To Tier or not to Tier. Body and Soul.

Not sure what this has to do with Body and Soul but it came up on a Google search.

Not sure what this has to do with Body and Soul but it came up in a Google search.

Scott here with my ongoing look into tiers.  This time around I will discuss one I am a little more familiar with; Dengrah 2, Body and Soul.

Cryx was my reset after Templecon this year.  A couple of us use that event to make a faction switch.  Then we play the crap out of it for the next year to see how well we can do at the next Templecon.  I switched from Trolls to Cryx,  Goreshade 3 being the main draw.

Thanks to a Mr Tom Guan, Body and Soul has been getting a lot of attention.  Even a buddy of mine jumped on it when it was first released but he played one game and moved on.  He saw the potential but never gave it a fair shake.  I thought it was interesting and wanted to give it a shot as well. So far I have played 27 games with Body and Soul, going 19-8 with it.  Not too shabby for it being a new faction for me.

So why Body and Soul?

Funny thing is I have a few close friends who keep telling me she is better out of tier.  I mean if Mr Guan is playing it in tier that must mean something right?

The Tier

The Tier

Tier 1- Include only the models allowed and you can increase the FA of Cephalyx units by 1.  Additionall, reduce the point cost of Cephalyx units by 1.  I am not sure how well drudges sold before this tier got popular but I bet you they finally started selling now!  In my list I run 2 full units and a min.  That gets me 3 free points.  Plus the Overlords another 2 free options for 5 in total.

Tier 2-  Here is a great benefit for Denny.  If you include one or more units of Drudges you get Advanced Deployment on the Drudges.  This gives Denny a 6″ advantage on her fodder and jam. They will always be running turn one anyway this gets them that much further up the field.

Tier 3- If you include 1 or more Cephalyx Overlords Units you gain +1 to the starting roll of the game.  Denny is a control caster and depending on who my opponent is I want to control who goes first.  If the scenario one I can easily lock my opponent out of and score then I’ll go second so I can score first.  If they are a little faster than I like, then I’ll for first to get into a better position to feat and spray for days!

Tier -4 If you include 3 or more solos with Magic Ability you get to start the game with your offensive upkeeps out.  This my friends is BONKERS!   And one of the reasons why the tier is so good.

Pursuit move on turn one is crazy.  If I go second and my opponent triggers Pursuit Denny gets to walk 7″ up the field.  This puts her in a great position to feat turn one and really lock them out.  It could also be used on Deathjack or Nightmare depending on where they place their caster.  I have done it to a buddy who was playing the Rasheth tier.  I pursued with Deathjack, then charged up and feated and locked Rasheth in place and DJ had a clear charge lane to him.

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Wraith Witch Deneghra also has a handy little trick called Wraith Walker.  This gives her the ability to go incorporeal every other turn.  Its a great tech to help keep her alive.  She is still  Deneghra and that means she dies to a sneeze but you can use it offensively.

When I was playing at a Store Wars this year I went incorporeal and charged my opponents caster through my lines and through the front of his.  I feated and boosted to hit and then triggered her other great ability;  Dark Banishment.  A model damaged by her weapon can be placed within D6″ plus the number of focus on Denny!  I rolled a 6 and had 5.  So I ported his caster 11″ on the Top of 2 into the waiting arms of Deathjack.  Happy times.

This list can be very strong if your opponent has no upkeep removal. Triggering Pursuit is never a good thing.  When I was playing at the Southern Ontario Open this year I was playing against a Cygnar player and  I put Pursuit on his Hammer Dwarves.

They never activated the whole game.

Sucked for me since I never got to trigger the spell but it was also great for me because he was playing 8 points down!  That is a win in my book.  (I ended up spraying Haley 2 to death).

Unlike EE you aren’t getting a ball breaking 11 free points, you do come away with 5 free points.  3 of them from your fodder…the Drudges.

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So things you need to watch out for…
1- A charging incorporeal Deneghra who is going to teleport your caster to his/her death.

2- Being feated on and locked to of the zone and losing on scenario.

3- Being feated on to lock your caster into place and have Deathjack and/or Nightmare charge you.

4- Having the Overlords spray the crap out of your army.  Pow 12s don’t sound so scary but there are enough of them they start to add up.

I have played one game out of tier and 26 in.  Out of tier I had Darragh in the list,  but I really wanted him in my other list.  So in tier works better for me.  I am also a horrible Cryx player and can never quite get the arcnode to work for me.  I find I cast a spell and die the next turn.  So I have removed it from my list and camp more focus.  Here is the list that I run.

Wraith Witch Deneghra – WJ: +6
– Skarlock Thrall
– Deathjack – PC: 12
– Nightmare – PC: 10

Warwitch Siren – PC: 2
Warwitch Siren – PC: 2
Ragman – PC: 2

Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges – Mind Slaver & 9 Grunts: 5
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges – Mind Slaver & 9 Grunts: 5
Cephalyx Overlords – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Cephalyx Overlords – Leader & 2 Grunts: 3
Mechanithralls – Leader & 5 Grunts: 3
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls – Necrosurgeon & 3 Grunts: 2
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls – Necrosurgeon & 3 Grunts: 2
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges – Mind Slaver & 5 Grunts: 3

THEME: Body and Soul – Tier 4

How do you beat Body and Soul?  If you can take a shot at Denny she dies pretty easily.  Defence 16 is good but armour 14 is not.  Having a few magical ranged attacks will help since she can go incorporeal on those turns she will be most vulnerable.

Because Denny is such a strong control caster, you may have to jam the zone to make sure you aren’t locked out to lose without ever having played the game.  If you have purification thats obviously your go to. If not you may have a unit or model that will shoot of the upkeep.   As a Body and Soul player I am sad to see the spell go but it makes me happy when my opponent has to kill one of the models it was on to remove it.

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PLAYING AGAINST BODY AND SOUL (Greg’s view)

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Body and Soul is an interesting list and certainly has made a splash in our meta and in the American National Meta. Denny 2 has always been a strong caster for cryx but she had a number of problem match ups, mainly any opponent that could kill her at range when she’s only armour 17.  I played her a fair bit about 2 years ago and found her very unnerving and risky to play, it seemed that if I spent focus I ran a very good risk of being assassinated.

Body and Soul helps with that a fair bit as you get Denny’s main offensive upkeeps out and can camp what you feel is necessary. Also pursuit was never a big part of Denny 2’s plan prior to body and Soul, now it plays a big role.

Honestly, I’m not terribly impressed with the tier, it’s good, and I’m glad to see a strong presence of what I consider “My Girl”, but it has a number of typical cryx weakness without some of the hallmark (re bane) cryx strengths.

That and I think Scott’s pairing is innately flawed as Bradigus destroys either list IMO.

So here is some advice if you happen to face up against this tier:

1. Some form of dispel will be almost mandatory, unless you’re playing a list that doesn’t require advancing. That’s not a joke, circle can usually get away with just teleporting a heavy into a menacing position without triggering pursuit. Every faction has access to a dispel of some sort and can at least get the lowly thrullg. As long as Body and Soul is getting all the excitement you will need a list that can fight cryx and has access to a dispel.

2. The best counter to a control caster is, a control caster. It’s good to have a control feat to trade with Denny so that she won’t run over you with here crappy hordes or lock your caster in place for DJ or Nightmare to kill.

3. Don’t killbox yourself. Seriously, if you’re going second get your caster out of the kill box on your first turn, last thing you want is Denny locking you in place and giving up 2 CP’s because you can’t get around your own models or your caster is glued in the killbox.

4. Bring some Magic weapons or brutal magic spells. Denny likes to feel invulnerable when she’s wraith walkering. What she hates to see is boostable magic guns or Aiyanna and Holt. Vayl 2 will literally oblit her off the table if Denny spends focus. On the note of spells, the overlords can’t sac pawn spells (neither can the necrosurgeons), so shoot them with druids or something of the like so they don’t spray your dudes dead.

5. Remove from Play and tough denial. All of Denny’s drudge screen builds into the mcthralls at the back. If you can RFP the drudges it will make your life easier in the long game. Also be aware she has hellmouth so she can RFP when needed (as long as she can spend 5 focus and stay alive!).

6. Drudges STILL suck.  That’s right, even cheaper and with AD they are still have some of the worst stats in the game.

7. High Defense. MAT 5 is balls and that’s what almost everything in the list is. Yes the Drudges have CMA but pathing and placement can be an issue. Marked for Death can mitigate the MAT problem but if it’s dispelled off she has to cast it and that means she’s using focus and you may have an opportunity to kill her. Yes some may say the feat makes the Drudges MAT 8 and the Overlords Magic ability 10 but that’s nonesense, no B&S player will hold the feat long enough for it to blanket impact the way you might think it would. Almost everytime the Denny player will feat turn 2 (if not bottom of 1) and the actual DEF drop will be completely ineffectual.  Nightmare and DJ don’t have a problem with high DEF but that’s another key point:

8. Small number of actual serious threat models. Seriously, if you can neutralize DJ and/or nightmare the list doesn’t have much else that can legitimately threaten you. The whole Dark banishment trick is in effect an act of desperation. Denny is, after all, MAT 5 and the attack needs to damage to trigger the dark banishment. I can’t think of any situation where you will be able to feat and drop the casters DEF, that would only happen if you were playing the newest possible player to the game. Most casters are minimum DEF 15, meaning she needs a boosted 10, that is not something you bank on.

9. Attrition. When I played Denny out of tier I found that she either won on scenario in the first 3 turns or had to assassinate. Body and Soul can attrition okay but I personally don’t think it’s the lists primary win condition. If you can scalpel out her assassination pieces or even trade effectively for them she really has nothing left but assassination. IMO the list still does not want to play a long game.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad list by any means, I just don’t think it’s nearly as good as Wold War or Fist. Like a lot of cryx, it will face rape newer players but will fall flat against experienced players. Personally I think she’s more versatile out of tier with Nyss Hunter and Satyxis and not nearly as terrifying as Prime Skarre!

 

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