Peek Into the Podium: Mark Male

The Second Peek Into the Podium this week is that of Mark Male. like his brother, Mark is a newcomer to the scene, it seems, but is wreaking havoc with his unpredictable and amusing Minions lists. It turns out that Ghost Walk and awesome heavies goes a long way toward punching all sorts of things to death. Mark is great addition to the area.

How to Survive a Non-Functional List Pair

I am knee deep in my pair finding process for Minions.  Compared to settling in on Stryker2/Nemo3 for my stint with Cygnar last year, this has been one heck of a journey.  Granted, I have had a couple changes dropped in my lap during this process thanks to Will Work for Food, Farrow Valkyries and the Blindwater Congregation CID all happening since I made the jump over after/during NOVA Open.  Since then I have had reason to put every caster on the table except Sturm & Drang (and there is some jank in that tank too once I get a Dracodile up and running) but I haven’t quite narrowed in on the pair that sings the way my Cygnar pair does.  With this in mind, I built both lists for this tournament with an ace in the hole just in case I get so far behind on attrition/scenario that I just have to throw an assassination against the wall and hope that it sticks.  

Tried and True

As a Minions player, you would be foolish not to play a bunch of games with Rask. He has tools for days, with help of a Wrastler, he swings strength by +6 on beasts, he has Admonition to piece trade more efficiently, he has one of the strongest denial/defensive feats in the game and his combo of a paralysis gun (or focus stripping gun if you need that instead) and veil of mists really allows him to control the board in a way that few other casters can.  He plays well in Blindwater with Posse, he plays well in Will Work for Food with Jrs (Rorsh & Brine especially…) and if he ever gets access to a 3rd theme I’m sure he would find a way to make it work too.  

My List:

Will Work For Food

Rask
-Blackhide Wrastler
-Ironback Spitter
-Bull Snapper
Rorsh
-Brine
Dahlia Hallyr
-Skarath
Bog Trog Mist Speaker
Orin Midwinter
Gatorman Witchdoctor
Eilish Garrity, The Occultist
Farrow Valkyries
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters

In a vacuum, I love the list.  It piece trades extremely efficiently, it hits like a truck, it has tools to deal with most defense skews (paralysis only works on living, but not a ton of construct or undead models with high def).  It struggles most into lists that can get up the table so fast that his feat becomes irrelevant or lists with so many models that his piece trading still isn’t enough.  He doesn’t hang well in a slog fest where each side spends turn after turn just grinding things out in the middle of the table, but if he is given the opportunity to dictate the engagement he will pick apart most lists that are in the 20 models or fewer range.  But it isn’t a perfect world and you have to play into bad matchups because there are always scarier potential matchups.  That is where the Gatorman Witchdoctor wins the MVP award.  That little guy gained a sweet tool in the last CID allowing him to give 1 friendly faction model Ghostly for a turn.  Suddenly, you combine Fury, Rage, Boundless Charge, Puppet Master (reroll attack or damage roll), Ghostly, Veil of Mists, Guidance (eyeless sight & magic weapons), Overtake (thanks theme!) and Diversionary Tactic on Brine and he is a wrecking ball that can go anywhere and crit knockdown on the tusks with a reroll (assuming the caster isn’t already paralyzed) leaves a decent chance in a hell of a lot of situations. Ask most of my opponents in these tournaments, I win a lot of games that I shouldn’t.

New Hotness

Jaga Jaga got some love in CID.  Turns out giving an under-performing caster Signs and Portents makes said caster better.  I think she, like Rask, now plays in whatever the hell she feels like on the back of that spell.  Because I don’t yet own Croak Raiders and my Gatormen Posse are in the process of being painted (staring at me longingly from my desk as I write this) I decided to run her in Will Work for Food as well.  

My List:
Will Work For Food

Jaga Jaga, The Death Charmer
-Targ
-Blackhide Wrastler
-Ironback Spitter
-Swamp Horror
Sacral Vault
Rorsh
-Brine
Bog Trog Mist Speaker
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist
Swamp Gobber Chef
Farrow Valkyries
Farrow Valkyries

In theory, this list shores up some of the weaknesses of the Rask list, but I haven’t played enough games to really determine how true that is.  The Spitter/Targ combo with eyeless sight, magical weapons & Signs & Portents puts a solid dent into infantry behind clouds or with stealth (and absolutely feasts on shield wall infantry thanks to that beautiful auto corrosion). Sacral Vaults are functionally immune to single wound infantry melee thanks to the soulstorm ability (Dealing 1 auto point of damage to models ending movement within 2”) and kill up to 6 per turn. Swamp horrors with overtake, Chain Strike (Thanks CID!), Battle Host and Signs & Portents handily remove a lot of models every activation as well.

In practice… well I need more practice.  Turns out Self Sac on Errants shuts down not only soul collection for the vault, but also shuts down overtake for the Horror and Asphyxious2’s feat grunts don’t care about counterblast/retaliatory strike… but I think with more practice I can leverage those tools well enough to not need to lean on a slimmed down version of Brine’s assassination described above (paired with an auto hitting pow, Signs & Portents, boosted pow 16 off of Jaga Jaga’s feat on a Farrow Valkyrie from 15” away) to bail me out of games.  

Where I am Going

I love both of these casters, and both work great in both themes, but I don’t think the right answer is to play both of them in the same theme.  More testing in the future on both of them in Blindwater, along with Midas WWFF and Maelok Blindwater is due up next (Hello Gatorman Soul Slave!).  I know I am getting closer to the pair that I’ll ride from the Brawltimore invitational right through Warmachine Weekend, but I am not quite there yet.

 

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