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Friday, December 2, 2011

Why Rasheth is the Best Warlock in All of Warmahordes

When I go out to get my mail
it measures on the Richter scale.

Disclaimer: I could write literally for days on how I play Rasheth. This is probably going to end up being a fairly long article. 

Rasheth es #1. Huehuehue.

So, Rasheth. He's the warlock I have most experience with him in the entire Skorne faction. Hell, probably the whole game to be honest. I love his playstyle (super passive) and his fluff. And y'know, if I was a monstrously powerful sorcerer, I'd probably roll the same way he does.

So, what makes Notorious BIG strong? In my opinion, 3 things make him strong. Dark Ritual, his Tier List, and FURY 8. So, lets talk a bit about John Candy. We'll start with his stats. Basically, they're absolute garbage. He has the worst (to my knowledge) defensive stats (Def+Arm) in the game. With them adding together to give a mighty total of 24. He has a lot of boxes, but you'd kind of expect that. He has useless MAT and RAT due to his lack of weapon, crappy SPD, and mediocre command. Oh, and his STR sucks too. The only good stat he has is the vast wealth of FURY he has. Highest in faction. And boy, can he use it. Sort of.

Spell wise? Good. He has a good spell list. Feat is.... great (not eGaspy, but it's good), if you know what you're doing with it. The restriction on it shouldn't be there though. He should also have Death March rather than Carnivore. Or some equivalent that isn't living only. Otherwise he has a fandabby toolbox of spells. The main spell he uses is Breath of Corruption. It's his bread and butter. Sunder Spirit is pretty good too, as is Blood Mark. Castigate is a "throw it up if it's useful." You'll use it all the time some games, and not at all in others. The problem with it, is that Agonizers do the same thing. For less Fury. Fat Joe obviously covers a larger area, but he's further back. Carnivore is a fantastic spell, especially on Gatormen (you're playing Tubbs, you're bringing Gatormen) because a model with 2 MAT9 rerollable attacks is horrific. I've killed eMorghoul on his feat turn with these guys before. Absolute brutality.

I'm also gonna say a little bit about his feat. Not much, as it ties into the "how I play Fatty" section, a little bit later. But basically, it's a very underrated feat. It is, however, far better against Hordes than Warmachine. Why? Warjacks aren't living. Basically the way I use this feat is defensively, almost always. Unless I'm against something like WGI + Jack Khador, or Bane Thrall Cryx, or whatever. Making Legion heavies P+S13,  or your gators effective ARM22 is something a lot of forces (not Cryx) can't deal with.

Anyway, with this in mind, we can see Jack Black is obviously a backline caster. However, this is Hordes, we don't get Arc Nodes! Surely he must have some shenanigan, some... dark ritual, that allows him to circumvent this? Well, luckily for you readers, he does indeed. Dark Ritual is an absolute beast of a rule (in my opinion) and the main hook for playing him. At least, for me. What this nifty little rule lets you do is Arc through any warrior model in your (massive) control range. The warrior takes some superficial damage (which is why multiwound infantry is so good with Chris Moyles), but you can skim over that. This means every warrior model, be it a solo, trooper, officer, character, whatever, is an arc node. The tactical implications of that are huge. For example, one game I had brought eSkarre down to 2 boxes on her feat turn (forgot to feat, had I feated it would have been game there >_<), but the eSkarre player realised that in his turn he had to kill literally every warrior model in my army to avoid losing next turn. This means Cartman has some amazing spot removal, by arcing little aoes all over the place. Another important thing to note about those AOEs is it's not blast damage, great for things like bunched up Satyxis, or Retribution, or whatever.

So, so far we know that he's a backline caster with some amazing (accurate, FURY 8 remember) spot removal and a nice toolbox, great. Now lets have a look at his Tier List.

Best solo in Hordes.
Fat B*stard has the best tier list in all of Skornedom. Yeah, I said it. Why? Well, you get to bring the Skorne essentials (Paingiver Beast Handlers and Titans). You also get to bring MULTIPLE Agonizers. The most overpowered solo in all of Hordes. These things are stronger than eEiryss, seriously. Also, you get to bring Gatormen (awesome), Paingiver Task Masters (for said Gatormen) and Cataphract Arcuarii (not as good as Cetrati, but multiwound infantry are really good with Oprah). Also Venator units, and some other stuff, but I don't feel they fit in with him so much (still to properly test Venators, to be fair). So, the benefits of his Tier? Cheaper Titans. This is always good. Means if you're running Tier you will have 8+ beast points, effectively. You also get to bring more than one Agonizer. I can't stress how good this is. These agonizers also start the game with Fury. Which is ridiculous, by the way. Having 2-3 Aggies running around on 4-5 Fury on turn one is something a lot of people don't wanna have to deal with. You also get +2SPD turn one on 1-2 minion units depending on Taskmasters. This is pretty good. I've gotten first turn gator charges off before. Also, running Swamp Gobbers 16" then channelling is something an awful lot of people don't expect. Then, the standard extra deployment. Can't ever complain about that.

So, lets put this all together. I'll show you the tried and tested Pam Tier 4 list I ran at Mike Brandt's NOVA.

Titan Sentry
Titan Sentry
Titan Gladiator
Basilisk Krea
5 Gatormen
6 Cataphract Arcuarii
4 Paingiver Beast Handlers
2 Paingiver Task Masters
2 Agonizers

Now, taking into account what we've already learned about how Bruce Vilanch is amongst the most backline of backline casters, how does this play? Well, to quote myself (cause I'm lazy):

"Turn one the Gladiator casts Rush on a sentry and tramples. Sentry #1 Tramples. Kyle Gass casts Rush on Sentry, casts carnivore on gators, pours fury into aggies (1 or 2 each) and advances. A Taskmaster moves so he is within 3" of gators, and kind of facing diagonally (so he can see a gator) and gives them tough. Gators run 14", taking Def13/Pathfinder. Other Taskmaster runs. Aggies both run. Make sure that your solos are safe behind titans/gators and safe from aoes. The paingivers don't need to manage fury (you're ****ing Snorlax, you have 8).

Next turn tends to be taking what most people would consider bait. Now, this is interesting for Gordon Brown, because you can take bait and come out of it alive. For example, you can charge into that deliberately overextended unit of, lets say Steelhead Halberdiers with your gators because, next turn, those gators will be ARM 20 in melee. And none of their jacks will have any focus. Phillip Seymour Hoffman should be 16" away from the front lines (so very safe). Quite often he doesn't need to advance until turn 3. You can run up your Sentries to locker down beasts/heavies if you want, cause next turn you will be effectively ARM23 with no focus on jacks, or ARM 25. Basically, take the first punch, then kill them."

I'm going to wrap up here, I feel like I've said enough, and will struggle to go on without repeating myself....

 Yeah, he's hard to deal with. Basically, he is one of the better attrition casters in WM/H, with brutal assassination possibilities (boosted pow12s kill casters) and a very safe playstyle. Definitely a favourite caster of mine, and honestly doesn't have nearly as many bad matchups as people make out. His weaknesses? Well, stuff that shreds armour, basically. He does not enjoy parasite. But the biggest hate he has, is far and away Bane Thralls. eGaspy and a horde of Bane Thralls. Ugh, nightmare (and that's why a 2nd/3rd list is a good thing to have!).

Well, hope this article inspires some people to try out this much maligned Warlock who's very near and dear to my heart. At the very least I would hope to start some discussion.

Thanks for reading.

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