Friend of the blog & regular contributor Ben Said Scott is back once again with a tournament report to bless your eyes with.
Last weekend was the UK Nottingham WKO and Ben has kindly provided an overview of his team and an account of his rounds on the day.
I’ll hand you over. Enjoy!
What a great meta Dice Masters has right now. This was my third WKO in as many weeks, and in every one I have run a different team, and at every one I have had to play against vastly different teams.
In between the weeks everyone has been tinkering and changing bits and pieces, and in some cases changing pretty much everything. There’s no predictable ramp, or removal, or global tax. In short it’s wonderful, and despite having spent my last three weekends mostly in my car I travelled to Nottingham very excited about what I would see.
Chimera Games is a really friendly board game store, and when we arrived there was already a good buzz about the place. Me and my two accomplices soon began faffing about around what team to change. In particular, I had some doubts about whether to play Zombie Green Goblin or the Black Widow I did eventually go with.
- Splinter’s Teachings
- Team Up
- Giant Spider – Greater Beast – Uncommon
- S.T.A.R. Labs – Science and Technology – Rare
- Namorita – Aquatic Beauty – Uncommon
- Black Widow – Widowmaker – Common
- Blob – Appetite for Destruction – Rare
- Bishop – Butterfly Effect – Rare
- Cyborg – Technic Imperative – Rare
- Kal-L – From Another Earth – Common
I’ve had this team knocking around in my team box for a while. I always loved the Ant-Man global, and have had Kal-L in a few different builds, then after the success of shield teams at the last Worlds event I put together a Shield Ring team, with Spider, Namorita, and Cyborg. However, I was using my Lantern Ring in the early build of my Bolt team that I ran the previous week, so most of the time I would play the Shield team just as a control team using Namoritas’ beefy defence stats. It was an okay team, and fun to play with using lots of global swapping craziness.
In recent weeks though, this team has had a real boost, with some excellent control shield characters coming out in the most recent sets. I began playing it more and more, as I found opportunities to control my opponent and force them into making bad decisions, and swinging through with some of my bigger defence stats. Then in a casual game against my friend Dan I noticed that buying his Team Up (which he was using to trigger off of Ultraman and uncommon DWiz) was great for my team. So instead of a Ring team I found myself with a team that worked a lot like the old Bard teams. Particularly with the Blob, which bring two affiliations to the table, it was quite possible to get a +3 or +4 buff on all my characters.
With that in mind I added S.T.A.R. Labs rather than Chalkboard into my team. This works great, because it gives me some ramp, and a way to out flank my opponent. Giving it to my opponent was not so much a big deal as either Namorita or Giant Spider can deal with getting around my opponent’s sidekicks. Black Widow was also included for this purpose.
In the first round I was drawn against one of my opponents from Manchester, Chris, who was running an aggro Madame Web/ Dum Dum Dugan/ Guy Gardner team.
It’s a great team, and can get going really fast, but doesn’t really offer a lot of protection, and with my Namorita I was able to put his Guy Gardner’s in the used pile on his attack step, and then his Madame Web’s in the used pile during my attack step. Despite this Chris did a great job keeping me on my feet, and in game two would have killed me with a big Madame Web swing had it not been for my ability to swap Guy Gardner’s attack with one of my own sidekicks using Splinter’s Teachings. That left me on 6 life, and I was able to Team Up and win on the subsequent turn.
I was drawn against the current UK National champ, who was running a ‘suspiciously not so bad, and actually pretty good’ team, which revolved around the rare Storm and Ultraman to trigger massive damage really early.
Luckily for me, one of the big things that a team like his relies on is predictability. Both the predictability of purchase order and rolls – it’s one of the reasons that Parallax is such a good fit for Andy. But, my Shield team, and Namorita in particular, is all about disrupting my opponents’ predictability. Using a combo of Namorita and Blob I was able to mess with Andy’s team pretty badly. First I used Blob to stop his Shriek, meaning that Namorita was free to send Storm’s and Ultraman’s to the used pile at will on my turn. I was then able to get out Bishop, to stop any Storm damage to me. What it meant was that Andy would have to line up a fielded Ultraman, Storm and at least two Kryptonite’s all in the same turn, that was before Cosmic Cube could be even used effectively. Andy tried his best to stop me, using Storm and Cosmic Cube as removal options, but that wasn’t really enough. The second game went much the same way, though this time I went for some early Superhero Registration Acts these worked sublimely well and a couple of big Blob swings meant that I didn’t even need to get Team Up out. So far my team has been matched up spectacularly well.
Perhaps the most difficult of the games I played that day was against Seth. Seth had been unlucky not to have made at least the semi-finals at Manchester the previous weekend and proved why in the first match against me.
He was quick to buy his Reclaim basic actions and proceeded to use the churn given by those dice to get his Collector set-up very quickly. He was also very unsporting in his storing of masks, which made Namorita virtually useless, as he was able to just use Blink Transmutation away the aquatic beauty. Once he got Collector out his Norman Osborn’s did the rest and I was quickly down to 0.
The second game went much better for me, I picked up one of Seth’s Reclaim that stopped him from buying all of them, and was able to get my Namorita in for some early removal. I knew the game was going my way when Seth missed out on any masks and I was able to send his Collector to the used pile using a combination of Kal-L and Namorita. It was the last time I saw Collector, and I was able to get a big Team Up buff and swing in for the win.
My luck continued into the third game, in which I didn’t need to worry about removing The Collector because Seth simply could not roll it. A wonderful turn of events. Without the Collector coming into the field I was able to get a Bishop and Blob set up and it was just too much control for Seth to get around without his Collector present and I was able to sneak in just enough damage to win. Though Seth rather sportingly let me swing through unblocked and un-blinked, just so we could count up how much damage it actually was (Seth would know for sure but I think it was in the upper 40 region).
Next up; Mike Power, who was the winner of the Nottingham WKO last year, and is a very tough opponent.
He was playing a pretty tough team which used the fabricate mechanic to line up Mary Jane and Guy Gardner to swing through for overcrushing damage, which was then topped up with a rare Lantern Ring for extra damage. A frightening prospect which he would have got away with if it wasn’t for a pesky Namorita. Namorita and Splinter’s Teachings is just an amazing defence against Guy Gardner. Though Mike is a good player and he made the best of a bad match up by Shrieking my Namorita early. I pivoted and got out a Blob as quickly as possible, then used a combo of Giant Spider global and Kal-l global in order to clear off his Shriek. Once Shriek was off the field Mike needed to line up a Cold Gun and Blob and Shriek all in the same turn in order to keep me from clearing off his characters. Once you force your opponent into lining up several abilities it becomes increasingly hard for them to play against. Eventually I could clear Mike’s field and he succumbed to my big defence teams.
So far I had come up against barely any shield characters, except Blob, and two Guy Gardner teams. The team was running smoothly, and aside from Seth’s Blink Transmutation there was little that had been able to stop Namorita.
The second Fullwood match of the day, this time Paul was looking to avenge his son Seth (who rather unfortunately had failed to make the top 8).
Paul had been my opponent in the 2016 National final, and while being rather methodical – some might say slow – in his play style he is very good at reading teams, and I think he was one of the only people to Shriek my Giant Spider, to stop the global, rather than stopping Namorita. With all of his other control pieces (who puts DWiz, Cold Gun, Shriek, and Blob in the same team?!!) it made it very difficult for me to get my control going, particularly when he used his Shocking Grasps and my Kal-L global to pick off my Blob.
When playing against so much control there is only one thing to do… go heavy aggro. I picked up a few team ups, and Paul’s own Shocking Grasps, while also getting the rare Bishop to slow down Paul’s Storm/ Boom Boom damage. When you can keep attacking there are only so many things your opponent can Blink back and Kal-L, and eventually Paul couldn’t keep buying his characters, and keep doing damage to me, and I was able to get through. The second game went much the same way, an early purchase of Shocking Grasp, forced Paul to waste a turn buying the other two Shocking Grasp, and enabled me to get a few good Namorita hits in. This delayed Paul and we went into turns, and Paul simply couldn’t do enough damage.
Another opponent from the previous weekend was Mike Ryder. He was playing a control sidekick team, which used Mimic/ Prof X and super rare Jubilee to get in continuous damage and ramp.
The first game was incredibly difficult because Mike was just flooding the field with sidekicks and I couldn’t really get near his life points, given his excellent ramp, and his Blink Transmutation global. He had also got an early Czar Colossus which made me very tentative about fielding my own sidekicks. But then I got a bit lucky. I used the same strategy as I had done with Paul, attack as much as I could with Team Up getting my guys all buffed up, and on one turn I had three characters that Mike could not block. I knew that if I could flip the stats on one of my characters then I would have enough for lethal. The problem was that I only had one shield, and Mike had another one sitting in his reserve. I passed priority, and luckily Mike had not seen it, and used the Splinter’s Teachings global to KO one of my characters, in preparation for next turn. I felt a little bad for using such a tricky situation to win, but if I had let Mike take it back I really don’t think I would have won. Does that make me a jerk?
The second game Mike just couldn’t get a Czar Colossus, which meant that I could get a bunch of sidekicks out and my churn through my bag was just much better, making swinging with characters a much easier task, and I took the second game without too much fuss.
The final match of the day was against Phil, a very strong player, who was unbeaten up until that point. Fortunately for me I think Phil was more concerned with getting home in good time than trying to set up to beat me.
As a result of the Manchester WKO I had already qualified, and it meant that Phil would qualify to for next year’s Nationals as well. Wizkids had also sent out double the prize packs, so he already a shiny Lantern Ring as well. So for the most part Phil didn’t set up to play me with his mind in the right frame. So it actually turned into one of the easiest matches of the day. Instead of getting out his control pieces to slow me down he tried to outpace me twice using his Two Face Double Deal and Cone of Cold global. This would have worked well, had it not been for my Splinter’s Teachings Global. Phil didn’t realise this little trick until too late, with one Two Face on +10 attack was switched for my lowly +1 attack Namorita, dealing me 1 damage and sending that Two Face to the used pile. Fabulous. Of course in the next go round Phil was holding back shields in order to prevent my switcheroo from happening again. This meant that I had to hold onto a few more shields every turn, but my characters were much cheaper than his, and I was able to set up and knock Phil down pretty quick.
That’s it from me for the WKO season. Thanks to all the stores and all the players. Three finals, and two WKO wins is pretty exciting for me, even though some people claim that it’s a bit boring having me win all the time. But a lot of the time I do feel lucky with the match ups I get, and I go into every WKO just trying not to make too many mistakes. Thanks also to Chris for putting also these reports up, he’s a serious asset to the Dice Masters community.
There we go folks – thanks Ben for the report & your kind words at the end there.
Keep your eye out for more UK WKO event information in the coming days – I’ll put my tournament report up soon for anyone interested in seeing a masterclass in how to come dead last in Swiss Rounds and we’ll be covering the upcoming Scottish WKO.
See you soon…