I have seen several people make the suggestion that Shipmaster should have his Jump Back Brutes replaced with Elite Enforcers. After discussing this with some friends of mine, we all reached the conclusion that this could be an excellent shift for Shipmaster, for a couple of reasons.
From a lore perspective, it makes more sense for Shipmaster to have control over Elite units, rather than Brute units. Similar to how the switch to Elite Grunts Squad from Brute Grunt Squad make Shipmaster and Arbiter feel unique in the sense that they have control over more Elite units than the other Banished leaders. I feel this change would have the same affect, making Shipmaster feel more like an Elite leader. Additionally, Shipmaster is described as leader that specializes in “rapid attack against his foes”. I personally feel Elite Enforcers follow that theme much more than Jump Brutes.
Side note: what does everyone think about increasing Elite Grunts damage towards scout vehicles with their Cloaking upgrade? Without Shrapnel Mines, Grunts can really struggle against masses of scout units (excluding JR’s), and since the scout player will likely upgrade their scouts, detection will have little to no effect (especially with the buffs to detection coming). I have noticed that Shipmaster can struggle against scout spam, forcing the Shipmaster to play a quick tech into Hunters and/or Banshees. I am aware that Honour Guard has a higher multiplier against scouts to compensate for the lack of Shrapnel Mines, but it doesn’t feel like enough to me, as the Honour Guard can be rammed to death rather quickly. Food for thought.
Anyways, back on track, this change may also help make Shipmaster a little more viable, as he is currently struggling, when compared to some of the stronger leaders. While Jump Brutes are a good unit, with the changes to stuns and mines, his already mediocre early game will be crippled even more. Currently, most Shipmaster players pick leader points in the following order (roughly);
- Banished Raid I
- Extraction or Scout Mine
- Teleport or Extraction
- Spirit Support or Displacement
- Displacement or Spirit Support
As we can see, Shipmaster doesn’t have a whole lot aiding him in the early game. For example, when looking at other leader’s early game; Cutter has UNSC Raid, Mines, and ODST’s; Decimus has Vortex and Siphon; Voridus has Goo Mine, Combat Spoils, and Greandier Drop, etc.
I would like to quickly summarize why I believe Shipmaster’s early game to be… meh.
- Teleport has little to no use in the early game for Shipmaster. Sure, TP + Sui’s is a ton of fun, there’s really no need to utilize this combo when the “charge” range and speed of Sui’s is so high. Moreover, with the nerf to TP a little while back, sneaking Jump Brutes onto base isn’t all that effective and simply running them to the base with usually gain a similar result. - Banished Raid is just meh. It’s, essentially, a knock-off of Jerome’s Recon Training. While Banished Raid III is all sorts of cool, that doesn’t help in the early game, and who’s going to dump three points into that? Not me, dawg. - Scout Mine is a strong mine, but, as stated above, with the changes to stuns and mines, Scout Mine will be much less effective, hurting Shipmaster’s early game. After the nest patch, it is likely that Scout Mine will not be worth picking up. - While extraction is an excellent ability, it doesn’t do a whole for the first few minutes of the game. Extremely situational. - Honour Guard is an extremely slept on leader, in my opinion, but he’s not going to impact the early game anything like a Spartan, Pavium, Forge Hog, etc. - (I promise I’m going somewhere with all this)
Replacing Jump Brutes for Elite Enforcers would be, without a doubt, be a sizeable buff to Shipmaster, but because of the all the above, I believe this buff is warranted.
Why would this be buff, you may ask. Well;
- While Elite Enforcers have a lower damager towards structures, on a per population basis, being ranged units allows them to target structures much easier. More importantly, Elite Enforcers do not have that awkward habit of running in circles, that Jump Brutes just love to do. Elite Enforcers > Jump Brutes, basically. - Having access to Elite Enforcers would allow Shipmaster to play infantry much easier. As many know, Shipmaster has excellent infantry; arguably one of the best. However, playing infantry can be incredibly awkward, as there is next to no base damage, so pushing a base can be near impossible. Elite Enforcers transition vey well into the mid game and would allow Shipmaster to play a stronger mid game with just his infantry, because, let’s be real, who is going to build Jump Brutes with their Hunters when fighting mass Warthogs? Having a ranged anti building unit also allows for more “all unit” use, which we all love so much.
And that’s about all, folks. Would love to hear opinions/thoughts on the matter.
Thanks for reading my rant, assuming you made it this far <3.