• Archetype: Burn & Direct Damage

    In just about every CCG, burn decks are known for plenty of damage often brought about through game effects like spells. In Dice Masters, we don't have an enormous amount of "spells", per se. We have plenty of game effects, though, whether they come from our characters or actions, that offer direct damage straight to your opponent's face. That is the essence of burn, the very je ne sais quoi of direct damage - bypassing combat in order to do tick away at your opponent's life total directly.

    Burn is often a type of "aggro" strategy, an approach that involves playing aggressively to do a lot of damage early and push the game faster and faster. However, not all teams that deal in direct damage seek to win quickly, though they do often desire to dictate the tempo.

    Cards that Typify Burn in Dice Masters

    So what do we have that enable us to burn? Let's take a look at some of the usual suspects for this archetype.




    These are just a few examples. Gobby is pretty obvious - it's right there in the card text. In fact, for most of these, the mens of direct damage is pretty obvious just from reading the card. In all cases, they deal damage to the opposing player when some trigger is pulled. Red Dragon offers multiple options for this, in that his global deals damage when buying an action, and his breath weapon deals damage when assigned to attack - if you can pay the energy for it.

    Not all of these work on their own. Some need help. Black Manta, for example, is not so useful without other villains to build up the damage. Gobby requires sidekicks. Nova needs a way to take damage.


    Sample Burn Decks

    It's one thing to talk about the theory. Let's put it into practice. Here are two different kinds of "burn" teams, and both should be pretty familiar to you if you've gotten some experience in with the game.




    This is the reigning World Champion team. While some have dubbed it "Columbus Control" due to some of the threat mitigation that is in here (Constantine, Grundy, Deadpool), the inclusion of Human Torch and Gobby makes this a quintessential burn team - it just had the survivability to go into a longer game if necessary. Burn doesn't have to be fast. It just can be.

    I recently modified it to include Black Manta "Deep Sea Deviant" to add some extra damage, as well as Prismatic Spray for dealing with Constantine. It was good enough for runner-up at the event that I took it to.

    Let's look at another example, this time just from DC, that can give us a little more speed.




    BACs: Resurrection, Distraction.

    This is a winning DC team that I drafted back in May. It's much more oriented to pure direct damage and was about as fast as anything you would see in the DC set. Everything is doing something to your opponent and/or triggering something else that deals something to your opponent.

    It's important to note - this team can be much purer in it's win condition. There are fewer threats when playing just in a single set, so you don't need to plan for as much.

    This returns us to a broader theme for the last several weeks, which is that you need to have a well-defined win condition plus protection. There are faster ways to win with Human Torch/Gobby than compared to the team above, but all of them sacrifice stability and leave your combo vulnerable to other teams.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. CBattles6's Avatar
      CBattles6 -
      The "control" misconception regarding Dean's team has been bugging me for weeks, so thanks for pointing it out. It definitely has some control elements (including the BEWD / Grundy interaction, which was pretty novel at the time), but its win condition is as a burn deck.
    1. KingMatticus's Avatar
      KingMatticus -
      Nice write up @Dave , I think that the Archetypes have been talked about here and even through the Podcast but I like the visulization of the cards and the explanation at why they are in the set. Also it is great to see that within the "Archetype" there are different ways to integrate other "archetype" variants. In the burn decks there, as @CBattles6 says, are elements of control!
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by CBattles6 View Post
      The "control" misconception regarding Dean's team has been bugging me for weeks, so thanks for pointing it out. It definitely has some control elements (including the BEWD / Grundy interaction, which was pretty novel at the time), but its win condition is as a burn deck.
      Agreed. And realistically, if you pack in enough mitigation, you may be able to play at many speeds - fast if they have nothing that can stop you, slower if you do. However, if you're going to be slower than your opponent, you need to make sure that you're the one with inevitability.