Tales from the Testing Cycle: Locked and Loaded.

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Last week, I declared that I had settled on my lists for the Masters. And that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about this week. In a moment of steely resolve that has only wavered a little bit in the intervening week, I settled on Lich Lord Asphyxious, Warwitch Deneghra, and Lich Lord Terminus.

lich-lord-asphyxious

The Best There Is, The Best There Was, And The Best There Ever Will Be.

My anchor list is Lich Lord Asphyxious. This will come as a terrible shock to many. It’s a wild divergence from standard thinking into the realms of untested Cryxian success… Or not. But in the end, Asphyxious is a caster that brings all the tools. Even in matchups where the opponent has teched against you, you have the flexibility to deal with it. In Asphyxious, I have a caster I can happily drop against anyone and just play the matchup (Unless it’s Haley1, curse her time wizarding hide, but she’s relatively rare. And I have two more lists, so it’ll be fine).

Lich Lord Asphyxious (-6)
– Nightwretch (4)
– Defiler (5)
Min. Bile Thralls (5)
Bane Knights (10)
Bane Knights (10)
Min. Bane Thralls + UA (8)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4)
Satyxis Blood Witches + Hag (8)
Saxon Orrick (2)

The second list is Warwitch Deneghra. She packs possibly the best spell list in the game, and a ball busting feat. The weight of debuffs allows her to push her army ahead in the attrition game, and the addition of a Mechanithrall engine allows her to stay ahead. The weight of attacks in the list are angled at taking down Cryx – the decision to go with Warwitch over her epic version is largely due to my anticipating seeing a fair few Deneghra2 lists, and I think Deneghra1 edges her out in that battle, but I’m quite happy to drop this list against a range of opponents.

Her more common nickname rhymes with Witch.

Her more common nickname rhymes with Witch.

Deneghra1 (-5)
– Nightwretch (4)
– Defiler (5)
– Skarlock Thrall
Nyss Hunters (10)
Blood Witches + Hag (8)
Boomhowler & Co (9)
Min. Mechanithralls (3)
Necrosurgeon (2)
Necrosurgeon (2)
Pistol Wraith (3)
Pistol Wraith (3)
Warwitch Siren (2)
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile (2)

The third and final list is my curveball. With a meta heavy on Cryx (11/64 players), you can expect to see a lot of people bringing anti-Cryx lists. These lists typically load up on low pow mass shooting, and I wanted a list that could confound that approach. To that end, I built a Terminus list that varies quite a bit from the standard. I didn’t fully expect it to click like it did, but with only a few tweaks along the way it’s been highly successful – undefeated in competitive play since its inception, and defeated only twice in practice games. And it’s led by the most heavily converted model I’ve ever put together.

1, 2, Termy's coming for you...

1, 2, Termy’s coming for you…

Terminus (-4)
– Kraken (19)
Wrongeye & Snapjaw (9)
Min. Blood Witches + Hag (6)
Min Bane Thralls (5)
The Withershadow Combine (5)
Gorman Di Wulfe (2)
Madelyn Corbeau (2)
Ragman (2)
Daragh Wrathe (4)

This list turns around the Bully Principle. The three key pieces are difficult or impossible to shoot off the table, allowing them to get delivered and start going to work. And that work is simple – murder anything that can threaten Terminus, allowing him to run roughshod over the enemy army and/or caster. If the Kraken survives that process, all the better. I’ve flip-flopped on Ragman through the testing process, especially after the introduction of the Bane Thralls (stealthed sac pawns are the best sac pawns), but I’ve found that the ability to spread Dark Shroud across more of the table to be invaluable when Terminus-Threat Hunting.

Thus far in 2014, I’ve brought some combination of these three lists to every tournament except Who’s the Boss, and I’ve been really happy with how they’ve played against a range of opponents. While there are bad matchups for each, there’s not so many that I’m super worried about list chicken situations.

Know Yourself, and Go In Swinging,

Anthony

Next week: WTC Team Ireland qualifier tournament report
The week after that: Smogcon report! (But probably not until later in the week)
A fortnight after that: The Irish Masters!
It’s gonna be a busy month…

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