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Dave

Sealed Deck Dice Masters

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After the video that Lauren and I made playing a sealed game with new product, we did a lot of thinking and read a lot of comments. Some (*cough* horatio) really liked the idea of a sealed game. And so we wanted to find a way to make it something more tangible for everyone.

There are limitations to it in this game. Teams are rather small compared to other CCGs - just 20 dice compared to 40-60+ cards - and the fact that you're only going to get so many copies of a die in a limited format can be punishing, even frustrating.

We decided to play it as a quick game - six characters, maximum 15 dice, and 15 life. But we did it wrong. And we're here today to codify what Dice Masters Sealed Deck should be.
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Analysis

Playing with smaller teams seemed logical at the time. After all, a normal Magic deck is 60 cards, but sealed and draft have a minimum of just 40. We approached it the wrong way, though. Drafts in M:tG work that way because the impact of a single card needs to be magnified because there are fewer copies of any of them in a given limited-format deck.

In a Magic draft, you'll be lucky to get more than two copies of a given card, and sometimes you're lucky to get more than one. Different cards with similar costs, stats, or abilities must be involved so that you can curve out your deck and make it so that you have some cheap plays, moderate plays, and pricier plays.

It's similar in Dice Masters, but this game the dice act like the cards do in other CCGs. If you can't increase the copies of a single character's die, then you need to increase the characters that you're allowed to bring!

This is all by way of saying, we shouldn't have decreased the cards available - we should haveincreasedthe cards. Otherwise, you may not have enough that you can buy, and the game quickly becomes as boring as the "first time" two character/four dice game in the rulebook.


Sealed Play

12 packs (could be 15) - 8 characters maximum- 20 dice maximum - 20 life

Each player comes to the event with eight sidekick dice, 12 basic action dice, four indicator cards, and two basic action cards. Players may choose which basic actions they'd like to play after constructing their deck, but must use the same basic actions throughout the event.

Each player in the draft opens twelve booster backs and will therefore end up with 24 cards and dice.

Once you've opened up your packs, you must create the best team of no more than ten characters and no more than 20 dice that you can out of the pool available to you at a set time limit enforced by the tournament organizer. At this time, you should also select your two basic actions from the ones that you own.

The same items under "guidance" in the WizKids Rainbow Draft explanation should apply here.


Conversely...

You could play this with just twelve packs, but you may have as few as eight dice and that seems to be no fun. I thought about ten characters, and I assumed that my wife would agree with me on this point but she feels that the amount of space that ten cards would take up is unwieldy.

You could also play a method where you augment dice numbers with your collection. Stick with eight characters, but you get to configure the dice however you want. Then you actually are playing the team and not the dice you got. That's what Lauren and I did in the one video. Playing that way keeps it fresh and it also ensures that the person who pays more attention to team building (me) doesn't take away from the fun for the person who doesn't (her).


Other Variants - Starter Wars

Each player brings a starter set and opens eight boosters. Players then make the best team of eight that they can from the pool of cards that they have. No more than four characters can come from the starter set.

This sort of brings together the hybrid constructed format with sealed. You're still limited on your dice, but you know you'll have at least 12 (eight from the starter, minimum four from the boosters). It also can work as a safe introduction to the game for newer players who own just a little bit and want to branch out. I'd like to try this format for sure.

Another option? Players sharing a set could open their boosters and then draft from the boosters first, then from the starter second. You don't have to be at your FLGS to have a good limited game. Just bring home a few bucks' worth of boosters.


Ideal Times for Sealed

While you can play sealed at any time, you might find the most use as a means of celebration for the release of a new set, whether at your FLGS or among your own gaming group. If you've ordered a gravity feed, gather your Dice Masters-playing friends and open it in style with a sealed game. A full feed can handle up to seven players.

This is a great intro to a new set (as could Starter Wars above) and it forces you to consider all cards much in the same way that draft does - but you can easily play this with just a single friend, as we did.

The main advantage that this has over draft is that you have the same variety of cards regardless of player count. You were alwaysgoing to be restricted to the cards/dice contained within your twelve boosters, so no big deal.

The best part is that you can simulate this kind of a draft using rarity-adjusted randomizers like those found in the files section on Board Game Geek. When Lauren and I did that, we simply plucked the dice from our collection.
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Comments

  1. Chris imported's Avatar
    This is a great analysis - good job. I'm really want to explore these events.
  2. Joe Smelosky imported's Avatar
    Sealed in mtg is pretty much only played at a prerelease. While those don't exist for dm, they'd be perfect for release events. Same with starter wars.
  3. Horatio imported's Avatar
    Love it!
  4. Dave imported's Avatar
    And I think Sealed MTG should be played WAY MORE. It's so much fun to have to make the best of what you're stuck with.

    This is definitely something we'll do again for our next gravity feed. It's just too fun. Now that we have some idea of how it should work... but you live and learn. The best thing about sealed IMO is that you get the same quality of experience with a small group as a large.
  5. Jr Portwood imported's Avatar
    Team sealed gp anyone? Very high turnouts and fun for lots of people. Also, if you ever split a box of MtG with a friend you should 100% always do sealed unless one of you hates limited (in which case you shouldn't buy packs, just buy singles and leave the packs for us limited players)