Shank You Very Much!
Right, before I get started, let’s get something straight. There are some players in Guild Ball that are exceptional and then there are superstars. In this list I would say that Mist, Silence & Vitriol all fit into that category of players that nearly always make the team.
Then there is Shank. Could he be the most incredible non-captain player in Guild Ball? When you look at his vitals there’s lots to love:
He is a superstar and this means he is a really influence hungry player for your team and is why I find him out of sorts in a Fillet team but comfortable in Ox led teams. The reason?
Fillet herself is a superstar, every turn she needs her own influence plus more to really smash the game open. This leaves Shank fending for himself and if Shank needs 3-4 influence and Fillet needs 6, you can see where the issue arises. Most of the influence goes on them and you end up low on influence to give to other players. That’s not to say he can’t play a part in Fillet team, he can, and does it very well. It’s just he sits more at home with Ox than Fillet (in my opinion)
One of the things that got me started on this train of thinking was the similarities between Fillet and Shank. Both need a lot of influence and both benefit massively from the players in their teams. Below are some of the things that I have learned while playing Shank and some of the tech I employ with different players to help him fulfil his superstar status.
I thought I would try to choose the top players that buff Shank and make him my favourite player in the Butchers.
This is obvious, that delicious ‘The Owner’ and the legendary ‘Get ‘Em Lads!’
3 momentous DMG on 2 success with a 1” dodge? Ludicrous! 4 momentous DMG on 4 successes and a 1” dodge? RUDE!
Also, as we can see below, Ox has some other plays that will also make Shank even better. ‘Tough Skin’ adds a level of defence tech to Shank that he needs. 4 DEF is reasonable but with ARM 0 he can get taken out quickly by someone who knows what they are doing.
‘Butchery’ and ‘They ‘Ain’t Tough!’ are awesome against ARM: 2 players as once Ox kicks of ‘Get ‘Em Lads!’ as well as both these, that ARM: 0 and Shank is on +3 DMG!
Now watch the damage skyrocket.
5 momentous DMG on 2 success, 6 momentous DMG on 4 success….
And afterwards he still has an extra point of ARM to keep him alive if Ox has buffed him.
Conclusion: Shank loves Ox! Ox has vital defence tech in ‘Tough Skin’ and can ramp his damage to crazy levels with ‘Butchery’, ‘They Ain’t Tough!’, ‘The Owner’ and ‘Get ‘Em Lads!’
Boiler has 2 plays that Shank loves him for:
‘Swift Stance’ makes a DEF 5 Shank (with a point of ARM if Ox has buffed him) and DEF: 5 1ARM is awesome. For a round where Shank is going in to score, this can mean he gets away afterward and resists a lot of easy damage.
‘Marked Target’ against a damaged opponent can give Shank +4 MOV on his charge in conjunction with ‘Damaged Target’. This means he can effectively get back into the fight from almost anywhere.
‘Where’d They Go?’ (4”) + Charge (8”) + ‘Damaged Target’ (2”) + ‘Marked Target’ (2”) + 2” melee = 18”…
Well then… nuff said!
Shank can help out Boiler too. Boilers ability to put out damage is insane and if Shank can land a ‘Thousand Cuts‘ on someone, Boiler will go nuts. DEF: 4 characters are suddenly DEF: 2…..
If anyone isn’t aware of the ‘Murder turn’ for Boiler, it looks like this if you get everything going, if not, Boiler + Princess and Ox can ruin someone’s day without all the other craziness.
- Ox kicks off ‘Get ‘Em Lads!’ and puts ‘Butchery’ on a player that has activated already.
- Avarisse knocks them down and hits with ‘Singled Out’.
- Princess moves into melee range
- Rage puts ‘Tooled Up’ on Boiler
- Boiler has 4 influence and unloads with TAC: 10 (TAC: 5 + ‘Singled Out’ +2, Ganging up (Avarisse) +1, ‘Assist [Princess]’ +2) , ‘Anatomical Precision’ and has +5 to DMG! (Ox’s Auras (+2), ‘Assist [Princess]’ +1, ‘Tooled Up’ (+1) and finally, ‘Butchery’ (+1))
5 successes is 8 momentous damage and he has ‘Crucial Artery’ so leaves makes them suffer the Bleed condition. Even a wrap on 6 successes is 8 momentous + 6 non-momentous… and he could do this 4 times…. That’s just sickening. But anyway, let’s get back to Shank and my conclusions.
Conclusion: Boiler gives much needed defence tech to Shank through ‘Swift Stance’ and if Boiler chooses to ‘Marked Target’ someone who is injured already, can bring Shank back in to the game after hunting players that have just come back on. Shank thinks Boiler is awesome!
Quick side note: Minx is a good choice in a Shank and Fillet team as you can give her 2 influence to Shank and she can still operate with her ‘Furious’. She can also use 1 influence to give ‘Marked Target’ and like Shank, has ‘Damaged Target’. (But is not nearly as good as Boiler…in my opinion)
The reason I mention these two is because of that wonderous character play; ‘Tooled Up’.
If Ox has debuffed someone with Butchery and kicked of his legendary, then ‘Tooled Up’ turns 1 success in to 5 momentous damage…. 5 momentous for 1 success… 6 mom damage for 2, 7 mom damage for 4.
And this from a player that can threaten an uninjured player from 14” away.
Conclusion: Everyone loves ‘Tooled Up’ but Shanks 2 momentous on 2 successes becomes 3 damage on 4 success becomes 4 and that’s a really good, really really good. Shank likes anyone with ‘Tooled Up’ because he likes pouring pain on people.
There’s no doubt that when played well, Brisket is an awesome player for the Butchers and gives a solid 18” threat on goal but why have I included her in here?
Two reasons really, one is ‘Dirty Knives’ that can reduce DEF against Shanks opponents so he can beat them on them easier and then the thing I thought about that I should do more of….
Snap shots! So we have talked about Shanks range and how he can go hunting for the ball but rather than going for goal himself, he could go for assists because Brisket with ‘Super Shot’ and ‘Swift Stance’ from Boiler standing 8-10” from goal is a Brisket that’s DEF 5 ARM 1 (vs Female toons) and DEF 6 ARM 1 (vs Male toons) with ‘Unpredictable Movement’ and a kick of 4.
That’s a thing to consider because people won’t expect snap shots from the Butchers and Shank is almost perfect to supply the pass for it.
Conclusion: ‘Dirty Knives’ is nice but when Shank and Brisket work as a scoring pair off the wings, they can get quick goals. Shank likes Brisket, she and him score goals!
Fillet is a hungry solo player all of her own but she still has some love for Shank. Shank can go a long way in a turn; he can ‘Where’d They Go?’ and then charge so can engage an uninjured player at 14” (4” WTG + 8” Sprint + 2” Melee) and if they are injured he gains an extra 2” from ‘Damaged Target’ making that 16”
But wait… Fillet has something to add to that and that’s ‘Quick Foot’
Now, I love hunting weak characters that have just come back on and Shank having a threat range of 18” makes him the perfect person to go after them. A good damage track, TAC: 6 gives him a charge and a second attack that could be 5 or 6 damage. Enough to take out most players coming back on.
Also, 18” is a long threat range and Shanks 2/6” kick stat once bonus timed becomes 3/6”. That’s enough to throw him at the goal in a Shark style and with his dodges all over his playbook that’s a thing that can give you goals.
Conclusion: Shank likes Fillet because she turns him into a rocket
Right, I think Decimate is massively under rated because she’s fast, has anatomical precision, 3/6″ KICK and has what I would say is the holy grail of guild ball with a Tackle and 2” dodge on 4 successes. Now I have that little rant off my chest, I’ll get back on topic.
Let’s play out a weaker, not so beardy, don’t get a second activation for peanuts version of the Masons “Chissile” exercise with Shank. (Not bitter….much)
Team set up:
Princess does nothing accept pine at Boiler, maybe swags up field a bit to pee on an obstruction
Ox buffs Shank with ‘Tough Skin’ and sprints to mid field
Decimate buffs Shank with ‘Second Wind’ and sprints to mid field
Boiler buffs Shank with ‘Swift Stance’ and goes 6” and if possible, lands a ‘Marked Target’
Rage puts ‘Tooled Up’ on Shank and takes his free charge forward
Shank uses ‘Where’d They Go?’ and charges the ‘Marked Target’ for a threat range of 16” or 12” without ‘Where’d They Go?’. In either case is DEF: 5, 1 ARM for counter attacks and has a minimum of +1 DMG if the other player hasn’t left someone where Shank can take advantage of ‘The Owner’
Then after laying the smack down, Shank gets to swag away thanks to second wind back to safety having generated reliable momentum.
Or… attack the ball carrier, use that Momentous Tackle on 2, buy another attack, dodge and go for GOAL!!! When I did this against my mate, he was stunned. Shank can play like a Fisherman, he’s versatile like that! (Needs 4 influence most of the time but what he can do with it is mind blowing) And then he can ‘Second Wind’ and ‘Run the Length’, that’s 9” back to safety!!!
Conclusion: Decimate’s ‘Second Wind’ gives Shank the ability to strike at a target then retreat to relative safety, especially if that target has a 1” melee and he can avoid parting blows 😉 It also makes him a striker that can get in, score and then get away before getting creamed.
Avarisse and Greede
Now, I love A&G and I’m love them as part of a serious hard hitting Ox team. What I love is Avarisse for his momentous ‘Singled Out’ on 1 success and Knockdown on 2 and Greede because if you activate him early you can activate Shank last and against most opponents you will be an activation up as you have 7 models on the pitch, not 6. This means Shank can just tear them a new one!
Also though, don’t forget that Avarisse can move people about with his momentous 2” push on 2 successes so Avarisse with 2 INF can give Shank +2 TAC and this is the ball carrier then he can set them up for a tackle, dodge and shot combo!
Conclusion: ‘Singled Out’ and KD make Shank happy. Getting someone moved into a better position for a whuppin’ or goal opportunity also makes Avarisse a firm favourite.
Some Final Thoughts
These synergies are directed at Shank but imagine that + damage scenario on Boiler when he’s with Princess, craziness. Truth is, a lot of what I’ve talked about can be utilised throughout the Butchers and beyond. But, that’s not the point, me fanboying Shank is!
In my humble opinion, Shank is the best all round player that the Butchers have. Here’s some bullet points:
- Go hunting, players with 5 or less HP coming back on are easy pickings for Shank.
- He has a massive movement and lots of dodges, use these to go for goal. 2/6 is not that bad and bonus timed its 3 dice. I’m sure it feels like I miss more with Shark on 4 dice than I do with Shank on 2, lol
- Buff and Debuff. You will get more damage from Shank if Ox is about. If not, get a ‘Tooled Up’ going.
- Make Shank a mid to late activation so you can see where to utilise him best.
- Make Shank a first activation if you want to take out a player coming back on so they don’t have momentum to counter. Also, if the other team have the ball 6-7” from the goal and you can get too them with ‘Where’d They Go?’ and a charge. With 4 influence that still gives you 1 mom and 1 inf left for the shot.
Keeping him in the game
- 14 Health and DEF: 4 are not as good as you think they are. Use defence tech like ‘Tough Skin’ and ‘Swift Stance’ to give him survivability.
- Use momentum to heal him and don’t be afraid to chuck a second wind on him for a crazy bit of guerrilla tactic shenanigans.
If you don’t take Shank in an Ox led Butchers team I think it’s a mistake. The line-up I enjoy the most is Ox, Princess, shank, Boiler, Avarisse and Greede and Rage as the potential for slaughter is strong! That said, in a more balanced team I tend to enjoy Ox, Princess, Shank, Boiler, Brisket and Gutter.
I believe Shank should be an automatic include in Ox teams and in Fillet teams should be a strong contender. He plays like a butcher with the footwork of a Fisherman. When you wrap your head around how versatile he is and how much of a threat he for scoring as well as take outs, I think you will fanboy him too.
I love him, and I hope this article gives you some ideas on how to use him to put some goals on people and put down some extra pain!
I have fanboyed enough for now