Ranking the top three Convergence Warcasters in Warmachine and Hordes.
Chalkboard here from Chalkboard War, continuing my series of articles on Warmachine and Hordes that examines the “Best of the Best” attributes across all models and factions. We’ll examine the top Feats, Spells, Abilities, Weapons, Stat Lines, Damage Grids, and anything else that appears on model entries in the game. All to give you a sense for which models are among the best on those categories.
This Week, it’s time to sort through the huge number of potential options for best Warcaster in Convergence of Cyriss. Oh wait. They only have five. Well, that makes the rankings a bit easier at first, but a bit more difficult when you get right down to it. Convergence has some strong Warcasters. As a limited release faction, they don’t have the space for some of the quirky specialist Warcasters and Warlocks that other factions have. That said, I’ll do my best to sort out an order.
So let’s get right to it! The following are my list of the top three Warcasters in Convergence of Cyriss. At the end is a bonus “Dishonorable Mention” for the worst Warcaster of the five.
Iron Mother lets you play a shooting list, in a faction with some pretty nasty shooting. Syntherion and Aurora can include shooting Warjacks, sure, but Iron Mother is the one who makes a shooting list click. That alone is a good reason that she hits 3rd best in faction. It does something different with the Convergence that the others really don’t do, so it can be an important part of pairings for tournament play.
But Iron Mother is no slouch on her own abilities. She packs a solid ranged weapon of her own, and her spell list is a veritable toolbox. Reposition for shoot and withdraw tactics backed by a spell that adds to weapon range is a good start. She can also help take care of infantry with relative ease, as any of her Vectors are Arc Nodes and Shrapnel Swarm does strong work. In particular, she’s a nasty drop into Warmachine lists, as two of her spells give her strong advantages. Domination to reposition enemy warjacks, and Backlash to keep steady damage flowing into an enemy Warcaster.
Ability to play attrition well and assassination threat give Iron Mother a strong presence on the board. You’ve got to think about keeping her safe, but with a high Focus stat and ample Arc Nodes, that’s not too difficult. Definitely a strong Warcaster for the faction.
So Axis always looks like he’s a melee threat. And he can close out a long game himself in melee if he really needs to and finds himself close to an enemy caster. But Axis is all about the control game, which isn’t always immediately apparent. It’s these elements that give him a strong advantage into many lists, and can cause your opponents headaches.
Axis is particularly strong with his two-way Feat. It increases your threat range and power, and limits opponents’ threat range and power. It’s especially punishing against troops, as being unable to charge often makes the difference between damaging and not damaging when they hit. Add in Razor Wall to create areas where infantry cannot advance, and Axis is able to simply lock down lots of melee infantry forces.
Then his Warjacks need to be figured into the mix. He gives them all Counter Charge, which most players can avoid if they’re careful. That’s fine–that just means they’re bleeding their clock while thinking about how to keep you off of them. Counter-charging Inverters end turns, while spamming counter-charge-ready Galvanizers means a flood of models that make avoiding the charges tough. Then with Unstoppable Force, his battlegroup can do wonders at clearing zones or flags and then scoring points even in the face of the enemy. That makes a foe desperate enough to go for a long-shot assassination, and more often than not that’s when Axis steps in to finish it himself. He’s a surprisingly subtle Warcaster that could certainly deserve the #1 spot in faction.
Except, Father Lucant exists. With the right models, he can be a fantastic Warcaster that can answer almost any threats in the game. Honestly, when running Lucant in the Destruction Initiative, you need only ask yourself three questions if thinking about taking your other list. “How many boostable sprays can my opponent generate?” “Do they have Telekinesis?” and “Do I have enough attacks to handle that horde of infantry?” Those are the only spots where Lucant may stumble. Against all the rest, he’s a superstar.
He’s absolutely a defensive Warcaster. His Feat is punishing as his faction armor values are already high, and it can mean any initial damage landed gets repaired with ease. Giving his Warjacks all Shield Guard synergizes with Destruction Initiative to make you an absolute nightmare for gunline opponents–you can drop powerful shots into Servitors while all the weaker fire goes onto the Warjacks that can just repair it. Add in his ARM buff against ranged and magic, and the Watcher spell to keep him safe from many melee attempts, and you’ve got a survivable Warcaster.
But he doesn’t just survive. He also can get a lot of work done when his stuff gets there. Positive Charge is a tremendous spell. It enables little bubbles of hit and damage fixing, which can let his Warjacks, army, and even himself, eliminate threats with ease. As I suggested above, there are some lists that other Warcasters in the faction may face better. But Lucant can always make a game out of a match up if you’re thoughtful, and that’s the true hallmark of a Best of the Best in a faction.
Okay, so this one may actually be controversial. Syntherion can really do some neat things for his force. And Aurora is usually the Warcaster people say is the worst in-faction. So why am I putting him here?
Steamroller 2017. Maneuverability is going to be a big part of retaining scenario pressure (particularly with troops and solos), while keeping safe and threatening assassination. That’s what Aurora does best. I know I have her on my painting to-do list for July for this very reason. She’s about to take a pretty strong upswing in positives, and that’s enough for me to balance against the negatives of Syntherion.
What’s the negative of Syntherion, you might ask? He plays slow. For those who don’t use a clock in their games, you should use a clock in your games to make them better and make you a better player. And while you might have liked Syntherion before, it’s the one spot where he gets clunky. Sure, the auto-repair is a little bit of it. But think about the real time-sink of the game: determining order of activation. Convergence is already a faction under the gun with time due to it’s odd Focus rules. But Synergy is a spell that takes time to sort out, and his Feat turn takes an especially complex plot to get the most out of it at times. He’s not bad, but he’s slow–so in a faction with only five Warcasters, that’s enough to put him in last place in my book.
~ Does this ranking fit your thoughts? Did we miss a critical attribute? Was a great model overlooked, or a powerful interaction missed? Is Number One really that good? Do you think the “Dishonorable Mention” is not so dishonorable after all? Let us know in the comments below!
To watch the worst of the worst hit the tabletop, check out Chalkboard’s Warmachine and Hordes blog at:
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