Sunday, February 26, 2012

Warmachine the Way I See It: Warcaster Study, Grand Scrutator Severius

I'm moving on with my warcaster studies, but still hanging around with Menoth.  It makes sense that this happens as I'm growing in experience with the faction. 

My take on pSevvy
Grand Scrutator Severius.  The Big Cheese.  I actually tried to look up the word scrutator and found that it is someone who scrutinizes.  All of the fluff makes Severius out to not only be the undisputed head of the Protectorate of Menoth, but a scary dude who can look into your soul to discern whether or not a person is worth living and dying. The dude's fluff makes him out to be scary.  Consequently, he is a very handy warcaster for the Protectorate. 

Grand Scrutator Severius or pSeverius for short, is a great all-arounder.  He has pretty terrible stats with the exception of his focus, being 8, among the highest in the game.  What you take pSeverius for are his feat and his pretty stellar toolbox of spells. 

Let's talk about the feat first.  pSeverius' feat essentially shuts down an opposing warcaster for the next turn.  When in pSevvy's control area, models with the arc node ability can't use it and models with focus manipulation can't replenish focus for their the next turn.  This provides multiple threats to an opposing warcaster. First, the obvious effect is that you cause a caster in your control area to have no focus in the next turn.  Jacks won't have focus to cause trouble, spells can't be cast or upkept, and ARM can't be bolstered.  This is great.  This means you have a turn to get into position and possibly throw down a solid assassination attempt.  Even if you can't get to the caster, you have a full turn to position to hold objectives, clear enemy models, and strengthen fortified positions. 

We can't stop there though.  pSeverius has a great toolbox of spells.  He has two decent offensive spells and four upkeeps that can seriously bolster the efforts of your army.  Ashes to Ashes and Immolation can deal damage at alarming rates.  The fact that Ashes to Ashes also harms D6 enemy models within 5" of the intended taret means at you can clear out infantry fairly well.  Immolaion is a fairly standard ranged magical attack with the added benefit of occasionally cause the fire continuous effect on a model. 

The real stars of the game are pSevvy's upkeeps.  Eye of Menoth an Defender's Ward as insanely good.  Eye of Menoth gives a buff to attack and damage roles for models within pSevvy's control area.  This naturally synergizes with the Choir of Menoth's Hymn of Battle.  These two effects create some of the most destructive warjacks in the game.  Defender's Ward goes the the other way and provides a bonus to DEF and ARM for a model/unit.  This can make infantry units incredibly hard to shift or heavy warjacks nigh untouchable.  The Avatar of Menoth with Defender's Ward up has an impressive ARM 23. 

Alongside these two impressive spells come Death Sentence, a reroll for attack rolls.  This can make going for an assassination attempt more of a sureity. Vision is a really interesting spell that can be pretty situational, but at the same time, great if used in the correct situation.  A great example of some great synergy with Vision would be using it on a Revenger or Blessing of Vengeance.  Their repulsor shield rule states that if hit, after the hit is resolved, the model hitting is pushed back 1".  Coupled with Vision, you can prevent models without reach from even damaging these jacks which makes them incredibly resilient.  It can also help protect models with higher DEF since many hits miss anyway.  Vision provides extra insurance.

pSeverious also has a magical reach weapon with a P+S of 13, but if he is in combat, he is going to die.  Finally, he has an interesting ability called convert that is highly situational.  It basically states that when used, an enemy model in pSevvy's CMD range must pass a command check or become a friendly faction model for the rest of the game.  This sounds great, but it only works on a single model at a time and the model has to be a trooper.  Again, if you are close enough to use this, you are probably either about to win or you are going to die.

So, pSevvy has some great things going on.  He synergizes well with a variety of warjacks, units, and solos.  I think his feat works alongside pEiryss very well.  If you pop his feat at the right time with pEiryss positioned well, she can get into position to shoot a disruptor bolt for an added turn of your opponent's warcaster having no focus. 

As far as warjacks go, pSevvy really likes Blessing of Vengeance.  It is his signature warjack and can make his offensive spells hit harder.  pSeverius also work well with the Avatar.  Being able to put up Eye and Defender's Ward makes the Avatar a beast.  Couple that with a Choir and you have add +3 to attack and damage rolls to a model with P+S 19.  Watch heavy warjacks and warbeasts crumble to dust with this combo.  pSevvy has quite a bit of focus and 6 warjack points so he can handle a few more jacks as well.  I think he makes for a great ranged assassination caster and as such really likes Repenters, Reckoners, Redeemers, and Vanquishers.  Being able to strip a warcaster of focus and then pummel him/her/it with ranged attacks means that unless he is far back, there isn't a safe place near pSeverius' battlegroup.

Defender's Ward also means that strong infantry choices can be made even harder to shift.  Temple Flameguard with UA and Exemplar Errants with UA make a great core to your army. 

Support for pSevvy comes in the form of the usual suspects, Covenant, especially with multiple warjacks, Vassals of Menoth especially if using ranged warjacks, and the Choir.  I also like the spice that such units like Rhoven and pEiryss bring since they can offer additional options. 

Whatever you do, you will more than likely find pSeverius operating from the back using his impressive control area to send forth his army.  This means that he needs some thoughtful placement and protection, but if you can keep the pressure on your opponents, you may never need to worry about him.  pSeverius is certainly one of our best warcasters.  He provides answers for just about any situation and though he is fragile, he can threaten most opponents through good use of the tools he provides. 

Other Warcaster Studies:
The Harbinger
High Exemplar Kreoss
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