22 January 2014

Mabrothrax on Trollblood Warlocks 2013

Some sort of popularity contest?

This post is more a bit of fun than an in depth statistical analysis, because to be frank, I find those dull. After seeing the (ongoing) post about trolls needing to be fixed based on some tournament result stats I noticed the ‘Trollblood Tournaments 2014’ post, and went and looked back at the 2013 edition.

Over the course of a year people have posted their wins and losses with our faction’s Warlocks, some go into detail about their games, but not in any quantifiable way. What we end up with though, is an interesting snapshot of how the people who frequented the Trollblood forums in 2013 were doing, who they were playing with and winning with…

Here’s the final results with win/loss for each Warlock as reported:

Games Won
Games Lost
pGrissel  -

Representation: Which were the most played Trollblood Warlocks?
1.       pDoomshaper
2.       eMadrak
3.       Jarl
4.       eDoomshaper
5.       pMadrak
6.       eGrim
7.       pGrim
8.       pGrissel
9.       Borka
10.   Calandra
11.   eGrissel
12.   Gunnbjorn

No surprise that the most represented Warlock was pDoomshaper, and I’ll bet you a significant amount of those games were played with Runes of War. What is surprising, to me at least, is how high up Jarl is and how low on the list Borka is. Are people tiring of Family Reunion? Early last year you couldn’t move for all the Family Reunion lists!

I don’t see Jarl talked about that much that often, probably about the same as Calandra, however eGrissel, the marmite queen, comes up in conversation a lot. I guess it goes to show that what goes on on the boards isn’t a true reflection of what goes on on the tables (with one obvious exception).

At the bottom looking sad and lonely is the much maligned Gunnbjorn.

% Own Wins: Which Warlocks won most of their games played?
      Borka                  85%
pDoomshaper      74%
pGrissel  -            71%
Calandra              70%
eMadrak              68%
eGrissel                66.6%
eDoomshaper       65%
pMadrak              58%
Gunnbjorn            57%
Jarl                       53%
pGrim                   51%
eGrim                   48%

S    Strangely enough we see Jarl and Borka in opposite places, with Borka being the most successful warlock and Jarl just breaking even. eGrim’s less than stellar performance can be put down to him being new and the experimentation going on with him during 2013. Everyone else has a decent show of success, even Gunnbjorn!

The bottom three look like people struggling with ‘finesse’ or ‘control’ Warlocks, although that doesn’t account for Calandra’s strong position. I guess dice manipulation is a thing, who knew?

None of these stats really translate to anything other than some sort of popularity contest, and to a lesser extent giving us some glimpse into which casters (for whatever reason) are harder to win with. Personal experience will always contradict the general consensus. I’ve no doubt some of you play Gunnbjornn frequently, and sometimes win with him, or maybe eGrissel is your go-to girl who stomps your opponents, or maybe, just maybe, you’ve got it together to purchase a Runes of War list but just can’t get the success you read about.

The big switcheroo

If you are doing badly with a Warlock, what do you change? Is it the battlegroup or list as a whole that’s actually the problem and not your Warlock choice? Thinking back to the Hunters Grim challenge, it was clear that there was a lot of building to the feat and going for all the ranged pieces we have, but slowly a more combined arms approach was seen to be being adopted… with greater success.

Regarding the lists I’ve been playing and am continuing to play for the foreseeable future I’ve tried it both ways. With the Calandra theme force I found that I needed more angles, range and versatility and that the Warders were actually hampering me because I was convinced that they hold their own all the time (which to be fair they do, but that’s not always what you need).

Kind of the opposite happened with the pMadrak ARM 21 pseudo brick, where the list worked like a charm but was soooo sloooow. Not that pMadrak was a ‘problem’ but swapping for eGrissel has answered a problem I had whilst maintaining the lists functionality and offering a better ranged threat.

Try something new.

Most players will have their favourite Warlocks, and probably have their tournament lists more or less locked in for the next 6 months, but there’s always casual games – which are R&D for competitive play really, so how about you take one of those less popular/less successful (either by the stats above or better yet your local meta) Trollblood warlocks and give them a shot?
I got to be honest and say I’m comfortable with my current warlock selection, but if I get 10+ comments I’ll try someone different and document my experiences with whoever semi-regularly.

You decide out of these who I should go for:
·         Jarl
·         Hunters Grim
·         Gunnbjorn
·         pDoomshaper (NOT in RoW)

I’m done, enough rambling.

Keep rolling Tough, #PlayitPainted2014, and for the good of the interwebz #SpreadtheHatred



  1. I am putting together Jarl & Borka (FR) as my first competitive lists in Trolls. So I vote for you adding a bit of Jarl to your games. I would also be hugely interested in your evolution with Calandra's tier and which way you are going now.

  2. I'll be using the calandra theme in a few events coming up, so will have a fair bit to write about in a month or so.

    As for Jarl, I could be persuaded.

  3. That data seems really confusing if not contradictory. Cool though just goes to show that it ain't about the lock.

    I'd like to see you do the sexy dance with Jarl. Keep up the good work!

  4. I'll add to the list for Jarl, and especially for friendly games, as he's a lot of fun to play. ;)

    I think these results are pretty spot on actually. As you say, pDoomy seems to see a lot of play since RoW - and if these statistics are from friendly/practise games as well as tournies, then it's not odd at all that he's winning a lot. Likewise I feel Borka should be close to the top in performance, while I guess he's losing ground to our new 'locks for attendance in pracise-games. eGrissel is all talked about, but I think Grissel lovers are likely staying with her p-version, while others would rather try Jarl or eGrim.
    And speaking of Jarl and the Grims', I think their ratio reflects that they're quite balanced. They do their stuff and they do it well, but they will lose if their list can't handle their opponent's. (pGrim is famed for being our hard-counter option against certain lists, but with the same list against something else he'll probably lose. And perhaps that could be a good reason as any that Trolls are winning in hardcore, but have trouble in SR? - We just can't fit Grim into a 1-list/take-all-comers format...)

  5. Interesting, I think pGrim and jarl tend to pick up the "hard" matchups, so could account for their popularity and poorer win percentages. I see pDoomie, eGrissell and Borka as another block of "primary locks" which you switch to your alt list when you see something they can't deal with...