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Having trouble against Leveticus


Nybear
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There's an outcast player at my LGS who plays a ton of Levi, and I've lost pretty terribly to it several times now. My main issue is getting out shot as he runs a pretty ranged heavy list typically, and the durability of a lot of his things. If I'm sure he'll go Levi I think I can either go Mei with Vent Steam to help out with the shooting or Shenlong/ McCabe and try to just out scheme him. If it's a kill heavy scheme pool, I really don't have any ideas outside of Mei right now. I'm also not sure how good those picks are into Outcasts in general though, so if there are better strategies to deal with Levi specifically or safer drops into Outcasts in general, that would be a huge help.

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If you are afraid of his shooting, you could try a Jacob Lynch Crew with 4 Stitched together. They have the ability to cast "Creepy Fog" rather easy, giving soft cover in 4".

You could use something like this:

Jakob Lynch (Rising Sun) 2SS

Hungering Darkness (Recalled Training) 1SS

Shadow Emissary (Lynch Upgrade) 10SS

4x Stitched together 24 SS

 

That would leave you with 13 SS to spend, but you already have 7 Activations. Using the Shadow Emissaries Push and Fast on Huggy can give you a really good Alpha Strike during the first round (don't forget Huggy is incorporeal, which gets him to places some other models can't). You can use the rest of you points to fine tune to the schemes given.

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Lazarus, Levi, and Ashes and Dust are the main things that are hard to remove, then he usually has a Librarian with healing behind them. He also has Rusty Alyce to keep me from being able to charge and I believe Convict Gunslinger is the other ranged thing that comes in a lot. Sometimes a freikorps trapper. 

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Couldn't you make use of Samurai in this case with Favor of Earth? They would be very hard to kill, can blast your enemies with their fancy gun or use run through to get up close to Rusty Alyce for a strike, then reposition. I suppose the problem is Levi will hit them pretty easily with their low willpower.

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Try picking schemes that require little interaction with your opponent and using terrain to your advantage. In most pools there are non-killy options to take. Promises can give you a decent chance of at least forcing Leveticus to cheat to hit against your wp.

Levi himself usually has a problem with high wound count models (although his support models don't necessarily have that problem). Also remember that soulstone users can boost their resist duel against any attack with a :+fate (works on wp too) and give the opponent an automatic :-fate to the resulting damage flip. With the new way channel works that can ensure that he is at a negative to damage you if he is attacking a soulstone user.

Ashes and dust is scary but if murder protege is in the pool it isn't that hard to drop it and it gives you full points as soon as it dies the first time. To make it reform in the same turn the opponent will also need to keep it relatively close to a sideline. Both Shenlong and McCabe could take a crew that repositions to the other side of the board after deployment and deny a lot of the potential of A&D. A&D doesn't ignore defenses either so a model with armour and htk can tank it somewhat. A savvy opponent would probably redeploy Leveticus so it might not be a perfect option.

I know people dislike Oiran but the extra WP could help you out. The other player will also not know if you have that high crow or not to lure successfully which might force them to play a bit more carefully. If they aren't careful and you have the crow you could punish bad positioning.

A special note on McCabe. He can infiltrate and reactivate austringers. Austringers are probably the best waif-hunters in this game so most Levi-players will be really careful around them. If you push two of those up behind a couple of blocking terrain pieces somewhere in decently central points of the table it will force them to consider the safety of their waifs and by extension the safety of Leveticus.

Since I was called out for giving bad advice in a previous thread recently I would also like to say that watching your opponent play a game or straight out asking them after a game what you could have done differently will usually help a lot in understanding how they think. Reading your opponent is very important in this game, a lot of players have favourite schemes they will almost always pick or particular "plays" that you can spot if you have seen them done before.

 

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1 hour ago, Ludvig said:

Since I was called out for giving bad advice in a previous thread recently I would also like to say that watching your opponent play a game or straight out asking them after a game what you could have done differently will usually help a lot in understanding how they think. Reading your opponent is very important in this game, a lot of players have favourite schemes they will almost always pick or particular "plays" that you can spot if you have seen them done before.

 

That seems rather rude, sorry to hear that. I can't recall advice I've read from you I would ever label bad. 

TL;DR Try snipers with Shen and McCabe: katankas with Shen and Austringers with McCabe

More on topic, what Ludvig said above is absolutely true, though as my meta outcast player likes to say, hard to scheme when you're dead. So this is one post of two, to address two things that I feel we have in our pocket vs outcasts. For this first post I want to dive into a sniper pro and con here, as they are kind of a go-to for a lot of 10T lists in general, and I think they are a solid bring versus Levi. But you have to understand what you are bringing them for.

Math-faux is important here because in order to properly identify your target, you need to know what you can expect on average. This is a game where you have to plan for the average, and engineer the above average. You can't throw triple positives and assume you get better results; samurai are prime examples of this. And of course that damnable black joker is always waiting to laugh at your best laid plans... but you can't plan for that either, just prepare for it's possibility.

We have access to not just one, but two great sniper units. We have katanka sniper in faction. We also have access to Austringers with McCabe (who I would pick as a strong drop vs. Levi, personally). But first let's look at Katanaka Snipers.

Snipers Part One - Shen Long Katanaka

Katanaka's put the fear in people, especially in a Shen list where you can deathball and take two, for two focused shots each.

Now Levi is going to hide those waifs, so you have to go after other targets with the katanakas. He won't let you take shots easy and you don't want to overextend outside of your Shenlong bubble anyways. Also, Levi has some BEEF in his models. So let's start there.

Lazarus
Df 4 vs Sh 6 with :+fate:+fate
Armor 2 vs 2/3/5 that's typically a straight flip from the focus.
So you have to assume on average, you aren't going to do more than 1 pt of damage. If you have the severes in hand, it might not be a bad idea to throw out some hard damage. But they are probably useful elsewhere. But they absolutely can ping him down with accuracy if nothing else if he is already wounded.

Rusty Alyce
Df 5 vs Sh 6 with :+fate:+fate 
Bulletproof 1 vs 2/3/5 that's typically a straight flip from the focus. But she has a trigger to deal damage back (not baked in).
Slightly better target... slightly lower wounds. But she has soulstone prevention too... This might be the place to consider using those severes, as if you get the ram trigger, you're putting 5 damage in.

Ashes and Dust
Df 6 vs Sh 6 :+fate:+fate 
2/3/5 that's typically a straight flip from the focus.
Ding ding ding, target acquired. This is the guy. You have to wait until they have advanced, so putting down some covering fire with the snipers until he gets closer is probably ideal. But you can absolutely devastate Ashes and Dust with two focused sniper rounds.

So obviously go for what you can kill first. On average, you are doing 4 damage, and that's barely under half wounds. So two snipers on poor damage can potentially kill A&D as long as one of them gets a critical strike trigger. Just also be aware that with some good flips, you can two-shot ashes and dust with a sniper. That's important to know. You have two severes in hand and A&D isn't by a tables edge? I would strongly consider trying to snipe him into parts.

Snipers Part Two - McCabe

Let's get right to it here: Austringers do not need LoS. If you want to put some concern into Levi, remove his ability to hide waifs. Librarian's are also a prime target, and much like waifs, will be hidden away. Austringers also can cause discards, which is pretty awesome. But you still have the beaters to deal with and that's where austringers fall a little short.

Math-faux time... if you look at the above numbers for katanakas, you have pretty similar concerns with austringers... you are effectively pinging alyce and lazarus. But their higher Sh stat at least helps for the actual hits. The only difference is that Austringers don't have a baked in :+fate (but a higher Sh) and a slightly lower damage track, with critical strike still. So you are in ping city, which won't get anything done against the likes of Lazarus or Alyce.

Thanks to McCabe, you can push them around and give them reactivate. This is pretty nice, and it's comparable to the sniper two shot from Shenlong... just different utility. I like the Shenlong two shot a bit better because it doesn't require master AP. But not needing LoS... well, that just speaks for itself.

Also, something to take note of is that the Austringers have their amazing 2AP utility push and interact... so you can help disengage models or move them into position if you don't have any juicy targets. That's a huge buff over katanaka's, who if they don't have a target, simply have to move into position to find one.

Closing

Snipers provide some great pushback, but they don't answer the question of Lazarus or Alyce (or other stalwart heavy hitters). I think Shen and McCabe are solid drops against Levi, and I think at least one sniper is an auto-include for each. Just be aware of your targets, and don't do trash damage. Pinging into Lazarus is meaningless if they just pop him back up with self-repair and a librarian. Prioritize your targets, try to remove his support, and don't waste your cards or time on the models you can't reliably bring down. Go for that two-shot A&D if you have the cards, but make sure that it's WORTH the card investment and that it's in a favorable position for you to put that ridiculous beast down for good. 

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20 hours ago, Nybear said:

 I'm also not sure how good those picks are into Outcasts in general though, so if there are better strategies to deal with Levi specifically or safer drops into Outcasts in general, that would be a huge help.

So here's post two... and what I feel are some solid drops into outcasts that also work well against Levi.

First off, let's address the big issue we have here... Levi is a beast in and of himself and with 3ap, and his silly Ca attack... none of our typical defensive tricks matter. If he's in range and wants your model dead, it is going to be dead. Fortunately, his attack has a :ranged, so we have some help. But he has channel... so :( Fortunately, it's been softened so that he can't just blister you each time. But still... respect the Channel and respect the Unmaking.

Obviously, this limits how you can engage Leveticus, because you have to be careful that he's either already activated, or that you are ok with him potentially erasing that model. Especially considering the other beef he brings... 

So let's address the Master's I think play well into outcasts and then the models that play well into them. I'll put notes specific to Leveticus with each.

Masters

Shen Long - Shen is a solid drop against a lot of factions and masters. His deathball and 9 card shuffle are fantastic. Snipers with him do so much work, and he himself can be a tanky stalwart of doom. Just make sure you bring something in your crew that can dish REAL damage. Nothing's worse then staring down a model with Armor 2 and having no real way to deal with it... I'm looking at you Lazarus.
Versus Levi - You can steal reactivate if Alyce isn't careful where she uses it, and you can slow and push models into bad positions. The ranged element that his list (and outcasts in general) can be heavily mitigated by the sheer amount of healing Shen can put out, as well as the fact that you can run High River Style to force in some duels successes. I'll gladly take a point of damage rather than a severe.

McCabe - Fast, flexible and has austringers. This guy can bring some crazy models that have some great utility. Special shout out to Dawn Serpent and Jorogumo, both of which are very hard to shift and can put out some damage. Not to mention get reactivated. Emissary is really solid here as well, because that focus 2 with a max damage of 6 can be really important. Plus his push and fast synergizes amazingly with reactivating nimble minions. Promises helps a lot too. Dog spam can do some serious damage, as well as some serious scheming. Of course with their new upgrade that increases damage against models with upgrades... you have to be careful here.
Versus Levi - Nimble sworded dogs can absolutely hunt down waifs. Just make sure McCabe can pick it back up when they die! Saber ignores armor... bye bye Lazarus. Run a Jorogumo and you can just throw a badge of speed on him. Let him nimble into charge with a glowing saber, and he can potentially one round Lazarus. As long as you hit, of course. His bite ignores armor, so with the glowing saber (i believe it's crit strike is baked in) you can kill Lazarus with two min damage attacks and one severe bite. But that is NOT easy to pull off. Just be aware that it can happen. Between that, the austringers and the threat of McCabe and whatever else he brings... you have some serious things the opponent has to respect. 

Asami - She has unmatched mobility, but more importantly can summon disposable minions that hit way above their weight and can get into weird places do to their mechanics. Yokai can place when flicker is reduced, get :+fate on the charge to attacks, have a plethora of triggers and just by and large are ridiculous. They can complete some schemes on their own thanks to their 0 action corrupted essence. She summons Joro, can do movement shenanigans, eats scheme markers... just all in all a really solid master, despite being card hungry.
Versus Levi - The only real specific counter here is that she can easily gum up lazarus and waif's cannot hide from her if she wants to get to them. Period. She has such crazy movement, and being able to just drop a Yokai by a waif means dead waif typically. Asami has a high def, but she's a liability at WP5. Careful play and proper crew selection are going to be key here, but her ability to summon and dance around the field make up for a lot of her drawbacks.

Mei Fang - Vent Steam. There's some great ranged options in Outcasts, and Vent Steam gives them all the finger. The queen of the deathball, bunch up your beaters, snap on Vent Steam and roll into the center so you can engage and destroy. Railwalk can trigger off any scrap, and there are some solid constructs that will drop scrap markers when you kill them, increasing her mobility. Just remember that she is not a heavy hitter. She's a minion hunter.
Versus Levi - Vent Steam still affects Unmaking. Yes please. Levi wants scrap markers for some of his builds. Please and thank you! Mei Fang can hunt down waif's on her own once you get stuck in, and her crew with Kang can go to town on some constructs. Kang's upgrade lets him ignore armor too. Just a lot of solid options against the crew. Just remember that blasts suck when you are bunched up, so bring some extra movement help so that you can Vent twice and still keep moving up the board at a decent clip.

Other Models

I won't go into too much detail here, just a brief list of things I think work, and have some capability to survive in general while getting work done:

Lone Swordsmen - Bulletproof 3. Remember this doesn't affect blasts. But with Recalled training, this model is a potential nightmare and is absolutely the a Rusty Alyce hunter.

Black Betty - Ohagura ignores triggers. Charges without LoS. And can cheat in any damage flip except Impossible to Wound thanks to a built in flay. Move her up in heavy cover out of LoS, then have her dive in against Alyce or Ashes and Dust. Two severes later, boom goes the dynamite. She is made of paper though, so be careful.

Samurai - Armor 2 and triple positives means a lot of walking fire. Alternatively, give it the health upgrade and use it as a misdirection bot. Levi ignores armor, but he's the only one I believe.

Izamu - Armor 2 with a self heal and some monstrous damage potential. Same warning as above.

Illuminated - Regen, Armor and a self-heal. Why thank you! Oh look, another Levi warning.

Yin, the Pengalan - Built in negatives are great. Throw smoke grenades on her and laugh at their flimsy attempts to focus. (just be wary, levi can absolutely focus twice... that is a thing, yes it is)

Low River Monk - new upgrade lets them heal. Lots. Basically an auto-include in my lists now.

Kang - stalwart and hits like a truck. great vs constructs in general. pop him by your snipers ;) 

Katanka Sniper - great support killers and harrier units. Forces your opponent to play a different game, or let them get their shots.

Oiran - WP buff, a decent lure that you will probably use on your own models more than anything else and with their upgrade, they are really fast. If you can get that no showgirl trigger out, they can lock down a pretty large model. Plus they can't be charged. A lot better than you might think. Very cute with a glowing saber thanks to their obscene charge range and the potential for focused and fast.

 

I will add any others as they come to me, but these are the ones that popped in my head to start. 

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17 hours ago, GoldenWG said:

This is my sniper list. It is great in collect/reckon games. Can can run a decent amount of schemes. Hans can smoke the big robot. 

IMG_2092.JPG

I would trade out the Emissary for Yu. Having Yu near the snipers to give them +1 Sh if they focus is a pretty useful bonus on top of everything else he brings. I would also trade out Hans for someone like Izamu or another 10T brother, then give Shenlong some more upgrades, because right now you're going to be too static with too many models.

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The emassiary is drawing three cards a turn off the low river monk. Yu is a dead 11 points because Shenlong does the same thing. The emassiary is also a super solid fighter when push comes to shove. Why put more random upgrades on a master who sits on the the back of the board? He operates in his bubble in this list his one limited and the low river monk upgrade are enough.

Also, the plus 1 shoot on snipers from Yu is a bit redundant when at a double positive flip. 

 

Sometimes Izamu does trade with Hans. Not the worst.

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I really appreciate all of the advice! I will definitely be putting a lot of this to use tomorrow. Hopefully my Emissary and Lone Swordsman will get here in the morning and I can try these Shenlong lists out. 

On 11/2/2016 at 2:04 PM, InvokeChaos said:

Prioritize your targets, try to remove his support, and don't waste your cards or time on the models you can't reliably bring down

This is definitely a mistake I was making that I didn't realize until reading that. I've been spending too much on trying to throw my heavy hitters at his durable characters to try and bring them down. I'm going to put more of a focus on outscheming him, sniping down the support, and forcing those targets to come after me so they're in a worse position when I do want to take them out.

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4 hours ago, GoldenWG said:

The emassiary is drawing three cards a turn off the low river monk. Yu is a dead 11 points because Shenlong does the same thing. The emassiary is also a super solid fighter when push comes to shove. Why put more random upgrades on a master who sits on the the back of the board? He operates in his bubble in this list his one limited and the low river monk upgrade are enough.

Also, the plus 1 shoot on snipers from Yu is a bit redundant when at a double positive flip. 

 

Sometimes Izamu does trade with Hans. Not the worst.

Shenlong does one thing, Yu does another. Having both of them isn't a dead 11 points, it means it gives you more options. It also gives you the ability to make Shenlong fast and more AP to buff up the rest of your crew. Also, to flip your argument back at you, why do you need 3 extra cards per turn when you're shooting at a :+fate:+fate? And why save 4 stones for your master who's not going to be doing much of anything all game?

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5 hours ago, GoldenWG said:

The emassiary is drawing three cards a turn off the low river monk.

Ha, I disagree with a couple of things you've said but this is a trick I've gotta try! Nice find.

(I'm assuming the monk is spending 2AP Defensive Stancing, getting a 3rd for free, right?)

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