Monday, August 16, 2010

Lizardmen in 8th Edition: Lore of Heavens

Let's start here since it's the lore that skink priests have to take. I'm going to go through the lores one by one since this is my first time covering them and I'll give my general thoughts as well as Lizardmen specific thoughts.

Roiling Skies (Lore Attribute):
Interesting lore attribute. Unfortunately, interesting doesn't mean good. It's not going to do too much and is really just a nice extra rather than a reason to specifically take this lore. There is some debate on whether or not the hits are inflicted for merely targeting the enemy or if the spell has to be successfully cast. I'm in the camp that says it needs to actually go off but a FAQ will be needed to clear this up. It's nice for lizardmen because it gives them a little extra oomph against things like dragons that are going to be difficult to take down from a distance. I don't think it's enough oomph though to really make much of a difference.

Iceshard Blizzard (Signature Spell):
Pretty nice spell. Lets you shut down a shooty unit or a warmachine. This is particularly useful for lizards worried about their saurus blocks being demolished. It also combos nicely with some of the Lore of Light spells. Combo it with The Speed of Light (Light) and Curse of the Midnight Wind (Heavens) and you can make your enemies elite block need 6s to hit and all 6s get rerolled.

Harmonic Convergence (1):
This and Curse of the Midnight Wind are opposite sides of the same coin. This is best used on things that need 3s to hit and/or 2s to wound as it will virtually ensure every to hit roll succeeds and every to wound roll succeeds. Give this to your elite troops or a unit that is going to be causing a lot of rolls. I can see it being useful on blowpipes and salamanders in addition to the more elite saurus type units. In the end though, unless you really need that critical extra hit/wound, I think you're going to be better off trying one of the other spells in this lore.

Wind Blast (2):
Very cool spell. I like it a lot though I'm not convinced of its usefulness. Clever placing of this spell can force your opponent's units to trip over each other and really hose his battleline. You can also force your opponent out of charge position and might even cause some damage to some of his lighter troops. It's pretty cheap to cast too and I think it's certainly worth taking just for the chance to mess with your opponent. The major benefit of this spell is restricting your opponent's movement when you have less mobile (saurus) troops and beating him to position is critical. Fun combos are possible with Fulminating Flame Cage (Fire) and Net of Amyntok (Light) as well.

Curse of the Midnight Wind (3):
This is a pretty interesting spell. Combo it with things that give your units extreme toughness and/or weapon skill and they become virtually impossible to kill. Double the casting value and you can hit multiple enemy units at once which is a very nice extra bonus. Use this on units targeting saurus warriors, temple guard, cold one knights, stegadons, etc. It's not really worth casting to save skinks because those little buggers will be dead anyways unless you've managed to dramatically up their toughness. Better than Harmonic Convergence because it's easier to make your guys harder to kill than it is to make them killy.

Urannon's Thunderbolt (4):
It's a pretty basic magic missile. Nothing particularly great about it besides S6. The best use for this spell is high toughness/armored small units. With only D6 hits, it's not going to do many wounds which is why you need to make the wounds it does do count. This is for elite units. Don't bother casting it at cheap throwaway units unless you absolutely have to stop that unit of skirmishers/fast cav. It's a nice little ranged threat that lizards don't get much of.

Comet of Cassandora (5):
Much better than the older version of the spell. No longer remains in play means you don't have to worry about your opponent dispelling it before it goes off but you also have to be more careful about placement and your own troops. Drop this on top of your opponent's warmachines/shooting units and watch him scramble. It also makes for a terrific way to control your opponent's advance. Noone is going to want to take their elite troops through the middle of this thing's target area. Lizardmen don't have much in the way of anti-shooting so this is a great spell for them.

Chain Lightning (6):
This bad boy is Urannon on steroids. It's the same spell for an extra 5 casting value. It has the bonus of not requiring line of sight and hopping to more units 2/3 of the time. With a lucky roll of this and bad planning on your opponent's part, you can wipe out mass units of heavy cav, light cav, skirmishers, independent characters, monsters, and warmachines. It's a fantastic spell. Gives lizardmen another great way to deal with targets at a range.

Lizardmen Thoughts:
I think most Lizardmen lists are going to have this lore in it. Magic is such a powerful phase in 8th edition that you have to bring something for it. This will probably be a slann but even a slann needs backup. The last thing you want is to roll 12 for winds of magic then have your slann's first spell break his concentration and you can't cast anything else. As a result, I foresee a skink priest of some sort in every list.

This lore provides a variety of spells that help negate Lizardmen weaknesses. There are several terrific ranged threats in its arsenal as well as anti-shooting and anti-maneuverability spells. You can't go wrong with most of these spells. I would try to give each priest you take at least one damage and one utility spell. Harmonic Convergence is probably the least useful spell for Lizardmen (unless comboed effectively) so i would trade it for Iceshard Blizzard most of the time.


  1. Assuming you didn't get chain lightning or the comet, would you switch out thunderbolt for iceshard? What I'm saying is, even with no other damage spells, is thunderbolt even worth it?

    Also, you planning on doing life and/or light next I take it. Life seems to be the go to choice for more slann, and the one I will be using. Nothing sounds as nasty as T8 temple guard/saurus with regen.

  2. That's a good point. If I had no other damage spells, it would depend on what I was facing. Chariot heavy army, small units of skirmishers, heavy cav, etc. I would keep Thunderbolt. Against most other armies though, I think I'd swap for Iceshard.

    I'm hoping to cover my thoughts on both of them this week. Life certainly seems to be more popular and it might be the best choice but I do very much like the idea of life.