Welcome back to the beginning of my 12 months 12 masters Challenge.
I got my first game of the challenge in the other night against my bud and co-host Adam of Cheatedfates Radio on a vassal game. Adam is learning dreamer and we both felt it be a great chance to start my challenge as I haven’t gotten a game with Ironsides in over a year. And this was Adam’s first game using Shooty style dreamer.
In This Post I’m going to go over the list I brought to the game my selections and give some incite into the why the list was designed as it was.
Ironsides- Toni is a master that is unique, when you start reading her card you notice she introduces a new condition to the game called adrenaline+1. What is adrenaline well on the surface its a reverse poison that heals a model with adrenaline by 1 at the end of a turn and then reduces by 1. Ironsides gets an adrenaline for every enemy model within 2″ and Los of her. Okay so far we have a master that as soon as you read her first ability you get a sense that this master wants to be upfront. Then you see Hard to Kill. Then you come to her defensive trigger Nice shot my turn. This ability on the surface is just odd, she is the only master in the game that wants to be hit and damaged, so that she can then retaliate. Now the restrictions on this are ML attacks only, So Ca, Sh, that happen to be close attacks no dice. And that is where the ability on the whole really falls short for, its corner case which will get to, it has uses but its not a defining aspect of what makes her usable. Finally we come to the true gold of Ironsides’ card Hand Picked Men. If see nothing else on Ironsides card look at handpicked men, this ability is the aspect that we are looking most to exploit in the list I am building for her. Essentially handpicked men is a 6″ aura that let’s friendly M&SU gain plus to attack and dmg flips if they are at less then their starting wd values. Doesn’t matter if your casting, shooting, Mling be in 6in aura of her be damaged, and you get plus to your attack and your dmg flips. Okay so that so before I leave the front of the card were going to look at 2 key stats on the front card- 14 wds yes she has as many wds as Lady J or a resser master. And DF5 again a stat that is begging for df trigger to go off but no suit built in. She is a master that wants to be in the action and get hit on the surface. Both of those things are well typically stuff that gets you killed. Well discuss this aspect of her more fully in a separate post.
The Back of the Card or as I call it Adrenaline Junkie.
We flip to the back of Toni’s card and we see something akin to the first time I read Mei Feng’s Card in 1.5 malifaux. Many moons ago Mei Feng was a chain attacking super villian, she still has remnants of that now Ironsides is a direct flash back to a slightly more complex system because the chain relies heavily on adrenaline. Brass Knuckles. The meat of her attacks will be Brass Knuckles attacks because they are 1 ap Ml7 attacks, the dmg spread is where we start to question our lives 2/3/4 dmg on a master. Okay I love Ml7 Ram and then I really dislike this dmg spread on a ml master for a couple of reasons. 1.) ML requires you to get up close and personal so ml masters need to be able to kill what their in ml with before the same happens back, 2/3/4 spread on average isn’t going to do that. If we put an average minion around 7 wds ironsides is going to struggle to drop it with this attack. Okay why does this attack exist as it does surely their is a reason. Their is and it comes in the form of the two triggers, Ram Crow- Which gives her +1 adrenaline after dmging. and Ram/Ram which says reduce your adrenaline by 2 which gives her a free 2 inch push and then a free (2 )action attack. Which Brings us to (2) Uppercut here we have an action that is master Level 4/5/7 Dmg spread gives out slow and a built in trigger to lower your adrenaline by 2 to take a (1) attack action for free whats’ the catch- Well its base ml4 that goes up 1ml for every adrenaline on her at the beginning of the action to maximum of +4 or Ml8 effective stat. So here we see that her intention for dmg output is to combo the attacks together to be an over 3 general ap master in output. The rub is how do you generate enough adrenaline to fuel this combo and how do you do that consistently? We then come to another action on her card and I think this action will be one that requires some serious table time to explore. 1 action You Looking at me- ca7 vs wp you target a model it is pushed its charge value toward you then if able it takes a ML attack against you with double negative on dmg and no triggers. Okay so this ability this ability Plays again into her DF trigger specifically. The intention being you take a little bit of dmg the problem is, double negative flips invite 2 potentials very readily. The red joker which we can work around thanks to an upgrade but more devastatingly the black joker. This is going to strike people as odd but Ironsides df trigger needs me to actually be damaged. get her free dmg flip and then gain adrenaline. So what do we actually have here? We have a spell that could maybe sorta fuel adrenaline and setup targets for the following turn. or the start of a chain. Or we have a way to have ironsides pull crew along for the ride. Its an ability I’m going to playing around with to see uses and how consistent a solution they can present.
So as we look it Ironsides is on her card a jumble of potential corner case abilities that come together to form her. She runs on adrenaline which is a condition that is very risky for herself to produce. She has to be activating surrounded by enemies to gain big chunks of it. She has to be hit, and hit back to gain more of it, She then uses it to fuel dmg output that frankly other masters in the same faction can do far easier. Base line her best most unique ability what I’m building around is the consistent and controllable Hand Picked men.
Ironsides — 6ss
+Frontline Leadership – 2ss
+Warding Runes – 1ss
+Iron Determination – 1ss
Mouse – 4ss
Arcane Emissary – 10ss
+Ironclad Conflux – 0ss
Gunsmith – 7ss
Gunsmith – 7ss
Oxfordian Mage – 6ss
+Blood Ward – 0ss
Soulstone Miner – 6ss
Soulstone Miner – 6ss
Okay the Upgrade package is again designed around keeping Ironsides up, and fueling her adrenaline through passive means in Frontline Leadership. Frontline leadership says when a friendly model in six takes dmg from an enemy attack i can chuck a card to gain an adrenaline. Basically because were going to have models near her getting bonuses anyway we might as well punish the opponent if he wants to attack them. Warding Runes basically counterspell on Masters is very strong, she is no exception. With Blood ward she becomes condition immune while within 10 of the oxfordian. Iron determination- basically we make the red joker an opponent flips against ironside a null card. They have to discard it and reflip. Making a 14 wd model that is also your master immune to the red joker is pretty dang solid for a 1ss. Also because her aura is what were valuing the most, we want to keep that aura up, which Iron determination allows us to trade adrenaline for healing.
This is running a bit long so I’ll hit the rest of the crew in a separate post.