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    Intro:
    So I was fortunate enough to get an invite to the North American masters based on my player ranking, I was ranked 11thoverall mainly on the strength of my performance at Buckeye and Infernal Zoo where I came in tied for 7th/96 and 4th/36 respectively.
    I was excited to bring the Sea Dragon host to such a prestigious battleground and face some great opponents, unfortunately, the Masters decided to use 2.05 and due to the timing of the release with the holidays and other commitments I ended up submitting a list I had never played before (gasp!). Due to this I took something that was relatively similar to my Buckeye list but tried to address the gaps that list had and took some advantage of the recent points drops from 2.05, here’s what I ended up with:


    The Sea Dragon Host:
    High Prince on a Griffon (General)- Shield, Dragon Armor- Demon Hunters, Diadem of Protection, Lance- Nova Flare
    Order of the Fiery Heart Adept on a Young Dragon(Pyro)- Shield, Heavy Armor- Basalt Infusion, Talisman of Shielding
    Master of the Canreig Tower (BSB)- Shield, Heavy Armor, Void Talisman

    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    2x5 Elein Reavers

    20 Flame Wardens FC- Rending
    5 Ryma Knights
    2x5 Queens Guard
    2 SGRs

    Thoughts on the list’s playstyle:
    I’ll do an AAR once I finish the bat reps, but a quick thought on what I was going for here. I really wanted to increase my overall shooting output from Buckeye and I needed to have better answers for demon legions, as I knew there’d be at least 4 at the tourney.

    So, pyro and the nova lance were my answers for demons, the 2x5 QG and 2 SGRs vs 3 SGRs make a more flexible shooting phase that can be more mobile and puts out more damage against low res/armor targets.

    It also is fairly mobile as most of the infantry have relentless company and the fliers and Knights are great for zoning and flanks.
    Meta: Important to talk about the meta at this tourney, there ended up being 28 (originally planned to be 32, but some last minute drops due to travel issues). See below:
    VS, DL: 4
    O&G, HBE: 3
    UD, OK, DE, SE, SA: 2
    VC, DH, BH, EoS: 1
    0 KoE, WotDG, ID

    I do think that the changes I made to my list help stabilize the DL/VS match up, but I still think they are not great. The VS list with vermin demon, double dreadmill, plague pendulum deathstar, lightning rod my list just really struggles with. Really I think any HBE list that has any significant points spent in fliers can only hope for a small win at best against this build and probably averages a medium loss. Of course, all 4 of the VS players took very slight variations of this exact list. My pairings ended up being almost a perfect representation of the spread and I was happy to see no ID.
    So without further adieu, let’s get onto Game 1…

    Game 1: vs Chris Mince’s Vampire Counts

    So, randomly paired against the top ranked player in the country and long running Team USA ETC captain. I had looked at his list quite a bit and I wasn’t too worried about the match up, he had:

    Vampire Count (general): Wizard Master- Occultism, Night’s Crown, Destiny’s Call, Halberd- Blessed Inscriptions
    Wight King (BSB): 1+ Rerollable, Hero’s Heart
    Necromancer: Wizard Master- Evocation, Necromantic Staff

    40ish Skellies, Sword and Board, FC- Flaming Std
    35ish Zombies
    20ish Zombies

    3 Ghasts
    6 Vargheists- Champ
    5 Spectral Hunters
    4 Spirit Hosts
    Dark Coach- Extended Chassis
    8 Dire Wolves

    Thoughts on the Match Up:
    There’s pros and cons here, he has a ton of snipe spells, basically 4 that I care about to varying degrees, in order from caring most to least (Marked for Doom, Touch of the Reaper, Breath of Corruption, Hasten the Hour) which will really keep my fliers honest.
    But he’s also generally fairly slow with his key damage dealer a move 4 infantry model and pyro really helps with the ethereal and vargheist match up.
    Also, our mission was breakthrough and the volume of scoring combined with ravens wing make my list a threat in that objective.
    My battle plan was to avoid his Vampire Count and Skellie block and try to pick up the ethereals and Vargheists and breakthrough shooting for a 10-13 hopefully (I think winning big is hard bc I don’t have a good way to get the Vampire) and I’d have to feed him some things to hold him back. Let’s see how it goes.

    Deployment/Objective:
    Dawn Assault/Breakthrough
    He won the roll to choose sides and took the side with the big hill (mainly to keep my shooting base off of it I believe) and chose the side that would prevent me from deploying behind a piece of impassable
    We alternated for a few and then he dropped everything for first turn.

    Spell Selection:
    Chris' spells were fairly predictable, see pic below:


    I took:
    Flaming Swords, Pyro Flow
    Ravenswing, Awaken the Beast, Lash


    Turns 1-3:
    He advances full steam ahead with his infantry, coach and BSB in the center and on my right and he keeps the Vargheists hovering around the hill.


    After my turn 1 movement

    I manage to take… [Read More]