Special Guest Blogger – BEN SAID SCOTT , UK NATIONAL DICEMASTERS CHAMPION 2016, Part One…

The following blog post is the first “Special Guest Blogger” to share some thoughts on the Dicemasters UK National that took place over 3rd – 5th June at the UK Games Expo.

This contribution is from Ben Said Scott, the winner and UK National Champion 2016. In this first part Ben offers up some thoughts around how he came to construct his team in preparation for the Nationals and his piloting technique. 


Over to Ben…

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Part One – Before the Expo, Building the Team

Hi everyone.

Last year I went to the UK Games Expo for one purpose, to try my best to win a tournament of my new favourite game; DiceMasters. It did not go well; with a rare Colossus team I think I went 1-0-3. Quickly dumped out I didn’t get to experience much of the tournament, and instead went and had a wonderful time at the gaming convention.


This year, however, things went very differently. On the Friday during the constructed qualifier I won 4 drew 2 and lost none. That meant that on Saturday I could skip the draft qualifier and experience what really is an amazing convention. On Sunday things went even better, but we’ll get to that.

Before we do though I would share the team that I took to Nationals this year:

  • Magic Missile
  • Imprisoned
  • Elf-Thief – Lesser Harper
  • Constantine – Hellblazer
  • Dwarf-Wizard – Paragon Zhentarim
  • Oracle – Master Investigator
  • Half-Elf Bard – Master Lord’s Alliance
  • Professor X – Trainer
  • Breaker the Magical Warrior – Mana Break
  • Hulk – Green Goliath

You can find it on the Dicemastersdb HERE.

I play weekly with a group of 5-8 players in a pub in Richmond, London. About two months before the tournament we were talking about what teams we would take with us. I had roughly settled on a big hit team, which used Red-Eyes B. Dragon – Inferno Fire Blast combo’d with Fighting to KO’d my sidekicks and clear my opponents field.


It’s a strong and pretty fun team but there was only one problem:  one of the other guys in the group, Andy, had a team he had been working on which shut down my PXG reliance using first Jinzo, then Oracle, and then once all my ability to do anything had gone, would use Bard to attack with all his characters and win.

I began to change my team radically from week to week, just to try and beat his team. I came up with nothing. Even if I could negate his effect on my PXG ramp to do so would leave him far enough ahead that he could simply overwhelm me with characters. Add Half-Elf Bard to that mix and it was something my Red-Eyes just couldn’t handle.

I was worried and began playing with an ultra-control team that I had built a few weeks previously. The idea behind it was to tax my opponent for doing everything. It had the Oracle and Elf Thief, which taxed my opponents’ for their global usage, the Mind Flayer that made a whole energy type much more expensive to field, Captain Cold that made my opponent pay energy for attacking and Vulnerability that I used in conjunction with Magic Missile for removal. It was another fun team to play but lacked a win condition. I took out Captain Cold, which was too expensive fielding cost wise, and inserted Bard.


The team looked like this:

  • Vulnerability
  • Magic Missile
  • Elf-Thief – Lesser Harper
  • Constantine – Hellblazer
  • Dwarf-Wizard – Paragon Zhentarim
  • Oracle – Master Investigator
  • Half-Elf Bard – Master Lord’s Alliance
  • Professor X – Trainer
  • Sinestro – Corps Namesake
  • Mind Flayer – Greater Humanoid

I found that, despite the low attack values of my control characters, I could significantly limit my opponent enough that I simply would have more characters than them and be able to get sufficient characters through with crazy stat boosts because of Bard.


So I played that team for a while and it did pretty well, particularly against other Bard teams, with the added benefit of a rare Dwarf Wizard I picked up online. However, Sinestro was becoming superfluous, because of Bard’s attack boost, and the temptation of including the rare Nova and AvX Hulk was very tempting, because I already had Magic Missile. I folded, changing out the last two in my list for the more powerful cards.

I took them along to my weekly event and found that Andy had more or less changed his cards at the same time and we had roughly the same team, excepting that he had a Venom for my Nova and a Polymorph instead of my Vulnerability. The games were exceedingly close every time we played.


As a result of mine and Andy’s teams our friends starting coming up with ways of shutting us down, for example Dan ran Human Paladin, the other Bard and a Magic Helment which completely wrecked my Vulnerability strategy. I decided it was a weak link that could be fixed.

Then, about a week before the Expo, me and my friend Jason went to a tournament in Essex for some last minute prep. The guys there had only just got into the game and we showed them how to use PXG effectively for the first time. However all of them at the event were running Imprisoned as their main tool for removal/ board clear. It quickly became apparent that this was an excellent defense against my team, because virtually all the characters in my team had no fielding costs higher than 1. Jason’s Bard team found this particularly tough when the store owner managed to capture all four of his Kobolds, two Guys, two Bards and a whole bunch of Squirrel tokens. With no answer to Imprisoned Jason fell behind in turns, simply by having his purchases taken away from him.


It was so effective that I put it straight in, and looked for my own way of protection against Actions. With Constantine – Antihero off the cards, because of Hellblazer’s usefulness and Doomcaliber Knight’s ability being nerfed by a ruling I decided to go with the common Breaker – Mana Break.

With that the team was settled.

HOW THE TEAM WORKS:

The team works slightly differently to how the Bard Blitz teams work in that it is a much slower build up. As we have seen from the winners of the Canadian Nationals; Bard works best in a mid-range control type team. The Bard is most effective when you have control of the board state and a number of characters already in the field, otherwise his pump ability is just not that strong.

With that in mind Elf-Thief and Oracle are vital in ensuring that you come out ahead in the war of globals, if you can rotate the Thief by knocking it out with Magic Missile then your opponent needs to keep three energy just to ensure one global.


Unlike Jinzo, Oracle is so powerful because it can outright stop your opponent from using globals, not just burn them. So when I was going first I would almost certainly aim to buy these as my turn one and two purchases. The only exception to this was when my opponent had a Polymorph I could get on turn two and then Polymorph in an Oracle on turn 3. This wrecks my opponents ramp and gives me an immediate advantage.

After you have established global domination you can aim for either Dwarf Wizard or Hellblazer to further slow your opponent down depending on what their major form of removal is. If they have a something like Storm or Umber Hulk then Hellblazer is your friend. If they have an Oracle or Hulk then get a Dwarf Wizard. Basically try and guarantee that you can keep your Oracle on the field and get rid of anything that is disrupting you.


Only once you have control of your board should you be looking to get in a Hulk and Bard, they should probably be your last two purchases before you win. Get Hulk out and ping enough times so that you can get four sidekicks through, you don’t need any more than that. With Bard, Hulk, Oracle and one of Constantine, Dwarf Wizard or Elf Thief the sidekicks will have enough to kill your opponent. It’s pretty simple and devastating when you go first.

Going second though is where this team really shines; in best of three matches I started 2 games in 12. In the top four I didn’t go first in either of my match ups. Your purchase order here should be slightly different, look to get a Constantine and Dwarf Wizard out early enough so that you give yourself a bit of protection, it is also important that you ramp effectively and use Magic Missile to keep their sidekick wall at bay. Then follow that up with a third or fourth turn purchase of Imprisoned. If timed right you should be able to capture three or four of their characters and some sidekicks with ease. This is great because it allows you to catch up in turns. You’ve used one purchase to take away three or four of their purchases, in essence you’ve caught up two or three turns on them. This can be particularly effective if you can capture an Oracle or Bard. Once you’ve done this switch gears and play as if you had gone first. Get a nice amount of attackers with your control elements, buy Hulk, then buy Bard, then win.

So that is how I built my team and how I went about operating it. While the team didn’t hold many surprises outside of the meta my ability to catch up in turns by oppressing my opponent really stood me in good stead during the tournament. But I’ll get to that in my reports.

Thanks for reading. More to come in Part Two…

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There you go. An enormous thank to Ben from me for being one of my guest bloggers. Keep an eye out for part two soon. 

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One response to “Special Guest Blogger – BEN SAID SCOTT , UK NATIONAL DICEMASTERS CHAMPION 2016, Part One…

  1. Pingback: Rainbow Draft Weekend 2, Fanboy 3: Marvel Matches | True Mister Six: British Dice Roller...·

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