Overview and Disclaimers
Godtear is a game about interactions between your models and your opponent’s models. Knowing what matchups are likely to create favorable interactions is a key part of mastering the game. In this article,I will attempt to break down what I consider to be the favorable and unfavorable matchups for each Maelstrom champion. Please also check out my matchup evaluation for Guardians!
Matchups are the thing that I change my mind about the most. There are dizzying amounts of different matchups which can occur given the 20 different champions currently available. I have not played them all. I don’t have that kind of time unfortunately.
Some matchups I have played often enough to be fairly confident of how they will play out (Titus v. Rangosh, for example) whereas others I have not played at all. There is going to be some educated guessing in this article. Please let me know if you disagree with what I’ve got here; you may very well be right and pointing it out to me will improve my play.
I tried to find 4-5 matchups which I consider to be the most favorable and 4-5 which I consider to be the least favorable for each champion. This is arbitrary, so there are going to be some close calls. Note that this will not be consistent across champions. That is, me saying that Champion A has a favorable matchup into Champion B does not necessarily mean that I am also saying that Champion B has an unfavorable matchup into champion A. This is because B might have five matchups more unfavorable than A while A does not have five matchups more favorable than B. It’s all relative, I’m saying.
The Maelstrom Matchups
Maesltroms are one of the most matchup dependent classes in the game, I find. This is because each Maesltrom is equipped to hunt a particular type of follower. This means that in draft formats, I am often waiting a bit before taking a Maelstrom. This is not because they aren't good (they are), but because I want more information about what my opponent is bringing before I decide which Maelstrom to take.
We'll go in alphabetical order, so first up is...
Firey Axe and Fireball roll 4-5 dice and target all models in a hex. This means that BJ wants to target soft followers who have incentives to cluster up. Grimgut's Retchlings are a perfect target. Rattlebone, Morrigan, and Rangosh offer plenty of good targets as well. Mourneblade is a tasty matchup for Blackjaw because his Kick and Fiery Axe will usually dispatch the relevant Knightshades, and BJ has the speed to get to banners which are placed at a distance.
BJ does not like tanky followers at all. He just does not roll enough damage dice to deal with the follower units I have marked as bad matchups for him. Popping Fire Storm only to come up with 0-2 steps feels very bad.
Grimgut is a weird champion, of course. Basically, he does not like other Maelstroms. If you can get Grimgut isolated against most non-Maelstroms, you're going to have a good time. In particular, Slayers with high value attacks that they don't want to waste on Retchlings are excellent matchups for Grimgut. The vomit-slinger also loves to see Helena since he can block off her access to the hexes she needs to get to. FInvarr's crew has only two attacks, so they hate dealing with little snot balls.
Grimgut dislikes other Maelstroms. Even at one step apiece, the Retchlings are an easy way for other yellow champions to score points. It should be fairly trivial for most enemy Maelstroms to put up 4-5 steps in a clash phase vs. the Retchlings. That's as good as a Salying. Grimgut should also should be terrified of Morrigan because his low defensive stats and high health pool make him the perfect target for Snowball's Chance.
Jeen is a bit like Blackjaw in the sense that she likes an abundance of soft followers. Jeen's attacks are even weaker than Blackjaw's, so getting the most out of her means squishing banners and picking off the likes of the Retchlings, Gearhawks, Reavers, and Hexlings. Unlike Blackjaw and Grimgut, Jeen does not actually need these followers to be grouped into a single hex, so she is better into Maxen (whose Gearhawks spread out) than someone like Blackjaw would be. Really, though, Jeen is about getting banners, so she has a wide range of viable matchups. She's just EXTRA good when she can also harvest weaklings.
Jeen really does not like hard to kill followers and/or people who can keep her off their banners. Jeen has no way to move champions or KO Helena, so that's a tough matchup. Rodhri, Keera, and Shayle will all pretty much be able to ignore the threat of Jeen to their followers. Jeen is rather killable for Keera, and Landslide can earthquake Jeen around fairly reliably.
Luella loves to go into targets who rely on high dodge but don't necessarily have a lot of armor. Luella's Arc Lightning effect totally bypasses the hit roll, so Mistwood Rangers, Rallied Peasants, and Sneaky Stabbers will be unable to hide behind their dodge stats. The Shield Maidens are also very accurate attackers, so Rangosh, Pete, and Lorsann should fear them. Luella is very durable, the most durable Maelstrom by far, so she does not mind taking a hit or two from these Slayers.
Luella cannot kill anything with armor, so she is sad to see Quartzlings and the like. Luella will also have trouble inflicting enough wounds to hurt large followers. Mourneblade is a terror for Luella because, unlike other dwarves, our girl cannot March. Luella needs to take big advance actions to get her bonus actions, and Mourneblade will not let her. Luella will sadly not have an easy time KOing the Knightshades, either. Luella has low dodge, so Shayle will move her and her followers around very easily. Titus has strong enough attacks to prey on the Shield Maidens.
Titus is the best at killing followers and at not being killed by followers. The Unburnt Reavers and Landslide will struggle into a 4/4 statline. Champions who like to use durable followers to impede enemy champions (like Halftusk and Mourneblade) will essentially just be feeding steps to Titus because he does not care if your followers are durable. Titus is a great all-rounder, but these four matchups are especially good. You can imagine a lot of the blank cells in this table as being light green, though. Titus is a boss. He also pairs well with lots of teammates because Roar of Battle is generic to any champion.
On the other hand, Titus is slayer-bait. I know it might look like sending him after the Red Bandits or Young Dragons is a good idea, but I feel confident in saying that it isn't. Titus's low health pool makes it quite easy for the big hitting slayers to just dispatch him in a single activation. Once in a tournament game against a good player, I one-shotted Titus three times with Rangosh. Usually it takes two shots, but hey. Titus also especially hates Raith. This is because Raith's followers tend to be spread out and/or off the table due to Kersplash. Raith is durable enough to both win the fight with Titus and win the banner game against him. Titus's usual play against fighty champions is to encircle them with Glory Seekers, but Raith can just jump away.
Maelstroms are great champions, and they are especially great into each other. Often times in draft formats, I will only skip selecting a Maelstrom is my opponent has also done so. Maelstroms speed up your warband and dictate the positioning of blocking units very well, so they are broadly useful.
I know that these tables are easy to pick apart. As I type this, I am second guessing several of these matchups, but hopefully this snapshot of my thinking has at least stimulated your own thought process about which Maelstrom to take in a given situation. As I wrote at the top, this is perhaps the most matchup dependent class.
Thanks for reading, and have fun!