Kill-slaying man-things, dwarf-things, elf-things, and those lizard dinosaur dudes are exciting activities, yes-yes? We’re inclined to agree with Ikit Claw, and it’s not just because he might strike us down with Warp Lightning. Ikit Claw is the newest addition to Total War: Warhammer 2’s roster as part of the Prophet and Warlock DLC. His campaign might be one of the most fun around. Indeed, he’s an absolute blast to play as!
Ikit Claw is the Chief Warlock Engineer of Clan Skryre, you say? Well, you can thank the Chief Fun Engineers of Creative Assembly for designing him.
Ikit Claw Versus Other Skaven Lords
At first, you might think that Ikit Claw’s abilities are your run-of-the-mill perks, they aren’t anything to scoff at. Clan Skryre, being the most addicted to creating advanced — and at times broken — contraptions, are technocrats of Skavendom. They are the primary suppliers of high-tech weaponry and machinery for the Under-Empire. As such, Ikit Claw’s bonuses all synergize with the types of units you’d field.
Compared to other Skaven lords, Ikit Claw can get Warlock Masters or Warlock Engineers earlier or for free, and they’re even deadlier compared to regular Warlords. Likewise, units such as warplock jezzails, warpfire throwers, ratling gunners, and doom flayers can completely turn the (vermin)tide of battle.
All Skaven lords can use techs and rites as they progress in their campaigns, and now, they can also build under-cities without enemies knowing. One major addition for Ikit Claw, however, is access to Clan Skryre’s Forbidden Workshop.
Those units I enumerated up top? You can gain bonuses from the Forbidden Workshop by spending warp fuel (a resource exclusive to Ikit Claw) and food. All other Skaven lords just twiddle their thumbs. The Forbidden Workshop even lets you build Doomrockets, tactical nukes that obliterate entire stacks.
Ikit Claw starts out in The Star Tower in the Volcanic Isles province. Although he is surrounded by Skaven and Lizardmen minors, named foes such as Luthor Harkon (Vampire Coast) and Lokhir Felheart (Dark Elves) are right around the corner. Much later, you’ll encounter Teclis (High Elves), Lord Skrolk (Skaven – Clan Pestilens), and Tehenhauin (Lizardmen, the other lord that’s part of the Prophet and Warlock DLC). Needless to say, it’s going to be absolute bedlam in Lustria.
The good thing is that if you play your cards right, none of those rival factions will be a threat. For starters, your warplock jezzails are invaluable due to their extremely high range and armor-piercing damage. They can easily snipe enemy lords. Ratling gunners, meanwhile, shred pitiful units to pieces. Only the bulky Lizardmen should trouble you but they can be dealt with in due time.
The usual tactic I employ is having my warplock jezzails snipe lords until they get close. Ikit Claw stays in front of my army, providing a distraction while casting warp magics. Once the enemy lord is close enough, I throw my skavenslave fodder to protect my ranged units. I keep whittling down the enemy commander’s health, causing the opposing army to rout or crumble. My doom flayers and doomwheels can chase down stragglers or skirmishers if need be.
Ikit Claw’s playstyle will be slightly reminiscent of Empire or even Dwarf tactics: Playing defensively while letting ranged units and artillery do the rest. Because regular Skaven infantry (slaves and clan rats) can break all too easily, you’ll need to throw everything you have at lords to ensure that the opposing army breaks before your frontline does.
Let’s not forget that Ikit Claw also has tactical nukes at his disposal. Use them when you see the enemy bunched up to make them pay for it. Using the Underway stance often, and hoping you’d get intercepted, is actually beneficial. Because of the narrower pathway, you have a good chance of taking out numerous units while they’re heading towards you.
Your Forbidden Workshop upgrades cost food and warp fuel. The former, of course, has been a core component of the Skaven campaign. The latter is a new resource for Ikit Claw obtained via battles, hero actions, events, and searching ruins. Some of the early upgrades I chose from the Forbidden Workshop were:
- Ratling Gunners – ammo replenishment, reload time reduction
- Warplock Jezzails – increased ranged/armor-piercing, stalker ability and missile resistance
Upgrades you choose per panel also provide an extra bonus for that particular section. In this case, it’s having more perks to increase missile damage. As for Doomrockets, they can be costly, requiring three warp fuel and five food per creation. These were the upgrades I picked:
- 100 percent chance to recover warp-fuel after using a doomrocket
- 25 percent chance to create an extra doomrocket
- doomrockets cause additional damage-over-time effect
For Ikit Claw’s skills, I first picked up Warp Lightning, Musk of Fear, and Scorch. After these, I focused on anything that’d boost my ranged units or Warlock Engineers. Speaking of Warlock Engineers, I picked up everything that buffed missile damage and ammunition for ranged units, along with the extra Doomrocket hero ability.
It wasn’t my fastest start in a Total War: Warhammer 2 campaign on very hard/very hard difficulty (VH/VH). By turn 32, I only had a handful of settlements and three provinces controlled. That might seem like a terrible beginning until you check out the lay of the land.
Both Luthor Harkon and Lokhir Felheart happily allied with me, and relationships are increasing still. I’ve confederated one of the nearby Skaven minors as well. What about the other ratmen? Well, they’re all under my grubby paws. They’re all allied and ready for confederation, even Lord Skrolk and Clan Pestilens are buddy-buddies with me.
If I do decide to confederate with the largest Skaven minor — that’s Clan Mange which has seven settlements — I might end up stretching my forces too thin. I’ll need to whittle down Itza first so central Lustria can be pacified.
Elsewhere, my Doom Engineer is headed straight to Lothern which is likely to be the most prosperous city in the campaign (at least from experience). I’ll be creating an under-city with a laboratory right under Tyrion’s nose, funneling extra income. Maybe I’ll even build a bomb later on to annihilate his forces.
Quick-Fast Update, Yes-Yes
I got a lucky break when the armies of Itza spotted me in the Underway. Again, Underway battles are very easy due to the extremely high range of your warplock jezzails and frontline mowing via ratling gunners. My artillery packed a punch as well. Ikit Claw and clan rats via The Menace Below spell bunched up enemies just in time for a doomrocket nuke.
Clan Mange turned back its rivals. Clan Pestilens, however, was on the ropes. I confederated with them immediately, and then I went to town on the nearby factions. I also started my first ritual, although the High Elves are on their way to completing theirs. It won’t matter since all of Lustria will soon feel the might of Clan Skryre’s best-brightest Warlock Engineer
Overall, it’s known that the Skaven faction is fun to use in Total War: Warhammer 2. Ikit Claw just takes it a step further. With impressive new ranged units, the Forbidden Workshop, nukes, and lots of explosions, your playstyle will definitely reek of thaggoraki ingenuity. You’ll finally be able to make everything in Total War: Warhammer 2’s campaigns go ka-boom!