Warcasters are the stars of Warmachine, and Cryx has no shortage of powerful and fun-to-play warcasters. So let’s start with Deneghra, the warwitch in the Cryx Battlegroup box set and the most likely caster a new player will use.
IN SHORT: Warwitch Deneghra is the best debuff caster in the whole game of Warmachine. Watch out, though! This Goth chick may be nimble, but she isn’t well armored.
STRENGTHS: Deneghra has no less than 4 ways to reduce enemy stats, 2 spells (Crippling Grasp and Parasite), her feat (The Withering), and her melee attack. In conjunction with other debuffs (such as Bane Thrall Dark Shrouds) her debuffing can reach ridiculous levels. Let’s step through them.
Crippling Grasp is an absolute terror of a spell, reducing SPD, STR, DEF, and ARMof a single model or even whole units. It also prevents running, charging, special attacks, and power attacks. Yikes! Use an arc node to plant this on a big threat, and watch it crawl towards you a few inches at a time for the rest of the game.
The Parasite spell strips 3 ARM from an enemy model or unit and adds 1 ARM to Deneghra. Both are nice. Use this spell to increase your army’s damage output on any target you choose.
Deneghra’s feat, The Withering, is one of my favorites in the game. Every enemy in Deneghra’s control area suffers a supped up version of Crippling Grasp! It can also be stacked with Crippling Grasp for even greater effect! This can be deployed offensively, to add massive damage to your attacks, or defensively, to stop an enemy’s advance and toughen up your own forces. It’s just sick! And versatile!
Deneghra’s spear Sliver inflicts Shadow Bind, reducing an enemy’s DEF by 3 and basically locking them in place. Letting the enemy get that close to Deneghra is not a good thing, but sometimes it can’t be helped. Her low MAT score can make hitting difficult, making her spells much more reliable ways to debilitate her enemies.
On top of all that, Deneghra ignores free strikes (thanks to Parry) and is protected by Stealth. Her other spells can allow friendly units to walk through walls (Ghost Walk), take over enemy models (Influence), knock them on their asses (Scourge), and melt their faces off (Venom).
Sounds unbeatable, right?
WEAKNESSES: Deneghra is not a tough combatant. Her DEF is good, but her ARM is very low. Stealth can help protect her at range, but always watch out for blasts, sprays, and enemy models that can neutralize Stealth.
Deneghra also relies heavily on her spell list, particularly Crippling Grasp and Parasite. While both are great, they first have to hit the target, and that will often mean boosting. Even then, sometimes you will just roll bad and miss. Plan accordingly.
Also, Deneghra’s debuffs do not hinder shooting very much. Her feat does reduce the RAT scores of enemy models, but that’s it. Gun lines are going to be a problem because they still hit just as hard, if a little cross-eyed. Plan your approaches accordingly. Smart use of terrain and her Ghost Walk spell can go a long way.
No, seriously. Everything in the Cryx book can be used with her. She can make any model hit harder and more readily, so feel free to experiment. That’s what makes her such a fantastic starting caster. However, I will offer the following advice.
Arc nodes are a must. They extend Deneghra’s threat range with her spells and keep her safe. Take two. Try to keep at least one safe for the late game.
Speaking of spells, the more Deneghra can fire off, the better. That means fewer jacks and more models that enhance Focus efficiency. Models like Warwitch Sirens and a Skarlock Thrall are excellent additions, as are focus efficient jacks like the Seether.
Finally, a little bit of math. If you reduce an opponent’s ARM by 2 and hit him with one big attack, that’s 2 points of extra damage. Hit him with 10 smaller attacks, and you’ve done 20 extra points of damage. The moral of the story?
Take plenty of infantry, and feel free to choose your favorite flavor. It’s supposed to be a game, after all, right?
JUST FOR FUN: Target a Khador heavy warjack. Let’s say, a Juggernaut (ARM 20). Debuff it with The Withering, Crippling Grasp, Gorman Di Wulfe’s Rust attack, and a Bane Thrall’s Dark Shroud. Now hit it with the Ripjaw’s Armor Piercing attack. What’s the target’s effective ARM value? It’s a measly 1!
SUMMARY: Warwitch Deneghra is a fantastic caster. She’s easy to learn and fun to play. Her greatest strength is her wide range of synergies, which allow for a wide variety of effective play lists.
I hope you enjoyed the article. Stay tuned for more Cryx tactics!