Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Saeryn: Tier Thoughts

I've been toying around with Everblight tier lists for Lock 'n' Load's Blood, Sweat, and Tiers. (I am, alas, on the waiting list...).

I've had great fun with eVayl's, but on a whim I gave Saeryn's tier a go.  I've found it...interesting.

The Tier
T1: Advance Deploy your Spell Martyrs (if any), following restrictions:
Only flying beasts/Nephilim, no characters
Only units with flight
Shepherds/Sorceress on hellion/Spell Martyers

T2: Bring a Sorceress on a Hellion, gain +1 to starting roll

T3: Bring 2+ heavies with Flight, gain +2" DZ

T4: Bring 3+ Nephilim Warbeasts, gain a free Nephilim

How Deep?
This is the big question.  Honestly, T2 and T3 work together nicely; as the Hellion grants you some fury efficiency with flying heavies (read: Angeliusss...however the hell you spell it for plural) and your heavies are naturally swift.

Once you get to T4, well...then it gets interesting.  You CAN do T4 at 35pts, but it's pretty limited.  At 35, I have:

Saeryn [-5]
-Angelius [9]
-Angelius [9]
-Nephilim Soldier [5]
-Nephilim Protector [5]
-Nephilim Bolt Thrower [6]
-Nephilim Bolt Thrower [0]
Nyss Sorceress on Hellion [4]
Shepherd [1]
Shepherd [1]

This list has a glaring weakness - the shepherds.  If you can't hide them or shield guard them, you're in for a world of hurt.  Comically, 2/3 of your beasts CAN frenzy on your caster, an oddity for a Legion list.

In all seriousness, fury management IS an issue; you have 7 FURY on Saeryn and can generate a whopping 20 fury in a turn, and can cool off one Angel and change with a safety Fury or two on Saeryn.

Early on, this isn't a huge issue, as you're running everyone turn one (after getting out upkeeps and dumping fury).  When shooting, you've got Shepherds to cool off troopers, and maybe you can keep an Angel or two in melee.  Lose a Shepherd, or need to push?  You're going to take threshold checks.  On the bright side, at least Nephilim have a high threshold, and you'll want to learn about frenzy rules and getting things like the Soldier and/or Protector close to enemies.

You also are a bit low on melee power, outside of Armor Piercing strikes.  Armor-heavy enemy lists may make you consider scenario/assassination plans.  Similarly, higher-DEF heavies can give the Angels issues with their Legion-standard MAT6.

As a minor note, I like having a Harrier or other lesser to throw out as a Blight Bringer target, but at least you've got a Soldier for that, right? 

This list has a decent ranged game with Bolt Throwers (one of the best ranged attacks in Legion, between the POW, RNG, thunderbolt, and lack of damage type) and the boostable hand-cannons on the Angels.  You also have a SPD8 spray-bot that can go hunt support in a pinch.  Just note that spells don't really match up with a ride-by attack, alas.

While you ARE rocking a ton of Fury, note that Saeryn's feat favors a hefty battlegroup.  Your army will basically be untouchable in melee for a turn.  Which is nice.

You also have access to some wonderful movement shenanigans, between Repulsion and Thunderbolt, and you can always get slams off with the Protector and Soldiers.  Given the extended deployment zone and widespread flight, you also have an excellent mobility advantage.  You might even find a use for Massacre, as it IS extra movement and can give your melee beasties a free charge after the Sorceress bites it. 

Playing The Army
Early on, you'll throw up Respawn and possibly Banishing Ward.  Saeryn may grab Flight on turn one and charge up, or just meander up.  The Bolt Throwers and Angels grab good shooting lanes, the Soldier looks for slam targets or clumped-up infantry.  The Protector wanders around with Shepherds nearby, and generally waits to eat a transfer from Saeryn.

You actually have a decent selection of animi, as Saeryn enjoys Flight (hey, no innate pathfinder...) and Safeguard (keep that high DEF; not like ARM14 keeps you alive).  Repulsion is solid utility, and even Massacre can be fun for the extra inch of movement, especially if an Angel is going to go on some kind of Overtake stab-fest, or if you just need more fury for attacks/boosts on the beastie.

Some Tests
I've had several games with the list, and managed a few wins.  I managed a win against an eFeora list, as support solos  that rely on stealth/clouds to survive don't last against Bolt Throwers and Angelius shooting.  Add in 1-2 combat heavies, and a Protector to eat transfers and you're fine.

A pSorscha list didn't have enough time to fully activate, and again the shooting managed to KO a few important models (like sharpshooting manhunters, etc) and pull a flight/feat assassination run by dumping two Angels onto Sorscha's doorstep while tying up Beast 09.

A Circle pKaya 3x Warpwolf list thrashed me pretty soundly.  I misjudged threat ranges (half an inch difference is way too close for comfort...) and with their accuracy, yeah.  I managed to take a chunk out of his army, but losing the Angels and not focusing on scenario cost me.

I do like this list.  It's not what I'd normally take with Saeryn, but between this list and the eVayl triple-angelius list I have, I've learned to love the Angelius.  Bolt Throwers are solid, and playing with a free light is a hell of a tier benefit.

If I weren't going to go with a full-up T4 list, I'd probably rock something like:

Saeryn [5]
-Angelius [9]
-Angelius [9]
-Angelius [9]
-Nephilim Bolt Thower [6]
Nyss Sorceress on Hellion [4]
Shepherd [1]
Shepherd [1]
Spell Martyr [1]

You lose three Nephilim for another Angel and a Spell Martyr.  You get some hitting power, but I wonder if losing three friggin' lights is worth that.

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