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The Outsider Report

A Villainous Pact: Perfecting the Villain Archetype

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June 9, 2015

As this is my first blog post, I would like to preface it with a few small points. First, I am going to make an attempt to write either weekly or bi-weekly, I have not yet decided. Second, I do like writing, but I prefer to write about things that particularly interest me. This basically means that this blog will not have a central theme such as podcasts here on the reserve pool like the prep area, which I quite enjoy. I am instead going to try and post my thoughts on whatever pops into my head. Also be aware that this post is going to be very long.

This first post is going to be about my efforts to perfect the team I enjoy playing the most, Villains. We will explore how this team can be played, built, countered and expanded upon. Unfortunately for anyone out there with limited finances, this team can not be built properly on a budget, so if cards worth more than $0.75 are above your realm of possibilities, I'm allowing you the chance to avoid getting your hopes up.
First, a bit of background information:

I first started playing Dice Masters when a good friend of mine suggested I try playing it as card games in general have always been appealing to me, and he was looking to try and build up a few people who would play it with him. This happened around the end of the Uncanny X-Men era, right before Yugioh would enter the fray and be largely ignored by most people due to the ip. Due to the timing of my arrival, I did not notice villains as a cohesive theme (at least not properly) until recently with the release of the DC Justice League set. This set introduced what I believe to be the single most powerful archetype support card in the game - Black Manta, Deep Sea Deviant. This also starts us on the first part of this archetype examination: Core characters that will build the foundation for success.



3 Cost Fist, Villain, Legion of Doom
Retaliation - If one of your Villains is KO'd, deal 1 damage to your opponent for each of your active Villains.
1 1 3, 1 2 4, 1 3 5

*Note that his ability only counts unique active villains, look up while active abilities for further clarification.
This ability opens up so much room for experimentation with villains as a team. There a few low cost characters in this entire game who do as much as Manta does for villains. He has solid stats, exists in a common energy type (fist), forces your opponent to make tougher choices when attacking or attempting to knock out your characters and provides your team with a win condition. Arguably, this is one of the best cards in the entire game, as it dragged an entire archetype out from the depths and made it viable, at least on a local level.

So now that we have something to start building on, where do we go next? Simple. Back to Manta for some helpful advice. As a solid foundation for our team, he specializes in helping us kill our opponent through burn damage, bypassing the need to move to the attack step and potentially furthering our opponents strategy by triggering "when blocking, do x" effects. Who else is notorious for burn damage?

:avx130:

Green Goblin super rare, "Gobby", fills that role quite well. Another 3 cost, this time providing us with bolts, with a total fielding cost of 2 and a level 3 side boasting 5 5 stats and a powerful burn effect that grows in power based on the size of the wall between yourself and your opponent. He will provide that extra bit of burn each turn necessary to end the game.

Alright, two low cost characters that we can build around, where do we go next? This is something that might not become apparent until we examine the two cards we will be using to ramp within our 8 character slot limit. The first is the obvious Professor X: Recruiting Young Mutants or Professor X: Trainer. Which one you use falls on preference, because you will never need to purchase them. I personally prefer the recruiting young mutants version, because there is a sweet looking full art version that you can use.



There isn't much to talk about in regards to Prof. X other than the fact that keeping sidekicks out of your bag is crucial to this team's speed. It isn't necessarily the fact that you can roll more dice every turn, but rather the fact that you don't have to pull those sidekick dice out of your bag. You would much rather have next-turn access to your purchases, especially any expensive ones.

Then there is the more interesting card, Blue-eyes White Dragon, Monstrous Dragon.



Blue-eyes is at his absolute best when he's with the bad guys. Not only does he provide ramp for a cheap price and allow us to re-use when fielded effects (Like Goblin), but he will also combo with Black Manta, letting us burn and defeat our opponent while ramping and reducing purchase costs for our heavy hitters. His global ability is what allows this team to do what it does, with an extremely low character investment. Oftentimes, variants of villains using blue-eyes and manta can close a game out quickly with only 3 or 4 characters purchased, with the subsequent turns revolving around knocking them out and re-triggering their abilities.

Now that our foundation and ramp is taken care of, where can we go from there? This is what makes the villains a great team to customize and mess around with. We now have 4 character slots to do whatever we wish with. I'll begin with going over my personal favourite choices, and end with support characters that fit in well.
First, although he isn't a villain, an antihero is going to have to be good enough. As is often the case these days, you may see a team in front of you that wants to use "when fielded" abilities to kill you, or even attempt to attack you before your plan is in full swing.



Hellblazer deals with a lot of problems. There isn't a lot to be said about him, he's practically a staple these days. At a 2 cost, drop him on the board turn 3 and stop them from getting to your face. Villains have lots of minions that soak up hits or stall the heroes, and for the low low price of $70 USD Constantine will fight for your evil organization too.

Now we come to a very solid support character tailor made for villains, Sinestro - Instills Fear.



You may be wondering why you would invest 5 energy into an expensive aquaman, but let's look at it this way. Generally once you figure out what your opponent is trying to do, you can come up with a way to counter it with one of your many villains. Since the villains are mainly built to be powerful, you only need a handful of them to win, and you are going to want to cycle through them often. Sinestro lowers your characters TFC by 3, making them energy efficient. This gives you plenty of available energy for global abuse every turn. His global pay also gives you the option to boost your attacking villains if you need to swing, or even boost a blocker high enough to knock out an attacker. Plus, he has a an evil mustache of death. That's a plus, I think.



This is an edit from the future, June 24, 2015. If you are seeing this, I am making this mod to explain that the rare Sinestro, depending on your local meta, can be even more powerful on this team. Making all of your villains immune to globals is a powerful abiltiy, and if it is the right one for you, consider playing him. I've definitely made the swap. Have you?


Now we are down to the last 2 character slots. This is where it becomes very difficult to decide who to play. There are 3 remaining villains who all want to occupy the same slots, and depending on how you choose your basic actions, you will be able to decide how to use the slots best.
I'll begin with the 2 I am currently using because of how my local meta is shaping up, and we'll go from there.

:avx124:

Angelo Fortunato is an incredible card. His while active ability shuts down other sidekick based teams, including other people trying to abuse Gobby. He even comes with 2 burst faces to boot, buffing your mantas, venoms and sinestros by giving them +1/+1. If you need some lockdown or the boost to swing for lethal, venom has your back. His global is iffy. It can allow you to slightly mess with your opponents fist characters, but more often than not it can be used to spin venom off of his burst side. Pay attention to what your opponent leaves in their reserve pool and plan accordingly when working with Angelo.

And now the one I've been saving for last, and for good reason. Now, before I get tackled by people claiming I have "stolen" or "netdecked" this idea from the wonderful alleyviper who recently took home a big bag of prizes from worlds, please think about how absurd that sounds for ten seconds. I would like to explain that this is more of a coincidence because I have been working on villains for a while now, but I am grateful to viper for doing some field testing with the card and I am glad a cool person from TRP took home the gold. Way to go buddy!



Now, Buried on a Sunday does exactly what you expect it to do, but it's effect becomes amplified on a villains team. Spot removal that triggers manta burn and has it's fielding cost reduced by sinestro. Everything you expected from him and more. His stats aren't necessarily high for a 5 cost character, but they aren't terrible either. He can swing for some hurt every now and then if he has to. I think I'm supposed to make a joke about him wanting pants, but I don't know why...

Alternatively, the third character you may wish to use to fill the final slot depends on how you want to assign your basic actions.



You may wonder why there are two versions here. This is because they both contribute to your win condition, but in different ways. If you want a cheaper character that has regeneration to attempt to abuse bewd global with black manta multiple times a turn then he isn't a bad option. My preferred option is actually Weapons Master, who accelerates your burn damage every turn on a decent sized body. He is a preference tech, and if your locals are hulk-heavy, you will probably have to drop him in favour of grundy.

Now we reach our basic actions. The only one I feel is absolutely mandatory is Resurrection. The global it provides puts your purchases directly into your bag and further accelerates your ramp, which is essential on this team.



Now there is space for a little more variance. Polymorph and Crush Card Virus are my two favourite options for this slot. Distraction works well too.

:avx25:

Polymorph is obvious, it can speed you into expensive characters (Such as Grundy or Venom), mess with your opponent's plans by getting rid of problem characters like Hulk, and has a handy global to boot if you have a spare mask and want to spin venom onto a burst side, or sinestro to a better die side.

Crush Card Virus, on the other hand, is a card that creates mass removal scenarios in combination with grundy, can turn a sidekick into a removal, and gives you the option to re-field characters like gobby or deathstroke late game when blue-eyes is no longer your preferred method of triggering knockouts while slowing down your opponent.

Finally, Distraction is great for any burn-centric team to offer itself a bit of protection for large scale attacks.

Other viable support characters:

:avx71:

I won't go too far in depth with these cards, but I do want to point out that they are viable. Mystique can provide masks and boost itself up to be fairly big especally in large numbers. Dr. Doom is mainly for his global, which pairs well with Venom. Mr sinister wants to be black manta, but his ability can stack with manta to be useful. Cheetah is a cheap bolt if you want to focus on attacking and she provides easy damage. Toad forces your opponents to swing at you and force-trigger black mantas burn effect. Finally, Storm weather witch can protect you from opposing polymorphs, anger issues, millenium puzzles and mystic boxes.

Sample Team

Normally, this is where people would start explaining a buy order and how you want your turns to go opening up. However, this doesn't make sense any more as we are playing a game with a varied meta and non-linear gameplay. My advice is to take a moment before each game, and read any card your opponent is playing that you aren't 100% familiar with, and plan accordingly.

Thanks for keeping up with the post all the way to the end, I'm glad you took the time to read it. I'm open to suggestions and am always looking for people who would like to help perfect villains. Any feedback is appreciated, and if you have suggestion for a future topic, let me know via a private message.

Rah Rah, Fight the Power

Updated 06-24-2015 at 10:56 PM by Osprey

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