Dice Masters 'War of Light' - Brightest Day or Darkest Night?

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of CriticalBlast.com or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

 
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon
Del.icio.us icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon

You’ve heard your friends talk about it. The sound of dice clacking together, as they're rolled with fervor, echoes within the walls of your local game shop. The collective groan, and/or sigh of relief, when the dice reveal the player's fate, sends a chill down your spine. "What's happening?" You ask yourself. "What is this mystical game that mixes superheroes with dice?" As you approach the tables, in awe, you discover...that you have absolutely no freaking clue what's going on!

Well, it’s time for you to get involved and be a part of the hype!

War of Light is the seventh set for WizKids’ popular Dice Masters game, and the second involving DC characters. Having seen an increase in price to the starter sets from $14.99 to $19.99 it’s important to make sure we’re still getting value for our dollar. Or, for those just being introduced to the game with this set, is it a good set to start with?

A face of metal and flesh will speak the secrets of the 52. Fear will rise. Willpower will gather. And a war of light will unleash the truth behind the power of the ring.
--Book of Oa

Contents

Inside the starter set you’ll find the following items:
•    Rulebook - A comprehensive guide, to playing the game, that includes a glossary of terms and a breakdown of turn order and examples of in-game situations that may occur. In the middle, you’ll see an example of the play area.
•    Dice Bags - Every set, prior to this one, came with generic red and blue Tyvek bags. The material is flimsy but durable and often quickly replaced with something better. However in War of Light, the bags are beautifully decorated with some amazing wrap-around art. They’re finally worth holding on to.
•    Characters - Each character has three versions to offer some variety when assembling a team from the starter set.
•    Basic Action Cards - Standard amount of basic actions here with two several new colors available: Indigo and Violet.
•    Dice - A nice mixture of pearlescent, crystal and solid colored dice. Two per character to get a player started.
•    Checklist - A list of all the characters, by card number and rarity, included in the complete War of Light set.

Characters

The War of Light starter set comes with a total of 24 character cards. Each character comes with two dice and three card variants for a total of 8 unique characters. This offers up some variety in how a player can build their team, right out of the box. Taking into account that this could be the first set someone buys, that comes in very handy. While not all of the characters are recognizable to the casual fan, there are a couple in the starter that are impossible to miss. Even though they don’t look like the classic versions of themselves, characters like Batman and Lex Luthor will not be victims of mistaken identity here.

1.    Anti-Monitor
2.    Batman
3.    Guy Gardner
4.    Hal Jordan
5.    John Stewart
6.    Kyle Rayner
7.    Lex Luthor
8.    Sinestro

Each character represents a certain affiliation, or in this case lantern color. Some work well together, others not so much. The trick is finding the right combinations of characters that offer support based on their affiliation. However if you think outside the box, you’ll find that occasionally villains and heroes work well together. For example, there are a lot of 5, 6 and 7 cost characters in this starter set. The rules state that each turn you can only draw 4 dice from your bag to roll. So whether you’re playing with the heroes or not, Lex Luthor: Greed will provide support for any team. He allows you to draw 5 dice each turn; provided you have more life than your opponent.

Here’s a look at each of the characters, costs, affiliations and abilities:

Anti-Monitor
Enemy of the Multiverse
Cost: 6 Fist
Villains, Sinestro Corps
When Anti-Monitor attacks, KO all Sidekicks, including yours.
    
Symbol of Fear
Cost: 6 Fist
Villains, Sinestro Corps
When Anti-Monitor attacks, all opposing [Green Lantern Corps] and [Blue Lantern Corps] character dice must block him (if able).

Universal Destruction
Cost: 7 Fist
Villains, Sinestro Corps
When Anti-Monitor is fielded, you may KO a [Green Lantern Corps] or [Blue Lantern Corps] character die. If you do, move a [Villains] die from your Used Pile to your Prep Area.

Batman
Bruce Wayne of Earth
Cost: 4 Mask
Sinestro Corps
If you used a Basic Action Die this turn, Batman cannot be blocked.
Global: Use [1 Energy]. The first time you play a Basic Action this turn, draw one die and add it to your Prep Area.

Cowardly and Superstitious Lot
Cost: 4 Mask
Sinestro Corps
While Batman is active, he deals 1 damage to your opponent when any player uses a Basic Action Die.
Global: Use [1 Energy]. The first time you play a Basic Action this turn, draw one die and add it to your Prep Area.

Instill Great Fear
Cost: 4 Mask
Sinestro Corps
When Batman attacks, you may move a Basic Action Die from your Used Pile to your Prep Area.
Global: Use [1 Energy]. The first time you play a Basic Action this turn, draw one die and add it to your Prep Area.

Guy Gardner
Blinding Rage
Cost: 2 Fist
Red Lantern Corps
Guy Gardner must attack each turn (if able) and gets +1A for each other attacking die.
    
Seeing Red
Cost: 2 Fist
Red Lantern Corps
[No Card Text]

Warrior's Spirit
Cost: 3 Fist
Red Lantern Corps
When Guy Gardner is blocked, draw one die and place it in your Prep Area.

Hal Jordan
Green Lantern
Cost: 5 Mask
Green Lantern Corps
At the beginning of your turn, choose a [Lantern] color. Hal Jordan gains that [Lantern] color until the beginning of your next turn.
Global: Pay [1 Bolt]. Once per turn, you may spin a [Villains] up or down one level.

Highball
Cost: 6 Mask
Green Lantern Corps
While Hal Jordan is active, if you have three or more [Bolt] in your Reserve Pool at the end of your Roll and Reroll Step, deal 1 damage to target [Villains] die for each [Bolt] you rolled.
    
Test Pilot
Cost: 5 Mask
Green Lantern Corps
Hal Jordan gets +1A for each other [Green Lantern Corps] and [Blue Lantern Corps] character in the Field Zone (yours or your opponents).

John Stewart
Architect
Cost: 4 Shield
Indigo Tribe
While John Stewart is active, whenever your opponent fields a [Villains] character die, gain 1 life for each [Villains] ie they have fielded.
    
Indigo Tribe
Cost: 4 Shield
Indigo Tribe
John Stewart gets +1A and +1D for each of your opponent's fielded [Villains] character dice.
    
Compassionate
Cost: 5 Shield
Indigo Tribe
When fielded, draw two dice. Place any [Lantern] dice into your Prep Area and all other dice into your Used Pile.

Kyle Rayner
Artist
Cost: 3 Bolt
Blue Lantern Corps
Kyle Rayner gets +2A and +2D if there is an active [Green Lantern Corps]. If there are 3 more active [Green Lantern Corps] he gets +5A and +5D instead. (Count yours and your opponents.)
    
Dreamer
Cost: 3 Bolt
Blue Lantern Corps
When fielded, choose a [Lantern] color. Characters who have that affiliation cannot block this turn.
    
Look To The Stars
Cost: 4 Bolt
Blue Lantern Corps
When fielded, deal damage to target character equal to this character's level. Deal an extra damage if a [Green Lantern Corps] is active (yours or your opponent's).

Lex Luthor
Greed
Cost: 3 Shield
Villains, Orange Lantern Corps
While Lex Luthor is active, if you have more life than your opponent at the beginning of your turn, you may draw an additional die.

Legitimate Businessman
Cost: 3 Shield
Villains, Orange Lantern Corps
When fielded, gain 2 life if you have the highest purchase cost die fielded.
    
Xenophobe
Cost: 2 Shield
Villains, Orange Lantern Corps
[No Card Text]

Sinestro
Corps Namesake
Cost: 4 Shield
Villains, Sinestro Corps
Sinestro cannot be blocked unless the defending player pays [1 Energy] per blocking character die.
    
Greatest Lantern of them All
Cost: 5 Shield
Villains, Sinestro Corps
If Sinestro is KO'd, your opponent must KO one of their characters with a [Lantern] (if able).

Thaal Sinestro of Korugar
Cost: 5 Shield
Villains, Sinestro Corps
While Sinestro is active, at the beginning of your turn if no [Lantern] characters except [Sinestro Corps] characters are active, Sinestro deals target opponent 2 damage.

Basic Actions

Each starter set comes with a set of Basic Actions. These are cards that offer your team support. Each player chooses two Basic Actions that they feel will help enhance their team’s ability to win the game. But be careful! Your opponent can buy the actions YOU bring as well as their own. Just as you can use each other’s global abilities throughout the course of a game. It’s important to make sure the actions you choose are tailor made for your style of play and team.

With 10 Basic Actions to choose from, there are plenty of options. Some offer the ability to gain life, some will remove characters and others make them unblockable. No matter which characters you choose to unite behind your cause, the basic actions will be of value. This set probably offers some of the best ones to date, so if you’re just getting into the game...you picked a good place to start.

Big Entrance
Cost: 3
When purchased, you may add this die to your dice bag. When used, dice purchased this turn cost 1 less than their printed cost (minimum 1), and may be put directly into your dice bag instead of your Used Pile. (No matter how many Big Entrance Dice are used.)
    
Enormous Destruction
Cost: 4
Choose a purchase cost. Reroll all fielded character dice with that purchase cost. Move all rolled energy faces to their owner's Prep Area.
    
Heroic Defense
Cost: 3
Your characters get +1A and +1D. For each of your character dice KO'd this turn, gain life equal to that die's level.
    
Lethal Force
Cost: 3
Deal 1 damage to target character die for each of your active characters.
*/**: Also deal 1 damage to target opponent.
Global: Pay [2 Bolt]. Deal target character 1 damage.

Monument to Evil
Cost: 4
Deal 2 damage to target opponent.
** Instead, deal 1 damage to target opponent for each of your active [Villains] characters.
Global: Pay [1 Mask][1 Fist]. Target character gains the Villain affiliation until the end of the turn.

Relaxing
Cost: 4
Draw a die from your bag. Name a die. Draw a second die. If the second die was the die you named, keep it and draw a third die. Otherwise, move the second die to your Used Pile.
** Keep the second drawn die if named incorrectly.
    
Stealth Ops
Cost: 3
Target character die is considered to be level 1 and is unblockable this turn.
Global: Pay [2 Mask]. Spin target character die down 1 level.

Vicious Struggle
Cost: 3
Until your next turn, deal your opponent 1 damage for each damage you take that doesn't come from Vicious Struggle.
    
Fighting
Cost: 2
For each of your character dice KO'd during the Attack Step this turn, your opponent must KO one of their character dice.
    
You've Been Chosen
Cost: 4
Play only during your Main Step. Choose an energy type. All characters of that type must attack during their next Attack Step, and deal no combat damage. If these characters are unblocked, return them to the Field Zone instead of the Used Pile.

Summary

Well, there you have it. A breakdown of everything that comes in the War of Light starter set. Now that your head is spinning and you’ve wasted all your allotted internet time, what did we learn? While there are a lot of tribal themes to this starter set, where characters help those of the same affiliations, you aren’t completely locked into color themes as the set name implies. There are a lot of cards here, that even the most seasoned player, will consider shaking up their favorite constructed team to make room for. With additional ways to churn dice from your bag and get recently purchased characters onto the field quickly, this set is a lot of fun on it’s own or mixed with previous set.

Can you be competitive? If this is your first Dice Masters starter, you’ll find that the people you play against will have a far superior backlog of characters and actions to choose from. You probably won’t win any tournaments with the cards limited to this starter set, however as you purchase boosters and expand your options you’ll see your win totals rise. You’ll want to purchase the boosters anyways, because at .99 a pack it’s hard to turn down the chance to get characters like Black Lanterns, Supergirl or Beast Boy!

Brightest Day or Darkest Night?

Conclusion: Brightest Day! This set is well worth the $19.99 MSRP. It’s a great introduction to a game, that many have already discovered, is one of the most exciting and interactive tabletop games today.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0