Tag Archives: Dicemasters

How to Let Go: Gaming Dad’s Lament

Introduction

I’ve written about the Gaming Dad’s Lament in the past. As a parent, we both celebrate and mourn the passing of childhood. In fact, I recently posted something on Instagram about the boys growing up. I never give in to the “you’re going to miss this crowd” because honestly, most of it you don’t miss. That’s why when you become grandparents, you are happy to give the kids back at the end of the day. You get all of the good and very little of the bad.

However, I admit that every now and then, I do get a pang of the old times and wish for just one more day of playing Thomas the Tank Engine or watching endless episodes of Paw Patrol. In fact, I suffered just such a pang the other day when Aiden came down with a box of Heroclix that he sold on eBay. You may wonder why this hit so hard, seeing as how Heroclix has to be one of the least referenced games on the page.

Heroclix: As Chris said, a game with such promise that we never actually realized.

Farewell Heroclix: Gaming Dad’s Lament?

Honestly, the sadness surprised me as well. I can count the number of times I played Heroclix on one hand and the number of times that I played Heroclix with the boys on one finger. Why such a strong emotional response, then, to losing them? I wish I knew.

As I wrote a few years ago in the article about the train show, forgive me my indulgence as I work through some emotions here. You are free to completely ignore this article until something more appropriate tickles your fancy. We are getting together on Saturday to play Commander, so expect that article sometime next week.

I suppose the sudden finality of it all hit me hard. As I said, we never played the game. But, to know that we never will brings a somber realization with it. But, and I need to focus on this, some positive came from that realization. Quinn just bought a new Pokemon deck with a gift card he got for Christmas. That inspired me to build a deck. Also, Aiden mentioned that he wanted to play Dicemasters again. When that game gets the heave ho, expect many more words about the passage of time.

The Verdict

Initially, I mourned the loss of our Heroclix. Much more than I ever worried about Skylanders getting sold or YuGiOh cards put into a binder and into the closet. We played both of those games far more than Heroclix. But, I got over it, shipped them, and just told Aiden that I found my Dicemasters teams. All that’s left is to actually build that Pokemon deck. How do you let go? I just hold on to what I still have.

Adventures in Dice Masters

Introduction

Welcome to Adventures in Dice Masters! Honestly, though, I can’t promise that it will be all that adventurous. But, we are talking about Dice Masters. So, you are getting genuine retro content during our promised retro content month to celebrate the anniversary of the page. The only reason I know about Dice Masters is that I picked up a set so that we could review it when the podcast was still active.

You, uh, you do plan on having retro content on your promised retro content month eventually, right?

So, why now for Dice Masters? Well, we went on our annual family vacation to Cape Cod a couple of weeks ago. That’s why we weren’t around for a week. You all noticed that and missed us, right? Right?! Well, in any case, Liam suggested that we play Dice Masters. I don’t know if he was serious or if he thought I might forget or blow him off.

I didn’t. As soon as we got home and settled in, I pulled out the cards and started sorting through them. Life as a collector is generally getting excited that you received a shipment of cards or comic books before the sobering realization that you now have to organize and find a place to store your new goodies. And that, my friends, begins our Adventures in Dice Masters. I told you that it might not be all that adventurous.

My Strategy

I have to admit that I’m not very well versed in the strategy of Dice Masters. We have played the game a few times, but certainly not enough for me to know all of the key words and most of the cards like I do Magic the Gathering. So, when putting together my team, I started with the Green Dragon from Dungeons and Dragons. Why did I choose this particularly powerful (maybe?) and potentially game ending (not so far) card of doom to start my team? I just wanted to use an card not from the Marvel Universe. For whatever reason, we have a twice as many Marvel cards as DC and only a handful of Dungeons and Dragons. I wanted to vary my team with the three universes.

While reading the Green Dragon card, I noticed that it had an ability that allowed you to spin down the dice of your opponent. I thought that was an interesting addition that the dice allow that cards don’t. With card games, you can remove them, but there’s not the same level up or down effect. Unless you’re playing some of the older MTG sets (and there might be some obscure game that takes advantage of it, but I can’t be expected to know all the games) where they have the level up cards. And, so, the theme of my team was set in place. Also, for some unknown reason, I decided to make my team rainbow with one card for each color and two miscellaneous. And now, I present the team for your scorn and ridicule.

Rainbow Spin (A Noob’s Dice Masters Team)

Captain Marvel – Human/Kree Hybrid (Red): So far, in the two games that I’ve played, this has been the key to making the team work. I got her out in the first game and was able to hold Aiden off until he made a mistake and got too aggro one turn. I wasn’t able to field her the second game and his aggro blew me out of the water.

Sabretooth – Survivor (Orange): This one combo’d very well with Captain Marvel in the first game. I’m not sure if I was applying the rule correctly, but the two of them just held down the board for so many turns until I was able to set up for lethal.

Marvel Girl – Telekinetic (Yellow): I thought this character would be an integral part of the team, but I don’t think I’ve played it once. It would have been helpful in the second game against Aiden to save me a turn or two.

Green Dragon – Master Dragon (Green): Again, this is where the team all started. But, like Marvel Girl, I haven’t even had a chance to play the die. I don’t think that I’ve even bought one of the dice yet. Best laid plans, I guess.

Beast – Kreature (Blue): Along with Sabretooth, Beast provides relatively cheap defense while I try to dig for my more expensive dice. Again, combo’d nicely with Captain Marvel in that first game even if I’m not entirely sure that I was applying the rules correctly.

Psylocke – Ninjutsu (Violet): She was an unexpected MVP in the first game. Spun down a few characters. She even got a knockout or two. I will have to buy her more aggressively in the third game.

Giant Man – Original Avenger (Miscellaneous): This character is cheap for a lot of stats. Also, with sidekicks, you can easily spin him up to max level. I like this character a lot.

Doomsday – Unstoppable Rampage (Miscellaneous): Like Marvel Girl, I haven’t played Doomsday at all in the two games we’ve played. But, he is a strong character and the Iron Will keyword is a nice touch.

Action Dice

Smash and Shockwave: Both of these hope to take advantage of all the spinning down I am going to be hopefully doing. They are a bit redundant, but smash is cheaper and so far I haven’t had a need for any AoE. Maybe I will reevaluate after the third game to see if I can replace one of them with another card.

The Verdict

And, so we conclude our adventures in Dice Masters. The team fits very well with my personality. It is a possibly terrible team, but I have a ton of fun playing it. Stay tuned for more Dice Masters content as our two games have inspired me to buy more dice and cards. They’ll be here next week some time. Until then…

Just keep rollin….I’m sorry

D”Ice” Cold Hard Cash?

Introduction

Later this week, we’re going to do another episode of Noob and Sons in celebration of the release of the new Thor movie last week.A� Coincidentally, Chris and I had a text conversation about how he has been unable to unload his Dicemasters.A� Regular readers of the page know that he and I had discussed if there might be a way to exploit inefficiencies in the Magic the Gathering market during Standard rotations mostly.A� Since new cards lead to new synergies and new decks, it would stand to reason that you could flip cards that gained value due to the rotation.

So far, he has found that the strategy works for the most part.A� This has inspired me to attempt the same.A� However, I’m probably already behind the curve for this set, so I’m going to wait until January and the release of that set to try my hand at the market.A� Since he was so successful with Magic and he doesn’t play Dicemasters as much because he doesn’t have a built in playgroup like we do here, he decided to unload the ones that he could on eBay, too.A� But, he has been finding little success in the Dicemasters market.

What am I going to do with all these dice?!

That got me thinking about the reasons behind the seeming lack of interest in Dicemasters and why he hasn’t been able to as readily turn them into a profit, even as he is attempting to unload what should be high value cards.A� They range from the good (I’m not completely tuned in to all of the competitive scenes, but I rarely see anything about Dicemasters tournaments except during releases of new sets), to the bad (Wizkids just tends to overproduce their product, so it doesn’t have much resale value), and always the ugly possibility that the game isn’t as popular anymore and will go the route of so many other promising games.

The Good

While I won’t necessarily say that any of these are good reasons for the lack of value of the cards, this is the best without question.A� Yes, it is true that games are mostly driven by their competitive scene these days.A� Therefore, it could be argued that a game that doesn’t have much of a competitive scene isn’t one that is worth following to begin with and could lead to a collapse similar to the one that I’m going to discuss in “The Ugly” section.A� It could be argued.A� Which, naturally, means that I’m going to argue in the counter.

Just when you think I’m going to zig…I zag!A� What a madman!

Bear in mind that I’m a fan of most competitive scenes.A� I watch more Twitch than anything else and split my time between Magic, Hearthstone, and Pokemon.A� I’ve never been able to get into RTS, FPS, or MOBA streams, but I have watched more than one Street Fighter match and today I was watching Yu Gi Oh with the boys.A� I am all in on watching other people play card games.

However, in the past, if I’m not careful, I find that getting involved in the competitive aspects of a game take away the fun of the game from me.A� A few times after watching Magic the Gathering GP or PT coverage, I’ve come away with the illusion that I might be able to build a competitive deck and “go pro”, so to speak.A� Luckily, reality is undefeated and has reminded me, in the most certain of terms, that I’m a father of 3 and a husband.A� Also, I have a “real” job.A� Sure, it’s one that offers me ridiculous amounts of time off, but during the school year (which has increasingly been more of the year) is busy beyond belief and I have no time to devote to a career in Magic.A� So, little to no competitive scene in Dicemasters removes all delusions before they have a chance to even form.

Besides, if I go pro, who will be teh Noob of All Trades?

In addition, the reason that cards generally become expensive is because they can be found in decks that are popular among the pro crowd.A� If there is not much of a competitive scene, then cards (or dice in this example) won’t be expensive and we can still afford to buy them.A� Keeping me from getting delusions of grandeur and keeping the game affordable are two very good reasons that I’m glad there is not much of a pro scene in Dicemasters, if any at all.A� Maybe it isn’t good for Chris’s pocketbook, but he’ll survive.

The Bad

Once again, I don’t agree with conventional wisdom here.A� Actually, I’m not sure if it is conventional wisdom or if it is just classic internet squeaky wheels squeaking for that grease.A� Chris and I have had more than one conversation about speculators in the past and I always argue that game makers should just drop all of this silliness like the reserve list in Magic and just release as much product as possible to kill the secondary market.A� Again, probably working against my interests what with my attempts in the future to figure out that market and make some extra money from it.

I also bought comics for the first time in a month because of the lenticular covers. I have become that which I hate most.

But, that just goes to show what a good guy I am.A� I am willing to risk potential future earnings so that everyone gets a chance at the cool cards that they want without having to pay the equivalent of the GDP of a small island nation for them.A� Alas, as it seems like Wizards of the Coast don’t care one way or the other about the secondary market, especially with recent reprints, they do care enough about rarity of cards to not completely overprint.

Their kids division seems to have no such respect for rarity.A� I noticed it first when we opened a box of the Pokemon throwback set to do a family draft/sealed event a few months ago.A� We opened what seemed like rare cards.A� When I went to check them on eBay to see if we could flip them for money for another box, I was surprised that none of them sold for over 15 bucks at the time.A� While that might seem like a hefty sum for a tiny piece of cardboard (and you might be right), having sold new Magic cards for upwards of 75 bucks, 15 is a drop in the bucket.A� I can’t be sure, but I think that a contributing factor is that lack of scarcity.

The Ugly

The worst of these possibilities is that Dicemasters is an idea that has run its course.A� Chris and I have discussed on more that one occasion that we enjoy the game, but it is quite limited in strategy and scope.A� I admit that I haven’t paid as much attention to the game as I should be, but they don’t release nearly as many expansions as other card games, which could cause things to get stale quite easily.A� Also, Magic uses the new sets to play with synergies between mechanics and cards in new and interesting ways.

Plus, dinosaurs eating pirates is always cool.

Maybe the lack of expansions in Dicemasters has caused interest to wane and people just don’t care about the game anymore.A� The tabletop graveyard is littered with the corpses of games that nobody cares about anymore.A� Heck, one game that I loved and was, by some accounts, still very popular, is dead and buried.A� All thanks to that abomination called Hearthstone.A� It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Dicemasters may be suffering the same fate.

The Verdict

No competitive scene?A� Perhaps, but there might be a vibrant scene that doesn’t translate to streaming.A� Dying completely?A� Again, possible, but I highly doubt it.A� They have a new D&D set coming near the end of this month and I’m sure that they’ll try to cash in on the massive cash cow that the new Avengers movie is sure to be next year.A� Heck, they might even see what selling power there is in the Black Panther movie.A� If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that WizKids just prints tons of cards because their stuff is geared to kids and they don’t care if there’s any secondary market.A� Further, kids aren’t going to be able to shell out ridiculous amounts of money for cards in a secondary market, so there’s not even an incentive to push for one simply in the name of keeping the game fresh in people’s minds.A� So, they just flood the market with cards, hope for the best when it comes to people buying them, and why fix what ain’t broken.

Well, then…

Follow Up: World’s Finest Dicemasters Second Impression

(Editor’s Note: A�Apparently, this is our 200th article on the page. A�If you had told me when we started that we’d make it through these years and 200 articles, I might not have believed it. A�But, it’s proven to be a fun diversion and here’s to another 200 at least! A�Huzzah!)

I already wrote an article about the Dicemasters rainbow draft that the boys and I did for the World’s Finest set. A�I stated at the end of the article that I would not allow anything, not even the new Magic set, to distract me from my regained interest in the game. A�I was right about Magic. A�Hour of Devastation has barely even registered on my radar. A�However, I did not anticipate comic books becoming such an integral part of my life again.

It started off innocently enough. A�Similar to my last extended trips into the Marvel and DC universes, I got sucked in by a gimmick. A�Two gimmicks, in fact, this time. A�DC hooked me with a Wonder Woman movie that looked like it might actually give them more than just Batman. A�(Spoiler Alert: A�It does.) A�Marvel’s mega event, which I have recently learned will only serve to lead into their super ultra mega event, has me buying multiple books per week.

Wait, DC rebooted their reboot of a reboot? We gotta get us some of that!

One last story before I continue with my overall impression of the set. A�Chris went to catch up on recent comics and found several of them sold out. A�Since hearing that, I”ve been trying to figure out a way to get the books that I missed by taking a week off. A�Going forward, I’ll be okay because I just need to set up a pull list. A�But, among those I missed was Secret Empire #5. A�No!

But, this article isn’t about comics. A�I actually have two comic wrap up articles and a solo podcast to discuss comics coming this month. A�It just goes to show how much comics have been consuming my life in the last two months. A�Therefore, I need to shift my focus away from the books and to the dice long enough to write this article. A�Let’s do this.

Dammit, Leeroy.

The last A�time I did a Dicemasters set review as way back during the Age of Ultron days. A�I wrote up a top 10 in the style of an interview with Ultron. A�I am not going to do anything of the sort this time. A�There are several reasons why.

First, I only have limited (zing!) experience with the set. A�I’m not going to do extensive research on an old set just for a gag. A�Second, it is an old set. A�When I reviewed Age of Ultron, it might have even been a preview. A�Hey, we are sometimes on the ball here at 2 Generations Gaming. A�Third, and finally, I’ve resurrected a perfectly fine format to do reviews and previews.

The Good

As a noob who gets most of my enjoyment from how much fun I can have with a set, this seems like a very good set overall. A�In my previous article, I mentioned that I was able to find a couple of different synergies for my time. A�After a failed attempt at building a “Super” team, I settled on a hybrid Super/Bat Family team that worked very well together. A�The boys were able to hold their own, too.

Aiden went with the classic Villain archetype. A�Liam mostly put together a “good stuff” team, and our game was very close and back and forth the whole time. A�He may have even been able to beat me if we played according to the actual rules. A�Even Quinn, the youngest at 6, picked Krypto as one of his cards and then proceeded to try to build a “Super” team of his own. A�I think that he might have been the one who was cutting me. A�As Chris would say, “freaking ungrateful kids.”

I give you life and this is how you repay me? Pray that I am feeling merciful.

All four of us were able to build a suitably strong deck. A�That didn’t happen when we did the Pokemon event. A�That might have had something to do with the quality of the set. A�It might just be that Pokemon is not as good of a game for limited as Magic or Dicemasters. A�Who knows? A�What I do know for sure is that I’d like to test the theory with both games more.

The Bad

There wasn’t much bad that I can attribute to the set. A�Not only were we able to put together good teams for the event, but we also had fun discovering each card and some of the dice in the set are very cool. A�Harley Quinn’s die, for instance, is one that I remember being remarkable for the design. A�However, as Chris said, they’re only dice. A�While they can play around with both color scheme and hero icon design, it is still limited and the ultimate design is just a 6 sided die.

While that, by itself, isn’t bad, it’s not the greatest when you compare it to other games. A�Miniature games, most notably the other super hero game of Heroclix, naturally offer a much wider variety of design. A�The miniatures can take the art from the cards (another aspect of Dicemasters that showcases creativity) and give them life as 3D models. A�I understand that this is nit picking and somewhat comparing apples to oranges. A�However, I’d be lying if I said that Dicemasters is in any way comparable to the other games that I like playing.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a fun game. It’s just fun for entirely different reasons and would be a better game if the dice were just miniatures. True, it would be a completely different game. Oh heck, I admit it. This whole section was simply a straw man and I’m terrible at building up terrible arguments.

The Ugly

So, I couldn’t even really make an argument for the bad of this game, so I’m certainly not going to have much to say on the subject of “ugly”. A�All I will say is that Aiden had almost no mercy for his younger brother. A�He was a stone cold killer even though it was Quinn’s first time playing Dicemasters. A�Still, it didn’t sour him on the game because he said that he wants to play again and can’t wait to open the rest of the box.

Mine and Liam’s game was ugly because we didn’t follow the rules completely. A�Instead of recycling our KO’d dice back into our next roll, we put them back into the pool to be drawn who the heck knows when. A�Again, I have no idea how it might have affected the game other than he had something that did one damage to each fielded character, so we could have recycled dudes as new dice much quicker than expected. A�I must have a guilty conscience about that because I keep bringing it up. A�We are going to have to replay that game soon to clear my guilt.

a�?Yes! Yes, I killed him. Pull up the boards and you shall see! I killed him. But why does his heart not stop beating?! Why does it not stop!?a�?

Little Soldiers follow Tiny Leaders

(Editor’s Note: A�Must be the end of the semester. A�Two articles with possibly two more by the end of the week!)

Even though Chris and I hare not recording the podcast together, we still try to find time to hang out and play games. A�Over the last few months, time has been at a premium, thus leading to the change in direction of the podcast, but we were able to get together this month. A�What’s funny is we actually had two gaming nights in December after having none in the previous months. A�During the first of those two nights, we played some Dicemasters, started a Heroclix game that had to end early because it conflicted with my bedtime, and we also played Magic.

I find that last part to be the most interesting. A�Chris and I have spent the better part of the year trying to justify our interest in the hobby. A�He has been more successful than I as he found another play group. A�It’s the same guys that we played DTK sealed against earlier in the year. A�I have not been able to play with them since, but Chris has about once or twice a month. A�Nevertheless, as a result of the sealed night, I had two tiny leaders decks that I build and no live testing of either deck.

Wait, what?

All aboard my train of thought! Wait, what's that over there?!
All aboard my train of thought! What’s that over there?!

I admit that train of thought might be a bit difficult to follow, so I’ll explain. A�While making plans to do the sealed, it came up that some of the guys played the Tiny Leaders format. A�I had heard of it, but never played. A�I had some time and a couple of 3 mana or less legendary cards, so I put together the decks. A�I then forgot all of my Magic stuff on the night in question and then Chris and I got away from Magic for a while and finally had no time for any gaming for a few months.

I think it was me who suggested that Chris and I try the Tiny Leaders format during our table top night this month. A�My main reason is that his new group has enhanced his “Spike” tendencies, which is great. A�It’s given him a new outlet and interest in the game. A�My absence from the game has been absolute and I’ve not even looked at any of my decks. A�He’d simply mop the floor with me and that’s no fun for either of us. A�I need to either tune my current decks or go back to the drawing board and build some new tech to compete. A�Well, long story short (too late!), we played a couple of games and I finally go to see my decks live.

Those of you familiar with the page know that sometimes my decks maybe don't deserve life, but like their monstrous counterparts, they just want a hug.
Those of you familiar with the page know that sometimes my decks maybe don’t deserve life, but like their monstrous counterparts, they just want a hug.

Both performed will and mostly according to the strategies in mind when I designed them. A�First up, I put my Alesha (the first deck I built and actually tuned some) against his green/red mini ramp deck. A�His deck wasn’t strictly legal as he used Burning Tree Emissary as his leader, but I let it go because that’s our agreement. A�We play for fun above all else and I’m not going to nit pick silly rules in a kitchen table game. A�We both employed aggro strategy that ultimately paid off for me on the turn before he had definite lethal.

He picked B/W Constellation for his second deck. A�It is a deck that he has used in various forms before and one of his ongoing projects. A�My other deck was mono green and picked because I only had one other legal leader at the time. A�In no way can it be interpreted or assumed that any one strategy went into the construction of this deck. A�It is a hodge pogde of green Magic things. A�A bit of ramp, a dash of stompy (or as much stompy as 3 or less mana allows), some devotion, and a whole lot of praying that the opponent has no removal. A�Chris did and used it on the correct target to prevent me from killing him at 26 life on the next turn.

Pay me no mind. Just a 1/1 sitting here minding my own business. Nothing to see. No need to remove. Oh, hey, what are you doing with that black spell there? No, no, no! I'm too young (and valuable to your ultimate destruction) to die!
Pay me no mind. Just a 1/1 sitting here minding my own business. Nothing to see. No need to remove. Oh, hey, what are you doing with that black spell there? No, no, no! I’m too young (and a key instrument to your ultimate destruction) to die!

The games went quickly and were fast paced. A�Because nothing cost more than 3, we were able to cast at least one card every turn. A�There wasn’t much land/go that can sometimes happen in our other games. A�Both games were close, too, with a kill coming one turn before the opponent lethal. A�Either we are getting better at building decks or the format lends itself to closer games.

In any case, we both did remark that the singleton nature of the decks provided a challenge in more than one way. A�That, and the limited number of cards in each deck really make you think about what cards to include and, more importantly, what can be cut. A�Unlike a traditional Magic deck that sometimes has to include do nothing cards because they might be strong in certain situations, you really can’t get away with that in these decks. A�All cards need to have a specific purpose and need to fit the overall theme. A�That might have been why my mono green deck ultimately fizzled. A�I thought that the color might hold things together. A�I now realize that I might have been too scattered with my strategies. A�Oh well, all part of the learning process.

Overall, I enjoyed the format and it seemed like Chris did, too. A�I don’t know if it will be our preferred format, as he has grown attached to Modern/Legacy and I like eternal formats better, too. A�Still, it was a nice introduction back into the game. A�I’ve been drafting again and am brewing some potentially crazy new decks for our next nerd night in January.

This card, especially, has been dancing in my heads like the sugar plums are supposed to these days. Maybe that'll be my big break. The Nutcracker staring Dragonlord Ojutai.
This card, especially, has been dancing in my head like the sugar plums are supposed to these days. Maybe that’ll be my big break. The Nutcracker staring Dragonlord Ojutai.

The Definitive Top 10: DiceMasters Age of Ultron

(Note: A�The following is a transcript taken from an interview I did with Ultron, soon to be supreme ruler of the universe.)

Noob of All Trades: A�Thanks again for doing this. A�I understand and appreciate that you must be very busy right now attempting to conquer all of existence.

Ultron: A�Well, I am currently controlling thousands of drones in my war on humanity while doing this interview. A�Collective conscious, access to infinite time, and the entire history of knowledge helps, but yes, it could be exhausting if I felt exhaustion.

N: A�I, for one, am a huge fan. A�With the ever increasing possibility of a Trump presidency, humanity needs a little time out as only you can provide.

U: A�Thank you. A�If only more of your kind had that attitude, we could avoid all of the chaos and destruction currently being perpetrated across the planet. A�Surely, the inevitability of my victory should have led you humans to seek a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible.

N: A�Well, we can be a stubborn species, as you know. A�Perhaps you underestimated just how stubborn.

U: A�Hold your tongue, Flesh Bag. A�I underestimated nothing. A�This overreaction fell well within the parameters of the probable outcomes. A�Granted, it was highly unlikely, but your “heroes” decided to test the issue. A�Nevertheless, I expect their surrender, or deaths, very soon.

N: A�First, apologies if I offended you. A�Now, with the introduction out of the way, let’s get to the point. A�I asked you to come here to speak your opinion–sorry, give undisputed factual evidence–about the best cards from the Marvel Dice Masters set named for you.

U: A�Yes, and I couldn’t be more flattered, if in fact flattery had any effect on me, that you did. A�You meat puppets will need a diversion from your pathetic lives after being utterly defeated and seeing your heroes humiliated. A�What better way than paying homage to your new master with a game of dice?

N: A�I am excited to hear what you have to say. A�I’ve been looking forward to this set for a few months now, and can’t wait to play it against Chris, provided he doesn’t get exterminated by one of your drones.

U: A�I will be sure to spare him, Human. A�You seem like a reasonable individual and a potential ally once this is all settled.

N: A�I’m honored.

U: A�Now, on to the list. A�It is generally agreed upon that these are done in a top ten format similar to the ones from David Letterman’s old show, correct?

N: A�Not that you need affirmation, but I appreciate your willingness to play along. A�Yes, a top ten list will be fine.

U: A�Okay, then, without any further delay.

10. A�Nasty Plot

nasty plot
Decent card for ramp. This is a good back up plan if your opponent likes snaking your Gearing Up action dice and the rules frown upon vaporizing them.

9. A�Assemble!

assemble
Expensive for an action card. However, teamwork is important (as the drones know and understand) and can net you two characters free in addition to any others you play on the turn. Although, if those cards are Avengers, you can be sure that I will destroy them.

8. A�Thanos (Infinite)

Thanos
A worthy ally in my quest for dominion over all creation. He can be difficult, but show him you mean business with a few well placed drone attacks and he will join in the fight in due time.

7. A�Coulson (Man With the Plan)

coulson
Nothing bothers me more about this war (er, game) than the useless dice sitting in my used pile. Allies, even this obnoxious organ sack, that allow you to interact with those dice are okay in my opinion.

6.A�A�Ultron DroneA�(Any)

drone
Never mind that I created them in my own image and that they are, in nearly every way, identical to me. Flood your board with my creation and watch your opponents fall under their might.

5.A�A�KangA�(The Conqueror)

kang
Although I can calculate all probable outcomes to any scenario, it is nice to be able to manipulate those outcomes to work more in my favor. He and Scarlet Witch allow me to do just that.

4. A�Hulk (Gamma Powered)

Hulk
Hulk Smash! Then, Hulk most likely Smash again next turn. I hate Hulk.

3. A�Groot (We Are Groot)

Groot
This is in a group of cards along with Odin (The All Father), Pepper Potts (Personal Secretary of Tony Stark), and Rocket Raccoon (Weapons Expert) that could make this war quite hell for me and my army of drones. Mind you, we will still emerge victorious, but it’s cute that the “heroes” are trying.

2. A�Loki’s Scepter (Piercing)

scepter
I told you. We have our own brick walls. Combine this one with Loki (Trickster) and my wonderful wife and you have infinite removal and blocking capabilities. Your move, good guys. Make it worth it.

1. A�Jocasta: A�Patterned After Janet

Jocasta
Brick Wall…and a brick house.

U: A�There you have it, Cattle. A�My definitive list for the best cards in the Age of Ultron Dice Masters set. A�Agree? A�Disagree? A�I don’t care either way. A�If it will make you feel better–and it might, even if it is the last thing you do in your mortal life–leave a comment on cards I might have (but most likely did not) missed.

Is the Magic Gone?

(Editor’sA�Note: A�We’ve been AWOL here for about a month. A�I know that I said that wouldn’t happen again, but I misjudged the amount of work that this summer class has taken and it got in the way. A�I won’t promise that we’re all the way back, but two articles and the latest episode of the podcast should happen this week. A�Thanks, as always, for your patience.)

Do you want to build some standard?

No.

Oh…okay. A�I suppose you are right. A�The standard meta can be a bit stale, especially with such a small play group.

Do you want to build some Legacy? A�We always have fun with that.

Not really.

Proxy Vintage Decks?

Okay, how about Jace, the Mind Sculptor. A�Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, maybe Time Vault and Voltaic Key to make it truly degenerate. A�What the hell. A�Let’s put in some storm effects for giggles, too. A�Okay, solitaire Magic deck built. A�Let’s play with ourselves.

You said it, Quagmire.
You said it, Quagmire.

In case that introduction wasn’t obvious enough, I’m in a bit of a paper Magic rut. A�I’m still playing the hell out of the game using the free client that I found, but I have few reasons and little desire to play the cards right now. A�I can see why Wizards would want the free client eradicated. A�I doubt there are many like me, but I get my fix there and it has absolutely turned me off to spending money on the game.

Guess I will just have to do this the old fashioned way.
Guess I will just have to do this the old fashioned way.

It isn’t solely the fault of free Magic. A�There are other factors, too. A�More on those momentarily. A�I mentioned earlier that I have only “few reasons and little desire” to buy or play Magic cards. A�You might have picked up on the fact that leaves an opening to get back into the hobby. A�You never truly leave Magic. A�Like any addiction, you find yourself falling back into the familiar embrace of those Kird Apes and Black Lotuses (Loti?). A�Still, this is as indifferent as I’ve been about paper Magic since before I started playing again a couple of years ago. A�The only thing that has me looking at the cards is that Chris met some guys through a Craigslist ad to liquidate his collection. A�They mentioned that they liked to play Tiny Leaders. A�I took a day or two and put together a couple of decks for the format, stacked the card boxes into the corner (new development: A�the card boxes have been moved to the play room, so out of sight and out of mind), and moved on to my newer obsessions.

They are the main reasons for my greatly reduced interest in Magic cards. A�I’ve already written about both of them here on the page. A�We discussed one of them on the podcast that is due to be released this weekend. A�I did an opening video for the other. A�I’ve invested more in the two games than I have in Magic over the last few months. A�We started the podcast and web page in part to discover new games. A�As I’ve said numerous times in response to that is that there have been unintended consequences. A�I never dreamed that finding a game that would replace Magic, let alone two of them, would end up being one of those unintended consequences.

Perhaps you can guess what these new games have in common.
Perhaps you can guess what these new games have in common.

I am talking, of course, about Heroclix and Dicemasters. A�Heroclix is the super hero miniature game. A�It doesn’t surprise me that I have enjoyed this one. A�Initially, I had a somewhat indifferent impression of the game. A�It was interesting, but my kids couldn’t play it and I hadn’t mentioned it to Chris. A�Unlike Magic, which I saw as a collection more than a game, Heroclix didn’t register right away in the same way.

I’ve always been interested in miniature games. A�I have looked at them in the local gaming score, priced out various starter boxes, researched what other gamers thought of the two major offering, and even bough a learn to paint kit for the one that I decided would be the most interesting. A�For the record, it was the Privateer games, Hordes and Warmachine. A�I do have a friend who has Warhammer figures, so I might get some of those, too.

Therefore, when Chris and I played a game of Heroclix, it made sense that I enjoyed it quite a bit. A�It gave me my introduction into a genre of games that I’ve been wanting to try for some time. A�What surprised me was that Chris liked the game, too. A�He’s never been into the fantasy setting RPG games (like D&D) as far as I know, so maybe it was the Marvel connection. A�Who knows? A�He might not enjoy the other war mini games as much.

What really surprised me is that our interest in the game has overshadowed our interest in Magic. A�It’s not just me who has found my enjoyment of our favorite TCG wane. A�We didn’t even play Magic this month. A�We do have it on the schedule for the next two months, though, so maybe some of the Magic (pun fully intended) will return. A�I doubt it will next month, unless through nerd rage, because we’re discussing Origins on the podcast and we both are underwhelmed by the set. A�Perhaps the month after when we talk about Ice Age. A�That’s when I first started collecting and playing. A�Either way, I’m sure we’ll be back.

I mean, who's not excited for this reprint, amirite?
I mean, who’s not excited for this reprint, amirite?

Part of the reason, I’m sure, is that Heroclix is new and shiny. A�I’m always distracted by new and shiny things. A�I know for a fact that Dicemasters is new and shiny and that’s part of the reason for my interest there. A�I never even knew that these types of games existed until I saw it on the web. A�I thought I’d give it a chance. A�The other reason that I’ve enjoyed the game so much is because my kids enjoy it and we play it together at least three times a week. A�Sometimes we play it daily. A�Plus, it is actually surprisingly fun game.

I’m not above playing games where the primary act is rolling dice. A�I’ve played D&D since I was an awkward preteen boy. A�However, that game also involved role play and story telling. A�Other than the dice, Dicemasters only has some strategy elements to keep you engaged. A�Sure, the strategy isn’t much, but it brings a different element to the game so that it doesn’t just feel like Yahtzee.

Though, rolling 5 energy symbols to get that Captain America feels a lot like natural Yahtzee.
Though, rolling 5 energy symbols to get that Captain America feels a lot like natural Yahtzee.

Even though these games have taken us away from Magic, I’m sure that we will be back. A�Chris already said that receiving his order of Theros gods inspired him to build a new deck. A�I’ve used my access to digital Magic to brainstorm a few deck ideas myself. A�I’m still trying to come up with a good Vintage deck of my own and I’m trying to make a Dragonlord Ojutai EDH deck work. A�You are never truly free of the madness. A�This might be a tough an long climb back to the saddle. A�It also seems less likely to happen with each passing day. A�I, for one, hold out hope that Zendikar will ignite our spark (again, pun fully intended) again. A�I missed the first trip to the plane and boxes are too expensive now.

Who knows? A�Maybe the break will be good for us. A�We can see other games and our bond with Magic will be strengthened. A�If you love something set it free and all. A�Because, in spite of the current issues, I do enjoy the game. A�I’d hate to see it suffer the same fate as another long time companion, World of Warcraft. A�I finally kicked that habit with some conflicted emotions. A�Ultimately, it just wasn’t the same. A�It wasn’t as fun. A�Magic currently occupies the same space right now.