Out of the Shadows…is a series of articles highlighting fun, helpful cards that aren’t getting a lot of attention. They may or may not be meta-worthy, but are definitely worth looking at for casual play.
Hey there! Remember me? I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus due to work, life, and the preparations for the recently announced & launched DM-North Podcast, A Double Double ‘n Dice. But I am back and ready to bring into the light to some sneaky cards that have been hiding out in the shadows.
Gazer: Tiny Beholderkin
Today I want to talk about Gazer: Tiny Beholderkin. No, this is not THAT Gazer – the one with Intimidate; that one’s been getting a lot of press already. I want to highlight one of the OTHER Gazer’s from the new DnD Trouble in Waterdeep (TIW) Campaign box, because you may or may not be aware that there are actually three (3) Gazer cards available to you for your team building needs.
This Gazer is a 2 cost shield character with the evil alignment, the Monster affliation and a when KO’d effect: When Gazer is KO’d, you may draw two dice from an opponent’s bag. Place either or both into their Used Pile, return the rest to their bag.
Why is this special?
The more I play this game, the more I realize how important bag control is for both me and for my opponent. So, in turn, that means I like things that mess with my opponent’s bag control. If my opponent can’t get to the dice he or she needs, that is a good thing for me.
At first blush, this looked to me like Corrupt. In fact, I had to read the card a couple of times to figure out why this card didn’t have that keyword, why it was different. If you’re not familiar with Corrupt, it reads: Corrupt X: Target player draws X dice from their bag (refilling from the Used Pile if necessary). You choose one die (no matter how many dice are drawn) and place it in that player’s Used Pile, and the rest are returned to the bag. (MDM11). I have a soft spot in my heart for Corrupt, and one day I may just write an article about why I love it so much.
Gazer is different from Corrupt because you get to choose either OR both dice to place in your opponent’s used pile; and you can only target your opponent.
Ok, now we know why our Gazer is different than Corrupt. Now we need to KO him. With a 1, 1, 2 defence, Gazer could easily be KO’d. However, with only a 1 attack on all levels, your opponent may not block him while attacking. He could be a handy blocker, but what if your opponent doesn’t attack? You’ll want to include other KO mechanics on the team.
Fortunately, right in set, right in the same campaign box, those kind folks at WizKids have brought us one of the best KO mechanics I’ve seen. Nihiloor: Plotting. It’s not his character ability, but instead his Global Ability that is making a splash with the KO crowd (and it makes me wonder what the KO King himself, from the defunct Double Burst Podcast, might do with access to this Global Ability. Russ, if you’re reading – I’d love to hear your thoughts). Global: Pay (mask). Once per turn, you may KO a character die you control. The most important part of this Global Ability is the phrase “once per turn”. That means you can use this Global Ability on your turn, and your opponent’s turn! KO’ing dice for everyone. And for each of these Tiny Beholderkin that are KO’d, you get to mess with your opponent’s bag. There are other ways you could KO our Gazer, but this is probably the easiest and most economical way to do it.
What else can our Gazer do?
Now, messing with your opponent’s bag is lots of fun. And it could be an easy delay tactic if you just need to keep your opponent from his or her dice for a couple of turns. But if you can turn it into a win condition, that would be awesome.
That’s where our friend common Tabaxi Rogue: Lesser Zhentarim, from the Tomb of Annihilation (TOA) set, comes in. This card has been around for awhile, so you have probably seen it before. His ability reads: While Tabaxi Rogue is active, when an opponent draws a die, other than during their Clear and Draw Step, Tabaxi Rogue deals them 1 damage. Easy damage recipe: KO your Gazer, your opponent takes 1+1=2 damage. How could you make that better? Pair him with the uncommon Absorbing Man: Harold’s Ice Cream, from The Mighty Thor (TMT), comes in. When a “when KO’d effect” happens, Absorbing Man may use a copy of it. That will double the damage. Of course, you will need to be aware that Black Widow: Agent is still quite prevalent in the meta, and her character ability would shut down the damage from Tabaxi Rogue entirely. However, you will still be able to mess with your opponent’s bag with our Gazer.
A note: As I was putting the final touches on this article, Monkey1985 was asking questions about some of the interactions I mention in this article, on the Dice Masters Online discord channel. Good on you, Monkey1985 for spying something sneaky-ish!
What do you think about this Gazer? Have you put him on a team yet? I’d love to hear from you, let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments.