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Sagi

$25 and Under: Sweet Vicious Christmas!

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Note: Edited to include suggestion from pk2317 [added in the alternate build section of the blog]

$25 and Under: Sweet Vicious Christmas!

Thanks again for all of the support and feedback.

Target and Rules:
Target of this blog is for the casual/new player who has either been introduced to the game or just started playing and is thinking of taking the next step to tournament play while under a budget.

Before I dive into the team, let me go over again the rules I set up for myself.
1. Create the most competitive feasible deck for under $25
2. Try to expand your dice master collection
3. Build a deck with the assumption the player does not already own any of the cards
4. For the price of cards, I am using coolstuffinc.com. I am not affiliated with the website; it is the website I tend to use more often to buy singles.
5. No op or alt art cards, this is because some sites do not sell these cards. Which of course, leaves ebay and other similar sites to obtain these cards and, as a result, the price fluxes too much.
6. Full set of 20 dice for the team.

Idea for team:
If I have to label my gaming style I would say I am a combination of direct damage and control. With that being said, it is no surprised that I was always curious of Vicious Struggle as a mechanic. The name of the team is a play on Luke Cage’s catch phrase from the comics.

Wiz Kids Ruling:
There has been an updated ruling on the mechanics and interaction of Vicious Struggle. (http://win.wizkids.com/bb/viewtopic....6d480d6#p22638)

Sweet Vicious Christmas:
The set-up for this deck (along with any overall vicious struggle deck) is to have more life than your opponent when the damage starts flying around. Well isn’t the entire point of the game is to have more life? Yes, but you need to think of Vicious Struggle as part race and part gamble. Vicious Struggle, in my opinion, is the closest dice masters has to a game of chicken. A Vicious Struggle team has some primary components: a way to inflect damage on yourself, some board control, action hate/control, and possibly some prevent damage/healing. The last component of healing, so far, has been a game mechanic/tactic that has not really been flushed out or focused. However with the release of Civil War and the upcoming TMNT, more cards will (hopefully) make life gain a viable tactic.

So, back to the deck at hand. The set-up is to have more life than your opponent, or, if not, have one of the Captain Americas (explained in the team breakdown) on the field and Vicious Struggle activated. Then with your stored up fist energy that you will get with your swarming Goblins, Luke Cage global your opponent for the win.

Team Breakdown:

::aou5:: ::aou6::
Captain America (Budget so far: $25)
The First Avenger - .99 OR Man Out of Time – 1.49
The reason I have this listed as the first card of the breakdown is because the Captain America you choose will heavily impact the strategy and style of play for this team. First Avenger is more defensive. Since the Luke Cage Global pings both players for 1 damage, this card will essentially cancel out the damage you will do to yourself, dealing damage to your opponent only. Just in case you were unable to roll a burst on your Vicious Struggle, First Avenger will you allow to still go Luke Cage crazy. In essence, First Avenger and Luke Cage create a pseudo-one sided Vicious Struggle. Man Out of Time, on the other hand, will cause the deck to be more aggressive and reckless adding the damage you will do with Luke Cage, causing a 1 for 2 exchange without Vicious Struggle and a 1 for 3 exchange with Vicious Struggle. Both Captain Americas offer an answer to the popular tax cards of Rare Wasp and Rare Jinzo resulting in less/no damage or pinging your opponent back for 1 dmg. Either option is fine. For the rest of the breakdown we will assume Man Out of Time was chosen, not because he is the better card, but because is the more expensive of the two and better to work with the proposed budget. To expand our collection we will also pick up two copies of Symbol of Freedom for .25 each.

::cw48::
Luke Cage (Budget so far: 23.01)
Bulletproof - .39
The moment this card was spoiled/posted on the internet I knew I wanted to use him in my Vicious Struggle Team. I know Civil War, relatively, just came out, but the influence he had on my team was felt from the start (proxy games). Prior to Bulletproof, I was using Commissioner Gordon, who had the same global costing two fists instead of one. A common staple on Vicious Struggle teams has been Silver Surfer – Silverado who had a resurrection like mechanic that deals you two damage. The reason, why I prefer Bulletproof over Silverado is that it does not have a once per your turn limitation. Also, if I wanted to, I will have an easier time buying and fielding Luke Cage than Silver Surfer. Yes, I know this global opens the door for my opponent to use; then again, as I said, Vicious Struggle teams are part race and part gamble. This is where Captain America comes into play. If you have Captain America fielded, he will either cancel out the damage from Bulletproof or punish your opponent if he uses it. Lastly, the ability of the card is not too bad. First time each turn a player is dmg, KO a sidekick. This will help with those flying sidekicks, taking one out prior to combat. Just in case we need to buy and field Luke Cage, we will get another copy.

::
Doom Caliber Knight (Budget so far: 22.23)
Skeletal Warrior - .39
The forums and even the podcasts cover the fact that Dice Masters has a huge advantage to the player who goes first. Going second does suck, but even more so when you are playing with a Vicious Struggle team. (side note, if you are playing against an opponent who brings Vicious Struggle to the table and you go first, buy it). Doom Caliber Knight provides some action hate in case you go second and your opponent gets 2 of your 3 Vicious Struggles. Constantine Action Hero is cheaper at a 2 cost, but he is essentially nullified if your opponent has Parallax. Parallax has been becoming more popular, so the odds of your opponent bringing Parallax has increased, let’s not push our luck. A high cost (plus a cheaper card) is worth the added security. Remember, according to the Wiz Kids ruling that I linked in the beginning, Vicious Struggle, once activated, is removed from the field. So the only way to stop it will be after the Roll/Reroll step or when Vicious Struggle is activated, which why we have Doom Caliber Knight. We will also buy 2 more copies at the same price.

::
Kryptonite (Budget so far: 21.06)
Green Death - .79
3-3 start for this card. Working with a budget, Green Death is a great defense card and nice fall back turn one purchase if you get a bad roll. Like in the other blogs, we will but two copies of Green Plague for .49 each.

::
Bane (Budget so far: 19.29)
Professional Criminal - .49
This deck lacks direct character damage. So what are we going to do with pain in the butt cards like Hellblazer, Rare Dwarf Wizard, Wasp, Oracle, Iron Fist, etc.? Answer is to taunt them. I love taunt cards, I think they are great and somewhat underused mechanic. I have no problem spending a fist (or two if its oracle) and take some light damage to get the character off the board. If you taunt a rare Dwarf Wizard, for example, who has a 0,1,2 attack, this means you will take 0-2 damage (if you have Vicious Struggle activated your opponent will take damage in addition to the benefit you will get depending on which Captain America you use) or your opponent will break ramp and pay the mask to blink or distract his Dwarf Wizard. Either way you win. Which is why, if you do have Vicious Struggle activated and have a good lead in health, taunt an opposing character. Remember, do not block unless you have to for whatever reason. Since we are only using the card for the global we will only get one copy.

::
Goblin (Budget so far: 18.80)
Lesser Humanoid - .79
Goblin swarm is the main source of fuel for our team’s engine. Luke Cage’s and Bane’s global require fist energy. Here comes the gamble again. This is a strong chance that our opponent may use Bane’s global on our goblin. This is how I look at it, if your opponent taunts the goblin, your opponent, in terms of spending the energy, is it on the global instead of buying dice or there is a chance your opponent may break ramp to do this. In regards to the Goblin, if the Goblin goes through to deal damage, this will help you get the edge on health, if the Goblin is blocked and KO, then that is potential energy for Luke Cage on your next turn. It is a gamble, but I feel overall, it is to your benefit. Obviously in terms of fist swarm, kobolds are cheaper in terms of purchase but not in terms of obtaining the cards. Kobolds are its lowest are about $2-4 each, which would but a huge hole in the budget. Goblins cost one more, but their defense makes them less likely to be victim of Magic Missile. For maximized effect, we will buy 3 copies of Greater Humanoid for .49 each.

::cw60:: ::tmnt10::
Rocket Raccoon (Budget so far: 16.54)
Not a Raccoon – .39
OR
Casey Jones - ?
Pain 101
Similar to the two Captain Americas, your choice between Rocket and Jones will affect the style of game for your team. Rocket brings some nice aggro to your team. With a cost of 2 to purchase and a total field cost of 1 with 1,3, or 4 attack, Rocket comes out 'guns blazing'. His ping ability works well with both Caps. First Avenger will cancel out the ping to you and Man Out of TIme will deal an additional damage to your opponent. The downside of Rocket is his defense (careful for Magic Missile) and bolt energy which does not really gives us synergy, but our next card will help. Lets look at our other choice: Casey Jones. Jones has the same cost to purchase as Rocket, but a slight increase total field cost of 3, fist energy, and life gain. Since we have a taunt global with Bane, this will increase the chances of not just 1 life gain, but as much as 3 life gain per turn. Taunt a side kick and have all three of your Casey Jones block it. For 1 energy you just gained 3 life and KO’d a sidekick, huge exchange in your benefit. We just have to wait and see if Casey can fit our budget. But until then, Rocket Raccoon - Not a Raccoon is a good place card. We will also buy two more copies of Rocket.

::
Ring (Budget so far: 15.37)
Lesser Gear - .79
You roll your dice and you get no fists…damn… But with Lesser Gear ring you now have a solution. This ring is so versatile; you need energy you got it (note always use it to get a ?, even if you already know which energy you need. This may throw off your opponent or give some options if there are more than one energy type global on the field), you need a blocker, get yourself a sidekick. As the Bard Blitz Team (moment of silence of Relentless and Swords…) have shown us, the ring pairs very nicely with our next card. Since we are only using the card for the global, we will get only one copy.

::
Resurrection (Budget so far 14.58)
Cost – 4.99
Reducing the amount of dice in your bag is great, but in the case of Resurrection and Ring, it is all about the timing. First, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use Resurrection on turn one. I know your initial reaction is to use it, but all this will cause a reset of your bag way too early. The best time to use Resurrection is when your bag is empty and you either have one, 4, or 5 dice in your used pile. Why? If your bag is empty (for example at the start of turn two) and you have 5 dice in your used, resurrection will cause all 5 dice to go back into the bag; then you draw that one dice and play it in your prep area.

So ideally, at the start of turn two you should have the die or dice you bought turn 1 and the sidekicks you used to purchase it. Let’s assume you rolled 4 energy one turn 1, so you bought Vicious Struggle and activated Luke’s global. At the start of turn two, you should have 4 sidekicks and Vicious Struggle in your used (4 dice total). On turn two, use the ring global to move a sidekick from the used into your reserve pile as a ? or sidekick and then buy a goblin. At this point you will have three sidekicks in transition (1 for the ring global and 2 for the goblin), and three sidekicks, Vicious Struggle, and a Goblin in your used pile. Now you use Resurrection. You are now guaranteeing you will roll 3 sidekicks, a Vicious Struggle, and a Goblin on turn 3.

This comes down to quantity vs quality. Yes, overall, you should roll more dice per turn if you have PXG, but this team lacks masks and you would have to spend x amount masks each turn to keep PXG running. Resurrection/Ring you roll less dice, but, if timed correctly, you are choosing which dice you will roll on the following turn.

::
Vicious Struggle (Budget so far: 9.59)
Cost - .99
One of the stars of the team. Remember if you go second and your opponent buys a Vicious Struggle, get Captain America on the field ASAP. Everything else that I wanted to say about this card has been said already in the team breakdown.

Final Team:
Resurrection
Vicious Struggle
Captain America – The First Avenger OR Man Out of Time x3
Luke Cage – Bulletproof x2
Doom Caliber Knight – Skeletal Warrior x3
Kryptonite – Green Death x3
Bane – Professional Criminal x1
Goblin – Lesser Humanoid x4
Rocket Raccoon - Not a Raccoon OR Casey Jones – Pain 101 x3
Ring – Lesser Gear x1

Left over budget: 8.60
:: :: :: ::avx95:: ::cw116::
::avx58:: :: ::cw59:: ::cw99:: ::cw130:: ::avx2::
That’s right. This team costs less than $20. With that much left over, it really opens that door to alternate builds and customization. If you want, you could try to get 3-4 Kobolds to replace the Goblins. You can get Constantine – Antihero instead of Doom Caliber Knight, you can upgrade Bane to his rare version. Rare Bane gives your team another source of direct damage and control combining his global with his character ability. This is similar to uncommon Venom from AvX, but with an added benefit of life gain. (for example Rare Bane global + Rare Bane + 3 Casey Jones = direct dmg to opponent, KOing a character, and 3 life gain OR bane global + uncommon Venom + 3 Casey Jones = 2 direct dmg, KOing a character, and 4 life gain) You could also upgrade Luke Cage to his rare. Rare Luke Cage not only redirects the first damage dealt to you to him, but you also spin him up. Yes this will delay you use of his global by one energy, but if your opponent wants to damage you he/she is forced to spend a fist to deal you damage to be redirected to Luke Cage or energy spent through some other means of a ping of damage. Another suggestion is that you could get some of the more Vicious Struggle staple cards such as Silver Surfer – Silverado and Injection Fairy. The new Civil War set has some other life gain like the common Rescue or the new uncommon or rare Spider-man (Spiderman also adds a nice defense element). I also recommend the classic life gain wall of Beast - Genetic Expert. Lastly you can wait for Casey Jones, or any other changes/customizations. Or you can buy 8 packs and try to pull that super rare, cough:: Ronin ::cough, cough::

::
Another good suggestion from pk2317 is include Red Dragon onto the team. I feel we can replace Doom Caliber Knight with Red Dragon to add some more speed and agro to the team. Last, last thought, this team can easily be changed to become a Little Cup (all common team). Food for thought.

I hope this article was helpful. Please leave any helpful replies/comments/suggestions. The more I get, the better (I hope) this blog will become.

Previous Blogs:
#1 Torchallax (updated with Civil War) – http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...der-Torchallax
#2 Alfred/Grayson Bomb (updated with Civil War) - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...d-Grayson-Bomb
#4 Action Jackson - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...Action-Jackson
#5 A Civil Start - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...-A-Civil-Start
#6 WKO2 Edition - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...r-WKO2-Edition
#7 Can Nats Edition - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...n-Nats-Edition
#8 UK Nats Edition - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...K-Nats-Edition
#9 US Nats/Worlds Edition - http://www.thereservepool.com/entrie...Worlds-Edition

Trade/Sell:
This is a link to my trade/sell thread (updated as of 6/22): http://www.thereservepool.com/thread...rade-Sell-list

Updated 06-22-2016 at 08:15 AM by Sagi

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Comments

  1. Wargfn's Avatar
    This Past Weekend for the WKO-2 Drafts. I played Viscous Struggle with Superhero Registration Act. Rocket Raccoon and Luke Cage made this team. Drafted with Ronin, Rescue, Moonstone, and Spider-Man, I was able to win the Shiny Promo cards. I like your ideas for a team here. You might want to look at the Common Rescue, as she can heal you back for misses to help keep your life total out of the 'danger zone'.
  2. Sagi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wargfn
    This Past Weekend for the WKO-2 Drafts. I played Viscous Struggle with Superhero Registration Act. Rocket Raccoon and Luke Cage made this team. Drafted with Ronin, Rescue, Moonstone, and Spider-Man, I was able to win the Shiny Promo cards. I like your ideas for a team here. You might want to look at the Common Rescue, as she can heal you back for misses to help keep your life total out of the 'danger zone'.
    Thanks for the feedback. I mentioned Rescue in the alternate build section. Rescue does have potential, especially if you have more shield cards/global to take advantage of the potential energy she will make. Thanks for mentioning Ronin. Obviously, his super rare, but his uncommon I think are one of the those cards that can go with just about any deck like Hellblazer and rare Dwarf Wizard.
  3. pk2317's Avatar
    One of the teams that made Top 4 at our WKO was a VS team, his whole strategy revolved around getting 2+ VS, and then continuously taunting his opponent's characters into attacking unblocked. Many times he wouldn't even buy any characters. You may consider also using Red Dragon (common for budget, SR for ability) to add an extra damage ping when you buy VS.
  4. Sagi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pk2317
    One of the teams that made Top 4 at our WKO was a VS team, his whole strategy revolved around getting 2+ VS, and then continuously taunting his opponent's characters into attacking unblocked. Many times he wouldn't even buy any characters. You may consider also using Red Dragon (common for budget, SR for ability) to add an extra damage ping when you buy VS.
    Good suggestion pk. I dont know why I didnt include common red dragon. Must of slipped my mind. Good first turn would probably be red dragon for a struggle then a rocket or a Jones. Ill include common red dragon in a future update edit. Thanks.
  5. grundalow's Avatar
    The common Lex from JL is also a solid inclusion in the event you opponent buys your VS'
  6. Sagi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pk2317
    One of the teams that made Top 4 at our WKO was a VS team, his whole strategy revolved around getting 2+ VS, and then continuously taunting his opponent's characters into attacking unblocked. Many times he wouldn't even buy any characters. You may consider also using Red Dragon (common for budget, SR for ability) to add an extra damage ping when you buy VS.
    Thanks for another good suggestion. I added Red Dragon to the alternate build section. Thanks again for the feedback/comment.
  7. Jwannabe's Avatar
    Keep up the quality work