Elf Catchers Overview:
The Catchers on an Elf team are the main reason most coaches would choose to play this team and they are easily the stand out player available to you. Elf Catchers are the best rookie players in the game at catching the ball, even better than other players after they have got a few skills! They are fast, have high agility and average strength, their downsides are a high price and typical of receivers they have low armour. The reason that makes Elf Catchers so good, is that along with their high agility, they come with both Catch and Nerves of Steel.
That means that unless it is raining or there is some disturbing presence nearby, they will catch a pass or hand off on a 2+ with a reroll and scattering or bouncing balls on a 3+. That is if you want them to, sometimes you may choose to not use those skills if you would rather a bouncing ball scatter again. That would usually occur if it scatters to a player on your team who has already done their action for that turn, of course though you could still catch the ball even if you elect to not use those skills. The only other exception would be interceptions which are 5+ with a reroll. This ability to ignore Tackle Zones when catching makes them very hard to stop when it comes to scoring.
Being able to catch the ball that easily makes the offence of an Elf team probably the hardest to stop in Blood Bowl. If you like scoring a lot then an Elf team might be for you (though that isn’t always the best strategy). As you don’t need to worry so much about your Catchers being marked, it makes it a lot harder for the other team to defend against them. They are also very good players to use for marking players nearby the ball carrier before you try and get it loose. Their tackle zones will make it harder for the opponents to catch the bouncing ball, while they have a very good chance of gaining possession themselves if it comes to them.
With such a good Catching ability, it is probably very tempting for new coaches to just concentrate on increasing their ability to score. The truth of it is that there aren’t many skills that will make much of a greater impact on their scoring ability. Like I mentioned already as rookies they are still better than a lot of players on other teams who have developed into better receivers. (That would mostly be down to the fact that it requires a double skill advancement to get Nerves of Steel for Catchers on other teams). So due to this, I wouldn’t personally develop any Elf Catcher down that route, you can get far better use out of them building them to do other roles. They will still have their great catching ability but can also aid the team in other ways, effectively giving you two players for the price of one!
Ball Carrier Blitzing Elf Catcher:
- Normal: Wrestle, Dodge, Strip Ball / Tackle, Leap / Side Step, Diving Tackle / Shadowing / Sure Feet / Fend / Pro / Dauntless / Jump Up
- Doubles: Guard
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MA
Not only are the Catchers really great, but you can have four of them! The Blitzers on the team are destined (in my opinion) to become very good marking players. I am very fond generally of building Catchers as Blitzers now and I would look to build two on any Elf team that I was coaching. They have the highest movement on the team so have the best range to get to targets, they don’t start with Block, so by taking Wrestle first (to counter Block on opposing ball carriers) fits them perfectly. Wrestle will also provide them some protection (watch out for Juggernaut) as they are big targets. I follow that up with Dodge again for protection but it also makes them even more manoeuvrable and harder to hide from. Staying upright also helps with being a Catcher on offence as well.
After that look at getting Strip Ball (especially if your league has plenty of team without Sure Hands) and Tackle to deal with Dodge. As I like to build two, I would give one skill to one of them and the other skill to the other one. You shouldn’t really need both skills on two players, certainly not Strip Ball anyway, one on the team should be enough as it is easily countered. After that consider Leap so you can get into cages easier, again it might not be necessary for both to get it, leaps fail more often than dodges and it isn’t always wise to jump into a cage either. If I had to pick I would probably take it on the Tackle player as ball carriers can often have Dodge and Sure Hands. Leap can also be very helpful on offence letting you get out of tightly marked spots. I would take Side Step next, it makes it harder to get rid of them and offers some protection against being chain blocked.
After that there are loads of choices that can work, it depends which way you want to take them. Diving Tackle and Shadowing are great, though work better on Block builds than Wrestle ones. Sure Feet can give you more blitzing and scoring range. Fend can help protect them more, especially against Piling On and Frenzy (this would probably be my next pick). Pro can be nice for rerolls of double pushes and failed Leaps when you don’t have a team reroll. Dauntless could be useful if you are playing against a lot of stronger players. Jump Up is also worth considering, it especially combines well with Wrestle for getting back up off the deck.
For doubles I would take Guard, Elven sides don’t have natural access to it and they need to get it when they have the chance. A strength increase is great for getting blocks in your favour and makes it harder to get blocked in return. Agility increase is also helpful, it would really combo well with Leap to make a scoring powerhouse and you can also dodge through tackle zones easier. Movement can be handy, I would skip it early on in short leagues, but it would be good for one turn scoring via chain pushes easier.
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