The result was a Hope – SR Jubilee burn team that was very successful on the night, and that I remember with a certain degree of fondness. So I decided to revisit it.
What Did You Play?
The 2020 team was Modern Legal at the time, although Rotation happened not that long afterwards. My goal this time around was to see if I could find replacements for the pieces I lost in the 2020 rotation and end up with an equivalent or at least workable team that is mid-2022 Modern Legal.
The 2020 version worked more or less as follows: With Hope and Jubilee in my Field Zone, use Reinforcements to field 3 Sidekicks AND empty my bag at the same time.
On my opponents turn, use the Cake global to trigger a bag refill, guaranteeing that I will draw the Reinforcements die on my subsequent turn. Use the Techno global to arrange that I will have 3 Sidekick dice in my bag after my next Clear and Draw Step.
Repeat until opponent is dead.
So what did I lose, what did I replace it with, and how did it work?
First and foremost, I lost SR Jubilee and replaced her with SR Jubilee.
So, more expensive but a more powerful ability.
Next, I lost the Cake global and replaced it with Sage: Xavier’s Mole.
The entire point of including the Cake global on the original team was that it would allow me to guarantee that I would draw my Reinforcements die on my following turn. That was because if I drew it with the global, I was allowed to return it to the bag.
There are some globals in modern that allow me to draw a die from my bag, which would trigger a refill if my bag were empty. The problem with some of these (e.g. Stretch) is the risk of drawing the Reinforcements die with the global, and having it end up going to my Used Pile.
In retrospect, the Iron Lad global might have been usable here, since if the Reinforcements die ends up in Prep, I’m still rolling it next turn, but I saw the option of Sage before the Iron Lad global occurred to me, and opted to go with her.
Now, I need a means of KO’ing Sage on my opponents turn, which means either Nihiloor or Dark Phoenix. Except that this is clearly a bolt centric team, so the question was really which Dark Phoenix.
I went with the common, thinking of it as a backup plan. If I needed to, I could buy Dark Phoenix dice, and KO my Hope dice when I fielded her to deal 4 damage to my opponent. Perhaps not the greatest of backup plans, but at least I had something I could try if the burn damage route proved unworkable for some reason.
Hope: Plurp-E and Techno both carried over to the new team, and Intellect Devourer replaced Mjolnir as my energy fixer.
Xavier Woods is on the revised team for the same reason Crystal was on the original – they each allow me to reroll an action die an extra time in the Roll and Reroll Step. I’m a little more likely to buy Xavier than I was to buy Crystal, simply because I don’t have the Acererak global on the new team. Even so, I’m not that likely to buy him. Keeping my bag lean is an important part of this team.
That leaves one character card slot and the second BAC.
For the last character card, I went with SR D’Ken (replacing Shriek from the original team.) He was there solely to shut down UC Mystique or Black Widow: Agent if either of those nuisances showed up. If I didn’t see one of those cards on the opposite side of the table, I had no intention of touching D’Ken.
For my second BAC, I decided to include Lab Test to see if it might prove in some way useful. Maybe it could provide some insurance against whiffing on my Sage rolls.
So that’s the updated team for 2022. How did it do?
Game 1 was against a Brotherhood Team. Teamwatch Magneto to spin my characters to energy. Sidekick Intimidating Blob. And Mystique. The version I did NOT want to see – the Uncommon that reduces damage dealt by my characters by 1.
So I bought D’Ken right away. That led to my opponent actually purchasing a Dark Phoenix die. He was running the Uncommon, so when he rolled her on Level 3, her ‘when fielded’ ability was able to KO my Shi’ar Empire affiliated D’Ken, which left my field empty.
My opponent then sent her through my empty field for a total of ten damage, two from her ‘when attacks’ ability and the rest being combat damage.
A bit of a rough start, but things went fairly smoothly for the rest of the game. I bought all my tools, got Hope and Jubilee into my Field Zone, and started fielding characters.
That resulted in both burn damage and a limited supply of blockers, as I kept KO’ing them.
It wasn’t that long before his life total was low enough and his field was thin enough that a mass attack would give me the victory.
I was dealing mostly with Aquaman: Saving the Seven Seas and some Grells.
I just followed the basic game plan here. Bought Jubilee and Hope, bought Sage and Reinforcements. Field the first two. Field characters to both deal burn damage to the opponthe ent and clear his field. Use Reinforcements to expedite the process.
It worked well. I fielded three characters, which allowed me to deal enough Ping damage to take out his 5D Aquaman. That left him with no blockers, and by sending everything through I had enough to get to lethal.
I didn’t seem to be able to roll character faces on my Hope and (especially) Jubilee dice this game. I think I rolled Jubilee six times without ever getting a character face. I did eventually get a Hope out and started doing Ping damage, getting my opponent down to nine life.
He was running the new SR Thor, Cyclops: Slim (which does his full damage to each individual blocker) and Psylocke to give Cyke Overcrush. He also had a Giant Spider with a force block global. That allowed him to force everything I left in the field to block, so when he attack with an Overcrushing Cyclops, it resulted in some impressive damage totals.
It took him a while to get his engine set up, but my whiffs on Hope and Jubilee gave him that time. And once it was set up, it did plenty of damage, giving him the win in short order.
I did buy a couple of Lab Test dice in this game, but once they went into my bag they were some of the last dice to be drawn from it, at which time it was too late for them to do me any good.
We played a second game for fun afterwards. I did much better rolling character faces on Hope and Jubilee, and this time he had a few issues with rolling character faces on his dice, especially early in the game. By the time he got his Thor out he was completely on the defensive, using Thor’s burn damage to KO Hope and Jubilee. He never got a Cyclops into the field this game.
So I won the second game without even taking any damage. Actually being able to roll your characters makes such a huge difference. (Said every Dice Masters player, ever.)
Game 3 excepted, where the problem was my inability to roll characters, the team worked very well. Better that I expected, in some ways.
I knew there would be board clearance, but I think I underestimated how effective it would be.
In my wins, I usually delivered the coup de grace by a mass attack where my opponent had either an empty field or one single character die available to block. The attacking dice would include a Hope, a Jubilee, usually a Sage and multiple Sidekicks. Depending on levels, the combined damage total was usually approaching, if not over, double digits.
So, contrary to my expectations going in, I never really needed to use Reinforcements more than once to get the damage I needed to win.
I had three pieces on this team who were there to help me use Reinforcements quickly and consistently: Sage, Techno and Dark Phoenix. Now I’m wondering if any of them are necessary.
Sage was put on the team so I could use her Corrupt ability on myself to trigger a bag refill on my opponent’s turn. Dark Phoenix was primarily on the team so I could use her global to KO Sage on my opponent’s turn. And Techno was present so I could precisely control the number of Sidekick dice (and thus total dice) going into my back each turn when my engine got going.
But I seem to win games before I get the engine set up, so it’s redundant. And if the engine is redundant, all of the component pieces are redundant. So, among other things, that’s two globals I’m providing to my opponent when I don’t really need to.
Sage probably proved more useful for her 3-3-4 D than for her Corrupt ability. When I field a character die with Jubilee active I have to deal damage to a target character die. That’s not optional, so if my opponent’s field is clear I have to hit my own characters. I’d prefer not to KO them so they’re available to attack with. Which means having some characters with the D to suck up that Ping damage is quite useful.
Lab Test didn’t hurt me, but I don’t think it helped either. This team wins quickly, or it doesn’t win. Buying Lab Test dice early would slow it down for no good reason. And buying them after I’ve missed important character rolls doesn’t necessarily help, as Game 3 showed.
I went with Lab Test because I didn’t see an obvious choice for my ‘other’ BAC so I decided to experiment with Lab Test. It didn’t help me much, but it wasn’t something my opponent could really use against me.
This is a fast team, especially when it works. My first two games were both over in less than twenty minutes. Game 3, where I kept missing my character rolls, ended up taking about twenty-five.
Would I play this team again?
This article was about 95% complete when WizKids posted the 2022 Rotation announcement, which prompted a re-write of this entire section.
The Reinforcements BAC will not be Modern Legal post-rotation. So, barring a reprint appearing in a future set (which I don’t see as at all likely), there won’t be a Reinforcements III, because such a team being Modern Legal was one of the conditions I set for myself.
Are there other pieces you would have used in this build?
Are there any other quirky, neglected BACs you’d like to see someone take out for a spin and see if they can be made useful?
Let us know in the comments below, or on our Socials (@dmNorthTV), or join the conversation on our Discord.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Rolling!
– Son of L