Warmachine Hordes: Grymkin Arcana Review, Part 3

Uncertainty is the most stressful feeling.

With the release of the Grymkin faction Privateer Press also brought in a brand new mechanic, Arcana. I broke up the 10 general Arcana into two blog articles, be sure to read them to learn about the basics of Arcana and how to play around them. Today I thought we'd wrap up our Arcana review by covering the Trumps, or unique Arcana of our Defilers. I'll go over how to use, and play against each one. I did want to take a second and speak generally about trumps though. Don't weigh them on the same scale as feats. Access to Arcana is the "feat", and trumps just provide a slightly unique feel. Rarely is the trump what you build an army around. Where with feats I commonly see people build around them. With that in mind, here we go!


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  • Trigger: The Warlock can play this card when an enemy model damages a model in the warlock's battlegroup with an attack.
  • Benefit: For one round the FURY stats of models in the warlock's battlegroup currently in its control range are increased by 1.

This Arcana belongs to the Child. While she isn't my favorite caster, this is one of my favorite trumps. It's incredibly easy to proc. Could they go a whole game without attacking someone in your battlegroup? Yes...but I don't think they'd win. Also when don't you want to use it? The Child and her battlegroup gain a FURY stat increase. Thats never a bad thing.

It's worth noting that this is an aura. Also it only lasts a round. So be sure to have models within your normal control range when this drops, or you're going to have a rough time. In a few games I've always offered the free strike to my enemy early in turns, hoping I can get that FURY bump on my turn!   

There isn't a lot of advice for playing into this Arcana. Ideally you want them to trigger it early, then you want to mitigate how many beasts they can send into your lines. When going for an assassination run keep this one in mind too. The first time you damage the Child she's going to go up in arm due to Outrage. She'll also have the option to pop Trump, which could open up transfer targets that previously weren't there.

Divergent Path

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  • Trigger: The Warlock can play this card when he is damaged by an enemy attack.
  • Benefit: The warlock can transfer the damage from this attack without spending a fury point. After the attack is resolved, the warlock can be placed in the location of any of his road markers.

This Arcana is one of the pieces that makes the Wanderer one of the hardest to kill Warlocks in the game. He gets a free transfer, and a teleport to a road marker. 

When playing into this Arcana always have something threatening the assassination. People tend to play the Wanderer forward, and loose. Holding that "card" forces your opponent to sit on other Arcanas so they can ensure they can pop Divergent Path if you make a run.. Also mitigation of teleportation locations by "touching" road markers can make this one much less appealing. 

As a side note it's important to remember that being knocked down or stationary does not prevent a model from using an Arcana. Be very careful when planing assassination runs on the Wanderer.


All Fall Down

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  • Trigger: The Warlock can play this card when a friendly faction model is disabled by an enemy attack while in the warlock's control range.
  • Benefit: When an enemy model destroys or RFP's a friendly faction model from play with an attack during it's activation, at the end of it's activation the enemy model becomes knocked down.

No one plays the Dreamer because of her Trump. But it's solid, and really gets mileage in Bump. Note that the trigger model has to be in control but the Trump then effects the board. Also the knock down triggers on destroys/RFP but doesn't happen till end of activation. So multi attack models can do work before they are knocked down. It also works on ranged attacks and magic attacks. Who doesn't love knocking Denny down when she venoms something to death?

When playing into this, be mindful of whats going to get knocked down. Ensure that models that need to engage still are, and models that need to block LOS aren't on their backsides. If you see a Dreamer bump list I'm not sure you can drop another infantry heavy list into it, unless you have ways to mitigate the knock down. 


Taste of Ashes

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  • Trigger: The Warlock can play this card when a warbeast in it's battlegroup is disabled by an enemy attack while in the warlock's control range.
  • Benefit: When an enemy model disables a warbeast in the warlock's battle group, it and d3 closest enemy models suffer d3 points of magical damage. 

The King's! I'll start by saying this trump isn't worth building around. We have some damn good lights, but getting them killed to explode infantry isn't worth it. Be mindful of clock with this trump. Measuring the closest models and rolling that many d3's can eat a lot of it. I like blocking lanes with crabbits (who doesn't) and having them explode as people clear charge lanes. Gorehounds are another cheap reasonably hard to kill model that goes well with this one. Charge, kill a model, spring behind and engage the unit. Next turn the unit turns around to deal with the hound and 1+d3 models die if they succeed. 

It was also ruled that the model that triggers this Trump, does in fact take the damage from it as well.

SPACING! When playing against this keep your spacing in mind! Don't give the king free damage/kills on support models that were too close to the fray!


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  • Trigger: The Warlock can play this card when a friendly faction warrior model is destroyed or RFP'd by an enemy attack while in the warlock's control range.
  • Benefit: Friendly Faction models gain +2 to hit and damage against the attacking enemy model/unit. When the enemy model/unit is destroyed, chose another. 

The Heretics feat is used in Math Machine more than anything else I can think of. It's incredible when used properly. You basically have two options. Pop this trump on a model thats going to die, so you can roll it around and get the maximum benefit. Or pop this on a model you really need the def/arm swing on to bring it down (colossal, caster etc). If you're planning on spreading the Reckoning around be sure it's on a model that will die. Not might die, not a model you think you could kill, but a model you know will die on your turn. You'll want this to roll around for maximum impact. When you select the new model/unit there is no range restriction!

When playing against it be mindful of what you're going to have attacked when it's popped. Remember they can only trigger this on Friendly Faction Warrior models being destroyed or RFP'd. So is that Gremlin swarm a must kill? Specifically against DM Heretic try to only give him the option to pop this when he's already running hot on Fury, or when you know most beasts will be tied up. If you're running infantry units, be sure to keep 1 or two models WAY back so they can't roll the Reckoning to other units. The say way we deny/mitigate prey we want to do with the Reckoning.



Well there you go, I've now covered all the Arcana. I love the system, and really enjoying playing with them. What are your favorites? If I had to rank them I'd go,

  • Wrath
  • Reckoning
  • Divergent Path
  • Taste of Ashes
  • All Fall Down

What are you guys thoughts? Am I crazy for putting them in that order? As always please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I'm trying to my follower count up, and if I can get there give away some sweet prizes! Also what do you guys want to know about? I know I'm going to continue my journey with the Old Witch, and I'm getting ready to hit some national events in 2018. Lately as far as my gaming i've been speculating about our new ADR, and hopeful a few casters I love stay in.