Ready to stir up trouble with Jaak — the only champion in the game that can heal other models in your warband?
Jaak is a support powerhouse that keeps your warband fighting fit! And in today’s Ultimate Guide courtesy of lead developer, Steve Margetson, we’ll deep dive into how you could use this Dubious Alchemist in your Godtear warband — including a look at Jaak’s cards!
Meet Jaak, the Dubious Alchemist
By Steve Margetson
Strange Jaak’s skills as an alchemist and healer are legendary. He wanders from town to town, bringing a remarkable collection of medicines, potions and poultices with him on his travels. Wherever Jaak roams, his obedient crew of Cauldron Cronies is never far behind, gathering unusual ingredients for his latest healing brew.
Jaak is the third goblin champion we’ve seen in Godtear, with a bubbling cauldron to bring unconventional healing remedies to his allies. He’s also the third champion to hail from the swamp region, alongside Sneaky Peet and Jeen.
With this new addition, you could finally field a full goblin warband and engulf your enemies in the swampy mire! If you do give this ragtag band of goblins a try, let us know how it goes on Discord or in the Facebook fan group.
Jeen, the Wandering Warrior
Back to Jaak. His five followers, the Cauldron Cronies, actually plant his cauldron banner for him, letting Jaak focus on brewing his unusual concoctions.
Of course, their job doesn’t end once the cauldron is in position. The Cronies protect it by tossing discarded ingredients and chanting aggressively at those who get close by. In dire situations, they can even reposition the cauldron to safety — trouble can’t be brewing without a cauldron, after all!
Jaak’s Stats and Traits
Being a guardian champion, Jaak gains a bonus step on the battle ladder if his banner is planted on an objective hex (read: a godtear) during the end phase.
Quick to enact his devious plans, Jaak has a rapid movement 3 in the plot phase and a more measured 1 in the clash phase. This low clash phase movement can be offset by a certain ingredient… But we’ll cover that later.
Jaak sits in a nice middle ground in terms of resilience with 7 health. This is supplemented with a reasonably high dodge and a pretty standard protection value. He can take a few hits but his durability isn’t on the level of Helena or Rhodri.
Helena, the champion who’s her own banner
Jaak’s power is more in the durability he brings to his allies. Each time he takes an action, he removes a wound from a friendly character that’s nearby. Talk about action economy!
Durable models like Rhodri can become near-impossible to take down with Jaak around, while lower-health models like Titus become less vulnerable to enemy champions hunting them down.
(Titus is part of the Borderlands Starter Set, so if you’re just getting into Godtear, Jaak and the Borderlands would be a good place to start.)
Champions or large followers that are nearly knocked out can have their health increased, stopping them from becoming easy points for your opponent!
But there’s a catch. As potent as the brew is, it does come with restrictions. Jaak won’t use it on himself, which probably says a lot about its nutritional value. In addition, his cauldron banner must be planted on the battlefield for him to brew it at all.
Of course, given Jaak is a guardian champion, it's advantageous for him to keep his banner planted on the battlefield anyway, so he can score those extra steps on the battle ladder at the end of the clash phase. Double bubble indeed!
Top Tip: Jaak likes to plant his banner on godtears that are a bit further away from the action, where it’ll be safer. This can be achieved via clever godtear placement on scenarios like Life, Change or Chaos. Shapers like Nia and Styx can also help by either creating hexes or moving them in advantageous positions.
Jaak’s Skills and Ultimate
Plot Phase Skills
Like Jeen and Peet before him, Jaak can actually deal damage in the plot phase. His Spider Staff can be brought down on enemies up to two hexes away. Though it’s not the most accurate attack, it does bring a respectable damage of 6 whilst slowing down its target.
Jaak’s other skill, Tortoise Shavings, lets him hand out a protection boon to a friendly model. Between this and the healing from battlefield brew, he can make it very difficult for your opponent to knock out a key champion on the battlefield.
Clash Phase Skills
The clash phase is very similar to his plot phase. Spider Staff makes a return, letting Jaak deal more damage and slow down his enemies! When you’ve got a good thing going on, why change?
To give himself a boost, Tortoise Shavings has been replaced with Foot of Rabbit, which is one of the few remedies Jaak reserves for himself. With it, Jaak can speed himself up, perfect for offsetting his tortoise pace clash phase movement or turbo charging his plot phase movement to 4.
As with the plot phase, after each action he will also be removing a wound from a nearby ally.
Jaak’s Ultimate Skill: Dubious Remedy
As you might have gathered so far, Jaak focuses on healing. So what does his greatest concoction bring to his tool kit? Even more healing!
Once per game, Jaak rolls a die for each friendly champion and large follower in range adding one to the result and removes that many wounds from the model. Each model affected is going to remove between 1 and 3 wounds from themselves, bringing his warband back to fighting strength after a devastating turn or in preparation for the all important turn 3.
The eagle eyed amongst you will notice Jaak can use the skill to heal himself, making it a useful panic button if he’s close to being knocked out. And unlike Battlefield Brew, it doesn’t require his banner to be in play, either!
Top Tip: Dubious Remedy is an action so provided Jaak’s banner is in play, Battlefield Brew can be used immediately afterwards to top up a model that you didn’t quite roll enough on.
Jaak’s Followers: The Cauldron Cronies
Carrying both ingredients and his cauldron, the Cauldron Cronies assist Jaak in making his questionable potions.
Cauldron Cronies in the Plot Phase
The defining element of the Cauldron Cronies’ plot phase is Deploy Cauldron. As long as Jaak is within 3 hexes of them, they can place Jaak’s banner in a godtear adjacent to one of their crew. This not only provides Jaak with more actions during his plot phase but also allows him to claim on a hex up to 4 hexes away from him.
Their high speed in this phase also lets them move quickly around the battlefield to get within range of both Jaak and find the perfect godtear for planting the cauldron.
If the Cronies are already in position they can knock out enemies threatening them with their flexible ingredient tossing skill, Eye of Newt. By changing the number of followers in the hex the Cronies can tailor this skill for high dodge or high protection targets.
Oh, and remember to plant your banner beforehand to get the most out of the skill. The Cronies’ Missing Ingredient trait increases both the accuracy and damage of their skills whilst Jaak’s banner is on the battlefield, making their attacks even more potent. Yet another reason to keep the cauldron in play!
Top Tip: Make sure the Cauldron Cronies take their activation before Jaak activates, to maximise the healing from his Battlefield Brew trait.
Cauldron Cronies in the Clash Phase
In the clash phase, the Cronies become entirely focused on disrupting their enemies and protecting the cauldron. The precious, precious cauldron.
Toil and Trouble lets them move friendly banners, perfect for moving Jaak’s or other banners just slightly out of range. This is particularly effective when shifting a banner to a new godtear that’s either behind the Cronies, or one they can swarm round to protect.
Aggressive Chant rounds out this banner protecting kit by providing a way for the Cronies to move enemies a hex away from the banner. It also reduces the target's dodge so can be used to set up a lower accuracy skill (like Jaak’s Spider Staff) from elsewhere in the warband.
The skill also benefits from the accuracy increase from Missing Ingredient provided the banner is still on the battlefield.
Top Tip: The Cauldron Cronies can be positioned in a multitude of ways to allow the use of both Toil and Trouble with Aggressive Chant in the clash phase to stop an enemy champion reaching Jaak’s banner.
Tips and Tricks for Jaak
Keep Fighting: Pair Jaak with durable champions like Halftusk and Rhodri — or champions with high health, like Skullbreaker — then watch as your opponent struggles to knock either out. Battlefield Brew is particularly useful for keeping Halftusk’s Fighting Fit trait active.
Punish Delayed Knockouts: Some opponents will leave your champions on low health to score steps on the battle ladder in the next round. Use Battlefield Brew and Dubious Remedy to mess with their plan, and deny them easy access to the points they crave!
Large Follower Speed Bumps: Battlefield Brew and Dubious Remedy can both be used on large followers, making Keera’s Young Dragons, Shayle’s Landslide, and Kailinn’s Virtues an effective way to block off parts of the battlefield.
Jaak Pros and Cons
- Ability to heal other champions and large followers
- Access to plot phase attacks
- Can plant banners far away from his current location using his followers
- His banner must be protected at all costs
- The enemy warband will focus their attacks on him due to limited ability to heal himself
- Limited clash phase