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Abominable Rasputina


Euryale
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Had a Leylines game against Titania 2 yesterday that ended in a close draw. I think I would lose the rematch though. I was able to Ice Pillar off Killjoy for most of the game (only a part of that was Creeping Ice, mostly just Silent One goodness) and in the post-game discussion my opponent regretted hiring him into this matchup and will take the Emissary in future. I'll post the lists and then talk about the Summons and after that the new models/Title.

This was my list:

Rasputina, Abominable - 10SS Cache

  • Wendigo
  • Envy with Diesel Engine
  • Silent One with Magical Training
  • Blessed of December
  • Kaldgeist x 3

vs.

Titania, Autumn Queen - 2SS Cache

  • Gorar
  • Killjoy
  • Rougarou
  • Erymanthian Boar
  • Autumn Knight x 2, both with the Killjoy upgrade
  • Changeling with Ancient Pact

This list was very strong despite Killjoy making only 1AP of attacks against a Kaldgeist (which lived) over the entire game. My opponent was able to draw 6 additional cards every turn using Titania + the Changeling copying Titania which is very potent. On to what I learned.

Summons:

I think the worst summon in general is the December Acolyte, even if you have the card. Summoning one up the board on turn 1 before crews engage has some justification, especially if you can Tools for the Job the summon card back to your hand without your opponent interrupting you. The Ice Pillars being cover just kills this model, and while the Armour +1 helps, it does nothing to fix the models role in the crew. I am still desperately hoping that I've somehow misunderstood the Cryosleep ability and that by treating an Ice Pillar as a Corpse Marker you can also stop treating it as an Ice Pillar temporarily (problematically, this would allow you to walk on it), but as far as I know that is not the case. More on that later as it also hurts Rasputina.

Silent Ones as always are excellent. I summoned one on turn 3 and it was immediately able to start dropping pillars or healing as needed, and with Armour +1 and being able to target through Ice Mirror it is very hard to remove.

I summoned an Ice Dancer on turn 4 that may have been able to help me score the Strat that turn, and definitely would have helped the next turn. Butterfly Jump, Armour +1, and easy healing is a good combo. These are definitely good summons sometimes due to the ease of leaving engagements and the synergy with Kaldgeists.

Finally, I summoned a Hoarcat on turn 1 because my highest card was a 9. I severely underrated these as summons purely due to how effective Manipulative is when you can place the model up the board unactivated. These guys with Armour +1 are amazing tar pits, and the range you can summon them is amazing. On turn 1 I was able to summon one engaged with two Autumn Knights (both had already activated, but Titania hadn't so this blocked her free movement aura) which delayed my opponents entire game plan. My opponent went with Titania and used her, plus a triggered attack from an Autumn Knight, to deal four damage to it after Armour and move it out of Engagement with one of the Knights. Then it went at the end of the turn walked back into engagement (it was still Engaged with one so couldn't charge) and ate an Ice Pillar to heal up 2 ready for next turn with Manipulative back up. Later in the game when I summoned a December Acolyte I sent it in to do a similar tar pit role (as I couldn't shoot ANYTHING with all the Concealing Markers + all the Cover my markers provided) and it just folded.

Kaldgeists:

They are amazing. I strongly recommend keeping one back in your crew to stack shielded on your backline when necessary. Otherwise, a pair of these make for excellent schemers surprisingly while also acting as forward nodes. Their Jagged Ice action is quite good when you're just trying to annoy models that you've pinned down on the other side of a wall of Ice with Silent Ones or Raspy. The only problem I have with them is that Frostbite actually has very little synergy with the rest of the crew as it has very little synergy with the Mutilate trigger, which is how most of the crew gives Slow. Mutilate checks if they have Slow already and only tries to apply it if they don't, which means this aura is still bad even now that you have it on a minion that is actually good, with the mobility to get it near enemies and good ways to give out Slow.

Raspy:

Abominable Rasputina is way better than Raspy1. But like Raspy1 I found her shockwave to be the only good attack action she has. She also has the Summon, which is very, very good, but I'm just talking about the attacks here. I copied Fissure of Frost almost every turn with the Wendigo just for the extra Pillar, the range, and the chance of card draw, and it's what i had the most success with on Raspy's turns as well. The other attacks have a few problems that work against them, but they aren't competing for AP with Fissure of Frost so it is more a disappointment or personal gripe about how this version of Raspy is similarly Shockwave focused in the end.

The problems with Northern Winds are that it doesn't ignore Friendly Fire, and that the damage will usually be at an extra negative on an already terrible spread due to cover from Ice Pillars unless you want to discard a card for every trigger due to Ice Mirror (which still sucks).

Cold Snap is decent but it has some problems as well. The good parts, you can use it on a charge (which will probably give a Shielded due to Ice in the Veins) and the Rift of Snow trigger can get you out of engagement. The bad part is that it's range 1" and you never want to put your Ice Pillars within 1" of your enemy as that saves them an AP to remove it. The Rift of Snow trigger helps if you can land it, but it still might be a better option to just Create the Pillar 2" away and not attack with the melee, thereby guaranteeing that your enemy will have to spend an extra AP to remove the pillar. Still a good attack, just not the focus of her offensive combat like I'd hoped. If they release a Focus spamming model in the Arcanist starter box this attack gets way better.

 

Overall what this crew is missing is card draw, and a way for the crew to ignore Ice Pillars. If Cryosleep was intended to do that and they FAQ it I will be very happy with the crew. If Hoarcats, Ice Dancers, and December Acolytes (along with Ice Gamin, Snow Storm, and maybe a Laugh Off equivalent ability while touching an Ice Pillar for the Ice Golem) are buffed for Raspy1 then that could also bring up the crew and fix the most egregious Ice Pillar problem (which is definitely December Acolytes).

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I played a game with Rasputina 2, and while I haven't played in quite some time, she did feel much much better than her first iteration. The movement, healing, and shields she now provides is much more interactive to play than the set-up and hope style she had before. Her turns felt much more impactful than before and I could do much more in the way of sneaky tricks (usually making very long out of combat pushes with her), whereas she felt like a blunt (and usually ineffective) instrument in her normal form. 

The Kaltgiests were really useful as well - definitely liking them.

Overall, one thing I noticed is her defences and healing seem much much better than before. You can also play a lot more reactively if needed, whereas old Rasputina (in my experience) struggled to come back from a bad round.

The biggest issue is that only Silent Ones felt 'worth' the summon, out of Ice Dancers, them, and Acolytes. Granted, the Ice Dancer got very unlucky, but the Acolyte was just poor all around. In all honesty, I think using a lower card and going with a hoarcat may be a better option as at least it has a lot of small defences. That said, I will try them out again and see if I change my mind. 

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So Raspy's crew has some big issues going on. While I'm glad Raspy2 is seeing some good (well deserved) praise. I do feel like her summon is problematic. There's simply no denying that living December minions are just outright better with Raspy2. This makes balancing them way more difficult. 

Then there is the added headache with the fact that nearly all her models are shared with other keywords. Both the Hoarcat and Blessed are shared with Marcus (mostly Marcus1). Gamin and Golem are shared with Sandeep. Ice Dancers are shared with Colette. Acolytes, Silent Ones, Kaltgeist and Snowstorm are really the only pure December specific models.

So now you have all these layers of balance to try and achieve.

  1. Make it a good hire with Raspy1
  2. Make it a good hire with Raspy2
  3. Make sure it's not too good with the summon upgrade
  4. Make it a good hire with shared keyword

Now I will say that for the most part Wyrd has done an excellent job with the burning man release and having all these dual keyword models that feel good for both masters. So I think it's entirely possible. The problem is that Raspy1 is so far below Raspy2, that you have to start with her first. Once both masters feel equivalent, then you can look to the crew and make sure balance struck there as well.

As for the tied keyword models. They should make sense in those keywords but priority should still go to December. The worst case is that it's good for Raspy and not the others. However given the this huge release, I'm confident Wyrd can make those models feel good for both keywords.

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8 hours ago, Jordon said:

Then there is the added headache with the fact that nearly all her models are shared with other keywords. Both the Hoarcat and Blessed are shared with Marcus (mostly Marcus1). Gamin and Golem are shared with Sandeep. Ice Dancers are shared with Colette. Acolytes, Silent Ones, Kaltgeist and Snowstorm are really the only pure December specific models.

So now you have all these layers of balance to try and achieve.

  1. Make it a good hire with Raspy1
  2. Make it a good hire with Raspy2
  3. Make sure it's not too good with the summon upgrade
  4. Make it a good hire with shared keyword

Thinking on this.

I'll summarise what's below first;

  • Buff Raspy-1 (suggestions below)
  • Major Buff for Acolyte (suggestions below)
  • Minor Buff for Ice Dancer
  • Minor Buff for Ice Gamin
  • Leave the Ice Golem alone (or give it a movement buff when near an Ice Pillar)
  • Leave the Hoarcat alone
  • Leave the Silent One alone (actually I'd make its Healing Energy once/turn for non-Frozen Heart, an tiny OOK debuff)
  • Leave the Kaltgeist alone
  • Give Snowstorm Shielded when it activates near a Ice Pillar

So first their is a clear gap appearing in sentiment between the power and playability of Rasputina-1 (poor) and Rasputine-2 (much improved). So I think Raspy-1, who was already a Arcanist low tier, clearly does need a slight buff. I'd like even more Ice Pillar creation, maybe a trigger on her attack(s), and a across keyword ability to let her crew ignore Ice Pillars as blocking and cover terrain, and buff Shatter first make Frozen Heart immune to effect (or even heal 1), and then increase its range to 8" or 10", and have a trigger (I think :mask) on Shatter to allow her to place in base contact with the shattering Ice Pillar. This makes her more dangerous and more about the pillars than Raspy-2, it gives her some teleport manoeuvrability and it slightly buffs her crew mobility.

Snow Storm might like a very small buff.

Kaltgeist appear clearly solid.

Ice Gamin and the Golem may need a slight buff, but only alight. They are already a weaker selection for Sandeep as well compared to the Metal Gamin/Golem - for +Def and face smashing, or the Fire Gamin/Golem - for +Conditions and face smashing. So the Ice Elementals could sustain a SLIGHT improvement in both Frozen Heart and Elementals. The biggest issue for the Ice Elementals is how much better the Kaltgeist is for its cost, the choice is not even debatable (especially over Gamin). The Gamin really does need a buff, not sure exactly what.

The Silent One is actually borderline to good, it sees a lot of action at +1SS OOK, I'm not advocating a nerf, it's not really OP, but it is very, very good.

The Ice Dancer is in the same place as the Ice Elementals for Colette crews I have never taken it, never seen someone deliver a powerful argument for taking it. The Ice Dancer, even more than the Elementals (which do see some play in both keywords) could use a solid buff, here I would suggest something on her card to further improve her, reducing her SS cost would work maybe for Raspy but less so for Colette where she'd simply displace the Showgirl totally (unless the Showgirl was buffed as well). But the Dancer needs a buff, not sure what exacly.

I think the Hoarcats are borderline, they are OK, I don't think they are a great take in Marcus (either) or Raspy-1, but they do appear useful situational summons. So if, if you do buff them I'd look at something either very, very slight or more maybe buff them through something on Raspy-1 card. But honestly I'd leave them, let the meta's of titles shake out some more, its fair that certain models will see much more action with one or other master iteration.

This brings us to the real troublesome model, the December Acolyte, clearly a poor choice in Raspy-1 and Raspy-2 based on community input. This model is, fortunately, entirely Frozen Heart so only impacts directly in this keyword, and the model is also clearly poorly regarded in both iterations of Rasputina, so improvement can happily stretch across OG and title. This I think could start with -1SS cost AND perhaps a slight buff (I'd like something which means they ignore Ice Pillars as cover) or alternatively a fairly major buff (say Shielded when activating near Ice Pillars, +built in :crowto melee and ranged, +ignore Ice Pillars as cover). The Acolytes really do need a buff and I think it is pretty safe to do so. 

 

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18 minutes ago, dancater said:

. . . .

I think the Hoarcats are borderline, they are OK, I don't think they are a great take in Marcus (either) or Raspy-1, but they do appear useful situational summons. So if, if you do buff them I'd look at something either very, very slight or more maybe buff them through something on Raspy-1 card. But honestly I'd leave them, let the meta's of titles shake out some more, its fair that certain models will see much more action with one or other master iteration.

This brings us to the real troublesome model, the December Acolyte, clearly a poor choice in Raspy-1 and Raspy-2 based on community input. This model is, fortunately, entirely Frozen Heart so only impacts directly in this keyword, and the model is also clearly poorly regarded in both iterations of Rasputina, so improvement can happily stretch across OG and title. This I think could start with -1SS cost AND perhaps a slight buff (I'd like something which means they ignore Ice Pillars as cover) or alternatively a fairly major buff (say Shielded when activating near Ice Pillars, +built in :crowto melee and ranged, +ignore Ice Pillars as cover). The Acolytes really do need a buff and I think it is pretty safe to do so. 

 

I agree on the Hoarcats, they are fine as is atm - particularly as summons. They were already decent enough as schemers, just being able to summon a Hoarcat at the range Raspy can makes them solid. If it was me designing the only thing I would change about them at the moment is making them  individual Hoarcats on a 30 mm base. But that's not going to change. So as hires, then unimpeded would be great, but as summons that doesn't really improve them significantly.  

Acolytes could lose from the shadows which is I don't think provides a lot of value most of the time, and no value as a summons - especially compared to what they could gain in that card space. So replace with a ice pillar buff as you say. The thing is their Harpoon gun is solid - in particular the slow trigger - so if I was to pick something you've suggested it would be the built in crow near an ice pillar.

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Hoarcats fine for Raspy2 only still doesn't really make them fine and only serves to illustrate the problem with the summon upgrade. If it's only worthwhile for 1/4 (1/3 if you con't consider it a hire for Marcus2) of the masters then it needs help. The fact that it's pretty decent for Raspy2 makes it so much harder to fix. Buff it for Marcus and Raspy1 and you might have made it too powerful with Raspy2. 

The best thing I could see in this example is to have specific synergies with those masters that Raspy2 can't tap into. For example, Adaptive Evolution for Marcus as a start. It's completely useless for either Raspy but it does give a direct hook for Marcus. For Raspy1, she needs to figure out what her deal is and to tap into that.

Alternatively you could just make Hoarcats good for Raspy2 and not Raspy1, but then Raspy1 would need to compensate. Maybe Raspy1 has a hook for gamin that Raspy2 doesn't get. So each master is getting their own set of desirable hires unique from each other. I'd be okay with that if it were only limited to a few models. However Raspy2 sort of has a monopoly on all living minions ATM, which seems unfair for Raspy1. 

 

As for the Acolyte. It's a bit easier of a solve but still runs into the "Raspy2 makes it better" problem. It would need to have some direct synergy with Raspy1 in order to compensate for just being better with Raspy2. 

For me however, it still needs to answer the simple question of what its purpose is. Ranged damage dealer simply doesn't cut it for me. Silent ones can do the ranged game better, for cheaper, while safer, and also providing a TON of additional support as well. The Acolyte needs to do more than fire a mediocre gun. Analyze weakness is a nice power when it comes up but it's relatively niche. They just need to figure out a role and lean into that role better. Preferably something unique that doesn't compete with another model within keyword.

Suggestion

  • Looted Supplies? I'm imagining looted supplies with tools for the job being a very potent card draw engine. Raspy would certainly love that
  • Maybe allowing the harpoon gun to drag in corpse markers once it kills something to allow for looted supplies (above) and a tasty snack

 

Ice Dancers did seem to get a nice boost with the addition of the Kaldgeist and Raspy2. However I'm still not sold on their inclusion in Raspy1 and certainly not sold on their inclusion with Colette. 

Some suggestions: 

  • Give them an ability to turn an ice pillar into a scheme marker or vice versa. I'd much prefer this to Freeze the Corpse
  • Allow Ice Path to use scheme markers (maybe give her a trigger to convert the marker as I mentioned above)
  • Maybe a trigger on Ice Path to pulse out distracted (resisted of corse) 
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23 minutes ago, Azahul said:

Wouldn't Looted Supplies be a big buff for new Raspy (Ice Pillars count) and do very little for old Raspy?

It's also not very thematic to the crew.

Give December Acolytes more interaction/synergy with Ice Pillars (as well as making them ignore them for shooting). I'm thinking a Trigger to push a target 3" towards an Ice Pillar and if it gets within 1"/b2b it gains Staggered (which has more synergy with Raspy-1) would be nice. Throw in a Tear Off a Bite Trigger on the Harpoon for funsies.

Maybe give Snow Storm an :aura4 or :aura6, once/activation card draw when a Pillar is removed, perhaps only when an enemy does to restrict it. Will make them a better hire overall and would give the crew some much needed card draw. Maybe change December's Command to be able to target Ice Pillars as well (works with Kaldgeists then) and make it push the target up to 5" instead of Mv, which helps out Gamin/Golem.

Here's a real wacky one, give Raspy-1 an ability that allows her crew to treat models with Slow as Ice Pillars, and if this would remove the Ice Pillar it instead removes Slow. Fair warning, I haven't looked through all the things this could break, I just want more Slow synergy.

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I'm at a loss as how to fix gamin. Kaltgeist completely killed these guys and Raspy2 gives out shielded easier. 

I wouldn't try and lean into damage for these models. I feel like they should offer some kind of utility but I'm having a hard time figuring out something that would benefit both December and Academic. 

On the Academic front, I find there isn't enough incentive to invest in ice pillars and I find them to be the least necessary elemental in terms of summoning. On the December side, I just don't really see their role. They don't scheme, they don't hurt and they don't really bring anything of interest. Frostbite is an interesting ability but again it's just so much better on the Kaltgeist. 

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I played my first game with Raspy2 today and the only thing I'd like to bring up that hasn't been mentioned before is Wendigo using December's pawn to use Rasputina's Bonus Action Fissure of Frost is an amazing use. Only needing a six, the ability to surge off it. Another marker, and extra slow pulsing and hand attack with those mv 13 duels. I was surprised how much it did every turn.

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1 hour ago, Peturd said:

So where are people coming down on Cryosleep? Does it allow you to ignore an ice pillar when determining if a target has cover, since you count the ice pillar as a corpse marker?

I think everyone who has ever played Raspy is hoping it is intended to, but by rules I don't think it does. By RAW it just says you can treat Ice Pillars as Corpses, it doesn't say that your enemy doesn't get to treat them as Ice Pillars (which grant Cover) and it doesn't say that you stop treating them as Ice Pillars.

Hopefully if it is intended to be the patch ability we all hope for it will be FAQed.

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2 hours ago, Jinn said:

I think everyone who has ever played Raspy is hoping it is intended to, but by rules I don't think it does. By RAW it just says you can treat Ice Pillars as Corpses, it doesn't say that your enemy doesn't get to treat them as Ice Pillars (which grant Cover) and it doesn't say that you stop treating them as Ice Pillars.

Hopefully if it is intended to be the patch ability we all hope for it will be FAQed.

"May" is a magic word which makes everything good.  Is it convenient to you for that corpse marker to also be an ice pillar?  Is it inconvenient for that corpse marker to also be an ice pillar?  "May" lets you choose when it is treated as such.

 

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10 hours ago, Peturd said:

So where are people coming down on Cryosleep? Does it allow you to ignore an ice pillar when determining if a target has cover, since you count the ice pillar as a corpse marker?

NuMah has a similar ability (except that it isn't a choice) with Pit Trap and Scrap markers. There was some discussion in another forum on this, but while we agreed it would have been nice if they had used "also", it is pretty clear they don't stop being their original marker (otherwise it doesn't make sense to have the ability). I'd imagine it should be the same here.

Edited by Maladroit
Edit to add quotation marks.
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Sandeep has a similar effect in that friendly academics and elementals "may ignore the effects of friendly terrain markers" Does that mean that models can shoot through ice pillars without giving the opponent cover? I'm not sure if "blocking" is considered an "effect" of a terrain marker or not. 

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14 hours ago, Peturd said:

So where are people coming down on Cryosleep? Does it allow you to ignore an ice pillar when determining if a target has cover, since you count the ice pillar as a corpse marker?

Becoming one thing doesn't stop you from being another thing (for instance, if you become friendly to something, you're still enemy to it. You can be friendly and enemy).

So I don't think there is any justification to stop treating an ice pillar as an ice pillar (it can just gain the corpse quality as well).

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