Warmachine: Best of the Best – Cryx Warcasters

Ranking the top three Cryx 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, we’re talking the best Warcasters in Cryx. And you may notice that I’m going slightly out of Privateer Press order with the Warmachine factions. It’s because I’m honestly stumped with Khador. It’s taking me more time to gather evidence, consideration, and advice with them than with other factions. I think it’s because their bench is so very deep. Cryx has a strong stable, but I still can pretty well make out some of the top choices in the current meta.

So let’s get right to it! The following are my list of the top three Cryx Warcasters in Warmachine and Hordes. At the end is a bonus “Dishonorable Mention” for the Nightmare Empire warcaster who is simply a nightmare.

Number Three: Lich Lord Terminus

So there have been a surge of wins recently by people playing Ghost Fleet theme lists. And while I think Terminus was a nasty Warcaster prior to people unlocking that list, I think he benefits all the more with it.

Terminus is all about the delivery. He, more than most any other Warcaster outside of Butcher3, can get the job done if he closes the gap with foes. And what better way to close the gap than a regenerating horde of dudes which can all be Sacrificial Pawn targets and who gain Tough when they’re relatively nearby?

Terminus hits extremely hard, even before his buff that lowers enemies’ DEF and ARM when they’re close to him. With Flight, he nearly always gets a desirable landing spot. And his other abilities are almost all things that help him stay alive. His Feat turn can get out of control quickly for opponents who are not careful. By pairing him with Ghost Fleet, he keeps assassination vectors even more on the table. Terminus may not be flashy, but there’s some brutal power in his bluntness. I think he’s a solid Warcaster who is vastly under-rated.

Number Two: Lord Exhumator Scaverous

Scaverous has always been a Rube Goldberg kind of Warcaster. The answer is there on the table, and he can unlock it. He absolutely gained from the transition to Mark III, and really has the ability to make a number of different play styles effective.

The key starts with Telekinesis. A great spell on its own. Now add in plentiful and cheap Arc Nodes that can run from relative safety to the right spot with ease. Looking better, yes? Now think about Feat turn, when it’s up to seven Telekinesis castings all boosted. Ooooh, now we’re talking.

Scaverous can assassinate, he can leverage the alpha, and can even play defensively all in the same turn thanks to his flexibility. With a powerful bonded Warjack, ample fast Warjacks and infantry, and a shooting unit of Mercenaries that benefit from models facing backwards, he’s got all the tools to make some evil lists. Definitely a great Warcaster if you’re ready for the mental puzzle that he presents.

Number One: War Witch Deneghra

Stunning, I know. This is some riveting stuff. The absolutely best Warcaster in the faction is my choice for Best of the Best Cryx article.

Her Feat, absurdly powerful for both attack and defense. Two crushing upkeep spells: one that drops armor and one that drops almost every stat. A knockdown spell. Ability to hand out Ghostly. Innate Stealth and Parry. Need I go on?

Many people refer to Deneghra1 as a “turd polisher”. That is that anything you run with her can do well. And while Cryx infantry may still not be what it was in Mark II, there’s a lot of different options that can shine with her. She can help almost any model, which means she can always be an evolving threat. Currently, she runs an extremely nasty Ghost Fleet list that is extremely difficult for many lists to protect against. And when the next boost for Cryx comes along, she’ll be right there to run it well too. Absolutely the best of the best for her faction.

Dishonorable Mention: Sturgis the Corrupted

Oh my, Sturgis2. He’s got some intriguing tech, to be sure. He can do things in melee with two different effects on his weapon. And his spell list has a spell to make melee less dangerous (Teleport), a great ARM debuff, and a stealth-provider.

However, he also has some real gaps. Reversal looks good until you realize that it only happens on a miss. And DEF 15 is going to be hit more times than not by the kind of things that tend to power attack Warcasters. Boosts are still going to catch him. Yet it makes him look like he can be right up in the middle of things.

His Feat is the real problem with him, I think. With only a control range of 12″, this is a dangerous Feat to try and leverage more than on a few front pieces of the opponent’s army–and that’s even counting Teleport. He’s got to get right up into the foe if he wants the latter portion (the damage, not just the drag). Anything that survives will be close enough and powerful enough to finish him. And he’s got a definite spend-his-stack conundrum. It looks really easy to blow thru the full stack of Focus, which makes an up-front Warcaster without particularly strong defensive tech just a bad idea.

~ 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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