H.P. Holo: I see you’re using Odiferous.
Jacob Holo: His name is Asphyxious.
H.P. Holo: Yeah, but isn’t he the one that farts out those clouds of noxious fumes every turn?
Jacob Holo: I guess …
H.P. Holo: Then I’m right. He’s a stinking fart machine. So there.
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 Lich Lord Asphyxious.
IN SHORT: Asphyxious got a promotion to Lich Lord. Players got one heck of a warcaster for leading Cryx’s powerful infantry.
STRENGTHS: Asphyxious comes loaded with ways to support Cryx infantry. His spell, Caustic Mist, can lay down acid clouds in his control area. Models entering or ending their activation take a point of damage. At 2 Focus per cloud, Asphyxious can lay down a solid line of acid 9” across, shielding a large portion of his army from light infantry charges and most ranged attacks.
He also has access to Excarnate, a POW 13 attack spell. When Excarnate kills a living enemy, Asphyxious gets to add a grunt to a nearby small-based undead unit.
And then there is his feat, Spectral Legion. Bring back any 10 small or medium based grunts (note the important change here with July 2013 Errata) and places them within 3” of Asphyxious. The returned models act like solos and must charge. Once the turn is over, they vanish. The returned models even gain Ghostly as an added bonus.
This is where Asphyxious’ real hitting power comes from. Not only can he screen his infantry, but any casualties his army does take only serve to fuel his feat. Combined with Asphyxious’ own mobility , this feat has an extremely large threat range and hard hitting potential.
Asphyxious also comes with several tricks of his own. He can Teleport 8” away, allowing him to charge in, do some damage, then bail out. He also has a new spell, Hellbound. With this spell active, Asphyxious cannot be charged and 5” of open ground around him is treated as rough terrain by enemies. This makes it far more difficult for most opponents to engage Asphyxious directly.
Asphyxious also has a very effective way to collect souls. By sacrificing his attack with his staff Daeamortus, he can place a 5” AOE in his control area and can collect the souls of enemy living models destroyed inside it. This is a very nice way to gain some extra focus.
Finally, he retains his powerful ARM debuff, Parasite. Just hit an enemy model or unit, drop their ARM by 3 and raise Asphyxious’ ARM by 1. Very nice!
WEAKNESSES: Asphyxious loves infantry, but he doesn’t have Ghost Walk. He has no tools for improving his army’s mobility, which can result in the normally speedy Cryx army slogging it through rough terrain.
He also lacks a DEF debuff. This wouldn’t be too bad, except his feat returns infantry as solos. This means they are not part of a unit, and therefore, cannot benefit from abilities they used to have like Combined Melee or Gang for added accuracy.
While Asphyxious is a powerful caster, these two factors limit which units he works well with, resulting in less army list variety with this caster.
SYNERGIES: Bane Knights and Bane Lord Tartarus are the perfect fit for Asphyxious’ army. They come with Ghostly, standard, so terrain is not a problem. Banes hit hard, have Reach for clumping around a single target, and can benefit from Bane Lord Tartarus’ Curse for improved accuracy.
Bane Thralls also work well, though their lack of Reach can make capitalizing on his feat a bit tricky. I also like Satyxis Raiders, since it gives them a second change to pound the enemy’s Warjacks with Backlash!
The Wraith Engine can also help support Asphyxious’ army. With a heavy concentration of infantry, the Wraith Engine can provide additional clouds to further screen the army.
JUST FOR FUN: Just how far can Asphyxious strike with his feat?
Asphyxious charges a model (9”), then activates his feat. Bane Knights and Bane Lord Tartaus are placed (3.5”). Tartarus Curses the target. The Banes charge in (10”) with Reach (2”).
How far is that? 24.5”! And that’s with effective MAT 8 P+S 11 Weapon Masters on the charge. Wow! Try dodging that!
SUMMARY: Epic Asphyxious has a narrow focus, but what he does, he does superbly well. Take some powerful infantry with him, and go to work!