Tour de Cryx: The Hellbringer Experince – Overview

Unfortunately, the holidays and my recent illness have left me playing more than I’ve been writing, which means that I’m writing this post way after real time, which is a disappointment. I really enjoy exploring the casters in writing before giving them a shot on the table. I’ll try to be as true to thoughts as I can as I make my way through how I played Asphyxious 3. 

Asphyxious 3, Asphyxious the Hellbringer, came to the tour at a really good time. While Deneghra 3 and Goreshade 3 were reprisals of a fairly recent lifestyle using pretty similar lists, Asphyxious 3 really wanted to try and get some use out of a new theme that I was really desperate to try out: Black Industries, and it came after the CID, allowing me to start preparing for the Future of Cryx, now that Ghost Fleet is being tuned a little bit back.

Initial Impressions

I’ve looked forward to using the Hellbringer since the start of MKII. Ashen Veil and Carrion Thralls seemed extra sweet, and the new Vociferon had some really sweet abilities that made him very useful in all sorts of situations. The feat had been changed very little, which was a great boon into hordes, and his overall toolkit was essentially the same. The loss of Carnage for Calamity, though, and the changes to Calamity, made the overall package a bit less applicable to a lot of models. Carnage on a 14″ bubble for 3 focus was a really big deal. Now, though, it was only a single target, though it did come with a damage buff as well, which is welcomed. 

Asphyxious the Hellbringer comes with a pretty impressive offensive package. While his speed is generally slow at 5, and his MAT is on the low side of average for a warcaster at 6,  his actual melee damage output is stellar at P+S 16, the highest P+S (tied with Terminus) of all of our warcasters. Combined with Calamity, he goes up to MAT 8 and P+S 18, which is pretty legitimate when looking at killing Heavies of all stripes. Blood boon is often unused, but when it comes time to actually get work done, he’ll be able to get a free spell off for his problems, which will likely help him survive a bit longer. He’ll also be able to collect any souls nearby when he does run into the fray, with his soul cages. His magic output isn’t bad either. Focus 7 is better than average, and he has both Hellfire and Hex blast, two of my favorite nukes in the game, on his list. Additionally, his surrogate in the field of battle, Vociferon, can cast both those spells and one of the most enjoyable spells in the faction, Spectral Leech. I look forward to being able to spectral leech someone and mess up their plans. 

On a related note to his offensive output is his spell mobility. While it is often going to be used to launch his battlegroup into combat, it also applies to both himself and Vociferon. Giving your caster Speed 7 and Pathfinder is a big deal when it comes to making sure he gets where he needs to be on the battlefield. 

Defensively, Asphyxious is pretty hearty. He’s DEF 15 arm 17, which is durable, having gained an armor over his other iterations, but not astoundingly so. 18 HP is also above the curve. His defensive stats are rarely going to deter people from their assassination runs, but they are going to require more effort than people are comfortable with, which is always good. He does have a single defensive spell, Cloak of Ash, which is absolutely awesome when it isn’t nullified by the opponent. Concealment from ranged attacks and an effective +2 to DEF v. living melee assailants as an upkeep is a solid spell, even if there are a myriad of ways to get around it. Its also a great defensive tool from time to time to keep other models alive a bit longer, but on your caster, it rarely comes to pass. 

Almost his whole spell list is either offensive or defensive, with but a little utility. Hex Blast and Hellfire, as I mentioned before, are both excellent nuke spells. Calamity is a workable debuff, but feels like both a poor mans crippling grasp and an upkeepable mortality without the healing prevention. Cloak of Ash is great for Carrion Thralls who have prowl, Satyxis Raiders who simply push the defensive stat to the roof, and all sorts of Bane units in Dark host who gain prowl in the theme. It is also great on warjacks, who will push the defense of a single, fairly hearty model up high enough to become a concern to infantry, jacks and beasts alike. Finally, Mobility glues it all into place. Creating a ferociously fast battlegroup that can burn through terrain without problems is something that most factions have in some way or another, and Asphyxious 3 provides that to Cryx. Speed 8 Slayers, 9 Stalkers, and even speed 7 Harrowers are a real treat. Pushing your entire battlegroup over the halfway point on the top of one in Black Industries is just thrilling. 

As we make our way through looking at his cards, we’ve got one big rule and his feat. The first of those is his amazing Field Marshal ability: Unyielding. Some of the problems with Cryx Helljacks are that they are very, very flimsy. Arm 17 and 28 boxes, with a pretty miserable layout makes them vulnerable to almost every attack known to man. Getting these guys to Arm 19, arc nodes to ARM 16, and Crab Jacks to ARM 20 in melee is a pretty good way to make them all stout. I don’t know how well it actually works on the Slayer chassis because they are so damned fragile, but its worth a shot. 

lastly, and one of the most important parts of his kit, is his amazing feat. This feat can simply break the back of a hordes opponent. The feat itself is rather simple, even though the wording is pretty complex to allow for the intricacies of the game. Every time 1 or more focus or fury is spent, a model is forced, or a model casts a spell, in his control range, Asphyxious gains a soul token and heals d3 HP. One of the keys here to remember is that casting a spell is a single expenditure of focus, but that boosting is a different expenditure each time. If you were somehow to catch a caster that needed to cast a fully boosted 2 cost spell, Asphyxious would gain 3 soul tokens and head 3d3 hp. Its very, very good. Placed correctly, this can garner asphyxious 10+ souls on a single turn and give him the ability fuel every last one of those warjacks you’re gonna bring with him. 

First list

While there were Dark Host and Infernal Machines and Scourge lists I wanted to build with him, the real list he wanted to have was Black Industries. My real desire here was to get Deathjack as many possible buffs I could possible get on him in a single turn. Concealment, +2 SPD, Pathfinder, Unyielding, Carapace and -2 to Melee attacks for living. I though he’d be simply amazing, which gave me the following list: 

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

Asphyxious the Hellbringer [+24]
– Deathjack [23]
– Harrower [16]
– Inflictor [13]
– Inflictor [13]
– Ripjaw [0(7)]
– Ripjaw [0(7)]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max) [12]
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max) [12]
Cephalyx Overlords [8]

I knew I wanted to have two units of infantry, because I feel naked without it, and that I wanted to have 4 or more jacks in order to alleviate pressure on Deathjack. The Inflictors are there to deliver deathjack to the enemy and make sure even when he does get shot by a dangerous attack, he had backup to make sure he was going to get in there. It seemed like a good enough plan to me!