This skill allows the player to make a Quick Pass when an opponent declares that he will throw a block at him, allowing the player to get rid of the ball before he is hit. Work out the Dump-Off pass before the opponent makes his block. The normal throwing rules apply, except that neither team’s turn ends as a result of the throw, whatever it may be. After the throw is worked out your opponent completes the block, and then carries on with his turn. Dump-Off may not be used on the second block from an opponent with the Frenzy skill or in conjunction with the Bombardier or Throw Team-Mate skills.
At first glance Dump-Off appears to be a very useful skill, retaining possession of the ball when the opposing team looks likely to knock your ball carrier down. I personally am of the opinion though that the threat of Dump-Off and the adjustments the opposing team has to make due to it, is more useful than the skill actually is in practice. A successful Dump-Off does count as a completion though and can speed up the development of your player.
To get best use of Dump-Off you need to make sure that you have a team mate within Quick Pass range otherwise it is going to be useless. I would advice to have more than one target within range so that the opposing coach can’t know for certain who you will try to pass the ball to. Also by having more than one potential receiver, it will make it harder for the other team to properly mark them all with enough tackle zones to make the catch highly unlikely (though low agility players will often not really be considered a receiving option by you or them).
Their other option is to mark the ball carrier with enough tackle zones that the pass has a good chance of being a fumble and you drop it. This can be hard for them to do though if your ball carrier is protected by team mates. If you combine Dump-Off with Nerves of Steel on either both or one of the Dump-Off player or the intended target, then marking them becomes somewhat irrelevant. There two skills combine very well to retain possession of the ball and frustrate the opposing side. This will change their defence to more of a marking one trying to tie up the ball carrier, either hoping you fail to get away with the ball, or you end up giving the ball to someone they can hit without the Dump-Off threat.
The main issue I have with Dump-Off though is that it only is of use when your ball carrier is getting hit. My general play style that I advise though involves not getting the ball carrier hit at all. If you succeed with that then there is no place for Dump-Off on your players. Then there are the times that their hit on your ball carrier doesn’t knock them over and you have passed the ball to a less mobile team mate. Risking extra dice rolls that may have dropped the ball which weren’t needed. Perhaps the worst thing that can happen is that you try to Dump-Off and do actually end up dropping it (either from a fumble or failed catch) and they don’t knock you over. You have then needlessly dropped the ball and they can look to pick it up and they achieved this without even knocking you over, or having Strip Ball.
I personally feel that you would be far better just protecting your ball carrier, as not only by not getting hit you are more likely to keep hold of it, but less hits also means a longer life for your player. I would advocate taking skills that make it harder to knock your player over and then having Dump-Off for those times where their odds look good of a knock down and your passing option looks doable. This will usually be if they have a Wrestle + Tackle player doing the hitting. Most teams won’t usually have more than one of these guys so my first plan would be to just keep them at bay.
Benefits of Dump-Off:
- Can Keep Possession of the Ball when hit
- Gain Completion SPP in opponents turn
- Forces the opponent to mark more players
Who Dump-Off is Useful to:
With Dump-Off being a pass it is going to be better suited to players with higher agility. Low agility players just run too much of a risk of dropping the ball. This also applies to your team mates, it is no good having a player who can Dump-Off well if there is no one suitable to catch it afterwards. Due to that I would say it is only really Elven players that would really considered it. You may be able to get away with it on AG3 players if you have other suitable passing and catching skills to back it up with as well. That being said I don’t think I would ever select Dump-Off as a skill on anyone. It is handy to have on a Dark Elf Runner, though if you read my guide on them, you will see I don’t advise to focus on using it.
I have read some other guides online that suggest building two Dump-Off + Nerves of Steel players in tandem in order to just keep passing the ball backwards and forwards. I don’t think this is a sound plan, every time you attempt it you are risking dropping the ball, regardless of how good the players are at it. Also every time they are using Dump-Off, it means they are being hit. A player that gets hit may end up off the pitch, perhaps forever! If you are then left with just the one player you will need to adapt the game plan you were using. The problem is you used your skill advances to create a good Dump-Off player and now they aren’t very flexible to a change of plan. Not to mention that their skills are mostly going to be of use when they are holding the ball and this isn’t much help when the other team have their hands on it!