Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Better Know Your Malifaux 001: Perdita Ortega

In all of Malifaux, nobody has a quicker gun than Perdita Ortega.  As the head of her household, the young Perdita leads the largest enclave of Neverborn hunters in the Guild's employ, honing them into a lethal weapon to be used in the ongoing conflict with Malifaux's native population.  From the Latigo compound located outside the bounds of the city proper, Perdita and her charges fight nephilim and gremlins alike to shine a light into the darkness surrounding Malifaux. The fallout of the Event had left her comatose, trapped in her own mind while her family struggled to keep the fight going without her.  With her recent recovery, Perdita has a new sense of purpose.  As the Avatar of Revelation she sees truths that other can't, and she decides in her own time what knowledge she needs to impart, and to whom.

Perdita has always been hard to catch but easy to kill and in second edition this remains the case.  Among Masters she is tied with Lilith for the highest Defense in the game and has the second highest Willpower after Zoraida.  Combined, this makes her the hardest Master to flip damage against.  Her defensive trigger Quick Draw keys off of having an enemy model lose a Shooting duel against her, an opportunity she is well equipped to provide.  Should an attack get through however, she has little to mitigate the damage.  Perdita is at the low end of Wounds for a Master and does not have any damage reduction abilities to rely on.  This mean that she can be quite dependent on a good cards to survive.  Thankfully, this is supplemented by her ability to refresh her hand with Hero's Gamble.

Offensively, Perdita is quite capable, being equally effective bringing her Peacebringer to bear in close combat and at range.  Up close, Point Blank gives her a built-in ram allowing her to automatically trigger Critical Strike.  From further away she can set up Finger on the Trigger which allows her to dominate a large piece of the board for a turn, punishing the enemy if they have the nerve to shoot or charge.

Despite these strengths, Perdita's biggest advantage comes from her Family.  She and the other Ortegas all have the newly-templated Companion ability that allows a model who has it to activate immediately after a friendly model (limited to two total activations in a row).  Unlike in the previous edition, the Companion ability is not specific as to who can trigger it, leading to some interesting combinations.  Perdita's Relocate ability allows her to discard a card and push 8" towards a friendly Family model at the start of her activation.  This is an amazing ability that, combined with her Obey action and her totem's Shackled and Influence, gives the Ortegas their incredible ability to be in the right spot at the right time.

No other Master in book one has access to as many upgrades as Ms. Ortega, though not all options are as viable as others.  Her extremely high defense and Willpower make The Thalarian Stone a poor investment while Tormenta De Plomo and Hermanos De Armas are better off being allocated to her brothers.  Perdita is the only Guild Master without a Limited Upgrade, making it an easy decision to take Badge of Office if the Encounter dictates that she needs to survive.  Her own exclusive upgrades can fill in the few remaining gaps in her capabilities with Os Veo giving her two more defensive abilities, Aura Ancestral steeling her and her family's resolve and Trick Shooting adding to her already lengthy list of ways to bring pain to the enemy Crew.  A word of caution though, Perdita is one of the most expensive Masters in the game (in that she has a low cache of two) and taking a full allotment of Soulstones along with all three upgrades will cost 10 of your 50ss in a typical game.

Overall, Perdita rewards an aggressive yet tactical play style that focuses on having her and the Family in mid-range distance from each other as they move about the board accomplishing their tasks.  They need to be close enough to each other to offer support but they do not require the base contact that was the hallmark of so many first edition lists.  Perdita can get in a lot of trouble if she gets bogged down by multiple enemy models, so it's a good idea to make sure she is not left too exposed.

Her crew at this point usually consists of Nino, Francisco, Santiago, Papa Loco and the Enslaved Nephilim.  Beyond that, she can benefit from the inclusion of both Guild Guards and Witchling Stalkers to provide lower cost Minions to fill out the ranks.  In limited situations, the Executioner or Peacekeeper might be called for if the list needs some more survivability, but for the most part the Family likes to rely on each other... to the exclusion of others.

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