Tour de Cryx – The Deneghra 3 Soul Shop – Overview

With NOVA open and Lock and Load out of the way, its time to start plucking away at the last remaining casters in the tour. I have little hope to finish the Tour before the end of the year, but it was an ambitious plan to being with. With all the casters left being pretty good, though, I’m going to enjoy playing each of them. 

With the rest of the casters played, the brutal beginning of the tour is giving way to a glorious and enjoyable end. Left with five fairly powerful casters; Lich Lord Asphyxious, Asphyxious the Hellbringer, Goreshade, Lord of Ruin, Deneghra the Soulweaver, and Pirate Queen Skarre ( I did all those names and titles from memory! be proud of me!) for the home stretch, I going to enjoy these last games. 

The first of the Top Five chosen by the voting Cryx and Seething Ginger Communities is the glorious and massive Deneghra, the Soulweaver. lets take a look at her and see how she breaks down and get a start on a list, maybe two, I would like to see run with her. I won’t get to try everything, but I can give a list or two a whirl. 

Initial Impressions

Lets break the caster down a bit, as always.

Looking at her defensive stat line, she looks set up pretty well. DEF 15 and ARM 16 are pretty solid, exactly the same as the Iron Lich from last time, and her hit boxes are the same as well at a not-insignificant 18. This is, for the most part, mitigated by the fact that she is a battle engine, and they are immune to most DEF increasing or defensive abilitys. She can’t gain cover or concealment. She can’t hide behind anything less than 5″ tall, and never behind forests or clouds. Her base is 4.75″ wide, which makes her hard to both get to places, and get out of. All of those downsides do come with some pretty strong benefits, as Battle Engines cannot be knocked down or made Stationary.  Its an interesting dynamic. Remember, Battle Engines can gain stealth, so if you somehow found a way to grant it to her, she’d be much harder to hit. her Reposition 5″ also gives her a bit of wiggle with a shoot and scoot type of spell caster, making it very possible to either advance full distance and only move forward 4″, or to essentially stay in the same spot and still threat 15″ with spells.  Finally, she’s got a very good spell for defense, one that really pulls her up from OK to pretty solid: Grave Wind. This spell won’t protect you from a concentrated force or from significant effort, but it will keep you safe from that all-important ancillary damage or pop shots. Making sure that your caster cannot be trivially attacked is very important, and combining a DEF 17 with the battle engines no knockdown or stationary can put an unprepared enemy on the back foot. 17 is right where it starts becoming tricky for models to be confident hitting, with a boosted rat 6 missing 50% of the time, and an aiming, unboosted rat 6 missing some 60% of the time. 

Offensively the model also has some pretty solid stats. She’s a Speed 9 Cavalry model with Flight, Allowing her to make some interesting Impact attacks, which combined with her camping ability and Ghost Walk, will often either have the inevitable free strikes either ignored or shrugged off. Her reposition can also be used offensively, allowing her to be up to 14″ away from where she started the turn while still getting spells and attacks off. Her attacks, though, aren’t going to be the greatest, outside of her charge attack, because her rather poor MAT of 6 isn’t something to write home about. However, she does mitigate that slightly by having the amazing spell Scourge.  Knocking your opponent down before the initial charge attack while being immune to knock down all on your own is a really powerful affect, and one I will never forget while attacking Grim Angus… Surprisingly, we’ve hit all her spells but one by now, and that one is a very strong one offensively: Mortality. This spell is amazing in all the right circumstances, and is rarely weak. Its a minor version of crippling grasp it often accomplishes the same job – eliminating high priority targets. The model being unable to heal is, depending on the opponent, a massive boon or a non-factor.  In terms of her personal threat, it pulls her MAT from 6, meager, to 8, pretty solid, and brings the P+S of her weapon, Malefactor, to a very respectable 15 and with a 2″ reach she can melee threat 14″ up the board. It also brings her ranged weapon, if targeting an affected model, up to RAT 6 and P+S 12, which is just good enough to take on infantry. 

The back of her card has a few additional rules that are neither offensive or defensive, though they can be either or both, and they all deal with souls. First, she has Cull Soul, allowing her to gather souls within 2″ of her as well as convert them over to focus, which is pretty important. She also has Soul Weaver, which allows her to, once per turn, pull all the souls off of once friendly faction model, and put them on her. This is great, as it allows a long-distance soul gathering and allows her to use her final ability, Soul Mastery. Soul Mastery allows her to spend souls in one of two ways. She can spend a soul to cast any spell COST 3 or less, and she can spend a soul to give a warjack in her control area 3 focus. Three of her four spells, Ghostwalk, Mortality, and Grave Wind, all cost 3, and can be cast via soul and boosted with focus. Many jacks won’t benefit from all three focus, but many of them will gain 2, fully loading them up and allowing them to run at peak efficiency. 

This leads us into her final aspect: the feat. In Warmachine there are complicated feats, and there are simple feats. Deneghra The Soulweavers is mighty simple. Deneghra gains 7 souls. Simple and easy. This feat has a few different uses that all depend on where in the game and what your position within the game is. First, you can simply use this as a focus battery. On the turn after the feat, you’ll have 14 focus to throw around as well as any souls you manage to get via Soul Trappers, Cull Soul, or Soul Weaver. The second is a barrage of Ghost Walks and Mortalities, allowing your army to smash into the opponents and do massive damage from wherever they are on the board. Finally, it could be used to load up a jack swarm and simply go to town, fully loading up to 10 jacks. Its an interesting feat that is, while simple, full of variety because of how the models rules interact. 

First Lists

My first instinct with the Soulweaver was to spam mortality as hard and as often as I could. To take advantage of that mortality spamming, I wanted as many bodies as I could get. I also wanted to be able to protect her from as much shooting as possible at the same time, so the natural reach was for an Infernal Machines list. Something like this: 

 

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Infernal Machines

Deneghra, the Soul Weaver [+27]
– Deathjack [23]
– Stalker [8]
– Stalker [8]
– The Withershadow Combine [9]
Necrotech [2]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
– Skarlock Commander [0(3)]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
– Skarlock Commander [0(3)]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]

This list has a lot of very interesting things going on. 12 shield Guards, 5 casting of mortality a round without souls, and just a massive pile of attacks. The withershadow also brings magic weapons and powerful soul collection to compliment the 4 soul trappers. The stalkers are great assassination pieces to follow up on a scourge and mortality, and the necrotech is there to heal Deneghra of any stray attacks that do make it through her. As a bonus, Deathjack with DEF 15 and Poltergeist seems really solid if I need to get in there. Honstly, the only problem with this list is the lack of -4 ARM to really crack some of those heavies, but I am pretty confident that the quantitiy of P+S 16 or 21 attacks will be enough to take down a significant number of the heavies on the board at any one time. 

However, after talking with a few friends of mine who also play Cryx, another list reared its head with I also want to try out. Its a variant on the same concept, but with key differences. 

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Infernal Machines

Deneghra, the Soul Weaver [+27]
– Leviathan [16]
– Leviathan [16]
– Skarlock Thrall [4]
Pistol Wraith [0(5)]
Pistol Wraith [0(5)]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
Wraith Engine [15]

This list brings massive ranged damage potential while still delivering on the promise of a billion bodies in combat. Soul Trappers and leviathans seem like matches made in heaven, and Pistol Wraiths being pretty simple 2-soul carriers is a solid choice. Scourge + Skarlock seems like it makes for a pretty solid way to get mortality out on certain targets, you just have to play it a bit closer to the chest. 

All in all, I really want to try both lists. Recently, ranged based game plans have been winning more and more, so I think that is going to be ending here soon. Players have to start using the tools available to them to prevent the ranged assassinations, so I am leaning toward the Deathjack build, but I also really enjoy taking other peoples lists and seeing where the joy they find in them is. Well, provided they look like joy. 

What’s your vote? What list do you think looks the most promising.

Until next time!