Tentacles from the Deep Earth

Just as the Lizardfolk might rule the rivers, and the elves the forests, there are places in the deep earth that one doesn't want to visit. Places where tentacles and death, or even undeath, are common. This week's preview combines all this goodness , or more appropriately, "ungoodness,' into a single creature...

This could have been a lot of different things from the Rage of Demons set. There is an awesome roper in it (designed as the Roper Shadowlord) with unprecedented mobility, and a new large Carrion Crawler (Carrion Crawler King) that whips vermin into a frenzy in anticipation of a coming kill. But no previews of those today.
Today, we address something smaller, but no less sinister. The mind flayer lich was designed to be much more lich-like than the prior version published so many years ago. Appl-GV wanted something that preyed on the suffering things, whether they happened to be confused, dazed, stunned or restrained. This version of a mind flayer lich, which we called the Ilithid Ancient Lich, does this. He does it well. At 87 points, he is almost half of a standard warband, so a lot is expected from him.

While he can attack with his signature tentacled face, his 'go-to attack' is his Focused Mind Blast. Notably, he is the first mind flayer (or undead) creature to have a repeatable, save ends, attack that can stun enemies. His champion powers similarly reflect his egocentric outlook. He can boost his own attacks or lay down a curse on his enemies. But he's not super concerned with helping others in his warband.

Defensively, he has a lock-down power (Psionic shackles) and a single use of improved invisibility that might serve to get him out of trouble. Quite a balanced threat, but to build with him is a challenge. He is really in his strongest element with supporting minions, such as a skull lord and some lesser undead to take damage for him. But that leaves little else to boost offence. He also has the psionic keyword as well, but its a bit more challenging to build with this.

As a bonus, I though I'd preview Clacker, the Hook Horror. Those of you that read Salvatore's dark elf books will recognize a certain polymorphed pech. He is designed to play much like the literature. While he seems borderline at first glance, I'm sure many of you will find a way to incorporate this worthy creature.

Comments

plastic finn's picture
Member since:
7 July 2011
Last activity:
15 min 56 sec

Thanks for the preview!
Looking forward to testing these in gameplay as soon as possible. It's especially intriguing to try and build around the Illithid. I like Clacker as well - it was a surprise it's only 36, but a good one at that. Opportunity attacks against the Burrowing are nice and a welcome counter. Thanks again!

tried's picture
Member since:
12 January 2010
Last activity:
8 hours 15 min

36 is a surprise? Cool. But not quite as good as it looks.

Compare with Guenhwyvar....
http://irafay.com/DDM/creatures/view/469

It has More HP, worse AC, its a large (disadvantage), and slower, and has no hide.
Since the cat can also pounce, any damage bonuses granted are multiplied.
(so, imagine the cat with Drizzt and a wild elf warsinger - +18 for 30 x 2 attacks on a charge.)

On the plus side, it does have reach, a 50% 'save your friend' trick, and of course, the situationally useful anti-burrow tech.

(Of course, there might be some way to get both in a warband, with the WEW...., but you've used more than 82% of your warband on those minis. You are counting on melee it would seem...)

plastic finn's picture
Member since:
7 July 2011
Last activity:
15 min 56 sec

Yes, surprise as in Hook Horror compared to earlier Hook Horrors. Pardon my incomplete (=missing) explanation there!

I think the value compares well with the stats for the reasons you listed. I'm very familiar with the Drizz't plus Guen duo as it gets played a lot around here by a couple of my friends, especially since we occasionally play 250 or even 300-point formats. They'll like Clacker as well.

This is rounding out to be a really interesting set that has a lot of what's not been around before. Thanks!

skyscraper's picture
Member since:
10 July 2013
Last activity:
4 hours 55 min

The new hook horror is in Underdark. Gwen is not. They won't compete for the same spot in a warband, unless I'm missing some warband building options here?

To me a comparison would be with the Large Water Elemental. Same HPs, same size, same cost, same damage on Basic Melee Attack ; the Elemental is a bit slower, however it's not hindered by difficult terrain and has at least one bonus move action so I call speed a draw.

The Large Water Elemental has better defenses, including not granting CA; it has a powerful attack that renders an opponent helpless as opposed to the Hook Horror's burst; and cleave; but it suffers from -1 on its attack bonus compared to the hook horror (including the -3 vs Fort that is equivalent to -1 vs AC on average), and the Hook Horror has a save-an-ally ability that could well be useful.

They seem pretty comparable to me, although I admit that the Drown (helpless) attack by the Elemental is difficult to ignore, if it's attack bonus is boosted, but in Underdark I'm unsure if a Champion can do that for an elemental? I'm ingnoring the more obvious Wild builds here, because the Hook Horror won't compete with the Elemental in Wild warbands.

The Hook horror's save-an-ally ability is nice, however it has a 50% miss chance Sad

tried's picture
Member since:
12 January 2010
Last activity:
8 hours 15 min

Presumed building around Drizzt or other Unique-bolstering creature (Regdar).

'All non-Evil Unique creatures are legal in your warband'.

skyscraper's picture
Member since:
10 July 2013
Last activity:
4 hours 55 min

Ah yes, the hook horror is unique, forgot about that thanks.

Koen's picture
Member since:
7 July 2011
Last activity:
6 days 19 hours

Now I want a 44 point Belwar Dissengulp Laughing out loud I really like Clacker, very interesting mechanics. Although a 50% chance power with the name pech inside sounds doubtful (pech means bad luck in Dutch).

I'm not sure what to think of the mind flayer. I can see it working in arena format and it would be great in sealed (does anyone still play sealed?), but it seems a bit lacking for standard.

Laurian's picture
Member since:
7 July 2011
Last activity:
8 hours 4 min

I also like Clacker very much.
By the way, "Pech" means in German also bad luck - I think the name is good, it depends on point of view Wink

Thenameless's picture
Member since:
27 August 2011
Last activity:
1 hour 29 min

Bad luck for the enemy.

plastic finn's picture
Member since:
7 July 2011
Last activity:
15 min 56 sec

Illithid Ancient Lich indeed was a beast in Sealed! We played a combined BoG, Icons, ToD, EE & (previewed) RoD "sealed from shelf" and it ruled the field, at least in this very small take.
That invisibility is a killer. Smile
IAL doin' it's thing - or not exactly, but finishing the job.

We also had 2x Ha-Sis played. He's good...

Topi pulled Mane Demon and Dretch Demon but unfortunately did not get the Big Bro with Tiny Wings to command them. Next time.

Pervez74's picture
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