Morticians Season 3

A new year brings a new era of Guild Ball. Season 3 is still in its infancy and starting line ups are still being discovered but some people have already hammered the nail on the coffin for Morticians. Without a doubt, the team has been nerfed, and not without cause (In 2016 they placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the US Nationals and then they placed 1st and 2nd at the Guild Ball World Championship), but rather than write off an entire Guild I will present you with the changes, share a summary of silver-linings and lastly provide an expert opinion on the S3 Morticians Guild by Alex Botts from Strictly the Worst Guild Ball podcast.

 

MORTICIANS CAPTAINS

coaches

Obulus changes

I won’t beat around the bush: He got nerfed. His TAC used to be 6 but now it is 5 and his health used to be 16 but now its only 14. Also, the top end of his INF was reduced from 5/8 to 5/7. Those were the obvious downgrades. A positive change for this Rasputin-wannabe was the cost reduction to misdirection, it is no longer 4 INF but now just 2 INF. Misdirection was also clarified so that it can only target models with at least one influence now. A slight tweak also occurred with Puppet Master, it lost the line that read “this model gains 1 influence”. I think the best news for Obulus is that he did get to keep his soul-crushing Legendary play, Rigor Mortis.

 

Scalpel changes

Mostly unchanged, but Tormented Agony was reworded, similar to Misdirection, so that it can only target models with at least one Influence.

 

Real old guild, the Mortician’s. Been around in pretty much most parts longer than anyone else. Guess if there’s one certainty in this life, its death, eh? Not that you’re going to catch one of them with my body when my time is up, young blood. Nope, plain and simple burial at sea for old Greyscales, just like the gods always wanted. This business of interfering with the dead and not letting the elements take them how they choose is all wrong, if you ask me. The Lords of the Deep washed me ashore and can take me back again when I’m done.

– Greyscales, Fisherman’s Guild Vice Captain

MORTICIANS MIDFIELDERS

creepers

Ghast changes

The man behind the mask is still the same creeper, nothing new. Technically, his playbook changed slightly, on 3 hits there is no longer the option of doing 2 damage or 2 damage with a knockdown. Now 3 hits gives you only one option, 2 hits and a knock down. Normally, taking away an option would be considered a nerf but this isn’t a nerf because there was no reason to ever choose to do only 2 damage when you could choose 2 damage and a knockdown.

Silence changes

Silence, a staple in S2 Mortician lineups had big a makeover. His SPD stat was increased from 5/6 to 5/7. His INF stat was reduced from 3/4 to 2/4. Creation Dirge was changed from a character play to a Heroic Play so it costs one momemtum. Also, gone is the stipulation that stated that models returned by this ability don’t generate VP. If you use Creation Dirge and they kill Dirge again, they will gain another VP (although now with the mascot change they only gain 1 VP each time they kill Dirge). Embalming Fluid has been replaced with Fire Blast. Previously, Embalming Fluid would only cause one damage and the burning condition, but had the added effect of causing poison if a model entered or ended its activation in the AOE. Now it can cause 2 damage but models only suffer the burning condition. Lastly, his HP was reduced from 15 to 12.

 

MORTICIANS GRAVES & VET. GRAVES

graves

Graves changes

This guy didn’t see much love in S2 and I think the folks at Steamforged noticed. His INF stat was increased from 1/4 to 2/4. Also, his playbook improved, on four hits you have the option to do a double push or 3 non momentous damage whereas before the only option was 3 non momentous damage. On five hits now you only get a single Guild Ball action whereas before it was a momentous Guild Ball action. On six hits Graves now gets two momentous damage and a double push whereas before he had two momentous Guild Ball actions.  Since he no longer has two momentous Guild Ball actions as a playbook result that means his Character Plays have also changed. Rabid Animal is removed and now he has Tooled Up.

Veteren Graves changes

Creation Vileswarm has become the Heroic Play option so it now no longer costs [2] MP. And similar to Creation Dirge, when Vet Graves revives Vileswarm, the little rats can still grant the enemy more VPs if they remove the mascot from play again.

 

Everyone hates playing them. There, I said it. Not one team out there that can’t find something to not like about ‘em. Whether it’s the blasted birds pecking at you, the creepy bitch with the eyes, or that big freak o’ theirs. Plenty not to like. That’s just the current team; I’ve been playing a long time and they haven’t never been any different. Players come and go, but whoever they are they’re always there to trip you up, to second guess you, block your plays and then gang up on you. Most of the time you play them, it’s not about you doing what you want to do out there, it’s about forcing them to let you do it. Sounds easy? It’s not.

– Greyscales, Fisherman’s Guild Vice Captain

MORTICIANS MASCOTS

 

mascots-2

Dirge changes

Mascots changed a lot, and you can find those changes in one of our previous articles about Season 3 Guild Ball changes. In addition to all that though, Dark Doubts changed too. Before, it inflicted a [-4] MP penalty on the team that took him out as a result from an attack or character play, now the opposing team just suffers [-2] MP.

Vile Swarm changes

No changes.

 

MORTICIANS STRIKER & WINGER 

 

strikers

Bonesaw changes

It’s as if all the Morticians grew slightly older and more frail because like his teammates, Bonesaw’s health also reduced and he went from 13 HP to 12 HP. His playbook changed too, Football Dervish used to be a character play that cost one Guild Ball action and would inflict 2 damage on an enemy model and then allow Bonesaw to make a KICK without spending Influence. Now it is a character trait that grants friendly models who receive a pass from Bonesaw the ability to immediately make a discounted pass back to Bonesaw, instead of making a teamwork action, for the low cost of [1] MP.  Offensive Defensive was also changed, before it granted Bonesaw [+1] DEF when targeted by attacks so long as he had already activated. Now, the ability only grants Bonesaw [+1] DEF if he scores a goal.

Cosset changes

Damage Support [Dirge] was replaced with Assist [Dirge]. Before, Damage Support would give Cosset [+1] DMG to character plays that cause damage and playbook damage results so long as she was within 4″ of Dirge. Now she gets [+1] DMG and [+1] TAC against an enemy model engaged by the Dirge. Her playbook added an extra result on four hits, a momentous Push and Pull action. At five hits, she gets a non-momentous four damage and a momentous double Guild Ball result action whereas before she had to get 6 hits to get 4 nonmomtous damage. So in summary, her playbook received more options and became easier to wrap because now there are only five hit results on her playbook. Lastly, Lure has been clarified now so that it states the target model becomes a friendly model during its movement.

 

MORTICIANS TANK 

 

Casket changes

Ghostly Visage is no longer once per turn. Also, Casket Time was reworded because it used to talk about Icy Sponges and Icy Sponges are no longer a thing.


SILVER LININGS

Like I stated in the introduction, Morticians got nerfed, but let’s take a step back and focus on some positives:

Bonesaw’s Football Dervish is easily exploited.

Being able to reposition 8″ for 1 MP seems pretty powerful.

Graves is now a better damage dealer (thanks to a better playbook) and a much better team contributor. The change in INF from 1/4 to 2/4 is pretty huge. Also, having access to Tooled Up now means that he has the option to help turn on other players damage potential and maybe even bring Obulus back up to the killing machine he was in S2.

Cosset is playable! When Morticians had the ability to add four Union players you never saw Cosset hit the table. Now, you have to dig deeper in the Mortician team to fill out your roster and because of her significantly better playbook, you won’t feel like she’s dead-weight anymore.

More diversity among captain choices. Obulus is still good and should still see play, but now it becomes an actual discussion on whether or not you should bring him or Scalpel. People love options but only when those options both offer benefits. No longer is Scalpel strictly the worst option.

Speaking of Strictly the Worst…

 

EXPERT OPINION ON S3 MORTICIANS

In order to find out if things were as bad as the internet suggested I reached out to Alex Botts, a very competitive Guild Ball Coach who used to write articles about Morticians on MWWG.

 

Sorry for the delay. In short, I don’t think Morticians can rely on the same old gameplan, not only because of the Obulus nerfs but also because of the new Union restriction. I think Morticians in general now need to play a slow, mixed-threat game going for roughly 2 goals and 2 take-outs.
 
If there’s anything like a “hidden gem” I can offer to Morts players, it’s that the Morticians make great use of Avarisse and Greede, and while I initially thought Minx was the clear Union option winner for them it’s now my opinion that I wouldn’t play Morts without A&G. Morticians have inefficient playbooks and so benefit greatly from Singled Out, and A&G make for a better striker together than any in-faction options besides the two captains.
 
The health nerfs are rough but I think manageable; the biggest difference is the guild’s overwhelming influence advantage (and efficiency if we count Rage) has been effectively removed. It’s important to play in such a way that each Influence makes a big impact, so I like a roster like Obulus/Dirge/A&G/Cosset/Graves/[big guy] (either Ghast or Casket depending on matchup). Cosset is still super easily to kill, but benefits from a way higher upside now. Graves is just a no-frills performer who does solid damage and generates momentum better than he used to. Obulus needs a lot more set-up to do work now but he can still do a huge stack of damage if hitting something that’s Singled Out, and he still has a very strong (though now expensive) goal threat. A&G and your token Big Guy are your centerpieces, they direct where the team is focusing and hopefully lead the charge. Casket is probably my favorite of the two options, but sometimes you need 2″ melee from Ghast.
 
Hope that helps! 
-Alex
For more Guild Ball opinions and discussions, check out our other S3 team overviews and for more competitive-centered Guild Ball podcasts, check out Strictly the Worst’s FB page.

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