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Rygnan

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  1. The black text is because it’s in bold for subheadings, and that’s the way that works best across multiple formats (I’ve posted this on my blog first). Not working on certain themes is unintentional, and I’m not sure if it’s just an unfortunate formatting issue Kitty over Gwyneth is purely because Kitty gives something unique in keyword, Gwyneth doesn’t really do anything huge that isn’t done elsewhere. As for OOK, I don’t play a huge amount OOK and they don’t really function well without the bubble support from each other. Kabuki Warriors could be ok and help with a lot, but Tanuki aren’t great in Honeypot IMO and most things Samurai do in Honeypot Fuhatsu does just as well if not better
  2. Hi all! Continuing some of the writing I've done before for a few other crews I finished up my thoughts on Lynch cause I've been playing him a lot more lately and he really grabs me. Keyword abilities- Rig the Deck- The main keyword ability on everyone but Hungering Darkness, its a great way to sculpt your deck and guarantee most of what you want to happen will happen. Drawing the value of the ability (between 1-3, mostly 2) means you can see what's coming up for attack and damage flips or just to see if you can hit TNs on duels (for things like Tannen's Boring Conversation it's excellent). Not as useful when you have less cards in hand, but still good to see what's coming and plan accordingly. Brilliance Tokens- They don't do anything when you first look, but boy there's a lot they can pull off. I'll go into a bit more on each specific model but you can do things like stop interact actions (Beckoners) give out pulse slow (Hungering Darkness, who can also use it for positives and to heal) or just to spike damage (Illuminated and Kitty both have melee triggers and Lynch has the Brilliance nuke) The Party Never Ends- One of the things that plays into the Lynch denial bubble, this just gives Brilliance if enemies cheat fate within aura 6 of a model with this rule. With Gwyneth and Beckoners having it you can spread it out pretty well and it enables a lot more in the crew which is really nice. Don't Bite the Hand- Defensive tech for Lynch and Beckoners, any enemy with Brilliance on them is at negatives to hit them. It's a more situational Serene Countenance but with how easy you can give out Brilliance in the crew it's a great way to shut down enemy beaters (I put it on at the start of the game for defensive reasons mostly) Succumbed- Pretty simple, it gives models with it Brilliance tokens up to the value at the start of the game. Beckoners and Kitty start with 2, Illuminated and Depleted with 3. Lets them do that little bit more on the models that can use their own Brilliance up, otherwise it sits around for Huggy to pull off later Keyword models- Jakob Lynch- Lynch isn’t a master that’s going to dominate the game by themselves, but he is still pretty good at what he does. His entire kit is based around Brilliance and spreading it as much as possible, while he personally can’t gain it or Stunned which is really nice. He chooses 2 models at the start of the game to gain Brilliance for some early and irresistible spread, and when enemy models flip aces he gives them Brilliance, regardless of where they are on the board. He has an aura of 1 damage if enemies cheat fate, and his actions are mostly based around punishing models for having Brilliance. His bonus action pulse puts Brilliance on enemies if they fail a Tn14 Wp duel (and if they don’t top deck it they won’t want to cheat because of all the auras around) plus can give Brilliance and heal friendly models as a built in trigger so you’ll probably declare this every turn. His gun is low range but decent damage, gives Brilliance built in but the big one is to place Hungering Darkness in base contact with the target on a tome trigger. I like to do this late in turn 1 on Kitty after she’s moved up so that Hugh can spend his activation Obeying other things, and between Incorporeal and Inner Glow Kitty won’t actually end up down wounds. Lynch’s melee gives 2 Brilliance which is great, plus an option to reveal both players next cards and if the opponents is lower they take 2 damage. It’s potentially a 3rd card into the deck you’ve seen, or just the 2nd from Rig the Deck, and regardless of what it is you’ll know what will happen for your next AP so can plan ahead a little. His last big trick is the Brilliance nuke, which works like a Bleeding Disease or Blood Poisoning doing the full stack of damage but it caps at 5 and discards 2Brilliance if they don’t die. If they do though, you get to summon a Honeypot minion with cost equal to the amount of Brilliance on the target- mostly this will either summon Depleted or bring back dead Beckoners, but a clutch Illuminated summon is massive and can swing games a lot. The model summoned gets an upgrade that makes sure they die quickly unless they get topped up with Brilliance, but it’s a summon so who cares if they die? Hungering Darkness- As far as totems go, this is the gold standard. Decent damage and obeys at good stats that both give out Brilliance as built in triggers, he is also quick and very tanky. Terrifying 11 with Incorporeal is already good, but he can also rip Brilliance off of all models in pulse 6 to heal 1 for each Brilliance removed which is a huge amount for a bonus action with no flip needed. As a henchmen he can stone as well, so he should very rarely die Kitty Dumont- Kitty is in my Lynch core every time because of how amazing she is. On paper it isn't really apparent how good she is but it all adds up to make a deceptively great package. Fast for a great scheme runner, has movement tricks for other models (can play it aggressively to counter schemes and strat points). Draw Essence can work as a pseudo-shockwave but I would usually prefer to just use Unassuming Demeanor because with treating negatives as positives and Sharpened Brilliance she can do great damage (or still have good damage and add card draw). Her biggest boon early-game though is that every model that she moves through (or vice versa) has to take duels or they get Brilliance tokens. With Rig the Deck early on you can sculpt a really good hand while simultaneously building up Brilliance on your own models just by moving through Kitty to get up the board. Gwyneth Maddox- Gwyneth isn’t bad by any means, but I’ve come to find she is the one I drop first when I’m looking to fit other things in lists. Her front of card is great, especially Luck Thief, but mostly just doing what Beckoners do just a bit better, while the back has a few interesting options. Derringer is ok, but her melee is deceptive and she quickly turns into a min 3 model provided enemies have Brilliance on them (which is easy). Come Play At My Table is decent and is her way of shoving models around the table like most of Honeypot can do, plus it gives Brilliance on triggers and models with Brilliance already struggle to resist it. Hit The Jackpot I’ve found to be a great way of topping up your hand cause statistically speaking you’re far more likely to draw than the opponent is off it (and you draw 2 cards to their 1 if they pick right). In general I do like Gwyneth, but she tends to be doubling down on what I already have and not providing something to fill a gap so I don’t have a huge issue with dropping her Mr Graves- board control and melee damage is what Graves does. He can move around models which I like doing for some early game extra movement on the rest of the crew (through Kitty and hitting the trigger its potentially 2 free Brilliance too) and he can force Wp duels for enemies that decide to charge within 6" of him (another 6" aura that punishes the opponent in a Lynch crew, what a surprise). Melee wise he is a stat 6 3/4/5 beater with 2" range which is nothing too fancy, he has Puncture on a ram and Injured on crows for some decent triggers too but the main thing here is Ruthless to get around Terrifying and Manipulative. He has Bodyguard to give nearby models cover, but with Black Blood there's a careful game to be played where you can help out friendly models but not splash onto them. Hard to Kill is nice but if you position badly or get moved by an enemy it means another possible Black Blood splash which isn't great Mr Tannen- Tannen is squishy, but he is so annoying that you can easily justify him for 6ss. Manipulative props up his Df4 a bit, but it’s mostly his aura abilities you take him for. Betrayal to force enemies to discard before they cheat, on top of what is basically Misery:Brilliance and honestly really rude in keyword (plus it works when you put Brilliance on your own stuff too for extra movement). These are both aura 6 and combo ridiculously well with the rest of the keyword auras already (want to cheat? Discard a card, then gain a Brilliance and take a damage. Because you gained a Brilliance you either take a damage or push 2 and I choose which one) but then you also add in Boring Conversation. Rig the Deck makes it almost certain to happen, and it adds another Wp duel to almost any action in the game so you can shred the opponent’s deck and put them in a spot where they really have to cheat to achieve things near your crew. All of this paints quite an obvious target on Tannen though and he will die when someone wants him to, so keep this in mind and don’t swing him out too far where he will get killed. Illuminated- pretty good beater minions, they're not cheap at 7ss but they pull their weight well enough. They have 2 roles in keyword, that being melee beater/tank or Brilliance shockwaves. They start with 3 Brilliance but they like being fed more for healing and extra damage (Lynch pulses do the job) and it's not a great idea to pull Brilliance off them with Huggy if you can avoid it. Df5 isn't good or bad really, but with Terrifying 10 (low, but there) and Regen 1 they take a lot more punishment than they have a right to Beckoners- Always hire 2. The extra Brilliance at game start is amazing, plus they put it out with Distracted and can Lure to pull things around when you need it. They also start with 2 Brilliance on them which is really nice for Huggy to pull off later in the game to heal. All in all Beckoners are great 5SS models that I would always hire both of for the beginning Brilliance, but they can put it out really well too and they add a little bit extra board control with The Party Never Ends and their bonus action (which you'll always do when not Stunned cause it's free) which shuts down Interacts within 6" at the cost of a Brilliance token. Depleted- I'd very rarely hire Depleted (mainly for Reckoning/Public Enemies tarpitting of beaters) but when you can summon them with Lynch they're fantastic. Annoying to kill and great at locking down enemies, they're good at just denying something an activation by forcing it to kill them (which then hurts them and gives them Brilliance) OOK/Versatile models- Fuhatsu/Miss Guided- Lynch doesn't have huge damage potential and kind of needs an extra beater outside of the bubble hires. Fuhatsu gives this, and can put out obscene amounts of good shooting to force things to engage and just plain hurt them before they close, which benefits the bubble because then they're playing Lynch's game Upgrades- Trained Ninja- Should be great on Tannen to keep him alive a little longer, but once they're in his aura range they can hit him with whatever they have anyway. Nice way to make sure things get into the bubbles but it's not an always take. Silent Protector- Put this on Hungering Darkness and he will never die. It's not super worth it on anyone else in keyword but I always bolt it onto Huggy's card and it has tons of value. Masked Agent- Not really a great upgrade in Honeypot, because the models it can work on (Huggy and Graves) don't get enough out of it compared to other upgrades Deployments- Corner and Flank are bad because even with their movement tricks Honeypot is a slow keyword, so it's a tough time. Standard and Wedge are fine though, because the bubble will be halfway up the table by turn 2 so you can play your game from that point on. Strategies- Reckoning- You can do funny things with Depleted here and I really do enjoy the idea of it, but you have better options in Thunders. It's not super reliable cause the keyword can't kill huge amounts of models a turn and you're relying on janky plays or OOK Turf War- Not bad but not fantastic either. The bubble in the centre can mess with backfield markers fairly well, and if they don't then Kitty can get there and do the job herself. Corrupted Idols- So long as you can manipulate where the Idols drop you can do this really well, but if you don't you'll struggle. Pretty matchup dependent (Tara you will lose) because they aren't the fastest but they can lock down a zone and dominate it pretty well. Plant Explosives- Another one they're ok with but not amazing, I would go for Misaki, McCabe or Mei Feng here myself. It's the lack of speed that hurts because while you can get a couple of bombs out the rest will be a lot harder and you can get outmanoeuvred by the opponent Schemes- Detonate Charges- Not bad to do because you can lure enemies into where you need them, and both points are on paper just as easy. Breakthrough- Difficult to pull off the max points because Kitty is the one you're relying on here. I'd skip it Harness the Ley Line- Centreline schemes are great for Lynch and this is no exception. The difficulty is in maintaining the bubble while spreading out enough to get the markers out (Kitty can help here with Lingering Contamination) Search the Ruins- I'd take it because it only needs you to be in the opponent's table half so it's reachable early enough to score both and keep most of the crew together Dig Their Graves- Pretty good option because of the bubble- drag something in and kill it. Hold Up Their Forces- Beckoners are great here (if only Depleted weren't Insignificant) and pulling things in to just engage them and shut them down is well worth the effort if its scoring you VP. Take Prisoner- Drag things in with Beckoners, sit next to them and keep them alive while shutting them down when they want to accomplish things and you'll have an easy time with it Power Ritual- Just don't. The deployment where this is easiest on paper (Corner and Flank) are the worst for Lynch to play into, and he doesn't have the speed to reach where they need to in order to score. Outflank- You don't want to split the crew with Lynch, so you don't want to play Outflank either Assassinate- Lynch isn't exactly tanky, and your healing in keyword is mostly locked to Huggy. Take OOK healers if you can fit it, otherwise just play cagey with Lynch and try not to get him killed. Deliver a Message- It's not a bad option, but it's also not a great one either. I'd take it over others depending on what's in the pool Claim Jump- This one is veeeeery nice for Lynch. Keep the bubble in the centre, anything comes near your chosen model you shove it away with almost any option in the keyword Vendetta- Some decent options here (Huggy is amazing) and a few jank ones as well (Lynch can target things like Coryphee Duet, Riders and 2nd masters) make it something I like to take fairly often GG1 Strategies- Symbols of Authority- Having to reach the backfield makes this a tough one so I don't really recommend it, but you could play a denial game and hope Kitty gets deep enough to claim a couple of Symbols. Recover Evidence- Very good provided you take damage dealers (1-2 Illuminated for sure here, probably also Fuhatsu). Drag things in, kill them and claim the evidence before repeating. Things get in your bubble to disrupt have a Beckoner further back to say no Interacts and shut them out of scoring as long as possible Corrupted Ley Lines- My favourite strat for Lynch just because he has so much to deny it and he isn't terrible at it as a keyword. Being able to drag opponents around with so much in the crew is huge and your threat vectors for ripping lodestone bearers away from where they need to be makes for a tough threat. Kitty is also just a pretty great bearer in general Public Enemies- Not bad, but you also rely on mid-high cost models that aren't the tankiest and don't do huge amounts of damage for the most part. What you're likely up against will win fights far easier than you will, so I wouldn't take Lynch here just because it's an uphill battle Schemes- Breakthrough, Take Prisoner, Vendetta, Assassinate, Claim Jump- Nothing changed here, so my points from above are still my opinion on them. Hidden Martyrs- Not a bad take because there's some models in here that are really tough to kill (Huggy, Graves to an extent) and some that are really big targets (Tannen). Tannen and Huggy also fit perfectly at 13SS Sabotage- Getting right to the back is pretty hard in-keyword (Kitty can do it but not enough reliably for both points). I wouldn't take it Catch and Release- Not too bad so long as you can keep minions alive but both options can pull it off well enough given keyword tricks, just have to play carefully Let Them Bleed- Honeypot is control, not damage. I guess you can keep them damaged and shut down but it's a lot harder to pull this off when you don't have many decent damage sources. Leave Your Mark- Not a bad choice because you can just hard deny the middle of the board for Interacts in general while you do what you want Research Mission- Lynch doesn't have any in-keyword marker generation, so you don't take Research Mission. It's that simple Spread Them Out/Runic Binding- You don't have the reach to spread out enough for either of these schemes, so I wouldn't take them with Lynch. His game plan doesn't play nice with either scheme because they ask for you to spread out across the table and not bubble
  3. Hi all! I've been playing McCabe religiously for almost a year now, and now that Explorers are out we finally have his whole keyword and I can write about them as a whole. I really love McCabe and what his crew do and they're one of my favourites in the entire game because of it. Keyword abilities- Looted Supplies- Pretty simple, if the model starts their activation within 1" of a corpse or scrap they draw a card. It's on the whole keyword, and you can generate scrap decently enough to set up a bit of card draw if need be but it's just a really nice incidental thing too. Artefact Upgrades- They all have Take This! As a bonus to pass it to another minion or Wastrel within 6” on a 4 and Paid With Trinkets to give Fast at the start of the models activation provided the upgrade was attached this turn. Both of which together can give you great Fast chaining but I think it’s a bit of a trap and Fast just happens to be something nice to give out when you need it to happen Timeworn Blade- My favourite one, just cause it’s easy to use. Giving Precise (the important one) and Blade Storm it’s the most directly offensive of all the Artefacts and ignoring so much defensive tech can win games on its own. Blade Storm is ok but not amazing, and a lot of models in keyword have much better bonus actions already so it competes with a lot (Ride With Me, both of Sidir’s bonuses, Leap) Phantasmal Mask- The defensive one of the lot, this gives Life Leech and Protective Spirits (pulse 3 Shielded +1 as a bonus action needing a 7). The potential for healing from this is great even if its initially low (Protective Spirits also has a ram trigger to heal 2 and choose to end a condition) but it is a great way to passively heal up if you’re in the middle of a scrum. This is what I give McCabe after the Blade because boy it makes him annoying to deal with. Faded Mirror- My least favourite of the lot just because it doesn’t do as much as the rest, it’s very card draw focused in a keyword that can already get good amounts of card draw fairly incidentally. The bonus action it gives is just draw a card if the opponent has more cards in hand which is meh compared to almost any other bonus you already have, and Know the Warrior requires you to have Focus and not spend it while also cheating fate to draw cards. It’s a far worse Showboating and I would really only put this upgrade out if I already had 2 copies of Blade and Mask already out Keyword models- Lucas McCabe, Relic Hunter- McCabe is a really big bag of tricks, but they all lean towards one specific thing. He's quick with Mv7 and Unimpeded, plus he can move through other models and has Ride With Me for extra movement as a bonus action. All of this alone gives him potentially 26" of movement a turn, but with Make Way! this becomes huge amounts of damage and turns him into a shockwave-lite master. Tn13 Mv duels every time he moves through a model will happen a lot, and the 2 damage stacks up really quick if he runs around like he should be. He has a few tactical actions, digging up relics (and he can immediately dump it off on a trigger) is nice but Luna does it for less valuable AP, and he can force Wp duels that do 2 damage and Injured 2 if he discards Artefacts from friendly models. His attacks are where he shines though, because his Netgun blasts around Staggered and Slow (both of which protect him a lot and increase his damage potential) and his Bull Whip is just amazing. Low damage with 2/3/4 but it explodes into a bunch more duels to hurt the opponent a lot. 2" move built into the attack can clip plenty of things, plus the triggers to either move 5" (through more models for more duels) or the built in ram trigger to make enemies in pulse 2 take a Tn13 Df duel or take 2 damage. This means if you set it up well you can do absolutely massive amounts of damage to bunched up enemies and with the Timeworn Blade you can tear through most defensive tech on all of it except the Mv duels which is insanely good. McCabe tends to be a distraction piece for me in most games because of this potential, and he either gets focused (and still does a lot of work going down) or ignored and dominates the game. He's an amazing Ley Lines piece too because of the movement potential Lucas McCabe, Dismounted Hunter- the 2nd version of McCabe, this is assuming the mounted version gets killed (which isn't out of the question playing trample McCabe, and honestly something I expect late-game). He loses a lot (Unimpeded, Ride With Me, Make Way! and Trample), but does pick up +1Wp, Swagger and Extended Reach plus swaps his attacks out for 2 different versions. Collier Revolver is a decent gun but not anything to write home about (especially compared to the Net Gun) but his Glowing Saber is insane, especially when you add it to the Timeworn Blade to ignore almost every main line piece of defensive tech there is. All in all he's really just a last resort for when he does get knocked off the horse, but he's still pulling his weight. Luna- Basically only a way to cheaply get more Artefacts out, but Luna does it really well. Turn 1 and usually 2 she just digs up a scrap and removes it for an Artefact before passing it off to someone else which is a little card intensive but not huge enough to not do, and you can reliably topdeck most of it anyway. As a totem she doesn't do too much but what she does is great Sidir Alchibal- Sidir is the beater henchmen in the crew, and he is pretty damn versatile. Both his shooting and sword are stat 6, he has Analyze Weakness for Armour and Shielded and his triggers are all excellent. Crit Strike on his sword means he can spike damage far easier or he has the option for card draw/cycling, while his gun can either get extra shots or give the target Slow (both will affect the board state a lot). Swagger for free focus is amazing, Parry is a good defensive trigger when it works and Ruthless is pretty self-explanatory in how great it is. Mv4 isn't great, but Swagger is a nice compensation and Ride with Me from McCabe or Rough Riders (or both) do the job really well. His 2 bonus actions will both see play as well between having Juggernaut (keeping him really hard to put down when added to Artefacts and Silent Protector) and Blow It To Hell for ignoring cover on the guns in the crew which you can combo with things like Samurai for great effect. Desper LaRaux- Package everything you want in an ideal scheme runner and make it a henchman. This is Desper, absolutely worth taking every time you're playing anything needing schemes or interacts. Leap, super-Unimpeded and Don't Mind Me makes enough of a package that he's just amazing, but also Loot Their Corpse to generate Soulstones and a Df trigger that's basically better Butterfly Jump (albeit needing the suit). Plus he ignores Armour on his melee attack and can steal stones for if he needs to play aggressively, which he usually doesn't but it's hilarious when it comes up. If you can't tell already, I love Desper. Jessie Halliday- I think Jessie is good but she doesn’t really do much for McCabe in the grand scheme of things like Sidir or Desper offer. Archaeological Dig is a really great action McCabe gets a lot out of, but somewhat dependent on board state and it needs markers to exist first. Her front of card is amazing with her being unaffected by Severe, Hazardous, Shockwaves, Pulses and Blasts plus Hard to Kill, but a Harpoon Gun on one of the slower models in the keyword isn’t really needed (good in combo with Sidir but otherwise a bit meh to me) and the Soulstone Flare isn’t going to fire off as much as one would hope. The ways she interacts with Artefacts are also lacking to me and that's something I like to consider a lot in McCabe crews Rough Riders- Fast shooters with Ride With Me, they can do a lot of work at a lot of different things. Their melee isn't strictly amazing but their gun brings a lot to a keyword somewhat lacking in shooting, and their 2 bonus actions both are helpful (although Ride With Me is what you want most to ferry around the slower stuff like Sidir and Cryptologists). They get nice bonuses off of Severe terrain (while ignoring the Severe trait) and the extra inch or 2 on deployment is ok as well (especially with RWM to pull everything else forward too). They're somewhat fragile so be careful not to overextend them, but with Survivalist they can heal a lot when they need to (and the trigger on RWM to heal is great too) Hucksters- I love Hucksters, but who doesn't? Front of card is ok, and their attacks are nothing to write home about, but their tactical actions are amazing and the reason you take them. False Claim lets you get out obscene amounts of scheme markers mid-late game with some setup, and Secret Passage is huge amounts of movement is a little bit card intensive. Hucksters tend to be pretty card-hungry with TNs but it's lower moderates they need anyway so not a huge issue. Cryptologists- Really awesome design and fluff, but they're incredibly niche takes in Wastrel crews. Their big thing is being able to shut down enemy start of activation effects unless they discard a card first (Regen, Tools for the Job and Rig the Deck are the funniest interactions) or triggering friendly start of activation effects on their bonus action (all the Artefacts ability to give Fast is start of activation so one upgrade can get Fast for 2 turns on the same model). Otherwise they don't have anything especially fantastic but they're an interesting take in general. Ruffians- Looking at them compared to Hucksters for 1 less stone, Ruffians aren't worth taking. Sure they have Ruthless and Swagger which are both great, but they don't really play into the Wastrel game plan that much and Hucksters almost define that game plan, so I'd just eat the cost and take Hucksters almost every time OOK/Versatile models- Samurai- High cost high quality minion is something McCabe likes a lot, and the Samurai are exactly that. Good shooting and good melee on a tanky body that loves all the upgrades McCabe can give it (and all of the faction upgrades too) just makes for a safe choice in Wastrel crews Terracotta Warrior- McCabe loves good quality minions. The opponent won't, and will probably try to kill those minions. Terracotta Warriors can bring those minions back, and can steal a whole bunch of actions from the crew (Hucksters especially). For 4 stones why not? I love fitting one in Jorogumo- I know for a fact it will be mentioned by someone else if I leave these out, so here they are. I personally don’t use them, but they’re insanely good beater henchmen made better by McCabe and the relics (particularly the sword), the only issue with them OOK is Flicker management. But if they take down 2-3 models in the opponent’s crew before they die is it really an issue? Wanyudo- Doubling down on forcing a bunch of duels on the opponent, Wanyudo works like McCabe but giving out Burning. Can't benefit from Artefacts but it doesn't need to when it burns the opponent's crew and especially their deck, and it also benefits from being a great 2nd option in Ley Lines, an already great McCabe strat. Katanaka Crime Boss- These guys are something I've learned to love a lot and McCabe works wonders with them. Artefacts do work and they can get sped up by Ride With Me access, plus they're tough fighters already. Expensive and in a contested price bracket, but well worth it when they suit the pool Upgrades- Trained Ninja- Not hugely useful in keyword because on a lot of things parts of the upgrade are somewhat redundant (From the Shadows when Hucksters are already insanely fast, Unimpeded on Desper) so I tend to give it a miss. Useful and hilarious on Samurai though especially with McCabe to hand out upgrades Masked Agent- On McCabe it’s excellent (I love it on any beater master just for Relentless and With Me), but the keyword kind of lacks in melee beater henchmen so otherwise it’s mostly wanting you to take OOK and Versatile to get a lot of use out of. I usually just stick with it on McCabe Silent Protector- A great way to keep Sidir alive for a bit longer, but otherwise I don’t really take it on anything else in keyword. The other upgrades just do so much more Deployments- Wastrel as a keyword have such obscene amounts of movement they don't really care about deployment type, more about amount of blocking terrain for Hucksters. Tables with less blocking means less movement angles but they still have a lot to give on any table. Strategies- Reckoning- As a more scheme-based crew I don't think Wastrel are super geared towards Reckoning even though they can kill really well in certain situations. I wouldn't take them here unless the pool was scheme-heavy but even then, Thunders can do it better with other keywords. Turf War- Not a terrible take but I wouldn’t be reaching for Wastrel first in either faction for a similar reason to Reckoning. They’re decent enough but you’re not playing into the main game of Turf War with the game plan of most Wastrel crews Corrupted Idols- With a crew that can relocate as easily as Wastrel they’re a decent take here, but be careful of taking wounds on your own stuff cause it’s a risk for late game. Plant Explosives- Super easy. Chuck bombs on Desper and Hucksters, place where you need to and drop bombs. McCabe runs at the enemy carriers and him and Sidir play a kill game Schemes- Detonate Charges- False Claim. That’s it Breakthrough- A great scheme to take between Hucksters and Desper, it’s pretty easily achievable. I always take it when it comes up in the pool Harness the Ley Line- Again, Hucksters. But with Wastrel it’s not difficult to do with literally anyone Search the Ruins- Guess what? Hucksters and Desper. Terrain even potentially lets you Secret Passage right into position to drop the marker Dig Their Graves- Actually pretty great. First point isn’t hard in keyword, but the 2nd can be done purely with hitting triggers on False Claim and you can build it up throughout the game with good placement. Hold Up Their Forces- I’m not a huge fan of this one just because if you deliberately engage more expensive models you’re probably going to lose what you have pretty quick. McCabe has tons of high-value models too both in cost and game use so the opponent probably won’t hesitate if you engage and this is in the pool Take Prisoner- I don’t like this scheme mainly because your models are great things to choose as targets for it. You can pull it off pretty well with all the movement you have though so it’s not a bad choice, just something to be wary of. Power Ritual- Corner or Flank then do it, Wedge or Standard it’s a tossup. Doable with Hucksters and Desper going deep but also not guaranteed early and hard to do other schemes at the same time Outflank- Another easy one, you just have to make sure to survive Assassinate- McCabe takes a fair bit of punishment, but he tends to be a bit of a magnet for hits so it’s a risky take. Depending on who is on the other side of the table though it can be good for you as long as you push hard and force as much damage as possible (max out simple duels plus Life Leech) Deliver a Message- Huckster drops into leaders face, delivers message. 2nd point is a bit more work but it still isn’t impossible Claim Jump- Non-leader is the biggest downside here. It’s got game and I don’t dislike it, but it isn’t super scheme heavy like I like to play McCabe and it needs careful planning of placement and activation order to pull off Vendetta- If you're taking good beater minions, great take (although they're usually still 9-10SS and targets are restricted) but most of the time you don't have high enough damage on the models you want to really guarantee it with in keyword. GG1 Strategies- Symbols of Authority- Really good take for McCabe. You can't put Hucksters directly on the Symbols unless the opponent puts them near blocking terrain, but between the crew you have enough easy movement to threaten almost every symbol placement pretty reliably. Recover Evidence- McCabe can do it pretty well but I'm not guaranteed to take him here because he isn't the only good option in either faction. It all depends on the situation I find myself in at the start of the game as to who I will go with. Corrupted Ley Lines- This is my favourite strat for McCabe. Chuck the lodestone on him or a Rough Rider (or Wanyudo) and you'll pretty easily score at least 2-3 points. The amount of movement you get from Ride With Me and native Mv7 is enough with McCabe. Public Enemies- Because McCabe isn't really a combat heavy keyword I don't think he's a great take here, I'd rather go for someone like Misaki, Yan Lo or Cooper Schemes- Breakthrough, Take Prisoner, Vendetta, Assassinate, Claim Jump- Nothing changed here, so my points from above are still my opinion on them. Hidden Martyrs- I'm not a fan, but you can choose 2 Hucksters as your Martyrs and it becomes a really tough decision for your opponent. Do they kill the Hucksters and score you this or do they leave it and risk scoring more off the other scheme and strat? Sabotage- I take this often. Backfield scheming is something Hucksters and Desper can do really well and this just plays into that fact. Catch and Release- I really don't like it. It's doable, but I'm not a fan and I wouldn't attempt it with McCabe Let Them Bleed- Not something I would ever take with McCabe. It's difficult to predict and a lot of the keyword don't want to be fighting (plus 3 henchmen all with little defensive tech makes it hard to deny for you) Leave Your Mark- I’m not a huge fan of the scheme, but McCabe can do it easily enough. Having a Huckster in place can get you both points fairly easily, and in denying it will even gain you soulstones Research Mission- Pretty great take between generating scrap, scheme and blown apart markers. 2nd point is harder but still doable, I like it a lot Spread Them Out- Hucksters. They break off to get 2 markers down and whatever else places the 3rd, it's pretty easy to do with this crew. Runic Binding- With the movement and easy marker placement the keyword has, Binding is almost a safe take for the first point. If you start shooting with McCabe instead of trampling it gets even easier because you're slowing them down a lot.
  4. Hi all, been playing McCabe almost exclusively this past year and I've gotten a lot out of it. With Explorers finally on their way I've put my thoughts into writing like I've done for a few other keywords now and what I find works in the crew Keyword abilities- Looted Supplies- Pretty simple, if the model starts their activation within 1" of a corpse or scrap they draw a card. It's on the whole keyword, and you can generate scrap decently enough to set up a bit of card draw if need be but it's just a really nice incidental thing too. Artefact Upgrades- They all have Take This! As a bonus to pass it to another minion or Wastrel within 6” on a 4 and Paid With Trinkets to give Fast at the start of the models activation provided the upgrade was attached this turn. Both of which together can give you great Fast chaining but I think it’s a bit of a trap and Fast just happens to be something nice to give out when you need it to happen Timeworn Blade- My favourite one, just cause it’s easy to use. Giving Precise (the important one) and Blade Storm it’s the most directly offensive of all the Artefacts and ignoring so much defensive tech can win games on its own. Blade Storm is ok but not amazing, and a lot of models in keyword have much better bonus actions already so it competes with a lot (Ride With Me, both of Sidir’s bonuses, Leap) Phantasmal Mask- The defensive one of the lot, this gives Life Leech and Protective Spirits (pulse 3 Shielded +1 as a bonus action needing a 7). The potential for healing from this is great even if its initially low (Protective Spirits also has a ram trigger to heal 2 and choose to end a condition) but it is a great way to passively heal up if you’re in the middle of a scrum. This is what I give McCabe after the Blade because boy it makes him annoying to deal with. Faded Mirror- My least favourite of the lot just because it doesn’t do as much as the rest, it’s very card draw focused in a keyword that can already get good amounts of card draw fairly incidentally. The bonus action it gives is just draw a card if the opponent has more cards in hand which is meh compared to almost any other bonus you already have, and Know the Warrior requires you to have Focus and not spend it while also cheating fate to draw cards. It’s a far worse Showboating and I would really only put this upgrade out if I already had 2 copies of Blade and Mask already out Keyword models- Lucas McCabe, Relic Hunter- McCabe is a really big bag of tricks, but they all lean towards one specific thing. He's quick with Mv7 and Unimpeded, plus he can move through other models and has Ride With Me for extra movement as a bonus action. All of this alone gives him potentially 26" of movement a turn, but with Make Way! this becomes huge amounts of damage and turns him into a shockwave-lite master. Tn13 Mv duels every time he moves through a model will happen a lot, and the 2 damage stacks up really quick if he runs around like he should be. He has a few tactical actions, digging up relics (and he can immediately dump it off on a trigger) is nice but Luna does it for less valuable AP, and he can force Wp duels that do 2 damage and Injured 2 if he discards Artefacts from friendly models. His attacks are where he shines though, because his Netgun blasts around Staggered and Slow (both of which protect him a lot and increase his damage potential) and his Bull Whip is just amazing. Low damage with 2/3/4 but it explodes into a bunch more duels to hurt the opponent a lot. 2" move built into the attack can clip plenty of things, plus the triggers to either move 5" (through more models for more duels) or the built in ram trigger to make enemies in pulse 2 take a Tn13 Df duel or take 2 damage. This means if you set it up well you can do absolutely massive amounts of damage to bunched up enemies and with the Timeworn Blade you can tear through most defensive tech on all of it except the Mv duels which is insanely good. McCabe tends to be a distraction piece for me in most games because of this potential, and he either gets focused (and still does a lot of work going down) or ignored and dominates the game. He's an amazing Ley Lines piece too because of the movement potential Lucas McCabe, Dismounted Hunter- the 2nd version of McCabe, this is assuming the mounted version gets killed (which isn't out of the question playing trample McCabe, and honestly something I expect late-game). He loses a lot (Unimpeded, Ride With Me, Make Way! and Trample), but does pick up +1Wp, Swagger and Extended Reach plus swaps his attacks out for 2 different versions. Collier Revolver is a decent gun but not anything to write home about (especially compared to the Net Gun) but his Glowing Saber is insane, especially when you add it to the Timeworn Blade to ignore almost every main line piece of defensive tech there is. All in all he's really just a last resort for when he does get knocked off the horse, but he's still pulling his weight. Luna- Basically only a way to cheaply get more Artefacts out, but Luna does it really well. Turn 1 and usually 2 she just digs up a scrap and removes it for an Artefact before passing it off to someone else which is a little card intensive but not huge enough to not do, and you can reliably topdeck most of it anyway. As a totem she doesn't do too much but what she does is great Sidir Alchibal- Sidir is the beater henchmen in the crew, and he is pretty damn versatile. Both his shooting and sword are stat 6, he has Analyze Weakness for Armour and Shielded and his triggers are all excellent. Crit Strike on his sword means he can spike damage far easier or he has the option for card draw/cycling, while his gun can either get extra shots or give the target Slow (both will affect the board state a lot). Swagger for free focus is amazing, Parry is a good defensive trigger when it works and Ruthless is pretty self-explanatory in how great it is. Mv4 isn't great, but Swagger is a nice compensation and Ride with Me from McCabe or Rough Riders (or both) do the job really well. His 2 bonus actions will both see play as well between having Juggernaut (keeping him really hard to put down when added to Artefacts and Silent Protector) and Blow It To Hell for ignoring cover on the guns in the crew which you can combo with things like Samurai for great effect. Desper LaRaux- Package everything you want in an ideal scheme runner and make it a henchman. This is Desper, absolutely worth taking every time you're playing anything needing schemes or interacts. Leap, super-Unimpeded and Don't Mind Me makes enough of a package that he's just amazing, but also Loot Their Corpse to generate Soulstones and a Df trigger that's basically better Butterfly Jump (albeit needing the suit). Plus he ignores Armour on his melee attack and can steal stones for if he needs to play aggressively, which he usually doesn't but it's hilarious when it comes up. If you can't tell already, I love Desper. Jessie Halliday- I think Jessie is good but she doesn’t really do much for McCabe in the grand scheme of things like Sidir or Desper offer. Archaeological Dig is a really great action McCabe gets a lot out of, but somewhat dependent on board state and it needs markers to exist first. Her front of card is amazing with her being unaffected by Severe, Hazardous, Shockwaves, Pulses and Blasts plus Hard to Kill, but a Harpoon Gun on one of the slower models in the keyword isn’t really needed (good in combo with Sidir but otherwise a bit meh to me) and the Soulstone Flare isn’t going to fire off as much as one would hope. The ways she interacts with Artefacts are also lacking to me and that's something I like to consider a lot in McCabe crews Rough Riders- Fast shooters with Ride With Me, they can do a lot of work at a lot of different things. Their melee isn't strictly amazing but their gun brings a lot to a keyword somewhat lacking in shooting, and their 2 bonus actions both are helpful (although Ride With Me is what you want most to ferry around the slower stuff like Sidir and Cryptologists). They get nice bonuses off of Severe terrain (while ignoring the Severe trait) and the extra inch or 2 on deployment is ok as well (especially with RWM to pull everything else forward too). They're somewhat fragile so be careful not to overextend them, but with Survivalist they can heal a lot when they need to (and the trigger on RWM to heal is great too) Hucksters- I love Hucksters, but who doesn't? Front of card is ok, and their attacks are nothing to write home about, but their tactical actions are amazing and the reason you take them. False Claim lets you get out obscene amounts of scheme markers mid-late game with some setup, and Secret Passage is huge amounts of movement is a little bit card intensive. Hucksters tend to be pretty card-hungry with TNs but it's lower moderates they need anyway so not a huge issue. Cryptologists- Really awesome design and fluff, but they're incredibly niche takes in Wastrel crews. Their big thing is being able to shut down enemy start of activation effects unless they discard a card first (Regen, Tools for the Job and Rig the Deck are the funniest interactions) or triggering friendly start of activation effects on their bonus action (all the Artefacts ability to give Fast is start of activation so one upgrade can get Fast for 2 turns on the same model). Otherwise they don't have anything especially fantastic but they're an interesting take in general. Ruffians- Looking at them compared to Hucksters for 1 less stone, Ruffians aren't worth taking. Sure they have Ruthless and Swagger which are both great, but they don't really play into the Wastrel game plan that much and Hucksters almost define that game plan, so I'd just eat the cost and take Hucksters almost every time OOK/Versatile models- Hopeful Prospect- Similar to the Terracotta Warrior in that they're just decent cheap minions (although Insignificant here) and they can turn into a far better model. They have to kill a 5+SS model to do it, but with the Timeworn Blade and Fast it becomes a whole lot easier and then you have a 4SS Huckster or Rough Rider Brocken Spectre- Same deal as the Jorogumo in that they're just big beefy beaters, but there's no synergy with the Blade because they already deal Irreducible damage. It does give them Fast though which is really worth it Upgrades- Treasure Map- Its simple and nice, but the models Deadly Pursuit is funniest on (McCabe mainly) don't get a lot out of it otherwise. Hucksters it could work with, but Hidden Agenda is so much better Flush with Cash- With the crew having a couple of ways to generate stones it could be good, but it also has 3 henchmen and thus a ton of models that want to be using stones. I'd usually just rather take the 2 extra stones and hope to win duels or reduce damage myself. Hidden Agenda- This is amazing. Put it on Hucksters and they become both annoying to take on but also really great at pushing for endgame schemes by gaining Fast Deployments- Wastrel as a keyword have such obscene amounts of movement they don't really care about deployment type, more about amount of blocking terrain for Hucksters. Tables with less blocking means less movement angles but they still have a lot to give on any table. Strategies- Reckoning- As a more scheme-based crew I don't think Wastrel are super geared towards Reckoning even though they can kill really well in certain situations. I wouldn't take them here unless the pool was scheme-heavy but even then, Thunders can do it better with other keywords. Turf War- Not a terrible take but I wouldn’t be reaching for Wastrel first in either faction for a similar reason to Reckoning. They’re decent enough but you’re not playing into the main game of Turf War with the game plan of most Wastrel crews Corrupted Idols- With a crew that can relocate as easily as Wastrel they’re a decent take here, but be careful of taking wounds on your own stuff cause it’s a risk for late game. Plant Explosives- Super easy. Chuck bombs on Desper and Hucksters, place where you need to and drop bombs. McCabe runs at the enemy carriers and him and Sidir play a kill game Schemes- Detonate Charges- False Claim. That’s it Breakthrough- A great scheme to take between Hucksters and Desper, it’s pretty easily achievable. I always take it when it comes up in the pool Harness the Ley Line- Again, Hucksters. But with Wastrel it’s not difficult to do with literally anyone Search the Ruins- Guess what? Hucksters and Desper. Terrain even potentially lets you Secret Passage right into position to drop the marker Dig Their Graves- Actually pretty great. First point isn’t hard in keyword, but the 2nd can be done purely with hitting triggers on False Claim and you can build it up throughout the game with good placement. Hold Up Their Forces- I’m not a huge fan of this one just because if you deliberately engage more expensive models you’re probably going to lose what you have pretty quick. McCabe has tons of high-value models too both in cost and game use so the opponent probably won’t hesitate if you engage and this is in the pool Take Prisoner- I don’t like this scheme mainly because your models are great things to choose as targets for it. You can pull it off pretty well with all the movement you have though so it’s not a bad choice, just something to be wary of. Power Ritual- Corner or Flank then do it, Wedge or Standard it’s a tossup. Doable with Hucksters and Desper going deep but also not guaranteed early and hard to do other schemes at the same time Outflank- Another easy one, you just have to make sure to survive Assassinate- McCabe takes a fair bit of punishment, but he tends to be a bit of a magnet for hits so it’s a risky take. Depending on who is on the other side of the table though it can be good for you as long as you push hard and force as much damage as possible (max out simple duels plus Life Leech) Deliver a Message- Huckster drops into leaders face, delivers message. 2nd point is a bit more work but it still isn’t impossible Claim Jump- Non-leader is the biggest downside here. It’s got game and I don’t dislike it, but it isn’t super scheme heavy like I like to play McCabe and it needs careful planning of placement and activation order to pull off Vendetta- If you're taking good beater minions, great take (although they're usually still 9-10SS and targets are restricted) but most of the time you don't have high enough damage on the models you want to really guarantee it with in keyword. GG1 Strategies- Symbols of Authority- Really good take for McCabe. You can't put Hucksters directly on the Symbols unless the opponent puts them near blocking terrain, but between the crew you have enough easy movement to threaten almost every symbol placement pretty reliably. Recover Evidence- McCabe can do it pretty well but I'm not guaranteed to take him here because he isn't the only good option in either faction. It all depends on the situation I find myself in at the start of the game as to who I will go with. Corrupted Ley Lines- This is my favourite strat for McCabe. Chuck the lodestone on him or a Rough Rider (or Wanyudo) and you'll pretty easily score at least 2-3 points. The amount of movement you get from Ride With Me and native Mv7 is enough with McCabe. Public Enemies- Because McCabe isn't really a combat heavy keyword I don't think he's a great take here, I'd rather go for someone like Misaki, Yan Lo or Cooper Schemes- Breakthrough, Take Prisoner, Vendetta, Assassinate, Claim Jump- Nothing changed here, so my points from above are still my opinion on them. Hidden Martyrs- I'm not a fan, but you can choose 2 Hucksters as your Martyrs and it becomes a really tough decision for your opponent. Do they kill the Hucksters and score you this or do they leave it and risk scoring more off the other scheme and strat? Sabotage- I take this often. Backfield scheming is something Hucksters and Desper can do really well and this just plays into that fact. Catch and Release- I really don't like it. It's doable, but I'm not a fan and I wouldn't attempt it with McCabe Let Them Bleed- Not something I would ever take with McCabe. It's difficult to predict and a lot of the keyword don't want to be fighting (plus 3 henchmen all with little defensive tech makes it hard to deny for you) Leave Your Mark- I’m not a huge fan of the scheme, but McCabe can do it easily enough. Having a Huckster in place can get you both points fairly easily, and in denying it will even gain you soulstones Research Mission- Pretty great take between generating scrap, scheme and blown apart markers. 2nd point is harder but still doable, I like it a lot Spread Them Out- Hucksters. They break off to get 2 markers down and whatever else places the 3rd, it's pretty easy to do with this crew. Runic Binding- With the movement and easy marker placement the keyword has, Binding is almost a safe take for the first point. If you start shooting with McCabe instead of trampling it gets even easier because you're slowing them down a lot.
  5. I agree with this wholeheartedly. Misaki is one of my favourite masters to play because of how fun her playstyle is and how mobile they can be, they really can adapt to almost any situation
  6. Added in GG1. Now is the time for Viks to shine! They really work well with the new strats and schemes
  7. Edited the OP to add in my thoughts on GG1 and what the best places for Misaki and crew are. Some real fun to be had there!
  8. I really really like the sound of Misaki in the new pools. I've been reading up and working on an update to the OP with GG1 in it probably due next week?
  9. Glad to hear it helped! Misaki already has a strong keyword, and so far it's looking like nothing changes there with GG1 which is great (and outside of Minako she's likely to dodge nerfs too)
  10. Definitely take on the feedback in the future and maybe I did write too much in some places, but there is also a lot in each section on how and why I use certain actions which need a bit of context so maybe I'm not "wasting everyone's time" as you say. It's all subjective, some people will naturally find it less useful than others
  11. Edited the original post, added a bit more of my thoughts on some specific models
  12. Hello to my fellow Thunders players! I'm primarily an Outcast player, and I have a few similar writeups to this on the Outcast forum, but Misaki has always been a character I loved so I've stuck with her in 3E as my in-road to Thunders, and written up my thoughts on the crew as a whole here. If anyone has anything to add feel free to in the comments, I know I'll be amending and updating this once the errata and GG1 come out too Keyword abilities- Charge Through- On a crew that is fairly heavily tilted towards melee combat this is really good to have. The shooters don’t have it obviously, but it just gives positives to damage on melee actions generated from a Charge action. It’s simple but it works, and it can counter things like Hard to Wound pretty well. Assassin- Quite a simple ability that is on a lot of the models in the crew, if they kill models that haven’t activated they gain Fast. It’s swingy but also very good, especially when you consider this crew as one that fights to achieve schemes in advantageous positions (yes that’s most things, but it’s a huge part of Last Blossom) Shadow Markers- Not an action or ability per se, but a lot of things in the crew play off of Shadow Markers. They themselves do absolutely nothing but a lot of models in the crew have tricks with them (mostly placement, but Minako can summon off them and Yamaziko, Crime Bosses and Snipers use them for card draw) so it’s important to make sure you have ways to generate at least a couple outside of Misaki because they really are great value. Extended Reach- A more universal ability than any of the others, but Extended Reach is in multiple places in the crew so bears a mention here instead of individually below. It stops enemy models within aura 2 of the model from taking attacks off of charging which in many ways acts as a bubble of Disguised (Disguise Misaki isn’t dead, just different). It doesn’t work against Run and Gun, but pretty much any other form of an actual charge action is shut down by this which is great. Keyword models- Misaki- The star of the crew, Misaki is a real lynchpin for Last Blossom as a whole because of all the work she does. She has Charge Through and Extended Reach as you could probably expect, Mobile Warrior to charge while engaged, Df6 and Wp7 with 12 wounds and a slightly low for the keyword Mv5. She can however choose to play a shell game with Shadow Markers, as she can choose to bury in the start phase and place 2 Shadow Markers anywhere within 8” (which happens every time she is buried- even by enemy effects) and then in her activation can choose to unbury at any Shadow Marker with the penalty of -1Mv for every 2 friendly models that have already activated that turn. In all this is a really great way to keep your enemy on tilt and to make sure your own plans can go off safely, while also just being a free way of moving Misaki around every turn (as long as you keep some from earlier turns, she can teleport around like crazy). As for her actions they are very good, with 4 actions that all make her work differently. Her bonus action is a tactical and needs a 4 to go off, and lets her shuffle cards from the discard back into the deck for every other friendly that hasn’t activated. It means if you have a really hot hand she can activate early, do a ton of work and then put your high cards back into the deck to use later in the turn. The crow trigger lets her hand out Stunned to enemies within 8” unless they discard cards for each crow you shuffle back in (this works really well with Execute- cheat high cards for Execute and then put those cards back in to try and force Stunned). Her other tactical action needs an 8 and targets any other friendly model within 8”, letting them take the charge action (or if they are Last Blossom, they can charge while engaged). This is a great way to extend the rest of your crew and reposition but also to hurt enemies more in advantageous positions and use your good beaters for more damage (mainly Crime Bosses and Ototo). As for her attacks she has an 8” range Shockwave that needs a 6 to go off, and is Shockwave 1, Mv13 and damage 2 which plays into her hand destruction mechanics. As for triggers she has a ram trigger for a second Shockwave marker, or a tome trigger to make a Shadow Marker in base contact with the Shockwave just before the Shockwave is removed (so the action still fully resolves as normal). Her Bisento is her main attack though, being a stat 7 attack vs Df which is always excellent despite the somewhat average 2/4/5 damage (which can be boosted by Crit Strike) and the action has a 2” range so she can hit models while usually being somewhat safer. Reposition on a mask gives her some movement potential to get around while attacking, while Execute threatens killing the opponent or hurts their soulstones and hand which is a great way of controlling the enemy crew. Shang- As far as totems go Shang is pretty good cause it plays nicely with what the crew does but is still somewhat unique in how it works. Arcane Reservoir is nice for the crew in general (but especially Minako) and for 4 stones Df5 Wp6 and 4 wounds is definitely acceptable. Insignificant is fine and Assassin is sort of there, and Shang also ignores all damage from Burning but the big ones are its support roles to Misaki. It has the same Channeled Healing action as Karina being able to target buried models (only Misaki in this crew unless you play against models that bury you) and Flickering Flames allows Misaki to treat Shang as a Shadow Marker to unbury from at the penalty of dealing 2 irreducible to Shang (half its wounds which is big). Attack-wise there’s nothing special, It’s Claws are decent for a totem with Flay(cheat damage through negatives on a mask) and Blaze(Burning 1 for each Tome) as great triggers while it also has the Heavenly Blaze Shockwave attack needing a 6 and at range 8”. It’s Shockwave 1, Mv12 and damage 2 which is decent as a way to get through an opponent’s hand, and as far as Shockwaves go it’s pretty damn good being only slightly worse than Misaki’s Shockwave Ototo- Almost about as unsubtle as Last Blossom get, Ototo is a big beatstick. With Ruthless, Charge Through and Assassin he is already geared towards combat somewhat but having a 2” range 3/4/5 weapon at stat 6 vs defence, plus possible Crit Strike he hits super hard when he needs to. He has another trigger which is pulse 2, all enemies must pass a TN13 Mv duel or gain Slow which ties into my next point with him- he’s tanky. Despite his Df/Wp4 which is pretty low for 10 stones, he has Armour 1 and Hard to Kill with his 10 wounds meaning he takes a beating before he goes down, plus his only bonus action is Juggernaut for healing which he will usually do. Slowing enemies with his pulse trigger makes him harder to take out, and when he does get below half his wounds he gets positive flips to attack and damage (meaning a whopping double positive to damage if he charges and on top of that possible severe of 7). Mv5 is somewhat slower in the crew, but he has 2” range, Misaki to make him charge outside of activation (and even while engaged) and his other tactical action The Storm is Coming which is a 6” range Shadow Marker drop on a 5 that has some additional effects. If he is within LoS of a friendly Leader the Shadow marker has the same effect as his Thunderous Blow trigger but on Wp instead of Mv (pulse 2, TN13 or gain Slow) which is great to control AP in enemy crews, plus the mask trigger on this action lets Ototo place in base contact with the Shadow Marker. Because of how the place works, his 40mm base and his 2” melee it can be a huge threat extender while still getting out Shadow Markers for the rest of the crew. Minako Rei- Easily one of the best henchmen in the entire game (and bound to be changed in the coming errata), Minako is an excellent piece with special synergy in a Misaki crew. With Charge Through and Assassin as expected, Minako also has her own special piece of kit based around her Karmic Fate upgrades on the front of her card. As a Df/Wp trigger on a Mask she can discard any in play Karmic Fate upgrades and choose to attach it to the attacker after resolving the attack, and afterwards whenever Minako suffers damage a model with the Karmic Fate upgrade suffers an equal amount making it a big risk to hit Minako at all. Her stats are pretty great at Df and Mv6, Wp5 and 8 wounds for 8 stones, plus she also has Laugh Off to shut down enemy movement effects on her. On the back of her card she has some nice actions, with her attack being a 1” range stat 6 vs Df attack that does a respectable 2/3/5 damage, but the built in trigger makes it Irreducible if the target has a Karmic Fate upgrade which is a great way to penalise people trying to attack her. The ram trigger is also very useful in that it gives Adversary (Last Blossom) which will obviously not matter much when she is being taken as a Versatile hire but is very relevant in-keyword. She has a 3” ranged summon which I will discuss a bit further down in more detail (but it’s great and fairly reliable in-keyword plus in a couple other keywords) and her bonus is to simply draw a card if the opponent has more cards in hand which is very nice if it happens. Yamaziko- This is the henchman I would most skip for a variety of reasons. Although she has some good stats, abilities and actions she doesn't entirely work with what the crew does best and dictates a specific kind of list built around her to get her most value. Charge Through and Extended Reach are fairly standard and Honorable is nice, but Nimble will only be used the first couple of turns unless you’re in a position where neither of her other bonus actions will be relevant or because you want to set up either scheming or an attack run, which are jobs that should be done by other models in the crew. Finesse is good if you’re at risk of attack but not amazing, while Great Teacher takes a card to use but it synergises really well with a lot of the keyword and some Versatiles. A gunline with her using Samurai, Snipers and Archers is pretty effective and can put out a ton of damage but it’s leaning hard into her and she isn’t a tough kill by any means. Her Yari has a good range to engage things and it’s an ok attack overall with decent triggers, but it’s not something to rely upon and a melee henchman with only stat 5 isn’t great at any cost. Master Tactician could be useful to eat the opponent’s hand (and then set up Execute runs with Misaki) but it’s very specific in who it can target and reliably go off on (that being a Leader with low Wp). All in all she’s a model who looks good on paper but every time I try and put her on the table I struggle with how I could’ve gotten more value out of something else as Yamaziko whiffs yet again. Katanaka Crime Boss- One of the equal most expensive minions in keyword (which isn’t really saying much, they’re all between 6-8 stones), the Crime Bosses are pretty great models for area control if only a little slow in reaching those areas. They have Extended Reach and Charge Through, plus Protection Money to draw cards after enemies drop schemes near them (including if Wokou force them to) and they can choose not to move from enemy effects or in enemy activations which flat out removes a lot of control options unless you want them to happen. They have a chunky 8 wounds with Df5 and Wp6 so aren’t too fragile, but Mv4 hurts them a bit. They do have a 2” melee range to compensate though which is excellent, and their stat 6 vs Df 3/4/5 damage is very nice. It has Unworthy of Her Attention for card draw and a Pass, but also Heave on a ram to place the target anywhere within 3” of the Crime Boss to play into its area control role. The other attack it has it Pressure which is range 8” stat 5 vs Wp and must target non-Leader enemies within 3” of a scheme or friendly Shadow marker but has an excellent effect in that the target must either discard a random card and take 2 damage or function as an Obey. The mask trigger then pushes the target 2” away from the Crime Boss to play with placement more which is great fun as the Crime Boss can lock down zones so the rest of your crew can do their thing. Its bonus action tactical needs a 4 to go off on a friendly scheme or Shadow marker within 6”, and then places the Crime Boss into base with it (even the slowest model in keyword has speed tricks) before pushing all enemies within pulse 2 away 2”. By removing an enemy scheme marker within 2” you can take an attack against a model pushed on a ram trigger, while on a crow you can remove a corpse marker to instead give every enemy pushed Distracted +1. The ram trigger is better given the choice, but if you have the crow trigger and nothing else you take it. Katanaka Sniper and Thunder Archer- The shooters in Last Blossom, both are cost 7 although the Sniper is probably slightly worse. Both models are Df5 and 7 wounds, but Thunder Archers have higher Wp, Mv and the bonus of Chi tokens to add to their duels so are more survivable, plus Archers have a very relevant Df trigger to get out of combat. They both ignore Friendly Fire and Concealment and both have Assassin, but the advantage of the Sniper is that it can engage in combat far quicker with From the Shadows and Sniper to all but guarantee turn 1 shooting with at least one shot or just to start in a position to scheme right from turn 2. The Sniper also ignores Cover which is great and has one higher severe damage, plus Crit strike, Reposition and Unworthy of Her Attention to gain Pass Tokens. It is, however, less accurate even before factoring in Chi tokens and the triggers on the Archer. The Archer ignores Incorporeal on its attack which is great in that situation, and with its triggers can get Irreducible damage for a ram and a Chi, on a tome can draw a card if they cheat damage and on a crow can give +1 damage and Staggered if the opponent is within 3” of a friendly Shadow Marker which are all very useful. The Sniper actually has a melee attack which stops it getting locked in combat, plus its bonus to freely move out of combat, which is a good bonus over what the Archer can do outside of damage. The Archer has Target Practice to remove markers up to 18” away (with the difficulty increasing with the range) and as a bonus can add blast damage to their shots needing an 8 (with a tome trigger to Concentrate and thus gain Focus or Chi). In general, I would take an Archer in most cases except for when there are either incredibly fast enemies on the table (primarily Neverborn) or if there is an abundance of hard cover on the table in which case the Snipers are better. Torakage- In my opinion these are one of the most efficient scheme runners in the game, a far cry from their 2E mediocrity. Mv7 Agile alone means they will get where they want when they want, but their bonus action Ninja Vanish is another possible 6” place on a 7 and their Shurikens have built in 3” movement as well with Onslaught so they can be throwing out damage while they move. Stealth is a great way to keep them alive too as even though Df and Wp 5 isn’t bad with 6 wounds it isn’t fantastic either. Offensively their ranged attack is low damage but high utility, and their melee attack is respectable with a movement trigger (have I said Torakage can move?) and a trigger that is on both their attacks. No Witnesses is conditional and requires no other enemy to be within 12” and LoS of the Torakage (so use terrain where possible) and if so you get +1 damage and ignore armour which is very useful in Thunders in general. Wokou Raider- A shared keyword model with Parker, Wokou Raiders are a bit odd in how they work but they’re very good nonetheless. They’re a melee model with a little bit of shooting, working as a tarpit and damage dealer that still has the classic Bandit scheme marker removal you’d expect. They borrow Charge Through from Last Blossom, getting positive flips to melee damage flips on Charges which goes well with their damage track (2/4/5) and positives to attack built in with some great triggers. Drop It! is typical as a Bandit, Critical Strike is good for the extra damage should you get rams and Coordinated Attack is better in Last Blossom than Bandit given the melee preference over Bandit’s gun focus, but always good when it’s relevant. Defence 5 is pretty average for something of their cost, willpower 6 being good, but Combat Finesse and the fact opponents can never cheat melee attacks against them is a very big boost to their effectiveness. Bullet Proof is something they share with Gunslingers and Kunoichi giving them a little edge against guns as well, while they have Life of Crime to gain Fast when they activate and not Assassin. This is somewhat easier to trigger if the opponent is using scheme markers (or in Parker), and synergises well with their Ever-Changing Wind which lets them move (not push) 3” when an enemy scheme marker is placed within aura 6, meaning you’ll easily be able to get in 4” to remove that marker when they activate. A New Horizon lets them place scheme markers around as a bonus action for a 4 of tomes, moving the marker 6” of its current location when the action is declared which can counter an opponent very well. OOK/Versatile models- Samurai- One of the higher cost Versatiles, the Samurai often get compared with Fuhatsu because they are both high cost Versatile tanks with gatling guns. However for me the Samurai edges out over Fuhatsu for a few reasons specifically related to the two masters I play in Thunders (Misaki and McCabe) and basically boils down to it being a minion over a henchman. In Misaki's keyword, the Samurai can benefit from Yamaziko's buffs but also gets the big benefit of being able to take From the Shadows and be made to charge turn 1 from Misaki with very little setup (which then gets the benefit of both Rush and Blade Rush so he's better at it). The Samurai is also great at both shooting and melee (with its Daito ignoring armour, something Last Blossom tend to struggle with) while being deceptively tanky for Df4 between Armour 2 and Juggernaut, and having the option to Concentrate as a bonus action and thus gain easy Focus if he doesn't need the healing. On top of all that once he does die he gets to make an attack action targeting the attacking model (notice attack action, he can shoot or melee as long as the Demise is triggered) for one last little bit of extra damage before he goes away (and see just below how you can repeat it!) Terracotta Warrior- As a cheap model it has its own value as an activation, and for 4 stones it's pretty good. Ruthless and Armour 1 for it's cost are both great, and Df5 is solid despite its 4 wounds. Its melee attack is definitely not fantastic, but its tactical actions are because of the sheer versatility they give to the crew. Just Like You! lets you copy any non-bonus tactical action from a higher cost model in the crew at -2 stat (things like Ototo's Shadow Marker drop or Misaki's charge order are great options if you have the cards) and Mold of the Other lets you replace the Warrior with a minion or enforcer that died earlier in the game (another big reason I like Samurai over Fuhatsu is this interaction). This replace also heals it 3 so it isn't then super easy to kill, but is a good way to turn a cheaper model into something that can possibly have far more impact on a game. The Minako Summons- Katashiro- Cheap glass cannon summons, Minako only needs a 10 of tomes to summon one off of a scrap or Shadow marker which "only" gives it a Flicker token and Slow (which you don't majorly care about). Shadow markers are more reliable, but once the Katashiro dies it becomes its own resource to continually summon off if that's what you want to do. It has very low defensive stats and is easy to kill at Df/Wp4 and 5 wounds, but they can put out some decent damage for their relatively low cost to the crew. They have Made to Kill to attack once they're placed (including when summoned), Blade Rush for if they charge through models (not too common but useful, also synergises with Misaki) and the standard 2 Oni abilities in Flicker. This means they can gain a Flicker token every time they perform a duel to gain positive flips to the duel and any damage flips working like a far easier Focus, but if they have 3 at the end of any activation they die meaning you have to manage it (or just not care because they're summons). They can discard one if they kill a model but with the way you'll usually be using them they'll be at a point it will kill them regardless of if they discard a single one or not. Their back of card has a few actions, with 2 bonus actions- one to discard a card to end a condition, and the other to place within 5". You might think at first glance the trick is to remove Slow when they activate, but in reality the far better option is to use the place and get a free attack off it anyway that can then generate another attack with its trigger so you still cap out at 4 attacks a turn (it's 6 without Fast or Slow but that assumes you're using the place and not removing conditions). It has a 6" range action that removes a condition on the target and puts it onto the Katashiro at up to +2 of its value at stat 5 vs Wp and needing a TN of 12 to succeed. It's not a bad way of getting around things like the Fire Golem, Experimental models or just anything with Focus because it forces a hard decision on them that can very easily risk death should they fail. Their Claws action is the way they become bombing blenders though as even though it is only stat 5 and 1/2/4 damage Flicker fixes that with its easy positives, and the excellent mask trigger to gain a Flicker and attack again so you can just keep going. You'll likely end their activation with far more Flicker than 3 which will kill them, but it drains cards and deals damage so is probably worth it. Wanyudo- As a summon, it’s not super reliable. It requires a model to first damage Minako Rei, her to put the upgrade on with her trigger and then the model with the upgrade to die which is possible but very specific and they can just pitch cards to get rid of the upgrade before that (which is still bad, but it stops a swing if they die). If Minako doesn’t kill the model it also takes 3 damage and gains Slow which shuts down its ability a lot more as well. As for the Wanyudo itself it’s a very good model for Misaki’s crew but doesn’t do all that much that’s unique. It’s Mv7 Unimpeded with Trample so can get wherever it wants to go, as well as forcing TN12 Mv duels when it moves through models with Burning 1 and 1 damage as a downside if they fail. It itself doesn’t take damage from Burning and can charge while engaged (nice with Misaki making it charge to force even more duels). Its actions are decent with a great melee attack resisted by Mv that puts out Burning and moves it around more, Breath of Fire for ranged blast damage (strictly inferior to just charging with it’s range) and a bonus action to force enemies to take a Burning damage immediately in pulse 3. All in all it’s a great mobile model that is probably best used to hunt down scheme runners and run schemes itself, but I wouldn’t really hire it in a Misaki crew. Upgrades- Trained Ninja- The regular effects of Unimpeded and Stealth are quite good and synergise with Last Blossom pretty well (so they should- thematically Misaki has a bunch of ninja-esque models). The minion buff however turns it up even further, giving From the Shadows which is great value for 2 stones. On Samurai it’s expensive but excellent, Torakage can get into position to scheme very quickly and Archers can use it to shoot from turn 1 to name a few good interactions with it. Masked Agent- This upgrade is the best option in Thunders and really helps out your combat models. It adds With Me so the model can carry a nearby friend when it takes the Charge action (even out of activation- thanks Misaki!) and Unnerving Presence to shut down Resistance Triggers in a huge bubble, while adding Coordinated Attack as a trigger to all minion attacks. Wokou already have this so it isn’t hugely beneficial (but they gain the same benefit as any non-minion), but the best in terms of most benefits gained is the Crime Boss as despite its slow speed it gets the bonus from every part of the card. Ototo or Misaki herself are other good options but lose Coordinated Attack, which isn’t really that huge anyway when you’re as reliable as they are (and have better triggers in Misaki’s case) Silent Protector- This gives Hard To Kill and Challenge normally which alone are good in the right situation (that being something already tanky) and minions add on Take the Hit. Misaki as a crew don’t have a huge need of this upgrade given their trend towards more mixed scheming than heavy combat, but it could be decent to protect the weaker pieces in the crew. It has jank with Yamaziko giving them positives (so pass off Yamaziko onto this model who then has a positive to defence) but that is more of a gimmick than actually always good. Deployments- Really, all deployments are good for Misaki because the crew has enough tricks to get up the table blindingly fast and do what they want to. It only really affects scheme selection and how they play that way because some things are affected a lot. Strategies- Reckoning- While you can manage a pretty top-heavy crew of beater henchmen here it also gives up a lot of points when doing so. My advice would be to stick with the minions that can dish out damage (Archers, Wokou and Crime Bosses primarily) with a henchman or two to support (usually I would say Minako and Ototo for summons/beating and straight up damage respectively) Plant Explosives- Easy, you can move around far better than most crews to actually get where you need to so once you've done that you're set. Corrupted Idols- With the ability to just pop up almost anywhere on the table pretty easily they can get around to toss Idols, but at the same time the super mobile models don’t have a huge amount of wounds so they risk getting badly hurt in the process. Shang can help mitigate this though and going OOK there are great ways to get healing in crew (Sun Quiang and Low River Monks especially) so it’s not a bad option Turf War- Like Parker and the Viktorias before, Turf War is a decent strategy for Misaki. She has mobility and damage in spades so she can do what she needs to in order to score points. Tossing Shadow Markers at Turf Markers to set up scoring vectors is also really good to do to put pressure on an opponent and make them try and play a shell game with things that might not actually happen- just like how the ninjas should be Schemes- Detonate Charges- Not a bad scheme to take because of the mobility and ease in disengaging of Torakage as well as the marker movement of Wokou Raiders, but the crew lacks major ways of putting out markers without the Interact action so it’s not a super easy thing for them to do. Breakthrough- Misaki herself makes this somewhat easy, but an opponent can still play around it by destroying Shadow Markers, and it’s still dedicating your (somewhat combat focused) Master on dropping schemes in the backfield Harness the Ley Line- Torakage are who you take here, because they will get where they need to be quickly and put down the markers. It’s not unreasonable to expect a turn 2 scoring of Ley Line with this crew because of their mobility Search the Ruins- Another one that’s fairly good to take because of their speed, just use the movement to jam into the opponent’s half and start dropping markers down. Dig Their Graves- Not bad but not great either. Some jank can be done with suicide Katashiro to get scrap out and the mobility of things lets you drop markers where you need but Dig is just far better done by Mei Feng in faction Hold Up Their Forces- Not a great choice given the focus on expensive models. Might be worth it if the opponent has even more expensive models (some Resurrectionist builds in particular) but you’ll be giving up points here more often than scoring. Take Prisoner- Easy to deny with the crew and not bad to score yourself. It plays into exactly what they want to be doing on the more expensive models (being in combat) and is especially good with Wokou Raiders Power Ritual- In Flank and Corner deployment this is easy VP. Use your movement on the fast stuff (Torakage and Misaki in particular) to run up and get markers down early and be safe in stopping your opponent countering (you will get there quicker in almost every case) but don’t take it in Standard or Wedge because it’s too difficult to get into the opponent’s 2 corners to get the VP Outflank- With the amount of tanky models in the crew (particularly henchmen) Outflank is an easily telegraphed but not so easily countered scheme. They don’t do it especially well compared to other options but they do a good enough job at it any Last Blossom player should consider choosing it as a scheme. Assassinate- This one is really worthwhile depending on who the enemy Leader is. If they’re someone you can get into and cut down quickly then go for it, but the more defensive Leaders (especially ones with Protected) are going to be a slog where you can’t just scalpel them out. Misaki is safe enough against it with her tools, but it is something you have to use subtlety and careful placement to get right. Deliver a Message- Again, Torakage. You have the potential to easily get to the enemy Master and interact so the first point is doable, the second one is somewhat harder. Like most crews it’s done with careful planning but you have to have a plan to get the 2VP Claim Jump- This one can work very easily, but the opponent can counter it easily themselves. Ototo is a good pick for it as are Wokou because they can stand long enough to get out of engagements and score the point (or just beat down whatever is engaging them) and Ototo in particular has heals to keep him above half wounds. Vendetta- Not great. Sure you have some excellent mid-cost models (looking at Wokou and Crime Bosses in particular) but they also have a ton of 8-9 cost models which will absolutely be targets for Vendetta. Like in Reckoning I would restrict the amount of henchmen I take here because it gives the opponent a lot of choice. GG1 Strategies Symbols of Authority- Dropping Shadow Markers all around the place you can really pressure the defence while you push up from multiple angles, and Misaki has her own really amazing defensive models too in Crime Bosses or even Yamaziko. Extended Reach is the best bet because it makes them waste their time. Recover Evidence- Misaki can’t be stopped burying which means she alone can scalpel out models with Intel where needed, but also your own crew are fast and good damage so you can fight on your terms to get Intel out. Corrupted Ley Lines- There are models in the keyword with great movement tricks to work as Lodestone carriers, but the no-place clause hurts a lot more. There are great things to be done here I think, but you're not getting the most insane value out of them that you would in other strategies. Public Enemies- Same deal as Reckoning with the crew, except there’s no more hiding behind expensive minions to deny the opponent. Just go for the expensive beaters and tank/hit away Schemes Breakthrough, Take Prisoner, Vendetta, Assassinate, Claim Jump- Nothing changed here, so my points from above are still my opinion on them. Hidden Martyrs- There are plenty of really juicy targets in Misaki's keyword, and the best part is you can bring back a copy through Terracotta Warriors if you want as well. Torakage are especially excellent choices because at cost 6 they fit nicely as half of your choice (or you just pick 2) Sabotage- Pop Misaki and Torakage up the back and get this pretty easily. Not sure what else to say Catch and Release- Torakage can actually do this pretty damn well. It's not a terrible option should you want to do it cause they have plenty of ways to disengage, just keep in mind that you paint a huge target on them once the first point is out Let Them Bleed- Playing a top-heavy crew isn’t a fantastic idea because of the possibility they can score against you, but the expensive models in-keyword are also great beaters and pretty tanky so they can score it themselves. Leave Your Mark- I don't like this scheme and I've already written about that elsewhere, and that doesn't change at all here. Research Mission- Hey look, you have fast schemers and Shadow Markers so you just need one more to generate it in-keyword. Suiciding Katashiro is an option, but you can just hire certain tech pieces out of keyword if you absolutely have to generate markers and don’t want to rely on corpses/scrap being generated mid game (or just strat markers) Spread Them Out- Easy as. Relocate around the table, drop schemes. Convert Shadows into schemes with Torakage and use Misaki to get into positions to put schemes down, you can get the 2VP without much hassle. Runic Binding- This is actually not bad because of the Torakage action to swap Shadows into scheme markers so you can drop Shadows where you need and then convert them when you want to score. The speed of the crew and also access to Wokou means you can score it easy enough
  13. My essentials are Aionus, Scion and the Nothing Beast every time because of the work they all put in for the crew (with Aionus and NB being ever so slightly closer to "autotake" than the Scion). I also almost never hire Obliteration minions because I can just summon them in where needed, but I haven't been using Void Hunters too much until the model is out and I would consider hiring them in the right pools. Otherwise I put my 2 other favourites in there in the Emissary and Prospector who both work nicely in the crew and I get a lot of value out of. There's a lot of talk about Hannah as an essential to the crew as well, but I'm personally more skeptical on taking her+support because it's a big investment that runs separate to the main style of the crew
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