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Representing the Mortarchs

Discussion in 'The Teachings of Abhorash' started by Malisteen, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Malisteen

    Malisteen Master Necromancer True Blood

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    End Times: Nagash named 9 mortarchs, and though several fell, turned traitor, or were otherwise removed from the game before the end of the campaign, most participated in a few battles for the Undead Legion before they left, and depending on how ypur home campaigns prpgress, your own incarnation of Nagash may find himself with a different line up of champions heading into the final battle. That's fine for Arkhan, Vlad, Mannfred, Neferata, and Krell, but what about Dieter, Luthor, Walach, and the Nameless?

    This thread is for coming up with raw compatible incarnations of the four mortarchs who presently lack their own statlines. This is not for homebrew special character versions, though you're free to start a thread on the homebrew forum for that.

    EDIT: AGAIN, THIS IS NOT FOR HOMEBREW VERSIONS OF THESE CHARACTERS, THAT WOULD BELONG ON THE NECRARCH WORKSHOP SUBFORUM. THIS THREAD IS FOR REPRESENTING THE REMAINING MORTARCHS WITH RAW-LEGAL GENERIC CHARACTER BUILDS.

    There are two competing goals, here. First is fidelity to the character's fluff, and the second is gameplay effectiveness. If the character you build isn't recognizeable as the character in question, then it has failed to represent them well, but if it is so worthless on the table that no one would ever field it, then why did you bother in the first place?

    The other big restriction is that these guys should be fieldable in any combination, so only one of each magic item, and only one of one/army upgrades like Master of the Dead.

    In addition to gameplay set ups, suggestions for mortarch titles for walach, dieter, and the nameless are also welcome.

    The characters in question are:


    Walach Harkon: Mortarch of ???

    A vampire lord of Abhorash's line, and the sire of the blood dragon order, Walach rides to war on a zombie dragon.

    Of all the missing mortarchs, Walach seems easiest to build a satisfying version of using raw tools. He's basically just your standard blender lord on a dragon, though you might limit his magic levels to two or three at most, since he's no great mage, and perhaps might pass on quickblood, since its not the most blood-dragony of powers? Or maybe not, it's kind of hard to pass up. On the other hand Dread Knight seems like a key fluff purchase. I'd give him the armor of destiny instead of the talisman of preservation, so that the latter can be reserved for Dieter.

    My version: Walach Harkon, Mortarch of Blades
    Vampire Lord, level 2, lore of vampires, red fury, dread knight, quickblood, zombie dragon, armor of destiny, sword of anti-heroes, other trickster's shard, shield


    Dieter Helsnicht: Mortarch of ???

    A necromancer of the highest caliber, Dieter rejuvinates his forces with dark magic and harrasses his enemies with his rod of flaming death from the back of an abyssal terror that he constructed primarily from a manticore's carcass.

    Like Walach, Dieter is pretty easy to build, though he's far less effective in game. Level 4 Master Necromancer with Master of the Dead, abyssal terror, and rod of flaming death. The rod isn't the best item, but it leaves enough points for a talisman of preservation, so he at least has some protection.

    My version: Dieter Helsnicht, Mortarch of Ritual
    Master Necromancer, level 4, master of the dead, lore of vampires, abyssal terror, rod of flaming death, talisman of preservation, scroll of shielding


    The Nameless: Mortarch of ???

    A sadistic bodiless spirit twisted by malice and insanity, the nameless uses puwerful enchantments to dominate the minds of the living and the dead.

    The nameless is much harder to build. We have no ethereal lords anymore, so already you're making sacrifices in his representation. He's not a vampire, so do you build him as a necromancer, or do you run him as a vampire anyway to get access to bloodline powers to help model his abilities? If you do that, do you focus on straight casting buffs like master of the black arts, or do you go for fear and leadership powers to model his mental manipulations? What lore do you give him? Of the four characters in question, this is the one I'm most curious to see different takes on.

    My version: The Nameless, Mortarch of Whispers
    Necromancer Lord, level 4, lore of death, black pariapt, talisman of endurance
    This version is functional as a character, but lacking when it comes to representing the fluff. Improvements/alternatives appreciated.


    Luthor Harkon: Mortarch of the Abyss

    Cursed by an old one relic, the vampire pirate Luthor Harkon became a living anti-magic nexus, but in the process had his mind shatterred. Now he leads his zombie pirate armada into battle for Nagash.

    Luthor is a vampire lord with the flying horror ability. He can no longer cast spells himself but can still control the undead (level one wizard who only ever takes or casts invocation?), but can drain away nearby magic (one of the magic resist talismans?). His insanity manifests in battle as an uncontrollable blood rage (red fury?), and he fights with a magic cutlass and a pistol (?)

    He had official rules in white dwarf (http://www.vampirecounts.net/threads/luther-harkon-of-the-vampire-coast.3801/), but those rules are both bad and very out of date. Still, they may provide a model to consider.

    Nagash Worshiper's version: Luthor Harkon, Mortarch of the Abyss
    Vampire Lord, level 1, Lore of Vampires, red fury, flying horror, beguile, cursed book, fencer's blades, glittering scales, luckstone
    I like the use of the cursed book to represent his multiple personalities, but wish there was a way to fit some magic resist in there...
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  2. Alabaster427

    Alabaster427 Minister of Thriftiness True Blood

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    Having only secondhand knowledge, please take this with a grain of salt. I don't know how to scale points for a model with abilities.

    The Nameless: Mortarch of Mystery
    Hero, Infantry: 250(ish) points
    Level 3 wizard. May choose spells from Lore of Shadow, Lore of Death, or Lore of Undeath.

    WS 3, BS 2, S 4, T 4, W 3, I 5, A 2, LD 8.

    Special rules:
    Terror, Undead,
    With no name comes no renown: The Nameless may not be your army's general or join a unit (I decided this based on the nature of The Nameless as a wanderer. If nobody really knows who he is, who would follow him? Granted, an undead army would have no choice, but he seems like more the type to influence on a much smaller scale like individuals, rather than having hordes around him).

    Manipulator of Minds: Any unit or model that targets The Nameless must first take a Leadership test at -3 LD. If passed, the unit may attack as normal. If failed, the unit will suffer a wound for each point it fails the LD test by with no armor saves allowed and cannot attack for the rest of the turn. (I wanted this to be similar to the Battle of Wills test without being too similar, but I still wanted his manipulation to do some damage without being cancelled by ITP).

    Deceit Incarnate: Innate bound Spell (level 5). Remains In Play. The Nameless may take control of an enemy unit within 6". The target unit and The Nameless roll a D6 and it to their respective LD. If the result for the Nameless is higher than the target unit's result, then The Nameless may control the target unit until dispelled or dissipates. At the beginning of each subsequent turn, the test will be conducted again. If the target unit wins, then the spell dissipates and control is reverted back to the original player. If the target unit fails, then The Nameless retains control. The controlled unit still benefits from any bonuses it has (such as banners, special rules, etc.) while under The Nameless' control. Once under The Nameless' control, the unit may not use IP from its original general to break the spell, but may use it for the original casting. The Nameless can only control one unit at a time. If the target unit is engaged in combat, immediately take it out of combat and place it one inch away from any other unit. (This seems over-powered, but it can be dispelled in either player turn and twice in your opponents. Basically it has to last for a whole turn before you can turn the controlled unit against its own army, so it's not as OP as it appears.)

    What do you think?
     
  3. Malisteen

    Malisteen Master Necromancer True Blood

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    Looks interesting, but this thread is for representations using existing rules - ie, building a generin character to represent these figures that you can bring to regular games without mussing about with house rule permissions. Homebrewbbuilds would go in the necrarch's workshop subforum. I will try to edit the first post to be more clear.
     
  4. Alabaster427

    Alabaster427 Minister of Thriftiness True Blood

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    Ah. I misunderstood the original post then. Sorry about that. I would use any random necromancer model, or there are couple of Empire wizards that would be sweet conversions for The Nameless.
     
  5. Nagash Worshiper

    Nagash Worshiper Black Knight

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    What about using the cursed book on Luthor along with Flying Horror? He could be a Lv. 1 wizard, being a magically crippled vampire lord. The random effects on the book could represent his many split personalities? A kind of twist on his old rules.
    Throw in glittering scales and Fencers blade to represent a duelist's cutlass or dagger while also making him a little more survivable. If a tough opponent approaches you'll just fly away :)
     
  6. Malisteen

    Malisteen Master Necromancer True Blood

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    I like the use of the cursed book to represent his multiple personalities, but wish there was a way to fit some magic resist in there. Still it's better than anything I've come up with for him.

    I've edited the original post to include versions of each of the characters, including your version of Luthor.

    If anyone has alternative build suggestions, of improvements to those listed, feel free to chime in.
     
  7. Nagash Worshiper

    Nagash Worshiper Black Knight

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    35 pts for the book and then 15 pts for giving Luthor MR1 but his items have to change. Maybe switch the fencers blade for Sword of frenzy?

    Suggestion for names:
    The Nameless, Mortarch of Dominance
    Walach Harkon, Mortarch of Battle.
     
  8. Nagash Worshiper

    Nagash Worshiper Black Knight

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    Another option for the Nameless could be a fully magical vampire on a coven throne.
    So far the fluff in ET Archaon makes his form open for debate. A coven throne that is modified a little could very well work with his fluff. I got the feeling that The Nameless would never go to war without thralls closely surrounding him. This would work well with the crew and spirit hosts and the coven thrones Ld manipulation speaks for itself.
    Even the vampire who's riding the thing could in fact be a thrall and a model could be built in the same manner as that Chaos guy Vilich with twin (can't seem to recall the fellows name correctly).
    So maybe a Lv.4 death vampire on coven throne. With periapt, ward and all vampire powers that modifies the enemy psychologically? Maybe Lore of Vampires or Undeath instead?
     
  9. Malisteen

    Malisteen Master Necromancer True Blood

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    Lore of vampires doesn't seem like his deal. Shadow or death are a better fit, thematically. The problem with the throne is that it exposes him, and we've already used both 4+ ward items, unless you have another idea for walach or Dieter. I do like the leadership gimmick of the throne for him, though.
     
  10. Nagash Worshiper

    Nagash Worshiper Black Knight

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    Out those lores, Death seems the most fitting I think, Doom and Darkness and Spirit Leech comes to mind.
    In a sense he is protected by his closest bodyguard with shooting distribution ;). Even if it's terrible. No but seriously he's got 5++ right? That combined with cannons only hitting the character on a 5+ and the chariot itself having both the wounds to survive an avarage shot and save the other with ward isn't too terrible. The chariot have The Hunger rule right? So it can also heal with impact hits?
    (I can't believe I'm actually arguing for the Throne!)
    Be that as it may, the throne is not an optimal Vampire build in generall but if you compare it with Krell and our Luthor build it's not that half bad even if it'll be double the points.
    Of course the nameless can't be the most powerful mortarch yet anyway, he's forgotten much of his strength ;). Btw, ain't there a lot more tempting targets amongst the other Mortarchs than a coven throne?
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  11. Adam_Barrow

    Adam_Barrow Sleepless Knight True Blood

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    Honestly, it sucks that he's dead, but Kemmler makes a good Nameless. Ethereal wizard, staff that lets him read minds (re: know magic items), Lord level.
     
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  12. Adam_Barrow

    Adam_Barrow Sleepless Knight True Blood

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    Swapping to Loremaster Death, that is. You'd take the hit for still useless Master of the Dead in his points cost, but it's a good fit. Not allowed in Undead Legions, though. It'd be homebrew games for him.
     
  13. Nagash Worshiper

    Nagash Worshiper Black Knight

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    Yeah really to bad. I thought of him also, and a few other characters, but the undead legion army list wouldn't allow.
    How many points would one need to field them all?!
     
  14. der vued

    der vued Ghoul

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    Nice challenge, I like it. :)
    Idea for the Nameless One: Master Necromancer (Lore of Death) with Scabscrath.

    Devastating charge and frenzy are a good representation for malice and insanity, especially because you are forced to kill someone with a necromancer in combat.
    The dominance of the minds is represented by the deathshriek (hopefully combined with doom and darkness).

    The competitiveness lags obviously, but as this build is totally unexpected you might get your opponent on the wrong foot. Maybe add a potion of strengt so you can kill a paper bag? Or give him at least any protection (seed of rebirth and keep him near MEs).


    Idea 2: To represent the ethereality lore of shadows comes to mind. Unfortunately you are instantly commit to a vampire(lord):
    Vampirelord (lvl4 shadow), MotBA, Forbidden Lore, Nightshroud (for his spirityness), black periapt
    More competitive I guess, but I don't like him being a vampire. :-/

    Sidenote: The nightshroud's fluff description mentions Castle Drachenfels. As the Nameless One is probably Constant Drachenfels you have a second reason to take that item.

    My Walach Harkon, Mortarch of Dread. (Yours is not killy enough for my taste. He is the First of the Blooddragons!)

    Vampirelord (lvl1) with Zombie Dragon, HA, Shield, Sword of Bloodshed, Potion of Strength, Dragonhelm, Seed of Rebirth, Red Fury, Dread Knight, Fear Incarnate

    Quickblood is definitively more competitive than Fear Incarnate. But I guess his foes are pretty afraid of him. So I tend to this power for fluff reason.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  15. The Sun King

    The Sun King Imperator Staff Member True Blood

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    Does the Nameless ever ride? If so sticking the MN on a Nightmare will up his armoursave and toughness.
     
  16. Nagash Worshiper

    Nagash Worshiper Black Knight

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    He rode when possesing Luthor Huss I think?
     
  17. The Sun King

    The Sun King Imperator Staff Member True Blood

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    So a Level 4 Death MN with Nightshroud, Cursed Book and some magical weapon on a Nightmare could be a way to represent his abilities?
     
  18. Adam_Barrow

    Adam_Barrow Sleepless Knight True Blood

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    Probably a slip of the tongue, but Walach isn't the first Blood Dragon. He's the leader of the Knights of Blood Keep. And that fight at the Auric Bastion in ET: Nagash was awesome.
     
  19. Nagash Worshiper

    Nagash Worshiper Black Knight

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    Maybe the Nameless could be represented by a mounted Liche High Priest, Lv.4 death and The Golden Death Mask? Perhaps some fitting item from the rule book?
     
  20. Mioum

    Mioum Crypt Horror

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    For the Nameless, I'd go with a Vampire Lord. Not much for the stats, but for the vampire powers that gives much more option to make the character. The better stats don't hurt though, I'd like a Mortarch to not die to a soft breeze and be afraid to throw him at some weak enemies!

    I'd go with a build like this;

    Vampire Lord
    Level 4 with Death Magic
    Supernatural Horror
    Aura of Dark Majesty
    Fear Incarnate
    Beguile
    Nightshroud
    Obsidian Amulet
    15pts left for another magic item

    The four vampire powers really help to represent his ability to play with the mind of his enemies. He cause terror, enemies have -1 Ld around him, he force a re-roll on fear tests, and some target will re-roll their rolls to-hit on him unless they pass a test at -4.

    Then with the Nightshroud, they have ASL and loose all S bonuses. The rest of the points are "free", as nothing really fit his character specifically, so you can give him whatever you want I guess. I gave him MR3 because I don't want him sniped with spells, and you can be a bit more careful with wich combat you go into.

    Alternatively, you could switch the Nightshroud with the Trickster Helm. When Beguile kicks in, the enemy will have to re-roll both to-hit and to-wounds wich can also be good.

    Then of course, you might want to get a screaming banner for his unit too :)
     
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  21. The Sun King

    The Sun King Imperator Staff Member True Blood

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    I like that Mioum. 15 pts you say? Well Other Trickster's Shard would make sense fluff wise and fit that neatly.
     
  22. Mioum

    Mioum Crypt Horror

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    That's an option if the item is free. Or a cheap magic weapon for a bit more punch maybe. Sword of striking is nice, Bitting blade is always useful, and Warrior Bane could be decent since you'll most likely strike first, removing a few attacks before getting hit can also help!

    You can also downgrade the MR3 to MR2, or a straight up ward of 5+, freeing some more pts to play around. The Nighshroud is only the really locked-in item for him I'd say, so there's rooms to play with what else is available.

    Guess I'll have to build all four to see what items goes to who! Let's;

    Walach Harkon, Mortarch of War
    Vampire Lord
    Level 1 Wizard with Vampire Lore
    Shield
    Zombie Dragon
    Red Fury
    Quick Blood
    Dread Knight
    Armor of Destiny
    Ogre Blade
    Dragonbane Gem
    Potion of Foolhardiness

    658pts total

    I think he's got all the tool to be killy, S7 help to wound easily and remove most armor, and the potion will give him an extra attack on one charge. He also have decent protection with 3+ and 4++ (and 2++ against flaming attack/cannonball).

    I wonder if a basic lance would be good enough for him though, freeing points for something else? Never played a blender lord myself, so I just gave him some cool items. But I guess on a dragon you can choose your fight better and need less of the strength bonus after the charge. Unless you fight a lot of big strong monsters maybe, I don't know.


    Next up;

    Dieter Helsnicht, Mortarch of Bones
    Master Necromancer
    Level 4 with Vampire Lore
    Master of the Dead
    Abyssal Terror
    Talisman of Preservation
    Staff of Flaming Death
    Scroll of Shielding

    440pts total

    Pretty much the standard for Dieter, a needed 4++ ward, the mandatory staff, and 15pts pts left to play with, so I gave him a scroll for some extra magic defense.


    Next;

    Luthor Harkon, Mortarch of the Seas
    Vampire Lord
    Level 2 with Vampire Lore
    Heavy Armour
    Curse of the Revenant
    Quickblood
    Beguile
    Trickster Helm
    Fencer's Blade
    Seeds or Rebirth
    Ironcurse Icon

    461pts total

    Harkon look a bit light on the defense with only a 4+ save, but he still have a few things going for him. Quickblood is always great to have, and if Beguile work he'll be harder to hit. And when combined with the Fencer's Blade granting him WS10 and the Trickster Helm forcing the enemy to re-roll to wounds, he should be good enough versus most rank-and-file at least. Seeds of Rebirth and the extra wound from the curse should help him survive a bit longer (ideally to heal back in the magic phase!). I made him level 2 in magic, while he might be crazy and not much magical I feel like he should be better than Walach with his spells. Unless he's supposed to be magic-less in the fluff? I don't remember exactly.


    And modified a bit the load-out of the last one;

    The Nameless, Mortarch of Treachery
    Vampire Lord
    Level 4 with Death Magic
    Supernatural Horror
    Aura of Dark Majesty
    Fear Incarnate
    Beguile
    Nightshroud
    Talisman of Endurence
    The Other Trickster Shard
    Warrior Bane

    500pts total

    Downgraded the MR3 to a straight ward of 5+, (the Lichebone Standard could always be used in his unit to get a 4+ ward vs sniping spells). Gave him the Trickster Shard and the Warrior Bane. The Shard will help to force wounds through, wich in turn should slowly cripple the opponent (Drachy like to play with his prey after all).
     
  23. benvoliothefirst

    benvoliothefirst Grave Guard

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    Well now THIS is just the best frickin' thread ever.
     
  24. Malisteen

    Malisteen Master Necromancer True Blood

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    Luthor is supposed to be magic-less in the lore, cursed by a lizardmen artifact that broke his mind into several warring personalities and turned his body into a living anti-magic nexus, rendering him unable to cast spells but also nullifying the abilities of other wizards in his presence. He also flies, and fights with a saber and brace of pistols, adding up to what is, overall, a very difficult set of abilities to represent.

    ......................

    While there's not much point to discussing age of sigmar 'builds' for the mortarchs, since character customization isn't so much a thing in that game, it is worth noting that the mortarchs without explicit rules are pretty straight forward to represent there:

    Walach: zombie dragon with vampire rider

    Dieter: the new rules suggest using arkhan in place of necromancers on abyssal terrors, but since Arkhan is already Arkhan, you might consider using the 'vampire on abyssal terror' rules instead. That said, there's nothing forbidding multiples of the same named character in AoS, so just another Arkhan is an option. Note that in either case the arcane bolt spell can represent his rod of flaming death.

    Nameless: use Kemmler's rules. Unlike undead legion, the AoS vamp counts list has access to a version of him, and his rules still fit the nameless better than any other options.

    Luthor: As with Dieter, there are two decent options. The first is a plain old vampire lord with the 'leathery wing' flight option, just make sure the only spell you use him to cast is arcane bolt - using it to represent his pistol rather than the magic abilities he lacks. The second is to use Konrad's rules, which better represent his madness (if you're willing to get into the act with a bit of role play at the table) and lack of magical ability, but lack his ability to fly or any sort of ranged attack to represent his pistols.

    Also worth noting, if a bit tangential to this thread, is that Krell is considerably less terrible in AoS, and if he's your general he actually gains an ability to buff another unit, making him the commander of the dead that his fluff makes him out to be. In 8th edition games, you're generally better off - both mechanically and thematically - using the rules for a tomb king with a great weapon and any decent magic armor to represent the mortarch of despair rather than his own rules.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  25. Mioum

    Mioum Crypt Horror

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    Thanks, was not familiar with Luthor fluff. Magic-less Vampire would be pretty impossible to represent though, so we'll have to ignore it sadly. So that rules out the level 2 upgrade now, at least that'll make him a bit cheaper!

    I went back to read the Zombie Pirate list and the parts where he fight in ET Archaon for more pointers.

    The only thing that could somehow represent his madness would be Skabscrath. Devastating Charge and Frenzy would fit him nicely. The scream could, with imagination, represent his pistol shot (screaming-bullets :tongue:). But giving him MR (3) would also be great to include (he have it in the Pirate list), and we can't fit both. Then there's the Spellthieving sword that would be nice on him to represent his magical void ability (I think I've never seen that sword in any list, ever). Could be good to use against the tougher magic users (Greater Daemon, Daemon Princes, Vermin Lords, etc). Add a Strength Potion (some tasty Grog) to help him wounds these bugger maybe.

    Some feedback on this build for Luthor;

    Vampire Lord with Lore of Vampire
    Heavy Armor
    Curse of the Revenant
    Quickblood
    Beguile
    Spellthieving Sword
    Dragonhelm
    Obsidian Lodestone
    Potion of Strength

    426pts total

    I decided to keep Quickblood instead of giving him Flying Horror, Quickblood is just too good to pass up! But you could swap it back (or remove the Curse and take another power along with Flying). He's not as well defended as before, and isn't really hitty outside of the round he use the potion though.
     

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