This past weekend I attended a GT in Columbus, Ohio called Brewhammer. Results and lists are on BCP. After only 3 test games with Nagash and 1 with my specific list, I took a Nagash Nighthaunt list. My list was:
Prized Sorcery / Inspired / Emerald Host / Battle Regiment
Lady Olynder (General, Spirit Drain)
Spirit Torment (Pendant of the Fell WInd)
5 Hexwraiths / 5 Hexwraiths / 5 Hexwraiths / 10 Chainrasp Horde
10 Dreadscythe Harridans
I had other lists in mind that I had hoped to have ready/have time to test, but due to life I just ran out of time both to prepare other lists and to get enough test games in - due to this I was hoping to go 3-2 (which I did!).
The general thought was to often run Nagash and Olynder side-by-side. This allowed her to put mystic shield on him - an easy cast, as she gets no bonuses to casting. I also gave her Spirit Drain for this reason. The Hexwraiths were there not just to bodyguard Olynder, but also to help with mobility and to do some mortals on the charge.
The Chainrasps were a screen or a deep striking objective grabber. The Harridans and Spirit Torment ran together, creating a nice little hammer unit that was often left alone by my opponent until they were shoved into the thick of things.
I played against a Host Duplicitous list that featured 50 Pink Horrors in First Blood. My opponent was also a one-drop and took the first turn. He ran out to hold two objectives on each flank with the two units of 20. I sent Nagash and one unit of Hexwraiths into one unit and just about everything else into the other unit. I snuck the Chainrasps in behind him and threatened his small general (I forget the name).
The strategy by me worked, but it was just a lot of dice rolling, I was new to Nagash so needed to look at rules, and I believe we had to call it after only 2 or 3 rounds - can’t quite remember. Had we had time to play it out, it would have been really close as Nagash had just lifted one unit of 20 and the other one was getting pretty whittled down… though he had just summoned in 10 more. Also, the game would have been a lot different had I gotten the first turn.
Played a Dracothian’s Tale Seraphon list in Power Struggle with an allied unit of Stormdrake Guard, Kroak, a bastiladon, and some salamanders. I gave my opponent the turn and set up in a castle. He smartly chose not to alpha my castle with just the two dragons and moved out to grab some objectives. I came in and took the middle objective with Nagash. He got priority and brought in the Salamanders and charged with the dragons and salamanders. It didn’t work. Nagash smacked down the Salamanders and then on my turn he smacked down the Stormdrake Guard with some support from a unit of Hexwraiths and Lady Olynder. I also got a Wave of Terror charge off on a massive unit of Skinks with my Harridans and lifted them. I doubled him into 3 and lifted most of his army. We had to talk out round 5, but ended up taking the win.
This was the game that bothered me the most. It was against a mixed arms Idoneth Deepkin army featuring 4 Sharks, 2 units of 10 Thralls, a unit of 20 Reavers, 2 units of 3 defensive eels, Volturnos, and the new hero. We played Feral Foray.
I left Nagash open to an ambush charge and gave away the first turn. He sent in 10 Thralls that did some work to Nagash (I had not done Finest Hour). Nagash smacked them down in my turn and got me an extra point as I had chosen Broken Ranks with him. I was able to deepstrike some Harridans and the Torment in to raid one of his objectives and he was able to do the same to one of mine. At this point though I was out-scoring him barely. On my turn I completely forgot about High Tide and chose Slay the Warlord, hoping to do it with Nagash, and then sent everything in. He never mentioned High Tide until the combat phase happened, and I was just sort of like, “Oh.” I still killed his warlord, but had really taken a beating and opened myself up to some hurt. We then had to talk out the rest of the game, and I ended up conceding.
This was against a Soulblight that featured Belladama, Mannfred, Radukar, a unit of 40 Zombies, a unit of 20 Zombies, 30 Skeletons, and 20 Grave Guard. The battleplan was Tectonic Interference.
I gave away the first turn, and the alpha objective was in the middle. He grabbed it with his unit of 40 zombies screening his unit of 30 Skeletons. I got ambitious and called Broken Ranks on the Zombies. I cast Soul Cage on them with Nagash and sent Nagash, the Harridans, and one unit of Hexwraiths (Olynder and a second unit failed with longbomb charges) into the thick of things. I fought with the Hexwraiths and Harridans first (the Harridans were also tagged by a summoned unit of wolves) and then Nagash cleared out the zombies to give me a bonus point. I then got the double turned and lifted his Skeletons and most of his Grave Guard (I had cast Soul Cage on them). On his turn I finished off his Grave Guard and even though the shifting objective kept the score close, I was in control from that point onwards. It was a great game to illustrate just how much damage Nagash can do.
This was by far my closest game. It was against Nurgle playing Survival of the Fittest. It was also the only game in which Nagash was killed. My opponent had 3 units of Blightkings that he made his predators (thinking it would cause me a distraction), Glottkin, Orghotts, a unit of Nurglings, and another small hero that was his general.
I gave away the first turn, but he maintained a castle on a flank objective. I sent Lady Olynder and some Hexwraiths toward his castle and grabbed the other two objectives. He chose Slay the Warlord on turn 2 and charged Olynder who was flanked by two units of Hexwraiths with two units of Blightkings and Orghotts. I was surprised by this move, and he was equally surprised as he not only failed to kill Olynder, but also failed to kill either unit of Hexwraiths on the charge. On my turn I retreated out of combat (a mistake I discovered) and chose Broken Ranks on a unit of Blightkings. Nagash only got two Arcane Bolts loaded and then whiffed on his rolls, causing me to not come close to lifting the Blightkings. After all of his output, I was a bit shocked. Clearly, I should have left something in combat with the Blightkings to do more damage. So we both dropped our battle tactics. I got the double turn and chose Slay the Warlord (I had done a lot of chip damage to him with Olynder… regretted that after not dropping the Blightkings). I dropped the leader with Nagash in the hero phase, however then Nagash got double charged in my movement phase by The Glottkin and Orghotts. I didn’t really have a way to screen that out, but in hindsight should have at least charged Orghotts with something. I dropped the Blightkings with Nagash (gaining an extra point for doing it with a predator) and lifted Orghotts with Olynder who had been tagged in (Nagash had put him down to a single wound), but thanks to the damage from Orghotts, the Glottkin took Nagash down. However, I had managed to score 8 points that round, which ended up being an amount my opponent wasn’t able to come back from when we talked it out.
Nagash changes things. He was able to do so much and completely changed the way I played. I’m worried that he will lose a lot of value with the new book as the spells are sure to change and I’d be concerned about his ability to be a reliable massive hammer without Reaping Scythe. That was always my first cast with him, and Arcane Bolt was essential to his output. However, Soul Cage ended up being the spell that really changed things for me at times. I never once attempted Hand of Dust. I’d like the Spellportal just to make that a threat, but more so to have a longer range on Soul Cage and Shademist.
I’ve got mixed feelings about Olynder. Her chip mortal wounds weren’t reliable enough, though they did help when they worked. Grief Stricken is great, but remains tough to cast and is often an unbind target. I liked using Mystic Shield with her to put on Nagash, but often she ended up not close enough as you have to play objectives. Her melee output is okay at best without Reaping Scythe. Being two casts and a distraction from Nagash is nice, but I just don’t know if it’s enough.
The Hexwraiths were largely disappointing. Just not enough output and not durable enough to be an anvil. Their speed was often their best feature, which isn’t to be overlooked as Nagash needs assistance for board control.
The Chainrasps were used to deepstrike onto objectives and be a screen. They worked as expected.
The Spirit Torment/Harridans combo was really good and gave me a second hammer that could really catch my opponents by surprise.
I was originally sour on the list, but think I would run it again. I do think an anvil of something like 9 Spirit Hosts, 30 Reapers, or 30 Chainrasps would be great with Nagash. He (Nagash) largely did fine healing, but adding either Emerald Lifeswarm or Mortalis Terminexus would make it so he could really take a hit and heal back up. I also do think finding a way to get Spellportal would be nice.