Tour de Cryx – The Hellbringer Experiment – Retrospective.

I am burning through casters, here at the end of the tour! Its a sprint to the finish, and that means that I’ll be writing more of these, I do believe, than one a week. I wrote the first two on Gaspy 3 last week: The overview and the midpoint and now I’m putting fingers to keyboard to get the final one out. I went through a bit of a metamorphosis through my time playing, and I got two games in with my final incarnation. 

After the tournament, and a bunch of thoughts and discussions on how Gaspy 3 could and might be built, I’d set about to make a five jack list work. I got two games in with it and, honestly, it was a solid list. Unlike a lot of the recent casters, I kept tweaking his list in major ways throughout the process, trying to get the best out of him, his bonuses and create good synergy on the field. I did only play him in Black Industries, which was a shame. I had high hopes for him with Infernal machines, Dark Host, and even Ghost Fleet there for a minute. 

He’s a fun caster, and that is something I see myself saying about every caster in the game so far. Every game I play is fun, and I had a chance to win in almost every situation – Sturgis Aside, but their fun is not the same as efficacy, and Asphyxious 3 is both efficient and fun, which is a huge plus. 

Things I Learned

Asphyxious 3 is one of the best battlegroup casters that we have in the faction. He has but a single battlegroup spell in mobility, but combining that with Carapace from Black Industries and Unyielding from his Field Marshal makes the whole package sing strongly. While I was only using five heavies, I can feel the desire to pull towards more. There is, while I type this up, a flurry surrounding the possible Asphyxious 3 list with 9 slayers being a force to be reckoned with. I can’t say that I would do it, but I can see how it both has appeal and play within the system. It does require you to go first to really get the threat ranges out there, but its not an unrealistic list. 

I do think, though, that there needs to be more than one unit in the list to threaten both zones and other infantry. Cryx Jacks are both moderately accurate (I’ll grumble about that some other time) and have a large number of attacks for a heavy. It does require heavy focus investiture, something that most Cryx ‘casters don’t want to provide, but Asphyxious 3 after a well timed feat turn or following a glorious positioning of Vociferon, can really load jacks up. 

Speaking of Vociferon: Man is he good! I like how he is able to both provide passive utility to Gaspy in soul retrieval and with bonus spells. I think I say this every time i have hex blast on a caster – But I think its the absolute best nuke in the game. 3 focus, RNG 10, POW 13, AOE 3 with an on-hit effect? Yes please every day of the week. On a soul slave, or Deathjack, or even just a standard cast from an arc node, its almost always worth it. Vociferon having spell slave to be able to cast it, and having his own spell (spectral leech, though I never cast it) and doing his soul transfers was pretty great. I got use out of him every single game, which is a high contrast to last edition. 

Final List

While the nine slayer list is good, I can expect its not for everyone. In that regard, I think I am not one of those people, both because I don’t want to purchase 7 more slayers and because I don’t like most lists that simply flood the field with the same model. 

The list I used the last two games, while it felt strong, also felt that there was a lot of room for improvement. There seems to be a bit there that I’m missing to really put that list over. 

This is what I think I would use, when the chance comes up again: 

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Black Industries

Asphyxious the Hellbringer [+24]
– Deathjack [23]
– Nightwretch [0(7)]
– Nightwretch [0(7)]
– Seether [13]
– Seether [13]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
Necrotech [2]
Necrotech [2]
Ragman [4]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max) [12]
Cephalyx Overlords [8]

This changes a few things. 

It replaces a number of solos with a unit, droping both Warwitch Sirens, a Necrotech and a Machine Wraith. While they are all solid models, I don’t know that they are needed. I assume that as soon as I play a game without them I’ll regret it. However, I do want a unit that can take a few hits and deliver some punches, and these guys’ll work just fine. 

Also, the option here to replace the Deathjack, a necrotech, and a soul trapper with two inflictors is tempting. While I don’t have four seether/inflictor chassis models, It could be an effective way to spread out with more models and still be durable as hell. 

Overall Impressions

Gaspy 3 is pretty great. Lets just get that out of the way. Thankfully, the Cryx community has left me the more enjoyable and best casters to last, and its been a run of them here at the end. Some of the earlier casters were fun, but ineffective, and few of the casters were simply ineffective, but most of them were a combination of both. Now, Its been both fun and highly effective. 

Gaspy 3 does, though, have a strange and peculiar feel to him. He’s focused on the battlegroup with Mobility and Field Marshal, but doesn’t have the power to fuel them very often. His feat is focused on taxing hordes and some Warmachine armies using Warjacks and Warbeasts, but Vociferon wants a pile of souls to suck up and drop on his boss. He doesn’t seem to play well into either heavy spam or infantry spam, but just sits, waiting to pray on that elusive balanced list that comes across. Thankfully, with the new SR17 rules, and hopefully into the future, the new Steamroller forces those types of lists much more than they once did, and he has more prey than ever before. 

I don’t quite believe I’m finished with Gaspy 3, honestly. There are a bunch more lists I’m dying to try, and only didn’t because Black Industries was new, and it was the first time I was able to use the official rules. Dark Host and Infernal Machines could both use another look, as can BI once/if the new Unyielding rule comes out. There were more than a few times that the opponent got around unyielding in creative ways that I just never would suffer from in the future. I look forward to bringing him up again and building more lists. 

He has MAT fixing, a damage increase, threat range increase, and defensive tech. He’s packing a ton of great tools, and it makes him a good game into so many lists. 

Strong Points

Asphyxious 3 has a pretty big host of strong points, which makes him particularly attractive to a number of builds. He can push up the efficacy of pretty terrible models with Calamity, he can shove a pile of durable jacks down your throat with Mobility and unyielding, and he can protect valuable assets with Cloak of Ash. Hex Blast gives him play into many of the defensive techs out there, provided he can get one of his two arc nodes into position, or even Vociferon, and has a no-tough Spot RFP spell that gives him an edge in several matchups. 

His feat gives him a big leg up into a lot of hordes lists, and can be used as a defensive buffer in a number of situations, but often is good simply as a way to get an extra bit of focus for that push turn after your alpha, which you often get using terrain to your advantage due to mobility. Its a great place to be able to hunker down and play the patient game as well. 

Building lists for Asphyxious 3 is as fun as it gets in this post-theme world, where lists seem generally built for you as soon as you pick a theme and a caster. He just has so many different tools to allow him to shine, almost regardless of what you take. 

Problem Areas

He is not, however, without his faults. 

While Calamity is a really amazing spell, its also only applicable to a single target. With the pillow fisted nature of our jacks, even in this list, it means that only one of our targets is going to be debuffed, and the rest will often survive with a few boxes for the counterattack. Against a heavy spam, this is likely to spell the end of our poor jacks, resulting in the trade almost always going in the opponents favor. 

Additionally, that means that the targets of calamity are rarely the opponents infantry, which makes the Drudges pretty sad in the overall scheme of things. While CMA makes them a bit happier in those instances, it can get to be a real problem where they opponent is taking more drudges off per turn than you can happily trade. 

Finally, I really think his power cap is hindered by our less than useful jacks. With P+S 16, Def 13, arm 17(19) and 28 boxes, they are simply so frail, so easy to take out, that even though he has potential, its never going to reach what it feels like he wants to reach. 

Final Thoughts

I enjoy playing Gaspy 3 lists, which is pretty par for the course for Cryx ‘Casters, but I also like how effective he is. He has a variety of play styles he could fit into, though I only chose one, and has all the tools to deal with a number of different matchups and to really play strong into a few. He’s durable, and has a reward for getting into the mix, though I was unable to ever use it. I Think he’s one of the better casters in the faction, and could be in the top 5, but  his personal ability to end games isn’t as good as Asphyxious 1. 

Rating: 8.69999999

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