The Proteus Conundrum: Part 2
Welcome back to the 2nd part of the Proteus Conundrum. First, I will briefly touch on what was discussed in the first article:
• Proteus’s damage output compared to the Scythean
• Risks involved when charging models at max threat range
This segment will explain how Proteus interacts with each of Legion’s warlocks and which ones will give you the most incentive to include Proteus in your army. I played at least five games with each warlock to get an informed understanding of his utility with each caster, or lack thereof.
Absylonia has everything Proteus needs in her spell list to tackle a range of different elements. Carnivore assists Proteus when it comes to dealing with high defense living models that typically have lower armor values while unbuffed. Conversely, Forced Evolution increases his damage output to deal with high armor targets. In both situations I have experienced positive results with Proteus due to the extra fury point over our other heavies in combination with the two spells above. If Proteus can hit on the drag attack without boosting or can get into melee with all of his initial attacks, his damage output will increase due to the sheer volume of melee attacks he can output. Playing God helps with this as it can help mitigate the risks involved in charging at max threat range in order to drag the target into range of his two higher POW initial attacks. Heighted Metabolism came into effect during two games by allowing me to prolong my feat turn by snacking on infantry models to help heal my warbeasts.
On the downside, Absylonia would rather have Forced Evolution on a higher defense warbeast like an Angel or Typhon. As the game unfolds, Proteus may get Forced Evolution to assist with destroying higher armor models in conjunction with an Angel, but that has hardly been the case in my games. First and foremost, I value the safety of my Angel because of the impact it has on the game. My opponent is forced to deal with it. Both times I’ve dropped Forced Evolution off of my Angel it was promptly removed.
• Absylonia has a spell in most situations for Proteus to utilize
• Heighted Metabolism can help prolong your feat for a round against the right builds
• Absylonia’s spells always seem to end up on models that can make better use of them
Grade – B
Bethayne has multiple upkeep spells that Proteus can make use of. Carnivore stands out as the biggest for him as it assists with his lower MAT. Ashen Veil is okay, but will rarely be cast on Proteus. One interesting combination I used with Bethayne and Proteus was using Gallows to pull key models close enough to have Proteus drag them into my army. Although the distance of Gallows is randomly generated, I can say that when it worked I didn’t lose any heavy beasts in retaliation. It works even better when you don’t have to boost your hit roll with Gallows and can cast two in one turn. Proteus’s animus also increases in usefulness when you don’t have to spend fury to cast it.
The downside to Bethayne is that she doesn’t bring any damage buffs for Proteus. Also, relying on a random spell effect to pull models close enough for Proteus to drag them doesn’t always pan out.
• Carnivore helps buff his MAT
• Feat allows a free animus
• Gallows can pull models close enough for Proteus to drag them into your army
• Bethayne doesn’t have a damage buff to help Proteus against high armor targets
• Gallows is too random to rely on entirely for the purpose of Proteus dragging models into your army
Grade – C
Kallus does a lot of work supporting the Legion army and Proteus is no exception. Kallus can provide damage and hit buffs which bring Proteus from being pillow fisted and unreliable to a 5 fury warbeast that is a threat on the table.
The Downside lies in how I typically construct my Kallus list. My Kallus builds tend to be infantry heavy with a focus on legionnaires and swordsmen to jam early followed by the feat to pressure my opponents. Due to the melee centric focus of my infantry, I usually take Ravagores as my warbeasts to pressure the opponent forward into my army. Unfortunately, Proteus doesn’t bring enough with him that would warrant taking him over a Scythean or Ravagores. In every game I’ve played with Proteus, he was only used as a melee warbeast. For two points less a Scythean would’ve done just as well while allowing me to add a Deathstalker to the list.
• Kallus Provides the essential hit and damage buff that Proteus needs
• Proteus lacks the heavy range element that a Kallus lists needs from his warbeasts
Grade – C
Lylyth1 brings a lot of what Proteus needs to the table. This includes a damage buff, a hit buff via Field of Slaughter, and fury management through Witch Mark to increase his fury efficiency when making charges. Proteus’s Herding ability did not come into play as often as I thought it would since most games had Lylyth moving forward to hit a target with Parasite. This led to her warbeasts remaining in her control area when they charged the Parasited model. There were only two times that Herding came into play and made a difference. Both involved me moving Proteus into position and using Lylyth to shoot a model and bushwhack away. I then used the free charge from Witch Mark to get the warbeast back into my control area via herding. I see Proteus as a mid-line warbeast with Lylyth that can take on heavy warbeasts and lesser threats after the initial engagement between both armies. Between 5 fury, 3 initial attacks, and Parasite, Proteus made quick work of a lot of different heavy targets. Having more fury means more attacks which is what Lylyth wants.
The downside to Proteus is his reach attack being POW 14 base and not being able to drag colossals into melee rage of his other two higher POW initial attacks. This is relevant since pLylyth is quickly becoming a viable warlock against colossals due to Parasite. Proteus has a base threat range of 11” when he charges with his tentacle lash, but relies heavily on hitting with his first attack and pulling models into melee range to follow up with his higher POW weapons. The drag isn’t possible against colossals and it was missed in my games against them. Also, most colossals can out threat Proteus due to their innate reach. If you do take Proteus in a pLylyth list, one option is to take a Seraph to combat this or instead send a Scythean at the colossal.
• Provides a damage buff
• Provides free charges
• Feat provides an attack buff
• Herding is extremely helpful with Lylyth’s smaller control ranges
• Proteus’s tentacle lash doesn’t pull huge bases into his higher POW attacks
• Doesn’t have a long range attack to make use of Parasite on the approach
Grade – B
Lylyth2 is near the bottom of the rung when it comes to fielding Proteus. She doesn’t provide him with any melee buffs and only provides a mediocre ranged buff once per game. On feat turn you can get two boosted ranged attacks from 10” away that can pull targets that are damaged forward into your army, out of scenario zones, and/or out of their warcaster or warlock’s control area. Another option is to have Proteus drag the target after you’ve put a few ranged shots into it and finish it off in melee. However, I have encountered two issues when doing this. First, my Lylyth2 builds are ranged focused with only a few back up options for melee. Second, model placement and linear obstacles can or prevent the model Proteus targets from being pulled. In four of the games I’ve played with Proteus and eLylyth I’ve felt that another Ravagore or Bolt Thrower and Naga would have easily done more for the list.
• Can use the feat to have 16” threat with the drag attack
• Can use long drags to pull models out of scenario zones, control areas, and/or into your army.
• The feat turn drag technique is only a one turn threat at long range
• Besides the feat turn, doesn’t provide consistent ranged threat throughout the game
Grade – D
Rhyas and Proteus have a very loving relationship. Rhyas can provide Proteus with Rapport to increase his MAT to a level where he hits consistently or can provide him safety on the approach with Occultation. My favorite part of including Proteus with Rhyas has been his Herding ability. With the release of battle engines, colossals, and gargantuans – we can use the feat to place our warbeasts in areas and threaten vectors we couldn’t before. Rhyas’s feat turn allows you to place with Proteus while staying in her Control area. From there you use your Scythean with Rapport to charge a model and place far outside of Rhyas’s control area while still being able to force due to Proteus’s Herding ability. With the use of Slip Stream, the Nephilim Soldier’s Massacre animus, and Rhyas’s feat, you can generate 10 attacks off of Proteus or 9 attacks off of a Scythean at a very large threat range that is hard for your opponent to judge and plan for. Proteus’s Herding works well in this list due to his durability over a Shepherd. Shepherds have the Beast Master ability which allows you to force warbeasts in their CMD of 8”, but their lack of durability when trying to get a favorable board position to run and keep warbeasts in their CMD range makes them difficult to use. Proteus is our durable selection for Herding who also adds some damage output to the fight.
The Downside is that Rhyas doesn’t bring a damage buff herself that can increase Proteus’s raw damage output any higher than his base POW 14 and 16’s.
• Rhyas can increase Proteus’s MAT to reliable levels
• Rhyas makes great use of his herding ability to extend her feat turn threat range while remaining safe from retaliation
• Can deliver Proteus up the board safely with Occultation
• No spells to increase Proteus’s damage
Grade – A-
Stay tuned for the conclusion in part 3 of the Proteus Conundrum!