Wednesday, October 26, 2011

List Building: Mohsar (50 points)

I have been checking the poll the past couple of days, making sure that I am able to create a representative article for each category by the end of the week.  Without my blog being up and running for more than a week there are already a bunch of votes for some list building articles, so I am happy to oblige!

I have been toying around with the idea of starting Mohsar for some time.  The one thing that has always been an obstacle for me is where to actually go with him.  He has so many (6) spells at his disposal, and a whopping 4 of them are unique only to him (Crevasse, Sands of Fate, Pillar of Salt, Sunhammer)!  What makes it even more frustrating is that he has a great infantry clearing spell (Crevasse), he has the best teleporting spell in the game (Sands of Fate), an awesome offensive upkeep that can be cycled well (Curse of Shadows), and a subtle-but-awesome board control spell (Pillar of Salt).

It's a bit overwhelming!  How do I use him?  How can I make the most of his spell list and his abilities?  What beasts would be good with him?  These are all questions I have asked myself when thinking about making a list with him.  Personally, I decided that there was one spell that I thought was really neat and I wanted to take advantage of it.

Three guesses as to which spell it is
I have only played one game with him so far and so this is not a tactics article, but I will focus on two lists that I have come up with that I will be playtesting in the coming months - in my limited gaming time.  This article will focus more on the theory that went into making these two different lists based upon my experiences on the table in my particular meta (which I think is probably one of the tougher ones in the country).  Also, I decided that I wanted to try to make his tier list work, mostly because of his tier 4 benefit (see above).  I think that Circle has some interesting tier lists and, while there are some stinkers (Morvahna), I think they largely play to our strengths as a faction.  I think that I want to try Mohsar more often at 50 points, because I think that his tier is more helpful at that level, and I think that he can make the most of his toolbox list of spells when he's likely to see a good variety of opposing units as well as having a good supporting cast.

List 1: Sand and Stone (50 points)
Mohsar (+5)
   -Woldwyrd (5)
   -Woldguardian (9)
   -Woldwarden (9)
   -Woldwarden (9)
Druids of Orboros (7)
   -Overseer (free with tier 3)
Druids of Orboros (7)
Stoneward and Woldstalkers (5)
Shifting Stones
Shifting Stones

Break it down Woldwarden!
Let's break this down.  The most obvious feature of this list is the number of constructs.  This is a very similar list to the Baldur list that I run.  Unfortunately, Megalith is not a part of Mohsar's tier, but we have access to one of the greatest abilities that Circle has in the Woldwarden: Geomancy!  This list is not very subtle.  Obviously we plan on making the most of geomancy with the two Woldwardens, using either Crevasse or Curse of Shadows - both are very helpful to be spammed with Mohsar for clearing out infantry and heavies, respectively.  This will allow Mohsar to throw out other spells like Pillars of Salt for some defense or screwing around with your opponent's activation order.  While a third Woldwarden would certainly be hilarious, the Woldguardian allows Mohsar to stay safe from ranged assassination (something Mohsar is surprisingly vulnerable to) as well as allowing Mohsar to run a beast hot while still having a fury transfer.  Plus, with Curse of Shadows, that Guardian can wreck/cripple most heavies quite easily.

Also a subtle thing to note here: with our three heavies, our tier 4 benefit allows 3 bonus pillars at the start of the game, but there's a very important difference about those: they don't go away at the end of the turn!  This I really like!  This means that on turn one, you can make a wall that is 21" wide if you want!  Nice!  Since they stay in play, you can also use them to protect yourself while you gain a foothold for scenario play.  This also means that you can have protection while you cast other pillars to use more offensively, to gain that extra damage die when your Woldwardens chain attack: smite!  Your tier 2 benefit will allow those slow constructs to move out of your deployment a little bit more easily, and allow them to get where they want to go.

The shifting stones in this case will likely just be around for healing your constructs (as you cannot heal them otherwise) and the occasional teleport, but with Pillars of Salt and all of your Druid vortexes, I imagine that you will be able to position your constructs in relative safety.  The Stoneward and Stalkers are surprisingly great at hitting heavies with some pain (concentrate fire) and upkeeping Mirage on them is certainly a good decision, as they can potentially move 5" per turn and still gain the aiming benefit, or you can move them 2" from mirage to get that little bit closer so that you can make sure everyone is in range for their concentrated shots.  With all of the other threats on the board, I find that these guys are often the last to be targeted - certainly an advantage!  Plus, between the two Druid units and the Woldwyrd, spellcasters will certainly have a hard time laying much hurt on you as you slowly advance forward.

This list is certainly slow - especially so for Circle - but it will certainly survive an attrition game well, forcing your opponent to smash through tons of salt to get to you, but that's okay as long as you have Sunhammer upkept!

Jackal! Jackal! It's a jackal! It looks like a jackal!
List 2:  The Desert Jackals (50 points)
Mohsar (+5)
   -Woldwarden (9)
   -Gnarlhorn Satyr (8)
   -Pureblood Warpwolf (9)
   -Warpwolf Stalker (10)
Druids of Orboros (7)
-Overseer (free with tier)
Druids of Orboros (7)
Stoneward and Woldstalkers (5)

I actually like this list more than the one above and although they look very similar, I feel like they will be very different.  The first thing that you will note is the great variety of furry warbeasts... and also the lack of a Gorax.  Curious... but there is a reason.  First of all, since we have 4 heavy warbeasts, that means we now have 4 pillars starting on the board thanks to our tier 4 benefit.  This means that we can potentially make a 24" wall across the board!  Another thing that I have thought of is using spell pillars to block the tier pillars, creating a doubly thick wall so even if your opponent could punch a hole through them, there's another layer of protection!  It's like wearing two... oh wait, nevermind.

Now one part of the list that I'm torn between, and will certainly playtest, is whether to switch the Woldwarden with a Feral Warpwolf.  Do I want to be able to maximize my uses of Curse of Shadows and Crevasse for infantry clearing with the Woldwarden?  With the occasional smiting into a pillar?  Or do I want to be able to annihilate heavies with impugnity with the Feral?  I think either is a tough choice in this list, but something I intend to playtest the crap out of.

Oh Pureblood, you so tricksy!
Looking at what we have, I would like to draw particular attention to the Pureblood.  This is one of my favorite Circle warbeasts.  It is a great toolbox of a beast that has a magical, 10", POW 14 spray - perfect for wiping out large swaths of infantry.  His animus grants magical, blessed weapons, and he has some awesome warping abilities (we'll get back to this in a second).  He's basically made for killing Cryx!  We all know how much we love Cryx.  "Why is he good with Mohsar?  Doesn't he already have lots of spells and stuff to deal with Cryx?"  Why, yes.  However, I'm also taking a Stalker.  The Stalker is great for killing lots of infantry, but can't really take hits all that well.  Often times he will charge in, kill some infantry, and sprint away, but that's usually not enough for him to stay alive.  But wait!  Read the Pureblood's Controlled Warping: Ghostly.  Then, read his Leadership [Warpwolves].  Go on, read it!  I'll wait.
Jackal!  It looks like a Jackal!

Wait... what is a Pillar of Salt again?  Oh it's an obstacle.  Oooooh!  That's right!  That Stalker can play hit-and-run all day with the enemy because you can keep him behind a wall of pillars (or even the tier benefit ones that stick around) and, using his animus, he can run through them, kill some stuff, and then run back to safety.  This allows you a little more freedom with your order of activation, as you can activate Mohsar first and do what you want, and those pillars won't get in your Stalker's way!  Now you might understand why I'm torn between taking a Feral and a Warden, and maybe way I don't take a Gorax (you don't want to auto-frenzy if you're going to hide behind some pillars).

In the end, I think that with the pillars for an extra die with the Gnarlhorn or Woldwarden, and geomancy with Curse of Shadows, that the Feral might not be as necessary.  If I find that heavies are difficult to deal with, that Feral might tag out the Warden, but the Stalker can also lay on some hurt if I need to and run away to safety.  I generally think that this list is better designed for scenarios, as you can clear control areas of all infantry and then secure the location with pillars, while keeping yourself well protected from spells and close combat.  The one major weakenss is that Mohsar cannot defend himself against a good ranged assassin like either Caine.  That said, I think that this list will give Cryx a huge headache, and that's what I love about it!  I might not take this as a first-list, but it's certainly a great second one.

I certainly don't pretend to be an expert, your mileage may vary, but I will certainly be playtesting both of these lists in the coming months, so I will let you all know how it turns out and which one I will be more fond of!
Stay classy!

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