The Necrotechs Workshop: Scaverous of Renown!

So, I went on a podcast a while back and was invited to talk about my favorite caster, So I chose to talk long and loud about Scaverous because I think he’s one of the best options that currently exist in the faction for a lot of problems. The Podcast has specific criteria that they want to go over, so I created an outline to make sure I knew what I was talking about.  That is what turned into this article, and I’m sure there will be plenty of things I don’t get to on the cast, that I get to here, and vice versa.
The goal was to publish this at the same time as the Podcast (available here) but due to some technical hiccups, It’s hidden itself until now!

Read on!

WarNouns of Renown: Scaverous

When I was asked to talk about a single caster, Lord Exhumator Scaverous came to mind so easily. He is currently my absolute favorite caster, and that comes from playing all the casters and themes. He just stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of what I want and need, and the theme I take him in gives him excellent survivability against most things in the game.  This is the list I’ll be looking at and going with. 

Cryx Army - 75 / 75 points
Slaughter Fleet Raiders
Lord Exhumator Scaverous [+27]
-Deathripper [6]
-Nightwretch [7]
-Scavenger [7]
-Scavenger [7]
Axiara Wraithblade [0(6)]
General Gerlak Slaughterborn [0(6)]
Misery Cage [2]
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (max) [11]
Black Ogrun Boarding Party (max) [11]
Black Ogrun Smog Belchers (min) [9]
Bloodgorgers (max) [15]
-Jussika Bloodtongue [5]
Croe's Cutthroats (max) [16]
Scharde Dirge Seers [6]


So, how do they score him, let’s take a look at the categories:

  • Primary Win Condition
  • Primary Loss Condition
  • Personal Involvement
  • Feat Type and Grade
  • Spell List and Grade
  • Army Focus
  • Favorite Theme
  • Faction Ranking 
  • Floor/Ceiling 

These categories make a lot of sense, covering almost all of the portions of the game that a caster gets involved in. They do a good job at making sure to evaluate all parts of the caster and take a pretty holistic look at their role in the game.  Let’s just tackle them in order. 

Primary Win Condition
There are three talked about win conditions: Scenario, Assassination, and Attrition. I don’t really like attrition as a “win condition” because it is often just a prelude to one win condition or the other, but with the introduction of the 7 round game, it does make an argument for outlasting the opponent, though there are really only two ways to win a game – Control Points and Assassination. There is also the Hybrid caster, the one who has both types of win conditions on the board and can shift from one to the other as the game goes on.

Scaverous can clearly assassinate, and his list is built for it. He has multiple vectors to win the assassination game – from Scavengers, to spell assassination with the feat, to the ever-obvious Croe’s. However, he has some great control and scenario play. Telekinesis is a great spell that can easily catch a small force off guard on feat turn, especially if he gets a soul train up and running. The list also has a load of infantry with a number of different defensive abilities, from tough to stealth to solid defense, dodge and even the occasional incorporeal. It is a list that has multiple ways of making sure it’s in for the duration. Finally, it has a number of ways of putting out damage higher than it would seem at first, from Black Ogrun at P+S 17’s, P+S 15 weaponmasters for the Scavengers, and P+S 12 range 10 Weaponmasters with the Cutthroats. They all are able to perform above their weight class provided the correct circumstances

I think that makes him a hybrid/threat caster. He has the early threat of the assassination to pressure you into staying back and giving him more of the scenario. As long as his feat is on the table, and he has the possibility of getting souls, you have to respect the potential for him to kill you from 16″ out. However, over-respecting his kill-threat can and likely will lead to ceding him too much ground in the scenario game and him quickly getting up and taking the win. 

Primary Loss Condition
this is something that I’ve not paid attention too to much, so I am going to go out on a limb here and say that it is assassination. Every turn, game after game, he is active. He uses his spells and abilities best by leaving himself empty, and if he is overextended that can quickly lead to his head being nicely caved in by the opposition, especially given his large size and mediocre defensive capacity. 

He’s also vulnerable to a scenario victory if you can clean off his infantry in any significant manner, so making sure that he’ keeps his models safe until its time to execute their function is critical to not losing on scenario. 

Personal Involvement
This is how the caster does his work, and what type of overall character they are and what he brings to the table. This is clear and easy with Scaverous. These are the possibilities: 
-Force Multiplier
-Ranged Assassin
-Melee Bruiser
-Defensive Anchor
-Spell Slinger
-Hybrid

While many casters in Cryx are force multipliers because its the identity of the faction, I feel it would be a cop-out to call him a hybrid caster. His spell list can explode the opposing caster, and he is trying to toss out spells every turn – TK, Soul Harvester and Feast of Worms primarily. He also has spells to help out with other situations: Excarnate for a strong nuke and Icy Grip to help both control a unit and a hit buff. Finally, with Death Ward, he can make a unit more durable.

Feat Type+ Grade
Scaverous Feat type is so Flexible. It does exactly what is needed at that specific time, creating a sort of Context Sensitive feat that enhances his gameplay and list no matter what the plan is. I’ve used the feat mostly for assassination, and sometimes simply to move a vast swath of my army. I’ve used it to move two models, and to nuke down both heavies, units, and casters. It is, in my opinion, a B+ Feat. While it will often change the face of the game, and can sometimes be used to end the game straight out, it is one that he needs to lean on strongly in order to bend the game in his favor. This does mean that sometimes he cannot wait for the one perfect time to use the feat, because if he holds too long, he’s overwhelmed and destroyed.

Key Spells + Grade
His spell list is amazing. Let’s just walk down what we have here. 
Telekinesis: one of the best spells in the game and can be used for so many things it’s impossible to even list them all here. A+
-Death Ward: A strong defensive spell that serves well on Scaverous even if no one else in the list gets it, which is rare. B
-Soul Harvester: A powerful utility buff that allows Scaverous to get souls no matter how far away they are when they are generated, provided the model with the buff on it kills the target with a melee attack. Getting Scaverous souls is often the backbreaking point of the game but isn’t necessary for him to play. B-
-Feast of Worms: An interesting armor debuff and an excellent AOE damage spell. Getting souls from it is amazing, and the debuff is great, but it is limited in scope and power. Models within it suffer the debuff, which can be multiple heavies or hard target solos, but it also cannot likely target a whole durable unit to take it down. Still Solid. B
-Icy Grip: A solid enough defense debuff, and one that is useful in games where there are large warrior units that are going to be harvested. The use I’ve gotten the least work out is making the Croe’s cutthroats RAT 7 against a frontal target. I hope that works out well one day. C+
-Excarnate: A great spell with a strong nuke, but the additional benefit is wasted most of the time, and is rather worthless the rest. C. 

Total Spell List grade: A, Because the list is greater than the sum of its parts. While there are spells that are less than A’s, the combination turns them up. Feat of worms is better due to TK, Soul Harvester is better because of Icy Grip, and Excarnate, at POW 15, is better because of Feast of Worms.

Army Focus: What type of army does Scaverous like to bring in order to capitalize on his spell list, abilities, and feats 
-Infantry Horde
-Elite Infantry
-Beast Brick
-Balanced

Here, I am firmly in the camp of a balanced army list. His spells capitalize on a number of different aspects of the game, from melee to magic to ranged to defense and even armor, His list should be a balanced force able to take advantage of whatever weakness the opponent presents, compounded by Scaverous’ spell list. This does mean that you have to know your opponent’s army very well, but that isn’t terrible.

Favorite Theme: 
-Infernal Machines 
-Ghost Fleet 
-Black Industries 
-Slaughter Fleet 
Scourge
-Dark Host

This is an interesting question and one that I founder with myself time and time again. I currently am running him in Slaughter Fleet, and the tools it provides him are absolutely amazing. Berserk models for Soul Harvester, Cloud’s for blocking LOS, spell casters for feat, and ranged attacks almost everywhere. Gang Fighter for the Scavengers is fantastic, pushing them up to the point where they can be P+S 15 with weaponmaster against injured models.

The biggest problem that Slaughter Fleet has is that they are lacking in hard-hitting models, but the Black Ogrun Boarding party does the job well enough, and following behind the Ogrun Smog Belchers, can often deliver themselves into the enemy just fine. Dark Host and Black Industries are good contenders, especially once the Denny 0 model comes out bringing much needed unit armor debuff to both BI and Infernal Machines, the latter of which could prove to be a possible list but will take extensive testing. Still, Slaughter Fleet is the one I think gives him the most oomph.

Faction Ranking
Faction Defining
First Team
Bench
Snowflake
I give Scaverous a solid “first team” Ranking. He’s not going to be the first or second caster you pick out of the faction, but he is always going to be in contention for a caster that does exemplary things for the list while also being able to do work on his own. He’s a great example of what a slightly divergent design can do for a caster without tossing him in the middens.

Floor/Ceiling
Scaverous has both a high floor and a high ceiling. He has, especially in this list, about a hundred moving parts and a dozen options to mull over each turn. While it is a great list, it does take a lot of getting used to. Clocking, making poor choices, getting your important models killed too early, they all are going to happen. Once you get it all set in place, though, its still not going to be right, because then you start unlocking second and third-tier options: What if I charge with these Croe’s? Can I use repo to get the Black Ogrun out of the way for more charges? Do I go in first with the scavenger to do a bucket of damage and soften the target up enough, or do I hope the rest of the army can soften it up for me to kill it and sprint away. So many different abilities and different skills going on that I think he will take ages to master. So, I’ll be playing him until June at least!

Listen to the podcast that inspired this article at Warnouns of Renown! 

As always – if you’re looking for more Seething Ginger, I’m on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, though they all aren’t equally active The Seething Ginger Facebook Page is easily the busiest. 

If you want to hear more of my stupid opinions, listen to the Battle Driven Podcast! 

I make my lists at Conflictchamber.com