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Jordon

Most competitive in-theme crew

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Arcanists are one of those factions with a lot of sub-factions. Outside of the M&SU, most masters have their dedicated in-theme options that mainly play within their respective theme. Obviously we have a few standout's that trickle over but I was curious. If you had to play completely in theme, which theme would it be and why? Looking at the package as a whole, which list would you consider the most competitive?

Showgirls 

Beasts

Frozen Heart

M&SU

Smouldering Heart/M&SU

Constructs 

Foundry  

Academic/gamin

My gut reaction would either be frozen heart of beast. I'm saying frozen heart simply because I rarely ever see Raspy played outside of theme and I often see acolytes and silent ones in a multitude of non-frozen heart lists. Raspy herself is sort of one dimensional, but the frozen heart list as a whole is pretty versatile. If we hadn't gotten ice dancers in wave 3, I wouldn't even consider her since her in-theme options are generally pretty poor at scheme's

I'd also say Marcus since he has the biggest hiring pool out of any of our other masters. Marcus himself is also more versatile than Raspy IMO, but I rarely see beasts outside of Marcus (except for maybe raptors). 

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M&SU would be pretty easy to pull off just because we have so many options (and Masters) for them.  Beyond them, I'd agree Frozen Heart's probably the most complete, now that Ice Dancers are around to be awesome scheme runners.

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Frozen Heart with Raspy, and M&SU with Ramos are both very awesome in-theme Crews. Thats a fact.

But if we say Academic + Gamins is in-theme also.

I think:

Sandeep is also pretty nice.

With all his little to big Gamin friends, which can addapt to almost any task..

And choices like Kudra, Amina, Oxfordian Mages, Shastar Vidiya Guard and Freikorps Librarian or Valedictorian it is absolutely competitive also..

Maybe a smidge less powerful / versatile then the two others..

 

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Yeah I kind of feel like adaptability is kind of Sandeep's thing now that I think about it. I guess my only criticism is that his in-theme options are kind of limited at the moment and with the academic, they hit a bit of redundancy with having 3 different spell casting models (sanctioned, oxfordian and librarians). The students are not great hires except for the valedictorian, but the Vidiya Guard are better hires for a point more anyway. 

The gamin are pretty varied and definitely so under Sandeep. Poison leaves a little to be desired outside of a poison centric crew but the rest are solid. 

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If you take Blade&Claw, it's good to be able to summon 2in1 beast-construct jumping points. On the other hand, Sandeep doesn't seem to be the right master to experiment with poison centric crews.

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I stuck to an M&SU theme for a shifting loyalties canpaign and smashed it. There isn't much that you can't do just within the M&SU.

 

Most versatile is likely beast Marcus but most of our masters are pretty good in theme.

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For me if it is look at playing purely in theme it it is Frozen Heart or Beast.

Sandeep is phenomenal but I dont run many academics and run out of them with the majority of my hires

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Raspy no question.

Decembers acolytes, blasting, paralyze, walls, hand control.  Arguably she does a lot of the things in the game considered very powerful and a vast selection of themed models to cover everything from control, to schemes, to damage, she can be played in nearly anything vs nearly anything.  Her biggest weakness, imo, is a fast crew with multiple threats and a person that know how to apply them.

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Almost certainly Frozen Heart.  Its the only subtheme that doesn't feel compelled to take Howard.

M&SU is probably next, cause... Howard.

Showgirls is probably technically up there, but I have to ding it a point because..... well, Howard.

Actually, Howard is probably the most competitive subtheme overall.  :P

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2 hours ago, LunarSol said:

Actually, Howard is probably the most competitive subtheme overall.  :P

I cant argue too much with this. What I have found lately is I am trying not to run Howard in so many lists and then running Sandeep a lot I have found in general I am gravitating towards Frozen Heart and Showgirl models blending them together

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Just now, osoi said:

I cant argue too much with this. What I have found lately is I am trying not to run Howard in so many lists and then running Sandeep a lot I have found in general I am gravitating towards Frozen Heart and Showgirl models blending them together

I ran an experimental Colette list featuring Luther (with Sub Zero), Ice Dancers, a Silent One, and an Ice Gamin into Headhunter at a tournament this past weekend. It was delightfully killy. Bite of Winter affecting the Ice Dancers, Silent One, and Luther gave me several good prompt targets for out-of-activation push/kill, and being able to pick up heads as a (0) iced the cake (rimshot).

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I'm guilty of pretty much only playing theme lists. I have had success locally with all of the themes and find they are fun ways to force yourself to play with models that you don't normally play with. That said, ramos, marcus, and kaeris are my personal pics for most competitive.

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I'm not sure what I'd count as a Kaeris themed crew. She's the only master without a specific synergy built around her characteristic. She has great synergy with models that do fire, but she's also a member of the M&SU. So would an all M&SU list be considered thematic, even if those models do not contain burning. I think ideally her most thematic list are those M&SU models who have both burning and M&SU

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1 hour ago, Jordon said:

I'm not sure what I'd count as a Kaeris themed crew. She's the only master without a specific synergy built around her characteristic. She has great synergy with models that do fire, but she's also a member of the M&SU. So would an all M&SU list be considered thematic, even if those models do not contain burning. I think ideally her most thematic list are those M&SU models who have both burning and M&SU

So Kaeris, The Firestarter, The Captain, Rail Golem, Oxfordian Mages, and every minion (if you bring the Emissary) for burning; restrict the minions to the ones that are also M&SU for full-tilt? Metal Gamin, Steam Arachnids, Large Steam Arachnids, Arachnid Swarms, Gunsmiths, Union Miners, etc?

I think with her her actual theme is supposed to be Arcanist Special Forces--she's their specops leader and in Ramos' absence, the leader of the Arcanist assaults and efforts. So with that in mind, anything that can get the job done that might revolve around burning and blasting should be in there (hi Willie).

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I'm a fan of a kaeris list based around burning. If we want to stay in theme.

4 points of upgrades + eternal flame.

Willie.

Rail golem imbued energies.

Firestarter.

Gunsmith.

2xfire gamin.

Arcane effigy.

I'm a fan of purifying fire arcane resevoir and either blinding flame or seize the day as Kaeris' upgrades. 

Basic but surprisingly effective!

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I had never really thought about Collette and Rasputina having much crossover outside the Ice Dancers, this is pretty much the first time I've heard of Collette and Frozen Heart crews. I don't play Arcanists enough to really think about it, but how useful is it and in what kinds of games?

On topic though, the only Arcanist models I own are Frozen Heart models, and thats because I loved the theme AND it was entirely self sufficient. I only play casually, so thematic crews are a big attraction. I feel like its the most self-contained theme/crew in the game for the most part, but its also fairly strong for such a limited buy-in.

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One of the biggest draws to Frozen Heart models for me is how often I run into things that cause horror duels and how much that screws up my ability to do the things I'm trying to do scheme-wise. Aside from that, the Ice Dancers were the first toe in the door for Frozen Heart and me, and their mobility alone is really good for scheme running. Add in their attack with its push trigger, it's like I have another Cassandra hitting things on the table. I also like playing control, so dropping patches of ice down helps me mess up my opponent's avenue of approach to objectives and killing my stuff.

The next step in for Colette's crew for me came in the form of Silent Ones for their healing (0) to help keep my workhorses in the game, and they happened to come along with a pretty nice attack that can trigger for a second free attack (closed loop). I have yet to use the Ice Mirror ability, but it's something else that can work well with having the Ice Dancers darting up to engage scheme runners as fast as they can or to run schemes on their own. Somewhere along the line (Wave 4) I picked up Luther (big ol' hare, looks exactly like the sort of thing I'd pull out of a hat at a magic show designed to panic and dismay an audience), and I started using Blade and Claw with him and Coryphee. Also in Wave 4 I picked up Sandeep, and playing against various Arcanists I noticed that the Bite of Winter ability is on a model that would see use in Sandeep as well as potentially get summoned in by the Mechanical Rider: Ice Gamin. The Ice Gamin also work as a Blade and Claw target, but it potentially removes a buffing aura that I would really like to have Luther within. The damage spikes you can get are really nice and if you're running a Colette crew and prompting Silent Ones' shots under the influence of Bite of Winter, you're getting a lot more out of your AP. Even better is using All Together Now, which the Silent Ones being minions really works well under. For two of Colette's AP, you can get another AP out of a line of various shooters, stabbers, and scheme runners.

I've used this Show on Ice kind of theme into strat/scheme pools that call for killing stuff, and it's been quite entertaining and surprisingly killy. This kind of approach also means that the changes to Colette affect me not-at-all, because it's using her to force multiply her whole crew, instead of ramp up 1-2 beaters for extra work.

For general use I also picked up December Acolytes. The drag, slow, and ability to shut off defensive tech like Armor on a model that I can drop almost anywhere I need (outside of close deployment) to is pretty solid. It also makes for a decent Frame for Murder target because of how much it can irritate someone (pull things out of position, force discards, hand out slow).

 

All that being said, I still don't have Rasputina. I just have most of her theme stuff. Her Guilder model might be in the future, depending on whether or not something more immediately enticing comes up by the time I have the Guilders saved up.

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I blame you for me wanting to get Collette and to repaint my Rasputina crew in reds and greens so that they're putting on a Christmas Pageant. 

*looks anxiously at The Other Side kickstarter pledge*

That may not be for a while, but aaagh, I'm convinced this is a fantastic idea now. Definitely writing it down in my hobby notes :D 

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