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Opening Moves

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There are three philosophies that I see discussed frequently in regards to the first turn of the game, and additionally, one that I don't see discussed very often at all. Options are fairly limited when you're talking about this early point in the game - all you have are your sidekicks.

In reality, thinking just about the first turn is false, because the second turn is very similar and, without fail, presents many of the same possibilities.

Let's examine the possible plays that one can make for their first and second turns as well as the merits of each.


<h3>Option 1: Buy The Most Expensive Die Possible</h3>

One thought is to get the biggest die you can that helps you - a three or four cost character with an ability that can help set your strategy up earlier than you might otherwise be able to.

The drawback is that unless you field a sidekick in the midst of your first two turns to take it out of circulation, you may not draw this die until turn 5. With so many strong two-cost options out there, I don't think doubling up on a four cost die during your opening turns is the best bet. Depending on the characters you've selected, it might even be better to field a sidekick and buy a two- or three-cost character rather than stretch up to a four.

By limiting the dice that you purchase, you also could be shorting yourself on energy and preventing yourself from getting into the more expensive dice until much later than your opponent.

<h3>Option 2: Buy The Most Dice Possible</h3>

You're not going to get anywhere in this game without energy, and the more dice you buy, the more you're going to see higher energy totals as you roll later on. This dilutes the large number of sidekicks in your pool, making it more likely that you'll draw those character dice from the bag rather than sidekicks.

The drawback is that you still have a lot of sidekicks in your bag, and you're going to have to deal with them at some point.

<h3>Option 3: Field the Most Sidekicks Possible</h3>

This will thin out your dice pool and allow you to roll more of your character dice at once. It also gives you some blockers and the potential, if KO'd, to roll more dice per turn than the usual five, an important element if you want to get pricier characters quickly. Sitting the Sidekicks out of the way can be treated like the Culling mechanism in Quarriors, or other similar "remove from the game" elements that other deck building games have.

The is especially popular when paired with Green Goblin.

The drawback is that the more that are on the field, the fewer characters you can buy and the less energy you'll be able to spend. Plus, it's hard to rely on this one given that only one of the six faces offers a sidekick.

<h3>Option 4: Action Dice!</h3>

This is the least discussed option and probably for a good reason. Very few of the actions that are available are game-impacting enough to get on the first turn with the exception perhaps of something like "Gearing Up," but if you've spent four on that one then you may only have one character die to cycle through on the next run through the bag.

Howeverif your opponent opens with an action die, it may be prudent to do the same depending on the action that they took. Letting someone else have two of the three "Gearing Up" dice could be problematic.

If you can see that one of the actions is essential to the strategy that your opponent seems to be going for based on the squad that (s)he brings to the table, buying that isn't necessarily a bad play either.

<h3>What Would I Do?</h3>
First, a disclaimer - this is not a one-size-fits-all problem! I'm not saying that this is the way, nor am I saying that I won't change my mind in a week.However, it's always helpful to consider a framework that you can operate within - and destroy when you feel like it. So again - this is not the be-all-end-all. Now you know.

Moving on.

As with most things, I think the most prudent course of action is to take a little bit from everyone.
While some of this is still depending on the situation, In general, after my first two turns are over, I'd like to have accomplished the following:

1) One to two sidekicks are in the field.
2) Two to three - and preferably three - dice have been purchased. These are all character dice. If possible, and if the right characters, I wouldn't mind skipping step one and buying four characters. But I won't be greedy. A great first/seond turn might be four Beast "666" or four Black Widow "Tsarina". But again, now we're getting greedy.
3) Excepting those last two scenarios, at least one of those dice is a 3 or 4-cost character.

This works for the way that I like to structure teams, but it is by no means the only answer. Lets also note that a lot of this depends on the characters that you have available to buy. It's probably a stronger buy to get Gambit "Ace in the Hole" than Ghost Rider "Johnny Blaze" due to the dice manipulation that Gambit provides vs. the lack of abilities (and higher fielding cost) of Ghost Rider.

<h3>One More Thing</h3>

An interesting proposition that I've seen is to use the global on Silver Surfer, which lets you pay 2 life to put a die in the prep area, to accelerate your buy potential in the early game. Sometimes taking away your HP can be worth it and there's nowhere near enough information yet to know if this is good - but it certainly has potential.

What do you like to do for your opening statement? Share in the comments!
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  1. Nick Fleece imported's Avatar
    I definitely try to field as many sidekicks as possible, while loading up on Tsarina's. This is definitely because I play a lot of Dominion... so I love deck-thining
  2. Katie imported's Avatar
    The only bad thing with fielding too many sidekicks, in my opinion, is that it starts to choke your supply of energy that doesn't match your buys. There's also the possibility of decking yourself if you churn too hard! Also a fielded sidekick means you only get one Tsarina a turn, very sad.
  3. Stephen Mitchell imported's Avatar
    By the end of the second turn (which means the order doesn't matter to me) I want to have 2 sidekicks on the field, an action and two characters.

    Reason: Two fielded sidekicks force my opponent to decide if I'm re-rolling those on the next turn for more energy potential. My cheap characters include Angel: Soaring (2x) or 1 Angel and a Beast: Mutate 666. My action is Invulnerability.
    Strategy: By using Invulnerability, Angel goes unblocked and Beast deters my opponent from attacking or else I get to draw dice and they see that Angel again sooner than later. Invulnerability is a cheap action to purchase and being able to buy a die and Angel Soaring in the same turn increases the odds that they'll come out together. Using the global on Invulnerability also allows me to further boost him for great direct damage as well.
  4. Dave imported's Avatar
    My ideal opening moves are as follows. Turn 1 field one sidekick, buy a 2 cost character (typically Black Window or Beast), use Silver Surfer's global ability. Turn 2 I'm usually rolling 5 sidekicks, but occasionally I'll get lucky and draw the character die I purchased the first turn. My goal on turn 2 is to get a 5 cost character, usually Storm: Wind Rider or Loki: Gem Keeper depending on my opponents deck and purchases.