Tour de Cryx, The Goreshade 3 Ruin Nation

Goreshade 3 is one of the casters I  played a ton at the end of MKII along with Denny 3. Its really cool to have him voted in right after completing Denny 3, and it brings back a ton of memories of playing him. He had changed a bunch in the new edition, though, and he could prove to be not as enjoyable as he once was. 

Goreshade is a cool caster, and has gone through quite the transition in editions and versions. He started off as a mysterious agent of the dragonfather and has now transcended factions and beliefs, as well as ditching his horse, to be resurrected as a redeemed monster fighting for the retribution. He looks to be a fun caster to take out for a spin, especially with themes to guide his builds. 

Initial Impressions

Goreshade has a lot of similarities with Deneghra 3, amusingly, so going from one to the other is a pretty easy transition. Their lists, even, can be strongly similar, though I don’t worry so much about getting shot off the board with Goreshade 3. Instead, I think I want to focus on recursion, speed and quantity. He’s often the vulnerable point of the list, much like Denny 3, and keeping him safe is going to be a huge priority. 

The Caster

we should start by looking at his offensive capabilities, which to be fair are pretty amazing. He’s speed 8, which with charges and reach can get him into a model that just needs to die from 13″ out, meaning that he threats an entire zone all by himself. His sword makes that threat a monstrous one, autofreezing on hit and making him MAT of 7 largely irrelevant. This goes doubly so because cavalry gives him three dice to hit on the charge, bringing him up to hitting DEF 18 on average. Freezing them in the same hit makes it all just that much easier. He’s got two attacks, when not charging, or impact attacks when he does. The freezing sword mentioned earlier is a strong P+S 15, which can be amped up further to a P+S 17 with his Scything Touch. His mount attack, significant at P+S 12 and MAT 7 can easily become an auto-hitting P+S 14 under pretty easy circumstances. 

He’s only got a single Offensive spell to his name, Siphon bolt, but its a pretty solid one. Its no assassination win condition like it was in MKII, having pushed up in COST to 3. it still does a POW 13 hit though, and can steal a focus or fury off the caster and convert it to a focus on Goreshade. If you can toss three of them, somehow, he can get a fourth for free. Or, more realistically, he has two with free boosted damages and and one with a boost to hit. Boosted 13’s aren’t terrible, clocking in at a roll of 24, prior to the arm of the target. Dropping 8+ damage into most casters is probably not terrible, but its no clear win condition. 

Speaking of getting that third spell, he’s got a pretty strong ability called Spell Vortex. If any enemy model casts a spell within 14″ of Goreshade (technically his CTRL area, but there isn’t a way to expand it in Cryx), Goreshade can cast a spell during his activation for free. Getting a third, boosted to damage bolt out there isn’t going to be bad either, especially if your able to feat and freeze the target. 

Thinking about it, its likely still a really strong assassination vector. A Caster with 16 boxes, and ARM 16 needs to camp 4 to avoid taking 11 damage in a single go. Add in Spell Vortex and they have to do some scary math in order to figure out the best focus camp to get the most arm while not handing him free boosts, which is already a scary proposition. Goreshade wants to see odd numbers of focus, its a good sign for him. 

His defensive stats are pretty strong, though not the best set on the planet. DEF 14 is the lowest possible acceptable defense on a caster with no real appreciable innate defenses, but his ARM 17 and 17 boxes is pretty tolerant of random bullets coming round his person, as they will. He’s Undead, which allows him to shrug off a few of the living only conditionals, and immune to cold thanks to his god-sword, Voass. Reposition 3″ helps, though not terribly , keep him out of trouble when he has to commit to trying to butcher something, hopefully after he’s destroyed it and is able to get into a slightly safer position. Occultation is one of the best ways to keep his large base safe, aside from the ARM, from both concentrated and stray shooting. Its not perfect as there will always be Sloans, Caines and Legions around, but it helps a lot. Other than that, his big base is pretty rough to have to try and protect. Be aware and try not to get him into a position that is going to expose him without a plan. 

We’ve covered a few of his spells; Occultation, Siphon Bolt, and Scything Touch, but he also has two more really good spells in Infernal Machine and Mockery of Life. Infernal Machine allows you to bring a big, nasty jack, often the Kraken or Sepulcher, and turn its threat range and melee threat into something to be feared. Whats great about Infernal Machine is that most warcasters are warrior models, and will be neatly consumed by the 3 dice to hit granted by the spell. Its not perfect, because it doesn’t help against those high defense Warjacks and Warbeasts, but its just fine in almost every other situation. If you have a problem with high defense, smack it with Goreshade. Mockery of Life is awesome because it allows you to play a solid attrition game, enabling wave after wave of your enemy’s attacks to be wasted on models that either have just returned to life, or who will simply return to life in the next turn. Its great on pretty much everything, and at COST 2, you can bring back 3 models and keep occultation on yourself, though then you’re flying bare, and you better be safe. 

Finally, the feat, and this one is really fun. This lets you pick and choose, as long as you can get a model within 1.5 of the targets, any number of models to be turned into meat popsicles. Defense is often a thing that Cryx has a hard time overcoming, and shutting the opponents defense off is good for any number of models that he is likely to take, and is very good for dropping 3 or 4 siphon bolts into a persons face if needed. Combined with the Kraken, Sepulcher or Levithans gun, and you could get a solid ranged assassination game going, and combine it with some of the less accurate troops and you can easily punch a caster to death too. While the models that you use to trigger the feat are destroyed, their sacrifice enables a 3″ aoe around them to be completely stationary. Besides, what does it matter when you can just mockery them back to life the same turn, and don’t forget you could, if you black heart desires, Mockery a model into perfect position, destroy it with the feat, and bring it back with another mockery. Good times! 

The List

Well, with this caster, I have two lists I really want to try, Both in Infernal Machines. I have also been alerted to another dark host list, one I was pretty close to when it first came out, that I’d like to take a poke at. 

This was the list I started out with: 

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

Goreshade, Lord of Ruin [+27]
– Deathripper [6]
– Stalker [8]
– Stalker [8]
– Stalker [8]
Pistol Wraith [0(5)]
Pistol Wraith [0(5)]
Warwitch Siren [0(4)]
Warwitch Siren [4]
Carrion Thralls (max) [10]
Carrion Thralls (max) [10]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
Soulhunters (max) [18]
Soulhunters (max) [18]

Its fast as hell, with multiple threat vectors for his feat, as well as the Arc Node for possible siphon bolts. Without the always present assassination vector on the old Siphon Bolt, I don’t know that the arcnode is needed, but they are almost always good. Its got units, warjacks and solos to cover all the scenario elements, and it has a trio of Stalkers, one with Infernal Machine, one with Scything Touch, and one that just wanders about. With Ambush, Stalkers, Soul Hunters and Carrion Thralls, I think this list can rocket across the board in good order. Most Infernal Machines lists has Necrosurgeons, but I purposely kept them out of this list as a conscious decision to make the choice of playing into RFP not to terrible. 

 

Second up I made this thing, in direct opposition to the list above 

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

Goreshade, Lord of Ruin [+27]
– Deathripper [6]
– Sepulcher [36]
Soul Trapper [1]
Bile Thralls (min) [9]
– Skarlock Commander [0(3)]
Carrion Thralls (max) [10]
Carrion Thralls (max) [10]
Mechanithralls (min) [6]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
Mechanithralls (max) [9]
– Brute Thrall (3) [6]
– Skarlock Commander [3]
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls [0(4)]
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls [0(4)]

This list is meant to put as many bile thralls on the board by the end of the game as possible, likely overrunning them with a mass of auto-hitting pow 12’s. The feat becomes a stall tactic instead of assassination because of the auto-hitting sprays, and becomes a nightmare if you don’t have RFP. The Sepulcher can either get Scything Touch or Infernal Machine, and I can likely replace the deathripper with something, though I’ve not come up with a great idea yet. The basic Idea is with the mechanithralls leading the way, building more Carrion and Bile thralls, and the Carrions being created into Biles, the game can evolve as I need it. It would be weird, but I could definitely see needing another unit of Carrions to bolster the first units. Its an interesting, if not completely new, game plan that asks if you can rfp or kill 12+ models a turn, almost forever. Good luck! 

 

Finally, I have the list from Enter the Dragonfather, the one that is pretty close to what I came up with at the start of dark host. 

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Dark Host

Goreshade, Lord of Ruin [+27]
– Kraken [36]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Darragh Wrathe [9]
Machine Wraith [0(2)]
Necrotech [2]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Wraith Engine [15]

 

Simple, Brutal, and effective. Its fast under Darragh Wrath and Infernal Machine, its got a neat couple of vectors for the feat, and it can shield Goreshade from a lot of gunfire, enabling him to likely deliver himself if he gets the chance. I’ll likely try this out first, and then swing back around to either the Soulhunter list or the Recursion list, depending on how the mood strikes. 

 

Until next time! 

 

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I make my lists at Conflictchamber.com