Friday, August 19, 2011

Wrath Expansion, Menoth Review: Thyra, Flame of Sorrow

THYRA, FLAME OF SORROW


Looking back at my predictions for some of the new Wrath Warcasters here. I was pretty close with my some of my guesses. But now that I have the rules for Thyra in my hands, what can I gather from this interesting new Menoth Warcaster......................................




NINJAS AND WELL.......NINJAS!

Thyra adds an interesting dynamic to the otherwise brick playstyle of most Menoth lists. Being an assassin, Thyra brings a variety of diversity for Menoth players, not just with her spells, but with her unique feat and abilities as well. What she really adds to the Menoth faction is increased board control, allowing your otherwise slow army to have elements in it that still threaten the enemy. So lets take a look at what this long awaited warcaster can achieve on the tabletop.

FEAT

 Her feat is rather remarkable for a variety of reasons. She can place herself 2 inchs from her current position; just to add insult to injury any friendly model starting their activation, in her Control Area can do the same. There is a snag here though, it says "At the start of it's activation you can place it", so basically because it's during the start of the activation, the model is considered activated already. So for the those models that want to gain the back strike bonus, they do start in the front arc. However this does not stop you from feating half of your unit of zealots, around the target and blasting them in the following turns from all sides. I could be wrong, but I am taking the Rules As Written (RAW) text meaning. Needless to say this feat could be used to set up a caster kill or give your army a free reposition move.  

SPELLS

Taking a look at her spell deck, Thrya has some really unique tools at her disposal. The first spell is Carnage, which needless to say is really power when used right. Giving all your models a free 2+ to hit against all enemies in her Control Area. She only has a 12 inch range, so it can be difficult to get all your models in there, but still very great. The next spell is Occultation, which simply gives a unit stealth, which is easily one of her best spells. While basically any unit in the Menoth army book gets a use from this ability, I would be more interested in giving certain expensive mercenary units a try with this ability. Models like the Ogrun Assault Corps, that are small in number and expensive in pts, could gain alot of use from such an ability. The next spell is Pursuit, which has gotten the most notice since the Wrath expansion was released. Basically Thyra or one of her battlegroup of warjacks, can make a full advance if the target enemy model tries to make a run for it. When used in combination with fast warjacks like the Dervish, Reckoner and her own personal warjack Blood of Martyrs, you can go for that game winning caster kill. The next spell Silence of Death, is yet another amazing choice by giving a friendly model/unit the Grievous Wounds special rule. Which basically allows the unit/model to ignore Tough, and prevents all healing(can't heal others too) or transfer damage. Very powerful when fighting against certain foes(TROLLS). The last spell is Stranglehold, which can force an enemy unit to forfeit it's movement or activation for one turn. So as you can see, Thyra can really dictate the movement and flow of the game, by making her units more lethal and by stunning/slowing down enemy units or warcasters. 

BUILT IN ABILITIES

First up like any good Daughter of the Flame, she has Acrobatics. Which allows her to ignore enemy models during her movement, while ignoring free strikes. The second ability is Elite Cadre [Daughters of the Flame]: Vengeance. This ability allows the unit to move and attack before their activation, if a daughter dies. The problem with this ability is the fact that daughter units are only 6 members large. This kind of ability is really great on large units, because they can soak up deaths and still have enough models left. The last ability is Overtake, which allows Thyra to advance on 1 inch if she kills an enemy model. This ability is nice for those tricky turns, when Thyra is exposed or wants that caster kill. Allowing her to basically surge up the table. Lastly her two weapons have the Grievious wounds ability, allowing her to killer tougher opponents.

TIER LIST

Her tier is very solid, and is only really worth taking if you can take all of the levels. At the end of it you would have a 1st turn stealthed army, that has advance deploy and warjacks that get a  free focus. The downside of course is the army can only really have daughters, but at least you get to use choir as well.



BLOOD OF MARTYRS

Is a fairly simple warjack in design really. This warjack behaves like the Menoth light warjack the Dervish, looking almost similar. The key differences of course, are that this model is a heavy warjack and is also a character too. This model comes to the table using the abilities Parry and Hand of Veneagnce, which allow this model to ignore free strikes; gain a 2+ to hit in melee if a friendly model dies within 5 inchs. Having a Speed of 5, really helps this model out, considering it does not have Reach on any of it's weapons. Lastly theres BoM's affinity with Thyra, which allows BoM to have the ability Side Step. A solid ability which allows this model to get a free move if it hits an enemy model. A solid warjack, but comes in a bit pricy at 9pts. 


THOUGHTS ON PLAYSTYLES AND BATTLEGROUP PAIRING

Thyra really wants to be a frontline caster, going after the opposing warcaster and winning by caster kill. However the more I look at Thyra(oooh lala, jk) I do not believe that she will succeed all the time in this role. In a similar fashion to Constance(New Cygnar Warcaster) she really works as a midline caster. She can take a variety of troops that will move up in the standard brick formation, but models like Daughters of the Flame and Blood of Martyrs can really surge up the field giving your force more flexablilty. Weaving through, between and around enemy models killing key targets; setting up the eventual caster kill. She is fantastic for getting alot of mileage out of her troops and warjacks alike, making her a really useful warcaster. Blood of Martyrs is a bit of mixed bag, with regards to getting enough use out of the warjack. On one hand it might be better to have two Dervish for the price of BoM, resulting in double the hitting power. However, when BoM is used in combination with Thyra, she really can get alot of use out of this warjack. Without Thyra though, this warjack is not really worth taking. The main reason for this is because of the affinity; without Side Step BoM really loses a key combo ability. Suddenly your paying 9pts for a model that only uses 2/3 of it's rules and lacks some ideal threat range. It's not unpayable, but there are better options, unless your using Thyra then BoM becomes alot better in my opinion.  




THREE CONCEPTS TO BUILD AROUND

1-Daughters of the Flame. Not an auto-include by any means, but they do gain a bonus for being with Thyra, so it couldn't hurt.

1-Bring an Arc-node. Thyra really wants to get Pursuit and Stranglehold off on the ideal enemy target. These spells are crucial if you want any hope of controlling your enemies movements. The arc-node is great for getting that extra few inchs, without risking Thyra too soon. A Revenger is fine, no need to take the more expensive arc-nodes

1-Bring Hierophant/Wracks. While Thyra is a fantastic warcaster with a whole toolbox of tricks, she is very limited with regards to focus. Having only 6 focus to go around, and spells like Carnage costing 3 focus. She will have a hard time casting every spell, each turn. With the Hierophant you can limit the amount focus you need, while the Wracks give you extra focus. 





THREE TRAPS TO AVOID

0-Taking too many warjacks that require lots of focus. Focus 6 warcasters really struggle trying to fuel focus guzzling warjacks. Great warjacks like the Repenter, Revenger and Vanquisher are fantastic for using little to no focus to run them. Avoid taking too many Reckoners, Templars, Redeemers, you can handle one usually, but two starts to wear down your focus alot.

0-Slow Infantry. While you could argue that low Speed troops are alright with Thyra, she really needs average to fast Speed troops(5-7). The reason for this is so that Thyra can always threaten your opponent, she can't do that if she's waiting too far back with slow troops. Avoid taking Exemplar Bastions/Cinerators(Mind you taking stealth on them could also work.......?).

0-Forgetting to plan out your turns. This can be said for any warcaster really, but even more so with the likes of Thyra. In order to make sure you utilize your focus properly and setting up a potential caster kill, these turns need to be planned out. Do not try and do everything at once, think turns in advance and break up the focus usage. This will be by far the most difficult thing to master, when using Thyra.


TIME FOR A THEME?

Well like all the other factions in Wrath, each one of them has a theme. So what is the theme for Thyra and the Menoth Faction as a whole. Board Control. While Thyra does not increase the speed or mobility of her forces, instead what she really does is provide flexability. Allowing a unit to be stealthed, pinning enemy units in place with Stranglehold and chasing down key models with Pursuit. Abilities like Carnage and Silence of Death help your army whip out tougher models. Her built in synergies with BoM and the Daughters of the Flame will help her advance up the field killing key models, setting up for that all important caster kill. Long story short, she is a midline caster that supports her army, until you can create an opening in the enemy line, therefore allowing herself or warjacks to pull off a potential caster kill. Do it too soon and you risk exposing her; make sure to wait for the right time to send in your forces, while protecting Thyra's advance.

As always make sure to check out other topics on my homepage "War and More" for more reviewing content. You can also contact me Via Twitter @ATT64 or on Rankings HQ under the Daily D6.

Until Next Time


 

















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