Elara, Death's Shadow

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Retribution Logo.jpg Elara, Death's Shadow

Retribution Mage Hunter Warcaster

Elara is one of the Retribution’s most skilled killers. She has refined her arcane abilities to suit the ancient traditions of the goddess, Lyliss, patron of assassins, and treats each death she inflicts as a tribute. Elara has mastered the essence of shadow, stepping through one to emerge from another, blades flashing in anticipation of the kill. Though she once considered herself a weapon best deployed on her own, she has learned to fight in perfect concert with her forces, bestowing her powers to quicken their actions and guide them toward the kill.

Basic Info

Missing Info
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Warcaster 0
BASE Small
M.A. N/A
DEF 16
ARM 15
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
HP 16
F. Field N/A
WJP +28
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
Warcaster 1
the Statblock
  • Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome. Click here for a newbie-friendly recap, or click here for the full rules.

Feat : Closing Darkness

Friendly models/units currently in Elara's control range gain Ghostly and are affected by Boundless Charge (refer to her spell list).

Ghostly - A model with Ghostly can advance through terrain and obstacles without penalty and can advance through obstructions if it has enough movement to move completely past them. It cannot be targeted by free strikes.
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Tip !
Her feat gives Boundless Charge to non-Faction models, despite the spell's normal targeting restriction.


  • Apparition - During your Control Phase, place this model anywhere completely within 2" of its current location.
  • Field Marshal [Retaliatory Strike] - Warbeasts/warjacks in this model's battlegroup gain Retaliatory Strike.
  • Retaliatory Strike - If this model is hit by a melee attack made by an enemy model during your opponent's turn, after that attack is resolved this model can immediately make one basic melee attack against that model. This model can make only one Retaliatory Strike per turn.


Sickle Staff
Sword icon.jpg  RNG   POW   P+S 
2 7 13
  • Magical dam symbol.jpg Damage Type: Magical
  • Blood Boon - Once per activation, immediately after resolving an attack in which it destroyed an enemy model with this weapon, this model can cast a spell with COST 3 or less without spending focus points.


Boundless Charge

2 6 - - Turn No
During its activation, target friendly Faction model can charge without spending focus or being forced and gains +2" movement and Pathfinder when it charges. Boundless Charge lasts for one turn.

2 10 - 12 - Yes
When Convection destroys a living enemy model, you can give 1 focus point to a warjack in the spellcaster's balttlegroup that is in its control range.
Marked for Death

2 8 - - Upkeep Yes
Target model/unit suffers -2 DEF, loses Incorporeal or Stealth, and cannot gain Incorporeal or Stealth while affected by Marked for Death.
Scything Touch

2 6 - - Upkeep No
Target friendly Faction model gains Dark Shroud.
Dark Shroud - While in the melee range of a model with Dark Shroud, enemy models suffer -2 ARM.

2 SELF - - - No
Place the spellcaster anywhere completely within 6" of its current location, then its activation ends.

Theme Forces

Thoughts on Elara2

Elara2 in a nutshell

Elara is a straight-forward "in your face" type of caster. She has no means to protect her army, but she has the ability to get to the opponent fast with Boundless Charge. Scything Touch offers a damage-fixer while Marked for Death is a to-hit buff. Other than her feat most of what she does is single target so she likes self sufficient super solos and generally a smaller model count than some of her competition.

Feat thoughts

Her feat is a point and click sort of feat wherein you say "there be enemy, kick their ass!" or words to that effect and the melee core of her army does precisely that. On an already speedy army, Boundless Charge applied to everyone friendly within 14" of her, they move up the board in a hurry and clobber whatever's there.

Spell Thoughts

Whether she does it herself (unlikely) or via an Arc Node (more likely), she'll likely tag a key enemy piece/unit with Marked For Death to ease its removal (not least because -2 DEF and taking away Stealth is huge). She puts Scything Touch on a super fast model with 2" reach early on to gain as much coverage for that sweet -2 ARM.

Later on, she can use Blood Boon/Teleport to deal with lone models here and there and remain safe or chuck out an opportunistic Convection if needs be, and similarly with Boundless Charge.

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • She does very little outside her battle group, outside of her feat and her debuffs.
  • Retaliatory Strike is weaker for Retribution than most factions because Ret jacks rely on buffs from Arcanists, which don't apply to the Retaliatory attack.
  • For all Boundless Charge is a great spell, other Ret jack casters (notably both Vyroses) brawl better.
  • Remember that Sycthing Touch only affect models within the melee range of a single model. Two if you cycle it. Which causes some order of activation issues. You won't have the debuff everywhere at once.

Tricks & Tips

  • Her melee is useful if a little risky - she has apparition and charge for a 13" threat range (15" if she casts Boundless Charge on herself, but that does leave her Focus stack a kinda empty looking) - and can use Blood Boon to Teleport and get clear (when she doesn't use Blood Boon to cast a spell deep into enemy lines).
  • That said, she has all the tools for the occasion at her disposal (Scything Touch for ARM, Marked For Death for DEF and Apparition/Boundless Charge for distance)... just don't go off on one if you need all three at once!
  • Because her feat specifies model/unit, you only need one model from a unit to actually be in her control range for the entire unit to benefit.
  • Remember she, or more likely her arc-node, needs to be within 5" to mark Stealthed models for death. Otherwise the spell will miss automatically.

List Building Advice


Her main method of winning is to get the alpha strike charge and then grind the enemy into a pulp in melee. She gets extra distance thanks to her feat so she hits most foes first and then she turns the fight into a ground and pound slugfest having got the first attack in complete with free charges.

Theme thoughts

    Legions of Dawn    

Elara has the tools to run a Legion list that hits both hard and at breakneck speed that can abuse Boundless Charge and Flank on marshaled jacks.

  • Dawnguard Sentinels are your screening units and excellent at setting up Scything Touch and Flank thanks to their 2" reach and Vengeance in combination with Ghostly (immunity to freestrikes) and Boundless Charge.
  • Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir - He's a great solos in his own right, but giving him a jack to marshal turns it into a great assassination piece.
    • Consider a humble Harpy: Under Feat, she gains the combination of Flight and Ghostly (which is effectively Parry, Pathfinder and Acrobatics), Swift Vengeance and Boundless amount in a +5 movement buff, letting it threaten 13". Thanks to the free charge from Boundless she can charge for free and recieve Crush! With Flank and Scything Touch you are then looking at two initial MAT 8 POW 17 weaponmaster swings and one POW 15 weapon master swing from her light claw, after which she can buy or boost thanks to Arcanist Mechaniks, who can also buff her damage further.
  • Imperatus another fantastic Scything Touch target. A very durable frame, SPD 6, MAT 8(!), 2" reach and effective P+S 19 hurts! A lot!
  • Dawnguard Trident - Also a flying model, and an excellent one at that. A threat range of 22" with Flight and Ghostly is no slouch, especially with a slam melee weapon and up to 9 POW 13 shots and Reposition

    Forges of War    

All she does for mymirdons is Boundless Charge and her Field Marshal. Both are fantastic on any mymirdon but not enough to warrant losing the tactical nuisance of the Vyre chassis typically.

    Defenders of Ios    

  • Houseguard Halberdiers are your best platform for all your offensive buffs. Under feat, Desperate Pace and Hunter's Mark they theaten 15" (effective Parry and Pathfinder), and can hit hard with effective P+S 16 (Scything Touch, minifeat and Brutal Charge.)
  • Fane Knight Skeryth Issyen is a fast, durable solos with 2" reach. The perfect candidate to deliver Scything Touch where it's needed.
  • Arcantrik Force Generator Slam something over with it's momentum cannon, then tear it to shreds with ghostly Halberdiers.
  • Sylys free upkeeps on Scything Touch is good, since you'll want to cycle it often. The extra die on attack rolls is also really usedful to land Marked for Death on high DEF models (aka where it counts). The extra range is only situationally useful since she wants to channel a lot.
  • Anything shooty; Ghost Snipers, Heavy Rifle Teams, AFGs, ect. will apprechiate her removal of stealth from enemies.

    Shadows of Retribution    

She can do a fair bit here, too, partly fixing the one thing they struggle with, on top of their Remove From Play capabilities. Like the Defenders' lists it has even more raw basic speed, if less hitting power, but scarier solo support (Mage Hunter Assassins and the character Mage Hunters) and good models to put Scything Touch on (The Spears of Scyrah).

  • Narn - grants her sprint making it easier to safely use Blood Boon.


  • Eilish can be used for his Puppet Master if you really, REALLY, want to hit that Marked for Death.
  • For all that it's worth J.A.I.M.s charges 12" under her feat and is an effective P+S 13 weapon master under Scything Touch.


Elara prefers melee myrmidons with reach, to better use Retaliatory Strike and Scything Touch, as well as benefit from her feat and Bounding Charge. She also like Arc Nodes for channeling Convection and Marked for Death... so basically, she is a big fan of the Phoenix.

  • The Sphinx is a good, cheap heavy brawler with reach. Lower Def and higher arm than the Phoenix is better for Retaliatory Strike but it doesn’t have the utility of an arc node.
  • The Griffon Elara is fast but fleet and boundless charge create some pretty big threat ranges.
  • The Aspis speed and aggression is mainly what Elara offers her army running a few cheap shield guards can be taxing on her focus pool but worth it in the long run.

First Purchases

As of 2020.04 most veteran Retribution players agree that you should put pretty much the same group of models in every army list, regardless of caster. That group of models is:   [Show/Hide]
(Edit this list)
We go over why these models are so central to the army on the main Retribution page.

When you're running Elara2, you might want to adjust the above list by Placeholder



  • Rules released 2016.10 ... ish
  • Model released 2017.06

Other Retribution models

Retribution Logo.jpg       Retribution Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar

Elara2 - Falcir1 - Garryth1 - Garryth2 - Goreshade4 - Helynna1 - Issyria1 - Kaelyssa1 - Ossyan1 - Rahn1 - Ravyn1 - Thyron1 - Vyros1 - Vyros2

Warcaster attachments Fane Knight Guardian (Retribution) - Sylys Wyshnalyrr (Retribution) - Madelyn Corbeau (Mercenary)
Other Warjack Controllers Elara1 (BGC) - Sentinel Scyir ('Jack Marshal) - Artificer ('Jack Marshal)
Light Warjacks Aspis - Chimera - Gorgon - Griffon - Harpy - Siren
Heavy Warjacks

Aeternae - Banshee - Daemon - Discordia - Hemera - Hydra - Hypnos - Imperatus - Manticore - Phoenix - Sphinx

Colossal Hyperion - Helios
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines

Cyelna & Nyss Hunters - D Destors - D Invictors - D Sentinels - Heavy Rifle Team - H Halberdiers - H Riflemen - HE Swordsmen - HE Wardens - HS Arcanists - HS Battle Mages - HV Electromancers - MH Infiltrators - MH Strike Force - Ryssovass Defenders - Spears of Scyrah - Stormfall Archers
Special: Eiryss3 (CA) - Soulless Escort (WA)


Aelyth Vyr - Arcanist Mechanik - D Destor Thane - D Sentinel Scyir - Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios (1) - Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (2) - Eiryss, Fortune Hunter of Ios (4) - Elara, Tyro of the Third Chamber (1) - Fane Knight Guardian - Fane Knight Skeryth Issyen - Ghost Sniper - Hermit of Henge Hold - HE Warden Executioner - HS Artificer - HS Magister - Houseguard Thane - Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress Lys Healer - MH Assassin - Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios - Nayl - Priest of Nyssor - Scythe - Soulless Voidtracer

Battle Engines Arcantrik Force Generator - Dawnguard Trident
Theme Forces
Defenders of Ios - Forges of War - Legions of Dawn - Shadows of the Retribution
Refer to Category: Retribution of Scyrah Mercenary
This index was last updated: 2021.04

Video Battle Reports

Rules Clarifications

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Rules Clarification : Feat: Closing Darkness

  • Non-faction models are affected by Boundless Charge under her feat, because the "target friendly Faction" only applies when you cast the spell (whereas the feat doesn't have a target). (Infernal Ruling)

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Rules Clarification:  : Warcaster      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

  • General
    • Damage from a feat is neither an attack nor Damage Type: Magical (unless the feat says it is).
    • FOCUS (uppercase) is the stat printed on the warcaster's card. Focus (lowercase) refers to focus points a model currently has.
    • Your CTRL area is double your FOCUS stat, not double your focus points. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Casting spells or using feats is an anytime ability with the added restriction that you can't use them on the same turn you run even before you run.
      • See also the clarifications on Any Time abilities (below).
    • Some warcasters are also Battle Engines and thus follow all the Battle Engine special rules.
      • There is no particular interaction between the Battle Engine rules and the Warcaster rules.
    • Work out all damage modifiers (such as Decapitation doubling the damage that exceeds ARM) before reducing it with the Power Field. (Infernal Ruling)

  • Restrictions on "Any Time" abilities     (Edit)         [Show/Hide]
    • "Any Time" abilities can be used at any time during a model/unit's activation, except:
    1. Before any compulsory forfeiture of movement/action. See step 2 of the activation sequence, appendix A.
    2. After the model with the "Any Time" ability has had their activation end "prematurely". By this I mean you resolved something which includes the phrase "its activation ends". Examples include:
      • Running, failing a charge, or failing a slam.
      • Abilities that include "then its activation ends" (such as Reposition and Teleport).
    3. In between declaring your charge target and making your charge movement. (Infernal Ruling)
    4. In between completing your charge movement and determining whether it was a successful charge. (Infernal Ruling)
    5. When you're in the middle of moving. (Note: Impact Attacks count as being in the middle of movement).
    6. When you're in the middle of an attack. Which also includes effects that occur "after the attack is resolved".
      (Although the attack is "resolved" at Step 11, in terms of using an "Any Time" ability the attack is not "finished" until after Step 14. Refer to the first paragraph of Apdx A.)
    7. Your opponent interrupted your activation to trigger one of their own abilities (such as Countercharge).
    8. Warcasters/warlocks/etc can normally cast a spell or use their feat "At any time". However, there is a core rule saying they cannot do so on the same activation that they run. So, they are subject to all the same restrictions listed above, plus they can't cast/feat before running.
    9. Units: See below.

    • In general you can use "Any Time" abilities while you're knocked down or stationary (except Spells and Feats which specify you can't).
    • If you have a gun with a random ROF, you can use an "Any Time" ability inbetween rolling the number of shots and actually making the first attack. (Infernal Ruling)

    Units with "Any Time" abilities
    • You cannot use an "Any Time" ability before issuing/receiving orders. See step 1 and 2 of the activation sequence, appendix A.
    • A model in a unit can't use an "Any Time" ability after they run (Infernal Ruling) or fail a charge. Because that makes that specific model's activation to end even though the unit's activation is still ongoing, and you can't use abilities on models that are not active.
      • You can use an "Any Time" ability before running, however.
    • A model in a unit can't use an "Any Time" ability after anyone in the unit has begun a Reposition move. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Warcaster/Warlock Cavalry ( Edit )
    • Warcasters/Warlocks can't cast spells or use their feat while resolving Impact Attacks. Because Impact Attacks occur during movement - you can use spells or feat before moving, or after moving, but not during movement.
      • Exception: If your Impact target(s) include your charge target, then your movement has ended (refer rulebook, last paragraph of 'Impact Attacks') and thus you're fine to use "any time" abilities before starting the Impact attacks.

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Rules Clarification:  : Warcaster Unit or Warlock Unit     (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

This summary is specific to Warcaster/Warlock units. You may also want to check the Warcaster and Warlock pages respectively, for the "regular" rules clarifications.
  • All models in the unit count as part of the battlegroup. So, for instance, Butcher3's argus can be moved via his Energizer spell.
  • Warcaster units can have attachments. They can even attach units (such as the WSC). (Infernal Ruling)
  • The non-caster models are trooper models but are not normally Grunt models. Therefore they're not normally eligible for stuff like Revive.
  • Press Forward Order vs Spells cast at Any Time (Edit)
    • As of 2020.08, I have lost track of how this is supposed to work and I'm giving up until it is sorted properly. Refer to this thread for the latest ruling and follow-up questions.

  • Steamroller 2018
    • The non-caster models can contest scenario zones & flags.
    • The caster model cannot contest.
    • The caster model can control zones and flags by itself, but:
      • to control a zone, the entire unit remaining in play needs to be in formation.
      • to control a flag, the entire unit remaining in play must be within 4" of the flag.
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).
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Rules Clarification : Unit of Warcasters or Warlocks     (Edit)

  • Even though they're warcasters, if they're out of formation they suffer the normal penalties (can't make attacks, actions, spells, etc).
  • They can't upkeep each other's spells.
  • They can only dominate one SteamRoller scenario element at a time.
  • Each warlock/warcaster can have different upkeeps on them if those upkeeps are "target SELF" or "target model". If you cast an upkeep that is "target model/unit", that is the only upkeep any of them can have.
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).
  • The Legion Twins
    • Rhyas cannot dominate a zone while out of formation.
    • Rhyas can use the feat while out of formation.
  • Haley3
    • Only Haley Prime is an 'actual' warcaster model, and as such she is the only one that can dominate a scenario element.
    • The echoes can Control/Contest scenarios like a normal unit.
    • Haley Prime can dominate an element even if the echoes are out of formation.
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Rules Clarification:  : Magical Damage      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

* The "Damage Type: Magical" is not inherited by "secondary" damage from a weapon. That is, stuff like arcs (Electro Leap) or hazards (Scather). (Infernal Ruling)
  • All spells have "Damage Type: Magical" (refer errata).
    • This is inherited by "immediate" secondary damage (such as Eruption of Spines). (Infernal Ruling)
    • and might be inherited by "lingering" secondary damage (see below).
  • If a spell leaves a template in play that does damage to models that walk around in it, then:
    • if it is not described as a hazard it will do magical damage to models that walk around in it. (Example: Razor Wall)
    • if it is a hazard then it will not do magical damage to models that walk around in it. Instead, it does whatever damage type is specified by the spell description. (Example: Breath of Corruption).
    • (Infernal Ruling)
  • If a weapon/spell includes Magic Damage and another kind of elemental damage it will still damage Incorporeal models. Incorporeal models are not affected by the rule "if an attack does multiple types of damage and a model is immune to at least one it is immune to the entire attack."
    The phrase "immune to non-magical damage" should be interpreted as "immune to damage that doesn't include Damage Type: Magical" (not interpreted as "has immunity to Corrosion and Electricity and Cold and etc.")
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Rules Clarification : Blood Boon and/or Rites of Blood and/or Ritual Slaughter and/or Soul Food and/or Blood Weaver and/or Meat for the Beast     (Edit)

  • With reference to other abilities that occur "after the attack is resolved", the timing sequence is:
    • If you choose a non-offensive spell then it's resolved at Step 12.
    • If you choose an offensive spell then it's resolved at Step 14.
    • If you have another ability that triggers at Step 12 (such as Iona1 having Overtake), you can either cast a non-offensive spell and resolve both things at Step 12 in any order, or you can resolve the other ability at Step 12 then cast an offensive spell at Step 14. Note that you cannot cast an offensive spell at Step 14 then go back to Step 12 to resolve the other ability.
    • (Infernal Ruling for all of the above)
  • If you trigger the free spell from an attack that also grants a free melee/ranged attack (such as Rahera1 with Black Spot) then you can't have both an offensive spell and the free attack, because of the "attack-generating abilities" rule in the core rulebook. You can cast a non-offensive spell and get the free attack, though. (Locked Thread)
  • The free spell doesn't interact with abilities that change the COST of a spell. (Infernal Ruling)
    • For instance, if you trigger it while being affected by Lamentation then you can still cast a COST 3 spell (even though if you spent focus to do the same thing it would cost you 6 focus/fury).
  • (Rites of Blood only): The Priestess doesn't need to be in the caster's CTRL range to use her ability.
  • (Blood Weaver only): It's not tied to a specific weapon, and it can be triggered multiple times per turn.

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Rules Clarification : Apparition      (Edit)

  • If a model is B2B with you when you use Apparition then they will be exactly 2" away afterwards. So you can't get away from 'long reach' melee weapons.
  • Unit members must always be placed in formation. Refer to the "Placed" section if the core rulebook.
    • If a trooper can't be placed in formation (because it's more than 2" out of formation to begin with) then it can't be placed at all.
    • The unit commander is always "In Formation" by definition, so can be placed where he likes.
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Rules Clarification : Field Marshal      (Edit)

  • Field marshal only grants the ability to warjacks/warbeasts in the battlegroup, so (normally) the caster does not have the Field Marshal ability.
  • However if it is listed on the caster's card separately, such as on Magnus2, then they do have it. (Closed thread)
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Rules Clarification : Retaliatory Strike      (Edit)

  • "Basic melee attack" also includes Mount Attacks. Refer to the definition of 'Basic Attack' in the rulebook.
  • You can't make Retaliatory Strikes vs free strikes, because the free striker is defined to be in your back arc (regardless of the actual model's facings) and thus you don't have LOS to it. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Ghostly      (Edit)

  • Ghostly doesn't let you move through other models, just terrain.
  • Ghostly doesn't let you ignore damage from hazardous terrain. (Infernal Ruling)

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Rules Clarification : Boundless Charge      (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Convection      (Edit)

  • A warjack can benefit from Convection multiple times.
  • A warjack cannot go over its normal focus limit (which is 3 for most jacks) as a result of Convection. Refer to the Cortex rules.

Rules Clarification : Marked for Death - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Scything Touch      (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Dark Shroud      (Edit)

  • Dark Shroud only applies to your melee range, and this doesn't include behind you. Refer to the latest errata.
  • The ARM debuff still applies during a free strike.

Rules Clarification : Teleport - None yet. (Edit)