• My Unofficial Guide to Dice Master Lingo

    As Dave's wife, it's tough when we go head-to-head at Dice Masters. I sometimes feel like the younger sibling who always loses and will never quite catch up to the other's skills. However, I am constantly asking Dave questions during and after our games together (to the point of annoyance) because, let's face it, it's frustrating when you lose and don't understand the hows and whys. While I will never be as knowledgeable as the TRP crew, I have won my fair share of games and I can keep up with the game lingo and rules.

    Without further ado, here's a list of some Dice Master terminology! With examples and links! Much of our community will already know the following, but if you're like me, it's nice to see everything in one place. If you still consider yourself a beginner, I hope this helps clear up some rules and strategies. Would you like more articles like this or would like me to clarify some more jargon? Please provide feedback in the comments!

    Today we will cover a little bit of everything - some acronyms, parts of gameplay, and some strategy lingo:
    Pass Priority
    BEWD/BEG
    PXG
    Ramp
    Churn
    Tranzition Zone/Out of Play
    Burn
    Control
    Aggro


    Pass Priority
    Turn order may be the most difficult thing for a newcomer to grasp. According to Wizkids, you will go through the following steps:
    • Clear and Draw
    • Roll and Reroll
    • Main Step (note: During this step, you may purchase dice, activate Global Abilities, field characters, and use Action Dice as many times as you want and in any order)
    • Attack
    • Cleanup

    So when do you "pass priority" and let your opponent use their globals? You MUST pass priority before the Main Step ends and Attack phase begins. You only begin the Attack step once both players pass consecutively without taking any action. So you could buy, field characters, use globals, pass priority, use more globals, pass priority to your opponent so they may use globals, etcetera. If your opponent takes no action and you take no action, then you can decide whether or not to attack. HOWEVER, if you take any more actions after you have passed priority, you have to let your opponent respond before you can move forward and declare attackers.

    You also need to pass priority and let your opponent respond in the Attack phase. Just like in the Main Step, the Attack phase can only move forward once both players pass consecutively without taking any action. So you can declare attackers, use globals, then let your opponent respond before the damage is resolved (assuming you have nothing else that you'd like to do).

    BEWD or BEG
    This stands for "Blue Eyes White Dragon" or "Blue Eyes Global". What makes this rare card from the Yu-Gi-Oh set so popular? Take a look:

    Many teams have this card just for the global. When I use it, I spend a to knock out a character (usually a sidekick) and now I have dice in my prep area to use next turn and I can buy something a little cheaper. Many will use BEWD to constantly knock out characters that have great fielding abilities, but I won't get into too much detail. For a more in-depth look, check out this article.

    PXG
    This stands for "Professor X Global", which is found on all but the uncommon card in the Uncanny X-men set:

    Ramp is important in this game, and PXG is one of the most efficient ways to roll more dice. Basically, if you have sidekicks available in your used pile, you may spend a to move up to two sidekicks to your prep area. I will often use at least two masks so I can roll at least double the regular amount of dice on my next turn.

    While many teams will have PXG, it is worth noting that as more sets are released, it may be phased out. Check out this article for more information. Already, some players are taking note of what World Champ Dean said - if your opponent has PXG and you don't, it's like you get to play with nine cards instead of eight. We're seeing wariness of globals that benefit an opponent as much or more than themselves.

    Ramp
    TRP's @Chris quotes, "Ramp is the seeding of dice into the prep area which allows a player to roll more dice to create higher energy yielding rolls." Basically, you're stuck rolling four dice from your bag + 0 dice in the Prep Area unless you can get dice into that part of your playmat, either by knocking them out or using globals, such as the following cards:

    You will find many teams that will build up their ramp so they can roll all of their dice as soon as possible. More dice, more options! It's so satisfying to roll 4 dice from your bag and over 8 dice from the Prep Area at the start of your turn.

    Churn
    If you skipped over the explanation of ramp, go back. Ramp and churn go hand-in-hand.

    Churn is the ability to rapidly move dice through our bag, or keep unwanted dice from ever entering the bag. Every turn, we draw four dice from our bag, and we won't get anywhere if those four dice are always sidekicks.

    When PXG is used properly, it filters the sidekicks out of your bag, and allows for possibly 2 extra energy per use on the following turn because you're drawing characters on your team instead.

    Red Tornado is another card that gives you churn since you can move quickly through sidekicks:


    And just for good measure, Gambit and Beast have great churn/ramp abilities that can be used multiple times if you have more than one active:


    Transition Zone
    Also known as dice "out of play". I'll admit, this one was confusing for me for a bit since it doesn't have a spot on the playmat. Dice that you SPEND on your turn cannot be used until after your turn is over. I personally put dice spent in the bottom fourth of my used pile and push them up at the start of my opponent's turn to keep track of this, and I know many have customized playmats to include this area on it.

    You may be about to buy a die and get it to your prep area faster than you think due to your spent dice going to a transition zone. Think about Resurrection's global (pay a to draw a die from your bag and place it in your prep area). No dice in your bag at the moment? Whatever is in your used pile goes in, and this DOES NOT include your spent dice since they are currently in transition. So theoretically, you can buy an expensive character when your bag and used pile is empty, then use Resurrection so you are guaranteed to roll it on your next turn.

    Want one more example? You need some ramp and you have PXG. However, you don't have any sidekicks in your used pile. You spend some energy and leave a mask behind, but you STILL can't use PXG because those sidekicks are still in transition. you may finally use them when it's your opponent's turn and they pass priority to you.

    Burn
    This is a strategy people use where their team is trying to win by doing a lot of direct damage. A great example of a Burn team would be Randy's Fireball team he recently posted. Like a red deck in MtG, there are characters that have abilities that can do damage directly to your opponent through some unique abilities, such as the following:


    Control
    Like the name suggests, this is a strategy people use where their team is always in control and dictating the pace of the game. Dave wrote an article waaaaaay back about this: Part One and Part Two.


    Aggro
    Aggro literally stands for aggressive - this is the strategy where you attack early and often. Perhaps the best example I can give is Tsarina:

    Low-cost and direct damage to your opponent - great for many aggro teams!
    Comments 26 Comments
    1. mathguy6189's Avatar
      mathguy6189 -
      Great article for beginners and people learning the game. Keep up the good work Lauren!
    1. LuigiX's Avatar
      LuigiX -
      This is a great article, thank you! I'm relatively new to the game and I never played Magic, so a lot of the basic concepts took a while for me to get the hang of. When I started playing, I dug through a lot of basics articles to figure out these core concepts. Most articles & discussion assume the reader understands at least the basics of CCGs which can be really intimidating to new players.
    1. Mathrin's Avatar
      Mathrin -
      Should add "Deck" (I hate the term because we don't even use a deck.) in place of Team to represent the exact 10 cards brought to the table.

      Archtype to describe the over arching types of decks. Aggro, Control and Burn all are archtypes. But we could see aggro-control or combo-control in the future.

      Love the article, keep it up. You are the best Reserve Pool personality here.
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      I wish had this article about six months ago.
    1. Wifey's Avatar
      Wifey -
      Thanks for the feedback and kind words on my first article. I've been yearning to contribute something written for a while and the teacher part of me said to simply start at the beginning! I was never into CCGs until Dice Masters, so this has definitely been an adventure for me thus far.
    1. Barbain's Avatar
      Barbain -
      Great Article. Will help others that are beginners and/or feel they still are.

      Just a side note: In your Transition Zone piece, you have pay a to draw a die from Resurrection. It should be
    1. Wifey's Avatar
      Wifey -
      @Barbain - thanks a bunch! Edited and fixed.
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      Great article! I've been trying to add some of this to the wiki (under Lexicon, see Slang). When I'm off my phone I'll be sure to add this. Super helpful for new players!
    1. Loran's Avatar
      Loran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mathrin View Post
      Should add "Deck" (I hate the term because we don't even use a deck.) in place of Team to represent the exact 10 cards brought to the table.
      I disagree completely. Please don't use the term "Deck" anywhere in this fine article unless you are pointing out that someone who incorrectly uses the term "Deck" should be using the correct term which is "Team".
    1. Indy Mon's Avatar
      Indy Mon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Loran View Post
      I disagree completely. Please don't use the term "Deck" anywhere in this fine article unless you are pointing out that someone who incorrectly uses the term "Deck" should be using the correct term which is "Team".
      I totally agree and might suggest shock collars to get people to stop doing this A deck is a stack of cards you pull from. There are no decks in Dice Masters. Casual use of the terms "net decking" (copying someone else's team online) or "top decking" (drawing the exact die you need at the exact moment, though less of big deal right now with PXG) are fine because those phrases have acquired their own meanings over time. But hearing "deck" is like nails on a chalkboard to me. (I will admit that I occasionally do it myself still, but I am trying very hard to break the habit.)

      PS. Great Article Wifey!
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      A deck of cards is indeed a stack of cards. The term originated in the 1600s from the similarity to decks of a ship. However, language is always changing, and there is nothing wrong with establishing a new meaning for deck.

      Perhaps: A collection of objects used to play a card based game. This can include cards, chips, dice, tokens and any other game play device or aid.

      After all, do you say "lets play poker, get out the chips and cards?"
      Or
      "Let's play poker, get out the deck?"
      And even if you said one, wouldn't you atleast understand the meaning of the other?
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      Great job @Wifey . I will be using this article for all of my new to the game friends!
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      I've been a proponent of team, though I occasionally use deck. Call it a bad habit.
    1. Scorpion0x17's Avatar
      Scorpion0x17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeld View Post
      language is always changing, and there is nothing wrong with establishing a new meaning for deck.
      Whilst that is true, I don't think it is good reason to default to overloading an already established term.

      There are many differences between Dice Masters and other games, so it makes sense to highlight those differences by using game-specific terminology.

      A good example of this kind of thing comes from miniature gaming - all miniatures gaming require you to bring a collection of miniatures to the table, but what each game calls them varies from game to game:

      Warhammer/40K: Army.
      Malifaux: Crew.
      Dreadball: Team.
      X-Wing: Squad.

      And so on.
    1. Razorback's Avatar
      Razorback -
      @Wifey , I'd love an article on how to get my wife interested in Dice Masters. Every time I suggest it, she just gives me the look.
    1. Chapa71's Avatar
      Chapa71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Razorback View Post
      @Wifey , I'd love an article on how to get my wife interested in Dice Masters. Every time I suggest it, she just gives me the look.
      @Razorback at first my wife wasn't into the game at all (even though she loves board games)
      So it was just me and my 16 year old son playing every other day. While I was on a business trip my son wanted to play and had my wife play a flying sidekicks team.
      The fact that she kicked his butt at the game got her in. Now she my son and my 13 yr old daughter all play. I would say give her a fun team to play, she might get hooked!!
    1. Wifey's Avatar
      Wifey -
      Quote Originally Posted by Razorback View Post
      @Wifey , I'd love an article on how to get my wife interested in Dice Masters. Every time I suggest it, she just gives me the look.
      I hear this a lot (@Dave, you're lucky to have meeee!) that I may just type up a response...
    1. Doctor Oetker's Avatar
      Doctor Oetker -
      I always get confused by the term mid-range? How is that different from control?
    1. Walsh's Avatar
      Walsh -
      Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Oetker View Post
      I always get confused by the term mid-range? How is that different from control?
      Mid-Range play styles add control elements to high burst damage combos or otherwise fast win conditions. They allow for an extremely fluid approach that controls your opponent while applying pressure. Control decks tend to do damage slowly over the game with much more stall and effects to stop your opponent in their tracks.
    1. Walsh's Avatar
      Walsh -
      Wife her. Wait...