While Normally I’d do battle reports of my latest tournament ( I went 3-2, Huzzah!) This week something interesting and cool dropped hours before writing this article: A new caster. I’ll keep up on the iterations of her prior to posting this on Tuesday, but
Since the very first Partisan Caster, I have wanted a Cryx Pirate Partisan. It only makes sense, and I am glad that, after such a long wait, it has come to be. While I don’t expect she’ll be tearing up the competitive scene, because she has to be balanced for two factions instead of just a normal, single faction, she could be a lot of fun to play as a pirate and a Cryxian. Her concept art, too, is pretty great.
This is such a fun looking and cool model, and I’m glad that I get to paint it alongside my other cool, Cryxians. She has also put to bed any idea that I have had of getting rid of my Merc Pirates, because she and Fiona (also in the CID) are going to be really cool to run togehter.
As of the writing of this, this caster is covered in rules, with nearly every aspect of her model touch in some way with a special rule, situation or simply a high stat. This is, I fear, likely to change. Regardless, lets take a look at what she has.
First, she’s Scharde and Privateer as well as a Mercenary. I know that Scharde doesn’t have any specifically cool rules behind it, but Privateer does, allowing her to take both Grogspar and Doc while getting their benefits. This also means that taking a unit of Sea Dogs and Mister Walls in a Cryx army (that all now have tough) with either Grogspar or Doc isn’t a terrible choice, as their aura will be benefiting both the unit and the caster, especially with the aggressive stance she is likely to take. If the Devils Shadow make it through as Partisans, I might be able to get away taking all three. The Combination seems pretty cool, and I think its likely to be Grogspar for No Sleeping on the Job, though Doc having 4+ tough is really cool.
Now, Stats. She’s a fantastic Speed 7, and a solid MAT 7, Which isn’t breaking the world, but combined with her spells, can actually be fairly threatening. Def 16 is great, arm 15 is above average. Her Command of 9 is welcome, as she will make good use out of it. Her Focus of 6 is fairly lackluster, especially for a Cryx Thankfully, she doesn’t have a lot of spells she wants to land with her FOC stat, so this simply applies to her control area, and that is fine. She’s small based, which I like as it gives her more places to hide. 28 WJP is good. I hate the odd number of WJP because it makes taking warjacks very difficult. Math doesn’t generally work in their favor. 16hp is a standard fragile caster number, so I didn’t expect much else.
Rahera is covered in abilities, between herself and her weapons, and all of them feel relevant. Tactician, Pathfinder, Parry, Acrobatics, and Sprint are an absolutely awesome set of rules, each providing stacking benefits to make sure that this caster gets where and how she wants in order to get the most benefit out of her spells and other abilities as possible. Blood Boon on her Blood Axe allows her to cast either Manifest Destiny or Windstorm for free, and then sprint allows her to reposition herself to the best position after she’s taken advantage of the opponents models untimely death. Finally, she has a very swingy but potentially game changing Critical Decap on her Bone Cleaver. This combination of rules makes me curious to see how much work she can actually get done turn to turn. I used to get a lot of work out of Ashphyxious 1 using teleport, and she does it all on her own, and further in all directions.
Feats are an integral part of a caster. so let’s move on to hers. Headhunter, as it is called is interesting. Crit Decapitation is dicey and unpredictable, so I’m fine with that part not being leaned on. The main portion of her feat, though is that friendly living troopers gain Blood Bound, from the Devils Shadow Mutineers. I looked at it and like it, but it does have limitations. You have to kill living enemy models with your living troopers, which hard skews her into Living themes, Scourge of the Broken Coast and Slaughter Fleet Raiders. There are options, however, to pull a unit of Sea Dogs into almost any list she plays, in any theme, so if you want to use it, you can make it work. Then, you have to have taken losses to your units, which is very likely. Most of my units arrive reduced to some degree. This will trigger the recursion effect, bringing back more troopers of yours as you chew through theirs. Lastly, in a tight pinch, its an RFP feat versus living, which can often tilt the scales in your favor in a recursion matchup, pulling you ahead while the opponent falls behind. It’s an interesting feat, and one I want to see how it plays out in a few games before making a
Here is where, as with most warcasters, we get to the meat of their abilities. She has no unique spells, and a single spell that is absolutely dead space on her card – Bleed – but the combination seems pretty solid to me.
Black Spot is one of my favorite spells, and I’m glad to see it on another caster in the faction. -2 Defense is a good debuff, and the ability to make another attack after destroying a model in the unit is strong. The Kraken and other models with reach really enjoy this spell.
Escort is, again, a favorite spell of mine. Giving Warjacks in her battlegroup +2 speed for a paltry upkeep cost is great, even if you have only one giant bastard, like a Kraken (see above) that is making use of the spell. The +2 Armor on the caster pushes her from 16/15 to 16/17, which is excellent, and with a huge based Warjack in the list, where she can go and still get the benefits is fairly, well, huge.
Manifest Destiny is a spell I’ve not had access to in Cryx before, and it feels very strong. Signs and Portents effects are powerful, and though Cryx Jacks aren’t always the best jacks, they often are able to take any small advantage to push it over the top. Melee based jacks will absolutely love this, and that it affects both to hit and damage rolls is spectacular. While I’m beating this poor horse here some more, I can’t think of a better target than something that reaches out 4″ each turn at a fairly significant P+S but a lackluster MAT that holds it back. Maybe a Kraken is just what she wants. Maybe.
Finally, we have one of the most irritating spells in the game, Windstorm. Denying your opponent the ability to shoot effectively is pretty impressive, and its an ability that always drives me mad when I have to face it. while the range on it is fairly small as control area effects go, 12″ from her does ensure that it is often very difficult to shoot her off the board. Combined with the Satyxis Blood Priestess in both lists that she wants to be in, and its unlikey that you’ll take her down with ranged attacks. She is often going to be able to stand in front of a kraken to protect it with windstorm and still survive possible reprisal thanks to escort, windstorm and her naturally high defense. Maybe I do need to take Grogspar. No Knockdown is pretty handy.
Overall, I think she is a caster that looks conflicted at first glance, but actually has a straightforward gameplan. She wants a colossal that both shoots and melees in order to take advantage of black spot and manifest destiny. She’s got plenty of space with Sprint, acrobatics, parry, pathfinder and blood boon to actually get a Black Spot out when she needs it. Additionally, she wants a pretty sizable contingent of trooper models to bring with her in order to leverage the feat, and she wants to play into troop heavy swarms. Bloodgorgers seem her natural friend, with, Potentially, a single MAT 10 P+S 11 model getting to the enemies lines and regurgitating his entire unit onto the field. Hell, if you can keep Jussika alive long enough, she’ll get it done all by herself.
I think, and this is my first go of it and I am bad at list building so be gentle, that this is what I should reach for playing.
She has the Kraken for her BG spells, and Slaughter Fleet provides an additional +2/+2 for the jacks via gang fighter. Getting a potential S&P MAT 12 and S&P P+S 21 out there seems just fine. If only I could find a way to wedge in Ragman
Anyway! Until next time!
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