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In 7th it wasnt because it was impossible to protect... in 8th you can take common items to help protect him and make him really nasty, but whether or not its worth it probably depends on who you play rather then what you play. Against enemies with cannons all dragons in 8th are basically just fodder and are lucky to survive to turn 3, but if you arent playing an enemy with many war machines then it'll be great. Its a relatively cheap dragon and fills a huge hole in the WE army- it can actually deal out large amounts of damage against high T or good AS enemies (shock horror), just try not to get it stuck in huge ranked up units... you may never lose, but you'll never get out of the combat.
 

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In 7th it wasnt because it was impossible to protect... in 8th you can take common items to help protect him and make him really nasty, but whether or not its worth it probably depends on who you play rather then what you play. Against enemies with cannons all dragons in 8th are basically just fodder and are lucky to survive to turn 3, but if you arent playing an enemy with many war machines then it'll be great. Its a relatively cheap dragon and fills a huge hole in the WE army- it can actually deal out large amounts of damage against high T or good AS enemies (shock horror), just try not to get it stuck in huge ranked up units... you may never lose, but you'll never get out of the combat.
Stone of the Crystal Mere helps (3+ Ward for rider and bearer until failed).

Fimbulwinter Shard is good if you can keep it hidden until it can charge, -1 to hit in Close Combatfor bearer and mount.

The Breath weapon was never the dragons selling point, but the fact that it's now only a once per game thing sort of spoils it's effectiveness.

Merciws Locus is also a funny one. It stops weapons like Javelins, Great Weapons and halberds striking you at bonus strengths. However, it states model, and as model includes rider and mount, then theoretically, the dragon is immune to Strength bonuses as well. If you take a Potion of Strength, that bypasses the Locus' restriction (weapons only).

Personally, I'd take:
Highborn, Dragon, Merciws Locus, Potion of Strength, Helm of the Hunt, Sword of Strife.

Although forgoing the Annoyance as is usual kit, this allows you 7 S7 Attacks on the charge, and 5 S6 Attacks from the Dragon. Bear in mind the potion is one use only, and you don't have a ward save/regen.



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The problem you're going to face is cannons. Even with a 3+ ward save, you make one save against the cannon first, and if you fail, the wounds multiply. This makes each cannon shot deadly about half the time, since cannons that hit the dragon will automatically hit the rider as well.

Personally, I wouldn't use characters that ride on monsters at all, but if you do, make sure you have at least one other monster in the list, to hide behind.
 

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Cannons are more than ever reliably ways to nuke a dragon, be glad the WE dragon gets a 3+ ward, my beloved chaos dragon doesn't even get that :(.

S4 breath weapons are nasty as all hell, they'll wipe out most of a T3 unit, don't underestimate them, yes once a game, but now they work in combat AND shooting.

That said, monsters were very difficult to use even in 7th edition, now it's even harder, but can be very deadly never the less.

Any solid objects stop a cannonball now, so if you're flush against a building, the cannon can't get you, even if it can see your head/wing etc. Other monsters also stop the cannon if they survive(for me it's a warshrine because it's survivable, but other things work just as well, depending, thinking hydra here).

The biggest asset from a dragon is the model is BIG and SCARY, people will ruin their plan, panicking about knocking the dragon out, it's other asset is being able to strike anywhere on the battlefield, for example versus lizardmen you can fly overhead and knock the slaan out early on in the game.

That said, monsterous mounts have never been very newbie friendly (in spite of being very attractive to a new player) so be careful if you want one and be ready to watch it die....a lot.
 

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If the Cannonball doesn't kill the dragon it wont hit the rider though surely.

Cannonballs stop when they hit Monsters and don't kill them, it will hit the monster first tracing the template along the line of the shot.

Is that not how it works?

Aramoro
 

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Yeah, thats good advice- if you are going to take a dragon then treekin should be an automatic choice- you can put the dragon behind them and can still charge over... but any cannon eitehr has to be incredibly accurate to miss the treekin or lucky enough to wound it, avoid its 5++ and then kill it outright in 1 hit (28% chance or something) otherwise the shot is blocked. If you really wanted to survive then just put a 2*2 block of treekin in front.

Crystal mere is awsome, but not against things like cannons... 1 cannon hit and you'll be very very lucky to pass both saves (44% chance). Failing the dragons save would be painful and could kill it, failing the lords save means he's pretty likely to be dead, and then the save is utterly gone so wont help against other cannons or the same one next round.

@Aramoro- yeah, cannonballs stop when they dont kill a monster (or monstrous infantry/beast), but when they hit a base they hit everything on that base. Nothing says what order they are hit in so you cant really claim that the dragon is hit first (the shot might just go through the rider before it even touches the dragon).
 

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Cannons count as tempate attacks (albeit very tiny templates, only the size of the cannonball itself). When template attacks hit a monster with riders, it hits both the monster and everything riding it, so the cannon hits the rider as well as the dragon itself, regardless of whether the dragon makes its save.
 

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Truthfully, taking a couple nobles with some of the magic weapons will serve you better (particularly the bows!). I've seen the dragon loadout be killy, but never more killy than a couple cheap heros/lords.

aesthetically, nothing is more pleasing that a beautiful-stompy dragon. So it is really your call on which to field.
 
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