Kirb your enthusiasm!


"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Making Dr. Arkadius work - Part 1

Hello good ladies and gentlemen, this is Whitestar333 from Steam-Powered Gamer again, this time telling a tale of a doctor who no one believes in, who lives in the shadow of a great pig leader.  That's right, I'm talking about Dr. Arkadius, one of the most maligned warlocks in the game of Warmachine/Hordes.  In fact, there is a large majority of players out on the internet who believe that Dr. Arkadius is the worst warcaster/warlock in the entirety of the game - and they might be right.  I, myself had believed in the good doctor, and I started playing him some time ago because I wanted a challenge - and a challenge I received!  I'm not here to tell you not to play him, but to warn you that he is not for the feint of heart and he requires some skill to make as competitive as some of his peers  I am here to share my insights with him on how to make him most successful and in a later post I will share a 50-point list that I think will play to his strengths, as well as the tactics to consider when playing him.

The first thing that one should look at is his statline.  He's a very squishy warlock with few damage boxes (14) and his statline leaves much to be desired with only DEF 15 ARM 14.  While DEF 15 sounds good, generally an assassination attempt on him will find ways of bumping the MAT of the assassin or boosting to hit, and their damage rolls don't need to be that great to hit his pathetic ARM 14.  The next thing that's pretty important to look at is his weapon.  While the syringe is pretty interesting when you look at the three different abilities you can use, Arkadius' MAT is terribad for a warlock, meaning he will need to boost to hit most targets.  Secondly, he cannot damage non-living models.  This is a huge consideration and one of the biggest weaknesses he faces.  This automatically means that Arkadius needs to rely more heavily on the rest of his army to keep him safe than any other warlock, and he's susceptible to undead and incorporeal models (since his force also lacks magical weapons).  This alone means that one should not take Arkadius to any serious tournaments unless it is a 2-list tournament and is a reason why he faces such harsh criticism.

So how can he work?  He does have some great spells at his disposal and his feat - although complex in utility - can be a great tool when used properly.  Additionally, his ability maltreatment is very useful when Dr. Arkadius activates after one of his beasts, as it's a great way of managing all of the fury that will be out there, while giving him 8 fury to play around with at any given time.  The spells that you will find yourself using most of the time are Forced Evolution and Psycho Surgery.  The former bumps the DEF + STR of a friendly warbeast by 2 each, meaning you can make any of your beasts easily wreck any heavy, as well as make it slightly difficult to kill in exchange.  Psycho Surgery should be cast every turn to get the full effect out of it, and encourages you to make use of the War Hog aggression dial constantly - effectively running your beasts at consistently +2 STR - not too shabby!  Aggravator can also be a nice spell, depending on the army you are facing, but it's situational, and Crippling Grasp is a brutal spell but requires you to be too close to use it (even with the +2 RNG from Bone Grinders).

Dr. Arkadius' Warbeast of choice
Lastly, it's important to look at his feat, which says that warbeasts in his battlegroup may frenzy.  The key here is that they don't have to frenzy if they are not in the most optimal position to do so.  This feat can be used in multiple ways.  Offensively, this means that you can effectively get an alpha strike on your enemy.  You can put Forced Evolution on a War Hog, crank up that Aggression Dial, and run him forward so that when you pop your feat, he's charging at the closest enemy with a fully-boosted POW 20!  This can be great if you can manage to arrange your beasts in a very specific formation so that they only see enemy models, but is difficult to do and you only get one fully boosted attack.  While that's great, you're missing out on the great selection of 3 initial attacks that the War Hog has access to.  Instead, I would use it as a counter-measure, and a way to manage fury.  If you can survive an alpha-strike, the War Hogs can run crazy-hot with fury, then the feat can make it all go away - driving these guys to maximum efficiency.  The key is surviving an opposing alpha-strike.

In summary, Dr. Arkadius is a fantastic beast-support warlock, able to heal his beasts consistently to make sure that they operate at maximum capacity, manage their fury with maltreatment or even clever use of his feat, and can drive a War Hog to feats of strength that will make any heavy in the game jealous.  However, Dr. Arkadius is very fragile and has no-answers to some of the more popular armies and models out there.  In Part 2, I will share a 50-point list that I believe to play to Dr. Arkadius' strengths and will make some people take the good Doctor more seriously.

Follow us on Facebook!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...