Goreshade3 is nothing like I expected, and at first I was a little disappointed, but hey let’s look at what we got shall we! Edit: Rewritten after receiving the full spoilers, and the image confirmation!
Focus 7 as expected, combined with ARM 17 means he can tank fairly well if needed, and combined with Occultation he can be darn hard to kill at range for most factions. This also protects him from Eiryss in most games, because Eiryss isn’t usually in the same list as other upkeep removal tricks (and she doesn’t ignore stealth). Defensively this means he’s solid when camping, but this guy has a lot of upkeep spells and will probably not be turtling much. Terror and Undead add further layers of defense as well.
Offensively he has a nice personal assassination potential, with a solid MAT, Scything Touch and Auto-stationary on his weapon. He has a lot of threat range, and being Undead this can be increased to 14″ with Darragh Wrathe, and 17″ with Madelyn Corbeau which is just lovely. His ability to cast a spell for free, though hard to activate (and strangely limited to living models), could add to his assassination potential, as he could use it to remove Focus/Fury from the enemy while dealing damage to hopefully cause damage or another transfer.
The fact that he’s Ghostly adds a lot to his assassination potential, allowing him to charge through terrain as long as he can draw LoS, and his status as Cavalry allows him to ignore small and medium bases for LoS purposes when declaring a charge. Cavalry status also allows him impact attacks, which means that he has a way to circumvent infantry screens.
Spells are sort of weird but pretty darn good. Occultation could benefit himself or Bane Rider, and when going in for the kill they can be switches to Scything Touch. Goreshade3 will never leave home without a Skarlock, as it seems the Skarlock can cast almost every spell on his list (not Mockery of Death, as it’s CTRL). Infernal Machine is one of the best Warjack buffs we could have hoped for, and I look forward to running the Deathjack with Goreshade 3 so he can get all those lovely spells out while camping.
Siphon bolt is a strange fantastic spell, and with Deathjack and Goreshade3 (unlikely that the Skarlock will ever get close enough) you can pull every single Focus/Fury point of a Warlock while dealing damage, which could easily mean their death. Against Warcasters it’s less interesting, but reducing their armor by three is going to hurt them as well, and some squishy casters will die to three boosted POW 12 hits, when their power field drains one each time. If you manage to get a free spell, you could potentially remove four Focus/Fury while dealing a lot of damage.
Siphon bolt is a god damn fantastic spell (the previous spoilers didn’t feature the Focus refund). Turn the enemy caster stationary, and remove every single Focus/Fury from him, while dealing massed POW 12 hits as well. This spell has the potential for being really bloody broken against Warlocks, which is something I like very much!
Now why would all the Siphon Bolts hit you ask, well obviously because of his feat. The feat is really bloody weird, but you can potentially make an entire enemy list stationary with a bunch a kamikaze Satyxis Raiders. I do however fear, that using the feat in such a way would be counterproductive in most cases, but causing stationary to high defense models can be a game changer, and on assassinations it’s just nasty (properly used Goreshade3 will arrive and place 8 attacks automatically at PS 17). Personally I think a lot of Goreshade3 lists will feature a couple of Machine Wraiths, as their high speed and ability to get into the right places, offsets their medium bases (which will produce less stationary models in some cases), but other quick and cheap models will work as well.
Have to think more about this first, but… I’m thinking Bane Riders, Blood Witches, Deathjack maybe, Skarlock certainly, a couple of Machine Wraiths, Saxon Orrik, and most likely Darragh Wrathe. More on that later, now to go check what everyone else is thinking!