Warcasters are the stars of Warmachine, and Cryx has no shortage of powerful and fun-to-play warcasters. Up next is the Goreshade the Bastard!
IN SHORT: Do you want to try a caster that plays like no other in Cryx? Feel like leaving all the arc nodes at home? Want to stomp around with some extra warjacks? Tired of your opponent’s feat getting you down? Well, search no further! Version 1 of Goreshade has you covered!
STRENGTHS: Goreshade the Bastard has a very powerful spell list. He comes with two great spells for supporting his battlegroup, a spell for removing enemy upkeeps and animi, and he can SHUT DOWN ENEMY FEATS! Wow, just wow. He has two powerful ways to debuff enemies, and he doesn’t need arc nodes the way other Cryx casters depend on them.
Shadowmancer gives Goreshade’s entire battlegroup Stealth and Dark Shroud. This includes him and his companion solo, Deathwalker. With this, it’s possible to have an entire army benefit from Stealth. Many factions have ways to neutralize Stealth, but not a whole army at once! On top of that, anything engaged by the battlegroup is going to be at -2 ARM. Nice! No need to hit the enemy with a debuff spell!
And speaking of easy debuffs, Deathwalker has big debuff aura. Any living enemies within 5” of her are at -2 DEF and -2 STR. Just run Deathwalker up. It’s debuffed! And if she dies, Goreshade can make a new one by killing a living enemy model.
Soul Gate gives Goreshade a powerful tool for relocating warjacks. At the expense of a trooper model in his control area, Goreshade can move a warjack to that location. The warjack cannot activate afterwards, so here’s what I like to do. Hit the enemy hard with the warjack, then teleport it away to safety. Yoink! The enemy has no chance to counterattack.
To compliment his already formidable arsenal, Goreshade has Hex Blast. This POW 13 AOE spell not only causes decent damage, but can clear enemy buffs on a direct hit. It can even clear debuffs inflicting your own troops, just as long as you’re cool with vaporizing a few of them.
And then there is his spell Mage Blight. In Goreshade’s control area, living enemy models cannot cast spells or use feats. Period!
WEAKNESSES: Goreshade can cast a lot of very powerful spells. He just can’t do it all at the same time. Mage Blight costs a massive 5 Focus! Shadowmancer, Soul Gate, and Hex Blast all cost 3 Focus. Even as a 7 Focus caster, there’s only so much he’s going to be able to do in one turn. Picking the right spells for the right situation is key. To top this off, he has no upkeep spells and cannot collect soul tokens. With Goreshade, every Focus counts.
Goreshade is on a medium base, with all the disadvantages that brings. He has access to Stealth through Shadowmancer, but watch out for enemy models that can bypass that defense!
Goreshade’s Feat, Dark Summons, allows him to bring 6 new Bane Thralls into play within 3” of him. These Bane Thralls can then activate freely. This certainly has punch in the right places. However, the feat does not scale with larger games. In smaller games, the added weight of a whole new unit can be devastating. But in larger games, it can easily fall flat.
SYNERGIES: Goreshade works well with a solid combination of powerful warjacks and infantry. Those warjacks are going to need some Focus, but Goreshade needs to be pumping out high-powered spells. Focus efficiency is absolutely essential. Warwitch sirens are excellent additions to help power the warjacks. As an added bonus, they have built in Stealth.
For warjacks, the always-efficient Seether can help with Goreshade’s Focus woes. Warjacks with Reach are also powerful, allowing you to maximize the effects of Dark Shroud. The Desecrator is also a good addition, since it can Accumulate from nearby Bane models, such as those from Goreshade’s feat.
To support Soul Gate, I recommend taking a group of cheap infantry like Mechanithralls. When the time is right, run one to whatever location you want to Soul Gate a jack to.
And speaking of Banes, any of them work well with Goreshade. There are going to be Banes in the army no matter what, so why not take some more? More Bane Thralls are my first choice. They follow the Stealth theme and bring their own Dark Shrouds. This can relieve some of the spell-casting pressure from Goreshade once the two armies lock in melee. On top of that, Bane Lord Tartarus can help any of the Banes kick more butt.
Alternatively, just about any infantry unit in Cryx can benefit from the battlegroup’s Dark Shroud or from Deathwalker running into the midst of their next target.
JUST FOR FUN: Got to bring some pain to the enemy, but can’t reach him? No problem! First, run a model forward in roughly the direction you need to go, somewhere between 9” and 11” from Goreshade. Activate Goreshade and charge your own model. Now feat, and place those Banes 3” further towards the target. For added silliness, have Bane Lord Tartarus Curse the target.
Now charge in with those 6 new Banes. They can reach a target roughly 23” away from Goreshade’s original location! And let’s face it, 6 weapon masters hitting with effective MAT 8 POW 13 charge attacks is scary, scary, scary!
For even more hilarity, run the Deathwalker over to the target. Now they’re effective MAT 10!
SUMMARY: Goreshade the Bastard is a fun warcaster within Cryx. He has a very unique spell list, can support jacks better than most of our casters, and has two effective ways to deliver debuffs. Besides, the guy can teleport jacks around and shut down enemy feats! There’s a reason he’s called the Bastard!