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Resilient and unflinching in the face of combat, the Hearthsworn Dwarves are warriors without peer. Able to withstand injury that would fell any of the lesser races, the Hearthsworn cleave through their adversaries bellowing insults and challenges to any foolish enough to face them.

Stats

Gameplay

Stats: The Hearthsworn Fighter has high offense with 2B1R STR and above average defense with 2R ARM. As is typical for most Dwarf heroes, he has above average 6 wounds and is immune to Knockdown. In addition, he is immune to Poison.

Abilities: Cleave is deceptively strong as it is one of the very few AOE attacks that only cost 1 action. Its only tradeoff is Dangerous, but in most cases, it will be difficult for the Consul to position monsters to completely avoid Cleave. As it is an AOE attack, this greatly increases the Fighter's value in Arcade as this allows him to directly wound Elites and avoid Expendable. In most cases, the Fighter should Cleave instead of using his basic melee attack.

Dwarven Curse affects a huge Wave 3 (48 squares) area and if successful, allows him to Pull 3, but will not deal any wounds as it is a support action. As it is an AOE, it is not affected by defensive abilities such as Stealth. Dwarven Curse is most commonly used to group monsters and then AOE using the Fighter's Cleave or prior to another hero's activation with AOE. In Classic, this may be used to Pull monsters into negative tile effects. In Arcade, it can also be used to break gang cohesion to orphan minions or elites. Its tradeoff is that it's an expensive support action and often the Fighter may prefer to use Cleave twice instead of Dwarven Curse. In Arcade, it is less effective because monsters do not have a WILL attribute and thus their ARM is typically higher compared to their WILL stat in Classic, but this is balanced by Cleave being very strong in Arcade. This gives the Fighter an effective reach of 9 squares in a single activation (move 6, Pull 3).

Potion: Hero's Balm can be an extremely powerful potion depending on the circumstance. It can effectively Heal wounds on a target hero at the cost of wounds to the hero drinking the potion. Since most green potions that Heal (e.g. Elixir) must be drunk by the Hero that is healing, this potion may be combined with those potions to quickly bring a seriously wounded hero to full health. As the Fighter has above average wounds, at full wounds, he can remove all the wounds on most heroes (typically up to 4) and still have 2 wounds left.

Likewise, if the Fighter is seriously wounded, Hero's Balm may be used by allied heroes to remove his wounds while they stay at range and avoid the Consul's attacks while the Fighter uses Dwarven Curse to keep the monsters from advancing. Consider combining Hero's Balm with Heroes with Tough prior to their activation if they are not wounded as Tough will remove the wound during the Hero's upkeep.

Most Consul strategies rely on focusing attacks on a single hero so this potion can redistribute wounds suffered to prevent a Hero from being defeated during a Consul's turn. Note that Hero's Balm does have a range of 6 so the party must stay in some proximity to each other to use the potion.

Note that Hero's Balm in 1.0 is worded such that there is no limit on the number of wounds moved, so a hero with 1 heart left could theoretically move more wounds than hearts they have left and then be defeated, effectively giving the hero's a large heal at the cost of a hero being defeated. In 2.0, the wording has been updated to indicate the limit is the number of hearts the hero has left, but the hero may still move enough wounds to be defeated.

Strategy: The Hearthsworn Fighter is an offensive melee AOE/Control STR hero that can Tank when geared appropriately due to his above average defense, wounds, and immunities. He will typically move into melee and use Cleave for AOE. He can use Dwarven Curse to Pull monsters into range of Cleave. Hero's Balm is then used to reallocate wounds to prevent focused heroes from being defeated.

Equipment/Buffs: STR improves the Fighter's offense and ARM improves his defense. He will typically never need DEX or WILL. In most cases, the Fighter will want to increase both STR and ARM. This is so Cleave and Dwarven Curse remains relevant as the Fighter does not have a way to boost his offense on his own to consistently wound bosses. Likewise he needs ARM to help him survive after Dwarven Curse as he will typically want to stay in melee to Cleave and lacks any abilities to disengage to a safe distance.

Debuffs can work well due to Cleave, but Cleave is Dangerous so any debuffs he has will also affect allies they are wounded by Cleave. Also consider that Cleave only hits up to 3 models so there may be another hero that has a more suitable AOE or Blaster attack to pair with the debuff.

Limitations: The Hearthsworn Fighter lacks any skills to engage and relies on Dwarven Curse to pull monsters into range of his Cleave. The Consul should position monsters to avoid Cleave and force the Fighter to spend his actions on Dwarven Curse to Pull monsters. The Consul should ideally position monsters so that Dwarven Curse cannot efficiently Pull monsters without helping the Consul's monsters advance and overwhelm the Heroes. Consider positioning monsters with active defensive Auras to reduce the typical AOE follow-up to Dwarven Curse. Once the Fighter has Pulled monsters, if the Heroes are not successful at defeating them, the Fighter has no innate skills to disengage.

To properly utilize Hero's Balm, the heroes must stay in 6 range so the Consul should focus on heroes that are out of range of Hero's Balm, use Control actions to isolate them before focusing attacks, or attempt to distribute attacks so that if Hero's Balm is used, it is limited in how many wounds it can redistribute.

Although the Fighter is immune to Knockdown and Poison, he can still be affected with other debuffs. Slow and Immobile can prevent him from effectively positioning to use Cleave or Dwarven Curse while Ice reduces him to only using basic melee attacks.

Party: The Hearthsworn Fighter can fill the STR offense or Tank role in most parties. He parties well with other heroes with AOE that can benefit from his Dwarven Curse. As Hero's Balm does not actually Heal wounds, he will often appreciate partying with a Hero with a devoted Heal as he will usually be in melee with mobs and suffering wounds. Finally, he can benefit from allies that can help him both engage and disengage with abilities like Teleport to better utilize Cleave and Dwarven Curse.

See Also: Hearthsworn Fighter 2.0

Available Through

Super Dungeon Explore: 1st Edition