It began as an idea for a gag team. Take Common Kate Bishop, add the Wonder Woman who shuts down “When fielded” and “When attacks abilities” (on both sides), then throw in as many other cards as I could find with detrimental “When attacks” and “When fielded” abilities.
The next card I was going to put on that team was the 2-cost Mindless Ones from the Dr. Strange Team Pack. That one I actually remembered about on my own. But after this and Hawkeye: Formerly Ronin I had to go start searching the Team Builder to find the ‘bad’ cards I was looking for.
The Slander BAC came up during this search, due to its global. I looked at the global, and the wheels began to turn.
The gag team idea was put on hold, because I saw an opportunity to build a team that would be different and interesting.
Slander has never been a very popular BAC, at least in my experience. In the year and a half three writers have been presenting their teams at this site on an almost weekly basis, Slander has been included on exactly one such team before this article.
Yes, it’s long since rotated out of Modern, but we feature lots of Golden Age teams here, so it’s not just that.
Common Kryptonite costs the same, creates almost exactly the same effect as Slander, and can’t be bought out from under you by your opponent, since it’s not a Basic Action.
Kryptonite doesn’t include a global ability, but let’s be honest – have you ever heard of anybody ever actually using the Slander global before now?
Except the Slander global is the underlying basis for my team this week.
What Did You Play?
The Team: Slander Attack.
Now, I need to talk about the Slander global. Please read the text for it from the included image if you haven’t already.
Frankly, the way it is worded (and punctuated) it is a pre-emptive global. You pay a Fist, and you create a condition where “If A or B, then C.” In this case A = You take damage from a “When fielded” ability, B = You take damage from a “When attacks” ability and C = You deal one damage to your opponent. Also note that C happens each time A or B is triggered, not just the first time.
Now, I’m fairly confident there are readers out there who are thinking, ‘It makes no sense for this global to be pre-emptive. It must have been intended to be reactive’. I can sympathize with that position, given that no competent attacking player is going to give a defending player the opportunity to use said global before they field everything that is going to damage the defender with a ‘when fielded’ effect. But, if it was intended to be reactive, the global was poorly worded.
It wasn’t the first (or the last) Dice Masters card to be poorly worded so we deal with it as best we can.
For the record, after some discussion, our group wound up playing the Slander global as pre-emptive, but does not stack. At least for this night.
Now, back to the team per se.
These two cards are the real stars of the team. Cap because he keeps my life total up, while still allowing me to ‘take damage’ and thus trigger the Slander global.
If I have an active Cap, and I spend a Fist on the Slander global, then when I attack with Rocket Raccoon, Cap’s burst ability means Rocket’s ability only lowers my own life total momentarily (unless Cap in on Level 2, in which case he’s spinning up to Level 3), while my opponent will take 1 damage from Rocket’s ability and another from the Slander global.
If I have more than one Rocket to attack with that totals two damage from each. And if I have any Mindless Ones to field before that, that’s another damage for each of them.
What other cards do I want to support these? Well, I want max dice on both Rocket and Mindless Ones and actually buying Slander dice is at least a contingency plan (for e.g. if an opponent is running R Bishop) I figured Big Entrance would do for the other BAC.
For ramp, I included three cards as options:
The plan was going to involve Rockets attacking (and getting KO’d repeatedly), so both Mantis and Star-Lord seemed viable.
Next came Supreme Intelligence, whose global would allow me to move Rockets, Mindless Ones and possibly Slander dice from my Used Pile to my Prep Area.
Finally, and almost entirely because he fit the theme of the team:
And, with that D, any Deadpool die I field probably ends up stuck in the Field Zone.
On to the games.
Magneto/Raven/Surtur lots of masks team.
With Villain Maker and Reroll a Villain die globals in play, I knew I couldn’t rely on keeping Cap in the Field Zone.
When I used the Atlantis global on his turn to put a Sidekick in front of the Beholder die he’d thought was going to go through an empty field, he started buying his Elf Thief dice.
He used Confront the Mighty to have his Beholder and my Cap KO each other, then made an attack which allowed me to block so as to clear his field without doing me any damage.
On my turn, with Confront the Mighty and Surtur in the picture trying to keep a wall intact didn’t make a lot of sense to me so I sent a Captain America, a Level 1 Rocket, a Level 3 Rocket and two Sidekick dice through his empty field for 16 total damage (12 combat, 2 from Rocket’s ability, 2 from the Slander global).
That brought him down to 2. He didn’t roll 20 worth of A on his turn, and I drew and rolled a Rocket on my next turn. One damage from Rocket’s “When attacks” ability and another from the Slander global, and he was done.
Jourdo’s Martian Manhunter Overcrush team. I’d managed to deal a decent amount of burn damage, and with a Mindless One in my Prep Area and a bag with mostly Rocket and Mindless One dice due to a Big Entrance turn, I thought I had an excellent chance for lethal on my next turn. Only for everything to align for him to get lethal on his intervening turn.
Parallax, PXG, Morphing Jar. Mostly masks except for his Chwingas. Well, and Domino, but Cap’s ability made hers moot, so he never bought her.
He was also running Mutation, which he used to spin his Chwingas down (so they didn’t have to attack to spin his Morphing Jars up. 4A on Level 3 on a 1 cost is gross.
With PXG, tons of masks, and characters even cheaper than mine were, he just outpaced me and wore me down with combat damage.
Would I play this team again? Yes, with a qualifier.
I would really prefer to get some confirmation (or refutation) that the Slander global works the way we think it does. Unfortunately, the official Rules Forum is a crapshoot about when or even if they will bother to answer any questions submitted.
So, I’m going to submit the question to Dice Masters community rules expert Paul K, who is a braver man than I am. A while back, he graciously agreed to answer Dice Masters rules questions for us here at DM North. Those were meant to be questions from our readers, e-mailed to BCP@dm-north.com. Problem is, he doesn’t seem to have gotten any. If you have some, you’re more than welcome to send them in.
It’s never going to be top tier, but I think there may be the makings of a decent team here. Cap-Rocket-Slander seems to be a decent core. You need to get Cap out early, because without him Rocket and Slander only deals damage 2 for 1 until your opponent realizes he can use the Slander global himself.
Rocket and Mindless ones have good A for their cost, but I didn’t really have a plan for making use of that. Perhaps the Yellow Lantern Ring that grants Intimidate to character dice in my Reserve Pool would be useful.
Including Mantis and Star-Lord for ramp was redundant. I never got Star-Lord onto the field on the night, although I did buy him a couple of times. A control piece probably would have served me better – perhaps Polaris: Hail, Queen of Mutants. In my losses, it was my opponent’s global usage that really hurt me. If the Slander global is pre-emptive and does damage for EACH instance of damage from a “when fielded/when attacks” ability” I only need to use it once per turn.
Of course, in that case, Supreme Intelligence would have to be removed from the team, but I didn’t use it that heavily anyhow. Atlantis was also on the team primarily for the global, but I could still potentially use it on my opponent’s turns.
Or, maybe I could use
instead. With Blink out, my opponent can’t use the Atlantis global without draining his own life, while Cap should be able to protect me from that problem.
Deadpool I would remove. If he doesn’t fit on this team, I have no idea what team he would fit on, but I never once thought about buying him on the night. Maybe replace him with Green Devil Mask to keep my opponent’s wall thin and possibly get some combat damage with Rocket and Mindless Ones.
Still, it was fun playing a Vicious Struggle team that didn’t actually have Vicious Struggle.
What support cards would you include to improve this team? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!
Son of L
P.S. And don’t forget to send your rules questions to Paul!