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.
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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 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.
Check out the complete list of Warmachine and Hordes articles here.