Death and Birth; Destruction and Reconstruction; Rot and Regrowth, are all intrinsically linked and part of the cycle that is life. Morvhana the Autumnblade’s design is all about this cycle and the more you play her the more you realize how well designed she is.
I started playing Morvhana the Autumnblade as soon as CID became legit, in September. I made that decision because I thought she was one of the most interesting things that came out of the Tharn CID and relevant to what the meta was evolving into. I’ve played over two dozen games with her in 4 of the 5 themes and feel like I have just started to understand a bit about how she functions and what she likes to have in her army. I’ll go over all that in detail, my reflections and thoughts, but first let me first do a general run through on Morv 1, the changes made and how they relate to the meta.
Morvhana 1 can seem very passive at a cursory glance. She does nothing to deliver her army, she has no threat extension and little control beyond making a forest or two with eruption. She also does little to protect her army besides recursion for a unit, because of this she doesn’t look aggressive at all. but that is the point. I like to think of Morvhana as “passive-aggressive”, she’s fine accepting an alpha and then brutally punishing an opponent for underestimating her ability to recover from that alpha. In that sense she plays a long game very well and is well suited to players who enjoy pushing the game to it’s turn 7 conclusion, where Morvhana will still have an army, and her opponents will not. That said, I think Morvhana players need to be comfortable playing games from the back foot; taking alphas, being behind on scenario and then fighting back to win.
So, why Morvhana, what does she offer that can help deal with issues in the current meta? Well, it appears to me that there is a very real trend of tough, hard to kill infantry with recursion in the developing meta. Morvhana has tools for that and she turns on the Ravagers Mass Carnage mini feat like a boss. There’s also fast hard hitting lists that want to cripple you with an alpha or jam you out of scenario and win by turn 3/4. She can handle that and has no problem accepting an alpha. Finally, she is probably one of the most difficulty casters in the game to assassinate despite her…
Morv 1 is probably the easiest to assassinate caster in the game based on her stat block alone: DEF 15, ARM 13 and 15 boxes. She would be terrible to play if it weren’t for a couple bits of defensive tech:
Sacrificial Pawn Friendly Faction Warrior Model: used properly, this ability can make Morv almost untouchable to direct fire guns and sprays. It is super important to note that only DIRECT HITS can be pawned off, that means things like blast damage, electro leaps and the like will still hit Mrs Fragility and you need to plan for those. Secondly, unlike shield guard, Sac Pawn can be used for sprays and even if the model being pawned to is knocked down, stationary or whatever. Finally, Sac Pawn cannot be used for spells, but that leads us into the second bit of defensive kit-
Arcane Protections: This is Brennos’, Morvhana’s bonded beasts, animus and it stops enemy models within 10″ being used to channel. That means that if Morv or Bren have the animus up the spell caster will have to walk into immediate range if they want to tag Morv with a spell (most spells being range 10 or less), making the threats much more predictable and easier to avoid.
So, despite her rather weak stat block, Morvhana has tools available that can make her almost immune to direct ranged and spell assassination, and that’s important because she has a tendency to spend her fury aggressively.
Vital Magic: This was added at the start of MK III and while this does not really improve Morv’s survivability at all it does allow her stay relevant into upkeep hate and dispel. The fact they reduced the number of upkeeps she has without reducing her effectiveness also makes the load of carrying the upkeeps easier as well as making Vital Magic less painful to pay.
The most interesting thing about Morv 1 is her spell list, and more specifically, the nature in which her spells interact with each other to create very exciting fluctuations in her fury that can make her one of the most active casters on the table in ideal circumstances. I’ll run through them in order of how they build interactions:
Harvest: This spell will be absolutely pivotal in some games and useless in others. In the games where it is useful it will be a beautiful, awesome thing that will make your opponent cry tears of rage. Basically, whenever an enemy living or undead model is DESTROYED in Morvs control range she can choose to gain a fury, up to her max of 7. This means you can spend down in the control phase, fill her back up as models activate, activate her and spend her fury, then activate some more models and fill her up again to the desired number of transfers. This is what I call Full Spectrum Play, but I’ll get more into that later.
Mortality: This was a new addition to Morvs spell list and it was brilliant in that it was thematically appropriate and gave her play and game outside of utilizing Restoration/Harvest. Basically it’s an offensive spell that gives the target -2 DEF and -2 ARM, so it’s a fantastic hit and damage buff, BUT that’s not all. It also prevents damage from being removed from models affected, which prevents tough, rapid healing or regeneration. It’s a ball breaking spell when applied to jacks, beasts or even collosals and gargantuans as they cannot be healed or repaired in any way. In all games this spell will be useful and in most it will be your bread and butter, such is it’s power.
Eruption of Life: on the surface this looks like just an offensive nuke, which it is, but you also create a forest centred on the destroyed LIVING or UNDEAD model. Which means you can use your enemies models and positioning against him to create a forest that blocks LOS and creates pathfinder issues. As a nuke this is only really desirable against living or undead infantry as if the intial model is destroyed it creates a 3″ AOE and models in the AOE take a POW 13 blast damage roll which is usually sufficient to kill infantry. This means that with Harvest, if you destroy 3 enemy undead or living models with a single eruption in Morvs control, you get 3 fury back, basically casting it for free. This theoretically means Morv could cast as many eruptions as there are groups of 3 enemy infantry to kill. Mortality works well in conjunction with Eruption as it makes hits and kills more likely and prevents things like tough and such from preventing the explosion. Finally, Eruption gives Morvhana steady RFP outside of her feat and the current meta is strong with recursion.
Influence: This spell is used to temporarily take control of an enemy warrior model and make one basic attack with it. It’s important to note that this can be a ranged, melee attack or any basic attack listed on the front of the models card. Since you are controlling the model for the duration of the attack, any spells on the models unit or buffs provided by your opponents models to that model will not apply for the attack, since it is no longer friendly. Like Eruption, Influence will trigger harvest and refund a fury to Morvhana if an enemy living or undead model is destroyed. This means there are more diminishing returns with this spell BUT it can reach deeper into the enemies lines with a ranged attack OR trigger an effect on the controlled models weapons like dispel, grievous wounds, knock down or the like. As with eruption, this spell works great with mortality as the attack is more likely to succeed. On a side note you can also use influence to make an enemy incorporeal warrior model make an attack so that it will immediately lose incorporeal (assuming there is a legal target in range of it’s weapons).
Restoration: This spell is the combination of the old Regrowth and Inviolable resolve, which was also a great idea as it reduces the upkeep load on Morvhana and allows you to focus your effort onto one unit. That said, Restoration can only be placed on a friendly faction unit, IR was model, so the days of her armour buffing Ghetto or a Wrath are gone. Basically Restoration gives the unit +2 ARM and allows you to return a small or medium based model to the unit at the cost of 1 fury per model during your control phase. After upkeeping Restoration Morvhana has enough fury to return 6 models a turn! That is near feat quality recursion you pull out every turn in ideal circumstances. Both Ravagers and Skinwalkers are ideal targets due to their native resilience and the fact their unit sizes allow Morvhana to perfectly support them. A couple notes on the recurred model placement, first it’s WITHIN 3″,meaning you can spread them out quite a bit, and the placement is sequential, meaning you can chain models along if needed so that the recurred models take up more space or be placed behind the enemy front line. Of course the models don’t get a combat action but the purpose behind it is to drain your opponent of relevant activations through attrition while Morvhana’s army suffers little losses. Remember, Morvhana is a late game caster, always plan a turn or two ahead for you recurred models to make sure they are positioned properly to get work out of them in following turns. Restoration will be used in almost every single game, even in games that have upkeep hate and/or remove from play, first because the threat of having models return indefinitely will force your opponent to play a certain way and secondly because it will force a drain on your opponents resources to deal with the arm buff while forcing them to position certain models aggressively to RFP or cancel the benefits of Restoration. In short, I haven’t played a game in which I didn’t use Restoration, even against wurmwood in bones with 3 Wold Wyds, the benefits and manner in which it pushes your opponent to play makes it worth the cost every time. There is risk, but the risk is always worth the reward in this case.
A number of key things changed about Morvhana’s feat in the CID. First, it no longer creates forests, which is great as it reduces the insanity of trying to book keep all those mini forests but it is also bad as it doesn’t limit LOS and movement. This changes the nature of how to play the feat, it no longer can be used to time walk some opponents but is instead a way to force multiply through the resulting explosions. These explosions are the second thing that have changed and have gone from 3″ to 4″, greatly increasing the odds of catching more models in the POW 13 blast. Third, the triggers for the feat now include RANGED as well as MELEE attacks from friendly faction models opening up a broader range of play and makes target selection a lot easier. Finally friendly faction models in the blast heal for D3, which sounds corner case but with models coming back from Restoration and the type of models you usually want as Restoration targets, you frequently have models that are damaged. Another important aspect of the feat is that the model that explodes is Removed From Play, giving Morv a lot of credibility into living and undead recursion lists. Finally it is important to note that the feat only affects living and undead enemy models, which is the primary reason you will play like half of your games without much of a feat.
Let me stress a couple points before your digest that, first the times the feat is good it is INSANELY good, Mortality and feat on even a high armour unit will mean that it takes POW 15 blast damage. Units that rely on shield guard can be circumvented by destroying a model in the back rank as the origin of the blast will then be behind the front models denying the shield wall benefit. Secondly, from my experience, Morvhana 1 can play a lot of games comfortably without a feat at all, her Recursion through Restoration and Mortality are frequently enough to have a solid game.
SUMMARY: Morvhana 1’s spell list and feat are highly interactive, possibly one of the most interactive and synergistic spell lists/feats I have used. When it is working on full bore, you can force multiple like a monster, and this is why her best targets are living and undead infantry heavy lists that present great targets for the feat and great resource renewal with Harvest. That doesn’t mean she can’t play into brick lists, frequently Mortality and Recursion are enough to handle those problems, but her primary targets are more balanced or infantry focused lists. Frequently you can use that ‘focus’ that Morvhana has against an opponent during list selection as most opponents will not anticipate you dropping Morv 1 into something like Black Industries or Jaws of the Wolf, and if you are prepared and have studdied the match, she can handle it.
I try not to think of things as “auto include”, but brennos just works so well with Morv that I find it very hard not to justify taking him.
First off he’s a decent “medium”, at 12/18 with 28 boxes he’s just as sturdy as a Gnarlhorn and a little softer than a Riphorn. His damage output is similar to a Gnarlhorn and slightly under a Riphorn BUT he does have a 2″ melee magic/blessed weapon and I find that makes all the difference in his accuracy and damage output in the right match ups and allows him to be more careful about his target selection, meaning he can stay safer due to that 2″ melee.
Something combat wise that is probably dismissed is Crit Pitch on his horns. With 4 fury and a puppet master you can get the crit more often than you would think and there have been circumstances where pitching a heavy (or a pesky warden) out of a zone can be clutch.
Another overlooked benefit of Brennos over the other goats is his threshold, and at 10 he is the calmest goat out there. I frequently relied on his calm demeanour to balance my fury when things get hot.
The real reason I find Brennos so hard to pass over is the back of his card. Since Morvhana is already very resilient to ranged assassination, thanks to sac pawn, it is amazing to have an animus that shuts down a lot of the spell assassination options. That package gives you a lot of piece of mind and allows you to predict the threats a lot more accuratelty, which means you can be a lot more aggressive with your fury.
The fact that Brennos is an arc node with Morv is amazingly helpful at landing the mortalities and other juicy spells as deep as possible into enemy lines. That said, I have found that only having Brennos as an arc node is limiting and dangerous as it’s easy to over commit him to get the spells where you want them. It is always advisable to have a gallows or two to play on the flanks or to sacrifice for a particulary aggressive play. Especially in match ups where his animus is crucial it is important to play him safetly.
His spells are also very useful, although you will tend to lean on Ravaging winds as it is the easiest to apply. Still, I have regularily used Rites of Spring to heal up Restored models and Death Wolves and Purifying Prayer, may be more niche but there is definetly play to be had to remove spiney growth or the like from a warbeast. I feel like it’s important to mention that Brennos’ command of 8 allows him to apply both Purifying Prayer from a great distance and Rites of Spring can affect an enormous number of models. All of these Spells are much easier to use now that Brennos has Battle Wizard, meaning he can bop some dudes and it won’t feel like you’re wasting a 15 point activation with some cursory healing. Now the spells are gravy, and very useful gravy.
TYPES OF MATCHES
You will not always get full use out of Morvhana’s very deep and synergistic kit, and to be honest, I don’t think you should expect that. Part of playing Morvhana is putting fear into living and undead dude lists and tough infantry bricks so that you don’t necessarily have to face them and that can be a strategy in your pairing if Morvhana isn’t your sweeper. In my brief experience there are three types of situations you will find yourself in playing as Morvhana:
FULL SPECTRUM PLAY: This is when you are getting full use of Morvhana’s kit, the enemy has living and undead models for the feat and Harvest, Morvhana is spending her stack in the control phase, getting loaded up via Harvest, spending her stack on offensive spells, then getting loaded via Harvest after her activation. Best case is that the enemy doesn’t have any RFP either. This will be about 10% of your games and are certainly best case scenario.
NARROW SPECTRUM PLAY: This is when the enemy has some RFP or upkeep hate and more limited living and undead models or a lower model count and models with higher armour and boxes. Most of the games you play, your opponent will have some counter play available and as a Morvhana 1 player you must be able to adapt, focus you game on the spells and abilities that can be used and adjust your strategy accordingly. This represents more balanced lists and even some jack and beast heavy builds that do not completely shut down your recursion and Mortality.
NO SPECTRUM PLAY: Your opponent has magic defences in the form of Arcane Vortex or no magic targeting or no channeling, has plenty of RFP or upkeep hate and little to no living or undead models, or very few models in number. As bad as this sounds this should be a very small number of match ups, and just not having a feat does not constitute No Spectrum Play. I haven’t played this type of game with Morvhana yet, even playing into immortals feels more like Narrow Spectrum Play, but I suspect lists like Clockwork Legions and Dark Menagerie.
When I set out to test Morvhana I decided I would need to try her in as many themes as I could so that I would not dismiss opportunities out of hand. I did only end up testing her in 4 of the 5 themes, omitting Call of the Wild because of my experience with the other themes
Devourers Host- First attempt: Since Devourers Host had just gone through CID I decided to start with it. My first builds were going with a min Battle group of Brennos and a Gnarlhorn but I quickly decided that I needed a better beater with more substantial threat range and an innate ability to keep it out of trouble, so I switched the Gnarlhorn for a Stalker. As for the Army I decided Mortality + blood trackers sounded good so I went with a max unit with Nuala, a Ravager Unit and the new Blood Pack.
My first set out felt conflicted for sure, because of the forward nature of the blood trackers, I always wanted to put Restoration on them to recoup casualties but I discovered that the fury drain of returning a lot of trackers meant Morvhana had trouble contributing meanfully in Narrow Spectrum Play. Also, the Ravagers would inevitably take a lot of casualties and toggling Restoration was awkward at best, especially with the fury demand of returning 4-5 trackers a turn. I was also playing without any of the new models as I wanted to play the list at tournaments before their release.
I did play a couple interactions incorrectly making me think there was skornergy in the build. Specifically I thought the Feat triggered prior to corpse collection and overtake, which is not the case, both trigger at the same step and as the active player it’s up to you how to resolve them. So you can kill a model with a Ravager collect the corpse declare the overtake, resolve the Feat effect, overtake and continue. Something else that vexed me about using her in this theme was that applying Mortality was all on Morvhana’s shoulders and because I would frequently need or want Mortality applied early in my activations, Morvhana would have to activate first denying me any real Harvest benefits. This also meant that her fury was heavily taxed and her overall synergy with Harvest minimal at best. With no Geomancy it felt difficult to tap into Morvs full potential.
Another factor in my initial disappointment was almost all of my games were against opponents were Morvs feat was practically useless, which was frustrating.
Bones of Orboros: My next adventure was into Bones and there aren’t any real Restoration targets, sure I can put on a unit of Sentry Stones for the ARM buff but I was not getting any recursion out of it. I built a gun line and focused my efforts on Mortality thanks to the ample availability of Geomancy.
I played 6 games with it and was modestly impressed with it. As a gun line it was pretty effective albeit short range in comparison to other faction gun lines. That said there were a number of short falls that concerned me; first, because Morvhana doesn’t do anything to protect her army, the whole thing felt very vulnerable and would certainly be out shot by other dedicated gun lines. Secondly it would be vulnerable to good threat range armour crack lists as the list lacked Krueger’s control. It didn’t seem terrible but it honestly felt like a weaker version of Krueger 2 Bones with more effective guns but at the cost of control and a dubious feat. Without the Recursion from Restoration I really felt that I wasn’t tapping her full power.
Wold Wyrds really impressed me in these games and with the change to the feat triggering on ranged attacks now, I decided I really wanted some in the build.
Wild Hunt: With that in mind I looked at the remaining themes and decided that Hunt had opportunities to maximize Morvs complete kit and offer better opportunities for Full Spectrum Play. It allows living and construct warbeasts so I could have Geomancy, wyrds and a living beater if I wanted. It also had access to Skinwalkers which I thought would be a great Restoration target. My initial build looked something like this;
Not a lot of free cards, mainly because the choices for units and solos in this theme are sub par at best. I decided on one unit of skinwalkers because of my experience with trying to juggle Restoration in the Devourers Host and my distrust of their ability to do any real damage. As a result the army ended up being quite small and had only one solo, which was concerning to me. Over the 6 or so games I played it I was surprised that it performed adequately. The skinwalkers are an excellent Restoration target as their decent armour and high boxes as well as hyper regeneration kept them in the game a long time. That said they did no real work, they just spent a lot of time getting in the way. The goemancy was fantastic and the guns from the wyrds good but I still got precious little out of the feat, mainly because of the types of armies my opponents played. I was starting to suspect this was a mortal failing for Morvhana.
Secret Masters: I wasn’t very enthused about trying secret masters but I promised myself, out of a sense of having more complete experience, that I would give it a try with her. The good thing is I could have a living and construct battle group giving me access to geomancy, wyrds and potential living beaters. Druids are the only real Restoration choice so I wanted to give them a try. The idea was to have a cloud wall with sac pawns behind it, which is really of dubious value if you don’t have anything seriously vexing to deliver. I threw in a couple min units of Croaks as POW 13 weapon master guns sound ok.
I only ended up playing this list twice because it was so terrible, it had very little staying power and was incredibly pillow fisted. Druids as a Restoration target were awful, they just died, came back and died again, and died super easy. They literally did nothing of any real value. I played Skarre 3 Slaughter Fleet and Skarre 1 Dark Host. The game against skarre 3 was a joke but it was enlightening, as if I had brought devourers host the feat and mortality would have been serious business. The game against Skarre 1 was amusing but only in that it took my opponent a lot longer to win than we thought it would, what with druids jamming up things. Probably the only thing that really struck me was that having a Restoration unit really allows Morvhana to absorb an alpha, even from a really hard hitter like Skarre. The issue with Secret Masters is that there is nothing of value in the theme to hit back with, there is piss poor synergy with Harvest due to the number of minions and there is just better choices for recursion. Also Croak Raiders seem like crappy Blood Trackers.
Ok, I’ve played all the themes except for Call of the Wild, which I omitted because after playing the other 4 themes I came to appreciate the following:
- Morvhana really wants friendly faction models, the times when the feat has value it REALLY has value and stepping away from that potential is a huge mistake.
- You NEED a decent Restoration target. That seems a bit extreme, but Restoration is still a powerful spell that helps greatly with making it to turn 7, and straight up ignoring that to play a gun line in bones feels bad. The Restoration Unit also needs to have value outside of just coming back to die again. This unit should have some potential for damage and also be sturdy enough that removing the models are problematic. Druids are a terrible Restoration target as they have no damage potential and are trivially removed. Likewise, Bloodtrackers are also a poor Restoration target, they may have good damage potential but they are trivially removed and the number of casualties they sustain means topping up the unit becomes quite a drain for Morvhana.
- Two units that are viable targets for Restoration is not necessarily a bad thing. After talking to a bunch of people I decided that running two units of skinwalkers or Ravagers might be the thing to do. Toggling Restoration may be difficult at times but if it became an option it would be very powerful indeed. Also, due to the inherent resilient nature of Ravagers and Skinwalkers meant that it would be easier to sustain casualties on both units, recur, toggle and be able to keep that unit soluble till the next turn to recur the losses from 2 turns.
- Geomancy is not necessary. It helps, and makes for easy plays but the themes that offer Construct warbeasts WITH decent Restoration targets gives you a lot less damage output and a lot less volume of attacks.
- Always take Brennos, seriously, he’s a decent warbeast and the arc node helps a ton.
Seeing as Call of the Wild lacks a Restoration Target and has no geomancy I decided it wasn’t really worth exploring as I was much more interested in exploring the idea of running 2 mainline Restoration units so it was…
BACK TO DEVOURERS HOST:
With this list I wanted to dispense with the Bloodtrackers, at least as a main unit. Some of my builds include a min unit, but I was no longer considering them as a Restoration target. I wanted 2 full units of Ravagers, pot and Lotf, Brighid and Caul, and a Blood Shaman. For utility I wanted a Ravager Shaman for No KD and magic weapons and a Night Witch for dispel and a nice stealth solo to camp flags. That left a decent chunk of optional points that I was considering for the following options:
-Min unit of Bloodtrackers
-Utility solos like Gallows Grove or a Husk or gobber chef
-two free slots
My first game was min battlegroup with Brennos and a Gnarlhorn but I quickly found that it lacked a good beater or late game heavy, so I quickly adjusted it to have a Stalker instead of the Gnarlhorn. The additional points into the battle group did cause some complication for the rest of the army after my required stuff. Something else that came up was that having Bloodweavers as ambushers meant that I would not have cheap models to sac for Blood Ritual, so I needed 2 units of Blood Weavers, a unit of Blood weavers plus a min unit of trackers OR a husk and blood weavers. While the last option was more economical it meant my ambush would only delay scenario for 1 turn when I really needed multiple turns of contesting out of them. I also decided that for Morvhana, bloodweavers were not a good fighting unit due to their fragility and the inherent problems delivering them (I mean they would be a much better fighting unit for Baldur 1), therefore I would dispense with the Haruspex and opt for Blood trackers or just be a lot more selective about the use of Blood Ritual.
Through a brief testing period I was immediately impressed with a number of things:
- The volume of attacks is deceptive, ravagers can easily generate 3 attacks and up to 5 between Vengeance, basic and corpse bought attacks. This gave the list a lot more viability into things like immortals as there was enough inbuilt volume of attacks to compensate for the lack of corpses and the zero effect feat. Couple this with….
- Restoration on 2 units that are medium in size and have inherent resilience is very viable. Ravagers seem ideal as between Def 13, tough (sometimes no KD), decent armour, boxes and Rapid Healing they are stout enough to weather a couple turns of casualties before you refill them. The effort is also easier on morvhana as you generally only need to return 3 or 4, toggle and then get transfers through Harvest or just keep her safe with Arcane Protections and sac pawns.
- Brighid and Caul are a heavy and should be treated as such. They should prey a hard target and spend the game stalking it and immediately be able to remove it if it is committed. That said their involvement in the game prior to that point should be minor or non existent and Brighids safety should be top priority as without gang and prey the damage output of Caul drops considerably. She is speed 7, and they are command 9, so even just running her for the extra +4 on Cauls attacks is preferable to getting any work out of her personally on the clutch turn if it keeps her alive.
- An ambush unit is essential because the list does not threat extend and does not really penetrate jam unless it’s a bunch of crap you can mortality and pac man through. In games against Immortals or jack spam jam you need time to chew through the wall so it is absolutely essential that you have ambushers and that it be a UNIT as you will need multiple turns of contesting to drag the game out. That said the unit does not need a lot of combat potential as their main role will be contesting and potentially Blood Ritual targets if the match up does not call for ambushers. So don’t worry about having a Haruspex, save the points for something else.
The few games I have played with this list I have been very impressed with and it’s range of play. I was initially planning on pairing it with Baldur 2 Call of the Wild with a Storm Raptor to deal with things like Immortals but some testing proved that just wasn’t going to work. I then decided to try Morv Dev into Immortals and was impressed with it’s ability to handle it despite the lack of feat and Harvest. Essentially the volume of attacks, Restoration and Mortality were enough to play a long game from the back foot. I wouldn’t say it necessarily favours Morv, a lot of it is skill and clock management but it is playable.
As much as I like the double Ravager list and I am almost certain it has the best opportunities for competitive play, I want to try a double Skinwalker list like this:
Although it feels like the list will lack in the volume of attacks and ability to reduce infantry quickly the addition of Geomancy and Wyrds is interesting enough I wan to give it a try. Mire is mostly a control addition to help deliver and protect heavies and a great solo to camp flags, mostly because the solo options in Wild Hunt are just really, really, bad.
If I end up settling on Morv 1 Devourers host as my main list I need to identify it’s weaknesses and problem match ups so I can decide what to pair it with. As far as I can tell from my test games she would be vulnerable against dedicate gun line lists like Siege 1, Haley 3 or something like a Ret gun line. Within the mirror I would expect to see a lot of Iona Dev Host and Krueger 2 Bones. To that end I would want to push the Iona/Morv match up as I think Morv is favoured there, so something like Baldur 2 to deter Krueger 2 would be ideal. I also think Baldur 2 with the right build could probably play into a good range of Cygnar standard match ups. If I go in Call of the Wild I can take a Storm Raptor which, theoretically, would be good into Haley 3 Grave Diggers:
After some brief testing I decided Primal was not mandatory and moved stuff around to get another “heavy” into the list just to bulk it up a bit. It meant dropping the Rip horn down to a Gnarlhorn but my testing showed he was usually just a piece that died early anyway. To be honest the Raptor is the linch so the more targets I had for my opponent the better. The revised list looks like this:
I’m not a 100% on this pairing and have yet to extensively test this list, the low model count concerns me but I think it might address the narrow range of opponents I don’t want to play Morvhana Devourers Host into and deter opponents from dropping certain pairs to get the match ups I want.
This isn’t really a conclusion in that I don’t feel done with Morvhana 1 testing and there is more I wish to explore. What I am fairly certain of is that playing Morvhana 1 for the next few months is the right thing to do as it’s “off meta”, most circle players will be playing Iona, and that she offers a great deal into the current meta of tough dudes. Do I think Morvhana the Autumn Blade will tear through the meta and is the strongest caster in Circle? No, but she is a very good caster with a strong kit and a wider range of play than you’d think at first glance and I think she can hold her own.
I don’t usually get this deep into testing a caster but I feel the experience was very helpful and, time permitting, I feel forcing myself to experiment with the range of viable themes is definetly the thing to do. What has your experience been testing casters and do you try them in themes that don’t normally jump out as ‘good’ with them? Do you have a process at all for building lists?
If I made any mistakes in this article please notify me and I will correct them.