Jeremy enjoys gaming when not working as a manager at the same college he graduated from.
Characters and Rarity in Dice Masters
Dice Masters offers a fun mix of chance and strategy, borrowing characters from numerous brands, including Marvel, DC, Yu-Gi-Oh, and D&D, so you're bound to encounter some favorites.
You can mix and match characters for custom decks, and each carries a rarity: common, uncommon, rare, or super rare. But one of the best things about the game is how balanced the cards are; many commons and uncommons are surprisingly competitive and can more than keep up with rares—which reign supreme? These are the ten best common characters in Dice Masters!
|Rarity||Line Color (Above the Card's Die Faces)|
10. Boom Boom: Time Bomb
Set: X-Men First Class
The X-Men sets are some of the game's most popular, and it's easy to see why with cards like Boom Boom. As noted in her card's upper-left corner, she only needs two energy (including one Bolt) to obtain. Her attack and defense stats aren't great, even at her higher levels, but you're really after her effect, inflicting two damage to an opponent or character whenever you use a basic action die while she's active.
This'll chip away at your opponent's health, KO their weak blockers, and works great with cheap basic actions like "Thrown Brick" and "Ping". Boom Boom's only shortcoming is her fielding requirement; unlike most characters, she takes one energy to play even in her weakest form (as shown in the die's upper-left corner).
9. Scarlet Witch: Careful What You Wish For
Set: X-Men First Class
Bolt decks are very popular, with Witch adding an interesting control option. Buying her die only needs three energy, and fielding her first two forms doesn't require any! So she's pretty easy to get out, and her passive effect forces opponents to reroll action die that land on their action (rather than energy) sides, while they can't reroll action die that land on energy.
This works great against themes that heavily depend on action dice, making it difficult for your rival to use those die as anything but energy.
8. Firefly: Ted Carson
Firefly only needs three energy to purchase, but like Boom Boom, you'll need at least one energy to field him, even in his weakest form. However, his ability combos great with all characters we've seen so far (and other copies of himself), hitting your opponent for one damage when you field Firefly per Bolt character you control!
This counts himself and your other Bolt units—and we've still got several left to cover.
7. The Question: Vic Sage
Question only costs two energy to add to your die bag, and his first two forms are free to field, making him a very energy-efficient character. While attack is low, his defense stat is solid.
More than that, when Question attacks, you can reroll an action die from your used area (one already played that turn), and if it shows a (!) burst symbol, you get to field it! Sure, this depends on luck, but you've got 50% odds of a free action whether or not Question gets blocked.
Another advantage of low-cost characters like Question is that two of their three die faces provide two energy (your starting die can only give one), letting you quickly afford higher-cost characters.
6. Hope Summers: Pluripotent Echopraxia
Set: X-Men Forever
Hope's pretty affordable, needing three energy to buy and zero to field in her first two forms. And when fielded, you pick an X-Man character on your team (even if you haven't bought them yet), and have Hope copy their text box abilities.
She retains her original attack and defense stats, but this will score the effects of high-cost characters without ever needing to buy them. Hope retains their text until fielded again, meaning she can even use their abilities from the prep area or used pile.
5. Songbird: Melissa Gold
Set: Justice, Like Lightning
As a Bolt character, Songbird works well with allies like Firefly, she only needs three to buy, and yet again, her first two forms are free to play. But as a double-sided card, you can flip her at the start of your turn, switching between her two effects as needed.
Her first form lets Songbird knock-out an opposing sidekick die when fielded; her second has intimidate, exiling an opposing character die of cost four or less until the end of the turn. This won't permanently eliminate them, but it's great for removing pesky blockers or negative effects.
4. Kree Captain: Lost Purpose
Set: Kree Invasion Team Pack
The Kree Captain has tons of potential synergy, and he works great with multiple copies of himself. He needs three to buy, with only his first character side being free to play. His battle stats don't look great, but his effect increases both attack and defense by one per active villain in play (designated by the "V" symbol).
This includes himself and even opposing units, so he can really become a big threat. He's also today's only character with a global ability (which either player can use), spending two fist energy to discount your turn's next character die by three, effectively turning two energy into three. Remember that you can activate this global using Kree himself if you roll one of his two double-Fist energy sides.
3. Wong: Expert of Kamar-Taj
Set: Doctor Strange Team Pack
Only Wong's first character side is free to field, but his other forms have strong stats and he's a bargain purchase at just two. His fast trait basically provides Magic: The Gathering's first strike, letting him deal combat damage before characters without fast and avoiding counterattack if he defeats them.
Wong also counts as a sidekick die in the field zone, letting him benefit from supports like "Professor X: No More, Magnus!" and "Atlantis, Wealthy Kingdom".
2. Yuan-ti Pureblood: Lesser Humanoid
Set: Tomb of Annihilation (Dungeons and Dragons)
Yuan-ti highly resembles Boom Boom, both Bolt-affiliated characters who cost two and have damage-based effects. But unlike Boom, you can play Yuan's first level without energy, and while active, Yuan hits either a player or character for one whenever you use a basic action die. She also becomes unblockable until end of turn.
This is incredibly versatile—in addition to letting Yuan score free attacks, the damage will nick opponents, KO a sidekick, or even be used to trigger your own "when damaged" character effects on cards like "Mr. Fixit: Muscle for Hire".
1. Chwinga: Lesser Elemental
Set: Tomb of Annihilation (Dungeons and Dragons)
Even on his stronger faces, Chwinga's attack and defense are terrible, and at levels two and three, he's forced to attack each turn. But he's amazingly cheap, costing just one bolt energy to obtain!
So Chwinga isn't so much a strong character as he is extra energy, letting you quickly obtain dice that can potentially provide two resources and buy stronger characters. In the rare cases you want to field him, try getting his level one side, which isn't forced to attack and can be played for free.
Dice Masters Review
Some players are turned off by luck-based die-rolling games, but Dice Masters largely subverts the issues thanks to rerolls and balanced die faces: the stronger the level of your character, the more energy it usually takes to field them. I also love the lack of "pay to win" gimmicks, with many commons and uncommons actually exceeding their rare counterparts.
My only complaint is the player restrictions (it's tricky going beyond 1v1), but that's a small nitpick for an excellent game—you can score your own Spider-Man starter set for less than $10! Round out your starter set with boosters and today's common yet powerful beatsticks for a dominating theme, but for now, vote for your favorite character and I'll see you at our next gaming countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill