This model is available in one Prime Army, Dark Host. It can also be used in the Unlimited game mode. You can view the other Mk3 models that made it into a Legacy Army at this page.
Note that the rest of this page is about the model's Mark III rules.
Skarlock thralls are insidious creatures of blackest sorcery. Linked to their warcasters by bonds so powerful they can act in their master's stead, skarlocks move against enemies with a confidence born of a baleful intelligence.
- Attached - Before the start of the game, attach this model to a friendly Faction warcaster for the rest of the game. Each Faction warcaster can have only one model/unit attached to it.
- Soul Taker: Soul Cage - 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. This model can have up to three soul tokens at any time. This model can spend soul tokens for the following:
- Strength of Death - During its Combat Action, this model can spend soul tokens to boost one attack or damage roll for each token spent.
- Magic Ability [ 6 ] - This model can cast spells. Normally this uses up the model's Combat Action and as such is limited to one spell per activation, but exceptions do exist.
- Claws - 0.5" reach, P+S 6 melee weapon
| Dark Fire
| (★ Attack)
|When a living enemy model is destroyed by Dark Fire, the spellcaster gains the destroyed model's soul token regardless of the proximity of other models.
| Spell Slave
| (★ Action) or (★ Attack)
|Stats vary every time
This model must be in its warcaster/warlock's control range to make the Spell Slave special action. When it does, it casts one of the spells on its warlock/warcaster's card with a COST of 3 or less. This model cannot cast upkeep spells or spells with a RNG of SELF or CTRL. When casting an offensive spell, Spell Slave is a magic attack. Use this model's Magic Ability score when making magic attack rolls.
Thoughts on Skarlock Thrall
Skarlock Thrall in a Nutshell
The Skarlock Thrall is a spell-support solo who is terrible at its job. In earlier editions of the game it was a great solo and practically an auto-include in every Cryx list, but it got over-nerfed in the transition to mk3 in 2016. Then Dr Stygius was released in 2020 who does the same job, does it better, and does it for the same points cost.
Admittedly, they don't do exactly the same job because they have slightly different rules, but their main job (being a Spell Slave) ... Stygius wins hands down.
The model is available in Strange Bedfellows and it gains swift vengeance in this theme if you are not running the Corollary Warjack you can get some good threat vectors in order to use spell slave.
Combos & Synergies
- In Dark Host you can take a Skarlock Thrall without using a Mercenary slot. Stygius does use the Mercenary slot in that theme.
- In all other themes, either the Skarlock isn't available or Stygius doesn't use the Merc slot.
- Terminus gives it tough passively; something he can’t offer to Dr Stygius.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- There are two better options for Spell Slave; Dr Stygius already mentioned for 4 points, and the Withershadow Combine for 9 points.
- Those options don't exist in the Strange Bedfellows theme ... but instead the Skarlock competes with, and loses to, the Corollary for the Warcaster Attachment slot.
- What you can cast with Spell Slave is even more limited than it appears on the card. If the spell description includes a sentence that has "the spellcaster's battlegroup" or "the spellcaster's control range" you have to mentally delete that sentence from the spell effects, because the Skarlock has neither of those things. Examples:
- Locomotion targets a jack in the spellcaster's battlegroup. The Skarlock cannot cast Locomotion.
- Excarnate targets an enemy and, if you RFP that enemy, you create a free undead Grunt in your control range. The Skarlock can cast Excarnate, RFP the target, but he can't create a free Grunt.
- Siphon Bolt lets you remove focus from the enemy and then the spellcaster gains it. The Skarlock gets to remove the point of focus but no one gains it.
Tricks & Tips
- Keep him safe casting support spells until the late game, when you can risk (and/or need to risk him) getting him forward and casting an offensive spell.
Other Cryx models
Rules Clarification : Undead - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Attached (Edit)
- Attached models are not (normally) part of the warcaster's/warlock's battlegroup. (Infernal Ruling)
- (You need the Companion rule to become part of the battlegroup).
- Thus, attachments are not affected by battlegroup-only effects such as Energizer (unless they're a Companion).
Rules Clarification : Soul Cage - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Strength of Death - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Magic Ability (Edit)
- Nearly all Magic Ability spells require the spellcaster to use their Combat Action to cast the spell. As such it is not an "at any time" ability (like it is when warcasters/warlocks cast spells). This means ...
- You must complete your movement before you use a MA.
- A model in a unit cannot use its Combat Action to cast a spell until all members of the unit have completed their movement. (Infernal Ruling)
- You cannot make initial ranged or initial melee attacks on the same turn you use a MA.
- You cannot buy additional melee/ranged attacks after using a MA special attack. Refer to the core rulebook, "Special attacks listed as a rule of the model itself are neither melee attacks nor ranged attacks. The rules for these special attacks indicate the nature of any additional attacks that can be made afterward, if any."
- You cannot use a MA on the same turn you charge. Because a charge must (almost always) be followed by a melee attack.
- There are a few models that can use a Magic Ability without using their Combat Action. These models get around all the restrictions listed above.
- Models with Geomancy or Necromancy can use a Magic Ability at "any time" just like a warcaster/warlock.
- Models with Battle Wizard or Necrophage can make melee attacks then get a bonus "free" spell.
- Models with Combat Caster can cast a spell before charging, then do a normal charge + melee attack.
- Note that Battle Wizards, Combat Casters, etc have the option to use their Combat Action to cast a spell. Their special rule is in addition to the normal spell casting, not instead of.
Rules Clarification : Dark Fire (Edit)
- "Regardless of proximity" soul takers (Edit)
- The model which ignores distance doesn't always get the soul. Abilities which say you "can't" collect souls (such as Soul Ward) trump it, due to the general rule that "can't trumps can".
- If there are multiple models that all have the "regardless of proximity" clause, then you randomise who the soul goes to. (Infernal Ruling)
Rules Clarification: : Spell Slave (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)
This Rules Clarification is very similar to the ones for Necromancy and Geomancy (since all 3 are very similar abilities). Where Spell Slave is unique, the text has been coloured blue.
Who does the casting
- It is the model with Spell Slave that does the casting, not the warcaster. (Infernal Ruling)
- It's not anything simple like "the warcaster gets an extra spell" during the warcaster's activation.
- Nor is it the "Spell Slave acts like an arc node". (On that note, Spell Slaves can't use arc nodes).
- Any buffs/debuffs currently on your warcaster/warlock are completely irrelevant to the Spell Slave's casting.
- For stuff that interacts with spellcasters (such as Witch Hunter) it is the location of the Spell Slave that matters, not the location of the warcaster.
- If the Spell Slave is within an area of "models cannot cast spells within this area" effect, it cannot cast spells. Regardless of where your warcaster is.
- If the warcaster is within an area of "models cannot cast spells within this area" effect, that has no effect on what the Spell Slave can do.
When/how does a Spell Slave cast
- Spell Slaves use their Magic Ability to perform either a (★ Attack) or (★ Action).
- Because you use your Combat Action to do (★ Attack) or (★ Action) you must complete your movement before casting a spell (unlike warcasters).
- Typically, you cannot cast a spell after charging, because instead you must use your Combat Action to make a melee attack.
- If you forfeit your action, or are affected by a enemy abilities that prevents you using your action, you will be unable to cast spells.
- After casting a spell, a Spell Slave's activation ends (unlike what happens when your warcaster casts spells) because it has now completed both its move and its action.
- Spell Slaves do not pay the full cost of a spell, so are unaffected by stuff which changes the COST of a spell; such as Lamentation. (Infernal Ruling) or Scaverous's feat (Infernal Ruling)
What spells can they choose to cast
- A Spell Slave cannot cast spells with a range of SELF or CTRL or with a COST more than 3, or that are an UPKEEP.
- In addition to this, a Spell Slave is heavily limited by the definition of 'Spellcaster'. Specifically:
- Spell Slaves can't cast spells that use the phrase "Spellcaster's battlegroup" because (most) spell slaves aren't in the battlegroup.
- Spell Slaves cannot benefit from anything that occurs in the 'Spellcaster's CTRL area' because they don't have one. (Infernal Ruling)
For instance, a Spell Slave that casts Excarnate will not be able to summon a new grunt.
- Spell Slaves cannot benefit from spells that give the caster Focus. Such benefits are limited to models with the 'Focus Manipulation' rule, which only warcasters have.
For instance, a Spell Slave that casts Siphon Bolt would still take focus from the enemy, but won't gain any focus itself.
- Sometimes a Spell Slave can cast a cast a spell, but they will miss out on some of the benefits of the spell (as described above)
- A Hordes Spell Slave cannot cast animi, because they're not "spells on the warlock's spell card".
How can they boost the spell
- You can not use focus that is on the warcaster to boost spells that the Spell Slave casts. (refer rulebook section on using focus to boost: only the model with focus on it can spend it, and only during its own activation)
- Spell Slaves can only boost if they have a special rule allowing them do so - for instance, the Skarlock Thrall can spend soul tokens on spells via its 'Strength of Death' ability.
- The Spell Slave doesn't gain any buffs/abilities that are on your warlock/warcaster (such as True Sight).
- The Spell Slave cannot channel spells through arc nodes. You can only channel through nodes in your CTRL area, and none of the three models have a CTRL area.
- The Spell Slave can use spells like Annihilation to gain enemy souls. But generally they will be unable to use the soul tokens so they will stay on the Spell Slave for the rest of the game (doing nothing). (Infernal Ruling)