Is using globals for ramp a bad idea? (probably, yes)
by, 06-24-2015 at 01:18 AM (2040 Views)
Before we look at the different ramping globals we have, I’d like to state my premise that ramping globals are bad for us and good for our opponent. In other words, let the other guy add them to his team and we can use those slots for better control of the board (or whatever else we want).
I’ve had this feeling for a while and with the results of worlds, I think it supports my point and it’s worth throwing out there now. One of the comments from Dean (the worlds winner) was that he didn’t include PXG because he could use it if his opponent brought it, and was up a card if they did. And if they didn’t bring it, his team was fine as is. Just imagine if he left grundy on the bench to swap in a PXG (or any other control card for that matter).
The simple point is this: if you bring a global that is your main source of ramp, then you opponent also can take advantage of that ramp. It’s far better to ramp without giving the option to your opponent as well. I’ve gone through all the global ramp abilities below to try and see what’s worth having. In the end, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you’re not going to buy the die or you’re not sure the global is mostly useless on the majority of teams you’ll be facing, then don’t include the card.
PXG: Global: Pay [1 Mask] . Move up to 2 Sidekick dice from your used pile to your prep area.
This is by far the most popular and seems to be a staple in many many decks for some people. Maybe less so these days, but 11 of the 16 world final decks still included it. And rightfully so, 1 now for 2 later is the best return on investment. But your opponent gets the same benefit and if they have an extra card to work with (because you essentially have a 7 character team and they have a full 8), you’ve given them a pretty big advantage. The counter to not including PXG is simple: be able to use it when it’s there. Your ramp shouldn’t suffer because there is no PXG, just make sure you have some internal ramp. Sure the game might be slower, but that’s not bad since it gives us more time to average out those dice rolls and not have one or two bad turns end us.
Villainous Pact BA: Global: Pay [1 Mask]. Once per turn, during your turn, if you have no dice in your Prep Area, you may draw a die and place it in your Prep Area.
Resurrection BA: Global: Once during your turn, pay [1 Shield] to draw a die from your bag and place it in your prep area.
One now for one later. These are both basic actions and the die itself isn’t bad either although both may never be purchased on most teams. Of the global ramp, however, these may be the safest. Yes you’re still helping your opponent, but no matter what you bring in this slot your opponent could take advantage of it. That said, why let them have the free extra ramp anyway? If you can make do without, then leave these out.
Silver Surfer: Global: Once during your turn, pay [1 Shield] and take 2 damage to draw one die and place it in your prep area.
Silver Surfer’s ramp just costs too much (shield and 2 damage). However if you have a life gain team, it could be worth it since now your opponent is taking damage (if they choose to use the global) that you can heal. Otherwise this can really hurt you when you’re loosing and you don’t need it if you’re winning. That said, this has some strategic benefit if your opponent is light on ramp and is desperate. Let them take the 2 damage for a die.
Beholder: Global: Pay 1 energy. Move a die showing an action face from your reserve to your prep area. Do not roll it next turn.
This one is just too limited. To that end, it’s a fine global simply because it’s unlikely to be used by either side and the abilities on the Beholder cards are awesome.
Besides energy granting, cost fixing is another type of ramp on globals:
Blue-Eyes White Dragon: Global: Pay [1 Bolt] and knock out one of your monsters to reduce the cost of the next die you buy by 2 energy.
So this is kind of a special case. Yes it’s cost fixing, but the ability to knock out one of your monsters can really pay off big as we saw in worlds. But if you don’t have a reason to knock out your own monsters (for “when fielded” or “when KO’d” effects), leave this out because your opponent might.
Thousand Dragon: Global: Pay [1 Bolt] . The next action die you buy this turn costs 2 less energy.
Simple enough, if you are an action based deck you love this. And likely your opponent won’t be. This one is probably safe, until you meet another action team, but they are likely to run with this or the Red Dragon Global anyway. Bottom line, make sure this is a vital part of your team if you’re going to use it.
Red Dragon: Global: Once per turn, pay [1 Bolt] . When you purchase your next action die this turn, it costs 2 less (minimum 1) and you deal 1 damage to your opponent.
Much like Thousand Dragons, but now you’re causing damage, or… they are causing damage to you. Same thing as above, make sure you can use it more than they can. In other words, bring and buy great action dice.
The last two globals are a bit of special cases, but worth mentioning.
Pyro: Global: Pay [1 Bolt] . Draw and roll 2 dice from your bag. Keep any [Bolt] results rolled. Return the rest to your bag.
This global is pretty bad in general except for very specific teams. You’re spending one for the max possibility of 4 (two double bolts) It’s probably safe to include just because of it’s limited nature but don’t expect it to help all that much. Exceptions might be a Manticore or Vibe build where rolling double bolts gives a side effect.
Iceman: Global: Pay [1 Bolt] to spin any number of your Sidekick dice to their [Bolt] side (if active, move them to your reserve pool).
This one isn’t specifically ramp, but it does help with getting the right energy out. As long as you’re spending bolts on non-globals, this one seems safe enough. However if you’re getting bolts to spend on bolt globals, then you’re letting your opponent do the same thing.
In the end I want my teams to stand on their own without the need for globals that help my opponent as much as it helps me. That said, knowing these globals are out there so I can take advantage of them when I see them can make all the difference in a close game. It’s always fun to play my opponents globals better than they can because I have more ways to play them in general (because I haven’t wasted cards/dice on global only cards).