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.