The first thing you should think about is “Am I taking the Trinity” ie the Pureblood, the Stalker and the Feral. This comes in at 25 points (including the warbeast points) and gives us an appropriate amount of FURY and a blend of skills that quite simply gets the job done. The Pureblood and the Stalker would be my choice if I was only taking 2 of them. If you need to squeeze a point a Gnarlhorn is another great option instead of the Feral, particularly for it's defensive qualities (counter slam) and animus. The Stalkers reach, animus and ability to warp berserk is too much to give up and the Purebloods utility and solo/caster damaging potential is too good for me to pass on.
The constructs are largely out of consideration, not just for the buff aspect but for the fact geomancy doesn’t have a great signature spell on her list. There is potential to Muzzle/Dog Pile an entire battlegroup but it is a lot of FURY for a risky move. Plus if you are spending 9 to Dog Pile something you have 9 points less wrecking it!
Really the best 3 are Gorax, Woldwatcher and Argus, probably in that order. The Gorax animus turns any living warbeast into a killing machine and in a roundabout way helps with FURY management. The watchers animus keeps your caster and guard dog on their feet and that DEF sky high, depending on how aggressive you want to play your caster the watcher might even become first thing on the list. The Argus is considered a weaker choice but its bark can stop warjacks charging were Muzzle can’t and it is another SPD 7 slam piece. Its animus is again situational but adds to the tool box and is instrumental in the reverse lock tactic.
Druids are as always incredible, she offers them nothing but their push/pull effect can ensure the glass hammer hits first and second. With a lot of beasts, stones are a good investment due to their healing and FURY management alone. Other than those two key units as a beast caster the rest are of a personal taste. Any strong unit will work well, units with a weakness generally won’t as she offers them nothing. Skinwalkers and Druids are needed for her Theme Army lists.
Usual trio of solos are all good here, LOTF, Blackclad and Wilder all have good synergy and are strong pieces in their own right. I like the Reeve Hunter with a War Wolf or two if you require extra anti infantry, the War Wolves can charge in the Reeves activation to free him up during his 6 model kill streak and also feels quite strong in theme of eKaya being a leader of a wolf pack.
Tips and Tricks
Assassination run: eKaya along with Laris have a fairly long range assassination run which includes place effects to ensure more options. The basic version is Run Laris 14", eKaya casts Laris' animus and in placed a further 2", her base is 1" and she has 2" reach meaning eKaya can initial combat at upto 19" away from Laris' starting position. Factor in Laris's could be 12" away when move starts and you have a huge distance. Another nice variation helps when things have gone wrong. If there is a general melee of both sides you can use the shifting stones to teleport Laris 'over the top' and then place eKaya as before. This is only 8" + ~2" base + 2" place + 1" base + 2" reach = 15" (just less because Laris' base isn't quite 2") but it is all place effects which adds to it's flexibility and unpredictability.
Threat ranges: eKaya excels at sending beasts a long way. Feral warps speed, Dog Pile plus Hunter Mark from Blackclad and Gnarlhorns Animus = 17.5” Charge with 4 FURY to spend not needing LOS so straight through a wood. A Stalker can reach 17” and still warp strength, ghostly or berserk! The best bit is both Dog Pile and Hunters Mark are target specific meaning both Stalker and Feral can get there in the same turn. With the popularity of 1 or 2 ‘super’ heavy jack lists (Behemoth or Deathjack on their own, maybe with an arc node) then arriving with 2 killer heavies from 17” away and wrecking their only heavy is a strong play.
1-2 Punch: The most common use of eKaya’s feat is the 1-2 Punch. Charge with extended threat ranges, return to eKaya and the serenity of the shifting stones and wilder to remove the FURY and then do it all again. With the stones teleporting the Pureblood out within 8” the Pureblood spray has jumped to 20” at POW 14 magical. He can be spotted somewhere to get best spray no matter how dangerous the position is as he will return to safety when he is done. FURY is obscene on his turn, eKaya can take 6, the Stones 3 and Wilder 4 meaning 13 is spent on boosting and buying only as charges are free! Often I leave eKaya with one for a freak transfer giving me 12 which just happens to be the full Trinity maxed and then returned to 0.
1-2 Slide: Similar to the Punch but more of a Steamroller move. The intention is to hit one edge of opponent's army hard and then slide sideways off it allowing you to hopefully take a CP and contest another. The flanking aspect of this cannot be over looked as it is unlikely that anything strong enough to deal with Warpwolves will not be able to swap flanks quickly enough. The issue is you need to start with Laris and run him to the flank, then shift eKaya over there. If it goes wrong there is a chance she will be exposed. Also the stones are difficult to get far enough to be able to fully flank the opponent. If you need the stones you often won’t move the Warpwolves far enough around. The best of both worlds is to move 2 Warpwolves as far as possible and have all 3 stones take the FURY off the 1 beast that is closest.
Bumrush: A fairly new tactic was raised in the thread and I like it, I have tried it a few times and I will be trying it more. The basic premise is to use Laris’ speed to get him right amongst the enemy and then shift eKaya in. She feats and places her whole army ‘inside’ the enemies formation maximising engagements and giving the opponent a 1 turn ‘chess problem’ or die. Key elements are getting a solid hit on the opponents frontline before ‘jumping’ over them to be placed. Another piece is the Woldwatcher as he prevents pushes/slams/knockdowns from making the ‘chess problem’ easier. Also a flanking unit is needed to hem in the opponent to stop them freeing up their caster and running away. Bog Trog Ambushers are the OPs suggestion and I have been trying Wolf Riders with success. Something fast enough to encircle the opponent and reach is an advantage. A small hint for this, try to get eKaya engaging but not engaged and trap the enemy model with another piece. eKaya will be sat at 18/16 immune to knockdown.
Synergies: eKaya’s feat triggers at end of activation as does Stalkers animus. Trigger the feat first place model then move 6”.
Dog Pile + Building + Pureblood, you can charge through buildings/obstacles with no LOS. Remember you must clear building/obstacle completely. And it can be any Warpwolf within 7” of the Pureblood.
Gnarlhorn Follow Up with Feat, you can propel a Gnarlhorn a great distance for a slam, follow up into the juicy under belly and buy 4 more attacks. Normally this would leave the Gnarlhorn exposed but with the feat you can bring it right back. And then send a Stalker straight down the same path.
eKaya is like a featherweight boxer, the individual pieces are not the biggest or the strongest but she can hit you 2-3 times before you get 1 shot. Use the synergies and buffs to make sure the shots land hard and then you should be on clean up duty. She isn’t the best at straight assassination, I mean the type where only the caster dies and the army is left largely alone. But she’ll often win by caster kill. Once the opponent's main threats are gone you can push the pace and bully the opponent with 3 heavies to their 1 or none. She has the movement and push/pull shenanigans to compete in steamroller central scenarios and the speed to get there in the radial ones. Her threat ranges make killbox uncomfortable for the opponents. I’ll leave you with a 1 line summation...
“Run hot, run fast, hit first, hit hard.”
Keep reading folks... Post #12 and #19 have some extra awesome sauce for you to devour...