WHYP: Cubic Madness

Have you ever seen a card where you could do nothing but laugh? That was my reaction when I first saw Cosmic Cube. Which was recorded live. This card is sheer shenanigans, absolute madness. And with it being out now, I figured I’d try my hand at some…

Cubic Madness

The Team:  I don’t expect this to meet with…Thunderous applause.

Ok, this one is going to sound very counter-productive, but hear me out. I want to deal damage to myself with Thor (or by allowing my opponent to attack unblocked). Then, when my life is low enough, I use Cosmic Cube and then use Thor to deal the necessary damage to my opponent to win. Note that by Thor being active, I can buy Cosmic Cube. Plus, Thor’s global helps me afford the Cube. Since Cube is intended as an end-game threat, it fits well for me to buy Thor first.

Notice that Thor deals damage to a “target…player”, not a “target opponent”, which is why this can work (Jubilee: X-Men Field Leader, by contrast, would not work as she hits the opponent specifically).

The reason I’m trying this approach is that my opponent presumably can’t damage themselves, so by hitting myself, I bring my life lower while leaving my opponent’s life at 20 so I can swap into my opponent’s 20 life (or close to that) without issue.

For this to work, I need extra ways to lose life, as well as ways to prevent my opponent from taking advantage of my lower life total. I therefore put Madelyne Pryor (specifically because she synergizes with Thor while requiring me to pay life), Distraction (for the global to stop any forced attacks on my opponent’s life and stop some attackers if necessary), and D’Ken (to limit the damage I can be dealt in one turn). The goal is to slow my opponent down so that if they deal me damage, it just brings me closer to my own goal. The perfect scenario is to be at 9 life, take 7 damage, then swap with Cosmic Cube the next turn. But I expect it will be messier than that.

Next up, I need some ramp for this to work – I’m relying on a 6-cost, after all. Enter Sinister, Apocalypse and Wolverine. That shouldn’t be surprising. All three are there for their globals, to allow me to Prep dice like crazy. It’s weird to have sidekick fielding on Pryor and Sinister, but remember, the point of using Pryor is life loss. Note that Apocalypse’s global is a weaker Dark Phoenix global, but the character himself makes for some interesting removal that easily slots in with the rest of the strategy.

 

Last but not least, I need some removal (on top of Apocalypse). So Spider-Gwen swings in, as well as Black Widow. Gwen is an easy 5 damage to anything that can get most control off the board quickly, while Widow is sneakier, and very helpful to get cheap energy quickly (e.g. for Distraction or Sinister), while also offering some helpful removal.

Note: my usual plan here will be not to do a T1 purchase, but rather to Prep with Wolverine and use Sinister’s global (ideally fielding a sidekick as well so there’s no wasted energy if I’m going second). That allows me to ideally purchase Thor T2.

With all that said, on to the games!

Game 1:

I started off against a Goddess of Thunder team (my locals really love that card somehow)…and she couldn’t roll a mask to save her life. So she was going for all of her other pieces and couldn’t really get anything going. Meanwhile, my rolls were great, I got Thor on the board and started hitting myself, relying on Madelyne’s global when I could. My opponent was holding back, not really dealing damage, while I brought my own life points down. All the while, I bought D’Ken (in case she got a lot of characters) and set up Cosmic Cube. Eventually I was at a low enough life and used Cube to swap. I then fielded some characters with Thor, swung in with an army of sidekicks and won.

1-0

Game 2:

This one was interesting, as my opponent had a deal very similar to my Sinister Designs team from a couple weeks back…also using Goddess of Thunder for damage because my locals love that card. This game featured some weird rolls. I couldn’t get Thor T2, so instead I had to get D’Ken. My opponent got Goddess of Thunder early and a few turns in (after I’d gotten a Thor), decided to try and attack me for 16 when I had Cube in Prep and while D’Ken was in my bag…that was too tempting to pass up. So down to 4 life, I roll Cube…and miss. *gulp* So I bought a second Cube (had Thor active), fielded some characters, and crossed my fingers he couldn’t sneak some damage through. Thankfully he had a bunch of sidekicks in his bag by that point, so I had a turn of reprieve. The following turn I rolled 2 Cubes and…missed them both on my initial roll. But I got them on the reroll. I swapped life totals with my opponent, fielded some characters, and won with Thor triggers.

2-0

Game 3:

My last game of the night was against Spider-Friends. Fast, aggressive damage, trying to run me over and going back to the field with Molecule Man. Great matchup for me! He got Molecule Man and R Spidey for ramp early, while I missed my T2 Thor again (got D’Ken instead) and slowly got my own pieces. After I got Thor and Cube, I’d been taking hits left and right (some to myself, some from him). I went down to 2 life, rolled a Cube…aaaaand missed (seriously???). Thankfully I had an army of sidekicks active and Thor. So I bought another Cube, saved energy to Sinister, and crossed my fingers. My opponent rolled enough to have 6 characters attacking, and I had 7 left after his Spider-Gwens KO’d my stuff (good thing he didn’t get more Dazzlers!). So I was safe from everything…except myself. I took a bag burn damage to bring myself down to 1, rolled both Cubes (only used one of course), fielded Thor and another character, and won that way. MUCH closer than I would have liked. 

3-0

Post-Mortem:

-This team made me feel like I was on a razor’s edge at all times. Fascinating to use, but high-stress. If you miss your chance to win, you have almost no margin for error. High-risk, high-reward.

-The flip side is that this team is really hard to counter. Unless your opponent happens to have effects that allow them to damage themselves (just using Madelyne’s global is NOT sufficient) or to counteract Cosmic Cube (and there is little to no action hate in the current meta), it becomes a really complicated team to beat if you’re not prepared.

-It’s interesting that two of my opponents chose to play really aggressive to bypass D’Ken. I’m not sure if that is the better play in the circumstances, but it certainly gave me the opening to use Cube.

-Why didn’t I use the UC D’Ken to trigger Cube from my Used Pile for shenanigans? Because I needed R D’Ken to stop my recklessness from being my undoing. Otherwise he would be absolutely hilarious here.

And there you have it. Not a team for the faint of heart, or for people that want to make friends. Life swapping really changes the game dynamic in Dice Masters, and I’m all for it. Have you tried to use Cube yet? How did you make it work?

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