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2017 U.S. National Championship Tournament Report - Top 8 Finish

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Dice Masters US National Championship 2017
Origins Game Fair
Columbus, OH
?? Qualified, 48 Actual Players
5 Rounds Swiss, cut to Top 16
My Team

TL;DR: I’m stealing Michaela’s format. Sue me.

Going into the day, I wasn’t quite sure about what team I wanted to play. The STL crew had come up with a few teams during our play testing and this team only surfaced on the Monday before Nationals. Ben Caplan and Michaela Kuba had been talking about it and it fit my style of play so this ended up being it. A month and a half of play testing out the window, because “why not?” I had a relatively good feel as I played this during World’s Qualifications and had a good first pod run. The only change that was made from qualifications to Nationals was the inclusion of Bane. Not having any removal on the team was a weakness that needed to be shored up.

Round 1 Swiss - Jared Quist - Team List
I went second.

This team was detailed a bit in Michaela’s write-up. In our match, Jared had unlucky rolls until the end of our match. I had a great start. On turn 2 I was able to hit him for 9 and then start setting up the rest of the damage. He was buying his Doomsdays, but they were constantly rolling double energy. He ended up buying three of them and had all three coming out on a turn towards the end and rolled beautifully. On his first roll, he rolled a 7/7 Doomsday, another 7/7 Doomsday and a 4/3 Doomsday with the correct energy. He had a 2/2 Mister Miracle in the field, cleared my field and hit for 20. You could tell this was the first game as he had some nerves (we all did) and didn’t see he had lethal and rerolled one of the 7/7 Doomsdays. It rolled… another 7/7 Doomsday. Just my luck :P. Our game was incredibly fun and I can’t say enough about Jared. Class act all of the way.


Round 2 Swiss - Dan Whelan - Team List
I went second.

Dan was playing a team that focused on buffing Ally characters and then swinging in with Villainous Pact. However, nothing rolled right for him this game. I’m pretty sure every character he rolled was energy. I was able to hit him for 15 on turn 3 as I had a Guy in the field and rolled Sidekicks like never before. I then used Luke Cage the next two turns to finish off the 5 life that was left.


Round 3 Swiss - Remington Aalbers - Team List
I went first.

Remington was running a mask/ring team that had some different tech pieces on it that was quite different than what I had seen in play testing. I knew Guy had the ability to set up and keep hitting as long as they didn’t hold back any masks and play as defensively as it has the ability to do. He didn’t quite see my team hitting as fast and after I Bane’d his Sidekick out of the way, I hit for 11 and then played the life game with Luke Cage.


Round 4 Swiss - Arge O’Neal - Team List
I went first.

Arge was playing the team Michael Plumb was playing in World’s Qualifiers. This team focused a lot on KO’ing Alfred with Fabricate and then doing a lot of attack and defense switching to hit for lethal. When the combo hits, it’s devastating. Michael had said that he was able to do this combo and hit for 200 damage. I couldn’t really fathom hitting someone for 200 damage and didn’t believe it, but after playing Arge (even with the mistake that cost him the game), I can definitely believe it. The setup for Guy didn’t take long and I worked on getting Lantern Ring out. Knowing how this team sets up, I was constantly trying to attack to take out sidekicks. However, Alfred is a pain and would ALWAYS come back in the field. That’s how Alfred works though so you can’t get too upset about it. He slowly set up and as he was low in life, he went in for the combo to knock me out… except, he forgot to Ring in another Sidekick. As such, he didn’t give the buff to enough characters and I was able to block everything that would’ve been put in the field. Not being able to fabricate anymore left his field at 1/1 Sidekicks and Alfreds and I was able to finish the game with Luke Cage and Lantern Ring.


Round 5 Swiss - Ben Caplan - Team List
I went second.

So… Ben had brought the original idea of a fist ring team to our attention in STL… His team had a few differences and well, mirror matches are boring to write about. Unless we play against each other in the top 16.


Round 6 Single Elimination - Top 16 - Ben Caplan - Team List
I went first the first game and then second the second game.

In our play testing, Ben and I found out that first turn advantage was definitely a thing when in a mirror match with our team. We mirrored each other exactly, even dice rolls, in our first couple turns. I hit him for 8 and then he ended up hitting me for 8. I continued to focus on buying Guy Gardners and he made the decision to switch to Casey Jones. It didn’t seem to have much of an impact as I was able to keep my field pretty lean without sacrificing blockers and was able to gain life advantage. Constantly clearing his field while keeping mine manageable (not fielding a TON of Sidekicks) to keep Casey Jones at bay helped me a lot and was able to squeak out a close win as picking what to let through and Bane’ing blockers helped a lot. The second game went about as perfect for me as it could’ve gone with great rolls and being able to do a ton of early damage.


Round 7 Single Elimination - Top 8 - Stuart Shulman - Team List
I went first and then second.

Stuart was piloting a team that JT and Isaac were playing as well and Stuart was on a good roll. He had played the #1 seed just a game earlier and was able to win that so I could tell that he had unlimited confidence. We had the most boring game in game 1 as we were just Guy Gardner trading. I was able to break this dead lock by missing my rolls and not getting any blockers. He was able to swing in for some heavy damage and the rest was Luke Cage. In game 2, he was able to maintain Guy parity and then broke through with being able to purchase Darkseid. Since he was missing rolls for this game, I was able to get him down to 7 life, but he was able to swing in with a massive field that hit me for 26. It was close to not being enough as he had to hit one last Guy Gardner for the damage to be lethal. Even though I had lost, I was super excited for him and his match against Jared Wood for US National Champion was pretty epic!

5-3-1 final record

This weekend was a ton of fun and I’m super excited about my performance and where I placed. I went into this weekend not expecting anything, just to play and have fun and I feel I accomplished that. Everyone I played against was incredibly nice and had some fun ideas on team construction. I was glad to play different teams all weekend long. After Nationals, I decided to play a different team (Ultraman/Kryptonite) in World’s and made the top 32 cut where I lost to Ryan Williams playing the team I was playing in Nationals. He promptly crushed me and that was it for the weekend for me . The Dice Masters community was incredibly awesome and inviting and I’m glad to say that I’ve made a lot of friends. My first Origins experience was amazing. I’d like to shout out to all of the judges and volunteers who made this event happen. It wasn’t without its share of bumps and bruises, but it went on regardless and as smoothly as possible. I can’t wait to see how the meta shakes up with all of the exciting and upcoming releases! ‘Till next year!


  1. memmek2k's Avatar
    Nicely done!
  2. Bankholdup's Avatar
    Good stuff. ��
  3. Bankholdup's Avatar
    That mystery icon was a thumbs up emoji.