Back when I mentioned my list of posts I wanted to do to wrap up the Skorne Chronicles, I thought that I’d take a look at Zaal 2. However, I think I’ve gone into well enough about him earlier that I can put that off for a little while yet.
Instead, I’ll work through, chronologically, how I felt with each caster, what their high and low points are, and how much I enjoyed the caster from both the fun and competitive angle.
First up are a pair of casters I ended up not using very often at all. and by very often, I mean only this one day. The first casters I reached for when I started my journey were the two newest ones in the ranks, at that time. Xerxis 2 and Makeda 3
From my limited experience, Xerxis was really enjoyable. The list I had comprised of a Mammoth, some swordsmen, and support for both. Mobility and ignite both build upon the standard Skorne kit in predictable and effective ways, and his feat gives the list a bit more aggression than I would expect a standard fury 5 warlock would have.
His personal suite of abilities means that he can play a strong scenario, staying outside of his opponents big threats while also threatening with his own big body. He’s a touch vulnerable to shooting, but with the right support (Krea, Tiberion and/or a Brute) he does just fine with his pile of hit boxes.
He is a melee bruiser with speed 7 and a P+S 15+ melee attack. His threat range is rather limited and predictable, which can both assist you and hinder you, depending on your opponent and strategy. Speed 7, mobility, reach and the charge are sometimes just enough to get you where you need. Additionally, Ride by attack can allow you to tag something 5.5″ away and if needed, end where you started.
The same day I pulled out Xerxis 2, I also pulled out Makeda 3. Once again, it was the only time I put her on the board. She was a genuinely interesting caster during that game, as she facilitates some fancy vectors with her battlegroup. Her package is deadly and simple, focused on herself and her ability for a single turn to bring the full force of her battleground to bear. Her ability to destroy infantry is glorious.
She’snot particularly vulnerable to shooting, due to having built in bodyguards with the Exalted Guardians and a small base, and her personal melee capacity is extremely strong, but she relies on the opponent having troopers to destroy to be most effective. When given a chance, she can assassinate and strongly threaten scenario, with an average attrition swing, bumped up by her feat turn when needed.
Much like Xerxis, she is a melee powerhouse that can cleave through an enemy army in short notice. With Eliminator, Vortex of Destruction, Battle Driven triggered and her feat active she can bring her pow 17 weapon to the exact spot its needed on the battlefield. The feat also allows her to put her self in a fairly precarious position and completely tapped out on fury only to climb back up to six over the course of the turn, prepared to face tank whatever the opponent has.
I’d played both with and against Xerxis repeatedly leading up to my return, so this caster wasn’t anything new.I was, however, playing Fist of Halaak for the first time and it was a very memorable experience. Playing him in tier was, while not extremely fun, brutally effective. It took a few games to get used to his pacing, tempo and strategy, but now that I do I have no fear with him.
Its a brutal and effective list. A single powerhouse beast, three units of offensive weaponmasters, two units of auto-fire guns, and a unit of unbreakable hell and two support pieces. This one easily one of the most boring and simple lists I’ve played. Its a grindfest to the final second with your infantry and your models taking down many more than themselves, hopefully, before the day is done.
While Xerxis is a beater model, and his stats, spells, and feat mimic that, he won’t often finish the job. Tons of durable models and a powerful finisher in Tiberion will often break the army down to where either a scenario or caster kill is inevitable. Sometimes you can bully your way into an early Assassination victory if the opponent gets a little to impetuous, but most of the time you will be playing the full two hours.
In good tradition, I took Rasheth out for a spin next, and though his first run was ended by Lola, from there on out it was a grand Bash. He was extremely enjoyable to play, especially seeing as I took the 6 Titan Chain Gang with him. Nothing is as satisfying or as gratifying as using 4 different titans with their varied ability and powers in order to crush you opponent underfoot.
Rasheth is extremely vulnerable to pretty much everything. His 20 hit boxes is due to complete necessity, as he is constantly taking damage from even the smallest sources. However, his massive control area and impressive magical powers will draw me to his lists forever and ever!
Rasheth is one of the most fun lists to play because its so adaptable. Many times, I end up chewing on the carcass of my enemies caster with a Titan simply because there are so many of them. Even after that, though, continuous sunder spirits and Breaths of Corruption have cause the end of a number of casters as well. Giant threats from every angle can really cause an opponent to flounder and make mistakes they otherwise would not have.
Makeda 2 got taken out for a single game all year, but it was worth it. She is a fun, dangerous caster that can hit from downtown. The list was the typical Makeda 2 build that I thought I would use for a while but somehow, I got sidetracked.
She’s an Karn delivering bullet with a sidearm of Archidon, and every minute of it is enjoyable. There are moments where she can be extremely vulnerable, and when her assassination attempts fail she falls right apart. Build and learn her right, though, and you’ve got a solid caster.
As mentioned, Makeda 2 plays assassination first and foremost. Like all Skorne casters, she has some attrition game to force the assassination, but mostly she has to chamber up an unexpected win in order to make sure that the game doesn’t get out of hand. She also relies heavily on Karn and the Archidon, and having them removed early does wonders for your opponents odds.
Makeda 1 is the solid inverse of Makeda 2. Where her first epic incarnation excels at removing the head from the snake, Makeda 1 grinds the snake to bits and then spits on its corpse. Excelling in Attrition tactics to make the scenario, or unlikely assassination, for the win.
Makeda 1 is a support caster with a slight martial bent, allowing her army and her beasts to lift beyond their weight class with Defenders ward and Carnage. Each of these signature spells pushes the rather mediocre troops over the bar.
This caster simply plays for whatever win you give her. If you keep your caster safe in the back of the army, she will slowly whittle away you resources with hers. If you come forward, she will break you caster neatly with her newly elite troops. Its a fun, if technical list, that seems to develop further the more games you get under your belt.
Man. Mordikaar is one of my favorite casters, and I didn’t even know it until this year. He has a great toolkit, an awesome feat, and fun set of spells to play around with to combat almost any situation. My favorite Battlegroup with him may be a bit lighter than most Skorne builds, but I don’t have him going into fights that rely on him breaking apart armor.
Being a support caster with a gun in Skorne is a fairly unique situation. Able to contribute significantly at ranged, he builds a very strong attrition game. His flexibility and sheer power when it comes to eliminating pesky enemy models and overwhelming the opponent with targets is glorious.
An attrition machine, Mordikaar is one of the best at recursion. Simply creating model after model after model in the army that can get to advantageous positions and clear zones. I don’t often see assassination on the table, but taking scenario is really his go to win condition.
Zaal is a caster that I had always wanted to run in theme, but had never really had the chance to before this outing, and after four games I was sated. He is a blast to run, utilizing some of the more unique pieces in the faction and building lists you wouldn’t want anywhere else. His theme list is great fun, and the only way I really want to play him.
Zaal’s kit is one of the most deadly in the Skorne Arsenal. With Last Stand and his feat, a single solo can ruin the day of nearly any caster, with Hex Blast there to strip valuable upkeeps when needed. The Immortals and Ancestral Guardians he brings are of an above average killing power, though the immortals are a little shy on MAT. Overall, though, his list is unique, fun and effective.
Zaal runs assassination, pure and simple, with a weak scenario presence and an only moderate ability to attrit your opponent out of the game. Every turn your angling for you Kovaas or Ancestral Guardian to get to the caster and consign them to the void, where they truly belong.
Zaal in his Epic Incarnation is a very strange caster. He’s the complete inverse of his previous incarnation, and plays a very different game while maintaining the same feel. His army is composed completely differently, at least how I do it, and leaves behind the Immortals for Units and Units of troops.
Zaal 2’s spells and abilities are a veritable pile of rules and abilities that seem contradictory but make for an interesting and different list build than you would normally have for Skorne. With simply 2 or three light beasts, He brings with him the entire mass of the Skorne army, desiring to die fighting for him, and he will let them.
This caster is simultaneously a fun and boring caster that no one wants anything to do with. Only 11 games in I was done, and had settled in on a fun and effective list that, while very different from the normal Skorne forcus on warbeasts still was able to play the Scenario-Attrition game with each turn being as successful as your was the turn prior.
Of all the lists I played, I found this one to be the least entertaining. Its a good list with a good caster and a god vision, I just can’t but help feel that there is another caster that does what Morghoul does, just a touch better. Being mostly minions, he does very little for his list and his list does almost nothing for him.
That is not to say, however, that he is not effective. Going undefeated with him was interesting, especially when wasn’t thrilled with the list to begin with. he brings nearly nothing to his list but his presence as a factor of inevitability. If you screw up, and it is likely that you will – no one plays a perfect game – then he will remove you from existence. You simply have to beat him first.
Assassination. Its in his name, and its how he plays every day of the week. Scenario is a common win condition, but its because opponents are so terrified of getting shanked by him that he is able to dictate a much wider portion of the board than he would initially be credited for. When you know that if your even a half inch off, you get to die, it creates a very different state of the game.
This caster is simply one of my favorites. Man, that is a sentence I never thought I’d read or write. Hexeris 2 is a powerful and versatile caster that has the tools, and the army, to pull him through almost every situation that exists. Though I stole the list from Trevor, I adapted it to be my own and thoroughly love it.
Hexeris is a spell slinger, plain and simple. He’s got two powerful offensive spells, and a set of good defensive spells, and a great debuff, what more can you ask? His Warbeast Bond is even an arcnode. Once you get the positioning and the muscle memory for him developed, its one of the best lists to see at work. Ranged, Melee and Warbeasts all work together seamlessly.
This caster is a caster that is very good at almost everything. He can attrition the army away, causing a significant swing to assassination or, more likely, scenario as almost everything in the list has multiple attacks. He has a personal assassination range of something like 19″, much further with an arcnode, and can easily burn out low armor or low defense casters. If you enjoy playing Skorne, give him a go, you should not be disappointed.
Hexeris II (9,2)
Makeda I (9.15)
Xerxis I (8.75
Makdea II (8.55)
Rasheth (Chain Gang) (8)
Morghoul II (Hit Squad) (8)
Zaal II (7.85)
Xerixis II (7.70)
Makdea III (6.5)
Zaal I (9.40)
Makeda I (9.33)
Hexeris II (9,0)
Makeda III (7.69))
Makeda II (7.55)
Xerxis II (7.0)
Morghoul II (Hit Squad) (5.5)
Zaal II (5.0)
Xerxis I (4.5)
Thanks for reading!