Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn

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Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn

Retribution Warcaster

Possessing immense arcane ability and a talent for the divinatory arts, Issyria has become one of the greatest military assets of House Nyarr. That she has done so while declining to wield a weapon is all the more remarkable. In combat, Issyria uses her powers to perceive the flow of battle, gaining a peerless understanding of each movement and action around her and directing her myrmidons to serve as perfect fulcrums of force. When she enters her meditative trance the world seems to freeze and the best tactical course becomes clear.

Basic Info[edit]

Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn
DEF 16
ARM 13
HP 15
WJP +29
See also How to Read the statblock


  • Unarmed - This model has no weapons.


  • Warcaster - All warcasters come with a stack of standard special rules - most notably being awesome.
  • Flight - This model ignores (almost) all terrain when moving. This model can move over other models, and ignores intervening models when declaring charges.
  • Ancillary Attack (★ Action) - RNG 3. Target friendly Faction warjack/warbeast immediately makes a basic melee or ranged attack. A model can be targeted by Ancillary Attack only once per turn.
  • Arcane Vortex - Can negate spells targeting nearby models by spending a focus token. The negated spell's COST is still paid.
  • True Sight - This model ignores clouds for LOS, and ignores Stealth always.


Admonition - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep

Target a model in the caster's battlegroup. If an enemy model advances & ends its movement within 6" of that model, it can immediately advance up to 3" ignoring free strikes, but then Admonition expires.

Blinding Light - Cost 3, 10" range, Offensive spell with zero POW

For one round, target enemy model/unit suffers -2 DEF and cannot make ranged or magic attacks.

Crusader's Call - Cost 3

Friendly Faction models beginning a charge in the caster's control range gain +2" for that charge. Lasts for one turn.

Inviolable Resolve - Cost 2, 6" range, Upkeep

Friendly Faction model/unit gains +2 ARM and they cannot be moved by a push or slam. Doesn't work while out of formation.

Velocity - Cost (★)

The caster can spend up to 3 focus on this spell. For each focus spent, the caster can move up to 2". Can only be cast once per activation.

Feat : Dawn's Light[edit]

While in her CTRL range, friendly Faction models gain True Sight (as above) and roll an additional die on attack and damage rolls. For each of those rolls, discard one die of your choice for each of those rolls. Dawn's Light lasts for one turn.

Analysis of Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn[edit]

Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn in a nutshell[edit]

One of the three warcasters/warlocks without weapon, Issyria is a pure support caster (although the opposite of her unarmed Skorne counterpart, who is all about the debuffs, and The King of Nothing, who relies on offensive spellcasting a lot). She is more inclined toward the buffs and this, without any noticeable offensive capability (outside the Ancillary attack) can make learning curve steeper that with other casters. She has SPD, ARM and MAT/RAT fixers, as well as a speed booster for her, but usually must play in the back field to see the end of the matches.


It is mostly about crit fishing and delivering a crippling (alpha) strike upon your foe. Timing is tricky, if you want to use it to its fullest potential. True Sight matters only until you get close enough that Stealth won't mean problem, or if your enemy deploys a large amount of smoke to blunt your charge (Trenchers, Swap Gobbers, and the like). On any other occasion you better hold it until you can do the most damage with your amped up blows and shots. Weapon master infantries will have to worry less about bad dice rolls on attack or damage (MHA, do you hear that?), while models with critical effects (like Hyperion) will find it all the easier to trigger their abilities.


  • Admonition - usually it will be another layer of self defence for her, if you ran into an enemy assassination attempt. Watch out for models with Counter-Charge.
  • Blinding Light - signature spell for fixing RAT and MAT issues. Taking a unit of Hex Hunters, Long Gunners or Greylord Outriders out of equation for a turn is also really useful.
  • Crusader's Call - a no-frills spell; making your fast melee units even faster, and speeding up your slower brawlers.
  • Inviolable Resolve - The extra ARM makes it suitable for any model in your army. Putting a Helios to DEF14 ARM21 is an insult in itself. see army selection for other suitable units.
  • Velocity - do not skip leg day, else it will take 3 FOC to get as far with floating as far as with running. Ahem... Use this to run forward for capturing scenario elements, or get away from danger. Since it equals to your speed, you can regard it as the poor man's Teleport, after dropping some spells.


Issyria must win on attrition and scenario. More than any other caster, she must apply the right buff on the right unit in the right time. Anything else will make her lines crumble, and she has no direct ways to help them on the attack. Protect your troops, use terrain wisely, and concentrate on the scenario.



  • It wasn't uncommon to see her with 2 Helios and 1 Hyperion even before the release of the Forges of War theme force, dubbed as the "Pacific Rim" list. Now that you can have free solos in it, you can further enhance this list. Not the easiest one to play, but Issyria herself is not an easy caster either.
  • Hyperion - With the strongest ranged weapon in the game combined with Issyria's ability to have him shoot again? Yes, please. Though her Ancillary Attack won't boost its shot, it is still one of the best ranged attack you can choose.
  • Phoenix/Chimera - Fragile caster with good spells = bring arc nodes. The Chimera in particular is useful because of its apparition to help it get that extra step around the battlefield. Plus it can often teleport away from jamming units, who would like to stop you from arcing by engaging your jacks. The Phoenix is extremely durable, so abuse him until he has done his job of arcing and slashing.
  • Hemera is her character jack, so fits into any theme with her. The empowered arc node gives you the possibility of 3 boosted Blinding Lights too. Its gun is also not bad choice for Ancillary Attack, and under the feat you can even fish for critical hits to trigger Dispel on its AoE.


  • Dawnguard - Any Dawnguard are good under her because of the armor buff and she can even make use of your Destors with the Destor Thane, making them a ARM 21 in close combat, plus adding feat turn. Oh, and how about a 12" charge range under Crusader's Call?
  • Ryssovass Defenders - drop Inviolable Resolve upon them, and they start to shrug off blast damage. Add in a Lys Healer for no-knockdown Toughs, and Crusader's Call to charge as far as they would run. 5D6 damage on a charge with Precision Strike plus picking out whichever you want will result in a lot of destroyed jack and beast.
  • Stormfall Archers - fixing their accuracy issues with Blinding Light and feat, while the latter also elevates their Brutal Shots' damage to insane levels.
  • Houseguard Halberdiers - yet another good target for Inviolable Resolve, meaning that your ARM20 shield wall will stay in place.


  • Sylys' free upkeep, as well as a RNG12" Blinding light is tempting, and Arcane Secrets under her feat almost guarantees a hit.
  • Fane Knight Guardian - Being fragile as Chinese porcelain, Issyria welcomes any shield guard near her; especially those as durable as the Fane Knight in her CMD radius. Her DEF is pumped up to insane levels, if the enemy manages to engage her. With Parry she can also walk/fly away from unwanted engagements, once the enemy reached her, and she survived. However, a high DEF low ARM caster is often the victim of assassination runs, involving knockdown / stationary attacks, and the Knight doesn't offer defence against them.
  • Madelyn Corbeau - she locks you out of theme forces, but her Parlay can fend off warrior models getting too close to you.


  • Artificer - don't worry about blasts anymore
  • Magister - useful to beat /smite jamming models out of your way
  • Arcanist Mechanik - because you cannot have too many focus on your jacks

Drawbacks and Downsides[edit]

  • More than any other caster in the game, she absolutely needs her army to get the job done.
  • Usual caveat for being unarmed: no charge, no free strike, and no "failed charge" to increase your mobility.
  • Very fragile.
  • Vulnerable to anti magic techs, as well as attacks (Eiryss1) or feats (Reznik1) which strip your FOCUS.

Tricks and Tips[edit]

  • Admonition does not trigger on place effects. Beware models with Apparition, Telekinesis, or various feats, who can get close to your enhanced model without advancing.
  • Ancillary attack happens outside the model's activation, so you cannot boost (unless the attack itself is auto-boosted for some reason).
  • Dawn's Light work on your attacks too, including the Ancillary attacks.
  • Ancillary attack is not an Attack per se, which enables Issyria (but not her jack) to bypass feats or spells, which would deny attacks or magic attacks.



Originally released in the Warmachine: Vengeance expansion (2014)

Theme Forces[edit]

Other Retribution models[edit]



Warcasters Rahn1 - Vyros1 - Vyros2 - Elara2 - Garryth1 - Goreshade4 - Issyria1 - Kaelyssa1 - Ossyan1 - Ravyn1 - Thyron1 - Helynna1
Warcaster attachments Fane Knight Guardian (Retribution) - Sylys Wyshnalyrr (Retribution) - Madelyn Corbeau (Mercenary)
Other Controllers Elara1 (BGC) - Sentinel Scyir - Artificer
Light warjacks Aspis - Chimera - Gorgon - Griffon - Harpy - Siren
Heavy warjacks Banshee - Daemon - Hydra - Manticore - Phoenix - Sphinx
Discordia - Hypnos - Hemera - Imperatus
Colossal Hyperion - Helios
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Units Destors - Invictors - Sentinels - Heavy Rifle Team - Swordsmen - Arcanists - Battle Mages - Electromancers - Halberdiers - Riflemen - Infiltrators - Strike Force - Ryssovass Defenders - Stormfall Archers
Nyss Hunters - Spears of Scyrah
Special: Eiryss3 (CA) - Soulless Escort (WA)
Solos Arcanist Mechanik - Destor Thane - Sentinel Scyir - Ghost Sniper - Artificer - Magister - Houseguard Thane - Lys Healer - Assassin - Priest of Nyssor - Soulless Voidtracer

Aelyth Vyr - Eirrys1 - Eiryss2 - Elara1 - Issyen - Narn - Nayl - Lanyssa

Battle Engines Arcantrik Force Generator
Theme Forces
Defenders of Ios - Forges of War - Legions of Dawn - Shadows of the Retribution


Retribution Mercenary Models/Units
Units Lady Aiyana & Master Holt - Lynus Wesselbaum & Edrea Lloryrr
Solos Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath - Eilish Garrity - Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan

Rules Clarifications[edit]

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Rules Clarification : Unarmed      (Edit)

  • Since this model has no weapons it does not have a melee range.
    • This means it can't engage other models, declare charges, or make free strikes
    • Also it can't gain abilities that require a melee range (such as Ragman granting this model Dark Shroud).
  • However, other models that do have melee weapons can engage this model. So this model can still gain the "target in melee" shooting bonus.

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Rules Clarification:  : Warcaster      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

  • General
    • FOCUS (uppercase) is the stat printed on the warcaster's card. Focus (lowercase) refers to focus points a model currently has.
    • Your CTRL area is double your FOCUS stat, not double your focus points. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Casting spells or using feats is an anytime ability with the added restriction that you can't use them on the same turn you run even before you run.
      • See also the clarifications on Any Time abilities (below).
    • Some warcasters are also Battle Engines and thus follow all the Battle Engine special rules.
      • There is no particular interaction between the Battle Engine rules and the Warcaster rules.
    • Work out all damage modifiers (such as Decapitation doubling the damage that exceeds ARM) before reducing it with the Power Field. (Infernal Ruling)

Restrictions on "Any Time" abilities     (Edit)      
  • "Any Time" abilities can be used at any time during a model/unit's activation, except:
    1. The model with the Any Time ability has had their activation end "prematurely". By this I mean you resolve anything which includes "its activation ends". Examples include:
      • Running, failing a charge, or failing a slam.
      • Abilities that include "then its activation ends" (such as Reposition and Teleport).
    2. In between declaring your charge target and making your charge movement. (Infernal Ruling)
    3. In between completing your charge movement and determining whether it was a successful charge. (Infernal Ruling)
    4. You're in the middle of moving. (Note: Impact Attacks count as being in the middle of movement).
    5. You're in the middle of an attack. Note that the attack is not over until you finish step 14 of the attack sequence (Apdx A).
    6. Your opponent interrupted your activation to trigger one of their own abilities, such as Countercharge.
  • In general you can use "Any Time" abilities while you're knocked down or stationary (except Spells and Feats which specify you can't).
  • If you have a gun with a random ROF, you can use an "Any Time" ability inbetween rolling the number of shots and actually making the first attack. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Units with "Any Time" abilities
    • Even if the ability says "any time during the unit's activation", a model in a unit can't use an Any Time ability if they run, fail a charge, or use an ability like Reposition.
    • Because that model's activation has ended (even if the unit's activation is still ongoing) and you can't use abilities on models that are not active.
    • So, for example:
      • You cannot use a minifeat after the Officer runs. (Infernal Ruling)
      • You cannot use a minifeat after anyone in the unit has begun a Reposition move. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Warcaster/Warlock Cavalry ( Edit )
    • Warcasters/Warlocks can't cast spells or use their feat while resolving Impact Attacks. Because Impact Attacks occur during movement - you can use spells or feat before moving, or after moving, but not during movement.
      • Exception: If your Impact target(s) include your charge target, then your movement has ended (refer rulebook, last paragraph of 'Impact Attacks') and thus you're fine to use "any time" abilities before starting the Impact attacks.

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Rules Clarification : Warcaster Unit or Warlock Unit     (Edit)
This summary is specific to Warcaster/Warlock units. You may also want to check the Warcasters & Warlocks page for the 'regular' rules clarifications.

  • If you're giving an order, it must be done first, before casting any spells or using your feat.
  • All models in the unit count as part of the battlegroup. So, for instance, Butcher3's argus can be moved via his Energizer spell.
  • Only the warcaster/warlock model can dominate a Steam Roller scenario. They can do that regardless of where the grunts are.
  • The grunt models can contest Steam Roller scenarios, but not control them.
  • Warcaster units can have attachments. They can even attach units (such as the WSC). (Infernal Ruling)
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).
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Rules Clarification : Unit of Warcasters or Warlocks     (Edit)

  • Even though they're warcasters, if they're out of formation they suffer the normal penalties (can't make attacks, actions, spells, etc).
  • They can't upkeep each other's spells.
  • They can only dominate one SteamRoller scenario element at a time.
  • Each warlock/warcaster can have different upkeeps on them if those upkeeps are "target SELF" or "target model". If you cast an upkeep that is "target model/unit", that is the only upkeep any of them can have.
  • Units Buying Attacks (Edit)
    • If you make attacks with model [A], then start making attacks with model [B], you cannot 'go back' and buy more attacks with [A]. Because:
    • A model can only buy additional attacks during its Combat Action.
    • A model in a unit must complete its Combat Action before the next model starts theirs (with some exceptions, like CMA).
  • The Legion Twins
    • Rhyas cannot dominate a zone while out of formation.
    • Rhyas can use the feat while out of formation.
  • Haley3
    • Only Haley Prime is an 'actual' warcaster model, and as such she is the only one that can dominate a scenario element.
    • The echoes can Control/Contest scenarios like a normal unit.
    • Haley Prime can dominate an element even if the echoes are out of formation.
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Rules Clarification:  : Flight      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

  • Flight doesn't ignore:
    • Impassable terrain and hazardous terrain
    • Templates that stay in play and do damage to models moving through them (such as a Scather).
    • Free strikes.
  • Trampling with a flying model (Edit)
    • Flight allows you to trample "over" medium- and larger-bases.
    • Although you trample "over" them, you don't get to make a trample attack vs them and you don't ignore their free strikes. Refer the core rulebook.
      • Unless, of course, you have an exception like Blade Rush.
  • Flight on a Cavalry model (Edit)
    • Although you can move over obstacles/models while charging, if you want to stop and make Impact Attacks while you fly "over" models you need to stop in a legal position. You can't make Impact Attacks while your flying horse is on top of obstacles, models, etc.
  • Charging through models (Edit)
    • You can't charge all the way through your charge target, with the intention to turn around and face them once you're on the other side.
      • Because you aren't able to satisfy the "must keep the charge target in melee range" clause at the point after you are through the model but before you turn to directly face. At that point the target is behind you, not in your front arc, and thus not in your melee range.
      • Your melee range only extends to your front arc. Refer to the latest errata.
    • You can still "skim" through the edge of their base, if you're careful and smart with your positioning.
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Rules Clarification : Ancillary Attack      (Edit)

  • You can't generate bonus attacks (such as Berserk) from an Ancillary Attack, because those bonus attacks are limited to during the attacker's activation.
    • Or, at least, I can't think of a single example which isn't limited.
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Rules Clarification : Arcane Vortex      (Edit)

  • Mulg spends fury to use it, he is not forced for fury. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Arcane vortex can be used to counter spells with "Range: Self". (Infernal Ruling)
  • Some spells do not have a target, mostly CTRL area spells (such as Siege's Foxhole) but also some (★ Action) (such as Ragman's Death Field). These cannot be cancelled by Arcane Vortex. Infernal Ruling)
  • The "Cost" for non-warcaster models includes stuff like "using your special action" or "killing a Mind Bender Drudge."
  • Arcane Vortex triggers at step 3 of the spellcasting sequence. (Resolve effects that occur when a model is targeted by a spell.) (Infernal Ruling)
  • Arcane Vortex vs Primal Shock (Edit)
    • The warbeast that is chosen as the point of origin can not be negated by Arcane Vortex.
    • The "target a model within 8 inches" is the part that can be negated by arcane vortex.
    • There are some other parts that the Infernals are currently checking.
    • (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : True Sight      (Edit)

  • You only ignore clouds for LOS. Models can still get the concealment bonus, trigger Prowl, etc from clouds. (Infernal Ruling)
  • A model that ignores Stealth must ignore both aspects: both (1) the auto-missing, and (2) the 'not counting as an intervening model' parts.
    • This can have some strange interactions with casters & channelers, if one has True Sight and one does not. There are examples on the Category:Channeler page.

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Rules Clarification:  : Admonition      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

* What does trigger Admonition
    • Admonition triggers off any advance, not just in-activation stuff. You could even trigger your Admonition off an enemy's Admonition!
    • Standing still but changing facing is an advance.
  • What doesn't trigger Admonition
    • Aiming, or forfeiting your movement, is not advancing.
    • If a model doesn't move, doesn't change facing, doesn't aim ... does nothing but skips straight ahead to its Combat Action, this is not an advance. (Infernal Ruling)
    • Being placed (such as Teleport) is not an advance.
    • Involuntary movement (being slammed, thrown, or pushed) is not an advance.
  • You don't have to trigger Admonition the first time an enemy moves nearby - you can save it until it best suits you. (Infernal Ruling)

  • Countercharge vs. Admonition (etc) ( Edit )
    • You can trigger Countercharge during your own activation - if a model with Admonition (or similar) uses it to (try to) move away.
      • You move, they trigger admonition and move, you trigger countercharge off their admonition-move.
    • In this scenario you may boost Countercharge attacks and trigger only-during-activation effects (such as Critical Shred & Sustained Attack) exactly as if you were in your activation (because you are).
    • Also, you can potentially get two charge attacks (one for your normal charge, one for the counter charge).
  • Countercharge plus Admonition
    • If a model has both CC and Admonition, it can trigger both at the same time. A model moves nearby, it admonitions away, then countercharges back in.
  • Battlegroup members (Edit)
    • Spells that target/affect "models in the battlegroup" can also target/will also affect the caster, the caster's unit (if they have one), and the caster's Companion (if they have one).
    • It won't target/affect models which are Attached, though.
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Rules Clarification : Blinding Light      (Edit)

  • Blinding Light doesn't affect Special Actions such as Zephyr, or Covering Fire. However, it does effect those you do instead of shooting, like Stormwall's Sustained Fire, as you must be able to make a ranged attack to do something that requires "instead of making a ranged attack." See infernal

Rules Clarification : Crusader's Call - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Inviolable Resolve - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : Velocity      (Edit)

  • You can not cast this spell with 0 focus and advance 0" (change facing).
  • The advance will trigger free strikes, counter charges, etc.