What to bring, what to bring? So many choices. The question is, will this be a mangled metal/tooth and claw event or is it open to whatever?
Mangled metal provides some challenges that I'd have to really take a serious look into solving. First off Cryx isn't know as the jack casting faction.
Only recently in Legends did our faction receive it's first true jack caster, Mortenebra. Don't get me wrong, she is full of win, but her most effective spells are triggered vs. living models; jacks are not living models so what point do they serve?
Cankerworm: This jack is a missile of uber destruction which can chew through the hardiest warjacks in the game. It's fast, stealthy and has one of the most effective/efficient damage grids I've ever seen. The systems are so spread out that it can take a tremendous amount of damage and still not lose a single one. The main problem I foresee is that with certain casters and the lack of bile thralls I'd find myself without any corrosion sources for the cankerworm. That's a big deal and limits my caster choices if I choose to run the worm.
Nightmare: While only being in my possession a short while it has already amassed a fine collection of warcaster shulls to line its trophey shelf. The prey ability is amazing, the out of turn movement really helps line uf the charge or seek better positioning to ensure the win. While the jack has decent pow+str attacks and reach, arm 18 isn't all that hard to break and its damage grid only has two more boxes than the cankerworm! Needless to say it's pretty damn squishy. That being said, when taken with Deneghra it gains stealth and becomes a lot more menacing, especially vs. shooty jacks. The nightmare also has an imprint ability which makes it ghostly allowing it to move through obstacles, ignore terrain and free strikes. Very handy.
Deathjack: I'm not sure I even need to write an opinion. General consensus is that this beast of a jack is the best jack in the game. Terrific stats, tons of damage boxes, two open fists with p+s 18 and a head attack that's pow 15! The deathjack can Necrovent which places a 5" AOE centered on him dealing pow 12 boostable hit on everything in the cloud, g-night Vilmon! But wait, there's more. The Deathjack comes equipped with two skulls of hate, these bad boys are the driving force behind this maniacal monster of mayhem. The skulls of hate provide the Deathjack with two focus during my control phase, allow the deathjack a 360 degree front arc so it can charge and slam in any direction and make it so the deathjack can cast any spell on my warcasters' list! Essentially everything amazing about Cryx is rolled up into this one big nasty jack. What else can I say? I love him!
Well, now for the negatives. He's so damn expensive, at 154 points that's 44% of my army and paints him as a pretty big target. Kill him and it's game over basically. He also suffers from being unbound, which means that if for any reason I cannot allocate him three focus he then goes nutty and charges my caster. That's bad, especially since most anti jack casters my nemesis runs have all sorts of ways to wipe a cortex out. Did I mention he was expensive? I did? Well I'm going to say it again, negative #1 is his point cost, that alone will keep him in the bag.
Slayer: BARF! He's terrible, great to have as a fig thanks to the Withershadow Combine and their dark industry's ability, but that's it. The slayer is way too expensive for the paltry stats it has. Abysmal pow+str, the worst MAT of any heavy in the game and a damage grid a Bone jack would laugh at. Not much point talking about this guy, he's never going to see the table top unless I really want to have a casual game. NEXT!
Arc Nodes: Deathrippers vs. Defilers. Until Legends Defilers were considered the worst of the arc nodes. Overly expensive for a single shot, non aoe corrosion blast with only pow 12. However, once the Cankerworm hit play the evil Cryxian warcasters found utility in the deFAILers as another corrosion source. In Mangled Metal this is a big deal. I'd have to run at least two, maybe even three. Should I opt for a cast which has access to corrosion causing spells the likelihood that the defiler will see play diminishes. The deathripper is an efficient arc node which is cheaper than most solo's. It has a sustained attack and can headbutt or slam other jacks around keeping them knocked down and opening charge lanes for the big boys. I really should invest in Nightwretches, maybe I'll buy a blister. Moving right along.
Stalkers: The following is a write up done by the Battle College. I own a Stalker but have used it all of one time. "The Stalker is not a normal bonejack. It has no arc node, and its statistics are bit different. It moves fast, has stealth, jumps and moves over all terrain. It's a solo killer with some good abilities for suppressing warcasters, but you will almost NEVER get to attack a warcaster with it. For its points cost it's a difficult unit to get the best performance out of, and in many respects it has been eclipsed by the Helldiver. The Stalker is just as good in melee as the Helljacks, and is more difficult to hit than any other warjack in the game. It's difficult to hit without some sort of bonus or boosted attack rolls or additional attack dice. The Stalker can even tangle up models that have a MAT:8 like Exemplar Seneschals. The Stalker is as fast as the other bonejacks but has less armor and fewer damage boxes. Any hit doing twenty damage or more is enough to badly damage this warjack. A series of blasts with a few high damage rolls from things like Winterguard Mortars or boosted AOE blasts from warjacks are enough to cripple the Stalker in one or two shots. The Evisceratiors do a decent amount of damage, but are not at the top of the spectrum, so don't obsess over their ability to mess up warcasters. What the Stalker most needs is for any potential victim to be "debuffed" by spells like Parasite, or to get bonuses to its damage rolls with spells like Scything Touch or Pirate Queen Skarre's Blood Magic feat.Without allocated focus or other assistance the Stalker is a threat to most warrior solos and units, but not able to directly threaten warjacks or warcasters. Most warcasters can laugh off an unassisted attack from a Stalker, and trash it on their next turn. All Terrain: Being able to charge or slam through rough terrain and move through it unimpeded is game winning. This is only one of a few all terrain warjacks that Cryx has, and the only one that can move so swiftly. The second best use I've gotten out of it is being able to move 10" over all terrain when performing a slam attack.Leap: This ability is not often as valuable, since you cannot perform the all important charge or slam, though it will let the Stalker move further to engage the enemy. The Stalker can use leaps to flee combats without taking free strikes, or advance in the face of Centurions standing in front of Darius and jump over them to attack him directly. Anything that stops a Stalker from charging (reductions to SPD for example) will stop it from leaping. Stealth: There are many ways of subverting stealth. Don't have it prance around in front of the enemy out of cover unless you want some Gun Mage Captain Adept wrecking it for you in the first or second turn of the game. You should still take advantage of concealment whenever you can, because rough terrain like woods won't slow it down anyway." -Battle College-
So that's it. Those are my choices for Mangled Metal 350. I have a lot of play testing to do. My concern is ensuring that I can deliver my assassination jack to the opposing caster intact allowing the win. Cryx Jacks are much more fragile than any other faction's, it puts us at a disadvantage tactically. That being said, we Cryx are full of tryx and can easily debuff them down to our level, making it all but a rout in favor of the dragon lord.
That's enough for now, time to play!