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Pandora Tactica

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Limited Upgrades + Build

Melee Dora / The Box Opens: 

For 2 SS, Pandora now gains Terrifying (All) 13 and an Attack Action with triggers to force a TN 13 Horror Duel or give a condition that removes all immunity to Horror Duels and Paralyse until the end of the turn, including immunity gained from winning Horror Duels. On the surface, this looks like a great way to play Control Dora by Paralysing enemy models with Terrifying and Horror Duels. However, as these are all via simple duels, they are too indirect to give consistent results as opposed to the Voices build which pits Pandora's high Ca 7 against enemy Wp.

As such, Box is more commonly taken by Melee Dora as a defensive + situational control upgrade. In Melee Dora, the main aim of the build is to throw Pandora into the midst of the largest amount of enemies, tie them up, and inflict massive amounts of damage before she dies. While she's busy wreaking havoc, it frees up the rest of her crew to run Strats and Schemes. From this perspective, the primary function of Box in Melee Dora is to make it more difficult for opponents to take her down by making them pass a Terrifying 13 duel first. It helps to drain cards and act as a first layer of defence before the opponent can do anything.

In the same vein, a typical choice for the next upgrade is Fears Given Form. By forcing enemy models to take the Df 14 duel, it forces potential card drain or damage, making it harder to hit Pandora subsequently. The damage also nicely layers on with Pandora's passive Misery bubble, as well as offering an alternative way to hit High Wp Low Df models. 

For the third upgrade slot, Aether Connection is recommended to make Pandora more survivable. In most cases, a savvy opponent will avoid taking on Pandora and try to stall her by feeding a single model or two to tie up Pandora while spreading out the rest of the crew. However, some opponents can and will take out Pandora. While resource intensive, heavy hitters can take out Pandora in a turn or two if you are suffering a bad hand. Aether Connection helps to stall this demise and let Pandora survive into turn 3 or 4, by which her crew would have scored some VPs and denied or stalled the opponent's progress. Better yet, Aether Connection might deter some opponents from even trying to hit Pandora at all. So even if you end up not having to stone much for damage prevention, the cost invested just to make the opponent avoid Pandora is well worth it. 

A typical start for Melee Dora is to get up the field as quickly as possible, possibly spending the first 3 AP on walk actions. She can then Incite twice (with trigger) to push another 8" via Fading Memory, giving her a potential move range of 20". While not quite reaching the entire board, it should be sufficient to engage models that have moved up the board. The aim is to get engaged with as many models as possible in turn 1 to setup for Terrifying, FGF and Misery in turn 2. Also, Incite is used here primarily to move, not to control activation order. That means choosing models in range with low Wp that you are more likely to successfully Incite, over chaff models that you'd like to go first.  

Watch how your opponent deploys and position to hit the most number of models or the most critical models early. If deploying first, try to position her somewhere central to access most of the board easily. Sometimes, I like to bait shooting crews by moving her right into the middle of an open board as an easy target (make sure you have high cards in hand). The opponent might be tempted to shoot at her, allowing you to push forward even more. 

Turn 2 onwards, it is a combination of Incite to get to where you want and attacking with Self Loathing. Look at (re)positioning yourself to catch as many within your 3" bubble while moving out of engagement range with 2" melee beaters. Take out the big threats first if possible, but don't be afraid to throw Pandora into a different group of models if it stops them from achieving their Strat and Schemes. The key finesse to this build is knowing when and where to move Pandora. I have ever sent Pandora all the way to one corner to chase a single December Acolyte and deny Claim Jump. In this case, the opponent's remaining threats to my crew were too far to have an impact while none of my crew could reach there the Acolyte in time. Inflict is also a possible option if you just want to spread damage all around instead of focusing fire on a single model. It is a good way to ping damage and drain cards at the same time. 

Given the offensive nature of this build and how quickly she can take out key enemy models, opposing crews will either choose to beat on her or avoid her. In my experience, I prefer it when the opponent is running away - it forces them to play on the back foot as my single model is dictating and scattering 2-3 models, making it a worthy AP trade. It also frees up stones to do other things.
Things get a little more hairy when the opponent has 2 beaters wailing down on Pandora. Even with Aether Connection and Wp 7, she may not be able to hold for long. More so if you get caught by auras that deny SS use such as Resser's Decaying Aura or the new Wave 5 upgrade, Pact of the Grave Spirit, on Titania. In such cases, consider your approach more carefully. She will need another beater to support her and tag team the biggest threat. Alternatively, she can try to avoid the beaters altogether and chase the scheme runners (although this is less optimal). Don't be afraid to trade Pandora away if you can take out a chunk of the enemy crew!

For this build, almost any model is fair game. There is no need for a thematic crew as Pandora can play solo here. That said, I'd advice at least one heavy hitter to support Pandora or control a different flank, a few utility models that can double up as secondary beaters or scheme runners, and some cheap activation for the turns you need to wait out and position Pandora after the enemy crew. The typical Neverborn all stars team will work well in this regard - Nekima, Doppelganger, Primordial Magic, and Terror Tots. For some ranged control, a Freikorp Trapper with a Doppelganger to copy his gun can further shut down enemy movement lanes while threatening Guild gun lines. The rest of the crew can be filled out with either thematic or functional models depending on your play style and the Strat and Schemes. 

Do watch out for bad match-ups though. Von Schill and his Freikorps are largely immune to Pandora's Wp shenanigans (but not FGF), making it more challenging to deal death by Misery. Ten Thunders also tend to have high Wp (6-7) models, allowing them to better resist Pandora's advance. Ironically, Pandora's thematic crew models have a lower Wp (5), which makes them vulnerable to Obey crews or models such as Zoraida, Huggies and Yasunori. 

Melee Dora is a good place to start for a beginning Pandora player, simply because it is much more forgiving with mistakes and you only need to bother with Pandora herself when figuring out all the Wp shenanigans. The rest of the crew can be formed from a motley of non-thematic models that are best in their respective roles.

Control Dora / Voices:

Summoning Dora / Woe is Me:

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Misery Loves Company: Dora's friends to spread more sorrow!

Woes

Henchman

Candy

Enforcers

Baby Kade

Doppelganger

Iggy

Mr. Tannen

Minions

Insidious Madness

Poltergeist

Sorrow

Reporter (Guild)

 

Non-Woes

Barbaros

Aeslin

On 12/7/2017 at 2:16 AM, I'm a Teapot! said:

Well first of all aeslin has a claw atk targeting wp, so there is a lot of use for this in a pandora crew. She also has the passive wp duel on activation in her engagment. And I've loved Aeslin vs Tara because her (0) that discards a schememarker to generate an aura that gives enemies around her (-) to casts is brilliant vs the Nothing beast, the scion, void wretches and aionus. Also her Atks are casts and therefore ignore incorporeal.

I also like to bring her if I expect lures of any type in the enemy lines. Her other (0) just makes you immune to lures if you position carefully. Its more of a sideeffect but my opponents told me that they felt like spending stones on their belles/Lilithu/Beckoners felt pretty wasted in those games where turn 1 and 2 Aeslin protected my crew and in later turns they were already dead or lures didnt matter as much anymore. 

Aeslin does relatively weak dmg on her own, but she is phenomenal in a pandora crew in my opinion. I find myself charging a lot more with Aeslin than I use her range atk tho.

I've also started to try Vasilisa with Aeslin or Candy in a Pandora list. That trick with obeying people to disengage from pandora/aeslin/candy can wreck people so hard. Usually the enemy doesnt expect Candy or aeslin to charge you early and then I gladly stone for each obey and keep some high cards for vasilisa, because every obey is worth 3 or more wp fails for all misery auras in range. I'll even double walk aeslin into melee for this.

Pandora and Aeslin in melee with any model in the game (lets say they didnt charge, just got into melee somehow and didnt do dmg with their activations) Pandora usually summons 1-2 Sorrows early and the emissary tries to get into range and copy misery. So let's say 1 misery from pandora, 1 from a Sorrow, 1 from the emissary as a bad case scenario. Vasilisa Obeys the enemy = 3 dmg, makes the model try to walk out of engagement, you controll all flips and its pretty easy to fail them on purpose. This means 3 misery damage from Pandoras disengaging strike and 3 misery damage from Aeslins disengaging strike. 
9 times 1dmg from a single Vasilisa obey and she is free to do it a second time and normally I manage to get more then 1 Sorrow into the heat of the battle. Obviously this ignores armor, incorporeal and hard to kill.

If nothing has died to misery before, it now did and the poltergeist gets summoned. And whenever the poltergeist gets summoned in the frontline of the enemies, the pandora player has a good time.

Be aware of arcane shield and the new titania upgrade tho. =D

 

 

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Thanks a lot for "Fading Memory" clarification! Initially I thought that all opposed duels against wp are meant in the ability!

Hopefully I didn't use this rule during my activations and didn't cheat my opponent last Saturday. My poor friend tried Gamelin for the first time and was tabled by my Pandora:P

She is really tanky against direct attacks and can punish for that unsuccessful tries!

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10 hours ago, le_sphinx said:

Thanks a lot for "Fading Memory" clarification! Initially I thought that all opposed duels against wp are meant in the ability!

Hopefully I didn't use this rule during my activations and didn't cheat my opponent last Saturday. My poor friend tried Gamelin for the first time and was tabled by my Pandora:P

She is really tanky against direct attacks and can punish for that unsuccessful tries!

Glad it helped you! Welcome to the NB faction and Pandora! It's a common mistake, I had that issue initially as well.

The reverse is also true - if you defend an attack with your Wp successfully, it doesn't mean your opponent lost a Wp duel, as for them it was probably a Ml, Sh or Ca duel. I've added this clarification to the initial post too. 

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1 hour ago, Icarius said:

@Aaron Hi Aaron, who do we need to talk to to have this post pinned?

Judging from past experience (Dreamer tactica), you'll have to ask over and over again. And then some more ...

And in a couple of months, it might get pinned. ;)

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I'm not all that convinced by Aether Connections. You need to use a lot of Stones for prevention on that model for it to become useful.

If you don't have a full pool taking an extra Stone instead of Aether Connections seems like a better deal. That extra Stone likely deflects two damage so you need to make three prevention flips for Aether Connections to be worth if over an extra Stone. And when you take three damage, you might flip a Severe at which point Aether Connections was again useless.

Especially with Summon Pandy who is likely to stone for suits, I'm not sure that I would go for AE.

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6 hours ago, Math Mathonwy said:

I'm not all that convinced by Aether Connections. You need to use a lot of Stones for prevention on that model for it to become useful.

If you don't have a full pool taking an extra Stone instead of Aether Connections seems like a better deal. That extra Stone likely deflects two damage so you need to make three prevention flips for Aether Connections to be worth if over an extra Stone. And when you take three damage, you might flip a Severe at which point Aether Connections was again useless.

Especially with Summon Pandy who is likely to stone for suits, I'm not sure that I would go for AE.

True. I find summoning Dora under less threat in my games so far. I'm used to playing her In melee Dora, which does see a lot of stone use for damage prevention.

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On 10.10.2017 at 5:30 AM, spikes said:

The reverse is also true - if you defend an attack with your Wp successfully, it doesn't mean your opponent lost a Wp duel, as for them it was probably a Ml, Sh or Ca duel. I've added this clarification to the initial post too. 

Ooops.. Unfortunately I cheated that time. That is a very important fact about Pandora playstyle!

I think it worth to note about auras height as well. In our community players like to put some annoying snipers on to vantage points. Last time I/we did two mistakes in one time. Opponent's Trapper was 4-5' above the ground. He was killed after two failed shoots in Pandora, which was totally wrong. Firstly, he wasn't in range of 3 misery auras, because auras have same height as models imposing them. In our case it is 2' for Pandora and Sorrows. Secondly, he just simply didn't fail the wp duel! 

Thanks again!

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Might be a little out of place, but I feel this still could belong in a Pandora tactica. 

Can someone tell me if her mass hysteria trigger is on a mask+tome or mask+mask? The books says Tome, but my card says mask and I have friend whose card says tome. I can't see Wyrd having made any statement about it. 

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Same here. It only came up when I played against my friend who was using Pandora right after I had played her myself. I am pretty sure the double mask is the current version. 

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6 hours ago, le_sphinx said:

Ooops.. Unfortunately I cheated that time. That is a very important fact about Pandora playstyle!

I think it worth to note about auras height as well. In our community players like to put some annoying snipers on to vantage points. Last time I/we did two mistakes in one time. Opponent's Trapper was 4-5' above the ground. He was killed after two failed shoots in Pandora, which was totally wrong. Firstly, he wasn't in range of 3 misery auras, because auras have same height as models imposing them. In our case it is 2' for Pandora and Sorrows. Secondly, he just simply didn't fail the wp duel! 

Thanks again!

On auras thats false as auras are not effected by height. if you are within range from a top down 2D perspective and can see the model with the aura they are effected by it. Auras are all about LOS and range, not ht

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1 hour ago, katadder said:

On auras thats false as auras are not effected by height. if you are within range from a top down 2D perspective and can see the model with the aura they are effected by it. Auras are all about LOS and range, not ht

Seriosly? That could be really nice, but rulebook says: "An aura has the same Ht as the model it comes from, unless specified otherwise." (page 58)

Maybe that is old rulebook version? I will be happy, if auras have "unlimited" height^_^

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39 minutes ago, le_sphinx said:

Seriosly? That could be really nice, but rulebook says: "An aura has the same Ht as the model it comes from, unless specified otherwise." (page 58)

Maybe that is old rulebook version? I will be happy, if auras have "unlimited" height^_^

Auras have a limited height, as per rulebook. However, to be affected by an aura, it is not drawn from a vertical height but top-down horizontal range, so Ht becomes irrelevant. This is a quirk of Malifaux and the reason why elevation rules can be a bit confusing. There's probably a lengthier rules discussion about this in the forum elsewhere, but for now my search-fu eludes me.

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4 hours ago, Darkvenom said:

Even my card says mask.

I never noticed this difference with the book. There are no errata, and I always played assuming the card was right...

 

 

2 hours ago, esqulax said:

Same here. It only came up when I played against my friend who was using Pandora right after I had played her myself. I am pretty sure the double mask is the current version. 

Out of curiosity, what cards are those? I have the regular Pandora, the vintage Pandora, and the foil Pandora cards. All 3 of mine plus the book show Tomes. I also had a foil Pandora with the 'wrong' double mask trigger and was informed that it was an error. This might have came up in a forum thread, but again, I can't find it.

Anyway, without an errata, the book should be correct. So the cards are likely a misprint. 

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@katadder @spikes thanks a lot guys! Even some basic concepts need clarification.

On 10.10.2017 at 8:33 PM, spikes said:

My latest game with summoning Pandora here

How did you find reporters with Pandora? Did they do something really significant? 

Recently I was thinking of purchasing one of them.

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18 minutes ago, spikes said:

 

Out of curiosity, what cards are those? I have the regular Pandora, the vintage Pandora, and the foil Pandora cards. All 3 of mine plus the book show Tomes. I also had a foil Pandora with the 'wrong' double mask trigger and was informed that it was an error. This might have came up in a forum thread, but again, I can't find it.

Anyway, without an errata, the book should be correct. So the cards are likely a misprint. 

It is just from a regular Pandora box bought roughly a year ago

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9 minutes ago, le_sphinx said:

@katadder @spikes thanks a lot guys! Even some basic concepts need clarification.

How did you find reporters with Pandora? Did they do something really significant? 

Recently I was thinking of purchasing one of them.

To be honest, they haven't been doing much in my games. That's partially because I've been tying things down and clearing the board much faster than expected, so the reporters end up being scheme runners more than anything else. I might swap one or both out for Insidious Madness instead. Faster and more potent shutdown by making cheating Wp duels a 2 card endeavour.

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