Hi folks – Chris here, pleased to welcome you to this guest post tournament report from JackalopeSpam, better known across the community by his “real” name Nick. Nick participated in our online MoDPDM event last weekend and wanted to share his experience throughout the day so sent me over this wonderful break down of his team build and coverage of his rounds at the event. Enjoy!
This past weekend the Ministry of Dice hosted one of their many tournaments. In lieu of being in person this one was online, which is great for those of us who don’t live in England. I hope even after Covid they continue to host one of their annual events online as it’s always a lot of fun and very well run. This tournament’s format was a modified 10×10 format (Ed Note – the details of which you can find here: Spring MoDPDM 2021).
With the limitations placed on the standard 10×10 format, the intent was to be a more casual atmosphere. This can be difficult to assess as we all have different definitions of what casual means to us. With prizes on the line, some players will certainly lean to a more competitive nature. So this really raises the question in how to approach the event.
I decided to use one of the Big 3 so I could compete with those who ignored the casual theme, but I decided to hold back. Enter the God Catcher, one of the hardest cards to counter at the moment without a way to KO the tokens easily or intimidate them. As to supporting God Catcher, this is where I knew I didn’t want to go all out. I allowed myself Forge (with Energize) to purchase the action dice easily, but limited my general efficiency by leaving off the globals from Becky, Clayface, or Thor. Generally Forge isn’t my favorite as he’s less consistent than a global. Further I explicitly couldn’t use the easy route of Under Surveillance (part of the banned pairs) to push damage. That means I needed to go wide or use Overcrush. I added a few other easy options Raised Shields, Anger Issues, and Power Surge. With Forge those actions for Overcrush would be too easy, even if I miss the chance at a pump global.
Now if someone else brings me those tools, I will certainly make use of them. Remember kids, don’t bring a global unless you can use it better than the opponent. The same applies to BACs too. I think this was a great mindset for the day. If the opponent brings the power cards, I could keep up. If they don’t, I’ll work harder and we’ll have more of a game.
All that said, I’ve removed more cards from my list than I’ve actually added.
The Team List: Martian Monoliths
I went with a lesser used and more challenging card to get the God Catcher damage through. Enter Martian Manhunter, while he’s active if the opponent has a villain ALL of my characters have Overcrush. No longer is the opponent able to chump block God Catchers with a sidekick. There’s a drawback though, the opponent needs to bring a villain and keep it in the field for the Overcrush to work. Generally making a team that works off of your opponent’s cards is a horrible way to plan. Fortunately, both Ebony Maw and Hela have globals to pay a Mask and Fist to make a character a villain. I can choose an opponent’s character and for just 2 energy I can give Overcrush to all my characters on demand. That’s far better than getting Overcrush through a BAC, even if more convoluted. Besides, if Jourdo is going to call me the “King of Jank”, I might as well earn my keep. In the end I chose Ebony Maw for the global. He’s cheaper to buy than Hela, adds some removal, and (as you’ll see) I had enough churn that Hela wasn’t needed.
With the win condition fully decided it’s on to all the other stuff, like efficiency. I wish I could have used Power Almighty to “spin up” my God Catcher tokens and prep when I couldn’t, but it’s also from the Justice Box. So instead I went with a favorite of mine Yawning Portal: Adventurous Clientele. I could play the God Catcher action and follow it with the Yawning Portal to spawn my 10/10 token. Since the token counts as fielding a character, I also get to prep a die as well. If I can spawn more tokens afterwards, more preps! Add in the Supreme Intelligence global to constantly prep my Yawning Portal and I should always have a prep engine going and an action to spawn more God Catchers. Adding to the prep and churn, the Walk with Elias global could be used to get sidekicks out of the way and cycle back to actions more often. Relaxing was there for the similar reasons since I was going to purchase a lot of dice.
Typhoid Mary was my only attempt at control. I added her as a general deterrent and she could shut down some opposing globals. Removing a global on a character added to the versatility and was why I chose her over Drax. As you’ll see later, I completely forgot to combat one particular global Typhoid Mary couldn’t stop.
Last card to add was Kofi Kingston. The added Crosspulse prep ability was certainly nice since my bag was going to be full. More importantly though, he is a crossover character with both Fist and Mask energy. This paired really well with the Ebony Maw global. I didn’t have room to add both a cheap fist and mask character, so why not both in one?! Both of his double energy sides would allow me to use the Ebony Maw global with a single die, but even on a single energy he’s one of the few characters to offer a wild energy making a dual energy global easier.
The ideal first turns will be buying Forge back to back and preping sidekicks for turn 3. Then roll Forge on a double bolt to purchase all of my God Catchers, a Yawning Portal, and prep dice if my opponent brought a global. Afterwards keep prepping the Yawning Portal and churn out as many 10/10 tokens as I can. If I don’t win quickly through brute force, get Martian Manhunter to go through their blockers.
With everything in place, on to the matches…
First game and I’m nervous as always. I’m matched against SethAtreides_1138, someone new to online play. Adding to my nerves were a multitude of technical difficulties: cameras froze, 30 second audio delays, and typing just to communicate. We made it through the match at least, even if it took longer than expected. On to the actual game, Seth had me worried quite a bit. He was playing a Black Widow sidekick rush team. It wasn’t quite Fish Slap, but he could still pack a punch. He got a few hits in early as I was still figuring managing my purchase order. I knew I needed to outlast a bit and then I should be able to topple his wall of sidekicks with my wall of God Catchers. Add to my worries again as the time ticks away. Finally, I got things to line up as more and more God Catchers were added, I fielded my Martian Manhunter after he fielded a Villain. His villain allowed me to push for 54 damage with Overcrush and not worry about my global. That was just too much to handle. Hopefully his online setup got settled for the rest of the tournament.
This time I’m playing someone I know from Dice Fight, mPire. He had a versatile team with Ork Nob that would get buff when characters are KO’d. Then Venerable Dreadnaught and Poison Ivy: Criminal Because of Love to clear the board. My God Catchers could survive that with stats, but he also had Seething Corruption to make my stats worthless.
I’m hazy on all the specifics (it’s been two days since) but I recall at one point I considered buying out ALL of the Seething Corruption dice before he could get one. Had I done that he’d have a hard time getting through my God Catchers. He did bring Wallop to stall me out and even bought one to KO a God Catcher. I also harassed him with constant assaults from God Catchers forcing blockers to clear his field. He couldn’t set up much. I think I also got an early God Catcher in to set him to 10 early on. Eventually he couldn’t keep enough blockers though and got overwhelmed.
I’m starting to feel good after 2 wins and getting settled. Then I see another of the Big 3 with RelentlessNettles and a Thor team. He has some serious threats for damage, but the downfall is bringing me a Thor global and Atlas. I skipped buying Forge this round since I could use Thor’s discount. I played a much tighter bag management game this time using Atlas to and Kofi to prep what I needed. He also brought the Kree Captain global to make my Martian Manhunter an easier reach. Everything was set well in my favor, more so when he kept rolling one energy short of purchasing Thor. He was however ready to hold back God Catchers with his Poison Ivy: Red and Booker T global. He’d force my tokens to block and I’d lose them due to deadly. This is where Kofi got to shine though, I ended a few turns with stockpiles of Mask/Fist energy and when eh’d force a God Catcher to block, I’d make it a Villain before the attack step rendering Poison Ivy useless. If he skipped spending his shields on a force block, I could spend the two energy and prep a Yawning Portal. His force block was more energy efficient, but eventually he was just overwhelmed with tokens and I pushed for lethal.
Now to face my archnemesis and rival, Ben Said Scott. He might be everyone’s rival, for all I know. The problem is, he’s good and always prepared. I was feeling alright since he had a lot of the same tools as my last opponent with Booker T to force a block and Poison Ivy to KO the tokens, but he also brought Static Field. On top of it, there’s also the fast damage that is Iceman. This was not going to be easy.
I did start off the turns with one of the most impressive early setups all day. With his Clayface and Atlas globals I was able to setup my bag so I could roll all 4 God Catchers along with a Yawning Portal. This was my chance to pull off a very early game upset. In the turn that he had to react he managed to field two or three characters and save some masks. Then for my impressive turn, I only manage to roll two God Catchers on action after the reroll. I wasn’t even able to sneak in a single God Catcher. From there he was able to establish his Poison Ivy to keep clearing my tokens and ping Iceman in the interim. Ben let me know that this matched was in his favor as he dismantled my God Catchers and took the win. He was well prepared and I knowingly left myself open for Static Field.
Time for another skilled opponent in RonathanPxPx. He provided me with the Clayface and Thor globals, but had me facing another pairing of Static Field and Poison Ivy. On top of that, he also brought Gazer to intimidate out my tokens forever. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, as they say. His strategy to combat my God Catchers was to use Gazer to keep intimidating them out. Fortunately, he avoided the Poison Ivy dice, I think mostly because he knew fielding a villain for a blocker would give me access Overcrush for every attacker. This also left him with a lot less mask energy for Static Field. Relying on Gazer to cycle around wasn’t enough to stop my efficiency, even with Supreme Intelligence to prep them and worse when one of the Gazers landed on level 3. I could block it with a sidekick to gain prep and keep Gazer in the field. There was a good chess battle in this match, but his early defense made it harder to get Thor in the Field or Jubilee cycling for damage. He missed some rolls and struggled to get Thor and missed rolling him when he did. Eventually I had my Martian in the Field with four God Catchers, a sidekick, Forge, and a Kofi die on double energy to make one of his characters a villain. I had to count up the damage and his blockers a couple times, but I managed 1 point of damage more than I needed after he pushed back two God Catchers with Static Field. I also saved a mask of my own to bring back my Martian Manhunter had I miscalculated or he found a way out. It was just enough though.
It’s close to the end of a long day, just one more round to play. To close out the night I was playing WaryCat, who’s relatively new to online play. We actually met earlier that week when Ross’s Weekly Dice Arena was holding 10×10 practice. It was good to see him again, and even better to see he was doing well. In the days between WDA and MODPDM he messaged me asking for some advice about teams. I had warned him that although the weekend was meant to be somewhat casual, some people would bring very competitive teams. Furthermore, it would be good to have some defense against the heavy hitters like Becky and God Catcher. The team he decided to play was good, using Asuka to discount Ebony Maw for removal, then purchase The Rock with a double intimidate. He could easily clear out most characters and swing with some beefy stats.
He brought me the Atlas and Clayface globals to increase my efficiency. Furthering the pain, he also gave me Raised Shields. I was able to go the easy way to give whatever characters I needed Overcrush and used Forge to buy them for cheap. Worse yet, the bolt global to boost the attack of an unblocked character. If I missed rolling my actions, I had a LOT of bolts to use. This let me send a sidekick through for about 8 damage when his field was thin and needed to block a God Catcher. My team was ready to take advantage of situations like this. The good news is WaryCat manage to end the day 4-2 with his only other loss against Ben Said Scott. Strength of schedule even put him at 5th place!
With a 4th place finish, I was pretty happy and even then, nobody had a better record than me anyways. Special thanks to General Nemesis for taking Ben down a peg making four players finishing 5-1.
On to the team, I think I met my goal for the day. I wasn’t “that guy” that brought a highly optimized God Catcher team to a MODPDM, but I still managed to compete with it. It was pretty fun to play the less optimized version as I had to make tactical decisions all day. My convoluted plan to gain Overcrush through Martain Manhunter and the villain global even saved me a few times. I probably used the villain global more times on my own dice to prevent Poison Ivy’s Deadly ability than I used the global on my opponent’s dice. If you haven’t played Martian Manhunter, you should give it a try. He’s really good and overlooked far too often.
Another surprise on the day was never getting more than 4 God Catcher tokens in the field. My opponents were able to manage them enough to keep numbers down. That’s my favorite part of a good God Catcher team, trying to see how many you can field at once. I managed to consistently keep one or two tokens at a time. Using Yawning Portal to spawn the tokens was great as I could use it early in the chain for more preps or late to field one last token. The later did leave me without a trap die in the field for the next wave, but the bag churn was generally better when I didn’t have lethal.
Had I wanted to optimize more, I should have added Nefarious Broadcast or Eddie Guerrero. Either one would shut down the dreaded Static Field. Somehow this global was never on my mind during team building. Typhoid Mary was useless against it, but did make a few players wary for other reasons. I also had a surplus of ramp between Yawning Portal, Supreme Intelligence, Kofi Kingston, and Walk with Elias. Routinely I was able to roll 5-8 dice or more a turn and could have easily swapped a few cards to lower ramp and stop Static Field.
Cards I did consider were Target Lock and Jerry Lawler. I certainly would have considered buying Target Lock more than the one time I bought Relaxing. The only time I bought Relaxing was against Ben and it failed me. I chose the probability that I’d likely draw a sidekick. Then in the draw I pulled God Catcher and immediately realized I should have gone with the goods instead of the odds.
Jerry Lawler was something I wanted to do for the laughs and prove a point, that the action can be really good too. It’s a shame the global is just better for timing. Had I bought Jerry Lawler it could have doubled the damage of my entire field of Overcrush characters. In the end I decided against it because it was overkill and might give opponents a better chance to KO a 10/10 token through when blocking.
In the end though, I really enjoyed how the cards all fit together. I could keep applying pressure by attacking with God Catcher tokens to force blockers and remove their field. All the while knowing I’d win the battle for attrition as I could keep spawning more tokens. Meanwhile they had to continuously rebuild while I could go for Martian Manhunter to finish the job.
Thanks for reading and a most special thanks to the Ministry for all they do. Please keep hosting online events post pandemic! It’s always great to get out and roll some dice with the online community.
A big thank you to “Nick” for sharing his tournament report and thoughts on the day. Keep an eye out on Monday 12th April for the next podcast episode of the Ministry of Dice which will be the MoDPDM special. We’ll share our thoughts, get Andy’s thoughts as a participant, and take a closer look at the teams.
See you then 🙂