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Leveticus tips and tricks


graeme27uk
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After doing lots of reading, I have some questions about my ole friend Levie....

1) Does every Levie list contain at least one Canine Remains? And is the purpose of this poor wee doggy just to be converted into a second Hollow Waif on turn one?

2) In Avatar form, he is a rider and gets bonuses from the riders. However, does this work pre-avatar going ping?

3) Alyce and "Ashes and Dust" seem to be almost auto-includes on most lists (assuming points available). Are they really too good not to include?

4) Also the Dead Rider seems to feature lots.... again similar as above.

5) What other tricks/tips do you suggest with Levie? I was using Belles to drag/push things into range of his spells, and also get things out of melee.

6) Should Levie begin with any SPA? Some say yes, others no as he can create them along the way.

7) Does a Levie crew benefit from a bias either way towards undead or constructs?

And its making me mad with curiousity, but what is the deal with Levie and Hollow Waifs? I can't find any fluff anywhere and I don't have the books to read (yet....).

So what is a Hollow Waif, is it a spirit? Does it contain part of Leveticus' soul and so when he dies he manifests from the Waif (bit like Voldermort and the horcruxes)? Are Hollow Waifs willing sacrificial lambs? What is in it for them or are they mindless slaves/cultists?

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A few bits from my experience with him.

It is worth the 2ss to take a remains to allow you to get a 2d waif. Also if you've got an SS Miner you can kill the dog with a crow the attack to gain a soulstone making it cost only 1ss for the waif.

I love Ashes and Dust but would never take him against Von Schill or McMourning as they'll kill him too easily. He's not great for slaughter either. Not a fan of ALycebut I may try her again at some point.

I tend to favour constructs as Levi uses scrap to make SPAs whereas he only needs 1 corpse counter to create a 2nd waif.

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Re: fluff on waifs, I believe they're in book 3 (but I haven't read it yet). The book 1 entry gives very little information on them: They're some sort of tether to the living world, and they aren't spirits (or they would have said characteristic listed on their cards). They're a unique form of necromancy Leveticus has discovered/engineered.

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1) Does every Levie list contain at least one Canine Remains? And is the purpose of this poor wee doggy just to be converted into a second Hollow Waif on turn one?

Nope. Usually yes

2) In Avatar form, he is a rider and gets bonuses from the riders. However, does this work pre-avatar going ping?

Nope

3) Alyce and "Ashes and Dust" seem to be almost auto-includes on most lists (assuming points available). Are they really too good not to include?

Nope, but they are both pretty useful, especially Ashes and Dust in my opinion

4) Also the Dead Rider seems to feature lots.... again similar as above.

Dead Rider is pretty good by himself and he gives Levi mobility with his drag along attack. Levi can take out most models in the game in one activation and 10 inches is a long way for Levi to be moved in order to get in range to do so. YMMV

5) What other tricks/tips do you suggest with Levie? I was using Belles to drag/push things into range of his spells, and also get things out of melee.

Sounds good... I'm trying things out myself...I am pretty impressed with trying to match Levi's crew to the schemes and strategies right now. If and when I come up with things that prove to work i'll try and mention them.

6) Should Levie begin with any SPA? Some say yes, others no as he can create them along the way.

Your milage will certainly vary. Try it out both ways.

7) Does a Levie crew benefit from a bias either way towards undead or constructs?

I think you could make it work either way or with a mix. Have a use for everything and multiple synergies if you can manage it.

And ...snip...

Yeah... read book 3 :)

Edited by schristofersen
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The Hollow Waifs are just basically girls that have given up their soul to Leveticus (some more willing than others) and when he dies, this anomally in the real world provides him with a tether to crawl his way back into the real world again.

Kinda like having spiritual piece of string tied around ones finger, it helps him remember how to get back so he isn't lost to the aether and netherworld, and all those places.

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How about this as a crew for Levie?

35 SS

Leveticus

Bete Noire

Canine Remains x1

Rotten Belle x1

Steampunk Abomination x3

Watcher x1

Soutstone Miner x1

2SS left over

Bete Noire adds some killing power and I can do some summoning her to position with Hollow Waif's or such.

I can use the SSM to gather more SS for me to use.

The Watcher allows me to cast spells from increased distance.

The Belle allows me to pull either Lev into position, behind cover, or pull enemies into range.

Canine Remains - sacrificial victim for a 2nd Hollow Waif

SPA's - ready to get the D/E out.

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So use something else.

Yeah I think you should use whatever works for you. There really shouldn't be "A list" as this is Malifaux.

Really you shouldn't even have "A master" but rather "A faction".

But not everyone can have all the models :)

You could always just replace the watcher with another SPA. I think its a fine list either way.

I have found A&D to be a beast and worth its points. I know other people think it is not. YMMV

I DO think that being able to make Levi mobile is amazingly good as he can really take out most models (including masters) in one activation if he has range and all his AP so being able to move him 10 inches with dead rider is something you might want to consider if you don't like A&D.

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Just to chip in with the most important piece of Malifaux advice - build you list for your strategy, opponent and schemes, not just because you like certain interactions. There is no "all comers" list in Malifaux that can't be refined to include better models once you know the strategy (et al) - and with Levi you have such a big pool to choose from it's good to stay flexible

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Only thing I dislike about Leveticus and the whole undead thing is that it all seems to revolve around "odd" undead.

Hollow Waifs - look like rotten belles, but less dead - I envisage them as willing "cultists" ready to give up their soul for their idol (Leveticus) so that he may live forever, and they through him

Rotten Belles - undead prostitutes.... really? Need I say more.....

Punk Samuri Zombies - apart from the models looking really flimsy (and I have them so I know they ARE flimsy), they just don't fit the idea really.

All the undead seem to be either sexualised women or weird oriental fusion zombies...

Leveticus would be left with a bunch of spirit/undead women in his crew and I just don't like that concept, despite liking Leveticus himself.

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I agree, use what you like and you are guarenteed to play better anyway. (I really hate SS squeezing) and yeah with Levie you get so much choice, so why limit what you use? There are some cool minions out there that can really individualise your crew so go ahead and (pokemon style) use-em-all!

I'm trying to avoid using a Canine remain to kill for 2nd Waif. I think I just disagree with making my souless groupies from dog bits.

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I'm trying to avoid using a Canine remain to kill for 2nd Waif. I think I just disagree with making my souless groupies from dog bits.

Maybe a bit better than from rats. :)

Speaking about Waifs: I'm very interested in how do veteran Levy players protect them?

With Levy's v3 card changes it's much harder to position them too much at the back since you will be spawning Levy right there. Anyway every faction now has multiple options to deal strikes from a very long distance and the opponent just have to wait for Levy's death and then send out the Silurids to eat the Waifs (or arm the Pigapult, summon a Shikome, start the dance of the Showgirls etc.).

The only option I can see is the Guardian but for me that is a bit too pricey, very static way. In addition a few opponents can work around that defence easily.

Overactivation could provide some protection, ie not moving Levy until all dangerous enemy made its activation. The problem is that Levy likes to play with heavy models (Dead Rider, Alyce, A&D, Lazarus etc.) and SPA's don't generate fast enough to gain the upper hand for activation control. And in the middle turns it is usually a very good idea to strike with Levy early, or he will get beaten up badly. So I don't think this a viable option.

So again, I'd like to hear some working methods of Waif-defence!

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It's all about the terrain. I have never taken a Guardian. It's a waste, as far as I'm concerned. You need to identify a battlefield for Leveticus that has a decent place for him to put his two Waifs. This means at least one place with LoS blocking terrain, and preferably another place with the same. If this doesn't happen, something with cover is next, followed be severe terrain. If you can't identify something like this in the center of the board (center being loosely defined), then you're not using enough or the right kind of terrain. You won't get to hide both (or even one) Waif every turn, but you should be able to pick a spot on the battlefield where that's a chance.

If concern for your Waifs is extremely high, go Defensive Stance and Wk 1". This can help them out tremendously. If you're worried about burning the activations on that, companion them to Leve, get them safe, and then use Leve to do some damage.

At this point, you've done almost as much as you can do, really. The above sounds simple, but it's not. Hollow Waif placement is incredibly important. There is no real defense for them. There are two other things I use to keep them safe:

1. Rusty Alyce. Keep her near a Waif for the card benefits when Leve respawns. In the right terrain, she can even block some LoS. Activate her late in the turn and after the Waif itself. This keeps the threat of Rapid Fire and Headshot around (and keeps her free in case you fail to kill Leve). If the Waif has gone first, you can put up Booby Traps to make a melee model think twice about coming in (heck, you can do it before the Waif activates if you don't mind 2 Wds).

2. Board control. You can find threads with people talking about how melee is the only true board control as range isn't enough of a threat and doesn't force disengaging strikes. That is the lay of the land, but let me introduce you to the king of range: Leveticus. With 2 AP, he can pretty much guarantee the death of any model with 9Wds or less (that doesn't have Use Soulstone). Use that threat to your fullest advantage. Let people know what Leveticus' zone of control is. Get an evil smile on your face when they move within it.

Are those last two going to keep your Waifs safe? No. Are they going to help keep them safe? Yes. And always drop Leveticus to 1Wd (don't kill him) unless you know those Waifs are safe. Most crews will have to expend their resources getting to the Waifs and won't be able to finish him off. If that's the case, burn a stone to prevent the 1 at the end of the turn and pray you don't flip the Black Joker.

Does that help?

---------- Post added at 11:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:31 AM ----------

Just a quick amendment - Leveticus and Rusty have a good threat range. If you also hire a crew with a good threat range, it becomes much easier to pick the right battlefield and strike out from it.

I find Leveticus works best while positioning defensively and playing offensively.

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...

Does that help?

Thanks for the long and valuable answer but as you noted most of these were quite straight. Like don't place your Waifs in a spot where Nino can have a free try on them. Yes, that's the minimum you must do to protect them and I agree with you about this is also almost the maximum.

Keeping Levi on 1 Wd is maybe a good try but in most cases you will limit his power if you have to stop at 1 Wd. Also, Levy has to be fairly close to the enemy to deal some pain. So most of the time they can easily eat his SS's with some attacks AND go after your Waifs.

For example a pair of Silurids led by Zoraida can wipe out the Waifs from the opposite end of the board. You can't use melee range for board control against them. You can't hit the Silurids as a preventive measure provided the opponent doesn't offer them with very bad placement. And she can bring more than 2 to ensure a pair makes it at the right time.

Thanks again for the long answer!

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Thanks for the long and valuable answer but as you noted most of these were quite straight. Like don't place your Waifs in a spot where Nino can have a free try on them. Yes, that's the minimum you must do to protect them and I agree with you about this is also almost the maximum.

Keeping Levi on 1 Wd is maybe a good try but in most cases you will limit his power if you have to stop at 1 Wd. Also, Levy has to be fairly close to the enemy to deal some pain. So most of the time they can easily eat his SS's with some attacks AND go after your Waifs.

For example a pair of Silurids led by Zoraida can wipe out the Waifs from the opposite end of the board. You can't use melee range for board control against them. You can't hit the Silurids as a preventive measure provided the opponent doesn't offer them with very bad placement. And she can bring more than 2 to ensure a pair makes it at the right time.

Thanks again for the long answer!

Yeah -- sorry it isn't more helpful!

I try to come as close to maximizing the distance between my Waifs as possible while still using terrain as mentioned above. So deploying w-6"-L-6"-w. That's a good 13" between the Waifs and it's usually at least 6" back from the closest enemy model. I have not faced the Silurid threat specifically, but I find the distance between the two is usually enough when my opponent really only has the one fast option.

When they have two or more fast options, I tend to go a bit more:

L

/ \

w w

This gives me more space between me and them, with the two downsides as not as much space between the Waifs and constantly pushing me back on the board.

If you activate early enough with a Waif or two, you can really spread out that distance (never summon the full and double walk directly away, though). This should make it even more difficult for those fast models to get to them without fear of reprisal. Most models cannot ignore LoS and terrain, so getting some of that between the Waifs really hurts the ability to jump from one to another.

I don't find that Leve has to be close to deal pain. You can Wk 6" and then kill anything with 9Wds or less at 10" (or 12" if you can Wasting it twice). That's a pretty huge threat range, especially when you take into account that if both Waifs survived the previous turn you have some options on where to show up.

I also find that most of Leveticus' hard hitting does not do enough Wds to kill him. He has 8. If you take the free move and love all 3 cards with Lessons, that puts you down to 3Wds left and leaves you with 3AP. Unnatural Wasting won't do any. You can't Entropic Transformation at 3 (and I find this is rarely used in the battle anyway as Necrotic is more potent against anything you can outright kill). Necrotic Unmaking only does 1, which means you could cast it twice. I usually find, because of Waif safety, Leveticus is spending an extra action to Wk to get in the action.

Can you explain to me what is happening with the Silurids? Maybe with the specifics I can provide more useful help.

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Can you explain to me what is happening with the Silurids? Maybe with the specifics I can provide more useful help.

This can be done a good number of ways. It depends on terrain, positioning etc.

Say you take 2 pairs and field them in safe spots at the opposite wings somewhere in the middle of your half of the table. As you said, you need a lot of terrain in Malifaux, so this shouldn't be a problem. You activate your less important/cheap etc. models until Levi is done then Momma Z and his Totem Obeys 1-1 Silurid. This is at least 5" (or 9" if you are lucky to have good charge target). Then you Leap for 9 more inch somewhere near an enemy modell (it must be somewhere within roughly 8-10 inch of target Waif depending on terrain). Self Preservation gives you a free 6" push and then you can attack with your 2" Talon two times with a Cb5 vs Df3. Even one hit could be enough but 2 is more than enough provided Black Jocker doesn't show up.

Also you can charge after Leap and/or Self Preservation in case you can reach the Waif with a 9" charge from there. The [+] flip with +2 stat is usually enough to inflict 3 Dg in one hit. And also if you can spare the Self Preservation move, you can use Blood Frenzy so you can most probably hit 2 times with 1 attack.

The ultimate combo is the use of a Nurse. Inject Speed and Stimulant in just one Silurid. With Reactivate, Wk7, Cg11, Cb9 and [+] flip on damage and a possible Obey or two he will wipe out both Waifs with ease. (But you can steroid another one just like this with the help of Furious Casting and an Obey from Big Z or her totem.) Sure that means at least one dead Silurid but in exchange your opponent loses Levy. Sounds like a fair deal to me.

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This can be done a good number of ways. It depends on terrain, positioning etc.

Say you take 2 pairs and field them in safe spots at the opposite wings somewhere in the middle of your half of the table. As you said, you need a lot of terrain in Malifaux, so this shouldn't be a problem. You activate your less important/cheap etc. models until Levi is done then Momma Z and his Totem Obeys 1-1 Silurid. This is at least 5" (or 9" if you are lucky to have good charge target). Then you Leap for 9 more inch somewhere near an enemy modell (it must be somewhere within roughly 8-10 inch of target Waif depending on terrain). Self Preservation gives you a free 6" push and then you can attack with your 2" Talon two times with a Cb5 vs Df3. Even one hit could be enough but 2 is more than enough provided Black Jocker doesn't show up.

Also you can charge after Leap and/or Self Preservation in case you can reach the Waif with a 9" charge from there. The [+] flip with +2 stat is usually enough to inflict 3 Dg in one hit. And also if you can spare the Self Preservation move, you can use Blood Frenzy so you can most probably hit 2 times with 1 attack.

The ultimate combo is the use of a Nurse. Inject Speed and Stimulant in just one Silurid. With Reactivate, Wk7, Cg11, Cb9 and [+] flip on damage and a possible Obey or two he will wipe out both Waifs with ease. (But you can steroid another one just like this with the help of Furious Casting and an Obey from Big Z or her totem.) Sure that means at least one dead Silurid but in exchange your opponent loses Levy. Sounds like a fair deal to me.

So in the case above I'd imagine you have a pretty good view of this coming. I'm going to talk about what I'd probably do -- this might not be news to you or useful. Sometimes Bad Things Happen. But anyway...

They need a 7+ for Obey on Z, a 10+ for Obey on the Doll, and a 7+ for Leap on the Silurids. All in all, this is potentially costly in terms of cards + soulstones. I don't know how many small models your Z opponents run with, but hopefully you have a decent chance to at least get to the Obey castings before you have to activate. The Silurids are running you 10 in a 30ss game, and most people are going to take something that costs more, too. So let's assume a better case for them where they can Charge off of an Obey. 9" move forward, and you have LoS. Most models you'll take with Leveticus can dump off some hurt at that range. If you manage to go with Leveticus, you can even kill a Silurid or two (if he's what has LoS). Rusty also has a decent chance here.

Assuming you can't actually react to what they just did and the Silurids are next, they'll have to Leap towards a model to get in range to use Self-Preservation (as they need to be in melee range). So assuming that all works out, they just moved that Silurid 24". That's quite a range. Then they have 2 AP for swings or a charge. Still, this is only likely to take out one Hollow Waif. If they do it with 2 Silurids in slightly varying directions, they might be able to get both Waifs.

For me, it would all come down to activations. If they are really running with a ton of cheap models, Leveticus is going to get out activated. The advantage here is that your opponent won't have a lot of heavy hitters. Play aggressively early and move up -- you already know he can threaten your Waifs almost anywhere, so don't bother keeping them safely back. Move up aggressively. Try to wait out his activations with Leveticus. His whole chain requires that he be safe while he's doing it, have a decent to good control hand, be activating after you, etc. Try to hit that nice gap after the Obeys but before the Silurids. Activate the Hollow Waifs early and defensive stance them, the ++ will go a long way toward beating the +2Cb. Since Silurids minimum is 2, they'll need two swings to kill a Waif. Hopefully they're burning cards on Obey and Leap, so don't have them open for cheating on 2 different Waifs (if they aren't burning cards on still have good cards in their hand, chances are their opening flips will suck).

From there, I'd take two approaches. I wouldn't bother killing Leveticus. Yes, it's nice to get the extra cards, but unless you tell him to take Wds, he'll only take 1/turn. Keep him healthy as you move up the board so your Waifs are less important. The chance of him being able to kill all 3 is minimal. Death's Lessons with Leveticus and only put 11+ on top of your deck so the Waifs can flip them. Use them on defense.

If even one model lives, the whole activation the turn before is largely a waste. The Silurids are either spread out or at least away from the rest of the crew and are not going to make it back into safety.

I'm not quite sure what to tell you here. It reads to me like you're ending up in a situation where your opponent is setting up something that requires quite a bit of planning. You can go for your points during this or just hang back.

Yeah... this is a hard situation without the game itself happening. Hopefully something above helps, but really it was just a brain ramble. Sorry about that.

What else is normally in the Z list? What else are you taking with Leveticus?

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I'm not quite sure what to tell you here. It reads to me like you're ending up in a situation where your opponent is setting up something that requires quite a bit of planning. You can go for your points during this or just hang back.

Yeah... this is a hard situation without the game itself happening. Hopefully something above helps, but really it was just a brain ramble. Sorry about that.

What else is normally in the Z list? What else are you taking with Leveticus?

Very thorough analytics there again and you indeed gather all the resources in these bad matchup. You have a solid grip of the mechanics, sir! :)

Just some notes:

- Obey is not a must at all, I just mentioned it to have a clear view of all the options. You can reach the Waifs without it in most cases. Also Big Z can use a discarded card (or even see her hand with luck) so she has some control over what she flips. And if you somehow do need an Obey, SS can save the day.

- Card dependance of the plan is clear but not that problematical. Usually you can attack the Waifs in turn2. At that time you drawn 2x6 cards. Provided you can reach the Waifs with Leap, Self Preservation and Charge (theoretical max threat: 9+6+9+2) all you REALLY need is 2 Leaps (7+), 2 cards for the attack that is weaker by 1 point than the Waif defence card and 2 moderate cards for the damage (6+). Since most of the flips have more than 50 chance to succeed, on avarage you will need 1 or 2 cards for leaping and damaging and you need to win the 2 key duels vs the Waifs but that's also not unlikely since you have +2 stat bonus in that battle.

- Activation control is a possible way to stay alive but that relies heavily on the lists. And the lists are made based on the terrain and the strategies fliped. So I can't give you whole lists because that will be Theorifaux at the highest level. :) But please note that Z can spawn Wicked Dolls or respaw her Totem that will give the team valuable activation time.

- The basic plan doesn't really need careful setup. All you need is 2 Silurids in a safe spot to spring out when Leveticus already crippled himself enough in that turn. Of course you can spice it up with Nurse and Obeys but as I said they are just overkills in most cases.

All in all thanks for your ingsights, they can definetely save Levy's .ss in some cases. And now we can discuss the surviving strategy against for example a Pigapult. :)

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