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Crew selection advice wanted


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Hi folks, looking for some advice really, just had my 3rd game of Malifaux, and got hopelessly destroyed by the dreamer. The issue is, i felt like I was lacking damage among other things, and I got deleted off the board in fairly short order. some info of the game -

Standard deployment - guard the stash.

scheme pool was - claim jump, framed for murder, accusation, undercover entourage and marked for death. I took claim jump and Framed for murder (izamu)

the crew i picked i was 

Reva - Blood mark, Guises

Philip and the nany - Haunting cries

Datsu ba - Spirit whispers

Izamu the armour - Unnerving aura 


The drowned

The drowned


His crew, and this is going by memory with little knowledge of Neverborn, and my first time seeing the dreamer.

The dreamer

Baby kade



Terror tot

Terror tot





Turn one he summoned the the twins Lelu and Lilitu, hid them behind a building and healed them up to full over a couple turns we both moved towards the middle, my turn 2 I killed my corpse candle to give Izamu disguise so he couldn't be charged and positioned him close to the middle ready to "tank" some damage and the rest of my crew a couple inches behind, his turn 2 he pushed 2 teddies towards me at light speed they then forced some WP duels (my hand at this point was really bad, despite soul stoning) I lost the duels and the teddies could be placed  and Izamu died which was ok, I got framed for murder, just wanted him to be more of a speed bump and maybe get a turn to swing. My turn 3 comes, I get adversary on a teddy and manage to kill it off, but otherwise tickle my opponents crew, his turn 3 the dreamer turns into lord chompy bits after some pushes gets on reva and murders her, and the twins make short work of what i thought to be tough Drowned. This game i just felt like i didn't have the damage to deal with the threats he was putting on me, and also I felt like I had no answer to WP duels.


My current collection is.





Detsu ba

Vincent st clair

Philip and the nanny



Carrion Emissary 

Bete Noire



3x Shield bearers

3x Rotten Belles

3x Crooligans

3x The Drowned

2x Shikome

* Necrotic machine


5x Mindless zombies

3x Seishin

2x Corpse candles 


(P.S I haven't used molly yet, still trying to wrap my mind around the game, and the choices of crew for given scenarios so wanted to keep to one master, also I have the hanged, and goryo on order)

Sorry for the wall of text, is there something I'm doing wrong when putting a crew together? Out of my current models what would you have taken instead? Are there some specific models I'm missing?

I would appreciate any insight you could share, and thanks in advanced!

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ill admit im a noob to the game aswell but you took claim jump but nothing really capable of doing it. ie scheme runners, crooligans are great but cant interact first turn, 2 of can do claim jump each turn and cant start on the claim markers alternatively 1 necropunk can do the same job with scheme-leap-scheme. I use crooligans as my frame target as they can easily be in the opponents face turn 1. Belles are always great for luring enemy models of the markers or just out of position. What was the purpose of Phillip? hes a card draw machine and entourage runner not a killer or a tank.

If youn want a speed bump carrion emmisary with My Little Helper can place 2 walls for a turn meaning you can make the opponent move where you want or just stop things from charging in general.

Remember this game isnt always about killing, play the schemes not the enemy, i have heard of people winning games not killing a single model.


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I took philip coz I had an inkling that my opponent would also take claimjump, which he did. philip was my scheme runner and anti schemer, hes also one of the few ressers with a ranged attack.

Also my drowned drop schemes when they die with finish the job, was pretty much my brain process when i picked them.

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If you think you will face Dreamer or another Push heavy crew again, I would suggest getting Anna Lovelace. She can really mess up a  crew that relies on movement shenanigans. She also give you a min3 ranged attack and a ranged Push of your own. 

If you were relying on your Drowned dying and then scoring for CJ, that would be a poor exchange as then you don't have anything to score next turn. Don't think too hard about Finish the Job as their main purpose - it's a nice benefit, but not the main thing. Drowned are nice due to their Df6, but they are slow. They aren't a bad choice here, but you need to keep them alive to keep scheming and targeting soft targets or even just going Defensive and scoring for Guard the stash. 

Losing Izamu so early obviously hurt. He isn't really the best target for FFM as even though he can be hard to kill, you don't really want to lose him, especially early game. It's best to be a little more reserved with him and  keep him ready to counter. If your opponent is also somewhat new, I'd suggest feeding him a juicy target (a drowned or SB) so that he overextends his beaters, then Izamu can charge in and help. Easy to say, but harder to get done on the table of course. 

Shikome can be big hitters, but only if you get Adversary on the target and honestly they are very, very fragile. They require careful planning as well and don't necessarily mesh with the rest of your crew. They are pretty fast though and can typically kill other scheme runners pretty easily, so using one as scheme runner would be better than Phillip and the Nanny. I think Phillip is an odd choice for this crew really. 

With Reva I would suggest bringing your SB's. They will drop a corpse after getting down to 0 wds, but stay on the board. Reva should be able to kill something each turn, possibly more than one if they are small (terror tots, etc.), but you need more than the just your Corpse Candles to give her enough attack vectors. I don't think Neverborn have much that can get rid or corpse markers, so you might even take the upgrade that allows her to start the game with a Corpse Candle downfield. Then you can set up a mine field for the enemy right from the start. They either have to go around it to avoid getting hit by Reva, or take the hits. It's not always the best upgrade (her charge related one can be a fun way to play as well), but sometimes getting that corpse up field early game can be vital. 

I highly suggest stapling Decaying Aura to Reva's card as well - then she becomes a Henchman/Master killer easily. 

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Yin with My Little Helper is good with Reva. At least two Belle and Emissary are mandatory imho. Emissaries blasts are particularily good against dreamer. Dead Doxy would be a nice addition to your collection. Decaying Aura on Reva is a staple. Shieldbearer is sturdy minion, good for guard the stash.

As for schemes, undercover entourage and mark for death are both good schemes for Reva, I would choose them. Crooligan is good in marking your opponents models, but belle, doxy and shieldbearers can do it too. The idea is to lure your opponent close enough to mark him and kill him with Reva. If you have Doxy, you can (and you mostly do) push Reva towards the lured model to kill him via corpse candle summoned at the start of her activation.

Reva (Guises or Beyond Death, Decaying Aura, 4 ss cache)

Emissary 10 (i prefer Carrion Conflux over MLH on him)

Yin 9 (MLH)

Belle 5

Belle 5

Shieldbearer 6

Crooligan 4

Philip, Bete, two Crooligans or Doxy and additional upgrade on Reva and a ss 8

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I agree with many of these suggestions; both Yin and Emissary are great for Reva (many consider them autopicks with her), Carrion Conflux can be the correct choice for Emissary if you have good minions, and Shieldbearers provide a lot for Reva. For Reva, I think their 6ss investment out performs Drowned almost categorically.

The list that thatlatinspeakingguy offers is a step in the right direction. I have heard that it's usually better to hire Shieldbearers in multiples if possible (due to how their Soulstone -> Fast interaction plays out), though admittedly cutting a Belle for one seems painful. It could be worth trying a list with 1 Belle and 2 Shields and then 2 Belles and 1 Shield out yourself to see what you prefer.

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13 hours ago, Deggiera said:

Thanks for all pointers guys ^^

what kind of lists do you think reva will be using when we get the 8" attack vectors through spirits upgrade?

I think don 't bother taking the upgrade? You can already summon a Corpse Candle within 8" and attack through that if something is within 8". I don't personally see the point or real advantage of the new upgrade. Plus, corpses tend to grow in number as the game goes on. Spirits will usually decrease as they get removed from play throughout the game, reducing your attack vectors. Plus it puts Reva closer to the action, where she really doesn't really want to be if possible. She can be killed quite easily in combat.

If you do want to go with Spirits though, Datsue Ba and her upgrade to summon Seishin is a must. 

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Nah, not really. Maybe it will wow me in play, but I doubt it. I don't have it in front of me yet, only heard a quick breakdown, but doesn't it replace her other ability? So if you take it you can ONLY attack through spirits? There was something I didn't like the sound of, but I can't be sure till I see the card in person to make sure I understand it all. I thought there was a trade off though. 

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From what I can see it seems that it was the way you used your list, rather than the list itself that was an issue. 

Thinks like you activating Izamu so early for no noticable advantage when he has his master and 2 big hitters to activate still. Also using him as your frame for murder target means you can't score points and use your Warriors death ability.  

Some of the problems with this are probably you not knowing what the Dreamer is capable of, but until you engage, try and hold off activating models liek Izamu because whilst they are unactivated that turn., then have a large threat, but once you activate them., they can be played around, or ganged up on. 

Neverborn are often good at targetting WP, and lowering it, but then as a resser, your models often have a higher wp than they have Df anyway, so I dont' think you need a specific answer to Wp duels. 

Something fast or ranged that could have threattened his models in the backfield would be handy. Reva can do that once you start killign things, so prehaps trying to get an early corpse candle right up in his face, able to reduce his summons with reva quite quickly, and also cause Dreamer to need to be kept safe. You didn't seem to do very much that threatened your opponent and their plan.

Chompy Killing Reva in 2 attacks is very unlucky. Prehaps you need to consider ss prevention, especially if he has an onslought trigger to allow him more attacks if he damages. Reducing that damage to 0 would prevent the trigger. 




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22 minutes ago, Paddywhack said:

Nah, not really. Maybe it will wow me in play, but I doubt it. I don't have it in front of me yet, only heard a quick breakdown, but doesn't it replace her other ability? So if you take it you can ONLY attack through spirits? There was something I didn't like the sound of, but I can't be sure till I see the card in person to make sure I understand it all. I thought there was a trade off though. 

also, here are all the upgrades in one place if u wanna read them

https://schemesandstones.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/wave-5-upgrade-summary/ all the upgrades consolidated should you want to read them all.

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Bit late to the party and I'd agree with what a few people have said already. Got to say Yin fits well with this crew. Put her in in cover and that combined with her built in negatives to flips and terrifying makes her hard to shift. Cast gnawing fears on something and suddenly Reva finds it easy to get rid of them. Yin is harder to shift than Izamu and I'd replace Izamu with Yin in a Reva crew. I like Izamu but Yin makes the cut above him when playing Reva.

I would have taken the Carrion Emissary here. With guard the stash you know where his models have to be to score. This is great for Reva. Block his path with shards from the Carrion Emissary and at the end of the turn you get a free mindless zombie near to where his models need to be to score. 

Try decaying aura on Reva. This is a nasty combination because his henchman and masters cannot use soulstones against her to damage prevent. 

Reva is quite fast. I might have been tempted to take undercover entourage. She can kill any threats and in the last turns move to take undercover entourage. She is quite fast with her 0 action and charge also. It's worth considering.

The drowned are good but probably best summoned with a Kirai crew. I would take shield bearers with Reva as they are tanky for their points and drop a corpse marker for Reva which is very good.

Edit for Wave 5: Her new upgrade is good but probably not good enough to replace what I would usually take for her. I doubt it would see play with me much. I would take the new carrion emissary upgrade for her, I like the idea that the carrion emissary can be used as a corpse marker.

Also I'd seriously consider using Asura Roten instead of the Carrion Emissary - looks like that model is going to be awesome with Reva. +1 for Anna Lovelace - great model with Reva. Raises mindless zombies on an attack trigger and her aura is great.

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