The Shifting Meta Since Worlds

By archivist

Back on June 6th of this year, the first annual Dice Masters World Championship was held. Several months later, the first round of the PDC was kicked-off. In this time span, the game has evolved in some interesting directions, and in some areas, has stayed the same. This article will discuss these changes and present some observations.

To orient everyone, at that time of the Worlds the latest set released was DC Justice League. Since then, we have had three additional sets (Age of Ultron, War of Light and Amazing Spider-Man). The top 10 character/action cards (by frequency used) from the top 16 qualifying teams were as follows (note, cards with the same global have been combined):

Freq Rank Set
Constantine Hellblazer 11 1 JL
Black Widow Tsarina 10 2 AvX
Jinzo Trap Destroyer 8 3T YGO
Professor X Recruiting Young Mutants / Trainer 8 3T UXM
Millennium Puzzle The Eternal Dungeon 7 5 YGO
Blue-Eyes White Dragon Monstrous Dragon 6 6T YGO
Hulk Green Goliath 6 6T AvX
Wolverine Formerly Weapon Ten 6 6T AvX
Human Paladin Lesser Emerald Enclave 5 9T D&D
Human Torch Johnny Storm 5 9T AvX
Spider-Man Webslinger 5 9T AvX

 

The top 10 character/action cards from the 42 first/second place PDC Store Event teams are:

Freq Rank Set
Professor X Recruiting Young Mutants / Trainer 28 1 UXM
Constantine Hellblazer 19 2 JL
Mera Queen of Atlantis / Mournful Rage 14 3 WoL
Red Dragon Lesser/Greater/Epic Dragon 13 4 D&D
Wasp Founding Avenger 12 5T AoU
Human Paladin Lesser Emerald Enclave 12 5T D&D
Parallax Source of Terror / Fear 11 7T WoL
Black Widow Tsarina 11 7T AvX
Hulk Green Goliath 10 9 AvX
Kobold Greater Humanoid 9 10 D&D

 

Observations

  • 3 cards from the later released sets have made an appearance – one from the Age of Ultron (AoU) set, the other 2 from War of Light (none from Amazing Spider-Man, but it is too soon after the release of that set to draw any conclusions). All of these cards have global abilities.
  • Only 5 of the cards from the Worlds are on the PDC list: Black Widow, Constantine, Professor X, Hulk and Human Paladin.
  • Of the cards on the PDC list that were available during the Worlds, two (Red Dragon and Kobold) were not on the Worlds list. On the Worlds teams, Red Dragon was used only 3 times, Kobold only twice.
  • Of the 6 cards that were on the Worlds list but did not make the PDC list, their frequency of usage on the PDC teams were:
    • Blue-Eyes White Dragon: 8 times
    • Jinzo: 8 times
    • Human Torch: 6 times
    • Millennium Puzzle: 6 times
    • Wolverine: none
    • Spider-Man: none
  • Three cards on the Worlds list have global abilities: Professor X, Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Human Paladin. Six cards on the PDC list have globals: Human Paladin, Mera, Parallax, Professor X, Red Dragon, and Wasp.
  • The top 2 BACs on the Worlds teams were Polymorph (10 times) and Resurrection (8 times). The other 8 BACs were used 3 times or less.
  • The top 5 BAC on the PDC teams were Magic Missile (13 times), Polymorph (11), Distraction (9), Resurrection (9) and Big Entrance (9). 13 BACs were used 2 times or less. Interesting correlations:
    • Of the 13 teams that used Magic Missile, all of them had a character that triggered when pinged (mostly it was Hulk).
    • Of the 11 teams that used Polymorph, all of them had one or two +5 Fielding Cost characters (Hulk, Jinzo & Doomcaliber Knight – Skeletal Warrior were the most frequent).
    • Of the 9 teams that used Big Entrance, 6 of them had Guy Gardner – Blinding Rage.
  • On the PDC list, there are 4 Super Rare and 2 Rare cards. Two of the Super Rare cards (Parallax – Fear and Red Dragon – Epic Dragon) and one of the Rare cards (Professor X – Trainer) have global abilities that are on their common/uncommon versions.

Conclusions

Almost every set is represented in the PDC list. While Yu-Gi-Oh cards did not crack into this list, a few from the Worlds list were just under the top 10 cut (Jinzo and Blue-Eyes White Dragon at 8 apiece). It will be a matter of time and we will probably see a few cards from the Amazing Spider-man set reach the top 10. The top 10 PDC list also shows you can make a competitive team using mostly, if not all, with common and uncommon cards.

There also is a shift towards cards that have versatile global abilities. The number of cards used doubled from the Worlds and more are in the top half. If you compare just the top 5 cards – on the Worlds list, only one card (Professor X) has a global while 5 out of the 6 cards (there is a tie for 5th place) have them. This, combined with the number of different characters used, shows the variety of teams that can be constructed, which shifts the meta towards those cards providing a global ability that supports your strategy or play style. It also presents the possibility for those cards that have global-suppressant effects to increase in usage.

Overall, this data shows the game progressing in a healthy and vibrant direction.