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D.R.A.I.C.H - Gaze of the Medusa: Morathi in the 8th 
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Noble
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My first post for quite a while (over a year), I hope it's a good one.

Looking around the internet, I have yet to hit upon a good discussion of the Druchii special characters in the 8th. What better place than start up the discussion than Druchii.net?

I’d like to kick things off with my first impressions of my favourite character;



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Morathi, the Hag Queen of Naggaroth.





I think the 8th has really benifetted Morathi. A level 4 Sorceress with decent defence, great mobility, and she can even mix things up in CC with smaller units and war-machine crews. By no means an all rounder, Morathi’s strength lies in blasting the enemy apart in the magic phase. I think that one of the beauties of taking Morathi is that you don't necessarily have to tailor an army around her. There are options that make her inclusion more favourable, but I think that she can fit into most kinds of armies with little re-adjustment.

Without equipment, Morathi weighs in at a hefty 455 points, so taking her in an army less than 2500 points is very risky - but possible (a recurring theme when discussing Morathi). She is a huge price sink for a fragile character that will enivetiable attract unwanted attention during the game - not a great thing for a naked T3 chick.

Lucky for us Morathi takes to the field on her trusty mount: Sulphet. Already the favoured choice for most level 4 sorceress’, the dark pegasus is a very useful tool to keep Morathi out of danger. Used wisely, she can keep out of range of enemy missiles, hide from scary CC monsters, and get into good positions to snipe at the enemy. Also, with the new rules, Morathi and her mount count as one creature. As Dalmar points out below, we no longer have to fear the Pegasus getting cut from beneath her AND we get the nice added bonus of a toughness increase. Getting in range of units to cast soul stealer has never been easier! This spell and similar short range nasties aren’t that much of a problem with a 20’ fly move granted by her Pegasus.

Also, under the 8th, Sulphet is a Monstrous Cavalry mount, not a Monstrous Beast unit type, and is therefore eligible to join units. This will prove to be a significant departure from how we used Morathi (and any Sorceress mounted on a dark pegasus) in the 7th. Morathi can now enjoy the protection a unit provides from small arms fire (unfortunately, she cannot benefit from a 'look out sir' roll) and, in turn, provides protection for the unit she joins because of her magic resistance. Unsually however, she is not a Khanite, and cannot join Executioners or Witch Elves (an organization she is currently the ruling figure head of!).


The Dark Art

Unsurprisingly, being the first practitioner of dark magic, Morathi strongest phase is the Magic one. Being a level 4 Sorceres with a +1 to cast spells, Morathi can cast any spell from the Dark Magic Lore on only one dice (I'm not saying that you should, I'm just saying that you could...). With the changes made to magic, casting most spells from Dark is child’s play for Morathi, and a headache for your opponent. So far, I’ve had great success using just two dice to cast spells, then using Power of darkness (POD) half way through the magic phase to generate more. I normally cast POD half way through the phase with one die, (not the most tactically astute move, see comments below as to why)to offset any disadvantages of the phase ending early, and to force my opponent into a difficult decision of how best to employ his remaining dispel dice. However, the 1 in 3 chance of ending you magic phase is a pretty big risk with a magic user of such potency.


Even outside of the magic phase though, Morthai can be used to harass the enemy. Although skirmishers and light cavalry are becoming less frequent sights on the warhammer battlefield, war-machines are making a strong come back. With , 3 strength 5, killing blow attacks, with another 3 strength 5 attacks from the Pegasus on the charge (assuming you took the Heartrender), Morathi is more than a match for a gun line, or small units of skirmishers. Supported by harpies, you have a very effective lone character/warmachine/skirmisher hunting unit, and don’t forget her enchanting beauty - very useful against the types of units she will be hunting. It’s just a shame Morathi cannot take the lifetaker and snipe any magic users that might stray from the protection of a unit.


Shopping


Which leads me nicely to magic item options. As well as the mandatory item she must buy (either heartrender or dark sword) Morathi has the option to buy an arcane and/or enchanted item. I haven’t figured out the most effective combination yet (i’m sure there are some nasty ones out there with all those new items in the rule book) here are my favorite's in order of preference.


Trickster’s shard: My favourite. When you get a particularly lucky channeling roll, and you feel that the magic phase can be a potential game winner, what better way to spook your opponent by threatening enemy mages with an auto wound on 5+ for every successful dispel roll he makes? With Morthai’s POD and a paired Death magic sorceress, this item could potentially be a game winner.

Black Dragon Egg: Fire breathing hag with T6? What’s not to love? Why not have Morathi join a unit and invite a charge? Watch your opponents face turn from triumph to terror as you toast his unit!


Focus Familiar: When keeping Morathi out of harms way is a priority.


Healing potion: What’s not to like about getting d6 wounds restored? With soul stealer, you can practically guarantee Morathi will survive the game (famous last words).

Sacrificial Dagger Seemingly the default choice of level 4 sorcerers. Limited use on Morathi since she won't be spending too much time anchored to a unit you would wish to sacrifice. If only she could sacrifice your opponents war machine crew!


The other trickster’s shard: Lifted from this month's white dwarf. With this item, you may just get off a vital killing blow.


The biggest drawback (apart form her high points cost), is that she cannot use any of the supercharged spells from the main rule book. With all her ability, she is constrained to the Dark magic lore, and cannot open her stride to attempt 15+ casting.

Conclusion

You can do a lot with Morathi on the field, but whether you should do them is a different matter. You can take her in a 2000pt army. You can cast any of her spells on one dice. You can do these things, but whether it is tactically viable is a different matter. However, I like to think of the Joker at times like these, and think to myself:

“Why not try and introduce a little chaos to your life?”

Morathi does certainly make things more interesting. So take the risk, cast with one die; hell, even throw her at a couple of Lord level characters in hopes of getting off a killing blow. Go on, take the risk, take Morathi.

Please add your own thoughts on how the special characters now work in the 8th. Have they been any good? What have been your experiences with them? For my next review...hmmm, haven’t decided yet.

Thank you.


Last edited by Cynath ch'ill on Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:12 pm, edited 14 times in total.



Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:29 pm
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Noble
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She is actually T3 with 3 wounds from what I recall of the rules, but Soul-Stealer can take that up to 6. I'm not sure if she can take items from the core rulebook, but the Sacrificial Dagger is now a must for her. She can actually join units, and with sacrifices, she can cast most of the spells from the Dark lore on one dice!

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:44 pm
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Dragon Lord
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Quote:
Morathi and her mount count as one creature, meaning against long ranged attacks she has T4 with 6 wounds, (please correct me if I am wrong on this point - also does she have the same bonuses in CC?) which can be boosted to an almighty 9 wounds with soul stealer!


With monstrous mounts, you use the highest wounds statistic available. In case of Morathi and Sulephet they both have 3 wounds so Morathi gains no benefit from it. But Sulephet can't be killed on its own so it's a big boost to her manoeuverability.

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:45 pm
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@Masked Jackal - Yup, I think I covered that. Thank you for the input though.

@ Dalmar - Thank you, i've edited the main text.


So is there any advantage of having a three wounds on Sulphet? Or has that become moot in the new edition since they both have the same W value?

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:51 pm
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Dragon Lord
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Sulephet might as well be a 1 wound mount - it makes absolutely no difference for lord level characters.

But remember a Hero (2 wounds) on a Dark Pegasus (3 wounds) has 3 wounds total!

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8th Edition army book W/D/L:
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Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:08 pm
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Colmpliments, nice review!
I suggest you changed the title to say you're dealing only with Mortathi, and make other threads for other characters.
D.R.A.I.C.H.ed already.

It is not that good an idea to cast PoD on 1 die in mid-magic phase:
if she gets 1 or 2 that is not only an autofail but it shuts off the remaining of her magic phase.
Unless you have another spell caster to use the remaining PD?

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:56 pm
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@ Dalamar: Thank you. I'm still coming to grips with the 8th. I've played a game already thinking that the wounds were cumulative (6 wounded Morathi). I better apologize to my opponent and buy him a beer.

@Calisson: D.R.A.I.C.H'ed? No way! I'm honoured, thank you. I've cleaned up the grammar in the article a little to make it more presentable. I was hoping that this thread would collect other reviews from users about how the new characters work in the new edition. But, i've changed the title as suggested, and I'll write up my experiences with other special characters.

So, to everyone reading this, please comment on you own experiences using Morathi. Any nasty tricks? Any cool combinations, or weird situations you've found yourself in using Morathi? Has she been a game winner, or has she tanked? Any comments, any views are welcomed.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:30 am
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Cynath wrote:
With a 2+ ward against magical spells and miscasts, Morathi can ride the storm relatively unscathed


Rulebook FAQ wrote:
Q: Is damage caused by a miscast counted as a spell? Can a model
with Magic Resistance add it to its ward save against it? (p34)
A: No to both questions.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:42 am
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Updated with Lord Tsunami clarification.


Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:20 pm
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Cynath Ch'ill wrote:


Black Dragon Egg: Fire breathing hag with T6? What’s not to love? Why not have Morathi join a unit and invite a charge? Watch your opponents face turn from triumph to terror as you toast his unit!


Noxious breath isn't flaming


Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:14 am
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Hi there,

The BRB states that characters with rule "Flying" cannot join units. I too thought that Peggy characters may join units but i realized this the other day so...what do you think?


Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:14 am
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PjEOs wrote:
Hi there,

The BRB states that characters with rule "Flying" cannot join units. I too thought that Peggy characters may join units but i realized this the other day so...what do you think?

That's how it used to be. Are you sure you have the correct rulebook?

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Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:52 am
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PjEOs said;
Quote:
The BRB states that characters with rule "Flying" cannot join units.
Where, what page? I can't find that statement.

Cynath Ch'ill said;
Quote:
Also, under the 8th, Sulphet is a Monstrous Cavalry mount, not a Monstrous Beast unit type, and is therefore eligible to join units.

Correct, Morathi is considered as Monstous cavalry with the Fly rule.

But where does it say she can join units. I believe that she could join other units of the same troop type that are Monsterous cavalry.
In the Dark elf army that would only be other characters on Monsterous Beasts that are considered Monsterous cavalry. So she could join up with say another sorceress or a Dreadlord on a Dark pegasas.
Other than that I don't believe she can join other troop types.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

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Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:48 am
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Characters can join any troop types. But if the troop type is different from their own there are specific rules for their position in the unit and other effects.

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8th Edition army book W/D/L:
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Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:02 am
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p.97 is clear.
Characters cannot join flying units. But the reverse is not forbidden anywhere.
Monstrous characters or monster-riding characters cannot join units. But it's OK for monstrous beast riding characters.

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Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:49 am
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Cynath Ch'ill wrote:
Without equipment, Morathi weighs in at a hefty 455 points,

Morathi must take one of her magic weapons, so yes without equipment she weighs in at 455 but you can actually only field her for a minimum of 480

we get the nice added bonus of a toughness increase.

Just to clarify for me this comes under the rule of 'with multi profile models, use the highest characteristic values', correct? So Morathi is is essentially a T4 elf, does this also count in combat or do enemies get to choose to strike at Morathi herself on her T3?

cannot join Executioners or Witch Elves (an organization she is currently the ruling figure head of!).

Minor fluff quibble, Morathi isn't head of the Temple of Khaine, that is Hellebron and Hellebron does everything she can to keep Morathi's influence out of the temple ever since Morathi 'enslaved' her with the promise of eternal beauty, which made Hellebron hate Morathi bitterly as she realised she had been duped and Morathi now had great power over her. It is true that Morathi can ask the temple to do things and the temple is obliged to agree lest Malekith rescind various favours granted to the temple, but Morathi does not lead the temple, she leads the convent of Sorceresses.

However, the 1 in 3 chance of ending you magic phase is a pretty big risk with a magic user of such potency.

Yup, I roll PoD on two dice if I have them, 1 is just too much of a risk for me


Great article Cynath, fantastic work.

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Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:10 am
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one thing of note i am missing here:

Morathi has Ld 10, so ye combine a lvl 4 wizzard with a great general in one go. Morathi was a solid choice before, and is a lot better one now, not just due to the magic changes, but also because she is a loremaster dark lore and as such does not prevent a second dark lore wizzard as well.


Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:23 am
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So just to be clear....

Morathi gets no wond bonus because she and the Peg both have 3 wounds.
The only way to increase her wounds is with soul stealer.

Does She get T3 or T4?

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Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:24 am
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Too Cold wrote:
So just to be clear....

Morathi gets no wond bonus because she and the Peg both have 3 wounds.
The only way to increase her wounds is with soul stealer.

Does She get T3 or T4?

T3.

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Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:51 pm
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Morathi with the dagger in a warrior unit:

- she still got 4+ ward from her own power
- she's not more vulnerable than by herself
- With her +5 to cast, she can cast near all dark lore spell with one dice, throwing the dagger when the spell don't goes off (and that won't happen a lot). She can be very nasty to burn dispel dice or to provid headaches to opponent.

Good games!


Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:56 pm
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If I'm reading Morathi's rules correctly, it says she can "be given one Arcane Item and one Enchanted Item from the Magic Items listed on pages 100-103". No mention of items of the main rulebook. If I'm right, then the article needs updating. :)
Edit: Enchanting Beauty affects friendly models, so if she joins an unit, in CC some Dark Elves will need to take the test (nevertheless, with her, it is a Ld10 test, no biggie). I think this should be noted.


Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:05 pm
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Another interesting item for Morathi is the Book of Ashur, it gives you increased magic defense as +5 to dispel is pretty healthy and also gives you a total of +6 to cast making 2 dice spells a near certainty and meaning that to have a relativly sure chance to dispel a level 2 wizard would need to be using an extra 2 dispel dice which combined with Morathi's Loremaster ability and her ability to cast on two dice means you can turn the magic phase into a war of attrition were you are almost certain to get a couple of spells through.

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Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:27 pm
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Quote:
If I'm reading Morathi's rules correctly, it says she can "be given one Arcane Item and one Enchanted Item from the Magic Items listed on pages 100-103". No mention of items of the main rulebook. If I'm right, then the article needs updating.


Sorry if this involves necroing an old thread, but I was reading through the article and thought it would be useful to the DRAICH to respond to this. The Magic Items listed on p100 to 103 include 'Common Magic Items', which have now been transplanted by the list in the new rulebook. So yes, Morathi can take common magic items from the rule book. Yay!

Quote:
Another interesting item for Morathi is the Book of Ashur,


Book of Ashur is a good choice for Morathi, but it pushes her price way up there!

Quote:
Without equipment, Morathi weighs in at a hefty 455 points,


Actually, she has to take either Heartrender or the Darksword, meaning her minimum price is 480 points.

Quote:
So is there any advantage of having a three wounds on Sulphet? Or has that become moot in the new edition since they both have the same W value?


On the plus side, Sulphet does still have an extra point of weapon skill and attack.

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Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:44 pm
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For those more experienced or curious players, I give my Morathi the 'Book of Ashur' and the 'Wizarding Hat' to offset the lv2 downgrade. Her cost breaks the 625pt mark just by a bit, and she'll be your only character running around with no protection (thus for the experienced).

She still casts spells with +4 and dispels on a respectable +3. Not as powerful as casting on +5 normally, but it gives her access to two more spells, and quite possibly spells outside the normal restrictions for DE. That opens up quite a lot of possibilities for DE, like the access to life spells, or even beast for better survivability/ killing power.

Sure it's random and unreliable, but so is everything else in the game (especially when it comes to magic). Though I haven't tried this item set combination in a real competitive game last I played, just used it for fun in friendly experimental games.

Good luck to all gamers.

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Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

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*Magical properties possibly imbued


Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:32 am
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