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Thread: Meta Tiers (The Four Cs)

  1. #1

    Meta Tiers (The Four Cs)

    So I've noticed that there appear to be "Meta Tiers" when it comes to overall game strategy in Dice Masters. Let me define that term. The competitive scene for Dice Masters (or any other game) varies greatly depending upon player base, product availability and tournament structures. As I've thought about this in relationship to my own scene I've come up with a grouping for Meta Tiers - that is, what are the various levels of play you might experience. The "level" of competitiveness increases as the tier increases.

    Tier 1 - Custom
    I started with a custom game tier to represent any game variant created or played that steps outside of the lines of the standard 1 v 1 format or applies some sort of theme or restriction on team building for a 1 v 1 format. Tier 1 meta is wide open and doesn't really care wether things are more or less efficient. Randy's Galactus Scenario or the official 2 v 2 format from WizKids would apply.

    Tier 1 would be a pretty niche market for most players.

    Tier 2 - Casual
    Casual is Tier 2 play. It assumes the basic 1 v 1 format, but it could be the basic game rules or the full tournament rules. Casual play is exactly that - pretty much purely for fun. A lot of teams and strategies that a player might never employ in a competition could be fielded and used here. Why? Because it's fun. You could find any team here, but teams like Superhero teams, complicated or silly globals or card effects live here, as do specific but maybe suboptimal theme teams.

    I would guess that casual is the most common form of play in the game - friends playing pick-up games and trying out stuff they like.

    Tier 3 - Competitive
    Tier 3 is generically labeled competitive. This encompasses the meta utilized for local tournament play as a whole. Here is where less efficient or weaker strategies are typically phased out and we see the stronger and most winning strategies begin to come into focus. This represents the widest throw for "meta" players in the game. Many combos and teams will start to look similar here - Gobby, Tsarina, Turn 4 Kill Teams, etc.

    Tier 3 is pretty dang close with Tier 2 in popularity, but many casual players will buck competitive play because it forces a player's hand in moving from less efficient to efficient meta teams.

    Tier 4 - Championship
    Tier 4 is the level of meta that we see employed along the WizKids Open events. Tier 4 play could be considered the "true" meta because the stakes are high - titles and major prizes are offered here. Tier 4 meta is the ultimate level of meta in the game for the gamer's game, where only the strongest strategies survive and anything considered suboptimal is completely phased out. At this point in the game, and in constructed, only a few combos and teams are played - pretty much the same teams you run into in Tier 3. There just is nothing else.

    Tier 4 is the 3rd most popular tier, I think, because most players are not necessarily concerned with high-level competitive play.

    ********

    I've been working this out mentally because I think local metas can fall into any of these categories. Even if they hold competitive play they may not really see competitive meta; it could be casual. Or maybe they have a plethora of house rules and we see Tier 1 tournaments. I think most will fall into casual, honestly.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Regardless of tier, I prefer limited formats because that's there the skill-based technical play comes in the most. I like the nuts-and-bolts stuff. Whether it's "created" limited like the daredevil draft, a simulated sealed from spreadsheets, or an actual draft. However I can do it, I want the creativity from the limitations.

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