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Pojo's Dreamblade Mini of the Day

Octorilla

Image from Wizards.com

Octorilla
Madness


Reviewed April 27, 2007

Constructed: 3.50
Sealed: 3.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating
 

Chen Wan Lee Octorilla

Today’s review is one of the most popular rares in Chrysotic Plague; Octorilla. Being a Madness piece, one cannot help but expect poor stats for its cost; the Octorilla certainly delivers. It has pretty subpar stats, and the usual Madness trademark of an utterly-abysmal defense stat (of 4, in this case). Anything that can kill a Cannibal Pariah can disrupt this 11-point piece. Good going.

To make matters worse, not only does a great number of tourney bands not run Madness, but the other aspects also give fantastic drops for 11 points; Dreadmorph Ogre, Caged Grawlth, World Eater, Angel of Sunrise, Elite Gladiator and Pearlthorn Dragon Knight to name a few, where all of which are big fatties with solid abilities (except the Grawlth, but then again its stats are pretty insane).

Therefore, to make up for its terrible stats in an unappreciated aspect, the Octorilla has to have a bordering-on-godly ability to make it into a tourney warband. Does it have something good? Yes. Utterly fantastic? No.

Brainblast, itself, is damn good. For a mere 3 spawn points, you get a column of fiery psychic death. Although one may stop and wonder how many pieces there may be in a column at once, be assured that in many cases, a single column in the middle three columns should have a good number of targets. The problem, however, lies in it being Brainblast "5". As many know, rolling 5 dice would give you an average of about 5 damage. What made the Fleshless Reaper and Brighthammer Avenger so good, however, was their 6-power abilities (in addition to the great synergy some pieces gave them).

Short to say, 5-power attacks are considered a little subpar, since a lot of people want their ability to be able to at least disrupt a Scarab Warcharm on an average roll. Still, 5 dice can sometimes yield fantastic results if you get lucky; just because the average is 5, it doesn’t mean a 15 is impossible (though, admittedly, highly unlikely), and a mere 6 or 7 against a Warcharm is not too difficult. The fact that Brainblast allows you to hit non-locals without having to engage is also a good thing, since the Octorilla has really poor survivability.

Overall, the piece itself is playable, but I doubt it’s a tournament-quality piece. It is, however, a very fun piece to play with, and can definitely be powerful given proper utilization and some good dice rolls.

Constructed: 3.5/5. If I’m not the only reviewer today, I’m pretty sure someone would give it a 4/5 or (maybe) higher. However, in my opinion, its just a very slightly above average piece that happened to be overpriced.

Art: 5/5. I love gorillas. I love squids. Put them together and you get a funky thing that appeals to me. Would probably appeal to Cthulhu fans too, but I’m not too big on those kinds of stuff.

Josh "Thespian" Gatner What do you get when you cross a gorilla and an octopus? A paranoid opponent! The Octorilla is one of the most promising high-end pieces that madness has access to, and if you find yourself across from one, you certainly change the way you play. You can’t afford not to.

Brainblast 5 is the Octorilla’s bread and butter and it has the ability to change the game against an unwary opponent. It allows you to spend a mere 3 spawn to make a 5-power attack against EACH enemy in the column. It certainly has the capability to do a ton of damage. Of course, a player isn’t going to play one in constructed without his trusty Darkheart Cottage, which can boost that Brainblast 5 up and beyond a Brainblast 10! With an ability like that, you only need to do it once. Consider the fact that there are no deathblows during the spawn phase and this ability can be a game winner.

Now the bad news - against a seasoned player, you will be lucky if you get to use it at all. A smart player knows that it is a bad idea to hang out in the same column as an Octorilla unless they are prepared to take the 5 dice worth of power. You can often times dictate what is available for the Octorilla to target and ensure that they are beefy enough to take at least six damage. To compound the bad news, the stats are not what you should expect from spending 11 spawn. Five power is barely worth it and four defence is pitiful. To summarize, if you can’t make the Brainblast work reliably, then you shouldn’t use it. Besides, the meta is chock full of valor and the movement available to them can allow them to strike and scatter out of the way. The Probability Walker can ruin your day as well, making sure you spend half the game in the corner pocket.

With that disclaimer out of the way, don’t underestimate the value of forcing your opponent into non-optimal cells. If he or she is afraid of moving into the entire middle column, you have been able to force them into making plays that are non-optimal. Forcing your opponent to avoid cells can actually win you the game if you can capitalize on the positional advantage that you have created for yourself. Besides, if you have nine spawn to spend and you have the opportunity to drop a Darkheart Cottage and make the blast, you may have done enough damage to win the game anyway. It is a risky piece that takes a bit of finesse and luck to make him work effectively. In the end I have found that either you win big or lose big, but either way it will be a fun ride!

Top 5 figures to play with Octorilla: Darkheart Cottage, Pearlthorn Castle, Aviax Firebrand, Chaos Puppeteer, and Infernal Bomber

Worst 5 Matchups: Eater of Hope, Probability Walker, Whirling Dervish, Scarab Warcharm, Stormwatch Siren

Constructed: 4/5 – He is a piece without the right kind of support yet – tier two for sure.
Limited: 5/5 – There is no reason to NOT play this guy.
Artwork: 4/5 – Who knew that an Octopus and a Gorilla would work so well together!

Dream On!
Thespian
 
Duncan Wilson Octorilla - Duncan Wilson (vorebane LOCATED hotmail PUNCTUATION com)

It's a gorilla. With an octopus on its head. I don't know what to say. Let's move on.

Octorilla is one of Madness' heavies, at 11MM, and fits the established Madness stereotypes - low defense, high life, damaging ability. Brainblast is basically an area of effect version of the Madness signature ability, warpstrike. For 3 spawn, the Octorilla drops a five power attack on EVERY SINGLE ENEMY FIGURE IN A COLUMN. That is a lot of potential smacking going down.

However, this is offset by a great big cost, and a (typically) measely 4 defense and a not-so-great-for-its-cost 10 life. 5 power is pretty good, but still, for his cost, and considering he doesn't need to be stuck in to be useful, he's best to keep back.

Now 5 power, by itself, (since spawn abilities happen in the spawn phase, Brainblast damage won't stack with strike phase damage) will deal 5 damage on average, which is barely enough to kill small figures, making Octorilla a great space clearing tool. The problem is, at 11 spawn, by the time you've put it down, most of those weenies have already bought the farm, and using Brainblast to deal with the heavies that have been put down since is possibly, but iffy.

Octorilla will work well with anything that moves your opponents pieces - Expel, Scare, Lure, anything that gets those pieces in one place so Goripuss here can melt their mind with his sheer wackiness. If you check out the forums here, the consensus was that Darkheart Cottage makes Octorilla rock - and they're quite right. If Octorilla just stays safely in the back, it gets an automatic +1 power to its Brainblast attacks. For every other figure not stuck in, that's another power. If Doomsinger is a dreamy sniper rifle, and Unspeakable Freak is a bazooka, Darkheart Cottage rapidly turns Octorilla in a rapid-fire laser guided sniper bazooka that shoot smaller, yet deadlier bazookas. Of doom. For instance, if Octorilla manages to clear a contested space with Brainblast while Darkheart Cottage is up, it will get extra power for future attacks thereafter within the same Brainblast. That's pretty scary, and it's pretty clear that Octorilla is far and away a lot nastier than any of the warpstrike figures out there.

I haven't played or seen an Octorilla, unfortunately, so this is all theory, but it's pretty clear that Octorilla can make for some fun warpstriking action. The ideal place to use him would probably be a Madness/Passion warband with Darkheart Cottage, Heartsblood Temple, some warpstrikers, some passion glass jaw beaters, and a little bit of Lure.

Scores:
Constructed: 3/5 A hefty, but hard to use, part of a warpstrike focussed band
Limited: 1/5 For 11 spawn, and a fragile beatstick, I'd think this guy is just too hard to make use of in limited.
Sculpt: 5/5 It's a gorilla! With an octopus for a head! Or eating its head. Try to not think too hard about it.
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