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Vergilius

List Breakdown-Latari Ranged

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198

Ventala Skirmishers [30] 2x2
Tempered Steel [3]
Hedge Shroud [2]
Total Unit Cost: 35

Deepwood Archers [30] 2x2
Tempered Steel [3]
Greenwatch Herald [3]
Rallying Starling [4]
Hunters Guile [4]
Total Unit Cost: 44

Prince Faolan [36] 1x1
Malcornes Bequest [6]
Etharyon of the Ailatar [5]
Total Unit Cost: 47

Aymhelin Scions [42] 2x2
Pathwalkers Amulet [3]
Fertile Soil [5]
Total Unit Cost: 50

Leonx Riders [18] 2x1
Rank Discipline [4]
Total Unit Cost: 22

 

 

This is still my favorite Latari list.  @Jukey played it against Church and put up a BatRep several months ago, so it isn't exactly a new list.

Range is a key theme, and I think something I've seen underdeveloped in the game, courtesy of it sometimes just not being very good, or even with Uthuk taking forever to get their Viper Legion.  Still, one of the most powerful benefits of ranged units is forcing the opponent to come up into your melee units.  When you've got a Scion as both melee and ranged, that makes it an extremely powerful unit.

I also built this list with an awareness of Uthuk.  Granted, I'm the only one in the area who plays Uthuk, but I always try to keep myself honest by asking what I would do against some of the big ideas that I like to try.  Here, I think Latari love Green runes, and several upgrades in the list are built to capitalize on Green runes.  You also have the option of rolling toward Green or Blue depending upon whether it would benefit your Ventala or Scions on a given turn.

What I like most if the flexibility of the list.  Everything synergizes well and is a pretty important tool.  You can pick and choose what order to deploy units based on your opponent's list.  You can set Ventala against units with Mortal Strikes that might threaten the Scions, or set the Ventala where they won't be overwhelmed by multiple attacks.

Key theme:  Green Rune control.

I don't think any faction does rune control better than Latari.  You don't see the Daqan upgrade as often, and it isn't quite as effective as being able to make the second reroll after seeing the results of the first.  This is definitely a very anti-red rune list, so it helps shut down so many Uthuk abilities that cue off of red runes.  Any Fire Rune strategy that hasn't brought its own Rune Manipulation is hurting.  But even if the opponent does have some kind of Rune manipulation, red is still considerably weakened, and you're still in a decent place to have some green on the table, and to be able to manipulate whether you want blue or not.  It does make contests where you both have rune manipulation really random, with an advantage to whoever rolls second.

Unit breakdown:

Scions/Ventala:  These have to be introduced together because they are the core to the list.  They are both ranged, but also effective blockers and melee units.  Ventala really want to be played with the idea that they are ranged to the point of engagement, but melee thereafter.  The dial incentivizes this kind of play, and Hedge Shroud also supports it.  Both units complement each other well, and they probably want to be near each other as the core of your line.  At that point, if the opponent goes after one, they other can likely pick up a flank die, and if the opponent has a couple of units moving across in a line, you've got a unit to hold up each of them.  The list also offers a lot of flexibility in the order of your deployment, and it is possibly to save both of these units until last.  This gives you a chance to see where the opponent has put some of their forces, and thus you can better mitigate any weaknesses, for example, by putting the Ventala opposite the Death Knights or anything with Mortal Strikes.  Or if you see your opponent can easily concentrate an area of the field down, you probably don't want the Ventala trying to block in that spot, as Hedge Shroud will become overwhelmed.   As both melee and ranged units, you almost force the opponent to come up and engage on your terms, as your three units together are likely to outshoot any light range, and are enough to chip away and destroy anything short of the really big 3x2 Archer trays.

Hedge Shroud/Tempered Steel:  Greenwatch Herald pretty much ensures that you can always trigger Hedge Shroud, and Rune manipulation is bound to allow you to pick up a second or third point of armor on one critical attack.  Rallying Starling resets whichever upgrade needs reset, and Faolan's starting Inspiration helps with the other, not to mention any other inspiration that you bank.  Since you're at the mercy of your surge icons whether you can trigger Tempered, I find that having two exhaust upgrades is not a problem.

Pathwalker's/Fertile Soil:  Scions might be the best spot for Pathwalkers.  First, you can pretty much always discard it to save one health.  In some rare circumstances, you can discard it with 3 Green runes to save your 2 armor Scions 2 health on a 6 damage attack, but the you're really just counting on the one damage.  That damage can be the difference between losing a tray or not, which impacts how effective your unit is, whether you get rerolls at all or simply a single die.  That's huge by itself.  Beyond that, the upgrade combo simply serves to keep your Scions up and fighting for as long as possible.  Pathwalker's might be the difference between whether Fertile Soil triggers or not, which means at the end of a round, it might have effectively saved you two damage.  You've already got a surge ability, so taking Tempered for more damage interferes with that.  And even if you don't like Fertile Soil, saving a single damage with Pathwalker's is still a pretty good buy.  I see this as more of a "when you need it, its gold."  You might not have your Scions attacked in one game, but in another game, the damage prevention is clutch.

Deepword Archers:  Greenwatch Herald pretty much ensures that you have access to overgrowth when you need it.  The reroll is also deceptive.  Yes, it is an exhaust and you might only get the one reroll.  On the other hand, you're rerolling precisely because you didn't get the damage that you wanted, but you really want that damage, so you're effectively aiming to create 2 more damage out of that reroll, so solid.  Rallying Starling is another key upgrade.  There are enough bane lists out there that I find it useful to have bane removal.  This list has enough exhaust cards that the Rallying Starling becomes doubly useful.  The redundancy is helpful to keep everyone at peak efficiency.  And if it costs you the surge modifier, that's ok, you're still rolling blue dice and will probably have a critical moment to trigger TS.  Hunter's Guile:  I admit that I don't like this upgrade, but it has a key benefit here:  it is reducing variance in the archer attack by substituting a white die for a less reliable blue one.  It isn't just about higher average damage, but the fact that it allows you to do 4 or 6 damage more frequently and reliably, and against key targets, that's the difference between damage and no damage.

Prince Faolan:  He's mostly here to hang back and trigger his abilities.  I have played plenty of games where he either engaged late or not at all.  He makes a good early deployment since his one tray footprint doesn't interfere much with where other units go, especially ones that want to come forward.   And naturally, his readjustment of position can make a huge impact on how you set your dials, since you can shift your Scions/Ventala/Archers into range where they might just make an attack, or shift them to where they win the charge.  You've got a lot of options.

Leonx:  This is one of the most cost effective tray formations in the game.  I saved them for last because I had in my mind Hammer and Anvil tactics.  The Ventala/Scions act like a wall.  The Leonx can often be held back and can only strike when the opponent has left a clear flank.  An extra die makes these guys very happy.  The key is to be patient with them.  They are cheap enough that the opponent really wants to ignore them, but dangerous enough that if left unchecked, they can absolutely wreck a force's day.  I find that they make a good first deployment, since they can reposition and travel at speed to get to where they need to be.  So the opponent sees very little of your plan based on where they go.

 

Echelon's and refused flanks work very well with this army composition.  The ranged makes it flexible enough that if you have any room at all to deny contact, you can just end up chewing stuff to pieces with your ranged.

 

I could see a few variations of the list, but I'm find that amounts to pulling upgrades in order to add 2 trays somewhere, and that the net effect is that one unit is slightly more consistent while another unit becomes slightly less so.

 

Thoughts?

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I call this, “A Little Bit of Everything...” since that what it feels like.  Incredibly well thought out.  

Our Latari player doesn’t like the whole Overgrowth mechanic as he feels it restricts his entire game.  I’m the opposite.  With the ability to cover one piece of terrain and the token from Greenwatch, it seems like you’ll trigger this most of the game.  I also love your analysis of the white/blue die output.  I have a variant of this list which uses Prince F embedded to give the unit two white dice.  I end up with 4 units though, so I’m not sure if I really feel that confident in it’s ability to handle a diverse threat...

... and that’s the point.  This list is (like your other list) very flexible and able to react to just about anything.  Clearly a good list to bring to a tournament where you’re potentially facing a range of threats.

I want Fertile Soil to be a good card, but I just never seem to get it to work well for me.  It always seems like when I get 2 or more Green, I’m at 1 Blue making them weak enough to die.  I’m guessing that with Pathwalkers, you might be able to solve this problem.  Regardless, I love the idea of a 2x2 block of trees making its way through the battlefield..,

The only suggestion I could make would be to drop Fertile Soil and replace it with Metered March on both the Leonx and the Ventala (putting the other point into bid).  I’m constantly amazed at how useful this card is.  Combined with EotA, you could probably manipulate the range to whatever condition you’re looking to achieve.  

At the same time, if you can get Fertile Soil to work, that should give your trees more slugging power to face off with a Thresher-star, so there’s certainly pros/cons to each...

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This was a fun list, and I the moment I discovered how much fun 2x1 rank cats are.

Church and I were recently talking about just how much rune control Latari have.  They can easily focus the runes towards natural or unstable depending on if they are an overgrowth build or a fire rune double tap build.

The build above is very much a jack of all trades, but leans towards the overgrowth build side.

The 2x2 scion is an interesting unit, though I have had trouble getting it to reach its potential often.  It provides solid ranged support, since it throws reanimate archer damage, with precision.  This makes opponents want to close in on it quickly, but it packs a wallop of damage output in melee as well.  I find it does great against msu but gets torn up by large cav and infantry units.

Deepwoods continue to form the backbone of latari builds.  They have great flexibility for build styles, going from light damage dealers run naked, or mobile fire flingers. In larger sizes the rally battery does wonders for an exhaust heavy build, and the 3x2 is great in any build style.

Like @sarumanthewhite said, overgrow can restrict your build if you are trying to get other strategies into the build.  I find it's really all or nothing for overgrow.  Either I run everything with hedge, or other overgrow related stuff, or ignore it and build for damage output, trying to drop units before they can cross the range band into melee. 

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Good thoughts, and thanks!

Like a lot of defensive cards in other FFG games, I find that they only make a difference every third game.  In one game, you mow over your opponent and he never attacks the Scions.  In another game, it just doesn't fit the runes all that well.  Where it might be best is if you're play the 2x1 Scions as blockers and armoring up frequently.  That's where Pathwalker's/Fertile can really extend the life of that blocker.  The extra point of armor seems to make a huge difference.  But that's also true of the 2x2 if it gets knocked down to a 2x1.  In some cases, it might just be better off with clearing banes and armoring up at I-3.

 

Let's see, large Cav:  Death Knights, you definitely start aiming to get your Ventala to match-up against them.  Some of that depends upon the early placement.  For example, Church's two 2x3 Death Knights list with DR from a while back would pose a lot of problems, but it does that for a lot of lists.  Beyond that, I haven't seen large blocks of Oathsworn in a while.  The one question in both cases is how much your opening range is able to chip down on targets before the point of engagement.  Chipping from 2x3 to 2x2 can be pretty potent, since you might just remove their column tactics.  What I'm seeing out of large infantry blocks is that they tend to suffer from getting chipped out at range.  And there's often the chance for Faolan or the Leonx to flank once something hits.  Much of this depends upon the coil.  You have to get trapped in a position of:

1.  I either charge ahead or I get out-ranged and thus lose.

2.  If I charge one unit, I get flanked by something else.

 

Also, I built this list with the idea of maximizing health.  So the base of the list is 82.  But that doesn't count Pathwalker's, Fertile Soil, Hedge Shroud or the effect of rerolling in favor of Green/Blue runes.  A basic evaluation might give the Ventala credit for 8-16 additional health from Hedge, while the Scions pick up at least 8.  The maximum to health from all of these is over 40.  In any event, you're mostly dealing with between 100-120 health on the unit, which puts it on par with some of the Uthuk builds that Church has put on the table in the past.

 

DR on a high damage unit is probably its biggest weakness: less time for either hedge or Fertile to trigger, along with the possibility of pulling one of the two 4 tray centerpieces off the table.

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82 hp in a latari army is actually quite a lot.  I generally average low 70s.  

The biggest hurtle I find with latari range heavy lists, is getting over the Armor 3 threshold.  Deepwoods do great against infantry and armor 2 units, but start losing a lot of damage output against armor 3. 

This can be mitigated by TS, but doesn't always work out.  Due to the fact that most of the desirable unit sizes are threat 2, they start either bouncing, or losing 1 damage when hitting 3 armor.  I can see how hunters guile helps with this, and I've had some success with it in the past.  

Meagan can help bypass the damage threshold as well, due to adding her lethal=natural ability, but she really thrives in the ventala 2x2.

The scion 2x2 might actually perform best when held as more of a reserve unit, rather than a vanguard.  This allows it more chances of throwing stuns, and if you have Raven taberds on it, and are flipping towards green anyway, you can get some great counter charges at i2.

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