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| Skarlock Thrall |
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
|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.
- Other Factions
Thoughts on Skarlock Thrall
Skarlock Thrall in a Nutshell
When mk3 started the Skarlock was redesigned to be an offensive solo that pops off Dark Fire or some other "zap" spell each turn, and occasionally moonlights as a support solo with non-offensive spells. However his durability is terrible for playing near the frontline, and also most players would prefer the opposite model design - a support solo that occasionaly zaps stuff (which is how he worked in mk1 and mk2). So this guy tends to get skipped over in favour of other options.
The Skarlock comes with a two glaring drawbacks: Competition for the Warcaster Attachment slot, and competition to be a Spell Slave.
- Since mk3 began in 2016 he has competed with The Withershadow Combine, who also have Spell Slave (but are better at it) and do a bunch of other stuff too. His only saving grace was that he costs 4 points whereas the WSC cost 9.
- In early 2020 even this narrow advantage disappeared, because Doctor Stygius was released and Stygius also has Spell Slave (and is better at it), does a bunch of other stuff, and costs the same as a Skarlock.
- The Skarlock still has some very narrow applications for when you can't get Stygius, too specialised for me to bother describing here, but other than that the Skarlock Thrall has been replaced by Doctor Stygius.
- Within the non-Cryx Strange Bedfellows theme he doesn't compete with Stygius and the WSC ... but instead he competes with the Corollary.
Combos & Synergies
Some casters could do with a Spell Slave, but don't need the full suite of abilities that the WSC bring.
- Pirate Queen Skarre only needs a spell slave to cast Ritual Sacrifice. She also has 1 upkeep, but it doesn't get cast most games. Therefore for her the Skarlock is a better choice than the Withershadow Combine.
- A Skarlock can cast Ritual Sacrifice on itself. So it plus three Scrap Thralls gets you 4 turns of the spell at a very low cost.
- Deneghra1 has two spells a slave can cast: Ghostwalk (super useful) and Venom (which only very occasionally you'll want to Spell Slave).
She has two upkeeps so on paper the WSC are a better choice, but these upkeeps are so deadly that often you don't need to upkeep them. Therefore for her the Skarlock is a comparable choice than the WSC.
Drawbacks & Downsides
- Major drawback: The Spell Slave competition mentioned in the Nutshell section.
- As well as the obvious restrictions listed on the card (no upkeeps, no SELF, no CTRL, no COST 4+), you're also limited by the definition of "spellcaster" which renders almost every support spell the Skarlock could potentially cast as near-useless. The reason is that if the spell description includes a sentence that has "the spellcaster's battlegroup" or "the spellcaster's control area" you have to mentally delete that sentence from the spell effects, because the Skarlock has neither. Two examples:
- Excarnate lets you RFP an enemy and create a free grunt in your control area. The result: The Skarlock can RFP them but he can't create a freebie.
- Siphon Bolt lets you remove focus from the enemy and then the spellcaster gains it. The result: 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.
- Released way back in Warmachine: Prime (2003)
- Sculptor: Chaz Elliot
Other Cryx models
Who does the casting
When/how does a Spell Slave cast
What spells can they choose to cast
How can they boost the spell