Dice Masters: World’s Finest has been around for a couple of months now, and has already been pushed into the past by the arrival of the more recent Marvel Civil War set.
However, with players in my area dropping like flies as WizKids continues to afflict us with such a punishing release schedule, it’s taken me a while to get things to the table, so here’s a somewhat belated run-down of the Villains from World’s Finest.
Whilst each set will have its own new fad affiliations for the good-guys, Villains have been a constant across all the Hero sets so far, meaning that any new villain with have both a lot of options for synergy and a lot of competition to get into a villain-heavy build.
Batman has always had a wide array of colourful adversaries, and many are represented in World’s Finest: Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, Jester, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Mr Freeze, Bane, Carmine Falcone and Scarecrow.
Rather than go through all of them individually, I just want to pull out a few highlights, characters who particularly thrive in a bag full of villains, or against an opponent lacking in villains.
The Uncommon Bane and the Common Joker both give you conditional dice-draw, Bane can add any villains picked up to your reserve pool, and non-Villains return to the bag, whilst the Joker lets you keep the dice regardless, with the bonus of damaging your opponent if it’s a villain. Given that he also costs one less than Bane, he seems like the better option. As always with the Joker, there is potential Harley Quinn synergy to be considered, which can make him that bit easier to get out onto the field / more powerful in attack.
Definitely not a fan of anyone who isn’t a Villain, each different version of the Penguin brings a slightly different punishment for fielding non-villains, either by boosting his own stats, or by damaging either non-Villain characters or the player who fields them. Admittedly, this does raise questions about what you do with your own sidekicks, and unless you can find a way to keep lots of them active, your bag is likely to fill up with dross – on the plus side, it’s likely to hurt your opponent more than it hurts you, as they will suffer the same penalties for their other non-villains and you (presumably) won’t have any. 5 for a non-attacking character may be a bit too steep, but it’s an interesting option nonetheless.
Although not leaning heavily on his villainy, the Uncommon Two-Face strikes me as a really good card, whose benefit just goes up if he can feed your villain synergy for you. At 5-cost, he can damage your opponent as well as his blockers, for 2, 4, or 6, depending on his level, which means a good opponent is unlikely to bother blocking him. To really maximise this, you’re going to want either attack boosts, or a way to cycle him quickly, but having played in a lot of games where both sides erect an impenetrable wall, this kind of guaranteed damage (even Overcrush can be nullified by a big-enough defender) can be really powerful.
Supermen and lesser beings
Superman’s opponents are probably less interesting than Batman’s, and there are fewer of them, although there are still some possibilities, between Zod, Doomsday, Bizarro, and the Earth 2 villains: Superwoman and Ultraman.
Bizzaro’s abilities are, well Bizarre. His powers all interact with Global abilities, punishing characters who have them, and the players who brought those characters – an interesting foundation for a no-globals team, but not an obvious fit for a thematically “villainous” set-up.
Ultraman by contrast is looking for Kryptonite, and where it damages his Earth-1 opposite, he himself is charged up by it. Kryptonite itself is something that only really operates at half-power if your opponent doesn’t have Superman characters, so you probably want to think twice about using this: there is certainly some serious potential, but to get a game-changing benefit, you’re looking at really expensive combos.
Superwoman is a Villain, but her synergy is all about Bolts: if you buy her mostly with Bolt energy, you can get various benefits, including rolling her straight away. Good synergy for a Torch/Firestorm/Field Leader Team, but again, no place in a Villains team.
Doomsday seems like the most obvious fit in a Villain-heavy build. He has really good efficiency, being able to hit hard for 4-cost to purchase, and max 2 to field, and whilst his “ability” is a negative one, the requirement of having at least 2 different villains active is going to play to your strengths in this type of team.
Lastly, General Zod themes heavily around non-Basic action dice: some interesting possibilities with other characters (JL Green Lantern, Doctor Strange, AoU Baron Zemo), but nothing villain-specific leaping out.
Villain-heavy/only teams are always tricky: with Blue Beetle and/or Mr Sinister, you can cause your opponent some serious problems, but you are really vulnerable to those same tricks coming back at you – I once took an all-villain team, ran into Blue Beetle as part of a Firestorm/Torch team, and was left with the fun choice between killing myself by fielding characters, or not fielding characters and leaving my field empty whilst he had characters aplenty. If you are going to take one, there are some nice options here: Joker/Harley for their synergy, Doomsday for efficiency, or Two-Face for a big punch in the face with some coincidental synergy, just don’t come crying to me when you get the nightmare match-up and can’t do anything…