Sturgiss the Corrupted (Theorycrafting)

It took me a while to write this. Real life interfered as usual, but now it’s time to take a look at our first cross faction caster. I almost cried when I heard about him, because this almost guarantees that we won’t see eKarchev playing for Cryx. These are sad times, but what did we get then?

Sturgiss

And I’m ugly to!

The first thing I noticed was how ugly he is. I understand why they tried to mix Cygnar and Cryx styles, but it just doesn’t work (for me at least). He’s not mounted which is a relief, since that means we might still get a mounted Goreshade for our Bane Riders. The rules are here, but you have to download them in order to get all the information, because the web version is flawed for some reason.

The fiddly bits

As always when I see a new caster I go straight to the spell list. In this case I was somewhat puzzled by what I read, so I moved on to his feat. That didn’t exactly help and I was scratching my head trying to figure out what made this awesome. Then I noticed the wall of rules and I found the potential I was looking for, but… let’s just say I’m not impressed.

Spells

Taking a look at his spell list we see Blood Rain, which we will probably never cast since he has better things to do with his Focus, and Convection which is pretty horrible on a Focus 6 caster. Then we get Occultation which is a great spell, and if nothing else it increases his own survival greatly (stealth casters are fabulous).

Parasite is nice, though he suffers the same problems as pAsphyxious against high defense models, and with Focus 6 he has trouble landing the debuff on things like Warpwolves. Teleport is a great spell.

Feat

You know, this feat gets stranger and stranger every time I see it. My first idea was a Sturgis bomb (like everyone else), but I just can’t see this being very useful, except maybe against jam-past lists. It might turn some games around here and there, and with the right setup it can really blow some shit up, but if you’re in a position to do this your probably in deep shit already.

I think it looks interesting to pull enemy heavies three inches closer to your lines, and combined with Aiakos and Escort our jacks can attain some truly disgusting threat ranges (and the Withershadow Combine suddenly has 13.5″ threat when combined with Death Ride).

Scenario play also seems possible, but it requires Sturgis to be in some very unhealthy positions if he wants to drag things out of zones.  I think we might see the most return of investment when playing the 12″ zone scenarios, where the threat range increase can be exploited when both players have a toe in the zone.

Weapons and stuff

Well you can see that he used to be Cygnar from the pathetic PS on his weapons. He has Reach and relentless charge, so he’s pretty good at getting to things he probably can’t kill. Dark Shroud is our most readily available debuff, and him being able to generate it himself isn’t particularly impressive. He can generate a bazillion attacks, but that means not boosting and with his low stats he’s not hitting and/or damaging much.

One blade has Soul Eater, which is a poor mans Cull Soul, but at least he can get them. The other blade has Death Strike, so if someone tries to jam, he can wipe a lot of models on his own, and then feat to wipe out even more models. It still seems sort of pointless until you combine it with Teleport, and this is the only reason I actually like this guy even a little.

He’s Undead so Darragh can add an inch to his threat. If he’s going for something other than the enemy caster, he can actually reach it from 18″ inches away (11″ threat, +1″ Death Ride, +3″ Intrigue, and +3″ Feat) but having trouble denting anything heavier than Light Jacks sort of limits the usefulness of that trick.

Why do I like him?

I don’t know. I did like him when I began writing this, but now it seems I’ve gone and picked him apart. He has some game with Soul Eating and Death Striking, followed by Teleporting away and hoping to stay alive due to Stealth and reversal, but that’s about it. If he does stay alive he can dish out an impressive number of attacks, and with Madelyn he has some solid threat, but it’s nothing other Cryx melee casters can’t do better.

What do I think we should do with him?

I think we should create lists to abuse the threat range aspect of his list. Initially I discounted the idea of Warjacks with him, but maybe that’s exactly what we should be looking at. With that in mind here’s a list of things that could really benefit from additional threat range (everyone benefits of course, but some benefit in ways besides simply adding threat range).

  • Deathjack: With correct placement and pulling you could really line up some souls. Deathjacks main problem is getting to it’s target, and three inches of additional range turns him from super to fantastic. With the ability to generate his own Focus he also doesn’t drain Sturgis, and if Sturgis does get in a position to blow some models up with his feat, the Deathjack can be fully loaded on the turn it hit’s the enemy heavy.
  • Malice: The long threat ranges and pulling shenanigans become even longer, and Malice gains a much needed ability to alpha strike enemy heavies in melee. This is something that always bothered me with Malice, because relying on the drag to ensure a first strike was unreliable in many games. Now you have the option of pulling his target into charge range if dragging doesn’t make sense.
  • Nightmare: This one is interesting. The main problem with Prey is that people tend to avoid being in Prey range, but now Prey range is thirteen inches instead of ten. This also means that with a ‘perfect’ feat you activate Prey, pull his main target 3″ closer, and load him up to full on Focus. That’s sixteen inches of fully loaded nightmarish death, or thirteen inches of non-linear walking threat. This could also be combined with Aiakos for further shenanigans, although then Aiakos would have to load him to full instead of the feat.
  • Bile Thralls: Sure he can blow up people himself, but with Madelyn in the list and his feat available, the Purge ranges go up to about 17-18 inches. You also get to bunch people up nicely for the purges, and Madelyn is going to be in his list anyway.
  • The Withershadow Combine: This is where I begin to cackle. Not only does the WSC gain three inches on their Dark Industries shenanigans, but Admonia gains another three inches on many Unbinding attempts. Sure you can’t drag a Stormwall or the enemy caster, but that Iron Flesh unit has a model being pulled into Unbinding range, and combined with Madelyn and Darragh she can unbind from eighteen inches away.
  • Satyxis Blood Hag: Same deal as with the WSC. The Blood Hags main problem is her low threat range, and Sturgis solves it nicely. Add to this that Sturgis most likely won’t show up without Blood Witches, and the deal becomes even sweeter.
  • Machine Wraith: *snort* Fifteen inch Possession!!! Again Madelyn and Darragh teams up with Sturgis to bring us hilarity. Non-character jacks that can be pushed will never be safe again, and Malice will take care of the character jacks anyway.
  • Wrong Eye & Snapjaw: Use the feat to move a living enemy model next to the target if needed, and move the target three inches closer. Snapjaw now charges a bazillion miles for free, and we all now how dangerous he really is. I don’t think there will be room for him in most Sturgis lists, but it’s still worth mentioning.

There are plenty more options, like Gorman with three additional inches of range, Ragman being able to actually apply Dark Shroud somewhere useful, and Satyxis Raiders with 17″ inch threat, but the above gain ‘something special’ in my eyes.

List composition and play style

Combining the above I’m thinking the list would look something like this. This is of course purely speculative with no experience at all, and it probably won’t ever see a tournament because of the massive character presence, but…

Sturgis the Corrupted
– Deathjack
– Malice
Bile Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Satyxis Blood Hag
The Withershadow Combine
Darragh Wrathe
Gorman di Wulfe
Machine Wraith
Machine Wraith
Madelyn Corbeau
Ogrun Bokur
Ragman
Skarlock Thrall

The list is designed to rely heavily on the feat, but with the ability to play even if it should somehow be canceled. Blood Witches are great because Gang solves the problem of his missing defense debuff or accuracy buff, and with Parasite and Dark Shroud available they hit really hard.

Bile Thralls solve issues with jamming, and combined with Blood Witches and Sturgis’ feat, this list is almost immune to jamming in general. Warjack spam is handled by Malice/WSC with the Machine Wraiths to help, while the Deathjack is there to solve Colossal issues.

Sturgis will have two jobs in this list. The first is to stay alive while getting in position, and the other is feating at the right moment. The Skarlock will apply Occultation and the WSC will upkeep it for free (most likely on one of the two heavies, depending on the enemy setup… Stealth Bile Thralls are game winners in some games though).

This setup leaves Sturgis to camp like crazy, in a cloud or behind some cover, and with the Ogrun Bokur nearby and Teleport to reach some good locations he should be hard for an opponent to deal with.

Conclusion

If you load him up with all the best Cryx tech and get the right opponent he can be a monster, but as a tournament caster I have zero faith in him. Since I’ve pledged to the Kickstarter I’ll be getting him automatically, and he’ll be getting a chance to prove himself, but for now he’s getting an F, and a letter to his momma telling them to do better next year.

It’s sad, but on the other hand I’m going to put on my happy-hat and assume we’re getting such a bad caster because Bane Riders and Goreshade3 will be so stupidly broken that we needed some shitty releases to compensate. Then again maybe he’s simply compensating for Aiakos… NO!!! REMEMBER THE HAPPY-HAT!!!

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16 Responses »

  1. Deathjack doesn’t actually go as well with him as it looks – when you feat, DJ already has the 2 focus from the Skulls, so the feat can only give him 1 more.

    The Cygnar version just seems better, with his abilities, support, and better stats for Reversal (+1 defense, -1 arm). Funny part is Cryx would prefer their Sturgis and they would prefer ours – Cygnar would do horrible things with Parasite. Skarlock is significantly worse for our Sturgis than squire is for theirs (if you’re already upkeeping Occultation, the Skarlock is only useful if you want to move it around, and Skarlock casting parasite could happen but bleh).

  2. Sadly I think Sturgiss the Corrupted does nothing new for cryx you can get 4 inches of threat of Scaverous if you can get teleport to hit, jamming cryx is not something a standard list with Egaspy bile thrall excarnate tricks can not handle barring zealot tricks. I guess we can argue who is worse Venethrax or this guy!

    • This guy is way worse than Venethrax. Venethrax is a very very powerful caster, and if he wasn’t also one of the most horribly dull casters in the game I would run him :D

  3. That is a crushing disappointment. After reading your high praises for Aikos and Terminus I was hoping you would have found a way to make this fellow into a beast, but alas all the talk is true. He isn’t as good as I would like him to be… maybe I’ll just use my model to get the Khador guy instead.

    • Here’s to hoping there’s something we haven’t discovered yet. There could be a new release coming that has some incredible interaction with him, or maybe there’s something we’re just not seeing :)

      • Yeah that’s true,

        I guess i’ll stick to my guns and wait, in the end I can always just use him in friendly settings for some shenanigans and use Megatron for any competitive Cryx lists I might require.

  4. @Sheer_Falacy:
    Death Jack could have up to 5 FOC. 3 through normal FOC-allocation from the caster + 2 additional (!) FOC from the skulls.

    funny thing:
    With casting a successfull Convection the Death Jack could effectively allocate 1 FOC to himself (or any other battlegroup Jacks). I don’t think this is much that usefull (as I don’t think Convection is that usefull), but it is something to keep in mind.

    @Sturgis:
    Team him up with Aiakos to get +5″ on the threadrange of Aiakos’ Jacks.
    Thats 14″ for a Slayer or a Seether, 15″ for a Stalker, …
    With that huge ranges Aiakos would have some trouble to have his Jacks stay in his CTRL, but thats a different problem. Or you could use one of his Jacks as a fire-and-forget rocket to handle some importent enemy model/s.

    • I was talking about the feat. The reason the skulls work with allocation is allocation happens (up to 3) and then the skulls give 2 more (no limit). The feat is allocation, so if you already have the 2 from the skulls, and kill 10 models with the feat, you still only go up to 3.

      And yeah, convection, especially at FOCUS 6, is not a very impressive spell, even if you could hypothetically cast it 4 times.

      • There’s some potential if he manages to collect 3-4 souls, and he’s facing some really low defense Infantry. It seems like Sturgis might be the “Corner Case King”.

        He has an awful lot of abilities that could be real handy if something very specific occurs, and maybe playing him is about engineering, or recognizing and exploiting those events.

  5. the real question for both sturgis and every other cryx caster is “how will they interact with bane cav” though ^^

    Its always tricky to judge wether or not a sneak peak will be any good without knowing what else is in the next book. We can only make our assesment based on what we have currently.

    Time will tell. My cygnar friend thinks the cryx version is awesome whereas i like the cygnar version more. the grass is always greener….

  6. @Sheer_Falacy
    I’ve read the passages in the rulebook one more time and could only say:
    Yeah, you’re right. :-)

  7. I dunno. I feel like he has some things going for him that combo interestingly. I’m going to be comparing him to eGaspy for a bit, but I stress that I am in NO WAY comparing him to eGaspy on raw power level, which is well-known. Nor am I going to be talking much about Blood Rain or Convection. No one’s got any illusions about those spells making waves, but they’re there if you need them.

    Where I WILL compare him to eGaspy is survivability. Have you considered how hard the guy is to get to? He’s got teleport, he can give himself stealth, his defensive stats are about average for us (which certainly isn’t bad) and he’s on a small base. I’d like to stress that last point. A small based teleporter means you get to define his sightlines. His prospects for getting into melee and running look a lot better when you realize you can screen him.

    So he’s at least mildly hard to kill. Now, how does he interact on the table? Parasite is reliable even at FOC 6 (only really having trouble against warpwolves and the like) and the secondary effect of the spell adds to the whole “surprisingly survivable” thing he has going on. He also has his feat, his melee prowess, and he has a gun. Don’t forget the gun. It’s corner-case, but it’s a free attack that you may as well use.

    I think the feat is unique in that it increases our infantry-to-infantry threat range on a large scale. Previously, we could increase threat range on single targets (Perdition, Infernal Machine, Excarnate) or mark a single target for additional threat (Curse, Hellmouth, Telekinesis). Until now, we’ve never had a wide-ranging increase threat-range ability the likes of Road to War, Crusader’s Call, Godspeed, etc. Now we do. And combining this with the game’s hardest hitting troops (Bane Thralls) and the game’s most abusive short-range infantry clearers (Bile Thralls) bears thinking about. Also, the idea of Satyxis Raiders attacking targets from 17″ with Parasite backup is silly. And realistic.

    • The problem is, that he can either do something or be survivable. If he has Occultation up, camps, and is somewhere fairly hidden then he’s hard to kill, but the second you actually have to do anything, that survivability drops like a rock.

      Parasite is only reliable if you boost, and even then it’s not really reliable unless you brought the WSC which leads to a bunch of CR issues. That makes it a 4 Focus spell, and with two to Teleport he also needs the WSC in order to retain Stealth.

      Still I agree on the feat being interesting, but it’s nothing that makes my panties wet :)

      • No need for the WSC. Just have a Skarlock reapply stealth every turn. You can even stealth a key target on the way up (Biles would be a favorite) while camped, then on a key turn you get up there, do what you do, TP back, and get stealth up while the rest of the army goes to work. Or if you’re fighting an army that doesn’t care about a ranged assassination (or Legion), the Skarlock can just do proxy Parasites.

        Again, I’m in no way saying that he’s anywhere near as powerful as eGaspy, either Denny, either Skarre (and we all know eSkarre is a horrible pile of crap) or Terminus. But I’d definitely drop him in a comparable power level with eGoreshade and Scaverous. I don’t think he’s destined to languish with pGoreshade or Venethrax in the case.

        • Well, with a caster as mobile as Sturgis I just think the Skarlock will have trouble keeping close enough to the action without simply getting shot, but time will tell :)

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