Warcasters are the stars of Warmachine, and Cryx has no shortage of powerful and fun-to-play warcasters. Today, I’m taking a look at Pirate Queen Skarre!
IN SHORT: The first version of Skarre is a massive force multiplier. She can make her army hit with pin-point accuracy, and on feat turn, they hit like Khador heavy warjacks! But nothing is for free. Her abilities will burn through her troops and even her own health if you’re not careful.
STRENGTHS: Here’s an interesting Cryx caster. Skarre has no debuffs. Does that make her weak? Heck, no!
First, Skarre has an excellent support spell in Dark Guidance. This gives friendly Cryx models an extra die on melee attack rolls. ALL OF THEM! As long as they’re in Skarre’s control area. It’s a costly spell at 4 focus, but it makes Skarre’s army a terrifyingly accurate one.
Next up is Backlash. Plant this spell on an enemy warjack. Now every time it takes damage, its controller takes a point of damage too. This is a great way to soften up an enemy warcaster!
Skarre may be a 6 Focus caster, but she can operate far beyond that limit. By sacrificing a friendly warrior model, Skarre gets d6 extra focus next turn. Also at the cost of a friendly trooper model, Skarre can auto-hit an enemy with a magic attack called Sacrificial Strike.
Skarre’s feat, Blood Magic, is a devastating combo of offense and defense. Skarre sacrifices up 5 health. For each point of damage she takes, her army gets +1 STR and +1 ARM.
Did I mention her middle name is “sacrifice”?
Defensively, this can help her army weather that scary gun-line’s shooting before she closes for the kill. Or cause her army to hit with terrific force when they do close, AND put a damper on any reprisals. It’s a superb, flexible feat.
On top of all of that, she has a Great Rack.
No, seriously. She has a weapon called a Great Rack. She knocks people down with it. Oh, Privateer Press! You’re so punny!
WEAKNESSES: A lot of Skarre’s abilities come with unconventional costs. Her feat and her sword consume her health. Her special attack and one of her spells eats up friendly models with every use. Skarre can be her own worst enemy if you’re not careful.
She’s also squishy with only 16 health and 15 ARM. Having access to extra Focus from Ritual Sacrifice does help, but keeping her safe is still very important.
Lastly, her lack of an ARM debuff means certain models really need to hit home on her feat turn, or they’re just not going to make a big enough dent.
SYNERGIES: Skarre greatly benefits from having a Skarlock to cast Ritual Sacrifice every turn, supplying her with extra focus for “free”. Cheap infantry to sacrifice is also a must. Mechanithralls or Scrap Thralls are probably the best route, though any cheap infantry can work.
And while we’re taking Mechanithralls, might as well throw in a Necrosurgeon to heal Skarre after her feat.
With Dark Guidance benefitting melee attack rolls and her feat boosting STR, Skarre’s army is happiest close in and personal. And since both of these abilities boost everything in her control area, the more attacks her army puts out, the bigger the benefit. Infantry with multiple attacks like Mechanithralls, Blood Witches, and Satyxis Raiders work superbly with Skarre, and can help get the most out of her abilities.
Skarre can also benefit from some of our formidable melee jacks. The Harrower is particularly impressive. Its high ARM of 18 (high for Cryx, I mean) gets boosted up to 23 with her feat, and its thresher attack will tear enemy infantry limb from bloody limb under Dark Guidance.
JUST FOR FUN: Pick a beefy enemy warjack. The more health the better. Tag it with Backlash. Use Dark Guidance. Feat to boost the STR of your Satyxis Raiders. The P+S of the Raiders should be about 7 or 8 less than the ARM of the warjack, for optimum results.
Now charge the warjack with your Raiders. Each damaging hit will do 2 points of damage to the enemy warcaster. That’s a potential 20 points of damage! If there are enough Raiders to seal the deal, then congratulations! Game over.
SUMMARY: Skarre may not be the lean, mean, debuffing machine a lot of Cryx casters are, but she certainly gets the job done. With ways to boost melee accuracy, melee damage, and armor, she can turn our most humble infantry into absolute superstars.
That is before she vaporizes them to fuel her abilities.