Skip to main content

Bottomdecking: Paradox Armour

Decision: Should You Play Paradox Armour?


In every new set, there will be some garbage.  This is it:  the Garbage.


Thanks to Michael C from Steel City Underworlds for suggesting I tackle this card in his article on neutral cards from the Thundrik/Ylthari set, which can be found here.

Factor: Block Defenses

Author's Note: Do not search "BDSM Orc" when looking for images for this section of the article.

Unless Bonekutta is some kind of secret masochist who desperately wants his leather-daddy to hit him and pull his hair, this card is terrible for anyone using a block defense.  This is easy enough to work out without getting into too much math: you lose one side of the defense die as a success and you gain a different side as a success.  If this was an even trade, you'd still be foolish to pay a glory to make it, but - importantly - it's not an even trade, as you now also automatically fail any defense where your opponent rolls a critical.  You've traded your +3 adamantite full plate for a seven-inch wide strip of bright green silk hanging in front of your giblets and the ability to jump out of the way real quicklike.

Factor: Dodge Defenses

One could be forgiven for thinking Paradox Armour might be useful for fighters with dodge defenses - after all you're trading one side of the die (crits) for two sides (blocks).  That's a 16.67% increased success chance per die!  And the more dice you roll, the better it gets, right?  Let's see...

Let's take a look at a hypothetical situation where Snirk is about to get smacked by a 3-hammer attack.  Without Paradox Armour, Snirk is going to dodge that attack about 60% of the time.  Now let's equip Paradox Armour on him (for some damn reason) and see how he does.  Well, for starters, your opponent is going to roll at least 1 critical symbol 42% of the time, and you'll automatically lose.  Snirk's survival rate is down to 58% already.  But you're also still going to lose some rolls where your opponent doesn't roll a crit.  When we factor in those cases, Snirk is only successfully defending only 46.46% of the time.

So all told, you've spent a glory point, an upgrade slot in your deck, and an action to upgrade your fighter - all to significantly reduce the chance that he will survive an attack.  Brilliant!

Factor: Flavor Text

Someone knew.  In the long course of designing this card - from concept to completion - someone knew how bad it was.  And that someone wrote the flavor text for the card.  "...this armour defies all forms of logic."  You absolute savage.

Alternate Path: Literally Any Other Upgrade With the Word "Armour" in the Title

If you've got your twisted little BDSM heart set on losing the ability to critically defend, take Light Armour and at least gain an attack die.  Blessed Armour certainly isn't great, but at least you'll get a bonus when you roll criticals, instead of being legally forced to say "oh bother" in your best Winnie the Pooh voice like you are if you play Paradox Armour.  Horrifying Armour is the trash heap where only the sketchiest raccoons lounge, but we still recommend it over Paradox Armour because Horrifying Armour doesn't make you pay glory to become measurably worse in every way.  Finally, Reinforced Armour is (no big secret here) extremely crippling against certain types of opponents but does nothing versus a majority of models - and paying glory to do nothing is somehow still better than playing Paradox Armour.

Alternately, if you'd actually like to improve your dodge-based defense, consider Ethereal Shield or Acrobatic.


Every few months, I'll encounter someone in the ER who mumbles through a mouth full of broken teeth that they don't wear a seatbelt because doing so actually makes it more likely that you'll die in a crash because you'll be trapped in the car (nevermind the fact that "trapped in the car" is just one way to say "not ejected 35 feet onto hot pavement that's absolutely teeming with 2000-pound death wagons).  They trade their actual safety for the illusion of safety.  This card was printed for them - a love letter to antivaxxing, homeopathy, snake oil, and ghost shirts.  Unless you're also treating your sciatica with crystals and eating mummy wraps for your dizziness, please avoid this card.


  1. You made an interesting comment about Blessed Armour. Could you expand on why it is not so good?

    1. There are simply too many ways to kill your average model with a single attack roll. Spells, Mollogs, Snirks, Great Strength, Trap, Encroaching Shadow, etc.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Special: Vassal

Decision: Should You Play Shadespire on Vassal? TL; DR: Yeah, it's pretty good - especially if you're in North America. Prologue Prior to picking up Shadespire, I played Legend of the Five Rings (the AEG version) for 20 years.  When FFG bought the game and rebooted it, I gave it a fair shake, and then decided to part ways with my oldest hobby.  A month before Gencon 2018, I decided to play Shadespire instead of L5R, and haven't put it down since. When I was playing L5R regularly, my playgroup traveled several times a year to play in large regional tournaments.  I had assumed this would be the case with Shadespire as well, but as most North American players can attest to - tournaments are pretty scarce in these parts.  (Whereas in England, you can't swing a soggy umbrella without hitting a Shadespire tournament). So, to keep up skill for the few tournaments I can attend ( SCO is next!), I started looking for ways to play online.  Luckily, a few wee

Cardiology: Obliterated

Decision: Should You Play Obliterated? TL;DR:  If you're playing goblins, you should probably play this.  Snirk is a powerhouse. Factor:2-Glory, Score-Immediately Having a 2-glory, score-immediately objective in the early game is particularly important for Gitz players, as the little green guys become significantly more beefy when they inspire.  This kind of objective combos well with Miraculous Escape, Cover Ground, and other similar objectives that score 1 glory for almost no effort.   As of this writing, there are only 17 objectives that are score-immediately for 2 glory.  Of those, 4 are not available to Gitz players (and why would you be considering Obliterated otherwise?).  Malicious Kill is the other Gitz-specific objective that meets these criteria, and may well be a good option to play with as well.  However, we tend to avoid objectives that require your opponent to do something specific in order to score them. Of the remaining 11 options, Great Slayer and

Hex and the City: The Herbaceous Checkerboard

Decision: Should you play the New Board "The Herbaceous Checkerboard"?   TL;DR The warbands likely to get the most use out of this board are ones that have a small number of models and easy-to-score passive/defensive objectives; ie. the Sigmarite warbands.  Small aggro warbands like Orcs and Magore's may also benefit from using this board.  Other warbands likely have better options. Prelude Today, we'll be taking a look at one of the two new boards being released for Shadespire - The Herbaceous Checkerboard (the other board - the one with the blue - is called The Lachrymose Tetrahedron ).  For the purposes of referring to the board, we'll be using the above orientation as the default, and referring to specific edges and directions using a NESW system based on this orientation. Factor: Edge Hexes Right out of the box, we get to look at what is probably the most attractive feature of this board.  While having 4 starting-edge hexes is not partic