|Brush for Rent|
I'm going to start doing some detailed analysis articles on several casters, particularly ones I've played quite extensively, and briefly talk about the tier lists associated with said casters, though it is more focused on them. The first one is the Legion of Everblight's Ice Queen, Vayl, Consul of Everblight. Also known as eVayl, she is one of Legion's most dangerous casters. Her stats are average for Legion, with an average SPD for the faction, and a good RAT. However her DEF and ARM stats are terrible, and she can't take a hit very well, if at all. She's still a Fury 8 caster, so expect a lot of beasts to be run with her. It's not uncommon to see 3-4 heavy warbeasts in her entourage, though always be aware of the fury she's throwing around. Unlike her prime counterpart, she is a Gunfighter, which means if something terrible has gone wrong and she's in melee, she can defend herself....just pray their armor is awful, or you're dead. eVayl also has Quick Draw, which won't come up often but if it does, it can stop a critical shot from being taken. Her final special ability is Serenity, and is another layer of fury management on top of what Legion already has in their arsenal of fury management.
The first part of the meat and potatoes to Vayl is her Oraculi. Upgraded from her prime form, the Oraculus is now 3 balls of ice, and has a further range as well. Just like her prime form, the target hit becomes a temporary arc node/channeler, and she now has 3 shots to take. The other piece to the puzzle is her spell list: Admonition, Icy Grip, Obliteration, Occulation, Purification, and Refuge. The movement caster that her prime form is known for has become a bit more blatant about her abilities with both Admonition and Refuge in the lineup, though both are upkeeps. Admonition is her defensive-based movement spell, while Refuge is her offensive-based movement spell. Their conditions for trigger are different, though both get the same result of repositioning. Icy Grip makes a target easier to hit, Occulation is her Stealth spell, and Obliteration is well...exactly what it sounds like, a destructive offensive spell. Purification will clear the board of all upkeeps and other affects, both friendly and enemy. This all seems like it's a lot for her until the feat comes into play, Dark Miracles. It's a simple feat that states she can cast each of her spells for free once. Suddenly the issue of what to cast becomes a moot point now, which brings me to the most important question: What is her role as a warlock in the army?
And that is the most important question, because for the most part there is no wrong answer. She is an assassination caster and a control caster rolled into one. She is not as point and click as some of the other casters are in Legion, yet her strengths are incredible at the tasks you give her. Her assassination run is tied to one thing: her feat. Without it you are doomed to fail from the start. Every fury point counts, and Obliteration is very expensive. Using her feat, she can remove most defensive buffs from the game, freeze her target to make it easier, and then proceed to blow it up. Now, assassination runs usually require you to be very close to the target, however Vayl's Oraculi circumvents that. Now all of a sudden anything in her control range at the start of her turn is in deep trouble, except for warcasters with extremely high ARM and/or HP. So don't try this against Terminus or the Butcher, odds are they'll more than likely survive the attempt and make you pay for it dearly. The run in her case is truly all or nothing because it requires your army to be in position to take a charge immediately after. A risky venture but if pulled off right, becomes quite impressive.
Her other major role is that of a control caster. Her two most common spells will be Admonition and Refuge. Her ability to reposition was not lost in the transition, though she can only do it to so many at a time now. She is still quite strong though and can position herself and her warbeasts in advantageous positions as well as hit-and-run strikes. Warbeasts like the Ravagore and Angelius will enjoy Refuge, particularly combined with the Angel's animus. Admonition is more useful for your more forward warbeasts, and can protect that vital one from a severe charge. Just remember it expires immediately, so take careful care on its use.
The final thing to look at is her Tier list, Machinations of Shadow. The tier list promotes both aspects of her to an evil degree, though she sacrifices one of the fury management solos Legion has to do it. The models allowed are generally otherwise what you would take in her list to begin with, so modifying it for her tier isn't much of a stretch. Even without the tier, Vayl still is a potent warlock for Legion, though requires more work than some of the others. An example list of hers would look something like this with the tier:
Full Spawning Vessel
3 Spell Martyrs
Total: 35 points
It's not optimized, but it's workable. The core of the list is as always the beasts, and this group gives her a lot of mobility to get into position. She can also to an extent play an attrition game where she can produce Shredders and other Lesser Beasts. It does lack some armor like most of Legion, and needs them to get the first strike in. Fortunately her spell list does just that, and she can play a game of cat and mouse much more actively compared to her prime form. She isn't at first glance clear as to what she truly excels at, but once on the table, you'll quickly find out she hasn't lost her touch, and will gladly show you why she is the Ice Witch of the Legion.