This week, we will keep the fire alive by reviewing a NEW HERO! That is correct, the spotlight this week shines on Cat Burglar, from Super Dungeon: Arcade.
Just look at her cute little face!
It is about time the Freyjan race be represented in something other than an individual expansion.
This cute little kitty has the potential to fill various roles in a party, but only if equipped properly, and she must have ADHD, because she seems like she cannot focus on any one thing to be good at.
First Things First – her Movement! With seven (7) move, she quickly finds herself among the top-ranking heroes, with only five (5) heroes having higher than seven move to date. With that, she can get around the battlefield pretty easily, and that is important, because she has a plethora of abilities to use once she runs up on the unsuspecting Consul! However, with her being marketed as a burglar/thief-y type, I would have very much liked to see my Cat Burglar have Surefoot in combination with this extra movement.
Standard three (3) action points. Nothing fancy there, but worth mentioning before we break down the rest of her card.
Now, the Cat Burglar has no “shining” attributes, in my opinion. However, that is not a big deal, because she is an extremely utilitarian character, and if you just give her a little push in any direction with some gear (other than WILL) she will be just fine.
Strength: 3B (Range 1) – Nothing to write home about, as it is an average star output of two (2).
Armor: 3B – again a pretty average two (2) output. Slightly disappointed to see this as her only Defense option, since she is a nimble catfolk. Perhaps, to spice her up, there could have been a Defense option on her DEX to represent her more burglar-like tendencies, and allow her a greater chance to live.
Willpower: 2B – since she has no WILL-oriented abilities, I feel as if this is just the default WILL for heroes, and will not spend much time complaining about it.
Dexterity: 2B 1R – Finally, a Red die! This boon to the rolls would be in the appropriate skill, it would seem, but her abilities will not be as happy about this as I am. With an average roll of 2.5, this is only a slight increase over 3B for STR, and also would not save her, had they have used it as a secondary Defense attribute.
Her Abilities are decent. All Feyjans possess the 9 Lives ability, which allow them to roll 1R as soon as he/she would be destroyed. The model removes one (1) wound token for each star rolled, and if no stars are rolled, then they die as normal. This is nice, since she is rather squishy at 3B ARM. Now, it can only be used one time, despite the name, and if it could be used multiple times, she would probably be overpowered, as would all of her catfolk friends. Ideally, this keeps her in the game longer, and allows her to get a few more Poison effects off, which we will get to in just a moment.
Now, where she actually does shine, is at BURGLARIZING chests throughout the dungeon. With her Proficient ability, she may use the Interact basic action (which simply allows a model to investigate something, if you will) or use the Open Chest basic ability without spending an action point once per turn. So, she has the capability of putting loot into the backpack for free and then attacking. Not too shabby. Although, I could see this ability going with her a little better if she had a bigger, 3 Action Point unique action. But, I guess doing two (2) attacks and raiding a chest in a turn is not all that bad. This allows her to focus more in-depth on being the Thief of the party. With the updated rules allowing for more than one (1) treasure to be equipped to a hero, this could make for some interesting power-ups at the start of a turn, as well.
She has five (5) Health, which is the normal hero amount, and the capacity to carry (1) potion. The fact that she has two (2) potion abilities, and only one slot can be rather unnerving, as most of the characters with two (2) potions have a slot for each. Perhaps, since she has so many actions, they decided that it would not be fair for her to use her Support potion AND her Emergency heal potion? The world may never know.
I know what you are all here for, so I save the best for last. Now, the reason you are all here:
Unique Actions and gameplay strategy ideas!!
Her first offensive ability is Throwing Knives. This action is DEADLY. Or, so it has led me to believe it is. First off, it allows her to use her one attribute with a red die, and has a rather large Area of Effect with Sweep two (2) that covers six (6) squares. So, on a good day, or with the proper gear equipped, she is going to hit up to six (6) enemies. Dealing one (1) damage to six (6) enemies and inflicting Poison is no joke. Poison reduces the amount of actions a model may take by one (1) to a minimum of one (1). Now, on a lot of minions, that will not matter. They will either die from the damage, or they will only have one (1) Action Point, anyway. So, this seems as if it is designed primarily for bigger, more menacing models. However, I am not personally going to drag the Cat Burglar through a dungeon just so she can pilfer treasures and hopefully poison the dungeon boss, so this is lackluster to me. Yes, targeting six (6) squares is decent, but the amount of times all of those squares will be full when you go to use the action are slim to none, so she will probably hit at most three (3) enemies, if they are trying to gang up and Mob on some other hero, or something.
Next in line is the Gotcha! offensive action. Gotcha! is a Melee attack, so the Burglar has to use her mediocre STR attribute, so now she needs STR and DEX gear to be useful, which pulls away from other melee-based characters that could benefit more from said gear, and ultimately causes a rift in an adventuring party, by causing her to more than likely be activated with a WILL-based character, in order to take advantage of her unique actions properly. Enough of that, WHAT DOES IT DO?! It causes her to Pounce. This is decent, as is overrides the need for Surefoot, as mentioned earlier. She can choose an enemy model within five (5) squares, place herself adjacent to that model, and make her Melee attack. If I was going for a melee-oriented character, I would not necessarily make this my deciding factor on whether or not to bring the Burglar into the dungeon. The redeeming factor of this ability is that it is only one (1) Action Point, so she can Pounce around the dungeon, and attempt to strike multiple enemies. So, perhaps that mobility puts her in a different class of melee character, if you so choose to bring her.
Winding up her list of offensive actions is Can’t Catch Me. Again, it is a Melee attack. She makes her attack, ideally deals her damage, and then Retreats. Retreat allows her to move five (5) squares away using the rules for Push. <- LINK So, I can see where she might want to deal a damage with Gotcha! and then deal another damage with Can’t Catch Me, to ultimately Pounce again and deal three (3) damage in a turn. This could make her formidable, but if she does not kill the enemy model with the third attack, she has left herself, and her low Armor, right next to a very upset dungeon denizen, so she requires yet another piece of gear to help her stay alive, unless your sole plan is to rely on 9 Lives. It is also possible to follow up a Throwing Knives with this, to remove her from the combat situation, and perhaps pick off a straggler that did not die from the first wound, or rolled a good defense against it.
Her potions are also fair, when accompanied by her list of actions above. First, we have a generous Emergency potion in Yummy-Nom-Nom. It obviously only affects friendly models, including herself, and Heals two (2). Healing that many wounds makes her a strong candidate to receive a potion from anyone if they cause one to pop out of an enemy. But again, with only being able to hold one potion, she leaves herself unable to properly plan between using her Control-oriented Support potion, or this one. I would be so daring as to say this is what she would like to keep on herself, in an effort to make her more viable, and attempt to fulfill a Healer role. Now, with so many other available Healing effects, this could be washed over, and you could allow the Cat Burglar to hold onto her potion token for her NEXT potion!
The final talking point of her character is her Support Potion Distracting Fuzzball. This potion has a lot of things going for it, but ease of understanding is not one of them. First, it says Dangerous, which only means that it affects friendly and enemy models. Then, it has Support Range three (3), which seems like a number that came out of nowhere, but does not allow the targeted model(s) a chance to resist it. It has a Burst radius of one (1), which allows it to affect a 3×3 square centering on the targeted model. Lastly, it Compels everything in that radius by two (2). Now, with Compel, the user of the potion gets to choose the exact directions that the models all move, so it allows for a good Controller element, and can separate enemies from friendlies, or push target fleeing baddies into the direction of the allies. To make all of those symbols make sense, the potion can be summed up as such, “Throw this potion up to three (3) squares away from the user, targeting a model, and then push the targeted model and all adjacent models up to two (2) squares in any direction.” This potion has a surplus of potential, and can be good in many situations. It allows the user to break up a Mob, or to allow another hero the chance to run into the fray, and then be separated by three (3) to four (4) squares from their targets after completing their attacks. The applications of Distracting Fuzzball are abundant.
OVERALL– The Cat Burglar is able to do a lot of things. Almost too many things, which classifies her as a difficult hero to play for new people. If you are experienced, and you want to pilot this devilish domestic, then you will have fun trying to decide exactly which role you would like her to fill, and how to go about it. Taking into consideration her relatively low attributes, her sub-par abilities, and the fact that the only true standalone ability is Gotcha!, I rank the Cat Burglar as a C+ hero.