-By: Stephen W.

retribution

The Retribution of Scyrah weathered the transition to the new edition better than some other factions.  One of many good things that our faction got was our new starter box warcaster, Magister Helynna.  This fine lady of House Shyeel has brought to the faction several things that we lacked throughout Mk 2, the most notable of which are her abilities to skew armor and play an attrition game in a way that we were not able to do before.  The second thing she brings is several abilities that favor a battlegroup heavy list in a faction that tends to favor more balanced warjack to infantry builds.

 

Stats and Abilities:

The front of Helynna’s card is rather unimpressive.  Her MAT 6 and RAT 5 are both low enough that you will be boosting to hit anything other than DEF 10 or 11, and anything with that low a defense will probably have high armor that the POW 11 on both her ranged and melee weapons will have trouble getting through.  Defensive stats of 15 DEF, 15 ARM, and 16 health are on the low end for a warcaster, so you do not want to play her close to the front line.  Fortunately, a focus stat of 7 allows you to keep her back and safe supporting her army, while casting her offensive spells safely through an arc node.

On the back of the card you have a good repair ability that will come in handy.  Just be sure that you are not bringing her too far forward just to get a couple of boxes back on a myrmidon.

Both of her weapons have the “Force Grip” ability that allows you to choose to push an enemy model 3 inches instead of doing damage to it.  This is a highly useful ability that will allow you to move screening models aside to expose what is behind or to clear off a scenario element and score some control points.  In a pinch, you can also use it as a threat extender, pulling something closer for your myrmidons and troops to charge.  However, this will put Helynna close to the enemy so ensure you have plan to protect her.

 

Spell List:

-Deceleration is a key ability to protect her army on the approach.  Expect that you will have it up for at least the first 2-3 turns if not longer.

-Force Strike is useful but not the most commonly used spell on her card.  Boosting and using Arcane Secrets from Wyshnalyrr will help to get the critical hit which can help the rest of your army engage a key target more easily.

-Hand of Destruction is her key battlegroup support spell.  Getting it on the right target while keeping Helynna safe makes an arc node an important part of the list.

-Obliteration is often overlooked because of its high focus cost.  However, a few things to remember about that POW 15, 5 inch AOE (POW 8 blast damage).  First, using a Chimera it is very easy to get this attack where you need it to take out low armor and/or stealth infantry.  Second, Arcane Secrets affects the blast damage roles.

-Rhythm of War is a great spell to support your battle group, allowing you to move a few more inches up the field, or pull back out of threat range after a turn of shooting.  Put it up turn one and leave it up for the game unless you really need that one focus.

 

Feat:

Helynna’s feat is what make her truly unique within the faction.  A +3 armor buff to your entire army on top of Deceleration means that very few things will be able to damage you with ranged attacks and melee attacks are only going to be a little more successful.  Boosted damage rolls, damage and strength buffs, continuous effects, and anything that ignores armor can still give you trouble on your feat turn, so watch out for those.

In addition to the armor buff, the feat also replenishes the shields on all your myrmidons and allows them to ignore the effects cripple systems for one rounds.  Keep in mind that this is not limited to those myrmidons in Helynna’s battlegroup.

Though you will always have to weigh when best to use the feat, it is generally used to weather an incoming alpha strike and allow you to retaliate on the next turn.  This primarily leans on the armor buff portion of the feat, but the replenishment of shields will give your myrmidons a few boxes back that they may have lost due to ranged attacks.

 

Putting it all together:

In Helynna you have a solid support warcaster.  You will want to keep her away from the front lines and use an arc node to project her offensive spells on the enemy while keeping her safe from harm.  Though Helynna has several good ways to put damage on to the enemy herself, using these should not be a part of your primary plan, but rather a tool in the box if you need them.  Let your infantry and myrmidons do the work for you.

Helynna’s primary weakness beyond her low defensive stats is her lack of threat extension abilities for her army.  This means that you will either need to bring some other form of threat extension to the list (Lanyssa Ryssyl for Hunter’s Mark or Battle Mages for Force Bolts) or have a plan to advance into your opponent’s threat range while protecting your own army.

 

List Building:

Helynna’s tool kit will tend to guide you to a larger then average battlegroup with a unit or two of infantry.  This list is built around a common core with some variable support solos.

Theme: No Theme Selected

75 / 75 Army

  • Magister Helynna – WJ: +30
    • Discordia – PC: 18 (Battlegroup Points Used: 18)
    • Manticore – PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 12)
    • Manticore – PC: 14
    • Manticore – PC: 14
    • Chimera – PC: 8
  • Dawnguard Sentinels – Leader & 9 Grunts: 18
    • Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard – Officer & Standard: 4
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Ghost Sniper – PC: 3
  • Ghost Sniper – PC: 3
  • Lys Healer – PC: 3

The last nine points of support can go several different ways, I personally like the Ghost Snipers to beable to work the flanks as the rest of the army will tend to move together in a formation up the board.   Other options include Lanyssa Ryssyl for a threat extender, Sylys Wyshnalyrr for arcane support, or Eyriss (either 1 or 2).  The core of the list is the Dawnguard Sentinels who, with Discordia, Deceleration, and Wall of Steel become armor 21 against shooting on their approach before considering Iron Zeal or Helynna’s feat.  The 3 Manticores lay down a 14-inch-long barrier of Covering Fire to protect you from enemy infantry and control the board.  They are also able to take down enemy heavies through a combination of their own abilities and Hand of Destruction.

 

Another option leans on the Forges of War theme force which builds very well for Heylnna.

Theme: Forges of War

3 / 3 Free Cards     72 / 75 Army

  • Magister Helynna – WJ: +30
    • Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker – PC: 0
    • Helios – PC: 34 (Battlegroup Points Used: 30)
    • Manticore – PC: 14
    • Manticore – PC: 14
    • Manticore – PC: 14
    • Manticore – PC: 14
    • Chimera – PC: 8
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • House Shyeel Artificer – PC: 0
  • House Shyeel Artificer – PC: 0

Again, this list plays a heavy anti-ranged game with high armor, Deceleration, and Force Barrier from the Artificers, while protecting its own approach with the feat and Covering Fire.  The addition of a Helios colossal gives you both a threat extender and additional hitting power.  The benefits you get from this theme are a few free support solos, the ability to start with her upkeep spell Rhythm of War in play, and most importantly, all your myrmidons gain the Shield Guard ability.  The option of shield guarding to a colossal and four heavy myrmidons which can all have their force fields restored when you use Helynna’s feat will keep your support solos and warcaster safe from ranged attacks as you advance up the field.

The down side of this list is that you lose the ability to bring options from Retribution’s wide selection of excellent infantry and are limited to only Battle Mages.  Since Helynna does not do very much to support the Battle Mages, at this time you are better off bringing a larger battle group which she can support.  This places all the work the list is doing on the shoulders of said battlegroup.

Advertisements