So my good friend Christopher’s article in Lost Hemisphere got me thinking about the often down-trodden ex-Cygnarian and now Cryxian warcaster: Sturgis the Corrupted, henceforth referred to as “eStrugis”, for brevity.
In his article, Chris discussed how Privateer Press has almost left eSturgis untouched in the edition change for this All New War. This was surprising for many, my humble self-included, as he was quite widely considered one of Cryx’s most lackluster casters and it was predicted by many luminaries of the internets that he would see significant changes. However, I offer this observation: That our good friends Privateer Press must have deemed that the change of the game’s environment as a whole was enough to justify leaving him almost untouched.
In order to properly evaluate eSturgis, we must briefly evaluate the new environ he finds himself in. With the addition of premeasuring, changes to Rate of Fire, the addition of Power Booster, the increase in Warjack Points, and the almost universal reduction of Command, we are likely find ourselves likely to be beset on all sides by heavy armor, large guns and clustered infantry.
This automatically makes Dark Shroud, Parasite, Occultation, Blood Rain and Dead on Arrival that much better on this Cryxian. Convection? We don’t talk about Convection. Convection is for ovens! Ovens!
As mentioned, opponents will be bringing more warjacks to the table. But this means we will most likely bring more of our own as well! Privateer Press mentioned they have envisioned a swarm mentality for Cryx, and praised their ability to overwhelm their foes with vast numbers. Cryxian warjacks are some of the cheapest out there, and with the aforementioned addition of Power Booster and increased Warjack points, we are encouraged to take larger battlegroups. Hopefully this will result in eSturgis’ feat: Dead on Arrival, to have a much more devastating effect on your opponent, as you can quickly load up your battlegroup with Focus with the help of Power Booster.
Imagine charging with eSturgis and triggering Dark Shroud. You then spell-sling Parasite on a nearby infantry unit. Then you feat. Your feat could be hitting the parasit unit for 17 damage if you pull them into your melee range! This combination existed in Mk2, but with the new reduced Command Ranges, it is more effective. You could then load up your battlegroup, teleport away, and have them clean up.
eSturgis is also a formidable fighter by his own accord, under Dark Shroud and Parasite he can bump up his melee weapons to an effective POW 18, and with Snap Strike he can make quick work of most light warjacks and even some heavies too.
The ex-Cygnarian frankencaster also has some interesting math associated with his assassination runs. Consider he can reduce an opposing warcaster’s armor by 5. Now consider the changes to Focus camping and how Reinforcing the Powerfield works. Finally, consider that eSturgis has Snap Strike, effectively getting two attacks per focus spend on additional attacks. See it yet? Even if the opposing warcaster is camping an equal or higher amount of focus as eSturgis, eSturgis will almost always invariably have more attacks than an opposing warcaster has focus to Reinforce the Powerfield.
I could list all the cute synergies, combinations and lists I conjure up in my running sessions, but I find that would be a story for another article. I find that, quite simply, eSturgis is much better in this edition than the last, and will provide a combined arms solution to a combined arms problem. He is a well-rounded, flexible caster and just because he isn’t high-octane broken, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t see table time.