marilithThe tingle in the air was palpable as the demon and her warband stepped upon the field.  A Marilith, an abomination, six arms protruding from her snakelike body.  Each held a vicious-looking cutting instrument, and even the Drow Enforcer that gazed upon her had no desire to test his swordplay against the terrifying creature.  Her lightning-wielding lieutenants were close behind.  First, her bodyguard of a hundred years, and if demons could have them, what one might call a friend.  It was a huge stormlizard, it’s head the size of boulder, and the ground shook at its advance.  A vivid blue lightning halo arced across its great azure body.  Next, a Red Hand Sorcerer, vicious master of the elements, though his preferred magic was that of storm and lightning.

Behind came the demon’s thralls, two heroes caught up in the Blood War, their minds wiped by wicked magics.  A Harmonium Guard, his shield still polished, looking tormented by his betrayal.  Contrasting his shame was a Hero of Valhalla, who didn’t need much convincing to fight as long as he was able to sheathe his sword in blood.  The Sorcerer noted their numbers were fewer than their enemy, and he knew the Shadow Dragon opposing them could shred the humanoids should they stray too far from their master.  Still, he trusted the great demon that led them; they had won a hundred battles together and the numbers of their foes slain was countless.

The boosters:

Booster 1 Points Rarity Booster 2 Points Rarity
Marilith 73 R Chasme 49 R
Bluespawn Stormlizard 39 U Large Water Elemental 36 U
Red Hand War Sorcerer 34 U Living Flaming Sphere 26 U
Soulknife Infliltrator 24 U Soulknife Inflitrator 24 U
Doomguard 26 C Harmonium Guard 27 C
Blood of Vol Cultist 18 C Hammerer 16 C
Soldier of Bytopia 12 C Hero of Valhalla 11 C
Greenspawn Sneak 6 C Greenspawn Sneak 6 C

A lot of 20 and 30-something point creatures make figuring out the optimal build a bit of a challenge.  It also means there are going to be at least a couple of good, playable minis that aren’t going to make the cut.  In this case, I chose not to play with the Large Water Elemental, even though it it a great creature for the points.  Solid AC, good damage line, and decent special abilities.  However, I took the Bluespawn Stormlizard in its place.  The Bluespawn has +3AC and double the movement speed of the LWE.  With 2 large minis per team, maneuvering becomes very important; one of the reasons for the final fall of the Blood Golem was its difficulty getting into a good position.  The Bluespawn doesn’t get any use out of its Electricity Link, but a high DC Lightning Bolt and a hefty 20-damage attack (30 when charging) give it some damage potential.

The Marilith is a big beastie, not much to say other than that.  Putting down a potential 60 damage on any creature within 4 squares makes her threat area enormous by most creature’s standards.  Maneuvering her into a position to use her Enhanced Mobility 2 plus Melee Reach 2 to eliminate a big creature ASAP will determine whether Lightning Arms gets a win.

It’s sad the Chasme is pretty bad as far as rares go.  Maybe not as bad as the Zombie Ogre, but still.  It’s main problem is it’s very weak attack line…sure, a potential 30 damage is good, but a +7 attack isn’t.  It’s biggest strength is its Drone ability, but that is mainly for putting to sleep grunts who probably aren’t much of a threat anyway.  With a 17 AC he can be shred pretty easily in a round or 2, especially if Drone doesn’t put several creatures to sleep.   Maybe I’m underestimating the Flight 10+Drone combo, I’m just not sold on it…maybe I’ll try the band again + Chasme.

I keep looking at the 2 Soulkife Infiltrators as well.  Working with a Chasme, they could take down any sleeping enemies very quickly with both a Smite +10 and Melee/Ranged Sneak Attack +10.  They are pretty fragile, so my worry is they would just trade 1 for 1.

I like the Red Hand War Sorcerer a lot.  However, his value will depend on whether he gets 1-shot by the Shadow Dragon.  He has enough spells that he can reasonably use 1 every round there is a target.  The trick will be ensuring he sticks close to the Marilith, as she will have to be there to punish the dragon if he does come close.  It’s nice that both the Bluespawn and the Marilith are immune to Electricity (and Fire for the Marilith).  While the Red Hand’s commander ability makes that moot if they are close together, if either of the large figures chases someone down, he can still use most of his spells without hurting his team.  Enemies getting -2 save is not trivial either if they choose to engage him.

The Harmonium Guard is in the build mainly for the additional AC bonus.  If I wait to activate the Stormlizard until last, he’ll have an AC 26 for most of the round, which gives anyone in Team marilith stat cardUnderdark less than a 50% chance to hit him.  The Marilith at AC 22 wouldn’t be shabby either.  The choice for fodder was either the Hero of Valhalla or the Soldier of Bytopia.  I took the Hero for his additonal move speed.  The 2 Greenspawn Sneaks round out the weenie department.  The ability to start on a VP area though is pretty good and should net at least 10 points for a 6 point creature.

Prediction:  Tossup.  I had initially predicted Team Underdark by 25, however as I was looking down at the Marilith card I noticed she has Blindsight.  That means the Shadow Dragon can’t rely on his Conceal to prevent any damage and let him jump in and out like he did against Sune’s Goons.  If the Marilith gets a go at the dragon, she’s likely to get a Morale roll out of him, if not a one-turn kill.

Considering the number of medium-cost creatures available, I’m not convinced this is the best build, so anyone who thinks they’ve come up with a better one, please let me know!

Sealed Warband 4: Lightning Arms (Blood War Boosters x 2, 200 points)

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