Grumpy's Guide to Halftusk
In this series, we will give you a quick breakdown of each champion. This is geared mostly towards people who have not played with this champion much, so it’s not an in-depth tactical treatise. This is more of a quick breakdown and assessment of the champion.
We will grade each champion’s offense, defense, support, mobility, and control. We’ll explain each grade and then give you a quick vision of a dream activation for that champion.
In a separate series, Grumpy has written about how champions match up with each other. Here are the matchup evaluations for Guardians, Maelstroms, Slayers, and Shapers.
Here is the grading scale for each category:
Who doesn't love this hunk of beef? Big old Halftusk looks terrifying, but he's actually quite gentle, as he protects the innocent froglodytes from orc attacks. He's a buddy! The last of the free trolls (yikes - poor trolls), big old Halftusk is a kind protector at heart. It's not official SFG lore, but MartyBoy wrote a fantastic short story from the perspective of the Froglodytes which really captures this heartwarming bond. You've got to love this model, which is full of personality. Does it make sense that he is holding a blade? No. Does that matter? Also, no.
Maybe I'm crazy, but Halftusk reminds me a little of the 1980's B movie hero Toxic Avenger.
On the board, Halftusk is a fairly straightforward champion, but that's not to say that he is boring or one-dimensional. This champion brings a combination of defense, claim denial, and accurate attacks. He's not terrible at anything, really, but he doesn't excel at much besides staying alive. Halftusk is a good all-rounder who does especially well into champions who rely on high dodge stats. Halftusk is very hard to bring down, but his low speed makes him vulnerable to control effects.
Halftusk really excels when the Frog Delights can block off an area to prevent enemy claim actions, allowing Halftusk to drop a banner and smash a bit of face. This makes Halftusk a champion who likes to go first and to face enemies whose game revolves around slaying. It is generally not efficient to try to take Halftusk down, so most slayers are unhappy to see him. Slayers also tend to rely on high dodge stats in order to survive, so Halftusk's rare accuracy has more value into that matchup than it would into many others. The big troll doesn't like bullies. He's the slayer slayer.
Here are Halftusk's Cards:
Offense - Average
Some people seem t be under the impression that Halftusk is a strong offensive character, and I'm here to throw a wet blanket on that sentiment. Honestly, this rating of average might be generous. The Froglodytes cannot attack at all, meaning that all of this crew's offense comes from Halftusk himself. Halftusk's two punches are decent. One Punch is an 8/4. That eight accuracy dice looks impressive, but it is mostly for show. Super high accuracy helps a lot less than super high damage because vastly exceeding the target number on a hit roll is no different than meeting it exactly.
One Punch is very accurate, but it needs to be because Halftusk only gets his bonus action if it hits. Two punch is also very good if Halftusk is on maximum health. If not, this is only 4/5, which means it lacks both accuracy and above average hitting power. In all, this crew has a total of two attacks which roll a total of 9 damage dice. To compare this with a few other guardians, Mourneblade’s crew, Rhodri’s crew, and Jaak’s crew roll up to 10, 12 and 17 damage dice respectively. Even Helena’s crew can potentially put together 10 damage dice. Int terms of damage dice rolled, Halftusk is the arguably the weakest guardian. At full health, though, Halftusk is considerably more accurate than the others, and that does matter. So… he’s average. Barely. If the Froglodytes had an attack of some kind, this would be different. But they don’t. Alas.
Defense - Outstanding
Halftusk is extremely hard to KO because he can Regenerate up to two wounds with a single action. This gives him the ability to shrug off otherwise formidable blows. A 6/6 attack is generally considered strong, but it will average 1.95 wounds into a 3/3 defensive profile like Halftusk's. He has a deep health pool of 7, so it's a long term investment if your aim is to KO the big boy. This ability to soak a few hits means that Halftusk will probably get the opportunity to heal; going for a quick KO through burst damage is not likely. You also can't pocket the KO against Halftusk because he'll just heal back your hard work. The actual healing is very powerful, but so is the threat of it. Often, Halftusk's opponents don't even bother pressuring the troll's health pool because they know it is inefficient to go for the KO. It subjectively feels bad to put a high value attack into Halftusk, only to see him heal up to full health and accurately counter punch you twice.
Regeneration is not all of Halftusk's defensive game either. Footwork offers the chance for Halftusk to imitate Finvarr's 4/3 defensive profile. This makes Halftusk resistant to hit-effect based control abilities and also amplifies his damage resistance. Most attacks which can hit dodge 4 are unlikely to put more than 2 wounds on armor 3. Halftusk's ultimate, the Great Tusk, can offer either defensive boon on demand. Overall, Halftusk is one of the toughest models in the game to bring down.
The Froglodytes are also fairly hearty. Feel The Power means they can get to a 3/4 defensive profile fairly easily. It will take some of the stronger maelstorm attacks to rack up the score on these sweet, gentle bois.
Support - Average
Halftusk has a strong defensive support game. Foot Work hands out a generic dodge boon, which is simply a useful thing all the time. This can really hurt when passed out to allies who are already dodge 4, but it's also helpful in making Halftusk harder to target with the control effects he hates so much. Feint amplifies Footwork by reducing enemy accuracy. Unfortunately, these are both plot phase abilities, and Halftusk would very much like to be planting his banner. Still, Halftusk can generally make it harder for the opponent to hit you. The Great Tusk is a strong support ability which has the potential to distribute the best defensive boon for the situation across multiple models. The impact of this ultimate is largely a function of how clustered the scenario is, but there's no question that it's a useful support ability.
Mobility - Average
Halftusk is not especially mobile. He has a speed of 2 in both phases. If he can hit Two Punch, the big troll can move one more hex, but that’ all. Aside form a situational and conditional extra hex, Halftusk is as slow as a dwarf, although a bit more eff
icient. His top speed is 4 hexes per turn (5 if he hits a Two Punch). This makes him vulnerable to control effects. Although Halftusk is slow, the Froglodytes are quite fast. Hop provides a place effect, which is always quite powerful. The Frog Delights have a nice speed 3 in the clash phase as well. The froggos usually don’t have. A lot to do, which means they don’t mind spending three actions to move seven hexes over the course of a turn.
Control - Good
Although they offer zero offense, the Froglodytes do bring a useful control game. Their ability to occupy objective hexes is the headline here. They still cannot crush banners (common point of confusion), but they can sit on objectives to prevent opponents from planting banners on them in the plot phase. For this reason, Halftusk really likes to go first at the top of a crucial turn. The Froglodytes can effectively close off an entire lane in some scenarios, allowing Halftusk to double up elsewhere. If theopponent doesn't have a good way to deal with the Froglodytes, they can really dig in with Feel The Power and become a multi-turn annoyance that closes off enemy options. If you have someone with lots of speed or the ability to claim at range, the Froggies can just scoot off of whatever hex you want to claim on while still denying that area to your opponents.
On top of this, Tongue Lash allows the Froglodytes to reposition an enemy model. This ability is... mild. Repositioning is innately useful, but this is a single model being moved a single hex. To make matters more cumbersome, the Froglodytes can only pull targets toward themselves. This matters because the best use of this is to pull an enemy champion away from an an objective hex, so you have to have the Frogs further away from the objective than an enemy in order to make good use of Tongue Lash. That's rough because the Frog Delights would really prefer to be on objective hexes. Still, this is a sometimes useful ability that has won me a turn at times. That's more than I can say for Tongue Tow. I have never used Tongue Tow nor seen it used. It exists, though, and is a control ability. So. Yeah.
Here we have Halftusk on Quest against Lorsann. Lorsann has a banner on Halftusk's side. With an advance of only 2, Halftusk won't be able to get there with just his advance. Fortunately, he'll be quite accurate since he is currently full health and therefore Fighting Fit.
Halftusk advances, then uses One Punch on the elf. Assuming he hits (95% odds), Halftusk will also get a bonus action Two Punch. Assuming that hits (81%), Halftusk gets an extra hex of movement to step on the banner. This is also on pretty decent odds to get the KO, even if Lorsann is at full health. Combined, these two attacks have an expected damage of 4.81, so it would take only a slightly above average bit of dice rolling to take Lorsann out in one activation here.