Tuesday, October 16, 2012

List Building: pKaya 35 - Griffon

It's been a long time since I've done some list building.  Perhaps it's been because I've been extremely busy.  More likely, it's because I don't have many opportunities to play games as it is and so I don't play around designing lists when I won't be able to test them.  Today I want to share a list I came up with that I want to try with pKaya.  I've always been an outspoken supporter of pKaya (and indeed, a lot of under-appreciated warlocks) and I think the recent release of the Griffon will allow a lot of flexibility for pKaya.  Admittedly, with the recent errata ruling that medium bases cannot use their full range of power attacks against larger bases (throws, locks), the Griffon will have more limited usage in many lists, but I still think he's useful for an assassination tool - especially with pKaya.  Let me share the list and then I'll break it down.

pKaya (+6)
- Gorax (4)
- Scarsfell Griffon (5)
- Gnarlhorn (8)
- Pureblood (9)
- Stalker (10)
Shifting Stones (2)
- Stone Keeper (1)
Druid Wilder (2)

I love this list for its simplicity and think that it would be wonderful to take to a hardcore event if I scaled it up, since it's so time efficient.  I've always loved the idea of running warbeast-heavy forces and I think this list does it in an interesting way.  Obviously the Stalker will be the omni-present toolbox that Circle players use him for, but with pKaya he becomes even more amazing at an effective MAT 8 - allowing him to clear out infantry really easily.  With Spirit Door I can pick apart my opponent from a distance, clear out key models, and then return to a safe distance.  Normally he can do this pretty well with Lightning Strike anyway, but he is limited to 6" with his Sprint move and I might not be able to get far enough away with it.  This way I have the option of playing aggressively no matter what and I'll still have an escape plan.  Additionally, with the Wilder around I can play really far forward if I don't need to stay in Kaya's control to use Spirit Door, so I can strike deep into the heart of my opponent's lines.  Alternatively, I can still use Lightning Strike to drop back into control range so Kaya can then cast Spirit Door to bring him back too.  The options here are wonderful!

Some other natural synergy here is with the Gnarlhorn.  He's a pretty solid warbeast for his points and with few of my own models getting in the way, my opponent will be forced to somehow engage the Gnarlhorn or have to do some fancy maneuvering themselves to avoid Counter-Slams.  I could use this to keep the Stalker safe too after a Sprint move if I got too aggressive.  Alternatively, I can use Bounding on the Stalker to get him to charge far away (and for free!) with an effective MAT 10.  The Wilder is around to hand out Bounding where I need it and that's significant with a Griffon flying around on the flanks.

Fortunately, pKaya can play the hit-and-run game better than her epic version which likes to blow her load all at once.  I've had lots of success with catapulting the Pureblood forward, spraying down key models, then teleporting him to safety and watching my opponent curse him out.  This means that the Griffon has time (and the longer leash) to run around on a flank and potentially get behind enemy lines.  With Kaya's Pack Hunters, the Griffon will strike at an effective MAT 8 and if I can stretch the Wilder out a bit I can potentially throw Bounding or Primal on him to bring him up to a MAT 10, meaning that most warcasters/warlocks will have a hard time hiding.  If he comes across a high DEF target, then he will try his best to land a two-hand throw towards the rest of my lines.  If he comes across a squish warcaster/warlock, he might be able to finish the job himself, if the 3 initial attacks can compensate for the unimpressive P+S.

I like the list and I need to play around with it, now that I have a Griffon model.  Unfortunately, the package was missing a hand so I need to send a parts order to PP about getting a replacement hand but otherwise I can still use the model and I look forward to testing him out.  Admittedly, the errata means that he will be less flexible (no more weapon locking heavies), but I still think he will be capable of getting the job done.  MAT 8 helps a ton and I think he'll be a welcome addition to the rest of the list where my opponent will need to play very carefully or risk assassination.
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