As you’ve no doubt heard by now, we’re getting Dice Masters Canadian Nationals in just a couple of weeks (AAAAAAH!). So time to see what makes this meta tick. Rather than going for the obvious suspects, however, let’s see if a good control build can sneak in some wins for the…
The Team: I’m about to make this meta go Boom.
Format: Casual Golden Age (Modern recommended)
Ok, this team runs a combo that can get a bit crazy when it works. Have Boom Boom active, then have Hope copying Boom Boom’s text, and then field Morph, copying Betrayal. Proceed to attack with Morph, dealing damage from Betrayal, then from Boom Boom, and finally from Hope’s copy of Boom Boom’s effect. And if you attack with multiple Morph dice, this damage triggers per Morph die.
Now, of course, running Boom Boom and Hope together also opens the door to running Thrown Brick, for ramp, as well as dealing some sweet Boom Boom+Hope damage. However, since I know my opponents will buy those bricks without hesitation, this forces me to run Scarlet Witch, so that I can severely diminish any advantage that my opponents may gain from my bricks.
It became clear pretty quick that this strategy wasn’t fast enough to outpace fast burn teams. I thus needed some heavy control. I went for Shriek, Kate Bishop, Bishop (easy to copy with Hope!) and Wrecker (on top of the aforementioned Scarlet Witch). This should give me enough options to slow the game down and allow me to slowly wear my opponent down until Morph can come in for the big finishing blow.
Which left me with absolutely no slots for ramp. It’s Thrown Brick or bust (or whatever my opponent brings). This team is purely about the win condition and control pieces.
And with that said, on to the games!
The night started off against a sidekick rush team with ludicrous amounts of ramp (Mimic AND Atlantis) and some pretty potent damage. It also relies on combat damage from several sources, which is something my control pieces didn’t account for. However, his dice betrayed him; no two ways about it. Due to all of his missed rolls, he didn’t even get his win condition on the board. Boom Boom+Hope showed up alongside bricks (on which I was seriously lucky that game), and then Morph showed up and smacked him with more damage than he could stop. I won. But that team deserved a better fate. Fun fact: I was the only one to beat him all night; definitely not one to be underestimated.
And of course, time to face off against a faster team, namely Iceman. Funnily enough, we both brought limited ramp (I brought Brick, she brought Investigation) in the hopes that the opponent would supply ramp. This made for horrible bag control but a very entertaining game. I went for Shriek early to stop Iceman, and this was quite effective. While she had a lot of bolt characters about (1-cost Chwingas, primarily), she didn’t get to roll a lot of them per turn, so having to ping off Shriek before dealing damage was an issue. Add to that the fact that my Boom Boom + Hope + Morph combo was a pain in the rear that she wanted off the field as well (thus using a lot of bolts for Magic Missile’s global on those), and she was so busy trying to stop my team that she never got to deal any serious damage (outside of one turn where she dealt 8 damage). While I did buy Wrecker, by the time he hit the field, he was no longer a factor. I was just chipping away, bit by bit, until my opponent had no life left. The tortoise beat the hare in this race; I won.
For this next one, I faced off against a Thunderbird/Hope team (essentially: KO’s at will) running Yondu for direct damage and choosing golems that can control the game (e.g. R Tomb Guardian with its global tax). This was a very slow game, which is good news for my team. My Hope copied Bishop all game and didn’t leave the field. His team, being built for speed, had limited options to get past my control, especially since his removal options were primarily action-based (the Witch earned her keep here, to say the least). He resorted to attacking with his characters a fair bit, but between sidekicks and Kate’s global, I had enough to keep him at bay. I just kept chipping away with Boom Boom + Morph, eventually dealing enough damage to win.
This time, against just about the only player who didn’t run Golden Age tonight. He was running old school Bruce Wayne + Unblockable Batman shenanigans. He was also running the Scarecrow to make things more expensive (kind of funny, since he also had old-school PXG, making these more expensive things more affordable). He also had Clayface, making his PXG even crazier. So I did what any control team does: buy what I need, then shut down the ramp. My Shriek blanked his PXG as he was ready to set up a big turn, and from there, he had no answer. Add to that the fact that Kate kept Batman at bay, and I just chipped away with Boom Boom + Morph, eventually using Hope to copy Boom Boom, and that, as they say, was that. I won.
-Running Boom Boom + Hope as a control build certainly worked out quite well in this context. It helps that this relies on slow but pretty steady damage that can be hard to stop. Thus, as I set up control, I’m winning, bit by bit. As my opponents struggle against control, they’re not spending resources to stop the win con. Or as they stop the win con, the control smothers their team further. I like the way that this team balances the two aspects.
-No one was running the fastest burn team, though: Atom. While I have a great answer to him in Wrecker, this would make for a fascinating matchup no doubt.
-I was surprised by the amount of Magic Missile around though. It made Morph harder to use for sure. Had I gone for Wrecker more consistently, it might’ve helped, but to be fair, outside of the matchup with Iceman, Kate’s global helped me too much to go for Wrecker.
-this team used Hope summers to very good effect; two clear, focused uses, that are a part of a structured strategy. Not like the chaotic monstrosity I built before.
-I don’t know why I didn’t bring 4 Morph dice. That was silly of me.
So overall, could this be a dark horse in the meta? Perhaps. I think it could give Collector a run for its money as the best choice for a control team. Definitely worth looking into further.