Skaven Gutter Runner Overview:
Gutter Runners are the fastest players in the game and are also one of the best players available to any team. They are what makes the Skaven team good and you will find other teams going out of their way to kill them. Their downside is their low strength and armour which can make them fragile and you can expect opposing coaches to foul them at any opportunity. The good points are the high speed and agility that they possess, along with their access to mutations. They are also fairly reasonably priced as well like the rest of the Skaven players, which is good given you will probably need to replace them.
Beginner coaches often see their speed and agility and just think that they should be build to scoring touchdowns as quickly as possible. You can do this and they are very good at doing that, however I really don’t recommend to do so for a number of reasons. First of all, they will be hogging all the SPP of your teams, leaving their team mates often unskilled for ages. This will make your team very one dimensional and you will also lose large chunks of value at a time when one dies. If you fail at the attempt of the quick score you will often not have anything to fall back on, which may lead to a crippling defeat.
My recommendation is to use them to harass the ball carrier deep in the opponents half, if you can tie them up long enough, you can either force an error and then pick up the ball and score, or they run out of turns to get the ball down the pitch to score themselves. If you score every time you kick off to the other team then you will never lose a game and Skaven are one of the best teams equipped to do this. The fact you can cover the pitch really easily makes them great at defending despite their apparent weakness, utilise it well and you will learn why other teams curse them.
You need to learn not to be scared about using them to get stuck in as well, if you are timid with them and just try and overly protect them, then you aren’t making best use of their abilities. Other coaches are going to go after them anyway, so cause them lots of problems to deal with to make it harder for them to focus their efforts on this. Skaven coaches can’t get attached to their players, they will often die but the benefit the Gutter Runners have is that they can skill up quickly straight away. It shouldn’t be too hard to try and score two touchdowns with one in its first game so you can get a skill after the first match.
Blitzing Gutter Runner:
- Normal: Wrestle, Side Step/Dauntless, Leap/Tackle/Strip Ball
- Doubles: Horns/Guard, Two Heads/Mighty Blow
- Stat Increase: +ST, +AG, +MV
These are probably one of my favourite players to build in the entire game and in my opinion one of the keys to a succesful Skaven team. You need to build two of these guys and set them up one either side of the pitch when you are kicking off to the other team. Use them in tandem to go after the ball carrier and knock the ball loose, perhaps then picking it up and scoring. Repeat this over and over and welcome to victory! Wrestle is the obvious first choice as it helps keep them alive and will also take down the opposing ball carrier which is their aim. Next up you can either go Side Step which helps protect the sideline and stops opposing players with Frenzy blitzing them off the pitch. It will also allow you to position them a square nearer the ball if they get blitzed straight away (which is likely) and will also allow you to stay next to the ball carrier when you reach him. Alternatively you can go for Dauntless which will make up for the low strength when you go to blitz the ball carrier, most ball carriers are ST3 so you shouldn’t fail it often and it isn’t the end of the day when it does fail. I prefer to get Side Step first because of its other benefits and try and use the other attacking gutter runner to assist the blitz. There are a whole load of skill choices you can take next, Leap would mean a lot less dodges to get there, or let you get in a cage easier, Tackle for those ball carriers with Dodge, or Strip Ball for those times a non Sure Hands opponent has the ball.
For doubles Horns makes a great choice to even up the blitz against ST3, probably not great if you already have Dauntless though, as these two skills no longer combine as they used to. Guard is also a nice choice for assisting the other attacking Gutter Runner to blitz and their mobility around the pitch is useful in lots of other spots as well. Two Heads will help if you need to dodge through some tackle zones to get to the ball carrier or perhaps Mighty Blow to make sure they stay down more often after you hit them. The stats you would like, +ST is obviously great and negates the need for Dauntless and perhaps makes Horns more desireable as he can then work alone a lot easier. +AG will again let you get where you want easier and also pick the ball up in tackle zones if it falls there, makes leap more desirable as well. +MV is preferred over the +AV, their ball carrier will have to be that bit more wary or stand a square further back and the armour won’t really make much difference in keeping them alive and won’t aid their ability in any way either.
Defensive Gutter Runners:
- Normal: Block, Side Step, Diving Tackle, Tackle/Shadowing/Pass Block/Leap
- Doubles: Guard/Nerves of Steel/Very Long Legs/Big Hand
- Stat Increase: +ST, +AG, +MV
These guys are great for tying up the ball carrier, Block and Dodge combine well to keep them on their feet and like the other build Side Step will keep them next to their target. You can also tie up receiver in the same manner, though typically these guys can dodge away easier and Diving Tackle will make that harder. After that Tackle is useful as ball carriers and receivers often have Dodge, Shadowing makes great use of your high movement and will really prevent players getting away. Pass Block is also handy if you want to be able to cover more than one receiver.
For doubles again Guard can be useful, if you are stuck next to a target player, then a team mate can make use of your assist regardless of the other opposing players to go in and blitz. Nerves of Steel will let you still attempt intercepts at a 5+, whilst still marking the receiver to keep your other skills active. It also makes it very hard for the other team to stop you on offence as well if he is always an option. Very Long legs will give you a boost to intercept in the open and will compliment Pass Block as well as then making Leap more desirable. Big Hand is handy to have on one player as well to go and collect the ball in multiple tackle zones, this guy would also probably want Leap.
For stats +ST isn’t really that helpful to the build but you don’t turn it down and will keep him alive longer and give you someone else who can blitz long range. +AG will be great for intercepts, collecting loose balls and moving around generally and also in Pass Block Actions. +MV will combine with Shadowing brilliantly and also make your offence that bit harder to stop.
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