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AoS Skink Starpriest: Worth it?

Discussion in 'Seraphon Tactics' started by Lambs and Lions, May 29, 2023.

  1. Lambs and Lions
    Chameleon Skink

    Lambs and Lions Well-Known Member

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    The skink Starpriest has long been the little skink that packs a big punch. His signature ability the serpent staff allows wound rolls of 6 to inflict a mortal wound.

    When the old book first came out you could have a pack of 40 skinks raining down venom darts causing mortals. Then the number of skinks possible dropped to 30 but the star priest was still strong. Now skinks lost their two shots and the serpent staff lost its best target.

    But there are still good targets for the serpent staff right? Well I am not so sure. Raptordon Chargers seem like an okay target as each gets 6 attacks. But in reality you are only averaging 3MWs. Agrodons, terrordons, ripperdactlys etc all do worst mortal wounds from the serpent staff.

    The only unit that does more than 3 MWs from the serpent staff is reenforces suarus warriors.

    So are 3 MWs and a spell cast worth 130pts in our lists or are we always better off taking a skink starseer for the extra cast and once per game 5+ ward (his warscroll spell is also really good.)

    How many mortal do you need to do with the serpent staff to make it worth taking? Or how cheap should the starpriest be?
     
  2. Vallis
    Cold One

    Vallis Active Member

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    I have reached a similar conclusion. Serpent's Staff and the Starpriest's warscroll spell, Blazing Starlight, have their uses. But I think the extra cast, 5+ ward ability and Celestial Doom spell on the Starseer are well worth the extra 20 points. I feel that there's room for both wizards on many lists, but if you have to choose just one, the Starseer will be the better option most of the time.
     
  3. PJetski
    Chameleon Skink

    PJetski Active Member

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    I can see the Starpriest seeing play in Coalesced lists looking to throw 20+ saurus warriors into the opponents face turn 1 with telepathic summons
    Skink hordes certainly aren't worth using, so it's hard to use him in Starborne since you will either have units in reserve or teleport them forwards and not be in range of Serpent Staff.
    He is my 5th choice hero after Starseer, Astrolith, Slann, and Troglodon. 130 feels overpriced... he could be 100p
     
  4. Vallis
    Cold One

    Vallis Active Member

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    We really only have a few decent targets for Serpent Staff. Below are the numbers of extra mortal wounds generated from Serpent Staff on our best targets, with the mortal wounds from Serpent Staff combined with All-out Attack in parenthesis. Most of these are not worth bringing the Skink Starpriest for on its own.

    20 Gal. Vet. Saurus Warriors w/ Clubs: 4.6 (5.7)
    20 Skinks w/ Moonstone Clubs: 3.6 (4.6)
    20 Saurus Warriors w/ Spears: 3.4 (4.6)
    5 Raptadon Chargers: 3.0 (3.9)
    5 Raptadon Hunters in Melee: 2.5 (3.2)
    10 Saurus Warriors w/ Clubs: 2.3 (2.9)
    3 Aggradon Lancers w/ Clubs: 2.1 (2.6)
    Bastiladon with Ark of Sotek: 1.4 (2.1)

    Everything else will generate fewer than 2 extra MW on average, not counting every combination of reinforcing different units and hoping to get in all the attacks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2023
  5. PJetski
    Chameleon Skink

    PJetski Active Member

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    Maybe reinforced or double reinforced Raptadon Hunters? It's not efficient, but it is high impact.
     
  6. Vallis
    Cold One

    Vallis Active Member

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    It can be hard to get all of them into combat range, but reinforced Raptadon Chargers certainly have the potential to do significant mortal wounds with Serpent Staff.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2023
  7. Lambs and Lions
    Chameleon Skink

    Lambs and Lions Well-Known Member

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    With coherency rules you are looking at 7 chargers in combat and 3 in the back sideways. So 4MWs instead of 3MWs.

    He is one of our best models and he was regularly my MVP last book. But I think this time we will have to keep him off the table or mount him to a Trog or flying chair.

    I think 5 MWs is the spot where he becomes worth it. The skink movement spells are also must haves in starborne and coalesced so you want a skink wizard. But I am also not 100% sold on the skink starseer as his warscroll spell is so short range and his ability is only once per game.
     
  8. Vallis
    Cold One

    Vallis Active Member

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    Yeah, the abilities have their limitations. I think the 5+ wards, while only once per game, still has the potential to have a big impact if timed right.

    And Celestial Doom is pretty good, and can be extremely good in some matchups. It's limited range can be mitigated by the Astrolith Bearer, or the Starseer could be beamed to an objective and as a cosmic node, in Dracothion's Tail, then beam down defenses from reserve, like his own Saurus Guard, a skink screen or his own Astrolith Bearer; or Objective stealers like Raptadon Chargers or Spawn of Chotec.

    Of course, any wizard will do for this (especially the Oracle since the Slann can use him as a vassal at range), but for the cost, the Starseer gets an additional cast for just 20 points above the Starpriest, whose Serpent Staff isn't so potent with our current troops.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2023
  9. Lambs and Lions
    Chameleon Skink

    Lambs and Lions Well-Known Member

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    The 5+ ward turn 1 on a trog is not the worst. Between 5+ ward, stegadon helm, stench, mystic shield, finest hour, all out defense etc he can be extremely tough to take down and he just has to live to until turn 2.
     
  10. Vexcor
    Kroxigor

    Vexcor Well-Known Member

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    Turn 2 and 3 are the most savage in killing each others. If you can get 5+ Ward of on 2, maybe 3 units ....
    could be game changing with some lucky rolls. Can make the difference in holding an obljective or surviving a low wound hero.
    So Skink Starseer could be my way to go. I will miss the serpent staff a lot.
    maybe i bring both ;)
     
  11. Doons
    Saurus

    Doons Member

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    I think it's strength is that it pairs decently well with most things and is almost always usable every turn. Thinking about real grind oriented lists the things that stick around warriors top choice,raptadons for sure but aggradons are pretty decent in koatls getting an extra two or three wounds to something that already hits hard could wipe a unit outright. Its not a supreme ability but it helps something every turn good, utility piece for coalesced or a summon lizard style list
     
  12. Vallis
    Cold One

    Vallis Active Member

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    I agree. It's a wizard. In Starborne it's a cosmic node and adds summoning points. In Coalesced, Serpents Staff will get the benefits of melee-heavy troops. It's got a good Warscroll spell. Serpents Staff isn't going to output mega damage, but it could do 2 to 5 extra mortal wounds every turn, and that's not terrible.

    I suspect I would pick the Starseer more often if I have to pick just one, but if I needed those few extra points for something else, if Serpents Staff paired better with my list, or if I could bring both, the Starpriest will still have a place in my armies.
     
  13. Lambs and Lions
    Chameleon Skink

    Lambs and Lions Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Looks like I am not the only one feeling that the skink starpriest isn't worth it. I saw a thread on Reddit today coming up with the same conclusion. Here is the chart showing how many MWs each unit is expected to do with the serpent staff.

    Edit: Can't seem to post this on my phone...

    https://ibb.co/qYqwY3Y
     
  14. Lambs and Lions
    Chameleon Skink

    Lambs and Lions Well-Known Member

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  15. Vallis
    Cold One

    Vallis Active Member

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    There are a number of errors in that chart on Reddit, but overall it paints the same picture as the chart above.

    The Reddit chart shows Raptadon Chargers with +1 to hit doing 3.45 MW, when the actual number is
    [(16 x ⅔) + (15 x ⅚)] x ⅙ = 3.86

    It also shows Raptadon Hunters shooting twice doing 3.42 MW when in fact they do
    (22 x ½) x ⅙ = 1.83

    The Bastiladon with Ark of Sotek in melee shows 1.78 MW, but I get:
    [(20 x ⅓) + (3 x ⅔)] x ⅙ = 1.44
    (For the Ark, I used ⅓ instead of ½ because natural 6s to hit cause MWs and end the attack sequence, so only hit rolls of 4 and 5 contribute to Serpent Staff MWs.)

    There may be more errors in the Reddit chart; I only checked a few items.

    Edit: the Reddit chart is actually correct for the Bastiladon if it shoots and then charges. That appears to be the assumption for most troops that can shoot.
    [(4 x ½) + (20 x ⅓) + (3 x ⅔)] x ⅙ = 1.78
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2023

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