The Battle of Chikyu Cavern

By Emanuel Class

Hello, giant-monster fans!  In today’s Insider, I will catch you up on the latest Monsterpocalypse releases from the Elemental Champions and Savage Swarm Factions. These round out each Faction with its third release, bringing them in line with the other fully developed Factions. Each of these boxes is a great pick up for any player, whether a new recruit or an old veteran.

Before we dive into the rules, I would be remiss if I didn’t reveal a little more about the backstory of these characters.

In the solicitation text for these models, we reveal some of the tension behind these two monsters…

High in the Akaishi Mountains of Japan dwells the Tenshi Seigikan, an ancient order of monks dedicated to the preservation of all that is good in the human race. Tengu Tsubute was a child prodigy of this order; from a very young age, he could control the elements. Yet the monastery nearly collapsed into a pile of rubble when Tengu became angry, so the monks had to try to teach him to control his emotions as well.

One fateful day, the Tenshi Seigikan were set upon by the Savage Swarm. Tengu’s master, Namazu, was slain by the monstrous Mucustos, triggering Tengu Tsubute to use his emotions as a weapon. After unleashing a massive earthquake on the swarm, he set out to seek revenge by the eradication of the Savage Swarm no matter where they might hide.

His prime enemy, Mucustos, is an ancient and mercurial parasite. Savage though they be, most of the swarm are mindless insects chasing food across the world. But with Mucustos in their mix, the swarm takes a much more organized and tactical approach to combat. This titanic Coleoptera brings the swarm to bear as his weapon while seeking out the massive amount of energy it takes to sustain his brood. High in the Akaishi Mountains, Mucustos found he also had a taste for things magical in nature. With his power now reaching new heights, Mucustos intends to cover the planet with the Savage Swarm and drown it in blood.

When Tengu left the mountain, he left his old way of life, his home, and his name. He hunted and killed the Savage Swarm, but after rescuing a fishing village from a stampede of razor beetles, he learned from the locals that Mucustos was heading to Chikyu Cavern, the home of their local protector, an Earth Kirin said to have a horn made of a magical green diamond. The now-nameless monk knew that if Mucustos devoured this magical creature, its power would grow immensely, and there would then be no hope of stopping the swarm.

Mucustos was more than just a 55-meter-tall, forty-thousand-ton beetle; unlike many of his kin, he was also terrifyingly intelligent. Of his past, it was said an ancient sorcerer cast a dark spell on one of his rivals by summoning a tiny beetle to crawl into his rival’s ear and devour his brain. But the magical mind of the wizard changed that tiny beetle; the more he ate, the smarter he became and the bigger he grew until he burst forth from the brain of his victim. After that beetle, Mucustos, devoured the mind of Tengu’s master, granting the beetle near psionic capabilities, Mucustos’ growth in intellect and size was driven by an endless lust for more.

By the time the nameless monk reached Chikyu Cavern, it was already too late. Hanging from the crunching jaws of Mucustos was the Kirin. The monk locked eyes with the Kirin. sharing its pain and, in that moment, its power. The diamond horn of the Kirin shone a bright green that radiated throughout the cavern. It washed over the monk, disorienting him; the landscape became green in all directions. There he could see the Kirin, safe, no longer bloodied by Mucustos, as it approached and touched its horn to his forehead. In his mind, the monk heard the Kirin’s voice: “Arise Tectomoc, Guardian of Terra.” The diamond of the Kirin’s horn began to engulf Tectomoc in gemstone, his size and power growing with each passing second. Around the diamond formed finely crafted magical armor, and ultimately, a helmet formed where the Kirin’s horn had touched Tectomoc’s forehead. When the light faded, Tectomoc rose before Mucustos, meeting the beetle eye to eye. Mucustos spoke into Tectomoc’s mind, his words buzzing like a hive of bees: “My children will use your carcass as a nest once I have drained every drop of magic from you.”

Tectomoc’s head hurt as the buzzing grew louder under the glowering gaze of Mucustos.

The two plunged into battle, each bringing his mighty forces to bear. Tectomoc’s cries of rage boomed from behind his helmet like an earthquake, and the cavern walls shuddered in response. The buzzing in his head reached a crescendo as the walls of the cavern began to crawl with a living wave of the Savage Swarm. A tidal wave of chitin crashed against Tectomoc; the buzzing became unbearable as the wave engulfed him entirely. It was then that Tectomoc found himself in his mind’s eye facing the wall he had built at the monastery. He knew what he had to do.

He let down the barrier in his mind the monks had helped him build, and white-hot seething fury boiled to the surface as memories of the destruction in the monastery roared back to him. Then the sharp pain of a Razor Beetle’s attack brought him back to his senses. Tectomoc raised his foot and stomped the ground with all his strength. The cavern walls heaved as stalactites fell free and stalagmites toppled over. The Savage Swarm, once massive in size, were once again mere insects to be crushed under rock and boot. He stomped again, this time with the might of a massive earthquake. The earth roiled around Mucustos as sharp rocks and crushing boulders pummeled the giant beetle like a landslide. Mucustos unleashed a massive beam of psionic energy that bore a hole straight through the mountain to the surface and, with a final push, escaped the falling rocks to escape before he could be crushed alongside his brood beneath the mountain.

By the time Tectomoc crawled out from beneath the mountain of rubble, his enemy had regrouped elsewhere. Mucustos had fled. But with his newfound power gifted to him by the Kirin of Chikyu Cavern, Tectomoc knew it was only a matter of time before he crushed the insidious bug beneath his titanic heel. One day, Tectomoc would get vengeance for his master, the Kirin, and all those devastated by the Savage Swarm.

I hope you enjoyed this short window into another kaiju grudge match. It’s been awhile since I got to write something not tied to the recently released new Factions, and getting back to the starter box Factions, the Elemental Champions and the Savage Swarm, was a fun ride.

Now, let’s take a look at these new releases and get into the rules behind the story. First up is the Elemental Champions newest monster, Tectomoc.

This colossal elemental champion is as tough as his model implies. Weighing in with pretty average stats in alpha, Tectomoc clocks in at SPD 6, High Mobility, 11 HP, and 8 DEF. Six of his health is in alpha, which is where he will spend the majority of his time. His Improvised Armor ability helps keep him around longer by giving him +1 DEF if he is on or adjacent to a rubble tile. This plays right into his ability Seismic Step. Normally, when a monster performs a stomp power attack, it flips adjacent hazards to the rubble side of the tile, which helps trigger Improvised Armor. Taking that a “step” further, Tectomoc triggers Seismic Step when he performs a stomp power attack, which then allows him to move one space and perform a second stomp power attack. Looking at the right side of his card, Tectomoc has the Wrath trigger that allows him to make a stomp, ram, or swat power attack if he hits with a brawl attack. That means that Tectomoc can brawl a target, trigger Wrath, and, if he chooses to make a stomp power attack, can move and make a second stomp power attack. That’s a lot of destruction! His last ability is Spawning Locus [Earth], which is on the front and back of his card. This ability allows you to use his base as a spawn point during your spawn phase to sneak in an Earth Kami. This is a great way to screen him on your unit turn or get an Earth Kami farther upfield. Tectomoc also doesn’t have a blast attack—he’s all about that up-close-and-personal fight.

In hyper, Tectomoc loses High Mobility but gains more accuracy on his attack boosts. He also loses Wrath on his brawl attack, but he makes up for it with a new rule called Earthquake, which allows him to make an extra stomp power attack in addition to any other attacks he makes that turn. Couple that with Seismic Step, and this monster could make up to three stomp power attacks in a turn. Tectomoc will crush any unit swarm who dares stand against his mighty earth powers! The rest of his kit is basically the same save one last detail. On Tectomoc’s power attack, he has the Collateral Damage trigger. I want to talk a little bit about how that interacts with the timing of attacks and the neat things you can do with it. The Collateral Damage trigger has a unique quirk when it appears on a power attack profile. Collateral Damage’s effect resolves immediately when Tectomoc hits the enemy monster, which places it in Step 1 of the attack timing chart, the same timing priority as resolving the effects of a power attack. When two effects activate in the same step of the timing chart in this way, the active player chooses the order in which the effects resolve. What this means is that if Tectomoc throws or body slams an enemy monster, the Tectomoc player has the choice of resolving Collateral Damage before or after placing the enemy monster, maximizing the number of enemy units you can destroy!

These rock stars are ready to roll out onto the battlefield alongside their Elemental Champion Tectomoc. With their ability Shield Wall, these units can help allied defensive formations fight back against all of the things out there at lower units’ defenses like Corporate HQ buildings or models with the Penetrator ability. They also have the abilities All Terrain and Thick Skinned, making them great spawning locus companions for Tectomoc.

The Water Avatar is a support unit that will leave your opponents in hot water if left alone. It probably comes as a shock to few that the Water Avatar is Amphibious. Its other special rule Power Tap, however, can be a pain for the opponent. If one or more of your units with Power Tap are holding a power zone or negative zone when you power up, your opponent loses a Power Die. This roiling incarnation of a negative zone is much more than just a pain point. On its blast and brawl attacks, both of which have a hearty 2 Boost Dice, also boast the special rules Splash and Ripple. Splash offers additional synergy with Tectomoc, allowing this unit to extinguish hazard tiles near the target of its attacks. This also has some synergy with the Fire Kami and Incinerus, both of whom have the Ignite rule, allowing them to turn those fires back on and damage something on the tile. That’s not even the best part of their attack! They also boast the ability Ripple, which allows you to advance this model and any models that participated in a combined attack with it 1 space. This is a great way to take relevant spots, secure nearby buildings, or even realign your units to be able to make use of the Earth Kami’s Shield Wall ability.

And in this corner, weighing in at 11 HP, SPD 6, and DEF 8, Mucustos is also very average right down the middle. With 6 of his 11 health in alpha, he spends more time in this form as well. But this king of the swarm has a number of abilities that make him a stand out in the Faction. Mucustos’ Action: Blitz allows him to move a unit up to its speed during the monster turn. This is a great way to get a Razor Beetle in position to screen or a Vice Pincher to the perfect spot to trigger Barbed. Mucustos also has Crunch, making every one of his attacks potentially more painful. Couple that with Precision Strike on his RNG 4 blast attack, and Mucustos can bring the pain. With Infestation, Mucustos has some sinister tricks up his sleeve—and by tricks, I mean bugs! Infestation allows you to choose a Faction unit from your reserves with cost 1 or less and place it adjacent to this model. Because this happens before you power up, Mucustos can drop a swarm unit on a power point or negative zone for maximum effect. If that weren’t enough, Mucustos also has the ability Motivator, allowing it to give +1 speed to other models while beginning their advance within 2 spaces of Mucustos. This is perfect for those aggressive Savage Swarm monsters who want to zoom across the table.

In hyper, Mucustos stats mostly stay the same with a slight bump to accuracy and the addition of Precision Strike on all attacks. But this monster gets some serious upgrades to his abilities in hyper. He lost Infestation and Blitz but in their place he gained Action: Summon, which allows him to choose a Faction unit, regardless of cost, from your reserves and place it adjacent to him. He also keeps Crunch, which is even scarier now that his power attack also has Precision Strike. Additionally, with his unique ability Parasite, Mucustos can be really hard to chain monster turns into because every time he is hit by an enemy monster, they lose one Power Die and you gain one. Lastly, his Motivator becomes Stampede, bumping the speed of all of his units by +1 across the board. All in all, this monster is going to be amazing fun for all the big insect fans out there!

Vice Pinchers are the favored little buddy of all of the Savage Swarm monsters, but Mucustos loves them the most. With infestation and Summon, Mucustos can drop a Vice Pincher in the right spot to trigger Barbed, thus maximizing its monster’s power attacks. Its brawl has Follow Through (Blast) on it, which couples well with several other models in the Faction. (Dynastavus can offer them a Penetrator on their brawl attacks, and with a Spy Fly nearby, that blast attack will find its target.) Follow Through allows them to be mobile, aggressive point takers, and they can even use it to move into position after attacking in order to be useful to offer Barbed later. With a blast and a brawl, they can also combine with any of the attacking options to offer a helping hand.

Our last card here does not disappoint. The Steel Back Roach is as nasty as it sounds. Speed 4, High Mobility, Def 3, and Cost 2—these little tanks can do a little of everything. They have great blast and brawl attacks that are coupled with the ability Proliferate. This trigger allows them to put a unit in play farther upfield. I love to Proliferate out a Spy Fly or Hopper deep behind enemy lines. At range 4, it’s a great model to sit on a point and still contribute to the fight. Its last ability helps contribute to the role with Beach Head. This ability lets the roach’s owner use spaces adjacent to it as spawn points during the spawn phase as long as it’s holding an objective space. This little critter loves to infest a power point so you can spawn a friend next to it, allowing them to combine their attacks farther upfield.

Well, monster fans, that’s all I have for the moment. Tune in to Privateer Press Social Media Channels for what comes next!

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