Guild Ball Masons Season 4 changes

Season 4 Masons

The Masons’ Guild? Rock solid. Safe as houses, if you’ll forgive the pun. No? Rough crowd tonight.
—Spigot, Brewer’s Guild

Good day coaches! My name is Chad Hufkins & I’m an “experienced” Guild Baller from New Brighton, MN (suburb north-east of St. Paul). It’s my honor to be able to offer this write-up of the Masons Guild. Nearing the end of Season 1 I got into this great game with none other than this very Guild & have played them the most out of the 4 Guilds I own. I have some good success with them, placing 2nd with them in my first Longshanks Tournament!
My goal with this article is to possibly enlighten or provide insight to anyone seeking to increase their understanding with the Masons. I’m very eager to share my thoughts & I hope that it may be of some use to those who wish to take the time to read it. With that, let’s get stuck in!

Overview

The Masons’ Guild has always team focused on versatility & adaptability. In previous Seasons they’ve done a good job at being able to do just that. However, with the advent of Season 3, most of the other Guilds have received very strong players that were just plain more powerful within their focused identity then the Masons were able to keep up with. It’s hard to out-play/out-maneuver your opponent when their players have a clear identity that they’re exceptional at.

The other problem was with the addition of the 2 new major Guilds, I’d argue they (albeit in different ways) excelled better at what the Masons did. At least for me, Season 3 was an all-time low for how high esteem I held them in Season 2. Thus how & why I acquired 3 other Guilds. But today I’m pleased to announce that the Season 1 Champions look to be on the rise again to reclaim their former dignity.

 

Honor

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Starting off with the Captains of course & no one better to kick things off with then the First Lady herself! Very little has changed for the 1st Captain, with only 2 changes to her card. The big one here is that Honor is better represented as a grand strategist by generating 4 INF now! This is obviously a huge boon in terms that now both Captains offer the same quantity of INF which was formerly one of the selling points to Hammer who used to generate more (though stole INF off of Friendly models so that’s debatable).

The other one is in the global change of never being able to gain more INF then you’re able to be Allocated. In the first 3 Seasons an Honor team was capable of having players to go over their INF cap via Topping Off. As this is no longer the case, I’d instead insist that an Honor squad is more versed in making sure her whole force is near capped for a turn rather than making 3 models loaded to the gills for INF. This then enables all players to contribute greatly to the Pitch & shows the true versatility of the Masons’ play style.

However, I’d like to offer a different perspective & that is of using the other option of her Legendary has become just as viable now which instead gives all friendly models within a 6” Pulse +1 ARM. In previous Seasons this was seen as quite worse than gaining up to 6 INF. With the influx of Damage increasing substantially as well as Playbooks becoming more efficient in general, this could be quite a viable option. Having an enemy player miss 1 more Playbook result could mean quite the difference now in Damage received as well as useful options available during either enemy Attacks, Counter-Attacks, and/or Parting Blows. If you think about it, the list is quite large on the scope of its uses.

All-in-all, new Honor is an exciting prospect as both uses of Topping Off are viable as generating an extra INF also helps reduced the burden of Allocating. She’s still ruthless as ever with Superior Strategy for a Goal-oriented play style as well as having the option for Take-outs just like before depending on Squaddie selection. Again, she’s the pinnacle example of how Masons can be played.

 

Hammer

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The Black Panther/Thor-wannabe himself had his whole care changed, but yet stayed strangely the same. With the global chance of no more 0 CST Character Plays (though his didn’t truly CST 0 as he had to steal INF from friendlies within 6”), everyone knew he was in for a dramatic change. Thankfully, Steamforged cleverly found a way to virtually not change the 2nd Captain.

His Playbook & Traits are exactly the same. For Character Plays, Ball Hog has just simply been integrated into his statline which besides gaining a Kick dice Hammer has been able to be Allocated 6 INF like back in his Season 2 debut. He still has a +2/+2 MOV buff with Impetus (the same as Iron from the Blacksmiths). Also, he retains Iron Fist which gives +1 DMG to Playbook Damage results but now is CST 1. Hammer Time basically lets Friendly Guild models gain either of his Character Plays for free when Activating within his 6” Aura.

So he still does Hammer things. But, I feel I need to point out that in all technicality there’s a “loss” of 1 Attack should the Captain decide to use both Character Plays during the same turn (Allocated 1 extra INF but then using 2 for both Plays). While this does lessen his threat/potential from him Kicking-Off, most models still have quite to fear from this rampaging Captain. Also, there’s a way to alleviate this problem which we’ll get to.

All Hammer’s former options are there with Knockback still & with his increased Kick stat it’s now better than ever. Also he greatly benefits from the Tap-In Kick changes since he naturally has an 8” Kick. Although he isn’t quite as adaptable as Honor, he’s ever the beatstick that can still play ball as well.

 

Marbles

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It may come as a surprise that everybody’s favorite Guild Ball playing ape only had one tiny wording change. But this comes with big potential implications. Stats, Playbook, & his Character Play are all the same as well as the Trait Go Ape! which still allows Marbles to gain Counter-Charge while within 4” of Brick.

No question that Counter-Charge is quite useful for timed tournament settings, but there are also quite a bit more ways for other Guilds to move into the bubbles without being Counter-Charged. But making use out of 2 models that don’t need INF is always nice. Goad can still be used to great effect as well seeing as there also have been a good number of models introduced in the game with lower DEF.

Loved Creature has a global change of not having the stipulation of not triggering during an Advance. This now means that should Marbles suffer Damage during a Parting Blow, the entire Masons squad will gain +1 TAC. Now there’s no reason not to launch the money full-throttle into enemy lines in order to move around their team taking Parting Blows & giving Honor her Assist bonus from Attacking the same model Engaged by Marbles.

Regardless of that change (which I do think is very significant), Marbles remains Marbles. Slinging poo at the enemy & copying Brick by Counter-Charging & Pushing people around. I think he’s still attached to Honor & Brick rather than Hammer. However with the changes to both Wrecker & Brick, then maybe a reversal of fates has happened in that Wrecker will turn to the Mascot of choice with Granite serving as the big enforcer. But more on that in a bit.

 

Wrecker

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True to his theme, the Masons now truly have Sonic the Hedgehog & he’s got a new set of Nikes ready to be broken in! Again, with few changes but no less substantial, it’s an exciting time now that Masons have another option for a Mascot since Wrecker got much improved.

He no longer has the Trait Rollerball which now has just been included into his MOV stat sitting at 8”/10”! Also, no more Character Play Ramming Speed which has just turned into the Trait Battering Ram (again like Iron from the Blacksmiths lets you push any model friend/foe 2” directly away).

Let’s pause here for a bit & examine this. I’d argue that each Captain has their own reasons for their now “respective” Mascot choice. This is the 1st step in synergies with Season 4 Masons. Though I believe that Wrecker can be played into either Captain, I’ll still try Marbles with “new” Brick to see if those 2 can hold the middle of the Pitch at least closely how they used to. If they can’t, then Wrecker & Granite might be my new sub-ins.

But back to Wrecker. Being able to push Friendlies 2” up the field is fantastic as just by taking him you virtually increase the MOV stat all other models taken +2/+2. A free threat extension to any Masons (including letting Hammer not have to use Impetus so that he can keep the same number of Attacks as his old self) and/or clear up a scrum by Pushing enemy models around while still being able to Attack if he has INF is such a big quality of life upgrade.

The only losses were the 1 DMG with his KD on 2 Hits & the Trait That’s Not the Ball. Even though I’ll miss enemies being worse at Kicking around him, it’s hard to complain when he’s so much more useful even if he’s got 0 INF. Now Wrecker shouldn’t be overlooked as a Mascot as no longer is he overshadowed by Marbles.

 

Brick

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Here we come to the great lamentation of our age in Mason history. Get a tissue box ready & prepare for a moment of silence as we honor the resting of our fallen hero Brick…may he finally find peace during his rest on the bench.

(Pause in order to let vent the emotional cascade & fallout)

In all seriousness, Brick’s change is an important one but one I’ll see if my opinion can show isn’t as big as all the chicken-littles make it our to be.

Yes, Brick’s Melee Zone went down to 1”. However, that’s literally his only change. There’s a great majority of people who rank 2” Melee Zone as the greatest attribute in the game for a model to have. I’m not of that way of thinking & here’s a different perspective perhaps that may help someone get more use out of their 1” Melee Zone models.

I would say that using Counter-Charge works no differently as long as Brick isn’t suffering a MOV debuff & can make it into that 1” (spacing reasons might keep him from doing that). Nothing really changes at that point. The lack of 2” Melee Zone only really sucks as Brick can no longer provide reliable Crowd-Outs as well.

However, with a 1” Melee Zone enemy models have 1” less to maneuver around Brick without taking a Free Strike as well. With a 2” Melee Zone, enemy models are sometimes able to move around to their max range & use most or all of their MOV (thus not truly limited movement-wise by the 2” Melee Zone model), simply Attack & then either Push or Dodge away to safety. Thus it’s possible to use someone 2” Melee Zone against them.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m happy if a model has a 2” Melee Zone. But all I’m saying is that players may know how to not be as affected by it or use yours against you. That being said, I believe with a key Trait Granite now has, she will take over as the mid-Pitch Crowd-Out queen where Brick will still be the Counter-Charge bot like he always was in tandem with Marbles on a Honor-led squad.

Time will tell for me included (though I will give Brick his fair time to see how relevant he still is) if Granite now is just simply better in general anyway. At the end of the day, all I’m trying to get at is don’t simply put him forever away waiting for Season 5+ to use him against just from this one change. If all one does is use only their 2” Melee Zone models, then someone way be losing out on other good models that are 1”.

 

Granite

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In Season 3, there was so much wrong with Granite. She’s one of my favorite looking Masons & it was a shame to just plain feel hamstrung when trying to use her. But this isn’t that day anymore. Not quite to the level O-Chisel got changed, new Granite isn’t a completely different model, but instead is what she should have been all along.

Her Playbook is exactly the same & she kept 2 of her previous 4 Traits: Sturdy (preventing the 1st KD) & Between a Rock (letting Granite make a free Jog is a Friendly Model takes Damage from an Attack or Character Play within a 4” Aura). This Trait has gotten a little better now as Granite gained +1/+1 MOV as well, which combined with her new 2” Melee Zone means that she better protects allies around her.

Determination was removed & Granite now has base 3+ DEF, but to compensate had he HP reduced to 20. She suffered the same global nerf to the Character Play Gut & String which now only debuffs enemy MOV by -2/-2. But Broken Earth took the place of Tar Pit & is now a 4” Aura of Rough Ground.

The Trait I want to focus on is Close Ranks which is awesome as it sounds. As a true enforcer & protector, Granite causes enemy models to suffer an additional -1 Dice when being Crowded Out by her. This again along with her 2” Melee Zone as well as Between a Rock means that she might have taken over Brick’s former role of Midfield bouncer. She’ll likely cause quite a bit of headaches for opponents as they can’t casually get a Take-Out (I said casually all you Brewers, Butchers, & Blacksmiths coaches…I know your players are pissed!). But if they don’t do something about her then the math for their Attacks is totally bojangled if they still try to Attack their intended target while being Engaged with the new defender.

This is all on top of her lovely Playbook with Pushes, a KD, Damage, & a debuff to have a really well-rounded Squaddie with plenty of options for any sort of encounter to make her the bully Brick only wishes he was. I truly believe Granite is a new cornerstone for Season 4 Masons & I can’t wait to try her out!

 

O Chisel

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So, O Chisel has been completely redone like all other global changes to players that had the former Trait Crazy. She’s true to her purpose in the previous Seasons but without the need to Damage herself.

The changes to her stats are natural TAC of 6 & an extra dice to her Kicks at 3. The rest have stayed the same namely 2” Melee Zone & her 6”/8” MOV. That extra kick dice is a huge quality of life change as she can now be relied upon to move the Ball around (especially with Mallet’s Football Legend Trait). Also, with 6 TAC offers a consistency that wasn’t there as well as a fairly high TAC for the Masons.

O Chisel is still all about Damage with a Dodge on 1 Hit, a Tackle on 2 Hits, & a Push/Dodge on 3 Hits (all Momentously). On 4 Hits she now has a non-Momentous Guild Trophy that lets her use a new Character Play Concussion which Target enemy Model loses 1 INF. Another thing to point out about the Playbook is it’s “Brewers Style” with being only 5 long with a 6 TAC. For those of you that don’t play as or against the Brewers Guild often, this is also VERY strong as wraps come more than easily.

The other Character Play is Iron Fist which is exactly the same as Captain Hammer’s version. This means that O Chisel can do a large amount of consistent damage & has become one of the premier beaters within the Guild. But we’ll come back to this when Captains are talked about. To round out the front, she now has 14 HP which is 1 more than last Season.

The back is where we really get to see her interesting new identity. Her Trait Revelling lets O Chisel to Once-Per-Turn gain +2 ARM after she inflicts the Taken Out Condition on an enemy model. This chick wants to get Take Outs! But to get the full picture we must still move on! She now has a Heroic Play as well! Intensity: once during her Activation O Chisel can use a Character Play without spending INF!

Though she’s stayed the same in terms of wanting to do Damage, she now becomes a forward “tank” while becoming a 3+/3 DEF/ARM model up in the enemy’s grill. Hammer’s Legendary along with Tower’s Tooled Up means deleted models. Honor giving Superior Strategy (could be combined with Tower again) will give O Chisel another 6’/8” of MOV int he 1st Activation followed by another one for a truly terrifying threat range.

Besides doing Damage, I want to again highlight the extra dice to O Chisel’s Kicks. While she’s up the Pitch holding her own hopefully, she’s an added Goal threat to boot. This in tandem again with Honor could give a threatening model that can also score. The real question I feel needs to be asked is what do you want O Chisel to do & taking Vet Chisel into consideration. Both do very different things especially in an Honor team so while both are good & useful, I feel this will be a defining Guild choice when going into virtually any match that the Masons choose Honor as Captain.

 

Vet Chisel

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Seeing how Vet Chisel didn’t exist until nearing the end of Season 3, nothing has changed on her card besides wording & restructuring. I’ll then just talk about her in general as there aren’t any changes to discuss. Between the 2 versions Vet Chisel has 1 less HP at 13, 1 less TAC at 5, access to more Dodges & a Tackle on 1 Hit, but otherwise less Damage, & 1 more ARM at 2. She’s more of a support version, letting others instead perform better as we’ll get to see.

Her only Character Play Squad Tactics is 1 CST & RNG 6” that gives a Target Friendly Guild Model Assist [Chisel] which is the same as Honor’s Trait for Marbles which gives +1 TAC & +1 DMG to Playbook Damage results as long as the Model is Engaging the same Model. So instead of doing all the Damage herself, this applied to almost anyone within the Masons Guild along with all their buffs & synergies can really help some truly scary Damage numbers for several models & not just the Captains. Touch Hide might not be enough to help save anyone either.

She has 2 spicy Traits that really open up some new ideas for the Masons. Adaptive Strategy lets Vet Chisel nominate another Friendly Model within 6” to be Allocated the amount of INF removed from any Model (including Vet Chisel herself) within 6”. Special mention here goes to Honor’s Character Play Superior Strategy as the model who got this put on them could suddenly receive another full stack of INF though they’ve already Activated once! The possibilities for this are as endless as the creativity of the coach.

Take One for the Team is a 6” Aura that Vet Chisel copied from Millstone of the Farmers Guild. Once-Per-Turn when another Friendly Guild Model suffers a Condition other than the Taken Out Condition, Vet Chisel can instead suffer it instead as long as she isn’t already suffering it. This helps guarantee models won’t get KD from a Counter-Attack or Parting Blow, won’t have their speed reduced by Fire or Snared, etc. Again, the uses as open as it’s needed for any situation.

The Masons now have a true support Squaddie that they didn’t truly have in previous Seasons. Sure both Mallet & Tower have some supporting/utility to them but this is a whole new level with Vet Chisel. Both of these models will make my 12 as I believe will be the case for most Mason coaches. Learning the “Why?” to take either of them in a particular match-up will determine the Masons game plan quite a bit.

 

Flint

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This one’s pretty easy as Flint didn’t change which is quite a good thing. My worry going into Season 4 was wondering what would happen to one of Guild Ball’s greatest strikers. In Season 3, I would’ve said Flint was THE best striker in the game. That was before I started playing the Engineers Guild & found out O Velocity was also quite nuts…but maybe just a tad under Flint due to all the tricks the Masons could pull & leverage. I will say however, in Season 4 has got more stiff competition across all other Guilds as most of them boast very potent strikers in their own right.

Since Flint stayed the same, I’d actually like to talk about the Kicking abilities within the Guild as a whole. With O Chisel gaining a Kick dice as well as Hammer, everyone in the Guild has at least 3 dice to their Kicks (including Mallet due to his Football Legend Trait) except the Mascots. Honor having 4 dice base along with O Harmony when she uses her Family Trait as well as again including Mallet’s Football Legend Trait, the Masons know how to play ball.

Where I’m going with this is that should Flint get Taken Out after hopefully getting a 1st Turn Goal, most of the other Models available can follow-up with shots on Goal as well. How since Flint is so good at scoring Goals I rarely don’t take him in Tournament games. But there’s an interesting idea of maybe leaving him out if a coach is going for a 2-2 mindset as plenty of models can score. Sometimes one might need more fighting potential to get the 2nd Take Out. I’ve tried several games without Flint & it seems like every time I wish I had him.

But should a Mason coach find a way to play without this amazing striker, their fighting game could look very secure as well. The Guild as a whole was known for hard decisions in previous Seasons & it looks like it’s stayed that way as Flint is such a hard Model to pass up, as those 6 slots fill up quickly. More likely, Flint will hit the field with only 1 other model to find a way to get to the Goal to get 2 very comfortably while focussing on how to get the 2 Take Outs.

An Honor-led team with O Harmony can be very effective at not only getting 2 goals but having a real shot at threatening 3 with Flint. Not to mention one of the Chisels (likely Vet Chisel) & maybe Mallet, Granite, Brick, or Tower can enforce the mid while helping threaten Take Outs. Flint is what makes the Masons such a versatile team as almost entirely he himself makes the 2-2 objective viable.

 

O Harmony

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Being the 3rd & last Mason to be literally not changed from Season 3, there’s another reason to hear rejoicing coming from Masons coaches. With how strong both O Harmony & Honor are from both of their Traits Family & Linked [Harmony] from the 2 ladies respectively, the 2 sisters show both a very strong scoring identity & the option for Take Outs readily on the Pitch.

It never ceases to amaze me when I hear of people wondering if O Harmony is worth dropping or how Honor isn’t strong outside of Superior Strategy. Albeit the cases of hearing that have been rare, I myself find all the abilities between just these 2 Models bring to the Pitch the foundation of how I came to love the Masons & how they became my 1st Guild almost 3 years ago. Of all the things I miss when playing a different Guild, the combination of this pair can enable the craziest things to happen.

You have to remember that O Harmony’s stats are elusive. As long as she starts her Activation within 8” of Honor, she gains her TAC & KICK stat. So, when reading O Harmony’s card, if you’re doing a good job you should remember it’s basically TAC 6 & a 4/6” Kick. The other part is the uninterrupted Activation with Linked. Plenty of games have been won with O Harmony receiving a Kick from Honor or picking up a Ball Kicked-to-Space only to be Linked into O Harmony’s immediate Activation to score the winning Goal. In a tournament game, I’ve had O Harmony get a hat-trick (3 Goals) by me continually using this strategy.

Her being a DEF 5 Model truly helps her & this is where I’ll make my claim that Brick isn’t a benched Model with regards to the Honor/O Harmony duo. Whenever possible I’m sticking O Harmony near Cover as well as within 4” of Brick to make her ear unassailable since she gains 1 ARM while near him due to the Trait Protected [Brick]. Most of the time it’s not even worth it for the opponent to make Attacks against her as they may not land even 1 hit. In this strange way O Harmony as a pseudo “tank” for the Guild and/or a place to hold the Ball even though she lacks defensive tech like Close Control or the like.

Anyway, as for me, O Harmony is still the Goal-scoring/Take Out assisting little sister that Honor wants her to be. For those Masons coaches that don’t use her, I tip my hat as they’ve got more courage than I as I’ve never not used with Honor. A cornerstone of the Masons Guild to score goals along with Flint.

 

Vet Harmony

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Vet Harmony is another Model that’s almost completely changed. She was another confused Squaddie within the Guild. Although I only tried her 2 or 3 times in all of her previous Seasons, she just never gave me anywhere near the sense of purpose besides being a Marked Target bot. Her standing around after her Activation to give Friendlies +1 DEF against Character Plays & hoping it would matter wasn’t quite what I was looking for (Hint: it NEVER stopped a Character Play from hitting).

Her statline is the same as Season 3 & she still has Marked Target which is her only Character Play now. It was globally buffed to 10” & now isn’t Once-per-Turn. She gained 2 HP up to 12 which is a nice quality of life upgrade. Her Playbook got more simple where there’s no Momentous 2 DMG on 3 hits anymore as now on 2 Hits that 2 DMG is now Momentous. This is also another nice quality of life upgrade since she’s another Mason with 2 Momentous DMG on 2 Hits. She however did lose her 2 DMG &  Guild Ball Icon on 5 Hits which is quite alright.

She kept 2 of her 3 former Traits which are Animosity [Honor] (she can’t be affected by Linked [Harmony]) & Team Player (when a Friendly Model within 4” suffers Damage, Vet Harmony can instead take that Damage & remember Tough-Hide lowers the Damage). The other Trait she now has is Field Medic which is also what Vet Brisket from the Butchers Guild also gained. During Vet Harmony’s Activation, when she Damages an enemy Model, she can remove all Conditions from a chosen Friendly Model within 4”. With Damage starting on 1 Hit on her Playbook, the Masons have a reliable way to remove Conditions as long as Vet Harmony is willing to join the scrum.

All in all, she’s turned into a skirmisher that now helps the team save Momentum with free Condition removal as well as adding another 2 Momentous DMG on 2 hits to the Guild. I feel that previously she didn’t make my 10 last Season but with roster sizes increasing to 12, I think she’s gonna be a good tech piece when the opponent brings lots of ways to apply Conditions. The real place of question is whether or not Vet Harmony will take role completely from Lucky.

 

Mallet

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Another Model with only 1 small wording change that brings a very nice & needed quality of life upgrade to Mr. Mallet. Everything stayed exactly the same except for his Trait Forceful Blow which now doesn’t need to do Damage in order to additionally Push the Target 2” Directly Away as well as 2 DMG (not affected by DMG bonuses or Tough Hide).

The number of times I’ve charged with Mallet & got exactly 3 Hits now looking back seems astounding. My opponent would look at me asking, “KD right?” only to have me sit there for several seconds wondering if that was really the result I wanted. Same thing if people use Defensive Stance or a bad roll happens with only 1 Hit, my opponent would ask, “Singled Out right?”

At the end of the day, those results were usually responded with a yes but it always seemed sub-optimal. Now that Forceful Blow triggers off of any Playbook result during a Charge, all is good & well I feel. The freedom & versatility of his Playbook now along with the changes to Forceful Blow really help Mallet out in a Guild full of buffed Models.

Which brings me to my counter-point regarding Mallet. Nearing the time Vet Chisel was announced, I was noticing myself questioning the spot for Mallet. Since I was much more comfortable with Honor rather than Hammer, I was trying to find out who to drop in order to throw Tower into my Honor squad for Tooled Up. Like I said before I tried dropping Flint but found new problems with dropping the great striker.

Forceful Blow really irked me that I was getting less out of Mallet sometimes & Vet Chisel was another model that I could do crazy things with Superior Strategy so I took Mallet out of the 6. I tried this with moderate success & then finally at an out of town tournament where it came to light without Mallet there’s again a new set of problems with that also. To say the least, it was an ongoing investigation.

I won’t lie that I’m quite saddened that Mallet didn’t natively go to a 3 Dice Kick as that would’ve cemented him again in my mind. I feel that in a Hammer lineup Mallet will fare quite well to make that team almost as good at Kicking as an Honor squad. Also, virtually every Model that Hammer wants to take would love Singled Out. Mallet may have lost his reigning position in the former Kick-Off 6 with Honor as Vet Chisel really likes being there & likely just plain takes over but time will tell.

 

Tower

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Another one of my favorite looking Masons, I’ve already been a fan of Tower. The fact that he was the Sqauddie that gained Tooled Up when Marbles lost it in Season 2 made me quite happy as then it felt like he finally had a role, albeit a Tooled up bot. With Season 4 he’s gotten a few changes which unfortunately are all nerfs with 1 tiny “buff” much to my annoyance. The “buff” is on 5 Hits his non-Momentous 3 DMG has now gained a single Push with it…yay.

Otherwise, Tower lost a whole lot on his card & thus a lot of his uniqueness & flavor. Gone is Defend the Ground which used to let Friendly Guild Models use Defensive Stance without using Momentum. This I’m quite peeved at. I understand Steamforged wants to clean up the board or help new players not get confused or whatnot, but the fact it wasn’t changed to a passive Aura or something seems like either laziness & confusion. I think it’s a missed opportunity & now only furthers Tower’s role as a Tolled Up bot…

But moving on lest I get stuck on how much that really pisses me off & saddens me, everything on the back of his card stayed the same. The only issue I have with that is how hard it is for Tower to trigger his Trait Floored, which gives him +2 TAC against Knocked Down Targets. Especially with him losing a Character Play, the fact that his KD didn’t drop to 2 Hits on his Playbook again just plain confuses me. Here’s a model that only supports the Guild by getting 1 INF & using Tooled Up but can’t even support himself to get the KD anywhere near reliably. Is the Target in Cover, is Tower suffering any Crowd-Outs, is their DEF 4 or higher, did he whiff a Charge roll, has the Target declared a Defensive Stance from his Charge? Any combination of these kills his chances of KD & thus we’re now in the same argument I was having with Mallet earlier in the year.

With Honor having Assist [Marbles] & able to trade it for Assist [Chisel] from Vet Chisel should the monkey not be around as well as any model open to her assistance, O Chisel don’t loads of damage herself as well as Hammer, I’m wondering if Tower will instead be the one seeing the bench or at the very least not being in a 6 all the time as there might be less of a need for Tooled Up. Of all the choices available, I’ll still try Tower in a Hammer-led team since plenty of Models there have KD for his to use as well as the main method of winning is Take Outs, it’s just a shame that Tower feels like a Mascot.

 

Lucky

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Lucky is going to be the last Player I’m covering as since eventually all Guilds won’t have access to Union Players, I’m not going to go over them as I myself don’t use Union models anyway so thus I don’t have enough experience to even comment on. For clarification Lucky is the dual-Guild Model available to both the Masons & the Brewers Guilds.

Truth be told, I’ve used Lucky the least of all the Masons, maybe 1-2 times is all. I’ve never really been impressed with him & truthfully felt he deserved more of a role on the Brewers Guild rather than the Masons. However, with how many Conditions there are now & the prevalence of Guilds & Models that can apply them, the Masons may have a place for him with the only other Model that clears Conditions being Vet Harmony.

The only statline change in Season 4 is that Lucky can be Allocated 4 INF. This comes as no surprise as his Season 3 Trait Stack the Deck said “Gain” & that’s been globally changed since no one can Gain INF anymore. His Playbook & HP are the same from last Season. Sleight of Hand is now a Character Play that is 1 CST which removes all Conditions to a Friendly Model within 4” & is Once-per-Turn.

Raise the Stakes is now a Trait that allows Lucky to make a 4” Dodge during his Activation. After this is resolved, an enemy Model also gets to make a 4” Dodge. The only difference with Stack the Deck is Lucky is Allocated 1 INF instead of Gain at the start of his Activation if the opposing team has the Initiative.

I will say that it’s nice to have both a Momentous Tackle & Momentous 2 DMG both on 2 Hits. A Momentous KD on 3 Hits also isn’t something to complain about. That Push-Dodge on 3 Hits is also a spicy option not normally seen in Masons, as only the Chisels & Honor have those options. In fact, Lucky’s Playbook is very similar to O Chisel with Momentous results being in different places as well as each having other specialty options available on 1 or 4 Hits between them.

He has a bit of everything & I’m sure he isn’t a bad pick as being a Mason he’s got their versatility. But for me, letting the enemy make a 4” Dodge for free just makes me feel uneasy. I get that if he got into a position for a winning Goal then it doesn’t matter or if one can leverage the Dodge better than the opponent then it works, but most of the time a 4” Dodge could really help my opponent & I’m still pushed away by this.

I know that there are a good amount of coaches getting good use out of him & I’m likely missing out. With the now 12 man rosters, there’s likely room for him. This again is where the question with Brick & Marbles comes to the forefront in my mind. There’s a good chance that they might be dropped in order to make room for Models like Lucky where they could be hugely useful in the right situations.

 

Conclusion

 

So there we have it. At the end of the day I feel the Masons as a whole have definitely gotten a whole lot of love. I’m pleasantly shocked that Honor generates an extra INF as she was already my favored Captain. However, since Hammer doesn’t steal INF from Squaddies anymore & thus made their Activations weaker, I like his change a lot & am eager to play more of him. I quite like the changes to most Models, especially O Chisel as I was wondering what they were going to do with her to compete with her Veteran version. Also, new Granite is what I’ve been waiting for with that player to say the least.

Of course the Brick nerf sucks for him but clearly something needed to give there & of all the things to happen I’m fine with that change though it does really give pause when comparing to Granite for example. Him & Marbles will be a main area of conversation for time to come between Masons coaches, with plenty putting them on the bench as Wrecker is such a viable Mascot as well.

The only real player to suffer the nerf wrath is Tower & as I don’t even want to get irritated again I won’t go too far discussing him. I myself will try games without him in order to see if not needing his Activation can make plans happen faster on the Pitch. But again some durable teams may prove that Tooled Up is required, we will see.

However, with all the cool buffs to multiple players, I’ll stifle my grumblings & be happy that my 1st Guild looks more powerful than ever without losing the versatility or adaptability it was known for. The “Kick-Off 6” that was the core of the Masons’ lineup has been deeply shook-up & isn’t the only way to play the Guild now that’s for sure. Get ready for both Chisels, Granite, & even Wrecker! Should I find myself on the other side of the Pitch against the Masons, I myself will be sure to be wary & not underestimate them. I recommend you do the same coaches.

 

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