Warmachine Cryx Model Review: Scaverous, the baddest undead librarian to date
Coming back into Cryx my first thoughts for a pair were Gaspy 2 and Venethrax. I ended up sticking with Venethrax and dropping Gaspy2 for...Scaverous! The bad ass, undead, chief interrogator librarian of Cryx. Okay, I'll bite what makes him bad ass? Well for one he has Telekinesis. No that can't be true if Cryx had TK they'd be WAY OP. Really he's had it forever, just everyone was too busy shadowbinding everything and applying banes to the face to notice. Now that we can't Shadowbind everything and banes don't immediately make you favored to win a game maybe he deserves to come down off your shelf for a test drive?
So lets start with Scaverous himself. He's on a medium base and has a pretty respectable stat line of, Spd 6, Mat 6, Def 14, arm 17 Focus 7 and 18 HP. So right off the bat we see he's not going to die to a few random deviations, In addition he has the Magic weapon Avernus which has a respectable PS 16, and Thresher! He also has the Soul Taker: Cull Soul ability, and Knowledge of the Damned. Knowledge of the Damned allows Scaverous to spend a soul to force a model to re-roll and attack or damage roll in his Control. A roll can only be re-rolled once due to KotD. This certainly isn't something to just gloss over, we can use it offensively or defensively. It's not uncommon to go grab Scaverous a few souls before he goes for the caster kill to ensure we have rerolls. It's really a signature ability, and one that is often forgotten.
Lord Exhumator Scaverous has quite the spell list:
Death Ward Friendly faction model/unit gains +2 arm. If a warjack is dmg'd you choose the column. One of the few Arm buffs in Cryx, helps get our jacks to a more reasonable range or keep Scaverous alive himself. I've also tossed it on the Mc'Thrall boat for ARM 16 shield guards if I'm going into a really heavy gun line.
Excarnate Range 10 PoW 13 nuke, that if it boxes a living enemey model you can add a grunt to a friendly undead unit. The placed grunt must be within 3 inches of the caster. While Excarnate didn't change from edition to edition, the bile thrall nerf hurt it. That being said it's still a solid nuke.
Feast of Worms Range 10 aoe 4 Pow 12 Nuke that costs 4. It's an upkeep, and it lowers the arm of enemy models inside it by 2, in addition the spell caster gains the destroyed models soul tokens regards of proximity. This is the first of two ways he has to improve his soul collection. An Armor Debuff helps follows our Cryx Commandment #1, Bring at least two sources of Armor Debuff... In addition it's a pretty strong nuke. Sure 4 costs a lot but being able to get an arm debuff on a model with banishing ward is pretty huge (target something next to it, deviate onto it, etc etc). Also worth nothing the main hit goes to ps14, but the AOE dmg is effective 8, easy to mix that up in a game.
Icy Grip Range 8 upkeep spell that costs 2. Target Warrior model/unit without immunity Cold suffers -2 def and cannot run or make power or special attacks. By no means an amazing spell but he is able to lower def and arm on the same model. In addition it can provide some cute interactions on units. The unit "presses forward" these models charge, theses ones over here can't run...
Soul Harvester Range 6 upkeep spell that costs 2. When target friendly faction model/unit destroys a living enemy model with a melee attack, the spellcaster gains the destroyed model's soul regardless of the proximity of other models. This is the other half of his soul gather mechanic, and can be really strong. Clearly dependent on the number of living enemy models your opponent is bringing, but when it works it can be amazing.
Telekinesis No really he has TK, in CRYX! Range 8 costs 2 place the target model completely within 2" of it's current location. It's an amazing spell that people said they'd never give Cryx, and when they did no one cared...
To tie this amazing spell list together his feat, Black Gate, Boosts friendly Faction models model attack rolls. In addition when Scaverous casts a spell reduce it's cost by 1. Enemy models casting spells in his control range increase the cost by 1. So on Feat turn he can sling whatever he needs to, and odds are he's going to hit. Lets tie this all together with some synergies, and some downfalls.
Whitershadow Combine: Scaverous has a ton of things he may want to upkeep, they help with that. In addition they can sling a friendly TK and that Pupper Master on Scaverous has been clutch more times than I care to remember. They also benefit from his feat for some boosted Dark Fire attack rolls.
Erebus: What a weird jack... Overtake, Poltergeist, PS16 Stationary on hit and Immunity cold. The bond allows any living enemy models Erebus kills to go to Scaverous. I do like the interaction of TK and Overtake. I've run in with Scaverous with success. He needs a lot of help to swing down opposing heavies though.
Croe's Cutthroats: Scaverous can get them backstabs, and he can lower the armor of the target. With stealth and Repo 5 they are decent at keeping themselves alive afterwards as well
Satyxix Raiders: They are my favorite target for Soul Harvester. They jam well, and with 2 base attacks and gang can often clean up the souls if your opponent was foolish enough to bring them.
Ragman: The additional threat a TK brings him is incredible. Ragman plus Scaverous also completes our Cryx Commandment #1 by bringing two sources of armor debuffing.
Cephalyx Overlords: This is one that's done great for me, but others haven't had as much luck. On feat turn 3 boosted attack spray 8's that don't require LOS are powerful. They clear the infantry that is trying to jam your raiders or croes. However they are 8 points for 3 models. Give them a try and let me know.
Mc'Thrall Boat: Okay Scaverous sometimes gets shot, so having shield guards is a thing. Deathward on them makes them Arm 16, so the odds of them living through heavier shots increases. The unit also gives a target for excarnates.
So what does Scaverous do. Well he clearly threatens an assassination with his feat. He might be able to spell softer casters to death, but he's great at setting up other pieces to kill you. If you can get the soul train moving he can be hard to slow down. In matchups where assassination is less likely or they have fewer souls on the table he has to use TK and feast to scalpel out pieces with the Croe, and pushes for scenario wins using the strength of TK. I don't know what SR2017 will do to this but he's been a super fun ride in mkiii. I'm 7-0 in local steam rollers with him (18 and 24 people respectively) and have won both. So what are you thoughts on him? What have you been running thim with?