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Opening Moves, Revisited

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Just under a year ago, I posted an articleabout the first that we make in this game. While some of the basic strategy articles that we put out early on remain just as true and valid today, others require another look and some updating. The same is true here. It's quite remarkable how much the game has evolved in a relatively short period of time.

Now, turn one and turn two plays are largely influenced by the globals that we have available.

Let's look at the different ways that we might want to open a game.

More relative than this - the global's the thing.

In the "olden days" of 2014, global abilities were limited churn options. We had Silver Surfer and NOGG to use as energy banks, but few other options. Our churn was character and action based, usually a combination of Beast "666", Gambit "Ace in the Hole", and "Gearing Up". Boy, have things changed.

Now, the ideal opening is based on the globals. Let's make a list. This assumes that we got exactlythe dice that you want.

  1. PXG is available.[u]
  2. Buy a two-cost character, use PXG twice on the off-turn.
[*]PXG and Resurrection (or Surfer, or the similar one from the DC set) are available.[u][*]Buy a one-cost Kobold or Morphing Jar. Pay a shield to prep a die. Use PXG twice on the off-turn.[/list][*]Blue Eyes White Dragon is available.[u][*]Field a sidekick, purchase a one or two cost character. Use BEWD's global on turn two to buy a five-cost for three.[/list][*]Globals aren't available, but discount characters are[u][*]Discount characters are the ones that make other things cheaper. Push for these. They're your only means of acceleration in this case.[/list][/list]And this is just the beginning. There are many ways to combine our one-through-three cost characters on turn one and our three-through-six costers on turn two. All depend on your strategy (am I playing Basic Action-heavy? Do I have Red Dragon? Use that and buy up a Magic Missile) and the combination of globals that are available.

So what do I consider?

The decision to purchase a one-cost vs. two-cost vs. three-cost character, or whether or not to field something is informed by a few different factors.

Do you have globals that can be used multiple times, or multiple usable globals? Make two-cost your limit. Unless that three-cost die is an imperative turn one buy for some reason, two is it. That more expensive die is better purchased on turn two. In this case, you may also want to purchase two one-cost dice, say, Kobold, or just use one. The big drawback to the cheapest dice is that they can be too tempting to max on. Just because we can purchase a thing doesn't mean that we should.

Do you have globals that rely on something being in the field, like NOGG or Blue Eyes White Dragon? Get a sidekick in the field during turn one so that you can bank it for later. This enables a larger-than-usual purchase on turn two.

Do you have few churn options? Field at least one sidekick, possibly two, and make the purchase that you're left with of. Overbuy and you have too many sidekicks cycling through your bag. That's no fun for anyone. If churn is lacking, you need to keep those pesky sidekicks out of rotation.

And be sure that you don't "deck" yourself, aka, have fewer than four dice that you can draw - usually. Sometimes HP is a resource, and decking yourself isn't a bad way to spend it. There are occasions when setting yourself up to be decked is the difference between five dice in used, which gives zero assurances of what you'll draw next turn, or three, which guarantees that you'll be rolling exactly what you want to.


The correct thought process applies regardless of format. Determine what is available, and use it. I'll be fascinated to see if the options expand even more in another year. Truly the game is at it's most interesting when there are the most decisions to make.
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  1. Tim Scott imported's Avatar
    I'm a huge fan of using resurection and PXG together, since the max dice you can get to prep anyway with PXG is 7 for turn 2, using resurection instead lets you refill your bag turn two plus have 7 dice to roll.
  2. Doctor Oetker imported's Avatar
    I like strategy 2 with PXG and Resurrection, but getting a combination of wilds and energy that allows you to pay one shield and two masks (along with another energy to buy your 1-cost) isn't the easiest thing to do.
  3. Dave imported's Avatar
    Truth! You won't always get it (though the "?"s help too) but the bigger point is to remember what all of your options are and prioritize them. It's not about the best move in isolation, but rather about the best move that is available to you (and knowing why).
  4. Tim Scott imported's Avatar
    Agreed, given access to both PXG and Rez, the point simply is if your deck has issues with consistent first buys plus global ramp then that's something you would need to address.