Thursday, January 17, 2013

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos - Champion of Chaos

This is a discussion of skills for a hero unit in Warhammer: Mark of Chaos v1.72. A list of all our Warhammer: Mark of Chaos articles can be found here.

Champion of Chaos Skills
  • You get every skill at rank 0 as long as you fulfill the prerequisites.
  • Any skill with no skill prerequisite deserves special attention because you can bank your points and get 5 ranks of it immediately when you reach the necessary level, instead of spending your points on low-level skills you may not want.
  • Look for passive skills that require no mana, because one or two really good skills on a hero will monopolize use of the mana pool anyway.
  • Champions of Chaos have the same skills for the most part, except that Champions of Nurgle have one different skill. In the Chaos Campaign, Thorgar starts as a Champion of Chaos Undivided, and at the end of Chapter 1 must choose between Khorne and Nurgle.
Combat Skills
I recommend Armoured, Indomitable Constitution, and Scythe of Death. Axe of Doom doesn't have the same priority as Scythe of Death.

Axe of Doom (Level 0; Chaos Undivided hero or Khorne hero)
  • Damages models in a line in front of the hero with 10% chance to hit. +2% chance per rank.
  • Damage appears to be 1 point only, if you "hit". You always hit, but the percentage chance indicated is the chance of inflicting damage.
  • It's great if you can line up an entire regiment by coming at them from the flank. You can even blast through multiple regiments. You can have your Axe stop anywhere up to your maximum range. This is determined by where you place the targeting circle.
  • Even if you don't damage them, they need to pick themselves up off the ground, which costs them time and forces the entire regiment to stop.
    • Heroes and most Large creatures are not affected by this knockdown effect. Some large creatures can be affected (e.g., spiders).
  • Has no elevation. Enemies on walls are not affected. Instead, the Axe is stopped by the wall.
  • Friendly fire possible.
  • Long range means you can pull a regiment to you, but often all enemy regiments near that one regiment will also move.
Scythe of Death (Level 0; Nurgle hero)
  • Instantly damages all units in front of the hero with 30% chance to hit, +2% chance to hit per rank.
  • With a maximum 40% chance to hit, this sounds a lot better than Doombolt at level 25 (!). You don't have the same range as Axe of Doom, but lining up the Axe of Doom to hit a lot of targets can often be tricky. Plus you have 20% more chance to damage something.
    • This said, the FX for this ability is feeble and I'm not sure what the area is. And despite the base 30% chance to hit, I've never seen it kill anything.
    • Does not appear to have friendly fire drawback.
  • It is quite hard to predict exactly in which direction the spell will fire. Sometimes the Champion might turn for unclear reasons and end up firing this spell into empty space.
  • If Thorgar chooses Nurgle as his patron, his Axe of Doom is replaced by this skill.
Unholy Strength (Level 0)
  • Increases Hero's chance to hit against Large Targets by 5%.
  • Presumably this is 5% per level.
  • Since mounted models and heroes count as "Large", this is actually a very good skill and will presumably help you in duels with other mounted heroes as well. Not that great otherwise since heroes already have a good chance to hit. We are only getting it for the Armoured skill, which is a bread-and-butter always-useful skill.
Unholy Strength > Armoured (Level 5)
  • Increases the hero's armor by 0.4 per level.
  • At maximum ranks (5), you get +2 armor. It doesn't look like much, but armor is very valuable for extra survivability everywhere, including Duels.
  • Won't help you against magic damage.
(no prerequisites) > Indomitable Constitution (Level 5)
  • Increases HP by 1 per level.
  • You get 1 HP per level for levelling up. For 5 skill points, you can get an additional 5 HP.
  • At higher levels, 5 HP won't make as much a difference as good gear and tactics. Even so, that 5 HP is magnified by having good armor. It's a basic passive survival skill and there aren't that many passive skills that require no mana.
(no prerequisites) > Master of Slaughter (Level 15)
  • Increases movement speed by 10% and attack speed by 15%. Lasts 30 seconds. Can only be activated if the hero has 30% or less HP. +2% move speed / +3% attack speed per rank.
  • This skill helps you move and fight faster when you are more than half dead. I would prefer a skill that prevents you from getting to more than half dead. Survival being important, if you play well you will not get to activate this skill at all.
Master of Slaughter > Berserker (Level 25)
  • While the hero is enraged his chance to hit is increased by 3% per rank.
  • Presumably "enraged" means the hero is under the influence of Master of Slaughter, which means he is half-dead at 30% or less HP.
(no prerequisites) > Doombolt (Level 25)
  • The hero attacks all units in front of him with 3% chance to hit per rank.
  • Max 15%, so against a 1 HP type model, you can expect to damage 15% of whoever is in front. Out of 10 models, that's about 1-2 models only.
Duel Skills
These skills are only available during a duel. All other skills that need to be activated are disabled. Therefore, any points put here may be unavailable most of the time, and specializes your hero into an anti-hero build. Even so, it is hard to say whether you will get enough mileage out of a duelist hero because after a bout, he may have low health and no be able to handle a second bout. Damage is typically done by attrition unless you have invested a lot of points.

Deadly Strike (Level 0)
  • Gives a 5% chance (per rank) to do 1 extra damage with melee attacks.
Deadly Strike > Avenger (Level 15)
  • When the enemy hero makes a successful attack, your hero's chance to hit is increased by 5% (per rank, presumably)..
  • You fight better when wounded. This is obviously an "equalizer" sort of skill for heroes who aren't good duelists. If you're not a good duelist, it would probably be better to have your regiments hurt or kill the enemy hero before they can duel you in the first place.
Hand of the Gods (Level 0)
  • Increases the hero's damage by 1 with 50% chance to hit, +10% chance per rank.
(no prerequisites) > Lord of Battle (Level 5)
  • When entering the duel, the hero gains 1 HP per level.
  • 5 Ranks gives you +5 HP, which won't look like much in the late game, unless you also have Indomitable Constitution. The two together gives you up to +10 HP more than your opponents, which can be 20%+ more than your normal health total.
  • It's a skill to consider, but not before taking Indomitable Constitution, which helps you everywhere rather than just in a duel.
  • This skill is like getting a free HP potion every time you enter a duel.
(no prerequisites) > Corrupting Blow (Level 5)
  • Special attack that has 30% chance to apply a curse to the opponent. The curse lasts for 15 seconds and increases the damage of every successful hit. +10% chance to apply per rank.
Corrupting Blow > Curse of Chaos (Level 15)
  • Confuses the opponent by interrupting the spell currently being cast and silencing them for 5 seconds, +1 second per rank.
  • Useful if duelling mages since their duelling skills are much more dangerous.
  • It doesn't give a percentage chance of success, so this always works -- which is rare and valuable.
Corrupting Blow > Curse of Chaos > Decapitator (Level 25)
  • 8 seconds to cast. The hero launches a devastating attack causing up to 15 damage. The damage is higher if the target has low HP. Only usable against heroes with 30% HP or less. +10% to the HP limitation per rank.
  • This is intended as a quick way to end duels, and if you duel a lot, it may be a consideration. BUT read the description carefully.
    • It costs 8 seconds to cast. During that time you could have made about 8 swings.
    • At maximum ranks, you just need to whittle your enemy down to 80% HP to use this skill, BUT it only causes up to 15 HP damage. This is the maximum, and an enemy with more HP will take less than that. At 80% health, you will do less than 15, which won't kill duelling heroes opponents at that level of play outright, so you are trading 8 seconds for hopefully more damage than you could do in 8 seconds.
    • It doesn't say this skill cannot be interrupted, so it's possible that you will be interrupted and lose all your preparation time.
  • There are too many unknowns here and I could personally give it a pass unless you have nothing better to take with your skills. Steep net cost in prerequisites.
Command Skills
Command skills work on the hero if they are not attached to a regiment.

Blood Offering (Level 0)
  • Sacrifices units from the attached regiment to heal the hero. Units are consumed until all units are dead or the hero has full health. Power Cost reduced by 5 per rank.
  • An interesting application is to attach the Champion to a large unit and heal using this power (careful that the unit is big enough or you might lose the entire unit), then attache the Chaos Undivided Sorcerer (if you have one) to the unit and have him resurrect the lost units with Steal Soul.
    • It's quite a bit of micromanagement, however, and you may not have time to do it in the midst of combat, so try to do it when you know you have enemy units remaining on the map to Steal Soul and resurrect models.
Blood Offering > Death or Glory (Level 25)
  • Increases target friendly unit's chance to hit by 20% at the cost of 40% armour for 20 seconds. +2% chance to hit and -2% armour loss per rank.
  • At 5 ranks, this is +30% to hit/-30% armour. Less armour means you are more easily damaged. It's not bad if the regiment has a lot of armour compared to their opponent's ability to damage, or if they are a ranged regiment and not being attacked at the moment.
  • Ranged regiments  have a much lower chance to hit to begin with (which is why they do so poorly in melee, where they no longer have the advantage of numbers), and benefit greatly from this, especially if you stack it with Eagle Eye.
Eagle Eye (Level 0)
  • Increases the hero's and the attached regiment's chance to hit with ranged attacks by 5% per level.
  • Chaos has no missile combat heroes unless you count spells, which doesn't count as a ranged attack but as a spell. Even when attached to a ranged regiment, they do not have a ranged attack.
Eagle Eye > Call of the Chase (Level 5)
  • Increases the movement speed of the hero and its attached regiment by +2% per level.
  • You are still limited by endurance for running, and +10% might not make a huge difference.
  • The prerequisite is Eagle Eye, which affects ranged regiments. Therefore, you are probably going to attach a hero with this skill to a ranged regiment  which is typically infantry.
(no prerequisites) > Warmonger (Level 5)
  • The hero's and the attached regiment's chance to hit increases by 2% per level.
  • Like other skills of this sort, this is not a flat +2% per rank, but +2% of what it normally is, prior to weapon upgrades.
    • 5 ranks is +10% of normal. So, Knights with base 14% and +2% tier-3 Weapons Upgrade would get 14% base chance +(10% of 14%) +2% weapons upgrade = 17.4%
Warmonger > Battle Cry (Level 15)
  • Increases the hero and the attached regiment's chance to hit while charging by 5% per level.
  • Basically it increases the regiment's chance of attacking during their first attack, assuming they initiate combat. Best used with a large regiment where many units will make contact.
  • Since ranged regiments don't "charge" per se, it is probably useless there.
  • Probably best used on Knights as they probably have enough armor to survive disengaging from the enemy, so you can charge them at another regiment.
  • Maximum +25% to hit seems like a lot, but it will only affect the models that actually come into contact with the enemy, which won't be everyone in a melee regiment. Again, Knights have an advantage because their V-formation lets them penetrate deeply, so more models can engage. 
(no prerequisites) > Magical Ward (Level 15)
  • Increases the hero's and the attached regiment's magic resistance by 0.5 per level.
  • Magic can be devastating, but it's a pretty specialized situation.

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