Slayers, my favourite class! Godtear is a game about interactions between yours and your opponent’s models. Knowing what matchups are likely to create favorable interactions is a key part of mastering the game and can be the steepest learning curve. In this article, I will attempt to break down what I consider to be the favorable and unfavorable matchups for each Maelstrom warband.
Let me start with a bit of framing and hedging here. There are dizzying amounts of different matchups which can occur given the 26 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 (Rangosh v. Titus, for example) whereas others I have not played at all. There is going to be some educated guessing in this article.
You may disagree with my matchups - one person's view of a bad matchup is another person's view of a favourable matchup. Understanding my rationale and your own is another route to getting better at the game. Feel free to 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. Additionally, I will focus on more "unique" matchups - it would be easy to say lots of people have a good matchup into the less powerful champions.
I'd also recommend looking at Grumpysarn's old matchup articles. They were one of the most helpful things for me as I was getting into the game.
The Slayer Matchups
Ok, those provisos aside, let’s dive in. I made a small table for each Slayer champion. Green means that the matchup favors the champion whose name appears atop the table. Red means that the matchup is unfavorable.
We'll go in alphabetical order, so first up is...
Keera puts out an inordinate amount of damage, at range, through attacks catered to different defensive profiles. However, this comes at the hands of a fragile, slow champion.
Keera does well into 3 dodge profiles as they are vulnerable to both her Vicious Bite and her Reign of Fire. That means Jeen, Blackjaw, Rattlebone and Maxen are all vulnerable targets for both her attacks. Maxen's low speed means he will struggle to escape the dragon damage. The Dragons are also difficult targets for maelstroms, particularly those with low damage attacks, such as Luella and Jeen. The number of attacks Keera's crew can put out also means they can reliable remove Luella's shield boon to soften her up, or trim down the Reavers or Hexlings. Keera's range also means that it can be hard for Rattlebone to apply blights onto Keera herself, or to do so she has to get past the dragons.
Four dodge is an annoying break point for Keera's Vicious Bite, therefore the balanced defences of Finvarr's crew protects them well against Keera's specialised attacks, whilst the Sentinels can harass Keera herself. Keera's speed also means that she'll struggle to crush the banners of Finvarr, Mourneblade, Kailinn, Lily and Shayle, making them all harder matchups. With Shayle, Landslide can reliably push Keera or the Dragons around, whilst Mourneblade can pin them down and waste their high value attacks. The Thornling's bubble wrap Lily against the dragons, whilst Keera gets slowed or pushed around by Lily and crew. The speed and damage of Kailinn's crew allows them to run down Keera or her dragons as they choose, Keera being unable to keep the ponies at range.
Lorsann has access to the highest accuracy basic attack in the game, plus at range 3. However, she herself is vulnerable, as are her followers.
Therefore, Lorsann is best into champions that rely on high dodge and have little armour. Peet, Skullbreaker, Lily: your puny armour is not going to protect you against Lorsann! Nor with her range can you escape her. Shayle is also high dodge, low armour and usually relies on his range or Landslide to keep him safe, but Lorsann can find and reach him and Shayle doesn't have the attack's to get the Mistwood Rangers. Lorsann can similarly target Styx and put armour blights on him at her own free will, Styx will struggle to stop her, reach the Rangers, or stop the elf getting his banner or removing his dogs.
Lorsann's typically chip-damage will be shrugged off by Halftusk's healing, plus he can really hurt her if she comes to crush his banner - she just can't contest him for hex clusters. Lorsann's Rangers are the most fragile followers in the game (Retchlings excluded) and lose effectiveness quickly as each one dies: therefore they struggle into fast maelstroms such as Jeen, Kailinn and Luella; particularly as the latter two can also target the fragile Lorsann. I think Lorsann into Luella is one of the worst matchups in the game. You know who else also has the speed to reach Lorsann? Raith. Mystic arrow can barely scratch him, whilst he also has access to boons to better assassinate her even if she tries to trim the Splashling's down.
Maxen packs high accuracy, for him and his friends, alongside a powerful ultimate. But the poor Dwarf is slow and struggles into armour..
Maxen into Mourneblade is often considered the hardest counter in the entire game. Maxen's range 3 Piercing Round KO's the skeleton and removes his banner, no matter how far away he has placed it. Like Lorsann, Maxen does well into those that rely on their dodge to protect them, such as Fenra, Peet and Lorsann herself. These targets all have low enough health pools that Birdshot stands a good chance of killing them. Plus, Maxen also makes his allies also more accurate and able to kill them, whilst his birds can take down Lorsann's rangers. Maxen's balanced attacks and ultimate can do well into Finvarr's balanced defences, alongside potentially countering Finvarr's ultimate yeeting banners away.
Damage 6 struggles into high armour, and Helena completely ignores Maxen's passive. He struggles into high armour targets such as Rhodri, Helena and Raith. In addition, Raith has the pushes to exploit Maxen's low speed. Shayle similarly has the pushes to keep Maxen at arm's length, in both phases, whilst the dwarf will struggle to hurt the big rock golem itself. Keera's attacks alone should do about 4 wounds to Maxen, without any attacks from the dragons themselves. Therefore Maxen is an ideal target for Keera, who does not prioritise banners in the same way as his most ideal targets and can keep out of range of his shotgun.
Morrigan's easy access to an accuracy boon gives her potentially two accuracy 7 attacks with which to threaten high dodge targets. However, Morrigan herself is reliant on boons and her followers are vulnerable to maelstroms.
Morrigan's solid accuracy and armour makes her particularly good into Lorsann and Sneaky Peet: she can hurt them much more reliably than they can hurt her. Her accuracy also means she can do well into Fenra and Skullbreaker. Although Fenra can take down the Cold Bones, she becomes more vulnerable as she does so. Morrigan has the speed to get past the Retchlings and once she does so Grimgut is the perfect target for her Snowballs Chance.
Okay, it is fair to say Morrigan can struggle and I do not rate her highly. I had to consciously not list her as a good matchup for many other champions. But here are what I think are her worst... Shayle excels into Morrigan: Landslide exploits her low dodge and pushes her or the Cold Bones around in both phase. Morrigan has very limited means to move without advance actions and therefore struggles in Mourneblade, particularly as damage 5 can be unreliable into the Knightshades. Keera and her dragons shred Morrigan's defences, plus Keera doesn't have much to fear from the slow Cold Bones. Kailinn and Titus have the damage and the follower's to hurt Morrigan herself, whilst being able to harvest the Cold Bones effectively.
Rangosh is a great frontliner: crushing banners and breaking jaws. He usually excels into low dodge and struggles into high dodge, but is generally solid matchup-wise. Here is a good Rangosh guide if you want more detail on him.
Jeen, Titus and Helena all have low health pools and a low enough dodge to make them vulnerable to Jawbreaker. Even if they survive the first attack, the autowounds from Rangosh's crew can finish them off. Helena also struggles into Rangosh's push and pull attacks to keep her off hexes. On top of their typically lower defences, Rangosh also does well into maelstroms as he can deny them followers to score points from and the Red Bandits can spread out and still function well. Morrigan has low dodge and a low enough health pool, so he can kill her reliably, whilst the Red Bandit's ambush is great into dodge 2 followers. Shayle's pushes struggle to hit Rangosh, who can dive him effectively or bait Shayle towards his own banner. Jawbreaker and ambush also works well into Landslide.
Although ambush is good into the Knightshades, Rangosh doesn't have movement skills to escape their passive and he hates to waste attacks on Mourneblade or his followers. Finvarr's high dodge and good armour means he can stand up well to both of Rangosh's attacks, plus hit the minotaur back in return. Fenra and Sneaky Peet's dodge means they are terrible target's for Jawbreaker, plus Fenra can target his followers even if they spread out, whilst Sneaky Peet's crew can wound Rangosh effectively. Lily's push and slow can keep Rangosh at range, with Lily being able to boon herself to dodge 5. Although Ambush-able, the Thornling's excel at exploiting one of Rangosh's key weaknesses: follower blocking.
Skullbreaker is able to put out a significant amount of damage in a single attack, plus comes with fast, powerful followers. However, he himself is relatively fragile and hates displacement abilities.
His passive allows him to ignore Grimgut's Retchling walls, striding past them to then kill Grimgut himself. His follower's excel into champions with a 4/2 defence profile, such as Jaak, Nia, Styx and Shayle. The high dodge of him and his crew means he is quite resistant to Landslide and Jaak's abilities (and to a lesser extent Styx and Nia) whilst his high speed also means he is adept at crushing their banners. The Toothbearer's attacks are also good at removing Quartzling's and activating their passive multiple times off large followers such as Styx's dogs.
Skullbreaker's low armour makes him vulnerable to the accuracy of Luella, Lorsann and Halftusk. Halftusk is tanky enough to resist Skullbreaker and the Toothbearer's attacks, plus the Frogs can frustrate Skullbreaker's lack of plot phase damage. Lorsann's crew can hurt Skullbreaker whilst staying out of his threat range, with Luella's range 2 attack helping her similarly. Luella is a particularly painful matchup for Skullbreaker: easily killing the Toothbearer's before she and her follower's target Skullbreaker himself. Like Rangosh, Skullbreaker hates to waste his attacks on Mourneblade and his Knightshades, plus Skullbreaker does not have the number of attacks to clear them effectively. Raith's Splashling's can displace Skullbreaker effectively, whilst Raith has easy access to the accuracy and protection boons that will enable him to fight Skullbreaker's crew (I had a real toss-up whether to note Raith or Lily here).
Sneaky Peet excels at crushing banners and killing high-dodge, low armour targets. But his reliance on his dodge to protect him makes him vulnerable into high accuracy opponents. You can learn more about Peet here.
Peet into Fenra is a really hard counter: his strong plot phase punishes her weak plot phase, her Shatterstorm struggles into the Stabbers, and he has the accuracy to reliably kill her. Like Fenra, Nia and Shayle do not have the speed to escape Peet, plus they do not have the accuracy to uproot him if he reaches their banner and the areas they are trying to defend. Jaak likewise does not have the accuracy to threaten Peet, nor can he stop the fast gobbo taking his banner. Peet loves these armour 1 or 2 defense profiles. Kailinn has at best one accuracy 6 attack to threaten Peet with, but is otherwise is an ideal target for the goblin and will struggle to score points of him or his followers.
Halftusk's excellent defense means that Peet is no true threat to the big troll. But with his accurate attacks, Halftusk is a real threat to Peet, providing he can catch him. Morrigan and Luella are likewise accurate, tough and fast enough to catch and hurt Peet. Luella is maybe his worst matchup, as she can hunt him and his follower's wherever they go. Although more vulnerable to return damage, Lorsann also has the accuracy and speed to hurt Peet. Maxen's own accuracy and Birdshot is a big threat to Peet, particularly if Maxen ultimates him before he can activate in the plot. Maxen giving allies accuracy also threatens Peet.