After a two week wait for ‘Green Arrow & The Flash’ to land on UK shore (a painful, agonising wait, as you watch your social media fill up with all the great pulls your fellow American Dice Masters were showing off!) it arrived last week and a draft was quickly scheduled in for our next regular Tuesday get-together at Element Games.
We had ten players for the draft, and we’re to play three, single round, forty-five minute games.
One interesting thing was that Tim, the TO down at Element Games, had recently picked up some interesting nerdy tech stuff so we tried our hand at Twitching a few games. If anyone is interested in seeing the vids they can be found on the Element Games channel here:
I’ll post links to my games on the channel under the relevant round as this re-cap goes on. NOTE: these are most definitely NSFW so please don’t watch if you have sensitive ears! We can be a bit…passionate… when we play.
If you do watch the videos you will hopefully definitely see the warm & casual tone to the way we play and detect the passion & enjoyment of the group for the game.
I spent quite a bit of time pouring over my cards when I got my grav feed, and had been keeping my eyes and ears good & open when visiting forums or listening to podcasts, so had a good sense of some ways to go with my draft picks.
My first choice out of the gate was ‘Static – Virgil Hawkins’. I’d experienced many a wall of sidekicks in Draft and knew how dangerous this guy could be. As the draft went on it was soon became clear that I wasn’t the only one aware of how potent this guy was – there was an abundance of ‘Static’ die in the Rainbow pool but I did not see another card the whole draft! He was definitely going on the team though, so one die just had to do.
Next up, I grabbed a defensive card with ‘Batgirl – Commish’s Daughter’. Once again, it appeared I was not the only person on the look out for that particular card and I only managed to secure one die. Still, this didn’t concern me too much; she was to be my defensive “go to” if I ended up facing off against those ‘Static’ cards I knew were out there.
To back ‘Static’ up with his board clearing potential I picked up a few ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ and went with ‘Beautifully Designed’ on the team. At this point I was thinking that between this & ‘Static’ I was going to have good chance of keeping my opponent’s field slim to push some damage through.
To keep this strategy strong I needed some muscle, so grabbed up a couple of ‘Power Ring’ and chose the common ‘Harold Jordan’ for some cost effective attack stats.
I wanted to keep the team cheap at this point, so grabbed up a few ‘Katana’ cards for the team. It was my intention to use the Uncommon ‘Crisis and Tragedy’, but in a moment of absent minded-ness actually put the common ‘Bladerunner’ on instead! C’est la vie. (I didn’t notice until the first game I played, and if you watch the first Twitch vid I play on you can hear me call myself a few unflattering names when I realised my mistake. Definitely NSFW!)
A shiny foil came my way that was too tempting; ‘Gorilla Grodd – Force of Mind’. He’s an expensive card for draft, but was going to give me another Win Con, and I knew he could be devastating with cards like ‘Power Ring’ on the team.
This led me to make a quick decision on Basic Actions – with ‘Grodd’ now on the team I was going to focus my BACs towards ramp. I went with ‘Gearing Up’ (not as good as ‘Super Hero Registration Act’, but less risky) and ‘Resurrection’. I also knew that there was an abundance of ‘STAR Labs’ in the Rainbow but I hadn’t seen much of the card, so threw the Dice (pun intended) on the possibility my opponents were going to bring a Ramp global for me to use. I was going to be very happy if I managed to get ‘Grodd’ out in my games.
This decision made things a little easier as the draft pool started to dwindle, as I was now a little less concerned with having another card or two with 4+ purchase costs. This led to me picking up a ‘Professor Zoom – Inescapable Fate’, who would be a nice pick to at worst pressure my opponent’s ramp or, at best, present another potential win con option if I could catch an opponent in a forgetful moment.
The last pick I made that I decided to add to the team was ‘Cyborg – A New Man’. I like his game-text and figured he might discourage some aggro-style, pressure attacking by my opponents.
So… the team listed in it’s entirety was:
- Gearing Up
- Professor Zoom – Inescapable Fate (1)
- Katana – Bladerunner (3)
- Gorilla Grodd – Force of Mind (1)
- Power Ring – Harold Jordon (2)
- Batgirl – Commish’s Daughter (1)
- Static – Virgil Hawkins (2)
- Captain Cold’s Cold Gun – Beautiful Designed (4)
- Cyborg – A New Man (1)
I felt pretty happy with what I had drafted and had built in some synergies & strategies I felt comfortable with that were consistent with my piloting skills & play style.
Round One – Win
My first opponent was Matt, and we also had the privilege of being the first up on the Twitch stream at Element Games.
For those interested in giving it a watch here it is:
I moved quickly buying up Matt’s ‘Big Entrance’ and used it to get some ‘Katana’ die and my ‘Static’ straight to the bag. Once I got them out in the field I grabbed up a ‘Gearing Up’ to work in some ramp towards ‘Gorilla Grodd’ (My own personal little aim for the night was to get Grodd out as often as possible)
This went perfectly and after just a few turns I had ‘Static’ in the field applying pressure and ‘Grodd’ in the wings ready to show up at any minute.This was all good and well, but Matt was putting his strategy together too. I got caught out with no energy in the Reserve Pool and faced down a ten point unblock-able attack supported by ‘Professor Zoom’ and his game-text.
Fortunately, ‘Gorilla Grodd’ made his way around the next turn and then it was just a case of biding my time to build up my forces and drive a lethal damage strike through. I picked up a ‘Captain Cold’s Cold Gun’ to help me out with some clearing of the board if I needed it in the meantime, or at least try and prevent ‘Professor Zoom’ from attacking.
Matt didn’t make it easy. The constant threat of ‘Zoom’ meant I was holding back one energy to cancel his game-text and this, while appearing minor, impacted upon my purchasing power. I no choice but to more slowly firm up the ranks.
Eventually – ‘Static’ came through and after a good round of clearing down Matt’s field I was able to take the upper hand and drive a lethal blow across.
I had won my first round.
Round Two – Loss
My second round was against Shaun, who, it appeared, was my competition during the draft for the likes of ‘Static’ and ‘Power Ring’.
This match up was also broadcast on the Element Games Twitch channel, so if you’d prefer to see the real deal rather than my written (and biased 😛 ) account then you can find it here:
Shaun had brought along ‘Superhero Registration Act’ so I bought up one of his BACs to help my ramp towards the mighty ‘Gorilla Grodd’. I also really felt the pressure of ‘Professor Zoom’ in the last game so decided to get him bought up early myself in this game: if for no other reason than to mitigate the two ‘Superhero Registration Acts’ that Shaun had bought.
It didn’t matter – Shaun’s SRA’s came through thick & fast and therefore had pretty solid purchasing power to pick his own ‘Static’ and some of his more muscle-y characters like ‘Black Adam’ and ‘Power Ring’.
I cursed myself after the game for not buying up my ‘Batgirl’ as a protective reaction to Shaun buying his ‘Static’. Them’s the breaks. If you watch the Twitch video you can hear me have my moment of realisation when I say something like “Dammit, that Static’s going to be a problem for me now.” as he hits the field and I clock that all I’ve got is Sidekicks in the field and ‘Katana’ die only had one defense.
I was also cursed by some dodgy dice rolling. Even though I got ramped up to ‘Gorilla Grodd’ and ‘Professor Zoom’ purchases nice & early they just refused to roll their character faces on several separate occasions.
My field was weak – and Shaun kept the pressure up with ‘Static’ game-text and ‘Power Ring’ (paired up with ‘Hulk Out’) I let a ‘Power Ring’ through in the hope of him keeping out my face for a little while.
It was to no avail. I continued to not be able to roll character faces and when I did finally get ‘Grodd’ out I barely had any other dice of note in the field for him to give the ‘overcrush’ to. I made a few bad decisions and Shaun managed to get his field numbers up to overwhelm me & drive a lethal blow through with an overcrushing ‘Power Ring’ and a horde of sidekicks.
I had lost my second round, and been knocked off the Twitch table.
Round Three – Win
My third and final round was against Guy, who had built a team that appeared to be quick moving & in your face with fairly cheap characters loaded up with ‘Fast’ game-text. In the round we played I mostly saw ‘Merlyn – The Magnificent’ and ‘Speedy – Mia Dearden’.
Guy bought up his ‘Merlyn’ dice and had him in the field swiftly, at his third level no less, before I’d managed to get anything in the field myself, and so fired him across for an early hit of five.
This happened the next two round too, as I failed to roll any characters and had a wide open field for ‘Merlyn’ to just stroll over & smack me. By turn four, when I finally hit some stride, I was down to a measly five life!
The following turn I thankfully was able to shore up my defenses and no longer had an open field. I got some sidekicks, ‘Static’, and a ‘Cyborg’ through the bag (at last!) and made sure to use ‘Static’ defensively to keep ‘Speedy’ and lower level ‘Merlyn’ die out of the field as often as possible.
I soon realised that ‘Cyborg’ was relatively useless outside of being a body to throw in-front of the assaults, as his game-text proves pretty useless against characters with ‘Fast’! Nonetheless; bodies was all I needed to keep me safe while I turned my attention to my offensive game. I ramped up to ‘Gorilla Grodd’ and got a ‘Power Ring’ die purchased, with the intent of lining up an overcrushing push that could deliver a twenty point lethal attack.
It took a few turns to get together but I eventually got it together. Guy relentlessly kept KO’ing my characters with his ‘Fast’ die and I had to bide my time until I could get my character count high enough for the overwhelming overcrush offensive, and when the time was right I delivered a near thirty point assault that, after blockers, produced the lethal blow.
I had won my third round.
We’d had a top notch night and I immensely enjoyed myself. Dice Masters is really picking up some traction in the Element Games scene and it was great to see so many new players, as well as some returning guys who’d been on a little hiatus, getting involved on a Tuesday night draft.
If anybody is interested – the final game that was played between the eventual first & second place players (Justin & Shaun respectively) was Twitch’d too and can be found here:
Congrats on the win Justin.
My final ranking at the event was fourth and I came away with a handful of boosters. Sadly, the Super-Rare magic/luck I had had with previous event win boosters was not to be on this particular occasion, but I did get some nice shinies!
Fellowship award went to Darren, who I believe mostly won it due to his highly entertaining ‘Gorilla Grodd’ impersonations whenever he was fielded. LOL
Next few events we will be getting some team practice in for the upcoming November WKO’s, so watch this space for more event re-caps soon.
In the meantime: how did your GAATF drafts go? Did you have similar experiences with this set? What did you think of the team I put together? What are your thoughts on us using Twitch? Let me know in the comments below…