Ranking the top three Protectorate of Menoth 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 continue with the final phase of rankings. We’re working through the best Warcasters and Warlocks in each faction. As always, it’s hard to say exactly which are the best in some cases. Protectorate of Menoth is only slightly behind Cygnar and Khador in having a very complex and deep bench. With a number of tricksy warcasters and strong defensive tech in the faction that lets most any caster remain safe if played well, it’s a hard choice. But I’ve arrived at what I think are the best of the best for the group.
So let’s get right to it! The following are my list of the top three Warcasters in the Protectorate of Menoth. At the end is a bonus “Dishonorable Mention” for the one Menite who needs some serious contrition in the eyes of the faith.
Number Three: High Exemplar Kreoss
Okay, so Kreoss1 being here means that the High Reclaimer, the boogeyman of the meta last fall, isn’t even making this list. Part of it is the change to High Reclaimer, part is the prevalence of more remove-from-play elements due to Ghost Fleet’s surge, and part is that people have simply learned how to play against his Feat.
Now of course, most players know how to play against Kreoss1’s Feat too. But that’s the core of what makes him such a powerful Warcaster. Kreoss1 is all about the threat of his Feat. Knocking down every foe in his pretty sizeable control area? That is a strong effect. It lets him play many different strategies. Kreoss1 can engineer some epic assassinations as knocked down models don’t block line of sight. He can use the Feat to grind through enemy models, as they get really easy to hit (and no Tough). And the Feat can help on scenario (slowing units who have to stand). And merely threatening those things? Well, that makes the Feat all the more powerful–as opponents have to play in more timid fashion to cope with the huge potential.
But Kreoss1 isn’t only his Feat. He has a DEF and ARM buff that affects units, and there’s no lack of units in Protectorate that can really turn up the nastiness of that protection (my current favorite is Flame Bringers). He has Purification to remove all spells in play, helping his forces shake foes’ debuffs while cancelling all sorts of enemy protections and advantages. And he has Lamentation, which can pose problems for opponents who play their caster too close or for Hordes forces that rely upon specific animi to be effective. He lacks a damage buff, but often times the ability to remove an opponent’s ARM buff is sufficient. He’s got a lot of all-around play, and is an extremely effective Warcaster.
Number Two: High Allegiant Amon Ad-Raza
Yes, I know that it might be controversial listing this competitive pairing mainstay as second best. I do believe that many players think of Amon as their primary choice, top of faction. And he’s quite deserving of that consideration. Amon is a powerful warcaster, to be sure. I’ll first go through why he’s so solid, then talk about why he still ranks second.
Menoth warjacks en masse. Four words. That’s why Amon is so powerful. Dervishes and Crusaders are the most likely spam targets, but Amon lists can have a whole host of different Warjacks and do well. He makes both heavies and lights effective, as Mobility and Parry as a field marshal ability combine to help his jacks get anywhere they need to. With the Choir’s protection for Warjacks, there can be lots of lists that simply cannot handle Amon’s force crashing into them. And unlike other Warjack-spam casters (think Harkevich) Amon can be fairly defensively safe–the Warcaster is often the weak link in such lists. Amon’s ARM stat is his only real limitation, but his defense is high and he has Steady innately. Combine with the Vigilant for cover and immunity to blast, or the Devout for spell protection (or both), and he can be hard to take out.
So why not number one in this list? I think that enough lists out there can manage what Amon does, and if an opponent packs them then he’s in trouble. This is of course true of lots of powerful warcasters, but in Amon’s case readiness against warjack spam is definitely something that many players are bringing and recognizing. If Amon takes more diversity in his list, he’s not leveraging it quite as well. And that’s why I think he takes second place to a different Warcaster.
Number One: Hierarch Severius
I absolutely love Sevy2’s toolkit, and it’s why I think he exceeds Amon currently in the meta. He answers some severe problems that are out there all by himself, which can be huge. Almost every faction has ways to deal with certain problems–Sevy2 has many of those problem-solvers just on his card. And that’s why I think he’s fantastic.
Remove troublesome solos from the enemy back-line? Sevy2 can do it with his Feat. Spell assassinate? He can make it happen. Take out a unit of infantry himself? As long as they’re not spell immune, he can generally get it done. Protect his battlegroup from damage? Yup. He can blunt the most dangerous of enemy attacks whether melee, ranged, or even spell thanks to Field Marshal: Oracular Vision. Deal with an opponent using cloud walls, forest terrain, or intervening models to protect themselves? Not on Sevy2’s watch. Shut down an enemy melee unit? Got that covered too thanks to Rebuke.
In short, he offers so many tools that he can leverage, he is a great Warcaster. He’s squishy, and that’s about his only weakness. For experienced players and nuanced players alike, Sevy2 gives a huge set of advantages. It’s rare to have a Warcaster that can do so much, as often casters are focused on leveraging a particular aspect of their force. It makes him a great warcaster, and in my book, the best in the faction.
Dishonorable Mention: Feora, Protector of the Flame
Ah, Feora2. How I want to love you. I’ve gotten more time with Feora2 in Mark III than most warcasters and warlocks that I play. Because I keep wanting her to work. I’ve even managed to win plenty of games with her. So why list her as the worst in faction?
Because at the end of the day, she doesn’t really work all that well unless you’re lucky. Feora2 is all about what your opponent brings and how they play it into your force. If they throw massed multi-wound infantry into you, at the same time as their Warcaster or Warlock hangs out at about 14″ away from where Feora2 is standing, she’s an amazing Warcaster. But that’s the “live the dream” moment of lighting an opponent’s stuff all on fire, but of course, it not dying from the attacks that lit it. Then having their opponent in range for you to move all the fires around, and uncork either a melee assassination or spell assassination thanks to all the extra focus.
Why does that go wrong? Because opponents rarely do that. I’ve gotten lucky with her, to be certain–and snatched wins when an opponent thought they had me. Having a place effect for herself and 2″ reach with a powerful weapon is a thing. But other than the surprise last-minute heroics, she really is a clunky Warcaster. The “move fire around” idea is too cool, but it so rarely works right. Usually you kill 2/3 of the stuff that you try to light on fire… which weakens her Feat considerably. It’s okay to have a complicated and tech-y Feat, if you’ve got a solid base. But Feora2? The base doesn’t do enough for her fiddly Feat to make headway.
~ 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: