Malifaux is a skirmish wargame, set in a dark gothic fantasy, alternative 1900s. We recently took a look at the Bayou Starter Set, a swamp-based faction of gremlins. As a follow-up to that, this time we’re taking a look at the Zoraida Core Box, a Malifaux Master for both the Bayou and the Neverborn. In this article, we’ll take a look at the units in the box and talk about where you can expand on from this core.
If you want to know more about Malifaux, you can check out our Malifaux Guide.
Malifaux: Zoraida Core
Zoraida, known as the Swamp Hag, is a powerful seer who has shaped fate in order to protect the world of Malifaux from a group of creatures known as the Tyrants. She had previously stayed in the shadows, weaving fate and laying plans, but recent events have forced her to take a more active role in protecting the fate of the world.
The Zoraida Core Box contains:
- Voodoo Doll
- Bad Juju
- Three Waldgeists
Zoraida is a tricky master to play. She has a lot of control focus, so needs to be close to the action, but isn't a direct fighter herself, so doesn't want to be too close. Luckily, some of her abilities work through friendly swampfiend units, so she can keep them between her and her enemies, but still target them with attacks.
In defense, Zoraida has Penetrating Stench, which restricts units' actions if they start their activation engaged with her, unless their player discards a card, and also Regret, a defense trigger that can be used to end an enemies' actions after they attack her. Her best defense is to not let her opponents get close to her, and use her other abilities to deny and restrict them.
Zoraida likes card control, and if an enemy within line of sight cheats fate, she can look at the top card of either yours, or your opponent's fate deck and discard that card. You can use this to discard low cards from your own deck, or high cards or useful suits from your opponents'. As a tactical action, you can make both you and your opponent both discard your hands and draw six cards. Timing this right can refresh your own hand without benefitting your opponent too much.
In offense, Zoraida can draw range and line of sight from friendly swampfiend units, or enemies with a voodoo upgrade attached. The voodoo upgrade can be attached to an enemy when you summon a Voodoo Doll, which can be summoned at the start of Zoraida's activation by discarding a card. When summoned, the doll activates an ability to attach a voodoo upgrade to an enemy within twelve inches. The Wanga Mojo Curse voodoo upgrade is included in the core box, which links an enemy to the doll. If the doll takes damage, the unit with the attachment takes one damage, and if the doll gains a condition, the unit gains the same condition. The unit can discard three cards, or spend two soulstones to discard the upgrade, but as a free action, you can draw a card and remove the Voodoo Doll, to discard a card and bring it back on Zoraida's next turn.
One of Zoraida's abilities that she can use through friendly swampfiends is Hex, which deals damage and gives the target Injured +1 and if the target has a voodoo upgrade, she can also move them three inches. By using the right suit, Zoraida can also heal a nearby friendly unit, or have another friendly unit attack the target unit. Zoraida's most powerful ability is Obey. She has the ability to take two actions with a friendly or enemy unit, which has a huge range of use. Move an enemy in the opposite direction to where they want to be, hit an enemy with another enemy unit, hit an enemy with your own unit, rush a friendly unit across the board. This allows Zoraida to be an insane control threat on the battlefield.
Zoraida is backed up by three Waldgeists and the huge Bad Juju. The Waldergeists are great at producing terrain markers, which doesn't affect them, but can further restrict your opponent's movement. Each turn they can create more terrain markers, which heal them if they start in it, and boosts their movement. Their attack has a trigger that lets you move the target three inches, putting them where you want them, or where they don't want to be. Bad Juju is a big beater, with several ways to heal themselves. Their attack can give enemies within two inches slow, to keep them in range of Bad Juju for beats in further rounds.
Expanding From Zoraida Core Set
Zoraida has a few options for expanding. The Captain Zipp Core Box has the First Mate in it, which has the Swampfiend keyword. The First Mate is very maneuverable, which allows you to meet threats that Zoraida might not be able to deal with directly. The See Ya Later box has McTavish, who is a great ranged and melee beater, and three Bayou Gators, which are difficult to target from range, and their Execute attack trigger can make opponents discard cards as well.
A Light In The Dark has Adze and three Will o' the Wisps, Neverborn Swampfiends. Adze is fast and can heal themselves by dealing damage, letting you deal with some threats. The Wisps have some debuff abilities and can turn into Adze by killing a living enemy unit and discarding a card. The Amphibious Assault box gives you the Spawn Mother and Gupps. The Spawn Mother can lay eggs, and summon Gupps in contact with them, she can them heal her young, or charge nearby enemies who take out friendly Swampfiends.
Playing out of the Zoraida Core Box first, and finding out how you like to play, along with where you feel your force is lacking will give you a better understanding of where to take your choice next, but Zoraida has a lot of options for force construction.
The copy of the Malifaux Zoraida Cor Box used to produce this preview was provided by Wyrd Games.