Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Erratapocalypse 2016 - The End of the World As We Know It?

It happened.  Christmas came early and the big jolly red fellow brought with him a bag of gifts for everyone who doesn't play Skorne or Mad Dogs.  Cygnar only saw a handful of changes; a lot fewer than I was steeling myself for and seeing that made my whole day!  Let's talk about what the big changes mean for our mighty Faction!

These never get old
Caine2 (assuming Empowered Shot works how everyone thinks it works) - Dude's gotta pay full-price for his rune shots.
I was already not a huge fan of this 'caster; he does a lot of work himself... but only because he doesn't actually help his army do any of it.  This change cuts his personal damage output down significantly.  Knocks his number of attacks in half if he actually wants to trick shot, significantly reduces the overall power of his feat turn if he wants to Grevious Wounds, etc.  Overnight he's gone from one of Cygnar's most popular and powerful 'casters to probably the bottom 1/3 of the Faction, if not worse.
Does this change our overall matchups significantly?  Not particularly; Caine was good at being an all-rounder with decent Menoth and Retribution matchups and without him one of our other strong options will just have to rise to the occasion.
Is this sad and depressing?  Absolutely; Caine is a cool character and one of the popular favorites with a great model and awesome theme.  In my opinion the negative press he received because of his Mk3 reinvention is what really did him in, and he was caught in the crossfire of PP's new NPE witch hunt.  Hopefully he'll still see some table time in his upcoming third incarnation.

She's looking a lot less happy now

Haley1 - Barrier's SPD reduction debuff isn't worth the paper bag I now have to put over Haley's head.
Another casualty of the crusade against NPE (but one that's arguably better deserved) is the ball-bustingiest of Captain Haley's ball-busting spell list.  Haley wasn't exactly tearing up the meta in the same way that people thought Caine2 was for some reason, but she was still occasionally unfun to play against and phenomenal in some matchups.  Overall, the meta of high ARM, hyper-gunlines and lack of Haley's favorite food (low ARM infantry swarms) curbed her inclusion in many pairings... which was why a kneecapping by the croquet mallet of justice was so flabbergasting.  Another wild swing of the mallet resulted in a broken pinky tow and -1 WJP, ostensibly because losing any more meant that people might've made the mistake of thinking she still had good rules.
That said; she's not quite as bad as I initially knee-jerked towards.  Barrier still reduces DEF and Haley boasts one of the strongest support spell-lists in the Faction, especially against high-model count lists that suffer against her feat.  All these strengths she can take time to consider during her lonely vigil on the shelf, waiting for the fabled end times when her new position as poster child for "solves problems we don't have" is needed most.

No silly emote heads for this lovely lady

Haley2 - Long live the queen!
Everyone knew (or at least should have known) another Haley2 nerf was coming.  I played about 2 months assuming Haley2 would be reduced to a mass of non-complementary game mechanics in preparation... so having her survive relatively untouched is like getting a whole new 'caster added to the stable!
Losing Deflection is the biggest change and does hurt quite a bit; it removes Haley's protection for moderately-high DEF 'jacks and solos that I generally built my lists around and forces her towards a slightly more heavily armored build; no huge deal.  While it's not nearly as useful, Force Field is no joke of a spell and will keep Haley safe from a lot of last-ditch or unexpected assassination runs while not being vital enough to represent an actual drain on resources. 
The Time Bomb change isn't nearly as relevant as many folks are making it out to be; it obviously removes the possibility of debuffing spell-immune models or catching multiple enemies with its effects... but since the edition change allowed models to charge under it I found the spell to be not particularly useful to begin with.  Since the start of Mk3 I've only cast it a handful of times, mostly as a DEF debuff to ensure an assassination or the death of a particularly tough heavy... all of which it still does just fine.
All told; Haley certainly dropped a couple of pegs losing almost all her defence against enemy gunlines, but those were never the matchups in which she shined anyhow.

So alongside some core rules changes and minor buff to the Minuteman (wooo...), that's the errata for Cygnar; just 3 major hits.  Seems like a lot of strikes from that croquet mallet; but how did the Faction make out in the grand scheme of things?


I can't express how excited I am about these changes without the criminally excessive use of emojis which I will demonstrate now.

Thank you for your patience.  Here's a monkey:

Haley2 survived still playable, Khador (and Karchev especially) took the mallet of justice so many times to the bollocks that they don't even know which Warjacks to take; Ossyan, while still strong, is slightly less of a threat (although his absence may bring other, equally unfun Ret matchups to the table but we'll see) and Wurmwood can no longer hide behind his wussy forest to deny the SWEET LIGHTNING VENGEANCE THAT WILL BE WREAKED UPON HIM!!!!11!!!1!!

I'm excited to see how the meta develops from here, but it looks to be a strong start for the new year.  I'm interested to put models on the table and see how things shake out in the end, but in my opinion the worthless lives of two mediocre 'casters and a drop of blood from the finger of one of our greats is a small sacrifice to the great dev gods of Immoren for the blessing of better matchups across the board.  So say we all or whatever.

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