• The dichotomy of playing casually, but wanting to be the best

    How many of you have ever played the UC Red Hulk? Anybody? Well, I played it in an uncommon tournament recently. While I was proud I was the only one with Red-Hulk, I also lost the majority of my games. What did I lose to? Human Torch and Hulk - Green Goliath. Now, I could have done the same thing, or countered, using something like the uncommon cerebro to ramp Hulk's cost to 3/4/5. However, I had so much fun bringing a lesser-known, as I've come to call them, that I didn't mind I lost most of my matches.

    Two hours after I got home from the tournament, my mind shifted. I was no longer amused that I had a Red Hulk when nobody else did. I was upset that I lost so much. Now, I'm not competitive by default, but I am all about being the best I can be at whatever I do. I've now found that I am fighting my own mind in whether I should just mess around with team comps, or if I should actually attempt to win.

    Leading into the AoU release draft tournament I'm going to tomorrow, this is plaguing me more than it should. Do I build a themed team such as Avengers, GoG or Villains? Do I go for an archetype team? Or, do I actually attempt to go for broke and win the tournament? The happy medium would be to mess around with a team comp and do well, but that rarely works out, as I'm sure most of you have noticed if you've faced this same dichotomy.

    After much debating within myself, I have come up with the following advice. Do what makes you happy! If it makes you happy to claw and fight your way to the top of your game store's rankings, do it! If it makes you happy to just mess around with team comps and combos, do that! As for those who straddle the fence, like myself, I've found that messing around on Vassal, and actually playing hard in tournaments appears to be a happy medium. I mean, at what other point are you going to run a D&D team that is primarily undead with gear?

    Thanks for reading. Remember, more than having fun, play whichever way makes you happy!

    ~Ninja
    This article was originally published in blog: The dichotomy of playing casually, but wanting to be the best started by ninjahonor
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      Great Article Ninja! , when i started DiceMasters, i collected only special Cards for D&D to play ma Undead Deck, but i went really hard to play it, i waited to buy a starter until DC Justice League came out because i am not a fan of Marvel overall but for DC i want everything! I created fast Villain and JL Decks and well they worked good for half of the cards, but i never won with them.

      Until now i learned over the time, yeah maybe you have a good combo or themed Team you want to play, then do it, but don't expect that you will win 100%!
      Just be happy and enjoy when it works in the parts you wanted it(which means you already achieved 100% of your Team -mechanic right?)

      After that you can start and think, what from your Themed deck would work also with other cards.
      For example a Black Manta - Deep Sea Deviant can work also well with Gobby from AVX and so on and why not put in a Mr.Siniter -Nasty Boy and adding a Card that does something when KO'd? Sounds Nasty right and doubles the KO-Fun.
      Think about like adding a little bit flavour to your Main-Dish.

      And if you got favorite Cards you want to play, maybe your a Hulk Fan, but you cannot use him like you want, search for a way to do it. Since Magic Missile from D&D BFF is out, Hulk became even more a threat to the enemy and that resoluted that some people use now Ring of Magnetism, more often.

      Greetings Tom
    1. saitoh155's Avatar
      saitoh155 -
      I can completely relate here. Great article. When I first started playing DM I was all about having fun. Then a friend of mine started playing. He and I have always had a healthy competitive rivalry. Nothing negative always just a fun competitive streak till this game. Once he discovered Tsarina/Gobby/PXG/Cyclops (if looks could kill) early on in the game I found myself frustrated at losing all the time thinking that my decks just weren't strong enough. And making have a bad taste for the game. But now that we are 6 sets in I'm all good. It's kinda funny. I really enjoy putting together oddball combos to play with. Really off the wall things. And that same friend is still running that same team. I guess if it ain't broke don't fix it. But to me part of the charm of this game is being able to create combos of characters just to do it. Now I see him getting totally frustrated when one of my strange combinations of characters beats his tried and true deck. It's funny how things happen like that in a simple game.
    1. Flexei's Avatar
      Flexei -
      I'm definitely a tinker and tend to go with odd and stupid combos as well (but obviously can focus things down when it's time to get serious). Just this past weekend we did a team affiliation tourney. I did villains, but tried to focus it around OP Beast... it didn't go horribly, but I definitely walked away a little frustrated. Part of that may have just been not having play-tested the team enough first though. Our previous team affiliation event, I did Fantastic Four (and a bunch of actions). That... well that didn't go well at all.

      I think part of the difficulty is just being able to manage expectations going in... and even though you're playing for fun, don't expect your opponents to not be cut-throat (even when it's some really odd niche event). I'll freely admit that this is a skill I have not come close to mastering yet.

      But I agree with saitoh155. A lot of the charm of the game for me is these off the wall combinations. Part of the reason I love the D&D set so much is I still feel like there's secrets to be unlocked in that set. Combinations that have been overlooked and cards that are better than they first appeared. From what I've seen with AoU so far, I'm starting to feel it may have a lot of the same charm and hidden secrets as the D&D set.
    1. krimson62's Avatar
      krimson62 -
      I Would like to know what your red hulk team was.

      If building him you want to K.O enemy sidekicks. But this will probably stop them from bothering to field sidekicks at all. So the real strength here is clogging enemy bags with sidekick dice, or forcing the opponent to fill their prep with sidekicks (professor x for example). He is also very expensive (any 7 cost is hard enough to get out anyway, so ramp will be your best friend)

      The key here is prepping many dice in one shot so you can get that big monster out ASAP. Using Professor X would be the obvious choice, but since he is a double edged sword, your opponent will likely use him better than you. So you shouldn't go that route.

      Cards like uncommon kobold in this case would be much stronger, as you only need to get one onto the field, and use the rest as free double energy.

      Now that kobold will be a heavy target, so using either the ring of magnetism or Lesser emerald enclave paladin will help keep pesky pings from stopping your ramp. Since you only need to do this for red hulk, having such cheap fighters out there is also a plus.

      Next we need to make sure the enemy does not pull ahead of us, So we will need some spot removal. Personally, i like the idea of vulnerability + Red Dragon uncommon. You pay for vulnerability for 2 (bolt +1) deal one damage to your opponent as a bonus.

      You will need a way to ensure that you can deal damage once you have vulnerability as well so Goblin attack force becomes a wonderful card. "Global - target opponent must block" ensures that the enemy board will not be overpopulated by the time you can afford rulk. if an enemy is KO'd you also get to prep, again adding to ramp. and with all the kobolds a fist should be a low price to pay.

      once you get red hulk, it's time to start swinging for the fences. Keep forcing blocks, and knocking out anything and everything with massive stats. Sidekicks will go down fast, and you can keep building up your ramp to buy more hulks. With the spell polymorph, you can easily afford it. Adding in a Carrion crawler will ensure if he has a wall of sidekicks... they wont be any trouble.

      So the team I have is:
      RULK x4
      Human Paladin - Lesser Emerald Enclave x2
      Kobold - Greater Humanoid x4
      Red Dragon - Greater Dragon x1
      Goblin Attack Force - Goblin Squad x2
      Carrion Crawler - Greater Aberration x3
      That leaves you two more open fun slots.

      Big cards need lots of support, and lots of consistent ramp that your opponent can not utilize..

      Instead of kobolds you could also go with a bunch from age of ultron, as the personal ramp in the set is really really good.

      I would love to theorycraft about making any deck... except bucky or vixen... because too much effort would be involved lol
    1. ninjahonor's Avatar
      ninjahonor -
      Hey Krimson,

      I'll totally give you my red hulk team. Keep in mind that the tournament I played him in was an uncommon only tournament, so I had some constraints. In any case, here you go!

      BAC:

      Transfer Power
      Casualties

      Team:

      Falcon - Recon x2
      Deadpool - Jack x3
      Captain America - "Follow Me!" x 2
      Human Torch - Johnny Storm x2
      Hawkman - World's Fiercest Attacker x4
      Kobold - Greater Humanoid x4
      Red Hulk - a.k.a Rulk x1
      Red Tornado - Lab Creation x2

      I could have done without Captain America, honestly. He never came into play as on my ideal first and second turns I would buy all four kobolds and human torch. If rolls were bad, I swapped to a flying sidekick manuever until I could get the swarm going.

      Deadpool did really well as it allowed me to get some choice dice out of the way. The problem was most of the players brought Johnny Storm and Green Goliath. I had no form of removal without hurting my own board. This ultimately led to me losing the majority of my games. Transfer power helped some to keep me alive, but the burn and unblockable damage is what powered me through.

      In retrospect, I probably would have done the following differently:

      1. Swap Transfer Power for Polymorph. This would allow me to swap an opposing character (Hulk in this case) with a sidekick.

      2. Find a better option than Captain America I never used him, so that explains it pretty much

      3. Utilize Red Tornado more. This would allow me to burn even more with Johnny Storm.
    1. adam123's Avatar
      adam123 -
      My solution to someone using the same team over and over again is to create a team solely with the goal of defeating that team and badly. Do that a few times and your friend will start making new teams. My cousin and me do that to each other regularly. Certain cards we have banned because of their crazy strength (spider man webslinger anybody?)