Today, I want to bring up Retribution’s latest star: Epic Vyros. While our favorite elves may not have won Colossals, they did come away with a decent epic caster. At first look, I wasn’t so sure about this guy. Yes, he was on a horse but he didn’t have anything that made him stick out or give him a huge WOW factor. The feat was the most peculiar part. I mean, why let your guys move if they weren’t immune to free strikes? But being the first to go epic caused a more critical reception then I think an entirely new caster might have gotten. After all there are so many casters who have amazing epic versions (not to mention that a certain double epic in the Colossals book was straight crazy good for their faction.) But after looking over him and, I’ll admit, listening to some theory machine I am now onboard for the Incissar. With my tax money paying for everything I felt I needed to run a proper EVyros list, I decided to start running some lists through the paces. This first article consists of mainly of theory machine. First off, lets look at Epic Vyros himself and what he brings to the table.
The Man, The Legend, The Double-Barrel Sword Shot Gun
The one thing that I glossed over when initially looking at Vyros was his stats. After listening to a few people talk about him and taking a look around myself, I realized that Vyros has some of the best stats for a warcaster in the game. He has moderately high DEF of 15 but an incredibly high ARM 18. Being a heavy cavalry model, Vyros is fast. His MAT is also decently high with an average ranged infantry unit RAT. At focus 6, he is not a necessarily a spell caster. In fact, his control range is probably his greatest weakness. But the rest of the states more then make up for it. Even without camping focus, Vyros can still stay up near the front lines where he needs to be. He is not invincible in anyway, especially since most enemies can draw line of sight to his large base rather easily. But he is not going to die to a stiff breeze the way that Rahn would. This also means he can do some work of his own. With a reach magical SWORD GUN, Vyros can lay down the pain if need be.
As far as abilities are concerned, it seemed like Vyros had an eclectic mixed bag of tricks. He inspires Dawnguard not to run away and is still accompanied by his helpful eagle buddy, Mr. You-were-much-bigger-in-my-prime-version. Both of these are par for the course of someone who is Incissar. Shifting over to his spell list, you find some old favorites. Vyros includes Easy Rider and Deflection, both very interesting spells for Retribution. Neither of these seemed particularly great to me when I first looked at them. Of course I could see their uses but nothing stuck out as OMG BROKE! Vyro’s spell list also includes Synergy. This spell seemed immediately useful to me. Our jacks are both pillow fisted and have average MAT. Synergy gives them a way to increase both of those stats. However, it too didn’t seem that useful because everything I had ever known about Retribution told me not to take a lot of jacks. What I didn’t realize is that you have to throw everything you know about Retribution out of your head when playing Epic Vyros.
A Melee Army with Ranged Support
With its bullets, crossbow bolts, or good old fashioned arcane energy, Retribution is definitely a ranged faction with decent melee support. We have some of the best shooting units out there (I’m looking at you Stormfall Archers) but our melee is not lacking either. It took me playing Troll Fennblades a couple of times to realize how good a Vengeance weapon masters can be. Usually, our ranged game far, far out shines our melee. But Epic Vyros turns that around, allowing our melee units to really shine.
Vyros spell list does a lot to help deliver our melee units into combat. First, easy rider eliminates a major problem by giving Pathfinder to units. Retribution doesn’t have access to Bagpipes McPiper so before Vyros a forest was a good way to hide your unit from Sentinels. Now, with Vyros eagle spotting things in the woods and easy rider, Retribution is no longer hindered by terrain. Sure, the eagle only works on the battle group but it still gives you a way to engage those hard to reach models. Next, deflection gives Retribution that added boost to defense against the shooting game, one of the worst match ups for the faction. This spell also lends itself to taking high armor stuff such as Sentinels and Invictors. The difference between Arm 11 and Arm 13 is marginal but the difference between Arm 17 and Arm 19 is huge. Now small arms shooting, such as that from Gun Mages, is not as threatening. Finally, Synergy takes Retributions already useful jacks and shores up the two areas where they were they are weak: MAT and POW. Under Vyros control area, a light Griffon can take down a Colossal. Heavy jacks become bananas too. A Manticore with a boosted strength, concentrated power combo strike is already at Pow 25. Add in two or three jacks on Synergy and the Manticore can wreck a heavy beast or jack, even under P Strykers feat. Combine all these abilities together and with Vyros you never have to shoot another heavy off the board again.
Ok so maybe that is a little extreme. Obviously, you still want some ranged support. But Vyros really makes Retribution melee units have their day in the never-ending mist of the mystical forest. Now, you are probably wondering why I have yet to mention Vyros feat. Unfortunately, that subject is going to have to wait. I am going to get a few more games with Vyros and try out a few different lists. Next article, I’ll be discussing list building with Vyros (including everyone’s favorite spam list!) and discussing how to use that cryptic feat. Until then, enjoy this picture of a grump cat.