|Effect||Cure one debuff, and +10 HP on successful switch out.|
Knights-only item. When equipped on a Knight, the Hero's Flagon cures one debuff and gains him 10 life upon a successful (unintercepted) switch out. This is similar to Marquis Le Morte's innate which gains him 20 life upon successfully switching out. Since the life gained per match is only limited by the number of times you switch out, it is potentially a very useful item. It is best equipped on characters that play at a high velocity and have nukes (high energy, high damage moves) and are prone to hit-and-running.
Knights who have Flagon equipped will often see switching out as a preferable move, but the opponent can anticipate this by intercepting more often. The debuff cure can be a life-saver too, since it can cure very dangerous debuffs such as Ubuntu's Spirit Assistance or Popo's Poison Dart. Other minor debuffs such as bleeding and burns can also be cured, saving some loss of life in the process. Just remember that there are some debuffs that cannot be removed such as Touch of Doom or Bleeding Ritual.
Hero's Flagon on characters Edit
- Wei-shan - not the best item to equip since Wei-shan is a low-velocity character who prefers staying in the field, using low-energy attacks and resting to heal.
- Bestor - he fits the profile of a high-velocity hit-and-runner pretty well, but there may be more synergistic choices such as Elemental Prism or Bracers of Righteousness.
- Gunbjorn - a good choice, since he is often switched in at close range to threaten a 55 energy nuke and then quickly switched out.
- Oxbox - excellent choice, since he plays at a very high velocity, switching has synergy with his innate, and his high health means that he can survive long enough to switch out multiple times.
- Rathbone - excellent choice, since it makes up for his low health, and he can often switch out safely due to having two high energy nukes.
Hero's Flagon or Bracers of Righteousness? Edit
There will often be a time when these two defensive items compete for the same equip slot on a Knight. The answer to which is preferable depends on the Knight in question. On Wei-shan, Bracers (or even Ring of Bravery) is preferable since he likes staying in the field and resting. On Rathbone, the Flagon is preferable he already has quite a high dark defence and therefore will have less to gain from Bracers. On the other three Knights, all of whom have 0 dark defence, the answer is a lot more dependent on your playstyle. If you like staying in the field, then Bracers may help you more, whilst if you prefer hit-and-running, then the Flagon is for you.
Assume that the Flagon triggers once per game, Bracers will need to save you 10 life before it draws even with the Flagon. The only dark move that deals more than 10 damage in multi-hits outright is Frenzied Strikes. Other moves will need to hit you twice, or even three times before the Bracers become preferable. Given that the Knights in question have low dark defences to begin with, it's unlikely that you will want to stay around and trade blows, the better thing to do is probably to switch out into a counter for your opponent. If that is your strategy, then Flagon is the better choice. Otherwise if you insist on staying in the game and allowing them to hit you multiple times, then Bracers is probably better since it will save you from more than 10 life. Just remember some moves such as Voidstream have dark defence debuffs attached, for which the Bracers is less useful.
Hero's Flagon; A different perspectiveEdit
Although the Hero's Flagon looks like a very useful item to have, you have to be careful when using it. Most good players will intercept a lot more often thanks to the Flagon, and most Flagon users are caught and KOed by a well timed double intercept.
Essentially, when you use Flagon, you are giving your opponent more incentive to intercept. Having Flagon raises so many Red Flags it'll only be natural for your opponent to intercept a lot more often. This is counter-productive to what the Flagon is supposed to do; give you a small but substantial advantage while trading blows with your opponent, because, an intercept will turn what would have been a small advantage into a huge drawback for you.
Perhaps the best way to play a Knight with Flagon is to attack more often, simply because switching (if you look at it) actually turns into a pretty bad option for a Flagon user when he is anywhere from low-mid HP. This puts Flagon in the same boat as items like the Blood Vial; good on paper but bad (in a mediocre player's hands) in theory. Two of the Knights (Bestor and Rathbone) constantly use a hit and run strategy to maximize their damage output, so putting a Flagon on them will most likely only kill them earlier (because your opponent will intercept seeing an intercept will now not only save them from some high damage attacks later on, but it'll also prevent you from healing 10HP and a debuff). Oxbox and Gunbjorn meanwhile have high HP, meaning the Flagon will be healing a smaller percentage of their HP, thus making Flagon a slightly less attractive option (especially when the Ring of Bravery makes them a lot more useful). Wei-Shan perhaps finds the most use for Flagon, because your opponent will try and bring down Wei-Shan before he can get his stalling cycle going.
All in all, be very wary when using Flagon. It'll put you in great situations when you get it to work, but making intercept such a viable option for your opponent means you have to play it a lot riskier (which, again, is counter-productive to what Flagon is intended to do, make matchups safer for the Knight) than you normally do. Attack often, but don't attack blindly, and make sure you know how smart your opponent is, because that's all it boils down too. A dumb opponent will only make switch the best option yet again.