Before we discuss the awesomeness that is Cast, we wanted to announce that we've been in talks with the venue for SteamCon USA and we've managed to buy additional space!!
50 ADDITIONAL TICKETS WILL GO ON SALE ON THURSDAY 9TH 16:00GMT!
We'll also be starting Event Sign-ups on Friday 10th 16:00 GMT.
Why the delay? Well, we've heard from many Guild Ball fans that you want a Doubles Event to take place. We're going to try and work this into the schedule, and thanks to the additional room we are hopeful that we'll get it on Saturday evening or during Sunday.
Now onto the Blacksmiths...
In our last blog about the Blacksmiths Guild we took a look at the Flame Belching Master Blacksmith Burnish. We also hinted that his Apprentice would benefit from facing enemy players that have been set on fire. If you missed our blog about Burnish you can find that HERE. Today though, it’s time to meet Burnish’s Apprentice, Cast.
One of the earlier concepts for Cast was this idea of interlocking shields. Somehow, the pair of bladed shields that she wields could be combined with Burnish’s to present a tiny version of an ancient Roman Testudo. However, we never quite got to a version that we liked, that still presented something that represented the Blacksmiths Guild in the way we wanted. So instead we simplified the concept. Cast’s shields normally protect her from the searing heat of her Master’s works, so Cast adapted them to be the only tools she needs on the Pitch. Indeed, Apprentice Blacksmith shields tend to be smaller and less refined than those of the Master Blacksmiths, so Cast’s skill in both creating and wielding her bladed shields is a sign of her swift advancement through the ranks of the Guild.
It is Cast’s skill at arms that largely defines her as she smashes into enemies with her shields to knock them off balance, shove them back and generally gain ground in an almost gladiatorial fashion. Cast’s particular fighting style and skills heavily influenced her pose leaving her with a fairly wide and low yet guarded stance.
Those Things Do Not Obey the Laws of Physics
Where most of the Apprentice Blacksmiths tend to focus mainly either on scoring goals or taking out enemy players, Cast is something of an allrounder. She has a good average MOV attribute of [5”/8”] and a notably accurate KICK of [4/6”]. Where we start to see Cast’s identity truly revealed is when we look at her Playbook. A Momentous  damage on the second column is always a strong, reliable result, and from there her damage spikes up almost as high as Iron and Sledge, finishing with a Momentous  on her sixth and final column. Additionally, a Push-Dodge Playbook result on the third column could be very handy for shifting enemy players around into more friendly melee zones for the Ganging Up bonus, or escaping melee through the use of a Counter Attack.
We really start to see Cast’s unique skills with her bladed shields shine through when we look at her Character Plays. Shield Glare is a brand-new Character Play that can be used multiple times each turn and only triggers from Cast’s Playbook, Momentously on the third column and non-Momentously on the fifth along with a Push-Dodge. Shield Glare is yet another way for the Blacksmiths to modify the defensive attributes of their opponents, and it also doubles as a defensive increase for the Blacksmiths themselves, as Shield Glare reduces the affected enemy’s TAC. This is a very useful ability to increase the chances of hitting enemies with high DEF attributes, or reduce the offensive potential of an enemy player that has yet to activate. Someone like Rage or Fillet never wants to see their TAC attribute being reduced!
Shield Throw is another brand-new Character Play that can either be triggered from Cast’s Playbook, or can be used by paying its  Influence cost. As well as causing  damage, Shield Throw represents another method of the Blacksmiths being able to manipulate the ball from range, as it forces an enemy player that is in possession of the ball, to immediately lose possession. This is a brilliant ability to use against enemies that are normally very difficult to retrieve the ball from. For example, Velocity under the effects of Nimble has DEF [6+] and Close Control, meaning that you normally need to Tackle Velocity twice to retrieve the ball; a very difficult task considering Velocity’s incredible DEF attribute. If Cast triggers Shield Throw from her Playbook she could choose to automatically hit Velocity and cause the ball to scatter, allowing either Cast or another player to pick it up instead. Or perhaps Cinder or Burnish will later on use Kill the Ball to reposition the ball completely.
This Girl is on Fire
Remember that in our Burnish blog we said that Cast likes facing enemy players that are on fire? That’s because she has the Burning Passion Character Trait! This trait increases the damage of her melee Attacks and Shield Throw when Cast uses either on an enemy player that is suffering the burning condition. This means that Shield Throw will deal  damage to an enemy player that is on fire and Cast’s Momentous damage Playbook results of , , and  turn into , , and ! Dealing a Momentous  damage on just the second column of Cast’s Playbook allows Cast to reliably deal  damage to an enemy player over four Attacks. If Cast has been set up by a Master Blacksmith such as Furnace or Anvil, she is capable of dealing incredible amounts of damage against a weakened enemy player, particularly if they are suffering the burning condition.
Cast’s second Character Trait is one that we have seen before, Charmed [Male], grants Cast a higher DEF attribute when being Attacked by an enemy player that has the [Male] type. This makes Cast a respectable DEF [4+] and ARM  in a lot of instances.
Her third Character Trait is another one that we have seen before, Swift Strikes. Swift Strikes allows Cast to make a [1”] Dodge every time she causes damage to an enemy player. Not only does this happen when Cast makes melee Attacks and chooses Playbook damage results, but also when she hits an enemy player with Shield Throw, since that Character Play causes damage too. The fact that Swift Strikes can trigger from Shield Throw can be incredibly useful when Cast has been Pushed out of melee by a Counter Attack. She can pay  Influence to use Shield Throw to allow her to Dodge back into melee if she has been stranded in this way.
Taking Cast and Burnish together gives a Blacksmiths Guild team a heck of a lot of utility. Between the two of them you have Character Play resistance in Reinforced Plating, ranged Character Play damage and ball control in Flame Belch, Shield Throw, and Kill the Ball, a significant melee damage threat and a credible goal scoring threat due to Cast’s movement speed and access to Dodges. Adding Burnish and Cast to a Blacksmith’s Guild team doesn’t necessarily focus a team’s purpose to inflicting take-outs or scoring goals, but it does give that team a number useful of tools for achieving both. It also opens up the option for combining Burnish and Cast with Furnace and Cinder for a team with a large focus on making use of the burning condition and scoring goals.
And that’s it for Blacksmith spoilers...for now. Keep your eyes on the various social media outlets. Tell us what you think of the Blacksmith’s Guild so far on our forums, as well as Facebook and Twitter!