|Death awaits those who defy me.|
Now that I have my two lists for dual-list SR2014, let's talk about matchups and what to expect. Let's take a look here really quick and see what caster I plan on dropping vs. any given matchup. The main thing to take away from this is that you'll know one thing and one thing only: Which faction you're going to play against and that's it. You have to use your knowledge of the faction, which casters are the most powerful, and which ones you'll be expecting in your meta. Keep in mind that your local meta can be something very different when competing on a national-level.
With that being said, let's go straight into it. Here are the casters that I plan on dropping without knowing what's in my local meta. I've been out of the tournament scene for a while and there's a few more players around here, but I've done my research, I still remember a ton of stuff and this should be a pretty good place to start.
Cryx - eMakeda
Cygnar - pMakeda
Khador - eMakeda
Protectorate of Menoth - eMakeda
Retribution of Scryah - pMakeda
Covergence of Cyriss - pMakeda
Mercenaries - eMakeda
Circle Oroboros - pMakeda
Legion of Everblight - pMakeda
Skorne - eMakeda
Trollbloods - eMakeda
Minions - eMakeda
The total count for this comes out to: 7 for eMakeda and 5 for pMakeda out of the 12 factions presented in the game, including the Skorne mirror.
Now, let me go over my thought process of when and why I plan on playing specific versions of Makeda. The biggest difference between the two casters is that while they both offer me threat, mobility and accuracy, pMakeda plays a solid attrition game and eMakeda gives me the assassination.
When I think about Cryx, I immediately think about how amazing their warcasters are. The major tournament casters that stand out to me are both versions of Deneghra, eGaspy and eSkarre. While Mortenbra can make an appearance, I think I'm satisfied with going with eMakeda in this matchup. I have enough infantry in my lists to threaten the infantry-heaven playstyle that is Cryx, and I always want to put the threat of assassination in their minds with Molik Karn. This typically allows me to run the tempo of the game and takes it slightly away from the otherwise aggressive nature that is Cryx. Immunity to Free Strikes on Feat turn also allows me to go exactly where I want with my infantry and get he most out of my attacks. Swords will be forcing a lot of Tough checks on Thralls and any blast damage my way will only give them additional threat. I expect the games to be quick and bloody.
This is my first love so I know them like the back of my hand. Unfortunately, this also means I know all too well about eHaley, eCaine, Siege and eStryker; the Elite 4 of the Cygnar army. This is why I plan on taking pMakeda for this faction matchup. While she only seriously suffers at the hand of Siege, my Cetrati brick is a handful for the likes of eCaine and eHaley even if they plink off Defender's Ward with eEiryss. Siege is the one guy who poses a serious threat on Breach turn, but keeping guys in cascading order and predicting it ahead of time so you can feat first will save a lot of your units. eStryker can be out-played if you're careful for his assassination run, and the sheer number of beasts that you have will cause any of them trouble. No Stormwall list likes to see 3 heavy beasts across the table from them, especially when they can threaten exceptionally long ranges due to Savagery while being protected by the Krea's aura.
I think my drop vs. Khador will be eMakeda. Her Praetorian Swordsman outright hard counters Black Dragons and a lot of lists these days like to run 1-2 units of them. I'm expecting to see eSorcha, Irusk, Butcher3 with maybe some Old Witch in this matchup. Butcher3 is a really strong caster in the tournament scene right now because it answers a lot of Tough and medium bases, so I need a warlock that can threaten him with death at all times. Since eScorcha, Irusk and B3 likes to play aggressively, I want to counter their tempo by threatening them with my leashed MK at all times. This forces them to play more passively and allows me to alpha strike the majority of their army because I'm faster. When it comes down to Khador, it's about heavy armor and jamming IFP in my face. As eMakeda, I simply don't care about such things and I have the exact tools to punish everything that's dropped on the table, including the hyper mobile Old Witch because Karn can out-threat her in most cases.
The casters I will see here is Harbinger, Severius and Kreoss. Maybe I will see the oddball eFeora or Kreoss3, but I'm mainly preparing my list against Harby. I thought long and hard about which caster I would rather drop here and I think eMakeda would be the better choice. While I can be all gun-ho and rush my caster forward with Leash, both Severius and Kreoss punishes that playstyle pretty hard. At the same time, they want to be closer to me to use their Feat and thankfully, that's MK territory if I get in some Side-Steps. This really leaves me with Harby and her area denial, which I'm more than sitting still for a turn so I don't lose everything to fire. No matter what, Harby will be a difficult setup with eMakeda but I'm in a good position to fight everything else in her list. My Warbeasts will be able to answer the warjacks, my infantry will force martyrs or death against her infantry, and being a larger model makes her a prime target to get MK sling-shotted in her face.
For this matchup, I'll be dropping pMakeda. There is quite a bit of shooting going on in this army, so I'm expecting to take a good amount of losses. Fortunately for me, I'll be able to apply a good amount of pressure while keeping my caster safe from assassination hopefully. I'm thinking that Rahn, Ravyn and Kaelyssa will be the best casters although I've heard crazy things about their new spellcaster. For now, I'll concentrate on these three and prepare the best I can. While MHSF will be able to shoot through my defenses, a lot of the other ranged options cannot. I'm just going to have to anticipate the big turn and prepare to receive damage. My most dangerous matchup here is Rahn since he can drag the majority of my army cross the field and deal with them individually, but that's why I have to barrel forward and kill as much of the army as I can.
I've only played this army once so far, but I did some research on a few casters after the game and I think Father Lucant, Aurora and Syntherion. Axis also caught my eye and he's looking pretty damn good, but I don't think he'll be as popular as the other three. Regardless, one of the things that I learned from my first game is that their jacks are very good for the cost. They also have a huge amount of multi-wound, high-armor models that Skorne doesn't really like to fight. For that reason, I think pMakeda will be the better drop here because of Cetrati and Savagery moving a lot of my beasts forward. Being able to take down these walls and choosing indirect methods of movement will be my best friend here, especially if the goal is to play attrition. I don't have much else to say about the matchup here because I just haven't had too much experience playing against them, but this is one of those matchups that either one might work. Time will tell.
I feel good playing eMakeda here because I'll be able to chew through the majority of high-armored dwarves and bully their casters with MK. While some shooting lists look pretty scary on paper, I'm not too scared because I'll have my Krea, move very aggressively with my army, and threaten their scariest jacks with my better warbeasts. As long as I don't bunch my guys up and play it smart, I'll be able to get into a good position to alpha while threatening their casters with MK death as well.
I've thought long and hard about this matchup and there's really not much to say. Goatvana is probably one of the hardest counters to Skorne because I don't think any army is designed to play attrition that well. eKrueger and Kromac are really good casters and I out-range eKaya so I don't really care. pMakeda will be running point in this matchup and I'm thinking about playing the attrition war. The key here is to kill as much as possible as a form of attrition and force her the Goat-woman to low health so everything is more threatening. eKrueger will be annoying because of his Feat, but it can be anticipated. Kromac will be able to chew through a lot of infantry with his Stalker, but the fact that I have pMakeda ready to send Tibbers into him or any of his warbeasts will be enough deterrence. Honestly though, the Goat will be the most difficult game, followed by the Stormlord.
When I think Legion, I think of Saeryn, both Vayls and eLylyth. I really enjoyed Abby when I was experimenting with the faction, but it's pretty clear to me who the upper tier casters are. eThagrosh also pops up some here and there, but I think Saeyrn and Vayl will be the warlocks to take down. To prepare for this matchup, I decided to drop pMakeda because of Tibbers and her security vs. eLylyth and other shooting elements of the Legion army. With Defender's Ward and Krea's aura, my Cetrati will feel pretty comfortable with their place on the battlefield and early deaths can be made up with Makeda's Feat. The only other challenge here is if my 3-beast trifecta can tango with the best beasts that Legion has to offer and I think it can. High defense will just eat some Carnage and hopefully that'll be enough. The gameplan here is to weather the storm and kill as many of them as I can while constantly applying beast pressure.
In any faction mirror, I always like dropping the caster with the highest threat on assassination (so eCaine with Cygnar). There's no better woman for the job here than eMakeda with Molik Karn. Against all matchups, MK will be a solid threat vs. Skorne because most casters enjoy playing mid-field at least. Getting the alpha strike is also very important because having the ability to out-threaten your opponents will give you advantage in tempo, position and thus, scenario advantage. For this matchup, it's a game about speed and threat. The person with the most of both will be favored in my opinion. I'm also expecting to see most lists play eHexeris, but I don't think anyone will be dropping that in a Skorne MU, so I'm expecting to see an fake Makeda.
Frankly, all that armor and tough is meaningless when I'm faster, more accurate and largely ignore the armor buffs. That's why I chose eMakeda for this matchup. I'm expecting to see eMadrak, Borka and eHoarluk here for the most popular Troll locks. eMadrak is a beast but he needs his army to be standing to make any real use out of it. Thankfully, most of my army doesn't care and will run straight into his stuff and kill as much as I can while ignoring Free Strikes and taking advantage of Side-Steps. Since his army is aggressive, the threat of death from MK will also force the tempo back on my side in scenario situations. Borka is a good caster to prepare for, but again, I'm very accurate on Feat turn so I can always override the benefits of Iron Flesh while the majority of my army doesn't care about Wind Wall. Mosh Pit gives him some nice KD, but alpha strike on Feat turn makes me completely immune to that, so yeah, that sucks. eDoom is also pretty excited to get on the field, but doesn't like the fact that I have infantry units for days that can swallow up his supporting infantry while I jam up his warbeasts. The person who loses the first beast will be ahead.
Lastly, we have Minions, and I plan on eating them alive with eMakeda. That is all.
At the end of the day, just understand this is one man's reasoning behind what he expects to see and what he plans on doing about it. There will always be bad matchups and nothing will be as perfect as it seems on paper. Keep in mind that right now, this is all subject to change and some of it is based off of theory of what I'll see as "standard" on the battlefield. I also haven't played against a lot of the new casters (Goreshade3), and have only played some of the mentioned ones once or twice (Morty). Overall, I'm always confident in my abilities unless proven otherwise, or given advice from more experienced players. All feedback is welcome of course!