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Zen "Xi" Aonia


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#1
RiCkItYReD

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I've always thought Eldar warlords seemed a bit disappointing outside of Eldorath. Talysin is growing on me but clearly inferior to Eldorath and not the most interesting warlord;  I can't seem to make Baharroth work; and Jain Zar is useless. I'm really pleased to finally see Zen arrive, and have produced my first attempt at a deck. I am a rubbish player, so would be interested to see what others think or have produced themselves.

 

 

 

Total Cards: (50)
 
Warlord: 
1x Zen "Xi" Aonia 
 
Army Unit: (28)
1x The Webway Witch
1x The Sun Prince
1x The Dawn Singer
1x The Blinded Princess
2x Biel-Tan Guardians - Standard cheap command
3x Soaring Falcon - survivable command and promotion platforms. Bring in cheaply with Death from Above. Potential to be damage sponge.
2x Eldar Survivalist - Can put these with warlord train and redirect damage away.
3x Iyanden Wraithguard - Heavy hitter to be kept alive by warlord and add chainsword
3x Furious Wraithblade - Heavy hitter to be kept alive by warlord and add chainsword 
2x Shrouded Harlequin - good unit to redirect attacks on to
1x Phantasmatic Masque - Can keep high attack around by redirecting damage; control over damage to maximise ability.
3x Vaulting Harlequin - Damage sponge for holosuit.
2x Evanesent Players    - Damage sponge with hit back for high attack units
3x Wailing Wraithfighter - Damage sponge potentially brought in by Theatre of War and Y'varn
 
Attachment: (9)
1x Starmist Raiment 
3x Promotion (Core Set) - To put mostly on Soaring Falcons
3x Flickering Holosuit - To put on damage sponges, in particular vaulting harlequins
2x Hidden Strike Chainsword - To add to heavy hitters -> Wraithguards and Wraithblades
 
Event: (9)
2x Access to the Black Library
3x Theatre of War - Use mostly to trigger elite planet to bring in wraithfighter and heal planet to heal sponges
2x Death from above - To bring in Soaring Falcon
2x Gut and Pillage  - Can send warlord to red planets while using Theatre of War to trigger desired battle ability elsewhere. Resource for wraithfighter damage sponge.
 
Support: (4)
1x Masters of the Webway
3x Bonesinger Choir - Can get drones (wraithguard and wraithknight) in cheap as well as Soaring Falcon and Wraightfighter
 
 
 
The general idea here is to hit hard with Wraithguards and Wraightknights, while keeping them alive by redirecting damage onto damage sponges. Ideally we want two damage sponges in the battles because then you can always direct onto one of them if the other is selected as a defender. (With one sponge they could always target that one sponge forcing you to take damage on a unit you want to keep alive) The key sponge is Vaulting Harlequin and the Flickering Holosuit is an ideal fit for this unit. The other sponge is the Wailing Wraigthfighter due to its Flying keyword. There is room for more sponging from the mobile Soaring Falcons.
 
I think this deck relies on you getting a lot of the right cards on the table, so there is strong command with promotions and Soaring Falcons, resource farming from Gut and Pillage, and Theatre of War to trigger the right Battle Abilities to get resources/cards or the elite sponge on the table. There is also Access to the Black Library here to force a difficult choice on your opponent - with so many cards to get the right units on the table you can always pick two cards each of which will be useful. There are 3 Bonesinger Choirs because you can stack them for maximum benefit and this increases the chance of drawing them. With a deck built around drones and vehicles I'm hoping this is a no-brainer.

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#2
Austine

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Overall it seems quite an interesting deck. It's very unique in style, low cost units but fighty units. At least the battles are going to be very interesting.
The soaring falcon is already a good unit, with Zen it really shines as a pain in the a**. ^^
Vaulting Harlequin + Holosuit is very, very good! I'll definitely try it.
 
On thing thus, I would consider this event for any Zen's deck :
 
Lost in the Webway - 1 cost - Loyal (Pack 3 - Enemy Territory)
Combat Action: Either (choose one): Switch the location of two Harlequin units you control or your  opponent must switch the location of two army units he controls.
 
Apoka really, really planned ahead on that one. This event works on Harlequin "units", not "army units", which means... it works with Zen.
Being a 2-shields, a good way to punish single Elite + command and a way to move your warlord in or out as a Combat Action is super cool.
You can use it to trigger a second battle during a round. You can use it to jump in a fight were your warlord ability is most needed. You can use it to avoid being bloodied on the wrong planet.


#3
RiCkItYReD

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Overall it seems quite an interesting deck. It's very unique in style, low cost units but fighty units. At least the battles are going to be very interesting.
The soaring falcon is already a good unit, with Zen it really shines as a pain in the a**. ^^
Vaulting Harlequin + Holosuit is very, very good! I'll definitely try it.
 
On thing thus, I would consider this event for any Zen's deck :
 
Lost in the Webway - 1 cost - Loyal (Pack 3 - Enemy Territory)
Combat Action: Either (choose one): Switch the location of two Harlequin units you control or your  opponent must switch the location of two army units he controls.
 
Apoka really, really planned ahead on that one. This event works on Harlequin "units", not "army units", which means... it works with Zen.
Being a 2-shields, a good way to punish single Elite + command and a way to move your warlord in or out as a Combat Action is super cool.
You can use it to trigger a second battle during a round. You can use it to jump in a fight were your warlord ability is most needed. You can use it to avoid being bloodied on the wrong planet.

 

 

Ah! I had not really paid attention to the fact that Lost in the Webway could be used on the warlord. The potential to fight multiple battles and trigger multiple battle abilities is really interesting. I see it being particularly good as something to be used at the end of a battle near/at the first planet, to send your Warlord further back to kill off a command capper and trigger a second battle ability, and perhaps at the same time to bring a unit stuck at a later planet back to the front line. I guess it could also be used to swap cappers who have ended up in the warlord train with a warlord sent to win command at later planet: put the capper where it is needed, get maximum use out of warlord commits by winning command and being at the important battle. Only issue here is that I don't have many reliable Harlequins that I would use for command capping.

 

I also keep forgetting that it is you who picks whether you swap units or your opponent swaps units, so it's got flexibility too.

 

Only issue is that I cannot see what to drop to get in 2 or 3 of Lost in the Webway. Perhaps one Theatre of War and the Phantasmatic Masque, or both Gut and Pillage? I'll need to think. Or perhaps test this deck out in battle first and see what doesn't work so well.



#4
warder808

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I made a deck for him. Going to get a game in tonight.

I basically threw in all the Harlequin stuff. Took some of it out for some more hard hitting stuff. Several movement cards in here to augment the built in movement tactics of the sig squad. Now that I think of it he may be good with an elite mobile deck. But I wanted to try Harlequin stuff for now. 

 

Warlord: 
1x Zen "Xi" Aonia 
 
Army Unit: (28)
1x The Webway Witch
1x The Sun Prince
1x The Dawn Singer
1x The Blinded Princess
2x Shrieking Exarch: Heavy Hitter, lots of HP.
3x Iyanden Wraithguard: Heavy Hitter, hopefully the WL can keep him alive longer.
2x Vaulting Harlequin: tanky Eldar, hopefully will be at the same planet as the WL.
2x Phantasmatic Masque: Cool Harlequin unit, lets try it out.
2x Black Guardians: tanky Eldar, hopefully will be at the same planet as the WL.
3x Luring Troupe: Cool Harlequin unit, lets try it out. Good to move friends or enemies.
2x Shrouded Harlquin: Little bit of control.
3x Biel-Tan Guardians: Command unit.
2x Cegorach's Jesters: fun to look at opponents cards. I guess he's better as a late game deploy, or a crucial planet deploy.
3x Eldar Survivalist: Command unit, good to hang out with WL.
 
Event: (16)
2x Access to the Black Library
2x Mind War: Control. Decent number of Psyker Harlequins.
2x Theater of War: Seems like an interesting card, lets try it.
3x Archon's Terror: Get rid of big dudes with range and lots of attachments.
2x Lost in the Webway: 2 shields, Movement shenanigans, this seems to be what Harlequins are all about.
2x Gift of Isha: Good card.
2x Subdual: My regular opponent is Tau. This if for him.
1x Empower: Shields and attack bonus. 
 
Support:(3)
1x Masters of the Webway: Sig Squad
2x Webway Passage: Movement shenanigans, seems fun with Harlquins.
 
Attachment:
1x Starmist Raiment
3x Defense Battery: My Tau opponent moves stuff around: Hopefully this can help against that. 
1x Flickering Holosuit: Put on tanky dudes. Should probably have at least 2x. Kept cutting stuff, maybe I'll bring the number up.


#5
RiCkItYReD

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I just played using my deck above, and it went very nicely. I must admit, my opponent didn't get any of his key cards, I got a pretty good hand, the planet flop lent itself to an early win, and the two planets I most wanted were in play from the start - Y'varn and Iridial. Still, it was a strong victory for me against a command heavy Aun'shi deck that normally performs well against me - it is a deck that I fear.

 

Zen's ability did nothing for planets 1 and 2, (I kept the warlord out of the fight) but by planet 3 I had enough units in play that the defender selection really came into its own. To damage control Aun'shi's Armorbane was particularly satisfying. The damage control was especially good when fighting for a win on Iridial, because I was confident putting damage on my warlord instead of the other units, with the option to heal if I won. In fact, I was surprised how willing I was to put damage on the warlord himself. He is effectively invincible most of the time, so you can pack that damage on with much more confidence than usual.

 

I had a Wailing Wraithfighter in play for the key battle (brought in handily with Y'varn) and it worked exactly as hoped. It really soaked up all the damage. Having a command unit in the battle also helped. I think my opponent feared that any medium to high damage thrown at me would be moved onto the cheap command unit, wasting all the excess attack, so he kept targeting that unit, allowing me to redirect onto my Wraithfighter sponge. The upshot was that the heavy hitting units could do their work in peace.

 

Something else not to be underestimated is how portioning out the damage can just be used to keep as many units in the battle for as long as possible.

 

Surprise star of the match was The Blinded Princess. My opponent exhausted a command capper that was already losing on command, and so for effectively no cost to himself, yanked this unit away from the first planet. However, a Planuum victory on planet 1 brought the The Blinded Princess back into play - much to my opponents unexpected annoyance - for an important second planet battle. The upshot was amazing efficiency, and enough units to keep up with what my command heavy opponent was fielding.

 

The game was too short to give the deck a good run, and many of the cards just didn't see any play. But in the key battle the Warlord ability was very versatile, extremely effective, and definitely fun. It feels great to take so much control away from your opponent.

 

Thank Apoka! It seems like I have a new Eldar warlord to be really excited about. :-)

 

EDIT: Also, I couldn't see how to use Masters of the Webway before, but as soon as it turned up in my game everything changed. (I did not, unfortunately, get to play it) The idea that I could set up on a future planet, and then completely stop my opponent from bringing his warlord train there at a key moment, is just delicious. I think hard to pull off, but an excellent ace up the sleave for only 1 cost.


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#6
RiCkItYReD

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I made a deck for him. Going to get a game in tonight.

I basically threw in all the Harlequin stuff. Took some of it out for some more hard hitting stuff. Several movement cards in here to augment the built in movement tactics of the sig squad. Now that I think of it he may be good with an elite mobile deck. But I wanted to try Harlequin stuff for now. 

 

Warlord: 
1x Zen "Xi" Aonia 
 
Army Unit: (28)
1x The Webway Witch
1x The Sun Prince
1x The Dawn Singer
1x The Blinded Princess
2x Shrieking Exarch: Heavy Hitter, lots of HP.
3x Iyanden Wraithguard: Heavy Hitter, hopefully the WL can keep him alive longer.
2x Vaulting Harlequin: tanky Eldar, hopefully will be at the same planet as the WL.
2x Phantasmatic Masque: Cool Harlequin unit, lets try it out.
2x Black Guardians: tanky Eldar, hopefully will be at the same planet as the WL.
3x Luring Troupe: Cool Harlequin unit, lets try it out. Good to move friends or enemies.
2x Shrouded Harlquin: Little bit of control.
3x Biel-Tan Guardians: Command unit.
2x Cegorach's Jesters: fun to look at opponents cards. I guess he's better as a late game deploy, or a crucial planet deploy.
3x Eldar Survivalist: Command unit, good to hang out with WL.
 
Event: (16)
2x Access to the Black Library
2x Mind War: Control. Decent number of Psyker Harlequins.
2x Theater of War: Seems like an interesting card, lets try it.
3x Archon's Terror: Get rid of big dudes with range and lots of attachments.
2x Lost in the Webway: 2 shields, Movement shenanigans, this seems to be what Harlequins are all about.
2x Gift of Isha: Good card.
2x Subdual: My regular opponent is Tau. This if for him.
1x Empower: Shields and attack bonus. 
 
Support:(3)
1x Masters of the Webway: Sig Squad
2x Webway Passage: Movement shenanigans, seems fun with Harlquins.
 
Attachment:
1x Starmist Raiment
3x Defense Battery: My Tau opponent moves stuff around: Hopefully this can help against that. 
1x Flickering Holosuit: Put on tanky dudes. Should probably have at least 2x. Kept cutting stuff, maybe I'll bring the number up.

 

 

Thanks for posting this - I might have to try your deck out at some point. I'm all for picking units for fun... but it's also fun talking about what works best, so a few comments.

 

Shrieking Exarch - this is a lovely unit. If I was going to pick an elite I still think I'd go for the Wailing Wraithfighter though, because it is cheaper and can take more of a punch.

 

Black Guardians - I know people always say this unit effectively stepped aside for the Warlock Destructor, but isn't this especially the case here? You can avoid paying it's upkeep by killing it off quickly. Same HP, stronger attack.

 

Luring Troupe - I've not been sold on this, but then other people have received it well so I'm probably just blind to it's potential. I always thought it's home was in a deck with Concealing Darkness, because then you could move an enemy unit off a planet for the combat phase.

 

Subdual - Ha! I have this in one of my decks because my opponent always plays Tau. Against this Tau deck it *never* fails to be useful, and is pleasingly irritating for the opponent.

 

Flickering Holosuit - I've been thinking this is a key card for Zen, and put three of them in my deck. I didn't have it come up in my game though, so I can't be sure of its usefulness.

 

No Evanesent Players? They seem like a very important unit for Zen. Any big hits redirected instead onto him is going to be delicious.

 

I like the focus on movement. It's not something I've leaned into at all in my deck. I'd be interested to see how this works out in your game.



#7
Koldro

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@Rick,

Thx for the mini-battle report. ^^ Looks like Aoni (or Zen? or Xi? I dunno how to call her ^^) is a lot of fun to play.


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#8
warder808

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Thanks for posting this - I might have to try your deck out at some point. I'm all for picking units for fun... but it's also fun talking about what works best, so a few comments.

 

Shrieking Exarch - this is a lovely unit. If I was going to pick an elite I still think I'd go for the Wailing Wraithfighter though, because it is cheaper and can take more of a punch.

 

Black Guardians - I know people always say this unit effectively stepped aside for the Warlock Destructor, but isn't this especially the case here? You can avoid paying it's upkeep by killing it off quickly. Same HP, stronger attack.

 

Luring Troupe - I've not been sold on this, but then other people have received it well so I'm probably just blind to it's potential. I always thought it's home was in a deck with Concealing Darkness, because then you could move an enemy unit off a planet for the combat phase.

 

Subdual - Ha! I have this in one of my decks because my opponent always plays Tau. Against this Tau deck it *never* fails to be useful, and is pleasingly irritating for the opponent.

 

Flickering Holosuit - I've been thinking this is a key card for Zen, and put three of them in my deck. I didn't have it come up in my game though, so I can't be sure of its usefulness.

 

No Evanesent Players? They seem like a very important unit for Zen. Any big hits redirected instead onto him is going to be delicious.

 

I like the focus on movement. It's not something I've leaned into at all in my deck. I'd be interested to see how this works out in your game.

 

Shrieking Exarch: I'll look at the difference and think about it.

Black Guardians: This makes sense, I'll try swapping them out.

Luring Troupe: After using it, I agree with you. Would be fun to make a Deep Strike deck with. 

Flickering Holosuit: Even though I dont have 3x of this, I did get it and put it on my Shrieking Exarch. It was a pretty awesome combo. I will make room to have 3 copies in there.

Evanesent Players: I didn't look at this card closely enough. But after reading your post I did. I think you're right.

 

I played most of a game the other night. It was against the DE Liatha. It was interesting. We also used one of the new sectors. I thought I was winning early on, I was able to get the Shrieking Exarch out on turn 2, with the Holosuit. But he was coming back, unfortunately the shop was closing, so we had to cut our game short. 


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