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Mixing It Up

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Hey there folks!

I'd like to start today by saying congrats to all of you who placed or won at your PDC events! Well done! If you haven't had a chance to go to an event, get your butts in gear! These events are great fun and a great way to see what's happening in your local meta-game. So far I've played two and the atmosphere was great all around. Also I'd like to add a resounding GOOD LUCK! to those who are playing in the upcoming weeks.

So todays topic is 'Mixing It Up'. What do I mean? Well, I mean your local meta! Here's where we'll start.

For the first few weeks I played Dicemasters, my wife and I were playing together at our LGS. There was (and still is) a relatively small group of people who just came and played. Our only variation at the time was either play Limited or Unlimited Constructed. I have to admit, things seemed a little stale. Our regular TO spoke to some people outside our local area and suddenly things changed. Now, each week is a new theme. Although playing theme teams can be difficult, especially for those without a lot of product, the changes it brings to teams week to week are enormous! This week at my favourite LGS the theme is Femme Fatale - ALL girls for each team. We still do mix in Rainbow Drafts every couple weeks but we are now playing a lot of theme constructed.

How does this change your meta? Well! I'm glad you asked! By being forced to play with cards that might seem "bad" or "unplayable" just because they fit the theme of the week, we have opened the door to all sorts of creative brewing. This led to our local PDC events seeing creative teams. I even saw a team with Phoenix Force on it! I firmly believe that had we not forced the changes locally our meta at these PDC events would have been super stale, all Tsarinas, Gobbys and Jade Giants. Yes, these teams were still in play, I piloted a Lantern Ring - TCFW team to a Top 4 finish, but there was almost no duplicate teams, minus one other Lantern Ring team. Mixing up the formats we played allowed the players to think outside the box (like using Phoenix Force) to build their teams because they weren't stuck in same old meta game.

The next idea I'd like to throw out there is one of rotation. WizKids doesn't seem to be about to ban / rotate any sets out anytime soon. This leaves us with the powerhouse that is AVX within the meta. With the difficulty new players are having finding some of these cards and/or dice (I still don't have any Black Widow die) perhaps it is time to think about pre-empting the meta change as a community. What this will mean is the meta will change drastically as the vacuum left in the wake of the changes is filled with new and exciting archetypes. I know this idea will be met with much criticism but change is good. When Magic first changed "just play what you want" to "here is the Tier 1 format" (what we now call Standard) there was major uproar. People wanted to play with the cards they had, especially the super powerful or "broken" ones. People were upset that the monetary value of some cards plummeted. People were generally afraid of the change. In the 15 plus years since Tier 1 started, Magic had moved into multiple formats, each with it's own archetypes, own banned / restricted list and own meta-game, the most popular by far being Standard. What I'm saying is that even though it's scary, it's super healthy for the game. Magic's Standard format rotates 2 - 3 sets out every 18 months and rotates a new one in. If it's working for a game that's been around over 20 years, maybe it's a good model... I'm not saying we should be Magic (that's just crazy!) but we do need a way to mix it up and keep things from getting stale.

Finally I'd like to talk to the brewers out there. This is a next level brewing idea. Create your own format. Have look at things locally and see what might need changing. Get together with your pals and talk about what you'd like to see. The Little Cup format didn't just appear out of thin air! Someone put some time and thought into what it should be, tested it and then brought it out for all to see! This can be super fun and a great way to showcase cards that might otherwise not see competitive play.

I'd like to leave you all with something I've been toying with. I'm still a huge Magic player, but I play Commander almost exclusively. Commander is 100 Card singleton format. This means EACH card (outside of basic land - Magic's main resource) needs to have a different English name. I've been pondering a way to make this viable for Dicemasters and here's what I've come up with.

Dicemasters Highlander

Each team gets 18 cards and 2 Basic Actions on their team.
Each card that isn't a BAC can have a maximum of 1 die to a maximum of 18 dice per team.
Now play as you regularly would.

I know this can get a little crazy on your playmat, but if you fill all 9 slots on standard sized card sleeve sheet, you can use 2 sheets and they will fit nicely on the sides of your mat where your team would normally sit. This format will be crazy to keep track of with huge lists compared to what we're used to but the amount of fun new interactions we might see will be awesome!

At any rate, I hope that we all can agree that Dicemasters is great and we just want to have fun! (especially the girls...)


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