Author: Chris Leake
Hi! My name’s Chris, and I’m a Cryx player! Cryx stock looks to be way down, as, well, everyone ever expected. The strange things are what did and did not get the loving embrace of our most favorite of foam bats. I’ll go through my favorite selection of the new casters and units, give a quick rundown on interesting lists and talk about it right quick. Should we spin up the doomwheels?! Let’s find out together.
- Asphyxious 1
- Deathripper x2
- Warwitch Siren
- Withershadow Combine
- Satyxis Raiders + UA x2
- Satyxis Blood Witches + UA
- Saxon Orrik
- Soul Trapper
Lich1 saw very few changes other than the general loss of stats we have received across the board. He is still an amazing spell assassin and a great way to remove a colossal from the table, but he’s an inch slower. His notable new spell removes d3 focus/fury from the target hit for only 2 Focus, arguably increasing his assassination game even more. He still wants self-sufficient, accurate models, because while he can fix their damage, he cannot fix their MAT. Could run a decent battlegroup with the Feat turn, but I still think he wants infantry. Feat remains unchanged. Teleport lost 2” across the board.
Lich1 is a pretty nasty assassin now. With Raiders gaining Gang by default, they are self-sufficient and with the armor debuffs he can hand out you can do some real damage. On approach you have 4 Breath of Corruptions (DJ, Withershadow Spell Slave, 2 from Lich1) you can throw out to obscure/slow with damaging clouds. Always keep an eye out for the feat/assassination, and don’t forget about Feedback on the Raiders to potentially seal the deal with those extra few plinks.
- Asphyxious 3
- Inflictor x2
- Necrotech x2
- Orin Midwinter
Lich3, one of my favorite casters and the guy I played the most last year for all of my con-going adventures, changed quite a bit. Base stats are the same, with a loss of one speed like the others. Carnage and Scything Touch are gone, replaced by Calamity, which is a wash really. I was hoping he’d retain some buff ability instead of having to rely on landing a spell on someone, but oh well. He has Field Marshal [Unyielding], but does not get it for himself sadly. Blood Boon got improved, only requiring enemy model killed to trigger instead of enemy living model. Feat remains unchanged. He looks to want a solid battlegroup of jacks with support to keep them alive on the approach. Vociferon got some neat changes, picking up the spell that Lich1 has that strips d3 Focus/Fury, and instead of holding on to the souls, he immediately shuttles them over to his boss. He is also a spell slave now!
Much the same gameplan as the Skarre1 list later, you want to move up the field in a brick, and look for opportunities to initiate piece trades. You have a stalker to apply Grievous Wounds to his big bads so they can’t heal. Feat on the turn you feel the most vulnerable with Lich3, and keep an eye out for someone trying to apply Grievous Wounds to you! Shield Guard that! The big surprise here is Barathrum, who with countercharge, drag below (now ignores free strikes, effectively making it Sprint+), 1” reach, and Unyielding is a steal at 15 pts. Alternatives would be to jam WE&SJ in there to get Star Crossed on a bunch of def 13+ warjacks, but points are hard.
- Denny 1
- Deathripper x2
- Iron Lich Overseer
- Wrong Eye and Snapjaw
- Satyxis Blood Witches + UA x2
Largely unchanged, she will still die to a stiff breeze, but at least there’s some benefit to camping a couple focus. Free focus on nodes means easier focus economy on the turns where you want to land Parasite AND Crippling Grasp. Speaking of, Crippling Grasp no longer prevents any of the (un)fun things it did before, only(!) debuffing STR, DEF, ARM, SPD by 2. Her new Dark Seduction spell replaces Influence, and while corner-case, it could win you a game with the right model stolen (imagine using someone’s own Eiryss on their caster!) Her feat is still as devastating as before, stopping charges, runs, special attacks, though no longer affecting Focus. She’s still going to want ranged elements, and a couple nodes and whatever else she has to spend to soak up her warjack points. But really, she polishes turds, so take whatever you want with her!
This list is a stealth skew; only Madelyn Corbeau and the two deathrippers can be seen on any given turn. With Madelyn and WE&SJ, Denny1 can move up the field and not be too terribly worried about models punching her to death on feat turn, but you still have to be extremely careful with stealth-ignoring guns. With proper positioning, this can still swing armor by 7 points on feat turn (Parasite, Dark Shroud, feat) and by 5 any other turn. Always be on the lookout to use Dark Seduction to steal someone else’s super neat model for a turn and use some sort of useful effect. Nightmare and WE&SJ should probably move up the field together and be bros to threaten assassinations.
- Skarre 1
- Orin Midwinter
- Scrap Thralls
- Necrotech x3
- Soul Trapper
Keeping the theme of Lich3 and Skarre1 doing mostly the same thing, but the former being ‘sustain’ and the latter being ‘burst,’ Skarre1 has mostly turned into a jack caster. You can give 5 ARM/5 STR to as many things as you like, but you have to suffer one point of damage for each model you choose. This tends to guide you to battlegroups, or armies with strong, lynchpin models that need to weather a turn to be delivered. She still can do the Skarlock focus trick, still has Dark Guidance, still has Backlash. Unlike Lich3, she doesn’t have a way to make her battlegroup Pathfinder, so she wants innate Pathfinder. Crabjacks and Krakens ahoy!
This list is a simple one, two Krakens and support essentially. Orin protects them from getting too many bad things placed on them, and Darragh further strengthens armor versus Warbeasts and punchy infantry. Protect Aiakos!
- Skarre 2
- Gunslingers x2
- Satyxis Raiders + UA x2
- Raider Captain
Skarre2 changed a bit. She loses Perdition, which was usually the spell upon which her assassination runs rode along with her feat. Her feat is the biggest single change, giving enemy models -5 to attack rolls or +5 def to friendly models (not faction, importantly). She’ll want durable things with Steady, and things with guns to leverage Black Spot. Kraken fits the bill nicely. Necrosurgeons no longer healing living targets means her cutting for upkeeps is far riskier than before.
This list REALLY wants to see Warmachine armies. Ideally you land an early Black Spot on a unit and chum them with your considerable shooting backed by Future Sight. Death Ward on the Kraken and putting it somewhere obnoxious on feat turn is a nasty thing, as DEF 15 ARM 21, choose column makes it an extremely durable piece. Admonition may go on the node or Skarre herself. Don’t forget the looming threat of the Backlash assassination if your opponent gives you the opportunity. Finally, Skarre2 has this really weird/interesting/awesome spell called Soul Strike. COST 3 RNG 10 POW 12, with an effect that is essentially “Magic Bullet Sacrificial Strike!” On killing a model, another model within 4” is hit with a POW equal to the ARM of the killed model. (that’s boostable btw!)
- Goreshade 2
- Bane Warriors + UA (Min) x2
- Bane Knights x2
- Scrap Thralls x3
- Soul Trapper x2
Infantry swarms are dead! Long live the infantry swarm! He loses his Counter Charge upkeep spell, and Phantom Hunter. He gains Mirage (2” place for model/unit at maintenance) and Abyssal Gate, which is a really interesting spell for him. Essentially a TK with strings attached, it is range 8 and requires a damage roll on a model. After successfully dealing damage, you then place that model completely within 3”. Still retains feat, Hex Blast, and Occultation as well. You may very well see Bane swarms with him with all of them having ghostly, which can mostly fix the hit issues for banes. (Back Strikes everywhere!)
This list wants to deliver the Bane Warriors mostly intact into infantry to make more Bane Warriors with their mini-feat. Shade’s feat can be used to bring back Bane Warriors’ Officer and he can then move and pop the mini-feat that turn if necessary. Delivery is aided by Mirage on one unit of Warriors, and Occultation on the other unit of Warriors. Take the opportunity to Abyssal Gate on a heavy or juicy solo, and hug cover for all it’s worth since your entire force has Ghostly. Keep DJ back as a reserve piece or to initiate piece trades if you think he can survive an alpha, but his most useful job is to hang out in a zone while Banes stream past him and toss out a Hex Blast or Abyssal Gate occasionally.
- Ripjaw x2
- Satyxis Raiders + UA
- Overlords x3
- Bane Warriors + UA
- Withershadow Combine
Oh man! Scabbers! My old friend! You might very well be one of the best casters in the faction now. First, the spell list: TK, Feast of Worms (very much improved by one simple thing—Now living enemy models in the AoE give their souls to Scav regardless of proximity), Icy Grip, Excarnate, Death Ward, and Soul Harvester. Besides Feast of Worms, none of the other spells have changed in functionality. The feat is still a bit of a lame duck, granting boosted magic attack rolls and reduced COST for friendly faction, and increased COST for enemy models. Interestingly with the Animi changes, this will increase COST for them now as well. It’s still going to be almost always used to enable a spell assassination or to TK a whole bunch of stuff. Most importantly! With all these souls available to him potentially he can do some really fun things. Anything in his CTRL can be forced to reroll any attack or damage roll, both friendly and enemy models, by spending a soul per reroll.
Current thinking on how I want to run Scaverous puts the list with this. Death Ward will go on the Inflictor or Scaverous depending on danger to guns. Ripjaws are your nodes because the reroll with crit Armor Piercing and Powerful Attack is very cool stuff. Feast of Worms should be cast at anything that looks like it has tasty souls, and with effectively a POW 14 (-2 Arm in AoE) and pow 8 AoE 4 blast damage, you can take out some infantry and net some souls. Soul Harvester almost always goes on the Raiders, and that’s pretty much the game plan. Net some souls every turn, cautiously move up wary of assassinations, leverage soul usage to skew dice in your favor. If they don’t have souls, you still have a TK caster, and he essentially turns into a camp monster. Your infantry clearing is almost entirely on the backs of the Overlords and Feast of Worms so protect them and hope you don’t run into something with a ton of spell hate. Against armor skews you’ll need to protect the Warriors, and maybe even toss some Excarnates to boost their numbers back up.
Warwitch Siren -- The stat hits aren’t too bad, but the loss of one DEF and Magic Ability isn’t worth the extra MAT. Still huge utility with the new Empower, along with her spray and Seduction.
Satyxis Raider Capt - No notable stat changes, and knockdown on a stick from a 4 point solo. Good stuff. Loss of Desperate Pace and natural Pathfinder hurts, but oh well.
Aiakos, SCOURGE OF THE MERIDIUS - Virtually unchanged, and went down in cost. You have to bring a jack with him, so pick up a Harrower or a Stalker and call it a day.
Bane Lord TARTARSAUCE - Loss of a speed and the loss of movement bonus from Curse hurts a ton. He now gets two attacks baseline, which arguably makes him better at killing all these extra heavies we’re going to be seeing. Still retains stealth, WM, Dark Shroud, Ghostly
Bloat Thrall - Has gained baseline continuous corrosion in trade for 1” of aoe. Not a great trade sadly. All other stats remain same, same cost. Death Blast is not nearly as bad for your own stuff as before, only applying continuous corrosion instead of hitting for pow 14.
Bloat Kommandant Mobius - Still retains all the Battle Plans, no longer has Elite Cadre, as all bloats have continuous corrosive by default. Stats unchanged, cost unchanged.
Captain Rengrave - I kind of don’t have an opinion on this guy? If you take Blackbane’s or Revenants, maybe? Not bad, but looks like a solution in search of a problem to me.
Darragh Wraith - How this guy made it through playtesting largely unscathed I’ll never know. The 1” reposition is lost, and instead just grants +1 movement to undead models in his CMD, he went up in cost very slightly, and lost the Leadership ability for Soulhunters.
Gerlak Slaughterborn - A large nerf or not much of one at all, completely depending on the Infernals’ ruling on how Berserk/Overtake works. Loss of 1” of reach, retained Finisher and Bloodthirst. Gives Berserk to Bloodgorgers, could be amazing, needs testing.
Iron Lich Overseer - A great looking model, went down in cost, went up in effectiveness. The only problem is finding just the right jack to run with him, as he wants a shooty jack because the jack marshal rules are partial to them, but he wants a melee one to be able to apply Dark Shroud. Depending on the jack taken, you can get Dark Shroud more reliably, cheaply, and safely applied than taking Bane Warriors now.
Machine Wraith - For what he does now, I think he’s super interesting. No more controlling jacks absolutely forever if you manage to get the stupid ability to work, but the ability happens much more frequently and easily now. Might even work on colossals.
Necrotech - His changes are interesting as well. Mostly the same as far as raw stats, but the picking up ‘corpses’ of warjacks and allowing him to repair better with them (or make a load of scrap thralls!) is pretty neat stuff.
Pistol Wraith - Hooray! He got his 2.5 point cost I always wanted in MK2! These are very much in the same bracket as the new Satyxis Gunslingers, not as utility focused, but can hit harder and more accurately. Chain attack only requires hitting twice, not three times, still does Stationary.
Scrap Thrall - still hilariously cheap, unchanged from before.
Skarlock Thrall - In my honest opinion, I see no reason this will ever get taken anymore unless you just really need that extra 5 points from cutting The Withershadow Combine. Magic 6 and all the restrictions on Spell Slave hurts his effectiveness tons, but yay, you get a Darkfire?
Soul Trapper - Not bad. Basically unchanged from prior version, keep in mind if you’re wanting to get souls to a caster, there’s basically a 2 turn delay before those souls turn into anything useful unless you’re Denny3, Scaverous or Terminus. De Facto 1pt filler.
Bane Knights - Not bad. The loss of weaponmaster isn’t the end of the world. Ghostly + Back Strikes can be utilized to help fix their MAT without assistance, and their pow only technically went down .5 on charges, though spike potential is way less.
Bane Warriors - 1” melee is helpful, especially with dark shroud, and Ghostly is nice, but as much as I never thought I’d say it: I already miss Stealth on them. The real interesting thing here is the minifeat doing what Shade2’s old feat did. Very pricey for the full unit.
Bane Riders - A great example of a “wtf??” nerf. Loss of 3” of threat, gained Reposition, cost down very slightly.
Bile Thralls - After the double sided nerf of both Excarnate and Purge, these guys are going to have a hard time finding their way into lists as anything except engagement clearers. 9 points for a min unit that can hang out in the backfield to remove jammers from your own stuff is probably as far as they’ll go. Not entirely sure they’re worth it. I feel like this was a missed opportunity to make an actual ranged unit out of them rather than making them pop and auto hit.
Black Ogrun - Still stupid cheap, still can’t drag in large bases, gained Tough. They might be taken if they ever get a repack in plastic or a resculpt.
Blackbane’s Ghost Raiders - One of the few units in Cryx that got a solid buff. Apparition is amazing, and effectively extends their threat by an 1” for charges even with the speed loss. Just note that incorporeal models can't make free strikes anymore.
Bloodgorgers - This one makes me a bit sad, as it’s another that doesn’t really make sense to me. However, there is potential with them only costing 15 for a full unit and getting Overtake+Berserk from Gerlak could be amazing depending on how the rules work out. Keep an eye on them to pop up in strange lists with hit/dmg support.
Mechanithralls (and associated) - Hoo boy. McThralls got hit hard, Brutes are still the same and might be worth running min squads with triple Brutes + Commander. Their recursion is all but dead with their stat loss, as I don’t think they meaningfully contribute before being removed in the first place (or second place, hur hur). Necrosurgeons also lost the ability to heal living models along with returned models forfeiting combat actions. Rough all around, but they may be useful in large enough swarms with FA:U.
Carrion Thralls - Super neat thematically, and with their numbers coming out real close to base Mechanithralls, it’s going to be hard to justify taking thralls when you can have angry undead birds instead. Lots of great abilities, a bit pillow-fisted, but given debuffs and a big enough CMA on a wounded target and your 10 points worth of dumb birds can do a lot of damage.
Revenant Cannon Crew - The artillery rules changes help immensely, and with their weird recursion effects they may see play. Auto-Boosted vs. Living models means they’ll start showing up in Denny1 lists I’ll wager.
Revenant Crew of the Atramentous - These... are useful replacements for the way Mechanithralls used to function. They hit less hard, but with two attacks, Gang, and some guns tossed in, they’re not awful. Rather pricey though for their relatively bad stats.
Satyxis Blood Witches - I can’t decide if they got a buff or a nerf. Innate Stealth is really nice, and the Hag going up a speed is also nice. Tactics: Blessed to boot! BUT the loss of auto-incorporeal is rough. They retain most everything else, same POW, number of attacks, and Gang. Their new blood magic abilities are super interesting, and the ability for some of the models to go Incorporeal at the end of any given turn could be great, but the mini-feat was largely used for delivery, not once they arrived. Hag retains a smaller Entropic Field at only 5”, and still has Dispel on her knife. With the loss of Unbinding from Admonia, this is now our only caster-independent upkeep removal. Scary stuff.
Satyxis Raiders - I think this is a very slight nerf. Natural Gang and Crit Knockdown on all their weapons is very nice. Loss of AD and Desperate Pace from the Capt. hurts as well, though most people that played Raiders well didn’t run full tilt first turn anyways, so it’s probably a wash on AD. Having to choose between Force Barrier/Pathfinder on Charge/Overtake also hurts a lot, so make sure you bring Saxon along if you don’t have ghost walk.
Satyxis Gunslingers - Super good! The utility from these is amazing, with good stats to boot. I had hoped they might squeeze off RAT 7 or CRA, but it’s not the end of the world. Perfect example of how to make a cool unit for Cryx that breaks the norm and isn’t overpowered.
Soulhunters - Neat unit, roughly the same capabilities, lost an armor because we’re Cryx and everything got some minor nerf somewhere. Can’t gain Incorporeal from Darragh anymore, but can now spend a soul at the end of their activations and gain it before Reposition ‘ing off somewhere.
The Withershadow Combine - These guys are just wildly different really. First off, they are an attachment, like Skarlock thralls (or any of the various character ones that come with a caster). They all retained Dark Fire, and Magic 7. Two of the three got an upgrade to Mat 7, but all lost Dark Industries and Jack Hunter. They can all still gain souls, but can no longer buy attacks, only boost damage/attack rolls. Maelovus got Spell Slave, Admonia got Sigil of Power (model/unit gains Damage Type: Magical) and retains the free upkeep, and Tremulus kept Puppet Master with the very large caveat to how Puppet Master functions now. You have to reroll the whole roll, no more cherry picking individual dice out of the bunch. They all have baseline Stealth now instead of granted, but lost one def and one arm.
Cankerworm - This guy is nearly an unequivocal buff. His only loss is the bond--It only makes him Reposition instead of moving his SPD at the end of the activation. The mechanics for how Salvage/Adapt act are different now too, taking effect immediately, but only if the dead jack is in his melee range when it happens. Keep him next to something good, like a Kraken! He is otherwise identical to his previous incarnation.
Deathripper - All of the arc nodes saw the loss of 1 point of DEF, and one MAT. The Deathripper I think is the one you’ll see the most though, for one reason: PC6. That is all kinds of cheap. This one lost a POW on its bite as well, but kept Sustained Attack.
Defiler - This one is a bit of a head-scratcher to me, as it never saw much competitive play regardless. Along with all the other nerfs that all nodes got, it lost 2 POW on the spray. PC8
Helldiver - This poor guy got nerfed to the ground, though not without good reason. Burrow is a much less potent placement effect, and he surfaces once, and then never goes down again. You have to also sacrifice movement or action the turn he pops up. He lost a DEF as well, though he still retains his silly grid. Headbutts are the only thing he can make happen for you now, and it’s going to be a lot easier to block him from popping up in the first place.
Nightwretch - Not a bad choice if you want a little ranged punch and have a spare point to spend over the Deathripper. Gun is the same, but now just has a baseline AoE3 instead of Blaster.
Ripjaw - The other choice to spend an extra point over the Deathripper, this little guy has lost a lot of his funky special rules, but has gained Critical Armor Piercing and Powerful Attack, getting full boosts for only one focus. Great choice with Mortenebra (rerolls), Scaverous (rerolls) or if you can spend your Puppet Master on him.
Scavenger - Nearly the same, having lost a bit of cost, and a DEF. Grid is a teensy bit healthier than before. He also has an odd self-healing mechanic if he kills another construct. Get that CoC tech ready!
Shrike - Not a bad choice now, for only PC6. He now also tramples for free, and gets boosted attack rolls during tramples. Pretty good choice for Aiakos if you want to go as cheap as possible.
Stalker - An interesting choice for PC8, he has the Bounding Leap rule, having to spend a focus to be placed 5” away from the end of his normal movement. Good choice for Aiakos. Retains Extended Control, and Grievous Wounds, got Blessed instead of Arcane Assassin.
Barathrum - A big, big, winner in the conversion to the new rules. Countercharge, 13/18, POW 17 Feedback, Drag Below got a buff, essentially making it Sprint+ (no free strikes), Dig In... he’s just a steal for 15 points honestly. Expect to see him a lot.
Corruptor - They’ve buffed this thing quite a bit, but I’m still not sure it’s enough to save him. The burster is now POW 10 in an AoE5 from the model killed, Distillation gives d3+3 to the controlling caster, and Psycho Venom allows you to change the facing of the model after it turns into a node. Might see it show up on Skarre1/2, as they’re notorious about bleeding out.
Deathjack - The mighty DJ has probably gotten a nerf, but it’s not much of one. He retains Necromancy, which is largely now like Spell Slave in restrictions, but you can cast something multiple times, or cost 5. His biggie is being able to always be allocated 5, regardless of the state of his Arm systems. He gets 1 extra during the control phase per functioning arm. He lost the ability to take souls, and gained snacking to heal himself. Front of the card is nearly the same; he gained 1” melee and magic fists.
Desecrator - All the Crabjacks kept Amphibious, Pathfinder, and Steady. Not a bad package to start with. Still retains Accumulator[Bane], kept the Scather effect on its AoE4. Melee weapon kept Critical Shred, and gained Grievous Wounds. PC14 isn’t bad, these might start showing up in lists.
Erebus - Scabbers’ jack still retains the Affinity with him to shuttle souls back to his master. He is actually completely unchanged except for the 1” melee all heavies got, and oh, one more thing: Freeze Fists! Could be really good in a Venethrax list with Countercharge.
Harrower - Ok, this guy is pretty great. Being a Crabjack, he gets Amphibious, Pathfinder, Steady; he also gains Quick Work, pulls souls within 5” now instead of 2”, and gains a very cute ability with his gun. Wraith Shot allows him to ignore LOS, Concealment and Cover, AND fully boost both the attack and damage for one soul. Sadly he cannot buy attacks with souls anymore, but he kept Thresher. Fantastic jack. Would pair well with Aiakos, the ILO, and any number of different casters.
Inflictor - The Helljack of legend, foretold in a story from long ago is just as good as he was in the prior version, if not a little better. PC13, same stats, retained Shield Guard. Lots and lots of lists will probably run a couple of these as our “de facto heavy.”
Kraken - This thing got way better. Unicorn gun went up to an AoE 5, retained special rules to make corpses give more damage. Got a baseline buff to his noodly arm pow. RFP is now a ‘May’ and not a ‘Must’ ability, allowing Ravager to work on it finally. Depending on ruling, RNG 4 might actually work with sweeps now. PC36 means he actually went down in cost and got better.
Leviathan - I’m torn on this one; he is basically the same, except there’s no dependability on how many shots you’re going to get. Great choice to stick on the ILO.
Malice - Interesting piece, but not starting with a soul hurts her effectiveness. Possession is super cute, and the POW14 harpoon is useful, though I had hoped it would have turned magic for the points invested. Retained Ghost Shield, and picks up souls within 5” now.
Nightmare - With the baseline increase on POW and Prey, this is now our hardest-hitting non-colossal. The gain of innate Ghostly instead of it being an imprint is very nice, and it picked up Chain Attack: Grab and Smash. Affinity/Bond with Deneghra remains the same.
Reaper - This walking harpoon is cheap and cheerful, and will get what you want it to do, done, with little support. Still keeps Sustained Attack on his Reach weapon. Great choice for the jack on an ILO.
Seether - Certainly better than before if for no other reason than the points cost. Still has the issue of having its arms shot off on the approach, but is probably worth it now for the MAT8 and increased base POW of 17. Charges for free (and must run or charge during activation), has Countercharge, and Berserk.
Sepulcher - We never e’en knew ye, Sepulcher. The changes to recursion mechanics makes what was going to be one of the strongest pieces Cryx had seen release since Forces, into a lackluster option, especially compared to the Kraken’s improvements. Might be worthwhile to just continually make Brutes and get some crazy boxes on the table. Noodle guns lost a RNG, became d3, Cannon lost an AoE, still retains Crit Paralysis and Arcing Fire.
Slayer - The ham sandwich of Cryx jacks. Good MAT, SPD, Initials. Retained Combo Strike. Still gets arms shot off on the way across the table, but hey, PC10!