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Ben's Top Tens - 5 Cost Characters

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Hey guys and welcome to my new section on The Reserve Pool. This semi-regular series will take a look at ten of the best competitive cards of a particular type.

Following on from the previous top ten 6 cost characters (link to that list here) today I would like to take a look at the best 5 cost characters in the game.

Before we get started Iíd like to say that Faerun Under Siege has not yet hit the UK shores, so none of those cards will appear here, but three dice I am excited about playing are Clay Golem both common and uncommon, Storm Giant: Greater Construct and Talisman of Ultimate Evil: Epic Magical Object.

Iíd also like to mention some other cards which missed out on being included in a super competitive list, but are really fun to play: Curse of Dragon: Skeletal Structure, Gambit: Cardsharp and The Joker: Red Hood. One day I will find the mechanics to make you awesome.

Anyway, sorry for the fluff, but this list really did have some great cards miss out on making it.

In descending order, to build suspense:

10. Batmanô: World's Greatest Detective

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Itís not often I would include set specific cards or mechanics in a competitive list but Retaliation is not your average mechanic. As more sets come up more affiliation makers come out, to the point where you can pretty much make anyone share an affiliation with anyone else. This makes retaliation an excellent ability. Need Batman and a Marshmallon on the same team? You got it, now they both are friends with Spider-man. Every time Marshmallon dies your opponent takes 1 damage. That combo probably isnít the most efficient but combine Batman with another say the rare Firestorm or any of the Zatannaís and you get life gain with direct damage. Knock your characters out, do damage to your opponent, re-field those characters next turn and gain some life. It's an excellent two-for one which is only going to get better the more affiliated characters we get. With Batman in the field killing your opponent is a lot harder.

9. Mystical Elf: Everlasting Support

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This spot really was a toss-up between two 5 cost shield characters which benefit greatly from a certain Blue-Eyed global ability. Solomon Grundy might be a meta favourite but for itsí flexibility I think this Mystical Elf is better. Two life gain is huge, especially in control teams that may need to recover from a Guy Gardner rush. Being able to bring over any dice from the prep is also an awesome ability. Itís a 'choose your own dice' version of Resurrection global, buy any dice, KO mystical elf, roll that dice and Mystical Elf next turn. Itís awesome and its stupidly low fielding costs only make it better. Mystical Elf is beautiful defence against any character that wants to put your characters in the used pile. Oh yeah it also has a global which when used in conjunction with Ant-Manís global might be useful but that's not what we came here for.

8. Deadpool: Jack

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Either of the 5 cost Deadpoolís could have fit into this location, but the guarantee of getting rid of a character puts Jack in just ahead of Chiyonosake. So, a guaranteed KO is all well and good, and targeted removal on a ďwhen attacksĒ ability rather than a ďwhen fieldedĒ ability really shouldnít be underestimated, but what makes this card such a beast is the choice of pulling out any dice from your opponents defence and essentially disregarding it as a blocker. Got a Jocasta sitting across from you and you really want to get your Punisher in for damage? Thatís fine, draw Jocasta to Deadpool and take the 1, 2 or 3 damage. Itís better than the 4, 5 or 6 from Punisher. Take the Smash! global or Distraction and you are in an even better shape. Deadpoolís high defence and low fielding costs really make him a die your opponent is going to struggle to get rid of which is exactly what you want.

7. Loki: Loki Laufeyson

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Control is a big part of Dice Masters and no-one is quite as good at controlling your opponent than Loki. Got a Deadpool sitting across from you causing trouble? Or a Jinzo? Or maybe a Guy Gardner attack you really donít think you can handle this turn? Well Loki Laufeyson is your off switch. Got a character you want to attack with but really donít want your opponents Beast to block? Or Hulk to take damage? Is there a Venom killing your Rocket Raccoonís before they can attack? Loki Laufeyson if your off switch. He is such a good utility card for control and if his ability wasnít just once per turn Iíd give him the green light as the best 5 cost character for control hands down.

6. Loki: Gem-Keeper

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I told you he was the control king didnít I?! Loki edges out Joker: Clown Prince of Crime (which has the almost identical ability for the same price) for two reasons. Firstly, he is a mask character, and if you miss the character face masks are more useful in my opinion than shields. Secondly, and more importantly, that beastly defence stat line makes getting rid of him, using combat damage, ridiculously difficult and Loki is a character you want to keep on the field. Whichever character you decide to take, Joker or Loki, the ability to shut down one of your opponents characters can be devastating, particularly if your opponent wasnít prepared for such an event. If your aim is to control your opponent if you can shut down that one removal card they have then you're going to have a much easier game. 8 characters versus 7? Yes please. Because our teams are only limited to 10 cards a good main win condition will often be reliant on one crucial character hitting the field, stop that you win the game, or certainly drag the game significantly in your favour. An awesome card and the first I ever saw which boggled my mind.

5. Spider-Man: Webslinger

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Possibly the most effective way of getting damage through to your opponent without KOíing all of his characters. Spider-Manís ability is my favourite part of Deadpoolís ability turned up to 11. Some people have even started using his dice as a form of targeted removal, get everything to block Spider-Man and deal all the damage to that one character you canít get rid of. This to me isnít the most effective use of his ability, but I have been known to use Webslinger as a means of clearing out a sidekick wall, before my opponents Gobby hits the field. His main use though is as a way of getting through a massive amount of combat damage using your other characters. One fist is all it takes and your opponent is normally helpless. An ideal partner for a Guy Rush team if I ever saw it, or how about pairing it with the new Half-Elf Bard: Master Lords' Alliance, or as a way of getting all those 1 cost Morphing Jars you brought eye to face with your opponent. Webslinger makes any die with an attack stat a useful die to have.

4. Millennium Puzzle: The Eternal Dungeon

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The only action dice to make my list, and what a card it is. The body-less version of Grundy. Buy it, put it on the field and wait. Not only will it get rid of any of your opponents cards, at any time, but it will put them in the used pile as well. If your opponents ramp isnít good enough then this card can break their plans. With the distinct lack of ways to deal with action dice Millennium Puzzle shines, particularly with the recent ruling on Doomcaliber Knight: Skeletal Warrior (a ruling which basically excluded him from this list). For my money Millennium Puzzle is the best form of removal within the entire game. Enough said.

3. Umber Hulk: Paragon Beast

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Oh the top 3. What a frightening bunch. Just look at Umber Hulkís attack stats 5, 6, 7. Heís a character just begging to be thrown at your opponent. If only there was a way to remove those pesky blockersÖ wait you mean there is? Wait, wait you mean Umber Hulk himself works as a board clear when fielded? Wait, wait, wait you mean not only does he remove your opponents field, he also puts them in the used pile?! This card is just stupidly good, pair him with Silver Sable: Hero for Hire or Maria Hill: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. for ultimate cycling, throw in something to spin down your opponents characters for added brutality. Get Umber Hulk cycling and you win the game, barring a miracle or a Constantine: Hellblazer.

2. Storm: Wind-Rider

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Speaking of Hellblazer he also does a lot to stop my number 2 pick (what a stupidly annoying card). But if you can find a way to deal with Constantine then Storm and Umber Hulk will make your opponent cry. I put storm in just above Umber Hulk because a. Iím mask biased, b. sheís easier to get knocked out on stats alone, and c. she comes in-built with direct damage and the direct damage is really where Storm shines. Donít get sucked into trying to always roll away your opponents purchased characters - rolling out a Zombie Magneto is brilliant obviously - but Storm isnít just removal, sheís a win condition, roll two of your opponentís sidekicks and theyíre probably going to take 4 damage. Field storm 5 times like this and you win. Despite how highly she is thought of I still find Stormís ability to win the game really under-appreciated. Removal, to the used pile, which can also do damage. It really is the perfect card, if only no-one played Hellblazer she would probably be in everyoneís team.

1. Nova: The Human Rocket

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And so we come to the end of the road and to a character that can basically ignore your opponents Hellblazer. Nova is my least favourite 5 cost card to play against. Pair him with an Ice-Man (another card that just missed out on the list) that lets you get as many bolts as you want and ping Nova as many times as you can. At level 3 thatís a potential 14 damage, that you really canít do anything about. Even if you donít have Ice-Man just get Nova on the field and attack with it. Your opponent is going to take a minimum of 2 damage and with Novaís bulky defensive and attacking stats thereís a good chance Nova will come back to you still intact. You know a card is good when you are thinking about letting through a 7 7 attacker just to get the damn thing off the field. Even worse than that is the smugness on your opponents face when they simply attack with a sidekick, or something else pitiful, just to magic missile global Nova as much as they want without you being able to get any damage on him. A horrible, horrible, wonderful card and a deserved number 1.

So that's my take on the top ten 5 cost characters as we have it in the current meta. What do you guys think? Any changes you would make? Am I wrong to leave out Doomcaliber Knight? How about the ĎI did it before it was coolí retaliation effect on Mister Sinister? And who is the worst 5 cost character in the game (promo Superman is pretty damn bad).

Thanks for reading and let me know if there are any other top ten lists you would like to see.
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  1. TheConductr's Avatar
    I totally forgot about Mystical Elf! Great blog, Ben!
  2. Jwannabe's Avatar
    1 vote to Sandman for worst 5 cost ever. Also Gladiator sucks hard. ... now that I think about asm has some real winners.


  3. BenSaidScott's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TheConductr
    I totally forgot about Mystical Elf! Great blog, Ben!
    Thanks, I hope to get them out a bit more regularly. While I think Grundy is great in certain situations Mystical Elf seems so much more versatile to me.
  4. BenSaidScott's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jwannabe
    1 vote to Sandman for worst 5 cost ever. Also Gladiator sucks hard. ... now that I think about asm has some real winners.


    But just imagine that Bucky's text wasn't reliant on a burst side... Best card ever.
  5. TrueMisterSix's Avatar
    I can't disagree with this list at all.

    I completely generally completely overlook my Yu Go Oh cards besides BEWD & Jinzo and I used Millennium Puzzle to great effect just the other night after this post planted it in my mind.

    I love that you put Batman in there; I use him exactly as you describe with a Zatanna - it's a fun mechanic to play.

    The only one I think might have been in the list but wasn't is Prof X Trainer.
  6. BenSaidScott's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TrueMisterSix
    I can't disagree with this list at all.

    I completely generally completely overlook my Yu Go Oh cards besides BEWD & Jinzo and I used Millennium Puzzle to great effect just the other night after this post planted it in my mind.

    I love that you put Batman in there; I use him exactly as you describe with a Zatanna - it's a fun mechanic to play.

    The only one I think might have been in the list but wasn't is Prof X Trainer.
    PXG is tricky, I also debated over including him in my top ten 6 costs, ultimately despite his game breaking global I decided that other characters were better taken in a vaccum of hey this card is awesome for competitive play. Ultimately it doesn't matter what spot the Prof takes because he just isn't going to be purchased. I probably should have mentioned it though.