View Full Version : MKII: E-skarre vs Coven (general thoughts)
11-29-2009, 11:23 AM
Hello my fellow evil master minds aka cryx players.
For those of you not busy with the Hordes field test, please share your thoughts or experiences.
So I'm fairly new to Cryx, coming from playing Legion/Skorne. As I stared this faction, I decided to stick to one caster until I really get the hang of him/her.
So I have been playing P-aspixious for a while and with MKII starting up around here I decided to start it off with a new caster. Over the period of a month we will be having a MKII escalation tournament going from 25pts all the way up to 75. And Im very torn between Witch Coven or E-skarre, I have both painted and ready to go but no play experience with neither.
Thanks for reading, and hope to get some good feedback on tips or potential pitfalls to watch out for.
For those of you with a decent amount of play time with these two casters, do you feel that they work better at certain point levels?
Furthermore I would like to know what you think of ruining E-skarre without the Satyrix, as i dont own them. Would that really gimp her performance?
11-29-2009, 12:32 PM
Running eSkarre without Satyxis doesn't gimp her performance per se, but they're still a really strong unit.
If you've been playing pGaspy and other more melee-oriented warlocks (or at least warlocks who can dish it out), I'd suggest eSkarre over the Coven. While the Coven are neat, eSkarre has the ability to handle herself (and utterly destroy a warcaster/warlock/beast) in a pinch. The Coven couldn't slice a loaf of bread and butter it if they wanted to.
eSkarre is frightening at low point levels, strictly because of her feat. I haven't had too much experience with the Coven in mkII, so I couldn't comment accurately on them.
11-29-2009, 03:50 PM
Ive recently started playing with eSkarre, and i always field a Satyxis + Sea Witch UA for another 7 points.
My usual list for a 15 point game:
- Deathjack 6 (+6)
- Skarlock 2 (swap for a Necrosurgeon and stitch thralls if you prefer).
- Satyxis +Sea Witch 7
Skarre is truly a monster in melee combat. Hit with rack for a knockdown and you get all automatic hits. Use takkaryx blood trade ability + focus to boost every damage roll. Her high defense helps her stand her ground pretty well against troops; just beware of anything that can boost attacks. I have destroyed light jacks/beasts with her alone, and severly crippled some big jacks.
Her spell list is awesome. I like fielding Deathjack or Seethers with her so i dont have to devote so many Focus points to jacks and can use them to sling spells through the battlefield as needed. Admonition, Death Ward and Perdition are really nice depending on the situation. Blood rain is quite useful against troops.
Her feat is just sick. In my opinion much more useful when targeting enemy models. At low point levels you can effectively shut down an opponent for a full turn. Won me several "King of the Hill" games.
The satyxis are okaysh. Cryx have a good deal of options for troop units. Satyxis are fast and durable due to high defense and blast immunity (ofc the UA is a must), but they are not heavy hitters and though ignoring shields is nice, you really struggle to hurt anything with a decent ARM outside of the Power Swell turn. Against troops they are quite good.
I specially love them having reach with the lacerators. Since i began playing ive noticed its hard to charge a single model (jack/beast) with more than 2-3 models due to charging happening on a straight line. Theres just no room after a few charges. Reach really solves that.
11-30-2009, 07:24 PM
I'm fairly new to the game, and I have taken a liking to the Coven...I have found that by using the Egregores base to base stealth ability, and using their full 18" focus range, through free running bonejacks, the Witches can cause havoc from the rear. Cast infernal machine and occultation on your big jacks, upkeep the spells...use imprison to take threatening targets out of the equation. The Skarlock Thrall gives them a free spell (w/o expending any focus) from their list (with the exception of imprison)...I threw in the Pistol Wraith to bleed out human units...I used these tactics to take 2nd at our recent 500 pt Steamroller event. Thoee Retribution and Cygnar soldiers who survived still have nightmares of the horrors I unleashed on them.
11-30-2009, 09:56 PM
use imprison to take threatening targets out of the equation.
Unfortunately the witches do not have this spell any more in MKII. The witches also don't get auto boosted spells be being in perfect conjunction any more either. I feel their utility as assassins is not greatly reduced. Now a days, in MKII, they are more a focus factory. If you want to rip your opponent apart with Jacks full of focus, go with these ladies. I'm not saying they cant lay down some spell-arc-node hurt, its just not what it used to be. As for eSkarre, you just got to be more wiling to get up in the frey of things. She is an up close and personal caster.
So to me, the choice is between the witches who produce a ton of focus, and have spells that nicely augment your jacks, for a sit in the back, and let the jacks do most of the work, with some arc-noded spells now and then, strategy. Versus eSkarre who has less focus, but who's spells and abilities (and stats) make her a caster who gets in the fight.
12-01-2009, 12:18 AM
Thanks for good advice so far, considering what has been said and my play style I decided to go with Skarre. I wasnt really planing to buy the satyxis, but found them along with the UA at half price at the store today. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when seeing the models.
I feel that having the threat of backlash/feedback on your side will either put some good damage on the opponents caster, or at least restrict how he uses his jacks. And for melee to really get the most out of black spot, reach is almost a must.
As this is a 4 part escalation tournament, I'm having a hard time to choose my jacks. Most likely I would go with DJ, Harrower and Canker+arc nodes. at 50 pts+ I will use the wither shadow combine, who with the worm might be able to create a Seether.
12-01-2009, 02:58 AM
Id like to add how well the Deathjack plays with eSkarre (mmm and possibly with most casters). Yesterday i played a game against Trollbloods. I had the DJ on my flank slaughtering a 12 model trollblood unit (advance deployment makes sure you have DJ where you want, that is, in front of a lot of living models). I wasnt even allocating focus to him.
Every round he started with 2-3 focus (from souls reaped last turn) + 2 focus from Skulls of hate=4-5 focus. I normally killed the few 2-3 trolls that were in melee with it with my initial attacks, wich left me with a lot of unspent focus and 2-3 soul tokens for the next turn. To be honest (being a newish player) i didnt remember about necromancy in the first turns, but when i suddenly did... phew. No more melee targets? Ok, cast perdition, advance the Deathjack, continue making additional attacks... Its a really nice strategy. You can go for Blood Rain if you dont feel advancing is safe. Anyway... Necromancy with Skarre spell list makes the DJ able to advance on his activation to keep spreading love all around him.
12-01-2009, 12:16 PM
Great questions adantz. I have played eSkarre (My favorite caster), and the Coven quite a bit in MK2.
At lower point levels (15-25), eSkarre is the better choice in my opinion. She is an aggressive caster, and her feat is without a doubt one of the best in War Machine. You can cut yourself for 5 damage, and practically make your entire army invulnerable to the enemy for a turn. Satyxis are a good choice...but remember for a max unit with UA for 10 points (10 satyxis + Sea Witch), you could get 10 Bane Knights. If you know your opponent has little to no shooting...get the Knights. If he has a lot of shooting, roll with the witches. For a min unit, I honestly prefer 6 Blackbanes Ghost Raiders for 6 points over 6 Satyxis with Sea Witch for 7. But thats me.
At 35pts and higher, you could get slightly more use out of the Coven, primarily because they have 9 focus to work with, and a massive control area. They activate individually, which makes your turns incredibly flexible. Jacks that have great synergy with the Coven are the Deathjack, Leviathan (focus hog, but who cares? you have 9 focus to work with), Harrower, and Stalker. Theoretically, you could cycle infernal machine to each one of them during their activations, 4 times with a 4th jack if you have a Skarlock. My Harrower the other day had infernal machine. I charged a unit of legion infantry at MAT 8, SPD 7, and threshered, gaining 3 soul tokens.
Without going into too much detail, ill give a few tips to take advantage of and a few pitfalls to avoid with each caster.
1. Seas of Fate is tremendous. Take advantage of it. Always boost ex post facto if you need to. Remember, it works on her as well.
2. Play aggressively with her feat. And by this, I mean the turn you plan to pop it, simply run into combat with the enemy. Prime targets are eSkarre, Tartarus, Deathjack, Arc-node, and 1 model from a bane unit so Tartarus can bring them back with death toll just in case they get wiped out. The opponent will have little options when you do this. He can stay there and take the damage next turn when, or try to run away and take free strikes. Keep friendly models away from Skarre on feat turn also, like the necrosurgeon. Remember the feat states "can't be targeted". That means they can target friendly models near her and hope to clip her with spells and AOE's.
3. Don't bother with a Skarlock, or the Withershadow Combine (at lower point levels) if you plan on using them primarily to upkeep her spells. She can upkeep spells by cutting herself. Simply buy a Necrosurgeon and have it shadow her...healing her each turn after she cuts herself.
1. Really only one glaring issue, and that is her susceptibility to being shot at. You need to play aggressive with her, and she does not have stealth like Deneghra or the Coven. I've lost her more to mortars and big guns than anything else. If you know your opponent is shooty heavy...a good investment is a Bokur to take the bullet (at 35 pts if you wish, and 50pts is an auto-include).
If you don't want to use a bokur, block LOS to her with the 3 stitch thralls after her activation ends.
1. They activate individually, so remember to cycle infernal machine and other great spells when you need to. They honestly might be a better jack caster than Mortenebra now, except for when facing Hordes.
2. Occultation. Don't buy Bane Thralls with them unless you really can only afford them. Occultation on Bane Knights gives them stealth, which makes them a much better choice with this caster.
3. Minimum of 2 arcnodes at 35pts and up. They can still spell assassinate with the best of them. Keep one in reserve if you want, and then run it forward to stygian abyss.
1. Fragile. Oh so fragile. They are ARM 12, and incredibly squishy. Stealth will protect them fine, but certain armies can circumvent that. For instance a Spriggan can fire his Targeting Flare at them to remove stealth, and then you can watch as mortars with fire for effect come landing right ontop of their heads.
2. They are weak as well. If your arc-nodes and army is mostly destroyed in a tight game, you will have little chance of pulling off an assassination with them. MAT 5, PS 7 ritual blades make them easily the weakest melee casters in the game. So concentrate on keeping them in the back and letting your army do the work.
Hope this helps man. Good luck.
12-01-2009, 12:40 PM
While I haven't been playing eSkarre so much right now (maybe I should), I've played almost exclusively Coven since the rules more or less finalized.
What makes the Coven so deadly is that they can pull off the warjack assassination run OR pull off a spell assassination run. While they're not as great at the spell assassination run compared to their MkI, it's more flexible than a simple jack caster like Morty.
I mean, it's fun sling-shotting Nightmare up 13" in a single turn, with 2" reach. Stalkers are also awesome and I tend to move to Deathrippers to make the most of Infernal Machine.
As for troops, I found that those that hold their ground are the best. Bane Knights are excellent to move up the field, but I have particular love for Blackbanes and Bloodgorgers, which makes an excellent tarpit. I've found that a unit of Bloodgorgers (read - 2 of them) can train wreck warjacks and I have seen the Fire of Salvation trashed by 2. Even against beasts, they're still useful. And the nice thing about the medium base size is that other jack casters cannot trample through them.
Solo's I tend to pick for board control. Skarlock isn't necessary, but I found it useful. Pistol Wraiths are excellent. If I have Bloodgorgers, then I have Gerlak.
If you want merc's, Boomhowler fills the role of the Bloodgorgers and makes even a better tarpit unit. Orin is fun, especially when you can cast Occultation on him (may be a waste). If you take BK's, then you're looking at Tartarus.
12-01-2009, 08:45 PM
Once again thanks for all the input guys, so far everyone posting have given sound advice. I will definitely play coven soon, but due to not being able to play test much before, I think skarre will be easier to wrap my head around, and less forgiving.
Thanks for the advice on seas of fate Gaspys, I had totally been ignorant to the fact that it affects Skarre. And I actually went to the store to see if they had the blackbane box. It was sold out and half of is always nice, so ended up with the satyxis.
I know this is not the place, but for the first part (25pts), think i might use this:
12-02-2009, 05:39 AM
With Epic Skarre I would consider taking the Combine, a Skarlock and even the necrosurgeon's unit (even if you don't take mechanithralls).
At the 25 pt level you don't have to take all three, nor would I recommend it at the pt level, but as you get toward the 50 point level I would take at least 2 if not all 3. At the 25 pt level you still should consider at least trying to fit in either the Skarlock or the Necrosurgeon
They are all a real help for a caster who has 4 very useful upkeeps.
The Combine can upkeep one of those for free (I usually have them upkeep one of the offensive ones like Blackspot or Backlash since it takes more effort to cast those and typically requires exposing an arc node or the deathjack)
The Skarlock can cast one for free. (usually Death Ward or Admonition)
The Necrosurgeon can heal Skarre when she cuts herself for her feat, or takes a damage point to upkeep a spell, or takes a damage point to add an additional die for a Takaryxx attack. In addition the Stitch Thralls can stay in b2b and block Skarre from attacks coming from certain angles. Think of them as a living cloud effect of sorts. This can help protect her from certain range threats.
The combination of those will generally leave her with all 7 focus that she can then dole out to her jacks or use to cast offensive spells. Combined with Seas of Fate she feels more like a FOC 9 or 10 caster with the amount of stuff she can do. Then pile on top of that jacks like the Deathjack or Seether adn you get even more mileage
12-02-2009, 02:30 PM
Unfortunately the witches do not have this spell any more in MKII. :eek::eek: Say it isn't so!! Imprison was AWESOME! I used it to isolate threats, confound opponents and essentially create a new piece of terrain to channel the movements of my enemy....oh no...back to the drawing board......
12-02-2009, 05:32 PM
Alas, no more Imprison. I'm not sure what the big deal is, though...my opponents *always* seemed to have the resources with which to take care of it. I guess it's just the meta here. :(
12-03-2009, 04:34 AM
They have Veil of Mists which is actually not a bad replacement.
It is a cloud effect so it blocks LOS unlike imprison (but only for enemy models) and it lets your own models move through other models in the AOE. You still take free strikes though unless you have some other way of ignoring them (i.e. Ghost Walk or curse of shadows etc...)
12-06-2009, 06:07 AM
Veil of Mists sounds pretty cool...I also like the huge focus pool the coven gets and the long range of spells, especially through ranging arc nodes. Thanks guys!
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