Team Brew Switcharoo 4: Swap Thing
by, 02-05-2016 at 11:36 PM (1166 Views)
Hello again everyone. It is time, once again, to conduct an experiment. First, I'm randomly selecting a full team of ten cards (eight characters/non-basic actions with two basic actions). Then, by only swapping four cards, we are attempting to turn this pile of plastic and cardboard into a devastating dervish of... devastation. To guide our build, we will select a meta rule that will limit what we can choose to swap in. Hopefully, this exercise will let us think a little differently about the process we use when constructing teams, and discover new ways to work with existing cards we may not have given a second look before.
Once again, I have turned to my favorite Dice Masters sorting site, dm.retrobox.eu, for the random starting lineup:
Now for the rule. I've decided to take a more... natural approach to selecting the guideline this week. I got word that there was a wedding taking place nearby. I slipped the dove wrangler (which is totally a thing) twenty bucks, and he let me tie strips of paper to each dove's leg. Each strip contained one of my rules. I took up a position outside the church... and waited. The ceremony was beautiful (or, so I was told afterwards). The happy couple emerged, and the birds took flight. It was the very symbol of everlasting love. Or, at least, it was... until one of the birds "bombed" the bride. I took note of which Columbidae "painted" the pretty lady, and followed it until it landed. I retrieved the paper tied to it, and it read: "All characters/non-basic actions from one Universe/IP".
First, let's take a look and see where we are. Out of the eight characters/non-basic actions, we have six that are from Marvel. To be able to adhere to the rule, I believe our team will be populated with characters from the House of Ideas. Out of the keepers, Deadpool and Gamora (thanks to her Global) both allow for some character removal during combat. Cerebro is also pretty nice here, but only if we can get an X-Men to do our dirty work. That should give us a good starting point when we decide what direction to take everything.
Of course, we will have to dump both of the non-Disney owned characters, and the Basic Action from the DC set. That means we'll still be able to swap out one of the remaining characters or actions. I don't like this version of Loki's Scepter, as it can hurt us as much as it could hurt our opponent. One problem with sticking to Marvel cards is the lack of ramp (except for the obvious PXG). I think we might be able to find a work around.
Hey, if the 129th ranked player on the Wizkids Event System can't make this team work, then... well, we're going to give it a shot!
My first swap will be Sangan for Beast - Genetic Expert.
This lovable azure fuzzball will be the centerpiece of our team. If we are able to purchase Cerebro and put it on him, that should give us plenty of chances to remove some characters. While he is in the field he can block for us and, if he happens to be KO'd from either damage or Gamora's Global, we can gain some life and (potentially) deal some direct damage to our opponent. Then we have another shot to remove more characters on our opponent's team when he gets fielded again. Originally, I had thought Beast - Kreature was the way to go here, but more on that later.
Next, we need to address the ramp. I would like to try something a little different than the standard Professor X Global. So, I think our next swap will be Captain Cold for Mysterio - Dr. Ludwig Rinehart.
Mysterio's Global is interesting. We are giving our opponent the chance to prep a die whenever we do the same. If we are lucky, then they will return the favor on their turn. Even if they don't, we are going to try and not get too concerned about giving extra energy or characters to them. Hopefully, we will be able to handle any dice that make the way into their side of the field.
Our last non-Marvel card is the Basic Action Fist of Fury. In case the wheels fall off the energy wagon, we might need a way to jump start it again. My third swap will be Fist of Fury for Spidey's Last Stand.
I don't love the idea of sacrificing a character, but I DO like being able to swap a fielded sidekick and an action die for two more dice from my bag.
So, we've finally cleared out the cards we needed to get rid of, and with one swap remaining. I think we are missing something: a way to force attacks. The obvious choice here would be Toad - Tongue Lashing, but I'd like to try something different. I'd like to be able to start forcing an attack from the beginning of the game, and I'd like to control how many characters attack. So, my last swap will be Loki's Scepter for Mr. Fantastic - Brilliant Scientist.
Once we have our Fuzzball Wall in place, forcing a few attacks will be key to slowly sapping our opponent's life while restoring our own. And, since he's very inexpensive, we could supplement Beast's blocking powers with ol' Slim Speedsuit (AKA Dr. Stretchy-Guy).
We have completed our team. I've placed dice where dice need to be placed, and here is how it looks:
x4 x4 x2 x3
x1 x2 x2 x2
Originally, the team looked a little different. It contained Kreature instead of Genetic Expert, and Toad instead of Mr. Fantastic. I had a completed team, and I was feeling on top of the world. I had created a team that adhered to my rule, and I did it with only four swaps. In my hubris, I challenged the current #1 ranked player from the PDC Leaderboard, theconductr, to a match. It didn't really go as planned. While I was able to gain some life with Kreature's spin down knock outs, Stuart's Black Widows and some buffed-up unblockable Sidekicks proved too much for that team. I realized I needed a few changes to even stand a chance against upper-tier players like him (or middle- and lower-tier players for that matter). I decided a different Beast and a retooled way to force attacks were just what the doctor ordered. I would finally stand tall over the (virtually) shattered remains of my adversaries.
Let's take a look at the best way to play this improved team. First, we'll be purchasing Beast (or, better yet, two of them). On the second turn, we can purchase another Beast and (ideally) a Sidekick. After that, it is a matter of working our way up to Mr. Fantastic (for additional blocking support), or Pyro and Deadpool to press the attack. We will force attacks when we can, using Gamora's Global if needed to KO our own Beasts in order to gain life and do damage if he is on a burst face. This is not a fast team, but given enough time, it should be able to erode our opponent's life total to zero. We will attack with Deadpool and Pyro, but mostly let our opponent come to us.
I feel like this is a successful team. All of the cards can work together to make sure almost nothing was wasted. But... what do you think? Do you think you could have built a better team? Did I swap out something that would have won us the game, or could I have made a better trade and still been within the rule?
This exercise is always a blast for me. I really enjoy making some choices I wouldn't normally make. For instance, Mutate #666 would probably be much better here than Genetic Expert. But, the point of this experiment is to try to find other ways to play. While this team may not be top-notch, maybe it'll lead to one down the line. Maybe someone reading this will have their brewing brainwave, and create the next new combo that takes the Dice Masters community by storm.
Thank you for reading, and keep brewing those teams. You'll never know what fun you'll find.