By Chris Olsson (PG_deranith)
Vyros is the leader of House Nyarr and one of the foremost generals of the Retribution of Scyrah. He fought in the war against Gyyrshyyld (who later became Goreshade) and lost his right eye in the fight. He has learned to use his ability to see through the eyes of his bird, Jyren, granting him a superior vantage point in battle.
Dawnlord Vyros (Vyros1) is currently one of the foremost ‘jack casters in the Retribution lineup. His spell list gives an excellent toolbox for a ‘jack heavy list and his feat can crank their damage up to 11. He’s certainly no slouch himself in combat either.
The most prevelant lists out there currently involve Vyros1, Imperatus, 3 Arcanists, Lanyssa Ryssyl, a token cheap melee unit, and as many Griffons as can be fit in the list. There’s a massive threat range crank available to the jacks in the list and the feat turn gets very interesting with 8pt lights dealing 4 swings at P+S 15 with Flank added on top. Vyros augments the jacks with Mobility, Inviolable Resolve taking Imperatus to new levels of durability, and Hallowed Avenger for harassment.
Other lists are more balanced including some that take advantage if Bird’s Eye and ranged ‘jack attacks like the Hydras’ and Banshees’ Softening targets up before sending them in for the kill. These lists tend to be especially dangerous to caster that rely on hiding in the mid-field to stay safe.
Vyros1 is not particularly effective with mass-infantry, but there’s something to be said about ARM 22 Dawnguard Sentinels or ARM 20 Houseguard Halberdiers.
An opponent’s biggest concern when fighting Vyros1 is the massive threat ranges that are possible. Mobility, Fleet on Griffons, and Lanyssa’s +2″ and free charges all stack up to make Vyros1’s ‘jacks some of the fastest in the game. Taking advantage of Vyros1’s limited FOCUS is also advisable, when presented with just 1-2 juciy targets Vyros can adequately fuel things, when faced with many threats at longer ranges where he has to spend focus for Mobility and Fleet can strain his damage dealing potential. Taking out Lanyssa and the Arcanists and limiting the token unit’s ability to get to the big targets will be very helpful in curtailing his feat turn’s damage output.
Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard (Vyros2) is a surprisingly versatile caster. Criticized at first for not having a single focused schtick, it was soon discovered that he had the tools to run many different kinds of lists. Here’s a look at a few of them:
Jack-spam: In Mk2 Griffon spam was one of the primary ways you saw Vyros2. Designed to use his spell Synergy (bonus for melee for each battlegroup model that hits with a melee attack, up to three) to maximum effect, these lists nowadays tend to run multiple heavies and the types vary widely. If you’re facing this down, be warned that it will almost always piece trade favorably with the boost from Synergy.
Melee-infantry heavy: Vyros2’s often overlooked spells (Deceleration and Easy Rider) help immensely to deliver troops to the face of the opposing army. Deceleration pushes Halberdier and Sentinel ARM values high enough that POW 10 shooting becomes unreliable at best. Easy Rider gives Halberdiers the Pathfinder they can need to get over a wall or into/by a forest.
Cavalry-heavy: This is a new list that is designed to take advantage of a number of synergies (not the spell). Vyros2’s Veteran Leader [Dawnguard] and spells mentioned above give his Destors a noticable bump, add in the Scyir to allow them to move through each other for mobility, and the Destor Thane to grant Unuielding and you end up with an incredibly fast list. The downside is that the list does not hit very hard compared to many other options, but it has tremendous scenario presence when it can get there first.
At all times, opponents should be aware of Vyros2’s Veteran Leader ability. Dawnguard models are already elite infantry with higher than average MAT and RAT values, but Vyros takes it to another level. Also be very mindful of the ranged attacks of his battlegroup. Bird’s Eye enables him to see many places that other casters have trouble seeing, and myrmidon guns can be very strong and scary when you can’t use models to block LoS to your caster.
Vyros2’s feat is one of the more subtle ones, allowing an advance whenever an enemy attack kills a model. This feat can hold a zone, reposition a newly vulnerable model, set up a charge lane, or simply boost the threat range of a scary Ret model. If you’re fighting against him, you may need to take a moment after each feat move to consider how your plans will need to change against the ever-changing tactics it affords.