Corrections and Double-Downs
Grimgut is not bad. I used to think so. I had not played many games which involved him. In those few games that did involve the fat bastard, he had not had an impact. I kind of stopped picking him, and so did my opponents for awhile. I nearly forgot that sellout Grimshalla existed, which was fine since I find his whole vomit gimmick to be disgusting nonsense. Some people love it, though, and I want those folks to enjoy themselves. Godtear has something for everyone.
Anyhow, I had to take notice when @ellio broke my win streak with Grimgut. I’m big enough to admit that I was wrong. Grimgut, like most champions, is situationally good. I have recently recommended him as a possible answer to Raith. I admit that he's devastating when the opponent is not properly equipped to clear out the retchings. I previously stated that Keera might be an answer to him, but I no longer think so because she can't cross the wall of snot to squish a flag. Against my pair of slayers in the Change scenario, he was excellent. I will now use him when the right situation arises even though he is gross.
In general, SFG has done an outstanding job with balancing these champions. None of them are useless and none are truly dominant. The game is, therefore, extremely healthy.
Two slayers are better than one. As new players are filtering in, (hooray!) I see them making some of the same comments I remember making six months ago: slayers are bad because they are dice dependent, etc. Naw, fam. Slaying is a great way to play this game, but you need to commit to it. One slayer is a swingy, unreliable piece. Two slayers is a lot of pressure on opposing champions all the time.
Of course, as I have learned, this is not the only way to win. There are ways to counter this approach (see above). I believe that, in the long run, the best players of this game will be the ones who do not pigeonhole themselves into a particular style. I say this with the full awareness that I have been pigeonholing myself into a slaying game. The cure? Diversify. Easier said than done, though. I keep reaching for my old red friends despite knowing that I need to branch out. Le sigh.
This is why I'm somewhat excited for the upcoming 8 pod event; it seems like a good way to mix things up.
Halftusk is not actually good into Raith.
I hate to correct something so quickly, but let me explain. In my first ever online tournament, I had some success with Halftusk into Raith. I always say that experience is a better guide than speculation (I'll double down on that one later), but it is important to update one's thinking as experiences do have a shelf life. Players are better at using Raith now than they were then.
A better counter than Halftusk is probably Keera for all the same reasons that I said Rangosh was good - big damage into Ratih is very good.
One note about this - when I say counter-picking, I don't mean that a hard counter to Raith exists. All I mean is that he's a problem that you should try to solve and that some champions do better into him than others.
Turn 1 matters.
No need to rehash the whole manifesto. It’s evergreen. I have noticed that sometimes warband composition will make it impossible to win turn 1. That’s fine. Do not alter your fundamental strategy in order to win turn 1. All I was ever saying here is that I would nearly always prefer to win turn 1 than to lose it. Don’t ignore the VP in turn one or, worse yet, actively concede it. Amazingly, this simple assertion that VPs are good seems to remain controversial.
Also - my certainty that going second on turn 1 is strictly better than going first on turn 1 has only deepened. Picking the lane matchups is a monster advantage and should be acknowledged as such by any tournament format.
Tournament formats can and should ignore SFG’s Organized Play Document when doing so makes the tournament experience better.
I’m proud of the Objective Hex Open! It was cool! We drafted! When I was putting it together, though, I got some pushback on changes I made to the SFG OPD (mostly from people who don’t play much in online tournaments anyway). People encouraged me not to change the rules when possible. This emerged on a few fronts.
One example: the inane reroll rule.
For those who don’t know, SFG has a rule in their OPD that says a player with a loss can reroll their dice once per game. This rule is bad. The most obvious reason why is that if an undefeated player is playing someone with a loss, the player with a loss is rewarded artificially. This is weird and anti-competitive.
Folks defend this rule by saying that Godtear shouldn’t be too competitive. I think that’s fine if you’re not playing in a competition-oriented tournament. The beauty of Godtear, in part, is its capacity to please both casual and competitive players. Casual players have a built in way to enjoy a form of organzed play which is explicitly un-balanced and story driven: campaigns.
The way I see it, though, is that if you’ve signed up for a non-campaign tournament, you are saying that you would like to test your skills competitively. Maybe there are non-campaign tournaments that would like to keep it casual, but there is nothing wrong with other tournaments deciding to be more competitive. As I often say, Godtear has something for everyone.
All this is to say that I caved and kept the silly reroll rule in the first Objective Hex Open when I shouldn’t have. I did so because I wanted people to sign up. I’m very pleased that the most recent draft tournament (Hooray for the Slam Jam) did away with the rule. Guess what? People still signed up.
SFG doesn’t really know more about the ideal competitive format for this game than we do. How could they? The game delivered on its KS just a few months before the pandemic. I’m not SFG bashing here - they made an incredible game. I’m merely saying that a slavish devotion to their OPD is silly this early in the life of the game.
Let’s innovate with tournament formats!
The upcoming 8-pod is a nice step forward!
Table experience is more important than theory. Look, I’m not a perfect player, but most of the mistakes I’ve made have to do with an empty place in my table time (see Grimgut above). The strengths I have as a player come from pattern recognition and experience.
Reading this blog, scrolling through Discord, and parroting the ideas of others will not make you a significantly better player. Playing will. I admit, my game has been slipping lately. Why? I’ve been busier in real life more and playing Godtear less. That’s not a complaint, but it has clarified for me how important it is to figure things out for oneself by playing the game.
Don’t take anyone’s opinion as gospel, including mine. Come to your own conclusions.