Ama No Zako, Outcast/Ten Thunders Henchman
Amanozako (天逆毎, "heaven opposing everything", or 天狗神, "tengu deity") is a monstrous goddess mentioned in the Kujiki, an ancient Japanese text, which states that she originated when Susanoo let his own ferocious spirit build up inside him until he vomited her out. -- Wikipedia

Overviewama no zako.jpg

She's a terrifying Oni monster that spreads damage and control effects wherever she goes.
Ama No Zako is a fast, terrifying, high-damage Mercenary Henchman who can make dangerous terrain near her. As a dual-faction Mercenary, she can be found in any Crew in theory, but she synergizes with some Crews more than others. Her scariest abilities are combinations, and many are suit-dependent and can require additional setup to execute: She is pretty good on her own, but gets a lot more powerful when she's buffed up enough to make her massive attacks land successfully.

Also, players are advised to keep in mind that Ama No Zako is a she. Don't call her a he or she'll Paralyze you and Swallow You Whole. Though, to be honest, she might do that anyway...


Mobility

Ama No Zako is very zippy. She's such a huge scary demon that you wouldn't think it, but often the best use for her is as an objective-runner that's so big and powerful you don't want to get in her way.

She has Wk 6 and Flight. She only has Cg 7, but that's fast enough.


Offense

Ama No Zako has so many different ways to cause misery and destruction around her! Where to start?

Melee

Ama No Zako has two different Ml attacks: one that instantly kills you and one that just does a whole lot of damage. Both can also heal her. Both of them work a lot better if you set things up beforehand.

Vicious Embrace has a relatively low Ml 5, so it won't often hit high-Df opponents unless you Soulstone or get buffs from elsewhere. The damage spread is a massive 3/5/7, and on a Mask she can also heal herself 2/3/4 with the Quaff Blood trigger. This attack is great if it hits and is a good way to crush big low-Df enemy beatsticks. In a sustained melee, she may have problems, though.

Swallow You Whole is a terrifying attack if you can get it off. It only works against enemy models that are Ht 1 or Paralyzed, so it's great against Gremlins. It just sacrifices the target unless they discard two cards or two Soulstones. Pow, gone, and then Ama No Zako laughs and makes horrible ogreish slurping noises and heals herself 2/3/4. It has a Ml 6 crows and needs a 7 or higher tomes card (or a Soulstone for suit) to use successfully. If you can manage it, though, it's delicious. Note that this is a Ml attack with a close range, so you can use it in a Charge!

One favorite trick to set up Swallow You Whole is to use Promising Whisper on an enemy first to force them to target a Terrifying model and fail the duel to Paralyze them. You need a second Terrifying model to make this happen, though, since Ama No Zako is considered friendly for that duel. After Promise Whisper you can just Charge the model and make two Swallow attacks. You can get rid of very powerful models very quickly if you can set this up successfully.

Spells

Ama No Zako has two big scary spells, both of which are (0) Actions.

Promising Whisper is an Obey-like effect with a mediocre 6" range. It's got a decent Ca 6 but requires an eight of Masks or better to succeed. It forces a non-Leader (friendly or enemy) to take a (1) Action of your choice. This can move friendly models into position, gain extra attacks, or force enemies to attack each other. You can use this to Paralyze an enemy model to set up Swallow You Whole, as mentioned above.

One thing to note about this attack is that the target considers Ama No Zako friendly for that attack. Don't get confused about this: it means only what it says. The target still considers the rest of Ama No Zako's Crew to be enemies, and it still considers the rest of its own Crew to be friendly. This mostly means that the target can't deliberately fail a Terrifying duel on Ama No Zako (you'll need a second Terrifying model in Ama No Zako's Crew for that) but you can use this to force some models to buff Ama No Zako instead.

Miasma of Boils and Flies turns the area within 4" of Ama No Zako into severe and hazardous terrain until the end of the Turn. This is a pretty large area and can be used for very nasty effect. Note that this affects both friendly and enemy models; don't get your own Crew caught up in it. This requires a six or higher of Crows to use.


Resilience

Ama No Zako has some resilience, but if she gets caught up in a melee, then she's likely to drain a lot of Soulstones staying alive, and then maybe die anyway.

She has a Df 5 which is only average, but a high Wp 7. Her Wd 10 seem to go away very quickly, even with Hard to Wound 1 and the ability to prevent damage with Soulstones.

She is also Terrifying (Living) 13. Against a living Crew, she's likely to drain enemy cards or sometimes Paralyze them. Usually she can't eat them when they get Paralyzed from that, though, since getting Paralyzed during a model's turn just ends the model's Activation and goes away, unfortunately.


Upgrades

Ama No Zako loves Upgrades. She can have up to Two.

In an Outcast Crew, Oath Keeper is great since it can give her Fast or just drop a Scheme Marker in a key position. Scramble is a classic.

In a Ten Thunders Crew, Recalled Training can give her a single turn of terrifying success once she's in the thick of things. You may want to use this on that turn where you Paralyze an opponent then charge it to swallow it.

If you're hiring her as a Mercenary, you have a variety of options. Consider Upgrades that will increase her speed, or help boost her offensive abilities.


Tactics and Tips

The important thing to realize about Ama No Zako is that all her best tricks require some setup. You need the right suits: Masks for Promising Whisper, Tomes for Swallow You Whole, Crows for Miasma of Boils and Flies. It helps to have enemies who are Paralyzed or Ht 1. Getting attack buffs helps a lot too. Focus can make a big difference. If you just rush her in and expect that her tricks will work out okay, you'll find her quickly overwhelmed. If you can't set up the right suits and circumstances for an attack, it may be best to use her for objective-running instead until an opportunity comes up. If you can set up the right suits and circumstances, she can be devastating.

Ama No Zako synergizes very, very well with a Jack Daw Crew, even though she isn't Tormented. Her attacks are more likely to hit in Lady Ligeia's no-cheat Aura. Papa Loco can improve her mediocre Ml score with Hold This. Her dangerous terrain becomes more dangerous when you have The Drowned and Jaakuna Ubume on the table.

When played in the Ten Thunders, she mostly plays well with McCabe thanks to his ability to Paralyze a model with his Netgun and Bullwhip, though it does require some setup to achieve. He can also give her a more precise Ml attack with Glowing Sabre if it's more important for her to hit than to damage and with Elixer of Life, she gets Regeneration +2, becoming a bit more survivable, and gives out Unimpeded to any friendly model 3" from her, making her Miasma of Boils and Flies a bit more manageable for friendly models if needed. The Promises upgrade, be it on McCabe or Sidir Alchibal also helps to make her Ml attacks hit more often and increases the odds of getting a useful suit from the deck.

In a Lynch crew, Hungering Darkness is a good playmate for her since between Promising Whisper and Heed My Voice they can use each other to force Horror checks against living models and Paralyze them. Your opponent will have to be especially sure not to fail Terrifying checks against any Illuminated you bring lest they get eaten. Mulligan and Woke Up With a Hand can help with getting the suits you need. Beckoners can't cause the Terrifying checks themselves (as Lure generates a move, not a Walk), but they are still great setup pieces to capitalize on Ama no Zako's mobility and hitting power. Because of Flight and her height, you can also use Beckoners to "yo-yo" Ama no Zako back to safety (from most melee) after murdering an overextended targeted, as you would with Huggy. Beckoners can also force models to walk into the Miasma of Boils and Flies, sometimes even twice in one go.

Yin can be used to force Horror checks and debuff Wp, in addition to being a (much slower) Flying model to hang out with Ama no Zako.

Leading a Crew

Ama No Zako can lead a henchman-led Crew with Outcasts or Ten Thunders.

Strategies and Schemes

Ama No Zako herself makes a very scary heavy-flanker. Her flight and mobility gives her an edge when running terrain, and she loves scooping up and eating enemy objective-runners, many of whom tend to be Ht 1.

Building a Crew

Ama No Zako really likes to hire models that can hold territory on their own, or that can buffer her combat abilities.

Outcasts

A Freikorps Librarian can help Ama No Zako heal and provide debuffs and support. The Hodgepodge Effigy can provide cover and Soulstone replenishing. Hans can provide long-range sniping support if she gets caught up in melee. Ronin are solid, fast models with decent thematic ties. Montresor can improve the size of Ama No Zako's Miasma of Boils and Flies with an Upgrade, and can hold an area while Ama No Zako goes objective-grabbing.

Ten Thunders

Right off the bat, being a leader opens Ama No Zako to taking the Misdirection upgrade which can greatly increase her survivability, though it is another suit she wishes to get and doesn't have built in. Chiaki can heal Ama No Zako. Ten Thunders Brothers can hold key positions while Ama No Zako grabs objectives. Shadow Effigy can help Ama No Zako with durability and Scheme Markers. Kamaitachi is the only Ten Thunders Totem available (neither of the Mercenary Totems work well with her since she has no (1) Ca actions for the Malifaux Child to copy, and she rapidly outruns the Student of Conflict), and it can heal Ama No Zako when she uses her Recalled Training, and provide pushes to make Ama No Zako even faster. The Katanaka Sniper can Reactivate when Ama No Zako is killed.


Playing Against Ama No Zako

For all her tricks and attacks, Ama No Zako is fairly vulnerable to straight-up attacks and dies easily when caught up in melee.


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