Drycha and the Wargrove of Woe bring an interesting twist on the Wood Elves faction. Not only their Elven units are weaker and more expensive, they also lack the most powerful among them altogether. This is supposedly compensated by stronger forest spirits and a variety of feral beasts.
But it sometimes feels like a "community mod" rather than an actual faction, because the tech tree and the skill tree don't reflect that shift. The red line of the skill tree is a copy-paste from generic Wood Elves and still has buffs for units that are not available to this faction (Elven units) but lacks anything to boost the new ones (just one 2-level perk for feral animals). Their regimens of reknown are also mostly Elven units. So basically, when you play the wargrove of Woe, you agree to play a significantly weaker version of wood elves.
If you compare with Arkham the black from the Tomb kings, he has access to vampire counts units as a twist, but he still has access to all the tomb kings units without penalty. So he has a bonus and no real downside to it. Drycha on the other hand has more handicaps than perks. Even though her forest spirits are stronger, they are all just slow melee units vulnerable to fire. And she gives up ranged fire power AND cavalry for a slight boost to monster infantry... her feral beasts are less powerful than the cavalry that they would replace, especially at higher level, considering there are very few ways to "improve" them in late game.
And out of 4 Wood Elves hero classes, she gives up the sorceress, and 2 of the other 3 are archers with a penalty to ranged attacks... On top of it, she can only confederate Durthu. So, she is the weakest of all Wood Elves, in the end. That's sad because evil wood Elves with cool feral beasts and Treemen and Dryads with actual full lores of magic are all such cool aspects of this unique faction.
Also, no, Drycha is not the weakest of the Wood Elves because she gets the faction's best unit at tier 3 with 10% upkeep reduction and a further 20% from one of her offices.
Her Treeman lords and Branchwraiths are just a straight upgrade over the normal ones. The Lore of Life Malevolent Ancient Treeman is, by some margin, the strongest generic lord in the game (A near 10k hitpoint caster lord with regen on his skill tree, 20% physical resist with another 20% on his skill tree, 110 armour, and Frenzy).
I think even with the general nerf to -upkeep skills you can still get Durthu with a full treeman stack and you don't have to pay a penny in upkeep until you have four armies. And even then you're only paying 2%.
In fact, given that they nerfed the Sisters' best trick (the volley of kuornos nuke) and knowledgeable stacking Drycha is probably the strongest Wood Elf faction, maybe one of the strongest factions in the game outright (especially because your early matchups are Vlad and Festus and they're both pretty much hard countered by one treeman with a carpet of dryads). (And if you know how to build a stack, those dryads will be rocking like 70MA on about turn 15)
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This means Drycha's beasts, Rakarth's beasts, Arkhan's vampire count units, Morathi's daemonettes, and so on. The Warriors of Chaos rework presents a good way of doing this, too.
In fact, if every faction's red line choices became things like "buff all melee infantry", "buff all war beasts" and so on, then CA could make it so that even allied units recruited from Outposts could benefit from the red line skills.
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