Resuming from where we left off, we’re going to look at the second half of Legion where the power casters from the previous edition live, and they have changed in very different ways. Of particular note a few of them lost their tiers that were incredibly popular during MkII: Rearguard, Machinations of Shadow, and Army of Annihilation. It’s something to consider with how they used to be played, though FA changes have mitigated some of the loss.
Rhyas, Sigil of Everblight – Starting off with the sword wielding twin Rhyas, her first form has not altered since her MkII Errata giving Antiphon 2″ Reach. Rhyas herself despite her 5 Fury wasn’t necessarily the issue for the most part, Legion’s subpar units were. With an overall improvement to infantry, her spell list of Dash and Occultation will still help keep them surviving for a bit until they make contact with the enemy. Her signature spell Rapport has received a minor yet substantial improvement, trading away the free transfer for what is effectively the rule Long Leash. To summarize, she no longer has to keep the warbeast with this upkeep spell in her control range of 10″ anymore as it becomes double. Be wary of upkeep hate because a heavy that far out will be lost to her for a good turn or two, unable to pull the fury and exposing herself to an assassination. The feat stayed the same and works the same way, but with Back Strikes no longer needing to start behind the target Swordsmen, Ogrun, Hex Hunters and herself can put in a lot of damage with better accuracy now, especially with critical Decapitation. Just watch out for the retaliation.
Saeryn and Rhyas, Talons of Everblight – Possibly the most difficult set of Warlocks in the entire game to manage Fury-wise in your head, the twins have received a number of rules changes mainly stemming from the changes to the core rules about charging your own models, etc. They still retain the same stats as in MkII with a few changes to their spells, abilities, and feat. Of particular note they can attack each other, but its NEVER recommended unless you really want to give your opponent the advantage and get rid of your own feat. Additionally the twins can no longer transfer to each other, enabling another transfer to a warbeast not in one of the two’s control range but retained being a Channeler to one another. In regards to the spell list, Saeryn has the only change with Marked for Death, removing the line regarding no need for line of sight anymore. Rhyas still keeps her parry and acrobatics, while keeping Riposte and turning it into a Granted ability to help Saeryn. The single biggest change out of everything is that they have a lot more Warbeast points, jumping from +1 to +24. In comparison Bethayne, who started with more Warbeast points in MkII, now has less at +20.
Saeryn, Omen of Everblight – One of two very common warlocks in MkII, Saeryn has changed significantly with her spells and like Bethayne a completely reworked Feat. Respawn received a simple changed that became universal among placement effects, making it a completely within as opposed to within and no longer can be used by Gargantuans. Her signature spell Blight Bringer is not even remotely close to how she used it. It’s now an offensive spell, AOE 5, range 10 and very expensive at 4. The side effects of the spell are not anti-infantry anymore, and instead effect warjacks and warbeasts like Absylonia1’s Blight Burst. Her feat is another that changed significantly and was covered in Privateer Press’ Insider on Legion of Everblight. To recap she now gives her army, not battlegroup, +3 ARM while her battlegroup gains Retaliatory Strike. It’s a one-time swing that may do some damage so she’ll want some strong Heavy Warbeasts or even the Archangel.
Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight – No more Gargantuans coming back to life! Aside from that major change to his feat he saw a grand total of five changes. He, along with his Messiah form, have tough and do not need to use the new rule Spirit Tap. The Athanc provides all the Fury he wants. No cutting from his life, nothing. He is sustainable on his own. Draconic Blessing is now the bane of Menoth’s existence, granting Immunity: Fire. His new spell Twisted Form is a reworked Bad Blood that is no longer an upkeep, still can only be cast once a turn, and it adds -2 FURY as an additional effect against Warbeasts. Otherwise he did not change much…
Thagrosh, Messiah of Everblight – …and the Messiah changed even less! Dragon’s Blood now has a useful secondary effect giving out the Corrosion continuous effect while still keeping the +2ARM and Blood Spawn now just requires the damage not be transferred away to spawn a new Lesser Warbeast. Do a point and Thagrosh suddenly has a new buddy. His battlegroup will still get plenty of movement and with Manifest Destiny they’re going to hit in melee.
Vayl, Consul of Everblight – Vayl, the cause of so much of the stagnation in Legion’s MkII lists for years, that she has a completely reworked spell list in MkIII. Only Icy Grip, Admonition, and Occultation remain from the transition. The other spells have been traded in for Boundless Charge, Chasten, and Deadly Storm. Boundless Charge remains what it was in MkII and in Legion is a big boost for a lot of models in the army, especially those lacking Pathfinder such as Typhon. Charging for free is also a more recent universal concept in Legion so the additional fury management is very helpful. Speaking of which Vayl herself can remove an additional fury point but the proximity is very close for comfort. I’d rather not have to worry about it but it is there. With the removal of Purification from every army that’s not the Protectorate, all the warcasters and warlocks got different versions of spells that do something similar. Vayl’s…sucks. While very cheap, it requires damaging the model and with a POW 12 the amount of leverage is not that good depending on what upkeep spell/animi it is you’re trying to remove. Deadly Storm is a bit more thematic with cold damage, but compared to Obliteration isn’t as large and -2 on the POW. Really the rest of her abilities haven’t changed but she isn’t the offensive powerhouse she used to be. Most likely we’ll see her enabling her army to put out the damage instead of herself doing the heavy lifting at times. Her feat remains unchanged…though with the spell list changes it might as well have.
Vayl, Disciple of Everblight – Which brings us to the last warlock, Vayl1. Her spells did not change except for 3 things that aren’t renames. Leash is now a directly towards movement and Incite…Legion opponents, brace yourselves for this one. It went up by one in cost but now she’s not Battlegroup-centric. Her entire army will benefit from the accuracy and damage buff put in place by her command range. The silver lining is that Rampager is gone. Her feat Cat and Mouse has received a bit of an edit. She herself does not benefit from the feat but she doesn’t need to check on enemy models either. An early or late-game feat that allows for great repositioning and without having to necessarily expose herself to danger. Dark Sentinel and Talion both changed as well, with Dark Sentinel including that it must be an advance of some kind during the normal movement to trigger on opponents and Talion changing to just 5 points of damage to transfer away to an enemy warbeast. Vayl’s focus here has changed a bit but with the inclusion of Incite to her army now more choices can be taken on what can help take advantage.
So looking over everything our 3 most common choices have changed significantly for MkIII in competitive play compared to MkII. This isn’t bad or good just different, which may allow an expansion in builds which was ultimately the issue with Legion in MkII. Both Vayls and Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight had specific builds that more or less stagnated the army for most of MkII and for that I am glad to see the changes. Further analysis is noted that the warlocks that focused on infantry saw less change while our warbeast-based warlocks, except for Abyslonia2, saw a number of change. The biggest changes though go to Bethayne who honestly was too easy to counter in MkII. Her lists tend to focus on magic and back then was incredibly easy to counter. With a refocusing on both sides of the coin, she feels a bit more generalist but not to a point where she’s bland. I’m honestly excited to put Legion through its paces again. Next time around I’ll be going over the Warbeasts of Legion and what they mean for our Warlocks.