Esters is Besters!?!?!?!

As I would look up articles on the Brewers guild, the Internet had made it clear Tapper was superior to Esters. Curious I started comparing the two cards, Tapper presented a clear strategy; introduce face to dirt and repeat. I  started looking over Esters and saw a similar strategy to Tapper’s, but like her curves there was so much more. She is a Jill of all trades, she has knockdown, she has pushes, damage, range character plays, defensive tech, non resource support, and a condition clearing heroic. She is everything I could ever ask for in a woman…..er a captain. I’m not sure if all the hate stems from previous seasons but through these eyes all I see is true love, and I’m here to correct the Internet and stop it’s constant bashing of our Viking Captain.

Watch out Boy She’ll Chew you Up:

Esters has a pretty deceptive card, on first glance she can feel underwhelming, but put on your beer goggles because she’s about to look pretty good. She boasts the second highest hit point total among captains, she was numero uno until Grange showed up. Coupled with gluttonous mass she becomes a hard to remove roadblock on the pitch. At 4/5 influence she is right at the pack with influence generated but below average on influence allocated. Her TAC is also below average for captains at 5, but a playbook length of 4 makes her a competent beater. Her 4″/6″ move also puts her in the below average categroy, but with Empowered Voice: Speed she jumps towards the top of the pack. She is one of four captains that has a momentous result on each length of her playbook, making her very momentum to influence efficient. With access to Blast Earth and Fire Blast we start to see how adaptive her playstyle can be. With tooled up she can send up to six, (seven with the burning condition), damage from 16″ away. For those keeping track that’s the length of your deployment line to their deployment line. If damage isn’t your thing consider the control aspect of her abilities, each play can hinder movement of the enemy for a total of – 4″/4″ move, stranding your enemy from joining the scrum. Her heroic Soothing Voice makes her the most efficient condition removing model in the game, sorry Alchemists but she ain’t having none. Finally her legendary play It’s not over until…. may seem weak on paper, but if your childhood consisted of watching Dragon Ball Z you know how powerful it can be assigning all three to one model jumping straight up to Super Sayian 3 status. Don’t need quite that power level, you can spread the love around, there’s been plenty a time my opponent finds a 6-1 Friday in cover with the ball, or a 6-0 scum, or a 4-2 Mash/Stoker. Using Esters Legendary Play at the opportune time is not only a rewarding feeling but potentially a game ender for your opponent.

You’ve bit off more than you can chew:

Now if you’ve got to this point excited and ready to start your courtship with Esters, there’s some realities you have to accept. Ester’s is not a scrum starter, with TAC 5 and KD on three hits she has less than an average chance of KDing anyone by herself minus a charge on a 3-1 or 3-2 model. This is something Tapper excels at and will lead to buyers remorse if you try the same strategy with Ester. Oddly enough, she has a better chance of wrapping her playbook then Tapper does and with the potential of 5 attacks can dish out a whooping. So while she doesn’t want to start a fight she will end one, that means we need to field someone who can set up fights for her. Enter Harry the Hat, Honorary Brewer, with crazy  and his excellent playbook he’s exactly what she is looking for, sorry Mash. He also has Molotov to help isolate players, and to top it off with rising anger and inspiring hat he has landed a starting slot in my Ester’s lineup. Another reality is to not rely on gluttonous mass to keep her safe. While it can create headaches for players and force different activations from your opponent a savvy player will trigger it leaving her exposed and without tough hide her HP will drop quickly.Utilizing her AOE to zone players and limiting who can get into Ester’s will help keep Gluttonous mass up for that ever satisfying counter attack (Like this!). Finally, Esters flexibility can also be her downfall. She can play 0 to 5 influence and recognizing these circumstances takes practice and understanding your opponents models, versus allocating 6 influence to Tapper being correct 99% of the time.

Her Horns Bring all the Boys to the Yard:

I’m looking for adaptive players to fill an Ester’s roster. Luckily Brewers do not have a short supply of them. The core of her list builds itself with Friday, OSpigot, and Scum. These three are your Basic Brewer Building Blocks, or shortened to the 4 B’s of Brewing. From there Harry has filled in the fifth slot which was previously held by Mash. The last spot is my flex pick among Mash, Stoker, Stave, or Hooper. Stoker has been growing on me lately being a terror of the flanks. I like giving him three influence turn 1 for a sprint and flame jet, hopefully for 4 damage, setting up next turn to bully the 12-15 hp enemies. Mash has been dissappointing me as of late, but this is more accredited to me trying to force him as a scrum starter then a ball killer/ hard to engage piece. Seeing Farmers and Blacksmiths has me really excited for Stave and his barrels, as introducing Farmers to the dirt puts a smile on my face. Finally Hooper, he offers a lot of flexibility that I want for my Esters lineup especially when I am looking for 2″ beatdown. Tough skin is a great play that can affect friendly’s from helping to keep Harry safe, or simply put Friday into the 6-2 unkillable status.

Ride of the Valkeryies: 

If you made it this far go grab Esters off your shelf, dust her off, and give Tapper the boot….. not too far though since he’s still really good. Let me know below if you think this was all nonsense or how you like playing Esters, and stay tuned for next article where I discuss some of the tactics I like using plus corner case combos to add to your belt.. with shiny images!

 

-Mike

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