Ever get to a situation where you have to leave in 15 minutes for a Dice Masters event and don’t have your team built? That was me this week. So I scrambled, put something together, and you could say the results were…
Format: 2021 Modern
Ok, I’m not entirely sure if I had one focus when building this. I literally just put one card after another going “oh cool, that works”. No testing, no second-guessing, just throw it together and get out the door.
I figured I’d build with Front Line. I wanted to try two ideas: the first is tying up sidekicks with Seth Rollins, in the hopes that between my sidekicks and other characters, I’d sneak enough damage through that with Front Line, I’d win through sheer damage. I figured I could Tag Out Seth Rollins to further buff an unblocked character, but I also threw in an alternate strategy for fun: Poison Ivy. if Seth Rollins KO’s sidekicks, Ivy hits my opponent for each one that’s KO’d. That could deal some fun damage.
The second idea was to use Drow Mercenary’s Obscure ability to make him unblockable when I use Front Line (in retrospect, the MUCH stronger option). With 6 to 7 damage per Drow, 3 of them can win the game…or almost. To resolve the “almost” part of that equation, I threw in Anger Issues for the global, to give me the last point or two of damage I might need.
Both ideas seemed fun, but I needed ramp. Enter Dark Phoenix for her global, and Plague Marine to take advantage of said global (KO a sidekick with Dark Phoenix, Plague Marine hits the field, and can be KO’d as well – all of a sudden, two KO’s means discount by 4, so Front Line costs 1!). Wolverine is also there for his global, to do some ramp and churn.
By that point, I pretty much realized, “Wait. I don’t have any removal.” So I threw in Spider-man as a way to thin down blockers and help get that sweet Front Line damage through. I also put in Black Dwarf; between Plague Marine, Wolverine and Anger Issues, I need fists reliably, and this global helps me get there. Plus, the character’s pretty solid in his own right in a pinch.
And that’s pretty much it. With all of that said, on to the games!
I started off against UC Widow and Parasite, with SR Mary Shazam as a backup win con. Lots of nastiness all around, and weird early rolls meant I went with Poison Ivy early. My opponent had gotten a Typhoid and, since I hadn’t bought Drow yet, he put her on Ivy. That ended up defining the game, as I went with Drow aggressively after that. He set up Widow + Parasite and got some hefty damage in, but then I got Front Line with two Drow dice to take most of his life points. From then it was a race to see who’d set up his damage again the quickest, and I had the leaner bag. I set up Drow + Front Line again and charged in. I won. 1-0
Next up, an interesting combo of Hope/Cable with an unblockable Kitty Pryde (whose attack is doubled by Hope/Cable). This is another game where I took big damage early (8), but I dealt as good as I got. Kept my purchases relatively lean, bought Drow twice, a Plague Marine to help me get Front Line easier, and next thing I know, same as the first game, Front Line + my Drow dice to deal most of the damage. From there my opponent was a lot more defensive; he had enough to deal me 10 or so, just short of the 12 life I had left. His strategy required a lean field, but I was starting to field more sidekicks, so he was nervous about lacking blockers when I’d use the Front Line. Because he was defensively-minded, this gave me the time to set up Drow + Front Line again and deal the remaining damage to win. 2-0
My last match of the evening was against a team of Stun tokens, R Batman, and similar shenanigans. For this one, I saw I had the quicker strategy. Pretty straightforward: went for Drow most of the time, Front Line as soon as I could, and when a stun token would get on my Drow Mercenary, I would just pay the energy and power through it. She never had the time to set up all of her pieces, and I won. 3-0
-I know, I know, The Front Line combined with Obscure is dirty. That’s not especially new, but I don’t recall seeing Drow Mercenary used with it before (but I could be forgetting).
-You might think Plague Marine was a bit of a waste in this build. No way to directly benefit from fielding him or KO’ing him…but he was great to keep some kind of board presence after using the Dark Phoenix global, or to use it again to get The Front Line.
-Disappointingly, I never got to use Seth Rollins. I frequently looked at him…and went with something else. Usually more Drow Mercenary dice. Avoiding blockers just seemed like a more reliable strategy than outnumbering them. In large part because I just didn’t have the removal to keep characters off my opponent’s field.
-Part of me thinks I should’ve gone Parasite alongside Drow Mercenary, but even though those two work well together, I think the team ended up gelling pretty well. I got fists easily thanks to Black Dwarf, and used those fists for ramp and to make my characters stronger. This made the team more consistent. As a general rule, if you’re looking to win reliably, it’s a good idea to go for consistency ahead of a combo.
And there you have it. For a team I rushed to build, I’m pleasantly surprised. But then again, it had a solid core. Pity about Seth Rollins though. Should I try him in another build? Or should I just abandon the idea of making that card work?
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