Hoarluk Doomshaper, Dire Prophet & Scroll Bearers
Warning: This is my first article about Warmachine! Adam Ghost asked me to write an article about some Troll builds after we played each other in the final at Clash for Cure in Texas. This article will be focusing on my new favorite Troll caster in MK3: Doomy #3 (Hoarluk Doomshaper, Dire Prophet & Scroll Bearers). I hope that at the end of this article you will consider playing him.
Hoarluk Doomshaper, Dire Prophet & Scroll Bearers - WB: +26
- Dire Troll Mauler - PC: 15
- Earthborn Dire Troll - PC: 15
- Mulg the Ancient - PC: 19
- Troll Axer - PC: 10
- Pyre Troll - PC: 9
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress - PC: 3
Swamp Gobber Chef - PC: 1
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes - Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
- Stone Scribe Elder - PC: 3
Trollkin Warders - Leader & 2 Grunts: 10
Northkin Fire Eaters - Leader, Trollkin Grunt, and Pyg Grunt: 7
Building MK3 Trollblood list was a challenge… I had been playing Runes of War for the last two years paired with a pGrim gunline (to take care of Cryx shenanigans or spam infantry lists) and a pGrissel infantry list for IG. Well, guess what? ROW is dead…Really dead... (No more wall on Janissa, no more EBDT animus, no more cheap Runeshappers, and Mulg got older and slow…). pGrim feat is now history since -SPD debuffs do not stop a model from charging. pGrissel's Feat is now only 3 fell calls. MK3 basically crushed my 3 favorite casters, so I had to innovate.
After many, MANY hours spent in War Room, I came up with the following list. I took this list at WTC and really enjoyed it. I am not planning on modifying it anytime soon.
This list is working around Dommy’s spells list, feat and Scrolls. Doomy 3 is a toolbox; he has access to so many options a Trollblood player needs in this edition. Doomy specifically shines with multiple heavy.
Doomy’s stats are not screaming that this guy is a fighter but when you look close enough you can find some late game Leeroy Jenkins moments. How? Well, my list includes a Pyre Troll so Doomy has access to the Flaming Fist animus for a +2 dmg buff for 1 fury, and the Stone Strength aura could bring his total POW to 16. His staff also has a 2” melee range and a critical slam effect! Combined with the scroll "the Strength of the Molgur” (additional dice to hit drop the lowest) Doomy could actually hit his target. After a long attrition game, it is always handy to have a caster that can go downtown. I am not saying that he is good at it or that you should charge every game with Doomy, but it is an option that you have.
Field Marshal Hyper Regeneration: Remove D3 dmg pts from this model at the start of each of its activation. This field marshal is amazing! This lets all your beasts start all their activation with most likely all their aspects up. How many times have you started the turn being like, “I have to activate my caster first to heal the spirit of my beast so they can do stuff? This sucks!” This Hyper Regeneration combined with Regeneration and you can heal 2d3 a turn on each of your beast! Those healing options are great since your battlegroup is slow and will most likely get shot on its way up the field.
Admonition: Cost 2, Range 6, Upkeep. This spell is really useful in the piece trading game. If your opponent doesn't have a way to stop you from Admonitioning away one of your beasts, it will be safe-ish. Or your caster! Combined with Implacability, it is even better for protecting your most important models.
Implacability: Cost 2, Range CTRL, RND. This spell is one of the main reasons why I am playing Doomy3. Your battlegroup cannot be knocked down, placed, pushed or moved by a slam. This spell was recently renamed to “Don't touch my shit”. To give you some examples; this spell will stop Haley2 from using Telekinesis on your battlegroup, a frequent match up Trolls will have to face. Your battlegroup cannot be pushed by Hellmouth from Wurmwood or dragged by those Legion tentacles. Your whole battlegroup is safe from Kreoss’ Wrath. The list of stuff this shuts down goes on and on.
Repudiate: Cost 2, Range 10. Enemy upkeep spells and animi on the model/unit directly hit expire. Upkeep removal is really handy. The upkeep list is too long to give examples. Just kidding, screw you, Junior and your Arcane Shield! Fun effect if you remove an upkeep, its controller suffers d3 dmg pts. And yes, I have killed a caster with it. Coolest assassination ever.
Stranglehold: Cost 2, Range 10, POW 11. A model damaged by Stranglehold forfeits either its normal movement or its combat action. A useful spell if you want to stop a big guy from charging your stuff. I didn’t cast that spell often because this list usually takes care of the big stuff. But one day we will have an arc node… one day.
Unminding: Cost 3, range 10, upkeep. Target enemy warbeast suffers -2 Fury and THR and loses its aninus. Fun effect; you can now cast that animus. I haven't had the chance to use that spell yet because, well, I would rather kill that beast than remove his animus. But I am sure that you guys can have fun with it. Again, one day we will have an arc node… one day.
Blood of Dhunia: while in Doomy's CTRL, models in his battle group gain an additional die on melee attack rolls. When a model is hit by an enemy attack, after the attack is resolved, remove D3 +3 dmg points.
This Feat is super sweet and your whole battle plan should revolve around it. You have two options on when to use it. If your opponent has a crazy alpha threat that could remove your beast before they could even get there; or you could feat defensively after running your beast into your opponent's line. Remember to feat and say, “come at me bro!” The second way to use it (and my personal favorite) is to use it for an alpha strike. With the boosted to hit from the feat, your beasts will crush anything they touch at MAT 6-7. Don't hesitate to use Doomy’s fury on your feat turn. I usually camp 2 on feat turn and I am really safe. Fun trick: do not hesitate to take dmg with Doomy and go low in life because you could transfer the next source of dmg and still heal with the feat. The idea is to basically cripple your opponent on feat turn, making sure that all your beasts are under the stone aura. On your opponent's turn smile at him when he fails at removing your beast from the table (victory dance is an option). You should now be so far up on attrition that you should win the game. Just make sure that Doomy is safe because most of the time your opponent will try desperately to kill the old shaman.
Doomy is actually a unit with those pygs, so make sure you have a walking lane for the scroll to walk up to Doomy so he can read those damn scrolls. If you mess up that 5-inch space (happens to the best of us) in between Doomy and the scroll you could always use the run and charge trick:
A: run the scroll
B: Doomy read whatever scroll he needs to read
C: cast all the spells you want or feat
D: charge random target.
The scrolls are basically boosting a different aspect of your list. Let’s look at them now.
Scroll of the Call of Troqal: Most commonly known has the free animus scroll. Have you ever wished that you could Rush and Rage a Mauler and still swing 7-8 times? Well, this Scroll lets your beasts cast their animus for 0 fury.
Alright… let’s talk madness here. Imagine that there is a Stormwall with arcane shield 13 inches away from your SPD5 Mauler… It seems like an impossible mission but not for Doomy the third. Doomy is like "Hey Pyg, (that's how he calls them) bring me that old dusty Troqal scroll!" Doomy will read the scroll and wink at his Axer. He then moves forward to cast repudiate on the Stormwall to remove that damn arcane shield. He then feats for good measure and casts Implacability after throwing 1 fury into the stone. Camping 2 on his Feat turn, he feels pretty confident. The stone activates for some armor and Strength and you calculate exactly where a Mauler may land. Lanyssa comes out of her forest (where she was comfy) and casts Hunters Mark on the Stormwall. The Axer advances and casts his Rush animus on Maurice the Mauler. Maurice is now charging 12 inches away and for free! Right before Maurice punches the Stormwall, he cast his Rage animus (for free again). All the attacks from the Mauler are now boosted and effective POW 20. The Mauler is at dice +1 on the Stormwall. 3D6 on the charge, 2D6 on his second swing, dice off 3 on his chain attack grab and smash followed by 5 extras attack… On average it is 55dmg. Guess how many boxes a Stormwall has? 56…
Scroll of the Hand of Yolandi: while in Doomshaper’s ctrl range, enemy models pay double to cast or upkeep spells. This scroll is super handy to mess with your opponent fury/focus stack. I usually try to combine this scroll with Mulg animus Arcane Suppression. While within 10” of Mulg enemy model cast a spell, increase the COST of the spell by 1. Model must pay double to upkeep spells. You opponent will need to spend 3 focus/fury to upkeep any spells (Junior can barely upkeep his Arcane Shield). The way this combo works according to forums is that the cost is multiplied by 2, then Mulg animus increases the cost by 1. It means that most beasts in this game can hardly cast their animus if in both areas. This combo really helps in the Circle match up where beasts need Primal to break Troll heavy armor.
Scroll of the Strength of the Molgur. While in Doomshaper Ctrl range, friendly faction warrior gain an additional dice on attack roll and discard the lowest. I personally use this scroll so either my Warders or Fire Eaters hit their target more accurately. I mostly use this scroll so I can clean models jamming my beast. This scroll is probably the weakest one but very situational at time. Fun fact! On Doomy’s feat the old Shaman will roll 4 dice to hit and drop the lowest. He can even boost that roll for the fun of it. Fishing for a crit slam with Doomy?
Let’s talk about the battlegroup! Doomy’s feat and spells are screaming a large battlegroup with multiple heavies. First, I don’t think that it is a great idea to run a gargantuan with Doomy. You want to have as many beasts as you can so you can get more work done with those scrolls and feat bonuses. Versatility is the key in this list, you must have options!
Dire troll Mauler: By far our best beast in this edition! 15 pts, Fury 5, Rage animus, Chain Attack: Grab and Smash. The Mauler is basically the beast you want to compare all the others to. The Mauler is lacking 2 things to make him the best: A MAT fixer (provided by Doomy’s feat) and Pathfinder.
Troll Axer: The Axer is basically the Mauler’s best friend. The Axer is in this list to provide Pathfinder to the Mauler and a speed buff. The Axer is now down to armor 17, so he’s a little squishier than in MK2. The Axer has Reach and a base pow of 14. He is the strongest light beast in Trolls. His thresher attack can become devastating if you can combine it with the Stone Strength buff and the animus Rage.
Mulg the Ancient: let’s compare Mulg to a Mauler. Mulg is 4pts more expensive, 1 less SPD, 2 less defense and 1 less fury… Not a good start to consider him in your list haters would say… But Mulg is 1 extra Mat, 1 extra armor, 2 extra Pow on his stick, and 4 extra boxes. Mulg has Pathfinder when he charges, too! Having Pathfinder is big in my book, especially in this new edition with all this rough terrain everywhere! He also has crit slam on his club, which combined with boosted to hit on the feat is really fun. He also has an affinity with doomy that gives him Retaliatory Strike. Do you know what is even more fun than Retaliatory Strike? Retaliatory and Crit slam! On feat turn Mulg will Retaliatory Strike with boosted to hit since the feat lasts for a round. So let’s recap here! Mulg with Admonition will dodge a first heavy charging him and then if a second heavy charges him he can Retaliatory Strike it. And Mulg has Arcane Suppression as animus, but we went over this already.
EBDT Earthborn Dire Troll: Same game new heavy. The EBDT is as expensive as a Mauler and they have the same stat line. The EBDT has 1 less fury for Pathfinder and 2 extra boxes. His animus is Earth’s Blessing. His animus is pretty much what Implacability provides plus the non-stationary. I find this animus mostly useful for doomy so no stationary (I am looking at you Lylyth 3). The EBDT is immune to all the elements and has Elemental Communion. EBDT is immune to the Storm Lance gun and the entire Cygnar zapping electricity shenanigan. He is immune to most Legion guns since they are fire based. Though there are more uses for this, I feel that these are enough relevant examples. Elemental communion provides a buff to the EBDT based on terrain 2 inches from him. Shallow water will provide +2 Def, obstacles and obstruction +2 armor and rough terrain +2Spd. With this edition having more pieces of terrain on the table, you easily get those bonuses. The EBDT can go up to armor 22 with a wall and the stone aura.
Pyre troll: The Pyre Troll is the last beast I added to this list. It helps putting Fire Eaters on fire, it gives you a gun with continuous fire, and it allows you to have an extra beast to soak some damages during the feat. Under the free animus scroll and the stone strength you have a POW 15 beast that can buy 3 extra attacks. I like to use the Pyre Troll as bait or to be target of Doomy’s transfers. With Hyper Regeneration and Regeneration you can easily bring it back to full after getting shot at or transferred to. As previously mentioned his animus also allows Doomy to get +2 pow for 1 fury and fire immunity.
Lanyssa Ryssyl: Probably the best solo in MK3 at 3 points. Pathfinder, immunity to cold, def 15, and Prowl. Hunter’s Mark is basically why you want her into your heavy beast list (Free charge and +2 movement).
She also has Icebolt and Winter Storm if you feel like it. On a fun note, she has Vendetta: Legion that will allow you to get boosted attack and damage role (super handy vs high defense Legion beasts).
Swamp Gobber Chef: There are 3 reasons to have this model into most of your Troll lists. He’s a 1 points solo and pretty much turns your infantry into whelps when you really need your beasts to not frenzy. He is def 14 so he can camp the edge of a zone and be really annoying to put some scenario pressure. He is also really good at running to a flag for a suicide 1 control point for 1 point solo.
Krielstone Bearer: This list really wants a full stone with UA to make sure that all your beasts are under the +2 armor aura. This list relies on making sure that all your heavies are armor 20-21. The UA gives you access to all the goodies, +1 Str, immunity to continuous effect and on a lesser note removal of stealth and incorporeal.
Trollkin Warders: A minimum unit of warder is there to have access to 3 shield guards. Under the stone aura and wall of steel they are armor 21. They really help shield guarding shot to the stone to doomy to Lanyssa and on a very important note to your beast. If your opponent has Alten Ashley it can ruin your feat with his Grievous Wounds gun, so use your shields!
Northkin Fire Eaters: Probably our best Troll unit? For 7pts you have access to 3 assaulting sprays that could be boosted to hit and damage if your Pyre Troll put them on fire. Did I mention fire continuous effect? They are in this list for 2 reasons. The first one is to keep your opponent on his toes when he moves forward. With their threat of 15 inches it keeps important solo and infantry away from your beast line. But in this list they are mostly there to unjam your beast or clear charge line for your beasts.