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Greetings. So I am a starting Marcus player (two small m2e games under my belt with just Paul Crockett leading a few beasts). I play only casual and friendly games, but would like to discuss options and lists people have tried or might want to try with him. I would also love to hear if you have any ideas what are good models when teaching / demoing the game mechanics to complete newcomers. That being said, I was thinking of trying Ms. Naidu, a Union Miner, Cojo, and a Mauler for some nice little synergies. Specifically Naidu giving the mauler solid damage track, and the miner feeding Cojo with some scheme markers as well as helping Ms. Naidu with defending herself. The bear and the ape should then be able to perform some heavy frontline duties. I am aware that this combination is very expensive in stones, so can probably just fit a ss miner and an upgrade or two to the list. Comments and ideas, please?
I've been noticing low interest in these models. They are useful in paper to draw using Marcus' Primal Domain and may have some decent damage with Chimera Strike; however they are outclased by the other beast to any other task and not worth at 7SS imo. Maybe I'm wrong but I think they are a bit underwhelming and that a buff would suit them. The idea is discusing whether they are balanced, if they fit in your lists and in case you think they are below the curve, changes to put them in line again. I'll start with some brainstorming for changes that I think that could suit them (one of them obviously, not all at the same time XD). I've focused mainly in their supportish role: -1SS cost. Dull change but easy to implement and for 6SS they could be an option. Demise (Shapeshifter): After this model is killed, it is instead replaced with a minion beast with cost 4 or less from this crew's declared faction without discarding any upgrades, then the new model heals 1 and gain Slow. Cool, thematic and useful without being (probably) too over the top. This may let them die protecting Marcus (redirecting attacks to them) and be still useful after that; it's also kind of a poor's man Hard to Kill. For a more powerful version: "After this model is killed if it has no shapechange tokens, it is instead replaced with a non-totem minion or enforcer beast with cost less or equal to this model from this crew's declared faction without discarding any upgrades, then the new model heals 2, gain a shapechange token and Slow. During the end phase, discard all shapechange tokens." In this version the shapechange tokens are there to create a "once per turn" limitation in case an Initiated decide to be replaced by another initiate (as the new initiate would have the same Demise ability); I think an standard "Once per turn" wouldn't work here because the replaced model is a new model. Extra Attack Action: Ancient Word. Stat5. Triggers: Surge. Fitting with their lore and would give them something more to do while they stand near of Marcus. Extra Tactical Action: Join the Order (6’’, 5, - ,14) Friendly Living, Undead or Beast. If the target is a beast or a chimera this action gains +2 to its stat and any suit to its duel. Target is treated as having the beast characteristic until the end phase. At the end phase if the target isn’t a beast or a chimera, discard all mutation upgrades attached to the target. Triggers: Mend. Bestial Traits: Once per activation. Non-Master only. Discard a card. Attach a Mutation Upgrade to the target. At the end phase, target discards a Mutation Upgrade. Surge. This one is a bit crazy but it could be interesting and enable synergies with OOK picks and also inside the keyword. A chimera or beast would get one of the triggers (a heal, an extra mutation only for that turn or a card) and the beast characteristic for a 7. A non chimera or beast (living or undead) would be considered a beast for a 9 (hence being able to be targeted by Marcus, Initiates and Myranda support abilities, triggering attacks thanks to Crocket...) and could even attach a mutation for a 9(and also latter in the turn using Marcus AP). In all cases (both the mask trigger and Marcus upgrades to non-beast/chimeras), the extra upgrades would be discarted at the end of the turn (so at the end of a turn there won't be more upgrades than in an standard crew); however getting an extra upgrade during a turn could really boost a turn 2 or 3 of some beasts at the cost of having an initiate wandering around and a moderate/severe card. This also may help to the non-beasts of the crew to get some support from the crew (for example, Myranda would be able to heal himself without having to use Beast Shape or Marcus could make Paul Crockett charge). This one wold require checking if there is any OOK model that would become too broken with mutations (Masters are good candiates so I've excluded them from the trigger to avoid it to add mutations as an OOK pick to other masters; not sure if masters and leaders should be excluded from the main ability or not). However these mutations are only for a turn and require a high card and APs from the initiate and maybe also a Master AP so I guess it'd be fine. Extra Ability: Protector of the Wild: Once per turn. After a friendly model in 6'' discards a Mutation Upgrade during an Action that does not Attach Upgrades, its owner may attach a Mutation Upgrade to that model. Extra punch for themselves or nearby beasts (free use of Adaptive Evolutions) and also a protection versus obey abilities that may discard those upgrades. The limitation of only working during an action that not attach any upgrades is there to avoid it to be used to increase the number of mutations in one model beyond what's possible just with Marcus (using Aspect of the Wild or Flames of Change for example). Extra Ability: Directed Evolution: After a Friendly Chimera or Beast in 8'' declares an Action, this model may choose one of its own Attached Mutation Upgrades to give that model aor any suit to that Action’s duel. After resolving the Action, discard the choosen Upgrade. A different version of the above ability but more oriented to support other beasts, the idea is being able to use the mutations they add with Aspects of the Wild to give bonuses to other beasts. In this case it's an (OR any suit) instead of an AND, so it's not as good as using adaptive evolution with the beast itself.
Hi Wyrdos! I’ve been checking the Arcanist models to help a friend with his Archanist list building and I’ve found a very cool playstyle that I think it’s worth to share. It’s a high risk high reward glass cannon playstyle that requires some finesse; but when well executed, it can be devastating (and very very cool!)… To be honest, I’m a bit jealous Breakdown: Myranda leader is the leader with the highest single target damage potential in the faction by far, at the cost of being also the squishiest offensive leader, also by far. The damage she can deal to a single target in a turn with a double activation is in higher than leaders like Lady Justice’s or both Viktorias. She can engage from 13’’ with minimal damage loss, and the double activation is very powerful to both alpha strike or hit and run. The following lists are built with the idea of enabling her and take this playstyle to the limit In a nutshell: Myranda rampage through the enemy models in Sabertooth form (3 actions per activation because she is the leader). The Rider will give her 2 activations each turn from turn 2 (so 6 actions per turn). Effigy/Emissary, Miner(s) and other models support her with SS, extra attacks, healing/shielded, Adversary(X) and doing the scheme play. This strategy gravitates around Myranda and the Rider. Myranda is the key and the star of this team, but both must survive no matter what; every other model is disposable and can be traded or put in harm’s way if needed. The gimmick is stacking actions and giving some defensive tech to an already powerful model; an Attuned Sabertooth is fearsome with only 2APs, with this list an Attuned sabertooth with 6APs is played (so roughly a 3X “power multiplier” effect). That big offensive potential and mobility (6 AP, 2 leaps) will have to be used well to offset the underwhelming defensive stats. Note Myranda Sabertooth form counts as a minion, so she would need the Soulstone Cache upgrade (the advantage is she would benefice from the Empower aura) Playstyle: This list try to force the other player into a lose-lose scenario; Myranda have the offensive potential to delete almost anyone (and is able to kill 2 or more low cost models in one activation) while her entire crew will go around scheming. If the enemy deathball, Myranda will have a harder time engaging; but they will be outschemed. However if they split, Myranda will murder them one by one. Thanks to the double activation, shield, SS to reduce damage, defensive mutations and so on, storming into a bubble is possible, but risky. As a good huntress, she will shine attacking isolated preys; but she can also be used to enter into a bubble to kill a high priority target and then run away. Even if the damage potential is huge, we should never forget she is still very squishy in Sabertooth form; timing the attacks and using well the mobility and healing is key. Mutation Upgrades: In the first turn she attaches the upgrade “Feathered Wings”, in turn 2 she will turn into a Sabertooth and then the carnage begins. “Natural Camouflage” or “Armored Plates” are also possible options but I think “Feathered Wings” will be the best choice in most games; “Serrated Teeth and Claws” is too greedy and “Formidable Horns” is greedy and redundant. “Armored Plates” could be needed versus teams or models that may kill her even with Butterfly Jump (ludicruous beaters with Frenzied Charge or Gunlines with a lot of Focused for example), the great thing about Armored Plates is that with her 2 activations, she could Gain Shielded+2 at the start of a turn and still have a second activation later. “Natural Camouflage” could be the right call versus Gunlines that like to scatter or versus Obey crews. The damage potential is HUGE. Stonning/Cheating for Onslaught each attack she can do a whopping 18-21 damage per activation only doing minimum damage in each attack (so 36-42 damage per turn in the Christmasland scenario where she does minimal damage in each attack); in the turn 3 she could have killed the entire enemy team by herself. She will also get the Empower bonus in 1 out of 2 attacks thanks to the upgrade (which would also limit the effect of Distracted, Manipulative, Serene Countereance and the like). With each kill she will get a SS back and each turn the miners will get more SS to keep her rampage going. Healing: Even hitting so hard, she has good self-sustain; Shapechange (Myranda) for 2 Wds and then “Beast Shape” cheating for Mend Self for a heal of 1/2/3; and she can do that twice per turn if needed giving leap up (however the two replacement will let her “move” 3.2’’; which can be used to engage/disengage freely). An average of 4 healing per activation or 8 per turn. With that healing, the defensive mutation and the SS to reduce the dangerous hits, she should have little problems staying alive if she uses the mobility to stay out of the way of the more dangerous enemy beaters. Soulstones are the hearth of this playstyle. It’s important to balance the offensive and defensive use well; and save a few to get the tomes (and cards!) for the Revelation trigger each turn. Pools: I think this list would work well in every Strategy… maybe the riskier one is Reckoning because there will be less squishy targets to kill and recharge SS, and more good beaters/buffs able to threat her. About the Schemes: I’d favor this list in pools that rewards splitting instead of deatballing (Breakthrough, outflank, power ritual, search the ruins, maybe Harness…). Myranda can complete easily on her own Assassinate and Dig their graves, she could do maybe and detonate charges and Deliver a Message (she would be also messaged, but poor of the model that spend his activation messaging her), but I’d favor the aggressive ones for her. A red line could be Harness plus claim jump that may promote a strong bubble crew storming the middle of the board; this list can still the played there, but jumping into a deathball require a lot of finesse. Threats for this playstyle: Even if the potential is very high, there are some things to watch out, crews with a lot of the following will make her hunt much more challenging: Damage reduction (Armor+2 or higher; a December Acolyte will be needed versus these), Butterfly Jump, Terrifying, Irreducible damage, Stunned, Vengeance, Black Blood, Academic Superiority... However she still has 2 Activations per turn, healing, 7 movement, Flight and BJW; so the tools to out play these crews are there. Lists: 35 SS version: Myranda (SSCache), Arcane Effigy, Mechanical Rider (SScache), Soulstone Miner, 1 last 6 SS model (Paul Crockett or another Soulstone Miner) + 7 SS cache (Emissary version) Myranda (SSCache), Arcane Effigy (EoFate), Mechanical Rider (SScache), Soulstone Miner (MTraining) + 9 SS cache SS miner. They have to generate 1 SS each turn and bury to reach a place to score, the one with the upgrade need to stay a bit safer. The SS generation is important for this crew, but another way to use them is to cover Myranda; in turn 2 unbury them engaging the more threatening model(s) for Myranda to force that model to waste APs reaching Myranda / cannot charge her. Mechanical Rider: Her role is scheming, feed Myranda the second activation each turn and staying alive. In turn 2 and 3 she will have 3 fate tokens, to reach the trigger in these a stonning plus cheating is needed. In turns 4 and 5 just by cheating or stonning the 5 tomes can be reached. The fate tokens are booked for Myranda, so she can’t use any for damage reduction, being conservative with the rider is important. The Effigy: Very useful totem. It can be put in scheming duty or make him follow and protect Myranda/Debuff enemies if there are conditions that could hinder her. In turn 3 he will turn into the Emissary in the alternative version, in this case use him to scheme or attack some model separated from the pack with the help of the Rider. I usually include the upgrade in the Henchman leaded lists, but this one is intended to peak at turn 2/3 so the upgrade isn’t that needed. Paul Crockett: He will punish enemy models for attacking Myranda. Butterfly Jump will let Myranda reposition after each enemy attack. She may jump into engagement range of an activated model and away from the active enemy model. Paul then may attack that model to trigger extra attacks (in the best case scenario, he can trigger 6 extra Myranda attacks) 50 SS version: Myranda (SSCache), Arcane Effigy, Mechanical Rider (SScache), Soulstone Miner (MTraining), Soulstone Miner, Paul Crockett, Ferdinand /Sabertooth + 7 SS cache. (Emissary version) Myranda (SSCache), Arcane Effigy (EoFate), Mechanical Rider (SScache), Soulstone Miner (MTraining), Soulstone Miner, Ferdinand/Sabertooth (MTraining) + 9 SS cache. Ferdinand Vogel: Very useful model in human and beast form. Human: Shielded+2 plus an extra heal from 8’’ is very useful, especially for Myranda as it makes her a bit less squishy. His spell deals good damage and has nice triggers. This is situational, but Fancy Cane cheating a low mask (attacking Myranda) could let her perform an extra attack (but without triggers) or reposition at the cost of 1 Wd and 1 shielded. Beast: has a nice 2’’ engagement range to keep enemies busy while Myranda does her thing, the roar may inflict the Adversary condition to help with Myranda Accuracy. On top of that he can also heal with the Shapechange, Impassioned Defense trigger (and Myranda can also heal him when he is in beast form if needed). Sabertooth Cerberus: A possible Ferdinand alternative; less versatile and squishy, but able to stalk prey from a mile away; marking 2 models to be teared apart later by Myranda. These models are my personal choices, but they can be adapted to fit other models if needed (Vogel and Crockett are the 2 that I’d swap out) like Saboteurs, Steam Arachnid Swarm/Joss with Diesel Engine, 2 Silent ones, a December Acolyte… take in count that without mutation upgrades, this list is better with OOK or Versatile picks than with the other beasts. I hope you find it interesting; if you give this a whirl, let me know it goes! Good Hunting!