Warmachine Cryx Model Review: Venethrax, screw the blight.
When coming back in mkIII I picked a caster I knew from a previously life, Gaspy2, and a new caster who looked easier to master, Venethrax. By now I have over 30 games played with him, and I'll just give a run down and some quick thoughts.
Lets start with Venethrax himself. He's an "easier caster to master" due to his desire to walk forward and smash. His natural def and arm make him harder to kill (15/17 with 18 boxes). Even on a medium base he's more forgiving, which is key since he'll want to be close to the front line. At PS 15 with 2 inch melee he can hold his own. While he not longer goes super saiyan like in mkii he does have dismember, so he scares warbeasts.
He has Field Marshal CounterCharge, which is incredible. Just the threat of it causes opponents to spend a lot more time thinking. While a good player won't give you many of these, it's a threat to be dealt with. In addition I've counter charged through incorporeal models to surprise people more than once. A wraith engine base is only 5 inches wide, so you can do some funny tricks there, and setup your jacks to have good position going into your turn.
He has Blood Rain as a nuke, but Deadweight is the nuke you'll want to use. A board control element that doesn't require targeting the model you want to lock down is incredible. If Deadweight destroys a living or undead model you can choose a model within 2 inches of it, that model must forfeit either it's Normal Movement or it's Combat Action. This can't be shaken so is great to tie down or slow down HUGE based lists. It's enough of a reason to bring an arc node in my opinion.
Lamentation was a signature spell in previous editions and it's still really solid. At focus 7 and upkeep able it's usually up on turn one and is upkept till I need the focus. The Withershadow (Whom I love) often do this for free.
Mortality, is our Debuff and half of the Cryx Commandments (see previous blogs). It's a range 10 cost 3 that reduces a model/units DEF and ARM by 2. In addition it loses tough and cannot have damage removed from it for one round. The Withershadow often cast this for me, but Venethrax can do it himself to ensure it lands, or to spread it around to multiple targets. Note that even though HUGE bases can't be grievously wounded any more, Mortality does still prevent them from healing.
Terminal Velocity grants +2 movement, free charges and boosted attack rolls on living models. This is a pulse, so jacks can charge out of it afterwards.
His feat, prevents allocation of focus, and prevents leeching fury in control. So clearly stronger into HORDES then Warmachine.
So to recap he has a great spell lists; buffing jacks, debuffing models/units, lamentation to just be annoying and deadweight with cheap arcnodes is legit. So whats not to like? Well, for one Cryx jacks tend to be underwhelming. He also doesn't himself grant pathfinder. I ended up settling on running him with desecrators. Why? Dont worry I'll tell you. Desecrators bring pathfinder innately, which is a huge bonus and almost indispensable. The have a gun and a melee weapon. The gun, Plague Bringer is a rng 10 aoe 4 Scather. We'll use those to control where enemy infantry can go, and we can shoot our own models to ensure they're in the right place. The melee weapon is the Vivisector. It has grievous wounds and Critical Shred. The Shred is what caught my eye. With terminal velocity we have 3 dice to hit. That gives us roughly, 44% (we lose triple 1's and this is assuming that crit 1's plus something else hits) chance to crit, and get that extra swing. That swing itself can then generate a crit swing...so the dmg potential is decent. Plus you always have that one in a "million" time when you get 14 crit shreds on a Mountain King and laugh all they way to the victory!!!
So how is he? Well for a jack caster he's fun to play. Somehow he always feels focus strapped, and honestly can only really be played into 4 of the 12 factions reliably. Due to this I give him a solid C+. He's fun, he'll even win you a few games. But he's too limiting as a tournament pair IMO. Hrd to rate him higher considering Terminal Velocity being dependent on them having living models. In addition his feat really looses a lot of UMPH against warmachine as well. Go get some games in with him though and let me know what you think!