Rathnard Posted July 1, 2010 Report Share Posted July 1, 2010 (edited) (updated 22nd Sept 2010) Sometimes when I feel like killing time, I write. As my new favorite Master I've been getting a fair number of games in with ole' saggy-bags, so lately I've been writing a tactics article for her. I hope someone gets some good use out of it. ----------------------------------------- PLAYING ZORAIDA - A DETAILED DISCUSSION Zoraida's playstyle is all about manipulation. She manipulates the deck, she manipulates everyones models and she makes sure that if anybody's going to cheat, it's going to be her. It's an unusual playstyle since aside from the odd poison counter, her offensive power comes entirely from obeying other models to attack each other. This, along with some of her other abilities, actually makes her one of the most flexible Masters in the game. When facing a given Master you can usually be pretty sure of how that Master will play - for instance a Lilith crew will always focus on melee and a Pandora crew will always focus on damage through Wp duels. Knowing what to expect allows players to adapt their crew and tactics accordingly, but with Zoraida, the only thing you can be sure of is that she can keep her distance while she manipulates both your crew and hers. At best an opponent could take high Wp or immune to influence models, but even then she's still quite happy to just Obey her own minions instead. What this means is that Zoraida is a blank slate - whatever playstyle you want your crew to use, Zoraida will be able to help. If you want a slippery crew that's hard to pin down, take silurids. If you want to focus on dealing damage from range then Gremlins, Jack Daw and/or a convict gunslinger will help. Resiliance? Waldgiest and Super Juju. Pure Melee? Nephilim. It doesn't matter what crazy crew or tactics you want to employ, Zoraida will be able to complement it perfectly. And likewise, Zoraida doesn't care what crew your opponent takes either - she'll be just as effective regardless. ZORAIDA IS FAST Zoraida is arguably the fastest and hardest to catch Master in the game. The Raven ability gives her incredible mobility, and Proper Manners or Repulsive can help her escape out of melee range of an enemy minion if needed. This mobility can extend to her crew as well. Obey will let one of your minions make an additional Wk or Cg, and Repulsive can be used to give a slight movement boost to your own minions, including pushing them into line of sight and range for a charge in their next activation. YOU CAN"T HIT ZORAIDA Zoraida's mobility makes her a tricky Master for opponents to target, but even if they can their chances of actually hitting her aren't great. The flip from Proper Manners greatly reduces their chance of making a successful attack and prevents them from cheating as well. Focused/Channeled attacks will get around this, however, as will any other ability that gives them to their flip (eg. paired). If you can cast Bewitch on the attacker then that will still prevent them cheating, which is a huge help. It's also worth remembering that Zoraida's Df is well above average for a caster and her Wp is utterly obscene. So even if a spell/attack does connect, you have a decent chance of resisting it. ZORAIDA FOR THE WIN! Most strategies and schemes are reliant on models being at a certain spot on the table by the end of the game, and Zoraida is arguably the single best master for fulfilling these. Once again, Raven lets Zoraida get to just about any spot on the board within one or two activations, and the final 4" push with invisible servants can get you those last few inches at the end of the game, although it's rarely needed. Obey and Repulsive could also be used in this way, both to push enemy models off an objective or move your own minions into position. ZORAIDA LOVES HER VOODOO DOLL The Voodoo Doll effectively gives Zoraida's spells , no LOS requirement and unlimited range. If you plan on casting spells on a particular enemy model for more than one turn, creating a Voodoo Doll to Conduit the target model is almost a no-brainer. While Zoraida must be within 1" of the doll to get her casting benefits, the doll can be summoned up to 6" away. So if finding a model in LOS is an issue, you can summon the doll 6" away and then move the doll back to within 1" so she can target the connected model next activation. Poison 2 is a nice ability that can soften up an enemy minion or even kill a 3-4 Wd model within two activations. One thing to be wary of are models with "shrug off" or a similar ability that could remove the poison counters. It won't remove Conduit, since it's the Voodoo Doll with the effect, not the target model. This also means that if the target model is replaced (such as a growing nephilim or a scattered arachnid swarm), the Conduit will not go over to the new model/s. As a totem, the Voodoo Doll can also cast one of Zoraida's spells, which is most often going to be Obey. One great trick with the Voodoo Doll is to activate the Doll, cast Obey, then companion Zoraida who casts a second Obey and creates a new Voodoo Doll (sacrificing the old one). In the next activation, you can now activate the new Voodoo Doll to cast a third Obey! The Voodoo Doll itself is surprisingly hard to kill. Despite having only 2 Wd, Df8 makes it very hard to hit and if you combine it with defensive stance, it can actually survive a few rounds in combat with almost any minion or master. I've even seen one survive two turns against Lilith! Finally, remember that the voodoo doll is expendible! If Zoraida needs to reposition herself with a Raven and the Voodoo Doll won't keep up, then leave it behind and create a new one as needed. ZORAIDA AND CARD MANIPULATION Bayou Two-card is an incredible ability that makes Zoraida a very card-efficient Master, since you can effectively use a given card twice in a row. This is mainly useful for casting several spells in a row (especially the high-cost Crystal Ball), although at a pinch it can be used defensively or even in combat (eg. flip a red joker for the melee strike, then use it for your damage flip). If you're not casting Raven, then Crystal Ball should almost always be your first action with Zoraida. It's not always necessary to successfully cast it, but unless you need to move somewhere there's no reason not to give it a try. When you do successfully cast it, the trick to using this well is to figure out what you'll be doing next, and which cards you or your opponent will be flipping for those subsequent duels. For instance if you plan to Obey a friendly model then you could place the lowest card second from the top, making that low card the resist flip for your target. You could also get around low cards in your deck by making sure you flip it on a flip (most often with Conduit from a voodoo doll). ZORAIDA AND HER OFFENSIVE SPELLS Obey is what Zoraida should be casting the most often. You can either Obey your opponents minions to beat on each other or pull them out of position, or you could obey your own minions for an extra charge or (1) action. When picking an Obey target, keep an eye out for models that have a high damage output (Nephilim), have a spell/ability that can only be used once per turn (Copycat Killer) or have an ability that will damage themselves (Punk Zombies). On the latter point, just remember that you can't deliberately kill a model by obeying it. So self-detonating spiders are out, but jumping off buildings is fine (since it's not a guaranteed death). Bewitch is an excellent spell that can seriously disrupt your target model's capabilities for a turn. If they can't cheat, their chances of winning any duel becomes much lower. It reduces their offensive abilities (especially if they want to use a high-cost spell) and it makes them very vulnerable to whatever you're trying to attack that model with. Never underestimate this spell. For all it's potential, Hex tends to be a very situational spell. Against some minions, Hexing away a talent or spell can effectively eliminate them as a threat (eg. Bete Noire, Jack Daw, Candy). You can also use it to remove negative abilities from your own minions (eg. Gremlin and whoops, Hans and Sniper rifle, Jack Daw and Betrayed/Betrayer). However the high casting cost and the fact that it's a (2) action means that you need a very good reason to use it. If the Hex is going to kill or otherwise neutralise an enemy minion then by all means, do it. But generally I find that Zoraida tends to have more important things to do. ZORAIDA IN MELEE Nobody really expects Zoraida to perform well in melee. She's very good at avoiding it too - between raven and repulsive, most melee fighters will find it very hard to pin her down. But in some cases getting her into melee can be a good idea. She's not likely to do alot of damage but with proper manners, Df5, Defensive Stance, the Regret trigger and some soulstones, she's pretty capable of holding up an enemy model who'd otherwise be causing all sorts of trouble with the rest of your crew (mostly ranged minions/masters). If Zoraida absolutely needs to kill something in melee (it won't happen often, but it will sometimes), the combination of bewitch and crystal ball with her Voodoo Pins and the Maim trigger can give her a respectable punch in combat. ZORAIDA AND SOULSTONES When it comes down to it, Zoraida doesn't need her soulstones anywhere near as much as most other Masters. She's very difficult to hurt so she rarely needs Soulstones to boost resist flips or make a damage prevention flip. She might like a Soulstone or two to boost her damage in melee but as above, Zoraida rarely needs to make melee attacks against models herself. For the most part, that leaves Zoraida free to burn soulstones to boost her own spells. This isn't likely to be something you need to do regularly - with Bayou Two-card and her high Ca you'll probably have a high card for the flip anyway. However if you really need to get off a certain spell, such as Bewitch on a Master or a particularly critical Obey, then you should definitely not hesitate to burn a Soulstone for it. Other than that, the only other need Zoraida has for her Soulstones is reflipping initative (which can be invaluble sometimes) and resummoning Super JuJu, which I'll discuss later. ZORAIDA IN BRAWLS I haven't ever tried using Zoraida in a Brawl match but with her tendency to complement whatever crew she's with, she would be an excellent choice for a Second Master. The best way to use her would be to spend the entire soulstone alotment on a crew that will work best with your first Master, and then add Zoraida as the second master. That way you are able to use a single, synergised crew rather than two diluted crews with limited interactivity between them (which is what would happen when pairing Lilith with Pandora, for instance). When paired with Lilith, Zoraida is probably going to get by unmolested while your opponent concentrates on the ultra-fast, ultra-destructive Nephilim. Raven will allow her to keep up with the rest of the crew and she'll still be able to obey any friendly minion for either a Grow effect or a charge/melee strike. With Pandora, Zoraida will be able to add damage to her Wp-based spells from a fairly safe distance. Of perhaps more importance is that you'd be able to take advantage of Pandora's The Box Opens ability to Obey models who would ordinarily be immune to influence. In terms of your own crew this means you'll be able to Obey Teddy, Super Juju and the Hooded Rider. Of those, Teddy probably gets the most benefit from this, since the Hooded Rider would probably prefer to hit and run with Mounted Combat and Teddy's potential damage output is higher than Super Juju's. Of more relevance is being able to Obey your opponents Immune to Influence models. I haven't yet looked into the potential for this, but it's definitely not a bad thing. The Viktorias tend to take a crew of expensive specialists, so Zoraida will simply enhance that. The Viktoria's tend to be a bit of a glass cannon, so Zoraida's ability to obey enemy models out of position or bewitch potantial threats will help alot with the Vik's survivability. My experience with or against So'mer Teeth Jones is limited to a single game thus far but I imagine the same basic principle would apply for using Zoraida and So'mer together. Obeying Warpigs to charge what you want and bewitching targets for the Gremlins to shoot and actually have a chance of hitting seem like the most obvious benefits. You could also use it it help the mosquito's get off parasitic infection, by using obey to get the mozzie into range and then bewitch to minimise your opponents chances of resisting the attack. BUILDING A CREW Your choice of minions will have alot to do with what sort of strategies/schemes you or your opponent have, the terrain you'll be playing on and what crew you think you'll be facing. If you're playing exactly according to the encounter rules in book 1 or 2 then you shouldn't know about your opponents crew, but realistically this isn't often the case, due to either house rules or the fact that you know what's in your opponents Malifaux collection anyway. In any case, given Zoraida's role as a support caster, your first choices for her crew will often be minions that can deal damage for her. It doesn't matter whether they're ranged or melee, Zoraida does just as well with either. This doesn't mean other 'support' models that don't purely deal damage (eg. Hamelin, doppelganger) have no place in a Zoraida crew. There are plenty of schemes and strategies that don't require actually killing your opponents crew at all, and in such cases just disrupting your opponents crew could be all you need. One thing to keep in mind is that Zoraida cannot obey models that are immune to influence. So if you include minions like Super Juju or the Hooded Rider in your crew, make sure you have a reason for taking them over non-immune to influence minions like the Mature Nephilim. Naturally, the main reasons for this would be either fior their other talents (eg. Super Juju's effective immortality) or because they're immune to your opponents Wp-based duels. Edited September 22, 2010 by Rathnard Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.