View RSS Feed

Steele

Is using globals for ramp a bad idea? (probably, yes)

Rate this Entry
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.

:avx58:

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).

Updated 06-24-2015 at 02:42 AM by Steele

Tags: globals, pxg, ramp Add / Edit Tags
Categories
Uncategorized

Comments

  1. Wiktor Makowski's Avatar
    Interesting. Yet every time I go without PXG there is a simple problem. Every thing is fine as long as my opponents have one, but when two excluders meet the one with better ramp tends to win. So by excluding PXG, the most efficient ramp I gain a slot, that usually is used to put in another, less efficient but exclusive ramp.
    There is also a factor of most tournament games having a time limit. It's better to have a strong ramp and abuse it to secure wins, than to risk running a lot of draws.
  2. Steele's Avatar
    Agreed that with no PXG the player with the best ramp/plan will likely win (not that that's a bad thing). But there is a lot of internal ramp and cost fixing these days that can eliminate the need for PXG style ramping. Not counting AoU there are 400 cards since PXG - and many of them help get things out faster and cheaper.

    As for time limits, yes - we're always going to face those in tournament formats. But I rather have one solid game over 3 coin tosses. I think we all agree that there is a huge first turn advantage and that's exacerbated by the ultra fast ramp PXG brings to the game. The longer the game is the less the first turn advantage is. I'm not saying we should ban the card, just that the game isn't hurt without it (anymore - it may have been the opposite 8 months ago).

    For my next post I'll be reviewing all our internal ramping options and how they work alone, with PXG, and with our win condition. Finding the right ramp for our team is key, but it's not always PXG.
  3. Wiktor Makowski's Avatar
    I find myself to be a different kind of player. Instead of trying to fit ramp to my strategy I prefer finding the most efficient ramp, and create a strategy that fits the ramp most. That leads to me taking PXG as a beginning of every team, and going from there. At the point for me the only excuse for not running PXG is including Prismatic Spray in my team.
    It's a very good thing that with growing card pool we get more and more ways to ramp and churn, so more and more times I'll be able to forget about PXG and go for another way to ramp.
  4. Osprey's Avatar
    "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."

    I can see where you're coming from, and I understand the point. If I don't bring a certain ramp global, and my opponent does, then I get to play with an extra card. That's fine up to a point. There are 2 things this idea has working against it however. First, as this idea and concepts such as spray control seep further into the meta, you will have more and more players opting not to use the global ramp options, making the counter-strategy less and less effective over time because there are less ramp cards to hit with spray, and less to leech off of.

    Second, and this is my main reason to continue to include cards such as pxg on my teams, is that not all teams are created equal.

    The idea that if someone else brings pxg, I can use it as well doesn't hold up when you consider that teams that use the slot to play Professor X are quite possibly better equipped to abuse it than you are. Take weapon ten teams for example. They are built to play harder and faster than any other teams in the game, easily ending games by turn 4-5 if the weapon ten players is the first to draw.

    Or blue-eyes global. As I explained in my article, villains are the best equipped to abuse interactions between blue-eyes cost reduction global and their own "when ko'd trigger effects".

    There is no other source of ramp in the game as powerful as professor x, and by not bringing it, you can still be putting yourself at a disadvantage. For good players, it isn't difficult to play around prismatic spray, even if they are relying on pxg. It may slow them down a turn, but you are still slowed in having to purchase and rely on spray rolling an action face. When you don't bring pxg or other forms of global ramp, I believe you are putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage.

    My point is that internal ramp cannot effectively measure up to global ramp, especially when a fast team is optimized to abuse cards like pxg and resurrection. That is where teams that try to build against these ramp cards fall short. A fast team only needs to buy into a win condition. A team that is ignoring these options to either A: attempt to ramp inefficiently to their own win condition with opposing globals or internal ramp or B: try to purchase control AND win condition cards has many more conditions that need to be met before they can attack for lethal.
  5. bahamut7's Avatar
    A great article! I look forward to part 2 about the forms of internal ramp. Time after time, I have seen resurrection or villainous pact used against me. Granted my villain team has that action card for the action not the ramp it provides. After studying all the different forms of ramp, I can safely assess any type and immediately figure out the strengths and weaknesses. As weak as the kobolds are...I love them the most out of all the ramps, due to the fact that not only do I get to pull up to 3 extra dice, but I get to use all the dice for purchase or globals or even characters to attack with. Combine this with Red Tornado and you have a very impressive ramp that PXG can't compete with. Of course, your main point about internal ramp being better in that your opponent cannot use it against you is spot on.
  6. Steele's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Osprey
    The idea that if someone else brings pxg, I can use it as well doesn't hold up when you consider that teams that use the slot to play Professor X are quite possibly better equipped to abuse it than you are. Take weapon ten teams for example. They are built to play harder and faster than any other teams in the game, easily ending games by turn 4-5 if the weapon ten players is the first to draw.

    Or blue-eyes global. As I explained in my article, villains are the best equipped to abuse interactions between blue-eyes cost reduction global and their own "when ko'd trigger effects".
    I agree and I did say that if you believe your team is more able to take advantage of the global than your opponent, then it's worth considering (in fact I called that out with blue-eyes). However, with the default mentality for PXG I don't think that's often the case. Certainly include it if you think you can use it better though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Osprey
    There is no other source of ramp in the game as powerful as professor x, and by not bringing it, you can still be putting yourself at a disadvantage. For good players, it isn't difficult to play around prismatic spray, even if they are relying on pxg. It may slow them down a turn, but you are still slowed in having to purchase and rely on spray rolling an action face. When you don't bring pxg or other forms of global ramp, I believe you are putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage.
    I'd never use prismatic spray to counter PXG because you're right, you have to buy a die and it only shuts it down for a moment on your turn. The best way to counter PXG is to make sure you can use PXG on your team but also make sure you don't have to. A win condition should consist of 1-3 cards. That's 5-7 cards to use to make sure you can mess up your opponent's win condition or ramp strategy. Jinzo is great if you want to mess up global strategies in general (including PXG). Halfling Thief does a great job controlling what's in your opponents bag and used pile (as well as messing up PXG). And there are many others. But I'm not saying you need to counter PXG, far from it. I'm saying if you build a team with it in mind but one that can act on it's own, you're going to have a pretty good team. You don't need a direct counter to it, you just need to be able to work with or without it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Osprey
    Take weapon ten teams for example. They are built to play harder and faster than any other teams in the game, easily ending games by turn 4-5 if the weapon ten players is the first to draw.
    I want to make one final point on this statement, and that's simply that you are 100% correct and I feel it is terrible for the game in general. I want to see Dice Masters last a long time. And I have a lot of gamer friends that are put off by the 3-4 turn kill decks that PXG facilitates. These are competitive people that would make a great addition to the game, but they see the game as broken with PXG. In one of my open play groups there are a couple people that will refuse to play you if you includes PXG, it's not fun for them. Another early player left the game once the PXG meta emerged. You can disagree, but I see a real problem when certain builds can kill in 3-4 turns based on the rolls and first turn advantage. There are ways around this meta and I'll continue to point them out if for no other reason than to make the game more interesting for people who are tired of seeing PXG, Gobby, Hulk, Tsrinna teams. I'll admit I'd love to see less of them and worlds gave us a lot of hope. Love that Dean won without PXG!
  7. AJV1785's Avatar
    Really good stuff @Steele ... I'm still a huge fan of phoenix global and beast 666 for ramp. I find it's wonderful against many new ramp options as well, and then some. Nothing better than sending a kobold on the attack only to draw 3 or 4, all while shutting down your opponents ramp. Plus with being able to clear threats (constantine) I feel that 666 May come back from the dead...
  8. Osprey's Avatar
    @Steele

    Yes, the main point I wanted to get across is that global ramp is extremely necessary in many cases. I know it was not your intention to do so, but the blog made it appear that global ramp abilities are detrimental to attaining your win condition.

    As for whether pxg is fair or not, I will always argue that pxg is a fair card. Not to make it sound like I'm going against my point (because I'm not) but it IS still a global ability, which grants access to pxg to your opponent. Are they optimized for it's use? Maybe. But it's still there, and must be considered. Also, this is likely because I come from a Yugioh background, but my philosophy has always been to fight against unfair power plays, and not consistency. I believe that in dicemasters, pxg is a necessary tool available to everyone to create consistent win conditions if you build your team correctly. I'm not saying pxg should be gotten rid of, and I'm not saying we should keep him forever. I am, however, saying that we need his power until another card comes along and helps us achieve that consistency, maybe not as easily to try and balance it out a bit, but it needs to be there.

    Pxg makes fast teams and control teams viable. But it also allows people to buy crazy high costs characters like and achieve crazy win conditions. It's really the only thing keeping the entire 7+ cost character cardpool within the realm of playable possibilities.
  9. Steele's Avatar
    @Osprey

    There are now 836 cards in the Dice Masters universe, and if PXG is the only card that keeps 7+ cost characters playable - then we have a much bigger issue in the game right now. But you're right, PXG allows for fast teams, control teams, big teams, little teams, mediocre teams, hulk teams, (you get the point). And it may be one of the few cards that allows all of them, but to say it's the only card that lets any of them work (not what you said, I'm extrapolating) is ignoring 835 other cards - ok, technically 834 other cards since 1 of those other cards also has PXG on it.

    The whole point I'm trying to make however, is I'd rather my opponent put it on their team and I'll build my team to take advantage of it when it's there and still work better than their team when it's not
  10. Osprey's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Steele
    @Osprey

    There are now 836 cards in the Dice Masters universe, and if PXG is the only card that keeps 7+ cost characters playable - then we have a much bigger issue in the game right now. But you're right, PXG allows for fast teams, control teams, big teams, little teams, mediocre teams, hulk teams, (you get the point). And it may be one of the few cards that allows all of them, but to say it's the only card that lets any of them work (not what you said, I'm extrapolating) is ignoring 835 other cards - ok, technically 834 other cards since 1 of those other cards also has PXG on it.

    The whole point I'm trying to make however, is I'd rather my opponent put it on their team and I'll build my team to take advantage of it when it's there and still work better than their team when it's not

    I agree, but the fact remains. Pxg is all we have in terms of universal, reliable ramp that also keeps sidekicks from flooding the bag and doesn't require you to purchase a character to sit on the board. As I explained, building without pxg only works up to a point. When you go against another team without pxg, that's when the game, in my opinion, reaches it's most boring point, as you end up with a game of Rochambeau, and the team with better aggro capabilities will win almost every time. Staple cards that fix consistency are not the enemy, power cards and first turn advantage that end the game instantly are. One of three things needs to be addressed here:

    1. A less powerful replacement for pxg is released and wizkids rotates pxg out of the game
    2. First turn advantage is addressed and nerfed.
    3. Attempt to fix pxg ( eg, only able to be used once per turn, dice paid during either players turns are sent to an out of play zone until the end of turn to stop shenanigans).
  11. Bestia's Avatar
    What about Zatanna Zatara - Field and prep on dice from your bag
    The other player cant use it - it is when fielded it, it empties your back to cycle in your used dice quicker, and it isnt limited to sidekicks/npcs

    And at a cost of 3 - you have a cheap blocker, that you want to see KO

    Doesnt this answer the question - what to use if you dont want to use a Gobal for ramp