Welcome back to the Greatest Stories Ever Rolled. We take a look at the comics that inspired and impacted us and recreate those teams, stories, or events in Dice Masters.
Woah! It’s been a while. This is the first installment of GSER here on Gaming with Sidekicks. If you want to look back as some past teams I’ve showcased, here’s a link to all GSER articles that were written over on The Reserve Pool. To be honest, I had stalled out of ideas to write about for this series at the end of last summer. I decided I’d wait a few months, let a few more sets come out, and now get back in to what teams can be created with new characters. With new characters, there’s new possibilities to relive great comic stories.
I’m so excited for today’s team. I wanted to create a team based on this story over a year ago when I started this series, but we just didn’t have enough characters to make it possible. We now have enough characters to make a team built around the story of The Spider-Verse!
Without ruining the story too much, the basic idea of The Spider-Verse is that Spider-Mans (and other Spider-powered-people) must come together from various realities, universes, and timelines to defeat a common threat. Honestly, that is all you need to know to understand the story. There’s much more nuance with the plan of the villainous Inheritors and various factions within the team of Spider-heroes. The entire series is a bit of a love letter to Spider-Man’s storied past and all of the various ways we’ve seen him and everything that he’s meant to be. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man at all, it’s worth a read.
So, what does a Spider-Verse themed team look like? Well, it’s pretty much as simple as you’d think: choose as many Spider-powered characters as possible, with special emphasis on ones that played a significant role in the comic series. First, I’d like to just compile a list of Dice Masters characters that meet this requirement.
That gives us 10 possible characters. We could also use Web Shooter, the non-basic action. But I don’t think we’ll need it. Here’s the team link for retrobox if you’d like to follow along.
Spider-Man – Tangled Web – This was a pretty tough choice, seeing how we have 18 different cards named “Spider-Man”. There’s a case to be made for Spectacular, being the cheapest version we have. There’s a case to be made for Webslinger, with his win condition potential. Wall-Crawler and The Amazing both have some unorthodox life-loss mechanics that can give opponents headaches. War of the Heart can force your opponent in to unfavorable blocking match ups. All of that said, I know I’m taking other Spider-Friends affiliated characters. This Spidey can give them a much needed bonus in attack power.
Scarlet Spider – Ben – Ben Reilly, the original Scarlet Spider. A 3-cost character that tops out with 6A. Yes, his fielding costs are 1-1-2, and his defense is 3 across the board. Even still, 3 cost is easy to grab.
Miguel O’Hara – Spider-Man 2099 – I really like his rare version, Lyrate Lifeform Approximation, better. But I don’t think this team will have a reliable way to prep Miguel to trigger Back for More. With Miguel’s high attack values, 4-5-6, and the potential +2A from Tangled Web, your opponent will likely chump block Miguel instead of letting him through. Don’t underestimate the value of clogging up your opponent’s bag.
Spider-Girl – May Parker – The daughter of Peter and Mary Jane from an alternate timeline. She’s really our only means of direct damage. Since it’s reliant on Underdog, it’s not overly reliable. But if you know you’ll need to rely on that chip damage, you can prioritize her early in the game. I don’t love her, but her attack stats aren’t bad at 4-4-5, and defensively, at 1-2-4, she’s prone to getting KO’d on levels 1 and 2 to refield next turn.
Gwen Stacy – The Amazing Spider-Gwen – This alternate universe version of Gwen Stacy was created and written specifically for the Spider-Verse event, so it would be a crime not to include her. The biggest knock against her is her fielding costs of 1-2-2 without the stats to really justify it. But this version’s ability makes her free to field if you have another active Spider-Friend character. Every character on this team has the Spider-Friend affiliation, so she’ll likely be free to field. Even if she isn’t, we have the global on Spider-Man to give the Spider-Friend affiliation to a sidekick, making her free to field. So most of the time she’ll effectively have a fielding cost of 0-0-0, and occasionally you might have to use the global making it 1-1-1. When you look at her stats compare with those fielding costs… she’s not so bad.
Iron Spider – Waldoes – The first character on our list that didn’t properly appear in the Spider-Verse event. But I’d have to imagine there was an alternate universe version of Spidey running around in this suit at some point. I love that Suit Up ability, and how it can be used with Spider-Man or other Iron Spider dice. Using this version of Iron Spider makes it tempting to choose a Spider-Man with a “when fielded” ability like A Better Way. I think, more often than not, this guy could be my first purchase, get him in play fast, and start getting more as fast as possible without sacrificing board state.
SP//dr – Arachnid CPU – SP//dr is a robot, piloted by young Peni Parker. Peni’s father was the robot’s previous pilot who died in battle, before Peni took his place. She is recruited by other reality-hopping Spider-people early in the Spider-Verse series to help fight the threat at hand. SP//dr is our answer to direct damage. She, since the robot’s new pilot is female, can absolutely force an opponent to change gears if they are relying on multiple instances of direct damage. The most expensive character on our team, but for good reason. SP//dr can buy us the time we need by stalling our opponent’s plan or can bring us closer to winning by dishing damage back out to our opponent.
Madame Web – The Great Web Unravels – And here we come to our major win condition. A lot of our Spiders have offensively skewed stat lines. Spider-Man himself can give them an attack bonus. Madame Web can make sure everyone gets through unblocked.
Mutation – When Peter Parker was bitten by the radioactive spider, his body mutated, granting him amazing abilities. While he still appears normal, there’s no denying that his DNA was permanently altered by this event. Plus, that global ability is how we’ll make sure Spider-Man is on his burst face so all Spider-Friend affiliated characters get the +2A when they attack.
Slander – The power of the press. J. Jonah Jameson knows that Spider-Man is a headline that grabs attention. Whether he’s smearing the web head’s reputation or begrudgingly singing his praises, Spidey makes the front page. So, let’s use the Daily Bugle’s influence to our advantage. “Breaking News: Shriek forgets she targeted Madame Web!” “SP//dr is finally free from Dwarf Wizard’s spell!” But really, this could free up whatever is locking down our win condition.
I’ve already established that I want to win using Madame Web to tie up all blockers, allowing the rest of your team to swing through unblocked. I definitely want to get Spider-Man and Iron Spider in the rotation as soon as possible. Whenever one of them hits the field, Suit Up as much as possible to get board advantage. If energy type dictates, go for Gwen, Scarlet Spider, or Spider-Girl. Obviously, if your opponent is running some kind of direct damage win condition, get SP//dr. And if they have Shriek, Dwarf Wizard, or some character that can mess up your plans by simply being active, make sure you plan for Slander. I think this team will want to be very aggressive early, sneaking in some damage whenever possible. But there will come a point where the strategy shifts, and you start holding back, saving up for the win with Madame Web. Finding lethal could sneak up on players with this team. For instance, if Spider-Man, 2 Iron Spiders, and Gwen Stacy, all on level 1 will give you 20 damage. Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, Miguel O’Hara and SP//dr equal over 20 damage all on level 1. And don’t forget, if you have any sidekicks attacking, you can use the Spider-Man global to effectively give them +2A if Spidey is on his burst face.
I think this is one of the stronger teams I’ve built here. With having both Slander and SP//dr, there are legitimate answers to meta cards. If your opponent brings any kind of globals to accelerate ramp or energy fixers, it will only help you. And in a game with no ramp assistance, I feel this Spider-Verse team could get the advantage if you can get to a point to Suit Up every turn. Madame Web gives you a win condition, and Spider-Man gives you a way to find lethal more quickly, thanks to the Mutation global.
So, what do you guys think? Are there Spider-characters I left off that I should have included? Would you start with a different version of Spider-Man as the foundation? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time, roll on.