• The Transition Zone: Timmy, Johnny and Spike part 2



    Welcome back to The Transition Zone everyone. This is a part two in a series of three looking at the types of players in Dice Masters. Last time we covered the archetypes of different players, I introduced you to the classic article by Magic the Gathering’s Mark Rosewater exploring the different types of players that they identified and try to produce cards for. I think there is a lot of crossover into our game as well, and covered the “Timmy” player HERE.

    Today, we will explore the next type of player, the one affectionately referred to as Johnny.

    Heeeeeere’s Johnny!



    There is a person who I can identify as a “Johnny” in Dice Masters within our group here at TRP, and his name is Shadowmeld. If you are new to this site, let me explain to you what he does: He creates. He is always brewing, always coming up with new ways to make cards work and synergize. See any episode of The Prep Area Podcast, In the Lab or Shadowmeld’s Laboratory. Let’s look at some of the different ways to identify this type of player:


    Johnny loves to create

    As mentioned above, Johnny love the teambuilding aspect of this game. To Johnny, there is as much fun if not more fun in creating a team build then playing it. Trying to explore oddball cards or ones that don’t seem to have the best fit in a deck and making them shine is what Johnny lives for.


    Johnny is his build

    Apologies in Advance
    High Hopes
    Johnny Swarm
    Flying Sidekicks
    Kobold Swarm

    When Johnny builds a team, it is an extension of who he is. When his team wins or does well, Johnny does well. When someone says how awesome his build is, they are telling him how awesome he is. I think one of the things that sets this game apart from just opening a box and playing a game is the creativity and the exploration that goes into creating what you play. Johnny loves that about the game, and would be happy to see his team click even once or twice in a tournament just to say it worked.


    Subgroups within

    Looking at the types of subgroups within the Johnny universe, we can conclude that there are different types of ways that he shows his creativity. Borrowing from the original article, here are different types of ways Johnny can manifest:


    Combo Johnny

    This is the player that looks at the way cards interact with each other and wants to put them into play. You can see something in a card that maybe no one thought was good when looked at in the reflection of another card. Suddenly, someone like



    Is no longer a laughable player when combined with



    This is the type of combinations between cards that someone like World Champ Dean was able to pull forward, and Johnny characters love to find these and tout them out into the world.


    Offbeat Johnny

    Offbeat players that create ask questions like:

    Can I make a team with all blank text?
    Can I make a team that captures every character that comes out?
    Can I make an all Action team?
    Can I actually make a viable Heroic team?
    Is there a way to make (this card) not awful?



    Offbeat players want to create something that is so far off the beaten path that it shocks everyone. He creates challenges for himself that he can beat. He looks for challenges (“give me any card and I will make it useful”) and accomplishes them.


    Theme Johnny

    This game, the bigger it gets, has lent itself to being more and more thematic. I played a guy the other day on Vassal who was playing a build with Treant and Groot. He wanted this walking, talking tree team with Elves on it. We have those also. In essence, he was building this Lord of the Rings-esque team and he didn’t want to switch anything up because this was he wanted to see work. I respect the effort, and was happy to see him try hard to click things into place. Theme Johnny wants to make certain teams work because of how they interact and make an interesting theme that exists outside of just being synergistic. He looks for theme then synergy. This could be a team of X-Men, FF, Avengers, All females or males, Undead, characters that have dated Jean Grey, Illuminati, characters who were once dead and now alive, guys with blonde hair-you name it. Creativity is the drive here.


    So that is the look of Johnny, the creative player in this game. How many of you think this profile fits you?
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      100% me..... And when i see the Team has more than 75% of winning, i begin to Spike out it! Great Article, i can see a Webcomic for Dicemasters Dice in the future^^
    1. minusmike's Avatar
      minusmike -
      Love building teams/decks, I don't think I'm very good at it, but its still the highlight of the game for me. Don't get me wrong, I've got a little Timmy in me too because its always fun to stomp a hole in your opponents life total. :-)
    1. joshaber's Avatar
      joshaber -
      i am johnny.
    1. Son of 'L's's Avatar
      Son of 'L's -
      I'm more Combo Johnny than anything else, although sometimes my inner Offbeat and Theme Johnny's bubble to the surface (usually at the same time.)

      I also enjoy playing against Johnny type players. It's fun to see something new and creative on the other side of the table.

      And, two things I find myself compelled to respond to (in regards to your Theme Johnny examples):

      1) The question isn't whether anyone can make a viable Heroic team, it's whether anyone can make such a team without using

      2) These are comic book characters (well, for 7 of the soon to be 9 sets). "Back from the dead" isn't much of a restriction.
    1. themadking's Avatar
      themadking -
      I am offbeat Johnny for SURE.

      I mean, I have honestly wanted to make the all action team. I really want to try it.
    1. Mordred414's Avatar
      Mordred414 -
      I am definitely a Johnny, partly because I don't get to play that often so it's a great way to have fun without needing a second person. I was this in Magic, too. At one time I had 120 constructed decks, almost all of which were thematic. I didn't play tournaments so I wasn't as worried about killer cards as I was about theme.