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best master to take against arcanists


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Any Arcanists will be tricky with a single Master. There's a substantial difference between the perceived core of the Arcanists (M&SU/constructs) and several masters. What will help you against Rasputina won't really help you against Marcus, Kaeris, or Mei Feng. The things you might do to Ramos' summoning engine won't work the same way against Sandeep. Stopping control from Colette takes a different approach than Ironsides.


If you have a faction you've been playing for a while, as an exercise, try to think of a single master that would work against everything in that faction from that faction in any circumstance. Then approach other people who play that faction and find out how they would deal with that master in different circumstances.


McCabe tossing the Glowing Saber to hounds works amazingly well against armored Arcanist crews, but will do less than nothing to the Subzero-bearing frozen heart model or a host of Arcane Shielded models that are going to push McCabe well outside of the 10" retrieval range and then kill the saber-bearing dogs. Horror effects are great for stalling most things, but models immune to paralyze, immune to Wp duels, immune to conditions, or that have built in positives will care not at all.  Mei Feng's Vent Steam is brilliant for slowing down Raspy's curse web, can help against shooters in the Arcanists, but won't help her at all when Howard Johnson and Joss come sailing in. Lynch runs into trouble when dealing with condition-ignoring crews. 

Instead, if you're dead set on going single master, read through the strategies and schemes in the core rules and in GG2016. Pick a master that can effectively play into any of the strategies and hire and support a crew for any of the potential schemes that can come up. Practice with that master and variations of crews hired for strat/scheme pools against your local Arcanist players to get some experience. User ability with a master is incredibly important to be able to adapt to different players, different masters and crews, and different strat/scheme pools.


All that being said, Shenlong works against the major features of many masters in the game with how he handles conditions around and on him, supports his crew, and provides control elements. Asami filling the board with Oni can play the attrition and activation control game very well, and even do pinpoint model removal. Mei Feng can deny shooting and casting, is mobile enough to literally get anywhere on the table, and with the right crew can do a number to constructs and minion swarms. McCabe's team-playing ability lets him pick and choose threat vectors as he needs to, instead of having to commit to specific vectors for delivering vicious attacks, getting a message delivered, etc..

Different masters have different strengths, and some even a single master can have drastically different approaches to a problem depending on its crew and its enemies.

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Hmm, since Ramos, Colette, & Marcus area all likely drops and are different in the way they affect your crew it's a bit hard to predict for certain. Strategy & schemes might give you a clue or you may know your opponent likes to drop a specific master. Kang for anti constructs is likely  to be useful,  unless it's beast list. 

I'm more likely to bring either a master I'm learning or one I'm comfortable with. I like shenlong and Lynch into most missions the way I play them. 

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