Wood Elf Wardancer Overview:
Wood Elf Wardancers are often cited to be the best player to have on the ground getting their head kicked in in the game. They are fast, agile and have a fantastic combination of starting skills. This does of course make them expensive but they are worth every penny of their cost if not more. They can pretty much get anywhere they want and do anything they please, making them the best weapon in the Wood Elf coach’s arsenal. They will get targeted a lot by the other teams in order to injure them, so expect them to get fouled should they end up prone for whatever reason. They do have low armour so can get hurt easily, but with the starting combination of Block and Dodge, they can be fairly hard to knock over, especially for new teams.
Wardancers tend to do all the blitzing on the Wood Elf team, they start with Block like other teams blitzers and with the Dodge and Leap skills they can usually get to the ball carrier. This ability is what makes playing against Wood Elves such a nightmare and it gets worse after they get Strip Ball. If you can knock the ball loose, your fast and agile team mates can often recover it and then be off to safety before the other team gets a chance to blink. This causes the other team to be extra protective over the ball and can cause them running out of space to manoeuvre. The Leap skill also means that they can’t hide on the safety of the sideline using half a cage, you can jump right in and push the ball carrier into the crowd.
You do need to be careful about using the Leap skill too much though, there is no skill reroll for it so it can end up using up your rerolls quickly. Leaping is also harder than dodging most of the time so you will end up prone if you fail, more often than if you dodged. This can lead to you injuring your own player off a failed leap without the other team having to do anything, they will love you for this and rightly so. You should also be aware of failing a leap into a cage, if your armour does hold up then you are surrounded by opposing players and a ripe target for a juicy foul. Even if you do succeed you should think about a route out or the other team is likely to start getting a lot of hits on your Wardancer the next turn. Thankfully dodging out of a cage is a lot easier than trying to dodge into one.
If you do look to leap into a cage to hit the ball carrier you also need to consider the assists that they will get. You have to pay particular attention to cage corners who have Guard as you can’t cancel their assist out with Linemen like you usually would. If the ball carrier does have Sure Hands and Block, you might want to reconsider jumping in there. If they don’t then it can be worth trying to hit them even at a strength disadvantage. Despite the dangers involved if there is a good opportunity for getting the ball loose and causing lots of problems for the other team, then it can be well worth it to put your Wardancer at risk. You won’t win games by playing scared trying to protect them all the time, that said don’t be overly reckless, a Dwarf cage can be a really bad place to end the turn in.
Wardancers aren’t just used for jumping into cages though, if the opposing defence is really well set up, then your only way through may to be use the leaping ability of the Wardancer. Hand the ball off to one and watch them get past the opposing defence as though it wasn’t there. Pay attention to getting crowd pushes as well, their manoeuvrability around the pitch can worry players near the sideline, especially if you equip one with the Frenzy skill. Getting opponents off the pitch will only let you dominate the game even more with your speed and agility.
Strip Ball Wardancer:
- Normal: Strip Ball / Tackle, Side Step, Diving Tackle / Dauntless / Jump Up / Shadowing / Fend
- Doubles: Guard / Mighty Blow
- Stat Increase: +ST +AG +MV
The quintessential Wardancer build, with the best core skills already they don’t need to take them! Strip Ball on one Wardancer and the rest of the team brand new is going to be a tough opponent for any other starting team. Don’t worry about Sure Hands cancelling it out, if you can tie up their Sure Hands player they will have to off load the ball to someone without it. Tackle is handy next as Dodge is an often taken skill for ball carriers so you want to negate that. Side Step will minimise the blocks you take and also let you stay next to the ball carrier should they remain standing with the ball. After that you have a lot of useful skills to choose from. Diving Tackle keeps the ball carrier in place a lot of the time, Dauntless will help you out against stronger teams, Jump Up keeps you mobile and can give you free blocks from prone. Opponents won’t want to leave you prone by their cage as you can open up an easy route to the ball carrier, or even hit them yourself as well as maybe getting a blitz on with someone else too. Shadowing can also cause problems for ball carriers and can keep you next to them. Fend could be worth considering as well.
For doubles, Guard can let you leap in an assist pretty much anywhere you please. Mighty Blow will help keep the players you knock down on the ground, or even better off the pitch! Getting a nice stat increase on a Wardancer will make then even more useful and an even bigger target for opposing hits. +ST makes hitting the opposing players a lot easier and also harder for them to hit you. +AG makes leaps as easy as dodges and you can dodge and pick up the loose ball in traffic with greater ease. +MA comes in handy for increasing your range and lets you do hit and run blitzes back to safety easier. You could consider +AV though they will be taking lots of hits and it doesn’t make much difference if you are getting gang fouled.