Tour de Cryx -The Agathia Endeavour – Retrospective

 

When I started conceiving of, and then playing, Agathia lists I was cautiously optimistic. She wasn’t a blockbuster caster, and there were glimmers of hope. After her five games, though, I think I’ve found a flake or two of gold.

Agathia was one of those casters who I knew a bit about, but had mostly written off. In my other two articles, I went over a bit about what I liked and what surprised me, so I won’t rehash all of it here. Suffice it to say that I have enjoyed Bane Witch Agathia much more than I ever assumed I would.

Last Games

My last two games I played fairly a fairly similar list to the other three. In fact, I only changed one model, and only in the last game. I took Erebus out of the list, and put a Harrower in.

While I’m not really a fan of the change for what I wanted Erebus in the list, I do recognize that there is a point where a mode will become skewed too heavily in a single direction and can’t really perform the needed function. Such was Erebus. Perhaps it was my Generally timid nature with my jacks, but he was never able to pull his weight like I would expect of a 16 point jack. I thought that a Def 14 arm 20 with poltergeist would require a lot of effort to remove and it succeeds at that. The makeup of my army, though, put him in a very tight situation. Erebus isn’t as fast as the majority of the army, so he often is lagging behind with Agathia. He was a back line piece, at this point. He was pretty safe, as often having that high defense and armor would prevent random pot shots, and it required a concentrated effort to remove him that many armies just didn’t have. Honestly, he wasn’t ever in real danger in any of the four games I played him in. It was a masterpiece of protecting my valuable ‘Jack.

What he did not do, though, was contribute. He would stand in the back, looking moderately menacing, but then fail on the attacks, if he made them. He walked up to a destroyer with parasite, and failed to kill it, he couldn’t bring down Damiano, and he got in his own way against Kosolov. I needed that 16 points of jacks to do something much more serious. This, is where I came out of the tank with the Harrower.

The Harrower seems to be the perfect jack for Agathia. It fuels itself if it can find living, its not really fast enough, with speed 5, to neglect the feat movement, it has a gun that can lob out an awesome shot, and it’s a solid arm 20 with Hellwrought. Its P+S is the same as Erebus, as well, making it only a little lighter on the damage output v. a single target. Reach and Thresher means its output v. multiple targets is equivalent or higher. Finally, it has both pathfinder and steady, which allows it, in certain circumstances to act as a barrier for Agathia and is less of a Drain on her focus pool because there are many times which ghost walk will simply be superfluous.  More to the point, though, is the gun. Having a method that I can use to pick off targets from the back lines when the time and opportunity present itself is extremely useful.

Thought I only was able to play the list once with the Harrower, it was invaluable. I loved having it in the army, and was able to take advantage of almost every one of its rules. Wraith Shot is bonkers! Hellwrought capitalizes on both Wraith Shot and its 2” reach, enabling it to get a soul before it activates sometimes, which allows for a greater flexibility in order of activation. Combined with Parasite, this big boy can really toss out the harm.

I know I just spent a lot of time on the Harrower, but unlike other lists, where I have either changed almost nothing or the whole list, This was a single important change.

The Final List

This one is super easy, as it is almost point for point the first list I started with.

Bane Witch Agathia [+29]
– Deathripper [6]
– Deathripper [6]
– Harrower [16]
– Skarlock Thrall [4]
Soul Trapper [1]
Carrion Thralls (max) [10]
Carrion Thralls (max) [10]
Mechanithralls (CID) (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
Satyxis Raiders (max) [16]
– Satyxis Raider Sea Witch [3]
Satyxis Raiders (max) [16]
– Satyxis Raider Sea Witch [3]

There are a few points here to poke around with, though I like it just fine. I think the Scarlock, Mechanithrall + Brutes and Soul Trapper are optional. I live in a gun crazed world, so having both the shield guards and the larger bases near Agathia has come in very useful. The Scarlock is great for early Ghost Walks, but otherwise tends to simply exist. The Soul Trapper is amazing when he can get the souls to hand over, but if he’s exposed he dies in piles.

This list is fast, dodgy, and can be surprisingly accurate. Don’t be afraid to use the CMA on the ghost walked Carrion Thralls as your next line will often be enough to take care of the front if you don’t kill the optimal number of models. This list kept most of my Satyxis alive longer than I expected, as the screen from the Carrion is just too hard to avoid. I would really love, if your meta and desires allow it, to hear feedback on how this list works for you!

Overall Impression

I am over the moon for Agathia.

While she isn’t an A+ or better caster, she is certainly good enough. She has a lot of tools to deal with a lot of different options, and can even in the most dire circumstances get that -5 armor swing going in a game. Ghost Walk is an amazing spell, and often the bread and butter of her lists. Getting models out of binds and making sure that they can make their attacks where they want is simply glorious. We’ve known this for years with ghost walk casters like Deneghra 1 and the Coven, but what Agathia brings is a legitimate, physical, game ending threat all on her own. Its not always going to work, and it’s not often going to work, but if you have the chance to make 4 or 5 P+S 17 swings on a caster, it is entirely possible that they will drop.

Her feat is great, as well. It feels like it has a lot of options, but it really is but a simple, easy to use, delivery feat. Stealth makes it so that most of your models can stick out in the open for a turn, and ghost walk means that they can simply run screaming forward into a superb position. Ghost Walk, as well, is available every turn, so there is no reason to save it for some sort of perfect Ghost Walk assassination scenario.  

Hellwrought brings additional utility to some heavy jack, whichever one you chose to put in. I don’t see it being dead spell at any time. I don’t see any of her spells being dead. I’ve used each and every one, including hellfire to deny tough, to good use. She’s like a miniature coven, with more personal threat.

Problem Areas

While Agathia is really, really fun and pretty strong, she also is very vulnerable. Her natural defenses are fairly high – 15/15 is ok, they won’t suffice under any sort of concentrated effort. Parasite bumps her up to the level of Asphyxious, with a 15/16, but it can often be played around or through.

It is the same type of problems I’ve had with a number of Cryxian casters – that they are vulnerable to ranged. Thankfully, Agathia doesn’t need to expose herself in any way to get any of her work done, with most of her spells being buffs and having Vanish to keep her concealed if she does need to expose herself.

This last sentence is going to be a hard one to get out. I am glad that the Brute Thralls have Shield Guard. They create a natural beefy back line model that still contributes to the game plan by preventing many of the ranged pot shots I used to suffer. They are expensive at 12 points for 3, but I have often had my opponent simply not take the shots on Agathia that they could because the damage would end up on a Brute Thrall. Their shot then goes elsewhere and keeps the brute around for another turn, doing the same job. It is a stronger deterrent than I had ever given Credit for, and Agathia needs that breathing room

Guns are going to be her largest problem, but because she is able to stay back and play the Cryx Grind, simply make sure to find a good place to camp her focus and her stack.

Final Thoughts

Keep her safe, make sure she isn’t in danger when you end her activation, and you’ll likely be in  strong position for the whole game as your army rockets into their face and forces them to play on your terms, rather than their own gameplan. The lighting speed of the list will throw many opponents off guard, and the variety of ways that their caster can simply die can make your opponent sweat. She is a great introductory caster to Cryx, and I can’t think of a better Battle Box Caster. 

I really need to try her out in Ghost Fleet, honestly. No one likes Ghost Walk and Stealth more than a huge pile of pirates!

Until next time!