Alright, after last week’s BAT-fueled shenanigans, I wanted to tone it down a bit. So it was the perfect time to bring out one of the most maligned sets in Dice Masters history: Amazing Spider-Man. Yes, I’m going there. And if I can win with this one, I can just see my opponents saying…
The Team: A Swiss-army knife of decent cards.
Format: Casual Golden Age (Single set recommended)
I should point out to start: I didn’t have a single win condition in mind, just several different ones. First, I went for the trusty Vulture + Silver Sable combo. Pretty straightforward. Have both active, and use Sable’s ability to sacrifice her, sending her to Used to make Vulture unblockable. Vulture, of course, gets +4A because Sable left the field. You end up dealing 6 to 8 unblockable damage (neat!). Remember: if you use Vulture, an errata was published stating he can only trigger once per turn. So no KO’ing multiple characters to make him huge. Sorry.
I also wanted to use the zombie Goblin. If you never used him, he’s quite amusing. He hurts the opponent for the amount of sidekicks THEY have, so if my opponent tries to wall up, joke’s on them. To support this, I added the White Tiger global to force my opponent to field sidekicks. It helps that White Tiger is pretty good for a 3-cost, and her ability can give her Overcrush too; nothing to sneeze at! I also threw in Exposed! to discourage my opponent from blocking with sidekicks.
Next up, let’s talk defence and removal. Black Cat’s an interesting piece of removal with decent attack stats (though weaker than recent cards e.g. Becky), and Archnemesis! is a great basic action with a global that helps with defensive characters (e.g. Blob). But really…Black Widow’s the big one, best card on the team. She punishes my opponent pretty heavily for attacking. And as a bonus? She is great when attacking too. She has decent stats for a 2-cost and she punishes the opponent for blocking her. Easily the best card ever designed with the Aftershock keyword.
As for the rest of the team, Carnage acts as an alternate win condition (pretty decent Overcrush character!), and Mysterio…meh. He’s the best ramp in the set, yes, but that really isn’t saying much. Still, he’s there for some bag fixing. If the character comes out, maybe he could be fun?
And with all of that said, on to the games!
I started off against an Infinity Gauntlet team with some decent control (Drax, Angela, etc), but a slow win condition; essentially, he relies on R Spider-man’s removal + C Kang’s stats for damage. Early on, my Vulture + Sable combo hit once. My opponent didn’t like that and Drax’d Sable, so I pivoted towards buying up my Widow dice and using the zombie Goblin. Goblin didn’t damage my opponent much, but he did entice my opponent not to keep sidekicks on the board. What hurt my opponent most, however: his Spidey didn’t roll all game. And when he’d miss one, I would use Mysterio to mess up his bag at key times, then keeping up the pressure with the Widows. And that pressure dealt consistent damage since his characters were fairly beefy (and thus KO’d Widow when he’d block). Near the end, I had 4 Widows in Used and an empty bag. So I used Mysterio to set up my bag. I fielded 3 Widows on the following turn. I dealt almost enough damage to win right then and there (opponent was at 1 life). The following turn, I rolled a level 1 Widow (2A/1D). It was a no-win scenario for my opponent; no way to block Widow without KO’ing her and triggering Aftershock. I won.
Game 2 against SR Thor…my opponent forgot part of her single set team, and that’s the only team she had available. It happens. SR Thor with some nasty “When fielded” shenanigans, Pip, Drax, Mary…using both Investigation and Atlantis (interesting choice!) for ramp. Do I really need to say how it went? My opponent spent the early game ramping, during which I charged in as best I could. Then Thor hit the field. By that point, my Carnage came out to play and was wreaking havoc, but Thor simply started dealing damage way faster than me. Doesn’t help that my White Tiger global helped my opponent tremendously. I did manage to bring my opponent down to 6 life, but it wasn’t enough. My opponent simply outpaced me and won.
And for the third and last round of the night, I went up against XFC. To be honest, he didn’t roll characters almost all game. Seriously, if I remember correctly, outside of UC Kitty Pryde, none of his characters rolled. Ouch. So I’d roll characters, realize he had no blockers, and charged in. Between the zombie Goblin and my Widows, his life started going down pretty fast. I had another turn like in Game 1, where I managed to reset my bag with tons of Widows in Used, and he lost the game the following turn before being able to mount much of a defence. It’s too bad, because he had an interesting Boom Boom + Morph engine that I was curious to see.
-In a funny twist of fate, the crazy Thor team lost in round 3 (Drax + Angela shut her team down). So 3 players were tied for first place at 2-1. I tied for first…with an ASM team. Really.
-Why did that happen? Well, my opponents did have some pretty bad luck. But other than that, the main reason: Black Widow. Her relentless pressure is the main reason I won one game, let alone two. She forces the opponent into bad choices. Attack me with her active, I hurt you. I attack you and you don’t block her, I hurt you. I attack and you DO block and KO her, I hurt you. If you can’t blank, spin or reroll her die, pain is on the menu consistently.
-Another one that helped, surprisingly…is Mysterio. I was too harsh on that card. I used his global to fix my bag while messing up my opponent’s pretty much every game. So in a way, I made my own luck; by messing up my opponents’ bag, they had less opportunity to roll their best characters. My opponents never used Mysterio, probably because they didn’t feel comfortable using him, and that gave me an advantage, despite the ramp being two-sided. Setting up those 3-Widow turns by resetting my bag at the right time was a key to victory. I just wish the character wasn’t so expensive so I could use that neat ability.
-No, I didn’t run Mary Jane: MJ. Best card in ASM, I know, but using her I would’ve almost had to run a Spidey affiliation team, and I couldn’t find a team I could pace like I wanted.
-I wish Exposed had been relevant, but I never got around to purchasing the action (just bought more Widows!) and I was always missing a second bolt for the global those times when it could’ve helped. It was actually not a great choice for this team; my opponent could’ve punished me for blocking with my Widows. Still, it never became a problem tonight thankfully.
So overall, this was a little team that could. ASM was (rightfully) not an especially popular set, but it’s interesting how even in a comparatively weak set, you can still find enough decent cards to build something fun.