viable, probably just a step below being completely tournament competitive (but not by much) and it is just fun to play and see being played. Itís made possible because of crazy swarm as well as the weirdness provided by Limited Wish. Itís not too different an idea from Evanís team that involves wishing for dragons that heís alluded to on multiple occasions, but the Phoenix Force synergies make thingsÖ interesting.

    This team fits a lot of different mindsets and approaches to the game. Do you like big, stompy characters on the board? You'll like this. Do you like rolling lots of dice? You'll like this. Do you like teams that have a strong thematic element? You'll like this. Do you like teams that allow you to use "special" cards that not everyone will have? Ditto. Do you like FUN?! Good.

    So letís take a look at this crazy awesome team. I had to play against this in the second qualifier, and it was such a fun match. When he hard-bought Phoenix and got her into the field, I was legitimately scared. Full credit goes to Jacob Arshen Masur here, who runs a blog called Bad Kid Gaming - check it out!

    Heís an awesome guy, a great Dice Masters player, and very generous for letting us share his team here.

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    The Team




    Basic Actions: Imprisoned | Resurrection

    Here it is! If you aren't that familiar with some of these cards, pay special attention to these global abilities that the Phoenix Force fellows bring to the table:

    Cyclops - Pay on your turn. Move a Phoenix Force die from your used pile to the field at its lowest level.
    Colossus - Once per turn, pay . Double the attack and defense of one of your fielded Phoenix Force dice this turn.

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    Piloting the Team

    Turn one you want - no, need - as many fists as possible. You want Kobolds, lots of Kobolds.

    Your next priority is to use Thousand Dragon to grab Limited Wish at a discount. I suppose Red Dragon could be a possibility in this slot as well, given that pinging your opponent is a good thing on top of the discount, but there are plenty of teams (mostly using Hulk, which was EVERYWHERE at Nationals) where hitting your opponent isnít a great idea all of the time. Your mileage may vary. Blue Eyes could work, too, if you prefer, though you can't/don't want to always knock things out.

    Swarm with your Kobolds, but manage it smartly. Youíll want to prep things with Resurrection, youíll want to ramp with PXG, and you want to make sure that Swarm doesnít bite you.

    If the Wish face rolls when you get it, wish a Phoenix into existence. Now she is in your used pile. At this point, Cyclops comes into the spotlight - use his global to pull her into the field at level one. Viola - a (mostly, sorta) free Phoenix. This team gets so much energy though, that you could legitimately buy her as normal, with ten energy, and still both buy her and get her in the field. I know - I saw Jacob do it.

    You have so much ramp that you just donít care. Again, I saw it happen. It was nuts.

    Move forward from there - there are many paths to a win, but now youíve stymied your opponent. Will you buy more characters? Those Phoenix Force characters are pretty easy purchases with all the energy that's going around. You can also wish for one and get it out very easily, exactly the way you did with the Phoenix Force itself. You can double Phoenix's attack with a pair of fists, an easy get with so many Kobolds and Widows running around.

    Closing the door isnít too difficult - you have some removal thanks to Imprisoned, and Widow can keep the board stable if you have to cycle your Phoenix around again.

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    Strengths

    While this team can be inconsistent and hampered by your KO'd swarmer, this thing still gets a lot of energy. A LOT. I know that I said that above, but it must be emphasized. You can make crazy purchases and get them out there with not much effort.

    This is the best use Iíve seen of the promo cards - especially the Phoenix Force - that many people thought was far too expensive to be viable. These cards are ridiculously synergistic.

    Since Phoenix Force - and any of the Phoenix Force dice, really - is moving directly to the field from used via the global, you donít need to worry about Constantine and other things that impact your ability to field characters in a meaningful way. Creative ways of fielding your dice are going to be important when Constantine hits, so this is a good thing to play around with. This team gives you the same benefits of Polymorph, but built into Cyclops as a global. Really, unless your opponent is doing something nuts like this too, you have several globals that can only benefit you. How often does that happen?!

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    Weakness/Counters

    This deck can be quick, but can also get bogged down. If you can be faster than it, you could avoid worrying about that quick Phoenix entirely. While my opponent did get that Phoenix in the field, I was able to get my Hulk out and ping Phoenix away. Phoenix Force only impacts attack damage done to the player, so after getting the Force off the board, I could then swing for lethal.

    The other thing that could make life difficult is fielding any adventurer at all, as this will severely limit the Kobold, who will now be feeding experience to your adventurer and will not be on the field to swarm. The Kobold is quite susceptible to any kind of removal, and so you really need him to be on his level three face to help give him just a little more staying power. Even that is just a band-aid.

    Prismatic Spray could be used to wipe Phoenix of her text for a turn, which certainly makes it easier to swing through when you need to.

    Jinzo is an obvious counter to heavy action/global usage. Direct damage in general is a threat to this team, as Phoenix doesn't stop that.

    Itís also just somewhat inconsistent. Sometimes youíre rolling a bunch of dice but not quite enough to do what this needs to do.

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    Implications

    First, it shows the power of swarm. This can draw plenty of extra dice, and thatís pretty wonderful. This game has its roots in Euro games, which means that economic engines are key. Damage and characters are great but it is making your resources work well for you, and finding ways to generate more resources, that is the key. We saw that at this tournament, where so many economic globals/dice ruled the day.

    It also shows how Limited Wish is Ö FUN. You have a 50/50 shot that the Wish comes up, and then a 50/50 shot on the roll after that, but nonetheless - FUN. Perhaps high-variance things like this will be the thing that makes the Scarlet Witch that provides an extra reroll kick into high gear. This at least helps with the first part. On a side note, she could also fit really well into DC bolt teams. But that's for another time.

    Finally, it gives us another glimpse of the power of non-fielding fielding, just like Polymorph.

    This deck is fun and I highly recommend taking it out for a spin, even if you have to proxy a few of the OP cards (they're a standard 2.5x3.5 in, as I noted when making a Constantine proxy for play-testing). Thanks again for your creativity Jacob, and I look forward to seeing you around the community!
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Zxqueb's Avatar
      Zxqueb -
      Limited wish is extremely fun! I keep building teams around it even knowing the randomness can come back and bite me.

      As a slight correction, unless I am figuring it wrong (I might be) the chances of getting the action dice rolled into a wish is 75/25% because of the reroll step. This bring the whole operation to a whopping 37.5% of success on any given turn. Not the best chance, but still really awesome when it goes off.
    1. Gabe's Avatar
      Gabe -
      I've been playing a similar team and can attest to how fun this is to pull off!

      Instead of Thousand Dragon I've been using Red Dragon for the same global with 1 damage to the opponent. He's not hard to purchase or wish for and his breath weapon will clear a path for the Phoenix Force to get through.

      I had Cyclops but eventually cut him because Polymorph gives me the same effect and it's more versatile. It's global also works great to spin down the cheap characters I've fielded to spin up my Phoenix Force (or other character) die that was put in play at level 1 using Polymorph/Cyclops.

      Until I saw Dave mention using a Kobold Swarm for energy I hadn't tried that. The swarm energy pretty much makes the inconsistent, unreliable Limited Wish obsolete. Once I added Kobold to my team I swapped out Doomcaliber Knight: Fiendish Fighter for Human Paladin: Lesser Emerald Enclave to protect my Kobold in play and keep the swarm going.

      I have a feeling I'll be dropping the Limit Wish soon and replacing it with something else beefy that I can spend all the energy on, like Purple Worm: Greater Beast or Spider-Man: The Amazing.

      However you decide to build this it's a lot of fun to play with. Try it out and enjoy!
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Cyclops is on-demand, whereas you need Polymorph to come up. There's already some variance and I like having an element that I can control. Between your swarming Kobolds and Widow, you WILL have plenty of fist energy to go around. However, I agree that Poly works well for exactly what you say about spinning - it saved my bacon in a game where Cyclops "If Looks Could Kill" got out. Changed it from "I'm dead because everything is KO'd and you can swing" to "Phoenix lives and you can do just 3 total damage to me." I won the next turn. For that trick alone I could see slotting it in place of Resurrection.

      I like Limited Wish because it gives you options, but you do get so much energy that it's not always necessary. I feel like it makes the team more fun though!
    1. GRider10's Avatar
      GRider10 -
      Good use of limited wish. Glad to see some teams used the others sets for more than just the globals. I think the swarm mechanic is very cool. I'll have to try this team sometime. Always wanted a good way to get phoenix force out.
    1. Vapedaveb's Avatar
      Vapedaveb -
      Ok this is one of the most original teams I have seen.
      Thank You for the article Dave.
    1. Arshen's Avatar
      Arshen -
      Hey thanks for sharing my team, Dave! I actually wrote an article on the team as well!

      http://wp.me/p61FGQ-T
    1. Arshen's Avatar
      Arshen -
      The biggest point of Resurrection is bag control. You use it on your first turn when you buy Kobolds, this way you have a Kobold fielded on turn 2 to jump start the Swarm engine so it is alive and well on turn 3.