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High Elf Thrower

Blood Bowl High Elf Thrower
High Elf Thrower Overview:

The High Elf Thrower is in my opinion the best player of his position in the entire game of Blood Bowl. There may be a few Throwers on other teams that are slightly faster which is nice, though a Thrower on a High Elf team is capable of getting the ball to the intended target, not only accurately but also safely. They also have better armour than the other agile Throwers which offers a bit more versatility, especially if using one during your defensive drives. High Elf Throwers are a bit pricey but you get your moneys worth with them. With high agility, average speed, strength and armour, though they also come with two great passing skills in Pass and Safe Throw.

It is the fact that they start with Safe Throw that opens up more passing options than I would otherwise usually advise. It is best to only do passes that don’t offer the opposing team any chance of an interception. Safe Throw makes the interception attempts even harder, but even so I would still not let the other team get a chance if at all avoidable. The very fact that you may elect to throw the ball where the other team can try and intercept can open up more space for your players, which is a great advantage for a high agility team that also has some fast players.

It is also helpful on defence if you are using one on that side of the ball. A defensive Thrower can often be used to collect loose balls and then pass it off to a team mate. Usually in those situations it is going to be very hard to find a throw that avoids all interception possibilities. Also starting with that extra passing skill from the get go means you are one skill ahead of any other Thrower that would have to use a skill choice to gain it. The last advantage they have in being an Elf is that they can also take agility skills normally which offer some great choices for a defensive build.

Offensive High Elf Thrower:

As they already start with Pass and Safe Throw I personally can’t see a better first skill to take than Accurate. It extends their range of easy passes and makes the longer ones even easier as well. After that it really depends on personal preference and perhaps the play styles of your opponents. Sure Hands is a commonly taken skill for a High Elf Thrower, though I personally don’t really often take it. I prefer to pick the ball up with a Lineman who needs a completion and then do a quick pass to the Thrower instead. If you are facing teams with very fast high agility players who can capitalise on you dropping the ball in your backfield then be very careful doing this. Alternatives are Sure Feet to increase you movement for both collecting the ball, making passes shorter (and therefore easier) or for moving far enough to prevent an interception roll. Nerves of Steel lets you mark an opposing player and still pass the ball without them hindering you. I think that should only really be done if you have Block and or Dodge though first. Dodge is another good choice so you can get away from markers easier. I do tend to keep them out of range of being hit or marked but sometimes plans don’t always work out the way you envisioned.

Doubles choice for your long range offensive Thrower would be Strong Arm, with both this and Accurate you can then throw a long pass on  a 2+ with your Pass reroll, or even a long bomb on a 3+. This really lets you keep your Thrower deep, especially when combined with the speed of your Catchers as well. A strength increase early on I wouldn’t pass up but turn them into a defensive build instead. If you get it a bit later you can probably still do that as well. An agility increase is great as you can pick up the ball in a tackle zone unhindered or even run through some if needed. It also makes Safe Throw even better which will really annoy opponents. A movement increase is also good for any Thrower for the same reasons as you would choose Sure Feet.

Defensive High Elf Thrower:

When on defence you need to take skills that will protect your player as they are going to get hit far more often. For that reason start with Block, which as usual will also help you block safely yourself. As I alluded to earlier his role is going to be to retrieve loose balls and pass them out to a team mate. Dodge would provide more protection and also helps with moving around to get to any loose balls. Accurate will help with passing the ball out once you get it, or Sure Hands makes picking up the ball in a crucial area more successful. Having Sure Hands would also make attempting to pick it up in one or two tackle zones a more reasonable proposition. Nerves of Steel will let you pass it out of traffic much easier. Late options include Leap to get to places that aren’t easy to dodge to, though if you are doing that you will probably want to have Sure Hands already. Side Step can help keep them out of trouble and is also a great defensive skill for both positioning and marking players.

A double skill I would take Guard as Elves need all the Guard they can get and there aren’t really any better choices. A strength increase is great as is an agility increase. Movement would also be helpful for extra range in retrieving loose balls.

High Elf Thrower Summary:

I’m a big fan of High Elf Throwers and they can be great for both offence and defence, so I would certainly get two and develop one of each. Another great thing about them which you may have noticed is that they have plenty of good skill choices as normal. You can develop them to be really great players without ever needing a double or stat increase. Leader is another possibility you might want to consider if you find yourself needing another reroll. I personally prefer to take skills more useful to their on pitch role, taking reroll skills on the other players and practising conservative reroll use. They are one of my favourite Blood Bowl players and if you give them a try you will find out just how good they can be.

25 Responses to High Elf Thrower

  1. Murkglow August 1, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    Do you consider having two seperate Throwers worth the TV?  I suppose rather I mean ones that will only ever be in play recieveing or defending?  It seems like alot of TV to use up in that way when you don’t really need two seperate players for the job.  Just one Thrower with Accurate, Block, Dodge, Nerves of Steel/Sidestep, Strong Arm would give you a thrower who is more then able to do a passing game but at the same time is fully built to survive defensive play as well.

  2. Coach August 1, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    You can do that and cope very well, especially in shorter leagues where you may not even get one skilled as much as that. I was outlining options for people who wanted to take two, the specialised builds are individually better at what they do compared to a single one though.

    That also requires all six skills and you don’t have Sure Hands on the defensive side. Of course you can take that on someone else, though they don’t have the same passing abilities that you can easily give a Thrower.

    As to if it is worth the trade off for Team Value, that is down to each coach and the kind of teams they are facing. It most situations you aren’t going to be able to build fully developed cookie cutter players for the whole team anyway. Good question though thanks for asking.

  3. danton August 2, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Would you not consider Hail Mary Pass as an option for the defensive thrower (3rd or 4th skill) with the idea of using it to clear the ball from near your own endzone after stealing it from the opposition and then relying on your foot speed to win the race back up the other end?

  4. Coach August 2, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    It is certainly an option though I don’t put great faith in Hail Mary personally. An AG4 player with accurate can already do a long pass on a 3+ and the High Elf Thrower can obviously reroll that and has Safe Throw. I would consider that his ability is good enough to throw it down field to an open square or be able to pick out a suitable team mate instead.

    I think there are probably better alternatives that are going to be more useful at more opportunities to warrant Hail Mary a skill slot.

  5. danton August 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Fair enough. The fact that the skill works equally well for a 2 Ag stunty as it does for a 5 Ag player does put me off giving it to thrower types generally, although it can be a useful option for a defensive thrower nevertheless. Sometimes a long throw is not long enough to clear it away from danger…

  6. Murkglow August 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    Given that it’s only useful in specific situations and even then it’s not always useful, I can’t say I would ever give Hail Mary to an elf.  Then again I might just be bias as I honestly can’t think of someone I would give Hail Mary Pass to.

  7. danton August 4, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    Could be fun on a skink or a goblin I would imagine, but haven’t tried it out yet. The gobbo bomber could definitely make good use out of it – stand him next to your endzone and rain bombs on the opponent’s cage regardless of where it is! lol

  8. Murkglow August 4, 2010 at 4:47 am #

    Yes but to get Hail Mary Pass on a Goblin or Skink you need to roll a double and if you roll a double I have to imagine you have better picks (like, I don’t know, Block or Wrestle).

  9. danton August 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    It is still an interesting alternative doubles choice for a stunty. It is amazing how quickly blodge skinks and goblins still die!

  10. biLLy December 14, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    I would like to add the option of “Dump off” even earlier than sure hands, mainly for these reasons:

    * Sure Hands gives the option of a reroll in case of the ball being on the floor, but with AG4 in all your characters, that shouldnt be a problem.

    * Dump off can be a very much valuable skill in case of a block over the thrower, since you always be able to launch the ball before the block performance, and that consider even if the blitzer/blocker has “Strip ball”, so much better.

    In almost any situation, actually I think dump off is much better than sure hands for elf teams ballcarriers.

    Share your thoughts.

    • Coach December 14, 2010 at 11:17 am #

      I’m not a fan of Dump Off in general as I prefer to not let my ball carrier get hit in the first place! I think you are putting too much faith in AG4, the less rolls involving the ball the better once I’ve got hold of it. That isn’t to say Dump Off can’t be useful and it seems to have become more popular now that Dark Elves start with it on Runners than it used to be.

  11. maxcarrion December 15, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    For the HMP discussion, goblin bombers are the only place I currently like to put Hail Mary Pass, there always seems to be a better way to do it when looking at handling the actual ball rather than a bomb, especially when a designated lvl 2+ thrower scoops it up.

    As for Dump Off, I think it’s nice, doubley so with NoS too there’re lots of possibilities, especially on an Elf team where every player is a possible receiver/ball carrier. However there’re so many other good skills out there for a ball handler, while I appreciate and try to take advantage of it on my DE runners I probably wouldn’t pick it for any other teams.

  12. biLLy December 15, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    I agree, I was just pointing out that I was surprised how Sure Hands is the 3rd skill suggested while I feel it is much way better Dump Off for AG4 teams than Sure Hands…

    And yes, although it is an usefull skill, there are many other skills before I would get (accuracy, dodge, NoS, strong arm OMG), but even before getting SS, I would always get Dump Off…

    Just my 2cents.

  13. Perkalov January 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Unless getting + Agility I get Sure Hands firstly, then Accurate.
    The short version to why is, if I get +Agi on second roll I will have to wait, for quite some time, for Sure Hands. I prefer to have Sure Hands on a thrower (the risk of having used the RR for the turn, when I get to picking up the ball is imo to great). However +Agi will do the job of Accuracy while I wait for the third skill.

    • Coach January 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      That is fair enough though an agility increase isn’t as good as Accurate when it comes to passing the ball. It does make the target number for an accurate pass lower, though it doesn’t change the odds of a fumble which Accurate does.

      Good strategy involves protecting the ball in case of a failed pick up which for an Elf player only fails 1 in 6 times. Depending on where the kick landed and the opposing team you can just let this fail and try to pick up again the following turn. For that reason I can go entirely without Sure Hands. I also like to pick it up with someone else on the team who could do with getting 1 SPP for a completion and then doing a quick pass to the Thrower instead as well.

      Having Sure Hands over Accurate is perhaps better for a High Elf Thrower as they come with Safe Throw which makes fumbles less of a problem. Though it may still mean they end up holding onto the ball in an exposed area and with +AG and Sure Hands they have no skills protecting them from being hit.

  14. Sam March 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    I was thnking of putting Pass Block on a thrower in the hope he’d get the intercept and then be able to return the ball up field immediately. If he fails at least he’d be close to the opposition catcher ready to assist or recover the ball next turn. Any thoughts?

    • Coach March 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

      Pass Block is a very marginal skill, a lot of teams will never pass the ball and even if they do you may not be in a position to use it. Anyone on the High Elf team with AG4 can be used to recover the ball, so that is no reason to take it. If you are going to take Pass Block it would be better on a Catcher who has the Catch skill to be able to reroll the attempt. A Catcher is also more likely to have marking skills like Side Step and Diving Tackle making them a better choice to move next to the intended receiver too. Even then I still wouldn’t likely take it until perhaps the fifth skill at the earliest and wouldn’t be upset if I never had it.

  15. aermet69 April 1, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    Would anyone consider Kick-Off Return on the Thrower? I’m thinking that would really help him maintain a position in the backfield, even if the ball lands near the mid field. On the other hand, as you say, any elf can pick up the damn ball and pass it down to the thrower to hold onto. Just figured the ekstra move could be handy (talking 4th or 5th skill though).

  16. Coach April 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    I’d rather take Sure Feet as I can use that every turn and it can save a reroll. Can’t see me ever taking Kick Off Return on a High Elf team if I’m honest, there will always be a preferable option in my opinion.

  17. rombowombo July 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    I went for Sure Hands first, then Accurate because I tend to keep the Thrower deep in my own half, out of reach of the nasties. Worked very well! After that I got Blodge and finally I rolled for Agility. BAM!
    After three board leagues I am now building up a second Thrower lineman-syle: Block, Dodge, NoS. Thus I am a great fan of the two specialized High Elf Throwers. Their game works best combining the Deep Thrower with the Catchers, but does not depend solely on the Thrower as the team is well-rounded all in all.

  18. Schwal October 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    I have a thrower that got +MV +AG and Accurate as the first three skills. He now sits in my backfield and waits for the ball to be on the ground. if it’s on my side or within 2 squares, he can walk in, pick it up, and throw it to someone in range of the end zone.

    This means that if my opponent makes one mistake, I have a touchdown. and because one of my blitzers got +ST, It is very easy to force a mistake. My only non-win was a 1-1 tie against an amazon team that didn’t make a mistake.

    So while it’s generally a good idea to build elves for the defensive, having a thrower who can make anything is a huge asset.

  19. Michael April 15, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    I notice that one of your notes reads “prefer to pick the ball up with a Lineman who needs a completion and then do a quick pass to the Thrower instead” In my current tournament I actually tried that a few times and it failed at the worst possible time,which enabled my Orc opponent to score in the end. Since then I only use my catcher to pass to,as he usually doesn’t drop the ball.unlike my linesmen. Have you had this experience as well?

  20. Coach April 15, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Sounds like you were picking it up with the Thrower and passing to a Lineman, not the other way around. Like anything else in the game you should also do it when a failure isn’t going to leave you in a bad position. In those circumstances you should just pick it up and keep hold of it.

  21. fourismith August 11, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    How about catch? It helps with giving linemen quick passes to help them level up and also helps if you’re doing a hand off and a pass?

    • Coach August 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      It’s a waste of a skill in my opinion for the amount of times you will get to use it. If the situation isn’t safe for him to fail the catch I’d just use him to pick it up in the first place. There are more pressing skills they need that are higher priority.

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