Scenario Breakdown: The Only Constant is Change
In this ongoing series on scenarios, I’ll share my thoughts on each scenario. We’ll consider the scenario’s effect on Deployment, the BattleLadder, the End Phase, and each champion.
Most players like Change, but few would call it their favorite. I sense that it might be everyone's second choice, and that's alright. It worked for Abraham Lincoln at the nominating convention.
Change is a very balanced scenario in the sense that it welcomes all kinds of champions. There are wide lanes for fast models to run and do murders, but also permanent, mobile objective hex clusters which support a more defensive approach.
Its wide-openness makes Change a good scenario for demoing the game, in my opinion. I've previously offered a modified version of change for two champion demo games. Change is relatively straightforward, but offers players an abundance of decision points. This is a cornerstone of Godtear's appeal, I think.
Here is the losing player bonus:
In the end phase of each turn, the player who lost the turn rolls four dice. Then they move up to that many different objective hexes one by one onto empty adjacent hexes. If there are any models on an objective hex when it is moved, they move with the objective hex.
In a sense, the end phase mechanics give the losing player an extra shaper. The ability to potentially move multiple hexes is very valuable. If you like to lose turn 1, this is a strong scenario for that strategy. The thing about the losing player bonus is that it is dice-dependent. A big roll can reshape the board like Shayle's ultimate, but even a small roll can be pivotal for the banner game.
Still, it's pretty reliable that you'll get 2-3 hexes. The chance of rolling at least a 2 is 91.4%.
Here is the board:
We’ve got three somewhat isolated lanes. Players have deploy along the back row, so there is an imperative to take ground early. Few champions will be able to claim on turn 1.
The deployment setup gives us wide lanes of 4 hexes. The flank objectives are almost pressed against the edges of the map. This emphasizes fast characters who can switch lanes.
It’s closed up by just 1 step. There are 9 rungs on either side of the Battle Ladder, so you can still rack up a lot of steps. Still that slight squeeze matters. It's a nod to the banner game, which feels like a good balancing element. Change is chaotic, but fair.
This is the scenario where essentially any champion is welcome, although they will all approach it with different game plans.
Finvarr - The emo ninja loves Change. There are numerous hexes which he can move around to set up his many banner shenanigans. His ultimate really shines on Change.
Halftusk - Halftusk is very good on Change because the Froglodytes can sometimes clog up one of the flank objectives. If the little fellas can dig in and Feel the Power, you can potentially create a 2 on 1 scenario in the center without losing banner advantage.
Helena - Sure! If you like Helena, Change is a fine environment for her. She can thrive by standing on a hex that has been pulled away from its cluster and bubble-wrapping herself in dirty peasants.
Mourneblade - This is a great Mourneblade scenario. He'll thrive in the jungle between lanes, planting banners at the edge of the map while still influencing the center. Big fire sword guy has serious range, so a rangy scenario fits well.
Rodhri - It's not great, but not terrible either. Rhodri does not like starting so far from the objectives. You can get him there with some help from teammates, but beware of opponents who can block off areas in front of Rhodri. Once he arrives, though, Rhodri will make good use of the end phase mechanics of this scenario.
Jaak - Jaak is not formally released yet, but I bet he'll be great in the same way Mourneblade will, but with a twist. Instead of influencing the center by denying advance actions, Jaak will influence the center by getting and denyong KOs.
Blackjaw - Sure. He’s fast enough to change lanes. The Reavers are fast enough to hunt people down in these wide open spaces. As always with Blackjaw, the issue is finding a follower unit enough soft enough to give up big turns.
Grimgut - This might be Grimgut's favorite scenario. The barf bag loves finding an isolated hex, claiming on it, and surrounding it with snot bubbles. This is a scenario that makes it easy to castle up, and that's Grimgut's goal.
Jeen - It's a bit like Blackjaw. She's fast enough to navigate a Change board, but she needs soft targets. If there are none, I'd rather have her than Blackjaw because the Golden Shrikes are so good.
Luella - She loves zooming around the board in general. She'll love zooming around this particular board. All systems go.
Titus - Probably not his best look, but he’s fine here. He's not a lane-changer, so this scenario is all about one on one matchups for him. Titus excels in many of those. Just avoid reds.
Kailinn - She'll thrive. The epitome of a lane-changing champion, Kailinn will keep opponents honest. If they leave her flank open, she'll claim on the far objective, hit the center hard in the clash phase, and then zoom back over to her previous claim sport in the next clash phase. She does what Mourneblade does, but with Usain Bolt speed instead of dark magic.
Raith’ Marid - Obviously a lane-changer. And a brawler. And a tank. It's Raith. He's versatile, and this scenario is about versatility.
Nia - This scenario helps Nia. Her thing will be to use the end phase mechanic to pull a hex towards her and then grow a little hex garden in her own part of the board. Nia can really make it easier for allies to claim banners. She'll need teammates who get to banners in far away places, but Change is fine for her.
Rattlebone - This is a good scenario for the Rattlebusiness. She can do a variation of what Grimgut does by Calling Totems to fill the empty spaces between hexes that have been pulled apart. She would prefer a more tightly packed battle in order to get the most out of her ultimate, but she has game here in the right matchup.
Shayle - This scenario is a slight Shayle bummer because it feels like everyone is occasionally Shayle in this scenario. Shayle is still good, but somehow less essential on Change.
Styx - This is a good one for him. He cannot change lanes, but his Abyssal Hounds let him project a threat to banners in two lanes at once. Apparition combines with the end phase to really let you put hexes where you want them.
Keera - The theme is models which can do things in multiple lanes at once, and Keera certainly fits the bill.. She only needs one dragon adjacent to a target in order to attack twice, so there's not a huge downside to separating the dragons. Keera projects a lot of longe range threat, which is very welcome here.
Lorsann - This scenario helps her. She can pinball back and forth between zones efficiently. She can also attack another lane without really committing to a switch. Her followers do well in the jungles between lanes.
Maxen - Not a great scenario for him at first glance because of his speed limit, but Maxen does have the ability to provide support and damage across lanes.
Morrigan - Yeah! Speed 4 is welcome on this map, which Morrigan can easily access. As usual, she's best with a damage boon. If she can get one, though, 5 damage Icebolts can be pretty effective for range 3.
Rangosh - Yep yep! He’s fast and deadly. Rangosh literally can change lanes, but not with much efficiency. However, he is nimble enough to continue dominating an area even if the hexes move around a bit.
Sneaky Peet - He's fine. The end phase can really change the dynamics of the game in this scenario. Because of this, Peet's stellar plot phase skills can help you react to those changes immediately.
Skullbreaker - It's a similar situation to Rangosh. He's not changing lanes well, but he is probably winning a straight fight in his own lane.
A lot of champions work in Change. However, the lanes are often quite isolated from each other, so this is a scenario which emphasizes deployment and matchup awareness. Change often boils down to three one on one duels.
Models which can project force at long range have the potential to tip the scales of those duels, and so they are especially useful. Most champions are good in Change, which means list construction is less about scenario than about matchups.