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Hey there sports fans! It's no secret that I'm a longtime fan of Granite, and I understand why many people don't like putting her on the field. She does require some finesse to get the most out of, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on how I like to utilize her, in the hopes that more players give her a chance. First off she's slow. Like, really slow. But there are ways around that, and the proper use of Foundation, Between a Rock, and support from your team can help mitigate that, and get Granite to places you didn't think she could. I prefer kicking off with her, because as she's going to be the center point of my scrum, she needs to hustle up the field, and the rest of the Masons are easily fast enough to keep up. If you kick off with her, she can clear the line with the ball, and then make her Foundation move. That puts her 6" up the field after kick off, on par (or better) than most other masons. Once the game starts, you always should keep an eye out for ways to trigger Between a Rock...From AOEs, to character plays, to attacks (even parting blows) every time someone on your side takes damage, you should see if you want to proc BaR. While 3" is not a huge number, it can make a difference in getting Granite into position to make attacks without having to move her. You can even use it to force Unpredictable before Granite activates, so she can just walk up to the model afterwards and hit them. Personally, i like taking Vet Honour with Granite, because 'Team Player' extends the area where you can trigger BaR, and even lets you trigger it off Granite being the target of the attack. Smelling Salts also helps you clear conditions off of Granite, which is definitely not a favorite of hers (FIRE BAD). vHarmony also lets you get around 2" melee attacks by allowing you to declare a counter attack with Granite, shunt the damage off to vH with Team Player, then Between a Rock into melee range with the 2" model in time for you to make your counter attack. So that's how I move Granite around. Now to look at how the rest of the team can help her do her job. Masons have the best options when it comes to re-positioning opposing models. Hammer and Tower can easily do the job, Wrecker can shove multiple models into her path, and even Honour, Mallet, and Lucky can shove folks an inch in her direction. Picking where you want your fight to be, and then funneling your opponents models into granite is part of the puzzle in getting mileage out of her. There's plenty of options in Masons that allow you to shove people where you want them to be, so getting them into Granite's hands shouldn't be that Hard. Final Thoughts: - She needs a battle buddy. While she does have a lot of health, she can't hold off 2/3 models by herself for long without some support. Lucky and Tower are my two non-captain favorites, as they both offer her some options to help her do well. Lucky can clear a condition off of her, and can do some solid work with her assistance and is harder to hit. Tower can shove people into her with his push and beatback, and tooled up on Granite is not a terrible thing, giving her 2 Mom damage on 1, and 3 Mom damage on 3 (or 2 mom and guild ball on 3). - Gut and String - This is why you bring Granite to the party. Once you have someone in her reach, G&S keeps them there. She doesn't need to be faster than them if they become slower than her, and the -1 Def is always a helpful thing. And since you can't clear G&S with momentum, it will affect models all turn. Throw in Tarpit for good measure, and models will be -6/-6 movement. Even Fillet is a 1/3 after that. - Earlier the Better - Granite is my first/second activation, depending on the situation on the field, and position of the ball. Getting G&S off on a key model drastically limits their options for the turn, and makes all attacks against them easier because of the -1 Def. - Ball Management - She's a 3/6" kick, so using the ball to dodge her up into position is always an option as well (even better if Mallet is near her). So there you have it, my thoughts on Granite. Now, this in no way means she's the best choice for every team you face, and you will have to work to get her into position against good players, but if they're reacting to her presence by either avoiding her, or targeting her with character plays to keep her out of their way, then she's doing her job by sucking up attention that might have more impact on your other players. Thanks for reading, and I hope you give the big lady another chance.
Hello again sports fans! Today I'm going to talk about one of my other favorite Mason models, and a source of great contention: Chisel. The main point of contention is: Chisel is bad at what she does. But the real question is: What is Chisel supposed to do? The easy answer is that she's supposed to do damage, because she has Crazy and Painful Rage, two abilities that make it seem like her core role is to get up as high as possible in her playbook for big damage numbers. And yes, like many Masons, Chisel has bigger numbers later in her play book, made stronger with the potential combo of Tooled Up and Painful Rage. But it takes a lot of resources and timing to make Chisel decent at doing damage, so in this light, she's a bad player who just doesn't have the damage output to effort balance that other Masons do. And so, you're right: Chisel is a bad damage dealer (or at the least, is' the same as other Masons at doing higher level damage). But what if Chisel isn't meant to be a damage dealer? What if Crazy and Painful rage are merely tools to help Chisel do her real job, instead of indicators that she's pretending to be Cosette? For me, Chisel is the Mason Ball Retriever. Ball Retrieval: Masons have a strong scoring game, but once you score, how do you get the ball back? The Majority of our players have 1" melee, and those that have 2" melee are rather slow and not an easy to reach Tackle (Brick and Mallet). But then there's Chisel. She has a 2" melee and a momentous Tackle on 2 successes, arguably the best option for getting the ball back in the Guild. She's also SPD 6/8", so she can get to where she needs to go to threaten the ball, or take it away. But lets take a look at our typical strikers and ball holders? They usually have high defense, hang around near Cover, and in the case of Brisket and Flint, have Charmed to boost their defense. They also tend to hide behind the rest of their team, so getting to them can be quite the trick, especially because of crowd outs. This is where Crazy comes in. With it, Chisel becomes TAC 7, and with her Tackle on 2, has a much greater option of being able to ustilize the dodges in her playbook to get to the ball holder, strip the ball from them, and kick it away to an available team mate, or out into the open away from the opposing team. In my experience, if Chisel is near the person with the ball, she can get it. Unpredictable, High Def, Gender based DEF boost, crowd outs...Chisel can get around it all. The only thing she can't ignore is Close Control, but she can trigger it easily enough for her follow up attack, or for a Parting Blow. Survivability: Generally the Masons lean on their ARM stat to take the hits, but Chisel is in the camp of the 1 ARM Masons, and with 13 health, is in danger of being taken out easily, especially if you're using crazy. But if used right, Chisel can be rather hard to remove from the field. Sadism lets her heal each time an enemy model in 4" takes damage, even if a different model on your team is doing the attacking. Assuming you give Chisel 4 influence, she can go Crazy, activate Sadism, hit an opposing player three times (looking for her 2-4 columns of options), allowing her to dodge, generate momentum, and heal. After your attacks, she's healed up her Crazy Damage, possibly put Feel My Pain out, and likely dodged to a better position, as well as having generated 3 momentum. If she had taken damage before, she can still Take A Breather to get her health back up 4pts. Feel My pain also triggers off parting blows, so if you're engaged by models that can only damage you (Fish), you can cake a parting blow from a player, damage them, and heal up from Sadism on her way to chasing the ball. Annoyance: Chisel can be very annoying, from her 2" melee, to her dodges on her playbook, and most importantly, because of Feel My Pain. With FMP in place on a model engaging Chisel, they suffer damage every time they attack Chisel, which heals her if you have Sadism up. No matter what option they choose, Chisel gets healed and they take damage. Say they decide not to attack her, and walk away? Chisel doesn't have a knock down, but she can still do damage on the parting blow, which heals her, and denying someone the charge with her melee range is always a good option. So with set up, Chisel can just be frustration to remove from the field, leaving your opponents choosing a different model to focus on instead of lesser returns against Chisel. BUT WHAT ABOUT PAINFUL RAGE?!? It's a trap! Well, it's not a trap, but what it does is allow Chisel to start her healing shenanigans without having to worry about using Crazy to up her TAC to reasonable levels. If Chisel has taken a fair amount of damage and is below 6, her TAC goes up to 6, which makes hitting the first two columns of her playbook easier to access. This allows her to Tackle, to dodge, and to dodge/damage, allowing her to re-position out of harms way, to heal herself with momentum, or to even trigger Sadism if she wants. Does it also allow her to do more damage? certainly, but I see that as a guard against being engaged by a Tough Hide model when she's low on health, so she can still trigger Sadism and get her self heal up and running. It also allows you a better chance at a counter attack being successful if she's attacked before she activates, and gets damaged to below Painful Rage levels. So, to summarize: Chisel is the Masons answer to "how to get the ball", and can absorb a lot of damage and heal it up with her built in healing tech while she harasses strikers. Pick your targets wisely, don't throw Chisel into a scrum unsupported expecting her to kill everyone, and let Chisel chase the ball like she's built to do. Thanks for reading!