Epic Madrak All Melee Breakdown

Epic Madrak has been a mainstay of the tournament scene for Trollbloods for as long as he has been playable, and for good reason. He is one of the best anti-assassination casters in the game, and brings top notch offensive power in a faction already known for its aggression. His feat is incredibly powerful and versatile, and he himself is a major threat that cannot be ignored giving him strong late-game presence. He’s the whole package, and that’s why he deserves a tournament list breakdown.

My preferred way to play Epic Madrak involves a mix of melee and ranged forces relying on a large number of single-wound bodies, which I may go into in a future article, but there is a new style emerging which I have fallen in love with and that’s what I’m going to talk about today. The new style incorporates an all melee force with a backbone of heavy infantry to carry you in the late game. Here’s the list:

Madrak Ironhide, World Ender
-Dire Troll Mauler
Fell Caller Hero
Fennblade Kithkar x2
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (max)
-Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Warders (max) x2
Pyg Burrowers (max)
Trollkin Fennblades (max)
-Fennblade Officer and Drummer

Double warders have permeated Trollblood list builds ever since their release, and Epic Madrak is no exception. The goal of this list is late game. Get to the late game with your Warders and Mauler intact, and your opponent will find it VERY difficult to deal with them before they tear apart what remains of your opponents army. The best way to accomplish this will be to layer your army in waves, starting with the burrowers. Burrowers are great counter-jammers, and they deliver themselves very easily. After them will be the Fennblades, and finally the Warders and Madrak’s battlegroup.

The biggest thing to look out for with this list is when to use the feat for maximum effectiveness. Epic Madrak’s feat is incredibly versatile in how it can be used. You can use it to clear off your front line, allowing them to charge deep into the enemy army. It can be used after running, to effectively increase your threat range. It can be used after charging a high-armor target to grant a second chance to bring it down. Madrak himself can use it to do massive damage by either clearing out huge clumps of infantry, or throwing his axe at something twice (which he can boost, because it happens during his activation). The feat is one of the most fun parts about playing him, and if you can cripple your opponent’s army with it, you’ll be well on the way to victory.

Fennblade Kithkars are another big part, since they are going to be your main method for spot removal of solos and the like. Keep them behind or amongst your Fennblades so that they may utilize Righteous Vengeance to get where they need to go. With all the buffs you can stack, they can easily threaten a caster, as well, so be on the look out for that. On top of all that, they can “bunny-hop” with your Fennblades with their Tactician ability, allowing them to clear charge lanes for each other without getting in the way.

For the Krielstone, I find that Madrak is often able to dump all 5 of his fury into it on the first turn, and then keep it relatively full through the rest of the game as he needs. The biggest thing to keep in mind for this unit in this list is to get the aura coverage on as many Warders as possible, and to use the Stone Scribes to keep Madrak safe by standing near him for Grim Salvation.
The Mauler, being Madrak’s only beast, will mainly be filling a support role throughout most of the game. Use it to put Rage on any models that will be hitting high-armor or multi-wound targets in the early and mid game, and try to preserve it as much as possible to the late game, where it will be a threat.

Lastly, Warders are the main reason this list works. Burrowers and Fennblades are great with Epic Madrak, but he does nothing to help their survivability and especially with Blood Fury, they will die very quickly. Warders will keep you in the game for a long time after the Fennblades and Burrowers are gone, however, and with Blood Fury and Rage they are deadly to anything. Because of this, the main goal of the Fenns and Pygs should be to try to cull as much of the opposition as possible before they die. Sometimes these units are taken as speed bumps, but in this list they have to work to bring you to the late game, where your warders will run the table. With just a few Blood Fury’d and raged Warders, you can deal devastating damage to anything. The main difficulty will be positioning them around flags and zones so that they can obliterate anything that tries to contest, so you want to keep their 9” threat in mind.

This list really shines in single-zone scenarios, where Madrak and the warders can concentrate on getting to one area on the table and dominating it. This list will not do nearly as well in multi-zone scenarios, as the all-melee focus will really hinder your ability to project power across the board. Unfortunately, this list will also do very poorly against the typical nemesis of Trolls, Cryx, since they will easily overpower you in melee and you have limited ways to remove their strong support, as well as having no counter to upkeeps. Regardless, I think this is a fun new way to play Epic Madrak which really embodies the spirit of Trollbloods with an all-melee, maximum aggression army. Give it a try!

About the Author:   Chad is a nationally recognized Trollbloods player from Iowa who has been known to podcast from time to time.  You can steal more of his tech at Muse on Minis.