Hey, everyone. Just a short time away from the next new Dice Masters set: The Mighty Thor! The first batch of spoilers have rolled in, and luckily, we got a glimpse at all 12 Basic Action Cards in the set. So, let’s break down what we’re getting. Keep in mind, these Basic Actions will only be available in the Draft Packs, like we saw in D&D, Tomb of Annihilation. I’ll be looking at these cards through the lens of drafting, since that is how many of us will get them. Also, as you’ll see, most of them are exact reprints or functional reprints of Basic Actions we already have. So, some of them won’t necessarily offer anything new to the constructed toolbox.
The first thing I want to mention is the balance with these Basic Actions. All 12 cards either cost 3 or less to purchase, or have a global ability on them. That means every one of them is usable, with little to no requirements. The usefulness will vary depending on the team you put around them, obviously. But each of these cards can either be purchased on you first turn or provides a global ability. This will give players less of a sense of being “stuck” with a basic action they can’t find a use for. To compare, Tomb of Annihilation had 4 Basic Actions with a cost greater than 3 and did not have globals on them. I think this is a really good improvement, and I hope it was an intentional change we will keep as we move forward with future sets.
Special thanks to Boardgame Today who spoiled these cards in their video. You can watch their video here. On to the Basic Actions!
Big Entrance – Reprinted from War of Light. The first thing that jumps out at me is that they DID NOT use errata text from the WizKids Rules Forum: “Impulse – You may add this die to your bag. Dice purchased this turn cost 1 less than their printed cost (no matter how many Big Entrance dice are used, minimum 1), and gain Impulse – You may add this die to your bag.” That said, this card has been around the block a time or two. Many of us are familiar with the discount it gives. I think this card could become a lot more fun in draft with the new format of getting 2 dice per card. That means every cheap character you draft to take advantage of the discount is doubled. If you manage to draft 2 of the 2 cost uncommon Karnak? Well, you get 4 dice to take advantage of Big Entrance with.
Don the Helm – Here’s a brand new one. Kind of. It’s the same cost and similar effect to the old Transfer Power BAC from Uncanny X-Men. The difference is that if you miss the character face, the die is prepped instead of going to your bag. Also, there’s no global on this card. I don’t love this action, but I like it. I don’t see anything in this set that it would synergize exceptionally well with, but it has the potential to be useful on just about any team build. It also has the chance to give you a free character if you didn’t have enough energy to field everything, using it during the Attack Step.
Flying Hammer – Here we have a functional reprint of Smash! that came out just last year in the Iron Man / War Machine Starter (and also way back in AvX). The only difference is that Flying Hammer costs 1 more to purchase. This is an odd choice, because I didn’t see people flocking to Smash! in drafts, thinking the purchase cost of 3 was a bargain. The effect of this action is second fiddle in my opinion. It’s that global that people will be excited to play with. It can shut down opposing Overcrush, or just simply keep a blocker alive when needed. Between this and Archnemesis!, there’s a priority on high attack, low defense characters.
Get Thee Hence – This is just like the Dark Avenger action, except this one looks for characters with Immortal to deal that conditional damage instead of the Bat Family affiliation. This all comes down to how many cheap characters will have the Immortal keyword. The global is straight forward, and will always have a special place in my heart. I lost a match in the top 4 of a rainbow draft event where I would have won if I used this global before fielding my characters and attacking. I’ve never forgotten to use this global at every opportunity since then. (As of this writing, the cheapest character with Immortal we’ve seen spoiled is the uncommon Hogun, at 4 cost.)
Midgard – This is a functional reprint of the Save Civilians Basic Action. Combine this with any character that can help you get sidekicks. I see the rare Crystal lets you spin any ? faces to their sidekick face. This may be the Basic Action I’d be the least excited to pull, just because I feel it’s the most situational. Again, part of it depends on how many characters we have in this set that help us expedite Sidekicks to the field.
Odin’s Fury – Here we have a functional reprint of True Believer from Amazing Spider-Man. The action is useful, especially at 2 cost. I know there is some Overcrush in this set, so this action is something to watch out for. The global is going to have some great use in this set. Keep in mind this global can only be used on your own turn. Bold prediction: this global will be more important in set than it was in Amazing Spider-Man, and will lead to it seeing an increase in constructed play.
Released from the Ice – Here we have a functional reprint of Reclaim, which we saw released earlier this year in the TMNT Heroes in a Half Shell Box Set. 2 cost to prep a die from used. This is the best fall back, utility Basic Action in the set. You won’t be able to win with it, but you could use it to gain some momentum, getting that character you just purchased over to your Prep for next turn.
Shockwave – I’ve always really liked this Basic Action, and am glad to see it Modern legal once again. We originally saw Shockwave back in Justice League. Now we get a reprint with some improved wording. It’s conditional non-targeting removal, that you can pay more to not have it affect your characters. I wish it wasn’t a 5 cost action, since it will only ever effect about 33% of the non-sidekicks in play. Combine this with something like rare Nick Fury that can spin down some opposing characters and this is action can be a great combo piece for a win condition. And that global looks good on paper, but remember, there’s very few times your opponent will want to play an action, and you’ll get priority to use this global first. However, in constructed, this could be the perfect counter to a character like the uncommon Morph who uses an action when he attacks.
Surprise Attack – We saw this action in the Iron Man / War Machine Starter and get another version of it here. I’ve never really liked this action. It always seemed to me like you’re not getting enough for the cost. You deal 1 or 2 damage to a character. It can’t even target your opponent. One thing to keep in mind is that there’s no Magic Missile global to ‘ping’ characters off in this set (We do, but it’s on a character, and costs 2 energy to use.). So there’s a premium on being able to do that. Also, I mentioned with some of the actions above that can work well with high attack, low defense characters. This is the answer to those low defense characters. Your opponent might be comfortable with Kate Bishop and the Archnemesis! global, but you’ll be able to use Surprise Attack before passing them priority to increase Kate’s defense. I don’t love this action, but I’m definitely keeping an open opinion on how it might be used in this draft landscape.
So, there’s all the Basic Actions in the upcoming Dice Masters set: The Mighty Thor. I’m most excited for the Shockwave reprint, seeing where that might have some usefulness in Modern constructed play. Villainous Pact looks to be the only consistent win condition piece among Basic Actions. I think Odin’s Fury will put its global in the spotlight in a way True Believer didn’t.I hope you enjoyed this little preview, even though we said we’d be taking time off for the holidays. The spoilers hit the internet, and I got the itch to do some writing. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you guys after the New Year. Roll on!