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Old September 15th, 2014, 10:17 PM
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Re: Soldiers of Valhalla - nominations and discussion

Cormin the Dark by Maklar the Silver Prince

I don't have an obscure quote to lead off this one, so it's just straight into the reviewing. Will this tricky Elf sneak his way into the Soldiers of Valhalla? Or will they see through his facade and send him on his way?

Balance

Stat wise, Cormin doesn't have much going for him. He has a reasonably high attack I suppose, but it's not really out of line for a figure at his point value, especially considering he's stuck with a negative power like Stab in the Back. Other than that, he just has Fašade to help keep him from dying horribly. Overall, certainly nothing here that stands out as broken or overpowered.


Theme

An Elf fighting for Utgar works fine for me, there is already precedence with Elaria and I'm not a fan of having a race tied to only one general/culture in the first place.

Fašade works thematically, but only if we assume it is a creative name for a magical 'teleport swap' of some type and not just a literal disguise. I always visualized it as something akin to the Substitution Jutsu from Naruto personally, just with robotic rats instead of logs, which makes the power seem pretty awesome really.

Stab in the Back is a good fit for a Utgar Rogue, and it gives him some interesting play with Elaria. I'm guessing there's a story there, which wouldn't be the first time two Utgar characters had a thing. Utgar is for lovers apparently.


Creativity

Fašade is an interesting power that does something new, Stab in the Back is a power worth reusing on occasion. Not much else to say, pretty solid here overall.


Playability

I found Cormin rather niche. He's filler, but he's really only viable in specific builds. For starters, he's terrible in the traditional filler role of last man standing. While the likes of Isamu or even Brave Arrow have a chance to pull out the come back win with their defensive powers, Cormin needs friendlies for Fašade to do anything. As clean-up, Cormin is just a figure with a slightly above average attack, mediocre defense and a 5% chance of losing you the game on your own turn.

You really need units that benefit from being attacked to get the most out of Fašade, units with powers like Counterstrike or Scatter. Pairing him with high defense units doesn't really accomplish much beyond possibly locking-down a unit for a while, and considering Cormin isn't anything special in the move department, you probably could have just moved the high defense figure into engagement with the target in the first place. As an 'extra' Deathreaver or Samurai, Cormin becomes more useful, though it's still hard to justify moving him up over your other units. I found he really shines in a Ornak build with some Deathreavers around, as a cheap extra target for Ornak's Red Flag of Fury that can also act as a 'Deathreaver' when attacked, Cormin can really earn his points.

My main concern with Cormin isn't his draftability or balance though, it's Fašade's potential to create ridiculously long and complicated turns. Combined with enough other powers that trigger during or after an attack, things can get tedious and confusing. Fortunately, there aren't enough powers that exist in that space for it to be a major issue yet (just be careful if you're doing some sort of C3V/C3G crossover), but I feel any unit that plays in those waters needs to really earn his spot. I feel there is a finite amount of room for units like that in the game. I feel that Cormin is on the edge here, but I think he is just interesting enough (and low-impact enough, given he is just a cheap filler hero and not a common squad or centerpiece figure) that he is worth whatever limits Fašade may place on future design space.


Summary

Cormin isn't an everyday kind of unit, you can't just throw him into an army on a whim and get that much out of him, but I feel he is an interesting addition to the builds he works with and a worthwhile addition to the game as a whole.

I vote to induct Cormin the Dark to the SoV.


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