Community Spotlight: Transformers

It has been a minute… but we are back with another Community Spotlight.  This time, we are looking at some cards inspired by the robots in diguise.  Allow me to present to you…

Jackalopespam approached me to work on this project a little while back and I was all in.  These characters have been a part of my life since I was a wee jourdo, and integrating them into the game we all know and love just made sense.  The cards designed here were made to play against each other.  Autobots vs Decepticons… you get the idea.    You won’t find a full Campaign Box/Team Pack here.  For now, it’s just one team for each representing some classic Transformers characters.  This project also game me the excuse to get my new card template out for a test run.

I hope you enjoy it.

Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way right off the bat.  These are fan made cards.  They are not official products in any way, and should not be produced or sold in any way.  The cards below are for personal use/enjoyment only.

Design Notes from JackalopeSpam

Transformers is always suggested and requested as a potential new IP for the game. So I knew I needed to come to this with my best effort, the abilities need to be fun and thematic. The best way to get the theme across is through Flip cards where one side is the Bot Mode and the other is their Alt Mode. Further, there needs to be ways to interact with these sides and reason to flip.

First up, I knew I needed to create two some new keywords to help expand on the idea. So one side of each card will be designated as Robot and the other as Disguise. Very similar to the Founder keyword, Robot and Disguise don’t do much of anything on their own. Instead, they’re meant to serve as a reference for other card abilities to use. However, characters with these keywords will always start the game on their Disguise side.

Next, I wanted to ensure that flipping character cards was a core part of the abilities. Who wants a Transformer that doesn’t transform? Nobody, that’s who! So characters need to be flipping between their two forms and that should be impactful to game play. Some characters will have the Flip keyword, which will let them flip at the start of the turn. However, a number of the characters won’t have Flip, but instead need to meet a simple triggering condition in order to flip to the other side. This is very similar to some of the characters in the Justice Like Lightning team pack. All of the characters will have two sides though, even if both sides have the almost the same exact game text. It was only natural to add art for both forms and this lets all of the characters have the keywords Robot and Disguise to be referenced by other characters.

For those less interested in reading, you can take a look at the overview of some of the cards listed here on the YouTube.

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The Autobots

The Autobots were designed with the combat step in mind. To really optimize their abilities you need to attack and block with them. Some of their cards have, “When <this character> attacks, flip this card to Robot.” to show the character has entered the battlefield. As such, the characters become very aggressive in the combat step. Optimus Prime will give all of your Autobot characters extra an Attack buff. When Ironhide flips he’ll gain Overcrush for the turn.

Those Autobot characters will stay in Robot mode until they are declared as a blocker, then they’ll have similar text to flip back to Disguise. These abilities represent more of a tactical retreat so Optimus Prime will now provide a Defense buff to the Autobots and Ironhide will gain Ironwill for the rest of the turn. The Autobots will still be dominate during combat, but more defensive.

The Decepticons

The Decepticons have a very different strategy, instead their abilities focus on flying into the field and causing trouble before getting blown away. Some of their cards simply need to meet the condition of being fielded in order to flip the card to Robot. Then, in order to flip back to Disguise, they need to be KO’d. For someone like Starscream, he gets to enter the field and deal 1 damage directly to your opponent. Then when he’s KO’d he’ll deal 1 damage to all opposing characters. Both are pretty good, but the abilities only trigger when his card flips. So you’ll need to find a way to KO your first Starscream before you can get the advantage of fielding the second one. After all, the villains tend to get in their own way and have trouble working together.

Talk about having trouble working together, Megatron wins the prize for worst friend ever. His ability purposefully KO’s your other characters to damage your opponent. What a jerk! We’ll just ignore the fact that it’s just resetting your cards to make the most out of them. Some characters even present a challenge in that you want them to be KO’d once, like Ravage. On the Disguise side Ravage is unblockable, but as soon as he’s fielded he loses the ability for Fast. So you’ll need to maneuver around some of these setbacks in order to optimize the abilities.

Basic Action Cards

A Dice Masters team isn’t complete without Basic Actions, so let’s talk about those. For the moment, I wanted to keep them relatively simple with each team effectively getting 2 each. Explosion and Energon should already look familiar as they are simply reprints of existing abilities. Any card game gets a lot of consistency by reusing game text, and BACs help form that common thread in Dice Masters. The other two BACs were designed to play around with flip mechanics that run rampant.

With Roll Out you can choose a flip character card and flip it. This gives you the obvious flexibility to get your characters on the side you need, and maybe trigger an effect. However, it does present some control against the opponent as well since you could flip their cards too. Meanwhile, Signal Jam has the the opposite effect. It directly counters Roll Out while also preventing the conditional flipping that some card abilities have.

Below, you can see how these initial cards played in a read live game of Dice Masters!

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Playing these cards was fun! The character cards were flipping all the time and really fit the thematic goal of the set. Not to mention all of the characters felt like they were playable. Some characters certainly felt like they needed to be played in set, but others could easily find their way on competitive teams using all of the IPs. It’s definitely got my creative juices flowing, so expect to see more cards added to this fan made set.

After playing, I did have a few issues to address on both teams.

  • As you may have heard in the video, the fielding costs for the Autobots were pretty rough. This was not intentional, but instead a byproduct of using dice from other characters. The chosen dice just happened to coalesce into lots of fielding costs.
  • The Decepticons were designed with the intent to field and KO them for their abilities. In some cases this feels like the character essentially got two abilities on their card, the card flipping didn’t feel like as much of a drawback as intended. They offer a lean strategy on purchases, as is typical of competitive play.
  • Overall I think there could also be more direct team affiliation synergy as well as abilities referencing the new keywords Disguise and Robot. While not a bad thing, it’s more of a missed opportunity for the moment.

I hope you enjoyed this little Community Spotlight.  What do you think of these fan made cards?  Let us know in the comments below!

What other abilities are worthy of these characters?  We would love to see what you can come up with to augment this set and see what other versions of these characters you can come up with.  Do you feel an existing ability fits someone here?  Do you have a unique idea for a character ability that might work?  Let us know.  We always love seeing what others can do with this sort of thing.

Do you have some creations that you want to share with the Community?  Get in touch with us via any of our Socials (@dmNorthTV), or hit us up by email.  We would love to hear from you and share your creations with the Dice Masters World.

Thanks for reading!

– jourdo & Jackalopespam

2 Replies to “Community Spotlight: Transformers

  1. One way around the fielding costs for Autobots is add a human card that has a global to field one die for free on a turn. Sam W or something.

    Next are the Beast Wars….

    1. Whatever it is, they need some help. Humans as support pieces is actually a neat idea.

      We still have 4 seasons of characters to hit before the Beasts! 😛

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