Monday, March 21, 2016

Cornerstones (1) - Spigot

I was originally going to write this article as part of the Character Assassination about how to deal with the Brewer deathball, aka. the Spigot train aka. the noobstomp machine. But I realized I have great amounts of respect for Spigot, and while I want him to get taken out every game, I can't whine about him enough to make it a Character Assassination.

Instead I think I will start a companion series that focuses on non-captain players that I think truly characterize their guild's playstyle, those players that might not initially appear very impressive on the surface but in reality epitomize their guild's playstyle and are the foundation of their respective teams' game plan.

I've chosen to write the first article in this series based on a player I consider to be the most underrated player in the game at present, and perhaps one of the best non-captain players available to any team.

This player is Spigot of the Brewers Guild.


Spigot's background is that he is an aging mob football superstar, with a body and mind worn down by years of living a rockstar lifestyle - gambling, multiple random sexual encounters, excessive amounts of alcohol, non-descript drugs... you name it. As such, he has become volatile and unreliable as a player, but for some reason he manages to keep his place in the roster.

That reason is that his rules are in complete opposition to his fluff. Spigot is a fookin' legend the likes of which Karl Tanner would be jealous (link NSFW). He is the most reliable player on the Brewers side, always pulls his weight and always has a sweet play up his sleeve.

Let's see why:

What a moustache. What a man.

His base stats are pretty average all around, nothing remarkable, except maybe his 16 health being a little high and his DEF little a low. Where he shines is in his character traits, plays and playbook. It's hard to talk about each one separately, since like the Brewer team, Spigot is designed around multiple small synergies.

Let's begin by looking at the playbook:

TAC 5, 4 columns. Just Brewer things.

Like most S1 Brewers, his playbook is one shorter than his base TAC, meaning with a few TAC boosts he has no problem entering wrap city and getting results out the wazoo. And with a momentous 3 damage on 4 hits and 2 damage on 2 hits, that means damage can stack up fast.

With a momentous tackle on 1 and "Ball's Gone!" on 2, he's also pretty awesome at getting the ball back. Momentous KD/Double Push on 3 rounds out his tactical potential. Overall, a solid playbook - good damage, excellent ball recovery, good enemy control.

Let's look at his character traits and see how things start coming together:

Football Legend means Spigot is really a 4/7" kick at all times, meaning he is pretty damn good at passing the ball. And so are most of the Brewers near him. This makes them all pretty good at passing the ball around to get some momentum if you receive, basically giving you the next turn. Seems alright.

Remember what I mentioned before about TAC buffs making Brewer playbook ridiculous? Spigot brings his own against KD models with Floored. Not that KD models are a rare sight in Brewer matches. Let's say Tapper or Stave KDs a 3+/1 enemy player in melee - if Spigot with 4 influence Tools himself Up and swings 3 times, that's around 18 damage and 3 momentum without any external help other than the KD. Seems alright - and he can do it without momentum. Who needs Hooper?

 Spigot's hidden third trait is found on Friday's card (Defensive Support [Spigot], namely that he grants her +1 DEF while within 4". This makes Friday 5+/1 against everyone, and potentially 6+/1 vs Parting Blows if she uses her Heroic Play. Seems alright.

So overall - hits pretty hard, buffs the team's ability to play ball, and makes their fastest player even more survivable. Seems alright.

Next we come to the plays:

As mentioned, he has Tooled Up, an innocent +1 DMG to character plays and playbook damage results. Even if he only gets 1 influence at the start of the turn to put this on someone else and use his heroic play (below), he is doing SERIOUS work. Tooled Up is especially brutal in Brewers thanks to the aforementioned short playbooks and the propensity to wrap.

His second character play, which he can access as the result of two successes in melee, allows him to pseudo-tackle the ball and give it to anyone within 4". This also gets around Close Control and other anti-Tackle tech since it's not a Tackle result. Very useful for Brewers given that you'll usually have a good number of targets to give the ball to other than himself.

Finally, we have Spigot's bread and butter, a 4" aura of +2/+2 MOV for 1 momentum. I think this play is what makes Spigot an auto-include in almost every scrappy Brewer list. It's an almost identical effect to Quick Foot, a 2 influence single target play - except it costs 1 momentum and affects the majority of you team. Spigot alone becomes a 7"/10" with this play! It gives Friday a goal scoring threat of 20" (even without Football Legend) This is an INCREDIBLY powerful heroic play that fixes the teams biggest weakness (lack of mobility).

Note that his play was incorrectly written as [6" Aura] on the last run of the Season 1 cards.

You can see that in blatant contradiction to his fluff entry, EVERY SINGLE ABILITY HE HAS IS ROCK SOLID RELIABLE. He makes his team hit harder, move faster, and gives them the ball control skills they otherwise lack.

He is useful at any stage of the game and with any amount of influence:

  • Give him none and just rely on his multiple auras to squeaky shine your team of drunks.
  • Give him 1 influence and he can go second to activate his heroic + put Tooled Up on your beater of choice that turn.
  • Give him 2-3 to get the ball back and kick it off to someone.
  • Give him 4 to beat the living crap out of someone early or late, even better if they are KD already.
 If Tapper nukes a guy quicker than you'd expect, old drunk Spigot is waiting to make great use of Old Jake's. Hooper has to land a pass to get a 4" dodge and charge someone? Football Legend.
Want Scum to score a BM goal from nowhere as the closing play of the game? Spigot's on the case. The list goes on.

Spigot. What a hero.

Dealing with Spigot

Systematically speaking, Spigot is so amazing that it almost forces Brewers to hang out near him - this gives rise to the Brewer deathball meta, which is especially brutal on newer players coming from a wargame perspective (ie. trying to piece trade). Brewers have a lot of short ranged buffs, and when they stack them all up, things get crazy. If you force the Brewers to split up, then the effectiveness of these buffs and auras is greatly reduced. Spigot is the linchpin.

If you are facing Brewers, kill Scum. If you can't kill Scum, kill Spigot. It's the only way to be sure. He is the glue that holds the deathball together. He is amongst the squishiest of Brewer players (despite about par for the game), so seems like a pretty high value target anyway.

All his buffs are RNG 4" - Tooled Up, Football Legend, Time's Called... if he has to spend influence to run into position rather than just doing everything he wants and affecting everybody, his stock goes down significantly. He also like to activate early when he's buffing people, which he needs momentum to do. If you can push him to activate a bit later since he needs momentum to heal himself, that's half the battle.

Finally, much like other aura support models (ie. Ox, Ballista, Tower, etc.), pushing him out of position after he has activated is very powerful - Jac, Stave and Bonesaw are especially potent with large push AoEs, but even more conservative pushers like Brick, Colossus or Midas can make a big difference in reducing Spigot's effectiveness.

TL;DR - Spigot. What a legend.

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