So Many Damage Numbers: Butchers Season 4

To start off. I’m Ryan Bega, a GB player and pundit from Minnesota, and I’ve been playing the butchers religiously for a little over 2 years. Miraculously and probably undeservedly, I’m also the number 1 ranked butchers player and 14th overall ranked player in the world at the time of writing this.

Today I’m here to discuss the changes (buffs) to the butchers guild in Season 4. I’ll be starting off with both captains. Onto the fun!

Fillet! –

+ Natural dodge results
– Blood Dance
– Tackle moved to 3 and no longer momentous
– 2/T result on 4 is gone

First things first, lets get this out of the way. Across the guild, the infamous Butcher tackle result has been taken away. The butchers are no longer the team of momentous tackles on 1 or 2.

In regards to Fillet, this isn’t a huge deal however. Her tackle is still more than achievable under normal circumstances. I’m more sad to have lost the 2 damage tackle result from her fourth column, however this also isn’t a particularly large issue since that result was rarely necessary and not super reliable without help.

Onto the more specific changes. Fillet lost her trait blood dance, but she traded it for dodge results being added to every momentous damage result on her playbook. This is a pretty substantial boon to her counter attacks and some niche soccer playing situations. Overall this is an incredible trade since she lost nothing for some added flexibility.

Ox – 

+ 1/GB result on 2
+ 1 armor
+ 2 inch range on The Owner
– Tough Skin
– 2 hp

So, Ox in season 4 is terrifying. He’s harder to kill since he gained an armor, and supports his team better through both passive and active abilities.

Please, please, please, do not underestimate how huge of a buff +2 inches to the owner is. His team is able to threaten the vast majority of his opponents half of the pitch while Ox remains deep within his own half of the pitch. This buff is compounded by the buffs to his various 2 inch melee friends which I’ll discuss later.

In addition, Ox also brings a super potent activation of his own by having great personal damage and swinging for a new 2 damage they ain’t tough result on 2 hits. His playbook also lends itself well to setting enemy players up to be murdered by his squad.

Following the captains, I’ll be the changes to our favorite doggo and pig next.
Princess –

+ Vicious
+ Improved Playbook
– Blood

So, princess got much scarier. Princess has always been a model you sent to engage an enemy and hoped stayed engaged by sheer luck. Now princess punishes the enemy pretty well for taking parting blows in addition to loved creature if they decide to hit her.

The only thing princess lost was the play blood, which was rarely used in season 3 since more often than not princess was allocated no influence and used as either a ball retriever or set up piece for boiler.

Overall not a whole lot is functionally different, however the doggo is definitely a much more threatening model to take parting blows from, especially within those sweet larger Ox bubbles.

 


Truffles –

+ Improved Vindictive
– Hog Wild

Theres not much to say about Truffles.

Vindictive has been buffed to work on any model, instead of just Humans.

The only other change is that Truffles lost Hog Wild which was largely flavor text anyway.

In season 3, Truffles was my only mascot due to roster space issues. In season 4 I’ll likely have both mascots in my roster, so Truffles will be on the pitch any time Boiler is not.

 

 

 

 

 

With captains and mascots out of the way, we get to move onto the more interesting changes the Butchers guild received. The squadie models are where the majority of play style altering changes have been made, and season 4 is gonna be a wild ride because of it.

Boar –

+ Huge damage numbers
+ Easier 4 + concussion
– Nothing

Boar has always been a wrecking ball. Hopefully Boar will always be a wrecking ball.

All I know is that in Season 4, Boar is the wrecking ball we all deserve. His average damage output has stayed the same, however if hes swinging against a low defense enemy or spikes his dice that enemy will cease to exist.

Boar is also the first of several 2 inch melee squadies to receive strictly Season 4 buffs. This is truly Ox’s favorite timeline.

 

 

 

 

 

Boiler –

+ Easier KD
+ Bigger damage numbers
+ Marked Target Buff
+ Throwing Axes!?
– Swift Stance

Boiler’s new playbook is ridiculously strong. Not much more to say about an already good book getting larger numbers and an easier knockdown.

The Market Target buff is huge for the kid. Not only is it no longer once per turn, it also has an increased range while still being easy to trigger from his playbook.

Apparently Butchers are a ranged team now, cause we can throw our axes. 3 damage, and bleed from 6 inches away is absurd. Boiler backed by Tenderizer, and standing in the Ox bubble is a butchers stand off dream come true.

The final change to boiler is a pretty substantial nerf to the season 3 Fillet way of life. Boiler lost swift stance, which was a huge part of the game plan into a substantial portion of the field.

Ox is very happy about new Boiler. Fillet likes all the new stuff, but is pretty sad to be losing another buff on top of the loss of second wind from Decimate.


Brisket –

+ 1 tac and playbook column
+ Above and Beyond

OG Brisket has gained some pretty nice consistency with these changes. Hitting her second playbook column or third with some help should be much more doable which is a nice to have.

In addition, she’s stolen vet Brisket’s trait, Above and Beyond, which is very fitting seeing as original Brisket is the stronger striker of the pair.

Brisket still suffers from lack of threat range on the ball, but brings some nice flexibility between goal threat, damage, and ranged interaction to make up for it.

She also remains the best model to kill the ball against opponents like the fishermen, where a 4/1 + charmed male model is extremely difficult to hit.

 

 

 

vBrisket –

+ Improved playbook
+ Field Medic
– Above and Beyond

Brisket has gained a much needed Tackle on 1, as well as a super cute momentous Balls Gone on 2 which will result in some super rude counter attacks throughout the season.

She has also gained a new trait which allows the guild to have some free condition removal when she finds herself within a scrum. I don’t see this being super relevant, but it’ll be nice when it comes up. Hard to complain about added momentum efficiency.

vBrisket should play similarly to her season 3 counterpart. She’s a center field supporting character. Offering influence flexibility most butchers don’t have. For 2 influence a turn, she offers a reasonable momentum generator, a quick time bot, and a goal threat. I’m a big fan of hers, and I don’t expect that to change.


 

 

vGutter –

+ Sweeping Charge
+ Improved Playbook
– Resolute

Gutter effectively traded her defensive trait Resolute for more damage in the form of Sweeping Charge.

Her playbook has gained a double push and what is probably the best 2 inch melee tackle on the team.

All of this is backed by the same reasonably consistent 2 inch melee beater Ox loved in season 3. She is not my first pick 2 in the season 4 Ox lineup, however she’ll pretty consistently see the field because everything she does is good. She’s flexible, and puts out good damage under the Ox bubble.

I’m not convinced Fillet wants her in season 4, but Fillet is happy to take most of the other 2 inch melee options.

 

 

Meathook –

– Smell Blood
– Hooked Change
– Worse playbook

Meathook is the only player I would argue was nerfed in season 4. However she was pretty absurd in season 3 and will still be good in season 4.

Like the other butchers, Meathook has also lost her patented butcher tackle as well as her momentous 2 damage Tackle. While unfortunate this isn’t too big a deal overall since her tackle will still be achievable when hooked is taken into consideration.

Several of her traits were merged into one trait, Hooked, which now causes snared and bleeding when she hurts an enemy player. While snared is removable during a turn, I actually think this is a slight buff to Meathook through added flexibility as well as cross turn debuffing.

Finally Meathook no longer does the same outrageous damage Fillet does when punching a bleeding target. This is the largest nerf she received and it’s pretty unfortunate for Meathook’s already rather low damage output.

vOx

+ Buffed Rowdy
+ Buffed Lash Out
– Vindictive
– Never Say Die

Ox traded some defensive tech, Never Say Die, for a much improved version of Rowdy which he previously had to attack in order to get.

In addition Lash Out received a super interesting buff and now acts as effectively a free scything blow at the end of his activation. Meaning its relatively easy for him to turn on his ‘The Owner’ aura without spending any influence at the top of a turn.

Unfortunately he lost vindictive which makes his 2/3 influence stat more annoying than it already was.

I have a feeling Fillet will be much happier fielding him in Season 4 than she was in Season 3, however he has some fierce competition for roster slots. Especially since Fillet’s game plan is substantially weaker than it was previously.

Shank –

+ FIXED INFLUENCE STAT
– Butcher tackle

Depending how long you’ve been in the game, you may not have known that Shank used to be a 2/4 influence model in Season 1 and 2. At the start of season 3 they reduced his influence to a 2/3, which was a pretty crippling nerf to our favorite super flexible model. I’ve been asking for this change for 2 years now and its finally here.

Shank is easily Ox’s favorite of the newly buffed 2 inch melee models, and likely also Fillets choice when looking for a flexible fighter.

I would have been pretty upset if basically any other change had been made to Shank. He really didn’t need anything other than an improved influence cap.


 

 

 

Tenderizer – 

+ Better influence stat
+ More damage
+ 1 tac and playbook column

Just like Shank, Tenderizer’s influence stat was the primary issue with his card in both season 2 and 3. A 1/4 influence stat meant he was effectively stealing an influence from the team even though he did not actually need any influence allocated to him. Moving up to a 2/4 makes him an excellent battery and you should be expecting to see a lot of this guy in the future.

Beyond that, his playbook changed a bit, however he still has consistent double push and KD results so if his rush keeper ever goes off people are likely going to be pretty upset.

Just like with all the other 2 inch melee squadies, Ox is very happy about these changes.

 

 

In Conclusion –

More or less across the board the butchers have been buffed. Going forward I would expect to see a lot of stand off centric Ox lists across the table from me. Ox projects a huge zone of increased damage and is relatively hard to interact with when backed by Tenderizer. The butchers have gained a pretty stellar ranged game that forces some teams to come to them, and have gotten even more damage somehow which will allow them to easily chew through any model that decides its a good idea to approach them.

In particular, every single one of Ox’s 2 inch melee friends has received a buff of some kind. It finally feels like Ox has a team standing along side him, which he’s sorely missed since the end of season 2. I suspect that Ox will be a very common tournament appearance, and after 2 years on the bench he deserves it.

Unfortunately not everything looks so good. While Ox is on top of the world right now, Fillet is looking pretty rough. Moving into season 4 she is losing several key plays from her arsenal.

Boiler has lost swift stance which makes Fillet easier to interact with when she pushes hard into the enemy line. Additionally, Fillet will be even more vulnerable to counter attacks than she already was in season 3.

In addition a much needed nerf has hit second wind on the standard season 3 union choice, Decimate, which allowed fillet to pick well defended targets and then retreat back to safety after removing them from the pitch.

The loss of these plays makes her game plan look pretty rough in Season 4. However Cooks are on the horizon and will hopefully be bringing new toys for Fillet with them.

While I’m sad to see my favorite season 3 captain get overshadowed, the team as a whole looks like it will be very potent in season 4. I’m excited to get out there and play a bunch of games, and I hope you are as well.

Thanks for reading!

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