This February sees the newest release for WizKids‘ Dice Masters, Marvel Dice Masters: Iron Man and War Machine Starter Set. The first starter set has an Iron Man focus introducing new mechanics.
I’ll be reviewing a group of cards a day until the whole set is completed and then general thoughts on the whole set. But, beyond discussing the cards and how they fit into the Dice Masters game, I’ll also focus on the characters themselves and if the card reflects their comic history.
Up today is the rest of the set’s Basic Action Dice
Art: Gabriele Dell’Otto, Secret War #1
Card playability: For a card like this I’m not as impressed by the ability as the cost. To pay 2 energy to then be able to get 2 energy down the road is helpful, though if that’s your goal there’s some Basic Actions that only cost 1 to do that.
Generally, there’s a lot of cards that are similar and are either the same cost, or cost 1 die more and do much more.
“Shocking Grasp” which costs them same does 1 damage and if it KOs a character that die then goes to the Prep area. I like that a bit more than this, but there’s a chance of dealing 2 damage.
Overall, this card may become a bit more important once set rotation becomes the norm, but as is, there’s better options out there. This could become more valuable the more we see “Iron Will” crop up in the game.
Upgrade – Fortification
Art: Greg Land, Iron Man #1 variant
Card playability: I feel like there’s something missing when it comes to this Starter Set and the cards marked “Upgrade.” I’ve looked in the rules and there doesn’t seem to be anything specific regarding this wording. My gut says “Upgrade” basic action dice are meant to stay on the table like we saw dice being equiped with the D&D sets… but that’s another discussion.
“Iron Will” is a pain in the but ability in this game. The short version is a die needs to be damaged twice to be KO’d. So, to be able to give a character die that is pretty solid. But, looks like you’ll need to make sure it’s a SHIELD character or you’ll lose some life.
I like the idea of these upgrade Basic Action cards, I just want to see them actually be like equipment we’ve previously seen.
Upgrade – Proton Cannon
Art: Lan Medina, Iron Man: Rapture #4
Card playability: The card “Hulk Out” is the same ability and the same cost except that it’s until the end of the turn, but there’s no KO chance.
With that being said, that makes me think the “Upgrade” Basic Action cards are meant to stay on the board much like equipment in D&D.
If this card does stay on the table then it’s an improvement on “Hulk Out” and I might go with it over that card instead. Overcrush can be a big deal in this game, so to have a die that “permanently” gives the ability like equipping a character die that could be a pretty big deal.
I’d expect a clarification over these “Upgrade” Basic Action cards.
Upgrade – Smokescreen
Art: Salvador Larroca and Frank D’Armata, Iron Man 2.0 #10
Card playability: Again, a cheap Basic Action die and if this is meant to be like equipment, then I like it a lot more than if it’s just for one turn.
This is a pretty cheap way to give a character die a little bit of a boost for the attack and there’s the bonus of getting them through unblocked if they’re a level 1 MASK character die.
I like the concept, but again it’s a big deal if this die stays out there or goes away at the end of the turn. At a minimum at least you’ve got a die that has some uses and also can get you two generic energy.
Upgrade – Unibeam
Art: Roberto de la Torre, Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #26
Card playability: Similar to the card above, this one gives +2A instead of the +1A for the same cost. Instead of the possibility of bein unblockable this one possibly can give “Fast.”
Quite a few of the characters in this starter set are geared towards going on the offensive, so this is a die that adds to that focus.
Again, it’s not clear if this is supposed to be like equipment or not, but we’ll see if there’s further clarification. If it does stay like that, I’m much more gung-ho about this Basic Action card. If it’s for one turn only, I’m not quite there.
Final Thoughts: I expect “Upgrade” Basic Action card to get clarification or to be changed down the road to be like equipment which is something that’s not quite as present in the Marvel/DC aspect of the Dice Masters game. If so, the worth for all of these will increase.
WizKids provided Graphic Policy with FREE product for review.