Oh My Gosh!
Updated: Aug 9, 2021
I love Rangosh. Some people don’t love Rangosh, and it’s usually because he seems basic to them. I understand ; my favorite cowboy (get it?) is designed to smash face rather than teleport around or whatever. One’s hipster instincts may well yearn for something quirkier. I’m here to tell you, though, that Rangosh is all kinds of dope. It’s not hard to figure out what he’s good at, but there is a skill curve to getting the most out of him. Hopefully, the principles outlined below offer you a deeper understanding of how to smash face with elegance.
Top of the damn food chain
The thing to know when you are using Rangosh is that no one, absolutely no one, can survive going toe to toe with you. This is because your two attacks throw twelve to fifteen damage dice in a single clash phase (depending on setup). In terms of raw damage output, only Keera is comparable, but she doesn’t have the staying power that Rangosh has. In any straight fight between champions in adjacent hexes, Rangosh is the favorite.
Come to Daddy
Because he’s at the top of the damn food chain, you want to put Rangosh exactly where your opponents need to put their champions. This creates a lousy dilemma for your opponents: they must either deal with you or forgo whatever objective you’ve sat down on. Thanks to the hit effect on Whiplash, you can make it a suicidal proposition to end a turn within two hexes of Rangosh. Yes, Rangosh is capable of hunting people down, but he’d rather not since using both of his attacks in the same clash phase is such a big deal.
Own the Center
The threat of Rangosh’s capacity for violence is almost as powerful as the reality of it. A stationary Rangosh is terrifying. Look at how much board he threatens:
Our favorite human eating beefcake likes to be in the middle so long as there are objective hexes there. Just barrel down the center on turn 1, plant a banner, and wait for someone to come for it. This is a win win for you. Your opponent has to either let you score the flag or come on down to Rangosh town. If you just sit there doing nothing but score the flag, the potential to KO someone has scored you 80% of the steps an actual KO would have scored. If no one comes into your threat range, it also probably means that you’ve made your opponents’ moves more constrained and predictable by scaring them away from the crossroads of the board. An ideal non ultimate plot phase is simply to plant a flag in the middle and channel some rage.
Rangosh can hold down an area like nobody's business, but he is also adept at getting places (places where banners are). With move 3 in the plot phase, you can usually move that big threat aura onto a target of your choice if you're going second. If you use your ultimate as well, you can reposition Rangosh an impressive five hexes in a single phase. Our beefy boy would probably rather do murders, but a squished flag is a big deal, and Rangosh can threaten banners as well as champions. This flexibility makes him an asset in a wide range of matchups and scenarios.
SInce Rangosh has the ability to threaten more than one thing at a time in a major way, use him to fork your opponent. If I can threaten both a banner and a champion, for example, I've put my opponent in a reactive position which requires them to solve the problem I've presented. If they can't, then I get to take one or the other. Rangosh is an excellent forker due to his indifference to who is near him, his mobility, and his high threat.
Simplify your setup
Rangosh solves a lot of early game problems because it’s pretty clear where he should go. Put him in the middle. If you are the first player on turn 1, you have to deploy first, allowing your opponent to react to you. This is a bummer. An easy first move? Deploy Rangosh in the middle. At a point in the draft where you’re concerned about counter- picks? It’s usually pretty good to put Rangosh in the middle.
The Bandits are good! They auto-wound in the clash phase - amazing! This dies not mean you should hesitate to use Brutal Master. With induct, you can bring back three if them in the course of a turn. Just pop them like candy. It’s fine. If you only have one bandit to spend, spend it on the hit roll for Jawbreaker. Getting used to where the bandits need to be takes a little bit if table time, but the three hex range is pretty generous when combined with the flexibility of induct.
If you hit a jawbreaker and you’re reasonably confident that you’re about to KO someone, use the hit effect to really send your victim into the stratosphere. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget that you get a one hex push as a hit effect (perhaps it’s the thrill of rolling all those damage dice next), but you can effectively re-position someone three hexes instead of two when KOing them with Jawbreaker. It’s a huge deal because it can often wreck someone’s action economy for an entire phase.
The ideal time to use the ultimate is in the clash phase after planting a banner against a champion with two or fewer wounds remaining while also moving over a banner. Generally, though, don’t be too precious. The best things about this ultimate are its action economy (move and wound), phase flexibility, extreme movement potential, and of course dicelessness. If you’ve got a chance to exploit any two of those things, I say go for it.
Rangosh is certainly a blunt instrument, but getting the most out of him does take a bit of subtlety. To really maximize the value if his threat, use him in combination with other pieces. Shapers and Guardians can often make opponents pay a higher price for not coming into you. Slayers with ling threat ranges can act as hounds for the hunter. Maelstroms can prevent opponents from using followers to screen Rangosh off. Rangosh’s mission is clear, but that does not mean that his game is basic.
Also it’s fun to roll a huge handful of dice.