Jade Obelisk in Warcry 2.0

Here is my complete guide to The Jade Obelisk for Warcry. See below for the YouTube version but if reading is more your thing then welcome and lets go!


It’s the good version of other damage reduction reactions like Nurgle’s in that it reduces the damage from both hits and critical hits alike. I think that the reaction is there to compliment the relatively high damage of your fighters to make sure that they can live through enemy attacks in order to deal their damage back to the opponent. The average damage profile is 2/4 so reducing an attack to 1/3 makes for a very worthwhile action investment if it means that you will get to attack back.

Nephrite Priestess

Points per Wound Stat

Damage per attack calculated on a weighted damage average assuming 25% of fighers are D3, 50% are D4 and the rest are D5+; Graveguard are 12.7 as the most efficient unit in the game, Stormfiends are around 20, the skaven deathmaster is sitting at around 25. Anything less then 25 puts the fighter in the top 30% of all fighters in the game and are considered very efficient in terms of damage output vs the points you are investing


Common to all Jade Obelisk fighters, allowing a heal if the fighter is within 9” of a friendly fighter with the Icon Bearer Runemark (Obelisk Bearer) to heal for half the value on the dice, or the full value if they are also in range of a friendly fighter within 6” with the Priest Runemark (The Nephrite Priestess). We will see that the warband is actually quite double intensive and your damaging pieces are actually quite slow so having to keep everything in range of your various specific runemarks might be more difficult in game then the usefulness of Stonewarp otherwise suggests. Overall I think that it’s a quite low impact ability that you might occasionally use but will generally be saving your doubles for other more impactful abilities.

The highlight of the Nephrite Priestess is the 20 wounds for only 105 points but she is your only hero option so at least one is mandatory in your warband. Her damage is fairly average and her triple; Bloody Tribute, which allows an extra move on a friendly fighter within 9” of the Obelisk Bearer if she takes down someone in her activation, I feel is unnecessarily restrictive; partly because of her own low damage making it unlikely to take down enemy fighters without using a double for Onslaught in the first place, and also because the range isn’t from her; its from another fighter meaning that there are generally more things to keep track of during your game.

Obelisk Bearer

20 wounds and a respectable damage profile at only 110 points. Whilst not as efficient as Desecrators or Defacers, but still very efficient at 18.3 points per wound, the Stonewarp ability requires that you have an Icon Bearer on the field to use (not that they are mandatory if you wanted to go without the heal), and they are still relatively cheap so I would look at bringing at least one.

Might of the Speaker vs Rampage

Might of the Speaker is potentially stronger then Rampage as you can use it on other visible friendly fighters to act out of turn, and as a normal fighter the obelisk bearer still has access to rampage if he needs to do things himself (as Might of the Speaker requires the target to be visible and he is not visible to himself).

The range on the ability will mean that you will have to baby-sit him with one of your other fighters to get the most use out of the double bonus attack/move/disengage but I don’t see this as being too much of an issue given how efficient your other fighters are, and how much damage they can put out; If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that this is in there so that your Desecrators can use their reaction to reduce damage when they get hit so that they can survive, and then have Might of the Speaker used on them to still fight at full strength.

If you do have the quad, and the option to use either Might of the Speaker or Rampage; Might of the Speaker is almost always better as in all likelihood you will be using it on your Desecrators to get the extra actions in and both flavours do more damage then the Obelisk Bearer in combat.


The fastest fighter in the warband at 8” move but its beast runemark and otherwise unimpressive stats for the 105 points you are investing.

Gaze of the Idolarc

The warband itself isn’t very triple hungry; most of the abilities that you will be looking to use are on doubles which is one of the advantages of the warband as a whole. The warband itself however, already has pretty high strength so the toughness reduction isn’t likely to see much use. Depending on the fighter a -1/3 move could be impactful, and I guess this is there to slow down fast key pieces so that they don’t close the distance on your slower fighters first and kill your 12 wound Desecrators with their attack, but overall at 105 points you could be buying another Descecrator and are most of the way to a 20 wound obelisk bearer which would both be much more impactful in game.


Desecrators are your main damage dealers of the warband. They are sitting at 13.3 and 13.9 points per wound which puts them as the second and third most points efficient units in the game in relation to their damage vs how many points you pay. You can see that they have very high damage output, able to one-shot most chaff fighters with a double doing around 10 wounds.

They are very much glass hammers however as they only have the 12 wounds and toughness 4 to hide behind. If we compare them with Bloated Ones for example, or even the Obelisk Bearer in-faction, they trade the extra wounds for A LOT of bonus damage so that’s really what you are going to be bringing them for. Because they are relatively cheap at 100 points, there is the opportunity to spam them in your lists; 5-6 of these can really pull their weight and gives a numerous core for the rest of your warband to be built around.

Picks vs Hammers

The numbers seem to indicate that Picks are better then hammers in all damage situations; the extra point of damage you get from the hammer not beating out the extra attack from the picks. They are both however VERY efficient; being the second and third most damage efficient fighters in the game after the Graveguard with Great Weapons so either is a good pick for your warband. They are however, very much glass cannons with their 12 wounds so it may well be that they are saving their high individual attack damage for use after the reaction to reduce incoming damage so that they don’t get killed on the enemy fighter attack.

Rock Shattering Blow vs Onslaught

  • 1 Attack Onslaught (Pick): 9.38
  • 1 Attack Rock Shattering Blow (Pick): 10.25
  • 2 Attacks Onslaught (Pick): 9.38 + 9.38 = 18.76
  • 1 Attack Rock Shattering Blow + 1 Attack normal (Pick): 17.75

If you get to attack twice, always use Onslaught. If you only get to attack once (move – attack), Always use Rock Shattering Blow

  • 1 Attack Onslaught (Hammer): 9.58
  • 1 Attack Rock Shattering Blow (Hammer): 9.25
  • 2 Attacks Onslaught (Hammer): 9.58 + 9.58 = 19.16
  • 1 Attack Rock Shattering Blow + 1 Attack normal (Hammer): 9.25 + 7.19 = 16.44

With the Hammer always Onslaught as it yields better damage numbers then Rock Shattering Blow due to the already high base damage of the hammer.


Thanks to their high attacks at good strength and surprisingly consistent damage profile at 2/3, Defacers are very efficient for their points in terms of damage output. They are however, quite expensive in terms of chaff unit, costing 95 points per fighter regardless of the load out you choose but that being said, they are still very efficient when compared to the majority of other fighters in the game, just not necessarily the most efficient in faction.

With their 10 wounds, toughness 4 and damage boosting abilities, you pretty much always want to bring Defacers with stone-cutter tools. The real decision here is if you want to go with Defacers at 95 points or Desecrators at 100 points. That extra 5 points gets you an extra two wounds but the damage is pretty close on the stonecutter tools and the picks/hammers and they both have double attack boosting abilities. I think that overall you would want to go with Defacers as your main damage dealers unless you really needed that extra 5 points elsewhere but they are both good picks for your warband.

Tools vs Bows

Despite the extra range on the bows, stonecutter tools outclass them in all respects. 

Hammering Strikes

  • 1 Attack Onslaught: 6.67
  • 1 Attack Hammering Strikes:
Double 1/2 – 7.67 
Double 3/4 – 10
Double 5/6 – 12.33

  • 2 Attacks Onslaught : 6.67 + 6.67 = 13.34
  • 1 Attack normal + 1 Attack Hammering Strikes:
Double 1/2: 5.33 + 7.67 = 13
Double ¾: 5.33 + 10 = 15.33
Double 5/6: 5.33 + 12.33 = 17.66

If you get to attack twice, always use hammering strikes on the second attack unless you are rolling a double 1 or 2 in which case onslaught puts out marginally more damage. If you only get to attack once, Onslaught because hammering strikes requires that the target has already taken damage from this fighter in this activation.


Here we have the usual suspects like the Varanguard or Mindstealer; Fast stuff that can counter the slowness of the warband. The warband itself is in the interesting spot that they don’t actually need any more damage but would look for something to reach out and grab objectives, provide disruption and deal with opposing chaff units over doing raw damage so this may be where the Blissbringer would come in handy. It can get more attacks, boost the damage of its own, and has a reliable net on a double whilst being a respectable 8” move for not a lot of points so its definitely somewhere that I would look for a start.

It's also not very triple hungry so it allows me to save my dice as doubles for Rock Shattering Blow, onslaught, etc. so fighters with decent triples that can leverage off any that you might roll would be a good shout. The Mindstealer was included for a couple of reasons; It's generally good stats, movement and net through the Telepathic Threatening ability makes for a flexible fighter that I can be relatively sure will survive the battle, and a clutch quad from it's charm ability gives a backup plan against key opposing fighters that I might need to deal with.

Some other options might be:
  • Aviarch on Disc for more fast damage
  • The Pyrocaster to reach out and touch key fighters at range from turn 1
  • Great Bray Shaman to add some cheap enemy movement shenanigans to your list.

I feel like you could potentially bring something like a Chimera with the Jade Obelisk but they don't really have any cheap units that would normally go with it so the resulting warband would actually be quite small and the damage on your fighters is so high anyway that I don’t actually think its all that necessary.

Sample Lists

Overall the Jade Obelisk are very much a glass cannon-style warband. Your fighters will hit very hard but with only 12 wounds on your Desecrators, will die quickly if they get attacked so you have two options to shore up on this issue; either put more fighters on the board so that your opponent physically cant kill all of them, or include allies that can reach out and deal with those problematic fighters before they hit your warband.

I think that building them as a slightly more swarm-y warband could be a good way to go; its been shown that movement 3 isn’t such a hinderance this edition so I don’t necessarily think that massed Desecrators are much of an issue. I also think that if you look at the actual abilities that both the Obelisk Bearer and Priestess give access to; the heal, and Bloody Tribute aren’t all that high of an impact so you can get away with running one of her, and Might of the Speaker, whilst very good isn’t worth building an entire warband around as it’s a quad so you can probably get away with just running one or two of the Bearers also.

My first list is designed around 2x Deployments of Obelisk Bearer and 2x Descecrator, and a third of the Priestess and Mindstealer for added utility and maneuverability. Normally I would be looking for a fast, hard-hitting damage dealer to ally into my warbands but the Desecrator do so much damage by themselves that it’s not as necessary so I feel like the mindstealer falls in a happy medium between something like a Varanguard and a Blissbringer. The two deployments with the bearer and descecrator both hit very hard and the Priestess/Sphiranx deployment is mainly there for the Mindstealer to do it’s job, disrupting key opposing fighters and generally being a nuisance with its T5 whilst the rest of the warband gets there.

The second list, whilst similar, can be built out of one box with an ally. Most  of the fighters in the warband are all around the same price so we have replaced descecrators with defacers, and the Mindstealer for a Varanguard because again, it is fast, hits hard and provides a very big distraction whilst your slower foot troops get to where they need to be.

An alternative if you wanted to take a less conventional swarm warband might be to go 8x Desecrator, a Defacer and the Priestess for a 10 man warband where every fighter hits like a truck. You can run your Desecrator in pairs so that your opponent really has to be sure about what they are charging for fear of being killed in the return blow.

Final Thoughts

I think that overall, Jade Obelisk have what it takes to make for a very strong warband contender. Whilst they may not have cheap chaff fighters, they have some of the hardest hitting medium fighters in the game so they are in kind of a unique position where if you are across the table from them; they don’t have any ‘bad’ fighters in terms of damage and you have to be very sure that you can kill them in that first round with whatever you are hitting them with; otherwise they are sure to fall over to raw damage numbers.

No comments