Take a second look at these two Protectorate of Menoth warcasters for Warmachine and Hordes.
Chalkboard here from Chalkboard War, with the fourth in a series of second looks articles that address what Warcasters and Warlocks have been “forgotten” in each faction. With the Warmachine and Hordes competitive meta starting to show hints about which warcasters and warlocks are “best”, are there any models that deserve a second look? We’ve seen the lists submitted to the WTC, which I believe is the best measure of which warcasters and warlocks are top tier. The world’s top players deciding “yes, they are worth a chance on in this major tournament” is about the best endorsement a model can get. Yet there are many players who may want to field something different than the top consensus, thus this consideration of a couple of “second looks” warcasters that may be over-looked by those simply following the meta. I’ve covered Cryx, Skorne, and Mercenaries already, so to balance out all the evil, enslaving, and unsavory from those, it’s time for the evil-ish, enslaving-ish, and unsavory-ish yet purity-minded Protectorate of Menoth.
Protectorate has a bit more variety in terms of depth than certain other factions, but there’s a clear top two for sure: the High Reclaimer and Severius2. High Reclaimer has everything you can want in a caster, while Sevy2 asks some very tough questions of the opponents (and matches up very well to certain common foes in the meta right now). Other popular warcasters seem to be Amon Ad-Raza for high armor wound-spam with warjacks and Kreoss1 because of the reasons he’s always been a solid warcaster. In addition, many people seem to be fiddling with Reznick 1 and 2 lists out there. Reznick has some real positives in both incarnations, and the Scourge of Heresy (which is good in any list) gets all the better with him. Finally, it’s not that the other warcasters in Protectorate are all poor, as there is plenty of discussion and list-crafting with them going on. So in many ways the two choices below are not dark horses in any way. They’re just two warcasters that seem to be in less prominence that might deserve a second look.
Second Look: Feora, Protector of the Flame
I understand why Feora2 isn’t seen as a particularly popular warcaster in the current edition: her spell list doesn’t really have many of the staples of good support for her army. That said, I think there’s something to be said for her against some elements of the current meta. In particular, I think she has curiously good game against lists with a great number of heavy warjacks. Look at the core of what she provides: +2 movement to her controlled warjacks which comes with a +2 ARM buff to her when she’s close, and the ability to pass out lots of fire, move it on feat turn, and have it not expire. That combo gives a really good look against one particular type of force: heavy warjacks with support. It’s that support that is critical. Heavies are easy to hit with all the attacks that cause flame in Protectorate, so unit of Flameguard Cleansers can reliably cover the entire enemy battlegroup. Then Feora2 can head up, lay out some damage herself, and swap the fire from the sturdy warjacks (less so warbeasts, but same principle) to the squishy support staff behind them. Armies that skew toward a wall of heavies often may only have one unit of infantry, if that. Instead, they’re reliant upon a few key solos hiding just behind the wall of armor+wounds to make their jacks run efficiently. Feora2 can get those solos and get them dead, put pressure on the enemy warcaster/warlock by lighting them aflame, and then be ARM 19 with a sizeable stack of Focus to be able to soak at least some retaliation as long as you position your force well to minimize threats on Feat (remember, she gets a Focus for each enemy on fire during Feat turn). I’m not saying she’s the end-all, be-all great warcaster, but if you’re looking to cripple enemy Warjacks/Warbeast spam without trading blows, she at least deserves some time in the dojo.
Second Look: Testament of Menoth
This warcaster has a proven record now from the WTC, and is deserving of more talk than it’s getting. Sascha Maisel fielded the Testament for Team Germany Black, fielding it a number of times in the course of helping the team reach second place overall. I’m not saying that the Testament caused that (because WTC pairing is curious), but I think it’s critical to recognize that Testament does have some very good game in this edition. In many ways, it’s the models in the faction that have some solid abilities: Idrians, Knights Exemplar, and Exemplar Vengers were all prominently in Sascha’s list. I think a lot of players look at his Raise the Dead spell and write off the Testament with that: if the models brought back cannot make their combat action, then it might seem lackluster. What the Testament makes it up with is the Feat turn and numbers. Given enough infantry, the Testament can certainly keep his forces replenished thanks to the souls he’s pulling in: which helps with providing continual scenario presence, threat, and denial. His Feat is the real kicker: it’s one of those two-way Feats that I really like. It can be really aggressive for a Warmachine list: allowing unexpected and dangerous assassination vectors thanks to every model in his force being incorporeal. Alternatively, it can be defensive: having a full army run and being immune to everything but magic means that it can swallow a whole lot of the board space with relative safety. Definitely a model that should received a second look within Warmachine’s Protectorate of Menoth.
~ So how do Feora2 and/or the Testament of Menoth do when you give them a second look? Do they offer enough that they’re worth taking instead of the current “consensus choice” warcasters in Prtotectorate? Could they be a solid half of a pairing? Do they ask a question of opponents’ lists that’s worth another round of consideration?
And if you haven’t seen it lately (or ever), take a second look at Chalkboard’s Warmachine and Hordes blog at: