Now for a reading from the Book of Berger…
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight
Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight is your stereotypical Elven Archer. She is the reason I started playing Legion of Everblight back in 2011. I loved her model and always liked the elven archer motif from other fantasy genres. She has a nasty and well-earned reputation for being a great assassination caster as well as a good attrition caster. In this article I will attempt to provide my insight into the warlock I played for 2.5 years in various forms that resulted in my qualification for the 2013 GenCon Masters.
Lylyth boasts a solid line up for stats and abilities. She is FURY 5, Speed 7, RAT 8, that’s the important one. She has a RNG 12, ROF 2, Magical Bow named Whisper that is POW 12. Her threat is 19” before you factor in that fact that she has Swift Hunter and Snap fire. Snap fire lets Lylyth potentially kill 4 models a turn and Swift Hunter lets her move 8” after she has already taken her movement action. Swift hunter lets Lylyth increase her threat range, bouncing from target to target to get an enemy caster in range or it lets her come up aggressively and then reposition for scenario or safety. Her maneuverability is an example of what Legion does as a faction. She can take pieces without giving any up until she is ready. Defensively Lylyth is DEF 16, ARM 14. The big thing she has going for her is her Range, reposition abilities, Shadow pack for stealth, and Evasive. Evasive grants immunity to free strikes, but also lets Llylyth advance 2” when missed by an enemy ranged attack. These are all things that let her out shoot an opponent who may also want to play a ranged game.
Feats and Spells
Lylyth has a surprisingly good Tool Box of spells but it is her feat that makes her memorable. Her feat, Decimation, is aptly named. All friendly faction models in her control area gain Snipe and models in her battlegroup get an additional ranged attack that does not count against their ROF. This takes Lylyth’s personal kill count to 6 potential models in 1 turn, and all her warbeasts get 2 shots. From an attrition standpoint having Lylyth potentially drop half a unit and then use the Ravagore’s scather pools to block off roughly 12” of board space (assuming you took 2 Ravagores). This can buy you another round of shooting or a very favorable point swing. From the Assassination standpoint, Lylyth can use her own attacks to free up LOS lanes to an enemy caster and then her army can as they say “Focus all firepower on that Super Star Destroyer”. Her spells are what brings her from great to amazing in my opinion. Shadow pack grants her entire Battlegroup Stealth. This is a big deal in the shoot out games where your opponent also brought guns but may be limited in dealing with stealth. Pursuit can be used to keep any model in your battlegroup safe. When an enemy model advances and ends closer than they began, one model in your battlegroup may make a full advance. Lylyth is evasive which makes her immune to free strikes so this is a great spell to land on things that directly threaten her. You can also use the movement from Pursuit to walk a beast into a zone you previously left unoccupied, or that your opponent had already cleared out. All of these things will result in a spike of Blood pressure in your opponent, and honestly that’s half the fun of playing Lylyth.
Her next spell is iffy at times. The FURY it requires to land arguably may be better used just boosting Lylyth’s ranged attacks. I am talking about Pin Cushion. When a friendly faction model shoots a model affected by Pin Cushion, you add an additional Die to hit, and to damage, and then drop the lowest Dice roll. It’s a ranged only version of Signs and Portents that needs to be applied to an enemy unit/model instead of just a buff. Pincushion has its uses and is vital if you want to play Lylyth in the Big Game Hunter role which I will discuss later. Most of the time I found that the Fury it required was better off being spent augmenting her ranged attacks. RAT 8 ranged attacks compared to a Mg. Ab. 5 spell makes targets that Lylyth can typically deal well with her bow, much harder to deal with via spells. Pincushion is good for early game Unit clearing, or Big Game Hunting. Lylyth also has Range Extender on her spells giving her an extra 5” for casting Range. This is good when you can pop feat, shoot your bow at a target and then gauge whether your target is in range for either Pincushion or Pursuit.
This section I will talk about Lylyth’s “must haves” for her list as well as the different ways she can be played. You can play a Big Game Hunter style where her list is designed to deal with low model count,high armor, and high priority targets like Colossals or Gargantuans. You can play her in a very attrition centric list where she takes units and solos that can clear infantry like a boss and every turn she is putting 10+ models in the dirt. After a few turns the opponent shouldn’t have many models left and you can simply clean up on scenario. Both of the main styles of list construction bring amazing assassination potential as well, and that is part of the reason people hate her so much.
Big Game Hunting
The list I took to GenCon was what I am calling a “Big Game Hunter” List. The fundamentals of the list are Ravagores, Blackfrost Shard, Naga Nightlurker, and Typhon. The idea is to use your army to kill models here and there and when the opportunity presents itself, you kill a Colossal or Gargantuan. You use 2x Ice Cages to lower the defense by 4, and then apply Kiss for +2 on damage rolls. Next Lylyth goes pops her feat, pin Cushions the target and either shoots the target, or shoots some other models to help the body count swing in your favor. If the target has any sort of buffs (arcane shield, defenders ward, etc.) Have the Naga or a Succubus activate and put the Naga’s Animus on Typhon. Typhon sprays 4 times at POW16+ drop the lowest dice so around a POW18 and can boost damage all 4 times. Against a Stormwall you are dice off 1 and if 10.5 is the average roll of 3D6 then you do 38pts of damage before any of the spikes that are typically associated with Pincushion pop up. After Typhon finishes his activation you shoot with Ravagores until dead. Having Kiss in the list for the damage increase also comes in handy when instead of shooting, applying a beast to the face is a better approach. Typhon goes to a P+S 19 with 7 attacks if he doesn’t charge or boost. That is roughly 49pts of damage against the aforementioned Stormwall assuming that MAT 7 against a Stormwall with -4 Defense results in 7 hits in a row.
Her Arrows will block out the Sun – Attrition
The way I started and learned to play Lylyth was via her Theme force. Her list affords you no fury management pieces and limits your Beast, Unit, and Solo choices. What I like about the tier is that you get two units of Striders with an Officer and Musician in both and can take up to 4 Deathstalker solos. Deathstalkers + Lylyth can kill 12 man units a turn while the 2 units of Striders can drop POW18 CRAs into Heavies. Legion doesn’t have many ways to ignore Cover and Striders bring Hunter to the table. I have won many games because my Opponent camped a wall with 2 or 3 Focus and I feated, shot with Lylyth and dropped 2 man CRAs into them to whittle them down for the kill. Her tier list also opens the possibility of running something ridiculous like 6 units of striders and 8 Deathstalkers for a total of 48-56 shots a turn from just those units and solos. That is a list I never played, but I was very intrigued by. Lylyth’s goals in the attrition format are to pin cushion her closest target usually a unit, and take it off the board with shooting. If your opponent is running at you with Satyxis raiders, you can Pin Cushion them and let Lylyth go after their UA to get rid of Force Barrier. If you do that, the Striders/Raptors/Solos can easily mop up the rest and you can move on. Saving her feat for when your opponent presents a Heavy target in the same way the Big Game Hunting list plays or just to consistently threaten assassination and force your opponents to play their Warcaster/Warlocks more reserved but due to scenarios they will still be committing pieces forward that you simply gun down. I played this style of Lylyth at TempleCon 2013 and did well with it.
The Death Star Trench Run – Assassination
This isn’t a list a build as it is so much a walk-through of the order of operations required to put enemy Warcaster/Warlock’s six feet under. Typical enemies cannot withstand Firepower of this magnitude. The pieces I found that are required for the assassination are: Nephlim Bolt Thrower, Naga Nightlurker, Striders, Ravagores, and Deathstalkers. Each model has a specific role. The Deathstalkers use snapfire, swift hunter and sniper to clear out lanes so you can draw Line of Site to the prize. The Bolthrower is there to either KD a Jackwall, or push a target out from behind cover. The Naga brings its animus as well as critical poison vs. living which comes up more than you would expect and allows you do put 4D6 on a damage roll. Having magical weapons on demand helps in the Menoth match up, and he is one of two beasts in the faction who’s ranged attacks are not Fire based (suck it Feora). The Ravagores are your big guns. They will typically end a casters life. The first Ravagore should animus, boost to hit, boost damage then boost to hit. The second Ravagore should simply boost to hit, boost damage on both attacks. At this point you are all in, so run your Warbeasts as hot as you want. The Striders are there for volume of attacks. The amount of attacks Lylyth can generate makes her a good Warlock assassin. The striders can also CRA for the final blow or to start the whole thing off. They can also 2man CRA and help clear lanes with the Deathstalkers. If points allow, Anyssa is a great addition since she has prey and poisoned
Arrows so it is another solo that can kill a model to clear a lane and then shoot the enemy caster with a POW 10 + Prey + Poison for a POW 12 and 3D6 on damage and then Light Cav out-of-the-way. Her assassination potential is so great because she typically brings a wide tool box with the Naga and Bolt Thrower that it is hard to defend against.
In this final section I will discuss my thoughts on her good and bad match ups, as well as her strengths and weaknesses, and finally her pairings in two and three list formats. She is a skew caster that a lot of other Warcasters and Warlocks have to fear and respect, like Batman. Armies that are Melee centric do not like to see her due to her Gun-line tendencies. Other shooting Armies don’t like to see her due to the amount of stealth she can bring to the table. Lastly, low model count armies like a double Gargossal list don’t like to see her due to her abilities to take one off the table with the snap of her fingers.
What does Lylyth like to see?
Lylyth was typically my Cygnar/Menoth drop. As eHaley double Stormwall, and eCaine got more and more popular she became my go to verses them. Against Haley she can feat the bonded Stormwall off the table, and then slowly pick at the other one, or open up assassinations on Haley. Against eCaine they can play the Mexican standoff game which each other’s armies fight it out, waiting for someone to make a fatal error. Against Menoth she was solid against Harby (especially when you remember the Battle Engine is immune to fire) and the majority of their other casters. Her bad match up in Menoth was eFeora due to the Immunity to Fire, which means if you want to assassinate you are relying on Lylyth, Nagas, Bolt Throwers, and Striders to get the job done. She also forces opponents to play more reserved with their resources whether it’s Focus, Fury or Life points. If any of those dip too low, Lylyth can snatch out a caster kill. She forces people to not play the game they want to play which is why many consider her a negative play experience.
What doesn’t Lylyth like to see?
Models with Immunity to Fire are a problem for Legion’s shooting in general and since Lylyth tends to skew towards the guns (or bows) this presents problems. She also does not like to see High Armor or Shooting resultant Warcasters/Warlocks. Examples of these would be Xerxes (actually a lot of Skorne, damn Krea), Terminus, Venethrax, Darius, a lot of 7 or 8 FURY Warlocks that aren’t opposed to just tuning their beasts down and camping each turn. The Naga helped alleviate some of these issues due to its animus. Lylyth also doesn’t typically like casters like Kraye who can move in and out and generally stay far back but keep his jacks far forward. She is not a fan of armies that can either Jam her out of scenario zones or beat her in a gun duel. Lylyth’s weakness is the current set of scenarios and knowing when you can drop her and when you can’t is just as difficult as actually playing her well. That being said, she is a versatile caster and there is potential (although untested by myself) for her to use Shadow pack to delivery melee warbeasts to melee while she does infantry clearing. Also with the Gatorman Bokur and Shamblers there is potential to run 2 max units of Legionnaires with the Bokur and a spawning vessel, and keep her battle group ranged so she has 2 recursion mechanics in the list for scenario presence but can still threaten a ranged assassination on a whim.
Pairing with Lylyth
A common pairing with Lylyth is Saeryn due to the fact that Saeryn doesn’t like gun lines and Lylyth doesn’t like heavy armor Melee or jam lists. Another pairing I liked was that of Lylyth and eVayl. eVayl has strong scenario play and strong assassination vs. Warcasters due to the fact that they cannot transfer. Lylyth has a strong assassination potential against Warlocks due to the volume of attacks she can generate. Lylyth as mentioned keeps people honest or keeps people from playing certain lists. If your opponent is running eFeora or Terminus you can guarantee that is who you will be facing and make your second list able to deal with those match ups. In a two list setting she is not necessarily the “best” but it depends on your meta and what you like you play. In a three list format I feel she really shines.
She can skew you into more favorable match ups or handles certain factions (Cygnar and Ret) easier than say eVayl or pVayl where you can drop her on those opponents and swing the game into your favor. In conclusion, Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight, is a solid caster who when played and built correctly can deal with a lot of things in the game. She is a meta bender in the sense that people have to play certain lists just to compete against her and this can give you an advantage in the listing off phase as you start to get more experience with her. She has a great model, with a cool back story, and is a blast to play despite what your opponents may say. She is easy to play good but difficult to play well due to her spells and options available to her, and if built properly I feel she has the potential to be a triple threat (assassination, attrition, scenario dominate) Warlock. She was one of my favorite Legion Warlocks to play and no matter how the Meta shifts or how releases effect the game, I can confidently say there will always be a place where Lylyth makes opponents sweat and scramble.
May the Blight be with you,
Dan “PG_BergerFett” Berger
Dark Omen Gaming Club
Article also Posted here (http://handcannononline.com/blog/2014/01/08/book-berger-part-1/)