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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Greedy Dice
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 30, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.25
Expanded: 1.13
Limited: 1.63

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Oh my goodness gracious no. 

Look, I know what you're thinking. Greedy Dice can get you another Prize! Can you imagine how amazing that would be? All you have to do is flip a coin! That's so easy, you've no idea how powerful this card can be! And I'll admit, the potential for this card to just cheese your way to victory and cause your opponents to flip tables in outrage cause you managed to get the heads you needed to grab your last Prize, thus pulling off the greatest upset in history.

The reality of it - this is a dead card. A very dead card. 

Look, out of 60 cards in your deck, at most Greedy Dice is going to played at 4 copies. Of those 60 cards, 6 get to be Prizes, so let's have some fun with *PROBABILITIES!!* 

So when you first start off a game, you've got your 60 cards, 4 of which at most are Greedy Dice. You start by drawing 7 cards for your starting hand, meaning that each of your Greedy Dice has a strong possibility of ending up in your opening hand. Assuming they all stay in your deck though (somehow), that's 4 Greedy Dice left out of 53 cards in your deck. After setting up, you get to put 6 more cards down as Prizes. Assuming you didn't draw a Greedy Dice into your opening hand, your first Greedy Dice has a 1/53 chance of getting sent to your Prizes - in total, you've got a 4/53 chance of getting any of your Greedy Dice into your Prizes. 

What does that mean? That's about a 7.5% chance of getting 1 Greedy Dice as your first Prize card. That's about the same odds of you getting any Ace in a regular deck of playing cards without the Jokers, with your second Prize having the exact same odds, assuming you don't have your first Prize as a Greedy Dice and all 4 are still in your deck.  

Now what are the chances of all 4 Greedy Dice ending up in your Prizes? Simple! Assuming they don't end up in your starting hand, the best possible chance of your 4 Greedy Dice all ending up as Prizes is about: 

4/53 - 7.5%
4/52 - 7.7%
4/51 - 7.8%
3/50 - 6%
2/49 - 4%
1/48 - 2% 

=~0.00000232%

How astronomically unlikely is that? Let's just say you've got a higher chance of getting killed by fireworks in your lifetime than you do of getting all 4 of those Greedy Dice in your Prizes. 

So hey, if you pull that off...well...don't use fireworks to celebrate. 

Rating 

Standard: 1/5 (running 4 is a huge waste of deck space though for what is both a cheesy and a extremely lucky play) 

Expanded: 1/5 (and running any less will only decrease the odds of this card ending up in your Prizes, meaning the chance for you to pull off that big upset gets slimmer and slimmer) 

Limited: 1.5/5 (I really can only give the half point more because there are less cards in the deck, which does increase the likelihood of Greedy Dice ending up IN the Prizes, but at the same time you've only got 4 chances for it to show up rather than 6) 

Arora Notealus: Greedy Dice exemplifies the pure essence of randomness in the card game in the most structured way you can think of. Really, they should've just left it at, "Hey you drew this card as a Prize? Go ahead and take another!" and then it would've definitely seen some play for those donk maneuvers. But with the additional probabilities of the coin flip affecting how often Greedy Dice even works, how can you possibly recommend it? 

...I mean, unless it's some sort of crazy luck deck you're building, but at that point, well, you're not playing competitive. 

Next Time: BREAK into a new pride!


Otaku

Today we look at Greedy Dice (XY: Steam Siege 102/114).  This card is an Item but that might not mean as much as it usually does because of its text which reads 

You can play this card only if you took it as a face-down Prize card, before you put it into your hand. Flip a coin. If heads, take 1 more Prize card. 

So you can never play this card from hand.  Ever.  So being able to search it out with Korrina or Skyla or other Item based support is all but meaningless, though there is a noteworthy upside: whether or not your opponent has Items locked down by attack effect or Ability, those all prevent you from playing Items from hand, and this won’t be “from hand”.  Of course, getting to take an extra Prize is fantastic, and the way this card works should you hit another Greedy Dice you could activate it as well.  However, I’m going to explain to you know how this card fails on almost every level, and the terrifying things is we have hope it remains a “bad” card because with a combo from shortly before the Expanded Cut Off, it could be broken.  Well, or at least cheap even if it might not win you a tournament. 

So, the good about the card is mostly about personal taste.  The color green is associated with greed in western culture, and green happens to be my favorite color.  Also I am quite fond of rolling dice, just in general and specifically because I enjoy tabletop, pen & paper role-playing games.  Stuff like Dungeons & Dragons, though I only kind of like that particular system and instead prefer GURPS (and a few others) over it.  Hm… hopefully I haven’t used any of this stuff for security questions.  Now, this is pretty superficial stuff, the card’s aesthetic/theme; even here though there are problems.  “Dice” is usually the plural form of the word, with “die” being singular.  Technically though it is also correct to use “dice” for a single die, but it feels like a dumbing down of the language to me (whether or not it is as I don’t know the word history).  The card effect actually uses a coin though; of course Pokémon technically only uses coins and not dice, allowing you to substitute dice for coins when an effect needs a randomizer.  I would prefer they move away from this but my understanding is that it is a cultural thing.  Pity as this then directly pertains to the card’s effect: instead of having up to six options (or more if we actually used dice instead of one die), it’s a binary choice: half the time we get one effect, half the time we get another.  Still they could have used a double coin flip and added a third effect (and then two dice for the art so the name was a bit better). 

Then again, we don’t want this card to be better because this is the kind of variance that really is almost pure luck.  Yes, it does require skill to build an otherwise competitive deck with four slots dedicated to an Item that is a dead card if it isn’t in your Prizes, and which is a “tails fails” card even when you do take it as a facedown Prize.  Even if it is both in your Prizes and you would flip “heads”, it can be a waste; it won’t matter if you never take that Prize, or if you take it but as part of your winning KO.  Yet the developer’s are tempting fate by creating such a thing in the first place.  It actually isn’t impossible that we could get to a point where Greedy Dice becomes a “win more” card.  Someone creates a solid deck list that has four open slots and it turns out the best investment is a “win more” card that gives you a slight chance at an extra Prize.  Improbable, but possible.  Highly improbable is someone basically stealing a win because they run four copies of Greedy Dice, all four are Prized, they score a KO and not only reveal their first copy of Greedy Dice, but flip “heads”, get the second copy, flip “heads” again, get the third copy, etc. until they’ve taken four extra Prizes.  It doesn’t take someone doing this at a tournament and winning the entire thing for a “lucky win” to matter to everyone; you never know how a tournament would have turned out, and sometimes that person who is eliminated due to such luck that would have won otherwise, could have gone on to be a key opponent whom you would have defeated, or would have defeated and eliminated the person from the tournament who would have gone on to defeat you. 

We aren’t that far removed from a deck that could break this card, either.  Obviously fast, aggressive decks are a “thing” and have been almost the entire life of the TCG.  What we need to break this card is simply an aggressive deck that can manipulate what is in its face down Prize cards.  Not only is this a plausible idea for a future card, one that actually could be a welcome addition to the cardpool if not for Greedy Dice, but I can name you a combo that can do exactly that with one card that is both Standard and Expanded legal, and the other two cards that miss being Expanded legal by only a few sets.  Swampert (XY: Primal Clash 36/160) has the Ability “Diving Search” which allows you to search your deck for a card, set it aside, shuffle your deck, then put that card on top.  Rotom (HS: Undaunted 20/90) released back in August of 2010; Black & White (the oldest set in Expanded) is the third set after it.  This card has a Poké-Power (like an Ability but treated as distinct by other card effects) which allows you to switch the top card of your deck with one of your facedown Prize cards.  Next is Alph Lithograph (HS: Triumphant FOUR), an odd secret rare and possibly the only example of Trainer cards with the same name but different effects (that isn’t an example of text revision or errata).  This version of Alph Lithograph allows you to look at your facedown Prize cards, then returns them to that position. 

Okay, this still probably doesn’t seem broken; you’ve got a Stage 2 Water Type, and even if the other two were suddenly reprinted that’s still a small, Bench-sitting Basic that (as its Poké-Power would have to be updated into an Ability) could get blocked by some common effects, and an Item card which also gets blocked by several common effects.  You also still need to flip “heads”.  Aren’t I being paranoid?  Yes, a little.  This card goes back to being almost safely “bad” even in my doomsday scenario if we have a card effect that forces your opponent’s Prize cards faceup.  We’ve seen a card like that before in the form of Here Comes Team Rocket!, a card that forces both player’s Prizes faceup.  Of course, it would only be good now if you had circumstances like this long hypothetical.  The thing is the Pokémon TCG has a history, reprinting cards that were obviously broken (Exhibit A), releasing cards with effects they thought were harmless but weren’t (Exhibit B), and re-releasing new cards inspired by or directly copying an older effect (Exhibit C).  Some of my evidence even could be used in more than one category.  That does not fill me with confidence that we won’t see an effect which allows you to reflip or even dictate coin flip results, as an example of the final piece for this hypothetical broken combo that would then just need a stripped down speedy beatdown deck (assuming Swampert wasn’t strong enough itself to do the job). 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.5/5 

Expanded: 1.25/5 

Limited: 1.75/5 

Summary: If I still seem purely paranoid, remember this card didn’t have to exist.  Greedy Dice is a completely unnecessary risk to game balance.  If it is bad it remains filler and if it is good it is too good.  This is an actual card that only has the effect of taking an extra Prize if you’re lucky!  In Limited you will almost always have a better card to run instead, but you honestly might not!  Even without my bizarre hypothetical combos and decks, we just need a much blander card pool and this becomes a legitimate card to play.  I consider it a bad thing when I win or lose by a coin flip in a TCG.


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