I Want You… To Attend Worlds 2023

A little bit of a delay getting this one out, but Canada’s own US Champion General Nemesis has graciously agreed to give us a look back at his 2022 World Championship weekend experiences.  Take it away Dana!

Coming hot on the heels of the 2022 World Championship weekend, there’s been a wealth of awesome podcasts and articles on the current competitive Dice Masters meta.  If you’re into that sort of thing and you haven’t done so already, I would definitely recommend checking out Laurier’s in-depth review of his championship team and my interview for the DM United Meta Chronicle series.

So instead of rehashing my team in depth and talking through my matches I thought I would take a bit of a different approach with this recap article and spend some time talking about the weekend as a whole, my experiences and why you should absolutely, 100%, without a doubt attend next year’s big event.

So for those who haven’t heard, I like many others decided to play a Master Mold team. He’s a big scary dude with massive stats and the ability to very quickly flood the board with 5/5 tokens. What’s not to like? Following a similar structure to previous teams that have given me success, I packed the build with as many globals as I could shake a stick at and found a way to reliably purchase the big guy on turn two and field him on turn three and just let him go to work. 

The crew over at DM United were kind enough to sign on as my practice partners and helped run me through an extensive pre-tournament training regime. Not only did this help me fine tune the structure of the team but it also gave me an in-depth understanding of the nuances of the build and how to navigate potentially challenging situations.

In practice, the team worked really well. Master Mold largely cooperated and my pre-tournament experience definitely paid off. Overall, I won 15 of my 16 matches, became the new US National Champ and just barely missed out on a clean sweep losing to Laurier in a close hard fought Worlds final. Suffice to say that the dice gods were largely on my side throughout the weekend.

Not too bad for my first ever in-person tournament. And yes, you heard that correctly. As a player who joined the game during the pandemic, this was actually the first time that I had ever played Dice Masters in-person…ever.

So if you’re like me and you’ve never worked up the courage or had the opportunity to play this great game we all love outside of the confines of your living room, I’m hoping that this article will convince you to jump out of that bean bag chair of yours and venture out into the world beyond for some in-person dice mastering. 

I think it’s fair to say that I was fairly nervous in the days leading up to the tournament…ok, very nervous. I’ve played in a bunch of big online competitive events over the past few years but something about flying to another country to play in a large conference hall against people who I’ve never met before made me feel like a quivering teenager on the first day of high school.  

Luckily for me, the Dice Masters community is quite a bit more welcoming than the hormone fueled peers of my past. Almost immediately upon landing in Memphis the Dice Masters community put my nerves at ease. Patrick (aka ‘Shadowmeld’, aka ‘The Global Escalator’) put out an open invitation on the Dice Masters Discord to join him and his buddy Ray for some beer and BBQ and was even nice enough to pick me up at the hotel and drive me downtown. It felt really good to meet some friendly faces in advance of the tournament so I didn’t have to go into the first day feeling like a turkey invited to Thanksgiving dinner. 

There were no big events scheduled for the first official day of the tournament weekend (which I really appreciated). Instead, we got the opportunity to partake in some casual drafting of the new Superman Kryptonite Crisis set. This was a great way to ease into the event, meet a bunch of people who I had previously only known by their hands and their Discord aliases and just generally hang out and indulge in all things Dice Masters. 

Of all my memories of the weekend, I think it’s all of the non-game play experiences that will stay with me the longest. Group dinners, grabbing a casual drink with Wizkids head honcho Jimmy back at the hotel, swapping war stories with other players over lunch or a draft. Dice Masters is a game that translates to online play really well, but the only way to truly experience this wonderful community in full is by attending an event like this. It really is hard to beat.

By the time US Nationals rolled around, it truly felt like we were all a bunch of long lost friends and any lingering nervousness was a distant memory. The tournament days themselves were long and mentally taxing (we’re talking 9 hours more or less straight long) but at the same time they felt like they were gone in a flash. 

And while the competition was fierce, the players themselves were anything but. I can’t recall ever witnessing a competitive environment where people were so gracious in their defeats and humble in their victories. After a loss, many of my opponents were quick to offer congratulations and heartfelt support (Rob and Jocelyn – I’m looking at you). This isn’t the type of event where someone chews you out for making a mistake or gloats in your face after a victory. The atmosphere felt congenial and friendly banter between players mid-game was not unexpected. Even as a Canadian, I was thoroughly impressed! 

The next day at Worlds was very much a similar story, though it did feel like there was just a touch more electricity and anticipation in the air as we eagerly awaited to see who would be anointed KIng (or Queen) of the realm of dice. As the dust finally settled, an exuberant yell rang through the hall as Laurier snatched the coveted crown from my now cold dead fingers and took his seat upon the throne of dice. And while the end result wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned, it was hard to be too upset. The team played great, I had a blast and I got to partake in some truly epic battles (against Andy, Lucan and Laurier in particular). 

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the awesome prizing. Head judge extraordinaire Nick was handing out Dark Phoenix OP promo cards left, right and centre and anyone who made the top 16 of any of the events received a random modern SR. As someone who was lucky enough to make it deep into both big events, I walked away with some truly epic cardboard. As a newer player, it was cool to pick up some factory sets of older releases like X-Men First Class and Batman and some really stunning chase cards from days gone by like foil SR Gobby, Constantine Hellblazer and alt-art Boom Boom. But the absolute pièce de résistance was when Jimmy handed out SR Black Lantern and AoU SR Zombie chase cards…signed by the creators of the game Mike Elliot and Eric Lang! 

As I boarded the plane back home the next day, I had a bag full of swag and a smile firmly implanted upon my face. I made some great friends, played some great games and got to be featured on some of my favourite podcasts. I can’t imagine a better introduction to in-person gaming or a better way to spend a weekend. I’ll definitely be heading back to Graceland next year and you should too!

For those interested, check out more awesome content and coverage of the 2022 World Championship weekend:

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