At each of the tournaments, I’m going to reach out to the top 3 players, and see if I can get them to write up an article on their lists, their choices, and their basic thoughts behind what they chose and how they came to choose it. I’ll be posting them up as I get them, and todays, the first – I’ve been sitting on this one a long while, is from the Third Place finisher at Brawltimore #1 – Chris Dumm. He’s been playing protectorate for as long as I’ve known him, so he seems like a good place as any to start!
Enough of that to the article!
For my lists, I chose Hierarch Severius and Intercessor Kreoss. I have played variants of this pairing since the beginning of Mk. III and believe they answer quite a few questions posed by current popular lists while possessing relatively few bad matchups. They are as follows:
First List: Hierarch Severius (Sevy2)
-Blessing of Vengeance
Idrian Skirmishers (max) + CA
Choir of Menoth (max)
Covenant of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
THEME: Faithful Masses
Benefits: Free stuff (Idrian CA is free); one wall placed within 20″ of my board edge not within 3″ of hills/obstacles/obstructions; and Hand of Vengeance on all heavy Warjacks (if a friendly faction warrior model dies within 5″ of a heavy Warjack, it gains +2 to hit and damage rolls for melee attacks for one round).
General Thoughts: Sevy2 is my main list. He is an infantry dominating machine on his own, between Ashes to Ashes, Rebuke, one free spell cast per turn, and his RFP Feat. Oracular Vision also makes his lists very hardy versus low quantity, high POW attacks, usually from opposing heavy ranged weapons. These factors combine to give him great game into several factions and list types, notably ones that are infantry heavy and/or ranged heavy. The double Reckoners, Blessing, and the Redeemer all combine to give me quite a high volume of boostable ranged attacks per turn: two POW 16s, three Inaccurate POW 14s (that direct hit more often than you realize), and Hex Blast arcs from Blessing (one at POW 15 and one at POW 13). Don’t forget the Awareness assassination threat, either. The Idrians are in the list to supplement this ranged power with their own guns or charges onto Preyed heavy targets. Covenant provides important no-knockdown to the battlegroup and is a boss flag scorer, Templar is a meaty Shield Guard that gets really annoying with Oracular Vision, the Vassal helps with efficiency and can also combo Enliven with Oracular Vision, and the Mechanik is generally useful when I don’t forget to activate him. However, this list is pretty slow, so I have to be cognizant of scenario. It’s tough for me to reposition.
Good Matchups: This list truly is an all-comers list. I pick him usually when I have to play into Cygnar, Khador, Protectorate of Menoth, Cryx, Retribution, Mercenaries, Convergence, Trollbloods, Skorne, Circle, and Legion. Note, though, that each of these expects you to run combined arms or leaning more towards infantry. Minions and Grymkin are absent because, in my experience, they tend to run beast heavy, which leads us to…
Bad Matchups: Sevy2 doesn’t like it when you go big or go home and has trouble into heavy spam lists. He has no threat extenders, no damage buffs, and no hit buffs. His Feat only works on Warrior models. His list is typically out-threated in melee by everything. Though his ranged game is quite good, it still only leads to one heavy crippled or dead a turn – and from 12″ from my own heavies. If your list can flood him with 3-4 heavies and stay outside of his pretty meager melee threat ranges, you’ll be doing okay. His bad matchups are less factions and more ‘casters. He doesn’t like Khador (Karchev, Harkevich), durable Protectorate ‘casters with lots of heavies (usually Durst and Amon), Vyros2 Griffon Spam, possibly Black Industries in Cryx (untested on my end), Magnus 1/2 in mercs, Doomshaper2 or Ragnar in Trolls, Bones of Orboros of Call of the Wild in Circle, or a variety of Skorne lists. Legion is honestly not too bad for Sevy2 because shooting down flying beasts is pretty easy, Oracular Vision neuters an Angelius charge, and Carnivean chassis ‘beasts aren’t in a great spot in general.
List Improvements: I made a glaring error in list building, weakening me into Cygnar. Sevy2 is typically very durable into gunlines. However, as I have toyed with this list almost constantly since Mk. III launched, I didn’t realize until after the tournament that I only brought two Shield Guards with him – the Templar and Blessing. This gravely risked my game into Cygnar, particularly Sloan who could pretty easily Shadow Fire and pop Sevy2’s head off. In the future, expect more Shield Guards so I can play that matchup comfortably.
Second List: Intercessor Kreoss (Kreoss3)
Idrian Skirmishers (max) + CA
Exemplar Vengers (max)
Exemplar Vengers (max)
High Exemplar Gravus
Choir of Menoth (min)
Vassal of Menoth
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
THEME: Exemplar Interdiction
Benefits: Free stuff (Idrian CA, Vassal), +2″ Deployment Zone, and Blessed Weapons on Warjacks (ranged and melee)
General Thoughts: Everyone who has played against me since he came out knows that Kreoss3 is my favorite Warcaster. He is so fun! His versatile toolbox allows him to run a wide variety of armies and his melee threat is only outdone by the Butcher. Guy is a hoss. This list complements Sevy2 by taking all the matchups he can’t. Kreoss3 turns Vengers into heavy wrecking machines that threat 13″. That’s what they’re there for and that’s what they’ll do. Idrians again take up Arcane Ward like champs, but this time typically Prey screens or light Warjacks/Warbeasts, helping to clear that utility pieces so the Vengers can shine. Rhupert provides Pathfinder to my Vengers and Kreoss3 primarily, which is important because Vengers only get Pathfinder when my opponent decides to give it to them otherwise (and Kreoss3 doesn’t have it at all). Gravus primarily provides no knockdown or stationary to the Vengers and Kreoss3 (like the Covenant but with a 9″ bubble on a SPD 8 platform) and secondary serves as a late game heavy hitter once he’s gotten a few souls. I have been back and forth on the battlegroup and settled on Reckoner/Redeemer. It’s a point down, but nothing else quite works like it. The Reckoner takes Assail well and provides a POW 16 potshot on important targets. The Redeemer is non-negotiable, as he does serious work against Objectives so that the Vengers don’t have to and, more importantly, enables a Kreoss3 Force Hammer Assassination (this ends approximately one third of my games). The rest is just support. This list is designed to go fast, pressure scenarios, and crush heavy spam lists. I like it into Steamroller 2017 a ton because of how quickly and easily I can redeploy.
Good Matchups: Heavy spam in general, combined arms can work as well especially if they decided to lean more towards Warjacks/Warbeasts. I like Kreoss3 into much of Khador with one notable exception, the Protectorate of Menoth (except for Exemplar spam), Warjack-heavy Mercs, that Madrak1 list Trolls have been bandying about now, Circle, Skorne, Legion, Grymkin, and Minions. I actually feel like Kreoss3 is one of Protectorate’s few answers to Grymkin.
Bad Matchups: Kreoss3 is allergic to gunlines. Vengers are easy to hit and kill with boostable guns and I rely on them to get a lot of work done (no surprise there since they’re 40 points of my list). Lists I don’t like include Cygnar in general, Vlad1 in Khador, most of Retribution (particularly Ossyan), any list that can Feat to deny charges while shooting my face off, Skorne gunlines (they all have Burst Fire which decimates large bases), and a beast-based Legion gunline. My list also doesn’t have a huge volume of attacks, so infantry swarms can clog me up and wear me down. Crevasse helps Kreoss3 deal with *some* infantry, but the likes of Cryx, Cephalyx in Mercs, Irusk dudespam in Khador, and most Trollbloods lists will give me trouble.
List Improvements: At this point, none. I like how the list is performing and appreciate what it does for my matchup game.