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Mactavius

That's How I Roll: Playing a $1,000+ deck

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I've got a new name for my posts. Welcome to "That's How I Roll."

I, like many of you, eagerly awaited for their WizKids Open spoils from the first round of play last month, and my package made its way to me this past Thursday. I found myself in a position to perform a unique experiment.

Based on the sudden introduction of new full art promos into the Dice Masters' universe (in particular the beautiful Hulk Green Goliath), the demand for these cards became quite high when these cards didn't get distributed at the regional events. If one started by calculating their card/dice value based on a search of completed eBay auctions for exactly one die/card in the month of March (*), you would find the eight new promos offered at the first round of this year's WizKids Open produced a $1,000+ deck. Those cards, plus the Black Widow - Tsarina full art, represent the nine most expensive cards in the game at this moment.

My second-place finish at the Lacey, WA event meant I was a member of the select few who could play this $1,000 deck without any financial investment. More precisely, a $1,068 dollar deck if eBay's to be trusted. Here's what that deck looks like:

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Here are the eight cards and their "value":

Hulk - Green Goliath full art - $250

Mr. Mxyzptlk -5th Dimension full art - $225

Oracle - Master Investigator full art - $140

Guy Gardener - Blinding Rage full art - $125

Blink
- Exile full art - $113

Loki - Loki Laufeyson full art - $85

Melinda May - Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. full art - $80

Terry McGinnis - Batman Beyond full art - $50

TOTAL: $1,068

That's quite a "purchase cost." For basic actions I chose Resurrection to give me some ramp/bag manipulation and Magic Missile to ping my Hulk. I guess I could have boosted the deck value by choosing promo basic actions, but I decided to forsake value for strategy (always the correct choice). The only thing left to do was to test the deck in an actual game. Enter master strategist and disc golf beast Ben Squires, who brought, for all intensive purposes, a worthless deck to battle:

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Preface: I knew I had practically no chance of winning this match regardless of my card value. $130 of my deck could not be called anything but completely worthless in this game: Terry McGinnis and Melinda May. I also only had one non-basic action card that cost less 3, Guy Gardner, who I wasn't likely to purchase once he fielded Hulk. Oracle proved to be a little fun, but she falters without adequate support.

RULE #1: Strategy rules. Sure, this game contains cards that hold steep purchase prices (Tsarina, Gobby, Constantine, etc.), however their value comes from their useful to achieve win conditions.

Unfortunately, my valuable cards just looked pretty and didn't form a cohesive team. I used Ben's PXG to polymorph my Hulk into the field zone. He did the same, and based on firsthand experience I can tell you a $4 Green Goliath works just as well as a $250 one. He neutralized my biggest weapon and continued fielding Avengers until swinging for lethal.

We decided to play one more game. I then "cheapened" my deck by $7 to insert Tsarina and the Green Goblin in place of Terry and Melinda. We both agreed not to rush Hulk until we felt desperate. I felt my chances greatly improved to pull away a victory, but that's not how I rolled. My first five attempts to field Oracle failed, and I couldn't sustain any momentum based on my poor rolls. (To be fair, good rolls might not have been enough). My experiment failed, thus I decided to play his deck against my "tournament" deck. He had designed this deck to take it out, and I'm happy to report he needs to take that deck back to the drawing board.

Just remember that expensive cards don't always lead to victory; a $250 card is worthless if you don't know how to play it right. Worry about developing a sound strategy with the cards you have instead. Playtest them until you develop a team that can both handle opponents and achieve victory. As much as I love the new cards I got, I'm pretty sure I won't be bringing any of them to compete in my next WizKids event. Then again, I might build a new deck around Hulk because he just looks so dang cool. Because that's how I roll...

(*) Both the Hulk and Mr. Mxyzptlk auctions had a green strikethrough on the final sale price, which indicated that the seller accepted an offer rather than the list price. In order to make sure my figures were correct, I contacted the seller to find out if she would be willing to let me know how much she received for each card. She responded and the prices she received are listed above. Through our correspondence I discovered she had also sold some of the other promos from this set for higher values than I found on eBay. I used those figures as well, though the deck's value still exceeded $1,000 without doing so.

Comments

  1. KennedyHawk's Avatar
    Too bad those prices dropped almost instantly. Only Hulk and Mr. M are close to those values now when actually being sold.
  2. Mactavius's Avatar
    Figured it would happen quick. That's why I was very specific in how I defined value. I never intend on selling, so value isn't important to me.