Vanessa, Outcast Enforcer
Vanessa.jpg

Overview


Vanessa is Viktoria of Ashes' sister, all grown up and attempting to follow in the adventurous footsteps of her older sibling. While the other Viktorias are focused on their melee skills, Vanessa's talents lie more in the arcane arts.

While primarily a support piece for the Viktorias, Vanessa still brings some useful actions to crews led by other Masters.


Mobility


Vanessa is fairly mobile, with a Walk speed of 5 and a charge speed of 7. She has no special movement abilities or actions, but usually wants to be standing on the centerline to gain the benefits of her Harness Ley Line ability, which adds +2 Ca and a Tome to her Casting stat.


Offense


Vanessa has two damaging attacks, the first being her Ancestral Blade, which has an average Ml of 5 and a range of 2". With a damage spread of 2/4/6, it's a decent enough melee attack for a model of her price, but nothing overly impressive.

Her Arcane Staff has a much more impressive Ca of 7 and a range of 12", though the damage profile is lower with only a 2/4/4 spread. She has an innate Arcane Fire trigger that adds a Blast onto her moderate and severe damage, as well as the Surge trigger to draw a card after succeeding.

If Vanessa is standing on the centerline, her Harness Ley Line ability increases her Ca by +2 and adds a Tome, giving her an (almost) unprecedented Ca of 9 and making her able to hit her Surge trigger regardless of which cards she flips or cheats.

Finally, her Command Construct attack allows Vanessa to take control of a non-Leader Construct as a free action, forcing it to perform a 1 AP action of her choice. The range of this ability is a bit short at only 6", but as her only free action, there's no reason not to attempt commanding a Construct if one is within range.


Resilience


Vanessa has average Defense and Wounds for a model of her price, though her Willpower is rather high.

The Ley Stone Unleashed allows Vanessa to perform a boosted healing flip of 2/3/4, but doing so requires 2 AP, making her unable to do much else during the turn she heals herself. Fortunately, she also possesses the Fates Entwined ability, which allows all friendly Sisters to heal whenever Vanessa performs a healing flip. Similarly, because she is a Sister, Vanessa will heal whenever Viktoria of Ashes or Viktoria of Blood perform a healing flip, via their own Fates Entwined abilities.

If she's standing on the centerline, her Harness Ley Line ability will increase her Casting stat, allowing her to more easily cast The Ley Stone Unleashed, as well as granting her the second Tome she needs to hit her Surge trigger for a free card.


Upgrades


Sisters in Spirit gives Vanessa the action of the same name, allowing her to place a friendly Sister within 6" into base contact with her. This can be a good way to move either Viktoria of Ashes or Viktoria of Blood around without having to use their AP for walk actions, or just to set up their Dragon's Bite or Flight of Dragons actions (since Vanessa is a Sister and can thus benefit from the free attacks and pushes those actions grant).

Mark of Shez'uul can allow Vanessa's Ancestral Blade to ignore Armor, Hard to Kill, Hard to Wound, and Incorporeal, but it's generally put to better use on one of the Viktorias, as Vanessa tends to prefer her Arcane Staff attack over her katana.

Synchronized Slaying is a good upgrade for Vanessa, as it allows her to cast Sisters in Battle to give the Viktorias (and herself) a +flip on their attacks for the rest of the turn, without having to waste one of the Viktoria's AP. It also gives her Accomplice, which can be useful in conjunction with her Intuiition ability, which allows her to look at the top three cards of her Fate Deck when she activates and then stack them in whatever order she wishes. Even if Vanessa doesn't use those cards, she can use Accomplice to immediately activate a nearby model who can.

Howling Wolf Tattoo is a good support upgrade for Mercenaries, as it allows them to take the Rapid Fire and Flurry actions without having to discard a card first. Vanessa can also discard the upgrade to turn a Minion model into a Sister for the rest of the turn, which can be useful in a Viktoria crew (or just to allow her to heal a model via her The Ley Stone Unleashed action and Fates Entwined ability.

Oathkeeper can be discarded to make Vanessa Fast for a turn, and that's a good thing.

Scramble makes her quicker, which lets her get to the centerline to activate Harness Ley Line all that much faster, but it ends up being a fairly expensive upgrade for a model that probably isn't going to be moving a whole lot once she actually reaches the centerline.


Tactics and Tips


Vanessa works best in a crew with Viktoria of Ashes and Viktoria of Blood, as her status as a Sister allows her access to the Sister-enhancing upgrades and gives them a dedicated healer that can heal both Viktorias from anywhere on the board via The Ley Stone Unleashed and Fates Entwined. This does cost Vanessa all her AP, however, so be careful with your timing; sometimes it's more useful for Vanessa to move or attack or drop scheme markers than to spend her turn healing a Viktoria.

Because she gains such a huge boost for standing on the centerline, it's usually a good idea to get Vanessa onto the centerline as quickly as possible. She's not useless if you can't or don't want to do this, but it does mean that she needs slightly higher cards to do what she could much more easily do on the centerline.

Vanessa's Intuition ability allows her to look at the top three cards of her Fate Deck when she activates and then return them in any order. This is a very powerful ability, especially for a model that possesses blast attacks, as it gives you a good idea of whether or not she has a good chance of hitting moderate or severe damage and dropping some blast markers.


Playing Against Vanessa


Vanessa doesn't put out a great amount of damage (especially when compared to the Viktorias), but her healing ability does help to mitigate the fragility of the Viktorias by keeping them well healed. If they brought along Vanessa, try to focus fire each sister down; if you go at them separately, Vanessa will just heal all of them up at the same time, making it much harder to put a dent in her crew.

If you have access to pushes or lures, getting Vanessa off the centerline is usually a good idea, as it drops her Casting value down to a more manageable level. Moreover, every turn that Vanessa walks back onto the centerline is a turn when she can't cast The Ley Stone Unleashed.

Try not to attack her with Constructs, as she can just take control of them and turn them against you with her Command Construct.


Ownership
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