The stats for the Woldwrath were spoiled on the forums a few weeks before the No Quarter issue was officially released. Some individuals had their own copies in advance for some reason, so I've had some time to reflect and collect my thoughts on the highly anticipated Circle Gargantuan. While some mock the appearance of the Woldwrath (notably it's massive shoulder blades), it's technically the oldest of the gargantuans since we've had pictures of it from the original Iron Kingdoms RPG, before Warmachine even existed! I'm eager to purchase my own model and I wish I could justify spending the money right now to have a friend pick it up for me from Gencon. I've already commented on the viability of Gargantuans, in general, and specifically with the Mountain King, so where does that leave the Woldwrath? It has some of the same challenges which face the Mountain King but it also has some different ones. Let's take a closer look.
There are two common things that everyone loves to discuss the most when looking at the Woldwrath: Druid's Wrath (it's animus) and Spell Ward. The animus is probably the most powerful animus in the game - it's grants an additional attack die for any spell which targets an enemy within 10" of the user. Whoa! Like I said, this is probably the best animus in the game, but it does have some limitations. First, Circle is not a faction which is highly known for offensive spells. Of course every warlock has their own offensive spell they can cast, but most of our warlocks focus on support spells and not slinging out offensive ones, which brings us to the second issue.
Spell Ward is great protection against enemy spells (particularly debuffs) but, in a faction which has an unusually high number of buffing spells, it's more of an annoyance than an advantage - at least it seems that way at first. One thing that's important to note about Spell Ward that's different in Hordes is that it only prevents being targeted by spells - not Animi. That's right, the Woldwrath can still be targeted by animi! Now, don't get too excited yet, Circle doesn't exactly have a wide selection of animi that are useful for the Woldwrath since many of ours are 'Self' targeting. Also, the warbeast needs to use the animus on the Woldwrath since it counts as a spell if the warlock casts it. So which animi can be used? Wraithbane (Pureblood), Bounding (Gnarlhorn), and Tracker (Argus). Tracker is very situational (360 LOS will only affect the ranged attack, not change the fields of fire) but the others are actually quite fantastic.
The Woldwrath actually doesn't have magical weapons and so Wraithbane can be a solution to that as well as making sure that it hit's as hard and as accurately as it's supposed to, and this can be huge with Stormwalls running around with Arcane Shield. My favorites, though, has to be Bounding. Bounding is an often overrated spell but on the Woldwrath it's golden. Most Colossals/Gargantuans are very slow, but with Bounding the Woldwrath can charge (for free!) an extra 2" and gets +2 on his charge attack. Not only does this mean that the Woldwrath has a threat range of 12" now, but since it has auto-knockdown on it's fists, hitting with that charge attack at MAT 8 is awesome! I've always loved the Gnarlhorn but now he's even more useful!
The Woldwrath does sport two P+S 19 fists, which is a solid +2 P+S higher than the Woldguardian, and they also spawn 4" AOEs of knock-down when they directly hit an enemy model! Wow. What's even more hilarious is that by the current wording of Sweep, those 4" AOEs will be spawned against each direct hit, potentially knocking down dozens of models from one attack. That's absolutely huge! His ranged attack isn't bad at all either. It's a solid statline: RNG 14, POW 15, although it's Damage Type: Lightning, so that can be a problem against Cygnar, but otherwise it's impressive. What makes it so great, though, is the fact that hitting a target means a psuedo-electro-leap onto another target, but both targets have 3" lightning storm AOEs placed on them that stay there for a turn! This means you can have some great board control against infantry, although it's more difficult to use than pKrueger's feat (which just let's you place where they go). Not shabby at all!
|Holy crap! He's HUGE!|
The major downside with the Woldwrath, however, is the pricetag and lousy Fury 4. While I understand why they made the Woldwrath fury 4, it does make it really hard to justify in any level other than 50+ points, since most Circle warlocks are sporting fury 7 and need to keep fueled. Granted, the Woldwrath will be around longer than most warbeasts, but it still only has as much fury as a Warpwolf and most of the time you'll only want to go as far as forcing it 3 times so as to be able to transfer to it. It's a tough decision to take the Woldwrath at 35 points and I'll have to wait until I get him on the table to see if it's worth it.
Alright, so let's break it down. Who will benefit the most from having the Woldwrath in their battlegroup? Here are my top 3:
Baldur the Stonesoul - I think this guy is probably the most obvious warlock to pair up with the Woldwrath. eBaldur typically has a hard time dealing with high-ARM targets since he lacks Stone Skin to boost damage output. Having a P+S 19 model around is very important to dealing with heavy targets for him. While Roots of the Earth will only work on the Woldwrath during the feat turn, Spell Ward on the Woldwrath largely isn't a problem and Baldur can use Rock Wall to great effect with the Woldwrath to keep it alive from a wide variety of enemy targets, not to mention Elemental Communion. On top of all of that, I generally have found eBaldur having too much focus out there with his constructs so I think the fury issue will be less pronounced with this guy, even at 35 points. Also, Crevasse will be amazing with Druid's Wrath!
I plan on writing up a couple of lists featuring the Woldwrath later this week so stay tuned! I can't wait for this guy to drop...