We were lucky enough to receive a copy of the new Amazing Spider-Man starter pack from Wizkids Games for their Dice Masters series. As many of you know from our previous podcasts, we were all over the Dice Masters game. We bought the original starter set and one gravity feed box. I then supplemented our collection by going to CoolstuffInc and buying additional dice and cards so that we had a complete set of commons and uncommons and enough dice to have four of each character. We were playing at our local game store and even had some weekly events, but then something happened. Blame it on lack of product, the meta with what seemed to be ultra-powerful rares, or just hype of the game dying off, the group stopped playing and things kind of died off to the point where we stopped playing.
However, things seem to be picking up around our area and just in time for the release of the new Amazing Spider-Man expansion. I am not going to do a deep dive into the cards like others have, for having missed the past expansions, I doubt I could do them justice in how the relate to the overall game. But when looking at how just the Action Cards and the base set might fit in with the first Dice Masters release, there shouldn’t be any major issues. So with that generalization, I am going to look at this expansion as if this is something that would bring me back to Dice Masters.
First, it is a Spider-Man expansion so I expect that some of my favorite characters be included in this expansion. And they are, so that is a positive for the expansion. Many of the best villains from the comics are here and many of the various incantations of Spider-Man are also here. This allows you to have some potential battles between the Spider-Mans against the villains trying to bring destruction upon the masses. And with the Ally keyword addition, I can see how they included MJ and Aunt May in the series. So, they can’t battle the Rhino, but you got to think of them as support and that is what they do in the comic series.
This expansion also brings to us a new keyword in Underdog that triggers when you have less dice fielded than your opponent. I kind of like this because one of the biggest issues I had with the original was the minion rush as I called it. It seemed that was the only strategy people were going for and I know it was countered later, it was still one that was used a lot. This keyword can help you out of a jam and the cards in the starter all have a different effect when this occurs. It kind of gives you hope when the odds are not in your favor. The other new keyword, Overcrush, lets damage get through even when blocked. This will finally bring in some epic battles between the big guys or at least create the need for a bit more strategy when defending those attacks instead of just throwing a minion into the fray.
The new action cards contribute something to the game and maybe more than the originals for it seemed we never really used them in the beginning. And Back for Seconds! is one that might be appearing in many decks since it has the new Underdog trait. When you are down a man and have someone sitting in the used pile, you can bring them back into the fight. I kind of like that for here is a card that could turn the battle in your favor even if the dice are not going your way.
So, with the Spider-Man theme, the new keywords and Action cards, this is something that could get me back into Dice Masters. But not so fast, I have moved away from the collectible scene in the past year, but I will say that they have my attention again and will be watching how the rest of cards in the series turn out. Does one strong meta prevail or have things truly balanced out to make me a true believer again? Just going to wait and see.