This is part 1 of a series on Chill. Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
A lot of this series will be about defending against Chill, but in order to do that, we first need to know a bit more about what it is that we’re defending against. Why are Chill units so good in the first place? They don’t do damage directly – they just stop units from blocking. However, this is surprisingly useful. There are four main uses for Chill:
1) Absorb Denial
If you freeze your opponent’s biggest absorber, you can reduce the amount of absorb they get. If you reduce their absorb, you’re doing more damage.
You can freeze some of your opponent’s blockers to mess with their granularity, which can also reduce the absorb your opponent can get.
3) Freezing Doomed Units
You can freeze lifespan 1 units. This stops that unit from blocking, and then on the next turn it dies. This also equates to doing damage. For example, in the example above, a Doomed Mech is being held on lifespan 1. Normally it would block and soak up 5 damage before it died, but instead it’s been frozen and will die on the next turn, so it won’t soak up any damage. This means the opponent has to lose an extra Wall and a Forcefield instead.
This is the big one. Say, as in the example above you have eight damage and one Frostbite, and your opponent decides to ignore your Frostbite and just make nine defense. You can freeze one of their Walls, bring their defense down to six, and breach them.
When you breach them, you’re going to do more damage, because they won’t get any absorb, and you’ll also be able to target their most vulnerable units.
And, if they don’t ignore your Frostbite, and make an extra Wall to make sure you can’t breach them:
you just don’t use your Frostbite. This is good too – the whole point of damage is to force your opponent to make defense instead of other stuff. If Chill also forces your opponent to make defense, then it’s doing a similar job. So, Chill is guaranteed to either do damage to your opponent (by breaching) or pressure your opponent (by forcing out defense). Either one is good.
If you were ever wondering why Chill seemed so strong despite not doing any damage directly, now you know! This should help you play offensively with Chill in future games, and also lay the foundation for understanding how to defend against it.
Carry on to part two.
I think it would be good to mention that sometimes the breach indicator is mistaken with chill.