Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Raven Guard 30K: Alvarex Maun

Bad Ass Strike Captain Alvarex Maun. The Master of Descent for the ENTIRE LEGION and second only to Corax. He single handled deployed the entire legion at the Dropsite Massacre on Istavan V. 

For a long time I thought of him as a cheap praetor, but really he is a delgatus with a special vox and the bleeding edge rule. If you do out the points he's actually costed pretty appropriately, but his rules have such amazing synergy with so many builds he quickly feels like you are underpaying for this guys and he is considerably cheaper than running a praetor. 

So what do you get for 140 points?

War Gear:

Alvarex is not a front line combatant, his stats are that of a consul with a leadership of 10 and his wargear adds only minimal amount of combat ability to a squad. That said, he is an amazing force multiplier and his war gear reflects that. 
  • Artificer Armor
    • 2+ save. This helps against getting sniped out of a squad and it can also be useful for challenging squad seargents or occasionally tanking incoming fire.  
  • Power Sword & bolt Pistol 
    • Again, Not over the top powerful, but he does have 2 ccws and 3 attacks base with WS5. So he can reasonably protect a squad against a power armor unit, just don't think you are going to last long against anything geared up for hand to hand. 
  • Krak & Frag Grenades
  • Night Fall Pattern Strato-Vox
    • No scatter deep strike within 18" of Alvarex
    • Raven Guard deploying from deep striking vehicles gain counter charge
    • Barrage weapons can use Alvarex's line of sight
  • Cameoline:
    • Interestingly, nothing in 30k restricts you from taking legion specific gear for special characters. Camo, extends stealth to any unit he joins. For 5+ I would never leave home without it. 

Dedicated Transport:

I like the idea that Maun basically has a bat cave of vehicles for him to choose from! Before you get over excited about this, from a pure RAW perspective, Maun can't actually bring another squad with him in any of these vehicles... It's one of those 7th ed, someone screwed the pouch when they wrote the rules things... but basically it's very clear that Independent characters can join squads and their dedicated transports, but there is no recipricol rule. In general, most people will be fine with you throw a squad in, but know that in a tourney scenario, you might get called on it. 
  • May take a drop pod, dark wing or storm eagle. The big thing to note on this, that should you be able to take a squad with Maun, this would be one of the only ways to get a mor deythan flamer squad a pod. 
  • He also has / had his own personal Thunderhawk, but sadly it's not a dedicated transport choice! That said, in his fluff he landing the flaming wreck of his Thunderhawk that got shot out of the sky as he tried to rescue Corax. His heroic flying ultimately saved Corax from an early grave. 

Special Rules:

  • Independent Character
    • While Maun has some cool alternative deployment rules, I start him on the board 99% of the time, largely to re roll seize the initiative roles, but also to help with turn 2 reserves and deepstrike scatters. Should you have him in reserves in something other than a turn 1 drop pod, he won't be on the board to help with turn 2 rolls. 
  • Master of the Legion 
    • This is very important. He is basically your praetor or delegatus alternative. I think he pairs best with Decapitating Strike or Orbital Assault, but he shouldn't be over looked in other lists that are flier or deep strike heavy, like Angel's Wrath. 
  • By Wing & By Claw
    • Fleet & Infiltrate - Which is important, so he can attach to other infiltrating squads. 
  • The Bleeding Edge 
    • If in a vehicle with deep strike: Auto Deep strike turn 2
    • If deployed: Re roll Seize the Initiative rolls
  • Co-Ordinate Planet Strike (Warlord Trait)
    • Fliers & Drop pods re roll reserve rolls

While there are a ton of list Alvarex is good in, he basically has two major list builds.

  1. Alpha Strike: Fielding Maun in a decapitating strike list lets you re roll the die for go first & the steal the initiative roll, which basically mean you go first 87% of the time if your opponent doesn't have any "go first" special rules. Combine that with an entire army that can set up with infiltrate after your opponent has deployed and/or with turn drop pods and you have a VERY good chance that you can remove a sizable chunk of your opponents army before they get to shoot back. This is even crazier since Raven Guard can field units like mor deythan with combi flamers that can easily remove 20 man squads of the table with rending, cover ignoring, twin linked flamers. Focus on units that do strong upfront damage and are on the table turn 1 to max out this beast of a list. Every thing from grav rapier platforms. breachers with vigilators, special weapons centric squads in pods, mor deythan in rhinos, deepstrike speeder or contemptors to typhons can be deadly is a list like this. 
  2. Deep Strikers: In short, fliers and drop pods re roll reserves and deepstrikers within 18" of alvarex (i.e. a 36" circle!!!!) don't scatter and units that arrive in deep striking vehicles get counter strike. That's a lot extra control over of some pretty random game rules! You want to go flier crazy? Maun is your man! You want to go drop pod heavy? Maun is your man! You want to go deep striking termi or jump pack heavy? Maun is your Man! Ther are way to many options to basically cover here, but you get the idea.
On a final note, alpha strike lists and deep strike lists don't have to be 2 totally different list types. They actually have a lot of synergy. In fact, most list you see Raven Guard players play are a blend and for good reasons. You basically get to mix different timing signatures. for example, if you go flier heavy, it might make sense to add an alpha strike element that can knock out anti air units turn one so your flier come in unmolested. Maun is perfect for list concepts along those lines. 

I use Maun in almost every competitive list I play. He's that good as a force multiplier, but he also adds to much to so many builds that it's hard not to want to include him. The obvious ROW would be something like a Recon ROW list where a lot of rules are already duplicated or a Angel's wrath list that is jumper heavy where a hth praetor or corax probably makes more sense. 


A. said...

So, a Praetor with a Power Weapon is 110 points.

While his abilities are unique (cheaper and more portable than say a Delegatus plus a Damocles Command Rhino), is he really a value at 140 points with and AP3 weapon and no Invulnerable save?

deFl0 said...

Well yes. You need at least a delegatus or a praetor to unlock decap strike, in addition you pick up re roll to seize the initiative, which sets up the 87% chance for first turn alpha strike.

That extra percentage is more important than just about anything else you can spend points on in an alpha strike list...

As a bonus you pick up the reserve rolls, anti scatter, etc.

A Praetor with a power weapon is junk... he does nothing well but unlock a ROW.

So yeah, I think Maun is good deal when you think it that way.

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