Friday, October 26, 2012

NHL 13: Build of the Week -- Two Way Defenseman

This week we have a two way defender build that should allow you to keep the front of the net clear and yet also chip in a bit offensively.

2 Way Defender
Legend 2

11" skates
Regular Flex
2nd Curve from the bottom

Deking: 77
Hand Eye: 79 (+8)
Off Awareness: 77 (+5)
Passing: 82
Puck Control: 78 (+5)
SS Accuracy: 77 (+5)
SS Power: 82
WS Accuracy: 69
WS Power: 65

Aggression: 79
Body Check: 82
Def Awareness: 85
Discipline: 82
Faceoffs: 65
Fighting: 65
Shot Blocking: 79
Stick Check: 82 (+5)

Acceleration: 82 (+8)
Agility: 81 (+8)
Balance: 75
Durability: 65
Endurance: 80
Speed: 81 (+8)
Strength: 75

I have noticed that once you get a decent number of points (say legend 1) you really start running out of places to spend them for a lot of these builds. It really comes down to how you configure your boosts. It makes +3s even more important than before because the cap is a hard limit whereas in NHL 12 you could look at the costs of something and see if that +3 bought you more than a +5 somewhere else.

So to that end the entire offensive category outside of the wrist shot attributes are maxed. I debated between  having higher deking vs. the higher hand eye and went with hand eye. I think 84 is just a bit too low to one time a shot. If you are a team that plays catch and then shoot then 84 is probably enough and you can spend that boost on deking or somewhere else. The slapshot is reasonable and there are spares for the wrister even.

Defensively everything is maxed that is important and the rest went into shot blocking.

Athletically this is a pretty strong build with good skating attributes, endurance, and even a moderate amount of balance and strength. The high level skating will allow you to stay with quick forwards and the balance and strength will help you against an aggressive forecheck.

Monday, October 15, 2012

NHL 13: Build of the Week -- Grinder

I teased this earlier on Twitter but I really do think this may be the One True Build™* for NHL 13. I will list the reasons in a minute but first here is the build:

Grinder, Legend 2
11" skates
Regular Flex
2nd Curve from the top

Deking: 80
Hand Eye: 82 (+8)
Off Awareness: 75
Passing: 70
Puck Control: 78 (+5)
SS Accuracy: 70
SS Power: 65
WS Accuracy: 76 (+8)
WS Power: 78 (+5)

Aggression: 81
Body Check: 84
Def Awareness: 85
Discipline: 80
Faceoffs: 65
Fighting: 65
Shot Blocking: 66
Stick Check: 85

Acceleration: 84 (+8)
Agility: 80 (+8)
Balance: 65
Durability: 65
Endurance: 80
Speed: 84 (+8)
Strength: 65

From memory those checking/aggression numbers seem a bit off compared to what I was getting in game but it is maybe a point or two so it doesn't really matter. Everything else seems in order.

So what makes this the One True Build™? Let's cut right to the chase and look at athletics. Even at Legend 2** you have skating attributes better than any other player type in the game. Specifically acceleration and speed are both two points beyond what you can get out of any other build. Even agility is within two points of every other build and better than some. But back to speed and acceleration. Speed and acceleration are basically everything in this game, they let you get in on the forecheck faster, get back on the backcheck faster, and give you more room and time on offense because you aren't as pressed by people pursuing you from behind. You can actually slow down after building up a gap and get away a decent shot or pass or pull up and set it up in the zone with less worries of being defended.

As you can see on defense it is super solid and you don't need a single boost there unless you play center. For playing center the changes I make are +8 on faceoffs on the stick with just a single +5 wrist shot accuracy. Max stick check, faceoffs, discipline, defensive awareness, and then dump the spares into aggression then checking. Offensively and athletically the build is the same (outside of the lost wrist shot power and accuracy). Notice, you can hit 95 in faceoffs as a center which you can only do as a grinder or a two way forward so it makes a good center build.

Now I am sure you are looking at this offensive setup and saying, "How can you do well with those attributes?" The answer lies in what works offensively for NHL 13. For all intents and purposes you can't score from outside the hashmarks since two tuners ago so you don't need an amazing shot. The passing attribute and passing in general is mostly broken in this version so you don't need great passing. The hand eye is competitive with all other player types. The puck control looks weak but if you can keep the puck away from people you don't really need much. Also, you won't lose the puck from small bumps with this setup even with the base balance and strength. The amount of deking is fine for almost anything. Breakaways are not really a problem for this build especially with the extra speed.

This build is very similar to the dangler in NHL 09. By that I mean the dangler had two extra points of speed that you couldn't get with any other build. Dangler was not the best offensive build but with the extra speed you almost felt like you couldn't play anything else. I think grinder is in the same boat based on the inherent speed and acceleration advantages it has.

* That isn't trademarked I am just having some fun.
** I have already looked at some numbers for Legend 3 and will do a separate post once I hit that level and do some testing but how does 94 speed sound?

Friday, October 12, 2012

NHL 13: Build of the Week -- Tough Guy

Was going to do power forward or offensive defenseman next but played this last night and it is fresh in my mind so I am going with Tough Guy today.

A quick note the NHL 13 player creator here is wrong about the point values on offense for the Tough Guy so if you try to recreate this there you won't be able to.

Tough Guy, Legend 1

11" skates
Regular Flex
2nd Curve from the bottom

Deking: 75
Hand Eye: 79 (+8)
Off Awareness: 69
Passing: 70
Puck Control: 73 (+5)
SS Accuracy: 73
SS Power: 70
WS Accuracy: 75 (+8)
WS Power: 73 (+5)

Aggression: 87
Body Check: 87
Def Awareness: 78
Discipline: 75
Faceoffs: 66
Fighting: 65
Shot Blocking: 73
Stick Check: 80

Acceleration: 80 (+8)
Agility: 76 (+8)
Balance: 73
Durability: 67
Endurance: 78
Speed: 80 (+8)
Strength: 80

I know I set this build up somewhat small but I like to be quick. It is definitely more durable than a sniper but I still get destroyed at times despite the 80 strength and 73 balance. You do notice the lower skating attributes to some extent but it isn't as bad as I would have thought.

Defensively you basically have everything maxed even at Legend 1. It does fine getting in lanes and knocking down passes and the pokecheck works well. At this point I see little reason to use any defensive boosts other than for faceoffs as a center.

Offensively this build is amazing at picking up loose pucks. This is probably due to the aggression rating. It has pretty terrible puck control but frequently I would lose the puck then pick it right back up again so it wasn't much of an issue. The shot is okish and since it is hard to score from anywhere but under the hashmarks it mostly doesn't matter. Hand eye is just below where I like it (90) so receiving passes isn't as smooth as it should be but it works out most of the time since the build will just scoop up the bobbled puck and keep going.

For this year this build is pretty viable which is kind of a sad statement on NHL 13 more than anything but it is pretty fun for working the walls and crashing the net.