Have you ever played around with the character token mechanic in Dice Masters? We have at the MoD and it’s one of those cheeky little fun elements we enjoy trying to do something with. We love how thematic and interesting it is for the characters the effect is attached to and how they encourage loads of fun combo ideas to tinker around with.
Recent spoilers have put the idea of character tokens back at the forefront of our minds so here’s a little look back, and look forward, at the idea of fielding character tokens in Dice Masters…
What Are Character Tokens?
Let’s start by talking about what the mechanic is…
Throughout the history of Dice Masters there have been a number of cards that introduce a “character token” to your field.
The effect has appeared on Character cards and Action cards and the trigger that creates the character token varies from card to card – some trigger from ‘when fielded’ effects, some by Traps, some in the Attack Step etc etc.
The character token generated is often a little weenie; rarely do they have significant stats, but they may have an additional text or interesting twist attached to them.
Here’s the exact token wording from the Dice Masters glossary…
“Some cards will have the ability to generate character “tokens.” These tokens may be represented by whatever you would like, and for game purposes are considered to be level 1 character dice with a purchase cost of 0. Their A and D values will be given by the card generating them, and they can only exist in the Field Zone. As soon as they leave the Field Zone they no longer exist. They may not be spun up, spun down, or rerolled. They do not have an energy type.“
Let’s now take a look at a few character token making cards from the Golden era…
Squirrel Girl – Kicks Butts, Eats Nuts
If memory serves me correctly I think this may be the first instance of a character token maker in the game. If I’ve mis-remembered then please do tell me in the comments below…
This one came with a custom dice and a lovely card-board insert that had little pop out Squirrel tokens too, named “Nutso”, “Tippy Toe”, “Mr Sparkle” and “Monkey Joe” respectively.
she’s a low enough character for an early purchase to get your Squirrel making machine going, and the method of creating the tokens meant that you could sit tight, build up your tokens on Squirrel Girl and flood the field with your terrifying hoard of Squirrels when ready.
What was nice about this card was that you could trigger your Squirrel team whenever you could use a global, meaning it had the flexibility of creating both offensive and defensive capabilities.
Back in the day once, as an offensive example, I saw a “Team Up” team use the Squirrel Tokens to devastating effect by suddenly filling the field with those cuddly warriors in the main step then buffing them with the action.
On the defensive side; I’ve often seen Squirrel Girl used to fill up a field in an opponent’s turn to create a strong wall of blockers to deter an attack.
Lots & lots of fun to be had with this one.
Squirrel Girl – Nutty Nanny
Squirrel Girl and her Squirrel friends made a return some sets later with this card…
A little bit more expensive, but appropriately so with the creation of the squirrel army becoming just a little bit easier (and a wee stat bump and an affiliation in the mix to boot).
I love the thematic touch with the global as well – the thought that these squirrels are loyal and protective of Doreen and can throw themselves in the line of fire to keep her safe.
Chipmunk Hunk – Handsome Puncher
Staying on the theme of cute, furry creatures, take a look at this guy too…
If given the choice you would likely go with the Squirrel Girl above for the better fielding costs and all the added value with the affiliation and the global, but this can be fun if you need it to fit a theme or you are drafting.
Drizzt – The Hunter
There has been a lot of character token creation shenanigans in the world Dungeons & dragons sets too. Let’s start with Drizzt…
I really love the artwork on this card!
He’s a higher cost character than the one’s we’ve looked at so far, but with that higher cost you get the opportunity to generate a bigger token that is unblockable!
You can have lots of fun with this card – one of my fave combos when this set came out was to load up with a good Swarmer and go hog wild with a buff global like ‘Anger Issues’. Most often I used the common Batiri Battle Stack – Lesser Humanoid for the little extra stat juice in my attack force.
Drizzt has to attack too, but he’s not all that easy to deal with himself when you take into account his stat line. When playing in set I’ve had this guy pretty big off those Experience tokens too.
Poison Ivy – Eternal Youth
the card pool in the DC Comics space of the game got some love for character token creation too with this lovely promo card a couple of years back…
This card was fun to play with but was a gamble because the trigger for your tokens relied on your opponent doing something, but, if they do play an action this can snowball in a hilarious way.
I have a really fond memory of playing this card against a Thrown Brick/Boom Boom list once and having so many Plant Tokens created we were digging coins out of our pockets to use as tokens because we’d run out of fancy ones.
One thing I’ve enjoyed doing in the past is stacking cheap, attractive Basic Actions on my team to tempt my opponent into buying and using them. It’s there as a secondary option (why not for one card slot?) but works both ways because if my opponent buys my lovely actions I’m sacrificing Plant Tokens every turn, if they don’t then I’ve dis-incentivised them from pilfering my actions.
AND Poison Ivy’s secondary game-text doesn’t HAVE to be a Plant Token to deal damage, so she’s a nice add with other token creators or a Sidekick maker for Poison Ivy fodder.
One other interesting titbit – you field the Plant token, opening doors to other interesting combos that trigger from characters being fielded. I tried it with Human Torch – Johnny Storm once, it was a ping-fest! LOL
Let’s jump into some character token makers that are in the current Modern card pool, starting with the Dungeons & Dragons IP…
Here we have a D&D character where all 3 versions of him from the Trouble in Waterdeep set create tokens…
Another great example of how the character token mechanic in the game draws inspiration from the source material – my Dungeons & Dragons specialists tell me that Nar’l Xibrandas in lore is always accompanied by a Grell bodyguard that is assigned to him by Xanathar.
All of these have a place, but ‘Quiet of Desperation’ is the card I’ve played with the most (and seen played the most) because the Deadly keyword on the token is a useful bit of added value – for a cost of 4 you’re getting 2 characters to improve your blocking power, including one that guarantees the attackers death.
I’ve also seen this guy used recently for the 2 character value with cards that get discount or advantages for the number of characters in the field, like ‘She-Hulk – Just Who you Needed!’ or ‘Spider-Man – Responsibility’.
The God Catcher
Time we spoke about the big guy – possibly the card that creates tokens that has seen the most play in recent times…
That cost, for those stats, with those triggers? If you have even paid just the vaguest attention to competitive play in the last 12 months you’ll know that 3 cost ‘The God Catcher’ is a big player – one member of what is commonly referred to as this meta’s “Big Three”, alongside ‘Becky Lynch – Maiden Ireland’ and ‘Thor – Jormungand’s Fear’.
It is insanely cheap and easy to get a field of really heavy stat’d tokens out with the ‘Famous Walking Statue’ and you’ve only got to dive into any competitive event videos on YouTube to see this getting played around with. (I’ve had my own run in with it recently at the Dice Masters Online Worlds tournament – check this vid out, it’s a great example of its might: Dice Masters Game Play – Online Worlds Weekend Game 3. Honestly – just look at the video length compared to my other matches on the day!)
Often paired with the Basic Action ‘Under Surveillance’ to take advantage of the token ruling that it is Level 1, and a means to KO Sidekicks to support the removal of blockers in an early rush (to mitigate The God Catcher’s force block effect) it can deliver A LOT of damage REALLY fast.
The ‘Mighty Construct’ plays more defensively, but come a little cheaper and is a hell of a lot of fun to play if your local scene is lousy with beat stick users. I’ve had a little play or two with it in conjunction with a force attack global as a route to getting me some of those lovely 10/10 statues.
The Great Drunkard
There was another token maker Trap in the Trouble in Waterdeep campaign box too…
I think The Great Drunkard gets a little overlooked because of the eye catching stats on its bigger brother The God Catcher, but I don’t think these are cards to be underestimated.
Andy is a fan of the ‘Built for Defense’ card in particular, often tempting opponent’s in to triggering the Trap with useful globals like Xanathar prep or The Collector’s sidekick maker. Like I described with Poison Ivy above this works on 2 levels – your opponent uses these globals in your turn and gives you a 6/6 character, or they don’t and the presence of one dice has restricted their ability to take advantage of the globals you have brought along.
While he isn’t as buff as The God Catcher 6/6 for as low a cost I think it could be argued that he is easier to trigger, and it can’t be denied that a 6/6 stat line, on the 3 cost specifically, is pretty damn good value.
Let’s take a look forward at some upcoming token making cards in 2021’s scheduled Dice Masters releases…
Master Mold – Endless Sentinels
Exclusively revealed on this very site last year as a part of our podcast’s 2 year anniversary; here’s another wacky token maker that’s definitely going to see play from the Marvel Dice Masters Dark Phoenix Saga set (if it ever ships)…
It has certainly been one of the show-stoppers in the revealed Dark Phoenix Saga cards and early play-testing of the card using proxies is indicating that it has a hell of a lot of potential.
It’s a bit of a stretch at a 6 cost with those fielding costs, but with 3 locked and loaded triggers to create 5/5 tokens the Master Mold is going to be shaking things up when the Dark Phoenix Saga set finally arrives.
Theory crafting around the card the Master Mold is easily supported by some easy to use Globals to effectively flood your field with an army of Sentinel tokens. With Nihiloor or the Dark Phoenix on your team for their global you could field a Master Mold, attack with a Master Mold, then KO it on the Attack Step global window to create a net gain of three 5A/5D Sentinels. That is crazy.
I guarantee you that the Master Mold will be competitively experimented with, you will most definitely see it played.
Master Mind – Monster Society of Evil
And the token creating love is getting some space in the upcoming DC Dice Masters Superman Kryptonite Crisis set with this guy…
This one is curious, and I’ve honestly not got my head around it just yet. I can’t quite shake the feeling there’s a bit of something there. Creating a Tough Guy token you’re trading up in stats and keeping your Mister Mind in the field so you’ve always got a blocker and Mister Mind is locked and loaded to repeat it again, but there’s something itching at the back of my mind that I can’t get too that feels like this has some real potential.
The dual affiliation is interesting – especially nice to see another Mystic with an interesting game-text.
One thing to bear in mind is that this is a “When Attacks” ability, so it can trigger with each Mister Mind die you attack with. At a 3 cost it will not be that challenging to get a handful out (even less with Asuka in the field) AND get a level 3 one too and you’ll have that extra little stat bump. One half-baked idea I’ve got brewing is doing something with this and Black Widow – The Widow’s Bite, but I’ve not fully thought it through yet. I’m going to have some fun testing it out though.
Poison Ivy – Pushed Too Far
Master Mind isn’t the only card from DC Dice Masters Superman Kryptonite Crisis that continues the character token legacy: there’s also Poison Ivy – Pushed Too Far…
That’s right folks – snuck in another exclusive Ministry of Dice spoiler from Kryptonite Crisis right at the end here for my loyal readers. You’re welcome.
The token making trigger on this new card is really interesting and will possibly speak to Control players who like to dis-incentivise their opponent’s from doing stuff.
She’s not too expensive to buy at a 3 cost and comes with some real stat line value for that price, especially as she’s dirt cheap to field. I like that it give you a chump blocker too – you create the token at the point of the attack being declared so will have it available before the point at which you need to declare blockers.
The stats on the Plant Tokens are wholly defensive at 0A 2D, but brings a nice offensive edge that happens in your opponent’s turn. the fact that its a “lose life” effect will be worth some consideration as life loss cannot be mitigated like damage can. I’m thinking about giving this a go with a Doctor Strange force attack global to exercise some further Control over making this happen.
Like the earlier Poison Ivy promo we looked at above its also notable that the tokens are “fielded”, which can pair nicely with cards that trigger from characters being fielded, like Thor – Jormungand’s Fear, or the Super Rare Jubilee – X-Men Field Leader that has been spoiled in the upcoming Dark Phoenix Saga set.
I’m looking forward to a new Poison Ivy and giving it a try as a fun casual build.
Playing around with character tokens is A LOT of fun, and with the mechanic getting shown some love in the future Dark Phoenix Saga and Superman Kryptonite Crisis sets its not going away anytime soon. They scratch a lot of itches: they are all thematic, open lots of combo possibilities up, can form part of casual or competitive builds, and are fun to experiment with.
We’d love to hear about team brews and combo ideas you’ve tried with character tokens so drop us a line here (hit the send us a mail button), over on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheMinistryofDice) or in the comments below. Also tell us what you think of the new token maker cards – are you excited for any of the spoiled cards that make character tokens? Which do you like more – the Master Mold or the token makers in Superman Kryptonite Crisis?