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Can Morathi be a viable option in competitive lists? 
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The Guiding Eye
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OK dudes, shes the second most powerful elf in our country, she knows all the spells for Dark, has a 2+ Ward Save vs spells and a 4+ against anything else, a choice of 2 magic weapons (must pick) and an optional 2 Arcane and Enchanted item (1 of each max.)

I really really want to take her to a 2.4k tournament with special characters, but I would like to know whether you think she can be a competitive choice for tournament play, and if so then with what optional extra items (if any) and more importantly, with what choices in your army list?

I am considering a supporting Level 2 with Shadow and Tome (likely lifetaker) a flying pendent BSB (standard :roll:) and perhaps a level 1 with scroll and guiding eye followed by gunline style dark elves:

- Shadow and Dark make good anti shooting (and great anti BS based shooting) lores (particularly dark and Morathi is a loremaster so even better!)
- Soul Stealer and Black Horror make good anti horde spells
- Pit of Shades for monster killing
- the level 1 would either be fire (all round use/anti regen) or metal (anti stank)


So what do we think?

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Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:16 pm
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The biggest problem I forsee with her is that she's just way too many points risked if you come up against a cannon, which are becoming more and more prevalent on the UK scene, and she doesn't have the option of diving into combat to be safe :/

One option if you really do want to run her could be to also take one of 2 PegMaster builds- either the Cloak of Hag Graef and Dawnstone combo, or a Pendant/Dragonhelm/Biting Blade chap. Run whichever you take in a unit with Morathi, with the character forming the front rank and Morathi the second rank. Unless the cannonball kills the hero in front (as per the rules for cannons and ranks of monstrous infantry)- and there's a good chance it won't with either a 3+ re-rollable or effective 2+ ward respectively- or bounce straight over him, she'll be relatively safe.

It's a bit of a gimmicky method, but if you really do want to take her it could be worth a try. If you don't face template artillery she can just sit in a unit after all, and the PegMaster is rarely a bad option (one of the pair has been in every DE list I've written for a fair while now, the CloakStone guy is just sensational, I forsee him being very widespread in ETC lists #I'mcallingitnow).

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Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:29 am
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I have taken her many times and she is, in all the army books, by far my favorite and most successful Special Character. She is mobile enough that the only time she's ever in combat is when I want her to by, with Soul Stealer, she's almost always running around with 6 wounds, and +5 to cast is no joke. I often equip her with the Black Staff as her Arcane Item and the other depends on the army I face. Overall she's a very solid character.

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Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:35 am
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Dragon Lord
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Take a level 4 sorceress on a pegasus, you'll get the same results 99% of the time at about 3/4th of the price.

As for tmarichards' idea with the peggy master. That can't be done as characters can't join flying units... so two flying characters can't join together to form a unit as they're both flying units.

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Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:19 am
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As Dalamar said, a full-kit lvl4 sorceress would fill the same needs with similar reliability at a fraction of the price.

But back on your actual question, I think she can be competitive in a point denial strategy. I doubt her abilities in another context though I haven't used her in 8th. I just hope you had an evasive gunline list in mind, not a 3 x 25 Crossbowmen atatic type of gunline.

In this role, I recommend giving her BDE as it is a very versatile enchanted item. That way our Queen may take care of small ranged units in CC phase, cast spells on warmachines and ranked units in magic phase and even contribute in the shooting phase if a tasty target acts as a siting duck. Her being able to fill multiple roles make your list redundant. Remenber that redundancy is a key ability in evasive lists because you are bound to lose some role players units before playing the game on your terms.

For arcane item, almost anything is good, but FF may help hide from combat and also cannonballs (on the rare occasion you can sit her behind a building or a wall). Anyway, both Morathi and FF are fluffy and fit your theme.

Having a fluffy list may earn you fluffy points. When you go for an average list in a competitive environment or when you “act“ like you’re not taking the game seriously, you get even more of them. The more fluffy points you have, the more your opponents will take you and your list lightly. Then, “neglect becomes your ally“.

On a more serious note, by taking Morathi, you assume the risk of her cost and you don't mind being stuck with dark lore. If you’re okay with that, just go ahead and have tons of fun. Oh I myself wish she could take death lore instead for such a list!

Just use her like past editions pegasus sorceress and you'll be fine.

Bravo for trying a different list! Good slave hunt!

Edit: typo

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Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:23 am
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The Guiding Eye
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Hiya gents, thank you for your thoughts thus far

@tmarichards, thanks man - yeah I don't think that I'd adopt that tactic I'm afraid: it all seems a little over the top just to protect her: I'd much rather rely on sitting behind a building/wall with focus familiar and then bladewind/chillwind to keep the heat off her back. The Peg master I think would almost be a given: he's just too good to pass up in either incarnation - and yes, I agree with your prediction about ETC use (we'll see next weekend!)

@phierlihy, yes she is my favourite too - fluff and rulewise: the black staff is a rather unusual choice on her however - how do you protect her? Also her points cost is expensive enough (I don't really consider the dark sword viable) without adding a 50+ point item to her build. However saying that, if your experiences prove otherwise I'd be very keen to hear in greater detail about them :) What other item combos do you run? I was considering the other tricksters shard so that she can take on lone daemon units like fiends of slaanesh or even weakened flamer units.

@Dalamar - I think you meant to say 'flying models cannot join join non-flying units' but I think we all understood what you meant.
I am well aware that a level 4 wizard would do the job nearly as well however I think the magic res 2 (as well as a ward save that isn't negated by death snipe spells etc), the +1 to cast and loremaster (as well as a combat profile with 6 Str 5 attacks on the charge to kill off chaff) as well as the optional extra Enchanted and Arcane items do mean that she is 'worth' her cost. So I understand that the comparison is very close but Morathi offers more versatility for your extra cost.

@Grabuge - I understand your english perfectly :D Yes a point denial list would work nicely with her, but the tournament I wish to enter her into uses the 20-nil system (20 being utter annihilation of an opponent) so picking off a unit here and some small points there would not be sufficient: I do think that soul stealer and Black Horror would go a long way towards deleting enemy units over a few turns - particularly with a Shadow mage in support. However I am also realising that Death would be nice in support too - particularly because Dark cannot easily death with enemy characters or single models such as monsters - Death DOES however deal with these nicely.

So I guess my next question is: what character choices to take along with Morathi - I think the flying BSB who can headbutt cannonballs (either of tmarichards examples) would be good and I think I'm leaning towards the Pendent + Soul render variety so that he can tie up monsters/single models in combat and even hurt them in return. However support wizard wise - I cannot decide between Shadow or Death...

As a quick aside (and taking advantage of the rules in a WAAC way) the change of 'unmodified leadership' rule for death magic etc means even a level 2 wizard joining a unit of black guard would gain Leadership 9 (or 10 with the standard of discipline if I think right?) and so spirit leech would become far more effective...

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Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:58 pm
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Quote:
I think you meant to say 'flying models cannot join join non-flying units' but I think we all understood what you meant.


Actually, flying models *can* join non-flying units. Pegasus in a unit of spearmen is not unusual. Monsters can't join any units... and nothing can join units of flyers (something about too many unruly wings flapping about)

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Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:42 am
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The Guiding Eye
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Thanks Dal - yeah I'd thought that was the case (no rulebook handy at the time sadly) but wasn't sure - the flapping wings makes me laugh :D Sadly power dice are comped to a max of 2 per turn at this tourney otherwise it'd be hilarious having morathi sat in a warrior unit with the sac dagger - you'd need a huge unit! :D she could literally use 6 dice and cast all of the lore off in a single phase (1 of those used for PoD followed by the sac dagg on the spell).

basic mathhammer:

1 dice chillwind + 1 sac dagger = average of 12 rolled up (+5 to cast)
1 dice doombolt + 1 sac dagger = 12
1 dice word of pain + sac dagger = 12
1 dice PoD = 8/9 plus sac dagger if needed
+++ 4 power pool dice used so far +++
1 PoD dice + dagger = 12 for blade wind
1 PoD dice + dagger = soul stealer
1 PoD +1 or 2 power dice + dagger = 15/16 for black horror

So erm, with a poor roll on PoD she'd need 6 normal power dice max to cast off every spell in the dark lore very comfortably, and with only 2 or 3 dice used per spell there is a very low chance of a miscast.

Might have to rethink my throne of skulls army list haha!

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Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:02 pm
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I've used her before to reasonable amounts of success, soulstealer and bladewind give her a reasonable amount of protection against warmachines. I find the Book of Ashur to be a nice item for her as it gives you a very high chance of getting any of her spells off on two dice and boosts your magic defense to boot.

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Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:36 pm
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Yes she can, you just need to play well ;)

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Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:21 am
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I would probably go with the pendant master bsb, and a supportive shafow mage. As you say the lores compliment each other greatly. I would however also field a real hammer unit, 12 coldone knights full kitted. So that you can smash down weakened enemy units and not lose the game to some of the enemys wittled down combat units. Say 10 savage orcs (originaly 30+ )

I would also give her focus familiar, and black dragon egg. Focus to stay away of trouble or casts spells out of combat. And blackdragon egg to either failsafe against shooting, or just breath the hell out of things.

With so much points invested a little flexibility is nice. I will actually try and write such a list myself, thanks for the inspiration!


Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:41 am
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The Guiding Eye
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Hiya chaps, thanks for the constructive (and not constructive - Eldria! :P) criticism and considerations.

@ Fingol23 - first off, REALLY like your bit of work for the First War Against Chaos! Might have to attempt to use those and recreate the stories of old!
On the Morathi front - yes I really like how versatile she in: I think that against most armies out there, almost every dark magic spell has something: even when fighting chaos warriors (distinct lack of shooting) a spell like bladewind can be used to great effect against hellcannons by targetting the chaos dwarf crew. The lore does of course seem most strong against shooting based lists with 3 spells that complement this defence; which is good as good shooting can irradicate even strong dark elf lists. In my mind I would rather have all the spells than a select 4 - but particularly word of pain, black horror and soul stealer are my favourites and would seem to get the 'most mileage' out of them in 8th ed.
Sadly though to me, the book of ashur is just too expensive - I think I would much rather have the focus familiar just for the extra range if nothing else - there no point having +1 to cast (the dispel is a nice extra) if your spells aren't in range and with +5 to cast shes already strong when using 2 dice.

@a.andersson: yeah I am thinking a similar route, though right now I am considering dual flying masters (pendent and other with cloak of hag graef) and a back up level 2 with Death magic - to snipe out or weaken enemy characters so that the pendent rider can kill them later. Items wise I think I will be using exactly as you said - egg and familiar, though I am tempted by the earthing rod...

Any more thoughts on shadow or death wizard as backup?

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Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:40 pm
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Dangerous Beans wrote:
Hiya chaps, thanks for the constructive (and not constructive - Eldria! :P) criticism and considerations.

@ Fingol23 - first off, REALLY like your bit of work for the First War Against Chaos! Might have to attempt to use those and recreate the stories of old!
On the Morathi front - yes I really like how versatile she in: I think that against most armies out there, almost every dark magic spell has something: even when fighting chaos warriors (distinct lack of shooting) a spell like bladewind can be used to great effect against hellcannons by targetting the chaos dwarf crew. The lore does of course seem most strong against shooting based lists with 3 spells that complement this defence; which is good as good shooting can irradicate even strong dark elf lists. In my mind I would rather have all the spells than a select 4 - but particularly word of pain, black horror and soul stealer are my favourites and would seem to get the 'most mileage' out of them in 8th ed.
Sadly though to me, the book of ashur is just too expensive - I think I would much rather have the focus familiar just for the extra range if nothing else - there no point having +1 to cast (the dispel is a nice extra) if your spells aren't in range and with +5 to cast shes already strong when using 2 dice.

@a.andersson: yeah I am thinking a similar route, though right now I am considering dual flying masters (pendent and other with cloak of hag graef) and a back up level 2 with Death magic - to snipe out or weaken enemy characters so that the pendent rider can kill them later. Items wise I think I will be using exactly as you said - egg and familiar, though I am tempted by the earthing rod...

Any more thoughts on shadow or death wizard as backup?


Thanks, if you have any suggestions, criticisms or even manage to get some experience with the rule set then please let me know as I am still trying to get it as polished as possible.

Yeah the book's cost is a big downside however I love it for its almost triple effect, decreases the number of power dice I use, makes dispelling easier and also increases the number of dispel dice my opponent uses (at least if they have the same mindset as me).

To explain that last one consider the situation where you have a level 2 wizard to dispel with, against standard Morathi that means that Morathi has a +3 advantage on her roll, this has a 66.7% chance of being negated by a single extra dice which means that so long as the spell isn't crucial (but still worth dispelling, say Doombolt on fast cavalry or something) I'll risk those odds most of the time and just roll one dispel dice more than Morathi rolls power dice. If however she has the book then she has a +4 advantage which is only 50% likely to be negated by an extra dice, now in my mind at least this isn't worth the risk so I'll either let the spell go to save dispel dice (result: dead fast cavalry yay!) or use two extra dice which means very soon I'll run out and Morathi or your level 2 now have free reign. Just my thoughts.

I'm also not sure about her need for a focus familiar, while dark magic is reasonably short ranged she can fly meaning you can generally get into range of the units you really want to while being able to threaten war machines/missile units as Chillwind and Bladewind both have 24" ranges. This combined with the fact that many of the Dark magic spells don't require line/arc of sight means that I rarely found her unable to cast the spells I wanted.

I have considered running her with the egg before but never quite got round to it, it seems useful as a trouble shooter item, e.g for that time you don't quite kill the organ gun or realise that your deployment has left you open to a turn one anvil charge by rangers etc.

Finally on her supporting caster I would go shadow, dark already has enough damage spells and shadow can then focus on helping your army while Morathi destroys their, or there are always the enfeebling/withering synergies when it comes to that unit you just have to kill.

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Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:05 pm
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Dangerous Beans wrote:
Hiya chaps, thanks for the constructive (and not constructive - Eldria! :P) criticism and considerations.

Any more thoughts on shadow or death wizard as backup?


Bite me, you know we'll spend ages on this anway...

I'm thinking death but thats only because I love the lore, we'll need to look at the rest of the list first and then figure which other lore compliments it best.

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Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:22 pm
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Fingol23 your reasoning with dispell against power dice does not really work does it? Morathi rolls of first and then the enemy decides how many dice he will use. AFTER seeing your total score counting an averege and then rolling the dice. The book does not drain an extra dispell dice each turn... The FF is also usable when shes fighting warmachine crew and light units.

The shadow lore is usable when half of the spells in the dark lore is not... Around turn 3. Therefore i would go for it. Morathi kill things turn 1-3, shadow magician lays game breaking spell turn 2-4, morathi flies around ensuring vps rest of the game!


Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:51 am
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Quote:
am well aware that a level 4 wizard would do the job nearly as well however I think the magic res 2 (as well as a ward save that isn't negated by death snipe spells etc), the +1 to cast and loremaster (as well as a combat profile with 6 Str 5 attacks on the charge to kill off chaff) as well as the optional extra Enchanted and Arcane items do mean that she is 'worth' her cost.


This!!
Might not be the most helpfull post, but i never got peoples resentment for our SC. Okay Malekith and the latest shadowblade i get. But the few times i used Morathi 8th or 7th ed.(hell even 6th but lets not get carried away) she never let me down. I say good luck and kick some ass!!

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Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:39 pm
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a.andersson wrote:
Fingol23 your reasoning with dispell against power dice does not really work does it? Morathi rolls of first and then the enemy decides how many dice he will use. AFTER seeing your total score counting an averege and then rolling the dice. The book does not drain an extra dispell dice each turn... The FF is also usable when shes fighting warmachine crew and light units.

The shadow lore is usable when half of the spells in the dark lore is not... Around turn 3. Therefore i would go for it. Morathi kill things turn 1-3, shadow magician lays game breaking spell turn 2-4, morathi flies around ensuring vps rest of the game!


It does assuming a roughly average roll on your power dice. Also Black Horror, Word of Pain and Soulstealer can all be used while Morathi is in combat.

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Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:30 pm
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Yeah sure, I agree to 50%. I just see the FF used in a few more situations, and because the point cost is in favor of the FF I would go with that item. Especially in a tournament where flexibility is required. Also dark is somewhat short ranged, Always a nice buff.


Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:37 pm
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