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 Goreshade, Lord of Ruin.
IN SHORT: With two ways to inflict Stationary, some excellent buff spells, and a cheap way to bring back undead models, Goreshade is a force to be reckoned with. Did I mention he’s got a horse now too?
STRENGTHS: Where to begin with this guy?
How about, he’s a warcaster with Ghostly and cavalry rules. What does this mean? Well, for starters, no one’s getting free strikes against him, even if he misses impact attacks or performs a ride-by attack. That’s a chocolate and peanut butter combo if I ever saw one.
He’s also Tall in the Saddle, so he can ignore small and medium bases when making melee attacks. So forget about typical Shield Wall units preventing line of sight to a vulnerable warcaster when declaring a melee attack.
And while we’re on it, what a melee attack! His sword Voass is P+S 15 with Reach and Stationary. Even better, he’s effective MAT 9 when he charges (again because of those delicious cavalry rules). And after he’s hit once, every extra attack hits automatically.
So, a quick recap. No one gets free strikes against him. He can trample through enemy models. He hits like a truck, freezes enemies solid, and then is free to dish out hit after hit with impunity. That is an assassination vector opponents MUST respect!
But Goreshade is far from a one trick undead horse. He comes with a whole host of ways to support his army. Infernal Machine buffs one of his warjacks. +2 SPD and MAT on a Kraken anyone? Occultation gives out Stealth to units or models (potentially to himself for added safety). And Scything Touch enhances melee damage by +2, again to units or models.
For his feat, Winter’s Grasp, he can explode his own warrior models into 3” AOEs. And what do these AOEs do? Well, they inflict Stationary! He can literally freeze an enemy army dead in its tracks.
But the real gem in his spell list is Mockery of Life. For the cheap price of 2 Focus, Goreshade can bring back a friendly Faction Undead Grunt. Now, Cryx infantry does not lack for ways to increase its numbers. When combined with Goreshade’s new spell, this can get outright silly. Be sure to bring extra models!
He can even cast a spell for free once per turn if a living enemy model casts a spell in his control area. That gives him 4 potential Mockery of Life casts! I mean, seriously, even his basic magic attack spell is snazzy. With Siphon Bolt, he can strip 1 Focus or 1 Fury off models hit and add 1 Focus to his own pool, kind of making this a 1 Focus attack spell. Yikes!
Rounding out the package, Goreshade’s basic stats are solid. With DEF 14, ARM 17, Focus 7, and 17 hit boxes, so he can take a solid beating before going down.
Yeah, Goreshade comes fully loaded.
WEAKNESSES: Goreshade is sitting on a large base, which automatically makes him difficult to protect. He also has three upkeep spells and Mockery of Life vying for his Focus pool. Put those two together, and it’s easy to splurge and leave him vulnerable.
Ghostly and SPD 8 do help him use terrain to his advantage, and he can slap Stealth on himself for added protection, but the problem definitely exists.
Goreshade also lacks the conventional assortment of Cryx debuffs. While Scything Touch does aid damage output, Goreshade has very limited options when it comes to making Cryx models hit better. This mostly revolves around using his feat to inflict Stationary. Models that like DEF debuffs for more accurate attacks won’t find much support from this warcaster.
SYNERGIES: Goreshade loves undead infantry so he can bring them back with Mockery of Life, and that synergy is even better if those models can already add to their numbers. And if those models are self-sufficient, it gets even better.
For all of the above, Bane Thralls or Bane Knights with Tartarus provide an excellent option. For most of the above, Mechanithralls supported by Necrosurgeons do the trick.
Blackbane’s Raiders are also a potent choice. They’re undead and they can reanimate their enemies as long as Blackbane is around. But they’re also incorporeal with SPD 7, which allows them to race through the enemy lines and be detonated by Goreshade Stationary-inflicting AOEs. For this same reason, Machine Wraiths are an excellent vector for delivering Goreshade’s feat to enemy models.
Bane Riders are another choice with plenty of promise. They may lack a way to add more Riders, but they are highly self-sufficient when it comes to hitting their targets hard and accurately, plus each Rider that Goreshade revives packs considerable punch. Better than bringing Mechanithralls back for 2 Focus a model, right? Their large bases also provide a means to block line of sight to Goreshade.
JUST FOR FUN: It’s the Mechanithrall two-for-one sale! Enemy gun lines getting you down? Mechanithralls lying around in pieces? Well, have no fear!
With both Necrosurgeons and Goreshade on hand, each blown up Mechanithrall can come back not once, but TWICE! That’s because the Necrosurgeons and Goreshade both use a different resource to add models (a corpse token versus a destroyed status).
So yeah. Double-dip till your heart’s content. Even blow up some of your own Mechanithralls to get the process started.
SUMMARY: Goreshade is back and comes loaded with cool tricks and abilities. He’s a powerful assassin all by himself, and he can play a downright demoralizing attrition game with Mockery of Life. Plus, it’s a steampunk undead dark elf on a steampunk undead horse! Do I really need to say anything else?
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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 Goreshade the Cursed!
IN SHORT: Do you like Bane Thralls? Want to field a horde of infantry that can actually end the game larger than it started? How about targeting the enemy no matter where they’re hiding? Goreshade the Cursed can do all of this and more!
STRENGTHS: Goreshade comes loaded with useful abilities. Foremost is Elite Cadre [Bane Thralls]. Any living enemy infantry killed by Bane Thralls become Bane Thralls. Yikes!
Curse of Shadows is an ARM debuff with a useful side effect. In addition to losing 2 ARM, the target model or unit cannot make free strikes and Goreshade’s army can walk right through them. This can be very useful in bypassing an enemy’s powerful frontline defenders.
Phantom Hunter allows a model in Goreshade’s battlegroup to ignore Line of Sight when making any sort of attack, as well as ignoring Concealment and Cover. It’s a powerful ability. Want to shoot through walls and enemy troops? Check. Want to charge through clouds or forests or enemies afflicted by Curse of Shadows? No problem.
Goreshade also has a number of ways to hinder the enemy. For starters, he has Arcane Consumption. If an enemy casts a spell in his control area, they suffer 1 damage point and Goreshade health 1 damage point. This can soften up a warcaster/warlock or completely shut down 1 hit box magical infantry. They can cast a spell, but as soon as they do, their heads explode!
Hex Blast is a classic Goreshade spell. Target a model with an annoying upkeep spell and blast it away. Remember that he can also use this to clear debuffs from his own army, as long as you’re willing to take the hit.
He also has access to Occultation, which gives a model or unit Stealth. Always a great ability to have in order to provide that extra layer of protection. Goreshade can even apply this to himself, to help defend against enemy shooting.
On top of all this, Goreshade is reasonably tough and he hits hard at P+S 15, MAT 7. The best part is, his sword, Voass, inflicts Stationary! That’s just nasty! Hit once and then just pound away!
WEAKNESSES: Goreshade does not have access to Ghost Walk. Given how heavily he relies on infantry, this can be a big deal, depending on how much terrain is on the game table.
Goreshade also does not have a DEF debuff. Keep this in mind when selecting his army. Hex Blast can help there, but plenty of models have very high natural DEF.
Finally, his feat, Reanimator, can be completely nullified by a smart opponent. The feat allows Goreshade to sacrifice any number of infantry models and then bring the same number of infantry models back. For example, sacrificing 9 Scrap Thralls to bring back 9 Bane Thralls. However, this only works if the original unit is present. A smart opponent will focus their efforts on completely wiping out one unit at a time to prevent this feat from having any effect.
SYNERGIES: Bane Thralls. Serious, just take them. And while you’re at it, take Bane Lord Tartarus. He benefits greatly from Goreshade’s spell Sudden Death, which can allow Tartarus to charge the enemy during the enemy’s turn. He can even make some more Bane Thralls while he’s at it.
Goreshade likes one or two Arc Nodes to cast Curse of Shadows or Hex Blast while he hangs back in relative safety. He also wants cheap warrior models to sacrifice for his feat. Scrap Thralls or Mechanithralls are great for this.
Finally, what warjack to put Phantom Hunter on? There are a number of possibilities, but my favorites are a Leviathan, Nightmare, or the Kraken. The Leviathan’s synergy is pretty clear. It can shoot its formidable gun 3 times. With Phantom Hunter, it can shoot at anything within 13”.
The Nightmare works well because it has Imprint: Ghostly. Combined with Phantom Hunter, it can charge enemies through walls! Combined with Curse of Shadows, it can charge through just about anything!
And finally, the Kraken. This is an absolute beast with Phantom Hunter. With 4” Reach on its melee attack as well as formidable ranged abilities, there’s no running from this monster. It can strike at things through walls or lines of infantry, all while laying down Kill Shots across the map. It doesn’t matter what the enemy is hiding behind. It won’t help!
JUST FOR FUN: Try out Goreshade’s Theme Force, Heresy of Shadows. Two full units of Bane Thralls with unit attachments, and the second attachment is free? 24 Bane Thralls that can make more Bane Thralls and Goreshade’s feat to bring back dead ones? Yes, please!
SUMMARY: Goreshade is a powerful warcaster with a host of interesting abilities that make him surprisingly well-rounded. The combination of Phantom Hunter and Curse of Shadows opens up a lot of attack vectors that can easily surprise your opponent. He also takes my favorite infantry unit, Bane Thralls, and makes them even better!
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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!
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