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CodFather

Ideal roster for a Rage/Blackheart team

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I'm trying to work out a strong vetRage & Blackheart roster to play into the new meta and in preparation for a steamcon qualifier.  I know that the "ideal" or "most effective" is all subjective and of course very dependant on player skill. But since currently my playtime is limited and I have an abundance of dojo and solo vassal time, I figured I'd put my thoughts out to the community.

We all know Rage is a support beater monster but I've been having some good success with Blackhearts strong 2-2 game. He's a solid beater/striker switch captain that can really spread his team out to skirt around teams that want to scrum or teams like Smoke who can really punish clumped players. With all being said, below are my thoughts on a roster:

 

vetRage

Blackheart

Strongbox: he's amazing with vetRage and not terrible with blackheart

Mist: one of the best non-captain kickoff pressures out there

Benediction: Reach, survivability, momentous pushes and solthecian are great for either captain. Rage loves having a model to reliably disengage him and impart wisdom is great for red fury.

Gutter: Reliable momentous damage, amazing wrap potential with bloody Coin and crowdouts, and chain grab helps to control teams that try to spread way out against vetRage.

Rage: helps Blackhearts 2-2 game with reliable momentous damage, inf efficiency and condition damage. Tooled up on blackheart nearly brings him back to season 2 level of beat down. Benediction (and/or Harry) can help to reliably disengage rage.

Minx: great for both captains. Very efficient, fast, snare on damage and can score/retrieve the ball decently. Slightly squishy.

 

2 FLEX SPOTS

Snakeskin: one of the best ball killers in the game. Shark (and midas I suppose) is weakened but is still strong into vetRage. Snakeskin can buy vetRage a turn or two each time shark scores for the beat down to continue (albeit at a cost of 3inf). She's also a decent piece in footballing teams and can tank a lot of hits against male.

Harry: still has his aura, which is great for receiving, and is still great at pushing and decent at knocking down. Although he competes with Benediction for this role, redundancy in pushing and knock downs is not a bad thing in some matchups. Harry Stil has strong control with character plays, and rising anger + counter attack threat helps to dissuade attacking

Avarisse & Greede: the new hotness, always liking playing with new toys. Can put out absurd damage, tho very influence hungry to keep Greede safe. Since Avarisse never wants to charge, this pair is very slow. I see their potential with practice, but with Canadian championships coming up soon I worry I don't have the time to figure them out well enough.

Hemlocke: with midas sad, smoke might make a comeback, I've heard this is happening in the Chicago meta. In that case smelling salts become very useful. Even in other matchups like masons, blind is very strong and noxious blast is always solid. Never will 1-2inf be wasted on her. Still very squishy tho.

Coin: might be a better mascot in a blackheart team that wants to spread out compared to the slow speed and area of effect for the turtle.

 

Those are my thoughts, what do you guys think? I'm pretty set on the first 8, trying to decide on the last two mostly (leaning towards snakeskin for 1 of then). Tho I am of course open to suggestion.

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2 hours ago, MechMage said:

If you're looking specifically to confound Smoke, Grace does it better than Hemlocke.

No Mist?  What's your kick off plan?

Mist is in there, after Strongbox, but a formatting error confuses things.

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I'm not a big fan of Snakeskin, and think that it's likely better to play a normal Blackheart roster than it is to force vetRage and play Snakeskin to shore up the weaknesses.

I lean towards A+G and Harry - I like new A+G a lot, though they are a risky proposition, and I like Harry a lot against Smoke/engineers as having 2 Rising Anger models against teams trying to put out ranged character plays really changes the dynamic if they try to play cagey. The extra mobility with the ball is also a huge boon for breaking the opening stalemate.

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1 hour ago, Selfy said:

Mist is in there, after Strongbox, but a formatting error confuses things.

Fixed it, thanks for pointing it out. 

2 minutes ago, Akaleth said:

I'm not a big fan of Snakeskin, and think that it's likely better to play a normal Blackheart roster than it is to force vetRage and play Snakeskin to shore up the weaknesses.

I lean towards A+G and Harry - I like new A+G a lot, though they are a risky proposition, and I like Harry a lot against Smoke/engineers as having 2 Rising Anger models against teams trying to put out ranged character plays really changes the dynamic if they try to play cagey. The extra mobility with the ball is also a huge boon for breaking the opening stalemate.

The main reason I lean towards snakeskin is the fish matchup, shark specifically. I'd much prefer to drop blackheart, but worried that if he drops corsair, blackheart would be in trouble. 

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I would find a spot for decimate. I love her to death. I took out oRage for Decimate and have never regretted it. 

Blackheart doesnt need oRage to go 2-2 imo. 

Blackheart

Strongbox

Gutter

Decimate

Mist

Benediction

 

This works fine for 2-2. 

 

Regards

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1 hour ago, Mattias said:

I would find a spot for decimate. I love her to death. I took out oRage for Decimate and have never regretted it. 

Blackheart doesnt need oRage to go 2-2 imo. 

Blackheart

Strongbox

Gutter

Decimate

Mist

Benediction

 

This works fine for 2-2. 

 

Regards

What's your main use for Decimate, or what makes her so clutch? I know she's just a a super solid player, reliable momentous damage and dodges, good move and kick stat, good defence, etc... She seems like a solid piece to have, but doesnt fill any holes or bring anything special to the team, nor does she have reach or a knockdown on her playbook.    Perhaps I'm undervalue'ing her all aroundness, I havent played her much in season 3 and I never really got much use out of second wind, but never really tried using it that much either to be fair. 

The way I kind of see it is models like rage/minx bring inf efficiency and support in buffs/debuffs. Bunny does his pushes and his support/tankiness. Mist is your striker, Gutter controls the scrum, snakeskin is your ball killer etc.. 

I'm quite curious on your thoughts about her above other players since it all comes down to an opportunity cost. It would be great to get her on the table. 

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Decimate's Counter Attacks are dynamite which makes her very durable against any team that's short on 2" reach.  Second Wind and Thousand Cuts are both great character plays and Decimate can hit the top of her playbook by charging a 3+/1 fairly reliably.  She also has a Mom T<< on 4, also reliable on the charge.  In short Decimate's strong fundamentals and diverse tool kit make her great in any match up that lets her shine.  In short, she's a safe general pick and situationally great.

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On 28-8-2017 at 6:07 PM, CodFather said:

What's your main use for Decimate, or what makes her so clutch? I know she's just a a super solid player, reliable momentous damage and dodges, good move and kick stat, good defence, etc... She seems like a solid piece to have, but doesnt fill any holes or bring anything special to the team, nor does she have reach or a knockdown on her playbook.    Perhaps I'm undervalue'ing her all aroundness, I havent played her much in season 3 and I never really got much use out of second wind, but never really tried using it that much either to be fair. 

The way I kind of see it is models like rage/minx bring inf efficiency and support in buffs/debuffs. Bunny does his pushes and his support/tankiness. Mist is your striker, Gutter controls the scrum, snakeskin is your ball killer etc.. 

I'm quite curious on your thoughts about her above other players since it all comes down to an opportunity cost. It would be great to get her on the table. 

Sorry for the late response. 

 

Decimate has been MVP in alot of my Blackheart games. She usually helps with 1 or 2 takeouts. Either by stabbing someone with Butchery of by charging a lof def model and slinging Thousand Cuts to the likes of Fillet. Also, she scores goals really well imo. 

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7 hours ago, LeadDiceandBeers said:

The WTC rosters may give you some ideas: https://wmhwtc.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/guild-ball-wtc-2017-team-rosters.pdf

@Slothrop's is interesting.

Hey man, I'm at work and my computer doesn't like the forums for some reason, but if people are interested I'd be happy to post here explaining why my WTC roster is the way it is later tonight when I get home. Definitely a bit of a turn for me given what my roster was, though the last time I played Union at an event was before the errata.

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17 minutes ago, Slothrop said:

Hey man, I'm at work and my computer doesn't like the forums for some reason, but if people are interested I'd be happy to post here explaining why my WTC roster is the way it is later tonight when I get home. Definitely a bit of a turn for me given what my roster was, though the last time I played Union at an event was before the errata.

Yes please 😁

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Ok sorry this is hella late but hopefully this will be helpful to the OP

My WTC roster is VetRage, Blackheart, Strongbox, Gutter, Benediction, Mist, Minx, Grace, Decimate, Hemlocke

I tend to think of rosters as having a "starting point" or "baseline" where I will go if I'm not sure I want anything specific for a matchup. In this roster that would be 
Rage, Box, Gutter, Benny, Mist, Minx
Gutter's my favorite and basically always useful, Benediction fills roughly similar roles that old Harry did, losing the high damage ceiling and easy KD but gaining better Red Fury positioning and more durability. Mist is a must if you're kicking, I think Mist is the best non-captain kickoff model in the game. Mist is also good when receiving, and if you need to hard kill the ball at least Mist can still provide 2" melee gangups. Minx is secondary damage output and Snared which is a big deal, I also tend to at least try to gamble on Marked Target when there's a stalemate situation as it makes you more threatening. Rage is the default captain because his two worst matchups, Shark and Midas, got nerfed with the latest errata. Gutter's the only model in the list (I guess other than Box) who is 100% in every match, but the others need good arguments for why they get replaced. Basically the plan is to pull people into the Danger Zone with Gutter and pushes from Benny, then kill them with Rage, Gutter, and Minx.

Blackheart
Sorry but I actually wanna keep this kind of under wraps for the moment, I don't want to reveal when and where I play Blackheart or if he's just a bait to get people to play something different. That said, I highly recommend him against Farmers generally (not an issue at WTC but still good advice IMO). He loves seeing armor-less people and his playbook + movement really light up against the Farmers' particular brand of defenses. 

Grace
Grace is effectively for kicking off against teams with ranged plays (particularly AoEs but any abundance of ranged plays). The plan when playing Grace (typically in place of Minx) is to use multiple Quick Foots in the first two turns to rush down the opponents or force them into a corner where I can surround them and control the engagement of the fight. The difference between 8" threat Rage and 10" threat Rage (ignoring Quick Time for efficiency's sake) is gigantic as a large amount of models in the game sit between 8" and 10" one-activation threatrange, inclusive. I've found that having Gutter on a 10" walking threat and Rage on a 10" charging threat put my opponents in a really bad spot. Also of course Grace is great versus anything like Smoke or Ratchet + Hoist when they receive, and occasionally (very occasionally, like once every 3-5 games) can take a 5 INF stack to end the game on a goal run. 

Decimate
We in Chicago predicted a lot of Masons players at WTC, more than ended up being there. I like Decimate into Masons if the Masons player plays a fast striking lineup, because her 10" threat and dodging lets her get to stuff like strikers and stick to them as they come back on the field. She (and Gutter!) pretty much victimizes Flint especially if she can sit in cover when he counterattacks, and she can do respectable and consistent damage to Honour too which I appreciate. Also, Masons players typically tend to have endgames that are in the center of the field, close to their goal, in my experience, and Decimate is very good at taking the ball and getting a opportunistic goal in that situation. She loses stock with beefier models and is probably not worth into Hammer, but she's always up for consideration due to Second Wind turn one being generally great.

Hemlocke
This is another Masons tech piece, plus a Corsair deal. Poison turn one is nice as the combination of poison on a couple key characters and the consistent damage of the Union core tends to really eat into peoples' momentum pretty quick. Blind is of course huge--I like it into Masons and Corsair because they all rely on 3+-DEF captains to do the vast majority of their work, especially midgame when goals aren't as live. Occasionally in these matchups my opponent will fully commit to a brawl against me and I'll find Mist or Minx aren't doing enough; Hemlocke comes in if I expect a big fight since I'm still confident Union can win Momentum 2ish turns in a row midgame.

(Not) Harry
Harry is still fine after the nerfs, but I dropped him because after the errata I didn't feel like there was enough difference between his upsides and Benediction's upsides. Going through matchups, I felt I more often wanted Benediction than Harry and had trouble fitting both in since neither brought momentous good damage. If I had an "infinite" roster I would bring in Harry sometimes, e.g. against Corsair, but with the limit of 10 players I felt pressured to choose between the two and Benny is better more often imo.

(Not) A&G
I kinda think A&G are overrated? They remain some of the easiest models to kill in the game and once they are taken out they are typically done. I see them being successful in rosters with Corsair or Ballista, and I think that makes sense--those teams have great ways to pull opponents in one-by-one and let Avarisse kill them without ever really being threatened. But our guild doesn't do that, and even though I'm a devout member of the Church of Gutter, she needs a fight to properly start before she can start fucking with opponents' positioning, so she can't convert a stalemate into a murder scene as easily as Siren + Corsair.

(Not) Coin, Fangtooth, Snakeskin
Coin is hard to use due to activation issues, Fangtooth's INF stat and victim defenses leave him in the dumpster for me, and Snakeskin is too passive and defensive for the plan I think works best for both of the above captains.

Hope that helps! :)

 

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Thanks for the replies everyone, and particularly Alex @Slothrop for the detailed response.  I suppose this treads into Blackheart territory which you don't want to discuss yet, but what about rage1 for the blackheart lineup?  It seems like he's always solid for his inf efficiency, momentum generation and putting out bleed, but also for tooling up blackheart so that his easy mom 1 << is suddenly doubling the damage, not to mention Benediction hanging out nearby to unengage rage1.  Perhaps it requires to much set up, and I have found at least in the last game I played with blackheart that I often wanted to go with blackheart first so maybe the tool up is less useful than it seems on paper.

After this thread I'm strongly leaning towards putting hemlock + Decimate in for my two flex spots, but can't quite yet justify subbing grace for Rage.

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@Slothrop you mention you don't take A&G because unlike Corsair and Balista, the Union can't isolate targets before the scrum forms.  Is there some Engineer I'm not aware of who has Drag or are you referring to the Locus+Hoist double destructive impulse gimmick?

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7 hours ago, MechMage said:

@Slothrop you mention you don't take A&G because unlike Corsair and Balista, the Union can't isolate targets before the scrum forms.  Is there some Engineer I'm not aware of who has Drag or are you referring to the Locus+Hoist double destructive impulse gimmick?

That would be funny but I more just meant their general ability to push people away, slow people down, and KD/push people in a fight. Not so much they pull one person as they make everyone else slow enough that anybody coming into them is isolated and hurt. 

8 hours ago, CodFather said:

Thanks for the replies everyone, and particularly Alex @Slothrop for the detailed response.  I suppose this treads into Blackheart territory which you don't want to discuss yet, but what about rage1 for the blackheart lineup?  It seems like he's always solid for his inf efficiency, momentum generation and putting out bleed, but also for tooling up blackheart so that his easy mom 1 << is suddenly doubling the damage, not to mention Benediction hanging out nearby to unengage rage1.  Perhaps it requires to much set up, and I have found at least in the last game I played with blackheart that I often wanted to go with blackheart first so maybe the tool up is less useful than it seems on paper.

I think Rage1 is totally fine with Blackheart and you wouldn't be shooting yourself in the foot by taking himself instead of Grace. Usually when I play Blackheart and feel like I'm missing Rage1, I just end up preferring VRage in that situation entirely. That might just come down to personal preference though--I really like VRage. 

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I'm a but late to the party, but I run this.

BH, vRage, Coin, Strongbox, Mist, Harry, Snakeskin, Decimate, Gutter. 

I love my 3-0 BH squad and run Coin, Mist, Snakeskin, Decimate, and Harry. 

vRage switch Strongbox, Harry, Decimate, Gutter, and Mist is still a strong 2-2 team.

I like footballing and so love the dancing combo of BH, Decimate, and Snakeskin. 

Snakeskin has been one of the best pieces for me. She's got the needed tackle and Shadowlike to make her worth including. She's a solid footballer and a 2 inf battery that will often get ignored without the ball. Nimble + Clone is expensive, but in the footballing meta she's a great ball killer. I've also found she's the perfect 2nd striker for Mist. Put one on each flank and leave the beaters in the middle. Switch fields through Harry's Aura or BH's On My Mark and you can easily end up open on either flank with a strong scoring threat. 

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On 3.9.2017 at 4:59 AM, Slothrop said:

really like VRage. 

Not kidding? :P

Would you mind telling us now - after the WTC - what your thoughts are about Blackheart in your Roster?

After our game I really want to play Union.

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22 hours ago, TimBo said:

Would you mind telling us now - after the WTC - what your thoughts are about Blackheart in your Roster?

After our game I really want to play Union.

Sure man! Thanks again for the game btw. :)

Blackheart would have been my pick in a couple niche matchups I didn't end up playing--the two biggest ones were Hunters when they have dual captain, and Farmers. Blackheart's non-linear mobility and 2" melee are big boons in both of those matchups in my opinion, and I actually don't super love Rage into Skatha, since she has a lot of ability to remove herself from big fights and Harry is no longer available to keep her in. Blackheart is better at playing a mixed game, but I only felt that mixed game was necessary really against Skatha. After playing the, err, other German Tim, I might pick Blackheart against specifically him since I think he'll take Pin Vice against me next time, but I'm still fairly certain I can play that matchup properly with Rage.

The other thing Blackheart was in my list for was to convince Fishermen players to play Corsair against me rather than Shark. Since the errata, I think I can play Rage into Shark fine, but I still prefer fighting Corsair of the two, so Blackheart was in there to hopefully make opponents doubt which one I'd be dropping and therefore drop Corsair. Whether that worked, I'm not sure--I played against Fish three times and got Corsair three times, but everybody seems to agree Corsair is just a beast right now (including me), so it might have had nothing to do with the list.

The last thing to say is that I think Blackheart is strong and can reasonably be played into most matchups without shooting yourself in the foot, but I'm more comfortable with Rage pretty much everywhere and I think one very popular guild at the WTC, Masons, is very difficult for Blackheart. People can and probably should play him more than I do, but I'd never advise dropping VetRage entirely. 

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36 minutes ago, Totes McAwesome said:

@Slothrop out of curiosity why do think Mason's is particularly egregious for Blackheart? 

In my opinion Blackheart scales better the more of his playbook he can access, he's got the juicy momentous 1 + << on two but otherwise all his good results are on four columns or later (OMM is niche-useful, great when it works, but uninspiring unmomentous 2 damage when the play isn't available). So I love love love him into Farmers, as I really think he decimates a no-armor team.

With that in mind, Masons' 2 ARM standard makes it very dicey to rely on Blackheart to do much and I am not a fan of having NO chance to spike to the fifth or sixth columns on many Masons players. Also the Masons' general tanky-ness combined with the 2 ARM means it's very hard to get damage going against them for Blackheart, compared to VRage who has a diceless damage bonus available to him (though that of course requires engagement). Finally, since Blackheart's own tackle is super mediocre, his team needs to hold the ball for at least one activation to get the dodgy OMM dream going, and Masons are an extremely tough team to hold the ball against. Some combination of Honour, Harmony, Hammer, Flint, and Mist are likely threatening to toss in a goal at any point if you allow the ball to be "live" near the center of the field. 

Fwiw I think Masons are one of Union's toughest matchups right now (and I've said elsewhere I think Masons are the best guild in the current meta). Their two captains bring their own issues to Rage since it's extremely hard for Rage to "turn off" either Hammer or Honour's counter-attacks, and our loss of old Harry means it's also hard to preemptively set up a KD or buy it with Red Fury. I still think VetRage is the better pick against Masons just because if you do get your setup on them they will die, and Rage isn't nearly as sad about being locked out of top columns or wraps as Blackheart. Plus Rage can feel safer in straight up removing the ball from the game, whereas Blackheart needs the ball to get to 12 points in my experience.

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I'm not as up on the new Meta, but I love dropping BH into Masons. It's a tough fight, but the 3-0 win is the best way I've found to best them. A competent Masons player can do a lot of work and shut either captain down.

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I can't help you with the Blackheart side of things, as I stick with VRage and SBrisket. My take on the players I include on my roster for VRage:

Strongbox: Fairly self explanatory, loves a good scrum

Benediction: This guy is a default pick in my 6, IMHO he is the best player in Guild Ball :) I've had games where I give him 0 inf and he still ties up 2 enemy players just by looking at them!

Gutter: Also a default pick for me! Fast, 2" reach, can shuffle the enemy team around and for a VRage team getting her MOM 2 on 3 hits is normally guaranteed.

Mist/Snakeskin: Mist is default pick against most teams, to threaten the ball after kicking off or to get me an early 4pts up  - however, I swap Mist out for Snakeskin against the 3 goal Football teams like Fish or Engineers because I don't want to give the ball back until I'm 8 points up!

Avarisee and Greede/Minx: A&G are my default pick in all games, but I swap out for Minx when I'm playing a very fast team that I will struggle to pin down. Normally this is a 3 goal Football team.

 

Best way to summarize - Mist and A&G vs everyone, Minx and Snakeskin instead when playing against a 3 goal Football team. I think all these choices have a place in Blackheart's lineup too.

 

THE CONTROVERSIAL MISSING CHOICE - 'NO DECIMATE???' Screamed the forum, wailing in anguish at my noob choice...

Simple answer - I don't like the mask and hat combo on the model :) As much as I want to win games, if I'm not big on the model it's not getting picked! I'm awaiting a good conversion, then she'll slot in too because her rules are fantastic. I would alternate most of the time between her and Gutter, taking Gutter when I think 2" melee is super important.

 

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

 

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