Sweet Venethrax Tech (not included)

I feel like Venny occasionally gets a bad rap.  I’ve played him a lot, he’s my main guy in Cryx, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned about him.  He may not be the best caster in Cryx, but, if you use him properly, he’s alright.


Profile:  Venethrax’s stats are fairly main line for a cryxian medium based caster, he shares them with pGaspy.  The only one that’s out of line is his Mat, which is a totally sweet 8.

Caustic Presence [Corrosion]:  This rarely comes up.

Dismember: This and Dragon slayer allows the notorious fury gobbling that is all folks remember about Venny.

Cull Soul:  Uses this to turn souls to focus.


Blood Rain is basically breath of corruption, but much worse  It still kills all single wounds under it, because of his caustic presence, but it isn’t nearly as good for running an arc node within 4″ and killing casters.

Dragon Slayer: Signature spell here.  Venethrax should have this upkept unless the enemy just purify/eiryss’d it off. Worth pointing out that it allows harvesting fury from any enemy model that has it, not just beasts.  Go ahead and take fury from the Celestial Fulcrum.

Hellfire:  Venethrax gets enough fury to try hellfire assassinations surprisingly often.  This is a very important spell for him. [Note that Dragon Slayer works with this spell.  You can use it to off a beast or forsaken and take their fury load]

Lamentation:  This is one of those spells that 90% of the time goes uncast, but every once in a while is a massive deal.  There are a number of casters who have a big deal spell that they desperately want to cast, and also important upkeeps.  If you can catch them in it, and not die, you can totally hose their game.

Soul harvester:  Venny’s other signature spell here.  This is key to his game plan.  This spell is his rit sac, his dark guidance.  It pretty much defines the caster.

Charnel Flames: This is a fine defensive feat.  Kill enemy models, they can’t kill you back because you are behind clouds that auto-point them.  It’s like being eGaspy for a turn.  The easiest way to screw this up is to block in Venethrax with the models that need to do the killing.  The order of the feat turn is Venny first, feat and move into 14″ of their front line, your models kill their models. His feat is actually a really big deal, between LOS blocking and keeping them from just advancing to engage with infantry…and then the fact that if they do get past then they kill your models and that still makes clouds.

The Game Plan:


Ok, so here’s how all the pieces work together.  The theme of Venethrax’s army list is that he collects all the souls from enemy’s that die.  Between upkeeping, a scarlock and Venny himself you can have Soul Harvester in 3 places during a turn.  Everything you kill should be giving Venethrax souls.  If possible, he uses these souls for a hellfire assassination.  If not, he can charge up and kill a bunch of guys and still keep his camp up at safe levels.

On the critical turn he pops his feat to stop enemy retaliation.  His camp is generally quite high, and he is a fairly threatening piece himself (mat 8, pow 16).


Venethrax’s ideal matchup is an enemy army made up of living melee infantry.  He’ll usually run over something like that.  This sounds a lot like Terminus, but he has the additional strong suit of loving to take on enemy lists that are beast heavy.  He doesn’t particularly like taking on gunlines or jack heavy lists.

A Venny list: (35 points)

Lich Lord Venethrax

-2 Deathrippers

-Scarlock Thrall

Max Satyxis Raiders + UA

Max Bloodgorgers


2 Pistol Wraiths


Madelyn Corbeau


Lets looks at all the pieces:

Venethrax: Mandatory

2 Deathrippers:  Good Arc Nodes.  If you can’t see a way to kill Eiryss, kill one of your own arc nodes and have Venny put his back toe on this it, she usually can’t hit def 19.  Otherwise they are for threatening to hellfire assassinate if you ever get like 10 souls, and for generally looking mean.

Max Satyxis + UA: AD is very important, and these ladies put damage on enemy casters when they hit their jacks, and also they are crit KD, so they are hard to trample through, and they have 2 attacks each, so they can gather a lot of souls.  For a final bonus point, they are hard to shoot and can be weapon masters on the way in.  And they are pathfinder.  Note the lack of Saxon. Reach is also great with Venny’s feat, as they can kill from outside the cloud.

Max Gorgers:  The other main soul collector unit, Gorgers are good generalist infantry.  With the Satyxis tying everything up the Gorgers usually go mostly unshot.  They are decently powerful, and highly accurate.  They are tough no KD, and they are terror casuers.  Just a basically fine unit.   Once again, note 2 attacks for killing lots of infantry, and overtake will back them out of clouds.

Slaughterborn:  He’s sort of a must with max gorgers.  With his no KD they can make a wall in front of Venny, if needs must, and if the enemy kills them the resulting clouds keepts the LOS blocked.  Also, finisher can be valuable, as this list struggles with armor spam, and he is occasionally a great soul harvester himself (when there are a lot of 12/15 infantry he’s going to scythe through).

Pistol Wraiths:  Sometimes you are on the way in, and you can’t get to enemy’s to make them into clouds.  Wraiths can often shoot down some guys to get clouds where they need to go.  Also, if you run into jack/beast heavy, they paralyze them.  Finally incorporeal models are hot for objective games.

Gorman: He’s gorman!

Maddy Corbeau:  She’s another power merc solo.  No particular synergy, just does what she does.


EDIT: Man, I fail at image selection.  Sorry guys, no title image on this one.  One day I’ll figure that out.

  1. Charles Reply

    I am really diggin this post and have come back a few times to read it, especially after Venny was given an “F” rating on this past MOM podcast. So, a lot of your 35pts list seems like something I can get behind, but I have a few questions I was hoping you could answer.

    First, with this list what sort of event have you created it for? Locally we tend to have 2 list tornys and I am trying to decide which list I would replace it with, or possibly considering Venny as my 3rd list caster. I guess because I run Terminus I find it difficult to buy into putting the whore with Venny over him, and Gormn is in my denny pirate list. I am not necessarily looking for you to justify their inclusion in the above list as much as I am looking to understand why it is you put them there. Like, did you see a weakness against high arm, so you dropped gorman in, and what other options you think might work for those 4pts.

    Additionally, what would you take as reinforcements at the 35pts level? Bile Thralls? or maybe some other ranged unit?

    Lastly, what would you change to bump it upto 50pts?

    Thanks for your time!

  2. Walter Reply

    Thanks for reading man. I like talking shop about Venny.

    Hmm…this would be one caster in a two caster format. The other one might be a Mortenebra jack spam list, or a pGaspy list.

    Gorman is useful in this list because, as you say, high armor is a bit of a bugbear when your two units are Satyxis and Gorgers. Also with Gorman and two pistol wraiths you are almost certain to crowd control whichever heavy you are after.

    That isn’t to say that he isn’t as good in a Denegra list, but Denny usually doesn’t need to blind casters (feat, scourge), or jacks (feat, parasite, apply Banes). I just like to keep my power solos spread out. Venny isn’t hogging Tarterus or Darragh, so he can have Gorman.

    Maddy really helps out a lot when the list has pistol wraiths, Venny himself and Gorman. Any or all of those could be moved with a great deal of success, particularly pistol wraiths, who badly want to aim. She also helps Venethrax get some command up in there, to keep the Satyxis loyal. With all the gorgers around there are always sac pawn targets. Also, unlike Terminus, Venethrax will never scare her.

    For reinforcements…more melee units would be the way I’d go. Min Bane Knights would probably be best. They make great soul hunters (using Vengeance), and they don’t need pathfinder. Min Nyss Hunters are great, though I imagine if you have a pDenny list she’s already called dibs. Min Blood Witches + UA are a great combo with Slaughterborn, they come running in just as he goes crazy on some fennblades or krield warriors. The last point(if you take a 6 point option) I just take a Machine Wraith with. They are good for objectives.

    Going up to 50…hmm…tough stuff.

    I’d like the Combine, if someone else hasn’t got them already. He always has dragon slayer out and puppet master is a big deal on someone who sends out as many hellfires as Venny. Also upkeep removal is great, helps a lot when someone dumps crippling grasp on your units. Failing them those 5 points can be profitably put towards the Cankerworm, who helps alot with Venny’s armor issues and scenario problems (and is nonliving….this army has a lot of trouble with Awe and Ashen Veil sort of stuff). So there’s 5 points.

    For the other points, I’d go with either Max Bane Knights (A good unit for heavy armor, good at soul collecting, don’t need pathfinder) or maybe Erebus and a 2 points solo of your preference. Erebus is a good tough jack, should draw out some of the models they’d like to use on Venny. He can also overtake back behind the clouds he makes on the feat turn. 2 point solo can be a warwitch siren to help with the arc nodes, some merc or other if there’s one you are a fan of dougal and ragman both seem good, or a Bloat thrall to try and get some work out of caustic presence.

    Reinforcements at 50, just take whatever you didn’t take earlier. If you are lacking in hitting power you can’t go wrong with Wrong Eye and Snapjaw + a machine wraith.

  3. Charles Reply

    Thank you very much for getting back to me, but now I have even more questions!
    I love the idea of a morty list, but honestly she seems so different in my mind from the rest of the cryx casters that I have found it very difficult to get into and try out a list for her. For example, with Venny part of the appeal of this article is that I have a lot of the stuff you mentioned already, 2 baby chickens, raiders, wraiths and gorman. Though I only have a min unit of the trolls currently for use with skarre I have been thinking about bumping them to max anyway (they are just a tad pricy is all). With Morty though, it seems like I would need 5+ cryx heavys that I am not sure would get much use outside of her list. Any chance I could convince you to hammer out a similar article for Morty as you have done for Venny so I can get my brain juices flowing? Like, at 35pts I was thinking something similar to:
    Morty + butler
    2 Slayers
    2 sirens

    Again the issues I have are the amount of heavys I would need to acquire and that DJ has pretty much guaranteed himself a sport in my termy list.

    I haven’t played a lot with either of the gaspy’s as they don’t really fit my play style, the only reason I really use denny is because she came with the BB, but I am actively looking to replace her which is why I am enjoying this article so much.

    If I am dropping my denny list, or even if not maybe, I see your points about Gorman perhaps getting more mileage in this list.

    As for Meddy, I guess I am just so use to and have it so ingrained in my mind that she gives tarter 3 extra in on his assassin run that it maybe kinda scares me a little bit to let that go. But I am more then willing to try it out and see how it works out.
    I have very limited experience running bane knights as every time I run em they seem to die, a lot and quickly. I honestly haven’t even maxed out the unit because they just seem to die so quickly that I have been kinda put off by them. That said, they do have a little bit of movement and I can see trying them as reinforcements.

    The Nyss do tend to really enjoy dennys company lol.

    Blood Witches are something which I have been trying to work into more of my list. They are currently the reinforcements for my skarre list as I really enjoy their dispel upkeeps and ability to stop annoying things like tough and transfers.

    Honestly, my playgroup really isn’t into the 50pts scene but I will be going to gencon this year and want to make sure I can play lots of games in the iron arena, so I thought I would just ask.

    I tend to run the combine with termy for pretty much the same reasons you listed putting them with Venny. Though I hadn’t thought about the cankerworm at all, and now I am excited about this potential…

    I have no experience with erebus, and currently don’t own him. I have Malice, DJ and Nightmare, but I guess I have had difficulty seeing and understanding where Erebus fits into the world. Would you mind sharing some knowledge about him with me?
    How do you feel about bile thralls as a possible reinforcement?

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