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Tutorial Heavens Slann in the new book

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Scalenex, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Heavens Slann Tactica

    If you take Fire you know you want to blast things. If you take Death you are probably gunning for enemy characters. Heavens is a versatile lore, it’s not front loaded towards any one battlefield role like most of the other lores. Using Heavens requires you to have some tactical flexibility. Some of the spells are also situational so to use them well, you need to keep abreast of which way the stars are aligning (metaphorically speaking). I would say Wind Blast, Comet of Casandora, and Chain Lightning would qualify as situationally powerful.

    Lore Attribute: Not every army we face has flyers. Also I learned the hard way to not put too much stock in the Lore Attribute. If you are facing flyers with Toughness 4 or less, the lore attribute has some kick but against things like Terrorgheists and Dragons, the extra hits are pretty insignificant.

    Spell Overview

    Iceshard Blizzard: This is isn’t the scariest signature spell out there but it is very versatile. Whether early or late game, inflicting opponents with a -1 To Hit and -1 Leadership will help. It’s also reasonable for nerfing war machines when you can’t kill them.

    Harmonic Convergence: A great spell for its low casting cost. It’s another spell that is good in both the early and late game. My biggest problem is that while getting exciting rolling dice in various phases I’ve forgotten to apply the rerolls more than once.

    Wind Blast: Most of the time I would drop this spell. It’s quite situational and hard to use effectively. It shouldn’t be discounted out right though. Spells that literally move your enemy around are rare in Warhammer. It’s also cheap to cast and using a Skink as an Arcane Vassal increases your odds of lining up a good Wind Blast. If you truly do have a perfect shot, you should probably go for the boosted version because it would be really frustrating to not have it work due to flubbing your roll.

    Cure of the Midnight Wind: Potentially as effective as Harmonic Convergence. I prefer the cheaper to cast Harmonic Convergence but I can see a lot of potential for casting the boosted version if say your Temple Guard block is being gang beat by several units.

    Uranon’s Thunderbolt: I like this spell. It’s long range and inflicts high strength hits. Out of all the Warhammer lores, Strength 6 hits are fairly rare and this spell isn’t too pricey to cast.

    Comet of Casandora: This is a very fun spell. It’s a little temperamental sometimes going off too fast or too slow but that is why it’s exciting. It has psychological power too. You can make an entrenched enemy pick up and move just from the threat of the upcoming Comet. It also remains in play without being a “Remains in Play” spell that means two things 1) it can’t be dispelled once in play and 2) you can have multiple comet markers on the board. As alluded to before, this spell is good for fighting entrenched foes. If you and your enemy are rushing at each other full tilt it’s a little harder to place comet markers without hitting your own guys. Just try to pick spots where it will hurt the enemy more than you. It may be worth equipping some lodestone talismans on the characters leading your important units if you plan to be dropping comets in the middle of your main melees.

    Chain Lightning: I have mixed feelings on this. Sometimes it only hits one target and all you get is an expensive to cast Uranon’s Thunderbolt. Sometimes you hit a bunch of things but it doesn’t matter much because none of the damage is concentrated. If there is a lot of chaff or flyers on the board you can do a lot of damage.

    High Slann and WD Slann

    Iceshard Blizzard is versatile and always useful. Once the main fights are underway casting (and magic missiles are unpractical at best), Iceshard Blizzard and Wyssan’s Wildform will provide a potent combination to help your WD Slann swing battles the way you want them to go.

    I would find it unlikely you’d want to swap out High Magic spells for Heavens very often. In the case spell swapping, the versatility of Heavens becomes a liability. If you swap out for a Life spell it’s a safe bet you’ll get something to make your units stronger, if you swap out for a Fire spell you are guaranteed to gain something that causes Flaming Attacks. Heavens spells are all over the place. Unless you are facing many flyers, don’t swap for a Heavens spell unless you would be reasonably pleased with Iceshard Blizzard. If you got a Flame Caged unit and are really hoping for Wind Blast, the odds are not in your favor. Same goes if you have a perfect set up for Chain Lightning or Comet of Casandora.

    Avoiding Redundancy

    Skink Priests can only take two lores and one of them is Heavens. You can easily ask yourself, “why should I take this common lore for my might Slann?” Well first off you could be giving your Skink priest(s) the Lore of Beasts. Second off the +4 to cast is nice. It means you need approximately one fewer die per roll to get the spell cast over a level one caster. Four of the seven spells are 10+ to cast so the extra +3 to cast will likely come into play. If you want a double enhanced Comet or a bubbled Curse of the Midnight Wind, you really should have a toad doing the heavy lifting.

    Now that non-Mazdamundi Slann cannot take Lore Mastery with BRB lores, it’s an asset to take Skink Priests and Slann with the same Lore. If you roll the Slann’s spells first you have a very good chance of picking your Skink Priests spells. You can either try to give the Skink Priests the low casting cost spells for getting off lots of spells or try to give your Skink Priests the high casting cost spells so you can trigger an Irresistible Force with an expendable unit rather than a mighty Slann (hopefully after your Skink Priest used his dispel scroll or equivalent).

    Army Synergy

    Heavens is versatile enough that there are no good or bad army builds with a Heaven’s Slann. I guess the one thing Heavens lacks relative to the other spells is a spell that hits extremely large numbers of models in a single unit. With two hexes and a buff you should be well positioned to take out large enemy units the old fashioned way. For additional horde/tarpit support you could bring in Skink tarpits or supporting flank charge units (Steggies especially) and/or Swarms to support your main blocks.

    Heavens is versatile enough that it should cover the bases left open by the hyperspecialization of most other lores if you take a two-Slann army. Taking a lore with spells to whittle down large units should be a good pairing. Fire and Heavens compliments each other quite nicely. Fire provides lots of hits for the weaker units and Heavens provides stronger hits for the heavies. Flame Cage and Wind Blast is a beautiful combination if you are lucky enough to roll both spells. The one lore I don’t think should be paired with a Heavens Slann is High Magic. Both High Magic and Heavens lend towards multipurpose Swiss army knife magic phases. With the overlap of roles, the two Slann would be fairly redundant.

    Storm of Magic

    Since all wizards have all the cataclysm spells available to them, it may be worth using a skink priest for your Heavens Cataclysm spells instead of the Heavens Slann though the +4 is nice. Heavens spell are nice in Storm of Magic because with all the monsters around, there are likely to be more flyers than usual giving you opportunities to use your Lore attribute to knock your enemies down to earth.

    Let the Four Winds Blow: Heavens’ Presence spell is pretty handy. Like Wind Blast but with enough range that you don’t need to rely on careful positioning and luck near as much to line up good collisions and able to hit multiple targets. It can also affect Vortexes which could theoretically save one or more of your units from something really nasty or push the Storm or Renewal someplace more to your liking.

    Fantastic Foresight: Heavens’ Equilibrium spell is so good one would argue it’s overpowered. Re-roll all failed casting, dispel, and channeling attempts and Remains in Play! Yes, please. It’s especially good if you have lots of weak wizards as opposed to a few strong wizards so you get more channels. Of Course Harmonic Convergence makes Fantastic Foresight even better. If your playing style is like mine and you favor lots of small spells over a few big ones than your main risk is failing an early casting roll (as opposed to worrying about miscasts). Fantastic Foresight makes an early magic phase fluff less likely and lets you be riskier with your power dice.

    Thorsen’s Thunderstrom: I need to play more SOM games to see an opportunity when I’d want to play this. I think with how dispersed and intermingled the two armies get you’d risk the vortex hitting your own men if you aren’t careful. My luck in magic phases tends to be very good, except with Vortexes so I have yet to use this. It is nice to both damage enemy units and move them out of position at the same time.

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