Every now and again something comes along that just blows your mind. It’s been forever since that happened to Cryx, but now it has. The name is Aiakos and he’s a Journeyman Warcaster, which is something I’ve been wanting since my very first day with Cryx.
Holy fucking shit the artwork is amazing! I opened the rules expecting to find another model with zero actual use on the table, but the more I look at him the more I see great potential and unrivaled flexibility. You have the rules so we can skip the boring parts and get right to the core of it, but did I mention he’s only three points!
- Melee: He has huge non-linear threat, with up to five attacks in a round. He has respectable MAT and he’s in a faction full of debuffs. If you field him with pSkarre / pDeneghra, and run in a Bane Thrall, or something else to apply Dark Shroud, this guy stands a fair shot at one-rounding a Khador Juggernaut. Yes, this makes perfect sense for a three point solo, now shut up!
- Survivability: He can be DEF 14 & ARM 19 with Escort up and full camp. This would be fairly easily dispatched, but the fucker has stealth! This is just lovely, and allows us to put some expensive stuff on him without being vulnerable. Stealth is the perfect defense for a guy with his stats, as Gun Mages won’t dent him and high powered shots rarely ignore stealth.
He also has a magical Harpoon (if I ever manage to pull out incorporeal eDeneghra from behind her own lines… just saying…), which could be interesting with his long threat range when jumping. Then there’s his spell list, and while I was crunching numbers on Deathbringers I suddenly noticed another aspect of Aiakos.
- Assassination: Deathbringers also affects himself, so with several of our casters Aiakos has a real shot at bringing down the more squishy Warlocks. With pSkarre he hits DEF 14-15 most of the time with Dark Guidance (add Puppet Master for fun and profit), has three attacks after casting Deathbringers, and does 2d6+17 damage on her feat round, while negating Tough, Healing, and Transfers. There are many Warlocks that will go down to Aiakos, which again is perfectly fair for a single three point solo character.
Escort is the money shot though, so let’s take a look at the options we have with him. There are several categories of Jacks, so let’s begin with the ones that absolutely jizzed their pants when reading his rules.
- Stalker: It has great synergy with his own Stealth ability. It has extended control range, allowing it to roam 16″ away from Aiakos. It saves you casting Deathbringers, which leaves Focus for upkeeping Escort and filling the Stalker up entirely (from a safe position even). The Stalkers main problem is a low threat range, which Escort solves perfectly. These guys are just made for each other.
- Leviathan: This promises a comeback for the Leviathan. With debuff casters such as the Deneghras, the main problem has always been fueling the Leviathan while getting out your debuffs at the same time, but no more. The Leviathan suddenly becomes a SPD 7 heavy, increasing it’s melee threat range to useful, and the bastard jack now threatens twenty inches when shooting.
- Reaper: Thirteen inch threat is damn good, and being able to power it to full is just awesome. Aiakos also has a Harpoon, and though I can’t see this turning into a power combo, I have to admit that it’s thematically spectacular to outfit him with a Reaper and go harpoon crazy! The long threat and reach also allows him to get that Grievous wounds in where it’s needed, without risking Aiakos himself.
The Harrower deserves a special mention as it gets a Grievous wounds thresher and 12″ threat, but I don’t see myself using that combination a lot due to the price tag (and I would go with either the Leviathan or Nightmare depending on the part I needed the team to play).
Helldivers also deserve a mention, though I don’t think I’ll be using them much with him either, because added threat, Focus to Slam, and Grievous wounds on the Helldiver seems hilarious (but the tiny control area makes it problematic).
Undoubtedly there are combinations I haven’t thought about, and the Scavenger does well with the added threat, and so does the Desecrator, but any of our Jacks can really benefit from two addition inches of threat.
I’ve seen people talk about running Erebus with Scaverous, as he suddenly has a lot of threat range and doesn’t drain Scaverous’ Focus when gathering souls, which might really make Scaverous with Erebus a viable build. Thanks for pointing out that this doesn’t work.
It’s been along time, since anything in the game had me this excited. Aiakos might very well be completely and utterly broken, but the way he interacts with Cryx as a faction is nothing short of brilliant.
Aiakos will see the return of so many jacks that we just never see, or only see when someone is forced to bring it because he has to spend those WJ points on something. The only shitty thing about Aiakos is, that even when I’m throwing money at the kickstarter (which I will… a lot…) it’s still going to be April 2014 before I can use him in tournaments.