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Killjoy, Outcast Enforcer
Table of Contents
Tactics and Tips
Playing Against Killjoy
Killjoy is an undead Neverborn that is cursed to wander Malifaux, killing things in an attempt to quench his ever-burning desire for bloodshed and slaughter. He's also a Mercenary, so he'll make blood pacts with anyone willing to hire him.
Killjoy doesn't look especially mobile from a glance at his stat line, but looks can be deceiving. With a Walk speed of 4 and a Charge of 6 he's not very fast on his feet, and his Blood Price ability forces him to spend his first action charging a model within range if he's not already engaged. This charge only costs Killjoy 1 AP, however, making it a very easy way for him to get around the board, provided that he has plenty of models to charge.
The down side is that Blood Price will also force you to charge your own models, though you can mitigate this somewhat by bringing models with the Disguised ability, which makes the model unable to be the target of a Charge action.
Killjoy's tendency to charge whatever is in range can be difficult to get around when deploying, essentially forcing you to keep a large bubble of empty space or blocked lines of sight around Killjoy to keep him from charging your own models on Turn 1, but fortunately, he comes with a way around this problem. His Blood Sacrifice ability allows you to begin the game with Killjoy buried, which allows him to unbury in base contact with a friendly model after it has been killed or sacrificed. This allows Killjoy to essentially appear out of nowhere, and many opponents will hesitate to kill your models if it means that a Killjoy might appear from their dying target's corpse.
Note that Blood Sacrifice is
mandatory; you can choose to keep Killjoy buried if you don't want to unbury him after a friendly model dies.
Killjoy has offense in spades. In addition to the aforementioned Blood Price that forces him to take a 1 AP Charge action at the start of his activation (provided that he's not already engaged), he also possesses a Cleaver that has a high Ml skill and an almost absurd 4/5/7 damage spread with a built-in healing flip whenever he kills a model with his attack. The Onslaught trigger allows him to take a free attack against his original target, though he is not allowed to declare any triggers (ie, Onslaught) on this free attack.
For those rare times when Killjoy isn't charging into melee or cutting up models he's engaged with, he also comes with a Hooked Chain that has a decent Sh of 5, a moderate range of 8", and a somewhat low (for his price) damage spread of 2/3/4. However, it does have a built-in Drag trigger which pulls the target 4" closer to Killjoy, which is generally not a place that most models wish to be.
Finally, as a former Neverborn, Killjoy also possesses the Black Blood ability, which deals one point of damage to all models within 1" of him whenever he takes damage. Models with the Black Blood ability are immune to this damage, making it less effective against Nephilim and
's crews, but against most everyone else it's a good way to get some extra damage in whenever Killjoy gets hit by an attack.
Killjoy isn't durable so much as he's tricky to engage. His Blood Sacrifice ability means that he's generally not going to be on the table until he's within range to kill something, making it impossible to soften him up with early game shooting or casting.
When he does finally hit the table, his Terrifying (All) 13 is the best in the game, making it difficult for his enemies to target him without becoming paralyzed. This means that even a model with decent Willpower is going to need an average card or better to avoid paralysis, which forces your opponent to waste decent cards just to be able to target the fat bugger.
While his Defense is very low and his Willpower is sub-par as well, Killjoy possesses a lot of healing. He heals when he kills a model with his Cleaver attack and he also possesses the Gorge action, which heals him as a free action for the price of a discarded card - which is not too shabby. This can make it very difficult to drop Killjoy with anything other than a lucky red joker or a sustained assault, and even then he has as many wounds as most masters.
And then there's the black blood. Not a defense mechanic per se, as it doesn't really protect Killjoy, but it does make anything with a Ml range less than (2) reluctant to attack, as any damage he takes is going to sting everyone around him. Basically, you can't gang up on the bastard with a lot of cheap models.
Oathkeeper is probably the best upgrade Killjoy can take in his native Outcasts, as a turn of Fast does quite a bit to make a dangerous model like him even more of a threat.
Scramble can be useful, but given that Killjoy will likely be be using Blood Sacrifice to appear in the middle of the board, this is probably less useful on him than on other models. It's also an expensive upgrade on an already expensive model.
Resurrectionists can give Killjoy Decaying Aura, which makes him quite capable of taking out Henchmen and Masters in a single activation.
Ten Thunders can give him Recalled Training, which Killjoy can discard for a single turn of increased capabilities.
Neverborn can give him Retribution's Eye, which can ignore enemy Armor and (for one turn) triggers!
Tactics and Tips
Killjoy can be used with
to great effect, as the Ronin can use their Seppuku action to sacrifice themselves, gain a few soulstones or cards, and then unbury Killjoy next to them as they die, essentially dropping the big lug wherever you want him.
He can also find good use alongside
, which make for cheap delivery vehicles that the opponent will either have to ignore or kill, the latter of which will release Killjoy in the middle of their crew. Or maybe it will be the Rat on the other flank that releases him? With enough Malifaux Rats (particularly in a
crew) it's easy to flood the board with Rats, ensuring that Killjoy has lots of options. If your opponent refuses to kill any of your Rats, then just wait until they tangle Together into a Rat King; it counts as a sacrifice of all the Rats involved, so not only will you get a Rat King, you'll get to unbury Killjoy as well! This can apply a great deal of pressure very quickly onto a weakened flank.
As a model that can begin the game buried,
has all sorts of tricks she can pull with Killjoy, whether it's using Faces in the Void (Obliteration Symbiote upgrade) to pull him out of the void and chuck him into the middle of the opponent's crew or just using Whispers from Darkness (Eternal Journey upgrade) to "borrow" his Cleaver for a few swipes against an enemy (which allows her to perform a healing flip if she kills a model, per the text of Killjoy's Cleaver). Alternatively, she can use Pull the Void (Knowledge of Eternity upgrade) to make Killjoy Fast and bury him, allowing him to pop out with an extra AP the next time one of your models dies.
also synergizes quite well with him. She can summon a model farther than 3" away from an enemy which will cause it to immediately die and enable Killjoy to unbury. Since Molly has accomplice, you can then chain activate into Killjoy. Horror Molly can also hand out free AP to him.
Playing Against Killjoy
Killjoy is a very scary piece to play against, but keep this in mind - he's very expensive at 12 soulstones (13 if hired as a mercenary). This will limit your opponent's options for what else he can take in his crew - exploit that deficiency to the fullest. A good option to deal with him if the crew fielding him does not have a reliable delivery system (Molly, Tara, Ronin, Obedient Wretch etc) is to just avoid killing your opponent's models and focus on schemes such as Distract or Cursed Object. At some point, your opponent might get frustrated and kill one of their own models to release him, but this will likely only happen late in the game when his presence will make less of an impact.
Another thing to note is that although he himself is Terrifying, KJ is not fearless - in fact, he has a sub-par Wp stat. This will not necessarily stop him from chopping models with Manipulative or Terrifying to bits - but it does mean that he'll probably have to burn cards to do so. Additionally, a low Wp leaves him vulnerable to a lot of angles of attack. Give him Slow and prepare to cheat a high card on defense when he activates, then engage trollface watch him do nothing for a whole turn.
If you do have to kill Killjoy, try doing so at a distance. Ranged weapons will let you stay out of his charge range and avoid his Black Blood, and models with Ruthless or Relentless will allow you to ignore his Terrifying rule to make targeting him easier.
Doing so is rarely possible, due to his ability to spawn out of nowhere. So - what to do if he gets dropped in your lap? Well, the ugly bugger is most easily and efficiently killed by other heavy hitters - ones that target Df and have high medium and high damage spreads. Charge in and put some damage on him, then ideally finish him off with something before he gets to activate again and heal himself up. Range (2) melee attaks are preferred, as they dodge his splashes of black blood. Do NOT try to do the old "death by a thousand cuts" with multiple smaller melee models, as you'd end up taking ungodly amounts of damage from black blood.
If you're really next level, you might be able to flee from Killjoy, forcing him to charge one of your opponent's models. While hilarious, this also affords your opponent the opportunity to cheat both his attack and the other model's defense, so this will likely only amount in some real damage later in the turn when control cards are scarce. Still, it's something to keep in mind if the opportunity presents itself.
Also note that models with the Disguised ability are immune to charges, and thus won't count as valid targets for Killjoy's Blood Price charge. If you bring enough Disguised models, Killjoy might be forced to charge your opponent's models simply from a lack of other legal targets!
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