Battle 028 – Menoth vs Legion, pSeverius vs Bethayne: Why Need Skill When You Have Luck?!

This week’s upcoming Podcast is between Aaron’s forces of Khador and Todd’s Circle army… which freed me up to challenge our local Legion player, Darrell! I’m also looking for more practice against Legion, since they’re a powerful Faction that I know woefully little about.

For example, I didn’t even know Bethayne existed until last night…

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For my part, I’m still trying to settle on a 3rd caster whose playstyle works well with me. This week I decided to bring pSeverius and eKreoss, and after looking at Darrell’s lists, decided that eKreoss would struggle too much against Belphagor’s animus (a 5″ AoE centered on the warbeast which causes automatic 1-wound on anything entering or ending its turn in the cloud) since my Kreoss list has a lot of very powerful single wound infantry without Reach (and only 5 Bastions with Reach). I figured that Sevy’s list had better hitting power and more ranged guns (including some boostable ones!), so I put him on the table.

Besides, Sevy is running a Judicator. And I loves me my Judicator.

My current pSeverious list is as follows:

Grand Scrutator Severius (“pSeverius, pSevy”, proxied by eSeverius)
– Judicator
– Blessing of Vengence (proxied by a Revenger)
– Hierophant
Exemplar Errants (max)
– Officer and Standard
Holy Zealots (max)
– Monolith Bearer
Knight Exemplars
Wracks
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal Mechanik

The list is pretty straight forward in application: run the Zealots between the Judicator (“Dread of the True Law”) and anything capable of hurting the Judicator while the Knights and Errants hold down flanks and funnel everything into the waiting arms, rockets, and flamethrowers of the Judicator itself. Careful application of Ashes to Ashes through Blessing to wipe out high DEF infantry (and, and POW13 with “Eye of Menoth” upkept, capable of doing some hurt on even medium-ARM units and models), and victory is all but assured!

The only thing standing between me and that victory was Darrell’s list:

Bethayne
– Belphagor
– Archangel
Blighted Nyss Sheppard
Blighted Nyss Hex Hunters (max)
– Bayal, Hound of Everblight UA
Blighted Nyss Strider Rangers
– Officer and Musician
Blackfrost Shard
Strider Deathstalker
Incubus

So, out of this ENTIRE list, I have faced: An archangel, the Sheppards, and a Deathstalker. Everything else was new to me! Reading over the cards quickly, I was hopeful about matching the Errants up against the Hex Hunters (my Spell Ward trumping their Battle Mage ability), and hoped that the Striders could be taken out by my Knights (which would then also probably have to deal with the Incubi that would pop out, but hopefully my slowly increasing ARM would make it difficult to finish off the unit!).

As for the Archangel… it out-threats my Judicator by an inch (SPD5 vs SPD4), but I punch a LOT harder (POW23 with “Battle” and “Eye of Menoth”, and at MAT9)… but all the same, I’m going to have to be very careful with placement!

Deployment

The scenario we got was Number 10: Outflank (known sometimes as “Boobs”). Two circular 12″ zones on the center line. 1CP for controlling either zone, and 2CP for dominating. No killbox, thankfully!

We rolled for initiative and Darrell won, electing to take table-side and go 2nd (primarily to deny me the ability to park my Judicator on the hill, ignoring LoS to absolutely anything I want and lobbing RNG14 rockets wherever the heck I want… probably wise!). Upside: I really like going first!

I deployed my Judicator dead center, and Darrell dropped his Archangel more-or-less across the table. My Knight Exemplar went to the left, ready to fight for that zone, backed up by Blessing of Vengeance on the far left.
Severius, the Hierophant, the Vassal of Menoth, and the Mechanik all went beside Judicator Dread, while the Choir went to either side and behind him.
The right side was taken by the Zealots, and then I eventually deployed the Errants also in the middle, hopefully able to head to wherever Darrell deployed his Hex Hunters.
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Then Darrell deployed, placing Bethayne and Belphagor near the middle of the table and the Sheppard behind the Archangel. The Blackfrost Shard went to the far right on the shores of a little pond.
Everything else got to Advance Deploy, and Darrell placed the Hex Hunters on the right flank and the Striders in the middle, opposite my Errants.
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With that, we were ready to go!
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Menoth, Turn 1

I know it’s optimistic of me, but I always hope for a good first-turn scatter from my Judicator… with a lot of luck, you can actually land a secondary deviation 41″ downfield! Heck, you can walk and still be nailing 37″ down the table (or about 1″ past their deployment line and well past the Advanced Deployment line), although I will grant it is unlikely. Still, I do love to try…
Anyway, Severius camps his full stack, the Judicator auto-magically generates a single Focus, and we’re off.

First thing I have to do is clear a hole for the Judicator to get up the table. My Choir therefore go first, shuffling around a bit to make sure there’s enough space, and sing “Battle” on the might warjack.
The Hierophant activates and Harmoniously Exalts Severius.
Severius goes next, moving up and casting Defender’s Ward on the Errants, Vision on the Judicator, and Eye of Menoth on himself.
The Judicator goes next, running forward its full 8″ (Menoth, it’s slow…), moving up to a nearby fence that, at this exact moment, I realize is going to screw me over but royally the rest of the game: there is no way for a SPD4 colossus to walk over a fence! I’d have to Charge, Trample, or Run over it, and all those options deny me the ability to shoot! Damn.
Oh well.

Vassal of Menoth activates and gives an Ancillary Attack to the Judicator. The rocket streaks forward, with the initial scatter going well (4″ in direction 1, directly towards Bethayne), but the secondary scatter lobs in clear of any of Darrell’s troops.

With the random bombardment complete, it’s time for everyone else to go. The Errants run forward towards the right hard, trying to put distance between them and the Striders while closing on the Hex Hunters, and the Zealots run forward behind them (praying for No Spells first).

The Knight Exemplar run towards the left zone and spread out.
Lastly, Blessing of Vengeance activates and walks towards his warcaster.
With that, my first turn is over!

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Legion, Turn 1

Darrell starts his turn with the Archangel, which moves forward and tries to drift some AoEs onto my Errants… he gets 3 shots, but none of them connect. He riles for some Fury.

Belphagor goes running forward.
Bethayne activates, casts Belphagor’s animus on himself, puts Blood Rain on the Striders, and then Charges Belphagor. She gets distance and immediately melds, rather than taking her melee attack. Clever way to get more distance forward!

The Striders activate and move forward. They open fire on my Errants, hitting and killing 1 outright and putting Corossion (from “Blood Rain”) on two others.

The Hex Hunters run forward and spread out behind some shrubs, and the Shard run forward over the pond.
The Deathstalker moves up next to the Archangel, and Darrell’s turn is done!
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Menoth, Turn 2

We begin my turn with the Corossion checks, both of which I fail and kill their Errants… oh well. Such is life!
After that, Severius upkeeps all three spells and allocates 2 more to the Judicator.

The Knight Exemplar activate first, running forward spreading out into the left zone, mostly just to get out of the way of the Judicator.

The Choir activates and sings “Battle” again.

Judicator Dread activates next, moving forward diagonally along the offending fence. I open fire on Belphagor, who is just out of range (and also DEF16 in a cloud and on elevation!).
The rockets (including those from the Ancillary Attack from the Vassal) all scatter around, several pounding the Legion warlock (within her warbeast), but fail to wound. ARM19 against POW10s (even boosted!) and I get crappy rolls.
However, let it not be said that my scatters were ineffective… when the dust settles, I’ve wiped out the entire unit of Striders except 2, 1 of which is out of formation!
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With the orbital bombardment finished, my Zealots pray for no spells, pop their mini-Feat, and run forward in front of my Errants.
The Errants activate and walk forward (keeping the Standard well back), but since almost everything on Darrell’s side of the table has Stealth, I am forced to try to hit Belphagor (again, DEF16), which even with Eye of Menoth up, only results in a single hit that fails to penetrate ARM.

Blessing of Vengeance moves up towards the left zone, and Severius activates and moves slightly more towards the center of the table (cautiously), hoping to get more of my models under “Eye of Menoth” for next turn.

With that, I’m done!
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Legion, Turn 2

I think it’s safe to say that Darrell was unpleased by my luck (to put it in perspective: out of 6 rocket scatters, all 6 hit *something* and most of them killed at least 1 Strider each), but determined to make me pay for it. Bethayne pops out of Belphagor and her Fury goes back up to full, she upkeeps Blood Rain, and we’re off.

The Archangel goes first, activating, moving forward a little, and casting its animus on itself (I suppose… why not?). It then opens fire on my Knight Exemplar, and between 2 boosted shots, hits and kills 2 of them (which, due to the simultaneous nature of Strafe attacks, they don’t get the improved ARM until the attack is over).

The two remaining Striders activate and head towards my Knight Exemplar. They both hit but fail to kill any of the noble warriors.

The Blackfrost Shard activate next, walking forward behind a fence and casting at my Knight Exemplar. The first tries to hit them with “Kiss” but rolls a 3 (needing a 4) and misses. The other two both hit but fail to penetrate armour.

The Hex Hunters charge forward, 2 of them engaging Errants and the rest just jamming up my Zealots. The first charge attack kills an Errant, which I self-sac onto the other Charge target, denying him his 2nd attack.

I loves me my Errants too.

Belphagor shuffles forward a tiny bit and casts his animus.
Bethayne activates, casts “Carnivore” on Belphagor, “Ashen Veil” on the Hex Hunters, and then melds with her pet warbeast again.

The Deathstalker activates and runs, heading for the extreme right flank.
Lastly, the Sheppard shuffles forward a little behind the Archangel.

Thankfully for me, more than 50% of my Knight Exemplar survived the turn, and therefore I score my first control point for controlling the left zone! 1-0 for Menoth.
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Menoth, Turn 3

I have several plans for this turn, but mostly I want to kill as many Hex Hunters as humanly possible before those spells start wiping out too many of my models.
Towards that end, I upkeep “Eye of Menoth”, “Vision”, and “Defender’s Ward” again, allocate 2 to the Judicator, and camp the remaining few.

The Hierophant goes first and Exalts Severius in a harmonious fashion.
Severius activates next and moves towards the middle of the table. He pulls a Focus from a Wrack, which elects not to explode, and then camps his stack protectively.

My Zealots activate next. I shuffle a few around a little to get angles on Belphagor (before remembering that he’s Immune to Fire, so their bombs are useless), but the rest just hunker in to try and hit the Hex Hunters. They Pray for +2 rolls and all of them are within Sevy’s “Eye of Menoth” range.
A quick aside: there was a little confusion and double-dipping from this point forward, since Darrell was including “Ashen Veil” on his Hex Hunter’s DEF stat (making them 16s), while I was subtracting it from my MAT stat (making my praying Zealots MAT5 and my Errants MAT6 under “Eye of Menoth”). Pure accident… I would ask their DEF, Darrell instinctively included Ashen Veil, and then I would mentally remove it from my MAT.
End result: I was needing 11s to hit most of the time, and it just wasn’t happening.
But! This is why you bring cheap, expendable Zealots: my front row would swing their little maces, miss, and then the back row would lob point-blank grenades at their allies who had just missed (getting back strike bonuses, and usually out of the 2″ range of Ashen Veil). Those grenades would hit, and the Zealots managed to kill 5 Hex Hunters and the character UA (hey, POW15 grenades on a direct hit and POW9 Blast damage is legitimate!), and lose only 4 of my own number in the process! A net gain, no question!
Darrell puts out all 5 Incubus markers on the table as the Hex Hunters are blasted to pieces.

The Errants then activate and get Run-Charge orders. I have one charge a nearby Hex Hunter, and then had his buddy charge Belphagor. The corossive cloud around the warbeast killed the charging Errant, which I immediately self-sac off on to the Errant that charged the Hex Hunter! Another Errant then charged the now-open Hex Hunter, and a few others moved around.
The Charge attack on Belphagor needed a 6 to hit (MAT6 from Ashen Veil against DEF12), and I rolled a 4… boo… and the rest of the Errants, thinking I needed 10s (only really needing 8s) all missed as well.

The Choir activates and sings “Battle” on both of my warjacks.
The Judicator activates and moves forward to toe into the zone. I take my first shot at the Arch Angel, which is *just* out of range (damn close, though!). The shot scatters onto Belphagor, my Errant,  and a nearby Hex Hunter, and the secondary scatter goes straight towards and hits a Strider. The blast roll inflicts ONE point of damage on Belphagor (after boosting!), fails to wound my Errant, and kills the Hex Hunter.

Second shot goes sailing towards the Blackfrost Shard, huddling behind their fence. I boost to hit, needing a 13… and nail it! The blast hits both other members of the Shard.
The direct hit (at Dice+5) wipes out one member, and the blast (at dice-2) manages to kill the others! 5 points of models killed with a single Skyhammer rocket… oh, it does the heart good…
The secondary blast clips the charred remains of 2 members of the Blackfrost Shard, but nothing else.

The Vassal activates and gives an Ancillary to Judicator Dread, which it fires directly at Belphagor, needing a hard-12 to hit. It misses, but the scatter lands on the Archangel twice and inflicts 5 damage with the two hits.

With that side of the table suddenly cleared, I Charge the Knight Exemplars at one of the last 2 Striders and move the rest just to make it difficult for Darrell to get into the zone. The charge attack hits, and at POW12 Weaponmaster Charge, splatters the Nyss into subatomic particles.

Lastly, Blessing of Vengeance activates and moves into the left zone, heading towards the center of the table.
With that, I score my second CP, bringing the game to 2-0 for Menoth!

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Legion, Turn 3

Darrell starts his turn by popping his Incubi onto the table and extracting Bethayne from Belphagor. Bethayne goes full on Fury again, and upkeeps Ashen Veil and Carnivore, but drops Blood Rain from the last Strider.

That Strider activates first and weaves its way between my Knight Exemplar and Zealots to move towards the middle of the table. From there, it fires a shot at my Judicator, hitting and triggering Vision (which dissipates). Clever.

The Archangel activates a Ride-by-Attack, opening fire on the Knight Exemplar. He gets 3 attacks and subsequently kills 3 Knights and fills up on Fury. He then moves 5″ further from my Judicator.

The Incubi activate (technically, as solos, they activate one at a time, but whatever), charging my Standard Bearer and killing him, as well as one other Errant.

The Hex Hunters activate and take their attacks on some Errants. They kill one which I self-sac onto the Errant lit on fire the last turn by the Archangel’s animus, and then between melee attacks and battle mage spells, manage to bring the unit down to 3 members (including the Officer).

Belphagor charges a Zealot and casts his animus. He then boosts his charge attack… and misses. Secondary attack hits and kills a Zealot, though. With Carnivore, this would normally heal Bethayne, but she’s already at full health.

Bethayne activates and casts “Erruption of Spines” on my Knight Exemplar, getting a full 6 additional hits… this pegs a couple Zealots, the Strider, and Bethayne herself! She fails to kill the Knight, wipes out two Zealots and the Strider, and inflicts 7 damage on herself! She then walks over and melds into Belphagor to lick her wounds.

Lastly, the Deathstalker activates and walks towards Severius. His first shot hits and kills a Choir member I had put to block LoS to Sevy… this lets him move in 2″ and take his second shot at Severius. At ARM18, he elects to just inflict a single point of damage.

With that, Darrell’s turn is over, and I score yet another CP, making the score 3-0 for Menoth!
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Menoth, Turn 4

The first thing I check is if Severius can run into the zone to dominate it for the win… sadly, he’s 0.5″ out of an instant victory! Damn.
Okay… just gotta keep him safe for a turn. How hard can that be for the second-squishiest caster in the game?

I upkeep Eye of Menoth but let Defender’s Ward drop from the last 2 Errants. I then camp Sevy’s full stack, hoping to use a couple solid Ashes to Ashes to clear out all the nearby infantry before Sevy flees from the front lines.

Towards that end, I decide to activate the Choir first. While his brethren sing “Battle” on my warjacks again, one brave, noble volunteer walks straight towards the slobbering hordes of Legion, facing directly away from Severius. I assure him that his sacrifice will only be used if absolutely necessary.

Blessing of Vengeance activates and walks towards the closest enemies as well.
The Zealots activate next (the 2 remaining). They pray for +2 again but, still double-dipping the Hex-Hunter defence, fail to hit anything.

The Errants activate, one cranking a hit roll to kill a Hex Hunter and then Quick Work shoot an Incubus, and the Officer striking down Incubus (considerably easier to hit than accidentally-DEF18-equivalent Hex Hunters!).

Then Severius activates. He pulls from a Wrack (which does elect to explode) and casts “Ashes to Ashes” at the closest Incubus, which is just at the edge of 10″ (+2″ range from the Hierophant). Needing a 4 to hit, I nail the daemon… and it errupts outwards to hit an additional 1d6!
I roll a 1.

Whatever. The spell, at POW10, manages to kill both.

I then consider whether to cast it at the Choir member (as I had planned to do, just in case)… but elect to arc it instead through Blessing and onto a Zealot near far more.

The spell hits (vapourizing the poor Zealot, who didn’t even volunteer the way the Choir member did!), and hits 1d6 additional enemies!
I roll a 2.

Le sigh.

Whatever. One of the targets hit is Belphagor! I boost damage!
He’s immune of fire! BAH!
The other hits an Icubi and obliterates it.
With his Focus spent, Sevy walks directly away from everything, heading slightly towards the Judicator.

The Judicator activates and slowly starts to curl around the fence. First rocket goes towards the Archangel, who again is a fraction of a hair out of range… the scatters tag the Archangel twice, but only inflict light damage.
Second rocket goes towards the Deathstalker… scatters onto a Hex Hunter, secondary scatter hits the last Incubus, and kills both.

Ancillary Attack from the Vassal sends another rocket at the Deathstalker, this time it scatters onto him twice… the first blast is enough to kill him outright, though.

I run the last Knight Exemplar over towards the right zone to make it more difficult to get anything towards Severius (I hope).

With that, I end my turn and score my 4th CP… 4-0 for Menoth, and the pressure is on!

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Legion, Turn 4

Darrell was in a tough spot… he basically must assassinate Severius, or lose.
Now, I’ve made his life a little easier for that… Sevy isn’t camping, and he’s out in the wide open, albeit relatively far away.

But such matters do not concern the Legions of Everblight… Darrell fills up on Fury again and drops everything.

Belphagor activates first, charging the Choir I had sent to sacrifice in case I needed another Ash-node. Turns out he was perfectly placed to get Belphagor the distance he needed to get within Arcing “Erruption of Spines” onto Severius… d’oh!
The Charge easily hits and kills. And then, just for kicks, Belphagor drops his 5″ cloud again… good habit to be in, I suppose!

Bethayne activates and charges Belphagor. She pops her Feat! She arcs “Eruption of Spines” at my Hierophant… she hits!

Okay, so Severius is sitting at ARM14 and 15 wounds… dice-4 against boosted (for free) Eruptions… can’t kill him in a single blow, no matter what (at most, 14 points of damage). So what I need is, in order:
1. rolling only 1 additional target (it will hit the Choir closest to the Hierophant, not Severius), or
2. rolling enough damage to kill BOTH the Hierophant AND the Choir (no other targets to cast Eruption on, since Severius has “Sacred Ward” and can’t be targetted individually)
3. rolling low enough damage that I somehow, by some miracle, survive both boosted damage rolls.

Darrell rolls the number of targets… and gets 2 additional! Damnit… so close…
He rolls damage against the Hierophant, and inflicts 4! DAMNit… so close!
He does kill the Choir member, though…

He rolls damage against Severius! Dice – 4…

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Better lucky then good, eh?

With that, Darrel’s fate is all but sealed. He casts Erruption on the Hierophant again, killing him this time, and inflicts 6 points of damage on Severius.

In a last-ditch effort, the Archangel moves up and attempts to scatter a shot onto Sevy, but the range is over 20″ and there’s no way to get it closer than 18″ even on a perfect scatter (10″, +6″ scatter, +1.5″ from AoE), so Severius is safe.

Darrell ends his turn, and I score my fifth and final CP!

Victory to Menoth!

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Post Game Analysis

A solid game from Darrell, and no major mistakes to speak of. Perhaps spreading out his Striders a little more would’ve helped, but I don’t know… I had some insane luck on my scatters this game.

The final assassination run was a near thing (if he had rolled average dice both times for damage, Severius survives with 3 boxes… but correspondingly, one spike and my warcaster is in a bad way), and it was mostly my own dang fault. That Choir member shouldn’t have been there to allow Belphagor to get that extra distance, and I was smart enough to keep Severius further than 5″ away from the Judicator all game just to avoid that potential threat… should’ve been more careful, at the very least. I also messed up letting the Standard Bearer for the Errants get charged and killed… would’ve kept at least 2 or 3 more Errants on the table, and they could’ve easily gummed up the works on any assassination run.

But overall, a very satisfying game, and one that I’m glad Darrell and I played. It’s interesting to play against Legion infantry… they’re certainly not bad! Darrell mentioned that in the future he’ll probably drop the Incubi for a Naga Nightlurker (can’t say I blame him, bloody brilliant warbeast!).

As for my list… I’m pretty happy with it, truth be told, but I think that I’d like to replace the Errants with a unit of Temple Flameguard in the future, and take 2 points of something else (Allegiants are often my go-to), or drop the Mechanik and take 3 points of Nicia/Vilmon. But since I don’t HAVE painted Flameguard… Errants it will be for awhile!

Thanks for reading, and as always, comments, concerns, questions, and mockery are all welcome!
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6 thoughts on “Battle 028 – Menoth vs Legion, pSeverius vs Bethayne: Why Need Skill When You Have Luck?!

  1. As usual, a really great battle report. Thanks for posting it. Bethayne (at least, Bethayne with Hex Hunters) seems like a pretty poor match for the Protectorate considering the amount of stuff that is immune to spells.

    • Thanks for commenting! Glad you enjoyed it.

      The Hex Hunters are certainly less effective… I suppose I could’ve played more conservatively with both the Zealots and the Errants to keep them untargetable by spells the whole game, but I think overall it went okay. My 18 points of models against Darrell’s 25 points (including the Incubi)… can’t complain too much!

  2. Come on Marx. You totally could have insta-won on turn 4. Just run Sevy as close to the zone as he could get, then throw him in with the Judicator! Surely no tragic dice spikes are possible….

    Actually, if you could have gotten the Judicator in position for a Push power attack, that would have been ideal, but it doesn’t look like you had the position for that.

    • You know, I did not consider throwing my ARM14 warcaster into the zone… I am very disappointed in myself for not losing in such a spectacular fashion! That would’ve been awesome (although, dimes to donuts that Sevy would’ve scattered onto Belphagor!).

      I don’t think there was any way to get Sevy into that zone, sadly. Still, what I should’ve done is put a Choir in the direction of the zone, cast my spells, and then charge the Choir member (staying 5″ away from the Judicator, obviously). But such is life! I won, I ain’t complainin’!

  3. That was a seriously bad match-up for LoE … did Darrell have a second list? It isn’t said, and I’d guess No (because why else would agree to launching a spell-slinger army against a lot of Spell Ward?).

    • Yeah, he had a 2nd list… as memory serves, eThags with 2 Scytheans, a Ravagore, an Angelius… a bunch of other warbeasts, and some Shepards. Probably a Shredder or two.

      He was worried that it would be obliterated by my 2nd list (eKreoss with swarms of Weaponmasters), and gambled on this being a better matchup if I went pSevy.

      He made of a fight of it, but I think I was in a pretty strong position due to list selection.

      It’s very meta, but I was gambling that since he bothered to bring an Archangel in from his house, he was probably going to put it on the table… and so I picked the list I figured would be stronger against it (without knowing basically anything about Hex Hunters, Bethayne, or Striders… never played against any of ’em before!). Turns out I was right!

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