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Math Mathonwy

GG18 Official Master Tier List

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As you may know, I'm the highest authority on Malifaux and I have decided to decree the official tier list for GG18 as follows:

Tier 1: Nicodem, Sandeep, Collodi

Tier 1.5: Nelly, Kirai, Reva, Marcus, Lilith, Hamelin, Zipp, Shenlong

Tier 2: Hoffman, Perdita, McCabe, Sonnia, Lady Justice, Resser McMourning, Seamus, Tara, Molly, Ironsides, Rasputina, Ramos, Pandora, Lynch, Titania, Dreamer, Zoraida, Vikkies, Levi, Asami, Somer, Wong, TT Mei Feng

Tier 2.5: Guild McMourning, Lucius, Yan Lo, Kaeris, Arcanist Mei Feng, Misaki, Jack Daw, Ulix, Mah Tuckett, Ophelia

Tier 3: Colette, Parker, Von Schill, Brewmaster

Tier 1 is the top of the heap. Tier 1.5 is really superb ones but that may not yield quite the best possible results if you solo them. Tier 2 is the good stuff and likely the power level I would personally love every Master to be at. Tier 2.5 is good as well but with maybe slightly more situational Masters. Nothing wrong with these. Finally Tier 3 is the ones who might do with a bit of a boost maybe because they are a bit lackluster or because someone else in the faction does their job simply better. Doesn't mean that you can't win with them, however.

You may now thank me.

...

In all seriousness, this was pulled out of my arse with maybe fifteen minutes worth of pondering and I have taken part in exactly one GG18 tournament and there is absolutely nothing official about any of this in any shape or form. I barely know what I'm talking about. Furthermore, I think that tier lists are very fluid in any case.

But they are fun to talk about! And in order to give some food for thought, I posted what I posted. Please share yours or discuss this one or maybe even have a meta discussion about tier lists and their usefulness.

Oh, and don't tell anyone, but there were quite a few Masters with whom I oscillated between two tiers for quite a while. For example, I feel that basically all of the dual TT Masters are better in TT than in the other faction but I'm not sure whether this is big enough to warrant another tier except in Mei Feng's case.

Oh, and a cookie to anyone who notices the Master I forgot!

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This looks excellent, no further discussion needed! Btw, have you been drinking at work again? ;) 

Seems like you left Vik out although she is more of a glorified totem for her henchsister than a proper master.

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Just now, Ludvig said:

This looks excellent, no further discussion needed! Btw, have you been drinking at work again? ;) 

Seems like you left Vik out although she is more of a glorified taxi for her henchsister than a proper master.

A cookie!

(I hate Vik and wish she wasn't in the game - probably Tier 2, though)

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Just now, Math Mathonwy said:

A cookie!

(I hate Vik and wish she wasn't in the game - probably Tier 2, though)

I hear Zoof also hates her, especially when facing down a pigapult and having her killed turn one. :D 

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21 minutes ago, Math Mathonwy said:

Oh, and a cookie to anyone who notices the Master I forgot!

Seems you also left out Molly. :)

And included Levi twice. Because he's just that good. 

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2 minutes ago, gribble said:

Seems you also left out Molly. :)

And included Levi twice. Because he's just that good. 

More cookies! Good stuff, thank!

(I didn't leave out anyone on purpose but I was sure I forgot some as I simply put them there when they crossed my mind)

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I'd say Levi is tier 2 now and Zoraida is tier 1.5.

Not sure about Von Schill too. Think tier 2.5 is where he belongs.

Mah could be moved to tier 2 as well.

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9 minutes ago, daniello_s said:

I'd say Levi is tier 2 now and Zoraida is tier 1.5.

Not sure about Von Schill too. Think tier 2.5 is where he belongs.

Mah could be moved to tier 2 as well.

Levi and Von Schill were ones I really wasn't at all sure about. Mah I put in 2.5 because of Zipp. If he didn't exist, Mah would be comfortably Tier 2, IMO. As for Mama Z - yeah, I feel that NB Zoraida could probably be Tier 1.5.

Good input, thank you!

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You forgot Dreamer, which I would personally place on 1.5 as summoners have more "outs" than most other masters.

I'm also not certain on placing Shenlong on thesame level as Hamelin, Kirai and Lilith. In general I'd say these masters all have a lot more ways to be flexible than Shenlong. Kill Shenlong's big beater model (aka Yasunori) and almost all damage output just drops from the crew. Do thesame for any other one on 1.5 and they are not in as much trouble as Shenlong is.

He's not tier 2, but also not tier 1.5, but the Thunders weaknessess don't really help him out here either.

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4 minutes ago, whodares said:

 

He's not tier 2, but also not tier 1.5, but the Thunders weaknessess don't really help him out here either.

Tier 1.75? 😛

 

Also I believe lady justice deserves to be higher on this list. I at least find her to be pretty good in wave 5.

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16 minutes ago, Math Mathonwy said:

Levi and Von Schill were ones I really wasn't at all sure about. Mah I put in 2.5 because of Zipp. If he didn't exist, Mah would be comfortably Tier 2, IMO. As for Mama Z - yeah, I feel that NB Zoraida could probably be Tier 1.5.

Good input, thank you!

Levi looses a lot in GG18 by his re-born (auto-condition removal when he is buried) in certain strategies/schemes and to be honest he is not that great in killing as he was (Viks are much better in this case) or he is not supporting his crew in anyway (like Hamelin or even Schill do). He is still ok thanks to his hiring pool but that's all and that's why i think he is Tier 2.

Von Schill with his Nythera Aftermath upgrade can be very surpising i.e. in Ours where he can pull enemy model from good position and place it somewhere where it won't count for this strategy. Also his killing abilities were improved greatly thanks to this upgrade which counts in some schemes/strategies.

As for Mah she is now really mobile and thanks to her pushes she can nicely support her crew which is beneficial in GG18.

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14 minutes ago, daniello_s said:

Levi looses a lot in GG18 by his re-born (auto-condition removal when he is buried) in certain strategies/schemes and to be honest he is not that great in killing as he was (Viks are much better in this case) or he is not supporting his crew in anyway (like Hamelin or even Schill do). He is still ok thanks to his hiring pool but that's all and that's why i think he is Tier 2.

Von Schill with his Nythera Aftermath upgrade can be very surpising i.e. in Ours where he can pull enemy model from good position and place it somewhere where it won't count for this strategy. Also his killing abilities were improved greatly thanks to this upgrade which counts in some schemes/strategies.

As for Mah she is now really mobile and thanks to her pushes she can nicely support her crew which is beneficial in GG18.

I think that Schill still has the problem that his crew is a bit low on AP to "waste" on Interacting plus it isn't very mobile. I mean, he can hire dedicated Scheme runners naturally but if those get neutralized, he has more trouble than most in coming up with new answers.

And yeah, I agree that Mah is very competitive these days but I feel that Zipp still kinda outshines her. He is even more mobile, arguably a better beater (in that he is more of an answer to things that Gremlins have trouble with while she is "just" a regular beater), similarly disruptive, and has card tricks as well through his Rambling.

I could be wrong, though.

30 minutes ago, Joachim said:

Tier 1.75? 😛

 

Also I believe lady justice deserves to be higher on this list. I at least find her to be pretty good in wave 5.

Lady Justice is certainly a good option these days. Maybe she should be Tier 2, agreed. At the very least she is super close to it.

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9 minutes ago, Math Mathonwy said:

I think that Schill still has the problem that his crew is a bit low on AP to "waste" on Interacting plus it isn't very mobile. I mean, he can hire dedicated Scheme runners naturally but if those get neutralized, he has more trouble than most in coming up with new answers.

And yeah, I agree that Mah is very competitive these days but I feel that Zipp still kinda outshines her. He is even more mobile, arguably a better beater (in that he is more of an answer to things that Gremlins have trouble with while she is "just" a regular beater), similarly disruptive, and has card tricks as well through his Rambling.

I could be wrong, though.

Lady Justice is certainly a good option these days. Maybe she should be Tier 2, agreed. At the very least she is super close to it. 

I vote Lady Justice to tier 2. After book 5 i mostly play Justice and with new upgrades she is incredible! Once your opponent made a mistake he is dead and Justice has damn good Wd 14 so she is kinda forgivable.

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2 minutes ago, Rillan said:

I vote Lady Justice to tier 2. After book 5 i mostly play Justice and with new upgrades she is incredible! Once your opponent made a mistake he is dead and Justice has damn good Wd 14 so she is kinda forgivable.

I agree, I feel that a lot of people underestimate her staying power now. She now has te place so she can move to a better position, and gets + to def and riposte (agreed, it is on df5, but little things with ml5 are going to think twice before hitting her). She has a lot of access to healing and her wound pool of 14 wounds plus soulstone use makes it that she requires some dedicated damage models to focus on her to put her down in one turn.

She is also very good in punishing an opponents mistake with her great mobility (thank you brutal emissary).

Though I agree that she is less flexible than a lot of the masters that are on tier 2 and higher. Her way of scoring is for a large part denying the opponent from scoring by killing them. 

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You convinced me. I upgraded Lady Justice to Tier 2 and dropped Levi to Tier 2.

I mean, since this is the official tier list, I guess that things like this should be fixed!

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I'd argue Levi is at least Tier 2, if not Tier 1.5.

While it's true (from a certain point of view) that he doesn't do much to support his crew, I've always found his "support" is in the form of being up front killing enemy models and winning you activation control by summoning waifs and abominations. And if the enemy crew kills him? He's still winning you activation control, because they "wasted" their activation killing him instead of your other models.

That, combined with his incredibly strong and flexible hiring pool (which is only getting stronger and more flexible as more construct and undead models are released) make him a pretty strong master IME. Whenever I play with him, I have a much greater feeling of control over the game than I do with other masters (admittedly, I've never played with Sandeep or Nico, both of whom also have this feature apparently).

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25 minutes ago, gribble said:

I'd argue Levi is at least Tier 2, if not Tier 1.5.

While it's true (from a certain point of view) that he doesn't do much to support his crew, I've always found his "support" is in the form of being up front killing enemy models and winning you activation control by summoning waifs and abominations. And if the enemy crew kills him? He's still winning you activation control, because they "wasted" their activation killing him instead of your other models.

That, combined with his incredibly strong and flexible hiring pool (which is only getting stronger and more flexible as more construct and undead models are released) make him a pretty strong master IME. Whenever I play with him, I have a much greater feeling of control over the game than I do with other masters (admittedly, I've never played with Sandeep or Nico, both of whom also have this feature apparently).

You don't have to kill him. Just kill/push/lure Waif anchor and Levi ends in the spot your opponent doesn't need him at this moment.

Since change to Channel, Desolate Soul is no longer upgrade you will need to take as it will guarantee you an Abomination every turn. With his min damage of 2 and usual two shots a turn into something in hard cover he can only finish already wounded models. Untimely Demise helps him to get Abomination when he is in melee or close to enemy models but again it is quite situational. T2 is IMO exactly good for him (good but nothing great).

 

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4 minutes ago, daniello_s said:

Since change to Channel, Desolate Soul is no longer upgrade you will need to take as it will guarantee you an Abomination every turn. With his min damage of 2 and usual two shots a turn into something in hard cover he can only finish already wounded models. Untimely Demise helps him to get Abomination when he is in melee or close to enemy models but again it is quite situational. T2 is IMO exactly good for him (good but nothing great).

Being new to the game, I never got to play him "in his prime" unfortunately, but he still seems plenty good to me.

I think we can agree Tier 2 is the right place, though I'd argue he's in the upper group of the Tier 2 models. I'd certainly consider him (slightly, but perceptibly) stronger than other masters in that group that I'm familiar with, such as Perdita, Tara, Viks or Asami - which tend to be one trick ponies with some very bad match ups. With Levi's hiring pool, I have yet to feel: "Oh, crap, that's a match up I can't win without a bit of luck". Then again, there are still a lot of masters I haven't played with or against, so I'm happy to concede it could just be a lack of experience talking. :)

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5 minutes ago, gribble said:

Being new to the game, I never got to play him "in his prime" unfortunately, but he still seems plenty good to me.

Just to give you a taste of what he was before😉:

You always took Levi with Desolate Soul and Tally Sheet. Third upgrade was whatever you want (either Pariah, Oathkeeper or To Earth Return). You also hired Hodgepodge Effigy.

Effigy put his condition on Levi, Levi Channeled 3 times which gave him :+flipto attack AND damage flip so he could easily shoot 3 times ignoring terrain (soft terrain didn't exist for Levi at the time) and hit enemy model usually for between 6-8 damage in average. When it was not enough to kill master/henchman it was plenty enough to kill minion and most of enforcers. With the last finishing shot Levi used SS for :crowto trigger summoning Abomination and by killing enemy model he could draw the card and get back SS.

Each turn rinse and repeat. There were games where I started with 3SS in the pool and ended up with 7...

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Hoffman is tier 1.5, if not tier 1. Cyborg upgrade, combined with cheaper henchmen un Guild, are an important buff.

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7 hours ago, Azkral said:

Hoffman is tier 1.5, if not tier 1. Cyborg upgrade, combined with cheaper henchmen un Guild, are an important buff.

Yeah - I haven't seen the new Hoffman on the field so that was completely outdated information. Before the new stuff he was counterable but his new Upgrades took away his weaknesses so I do believe you. Well, I doubt he's tier 1 as those are sorta the disruptive Masters but I could easily see him at 1.5.

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Nice to see Tara rated fairly highly. Wave 5 upgrades helped her a lot and I've been playing her for a few weeks now and the AP manipulation along with the general mobility of the crew seems really well suited to GG18.

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I'm a bit surprised you have Misaki rated so low on this list. I would certainly have her in tier two here (temporarily in tier one before errata). She's running The Storm upgrade exclusively and it gives her some great blast potential, especially in TT where she has access to recalled training. It isn't too hard to get a couple rounds of pretty significant blasts off. She can focus on individual damage as well. With misdirection or Marlena she can stick around for a bit, although her survivability is probably what holds her back from Tier 1.5. 

I've had a lot of luck with her lately. 

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1 hour ago, Trample said:

I'm a bit surprised you have Misaki rated so low on this list. I would certainly have her in tier two here (temporarily in tier one before errata). She's running The Storm upgrade exclusively and it gives her some great blast potential, especially in TT where she has access to recalled training. It isn't too hard to get a couple rounds of pretty significant blasts off. She can focus on individual damage as well. With misdirection or Marlena she can stick around for a bit, although her survivability is probably what holds her back from Tier 1.5. 

I've had a lot of luck with her lately. 

I'd put her on tier 2 as well. The nerf on The Storm hit her hard in a lot of matchups (Looking at you Arcanists) and her general gameplay hasn't really been buffed. Her saving grace is Terracotta Warrior swapping The Storm for Stalking Bisento when necessary, which I haven't really seen used for some strange reason.

 

Right now she feels like Asami when it comes to games: dominant in specific matchups, ok in general matchups and downright bad against counters. Unlike Shenlong who can work around his counters why playing the scheming game, she doesn't have the flexibility to do that.

 

Then again I'm not sure Shenlong belongs in 1.5, but more something like 1.75. He's probably our best master, yet gets outclassed by pretty much everyone in Tier 1 and 1.5. His strong point is that he's never a bad pick due to his flexibility, which makes it easier to take him to single master tournaments. Can't say that about Misaki.

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