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Tournament Report: Vancouver, BC WKO

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I was happy to participate in my draft WKO in Lacey, WA the previous weekend but the thing that excited me most about WKO season was playing constructed, so I prepared to head across the border into unknown territory and see what things were like in the frozen north.

The Vancouver WKO was held at Magic Stronghold Games in Vancouver BC. We had 7 people participating, 5 regulars plus me and my buddy Brandon from the US. The local players were very welcoming to us foreigners and also happy to have more participants, and made me feel right at home.

With only 7 players, we were all already in the top 8, but we decided to play 3 rounds of swiss and then do a top 4 cut so that everyone got to play in a few more games.

My team: http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=2x...26imw&name=WKO

I tested a few teams out against my partner in YouTube crime James, but he rightly pointed out that this one felt more like my style, and I agree. It focuses around the UC captain America from GotG that says "At the end of your attack step, if Captain America was blocked but not KOd, he deals damage equal to his A to your opponent". The combo was to use the giant spider global to force a block, then use the cone of cold global to pump his attack up after blockers are declared, and if the opponent blocks with enough damage to KO cap, blink him back. If blinked back, he was blocked, but not KOd, and so his attack damage will be dealt to the opponent. In practice, it meant that if I could get a shield and a mask I had direct damage that my opponent couldn't do anything about. I had control pieces with scarlet witch, shriek, and cold gun, and madame masque to prevent my opponent from using their best control or damage elements against me. Mimic was my ramp - I hesitated bringing him without the new PXG, but I didn't like how the global gave the power to my opponent as well and it took up a spot on my team I couldn't afford. Some of the dice numbers might look a little weird, because I was so worried about R Collector using my own pieces against me that I only brought 1 die for shriek and captain america, figuring they would be good targets for him. Despite my preparations, I didn't end up playing a Collector team, although there was one in the tournament.

The tournament itself:
Round 1
In true WIN fashion, Brandon (who I play against regularly) and I both crossed an international border and drove for an hour only to wind up playing each other. We have a bit of a rivalry going between us, each of us winning one game at the previous week's WKO, him during swiss and me during the top 8, so the stakes were high for this game.

Brandon's team: http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=1x...f&name=Brandon

Brandon brought superman, which I was excited to see as I was considering it as well. He also brought what must be his favorite card from XMFC, the UC Boom Boom, giving him either direct damage or a big aggro push.

In our game, Brandon managed to get jimmy out early and buy a superman, before I was able to force block his Jimmy and blank it with shriek so that he was paying full price to field his superman die. Later in the game shriek was KOd and I was able to switch her target to lois lane so that I didn't have to worry so much about overcrush damage. I took some damage from Boom Boom but was quickly able to ramp up to captain america and hit for 9 with a few fists for cone of cold, pulling him back with blink. After a couple more hits, it was over.

1-0

Round 2
Round 2 was against Jason, a Vancouver local who was very welcoming to the foreign invasion of his game store.

Jason's team: http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=4x...fus&name=Jason

Jason had his own spin on the popular King Black Bolt team, adding in the rare Blob and Slander for some more control pieces. Rare storm was a good backup to KBB, as she could ping an opponent down as well, especially with the R Cosmic Cube.

Jason went for the standard opening of getting Katana in the field and using Knowhere to get KBB out. WIthout chalkboard or any global ramp, both of us were a bit slower, having to get things through our bag the old-fashioned way. I bought Scarlet Witch early hoping to stop his Knowhere from being used but he managed to get it to roll twice early in the game anyway. By that time I had managed to get shriek in the field targeting KBB and with Madame Masque out I was able to remove his shriek from the field with a force block and effectively shut it down. WIth KBB blanked it was only a matter of time before Captain America came out and with mimic/sidekick ramp I was able to roll 6 dice a few times to come up with the energy to deal Cap's damage and win the game.

2-0

Round 3
Round 3 was against Ridge, our youngest participant who showed up and borrowed a team from the event organizer. Despite being the youngest he was 2-0 as well, and was using his borrowed team very effectively.

Ridge's team: http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=6x...fus&name=Ridge

At first glance I thought this team was a copy of Michaela's Worlds team, but it looks like there have been a few changes. Big Entrance is very effective at getting all your Multiple Man dice early and Katana is a great way to get another character in the field.

I knew that this team would be tough for mine to deal with since I can't prevent When Attacks abilities, so my best bet was going to be keeping the ring out of the field. Ridge went first and put Big Entrance in his bag, while I bought Scarlet Witch on my turn. Once again I was stymied by the lack of ramp globals or chalkboard. and I was going to have to hope she came out early enough to make a difference. On his second turn he didn't roll big entrance, but with the energy he had he was able to buy a lantern ring. My next turn I bought Mimic hoping to either churn through my bag fast or draw scarlet witch next turn. Unfortunately, his next turn he refilled his bag and drew lantern ring, rolling it on the first try. Scarlet witch was now effectively useless, and I didn't have any way of removing Lantern Ring from the field. She eventually was the last die out of my bag, just to spite me. I managed to get some of my control pieces out but his win condition was already on the field and couldn't be blanked, and it didn't take long before he had the masks needed to put me away.

2-1

Despite the loss in the last game, I had enough wins to earn me the 2nd spot, meaning I was definitely in the top 4. I was nervous about lantern ring - if I had to face that again I wasn't sure I could outrace him to victory, but I knew I would have to try something different.

After Round 3 we did our Top 4 cut, and it ended up Ridge, me, Mike, and Jason. Jason and Ridge were paired up for their game, and I got paired up with Mike for the first time.

Top 4 Round 1
I hadn't played against Mike yet, although I had seen the end of his first round game after mind had wrapped up. Mike had probably the most interesting combo at the tournament, and had done pretty well so far. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect.

Mike's team: http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=1x...8imw&name=Mike

Mike's team revolved around fabricating Beast, putting dice into his bag with Beast's ability in the process, and then using knowhere to turn his 6 cost clay golem into a 7 cost Bahamut with overcrush and breath weapon 3. It was a bit scary how early he could get Bahamut out into the field.

Mike has the first person I played with the Rare Bishop, which I knew as going to be a problem for Captain America. I focused on getting shriek, scarlet witch, and cold gun out into the field early and then went for madame masque to take care of his shriek. He bought all his beasts early and was able to get clay golem out right away. In the middle of the game I made a dumb mistake - I tried to cold gun his shriek away when he passed priority so that I could field madame masque the following turn and prevent her ability when she came back, but forgot to take into account the +2D that clay golem was giving her, effectively wasting the action. Luckily, my bag was pretty thin between mimic ramp and having a lot of characters fielded and I got it back out pretty quickly. I was eventually able to remove shriek by using my force block global and cone of cold's global, and prevent her from blanking with madame masque. I blanked Bishop with cold gun a few times to get damage from Captain America to go through. Despite my scarlet witch, Mike had rolled Knowhere on his first attempt, and had gotten Bahamut out at level 3. Mike was pretty low but had a huge field and was ready to swing, doing his Bahamut breath weapon to KO almost my entire field. I was assigning blockers when I realized that Mike had never passed priority and I had a double burst cold gun in the field which would have let me blank Bahamut before the attack step. I would have been at something like 3 life after the attack, but since we missed the phase, we went back and I blanked Bahamut, meaning he couldn't clear my field that turn. I didn't have any energy in the field, so it was an easy mistake to make, and I should have caught it earlier, but it just goes to show that you always have to pass priority, even when it seems unnecessary. With a few more turns Mike probably could have taken me out in one big hit but I managed to roll the energy I needed for Cap to go through again and finish the game. Game two was largely the same, with Cap getting out early and swinging hard. He never got Bahamut out the second game, and I could blank Bishop often enough to deal damage by buying multiple cold guns that I was able to reliably deal damage. I was glad to see someone bring something cool and unexpected, and really enjoyed seeing his combo play out.

Top 2
I don't know the play-by-play for the other game, since I was busy with my own, but Jason had taken out Ridge to also land in the top 2. Jason and I had seen each other's teams earlier in the day, so I had a pretty good idea of my strategy this time as well.

Game 1, Jason tried a similar strategy to our last game, getting out Katana and going for Knowhere. Even with scarlet witch out he rolled knowhere twice on his first attempt and managed to get KBB out, although he was blanked by my shriek. I was able to get madame masque out and keep his shriek from doing anything, so his KBB never got unblanked that game, and I was able to keep Cap out and hit a few times for big damage, taking game 1. Game 2 Jason made a great pivot, going for rare storm and as many actions as he could. He managed to use cosmic cube and Slander to ping me here and there, getting me down to 10 life before Cap even hit the field. After that I was able to get shriek out to blank storm and madame masque out, and forced his shriek to block a sidekick that I pumped up with cone of cold global to remove her from the field, meaning she couldn't use her when fielded ability when she came back. He also had an incredibly unlucky turn where he rolled 4 action dice that all came up energy on the first roll with my scarlet witch out, meaning he had a ton of generic energy but no damage. Eventually Captain America hit the field and a few turns later had done lethal damage. Jason was a great competitor but ultimately I had the right control elements on my team to counteract his and got a big lucky with matchups and rolls.


Takeaways: With as many control elements in the game right now, picking the right ones is hard, especially if you don't know the local scene you are competing in! Having multiple ways to win is best, but my team did well because I had a few ways to protect my only win condition. I think madame masque might have been the real MVP on my team, preventing my opponent from using their own blankers against me - even if they removed my control pieces mine could come back, while theirs usually couldn't. I also benefited from having an action die blanker and a character blanker to get around different kinds of protection. Overall, I don't think that there is a "Best Team" out there right now. Certain matchups will always be better for certain kinds of teams, and having the right protection is important, but I honestly feel like just about any team can win right now given the right conditions, and I think that's awesome!

Special Thanks:
Thanks to Magic Stronghold Games for hosting the event, and specifically to Chris for hosting for us!
By playing online, I have played more Dice Masters in the last few months than I played in my first 2 years. I want to shout out Troy Miller and Alan Aycock for organizing the Virtual Worlds part 1 and 2 - I have learned a ton from playing against people all over the world.
Also thanks to my usual playtesters James (who I share a youtube channel with, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaC...PJw3CqxJOXFvwQ) and Jeremy who I have been bouncing ideas off since the summer.
I was testing this week against Andy and Jazz, who helped me figure out my buy order for this team.
Thanks to the Double Burst Podcast, the Prep Area Podcast, and the Reserve Pool Podcast for the tips and advice I have picked up over the years, and of course thanks to everyone on the Dice Masters discord channel and the Dice Masters Unlimited Facebook group who constantly share great ideas and help each other out - I am constantly reminded why I love being a part of this community!
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  1. Bronn1's Avatar
    Thanks for making the trip up to Vancouver for the event! You're always welcome, as are anyone else in Washington area!

    Well played games, and it was nice to meet and talk DM with someone who's obviously deeper into the scene than we are in Vancouver. I really like the diversity of the meta right now and feel like the game is in the best place its been in years. Looking forward to future events, and maybe we'll run into each other at OrcaCon or CascadeCon.