Tales from the Pitch

Guild Spotlight: Alchemists

Hello, Longshanks readers! I'm Rhiannon, and this week we're going to start off on a new biweekly article series: Guild Spotlights! Every two weeks, I'll introduce you to one of the factions of Guild Ball and give you a brief overview of its general playstyle. Each Spotlight article will give you a quick summary of a guild, tell you about its models, and set you up with a sample team and a few tips to try them out. On weeks where you don't get a Guild Spotlight, we'll look at each model a bit more in depth with a Scouting Report, where you'll get more information on the specific roles a model fills, along with tips for constructing a 12-man roster!

That's enough overview for now though, let's get to the good stuff: the Alchemists Guild!

The Alchemists Guild is a surprisingly flexible team whose true strength can be difficult to see at first glance. They rush over the field, fast as a dancing flame and as slippery as a toxic spill. Alchemist teams can find themselves in the enemy's face or staying back behind walls of fire and acid. They offer a much different approach to the game when compared to many other teams. Your first few games may seem like an uphill battle, but once you figure out the chemistry between their different models, you'll unlock a veritable gold mine of power!

Alchemists are probably the guild for you if:

  • You like to force difficult choices on your opponent.
  • You like to stay just out of your opponent's reach.
  • You like solving puzzles!

You should probably avoid Alchemists if:

  • You hate missing your character plays.
  • You like to roll fistfuls of dice.
  • You enjoy straightforward playstyles.

The thing that makes the Alchemists guild feel special is their ability to turn conditions into a resource. Just as their name suggests, they are a guild of transformation, and that often takes the effect of removing the burning or poison condition from another model for a bonus. These bonuses take the form of free character plays, extra dodges, and more! A big part of the puzzle that Alchemists represent is figuring out how to apply conditions that will stick around long enough for another model to use them, and which model is going to make use of those conditions.

Alchemist teams will typically lean towards one of two directions: either a fast slippery team that aims to score three goals as quickly as possible or a team that spends the game loading conditions onto their opponents, doing damage bit by bit, then finishing off four models and ending the game with a powerful goal. Each of their two captains leans towards one of these styles.

Midas is a cunning, slippery striker and support piece. His 4/8" kick and many movement options make him the perfect leader for a 3-goal team. He'll often bring along other models with strong scoring capabilities, like Vitriol or Crucible. These teams will use the most of their easily-accessible or playbook results to gain extra distance before dodging away and taking shots on the goal. Midas himself also lends extra movement to his team with Lure of Gold, allowing him to get even more range out of his strikers.

Smoke is as difficult to catch as her namesake and has a similar effect of slowly choking the life out of your opponents. Don't let her 4"/6" MOV stat fool you – she is one of the most mobile captains in the game thanks to her Smoke Jumper ability. She plays a game of spreading out conditions to the enemy models and then using those conditions to deal a ton of damage. It might not seem like too much, but it adds up very quickly. Models with ranged character plays like Mercury or Calculus compliment her playstyle, allowing you to force your opponent to choose between healing their damage or removing their conditions with Momentum.

Has the lure of the Alchemists Guild drawn you in? Great! For your first game, I would suggest taking the following list: Smoke, Flask, Mercury, Original Calculus, Venin, and original Katalyst. This team generally looks for a 4/1 game plan – you'll want to take out 4 models and then use Smoke to jump in and score a goal. Here are some tips for your first game:

  • If given the choice, you want to kick off with Smoke. Getting the last activation with her is crucial - it will allow you to spread around her conditions and earn momentum safely, then activate her again and pull her back to safety after dealing a ton of damage.
  • Katalyst and Venin are very important on the first turn, because they provide conditions for Calculus to use for her free character plays. Don't forget to put poison on Venin earlier in the turn for the extra armor, then take it off later with Calculus to avoid the damage at end of turn.
  • Venin is very vulnerable to good counterattacks – make sure to use Secretion before the attack if you are worried about it and remember that his heroic play is a strong way to deal damage!
  • You want to keep your distance from your opponent, so make use of the huge range on Mercury and Calculus' character plays!

You'll likely feel a bit disoriented after your first game playing Alchemists, but if you stick with them, they can be very rewarding! They are a puzzle to solve, and once you've figured out the equation, you'll be like Midas' hand – Solid Gold!

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The views and opinions expressed in Tales from the Pitch are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Longshanks.

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