Author: Adam Dyer
Me: It’s time to talk about Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard!
The grumpy masses: DOOM! GRIFFON SPAM IS DEAD! EVYROS IS USELESS NOW!
Me: Need a minute to work this out?
Sad players: T.T
Me: Ok, I’ll be back in a moment…
Me: Ready to be pumped again?
Sad players: Well…
Me: IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU’RE READY! Vyros 2 is amazing!
stats and Abilities
His stat line stayed exactly the same, and it was already the best overall caster stat line in the game. He did gain more Warjack points, going from 5 in mk.2 to 27 in the new edition. The Extremus Cannon went to ROF 1, but gained Reload . This remains the same mechanics from MK2 to the new edition—essentially, pay a focus and take another shot. Extremus stayed the same at a hardy P+S 14.
He did gain the Cavalry icon, and the only bit of info surrounding what this means is that his charges are now automatically boosted. On a Synergy MAT 8 caster, that is the delicious bavarian cream filling in an already fantastic donut.
On the back of Vyros’ card, he kept Bird’s Eye, which still gives the battlegroup the ability to ignore cloud effects, forest terrain, and intervening models when determining LOS. It did lose the granting of 360-degree front arcs. So yeah, now you have to paint all of those front arcs on your Griffons. That part does sting a little, but it also means your jacks are more likely to make free strikes. Now your opponent can’t just walk a model around your Griffon to get to a soft juicy support piece behind you.
He also kept Quick Work, and it is exactly the same! So make that boosted charge, kill something, then shoot behind and kill something else. What makes this even better is the addition of Reposition . As long as you didn’t run or fail a charge, you can advance up to 3 inches at the end of Vyros’ activation. Extra movement on a caster that likes to do his own work? Yes please!
Now here’s the real juicy bit: Vyros gained Veteran Leader [Dawnguard]! This means that all Dawnguard models gain +1 to attack rolls while in his command range—MAT 8 Sentinels, RAT 7 Invictors, and MAT 9 Scyirs!!! Anytime you have a MAT 9 Weapon Master, you’re doing just fine.
The Veteran Leader benefit applies to ANY attack roll from a Dawnguard model. This means a 2-man CRA from Invictors looks like this: RAT 6 + 2 (# of Invictors contributing) + 1 (Veteran Leader) = RAT 9, POW 14 shot. You get to make 5 of those. Per turn. That’s amazing! As long as what you’re shooting doesn’t have stealth, you can shoot nearly everything off the board with Invictors.
Deflection became Deceleration, and that is nothing but an improvement. Whereas Deflection only affected warrior models, Deceleration affects all Friendly Faction models in his control area. The cost went up from 2 to 3, but the ability to make your jacks tougher goes a long way.
Easy Rider changed to now affect Vyros as well. As a cost 3 spell, it is expensive, but when you need your jacks—or Vyros himself—to get there, Pathfinder is a must.
Lock the Target gained some benefits and now a damaged model cannot run, charge, slam, trample, or be placed for one round. With this change, some of those pesky beasts and jacks can’t finagle their way deeper into your ranks if you’ve tagged them. Did Vyros just become an effective control caster? I think so!
Synergy: STILL costs 2. It was changed so that the max benefit is only +3, but to be honest, of all the Synergy casters, this hurts the least on Vyros. His other spells, Veteran Leader and Reposition, make him an incredible mixed-arms Warcaster. Don’t let the Synergy change make you sad. You’ll still wreck face. You may not need 9 Griffons, but do what I’m doing and make the Griffons customized for specific houses by painting house symbols on their shoulders. They’re still special!
Twister is….still Twister. Nothing to write home about, but if you need a cheap cloud, just do it.
I am so excited about Vyros’ new feat. While it was changed from a “Full Advance” to an advance of “up to 3 inches,” they removed the limit on how many times one model can move. Mulg overtaking down a line of Sentinels to get to Vyros? Scoot Vyros back twice to get out of range. Awesome! What if Gun Mages are shooting Invictors off the board? Each time they do, Imperatus gets closer to their caster. Now you’re making them consider whether attacking you this round is worth it. Also, the feat now works on Remove From Play! Even better! Vyros is becoming a better control, scenario, and harassing caster because of this feat. I love it.
I'm going to build 3 75-point lists to help explain some ideas on ways to run him. These are only suggestions. You can, of course, find a list you like. I’m not claiming to be good at this, only in trying to be thorough on processing some of these rules.
Mixed Arms Madness
- Vyros 2
- Aspis x2
- Arcanist x3
- Dawnguard Scyir x2
- Eiryss 2
- Sentinels with CA and Soulless
- Invictors with CA and Soulless
Battlegroup—Imperatus’ bond allows him to charge for free with Vyros. This makes him (arguably) the best character jack in the game. It also makes him a huge target that your enemy will go after. Use this to pick him apart with your infantry. The Aspides (yes, that's the plural of Aspis) help protect Vyros from ranged assassination via Shield Guard, and they can also clear lanes of infantry, especially when Synergy is going.
Infantry- The Dawnguard Scyir is the linchpin of your entire strategy here. Not only did he gain Weapon Master and Righteous Vengeance, but most importantly he gained Tactician [Dawnguard]. This allows Dawnguard models to ignore other Dawnguard models for movement and LOS purposes. This includes Vyros himself! You can Assault Invictors through Sentinels, then Vyros can charge through them to start Synergy, and then the Sentinels can charge up and clear out the rest of the line! It all works flawlessly. Also, worried about a particularly potent gun line advancing on the other side of the table? Your Invictors can hide behind Wall of Iron’ed, Decelerated, and Iron Zeal’ed Sentinels (ARM 22 at range!) to shoot from relative safety. Soulless Escorts help to keep your units mostly spell-immune.
Solos— Sylys does what is most necessary in a Vyros 2 list: upkeep Synergy for free. The more focus on Vyros, the better. This is especially true with the new Power Field Reinforcement rules. Eiryss will punish anyone trying to cast spells at Vyros. She's also an effective combat solo when you need her to be. The Arcanists are more effective than before, able to add focus to a jack that already had one, and Concentrated Power still takes Imperatus to 11
Overall—This list uses the best of Vyros’ toolbox, allowing infantry and his jacks to get buffed, get work done, and take it to the enemy hard.
- Manticore x2
- Griffon x4
- Arcanist x3
- Voidtracer x2
Battlegroup—You still have Imperatus. That doesn’t need to be repeated. The real benefit of this list is from the Power Up rule. Each jack gets a focus automatically, just from being in Vyros’ control area when it activates. This makes the extremely large battlegroup more efficient by getting off more charges and/or buying more attacks. Griffons become cheap heavies like they were in mk.2, but now they can’t be in the P+S 20 range. Manticores are in the list to provide crowd control with Covering Fire and to be flexible heavies when you need it. The Aspis just does his thing, taking a hit for Vyros.
Infantry— Don’t have any! Moving on!
Solos— Arcanists add focus to the pool and Concentrate their Power on things. Soulless Voidtracers make slinging spells at Vyros a bad idea. Taking 2d3 damage each time you try to tag him will add up quickly, especially since it will take several spells to drop a DEF 15, ARM 18 Warcaster.
Overall—This list still leverages Synergy as the main selling point. ARM skew is still a thing in the new edition, and Vyros has a way to exploit it. He is leaving some things on the table by not taking any infantry, but if you want to get use out of your billion Griffons from mk.2, this is the list for you.
IMMA GO FASS! (named in honor of Nick Leland)
- Vyros 2
- Griffon x
- Aspis x3
- Arcanist x3
- Destor Thane x2
- Dawnguard Scyir x2
- Dawnguard Destors
Battlegroup— Griffons still have the Fleet ability, so they can almost be as fast as the Destors and Vyros himself. Aspides can run to (mostly) keep up with Vyros, and to protect the Scyirs and the Destor Thanes.
Infantry— Let’s be clear, Destors are still kind of weird in the new edition. They gained Assault, but lost Dual Shot. They’re… ahem…. one-trick ponies! Assault charge in, Quick Work shot out, and Reposition  further into the ranks. You do need to be careful, as the ranged attack in the Assault will not trigger Quick Work. The Destors did gain a POW on their lances, so now they’re hitting at an impressive P+S 14. If the Scyirs have kept up, they will use their Tactician ability to let the Destors shoot and move through one another without issue. Also, they do get boosted attack rolls from the Cavalry rule and a +1 to their attack rolls from Vyros’ Veteran Leader ability. Charging at a boosted MAT 8 and Quick Work at a RAT 7 sounds pretty good.
Solos— The Destor Thane grants Unyielding to Destors in their command range, and it will help with their survivability. Dawnguard Scyirs allow more movement and LOS for Vyros and the Destors. The Scyirs are still capable assassin solos. Arcanists and Sylys are still the same.
Overall— This list is meant to be fast, jam, and to make your opponent react to you. That reaction might be to kill you, but YOU made THEM do it. Really, have fun with it.
As I’ve said many times over, I love the new Vyros 2. I hope my explanations and interpretations have been helpful. (It might be helpful in what not to do, but I live to serve.)
Dyer Straits out.