Warmachine and Hordes Active Duty Roster Season 7: First Reactions

We got our first look at the Season 7 ADR yesterday, and I thought it would be interesting to go over the entire list and talk about where I think each faction will end up on in terms of pairings, as well as if I think the faction will likely play on ADR at masters events. 

I'll also assign a relative power level for Champions events. I've learned from past "ranking" things, and so I'm just going to assign a competitiveplayable, and hard sell to each set of them since these, as usual, just my opinions and should not be taken as gospel. 

Okay, important disclaimers taken care of, let's do this!

Cygnar:

Cygnar got a bit of a mixed bag here, with an incredibly strong Warcaster in the new and improved Jeremiah Kraye and then a trio of supporting Warcasters. 

I could easily see a Kraye/Maddox or a Kraye/Siege pairing working out quite nicely, with Kraye in Heavy Metal most likely to take advantage of his numerous and excellent battlegroup synergies. Maddox works very well in Storm Divison with easy access to two ARM buffs between her spell card and the almost mandatory Journeyman Warcaster for Arcane Shield, whereas I think Siege probably works best in Gravediggers or Heavy Metal right now. 

This Maddox List is from the 2017 Nova open Championships and helped take Anthony Gibbs to third place. While it is pre - nerf Laddermore, I think the general concept is sound. 

Siege is a bit of an unkown still, but the new Trencher models work extremely well with him, and I'd expect to see him in Gravediggers with some Long Gunners, Express Teams, etc. 

Maddox (Storm Division)
- Squire
- Stormclad
- Stormclad

Laddermore
Stormblade Captain
Stormblade Captain 

Stormlances
Stormlances
Stormblades
- CA
- Gunner x3
 

Kraye lists are still too new to have a ton of data with his best builds, but Heavy Metal and Gravediggers both seem popular choices for him. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: Medium
Champions Prospects: Playable

Protectorate of Menoth:

Ah Protectorate, this is one of the better rosters in Season 7 I believe. Thyra is a powerhouse caster, with several extremely strong builds and very few outright bad matchups. 

Pairing her with Malekus or Durst seems very strong, although Reznik 1 remains a bit of a mystery on how to build. 

The current Thyra build I am loving is:

Thyra (Faithful Masses)
- Heirophant
- Blood of Martyrs
- Sanctifier

Champion of the Wall
Champion of the Wall
Darton Vilmon
Paladin of the Wall x3
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist x2
Wrack x2
Mechanik

Idrians
- CA
Idrians
- CA
Choir (min)

It's fast, it's accurate, it hits like a truck, it has access to RFP, and also does the ranged game really well.

Pairing that with a pile of Warjacks under Malekus or Durst seems perfect, especially with the Revelator coming out in the last month. Chandler has been running something like:

Malekus (Creator's Might)
- Heirophant
- Revelator
- Eye of Truth
- Reckoner
- Repenter
- Repenter

Wrack
Wrack
Vassal
Vassal
Mechanik

Choir (Min)
Rhoven and Co. 

It's slow and misses out on a Choir member for a Warjack every turn to fit Wracks in, but it hits like a truck on and off the Feat turn and finally fulfills the promise that Veteran players give to newer players about Menoth being the faction of Fire, Fire, and more Fire. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: High
Champions Prospects: Competitive

Khador:

Khador has what I would consider a very strong ADR roster as well. Old Witch is an extremely flexible caster, capable of playing in basically every theme that the faction has and doing it well. Sorscha 1 is extremely scary, and with 40 points of specialists I don't know that she has too many bad matchups either. 

Vlad 3 hasn't seen very much play of late, but I think he's perfectly reasonable to play in Legion of Steel, and Kozlov is perhaps the best caster to play in Armored Korps (which will likely be getting a CID and a series of releases in the next six months). 

Tim Banky has been playing Old Witch in Khador for a few weeks now, and recently took down an event playing this little number:

Zevahnna Agha (Legion of Steel)
- Reinholdt
- Marauder x2
- Kodiak

Iron Fang Kovnik
Kapitan Sofya Skirova
Uhlan Kovnik Markov

Iron Fang Uhlans
Iron Fang Uhlans
Iron Fang Pikemen
- CA
Mechaniks

It's an extremely fast list, it's resilient to shooting thanks to an on demand 18" Windstorm, and it has an incredible amount of Board Control thanks to Reinholdt giving the Old Witch either a second shot every turn (yikes!) or the ability to see something Stealthy. 

The Old Witch can control an entire unit on her own between her ranged weapon and Scourge, and with Curse of Shadows she can also let her already hard hitting models get really scary. 

I would expect Old Witch to be the basis of any ADR pairing that she's in, but since she can play in literally any of the themes and since the rest of the casters on the Khador ADR are solid, I wouldn't bet on exactly what she'll be paired with. 

Even though this ADR doesn't have access to Khador mainstays like Vlad 1 and Butcher 3, I think the flexibility offered to Old Witch, Sorscha, and Vlad 3 are going to be worth exploring. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: Medium
Champions Prospects: Competitive

Cryx:

I think that an awful lot of the viability of this ADR roster is going to rest on the post-CID state of Deneghra 2. 

Aiakos is a one trick caster who, although he finally has a theme that works well with him in Black Industries, doesn't benefit a ton from ADR. 

Agathia is a poor woman's Deneghra 1, and hasn't seen much play to date. 

Terminus is a bit of a monster in Dark Host and pre-CID Ghost Fleet, but he requires very specific prey (living enemy stuff) in order to do his personal thing properly. 

At this point, I think speculating about the future of competitive Cryx is a bit pointless since 1) They've just had a big CID with lots of changes to the faction and 2) One of the casters on their ADR is one that received lots of changes. 

With that being said, I think this is a much better ADR than Cryx has had in the past, and might be enough to bring them into the Champions meta for the next six months. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: Low
Champions Prospects: Playable

Retribution of Scyrah:

Retribution used to be an essentially limited faction, and they are really coming into their own in Mark III. 

This ADR set is quite strong, with Rahn and Elara both benefiting massively from 40 extra points of sideboard. 

Helynna also likes to play around with her Warjack loadout when played in the Dawnguard Theme, and I could see that list becoming even better than it already is. 

Sadly, Ravyn has fallen out of favor in Mark III, and I'm not sure that she will see much play even with ADR as she doesn't really have a "niche" to fill here. 

I'm very excited (and afraid) to see the tech that Ret players come up with, I think this is a very viable set of casters. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: High
Champions Prospects: Competitive

Convergence of Cyriss:

Convergence is a limited faction, with a grand total of six Warcasters. Up until ADR was announced, that was quite a disadvantage for the faction. 

Now, though, this limited nature means that they can't help but have a good ADR since at least a couple good casters are always going to be on it. 

This season, I would argue that all four casters are perfectly playable, but the pair that sticks out to me immediately is Axis/Orion. 

Jason Watt recently took this exact pairing to the finals of the Warmachine Weekend 2017 Invitational without ADR, and I actually had a chance to play against him the day before in the WMW Champions event. 

If that pairing, without any specialists, can get through that many rounds of an event as competitive as the WMW Invitational, I'm a little excited to see what it does in the regular Masters format. 

I expect Convergence to be a powerhouse in Champions as well, as they've got a top tier pairing here. 

Jason's Orion list I played against for those interested:

Orion (Destruction Initiative)
- Corollary
- Monitor
- Monitor
- Invertor
- Diffuser

TEP
TEP

Lots of Servitors

Optifex Directive

ADR Likelihood for Masters: Extremely High
Champions Prospects: Competitive

Mercenaries:

If the Convergence ADR Roster for Season 7 is excellent, the Mercenary one is downright insane

Every single one of these casters is strong enough to build a pairing around, and I fully expect to see Mercs showing up in high placings in National and International events this coming year. 

Ashlynn and Gastonne Crosse can be built in so many ways that I don't dare comment, especially as Crosse isn't even technically out yet, but Ossrum has a fairly established archetype - play a lot of Blasters and Gunners in the Hammerstrike Theme Force - and Magnus typically plays either a ton of infantry or six ish heavies. 

I've seen firsthand the power Magnus 2 can bring to the table, and I am very excited to see what gifted players like Charles Soong, Cory Doyle, and Rory Moore come up with for this incredibly potent set of casters. 

Expect to see at least one of us here at Line of Sight get pulled away by Mercenaries in the next couple months (it'll probably be me).

Charles' WMW Champions Magnus list:

Magnus
- Nomad x5
- Freeboater
- Buccaneer

Orin
Hutchuk
Anastasia
Eiryss 1

Kayazy Eliminators x2
Horgenhold Artillery x2
Ayanna and Holt

ADR Likelihood for Masters: Extremely High
Champions Prospects: Competitive

Trollbloods:

I'm a little unsure what to make of the Trollblood roster. Kolgrima is an extremely potent Warlock, and Troll players are only getting their first taste of what she can play like now. 

Borka 2 got completely redesigned and there hasn't been a major event since his CID errata where he was played. Ragnor is another very strong Warlock, and Grim 1 gives the Troll ranged army some interesting tools, as well as being another extremely strong control caster. . 

I'm inclined to think that Kolgrima will be the basis of any ADR pairing for Trollbloods, since she has an extremely versatile spell list that can adapt easily to a changing army. I think a pairing of Ragnor or Borka 2 seems very likely, but again, I'm not entirely sure what that will look like since not even full time Trollblood players have it figured out yet. 

Based off the chatter I've been listening to across various forms of social media, I think this is probably a roster that Trollblood players will be happy to experiment with, so if you have a Troll player in your area it's probably worth reading through the new rules for their CID models and also having a look at Kolgrima - she's awesome. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: High
Champions Prospects: Competitive

Circle Orboros:

Circle has been suffering competitively of late, and traditionally their ADR rosters have been quite shallow. 

This time, however, they have four solid Warlocks kicking around. I've personally played and enjoyed every single one of these casters. 

Depending on who you ask, the basis of the pairing is likely to be either a Kromac 2 list in the Call of the Wild theme or a Baldur 1 list in Bones of Orboros or The Devourer's host. 

Personally (this is probably not great guys, but I love this list), I'd be playing a Kromac 2 Storm Raptor build paired with a Tanith gunline in either Secret Masters or Bones of Orboros. 

Kromac 2
- Storm Raptor
- Feral Warpwolf
- Warpwolf Stalker

Blackclad Wayfarer x2
Wrong Eye and Snapjaw

Shifting Stones x2
Farrow Valkyries

Yep, that looks like a ton of fun still. Farrow Valkyries are a big deal for Circle. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: Medium-Low
Champions Prospects: Playable - Competitive

Skorne:

While most Skorne players would only say this has two Warlocks worth thinking about on it, Jalaam and Zaadesh 2 are strong enough that I think that's probably good enough. 

Unless you really, really, really want to play Winds of Death with Rasheth, I feel that Zaadesh double Animantarax paired with Jalaam double Animantarax sounds like a nightmare for most lists to handle in a Masters event, and almost impossible for some ADR rosters to handle period. 

Expect to see a lot of Skorne this year. The faction is very strong, incredibly deep, and very rewarding to play. If you aren't prepared for it, it'll take you down. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: Medium - High
Champions Prospects: Competitive

Legion of Everblight:

Legion is, like Circle, struggling a bit competitively if your name isn't JVM. 

Fortunately, they're going through a CID process in January, which means that they should have updated rules and new releases by Lock and Load, and if the Ogrun theme force becomes terrifying, Thagrosh 1 is the man to run it. It will almost feel like Mark II again. 

He's got a really good pairing here with Fyanna 2 or Rhyas I think. That's a pairing that would ask two very different questions. A bit of an ARM skew with Thags 1 and a massive DEF skew with Fyanna 2 or a swarm of weaponmaster infantry with Rhyas 1.

The PG who got me into the game has the most amazing Rhyas 1 list (as far as being fun to play), and if you have the models or the inclination to proxy, I highly recommend trying out "the Manny list"

Pick a theme that can play these models, and then add extras to taste:

Rhyas 1
- Scythean
- Scythean
- Scythean
- Scythean
- Seraph

Plop that down on the table and just enjoy the hilarity that comes from that many Scytheans under Rhyas' feat. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters; Medium
Champions Prospects: Playable - Competitive

Grymkin:

Grymkin is, like Convergence, a limited faction with six Warlocks. As a result, they can't help but have a great ADR. 

While losing the Dreamer hurts badly, Old Witch and the Wanderer benefit hugely from ADR and are a welcome addition to the roster. 

The pairing that I think most Grymkin players will instantly jump into is Old Witch/Heretic, with the Old Witch list in the Bump in the Night theme force (infantry) and the Heretic in Dark Menagerie (Warbeasts). 

The other two, while still very strong, don't cover quite the range of matchups that the Witch and Heretic do. 

Right now, I'm experimenting with Old Witch quite a bit, and my mainboard for her looks something like this:

Old Witch (Bump in the Night)
- Cage Rager
- Rattler
- Frightmare
- Gorehound

Longfellow
Eilish
Glimmer Imp

Neighslayers x2
Hollowmen and CA x2
Mad Caps x2

ADR is going to allow Grymkin players to board in Dread Rots, Twilight Sisters, and Murder Crows to adapt to the Scenario and opponents list with ease. This is a faction and an ADR roster worth watching - I think it's going to do great things in 2018. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: Extremely Likely
Champions Prospects: Competitive

Minions:

My co-host Bret thinks that Barnabas 1 with ADR can literally fight anything in the game, which is a pretty bold claim. I think most Minions players will be running Barnabas 1 or Jaga-Jaga as their "main" list, and often they will be pairing them together. 

One of the things I think is worth mentioning with the upcoming release of the Dracodile is the "Sturmodile" list that has been floating around. Here's my take on it:

Sturm and Drang (Will Work for Food)
- Targ
- War Hog
- Gun Boar
- Gun Boar

Wrong Eye
- Snapjaw
- Dracodile
Dahlia Hallyr
- Skareth
Efaarit Scout
Efaarit Scout
Totem Hunter

The idea is pretty simple - you put Polarity Shield on the Dracodile which makes it immune to charges, cast Deceleration to make it ARM 22 against shooting, and then have it cast it's own animus which makes everything within 5 inches of it into water terrain. 

Not much gets to that without the Dracodile getting the first hit, especially with Telekinesis. 

Minions is another interesting faction right now, with a lot of upcoming releases. While they aren't very common, they're very strong. 

ADR Likelihood for Masters: Medium - High
Champions Prospects: Playable - Competitive

Conclusion:

This is without a doubt the strongest ADR Season that Privateer Press has released. There are many, many factions that are going to be able to take casters they wanted to anyway and get free specialist points for doing so. 

Furthermore, the game is moving ever closer towards near-perfect balance, and as that gap closes, the viability of each caster goes up as player skill becomes more and more the reason why games are won and lost. 

I, for one, am extremely excited for this upcoming ADR season, how about you? What are your plans for the upcoming ADR season? Will you be playing with your roster? Will you be ignoring it completely? How come? Let us know what you're thinking!

As always, you can comment here or on Facebook if you wish, and I can be found on Twitter @LoS_Jaden. If you feel like donating (totally voluntary, I'm gonna keep writing stuff no matter what!) to the cause, you can find our Patreon page at patreon.com/loswarmachine.

Thanks very much for your time!