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  • Writer's pictureGrumpysarn

Golden Bois, Golden Girls


Hello again!

I know it’s been awhile. About that: I never had any intention of abandoning this blog or this game. If you’re on the Discord, you may have seen me remaining engaged with the community. I know I haven’t played or posted in a while, but I’m currently undergoing a massive career pivot, and I had to hustle quite a bit for a few months there. Things are getting relatively more settled down now, and I am definitely eying my return to competitive Godtear.

I’d like to thank anyone and everyone who continued to read the OH during my hiatus. Thanks also to Little Ghost, Jeff "Gearbox" Mitchell, and Diced Ham who wrote some fantastic content to keep the blog active. I’d especially like to thank Dave M for putting in a ton of work to create our updated matchups for maelstroms, slayers, and shapers as well as additional excellent content. Dave, you’re a real one.

Ok, one last bit of throat-clearing: I haven’t really played in awhile. I’m rusty and out of touch with the meta. I just looked at my Longshanks ranking for the first time in months, and"ve fallen to #22, so I'm really just some random internet guy at this point. Maybe take my advice with a grain of salt.

Ok, now the main thing. 


Enigma_818 has proposed a new tournament format, and I’m here for it. The Clash of Gold starts March 22. Sign up!

The premise is kind of a throwback. SFG, starting with Guild Ball, has championed games in which list building is about simply picking your team from a pool of options rather than allocating some kind of points budget in order to build your squad. Older wargames tended to list build this way, but SFG shook things up by abandoning points budgets. Enigma’s idea is, therefore, kind of a throwback:

If you aren't familiar or need a refresher, here’s how the original 5-1-3 concept works.

So, if you pay one gold for Helena, Helena is on your squad of 5 for the whole tournament. The ban protection option is resolved before the ban is announced. So, I protect someone, then you announce your ban.

I like it! Inevitably, people will disagree about which champions belong in which tiers, but the whole point of this is that it’s fun to look for bargains and to demonstrate through competition which champions you think are good buys.

So let’s play around with this. I’ll highlight a crews at each price point which I consider to be good value and a crew at each price point which I think might be overpriced. Then I’ll draw up a few lists. 

Best Buys by Price Point

1 Gold: Helena

Is she a battle-ladder busting dynamo? No. Can she pretty reliably score you five end phase steps? Yep. That’s important. Helena needs the right team, but she can definitely bring value to your team which more than justifies this basement low price. It’s insulting that she’s in a tier with Morrigan.

2 Gold: Sneaky Peet

This versatile assassin is a steal. He plays well into most scenarios and matches up well with popular champions like Kailinn, Skullbreaker, and Jaak. That may matter less in this format, but Peet’s useful toolkit is a bargain here. Peet needs a good team around him, but at this low price, you’ll be able to afford it.

3 Gold: Jaak

Look, I’m not a good Jaak player. I need to be honest about this. I just… am Jaak-impaired. I try with my gobbo guy, but I’m still struggling. However, as I observed when he was released, Jaak has a very strong kit and is a top-tier guardian. The community seems to largely agree. His win rate is very good. So, I’m taking other people’s word for it in this one. It seems like people who don’t have my particular problem are likely to get a bargain here. 

4 Gold: Raith’Marid

He deserves to cost more than anyone else. Still. I expect some pushback on this statement, but I’d wager that the people who want to argue with me on this point will still whine when someone uncorks a turn 3 Tsunami. The soggy dragon is excellent in all scenarios and at least decent in nearly all matchups. 

Worst Buys by Price Point

1 Gold: Morrigan

Sorry. No need to. Pile on. Let’s continue.

2 Gold: Halftusk

I actually think Halftusk is perfectly fine and a good value here. No shade, big guy, but I set up a format here that requires me to choose someone. Why Halftusk? Because I’d typically rather have Finvarr or Helena. Still, the big troll has his moments and might very well be a smart buy for some teams. Generally, I think this two gold tier is good value across the board. 

3 Gold: Blackjaw

Blackjaw is cool and all, but this price is too high. I’d usually prefer Fenra in standard formats, and she costs less. BJ is versatile and fast, but he rolls so few dice that his clash phases, while sometimes spectacular, are hardly reliable. He’s not bad, but other Maelstroms tend to be better at a similar or lower cost.

4 Gold: Kailinn

Speaking of specialists, Kailinn is increasingly a sometimes food. Construction is rough for her, as is the recent glut of high dodge champions. She’s still a dominant force in some situations, but those situations are fewer in number than the ones in which you’d want the other champions at this price point.

Some Lists

I’m just riffing here. Let’s assume this will be a 4 round tournament for the purposes of budgeting for ban protection. Not saying any of these are optimal; just having a go. Let’s get messy.

Take Your Medicine 

Raith (4), Kailinn (4), Titus (2) Peet (2), Helena (1).

Ban Protection Gold: 4

The premise of this list is that it can force the opponent to play against either Raith or Kailinn depending on the scenario. In scenarios where you’re trying to fight, Kailinn, Peet, and Titus will do just fine, assuming they ban Raith. If you’re protecting Raith on a no-go Kailinn scenario, then they probably ban Helena. Raith, Peet, and Titus is also pretty acceptable in those spots. The key to this list is that the lower-costed champions are still pretty good. That’s really the theme of this article and, I expect, this whole tournament.

Pick Your Poison

Raith (4), Skullbreaker (4), Lilly (4), Rangosh (3), Fenra (2)

Ban protection gold: 0

This list takes the opposite approach from the previous one. Here, we’re just building a really terrifying list and hoping that our roster is deep enough to simply shrug off the bans. Want to ban Raith? Fine. Here’s Skullbreaker, Lilly, and Rangosh. This list has enough depth and versatility to lose someone and still handle most situations.

The Middle Way

Luella (3), Rangosh (3), Styx (3), Peet (2), Mourneade (2).

Ban protection gold: 4

The idea here is to collect a series of champions who cover different bases while reserving enough ban protection to ensure that your opponent can’t hide their weaknesses. Playing into a list full of high dodge, armor 1? They can’t ban Luella. How about low dodge with high armor? It’s Rangosh time. Facing a squad that lacks pushes and auto-wounds on Quest? No way to avoid Mourneblade. Didn’t bring anyone with a lot of accuracy? Prepare to get sneakily stabbed.

Stars ‘n Scrubs

Raith (4), Skullbreaker (4), Rangosh (3), Nia (1), Helena (1).

Ban protection gold: 4

The secret sauce here is that the scrubs aren’t scrubs. We’re protecting Raith most of the time. They’re banning a slayer most of the time. Then we’re letting our little one gold wonders work. Nia pairs nicely with Rangosh and Raith. Helena is a value buy for reasons discussed above. Except for Nia, this list has good speed to threaten banners, a fair amount of fighting chops, and decent control. 

Kailinn As Needed

Kailinn (4), Shayle (3), Luella (3), Jaak (3), Lorsann (2).

Ban protection gold: 2

When do you really, really want Kailinn? It’s really just Death and Quest in my experience. She’s good on change, but not necessarily banned. This list reserves enough protection money to ensure that Kailinn can terrorize your foes on those two scenarios, but gives you a deep roster by spending your reserve cash on a versatile selection of power pieces.

Final Thoughts

This format is actually not that restrictive. You can really get what you want if you can make some modest compromises. The real x factor is the value of ban protection. My initial feeling is that it has huge value i. Some situations and very little in others, but I’ll simply need to play some games to get a feel for how common those scenarios are. 

I have not actually settled down n my list yet, but this exercise has certainly got me closer to sorting out my thoughts. i hope reading this has done the same for you, whatever you think of my opinions and lists. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your games!

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