• How It Works Purchasing Dice



    Welcome folks! We are quite a few cards away from being able to do more Reading the Rainbow analysis of the D&D2 Faerun Under Siege set, so today we'll talk about part of the Main Step, purchasing dice. We'll talk about ways to get discounts, free purchases, and even how many purchases are good purchases.

    Looking at purchasing dice in the most simple definition is the best place to start this conversation. To purchase a die we must spend one energy that matches the energy type shown on the card as well as spend a total amount of energy equal to the number listed on the card, including the one energy of the specific type. Some other small intricacies that are related to purchasing dice include the following.

    - Dice, when purchased are placed in the used pile, not out of play.

    - Dice can only be purchased in the Main Step of your turn, unless a card specifically creates a purchase effect. Some cards will give discounts out of the main phase, but unless they say when you may make a purchase, purchasing may only happen on your Main Step.

    - A die's purchase cost is a value listed on it's card. When a game mechanic references the purchase cost of a die, it doesn't apply discounts to that value. For example, if I get a 1 energy discount on my 4 cost character, Zombie Magneto wouldn't blank that character's card, just because I only have to pay 3 to buy it now.

    - A discount cannot bring the cost of a die down below 1 energy (the one energy of a specific type) unless it specifically says otherwise.

    First, we should discuss ways we can get discounts. We have a myriad of options out there, each relatively specific to a type of card, but the best and most general of all the discount cards is probably the Blue Eyes White Dragon Rare (BEWD). BEWD allows us to KO one of our characters to get a 2 cost discount. On an average turn, this wouldn't actually work as a discount because we would be using a Sidekick or character, plus the bolt to activate the global to get a 2 cost discount. However, this cost neutral effect is actually deceptive as when we KO a sidekick we are also prepping a die for next turn.

    Other discount cards include Red Dragon, Thousand Dragon and Elf Wizard which can all give discounts on action dice, and the Rare Half-Dragon can even get us action dice for free! Cards like Aquaman, Spider-Man and Kyle Raynor can all give us discounts on specific factions of characters, while Phil Coulson can give us Free purchases of SHIELD Agents. Other cards can, in fact, give us special purchase windows to buy characters at discounts, such as Superman letting us buy JLA members for 2 when he is fielded.

    We should also talk about ways to accelerate our purchases through our bag, as buying something and waiting several turns for it to come back around is about as fun as waiting for your pre-order to arrive from an online store while watching your friends crack open their gravity feeds, purchased locally. The easiest way to buy something and have it go directly into circulation would be to use alternative fielding cards, such as Polymorph or Transfer power. Cards like these allow us to field, roll or swap in a character from our used pile. When purchased a die goes to the used pile, and thus these tools work wonderfully for giving us instant gratification, and can really do a number to surprise our opponent and allow our team to be significantly more agile in responding to threats.

    Another way to accelerate our purchases through our bag is to put them directly into our bag when purchased. Big Entrance, Harpy Lady and several other cards allow for purchases to go directly into our bag when made. To be honest, this is usually the worst option of all acceleration tools, because it doesn't give us what we want immediately, and doesn't increase the quantity of dice we get on our next turn.

    In my opinion, the better way to accelerate dice through the bag, it to use globals like Resurrection to trigger a bag refill immediately after purchasing. How this works is, if our bag is empty, we would purchase a die, then pay for the Resurrection global. The energy used to purchase the die, and pay for the global, would all be in out of play, as such, our resurrection effect will fill our bag with only what is in our Used pile (possibly ONLY the die we just purchased) and then draw a die and place it in the prep area. Skilled usage of this effect is a powerful skill for players who are looking to up their Dice Master's game.

    We've discussed how to buy dice, how to get discounts and how to speed along the dice you buy, but let's take a step back and look at the grand scheme of it all. How many dice should you buy? It may be a simple answer, but the answer is, as few as possible. Seriously, if you can win with just one die purchased, do it. In short, if you need to buy ten dice to get your plan off the ground, you're likely to go too slow, and each die past 1 that you have to buy slows you down that much more. Time to win isn't the only concern though, the more dice you buy, the fuller your bag gets and the longer it takes to cycle through it.

    As an example, if we purchase two Guy Gardners and Two Miri Riams we now have 12 dice in circulation. If our opponent uses Umber Hulk Rare to put those dice into our used, we now have 3 turns before we cycle through all of our dice. Where as, if our opponent has 5 sidekicks fielded, he's rolling the Umber Hulk every turn, who wins? The guy who can field a 5 attack character every turn and clear out blockers, or the person fielding the 3 attack character and a sidekick?

    On the other hand, the more dice you buy, the more reliable your energy will become as you are more likely to get the energy types you put into circulation. This in part, is why having characters that give you the energy you think you are going to need on your turn is a significant concern.

    Next time on How it works, we'll talk about globals and many of the interactions we can have with globals in the main step.
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. agentj's Avatar
      agentj -
      Great information as always. Looking forward to the next article.
    1. WeaponO's Avatar
      WeaponO -
      Tremendously helpful to us new players!
    1. pishposh's Avatar
      pishposh -
      Knowing when to NOT purchase dice can be a hard lesson. When I first started playing, I thought I needed to spend all my energy each turn. I would sometimes end up purchasing dice just because I had the energy to do so. But once you have what you need to win, purchasing additional dice can slow you down.

      I find that in most of my constructed games I'm only purchasing 4 or 5 dice, sometimes less. Rainbow Drafts I tend to purchase more. How many dice do you tend to purchase in a game?
    1. StrangeBrew's Avatar
      StrangeBrew -
      I get a lot out of every article in this series. I think most of the people I play with have a hard time not putting dice into circulation just because we can. I'm going to try and see if purchasing few dice will help me win more consistently or faster. Thanks again.
    1. copydawg's Avatar
      copydawg -
      Quote Originally Posted by pishposh View Post
      Knowing when to NOT purchase dice can be a hard lesson. When I first started playing, I thought I needed to spend all my energy each turn. I would sometimes end up purchasing dice just because I had the energy to do so. But once you have what you need to win, purchasing additional dice can slow you down.

      I find that in most of my constructed games I'm only purchasing 4 or 5 dice, sometimes less. Rainbow Drafts I tend to purchase more. How many dice do you tend to purchase in a game?
      Exactly! You totally nailed, that's what I've went through too. I think this is the most common "misconception" in DM. Effectively purchasing a die every turn, but then I realize I kept on drawing the wrong kind of die at the most crucial moment (i.e. every turn).

      The same thing with trying to attack each turn (especially in draft) using Sidekicks. Trying to be too aggressive I ended up diluting my dice draws.

      Great article and very nice read. Keep up the great work, Shadowmeld!
    1. Ressless's Avatar
      Ressless -
      Yeah how much to buy, how much to field and how much to draw out of your bag for good churn cycle strategy. I used often Zatanna or Resurrection to make it more effecient. But after WOL its Big Entrance, and many people make the mistake to buy so much and put all in their bags , as instead let some dice in the used pile for turn after the next.