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1 Master to take all corners - Shenlong or McCabe


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A friend of mine would like to start with Malifaux and would like to start with 10Thunders.

Since he's a bit on a  budget, we're currently looking for a good model pool for him with that he can successfully play all strategies and schemes.


From what I've read both Shenlong and McCabe both have the potential to do this. Tbh this is where my knowledge ends, since neither have I played 10T ever myself, nor have I faced either of these two masters yet.

Having said that, every help is highly appreciated :)


1 - looking at their stat cards, they share a lot of similarities like buffing and supporting their crews. Shenlong seems to be a bit more offensively themed while McCabe seems to be more support centered. McCabe also seems to see a lot of tournament play, not sure how well Shenlong will fare in competitive play - truth be told though, Shenlong just came out in plastic, so there wasn't much time for him to shine yet.


2 - who of them is more budget friendly? For Shenlong I'd advice him to get a pair of Katanaka Snipers, the Lone Swordsman and some Tengus when they're out. Beside these, would you advice to get something to be able to succeed in all schemes? Maybe a hard hitter?

For McCabe I really don't know what to advice here, help is very welcome.


Thanks a lot! :D

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My experience is mostly with Shenlong (he's my number 1 Master, and I've never actually used McCabe yet). He is NOT really melee/offensively oriented, in general. He and Sensei Yu have a lot of movement tricks to get friendly and enemy models where Shenlong wants them to be, and often with Fast or Slow as well. That can aid your attack, but it can aid you in any number of other ways (scheme running, blocking charge lanes/line of sight, getting out of dangerous engagements, etc). Shenlong is also amazing at healing friendly models, and allowing them to take Focus or Defensive Stance as 0 actions is no joke, either. 

So, obviously, I'm going to recommend... McCabe. Shenlong and Sensei Yu are very very good, and you will find a home for Sensei Yu in almost any crew. However, the minions in the Shenlong box are pretty bad. You'll be happy to use all the models in the McCabe box, as Wastrels are pretty good, but if you're on a budget, you won't feel good about leaving half the models alone if you take Shenlong. 

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I find Yan Lo to be the good in everything but master none. 

He has movement tricks, heal, a bit damage options, a lot of durability which can be good for a new player figuring out the game, can dish out arm, has ranged and meele attacks, as well as some summoning, so basically allows to learn all the important game mechanics step by step. 

His box set also comes with condition removal and his totem is really good. His in theme crew can be easily brought up to 50 ss with cheap single model purchases of ancestors. That all add something different to the crew, are all also solid in ressers and thunders if you switch to other masters (same as chisaki due to condition removal btw) and have a solid benefit from the general upgrades.

Another in theme minion are Komainu, which are also reasonable buys with other masters like mei feng etc.

His ability to adopt through upgrades makes him usually a reasonable but not the best choice for a strategy. As an all corner master I like him though.

The whole crew also can be pretty beefy, I felt that playing with too breakable models can make for a negative play experience for new players at the start if you don´t hold yourself back hard from killing them... which I always feel is a bad way of teaching. He may still lose the game through bad positioning in VP but its clearly a better feel than being tabled and Yan helps avoiding that.

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Thanks for the feedback!

@MagicGis - Yan Lo is probably a master I'd really like to try out for myself one day, but my friend doesn't really like the look of the crew.

7 hours ago, tomjoad said:

So, obviously, I'm going to recommend... McCabe. Shenlong and Sensei Yu are very very good, and you will find a home for Sensei Yu in almost any crew. However, the minions in the Shenlong box are pretty bad. You'll be happy to use all the models in the McCabe box, as Wastrels are pretty good, but if you're on a budget, you won't feel good about leaving half the models alone if you take Shenlong. 


Really? I mean is the box really that bad? Looking at it it seems like it's decent at least, especially in case he can get one with a free Katanaka Sniper in it.

Shenlong, his 2 Peasants and especially Sensei Yu are pretty cool, so the box already looks like a reasonable investment. That leaves the 3 Monks of High River ... ok, sure they are not the best models around, but for 6 points the look reasonable at first glance. But having never played them myself, I can't really say how good they are.

Don't they see much play actually?

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To defend the High River Monks a little, they aren't terrible. At 6SS they get expensive the more you take (I wouldn't take 3) but they have a lot of damage output. That being said, they fall down like dry leaves. 

The dream scenario for a HRM is to be pushed by Shenlong or Sensei Yu for either Focus or Fast. Then push their free 2" and discard a card for three attacks on the charge. If you're Fast then that can be four attacks all giving out Burning. They are very much an alpha-strike type of minion since they will not live through the return attacks. 

I would recommend the Shenlong box if you want to be dedicated to 10Ts since there isn't much crossover with him. McCabe should be your second master :D

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I'd go for Shenlong. Get a box of snipers, 1 or 2 big units like Izamu/Serpent/Yin/Toshiro/Swordsman, and 1 box of scheme runners (Tengu/TT Brothers). Also, if you have some money left or are taking Toshiro, I'd suggest taking Komainu. They're survivable, especially around healers, cheap for what they can do and just a general nuisance to your opponent. You'd have a crew you can switch up depending on the schemes, can score almost every scheme/strategy and lets you switch up your playstyle every time you play.

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I might get some funny looks for this, but I really like Wastrels.  I'll almost always run at least 1 with McCabe.  With Cast-Offs they can get you more AP out of your upgrades, healing, more passing, card cycling and fun stuff with all the triggers.  Their gun can surprise people, too.  They're a bit fragile, but for 4SS it hasn't bothered me much.

High River Monks are a little pricey for me, but I'll take 1 to run around and kill off scheme runners.  3 attacks giving burning can kill weaker things pretty reliably. 

Personally, I prefer McCabe because I like the mobility he offers with the pushes.  Him, Guild Hounds and Izamu are a great start.  Hounds get to ignore insignificant from Luna, making them supreme scheme runners or just great at charging with the Glowing Saber.  Izamu benefits a ton from pushes and Nimble.  To round things out, add some solid minions like Katanaka Snipers, Dawn Serpent, or 10T Brothers. 

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I played against both masters. Both had a different playstales.

Yes I agree that you can cover mostly all schemes with them.

I think that your friend should select master that suits him. Hamelin is good, but not everyone likes to play him (or against him :P )

My ideas about those masters:

- has Sensei Yu in box (model often used with other masters)
- gives "focus" and other conditions like a candy
- can get nasty with snipers / archers
- you don't have to buy models outside 10T

- great model on horse
- can give reactivate to minions (read snipers / dawn serpent)
- easy access to guild hounds as scheme runners
- Sidir (if name is correct) is not soo popular as Sensei yu (I speak about my local group)

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Thanks a lot for the in-depth replies! Really helpful :D


Due to these replies my friend is probably picking McCabe, while I'm myself am considering getting me Shenlong. I'm currently trying to get myself a go-to crew with a small hiring pool while still being able to deal with most schemes and strats.

Therefore Shenlong seems like a nice choice actually ... I'd consider getting these models:


Sensei Yu

2 Peasant


Lone Swordsman

2 Katanaka Sniper

3 Ten Thunder Brothers

And once they'll be released:

3 Tengu

3 Wandering River Monks (looks stupidly good actually)

Shadow Emissary


I'm not much of a fan of Toshiro stylewise, so that one is probably out for me unless absolutely required. Anything else I'm missing?
I kinda like the list since I can play around with the original crew and get additional pieces once they're released.

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A good starting crew that I find can accomplish most strats and schemes is the Shen Long box without one High River Monk and one Peasant, 2 Snipers and the Lone Swordsman -

add whichever style upgrade you want Sensei Yu to have to Shen Long and give Yu Promising Disciple so he can grab it when Shen switches out to something else on turn 1.  Summon in the 2nd Peasant using Witness a Miracle, etc etc.


It also has the advantage that all the models required for it are out (which is a big deal for me, I hate using proxy models :P )

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Seems like you won't go wrong pushing around a fast, focused Izamu.  4 Attacks from him seems pretty brutal. 

I haven't ever been too jazzed about Monks of High River, preferring an extra stone for Illuminated in their spot for the resilience factor and their ridiculous charge or Railworkers cause they are a little cheaper and possibly a tad more survivable than the monks.  It does seem that the MoHR's ability to attack a single target 3 times with burning can find its way through some defensive loopholes, but an engagement range of 1, which possibly balances out wander the earth, isn't so great.  I've yet to try them, though.

Many good things are in other crew boxes, so I'll spare many of those recommendations in the interest of staying small.  Yin can be pretty good, especially with movement tricks to get her in position for her own potential 8" push, and Mr. Graves gives even more movement tricks while being a pretty tenacious heavy hitter.

For your friend who's going McCabe, Hounds and Austringers are excellent models to infiltrate but might lead to more of a Guild direction.  The Hounds with Luna are my absolute favorite scheme runners, and I've only missed ALiTS with them twice (in my first couple McCabe games) out of some 20 times declaring it.  Again, Mr. Graves is pretty sweet, especially with some Regen from Elixir of Life.  Some other minions in the 5-7 range will fill the crews out. TT Bros aren't part of a crew box and are all around solid.  If at some point your friend grabs a Lynch box, Illuminated are really great, and Lynch can be a solid second master, especially for Killy strats and schemes, though it's not uncommon to table someone with a McCabe crew through good positioning and out activation.

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Looks and theme are a big part of getting into and choosing a faction. No one wants to play with models they don't like. Though I would push for Shenlong (+Sensie Yu!), if that ascetic does not appeal to your friend then go with Indiana Jon... McCabe. When finances allow, getting Sensei Yu (or Yan Lo box set for Chiaki - my next purchase) will probably go well, but the local meta will really dictate what your friend feels they are in need of for their crew.

As for additions outside of box sets, Izamu and Katanaka Snipers are both great models and rules to use that will go a long way with any crew.


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