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Judgemental

Behold! Ottawa, On. Canada, Fall WKO Nov. 5th 2016

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Yet another WKO season has come and passed for me and my team and I am happy to say it was another set of fun nights and weekends practicing and hanging out leading up to a great event.

The Event:

17 people came out, a bit less of a turnout than the 24 we had at our WKO back in March 2016. We played at the same location, Carta Magica, whose staff were wonderful throughout the event. They are always supporting both Dice Masters and Hero Clix and our community canít thank them enough for a fun and successful event. More thanks are due for our judge Shahin who made sure everything ran smoothly and shiny cards found homes in the participant's collections!

Our Team:

This time around, the 3 amigos doubled up to 6 amigos: My usual gang consisting of Eric Trudel (Canadian National Champion 2016) and Kevin ďDrakolichĒ Richer was joined by 3 of our local dice rollers and friends: Eric Chirp, Phil and Sheena Whicher

Hereís what we played:

http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=4x...er%20Frontline

:gaf31: :gaf86:


Hereís what we didnít play but tested extensively(3/6 originally intended to run this or small variances upon it):

http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=4x...Bard%20Toolkit

:gaf31:

The reasons why it was not chosen:

  • Much longer games, particularly in a mirror setting. This can be draining in a 5 round swiss and cut to top 8.
  • Beholder just wins (one die roll to victory is very powerful). While the ďtool kitĒ list often fights harder to reach the same goal, it can still beat anything. If we look at it in terms of purchasing: Elf Thief + Beholder = 9 energy spent. Bard + Hellblazer/Thief + Oracle + Imprisoned is a whopping 14 energy. Both these sets of purchases achieve the same purpose. Oddly enough the 7 cost option is the aggro one. The comparison point I chose here is getting a +3a buff to your board and having a board clear to get them through, nothing else.
  • Keeping up our usual Team atmosphere of getting the Team to the top is fun !




At this time, I am sure most of you have heard of the Beholder teams that have started topping/competing in WKOs. From my understanding before the Fall 2016 WKO season, 3 independent groups of people were working on teams that featured the combo of using the 2 Basic Actions, The Front Line and Imprisoned, with either Beholder: Master Aberration or Ultraman - Kryptonite Powered. Unfortunately I donít know the Ultraman lists well, and wonít be able to compare them.

I had been away from Dice Masters for a few months myself taking a much needed break, so I messaged Kevin a month and a bit out from the Open asking him what crazy team we were playing this time he linked me something that made my jaw drop: Apologies in Advance remixed into a monster. Winning games with a 7 cost? In an Elf Thief/Oracle/Bard + Struggle + Mask Ring(Thief/Oracle) meta? Seemed crazy to me, but having played the game for a while, I couldnít deny the power of the combo of the 2 chosen basic actions Beholder would always have available to activate.

He also told me at the time that the TRP team was not attending our opens and vice versa so they started sharing their ideas, only to realize they were working on the same combo. I thought that was cool ! I later found out a group in Texas worked on an Ultraman Kryptonite version using the same combo, again I apologize to that group of players for my lack of info, but kudos to you guys as well! At that time, it was the newest team I was aware of in a meta that did not change much since Worlds.



Letís take a look at the differences between the 3 Beholder teams:

Where we had Oracle, Chalkboard and Cold Gun were the variance points.For the purpose of this write up, the rest would be considered the core of the team.


Stuart (TRP) and his team at the Fort Worth, TX WKO 11/06/2016:


They also ran Chalkboard for its Global, but chose to run Hellblazer and Storm from UXM for her global. I think this was largely a meta call, since the Ultraman group was around, having a way to change Kryptoniteís target to Ultraman himself was a very powerful answer to that team and with no targeted actions of their own, did not hinder the team. Hellblazer is always an all around winner, he helps in the mirror to give you a turn to name Beholder where you used Chalkboardís global for an Imprisoned purchase on your turn, this forces your opponent to Blue Eyes their Beholder just to have it named again. Let the mind games begin!

NOTE: Both our gang and Stuartís played before the new first turn rule.

JT and Isaac (TRP) at the Detroit, MI WKO 11/13/2016

JT and Isaac felt the pressure of having to adapt to the new first turn rule, from my understanding this is where Chalkboard was cut for Kobold, having rolled a few terrible fist energy fueled turns myself at our open, I think this was a fairly solid choice. The next 2 cards they chose were Hellblazer and Felicity Smoak rare from GAF. While I donít have much to add about Hellblazer, I can say that hitting or missing that Beholder roll is everything . My top 4 match vs Kevin was riddled with tense moments where if we didn't miss we just won or lost on the spot depending who was rolling the Beholder die. It provides a 3 buy when needed (roll 3 shields on turn 1 going first) and if it was purchased early, it added some consistency to what is largely a single die combo team.

Our choices and why we landed on these:


Rip Hunterís Chalkboard(c/r, you want the global!):


The ticket to success: by having the Chalkboard global you can activate it , purchase an Elf Thief sent directly to prep and save 1 mask for PXG. What this does is two-fold: it forces your opponent to either risk losing their turn 1 ramp or forgo it completely and it sets up an 8 energy potential turn 2 if all sidekicks turn up energy and Elf Thief double mask (alternately, 1 sidekick and 1 bolt or 2 sidekicks 2 bolts etc is the same because of Blue-Eyes). This allowed for a clean turn 3 chance at rolling Beholder. Beholder on level 1 and 3 1 attack value dice is lethal if they canít be removed. The chance you will roll this on so few dice is small, but it sets up constant pressure as you can use Blue-Eyes Global on the cheap fielding Beholder and your Chalkboard global to keep pushing threats via Elf Thief/Bard, removal via Cold Gun or even Oracle to slow down any global based strategies.

Oracle - Master Investigator :

You canít always roll what you want. This was our turn 2 buy the rest of the time, itís good vs nearly everything in the meta / our own PXG and combined with a turn 2 Elf Thief it basically dismantles turn 3 kill teams.

Captain Cold's Cold Gun: Frozen "Firearm":

This thing is awesome. Iíve always wished I could have more dice on Millennium Puzzle, this is as close as it gets for now! The reason we brought this tool is mainly because of Hellblazer, if he names Beholder and our opponent is wise to use Chalkboardís global to threaten Beholder via either Dwarf Wizard, our Imprisoned or any other hard removal, we were forced to use Blue Eyes global on Beholder and he was from then on forever named. Cold Gun has the ability to remove Hellblazer on our opponents turn. 3 damage just so happens to kill all his faces, it kills 2 levels of Bard etc. Even missing the bursts was not overly important. Since we chose to skip Hellblazer ourselves, this was our only tool to stop a Beholder combo , we frequently used the Chalkboard global on turn 1 to have it ready in the mirror.



Our Top 8 : Beholders, Bard and Gobby?!?

1st Place
Kevin Richer (Team Beholder)

2nd Place
Phil Whicher (Team Beholder)

3rd Place
Mike Trudel (Team Beholder)

4th Place

Chad Edmunds
http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=4x...me=Chad%20Bard

Chad had the only pure Bard team in our top 8. I had a chat with him that morning since he had not been able to practice as much as he did in the past for prior competitive events and I gave him a quick Imprisoned tip, he made a few quick card changes and voila. He showed up and showed us he still had the skills to pay the bills . Congrats on your top 4 Chad and thanks for putting Squirrel Girl in a top 8!

5th-8th Place
Sheena Whicher (Team Beholder)
Eric Chirp (Team Beholder)
Eric Trudel (Team Beholder)
Petrus Chan
http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=4x...Petrus%20Gobby

Iím not sure how he keeps doing this in a world where Gobby and Tsarina are not seen much anymore but Petrus keeps coming out and competing with Gobby ! Kudos Petrus on your Top 8 finish, no Bard/Struggle/Ring needed for this fellow!

And so we did it. All 6 of us made the top 8, with our Beholder winning most of our games and Bard for those times where 7 energy just was not a reality. This is more than we could all ask for, it might seem like a boring top 8 to some of you, but for us it was a team effort and it was a success.



Closing thoughts:

This write up is nothing like I originally intended it to be. It was going to be my own personal ďTruth sessionĒ as Stuart of The Reserve Pool kindly dubbed them, prefaced by the 3 lists that consisted of our top 8. Timing says, Iíve been beat to it.

Rather than being redundant, I will close by saying thanks to those who have started some much needed discussions. Dice Masters is worth playing, and for me as a competitive player that means itís also worth investing in its competitive scene. I still want to play competitive Dice Masters weekly, something I notice is being abandoned in many local scenes in favor of casual play. This concerns me because if all youíre playing is theme events or unlimited with house rules, youíre no longer playing the game the creators made, but your own version of it. This is just a thought, and no where near a complaint since I still play in both house rules formats and themed events and have a blast playing in them. However, my casual counterparts donít seem to see the same thing in the competitive realm, which is now more than ever dominated by easily accessible cards in terms of rarity, despite being limited to a small pool of truly effective cards.

I hope the discussions that have been going on inspire Wizkids to better Dice Masters as a whole. They have already proved by banning Relentless temporarily and adopting a first turn rule that they are willing to make some tough calls. Now letís see what they can do moving forward.
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Comments

  1. TrueMisterSix's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the read. Co-incidentally - Frontline/Imprisoned/Beholder took the top spot at the UK Midlands WKO too (I've got a blog post on it coming back end of the week)

    Two things stand out for me from your write up:

    1. Squirrel Girl in Top 8 - that's just awesome ;
    2. A wholly non-Bard team in Top 8

    I think the meta is slowly shifting...
  2. Judgemental's Avatar
    Thanks for reading . I love Squirrel Girl too!

    What really made the tournament refreshing for me was Rip Hunters Chalkboard. It's just another dimension to bag/dice management and I love it nearly as much as Ring/Res.

    I try to look for the little things while I wait for change, but things are changing. We may just need to wait for those small changes to compound into a larger one ?

    Seeing Mask ring win without PXG and more tech pieces was neat! A Goblin/Kobold Swarm team with Hulk/Cage without Struggle in a top 4 was awesome. Reading about crazy Black Canary R / Polymorph / R Ring of Magnetism combos I never even thought of? Crazy
  3. OrangeLion's Avatar
    Seeing Mask ring win without PXG and more tech pieces was neat! A Goblin/Kobold Swarm team with Hulk/Cage without Struggle in a top 4 was awesome. Reading about crazy Black Canary R / Polymorph / R Ring of Magnetism combos I never even thought of?
    Do you have a link to any of the above teams or the article in which they were mentioned?
  4. pk2317's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeLion
    Do you have a link to any of the above teams or the article in which they were mentioned?
    Mask Ring was mine, I think. Front page article a couple weeks ago (Portland, OR WKO).