By Ryan Chiriboga
It’s that time of year again: WTC lists have been posted! If you don’t know what the WTC is, information can be found here. For basics though, the WTC is a team event where countries around the world compete against each other. It’s the greatest gathering of Warmachine and Hordes talent that exists and all of their lists get posted online! The rest of this article will discuss how you can learn from this information on faction and caster statistics even if you are not a WTC player. Also, lists can be found here.
Whether you are newish to Warmachine and working on building your game beyond the journeyman league or you’ve been playing a while and you are still trying to figure out what the meta looks like, WTC lists will give you a really good picture of what you should be planning for.
Looking at the warcaster/warlock and faction statistics here we see that the top five warcaster/warlocks being played are, in order: Wurmwood, Madrak2, Severius2, Haley2 and Irusk2. This gives you a ton of information on what you should expect next time you go to a tournament. These are the best out there and you will see them in numbers. Going a step further, it’s a good idea to know which warcaster/warlock is the top in its own faction, which brings in very power pieces like Ossyan and Lylyth3, both of which are meta defining as well.
Knowledge of your opponent’s models and strategies is a huge component of this game. Take the list of casters above and study them. A good knowledge here and the rest of the pieces that are commonly played in their lists will get you extra wins at a tournament, no problem. With an understanding of the top warcaster/warlocks you will have an idea of how to play in most of your matchups. Your opponent still has an off list, but that will likely be played less and as a compliment to one of the above. As you become more comfortable with the main list, you can certainly start to study the off lists.
It’s also a good idea to know how popular the factions are in general. Mk2, for example, often proved that you can’t win an event unless you have a good Cryx answer. Well, in mk3, Cryx has a presence, but is the seventh most popular faction, where as in mk2 they were first or second. That doesn’t mean you can straight ignore Cryx, but you can relax your focus on them. Similar, but opposite is Khador, which is tied for the top faction and would have been maybe seventh or eighth in mk2.
Knowing the top factions and warcaster/warlocks will give you a great overview, but you need to drill down into their lists to learn more. Well, the WTC has provided an astounding 34 Wurmwood lists for you to study and I am sure a pattern will develop. Different lists will have different strategies, so you may need a few looks at the different ways a single warcaster/warlock can operate. One good example here would be Haley2 with and without a Stormwall. Turns out stormwall with arcane shield is good, but so are two heavies.
After studying and playing against the top lists, it will be helpful to tune your lists to certain needs. This can be done by with or without the aid of the WTC data. If you like to build and tinker your own lists, at least the above will have provided a significant amount of direction. If you are okay with net decking, look through the lists from your own faction and see what works for you.
This is the time of year that we get the most information on the world meta. Don’t let it go to waste! Especially if you plan to travel to any events in the near future. A great example here would be the last chance qualifier at Warmachine Weekend. That event is huge and will very closely resemble the WTC meta. Please consider that this article is intended for a national and world meta, which is likely to be different from your local meta and if building for a local event, you will come to different conclusions. Still, the lists found from the WTC can help you define that local meta.