Deadwood has put together an overall grading on each contestant’s team ahead of the Clover Draft Finale, today!
Let’s see who he thinks will come out on top!
- White Dryad Nia
- Fahrakin the Fat (banned)
- Runekeeper Dazdurk
With a very unusual collection of champions, Cold Brew has the most anticipated of teams as no one – including Cold Brew himself! – knows what kind of team he’s going to build. White Dryad Nia is both incredibly powerful and painfully difficult with tuning her potentially very complicated. Adding in a 3 turn Turn Meter booster in Runekeeper Dazdurk and it become nearly impossible to predict how this will turn out. There are some unique tunes relying upon Dazdurk that could be pretty interesting to push through, but I’d expect Cold Brew to opt for a reliable 3:2 ratio team, allowing Dazdurks Turn Meter boost to enable a double turn for the entire team.
Nia provides ally protection, as does Jareg along with Increase Defense, a buff that Liburga brings too. If he can get the timings down, which will prove very difficult due to the 4 turn cooldowns on Liburga and Jareg and the cooldown refresh of Nia, he could put up very suprising numbers. He’s the only competitor with double ally protection and double increase defense, not to mention the passive damage reduction of Venomage and the Strengthen buff from Nia. Overall he has the potential to last considerably longer than any other competitor.
The most impressive part of his draft, which started a bit rough with the early Nia pick, was drafting the combination of Liburga and Venomage. These two make for a potentially god-tier pairing, with Liburga stacking poisons allowing Venomage to properly detonate them without repercussion. So if Cold Brew can survive a long time those poisons can prove to be quite lethal.
Of course champion swapping is a very real possibility. With Runekeeper providing Leech, Nia Ally Protection and Liburga with Increase Defense, I could see him swapping out a Jareg for another pure damage dealer or a different Support Champion instead. I’d look for Giscard, Kunoichi, Nazana, Vogoth, Whisper, Duedan the Runic, Oboro, Suwai Firstborn, Wuji, Suiren, Enda Moonbeam or Kellan the Shrike. If we assume a 3:2 ratio, which again is what I would pursue first, but other options might present themselves, replacing Jareg with a champion with buffs on a three turn CD could be very VERY effective. Champs like Kunoichi and Giscard would be very tempting to choose. On the other hand opting for a pure damage dealer like Oboro, Kellan or Whisper or Suwai could be very impactful…staying protected could prove difficult going that route, but if the difference in survival is less than 10 turns it could prove well worth the exchange. I’d be tempted to lean into the poison explosions with Wuji dropping counter-attack on Venomage, but I think that’s probably a less effective route.
Overall there’s some inconsistencies with cooldowns of champions, which makes tuning very hard, and a lack of cohesion as far as what kind of team he’s aiming for. However he makes up for that with some amazing synergy between Venomage and Liburga, an abundance of options with Nia and Runekeeper and acquiring a good coverage of needed buffs and debuffs.
Draft Grade: B
- Seeker (banned)
- Toragi the Frog
- Klodd Beastkeeper
Hades did a great job of drafting a complete team, which may actually prove a disadvantage when all is said and done, leaving less flexibility in using his replacement pick. But it’s clear from the outset that he will aim for a 2:1 ratio team utilizing Klodd and Anchorite. 2:1 ratio is ALWAYS a very effective route to get good damage, but in a survival team, not dying and dealing damage is going to be the trick, especially in a competition like this. Either one isn’t particularly hard, but to win this he’ll need to do BOTH.
Toragi and Klodd actually pair really well together as they both can provide shield buffs for the team, allowing them to be just that much tankier. Where it might become most valuable is actually for the stun itself where Toragi may not be able to protect the stun target always. Anchorite provides some addition by extension, stretching the buffs of the team to hopefully cover everyone as needed. These buff extension and ally protection teams can be insanely powerful for keeping everyone alive and protected.
The issue I forsee is likely one of damage and, perhaps more importantly, healing. Fayne is an excellent damage dealer, and i’ve no doubt Hades has the gear to keep her alive. But will she be consistent enough and prolific enough with her debuffs (and the occasional poison from Toragi) to deal significant damage to the boss? That remains to be seen. On the healing front, Klodd and Anchorite provide some assistance, but not what i’d estimate to be enough to survive past 40 or 45 turns. This may be the true undoing as gear sets can only do so much to keep a team alive.
Obviously the weak link in the team is the one rare picked in the draft: Marked. I’d look to see her replaced with another champion that brings Increase Defense, as that is an essential buff. This of course leaves the team susceptible to stuns and unfortunately I don’t see any obvious solutions to that quandry. Options I’d expect him to explore include Steelskull, Giscard, Quargan the Crowned, Thenasil and Ursala the Mourner. Even with the buff extension of Anchorite i’m not sure there’s a solution to this that will present itself, though I could be wrong. My guess is he just tanks the stun itself and relies a bit on RNG to get through to the end.
Draft Grade: B+
- Deacon Armstrong (banned)
- High Khatun
- Rearguard Seargent
The consensus winner of the draft, YST has a VERY strong squad that needs no substitutions. Geomancer and Rearguard Seargent bring the offensive debuffs, RGS and Hotatsu bring both healing and protection buffs, High Khatun brings speed and Godseeker extends it all. Overall the team is extremely well built with every single buff and debuff accounted for that could be desired – and ALL on a 3 turn cooldown making it both easy and efficient to tune.
If there’s a glaring weakness in the comp it’s going to be damage. There’s no clear poisoner, so one of the champions (likely High Khatun or Godseeker) will have to be in a toxic set. Geomancer can do some insane damage with his passive skill, but obviously is a bit limited with the affinity being set at Void. That said, Geomancer, Godseeker and Hotatsu can all do significant raw damage as well. That may be the difference when all is said and done.
He has healing, debuffs, buffs and speed. The only thing missing is stun targeting, which may indeed prove to be an issue in the end, but I don’t know it’ll be enough of an issue to stop this team. If anything does stop him, it will be gear related.
Draft Grade: A
- Demytha (banned)
- Dark Kael
- Sepulcher Sentinel
- Sandlashed Survivor
- Grush the Mangler
Nub definitely took the path less traveled in the draft. With the obvious ban of Demytha, Nub set himself up for an interesting approach by drafting Ruella. A great champion for clan boss, she brings a turn meter boost which can be potentially problematic. He did however grab one of the best buff extenders in Sandlashed Survivor. The Crit Rate buff from Ruella could potentially be extended to allow everyone to hit with 100% crit rate at a lower build threshold – a powerful boost when considering the player power cap. Adding in the utility of Sepulcher Sentinel who can both Block Debuffs and Increase Defense for 2 turns, there’s some good potential for surviving. Dark Kael, it should also be mentioned, is an incredibly useful damage dealer.
The real issue is one of survivability and speed. If Nub can add a speed champion to go to a 2:1 ratio that will allow him to pump more damage, but won’t allow him to bring in a protection champion. If he opts for an ally protector, he likely won’t be able to manipulate the speeds to maximize damage. Having only one substitution available makes this a very tricky decision, but undoubtedly a change is in the works.
I’d look for Nub opting for a speed champion like apothecary or Tagoar to help get more attacks in a limited time.
Draft Grade C+
- Maneater (banned)
- Archmage Hellmut
- Grizzled Jarl
Deadwood had a fantastic start to the draft, grabbing Maneater AND Skullcrusher, ensuring his team would be the only team able to utilize Counter-Attack. Anax would provide the damage while Archmage Hellmut was the best speedster available…however that all changed when he failed to grab a buff extender such as Godseeker Aniri or Sandlashed Survivor. Panicking he opted for Grizzled Jarl, a solid if uninspired choice, and Trumborr. Both are solid choices, but made it so he would be likely forced to choose one or the other.
Lacking both Healing and Buff extension meant dealing with the the stun (and survival) would incredibly tricky as well as figuring out how to get to a 2:1 ratio team. Some turnmeter shenanigans aside, the options here are very limited. I’d expect an increase defense champion or extender to be used to make this team work.
Draft Grade B-