As Alchemists are my main team, I wanted to do a little write up on the individuals and what I think of them. I am going to start with my core 8 of tournament play (Midas, Flask, Vitriol, Compound, Decimate, Mist, Snakeskin, Hemlock) and then I will go somewhere from there. Even as is I may have less to say about some models than other. Mostly I am just looking to constructively share my thoughts and experiences.
Starting with the main man Midas. In early days i had very mixed feelings about this guy, but overall I would say the Alchemists rely on one understanding some more of the subtle aspects of the game before they get good. As a general rule, I tell people that are starting Alchemists to prepare to lose a lot off the bat.
The Down Side
The biggest downside to Midas is his 1″ reach. It just makes me sad when someone with 2″ reach can ignore Unpredictable Movement, or even worse, that he has no chance of engaging someone with it. This is a disadvantage that you should always be aware of. The upside to this is that with the help of Clone he can completely get away from one model with 2″ (or even 3″) reach no matter what. But overall, this has brought me to believe that 2″ reach is one of the most valuable things in the game and I am extremely bitter about the “great Union nerf” errata.
Another downside is his ability to deal out damage on his own. Even with Metallic Skin he is still not where I would like someone to be if I want them causing damage. But again, there are ways to fix this.
The Up Side
There are really a lot of these. He is overall a very solid guy. His stats are about as decent as anyone could ask for. Light Footed allows you to abuse terrain to his advantage. I don’t find myself using Metallic Skin to often because Momentum is generally tight in Alchemists, but it is there if you are in a tight space. Pseudoepigraphy is another tool that won’t break the game, but is good to have in your pocket if needed. The playbooks strengths are based off the ease of GB results that we will discuss later. Heavy Burden and Clone are both great Plays to have around for survivability and control. And of course there is…
An ability I shrugged off at first because I really just did not want to allocate the Influence to get it off early game. One of the big problems with Alchemist is that they have a lot of models that want a lot of influence. One of the things I love about Compound is that he hands out 2 he doesn’t need early game.
True Replication is a game changer, quite literally. I know there are arguments out there that one needs not change their list based on this, but you might want to really think about things before including Scything Blow or my new favorite Unmasking in your list. This gives Midas an entirely different role in the game. And that is kind of my point.
Midas needs to be open minded. What he steals with True Replication can really change the way you play the game. With Vitriol and Mist you have 3 very strong scorers in the list. If Midas gains the ability to take out 2 or even 4 models on his own, the game changes greatly. You all of the sudden have a very well rounded team instead of a skew.
In the other direction, Midas can also steal abilities that make him more of a scoring threat. Where’d They Go looks great on him, as does Super Shot. Both get him up to the 20″ threat range.
For control, one of my favorites is Lob Barrel. But there are a wealth of abilities to push and pull people around the pitch. It is important to pay attention to how often such abilities can be used as well and how easily you can get them. Salvo is an easy target with good abilities. Siren has some good move, but is hard to pin down and with Seduce now once a turn it may not be worth the effort to get anymore. Also, do not forget Glutenous Mass and Fear can make it harder to score your Play.
Lastly is buffs. I find that if you steal a buff you instantly rely more on the rest of your team while Midas falls into more of a support role. While this may not be bad, it can be a little more challenging for activation and make him feel less important in the game as a whole. While there is much Midas feels little for, being important is not one of those things. He likes being awesome. So take a little time to really think about True Replication before you even select your models so you can get the best out of it.
Although this can change, one thing is for sure. Midas likes to be close to the action. This doesn’t mean he always wants to be completely surrounded. But with Scything Blow he could. One thing he does without help from others is survive. One of the arguments against TR states that if he is close enough to steal an ability he is close enough to die. This may be true, but he doesn’t die that easily. In general I will load him up with 7 turn 1 so I can TR and Clone, or he will activate late in the turn. If you like living dangerously, you can actually try to draw in more models this way. If you have Don’t Pull the Hair, you are not even living that dangerously. Sometimes, sacrificing an important model for the greater good can be advantageous, so use the fact that your opponent will have to sink a ton of resources to take out one model to your advantage
No matter what you are doing with him though, Midas does like to be relatively centralized and does not need much support from others. You need to be aware of the mount of work he needs to do, but most of all, recognize when it is time to make sure his defenses are up. Sure I would like to kill 3 models with Scything Blow in one activation. It may just be smarter to kill one, put up Clone and toss out a Heavy Burden. Midas is the Icarus of Guild Ball. He can fly, just don’t go to high.