Speed is what makes Vlad3 so different compared to the rest of the options available to Khador. He is able to bring an army that can have exceptionally long charge ranges and provide an incredible amount of pressure on the opponent. Because of this speed, his match-ups should be against those armies that cannot handle the fast moving, high armor models that Vlad3 typically brings.His feat also provides a hit and run aspect to his army, Iron Fang Uhlans in particular gain quite a bit from this feat. They are able to charge in with their Blasting Lances, and if they kill what they charged, they’re able to Sprint back to where they started their charge and form back into Defensive Line, which brings their armor value up to heavy warjack levels. Another application of Sprint is that it can be used to dive further into enemy lines and end in base to base contact. Alternatively, if they don’t kill what they charge (so long as they hit), they are able to Side Step into base to base in order to benefit from Defensive Line. Also keep in mind that Sprint also benefits from Dash, allowing a yo-yo effect that even Circle Orboros will be impressed with.
Here are some factions that Vlad3 is strong against as a whole, with the specific warcasters/warlocks that Vlad3 is strong/weak against for those factions. The weak matchups will be specifically covered to provide more detail.
Cygnar: The swans don’t like seeing such fast moving melee models
Cygnar absolutely does not like seeing the amount of fast moving melee models that Vlad3 is able to field. Cygnar relies on being able to shoot away the problematic models to their army and then move up to score on scenario. The faction usually needs about 2 turns to shoot before the armies meet in the center of the table. With Vlad3 however, Cygnar may not even be able to get 2 turns of shooting, as the best they’ll have is one because Vlad3’s army is able to run and be in the center of the table, even with a 7″ deployment when going first.
Some Cygnar warcasters that Vlad3 is strong against:
All 3 Nemos
Some Cygnar warcasters that Vlad3 is weak against:
All 3 Strykers
eCaine and Siege are able to shoot down Vlad3 without a problem on their respective feat turns, however Siege is far superior against Vlad3’s overall army, and the mass POW 10s are suddenly dropping numerous cavalry models. All 3 Strykers have different ways of handling Vlad’s massive advance, with pStryker providing +5 ARM to his entire army in his control area, to Stryker2 having an even more powerful punch than Vlad with Positive Charge, Overload, and feat, with Stryker3 auto hitting with his entire army on charges and providing an additional damage die along with Fury. pHaley drops the naturally high defense of Vlad’s army and also stops him from charging, which his army really wants to do mainly for the extra accuracy, or in the Uhlan’s case, to actually be able to use the Blasting Lance!
Circle Orboros: They don’t like armies that can keep up with them
Circle Orboros relies on their Shifting Stones being able to teleport their warbeasts (primarily a Warpwolf Stalker) to pick off key pieces that they deem necessary to be removed. Their warbeasts are very squishy as well, and can easily die to charging Iron Fang Uhlans that have Hand of Fate on them. Vlad3 is especially exceptional against eMorvhana, as he has such long charge ranges that it can apply enough pressure to not allow the attrition game that she wants to play.
Some Circle Orboros warlocks that Vlad3 is strong against:
Some Circle Orboros warlocks that Vlad3 is weak against:
eKrueger is Circle’s primary control caster, and his game is quite simple against Vlad: Push you away with feat and slow you down! His feat specifically states that he chooses the order of the models that are pushed, so simply setting models in a brick formation where a model is behind another, he can simply push the model in the back first and then push everyone else. The penalty on speed really hurts Vlad as it stops charges.
Kromac is able to threaten the assassination against Vlad3 on feat turn after advancing and then jumping into Reach range with him. 16 POW 14 attacks will most likely kill Vlad, even with some extra ARM through Blood Quenched or focus camping. Bestial also stops Vlad from casting mass Flashing Blades, greatly reducing his offensive output.
Legion of Everblight: They too don’t like seeing fast moving melee models
Legion of Everblight is in the same situation as Cygnar, where they need to shoot away problematic models before the armies meet at the center. Being able to silence Ravagores is especially crucial for Vlad3’s army as boostable POW 15s means that any cavalry model in the army is subject to being taken out in a single shot. The army as a whole is not resilient enough to handle Vlad3’s army once he engages, hence why I recommend he is used against Legion.
Some Legion of Everblight warlocks that Vlad3 is strong against:
pLylyth and Lylyth3
Some Legion of Everblight warlocks that Vlad3 is weak against:
The problem that Vlad3 has with Saeryn (in fact, as a general rule, Khador has problems versus Saeryn) is simply her feat. Being able to be essentially up a turn against Vlad3 is back breaking, since he is usually bringing a low model count army, he needs every turn to be meaningful. Vlad3 also has a natural tendency to be better at clearing off infantry rather than massed warbeasts, as his hitting power is found with Fenris, the Man-o-War Drakhun, the Iron Fang Uhlans and whatever jack he brings. When facing multiple heavies however, especially multiples of the same kind, Vlad is not able to apply not enough pressure to take out the important ones, such as Angels and Scytheans, as the retaliation will be able to remove more of Vlad’s army than Vlad was able to take from Saeryn’s force.
Rhyas loves seeing low model count armies as she will be able to teleport into a position that can threaten Vlad, and being a Weapon Master with Critical Decapitation means she can threaten him no matter how much ARM he has, especially considering Rhyas is one of the few casters that likes to bring infantry, especially with her newer theme force, Rearguard.
eLylyth is able to shut down Vlad3 on her feat turn alone. Ravagores firing twice plus the extra range means that her army does not care if you ran the full distance or not, she will be in range of your army. In addition, Uhlans in Defensive Line are not even safe, especially considering that she takes multiples of them, with the bare minimum being 2. Some variants of her build also bring Nephilim Bolt Throwers, which are able to push and knockdown Vlad’s models as well as kill them, since they fire Thunderbolt shots that are very high POW for guns, plus shooting twice. I’ve personally played Vlad3 against eLylyth recently and was amazed at how much she was able to remove on her feat turn, it’s a matchup that should scare all horselords.
For other factions not mentioned, as a whole, Vlad3 has a decent game against them. However, what matters the most are the comparisons of army composition. Does the opponent have a list that can ruin Vlad’s day? This of course requires plenty of game knowledge as a whole, which contributes to the games learning curve considering that there’s a total of 14 factions and about 140 warcasters and warlocks in the game. As a general rule, I would not use Vlad3 against Trollbloods, Skorne, and the Protectorate of Menoth. Reason being is that these three factions have defensive capabilities that are able to hinder the fast paced play that Vlad3 likes to do. Trolls can stop Vlad’s Blood Quenched stacking with army-wide Tough, Skorne have enough armor and health boxes on the Cataphracts to not care about POW 12s, and Mordikaar’s feat is a major concern, as +3 DEF to all models in his control area plus Poltergeist will push Vlad away. The Protectorate mainly has the Covenant of Menoth (also known as the Book), which will shut down Vlad’s spell casting, which means his Flashing Blades. They also have plenty of healing mechanics, such as with the Exemplar Errant Self Sacrifice and Harbinger’s Martyrdom, which will stop him from collecting Blood Quenched counters as the models of course are not destroyed.
Vlad3 overall provides a very different, fast paced play for Khador that they used to be able to only get from pSorscha. Now, with Vlad3 and Butcher3 also in the Khadoran stable, followers of the motherland are able to ride their horses, freeze their enemies, and swing around Lola while crossing the table at a break neck pace.
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~Do you agree with the match-ups that Vlad3 should be used in? What factions do you use Vlad3 against? Post in the comments section below with your thoughts! For more Warmachine related content by FrozenKommander, check out his YouTube channel.