Solos in Warmachine may not have the raw power and durability of warjacks or the sheer numbers enjoyed by infantry. But don’t discount them. For so few points, no models can tip the balance of a game quite like solos can. Today, I’m taking a look at the Machine Wraith.
IN SHORT: In Cryx, we steal enemy corpses and enemy souls. But what about whole warjacks? Yeah, we do that too.
STRENGTHS: The Machine Wraith is a 1 point solo that TAKES CONTROL OF ENEMY WARJACKS! Granted, there are a number of conditions that have to be met and qualifiers that need to be added. But still. Seriously. I mean seriously, this is so awesome.
The Machine Wraith needs to get within 1” of the target warjack and execute its Machine Meld special action, so it cannot be used if the Machine Wraith charges. The target warjack must have a functioning cortex, cannot be a character warjack, and cannot be a Colossal since they are immune to control of any kind.
To pull this off, the Machine Wraith is fast at SPD 7 and is Incorporeal! This not only protects the Machine Wraith from normal attacks, it also allows it to pass through other models and terrain on its way to taking control of the enemy.
Opponents have a few options for getting the warjack back. Warcasters can spend Focus and attempt to kick the Machine Wraith out. Basically, the warcaster and the Machine Wraith compare CMD and add a D6. The Machine Wraith has a low CMD 7, by the way. Damaging the warjack will also kick the Machine Wraith out, but in your Maintenance Phase. Either way, your opponent is wasting resources.
And even if the Machine Wraith is kicked out, the biggest benefit is preventing any Focus allocation to the enemy warjack. When the Machine Wraith is inside, the warjack is not a part of any battlegroup! No Focus for you!
As a side bonus, the Machine Wraith can also use its speed to harass enemy solos and infantry, setting itself up for free-strikes while remaining protected by Incorporeal.
WEAKNESSES: Except for Incorporeal, the Machine Wraith is a soft target. DEF 14 isn’t too bad, but ARM 12 on a medium base with one hit box is nothing to be excited about. If your opponent wants the Machine Wraith dead, it’s probably dead. Protecting it with smart use of terrain is critical.
Also, while the Machine Wraith is best used against Warmachine armies, those armies tend to have a wider selection of magical weapons. Even worse, Colossals and character-warjacks give Warmachine players plenty of options that are immune to the Machine Meld ability.
And that comment about not allocating Focus to a warjack under Machine Wraith control swings both way, so you can’t allocate Focus to it either, though this isn’t a big deal. The Machine Wraith is more about denying options to your opponent than opening up new ones for you.
And finally there are Hordes armies that don’t care one bit about Machine Meld. Against them, the Machine Wraith is a simple solo harasser … with low P+S and average MAT. It’s not terrible, but it’s not exciting either.
SYNERGIES: The Machine Wraith needs the enemy warjack to be within 8” in order to steal it … unless another model pulling it in! Try teaming up with Reaper or Malice warjacks and using their Drag attacks to bring the enemy warjack into range. Scaverous’s Telekinesis spell can produce a similar effect, either pulling the warjack in or bumping the Machine Wraith closer. Or both.
Also, fielding the Machine Wraith with other Incorporeal models can saturate your opponent’s ability to deal with them effectively. The Wraith Engine can also help the Machine Wraith get to its target by giving it a small ARM buff via its Unhallowed rule. This also makes the Machine Wraith immune to blast damage.
JUST FOR FUN: Against a Gargantuan or a Colossal there’s nothing a Machine Wraith can do, right? Well, not so fast!
Yes, the Machine Wraith is an Incorporeal model, which means enemies can walk right through it too. Except, Large bases normally come with low speed. Sure, that Colossal can walk right through the Machine Wraith, but it has to clear it too! It can’t stop on top of the Machine Wraith!
Run the Machine Wraith up and engage the Colossal. Now the Machine Wraith has DEF 18 to ranged attacks. Shooting the Machine Wraith down with magic is going to be tough. And if your opponent moves in another model to take the Machine Wraith out, now THAT model is blocking the Colossal!
SUMMARY: The Machine Wraith is a fairly situational solo that sometimes shines and sometimes is barely mediocre. Still, for only one point, the ability to take an enemy warjack as your own should not be dismissed. In the right place at the right time, Machine Wraiths can single-handedly swing games in your favor.