While re-reading my High Elf army book over the weekend, I was reminded that while I briefly covered all of the “normal” choices, I never wrote anything about the special characters in the High Elf book. This was largely due to the fact that many tournaments tend to prevent people from taking them (and in some cases, there is good reason not to allow them). However, after re-reading the army book, I thought that these special characters deserve a mention. In particular, I found myself thinking about the changes to Teclis.
Some probably recall the previous incarnation of Teclis with Irresistible Force on any double while only miscasting on double 6s… ignoring the first miscast each phase… Loremaster of his chosen lore… generating D3 Power and Dispel dice… and having a Dispel Scroll that can destroy your spell… Did I miss anything?
Well, good news for those people who hated all of that because about the only thing he has left is the fancy Dispel Scroll. I will admit that the old version of Teclis was a bit over the top, even though there were ways to deal with him.
So, what does the new version of one of the most powerful wizards in Warhammer do?
Well, he still has his sword that wounds on a 2+ with no armour saves (with his massive 1 Attack at Weapon Skill 3). Now that the least useful rule is out of the way, we can talk about what he really does.
His staff that previously generated all of the Power & Dispel dice for him now can serve two purposes. It can only be used once and can give him one free power dice per spell for one magic phase or protect him from his first miscast. After using it, his Strength & Toughness are reduced to 1. The free dice per spell sounds great, and could really power up a magic phase, potentially adding 8 dice to the phase, but it is a little more risky than using it to ignore the miscast.
Teclis is a level 4 Wizard, but has a magic item that increases it by 1, so a Level 5 wizard. So, +5 to cast and dispel. He also has Lileath’s Blessing, which is +1 to cast High Magic. Not too shabby. Also, he is either a Loremaster of High Magic or he can choose one spell from each of the 8 rulebook lores! So, Teclis will always end up with 8 spells, and you will always know exactly what spells he will have. This is the particular rule that made me start thinking. If I took Teclis, what spells would I take?
- Drain Magic
- Soul Quench
- Hand of Glory
- Walk Between Worlds
- Archane Unforging
- Fiery Convocation
Teclis has a +6 bonus to cast any of these spells, so it should be easy, right? Unfortunately, he doesn’t benefit from the Book of Hoeth that a regular Archmage can take, so can’t risk rolling one die per spell as easily. With that being said, he can cast almost any spell fairly regularly with only 2 dice. Some of the bigger spells might still require additional dice to put the odds in your favor, but at least he has options. As for the options within the High Magic deck, they are quite diverse. There is 1 Magic Missile and 3 Direct Damage spells along with 4 Augments (1 of which can also be used as a Hex). This allows Teclis to stay back and bombard the enemy with damage spells, but still support troops that are in combat. You just really need to keep him out of combat.
- Beasts – The Amber Spear 9+/15+
- Death – Purple Sun 15+/25+ or The Fate of Bjuna 13+
- Fire – Fireball 5+/10+/18+
- Heavens – Comet of Casandora 12+/24+
- Life – Throne of Vines 8+ or The Dwellers Below 18+/21+
- Light – Banishment 10+/13+
- Metal – Searing Doom 10+/20+ or Final Transmutation 15+/18+
- Shadow – The Withering 13+/16+ or Pit of Shades 14+/17+
So, this version of Teclis was focused on pure damage. In some lores, I thought that there were 2 decent options, with the non-italics version being what I would probably choose. Since some of these spells have high casting values, it is possible to miscast. Since most of the damage from a miscast can be alleviated by placing Teclis in a unit with the Banner of the World Dragon, I opted not to take Throne of Vines. You still have to worry about him losing Wizard levels or Dimensional Cascading, though, so it might be worth taking the Throne for a safer option.
For Shadow, The Withering seems like a nice set up before another spell, but I figured that a combo might be hard to pull off, so just opted for Pit instead. A big reason for Purple Sun is that it has the possibility to fill up your power pool again, and you can definitely use the extra dice with these big spells. Pit & Purple Sun might be mostly useless against some armies or just downright mean against others.
- Beasts – Wyssan’s Wildform 10+/13+
- Death – Soulblight 9+/18+ or Doom and Darkness 10+/13+
- Fire – Flaming Sword of Ruin 8+/11+ or Fulminating Flame Cage 11+/14+
- Heavens – Iceshard Blizzard 7+/10+ or Harmonic Convergence 6+/12+
- Life – Flesh to Stone 8+
- Light – Net of Amyntok 10+/13+
- Metal – Enchanted Blades of Aiban 9+/12+ or Glittering Robe 9+/16+
- Shadow – Okkam’s Mindrazor 18+/21+
This version of Teclis drops all of the blasty spells from the previous version and focuses on augmenting the elves or hexing the opponent. There are a large variety buffs that can go off any one turn and could help tip the balance of combats. This might not be the best use for him with how expensive he is.
This final version is for all of those people who have dreamed of killer combos in the magic phase, but couldn’t really fit all of the mages (or their random spell selection) into the list. Instead of picking out a full list of spells, I thought that I would just list some combos here (some of them mutually exclusive). Some of these will be more devastating or more reliable that others:
- Doom and Darkness 10+/13+ and The Burning Head 10+/13+ (Could use Iceshard Blizzard instead of Doom and Darkness, but to a lesser extent)
- The Withering 13+/16+ and [Insert Magic Missile here] (you could also double up with Soulblight for more of a Toughness drop or a back-up if The Withering is dispelled)
- The Enfeebling Foe 10+/13+ and The Dwellers Below 18+/21+ (also Soulblight, as above)
- The Enfeebling Foe 10+/13+ and Net of Amyntok 10+/13+ (also Soulblight, as above)
- Fulminating Flame Cage 11+/14+ and Wind Blast 7+/14+
- The Withering 13+/16+ and The Fate of Bjuna 13+
- The Enfeebling Foe 10+/13+ and The Caress of Laniph 6+/12+
- Melkoth’s Mistifying Miasma 5+/10+ and Purple Sun of Xereus 15+/25+
Most of the combos center around the same theme of lowering a statistic with one spell and then punishing them with the another, so your opponent would most likely see them coming.
Another thing that is probably worth mentioning is that when you cast the spell from the lore, be sure to use the lore attribute. Healing himself through the Lore of Life, or swapping places with another character with Shadow, or even more power dice generated from Death spells can be a nice little bonus.
So, while Teclis is not the Irresistible Force machine that he once was, I think that he can still be a formidable force, if used properly. Maybe he could actually be taken in tournaments and not seem completely broken? What do you think? What spells would you pick for him?