The American Team Championship is basically right around the corner (eek!), and thanks to the recent Una "balancing", I was scrambling for a replacement second list with just days to think about it before list submission.
My team really needed another ARM smasher, and so it was that Circle's newest Warlock made her way into my roster.
Oh boy do I need practice.
For our game night yesterday, I rolled off to play my Skorne buddy who had Naaresh and Mordikaar with him. I dropped Kaya (Wurmwood seemed like a bad choice) and he dropped Naaresh.
I won the roll off and slammed going first on Recon.
Sentry Stone x2
Tyrant Commander and Standard Bearer
Min Beast Handlers x2
I put my pathfinder heavies on the side of the table with rubble. Loki really threatens the whole table with Shifting Stones, so I also made sure that he was on the same side as they were.
In post game discussion, my opponent and I both agreed that Tiberion should have been opposite Loki rather than the Sentry. Tiberion can't be dragged, which is a bit of a problem for a wolf with a drag hook.
Circle turn 1:
He has no shooting, so...time to run? For the first time in a very long time, my Sentry Stones both roll max Fury.
Stones run aggressively forward. Loki warps Preternatural Reflexes because it sounds cool and runs. The Stalker warps Prowl and runs.
I get to warp Speed on the Feral and fling him up the table. The Pureblood warps no spells and runs, and the Argus runs.
Kaya puts up Synergy and charges Tiberion. The left Blackclad runs, the other uses Phase Jump to buddy up with a Shifting Stone.
Skorne turn 1:
My Feral is nearly threatening his deployment zone, so Naaresh is going to have to Feat Defensively.
Beasts run up, with the Sentry leading the pack on the right side. Tiberion runs as well, but isn't quite able to get into Shield Guard range of the Sentry thanks to the objective.
Naaresh gets whipped a few times, then hyper regens the health back. He moves up, puts Blur on a unit of Beast Handlers, Lamentation on himself, and pops his Feat.
Circle turn 2:
I have an interesting thought that involves Kaya popping her Feat and the Feral trampling through Tiberion and the objective to land next to Naaresh at MAT 12 PS 20, but I don't know how her Feat interacts with tramples and I don't want to take the time to look it up (I need to do that today). Instead, as you can see in the picture above, I think I'm going to yank the Sentry at me and eat it.
Kaya upkeeps Synergy. I deploy my Gobber Chef, who I had forgotten about somehow.
Firstly, the Mannikins on the right move over and spray the Tyrant Commander to death.
Loki warps Strength, moves to within 8 of the Sentry, and boosts hit and damage on it, doing an impressive 8 damage and dragging it in. His free attack contributes another 3-4 damage, leaving the Titan on half health and Synergy at 1. He Repositions back between the two left Shifting Stones, staying in the Sentry's melee range.
The Stones port the Stalker behind the Sentry to ignore the shield, and he finishes him off before paying two for Lightning Strike and moving back outside of the Bronzeback's charge range.
Synergy is at two. If I could get it to three, I'm thinking pretty seriously about Feating and throwing the Feral at Tiberion with Primal. I can almost certainly get a Hunters Mark on him, and a free charge at dice -2, followed by 5 more dice -2 and one dice -3 averages out to a dead Tiberion by about 4 damage.
Unfortunately, I can't, so to prevent myself from even thinking about it, I move Mannikins in the way and spray the Standard Bearer down.
The Feral backs up to 11.1 inches from Tiberion, and the Argus backs up and toes the zone.
The Pureblood goes on the hill to the left and also stays 11.1 inches from Tiberion.
Kaya dumps down to two Fury and gets 16.1 inches away from Naaresh, and I pass the turn. I really like my position here. He can apparently get Despoiler onto Loki (I forgot he got errata'd to have a reach weapon), but Oddsmachine says that has a 7% chance of killing him, and he can't get anything else into my army.
Skorne turn 2:
His objective heals both Despoiler and Tiberion to counteract the Feat. Naaresh upkeeps Lamentation, but drops Blur.
Despoiler gets enraged and has Rush cast on it by the Gladiator.
He charges in and kills the Sentry Stone and does about 1/3 of Loki's health to him.
Bronzeback moves into the zone as a counterpunch, and Tiberion moves behind the wall on the left.
Naaresh stays far, far away from the Feral.
Circle turn 3:
I leach three Fury with Shifting Stones, and then pull the rest with Kaya, who upkeeps Synergy.
I start things off with Sentry Mannikins, which was a mistake, and they charge/run to engage both Tiberion and the Gladiator to prevent countercharge.
I should have cast Hunters Mark at both of them first, but oh well.
The Argus moves in and Doppler Barks at Despoiler, combo strikes, and boosts damage, doing an impressive 10 damage at dice -2.
Kaya premeasures to make sure her beasts will all be in control where I want them, heals Loki for a few, and pops her Feat.
Loki gets ported behind Despoiler, and then warps Strength, dragging him in. He easily finishes the beast with Synergy buffing his melee output, and the Repositions back.
I spend both Blackclad activations getting Hunters Mark on the Bronzeback, and the Stalker warps Strength, charges in, and kills it.
The Feral charges Tiberion, rolling 5,5,6 for charge damage, and my opponent concedes as he will be left with one Gladiator facing down four Warpwolves the next turn.
Victory for the Druids!
This list is a lot of fun, and the threat ranges and damage output are fairly absurd. Synergy plus Loki plus Reposition on everything means that I can usually spend a turn or two thinning out the herd before I really commit with my feat, after which not many things are going to be able to handle 3-4 DEF 16 heavies.
Loki is absolutely amazing here, giving the list a seriously potent threat extender, who can often hang out 10 inches back from where his target was after yanking it in thanks to Reposition.
Further testing is required, but Kaya seems very strong too. It's incredibly nice to be able to say that without also adding "and she's probably busted as well" as I had to with my Una 2 batreps. Kaya seems quite balanced and very tricky to play, definitely not an auto win button by any stretch.
My dice ran a couple points hot this game, with two very sub average rolls the whole game and a couple of very above average rolls. My opponent and I agreed that mostly what that would have changed is the amount of fury sitting on Loki and the Stalker on the last turn though, as the threat ranges and damage output of the list really are just that good. I'm definitely excited to play more with Kaya, she gives Circle the hardest hitting list it can bring, and that's a very cool feeling.
Thanks for reading!