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Shank & Ox are awesome. The American misconceptions with Butchers

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I recently believed, like many Butcher coaches in the US, that Shank is hot garbage and Ox is sub-par. Fillet all the way, am I right?

I am wrong. Not only is Ox competitive but he's probably more competitive than Fillet and also, if you played with Shank in your lineup more often than you'd probably win more games.

http://midwestwargaming.com/ox-shank-competitive-interview-greg-day/

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I Just red the article and I'm quite pleased as I have found the exact same things, Shank is incredible, and Ox is a great captain. 

Moreover as the community fell he was suboptimal people didn't know what he does, except that he does a lot of damages.

 

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I have no problems with Captain Ox tbh. I really like him as a captain.

I just think that Shank need some changes. not necessarily a boost, but switch some stuff around.

Look at today's preview, Alloy, Good striker, Very mobile, Good damage output, Potentially 2"melee/Anatomical precision/Extra kick.

I'd rather just see Shank also be an INfl 1/4. That'd be enough to bring him back on my part.

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I really appreciated this article.  As someone who started playing in season 3 with the original line up I never got the shank hate.  He's very different from our other options with huge mobility,  2" melee, low tackle and where'd they go. He almost feels more like a Fish player to me,  but still has all that sweet mom damage. 

I play him a lot and use him mainly as ball recovery/for harassing opposing strikers or for a crowd out and some guaranteed damage and momentum pretty much anywhere on the board. I've scored a good number of goals too but usually prefer to have Brisket do it if possible. 

 He's also super hard to pin down since he can just where'd they go and sprint/ jog away, making him great at diving in from board edges  to harass and convince players to get out of position trying to catch him. 

I wonder if it's mostly a perception thing since players from s1/s2 have an idea of what he should do and get disappointed when he doesn't. Mind you,  I don't think he's an every matchup player but he definitely has a place,  especially against striking teams. 

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I won a FLGS league, in season 2, using Captain Ox in all but one game. I still feel more comfortable using him, and I think he plays better into some teams than Fillet does. I really like him as Captain because those games feel like a real team effort rather than just loading up the one woman army. 

Shank was a big part of my team then, cutting down players returning to the pitch and being a good goal threat. The changes to take outs and more crucially, his INF stat changing to 2/3 has made him hard for me to leverage.

I still believe he has a place, and I think the 1 INF charge GID is really gonna make him shine again.

Man, nice to know there are players out there that share my thoughts on the Butchers. I really need to give Shank some more pitch time.

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Greg is an amazing player. Not every butchers player is at Greg's level. I know I'm not from experience. He's also a top bloke and one of my favourite people in guild ball. Let's not muddy Greg's amazing achievements by rolling out a repeat of an argument we had somewhere else.

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26 minutes ago, malladin.ben said:

Greg is an amazing player. Not every butchers player is at Greg's level. I know I'm not from experience. He's also a top bloke and one of my favourite people in guild ball. Let's not muddy Greg's amazing achievements by rolling out a repeat of an argument we had somewhere else.

With all due respect, I found this post to be pretty rude, saying that publicizing a well thought out interview by a great player about Ox/Shank is "muddying" his achievements.  Greg's skill level allowed him to discover WHY Ox/Shank are good and do not need any fixes, and he has now shared that learning with the community.  Disregarding opinions that are contrary to your own because "Player A is a great player, and most people are not as good" is pretty frustrating to read. 

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With all due respect to an obviously better player than I am, some points in the interview just seem a bit strange to me. E.g. the chances of Shank are not too high to hit Marbles 4 times for 4x2 damage, then win initiative (even with +2 on the roll), then score, all this in a row. It's a well thought out chain of actions and optimum usage of Shank, but also a fistful a lucky dice. And lucky dice make every models good, if not excellent.

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so I had to laugh reading this article as it mentioned Pete Williamson who is one of my regular opponents (pretty cool to see him mentioned in a US based article), he came back from the Aussie nats just as I started using Ox and Shank. We had been discussing moving away from the Fillet crutch so I did and in the next game I discovered that Windle can also be added to the list of players Ox can delete on legendary turn, and Ox into Farmers is pretty sweet (not so much for Pete).

@angyi If shank is inside Ox's Aura he is doing 2 Mom dmg on 1 hit and 3 on 2hits so given he is tac 6 it is fairly easy to do. I would be more worried if he didn't follow up the TO of Marbles with a game winning goal due to loved creature. I may be missremembering the article (read it yesterday) but I thought he did 6 dmg for 3 MOM on the last activation of the turn, has the mom lead in dice roll. Wins said roll and goes first to finish off the monkey, pretty standard Shankiness if you ask me.

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On ‎30‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 8:39 AM, kryzak said:

With all due respect, I found this post to be pretty rude, saying that publicizing a well thought out interview by a great player about Ox/Shank is "muddying" his achievements.  Greg's skill level allowed him to discover WHY Ox/Shank are good and do not need any fixes, and he has now shared that learning with the community.  Disregarding opinions that are contrary to your own because "Player A is a great player, and most people are not as good" is pretty frustrating to read. 

I read and reread the post several times and I cant spot anything rude in there.

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Ox was my first ever captain, and to this day he is probably my best-played captain. I understand people sentiments on why they think he is not ideal, but I've always been able to mitigate the issues (ie: counter-attack pushes, playing in a predictable bubble).

As long as you realize what can hurt an Ox game, you can play around that and crush your opponents.

As far as Shank, yeah, he was better in Season 2. And in season 3, I haven't used him much only because I replaced him with Meathook in the new season.

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6 hours ago, the_aY said:

Ox was my first ever captain, and to this day he is probably my best-played captain. I understand people sentiments on why they think he is not ideal, but I've always been able to mitigate the issues (ie: counter-attack pushes, playing in a predictable bubble).

As long as you realize what can hurt an Ox game, you can play around that and crush your opponents.

As far as Shank, yeah, he was better in Season 2. And in season 3, I haven't used him much only because I replaced him with Meathook in the new season.

Samesies

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10 hours ago, masterkdog said:

 

@angyiIf shank is inside Ox's Aura he is doing 2 Mom dmg on 1 hit and 3 on 2hits so given he is tac 6 it is fairly easy to do. I would be more worried if he didn't follow up the TO of Marbles with a game winning goal due to loved creature. I may be missremembering the article (read it yesterday) but I thought he did 6 dmg for 3 MOM on the last activation of the turn, has the mom lead in dice roll. Wins said roll and goes first to finish off the monkey, pretty standard Shankiness if you ask me.

The aura of Ox is not mentioned in the actual case report, but it makes your life easier for sure.

Yes he made 3 successful attacks, won initiative (+2) then made a 4th succesful attack, then scored. Without the aura that would mean four attacks without a single below-average roll, not mentioning the little but existing chances of the initiative roll and the kick to fail, that was what I mentioned.

Shank and Ox are actually playable and they can do spectacular things, only I feel most of the time that they are not your most promising 'plan A'. And this interview just hasn't changed my point of view at all. But this game is very well designed as a whole, even the most restrictive GB models are playable, and definitely playable in the hands of a good player.

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I've played Shank all of once in a not even kinda serious game. He moved up the board and put some damage while tooled up but wasn't able to finish them off by the game's end.

His threat projection is huge, but capped at 3 Influence he seems like he'll always come up short of accomplishing something satisfying.

Even in the cited example the speaker is talking about essentially a 6 Influence activation from Shank to win the game.

So perhaps he doesn't need buffs but I think that until recently the unanimous...ness of the Shank hate should indicate that there's something that's worth taking a second look at. I personally like the idea of the 1/4 Influence as it stops his auto-include status due to INF Starvation while allowing him to have his explosive turns.

Perhaps though the nature of Shank is that 2" Melee on such a high speed, damage focused model will always require harsh counter-balancing?

Least he's got a cool model tho.

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I Mainly see Shank as a piece to come and do things as the opponent plays. He is my react piece, the trump card that can do things.

He can't kill a model in one activation, but he can softened someone, or kill a damaged one.

He has the mobility and the momentus playbook to ensure his activation will put you on the good track.

 

 

 

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I think a few high end players have put a negative spin on Shank and Ox. I seem to use Shank quit a bit, he is a great loose ball retriever on a flank. He can escape pretty good as well, with he dodges, he is one of those single activation take out guys, because if you can’t he is gone. I think players need to figure what works best for them, and take game theory with a grain of salt.

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Played the Aussie champ again last week with Ox, Shank, princess, Boar, Brisket, Minx. With the 2MP to counter attack GIC vs Honour, Brick, Marbles, Harmony, Decimate and Chisel. Ox and Shank were absolute monsters!!

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I have had something if an epiphany as a result of Greg's performances and this interview and fallen back in love with Shank.

I've always loved Ox, althoughn since S2, often favoured Fillet over him for competitive play. I knew Ox was still decent, just that his play was perhaps a bit beyond my skill level. I've dedicated my time since Vengeance this year to playing him and trying to work out how to get the most out if him, but I've been struggling, and part of my struggle has involves experimenting with every player available to him to try and find the best team. And that includes shank. I had rules him out because he regularly underperformed in  the team I had put him in. 

Then came the buff to Ox. This really hurt me at first, because it completely changed the way I was playing Ox. I was using him as scrum control and for his auras, and letting everyone else do the damage. I wanted him to deliver a KD and 2>> each turn to help control the scrum so that meathook, boiler, brisket and tenderiser can kick out some damage. Losing the 2>> hurt, and I found the new playbook ked to the temptation to stack him up with 5 every turn, which then often led to him being counter attacked and left his team somewhat impotent.

I needed to find a new way to play Ox that would allow me to get my head around how his new playbook would function effectively. I then picked up the farmers and had a brief dalliance with them before the GICs came out and made me want to get back to playing with my beloved butchers. At some point there was a discussion where I realised influence efficiency was a bit of a hidden theme within butchers and that led me to thinking about the Efficiency Butchers list I've posted about elsewhere.

I finally had chance yesterday to play the efficiency butchers at a tournament and experiment with a few different player options. Greg's efforts made me think to reinclude shank in the 10. You can read all about the games in the efficiency butchers thread, but the end results that I think this strategy works best with Ox and Shank in the list. 

I still think shank is a little below-par, but is perhaps that fact that makes him work in this list. The team only has 11 influence to spend, so the 3-cap actually helps you distribute things effectively. In previous games I'd found shank a bit of a liability, and everyone hates him from S2 and wants to put him down ASAP, but in the efficiency butchers list I was playing yesterday, his threat pales into insignificance alongside a 5 INF Ox, Boar and Rage. He gets largely left alone, and able to do his thing, and in Ox that can be quite a bit, it seems. Against a hooked target he's going to hit his 3dmg result most times, if that's in Ox's aura that's 12dmg. He's also got a pretty fantastic threat to the ball, even if he needs to wait another turn before he can do anything with it. That same feature also gives him a fantastic goal threat, if he starts the ball in possession or loose, and the tap in rules make his 2 dice kick not so risky. He's very flexible, he can do several different jobs, but none of them quite so spectacularly well as he used to be able to, and each turn you can it really do one thing with him.

The key is keeping him alive. You'll get The most out if his flexibility if you can activate him late in the turn (or at least leave him to spring upon an opportunity when it presents itself), and the key to being able to do that is to keep him alive. I can't understate how much threat saturation helps in the list I'm using. In both of the two games I used him in he didn't take a single attack, and I can only think that it was all my opponents concentrating on Ox, Rage and Boar that enabled him to stay under the radar.

So, I've revised my opinion on Shank somewhat. I'm not so sure I'd go so far as to say he doesn't need any help at all, but I'm not sure I'd call him broken. He does have a role, but I think its a fairly niche role that not many lists will have space for, which is probably why we don't see him that often. You need to have a list that can still function if you sink 3 into shank every turn for little reward most of the time, it needs to have some way of keeping people's attention off him or to otherwise protect him from being an easy kill. In my efficiency butchers I think I can do all those things, in both a typical Fillet list, and the old Ox list I used to run, I don't think you can.

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Nice to see the new viewpoint on Shank @malladin.ben (BTW, there's a PM waiting in your inbox ;) ) Pretty much agree with what you're saying, since with Boar (esp on an Ox team), Boiler+Princess, and Ox himself, I usually try to kill Ox or Boar ASAP.  Shank gets left alone with 3 INF because the others have 4 INF (or Boar has up to 4 attacks) that hurt more.  Another good thing about Shank, which is if I get him down on health but don't finish him, he just WTG and bails out, where Boiler/Ox are often stuck and afraid of parting-blow KDs. 

I think you're spot on that Shank works with the new Ox efficiency list and not the old way people used Shank, very good point there!

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I really want to put Shank in. In S2, I seldom wanted to use either Boar or Meathook. Even if Shank was awesome at first glance, how can I replace those two in season 3? And I love Boiler. So really, I only have one flex spot, and it's a very competitive last spot.

 

I used him the other day, and he was fine. But I really like Brisket... First world problems.

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This article was a nice read.  I’ve been pretty successful with my Butchers according to the rankings over season 1&2 exclusively with Ox.

 

season 3 I dropped Shank for a bit, did worse.  Put him back in the team and found my win ratio on a high again.  I think Shank really compliments my play style.

 

yes he doesn’t murder a player straight away now, yep he can’t easily jump on and defeat a player back from being taken out.

 

but his huge threat range and his Thousand Cuts ability I find a massive tool that often offers me a chance to do something with him each game.  Using him to harass a ball carrier, pinch a ball and thump it somewhere better or even straight off the pitch is good.

 

ive even used him as a speed bump to shield other players and disrupt Opponents plans.  I think his simple speed and 2’ melee gives him the versatility to feature in my team against most match ups.

 

yes the old days of super Shank are gone but in no ways do I think he is sub par to any other Butchers player.  As for Ox, well that’s another long story.

 

i have written a blog on ‘my Path to Butchery’ which is on Fishy Wargaming and tracks alot of the highs and lows of playing an Ox line  up in general.

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Until last week I hadn't played a game in probably a year (all my locals stoped playing). I was able to play a couple this week and I have to say I agree with this article after them. Ox and Shank were straight money in the games I played them. The games with Fillet I just felt like my team was neutered from lack of influence. It is likely my lack of experience, but still. Can't wait to try more out with both, though!

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On ‎10‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 8:48 AM, malladin.ben said:

I have had something if an epiphany as a result of Greg's performances and this interview and fallen back in love with Shank.

I've always loved Ox, althoughn since S2, often favoured Fillet over him for competitive play. I knew Ox was still decent, just that his play was perhaps a bit beyond my skill level. I've dedicated my time since Vengeance this year to playing him and trying to work out how to get the most out if him, but I've been struggling, and part of my struggle has involves experimenting with every player available to him to try and find the best team. And that includes shank. I had rules him out because he regularly underperformed in  the team I had put him in. 

Then came the buff to Ox. This really hurt me at first, because it completely changed the way I was playing Ox. I was using him as scrum control and for his auras, and letting everyone else do the damage. I wanted him to deliver a KD and 2>> each turn to help control the scrum so that meathook, boiler, brisket and tenderiser can kick out some damage. Losing the 2>> hurt, and I found the new playbook ked to the temptation to stack him up with 5 every turn, which then often led to him being counter attacked and left his team somewhat impotent.

I needed to find a new way to play Ox that would allow me to get my head around how his new playbook would function effectively. I then picked up the farmers and had a brief dalliance with them before the GICs came out and made me want to get back to playing with my beloved butchers. At some point there was a discussion where I realised influence efficiency was a bit of a hidden theme within butchers and that led me to thinking about the Efficiency Butchers list I've posted about elsewhere.

I finally had chance yesterday to play the efficiency butchers at a tournament and experiment with a few different player options. Greg's efforts made me think to reinclude shank in the 10. You can read all about the games in the efficiency butchers thread, but the end results that I think this strategy works best with Ox and Shank in the list. 

I still think shank is a little below-par, but is perhaps that fact that makes him work in this list. The team only has 11 influence to spend, so the 3-cap actually helps you distribute things effectively. In previous games I'd found shank a bit of a liability, and everyone hates him from S2 and wants to put him down ASAP, but in the efficiency butchers list I was playing yesterday, his threat pales into insignificance alongside a 5 INF Ox, Boar and Rage. He gets largely left alone, and able to do his thing, and in Ox that can be quite a bit, it seems. Against a hooked target he's going to hit his 3dmg result most times, if that's in Ox's aura that's 12dmg. He's also got a pretty fantastic threat to the ball, even if he needs to wait another turn before he can do anything with it. That same feature also gives him a fantastic goal threat, if he starts the ball in possession or loose, and the tap in rules make his 2 dice kick not so risky. He's very flexible, he can do several different jobs, but none of them quite so spectacularly well as he used to be able to, and each turn you can it really do one thing with him.

The key is keeping him alive. You'll get The most out if his flexibility if you can activate him late in the turn (or at least leave him to spring upon an opportunity when it presents itself), and the key to being able to do that is to keep him alive. I can't understate how much threat saturation helps in the list I'm using. In both of the two games I used him in he didn't take a single attack, and I can only think that it was all my opponents concentrating on Ox, Rage and Boar that enabled him to stay under the radar.

So, I've revised my opinion on Shank somewhat. I'm not so sure I'd go so far as to say he doesn't need any help at all, but I'm not sure I'd call him broken. He does have a role, but I think its a fairly niche role that not many lists will have space for, which is probably why we don't see him that often. You need to have a list that can still function if you sink 3 into shank every turn for little reward most of the time, it needs to have some way of keeping people's attention off him or to otherwise protect him from being an easy kill. In my efficiency butchers I think I can do all those things, in both a typical Fillet list, and the old Ox list I used to run, I don't think you can.

Thanks so much for writing this up.  To be honest, I haven't played Shank since season two, and now you have me rethinking that decision.  Great thread to get me out of my rut and start thinking a bit more dynamically.

HIL

 

 

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