My skills at creating images for the blog knows no bounds.
One of the unfortunate realities of writing content for a game that changes as fast as Warhammer Underworlds is that your content ages quicker then a block of cheese left out in the sun. For this article I am going to update two of my most successful decks for use with the latest cards and FAQ/Errata changes. In this case ‘successful’ is judged by how many people have privately told me(we do listen), through various communication channels, that they have personally enjoyed and/or won glass with. So this is less about what I have necessarily done well with but more about decks that have translated well to the rest of the community.
Of course I’ve won glass with both of those decks as well but thats not hard is it 😉
To reiterate the mid-range term, that I have nicked from magic and am attempting to shove into the Warhammer Underworlds lexicon, refers to decks that start a game by playing in a defensive/control style but then shift gears into an aggro play style later. You could call these decks aggro flex as well if you wanted but I think my term is a tad more precise.
If you didn’t read the articles the first time around this is the first one chronologically and is all about Magore’s Fiends while this details the Steelheart Champions deck. Both articles contain a bunch of advice on how to play the decks that you should read if you intend on giving them a try. For those who have already read the articles you shouldn’t need to open them again – I will be popping the original lists below.
The Surgical Steel Heart’s
This was the original deck from back in the day.
Well, right off the bat it seems we are using one too many restricted cards now a days, I’ll take that as a good sign that we were correctly using the most powerful cards but it does mean something needs to be cut. As the deck works from only securing a couple of kills I think that Tome of Offerings is the easy cut. Its crazy that it was good enough to go in this deck to begin with, that card was fully justified in being restricted. There are also a few objectives in there that can be tricky to score, Digging Deep requires a lot of effort to pull off and I remember Lightning Strikes being very tricky because you often don’t attack with a charge, instead using one of the many movement ploys to close the distance with your opponent.
After much deliberation and pontification I finally settled on the beauty below:
If you would like to play around with the deck yourself then you can here
In total that’s 3 objective cards changed and 3 power cards. Three objectives is quite a lot, that’s a quarter of the entire deck. I’m actually really happy with the objective changes, I think it has made the deck even more viable, lets go over then one by one.
- Shortcut – this card was almost printed for this deck, its a score immediately that you have three separate triggers for, being Hidden Paths/Illusory Fighter/Shadowed Step. This card replaces Lightning Strikes, for the reasons stated above I wasn’t finding it reliable enough to score.
- Calculated Risk – the downside of taking a wound on one of your fighters is negated by the fact that you play far back normally, it certainly restricts your board choices to ones with lethal hexes but I consider the payout to be worth it, just be careful who and where you put that wound on. This objective replaces the resource intensive Digging Deep.
- Opening Gambit – we now have 5 score immediately cards in the deck so this becomes pretty easy to score, it replaces Solid Gains as I consider it more reliable at this threshold.
The new objective deck has the same glory total but scores much easier then before, this is a straight upgrade in every sense of the word.
For power cards I made these changes:
- Upper Hand – this card is going into every single deck I make that ever wants to make attacks. Did you know that if you roll 0 successes on your attack then your opponent still has to roll defence dice and that if they roll nothing you can use this card to hit them? This card is ridiculously good, I would actually take it over Tireless Assault if I had to choose between the two. Luckily I didn’t and could instead drop Duel of Wits from the power deck. Duel of Wits is a solid card but the problem is you often only draw with it in the 3rd or 4th activation within a round, by which point the cards are not useful.
- Spiritbond – Helpful Whispers but it also works on defence dice and has the technical downside of if everyone in your warband besides one fighter is dead its useless. Whenever the next FAQ comes out expect this card to be restricted faster then a CHAV being kicked out of a high class establishment. It takes up the Tome of Offerings slot.
- Prized Vendetta – this card is Fuelled by Fury in an upgrade slot. Fuelled by Fury is one of the best ploys around and found in many top decks, even if you only get to use this effect once its 100% worth it. Sorry Total Offence you were giving about the same advantage but were much more restrictive about it, you’re out.
With these changes I am happy to say that I am really confident in recommending this deck to anyone and that I honestly expect it to do pretty well at most local tournament level. You could even potentially take it to a Grand Clash but I’d heavily advise play testing a bunch and tweaking it to your own unique play-style.
Mid Range Magore’s
The original Warhammer Underworlds Mid Range deck.
I have a confession to make.
I couldn’t update this list.
I really tried.
Allow me to explain (ahem craft an excuse): the default defensive play-style that allows these type of decks to do so well and ‘power up’ into their aggro phase is much harder to pull off these days. When the deck was first made Mollog and the Guardian’s did not exist, both of which are impossible to hide from and will be forcing you to fight right away from turn 1. Both of those warbands are also very meta right now meaning that you will likely play against them at tournaments. If you try the old rope-a-dope that this play-style wants to do against Mollog then you will find yourself staring up from the floor of the arena wondering how you got there.
That’s not to say the defensive play-style is dead, or that Mid Range decks can’t still employ these tricks, I mean I just made a Steelheart’s deck up above that I am confident will work. It’s just that Fiends don’t have the tools to pull it off, they lack decent passive objectives for their warband and having 4 fighters just gives your opponent more ways to attack. Losing the amazing objective Extreme Flank certainly didn’t help here either.
So instead I created this monstrosity:
If you wish to experiment with the aggro themed deck presented above then you can here
Oh god that hurt.
The deck is entirely aggro.
With the meta as it is and the cards at the Fiends disposal I honestly think that this is the best way to play the warband. Having a 3rd way to inspire your fighters in Blazing Soul is an amazing boost to Fiends and Inspired Attack is another incredible card that they can use. I think Fiends in general have actually gained a lot from Power Unbound and that decks like this might see them become top tier again. I don’t like this play-style myself though. It’s so easy to get to 4 damage with these cards and you have a ton of ways to trigger My Turn for extra attacks. I could put out my best effort to update the decks original play-style to new cards/BAR restrictions but I don’t want to recommend anything that I think is bad and honestly right now I can’t make a modern version of that deck that isn’t bad.
The Steel City crew are currently spending a lot of time per week practicing for the big 2 day Grand Clash coming up soon and we like to try building decks for every warband we are likely to play against. None of us were considering playing this deck but its been doing damn well in our sessions and its tempting me over to the dark side…
So there you go, one successful update and one er… well technically it got updated. Both of these decks I gave lists for should be good to use until the next set of cards/updates and I expect that to be quite a while (maybe a whole 3 months).
Some of the new cards I put in don’t have official images available yet as the official library has not been updated. If you wish to read reviews of the new cards then I recommend this article from John at canourrollacrit or this article from Aman over at hexesandwarbands.
For ourselves we will wait until the official images are available before we do our review of all the new cards. If you do want to hear my views on a mix of the new cards and the FAQ changes then pop a listen to the latest Battle for Salvation podcast – I managed to get on another one 🙂
Now that the game is in a stable place for a medium amount of time you might also start to see a fair bit of content from Steel City with warbands reviews of all 16 factions…
Watch this space.
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