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Part two: are Monks a Plague?

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Ineffectual Clawlord

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Since they show up in most competitive Skaven lists and have a bad reputation: are Plague Monks overpowered?

Breaking down the damage (Pair of Foetid Blades, vs 4+ AR, damage per model)

                                      with Bale-Chime            (without)              100 pt efficiency          (without Bale, cost 300)

Base                                 0.56                                (0.50 )                  8                                      (6.7 )

30+                                  0.80                                (0.74 )                   9.4                                  (7.5 )

+Charge                         1.20                                (1.11 )                   17.2                                 (14.8 )

+ Filth or Rabid             1.60                               (1.48 )                    22.9                                (19.7 )

Both Prayers                 2.14                               (1.98 )                    30.6                                (26.4 )

Picking Staffs is better if you can get the charge or buff them. However they are very reliant on the charge, annoying because of all their rolling and less reliable due to no inherent rerolls.

How does this compare to...?

Spoiler

I don't like comparisons outside of home armies (that's how they are supposed to be balanced), but their damage output on the charge is about the same as a fully buffed unit of witch aelves before Mind Razor (which almost triples the damage).

Inside Skaven the only real comparison is with Stormvermin: (vs 4 + AR, damage per model)

                             damage         100 p efficiency        (if cost 400)

Base                    0.44                 3.9                             (4.4 )

30+                     0.74                  6.6                             (7.9 )

+ 1 attack           1.1                    9.8                             (11.1 )

They have some things going for them, in particular 2" range and retreat and charge. However they are vastly less efficient points wise. A 4+ armour save just isn't worth this difference.

 

Most mixed lists use them without buffs, since a Plague Furnace means a 200 pt investment. It is a decent combatant, but will get eaten by most dedicated monsters/hammers.

Monks are glassy as can be but work in Skaven lists because of Death Frenzy. They are balanced around their need to get the charge and their 20/30+ unit bonuses and having (mostly) no rend. The main issue is not that they themselves are amazing, but that they are annoying. A box full of dice, rerolls, 4 separate piles of dice due to two "on 6 rules", (2 weapon profiles if you use Staffs.

The solution can't be to just flat increase points since this just hurts pure Pestilens (who have no other choice) and Nurgle (who need all the love they can get). Rather removing the Bale-chime option lowers damage by ~8% (Foetid Blades vs 4+ AR) and particularly removes two dice piles.

6s on hit should feel like something special. Double damage does this, - 1 rend mostly feels like a waste of time. The good news is that you can do this yourself since it is an optional piece of equipment, the bad news is that instead of a rework of the warscroll there will most likely be another point increase.

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This is great, I was literally about to post on the forum about a comparison between Monks and Stormvermin. I’m still leaning towards SV being more consistent and not reliant on a charge. After 2 rounds of combat, you’re likely to still have some SV left thanks to the 4+ save. 

Edited by Cosmicsheep
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I would love SV to be a viable alternative, however right now I think the difference in effectiveness is just too pronounced. Lowering their cost to 400 and the Clawhorde to 120 (or increasing the area  a bit) would certainly help.

 

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I think this comes down to a quality of life issue. Yes your opponents can fear plague monks and say they're overpowered. As the skaven player, I know they're good glass cannons and can serve their role effectively, but I absolutely hate running them. Fully buffed, I've got 4 dice pools to worry about in mass? No thank you. I'm still a practical wargamer after all. I'm not afraid of fielding them, only using them (slowing the game down). Its for this reason I believe that points increases are missing the mark, its a lazy tactic used by GW. Its not out of the question to re-write a warscroll and I'm so confused why it would be difficult to do so, especially done alongside a major rules update like the players handbook releases. 

Perhaps my gripes are all to justify running my 80 stormvermin anyway? They're soo cool!

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19 hours ago, Riff_Raff_Rascal said:

Perhaps my gripes are all to justify running my 80 stormvermin anyway? They're soo cool!

Definitely one of the best looking units in the whole game.

I literally use them every time, and am hated for doing so.

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Yeah, one thing I thought the old warscroll did better is that both abilities were triggered on the Wound Roll of 6. Having one on the hit and the other on the wound seems to be making it unnecessarily longer to roll them.

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I just played a Virulent Procession list yesterday (I know, crazy right) that included 2 units of 10 plague monks with the stave and blades. Those two units  (with NO command models) and Plague Furnace support obliterated the entirety of my buds BOC battleline units (50% of his army). Of course their was some tactics involved and a double turn on round 2, but just getting them to 7 attacks each on every charge was a FEEL BAD EXPERIENCE. I went out of my way not to field any of the 2 dmg effects for quality of life reasons, even with my two other units of 40 plague monks waiting  behind my plague furnaces. Out of my friends mouth was "I don't think I want to play BOC anymore" and made me feel like ******. I thought I had stripped down my army and having ~300 points of battalions was going to put me at a disadvantage. But it was so devastating, I made him feel like his army was not worth playing. 

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14 hours ago, Riff_Raff_Rascal said:

I just played a Virulent Procession list yesterday (I know, crazy right) that included 2 units of 10 plague monks with the stave and blades. Those two units  (with NO command models) and Plague Furnace support obliterated the entirety of my buds BOC battleline units (50% of his army). Of course their was some tactics involved and a double turn on round 2, but just getting them to 7 attacks each on every charge was a FEEL BAD EXPERIENCE. I went out of my way not to field any of the 2 dmg effects for quality of life reasons, even with my two other units of 40 plague monks waiting  behind my plague furnaces. Out of my friends mouth was "I don't think I want to play BOC anymore" and made me feel like ******. I thought I had stripped down my army and having ~300 points of battalions was going to put me at a disadvantage. But it was so devastating, I made him feel like his army was not worth playing. 

Well BOC is really weak against a lot off stuff

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@Eevika This is also true. But I wasn't about to tell my friend. I personally love BOC and think they're good for their list building potential and so I offered to use my buddy's BOC against him so he can try his other armies. I hope I might be able to learn/teach tactics with him when playing with weak armor units/armies. Its a learning experience for sure. 

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