Created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyal, Sherlock Holmes first appeared in the 1887 novel A Study in Scarlet. Details of Sherlock’s life in many of the early stories were left vague; however, the stories of Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. Watson has since exploded in popularity, extending to more novels, short stories, and eventually television series’ and movies that all dive deep into the character’s psychology, personality, and habits. The most popular adaptations are the 2010 series Sherlock where he was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch and the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes and its 2011 sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows where he was portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.
Sherlock is a genius detective who is known to be dispassionate and cold, only coming alive during an investigation where his flair for showmanship shows its face. In Unmatched, Sherlock Holmes investigates his opponents, learning their strengths and weaknesses to use against them.
Health: 16 / Attack: Melee / Movement: 2
Effects on HOLMES and DR. WATSON cards cannot be canceled by an opponent. Effects on ANY cards can be canceled.
Sidekick: Dr. Watson
Health: 8 / Attack: Ranged / x1
Strategies and Tips
As Sherlock, your goal is to use your cards to view your opponent’s hand and then use that knowledge to your advantage. He does not have many attack cards, but instead relies on scheming his way to victory. Your best bet is to use Watson as a shield while you maneuver as Sherlock until you draw specific cards that grant you knowledge of your opponent’s hand. Despite being a hero who depends on schemes, he still has excellent attack options and solid defense. Sherlock rewards methodical play.
Knowledge of opponent’s hand
High attack power
Incredibly powerful schemes
Many card effects require proper planning
The following are 3 tips for studying your opponent, and using that knowledge against them:
Tip #1: Observe
“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.” – Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock does not function the same as most heroes in Unmatched. For many of your turns it is best to double maneuver, observing and keeping your distance from your opponents. Sherlock’s best cards are his schemes, so you want to keep your opponent chasing you while you draw for your scheme cards, being sure to keep defense and versatile cards in your hand to defend with. With that said, there will be opportunities for you to attack if your opponent ends their turn adjacent to you, and you should capitalize on them.
The Game is Afoot is an attack with a value of 5 that lets you move 3 spaces after combat. If used as your first action you can create 5 spaces of distance between you and your opponent. This is a good way to deal a few points of damage and create distance again. Thanks to his special ability, the effect cannot be canceled.
While opportunities to attack will present themselves, it is still best to not attack frequently and instead use your time to draw for your cards that let you see your opponent’s hand.
Counterpunch is a versatile card with a value of 3 and if Sherlock is adjacent to the opposing fighter, deal 2 damage to them after combat. This is a great card to use during this phase.
There are two cards you are looking for during this phase that will let you see your opponent’s hand:
Study Methods is a versatile card with a value of 3 that lets you look at your opponent’s hand after combat if you won the combat. With a value of three you are unlikely to win unless played defensively, so this is a great way to get a peak of your opponent’s hand early in the game.
Eliminate the Impossible is a scheme card that lets you look at your opponent’s hand, and choose one card for them to discard. Forced discards are great, especially when you get to choose. More importantly, you get to view your opponent’s hand, and knowing your opponent’s deck and hand is the key to victory as Sherlock.
Tip #2: Confirm Suspicion
“…when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth…” – Sherlock Holmes
Once you have seen your opponent’s hand, you can begin crafting strategies to deal major damage.
Confirm Suspicion is a scheme that lets you choose an opponent and name a value. Your opponent must then choose and discard one card matching that attack or defense value, then their hero takes damage equal to the BOOST value of the discarded card. Depending on your opponent’s hand, you can use Eliminate the Impossible to remove one of two cards they have with the same value, and guarantee BOOST value damage. If for some reason you decide to use this before seeing your opponent’s hand and you guess wrong, you get to view their hand anyway.
Even on defense Sherlock gains an advantage by knowing the opponent’s hand.
Elementary is a defensive card with a value of 3 that you play face up instead of down. If you predict the printed attack value of their card, it cancels all effects of the card and ignores the attack value. The only downside is immediate effects will still trigger, but with knowledge of your opponent’s hand this should make little difference.
Tip #3: Elementary, My Dear Watson
“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.” – Sherlock Holmes
We know that in order to reign victorious as Sherlock, you must study your opponent and use that knowledge against them. What do you do while you are working towards gaining that knowledge? This is where the invaluable Dr. Watson comes into play. Like with most sidekicks, you want to use Dr. Watson as a shield to keep Sherlock protected until the proper cards have been drawn.
Service Revolver is an attack with a value of 5 and no effect. This card is simple, but effective.
Fixed Point in a Changing Age is a versatile card with a value of 3 that allows him and Sherlock to recover 1 health if they are adjacent after combat.
Dr. Watson is always ready to have Sherlock’s back when he needs it most. The scheme card Administer Aid lets you place Dr. Watson in a space adjacent to Sherlock, Sherlock recovers 1 health, and you get to draw a card. This card synergizes perfectly with Master of Disguise, a Sherlock only scheme card that lets Sherlock swap spaces with an opposing hero and deal 1 damage to them. In battle royals, this combination is excellent for escaping pins, pitting your opponents against one another, and for keeping Sherlock and Watson together.
Sherlock’s deck rewards clever, well thought out plays, and thematically fits Sherlock perfectly. His ability sounds broken, but in reality it only protects four different card effects, none of which are game breaking themselves. Where Sherlock shines are his scheme cards, and alongside Dr. Watson’s great attack, range, and healing effects, they are a great team. Sherlock Holmes can be picked up and played by anyone, but his true potential only reveals itself in the hands of an experienced player with knowledge of a variety of character decks. While many players may not find Sherlock to be fun to play against, his playstyle helps diversify the roster of Unmatched.
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