Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Nicodem Tactica

I say THE Nicodem tactica, because I am conceited and believe I am the best player with him ever. Really. But lets not get into that. What this really is, is the sum of my experiences with him over the past few years. A lot of people keep telling me he is bad and I think he's more misunderstood. So hopefully I can clear some things up about him and the models he works well with.

Nicodem himself is a low wk, low def high cast master. He fits in alongside, Levi, Criid, Ramos, and Raspy. The difference between him and the rest is that his spell list runs through a lot of different things. The others are more focused. With his versatility I have come to believe that Nicodem has the best spell list in all of Malifaux. Lets break them down.

Decay - One of my favorite spells. Does damage, has solid range, and the best part of it all, any time it hits your guys instead of blasting them it heals them 2 wounds. It lacks the punch of Raspy and Criid's blasts, but it still can pack a whalop, and the heal in return is very solid.

Reanimator - This is the spell that trips people up. Nicodem can summon anything. This does not make him a minion factory. Use Reanimator to replace lost troops. Dont get caught up trying to dig out corpses and constatly have him summon new dudes. Its not his best spell, but it is a clutch one. My rule of thumb for reanimator is Summon a Flesh Construct or Punk Zombie, unless you have a specific goal in mind. Need to pull an enemy off and objective make a Belle. Need to go take one make a Necro Punk. Otherwise the hitting power of those two will cover a lot of bases.

Riggor Mortis - The Best spell in all of Malifaux. (Pandora's flee thing is a trigger, so its different) The Ability to paralyze models will win games. If you cast it 3 times in a turn, you should be able to take advatage of your opponets crew nicely. But this spell needs a 10+ to cast and people will sell out to stop it. Pick your spots and only burn stones on really nasty foes (Like Lelu or any master)

The Fog - A great spell to protect your crew from shooting on the way up the field. It needs a low mask so you can hold one if need be. I like to cast it on turns 1-3ish and not so much once you engage.

Nicodem's (0) actions. Both of which are amazing. The problem becomes when to use each one. I have a method thats pretty easy. If there are corpse counters on the board and you don't have any Mindless zombies use Arise. Pretty much otherwise use Bolster. If you only have like 1 MZ I would make more. Thats pretty much it. Choose wisely.

All right lets focus on something that can be trouble, keeping Nicodem alive. He has a poor defence of 3, but has a nice 12 wounds and hard to wound. So its easy to ensure he only takes minimum damage from attacks. He has the ability to pass off attacks onto Mindless zombies too, so be sure to take advantage of that and keep 2-4 of them around him at all times. The other big thing to do is start every game with 8 soul stones. He will need them to stay alive and ensure key Riggor or Reanimator spell goes off. You can take less stones if you really need the points, but Im telling you very often those 8 stones are better then most models he will take.

Nicodem's Avatar. Its awesome, plain and simple. In just about any game I would pay the 2 stones to attach it. It is a solid upgrade and his manifest is easy to acomplish. generally only achieving 1 requirement can work fine, and I would focus on the use arise to make 3 Mindless zombies requirement. Once Manifested he keeps Riggor Mortis and Decay so his offensive spells stay the exact same. But he gains a new (0) action which freely makes 0-4 Mindless Zombies depending on a card flip. I would always use it if you have less then 2 on the table. If you have several Zombies up then use his other (0) to start making Punk Zombies out of them. The Resser Men have FANTASTIC avatars, I would almost auto-attach all 3, they are that good.

Ok so now we move onto crew choices. This is where I feel like people get tripped up with Nicodem. I'll break down some common choices for him.

The Dead Rider I would take him in just about any list with any reser master. He really needs the Grave Spirit to shine to keep that in mind when you buy him. Nicodem doesn't need a totem so the Rider and Grave Spirit combo is perfect for him. The Dead Riders biggest weakness for Nico is he leaves only 1 corpse. But its not that huge.

Mortimer I hate Mortimer. He is 7 points and prety useless. All he does most games is lag behind the crew popping out Corpses. Its not enought to justify the cost and resouces he commands. Ignore him please. he is dead weight and his points can be spent on models that will actively help Nico win.

Punk Zombies I have a rule for Punk Zombies, Only Summon. Never pay points for them, they are slow and very easy to take down. Its a lot more difficult to handle them when they appear in your face. That is their strength. Don't over pay for your minions, the 4 stone guys are way better early game.

Crookedmen This is my favorite Minion. I like to take 2 with Nico, Seamus, and McMourning. They have range attacks, board control, and their hammers do great damage with the chance to paralyze and the kicker, cheap. There is very little to dislike about them. If you don't use them, try them they will change your games.

Rotten Belle Coming in at a close second on the minion chart is the Belle. They are also a bargain, but don't really need company. 1 is enough for most games. They can move Nico more, or bring enemies into your lines if you set it up right.

Canine Reamains These are the tough ones to figure. I've been taking them with the Avatar, but not with Regular nico. I have decided that I liek them to a certain extent, but for Nicodem I would never take them just to kill them. That slows down your crew and is a bit of a waste. Instead I have been using them to run up first cause some havoc and hopefully do some damage before they die. Im not a huge fan of them, but they can be a necessary part of ressers.

Rafkin On paper he seems like the coolest minion we've got. In practice I find him a bit lacking. Not sure if he fits with Nico, but I do think its his best bet to find a spot. More games is needed I guess. at the moment though I rarely take him and when I do he underperforms.

Necro-Punks / Night Terrors These our the ressers best objective grabbers. Its a tough call as to which to take for Nico in my mind. Night terrors are faster and a little more durable, but they dont leave corpses so thats a pain. Night terrors are conditionally fast (needing a mask to leap) but do leave corpses so they aren't usless once their mission is complete. I would leave this one up to play style and choice honestly.

So those are my Nicodem thoughts. Post up any questions or arguements in the comments if you want something explained better or just think I'm way off on this.


wrabbit37 said...

As someone who has failed with Nicodem time and time again, thanks for putting this up. I like your comment about his bringing models back not needing to be a big focus for him. Makes the pain of only getting one corpse from the Dead Rider much easier to stomach.

Regarding the Dead Rider, I'm wondering how you've done with other "big point" minions with Nicodem? Like Bette, the Rouge Necromancy, or Shikome?

Also, can you talk about the Vultures a little - why don't you like using them as much? What have been your experiences?

Dan said...

I have used Bette with Nico and she can be very strong. Her ability to pop up and either paralyze people or put out solid damage is amazing. I have not used the Shikome with him as I generally avoid spirits. The Rogue Necro I don't like paying points for as he is over-costed in my mind.

As for Vultures I used to swear by them, but found, they end up working as Dogs do. they run up, get maybe 1 spell cast and then die horribly. If I could take them and the Grave spirit I might in some games, but the grave spirit trumps them.

Makhina said...

Would there be a point you would not want to use the Dead Rider? I know I dont like using him on my Levi lists if I am not using Collodi at the 35 point level.

Sunjeev said...

Could i ask if you were doing a 35ss list how you would construct a nico list please?