Human Catcher Overview:
There are different schools of thought on the Human Catchers, some coaches think they are rubbish, being low strength and low armour, others find them really useful, with high movement and Dodge. There are others who have some middle ground who will utilise a couple. It is my opinion they are valuable players on the team and add the versatility of the Human roster.
The high movement can be really useful for both outrunning the opposing team with the ball or moving around the pitch to provide an assist where needed or switch the play from one side of the pitch to the other. The fact they have Dodge as well gives you someone who is more reliable at getting away when all your players are marked without having to use a team reroll in most situations. The Catch skill combines well for when you needed to get the ball away as a target who will be less likely to drop the pass or handoff. This can be especially useful if you pass to one catcher who runs away to handoff to another one and the ball can travel a long way down the pitch in one turn with less risk than trying a long pass.
Early on with less teams having Tackle can also help keep them on their feet against stronger opposition. They can be useful to mark up ST4 players who don’t have Block as well, though you do need to consider his lower armour vs the lower chance of him getting knocked down. So moving onto skill builds, I rarely build one dedicated to scoring, as they have the skills to do that out of the gate and they can always be considered a scoring outlet.
Mobile Tackle Zone/Assist:
Block and Side Step are always usually the first two skills that I traditionally have recommended for Human Catchers before new skills came in. This gives them the great Block and Dodge combination to keep them on their feet and makes them a bit better at blitzing blockless Throwers who are sitting deep. Side Step is a great skill for both offence and defence. Offensively you can move to squares that will let you dodge out into the open in your own turn, or let you sit on the sideline which can let them move a bit further away from potential blitzes if they made a break away with the ball.
For Defence you can mark a lot of different player types. The other team can’t block you away from the person you are marking easily, making it harder for them to catch a ball and forcing them to dodge away. Or you can tie up a potential blitzer, forcing them to dodge or have to do goforits to run around you. Another option is that it lets you move and stay as a potential assist, or cancelling assits and also really getting in the way and slowing down the progress of a cage. Diving Tackle/Tackle and then perhaps Shadowing will really tie whoever you are marking up.
Guard is great on Doubles as Humans can never get enough and you can really go and assist in a more effective manner. For stats +ST is fantastic as it brings them up to the average ST3 and makes them harder to block and will get them in a position where they can make more blocks in their favour. Agility increase lets you move around the pitch really well and increases your scoring threat. For the roll of a 10 I’d probably take guard on doubles, otherwise the extra movement combines really well with Shadowing, cover even more of the pitch and again help with scoring, or +AV will increase their resilience.
- Normal: Wrestle, Dauntless/Tackle/Stripball, Side Step, Diving Tackle
- Doubles: Guard
- Stat Increase: Any
Since Wrestle was added you will see a lot more players built as Blitzers who aren’t actually the Blitzer positions. This isn’t a new thing though, but since taking Wrestle on someone who has Block already is rather redundant, it becomes more attractive to build up a different player starting with Wrestle. The fact they are fast and start with Dodge as well really means you can get at players in the backfield if you kick deep. The speed also possibly means you can get a team mate there as well to get an assist for a one die blitz at times. Dauntless makes a nice second skill and can make the difference in turning a blitz into your favour, it also gives you some more options when playing against stronger teams as well. Combine with Stripball then even if you have to do a two dice blitz in their favour you can still have a good chance of getting the ball, especially against players without Sure Hands.
Past that Side Step is great for the times you don’t get them over to keep a tackle zone on them and keeps them useful as the above build as well. The same goes with taking Guard and the same applies to all the stat increases as well.
- Normal: Sure Feet, Sprint, Diving Catch
- Doubles: Nerves of Steel
- Stat Increase: +AG, +MV, +ST
This is probably the build you will see most rookie coaches start to build. Catchers appear to be fast moving scoring players, throw it to them and they go score. Which on first appearance makes a lot of sense. The trouble with this is they will hog a lot of the SPP and skill up quickly while the rest of the team doesn’t. Then when they get killed your team drops in a lot of value and becomes a lot worse. The above players are more useful to the team as a whole and will also be more resilient with either Block or Wrestle.
If you still want to go this route though, Sure Feet lets them move those extra squares with more certainty, then Sprint gets you one extra square and Diving Catch will let you catch a few more balls and with the pending rule changes let you catch accurate passes better as well. Nerves of Steel on a doubles make it much harder to prevent him receiving the ball. Agility increases help with catching as well as dodging past players you need to, movement lets you get to the end zone quicker and away from opponents and the strength helps should you need to blitz someone out the way with him.
Human Catcher Summary:
Those are the three main ways of using catchers and they are relatively cheap players. They can be fragile and you may need to learn to be careful with them. However they are fairly easy to skill up but you do have to be aware that they aren’t hogging all the scoring. Learn to use them well and they can be a great asset to your side and a real pain to the opponents. One other question is if you start the team with them initially which I will cover in the starting rosters section. For here though, you may want to start without them as they are fragile and can hog the points but they are good earlier on with less tackle and block about.