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 Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast.
IN SHORT: Feel like outshooting Cygnar for a change? Try Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast! No, serious. She can actually do that. But if you don’t feel like shooting, she can do the melee thing too.
STRENGTHS: Skarre has BLACK SPOT! Seriously, the awesomeness of this spell cannot be understated. This spell, by itself, is enough reason to take Skarre. First, Black Spot acts as a 2 DEF debuff for either a unit or model (HINT: pick a unit). Not bad, right? Oh, it gets better! If a Cryx model kills an enemy suffering from Black Spot, the Cryx model gets a free attack. ANY free attack at its disposal at ANY target. The only limitation is these extra attacks cannot generate more attacks, because that would just be silly!
Skarre retains Backlash for whittling down enemy warcasters by beating on their warjacks. Always nice for softening up the target before the main assassination push.
Skarre is also very Focus efficient. Her ability, Seas of Fate, allows models in her battlegroup (her included!) to boost after rolling. This is immensely helpful for getting the most out of allocated Focus! Also, thanks to Blood Trade, she can take a point of damage instead of spending Focus to upkeep her spells.
When it comes to warjack support, Skarre has some great tools. Perdition is an attack spell with a powerful trigger ability. If Skarre damages the target, a model in her battlegroup may move towards the nearest enemy. She can even cast this multiple times! A model can only be moved once per turn due to Perdition, though.
Death Ward is a nice +2 ARM buff that can apply to a unit or single model. On a warjack, this lets Skarre pick the damage column, allowing her toughened warjack to keep its critical systems running even after heavy damage.
And then there’s Admonition. Put this on a warjack or Skarre. If an enemy gets within 6”, this model gets a free 3” move. Just got charged by an enemy heavy? Not anymore! As an added bonus, the model is immune to free strikes during this move.
Finally, there’s Skarre’s feat, Fate Weaver. By suffering up to 5 points of damage, Skarre can select up to 5 models, friends or enemies. Friendly models cannot be targeted by enemy attacks. Enemy models cannot attack. Yikes! Those enemy models can’t even make free strikes, so her army can walk right by!
WEAKNESSES: Without an ARM debuff and with an army often geared towards shooting, Skarre can suffer against enemy heavy armor. Taking models with their own ARM debuffs can help offset this, though.
Skarre is also just as squishy as before. DEF 16, ARM 15, and 16 damage is okay, but Skarre still has that nasty habit of self-inflicted wounds.
SYNERGIES: Any model can benefit from Black Spot, but models with shooting attacks more than others. They are much more likely to have a valid target after taking out a Black Spotted enemy. The more shots the better. Warjacks like the Leviathan and especially the Kraken can really punish the enemy with extra shooting.
Also consider Pistol Wraiths and Revenant Crews with Captain Rengrave. Not only can they take advantage of Black Spot, but they also make good targets for Fate Weaver. Try using Fate Weaver on the Pistol Wraiths after they go corporeal, or on the Revenant Crew leader to make the unit extra annoying to get rid of.
With Black Spot, Perdition, and Backlash, Skarre really wants an Arc Node or two. Why not take ones with shooting attacks while you’re at it?
Also, given Skarre’s self-destructive nature, take a Necrosurgeon. With Blood Trade, she can often upkeep multiple spells for “free” if a Necrosurgeon is handy to patch her up.
Finally, Skarre doesn’t have an ARM debuff. It may be a good idea to some Bane Thralls or Gorma Di Wulfe handy to deal with enemy heavy armor.
JUST FOR FUN: So, how ridiculous is the Kraken with Black Spot? This ridiculous!
First, load the Kraken with Focus. Have Skarre hit an enemy infantry unit with Black Spot. Now start shooting, and use that Focus to boost rolls where needed. Results will vary depending on how many Flayer shots the Kraken gets.
The best results possible? 4 Flayer shots at POW 12 and a massive 6 Hell Blaster shots (4” AOE up to POW 17 with POW 10 blast damage)! Just call this combo, the Table Sweeper!
SUMMARY: Skarre brings some love to the shooting side of the Cryx army. Even better, her diverse abilities and battlegroup efficiency means she can support a wide variety of builds.