We have a special treat for all of you today. Ben, friend of Double Burst, has written a write up about our constructed Dice Masters Tournament we held to raise money for Extra Life. If you missed out on the tournament we have another one coming up in November, it’s not too late to donate and help us reach our goal! Now time to pass the blog over to Ben!
On Saturday September 17, 2016 the Double Burst Dice Masters Podcast hosted a tournament to benefit the Extra Life Charity. Ktdata, The KO King, Doctor J, The Brown Messiah, Steve the Savage Sage, Alex the Beardiful, and Zack the Nicknameless One put together a great event with some awesome prizes. In addition to the regular tournament prizes, the guys also held a raffle for other promotional prizes including a gaggle of super rares, some of Doctor J’s own custom dyed sidekick and action dice, and even an official Double Burst playmat.
A quick introduction, I am Ben. I’m a guest contributor to the Double Burst team. If you were watching the live stream of the event, you may remember my match with Doctor J (Jared) and the post-match interview with Alex. My job here today is to give you my thoughts on how things went down and highlight a few of the unique strategies we saw.
The team rules were simple for this one. Sixteen players brought their best ideas using only cards from the eleven comic book themed sets. From sixteen teams we saw a whopping 104 uniquely subtitled character cards played and 22 basic actions. Because we saw so much variety, rather than including it here, we will have a link to a PDF laying out all of the cards used. In that document, I have taken the liberty of placing each of them into one of nine categories. Feel free to disagree with me in how a certain card ought to be used (which category I’ve placed it in). The nine designations I made were as follow: Ramp, Control, Rush, Endgame/Killshot, Punish, Chip Damage, Tax, Defense, and Utility. I’d be happy to answer questions about how I define any of these in the comments below.
Okay, with all that boring stuff out of the way, we can finally move on to discussing what went down. I’ll start with highlighting my favorite team of the night belonging to the Sage himself, Steve. First off, Steve did something that I don’t think anybody was expecting. That is, he made me scared of retaliation. The difficulty in running a retaliation team in the past has been that while you are punishing your opponent for knocking out your characters, you run two hefty risks. On one side, one damage does not hurt as much as you want it to and then you’re left hoping you don’t roll energy on your next turn. On the other hand, two or three or four damage does start to hurt, but your opponent may well take that hurt on the prospect of your character wandering through you used pile and bag for a few more turns. In both cases, you are left a bit defenseless. Well I promise you, Steve did not have to worry about these problems in the least. As soon as Aquaman-Orin was in the field, it was time to attack with Katana-Bladerunner. This two card combo alone was enough to put me on edge in our match. If I did knock out Katana and took the retaliation damage, she did not stay in the prep area for long. If I bit the bullet and let her through to the used pile, a minimum of two damage, I was hesitant to attack. Steve was not hesitant at all to block with Aquaman and put Katana back into the prep area. Add Batman-World’s Greatest Detective and now Steve could brush any chip damage off his shoulders as he continued to field Katana and Black Canary with little concern for your well-being. This was a tough challenge for everyone there, to say the least.
Next I’d like to highlight the top 4 for the night. First on the queue is Sam. Sam is the only member of the top 4 that I did not face myself so there is only so much I can say about his team, having only looked at the cards and taken a best guess at how he was using them. With that said, there is one clear standout combo from his team list. Radioactive Man-Splitting Atoms was paired with Venom-Symbiotic Organism to great effect. With Venom active, it was a simple matter to knock out Radioactive Man, giving Sam an easy, almost guaranteed, way to field a sidekick, thus ensuring a defender, and also dealing damage in the process. At the point he has you annoyed by not being able to stop Venom and Radioactive Man’s shenanigans, he was ready to put in Gorilla Grodd-Force of Mind into the party and finish the game strong with an army of over-crushing minions.
Dave, our second place finisher, played a tried and true strategy in using Human Torch-Johnny Storm as chip damage, with S.T.A.R. Labs-Science and Technology to set things off, and the controlling trio of Speedy-Accomplished Archer, Black Widow-Triple Agent, and Batgirl-Babs all making sure his opponent was hard pressed to keep an active field. Alongside those five, Imprisoned is a stand out basic action allowing the beat-stick known as Martian Manhunter-Trinity War to punch you while you’re down.
Before we give attention to the winner of the evening, the remaining top 4 player was myself. I won’t say much about it here except that I was proud of how things went. Indeed, the only thing I do want to do is give a better answer to one of Alex’s questions. When asked how I came up with my team I really didn’t have an answer at all. I did mention how I threw things together that morning after working the graveyard shift. That was true, but I was still somewhat conscious when I made those decisions. The part of my team I was most proud of was using, Mary Jane-Watson-Parker. This is a card I had been wanting to try for some time and pairing it with Bullseye-I’m Magic and Iron Man-Secretary of Defense gave me some good results. Okay, my horn has been tooted, moving on.
The winner of the event was Uriel. Frankly, there wasn’t anything groundbreaking about this team. That being said, there is no denying that it worked and worked well. Uriel went with a brute force strategy in combining Giganta-Tall Glass of Water, Black Lantern Anti-Monitor-Darkest Evil, and Gorilla Grodd-Force of Mind. At first glance, it would be easy to disregard this as too many too-expensive cards, but that is a testament to the effectiveness of the Superhero Registration Act basic action. Uriel did think ahead as well. In case his opponent happened to be using defensive cards such as Cyborg-Technis Imperative or Martian Manhunter-Trinity War, Villainous Pact was a perfect way to get in that final punch. Using Felicity Smoak-Gray Hat was a smart way to facilitate Giganta’s ability. Constantine-Con Artist (a favorite of Uriel’s) helped to put the big guns in field while maintaining enough energy to buy even more big guns. Final card to mention here would be Rip Hunter’s Chalkboard-Only Zatara Can Reach the POINT. This is a new card that is seeing a lot of attention for good reason. The global is an almost indispensable tool in ensuring the proper timing for bringing characters to the field zone. Look forward to this one sticking around in the competitive scene for many sets to come.
Before closing this out I would like to say again how great it was to have everybody there and how unique all the teams really were. Over the summer there were many discussions, some stayed civil and constructive while others got a bit heated. Most of these talks were aimed at what Wizkids would do to inject some life into the game, to rejuvenate the players’ excitement for the game. I hasten to say that the recent release of the Green Arrow and The Flash set has done a lot in that respect. The way in which this new set has reignited players’ creative juices was on bold display at this event. There were lots of awesome prizes to be had. For that reason, everyone in attendance had brought their best. However, none of us were out for blood. Rather, we were there to join in a good cause and share in some great conversation over how we all decided on what to bring. And I say this one more time, it was an awesome time.
So there you have it. Don’t forget to check out the PDF and give us your feedback on the many interesting ideas presented. Think a card is better used in a different category, we want to hear what your brains and experiences have to offer. Thanks for reading this far, and may the rolls be ever in your favor.
Big thanks to Ben for the writeup about out event! We appreciate everyone for coming out and helping raise money for the Miracle Children’s Hospital Network. Now that you have read about the matches, you can watch all of these teams in action below. Before I let you ago, I just want to remind you that we will have another event November 5, 2016 with more prizes to give away! If you are in Utah we hope to see you there and if not, you can still donate online and get entered in the raffle!