Today, we are going to talk about some of our favorite Super Dungeon Explore characters!
If you are new to the game, it is important to discuss character stats, and how useful any one given character is, in an effort to determine which one(s) you should be playing for maximum fun. In this blog series, I will discuss all of the SDE hero characters that can be played, and discuss their strengths, weaknesses, ease of play, as well as preferred party size for maximum effectiveness.
First, my all-time personal favorite character: Questing Knight.
Questing Knight is extremely effective in many roles of an adventuring party. He starts with relatively high stats, needing little help from loot to excel at many tasks. His high Strength (STR) makes him able to deal damage well, and his high Armor (ARM) allows him to be a decent tank. He is best utilized in a melee-oriented role, and predominantly as a “Blaster,” meaning that he is capable of dealing a significant amount of damage to singular enemies. With his Mighty Throw ability (1 Ability Point, Range: 4, +1 blue die(1B) to DEX) he is capable of “hurling” his lance up to four squares away, which allows him to fill a small ranged role, as well, and gives him a total of 3B without extra gear. With his exceptional 2 red (2R) Strength dice, he can wreak havoc on foes close to him, and if he has any action points left, and no nearby enemies, simply finish off his turn by damaging, or slaying an opponent model up to 4 squares away.
If you are looking for something more along the lines of an Area of Effect (AoE) action, he can use his Mighty Throw (2 Action Points, Lance: 6, +1R STR). This, while I feel improperly named, is an excellent attack that lets him hit 6 squares in a straight line from his location (obviously allowing for Line of Sight). So, if The Consul walks into a straight-line formation on accident, they run the risk of being slain, since not many can outlive a 3R attack.
1x The Questing Knight also owns one of few Massive Damage attacks in the entire game. Massive Sword (3 Ability Points, +1G STR, Massive Damage), when successful, deals two wounds instead of one. It takes all three of his available action points to perform, but when placed against a mini-boss or a dungeon boss, can make them attempt to get away from him, and possibly walk into an ambush that has been prepared by the rest of the adventuring party. Obviously, outfitting him with gear that grants extra Action Points is beneficial, but I can think of a very small amount of models that do not benefit from extra actions.
As if he did not already have decent Armor, his potion Magic Armor (Emergency Potion, 1 potion token, +1R ARM) allows him to roll a total of 2B 2R to defend against attacks until his next activation, making him possibly the sturdiest defender in the game. If he is properly equipped, and does not need the potion, he may let an ally drink it to gain the benefits, even on The Consul’s turn, which means he can act as a buffing character in limited doses.
OVERALL – With high starting stats, a decent ranged attack with low AP cost, the ability to deal damage in an area of 6 squares at once, the capability to tap into Massive Damage, and grant 1R to ARM in a pinch to himself or allies, the Questing Knight deserves a solid A+ grade. Also, since his abilities are all rather useful, and are not limited entirely to certain situations, he can be piloted by even the most novice of SDE players. Being able to fill the roles of Tank, Buffer, Area Damager, and Blaster makes him quite possibly one of, if not the most versatile models in the game. He is also an excellent choice for any party, regardless of size.
Shapeshifting in and of itself can be a difficult action for new players to comprehend, and utilize effectively. However, once a player has “gotten the hang” of shapeshifting, it can be a useful tool in their arsenal against The Consul. Let us first focus on the human form of Von Wilding. Wilding’s best stat is his STR, and a range of 2. When solely using basic attacks, he can hit up to three enemies that are all 1-2 squares away, with a relatively devastating 2R – that makes him a good Blaster as well, right out of the box, so to speak. Now, add on his Soul Whip ability (2 Ability Points, Range: 2, +1R STR, Ice), and you have an attack that can knock out most Elites when successful, by taking away their Unique Actions (and most attacks with 3R are usually successful). If given an extra action with gear, this ability can be used twice, and I will bet there are few Consul players who can recover from two of those.
What makes him slightly more difficult to play is his other ability, and his potions. His second ability, Crack the Whip (1 AP, Augment, Range: 2, Compel 2) is very situational. It allows him to “grab” an ally and push them 2 squares in any direction, assuming there is Line of Sight. If playing in a larger party, this can become quite handy, but in smaller games, you are probably just going to get 1 basic attack out of him, and then use Soul Whip, which makes 50% of his unique actions useless.
He does possess the Potion Master ability, which is only printed on three heroes so far in the entire game. Potion Master allows him to use two potions during each activation, which is handy since he has two different potions to use (how convenient).
His first potion is Holy Water (1 potion token, Range: 6, Bane), which can cause an opponent model to lose their highest die rolled on any defense roll until the status effect is removed. That makes him an excellent debuffing character, when combined with the Ice status effect from Soul Whip. Enemies that cannot use unique actions, and who lose their highest defense roll, usually are not very helpful to The Consul, and tend to die faster.
His second potion, Holy Oil (Melee: 6, Burst 1, Fire), means that he rolls his outstanding 2R STR when throwing it, and all of the enemies in a 3×3 square centered on the target will all take a wound if it is successful. This can be exceptionally punishing to tightly-formed Consul models. The fire that they suffer at the start of each round if they are not dead, is usually enough to put down several models per activation, and causes the Consul player to have to spread their forces out in an effort to negate massive casualties, and can result in the enemies being picked off faster individually by well-placed hero ambushes.
Now, onto his shapeshifted form: Von Wilder. Von Wilder excels in healing wounds, and being able to shapeshift during each upkeep allows you to use Von Wilder when Von Wilding seems to be taking a lot of wounds. However, you must have a 2×2 area free in order to turn into the wolf, as he has a large base. Without the space available, he is unable to shift, and since it can only be performed at the start of an activation, it can sometimes be difficult to get away from all the bad guys.
However, once you have shifted, Von Wilder is capable of rolling quite a few more hearts to aid in his, and the party’s recovery of wounds, since he rolls 2B 1R for basic attacks and his one action. His armor is also surprisingly low, which is a result of his shifting into a wolf, and being more reckless as a result. With only 1B 1R to defend himself, it is good that he comes equipped with the Tough ability. This allows him to remove one wound token at the start of each activation.
Onto his one action, and potion, which neither are extraordinary – Shag Fest (1 Action Point, Dangerous, Melee, Sweep 1). Dangerous means that this action is capable of damaging your allies, if they are in the sweep. Sweep 1 hits all models that are adjacent to him, so long as they are in a row of 4 squares, due to his large size. If set up properly, this can be useful, as he is able to possibly hit 4 enemies at a time, and with it only costing 1 AP, he can do it three times an activation with his 2B 1R Strength.
Von Wilder’s potion, Lycanthropy, is unable to be used on The Consul’s turn, which causes it to be less than convenient. It comes with Regenerate, which means that whoever he lets drink it rolls one blue die for every wound on their character, and remove one wound for every heart rolled.
** This was explained to me on the forums by Sleepy_laughter – “I’ve also found potion-fueled Regenerate underwhelming because it cannot heal status effects and can be very hit or miss. Assuming an average Regenerate against three (3) wounds, you’d heal on average two (2) wounds and max six (6) wounds, but also have a 12.5% chance to heal no wounds at all. That’s an average of one (1) wound per potion, which makes it under average compared to other Heal potions (which also tend to be Green). The biggest advantage of a blue potion to heal is you can use it, and then spend actions to replenish the potion, but Von Wilder loses Potion Master when he is shapeshifted and only has one base red die to roll potions with. Maybe better depending on the rest of your party.”
OVERALL – With the technical aspect of shapeshifting, and the situational role of Von Wilder, Von Wilding gets a grade of B. Also, with his personal actions only being useful in certain situations, he can be rather difficult to play if you are new. Von Wilding fits into a small AoE role with his Holy Oil, or he can be a Blaster with his Soul Whip, or just an excess of 2R regular attacks. He also has the ability to control placement of allies before they activate, thus setting up future attacks, and he has three solid debuffing effects in Ice, Bane, and Fire. All in all, once you get a basic understanding of the game, and if you are in a party larger than 2-3 players, Von Wilding really can shine and stay alive for a long time if his Shapeshift is used correctly and strategically.
I hope you get a chance to try these awesome heroes out! Please stay on the lookout next week for some more excellent character reviews! Until then, this is Super Dungeon Explorer reminding you to Join the Party, and Get the Loot!!