Pass Block (General)
A player with this skill is allowed to move up to three squares when the opposing coach announces that one of his players is going to pass the ball (but not a bomb from a Hail Mary Pass). A player may not make the move unless able to reach a legal destination and may not follow a route that would not allow them to reach a legal destination. A legal destination puts the player in a position to attempt an interception, an empty square that is the target of the pass, or with his tackle zone on the thrower or catcher.
Pass Block allows you to move a player up to 3 spaces during an opponent’s passing sequence in the attempt to either intercept the ball or by disrupting the pass by adding tackle zone modifiers to either the pass or catch roll. In this manner Pass Block can be a very effective skill in causing an opponent turnover. Not only that, but it gives your anti-dodge players (Diving Tackle, Prehensile-Tail, Tackle, Tentatcles, Shadowing) an opportunity to mark the receiver to make it more difficult to run for a TD. Let’s take a look at the Passing Sequence to understand how Pass Block is utilized.
Declare a Pass Action, move if desired, and then start the throw.
Declare target of the pass and determine range modifier.
Pass Blockers move if any are eligible to do so. (They can only move up to 3 spaces and must mark the thrower, catcher, or be in range for an interception)
Check for interceptors and roll for possible interception. (You can only pick 1 player to attempt the interception.) If intercepted stop here.
Roll D6 to throw and subtract number of tackle zones, Disturbing Presence and range modifiers on Thrower from roll.
If pass was fumbled, stop here. Otherwise continue.
If the throw is Accurate, go to step #8, otherwise scatter 3 times (to represent where the ball will land not the ball bouncing.)
If the ball lands in a square with a player, determine modifiers on Catch (i.e. tackle zones) and roll for Catch, otherwise bounce the ball once from the empty square the ball landed in.
In most cases, the offense will try to screen off the receiver from your Pass Block players. This is why Pass Block has synergy with the AGI+ stat increase. A player that can dodge or leap away from the opposition on a 2+ roll can best take advantage of Pass Block movement. On top of that, the increased AGI makes interceptions more likely!
- Increases opportunities for interceptions (usually game-winning).
- Gives your defense an opportunity to place tackle zones on the catcher and thrower.
- Gives your defense an opportunity to utilize “marking” skills such as Tackle, Shadowing, Diving Tackle, Tentacles, and Prehensile Tail.
- Highly circumstantial! Pass Block can’t be utilized if your opponent never passes!
Like stated before, unless you’re using a Pass Block player in the backfield away from the offense, your player should already be highly agile and prepared to move out of tackle zones with ease. Why? Because your opponent will most likely mark him during a pass attempt. Skills like Break Tackle, Dodge, AGI+, and Leap come to mind. Once you feel confident that your player can maneuver in a wide variety of situations, you can then build your player to fit the following roles:
It goes without saying, as an elf or a gutter runner, if you have an AGI+ skill increase, it becomes very tempting to take Pass Block… especially if the player already has Catch. Let’s take a look at a probability table for interceptions.
Interception requires an agility roll with a -2 interception modifier along with any -1 modifiers for tackle zones occupied by opponent players. As you can see, interceptions are best done by high AGI players. There is a certain synergy that Pass Block has with AGI 5, AGI 6, Dodge, and Leap. This is because at AGI 5 dodging into a tackle zone is only a 2+ dodge! This is important to consider.
Alright, so you have an AGI+ (AGI 5), Catch, Dodge, Block, Pass Block player. As you can see skill selection is already close to maximum capacity. What’s the next skill to pick? Do you go with Leap? Most coaches would immediately yell, “Of course!”
Leap can obviously help in this fashion as you can leap over walls of opponent linemen, but there is no skill reroll for Leap. If you fail a Leap during a Pass Block, he’ll fall to the ground (with roll for armor break) and the next phase begins in the Passing Sequence.
Before we decide on taking Leap (completely rational and valid choice) let’s take a look at another great combo AGI+ and Dodge.
If you do not have access to a team-reroll, Dodge and AGI 5 can actually be better than Leap and AGI 5! Let’s take a look.
A 2+ Leap has an 83.33% chance of success.
An AGI5 dodge through a tackle zone only requires a 2+ roll. Combined with dodge, three (YES! I SAID THREE!) 2+ dodges have an 86.06% chance of success! This gets better with AGI6. You can get the same results by dodging through 2 tackle zones. This being said, make sure you don’t run through any Tackle players!
Three 2+ dodges with the dodge skill has an 86.06% chance of success.
So based on your style of play, you can forego the Leap and get an extra skill. For instance, you might be fortunate enough to get Nerves of Steel. With this, not only do you mark your opponent player, but you suffer no tackle zone penalty when attempting to catch the interception! Let’s say you cannot gain access to Nerves of Steel or you want a more defensive player. You can also build your player to fit the next role.
The Annoying Positional Player:
Again, depending on your play style, you can forego Leap and try to fit in other anti-dodge skills. Tackle is a solid play. Shadowing is also great if you have the movement. Prehensile Tail, Diving Tackle and Disturbing Presence also work wonders. If you can combine Tackle and Diving Tackle or Shadowing on this player, you create a wonderful opportunity for your opponent to fail a dodge and thus a turnover, at the very least, there’s a good chance they might use a Team Reroll. The Annoying Positional Player is therefore a player that can not only can get a fairly moderate opportunity to intercept the ball, but he is one that can further disrupt the play, especially if the receiver is trying to score. Since the positional player is one that will usually get blitzed, it’s best to have him fully protected by Block and Dodge.
If you want to experiment, you can also try Break Tackle, Tentacles, and Pass Block on a brute of a player. It could be enough to keep a receiver from scoring.
Pass Block is a skill useful in a pass-heavy league but unfortunately it’s highly circumstantial. The best candidates for Pass Block should already be outstanding defensive players in that they have agile mobility (Dodge, Break Tackle, Leap, AGI+) and anti-dodge or anti-ball-handling skills (Tackle, Diving Tackle, Prehensile Tail, Tentacles, Disturbing Presence). You can also make your Pass Blocker a pure interception artist if you are fortunate enough to roll Nerves of Steel and AGI+ stat increases.
Pass Block is a creative skill that can be utilized in certain situations. It all depends on your play style. You can definitely win championships without this skill, but at the same time Pass Block offers you a great tool as a passing deterrent that you can use to your advantage when you play on defense.