Frostbites, Winter Storms, and a Falcon Punch from afar - a Lanyssa Ryssyll Tactica
Lanyssa Ryssyl, the Nyss Sorceress
Stats are fairly average as far as solos work. Her DEF is fairly high, needing MAT/RAT 8 to hit reliably with normal attack rolls. But her dismal ARM makes her susceptible to blast damage. A solid overall POW17 damage will take her down if it connects. That said, her SPD is slightly above average while her CMD 9 makes her hold her ground more reliably.
Skills and Abilities
Having Pathfinder and Prowl suggests that she's comfortable in forest terrain or anything that can grant concealment. Though keep in mind that even though she gains Stealth under it, blast damage can still get to her.
Vendetta [Legion or Blighted] gives her attack and damage rolls an auto-boost against Blighted and Legion models. This is a nice bonus on her. Mainly a fluff-related ability, but a nice bonus to have when you're taking on Legion
Spells - Lanyssa runs on above average Magic Ability 7, making her hit consistently on higher DEF targets
- Winter Storm - Mainly a situational spell, shutting down Eyeless Sight, Pathfinder, as well as Flight makes her a nice counter against Legion models. Do remember that this needs to set her near the front lines as this spell is limited to her CMD. This skill does a lot when paired with other spells or in conjunction with the terrain.
- Ice Bolt - her offensive spell that reaches as far as a Battle Mage/Magister's Force Bolt, but hits fairly nice with POW12. This has a Crit Stationary effect unless the target model is Immune to Cold
- Hunter's Mark - Maybe the biggest reason to bring her in a Ret army. Enemy model hit by this spell will allow our Myrmidons to Charge/Slam for free on the target hit. As well as extend its Charge/Slam movement by 2 on any friendly model charging at the model hit. Do remember that the overall threat range of this spell (movement + spell range) is 16"
Lanyssa would be most helpful with a list that involves a nice amount of melee. Here are some of the tricks I've pulled and seen with her.
- Jack Marshall with any Myrmidon - this frees up the JM ability to boost attack rolls or even allows the JM'ed Myrmidon to buy an extra attack.
- Scyir + Griffon - A Scyir can freely activate first to grant Re-roll and let a Griffon charge for 11", Boosted MAT 8 attack roll with Reach will most likely hit any target. Just remember to advance the Scyir to be able to grant the JM ability to boost. This tandem becomes more effective with Slam vectors once her Hunter's Mark is factored in your play style.
- Sentinel UA + Myrmidon - a slightly funny missile, since Drive:Pronto boosts the melee threat range of our Shyeel jacks to 17" (Vyre jacks to 15"). Just keep in mind of the Range restriction of Lanyssa's Hunter's Mark.
- Sentinels - casting Hunter's Mark on a model taking the vanguard gives the Sentinels some nice charge range to reach out to the other tarpit models of the opposing army. The added movement boost makes them move at 10", that's technically their Run range right there. And given how Sentinels decimate their target, the remaining Sentinels who haven't attacked yet can take a whack at other models. That's still POW12 on 3d6's.
- Rahn + Phoenix/Chimera - Special mention to this duo. Slamming for free and +2 movement means that Rahn can consider to not allocate Focus and throw in 2 Force Hammers on his Feat turn without having to use TK on his arc nodes. That's 2 Boosted Force Hammers from an advanced arc node. This is fun when you see your opponent's caster behind his Jacks, and suddenly gets knocked down even before the Force Hammers went flying. Remember that knocked down models don't block line of sight nor does it engages enemy models.
- Vyros + Chimera - an odd pair. Free Slam to get the arc node into position and disengaging it from the target at the same time via knock down. This gives BigV a nice position to throw in Eliminator/Stranglehold. I am reluctant to say that the Phoenix is the best candidate to be a Slam bot under Vyros as he's better off hacking and setting stuff on fire.
- Ossyan + Hypnos - Similarly, an already focus efficient Myrmidon that can set two Jacks stationary with its two fists. Hunter's Mark on one Jack and have Hypnos charge it for free. Ossyan can then spend his Focus on more boosted Arcantrik bolts
- Garryth - Hunter's Mark helps in his delivery list by extending his charge range to 12". Top it off with Mirage, Magister's Whip Snap and Madelyn's Intrigue and it'll extend the threat range to retarded 20"
- Kaelyssa - Rift and Winter Storm can be used as a combo to slow a portion of the army down.
- Ravyn - Veil of Mists work two ways, gives Lanyssa Stealth due to her Prowl. Placing Veil on someone with Eyeless Sight/Flight and then have her within Winter Storm's AOE can shut down a few shooting models that can threaten our Stealth models
- AFG - Similar to Kaelyssa, rough terrain while shutting down pathfinder can annoy the crap out of melee units buffed with Carvolo's path finder
- MHA - Lanyssa gives a nice guage on the MHA threat. Max threat of Hunter's Mark is 16". If it connects, the MHA can charge the target for 16" as well.
- Magisters - Whipsnap can help her advance a bit to either get her out of threat range or close enough for her to use her Hunter's Mark. And similarly, the Hunter's Mark extends the Magister's Combo Smite Charge threat range to 11"
- Any Myrmidon - Charging for free lets them have their allocated Focus spent on boosting/buying additional attacks. Its kinda fun to see a Manticore, with 3 Focus, buffed by an Arcanist, charge 11" for free and do 3 more POW 20 attacks (or 4 POW18s if you didn't opt to spend focus for Force Generator). Do remember that while disrupted, they can still charge for free as long as the target is affected by Hunter's Mark
- Any melee beat stick benefits from Hunter's Mark. Just the additional 2" movement makes it seem like they have Reach added to their threat range.
- Noting minor Obstructions like walls that require Pathfinder/Flight in order to charge through it. You can prevent models camping behind them from making a charge by setting up Winter Storm.
Thoughts and Criticisms
Lanyssa, by default, contributes a lot by extending the threat range of a Ret army's melee component. At the same time, gives Ret options for Slam Vectors. A Scyir/Griffon tagging Lanyssa along makes a nice flanking unit (as long as she doesn't get herself killed from blasts). Having a Banshee and a Scyir/Griffon tandem can give you some nice board control while having Hunter's Mark makes that JM ability spent on boosting attack rolls.
Winter Storm does a lot of nice denial tricks once paired with Veil of Mists, Rift, Blasted Earth (AFG). And by itself, can also utilize terrain to counter your opponent's Pathfinder shenanigans.
One pitfall to Hunter's Mark's mentality is the restriction of the spell's total threat range. Needing to close that 16" will expose her to a lot of threat. Another issue I have with her is the amount of complexity her combo's need to make it work, she needs to hit first, after all. This adds another layer of uncertainty when you gun for her Hunter's Mark synergies. That said, she also suffers the problem in competing against other models with the same point cost. MHAs, Magisters, Ghost Snipers, and even 2 Arcanists compete for that 2pt slot.
When to put her in a list depends on how much you want to rely on your melee component. If you want to run your melee component mainly as tarpits/screening units and have your ranged models do the killing, Lanyssa won't be the best for you. Those points are nicely spent on her if you plan on extending the threat range of your Melee units and solos, as well as giving our Myrmidons a bit more flexibility on melee when focus efficiency comes into mind. She's not exactly a necessity, but very nice to have.
reserving post for future content (probably re-organize it) and community-contributed ideas