On the Fly, Off the Wall
by, 01-11-2016 at 09:07 AM (1682 Views)
Today, I'd like to try an experiment. I'm going to start with a team of 8 random cards with 2 random Basic Actions. Then, I'm going to make this random team a reasonably competitive (or at least fun) team by swapping only four cards for things that I choose. And, to make it more interesting, I'll be (electronically) picking a rule out of the (electronic) hat. I won't promise that this experiment will work, and I certainly won't promise that the team will take first (or second, or third, or fourth) in a PDC event... but let's think "On the Fly, Off the Wall"!
Here is the random team that our favorite search engine at dm.retrobox.eu came up with:
... we've got our work cut out for us. It is already not going to be easy, but I wanted to see how difficult we could really make it. So, I put on my highly expensive and purchased-only-for-this-blog-post VR goggles and drew a slip of virtual paper out of my virtual hat. It said "No Matching Affiliations".
Let's start by examining our team for any cards and combos that we can keep, and seeing what has to go. Out of the gate, I know that I probably want to leave Silver Sable on the team. That means Iron Spidey HAS to go, but I'm ok with that. I also think I'm not going to throw Beast back, even if it is the 3-cost card. Professor X, due to our rule, is now on the chopping block. Speaking of cards on the chopping block, Wonder Woman is worthless in this instance. She relies on a sense of community with her fellow JL'ers... which is impossible with our build condition. That leaves me with one more card I can drop. I'm not crazy about this Cheetah, but it could be mental conditioning from Justice League drafts that makes me ignore all versions of her except for the common. What I like less, though, is the Basic Action "Call Them Out!". I feel like we can do better.
I now know what we want to drop, but what are we going to pick up? I see two different directions I can take this team. Option one: Build around John Stewart and use the "No Matching Affiliations" rule to my advantage to build a Lantern team. Option two: build around the idea of Beast and Cheetah as great blockers and send Silver Sable and Stirge to attack when the conditions are met to make them unblockable. Either way we go, there is a significant challenge: ramp. Since we have an X-Men already, that precludes Professor X and his vaunted Global. I have a monster already, so the Kobold ramp is a non-starter. There also isn't a clear cut energy trend, so I don't have any hints from that perspective.
The only real removal on my team is going to be accomplished by Beast spinning down (and eventually KO'ing) characters. I need a way to make sure my opponent sends the right characters across the table at the right time. So, my first swap will be Professor X for Mr. Fantastic - Brilliant Scientist.
The next thing that I want to do is be able to pump up Sable and Stirge if/when I can make them unblockable. They have relatively small attacks, and it is important to make them count. So, my second swap will be Call Them Out! for Enrage.
Not only does this Global give me a little more oomph when I attack, but the die itself will let me spin up one of my characters if I know I'm going to be attacking anyway.
Unfortunately, using my open Basic Action slot for Enrage further reduces my options for ramp. I have a solution, but it is costly (in both energy and space). My next swap will be Iron Spidey for Jade - Jennifer-Lynn Hayden.
While Zatanna - Actual Magician accomplishes the same thing with the same fielding cost, I really want energy. If I miss the character face, that energy will help me also power my Enrage Global. Zatanna would give me energy in case my opponent thoughtfully provides the Professor X or Villainous Pact Globals, but I think this is more important.
My last choice will help mitigate the costs of my characters, and provide me with a surefire way of KO'ing Jade to allow me to ramp. My last move will be to swap Wonder Woman for Blue-Eyes White Dragon - Monstrous Dragon.
I don't like going with such a popular card, however, it is the best option here.
Ok, we have a team. I've plopped some dice down next to my cards, and here is the final line-up:
The finished team on Retrobox!
x4 x2 x4 x2
x4 x2 x1 x1
The strategy for this team will be to wall up early with Beast (and Cheetah if you miss the all important ). Buy a Jade (or two) as soon as possible, and start fielding and KO'ing them to ramp up. The next step will be to purchase Silver Sable and Stirge, and begin the process of sneaking then through for damage. This team lacks defense, and would be wide open to direct damage or Global shenanigans from my opponent. Forcing my opponent to attack and spinning down characters with Beast (or KO'ing them with Cheetah if they are small enough) will provide the best defense/control. While the team does lack in defensive aspects, it DOES manage to have 8 cards with 7 different affiliations, which satisfies my build rule. I also think this team is only one or two cards away from being a reasonable threat. So, all things considered, I would consider it a successful build.
What do you think? What would you have done differently? Did I swap out a game winner, and just didn't realize it? Could I have gotten more bang for my buck with a different selection? And, more importantly, did you enjoy this experiment? Hopefully you did, and it got your team brewing juices flowing.
Thought experiments like this are a good way to think a little differently about Dice Masters, especially when you aren't able to actually be playing the game we love. While this team may not be a Tier 1 World Beater, maybe we discovered a different angle to approach things on future builds. Maybe we didn't. But that is half the fun of theory crafting.
Until next time, please keep having fun and chucking dice!
Correction/Edit: When this was originally posted, it appears that I did not "check myself", and therefore I had "wrecked myself". It was pointed out that the version of Silver Sable that was chosen at random is NOT the version I thought it was. The version on this team is only unblockable herself, and doesn't grant that ability to anyone else (as I originally thought). I have since gone back and edited the team and the post to reflect what SHOULD have happened, had I read all of the cards carefully. Again, thank you for taking the time to read this post, and hopefully you can come up with fun and stupid ways to work on your own team brewing skills.