The Dice Masters World Championship was held this past weekend in Memphis, Tennessee. The DM North crew was lucky enough to have 3 of our members (myself, Laurier, and Jocelyn) make the trip down to the home of Elvis Presley. We all took part in the various events and had an absolute blast. We’re all going to share our experiences from the Events, so please be patient with the content coming at you this week.
For myself, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what I brought and why I brought it… but I want to focus more on the overall experience than each game. Also, with the whirlwind of games played, I am not sure I could do them justice. I will do my best though.
Fair warning… This might be a longer read, so feel free to jump to the different days if you don’t want to read it all.
Day 1: Thursday September 6, 2019
After a long day of travel from Calgary to Memphis (via Minneapolis) I met up with Laurier at the airport, and we headed over to The Guest House at Graceland. I had been chatting with him and Jocelyn throughout my airport adventures and trying to make arrangements for getting together later that day.
Most of the online people were arriving at ungodly hours of the night/next morning, so we made plans with whoever was there. The one and only Shadowmeld was one of those people along with the Intercontinental Champion himself Ben Scott. We made plans to meet at a BBQ place downtown and had a wonderful meal with good company… even if Ben stood us up. 😉
Jocelyn and Rob proved to be my Guardian Angels as they bought some basic grocery supplies for my hotel room while they were out exploring Memphis. This was a huge help for the rest of the weekend. It was also the first time that I got to meet Jocelyn in person. I would meet Rob the next day.
Day 2: Friday September 7, 2019
The event started at 10 am, so Laurier and I headed off early from the Guest House to the Graceland Event Centre. This was a short walk from the hotel, and there were shuttles available to those who wanted it. I figured the walk would be a good way to start the day… and I didn’t want to have to fight Clix players for space on the bus. I ran into and met the spectacular commentary Team of Ross and Stephen in the hotel lobby, along with camera man supreme Ryan Slater. Also, Jo was there representing the CR Gameroom Crew. They were scooped up by Jimmy fairly quickly to get set up for their coverage, so I didn’t get a lot of chat time with them.
The Event Centre has a beautiful open space in the common area with a few concession stands that would prove to be the life blood of many of the weekend’s players. The area was already full of people with tackle boxes. Clix players everywhere. Not a Dice Master to be seen. We found a table for the red headed stepchildren and took a seat waiting to enter the actual event space.
Eventually, we saw people coming in with fewer supplies our DM people started to arrive. I believe this is where we met the Cincinnati crew of Nick W, Henry C, and Jake H. Super friendly group and we just got to chatting.
Once the Armada of Clix players started their invasion of the convention space we made our way into the line up to get a Registered for the first Event.
The first Event of the weekend was the 10/10 Format. For those that do not know, this is where you build a Modern legal Team made up of 10 cards from 10 sets. You know what Team is super easy to make for this Format? Iceman! In fact, that is what I originally built for this. I was going to get my Iceman out of my system and maybe throw people off of what I was going to play for the actual Worlds Event the next day.
However… plans changed thanks to the Weekly Dice Arena from that past Tuesday. I am really terrible here, and cannot remember the names involved, but the chat got to talking about Infiltrate and the new Rogue/Cable. They both give benefits to Infiltrate Teams. Rogue gives your Sidekicks Infiltrate, while Cable increases the damage when he fires off his Infiltrate ability.
Do you know that both Rogue and Cable are both X-men affiliated AND from different sets? Hmmm…. Hope Summers (Plurpy as she is now affectionately known in my area) is also an X-men AND from yet another set. Mix in SR Angela and now we have something to work with. Gord sort of let the cat out of the bag on this Team in his last article, but didn’t specifically ID me as the opponent.
Here is what I decided to run: Hope Infiltrate
Cable was really the centerpiece here and if you can get enough attackers to go out with him, the damage output is pretty crazy. However, he is a 5 cost and getting multiple copies of him out was likely not going to happen. Hope Summers fixes this problem by basically reducing the costs of Cable down to 3. Now getting multiple copies of Hope out is not unreasonable. Multiple copies of Hope will trigger off of each other and the damage output is that much better.
The other pieces of the puzzle were pretty straight forward here. Angela was to make all of my Infiltrate characters unblockable and therefore easier to fire off Infiltrate. Kree Soldier (the right one this time) was there as a cheap Infiltrate option from a different set. Bishop was to give me at least a little bit of an option should Iceman (or something else) try to burn me to the ground.
Shriek was because Shriek. I’m sorry True Mister Six… I tried not to use her this weekend. I really did. Altas was my Ramp engine and a big body in case I needed one.
The actions were Misdirection and Odin’s Fury. If you have ever played an Angela Team, there is nothing more satisfying than using the Global on Odin’s Fury AFTER blockers are not declared to let the combat damage through. Misdirection was to help get things out into the Field Zone that much faster. It also gave a way to pull Angela out of the Field for the same effect as Odin’s Fury. I also had the option of swapping in a nice big Atlas if the opportunity presented itself.
So, the strategy of this Team is get to Hope as fast and as often as you can and make the decision to go with Cable or Rogue. Whichever is most beneficial at the time. Get to Angela and then let the damage happen. Now this Team has a few weaknesses inherent to it. GDM wrecks it, and the fact that Angela prevents your Infiltrate characters from doing combat damage means you cannot even kill a Sidekick.
It was fun to play on Wednesday night… I figured that I would see how it works at an official competitive event.
I ended the event 3-2, after 5 rounds of Swiss. I fell to Ben’s Iceman Team as I just couldn’t keep my Hope Bishop alive long enough for the real Bishop to show up. I also had trouble with Laurier’s Team, but I cannot remember what exactly he ran.
Otherwise, I was able to get the engine running well against the other Teams that I faced. Maybe DMArmada or Ross will share the Challonge link and I can remember who else I played. This is a fun Team to run if you enjoy Infiltrate. It is dependent on getting the Hope/Angela firing fast. The more Hopes attacking at once, the better it is. This is a great one to try at your local store, but maybe not the most “competiitve” Team out there.
The 10/10 event ran a little long, so I crammed an overly expensive crappy sandwich down in preparation for the afternoon’s Global Escalation Event.
Event: Global Escalation
This was it. The bloodbath event of Dice Masters. The absolute worst of the worst would be out today. First off, let me start by saying that I completely forgot that Global Escalation was today. I thought that I had another day to narrow this down. I had something a little janky that I wanted to run, but I was not positive it had the legs to survive the bloodbath that is this Format.
With the blessing of the Bloreinator himself (James, from Dice Master with James and Zack), I knocked his Red-Eyes Team that he ran in the CR Gameroom Invitational Tournament. I chose to jettison some of the pieces and doubled down on the dragon content… as well as some personal favorites.
Out went some of the original build (Collector was not recommended to keep by James). In came Gold Dragon, Blue-Eyes, Rarecrow, and End of Days. That last one was because I was expecting Beholder Spam to be a thing and I wanted to throw a monkey wrench into their plans.
While I was expecting to see a lot of copycat Teams on the day, I saw a decent variety of win conditions. I didn’t play against a wide variety of win conditions, but I saw them from other players.
This was the Event where I met and got paired up with young Henry. This 10 year old kid waded into this horrible Format with a rocking Hope Summers/AVX Rare Colossus Team. When we played, my Team set up really fast and I had lethal pretty quick. I took the foot off the gas and let him build up his stuff and hit me a couple of times, until I had way too many Dragons on the board for him to deal with. I finally had to end it. I got to chat with him and decided to reward him for his bravery. I gave him my trade binder and told him to pick out whatever he wanted.
I got paired up with his dad in the next round and told him how awesome his kid was for playing in this Format. He had practically the same Team as his son, minus a couple parts that Henry claimed first. He was a newer player as well, so again I didn’t go full steam… until the Hope/Colossus train started firing. First 2 damage, then 4 damage, then 6 damage… Oops. I played a little catch up here and squeaked it out in the end.
Then came Ben, who was running Hope/Colossus as well. I must have missed the memo or something. He also had SR Ronin on board to basically make my attackers very ineffective. He walled up with an Army of Ronins, who only fueled the Hope/Colossus train. My dragons were sad.
My dragons just never fired against Laurier’s Beholder Team, but I did get to surprise him with End of Days in that match… which was fun.
I cannot for the life of me remember this last game. I think everything was starting to blur at this point. Maybe it was Andy England? If we played… let me know.
I think I ended the Event at 3-2 (or was it 2-3… I really need to remember that last match) and I was happy with that result. I had fun in an event that I did not expect to have fun in. Well done Dice Masters Community!
The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent drafting whenever I could. I wanted as many of those sweet, sweet X-men promos as I could get. Also, I wanted as many tickets as I could get for entry into the Preview Drafts that would be held on Saturday and Sunday. I will be honest here, that I was more excited about the prospect of this that any other Event this weekend.
No details of games here, but some of the fond memories of the weekend. I may also be mixing up the days of some of these, but that does not actually matter. The Drafts either happened on Friday or Saturday.
My first Draft was Thor and I remembered why I hated drafting that set. I went with Immortals with the Overcrushing Jarnbjorn, but had trouble buying them effectively. Henry C took care of me fairly effectively. Hey, but at least I got a foil “loser” prize!
Draft #2 was full of fellow Thor haters and we went TOA. I drafted an army of Regenerating Zombies, while Jake had good old GDM to make that less effective. We also had the Tabaxi/Heist option open to us. I cannot remember what he bought, but I think it was Improvised Weapon for his Yuan-Ti’s. He apologized. I said that two could play the “sorry” game and I bought up some Heists. We didn’t play Heist right one single time between the two of us. His burn was faster than mine and he won. Great game against a great guy. “Loser” prize for me again!
One of the weekend’s highlights was watching the 10 dice pirate Team beside me. CR Gameroom’s very own Chris drafted 10 dice for one of the Pirates and managed to buy 9 of them. Well played sir.
The official events finished up with the Fan Appreciation Event. This was spoilertastic, but I honestly did not take it all in at the moment. I was busy feeding photos to the one and only True Mister Six who said “to hell with sleep” and got these up as fast as he could. Check out everything he was able to get out there on the Britrollersix Blog.
The night ended with a small group of us going to the hotel restaurant for dinner. Our small group grew larger and larger as more people showed up and we took over a few tables. A good way to end the night talking with an awesome group of people and making very unhealthy food choices. That banana cake was worth it though.
The trip back to the room led us past a huge line up of people. We asked what the line up was for and found out there was a Peanut Butter and Jelly bar every night from 10 to 11 pm. Andy, Troy and I decided to indulge… because why not? It tasted better than it really should have.
Off to bed to burn off the calories while I sleep. That is how it works… right?
Day 3: Saturday September 7, 2019
Event: The World Championship
This was the big one. The reason we all came. It was time to challenge the reigning champion Arge O’Neal and crown someone new. Everyone was preparing to face the big bad Iceman who was probably the favorite to win it all.
38 people showed up for this. That was a good crowd but meant that we were going 6 rounds of Swiss instead of the previous day’s 5. This was going to be a long day.
I honestly struggled to decide what I wanted to do for this Format. I knew for a fact that I did not want to run Iceman because I don’t enjoy playing the Team and everyone was preparing to face it. I wanted something more my style.
I remember watching Peter Jezik play against the True Mister Six a while back with a Team centered around Atlantis and Black Widow. The idea was to field a ton of Sidekicks and then a Widow or two all in the same turn and slap your opponent across the face. It has affectionately become known as the “Fish Slap”. I had played it previously and decided that this was what I wanted to do. I just needed to streamline the build a bit.
Wong, Black Widow and Atlantis were the core to the whole build. PXG was my chosen method of bringing in Sidekicks. Jezco Used Captain America in his Builds, but I felt like this was a little better for what I wanted to run. The single energy Global was much more appealing than Cap’s two energy one.
Since my Team relies heavily on two cost characters and actions, it was a no brainer to include Supreme Intelligence for the Global. I could hopefully cycle my Fish so much better with it.
Now for the control. This is a pure Aggro Team, so if any core part gets shut down it will fizzle. Shriek is there to basically answer my Opponent’s Shriek. Unlock whatever they have locked. Without the pieces in place I would be dead. GDM was my second control piece. Ideally, I want a wide field of attackers and this is a way to thin out my Opponent’s Field. With the Atlantis churn, it is even possible to get it out on the turn it is purchased.
There was only one team slot left and this went through a few incarnations. Originally I had Atlas here for the bag control option, but realized I really had no obvious defense against Iceman with the exception of Shriek. That wouldn’t work.
Laurier and I tested this Team against Iceman multiple times and found it either won fast or lost fast. Without something to mitigate his damage it was a coin toss. We tried the Nova Corps Uniform but it never seemed to come out at the right time in our testing. Then we found something that could make use of the missed Atlantis rolls. Samantha Wilson’s Global. With that, the Team would be able to deflect the damage from Magic Missile and maybe slow Iceman down a bit.
BAC-wise, I also struggled to narrow things down. Create Food and Water was a good choice, especially with PXG to reload the Used Pile when it was empty. Resurrection is always a good choice when you are looking to fix your bag and would make up for the loss of Atlas. Insect Plague has a Global that would allow Wong to go through unblocked, but in a Static Field meta that made me nervous. Haymaker would give me something to do with spare fists, and if needed give me some Overcrush. After playing around with the various combinations, I felt bag control was more important than unblockable characters and that a pump Global would help push that extra damage through.
The final incarnation of my version of the Team ended up looking like this: jourdo’s Worlds 2019 Team. I know this your prototypical glass cannon type Team. If it fires and hits, you will do well. If it stumbles at all, you are likely going to lose.
On to the games…
Round 1 (vs Dennis)
This game ended up on Stream. The cannon fired.
Round 2 (vs Shadowmeld)
Any game that starts with the judge calling your Opponent a “jerk” is going to be a good game. He had a Jubilee/Hope Team and with two PXG’s available to him he burnt me pretty good. One of the highlights of this one was purchasing and missing most of my Black Widows in a single turn. His engine fired. Mine sputtered.
Round 3 (vs Jake)
Jake was running a Fixit/Black Canary/Danger Room Build. I tried to dance around Canary, but he managed to take me down with some super buffed Kree Captains who I could do nothing about.
Round 4 (vs Brooks)
Brooks was playing a Morph/Betrayal/Boom Boom build. I hadn’t seen that combination of cards before and I liked the synergy here. Knowing what Betrayal was going to do to me, I pushed with everything as often as I could. When the Fish fired, it did its thing and keeping my Field thin limited how much damage Morph could actually do.
Round 5 (I am sorry… but I cannot remember my Opponent’s name here)
He had a Boom Boom/Brick Team. I had to constantly remind myself NOT to grab for Bricks here. They would only wreck the flow of the Team. Fish fired and won the damage race.
We got to play a second game for fun here and this was another highlight of the weekend for me. I got to spend a little time teaching him how and when to use Res to manage his bag better. Kind of a walk through on how I would run his Team. He spanked me easily in that second game.
Round 6 (vs Melissa)
Melissa was running a nice little Collector/Nobby Team with all the nastiness. The Widow’s force attack Global was huge in this one. It took Collector off the board just as fast as he showed up. With him not around to do his thing, I was able to set up and fire off the Fish Engine.
With the way that my day started, I never thought I would end up with a record like this. I was fully prepared to drop and Draft once I hit that third loss. However, there were so many ties on the day that it really made things unpredictable when it came to figuring out where the Top 8 cut would be. I figured with a 4-2 record, I would have a chance but whatever happened, happened. I was just happy to have participated in the days events.
Low and behold, they announce the Top 8 cut and my name was on it. I was ecstatic! I was even more happy when I found out that Canada was making a pretty good showing in the Top 8. Myself, Rob L, Laurier, and Ben (who sort of counts as an honorary Canadian) were all going to the next Round. US vs the World for the Dice Masters Crown. That is just cool.
To increase the cool factor (for me), they drew the tickets for the Preview Draft that night and my luck was continuing when one of my numbers was drawn. Since I could not participate in both to Top 8 and the Preview Draft, they bumped me to the next day’s Preview Draft. Thank you for that because choosing between the two would honestly have been a difficult decision for me.
With a very brief supper break, I was ready for the next games, which were now best 2 out of 3.
Round 7 – Quaterfinals (vs Rob L)
This one was also streamed on YouTube/Twitch. My first Iceman match of the day! It was a great set of games against a great player. My dice did not fully cooperate when I needed them to, but it was an honour to fall to a fellow Canuck. Watching it back, I did catch a couple of brain farts on my end but I don’t think they would have made any change to the result. Remember kids: Samantha Wilson’s Global can be used to prevent the original damage to Iceman. 😉
My day ended here, and I was ok with it. A Top 8 finish was good enough for me for my first live competitive Dice Masters Event. I ended up with some sweet loot for my troubles and I still had the Preview Draft to look forward to tomorrow.
Since I was out of the main event, it was time to get back to work on Draft for those sweet, sweet X-men promos.
The first Draft was TOA. Tabaxi/Heist came up again for me along with a Dragon Statue Trap for defense. I believe this one was against Patrick K, and I am having a hard time remembering the Team. This may have been an unblockable Yuan-Ti Team? I do remember the Dragon Statue Trap going off while I had 5 energy in reserve and wiping his Field. I managed to get a win and my first X-men card.
This Draft was again TOA. I don’t remember my wincon here, but I remember having the Skeleton Key to deal with traps and Rare Ras Nsi to board clear at the beginning of the turn with my Heavy Armor gear attached to him. I think I also had the classic 2 die Batiri Swarm that was as effective as you would expect. The last piece I remember was Goliath Fighter who only got bigger as the other side’s monsters died.
Let’s talk about the other side for a moment. I was facing off against Nick W and his dinosaur army of Overcrushing Allosauruses… Allosauri? This game was another one of my weekend highlights. Not because of a game interaction, but because a moment of spectacular timing. Nick started the Jurassic Park theme on his phone and as he drew his first set of dinosaurs from his bag, the theme hit its full stride. We both lost it and started cracking up as the timing of that could not have possibly been any better. When we were more composed, he started punching me with dinosaurs and I had to work my way to Ras Nsi. Once he hit, I started to make his Dino’s extinct and pulled out a win. Second X-men card for me!
I had a hired gun pick me up a third and it ended up being a duplicate. I traded it for one of the other ones I needed.
By the time we were done, the Finals were well underway so it was off to watch Laurier vs Ben. Congrats to Ben on his well deserved win, even though he missed out on the Yu-Gi-Oh Three-peat in his victory.
Back to the hotel for another awesome wrap up at the restaurant with some awesome people. The most awesome of which was Mr. Dice Masters himself, Jimmy O’Brien. Jimmy was spreading the preview card love by handing some out to us. That was super cool of him and awesome to personally see some of these upcoming cards.
Day 4: Sunday September 8, 2019
As you would expect after the high that was the World Championship, this event was more of a lull. Most people were playing a little more “casual” in this one. The Format actually lends itself to that with the limited card pool available to build with. In the Pauper Format, you can only build your Team with Common cards from Modern non-LCG sets while your BAC’s could be from any Modern set.
I built a very basic Batiri Battle Stacks/Doppelganger Team. So basic in fact, that I have forgotten one of the cards. The objective was simple… get all 8 of those dice in the Field at one time and swing for bananas damage.
Side Note: Early into this Event, they drew the final tickets for the final participants for today’s Preview Draft. Since I already had my spot locked up from last night, it was more about seeing if I could help someone else get in. Low and behold that another of my tickets is drawn. I handed it off to my fellow Canuck Jocelyn to give her a chance to participate in the Preview Draft Event.
My first game was against Chris Clubb. I’ve always liked his builds (that Mjolnir one is still one of my all time favorites) and I was happy to finally get to play him. I think he had an unblockable Yuan-Ti build, but I had a Dragon Statue Trap to answer that fortunately. I did get to pull off the buy GDM and roll GDM maneuver thanks to The Question’s Gadgeteer ability. That definitely helped thin his Field and then his rolls stopped cooperating. Batiri Stampede FTW.
Game 2 was against young Henry’s dad again. He brought Fixit, Proton Cannon and Magic Missile. We know how this one is supposed to go. I hit for some early brutal Batiri damage and then the level 3 Fixit hit with lots of bolts. Fixit was pumped up to 40A with Overcrush. I was DOA and we just counted up my defense to see how bad it actually was. I had 21 defense on board thanks to Batiri buffs. I survived that punch since I had not taken any damage up until then. I rebounded with enough stats on the next turn to win. Never in a million years would I have expected to survive that attack.
I dropped after this match as the Preview Draft was starting.
Event: Preview Draft
I will be 100% honest with you here. I was more excited about the Preview Draft than any other Event all weekend. We were going to get to see cards that did not yet exist in the game. How cool is that?
This was a Draft unlike any other I have participated in. We were all just blow away with what we were holding. We were all just showing each other the cards and letting each other take photos if we wanted (you can see many of my snapshots here). Not something you would normally do when drafting.
I drafted more for the pretty art than anything else. I did manage to snag a SR though and what a pretty SR it was.
I was up against Nick who had a pretty SR of his own. SR Thor. Check out this ridiculous ability. Oh yeah, he also had the new Collector, who happens to have the PXG (now CXG?) Global on it. He successfully avenged his dinosaurs from the night before with that combo. I should have known that I was in trouble when I needed Pizza to roll to keep me in the game.
Speaking of ridiculous abilities… Joceyln was playing against Ben right beside us. The immortal words “What… what?” were uttered by the Champ. We look over to see that Jocelyn just attacked with the R Spider-man who can turn ANY character to an energy face. Ben’s Collector went poof in an instant. The absolute best part of that interaction was the fact that Ben passed that card to her.
Jocelyn was kind enough to trade me that card after that Event so I could bring it to my local scene and see how nuts it actually is (SPOILER: It is THAT nuts).
The weekend wrapped up after the Preview Draft and I had to wheel and deal to finish off the X-men Promo Cards. Thank you Arge for helping me complete that set.
Many of the players were scattering to head back to their home by this point. A quiet dinner with a few of the remaining people wrapped up a fabulous weekend.
Day 5: Monday September 9, 2019
A final farewell to my partner in Crime, and Worlds runner up Laurier, and I was off to the airport. Home sweet pumpkin spiced home!
I know this has been said by many people many times, but the Dice Masters Community is just the best. Everyone I met was super friendly and easy to talk to. Putting some faces to the hands that I have been seeing online for a while now was great! Thank you to everyone who I met and got to know at this Event. I look forward to seeing you all again next year!
If you ever have the opportunity to participate in this event in the future, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is pure Dice Masters bliss.
For those that have made it through this entire article… I truly thank you for putting up with me and my ramblings.