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Nagash in Soulblight Gravelords


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Since we are in the monster meta right now and other armies are doing very well using their god models, have any of you played around with Nagash lists yet?

I have been thinking about using the Supreme Necromancer, since I have the model on my shelf. Side note: I would recommend all Soulblight players pick him up, actually. He's insanely points efficient at the moment, because he is priced like a 500 point model, but fills nealry 1000. Anyway, I am currenty having problems finding a list I like. I figured I would put some of my thoughts into writing and see what everyone else thinks.

Nagash: What does he do?

Let's go over the basics first.

Keywords: Nagash is a HERO MONSTER WIZARD, so he has all the good keywords that get you fun toys in 3rd edition.

Offense: Nagash's offense is not bad, but it would be nothing special for even a 500 point monster, let alone one that costs nearly 1000. He will still wipe some stuff in combat, but his low number of attacks makes him a bit swingy. His main attack also decays fairly significantly. He is more buffable in 3rd compared to 2nd, because of All-Out Attack and Finest Hour.

Defense: 16 wounds, 3+ save. Standard 6+ ward from Gravelords allegiance, but a 4+ ward against mortal wounds that reflects damage on 6s. Nagash can cast Mystic Shield on himself every round and can probably pile another +1 to saves on top if you really want it. He also gets to reroll 1s to save from his command ability, which is huge on a 2+ or 3+ save (better than +1 to saves in these situations). Probably just about as good as it gets, in terms of defense.

Mobility: Medium-fast at 9", but as flying. No run and charge or anything of that sort. Not great, but not slow.

What does Nagash do for your army?

Magic: Nagash casts 8 and unbinds 8 spells at +3/+3 at full health. This is probably the best casting you can get in G-Lords overall. He also gets access to all lore spells, which helps him in several key areas. He has two warscroll spells, the most important of which is Hand of Dust, which has a 50% chance to straight up kill a model. It has a range of 3", which is why most people consider Umbral Spellportal to be a package deal with Nagash. Nagash has the ability to cast Arcane Bolt multiple times, so you can always make use of extra casts you don't know what to do with that way.

Command ability: Nagash's command ability affects all DEATH units on the field and gives them reroll 1s to hit, reroll 1s to save and battleshock immunity. Extremely strong, and a large part of what you bring Nagash for.

Healing: Nagash gets his own Invocation, which heals 5 units anywhere on the field for 3 wounds. I will say more about this later when we look at Nagash in the context of G-Lords vs. OBR.

One drop potential: Due to Nagash's point level and the way he replaces basically all the heroes you would usually bring, Nagash lists will nearly always fit completely into a Battle Regiment. Goint one drop is probably the way to go for a Nagash list, as well, since these lists don't need extra artefacts or command points, but want to get defensive buffs on Nagash before the opponent can act if at all possible.

What does Nagash want out of a list?

Nagash is not mainly a combat monster. He can't dominate large parts of an opponent's army all by himself. In my opinion, Nagash wants two things: Good hammers that can make use of his buffs, and bodies to make up for the 1000 points you have to sink into the old skeleton pope himself. Gravelords has both, but it can be hard to bring both and Nagash in the same list.

If you bring Nagash, you have room for maybe one more hero. Since you are only allowed to bring one Endless Spell per wizard, Nagash appreciates a second wizard tagging along to get access to an extra one besides Spellportal. Depending on their warscroll spell, they might even be able to do some things that Nagash can't.

OBR or Gravelords?

When looking at Nagash lists for Gravelords, I think it's important to ask yourself: Would this list be better as Ossiarch Bonereapers? It's good to keep the strengths of OBR over G-Lords in mind:

  • Nagash can only heal SUMMONABLE units in G-Lords, but any units in OBR (including himself!).
  • The OBR Petrifex Elite subfaction offers a base line "ignore rend -1" on all troops, again including Nagash.
  • The OBR spell lore has some good spells for Nagash, most notably "Protection of Nagash", which gives him a 5+ ward and allows him to teleport after suffering a wound.

Gravelords has a few unique selling points as well, though:

  • Amethystine Pinions helps with Nagash's low base speed.
  • Nagash wants bodies, and Soulblight has just about the best trash units in the game.
  • Two healing spells in Soul Harvest and Vile Transference.
  • Gravelords actually benefit from battleshock immunity, unlike OBR who have it automatically.

What subfaction benefits Nagash the most?

Legion of Blood

Running Legion of Blood suggests a Deathrattle heavy build. This might not be bad: Skeleton Warriors appreciate battleshock immunity and Grave Guard love reroll 1s to hit. Skeleton troops are summonable as well, so they benefit from Nagash's healing. Deathrattle ignoring negative hit and wound modifiers is also quite nice if you bring a lot of them. I think in this list I would take a Necromancer along for Vanhel's, which opens up the potential of a second Endless Spell besides the portal. A Wight King general to get Grave Guard battleline is another option.

The question remains whether this list is better than Mortek Guard spam in OBR. At first glance, Mortek are kind of a more defensively skewed Grave Guard, especially with Petrifex ignore rend -1.

Legion of Night

I am not seeing a lot of good stuff for a Nagash list here, to be honest. The command traits and Vargheist battleline are OK, but don't particularly help Nagash. The stand out artefact in Legion of Night is Morbegh's Claw, which Nagash does not need. You are probably not bringing Mannfred in a Nagash list, because the point cost is just prohibitive (although it might be worth thinking about, same for Neferata in Legion of Blood).

Vyrkos

Usually the go-to allrounder faction, but has little to benefit Nagash. The strength of Vyrkos is in their good allegiance abilties, great artefacts and command traits that really reward bringing several small heroes. Well, Nagash is not that. He does not get reroll casts in Vyrkos since he does not gain the keyword and is not a vampire and he does not give out a +1 to wound aura for the same reason. Nagash lists don't have room for big monsters that can benefit from Hunter's Snare and don't need the extra command points from Pack Alpha. I would personally look elsewhere, but bringing Belladamma might still be worth it for Nagash lists in other allegiances, especially since you are already packing Umbral Spellportal. Shut down those Sentinels before they become a problem!

Kastelai

Kastelai is the Blood Knights faction, and Blood Knights are really good with Nagash! They benefit heavily from the rerolls granted by Nagash's command ability and are otherwise able to act completely independently. Rousing Commander works board wide, so you can put it on a small support hero no problem. A list with Nagash and 2x5 Blood Knights has three threats that require immediate attention, so that seems quite good. The only problem is that Nagash can't heal Blood Knights with his Invocation, so maybe bringing Lifeswarm and a unit or two of SUMMONABLE troops would make sense. Blood Knights being battleline in this subfaction also helps tremendously, since filling those requirements can otherwise often be difficult with Nagash.

Last edition, there was a list in OBR that ran Kavallos Deathriders plus Nagash to good effect. I think this is essentially a better version of that list, since Blood Knights are generally better than Deathriders.

Avengorii

Allows you to run Nagash and three Terrorgeists/Zombie Dragons and be done with your list.

Maybe not the best use of Nagash, but definitely the most fun.

 

Personally, I see three types of lists overall: Nagash+Blood Knights (which looks like the best use of Nagash to me), Nagash+SUMMONABLE spam (which I think is still good, but competes for a niche with OBR builds) and Nagash Monster Mash (This is the ideal Nagash list. You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like). Of those, I think only significant Blood Knight use has anything to offer over OBR Nagash builds. What do you guys think?

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1 hour ago, Neil Arthur Hotep said:

What do you guys think?

Nagash, Radukar, Necromancer 

Bloodknights, Wolves, 2x10 Skellis

spell portal 

1980…

Nagash with the wolves, Radukar with the blood knights. Whatever charges will benefit from Bonepopes CA and Radukas (+1Attack CA)…

and Radukar gets 10 wolves for free

Necromancer looks flabbergasted at the carnage, maybe vanHalen for puppies

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Not sure about the dynasties…

Nagash gets the sbgl keyword and then also the lineage keyword… dangerous half-knowledge of faq&rules, also he is no Vampire, careful reading is needed (see avengorii hype down below)

Radukar is always Vyrkos 

 

Legion of night with the claw so only snake eyes can trouble Nagash. The necro could even ambush with the skellis 🤪if one feels adventurous (+1 save) and since GW can’t Math they could even score 12“ side objectives…

 

Vyrkos don’t feel it, but with Radukar and wolves… at least +1 to wound , as trait summoning more wolves more bodies could be good. and maybe the banner to steal CP, if going against LRL/LoC maybe the clock for unbind (-1 to cast once)

 

legion of blood…missing vampires, but extra d3 battleshock might be nice for the blood knights and some artifacts are interesting for the necro, if a bloodthirster charges in (orb) 

 

kastelei… since the necromancer is the general 🥳and only one unit of knights: nothing to 

 

avengorii… yes, well, with all the gheists BUTTT…Nagash is a Monster 😱 but not a vampire 😔

in Order of liking:

vyrkos for 5 extra wolves

Night for ambush

blood for battleshock knights

kastelaii for evolving knights 

avengorii for fairness

Edited by Honk
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Small correction, Rousing Commander is wholly within 12" not board wide.

But you can put Pinions on the foot vamp or just run him and he can keep up with the Blood Knights.

Nagash

Vamp Lord 

4 x 5 Blood Knights 

Spell Portal

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16 hours ago, Liquidsteel said:

Small correction, Rousing Commander is wholly within 12" not board wide.

But you can put Pinions on the foot vamp or just run him and he can keep up with the Blood Knights.

Nagash

Vamp Lord 

4 x 5 Blood Knights 

Spell Portal

Thanks for the correction! I was relying on online rule summaries when I was writing that, so my info was definitely a bit shakey. Another point to note: Apparently Nagash does get that -1 to be wounded in Avengorii. Since he is literally half your army, that alone might make Avengorii worth considering. I though his rules locked him out of gaining subfaction keywords, but apparently not.

I think the list you posted is probably the one to beat in for Nagash in Gravelords. I think there are probably more nuanced lists with more diverse units that are possible, but you really have to ask yourself when you write them: "Is this actually better than just Nagash+20 Blood Knights?". For what it's worth, I think adding something summonable so that you can actually take advantage of Nagash's healing might be one way to refine the list. Although honestly, having 4 fast allrounder hammer/anvil combo units running around smashing and tanking everything with Nagash rerolls seems pretty hard to beat.

I notice that I tend to lean into unit spam lists more than normal when building Nagash lists. Maybe that's just the nature of bringing one huge 1000 point model. You just want to spam the units you think he best supports or that support him best.

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1 hour ago, Neil Arthur Hotep said:

Thanks for the correction! I was relying on online rule summaries when I was writing that, so my info was definitely a bit shakey. Another point to note: Apparently Nagash does get that -1 to be wounded in Avengorii. Since he is literally half your army, that alone might make Avengorii worth considering. I though his rules locked him out of gaining subfaction keywords, but apparently not.

I think the list you posted is probably the one to beat in for Nagash in Gravelords. I think there are probably more nuanced lists with more diverse units that are possible, but you really have to ask yourself when you write them: "Is this actually better than just Nagash+20 Blood Knights?". For what it's worth, I think adding something summonable so that you can actually take advantage of Nagash's healing might be one way to refine the list. Although honestly, having 4 fast allrounder hammer/anvil combo units running around smashing and tanking everything with Nagash rerolls seems pretty hard to beat.

I notice that I tend to lean into unit spam lists more than normal when building Nagash lists. Maybe that's just the nature of bringing one huge 1000 point model. You just want to spam the units you think he best supports or that support him best.

Yeah agreed, the other version is to drop one unit of Blood Knights for a unit of Dire Wolves and Fell Bats.

I'm still working on my Blood Knights, so this will probably be what I get games with first, after my initial attempts in Legion of Night.

The Avengorii list does sound much more appealing now you've pointed out getting -1 to wound, and also the ability to fight at full bracket could be key later in the game.

I'm torn on Grave Sand Shard vs Fragment of the Keep. Fragment is nice for the constant -1 to Wound, but I'm mainly worried about Mortals/Shooting on the Blood Knights and the Vamp Lord. A once per battle 5+ Ward does sound quite juicy turn 2 for example. Would need to see how it goes.

 

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Kastelai Dynasty
- Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
- Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead (970) in Battle Regiment
Vampire Lord (140) in Battle Regiment
- General
- Command Trait: Rousing Commander
- Artefact: Grave-sand Shard
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions

Battleline
5 x Blood Knights (195) in Battle Regiment
5 x Blood Knights (195) in Battle Regiment
5 x Blood Knights (195) in Battle Regiment
10 x Dire Wolves (135) in Battle Regiment

Units
3 x Fell Bats (75) in Battle Regiment

Endless Spells & Invocations
Umbral Spellportal (70)

Core Battalions
Battle Regiment

Total: 1975 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 95

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2 hours ago, Neil Arthur Hotep said:

Apparently Nagash does get that -1 to be wounded in Avengorii.

1 hour ago, Liquidsteel said:

The Avengorii list does sound much more appealing now you've pointed out getting -1 to wound

Sorry to kill the hype… Nagash is not a VAMPIRE so he does not get the avengorii traits, since they need a VAMPIRE MONSTER

same with vyrkos reroll to cast for him&necro

keywords in the WH AoS App are a bit concerning, since the VloZd only has the keyword VAMPIRE LORD, while R. the beast has VAMPIRE and VAMPIRE LORD as keywords 🧐thx GDubs 😵💫

it‘s „only“ the App, where Nagash can still MysticShield Spam 🤪but still gotta check

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/27/2021 at 5:36 AM, Neil Arthur Hotep said:

Fun detected and successfully prevented :(

Welcome to this book where nothing works in a fun way. 

 

My list is 

Nagash 

Manfred 

Gorslav 

 

Dire wolf

Dire wolf

Dire wolf 

Skeletons 

 

Mirrors 

 

Manfred with pinions can zoom up and ooga booga stuff before instant transmissioning away. Mirrors for long range nagash razzle dazzles. Gorslav and legions lets me double my wolf units into 2 5 mans reliably for maximum annoyance and object camping. As for blood line, idk. I dont think they give me anything that matters here, so buuuuh. 

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I have a 2 day tournament 21st/22nd August coming up at our FLGS here in Liverpool, 40 man and competition is going to be fierce.

It's my first 2 day tournament ever, with two more booked in for later this year already, so I've decided to try and not take it too serious and play a list I can maximise enjoyment and getting to know new players with.

Nagash is definitely being brought along, but who do I bring with him?

I posted in the main thread, however it didn't get much discussion going. I only have 5 Blood Knights painted, so heavy BK Kastelai Nagash is out. I am not going to bring too many models to ensure I can play fast and get to those later rounds, where hopefully I can edge a lead on Battle Tactics, so hero hammer and focussing on Battle Tactics is the name of the day. 

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Vyrkos Dynasty
- Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
- Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

Leaders
Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead (970)*
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (435)
- General
- Deathlance
- Command Trait: Hunter's Snare
- Artefact: Amulet of Destiny (Universal Artefact)
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos (200)*
- Lore of the Vampires: Amaranthine Orb

Battleline
10 x Dire Wolves (135)*
10 x Deathrattle Skeletons (85)*
10 x Deathrattle Skeletons (85)*

Endless Spells & Invocations
Umbral Spellportal (70)

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Total: 1980 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 79
Drops: 2

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3 hours ago, Liquidsteel said:

however it didn't get much discussion going.

What do you hope to discuss? list looks crazy… 🤪

Nagash will die, but you’ll have to keep him alive till end of turn 3 to have a solid chance 

VLoZD looks good as melee monster, thought about Vhordrai, but artifact etc.


Maybe a Vengorian and a Necromancer, but who knows if going more defensive is good 🧐

Radukar and a Necro might be something, with the extra 10 puppies, but still less hp and less punch, even if you‘ll have 10 more models…

maybe the beast and a vamp lord for 2k on the spot… but necro debuffs are better, than the „interesting“ lore of vamps…


or throw everything out the window for some naggi/manni GG combo 

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37 minutes ago, Honk said:

What do you hope to discuss? list looks crazy… 🤪

 

I was hoping others might also throw some list ideas in to the mix also!

The Nagash, Mannfred, Vengorian list seems to have performed well at a major event here in the UK, so I was trying to build off of that a little bit but work the Spellportal back in, because I want to have that excitement of Hand of Dust.

 

 

Edited by Liquidsteel
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1 hour ago, Liquidsteel said:

throw some list ideas in to the mix also!

Buckle up, here it comes:

Nagash, Manni, Wightking on Steed

20 GG, 2x10 skellis

spellportal

put the gg into some gravesite and let Manni or the wightking summon them aggressively

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1 hour ago, Liquidsteel said:

remember you don't need the hero to be near it anymore

True, forgot about that, but still you’ll want one of your heroes nearby for buffs… and 20 is a solid number for attacks and resilience

 

the real trick with Nagash is building a cool 1k army with three battlelines 

The VLoZD is totally straightforward, Manni brings mobility and through LoNight some positioning, the beast and his granny would do wolf stuff …

a lot is possible but needs to be tested against the cheese

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Ive ran the Nagash/VLOZG combo to good effect in 1.0 and 2.0...always a fun combo.Though now I think with the new hero options there are more efficient choices.,

 I have a charity event coming up in the fall and am thinking of running the following--

 Vrykos Dynasty

 Nagash-gen

Vengorian Lord-gen

 

Radukar-gen

      yeah all three generals so I guess I would be giving up a secondary or even a grand strat much more easily but whatever.

30 Skeletons

10 Skeletons

10 Skeletons

 I like the Vrykos dynasty as I think it would help my skellie spam more than what Legion of Blood does due to the +1 to wound they would get..of course I would need to have my hero`s spread out for that.But really the skellies are just there for bodies with the real focus on the hero's as I think between Radukar and the Vengori they are much more value than my old choice of VLOZG.The extra wolves from Radukar are huge,they both can dish out the pain.With Nagash and his spell count turning Radukar into a moster should be no problem when needed and this would give me 3 monsters which at least two are pretty much a must have in any list now.Anyhow the nice part about this is I only really need to build and paint the Vengorian Lord and Rudakar.

 

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I've played quite a bit with Nagash so far and have come to a few conclusions:

 

  • Spending a lot on heroes other than Nagash is a trap. Heroes are not damage efficient and Nagash is even worse than most. Heroes are also not great at the objective game, so if you take Nagash and still spend a lot on other heroes you will end up in a position where you can't deal enough damage to contest the objectives against most opponents and will really struggle against opponents that have a high body count/unit replacement/summoning.
  • The main strengths of Nagash are twofold: he can often tank the enemy army by himself while doing enough damage to take out key threats, and he plays very well against expensive hero monsters that are extremely vulnerable to Hand of Dust.
  • Emerald Lifeswarm is mandatory.

So to me there are basically two ways of approaching Nagash builds. You want the rest of your army to either hit very hard or play the objective game well. To me that means Blood Knights or Zombies/Skeletons.

If you go for Blood Knights that means going Kastelai most likely, so you'll be running Nagash plus three to five units of BKs plus some support units like Dire Wolves, Zombies, or maybe Radukar (either version). I haven't played these versions yet but I think they could be really strong. BKs benefit more from Nagash's command ability than most units.

Sample Lists:

Spoiler

Nagash, 4x5 Blood Knights, 1x20 Zombies, Emerald Lifeswarm, Umbral Spellportal

Nagash, Radukar the Beast, 3x5 Blood Knights, Emerald Lifeswarm, Umbral Spellportal

These lists will struggle a bit on missions where only leaders can cap.

The other way that I've found effective is to go Legion of Night with Nagash, a Necromancer with Morbheg's Claw and Master of Magic, Radukar (either version), and fill out the rest with zombies and skeletons.

Something like:

Spoiler

Nagash, Radukar the Beast, Necromancer, 2x20 Zombies, 1x40 Zombies

Nagash, Radukar the Wolf, Necromancer, 1x2 Kosargi Nightguard, 2x20 Zombies, 1x30 Skeletons

Nagash, Radukar the Wolf, Necromancer, 1x20 Zombies, 1x40 Zombies, 1x30 Skeletons

The first build punches well and plays objectives pretty well, too. The second build is exceptionally tough but punches a lot weaker. The third build is tough and punchy but is easier to disrupt.

The benefits of going Legion of Night are twofold: you play the objectives game pretty well and Morbheg's Claw allows Nagash to maintain magical supremacy against basically anything except Teclis.

That said, Lumineth is going to be a hard matchup for any Nagash build.

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  • 3 weeks later...
12 hours ago, djrodriguez123 said:

Thoughts?

Needs more garlic 🤣

tbh I‘d rather wiggle around for a vengorian lord, maybe only 3 knights and dogs…

But my WAAC-play is lacking, I‘d get the bonepope wrecked turn 2😅

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13 hours ago, djrodriguez123 said:

Anyone notice that Poland team tournament that was running 

Nagash

Wight knight w/ rousing and fragment

4 x 5 bloodknights 

Corpse cart

 

The list was repeated throughout multiple teams. Not sure how it would do in a singles open style GT. Thoughts?

It's a good list, I think. One drop, tanky, mobile and not lacking in punch.

It was discussed in the WhatsApp chat not too long after the book dropped, but with a foot vampire lord. The king on Steed is definitely an upgrade.

I am working towards this list myself, though I think people are sleeping on Grave Sand Shard. Units with a banner reroll 1s on deathless, so for one turn you can be 5+ rerolling 1s on your deathless. 

With so much ranged damage, especially mortals, I feel it is worth a look in vs the ever popular fragment. 

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35 minutes ago, Obeisance said:

Anyone got any tips/videos for running Nagash in Soulblight?

Gonna try it out for the first time on Sunday.

Tips: I’ve noticed that nagash is a better debuffer/tanker than damage dealer. Not sure what the rest of your list is, but you for sure need hammers so nagash can be your anvil.

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