Lizardman Saurus Overview:
Saurus are the fastest ST4 players in the game which combines with the Skinks speed to make them one of the faster teams in the game. With the low strength and fragile nature of their team mates Saurus give the team some backbone, of high strength and armour. Without Saurus the team would really struggle with any kind of hitting game or survivability.
The main drawbacks of Saurus though is that they have very low agility so have trouble with dodging or any kind of ball handling and they also have no starting skills which can make them unreliable. Both of these factors also add up to making them really slow to develop as well, relying on casualties for their main supply of SPP and starting without block can lead to frustration. You can counter this somewhat by starting with the maximum allowed on a starting team in order to maximise their chances to get a MVP. Any that do have an MVP and are still just on 5 SPP you will want to use them to block with as much as possible until you get that extra point needed for their first skill. The further developed the team gets the more important it is to try and keep the Saurus skilled up as well, so be prepared to burn a reroll and get those blocks in.
One way to get extra SPP on Saurus players is to give them the ball when you get a touchback. As you don’t have to worry about doing a pick up roll and they have ST4 and are fairly quick (for a strong player), they can make it down the pitch with some careful placement of your players. You do have to be careful about getting them tied up though as they really don’t like dodging so try and avoid this (may take some practice). You may also perhaps try handing off to a Saurus if you have the ball somewhat secure near the other teams end zone (especially if you are already in the lead by two touchdowns and dropping it won’t cause you to mess up the win). With AG1 catching a handoff is a 5+ which will work 33.3% of the time, or if you have a reroll it will succeed 55.6% of the time. That isn’t terrible odds to get 3SPP on your Saurus if failing it means you still win, especially if you have another chance next turn to try and pick it up (either with the Saurus or with a Skink).
- Normal: Block, Guard, Mighty Blow/Stand Firm/Break Tackle/Tackle
- Doubles: Dodge/Side Step/Diving Tackle
- Stat Increase: +ST, +MV/+AV
There are quite a few ways to develop a Saurus, though generally you will want to give them Block as their first increase on nearly every single one. This will no only cause less turnovers and reroll use, but will help them develop faster by getting more knock downs. I would certainly consider ignoring doubles for the first skill roll as well to get them Block, they don’t really need any doubles as there are so many useful skills they can take normally anyway. Guard comes up next to help against the the other strong races, it can also help in getting blocks that your ST2 Skinks could do as well. A line of ST4 Guard players is trouble for any team as no other race has the ability to take six ST4 players (though Ogres can have six ST5 players, they have their own issues). After that Mighty Blow could come next but there are plenty of options. Stand Firm will combine really well with ST4 and Guard, especially if you can get them into a cage. Break Tackle is needed to stop the other team easily tying them all up, even better if the Saurus already has Dodge. Tackle as well could be helpful on at least one to help against Dodge players and teams. Mix all these up to suit your team and the skills you have already, ie Break Tackle is probably needed if you don’t have one already at this point.
For doubles, Dodge is a common choice, with all your Skinks having Dodge you don’t have to worry about Tackle players targeting them, it will keep them on their feet more and give you the obvious option if you do have to dodge with a Saurus. Side Step is handy as well though you can get Stand Firm on normal rolls, or Diving Tackle, though you should have some Skinks with this, so Dodge is perhaps the best bet, or ignore it and stick with normal skills. +ST is obviously a great stat increase and should be taken whenever you roll it, +AG is pretty much a waste unless you want to try and build a scoring Saurus for character. +MV is preferable to +AV most the time as you already have AV9. I’d skip both as a first skill and lean towards +AV later if the player is in a clearly defined blocking only role.
- Normal: Break Tackle, Wrestle, Tackle, Frenzy, Stand Firm
- Doubles: Dodge
- Stat Increase: +ST +MV
To make up for the fact you can’t dodge with Saurus and Skinks are rather weak you could do with a strong player who can also dodge. I’d build at least three with Block first before starting on this guy but this build will come in really helpful. Break Tackle first so you have at least one who can dodge himself free, good coaches will make sure your Saurus are tied up otherwise and still will even if you have Break Tackle. If this happens you are in trouble if you have no Break Tackle. Wrestle comes next as it is most useful for knocking players over, though you could take Block if you prefer (every team should strive to get a Wrestle player in my opinion though). Tackle next up as ball carriers can often have Dodge, you also need to take Tackle somewhere on your team or you can really struggle against certain opposition. Frenzy is probably good after that, by this point ball carriers with have Sure Hands so Strip Ball isn’t probably that useful any more. With ST4 Frenzy won’t be as problematical as it is with weaker players and the extra block could make the difference to getting that knock down or not (with a reroll in hand you are odds on to get players over). Stand Firm is probably best next in case you end up next to the side line after Frenzying an opposing player into the crowd. It will also mean you can’t be pushed away from a ball carrier if you don’t knock them over after hitting them.
Doubles really points to Dodge as the only option as even with Break Tackle you can still roll a 1 and it will save rerolls as this player will be doing dodges. +ST is great for obvious reasons and +MV increases their range even more though I wouldn’t take it first skill, perhaps not even second (especially in short leagues).