Warmachine and Hordes Journeyman League Progression Guide: Cryx

It's been a while guys! I got well into the Journeyman League Progression Guides, and then the reality of planning a wedding and being in school full time hit and my writing stalled out. 

Things are slowly evening out again though, and I thought it would be a good time to get into some more guides with the Nightmare Empire of Cryx!

Here again is the progression of the Journeyman League, remember that you must keep the same models in your list from the week before if you are following the official rules. 

Week 1: Zero points total, you must use your factions battlebox or equivalent. No themes allowed.
Week 2: 15 points, battlegroup models only, no themes. 
Week 3: 30 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. 
Week 4: 45 points, battlegroup, units, and solos allowed, theme forces allowed. Caster Swap (optional)
Week 5: 60 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 
Week 5: 75 points, battlegroup, units, solos, and battle engines allowed. Theme forces allowed. 

With all that in mind again, let's get going!

Week One:

Cryx actually has a really strong week one battlebox. Most of the other boxes don't have a good threat extension spell or animus, so your speed six Slayer is actually one of the highest threat-range melee heavies in the set. 

Furthermore, the Reaper has a range 8 gun with drag on it, which can dramatically skew games in your favor. 

One of my favorite things that I've seen for Cryx Journeyman League tactics is to load up the Slayer, giving the Reaper one focus, and then using the Deathripper to arc Parasite into an enemy heavy before popping Agathia's feat. 

The Reaper yanks the offending heavy in and whacks it before placing itself 3 inches farther away from the next biggest threat, and then the Slayer walks up and murders the heavy before placing 3 inches farther away from the other big threat. 

Agathia herself is actually pretty good at closing out games at MAT 7 and effective PS 14, and thanks to Vanish she has a 15 inch non-linear threat range. 

Bane Witch Agathia
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Deathripper

Week Two:

Week two is really awkward for the Cryx box, as the best budget jack, the Slayer, clocks in at five points under and that makes your list illegal. 

Ultimately, I recommend getting a Seether/Inflictor kit and magnetizing it. I am looking ahead to two different theme forces - Dark Host and Black Industries - and depending on which you want to go into I'm going to recommend different 'jacks.

The Dark Host list I'm recommending an Inflictor since I'm going to run it with Skarre 1 who occasionally wants a shield guard, and the Black Industries list I'm looking at the Seether since Carapace makes him really hard to shoot down. 

Future Black Industries:

Bane Witch Agathia
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Seether
- Deathripper

Future Dark Host:

Bane Witch Agathia
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Inflictor
- Deathripper

Week Three:

Week three is always a little awkward for any theme force that isn't the battlegroup heavy theme. You don't get any free cards and you often don't get to take advantage of your theme benefits yet. 

That's okay! It's a set up for next week, and those who laughed at your list now will be crushed under the IRON FIST OF ALL THE BANES!!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH......

Hmm hmm. Sorry. I don't know what came over me there. Cryx was my first faction and occasionally I can't help it, the Lich comes out. 

Black Industries:

Right off the bat we get to enjoy the benefits of playing in a warjack theme by getting at least one free card.

What this allows us to do is right away slam Deathjack into the list. Deathjack is one of the hardest hitting Helljacks in the Cryx arsenal, with two free focus a turn and the ability to have up to 5 focus on him at a time. He's got Advanced Deployment, Snacking, and the ability to cast non-upkeep spells on your casters card. This is going to be huge later when we swap over to Deneghra 2. 

How do we add Deathjack in right now? Well we were already playing two points down from last week, which means we have seventeen points to play with. If we add Deathjack to the list and make the Deathripper free, we end up at exactly 30 points on the nose. 

Bane Witch Agathia
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Seether
- Deathjack
- Deathripper (free)

 

 

Dark Host:

For this week, we're going to add a minimum unit of Bane Warriors and a Command Attachment. 

But wait, why a minimum unit? It's pretty simple - By going with a minimum unit, you only lose one attack (the standard has one and the officer has two!), and you gain the utility of tough, rise, and a mini-feat that brings back d3+1 of your dead models to the fight. 

Considering that 3-4 Bane Warriors is all that you really need to kill an average heavy, that's a big swing in the late game. 

Also, later you can make the attachment free and suddenly have five extra points when you need them. 

Bane Witch Agathia
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Inflictor
- Deathripper

Bane Warriors (min)
- Officer and Standard
 

Week Four:

Our Dark Host list is going to finally start getting free models, and playing 2 points down the last couple weeks will make sense because Skarre 1 has one less Warjack Point less than Agathia. 

Our Black Industries list will also be picking up some more support, and a caster swap into Deneghra 2 to spice things up a bit. 

Black Industries: 

We've got a crazy strong core of Warjacks already, and with Deneghra 2 you also get to start casting Damnation at things to make their threat ranges truly ridiculous. Deneghra also brings a very strong feat and the ability to throw multiple Hellmouths a turn out thanks to Deathjack's Necromancy ability (for a quick look at how insane double Hellmouth can be, check out this video I posted last year).

For some additional accuracy and excellent repairs, I'm recommending a unit of Black Ogrun Ironmongers this week. Curse is an incredibly powerful tool, making your Jacks effectively MAT 9 and 10. They're also 5 box tough models with effective weaponmaster against constructs and repair, all for the bargain of six points. 

We're going to rejigger the free models a bit by adding two Nightwretches to the list and then making them both free, leaving us two points under for next week. Nightwretches are fantastic, fast arc nodes with a pretty good gun attached. 


Deneghra 2
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Seether
- Deathjack
- Deathripper
- Nightwretch (free) x2

Black Ogrun Ironmongers

Dark Host:

With the swap over to Skarre 1, let's look ahead at the coming weeks. Next week in week five, I'd like to add a Wraith Engine to the list to increase your resilience to ranged attacks. The Wraith Engine is one of the best models in Cryx right now and should not be underestimated. It also clocks in at a nice even fifteen points, so it's really easy to add to the list. 

This week, I will recommend adding a unit of Bane Riders. This will give you enough points to make your Bane Warriors Officer and Standard free, and you'll still be one point under. With Vengeance, Ghostly, and Brutal Charge innately and Prowl added by the theme force, these guys are incredibly easy to deliver and will kill basically anything under Skarre's feat. 

Bane Riders are cavalry models, which means they have quite a few special rules. I recommend reading up on them in the digital version of Prime (pg 75) before playing with them, and asking a local veteran to help you through using them the first couple of times. 

Skarre 1
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Inflictor
- Deathripper

Bane Warriors (min)
- Officer and Standard (free)
Bane Riders (max)

Week Five:

In week five, our Dark Host list picks up a Wraith Engine and a Skarlock thrall for free to cast Ritual Sacrifice with. The list we're building here is a touch awkward compared to a totally optimized Skarre 1 list since normally your battlegroup would be something like two Stalkers and two Deathrippers, and you would have enough extra points for Darragh Wrathe and Scrap Thralls. Unfortunately, with the week two constraints, this isn't possible, so we are making do. 

On the Black Industries side, the gravy train continues with the addition of a Stalker Warjack and two Warwitch Sirens. These guys add a lot of utility to the list, diversifying your threats and answers. 

Black Industries:

The Stalker is one of the premier assassination pieces in the game, and with two potential Hellmouths a turn to move things around, this little blighter can walk, jump, and eviscerate casters from farther away then most people would expect. 

With extended control range, pathfinder, and advance deployment, these guys can go harry distant parts of the table, pick off solos, and apply grievous wounds to enemy warbeasts to prevent their aspects from being healed should one of your heavies fail to kill it. 

With Curse from the Ironmongers they're also MAT 9, which is pretty dang impressive. 

Good luck building them, they're tricky little buggers. 

Deneghra 2
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Seether
- Deathjack
- Deathripper
- Nightwretch (free) 
- Nightwretch (free)
- Stalker
- Stalker

Black Ogrun Ironmongers

 

Dark Host:

The Wraith Engine makes your army even more resilient to guns than it already is, and on Skarre's feat turn it's pretty capable of one rounding most heavies. It also gives you a fantastic scenario piece thanks to incorporeal. Remember that incorporeal models do not block Line of Sight, so if you've got Skarre hiding right behind the Wraith Engine your opponent can still shoot at you. 

This also means though that you can run it up to apply Dark Shroud and then charge Banes through it as well. 

I'd also pick up a couple of Machine Wraiths, since you may be able to proc Soul Bondage a couple times and get free generated Wraiths out of it!

Skarre 1
- Skarlock Thrall (free)
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Inflictor
- Deathripper

Wraith Engine

Bane Warriors (min)
- Officer and Standard (free)
Bane Riders (max)
 

Week Six:

It's the last week! Our lists are potent, practiced, possibly painted, and primed for action. 

Our Dark Host list will pick up a few supporting models and call it good this week, and our Black Industries list will pick up one more heavy, Deneghra's personal Helljack Nightmare, and a Warwitch Siren for focus support. 

Black Industries:

We're going to manipulate the theme force benefits once more, cramming Nightmare into the list and making the Deathripper free. This also leaves us four extra points. 

You've probably noticed this by now, but Deneghra really likes to spend a lot of focus every turn, and sometimes it doesn't feel like she has enough to go around. 

Warwitch Sirens with the Empower *Action can hand out a focus each every single turn, as well as providing excellent anti-infantry sprays and shadow bind on their weapons. 

Deneghra 2
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Seether
- Deathjack
- Nightmare
- Deathripper (free)
- Nightwretch (free) 
- Nightwretch (free)
- Stalker
- Stalker

Warwitch Siren

Black Ogrun Ironmongers

Dark Host:

We're going to add Darragh Wrathe to the list, as well as maxing out our unit of Bane Warriors for a final push of insane armor cracking. 

Darragh Wrathe is a resilient, very fast model who can increase the threat ranges of your Banes and Wraith Engine thanks to Death Ride and increase the survivability of all of your models with Beyond DeathHellfire brings some excellent offensive potential as well. 

Skarre 1
- Skarlock Thrall (free)
- Slayer
- Reaper
- Inflictor
- Deathripper

Wraith Engine

Darragh Wrathe

Bane Warriors (max)
- Officer and Standard (free)
Bane Riders (max)


 

Conclusion:

This was actually a ton of fun to write, and I hope that one (or both!) of these lists serve you well. Cryx has a ton of options, and these are just my opinions on what two good options to grow out of the battlebox are. 

As always, once again, these are following the official JML rules. If your event organizer is using different weekly growth points, this may not work for you. 

Thanks so much for reading! If you've got any ideas or questions, please feel free to ask. I love talking about all of the aspects of the game and I'm excited to see what the community comes up with!