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An Issue with Morticians

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Hey guys,

I'm a fan of morticians, but every time I play I feel like they are lacking in some department. I never really could get my hand around it, but I think I figured something out.

Everything Morts want to do costs influence. And while this would seem logical, what I mean is that very few players in morts provide any form of support if they didn't get influence that turn. 
Ghast (Rising Anger, Fear), Casket (Foul Odour), Dirge (Follow Up), Memory(Control Strings), Obulus(Unpredictable Movement) Are really the only players with passive abilities that can influence the board state in a meaningful way without influence.

There's a lot of great examples of players with great passive abilities that can help out on the board without influence:
Compound, Vet Velocity, Tenderiser: These guys can pretty much stand near the goal and just be influence batteries all game.
Wrecker: This guy can just go Ramming speed and push some people on the board.
Spigot, Mallet: Football legend.
Calculus,  Mercury: Can just put conditions on you by being near you.
Chaska: Can put some traps on the board to hinder players.
Snow: Can try to get players out of a tough position or force a knockdown.
Ballista: Lets players generate momentum on ranged plays.

These are most of the examples I could think of on the top of my head. 

Are morts bad? No, But could they use something to make some of them useful without influence? Probably.

I would like to hear what some other people think about this..

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Cosset has Furios, which is a pretty important thing to keep in mind. Another thing to keep in mind is that Morticians can play 14 influence teams and very strong 14 influence teams. Lastly, a lot of the reason Morticians plays cost a lot of influence is because they're heavily dependant on controlling the game.

You can't have the team that brings the most influence & control also be the most influence efficient. I think Morticians are in a perfectly fine spot with balance, literally Vileswarm needs some love. 

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1 hour ago, AaronWilsonCB said:

Cosset has Furios, which is a pretty important thing to keep in mind. Another thing to keep in mind is that Morticians can play 14 influence teams and very strong 14 influence teams. Lastly, a lot of the reason Morticians plays cost a lot of influence is because they're heavily dependant on controlling the game.

You can't have the team that brings the most influence & control also be the most influence efficient. I think Morticians are in a perfectly fine spot with balance, literally Vileswarm needs some love. 

Don't forget vGraves. Apparently getting friendly with rats make you lose tac ;)

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Thing is we lost 2 influence compared to season 2 and that hurts (1 on silence, 1 on puppet master). Key to unlock Morticians is not to overinvest in control plays. That's great being able to PM, lure, shut out and tucked enemy players every turn. But that's 8 inf that generated 0 momentum, 0 dmg and 0 VP. Not a good deal after all. The best thing in control plays is the threat of using them and realy triggering it only when it's worth it if You get what I mean.

Spooks are hard team to play. Even exhausting one after all the nerfs. Yet they are not bad, just slightly under the curve. What I really need is 2 inf on Casket and Ghast and some kind of a buff for vGraves and his rats. Obs could also be more reliable in hiting his KD, just one column lower would be great. Scalpel needs some way of dealing with UM models other than legendary and more "dense" playbook (6 columns would be awesome). Just my 2 cents.

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3 hours ago, AaronWilsonCB said:

Cosset has Furios, which is a pretty important thing to keep in mind. Another thing to keep in mind is that Morticians can play 14 influence teams and very strong 14 influence teams. Lastly, a lot of the reason Morticians plays cost a lot of influence is because they're heavily dependant on controlling the game.

You can't have the team that brings the most influence & control also be the most influence efficient. I think Morticians are in a perfectly fine spot with balance, literally Vileswarm needs some love. 

I'm not saying Morts is a bad team by any means, but I feel like they could use some quality of life stuff. The 14 influence is only with Obulus with a setup that has no enforcer (ghast or casket) which is still only 1 influence more than most teams can have. Casket does sorta make it up by removing influence from the opponent for 1 turn.

They shouldn't be the most influence efficiënt either, but they could maybe have some decent heroics.

But a fix for vGraves and vileswarm would be nice too I guess :D

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Giving 2 Influence to literally every player on the team just doesn't make any sense.  Part of why Ghast and Casket can have all of the cool toys they have is that they don't bring Influence to the team.  I honestly could see them making Dirge and Vileswarm provide 2 Influence, that would help the team out quite a bit, and put some thought into whether to bring a weak, low-health mascot back on the pitch far from the action or give up real Influence to use Creation later in the turn.  I think the US tournament scene really screwed the Morticians after Season 2, and the changes made in Season 3 reflect that really clearly.  There were a lot of Mortician changes, and they split about evenly between buffs and nerfs, but most of the nerfs were in direct response to how Morticians (and Obulus in specific) were being used.

Cosset got a pretty solid re-work.  Her bar getting shorter, and Screeching Banshee both serve to make her deal massive amounts of damage, and she really fits the "Glass Cannon" mold now.  Making her get Assist from Dirge, rather than just needing him within 4" is part of the big Mascot rework they did with the new season, and it's both a nice buff (+1 Tac!) and a clever nerf (1" Dodges can save models from the Assist).

Graves got a pair of insanely good improvements, gaining Tooled Up (RIP Rage) and now being a 2/4 Influence, making him pretty much an always used model.  The drawbacks he always had are still there: no Knockdown, not much actual control, but he kept the great early Tackle, the extra Charge distance on wounded models, Bleed on damage.  Of course, this made Veteran Graves pretty much useless.  If you wanted to use Vet Graves over Graves, you'd lose 1 Tac, auto-bleed, and Scything Blow, but you'd gain Knockdowns, Gravedigger and 1 Influence.  Now you also lose Tooled Up, and don't gain +1 Influence, so there is basically no reason to ever take Veteran Graves.

Silence lost 1 Influence generation, which really only makes sense - he was way too good with a 3/4.  Honestly, I still can't really feel good playing a game without him; Tucked and Shutout are among the most powerful plays in the game (in my opinion, anyway).  Him losing some Health hurts, but it puts him in line with the other Def 5 models, so it's all fair.  He also got faster, so Sprinting gives him 2" instead of the awful 1" it used to add.  All in all, a fair nerf.

Vileswarm was left alone, but I don't rememeber seeing those rats on the pitch, they only do anything with Vet Graves, so why bother?  Dirge, on the other hand got screwed.  With the Mascot changes, Dirge's vulnerability to take out became less painful once, and much, much more painful every other time.  I understand the basic math, it used to be you take out Dirge, gain 2 VPs and lose 4 Momentum (3 really, since you got one for the take-out); so when the VPs go down by 50%, why not reduce Dark Doubts by 50%?  Well, 1 (the actual loss in Momentum with Dark Doubts being 2) is one third of 3, so really Dark Doubts doesn't do much of anything anymore.  Couple that with Dirge still only having 5 Health, and two reasons to have Dirge in the fighting area (Cosset and Silence's Kick stat), and you have a recipe for Dirge to be a very juicy target.  I think Dirge going up to 6 Health (or 6 Def) is almost mandatory, and Dark Doubts should be at least 3 Momentum.  Of course, that would imply that Dirge has competition at the Mascot position, which is laughable. 

Then there is Obulus.  I think one of the worst things a player can do to another player in Guild Ball is make them sit through minutes of dice rolls while they slowly murder a player, so putting Tooled Up on an Obulus holding 8 Influence and beating nearly anyone to death by making 8 attacks at 2 damage (sometimes 3!) per swing makes me feel ill.  Steamforged tried to help by capping Obulus at 7 Influence, and removing 1 Tac from Obulus so that he can no longer hit that 2->3 very often, but it still can make perfect sense to just take your 14 damage and call it a turn, so that didn't really fix that problem.  As a bonus side-effect, now it is smarter to just have Obulus use Puppet Master to get a ball off most models, since getting his Tackle result isn't very likely anymore.  Oh, and Puppet Master now actually costs 4 Influence, not the net of 3 (which might have been a bit crazy).  In a perfect world, Obulus would go back to 8 max Influence, and replace his 1 damage result with a new Character Play: "Just hit me! (GB) P OPT: This model may spend 7 Influence to inflict 10 damage on the target".  There you go, no more slow killing of a model, and it gives Obulus the chance to inflict 10 damage on a Counter-attack if he basically gives up all of his team's Influence.  It also lets him go back to 6 Tac, so maybe he can Tackle the ball, and if not, he can spend 4 to Puppet Master a pass, then still have 4 left over to Sprint, get a Momentous Dodge with an attack and Misdirection someone - that sounds like a crafty old man playing to his strengths.  I know that is a crazy "solution" to a way I don't like to see a model used, but I think it would make for a much more interesting Obulus.  I still think he's the preferred Captain, so if anything, more needs to be done for Scalpel (but I think she's amazing, just have to be careful with Counter-attacks).

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16 hours ago, Atras said:

Giving 2 Influence to literally every player on the team just doesn't make any sense.  Part of why Ghast and Casket can have all of the cool toys they have is that they don't bring Influence to the team.  I honestly could see them making Dirge and Vileswarm provide 2 Influence, that would help the team out quite a bit, and put some thought into whether to bring a weak, low-health mascot back on the pitch far from the action or give up real Influence to use Creation later in the turn.  I think the US tournament scene really screwed the Morticians after Season 2, and the changes made in Season 3 reflect that really clearly.  There were a lot of Mortician changes, and they split about evenly between buffs and nerfs, but most of the nerfs were in direct response to how Morticians (and Obulus in specific) were being used.

 

Morts were hit with the nerf bat stronger than buffed. I agree they needed some nerfs but IMO SFG overreacted.

Graves - solid rework but it barely compensates making Rage unplayable for Spooks, I would call that one even.

Cosset - slightly buffed, although 4" DMG buff form Dirge was far more reliable than current Assisted.

Obulus - heavily nerfed

Silence - heavily nerfed

Mist - slithly nerfed

Rage - significantly nerfed as mercenary

A&G - lost activation advantage, unable to play as striker anymoreso nerfed as parts of Spooks

Dirge - doesn't provide activation advantage anymore, weaker compared to other mascots now

 

And for Casket and Ghast - are they realy so powerfull that they can't provide 2? The one great thing about Casket is his legendary which is huge tempo swing. I could kind of agree that it compensates for his 1 inf - You have less but also deny some of it for Your enemies. Yet it needs solid setup and is balanced. But Ghast? He was super strong S2, he could activate first, KD 3 enemy players reliably therfore heavily limiting their options. But now, with built in "home crowd"? Not that great anymore. He's still solid beater but unefficent AF. Maybe some sort of Vindicative could help him but plain 1 inf would also do the trick and without making him OP at the same time.

 

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Everyone agrees that vGraves and Vileswarm, if anyone, are the two Mortician's players that most need help. They're pretty much useless (compared to their alternatives) as it is.

The easiest change I could see which would, right off, make it difficult for me to chose between Dirge+Graves vs Vileswarm+Graves2, is giving Vileswarm Inf 2/2 instead of 1/2. Sure he'd be the first 2 inf mascot (right?), but then again he'd otherwise bring far less to the team than Dirge does. Even with +1 inf, I'm still not sure it'd manage to be more usefull than Dirge currently is, since I can't think of a single situation where it'd have been nearly as usefull as the bird was had I had the swarm instead...

Or would inf 2/x be even more powerful than I give it credit?

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I used some changes on vetGraves and Vileswarm as follows:

First of all,ignore the current backside of the cards and replace as follows

 

vetGraves
Leading the attack (Vileswarm): If this model activates before the named friendly model, the named friendly model gains +2 TAC and +1 DMG to playbook damage results for the rest of the turn

 

The next one is optional, and I had two thoughts, because Masons already have those activation shenanigans

 

Linked(Vileswarm)

or as Character Play instead of "Blood"

Gruesome Cuts gb P OPTyes SUSyes: Target enemy model may not activate next if there are other models that could activate

 

and Vileswarm got the following changes on his Character Traits

Vileswam
Vindictive as usual

Lead by the Pack (Veteran Graves): If this model activates before the named friendly model, the named friendly model gains a (T) result on its next successful attack

Swarmed: If this model is within an enemy models melee Zone, that model suffers -2 TAC

 

I had different thoughts on that aswell, for example instead of Swarmed Vileswarm could have Linked, which makes them both explode a bit more (I mean, you swap out Cosset and Dirge and Graves, basically, and give up an activation, soooo)

I am also working on a more refined version that makles both those model more control piece. Thing is, the trinity of Dirge-Graves-Cosset is heavily damage and slightly football oriented, and I liked the idea of Gruesome cuts. Will update. (they would basically just give you a different way of dealing damage, and I thought that would be a bit boring, which is a shame, because vileswarm and vetGraves are some of my favorite models)

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On ‎11‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 9:57 AM, el009 said:

 But now, with built in "home crowd"? Not that great anymore. He's still solid beater but unefficent AF.

 

For my personal information, what are "Home crowd" and AF. Thanks

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Home crowd is on the 2nd turn and every other turn the person who doesn't have initiate gains 1 Momentum. 

AF = as f-word. Because swearing isn't polite. 

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@Melos is right. To be exact "Home Crowd" was plot card for season 2. 

 

Home Crowd

Requirement: You lose an initiative-roll and do not have the first activation of the turn.

Reward: At the end of the current Maintenance Phase the friendly team gains [1] MP.

 

And since the start of S3 it's part of core rules. Back then knocking some players down as first activation was seriuos threat as they didn't have the momentum to stand up without sacrifacing their advance therfore were unable to make effective activation. And imagine knocking 3 key players down ;) Annoying AF :D

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On 10/10/2017 at 2:45 PM, Atras said:

Then there is Obulus.  I think one of the worst things a player can do to another player in Guild Ball is make them sit through minutes of dice rolls while they slowly murder a player, so putting Tooled Up on an Obulus holding 8 Influence and beating nearly anyone to death by making 8 attacks at 2 damage (sometimes 3!) per swing makes me feel ill.  Steamforged tried to help by capping Obulus at 7 Influence, and removing 1 Tac from Obulus so that he can no longer hit that 2->3 very often, but it still can make perfect sense to just take your 14 damage and call it a turn, so that didn't really fix that problem.  As a bonus side-effect, now it is smarter to just have Obulus use Puppet Master to get a ball off most models, since getting his Tackle result isn't very likely anymore.  Oh, and Puppet Master now actually costs 4 Influence, not the net of 3 (which might have been a bit crazy). 

There were many a games where I did just this...I'd just tee off on a player with Obs until he was gone, and then move to the next player on the pitch. It was beautiful, and hurtful at the same time. I played against a really good Obulus player, which I am mediocre with, and it flat out sucked. I agree with the nerfing of him. 

At the end of the day, I compare Morticians to a Mono Blue Magic The Gathering control deck, needs lots of mana, lots of patience, and missing a ton of the beats the other decks get. It's not a team for everyone, that's for sure. I have tried Fish, and Alchemists, and still find myself pulling back to Morticians, and probably always will. 

I  have been out for a bit, but look forward to getting back on the pitch, and giving BrainPan and Memory a spin. 

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 I can tell you how I felt at the beginning of the season as a newer player (Pre Brainpan and Memory). 

 The big issue for me when playing Morticians was the lack of Momentum generation. The problem with being the team that specializes in "Control" plays is that they're all character plays. This means that they cost a lot of influence but don't give you back any momentum. Additionally there are key plays that 1 dice just isn't good enough (Cough Silence) so you feel like those character plays need momentum put into them. This is meant to be offset by Obulus's legendary but that's only one turn. 

 Compounding the issue is that because they are such a good control team, they can't be too good at kicking or taking things out to compensate. It was really hard to gain momentum through the kicking game. Bonesaw is actually a decent player but other models can't interact with his 8' kick, just about everyone has 6' kick. I feel dirge should be a ball retrieval tool but 1/4 is horrid. 

 That makes Morticians lean heavily towards takeouts. Brainpan and Memory are too necessary it seems but they get that momentum really easily. Other parts of our game that are quite good include Graves and Cosset. 

 I feel that the "Special Tricks" that are meant to make up for our "Special Tricks" gameplay style just don't mesh well enough. Obulus is once per game and almost makes him feel too essential. Ghast just hasn't performed for me, he can be ignored well enough and being 1/3 in a team that is starting to feel influence starved hurts. Also I'm not a fan of his playbook (You need to get to 4 hits to get a momentous damage), Silence is a momentum black hole, Dirge's -2MP feels like it can be worked around. 

 I also play engineers and I feel their momentum schtick is so much better to compensate for their bad playbooks. Balista lets their range game generate momentum, they are a much better passing team. 

 Right now I feel a team has to start with Obulus, Dirge, Graves,  Brainpan. Morticians feel like they have some of the least variety. 

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I realised something else now when they releasesd Skulk. He basically is what vetGraves could have, and in my opinion, should have been. I wondered anyway why the Morts didn't get a Goalkeeper way earlier, but now we have one, so eh. :D (And he's the best!)

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Tried this guy last weekend. He might not be a star player but he works quite well with little or no influence. Skulk seems like good support for Obulus&Graves duo - 2" reach, hard to leave him behind, free counter attacks. I don't even consider him goalkeeper in typical meaning - he's more like disruption.

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3 hours ago, el009 said:

Tried this guy last weekend. He might not be a star player but he works quite well with little or no influence. Skulk seems like good support for Obulus&Graves duo - 2" reach, hard to leave him behind, free counter attacks. I don't even consider him goalkeeper in typical meaning - he's more like disruption.

Yes, he looks after the goal from midfield. He is not going to be up at the front is he? But TAC6 is respectable. Mom 2 damage on 3 with "Pest control" as an alternative.

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About Bonesaw, I had an idea for him today

So basically he gets the Striker Def of 5 after scoring a goal, which every Striker should obviously do. But why shouldn't he get the 5+ from the getgo? It's not like he is so much better than any striker. I would have said, go back to the original version of Offensive Defense, but give him a Def 6 for the remainder of the turn. That would be quiet nice. I would also love to see him go down to 11 HP but get Reanimate back. I think even ten would be ok then.

The other thing I just realized, and don't ask me why it comes this late, I always looked at veteran Graves Heroics as Traits, but:

He literally has no CHaracter Traits. That is terrible. I don't want to assume the design decision, but he is not that great to justify this atrocity. :D 

A simple Vindictive (Human) and a little extra nudge, maybe damaged Target would be all he needs. Doesn't have Tooled Up or that good of a tackle, but he can still go in, and is still quiet effective then just like the old version. Also: 
Get rid of Gravedigger. Maybe I have not been using it right, Id don't know, but I think it just makes the takeout way more expensive than it should be for one extra VP. Don't get me wrong, one extra is still nice, but I'd rather have

With the Blunt Side GB OPTyes SUSyes P: Target enemy model may not activate next if another enemy model would be able to activate next. 

That could give him quiet the edge he needs to be an actual contender for the Graves Slot.

Or maybe I'm just an idiot. Probably both the case. :D 

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6 hours ago, Cole said:

About Bonesaw, I had an idea for him today

So basically he gets the Striker Def of 5 after scoring a goal, which every Striker should obviously do. But why shouldn't he get the 5+ from the getgo? It's not like he is so much better than any striker. I would have said, go back to the original version of Offensive Defense, but give him a Def 6 for the remainder of the turn. That would be quiet nice. I would also love to see him go down to 11 HP but get Reanimate back. I think even ten would be ok then.

The other thing I just realized, and don't ask me why it comes this late, I always looked at his Heroics as Traits:

He literally has no CHaracter Traits. That is terrible. I don't want to assume the design decision, but he is not that great to justify this atrocity. :D 

A simple Vindictive (Human) and a little extra nudge, maybe damaged Target would be all he needs. Doesn't have Tooled Up or that good of a tackle, but he can still go in, and is still quiet effective then just like the old version. Also: 
Get rid of Gravedigger. Maybe I have not been using it right, Id don't know, but I think it just makes the takeout way more expensive than it should be for one extra VP. Don't get me wrong, one extra is still nice, but I'd rather have

With the Blunt Side GB OPTyes SUSyes P: Target enemy model may not activate next if another enemy model would be able to activate next. 

That could give him quiet the edge he needs to be an actual contender for the Graves Slot.

Or maybe I'm just an idiot. Probably both the case. :D 

Are we talking Bonesaw or veteran Graves here?:huh:

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I don't normally go into wish listing threads as the chances your wishes are granted are slim to nil. The team on the whole seems great and are easily my favourite to play, I've had reasonably good success with the vast majority of models barring the two below.

Bonesaw - I'd have loved it if Offensive Defence was just activated when he was in the opponents half of the pitch. Meditation would be useful if it was just for the next kick (including outside of activation), I find I often would like to set up snapshots with Morts but a 3/8" is not really great for that. Hes not bad but usually just second fiddle to the much more reliable Mist.

Vet Graves - seems like he just doesn't do too much at all. His playbook would be ace if he was tac one higher like original graves (though I do really like the Vindictive Human idea above). I don't know why the strength boost to Vileswarm is a Heroic rather than a trait.

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9 hours ago, Nykolae said:

Are we talking Bonesaw or veteran Graves here?:huh:

Both. I just forgot to add that I was talking vetGraves after the Bonesaw part. Let me fix that!

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