A welcome relapse into Gruff.

I am a pretty huge fan of the draft card game Gruff. But due to life altercations (mainly involving cancer in the family), I got quite out of the loop for a while, and have sadly yet to play with their Clash expansion, or indeed the new one Rage of the Trolls which has been shipped recently.

So why not get back into the thick of it? As new cards are on the way, and sleeves have been ordered too. The gist of Gruff is that you have a shepherd along with a team of 3 gruffs who are your combatants. There is a plethora of shepherds and gruffs available in the game and expansions by now. Each Gruff have their own 15 cards favoring specific mechanics and play styles, from each of your three chosen or drafted gruffs you pick out 8 cards to form your complete deck of 24 cards.

I thought I'd look back at a deck I made a few years back. Lead by the shepherd Capricornelia. Bringing the three gruffs Pustule, Grinder and Twiddle with her. The deck premise was pretty simple, use direct damage cards to simply snipe enemy gruffs and combine Capri's and Twiddle's unique abilities to draw up additional cards and generate resources.


Pustule was there as a defensive choice with some comboing nastiness, with cards like Boils and Nausea I could force enemy gruffs down to low fat, keeping within the range of my direct damage cards being lethal. Grinder likewise had a few cards like Briarpatch that'd lower enemy fat and direct damage cards like Spike, Spines, Spin Attack and Impale. And finally twiddle who could use cards like Mental Blast and Flay Mind to also damage, and the big one being Memory, letting me draw from my discard pile to bring back hard hitters like Impale back.

But of course the deck became illegal with the break point system in the expansion, that limited some sheperds to fewer elite cards to balance them all out.

So I thought I'd try make a new high aggression deck instead, given that the previous one wont fit within the break point limit of Capri, and that it sort of lost effectiveness against gruffs like Skullheim and Noggin, who could create fat values way outside the scope of damage cards.

So in order to circumvent this problem there is an easy solution, pair up the damage with a quite mean attacking gruff. So rather than using damage cards to pick off low fat gruffs, you use the damage cards as a one-two punch to follow up a barely blocked attack to kill off an enemy defender. So I decided to go with two contraptions instead, Gusto and Blastov. As they both have access to the Blaze + Oil Slick combo cards, and things like Gore and Kamikazee. I mean that would be some real hard asskicking attacks, and with two copies of For Science! I could reshuffle spent cards and re-use them.

But there is a tad of a disadvantage already, namely defense. Grinder and Pustule are tough cookies with some murder-raisins in there, but both Gusto and Blastov have a max fat of 4 and no real weird generation. So to sort of round them out I'd include Noggin to help boost their stats and probably run with Captain Stovel to go for that all or nothing approach.

Either I hit hard and fast enough to win, or end up like Icarus.