TOTM Speed Escalation Results

Hello Dice Masters Fans!  Last night we ended the Team of the Month (TOTM) Competition for  2019.  For our last kick at the can, we decided to try out one of the Formats that Wizkids had put on their survey of potential Competitive Format Alternative.  We were putting Speed Escalation to the test, but mixing in a little randomness to make it a little more interesting.  If you want to read about the details of the build, you can check out the original article here.

This was an interesting build challenge as you needed to build two Teams that could work together, one piece at a time.  Here were the Teams that participated:

Unfortunately, we chose not to record the night’s matches.  We’ll do our best to let you know how the Format ran.  If you would like to look up the Challonge results, you can check them out here.

So, this one is a little harder to describe than normal.  The Team that you started with was not the Team you were going to end with.  With this challenge, you had your regular starting 10 card Team.  You also had a 9 card bench that had to include 1 BAC.  At the end of each round, you swapped out 3 cards.  The way we did this was by selecting a card to replace, and then randomly drawing from your Bench.  If that card matched (ie. Character/Action for Character Action), the replacement went without issue.  In the event you chose to replace a character and drew your BAC from your Bench, you instead kept the card you were going to replace and your Opponent chose which BAC would be swapped out.  You could not swap out cards that had previously swapped in.  Since we were only playing 3 Rounds, there would be 3 cards that you would not see make it onto your Team.

As a result of all of this, it was really hard to get a read on other people’s Teams.  Everything changed so much from Round to Round that you really did not know what they were playing or what exactly their strategy was.

For me, the challenge was coming up with the Bench.  Essentially, I took one of my previously used Two Team Takedown Teams and tried to build something that could work with it as I lost pieces.

My starting point was to go for the good old Hope Summers/Cable/Angela Infiltrate Team.  The goal of the Team is pretty simple… Use Hope to copy Cable, and then swing through with Angela active to deal insane amounts of damage.  No big secret here.

It was supplemented with Ricochet for Infiltrate Ramp/Churn, Batgirl for removal (Madame Masque would kill Hope), Jean Grey for board control.  Atlas and Resurrection were both for Ramp, and also to accommodate the possible loss of Resurrection with an early bad BAC swap.  Misdirection was for potential Angela shenanigans and Bishop was for protection against the annoying pingy Teams.

I took the Bye in the first Round, so I never had a chance to play this incarnation of the Team.  I did the end of Round swap just like everyone else.  I chose to remove Bishop, Ricochet, and Batgirl from the Team.  The Bench cards drawn were Atlantis, Parasite, and Mimic.  I lost removal but gained it right back.

In my first game on the evening, I was up against Dan’s now Collector/ SR Mimic Team powered by Hush Ramp.  Since the cards I added in were not the most offensive threats, I went for the Infiltrate combo.  Everything went well until his Collector and Mimic hit (copying Collector).  This is when Batman came out of nowhere to reroll my Field.

I made the pivot over to Parasite so I could borrow his Collector ability for a turn or two.  I managed to use his Batman against him, but it was not all that effective as he rolled things back well.

I needed to swap Hope over to Jean to try an keep his Field smaller.  I had hoped to remove his Mimic previously, but he rolled back from the Bat-attack.  A small army of Hopes came out and switching them back to Cable was ample damage to end the game.

I don’t feel that this initial swap really changed the flow of the original Team.  I likely would have played it very similar, but having Parasite available was really helpful in this one.

At the end of this Round, I lost Resurrection to a bad BAC Bench pull.  It was swapped in for Team Up.  I then chose to swap out Hope Summers and Angela for Wong and Ace The Bat Hound respectively.  This set me up nicely for the next Round as I already had Atlantis on the Team previously.

The third and final Round was up against fellow DM-Northerner Laurier.  I was lucky that he had a Supreme Intelligence across the table that made my Fish work better.  It looked like his Team was morphing into something similar with buffs from Batman and Black Widow.  He unfortunately did not manage to swap in his Fish, though he did still have his Mimic Ramp available to him.

My Fish and Wongs were not in sync in the early game, and it was a struggle for me to build a Field.  He was not having the same issue building up and could punch me pretty easily right away.  I actually had to purchase Jean Grey in this one and got her out on Level 3… only to have her Widowed out right away.  At least I got 6 damage in.  I took another hit bringing me to 7 or so, and then by pure luck Jean came right back out of the bag and right back to Level 3.  This time he did not have the Fist to Widow her.  That meant his Wongs, Widows, and Sidekicks would die immediately… which they did.  Finally my Fish lined up with Dogs and Wongs and I made the Hail Mary play to buy and roll Team Up on the same turn.  I had the numbers advantage at this point and the win.  I am pretty confident I was dead the next turn if it had not worked out.

Final Thoughts

I am hoping others who participated on the night will chime in on the Comments below to share what they thought about the Speed Escalation Format.

For myself, I don’t think this would translate well into a competitive Format.  I am sure our addition of the random factor kind of skews my thoughts on it though.  As a fun Format though, I think it worked well.  I really enjoyed the fact that you did not really know what cards were entering play between Rounds.  You knew what the pool was, but not the order that you would see it.

I also like that we shorted the cards buy playing one less Round.  This meant that you would definitely not see the entire Team change.  Did you make enough tweaks that would allow you to win with a Team in mid-morph?  Only time would tell.

I do like the idea of making changes to your Team throughout the night.  It give a little variety and might help you out if you hit one of those Dice Masters walls where the Team is just not working how you thought it would.  I have always felt that Dice Masters needs a Bench or Sideboard.  Maybe not a whole Team’s worth, but it might be nice to have 3-4 cards to bring in if your night is just going terrible.

Overall, I liked this version of the Speed Escalation Format.  I’d recommend you try it out for yourself and let us know what you think.

The TOTM comes to a close for 2019.  It was a great year with some interesting builds.  Many thanks to everyone who participated in our events over the past 12 months.  A special shout out to Dan making a return to the Dice Masters scene.  It was good to have you back.  We are looking forward to returning in 2020 with some fun nights of Dice Masters.

Congrats to Reg on being the 2019 TOTM Champion!

For those interested, the final leaderboard looks like this…

Until next year,

– jourdo

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