King For A Day: Attilio at VTC

Hello, I come to you all today to interrupt your normally scheduled KnightsMachine articles for something literally no one asked for! An article about our Grymkin lord and savior, The King of Nothing.

First, you may be wondering, “Who the heck is this goober, he isn’t British and he certainly isn’t a part of Knightsmachine?.” Well to that I’d say you are correct! I’m just some North American jabroni from All Gas, No Brakes who has spent the better part of his last 3 months only playing King in prep for VTC (he’s also one of our editors, so he gets to be on the main rotation -Ed). While I admit that I do have some experience with some other Grymkin lists as well in my testing prior to the event, see my off list of Wanderer Bump, I basically put this king list together in an attempt to deal with Gunnbjorn2 Vengeance of Dhunia and never turned back. Let’s take a brief look, shall we?

Dark Menagerie

The King of Nothing
 - Cage Rager
 - Clockatrice
 - Clockatrice
 - Clockatrice   
 - Clockatrice   
 - Clockatrice
 - Crabbits (2)
 - Crabbits (2)
 - Baron Tonguelick Lord of Warts 

Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm
Lady Karianna Rose
Defiled Archon
Defiled Archon

To give a little context, I’m gonna rewind time back a bit, and explain the circumstances of my decision to forgo everyone’s bae, Dreamer, in favor of the grumpiest man this side of Immoren. It all started after I was suddenly rushed out of a self induced retirement from Warmachine, by the siren call of my Captain and friend, Brad Park. Essentially the call for VTC 2 electric boogaloo came out and the team needed a fifth after some shuffling. However, I had no idea what the meta was like, or how things had changed since the previous VTC, when I could just shove Fiona Flame in the Darkness at people when not yeeting entire Infernals armies at myself with Gorten.

Gor-pion, presumably about to finish off Satyxis Raiden

Brad gave me two Grymkin lists and said here, play these. The first was essentially the Wanderer list I played at VTC, which felt great after a couple games, but struggled against the new hotness of Gunnbjorn2, who can just drift full POW AOEs at my ARM 14 idiots and remove my army in a single turn. The other list was Dreamer Dark Menagerie. The ol’ faithful. The rock Grymkin has stood on for most of their existence as a Faction. 

Dark Menagerie 

Dreamer  
 - Cage Rager
 - Clockatrice  
 - Clockatrice  
 - Crabbits (2)  
 - Skin and Moans  
 - Skin and Moans  
 - Baron Tonguelick Lord of Warts 

Defiled Archon 
Defiled Archon
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm
Gremlin Swarm 

Death Knell

This list was more or less your standard affair, and if you look through the lists from VTC, I’m sure you can find it in at least half of the list pairs of my fellow Grymkin players. While the composition of that Dreamer list works well into most gunlines, and can play into things like Vengeance of Dhunia, the games I played with it into non-gunline lists felt bad. 

You might be wondering why such a tried and true list design backed by two great new tools in form of the Defiled Archons felt bad. Well for starters, the list struggles to deal with the other new meta threat, Death Archons. While the list does have two Defiled Archons and two Clockatrices to try and deal with Death Archons at range, the rest of the Battlegroup falls victim to these melee monsters, as well as the plethora of new Riot Quest solos floating about. I struggled to play even games with this list into these models, and it only got worse when the Warlock piloting them was Krueger2 or Maelok/Azazello. These Warlocks pushed the threshold for what Dreamer can reliably control and fight without just losing Heavies to a single model’s activation. After a couple games into these new meta threats, I realized I couldn’t just rely on ‘ol faithful to get through this, and began investigating other options. That’s when I landed on the King list above.  

First, it’s still a Battlegroup-heavy list with access to four Shield Guards and Sacrifice to deal with some of the more challenging gunlines in the game. The combination of Time Stuttering Clockatrices, Shield Guarding Crabbits, King's access to Arcana, and his Kingdom of Silence ability to cast a free Burning Ash in front of a model in a pinch make it very difficult to reliably remove models at range – at least, not without something going bad for the gunline player and suddenly not killing a Heavy they should have.

Second, it’s a list that can play around any terrain on the board. The list has seven Flying models that already don’t care about rough terrain or hazards, and should you run into a caster that can strip Flight (looking at you Kolgrima!), you have Host of Shadows to give all your Battlegroup models Ghostly to just keep on trucking, with the added benefit that you can’t be jammed out of scenario. The list also makes use of terrain to defend itself very well. One of the core spells on King's card is Burning Ash, which lets you build really reliable bubbles of protection around your Heavies using already existing terrain, with the added benefit that the clouds make it difficult for living models to fight the DEF13 list if you do get stuck in melee. When combined with Desecration from Defiled Archons, living models trying to fight a Clockatrice sitting behind both AOEs are fighting at -4 to hit. This is especially hilarious given that the Clockatrice will probably Time Stutter away should it take meaningful damage, and then Auto Repair the next turn, or just Auto Repair and then push past the engaging lines with Host of Shadows

Third, it hits fairly hard for a bunch of POW 13 and 14 Heavies. Between Scything Touch, Enrage, and in a pinch Master of Ruin, any Heavy can have a reliable +4 damage swing with access to a +6 if King can do so safely. This means your Clockatrice is suddenly hitting at POW 18-20, with access to Blessed from Wraithbane if needed, and should it work out, you have a Cage Rager that hits at MAT 6 POW 23. These are numbers that will kill a Colossal reliably. But what about DEF? Well if you try to hit a living model, the Clockatrice spray will make the model hit DEF 5, and your Defiled Archons and King of Nothing are all Magic Ability 8 before either Dark Power, or boosting respectively. Not to mention that all these magic attacks have Remove From Play attached to them should you need it, so you don’t even really miss it from Hat Trick on Dreamer. 

So yeah, the list slaps. I could keep going through the benefits of the list, honestly (don’t say that, or I’ll ask you to actually do it -Ed). I didn’t even mention the assassination angles you can get with Ghostly Clockatrice sprays and Defiled Archon Hellfire follow ups, but I played this list all 5 rounds of VTC, only losing once to Azazello Will Work For Food 6 Archons, which is a game I lost due to misplay, not because of the list. I’d like to conclude that I don’t think I would have done nearly as well in VTC with Dreamer in my pair, and I urge everyone to try to break out and try new lists, you might be surprised by what you find, down in the ol’ boneyard.


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