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  1. Recently I became the proud owner of a Stardrake and have been lovingly assembling and painting it. I'm not finished but decided to take her out for a test drive in a few matches. In my experiences that day I learned a lot about the Stardrake, it's capabilities and it's rules design. My first match was against some Sylvaneth led by Alariele herself. I found myself looking from her and back to my Stardrake and then back to her again in utter disappointment. It is my understanding she is not considered optimal yet she seem to me more than worth her points. At 600 consider her abilities. Very strong attack profile, a 16" fly move, 16 wounds, heals everything d3 and herself 2 d3 each round. Casts 3 spells. a free unit worth between 200 and 300 points. This is only improved upon by Sylvaneths incredibly cheap and effective battalion options. The Drake on the other hand... 40 points cheaper. Bad attack profile. 12" fly. 16 wounds. Additional damage output is locked behind highly conditional requirements like the Jaws and Tail abilities, these are near useless abilities that auto fail against heroes/monsters and likely to fail against elites. The ability that acts as it's shooting attack is alright if a little under powered on the thunderhead option. The arcane lineage ability is a nice addition that is lore friendly and useful, no complaints. A bad command ability. It's best attribute is obviously its 3+ rerollable save that reflects MW onto surrounding enemies. The only real value the Drake represents is an unkillable footprint provided you pour resources into it like crutch of a command trait Staunch Defender, throw a lantern on him and make sure you dont charge to keep your buff. Thats not worth 560 point if you ask me. The model is only viable as the Lord Celestant version because of its shield and then its just barely so if you exploit it. The biggest issue for me is the design is from the old system of Sigmar where being elite meant you had rend at all and units were not designed with abilities that made them death machines. It used to be elite units simply inflicted slightly more kills on average than Battleline to trigger battleshock more effectively (see: The Everchosen). Things have changed and the Stardrake has not caught up which is a shame because it's a beautiful and characterful model that only ever limped along as a crutch itself. The Mawcrusha is another example of something I think that is at least more fairly costed at 440 when you look at its abilities and damage capabilities. My point in bringing up these behemoths like the Everqueen and the Mawcrusha is not just that they are relatively effective for their cost but that they also perform in a way that feels representative of the units narrative profile. My Freeguild general on griffon is a better fighter with a better command ability than the Stardrake and he is only 260 points, I think the Stardrake should have better, more reliable damage output to justify it's cost. I do not think a points reduction is the answer alone as it still doesnt have the right feel on the tabletop with its current rules. I should not feel disappointed every-time I play this beautiful centerpiece model.
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