Decision: Should you play Jabbertoad?
Image Blatantly Stolen from Can You Roll a Crit?Author's Note: Bottomdecking is a series of short articles where we examine bad choices that are made by reasonable people - please note that this is not meant as an indictment of any person, it's the cards that are bad, not the people. Mostly, Bottomdecking articles are a fun way for me to cut my workload while I'm busy with real life stuff (Getting ready for LVO, in this case), and hopefully cause a couple of people to chuckle along the way.
Right out of the gate, the math on this batrachian projectile is quite poor. It's only doing 0.7037 damage per unblocked use to begin with. When we factor in defense rolls, this number gets worse. Against the ever increasing tide of 2-dodge models, for example, Kermit is going to miss more than half the time, resulting in 0.48 damage per average use. For comparison, if you were to use Shadeglass Darts instead, you're getting an average damage per use of 0.79 against 2-dodge models (better than frog-ball's average damage without any defense!).
"But throwing Jeremiah gives you knockback!" a random waffle-cone of a human being shouts from the 4th row. Yes, of course it does. And knockback definitely has its uses - in particular it's great for keeping enemy models away from your own so that you can lock down objective tiles. So for that awesome Mollog objective deck waiting in the wings to take the 2020 world championship, definitely put in Jabbertoad. This just in - we are being told now that three of the four models in Mollog's Mob can't hold objectives. Unfortunate.
The restriction of this card to Mollog's Mob is bad enough, but having it be Mollog-only is even worse. First, Mollog already has knockback. Second, of all the folks you want to keep bad guys away from, Mollog is probably last on the list. Even knockback 1 will move an adjacent model out of Mollog's reach, rendering the hate-troll machine inert unless he can move closer. Finally, Mollog has options for at least two objectively better ranged attacks in the form of Dark Darts and Shadeglass Darts.
Oh and one more thing! The frog goes away even if you miss (which you will, at least 30% of the time). Even the fragile Shadeglass weapons only broke on a hit. Faneway Crystal and Potion of Rage go away when you use them, but they also provide some of the most powerful effects in the game; not an underwhelming attack with average accuracy and poor damage. Thematically, I get it; you can't throw the frog more than once, but mechanics-wise that sucks the moon right out of the sky. Speaking of thematics...
Why does throwing Jeremiah do as much damage as a magical lightning-charged pistol? Or a "goreaxe"? I don't know what a goreaxe is, but if I had to choose between being hit by something called a goreaxe or a frog, I know which one I would bet would hurt less. Stikkit's Grot Bow does 1 damage too, and has the same effective range as Jabbertoad. Jean d'Arc was shot in the neck by an arrow at Orleans, and the French troops saw it as divine providence that she was able to rejoin the fight afterward. I'm willing to bet that she'd have gotten far less glory if she'd survived a frog to the neck instead. For comparison sake, what are some other heinous things that do exactly as much damage as a frog?
- A Fyresteel Axe (Tefk)
- Two Fyresteel Axes (Maegrim)
- A Charged Tempest Blade (Rastus)
- A Nighthaunt Blade, or Club (Chainrasps)
- Magical Flames (Horrors)