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How is White Reaper?

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  • How is White Reaper?

    I'm curious about the style for a hypothetical Warlord/Conqueror type character. I was bouncing between Melee, Brawl, and WR. If you've played it (or played with someone who used it),Here are some questions/debate topics:

    1) How did you like it? Was the overall experience fun?

    2) How does it feel? Is it easy/complicated/boring/overly narrow etc...

    3) It's famous for being the Anti-Battlegroup martial art, do you think it succeeds there?

    4) How do you feel it does against non-Battlegroups?

    5) BGs aside, what are its weaknesses/where does it fail or stumble?

    5) Does it stand up to Crane/Tiger/SPSitV in terms of power (obviously they have different niches, but overall power).

    6) Hows it fair against Melee/Brawl?

    Any of those, or any other comments would be much appreciated! Any unique insights would be great too!


    Please be warned: this is not champagne, this is most likely a duck.
    -Chausse

    Message me for Japanese translations.

  • #2
    It's certainly brutal enough against battle groups. I had a Dawn who invested in it pretty heavily, and at Essence 1 he plowed through four size 4 battlegroups in four turns with... actually, I'm not sure he was scratched at all; certainly not driven into crash.

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    • #3
      It's a good style. It's one of the better defensive MAs, it pilots fairly simply and it holds up okay even outside of its BG-slayer niche. It's not THE most powerful anti-BG tool, that honor goes to either Rampage-Berserker Attack or Tsunami-Force Shout, but it is generally very useful, since usually fighting battlegroups is a resource sink that drains you, but for a White Reaper chewing through a BG actually makes you stronger since you get to build up halos.

      In battles without BGs it's still good, its charms are usually expensive but powerful, Revolving Crescent is really good against multiple enemies, especially for DB who don't have easy access to Onslaught negation, Greatest Killer Attitude provides cap-breaking accuracy and that's always very strong, and Enemies Like Grass is a very practical if pricey AoE. The biggest hurdle is that without a BG present building up halos will be a lot slower, and all of your flashier tricks depend on those to achieve maximum effect, but you can still use them for the base effect. It will be at its weakest in fights against single powerful enemies, but those usually should have a battlegroup of minions for support anyway, and its got pretty good damage boosters so it can hurt a big chunky boss no problem.

      I'd say its about as strong as Snake and Tiger in their respective niches, but its less combination-friendly than those. Its better than most of the Immaculate Styles, and weaker than RDS or Single Point (but then again those two styles are OP af).

      For your last question it depends on the splat ofc. I'd say if you get IMA to get rid of the Terrestrial tag then it beats out DB brawl and melee since it has roughly equivalent offensive power while boasting much better defense, without IMA its definitely worse. For Lunars it doesn't really matter since it can combo freely with native charms so you can add them all together; if you do you're probably gonna be using the Dex charms for defense rather than WR since those are better, but I'd say Enemies Like Grass is generally better than the Strength AoE options like Behemoth Footprint Tread. For Solars, if you play a pure WR it's gonna lose out against Solar Brawl and Melee, since pretty much everything loses against Solar Brawl and Melee, but if you combine it with other styles you can give them a run for their money.

      You can make a lot of different builds with White Reaper, if you want I can try and give you a rundown but it'd probably help if you could narrow down at least which splat you're working with.


      Are you in the market for some Martial Arts? Perhaps some custom Artifacts for your campaign?

      Comment


      • #4
        There's a white reaper stylist in my Dawn Syndrome, as well as in a previous long game.

        1) How did you like it? Was the overall experience fun?
        It's pretty boss, especially the first half of the tree.
        2) How does it feel? Is it easy/complicated/boring/overly narrow etc...
        Pretty simple. Up to Form you have a "+5withering/+3decisive" damage adder, you gain defense from onslaught rather than lose (and with Mastery it's cheap), you double 10 on decisive damage, penalize BG defenses. The form is dumb easy to activate too (start turn in a bg!)
        3) It's famous for being the Anti-Battlegroup martial art, do you think it succeeds there?
        Very much so. The form gives you a good baseline to fight them, and Greatest Killer Attitude basically disintegrates them by guaranteeing less soak and a few successes of damage on withering attacks and regularly doubling your decisive damage against them.
        4) How do you feel it does against non-Battlegroups?
        Well enough. The basic damage adder is universal, as well as the defense techniques, so you're not useless.
        5) BGs aside, what are its weaknesses/where does it fail or stumble?
        Its offense is underwhelming against individuals. You basically have a pair of damage adders and gaining halos to fuel your advanced techniques becomes much harder.
        5) Does it stand up to Crane/Tiger/SPSitV in terms of power (obviously they have different niches, but overall power).
        Can't speak from live usage of crane or tiger because I haven't seen those in play for a couple years.
        On to single point: Very little competes with Single Point's sheer offense. Fatal Stroke Flash is basically Thunderbolt Attack Prana (and yes, you can TAP with FSF, GKA and others), and the form's still an extra action even if you don't burn motes on it.
        White Reaper competes with single point's damage against BGs, and lags behind by a lot elsewhere.
        White Reaper's defenses are simpler and broader than Single Point's.
        Gathering Light concentration isn't really worth mentioning outside "you're outnumbered and gangbanged and managed to flip a -3 onslaught on your next mark" and its powerful but hideously expensive clash (8m 1wp, plus excellencies you will need to burn rather than want to burn because it's a decisive attack).
        6) Hows it fair against Melee/Brawl?
        Can't beat the offense power of a Iron Whirlwind Attack + Excellent Strike + Fire&Stones Strike. And against bgs 1 weapon 2 blows is all but guaranteed after a reset to base.
        Melee defense doesn't have much against bgs that isn't also universally useful (just like White Reaper), but its main defenses are more limited against bgs (you have everything you need to not get hit, but heavenly guardian defense is useless)


        Check my Exalted homebrew!

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        • #5
          My biggest issue with the charmset is that it seems to expect you to wrack up a bunch of halos to unleash a really big and devastating move, but then it expends all of your halos any time you use a charm that they apply to. If there was an option to not expend them when using those charms I feel like it would be much better. Another issue with the halos is that they are tied to the Form charm, so if you want to use another MA style in tandem with WR it's kind of a pain since you can't leave the form if you want access to them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Its a nice dip, I've found, in my character building exercises. Three dots in White Reaper MA gets you a withering enhancer on par with Lunar Str Excellencies and one of the easiest to get Onslaught Negators in MA.

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            • #7
              By itself its not really a good MA outside of fighting battlegroups, the Halos are a bit of a win-more mechanic when there aren't any battlegroups around since if you're crashing and incapacitating enemies you're probably already doing pretty well.

              Revolving Crescent + Flickering Corona Barrier are amazing with Crane though.

              Comment


              • #8
                1) How did you like it? Was the overall experience fun?

                When I did testing on White Reaper it seemed fun. I'd love to try it, assuming I get into a game that doesn't blow up in the first three sessions.

                2) How does it feel? Is it easy/complicated/boring/overly narrow etc...

                A well rounded style that excels in dealing with multiple opponents and battlegroups. You have all the good workhorse charms (Defense, accuracy, damage, magical flurry [kinda]). The default charms without halos are decent. They lag behind other MA charms, but that still puts them at like... low solar to Lunar range. Being able to wield heavy weapons and armour is such a rarity in MA that it wins points for that alone.

                3) It's famous for being the Anti-Battlegroup martial art, do you think it succeeds there?

                It vaporizes them. If you're wearing full plate, battle groups might as well not even exist to you beyond farming for halos. They turn battlegroups from a boon into a liability.

                4) How do you feel it does against non-Battlegroups?

                It functions well against multiple opponents just as well. With heavy armour you can take most hits, while Falling Crescent + heavy weapon will crush most standard soaks (I don't say optimized as it's trivaly easy for soak to outpace damage). If you can taunt your opponents and force them to focus on you or have a reflexive defend other charm, then it's especially great.

                5) BGs aside, what are its weaknesses/where does it fail or stumble?

                In no order:
                • Closed set - MA being a closed set is annoying. If you want to use heavy armour or weapons then your options are going to be extremely limited for charm expansion. It's best to get an evocation, or I'd just personally beg my ST to use my expanded style.
                • The lack of cheap post-soak adders is a little painful if you're really pushing for optimized end game meta (That is, people who have shittons of soak). Greatest Killer Attitude and heavy weapons really help, but if you can't patch this with your native charms then it might be a bit painful. This is only really not noticeable if your group has some sort of gentleman's agreement to avoid such things.
                • If you're fighting against a single opponent, the style lags off. It's still good, but just not as good compared to other MA's, even the saner ones. I'd say once you get into 2v1 or 3v1 the style really kicks off.

                6) Does it stand up to Crane/Tiger/SPSitV in terms of power (obviously they have different niches, but overall power).
                • Crane: Your attacks actually do damage. The main issue with Cranes is that until Essence 4, I often don't care what their withering counterattacks are like as their damage is often terrible. The only way they can fix that is with extensive dipping (Even on NPC's, I find this to be a bit of a rarity, this is because Crane is so addicted to it's form and many other styles also rely on their form. Dreaming Pearl will help, but it's not the be-all end all).
                • Tigger: Tigger has grapple charms. That combined with it's form makes it far better for tearing an opponent to pieces. White Reaper is better for longer protracted fights, especially with it's healing charm. Tigger is better for short bursts of mawling the everloving shit out of your opponent. If an opponent has Falcon and Tiger and lands a grapple, I might as well give up the fight if my soak is anything less than 15.
                • Single Point: You're not matching the highest burst damage in the game, but what you do have is a reliable soak. This is great, as you stress far less about resetting after a decisive. Single Point also does very badly against multiple opponents. Yes, the form gives two attacks, but single point wants to overwhelm and crush a single opponent. If it has multiple people ganging up on the stylist, then it is really bad for them as the single point stylist will lack the defence needed to fend them off or pay out of the ass with dodge charms. White Reaper has no such issue.
                • Righteous Devil: I know it didn't come up, but I think it needs to be address. This style is on par with Single Point levels of broken. The multiattack + capstone effectively neutralizes entire encounters. And it can attack at range. This can't be overstated, as the best defence you can have against a target without range is simply never being attacked. Also, a firewand with a bayonet functions as a spear. Read White Reaper's style weapons again if you don't get why this is a big deal.
                7) Hows it fair against Melee/Brawl?

                There's an in-depth answer to those:
                • Solar Melee: You are not ever beating Solar melee in accuracy. Raw damage wise your strikes are impressive to the point where the meleeist will need Immortal Blade to match some of your damage reliably. Iron Whirlwind is strong and fires for far cheaper than Enemies Like Grass, but since your halos can supplement every attack, it really hurts. Essence 5 Melee does more, but at that point the game's already over so that's moot. It also has Iron Raptor, so range is nice. Really I'd compare Melee and WR to two trucks. The Melee truck accelerates much faster and hits just as hard as the WR truck, but they can both leave opponents in a fine red mist. People also bring up melee's ability to attack more than once, which is certainly a factor as well.
                • Solar Brawl: Solar brawl does insane damage that makes a mockery of Solar Melee, let alone WR. However it lags behind White Reaper's ability to deal with multiple opponents.
                • DB Melee: I don't have as much experience with this, but from what I've seen WR is typically better. You will not match DB Melee's accuracy or capability on clashes, DB Melee has a far more effective post soak adder. The only thing DB's lose is spamming Bleeding Crescent Strike (meh) and attacking multiple non-battlegroup opponents with Enemies Like Grass (More of a problem). Whenever this is worth learning 5 or so extra elemental dragon charms (ones with varying usefulness) is up to you.
                • DB Brawl: Lack enough experience to make a call, but likely the same as DB melee.
                • Lunar Native: Legendary Size lunars snap the game in two, so do ones with extremely high soaks in animal forms. However you can use DBT as well, and are incredibly encouraged to do so. You can also become Legendary Size too, which if you're a legendary size DBT Lunar with White Reaper the army might as well be vapor to you.



                Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  Closed set - MA being a closed set is annoying. If you want to use heavy armour or weapons then your options are going to be extremely limited for charm expansion. It's best to get an evocation, or I'd just personally beg my ST to use my expanded style.
                  Infernal Monster Style was an amazing beast.

                  It was the only Second Edition Hero Style designed from the ground-up to BE a Martial Art Style, rather than an attempt to mangle First Edition Brawl Charms into a form they weren't meant to have.

                  Being a Hero Style, it doubled as native Charms for Infernals, which allowed writers to FINALLY go absolutely apeshit insane with writing expansions to a Martial Arts Style. Homebrewers like Revlid endlessly explored the various themes of the Infernal Monster.


                  Tigger
                  "Oh bother."


                  formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                  • #10
                    Here's a related one to this. How does White Reaper compare to Golden Jannisary? And given both can use Spears, how does it synergize?

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                    • #11
                      I ST’d for an MA Supernal Dawn who had White Reaper and I can say it rips battlegroups apart. It didn’t really seem to suffer against non battlegroups either, especially if there were multiple opponents.

                      As for synergy with GJ I don’t think there’s any particular combos that are crazy, but GJ messes up creatures of darkness, so with the two a battlegroup of Creatures of Darkness is double screwed.

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