Kaeris, Arcanist Henchman
Anaslea Kaeris strives for balance somewhere between being a gun for hire and following her own somewhat secretive plans. The Arcanists were able to convince her to join their ranks through the allure of Soulstone-powered magic, and the opportunity to oppose the Guild, who she sees as disrupting the precious balance that she seeks to maintain

Overview

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Kaeris is a powerful magic user; held back only by the limited teaching of her mentor, Victor Ramos, and the specialized, winged apparatus crafted to help her contain and control her powers. She provides the Arcanists with another elemental magic user; her abilities centered around commanding fire (compared to Ramos who uses electricity, and Rasputina who controls water).

Kaeris is primarily a ranged attacker, good at damaging to multiple models at once thanks to her Burning Tokens, rather than focusing on a single target. She can be a good addition to just about any Arcanist crew, and has some nice synergies with the rest of the faction, particularly Ramos or Rasputina.

In addition, Kaeris is the leader of the M&SU Assets, a Special Forces group, and when you play her, you are allowed to hire as many M&SU Assets as you like (NOTE: there is a difference between M&SU Assets and M&SU Members).

Mobility

Kaeris has a Wk of 5 and a Cg of 8, in addition to having Flight, so she is actually quite mobile. This also makes her one of the more mobile pieces in the Arcanist faction as a whole.


Offense

Overall, Kaeris is a fairly offensive piece, with a nice balance of normal attacks and spell damage. She will often work best at spreading around a lot of damage on multiple pieces, but she can bring her Immolate spell to bear on a single target when necessary. Kaeris primarily depends on Burning Tokens to inflict the majority of her damage.

Ignite

This is Kaeris' basic attack, and thanks to the Gunfighter ability, she can use it whether she is engaged in melee or not. The starting Cb of 6 is above average, though at first glance, the damage of the weapon seems low. However, it is the actions that follow an Ignite Strike that make Kaeris powerful. The key with Ignite is that any enemy damaged by the weapon gains a Burning Token, in addition to the damage. This can then be used to inflict further damage via her spells. Kaeris also starts with an automatic Trigger on her attack, which allows her to attack another target within range after damaging the first one. With the right cards in your hand, you can hit 3-4 models with a single Action Point! Remember, Burning Tokens get discarded at the end of every turn, so you will likely need to start afresh each turn with Kaeris or your minions spreading around new ones.

According to the Wyrd May 2012 FAQ, Tokens "do not remember who applied them", so if an enemy model dies in the Resolve Effects Stage due to taking 1Wd from a Burning Token, Kaeris' crew will not get the credit for the kill for the purposes of eg. the Slaughter Strategy.

Accelerant

This spell will be a 'workhorse' for Kaeris in most turns, and you will want to make sure you have the extra Tome in order to cast it. The best part about Accelerant is that there is no Resist for it, so as long as you have a 6 of Tomes or higher, the spell will affect all models which have a Burning Token. Be careful, however, as this spell can affect both enemy and friendly models, so if any of your own models would end up with Burning Tokens somehow, you will need to be wise in how you use this spell. Your opponent will get to choose between whether they want to take the damage or receive Paralyze instead, and most times, your opponent will choose the damage. Note that the spell does not say the Dg cannot be cheated, so this would be a good time to cheat in a Severe card, and really make it a tough choice for your opponent. Opponents may also forget that if they choose to take the damage, they still hang onto the Burning Token, and will take one further Wd or Slow (their choice) during the Resolve Effects Stage.

Immolate

When Kaeris really wants to kill one particular model, this is her go-to spell. The damage potential for this spell is quite good, especially considering that the target likely already took some Dg from Ignite, and will take 1 more Wd during the Resolve Effects Phase. This is also typically where Kaeris will want to spend her Soulstones. Luckily, she doesn't need any additional suits to cast this spell, so Cheat in whichever high cards you have and go from there. Be careful in how you use this spell when combined with Accelerant, because if an opponent thinks you might try Accelerant first, and then finish them off with Immolate, they may choose to take Paralyze from Accelerant, and discard the Burning Token, leaving you unable to cast Immolate on them! The Flame Marker which is dropped from killing a model via Immolate stays until the Resolve Effects Phase (see difference between Terrain and Markers).

Overheat

While this spell does not do damage itself, it is an alternate way for Kaeris to spread around some Burning Tokens. In addition, your opponents cannot resist against this one, so if your opponent's pieces have a high Df and you're worried about hitting them with Ignite, this might be a good alternative. Also note that this ability kills the Construct, causing it to drop Scrap Counter(s), which one of your other models may be able to use instead. Neat Trick: If you use this ability on an Ice Gamin or Fire Gamin, when it is killed, it will trigger its Pulse ability which does additional damage. So it will do damage due to the Pulse and hand out Burning Tokens!


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Resilience

Overall, Kaeris has average defensive abilities and Wds, but she does have a few nice tricks at her disposal.

Cleansing Fire

Your opponent playing Sonnia Criid or Gremlins? Kaeris has little fear of bunching up against them, because, not only can she ignore damage from blasts, but she heals 1 Wd every time she ignores that kind of damage. Be wary though that she not be the initial target of those type of attacks; try to force your opponent to only attack other pieces next to Kaeris. Neat Trick: If enemy models engage Kaeris in melee, she can still use her Ignite attack thanks to Gunfighter. If you manage to get Severe damage with the attack, you can freely let the blast from the damage hit Kaeris. She can ignore the damage from the blast, and heal 1 Wd instead, as well as not gaining any Burning Tokens herself, since she was not 'damaged' by the weapon!

Smoldering Heart

Kaeris starts out with an above average Wp of 6, but she can further boost this with this ability. Be aware that an opponent trying to use Obey or Alpha or things like that on Kaeris can do a lot of damage to your own crew. So don't be afraid to use this ability from time to time to help resist those types of abilities. Smoldering Heart also gives Kaeris a very nice advantage when facing Pandora, as it will make Kaeris' starting Wp higher than Pandora's, thus making it easier to win those Wp duels.

Resource Management

This (0) action can be good or bad depending on the makeup of your crew and your opponent's crew, since the ability works on ALL M&SU Members or Assets, both friendly or enemy. So be careful about using it if you have included several M&SU pieces on your own crew. However, it can be annoyingly effective if you have no other M&SU pieces in your crew and your opponent has one or more, as Kaeris' other (0) action is not one you will want to use all the time either, so it is basically a way to steal a Wd or more from your opponent every turn. If you bring several M&SU pieces in your own crew though, it can be a great way to save Kaeris in a pinch, hopefully without killing any of your own models, since it is only 1 Wd from each of them. One neat trick is to utilize this ability on a Gunsmith, which will allow them to use The Hard Way to get extra positive flips on their attacks.

Flaming Armor

Enemies with strong melee attacks are always a weakness for models like Kaeris who prefer to stay at a distance and pound away with their ranged attacks. It is nice in this case that she has something specific to help deal with that. The Flaming Armor grants her a generic Armor +1 that works all the time, but also causes models that hit her with melee attacks to get burned in the process, and they take 1 Wd in addition to a Burning Token. So in essence, they will likely end up taking more Wds, especially if they attack before Kaeris has activated for that turn.

Soulstones

Kaeris can pretty easily burn through quite a few Soulstones. So it is wise to utilize her in a crew which does not have much need for them otherwise, like with Ramos, perhaps. You will need to spread Burning Tokens as much as possible, which typically means using Ignite and the Turn it Up Trigger. If you have a high Tome in your hand, this can help you hit at least three different targets, but beyond that, you will need to spend a Soulstone and hope you get a Tome. In addition, if you're going to go for Immolate, you typically want to make sure your opponent does not make the Resist check, so it's not uncommon to Soulstone that as well. Lastly, even with her Armor, Kaeris tends to have a bit of a target on her because of her damage output, and she can often go down quick once your opponent begins to focus on her. Oftentimes, you will find yourself using your highest cards for Ignite or Immolate, and then will not have many high cards left for keeping your Df high. So it's always good to have a stone or two in reserve for cheating up your Df or for Wd prevention.


Tricks and Tips While Joining a Crew

With Ramos
Like any good Arcanist spell caster, Kaeris has Surge. Do not forget to use it! Whenever you cast Accelerant, she automatically gets it. If you are running Kaeris in a crew with Ramos, he can bring the Mobile Toolkit totem, which can then give a Tome to both Ramos and Kaeris on their Ca stat. Then she will have Surge on every single spell cast, and since she does not have any other Ca triggers, you can use it all the time!
As mentioned above, Kaeris works well with Ramos because he typically does not need to use his own Soulstones. In addition though, Ramos can pump out Steampunk Arachnids, which can then run forward, and Kaeris can use Overheat on them. Since this is a kill action, if Ramos is close enough, he can just use the Scrap Counter on the next turn to summon another Arachnid! Ramos and Joss can also make decent pieces for the crew, since Kaeris can heal Wds from them through Resource Management, and then Ramos can heal himself or Joss with his Combat Mechanic spell.

With Rasputina ("Fire and Ice")
While Rasputina tends to be a bit of a Soulstone hog, and this can counter to what was mentioned above about Kaeris liking a lot of Soulstones as well, these two pieces together give the highest amount of terrain control available in the game, between Ice Pillars, Flame Wall, and Freeze Over. You can literally funnel your opponent right where you want them, and then blast them apart with Ignite, Accelerant, Immolate, and December's Curse. Let Kaeris whittle pieces down, and then have Rasputina finish them off. Also, these are the good builds for Kaeris to use Overheat on
Ice Gamin to really stack up the damage against your opponent. Lastly, you can run two Essence of Power totems in this crew, one for Rasputina and one for Kaeris, which gives a little more longevity as the Essence can use (0) Link and Empower on either Rasputina or Kaeris, regardless of which one the totem is officially connected to.

With Marcus
There is no direct synergy between Kaeris and Marcus at this time. She can offer some good ranged support for Marcus though, which is something h
is crew typically lacks. So she is likely worth considering in that regard. There are some fun tricks to be had with Myranda though, through turning Kaeris into a Beast and then allowing Myranda to copy her spells.

With Colette Du Bois ("Pyrotechnics")
Colette's Disappearing Act and Kaeris' Immolate or Flame Wall work quite well together. The Flame Markers left behind by Immolate or Flame Wall are hazardous and during the end of the turn any model Colette had buried with Disappearing Act will be placed within 6" of her. The buried model may then be placed in the marker which will cause it to suffer 3 damage. Wounded enemy models can be finished off easily this way.The trick works because models are placed due to Disappearing Act during the Start Closing Phase, whereas the Flame Markers don't go away until the Resolve Effects Phase.
Kaeris may place a burning counter on a friendly Mechanical Dove using her Ignite ranged strike. No Harmless test needs to be taken because Kaeris is not an enemy model. Severe damage may be cheated down so the Mechanical Dove will survive. Then, Kaeris casts Immolate which will kill the Mechanical Dove and replace it with the 50mm 3 Dg marker. This allows your faction to place these markers wherever you want.
Colette's Mechanical Doves are also excellent targets for Kaeris' Overheat spell, similar to Ramos' Steampunk Arachnids.
Colette can also be used to support Kaeris by acting as a Soulstone Factory so Kaeris can spend Soulstones to make sure her attacks connect and hit hard.


Generic Tricks and Tips

Kindling
This is another ability that is easy to forget. But as mentioned above, Kaeris is dependent on having lots of Tomes, so you need to get all the cards you can in your hand.

Inner Fire
Again, this ability can help you get some extra cards into your hand. Be careful with this one though, as Wds can stack up quicker on Kaeris than you might realize. This one is typically good if you know you will be able to use Resource Management on the next turn. This ability is probably only advisable in situations where you absolutely must get a spell or attack to work, so you need to eliminate as much chance from the card deck as possible.


Tricks and Tips While Leading a Crew

(This section is still under construction since Kaeris' box set just recently was released)

When Kaeris is leading a crew, you can only hire M&SU Assets, M&SU Members, unless there are specific exceptions. At this time, that limits her selections to:

Even with the release of Twisting Fates, Kaeris' options are still rather limited if she is leading the crew herself. Of primary note is the fact that she cannot hire a Totem while she is leading the crew, so this is often a good reason to use her along with another Master instead. However, her Henchman rating
of 5 actually gives her a slight edge over all of the Arcanist Masters, who have a Cache of 4 at the most. And with the Fire Gamin and Iggy, there are now more options for getting Burning Tokens, which are essential to Kaeris' damage output.

Strategies and Schemes


The information below is assuming that Kaeris leading the crew, and thus the crew build is restricted to the models as mentioned above. For ideas on running Kaeris along with another Master in regard to Strategies, please see the individual Strategies and Schemes section of that appr
opriate Master. In general, Kaeris' crews do not have a lot of particular strengths when it comes to completing Schemes. She doesn't have access to cheap Insignificant pieces for Interact strategies. She's decent at killing stuff, but probably not as good as some other Masters. She might often fall into a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none sort of category when it comes to Strategies. That said, below are a few idea on how to deal with various encounters.

A Line in the Sand [Moderate to Difficult]
Since your options for non-Insignifact pieces are somewhat limited, this can be a tough one sometimes. The Union Miner's tricks for burying and then popping up next to other M&SU pieces might help a bit in this scenario. Use Flame Wall liberally to keep your opponent away from key markers that they may be trying to reach.

Claim Jump [Moderate]
This can be a tough one since Fire Gamin don't tend to survive long, and part of their purpose in the game is typically to blow up and grant Burning Tokens to surrounding enemies. So you've got to be sure to select a crew that is survivable. Again, the Flame Wall spell will be helpful here to pro
tect your crew. Best advice is to set up in a well-defended area close to the Claim Jump, and try to eliminate as much of your opponent's crew before you move out to the Claim Jump marker during the last turn.

Contain Power [Easy to Moderate]
Kaeris likes to blow stuff up. So if you need to kill an enemy, there are few ways better than lighting them on fire. Utilize your pieces to help you get Burning Tokens on the
opponent's Master, and then go to town with Accelerant or Immolate. Immolate will do more damage, but remember that Accelerant does not have a Resist flip, and can hit more enemies if you happen to have the Burning Tokens spread around a bit. Also remember to use the Trigger on her Ignite attack when possible, to spread around more counters. Utilize tactics like shooting a weak minion next to the Master and cheating your damage up to Severe to get the blast and get a Burning Token on the Master that way.

Deliver a Message [Easy to Moderate]

Destroy the Evidence [Moderate]

Distract [Easy]

Escape and Survive [Easy]

Plant Evidence [Easy to Moderate]

Reconnoiter [Difficult]

Slaughter [Easy]

Supply Wagon [Easy]

Treasure Hunt [Easy to Moderate]

Turf War [Moderate]

Player's Choice


Building a Crew

A full list of models available to a Kaeris-led crew is shown here.

When building a crew that includes Kaeris, either as a Leader or along with another Master, the first priority should be to determine what role you want Kaeris to play in the build. Are you going to use her primarily for board control with Flame Pillars? Damage output through her Burning Tokens and spells? A quick movement piece with Flight to reach objectives? All of these will cause you to build different synergies with Kaeris. It's often good to include at least 1-2 other pieces which can dole out Burning Tokens though. You will find that this drastically increases Kaeris' potency on the battlefield. And you should always consider the use of an Essence of Power if you've hired Kaeris under the leadership of another Master. The positive twist to damage flips is very help for both Accelerate and Immolate.


Starting Kaeris

The M&SU Assets box set released in October of 2011 and includes Kaeris, three Fire Gamin, and two Gunsmiths. This offers up 24 points of models, and makes for a good starting crew at either 20 or 25 SS (though you do cut yourself short by 1 Soulstone if you play these at the 25 SS level). Remember, Kaeris' Henchman rating allows you to hire up to 5 SS cost of models beyond the encounter size, but it also limits you to having no more than 5 SS in your pool at the beginning of the game as well. But starting with three Fire Gamin is nice, providing plenty of options to spread around some Burning Tokens. The Gunsmiths are good in their own right, and more can be read about them on their page here. Beyond the box set, adding to your Kaeris crew really depends on what type of crew you like to play, and whether you intend to use her as a Leader, or along with another Master.


Playing Against Kaerisexternal image Kaeris-puppet-s.jpg

The most important thing to remember when playing against Kaeris is to keep track of your Wds, and to keep track of Burning Tokens on your models. Remember that you will either have to take a Wd or Slow at the end of the turn if you have a Burning Token, so plan accordingly for that. Having to take Slow at a crucial point because your model only has 1 Wd left can really hurt.

If you know that you will be facing Kaeris, try to take models which have ways to remove tokens or effects, like the Shrug Off ability that many Guild members can utilize. Models with self-healing abilities also work quite well. You are also better off taking models with high Df and high Wp, rather than models with high Wds, because Kaeris fights a war of attrition, and once she starts getting Burning Tokens on you, your Wds will disappear faster than you realize. Better off having a high Df and stopping her from getting the Burning Tokens in the first place. Or at least force her into killing her own Constructs to do it.

Lastly, when trying to kill Kaeris, remember to use ranged attacks as much as possible, so that your melee attackers will not get saddled with Burning Tokens for attacking her and take Wds in the process as well.


Ownership
Unless otherwise stated, all names and images on this site are property of Wyrd Miniatures, LLC. (Link)