EDIT: the ruling is in. See Valander’s comment here. (sorry, that link went to the wrong page; fixed now)
I pride myself on knowing the rules of Warmachine/Hordes pretty well; I field a lot of questions during the weekly WM night at our local shop, and I spent a good deal of time in the rules forum. So I was kind of excited when a situation came up that I had no clear answer to. This came up in a game I was playing wednesday; running a Bethayne-led Legion army against a player with prey. We wondered what would happen if prey was put on Bethayne, and then at some point she used Flesh Meld to enter Belphagor. Flesh Meld effectively removes Bethayne from table (but importantly, not from play), and Prey moves to a new target when the previous target is ‘destroyed’ or ‘removed from play’. Since Flesh Meld triggers neither of those conditions, one of two things must happen:
- Bethayne remains the prey, despite not being on the table.
- Prey is treated as an effect, and transfers to Belphagor when Bethayne melds.
Both have interesting ramifications. On the one hand, if Bethayne remains the prey, it is one of the few cases where a prey-targetted model can effectively neuter the benefits of that ability. Bethayne could, and often does, spend most of the game inside Belphagor and undermine the ‘hunter’ model. On the other hand, if it is an effect and transfers to Belphagor, Bethayne could effectively force the ‘hunter’ model to change his prey target by melding with Belphagor, and exiting during the next turn. Since Flesh Meld says nothing about retuning effects to the warlock model on exit, Belphagor would remain the prey. Either way, it appears Bethayne has a way to really mess with prey.
Highly situational? Yes, but I really enjoy thinking about this kind of stuff. I finally asked the question on the Privateer Press forums last night. I assumed somebody had run into this before, but to my surprise, no one had a clear answer (although people had good explanations). Valander stepped in, and it appears he has to take this one straight to the developers, so I was a bit excited to see my scenario wasn’t easily answered (sure made me feel better not knowing it myself). It will be interesting to see a ruling, although I suspect Bethayne will remain the prey when she melds.