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Doing it wrong with Pandora


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So, I am a returning 2E player from a long time ago and got back into the game a few months ago. I have been spoiled by Lilith in 2nd but am now playing with Pandora.

Now, I have played 10 games with her against Von Scill, Hamelin, & Parker. I am 0 for 10 so far in 3E, pretty discouraging. 

So I'm wondering if there's something about Pandora that I've missed? Most in my crew are melee heavy, but by the time they make 1 move, they're getting gunned down. 2nd turn, unless moved out of position, they're either dead or close to it. Schemes & Strats are out the window by turn 3. I've tried all the Pandora crew shenanigans but nothing seems to work. 

Then with all the armor, upgrades and ridiculous hand management, soulstone stealing/regenerating that Von Schill & Parker do. How is Pandora's resource mechanism supposed to work with all this going on. 

IT DOESN'T!!!

My crew:

PANDORA

POLTERGEIST 

CANDY

KADE

TEDDY

CARVER

AVERSION

AVERSION

Please help, I'm really tired of losing.

BTW, my usual opponent is very good with the above mentioned crews.

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First question is going to be Terrain. Do you have enough on your table? 

If you are regularly getting gunned down turns 1 and 2 then its possible that you don't have enough blocking terrain, or you're not using cover well enough. 

I can't say what your doing wrong, because you don't really say what you're doing.  Remember Caver and Pandora can remove Focus from enemy models that target them (Your opponent  gets to use it first, but if they have more than 1 focus on their model, then you can). Between Terror and manipulative you should be making it card intensive to attack you. You want to try and engage ranged attackers, so perhaps a sorrow might help more than a second aversion if you can get Misery loves company to stop them shooting. Most of your crew (that can engage) can engage at 11+" away naturally and you have some in crew bonus movement (in the form of push other models). Bandits might have several guns at 12" but Friekorps have a lot of models with lower ranges. 

It might also be that your opponent is just a better player than you. Maybe you could ask to play a game where you swap crews and see how that goes. 

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2 hours ago, Adran said:

You want to try and engage ranged attackers, so perhaps a sorrow might help more than a second aversion if you can get Misery loves company to stop them shooting. 

Building on what Adran said, if you're finding you're getting picked off by shots from across the board the Aversions probably aren't doing you a ton of good. You need to be in pretty close range for them to get off their shenanigans. The Sorrows will hand out more conditions and be able to get into engagement faster. 

You might also try swapping out The Carver for The Hooded Rider. Pandora's crew isn't the fastest, and the Rider will let you get up in a shooty crews face very quickly. 

T&G Productions has a series of Pandora battle reports, including one against Parker which might have some solid ideas for you. 

 

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Don't hire Aversions, they just don't do anything for the crew, replace them with Sorrows and really pile on the ping damage.

Against a ranged crew you really want to get in their face with Candy and Pandora. Candy has On Your Heels as a trigger on her bonus action, so she can get in there pretty easily at the end of turn 1, but Pandora doesn't really have movement tricks.

The most important parts of Pandora are her Mood Swings aura and her bonus action pulse, her main attack is inherently subpar because you're at best using another master's attacks minus triggers and that sucks but it sort of frees up her 3 AP to be used for movement.

I don't think you should be hiring Carver as well as Teddy, pick one based on what you expect to face, Carver if they are going to have easy focus and Teddy if you want to deal damage.

With the points freed up by dropping your second beater consider some versatiles. Serena Bowman is great for healing/condition removal and packs a punch. Vasilisa plus a Wicked Doll/Effigy can speed up your crew and handle scheming. Hinamatsu is a great independent beater in a crew with no card draw and brings another lure to the table. Changelings can give Pandora an inbuilt crow on her attack for slow, or a mask for her defense.

Finally, always activate Candy as late as possible, she and Pandora are doing their best work passively through auras.

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Thank you all for the replies. 

I realize now that I have been doing it all wrong. Usually do have Pandora & Candy using Self Loathing as a main attack. The other issue I have had with them is they have no melee range. So even if in melee range of anything, the other crew is free to move away from them & prevent any scheming or strats nearby. This is tough combined with Von Schill & most of the crew being able to charge & not take a melee attack if they come into melee range of my crew. Along with all the Armor buffs & healing, making it difficult to do any damage, then most of it being healed back. 

Definitely will be switching her crew from what I have been using. Tried the sorrows in a lot of games & I struggle to do anything with them before they die. What exactly should they be doing? I kind of need a breakdown of what my entire crew should be doing in general. Not sure what Kade or Carver shine at either.

Here is my opponent's usual crew so you can see what I'm up against. 

VON SCHILL

STEAM TRUNK

FREIKORPS ENGINEER

FREIKORPS SCOUT

FREIKORPS LIBRARIAN

ARIK

HANNAH

PROSPECTOR

 

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The Carver should be really good against the Freikorps. They should be loading focus up. Stunned in general should be good too. The whole crew loves its bonus actions and triggers. Von Schill can Shrug Off so it *only* costs him an action but it should turn Arik, Hannah, and the Engineer into pretty ineffective models. With no focus, having to use a full action for bonus, and no critical strike, you should just be taking min 2 with a bunch of your models being incorporeal.

Using Mood Swings to stop them from activating Hannah and Arik until you have a chance to strip their focus should be strong too.

I think I'd go with 1 of two plans. Either let him buff Hannah/Arik up, then lure them into your kill zone, don't let him activate them, and have the Carver go to town. Or make killing your models as inefficient as possible, using all your auras and positioning to make it as hard as possible and while your opponent (slowly) kills your main crew go scheming around the flanks.

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2 hours ago, Impersonator said:

Not sure what Kade or Carver shine at either.

Kade is a 7pt Teddy upgrade, granting Mr fluffles extra resilience more mobility, access to a Stat7 lure and extra Coordinated Attacks.

Carver is a tech piece vs Terrifying/Manipulative and Focus spam. At first his Stat7 min4 / Execute (with a little help from ‘Dora) seems appealing, but he is often better for his Draw Essence and Breath of Fire, allowing him to drain your opponents hand with minimal effort, and through this allowing the rest of the crew to do their thing. And having a Stat6 Glimpse of Insanity is great.

Carver is often foregone for versatiles such as Hinamatsu, Wrath or Hooded Rider that add some speed to the crew.

-

On a general note, you list ‘your crew’ as a fixed thing. But Malifaux isn’t a fixed crew kind of game. You build your crew to accomplish the things dictated by Strats and Schemes. Try and figure out what each model can do for you, then work from this.

Aversions are cute models, but sadly they do not do anything a Sorrow couldn’t do. Sure they can push stuff around a little better, but they have little synergy with the rest of the crew, and little pings from Misery and Life Leech does a lot vs Armor. And the ability to hand out Stunned like candy, really puts a dent in any opponents offense. 

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One thing to note is sometimes a crew just doesn't 'click' with you. I tried Pandora for a very short period and just did not do well with her (despite having a 90%+ winrate with other crews). So there's no shame in trying other crews if you don't like this one. Especially as Pandora is very bad in some situations (corner deployment).

That said, you can make any crew work in most situations, and if you do like the crew totally keep trying!

One thing I found with the crew is it is very card-hungry. For a similar crew in Ressers (Reva), I discovered that minimising the number of important TNs I needed could be helpful, and giving myself ways to use low cards (like BBS can use low crows) can be another plus.

Also have to reiterate what others have said about terrain.

As for Kade, this is one element of the crew that did click really well for me. He is insane with rams (either via hand or Pandora boosting him). With rams triggers he can:

  • Lure a model into base contact, get a free attack with a positive to the duel. Gain fast
  • Free attack at min 2, stat 7.
  • Two more attacks at min 3 (from rams trigger), stat 7.

So he can often burst for 8 damage AND lure a model into your bubble same turn. And with Teddy keeping him safe/terrain keeping him safe, you can often setup so that if your opponent goes to the wrong place, Kade can knife them (you just have to learn how to force them to go to the wrong place - often the centre is somewhere enemies have to go in GG1).

His mask trigger is also noteworthy (for coordinated attack). His execute trigger is something a lot of people like, but personally I prefer the rams and masks.

EDIT: Also, yes, hooded rider and serena bowman can be fantastic with the crew. Serena combos so well with Teddy (and I assume Carver).

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Hey! I'm the Outcast player that is regularly the opponent of OP. I figured I'd chime in with a few details to help with advice giving (though, I think you all are already doing a great job with advice!). 

2 hours ago, touchdown said:

The Carver should be really good against the Freikorps. They should be loading focus up.

The Carver is good against crew that load up focus, but I don't find myself doing that a ton in our games. Sure, I'll take a focus here or there, but the ability of Pandora's crew to strip the focus for effects. I play a mobility game with Arik and Schill since they can just charge out of combat. It's hard to stop them from completing schemes and strats. Von Schill allows you to reposition your crew really quickly with rocket boots and the trigger to use them immediately. That being said, I'm not against taking attacks with them. I just may not play them as "aggro" as other players I suppose. Just a play style difference. Lack of mobility in the Pandora crew may be part of the issue with keeping up with the Freikorps. 

I was wondering if OP should be bringing more stones to games. Pandora's models seem pretty fragile. I thought stones could help. A side not is that Schill and Hannah have stat 7 wp. That seems to help a lot. The armor on Freikorps also seems to be a huge problem for the Pandora crew. That plus the amount of healing in the crew means my models don't really go down. 

Let me know if there is any other info I can give to help out! Thanks everyone!

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40 minutes ago, Alerteddonkey42 said:

I was wondering if OP should be bringing more stones to games. Pandora's models seem pretty fragile. I thought stones could help. A side not is that Schill and Hannah have stat 7 wp. That seems to help a lot. The armor on Freikorps also seems to be a huge problem for the Pandora crew. That plus the amount of healing in the crew means my models don't really go down. 

Pandora is a bit stone hungry, definitely recommend some for defense and offense. Candy alone should need a few to do her work. I think I ran her with 3 initially and went up to 5.

That said, I think it is important to learn how to avoid damage before relying on stones to decrease damage - soulstone use to reduce damage should be a conscious tactic to allow yourself the freedom to place yourself somewhere dangerous. So learning terrain (and making sure there is tons of it on the table) is probably the first priority IMO.

43 minutes ago, Alerteddonkey42 said:

 I play a mobility game with Arik and Schill since they can just charge out of combat. It's hard to stop them from completing schemes and strats.

Ewwwww, possibly Pandora's greatest weakness (not that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to Pandora).

I recommend a focus on zone control. For instance, if the mission is recover evidence with claim jump and leave your mark, Pandora can just dominate the centre (whether she takes those schemes or not). Pandora should focus on taking and controlling territory, rather than chasing down hyper-mobile models I think.

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In fact, I often recommend this as a 'litmus test' for some situations. Try out this scheme pool:

  • Wedge deployment
  • Public enemies or recover evidence (whichever pandora is better at - I suspect public enemies?)
    • Leave Your Mark
    • Claim Jump
    • Three other schemes that can't be scored away from the centre/enemy team.

And see how the Pandora player does with just trying out zone control.

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I rarely spend more than a couple of stones with Dora. 

1 on a mask to give Candy her On your heels -trigger. Then a couple of stones for card draw, and that’s usually it.

If Dora is in a position, where she needs to stone against damage, it’s usually because the opponent can get around her Terrifying, and that means she needs to rely on her Mood Swings rather than stone against damage, as defending with a Df5 is pretty futile.

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My 2 cents, against Von Schill, bring Hinamatsu, since her lure is great, but that Armor Piercing trigger can really help you to get through Arik's armor. I really like Serena since the healing + condition removal is great, and she's another source of damage that ignores armor, but be aware of Arik's Gravity Well, which could ruin her Demise.

So:

  • Pandora + Polter
  • Candy
  • Baby Kade
  • Teddy
  • Hinamatsu
  • Serena
  • 8ss

That would leave you with a low model count, which hopefully will mean that you'll have some pass tokens, for initiative or ideally for Pandora's Mood Swings (or for Hinamatsu extra flips). Don't be afraid of stoning for card in turns 2-5 if your hand doesn't have the proper suits. You have 2 Lures to bring back whoever tries to run away from your bubble and if you need to "get to places", a Hinamatsu with Fast thanks to Candy (thanks to armor it will be only 1 damage) can work very well, since she can move 20" a turn.

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I'm a bit surprised people are keeping Teddy versus Schill, he's basically a big fluffy target for them to rip through. Kade doesn't need him, Kade is great on his own, time to grow up!

Versatiles: Hooded, Serena, Hinamatsu

Other adds: Changling, whatever you need to score Schemes and Strat, don't be afraid to go outside of Woe, they are not that synergistic a keyword.

Pandora will always struggle versus gunlines, it's not just you, it's her generic matchup weakness. Try not to engage directly, until you know you have the ability to get there. Hooded will help as a Pandora taxi, Candy can walk, walk, use Bonus with trigger.

Carver is a useful, but niche hire. He's mostly good for Ruthless, there isn't that much in NB as a faction.  Vs Schill, you can drop him for better things.

Armor is also annoying for NB, Serena will help a small amount.

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OK. Huge thank you to everyone. Great stuff here. 

First off, somehow I've missed using the "On Your Heels" trigger for Candy on turn 1. This will help her to get where she wants alot earlier than usual. Would probably have to be careful about positioning her though as I've found that she goes down pretty quickly as well without stones. 

I am realizing another mistake that I have been making because of the lack of mobility in the crew. I basically "group" certain models that might work well together during deployment. Like Kade next to Teddy, Poltergeist close to Pandora, and for some reason, Candy close to Carver. After reading the posts, maybe Candy works together better with Pandora. Guess I always looked at Candy as a little mini Pandora that could hold her own on the other side of the board, while healing. 

 The lack of mobility and survivability of the crew has been a problem. I guess the "tactic" of getting a model into melee range to limit their mobility stands out for me here. Near impossible to use this tactic on Schill or Arik. I find Teddy and Carver "stuck" in this melee range quite often, whereas Schill or Arik are free to move about whenever. (picking up my Scheme markers or going into melee range of of one of my models about to get a Strat) Maybe lay down some stunned on them? 

I will try to use the Sorrows again. Does anyone see the use of "Misery Loves Company" as a beneficial move? Considering having to flip & use an AP to do it. 

Been tough using in keyword models. (besides Teddy) Cosidering versatiles or trying out another master. 

 

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Candy is a little like a little Pandora if you want to use her that way, but she is also one of the greatest sources of Stunned (and card removal) with her passive aura. And that stunned on her opponents is not only extra damage thanks to Misery, it also will stop them declaring triggers, so she will be able to reduce most incoming attacks by 2 damage. 

To get that to work you really need her in place the turn before because you really want her to activate as late in the turn as you can to keep Manipulative and corrupted influence up as long as possible. (or use pushes to get her into place. You might find that Inhuman Reflexes with its scamper ability lets Candy move into better places without her having to activate, but that's about all you get from it, so you might not find it worth its points). 

On Sorrows and Misery loves company, its not all that hard to set up a friendly model that is 8" away. Then for a 5 you teleport the sorrow potentially 9-10" forward (Set the target up so the back of their base is 8" away, and you will then get to add both the targets base size and the Sorrows base size to the distance moved.) And if the enemy is within 2" of your model you possibly engage and attack it on that 1 action. So that's an 11" threat range with 1 action

Doing it on an enemy is a little less certain, because you need them to be stunned, but against a shooter you want to engage, you can do that, try the Glimpse to stun the enemy and its letting them engage models from 18" away. And if they are 16" away you have the attempt to glimpse of insanity which can misery them and then you can decide if you're best charging them or misery loves company again. 

Its not always going to work, but it can make them potentially very mobile. 

Things like "Wheres Teddy" can be used by Kade to get out of combat some times. Most woes can give out stunned with their bonus action, so you can always try to do that and use the misery aura to push them away, freeing yourself to move. 

Facing Arik and Von Schill does mean that you need slightly different tricks because you can't lock them in combat. Vonschill is probably going to spend a lot of effort to keep Candy out of his forces which is hard to stop. 

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Candy is definitely the more aggressive of the two. I find, I use Pandora more in a support role - pushing, handing out suits, and blasting a shockwave - while Candy gets into the thick of the fighting. But even though Candy thrives in the midst of things, she shouldn't go in alone - at least not without a plan.

A good compliment vs. Von Schill could be Vailisa and her Wicked dolls. Handing out staggered mitigates the freikorps mobility, while stealth hampers their shooting. Vasilisa herself is a tough old girl with Df6 and Armor+2, and having Adversary on your targets conserves your hand. And getting hit by multiple Needle and Thread attacks really drains your hand and your capabilities. Tangled Threads along with the plinking away from Life Leech and Misery can really hurt an armoured crew.

You could even make a case for Lyssa in a list with Hinamatsu and Vasilisa.

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I'm a bit late to the party and the other users already gave a lot of good advice... but I'll add a few points that I think that may help you. I don't play versus OUT a lot, so I can't give you specific advice in that front; but as a Pandora player I can give you some generic advice for the crew.

First of all, mind Pandora isn't an easy master to play, if you look at most of the other bubble crews (like Ironsides or Daw for example), you'll find a LOT of defensive tech; but that's not the case of Pandora as you have seen, her models aren't the takiest out of there. But that's because her "defensive" tech is debuffing and controlling the other crew to a vegetative state (a slowed+stunned model without Focused won't accomplish a lot, specially if the other player has no cards); and that's tricky because until you control them, you'll have to survive their full potential with not so tanky models that need to get into the thick of it to be effective. Her crew deals also a lot of sustained and ping damage, and while her crew has some burst damage, that's not the best or easiest to set up so you need to control the enemy crew to kill them over time. Add that her crew has 0 card draw and the master is quite card hungry plus the low mobility and no engagement ranges in 2 key models and you have a quite complicated crew to play. The difference between controlling the enemy key models and getting smashed is quite slim in my experience.

If you want to play her, go ahead and keep practicing; however don't get frustrated if it takes a while because she has a high skill floor and playing control means how you use the crew determines how good is both your offense and your defense, your play have to be on point just to survive. If you say your meta has good player that'll be even harder, because those kind of players will know how to minimice or get around your control. If you are still learning M3E mechanics and models, you might benefice from playing another easier and more versatile crew a bit before jumping into her, learning those mechanics plus her tricky crew isn't easy; but it's your call.

 

 

Some things I want to echo:

A mostly in keyword Pandora crew will be very good controlling an area and with things like Arson and Lure they have also threat in a big area around that bubble; however the lack of mobility is noticeable to achieve anything outside of that area; so if the enemy crew can just avoid the death bubble to score or shot her down; that's not a good game for her. The best scenario for her is when she may park her crew in an spot and the enemy needs to go to that spot to also score.

Pandora is playable in games that needs more mobility, but you'll need to go heavy into OOK/Versatile to not being in a big dissadvantage. Things like the Rider or a Mature Nephillim (from a BBS) are mobile themselves, but may also reposition Sz2 or 1 models like Pandora or Candy (this is key with Candy to reposition her without having to activate her); with a crew with those Pandora may perform well in not so good pools for her (or you can just pick another master better suited for the job :P)

Mood Swings wins games, but overuse/missuse it and it'll hurt you more than it'll hurt them. Mind if you are using pass tokens, you are giving up a LOT of activation control, and that's very bad news for Candy; if you are using pass tokens, be sure to get kills in non-activated models to make up for it. Some examples of good uses of this ability are: Delay an important model activation and kill it without it activating (this hurts a lot) or activating key enemy models in akward moments (like a healer before damage is done, or a model that will try to attack in the last activation during the first ones, or debuffed enemy models before their conditions get removed by their supports or models about to get pushed into range before they are pushed)

Take also a look to Hinamatsu and Serena (+rider mentioned above) as important versatiles in this faction. Vasilisa and small puppets (which includes the effigy) are useful as a pack of schemers while also bringing conditions (tho Vasilisa's aura cannot trigger Misery as it happens in the start phase).

As other stated, you'll need a cache 6 or more at least to survive until the enemy crew is controlled and enable her models.

Candy is a key model because her aura passively stun and drain the hand of your enemies; as other stated her trigger is KEY to position her, 1 SS (or 1 Pandora AP + a card) and your highest card the first turn (or the turn before you gonna charge into the other crew) is to make sure she is delivered in the middle of the enemy crew, after that point she should activate last every turn. She will get some hatred and powerful attacks (and that's another reason to bring a big cache, to keep her on the table as long as possible)

Aversion's main role is defend the bubble from models charging into it, but I've never picked them because a smart enemy could use that aura against me and they bring 0 condition play and control, little damage and no scoring potential... I don't think they are worth it tbh, if you want to stay in keyword, the other 2 minions are way better.

 

And some extra things and little tricks I've not seen mentioned yet:

Versus enemies with mele range 1, use Misery to position those models into range 2 friendly models (like Teddy or Serena) to further control them. The Mv part of Misery also play well with Hazardous auras (like the Emissary ones or the Rider 4 mask trigger). Another great use of the mobility part of Misery is to move an enemy model to disengage one of your own and be able to interact with some objective or drop a scheme.

Keep an eye for Versatiles/OOK able to easily put conditions on the enemy that might be good for the game, that's also free damage (and :+flip) for Pandora or models with the right misery (take a look to things like Widow Weaver, Aeslin, the Grootslang, Adze or even a Rattler for example)

Her schemers kind of suck, you need to control/kill the enemy schemers/crew before/while going to scheme yourself. Pandora will lose trying to outscheme any half-decent crew at it.

While still not a fan of it, she is one of the best crews to field the IR upgrade; any kind of cheating (which includes Terrifying and her shockwave) will trigger a movement plus extra ping damage.

Not for every game, but Pandora with Eldritch Magic is the definitive cleansing machine for your crew; one of the few models in the faction where that upgrade isn't a waste of stones. In this same line but more limited, you may "attack" yourself to remove conditions, for example Kade may lure a slowed model to remove that, any model may remove stunned (if the attack may damage/put a negative condition in the model, don't relent, get the:+flip so you have better chances to make it fail and in worst case scenario cheat the attack/defense), Lyssas are actually quite good for this role with their low cost and ofensive stat, specially as they can also debuff staggered, not only stunned.

Panora's Despair's Influence is very good (but expensive requiring a card) and a huge enabling ability. For example: She may give herself a mask to have always active her defensive trigger (which will stun and may move out of range of the second attack to most models charging her); if you don't throw Candy into the enemy crew the first turn, a built in crows for Candy could be 3 burnt out triggers for other models (which may let you start the second turn with 3 fast models); Kadde with masks and Teddy near can brutalize any model with guaranteed coordinated attacks from the Bear (the Rider is also good for this) or Both Carver or Kade may get built in Execute. Keep an eye for the best use of this ability. Mind a changeling may use this ability, which opens another trick. give Pandora a crow and slow 3 enemy models with her (you may do it without the Changeling, but she will only get 2 attacks). Don't overlook the 3'' push as it may also reposition Candy's aura or give the carver/kade enough movement to be in Charge/Lure distance of something.

Pandora paired with models that stagger (like Puppets, a Cycop or Lyssas) have a quite insane lockdown combo just by activating Grasping Tentacles; most models affected by the condition and the aura will get reduced to the equivalent of Mv 1 or 2 (that's not that useful versus VS giving Leap with the boots tho).

About the burnt out trigger; Candy is one of the 2 models of the faction able to give Fast (the other being a Master), try to make good use of it. For example Teddy and Kadde can get a very useful combo with it: Make both fast (you'll need to use Despair's Influence with Pandora or a Changeling), then Kade: Walk, Walk, Lure Teddy, bonus Teddy (which will heal both, make sure to hide the baby behind the bear to avoid losing it). Now you have a fast teddy ready to maul anything nearby (there is an even better version of this combo with Vasilisa, the effigy and a wicked doll). Take in count under some circunstances (usually the first turn when you don't want to throw Candy into the enemy crew or when the key enemy models are already controlled) you might be interested in stunning some of your model to give them Fast with Glimpse of Insanity as it has an 8'' range (Teddy is a great target because trading his triggers and bonus for an extra attack may be worth it, and between armor and Regen he'll get no damage from it; but any model could be good if you have serena near to heal and remove the stun, or you may just remove the stun with a Lyssa or a Sorrow)

Candy can combo models like a WWE fighter if you have a few SS to spare and other Misery auras nearby: Use her goody basket on an enemy (better a full Wds one or be ready to cheat a weak card) and get the burn out trigger, that's 3 damage counting her Misery and aside for the trigger isn't hard because isn't opposed. Now Glimpse that model (use Oportunistic to remove Fast for a :+flip and a stone to get that trigger again), that's from 2 to 4 damage if Pandora and another Misery aura are in range. Then Self Loathing stoning Hopelessness (which is her Critical strike basically) and getting a :+flipagain from fast, that's a min 3 or 4 attack depending on the model you are facing. In the best circunstances (Pandora and any other woe nearby) that's 10-11 damage, but with 6 different instances of damage so even high Armored models or models stoning defensively will get chunked, mind you'll need 2-3 stones to guarantee that (only 1 if you give her the crows trigger with Pandora, but you won't always have that card or Pandora's AP avaliable).

Another thing about Candy, she has a heal but she isn't a healer. She plays a key role in the control/ofensive part of the crew, need to activate later in the turn to keep her aura active as long as possible and her heal is only 2'' so don't count on her to keep your other models alive (maybe the rider if he is delivering her with ride with me and survive until the end of the turn spending fate tokens); bring Serena if you want a dedicated healer... in a pinch a changeling may copy Candy's heal, but that's not very efficient.

The Carver's damage isn't that good in most circunstances, his best part is the Focused control (usually through his ranged abilities). You may "prime" it with fast from Candy/Changelling and a Ram from Pandora, that's not something you should focus on but if you get the right card and some enemy get too agresive thinking Pandora's burst damage isn't that great, that model could get a big surprise. Mind his "Up in flames" trigger as it's a good scheme denial tool. Feed on Fear is also noticeable with the ammount of Wp duels of the crew.

Iggy is crystal made and you'll usually use him to annoy enemy schemers with Arson or to drop some schemes in safe places with Reckless; however near of pandora his damage is actually decent for his cost. He becomes basically a min 3 beater for 2 hits (mind he can oportunistic the burning for :+flip, again try to use conditions for :+flip because the crew has no card draw) and will hit a third time with min 2 (or can engage from afar) if he activates Reckless; he can take no retribution, so make sure the target is worth it or use one of the pings to move the target into another model so it has to waste AP to attack him.

Kade kind of has this same problem, he has a big potential but die very to a breeze so it's not easy to use. He is great in tandem with Teddy, but also on his own repositioning the crew and luring models into the bubble while dealing damage at the same time. A best case scenario for him to deal damage is triggering pounce (fast) using a Misery aura and priming him with a mask trigger having a min 3 beater near (or just flip, his 3 triggers are good); but as he is pure glass, you'll need to keep him alive avoiding that model's activation with Mood Swings and keeping him out of the way until the enemy model are controlled. For example, 3 coordinated attacks with a min 3 beater like the rider or teddy is 15 min damage before damage reductions with 6 instances of it and he can move the beater with his bonus; the set up is hard but the damage potential is huge (even higher with the Rider that will get :+flipto damage with all those so with the rider it can reach easily 18 damage if all attack connects). If you only want a Lure mind Hinamatsu is a safer choice that can also facetank some enemy models (but more expensive and without the synergies he has with the crew), she is maybe better while learning the ropes.

While it's not something you want to force, if the enemy cheats too much (or Candy get in the middle of half of the enemy crew), you have 2 models with Execute (remember Pandora may give triggers and Carver may use SS to buy that trigger). If the enemy has no cards, you may kill any model or eat through his cache very fast (mind this may be a trade if you are stonning)

Sorrows are very vulnerable versus big daddy beaters that will kill them with one or two hits; so careful with those. However versus already controlled enemies that cannot threat them, their Life leech and stunned will add a lot to the ping damage and control of the crew; so it's a good model to have. And they are also decent schemer hunters (as long as the enemy schemer is in his SS range and cannot just one shot him), a model that cannot overpower him quickly will lose the fight versus Life leech and Incorporeal (and his stun is great to make all those jumpy models less efficient and Misery loves company to keep up with them).

Lyssa's bring it is another way to reposition Pandora or Candy (mind it needs and 8 tho), specially because as those have no mele attack, they won't attack the Lyssa. If you are goint to Lure/bring it your own models a lot, mind a Wicked doll can put adversary in your own models or you may stun your own models to get a :+flip to those flips (something critical in a card hungry crew that cannot afford cheating those, the Lyssa can even do it herself if she is within 8'' of the model with her startle). They are cheap and significant models (not bad for droping schemes not far from the bubble) and their built in trigger and stagger are situationally good (tho the stats 4 aren't reliable); plus they are cheap misery auras floating around.

If your meta play double master, take a look to the Dreamer or Zoraida as second masters for her. The Dreamer has some condition play (remember Adversary IS a condition) and bring extra models able to give conditions and tank/damage (and with Feed on Fear), on top of having 3 models working well in both crews and not paying the OOK tax (Carver, Teddy and Serena). Another good trick of the Dreamer is the diversion aura as some models rely heavily on the bonus action for mobility or sustain; those can get trapped by him to get further controlled or punished by the crew. Zoraida may bring primed models to the next level (like the Carver with a double Ram or a crow), has some condition shenanigans and is a strong master in general.

 

Enough lol, this is getting too large. I hope it helps and good luck!

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Using Pandora's shockwave attack to cause a large quantity of duels, resulting cheats, has been key to draining my opponent's hand and letting me control the remainder of the turn.

I'll also suggest more Sorrows instead of Aversions if they are typically hiring a gunline. The bonus to apply stunned, if within 6 of another Woe, use Misery push them 2" into your threat range is not to be overlooked.  Aversions are good for anti-melee and pushing your crew forward. Sounds like you have the opposite problem; draw them closer with Kade's stat 7 lure or misery 2" pushes. Isolate and decimate the opposite crew.

Ran Hinamatsu last night with Pandora instead of Teddy. The +2" on the change, onslaught trigger, and flurry and another lure were brutal.

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On 10/13/2020 at 7:53 PM, Ogid said:

I'm a bit late to the party and the other users already gave a lot of good advice... but I'll add a few points that I think that may help you. I don't play versus OUT a lot, so I can't give you specific advice in that front; but as a Pandora player I can give you some generic advice for the crew.

First of all, mind Pandora isn't an easy master to play, if you look at most of the other bubble crews (like Ironsides or Daw for example), you'll find a LOT of defensive tech; but that's not the case of Pandora as you have seen, her models aren't the takiest out of there. But that's because her "defensive" tech is debuffing and controlling the other crew to a vegetative state (a slowed+stunned model without Focused won't accomplish a lot, specially if the other player has no cards); and that's tricky because until you control them, you'll have to survive their full potential with not so tanky models that need to get into the thick of it to be effective. Her crew deals also a lot of sustained and ping damage, and while her crew has some burst damage, that's not the best or easiest to set up so you need to control the enemy crew to kill them over time. Add that her crew has 0 card draw and the master is quite card hungry plus the low mobility and no engagement ranges in 2 key models and you have a quite complicated crew to play. The difference between controlling the enemy key models and getting smashed is quite slim in my experience.

If you want to play her, go ahead and keep practicing; however don't get frustrated if it takes a while because she has a high skill floor and playing control means how you use the crew determines how good is both your offense and your defense, your play have to be on point just to survive. If you say your meta has good player that'll be even harder, because those kind of players will know how to minimice or get around your control. If you are still learning M3E mechanics and models, you might benefice from playing another easier and more versatile crew a bit before jumping into her, learning those mechanics plus her tricky crew isn't easy; but it's your call.

 

 

Some things I want to echo:

A mostly in keyword Pandora crew will be very good controlling an area and with things like Arson and Lure they have also threat in a big area around that bubble; however the lack of mobility is noticeable to achieve anything outside of that area; so if the enemy crew can just avoid the death bubble to score or shot her down; that's not a good game for her. The best scenario for her is when she may park her crew in an spot and the enemy needs to go to that spot to also score.

Pandora is playable in games that needs more mobility, but you'll need to go heavy into OOK/Versatile to not being in a big dissadvantage. Things like the Rider or a Mature Nephillim (from a BBS) are mobile themselves, but may also reposition Sz2 or 1 models like Pandora or Candy (this is key with Candy to reposition her without having to activate her); with a crew with those Pandora may perform well in not so good pools for her (or you can just pick another master better suited for the job :P)

Mood Swings wins games, but overuse/missuse it and it'll hurt you more than it'll hurt them. Mind if you are using pass tokens, you are giving up a LOT of activation control, and that's very bad news for Candy; if you are using pass tokens, be sure to get kills in non-activated models to make up for it. Some examples of good uses of this ability are: Delay an important model activation and kill it without it activating (this hurts a lot) or activating key enemy models in akward moments (like a healer before damage is done, or a model that will try to attack in the last activation during the first ones, or debuffed enemy models before their conditions get removed by their supports or models about to get pushed into range before they are pushed)

Take also a look to Hinamatsu and Serena (+rider mentioned above) as important versatiles in this faction. Vasilisa and small puppets (which includes the effigy) are useful as a pack of schemers while also bringing conditions (tho Vasilisa's aura cannot trigger Misery as it happens in the start phase).

As other stated, you'll need a cache 6 or more at least to survive until the enemy crew is controlled and enable her models.

Candy is a key model because her aura passively stun and drain the hand of your enemies; as other stated her trigger is KEY to position her, 1 SS (or 1 Pandora AP + a card) and your highest card the first turn (or the turn before you gonna charge into the other crew) is to make sure she is delivered in the middle of the enemy crew, after that point she should activate last every turn. She will get some hatred and powerful attacks (and that's another reason to bring a big cache, to keep her on the table as long as possible)

Aversion's main role is defend the bubble from models charging into it, but I've never picked them because a smart enemy could use that aura against me and they bring 0 condition play and control, little damage and no scoring potential... I don't think they are worth it tbh, if you want to stay in keyword, the other 2 minions are way better.

 

And some extra things and little tricks I've not seen mentioned yet:

Versus enemies with mele range 1, use Misery to position those models into range 2 friendly models (like Teddy or Serena) to further control them. The Mv part of Misery also play well with Hazardous auras (like the Emissary ones or the Rider 4 mask trigger). Another great use of the mobility part of Misery is to move an enemy model to disengage one of your own and be able to interact with some objective or drop a scheme.

Keep an eye for Versatiles/OOK able to easily put conditions on the enemy that might be good for the game, that's also free damage (and :+flip) for Pandora or models with the right misery (take a look to things like Widow Weaver, Aeslin, the Grootslang, Adze or even a Rattler for example)

Her schemers kind of suck, you need to control/kill the enemy schemers/crew before/while going to scheme yourself. Pandora will lose trying to outscheme any half-decent crew at it.

While still not a fan of it, she is one of the best crews to field the IR upgrade; any kind of cheating (which includes Terrifying and her shockwave) will trigger a movement plus extra ping damage.

Not for every game, but Pandora with Eldritch Magic is the definitive cleansing machine for your crew; one of the few models in the faction where that upgrade isn't a waste of stones. In this same line but more limited, you may "attack" yourself to remove conditions, for example Kade may lure a slowed model to remove that, any model may remove stunned (if the attack may damage/put a negative condition in the model, don't relent, get the:+flip so you have better chances to make it fail and in worst case scenario cheat the attack/defense), Lyssas are actually quite good for this role with their low cost and ofensive stat, specially as they can also debuff staggered, not only stunned.

Panora's Despair's Influence is very good (but expensive requiring a card) and a huge enabling ability. For example: She may give herself a mask to have always active her defensive trigger (which will stun and may move out of range of the second attack to most models charging her); if you don't throw Candy into the enemy crew the first turn, a built in crows for Candy could be 3 burnt out triggers for other models (which may let you start the second turn with 3 fast models); Kadde with masks and Teddy near can brutalize any model with guaranteed coordinated attacks from the Bear (the Rider is also good for this) or Both Carver or Kade may get built in Execute. Keep an eye for the best use of this ability. Mind a changeling may use this ability, which opens another trick. give Pandora a crow and slow 3 enemy models with her (you may do it without the Changeling, but she will only get 2 attacks). Don't overlook the 3'' push as it may also reposition Candy's aura or give the carver/kade enough movement to be in Charge/Lure distance of something.

Pandora paired with models that stagger (like Puppets, a Cycop or Lyssas) have a quite insane lockdown combo just by activating Grasping Tentacles; most models affected by the condition and the aura will get reduced to the equivalent of Mv 1 or 2 (that's not that useful versus VS giving Leap with the boots tho).

About the burnt out trigger; Candy is one of the 2 models of the faction able to give Fast (the other being a Master), try to make good use of it. For example Teddy and Kadde can get a very useful combo with it: Make both fast (you'll need to use Despair's Influence with Pandora or a Changeling), then Kade: Walk, Walk, Lure Teddy, bonus Teddy (which will heal both, make sure to hide the baby behind the bear to avoid losing it). Now you have a fast teddy ready to maul anything nearby (there is an even better version of this combo with Vasilisa, the effigy and a wicked doll). Take in count under some circunstances (usually the first turn when you don't want to throw Candy into the enemy crew or when the key enemy models are already controlled) you might be interested in stunning some of your model to give them Fast with Glimpse of Insanity as it has an 8'' range (Teddy is a great target because trading his triggers and bonus for an extra attack may be worth it, and between armor and Regen he'll get no damage from it; but any model could be good if you have serena near to heal and remove the stun, or you may just remove the stun with a Lyssa or a Sorrow)

Candy can combo models like a WWE fighter if you have a few SS to spare and other Misery auras nearby: Use her goody basket on an enemy (better a full Wds one or be ready to cheat a weak card) and get the burn out trigger, that's 3 damage counting her Misery and aside for the trigger isn't hard because isn't opposed. Now Glimpse that model (use Oportunistic to remove Fast for a :+flip and a stone to get that trigger again), that's from 2 to 4 damage if Pandora and another Misery aura are in range. Then Self Loathing stoning Hopelessness (which is her Critical strike basically) and getting a :+flipagain from fast, that's a min 3 or 4 attack depending on the model you are facing. In the best circunstances (Pandora and any other woe nearby) that's 10-11 damage, but with 6 different instances of damage so even high Armored models or models stoning defensively will get chunked, mind you'll need 2-3 stones to guarantee that (only 1 if you give her the crows trigger with Pandora, but you won't always have that card or Pandora's AP avaliable).

Another thing about Candy, she has a heal but she isn't a healer. She plays a key role in the control/ofensive part of the crew, need to activate later in the turn to keep her aura active as long as possible and her heal is only 2'' so don't count on her to keep your other models alive (maybe the rider if he is delivering her with ride with me and survive until the end of the turn spending fate tokens); bring Serena if you want a dedicated healer... in a pinch a changeling may copy Candy's heal, but that's not very efficient.

The Carver's damage isn't that good in most circunstances, his best part is the Focused control (usually through his ranged abilities). You may "prime" it with fast from Candy/Changelling and a Ram from Pandora, that's not something you should focus on but if you get the right card and some enemy get too agresive thinking Pandora's burst damage isn't that great, that model could get a big surprise. Mind his "Up in flames" trigger as it's a good scheme denial tool. Feed on Fear is also noticeable with the ammount of Wp duels of the crew.

Iggy is crystal made and you'll usually use him to annoy enemy schemers with Arson or to drop some schemes in safe places with Reckless; however near of pandora his damage is actually decent for his cost. He becomes basically a min 3 beater for 2 hits (mind he can oportunistic the burning for :+flip, again try to use conditions for :+flip because the crew has no card draw) and will hit a third time with min 2 (or can engage from afar) if he activates Reckless; he can take no retribution, so make sure the target is worth it or use one of the pings to move the target into another model so it has to waste AP to attack him.

Kade kind of has this same problem, he has a big potential but die very to a breeze so it's not easy to use. He is great in tandem with Teddy, but also on his own repositioning the crew and luring models into the bubble while dealing damage at the same time. A best case scenario for him to deal damage is triggering pounce (fast) using a Misery aura and priming him with a mask trigger having a min 3 beater near (or just flip, his 3 triggers are good); but as he is pure glass, you'll need to keep him alive avoiding that model's activation with Mood Swings and keeping him out of the way until the enemy model are controlled. For example, 3 coordinated attacks with a min 3 beater like the rider or teddy is 15 min damage before damage reductions with 6 instances of it and he can move the beater with his bonus; the set up is hard but the damage potential is huge (even higher with the Rider that will get :+flipto damage with all those so with the rider it can reach easily 18 damage if all attack connects). If you only want a Lure mind Hinamatsu is a safer choice that can also facetank some enemy models (but more expensive and without the synergies he has with the crew), she is maybe better while learning the ropes.

While it's not something you want to force, if the enemy cheats too much (or Candy get in the middle of half of the enemy crew), you have 2 models with Execute (remember Pandora may give triggers and Carver may use SS to buy that trigger). If the enemy has no cards, you may kill any model or eat through his cache very fast (mind this may be a trade if you are stonning)

Sorrows are very vulnerable versus big daddy beaters that will kill them with one or two hits; so careful with those. However versus already controlled enemies that cannot threat them, their Life leech and stunned will add a lot to the ping damage and control of the crew; so it's a good model to have. And they are also decent schemer hunters (as long as the enemy schemer is in his SS range and cannot just one shot him), a model that cannot overpower him quickly will lose the fight versus Life leech and Incorporeal (and his stun is great to make all those jumpy models less efficient and Misery loves company to keep up with them).

Lyssa's bring it is another way to reposition Pandora or Candy (mind it needs and 8 tho), specially because as those have no mele attack, they won't attack the Lyssa. If you are goint to Lure/bring it your own models a lot, mind a Wicked doll can put adversary in your own models or you may stun your own models to get a :+flip to those flips (something critical in a card hungry crew that cannot afford cheating those, the Lyssa can even do it herself if she is within 8'' of the model with her startle). They are cheap and significant models (not bad for droping schemes not far from the bubble) and their built in trigger and stagger are situationally good (tho the stats 4 aren't reliable); plus they are cheap misery auras floating around.

If your meta play double master, take a look to the Dreamer or Zoraida as second masters for her. The Dreamer has some condition play (remember Adversary IS a condition) and bring extra models able to give conditions and tank/damage (and with Feed on Fear), on top of having 3 models working well in both crews and not paying the OOK tax (Carver, Teddy and Serena). Another good trick of the Dreamer is the diversion aura as some models rely heavily on the bonus action for mobility or sustain; those can get trapped by him to get further controlled or punished by the crew. Zoraida may bring primed models to the next level (like the Carver with a double Ram or a crow), has some condition shenanigans and is a strong master in general.

 

Enough lol, this is getting too large. I hope it helps and good luck!

 

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I pretty much have the exact same problem.

My 2 man meta consists of me playing Neverborn and my opponent playing Outcasts (Viks, Leve, Parker).

My wargaming experience is limited - starting about 10 years ago I played Dystopian Wars with my brother (terrible game but it was all he would play), a few 40k games and WMH games in store with some WHFB thrown in for good measure. I won the majority of my games but that was mostly due to lack of experience of my opponent and I guess dumb luck. I stopped playing because of the personalities in that store and not really being into hanging out on a Saturday all day with dudes I don't know instead of my wife. In other words, I played wargames like 10 years ago about a dozen times. My opponent has never played wargames. 

He wins like every game. I've currently won twice (Dreamer versus Leve, Dreamer versus Parker) and I have lost twelve times and have 2 ties (Titania vs. Leve, McMourning versus Viks). Most games end 6-5 or 6-4 in his favor. The first like 6 games had me at a serious disadvantage for terrain. Once we figured it out I became more competitive. 

I do have a nasty habbit of master hopping, though. People say to concentrate on 1 master but 1) I don't find that fun and 2) the problem is never that I don't know what my crew does. From my background in Magic, I am very good at memorizing and understanding cards and how they synergize. 

 

I just cannot seem to survive gunfire long enough to do anything useful. I am almost always in cover or concealment and it doesn't seem to matter due to sheer volume of ranged attacks coming at me. Now you might say that he isn't scheming because he is too busy killing and that is so not the case. He is a very intelligent person and has played board games and RPGs for decades (which I haven't) which might give him a slight leg up in a way and manages to do a ton of attacking while also scheming. 

For 2 essential beginners, I chose a very hard road for a first faction and he chose a very even road. I absolutely do not believe that Neverborn is a weak faction - I am simply poor at playing them. I do not believe Outcasts are overpowered - I just think they are more straight forward to someone new to the game. So what did I do? I switched to Ressers for a game playing a first time master (Molly) versus his 4th time playing Parker and it was the best game we have ever had (even though I lost). It went down to the last activation on turn 5. I'm shelving NB for a little while to see what else is out there, build my confidence and get some W's. 

I don't really know what my point of posting is other than sharing that I had the same experience as you and to see if any of the vets lurking these forums could point out how I am wrong and show me the light.

 

 

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@Marc Bowling, Neverborn is definitely a very tricky faction to play!

You mention you understand all the synergies - just to make sure, that includes all the triggers on every model? Knowing when to use a stone on Hinamatsu's lure is critical. Knowing when to save that 11 Tomes for Serena Bowman's 'hole in the world'  can change the flow of a game. Etc.

That said, you can totally do it the other way too. If you like swapping crews, swap crews until you find the good matchups and leverage that advantage.

EDIT: that said, both me and someone else swapped to ressers in the local community because they're easier to play 😜 so I hear that!

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