What do you mean by "anchor?" are you referring to screens or units that you might build a list around? Minion units generally range from fairly fragile to completely average in terms of survivability. Even gatormen suffer as without the extra health and snacking from the blindwater theme they are average in terms of medium infantry defenses (they do still hit hard, just don't expect them to take much a punch back). Instead you'd want to try to stop your opponent from hitting your army as much as you can. In addition to normal use of terrain you can do this with clouds. The ubiquitous swamp gobber bellows crew probably don't need any explanation, but husks are also valuable. The cloud husks make when they die is a hazard and lasts a round, so you can kill them yourself on your own turn with shooting to drop clouds. Also while the initial husk explosion can hurt your models, the text for the lasting hazard states that only enemy models are damaged by it, so you can walk into the cloud without fear of losing your single wound models. Farrow valkyires are also decent at protecting key models on the way in, and if at least 2 are still alive they hit quite hard in melee when they make it there. Your other options include jamming your opponent for a critical turn and bogtrog ambushers and swamp shamblers are good at this.
For shooting minion's best choices are brigands and croak raiders. Brigands already hit harder than average for a ranged unit (melee pow 10/ shooting pow 12) that gets better with a warlord (prey can now conditionally make that 12/14). If you throw in a task master, which you should even just for no sleeping on the job, the +2 str buff takes them to 14/14 against their prey target. Finally if you are playing Morg 2 or Xekaar you can get them up to 16/16 with mortality which is great for a 10 man + UA unit. Their average gun range of 10' is partially mitigated by having reposition so terrain pending you can walk forward and shoot then back up either into concealment/cover or out of LoS all together. Keep in mind that any opponent who knows what they can do with the hog wild order will make it difficult to get a chance to use it. Hog Wild is one of those abilities where you use it as the opportunity presents itself rather than trying to make it happen. Brigands are prone to being jammed by chaff and they aren't any tougher than other infantry in the game meaning they will get massacred if anti-infantry tech catches them in the open. Also prey and reposistion are both granted by the warlord, meaning that if you lose him you lose a lot of that unit's utility.
Croaks on the other hand are a dedicated shooting unit, and can hit quite a bit harder. The obvious synergies still apply here so their oil gourd + mortality (oddly enough their darts are not thrown weapons so the task master's str buff doesn't help their shooting) makes them a 10 man unit, minus the ones throwing gourds, of boosted power 13s with continuous fire. One thing most people might not realize looking at them is that the oil rule lasts for a round and not a turn, so the continuous fire roll is also boosted. Like brigands they are not durable, and their darts deal fire damage meaning that fire immune and alcehmically treated models will reduce the number of viable targets in some match ups.
Honorable mention go to the scouts. At 6 pts the efaarit scouts are expensive but pack a really strong gun and at spd 9 they can run to contest a scenario as well when needed. Rng 12 and repo 5 should keep them relatively safe.
As far as ranged warbeasts go minions tend to bring a lot of aoes. In fact the only non aoe shooting attack on minions warbeasts that you can take in DoA are sprays from the road hog and dracodile. Similar to brigands, minion shooting beasts are competent in melee too so you can still crack armor even after being engaged. All of them are ones you might consider if you were looking to buy some minion beasts, but the cannoneer, cyclops raider/shaman, and sentinels can do just as well in this regard and minion shooting beasts aren't necessary.
I feel like most of the support in DoA is self explanatory: the task masters, bellows crew/husks, the bog trog mistspeaker and the usual skorne options like beastmasters, agonizers, and kreas are all staples but you must choose wisely as you won't have the points for all of them. Croc pots will help your army while feeding any shambler units and boneswarms you might bring, but aren't worth it if you don't take either of those units. The blindwalker can help you warlocks by channeling. He's also arm 20 with shield guard so can take a hit or two. There is not a lot of base anti-magic tech in DoA so Orin, Eilish, or even a thrullg can help you keep spells off your models. Gremlin swarms are available in this theme too so they are a great option for contesting scenario for a critical turn or two.
What casters are you considering? This can make some slight differences in what you choose. Nareesh can actually make the nihilators do decent with blur for the delivery and tough to give a small bump in survivability.
Brigands, 2 min units with UA, in morg2 are pretty good shooting platforms for him, mortality and prey mean they can kill quite a bit.
Ok, so because of the way the theme is written, there's really only 2 decent casters for DoA:
Morgul2 and Morgul3. And both casters are absolutely better in other themes. So you pretty much will be ham stringing yourself competitively. Which is that is fine for you, I'd move on to consider one of the following two list basises:
1. Infantry based, using minions infantry backed up by Taskmasters, backed up by the very very good Bloodrunners. This usually boils down to, again, playing Morgul2 or 3. 2 is better, especially with his strong anti infantry feat and Mortality, but the idea of consistently blinding entire units every turn is very strong also.
2. Janky beasts list running all the crazy combinations of animii you can get, and simply accepting the fact that you will be playing significant points down. Given this approach, Morgul1 or Naaresh are your best choices. Given how Naaresh wants a big beast list, I'd say he is worse suited for this. Morgul1 however can really only boost a few beasts at a time, so I'd go this route.
I've played DoA many times with Morg2. It's super fun, mostly because of how awesome Bloodrunners are with him and how channeling through Blindwalkers and the combo of Primal/Rage on Incorporeal Archidons is.
Primal in skorne is sooooo fun. I prefer it over rage, but a 5 str swing is not to be scoffed at.
If you want to try a fun list with morg1 that's very beast heavy, grab some of those battle box savages, some shaman, beast handlers, and a wrastler. Use the savages like heat seeking missiles. Abuse, enrage, then rage. 7 point strength buff on a future sight model with reach. You can reliably do that to two savages a turn, charging for free with 13 inch threat. Unfortunately, it's a one trick pony and people will play around it. But boy is it fun to do.
Just so you are aware, primal only affects living models so it wont work on your boneswarms if that was your intention. Also if you are taking 2 swarms and no bokor/shambles you probably only need 1 cauldron. The witch doctors ghostly ability only works on friendly faction, so it wont work on the warbeasts as they lose the minion tags and become skorne in this theme. Death ride might be worth it if you are running multiple swarms but you dont have a lot of good targets for sac strikes.
Want to give a special shout-out to the splatter boar animus on a Mammoth. Under Morghoul2, it's bonkers deadly, and he likes the arc node to boot. Elasticity is also interesting, but I find keeping the beast stable to a minimum is best in DoA. Unless you're Naareah.
Mammoth and splatter boar is neat, but it's so hard to justify running all the beasts that sound fun. Morg wants Sprint from whatever source necessary, as well as the fun from primal. Rush. Etc.
For my Morghoul2 DoA lists, I find if I take the Mammoth, I have to choose between the Blindwalker, or Arcidon. If I don't, then I need to choose two from there aforementioned, and a Swamp Horror.
It really comes down to what do you want Morghoul to personally do. If I'm just slinging Mortality until I come forward and feat, and makes sure I kill everything that can shake Blind, no Sprint needed.
Way it turned out for me, I have two Morghoul2 lists. One with the Mammoth being central to the plan, and another infantry based with the croc pots and shamblers. In that one, I use the Arcidon for sure.
That's a good way of looking at things. I always try to jam everything I want into one list and I should probably split it into two. I prefer slinging mortality so I should drop the archidon, because mortality plus the prey from the brigands catch a lot of people off guard. What's a typical list for you?