Madrak Ironhide, World Ender - Trollblood Trollkin Epic Warlock

external image madrak-ironhide-world-ender.png
Madrak knew that the cursed weapon Rathrok would destroy him, but he willingly took it up to save his people. Now the ancient axe threatens to overwhelm him. Though it wins Madrak victory after victory, Rathrok's grim power condemns those the chieftain would save. Madrak sees no other hope for his people's survival, however, even though those he protects have come to call Madrak the "World Ender".

Statistics

Madrak has great stats. He's fast for a troll (making him about average SPD) with good STR and a great MAT and average RAT. His DEF is above average for a Troll and below average for a Warlock which makes him not that hard to hit, but his good ARM compensates for this a little. Madrak also has an additional defensive ability but more on that later. He has slightly higher than average health boxes and a good CMD but a low FURY. His warbeast points are the same as his FURY.

Feat - Desperate Hour

Friendly faction models in Madrak's control area get to make a melee attack against every enemy model in their melee range (essentially a Thresher) or they get to make one ranged attack ignoring ROF. There's a couple of different uses for this Feat. Madrak loves Reach models as they get the most mileage out of the melee part of it. You can use it to finish off stuff that you missed or failed to kill before, or you can use it to get the first strike via running your troops into combat to get those extra inches if your opponents have greater threat ranges. Fennblades are great for this. Obviously, you can also use it to get another round of shots, although you should usually consider this as a bonus due to our lack of really good shooting units.
Many people think that Madrak's feat turn will always be devastating. This is, unfortunately, not always the case. The first problem is his meagre 10" control area, which means that you often won't catch everything that you'd like to in your feat. The second is that your enemy will know that you are coming to get him so he will do his best to spread out and get rid of the models that can do most harm. The third is that most of our troops are MAT 6, some MAT 7, so misses will happen. The trick with this feat is to know when to use it. If nothing but a couple of dead enemy trooper models will come out of it, save it. A second Thrown Rathrok, or one more crucial attack with Mulg, for instance, will often do more good than a mass of Fennblades pointlessly threshering unimportant stuff, if you only have patience. Besides, the threat of the feat is sometimes more useful than the feat itself, as it forces your opponent to play differently, upon which you can try to capitalize.


Weapons

  • Rathrok, World Ender -A fairly beatstick-ish weapon, sitting at POW 15. It's the special abilities and the plethora of buffs that you can throw on Madrak that make it great, though.
    • Magical Weapon
    • Reach
    • Critical Grievous Wounds - On a critical hit the model smacked can't transfer damage, heal, or make tough rolls for one round. Very nice against Hordes, much less useful against Warmachine.
    • Rathrok's Awakening - Madrak gains a fury point each time he destroys an enemy living model. Very nice when combined with another of his abilities, more on that later.
  • Thrown Rathrok - Has all the same attributes and abilities as Rathrok.

Special Abilities

  • Tough - Because all Trollkin don't die 33% of the time.
  • Grim Salvation - When Madrak is damaged by an enemy melee or ranged attack (not a magic attack), you must remove a Trollkin warrior model who is within 1" of Madrak from play. Madrak suffers none of the effects of being damaged. If there are no Trollkin warrior models within 1", Madrak takes damage and has the option of transferring it to a warbeast as normal. See below for strategy related to this move.
  • Tide of Death - When Madrak destroys an enemy model with an attack, he can spend a fury point to move 1". Combined with Rathrok's awakening this basically gives Madrak a slightly more versatile version of overtake. He can wipe out a unit all by himself without a problem since you can kill a model, spend the fury you got to move 1" and attack again, as long as you have fury. Keep in mind that, basically, the amount of fury points = maximum possible inches moved in one chain, unless you pop your feat, tresher everything around and get a bunch of additional fury.

Spells

  • Killing Ground - This spell lets your warbeasts charge or slam without forcing, so if you want two or more warbeasts to charge, cast this spell, unless the caster needs fury for other reasons. In addition, charging models effectively gain Pathfinder. Not needing forcing for charge is a great thing too, because the point of fury that would have been used for charging, can now be used for something else. Madrak usually needs to activate after your models have charged in. Great spell which helps you with terrain so you can use War Cry or charge with Fell Callers instead of using Open Road.
  • Blood Fury - Friendly warrior model/unit gains an extra die on melee damage rolls and a penalty to DEF. This is great on Champions who now roll 5 dice of damage when charging.
  • Warpath - An upkeep spell that provides extra mobility for warjacks/warbeasts. When an enemy model is killed by a friendly faction model, one warjack/warbeast may move up to 3". A model may move just once per turn as a result of this spell, so your models can`t move insane distances by killing swarms of enemy infantry. Your Warbeasts can go places at unpredictable angles with this so it's worth taking some smashy heavies and compensating for his low FURY with Whelps.


Thoughts on Madrak Ironhide, World Ender

Madrak is basically a Warbeast-delivering, Pathfinder and Weaponmaster-giving feat machine of a fearsomely survivable mega beatstick. Warpath and Desperate Hour give him some measure of unpredictability but otherwise he's pretty straight-forward. It's a good thing, then, that he's pretty awesome at those predictable things. He loves himself some heavies that can get to tight places and he loves himself some cheap, single wound troops that can be sacrificed or used to capitalize on the feat. Don't think that heavy infantry isn't good because they can't be used with same efficiency for those two things, though. Getting used to playing an Epic Madrak army can be tough, but when you wrap your mind around it it's like sitting behind a well-oiled machine of death.

Grim Salvation is a great defensive mechanism and makes Madrak extremely tough to kill when used properly. I usually take a full Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes unit and use the Stone Scribes to surround Madrak when I see hits coming next turn - they're eager to sacrifice themselves anyway and they don't do much else. If you don't have Stone Scribes in your army, any cheap single wound models work as a good alternative. Of course, a smart opponent will often be able to get rid of the surrounding models before he goes for the kill (beware of AOE attacks and Sprays that work especially well for this) but that means less attacks that he can use to hurt Madrak. Besides, that won't always be the case. How many games are decided by a single 'beast/'jack charging your caster and smashing him apart with big hits? That won't happen nearly as often anymore if you take care. Also, be mindful not to put big, tough, expensive models like Champions or Long Riders next to Madrak unless you really need to in order to keep him alive. You will feel very very stupid when you're removing your big bad buffalo rider when a stray AOE manages to plink him for 1 point.