So this will be the first in my series of looking at the most used and dreaded Warlocks of the Legion, what model/units the Warlock can improve, and which model/units can improve the Warlock. We’ll also look at the weaknesses of said Warlocks and what to expect they can do to your forces.
Disclaimer. This is personal opinion and if you choose to try your own thing or disagree and want to voice your opinion, put it in the comments. I’m more than happy to hear other people’s views.
We will be starting with my “Taking all comers” Warlock and who I use most of the time, Saeryn.
Let’s look at the lady herself. She has 7 FURY and the standard 16/14 defensive line that most small base legion warlocks adhere to. She has better RAT than MAT though you won’t use much of either unless you really need some POW8’s or to take advantage of her weapon properties. She’s as fast as you can get without being on Cavalry and a reasonable CMD that you generally won’t ever need. She has Deathspur as her melee weapon, a kind of dagger which she can also use as a ROF3 range weapon and has the thrown ability so both are POW8. Both variations have automatic Grievous wounds so are great for stopping tough on things like boomhowlers or any trollkin and can also stop warbeasts and other models that require a heal from being able to do so, like abilities like self-sacrifice. It can, if you really need it, stop enemy Warlocks from transferring. Sounds great, but it is only RNG7 so she is going to have to get pretty close to get any hits in and her RAT isn’t so great she can hit more than DEF12-13 reliably without boosting, and she has so many things that are better to spend the focus on. As is the case most of the time, it’s a magical weapon so can deal with incorporeal models and shitty solos like Paladin Vilmon.
In terms of her passive abilities she has only 2 and one you won’t see much use from, her ability to channel through her Warlock sister Rhyas. Her other ability is fantastic though, Force barrier, a +2 bonus to DEF against Ranged attacks and immunity to all blast damage. Worth note is the fact that she is not immune to effects caused by the blast such as continuous effects or debuffing effects like Time Bomb. Also unaffected are AoE’s like Gorman’s Acid Bomb or Hellmouth that state “models under the AoE suffer a POW?? Damage roll” Now onto her spells, upkeeps first:
Banishing Ward: A great spell that removes Enemy Upkeep spells from Model unit and also makes the target model/unit unable to be targeted by enemy spells and Animi. Upkeepable. I find this spell situational and there are certainly occasions to really consider it such as casters like Vayl2 or Goreshade3 where spell assassinations are very likely. Consider your opponents army and weigh up if this worth the FURY to cast/upkeep as I find her other spells are more useful.
Respawn: The hordes version of Reconstruct. When target warbeast dies it heals a point in each aspect and is placed within 3″ of where it was killed. This is within not completely within so it gives you some wiggle room to get it into a safe location again. Useful spell if you can’t quite judge the threat of your opponent or you expect to lose a beast but know it will take everything they have to remove it. I cast this more than Banishing Ward and find it useful for Scenario play.
Onto her offensive spells now:
Hellfire: A pretty common nuke spell with a 10″ RNG and POW14 and can cause a model/unit hit to have to do a CMD check or flee. Can be great for killing an annoying solo that came too close or for getting a little bit of extra damage into a caster or beast/jack. I find I cast this more when I’m backed into a corner a little, needing to use it destroy an objective or the last of a unit or something that is threatening her. Probably the least used of her offensive spells.
Breath Stealer: A fantastic spell that is cheap to cast but can only be cast ONCE per turn. It gives model/unit hit a -2SPD/DEF reduction and is NOT an upkeep. That means it can’t be purified, it can’t be shot off by Eiryss, a Cyclops shaman can’t remove it and Hex Blast/Disbinding can’t pull it off either, I don’t think anything can. It’s a great utility spell, able to keep your models from being charged and can also help your models hit better and maybe saving a boost or 2. Cast it often and if you are really unsure, boost to hit. The extra fury to ensure this lands can be the difference between losing a beast and not losing a beast.
Blight Bringer: Oh my, where to begin. While technically not an offensive spell it is devastating. It’s as expensive as a spell gets but it is worth every fury point. Target warbeast within 10″ is automatically hit and a 5″ AoE is centered on it. All ENEMY models are hit and take a POW12 Corrosion damage roll and the AoE stays in play. Models entering or ending their activation in it suffer 1 automatic point of corrosion damage. Cast this often, use it for offence, killing upwards of 5 models if you can get a good target and is amazing for killing High DEF/low ARM units like Kayazy’s or Nyss Hunters. Use it defensively to block off a big lane where single point models just can’t advance. It is her signature spell, and it is one of the greatest spells in any Warnouns arsenal. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a game that has gone past 2 turns without casting it at least once. The POW12’s are boostable also so if you just need a little bit more damage after your warbeast hasn’t quite killed what it was after but a boosted POW12 stands a good chance of killing it then it can be worth a cast, though it is almost all her fury. Another thing to consider are that it CAN be cast on a warbeast that’s engaged, it doesn’t matter, you never roll to hit on anything, it’s just that amazing. Another thing to note is as this targets your own warbeast it gets around certain abilities that would be affected by a targeted spell. Examples are Self-Sacrifice which states it can only be done when a model is killed by an enemy ATTACK, Blight Bringer is not an attack so the models cannot self-sacrifice. Another example of its uniqueness is Greater Destiny on Holy Zealots who can only be hurt by spells and feats but cannot be targeted by spells. Blight Bringer meets all of those requirements as its spell damage and it’s targeted on our beasts so Greater Destiny does fuck all. And being able to tell Menoth they can’t do something is such sweet tasty vengeance.
Ok, the big point about Saeryn that deserves attention. Her feat, Foreboding. Holy shit, this feat. Small, Medium and Large based models battlegroup cannot be targeted by melee attacks for 1 round. Consider the games you play, consider the amount of melee attack rolls you make per game. I think it’s safe to say that Warmahordes is predominately a Melee oriented game, bar a few factions/lists. Nothing can compare to that feeling when you tell an opponent what her feat does for the first time. Even if they know what she can do no-one is happy to see her feat. It can range from being an annoyance to you basically get a free turn where you are completely safe from any retaliation. It can be used offensively with Legions many flying beasts able to fly over models to juicier targets without taking free strikes, to let models already in melee walk out of melee and take shots or move into better positions for things like Bloodbath. It can also be used defensively when you feel you are going to be the one who is going to get Alpha struck. There’s been many a game where I have even just Ran my warbeasts into my opponent’s models and just said “deal with it”. A tenacitied Angelius engaged and unable to be melee’d is an Angelius that is most likely going to survive the turn and armour pierce whatever it ran into melee with. It’s a game winner, it can stop opponent from getting into contesting range of flags, stop them from removing models from flags or zones, can block paths into zones meaning they’d have to deal with free strikes from the models they can’t deal with. As stated it is only battlegroup, which does include herself but Saeryn is meant to run beasts, and a lot of them. Probably the best feat in legion, and probably one of the best in the game. Learn when is optimal to pop it, normally turn 2 or 3 unless you and your opponent are REALLY aggressively making their way up the board, and you will dominate your opponent. One last note. Tramples. Tramples are not targeted on a model and you are thus, not immune to them. I have never ever seen anyone trample over her on my feat turn though.
With that information I want to talk about a few other things to consider with Saeryn. Her natural High DEF against range and her ability to make herself immune to targeted spells AND the fact she is immune to blasts AND her feat making her immune to targeted melee make her sound unkillable. This is a false sense of security. She has Low ARM and will die very easily if hit with no transfers. Her DEF to melee is not high enough to save her outside of feat turn and even a single weapon master charge could kill her. She has lots of tools to keep her alive, from Blight Bringer to Banishing Ward and the Defensive buffs from our Warbeasts and they should be used at ALL times. Saeryn’s natural high DEF to ranged attacks means with the right terrain and buffs she can become DEF23 against shooting with relative ease and that is often enough to put off any shooting assassinations.
This brings me to her main Weakness, and one that opponent’s familiar with her exploit often. Knockdown. if she hits the floor she is dead, like most casters but with her false sense of security and such great offensive spells and her feat she needs to be up near the action to make the best use out of it she finds herself closer to models that can kill her than other casters might. Out of all the games I’ve lost with Saeryn, more than half of them have been because she got her ass knocked to the ground and shot to death. Even knocked down she can still reach DEF12 easily but its only DEF12, it’s not amazing. Stationary is also another consideration as a weakness but isn’t found as often as knockdown outside of Sorscha1, Goreshade3 and some Trollkin or critical effects but can be equally as devastating. The 2015 Steamroller rules have now given us the option to choose our objective’s ability and I choose Stockpile every time and I highly recommend you do the same. Another weakness, or at least I consider it a weakness is her lack of Pathfinder. Depending on terrain placement it can restrict how you can position to get control area coverage for your beasts and remain able to get out of dodge quickly or cover both sides of the board for scenario coverage. Also to consider is that she can get Concealment from forests which is great, but she will get stuck in that forest if you go too deep. Also she doesn’t have eyeless sight so you won’t be able to get the most out of her amazing spells if she is more than 3″ into said forest. I think that covers everything about the Warlock herself, let’s take a look at what compliments her.
Angelius: Take at least one. Having that option of an armour piercing attack on a model with a 12″ threat that can be made immune to free strikes is an option you can’t afford to pass up. It also gives her the option to repulse from herself or the Angelius, and repulsion is arguably the best scenario animus in the game, and can and does allow for CP’s to be scored with alarming ease. Not only does it have a devastating POW14 Armour piercing attack but it can also move an inch with the ability Overtake after killing a model with its following normal melee attacks (You can’t overtake off the armour piercing). It also has a RNG12 POW12 Fire shot that has crit fire so that’s also useful in a pinch. They also have the rule serpentine which makes them immune to knockdown at cost of not being able to slam or trample, a trade-off that’s in the Angelius’ favour if you ask me. They are as fast as Saeryn but can outpace her if they are charging so keep that in mind. I and from what I can see, most, Saeryn players take 2 in 50 pt games.
Scythean: Scytheans are our best all round beast, decent POW17 reach weapons and a great chain attack, providing you can actually hit both initials and a useful animus if you are going to need to get around tough and remove models from play to stop recursion from things like necrosurgeons or eMorvhanna/eGaspys feats. With Saeryn they bring good board control while under her feat as they can cover a decent chunk of models with reach. I find myself regularly just running them up into my opponents lines and locking them down in melee while under feat, forcing my opponent to either take free strikes or forfeit much of the engaged models activation. Also of note is under feat you can run a Scythean to reach range of an objective, you’re very unlikely to get there before turn 2 so after feat is over you have a nice target for both initials to land on and activate bloodbath and it’s a nice and easy CP. Breath Stealer can go a long way to helping them get the chain attack off providing the model targeted doesn’t die. A note about the animus and tough. It is worth not putting up the animus until after the first initial lands, if the model toughs then you can put up the animus and do the second initial into the same model and activate bloodbath. Note also that under feat you are also immune to your own melee attacks so you don’t need to worry about hitting your own models.
Carnivean: I don’t really see much that the Carnivean can offer her that a Scythean can’t do better. Its 2 points more expensive, no reach and an animus that while good, isn’t necessary with Shredders and Tenacity being only 2 points. I think it’s better to go with a Scythean+Shredder for the same amount of points. It does offer a nice 10″ fire elemental spray that can be used in an assault charge but if ranged options is what you want I think there are better, and cheaper options. He does have some powerful melee attacks though, allowing up to 8 attacks if you use assault. A POW18 Bite and 2 POW 16 Claws with Open fists do a lot of damage. It’s interesting, but a Scythean is only 1 less POW than the bite and can get almost as many attacks in, I’d stick with him.
Ravagore: As stated above, there are better Ranged options and my god, does legion lead the pack with Warbeasts with ranged attacks. The Ravagore is a point less than a Carnivean, exactly the same stat line bar MAT and RAT which are both 5 as opposed to the MAT6 RAT4 of the Carnivean. Its shot is ROF1 but its RNG14 and POW15 with a 3″ AoE and animus that’s cheap and makes the AoE continuous effect fire. The AoE also stays in play and deals 1 point of auto corrosion damage, a 3″ Blight Bringer template essentially. While not commonly used with Saeryn I can see what they can offer her and Breath Stealer again can make the Shots hit better, and with it being ROF1 you most likely will boost to hit and boost damage, thus increasing the chances that it will hit. Also of note is that the Ravagore has the same POW16 Claws the Carnivean has so is no slouch in melee either, and Breath Stealer again can put it to effective MAT7. A trick that has become more frequently used is the Ravagore shooting another of our beasts to put the Scather template around it, making it impossible to melee by non-reach infantry without taking damage. Add that to a Blight Bringer on another beast and non-reach infantry is going to have a bad time. Just don’t boost damage or put up the animus if shooting your own beasts obviously. It’s also Fire AND Corrosion damage, so dickheads like Gorman are immune to it completely.
Seraph: Seraphs are a great, relatively cheap Warbeast. An amazing animus in slipstream, a 2″ place of a model that the Slipstreamed model passes within 2″ of, can certainly help with getting extra threat for your melee immune Angelius and get angles on their targets. Also useful for getting Saeryn herself out of melee as she will struggle to kill High ARM stuff in melee without needing to Hellfire them. They also have a great Ranged option with the option of 2-4 RNG10 fire elemental shots that can take down most infantry with their Strafe Special Attack. The new ruling on Strafe means that all the shots are simultaneous so any actions that activate on damage would not activate until the final shot has been resolved such as Enliven, Hyper Aggressive and of course, Warlock Transfers. As with the Angelius, he is also Serpentine and being a flying beast it also has the chance to get to some tasty targets behind tarpit units under Saeryns feat, and has a decent POW14 Critical poison melee attack as well, no reach though, even though the model totally looks like it should have it. Given Saeryn’s ability to clear infantry with Blight Bringer and the support she can offer her beasts it could be a decent option, or could be an option you don’t feel you need if you want more Armour-cracking hits in the list. I suggest giving one a try and see how you like it.
Neraph: Our newest non-character Heavy Warbeast is a bit of an oddity. It’s a point cheaper than a Seraph, making it our cheapest Heavy Warbeast. It is a purely melee warbeast with 2 non-reach initials of POW 16 and POW 14. Its animus is essentially a reverse of the Angelius’ Repulse and pulls all models within 2″ towards the Neraph. Of note is the fact that this cannot be used after a failed charge as the casting is after charge has failed so if it’s not in 9.5″ then don’t attempt it. Its tail initial is also unique. It has the ability Coil, which makes ALL following melee attacks on the target model automatically hit. Think sustained attacks but for all weapons. With Breath Stealer from Saeryn you might not even need to boost this initial and you can have 5 auto hitting POW16’s to a single model. He is pretty new and not much testing has been done by myself or others in what it can offer to a Saeryn list that something like a Scythean or an Angelius couldn’t do better, even if they are slightly more expensive. I can see it being useful if you are light on some hitting power and can’t find enough points to fit in a Scythean or Angelius. Again, as with a lot of legion Warbeasts, it has Flight and can be used very effectively under Saeryns feat and as with the Seraph, it has Serpentine.
Zuriel: Saeryn has her own Special issue Affinity Warbeast. It’s unique in the fact that it has an affinity also with her sister Rhyas, both offering different additions to his abilities. Saeryns affinity is the ability to channel through him as long as he isn’t engaged, which for Saeryn it is fantastic and helps mitigate one of her main weaknesses. If I lose by assassination it is because I over extended Saeryn in order to land one of her amazing spells. Zuriel eliminates that. He is our most heavily armoured Warbeast at 12/19 and being a Nephilim he is also higher Threshold than our other beasts giving an option to leave a fury on him if you do run too hot, though his threat and versatility may sway you to leave the fury on something else. Again, he has flight, excellent in conjunction with Saeryns feat and made even better by the fact he has a ROF2 8″ POW12 Spray that causes Continuous effect Fire. He also has gunfighter so he can use said sprays in melee and as part of a charge attack, though has to target the model he is in melee with. He does not have reach on his melee weapons so getting accidentally engaged is more difficult so you should be able to spray whatever is in range and channel with relative ease. If you choose you can also go for his chain attack: Char, if he lands both initials, free spray targeting the model hit. You can’t buy a second spray but it can certainly add some extra threat to him. He can charge 9″ and then spray 8″ behind his target model so a 17″ threat on Continuous Fire POW12’s. Of note for this trick is that the model that both initials went into still needs to be alive for the spray to target so is best used on a Jack/Beast or a warnoun. Next I want to talk about his animus. For 1 Fury he gains an ADDITIONAL die on attack rolls against non-warlock/warcaster warrior models. Its RNG self so no casting on Scytheans unfortunately but can be cast on Saeryn herself, and with a ROF3 thrown Deathspur could put grievous wounds on or even kill a few models at a time. With Breath Stealer and the animus you are pretty much hitting any warrior model bar warcasters, which you can still boost on. Zuriel offers spells from 24″ away from the target Warbeast, increasing her survivability massively. He’s also a great target for respawn as your opponent will only underestimate Zuriel once, and will certainly attempt to kill him as quickly as possible to force Saeryn forward. Unfortunately he is a little pillow fisted and POW16’s might not break the heavy armour of some recent competitive lists such as Fists of halak or Meat Mountain but he certainly adds lots of infantry clearing to an already great infantry clearing caster. He is 1 point more than a Scythean and in some cases, a Scythean is the better option, like against Trolls but I highly recommend the tools that he brings to Saeryns game, you die less with him on the board, I guarantee it.
Typhon: I’ll be honest. I’ve never really considered Typhon with Saeryn. It’s not that he isn’t good and she can’t help him greatly, it’s just he is so expensive. Our most expensive heavy at 12pts this
unique previously unique (fucking Hydra stealing our shit) Warbeast has the Multiple Heads rule. This means he can make any combination of Melee and Ranged initials, though it unable to buy any extra Ranged initials, it also means its front arc extends 360 degrees. Much like Zuriel, Typhon has gunfighter and has 8″ POW14 Sprays that are fire based, though they can’t set things alight unless a Ravagore casts its animus on him. Its melee are weapons non-reach POW17’s that have Critical Pitch, which is essentially a throw with POW of his head added on. He is the same MAT and RAT of Zuriel so MAT 7 RAT 5 so can obviously benefit from Breath Stealer massively for the sprays and is again a decent respawn target, especially with his extra rules. Speaking of extra rules, Typhon can be forced to regenerate much like Troll beasts and with that can recover quite well from Respawn. Another method of regeneration is his animus, a 2 cost self-Animus that heals D3 after each damage roll from an enemy attack unless it kills him. Not too bad to be cast on Saeryn either but honestly if she gets hit a D3 heal isn’t going to save her. Again he does offer a lot of infantry clearing and Saeryn really does it well, better than most of our casters bar a couple so he is a good addition, I just don’t know if he’s a better choice than other, cheaper beasts. I’d be happy to hear anyone’s opinion if they’ve used him with her or has fought Saeryn with him in tow.
Proteus: Oh Proteus. You are so niche that I feel really sorry for you. Proteus is a real oddball. He has the same POW16 claws that the Ravagore/Carnivean has and a Range 6 ROF1 Tentacle Lash weapon. Models damaged by the ranged attack are dragged in and he gets a free melee attack and can then buy additional melee’s. His animus grants Snacking which is in itself an interesting option as it does remove from play but he is 11pts, the same as a Carnivean and the Carnivean is just better. He does have an interesting ability in Herding. It’s the same as the Druid Wilder and is essentially extra range for Forcing/Leaching/Reaving from warbeasts, so you get an extra 8″ which is Proteus CMD. Saeryn doesn’t need it. 14″ is more than enough and the extension is not a control area extension so it doesn’t help with her feat at all. The points would be better spent on a Ravagore and a Shepherd and do the same thing essentially, but better. He has the same MAT and RAT figure of 6 so is slightly more accurate than a Ravagore and Breath Stealer again, makes it hit often. One thing that is unique in their interaction is the fact that if Saeryn Blight Bringers him and he then drags something in then it will suffer the 1 damage, but let’s be honest, if an extra 1 damage is that important, odds are you killed it before you dragged it in. Unless you’re The Covenant of Menoth in which case you’d take 3 damage from the one attack, providing you hit and damage on the ranged and melee attack. Is that enough to secure a place in a Saeryn list? Some might say so, I’d say not a chance.
Raek: Raeks are amazing. Even without the amazing things Saeryn can do Raek are just so good for 4 pts. He’s fast, he’s the highest DEF beast we have at 15, has Stealth and 2 melee weapons, one of which is Reach! The bite is POW11 and the Tail is 12. His animus grants parry (Immunity to free strikes) which with Saeryns unfortunate inability to really melee anything to death is a great way for her to get the fuck out of dodge. We’ll cover this more when I write about about Absylonia, Daughter of Everblight but suffice to say, it’s very useful, though less now that Zuriel can help keep her away from the guys with pointy sticks. What really, truly makes the Raek shine with Saeryn is its ability to be forced to do Bounding Leap. Once it Jumps it can be placed anywhere completely within 5″ of its current location. “But it can do that with anyone, what makes it so special with Saeryn?” I hear you ask. Well consider Blight Bringer. Consider having the option to perfectly position a warbeast in the middle of a load of infantry. This combo is truly devastating, especially to low ARM infantry like Nyss hunters or Strike force, and if they are clumped together then holy shit will it kill a lot of them. Can even get a couple of hits into a multiwound model with his initials too and being a medium base it minimises how much reach infantry can actually get to him. You’ll generally only see retaliation from 4-5 reach models which need very careful positioning as to not enter the AoE. I consider a Raek an auto include because of this very potent synergy. Some people even take 2.
Naga Nightlurker: Naga’s are also fantastic. Some even consider them necessary with almost all Warlocks. The reasons we will look at shortly but first we’ll discuss his stats, he’s the standard legion speed of 6 and has 13/15 defensive stats. He is RAT6 and MAT5 showing where his strengths lie. He has a POW12 Bite and POW12 Ranged Attack each with their own unique properties. Firstly the melee attack has Critical Shadowbind, a -3 DEF debuff and the affected model can only move to turn facing useful in a pinch but not where its strengths lie, if it had reach you could lock a non-reach model in place for the game but it’s not to be. Where it shines is its Ranged capabilities. It’s a Range 10 non-elemental shot, rare among Legions warbeasts, that has Critical Poison. So that can gain an additional damage die against living models and can boost on top of that. POW12+4D6 can do a LOT to Warbeasts and Warnouns alike. I would say always boost the hit and always boost the damage, you only have 1 shot so why not maximise it. Saeryn helps him hit better maximising the combinations of dice that will enable the Crit effect with Breath Stealer. He also has Prowl, which gives him Stealth while under the effects of Concealment, useful for a beast that can sit in a forest with no penalties. What truly makes him so valued is his animus. Wraithbane. It’s the same as the Pureblood Warpwolf and grants Magic Weapon and Blessed. Say goodbye to incorporeal models, say goodbye to spell effects adding to DEF and ARM. It truly is amazing in Legion. We have so few magical weapons in the army and only one on a beast, which as luck would have it, is the Naga’s shot and the ability to dish out Blessed to ignore DEF/ARM spell buffs is like handing out sex on a stick. My issue I find with the Naga and Saeryn is that she can make do without it. She has Breath Stealer to mitigate DEF buffs and Legion beasts can deal with High armour with the sheer amount of attacks they can dish out with fury support to mop up after they max out on Fury. He’s also 5pts, which might not seem like a lot but it can be difficult to squeeze a utility beast in there when you already will have a VERY beast heavy list to maximise on feat. I can see how you would see it as auto-include, but I can also see how Saeryn might prefer something else.
Teraph: The most overlooked Light Warbeast in Legion, I bet half of you who read this had to think for a second what a Teraph even is. Let me refresh your memory. It’s a 5pt Ranged oriented Warbeast with a range 10 POW13 Fire shot. It also has the same Tail Strike as the Raek, including the Reach. Other than that the weapons have no more special properties. He has the Dig in special action to grant him cover and immunity to blast damage putting him to a Respectable DEF17 against Ranged and Magic. He is also Advance Deployment, though he is only SPD6 so won’t really be getting into range of anything if you go first. His animus is Counterblast, which is a RNG self-animus that allows you to put an attack into something that advances into your CMD then it expires. I’ll be honest, you shouldn’t take one of these with Saeryn, Counterblast is pretty pointless on Saeryn and the Naga is an infinitely better choice for the same points. If someone could suggest something that the Teraph can offer to a Saeryn list that something else can’t I’d love to hear it.
Afflictor: The afflictor is another lesser used Warbeast in legion. It again has flight and the same DEF line as a Naga. He’s 4pts and has a strange, although useful animus. His animus is RNG self, 1 pt and grants Sacrificial Pawn: Soulless Warrior, so basically can pawn of a ranged attack onto an incubi or a Spell Martyr. “But Incubi are 5pts and I’d rather have spell martyrs do something!” is maybe the the first thing crosses your mind. Well, you’re in luck, The Afflictor can make incubi, providing it destroys a living enemy warrior model. With Saeryn I feel the Afflictor is in the same boat as the Nephilim Protector. If they are hitting Saeryn with a ranged attack then more power to them, it’s not worth covering her with incubi to stop the low chance of her being hit, also, you wouldn’t be able to put tenacity on her. I can see how it could be useful with Flight, but honestly, take a Raek.
Nephilim Soldier: Nephilim beasts are a strange bunch. They have a higher threshold than any other Legion Warbeast and for good reason. Unlike other warbeasts that have Blood Creation rule, these do not, so they can frenzy on your Warlock. The Nephilim Soldier is probably the one most people are familiar with. It’s in the back of the Hordes Mini No Quarter you get in the Battleboxes. It’s the Hardest hitting Light Warbeast in the game bar the Axer at POW14 and its sword has Reach (Yet its shorter than Zuriels Swords, guess it has Go Go Gadget Arms). Again it’s a warbeast with Flight and can make excellent use of Saeryns Feat, especially with his Animus. His animus, Massacre, lets you charge for free so gets around any rules preventing forcing and if you kill something on said charge you get to advance an inch and get an additional attack. Its 2 cost so other than the 1″ move you get nothing more than you would if you were to just Charge and buy an attack, but it can be useful if you need that extra inch, it’s also possible to put it on other Warbeasts, having a Scythean be able to charge for free, is awesome, allowing it to truly wreck almost any heavy with upwards of 7 Attacks into models. Saeryn herself can’t really make use of it but I do think there’s potential there to make your heavy hitters more efficient at, well, hitting heavies. Again it falls into the same category i find that the Teraph does, though with more redeeming qualities. It doesn’t really offer Saeryn much and there are better options for 5 pts. Worth a try, but I think you’ll find better results elsewhere.
Nephilim Protector: Arguably the worst Warbeast in the Legion. It’s a bodyguard beast with all the trimmings. It has Shield Guard, The animus Safeguard to prevent knockdown and the ability to allow transfers to it, even if it’s capped out on Fury. It’s pointless. Saeryn doesn’t need a Shield Guard, honestly if your opponent has hit Saeryn with a Ranged attack you shouldn’t be allowed to deny them that, you should shake their hand. Unlike the Soldier it doesn’t even have flight though it does still have reach and has Set Defence so it’s a little bit more survivable. It’s still pointless. In my wildest dreams, i considered taking it purely for the animus as I was sick of Saeryn getting knocked down and shot to death but thankfully the inclusion of Zuriel has mitigated the need to resort to such desperate measures. It’s regarded as terrible for a reason, and Saeryn doesn’t improve at all.
Nephilim Bolt-Thrower: Our only other Warbeast that’s ranged attacks aren’t Fire based. It’s also our most expensive light at 6 points but does bring some interesting tools to a list. Let’s start with stats. It’s the same SPD MAT and RAT as a Ravagore and does have a melee weapon as well as a ranged option, though let’s be honest, if your Bolt-Thrower is in melee you have either messed up massively or you are really backed into a corner. It melee is POW12 and no reach and should never really be used. Its Ranged Attack though is a lot better. RNG12 POW14, no element, so decent stats made even better by its passive trait, Thunderbolt. On a hit Target model is pushed D3 directly away and on a crit, it is knocked down. Useful if the target model is block LoS to a more important target, i.e., the Warnoun. The one issue with this shot is it’s not optional, and can and does push models out of range for other attacks, should you want to finish it off. With Saeryn, again Breath Stealer helps maximise the chance for the crit, as Knockdown is always awesome and Blight Bringer can help stop it from getting engaged. Saeryn likes melee beasts, and her feat lets you capitalise on that, almost guaranteeing the Alpha Strike, so I’d feel the points are spent better elsewhere but there is one thing to consider with him. Its animus, Glider, is RNG self that grants the caster Flight. Saeryn has no Pathfinder and this can help her get over any troublesome terrain that may be an issue. That said, he is 6 points, and 6 points just to mitigate one of her less detrimental weaknesses is a huge investment, wouldn’t really recommend it.
Nephilim Bloodseer: The Bloodseer is actually kind of cool. He’s the same stats as the Protector except actually has a use. His animus is Witch Blight which increases cost of spells for enemy models casting within 5″ of it, and stops upkeeps from being upkept on models within 5″ of it. It’s an interesting animus but very situational, luckily he also has Primal Magic, a passive ability that lets him cast the animus of any friendly faction non-character warbeast in his 8″ CMD (extra Repulsion anyone?). This gives him great versatility and can allow for some interesting combinations. He also has a POW12 reach Melee weapon that has Brutal Charge so hits as hard as a Soldier on the charge, so not too shabby. His most interesting ability is Telemetry, a +2 Bonus to hit with magic attacks against models within 5″ of it. That makes Saeryn effectively a FURY 9 caster when casting Breath Stealer and Hellfire which is awesome, especially with only being able to cast Breath Stealer once per turn, its 5″ from the Bloodseer so channelling still gives you the bonus. He also has flight, so can maximise his positioning under feat turn to make sure you get important models under the Telemetry range. He’s also 5pts same as the other Nephilim, but this does put him in the “Or do I take a Naga?” range. I’d say why not both? It adds a layer of a huge boost to the chances of you landing Breath Stealer which in turn leads to more chance to hit with everything else, I would say never take it over a Raek though. Bloodseer should definitely be included if you are thinking of running her in theme.
Shredder: Everblight truly blessed us with our choice of lesser warbeasts, and none make that clearer than the Shredder. All our lessers are 2pts and offer amazing tools to our arsenal. The shredder is auto-include. Its animus, Tenacity is amazing, a 1 cost animus that grants +1 to DEF and ARM to a model within 6″ of the caster. I don’t think I need to say anything more about that animus’ usefulness, you’ll be casting it from the shredder, you’ll be casting multiple from Saeryn and your opponent will have to deal with it, DEF15 ARM18 Angelius are no joke. He gets even better with his abilities, he has Snacking so he can remove from play as long as he’s hurt and will heal D3, Lesser can’t use power attacks but who really cares about that. Then there’s Rabid, his other ability and most likely what you’ll be spending the 1 fury that’s not being used for tenacity on. It grants +2 SPD and pathfinder and boosts melee attack and damage rolls. It’s awesome, and with breath stealer your shredder can remove key solo’s or dickheads blocking charge lanes with ease. You might not even want to tenacity, you could walk 8″ into a couple of models and just buy another fully boosted POW10 into the other model, it’s just so versatile, it’s also very fast under Rabid and can go where it wants, especially under feat making it another great Blight Bringer target, in times maybe even better than the Raek as the AoE extends more than 2″ from his base, so he is unreachable by, er Reach. He CAN and WILL be wiped from the table by a single attack though most likely, 13 Boxes and only ARM12 they don’t stand up to much. Take at least one with Saeryn, she maximises the use out of him.
Stinger: Big fan of Stingers, though maybe not with Saeryn. Same stat line as a Shredder but has a Reach POW12 melee weapon and a 6″ POW 10 Fire spray. The Melee weapon is the only one with any abilities, it has automatic poison but suicidal attack so when the attack hits and is resolved it will cripple its body aspect. A charge attack POW12+4D6 as stated with the Naga can really hurt, especially warbeasts. His Animus is Lurker which gives a model Bushwhack (Can perform action before moving) which can help Saeryn throw a Deathspur at a model then get out of the way but I think really, that’s all that it offers outside of the standard Breath Stealer combo. It doesn’t have pathfinder and isn’t as fast as a shredder can get so isn’t the optimal Blight Bringer target. If you have a spare 2 points and you want a little bit more hitting power then consider taking a Stinger, he may end up being critical but if you have a choice of lessers and can only take 1, take a shredder.
Harrier: A flying lesser with one more SPD and DEF than the other 2. His animus is True Strike, which means his next Melee attack will automatically hit, regardless of DEF. That’s an auto hitting POW10 with no reach, its useful for killing high DEF solo’s like eiryss so has it use there. Again, I don’t see its usefulness with Saeryn. She can feat and it can fly over things but True strike means Breath Stealer is pointless. He can be a decent Blight Bringer target being able to fly over and get optimal positioning. Same as the Stinger, if you are limited on choice, then again the Shredder is always the better option. It does have an interesting Synergy with a Bloodseer though as the Bloodseer can have access to auto hitting Power attacks.
Archangel: Feat doesn’t work on Huge based models, it has a shit animus where it sets anything that ends activation within 2″ on fire. It is just not worth its points cost with Saeryn. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the Archangel as it’s pretty well known that its garbage, but it does look damn pretty in any list that can take it, for purely aesthetic purposes it might be worth taking? Can respawn it I guess >.>
Blightbringer: New Gargantuan that shares the name of Saeryns signature spell, so here’s hoping it can offer her something. From what has been revealed so far it may or may not add to a Saeryn list and I will have a look at it once its rules are released.
I’m not going to go too much into units with Saeryn as with her feat and spells she is meant to run beasts but suffice to say Breath Stealer can help units hit better. Other than that her spells don’t really work with units. I’ll cover some that can offer some decent additions to a Saeryn list though.
Strider Rangers: Decent ranged unit that can help clear lanes for Scytheans and other non-flying beasts to get in and maximise the carnage, and breath stealer helps them not need to CRA to hit higher DEF stuff. They are stealth so are survivable under the feat turn where guns start blazing, though don’t share Saeryns invulnerability to blasts.
Spawning Vessel: The spawning pot isn’t actually a bad choice with Saeryn, its cheap at 3 pts for the max unit and with Blight Bringer you can do a 4 cost spell and fill it pretty easily, providing you’ve got the pot far enough up the board, Seraphs can help with that. So not only does Blight Bringer kill a load of dudes but it can give you a new lesser warbeast. I’d give it a try, it’s pretty interesting.
Raptors: Our Light Cavalry is really good, they are the fastest models in the game and can Light Cav Move a further 5″ once they complete their activation providing they didn’t run. RNG12 POW10 poison shots really hurt infantry and Saeryn can get them to decent accuracy with Breath Stealer. The negative is that they are expensive, 6pts for 3 or 10pts for 5. Saeryn wants beasts and the points are probably better spent on a Ravagore, Scythean, Angelius Zuriel naga… the list goes on. By all means try them, I don’t think they are worth the cost with Saeryn.
Blackfrost Shard: Our 3 man Character unit and the only way outside of Warlocks to get a damage buff. They are 5pts and only 1 of them has Kiss of Lyliss. The others have cloak of mist and disbinding. They all share Ice cage and Ice Bolt, and with 3 of them there, and Breath Stealer you should be able to Stationary almost anything, providing you don’t need to Kiss them. They are an investment though, and can often underperform and be killed easily with blasts or even one charging infantry. When they do work though they can be amazing and offer some great tools, and they also are Pathfinder weapon masters so are no slouch in melee either. They are a good unit, just sometimes not worth their investment.
Grotesques: If you’re considering taking Grotesques with Saeryn you are either coming back to her from MK1 or you need to stop reading, go away from computer and have a good think about your life decisions. Don’t do it, if I see it, I’ll slap you.
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew: These little guys are 1 pt and give Saeryn a portable cloud to further increase her DEF against shooting. In a cloud she’s DEF 20 to Ranged, 21 if you factor in tenacity, they can also offer Concealment for a Naga so that’s stealth for when the sky rains bullets on feat turn. If you have a point spare and don’t need to add in a Shepherd, take these guys.
Farrow Bone Grinders: Interesting unit that can give +2 Range to a warlocks spells so can help Saeryn get those Spells where they need to be. They can also cast an animus of a destroyed friendly warbeast providing it isn’t RNG self or CTRL. Not a bad option if you want more range from your spells or lose shredders constantly, but it would probably be better to take a Spawning Pot and make a new Shredder rather than take these guys. Up to you, the extra range is pretty good but with Zuriel and Spell martyrs you can get more range out of them.
Again I’ll be looking at useful solos with her. Some Legion/Minions Solos are just not worth considering, like the Warmonger War Chief.
Shepherd: Everyone knows what a shepherd is. It’s a 1pt 8″ extension for forcing that can heal a beast within 3″ or remove/add fury to a beast within 3″. They are fantastic, and a great model to add in if you have the points spare, and really should consider taking at least 1 regardless. Free heals and the best Fury support in the game, just a shame they are FA2.
The Forsaken: Forsaken are our 2nd Fury support model, and for pure fury management they are way better than shepherd. They can take fury from a target beast within its CMD range, so 8″. It then stores said fury up to a cap of 5. Everyone who has faced off against Legion a few times knows what happens next. Its Special Action Blight Shroud. Models within 1″/Fury on the model take a POW8, the damage roll gets a D6 added for each Focus or Fury point on the model affected. It’s amazing against Hordes, and is great against Warcasters camping Focus. It can also use the stored fury to boost its POW12 melee, hit and/or damage. As with the Shepherd, take at least 1. Just be aware they are abominations so can scare your non-fearless dudes, good thing Saeryn takes mostly beasts.
Strider Deathstalker: Strider Deathstalkers are very common with Saeryn. Able to tear through single wound infantry over the course of the game, regardless of ARM it’s not uncommon to see 2 of them together. The have RNG12 POW10 shots but has the ability that when they hit, they can do 1 point of damage rather than rolling. You can then Swift Hunter Move 2″ and take a second shot, doing the same 1 point of damage to something else. Its RAT8 so hits often and has the range to be able to sacrifice movement to aim most turns. Breath Stealer makes that 1 damage an almost certainty even with the highest DEF infantry. They do not see through stealth however, but they do have stealth themselves and are SPD7 so they can get into range if they need to. Saeryns ability to chew infantry is only complimented by these guys, try them and you will see how potent they are.
Spell Martyr: A 1 pt Channeller that dies after 1 spell goes through it. Pretty decent to get those early Breath Stealers in to lower the SPD of advancing units and can be used to cripple slow forces like Hammerguard or Khador Jacks only being able to run 4″ is fucking hilarious. They are pretty common with Saeryn though I upgrade (downgrade?) a Scythean to Zuriel and get a hardier Channeller. If you would rather have a cheaper option then these are the guys for you.
Succubus: Our Warlock attachment is kinda cool, and has a use with Saeryn. It has spirit tap so can throw out a free tenacity to maximise tenacity coverage. it also allows a free upkeep if within 6″ of the Warlock, so Saeryn gets to upkeep Respawn for free, not too shabby. Its 2 pts though and that might be better on a Deathstalker or a Forsaken. I can understand if you want to take one though.
Annyssa Ryvaal, Talon of Everblight: Annyssa is our Light Cavalry solo that gives leadership accuracy boosts to our Raptors. She has the same standard poison bow as the raptors but with the added benefit of Prey making her pretty accurate and POW12 poison against living models. Not much infantry will survive a shot and she has snap fire so can get 2 shots in, no swift hunter though but can light cav move away after killing some guys. she’s 4 points and it might be worth taking double Deathstalkers instead as they will chew through more infantry than annyssa would. I use her at the moment because I already have double Deathstalkers and more infantry clearing to my Saeryn list is always welcome, especially when annyssa can take down multi wound infantry better than Deathstalkers. If you can spare the points I would give her a try, she can get a lot done and being 15/15 and stealth with 5 boxes she is actually pretty survivable.
Feralgeist: Incorporeal solo that gives a little life to a dead warbeast. A warbeast killed in its CMD range can be possessed by the feralgeist and it heals a point in each aspect. Combined with Respawn it’s gonna make it annoying to remove a beast. It does make the Warbeast a solo so it doesn’t benefit from the feat anymore and also means it can’t be forced but can still benefit from breath stealer. Incorporeal models are also great for scenario as they can be difficult to remove. Like the swamp gobbers, they are a great addition if you have the spare point.
Totem Hunter: Totem hunter is a great little super solo. He’s 3pts, Stealth, pathfinder, fearless and 8 boxes with a decent 14/15 defensive stat line. He also has prey which is always nice and he’s SPD7. POW14 and POW11 attacks, the former being reach makes him pretty powerful and he has great passive abilities. He ignores forests and clouds for LoS, he has sprint and best of all, and he can jump exactly like a Raek. Obviously you can’t Blight Bringer him but he is fantastic for hunting important solo’s or killing a few members of the unit, just to run away and do it all again. If you have the spare points, I’d recommend him as he can be a great scenario presence able to strike and run in to contest or control, but be aware, he is a character so SR’s he’s not going to be able to be in both lists most likely.
Maximus: A Pig Doom Reaver. He comes with all the same trimmings, Abomination, Reach, Berserk, Spell Ward, and Weapon Master. He comes with Tough as well which is nice and has Relentless charge so can deal with Rough Terrain on a charge. Also Has Unyielding put him to ARM18 with 8 Boxes which makes him a little bit more survivable. He’s 2 Pts and a melee monster, he could chew through even the Highest ARM infantry since he’s POW13 barring the bricks like Cetrati and Warders, though he would do a big chunk n the charge. If you have the spare 2pts he could be a great addition to Saeryn as she puts him to MAT10 with Breath Stealer and as stated before anything that can contribute towards clearing infantry, especially tarpit units is a huge boon. Give him a try, if you can get him up the board safely, he’ll earn his place in the list. Cygnar will shoot him off the board though most likely, so use terrain to your advantage and those gunmages will be crying for their Mothers.
Throne of Everblight: Our Battle engine is really good, just maybe not with Saeryn. Its 9pts which could be used for a better Warbeast and only really offers a small amount of infantry clearing. It’s a nice huge base for her to hide behind providing she can use Zuriel to arc spells through but honestly, I feel it has no place with her. Take a Scythean or an Angelius instead.
Sacral Vault: The Sacral Vault however, is worth considering, depending on what kind of things you may be fighting. Everyone knows what a nightmare this is for single wound infantry with Soulstorm (models entering within 2″ of the Vault suffer 1 dmg) and join that with Blight Bringer and even Reach infantry could be a complete waste of points, bar just getting in the way. I would really consider trying it in conjunction with Saeryns spells, you could even take a Ravagore and put some Scathers down and lists like pSkarre infantry spam would just cry a little. Or a lot.
Ok next we are going to talk about faction match ups. As I said, Saeryn is my “All comers” Warlock as she has tools to deal with almost anything and if I come across anything unfamiliar (A Menoth Player decides to drop Thyra with Blood of Martyrs, who knows what the fuck that does) I can adjust accordingly. Saeryn does however have some less good Matchups, one of which I’ll be covering first.
These fucking Swans are dickheads to Legion. Whilst Saeryn doesn’t generally have much issue eHaley as we can mitigate her feat somewhat there are some casters that are just awful. First in the list is a popular caster and for good reason. Markus ‘Seige’ Brisbane. Seige’s feat is absolutely devastating to our beasts, and with the sheer amount of Ranged proficiency in Cygnar, especially the Stormwall, it can massively mitigate Saeryns feat. Seige halves the ARM of the model on the first damage roll it receives. Our Beasts are already low DEF and Lowish ARM, bar the Angelius DEF14 so it can hurt, a LOT. They can the follow up and put normal damage shots into said beasts and kill them with frightening ease. The Stormwall can put pods out and kill all our fury support, backing you into a corner if you’ve not yet had your turn to melee everything with impunity. On top of that he has Force Hammer, and I’ve been on many a receiving end of Seige slamming his own models into Saeryn and shooting her to death. On top of that he has Mage sight so can even get to our Stealth models. I would say Seige is possibly Saeryns worst matchup, I struggle to think of one as bad as him, he capitalises on all her weaknesses. Next up is Captain Victoria Haley (pHaley) whilst not as damaging as Seige she is equally as crippling. Temporal Barrier is just not nice. Whilst we have Fast beasts and we will get there eventually we have better drops into pHaley in eVayl and eLylyth or even pVayl can offer more to this matchup than Saeryn. If you have a reasonable amount of range in your list it is possible you can get lucky and manage to shoot her but if you see a Seige/pHaley pairing, consider dropping someone else. Last Cygnar Caster I want to look at who poses a threat is Captain Alastair Caine (eCaine). Probably the only caster capable of actually assassinating Saeryn with Ranged attacks, though it will take everything he has. With Gate Crasher to get him over walls and clouds and True shot to ignore concealment there’s few things Saeryn can keep in place to stop him shooting her, bar Tenacity. His RAT is 9 so even with Tenacity he is still hitting her on 10’s (8’s if he’s stood still and gate-crashed) and has up to 10 shots to put into her, providing he doesn’t boost anything. I’ve never been beaten by him, but that’s because I force him to spend focus to get to me, thus lowering the amount of shots. It’s not certain he’ll kill her, but it’s certainly not unlikely either. Watch out for him.
Menoth suck balls, everyone knows the frustration of being told “No, what you’ve just done hasn’t worked, because of <ABILITY>” and Saeryn has the same problem with some of it. She does however have some tricks up her sleeve. Errants for instance, cannot self-sacrifice from the POW12’s from Blight Bringer as it not classed as an attack. That being said there are still some bad matchups that will test your ability to play with Saeryn and turn the tables on the faction that irritates everyone. First up is eFeora, who is fire immune and stops fires going out in her control area. On top of that her affinity with the Judicator is bullshit and there’s going to be fires everywhere, and POW12’s hurt our beasts. Much like Siege there’s sufficient ranged prowess to mitigate Saeryns feat somewhat and I’ve lost Angelius with ease to the mass of shots. on top of that Legions ability to find assassinations everywhere is further reduced by almost all our ranged shots being fire based and she just laughs them off, especially since we have no way of removing Escort. Some people take Holy Zealots with her and with Holy Ward and Greater Destiny they can’t be targeted by spells, but only hurt by spells. Blight Bringer the fuck out them, they can’t stop it. Whilst not Saeryns worst matchup in Menoth, its one she will probably see often. Next up is Harbinger, fucking Harbinger. Harbinger is awful for Hordes and Legion suffers as much as everyone else, if not more. Not only do you have to deal with Martyrdom where she refuses to let models die but you once you get to her guys, you have to deal with Awe, -2 to attack rolls while within her CMD of 10″ Legions MAT is already just average, with no real way to boost it, though Breath Stealer can mitigate it somewhat, if half the models in Menoth weren’t warded from spells. On top of that we have the feat, POW14 Fire damage rolls if you advance into her control area. Suffice to say, it hurts a lot and there’s not much we can do to avoid it unless we want to hand her the scenario. If you have a ranged heavy army you might be able to get shots into her providing she has minimal devouts but she’s going to be pretty far back and relatively safe. If you do manage to set her on fire though, it can impact her massively, making your opponent reconsider some of those martyrdom rolls. Expect to see Harby into Legion most of the time, she is just a bitch. Quickly I want to bring up Kreoss1, his feat will and can get Saeryn killed, Saeryn does not like to be knocked down. If you think it’s coming, block LoS with Angelius and keep her safe, or camp some fury for transfers. Severius1 is also another caster you may see, though not as ball-breaking as eFeora or Harby he can pose an issue and with Choir and Eye of Menoth Beasts will be falling left and right to him and Ashes to Ashes can kill our fury support quite easily. He also has defenders ward to crank his army’s armour up and make it less likely to kill key pieces. On top of that, there is Vision, which cancels out damage for the next attack the model receives. I don’t need to tell you how bullshit that is for Angelius Armour piercing special attack. And don’t let him take control of your maxed out Forsaken D:
RETRIBUTION OF SCYRAH
The Ret have a decent amount of shooting, enough to be a pain in the arse. Strike force can kill your beast support ignoring all your defensive tricks bar tenacity and a shepherd hit is a shepherd dead. They have access to some fire and the highest POW gun in the game so again, Saeryns feat mitigated somewhat but there are some lists that are worse than others. We’ll start with every Ret player’s legion drop, eVyros. You will see eVyros a lot, and he will have upwards of 1,000,000 million light jacks following him around. (Ok maybe only 8-9) and they are faster than you are, and with synergy, it only takes 1 getting through and you have been killed. On top of that if he’s in theme then there’s most likely sentinels in the list, and POW12 weapon masters can hurt us massively, and it’s unlikely you’ll kill them all because in the end they are more inconsequential than the battlegroup. His feat means he can keep blocking charge lanes as he gets to advance a model once if another model dies, it just gets annoying. On top of that there is now Imperatus who is equally as annoying and is very good into our beasts. The saving grace is that eVyros is on a horse, thus bigger than most other things, if he doesn’t have too many Aspis for shield guard, shoot him and spell him. Breath stealer the threatening Griffons and try to chew through them, the feat will give you a free turn. Next is Issyria, specifically Issyria and Hyperion. Her feat allows for Hyperion to crit most of the time and if he does then say goodbye to any small based models near our beasts, Deathstalkers, forsaken, shepherds, they all go. Saeryn is immune to the blast and the consume so she can be safe but it’s still Dice damage against a non-buffed beast and the feat maximises the damage our beasts will receive, top that off with the fact that Hyperion is quite hard to kill in one turn and you have a recipe for a bad time. Rahn is also an issue, he has huge janky threat ranges with Teleport and Battle mages and lots of ways to knock her down. Put up Banishing Ward on Saeryn to remove his assassination from the table and the match up will be more in your favour. Remember he can still spell you under feat and in melee though so can still do some damage.
You’d think the fast, powerful legion would have the advantage against slow ass Khador, but you’d be wrong, or at least surprised. There are some casters that ruin Saeryns day. Sorscha1 is a huge threat against Legion Warlocks other than Vayl as she can stationary and shoot to death all of them. Saeryn is no exception, though can still become DEF 14 if she’s tenacitied and in cover so that might save you from some shots. Your beasts on the other hand will get shot down, most likely the Angelius. eSorscha is noticeably worse. Double damage over ARM and a bond potentially on a colossal you just aren’t killing with one beast means you are going to lose a lot under feat. The affinity on Conquest is bullshit and you are going to have 1, maybe 2 stationary beasts by the time its dead. Luckily you can feat and still be untargetable but you will be getting shot. Lastly I want to talk about our worst matchup in Khador, The Butcher Unleashed. Butcher3 is designed to be a massive issue for beast heavy hordes, with spells like Silence of Death to stop our beasts from healing to impending doom to pull them all in to be flashing bladed until they die, what makes him truly annoying for Saeryn is that everything else in the list is just a butcher delivery method, and a dog to make him harder to hit, so spending fury or attacks to kill pikemen is fine, the Khador player doesn’t care, they are meant to die/get in the way. We do get the free turn to get right into him, but on full camp he’s difficult to take down in one turn and you might not survive the turn after feat wears off. Butcher3 is scary, he can and will kill everything you have and laugh as Dragonspawn blood washes down his face.
Saeryn doesn’t have any really bad matchups in Cryx, just bad tactics. Goreshade3 is an issue only if you don’t put banishing ward on Saeryn. Skarre is an issue if you don’t feat first and have a way to deal with the ARM buff from her feat. Denny2 is feat chicken but you still can benefit from the melee immunity, just might suffer on scenario (Raeks can still jump under Shadowbind and take a naga to put some scares into her when she’s incorporeal) They don’t have many units that have more than 1 wound so Blight Bringer and a Sacral Vault will be hilarious. There are a couple of things Cryx can bring to be an issue to Saeryn. First is ARM debuffs, Cryx have lots, and even a -1 puts us into the “Dead in 3 hits” range. On top of that, they have access to some decent ranged combo’s in Leviathan+Aiakos, Devils Shadow and the dreaded Bile Thralls. Bile Thralls fucking suck against legion, purge really hurts, even on feat turn, especially if they’ve debuffed you first, they tear through our lights too. Also in Cryx are dickheads like Darragh Wrathe, who can reduce our hitting power every turn and it even affects the POW12’s from Blight Bringer and they of course have access to Gorman, Saxon orrik and other annoying solo’s. When playing Cryx, you have the advantage, as long you don’t let them take it away from you. Play smart and you’ll be fine. Says the guy that loses most of the time to Cryx >.> (Gaspy3 likes legion because he gets silly amount of souls, but other than that, doesn’t offer much to hinder you)
CONVERGENCE OF CYRISS
I’ve only played a handful of games into CoC and here’s how I see the matchup. Favourable. Saeryn can be great into just about anything CoC can throw at you. Lucant is often forced to feat first as we can get the Alpha almost every time, allowing us to hold back and get 2 turns of Melee with no recourse. Syntherion is jack heavy and his only offensive upkeep, while good, can be removed by Banishing Ward with no issues and we have Breath Stealer to slow heavies to a crawl. Axis is an interesting one, with his mass of infantry he really pushes Saeryn to see how much infantry she can remove and how much she can stand up to recursion. The matchup seems to be dependent on the board or deployment so you can take out whole units before the Enigma Foundries are bringing everything back. Over all I’d say that Saeryn can deal with Convergence, and dominates them on Scenario providing she can keep up with the recursion. Of note is the Prime Axiom, with its Tow Cables able to drag Warbeasts out of Saeryns control area during feat turn so they can be melee’d. Try to utilise Stealth models by putting them in front of the models that you want to keep safe from the Tow Cables, the Raek is good for it, as a Monitor Warjack can see through Stealth and could kill a Deathstalker and clear the lane. Also useful for stopping the drag are walls, obstructions and objectives.
Mercs have lots of oddball lists, from Fiona the black and her weird feat to Broadside Bart and him knocking down all our non-serpentine beasts when they advance in. There’s not much to say about them other than ask our opponent what they do, get the full picture and think about ways to counter it. Saeryn gives you an almost free turn with her feat, giving you breathing room for a lot of lists. Watch out for Long gunners and their dual shot CRA’s into Saeryn they could kill her if not properly protected. The one thing in mercs I want to shed light on is the Ossrum+Earthbreaker+Thor combo. With Knockdown torpedo’s that knock down regardless of hit and low def beasts they can knock Saeryn down, and Thor can give him auto-boosted attack or damage rolls. The blasts she’s fine from but if she goes down then it has up to 6 shots to put into her with boosted dmg and from a bigger range due to Ossrums snipe spell. Taking the Stockpile objective and having her B2B with it is the only way I’ve found to make me safe from this combo, watch out for it, whichever caster you use, but especially with Saeryn, because this is how they plan to kill her.
LEGION OF EVERBLIGHT
The mirror match is actually a difficult one to judge, on one hand Saeryn can be awful to Melee heavy legion armies like eAbby or Rhyas but suffer massively if there’s some decent Ranged in the opposition, especially eLylyth. The Saeryn mirror match is also a game of chicken to see who feats first, generally determined by who goes first or not. We’ll cover eLylyth first as she is by far the worst Legion Warlock for Legion to come across. eLylyth comes with all the ranged she can, from an almost full unit of Ravagores to Naga’s for Wraithbane and poison shots to bolt-throwers for knockdown, all of it is bad news for Saeryn. Whilst relatively safe herself eLylyth can wipe beasts off the board with hardly any effort at all, with no way for you to retaliate or protect yourself, bar terrain. My only advice is put Angelius behind walls and put up tenacities and force Fury cost to put out Wraithbane. Walls will not protect Scytheans or Ravagore however and they will still be getting hit on average, and POW15’s and fire from Ravagores will finish them off quite easily, and if they don’t, then they will just get shot again next turn as you aren’t getting them 18″ up the board into their faces with Saeryn. eVayl will be the next we look at, with a massive spell range and some decent movement shenanigans she can be in your face quicker than you realise, and you might not have prepared for it, thus no feat. Use Banishing Ward to lower the chances of her Obliterating multiple times into Saeryn, she doesn’t get any bonus defence against spells so could go down pretty easily, especially if she is Icy gripped. Lock up beasts under your feat to try to stop her from being able to throw her Oraculi and Channel through them and you should be able to whittle her down. eAbby can get to you faster than you can to her, and if she feats and gets to you when your feat isn’t up, you are going to lose everything. Press forward, get into her face and feat, don’t feed her models to get conferred rage off and you should be fine. Quick note about pVayl, don’t forget about dark sentinel and her tendency to use Typhon means there’s not much you can do to stop the sprays. She won’t have enough to kill beasts but she certainly has some tools to make you work for it. Also Rampager can make one of your beasts move out of Saeryns control, thus making it targetable, watch out for that.
Skorne have recently become popular in our local area, with at least 2 new Skorne players binging things we haven’t seen before. The first I want to discuss is Xerxis1 and his Fists of Halak tier. Saeryn will struggle to hurt Cetrati and they are really just there to get in the way, if Molik Karn comes to play expect to lose lots of beasts if they are clumped together, and even Saeryn if you allow him to sidestep into her. Deathstalkers aren’t too great against him as its all multiwound and if there’s incendiarii in the list then fires are going to be flying. Saeryn can however, shut him down in terms of speed and feat, run up and feat and you can block the scenario for enough time to score 5 depending on if you can score 3 in a turn. You WILL lose the attrition game if Xerxis doesn’t allow himself to be attacked. next up is Rasheth, and Chain Gang. The only Caster in Skorne that can rival our ability to run masses of beasts and with Agonisers lowering our attack rolls they can make it a pain to hit anything, plus Rasheths feat to make us pillow fisted. He is however, high fury so could be great if you can deliver a forsaken to him and and DEF10 ARM14 and a large base. He does have Impervious Flesh but screw it, shoot him anyway, Ravagores are still Dice+1 on 2 dice. You will trade beasts with him most of the time but with Saeryn you get a free turn, only recently has Skorne got a really good range beast and Rasheth can’t take them in theme. Play smart and you can kill more of his faster than he can of you. Blight Bringer the fuck out of the Agonisers too, and breath Stealer can make Titans as slow as it can make Khador Jacks, and they won’t be able to trample or charge under the effect of enrage. Lastly is Zaal, a caster I feel Saeryn makes better. He comes with lots of infantry for his feat and WANTS you to kill a load of them, as on feat turn he can use them to boost on anything. Saeryn will give him what he wants, in droves, and it won’t take much to take down one of our beasts outside of Saeryns feat turn. Kovaas can also get into Saeryns face and se won’t be able to melee him to death with POW8’s forcing her to hellfire. It’s never a good game when your opponent is deciding what you have to do rather than you.
Poor Circle, they really can be at a disadvantage to legion. With our native Eyeless Sight and Circles reliance on Stealth, Forest, rough terrain and concealment to keep them alive we kind of save them a job. There’s not much point warping for prowl on that Stalker, nor for those Druids to pop clouds unless they think they are getting melee’d and best of all we get to kill Shifting Stones easily as we ignore their stealth. There are however, some problem casters in Circle that can still give Saeryn some issues. First is Bradigus, enough said. With Synergy and highish ARM Woldwatchers they can be a real struggle to chew through, and his feat can pull you into range of assassination or beast clearance quicker than you think, also the Watchers have some POW12 guns so can do something in while under feat at least. Of course he also has his Knockdown rocks so you have to be careful of them. I think Saeryn can handle him better than most of his other matchups, but he’s still a dick. Next is Kaya2, who can and will get the Alpha over you unless you feat first, in which case she’ll hold off and then alpha you twice for thinking you were safe, also Muzzle is fucking annoying on our warbeasts and Forced Evolution makes Warpwolves pretty hard to hit, though they still crumple under our high POW attacks. Next is eMorvhanna, who can be shitty for Legion in the attrition game and Saeryn is no different. You might think you are chewing through her but once she feats and brings back all the shit you’ve killed then it’s really demoralising, and without assassinating her you’ve probably lost. Scytheans are your friend with her, Slaughterhouse counters her feat and can really help you gain the upper hand. Lastly is eKrueger, and he’s a real issue because of his feat, he can force Saeryn to feat defensively and the reduction to our speed will put us on equal footing when it comes to scenario, and stormwall cripples our ranged models massively. You’ll have to put our Deathstalkers pretty far up to get any work done and then they’ll just die. Watch out for Kruger getting a shot on Saeryn too, if he gets a lucky hit on the first then he becomes sustained attack and that will kill her, if she’s not camping more than 1 Fury.
Trollbloods are the reason I complain about getting a damage buff in Legion. With so much ARM skew it’s hard to not feel that way sometimes. With units like the Krielstone and solo’s like fucking Janissa they can really annoy Legion and can make you feel like you are punching brick walls. Speaking of hitting walls, eGrissel and the miserable meat mountain. Talk about feeling like you’re getting nowhere, with Warders and the Krielstone and her feat she has 8 box ARM23 guys that can tough and outside of feat are most likely ARM21. It takes a beast to kill one of these dickheads and there are more of them than you. Saeryn gets her feat to stop all the weapon masters from turning our beasts into mush for a turn but a bought turn will only get you through so much of it before you start losing on attrition. Next up Calandra’s tier Evolutionary Elementalism, which is light spam. There’s upwards of 250 boxes to kill and lots of range threats, though they are really low RAT. Its more geared towards warmachine as there’s usually lots of Slag and Storm trolls but they can still pose an issue to our support models with the chain lightning. Lastly is one of Saeryns shittier matchups, Doomshaper1, especially under Runes of War. His feat is ridiculous against Hordes and Legion like to run hot with impunity with our beast support and Doomy really makes you rethink that. For each Fury point spent the model takes D6 damage. That’s 4-24 mg per beast, depending on how hot you run it and how lucky you are feeling. Not to mention it hurts Saeryn too, it can be absolutely ridiculous. On top of that, Runes of War can get fucking silly ARM stacking on their beasts and get lots of cover due to all the walls, add in Janissa, add in an Earthborn and you are having to attack beasts over walls when they are ARM 23. Fuck Mulg, he’s an asshole and takes so much to floor him at ARM23. Luckily Saeryn can get a free turn as most of Runes is Melee bar the Runeshapers spells, who can knock Saeryn down so be aware of them, but that’s most likely when Doomy will counter feat. It’s not a nice matchup for beast heavy legion and it can and at times, will, kick your ass. Take Scytheans to deal with tough.
Minions struggle with Saeryn, with only 2 Warlocks that give her trouble, and they are both Gators. First is Barnabas, who is essentially the same as Kreoss, but we can’t shoot him back. use the same tactic as with Kreoss and block LoS with Angelius or use Stockpile and you’ll be fine, though Posse will be charging further as we will have all living models, and POW13’s hurt our beasts. The second is Rask, who counters our amazing assassination potential with being pretty hard to assassinate if he’s surrounded by bog trogs and his feat is essentially super stealth, that Legion doesn’t ignore and we then have to play by rules, and that sucks. Models in Rasks Control area can’t be targeted by enemy attacks outside of 5″ we can mitigate it somewhat by just running into their faces and feating so you can still get the alpha, and consider Raeks ability to jump in as the jump isn’t targeted so can still get into their lines and be a Blight Bringer target. Saeryn shouldn’t have too much trouble with Minions as a whole but they can still surprise you so don’t let your guard down.
So there we have it, as much about Saeryn as my experience with her can entail. I once was told that a Saeryn feat turn is like a puzzle you have to solve, and I have to agree. She’s great into just about anything and incredibly versatile and it’s a great caster to pair with almost any other caster in 2 list formats, and is very commonly chosen, for good reason. She does have her weaknesses but as discussed there are some ways to mitigate them and the SR2015 scenarios she can prove a worthy scenario caster into all of them. I’d recommend starting at 35pts with her to get a feel for what she can do, and PP agree with me as they put her in the all-in-one Box, which has a lot of what she likes, if you don’t want to expand much more than the box but want some options, my advice, drop the Striders and add a Raek and a Shredder instead and you’ve got a decent 35 list that benefits from everything she does. I’d consider dropping her into everything but Cygnar and probably Menoth depending on the opponents lists and if in doubt, run into the opponents lines, feat, and consider your next turn as your opponent struggles to figure out what to do. In terms of starting to play Legion competitively she is maybe something you work up to, and start with someone else, someone I will be looking at next time.
So what about your thoughts? Did I miss anything you think is an important aspect of her? Any tricks you know of or ways to screw her over? Let me know as you can always learn more with this game, and with such a great tool for carnage as Saeryn, I’m sure there’s much more we can learn to do with her.
Next time: Vayl, Disciple of Everblight