Lich Lord Venethrax - Cryx Warcaster

Lich Lord Venethrax is supremely well suited to root out and destroy the Dragonfather's dark progeny. He is given to an obsessive, sometimes narrow focus of his duties, and his every thought is devoted to details of the draconic war. His vast web of agents has spread across the mainland, listening for whispers of the dragons and their plans. they have gathered the corrupt lore of ancient Morrdh, studied tales of the dragon Ethrunbal's defeat within Ios, and learned rumors of a new legion of blighted elves commanding dragon-spawned creatures far in the Immoren north.



Venethrax has an average speed for a Cryx warcaster. His STR is that of most light warjacks. He boasts a very high MAT and a low (but irrelevant) RAT. His DEF and ARM are both good enough to let him not worry about lesser attacks. He has a very high CMD for a Cryx caster and his focus is average for Cryx. He has a substantial amount of damage and enough Warjack Points for a free Slayer.

Feat - Charnel Flames

For one round, any time a model is destroyed in Venethrax's control area, a 3" AOE cloud effect is centered on the model. No corpse token is generated but soul tokens are as normal. Eyeless Sight cannot see through this cloud and any model that enters the AOE suffers a point of fire damage. The AOE lasts for one round.

Weapons and Attacks

Special Abilities

  • Terror
  • Undead
  • Caustic Presence [Corrosion] - Corrosion effects on enemy models do not expire in Venethrax's control area.
  • Cull Soul
  • Dismember - Combined with his spell list, Venethrax is an absolute demon against warbeasts.


  • Blood Rain - An average cost offensive corrosion-damage spell with a small AOE that inflicts the Corrosion continuous effect. Good for tossing out unending Corrosion like candy. Likewise when he uses his feat, it can start a chain reaction of exploding bodies that shuts down charge lanes like a 12 car pile-up.
  • Dragon Slayer - An average cost upkeep spell that buffs the caster's STR and ARM, prevents enemy warlocks from reaving fury off of warbeasts destroyed by the caster and allows the caster to gain a number of focus points equal to the amount of fury on a destroyed model. Keeping this spell up turns Venethrax into a melee monster that is aimed directly at warbeasts.
  • Hellfire - A good range, high POW magic attack that requires models/units hit to pass a command check or flee. Mostly wasted against troopers and solos as it will overkill them. It has some merit against light warbeasts/jacks and exposed warcasters, but won't really phase camped warcasters and heavy warbeasts/jacks. Good for taking out Incorporeal models or lone solos.
  • Lamentation - A upkeep spell that doubles the focus/fury cost of enemy spells and upkeep maintenance within the caster's control range. A great spell to upkeep for the duration of the game, but beware enemy arc nodes who can position them to avoid this spell's effects. This spell should be used offensively to prevent the enemy from trying spell assassinations or maintaining multiple upkeeps. Note that animi used by warbeasts are unaffected by this spell.
  • Soul Harvester - An upkeep spell that allows the caster to gain the soul tokens of living enemy models destroyed by target model/unit's melee attacks, ignoring the proximity of other models that can gain soul tokens. Best cast on a melee unit and upkept up as they hit home. This will give Venethrax a massive pool of focus for his next turn and allow him to really wreak havoc.

Thoughts on Lich Lord Venethrax

Venethrax is all about generating extra focus and shutting down Hordes armies. The idea is to get as much focus on Venethrax as possible and charge him in for the kill. Lamentation will shut down a large portion of your opponent's magic as they will have to get very picky about what they cast. Dragon Slayer will allow for Venethrax loaded with focus to make a rush at almost any target and kill it. He excels at drawing in focus from multiple areas at a time due to Soul Harvester, Dragon Slayer and Cull Soul. Also note that the extra die of damage against warbeasts means that he can go toe to toe against some of the nastiest warbeasts in Hordes and take them down with multiple high damage attacks. Afterward he'll also have a bit of protection due to the destroyed warbeast's converted fury, which can be camped, used to buy even more attacks or just toss out a few more spells. Most enemies will not let their warbeasts get too close to Venethrax, as they'll just be feeding his attacks against them.

Venethrax's feat is a massive headache for any enemy. It will shut down charge lanes and block ranged units' LOS. That Eyeless Sight is negated is practically custom-made to deal with Venethrax's biggest enemy: the Legion of Everblight. Use Charnel Flames to cover one angle of approach and protect it from single-wound enemy models or anything that doesn't want to get burned on its way in. Interestingly enough, only models that specifically enter a Charnel Flames template will take damage, not those that are already there. You can use this as cover if you happen to have models under a template at the start of your turn; they only need to end their activations outside the template to avoid damage.

A good method for gaining a lot of souls quickly is to have Venethrax cast Soul Harvester on a unit, then have that unit charge your enemy. Then have a Skarlock Thrall cast it again on a different unit right before they charge. Even if there are models that would gain these souls due to proximity, the wording of the spell means Venethrax gets the souls even if he's clear across the table.

Theme Army - The Dragon Slayers

Originally presented in Forces of Warmachine: Cryx.
  • Warjacks: Cryx non-character warjacks
  • Units: Ogrun Boarding Parties, Bloodgorgers, Mechanithralls, Necrosurgeons
  • Solos: Pistol Wraith, Skarlock Thrall, Gerlack Slaughterborn

Tier 1
Army uses only models/units that are among those listed above.
Benefit: Seether helljacks cost less.
Tier 2
Army includes two or more units
Benefit: Place small cloud effects on the table before the game.
Tier 3
Army includes Gerlack slaughterborn
Benefit: Bloodgorgers and Gerlack gain deployment bonus.
Tier 4
Battlegroup includes two or Seether warjacks
Benefit: Seether warjacks gain bonus movement before game

Thoughts on The Dragon Slayers:

Note: In some communities, Venethrax is sometimes called "Thrax" for short - sounds like Anthrax, which kinda suits Venethrax's corrosive toxic battle style. He is also sometimes called "Venny."