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CardShark Content - Andrew Kocsis (1/13/2002)

Hi there, if you have been following this column you know that each issue we dissect one figure you might have looked over last time you got your army ready. This week's figure is not an impressive figure, or even one that has superior stats, or even a cheap figure. This issue's figure is the huntsman.

The first thing to note about this figure is that he is much more effective then he looks. A 4-inch bound and two clicks of damage might not look like much, but they add up quick to give him a 14-inch range. The only other figure near his point cost that offers that is the longbow archer. For a mere 27 points you get: a slot of bound, two of stealth, and two damage. The only other non-mounted bound figure right now only does a single click of damage until the tough model and yet costs more then a comparable strength Huntsman. Combined with their decent attack value this will allow the huntsman to get in and get a first shot off that will seriously hurt most non-unique models.

Should your opponent come after him, the Huntsman can continually drop back four inches and fire away. This repeating process will cripple or kill almost any figure unless they are mounted or flying. Should you have to push in the fall back, things don't go down the shitter right away. To replace his single slot of bound, the Huntsman picks up stealth and increases his movement. At this point you have two options. If your army includes a healer, get the now faster huntsman back to him and get him healed so he can go hunting. If not, get the huntsman to cover and safely snipe away anyone who comes in range without fear of being shot back. Don't underestimate the advantage of stealth. Nothing pisses off a big guy then having his support blown out from underneath him.

Finally remember that the two damage works in hand to hand as well. It may not be much but it should let them hold their own should light hand-to-hand fighters use speed to close with the Huntsman before the Huntsman has a chance to gun them down. If medium or heavy fighters get into contact with the huntsman the key lays in using the +2 break from combat that bound gives the Huntsman. Break from combat and have your own heavy fighters cover the Huntsman's retreat.

The key through all this is to not let the huntsman get tied down. The place for the Huntsman is the sidelines of the battle, taking revenge shots and cutting down support figures. Putting a Huntsman in the middle of the battle is like sticking a hotdog in a fan, all your going to get is hot dog splattered everywhere. Put a Huntsman in the middle of a battle and all you will get is Huntsman splattered everywhere. Although it may look like a good lone fighter they work much better in groups or backed up by heavy support. Once the first click of bound is gone, it is gone for good so be careful with it.

The Huntsman's role changes dramatically with the presence of cavalry on the field. It will become a game a counter-punching. Your slot of bound will keep the cavalry away until the battle becomes pitched. Make sure your Huntsman still has his slot of bound and try to do enough damage to bring the cavalry into the battle. Since they can break away easily and move incredibly fast, making sure that the bound is still there will ensure they cannot break from battle after charging in without getting run down and shot.

The Huntsman is also a figure where color matters. Unlike the Imp and the Dwarven Berserker, the red Huntsman is definitely better then its counterparts. Since each shot counts with the Huntsman, you will want the highest attack value possible for your sniping.

So go ahead and include this sharp shooter in your army next time. You will find you like being able to sneak around and blow away the support your opponent's army is built on.

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