“Welcome back Superfans, to the sold out Fabulosa Superdome! It’s a beautiful day here in the arena, and we’re looking forward to bringing you the best of the best in today’s game. I’m Leo, he’s David, and THIS! Is the Superbrawl! David, who have we got today?!”
The commentary echoed above as the Champions prepared for battle. Some huddled together in teams, whispers of strategy and tactics barely heard over the din of the crowd above. Others were more personal, psyching themselves up through their own private rituals and practices. Tzu Xiao was calmly observing them all when his teammates approached.
“So, who do we need to worry about out there Tzu?”
Super Fantasy Brawl, or SFB as it is commonly called, is a game where knowing your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses is almost as important as knowing your own. Allowing the wrong Champion into the wrong space at the wrong time can be absolutely decisive in a game where only a single point could be the difference between victory and defeat. With that in mind, I’m here to take a look at the core Super Fantasy Brawl experience, and how the six Champions in that box play out on the tabletop.
Let’s get the tiger in the room out of the way first – Tzu Xiao is the quintessential SFB Champion. With an incredible array of cards that are almost always worth playing in any situation, the Jade Claw is able to act as a real team leader, providing support and capture zones with comparative ease. Make no mistake, Tzu Xiao has no real weakness, but this comes at a price: he has no real focus either.
…OK, he literally has focus, but that’s not what I meant. He’s good in every team, and if you’re looking to be able to answer a lot of different strategies at once he’s a great pick, but he’s unlikely to form the corner of a team dedicated to a singular task. That being said, winning is what your team should be dedicated to, and Tzu Xiao will always help you along with that. Fair warning – in tournament games, expect your opponent to put this tiger at the top of his ban list.
Gold’arr stands head and shoulders above most Champions in SFB – he’d have to, he’s an ogre. Specifically, an undead ogre pirate, sailing the Several Seas looking for glory, loot, and plunder. With a powerful stat line as well as a solid suite of actions, Gold’arr is able to “anchor” your line, providing solid muscle and a surprising amount of speed when it’s needed. His reaction is on the weak side however to compensate for the huge threat the ogre puts on the table.
With solid card draw, a powerful range of control actions, and a level up that will leave opponents frustrated, Gold’arr is a great pick for a team looking to add muscle mass to their line-up. Like Tzu Xiao, Gold’arr is a great pick for any team, but with no clear focus on one task, he might fall behind other choices when you’re looking to dedicate yourself to a specific play style. I certainly recommend using him in your first few games however, as he’ll absolutely help teach you the basics of the game, while being forgiving of mistakes.
The Ravager himself, anyone who has happened across previous articles or videos I’ve done will know that Kilgore is one of my favourite Champions, despite the higher skill ceiling when compared to a Champion like Gold’arr or Tzu Xiao. For a troll whose rage historically led to him destroying his own empire due to lack of opponents, Kilgore is a surprisingly cerebral Champion, focusing more on controlling the opponent and making scoring opportunities. That being said …
…he also packs some incredible power, and anyone who doesn’t check the discard for Appetite for Destruction has never been hit by his Strength five attack with Lifesteal! He’s no push over, and incredibly tough thanks to built in healing alongside his defence. His reaction can really ruin an opponent’s game plan too, stalling them out long enough for you to score the zone and grab those vital points towards victory. Treat him like a scalpel instead of a hammer, and you’ll quickly be reward with the win.
One of two dedicated ranged characters in the core set of SFB, Deryn is another one of my favourite characters, especially from a lore perspective. As the infamous Huntress of the Eastwood, Deryn looks to provide strong offensive potential as well as supportive actions that can benefit the whole team. While she might not have the raw damage potential Gwaien has, with a bit more set up Deryn can provide for the team as a whole a lot more.
Ambush stands apart from other reactions in that it specifically reacts with Deryn herself. This opens up some incredible plays, allowing you to intercept a scorable zone during your opponents turn, setting yourself up for a sneaky win that they might not be expecting. Once she’s levelled up, Deryn helps open the board up even more, disabling traps she’s on so your team can move quicker through the centre. All in all, Deryn ticks a lot of boxes for any team looking for some long range, scoring support. Of course, their other option is….
The Gathering Storm herself, Gwaien is not her to hold zones, or affect the opponent’s hand. She’s not here to bake cookies, or provide card draw. She’s here to blast your opponent’s team into dust, and she is damn good at it. Gwaien was the first Champion to “buck the trend” so to speak, dropping one of her skill cards for an extra attack. This means you can rely on Gwaien having something to do almost every turn, as long as that something you want is to make a crispy hole where an enemy Champion used to be.
With incredible range and high powered attacks, Gwaien is looking to rack up the points by taking out Champions, while largely ignoring the scoring game. Of course, all of this terrifying power comes at a cost, and Gwaien is the lightest Champion (currently!) in SFB, rocking in with only six health and no defence. To get the best out of Gwaien, you’ll need to make sure those attacks she’s firing off take out the target, as she really doesn’t want to get into any kind of slugfest. Keep her at the back and look for long range firing lines to get the most out of Gwaien in SFB.
The final Champion in the core box set is Dugrun, Warden of the North, and very much the opposite of Gwaien. A stereotypical stalwart dwarf, Dugrun isn’t winning any foot races anytime soon, but with the highest base armour in the game, he’s incredibly tough to take down, and is an incredible pick for holding a zone and resisting enemy advances. While packing ways to help the team, Dugrun’s primary focus should always be getting himself into a scoring position, and holding the enemy at bay.
He’s no slouch in melee, but his Blizzard is a great way of getting damage onto other high defence targets, irrelevant of the distance between Dugrun and his enemies. Once you get used to his more limited movement, Dugrun is a great choice for a team that is focused on scoring the zones over taking out their opponents.
Putting it all together
The great thing about the core box compared to the expansion boxes is that the Champions are designed to work in any combination, and give a rewarding experience. None of the Champions require an expert level of game knowledge to use, although they’ll all reward you the more you play, as they each have a careful nuance to using them. But, overall, any team of three is going to feel good by design, so feel free to mix it up and take any Champions you want, whether it’s because you love the look of their cards, the amazing detail of their miniature, or something about their story speaks to you. So get out there, and find yourself an opponent to introduce to the world of Fabulosa, and Super Fantasy Brawl!
The crowd cheered as the final buzzer rung out above the arena, the sky quickly filling with fireworks in celebration of a phenomenal finale to the Superbrawl. Tzu Xiao breathed heavily – he had almost fallen victim to the same monstrous pirate that his allies had, but thankfully patience and training won out against raw strength and aggression. Still, it had been a hard-fought battle none the less, and as he raised the ancient blades that marked him as the Emperor’s Champion high above his head, even he felt of exhilaration of victory. Soon, the wish would be his, and with it, the return of his beloved.
“What an incredible battle David! It could of gone either way right there at the end, but the Jade Claw managed to pull off yet another victory! Can anyone stop his team on their way to the championship?”
“I don’t know Leo, but if I was him I wouldn’t rest of my laurels! Already we have another team stepping into the arena, and he’s going to need all that skill if he hopes to end their winning streak…”
- Board Games, Super Fantasy Brawl