My original thoughts about Scaverous pretty much mirror that of my first Wrath article. He's very soul token driven, mind you not in the way the Testament of Menoth uses his soul's. Instead Scaverous is all about manipulation. But lets take a deeper look...
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE CRYX
Scaverous has been quite a challenge to write about for a variety of reasons. Not being a Cryx player myself, theres the challenge of building an army around him. He happens to have a very trickster playstyle, which leads him to manipulate enemies; while modifying his forces to gain the upper hand. You can take almost any kind of unit with Scaverous and have it work, but models that can add to his way of controlling the board, tend to be more worthwhile.
The Black Gate, is one of those feats that involves having your cake and eating it too. It both buffs Scaverous(reduces spell costs) and friendly units(boosted Magic Attack Rolls only); while making it harder for your opponent to cast their own spells or animi. It's just a simple feat that does what it's supposed to, make your job easier and your opponents harder. Tons of practical applications for this feat, but the most obvious one is to enable Scaverous to spam cheap Telekinesis spells all over the place.
Scaverous has a fully loaded toolbox of spells at his disposal, but for a variety of reasons Telekinesis overshadows them. But before getting to that part, allow me to discuss the other five spells that he has. First off, he has two friendly buff spells in the forms of Death Ward(2+ Armour basically) and Ghostwalk(Grants Ghostly), which are both really solid spells. He has three offensive spells: Excarnate(A ranged attack that allows you to add grunts to any friendly unit), Feast of Worms(AoE that reduces enemy Arm by 2), and Icy Grip(Reduces Def and prevents running and special attacks). He basically has a spell for every situation, he is able to boost his own warrior units, while reducing the overall effectiveness of the opposing army.
That brings us to the last and most powerful spell at his disposal, Telekinesis. This spell tends to overshadow the other's, mostly from the fact that while the other spells are good, Telekinesis can dictate how you will actually build your army. It's free movement for your troops, and allows you to force your opponent into undesirable situations. You will be wanting to cast this spell at every opportunity, so as a result the other spells see limited table time. Scaverous has a nice focus value of 7, but this will get used up very quickly for warjacks and spells, not to mention if he wants to overboost his armour.
For starters he's undead(shocker), causes Terror(again, Surprise!) and cull soul(I sure hope so, :). Lastly his weapon is magical reach weapon that just so happens to have thresher as well.
A very standard tier list that incorporates alot of useful elements. Everything from getting free Necrotechs, Souls, advance deployment and extra inchs for the deployment zone. The only downside to this tier is how vague it is. For instance, you can take any model that has Magic Ability. As for the unit choices you are limited to the horde type of units like mechanithralls, and other different choices. Versus being able to take Bane or Raider units. His tier has it's uses, but I feel it's too restricting on his particular playstyle. Like any tier, take it or leave it behind.
A running theme throughout the Wrath Expansion, is the partner warjacks. Every new warcaster seems to have been given a character jack that only gets better when they are both on the board. For the most part, each warjack seems like an obvious pick to take alongside their warcaster buddy. Erebus, is an awesome addition to any Scaverous list, just for his Affinity alone. Everytime he kills a enemy living model he can steal the soul token and send it straight back to Scaverous. Allowing him to get an extra focus for the next turn. Besides that, his other abilities: Overtake and Poltergeist, are pretty useful in the right situations. He performs pretty much like a normal Slayer otherwise.
THOUGHTS ON PLAYSTYLES AND BATTLEGROUP PAIRING
For the most part the pairing works and is fairly solid. I would say it's easily one of the best pairing within Wrath, but I still feel Harkevich and Black Ivan are higher up in comparison. While potentially getting free focus for Scaverous, there is the added risk of having to engage with Erebus in order to get the full benefits of the affinity. Unlike other affinities, this one does not directly buff/support Erebus in anyway really. The extra focus gained from souls, would most likely be used for Telekinesis or for overboosting the liche's armour.
From what I can tell, Scaverous really needs all the free focus tricks his faction has to offer. This includes Skarlock thralls, Helljacks that are focus efficient like Seethers and Deathjack. Scaverous is a medium based, spell-slinging warcaster and all the usual strategies and defenses apply.
THREE CONCEPTS TO BUILD AROUND
1-Make sure to take an Arc-Node of some kind. You want to have your presence felt across the board; like many other Cyrx warcasters Scaverous is all about controlling the flow of the game.
1-Make sure to take the Withershadow Combine. Telekinesis allows you to set up traps and what better way to deal with a traped warjack, then to turn it into a new Cryx Seether?
1-Make sure to take Reaper Helljacks, and/or Malice. Both of these warjacks allow you to pull models towards them with their Scorpion style attack. Malice also has the added benefit of taking control of opposing warjacks. This gets even easier when you happen to spin the enemy around with Telekinesis.
THREE TRAPS TO AVOID
0-Trying to cast too many spells. Scaverous is all about dominating the board with magical spells, but with a limited amount of focus to go around and having certain spells cost a fairly high price. You might run into a situation where you don't have enough focus to go around. Every turn have a plan for where the focus is going and fully commit, otherwise you will have lackluster results.
0-Medium Base. Scaverous is a big fellow, so warjacks like the Defender and Hunter tend to want to shoot him. Unlike, other factions Cyrx lacks a large amount of Shield Guarded models, so medium based Cryx casters have to be careful. Unless their opponent has next to no shooting...perpare that evil laugh :).
0-Not supporting the army. Scaverous, for the most part has a lot of manipulating spells, but very few actually do significant damage. Therefore it's up to Scaverous to set up ideal situations for his army, so that they can do the heavy lifting. You need to be thinking several turns ahead; using your feat turn to it's maximum potential.
TIME FOR A THEME?
Out of all the sections of the Wrath Expansion, Cryx seemed the most jumbled and confusing to find a theme for. However, since it's Halloween a theme seemed to appear out of nowhere. Trick or Treat, anyone? Everytime a Cryx model benefits(Treat) it's usually granted from a built-in ability used against the enemy(Trick). Therefore, as the enemy suffers the Cyrx faction only gets stronger as a result. Oh and it's Halloween I guess as well :).
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Till Next Time