Rakkir is a deadly killer, specialising in the various toxins and poisons of Athien. Exceptionally agile and stealthy for an Orc, Rakkir quickly rose through the ranks of his local thieves guild, before striking out on his own as a hired assassin. His reputation stretches the length and breadth of the land and anyone rumoured as being a target of the Blood Shadow is considered a dead man walking.
Rakkir is, despite being one of the poster-boy heroes, actually a pretty finesse hero who has probably the highest skill cap out of all of the “starter” heroes.
He can dive in and blow up a Hero with relative ease, but if you only use him that way you will find him something of a glass cannon who most often ends up simply piece trading himself for whatever he takes down. Not that this is a bad thing, and is sometimes necessary, but you need to be sure to be taking on the right targets (Heroes holding multiple Souls for instance) to make that equation balance.
What Rakkir does best with, is harrassing and utilising hit and fade tactics to apply pressure from unexpected angles. His usual activation (especially after hitting level 2) would be to charge in and then teleport away to safety again. At level 2, he gets even more mobile as he isn’t limited to a single teleport a turn as long as you can roll enough dice to get the Escape Combat Manoeuvre to proc. The downside to relying on this for your escape plan is that you cannot often leverage Toxin at the same time (as Active Abilities can’t interrupt attack resolution), or having to choose between inflicting Poison and being able to Escape.
Rakkir’s mobility comes from his ability to drop and use Shadow Orbs. By consuming an Orb that he is base to base with, he can teleport to any other friendly Orb or Effigy. There is a limit of 3 on the table for each player, but you will only very rarely want to have 3 out as you would be required to walk to an Orb before you could use it. On most maps, I would try to get an Orb placed on both the left and right sides, reasonably far up the table. This gives you the ability to cover most of the board between each Orb and the Effigy itself. This also makes Rakkir one of the safer Heroes to be gathering Souls as he can have an effective Effigy Recall baked into his normal rotation for Banking.
Ranged Heroes are both his natural predator, but also one of his defensive strengths. When played skillfully, he will never be left on the front line to take damage from an opposing melee Hero, leaving dealing with him to the ranged capable, yet his Cloak of Darkness ensures that against them he is starting at AGI 5. Once Rakkir hits level 3, he is largely unkillable from range as he can make himself completely untargetable from more than 3″ away.
If you can run other Heroes who are able to inflict poison, potentially from a distance like Zaffen, Rakkir’s damage output only goes up as he doesn’t have to rely on being self-sufficient in the poison application, and can just focus on getting in and using Toxin to best effect.
Other Heroes that he benefits from include Bastian, Zaron and Kruul.
Kruul’s level 3 ability gives Rakkir’s damage a little boost, to 3/4/6, which is nice in itself anyway but it also means that Rakkir can now apply poison to RES 2 Heroes a lot easier. As Poison requires 2S and damage, taking the dagger attack to 3 on a glance means that you can glance Defenders and still get poison off, without needing to roll at least 1J to get 2S and a Solid hit. This, plus Toxin being True Damage, suddenly makes him a lot scarier to opposing tanks.
Zaron assists with both easy Gang Up bonuses by sending disposable skeletons in to melee, as well as dropping Shadow Orbs for Rakkir to use.
Bastian is (and I am sure I will be bringing this up a lot) the quintessential melee support hero. I will go into this more on his own Hero Focus, but being able to relatively trivially add 2 dice to Rakkir’s attack pool is simply gold.
Rakkir doesn’t have a whole lot that he can offer to other Heroes, but an application of poison in the right place at the right time can help with collapsing a flank or turning a battle.
Given Rakkir’s reliance on his Combat Manoeuvres, he is a very Fate hungry hero. I am far from the only player who considers Toxin to be a 2F ability as you need to account for the potential reroll needed to apply the poison condition to your target. He can very easily eat 4 Fate a turn just to do his normal (late game) rotation of charge (reroll) – Poison, Toxin, second attack (reroll) – Escape, Invisibility. Because of this, he really likes being paired up with other Heroes who are very Fate light. An example of this would be running Thorgar and Rakkir as your two main Aggressors. You might also find that Rakkir doesn’t do a lot in the early game when Fate is typically more scarce.
Building upon Rakkir’s reliance on Combat Manoeuvres, he is a prime candidate for the Vorpal Blade. More dice = more chance of Manoeuvres. An honourable mention for Offensive artefacts would be the Armour Shredder. This allows him to threaten most Defenders with glances, much like I was alluding to earlier with regards to Kruul’s L3 ability. At a pinch, the Demon Blade (if available) is almost an amalgamation of these two artefacts, but you have to be mindful that Rakkir needs to then be careful not to finish off his targets as he won’t be able to get the Souls due to the imposed curse condition, and needs someone to run around and clean up behind him.
Defensively, I tend to like the Boots of Agility or the Astral Stasis Potion. The Agility makes him very hard for ranged Heroes to deal with (AGI 6 at range is nothing to sniff at!). Whereas the Astral Stasis Potion can help his survivability on those occasions when, against all odds, the dice say no and he can’t teleport away. However this does work against his already low Fate efficiency.
When dealing with an opposing Rakkir, the best things to do would be to look into the Bracers of Disruption. They will only protect one Hero, but that could be enough. Saiyin is also very good for preventing poison on another Hero. Ultimately you will want to be mindful of the board and positioning – looking at the deployed Shadow Orbs and evaluating the charge lanes they present. You can than attempt to body block those lanes with higher RES Heroes who don’t fear him so much. The Astral Stasis Potion is also handy for robbing him of a juicy target when you know he is activating next.
Given how Fate hungry he can be, it can also be an effective tactic to do everything you can to deny Fate to your opponent – contesting shrines and kill stealing Monsters as a primary. If you have a ranged Hero, it can be very much worth taking shots on wounded Monsters to kill them, even if you don’t have anyone close enough to collect the Fate – just so that you can deny it to your opponent.
Card Version: 1.6