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Mr Of Valaya

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#1 Dorack


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Posted 23 January 2011 - 12:33 AM

Valaya: The Queen of Master Runes

I´ve been thinking a lot about the use of this rune, and using it in a few battles in non tournament, friendly environments, as part of my BSB on Second Line Army List. I wanted to share some insights I have on this Rune.

I´m afraid this post ended up being way longer than I expected. Hope it´s interesting to read tough.


The Basics: For 100 points, you get a flat +2 to dispel and the ability to auto dispel any remains in play spells at the start of either player magic phase (emphasis mine, will explain later). So let’s analyze this by parts.

+2 to Dispelling: This ability is pretty amazing, giving our army a flat +4 bonus to dispelling and putting us on equal footing to lvl 4 casters. This goes in line with what has been stated many times already: enemy players must go “all or nothing” to get their magic to work, usually aiming for irresistible force. The total +4 to dispel is really good against some spell spamming enemy units, like some VC magic users and Empire Priests. The enemy player must use a lot more of his power dice to get the same result. I also notice that this +4 to dispel has quite a noticeable psychological effect on the opponent, but then again, this is not based on hard tournament experience.

Alternatives: It´s hard to replicate this flat bonus. You could buy 2 Spellbinding runes for 100 pts, but you would also need 2 different Runesmiths to carry them. On the other hand, your antimagic capabilities will be more spread throughout your army.

Autodispelling Capabilities: At first, the ability to autodispell any remains in play spells looks amazing. But when you look a bit deeper at how the rune works and what sort of spells it affects, things don´t look as bright.

The key issue here is that Valaya activates only at the start of any magic phase. That means that it is completely useless against spells in the turn they are casted, and against spells that are moved during the magic phase. So, you can only autodispell those spells that either the target it affects or the rune bearer moves into 12” range of each other, which happens in the Movement phase. You could also move in 12” of a static magical vortex too.

Here lies one of the main problems. The conditions under which the autodispell triggers are very situational, a point that will become even clearer when we do a rundown of the spells that it can affect. If the autodispell triggered at any given moment, things would be different. The way things are now, any remains in play spell can get cast and affect us for at least 1 turn, and before the enemy next magic phase, we have our own magic phase and 2d6 power dice to dispel it.

Basically, you will have a very high chance to dispel any remains in play spell hanging around in the battlefield, regardless where they are, instead of close to the BSB. Let’s assume averages: 2d6 power dice, 7 power dices rolled will give you an average result of 24, with our dwarf bonus it adds up to 26, enough to dispel even the most powerful spells out there.
Another very important point to understand is which are the remain in play spells we can use this rune for. You will see they are not many. Let´s look a bit in depth into them.

Cascading Fire Cloak (Fire) Cast on 5+: 2d6 Str 4 hits. While it can do some damage to our units, not game changing at all, very easy to dispel.

Transformation of Kadon (Beasts) Cast on 16+ or 20+: Lovely spell for your enemy to cast If you have Valaya, because if it moves or charges inside Valaya´s range, it would autodispell after movement but before combat, leaving the wizard alone facing your troops. Problem is, it would be a miracle if an enemy player did this. Unless it was first turn and Valaya has not being unveiled, the enemy player will use his monster wizard to attack units outside the BSB range. But even before that, very few enemy players will risk transforming their wizard into a monster against dwarfs, with our well known and tested ways of dealing with them. So, don´t expect it to happen…

Throne of Vines (Life) Cast on 8+: A no brainer for any Life Wizard. Valaya will only help you in forcing the enemy wizard to use power dice to cast it every turn, if he remains in range. Life is a very common Lore choice these days.
Shield of Thorns (Life) Cast on 9+: Similar to cascading Fire Cloak; 2d6 Str 3 hits. Nothing to be afraid of, easy to dispel in your turn. Life is a very common Lore choice these days.

Enfeebling Foe (Shadow) Cast on 10+: A -3 to strength to our troops can be a real handicap, but not a game changing spell either. Shadow is a very common Lore choice these days.
The Withering (Shadow) Cast on 13+: A -3 to toughness will put our troops in serious troubles. As said before, you must endure a full combat round with this effect before you can do anything about it. I´ve seen this spell used a lot. Shadow is a very common Lore choice these days.

Doom & Darkness (Death) Cast on 10+: Same comment as Enfeebling foe. Death is a popular Lore but have not seen this spell cast yet.

Purple Sun of Xereus (Death) Cast on 15+ or 25+: This most dreaded spell for us Dwarfs has been thoroughly discussed. Again, you can do nothing about it in the turn it casts, and neither if the template scatters in range of Valaya, because that happens after the start of the magic phase. So getting rid of it with Valaya will be very very circumstantial.

Ok, I won’t go over specific army magic lore. I think this list shows pretty clearly that there are very few remain in play spells that pose a significant threat to us. While some of the most popular Lore (Life, Shadow and Death) have 2 remain in play spells, many lore have none. The very few remain in play spells that can alter the course of battle will run havoc for one turn unless you dispel them first. So for the cost of Valaya, you can get 1 Spellbreaker rune (to get rid of the dreaded spell for good) and 2 Spellbreaking runes for 2 more rounds of magic safety.

Conclusion: Master Rune of Valaya, while making our magic defense even mightier than it is, is not a good choice to field. This is both because how it´s rule work, but also because it adds 100 victory points to our already most valuable unit, one that we cannot rune up for protection because having a runed Battle Standard in the first place.

Of course, all this is open to discussion and to your inputs and ideas.



#2 Khazadson


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Posted 23 January 2011 - 03:38 AM

You could buy 2 Spellbinding runes for 100 pts

No you can't, each Master rune may only be in your army once.

I agree though Mro Valaya is useless. We get 2D6 Power Dice with which to dispel remain in play spells. And the +2 isn't worth the point cost and the lack of defence on the BSB.

Strollaz is the only acceptable rune to place on the BSB and even then it's a stretch.

#3 Dorack


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Posted 23 January 2011 - 09:48 AM

Thanks for pointing that out Khazadon. Forgot it was a Master Rune.

#4 Black River Brewery

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:04 AM

MRoValaya is an auto include for me. My meta is magic heavy, even so I'm not dispelling as much as I'd like since my opponent always has more dice than me. I put the banner rune on my hammers, who are usually 20+ deep. It offers a huge challenge for my opponents; A) How do I get around his dispel ability? B) How do I kill that unit? What I've found is that I have to deal with less magic, my opponent miscasts more often, and hammerers with M3 get into combat more often. All of these things are good (especially since we play @ 1500). At higher levels I'll probably take it just to keep up!

#5 TaxiForBiggins


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Posted 10 April 2014 - 09:45 AM

Hi Black River Brewery,




I just wanted to make you aware that this thread was over 3 years old when you posted, and everything said is no longer relevant due to edition changes and the new dwarf book.


I'm glad you think it's great and get use out of it. I keep trying to write it into lists but just can't justify it over grugni.

#6 pa11ad1n


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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:48 PM

Edit:  missed that this was a case of threadomancy.

Edited by pa11ad1n, 10 April 2014 - 12:50 PM.

#7 Snorri Stonebeard

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:50 PM

Cause the thread is 3 years old?

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