I want to take some time and do a few articles where we look into playbooks with a little more depth to see if we can understand them better. I am more of a gut player than a numbers guy but I like to think that as I gain experience I get a better gut for the numbers. This will not be a mathematical analysis as much as just getting a feel for what they do and themes within each Guild. Since Alchemists are my main team we will start with them. First I will look at the theme as a whole and then I will look at some individuals of note.
Other than a few exceptions, I have always felt that Alchemists playbooks were underwhelming compared to some other teams. There are a lot of things to factor in when considering playbooks like availability of 2″ reach and buffs. In general, Alchemists lack those things. They can gain a few TAC buffs through Union, but without your opponent supplying Midas a damage buff, they really don’t exist. That okay though because according to their playbooks, causing damage in traditional ways is not really a priority
One important not is the lack of Momentous plays on the 1st column. overall, they have a lackluster first column and if you play Alchemists you feel this pain all too well. Many of these guys can struggle to get past the first column on their own. So if you want Momentum from the rank and file guys, you have to work for it.
Also note the lack of KD results. Those that do exists are generally non-momentous and don’t trigger until column 4 at the best. They have the worst access to KD of all the Guilds.
On the other side of things they have probably the best access to GB results. Many Momentous results are multi-functional so you have more options. They have a fair amount of pushes and dodges though out.
In general I do not look to cause damage unless I have no other choice or a model is low on HP. I rarely EXPECT to get past column 3 or wrap without charging. Even then I keep my expectations low. I think in most cases you look at column 2 for your Momentous results and not much further. Most models forsake even trying to generate momentum or even use their playbooks. They leave that job to the few exceptions…
Its called Midas-ball for a reason and most of it is right here. This is arguably one of the best playbooks in the game IF your opponent plays along. I have already written articles on that though. When you take away the fact that both of his GB abilities are one use only his playbook begins to look like everyone else. Fortunately with 6 TAC he can reliably hit column 2 better than others. In general, Midas is single-handedly responsible for generating the teams momentum. Some days are better than others.
Flask is another exceptional playbook for one reason. It is only 2 columns deep and has Momentous intensify in the first. If that were in the second column it would be a different story. The ability to wrap and Intensify late game can be a valuable asset. I like to hold Flask back and keep him low key until the end of turn 2-3 when I charge onto a crowded model and score 2 wraps for 6 damage and 3 Momentum. Set up right this can convert minimal influence for maximum payoff.
Vitriol is not the only model to have 2 damage in the second column. She is the only one who is self buffing. She also has 1 more TAC than Calculus and Mercury making her a far better beat-stick. Having Momentous Push/Dodge at 2 also increased options. She is a very flexible model and her playbook shows this which is why she is considered an auto-include in most lists.
He is not one of our more popular players, but I feel that as the condition game grows, so will his use. While he cannot spike Intensify as much as Flask, he can get it off more reliably. He is also most likely to get a KD result. He still is not a standard for me, but I look his way more now that I have really been thinking of playbooks.