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Pergli

Nicodem - Post Nerf

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Hey guys,

I thought i'd post about Nicodem after having some time to play the nerf and honestly, it isn't as bad as everyone feared. Was he hit hard? Absolutely. Does it make him unplayable? Definitely not. I played at Gencon with only a month of being able to play him in practice and did pretty decently. I'm sure if I had more time with the nerf, it would've been better, especially considering my loses were due to personal mistakes and not the list itself.

Here is my basic Nicodem list:

Nicodem
- Love They Master - If you do not take this upgrade, you're playing him wrong. Being able to chain activate your one wound minions still gives you the AP advantage and definitely can cause a surprise to someone who wasn't expecting there to be a punk zombie or shikome attacking them.
- Maniacal Laugh - Sure, we don't draw cards because of zombies but that doesn't remove their uses. You still keep activation control, they are still ridiculous with Asura's attacks and they are useful blockers. Also, laughing up your spare corpses prevents your opponent from being able to remove them or abuse them.
- Circling Buzzards - I take this for two reasons. 1. Corpse markers are a valuable resource that just became a difficult resource to keep in the field since we need 2 corpse to make any summon effective. 2. If take prisoner is in the pool, people love to take prisoner on the malifaux child. I can summon a vulture and sac the child to deny this.
(I opted last minute to swap this in for undertaker. The card draw just isn't worth it anymore and the trigger on your summon is laughable. I am NOT paying 1AP and 2 corpse markers for a 3 wound model. The only time that is useful is with a punk zombie because HtK)

Malifaux Child
- Incredibly useful for giving fast out to Philip for card draw or doing a decay to heal a model to full without expending Nico AP or forcing Nico to activate to save a model.

Mortimer
- Corpse bloat and MLH for obvious reasons. Still the most effective way to generate corpse turn one. I tried the desperate merc method and I don't like spending my first turn attacking myself. Too many things can go wrong which deny it. Morty is just reliable and essential.

Asura Roten
- No upgrades. She hangs back to debuff enemies, add zombies and let zombies hit above their point cost. Also she drops a scheme for Philip as needed.

Philip and the Nanny
- Haunting cries because why not, its free. The card draw is also ridiculous and required in this list. 

Kentauroi
- Explained in turn 1 strat

Rotten Belle
- Explained in turn 1 strat

This has actually been my list (minus swapping the buzzards and undertaker upgrade) from pre nerf. It's just too powerful and gives more options than the traditional summoning engine. It may not look like it, but this list is an alpha strike list and when it hits, it crushes whatever you've decided is going to die turn 1.

Turn 1 strat
Pick an enemy model. WP 5 is preferable but something that is a linchpin in their plan is the optimized choice. Your goal, is to kill that model this turn and it is pretty easy even if they can burn their stones for damage reduction. Goal is to have an 11 and 12 in hand minimum for your summon combo.

Activation:

Asura - Drop scheme for Philip, move for better positioning and summon a zombie
Summoned zombie - Grasping hands on something. Doesn't really matter, just force card flips and decisions. Or move to be better abused by Nico.
Morty - Runs 8 inches and drops 2 corpse markers
Child or Philip Decision time (do you think the kentauroi will be able to charge something? Do you need 3 lures to grab something? Rotten belle is normally the choice so we will go with that)
Philip activates, eats a scheme and then drops another scheme to prep for next round.
Child activates and gives the belle fast.
Kentauroi - Grabs nicodem and moves him 5-6 inches up the board to the best position for summoning. This prevents nico from wasting AP walking since his AP just became super valuable. Then he grabs the rotten belle and moves her to a nice lure position. Alternatively, if you have the 11 and 12 in hand while also having a 9 crow+ in hand, you can bring mortimer up so he can drop 3 corpse for a total of 5 corpse on the field turn 1.
Rotten Belle triple lures whatever you want dead to your corpse markers and hopefully they don't have an answer or way to stop this.
Nicodem
AP 1 - Summon a kentauroi
Ap 2 - Summon a shikome
Ap 3 - Cast decay on the shikome, sac a corpse to full heal her to 8.
0 - Zombie out of any spare corpse markers within range for activation control next turn.
If your opponent still has activations, chain activate the kentauroi and charge the sucker model. The goal is to get one success and put a poison on the model. Kentauroi dies and drops 2 corpse markers for next turn (you now have 3 corpse on the field)
Bring in the shikome. Cast adversary, hopefully get it off but no biggie if not. Charge in for 1 AP and murder the model. Alternatively, you can summon a punk zombie within range to flurry. Times I would bring a punk zombie instead would be if the shikome engaging the enemy would mean that I would have to leave Nico's bubble. The PZ has an extra inch on engagement range which can make all the difference. Although, if you happen to have a 13 in hand to make sure adversary goes off, then it doesn't matter :).

The damage output on this is insane and will break most models down. SS users may end up burning all their stones to reduce damage and keep their model alive which is great. I'd rather my opponent have 0 stones going into turn 2 than 5-6 stones. It limits their options and you can always flurry with initiative to keep the pressure on the poor model.

---------------

The rest of the game should be pretty standard in terms of how you play and what you summon based on your needs. Summoning a model in at one wound needs to have a purpose and thankfully Love They Master allows them to fulfill it. PZ allows you to output damage (shikome are great but I don't run alot of poison), Kentauroi hits like a truck at range, necropunks can self heal and run schemes, dead doxies can push models around and die to give other models fast (trading 1 master AP for 2 AP + 0 + fast on something nearby). Nicodem's general AP is much better spent summoning a single model and then giving it full wounds for 2 corpse markers. It puts big threats on the field, doesn't require as many cards to pull off and still allows you AP control.

Quick bit about GenCon, I went 2W/3D/1L, 1 of the draws was a huge mistake I made because it was 12:30 am and misplaced a scheme marker, 1 was extremely hard fought and required some crazy planning to go off to work and the final one was me misidentifying my opponents schemes. Overall, I think it was pretty solid and if only I was a better player or had more TIME to practice the nerf before the tournament. The circling buzzards was something i've never played with before and decided to do the day of the first tournament. It ended up making a big impact with activation control and available corpse markers. If people are genuinely interested, I may be able to create a report of the games with a basic run down and such.

Hopefully this helps some other Nicodem players out there to try something different than the old school summoning engine which is definitely not as broken.

Apologies in advance if things are mispelled or don't make alot of sense. I didn't proof read this before clicking submit.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Pergli said:

If people are genuinely interested, I may be able to create a report of the games with a basic run down and such.

Definitely, would love this ...

Thanks for the overview so far, very interested in trying out Nico after the nerf.

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Cool, i'll work on it tonight. Honestly, this is the best way I've found to run Nico and after rereading the post some of it is just disjointed thoughts. Need to make it a bit more clear too.

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13 hours ago, Pergli said:

Child activates and gives the belle fast.

Kentauroi - Grabs nicodem and moves him 5-6 inches up the board to the best position for summoning. This prevents nico from wasting AP walking since his AP just became super valuable. Then he grabs the rotten belle and moves her to a nice lure position. Alternatively, if you have the 11 and 12 in hand while also having a 9 crow+ in hand, you can bring mortimer up so he can drop 3 corpse for a total of 5 corpse on the field turn 1.
Rotten Belle triple lures whatever you want dead to your corpse markers and hopefully they don't have an answer or way to stop this.

Thanks for the write up!  Just out of curiousity, how does the Kentauri taxi both Belle & Nico up the board first turn on 2 AP? Does he just not walk very far with Nico to remain 2" from the Belle (so about 4" up the board, then Nico places as far forward as possible)?

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I was one of those draws, and I vouch for the fact Nicodem is still good. Is he as good as he was pre-nerf? Obviously not, that is the point. But he is still difficult to play against. Anyone that can summon a model, make it fast, chain activate into it, hit me 4 times (flurry + fast) at positive flips, and basically just shred whatever is near, is decent at least

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1 hour ago, Da Git said:

Thanks for the write up!  Just out of curiousity, how does the Kentauri taxi both Belle & Nico up the board first turn on 2 AP? Does he just not walk very far with Nico to remain 2" from the Belle (so about 4" up the board, then Nico places as far forward as possible)?

Yes, that is exactly what you do. Kentauri has a 3 inch base so when you move, you stay just within 2 inches of the belle. That means nico moves 2 inches + Kentauri base size of 3 inches+ his 1 inch base. Pretty much a 5.5-6 inch move for 1 AP and then the belle just gets dropped somewhere else! Pretty much wherever you plop him down, this is where he will sit and control the flow of the game. He may move if necessary but that is mostly all he needs to get his positioning right for turns 1-3.

1 hour ago, cbtb11235813 said:

I was one of those draws, and I vouch for the fact Nicodem is still good. Is he as good as he was pre-nerf? Obviously not, that is the point. But he is still difficult to play against. Anyone that can summon a model, make it fast, chain activate into it, hit me 4 times (flurry + fast) at positive flips, and basically just shred whatever is near, is decent at least

Which game? Yeah, he definitely is still pretty solid. The only real problems I run into is when people try to assassinate him but I'm thinking with the extra zombies block movement and charges (you can try to walk away but they are swinging at ml 6 and + flips) it definitely helps keep him safe. That is the problem I was running into whenever I dropped muwahaha, he just kept getting killed. Even if I killed a beater turn 1/2, it was just rough.  I'm not as sold on making a model fast unless I definitely NEED the AP to put something down. Trading 2 master AP for 1 full wound minion who then can flurry for 3 AP is a good trade but 1 master AP for a minion AP doesn't sell it to me unless it's a critical situation. Like moving and then charging or something along those lines.

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Thing is, going all in Summoning with Nico (you spent 30ss on support henchmen in your above list) was always going to be OK post nerf.  What this nerf really hurts are crews that bring maybe one of the "big 3 support henchmen" and build a more generalist crew otherwise.  Those people *need* to put Love Thy Master on Nico or make the most of the rest of his card.

I think your assessment of Love They Master and Undertaker is dead on though.  The trigger on Undertaker especially is pretty laughable now.

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10 minutes ago, Franchute said:

@Pergli What is your opinion on Sebastian for a card and a stone?

Not worth the points anymore (I never liked it anyway but even less so now). Not only do you get 1 less card but you're removing a corpse from the game every turn to get the card and the stone. Before, losing a corpse marker wasn't a big deal because you generated so many excess corpse markers but now you need every one you can get your hands on. 

You need at least 2 corpse markers a turn in order to get an effective summon and you aren't generating that constantly enough. Honestly, it all comes down to my overall game plan of adding as many corpse markers to the field as possible so I have the resources I need to be overwhelming with my summons and board control. Anything that inhibits that game plan is an absolute no go, at least in my book.

Ontop of the above, I have no idea where you'd pull the points from unless you're going minimal cache. The list I posted is as min/maxed as I could get minus the circling buzzards (corpse or a stone, thats your choice).
 

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I could see Sebastian on a more Poison Focused list, maybe with Shadow Embrance, a Shikome and a Gasser. Getting basically regeneration on your crew, doubled by Sebastian (happening at start of activation and end of turn) can make your summons a bit less fragile... but you are not taking the full summoning engine, so I would be happy with only adding a Shikome or something like that in the couse of the game.

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22 hours ago, Pergli said:

Which game?

Supply wagons, Friday round 3. Those zombies were just oppressive, there was basically a wall of meat between my crew and Nicodem, getting to him was going to be very difficult with everything else going on. Plus them not being slow and borrowing Asura's attack makes them much more potent. And for the summoning fast, you had a punk zombie I think, just straight up murder something beefy of mine, and later put quite a hurt on Sandeep

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9 hours ago, Freman said:

So his main change is that you have to commit even more to summoning to get the best out of him?

You kinda have to either fully commit to summoning, or basically give up on his summons surviving.  There's a case to be made for "Love Thy Master" and using a summoned model as a very elaborate short-ranged nuke, but it really limits his list of viable summons (to basically punks, kentauroi, and appropriate students).

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On 8/14/2018 at 2:02 AM, Freman said:

So his main change is that you have to commit even more to summoning to get the best out of him?

Not sure what you mean by this as the best way to play nico was to always commit to the summoning. There were other ways to run with him but they definitely weren't as competitive as fully embracing his summoning. 

I'm sure there are other ways to run him with his changes but with only a month of practice before gencon, there really wasn't enough time to experiment with other variations to see what else could be competitive. I had a couple of options I was tinkering with in my head but I'd rather play something i know in a tournament than flip to something unknown on the fly.

While Love Thy Master works best with punks/kentauroi/students, it isn't exclusive. If they have poison, you can use a shikome, if you need to do some pushes for quick positioning, belles and doxies are still good or if you want a scheme runner you can summon a necropunk at one wound, chain activate him, heal 2 wounds and run him into a safe position for scoring next round. The biggest thing that you have to be wary about is Love thy Master applies to all models summoned within 6 inches of nico. San Deep can summon Banasuva next to nico, attack nico and then chain into Banasuva to swing at him to turn him into mush.

 

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1 hour ago, Pergli said:

While Love Thy Master works best with punks/kentauroi/students, it isn't exclusive. If they have poison, you can use a shikome, if you need to do some pushes for quick positioning, belles and doxies are still good or if you want a scheme runner you can summon a necropunk at one wound, chain activate him, heal 2 wounds and run him into a safe position for scoring next round. The biggest thing that you have to be wary about is Love thy Master applies to all models summoned within 6 inches of nico. San Deep can summon Banasuva next to nico, attack nico and then chain into Banasuva to swing at him to turn him into mush.

 

Well that's vile.  It's so exciting to know he has another upgrade (along with Their Last Breath) that can be so ruthlessly exploited by the enemy crew.  At least post nerf Sandeep will be relatively easier to murder in retaliation? (assuming you have things in play that can do such a thing) 

Speaking of...  I've found that running "Necrotic King Nico" and a passel of undead is really effective.  It won't run the board like drowning the enemy in summons will, but it's plenty functional.

Edited by Clement
Their Last Breath makes me sad

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33 minutes ago, Clement said:

Well that's vile.  It's so exciting to know he has another upgrade (along with Their Last Breath) that can be so ruthlessly exploited by the enemy crew.  At least post nerf Sandeep will be relatively easier to murder in retaliation? (assuming you have things in play that can do such a thing) 

Speaking of...  I've found that running "Necrotic King Nico" and a passel of undead is really effective.  It won't run the board like drowning the enemy in summons will, but it's plenty functional.

Yeah, its definitely something you have to be aware of as an option that could ruin Nico's day. There aren't many situations where its it can do that though. The only two I can think of the top of my head is Banasuva and then dreamer but most people don't run dreamer. Dreamer with 3 ap + shoot expert + melee expert with his bat, turns out chompy who then chain activates to kill nico. 

I've never actually run Necrotic King because the upgrade slots were all in use. It may be more viable now that his summons aren't really that great anymore. 1 AP to summon, 1 AP to full heal then 1 AP to give them all + flips to dmg and Ca actions. Maybe swap out circling buzzards for the upgrade since all you're getting is 1 corpse. This will make running beaters in your list much more powerful. Archie, Izamu or Valedictorian with + flips for dmg sounds gross. Not even counting your whatever you summon. PZ's 2/4/5 becomes much worse if he is most likely hitting straight flips for damage.

Definitely going to try this in my next game and see how it goes.

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4 hours ago, Clement said:

Speaking of...  I've found that running "Necrotic King Nico" and a passel of undead is really effective.  It won't run the board like drowning the enemy in summons will, but it's plenty functional.

That’s the way I run Nicodem. Undead crowning means undead in his bubble gets positive flips to ca, df, ml and wound flips.

summoning is just a bonus for me and I bring elements I need to runs the strats and schemes. Not optimal but I enjoy it. Usually I bring a beater, Phillip and the nanny and some belles and necropunks. I still take undertaker mainly for patchwork but the card draw is now a bonus rather than the main reason to take it. Izamu still works well as a the beater and I find myself summoning punk zombies mainly.

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14 hours ago, Pergli said:

I've never actually run Necrotic King because the upgrade slots were all in use. It may be more viable now that his summons aren't really that great anymore. 1 AP to summon, 1 AP to full heal then 1 AP to give them all + flips to dmg and Ca actions. Maybe swap out circling buzzards for the upgrade since all you're getting is 1 corpse. This will make running beaters in your list much more powerful. Archie, Izamu or Valedictorian with + flips for dmg sounds gross. Not even counting your whatever you summon. PZ's 2/4/5 becomes much worse if he is most likely hitting straight flips for damage.

Definitely going to try this in my next game and see how it goes.

Izamu with Decaying Aura is a regular in my King Nico list.  His built in :+flipto damage and Necrotic King means the only way to get him to negative flips for damage is to tie vs hard/impossible to wound.  It's glorious.  He'll pretty much shred anything (Masters/henchmen/whatever) that doesn't have armor 2+ or some variation on armor.

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