Why Play Cryx?
Because Undead/Zombies/Pirates/liches fucking Undead Techno Empire awesome. Srsly, why aren't you playing Cryx?
Cryx is, obviously, the designated evil faction of the Warmachine world. It's a necromantic nightmare of zombies, robots, zombie robots, pirates, and sexy demon pirate women with Racks that are so Great they count as melee weapons. Seriously. They're ruled by the evil dragon-god-king Toruk, led by a coalition of Iron Liches created from history's greatest monsters, and basically sit off the coast of the mainland being evil as shit and pirating bitches all day until Toruk decides it's time to fuck one of the other kingdoms to death so he can eat one of his dragon-god-children and absorb their essence.
In terms of gameplay, Cryx is by far the trickiest of the Warmachine factions. They rarely win any stand-up fights, as most of their units are hilariously fragile, but their whole strength is in being able to pick and choose their battles. They are by far the most mobile of the Warmachine armies, and they also do by far the highest amount of damage when on the offensive. In large part, Cryx could be said to be the Warmahordes equivalent of the Dark Eldar.
...which is the other thing. Cryx does play a hell of a lot like the Dark Eldar. They're fragile and very hard to learn, but they're also ludicrously fast and do disgusting amounts of damage. They also
have had some of the strongest warcasters available to any faction: Gaspy, Denny, and Skarre have no fear of direct combat and also pack some of the most bogglingly powerful spell lists in the game. If Cryx is played aggressively, they can could hammer through almost any opposition without breaking a sweat.
In case that didn't get the point across, I'll spell it out: Cryx as a faction
is was OP as balls (They were in MK 2 but took the nerf bat a bit insanely hard in MK 3.). Warmachine is all about playing aggressively, and Cryx has more tools to take advantage of an aggressive playstyle than anyone else. This is no longer nearly as pronounced as it was during the game's initial release, as many Cryxian units have been nerfed (Gaspy2 has taken multiple hits from the nerf bat) and other factions are steadily getting new models that provide answers to Cryx's tricks, but Cryx is still the most powerful faction in tournament play. Cryx wins more than twice as many tourneys as any other faction (though this may be in part due to Cryx being the most popular), and has no shortage of ways to crush any style of opposing army.
That said, there are still plenty of ways to play Cryx in a for-fun situation without making your friends want to strangle you. Just be aware that you should probably leave the bigger guns on the shelf if you want your friends to enjoy themselves.
Cryxian general strategy is hard to describe, since Cryx is one of the most varied factions in all of Warmahordes. They can field any type of army and do so well, and there's basically no strategy that they can't field.
This is further complicated by the fact that Cryx is even more warcaster-dependent than any other faction. Two Cryx 'casters might field identical lists, but run completely differently on the tabletop due to differences between spell lists and feats. This is true to an extent for every Warmahordes army, but Cryxian warcasters are often so strong that they end up dictating most of their army's strategy.
So, instead of going over each warcaster and all the intricacies of their interactions with every unit available to them (which you're really only going to learn by playing, though looking up other sources of information on the faction may help), let's look at the basics of what makes Cryx unique.
- Warcaster Strength
As mentioned above, the Cryxian warcaster in play is a huge part of the game. You generally have two types of casters in Warmchine. warcasters that exist to enable their armies to do the heavy lifting and rarely do much in person (looking at you, Protectorate) or casters that don't support there army as much but are a one man blenders (The Butcher, Allister Caine). Cryx splits the difference and does both. Cryx 'casters are rarely slouches in direct fighting, and some, like Gaspy2, are actually incredible threats in a brawl. Gaspy, Skarre, Terminus, and others can all dish out some serious pain, and can take a pounding in return (though, pf course, they still need some protection).
Aside from melee, Cryxian 'casters also pack some of the strongest spell lists in the game. Some are offensive powerhouses. Some are utility toolkits. Some debuff, some buff, and so on and so on. Many pack a mix of all of the above, which makes Cryx's 'casters toolboxes that have almost every answer you need.
Cryx also has a hell of a lot of Arc Nodes, which, in addition to being fast and damn hard to catch, generally come dirt fucking cheap. A Cryx player can easily swamp his opponent in the damn things, which extends his 'caster's reach even further across the battlefield and means that all that power can come from anywhere at any time.
- Debuffs and Corrosion
Cryx brings more debuff options to the table than any other faction. Even discounting the aforementioned spells from the 'caster, a lot of Cryxian units bring some seriously painful debuffs along with them. Terror, ARM and DEF breakers, SPD reduction (which prevents charges!) - we've got it all. Any army going up against Cryx is going to start falling apart even before the fighting starts.
Cryx also brings its trademark Continuous effect: Corrosion, which behaves like Fire except that it doesn't roll for damage. Instead, it automatically inflicts one wound, which makes it hilariously effective at eating through infantry and solos. Splash your opponents with xenomorph blood and watch the butthurt as their models melt away.
Like the Dark Eldar, Cryx hits hard and hits fast. Cryxian units can cover a surprising amount of distance in a staggeringly short amount of time, though this isn't always apparent if you just look at their SPD.
Oh, sure, bonejacks are quick little bastards most of the time, but most of your mobility options come from special rules and abilities. Incorporeal is nice, and lets some of your infantry just walk through barricades. Helldivers are tricky little burrowing bastards that can get in critical charges from angles that your opponent never expected. Some of your units can even teleport outright, letting them blink in and out of combat without provoking free strikes.
As a Cryx player, you have the ability to dictate when fights happen. Use it, because without that critical alpha strike, your units will crumple like tissue paper.
- Assassination Runs
Put it all together now. Your forces are extremely mobile, hit like a truck made of zombies and testosterone, and are supported by some of the nastiest magic being channeled through the fastest, cheapest nodes around. Cryx rarely wins on scenario, but it doesn't matter since they're so damn good at launching bombing runs on the enemy warcaster, no matter where they try to hide.
You do have them, even if they aren't always going to be much of a hindrance. Your ranged game sucks: almost all the "ranged" attacks in your army are almost certainly going to come from either a single solo, the pistol wraith, or your caster's spells. You do have jacks with ranged weapons but their RAT scores are as bad as they average Khador jack (even if your jacks tend to have MAT as good as Cygnar's). You're generally fragile. While your forces are cheap enough that you can usually make up for that lack of staying power with sheer quantity, enemies running the denial game with counters for high DEF are going to make it an uphill battle, especially if they brought long-ranged firepower.
Banes aren't the end all be all anymore. The advent of Colossals like the Stormwall (who can mow down Banes before they can reach him), Ravagore spam (here's 4+ pieplates) and the Sacral Vault (models that end their movement next to it suffer 1 damage point, bye bye 1 wound Banes). While Banes are still incredibly powerful, you need to apply more strategy and use of support models and jamming units to ensure they reach their target and demolish them.
Also, EVERYONE will tech against you. Go to any army building forum and people usually have an "anti-Cryx list". Keep this in mind when playing in two list formats and make sure you have an anti anti-Cryx list.
And worst of all: you don't get to whine. When you want to moan about the Cygnar player's gun mages, he'll just wordlessly point at your incorporeal ghost pirates with flaming weapons. When you start bitching about a Khador player's wall of Tough, Berserk Weapon Masters, she'll frown at your Bane Thralls. And, if you want to get up in arms about the Avatar of Menoth, you better not have the Deathjack on the table. Shit rolls downhill, and the buck's gotta stop somewhere.
- Iron Lich Asphyxious (Gaspy1): A solid 'caster all around, Gaspy's original incarnation brings a bit of everything to the table. He's not the best at anything, but he can throw murder magic well enough to be threatening, smash face if he has to, and hand out some nice support to your infantry. His most notable ability is that he can teleport for just a few focus, which lets him duck into melee, smack a few heads, and then blink out without provoking free strikes. This makes him surprisingly durable on top of decently mobile.
- Lich Lord Asphyxious (Gaspy2): Pretty much the God-King of Warmahordes, Gaspy2 was long considered to be, hands-down, indisputably, absolutely the best warcaster in the game. He has since been nerfed from orbit with some of the most brutal power reductions in the game's history. Three times. And he's still considered one of the best Cryx has to offer (though he's no longer the) best. Still an incredibly popular and successful tournament warcaster. He takes Gaspy1 and cranks all of that up to eleven. He's a monster in melee who can't be killed because he teleports away and has a spell that makes him immune to charging, he can rip apart infantry with his spells, and his feat, used correctly, will practically guarantee a successful bombing run. Definitely not a 'caster to take for casual play.
- Asphyxious the Hellbringer (Gaspy3): Gaspy's final incarnation is a bit less... overbearing than his previous. He's still good, and definitely usable, but not as crushingly strong as Lich Lord. He's still durable, but has lost his ability to teleport and traded in his murderous, blasting-focused spell list in for one focused on infantry buffs. He's one of the few true support 'casters in Cryx, though he can still enter combat if needed. Very different and unique, and a lot of fun.
- Vociferon: Not actually a warcaster, but an attachment stuck on to Gaspy3. Functionally a walking soul collector, only not actually good due to some special rules that make him liable to explode rather than just do his job and hand Gaspy some soul tokens. Mostly just sort of... there.
- War Witch Deneghra (Denny1): The former Battlebox warcaster for Cryx, and a
fantastic starting choice for any new Cryx playerterrible choice for a new Cryx player since her power level is over the top and you may end up too used to her insane defensive (Stealth) and offensive (huge amount of debuffs) tech to the point that it will be a crutch. Also you will turn off other new players when you demolish them with pDenny. Pick pGaspy instead for a starting caster. Nontheless, Denny is an absolute monster on the tabletop, though she's not as capable as some other Cryxian 'casters in melee combat. Rather, she packs a list of debuffs so long it makes the dick yo mama took last night look microscopic in comparison. Fragile, but she can pick apart almost any opposition with ease if played carefully. She's also the best Cryx caster for running Mercs: a list with Nyss Hunters, Boomhowlers, and Master Gunner McNeil all supported by Denny's debuffs is incredibly effective
- Wraith Witch Deneghra (Denny2); Unlike her original version, Denny2 does not have a long list of the best debuffs in the game. Instead, she focuses on being able to move your opponent's models around, or stop them cold. Her feat is an absolute bitch: not only does it provide a brutal defensive debuff to your opponent's models, but it flat-out prevents your opponent from moving for a turn. To repeat - for one turn, YOUR OPPONENT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MOVE HIS MODELS. AT ALL.(Can now be shaken off) If your opponent has not yet moved his models in close enough to contest zones, well, you have one more turn where they're not contesting zones. If your opponent left his caster in front of his army, confident that nothing you have can reach him - you can move something obviously threatening in range to attack, and he can't send something in to kill it or screen his caster (or move his caster away). If your opponent left his army at that perfect position that you can't charge him, but have to get in his charge range - well, now you get to move up AND get the alpha strike. One of Cryx's premiere tournament 'casters, and for good reason. Also has one of the best Tier Lists in the game with Body and Soul (Tier 4 bonus allows you to place offensive upkeeps on enemy units WHEN THE GAME STARTS).
- Bane Witch Agathia: The Battlebox Warcaster. She shows off what the Cryx are good at for new players; high focus, good debuffs, giving units Ghostly to move through terrain, a little bit of teleportation, and using the souls of killed opponents to kill their friends. Easy to kill and most likely not to be fielded by players once they learn the game.
- Goreshade the Bastard (Goreshade1): Basically Dracula, if Dracula lifted something fierce, and also was about as straightforward as a sledgehammer to the face. He exists to walk up to the enemy 'caster and pop his feat, which summons a Min unit of Bane Thralls to charge the poor bastard. If you can pull that off, great. If not, you're kind of fucked.
- Deathwalker: Not a 'caster in her own right, but Goreshade1's bottom bitch. She follows him around on the battlefield, being pretty much pointless save for a debuff that she applies to nearby enemies (which generally means she's about to get gutted). She does give Goreshade an extra life when he dies, though.
- Goreshade the Cursed (Goreshade2): Less of an assassin than his original incarnation. Goreshade2 loves infantry, and lots of it - ideally with lots of cheap fodder like Mechanithralls or Scrap Thralls sitting in front of some more expensive, awesome ones like Bane Knights or whatever. His feat lets him exchange living, sucky models for awesome ones that your opponent thought they'd killed (AT FULL HEALTH), which is great. Also carries a host of debuffs and support spells to make your infantry even better. Usually taken with his Tier List as the Tier 2 bonus adds a free unit attachment to a unit of Bane Thralls. Two units of tough Bane Thralls will make minch meat of many opponents, not to mention his Elite Cadre bonus which lets Bane Thralls make more Bane Thralls out of dead enemies. If you love Banes, this is the guy for you.
- Goreshade, Lord of Ruin (Goreshade3): Super mobile and super flexible. Goreshade3 is a nasty piece of work. His feat lets him sacrifice some cheap infantry, like Scrap Thralls, to inflict Stationary on a bunch of enemy models at once, so he absolutely fucks up Kayazy Assassins and other units that depend on high DEF to survive. Again, he's got some serious buffs to hand out to infantry. One of the most versatile Cryx casters and a good choice for a second caster if you're starting Cryx.
- Master Necrotech Mortenebra: Cryx's premiere 'jack 'caster. She loves warjacks somethin' fierce, and has the kit to make them absolute terrors. Her signature spell is Terminal Velocity, which lets all her 'jacks charge for free (and farther than normal) and gives them boosted rolls against living targets. Her main weakness is that she's pretty focus-hungry and needs to play up close to the battle lines, so she's vulnerable to assassination.
- Deryliss: Yet another attachment. Deryliss is a mini-Mortenebra who runs around the table throwing spells from her list. Pretty useful, but not too durable or threatening on his own, so be sure to keep him safe.
- Lord Exhumator Scaverous: A true toolbox. Rather focus-hungry, as he comes with a list of spells that you really want to be casting a lot, but one of the most flexible 'casters Cryx can field.
- Pirate Queen Skarre (pSkarre): The tournament 'caster. Following the fall of Gaspy2, pSkarre has become the most popular - and most effective - choice for tournament play out of all this faction's warcasters, and that's not just because of her Great Rack, either, even though it's so great it can be used as a melee weapon and inflicts knockdown. Basically, Skarre is the Cryxian equivalent of a brick to the face. She's simple, but nobody can argue that she's ineffective, and she's hard as all hell to stop. Everything about her is about beating the enemy into a smear on the pavement, and she does it exceptionally well. Her signature spell, Dark Guidance, gives every friendly unit in her control area a free bonus die (not a boost, so you can still boost on top of this) on attack
and damage(it's only attack, read it carefully) rolls, and her feat trades a measly five points of her health for a +5 STR and ARM bonus for all her units. Skarre doesn't hit like a truck. Trucks hit like Skarre. The downside to playing her is that she has no tricks to match the rest of Cryx. The upside is that it doesn't matter, since there's nothing your opponent can do to stop her anyway.
- Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast (eSkarre): A bit of a mixed bag. eSkarre isn't the wrecking ball that pSkarre was, but she's not awful. She's just a bit schizophrenic. She doesn't have the brute-force spells any more, having traded them in for a more support-oriented list. She can still hold her own in combat, but she isn't the monster that pSkarre was, and she can't just use her spells to chuck lightning at the enemy 'caster's face until he dies. Fun, but not the most competitive.
- Sturgis the Corrupted (Sturgis2): Sturgis1 was a Cygnar 'caster, so don't go looking for him here. Sturgis2, meanwhile, is pretty much just Gaspy1 if Gaspy1 sucked. Really not worth looking at unless you're a big fan of the lore involved.
- Lich Lord Terminus: Departing from the usual Cryx strategy, this guy is a melee powerhouse, though not quite at the Butcher's level (he also has a decent spray ranged weapon, but his RAT is too low to make much use of it), and is surprisingly mobile despite his durability, but is also easy to hit. His spell list focuses on damage spells, and allowing him to kill every living model near him, especially by putting Berserk on himself. He plays more aggressively than other Cryx casters, but is helped by giving himself and just about everything in his wide control radius Tough, as well as his ability to pawn off hits onto his buddies if he's shot at, which makes him all-but immune to ranged attacks if you know what you're doing. His strategy usually involves getting within charge range of the enemy caster and flying in to beat their face (you can tank the free strikes with the amount of focus you should camp).
- Lich Lord Venethrax: Decently strong fighter, not as much as Terminus, but the main reason you'd want to use him is because he packs a bunch of anti-warbeast abilities, so it's best to use him when playing against Hordes armies. He's also the most army independent Cryx caster who does little to support his forces. This is both a good and bad thing as while some units are incredibly self-sufficient, others need debuffs or upkeeps to be effective.
- Witch Coven of Garlghast: One of the weirdest warcasters in any faction - or, rather, three of the weirdest warcasters in any faction. The Witch Coven is pretty much completely unique and has no equivalent in any other Warmahordes army, which makes it exceptionally fun to play, but also very hard to pick up. This isn't really helped by the fact that they're just not very good, but if you're playing the Coven, you're playing for flavor anyway, so that shouldn't be a concern. Three individual witches with a floating doom-sphere? Pretty cool. They tend to focus on assassination to the exclusion of everything else; the Coven excels at buffing their own units to allow for brutal and unexpected bombing runs on the enemy 'caster, while being so squishy themselves that they'll generally drop the round they're engaged. When the Coven is in play, the scenario doesn't matter, because one way or the other a 'caster is going to die.
- Egregore: Yet another attachment. Egregore is the floaty doom-ball that accompanies the Witch Coven of Garlghast. It doesn't actually do anything, as such, except grant Stealth to any friendly models base-to-base with it. Oh, and it also serves as the point of origin for all Coven spells, and is the place you measure their control area from, so you can't actually just shove it in a corner and hope your opponent doesn't bother. It's the giant flashing weak point that your enemies want to hit for MASSIVE DAMAGE, since the Egregore can't take damage itself and instead distributes any pain it feels to the members of the Coven. One of the main reasons that the Coven is both so awesome flavor-wise and so awful mechanically.
Bonejacks (Light Warjacks)
Some fantastic options here, primarily in the regions of mobility and cheap arc nodes. Also, mobility and cheap arc nodes. Did we mention mobility and cheap arc nodes? Yes? Good, because we definitely have mobility and cheap arc nodes.
- Deathripper: Your arc node of choice. Dirt cheap, fast. It's reasonably effective in melee, but you aren't taking it for that. You take Deathrippers to get your spells where you need them to be, and if it's in melee, it's not channeling for you, so why the hell is it there?
- Defiler: A more expensive Deathripper outfitted with a spray cannon that inflicts Corrosion. You may wonder if that's worth one more point than a Deathripper, but you also probably wonder if that cute girl you saw likes war games (hint: it isn't, and she doesn't). Stick with the Deathripper. You have better ways to kill infantry; these guys exist for arc nodes, and arc nodes alone.
- Helldiver: One of the faction's best 'jacks. The Helldiver has a solid statline and is one of Cryx's best options for board control. It is much faster than its low SPD would imply, and much more durable than you'd think. This is because its signature ability, Burrow, is basically a free 3" of movement in any direction and makes it immune to attack for a turn. This lets it control much more space and cover much more ground than most people expect, and makes it a serious threat despite its middling melee capability. More than one game has been ended due to a careless player leaving their 'caster open to a Helldiver charge from an unexpected angle, and even if your opponent is paying attention, they have to dedicate a large amount of resources to dealing with the threat.
- Nightwretch: A ranged Deathripper. Somewhat useful in the right situation, but most of the time you want to keep your arc nodes mobile, which means running, and running means not shooting, and having a gun in place of a melee weapon means you're more vulnerable to getting tarpitted.
- Ripjaw: Yet another cheap arc node based on the Deathripper chassis. This one comes with the ability to do at least some damage to high-ARM targets due to Armor Piercing and the ability to stop a target from moving for a turn. Not bad, but exercise caution in doing this, as it leaves your valuable arc node vulnerable. Definitely worth looking at, though.
- Scavenger: Light, speedy flying bonejack that is meant as a finisher for pesky units that just didn't die when you wanted them to, as it gets a bonus die on damage rolls against wounded targets and can run away after it kills something. It ends up being of debatable use, though, because rather than spending points on something that is only useful when something is already near death, you could spend points on something that is able to hurt things even if they're healthy.
- Stalker: Cryx's trademark assassination 'jack. Pathfinder, Stealth, can be allocated focus points at twice the normal distance, ignores magical increases to DEF and ARM, cuts right through any ARM boosts warcasters get from camping focus, removes healing, negates Tough. Basically, murders things. It's awesome. Definitely worth looking at if you're planning to run the assassination game (which you probably should be).
Helljacks (Heavy Warjacks)
Cryx's weakest point is its heavy warjacks. Its infantry is simply too good, thus making the opportunity cost too high for most heavy warjacks; the points would be better spent on Moar Baenz. It's also worth noting that while helljacks tend to be fast, they suffer from extreme fragility, which makes their point costs a large risk - your most expensive 'jack might explode without ever getting to do anything. Unless you're seriously looking to run some helljacks for shits and giggles, even the options noted here as being good are really not worth much consideration. Even if they're good, Cryx has other options that are better. If you REALLY want to run jacks, just play Mortenebra.
- Corruptor: A multipurpose 'jack with access to both melee and ranged murder options - or, at least, that's the idea. Unfortunately, it's plainly shit and costs way too much for what it (doesn't) do. Ignore this.
- Desecrator: Remember what you just heard about the Corruptor? The Desecrator is what a functional Corruptor looks like. It has excellent options for both ranged and melee combat, and can put in work against both infantry and 'jacks. It'll require some buffs if you want it to reliably connect, but it's steady, reliable, and can dish out some serious hurt if properly supported. Also works well with Banes, because it gets free focus just from being near them - and since Cryx loves Banes already, that's pretty awesome.
- Harrower: Expensive, but it'll absolutely devour any infantry that it comes into contact with. It's also quite focus-efficient due to eating the aforementioned infantry's souls. Synergizes incredibly well with Mortenebra. You'll almost never see one without the other.
- Leviathan: Basically a gun platform for a rapid-fire, long-range needle cannon, so that's pretty ballin'. Deals more damage the larger the unlucky victim is, so it can eat through warjacks if you're willing to shell out the focus points to buy all of its attacks - but that's really the issue, since this makes it incredibly focus-hungry in a faction that generally has so many better options to spend its focus on.
- Reaper: Harpoon gun in one hand, giant spike in the other. Whatever the Reaper hits with its harpoon is probably dead, since even if it survives the puncturing that follows, it's been dragged out of position and is now prime charge fodder. Unfortunately, rather focus-hungry.
- Seether: A melee beatstick that will seriously mess up anything that it manages to close the gap to. It hits hard and doesn't require much focus, since it charges for free and gets one focus point out of nowhere every turn, making it one of Cryx's most efficient 'jacks. On the other hand, it's incredibly expensive and made of glass.
- Slayer: You basic heavy beatstick. The Seether is essentially one of these with a couple of special rules added on, so almost everything said there applies here. It's fast and hard to hit (for a heavy), hits decently hard while packing three melee weapons, and has decent MAT. Compared to heavies of other factions, however, it's pretty fragile, and it doesn't come with the Seether's focus-efficiency. Much cheaper, though.
- Cankerworm: Generally considered one of Cryx's most flexible and universally useful 'jack options. Mobile, survivable, hits much harder than you might expect, can snag any awesome weaponry that your opponent's 'jacks wanted to use against you and turn it against them. Especially good with Gaspy, but more than usable for any Cryxian 'caster. It requires support to work, though, as it's more of an opportunist, diving in to clinch the assist, than a frontliner.
- Deathjack: Everyone knows Deathjack. Women want him. Men want him. Cryx players want him. Other factions fear him. He's by far the most expensive 'jack a Cryx player can field, but god damn if he doesn't put in the work to make it worth every point. In essence, he's a Slayer on steroids . He lacks ranged options, but hits like a fucking truck in melee. Anything he closes with will die. On top of this, he's more durable than most helljacks, while just as fast, both in terms of statline and in terms of special rules; he has Cull Soul like a Cryx caster and can spend Soul Tokens to heal himself. Or he can turn them into focus. And he generates focus for free on top of that. And it can cast spells from your warcaster's spell list, though nothing that targets the caster or control area, but you have more than enough spells that don't fall under that. Absolutely brutal. Do not expect to keep any friends you once thought you had if you field this monster.
- Erebus: Scaverous' personal Slayer. Much more durable than the standard, generates soul tokens for Scaverous, comes with Overtake to chew through infantry.
- Malice: A Reaper variant with a better harpoon and a bit more durability. Also harvests souls, which it can spend either as focus or in an attempt to take over the cortex of an opposing warjack, letting you move it and smack somebody. Neat.
- Nightmare: An upgraded Slayer with an Affinity for Deneghra. Still fragile, but brings along the ability to go Incorporeal by spending focus, and gains Stealth while in Denny's control area for a bit of added survivability. Thanks to Incorporeal, it can simply walk out of any unfavorable combat, and it also comes with the ability to declare one unit as its Prey at the beginning of the game, making it even more threatening against them. A monstrous beatstick that a lot of players will think twice about before engaging.
- Kraken: RELEASE IT FOR MASSIVE DAMAGE. A giant crabjack with fantastic options in both ranged and melee combat. This thing will chew through whatever it engages pretty damn quick, and is especially dangerous with Mortenebra. Like all Colossals, it's fucking expensive, but it's well worth the points if you want to go that way. The main issue with it in actual competitive settings is that it isn't Banes instead.
- Bane Knights: An excellent unit, and one that finds its way into almost every Cryx tournament list. Essentially a Bane Thrall variant that trades hitting power for mobility, allowing you to get them where they need to be - and they still hit hard enough to do a hell of a lot of damage when they get there.
- Bane Thralls:Another tournament mainstay. Many players consider Bane Thralls (or Knights, as above) their bread and butter unit, and it's not hard to see why "APPLY MOAR BANEZ" is the battle cry of many an aspiring necromancer. They hit like a ton of fucking bricks, due to Weapon Master combining with their Dark Shroud ability, which reduces the ARM of all enemies they're in melee with. They absolutely must have the UA, though, as it grants a much-needed boost to survivability. Most Cryx players would rather field a minimum unit of Thralls with the UA than a maximum unit without it. You NEED Bane Lord Tartus in your list if you have Bane Thralls (unless playing with pSkarre and her Dark Guidance). On their own they have low-average MAT and low-average speed, thus they will struggle to hit things assuming they actually get there. Curse helps fix their low MAT and increases their threat range. You also might want to include Saxon Orrik since Bane Thralls lack pathfinder to mitigate terrain.
- Bane Thralls Officer & Standard: What did I just fucking tell you to do? Do you require a reminder? You don't need shoes and clothing. You need to make your Stealthy, ARM-eroding Weapon Masters into champions, neckbeard. Seriously. The UA grants Tough and instant stand-up at the start of your turn, which is simply too good to pass up.
- Bane Riders: Banes on horseback. Less awesome than the Knights and the Thralls, but still great, because fucking Banes man.
- Bile Thralls: Would you have a hard time hitting a giant, waddling, bloated sack of acid? Yeah, neither does your average Winter Guard or Trencher. However, you will have the undivided attention of your opponent as soon as you deploy the little puke bags. These guys are absolutely meant to be sacrificed, and will either be your DISTRACTION PINATA, or potentially clear a nice, people-mush-strewn charge lane. If you field a 'caster with Excarnate, then try and let them get killed normally rather than just Purge, because then you have a chance of getting one exactly where your mortal foe doesn't want one to be (yes, this was errata'd to be less effective). Since you're probably playing Cryx to troll your opponent, you may as well learn to make the most of your Bile Thralls. Closing advice? Go with the minimum unit of six, consider running them Conga line-style towards the enemy, bring pink sawdust, and work on your evil laugh.
- Black Ogrun Boarding Party: Heavy infantry wielding harpoon guns. They provide solid board control and come fairly cheap. If they weren't in Cryx, they'd probably get used all the time, but as it is, we have better options.
- Bloodgorgers: Big, fat cave trolls with war axes. Pretty durable for Cryx, and do solid damage in melee. Like the Black Ogrun, though, we just have better options, especially since these guys are middling at best.
- Cephalyx Overlords: Your equivalent of Khador's Greylord Ternion and similar. Basically a trio of wandering support casters. They work well enough in a Cephalyx-themed army, but that implies that you think a Cephalyx-themed army is worth playing in a faction that has Bane Thralls as an alternative. HINT: it isn't.
- Cephalyx Mind Slaver and Drudges: A tarpit unit that starts off inferior to the Mechanithralls and becomes worse when you realize that shooting the Slaver basically renders it worthless.
- Mechanithralls: Robot zombies, and another tournament mainstay. Mechanithralls show up in more lists than any other Cryx unit save Bane Knights (with which they are tied) and Necrosurgeons. Why? Because they're flat-out the best tarpit in the game. There are so many of these little fucks that their mediocre statlines don't matter - your opponent is going to be spending so much time clearing the fucking bodies away they won't be able to play the damn game. They start out good for their point cost, and only get better as you add their UA and WA. Many players would go so far as to say that there is no list which cannot be improved by adding a unit of Mechanithralls.
- Brute Thralls: Bigger, tankier Mechanithralls, serving as the WA for the unit. Excellent for beefing up a unit of robo-zombies to make it even more ludicrously hard to remove, and adds just enough power that your 'thralls will actually be able to threaten some of the lighter 'jacks.
- Skarlock Commander: The Mechanithrall UA. Optional and situational, but nice all the same - particularly for the increased CMD score, which lets your zombies spread out to avoid AOEs.
- Necrosurgeon: The single most commonly used unit in any Cryx tournament list. If you have any Mechanithralls in your list whatsoever, don't even consider leaving home without one. The Necrosurgeon exists to gather corpse tokens from units that die nearby, which can then be cashed in for free Mechanithralls. This is what makes the Mechanithralls so obscenely good at what they do.
- Stitch Thralls: Necrosurgeon companions. They exist to act as proxy corpse gatherers, and little else. Be sure to keep them safe; they're more expendable than the Necrosurgeon itself, but only barely, since losing even one greatly reduces your income of delicious corpses.
- Revenant Cannon Crew: Cryx's light artillery. Fragile, but with reasonable hitting power, the main reason not to take this is to take something better instead, since Cryx has no shortage of broken-as-shit units and this doesn't even cause a blip on the scale. It is, however, unspeakably awesome, because it's a trio of skeleton pirates firing a ghost cannon.
- Revenant Crew of the Atramentous: SKELETON PIRATES. Pistols! Cutlasses! Immortality (unless the unit leader is killed so don't let that happen)! FUCK YEAH! Unfortunately suffers from the critical weakness of not being Banes.
- Revenant Crew Rifleman: Skeleton pirate with a rifle! Also not Banes!
- Satyxis Blood Witches: Horny pirate demon witches with Racks only slightly less Great than Skarre's own. Quick, stab things with knives. Pretty effective overall, especially if you bring Skarre along for the ride.
- Satyxis Blood Hag: The UA for Blood Witches, and just too good to pass up. She gives the rest of the Witches Incorporeal for added mobility and survivability, and cancels out nearby enemies' Tough and healing in the bargain.
- Satyxis Raiders: More horny demon pirate ladies. What more could Cryx ask for? They're fast and chew through light infantry brutally fast. Everytime they hurt a Jack they cause 1 point of damage to the casterd. Like the Blood Witches, absolutely brutal with Skarre where they do stack with her Backlash spell.
- Satyxis Raider Sea Witch: Another UA that's just too good to pass up. She makes the Raiders pretty much immune to ranged attacks, grants Pathfinder, and if that wasn't enough to make you nut in your pants, comes with a mini-feat that gives the Raiders another die on damage rolls for one turn.
- Soulhunters: Robot zombie centaur grim reapers.
Unfortunately kind of shit since they're geared towards taking out infantry, which Cryx already does plenty well with better units.What are you smoking? These things have 3 attacks each, have SPD 8 (THEY CAN RUN 16") and go Incorporeal with Darraghe Wrathe. Not to mention they're light cavalry. Add Scything Touch or a debuff (like Parasite) to target heavy warjack/warbeast and these guys will destroy it. Most Cryx anti-infanty get shot to bits before they reach their destination, but Soulhunters will tear shit up before the enemy can pull the trigger.
- Blackbane's Ghost Raiders: WELL WHAT NOW JACK SPARROW WE BE TWO IMMORTALS LOCKED IN COMBAT 'TIL JUDGMENT DAY AND TRUMPET'S SOUND and basically we're a tarpit
that isn't as effective as Mechanithrallsbut is infinitely cooler because we are pirate ghost skeletons with sweet hats. Actually they're really good since they Incorporeal (ie they can only be damaged by magic attacks before they attack) and so you can jam them into an enemy unit and laugh as they can't do anything about it but try to run away from their swords (that light people on fire). Also the unit grows larger the more enemies they kill.
- Withershadow Combine: A support unit consisting of three Iron Liches. They have a couple of
neatamazing special abilities, but they exist for Dark Industries: if they kill an enemy 'jack while all three are in melee range, you get to replace that jack with a fully-functional Cryx 'jack under your control. They have incredibly powerful abilities like Admonia's upkeep removal and Tremulus' puppet master (gives you a free reroll or forces a reroll for your opponent).
- Bloat Thrall: No. The undead version of yo' mama is slow, so running doesn't count as much (Bile Thralls leave him in the dust). His RAT is abyssmal, so he'll probably deviate IF he gets a shot off. His best attack requires him to die, so if you support or have someone tank for him, there's a chance he'll melt your guys. In fact, why did I even type this much about a bad unit? What am I doing with my life? Or move it up a flank behind some styxis raiders serve as nice protection for the bloat trall's blast.
- Iron Lich Overseer: A 'Jack Marshal, which Cryx doesn't have otherwise, so that's pretty cool. Unfortunately shit and not worth the points.
- Machine Wraith: A little ghost that runs at enemy 'jacks and tries to possess them. It's only one point, and you can have three. If you're mindful of Magic Weapons and enemy ranks, the potential for hilarity is high, but don't expect to actually get permanent control of a 'jack from these guys. They're just little magic missiles with legs.
- Necrotech: Repairs your warjacks... assuming his fat ass can keep up with them, and assuming that your infamously-fragile 'jacks are even still standing when he gets there. He stands a chance of getting blown up by his own Scrap Thralls. He's kind of a fifth wheel, as a lot of Cryx warjacks are pretty disposable and too quick for him to remain B2B. pGaspy's theme force allows for a slight discount on Slayer and Corruptor helljacks if you bring them along, which makes you wonder what kind of juicy blackmail they have on the guy.
- Scrap Thralls: Like Bile Thralls, they explode and have no Stealth or the like for protection. Unlike Bile Thralls, a mean look can cause them to explode in a chain reaction if you don't space them out. Like most Cryx infantry, you're effectively spamming them, going for a max unit, or not using them.
- Pistol Wraith: A ghost cowboy dual-wielding spectral Colt .45s. This alone should make him a mandatory include in every list you ever build, but in case that doesn't convince you, he's just generally a solid choice of solo. He's not the most broken option Cryx can field, but he's certainly far from bad. Bring two for hilarious Gunfight shenanigans.
- Satyxis Raider Captain: A stronger Raider that is functionally a second UA. She makes them all faster and harder to kill, which makes them absolutely brutal to deal with, particularly if you're running Skarre.
- Skarlock Thrall: It's an extra spell per turn for you. It's cheap in both points and money. Cryx 'casters sometimes even have their own built-in Skarlock, which means it couldn't be more clearer that you'll want this (short of Matt Wilson knocking on your door, throwing one at your head when you open it, spitting on your porch for wasting his time, then flipping you off and riding on Coleman Stryker's back off into the sky).
- Warwitch Siren: A support unit, despite looking like a crazed witch-ninja. A solid one, too. Throws Corrosion around, but the main thing is that she supplies free focus for your 'jacks, taking some pressure off of your warcaster.
- Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius: Basically Bane (the Batman villain, not the unit) with a giant harpoon and the Journeyman Warcaster ability. Fragile, but actually pretty good when examined in a vacuum. The problem arises when you take into account the fact that Cryx generally doesn't care about its helljacks, so, while he's good at what he does, he doesn't do what you need. Pair him up with a Leviathan and get the max shots off and laugh.
- Captain Rengrave: Captain Barbossa has arrived. He buffs all your Revenants substantially, so he's pretty much mandatory in any ghost pirate skeleton army. Also has a sweet hat.
- Bane Lord Tartarus: Oh, are they cross because of the Bane Thrall sandwich you've force fed them? It's because you added some Tartersauce, boy-o!
Tartarus is pretty much the best solo Cryx has(you can't take him in Body and Soul, nor do you see him in 30 Bane Knight pSkarre lists), because he takes your Banes (which hit like a truck, assuming they can hit) and makes them absurdly good by letting them hit things. He can Curse a unit or model to increase your charge distance and also inflict a debuff (with Dark Shroud, that means they're suffering -2 ARM and -2 DEF), bring dead Banes back to life, and basically ruin every opponent's day harder than they thought possible. BLT will add to your Thralls with each weakened, living model he mows down, or more accurately, reaps with Thresher. You can actually end up with more Banes than you fielded, so you may want to bring extra. It's a shame that you can't get souls from this. Remember that he's not a Necrosurgeon and your Banes aren't McThralls, though, or your overall strategy could suffer. He can also catch a bullet, bomb, or boosted spell before he enters the fray, but this isn't as scary of a prospect as it initially appears when you realize that he basically just exists to get your Bane units where they need to be without too much of a dent in their numbers.
- General Gerlack Slaughterborn: A bigger, badder Bloodgorger. Suffers from the same problem Bloodgorgers have - namely, that he isn't MORE BANES. Awesome if you're just playing for fun and like yourself some cave trolls, though, since he makes your Bloodgorgers much better.
- Darragh Wrathe: The mandatory dragoon solo for the faction. Hits pretty hard and has some nice abilities,
but he suffers from trying to be the Bane Lord Tartarus for Soulhunters, which suck. Arguably the best solo in the faction due to his host of special abilities that support his army, and being a light cavalry model he gets the speed to position himself to maximize these abilities. Death Ride gives all Undead units in his command range a little more movement, which is excellent for positioning and increasing threat ranges. Beyond Death reduces the damage of living units near him, thus providing a decent amount of survivability to units around him. Battle Wizard allows him to use a magic ability after killing a unit. Last but not least he makes Soulhunters in his command range Incorporeal when they activate, allowing them to take out those pesky support models hiding the back of units (Tall in the Saddle allows them to ignore smaller based models when determining line of sight to charge).
- Wraith Engine: An odd variant on the standard battle engine formula, Wraith Engines aren't so much siege weapons as mobile utility solos. It does hit fairly hard in melee, but the draw is all of its AOE buffs and debuffs. Interesting, and not bad, but situational - it works best with Incorporeal models who aren't Bane Knights, since it's primarily a delivery system that gets your dudes into melee through heavy fire and Banes already have Tartarus to do that.