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
Max Satyxis Raiders + UA
2 Pistol Wraiths
Lets looks at all the pieces:
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.