The Slayer Data
Updated: Sep 6, 2021
This graph is sweet and you should take a moment to soak it in. Props to @Taylorcowbell for coming with it and @meluckyperson for contributing usefully to its methodology.
This graph tells you how many times on average 4 particular attack profiles would have to be used against each champion before we’d expect to see that champion KO’d.
The attacks graphed here (accuracy/damage) are 8/4, 5/5, 6/6, and 4/8.
There are some ways that this data can help us.
Focus On the Low Points
Take a look at my guy Rhodri. Looks good, right? Well.. sorta. This graph definitely says that he’s virtually immune to 8/4 attacks. Sure. But I ask you - who is using 8/4 attacks on Rhodri? Certainly not Lorsann (the only champion who has one) because she has an auto wound and a Mysitic arrow instead. Why would someone like Keera use her 7/4 on the dwarf when she has what’s effectively a 4/8 instead?
About 4/8s, take a look at Rhodri’s survivability into those. It’s the same as Lorsann’s. It’s worse than Finvarr’s. It’s elf stuff.
I’m not trying to pick on Rhodri. Its just that he illustrates an important point quite clearly: champions are only as survivable as their weakest matchup. If your opponent doesn’t have a 4/8, then Rhodri will be very inefficient or even impossible to kill. If they do have one, he’s potentially slayable. That’s good! 4/8 attacks are rare! Rhodri loves facing high accuracy plinkers!
We can apply this idea to other champions besides our beleaguered dwarf friend, though. They don’t illustrate the point as sharply, but it still works. Just as Lorsann will be ignoring her 8/4 into Rhodri, she’ll be reaching for it all day against Peet. Just as Keera will be using her 7/4 on Shayle. And on it goes.
The high points on this graph are far less relevant than the low points.
The Efficiency Line
So this graph tells us how many expended attack actions it takes to KO a champion. Gotcha. How can we translate that number into useful information for making in game decisions? Well, let’s think about what Slaying is worth. This is not hard. It’s worth 4 or 5 steps, depending on your champion’s class. For simplicity’s sake, let’s ignore all class bonuses for a moment and say 4.
Ok, so it takes X attacks to get 4 steps. Whether making those attacks into a champion is an efficient choice or not depends on the steps you might get by directing those actions elsewhere. KOing 4 followers, for example, would also net 4 steps (still ignoring class bonuses).
We’re getting quite abstract now, and obviously board state matters a great deal. Still, you can sort of draw a line at 4. In an abstract, zoomed out kind of way, Slaying a champion with a particular attack is often going to be inefficient vs. opportunity cost if that attack has to be used more than 4 times to KO a champion because otherwise you could likely get more steps by targeting followers. This isn't perfect, sure. An attack might fail to KO a follower, for example. This also doesn't account for the repositioning and action inefficiency that Slaying imparts to your opponent, but it's at least a point of comparison. If you think the line should be elsewhere, well... set it higher in your mind. I'm going with 4.
Mourneblade is the exception who proves this rule. He’s only worth one step, so it’s only efficient to KO him if you can do it with one shot.
You with me? Ok, then look at the graph again.Look for what’s efficient (in the abstract at least).
So what did you find?
6/6 and 4/8 look pretty good, right? 5/5 is usually close to a break even proposition vs KOing followers, but it’s inefficient more often than not. 8/4 is rather corner case.
4/8 in particular seems to be boss. Maybe that’s why there are only three attacks in the game which can roll 8 damage dice and they all belong to Slayers. One is an ultimate.
The Most Boring Attack
In contrast to the thrill of 4/8, 5/5 is the most boring attack. It’s not bad, but it’s also not flashy. It’s fine. Dependable, but unsexy. It’s a used Honda Civic. It’s a cooking show. It’s the attack SFG often gives to Shaper and Guardian crews.
The Most Boring Attack is also the most interesting one on this graph. It swings between clearly inefficient for slaying and mildly efficient, but often hovers around Just Barely Inefficient. This means that 5/5ish attacks are going to be the ones where judgement calls will be vital.
I’m memorizing this list:
That’s the list of champions who are efficiently slain by the 5/5. Jeen gets left off it because the graph does not account for her Marital Discipline trait, which will make her effective resistance to repeated attacks much better.
That’s just one of the cool graphs @Taylorcowbell put on the Godtear Discord. Check out the others!
I’m not… like… great at math or whatever, so I appreciate it when other people make stuff like that.
There’s probably much more insight to be gleaned here. Get gleaning!