Last time we spoke to you about the Blacksmiths Guild we revealed the first Master and Apprentice Blacksmiths from our second wave of players, the weapon smith Hearth and her shadowy bodyguard Alloy. If you missed those blogs you can find the Hearth blog HERE and the Alloy blog HERE. Today it’s time to reveal yet another Master Blacksmith. With this Master, we return to one of the subthemes of the Blacksmiths Guild, playing with fire, as we take a close look at Burnish.
They Pull a Knife, You Pull a Flamethrower
With Burnish we wanted to represent a slightly more modern aspect of working with metal, welding. Although we did need to turn a welding-based concept into an idea that would make more sense in the Empire of the Free Cities. We decided to combine the concept of welding with another tool that is often associated with Blacksmithing, a set of bellows. Combine these two together with a little imagination and there you go, medieval flamethrower!
In keeping with the theme of welding, it made sense for Burnish to have a more full-faced welder-like mask-helmet with flat and angular surfaces. This angular imagery also inspired the look of Burnish’s shield which has an almost riot police vibe to it. Bellows are of course usually a two handed instrument so we finished the concept off by attaching the flamethrower bellows to Burnish’s shield… yeah… we got a little carried away with our excitement to create something awesome with this one.
Burn Baby, Burn
So, there’s quite a lot going on on the front of Burnish’s card. It would certainly be fair to describe Burnish as a bit of a utility piece as he has quite a lot of generally helpful tools for the Blacksmiths. Burnish has a fairly standard set of attributes for a Master Blacksmith, punctuated by the DEF [3+] and ARM  that both Furnace and Ferrite also possess. With  HP Burnish is technically one of the easier Master Blacksmiths to take-out, but he’s still not an easy player to deal damage to by any stretch of the imagination. A four-column long Playbook with plenty of Momentous Push and Knockdown options is also fairly typical of a Master Blacksmith. Notably, that Momentous Knockdown result on the second column will be a very useful Playbook result for Burnish.
Where things get really interesting is when we take a look at Burnish’s suite of Character Plays, of which he has three. The first is a brand-new Character Play called Reduction. Reduction is kind of like a Blacksmiths Guild version of Smelling Salts as it helps them in the removal of troublesome conditions like poison, snare, and knockdown. The main differences are that Reduction has a cost of , and instead of just removing all conditions from friendly players, it removes all conditions and then inflicts the burning condition. Effectively Burnish is ‘purifying’ the friendly players by trading any other conditions they may be suffering for setting them on fire instead. Interestingly, it is worth pointing out that due to Fire Forged, if you use Reduction on Furnace (or indeed Burnish himself, as he also has Fire Forged), Furnace will not suffer the burning condition (provided it’s the first time he's suffered it this turn).
Flame Belch is a shorter range but higher damage version of Fire Blast. The exciting thing about Flame Belch is that it can be used multiple times per turn, which becomes very important when it comes to Burnish’s Legendary Play or if Burnish is chosen to be the team’s Captain. If Burnish is the team’s Captain then he will have an INF attribute of [3/5] and be able to purchase two Flame Belches at a cost of  Influence each. In a game involving Burnish it is fairly safe to say that at some point someone is getting set on fire.
Burnish’s final Character Play is one that we have seen before on Cinder, and that is Kill the Ball. As we learned when we took a closer look at Cinder in one of our previous blog posts, Kill the Ball is fantastically useful for repositioning the ball. Kill the Ball is handy for the ability to punt the ball out to a friendly goal scorer such as Cinder or Ferrite, or perhaps to just launch the ball into dead space to keep it away from dangerous enemy goal scorers.
Better Put Some Aloe Vera on That
Continuing with the fiery utility piece theme, there are some very handy abilities on the back of Burnish’s card. Firstly, we have Fire Forged, a Character Trait previously seen on Furnace that allows Burnish to ignore the burning condition the first time he suffers it each turn. Remember that Burnish can use Reduction on himself to clear something like the snared condition, and would not suffer the burning condition if Fire Forged had not yet been triggered that turn.
The second Character Trait on Burnish is one of his signature abilities, Reinforced Plating. The Blacksmiths have quite a lot of players with lower [DEF] attributes of [3+] and a couple of DEF [2+] players in Anvil and Hearth. This means that the Blacksmiths can be quite susceptible to enemy Character Plays as their high ARM attributes don’t do anything to protect them. If the Blacksmiths are able to build up a small bank of MP early in a turn, Burnish can become quite resilient to enemy Character Plays since he can pay  MP to ignore their effects each time he is hit by one. For example, giving Burnish the ball when playing against the Engineers Guild is a good idea. Providing the Blacksmiths have at least  MP, Ballista would be unable to knock Burnish down with Deadbolt in order to cause the ball to scatter. And even if any conditions do get through his Reinforced Plating, Burnish still has Reduction and Fire Forged up his sleeve!
Then we come to Burnish’s Legendary Play, Covering Fire. As with all Master Blacksmith Legendary Plays, Covering Fire has two parts, one that will always happen and one that will only happen if Burnish is chosen as the Captain for the team. The first part, the one that will always happen, allows Burnish to use one of his Character Plays without spending Influence. Reduction already costs  Influence to use but this could mean using Kill the Ball for free or using another Flame Belch. If Burnish is the Captain and has been allocated at least  Influence, he could pay Influence to use Flame Belch twice and then use Covering Fire to use Flame Belch a third time!
The second part of Covering Fire, that only triggers when Burnish is the team’s Captain, grants every friendly player within its [6”] aura Reinforced Plating. So, for one turn of a game the entire Blacksmith team can become incredibly resistant to enemy Character Plays, assuming they have the MP to pay to use Reinforced Plating. This is a fantastically useful Legendary Play to use against enemy teams with troublesome offensive Character Plays like Seduced, Puppet Master, Pinned, or Blind.
Between Furnace, Cinder, and Burnish it is possible to present a Blacksmith team that inflicts a lot of the burning condition. As a little hint for our next blog, Burnish’s Apprentice is a player that benefits quite a lot from facing enemy players that are on fire. Make sure to join us again in our next article as we discuss Burnish’s Apprentice! Tell us what you think of the Blacksmith’s Guild so far on our forums, as well as Facebook and Twitter!