As far as I can tell, people almost always buy the full duet if they want Coryphee in their crew. That makes sense, as it’s hard to argue that the duet isn’t more than twice as good as a single Coryphee. However, I’m playing a series of 30ss games where the 12 stones becomes a big chunk of the total budget, so I’ve been toying around with the idea of occasionally hiring a single Coryphee.
Instead of evaluating it against the duet (which is arguably unfair), I figured I’d compare it to the other two 6ss constructs a performer crew might want to hire, namely the Soulstone Miner and the Mecharachnid (a.k.a. Large Arachnid).
Here’s my analysis. I’d love to hear your opinions as I haven’t had the chance to play all that many M3E games yet.
All three are 6ss, minion (2), constructs. Soulstone Miners and Mecharachnids are both versatile, but that doesn’t really matter here. They are also all 5 health, Mv 5 and Sz 2. Coryphee and Soulstone Miners are on 40mm bases, while the Arachnid is a 50mm. So far no big difference.
The main difference comes in Df and Wp. The Miner is clearly weakest with a sub-par 5/3, while Coryphee (6/4) and Mecharachnids (5/5) each have a total of 10. Either can be better, mostly depending of the opposing crew.
Overall the Coryphee and Arachnid are better stat-wise, but the Miner’s ability to get you Soulstones means that it’ll usually end up being cheaper than the two others (sometimes much cheaper).
With equal Mv, it mostly comes down to special abilities. Miners and Arachnids are both Unimpeded while Coryphee are Nimble and Agile. The big swing comes in the Miner’s ability to bury and unbury almost anywhere the next turn. That technically makes it extremely fast, but it’s worth noting that it’ll take it three turns to move somewhere by burying and then place a single scheme marker and it can’t unbury in or near the enemy deployment which makes it less useful for many schemes.
Meanwhile, Coryphee doesn’t have anything else to spend its bonus action on, so it’ll almost always use it to move, which frees up more actions to place markers. It can also use Dance Partner to get even more range if you can set it up.
Point: Soulstone Miner and Coryphee.
All three have Armor +2, which makes them fairly tough out of the gate, but at “only” 5 health they can die quickly to anti-armor tech.
Additionally, the Miner can simply bury to get out of a tough situation while the Coryphee has Agile and several triggers to reposition after taking an action. Both can therefore be very slippery targets. After dying, the Coryphee will also leave a wounded Mannequin, which could be very useful in certain circumstances.
The miner does have very low willpower, which may or may not be a big disadvantage.
The Coryphee has the best pure attack at stat 6 and damage 2/4/5. However the Miner will ignore resistance triggers (and armor on a tome) and the Arachnid ignores Armor, Hard to Wound, Hard to Kill and Shielded and it has Onslaught on a mask. Additionally, the Arachnid can get plus flips on duels by discarding a nearby scheme or scrap marker (which could be an enemy scheme marker), potentially making it quite scary for some models.
Besides removing enemy scheme markers as a free action, the Arachnid can create scrap markers by killing any type of enemy. You probably won’t use those, except as a way to power up the Arachnid itself.
The Miner is very, very good at removing destructible terrain and can create Hazardous, severe terrain markers. As mentioned above, it can also create Soulstones, either by giving itself stunned or by killing enemies, but it’s extremely unlikely to break even, so it’s best seen as a time-lapsed discount.
Coryphee can hand out distracted and slow, which is nice but nothing world shattering.
All three are good targets for a Diesel Engine or Magical Training upgrade. If I had to choose, I’d probably give Magical Training to the Miner, which is more likely to hang around in the background, and Diesel Engine to the Coryphee and/or Arachnid, both of which are more likely to move around in the midfield.
Point: Any of the three – it’s very dependent on terrain, scenario and/or enemy crew. Tiebreaker goes to the Soulstone Miner, which seems more generally useful.
In the end, the Soulstone Miner and Coryphee tie. IMO, if you’re only ably to get one of the two, the Miner wins out – if only because it’s effectively cheaper. Just be careful against enemies that like to attack Wp (and probably don’t ever bring it against Dreamer).
Meanwhile, Coryphee is usually a better scheme-runner and not much worse in the other areas. Given that the Miner is often viewed as a must-buy in Archanist crews, this makes me think that a single Coryphee isn’t such a bad deal after all.
The Mecharachnid comes in last – mostly because it’s slower and easier to pin down. However, that’s not to say that I think it’s useless. It can deal out a fair bit of damage and I can absolutely see it working as an anti-schemer. Attach a Diesel Engine so it can catch its prey and get a plus flip on damage when it charges, which, combined with its other offensive tricks, should allow it to make short work of anything that comes running down the side of the board.