Im gearing up for a Resurgence tournie in my local area and I have noticed that a certain constraint of viable casters to use in a all comers serious list.
My friends and I have a group rule. Friendly games are friendly games but tournament games you bring your A game.
So looking through the casters and trying to narrow down my choices I find that with MKII its not as broad as it once was.
Fist there was pVlad or EVlad. They were always a good choice. Easy button aside they were good models to take if you wanted to maximize your chance of winning/doing well. Now pVlad is pretty much useless. With 2 spells at 4 focus he is totally boned against Kreoss's Lamentation. Kreoss is his worst match up and being one of the best Menoth tournie casters you will probably be up against him if you play against Protectorate.
pSorsha - she used to be awesome. She was another great choice. Her feat used to be insane and a great way to increase your chances of winning. With her feat getting nerf after nerf she (IMHO) isnt even tournament viable anymore. Now models have to have LOS to her to become stationary. Jacks and casters can now shake off the stationary effect with focus. Having Immunity to cold makes you immune to her feat. A 2 pt Protectorate model (covenant) makes everything within 10 of it immune to her feat and her knockdown spell. Wind rush no longer boost her def up to 20 anymore. What does she do? She's pretty much a 4 focus caster (cause you have to cost wind rush every round) with two spells that cost four focus that are made useless by a 2 pt model or model immunities.
eSorcha - Looks like she might be a new tournament regular. With Iron Flesh and her Winter guard synergy she has a lot of tricks she can bring to the table. Not to mention a feat that works even better then her prime version. At least it effects most models (minus cold immunities) and so far there aren't that many models that can completely bork it. Not until the Covenant of Menoth turns the page and gets to Chapter II Element Immunities.
pButcher - Probably our best caster now. Full throttle on Khador jacks is stupid good. Boosted melee attack rolls???? Yes please!! Can I trample and charge for free with that as well??? Really!! Sign me up!!! his biggest problem is a medium base which causes him to get shot in the butt way too much. I can't tell you how many times I have utterly crushed my opponents army only to have him pull together the broken pieces of what was left get LOS to the Butcher and shoot him right in the face.
EButcher.... haven't used him yet. He looks like hes a blast to play. But with him getting d6+1 focus a turn makes him iffy to play in a trournament. I dont know about you guys but there are times when I need a 3 to hit something and I end up rolling double 1's.
pIrusk - Board control, board control, board control. Great feat, good spells, 7 focus. His only problem is that he wants to bring only one jack. Inhospitable ground is good but alot of models that are brought to tourneys have ways of being granted pathfinder. Take in point Nyss hunters. I see Nyss hunters alot. All and all I think hes a pretty good choice for tournament play.
EIrusk - never played him. Looks fun. MKII version dosent know if he wants to play with Jacks or troops....
Old Witch- Personally I think shes garbage. Her feat isnt as usefull as it was in MKII. My opponents usually just walk out of her control range. If they are too far away from the edge of her control they are usually close enough to charge her and I end up getting charged by models that shrug off the pow 14 hit. Unseen path is awkward. Yes, it can get you in range of the opposing caster but if you can't kill him that turn he will kill you next turn. Murder of Crows is an upkeep so it can be banished by pkreoss (pKreoss again). Iron Flesh is excellent. Gallows is debatable. 3 focus to bring a model 1d6 closer..... ive rolled a 1 or a 2 before and wasted my focus.
Karchev - never played him. He looks fun. Large base is a problem thou. Tow and Side arms are upkeeps so pkreoss (pkreoss again) kinda borks him. But still scootting around the board dropping jacks off to wreck face looks fun. Just not tournament viable.
Zerkova - Doodie. I don't see her winning tournaments. Shes not good at anything. She reminds me of some of my college friends that couldn't decide what they wanted to major in so they ended up with degrees in communications.
In my opinion were pretty limited to what we can bring. pButch, eSorch, pIrusk, ....... and eVlad if you don't mind the crap you'll get because of his MKI shenanigans. Which is kinda sad because your shoe horned into using them if you want any chance of doing well.