So here we are. After much contemplating and testing, my venture into Trollbloods has settled on Grissel1 and Madrak2. No bandwagon things like Runes of War (that list is so 2013) or Evolutionary Elementalism (playing that got me almost as miserable as my opponents). No, just a strong control ‘caster, and a ‘caster whose army kills everything it touches. Small battlegroups, lots of melee infantry, that’s where it’s at.
This doesn’t sound familiar at all. I totally changed my game around, coming from Cryx. Totally.
All sarcasm aside, the problem is not that I play Trolls the Cryx way. I’m actually quite convinced that this is a good way to play Trolls. Grissel and Madrak2 cover quite a few of today’s problem matchups, and manage to ask some serious questions in the process too. The problem lies with … the results. I don’t think I’m playing badly, I even think I played some very good games. But somehow, the results don’t follow. It’s a very difficult thing to say for any man, but … I seem to encounter some performance issues.
Even that isn’t much of a problem. I’m man enough to power through any performance issues that might arise, I am creative enough to make sure both parties involved have a wonderful time, regardless of my performance. Sometimes, taking a little extra time can be quite rewarding too. The real underlying problem is, that in about three months’ time, I have to represent my country.
The feeling of accomplishment of a whole team lies in the balance, and by proxy, that of a whole nation. I couldn’t justify it to myself to appear there and get my ass handed to me, in say 5 out of 6 games. So, I presented this predicament to Wout, our glorious leader, who gave me his blessing to return to the loving embrace of the Dragonfather, and then went on to crush my ego by picking up Trolls himself. And doing better with them than I did, too. He is our glorious leader for a reason.
I have some parting notes to share with you. First of all, not playing Grissel is like playing Cygnar without Haley2. Yes, she’s that good. I like her in a Meat Mountain build with double Warders and Long Riders, with either a small battlegroup and Burrowers, or with Mulg and no burrowers.
In a small battlegroup build, you will probably just cast one single spell over the course of a whole game, namely one calamity on a thing that really needs to die. When you play Mulg, hallowed avenger becomes much more relevant. In general, Mulg is rather predictable in his movements, with his limited SPD. Hallowed avenger can drastically change that, forcing your opponent to plan for Mulg twice during his turn.
Grissel’s feat is commonly known to be the strongest in the faction, and rightly so. Apart from the added damage output and the great control portion, the Hoof It on your entire control area can be used either as a hit-and-run type of thing, or as a way to engage even deeper into the enemy’s lines. Also, a nice thing to know: Grissel can still use one of her fell calls during feat turn. You might wonder why you’d ever need that, so let me give you an example. Suppose your Long Riders are out on a flank, doing Long Rider things. The feat is models, but the Fell Calls are model/unit. If you’d catch only one or two Long Riders in your feat, you could trade that for a Hoof It on the whole unit, for example.
Grissel is also a surprisingly good Cryx drop. Cacaphony is probably one of the strongest warlock abilities in the game. There is nothing your opponent can do to stop it, apart from begging you to use something else. If Banes don’t charge, ARM 21 Warders become an issue, especially when backed up by an ARM 21 angry Mulg.
I like to pair Grissel with Madrak2, because he can kill the whole world. Burrowers with all the buffs on them kill pretty much anything from way downtown. As for the rest, I don’t have that many special funky insights to share with you. Maybe because Madrak2 is rather straightforward, but probably because I haven’t explored him very much.
Another news flash: Fire Eaters are ridiculous. You might remember the excited reactions about Croak Raiders, well, Trolls already have that. With boosted sprays, and assault, and damage boxes, and friendly faction. We all know how important the latter is for Trolls. Try to work them into all your lists, they’re worth it.
This leads me to my final point about Trolls: please, move away from the bandwagony theme forces. Yes, Runes of War and Evolutionary Elementalism are amazing. Yes, Jay Larsen won Adepticon with those two lists, and yes, he’s actually not even a real Trolls player. But also, you’re missing out on so many excellent choices that are available in the Trollbloods lineup, you’re missing an opportunity to be creative, to play Trollbloods the way you want them to be played. And finally … everyone knows how to play against those lists by now. You’ll never catch anyone off guard. Let’s be honest, if you could choose between a fair fight, or a fight with the odds stacked in your favour, that’s not a hard choice to make.
There. I’ll probably return to the Kriels after the WTC. Until then, I’m going to be stealing Trent Denison’s Cryx lists, and change a few points to be unique and snowflakey. Another bit of news that will surely come as a shocker: his Deneghra list is quite good.
In the mean time, I have gotten a Twitter account, @KlawSpeaks. Don’t expect much useful content, I just sledge people (Muse on Minis does not condone the widespread use of this verb. Consider “slag” instead as much more refined and not as convict-y – Ed.), use #Toruk4Ever as a random hashtag, and allow James Moorhouse to declare his love for me on a regular basis.