Dice Masters: Jocasta is Nice, But She's No Black Widow

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Jocasta card Critical Blast

For Dice Masters, a collectible card game by WizKids, having that one card that can be a 'game changer' is important for every player. The super-rare card, meaning there is typically only 1 found in a gravity feed of 90 packs is the most elusive.

In the first set, Avengers vs X-Men, we were given Green Goblin: "Gobby" which dealt your opponent 1 damage for each sidekick in the field. It also had Black Widow: "Tsarina" which had players spinning characters down a level to avoid taking 2 damage. Black Widow was a multi-purpose tool. With the release of Uncanny X-Men, there was Scarlet Witch: "Controls Probability" that had players foiling plans left and right with a re-roll of the dice. When the Justice League set came out it seemed everyone was eager to get their hands on the crippling Constantine: "Hellblazer". He prevents any card text or attack from a named character drawn from the dice bag. Each set has come with that one super-rare that everyone wants. After having 5 sets released, the market has gotten to a point where a majority of the players have at least 1 super-rare card on their team.

Now, with the latest set, Age of Ultron, people are talking about Jocasta: "Patterned after Janet" whose card text reads: The first time each turn Jocasta would be dealt damage, instead deal that damage to your opponent.



Jocasta is a four-cost bolt character, who on the surface seems like a game changer, but is she really? You will quickly find there are many ways to have her removed from the field of play without dealing any damage. Storm and Punisher are two characters that already find themselves on many teams and are great ways to get rid of her. Some have said that using Mjolnir: "Fist of the Righteous" on your own turn, against Jocasta, is a power move. But all you're really doing is KO'ing her for a chance to deal up to 8 damage to your opponent. You risk losing her the following turn and the pressure is on (50/50 chance) to re-roll her into a character. As powerful as it may be, this scenario is most certainly a 'one-off'. Meaning, you'll likely only do this once per game. Mjolnir comes in as a six-cost bolt, which means a total of 10 energy is being used throughout the game to purchase Jocasta and Mjolnir. Then you'll still need Jocasta to be in the field when you pull Mjolnir from your bag. And while Batman: "Bruce Wayne" will buy you an action for 1 energy, he's a five-cost mask and that actually slows you down further.

For me, that's too many conditions that need to be met.

Black Widow: "Tsarina" is a two-cost fist that performs multiple functions. Unconditionally and on her own. She provides support to characters with overcrush by spinning dice down and lowering defensive stats. She deals 2 damage if there's no characters to spin, or if the opponent chooses not to. And while players will use Beast to counter her, she's still a cheaper buy than Jocasta and therefore can rush the field. Forcing your opponent to abandon their strategy to react to your own.

Game changer.

Jocasta is a slow build-up. She serves as a threat and a distraction but I'm not convinced she'll win you a game. Jocasta/Mjolnir combo will be seen coming a mile away and is preventable. However, combining her with Human Torch: "Johnny Storm" will allow you to deal 2 damage to your opponent each time you field a character. This seems like a more consistent and viable option. She becomes a cheaper Cyclops: "Field Leader" as she assists with direct damage. Jocasta needs other cards to be great and is a costly buy for what she does and how many counters there are for her.

Black Widow, requires no help from others. After 2 turns you can own all four dice and when she takes the field, she starts kicking ass right away.

Jocasta isn't the worst super-rare out there so she is nice to have, but she's no Black Widow. If it's an Age of Ultron rainbow draft, she has value but if we're talking unlimited format...there are far better options.