REVA CORTINAS is a master for the RESURRECTIONISTS faction with a distinct love for COVERING the board in markers. Hope you have a TON of 50mm Pyre Markers and 30mm Corpse Markers, because she uses all of them! As one of the premier “ranged” Masters for a very melee heavy faction, and a frankly absurd number of mobility tricks, Reva has a threat range that can span the entire board if it’s set up correctly.
There are two main ways to build a Reva list. One focuses on the Burning condition, setting up as many Pyres as possible and leveraging both the Burning on yourself AND your enemies to gain as much of an advantage as possible.
The other focuses on the Corpses, using her amazing interactions with corpses (including free CORPSE CANDLEs every turn) to leverage the Resurrectionist faction’s tremendous synergy with them.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to leverage both strengths; however, usually these are the main two things you declare Reva Cortinas for.
The number one thing to say with Malifaux Burns, is that both Reva 1 and Reva 2 are VERY able to perform the “Burning” list’s win condition. However, Reva 2 (REVA CORTINAS - LUMINARY) is generally better equipped to leverage the terrain advantage, with her Pyre Markers being useful the MOMENT they spawn, rather than as continuous threats.
REVA CORTINAS has a few tricks to make the Burning win condition work very well for her; the biggest, however, is Channeled Flame. Running the Burning win condition on Reva is a little unintuitive, in the sense that your goal is usually not to spam Burning on your enemies, but on your friends. With Channeled Flame, you can make her HIGHLY impactful melee Ethereal Reaping incredibly reliable, and use it for defense if enemies try to pressure you too heavily. In Addition, Embrace the Flames makes it so if any of your models aren’t dead, they’re often healed to full very rapidly provided your Burning values are high enough. Much more terrifying, however, is the sheer threat range she has with Ethereal Reaping. Measuring it from any Corpse marker, and having a 7 inch move, means if you set up a corpse ahead of yourself, you can cover half of the board to stab someone with a min 3. The Unquiet Dead action allows you to pulse out a massive amount of hand pressure if your enemies group around a Pyre marker, and if they don’t, your heavy hitting melee damage can kill most singled out targets.
REVA CORTINAS - LUMINARY is far more aggressive with Burning, though she still enjoys placing it on Friendly models with abilities like Visions of Fire, to heal any friends that take burning. However, with Lantern’s Light into Immolate, she is more focused on scorching the enemies to an early (and explosive) demise, using Unending Flame to get herself a Lampad for her troubles. While she has lost her old + flips, she has the ability to kill friendly models to reduce damage to 0. New Reva is much more about controlling the board; the ability to push all nearby models every time a Pyre marker is placed, combined with her ability to put out heals and damage constantly, means she’s reliably shifting people around and altering the board state to her advantage. In addition, Through the Embers trigger on Fan the Flames allows her to control where things go even more. Reva 2 is far more focused on controlling the map through Burning, and while she lost much of her direct threat range, her ability to position friendly threats more than makes up for it. Remember that when she kills a friendly with Enkindle the Cult, it triggers Funeral Pyres, allowing her to push out of harms way (and probably heal)!
CORPSE CANDLEs don’t look like much on paper. With 2s across defense, willpower, and health, they die to almost every single attack in the game, with no hope to resist. Coupled with only one attack that even has a CHANCE to really impact the game (Death Urge), a first glance tells you very little about why they’re so essential to BOTH Reva’s win conditions. The key is that they’re a RESOURCE, more than a model. You can activate them similarly to a pass token to skip activating anything that really matters. You summon one at the start of Reva’s activation every turn, unless you’ve been REALLY struggling to put out Pyres and Corpses in that game. When they die, they drop both a new Corpse Marker, AND a Pyre Marker. They arrive with Burning 1, which BOTH Revas can use as a resource. And, most importantly, they count as Corpse Markers. For all purposes, these are a MINDLESS ZOMBIE on steroids. Mobile corpses that explode into huge balls of fire when they die, all while fueling your crew’s most devastating attacks and abilities. In addition, while Death Urge on its own is nothing to write home about, giving out more annoying ping damage (and potentially the Stunned condition) can be a surprise cripple to some models, especially when it’s often done as part of an activation you’re using to just pass the turn.
There are two fundamental parts to a Reva win condition. Corpses, and Burning. If you’re looking to focus more on Corpses, then Reva 1 is likely going to help you more. If you’re looking to focus more on Burning, then Reva 2 is by far your best bet. This will go through each of her keyword models (and some honorable mentions OoK) and which strategy they go well with.
VINCENT ST. CLAIR is her 9 stone henchman, with a lot of useful tools. 6/7 df/wp, Rapid Fire with a respectable ranged attack, Hard to Wound (with the tremendous amount of heals in keyword), and Agile if people try to keep him from shooting. Couple all this with the Exorcism trigger to instantly delete summoned models, a bonus action for free shielded, and ways to push Pyre Markers aggressively, Vincent seems like an excellent take. On paper, he is. In practice, he’s often slow. Average movement and having to sit back to use his initial tools like Cremation means he is often left behind the otherwise VERY rapid crew. In addition, while Rapid Fire is very strong, it’s in a keyword that’s VERY card hungry- most of Revenant’s most fun effects are attached to triggers or “discard a card”s, and with no in keyword or versatile card draw available to them, it can be costly to attach even more models that need it. For 9 stones, he’s far from a bad package, but be sure you already know what you want out of him. He’s far from a model that should be taken “because they’re good in general.” (Overall, far better for the Burning win condition; the ability to push pyre markers into the enemy with every shot, and another access to Cremation, lets you keep the board covered in fire much more effectively. Remember that using Cremation on a Corpse Candle places TWO Pyre Markers. One for the Cremation action, and one for the Corpse Candle’s Demise ability!)
WANYUDO is a 7 stone Versatile borrowed from the Ten Thunders. His use is deceptive. He’s a fantastic piece, but only if you use him for a very different reason than his card seems to be built for. While Wanyudo looks like he wants to dive through as many enemies as possible, spreading burning and constant AoE damage in his wake, he’s far too squishy to survive long doing so. Besides, he has a more important job. With 7 movement, Mobile Warrior, and the ability to Push 5” every time he hits someone with his melee (and remember, he can target allies for said melee if need be), the Wanyudo is an EXCELLENT sidelines scheme runner. He’s able to run up one side of the map, running THROUGH any opposition scheme runners or models they position to stop him, and score your points from an absolutely ABSURD distance away. So while most of his tricks seem focused on the Burning win condition, he’s actually designed for either option; anytime you need an incredibly fast scheming threat, the Wanyudo is a solid consideration.
DEACON HILLCREST, the new Malifaux Burns Wildfire/Revenant Enforcer, is a very strange package. Blaze of Glory is helpful, and Flare Up can single-handedly make an otherwise unwinnable game become VERY favorable with good positioning. In addition, Translocation Ritual, Flame Blast, and Call to the Burning Man are all premium actions, many with premium triggers. However, all of these come with two fundamental issues. ONE is, Deacon is a squishy squishbean. With the tanking capability of a Bayou Gremlin in Hazardous, he dies to being looked at funny. His only real defensive trick is Manipulative, and with 5/4 defensive stats, this is frequently not enough. In addition, he shares the Vincent problem; slow, and many of his best tricks require SPECIFIC cards to do. However, unlike Vincent, he’s NOT able to spend soulstones to guarantee the things you want to accomplish. While Shieldbearers help him with the first issue of being hard to defend, Revenant as a whole greatly suffers from the second problem. Like Vincent, he can be TREMENDOUSLY powerful for the Burning win condition, but make sure you know EXACTLY what you want out of him when you hire him.
RESTLESS SPIRIT is a cheap, 4 stone enforcer. He doesn’t have a ton of tools, though for only four stones, this is far from surprising. However, what he does have, he’s VERY good at. With Incorporeal and 5 movement, the Restless Spirit can be a surprise scoring threat if your enemy doesn’t look for it. Giving Shielded for free when he walks can be amazing, especially when his actions are usually spent solely on General actions anyway. Most essentially, he has one of the best Grave Robber stats in the game, at stat 7. An absolute must take if you want to focus on the Corpses win condition; a cheap model that can toss a corpse exactly where you need it can be the deciding factor between a decisive victory and a crushing defeat, sometimes.
LAMPADs are 8 stone minions, with a good bit of mobility and burning pressure with Hovering Flame. If sitting in Pyre markers, the Lampads can be VERY difficult to kill, both through their Demise and through the Flaming Body ability. However, at 4/5 defensive stats, and requiring to discard a card when they “die”, they can be a tad vulnerable. In addition, if your enemy shoves them away from their Pyres, they can crumble QUICKLY to their lackluster stats. Reva 2 can summon them, though otherwise I’d never bring more than one. One can be very valuable for both the Burning win condition, and specific jobs like kicking Break the Line markers or claiming schemes like Catch and Release. Hiring more than one, however, is far too resource intensive for an 8 stone model.
SHIELDBEARERs are the bread and butter of the crew. Absolutely fantastic minions at 6 stones, they make the entire rest of the keyword function, regardless of the win condition you want to focus on. Blasphemous Ritual allows them to spend the plentiful Corpse Markers you can put out for a huge pulse of Focused for the crew. Armor 1, Hard to Kill, constant Shielded access, and dozens of incidental ping heals mean they can be outright OBNOXIOUS to keep down, and can take far longer than they should to kill properly. Most essentially, they have Take the Hit, in a crew with countless high priority but low survivability models. All of those survival tricks mean they can keep models like Reva, Hillcrest, or Vincent alive, far past their proper time, unless you’re fighting HEAVY blast damage crews. And then, as icing on the cake, they can use Shield Slam to control model positioning. If they get the Knock Aside trigger, they can push someone a total of 6 inches in a single action across two different moves, likely through Pyre markers to help load up the burning! Shieldbearers are PHENOMENAL models, and at least one should be stapled to every Reva crew.
DRAUGRs have exactly one job. They hit. They hit VERY hard. And most games, they hit ONCE. With Blaze of Glory on an axe that can have VERY punishing high rolls, and Draw Off Flame to give them a TREMENDOUS threat range, Draugr usually get one (or, if they’re lucky, MAYBE two) turns to wreak absolute HAVOC on the enemy team. After that… Their average defensive stats and AMAZING offensive abilities usually mean one thing. The moment the enemy CAN delete them, the enemy DOES delete them. If you’re bringing a Draugr, do NOT expect the model to make it to turn 3. However, sometimes you don’t need it to. If you need to just absolutely annihilate an unarmored target early game, a Draugr can be a solid investment. They work equally well with either win condition, though you usually want at least one friendly model with Burning ahead of them so they can Draw Off Flame out of the deployment zone.
MOURNERs are a strange package borrowed from Redchapel. While you don’t have much in keyword to make Weeping Widow a significant threat, Mourn the Dead can turn them into a proper scoring threat for schemes like Detonate Charges, and Scarlet Temptation has the potential to turn actions like Reva’s The Unquiet Dead from an annoyance to an absolute bloodbath. Overall, Mourn the Dead and Recent Funeral allows them to help set up the Corpses win condition far better, but like most Revenant models, Mourners should only be hired if they have a specific job. They’re far from breaking the game.
I often consider Reva the “Ressers versatiles” master for her Corpse versatility. While most of her keyword models are niche and strange, every single RESURRECTIONISTS model that “just needs way too many corpses to really be effective” gets a chance to shine brilliantly when Reva is put to the table. Here I have some honorable mentions/personal favorites, but there are a LOT of options for a creative individual.
BêTE NOIRE: The Redchapel Enforcer might as well have Revenant stapled onto her keywords. Scarlet Temptation works just as well on her as it does the Mourners, but also, she gives the Corpses win conditions some MASSIVE threat. With a constant stream of Corpses to remove for free charges, and the ability to unbury from just about anywhere on the map, Bete is an absolute star when taken by Reva Cortinas. Anything from a significant murder threat, to an absolutely impossible to stop scheme runner.
CORPSE CURATOR: Another newcomer from Malifaux Burns, and one that Reva loves with plentiful gusto. For all the reasons that one might expect, the ability to have more models to treat as Corpse markers is something Reva adores. However, Corpse Curator also gets the added bonus of the Dredge Up ability, which it can use aggressively on her Pyre markers to severely hinder enemy movement and decision making.
GRAVE GOLEM: At 10 stones, the Grave Golem is often seen as a clunky package for most crews, not worth hiring. Not Reva, however. His Hurl Corpse action can be used to throw Corpse Candles as well as regular corpse markers, and it doesn’t even need to HIT to accomplish its main goal! On top of that, with how many corpses Reva can have out, it’s next to impossible to kill him without outright ignoring his Demise ability. While not an auto-include, the Grave Golem is a beauty of a model for Reva 1, able to ENSURE she has a solid attack vector with her Ethereal Reaping.