1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

8th Ed. BRB Lores of Magic - A Deep Dive

Discussion in 'Other Armies Discussion' started by NIGHTBRINGER, Dec 18, 2021.

  1. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

    Messages:
    9,768
    Likes Received:
    24,322
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I'd really like to see @NIGHTBRINGER 's Metal discussion.

    Was there anyone else doing a magic review?
     
  2. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

    Messages:
    9,768
    Likes Received:
    24,322
    Trophy Points:
    113
    [LoR crosses arms and taps foot]

    Someone [LoR coughs loudly which sounds suspiciously like Fightsinger] promised a magic deep dive... ;)
     
  3. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Not to worry I instead invested that time on a forced defense (a.k.a. counter-attack) that absolutely no one will enjoy! Hell, I wrote it and I think it is an utter waste of time. It had to be done though.
     
  4. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

    Messages:
    9,768
    Likes Received:
    24,322
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yeah, I saw that… [sighs] The ridiculousness of woke-ness has managed to infect the forum.

    Either way, with that done, DEEP DIVE! :)
     
  5. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Slann

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Eleventh Spawning

    Messages:
    7,158
    Likes Received:
    15,927
    Trophy Points:
    113
    @NIGHTBRINGER

    [​IMG]
     
  6. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Sadly it is never done. Strike one cuck down, and ten more rise to take his place.
     
  7. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

    Messages:
    9,768
    Likes Received:
    24,322
    Trophy Points:
    113
    True.

    Especially on a forum where you never have to confront actually speaking to someone or even provide evidence for claims, so you can just sit someone and endlessly type answers. Whatever. It happens. Possibly the title attracted him (as it has trigger warning in it). Maybe he thought this was the place t trigger off?

    Now DEEP DIVE!!! :D I'm very curious to hear your views and uses of the Metal Lore.
     
  8. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
  9. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Slann

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Eleventh Spawning

    Messages:
    7,158
    Likes Received:
    15,927
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Are you purposefully trying to keep to the glacial pace you take when painting your models, to keep us in suspense? :p

    Well, if you are, then it's actually a good sign if the standard of your painting is anything to go by :)
     
  10. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thank you for the kind compliment. I'm hoping that this will be better than my painting (time will tell I suppose).
     
  11. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

    Messages:
    9,768
    Likes Received:
    24,322
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Great! Looking forwards to it!

    I've had very little quality 8th content to look at so this is the next big event.
     
  12. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I'm hoping and striving to ensure it will be of quality, but I can at least guarantee that it will be big (lengthy).
     
  13. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Lots of work put in on the Deep Dive.

    So far I've finished:
    • the introduction and setup
    • the analysis of my "central question" (this is the lengthiest and most time consuming portion of my Deep Dive)
    • Searing Doom analysis
    • Plague of Rust analysis
    • Enchanted Blades of Aiban analysis

    I'm hoping that the next few spells won't take as long to fully breakdown.



    Currently sitting at 3600 words and 6 tables! Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep Dive!
     
  14. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

    Messages:
    9,768
    Likes Received:
    24,322
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Awesome!!!

    See? I knew you wouldn't let me down. This is going to be a good'un.
     
  15. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Finished up the spell analysis for Glittering Robe and Gehenna's Golden Hounds.

    We've got 5400 words and 7 tables so far in total! Two more spells to go.
     
  16. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

    Messages:
    9,768
    Likes Received:
    24,322
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Your marketing team gets a pass. I'm really looking forwards to this one.
     
  17. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
    One spell breakdown left... Final Transmutation.

    Then some conclusion type stuff.
     
  18. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The Lore of Metal – Deep Dive

    upload_2022-3-19_23-22-20.png

    The Lore of Metal consists of the following spell types:

    • Magic missile → 1 [Searing Doom]
    • Direct damage→ 2 [Gehenna’s Golden Hounds, Final Transmutation]
    • Hex → 2 [Plague of Rust, Transmutation of Lead]
    • Augment → 2 [Enchanted Blades of Aiban, Glittering Robe]
    upload_2022-3-19_23-23-50.png


    The Golden Question – Is the Lore of Metal competitive in an all-comers list?

    Everyone already knows that the lore of metal will absolutely shine against an army like the Warriors of Chaos, who possess a plethora of heavily armoured units to target. However, how well will it fare across the board and which armies does it work best/worst against? It is these two questions that formed the inspiration for this analysis and will be at the heart of our examination. So, without further ado…

    The reason why the Lore of Metal has differential performance based on the opposing army is because several of the spells are reliant on enemy armour to one degree or another. However, of the 7 spells, only 2 are highly reliant on the enemy having excellent armour saves. Looking at how much each spell relies on enemy armour; I’d break it down as follows:
    upload_2022-3-19_23-25-12.png

    Based on the table above it is really Searing Doom and Gehenna’s Golden Hounds that significantly skew the effectiveness of the lore of metal in relation to the opposing army’s armour saves. Plague of Rust will usually find some use against any army and the Enchanted Blades of Aiban is just an outstanding spell to have regardless of who you are facing. Transmutation of Lead is my least favourite spell overall (more on that later), but it isn’t all that reliant on your opposition’s armour save. As such, how well the lore of metal will perform (in relation to enemy armour) will largely come down to how well Gehenna’s Golden Hounds and Searing Doom perform.

    With that said, we’ll go in-depth and breakdown how well Searing Doom fares against each of the armies in WFB. The analysis will use Searing Doom as the case example over Gehenna’s Golden Hounds, because Searing Doom is the better of the two spells and is the signature (plus they both operate by the same mechanic).

    I have included the medium level Fireball spell (2D6 S4 hits) as a point of reference because like the unboosted Searing Doom, it is also cast on a 10+. These two spells are effective against the opposite types of units, Fireball excelling against lightly armoured units with low toughness and Searing Doom against heavily armoured units regardless of toughness. However, what is of interest, and the reason for Fireball’s inclusion in the analysis, will be the point of intersection with regards to how they fare against medium armoured units.


    upload_2022-3-19_23-26-8.png

    So, there we have it. There are indeed several armies against which Searing Doom really struggles to perform. In particular, Beastmen and Skaven offer virtually no viable targets. Other armies, such as WE, VC, HE, DoC and DE are highly matchup dependent. There are viable targets in these army rosters, but it will come down to whether or not your opponent fields such units. Tomb Kings offer a surprising array of decent targets, while Dwarfs are not nearly as good of a target as one might have thought. Bretonnia, Warriors of Chaos, Empire and Ogre Kingdoms offer some of the very best target rich environments.


    Does that mean that the lore of Metal can’t work against all opposition? Not necessarily, however, what it does mean is that against certain armies you’ll have to roll well during spell generation and there is a much higher likelihood that you get saddled with some “bad spells”. Against armies where Searing Doom and Golden Hounds are ineffective, you’re really aiming at getting Plague of Rust, Enchanted Blades, Glittering Robe and Final Transmutation. Which means that against these armies, when using a level 4 metal wizard, you really need to get exceptionally lucky to get the four spells you want. In all likelihood, you’ll be stuck with one not so useful spell, or two if you are exceptionally unlucky.


    Spell Breakdown

    Searing Doom – magic missile, cast on a 10+, range 24”. D6 hits that wound on your target’s armor value (up to 2+) and ignores armor saves. Flaming attacks. (2D6 hits if cast on a 20+)


    I don’t have much to add here as the table already precisely describes the effectiveness of Searing Doom. In short, Searing Doom is a specialist spell. It isn’t anywhere near as versatile as a Fireball (which has a much larger range of viable targets), but when the right target presents itself, Searing Doom can be an absolute game changer.

    One thing not covered in the table are characters. Most characters will be in units, and therefore protected from Searing Doom. However, if you find yourself staring down lone characters, Searing Dooms performance is once again dictated by the target’s armor save and if they have fire protection (Dragonhelm or Dragon Bane Gem). For instance, a WoC Daemon Prince might seem like a golden target, but they will usually carry a Dragon Bane Gem because of a spell like Searing Doom. Special characters are more calculable targets as you know precisely what level of armour they have and they rarely have a 2++ against flaming attacks. If you happen to face off against a lone character that is especially prone to Searing Doom (like a Sigvald or a Kholek, etc.), they represent some of the very best returns on your casting investment.

    Don’t forget, if you do find an ideal target in range of Searing Doom, you always have the option to cast the boosted version of the spell. I would only do this against the very best of targets or in desperation, as the risk of miscast is pretty high when trying to hit the 20+ casting value of the boosted version.

    Plague of Rust – Hex, cast on a 7+, range 24”. Target unit’s armour save is permanently reduced by one each time the spell successfully targets them.

    Not as immediately flashy as some of the other spells, but with this spell you’re playing the long game. The key part of this spell is that the effect is permanent. Cast this early, and the targeted unit is hampered for the entire battle. Plus, when casing it multiple times on the same unit, the effect is cumulative. The range is solid and the casting cost is pretty low.

    So, the big question is what are the most optimal targets to cast this on? Situational needs on the battlefield will always take precedence!! You might be stuck in a must win combat, or a unit is threatening a key point in your battleline or you need to chip away the last few wounds from a unit to earn victory points, etc. The list is endless and within the confines of this breakdown I can only speak on the subject in a general sense. Consequently, consider the following as a rule of thumb only, one that should be overruled to meet your specific and immediate battlefield needs.

    As a general rule, the best units to target are the ones that possess the greatest combination of the following:

    Larger Units – with all things being equal, it is better to target a unit of 50 Saurus Warriors than a unit of 20 Saurus Warriors. In the larger unit, more models are being penalized by the spell. Therefore, more enemy points are being diminished by the spell.

    Valuable/Expensive Units this one is pretty self-evident. If we account for all other variables, you’re better off hitting an expensive unit like a deathstar than a cheap chaff unit. Similar to the point made above, the more expensive the unit you target the more of your opponent’s points you’re diminishing with the spell.

    Units with armoured characters – when we analyzed the effectiveness of Searing Doom on different armies, it was apparent that some armies presented very few viable targets. While Plague of Rust is much less effected (because it works well enough as long as the target has some level of armour), units bunkering armoured characters can be prime targets for this spell, especially when other options are sub-optimal. Even armies that are generally limited in terms of armour, will likely have a lord or a hero that they have armoured up using magic items. For instance, picture a Vampire Counts army that is comprised of hordes upon hordes of unarmoured units (zombies, crypt ghouls, crypt horrors, spirit hosts, etc.). At a glance it might seem like Plague of Rust has no real home, but I can bet you that the VC player does not want Plague of Rust cast on their super expensive, level 4, general, Vampire blender lord! Characters on the battlefield only have a small pool of wounds, and typically this is offset by having the best saves possible. Plague of Rust can help disturb this balance and put at risk a model that is very expensive and very important to the opposition. Best of all, even if the character leaves the unit he is with, both he and the originally affected unit will continue to suffer from the permanent reduction in armour. This topic was summarized here (in reference to Dark Subjugation, but it applies equally to any permanent spell): https://www.lustria-online.com/thre...-paper-scissors-chart.9489/page-2#post-272403

    Units with better armour saves – since it was already covered above, let’s ignore the fact that better armoured units are more likely to be more expensive/valuable. Even when we discount this variable, casting Plague of Rust against better armoured units is typically a better strategy in most circumstances. The reason for this is due to the fact that a unit’s armour save is modified by the strength of the attack wounding them. Consider the situation in which you cast Plague of Rust on a unit with a 5+ save (reducing it to 6+) and then wound that unit with a bunch of strength 5 attacks. In this scenario the effect of Plague of Rust is completely inconsequential. Strength 5 attacks will nullify a 5+ armour save just the same as it will nullify a 6+ save. However, if you were to cast Plague of Rust on a unit with a 4+ (or better) armour save and wound it with the same strength 5 attacks, the armour reduction of Plague of Rust will actually benefit you when trying to kill the enemy unit. To better illustrate this, consider the following chart:
    upload_2022-3-19_23-29-8.png

    As you can see from the chart, casting Plague of Rust against a unit with a 6+ armour save will only have an effect if you are wounding that unit with S1, S2 or S3 attacks. However, casting the same spell on a unit with a 2+ armour save will mean that Plague of Rust will have an effect at S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6 or S7. The table clearly demonstrates that Plague of Rust can be more effectively exploited (meaning across a greater range of strength values) when cast on units with better armour. Obviously, an armour save of 1+ carries a bit of a caveat in that rolling a natural “1” for an armour save is always considered a failure, so when armour is not being modified by strength (i.e., S3 or lower), then there is no difference between a 1+ and 2+ save. As a result, you should only cast Plague of Rust on a unit with a 1+ armour save if you intend to attack said unit with a strength of 4 or better.

    The final point on the spell Plague of Rust is that you should pay careful attention to which units you target with it when you also plan to cast Searing Doom. You don’t want to be casting Plague of Rust on any unit that you are considering targeting with Searing Doom (or Gehenna’s Golden Hounds). Knocking a 1+ armour save down to a 2+ is still okay, as that won’t have any impact on the effectiveness of Searing Doom, but in all other cases it will. This isn’t a huge issue, as the prime targets for Searing Doom should be pretty obvious, and Plague of Rust should have plenty of other good targets to focus on.

    So that about covers Plague of Rust. It isn’t an instant game winner, but can serve as a very useful little tool that doesn’t cost a lot to cast. It’s best played as early as possible so you have more turns to exploit its permanent effect. For me this spell lands somewhere in the middle of the pack. If Searing Doom is ineffective against the army you are facing, this spell will likely be the fourth best in the lore, and if Searing Doom does have viable targets, this spell will usually be bumped down to fifth (with rare exceptions).

    Enchanted Blades of Aiban – Augment, cast on 9+, range 24”. Target unit gains +1 to hit, Armour Piercing and magical attacks (both in CC and shooting).

    The Enchanted Blades of Aiban (EBoA) is an absolute beauty; a gem of a spell in the Lore of a Metal. Depending on the situation you find yourself in, this may be the best spell in the lore, while at other times, Searing Doom, Final Transmutation or Glittering Robe may edge it out. That said, this is without a doubt the most versatile and dependable spell of the bunch. No matter what army you or your opponent are fielding, this spell will always be very useful. On a level 4 wizard, I would never trade this spell away! If it were up to me, I’d make EBoA the signature spell of the lore, because in any situation it would be a dependable spell to trade for.

    Okay, now that I’ve sung the praises of the EBoA, let’s break it down and see if I can back up my claims. EBoA bestows three separate effects, so we’ll tackle each one separately…

    #1) +1 to Hit – Of the three effects of the spell, this one will often be the most important one. Starting with CC, +1 to Hit is far superior to something like +1 WS, as there are many instances where a boost in WS will have no effect on your ability to hit your opponent or their ability to hit you. Even things like +1 strength are not always beneficial because you might already have sufficient strength to wound on a 2+ and negate armour. However, because of the way the WFB To Hit chart works, regardless of the degree to which your WS is greater than your opponent’s WS, the table never let’s you achieve a To Hit roll better than 3+. As a result, a bonus +1 To Hit is nearly universally beneficial.

    The next thing to consider is what units can most benefit from a +1 to Hit (in a vacuum at least). The units that will most benefit from this bonus are unsurprisingly units with premier offensive capabilities, in the form of some combination of large numbers of attacks, high strength attacks or special rules. A large number of attacks is pretty much self explanatory, cast it on a unit with 10 attacks and the +1 To Hit boosts those 10 attacks, but the same spell cast on a unit with 50 attacks and the +1 To Hit now boosts 50 attacks. Accordingly, your net gain (the increase in the number models killed) will be greater when the spell is cast on a unit with more attacks (assuming all other factors are equal). Moving on from the quantity of attacks, we now look at the quality of attacks (higher strength). Would you rather increase the chances of 15 S4 Saurus Warriors attacks hitting or increase the chances of 15 S7 Kroxigor attacks hitting? Each Kroxigor hit is worth more because in most cases they will wound and beat armour more easily. As a result, your net gain is mathematically greater when you cast the spell on a unit with premium high strength attacks (assuming we control for all other factors). Lastly, special rules (like Killing Blow for instance) will work along the same lines as the premium high strength attacks discussed above.

    One last minor point, something I calculated in the background purely because I was curious. Not sure if this will be of interest to you guys, but I did promise a deep dive. In the table below I explored how re-rollable to hit rolls differ from non-re-rollable when it comes to the +1 bonus granted by EBoA. Specially I’m looking at the relative increases in the probability to hit.

    upload_2022-3-19_23-31-17.png

    Interestingly at lower chances to hit (hitting on 5’s or 6’s [i.e., MoN]) the units with re-rolls To Hit gain more a benefit from EBoA, however at higher chances to hit (hitting on 4’s or 3’s) it is the units without re-rolls that gain more of an advantage. Not really a huge deal in-game, but rather a mildly interesting quirk.

    Moving away from CC and onto shooting, EBoA is of great use here too. Although the To Hit table for shooting is very different from that of CC, EBoA’s +1 to hit still shines. Even units with the very best BS rarely get to hit on 2’s because of all the shooting modifiers that are usually in play. That means that EBoA will always be useful on a shooting unit. Just as with CC (and for the same reasons) the best units to target are ones that either get a lot of shots off, are at high strength or carry some useful/beneficial special rule.

    #2) Armour Piercing – Typically the next most important buff from EBoA is its granting of the Armour Piercing special rule. There isn’t much to explain here, as this effect is pretty self-evident. That said, it does pair rather nicely with poisoned attacks as poisoned attacks are a great counter to high toughness but offer no solution against enemy armour.

    One thing that is important to consider is that EBoA’s Armour Piercing bonus also applies to shooting! The rationale and discussion for this can be found here: https://eefl.freeforums.net/thread/2797/enchanted-blades-aiban-shooting-benefit . This gives the EBoA a nice secondary bonus effect for shooting attacks, which (outside of war machines) are usually at a fairly low strength (3 or 4) and thus have difficulty beating enemy armour.

    #3) Magical Attacks – the third and final buff we have to discuss is the granting of magical attacks (CC and shooting!). Usually, this buff will be of absolutely no use, however, when it does come into play it is a game-changing bonus. The most obvious use is against Ethereal units. Picture having your mighty 325 point K’daai Destroyer bogged down for an entire game by a pesky 45 point Spirit Host unit. Cast a quick EBoA spell on the K’daai Destroyer and next turn the Spirit Host is evaporated. Or flip the script, now your unit is on the receiving end of a K’daai Destroyer assault. Cast EBoA on your unit and your newly found magical attacks bypass the K’daai’s greatest defense and you find yourself with a fighting chance. Remember too that this effect works for your shooting attacks as well. So why not easily blast away that incoming Hexwraith unit from a distance before it can do you any harm. Ethereal units typically rely purely on that mechanic to keep the alive, once magic attacks are introduced, they are nearly defenseless.


    That should probably be enough for EBoA. Hopefully I’ve offered some insights as to the many uses of the spell and in the process justified my praise of ‘old reliable’. There are so many ways you can make use of the spell. Don’t forget that with a clever setup you can make use of both its shooting and CC bonuses. Think of a situation where you cast it on a large unit of Razordons (not that I recommend the Lore of Metal for Lizardmen, because I don’t, more on that later). You park that EBoA-buffed Razordon unit right in front of an enemy unit and shoot at it (making use of EBoA’s +1 To Hit and AP buffs). Next turn your opponent is either stuck there because your unit is blocking them, or they charge. If they charge you once again benefit from +1 To Hit and AP as you stand and shoot. Next in CC, for a third time you benefit from +1 To Hit and AP. Not bad for a typically underappreciated unit of Razordons!

    Glittering Robe – Augment, cast on 9+, range 12”. Target gains the Scaly Skin (5+) special rule. Can be bubbled 12” for a 16+ to cast.

    What we have here is the second most consistently useful spell in the Lore of Metal. Adding +2 to a unit’s armour can have a significant effect on that unit’s staying power. All of a sudden, a unit of 5+ armour save Har Ganeth Executioners have a mighty 3+ save. Don’t even get me started on a unit of S&B MoT Chaos Warriors who are now nearly invincible behind their 1+ armour save and 5+ ward save.

    As the spell grants a Scaly Skin save, it works perfectly in conjunction with light armour, heavy armour, Gromril/Chaos/full-plate, bonus for being mounted, barded, shields, etc. The one caveat of course is if your unit already has a Scaly Skin save, as a player can’t stack Scaly Skin saves and simply chooses the best one. This is hardly an issue for most units/armies as Scaly Skin is not that common, but for the Lizardmen, this spell is nearly useless (which is why I would never suggest a level 4 metal Slann, more on that later).

    As the spell is pretty simplistic in its function/application, the only real question is which units benefit the most. As usual battlefield specifics will be the key determinant, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a few calculations to give us a better idea (at least in a vacuum). And what better way to do it, than with yet another table! The key factors determining which units mathematically benefit the most are threefold: the unit’s existing/starting armour save, the incoming strength of enemy attacks and the fact that an armour save can never be better than 1+. We can see the combination of these factors play out in the chart below, as we map how the chance an armour save prevents an unsaved wound (discounting regens or wards) improves as a result of being under the effect of Glittering Robe.

    upload_2022-3-19_23-32-38.png

    Remember that the chart is mapping the amount a unit’s saving throw improves after being buffed by Glittering Robes compared to its base armour save. For instance, a unit with a 4+ save going up against a S5 attack would typically need 6’s to save after we account for the strength modifier. With Glittering Robes active that saving throw is improved to needing 4’s. Chances of making a 6+ is 17%, chances of making a 4+ is 50%. The difference between the two (50% - 17% = 33%) is the amount which Glittering Robes improves the model’s ability to prevent an unsaved wound via its armour save.

    Obviously, there is no point in casting the spell on a unit that already has a 1+ save because the bonus is completely wasted. Even in the case of a 2+ armour save, half of the spells buff is negated. If you are expecting to take a wide range of attacks at various strengths (see nuances below), a unit with a starting save of 4+ makes mathematically the most use of the spell. Alternatively, casting the spell on units with a low starting save is quickly wasted as the opposing strength values increase. As a basic rule, casting the spell on units with a base armour save of 5+, 4+ or 3+ generally gives you the most bang for the buck in terms of fully utilizing the spell’s buff.

    Before we move on from the table, there are two quick little nuances that I wish to draw your attention to as you study the chart.

    1) Consider how common various strength levels are in the game of Warhammer (and especially those available to your opponent). Typically, strength 3, 4 and 5 are most common, strength 6 and 7 are fairly rare and strength 1, 2, 8, 9 and 10 are exceedingly rare. So, depending on what your facing, you might want to give these values on the chart more or less consideration.

    2) Consider that higher strength attacks will wound more easily, so for the same number of attacks, more high strength attacks will beat your model’s toughness and more armour saves will be attempted.

    So, boosting a 6+ armour save unit facing 10 incoming S4 hits will not result in the same number of saves made as boosting a 4+ armour save unit facing 10 incoming S6 hits even though they both will save on the same 5+ when buffed by Glittering Scales. Let’s assume a T4 for both units…

    6+ armour save unit (buffed to 4+) vs. S4: [10 hits]*[4’s to wound]*[5+ armour] = 10*[1/2]*[1/3] = 1.67 armour saves made

    4+ armour save unit (buffed to 2+) vs. S6: [10 hits]*[2’s to wound]*[5+ armour] = 10*[5/6]*[1/3] = 2.78 armour saves made

    Due to the fact that more high strength attacks wound, the same modified armour save results in more wounds being saved. As a result, for any given incoming attack, I’d weight the higher strength values higher in the chart above.

    The point is that you should use and balance these two mitigating factors when drawing conclusions from the chart! With all that nitty gritty nuance behind us, the main take away is that you should only cast this spell on units with a poor armour save if you suspect that you’ll only face incoming attacks that are of low strength. Also, casting it at 2+ armour save units, does not take full advantage of the spell’s buff, but that doesn’t mean that in game it isn’t the right move as it may make the difference in your unit winning or losing.

    Overall, Glittering Scales is a wonderfully versatile spell (unless you are fielding Lizardmen). Unlike most of the spells in the Lore of Metal, its effectiveness is not really reliant on your opponent’s army/unit selection.

    Gehenna’s Golden Hounds – Direct damage, cast on 9+, range 12” (24” if cast on a 12+). Works like Searing Doom except that you must target a single enemy model, even a character in a unit (who benefits from LoS rolls)

    Now that we’ve just discussed the lore’s more versatile spells, we come to this stinker. A (very) poor man’s Searing Doom. In theory it could have been a very good little spell if it wasn’t for one critical weakness… your opponent is allowed to take Look Out Sir rolls against it. As a result, this spell is completely unreliable at sniping as on average only 17% of its D6 hits will get by the LoS (and even then, they still have to wound and get by any potential ward saves). Additionally, this problem is compounded in any situation where a viably armoured character is hiding in a relatively unarmoured unit, as 5/6ths of its hits will spill into a unit where it will have a great deal of difficulty wounding. Imagine for instance a well armoured Orc character hanging out in a unit of Savage Orcs (who have no armour save). While the spell could normally do well against the character, only 17% of the hits will get to him, while the other 83% would be completely wasted as they would be Look Out Sir’ed to the Savage Orcs and would do zero damage since the Savage Orcs have no armour.

    The next problem with the spell is that it must target a single model. You can find a discussion on this rule interpretation here: https://eefl.freeforums.net/thread/2852/gehennas-golden-hounds-targeting-question . This limitation means that Gehenna’s Golden Hounds (GGH) can’t effectively be used as a pseudo second Searing Doom in most cases, because if you were to target a rank & file model, any extra wounds will not spill out into the unit as they normally would. Interestingly, in the discussion linked above, the only way you could get GGH to spill into multiple models in a unit would be through the LoS effect, which your opponent could always choose not to take if his character has little in the way of armour.

    Okay, so we’ve discussed what’s wrong with the spell, but let’s spend a bit of time discussing the situations where it is useful.

    Single entities and monsters with good armour – in these situations you can use GGH as a pseudo second (shorter ranged or higher casting cost) Searing Doom. A model like a Treeman, Bastiladon or armoured lone character within range of the spell is just as vulnerable to it as it would be to Searing Doom

    Instances where both the bunkered character AND his unit have good armour – In this scenario you can cast the spell on the character and if hits get through, great, and if not, the hits spill into the unit and do substantial damage there. For example, a Vampire Lord in a unit of barded Black Knights makes for a supreme target as both the character and the unit are vulnerable to the spell. In this instance, the spell works great no matter how the LoS rolls go!

    Against armoured characters in units that don’t grant them a LoS – this can be due to the character being of a different unit type or the unit simply not having enough rank & file models to allow for a LoS roll

    Against well armoured monstrous units – this way if you target a single rank and file model, you can do more than the single wound (as you would in the case of single wound models). For instance, against a unit of Skullcrushers you could target a rank & file model and strip away up to 3 wounds. While this may result in a situation where you waste some hits (since you could potentially roll up to 6 on a D6), at least you have potential to do a good amount of damage. That said, this isn’t as good of an option as the others mentioned above, but is something to keep in mind if other options are not available.

    That is about all there is to it. To be honest, there are very few scenarios where I would choose to keep this spell. If I’m choosing to keep this spell, it is likely that I am doing so because I also rolled for Transmutation of Lead and I’m choosing to swap that one out for the signature instead. Even then, I’d have to make sure that there is at least a fairly good target rich environment for this spell, otherwise Transmutation of Lead may edge it out. In some very rare cases, I might choose this over one of the other spells, and use it alongside Searing Doom, but it would have to be in an instance where there is an insanely rich supply of viable targets on the battlefield. In general though, it’s either this spell or Transmutation of Lead that are being swapped out.

    Transmutation of Lead – Hex, cast 12+, range 24” (48” if cast on a 15+). Target unit’s WS, BS and armour save suffers a -1 penalty.

    Joining Gehenna’s Golden Hounds, Transmutation of Lead is the Lore of Metal’s second of two lemon spells. This spell fails on multiple levels and really hurts the Lore of Metal as a whole. The problems with this spell are as follows:

    Over-costed – This is as good of a place to start as any, as the spell is nowhere near worth its 12+ casting cost. The spell effects of the EBoA are far superior and cost 3+ less to cast. One might argue that such a difference might come down to one being an augment and the other being a hex, so I’ll illustrate the point with a comparison against an actually worthwhile hex, namely, Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma from the Lore of Shadow. Firstly, Melkoth’s allows you to single out and choose a one debuff (out of four) to cast on the enemy for the very low cost of 5+ to cast. This is a huge advantage because there will be many instances where you can’t make use of all the elements of Melkoth’s. Transmutation of Lead will also face instances where it can not make use of all of its components, but unlike with Melkoth’s, you are forced to cast all of them on a 12+. Secondly, if compare the boosted Melkoth’s we find that for 10+ to cast, we get to debuff four stats: WS, BS, Initiative and Movement… AND each one is reduced by D3 instead the single point reduction of the Transmutation of Lead. Melkoth’s is the very obvious clear winner of the two and it isn’t even close. Transmutation of Lead has worse debuffs (armour reduction vs. I & M), debuffs to a lesser degree (1 vs. D3) and costs more to cast (12+ vs. 10+). So, Transmutation is less versatile, less effective and costs more to cast.

    Lackluster debuffs – Combine the WS and BS debuffs of Transmutation of Lead and it is still not as good as the single buff of +1 to Hit that EBoA brings to the table. The first reason is that -1 WS skill will often times result in no actual difference in the roll needed to hit (for you or your opponent) because of the way that the To Hit chart works. On the other hand, something like a +1 or -1 to Hit will nearly always alter the dice rolls needed. The next problem is that in order for the -1 BS debuff to work, your opponent needs to have a shooting unit, which isn’t guaranteed in an all-comers list. Matchup against an army like the WoC or VC or simply any army that decides not to field ranged units and this part of the hex is completely useless. This is in contrast to the EBoA, where you are relying on your army to have said element, something that is in your control (or something that you can factor in when choosing the Lore of Metal). Lastly, the -1 armour save while an okay effect, is just doubling down on something that the lore is already good at, and does better elsewhere. You can already deal with armour quite well, and if you need the -1 AS debuff, Plague of Rust gives it to you for nearly half the casting cost and it lasts the entire game.

    Components are not synergistic – Transmutation of Lead’s three abilities are not only subpar, but in most cases, it will be nigh impossible to make use of them all. While having more debuffs does make a spell more versatile, here you’re paying the casting cost to have all three in play simultaneously; making it tremendously wasteful when one or two of its effects go unused. With the WS and BS debuffs you get to capitalize on one or the other, not both. Cast it on an engaged enemy unit and you may (depending on relative weapon skills) be able to gain benefit from the -1 WS, but then the enemy unit can’t shoot in their turn so the BS debuff is wasted. Alternatively, cast the spell on an unengaged ranged unit and the BS debuff will work well, but the WS debuff is wasted. Also, in the case of an unengaged enemy unit, you’ll have to ranged unit of your own to make use of the -1 armour save debuff. With EBoA, it is easy to make use of the +1 to Hit and AP buffs, and if units susceptible to magic attacks are on the field you can simultaneously make use of that too. You get to benefit from more than one of its effects per casting, while with Transmutation of Lead you need a much more complex setup to do so. Consequently, with Transmutation of lead you’ll usually only getting to use one of its debuffs, and none of the three it offers are worth anywhere near 12+ to cast.


    With all the bad stuff out of the way, this is the point where I’m supposed to list some of the spell’s advantages. I’ll have to stretch a bit here, but there are a few quick points I can make. To do so, I’ll contrast it with EBoA. In the case of EBoA you’re casting it on a single one of your units, and that unit then benefits when it is dealing damage to an enemy unit. While this is great, it is only giving a single one of your units an advantage. If you hex an enemy unit with Transmutation of Lead, you can potentially bring to bear multiple units on that afflicted unit, so therefore, more than one of your units can take advantage of the spell at once. For instance, you could have several of your units shoot at the enemy unit while its -1 penalty to armour save is in effect (though Plague of Rust still does this better). In combat, you may have two or more of your units simultaneously engaged with the hexed enemy, so each of your units would benefit from the enemy’s armour debuff (and if everything lines up well, their -1 WS too). That’s the only real positive I can think of, if you have additional strategies please share. As is, these are often reliant on multiple elements on the battlefield being in just the right place to take advantage of the situation, so this advantage may not always be the easiest to exploit.

    After spending so much time trashing this spell, you might be wondering when, if ever, I would choose to keep this spell. I can think of only two scenarios. The first is in the case where I am facing an enemy that offers up essentially nothing for me to target Searing Doom or Gehenna’s Golden Hounds with (best examples might be when facing a Beastmen or Skaven build that is particularly devoid of viable targets). In such a case, I would still hope to get EBoA, Plague of Rust, Glittering Robe and Final Transmutation over this spell, but if I wasn’t lucky enough to roll for those, I’d have to settle for Transmutation of Lead over the other two spells which are unfortunately situationally useless in the matchup. This is admittedly a pretty rare scenario however, as from the big Searing Doom chart above, we see that most armies offer up some number of at least decent targets. The second scenario would be if a Lizardmen Metal Slann rolled Glittering Robe and Transmutation of Lead among it’s four spells, in such a case I’d elect to keep Transmutation of Lead, because Glittering Robe is near useless to Lizardmen (which is why I would never advise taking a Metal Slann!).

    Final Transmutation – Direct damage, cast 15+, range 18” (36” if cast on an 18+). Roll a D6 for every model in the target unit, on roll of 5+ (6+ in the case of multi-wound models) the model is removed as a casualty with no saves allowed. Start of next turn, all enemy units within 12” of the target unit must test for Stupidity.

    We arrive at our final Lore of Metal spell and our second Transmutation spell, but this time it’s a great one. I consider Final Transmutation (FT) to be one of the three true Nuke spells from among the eight BRB lores. Like its compatriots, this spell is best targeted at the largest, meanest, most dangerous and most expensive unit that your opponent fields. In an edition where many fear the dreaded deathstar horde, Final Transmutation levels the playing field. The key aspects of this spell are that it targets every model in a unit and allows for no save of any kind. It’s fairly simple in its application, wherein with average dice rolling you remove a third of the target unit (one sixth in the case of multi-wound models). Cast it on a unit of 12 Skeleton Warriors and you’ve killed a piddly 4 cheap models on average, but cast it on a horde of 60 Chaos Warriors and you’ve netted yourself a mighty 20 of them. In addition, any characters hiding in the unit must also be fearful of it, as they have a one in six chance of being removed from the table with no questions asked. No look out sir rolls here.

    When people talk of the three BRB nuke spells: Final Transmutation, The Dwellers Below and The Purple Sun of Xereus, it is usually Final Transmutation that gets the least shine. The other two are a bit flashier than the more predictable Final Transmutation, but let’s take a closer look and see how they actually stack up.

    We’ll start with Final Transmutation against The Dwellers Below as these two spells are more similar to one another than Purple Sun is.

    upload_2022-3-19_23-35-28.png

    Looking at the table, Dwellers enjoys the advantage in the most important categories. Namely, Dwellers has superior killing potential against multi-wound S4 models (by 17%), single-wound S3 models (by 17%), S3 characters (by 33%) and S4 characters (by 17%). On the other hand, Final Transmutation enjoys a distinct advantage in both casting cost and spell range. As a result, if you plan on casting both spells against a unit of single-wound S4 models (where both spells kill on a 5+), Final Transmutation wins out. However, once you introduce characters (S4 or below) into the unit, Dwellers once again starts to take over. Also of note, the performance of Dwellers is affected by buffs/debuffs to strength, while Final Transmutation remains consistent throughout. Overall, if I had to choose between the two, I would go for Dwellers for its edge in killing potential, however, Final Transmutation is not too far behind in most cases and boasts advantages of its own. Both great spells and there is no shame in coming second to a deadly spell like Dwellers.


    Next up we take a look at how Final Transmutation and Purple Sun matchup. As they function quite differently (direct damage vs. magical vortex), we can’t quite achieve a perfect one-to-one comparison as we did with Dwellers, but here we go…

    upload_2022-3-19_23-35-55.png

    I believe that the best way to summarize the findings from the table is that Purple Sun is high risk and high reward, with a great deal of variation between effectiveness from one army to another, while Final Transmutation is not nearly as flashy, but remains reliable and dependable. Final Transmutation doesn’t ever achieve the same game-winning heights of Purple Sun, but it doesn’t achieve the lows of Purple Sun either. Against armies like Lizardmen or Ogre Kingdoms, Purple Sun performs better than another other spell in the game against any army. In these cases, it can be absolutely game-breaking, an essential auto-win with a good cast. Memories and stories of these kinds of events linger and spread far more easily than the more stable and reliable performance of Final Transmutation. FT is better at range (stable range and no misfire), while Purple Sun is better in close (can be cast right through a unit you are in close combat with). Purple Sun is gaming winning against some armies/units, but is rather ineffective against others, while FT remains pretty steady and true. As for which is better across the board, that’s a tough question and probably beyond the boundaries of this discussion. It’s a bit more of an apples-to-oranges comparison, as opposed to the more direct comparison of FT versus Dwellers. Purple Sun has definitely garnered more infamy, but I think that comes down to the factor I outlined above. A lot of it will be subjective; based on one’s playstyle, the meta in which one plays in and so on. Purple Sun is obviously aided by the fact that it is part of the Lore of Death, which is frequently regarded by many to be the strongest lore of magic in the game. Bringing the discussion back to our topic at hand, no matter which spell you ultimately prefer, Final Transmutation simply being in the same ballpark as Purple Sun speaks to the spell’s greatness. A tried-and-true nuke spell and a worthy spell number six for the lore of metal!

    That pretty much sums up the Final Transmutation. At the very least, it contends with the likes of both Dwellers Below and Purple Sun and stands as one of the premier anti-deathstar nuke spells in Warhammer. FT is best cast on large and expensive units, where its rate of return is the greatest. As a bonus, these units often house characters, so if you’re lucky you might net yourself one of them too. Because the spell targets every model in the target unit, it will typically perform better in larger games where unit sizes are larger (hordes, deathstars, etc.). With its fairly good range, you want to cast it early in the game before key units are locked in combat and when they are still at full strength (meaning more models are forced to test and more models are dying). The secondary effect of forcing stupidity tests should be viewed simply as a nice little bonus rather than something that comes into the calculus of determining when, where and against whom the spell should be cast against. Unless you are facing the absolute most extreme example of an MSU army, FT is definitely a spell you want to have in your wizard’s magical toolbox.


    Spell Ranking

    Unlike with the other lores of magic, neatly ordering the spells of the Lore of Metal is not completely straight forward. Quite a few of the spells are heavily matchup dependent, including some of the contenders for the crown.

    Contenders for the best spell of the lore:
    • Searing Doom (best when the opponent fields multiple high-cost heavily armoured targets, see chart above)
    • Final Transmutation (best when the opponent fields large & expensive deathstar type units)
    • Enchanted Blades of Aiban (most versatile spell, best when neither of the above apply)
    Runner up:
    • Glitter Robe (second most versatile spell of the lore)
    Middle of the road:
    • Plague of Rust (trusty and dependable, but not game defining)
    Lemons / Duds
    • Gehenna’s Golden Hounds (poorly designed, in rare circumstances it can serve as a second [lesser] Searing Doom)
    • Transmutation of Lead (highly underwhelming, should only be kept in matchups where Searing Doom is virtually useless)


    If I could pick any four spells in an all-comers list I’d go with Searing Doom, Enchanted Blades of Aiban, Glittering Robe and Final Transmutation. I’d do so knowing that in some matchups Searing Doom will underperform, but in others it will shine. If you wanted to have a more consistent and reliable experience, you could go with Plague of Rust over Searing Doom, but overall Searing Doom might be more impactful across multiple games. Luckily, you can assess the situation in real time and make your decisions accordingly. Enchanted Blades of Aiban and Glittering Robe (LM excepted) are the two spells that I would want to always have on my level four.



    Army Interactions – who should take it and who should not?

    The Lore of Metal’s performance is more dependent on the army you are facing rather than the army you are fielding. That said, let’s take a look at the armies that should not be fielding the Lore of Metal:

    Lizardmen – I would highly advise against taking a Metal Slann (in an all-comers list; it’s still a great choice in tailored lists where the opponent’s army is known ahead of time). The lore of metal already has one spell that is always a dud (Transmutation of Lead), one spell that is nearly always a dud (Gehenna’s Golden Hounds) and one spell that is highly matchup dependent (Searing Doom). That is already a potential for 3 dud spells in a bad matchup. However, with Lizardmen we have a fourth dud (which would normally be one of the lore’s most versatile spells) in the form of Glittering Robe. With the LM roster already sporting scaly skin, this spell is terrible. Having a potential for four bad spells out of seven simply rules out the Lore of Metal in a competitive all-comers list for the lizards. This however does not mean that the Lore of Metal can’t be useful for Lizardmen. Having Searing Doom as part of Wandering Deliberations or trading into the lore with a Focus of Mystery High Magic Slann can be extremely useful. When deciding whether or not to trade into the Lore of Metal with the High Magic Contemplations lore attribute, you should only do so if Searing Doom is situationally useful. This doesn’t mean that you might not keep another spell instead Searing Doom, but I wouldn’t risk trading into the lore unless you can confidently trade for the signature if you roll a spell that you don’t want.

    Vampire Counts – Why pay 25 points and eat up part of your Vampiric Powers allotment when you already have access to perhaps the best lore in the game (the Lore of Vampires)?

    Bretonnia – The only way for Bretonnia to take the lore of metal is through the 545 point Fay Enchantress special character, who gets a whopping 2+ bonus to cast Lore of Life spells (one of the best lores in the game). This is further complicated by the fact that as she has a unit type of Monstrous Cavalry, she can’t hide in units for LOS rolls.


    That takes care of who shouldn’t take the Lore of Metal, which leaves us with seven other armies that have access to it. In truth, anyone of these armies can make good use of the lore and I believe it ultimately comes down to which units from the army are included in the army list. Namely, all of those armies have excellent anti armour elements and all of those armies have elements that are not great against high armour, but instead specialize in other things. The ratio of these units in one’s army list is the best indicator how beneficial the Lore of Metal will be. As a simple example, if you’re running a DE list that is heavily featuring Har Ganeth Executioners, then your list already has lots of anti-armour capabilities and you might be better with another lore that provides your army with something different that you may be lacking. On the flipside, if you build a DE list with hordes of Witch Elves, then the Lore of Metal is an excellent choice in patching up the weakness of your build. Another consideration might be something along the lines of a Warriors of Chaos build featuring an Unkillable Sorcerer Lord (MoT, 1+ armour save, 3+ ward re-rolling 1’s). With this build, the MoT narrows down your lore selection on the character to either the Lore of Tzeentch or the Lore of Metal. In this case, the Lore of Metal will usually be the superior choice.

    Final Conclusions

    In summary, I think this deep dive does backup the claim that the Lore of Metal’s performance does suffer from being matchup dependent, but not nearly to the degree that most people think. Against most builds from most armies the Lore of Metal does surprisingly well. Even if you end up with a terrible matchup, there are still great spells in the lore (if you are lucky enough to roll for them). However, in the few really bad matchups, you might roll poorly when generating spells and end up with one or two duds. It’s a much rarer occurrence than people often make it out to be, but it is a possibility that you must consider when deciding to include it in an all-comers list. All/most lores do deviate slightly in terms of performance depending on matchup (i.e., Dwellers and strength, Purple Sun and initiative), but they do so in a much more limited fashion as a whole. The Lore of Life for instance will work very well in all situations and across all opposition. The Lore of Metal being a specialist lore, can’t make the same claim, or at least not to the same degree. Good lore… yes. Best lore… no (at least in an all-comers list). However, if you examine your build and notice your army might have difficulty dealing with armour, the Lore of Metal offers more answers than any other lore in the game (whether that be a mighty level four wizard or just a quick level one with Searing Doom). It’s more of a specialist lore than a generalist one, so consider it accordingly.


    That’s about it. I’ve rambled on quite long enough. I hope you enjoyed this Lore of Metal deeeeeep dive analysis. Please share your thoughts, comments, counter-analysis and point out any errors that I may have made throughout my many many many calculations.
     
  19. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

    Messages:
    5,544
    Likes Received:
    8,249
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Well that was a deep dive. I took it exactly once, as a Lizardmen player when we were trying things out. Never again. This was well thought out, well written and very informative. Maybe when official 9th comes out, this list will be able to help out again.
     
  20. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

    Messages:
    57,186
    Likes Received:
    176,554
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks @Bowser . I'm glad that you enjoyed it.
     

Share This Page