Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lawyer, Secretary's Aide Overview and Tactics

They say among civilized societies that there is nothing more powerful than the written word. If that is so than the Guild Lawyer is the road side bandit who takes advantage of those who would be foolish enough to cross his path. Stalking the court houses and finding loop holes in contracts that can eternally damn someone into servitude is what the Lawyer does best.

The Lawyer is one of the biggest enigmas to most Guild players, myself included. They are quite a costly model and have to compete with some of the best 7 soul stone models the Guild has to offer. So why should the Lawyer even be considered? Tell you the truth I am not sure, in a competitive list it almost always spells death. Although it should be mentioned if you play with the Lawyer and WIN you truly are a skilled Guild player as it is universally seen as a "handicap/fun model".

At a glance the stats that stick out the most of the Lawyer is his CA, WP and high soul stone cost. While the very slow WK and WD for a model that costs that many soul stones, after you come to accept these facts you notice that the Lawyer does have a few fair of things to do..


Red Tape:
Any Attacks, Casts and Damage Flips targeting the Lawyer receive a negative flip. If the enemy uses a Focus or Channel action it gives a additional flip to Attack and Casting flips which brings it back to the "base bonus" because the Red Tape ability does not go away.

This ability gives the Lawyer a measure of defense, in most cases the enemy will avoid attacking the Lawyer anyway because they do not have any damaging attacks. If they DO decide to attack the Lawyer they better have paired weapons or most non-master attacks will miss.

Slow to Die:
This usually comes standard on most Undead models and the Death Marshals, which allow the model one immediate and final 1 action before being removed from play. It is near impossible for the Lawyer himself, but if by some miracle he can use the 1 action to gain back a wound he would keep on trucking.


(2) Furious Casting:
Discard a Control Card and the Lawyer gains 3 AP that must be used on Cast actions, mind you it does not need to be against the same target. You can also have the Lawyer sling out different Spells if that is your desire.

First turn you can discard a card and go 'Defense' happy making three of your models within 12" 'Hard to Wound 2'. Or later in the game if you manage to get the Lawyer into a good position you can 'Closing Argument' an enemy model and use the extra Spell on another model with the bonus from 'Closing Argument'!


With a Crows suited card any spell successfully cast by the Lawyer reduces the target's resist duel by 1. This is a good trigger as most Guild models do not require any Crows suited card for their triggers. In effect it makes the Lawyer's CA stat of 7 into an intimidating 8!

As it is the only trigger that the Lawyer has you may want to save a few Crows suited cards if your other models aren't card hogs. Also it should be noted that two of the Lawyer's five spells require a Crows suited card, so keep that in mind.


If the enemy fails to resist this spell the Guild player gets to choose Walk, Charge, Strike or Cast. On the model's next activation it will not be able to take the chosen action unless it discards 2 Control Cards each time it tries to do the action. You can cast this multiple times on a model but it must be a different action you prohibit each time.

This is a reasonably good spell to use if you want to mill a player's hand especially when they may need their hand later in the turn. Making an enemy melee monster have to throw away his whole hand just to attack. Or limit an models movement during a scheme where they have to get places. Couple this with models that have triggers that make an enemy discard cards or die like Nino Ortega's "Head shot" trigger and your opponent is in for some real fun.

Cross Examination:
Needing at least a Crows suited 7, if the enemy fails to resist it counts as a failed Morale Duel. In addition since you need a Crows suited card to pull off this spell you automatically get the Confuse trigger off making it just a little bit harder for the enemy to resist.

Against low WP crews this spell can be spammed out to make their models run off in fear towards the closest board edge. Even if you just cast this spell on it's minimum requirement of 7 of Crows your opponent having an average of 4-6 WP will have to burn a relatively useful card they are not using to attack you with.

Needing a 7+ of any suit this 12" range spell can hand out "Hard to Wound 2" to any of your models. Sadly this will only last till the end of the turn, though with Furious Casting activating the Lawyer and giving three models Hard to Wound 2 till the end of the turn can save them from a lot of harm. At the very least it will grind your opponents deck which is always a good strategy.

The more cards the opponent has to throw away the less chance he has of flipping the high card when they need it. Don't forget that because they are at negative flips for damage they cannot cheat at all so it will almost always guarantee weak damage. On the upside if they manage to flip THAT many severe damage cards they wasted 3+ cards doing so!

One of the more unique spells in Malifaux in which if the target fails it's resist duel it will no longer be considered a friendly model for the purpose of Talents or Spells till the game is over.

This spell has a great range of 12" and can be VERY nasty to most crews, it may not seem that powerful in the beginning. But consider how many abilities require the targeted model to be "friendly". For example if you Prosecute a Lilitu successfully even if there is a Leelu on the board they will start to take wounds because they are not considered friendly.

Also note the model's abilities/talents that help out "friendly" models will not work either. So if you target a model that is a crew buffer they will be next to useless in that regard.

Closing Argument:
This spell is the be all end all spell for the Lawyer, it requires both of his actions to cast and has a prohibitive range of 1". Needing at least a 10+ Crows suited card (which will trigger Confuse) it will Paralyze a model if they fail to resist. But that isn't all folks the Lawyer receives an additional card to Cast, Defense and Resist flips. Last but not least the target gets negative two for it's Defense and Resist flips till the end of the Lawyers NEXT activation.

The way the spell is written out it seems that the Lawyer actually gets his bonus towards ANY target, not just the target of "Closing Argument" which makes it quite nice as next turn you can start slinging spells with the bonus. The same can be said about the negatives the opposing model recieves as now the model is open to punishment from the rest of the crew. Keep in mind when a model is paralyzed it LOSES its melee range so you may fire freely into the model as they are no longer engaged with the Lawyer.

Another interesting if not cheeky thing about this spell is that it lasts until the end of the Lawyer's next activation, but what happens if he gets killed between now and then? Do the negative effects go away or do they stay on? Not quite sure if this has been answered on the forums properly but always something to keep in mind.

As I am writing this tactics article I realize that I should put the Lawyer through a few more extensive tests in friendly pick up games followed by against some competitive lists. There is potential for the Lawyer to do some great things, the only problem is that when it competes directly with some of the higher end Guild minions it becomes hard to justify the cost.

I feel Lucius can actually get around the lack of mobility the Lawyer suffers from with his 'Reinforcements' spell. As it does not specifically "target" the Lawyer it would get through his "Red Tape" ability. This can vault the Lawyer in a safe position where he can cast to his full potential.

This model will be useless against models who have 'Immune to Influence' as four of his five spells are WP resist duels. Though on the flip side of that most models that the Lawyer can attack tend to have high DF but low WP. The Lawyer is an odd minion among the Guild but just because it is odd doesn't mean the Guild cannot find a use for him... one way or another.


kadeton said...

Nice writeup!

One additional thing to note: as the Lawyer is a Beast, he can be hired into a Marcus crew. If you thought you needed skill to win with him in a Guild crew, wait until you try the REAL hard mode...

Lindh said...

I want to like this model, but I believe his cost, his short range and his low defensive stats will make him nigh unuseable..

I wonder though, why do you think the "Hard to Wound 2" from the spell Defense sticks around? there is no specified ending, which means it will end in the closing phase.. or is there aditional wording on the card that isn't in the book or on the malifaux.com rules section?

If it was permanent, I think that might just justify his use, atleast together with Lucius who can slingshot him up the board.

Cerealkiller.. said...

@Kadeton yes even harder when most of the work done in a Marcus crew is in the 7-8ss category! lol Although having a Hard to Wound 2 Shikome against minions without Magical weapons will make people nuts.

@Lindh i'm not going to lie he is a hard model to justify. But I want to keep trying the Lawyer out and see where it goes.

In a faction like Guild we need every little bit of help we can get against certain factions. Having an odd tool like the Lawyer which changes up the tempo of a Guild crew should have its uses somewhere. Now finding where that "somewhere" is located will be a task...