There’s been some debate about who the cutest hero is from the new Wintertime Wasteland block for Riot Quest, and while I can agree that there’s some argument to be made for Bumbles the armored polar bear, I honestly think there’s a stronger one for the tiny whirlwind of destruction that is Shivers, the infant Gorax.
One of the most notable warbeasts among the Circle Orboros, the Gorax is synonymous with the unleashing of a primal fury, a berserk rage that can only end with the (literally) bone-crushing demise of whatever it’s pointed at. To take that wrath and pack it into something the size of a small human child is at the same time entertaining and, to anyone who actually -has- a small human child, utterly terrifying. The net result is adorable mayhem, which may well what was intended all along.
Shivers is a Guard class hero in Riot Quest, meaning he’s well suited to keeping other, squishier, heroes in your crew alive. The Safeguard rule, common to all Guards, provides cover, while Shivers’ own Destructive Fit means that your opponent can’t plan his activations around seeing Shivers already having activated, resulting in more pint-sized maiming.
The other element brought to the table is Beat Back, on both his Wee Blade and Angry Shout attacks, offering board control in terms of shoving opposing models away from chests, toward other melee-centric allies, out of their own shooting range, just basically messing with your opponent’s positioning as a pint-sized furry ball of pent-up anger rolls across the board.
For Hordes players, Shivers loads up on extras while passing off a lot of the brute power output to the adult Goraxes in the lists. I’ll confess that I was at first a little surprised to find that Shivers isn’t a Minion, but rather a Circle Orboros model, but then, the Circle Orboros are the only ones willing to field a fully grown Gorax in their armies, so it only makes sense that they’d keep junior within the fold as well.
Shivers is a 4pt character solo with a nominally unimpressive statline, though amusingly his small stature and tiny shield means that he’s ARM18. His low defense of 12 means he’s going to take some hits on the chin, but he’s resilient, and it’s worth noting that he’s packing one of the few spray ranged attacks available to the Circle.
It gets interesting on the other side of the card, starting with Freak Out. Like many infants, getting a boo-boo can result in an emotional outburst. When you’re a baby Gorax, this spells trouble for anyone in your immediate vicinity. If you damage Shivers, you better make sure you take him out, or you’re going to be on the receiving end of a double-boosted P+S13 tiny sword, and double-boosted P+S12 tiny shield attack. It’s not going to by a Warjack, but it’ll be a very rude surprise for most infantry models.
Note that this stacks with Primal Rage. Damage Shivers and he’ll make a 6″ advance (with Pathfinder) and get a free swing at you with the benefits of Freak Outmaking sure you’re aware of just what you did wrong.
If you want to be really rude about it? Use Shield Guard to pull a shot on a nearby friendly onto Shivers, Primal Rageto get closer once the damage is resolved, and then Freak Out. You may only get to pull it off once, but it’ll be a fun turn.
Mimicry may be where Shivers earns his keep. RNG Self animi from non-character warbeasts include:
- Hunting Howls (Argus Moonhound)
- Earth’s Blessing (Gnarlhorn Satyr)
- Ornery (Rip Horn Satyr)
- Death Shriek (Rotterhorn Griffon)
- Elusive (Scarsfell Griffon, Shadowhorn Satyr)
- Sky Fire (Storm Raptor)
- Lightning Strike (Warpwolf Stalker)
- Doppler Bark (Wild Argus)
- Winter Coat (Winter Argus)
- Irresistible Force (Wold Guardian)
- Spontaneous Combustion (Wold Wight)
- Wold Growth (Woldwarden)
- Earth’s Blessing (Woldwatcher)
- Druid’s Wrath (Woldwrath)
- Arcane Suppression (Woldwyrd)
And just to make it more delightful, the originating warbeast doesn’t have to be in any particular range from Shivers, so you can duplicate the animi’s effect from anywhere on the table.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Shiver’s tiny bellowing shout can Deafen targets, stripping away the ability to issue orders and reducing the target’s DEF (if Shivers can hit – remember, he’s only RAT5, he’s not hideously accurate even under Freak Out), and his tiny sword packs one of my favorite abilities from my Retribution of Scyrah days, Critical Smite. Nothing like a surprise Slam to mess with someone’s day.
Shivers is one of the five starting heroes from the Wintertime Wasteland box for Riot Quest, currently available through your FLGS and preferred online retailer. Are you up for a frosty treasure hunt?