Since we launched Organized Play for Golem Arcana, we here at HBS have been approaching Emissaries and asking them for their thoughts on competitive army creation. This week, we’re highlighting the army design of Emissary Daskindt, a loyal Gudanna player and frequent contributor in our Forums. He wrote this post for us detailing his ideal 500-pt competitive Dominion army .
LEAGUE OF THE HUNDRED SKULLS: 500 POINT DOMINION ARMY
So, you need to create an army for the League of the Hundred Skulls? May I suggest the Gudanna Dominion for your faction? We’re going to win the War of Blood and Stone, and you don’t want to be fighting against us.
WE DO NOT KNEEL
First thing’s first: I want to be clear that when I say the Gudanna Dominion is going to win the War of Blood and Stone, I’m talking about the Crown of Uruk and Raga Nandanna. The Warrior Princess is the rightful heir of Jahnu Khan by virtue of both her strength and cruelty. It is Nandanna who will lead the Dominion to even greater glory. Her clarity of purpose helps give our armies the focus they need to ensure fitness for the task at hand. It also presents us with restrictions that narrow our choices when selecting our Golems and Knights. I’ll be restricting myself to Gudanna and Urugal Golems, and I’ll be using Knights loyal to Nandanna (you can check out the Knight Database to find out their loyalties).
Gudanna Golems are fast and maneuverable with an emphasis on melee and short-range combat. I typically build my Gudanna armies around a reliable and brutal ambush strategy. Destroy the biggest and baddest Golem the enemy is fielding, and the rest will soon follow. However, in the League of the Hundred Skulls, each army is forced to face off against a variety of opponents and handle three different types of scenarios with each Challenge.
THE CHALLENGE OF VALOR
“The Challenge of Valor” is the second set of scenarios in the League of the Hundred Skulls. To succeed in the Challenge, your army must be flexible. You’re not creating an army that can do only one thing well or just fight successfully against certain types of opponents. You need to create an army with a good chance for success against a wide variety of opponents and under varied victory conditions. Focus too much on killing power and you risk being outmaneuvered in the capture scenarios where victory can be achieved without destroying a single Golem.
Can your army fight a bunch of Warsprites? Can it weather a Durani ranged barrage? Can you defend against a Valkali colossus? A successful army needs to have a viable path to success against as many different opponents as possible. Successful armies need the ability to control movement on the battlefield and displace enemies from control Regions. Knowing I would be facing these difficulties, I set out to rebuild a Gudanna army that would be prepared to face the Challenge of Valor.
BLOOD & LIGHTNING
It’s not the most imaginative name, but it was inspired by the Arcanum Gudanna and the Blood Knight Garo Bataar, whose sigil is a lightning storm. Blood & Lightning is built around rapid movement and controlling the enemy with snares and displacements. A Carrion Raptor, Corpse Collector, and Grappling Death give the army effective mobility, numerous options to disrupt enemy movement, and more than enough killing power when needed. Add in the affordable Ancient One Zrama-Pari — The Hopeful, and you have low mana costs with solid Accuracy and some cooldown relief.
The star and leader of Blood & Lightning is Garo Bataar riding his Carrion Raptor. The Carrion Raptor has a 1AP/2MP Nimble Walk, the Embracing Death passive ability to keep enemies trapped
in Melee, and a 1AP Skewer that can deal out 40 Damage. It’s the Raptor’s Paralyzing Spines, however, that steal the show. Paralyzing Spines is one of the best control abilities available to any Golem. For just 2AP, the Raptor can deliver a -3 Movement Debuff at 80% Accuracy up to three Regions away. Yes, the target Golem will regain 1 Movement per Round, but most Golems will spend one or two Rounds completely immobilized. This allows Blood & Lightning to isolate enemies and keep t
hem away from control points, or just keep dangerous Golems out of the battle for a few Rounds. This is particularly effective against Colossi. The Jagara can be completely paralyzed for multiple Rounds, while a Valkali can be slowed and forced to burn all its AP on Movement if it wants to go anywhere.
The Blood Knight Garo Bataar brings some significant advantages to the Carrion Raptor. His passive ability, Lightning Rod, will reduce 2 points of cooldown on your next attack if he’s moved. With this cooldown reduction, Garo can immediately try again if he missed. If he hits, he’s ready to snare a second target or pin down his first target again in a later Round. His active ability, Noble’s Ease, helps ensure he’s never locked out of the action. It will boost his Movement by 3, providing a speed burst or overcoming a Movement penalty, and get him back into the fray.
As a final resort, the Raptor is carrying the Gauntlet of Jitakazi to help clear capture Regions. Should Garo and the Raptor fail to keep enemies away from the control Regions, the Gauntlet will give a one-time displacement of any Golems in the Region.
Next up, we have the Corpse Collector commanded by Alekhya Makkurum. The Corpse Collector is Melee-only, but its 1AP/3MP Nimble Fly is one of the best movement abilities of any Ogre, and gets boosted to a far-reaching 5MP if the Golem moves from a Hill Region. The Corpse Collector can get around the map quickly and easily. On top of that, its Swooping Strike ability lets Alekhya fly into a Region and drag an enemy Golem away, which is very useful in clearing control Regions. Alekhya can activate his Cripple ability before the attack to add in a -2 MP debuff to make it harder for the enemy Golem to get back into position. As a final tool for the Corpse Collector, the Tendrils of Smera set the target Golem’s Movement to 0 for 2 Rounds, providing another ranged snare for the army.
The Gudanna Grappling Death, commanded by Vada Hemat, is the last Golem in Blood & Lightning. The Grappling Death is the biggest damage-dealer in the army, but also the least maneuverable with his 1AP/3MP orthogonal Walk. He’s
strictly a Melee fighter, but boasts a very effective combination with his Paralytic Grapple and Bludgeon. Paralytic Grapple costs 2AP for an 85% chance to set the Movement of both the Grappling Death and the target to 0. If the Grappling Death’s target has 0 Movement, its passive ability, Upper Hand, adds 20 Accuracy to all its attacks. With Upper Hand active, Bludgeon (1AP/85 Accuracy) has over 100 Accuracy, making the Grappling Death very, very reliable. Coupled with Vada Hemat, whose Bullseye causes his critical attacks to do 2x Damage, and Zayla’s Cauldron, which guarantees the next successful hit will be critical, the Grappling Death can dish out 62 Damage with a single Bludgeon. While all the Golems of Blood & Lightning can slow and disrupt the movement of the enemy, it’s up to Hemat to wade into the Region on his Grappling Death and finish off the paralyzed prey with deadly accuracy.
Think the Gudanna are going to take home the glory from the League of the Hundred Skulls? Join the conversation on the Forum.