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Dark Elf Witch Elves

Blood Bowl Dark Elf Witch Elf
Dark Elf Witch Elves Overview:

Witch Elves are a great asset to the Dark Elf team and are players that other teams are usually very wary of. They will draw attention though and get targeted for blitzes and fouls. For inexperienced players they can be tricky to use initially, with Frenzy and a lack of Block. In the hands of a good coach though you can really open up their potential.

A Witch Elf has two main threats that opposing teams really look out for, the main one is Frenzy coupled with their high movement and mobility. Against any side who has Frenzy teams have to be careful near the side line, though when that player can dodge with ease and also move far enough to get to you, then you have to be even more vigilant. If you are used to playing against the Big Guys with Frenzy and see how easy it is to manipulate their movement and bog them down, or see the range they can move, a Witch Elf can throw up some surprise blitzes that take your players into the crowd. Also the way some teams will set up their players near the sideline against Frenzy players. A Witch Elf has enough movement and agility to be able to get around to crowd push a player that is staggered behind a team mate thinking they are safe from the crowd push. I’ve been able to do this against quite a few coaches who thought their players safe from Frenzy, Leap makes this even easier.

The other main benefit a Witch Elf starts with is the Jump Up skill, if they move into range as a receiver, then it is no good just knocking them over, you need to break armour to eliminate them as a threat. Not to mention the ability to block from prone can also lead to extra advantages. It increases their blitzing range which the other coach may forget. You can effectively get an extra blitz, using the main blitz action elsewhere and the Jump Up block to hit another player that would have otherwise used a blitz action. Another nice trick is to use pushbacks to push opposing players next to a prone Witch Elf and then use Jump Up to hit them again. This is especially effective near the side lines and you can engineer crowd pushes from further infield than is expected. It is also obviously handy if you can do the same thing to the opposing ball carrier.

The main drawbacks to a Witch Elf though are the cost to hire them and their low armour. Their first skill most of the time will be either Block or Wrestle (I’ll go into that below) as you need the protection and it increases their hitting ability. Frenzy can also sometimes be a problem if you don’t get a knock down on the first block, so always check what the second block will be before you go ahead and do the first one. Especially be aware of leaving them on the sideline (or near it) if you don’t yet have Side Step as well. You also have to consider other teams fouling them as well, with low armour it doesn’t take many assists to guarantee an injury roll, so be careful about getting them isolated.

Block Witch Elf:
  • Normal: Block, Side Step, Leap/Tackle/Pro/Diving Tackle
  • Doubles: Mighty Blow/Juggernaut
  • Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV/+AV

Most Witch Elves will get similar builds depending on when or if they roll a stat increase or a double skill roll. Assuming they don’t then your first choice will be whether you go for Block or Wrestle. Block is obviously good for when you are hitting players, especially if playing against Stunty players and if you have Juggernaut, Wrestle heavy teams. I would suggest you build at least one with Block though and perhaps both, though you then need to look at Wrestle for your Linemen instead. Side Step comes next as then you don’t have to be as wary of getting pushed into the crowd yourself and makes you a hassle next to ball carriers and receivers. It will also allow you to set up more crowd pushes in your turn if they get blocked by the opposition. Leap can allow you to get into squares for crowd pushes, or next to the ball carrier, for blitzes that would be hard to dodge into. Tackle is great for taking on Dodge players, Pro can give you a free shot at rerolling double push results, or Diving Tackle works really well on Block+Dodge+Side Step players.

For doubles you have two choices, you can either go the Mighty Blow route as you are usually hitting with Witches a lot and Frenzy gets a lot of players down. I think I prefer Juggernaut though for a few reasons. First it really helps with crowd pushes able to turn both down results into a push, or even getting a second block off against Block ball carriers. It also cancels out Wrestle as well, so on a Witch Elf with Block, any blitzes you make against Wrestle players (who usually are lower armoured) you can knock them down and perhaps make them wish they took Block instead. The down side to Juggernaut is that you can only use it when you Blitz, while Mighty Blow you can use when you Block as well, or if another player Blocks you and rolls a skull. As far as stat increases go +ST is sublime, +AG can allow you to get at screened off players easier and allow for some great ball handling in traffic. As for +MV or +AV, I’d be inclined to skip them early on, +MV is very handy though, especially as Dark Elves are the slowest Elf side, but maybe lean towards +AV for more protection later in development.

Wrestle Witch Elf:
  • Normal: Wrestle, Side Step/Tackle, Leap/Strip Ball/Diving Tackle, Pro
  • Doubles: Mighty Blow/Juggernaut
  • Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV/+AV

The above build is great for both Witches, though you should certainly consider this one and can be effective building both this way. So the clearest difference is taking Wrestle at the start, this build is more aimed at taking down opposing ball carriers, while the other is more useful for crowd pushes and hurting the typical Wrestle opposition. Wrestle will obviously allow you to take down more opponents, so is also helpful against the teams that will load up on Block over Wrestle. Taking one down even without an armour roll can be really useful for making a gap to run team mates through. If you took Block you wouldn’t have got the armour roll against the opponent anyway, just be aware that after using Wrestle you may get fouled, sometimes they may just have to take one for the team and most the time you have an apothecary as back up. Wrestle also combines really well with Jump Up, unlike the opponent you won’t lose out on your movement for standing up, or you may be able to block again in your next turn.

After that Side Step again for the same reasons above, or Tackle as ball carriers will often have Dodge if they can get it. Which you take first will depend on how Dodge heavy the league is and how Tackle light your team is. Leap will let you get into a cage easier, or at a screened off player (even better if you can shove them into the crowd). Strip Ball is great against those without Sure Hands and with Frenzy, Tackle and Wrestle, you will practically be guaranteed to get the ball loose against this opponent. Diving Tackle has great synergy with Side Step and Jump Up, or Pro can give you a shot to nothing reroll for times you don’t want to reroll (usually pushbacks).

For doubles you have the same situation, Mighty Blow can be used for all Blocks and will get more opponents off the pitch. Juggernaut will again help for crowd pushes and make up for the lack of Block if you decide you would rather push the opponent than you both go prone (usually if you are certain you will get fouled). Obviously the fact it cancels out Wrestle for the opponent isn’t of much blessing when you have Wrestle yourself. Stat increase I would consider with the same reasoning as above.

Dark Elf Witch Elves Summary:

Witch Elves are fantastic players, though you may not always start with them on your team, for both cost reasons and their low armour. If you didn’t start with them then they are almost certainly your next purchases when you can afford them. I would try to get two touchdowns with them in their first game so you can get Block or Wrestle asap. With MV7 and Dodge this shouldn’t be too hard for an AG4 Elf player, after that they are one of your best assets. They are also brilliant players with just Block and then Side Step and I’d happily add one to any of my teams like that even if they could progress no further. Two in tandem can really cause headaches for the other team. If you can funnel their offence towards one sideline then you can soon start removing their players, to both the delight of the crowd and yourself.

18 Responses to Dark Elf Witch Elves

  1. VoidSeer October 20, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    Witch elves are a fantastic addition to a DE team. However, if you’re playing a league team, I’d advise not to take them from the start.

    They skill up pretty fast, so hiring them later is not a problem.
    They are fragile. Having an Apo is a must, and you won’t be starting with one
    In a rookie team with noone having guard, they’re real turn over machines (frenzy w/o block or wrestle).

    On a double, I give them mighty blow. Although I might give a run to juggernaut, I’m not that convinced.

    Why not fend as the 3rd skill? Never tried it, but that may help protecting them further.

    Remember, the key to a successful elf team is very skilled lineelves. Do not let your witch elf get all the SPPs.

  2. Thanatos October 20, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    I’ve never played Dark Elves and am looking forward to their release for the Cyanide game. The main reason being these lovely ladies.

    Though Frenzy on a Str3 player can be a pain as I have learned from Dwarf Slayers but at least they have Dauntless as well. Getting an Assist on both hits is so important.

  3. BoBliness October 20, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Witch elves have always been my favourite bit of flavour/fluff for the dark elf race in general.
    They’re expensive, but they’re worth every penny. Think of it this way, with one skill they become a wardancer with frenzy and jump up traded in for leap….thats the best trade ever.

  4. Thanatos October 21, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    But surely it is the Leap that makes Wardancers the terror of Cages everywhere?
    Though Jump Up is an excellent skill, you will need Block and Leap before you can even start competing with Wardancers. And I have found when I had given Frenzy to one of my Wardancers, it is great for opening up a Cage even more, it requires careful planning to pull off correctly (though in my case Str4 helped alot).

  5. Coach October 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Leap and Frenzy can be trouble if you use it for jumping into cages with a lot of Guard and Tackle players nearby. They combo well more for leaping into squares to enable you to shove players out of the way (even better if it means into the crowd). Opening up the ball carrier to put a Side Step + Diving Tackle player on them.
    You don’t have to beat a cage by leaping in and hitting the ball carrier, while this is effective against teams early on in their develpment when their players have less skills. Against developed teams I feel there are better ways to deal with cages of which I will get around to eventually, much like everything else!

  6. J.B.King December 3, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    Thanatos already mentioned Dauntless in his comment, and after seeing a few guides/articles on Darkelves in general and Witch Elves in particular, I am a bit surprised noone advises taking dauntless. It works great on Troll Slayers – why not use it on the WE too ?

    • Coach December 3, 2009 at 11:48 pm #

      There is a thread in the forums about this, go check it out.

  7. Dalryk December 8, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    I like the Wrestle/Juggernaut combo rather that Block/Juggernaut because it gives you options on a both down result no matter what skills your opponent has. 

    Wrestle means you can always take down your opponent if you want, while Juggernaut means you always have the option of a push back, either for crowdsurfing, or just to take another shot at them.  Now if only Cyanide could get it right, the Witch Elves could run riot!

  8. Urial December 16, 2009 at 5:07 am #

    What about pile on? I got doubles on my first roll and took pile on and then block as her 2nd skill… figgured that the reroll was better then a +1 and I use her to go for the weaker armor guys to try and get em off the pitch. also it puts her on the ground so the only way to hurt her is to foul, and I usualy have a couple guys around her to keep the foul assists away. I just figgured the biggest drawback to pile on was that you are down and Jump Up takes that virtualy away

    • Coach December 16, 2009 at 8:56 am #

      I actually think the biggest drawback is that you go prone and are there to be fouled. They are your most expensive players and are already big targets for being fouled. If you don’t fancy Mighty Blow then I would favour Juggernaut for easier crowd pushes and to cancel out Fend and Wrestle (and to a lesser extent Stand Firm).

  9. Metalsvinet April 7, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Piling on only really shines after mighty blow and two doubles on a witch is not that likely.

  10. yamaking December 24, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    i use witch elves as my runners…their AV is low and they don’t have block, so dangerous to use in blocking…but pass them the ball and they can make a run for it, thanks to dodge and good MV.

    • Coach December 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

      It is very easy to get them Block though, after which they are probably your best hitters due to starting with Frenzy.

  11. Gutshagga February 8, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    1st of all THANX Coach for this page, it helped me (and surely many others) a lot 🙂

    I wonder why nobody mentioned Catch for WE?

    Right, their AV is low, but with Block as first choice and Catch as second AND combined with one Pass-skilled Runner they are a TD guarantee.
    Let the Runner carry the ball and protect him with a WE. When attacked, dump-off to the WE(reroll with pass) and get an Reroll for the catch.

    A further improvement with Side-Step makes a WE even harder

    • Coach February 8, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      Catch can make a useful addition though it does so at the expense of better choices which compliment the Witch Elf starting skills. Scoring with an Elven team isn’t usually that big of a problem either to require that assistance and it may also lead to you using that one single player far too often, rather than spreading the SPP. Side Step is far more useful in many more situations, especially when combined with Frenzy for a sideline threat, after Block/Wrestle I don’t think there is a better skill to take second choice on a normal increase.

      Also every player on your team has agility access to get Catch, every other player on your team doesn’t have the skills a Witch Elf starts with so isn’t hampered in their potential by taking Catch. For quick scores when you run multiple receivers through the defence leaving the opposing team the option of who to blitz in their turn, the Witch Elf is already the top target. If their aim is to try and prevent you scoring, then having Catch on a Blitzer or Lineman gives them a more obvious catching target which can also take some heat away from your lower armoured Witch. Most of the time though on offence you will want to drag the clock out using up more turns, Catch if anything encourages a quicker score which isn’t usually in your best interests. All those factors combined are why I’d never take Catch on a Witch Elf by choice, hope that helps.

  12. Deliq August 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    Is it just me or are witch elves a bit lackluster compared to berserkers and troll slayers? They cost 20k more but start without block and don’t have access to strength skills (=no mighty blow, piling on, guard or juggernaut) and their only advantage is slightly higher mobility. Not a good trade-off if you ask me.

    • Coach August 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

      I’d rather have a Witch Elf over those two on ANY team, the extra agility and movement makes them far more versatile and a greater threat over a large part of the pitch. This means the opposing coach has far more options to consider during their own turn to be wary of.

  13. Reaperman January 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    After the initial first level up to convert WE from a running scorer to an effective blocker, I find scoring with them is stupidly easy, especially since frenzy is so useful for opening up lines. I only use WE to score if the situation is tenuous or desperate, and still find they hog all the SPP. I’d leave catch off them and maybe put it on a blitzer who continuously fails to roll doubles/stat increase on level ups. It’s extremely useful for interceptions on dump-offs and for picking up dump-offs from your runners.
    As for leap, I’ve played without it and never found myself wishing I had it. Considering how risky it is, I wouldn’t give leap to anyone with less than 5 agility (although this may be due to one too many injuries suffered to cocksure wardancers on a frivolous leap).
    Great guide, Coach.

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