The heroic poem of Beowulf is known as the greatest achievement of Old English literature. Its creation dates anywhere between the 8th and 11th century and tells the story of the young prince Beowulf who travels to Heorot to slay the evil monster Grendel. Over the years this story has seen many adaptations in the form of novels, short stories, graphic novels, comics, tv, and film; most recently the 2007 CGI film adaptation Beowulf, and the 2016 ITV adaptation Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands.
The poem sings praises of Beowulf’s heroics slaying the monster Grendel, bravery facing off against the vengeful mother of Grendel, and peaceful kingship of over 50 years. In his old age he even fights a fire-breathing dragon with the aid of his young kinsman Wiglaf. In Unmatched, Beowulf turns his rage into strength, ready to slay any monster or warrior foolish enough to challenge him.
Health: 17 / Attack: Melee / Movement: 2
Beowulf starts with 1 Rage. When Beowulf is dealt damage, he gains 1 Rage. Beowulf has a maximum of 3 Rage.
Health: 9 / Attack: Melee / x1
Strategies and Tips
The key to victory for Beowulf is proper utilization of his Rage. Always make sure you are in a position to gain more. It is best practice to make sure you have at least 2 rage at all times, but there are situations where you will want to use all the Rage you have, so be ready and prepare your attack in advance. He does not have many defensive options, but with his high health value and ability that lets him gain Rage each time he takes damage, he is always ready to quickly turn his pain into his enemy’s anguish.
Massive health value
Heroes who deal “chip” damage throughout the game (e.g. Medusa’s special ability)
Has to take damage to gain rage, most of the time
Few defensive options
The following are 3 tips we believe are essential to mastering Beowulf’s Rage:
Tip #1: The Might of Rage
Accruing and spending Beowulf’s rage is important, but not as important as the timing of which you spend it.
The Ancient Heirloom is an attack card whose effects cannot be canceled, so there is nothing to fear… for you. During combat, you may spend 2 Rage to make this card’s value a 5 instead. You may also spend 1 Rage to BOOST the card. Both effects can be done together, which gives you insane attack potential. If you find yourself with less than 3 rage before attacking, prioritize the BOOST. That way you spend less Rage for at least 2 points of extra damage.
Epic Poem is the only attack that not only gives you rage but doesn’t require you to spend it. This card lets you immediately gain 1 rage, so you shouldn’t use it if you are already at 3. Additionally, the value of this card is +1 for each of your Rage tokens, making this very powerful.
Vigor and Courage is a scheme card that is perfect for pairing with The Ancient Heirloom. With this card your opponent must discard 1 random card, then you gain Rage equal to its BOOST value. Using this scheme after spending Rage lets you recoup your losses.
No Contest Expecteth is a tricky card to work with. Its effect lets you spend 3 Rage to defeat a sidekick if you attacked that sidekick and won the combat. This effect was designed with his rival Little Red in mind, but even with the potential to defeat important sidekicks like Merlin, the Huntsman, or Patroclus early it may not be worth spending the rage, especially mid to late game. I just believe there are better cards to use his Rage with, like the following…
The War-King is a 1 value versatile card only Beowulf can use. The initial value is terrible, but the effect allows you to spend any amount of Rage to increase this card’s value +2 for each Rage spent, which gives this card a potential value of 7, which is nuts. This card is also great on defense in a pinch, meaning you can spend as much Rage as you need to scale to your opponent’s card. Make sure you have at least 2 Rage on hand when you plan to use this card.
Try to think ahead and plan out how you want to use your Rage before each engagement, and don’t spend recklessly. Rage isn’t only used to enhance your attack power; it can also assist you on defense. Try not to end your turn in a vulnerable position with less than 2 Rage on hand.
Tip #2: The Best Defense Is An Excellent Offense
Beowulf does not have many defensive options, but that just makes The Equal of Grendel that much more effective. The Equal of Grendel is Beowulf’s only defense card, and it allows you to immediately spend 2 Rage to deal damage to the opposing fighter equal to the printed value of their card. Since this card is defensive, the immediate effect always activates. Not only is this card especially powerful against high value attack cards like King Arthur’s Excalibur or Bigfoot’s Larger Than Life, but it also serves the purpose of striking fear into your opponent. If they attack with 4 or higher, you effectively only have to spend 1 Rage to activate the ability, so try to avoid letting your opponent bait this out with a low attack.
For other defensive options, Beowulf can use the following: Feint, Skirmish, and The War-King. Considering the other powerful attack cards Beowulf has at his disposal, we recommend saving Skirmish specifically for defense.
Tip #3: The Warrior's Code of Vengeance
Wiglaf is the perfect partner for Beowulf. He has two cards that only he can use: Hot for Battle and Remnant of Valor, each providing excellent support for the hero.
Hot for Battle allows Wiglaf to swap spaces with Beowulf after combat. This is an excellent tool to get Wiglaf out of danger while setting up Beowulf for an attack.
Remnant of Valor is a scheme card that deals 1 damage to each adjacent fighter. You want to use this when next to Beowulf and enemy fighters. With this, Beowulf takes the minimum amount of damage and gains a Rage token in the process.
A good strategy for these two could be to separate them. Usually, you want your sidekick close to your hero at all times, so separating the two may give your opponents a false sense of security, allowing you to activate Wiglaf’s card effects to give Beowulf the opening he needs.
Beowulf is one of the most intricately designed heroes in Unmatched. His Rage tokens and their utility expand on the basic rules of the game, adding much more variety to Unmatched as a whole. Additionally, his Rage mechanic feels very balanced considering he has to take damage or rely on card effects to gain it. Beowulf can be fun for beginners, but his unique mechanics will only truly shine while in the hands of more experienced players.
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