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Thread: Midwest Dice Masters Open 9-12-15 Unlimited Constructed (37 Players) 2nd Place

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    Midwest Dice Masters Open 9-12-15 Unlimited Constructed (37 Players) 2nd Place

    My friend Ben, my son and I traveled to Kansas City for our first large Dice Masters tournament experience. From everything I've read I expected a fun, friendly crowd and good competition. Apparently my expectations were still too low. The competition was great! The people were first class! The tournament organizers really went above and beyond in all areas! I can't express enough what a great experience it was for all three of us.

    I played my team INFINITE BURN! to a 4-0 record in the swiss rounds making me #1 or #2 in the top 16 pairings, then battled my way to the final match where I lost to the champion of the event, Paul. I'll share a round by round report and team explanation below.


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    Some of you may get it at first glance. Since I had to explain it a number of times at the tournament I'll assume that most people do not. The primary plan is simple:

    Turn 1: Purchase SHIELD Agent. Save or to prep 3 dice.

    Turn 2: Purchase another SHIELD Agent or a Wasp. If I roll a sidekick, field it. Save at least for PXG. When I can I will ramp leaving only 3 dice to draw next turn and take 1 burn to gain a generic energy.

    Turn 3: Roll for s, s and a . Sidekicks are OK provided I get enough energy to do what I need. I aim for the face on my character dice. Purchase Manticore. Use Resurrection to prep it. Make sure I can PXG 4 times. If I have enough energy left over, purchase another SHIELD Agent.

    Turn 4: Get Manticore to show up on a character face and field it. Try to get the other character dice on a or face. I want my sidekick dice to come up on , , or pawn faces. Ensure that there's enough energy to PXG all but one sidekick dice out of the Used Pile on my opponent's turn. Sidekicks in the bag or Used Pile are bad. Purchase one or two more SHIELD Agents. DO NOT field any SHIELD Agent or Wasp dice that have come up character faces. Send them to the Used Pile instead. Bank as much energy as I can. It's almost time to go infinite!

    Opponent's Turn 4: During the Main Step, when the opponent passes priority, use PXG to get all but one sidekick die out of the Used Pile. Pay , hopefully using the energy from a character die, to activate Pyro's global. My bag should be empty so I'll refill it with the 1 sidekick and all character dice in the Used Pile. I get to keep any s I roll to power the Pyro engine. Use Pyro again and again, paying with s from the character dice. Every time I roll I deal 2 damage to my opponent. With no Transition Zone on the opponent's turn, the energy I pay for Pyro's global goes to the Used Pile, making it available on later activations to refill my bag with those character dice and continue the cycle. I can do this infinitely, or until I've deal 20 damage to my opponent.

    Most of my opponent's didn't know what was coming. Once I started the infinite cycle, their jaw dropped when they realized the game was over and they weren't going to get to play again. I don't know if this will be nearly as effective once people know what to expect.

    Doomcaliber Knight is here to counter Prismatic Spray. That action single handedly shuts down the combo by removing Manticore's ability on the opponent's turn, when I need to use it to go infinite.

    Jade Giant is here to counter Green Goliath and Jinzo. Those 2 are both a real pain because they stop the combo from working.

    Tsarina is here, along with Jade Giant, as an alternate win condition in the event that the combo is shut down. She also seemed to be a big distraction. My opponent's saw her an assumed she was a major part of my game plan, not realizing she was secondary to something much more dangerous.

    Round 1 I faced Scott, who got to play 1st. He had a really cool dragon team that ramped up to purchase his dragons for as low as . I followed my normal purchase order but didn't get a character face on Manticore, so I purchased a 2nd one. Scott got his Half-Dragon fielded and purchased a Red Eyes. On my next turn both Manticore dice failed to show on character faces. I had a load of energy so I bought 2 more Manticores. On Scotts turn he fielded Red Eyes and Purchased a Curse of Dragon. I rolled 2 more Manticore but only got energy (that's 5 now if your counting). On Scott's turn he purchased 2 more Curse of Dragon, fielded one, rolled both and fielded one of them. He attacked for a lot, but I was able to block and Distract. On my turn the sixth attempt to get a Manticore character face finally turned up. On Scott's turn when he passed priority I went infinite.

    Round 2 I faced Peyton, who go to play 1st. He was using a Nova damage team. He picked up Nova on turn 3 and fielded him on level 1 the following turn, using his combo to get me down to 13. I fielded Manticore but on his turn he knocked him out and used Nova some more, taking me down to 4. I fielded Manticore again. This time he passed priority and I went infinite.

    Round 3 I faced Pat who was playing an Apologies in Advance variant. I got to go first and followed my normal purchase order. On turn 3 Pat had 4 energy to spend but not the kind he needed to make the purchase he wanted so he settled for Prismatic Spay, not realizing how crucial it is in our game. I got Manticore out turn 4. He rolled an action face on Spray but really wanted energy so he could purchase Beholder so he rerolled it... into another action face. He Sprayed me, then dumped all but a into beholder. I bought some more SHIELD Agents and passed. He refilled his empty bag with 4 Sidekicks, Spray, Beholder and Constantine. He draws 4 Sidekicks. When he passed priority I went infinite.

    Round 4 I faced EJ with a Jocasta and Mr. Sinister combo team. He even used Cyclops to increase Jocasta's damage. I got to play first and got to a turn 4 Manticore. On his turn he fields Jocasta and activates Mr. Sinister's global to do 3 to me and my Sidekick. When he passed priority I went infinite. This game was recorded so we should be able to see it on YouTube when the hosts uploaded it.

    TOP 16 I faced Dominique who got to play first. He ramps to Jinzo while I ramp to Hulk. I continue to ramp, paying life to Jinzo. He's doing the same because I have Wasp out. My Hulk comes up on level 3 which cannot take out his level 2 Jinzo so I attack and he takes the damage. I pay more life to ensure I can roll Hulk again, getting a level 1 this time, which removes Jinzo. I don't have lethal on the table so I hold. On his turn he Imprisons my Hulk, Wasp and a SHIELD Agent. I'm left with 8 Sidekick dice but he's only at 4. His Jinzo missed rolling a character face so I was able to Wasp him down to 0 over our next 2 turns. Dominique was the only player that I beat without using the combo. This game was recorded as well.

    TOP 8 I faced Ben who's using a semi-agressive Green Goliath team. Ben and I came together and play each other often. We've been fine tuning our teams together. I wish we could have avoided one another for another 2 rounds as neither of us wanted to knock the other player out. I got to play 1st and followed my normal purchase order up to Manticore. Ben got a quick Punisher and was attempting to KO my dice. He followed my Manticore purchase on turn 3 with a Hulk purchase. I have to follow his Hulk with a Hulk of my own or my combo is shut down. Ben also had two Constantine dice in his bag and neither would roll a character face for him. I got Jade Giant on his burst face. Using his Magic Missile I knocked out Punisher and GG. On his turn Constantine came up energy again, but he needed all his energy to field both Punisher and GG. I used a on Jade Giant to knock out GG, then went infinite.

    Top 4 I faced Kevin who was also using Jade Giant and SHIELD Agents. Seeing all the Avengers on my team he purchased SHIELD Agents early. I did as well, but grabbed the Manticore as soon as I could. On turn 4 he turned up on a character face. On Kevin's turn I went infinite. This game was also recorded.

    Finals I faced Paul was playing a Blue-Eyes control team similar to Dean's team that won World's only he had Jinzo instead of Gobby, Millennium Puzzle and used different Basic Actions. Paul went first and had a less than ideal roll. He fielded a sidekick, then used the remaining energy on my turn to knock it out with BEG and PXG once, leaving a to go to waste. I had a less than ideal roll of so I prepped a die, used Wasp to do 1 and PXG for 2. Pat's second roll was better. He bought Constantine and saved energy to ramp. I recovered as well and purchased a SHIELD Agent. On turn 3 Pat was able to purchase Jinzo leaving him 5 dice to return to his bag after PXG. I had to follow that with Jade Giant leaving me 6 dice to pull from on my next turn. Pat got a level 2 Jinzo and Constantine. My Hulk turned up on level 3, unable to smash Jinzo. Pat sent Hulk to used with his Puzzle, then used Constantine to keep him ineffective if I happen to field him again. It was only a matter of a few turns before he was able to use Puzzle and Wasp to clear a path for him to swing for lethal. This game was also recorded.

    Congratulations to Pat for excellent play and winning the event. Thank you to the hosts and judges for making this an extremely enjoyable event for everyone in attendance. We look forward to joining everyone again next year.
    Last edited by Gabe; 09-13-2015 at 02:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Thanks for the report Gabe! It's great to see it from your perspective, and I'm sure people will be anxious to see Infinite Burn in action when the videos are posted (which should be soon).

    If anybody is wondering about the rest of the Midwest Open teams and results, I have all of that information and will be writing a full report soon (hopefully tomorrow).

    Back to Gabe's team... I was surprised to see Manticore used in that way. I strongly suspect that the intent of that ability is that it can only be used during the Roll and Reroll step of your own turn, however that's not what is written on the card. As the judge for the event, I had no reason not to rule it as a completely legal play, until Wizkids comes out with an errata. Props to Gabe for building a team that can exploit it for maximum gain. And thanks for driving to Kansas City to play! We really enjoyed having so many people there for our first event.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by geneinkc View Post
    Thanks for the report Gabe! It's great to see it from your perspective, and I'm sure people will be anxious to see Infinite Burn in action when the videos are posted (which should be soon).

    If anybody is wondering about the rest of the Midwest Open teams and results, I have all of that information and will be writing a full report soon (hopefully tomorrow).

    Back to Gabe's team... I was surprised to see Manticore used in that way. I strongly suspect that the intent of that ability is that it can only be used during the Roll and Reroll step of your own turn, however that's not what is written on the card. As the judge for the event, I had no reason not to rule it as a completely legal play, until Wizkids comes out with an errata. Props to Gabe for building a team that can exploit it for maximum gain. And thanks for driving to Kansas City to play! We really enjoyed having so many people there for our first event.
    They've already ruled that this is legal.
    http://www.wizkidseventsystem.com/bb...t=4773&p=11518
    Although I'm pretty surprised no teams had a JG to remove Manticore the first time he does the damage.

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    You can prevent that Jade Giant, with one fo your own, and just ping him before you go off for infinite.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bankholdup View Post
    Although I'm pretty surprised no teams had a JG to remove Manticore the first time he does the damage.
    I faced teams with both Jade Giant and Green Goliath. The Jade Giant just didn't come into play. It's hard to get either one fielded in time if I go first and have good enough rolls to combo on turn 4. The element of surprise was a huge factor. Some people didn't know what I was doing until it was too late, so they didn't make the appropriate purchases to counter my plan.

  7. #7
    Gabe, I played you in the top 4, and I’d have to say that you were extremely humble and considerate. Can’t wait to see you guys again next year!

    With that being said, I had read about the infinite burn team, but hadn’t seen it in action, so buying SHIELD agents (as you mentioned) didn’t do anything for me (nor did the Johnny and Paladin in my field). I went back and watched the video of our game (not yet posted) and counted that you used the Pyro global 27 times in a row on my 4th turn (which took me from full life to…zero). My Jade Giant would have countered your strategy somewhat, but going second certainly didn’t help me, as I didn’t get him out.

    I’ve got to be honest, that was not a very satisfying way to get knocked out of the tournament! Maybe part of my issue is the power of first turn advantage (esp. with aggressive decks like this one). But also, I was amazed to read WizKids ruling on the Pyro + Manticore combo. To me, using a global 27 times in a row is not very balanced (and is more powerful than the Spider Bomb they errata’d a while back). Having played against the team I see ways to counter it…but none that are very effective if you go second ☺

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe View Post
    I faced teams with both Jade Giant and Green Goliath. The Jade Giant just didn't come into play. It's hard to get either one fielded in time if I go first and have good enough rolls to combo on turn 4. The element of surprise was a huge factor. Some people didn't know what I was doing until it was too late, so they didn't make the appropriate purchases to counter my plan.
    This is Paul, the one you faced in the finals (My brother is Pat, btw). Its actually ironic, because I built a Manticore build way back right after they made the ruling and let my daughter Keeley run it, but I had to run the 2 cost Human Torch. We could not get it running quite efficiently enough. Sometimes she could get it to work and sometimes not, sidekicks would get in the way. Now, I almost always put some form of removal in our builds, so when she would face me, I knew to get the Manticore out of the field. Oddly, my son Peyton, who faced you, had seen the combo before and still said he made the mistake of not getting the Manticore out of the field the second time. He must have gotten too wrapped up with wanting to ping his Nova for damage instead of MM the Manticore to death. I never had it as tuned out for the opponent as you, so that was another reason for the inconsistency.

    The fact that you had Jade Giant and some other things in the build, helps throw people off your goal. Like I said, I have built a version before, but things like Jade Giant throw folks off.

    Out of curiosity, does the shield agent re-roll ability ever help with the consistency?

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    This is Pat. It was a surprise. Not really that you did it, but that it was so consistent. I had seen one in the past and it was not nearly as stable. I was able to sustain the initial hits pretty easy before it would run out of gas, so I did not worry so much. Once I saw what YOURS could do, it was too late. So major props to a cool angle on the build! You kicked my ass, plain and simple.

  10. #10
    Congrats @Gabe ! Question: were you playing it so that the die you used to pay for the pyro global could be rolled as part of that same activation? I.e., empty used pile and bag, one bolt on a die. Were you paying for the global then rolling that same die?

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    It's so cool to see that so many of the people I met are on TRP! I had no idea.

    @Aquilifer - I agree with your assessment that this team isn't really a fun way to get knocked out of a tournament, or to lose at all. In fact I'll go on record saying that it feels wrong that you can even do this. It's fun to play for people that like combos or doing over powered things, but I know from the look on peoples faces (and from playing it against my son) that it's no fun at all for people to play again (when it works). Despite this, all of my opponents were great sports. I fully expect Wizkids to do something about the viability of the combo. One possible solution is to add the transition zone on both players turns.

    @Isawa_mo - SHIELD Agent's reroll ability helped slightly, but only to get him back into my Reserve Pool or Used Pile. I used it a 2 or 3 times to reroll my own, but never rerolled my opponent's.

    @KansasBob - That's very humble of you, but you had some of the worse rolls and draws anyone I played that day. Had your Spray come online for you things could have been different. Once the Beholder begins taking my Manticores it's a completely different game.

    @Indy Mon - No sir, I do not believe that's a legal play. As I understand it, the energy used to pay for the global cannot be used for the resulting effect (example I can't pay using a sidekick die and then move that same sidekick to my prep area with PXG). I sometimes had to pay to draw from an empty bag only to get that first die into the used pile so at my next activation I have something to put in the bag, draw and roll.

    @jojodadevil - I couldn't agree more with the 1st turn advantage. I've never seen it matter as much as it did at this tournament. Can you help me understand how Constantine and Wasp shut down the loop? Constantine stops Manticore from working on my turn, but it's your turn when I actually want to use him repeatedly. Wasp on the other hand does damage to me, but terrible rolls withstanding, I should be able to take Wasp out with Manticore using the first 1-2 faces I roll. Is there another way they can be used to effect the loop that I'm missing?

  13. #13
    @Gabe - Why do you have to live so far away? I want a rematch now that I've incorporated some WoL cards into my deck :-)

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