Guild Ball Guild Identities: First Impressions
What are Guild Identities?
Guild Identities are the new hotness for Guild Ball. Guild Identities are a addition that will allow greater strategy as well a less intrusive balancing lever for the development team. The idea is simple: you select a single ability from a pool specific to each guild. The pool will start out relatively small at 3 Identities per Guild. Once implemented as a full component of the game a player will select one Identity at the same time that they reveal their captains and mascots. Currently it sounds as though all available Identities will be options to select but I would't be surprised if a Guild is limited to 3 in their Roster Construction. It is worth noting that as of now rules regarding Guild Identities and versions of the cards are not necessarily final.
Without further adieu let's jump right into these and see what Guild Identities are all about!
Watch the World Burn is fire! No seriously it helps with fire. Adding +1 damage when a target takes condition damage (Burn, Poison, and Bleed) means that opposing teams now have a much more difficult time when it comes to using Take a Breather! and Come on, Mate! when this identity is in play. While we don't know what else is coming down the pipeline for the Alchemists we can probably assume this card will find a home with Smoke and her friends.
Heal Rate of 3 means your recovery rate will fall in line with the new standard of 3. While the heal rate doesn't seem to be a big deal to a lot of models on the team Veteran Katalyst is not a huge fan of the change. He might also struggle to find a home in a team with Watch the World Burn due to opponents being more inclined to clear conditions off of their models and thus denying him that sweet, sweet bonus damage from Intensify and Chemical Frenzy.
All in all the card presents some great strengths with relatively few negatives. I'll give it 4 melting bodies out of 5.
At heal rate 4 this card is going to start out slightly more powerful than others on the list. Once per turn a single model going up +1 ARM for an activation is going to save some bacon. An already tough team to kill becomes tougher by forcing opponents to plan out their turn more carefully. Rushing a loaded captain up and knocking a model down then hoping to smash a Blacksmith into the ground gets gimped.
A card like this being in play means that cunning coaches will need to use other models to set up the blacksmiths if they hope to take out a high health target. The ability itself is not as powerful as the threat it projects. Look for Anvil and Iron to make the most of this. A captain Anvil Legendary turn will be an exercise in futility for several models.
Not the strongest ability but the health staying ahead of the curve helps out. I'll call it 4 dented breast plates out of 5.
DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN SON. Another round is on its own level in this first wave. Heal Rate 4 means we once again have a team ahead of the new curve. Essentially a free momentum Another Round offers Brewers players to take better advantage of all those Heroic Plays that we see surprisingly few of.
While Tapper's Old Jakes will surely be the ability we see activated the most often (since it allows him to go first and hand out his free influence before stumbling off to crush face) there are a few others you should be prepared to see as well. Spigot's Time's Called will be a popular turn one choice to get some buddies further up the pitch. While Veteran Spigot finds his way into relatively few lists right now his Back to His Best heroic isn't a bad pick for the freebie either, especially in an Esters team when it isn't competing with Old Jakes.
This is hands down the best Guild Identity that we have seen so far with few, if any cards, being in the same conversation. Another Round get 5 twelve step programs out of 5.
...Well. They can't all knock it out of the park. Blood Thirst is certainly on the bottom half of the spectrum when you look at all of the cards in this wave. Dropping heal rate to 2 means the meatheads will be rewarded for their naturally aggressive gameplay. Character plays that cause damage and keep enemies away will be rough to deal with. Ox could not be any less enthused to bring this into play with him given how easy to hurt he is.
The bright side is playing aggressive means the Butchers won't drop quite as far as initially perceived in terms of healing. It also frees up momentum to use on conditions or win the momentum race. The average heal rate being 3 means the Butchers damage goes that much further.
The card misses the mark. While it certainly has uses they seem to be few and far between. Hard to judge the power of this without other Butcher Identities but if I had to rank it now I'd call it 2 parched vampires out of 5.
I mentioned there were few Identities that can even be in the same conversation as Another Round -- Tracer Rounds is one of them. Tracer Rounds allows Engineers to play that ranged game they love so much a lot more effectively. Ratchet, Locus, Salvo and Mainspring will get some solid love from this. The real star here in my opinion though is Hoist; true replication lets you pick a character play that you get to be better at than the target to borrow it from for free.
While Engineers are not exactly stoked about Heal Rate 3 it isn't like it matters all that much since the only models without defensive tech of some sort are Salvo, Ratchet, and Mainspring.
Tracer Rounds offers some silly efficiency and helps hit those clutch character plays much more reliably. 5 psychos drowning opponents in a puddle out of 5.
Eat Hearty is the only instance we have thus far of a Guild identity bringing a guild over the previous standard of 4 with its Heal Rate of 5. It's ability brings players back in fresher than most and will be particularly helpful on lower health models such as Jack Straw and Bushel.
Higher health models like Windle, Grange, and Thresher will dig the higher base heal rate with their easily attainable momentous damage. This will keep your beaters closer to the from lines where they want to be. Conditions will be more helpful against this team since they will be more inclined to take the heal.
While it is hardly the most interesting play it is far(m) from ineffective. A solid card that fills in the hole where defensive tech should be. 4 "Not enough rain but too much rain at the same time" comments out of 5.
Speaking of uninspired. *Yawn* Fishermen go down to the average of 3 Heal Rate for a resounding bonus of +0/+1 KICK for the whole team. This definitely isn't worst of current Guild Identities but is probably the least interesting.
Fish like to football so the added goal threat is welcome but one can't help but feel this is just lacking. A Corsair team seems unlikely to want much to do with this as giving up that one health could be the difference between keeping the scrum together and being on the wrong side of a 6-4 player advantage.
The card doesn't leave much for discussion. Uninspired, boring, safe, and lacking impact sum up Football Legends quite nicely. 3 seasons of "Mundanest Catch" out of 5.
Sorry guys, try again. Nature's Bounty is the kid that showed up to class in his underpants. The card is original but helps one model on the team sometimes. Adding another forest doesn't slow down the enemy any better than rough ground and gives them another instance of cover.
Heal Rate 3 seems silly on such a squishy team of murderers. It is tough to say exactly what the intent was with this card. Perhaps if Hunters were also permitted to draw line of site though forests or if this allowed the hunters player to shift the new forest a few inches before kick off or possibly even start a non captain model within the forest this wouldn't seem like such hot garbage.
Easily the worst of the bunch. No comparison. 1 rotting elk carcass out of 5.
Masons with a power play! Built to Last is solid. +1 ARM to any friendly model that declares defensive stance means that one way or another you are going to deal with the Masons' armor. If I'm not mistaken charging is still more efficient against most targets that already have at least one armor but this really breathes life into Tower since he can hand out free defensive stance to his entourage.
This has been compared to Brick's counter charge in that it won't trigger all the time but the threat it projects is going to make opponents play differently. The absence of "Once per turn" is also notable and helps this a lot. Heal Rate 4 also keeps Mason's ahead of the curve right now.
Opponents will be in for some tough choices and will see Masons fresher than ever before. Going to give this one 5 stoners out of 5.
Nothing too special here. A situational boost for a team that wants to be unpredictable. The 4" bubble seems kinda small when you consider that this Identity telegraphs your play style and allows your opponent the opportunity to bait you up.
Morticians are pretty solid in the murder game so they are going to get this off and when they do you can expect it to be clutch. Cosset could get some great mileage out of this if there are some softened up targets and Graves doesn't mind the ability to go for the kill and still get off tooled up on a friend. Heal Rate 3 being the standard doesn't seem out of line.
Again very situational and easy enough to counter but at least it is creative and can set up big activations when it does work. We'll call it 3 tax collectors out of 5.
Pirate's Ransom is alright I suppose. The fairly uninteresting Identity allows you to be better prepared if you want that clutch counter attack and defensive stance in the first activation. It will also help Union players get a heal they might need before engaging while still not dropping to 0.
Heal Rate 3 seems fair enough when compared to other but with all the silliness we have come to expect from The Union one has to really hope for Identities that give some fun effects. This is not that.
Not bad, not great. Certainly helpful but the team shines when going first and will actively be working against this trigger. 3 dismembered teammates out of 5.
My Secret Identity
SteamForged still has twice as many Identities to reveal as we have now. Some of these cards will also probably get tweaked to bring them more in line with reality and it is important to remember that this is effectively a beta test. Which Guild Identity are you most excited to try out? Let me know below!
I want to take a moment to thank you for reading through my first post and hope I can put out content interesting enough to bring you back in the future. I am hoping to do one of these a week and am looking at doing team match-ups or individual card analysis next. Let me know in the poll below what you'd like to see from this blog and I'll do my best to keep content fresh.