Today we look at how to play Soulblight Gravelords Vyrkos in Age of Sigmar. There’s a new wolfpack in town, and their bite is JUST as bad as their bark.
Continuing our series on the 5 vampiric bloodlines in the new Soulblight Gravelords battletome, we have the newest addition to Nagash’s army, the Vyrkos Dynasty. Making their first appearance in Cursed City, the Vyrkos vampires are a more bestial and animalistic bloodline, with ranks of lesser undead surrounding a cadre of Vampiric alphas. That said, let’s take a look at these guys and how they function on the battlefield.
Who are the Vyrkos?
Unlike the other Soulblight, the Vyrkos gain their powers from a series of totem spirits, primarily wolves though they also revere rats, bats, and other creatures of the night. These totem spirits give the Vyrkos power over their animal totems and alter their bodies to resemble their guides, manifesting claws, canine fangs, and paws, or even enabling them to disintegrate into a horde of rats. One of their primary leaders, Radukar, was able to keep a stranglehold on a large city in Shyish and likely would have succeeded in turning all the populace into undead monsters had it not been for the invasion of a powerful group of heroes. Still, Radukar had enough success to make the Vyrkos a powerful force in the Realms, and Nagash was all too happy to add them to his entourage.
Why Play Vyrkos?
The Vyrkos dynasty can boast one of the most aggressive playstyles in the battletome and can turn even their mediocre battleline into powerful fighters. They also have some of the most effective spellcasting, and their heroes can pull off some awesome tricks.
- Passive spellcasting buff means you’ll get most if not all of your spells off every turn.
- All of your special characters count as additional generals, increasing their command range.
- Two exceptionally powerful special characters with a great combination of power and support.
- All your buffs rely on your heroes.
- If you don’t take at least one of the special characters, you’re missing the point of the bloodline.
How you play and what rules you worry about depends on your bloodline, but these are the basic rules you need to know for this army.
- The Unquiet Dead – You get to pick two points on the battlefield to resurrect or deploy Summonable units from. Pretty great to keep your Dire Wolves and Zombies alive and where you want them.
- Locus of Shyish – If a Wizard casts from one of the book lores with a 9+, the spell is activated twice. It specifies unmodified, so your bonuses don’t matter, but since you’ll be casting a lot, you’ll probably still snag this at least once a turn.
- Deathless Minions – Soulblight units wholly within 12″ of a friendly Hero or gravesite have a 6+ shrug. Your heroes want to be close to your battleline anyway to get the buffs, so you’ll almost always have this.
- Reanimated Horrors – Deadwalker and Deathrattle units mess with enemy Bravery. Make your buffed units even stronger.
- Endless Legions – You can recycle slain enemy units into half-strength Deathrattle or Deadwalker units that you lost earlier in the game. Large units of Dire Wolves or Grave Guard coming back at half strength is pretty strong.
- Deathly Invocation – Your heroes all heal nearby Summonable units innately. With so many heroes, your army will have extraordinary healing capacity.
In addition, Vyrkos armies have the following army rules:
- The Strength of the Pack in the Wolf – Vyrkos Deathrattle and Deadwalker units wholly within 9″ of a Vyrkos Vampire hero add 1 to their wound rolls. Make Dire Wolves a real threat and Grave Guard with great weapons a delete button.
- The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack – Your vampires get +1 to cast. This is a pretty solid buff for anything, even more so in this army
5 Key Units
In a Vyrkos army, these are five units you’ll always want to consider.
Dire Wolves – These guys will probably be your primary battleline, both thematically and stat-wise. They’re a fast, strong, summonable battleline with an extra wound to keep them in the fight longer. A full stack of these can prove to be a nightmare to lightly armored infantry or warmachines.
Wight King – Probably not what many people would default to since it isn’t a vampire, but it actually makes a pretty phenomenal general alongside your special generals. He makes Grave Guard battleline, and since he has the Deathrattle keyword, your Vampires will buff him to a 2+ to wound. Go with the on-foot version in this case since you’ll want him near your Grave Guard and because the infantry version has better mortal wound production, in my opinion.
Grave Guard – Another good battleline unit so long as you pick the Wight King, and powerful if they’re close to one of your heroes. The Great Weapon option is 100% the way to go, as you want these guys doing damage, not holding lines.
The Wolf Queen herself and a powerful hybrid caster in her own right. Counts as an additional general, can cast two spells a turn to either turn your enemies into wolves or give everyone wholly within 12″ exploding 6s, and can dish out plenty of damage in her own right. Plus, she’s fast enough to keep up with your Dire Wolves and keep them buffed. Definitely include this amazing lady.
Radukar the Beast
The result of getting your well-laid plans for domination ripped away when you’re already a bit unstable, Radukar has turned into a truly terrifying monster, lore and gamewise. While he’s a bit expensive, he makes up his points pound for pound with a devastating array of attacks and abilities. Also counts as an additional general, so you’ll have command bubbles all over the table.
Sample Army (1000 pts)
Army: Soulblight Gravelords (Vyrkos)
Leader: Belladama Volga. General.
Leader: Wight King. General
Battleline: 20 Dire Wolves
Battleline: 20 Dire Wolves
Battleline: 10 Grave Guard with Great Weapons
How to Play Vyrkos
Overwhelm your enemies with your pack of Vampiric generals and your empowered undead. Try to prioritize spellcasting to buff your battleline and keep the pressure on your enemy with your fast-moving units. Know when to hit the flank and when to let the enemy bleed a little.
~Howl at the Moon!