Legion Lesser and Light Warbeast Initial Impressions – MkIII

Next in the ongoing coverage for Legion of Everblight are the ubiquitous core of the Legion of Everblight’s identity, the Warbeasts.  All Warbeasts have a number of items in common with eyeless sight, pathfinder and/or flight being shared among all of them or obtainable in some way.  The terrifying entities of the Dragonspawn and Nephilim have compared to their MkII counterparts received several changes that have given them answers to old problems and issues with new problems.  First off eyeless sight functions how you think it does.  How do you blind something without eyes?  The logical answer is you don’t, and finally PP agrees; effects like Black Oil that cause the Blind effect, which is now shakeable, do not affect any Legion Warbeasts or Lylyth.  Sadly there’s a downside, and one that puts them in line with the rules; they no longer can ignore the forest for line of sight.  Stealth and concealment are unaffected by this change.  Another is the loss of Blood Creation on the Dragonspawn warbeasts.  Legion Warlocks are no longer safe from frenzy targets, and will go after them if they are not careful.

light afflictor

Speaking of which, Frenzy as well has changed to into a much more simplified list.  You just charge the nearest model, get boosted attack rolls, and if you moved 3″ or more its boosted damage like a charge.  Can’t charge?  Not much happens.  Already in melee range with something?  Bite it then.  Plain, simple, easy…..and I feel a little bit inconsequential.  Having someone frenzy is a loss of an activation, but you can now afford to have say a Shredder actively frenzy on your own heavy like a Scythean and it won’t do any damage on average if it’s very close.  I’m not a big fan of that change and I feel it takes away from their intended design of risk management, even with the loss of an activation.  Having a Warbeast go berserk is one thing, but letting a lone lesser intentionally frenzy on your own heavy and doing nothing is much worse in my opinion.  Legion and Skorne could both mitigate their fury issues quite well in MkII and while both have lost some of their tools on that front neither faction are exactly worried as long as there’s a Lesser Warbeast you can let go and it doesn’t matter where it goes into since you manipulated where it’ll frenzy into.  Carrying on from there lets take a look at each of these warbeasts and see what they bring.

Shredder – Leading off the pack is the most well known warbeast in the Legion of Everblight, the tiny Shredder.  Let’s get the obvious out of the way.  Rabid and Tenacity are gone from the Shredder.  There’s been plenty of tears and salt poured over those two changes, so let’s instead cover what he gained.  He gained Flank with another Warbeast, Scurry for an animus, and Adelphophagy.  Flank is frankly an improvement over Rabid.  It’s not across the board improved but the Shredder’s damage output has gone higher because of it.  His animus for Relentless Charge is very situational, but one never knows for the warlock.  And finally we have Adelphophagy.  The Shredders attacking each other is back, and they go after the nearest one.  Doesn’t matter if its friendly or enemy, they are on the hunt for one another.  Otherwise frenzy as normal.  He’s not going to appear as often, and that’s a good thing.  He’s still a monster, and he’ll get the job done when paired up.

Harrier – He’s annoying, he’s cheaper, and his animus is Dodge.  The Harrier blows.  The loss in DEF, Sprint, POW, the list goes on.  There are better options out there, and almost anything will be the right choice.  I still haven’t found anything to put him into lists, and I don’t find him being used any time soon.

Stinger – This guy was actually the lowest on my list of the 3 in MkII.  Now he’s ok.  He doesn’t blow up his own body anymore which is good, but poison is now a crit.  The animus is better but with Counterblast RAT 4 on the spray is just terrible.  The stinger is down to just 1″, but that spray does have assault so its something.  He’s odd, but I can at least understand some use for the Stinger.

Afflictor – The cheapest light warbeast in Legion, he still spawns an Incubus solo with that giant stinger/tail of his.  The blight is so strong in it he cannot be taken over still, and he traded in that godawful animus for the Neraph’s Attractor.  Sadly he’s very easy to hit and damage, a cost of how cheap he is, but with spawning a new model that can activate normally, it is a rare ability that can be valued quite well.  Only a few other models in the game are capable of doing this, and all of them spawn independent models.  I can see Kallus adding some of these to the army, and they provide a useful remove from play effect.

Blight Wasps – The Warbeast unit introduced along with Absylonia2 has largely been left unchanged.  It’s a recurring theme amongst the last few releases for Mk2 where they remained largely unchanged, and the Blight Wasps gained a permanent defense and losing Annoyance.  A fair trade that instead went to the Harrier.  Legion has since warmed up to these hunters and will most likely remain in a number of lists for Abby and possibly even Kryssa.  Cloak of Ash does help them survive gunshots coming their way.

Naga Nightlurker – Of all of Legion’s shooter warbeasts, the Naga is the only one to retain his RAT 6.  His defensive stats are terrible however the Naga is known for being a utility support piece, and out of the Light Warbeasts he is still the best with his animus Wraithbane.  The Incorporeal and Upkeep-hate is still strong with this serpent on the field, however it’s now restricted to just weapons.  This in particular hurts Vayl2 with her spell assassination, but she does have Chasten so it’s somewhat ok.  The rest of Legion’s Warlocks however appreciate the Naga on the field and anything to help ignore Arcane Shield, Defender’s Ward, etc. is going to be much appreciated as more upkeep warcasters are expected.  The only major change he got was removing Critical Poison for Critical Shadow Bind on his spit which kinda hurts but was never his major selling point.

Raek – Holy crap did he improve!  The Raek lost an inch on his tail and lost parry but traded that in for his new animus Still as Death which grants Countercharge.  On top of that he’s now gained Extended Control Range, something Legion players have wanted for our long-range stealth killer.  He’s no Hunter Warjack from Cygnar, but he’s much more mobile, and he still retains all of his previous abilities of Jump, Stealth, and Pathfinder.  With the new changes to Back Strikes the Raek is one of the deadliest scalpels Legion now has access to in the game.  Expect to see him a lot more often, but be wary of Reinholdt the Gobber.

Teraph – Outside of the Nephilim he’s our most expensive Warbeast in this category, but he’s changed enough to make him worth some consideration.  Like other parts of Legion his gun is now an AOE 4 and he’s one of the few warbeasts to still have Continuous Fire, albeit on a Critical Hit.  He’s still otherwise unchanged with Advance Deploy, Dig In, and Counterblast.  Honestly I don’t see him being taken all that much again.

And finally, the Nephilim.  These 4 all share two things in common: The highest threshold in the game and souls.  It’s something specific to the Nephilim due to how they are created.  Their roles have become a bit more enhanced, and all 4 will see more table time in the lifetime of the game.

Bloodseer – The last of the four to be released, he is also the cheapest of his kind.  Of the two with true flight, his job is magic support, where he acts as an accuracy buff for spells and adds on to the upkeep hate with increased cost for his animus.  He still can cast any animus but only a few are worth looking at such as the Naga’s, and his melee weapon gained critical knockdown.  With his lower MAT don’t expect much to happen there.

Protector – Our Shield Guard got better.  His animus Ornery makes our melee warlocks much more dangerous on the assassination run, and for Rhyas it becomes a bit humorous when you realize hit or miss she’s swinging back with a weapon master and critical decapitation.  His new ability though makes flying Warlocks very dangerous, which happens to be Guard Dog.  It’s been reworked to grant both Parry and +2 DEF in melee.  He can easily tag team with the Carnivean, who we’ll cover later, for defense on the Warlocks with +2 swings in both defense and armor.  Combined with a few other spells and it’ll help survivability on our warlocks go that much better.

Soldier – The original Nephilim is very basic and simple.  While not the strongest, he can target the branch/column needed to be destroyed against Heavies and Lights, easily fighting above his weight class.  Massacre now grants Overtake and is just easier to work with.  Not much else to say, he’s one of the missiles you fire and forget.

Bolt Thrower – So…remember how Lylylth2 lost her Snipe portion of the feat?  This guy has it in Animus form as Far Strike.  He’s bloody evil, and he has Quick Work now too so he can be more encouraged to get into the fight, but why you would is beyond me.  He’s still only as accurate as the Protector and Bloodseer.  No you’re better off firing his Ballista and going for Knockdowns.  You will see him paired with Lylyth and Vayl.  Saeryn might as well.  Still the most popular of the four.

Looking back, we’re going to see our usual suspects with the lights, and the lessers are going to drop off nearly off the map.  They are that bad, but the Shredders still have some hope with Flank and the increased damage they can bring.  It’s unknown where the Afflictor will end up, otherwise just like in Mk2 we’re not going to see much of a change with their use.  Heavy Warbeasts on the other hand….let’s just say even the Archangel Gargantuan has had rumblings.

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4 responses to Legion Lesser and Light Warbeast Initial Impressions – MkIII

There is one potential use for the Harrier: If you're using a Protector to boost up your defence, the Harrier's animus can shut down a lot of assassination runs.

It can, but I'm honestly not spending 3 points for it. Thagrosh2 can spawn one for free, the Spawning Vessel still makes them, and if you have Zuriel it's the same animus as well. The Harrier went from good hunter to what the hell what the hell.

The shredder is completely ineffective when considering the combined nerfs to flank (not against knocked down models), frenzy (no damage buff), and Adelphophagy, consider they must charge any shredder they draw a line of sight to when frenzying…making them subject to free strikes, etc.

Thags2 has little synchronicity with him now. The knockdown spell, (that flank does not work with), and the shredder’s useless animus makes them a bad combo when considering wasps or even stingers instead.

Ok….if Thagrosh2 is casting Scourge, he's not casting Manifest Destiny without exposing himself, a spell he is much more likely to use. The Flank nerf that everyone is freaking out on requires a Knockdown or Stationary effect. And frankly in Legion if either one happens, someone else or something else just showed up to the party and finished it off. The emphasis of that nerf in Flank is very blown out of proportion. The only faction that even has the right to complain is Cryx because they trigger it on a gang bonus of all things.

That animus is bad, fully agreed, but not all of Legion has pathfinder unfortunately. Glider is gone so options are needed to make sure it happens. But to say Thags2 has little synergy is also a false statement. The Shredder is capable of charging and getting a 5D6 and drop the lowest. He is more likely in this edition to get a bigger hit than in previous editions, and with Thags2 feat can be manipulated so that Adel. does not trigger. And Flank will still have the same output as a Rabid Shredder when it's not a charge.