Lord Exhumator Scaverous
| Lord Exhumator Scaverous |
Scaverous has served the Nightmare Empire for many centuries. His mortal life as a historian and arcanist who dabbled in the black arts was but a harbinger of the work that has consumed him since. Bestowed the gift of undeath for his obsession with and skillful pursuit of knowledge, Scaverous was immediately put to work, first in the Archive of Skell and later abroad to gather intelligence. He spent decades specializing in those exacting necromantic arts required to unbind the tongues of the dead, to manifest their shades from echos left on their bones and force from them answers to his questions.
- 1 Basic Info
- 2 Thoughts on Scaverous
- 3 List-Building Advice
- 4 Other
- Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome. (Click the link for a full rundown.)
- Undead - This model is an undead model and not a living model.
- Knowledge of the Damned - When a model in his CTRL makes an attack or damage roll, Scaverous can spend a soul token to make that model reroll it.
- Soul Taker: Cull Soul - This model can gain soul tokens. When a living enemy model is destroyed within 2" of this model, this model gains the destroyed model's soul token. After this model replenishes focus during the next Control Phase, replace each soul token with 1 focus point.
- Avernus - 2" reach, POW 6, P+S 14 melee weapon.
- Death Ward - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep
- Target friendly Faction model/unit gains +2 ARM. If an affected warjack is damaged, you get to choose which column suffers the damage. Models are not affected while out of formation.
- Excarnate - Cost 3, 10" range, POW 13
- If this spell boxes a living enemy warrior it is RFP'd. Then you can add to play one Grunt to a friendly Cryx small-based undead unit in your control range. The Grunt is placed within 3" of the caster, in formation, and must forfeit its Combat Action this turn.
- Feast of Worms - Cost 4, 10" range, 4" AOE, POW 12, Upkeep
- 1) Enemy models in the AOE suffer -2 ARM (so the POW is effectively 14), 2) Scaverous gains souls from living models that are desteoyed while in the AOE, and 3) The AOE remains in play as long as the upkeep is paid.
- Icy Grip - Cost 2, 8" range, Offensive upkeep
- Target warrior model/unit suffers -2 DEF and cannot run or make special attacks unless they have Cold Immunity.
- Soul Harvester - Cost: 2, 6" range, Upkeep
- When target friendly Faction model/unit destroys a living enemy model with a melee attack, the caster gains the destroyed model’s soul token regardless of the proximity of other models.
- Telekinesis - Cost 2, 8" range
- Place target model completely within 2" of its current location. When Telekinesis targets an enemy model, it is an offensive spell and requires an attack roll. A model can be placed by Telekinesis only once per turn.
Feat: Black Gate
Black Gate has 3 effects, all of which lasts for one round:
- While in Scaverous' control range, friendly Cryx models gain boosted magic attack rolls.
- When Scaverous casts a spell, reduce the COST of the spell by 1.
- When an enemy model casts a spell while within Scaverous' control range, increase the COST by 1.
- Black Industries
- Dark Host
- The Ghost Fleet
- Infernal Machines
- Scourge of the Broken Coast
- Slaughter Fleet Raiders
Thoughts on Scaverous
Scaverous in a nutshell
Scaverous is a spellslinger caster, who enables his army to do their job better. He can debuff ARM through Feast of Worms, has control elements from Icy Grip, but his main shtick is Telekinesis and Soul Harvester. On feat turn he can put out 7 telekinesis, all of them with boosted attack rolls. And if you got souls on the turn before, you can spam even more.
His model does look like a melee powerhouse, his DEF/ARM is okay, and Thresher on his 2" weapon is good - but despite all this, he doesn't want to get in melee. He'll be spending nearly all his focus stack every turn, leaving him reasonably vulnerable to assassination.
In an ideal world you'd use his feat the turn after you've gorged on souls, so that you have plenty of focus to sling spells around. But this would mean that you wouldn't use your feat until Turn 3 (given that you're unlikely to gorge on souls on turn 1) and often Turn 3 can be too late.
Instead, Scav often prefers to use his feat on Turn 2, just as the lines engage, to spam Telekinesis, to land a much-needed debuff, or Excarnate some Grunts into play. This can help him get the alpha strike and start the attrition war in his favour.
Last thought: it can be tempting to fill your army up with spellcasters to maximise on the feat, but just be careful you don't overload on fragile mages and leave yourself too few points to spend on "boots on the ground" combat troops.
- Death Ward is best on a high-value warjack who doesn't want Scav's Soul Harvester upkeep, to keep that warjack alive longer.
- Erebus is a good choice, as are colossals.
- Any jack with ARM 18 or higher, as stacking an ARM buff on an already-high ARM is just good sense.
- Alternatively, you could put it on a unit of high-ARM infantry. Bane Riders and Bane Knights with Death Ward are ARM20 (when B2B for Knights) and ARM22 against shooting and magic with a Wraith Engine. Combine with Darragh Wrathe for even more ARM skew.
- Feast of Worms is an expensive spell, but well worth it.
- It can be used for pure offense (vs clumped-up troops like Durst or Trollbloods), for extra soul-collecting, and sort-of as a board control element. If some high-ARM enemy are out of range, you can land the AOE in front of them and say "come towards me, and you'll be dust next turn."
- It can circumvent some forms of anti-magic tech that prevent targeting; you can run a Machine Wraith or TK an enemy model over, target them, and clip the warded model you want to debuff.
- It has slight skornergy because if you're throwing it at easily-killed models to gobble their souls, then the ARM debuff is likely overkill; and vice versa.
- You're generally putting Icy Grip out for the DEF debuff and let your army hit more reliably. Other applications include:
- Put it on a slow warcaster/solo/unit early in the game, to keep it out of the fight. Telekinesis it backwards to add insult to injury.
- Put it on a unit of spellcasters (like Hex Hunters) that rely on using a Special Attack to cast a spell. Without that, they can't act in combat at all.
- Soul Harvester is your main source of soul-income. It is best going on a unit that can a) quickly close the gap with the enemy, and b) can reliably kill infantry, preferably in droves.
- Soul Hunters or Bane Riders are a good choice, thanks to their SPD and number of attacks.
- I've heard people suggest Bloodgorgers with Gerlak, because Berserk + Overtake lets them "Pacman" through enemy units, but I think they're a bit slow to be ideal. On the other hand, you only need 1 or 2 to make it to the enemy to start a Pacman, and Telekinesis on 1 or 2 guys isn't hard.
- The Harrower can be decent thanks to its 2" Thresher ability.
- Telekinesis is, hands-down, a fantastic utility spell.
- Enemy warjack out of your charge range? Move your own jack 2" forward. Still too far away? Move the enemy 2" closer. That's a 4" threat range extender!
- Move enemy models 2" straight backwards, so they don't have range to charge/attack you next turn. While you're at it, spin them around so they can't declare charges and so you get the back strike bonus.
- Move enemy models out of scenario zones.
- Move enemy models into your Feast of Worms, then gang up on them.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- As a spellslinger with 4 upkeeps, Scaverous doesn't play well with anti-spell stuff, particularly anti-upkeep stuff.
- Despite being modeled as a badass robot dude with a huge scythe, he almost never wants to get into combat.
- With only MAT 6 it's best you forget about Thresher. Although with Icy Grip he can push himself to effective MAT 8 vs warrior models, which are his preferred Thresher targets.
Tricks & Tips
- Don't forget that Feast of Worms' ARM debuff applies before the damage roll. So you'll be doing:
- Effective POW 14 vs the model directly hit
- Effective POW 8 blast damage vs enemy models hit
- Actual POW 6 blast damage vs friendly models hit
- Using Star-Crossed from Wrong Eye with rerolls from Scaverous can be a very potent combination.
- The "Spanish Inquistion" tactic
- Warning: This is a high-cost, low-reward venture. You want to avoid using it, if possible.
- But sometimes you're forced to be the 2nd player, your opponent advances very aggressively, just outside of your threat range. Furthermore, they're poised to feat on their turn 2 to lock you out of the scenario and/or prevent you making any meaningful attacks.
- Net result: you've got nothing to attack on your turn 1, and very little to attack on turn 2. You can try and play defensively for 2 turns and hope enough of your army survives to give you a meaningful turn 3, or you can try something nobody expects.
- Feat at the start of your turn 1 and only cast Telekinesis, and cast it as many times as possible - Deathjack, WSC, Skarlock, Misery Cage, and/or Blood Priestess can all help here.
- Use this to launch your army straight into those aggressively-positioned models, that weren't expecting all your threat ranges to grow by 2" (or 4" if you TK the enemy too) on turn 1.
- Hope like hell that this surprise turn 1 attack upsets your opponent's plans sufficiently for you to stay in the game.
- Severa's "Mini-Hellmouth" feast
- Severa Blacktide has a Chain Attack which will pull models closer then do a POW 12 to everyone in an AOE, similar to the Hellmouth spell.
- This creates an interesting synergy with Scaverous's Feast of Worms spell - his spell will increase her Chain Attack to effective POW 14, and she will drag more models into the Feast AOE for him to gobble their souls.
- The downside is that you want an enemy model in the ideal position that can survive both the Feast of Worms being cast at them, and Severa shooting them twice, but has enough models clumped up for you to get the souls. Basically you're looking for a heavy warjack surrounded by light infantry.
As an army-enabler, he doesn't really have one strategy. Instead he has a flexible toolbox that allows him to adapt to the flow of the game. Unfortunately, this can leave new players floundering with "Analysis Paralysis" where they spend so long thinking about what he could do with his focus this turn, they lose sight of the overall game and let the win slip through their fingers. To alleviate this, I suggest you choose one of the following strategies, build your list to capitalise on it, then play that list to death before picking another strategy.
- Telekinesis-enabled assassination
- Figure out if any of your models can charge the enemy caster (ignore everything between them). Don't forget to add 3" to your threat range. Now that you've checked that, start spamming TK to move anything blocking your charge lane out of the way, then charge and go to town.
- With this strategy, you'll probably want to have 2-3 fast, hard-hitting assassins in your army list. You spread them out the turn before the assassination, to saturate your opponent with threat vectors and maximise the chance they leave at least one with a "gap" to charge through (or at least a "gap" you can create with a minimum number of TK).
- Ideally, you won't have to cast TK too often and you'll have enough focus left to cast either an Icy Grip or Feast of Worms on the enemy caster.
- Telekinesis-enabled attrition
- In this strategy, you're looking to get the first strike, preferably against your opponent's most high-value targets. They'll try to keep them away from your army, and you'll just TK yourself and/or them closer, so that you get the charge.
- You should also keep an eye out for important support models (like Choir and the Krielstone) that are trying to hide. Then use TK to bring them forward where you can either shoot them or charge them.
- This strategy doesn't work very well with and/or against troop-spam lists - there's simply too many guys to cast TK on in any one turn.
- With this strategy, you'll probably want one or two heavy-hitters that you can TK forwards and then charge the enemy. You also might want a bit of shooting in your list, to kill any screening units that are trying to block you from getting at the high-value targets.
- Plain attrition
- Here, you're playing with and/or against a troop-spam army, where there are no obvious high-value targets worth TK-ing. Instead what you're doing is throwing out Icy Grip and/or Feast of Worms to debuff the enemy to the point where your army can kill them, preferably faster than they kill you.
As an army enabler, Scaverous does quite well in any theme. However, he does like something that can hit hard (like Dark Host) because his only ARM debuff is an expensive Cost 4 spell.
As mentioned earlier, Scav is an army enabler so he can take almost anything and help them do their job better. That being said, if you're looking for a starting point:
- Arc nodes. Scaverous spends most of his focus each turn, so he likes to hide at the rear of the battlefield.
- You want decent targets for his Soul Harvester and Death Ward upkeeps - refer to the Spell Thoughts section above.
- Warwitch Sirens can alleviate his focus burden by Empowering his jacks, and on feat turn their magical sprays become very powerful.
- Misery Cage can feed him extra focus.
- Similarly, Cephalyx Overlords have magical sprays that are great on feat turn.
- A Skarlock, Withershadow Combine, Blood Priestess, or Deathjack are debatable choices.
- On one hand, the only spells they can cast from his card are Excarnate and TK. And if/when they cast Excarnate, they don't get to create a Grunt (because they have no CTRL range).
- On the other hand, an extra TK each turn is very useful. Also, they'll benefit from his feat.
- I personally think the WSC are worth it for the free upkeep, reroll, and that they'll get boosted Dark Fires on feat turn.
- The Blood Priestess is also good for the free upkeep, Sucker, and potential extra TK.
- Originally released in the Warmachine: Wrath expansion (2011)
Other Cryx models
Rules Clarification : Feat : Black Gate
| * 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)
| Resolving the attack|
Under this heading, the word "Thresher" is used interchangeably for "Flashing Blade" and "Cyclone" too
Flashing Blade only