When starting a new Skorne army, there is almost no debate that a new player should start with the battle-box and play pMorghoul for a while. But where do you go from there?
This article will cover a few possibilities, as well as a few casters you might want to stay away from for your second caster.
Most players start Skorne the same way. there are several good “getting started” guides out there, but they all say basically the same thing. As a starting point to this article, I will assume you have at least 25 points of Skorne models consisting of: pMorghoul, Titan Gladiator, 2 Cyclops Savages, 4 paingiver beast handlers, one 8-point infantry unit (swordsmen or nihilators, either one) and 2 solos (probably an agonizer and a Soulward). If your collection is a little different that’s fine, this list is only one of the possible beginner lists you might see.
Let’s start with a real quick list of casters I don’t recommend as a second caster for various reasons:
1. Lord Assassin Morghoul – eMorghoul is generally considered the “bottom tier” caster in Skorne. He needs a lot of help from his army that you won’t have available in an early collection.
2. Master Ascetic Naaresh – while fun to play, Naaresh plays a little too much like pMorghoul. for a second caster I would try something different than what you already have.
3. Mordikaar/Zaal – both are good casters but require a lot of infantry to work well. Zaal also wants a lot of Ancestral Guardians which you won’t use in many lists
4. Rasheth – defending a large-based caster is really hard for a newer player. Rasheth plays best with his tier force, and I wouldn’t recommend starting out with a tier just yet
This leaves us with essentially 3 choices: either Makeda, Hexeris or Xerxis. Choosing one is entirely based on your play-style or even just based on the way a model looks. let’s look at each play-style:
Xerxis brings out the raw hitting power in any force. He is pretty straight-forward to play, with a simple but effective spell list and a huge damage feat. using Fury and Enraging with paingivers, your Gladiator can get up to P+S 21. add in feat turn and all those attacks are weapon master attacks. If you like doing huge damage and don’t care about going real fast, Xerxis is a good choice.
To build out a Xerxis list, you will likely want to get some medium-based infantry (either type of Catapract works really well with him), a Tyrant Commander, and another heavy hitter (my choice would be a Bronzeback).
Speed and Accuracy
Either Makeda gives you a list that is faster and hits more accurately, both of which are really helpful for a newer player. they both play similar lists, so I grouped them together. eMakeda has the best feat in Skorne, while pMakeda has arguably a stronger spell list. In my mind, pMakeda is the more balanced of the two. While eMakeda gives you one awesome turn, her other turns aren’t as impressive. pMakeda is strong and steady through the whole game, though her feat suffers for it.
To build a Makeda list, you will probably want some more hitting power (again, a Bronzeback is a good choice). A Soulward or a master tormentor would work very well with either Makeda if you don’t already have one. If you want to try out the Bullet, Molik Karn is very solid with either Makeda
Either Hexeris would be a good choice if you want a caster who can sit a bit further back and sling some spells at the enemy. pHexeris has a feat that is very attractive but is fairly hit or miss. he also has a very solid spell list with some good infantry buffing (Death March) and some attack spells. eHexeris is one of my favorite casters, with a really strong array of spells and a powerful feat turn that doesn’t rely as much on luck.
To play a strong Hexeris list, I would recommend getting a good arc node beast (Razor worm, Brute, Archidon, or Bronzeback), a Shaman, Aptimus Marketh, and a full infantry unit.
In the end, it comes down to what you like personally. This is meant as a rough guide, not a firm answer. always take everything you read about list building with a grain of salt and try your own stuff out.
So what is your playstyle? If you’ve already started expanding your collection, how did you pick your first/second caster? Do you choose based on looks, power, or user-friendliness?