This week, the Weekly Dice Arena dove into the world of DC Comics. You were to build a Team from the OG Justice League set, the Justice Campaign Box, the Mystics Team Pack, or the Doom Patrol Team Pack. Beyond the set restrictions, everything was open for you to build whatever your heart desired.
For those unfamiliar with the Weekly Dice Arena, Ross hosts a live stream on Twitch every Tuesday, starting at 9 PM EST. The Format varies from week to week and is always a fun time. Join the games here!
Like I do for every Team build, I went looking for a starting point. While in Justice League binder, it did not take long to find it. Katana is a character with decent stats to start with and not a bad purchase cost. Since I suspected that Legion of Doom had a potential to be big in this Format, her ability would be absolutely incredible. She gets bigger as the Villain count grows.
Immediately, I knew what to combo with her… Martian Manhunter. I used this card last year on a previous build (you can find the article here) with pretty decent results. As long as Katana is getting her buff from an opposing Villain, she will also gain Overcrush. Win-win. However, what happens if I have guessed wrond and nobody brings Villains? I guess I need a way to make my own. Thankfully the Justice League set has multiple Villain maker Gobals.
Both Lantern Power Ring and Pandora’s Box can make another character a Villain. With two different energy types in play with these, I should have a 50% change of making a Villain with every Sidekick. I like those odds. Lantern Power Ring could also deal some damage against the right Team.
That’s the core. Get Katana in the Field with Martian Manhunter and make some Villains to swing for some damage. Time to accessorize now.
What Did You Play?
The Team: My Favorite Martian.
The core is pretty decent here, but I need a way to get to that pesky 6 cost Martian Manhunter. Ramp is not plentiful in these sets, so I decided to go with something that could help a little with a stat boost as well. Power Almighty is actually a pretty good Ramp option… if it rolls. That has been the biggest part of my love-hate relationship with this card. When it works, it is amazing. When it doesn’t, you cry. Still, with limited options here it was worth a try. Games should be a little slower in this Format, so I suspect it could work.
Win-con? Check! Ramp/churn? Check! Removal? Check! Now to plan for the bad stuff.
Looking at the potential big threats on the night, I saw Villains, spammy attackers, and Mystic Attune being high on the list. I decided to slot in a card for each of these situations.
To deal with the Villains, I include Blue Beetle from the Justice League set. Most villain based problems are going to revolve around recycling these character, so why not punish my Opponent for Fielding these characters in the first place. Each Villain will essentially result in dealing 1 damage to my Opponent. This should help negate something like Cheetah, who has always been a thorn in my side. I should have the bodies on board to be able to KO her easily and force her to be refielded.
To deal with the Mystic Attune problem, I decided to pull out the best Flash in the game. Well… it is A Flash. I have never actually tried this out as a strategy, but it feels like a decent counter to Attune. Sure, I will take the hit but I will just end up trading damage with my Opponent. As long as he hits before the Attune train starts, it should work.
To deal with spam, I decided to bring a card that is really built to be a hard stop to that kind of strategy. Brainiac is a hard counter to that type of a strategy. In this Format, there is a good chance of this happening (either on the Justice League side, or the Villains). It felt worth it to at least have him as a threat more than anything.
I felt that since I was going with a pseudo Justice League Team, I felt the need to include the big boy scout himself, Superman. I went for the 5 cost Trinity War version mostly based on cost. In the event I decided to go for him, this would be the easiest way to grab him. He would more or less be a body to use with Martian Manhunter. He was mainly put there for theme more than anything.
With only one slot left, I was missing one thing that every Team needs… a 2-cost. Yeah, I went there…
So, the plan is to ideally load up on Katana dice with a Martian Manhunter in the Field and swing as much as possible. Sprinkle in the other pieces as needed.
Will the Team be able to weather the storm until it is set up? Let’s see how it ran.
The first game of the night made it onto the WDA stream. You can check out the video below.
Flash definitely earned his keep here, but Chazz’s Pings helped to keep ahead of me in damage. However, some unfortunate Boomeranging for him and fortunate Boomeranging for me helped to turn things around for a “Math is for Blockers” swing.
Next up was against fellow Canadian Petrus, who was also running an Attune based Team that was using Shazam and Joker to fuel the action usage. Fortunately for me, he didn’t have Ping this time around, so Flash was able to get out and match the Attune damage point for point. Blue Beetle helped out to soften him up while Joker made the rounds through the Field. Again, I felt the slowness of this Team as it took time to get things into place. Once it did though, the stats were big enough to finish off the job that Flash and Blue Beetle started.
Justice League spam was on the menu courtesy of Comicsmike. Batman for buffs and cheaper fielding, Green Arrow for board clear, and bodies to punch you with. Both Teams were on the slower side, and my Ramp was hurt to some extent with his Constantine that forced actions to be rerolled. Katana did some damage with the Martian powered Overcrush. However, I eventually succumbed to the numbers of his Field and fell to a Green Arrow clear.
Anything DC based is always a favourite of mine. I just love the characters from that universe. The strategy was not really anything special or sneaky here. With lots of Villain options in this Format, it would not be difficult to get Martian Manhunter’s ability to fire off. Katana was a perfect partner for the big green guy here. The core is solid here. Did I need two Villain making options? No, but I had the spare slot that basically gave me a 50% chance of making a Villain. I would probably leave all of those pieces as they were.
I still have a love-hate relationship with Power Almighty. It is excellent Ramp when it works. When it misses, it is harder to recover from. I still think on a stat based Team like this, it is worth keeping it on the Team though.
Superman was… unnecessary. I just wanted a Superman on the Team. Not once did I even consider thinking about purchasing him. Definitely a slot that would be open for something else here.
I won’t even spend the time on Constantine, other than to say that I cannot wait for Mayblazer to join the game.
Let’s stop and have a look at this guy though. On your standard Team, he is probably easily ignored for better overall pieces. However, in a Format where Attune is strong… he is almost an instant addition. His stats are big enough that he is not likely going to be pinged off easily. If you can get him out before the Attune starts hitting, you essentially turn it into a double edged sword. Yes, you still take the hit, but your Opponent is taking the same hit. It is a trade worth making that will soften those Teams up to give you a chance to do whatever it is you are trying to do. Flash was the MVP for me on my match-ups tonight.
While not quite as good as Flash, Blue Beetle still did some work. Villains are strong in Dice Masters. Any anti-Villain tech is a good thing. Speaking of Villains, I didn’t really speak much about Brainiac. In this Format, he should not have been allowed. He has the potential to put a stop to just too much in a limited setting. I brought him mainly as a deterrent if someone brought something a little too spammy. For the level of competitiveness that was intended on the night, I really did not plan on buying him unless necessary. He probably would have worked well in my last match though. Maybe I like Comicsmike too much?
So how would I grade the Team? Overall it worked well. It definitely found some nice synergies between the old and the new. Superman is definitely the weak link here, and I am not really sure what I would put here. Maybe Atlantis for alternative Ramp? I am open to suggestions here.
It was a fun theme and fun games. In the end, that is what I am looking for in a night of Dice Masters.
What is your DC flavour du jour? Let us know in the comments below! Also, what takes Superman’s spot?
Thanks for reading!
P.S. See you really soon for the next TOTM…