Ossyan - In Depth List Building Dojo

Hi folks!  Adam Dyer (Dyer Straits on the Ret Forums) here again and pumped to talk about the forgotten hero, the redeemer of House Vyre, the one, the only Lord Arcanist Ossyan!!! The new edition has made a few significant changes to our ranged boom boom caster. Without further ado…

Stats and Abilities

Ossyan’s base stats remained exactly the same. The DEF 15 ARM 15 combination still feels like he’s hobbling around on the battlefield, but he more than made up for it in different ways.

Locus went up to a 1” RNG and still has Dispel at a somewhat ok P+S 11. The coolest-named and most anime-sounding weapon ever, The Chronophage Cannon, is still RNG 12 and POW 13. What changed though, is now instead of Temporal Distortion having an AOE on the target hit that reduces DEF while in it, the model directly hit suffers -2 SPD and -2 DEF. While not as good for lowering the DEF of multiple models at once, it does help to reduce the chances of a charging warbeast by limiting its threat range! Luckily it’s not the only way to handle high DEF with Ossyan, but I’m getting ahead of myself. (Psst! Hypnos is great now!)

The biggest change to Ossyan’s base abilities is the addition of the ever powerful Field Marshall [Future Sight]! Ah!!! That awful spell that Ossyan had to upkeep in MK 2 is just a flat ability in the new edition! Now, he also has the ability as well, so he and his Myrmidons are much more focus efficient. It matters more on him, especially for all of those great new spells he has… Nice segue, me!


Admonition has stayed exactly the same from MK 2. That is fundamentally fantastic. It’s a great defensive tech spell, especially with a feat as risky as Ossyan’s — but we’ll get to that later.

Arcantrik Bolt is still the same at cost 2, RNG 10, and POW 12. If you damage a warjack it becomes stationary. This spell is still a cheap nuke Ossyan can dish out, but your need to make jacks stationary is less of an issue considering his next spell.

DEADEYE!!! Oh my goodness! Deadeye in Ret is bonkers! Deadeye on Ossyan is even beyond that! For the uninitiated, this fantastic 2 cost spell gives a friendly Faction model/unit an additional die on each model’s first non-spray ranged attack roll this turn. This is not an upkeep so Ossyan can put it on multiple units in a single turn. Two units of Stormfalls rolling 3 die on Brutal Damage shots is just fantastic. Pardon me for a moment while I weep with happiness… Sorry. I’ll hold it together from here on out.

The only change to Quicken is that now it must be on a friendly Faction model/unit. It still grants +2 SPD and +2 DEF against ranged and magic attack rolls. With the addition of the Nyss Hunters as Partisans they become an even better choice to go in Ossyan’s lists.

Finally, Shatterstorm is effectively the same, but the ability within the spell is now called Detonator. The only difference is that the POW 8 blast damage roll is now Damage Type: Magical.


Ossyan’s feat didn’t change even a little bit.  You still get an additional damage die on ranged attack damage rolls against enemy models in Ossyan’s control range. Also, enemy models in Ossyan’s control range roll one less damage die on ranged attack damage rolls. The defensive part of this feat has always seemed lackluster, but it was never why you took Ossyan anyway.


I’m going to build 3 75-point army lists to get you started.  Actually, I’m going to build 2 and steal one that Adam Ghost already posted under his Retribution primer.  As a reminder these may not be the best lists that have ever been built.  They are intended to be a starting place to maximize Ossyan’s output. Let’s kick things off with Ghost’s list since it’s probably the best. (Hi Ghost!  I like writing here, please don’t kick me off!)

Guh-guh-guh GHOST OSSYAN!!!!

  • Ossyan
    • Hypnos
    • Discordia
  • Arcanist x3
  • Mage Hunter Strike Force with Eiryss 3
  • Stormfall Archers
  • Dawnguard Sentinels with CA
  • Heavy Rifle Team x2

Let's have Ghost explain the thinking for this list:

So a lot of this list came from general excitement about a lot of the good stuff we got in Ret, but I'll be honest. I think I approached it with too much MK 2 in mind. I've already changed it, so let's look at the new and improved version.

First, Hypnos and Discordia. Hypnos' Ghost Shot combined with the Shadow Bind effect is insane. If you use terrain correctly with it, you can cause some serious problems for heavy targets wanting to retaliate. It's also a fantastic ability to set up targets using concealment or cover for your other units. Hypnos is also solid in melee with an arc node for Arcantrik Bolt and Spell Ward to protect him. Discordia goes in because Discordia is simply insane and goes everywhere.

The Strike Force Commander took a heavy hit in the transition to MK3, but Eiryss is just as good as she was before. With more jacks on the table, you'll want their Blessed guns and jack hunter to take them down easily. They also have insane threat range with Quicken and Pathfinder, stay safe with Reposition, and aren't bad in melee. And you've already got Discordia to keep them safe from blast damage, so in they go!

I'd like to fit in more Stormfall Archers, but the Heavy Rifle Team changes make them pretty invaluable. Accurate and painful shots will help keep heavy target down. The double HRT and SFA combo can do serious damage.

Lastly, Sentinels. Why? Because Sentinels are one of the best units in the game, and Quicken with Shadow Bind and the Chronophage Cannon makes them even better. You don't have to rely on your feat to win with Ossyan! Just keep these guys in the back for the late game.

And now, back to Dyer's lists.

You’re Gonna Feel This in the Morning

  • Ossyan
    • Madelyn Corbeau
    • Hypnos
    • Banshee
  • Arcanist x3
  • Soulless Voidtracer
  • Stormfall Archers x2
  • House Vyre Electromancers x2
  • Dawnguard Invictors w/ CA and Soulless Escort

Battlegroup- Maddie Corbeau is one of the biggest changes with Merc solos from MK 2 to the new edition. First, she became a warcaster attachment instead of a solo and she lost one ability but gained 2 potentially better ones. Intrigue, a * Action, changed from being able to make a warrior model move up to 3” if an enemy model is within her CMD to being able to choose a model/unit in her CMD to lose stealth for a round. Hugely beneficial to Ossyan who has no anti-stealth tech. Also she picked up Parlay, another * Action, which says that enemy warrior models in her CMD range cannot target this model or her warcaster with attacks for one round. She can effectively make Ossyan significantly more difficult to assassinate with troops. If you’ve used your feat to destroy warjacks or beasts, this is a huge way to make Ossyan’s risky feat much a bit safer. Maddie still kept Seduction and Sucker!, which did not change at all. Ossyan’s pet warjack, Hypnos, got significantly better in the new edition. The Vyre chassis all picked up +1 STR which make his Arcano-Pulse Fists at a strong P+S 17 and 15, and both of his fists are now at RNG 1.  Not only is he really hitting like a heavy now, but his fists lost Stationary for warjacks in order to gain Shadow Bind! Making a model suffer -3 DEF is so much more flexible than affecting only warjacks. Finally, Hypnos’ gun picked up Ghost Shot which ignores LOS, concealment, and cover. To sweeten the pot even more, his bond with Ossyan gives him Shadow Bind on his Phase Gun as well! I have a hard time seeing Ossyan being fielded without Hypnos. The final part of the battlegroup is the Banshee. It now hits even harder, went down in cost in MK 2 equivalent cost, and gained a half inch of RNG on his smaller Void Blade. Just a fantastic jack in the new edition that will be played all over the place.

Infantry- Stormfall Archers have always been a fantastic choice for Ossyan. The ability to roll POW 12s with 4 dice on feat turn just makes your heart melt. Also, they got a little cheaper in the new edition so taking 2 units seems like just the best idea. Electromancers are awesome choices as well.  Natural RAT 6 on a unit with Lightning Generator and Pulse Fire, while having access to Deadeye is so good it just boggles the mind. Both of these units are fantastic at hitting things at range, but they both die to a stiff wind. You need a unit to help screen them until the time comes. That’s where the Invictors come into play.  Drop Quicken on them and you have a unit of DEF 14 ARM 17 heavy shooters rolling up the board. Not only that, but if you decide to run their mini feat while having Quicken when they Assault your total threat is 24”! Half the board!!! When you combine their natural accuracy while shooting CRAs with re-rolls, and their high POW on their Sword Cannons, they are great ranged screeners for Ossyan.  Really, they’ve become some of the most elite ranged infantry in the game. If only they could see Stealth… Oh! Thanks Madelyn Corbeau! You’re the best! The Soulless Escort on the Invictors is there to reduce the threat of spells on your frontline unit.  Be mindful of arcnodes and you’ll do just fine.

Solos- Arcanists keep doing what they’ve always done. Powering jacks, making them hit harder, and repairing jacks who take a few hits. The Soulless Voidtracer makes another decently strong solo for picking off stragglers of units and for making low health spell slingers think twice before targeting anyone in the Voidtracer’s CMD range with a spell.

Overall- This list is meant to leverage the feat, hit from a distance, and utilize of the great ranged infantry that Ret has to offer.  Use Ossyan’s gun, Dead Eye, and Hypnos to handle any DEF problems, and use that feat to demolish any high ARM pieces your opponent has.  You have to get ahead on attrition with Ossyan.  If you do, the game can and will be yours.

Heavy Metal

  • Ossyan
    • Hyperion
    • Hypnos
    • Banshee
  • Arcanist x3
  • Eiryss 2, Angel of the Retribution
  • Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters

Battlegroup- Hyperion is the centerpiece that gets rid of infantry and can soak some damage if you need it. Hypnos is just awesome, the Banshee doesn’t need me to tell you how good it is again.

Infantry- Nyss Hunters are a wonderful addition to Ret’s partisans in the new edition. They are a strong melee piece at MAT 6 with Weapon Master on their P+S 9 RNG 1 Claymores, and they still have RNG 12 POW 10 CRA-able bows. While Cylena is still in play they gain Hunter, which lets them ignore concealment and cover. The did lose a point of DEF in the new edition, but I’m pretty sure it was because Ossyan has Quicken. Toss that on them and they become DEF 16 at range and SPD 9!Overall, they are a great mixed arms unit for Ossyan in order to keep your opponent busy. Just avoid blast templates if you can help it.

Solos- Arcanists do what Arcanists do, but Eiryss 2 is the star here. She can punish magic users like nobody’s business. Either your opponent will be so worried about her that they won’t realize Hyperion and Hypnos are ripping apart their infantry, or she’ll start disrupting jacks and removing animi without any issue.

Overall- This list benefits the large battlegroup the most.  Future Sight helps to make Hyperion remarkably efficient in his focus usage. You can also use Deadeye on him for a 4 dice Starburst Cannon to help get that juicy Crit Consume, and his guns will do real work with the feat. While the battlegroup is able to handle most of the heavy lifting, they Nyss and Eiryss will be harassing elements on the edges or slowing infantry. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon I’d say.

Ossyan may be our most improved caster from mk. 2 to the new edition.  He will be a powerhouse, and if he ever makes ADR again expect to see and to play a lot of him.  Go have fun with him, I know I’ll be using him happily in an upcoming Steamroller.

Dyer Straits out.