Thursday, January 19, 2012

Warlock Round up -- Cassius

Too my surprise I am really liking Cassius. I hadn't thought he would do much for me, as the tree seemed like a gimmick that was such a detriment why would you want to play him. I'm going to dive into the tree mechanics and explain how you can use it to gain some serious movement. There are also a vary heavy list of cons that can create bad match-ups for Cassius. This means I will probably reserve him for a three list tournament format.

The pros

  • Movement -- The tree is deceptively fast if you make good use of shifting stones. This coupled with unseen path allows you to reposition Cassius very effectively. Early on without souls this can be a dangerous tactic, but as the casualties start to pile up you can throw 1 to 2 hell mouths before bouncing back to your tree behind your army. Sometimes this trick requires you to preposition yourself the turn before.
  • Tree Bait -- The tree is deceptively durable. A tree with full souls is sitting at 21 armor and as a circle player very easy to give him stealth(due to prowl). Most lists will struggle with assassination runs against it, especially with transfers. Just don't stick your neck out too far.
  • Very effective spell list. Curse of shadows is amazing for helping some of our more pillow fisted models deal with high armor. Hell mouth is great infantry clearer and strangle hold is obnoxious for preventing big heavies from charging.
  • Tree walker -- It's so easy to have forests in circle that its very easy to give Cassius an additional 2 defense. You'll be sitting near forests for prowl with the tree anyway, just a solid addition.
The Cons
  • Eyeless sight -- makes the tree a very high target for Legion. Effectively making any legion lists with any ranged beasts a really bad match up.
  • Undead models -- this isn't the end of the world as you get souls from your own infantry if you build the list right.
  • Soul collectors -- anything on your opponents side that will collect the souls you want for your tree.
Bad Match-ups
  • Legion with ranged beasts. So basicly Legion.
  • Cryx with heavy soul collecting.
  • Menoth with heavy soul collecting and be careful of Eye of Menoth. As bad match ups go, I'd say this is the least painful so far.
  • Cygnar with heavy anti-stealth.
  • Shifting stone the tree forward early in a turn your going to engage enemy infantry. Then charge clear the infantry to collect the souls. Then teleport the tree back to Cassius with unseen path.

The List -- I pained over writing this list for weeks. I kept not playing Cassius as I couldn't figure out how to put it together. Eventually I gave up writing the perfect list and just threw all the units I wanted to try with Cassius in one list and planned on adjusting due to how they performed.  The list performed beautifully, all of the infantry synergize with Cassius. The beasts selection really fill in the gaps. You might notice the lack of the Gorax. This is simply because Cassius doesn't need it. Curse of shadows and strangle hold let you set up a charge on a debuffed heavy. Heavy infantry aren't an issue for this list. Though I have yet to try the Cetrati brick, that could prove difficult.

Cassius the Oathkeeper (*6pts)
* Warpwolf Stalker (10pts)
* Woldguardian (9pts)
* Woldwarden (9pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
* Stone keeper (1pts)
Tharn Bloodtrackers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
Tharn Ravagers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (9pts)
* Tharn Ravager Chieftain (2pts)
Tharn Wolfriders (Leader and 2 Grunts) (6pts)

Round 1 vs. Harbinger

Was an interesting battle. Menoth focused on removing my heavies, and I focused on kill all the warjack support. I was able to scrap the Avatar before my heavy hitters died and I had clear table advantage with the pressure I was able to keep on Harbinger. Eventually she caught one too many uranimum tipped spears from the Tharn ladies. Definitely learned I can keep up with the attrition battle. 20 damage boxes for cutting to full fury + souls from the tree made losing all my beasts tolerable when you only need another round.

Round 2 vs. Vyros

This battle started out with a pretty crazy trick that I paid for in spades. I did the shifting stones teleport trick to get the tree up field as my Ravagers charged into his Invictors. As they were killing the Invictors the Phoneix with hallow(?) proced off an Invictor dying charging the tree and smacking it for 16 damage. Ouch! This ended up costing him his Phoenix which gave me the heavy advantage. The pressure his sentinels gave me was some what scary, but after my Wolfriders removed his Soulless I was able to toss in a Hell Mouth removing 5 with a solid nuke giving me board advantage. At this point he was trying to keep pressure on my caster with an assassination attempt. Luckily After that round in which I took 16 damage I had spent some of the fury healing. That coupled with a few turns of 11 fury I got Cassius a lot of his hit points back, staving off deaths door.

Cassius 2 - 0

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