Take a second look at these Warmachine Warcasters for Retribution and Convergence.
Chalkboard here from Chalkboard War, with the ninth entry in my series taking a second look at the lesser-used Warmachine warcasters and Hordes warlocks. We’re at the point with Mark III of Warmachine and Hordes that the preferred warcasters and warlocks for each faction are appearing. There is conventional wisdom about who the top choices are, and events like the WTC and Warmachine Weekend helped further cement this story. And while that’s an okay thing, it also can lead to people missing some interesting choices that would shine if only given a second look. This article will take that second look at Retribution of Scyrah and Convergence of Cyriss. I’m combining the two together because they’re both smaller factions than the others. Given their more limited group of warcasters, we’ll take a second look at one each.
Retribution is definitely a situation of having quality troops and warjacks, so many warcasters can shine. Their new battlegroup box caster Helynna is great, and Ossyan is still strong even post-errata. Vyros2, Rahn, and Issyria seem to round out the top choices. The 2017 ADR means many people are also experimenting with Garryth, Thyron, and Elara (none as strong as the prior, but getting a fair amount of buzz lately on forums and social media.
On the Convergence side, it’s the big three: Iron Mother, Father Lucant, and Axis. The choice seems to often be, which of the two of these should I field, and I don’t blame Convergence players at all for that. Each is strong in their own way, so they make sense to be the trio that rises to the top. Yet for both factions, I think it’s time to take a second look at one other Warmachine Warcaster worth considering.
Second Look: Ravyn, the Eternal Light
Ravyn is good. It’s just that she isn’t great. And I think that’s the problem. She packs some serious ranged punch for her force as she did before, and can often give 1-2 extra turns of shooting using Feat, Veil of Mists, and hot-swapping Snipe. Her drawback is largely that the higher-defense skews have somewhat disappeared, making boosted ranged attack rolls a bit less amazing than they were in Mark II. Well, that and Locomotion. I can see the value, but man it’s costly for what it does.
Yet I think Ravyn deserves some second looks from players. The point is not that there are fewer high defense infantry skews out there. But rather, that she can enable the ranged game like few other. If you’re looking for a way to stand off and shoot to drop foes on the approach, I think she’s got what you’re looking for. Quality models like Mage Hunter Strike Force can help if facing Warjack-heavy lists. I think there’s a lot more depth here than it seems. Worth a second look at the very least.
Second Look: Forge Master Syntherion
I think a similar story is true of Syntherion as it is of Ravyn–being stuck with other casters that seem more impressive. He boasts some cool elements, particularly his Magnetic Hold spell. It’s one of the few speed debuffs that kept the “cannot charge” limitation. That alone can enable some interesting strategy, and Synergy and the Dual Attack on his feat round out a nifty package. That is, if you select the right vectors to go with him. I think that’s the critical element for Syntherion, is getting the right mix of supporting forces laid out.
Syntherion needs at least a couple of Algorithmic Dispersion Optifexes to get Magnetic Hold out. He also needs the correct warjacks with him to make certain he gets the most out of the feat turn. The temptation of new players is to look at his Field Marshall Auto-repair ability and treat him like a brick warcaster. I think that’s a trap. He rewards a more coy play style. Syntherion’s warjacks can soften up deeper models with their shooting while they melee on feat turn. And all the while he is controlling critical foes with his spells. That’s not for everyone, but I think he’s worth a second look for Convergence players interested in some variation.
~ So how do Ravyn and/or Syntherion 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 their factions? 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: