-By: Patrick M.

cygnar_box_painting

Is your favorite color grey? Do you think vanilla ice cream has too much flavor? Do you consider flour a spice? If you do, then boy do I have a plain, vanilla, flavorless caster for you! He also happens to be one of my favorites, Commander Coleman Stryker, or Styker1 as he will be referred to in this article from now on.

Stryker1 tends to get a bad rap for being boring and one dimensional. I mean, his abilities card is literally blank. All he has are his spells and his feat. No cool field marshal or veteran leader stuff for him, but that is okay, he doesn’t need it. He has a few tricks up his sleeve that might surprise you. So let’s get to it!

stryker-400As you look at his stat line, he has the basic 6 as a value for most things, except his MAT, which is 7,  and his defense and armor are a respectable 16/15. He is naturally electrical immune, and has pretty underwhelming weapons, a range 10 pow 10 gun and a one inch reach pow 13 sword. Pretty meh, until you see the disruption icon on both of them. This is where his first trick comes into play. Having disruption on hit with a ranged weapon is really good when you’re playing into warmachine. It can effectively remove a jack from the fight for a turn, since it can’t be allocated focus and loses all focus that it currently has. His spell list makes this ability really cool as well, but we will get to that later. There isn’t anything else to his abilities, the important thing is he is speed 6, so he can keep up with your army, and his defensive stats are high enough that he doesn’t accidentally die like the Nemo’s or Caine’s. Onto the spell list!

This is where Stryker1 starts to really look good, he has one of the best spell lists in the game in my opinion. His toolkit is very deep, not as deep as a Haley, but he is a close second.

Arcane Blast: This is your standard AOE offensive spell, POW 13, RNG 10. It is respectable, but you have better things to be doing with your focus.

Arcane Bolt: RNG 12, POW 11, again, the normal offensive spell, nothing exciting, and you have better things to spend your focus on.

Arcane Shield: Cygnar’s bread and butter spell. Gives a model/unit plus 3 armor. This is a fantastic spell. Couple this with your ability to take a Journeyman Warcaster, and you can have two copies of this spell out on the field at the same time. That is a huge buff for your army. This is also one of the more versatile defensive buffs since it is model/unit, meaning you can put it on anything in your army, from warjacks to solos to units! (Or even Stryker1 in a pinch.)

My personal favorite targets for his spell are Storm Lances, Ironclads, and Centurions. Stormlances die reliably to a boosted POW 12 damage roll, but Arcane Shield fixes that, their armor goes up to 20 with this buff, and that makes them very hard to deal with for most armies without dedicating a warjack or warbeast to them. Ironclads are our budget heavy, and with Arcane Shield their defensive stats become fantastic, DEF 12 and ARM 21 is a great heavy, especially when it only costs 12 points!  A Centurion with Arcane Shield on it will make a skorne player wonder how they are going to kill it. The Centurion goes to armor 24 with this spell on it, and coupled with their polarity field ability, (a model can’t charge a centurion when it start the charge in its front arc) makes them very hard to kill.

Blur: Another great defensive buff. Plus 3 to defense against ranged or magic attacks. This buff is great when you are playing into a shooting army. A three point swing on the to hit roll is a huge buff for us. My personal favorite target for this spell is trenchers. They start at defense 13, and they have dig in, which grants them cover, and makes them immune to blast. So before you cast blur on them they are DEF 17, with Blur they go to DEF 20. That is unreal. If you include the officer in the unit, they can walk 6 inches, shoot, and dig in to remain DEF 20 and immune to blast damage to any return fire.

Earthquake: This is another fantastic spell. RNG 10, AOE 5, all models hit by Earthquake are knocked down. A AOE 5 knockdown. I will say it again, that is fantastic. This spell can open up a lot of things for Stryker1. Let’s start with himself. His pistol has disruption, which means that a warjack hit with it loses all focus and can’t have any allocated to it. So if you shoot a warjack, and then cast this spell on it to knock it down the warjack can’t spend focus to stand since it is disrupted, and has to forfeit it’s movement or action when it activates. It’s like Haley2’s feat on a warjack. If you take Reinholdt as your attachment, you can shoot twice, and then knock them down effectively taking 2 warjacks out of the game. This costs a lot of resources I will admit, but it can help you hold your feat for one more turn, or it can prevent your opponent from being able get the alpha strike on you. As games get into the later turns this can be crippling for your opponent. If you each only have one warjack left, and his will never have focus and be knocked down due to this ability, then you are at a huge advantage.

stryker-2barticle-2bcommander-2bstrykerThis spell is also a great assassination spell. We are Cygnar! We have a lot of guns, you know what guns like to shoot at? Models that are knocked down. There isn’t a single model in Cygnar that will miss a knocked down model on anything but double ones. This also fixes a lot of line of sight issues. If your opponent is hiding behind a bunch of models, then you can just knock those models down and get line of sight to him! Or if he is DEF 20 behind that annoying wall at the back of the zone, just run one of your models up close enough that you aren’t engaging him, but close enough that a 5 inch AOE will clip his model, cast Earthquake at your own model and knock them both down! DEF 9 while knocked down behind a wall is way easier to hit. This spell has a lot of uses, and almost makes me take a arc node in most of my Stryker1 lists.

Snipe: As if his spell list wasn’t good enough, he has Snipe. Plus 4 RNG to model/unit’s ranged attacks. Another model/unit spell, so it can be cast on anything. We have so much stuff that loves this spell. Let’s start again with Stryker1. Remember that disruption trick? Well if you cast Snipe on yourself you can disrupt warjacks from 14 inches away. Well out of most threat ranges. Our ranged warjacks get ridiculous with this spell. The total threat (RNG plus movement of the warjack) of a Defender is 25 inches, a Hunter is 24, a Charger is 22, evn th Firefly can put d3 eletcroleap shots into a unit from 20 inches away! The Stormwall also has a unique interaction with it, instead of placing your covering fire templates down 10 inches away from it, you can place them 14 inches away. That is such a big deal. This spell allows you to pick out support pieces, and start putting damage onto your opponent long before he thought it was possible.

Whew! That spell list is what makes me really want to play this guy. He has a tool for everything except armor cracking, but that is a common Cygnar thing, and we have stuff that hits hard enough that we can make up for that. Just when you think it doesn’t get any better you get to his Feat….

Invincibility: While in Stryker 1’s control range, friendly faction models gain plus 5 ARM for one round.  Holy crap this is fantastic. This is on par with strong control feats, like Haley2. Not because if controls your opponent, but because it severely limits what your opponent can kill for a turn. It allows Stryker1 to place himself aggressively in a zone or on a flag and not worry about an assassination like he normally would, his base stats with his feat are DEF 16, ARM 20. Before casting arcane shield on himself, or any camped focus. His feat really starts to come alive when you stack it with Arcane Shield, which thanks to the Journeyman Warcaster you will have two copies of that spell out each turn. Stormlances go to ARM 23, Ironclads to ARM 26, Stormwalls to ARM 27, and Centurions to ARM 29. That is insane levels of armor. The feat allows you to walk straight into your opponent, and often times take very little damage, it can be used to blunt the alpha strike of an opponent that is faster than you. Allowing you to “take their alpha on the chin” and the retaliate without losing very much combat effectiveness. Ideally you want to make some attacks on the turn you Feat, so that you damage them, get stuck into their army, then they can’t effectively retaliate thanks to your feat being up, and you finish them off the following turn. This is also a armor buff that isn’t ignored by blessed weapons, which is a big deal. This is one of the best Feats in Cygnar, and I think it is on par with Haley2’s when you use it correctly.

Let’s look at some lists using this guy! He is very versatile, and can be taken in most of our themes, and even out of theme! Let’s start with Storm Division.

Styker1 Storm Division

  • Styker1
    • Stormwall
    • Firelfy
  • Captain Arlan Strangeways
  • Major Katherine Laddermore
  • Journeyman Warcaster
    • Charger
  • Max Storm Lances
  • Max Storm Lances.

This list takes advantage of 3 key upkeep spells. The two copies of Arcane Shield, and Snipe. Putting Arcane Shield on the Storm Lances helps ensure they get there, and they help Stryker1 out with their long melee threat ranges, something he struggles with. Putting Snipe on the Stormwall ensures you will get several rounds of shooting in, and late game you can cycle Arcane Shield onto it and have a great anchor piece for Stryker1 to hide behind. This list wants to get the alpha strike in with the Stormlances, and then Feat to protect them. Allowing you to have enough stuff left to finish the game. Next is Heavy Metal!

 

Stryker1 Heavy Metal

  • Stryker1
    • Ironclad
    • Ironclad
    • Defender
    • Defender
    • Charger
    • Lancer
  • Captain Arlan Strangeways
  • Journeyman Warcaster
    • Charger
  • Lieutenant Allison Jakes
    • Stormclad
  • Archduke Alain Runewood
  • Min Field Mechaniks

This list is one that I created and enjoy playing. It is full of big robots, which are fun, and guns, which are also fun. You have a decent assassination threat with arcing Earthquakes off of the Lancer backed up by the two Defender shots and four Charger shots. Jakes running the Stormclad helps deal with the limited melee threat ranges you have. (She make the Stormclad threaten 12 inches) and Runewood can give pathfinder out to your solos in a pinch, which with reposition granted by the theme list can allow them to poke out from inside a forest, take a shot, and the reposition to safety. On to the no theme list! (GASP)

  • Stryker1
    • Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator
    • Centurion
    • Centurion
  • Journeyman Warcaster
    • Charger
  • Major Katherine Laddermore
  • Gun Mage Captain Adept
  • Captain Arlan Strangeways
  • Max Trencher Infantry
  • Max Stormlances

This list was what I played before the themes came out. It is a very tool boxy list that allows a lot of flexibility on the battlefield. It has great targets for all your buffing spells, and is quite resilient. It isn’t as viable these days with themes running around, but it is still fun to play.

Styrker1 is one of my favorite warcasters in Cygnar. He is ultra flexible and can play into almost anything. Take him out for a spin! He is far better than his boring card would suggest.

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