With just over a week to go until the UK Nationals at the UK Games Expo the lads & I down the club have started meeting up a little more often and started to focus on some more competitive teams.
From what I see on The Reserve Pool & the Pro Dice Circuit sites, our meta is not really indicative of the wider meta that’s being seen Worldwide. I’ve only seen one person use a Guy Rush team, we’re almost completely unaware of the Bard Blitz, no-one owns a Gobby or Tsarina (that I know of), and a general distaste for Yu Gi Oh at two of the FLGS’ I frequent means staple competitive Control cards like ‘Jinzo – Trap Destroyer’ or defensive cards like ‘Doom Caliber Knight’ from the set aren’t often seen.
That’s not to say the rest of the U.K. isn’t building meta-licious teams of the same ilk as the U.S. A few posts on Facebook here & there have hinted that we’ll potentially see some high level Control (‘Poly/Jinzo’) and the popular Rush builds from the widely accepted Tier 1 spaces. (Except Bard. One Facebook thread is essentially tantamount to a Nationwide contract not to bring the Bard LOL)
I’m in equals parts excited & terrified by the unknown of what I may end up facing. I’ve never played a Guy Rush team myself but the handful of times I faced off against the dude who uses one it was devastating (Hi Cal!) and on one visit to a store outside of my usual meta I played a game against a high Control team that didn’t go so well. (Hi Phil!)
Regular readers will know I’ve been fine tuning and practicing with the build for some weeks now.I’ve also been putting a bit of thought into how my team may strategically handle some of the high level archetypes I may be facing in the coming event and I’m going to outline below some of my thoughts on that. (God, I hope this level of transparency doesn’t come & bite me on the ass!)
Here’s what I’ve decided upon:
Let me give you an overview of what I’m thinking on the day…
It’s Action & Global light
I’m not going be the victim of of much punishment from the likes of ‘Jinzo – Master Destroyer’ or ‘Wasp – Founding Avenger’ nor will I be hampered by ‘Oracle – Master Investigator’ who are all undoubtedly going to make an appearance.
I’m not going to say that a well placed early ‘Transfer Power’ or a little bit of ‘Blink – Transmutation’ wouldn’t be nice, and they are there to be used, but the team can survive well enough without them, which means I can avoid paying any taxes on the day.
The large majority of the team can be bought on a standard four dice round, and the bigger hitter, ‘Hulk’, can be ramped up to using the internal mechanics of ‘Swarm’ (which, as a side advantage, also does not benefit my opponent at all.)
It is also my hope that, with an abundance of cheap characters on the team, I can survive an early rush from “Angry Guy” and “Bard Blitzing” teams by ensuring I’ve a bunch of blockers ready to go – fingers crossed.
I believe I’ve got enough versatility on the team to shift gear and move to a “go-to” play for many of the pesky nuisances that may challenge my win condition.
I can tax my opponent’s Global usage, I can keep those awkward “when fielded” effects at bay, I can reduce action & ability damage, I can blank game texts on annoyances, and I can clear a board with brutal efficiency.
The only thing I’m under-prepared for is Action Dice, but without going for a higher cost solution (such as ‘Jinzo – Trap Destroyer’) or taking something out to add a new piece of action hate I’m having to be selective about my defensive cards. my biggest fears are Actions such as ‘Lantern Ring – Limited Only By Imagination’ or ‘Banishment’, and I’ll rush buy my ‘Captain America’ in that instance.
It’s comprehensive to pilot
As I started out with Dicemasters I found myself over-complicating my teams. I had win cons with loads of moving parts, convoluted solutions to challenges, and weird combos that worked on paper but couldn’t work in reality.
I’ve worked on this with my build to play at the National level by simplifying loads. I’ve got comprehensive plan A and plan B win cons. I have some level of clarity about any gear changes needed (along with getting a good sense of what to look out for to inform a gear change). I’ve figured out what my ideal first three turns look like. I’ve kept costs down and kept the team streamlined with simple solutions to simple problems.
While I’ll be the first to admit that playing the team repeatedly this last month or so has taken the shine off it a little bit: I still find it a fun build to play. Matches with it are enjoyable – and without that; what’s the point?
I’ll inevitably be writing a report on my experiences of the qualifier on the Friday. Really, when all is said and done, I’m going to play for fun and to get a taste of the higher competitive scene. It’s school holidays the following week and on the Saturday I’ll be heading off on a family break for seven days, meaning I’m not able to stay at the Expo for the whole weekend and compete in the Saturday draft, or, God forbid, if I qualify for Sunday’s National.
Come what may it’s going to be great to meet up with the peeps I interact with on the UK Facebook page and spend a whole day playing Dicemasters! I can’t wait…