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End of a Sentry

  • GKZhukov, Eu8L1ch and LoricatusLupus like this


Aug 17 2016 08:02 PM
Thanks for the write-up, always interested to see what the pros are up to! Sounds like you had a couple of unlucky games there but that's part of the charm, right? Not a lot anyone can do against Aun-sniper. I'm intrigued by the two Heavy Venom Cannons, two Fall Backs and three copies of Backlash since you only have five elite units (not including the Synapse). They are great cards but did you ever find that you ended up with them in hand unused? Seems like a lot of support for a relatively low percentage of the deck.

Brilliant writing. :)

Thank you for the report. I am an avid OOE fan too, but I've been so disappointed by his* performance and lack of fancy tricks after Worr came out that I too decided to put him into hibernation. Said hibernation ended after we received the Elite support, but after a few tries I have to admit he went straight back into it.

I think OOE is a testimony to what worked in a past meta (I had a 12-1 record with him on OCTGN) but is not useful anymore.

On deadly Nectavus, either you're the biggest thing around or you gotta be shrewd to deal with those bigger than you: OOE is neither, sadly.

Mediocre elites and no groundbreaking support to help them makes it tough when you also don't have access to control options.

(For the record, I have always hated facing Aun'shi with OOE, I think it's one of his worst matchups)



* "Its" maybe? I'll use the male gender since I've grown fond of my dear old Carnifex.

Thanks! Although seriously I'm no more of a pro than anyone else who turned up on the day, and if you haven't been to one of the 'official' FFG tourneys before then I'd certainly encourage it. Yes I think I was unlucky to a certain extent with some of the match-ups: Aun-shi sniper is a particularly bad match-up, and I believe Omega is traditionally viewed as a bad match up for OOE (although I don't fully agree). I also feel that 'middle of the road' OOE is at a disadvantage against its elite-heavy stablemate due to the perennial problem of dealing with elites (although there are of course match ups that my version fares comparatively better against). Not to take anything away from my opponent's achievements but looking back I don't think I had any real chance in the games against Aun-Shi and Cato (when considering his first deploy and the highly undesirable planet array). But i should have played better I the mirror match, and i was outfoxed pure and simple in my round 4 defeat against Omega - I'll never forget how I was literally seconds away from bloodying his Walord on turn 2 when he suddenly twigged I had Ferocious Strength in-hand and so dumped all his Genestealers onto the table before I could swing.:.hence the unstoppable horde. In answer to the question about the size of my 'elite protection' package... That's a tricky one. On paper it probably looks disproportionate especially as realistically the Synapse only benefits from Fall Back (you rarely need to use Backlash on your Synapse). But my personal style/preference is to bring elites out in the mid- to late-game to use as finishers - which of course need vital protection. So the 3x Backlashes are to maximise my Backlash-Elite ratio, the 2x Fall Backs are partly there to protect/resurrect my Polluter as he is always getting caught up in the thick of things, and partly to act as an additional source of economy if I play an elite early in a game. The 2x HVC are mainly there for the 2-shields - the alternative of course being the rather mediocre Spore Burst: HVC does at least have a vague chance of being used for its ability. A further point of note regarding the elite 'package' is that I now realise how meta/match-up dependent it is: At the Regionals in June I was using Backlash to bat off Targeting effects from the likes of Eldorath, Worr and Cato (his Sig squad) like i was Jackie Chan giving a Kung-Fu demonstration. However at the nationals I did not require the use of Backlash at any point in any of my 6 games apart from the infamous 'Ferrin incident' (at which point I didn't have it in hand). Similarly, the one time I most desperately needed Fall Back to save my Polluter (which also happened to be in the aforementioned round 4 game) I didn't have it in-hand either, and I sorely regretted not having gone with 3 copies. My point is I guess that I could have dropped down to maybe just 1 or 2 Backlash and then found myself drawn against loads of Eldorath, Kith/Morn and Worr - at which point I'd now be saying "I should have upped my elite-protection package!".
    • Eu8L1ch and LoricatusLupus like this

I agree that OOE with elites is in kind of a tricky spot; more and more I'm finding that Tyranid cards (including elites) have a hard time standing up to the similarly-costed competition until they have at least one attachment (at which point they can be anything from excellent to godly). I think this is why OOE was such a favorite early on: its signature unit is really good value-for-cost, and just gets better with attachments. That allowed OOE to spearhead a really solid mid-range deck, with Harpies as the ultimate swarm buzzkill for late game. Once you start loading OOE up with elites, though, it has a hard time fielding the a similar level of threat, particularly in the face of the elite nastiness that other factions can pull out (notably Chaos and Necrons). I mean, I can pay 2 for a Lurking Hormagaunt and get a guaranteed swing for 3 with initiative, or 5 for a Striking Ravener with...wait for it...a guaranteed swing for 3 with initiative; and neither can survive a swing from a Possessed (who can survive a hit from either without shielding). Both cards don't really start to shine until they get roided up with attachments (a Ravener with HVC or Ymgarl Factor is scary, but at that point even with discounters you've spent 4-8 resources and 2 cards).


That's a real problem, and one that OOE doesn't have a lot of solutions for. Whereas OOE's mid-range deck fields a diverse series of threats, its elite-focused deck fields very few threats which absolutely must not die until they gain some attachments.


Contrast with Omega (who is in a similar boat, but who can time its threats for greatest impact which is something OOE cannot do), and Swarmlord (whose signature event offers some elite control, and who is able to passively generate a swarm of smaller threats to insulate its elites).


I still love OOE, but I'm growing convinced it's not the best warlord choice for an elite-heavy deck.

    • Caldera, Eu8L1ch and LoricatusLupus like this
Aug 18 2016 06:02 PM
Yep, think you've nailed it there Skaak. I'll be interested to see if the next cycle (long time to wait I know) has anything that specifically targets elites or punishes running them exclusively. With the recent releases almost every other army is better off including some! How about trying a Brood Chamber or two? They're a great way to give your non-Elite units the perks that usually come with the ones your opponent will be deploying, and can both make up for the relative lack of keywords Tyranids suffer and punish anyone deploying even, say, a Tactical Squad Cardinus when you've got the Initiative and a small unit. Adapt and evolve - the hallmark of the 'nids right?
    • Caldera likes this
Very good points, Skaak. I noticed that the Top 4 Kith deck from Nationals also ran 3x Possessed, as did an awesome Zogwart deck that I played against last night. Both decks run Teleportarium too, so you can run from them but you can't hide. The other elite that seems to be everywhere (apart from those damn Wildrider Vypers) is the Venomous Fiend, which is particularly damaging to elites with lots of command hammers .such as Tyranid elites..... In fact, the two aforementioned decks ran both Possessed AND Fiends. So it just doesn't feel safe to be running an OOE elite deck with all those threats around. Actually the forthcoming Tyranid support looks like it will compensate you for having an elite unit destroyed as well as providing an alternative source of financing subsequent elites. So that would make losing your Ravener to a one-shot swing that little bit more bearable. But it feels like we are being increasingly nudged towards playing elite-heavy/heavier decks, and until we get something akin to Archon's Terror/Squiggify or Defensive Protocols/Clearcut Refuge then I just don't think it's worth running OOE. I hope to be proved wrong though!
    • Skaak, Eu8L1ch and LoricatusLupus like this
Yeah, Venomous Fiend is absolutely brutal. Identical stats to Tyranid elites, but its ability is so much more versatile it's not even funny. One thing that I think would really help OOE would be more 3 or possibly 4 cost units who can offer an actual threat to enemy Elites. Pyrovore is a great example of the type of units OOE craves, but there just aren't many other great midrange creatures for it to leverage. More options for dealing with single elites as you mentioned would also help a lot, since with one or two combat tricks OOE's midrange sweet spot could start paying off again instead of just being cannon fodder.
    • Caldera likes this

Good points Skaak, but I think the problem with midrange is that it really is very weak against Kith, Klaivex in particular.

Even a single Klaivex outright killing one of your damaged 3-4 costers is a big enough swing that it's very difficult to recover from it, IME. Unless they start printing 4-costers that are so good that they need to be countered or they'll wreck your opponent (like the new Drone Sniper Team), I think midrange is going to be caught between the proverbial hammer and the anvil.

As for the control options, I think right now either you have multiples of them or they're bound to help more against midrange decks than against Elites due to Backlash (unless they're very cost-effective I guess, so it doesn't matter if they're canceled).

For example, when I'm playing Orks against Elite decks I'm always wary of playing Squiggify, since a single Backlash means 3 resources down the drain for me.

    • Caldera likes this