• How It Works: Playing Action Dice


    Welcome back folks! This time on How It Works we'll be talking about the other non-sidekick dice in the game, besides the characters we talked about last time, Action Dice. We'll discuss buying them, using them and ways to manipulate everything in between.

    At their core, all action dice have the same basic properties, this is why we have interchangeable dice for our Basic Actions. Each die has 3 energy faces and three action faces, each of which has a different quantity of bursts on it, from zero to two. Basic action dice, as well as action dice from the Battle For Faerun set all have double generic energy faces, while most of the other action dice have a single and two double energy faces of a particular energy type. There are a few exceptions to this, all the Yugioh action dice, and Cerebro from UXM all have 3 double energy faces, and can unfortunately not be spun down to partially spend their energy.

    First let's discuss buying action dice, as they are the dice most frequently purchased at hefty discount. Buying an action die is effectively the same as buying characters, except that you also have the option of buying your opponent's Basic Action dice. Some common discounts for action dice include Red Dragon and Thousand Dragon's global abilities as well as Elf Wizard and Half-dragon Rare's abilities, with the half-dragon ability being one of the only cost reducers in the game that can get you a die for 0 cost.

    All of these great discounts don't make up for the true downside of any action dice purchase, action dice can't block. To use an action die, we generally roll the action face, then move the die from our reserve pool to the used pile (transitioning through out of play until the end of our turn). Using an action die generates an effect, similar to how fielding a character generates an ability (if they have a when fielded effect). In most cases, the effect would resolve and the action die (whether basic or not) would be transitioned to the Used Pile. Each action die used is similar to playing a character with no stats that has a when fielded effect, multiple copies create multiple effects. In addition, like character effects and abilities, Action die effects don't last beyond the end of the turn.

    There are ways to alter these basic rules of play, starting first with Continuous action dice, which, when used don't immediately go to the used pile, but rather obey the text on their card for how they work and resolve. Generally this has you playing the die to the field and having it last through the end of your turn. In addition, some Continuous dice, though not all, can be activated at any time you could use a global, to get an additional effect and send the die to the Used Pile.

    Other ways to break the typical cycle of dice movement include Beholder Global, Lex Luthor, Baron Zemo and Rare Red Tornado who each give a way to prep an action die either before or after using it. In addition, Elf Wizards and the new uncommon beholder can move dice from our used pile to our Prep area. Lastly, The Super Rare Red dragon can not only provide us discounts to buy action dice, he can also double the effects of those action dice as well.

    One thing we haven't talked about is getting more bang for our buck when we play action dice. Many dice in the game combo with action dice usage. From Doctor Strange in AvX who damages our opponent when we use an action to the new Super Rare Beholder that uses action dice KOs to eradicate our opponent's field, the number of dice that specifically combo with action dice is long and myriad. Your best bet, if you want to make a strategy using these cards is to take time to explore the list and find the ones that work best with the action dice you plan to use.

    That's it for today, but if you have any questions on Action dice or the wide range of ways they interact feel free to ask in the comments below.
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      One more important detail to mention (I think) is timing, which allows you to use actions also after blockers are declared and before damage is dealt.
    1. crocko33's Avatar
      crocko33 -
      Quote Originally Posted by The0retico View Post
      One more important detail to mention (I think) is timing, which allows you to use actions also after blockers are declared and before damage is dealt.
      Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that a decision on usage of an action die has to be made before the Main Step is finished --> at that point, unused action dice go to the used pile.
    1. Stormtrooper74's Avatar
      Stormtrooper74 -
      Quote Originally Posted by The0retico View Post
      One more important detail to mention (I think) is timing, which allows you to use actions also after blockers are declared and before damage is dealt.
      Is Baron Zemo's ability only when he's active?
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Quote Originally Posted by crocko33 View Post
      Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that a decision on usage of an action die has to be made before the Main Step is finished --> at that point, unused action dice go to the used pile.
      I thought the same for some time, but if you read the rulebook, you will find out, that only unfielded character dice go to used at end of Main step, you get an opportunity to use action dice before damage and only during the Clean step of a turn unused action dice go to used pile.
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Stormtrooper74 View Post
      Is Baron Zemo's ability only when he's active?
      That is correct. Default assumption is that cards have to be in the field for their abilities to work. Fielding for free is a specific exemption to this, as are some cards that involve acquiring the die itself (Fabricate, Fusion, SR Thanos, etc).