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Why SCE is doing even worse in tournaments compared with previous version?


Aeonotakist
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We have a bunch of competitive players in China or from China. They also participate tournaments in UK and Australia.

Before the Soul Wars was released, we all expect that SCE can perform better in competitive environment, thinking about the upgrade Liberator (Sequitor) and Retributor (Evocator), thinking about the stable DS, thinking about the spell casting and free Stormhost abilities, even the ballista looked so promising.

However, after some major events, we realized it is not going as we expected. SCE is not performing any better than the last edition. Like in Blackout and NOVA, SCE is at average level. Basically it cannot compete with Nighthaunt, LoN, DoK, ID, Nurgle and Sylvaneth. They might win games against those races with tailored list, but there is no SCE army that can stand at least 40%+ winning rate against all the other competitive ones.

We can imagine the Nighthaunt and LoN is also super strong due to the new models. We can also imagine that armies like Khorne got some nice new rules. However, some old army like DoK and ID, they used to be stronger or even to SCE, now they are still clearly stronger than SCE.  

Can we conclude that, the new update of SCE does not really change its situation in extremely competitive environment?

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1 minute ago, Aeonotakist said:

We have a bunch of competitive players in China or from China. They also participate tournaments in UK and Australia.

Before the Soul Wars was released, we all expect that SCE can perform better in competitive environment, thinking about the upgrade Liberator (Sequitor) and Retributor (Evocator), thinking about the stable DS, thinking about the spell casting and free Stormhost abilities, even the ballista looked so promising.

However, after some major events, we realized it is not going as we expected. SCE is not performing any better than the last edition. Like in Blackout and NOVA, SCE is at average level. Basically it cannot compete with Nighthaunt, LoN, DoK, ID, Nurgle and Sylvaneth. They might win games against those races with tailored list, but there is no SCE army that can stand at least 40%+ winning rate against all the other competitive ones.

We can imagine the Nighthaunt and LoN is also super strong due to the new models. We can also imagine that armies like Khorne got some nice new rules. However, some old army like DoK and ID, they used to be stronger or even to SCE, now they are still clearly stronger than SCE.  

Can we conclude that, the new update of SCE does not really change its situation in extremely competitive environment?

Look at why SCE were competitive before this edition, and the changes to that battalion and those mechanics, and you have your answer.  As time goes on, people will come up with new ways to play it.

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It might be a lack of the top table players actually playing them, a good example being Jack taking SCE to BOBO and winning it. It shows that they can 100% take wins at big events.

Another side of I think is that currently SCE players are all taking Gavriel + A blob of something which I don't think in anyway is bad but I think it simply get stuck against certain match ups. The deep strike doesn't fly, so if you can chaff the charge and kill it on the return you're in a good place. I think when SCE start exploring other lists we might see other players pushing up the tables. 

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9 minutes ago, AaronWIlson said:

It might be a lack of the top table players actually playing them, a good example being Jack taking SCE to BOBO and winning it. It shows that they can 100% take wins at big events.

Another side of I think is that currently SCE players are all taking Gavriel + A blob of something which I don't think in anyway is bad but I think it simply get stuck against certain match ups. The deep strike doesn't fly, so if you can chaff the charge and kill it on the return you're in a good place. I think when SCE start exploring other lists we might see other players pushing up the tables. 

Jack Armstrong? I didnt know he took SCE in BOBO. Cannot find any information of that event.

 

Do you know how to find the list there?

 

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I think it's simply that most top table players shy away from playing the army designed with beginners in mind. It's strength is durability, and that doesn't kill enemy models. I consider myself a competitive player and I wouldn't touch SCE with a 10 foot stick; not because they are bad but because you have to pay pts for durability that I'd rather be spending on damage and synergy.

P.S: I actually think Stormcast are in a great position for 2.0. The 18 battleplans don't necessarily favour SCE, but the faction has lots of durable heroes (including wizards for relevant scenarios), deep strike potential to grab objectives; and their durability, if played precisely, can be a huge advantage when it comes to holding objectives. Then there's the fact that Sacrosanct models can resurrect each other. That's a huge boon, just the sort that takes time to master.

Edited by Rekmeister
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2 hours ago, Rekmeister said:

Then there's the fact that Sacrosanct models can resurrect each other. That's a huge boon, just the sort that takes time to master.

Did I miss something or do you mean the 5+ revive when you take Hammers of Sigmar for REDEEMER units for a CP?

 

2 hours ago, Rekmeister said:

not because they are bad but because you have to pay pts for durability that I'd rather be spending on damage and synergy.

This literally means they are worse :) Durability means nothing when you can't get the objective because you can't outkill your opponent and usually SCE bring less to the party.  

 

3 hours ago, Aeonotakist said:

Do you know how to find the list there?

 

https://aosshorts.com/bravery-one-british-open-bobo-2018/    Not gonna happen easily a 2nd time. Gavriel is just too easy to counter, however if someone forgets to screen ,it is usually some serious ass whooping time ;) 

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Just my $0.02 as a stormcast player:

We only have two viable top tier lists:

1. Stardrake + Castellant + shooting/magic.
This is borderline overpowered because almost nothing in the game can kill a Stardrake with +2 save and Ignax's Scales before it heals up, but this list only works if you can take Realm artifacts. You can play around it by killing the rest of the stormcast army and playing objectives.

2. Gavriel guaranteed deep striking tons of Evocators into play.
Many events are playing the Total Commitment battleplan and that's a death knell to this list. Weaker version of the old Warrior Brotherhood lists, and people learned to play around those already. You can't take Staunch Defender if youre playing Hammers of Sigmar.

What makes Stormcast lists so bad? Well, there's a lot of reasons that all tie together.

  • Stormhosts arent as good as Staunch Defender*, and they force you to take bad artifacts. Staunch Defender is necessary to get good value from Stormcast units. 4+ saves seem great but the army has a very poor point/wound ratio, which makes every bad dice roll a crippling blow.
  • Everything is slightly overcosted aside from the new Sacrosanct units, but they are either too slow (Sequitors & Evocators) too unreliable (Ballistas) or too easy to shoot down (Tauralon)**.
  • Realm artifacts are very strong
  • Stormcast battalions are very weak
  • Low model count in a game where objectives control is determined by number of models

Combine all these factors together and you end up with an army that feels underwhelming. Its hard to make a list that doesnt make me think "I could be running a Stardrake instead".

*There may be a powerful list using Anvils of the Heldenhammer with 12x Longstrikes. 
**I think Dracolines have a lot of potential both as a hammer deathstar and as a bravery bomb, but people havent had enough time to experiment with them yet.

There's a bigger question here... why are Seraphon doing so poorly? They are ridiculously strong, maybe the strongest army in the game now, even after the Kroak/Lens nerfs.

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1 hour ago, schwabbele said:

Did I miss something or do you mean the 5+ revive when you take Hammers of Sigmar for REDEEMER units for a CP?

No I was talking about the 'Cycle of the Storm' ability that the three Lord Arcanum profiles have access to. I know it doesn't help a 6 wound model whose just taken a dozen wounds, as they still have to save the additional 6, but it's powerful enough given you can do it twice per battle round. There's also no reason not to take multiple models with the rule as they're all rather good.

1 hour ago, schwabbele said:
3 hours ago, Rekmeister said:

not because they are bad but because you have to pay pts for durability that I'd rather be spending on damage and synergy.

This literally means they are worse :) Durability means nothing when you can't get the objective because you can't outkill your opponent and usually SCE bring less to the party.  

The word 'literally' dies a hard death every day on the internet. While I don't disagree with you that SCE bring less to the party, I'm not so certain that durability means nothing, rather that you have to be careful and precise when you pay points for durability, which is a hard playstyle to master. The other downside is that Stormcast rely somewhat on those grandhammers to push damage through, who are spread out within units, so you can get punished for being too casual when you move a unit if you haven't kept the heavy hitters in the right place. That's not something other factions really need to worry about.

1 hour ago, PJetski said:

There's a bigger question here... why are Seraphon doing so poorly? They are ridiculously strong, maybe the strongest army in the game now, even after the Kroak/Lens nerfs.

I see a lot of Seraphon players focusing on how to optimise bringing in free units. I see a lot of non-Seraphon players realising they have three turns to kill a Slann before it goes off. I also don't think that Engine of the Gods is a very good warscroll, so taking it just for summoning is a waste of points. I played against the uber summoning list and beat it without managing to kill the Slann. I think 'free units' aren't nearly as good as they look on paper in the current version of the game, as most armies have access to some form of deep strike/alpha strike/ranged nuke, and you can't buff a unit that arrives at the end of the movement phase. There's also the fact that a lot of Seraphon players are no longer building the once-unbreakable Eternity Starhost (which itself is weaker now that most armies can deal mortal wounds and/or deep strike behind it). Seraphon is still really strong but lots of players are chasing the golden goose of summoning a bastiladon every other turn when really they should be building a super tight list that just so happens to have access to free units.

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There's also no reason not to take multiple models with the rule as they're all rather good.

Theyre expensive wizards in an already expensive army.

Arcanum on foot has a very situational command ability, and generally not worth 180points for a 1spell wizard when you can take an Incantor for 140 and get a dispel scroll.
Arcanum on Dracoline is only worth using with 2+ squads of Dracolines for Pride Leader.
Astreia and both of the Arcanums on Tauralon don't seem to be worth using at all.

So most Stormcast lists are only ever using the Arcanum on Gryph-charger. Stacking Cycle is an inefficient support system, and it's not even particularly powerful until you have 3+.

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2 hours ago, Rekmeister said:

No I was talking about the 'Cycle of the Storm' ability that the three Lord Arcanum profiles have access to. I know it doesn't help a 6 wound model whose just taken a dozen wounds, as they still have to save the additional 6, but it's powerful enough given you can do it twice per battle round. There's also no reason not to take multiple models with the rule as they're all rather good.

The word 'literally' dies a hard death every day on the internet. While I don't disagree with you that SCE bring less to the party, I'm not so certain that durability means nothing, rather that you have to be careful and precise when you pay points for durability, which is a hard playstyle to master. The other downside is that Stormcast rely somewhat on those grandhammers to push damage through, who are spread out within units, so you can get punished for being too casual when you move a unit if you haven't kept the heavy hitters in the right place. That's not something other factions really need to worry about.

I see a lot of Seraphon players focusing on how to optimise bringing in free units. I see a lot of non-Seraphon players realising they have three turns to kill a Slann before it goes off. I also don't think that Engine of the Gods is a very good warscroll, so taking it just for summoning is a waste of points. I played against the uber summoning list and beat it without managing to kill the Slann. I think 'free units' aren't nearly as good as they look on paper in the current version of the game, as most armies have access to some form of deep strike/alpha strike/ranged nuke, and you can't buff a unit that arrives at the end of the movement phase. There's also the fact that a lot of Seraphon players are no longer building the once-unbreakable Eternity Starhost (which itself is weaker now that most armies can deal mortal wounds and/or deep strike behind it). Seraphon is still really strong but lots of players are chasing the golden goose of summoning a bastiladon every other turn when really they should be building a super tight list that just so happens to have access to free units.

Ah this ability, could maybe be useful to avoid a BS test or get a hero back for capturing but fielding multiple arcanum's for it - never :).

The literally wasn't probably the word I wanted to use. Durability sure is nice,  but I would kill for synergizing damage units which are somewhat reasonable prized. Regarding the big hammers, I have them always in my first line / 2 rows ? Can I even move them around during the game as I please? Because that would be awesome to prepare for an incoming flank or so :)

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Because other armies are doing even more better in the new edition. A lot of the new stuff is only a mild benefit to stormcast and they nerfed the actively unfair battalion. They lack a lot of the tools top lists take advantage of. Cheesy spells to cast through portals or the ability to move your army reliably to get first turn charges. 

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Just now, stratigo said:

They lack a lot of the tools top lists take advantage of. Cheesy spells to cast through portals or the ability to move your army reliably to get first turn charges. 

They have both of these in the form of the Everblaze Comet and Gavriel though?

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1 hour ago, Aspirant Snaeper said:

I've heard people refer to AOS 2.0 as being the "Hoard Edition" and very Hoard friendly. 

SCE is not a hoard army. 

Hordes aren't the problem. 10 Evos will butcher most hordes in 1-2 rounds of combat with little to no problem. 

 

IMO Stormcast are in a fine spot. They're performing in top 10 in most events, which is better than you can say for most armies out there. According to some data from THW, they're right up there in win% and top 10 placements with most other "modern Battletome" armies. Just because they're not taking every single #1 spot doesn't mean they're busted.

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Another issue is the horrible base sizes which make it even harder to get enough models near and hold objectives. Tbh the whole machanic in aos of capturing objectives is completely  flawed and unbalanced.

The second reason sce are not performing well is due the lack of any chaff troops. Screening is an important part of the game. It might not matter in casual games but in competitive games it will. 

The third reason is low damage output compared to base size. Points do not take into account how much a large base is reducing combat effectiveness. 

Fourth and already mentioned is that most armies get nice free bonuses while sce got very bad storm host rules which was unnessary crippling the army even further. 

All the point only matter in competitive games tbh. For casual play sce are fine. 

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Very good point about the base sizes, and it's something that I came up against when I was first learning to play SCE. SCE can't do "horde" or volume type armies because of their limited range and large base sizes. There's often very little point in taking large units because they can't get all of their attacks in anyway. And piling a bunch of melee models in a small footprint area doesn't increase the killing power of that area, as the units literally have to take turns getting into combat. I've seen an enemy systematically chew through several of my units in one area of the board because I had to wait in line for one unit to die before I could get any models into melee weapon range. It definitely changes your tactics and mindset once you start to get your head around it.

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The previous version did well with one really skewed, broken list. Vanguard wing broke fundamental AOS rules and was bad design. It was an outlier. SCE weren't doing well outside of that (earlier in AOS 1 there was Skyborne Slayers' time in the sun - another niche list). 

The current list is much more balanced (outside of Garviel who is, like Vanguard Wing, an outlier of bad game design). The change to Scions alone makes for a huge tactical improvement. It is still too early to judge how good most things are holistically but the current book feels flexible and right*.

Why would you want them to be at the top? I'd want to play an army that was solid with lots of options. So I can win rather than the list alone.

 

*with a few points tweaks here or there

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18 minutes ago, The World Tree said:

 

Why would you want them to be at the top? I'd want to play an army that was solid with lots of options. So I can win rather than the list alone.

 

*with a few points tweaks here or there

Well that was the point of the topic lol. It's not so much about wanting or needing just facts. The game will never be balanced, any long lasting game franchise doesn't want true balance that would be bad for business. 

But I do agree I choose to play sce because of the well rounded range of models and avarageness of the army never bad, never good. Perfect for a long time plastic investment. 

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5 hours ago, The World Tree said:

The previous version did well with one really skewed, broken list. Vanguard wing broke fundamental AOS rules and was bad design. It was an outlier. SCE weren't doing well outside of that (earlier in AOS 1 there was Skyborne Slayers' time in the sun - another niche list). 

The current list is much more balanced (outside of Garviel who is, like Vanguard Wing, an outlier of bad game design). The change to Scions alone makes for a huge tactical improvement. It is still too early to judge how good most things are holistically but the current book feels flexible and right*.

Why would you want them to be at the top? I'd want to play an army that was solid with lots of options. So I can win rather than the list alone.

 

*with a few points tweaks here or there

Why does everyone pretend that Stardrakes and Aetherstrike didnt exist in 1.0...? Vanguard Wing was not that good once your opponents learned to play around it, but there wasn't much you could do against a well-played Aetherstrike.

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7 hours ago, Requizen said:

Hordes aren't the problem. 10 Evos will butcher most hordes in 1-2 rounds of combat with little to no problem. 

 

IMO Stormcast are in a fine spot. They're performing in top 10 in most events, which is better than you can say for most armies out there. According to some data from THW, they're right up there in win% and top 10 placements with most other "modern Battletome" armies. Just because they're not taking every single #1 spot doesn't mean they're busted.

Not exactly, they are placed 25th in blackout and 13 in Nova, which are the most recent tournament. We had another game with 24 top players in China and SCE was right the 20 and 24 place.

 

the only recent game they got top 1 is BOBO. But that one has house rules in favor of SCE like you can only revive one unit per turn.

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5 hours ago, The World Tree said:

Why would you want them to be at the top? I'd want to play an army that was solid with lots of options. So I can win rather than the list alone.

 

Personally I wouldn't want a buff just to win. But having 50 units doesn't mean we have options when most if it is utter ******. Good luck trying to win, please share how you did it :) 

 

6 hours ago, Jupiter said:

The second reason sce are not performing well is due the lack of any chaff troops. Screening is an important part of the game. It might not matter in casual games but in competitive games it will. 

 

Skinks?

 

6 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Fourth and already mentioned is that most armies get nice free bonuses while sce got very bad storm host rules which was unnessary crippling the army even further. 

 

This is so true, I cried when I finished reading the rules for them. Even CA e.g on the Arcanums are so bad that you don't need spare CP to begin with :D

7 hours ago, Requizen said:

IMO Stormcast are in a fine spot. They're performing in top 10 in most events, which is better than you can say for most armies out there. According to some data from THW, they're right up there in win% and top 10 placements with most other "modern Battletome" armies. Just because they're not taking every single #1 spot doesn't mean they're busted.

Time will tell. *glassball mode* I call our win% will go down. The BOBO win was an exception which will not happen again.  /remind me ;)

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15 hours ago, schwabbele said:

This literally means they are worse :) Durability means nothing when you can't get the objective because you can't outkill your opponent and usually SCE bring less to the party.  

 

Still durability is the hallmark of undead armies and maggotkin and they fare very well. So it might just be players getting used to a new playstyle. Also Durability combined with backfield shooting and teleportation set up? Seems like a great combination to me.

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