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AoS Is a slann necessary?

Discussion in 'Seraphon Discussion' started by Hugh Wilson, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Hugh Wilson
    Jungle Swarm

    Hugh Wilson New Member

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    I've not played a big amount of games of AoS2 yet, but those that I have generally seen my army smashed. This is mainly due to me needing to learn more and alter my list a lot.

    But one thing that became apparent is that I'm not sure if the slann is worth it. It generally summoned around it's own points value in models per game, but didn't cast anything else, so didn't contribute anything offensive.

    Seraphon get 1 teleport even without a slann so the biggest loss from not having a one, that I can see, is the board wide dispel. That is definitely a big plus.

    So the question is what does the slann provide that an additional 260 points of units cannot?

    I am talking about 2k games, at 1k I can see how powerful summoning can be
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
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  2. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    There are several aspects to that, some of which you already mentioned.

    The obvious one is summoning, as you said. A Slann supported by an Astrolith Bearer can summon it's own points cost in about two rounds. If the battle is over after two rounds then yes, summoning probably won't pay for the Slann.
    So if you are facing strong "alpha strike" armies like Idoneth Deepkin or Daughters of Khaine that might be one reason why Seraphon have not been in the top 10 of any big tournament since AoS2 was released.
    Summoning can hardly stop those.

    So let's look at the other things Slann do:

    They unbind on the whole table, and they can do that three times. That's huge in a 'meta' that consists of a few armies that can use magic well, such as Nighthaunt and Tzeentch.

    Slann also enable both of our 'one drop' bataillons. A low number of drops is very important when facing alpha strike lists, which are quite common.

    Talking about bataillons:
    The Slann also buffs the Thunderquake Starhost's monster healing and helps the Engine of the Gods so it becomes way less random than some people think.

    Slann are wizards, so they can cast endless spells. Some endless spells are good counters to some lists. A well placed Soulsnare Shackles spell can stop a melee alpha strike list in its tracks. Some of the spells are huge and block a lot of space. And the best is: some armies won't be able to stop them well because they lack (effective) unbinds.

    The constellation buff of the Slann can come in quite handy. Not worth a whole lot of points but nice.

    Regular spells can be cast through Skink heroes or Troglodons. That can be pretty good (especially if you play with realm spells), although it would be way better if we finally got some own spell lore to use.

    The command ability of the Slann sounds meh (and it is) but it can be useful against shooting armies, and the "fly" aspect of it can enable you to strike with fast units from the second row, while your opponent thinks you blocked yourself.

    The command traits of a Slann enable him to use the Skink spells (saving you a hero spot) or build deep striking lists of your own by using LoSaT twice.

    And lastly: versatility. Your opponent sees a Slann, but they do not know whether you will summon or cast spells. That makes you less predictable.

    So all in all:
    You are paying those points for the synergies mainly. And a Slann synergizes with basically everything in our army.

    That basically makes a Slann General a must take for most lists.
    ...and that's a bit sad IMO. I'd love to have abilities for the Saurus or Skinks that make them more worthwhile.
     
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  3. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    ATM, a Slann is almost mandatory.
    The big difference with 2nd ed., is that before the summoning mechanic, a Slann with Vast Intellect was probably the best one, while now Great Rememberer is the winner.
     
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  4. Hugh Wilson
    Jungle Swarm

    Hugh Wilson New Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    In general I can see the useful of the slann, it has many synergies, and does little bits here and there that boost the army.

    My thoughts are present are that if you are going for a summoning army, then you need to go big or go home. Slann, astrolith, balewind, cogs, EoTG x2, star priest x2. That gives you the reliability to flood the board straight away and for the rest the game. That's up to 19 summoning points a turn, so 30 skinks or 10 and some rippers, that's very nice.

    If you don't want to go down the summoning route then I think this is where the slann may be not as great as the points it takes up.

    It's 40 skinks on the board turn 1, or 30 and a priest/star priest.

    From the games I've played so far it's about movement above all else, get onto objectives, screen objectives. Having the slann helps with this but I'm wondering if it's good enough, or if quick cheap skinks and/or priests seem more realiable nimble throughout the game.

    I'm looking at all the battalions, thunderquake and shadowstrike seem good, but the rest seem to have too much of a tax of poor/bad units. After using saurus and saurus knights a decent amount already, they are just poor. Not resilient enough and not damaging enough. Skinks are almost just as likely to survive most things, but are cheaper, quicker and have shooting attacks.

    Anyway I definitely need more games, and I've got at least 3 of 4 lists (with and without slann) that I want to try.
     
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  5. Xasto
    Ripperdactil

    Xasto Well-Known Member

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    I'll provide the short answer now that my comrades have provided the long one:

    Oh yes
     
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  6. Galen
    Saurus

    Galen Active Member

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    Whilst the full summoning army is certainly one playstyle choice, I'd argue that it isn't required to make use of summoning. Any summoning tends to be helpful, even if it's chaff, because it's stuff that can claim objectives, shore up flanks, or at the very least give the enemy something else to worry about.

    Speaking for myself, my group always plays with the Realm rules, so I always have an extra 7 spells to play around with on my Slann. In a game I played recently we rolled up Aqshy at random so I had access to Inferno blades. 40 Saurus Warriors in a Fangs of Sotek force that do 2 dmg on ALL their melee attacks (and at full strength they have 4 each) is devastating. Sure a Starpriest could potentially do it too but you then miss out on Starlight, which is an extremely good spell. Despite slinging spells all game I had enough summoning points saved up to summon 18 Saurus Warriors on Turn 4, which moved in front of a key objective and ultimately won me the game. So the summoning support the Slann provided could certainly function alongside a standard strategy that wasn't focused around summoning.
     
  7. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    It has recently happened also to me.
    Even if it's casted on "only" 3 rippers, is definitely worth it. :D
     
  8. WarbossLincoln
    Skink

    WarbossLincoln New Member

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    I think GW really wants you to always be playing in a realm for normal games. The basic realm rules are in the core book and then the spells and artefacts in Malign Sorcery. In GTs it seems like they always use realms too. As long as you're using realms it really boosts the slaan back up to being a strong caster and not just a summoning machine.
     
  9. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    While I do like the Realm spells (most of them are fairly balanced IMO) I dislike the randomness and lack of balance of the realmscape rules.
    There are some (looking at Ulgu for example) that completely screw over some lists to the point where you can just concede the game before the first round since it doesn't make sense to play.
    I have no clue what they were thinking designing those. No wonder nobody uses them in matched play.
     
  10. Canas
    Skar-Veteran

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    If you're going to play with realm spells you should probably decide on which before making the list. The variance in how usefull the spells will be to help you or to block you is rather tremendous. And playing with that unknown factor can nearly completly break or make a strategy… I'm kind of surprised GW didn't add in a sentence or two explaining that.

    Plus, it makes for nice thematic tournaments. Play the entire tournament in the realm of fire. Or play the first few rounds in the realm of shadow and the last half in the realm of light so your army has to be ready to deal with both. It would probably add a lot to the game.


    As for is a slann mandatory: in larger games the anwser is simple. Yes. Summoning gives you tremendous power in terms of versatility, zone control & mobility. Plus even if you don't focus on the summoning, the slann is a powerfull enough spellcaster in its own right, especially with realm spells, that he'l Always have something usefull to do. In smaller games you can more easily get away with not needing him.
     
  11. Audvin
    Skink

    Audvin Member

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    Where would you say the threshold is for mandatory/optional inclusion of a Slann in a list?
     
  12. Just A Skink
    Skink

    Just A Skink Member

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  13. Seraphage
    Stegadon

    Seraphage Well-Known Member

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    ahahahahahahah @Just A Skink

    So to answer seriously : Well I thought of this as well to be honest, and you could do without a Slann in some lists strength wise BUT .. the 3 global dispells are just too huge to be skipped. Nevermind the summoning. These 3 dispells have a huge impact in game. You don't really realise until you play a game without them !
     
  14. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Around 1000 points I think.
    I have played 1k lists with and without Slann.

    For example my 1k Shadowstrike list doesn't have a Slann but that is pretty much the only one I played lately without one.
     
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  15. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Aginor speaks the truth
     
  16. Canas
    Skar-Veteran

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    yeah, 1k and below skipping out on the slann works. Though given that our summoning doesn't scale in the slightest it's technicly just as good at 1k as it is at 2.5k. It's just that the initial investment will require more so you'l have relativly speaking less forces on the board initially which might make you suspectable to alpha strikes and such.
     
  17. Killer Angel
    Skink Priest

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    On the other side, the summoning made in 1000 pts games, will have a greater impact on the game.
     
  18. Canas
    Skar-Veteran

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    yeah, it's mostly a matter of can your summons arrive early enough to actually matter in a 1000 point game. You won't have as much to protect your slann so alpha strikes will be easier to pull off. And you won't have as much to claim objectives, so an opponent might get an early lead. It''l depend a lot on the objective you're playing and the opponent you're facing. Whereas in a 1500+ game you'l have enough stuff on the board to start with to be sure your summons will arrive before the match has been decided.
     
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  19. Tokek
    Cold One

    Tokek Active Member

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    The first question we need to look at is whether your local scene and local tournaments use the Real Rules and specifically the realm spells.

    This does seem to vary a lot by region; here in the UK most tournaments do. I was looking through possible tournaments over the next few months and it was only really the very casual ones that were not going to use the realm rules at all.

    If you use the realm rules then the whole proposition for the Slann changes because you have access to the realm spells. The Slann is a fantastic wizard with great rules and terrible spells, literally junk class spells when you consider how expensive it is and powerful it should be. The realm spells fix that problem and suddenly the Slann becomes a magical powerhouse able to really swing games. This does not mean you should never be summoning because a well placed unit out of nowhere can quite often be more impactful than the spells it replaces but it means that the Slann can really contribute to the early game if you need it to. You have combos that other armies will struggle to counter - e.g. a Slann using Arcane Vassal can drop spells on super-duper-Death-wizards from outside their unbind range which will be a real shock to many death players.

    Without the realm rules the Slann is much more of a one-trick pony and I remain to be convinced that it is a good enough trick. Sometimes summoning will make a huge difference to the game but if your opponent brings an army that can smash you off the table by turn 3 you are not going to be summoning much no matter how many Balewind Vortexes and Chronomantic Cogs you have up your sleeve. All they have to do is close down the space and suddenly you have no room in which to land summoned units and it's game over for summoning, plenty of competitive armies are designed to move fast and close down the space in exactly this way.

    Without the realm rules the Slann is IMO merely pretty good. With the realm rules it is more or less an auto-pick for its enormous flexibility and the fact that you will often dominate the magic game by having one.
     
  20. Canas
    Skar-Veteran

    Canas Well-Known Member

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    That is indeed one of the biggest issues with summoning, the arbitrary range limitations. I would've loved if they at least Always let you summon stuff in a (small) bubble around the summoner regardless of enemies nearby. It feels kinda gamey and stupid that a summoner can be locked down simply by having enemies in his vague proximity.
     

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