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Fujin

So... Vitriol...

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Following the "S4 lineups" thread and what seems to be the general buzz, what's up with all the "woah, sadness - Vitriol got nerfed into the ground; so harsh, much wow" vibe? It's fairly obvious that there's solid competition for places in the 6 that make the actual field, but I'm seeing a lot of hype in builds that don't include her. Has she lost her place due to all the sexy new mom-GB results from players like Mercury and Calculus? The addition of the bad-ass 3/8" kicking vCalc? Or is it sheer competition in the form of a rad new version of Crucible?

I'll admit it takes some setup to achieve, but Vitriol kicking off can (and often has, for me) achieved a 7INF activation thanks to Beaker Keeper (free Clone) and I've Been Burnt Before... (either taking poison off Venin or fire off Flask if I light him up with Mercury - admittedly that's a more desperate approach). Her tackle is momentous and her base speed went up. A free charge (or sprint) is nothing to sniff at and should be in the position to do so (and if you're effectively trading 2VPs in a take out in order to have her score a goal) then the 4" heroic pulse early game is excellent.

 

Thoughts?

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I started out taking her in every 6 - she's manic depressive, I'm bipolar, so that's a strong fluff link right there. Argued with Professor Emeritus Maria who thought she wasn't worth the spot, but after a dozen or so games... I have to admit Maria was right. 

The issue is that Vitriol's threat is pretty much a straight line. Veteran Calculus or Crucible can both buy a dodge, which makes it much easier for them to go in, get the ball and get away again,  or extend their threat to go in from a different angle. 

Vitriol has that momentous push dodge on 2, but that's reliant on rolling dice. 

Don't get me wrong, I'll still play Vitriol. Her speed and efficiency are great and that fluff link is strong. But she's dropped down the list unfortunately. 

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I think Vitriol still has a spot in the 12. If I was creating a 3-0 team she is definitely in my 6 with Crucible and Vet Calculus. I'd also consider taking either Compound (battery), Venin (throw poison), or Mercury (literally throw fire).

I really like the flexibility of the Alchemists this season. I don't think there is a bad squaddie in my 12. (Vet. Katalyst plus union are my leave behinds). If you have a favorite model or playstyle, you can build a viable team around that. My personal favorite models are Crucible and O. Katalyst, I will most likely take them both in almost every game I play, and can build a good 2-2 team from there. I don't know if there is an auto-include squaddie on this team anymore.

TL:DR: I think its less that Vitriol is not as good and more that many other models are viable options now.

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To be fair in the s4 lineup thread almost everyone plays Smoke as she is a much better captain in most cases. I still like Midas since he was my first captain in the game, but I think that outside of his +1 kick he became even weaker in some scenarios than in season 3. His main appeal is that he can brute force a goal with 6 inf, and support the team a little. But I think Smoke is a better football captain than Midas usually, and even if you play ball with her team she has a much stronger plan B.

Now that I cried myself out, with Midas I find that Vitriol is super valuable, as you already have a 1" striker who can get the ball from almost anyone (Midas). So I bring Vitriol and Crucible with him. The 3 of them can play the football game quite well, and the girls are quite inf efficient with 3-3 inf. The lineup I try for now is Midas, Vitriol, Crucible, Flask, Mercury, and oKat or Venin. I personally don't like oKat that much, and wouldn't play him against teams with 2"+easy KD enemies, but sometimes he can be useful.

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In late season 3 there was a very strong argument for not including Vitriol in your 6, maybe in 12.  In season 4 I think she has a very solid hold on her slot any time the Alchemists are kicking, so much so that they should choose to kick IMO.  Consider that she has the longest kick off reach in the guild, 1" longer than vCalculus or Crucible and with Flask backing her up she ignores the first counter attack that would take the ball from her or push her further from the goal.  I'm not saying don't take those other models also since additional strikers provide much stronger coverage, but Vitriol does the job of score after kicking off best in faction, possibly best in game.

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On the Midas squad, Vitriol is one of my most productive players, averaging a goal per game along with Crucible. Typically she's either scoring or just reliably generating 3 or 4 MOM per activation along with that pesky clone, and some clutch re-positioning. On those rare occasions I win initiative, kicking is way better than receiving, so you can opt for her as one of the best turn 1 goal threat kickers in the game, or Crucible if you are faced with Close Control or UM (like opponent Naja, Obulus, or Greyscales). 

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I like her more after some games than I did when she was revealed.  I have never popped her heroic and she probably gets less than 5 total influence all game, but she's a reliable goal for me now that I've got a handle on where she likes to play. 

Frankly, Smoke, Venin and either Katalyst can eat my whole influence stack turn over turn, so having a model that positions herself without constantly drawing resources is half her value.  The other players that could take her place (either Calculous, Mercury, Crucible) need too much juice (influence or positioning or setup or all three) to function.  Vitty can use those things too (obviously) but she isn't as much a burden without them.

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I really enjoy “I’ve been burnt before”. Really aims at keeping the opponent guessing. Just the threat  of charging in last to snag some momentum to secure next turn some times causes my opponent to hang a model back. 

I played a game the other day  with Midas, crucible, vitriol, vcalc, okat, flask

i really like Midas. I only have a few games in with him this season and have yet to play smoke but really enjoy his goal threat. 

Vitriol and crucible took the flanks while okat held down the middle like he do. 

I found throwing 1 inf on vitriol was more than enough most times to make my opponent think “oh she’s not doing much” only to then charge for free tackle ball then score on goal.

i take vitriol almost every time I take Midas.

i do not know if she has play with smoke though.

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Vitriol looks to me like the model you play if you want to threaten the ball on kickoff, and leave at home otherwise. She's one of the best kicking threats in the game, especially for a non-captain.

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Vitriol is a really useful model I never actually end up having use for. 

On paper, she's great. Her stats are strong, her book is decent, her abilities are synergistic and easy to activate, and free clone off Beaker Keeper feels like punching the ticket to value town, but...

On the pitch...? I almost never actually use her for anything that has a real impact. She might generate a momentum here or there, get in the way of a kick, offer the odd parting blow, but the whole "pop clone, make a run with the ball" plan that seems like her bread and butter just never actually happens, in large part because of the 3 inf cap. With 4, she'd be in the running for the best striker in the game. At 3 though, she's REALLY limited, almost pidgeonholes you into taking Flask to capitalize on her, and then requires you wait til activate her until after BroBot, which may or may not be ideal. Maybe it's a function of the fact I play in a heavy 2-2/1-4 meta, and while she makes the 12 for sure, every time she's part of the 6 she just kind of ends up standing there looking slick, but not much else. 

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Hey guys?  I'm just gonna run this up the flag pole again, we'll see who salutes:  Maybe the reason you're feeling Vitty isn't worthwhile after all that set up is all that setup isn't worth using on her?  Like, have you tried not going to great lengths to get "free" stuff?  Just put her places where she can capitalize on a free charge or sprint, take Clones when you can get them from the playbook, and stop trying to force to do everything on her card all at once.  She's worth a goal a game and can be a fairly safe place to stash the ball.  That's it, but it's enough.

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On 10/30/2018 at 7:11 PM, Golden said:

Hey guys?  I'm just gonna run this up the flag pole again, we'll see who salutes:  Maybe the reason you're feeling Vitty isn't worthwhile after all that set up is all that setup isn't worth using on her?  Like, have you tried not going to great lengths to get "free" stuff?  Just put her places where she can capitalize on a free charge or sprint, take Clones when you can get them from the playbook, and stop trying to force to do everything on her card all at once.  She's worth a goal a game and can be a fairly safe place to stash the ball.  That's it, but it's enough.

But again, what's the point of taking her over someone like Calc, who can at least blind or something, when you yourself say most of the time Vit's basically just a warm body on the pitch waiting for something to happen? Clone on 3 sounds cheeky, but on only 5 tac, how likely is that to happen, and how much of that trying to charge for a clone for it's own sake is also "going to great lengths to get free stuff"? If you're in a situation where clone is relevant, you probably can't afford to be spending the influence to either hard cast or attack trigger. And if you're getting yourself into a situation where clone is needed just for the sake of being able to get clone up, why are you doing it in the first place?

The reason folks are trying to force everything all at once, so to speak, is because most of the individual parts don't do much on their own, especially with only 3 inf to play with. You can't pop clone, dash, AND shoot all on the same turn (which is arguably the whole point of bringing her) on 3 inf.  

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See, this to me is the thing - she seems very "all in", in that most of the time (IMO) you need her most of her kit to be active and functioning to get your value and/or achieve the goal (quite literally). If I'm using Breaker Keeper to put up Clone then it's absolutely clutch that Clone be live. If I'm removing a condition to allow the free sprint/charge, it's because her 3/3 INF isn't going to give me enough gas in the tank to get the job done. And in most cases, I need both to get the job done (even if Clone is just insurance against a dice spike on the opponent's counter-attack).

The question for me becomes - do I want to take a model where (again IMO, in most situations) I need 1-2 prior activations before she becomes the threat that I need her to be?

I'm not convinced that Alchemists can afford to field a player who's job is to just wait for an opportunity to score/retrieve on the off chance your opponent plays badly.

 

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I hear you guys, and if influence weren’t such a scarce resource I’d be looking for more places to spend it too.  However, each time I’ve left her off in favor of someone else I’ve regretted it because her replacement, similarly starved of resources, does less than she would have.  

 

A note on Clone: I only really hard cast it when I need it to go to goal, and then It’s accompanied by pulling a condition to charge.  Otherwise getting it from the playbook (again, pulling conditions to charge) is reliable enough.  As a ball carrier it’s maybe the best protective ability available, stopping not only tackles but also KD and character plays.  It isn’t total immunity, but combined with 2” melee, a tackle on 1 and two inches of separation on 2 she can protect the ball as well as anyone through an opposing activation.  I see Guildball as a game where activation trading is as important as piece trading, so forcing a second attempt at taking the ball is important to me.

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