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Molly Guide Part 3: List-Building


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Part 3 of the Molly Guide is here! This time I'll be talking about list-making.

Part 1 can be seen here, and part 2 can be seen here.

Perhaps one of the strongest things about Molly is that she is so darn good at list-building. Her keyword is incredibly efficient, which leads to opportunities for redundancy. She is very flexible when it comes to building lists, and can take models for a variety of roles. 

Let's examine these ideas more in-depth!

Efficiency

Molly just packs so much efficiency into the stones for her keyword, it opens up a lot of doors.

When I'm playing Reva with Bone Piles or Bete Noire, I need to put stones in to support them to teleport around the board. When I play Seamus, I need stones to support him to get off his 8 damage shots. Molly needs no such support (in fact, she supports her crew, super-charging them with cards, activation control, and support abilities).

Similarly, Molly's crew packs a lot of action into stones. Crooligans can teleport to their allies - and the allies don't have to do anything, they just have to move. Philip and the Nanny alongside a Night Terror can move 24 inches in a turn, just getting to where you need to be. Molly's crew gets around the board efficiently.

Since Molly draws so many cards, she typically doesn't need many stones. The crew also doesn't require upgrades (although Whisper is nice on Molly), so you can just fill the crew with awesome models.

Finally, since Molly supercharges her crew by providing support and drawing so many cards, she can afford to take a crew full of beaters. There'll be enough cards to support at least 2-3 (and even 4 can be the right call for redundancy purposes).

With a Molly crew, the main thing I take every time is Archie + Crooligan, leaving a whopping 37 stones to play with most games. And even this is negotiable!

In theory, even Archie is optional... There is only one rule...

Always hire at least one Forgotten Minion so you can use Constructive Criticism in the early game.

Consider hiring two if you need one alive for Constructive Criticism in the late game for activation control.

Flexibility

The insane efficiency of Molly's keyword means that she can make enormous changes to her list to adapt to the situation.  This is one of the greatest strengths of the crew - and one of the most difficult things about playing it.

Molly is overall a denial master - since she can remove scheme markers so easily and has amazing activation control, she specialises in cutting away scoring options for the enemy. This means you have to carefully adapt your approach to what the enemy's gameplan is - so you have to be able to predict it!

The payoff is enormous when it happens. Here are some examples:

In a recent matchup on Corrupted Leylines, I would normally take Philip and the Nanny to help run the lodestone. But I didn't want a model that was so vulnerable to English Ivan, so I teched in a Student of Viscera instead. It did the same job, but was less vulnerable to the enemy crew. I also teched in Anna Lovelace because her aura is brutal for Ivan, which also helped to destroy the matchup. Even with those choices, there was tons of space to take everything else I wanted into the matchup.

In another matchup, I was against Tara on Symbols of Authority, where I normally wouldn't take Philip and the Nanny. But my pre-game planning led me to believe that most of the winning strategies involved letting Archie die - which would leave me with no one to teleport Crooligans to! Since my game plan involved teleporting Crooligans around, I included Philip and the Nanny in the list, and didn't even have to cut anything important to make room.

You can just fit so much action into Molly lists, and you can fit whatever tech you need!

Roles & Synergies

When hiring (and playing) your crew, you want to consider the roles each model has.

Every (significant) model is a scheme runner. Points are what matter, and every model always has the role of scheme-running (even if it is bottom priority for them).

Some models are also beaters, or tar-pits, or support. 

There's also synergies to consider. For example:

  • Dead Rider's Ride With Me means Molly can spend less time walking, one of the only bits of support that really boosts her.
  • Archie or Philip and the Nanny are extremely mobile targets for Crooligans to teleport to.
  • Philip and the Nanny next to a Night Terror gets insane movement from fading & concealment. Very potent combo for running around the board!
    • Having the night terror around also gives Philip a target to hit with a mask trigger for extra movement for Philip in an emergency.
  • Gravedigger + Grave Golem + Toshiro usually has enough corpses to go around (but I haven't done this since GG0 now that I own more models).
  • Manos can stagger models with his gun making it easy for Rogue Necromancy to land Projectile Vomit.

Often you'll want to build your list into overlapping teams. For example, consider this list from my recent Tara game mentioned above:

  • Molly - Support, beater, scheme denier, scheme runner & Crooligan beacon.
  • Machine - support, anti-soulstone tech, scheme runner & Crooligan beacon
  • Dead Rider - beater, scheme runner.
  • Manos, The Risen - beater, stagger-giver, scheme runner
    • In fact, Manos secured two of the symbols.
  • Archie - beater, scheme runner & crooligan beacon
  • Philip & The Nanny - scheme runner & crooligan beacon, slow-giver, scheme-denier
  • Night Terror - support for P&N, scheme runner
  • Crooligan - scheme runner, scheme-denier, assassin
  • 3 stones

Every model is available to score points if necessary, but the order of priority is different. If this game is going well, I want Archie, Manos, and Dead Rider to just be killing things all game. But if things get off track, I want all of them available to run off and pick up a symbol.

This flexibility of roles is what won me the game - every single symbol on the board was accessible to me, but I also knew that to stop him from winning I needed to kill his Tara with a Don't Mind Me upgrade. So all my beaters focused on Tara while also being available to score.

In this way, I had several teams (philip + night terror, philip + crooligan, archie + crooligan, Manos + Dead Rider, etc). Each model can be part of a few teams, and their role at any particular time is dictated by the flow of battle.

As I said above, Molly crews are super flexible!

Redundancy

One big danger of Molly crews is being TOO efficient. You can literally score 8 points and deny several points just hiring Archie and a Crooligan.

But what happens if they kill Archie? I've had games where MOLLY had to spend 3 actions walking across the board so I could get a crooligan into position. That's always a sure sign of trouble (although is worth doing it if you get the points).

You have to plan for what happens if they kill critical models. Consider the Tara list above - one of the critical reasons I took Philip and the Nanny was to free up Archie. He is the best crooligan beacon, but part of my plans involved his death. So what do I then? I added Philip and the Nanny for redundancy.

Or consider one of my favourite Recover Evidence lists:

  • Molly & Machine
  • Dead Rider
  • Rogue Necromancy
  • Manos
  • Archie
  • Crooligan

The Crooligan does not have redundancy here, so my plan cannot involve having a crooligan at the end of the game (unless I specifically keep it out of danger all game, which is an option).

However, for my beaters, I have TONS of redundancy. Molly's card draw allows me to support 2-3 beaters, but I've taken 4. This is because I want to have room for a beater to die and for someone else to swap in.

But importantly, redundancy models should still have something to do while they're not performing the role they're a backup for. For example...

  • Archie can scheme run with the crooligan while he isn't being a beater.
  • Dead Rider can reposition models or just power up with focus and fate tokens when he isn't being a beater.
  • Manos can stagger enemies and Rogue Necromancy can Projectile Vomit on them for when they're not yet ready to charge into melee.

In this way, all models are useful, but no model is absolutely necessary to the game plan and can die without worries.

Closing Thoughts

Well, that's enough writing for now! I hope this is helpful.

I had hoped to do more sample lists, but I think I've written enough. If people want more examples, give me a pool and an enemy master and I'll build a list for it :)

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I might occasionally chuck some lists in here as further examples. Here's a list I had prepared for a pool, but doesn't work against Ten Thunders. The pool from April round 2 of the series:

  • Corner leylines
    • Take prisoner
    • Vendetta
    • Spread Them Out
    • Let Them Bleed
    • Claim Jump

So the list I came up with was:

  • Molly & machine
  • Dead Rider
  • Archie
  • Yin, the Penangalan
  • Philip and the Nanny
  • Sloth
  • Crooligan
  • 2 stones

Philip and the Nanny is great for carrying the lodestone, and Sloth can make her fast. Sloth can also make Yin fast, and with the 2" push from Molly and Ride With Me push from Dead Rider, Yin can get into position to attack their lodestone carrier starting from turn one.

Crooligan helps with standard crooligan stuff, and there's two beacons for it. Activation control guarantees Molly last activation which is pretty brutal with the Yin combo above!

So that's an example of tailoring the list entirely to one combo (getting Yin into the enemy deployment zone on corner deployment turn 1), but still building several other considerations into the list.

This doesn't work against Ten Thunders because they have more models than any other faction that are immune to movement shenanigans.

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Nice Part 3 😁 

Was wondering if you have some cases where you love to pick the forgotton marshal

Haven't bought the box yet... seems like marshal and night Terrors are not that popular 

+looks like rabble riser are also just collecting dust for most people

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6 minutes ago, doubleW said:

Nice Part 3 😁 

Was wondering if you have some cases where you love to pick the forgotton marshal

Haven't bought the box yet... seems like marshal and night Terrors are not that popular 

+looks like rabble riser are also just collecting dust for most people

I used rabble risers heaps my first year! But yeah I think once you have more options they're outshined a bit.

Night terrors are fantastic when paired with Philip and the Nanny (one discard = 10 inches of movement over the two), and also situationally for extra concealing.

Forgotten Marshal I just haven't given a fair go. Kirai is by far the best option for a summoner when paired with Molly (at least til she is nerfed), and I have sometimes used Toshiro (again, when I had fewer options).

Personally I highly rate reliability, so don't like the summononing on the marshal. Would take it for a gunline (for example, if playing against Cadmus maybe?).

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6 hours ago, doubleW said:

Was wondering if you have some cases where you love to pick the forgotton marshal

 

I am not as much an expert as @Maniacal_cackle but had some nice success with the Forgotten Marshal and the Rabble Risers.
When I expect to be on the receiving side of some heavy beating, I tend to bring the Marshal. Throughout a game he has considerable chances (10 of :crowis enough for Risers, with Molly's card draw) to bring 3-4 new bodies for the enemy to chew on. 

My favorite summons are Rabble Risers. Depending on your hand/ressources you should be able to get some focus on them with summoning and they always are a threat the opponent can't ignore. They aren't this frightening per se but a big enough threat to leave them untended. 
The Marshal can even soften the target up before the Riser then charges it to make it even more a threat. 
With Molly around a Rabble Riser can dish out 5 attacks after being summoned: Charge + Flurry, then Constructive Critisism for another 3 attacks (even more with right positioning and cards for the Quick Reflexes Trigger) - best case scenario would be 4 of those 5+ attacks with focus. And all of them with the Critical Strike Trigger. 

In most cases I am totally fine with my opponent throwing relevant actions at my summoned 6 Stone Rabble Riser. 

I have to confess that I close to never hire a Rabble Riser, though and I mostly bring the Marshal because I really like his theme and miniature and he surely won't win you a game. I consider him (including his summons) a quite nice speed bump which creates opportunities and time for my winning models to do their stuff. 

To overexaggerate with simple maths: if he only summons a single Crooligan in a game he (kinda) costs me 3 Stones - I consider it a deal. 

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Have you found Molly has enough card draw to support two summoners? I was thinking about Forgotten Marshal and Toshiro combined. Maybe backed by dead rider late. Waves of minions and then a flood of Zombies late.

And I’ve seen how much Luci can turn on enforcer triggers through card draw. The combo of Tools of the Trade and draw probably is the secret sauce there.

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1 hour ago, Stumpyfjord said:

Have you found Molly has enough card draw to support two summoners? I was thinking about Forgotten Marshal and Toshiro combined. Maybe backed by dead rider late. Waves of minions and then a flood of Zombies late.

And I’ve seen how much Luci can turn on enforcer triggers through card draw. The combo of Tools of the Trade and draw probably is the secret sauce there.

It probably depends.

She does have enough card draw that she can do it, but that's 2 less high cards that you're using for combat.

It depends on the pace of the game. If you're expecting plenty of time to do your thing, then it might work.

That said, Kirai as a second master is way better than toshiro + marshal in my mind, although she will be nerfed soon I think.

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Do you use the Effigy? Think he was quite praised in the 3rd floor wars podcast
And if you would hire the forgotten marshal - I guess you would put the wisper on him? 
Also do you use The wisper on Molly? 

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2 hours ago, doubleW said:

Do you use the Effigy? Think he was quite praised in the 3rd floor wars podcast
And if you would hire the forgotten marshal - I guess you would put the wisper on him? 
Also do you use The wisper on Molly? 

I've used the effigy once, I think? Others seem to favour much more heal-heavy strategies than I do. I tend to be a bit healing light. I still want to experiment with effigy with fate upgrade, but I don't own an effigy so only do it on Vassal.

Forgotten Marshal with Whisper makes sense, but 9 stones just feels like so much for what you get. I'm pretty stingy with my cards though xD Personal preference perhaps.

The whisper on Molly is the first thing I do if I have stones to spare. A turn spent doing constructive criticisms and lost knowledges goes sooooo much smoother with a Whisper. And sometimes you can just set up really deadly turns with 9 irreducible damage if you see a good top deck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just watching a game with someone else, and it is really highlighting my issue with night terrors.

If you take Night Terrors, they're really best when you're feeding cards into them. But my crews are usually too hungry to spare the cards for them (unless I am doing a discard combo with Philip to slingshot them across the board).

Similar goes for the Marshal - if he DOES summon, you're spending two cards (one to cheat, one to discard for the summon, though you don't necessarily have to discard to the summon). I prefer to use my high cards for cheating and my low cards for BYS, Leap, Flurry, Ambush, etc.

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