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JacctheInsomniac

Smoke Takeout Team

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So I know the condition game and incremental damage is largely accepted as not a viable strategy for securing takeouts.

But because I must like not winning, I'm still wondering if there's a way to make it work, especially with Crucible promising that the enemy will never be able to clear all the conditions they need to...

I had a game a while ago by this point, against the Kick-Off Masons where I won with 5 Takeouts.
Smoke-Flask-vKat-Venin-Mercury-Calculus

I gave Smoke 3, Calc 3, Flask 0, Venin 1, and Mercury 4, vKat 2 every turn.
Venin usually went early, put up Melting Body, made an attack if he could, or used Sacrificial Puppet, and then just sat there as a 4-2 playing meatshield.
Mercury and Calc were on character play duty dropping everything they had and generating momentum due to Smoke's aura.
We misplayed the rules so my opponent was never able to pickup the freeball from in between Smoke and Flask (I suspect if he did the game'd have been over because he loaded up Flint for like, 2 turns.)
He ended up taking out Venin and vKat, but he dedicated a lot into putting Venin down, and Mercury was able to spend that time blasting Mallet from just behind him. Venin got off some surprisingly opportunistic Coagulates. Coagulate at the top of a turn practically forces the opponent to clear conditions and isn't unlikely considering Smoke's usually going to go at the end of the turn to reapply poison to everyone allowing Venin to start the turn with a Melting Body and Coagulate. (Smoke's kinda funny isn't she? She seems like she's supposed to be a goal threat, but she has no way to utilize Momentous Inspiration herself, meaning she has to kinda tether herself to Merc or Calc. Anyway, not complaining.)
vKat came back onto the pitch and massacred Flint also effectively taking out Honor due to Intensify.

With all that said, I get the gist that this strategy would fall apart facing an opponent more familiar with it. But I still think there's something to be said for the strength of of Area of Effect. Not just the ones you place with Merc & Calc which each deal 2 Damage to 2 or more targets per AOE. But Flask can explode dropping 3 damage to everyone nearby, Katalyst's intensify speaks for itself, Venin's Coagulate, and Smoke's legendary.

It's just.... there's GOT to be 'something' there right?

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It works against people who can't get their win condition very fast. in the meta right now its a bit of a race to 8vp because at 8vp you start dictating the game completely. opponent starts spending more time/effort trying to kill the ball and to avoid you getting VPs instead of chasing their own VPs (which often leads to a loss if they score for example)

i think if the tempo of the game was just a bit slower then you could make the condition game a much more reliable source of grinding people down over time. 

Its not that the strategy is bad, its just too slow for the current climate, which is why midas is the generally accepted 'stronger captain', in that he scores his VPs faster than smoke's slower burn, which is stronger in the season 3 environment. a smoke football game can be pretty fast though as you only rely on 1 take out. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Napoleon said:

It works against people who can't get their win condition very fast.

I haven't played enough to have a good grasp of who this is and isn't. I mean the Brewers seem to come to mind, but is that all?

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11 hours ago, Napoleon said:

It works against people who can't get their win condition very fast. in the meta right now its a bit of a race to 8vp because at 8vp you start dictating the game completely. opponent starts spending more time/effort trying to kill the ball and to avoid you getting VPs instead of chasing their own VPs (which often leads to a loss if they score for example)

i think if the tempo of the game was just a bit slower then you could make the condition game a much more reliable source of grinding people down over time. 

Its not that the strategy is bad, its just too slow for the current climate, which is why midas is the generally accepted 'stronger captain', in that he scores his VPs faster than smoke's slower burn, which is stronger in the season 3 environment. a smoke football game can be pretty fast though as you only rely on 1 take out. 

 

I guess it is time for me to go full time Smoke.  I feel there is a way to make this work and it is going to take an unconventional approach to do so.  

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5 hours ago, HammerTime said:

I guess it is time for me to go full time Smoke.  I feel there is a way to make this work and it is going to take an unconventional approach to do so.  

I definitely think it involves killing Flask in some way.

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This is a completely viable strat and you'll see a lot of the top Alchs players run Smoke. A lot of players make their capt choice on if they kick or receive, choosing not to field Smoke against most teams if you are receiving. If you kick Smoke can activate last, spread massive conditions and pop her legendary for some serious dmg. I put down 18pts of dmg spread between 4 models the first time I tried it, and it led to that holiest of holies, the 6pt vKat activation. Mercury was able to finish off an outlier and Smoke scored a goal. The whole game was just over 2 turns. The goal of this play style should be to only score when it will end the game, which is why I like naja instead of Flask. 2" reach unpredictable is stupid strong for holding the ball and I've had a timely Hypnosis ruin more than one goal drive. This team takes a lot of planning as outside of T1 you basically have no chance of winning the Momentum race unless your opponent is spending everything they have clearing conditions. If vkat is on the field you are losing initiative or the guy you're playing doesn't know what they are doing. 

Overall I still feel like the 2 goals/1 Witness me is a stronger strat with a line up of Smoke, Naja, vKatalyst, Mercury(I like to sub Harry but that's personal preference and not necessary here), Calculus and Vitriol. With the way the game is now I'm not sure it's possible to prevent goals enough for a 5 or even ideal world 4 TO team using conditions with any consistency. 

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I think she can do it. The question is how fast can she do it, and can she motivate the opposing team to remove conditions so that the momentum race is at least close. VKat helps with the speed, and ostensibly Crucible helps with the momentum. But a 3 goal Midas team might be able to win just that much faster.

That said, I'm forcing myself to play her a lot these days, and I'm enjoying it. I don't think I'm doing it particularly well, since after turn 1 I usually fail to put out AoE's for Smoke to manipulate. However there certainly seems to be potential there. It's nice having a captain that isn't and inf hog.

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I have been thinking of doing something similar, but trying oKat instead of vKat. I love the Alchemists and I want to try something different then the norm to throw my opponents off a bit 

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Mix is once per turn but that was true in season 2 also.  Breeze is once per AOE so you can't move one AOE multiple times, but you can move multiple AOEs once, again same as season 2.

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22 minutes ago, TheLieutenant said:

Oh, that's odd. The cards should in general be trusted over the rulebook, yes.

The card is correct in this instance. I'm not quite sure how the rulebook ended up with a different version of that CP? We did test that version, and I suspect our graphic designer has pulled the text from the wrong file or something. 

Regardless, Smoke's printed card is correct. 

Confirmation that the card overruled the book. Crisis averted :P

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1 hour ago, MandalorynOranj said:

Confirmation that the card overruled the book. Crisis averted :P

Thank goodness. I'm sure SF has some nerfs in store for the Alch's at some point, but the non dominant captain doesn't make much sense!

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I played Smoke, Naja, oKat, Venin, Harry, and Compound last night because I was playing a mirror match against a newbie and I didn't want to curb stomp him too bad. I was left wanting more from Venin. He was very underwhelming and blah. Harry did more work with 1 inf then Venin did with 4 inf. I don't know if I'll put him on the table again anytime soon. 

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1 hour ago, Grinch said:

I played Smoke, Naja, oKat, Venin, Harry, and Compound last night because I was playing a mirror match against a newbie and I didn't want to curb stomp him too bad. I was left wanting more from Venin. He was very underwhelming and blah. Harry did more work with 1 inf then Venin did with 4 inf. I don't know if I'll put him on the table again anytime soon. 

Venin's definitely not the model you want 4 on. He feels very bleh, but in my game he only ever got 1 Inf and was able to hold up the midground pretty well. His role was as mentioned in another thread, to die slowly. 4-2 Defensive values are nothing to scoff at. Starting the turn off with Coagulate pretty much guarentees that the opponent needs to spend theor momentum to clear conditions, which makes them pretty much free game for the rest of the team to apply them. I'm sure that someone like Boiler would be able to drop him pretty quickly however, and he definitely likes to be healed on his turn.

I'd definitely see taking him out for Crucible, but it's so fun to see 3 condition tokens on 3 models after a coagulate.

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