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Field Guide: Up From The Ashes

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The Retribution of Scyrah is the combined arms faction of Warmachine. No where is this more apparent that in the Phoenix, the first of our 10 point heavy myrmidons. Although this guy makes it into almost every list that doesn’t include the big guy, I cannot claim to be an expert on how to use him so this article is an much for my benefit as anyone else’s.

phoenixBasics

Apart from gaining two additional boxes, the Phoenix shares the same stats as the other House Shyeel heavies. Its defensive stats are distinctly on the flimsy side, with defence 12 and armour 18. Thankfully they have shields because the Shyeel damage grid is frankly appalling. Not a good start.

The Phoenix does have one advantage over its counterparts in that its shield automatically regenerates D6 points every turn. This is really nice, however it should be noted if you lose the shield generator, this ability (and the gun disappears).

The MAT and RAT are very average so we look at Cygnar jacks with a degree of jealously. This said, a movement of six on a heavy is very credible putting the chassis on par with the faster heavies in the game.

So, to start with we have a chassis that is quite quick but otherwise unspectacular. This is not the reason one of our Cyrx players moans about this machine.

Fire Starter

The biggest strength of the Phoenix is its flexibility. It can do everything, although not necessarily well.

To start with, it has a big flaming sword. Until the Hyperion was released, this was the hardest hitting weapon in the faction, becoming a very nice power 19 if there is an Arcanist nearby. And if that wasn’t enough, it also sets stuff on fire. And it has Reach. And it is Magical. So the Phoenix can (in theory) hit pretty hard.

The opposite hand is an open fist giving us access to a range of power attacks if necessary. This is something I need to remember more often if you want a weapon lock or to throw something.

Then we come to the Halo Cannon. First thing to note is that it is a magical weapon with AOE 3 (well, why not). Incorporeal infantry beware. The second thing to note that is fire based, and has critical continuous effect. This is a double edged sword because there is a fair amount of stuff immune to fire in the game, and on the other hand, setting things on fire is fun.

Although its range is disappointing (it is only range 10), the Halo Cannon does pack a fair punch, equalling the Banshee’s main gun, and POW 7 blast damage will make a mess of most light infantry.

Boom

However, the Phoenix’s fourth weapon system is possibly the most intriguing for clearing out infantry. The Combustion special attack causes a POW 12 to every model within 2″, and then sets them on Fire. Of course, for something is immune to Fire, this does not work, but in many scenarios it is impossible for single wound infantry to lock the Phoenix in melee. Very handy considering it has an Arc Node.

Unfortunately this special attack is not attached to a weapon system, so the Phoenix cannot charge and set it off. On the plus side it is also not field dependent, so the Phoenix always has this available.

Jack of all Trades

Just to recap, this myrmidon is quite quick, it can engage heavies, it has access to all but one of the power attacks, it can deal with high-defence and even stealth infantry, it set set stuff on fire (very useful for shield walls), it can automatically regenerate damage to its shield, and, it this was not enough, it also has an Arc Node.

it is a bad idea to throw away a heavy to cast a spell

Unfortunately this huge flexibility makes it a very high priority target on the battlefield and with its defensive stats, it is not hard to deal with. The Arc Node can also often be a bit of a trap because to use it effectively, the Phoenix needs to be up field, and it is a bad idea to throw away a heavy to cast a spell (I know because I do this often).

Synergies

The Phoenix is normally the first myrmidon I reach for when using either Kaelyssa or Rahn. For four more points than the Chimera the Phoenix adds some significant punch and a decent amount of durability.

Running Kaelyssa, she needs the Arc Node for casting Rifts and Backlash (especially Backlash). Defensively, Witchhound almost never goes off, but is nice to have; but importantly her feat prevents charges almost guaranteeing the Phoenix hits first.

Rahn loves the Phoenix. So much so, there is a very good argument for including two in any Rahn list (which is why I am building a second one). Just like Kaelyssa, the big draw is the Arc Node. With three nice offensive spells on his card and the focus to use them, any additional angles are great.

In addition to this, Telekinesis can also grant the Phoenix an effective MAT/RAT bonus, and Focus Blast can un-engage the heavy or setup very juicy Halo Cannon or Combustion targets.

Beyond these casters, Arcanists are obviously an auto-include, and Invictors really like the Phoenix’s large melee range to trigger their Flank ability. And finally, Houseguard Halberdiers, with the Unit Attachment and the new Thane, make a very respectable and very fast screen for any of our heavy myrmidons to follow behind.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on one of our finest war machines. I just have to remember all the things it does! And build the second one…

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