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S4: Fish vs Alchemsts

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So this evening I played Shark into Smoke a couple of times and discovered that she is a nightmare for his team to handle thanks to her ability to drop conditions without needing to hit over a large range and the low momentum generation of the Fish in turn making them unable to remove the conditions before they drop (this was not helped by Crucible being around). Most notably I could not spread my team out enough to escape the conditions dropping and still be in a position to have the team support one another

I was not helped by a number of poor positioning choices in my opening turns (Shark was robbed of the ball in both opening turns before he even got to do his goal run) and some dire dice rolling but even in best case scenarios Alchemists just don't feel like a team Shark can get enough of an edge over.

After a bit of a chat at the end of the games my opponent and I came to the conclusion that Corsair is likely a better choice into both Alchemist captains and we have a few ideas to test out in the coming weeks.

However I would like to though open the floor to this one for extra insights and strategies.

So, how can Fish play successfully into Alchemists?

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I played very few game against Alchemist, especially in S4, and in S4 only against an easy pick (both captain). But can't you just ignore the conditions ? Remove fire when you need the speed and don't care the other time ? You will certainly die. But whatever, that what shark do. You kinda want to.  For me the hardest thing to manage was crucible. But, well, we managed Alloi, I guess we will get used to Crucible. I hope I can continue to play almost only Shark this season. 😕

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58 minutes ago, Thyamath said:

I played very few game against Alchemist, especially in S4, and in S4 only against an easy pick (both captain). But can't you just ignore the conditions ? Remove fire when you need the speed and don't care the other time ? You will certainly die. But whatever, that what shark do. You kinda want to.  For me the hardest thing to manage was crucible. But, well, we managed Alloi, I guess we will get used to Crucible. I hope I can continue to play almost only Shark this season. 😕

I tried to ignore them in the first game but because Shark's team has no damage threat Smoke can play extremely aggressively knowing she wont be hurt. She is free to just come in with Venin and push heavy condition damage with her legendary, infuse and his heroic which quickly drops the low HP fish and those conditions then net Smoke a load of MP to secure 1st activation the next turn to finish the injured players off.
 

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And staying outside of 4" of every of your own model is not enough to avoid that trick ? Feel like she can't catch you until your last activation, and at that time she will have the choice between making momentum by hitting you or putting condition on you (doing 3 momentum if your unlucky). But I may be wrong. As I said, I did not really meet them in S4. S3 Smoke felt so easy for Shark. ^^ I feel that she is more theatening now.

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I've played 2-3 practise games S4 with Shark into Smoke, and one game that we completed.

I agree that it feels like a race to get the scoring done before the conditions eat you whole, and so far I haven't been overly successful in winning that race. I generally do play a squishy team and need to consider Jac a bit higher I think. Fathom should be great with Smelling Salts, but I feel like its more important to stay separated than to enable her to get any salt smelled.

The last game, the one that we actually finished, ended 8-12 due to a Smoke condition tripple-takeout (oh my, indeed) and impressive goal run, all in turn three. I was happy with my two goals tho. Maneuvered and positioned the best I have so far (I got maybe 20 games in total under my belt, many with masons from the kickoff box). One goal this game was Shark alone doing his thing just barreling down midfield and scoring. The other was Angel-Salt far far far out the wing and reaching the goal without probs. Was fun to play.

Aaaand while all of this Getting Over Here happened during turn two, I had a real hard time keeping Fathom/vSiren/vSakana alive in the middle. I was trying to let Siren and Sakana hang back and Fathom take to the opposite wing from Angel-Salt, but the lure of trying to save siren and sakana with Smellings just made it worse and pulled Fathom down with them.

After all this talking I really have no great insight as to how best to beat the alchs S4. But Shark-Smoke is my most likely matchup during the coming year or so unless my opponent starts to lean towards other guilds, so I find the discussion greatly interesting!

Loose thoughts;

* I think I need one heavier support piece like Jac or Kraken when going into alchs.

* Allocating influence is really really hard with a hungry Shark lineup, and especially when not knowing -which- of 4 friendly models are going to get to activate at all because at least one of them will be taken out fairly easily in turn 2.

* Fathom is a great piece that I wouldn't drop from the list, but don't overestimate the smelling salt.

* Spread out over all the pitch. As op said its hard to do, but I think it can work (rookie that I am though, so all I say might be wrong hehe).

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Smelling Salts is your best friend. 

This is going to be one hell of a tough match. Most Alchs these days know to play conservatively against bally teams, and, especially when you have to come to us, you're going to have a tough time getting through. Especially if A&G start becoming more prevalent, which is something I anticipate happening.  Playing Fish into Smoke/Naja/A&G/Venin/Merc/Crucible is a special kind of hell. 

Kraken is good. Being able to drag people out of position does work. Siren is good situationally, although beautiful and charmed doesn't help against pulses and AOEs. Fathom is great. If we drop Compound, Salt is a great choice, since he can base him turn 1 and prevent the countercharge. 

 

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Interesting discussion.
A lot of it does have to do with positioning.
One thing I would say.... don't bother taking Angel. Fathom is your replacement for her, and you still have better options among the other Fish. 
If the alchemists want to kill the ball on the side Angel is covering, they just need to drop it over to Naja... 2" melee and unpredictable movement. That doesn't work on most of the other Fish, so Angel (and Salt) is at a disadvantage.

Now, here's my question.... I can see why you might want to take more resilient models, but you are still going to be racing for the goals and you're still going to need people who can do that. The Fish are never going to be able to win a game on take downs, regardless of who you put on the team. For Corsair, his tough hide will help against direct attacks and some character plays, but not the condition damage you're so worried about, and he's only two more health than Shark. He's also going to be easier to hit, overall, than Shark.

So, how much difference to you see Corsair, Jac, and Kraken making?

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