Just wanted to put down my initial thoughts on Mk4 Shadows of the Retribution.
In short, it looks awesome.
One of my favorite casters in the faction and one I was super excited to see on the list in the Insider last week. Compared to Mk3 he got
- RNG 14 → 13
- POW 14 → 12
- No more aiming for attack types
- Lost Black Penny or Witch Mark
- Reload attack type → eyeless sight attack type
- Stealth attack type → Witch Mark
- Field Marshal Pathfinder → Pathfinder + Prowl
- Mage Sight → Fire Group
- Road to War → Warpath (pretty sure this is just a name change)
- Occultation → Repudiate
- Feat gained boosted attack rolls
Overall I think it’s a nerf from his Mk3 form, but only so much as was required for him to work in Mk4. With the smaller unit sizes there was no way he could keep the ability to make 3 RNG 14 POW 14 shots with Blessed; he’d just be deleting entire units of multiwound infantry every turn. Fire Group is a really solid pick though, especially considering the warjacks he has available to him. Overall very happy with him, seems like he will maintain a lot of his core flavor coming in to Mk4.
Oh baby, Thyron got a glow up
- MAT 7 → MAT 8
- ARM 16 → ARM 17
- Blade Shield → Duelist
- Fury → Battle Lust
- Storm Rager → Deflection
- Feat changed from additional die on melee attack rolls and Killing Spree to +2 SPD, MAT, Duelist, Riposte.
He looks incredible. No more trying to cycle multiple upkeeps on himself, Feat is absolutely brutal. He’s a little less safe on the approach but much safer in melee (and he has access to some solid Shield Guards in the form of the Spears of Scyrah). Battle Lust on Ellowuyr units are going to crack armor like crazy. He looks like a blast to play
- FOC 6 → ARC 7 (CTRL and AAT no change)
- Gained Battle Plans for Tough, Precision Strike, and Swift Hunter
- Lost Swift Hunter and Sprint
- Countermeasure → Mirage
- Energizer → Tides of War
I’m not sure how to feel about Ravyn. Battle Plans do seem appropriate to her background, so I like that, and Swift Hunter as a Battle Plan has some interesting applications. I’m worried that without Sprint she’s back to being in a lot of danger if she tries to actually go buzzsaw her way through a unit, but Tides of War does give her Repo 3 and she’s up 1 ARC so those are decent trades. Less immediately excited about her but I’ve always loved the character so I’ll definitely be giving her a go
Overall I think the casters look great. Not only are they some of my favorite characters but they all came through in pretty good spots on first blush. Thyron definitely feels like the most improved but again that’s just a knee-jerk reaction; could be Ravyn surprises me.
The jacks are largely unchanged from their Mk3 forms and look very good overall. Sphinx gun swapped it’s bonus to spell range for Energy Siphon, otherwise I don’t see any rules changes on the non-characters. Banshee at 13 points is amazing. Moros picked up Pistol on it’s gun which is great with Dual Attack.
Solos and units I’m just gonna hit some highlights because a lot of them haven’t changed a ton.
- All Ellowuyr infantry lost Cleave and traded Parry for Unstoppable
- Warden Executioners lost Quick Work but gained Set Defense and Dual Attack.
- Wardens gained Girded and 3 health boxes each
- Ellowuyr Swordsmen CA gives them Shield Wall
- Mage Hunter Strike Force and Mage Hunter Infiltrators look pretty much the same
- Spears of Scyrah lost Duelist but picked up Inhuman Resolve!
- Souless Escort is only for Mage Hunter units
Overall I’m super excited to get some lists on the table. The whole army looks really solid and flexible and the casters each seem to have a niche. Well done dev team!
Honestly the biggest flag of the army is that it really shines a spotlight on how lackluster Legions of Dawn feels. I suspect LoD will need to get some help in the next annual update, because as of now they have lower POW warjacks (seems odd that the Army with higher base melee POW on jacks got Concentrated Power), Ellowuyr under Thyron hit as hard or harder than Sentinals and Ryssovass, Ellowuyr under Ravyn are nearly as tough as Dawnguard and Ryssovass, and except for the Destors Legion of Dawn is a significantly slower army. Hopefully they get some love in the new year, until then my Ret time is definitely going to be spent on Shadows.