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Hey everyone,

A friend and I are looking to get into Malifaux and we come from a Warmachines background, so we're familiar with war gaming but not Malifaux. My friend wants to get into Resurrectionists (Seamus first) and eventually go into Molly and Nico.

So, I have a few questions:

1) Which Neverborn master would best handle Seamus, Molly, and Nico?

2) Between Lilith, Pandora and Collodi, which box is most complete out of the box and has the best synergy?

3) Out of the Neverborn masters, which would you say share the biggest pool of Neverborn models?

4) With the Queen box having been announced (omg I want that box so badly) who do you think she would best pair up with in a tournament setting?


Thank you for the help :)

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1)  For starting out Neverborn, I think the best masters to go with are Lilith and Lynch.  They're both the two easiest to pick up and both are very strong masters.  Lilith is a primarily control master that has a strong sword and incredible maneuverability to go with it.  She can literally do it all any given turn, the trick is figuring out when to do what.  Thankfully she and her crew tends to be very forgiving; so if you pick the suboptimal thing to do it's not like you made a bad choice.  Lynch manipulates his control hand, and both he and his crew are outright killers while also being very durable.  Having better cards in hand, hitting like a truck, and being durable makes his crew new player friendly and his strengths just get better as you learn the game.

I would advise against starting with Pandora.  She doesn't play the same game of Malifaux that everyone else does.  She's certainly good, but very confusing when starting out because her biggest strength is ruining your opponent's plans.  When you're starting out, neither you nor your opponent know what to plan, so her strengths don't really exist yet.

Collodi is definitely good, but again his biggest strengths arrive when you know enough about your opponent's crew to take full advantage of it.  Collodi is a true puppetmaster, moving and forcing actions from both his own and your opponent's crews.  He is definitely not as hard to start out with as Pandora, though.  If you like him the most of your listed three, then go for it.


Will add more later, gotta run!

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To offer a counter point - even Lynch and Lilith have their learning curves. For example, as already said, Lilith can do a lot. The trick is knowing when to do what, and you won't learn that in just a few games. Every master in the game has its benefits and drawbacks. Neverborn in general don't play the same game as other factions. They're very 'come at you sideways'.

Pandora is very complicated, but if you want to try her play style, then just go for it. I dislike starting games with something I don't want to play because it's 'easier'. When you're starting, you're going to be losing and learning a lot anyway, so you might as well be doing it with something you want to learn.

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Oh definitely, if Pandora or Collodi are the main wants you really like and are getting you into the game then by all means pick them up and go from there.  And yes, everything has a learning curve.  Malifaux is a pretty intricate game, and even the most basic masters like Von Schill or the Viks have their nuances to really get the most out of them.  That said, I realized I didn't really answer the question. :D 

1) Best to deal with Seamus, Molly, or Nicodem?  Of your three options, any of them would work but for different reasons.  

Lilith would be the best all-around master since she does a bit of everything. Her high Df helps keep her safe from Seamus's gun.  Of course, he can simply shoot something else that has lower Df, so that by itself isn't winning the vote.  With his low Df and Lilith's placement abilities, she can get heavy hitters like Nekima, Mr. Graves, Johan, or herself in position to tear Seamus apart if he does not place carefully.  You can combine that with her Beckon Malifaux ability to cut off LoS to various parts of the board.  Yes, Seamus can simply use Back Alley to teleport to somewhere he can see, but he only gets one shot per turn and you can force him to position himself in a bad spot if he wants to get the shot off on something valuable.  Once he's there, you can put a model to always have LoS to Seamus and keep models away from him so he can't use a nearby corpse marker to get away again.  

Against Nicodem you can cut off his LoS to more forward-placed corpse markers which can limit his offensive summoning abilities.  Lilith & Crew's high minimum damage can help mitigate dealwith with the abundance of Hard to Wound that many of Nico's summons and preferred hires have.  Being able to place Dense terrain also means that you can cut off helpful auras to his Undead minions which removes the other half of what he does.  

Pandora is likewise pretty safe from Seamus's gun since she can flip against it with her high Willpower.  Her crew is less safe from it, since most things tend to be lower defense but relying on things like Incorporeal or high wounds (in the case of Teddy) to live through something.  That doesn't do well against the high damage output of both Seamus and the Copycat Killer.  Pandora would have a bit of a tough time dealing with Seamus directly since he has high willpower, equal to her casting value.  That said, if you're playing Voices Pandora and have an equal or better card than your opponent, then landing Paralyze on Seamus can be very helpful.  Most Seamus crews rely on him to be the ranged muscle while the rest of the crew is more utilitarian.  Given the strength of its gun compared to its wounds, Pandora should be able to easily kill the Copycat Killer at range.

Against Nicodem I think it would depend heavily on the strategy and schemes available.  She'd do well in schemes where everything must be more centralized, going with a Box Opens build and making the area around her a dead zone.  Nico's summons come in at half wounds, so with a little Misery stacking you can really melt things off the board quickly.  In more spread out schemes and strategies Nicodem could overwhelm her crew with more summons than they can deal with.  Molly would be similar, but watch out for her Killjoy bomb that can potentially ruin your bubble.

Collodi has similar strengths and weaknesses to Pandora.  He's even more bubble-centric though, making the 6-8" around him a kill zone but having less strength outside of that.  I'd say he's even more susceptible to Seamus's gun, either by being targeted directly or having his support shot out from under him with no ability to respond.  Seamus's high Wp makes it tough to get My Will onto him, but if you can then you can turn that gun against his own crew.  Even better, since the gun can only be fired once per turn then forcing Seamus to shoot his own crew means he can't shoot yours at all.  A little bit of a gamble in both directions.

2) Which is the most complete box?  All three are about equal in that you can choose to either use most of their boxes or very little of it.  

Lilith's box has the very useful Terror Tots who make great scheme runners for any Neverborn crew.  It also has a durable henchman in Barbaros, but he is often left in the bag with Lilith because she has harder-hitting options and Lilith can generally keep her crew safe from retaliation via her placement effects or blocking LoS.  Barbaros is still a good model to hire, but in the long run you may find you take him less often compared to others like Nekima.  Her totem, the Cherub, plays very nicely with the latest tournament strategy/scheme package, Gaining Grounds 2016.  These schemes are more balanced for all factions and masters than what is in the standard book, so you see them played pretty often both in competitive and casual play.  However, many people still prefer the Primordial Magic (also called the puke worm) as her totem since it is less expensive to hire and has strong utility while being in a throw-away package.  Even if all it does is walk around the back field, it helps Lilith's card control at the start of the turn and it's a 2ss activation.  

Pandora's box (pun!) is similar to Lilith's in that you can choose to play with more of the things in it, but often times you see most of it stay in the bag.  Candy is a nice mini-Pandora, but she's a bit pricey at 9ss and often feels like she doesn't do quite enough.  Her totem, the Poltergeist, is generally not thought of fondly by many Pandora players.  It has a strong aura that penalizes the opponent's Willpower flips, but the Poltergeist itself is pretty easy to kill and costs 5ss to hire.  People again typically hire the Primordial Magic instead.  Baby Kade has some utility and killing power, especially when combined with a Teddy or two.  Unfortunately, Baby Kade is also pretty easy to kill or otherwise mitigate, and unless you can create the right situations for his crazy damage, Kade is not very strong by himself.  The Sorrows are pretty solid with Brawler style Pandora, adding more layers of Misery to the board which amplifies damage the opponent takes for failing Wp duels.  If the opponent ignores them, then Sorrows can get some good work done with the Misery aura, scheme running, or sometimes Paralyzing targets.  They're very easy to kill, though, and you may find them less worthwhile once your opponent learns not to leave them on the board.

Collodi's box is pretty solid overall.  The henchman in the box, Vasalisa, is a nice control piece that can really get your constructs moving fast.  Having an extra Obey on the board is always great, too.  She is a bit fragile, so you have to be careful with her.  The Marionettes are nice little minion totems, able to be summoned and used for general utility.  Unlike most totems, they are not Insignificant and are Minions rather than Peons.  This lets them score on any scheme or strategy, where most totems do not contribute at all.  They are also decent in combat when within 6" of Collodi, especially for a cheaply summoned or hired 3ss totem.  The Wicked Dolls typically see very little use.  They are nice models and can be fun to play around with, but they are pretty much relegated to the shelf outside of the times you feel like messing around with them.

The overall statement is that all three masters have good models in their boxes, but you'll definitely need to add a bit to them to get to 50ss crews and fill in gaps.

3) Which Neverborn masters share the biggest pool of models?

Lilith and Voices Pandora (ranged paralyze-style Pandora) are often seen with completely interchangeable crews.  Simply swap the master and maybe a model or two at most.  This is because people often take durable, hard-hitting models with Lilith.  By swapping in Voices Pandora you lose the maneuverability options and terrain creation from Lilith, but you gain the ability to completely shut down key models in the opponent's crew with Pandora.

There are also "standard" models that most of the masters can get good use out of:  Doppelganger (best crutch ever), Mr. Graves, Lilitu, Johan (Outcast mercenary), Primordial Magic, Nekima, Terror Tots, Hooded Rider, Teddy, probably some others I'm not remembering off the top of my head.  Doppelganger gets an extra mention.  She's amazing.  Get one.

While the Mysterious Emissary is a model that all masters can take, most people aren't a big fan of it with anyone other than Pandora.  It's still not a bad hire for most masters, and is an awesome model.

4) We don't know exactly what else is in the box, but I would expect most of those "standard" models to be helpful with her.  A few in particular that people are talking about are Nekima, Teddy, and Sorrows.  Nekima is a general killer which is great, and Titania has a trigger on her basic attack that allows a friendly model to push to the target and take a melee attack.  This is great for moving both Nekima and Teddy around, as well as getting extra attacks outside of their activation.  On the Teddy side of things, Titania also has handy attacks that target Wp, which will trigger Teddy's Smell Fear ability and get him another free attack per turn.  Those same attacks that target Wp also make the Sorrows pretty nice, adding even more damage for failing against them.  Turning her first attack action from 2 damage and a scheme marker to 4 damage and a scheme marker and an attack from Teddy is pretty scary. :D 


Hope that helps!

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Thank you everyone for the advice! I picked up my box today and I got......... Collodi! I would have got Jacob Lynch but my LGS didn't have him in stock, though I'll definitely be getting him next.

The reason I went with Collodi is mostly aesthetics, but also because he reminds me so much of Kankurō from Naruto and I love his puppet mastery ninjistu. I'm not sure how he'll do against Seamus and the Resurrectionists, but I just think he looks amazing. Vasilisa looks kind of... dumb, and I have no idea how the Wicked Dolls will come into play as per Kirby's comment, but the Marionettes look sweet and I'm glad they aren't insignificant.

As stated though, Lynch is absolutely my next purchase because his box is the best looking of the entire faction, imo, after the new Titania.

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First off, Welcome to Malifaux and I hope you enjoy the game.

My standard intro is have fun. For your first 5 to 10 games pick one master and crew (up to your 50SS size) and stick with it. Don't change around models. Just play those first 5 to 10 games, whichever is more comfortable to you, with that same group of models win or lose. Don't stress a loss, just have fun. Those initial games, and reason I suggest not swapping models, is just to give yourself time to not only learn the rules of the game, but also to learn the crew. If you change things up every game you end up having to relearn everything each time as the dynamics will have changed (I know from personal experience as that's what I did to start and once I stuck with one crew only for a bit the game started to click more with me). After those games are played and you feel you have a handle on the rules and your crew, then start changing up your crew to better fit your strats/schemes and personal play style. Trust me on this.

As you picked Collodi than a couple points:

Pick up Brutal Effigy (Guild model that Collodi can hire because it's a puppet). It is the most well rounded to me in conjunction with most Collodi crews.

Illuminated are absolutely brilliant with Collodi. He, along with a Brutal Effigy who gives healing, makes them down right brutal

When facing Ressers (or anyone who you think will have a lot of lures/pushes/places) give Collodi the Threads of Fate upgrade. It gives him the ability "My Strings Are My Own" which makes him immune to enemy movement tricks (i.e. lures by Belles). Nothings puts a monkey wrench in Collodi like being moved away from his crew.

Collodi has two main upgrades (Limited ones, so he can only buy one or the other in a game):
-Bag of Props - The crew buffs themselves with Focus or Defensive and then Collodi steals those buffs for himself. He does a lot of the heavy lifting in this type of build and prefers to go later in a turn as a result to give his crew time to create those buffs. He then uses his actions to attack the enemy directly. He can also summon Effigies with this build from scrap markers dropped by dead constructs.
-Fated - Collodi buffs his crew, passing out buffs (and Effigy Buffs that they give to him) to the crew around him. He amps them to eleven and makes them do all the heavy work. He typically goes early in a turn, using his actions to make his crew do extra actions via his My Will ability. Remember that Collodi can use My Will to command Constructs, Puppets, and Minions.

Neither of the above limited upgrades HAVE to be played that way, and as you play you'll learn for yourself the most opportune times to activate Collodi to make the most of his abilities though. Both styles of play with him (Bag of Props & Fated) are equally good and come down to personal preference (I prefer Fated, but I know other people who love Bag of Props...both work fine)

Models that I've found work with Collodi in crews I've run:

Doppleganger - Good, all around toolbox model that can copy non-master actions (friend or foe) and allow you to cheat fate. Probably the #1 model I recommend for any Neverborn crew

Widow Weaver - Control style henchman who can lower willpower in areas, which in turn makes the opponent avoid said areas. She's more of a hit a range model and control piece, but can do decent damage in melee if it comes to it, plus she ignores armor saves, something Neverborn as a whole lacks

Illuminated - As stated above, resilient beefy models that have self healing and can hit above their weight class.

Stitched Together - Potentially hard hitting models who can gain reactivate. They have both a good attack and can give card draw.

Brutal, Hodgepodge, and Arcane Effigy - Each faction has a personal Effigy (cheap, yet hard to kill model, so 7 in total) that can buff a crews leader with different abilities. Collodi can hire them all. Of the 7 though, these are my most used.

There are other models in the Neverborn faction, and mercenaries outside of it that can compliment his crews very well, but the above are ones that will work with Collodi as well as Lynch and Lilith if you decide to pick them up (and Dreamer and Pandora too), with the exception of the Effigies listed which only Collodi can hire. 

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