-By: Stephen W.

We are back today to talk about the first lady of the Retribution, Ravyn, the Eternal Light.

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One of the warcasters that first grabbed my attention when I began playing the faction years ago.  The image of her scything through a unit of infantry with her doubled bladed polearm while firing shots into the faces of those she did not cut down was such an intriguing thought I had to put her on the table.  It was with this warcaster that I learned the basics of the game and how the rules worked, and though I would later move on to others, she has remained one of my favorites.

Following the change to the new edition, Ravyn has seen a sharp drop in both tournament play and in interest in general, and she is often placed at the bottom of the pack of our warcasters.  This is due to a number of reasons, first, the tier list that she was often competitively played with in Mk2 is gone.  Second, while many of our other warcasters gained abilities that just made them better or more interesting, she for the most part did not change. Third, the Mage Hunter Strike Force which was often seen as a crucial part of her game plan took a hard hit and cannot assassinate warcasters the way that they use to.  Finally, the meta has shifted, and casters that want to run infantry into infantry are a bit out of place right now.

Stats and Abilities:

Taking a quick look at her card, some things are worthy of note.  First is that her MAT and RAT both come in at a healthy value of 7.  Combined with a POW 12 gun with Blaster (which now does POW 12 to everything under the 3 inch AOE) and a 2 inch RNG P+S 13 melee weapon, Ravyn has more flexibility to do work on her own then many other casters in the faction.  She also has Dual Attack (which is one of the few rules allowing you to shoot non-engaged models even if you are engage), so she can make full use of both her melee and ranged abilities in the same activation.

For her spell list, Snipe remains a favorite with any of our ranged units.  Vortex of Destruction is situationally useful, but when you want it, you don’t want to spend the focus on it, so I always try to put it out round 1.  Locomotion is not the best spell in the game for adding threat range, however it has great flexibility for moving a myrmidon only as far as you need to so that it can be in the right position.  Veil of Mists is a far more useful spell then many give it credit for.  It can be a LOS blocker, a mode of granting Pathfinder, or a means to move through obstacles as you need.  It is a spell with a great number of potential uses, for example, I dropped it on a building, and walked a heavy myrmidon through the building to attack an enemy warcaster.

Ravyn’s feat is simple enough, boosted ranged attack rolls and Swift Hunter to all models in her control area.  This naturally skews her towards ranged heavy lists, but do not ignore the fact that you will need melee options as well to clean up in the following turns.  Also do not forget about Swift Hunter which gives you the ability to open distance a small bit after blasting down the enemy’s models and possibly limit retaliation.  Your game plan will hinge on the feat turn, either for an assassination or to hard swing the attrition battle in your favor, so find the best time to use it and make it rain.

Initial List Build:

I chose to build a list using several favorites from Mk2 to see how it worked.

 

75 / 75 Army

Stockpile – Steamroller Objective

  • Ravyn, The Eternal Light – WJ: +30
    • Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker – PC: 4
    • Hyperion – PC: 36 (Battlegroup Points Used: 30)
    • Banshee – PC: 18
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 6
  • Ghost Sniper – PC: 3
  • Ghost Sniper – PC: 3
  • Mage Hunter Strike Force – Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
    • Mage Hunter Strike Force Commander – PC: 4
  • Stormfall Archers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 9

After 6 or so games with this list I here are my thoughts.

Ravyn is still good, though I stand by the statement that the current warjack and warbeast heavy meta is not the right place for her.  Her mobility and personal offensive power are not to be scoffed at.  She can take down heavies or whole units by herself as long as you have a plan to keep her safe afterwards.  In one game I locked down a scenario win by moving into melee with a damaged heavy warjack and a light warjack.  Ravyn destroyed both and then used Quick Work and Swift Hunter to kill a solo model and get back into base to base contact with the flag.

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The Hyperion constantly struggles to find good targets for the Starburst gun.  So even though I still like it, I am considering dropping it for a few more heavy myrmidons.  As infantry heavy lists become more prevalent this may change.  The Banshee is still a champion heavy and worth it’s points.  Just make sure to remember about the Wailing ability.  Sylys, though useful, is not an essential addition to the list.

Bringing both a unit of Mage Hunter Strike Force and a unit of Stormfall Archers has left this list trying to do too many things vice concentrating on one.  I am looking at swinging the list one way or the other and doubling down one unit or the other.  Also, the mage hunters seemed to perform best when I used Snipe and the feat to carve out key support models and leaders, even if it did not mean swinging the attrition battle as much as I might have liked.

I also found that I lacked enough punch to take up the slack if the feat turn did not do enough to damage to the enemy force.  While changing the myrmidon load out will help with this, the addition of some dedicated melee presence may also be warranted.

The Revised List: 

With these thoughts in mind (and the arrival of our new theme forces), I built the following list.

Theme: Shadows of the Retribution

2 / 2 Free Cards     75 / 75 Army

Bunker – Steamroller Objective

  • Ravyn, The Eternal Light – WJ: +30
    • Banshee – PC: 18 (Battlegroup Points Used: 18)
    •  Manticore – PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 12)
    •  Manticore – PC: 14
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Arcanist Mechanik – PC: 2
  • Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios – PC: 0
  • Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 0
  • Mage Hunter Infiltrators – Leader & 9 Grunts: 13
  • Mage Hunter Strike Force – Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
    • Mage Hunter Strike Force Commander – PC: 4
  • Mage Hunter Strike Force – Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
    • Mage Hunter Strike Force Commander – PC: 4

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This list solves many of the problems that I mentioned above with the selection of myrmidons and having models that can continue to do work after your feat turn.  It also brings several strong theme force benefits, including a +1 to the starting roll, and all the melee weapons on warrior models (including Ravyn) ignore Tough and remove the destroyed model from play.  The dual units of Strike Force are a superb tool for either assassination or for carving away key models from your opponent’s army.  The theme benefit allows the Strike for to be more relevant as melee pieces, while the Mage Hunter Infiltrators make up your second wave with support from the three heavy myrmidons.  The list still disadvantaged by the lack of a damage buff or any effective way to cut through high armor.  Therefore, I would look to pair this list with either an Epic Vyros or Ossyan list to cover those sorts of matches.

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