The time has come at last after FaR too long. The new Forsaken and Restricted list has been released and its FaR longer than any before. Looking through it i’m quite happy with changes and i’m sure its going to have FaR reaching affects on the meta. Without further ado lets get into the meat of my favourite FaR list by FaR!
Extreme Flank (NIghtvault #317)
Aggressive Defence (Nightvault #391)
Keep Them Guessing (Nightvault #340)
Upper Hand (Power Unbound #48)
Hunter’s Reflexes (Beastgrave #403)
Acolyte of the Katophranes (Nightvault #291)
Calculated Risk (Nightvault #302
Combination Strike (Nightvault #305)
Loner (Nightvault #342)
Longstrider (Nightvault #343)
Opening Gambit (Nightvault #357)
Sorcerous Scouring (Nightvault #371)
Pit Trap (Nightvault #436)
Sphere of Aqshy (Nightvault #451)
Transfixing Stare (Nightvault #467)
Archer’s Focus (Nightvault #476)
Slumbering Key (Nightvault #539)
Sudden Growth (Nightvault #543)
Tome of Offerings (Nightvault #550)
Tome of Vitality Nightvault #551)
Well of Power (Nightvault #557)
Burst of Speed (Power Unbound #25)
Warning Shot (Power Unbound #36)
Sorcerous Flourish (Power Unbound #46)
Blazing Soul (Power Unbound #49)
Spiritbond (Power Unbound #57)
Scrum (Beastgrave #299)
Temporary Victory (Beastgrave #308)
Rebound (Shadespire Gift Pack #21)
Cryptic Companion (Beastgrave #393)
Frenzied Search (Beastgrave #341)
Nightmare in the Shadows (Beastgrave #359)
Restless Prize (Beastgrave #363)
Survival Instincts (Beastgrave #431)
Trophy Belt (Beastgrave #434)
Restricted (Faction Specific)
Harness the Storm (Nightvault #4)
Thorns Of The Briar Queen
Sudden Appearance (Nightvault #47)
In the Name of the King (Beastgrave #71)
Shifting Madness (Beastgrave #76)
Lady Harrows Mournflight
One Will (Champions of Dreadfane #42)
Unexpected Cunning (Beastgrave #172)
Toughened Hide (Beastgrave #191)
Thorns of the Briar Queen – Varclav
Change Varclav’s action on both sides of the fighter card to read:
‘Action: Push all friendly Chainrasps up to 2 hexes. This fighter can only make this action once per round.’
Purple marks a change
Cards in bold are new additions.
Cards that are
struck through have been removed from the FaR list
Get it gone! (✓)
The only card from the list to be Forsaken is Hunter’s Reflexes. The purpose of this card was to allow lots of extra movement in some very niche situations. The concept was that you make a high priority target a quarry and Hunter’s Reflexes allows you to advance on them when activated. In theory this is a nice idea, that is too difficult to pull off for it to be of real use. In practice Hrothgorn exists. Equipped to the MK2. Big Boi, Hunter’s Reflexes means that if your opponent decides they actually want to play the game one of the scariest fighters will be lumbering towards you at a startling pace. If this wasn’t bad enough, if you ever want to make a reaction after your activation, think again. Hrothgorn will say nope, and use Hunter’s Reflexes to block any play you had planned!
The current meta is dominated with Hrothgorn, and this is one of the free tools that he gets to let him stomp around the board without paying a price for it. It’s an extremely powerful effect that may as well be printed as a warband only upgrade, as it is of next to no use to any other warband. On top of this the way it breaks the game in the reaction window makes the card far (ha) too egregious to exist.
I think this card is the definition of what the Forsaken list exists for. It allows the removal of cards that have far (no pun intended) too much power attached to them in very particular cases, as well as eliminating effects that are adverse to the core game rules. In this case Hunter’s Reflexes fits into both categories, and therefore had to find itself got gone.
Tom: It’ll be nice actually being able to use cards like duelists speed and unstoppable tread against Hrothgorn now.
Mike: This is the first in a series of nerfs targeted at the inferior big boi, and I couldn’t be happier.
I have very mixed feelings here. I like seeing it gone, but I don’t think it solves anything (?)
Since the introduction of the surge keyword Combination Strikes has been a staple card in a lot of decks. It’s a quintessential win more card. You score 2 of your surges, you draw into Combination strike, you score two glory. Simple.
This never happens. It will rear its ugly head in a dead opening hand, and brick you. Failing that it will sit happily at the bottom of your deck waiting for you to score all your surges, then force you to waste an activation. But don’t worry, your opponent is guaranteed the dream scenario above, just to kick you in the teeth.The problem with this card is that it is such high variance. No matter what, the six surge limit means the Combination Strikes will sometimes just not work out.
This begs the question ‘Why is it being restricted then? You have just argued that actually it’s pretty balanced.’ This is true. That problem comes that everyone and their dog takes this card, because the potential pay off is just so damn high. It’s not healthy for the game to have a card that can be run on both sides of a game, and yet have such different effects for each player based purely on the order they shuffled the deck. ‘But if that is the problem, just take something else.’ This is a reasonable point, Great Gains is a reasonable alternative, many people are moving to. It does much the same job, but can be scored with kills and end phase glory.
Here lies my problem with the restriction. It doesn’t really do anything. People will just pivit over to Great Gains, and we will be in the exact same boat, where we have one objective that while not always consistent, it just has too much upside, and no real alternative. Overall I love seeing Combination Strikes go, but I honestly can’t see the change having much impact.
Tom: As Oli has said Combination Strike sometimes required less work than a 1 glory end phase, and sometimes felt impossible to score. It completely depended on when you drew it. The reason it was taken so universally wasn’t because this made it a very powerful card, it’s just there are so few good end phase cards very little came close to this. Now everyone will probably just take the next best end phase card – Great Gains. If that gets restricted we will have “fun” finding the best of the remaining bad bunch.
Mike: Combination Strikes is the type of card that shouldn’t exist in the game and I am happy it is being restricted because of it’s high variance. I am worried that some deck builds will suffer with this going though, as Tom has said, Beastgrave really lacks end phase glory, this could just exasperate that issue.
Again this feels more of a symptom than a problem. It’s removal is healthy however (✓)
Combination Strike-light here, and sometimes it turns out small is best. This card gets you a glory in the end phase for scoring a surge objective during the previous round. 90% of the time this is going to happen. You take 6 surges in the current meta, because there is no way a deck can keep up otherwise with the current end phase objective pool. This means if you’re not scoring 1 surge, something bigger than missing out on Opening Gambit went wrong.
Like Combo Strike, Opening Gambit has brick potential too, but the fallout is much worse. IF you draw it at the start of a round with no surges, you only have to draw into a single surge to score it. Alternatively you can just bin Opening Gambit instead, and you’re only losing a single glory, so it’s not going to hurt too badly.
Overall this is a great card to restrict, as it rewards you for doing something you are already scoring glory off, which is very dangerous. My concern with the restriction however is the very limited card pool for end phase glory. With the restriction of Combination Strikes and Opening Gambit, there is going to be an extremely lean pool left over. I hope this will lead to innovation, however i think it is just as likely we will see further stagnation in end phase objectives
Mike: I personally don’t like seeing this one go, yes it is trivially easy to score but its a single end phase glory, it’s fine if they are pretty easy. Between this and Combination Strikes aggro might have a tough time building decks.
Free inspiration is bad for the game. Happy to see it restricted (✓)
Equip this to a fighter. That fighter is inspired. That’s pretty fair right, spending a card slot and a glory for a bit of a stat boost. This is true enough until you realise why it is so hard to inspire fighters like Mollog and Hrothgorn naturally.
Some fighters in the game are balanced around the fact that when the card is inspired they become hugely more powerful, but to get to that point you have to jump through some risky hoops. Being able to bypass this process with Blazing Soul makes some warbands a lot more powerful than they were ever intended to be. On top of the warbands already in the game we have to look into the future with free inspiration effects like Blazing Soul. These effects will inherently stifle design, by making it impossible to print fighters with strong inspire effects.
Overall I think this change is overwhelmingly positive for the current game, stopping that round one double Mollog charge (sorry Mike, no one else enjoys it.), as well as giving greater scope for future design!
Tom; Screw you Mike.
Mike: I’m not crying, you’re crying…
Free glory every round with no drawback? It was a bit strong! (✓)
I think I can safely say Cryptic Companion being put onto the restricted list has come as a surprise to no-one. Every deck was taking this. At worst it gave one glory, with a potential of three, and what did it cost. One glory, and a fighter sitting on an objective. This equip was incredibly powerful and its inclusion was a little inevitable.
One point that can make good discussion here is that this card was released in a state where it was blatantly too powerful, and always going to end up restricted. I don’t think this is too much of a problem, and like the idea of some cards being made intentionally too powerful to offer some designed restricted choices.
Cryptic Companion is now where it should be. I think this is the first of the cards so far (hah) that is still likely to make decks, as it brings a lot of free glory at no cost which will always be good. And with a lot of changes hitting Hrothgorn hard, as well as the loss of Nightmare In The Shadows, sitting on objectives is going to get a whole lot easier.
Mike: This is Tome of Offerings for hold objective play. With a restriction it feels like meaningful choice, very happy to see this hit the list.
A great idea, but just a little overtuned. (✓)
Frenzied search, on the face of it, does not seem too powerful a card. Draw 3 is a huge affect, however you have to a) hold an objective and b) discard a card from your hand. Generally speaking power decks are pretty tight, and there is nothing that you really want to get rid of, so the discard in particular seems like quite a heavy cost. The issue comes when you realise how powerful the ability to draw through your deck is, especially in a meta with a heavy Digging Deep, Frantic Exchange and To The End presence.
Drawing through your deck gives you access to more tools than your opponent, and having additional tool will mean that you will be at an advantage. You are more likely to have that extra push you need. There is a greater chance you have found the accuracy equip you need. You manage to draw into that final piece of ping damage you desperately needed. When you weigh the gains from this card to the huge tempo swing that it gives you, dropping a card you don’t need right now is a small price for 3 cards. Frenzied Search also helps you rack up the draw required to play out long chains of cards, empty your deck to gain additional glory on the top.
Overall Frenzied Search is a card that gives whoever draws it first a large advantage over their opponent. There is no counter play to it, it just means that you are going to have a larger hand and are more likely to have better tools to deal with enemy plays. It is not uncommon for games to be won off of an early Frenzied Search, and for this reason I’m happy to see it on the restricted list. I also think that it is worth noting, that it is my opinion that this will still see play in future metas, due to the amount of easy glory it gives access to.
Tom: Oli has hit the nail on the head with the versatility of this card. Interestingly the restriction of Frenzied Search will further narrow the reliable end phase card pool, as Digging Deep and To The End just got less reliable too. Digging Deep and To The End were in many ways another symptom of the lack of reliable end phase glory in Beastgrave. Without them, we plunge deeper into the pool of cards. Options like Versatile Fighter, Lethal Repertoire and Dashed Hopes are becoming some of the options to fill out now barren objective decks.
Mike: Another powerful card that feels like a legitimate choice in the restricted slot, it’s going to be interesting to see what decks can still squeeze this in.
Nightmare In The Shadows
As innocent as it seems, this really was the terror of the night! (✓)
Nightmare in the shadows was a second Distraction printed into the game. Distraction has always been a powerful card, but has never really been a problem. It’s a powerful tool against objective play, and allows for counter play against enemy repositioning tools. It allows you to push enemy fighters into your range, and so much more! Honestly it’s an incredibly versatile card and that is its power.
With pushing an enemy being useful in pretty much any situation, giving warbands the ability two run the effect twice (sometime thrice), makes it very difficult for an enemy to plan their turn effectively. This has also contributed to the massive fall off we have seen of hold objective based factions such as The Grymwatch in the recent online tournament.
You could write a whole article on its own about the Distraction/Nightmare in the Shadows effect so i’m not going to go on about all of its uses except to say that this card is perhaps the best neutral ploy in the game. Any faction can make use of it, at any stage of the game. Being able to consistently access pushes like this by running multiple copies can become oppressive.
Tom: Push me,
And then just touch me,
Until I get my,
Mike: Tom really is my Nightmare in the Shadows…
A step too FaR? (kek) (?)
Restless Prize has proven to be a much more versatile card than a lot of people expected. Having seen a lot of play since its release due to Grymwatch and Thorns being at their height, you might expect their fall in grace to have led to Restless Prize falling from grace also. Despite this, the card still shows up. This could be down to the ingrained fear we still have from objective decks, but the truth is it synergises really well with some of the current strategies being run to great effect.
The obvious start is Cryptic Companion. Restless prize being able to both deny your opponent glory, or gain it yourself (Or both if you are a true chad) is very useful, especially when you know everyone is running Companion. On top of this it synergises with the objective denial/destruction decks coming from Hrothgar and Ylthari. Being able to more easily control objective locations can lead to easy scoring of objectives like Scorched Earth, Arm of the Everwinter and Reclaim the Lamentiri. Finally there are the objectives being run which revolve around the capture of a single objective (or just 2) such as Bold Conquest, Swift Capture and Spread His Blessings.
While this card was fine to be readily available when mass hold objectives existed, the fact that we are still finding uses for it in the current meta is a little worrying. Despite this though, i’m not sure i think it should go out completely. With the nerfs to Hrothgorn in this list, I would have liked to see objective play claw back a little ground. However with hits to prominent hold objective factions, I’m worried this restriction on top might be a step too far.
Tom: I’m actually glad to see this gone. Restless Prize had become another card everybody was taking because any competitive deck wanted to play around objectives to some degree. This card was the best at manipulating objectives. It could relocate Objectives for Swift Capture. It could move objectives onto edge hexes to combo with ping damage. It could line up the perfect Faneway Crystal Charge. All this without even mentioning that it can sweep the objective out from under the enemy and place it in your control.
With Restless Prize being restricted it will still see play, but only in decks that really need it. This means you won’t live in constant fear of your Restless Prize being even more restless than you initially anticipated. People who invest a restricted slot in this card will feel like it is a slot well spent, as opposed to now where it almost feels like you have to take Restless Prize to counter your opponents.
Mike: Super happy to see this restricted. In hold objective mirrors it often feels like the player to draw this first wins the game, just swap a token from underneath your opponents fighter to underneath yours and laugh manically. Now it’s a tough and interesting choice if it even makes it into your deck at all.
Hilariously strong defensive upgrade, excellent addition (✓)
Survival Instincts has been an auto-include for many factions since its Inception. Giving constant guard to some fighters is just too good to pass up. The main offenders are characters such as the Briar Queen, and Duke Crackmarrow, who have their strong combat stats balanced around their slightly weaker double dodge defence. Giving them guard buffs these guys to having the best defence stats in the game, with a single card. Then when you pile extras such as Sudden Growth, or Eldritch Ward these Fighters become unkillable machines.
Survival Instinct’s power is not just limited to double dodge however, as even the worst case of equipping it to a single block character, is still an effective buff. On top of this there is the additional power that guard brings, You fighter can no longer be driven back. As briefly discussed above, and I’m sure will be covered more thoroughly in Mike’s article, being able to stick to a single objective is very powerful in the current meta and Survival Instincts gives the ability to do just that. The cherry on top is the price tag for the upgrade: This fighter is a Quarry. This really makes no difference,as the only warband that takes advantage of quarries reliably is the Mantrapper’s, and Hrothgorn already makes you a Quarry.
I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that it was high time for this restriction to be put into effect, and will not be sad to see it go. The effect is so powerful that I’m sure it will still see play even with the large FaR list that now exists.
Mike: No more teleporting unkillable Briar Queen, very happy with this.
This was the cherry on top for hunters. Gives the ability to farm too much glory. (✓)
While not quite Tome Of Offerings, Trophy Belt offers hunter factions a way to bounty an additional glory on a kill. Being fair to Trophy Belt, it is much worse than the previously restricted Tome, however that does not mean that being able to double up on glory from kills is not a very powerful effect. The fact that it can only be taken on factions that have on the whole some of the more powerful fighters make the card particularly egregious, as the only way you can match it is by using a restricted slot.
As mentioned above, it clearly does not have all the blessings Tome of Offerings give. It can only be equipped by your faction’s hunters (if you’re taking this card though, you’re going to have hunters to equip it to), it only works on adjacent targets, and unless the fighter is a quarry the glory is spent. So how do we mitigate the above weaknesses. Well choose a faction that has a hugely powerful hunter, that has a powerful range 1 attack, that make all enemy fighters quarries! Yeh Hrothgorn ruins this card. Normally it would be pretty balanced, if a bit on the strong side, but on Hrothgorn this card is pretty much just a second Tome of Offerings. But that doesn’t mean you can take Tome as well. That’s right, turn you ogre into a 3 glory at a time killing machine in 2 easy steps! Hordes hate him!
Unfortunately the power this card gives to Hrothgorn in particular is just too great. It allows you to play easier objective decks, because you can make up for a low glory count by scoring supremacy with every kill. This change will force Hrothgorn to have to choose in the future. Do I go for kills, or my easy objectives.
Tom: This is why aggro can’t have nice things. I feel warbands like Skaeth and Rippa leaned heavily on Trophy Belt and will struggle now it is restricted. Hrothgorn has been hit in a lot of different ways this FAR and I feel like restricting this particular card has a more detrimental effect on aggro in general rather than just knocking Hrothgorn off his perch.
Faction Only Restrictions
They’ve only gone and done it!
For the first time ever, this FaR list has seen the restriction of faction specific cards. We’re not just talking about 1 or 2 either, a full 7 cards have been taken away from warband arsenals. This is a big move, as this means that specific warbands have been identified as having tools that are too powerful. I’m pretty sure this was a good decision, and most of the cards here have been problems
In The Name Of The King
The ultimate in win more (✓)
Deja vu here. Pretty sure I did Temporary Victory last article right? Well it turns out that the card is still ridiculously powerful even when you can’t run two of them without using a restricted slot. In the Name of the King allows for a huge glory swing as a surge for holding 3 objectives. At this point we all know how easy that is to do for a Grymwatch player with the right hand, and the only real decision for Grymwatch players when making their decks was do I run just In the Name of the King, or use a restricted slot and take Temporary victory as well.
So the question being asked here is “Grymwatch haven’t even been doing well at the moment, why hit them while they’re down?” It’s a reasonable ask, but the truth comes from looking at two factors. First why did the Grymwatch fall off? Mantrappers happened, and they do incredibly well into horde factions that have to spend time and resources not trying to deal with Hrothgorn. With Hrothgorn becoming top tier, Grymwatch found themselves falling down the rankings. The reason Grymwatch needs to be looked at are because of the huge success they have had since their release, taking far more than their fair share of Grand Clash wins. Just because they spend a couple of months out of the S tier doesn’t mean we should forget the fundamental power they hold.
Restricting In the Name of the King is an excellent move to bring their power in line with other factions. Don’t worry, Grymwatch still has some of the best fighters and cards in the entire game.
Tom: It’s also worth noting that with Hrothgorn being nerfed Grymwatch and Thorns are getting primed and ready to jump back into the driver’s seat of the meta. This will help keep a lid on the ghoulies.
The second easiest glory in the game? (✓)
The other Grymwatch card to be restricted is shifting madness. This surge is for holding an objective that is equal to the turn number at the end of an activation. Yup surge 1 glory for holding a single objective. Every other faction eat your heart out.
This objective is genuinely free. Your faction has some of the fastest units in the game, which means that when you’re unlucky enough to see objectives 1-3 on your opponent’s side of the board you can easily compensate for that fact. This added to the fact that it doubles up with all the other hold cards you want to run, like Temporary Victory, In the Name of the King and Swift Capture, means that your other objectives are already asking you to fulfil this.
It’s perfectly normal for players to not even have to use an activation to score shifting madness, it is such a free objective. Of all the faction cards that needed restricting this is close to the top of the list.
Tom: Every Grymwatch player will still be happy to take this card after it’s restriction.
Mike:This card is dumb. Ecstatic to see warband cards being targeted for the first time and this is such an obvious target.
The second easiest glory in the game? (✓)
I’m going to be honest, I don’t know anything about Mournflight. My experience with them amounted to one game against them, and I don’t think I could have played the match more wrong. Still I think anyone can see the power of this card.
Hold two objectives! I think we can see the theme of these restrictions so far. The ability to score fast glory from very little set up us just not fun to have to play against. This combined with the fact that most of these objectives, easily double up with other easy objectives in your deck make it even stronger.
Tom: This FAR list does feel like thought has been put into what factions will potentially rise up with Hrothgorn and objective play taking a hit. Just to be fair, card restrictions have hit the Mournflight on the follow through from the blow to the ogres mighty jaw. Lady Harrows have been strong for the best part of this year, consistently performing well without ever dominating. I think this restriction is an attempt to keep them roughly where they are at the minute. With objectives at a similar power level being restricted in other warbands you can see the case for One Will being caught in the crossfire.
Mike: I really hate the wording on this card, it’s one of the only surges that can be scored in the power step, contrary to how Temporary Victory and Swift Capture work. It’s the type of effect that trips up new players and even leaves veterans wondering why there is such a discrepancy. The restricting seems fair, all of the top tier warbands have been hit in this update to some extent.
The easiest glory in the game. (✓)
I’m not joking when I say this is the easiest glory in the game. If you remember back to season 1 Ploymaster was generally considered a pretty good card. It gave you 1 glory at the end of a round for playing 3 ploys in the same phase. Unexpected Cunning is like what happened to Captain America after he got all buff. The objective is that same glory, but now its surge and also can include the use of upgrade cards. This does not require effort. You can score this without meaning to, it’s that easy.
If there is a single faction card that needed to be restricted this was it. The card was, and may still be, an auto include in any Mantrapper deck.
Mike: If Shifting Madness is dumb then this card is the equivalent of accepting a drink from me at a grand clash.
Essentially 2-3 extra health without a downside. Massively over-tuned (✓)
From the best objective in the game to an upgrade that, for Htrothgar in particular, is close to to one of the games strongest. This is not the first time we have seen flat damage reduction effects in the game, and in fact both the Wild Hunt and the Condemners both have exact copies of Toughened Hide, comparisons can be drawn with both Magmalt Draught and Potion of Constitution. The difference comes when you equip this effect to a base 6 wound fighter.
Hrothgorn is one of the hardest models in the game to take out, with 6 base wounds there is a reason he is counted among the Underworlds Big Bois. On top of this he has access to Massive Bulk to further increase his wound stat to 8. This means that when Toughened Hide is equipped you are going to need multiple hits to get the kill. We can safely say that with Toughen Hide 2 hits are going to be needed, at least. This means that you have reduced 2 damage, or effectively equipped the restricted Sudden Growth without any downside. The odds are that you need 3 hits, making it the best defence the game has, and if you combine Toughened Hide with Massive bulk, the two upgrades more than likely can equate to 5 or 6 additional health at the cost of 2 movement.
This combination had to be stopped and I agree that Restricting Toughened Hide was the best way to do this. This change means that the Mantrappers still have access to restricted tier defensive upgrades at no cost form Massive Bulk, but the more egregious issue of Toughened Hide has a cost attached. I feel this is a good middle ground to help reign the power of Hrothgorn, but not completely destroy him.
Harness The Storm
Strong but unnecessary, especially in the current climate. (X)
This came a little out of left field for me in all honesty. Harness the storm is one of the best objectives in the game no doubt, in fact it compares very well with cards like Shifting Madness and One Will. Roll enough dice and you will score this guaranteed, and to be honest you are odds on to score it immediately after one roll. Casting a spell really isn’t hard, especially in a deck built around magic.
My issue with restricting Harness the Storm comes from Stormsires success (or lack thereof). This card has been around since the release of Nighvault, getting on for two years ago now and while they have always been a top tier faction, they have never been a problem. At major tournaments we see the spell stormcast appear in large numbers, and make good tournament placings, but they always seem to be pipped at the post by another warband, and fail to secure the top spot. This speaks to me as balanced, and I fear that restricting such an amazing card will give the Curse Breakers a big hit that they really did not need.
Mike: Conflicted on this one. On the one hand I think that Harness the Storm is a bad card that shouldn’t really exist in the game, a surge that doesn’t have any sort of counter play is just bad game design, I’d rather control style decks/warbands had to rely on end phase glory personally. On the other hand, as Oli has said, were Cursebreakers strong enough to warrant a targeted nerf? I’d argue not, at which point is the purpose of the FAR list to maintain balance or to actually change the way the game functions?
Hate to see it, but for the best. (✓)
If this were written by hand, you would see this section as a wet mess of wrinkled paper and ink blots. If I were a halfway decent writer, you would be able to feel the pain of my soul as it is being ripping from my body as I write the these next words in pure self hatred. This restriction is 100 percent justified. Sudden Appearance was just too strong.
So it turns out the that when inspired and tooled up just a little the Briar Queen becomes one of the best killing machines in the game. Boasting a base 2 range 3 fury 3 damage attack action, the Queen only really needs Great Strength, and maybe Spirit Bond to reliably one shot pretty much anything. But ‘Hey!’ I hear you cry, ‘Now with Survival Instincts restricted, and so many of the other cards key to a thorny victory also on the FaR list, I’ll just kill her before she can get to me.’ And from now on sweet child this can be true. But up until now she has just been able to appear (some might say suddenly) next to your fighter in the power step, then inspire as the activation starts and kill you all.
My honest feelings on the is card are that it is a key part of the identity of Thorns of the Briar Queen. It truly pains me to see it restricted. It’s such a powerful effect where counter play had to be done at a very high level, and this was very difficult to properly execute. Sudden Appearance allowed the Queen to have constant pressure everywhere on the board, and that really stifles an enemy from playing there own game. Also Inescapable Vengeance still exists, so its not like the Queen global pressure is completely vanished.
So here is where the big change come to Thorns of the Briar Queen. Varclav, the DJ himself can no look keep those ghouly feet boogieing until the break of dawn. With changes to his push action he can only get your chainrasps to dance around a single time per round, making it that much harder to swarm your enemies, or repeated secure objectives.
This is definitely a big hit to the warband as one of the overbearing strengths of the Thorns were there mass mobility that just did not stop. No matter how many times you distract them of of objectives, Varclav was always there in the back to make sure that your chainrasps were put right back down where you wanted them. This made alot of the hold objective cards very easy to score, especially if they also happened to be surges, like with Temporary Victory.
This is a big change to the Thorns, and does reduce there power a good amount, with how other S tier warbands have been hit, I agree it was necessary to punish the ghosts too. This change still give the huge advantage of being able to shift the vast majority of you r warband in a single activation, however it reigns the power in a litle. It means now players will have to take a bit more care in timing Varlavs action to make sure the most is being made of it. I think this is an excellent way to knock the Queen down a notch, while still keeping the spirit of the warband intact.
Honestly, it’s pretty meh. Definitely didn’t need restricting. (✓)
Loner has always been an odd addition to the FaR list. A mediocre end phase glory for having a friendly fighter, with no other fighter (friend or foe) within 3 hexes of them. Im pretty sure this is a legacy of some Farstrider decks back from the end of shadespire, when the FaR list was first introduced. Back then surge wasn’t a thing and this was honestly not a bad choice for some reliable glory. Nowadays it’s a bit of a different story.
The question you have to ask yourself is ‘when do I run this card?’ Is it when your war band is small and elite like a stormcast faction were it is very easy to ensure one of you fighters is isolated. This seems like a poor idea as every single one of you fighters is needed. The more obvious choice is with a fraction like Spiteclaw’s Swarm. Here you have some chaff fighters you don’t mind hiding in the back, and with some sneaky resurrects you can even return a fighter to the battle field in a position to score. Seems the perfect plan. Unfortunately trying to isolate one fighter in this case means herding up the rest of your war band, which can leave your very vulnerable to more aggressive strategies.
Looking at the card, it is certainly good when played around well in the right warband with proper strategy. When you pair it up against its former peers in the restricted list, it just seems a bit out of place. I’m happy to see a fresh card into a diluted end turn objective pool, and I think it will see play as an option for Spiteclaw, and perhaps Mollog or Hrothgorn if they feel they need it.
Mike: I am over the moon that this card is off the list. Mostly because I don’t really understand why it was on there in the first place. With Opening Gambit and Combination Strikes being restricted we might see this as an option for some warbands but I have a suspicion it will still be quite niche. Hey just having another end phase objective in the game makes me happy right now, the fact it is borderline playable is the cherry on top.
Powerful effect, but not too strong. I’ interested to see where this goes (?/✓)
I did not see this coming and I have no idea what to make of it. The card had an incredibly small window of play between its release in the Power Unbound expansion and it restriction pretty immediately after. In the grand clash event during this time it saw some play, but was not nearly prominent enough to give a real idea how strong the card was. Around the time spell Cursebreakers were a big thing, and Ylthari decks were very meta too. Both these had options for a hell of a lot of spell damage and this card gave them a lot of extra damage potential.
This card allows for and extra damage to be tagged onto damage done by spells. This means that it can act in a similar fashion to Trap for spell attack actions, essentially adding another damage after the attack attack (but not needing the knock back). It can also be used to add a second damage to ping spells like Sphere of Aqshy or Seggut’s Slavo. The problem with Sorcerous Flourish was that decks tended to run cards like Sorcerous Scouring and Strange Demise. As the Sorcerous Flourish was a ploy reacting to a spell however it was not scored. On top of this one of the big spell ping cards Abasoth’s Withering does not actually do damage and therefore cannot proc Sorcerous Flourish. On top of this it count as a ploy killing the enemy, so doesn’t trigger effects for one of your fighter taking an enemy out of action, e.g. Tome of Offerings.
I’m going to be very interested to see what a modern deck takes of this card. Despite the hit to Cursebreakers, losing Harness the Storm, I can see the possibility of a ping deck being made for them running surges like Death from Afar and Unexpected Pit fall to maximise the reliability of always scoring an objective from a kill. Also with a success spell Ylthari deck running around in the current tournament scene, perhaps a Invert Terrain which does very little in the deck can be replaced with a bit of extra damage? Honestly this cards might prove to be very strong in a the upcoming meta, it might be distinctly average. I wouldn’t even be surprised if it saw no play at all. All I know is I’m really looking forward to seeing the potential of Sorcerous Flourish!
Mike: More happy with the Harness the Storm restriction now that they are giving magic a universal tool back. It feels like they are taking specific power out of Cursebreakers but trying to put a little bit back into other warbands that might want to play a magic heavy style and honestly that’s a pretty good balance decision. I’m not sure that Sorcerous Flourish is actually that amazing but like Oli I am interested to see what players do with it.
Writing this article really gave me a perspective on the enormity of this FaR list. I mean that’s a lot of changes! Like a lot a lot. Huge gut hits to Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers in the hope to knock him off his current throne. Major changes to hold objective play-styles to help keep them in control after the counter his been hit hard. Permanent fixtures to decks like Combination Strikes, Nightmare in the Shadows and Survival Instincts, as well as many more will now have to compete for deck space with old favourites like Tome of Offerings and Spirit Bond. We have seen for the first time ever faction specific cards being restricted too, mounting even more pressure on factions that have had some unfair tools in the past.
Im sure I’m not the only person looking into there decks asking what happened, as all of a sudden they’re pushing for 10 restricted cards. Wondering which parts of their crazy strats are still going to work, which combinations require a restricted slot, while trying to work out if that juicy extra damage or survivability upgrade can really be afforded. I’m devastated to say that many of my meme decks have been gutted. But honestly I don’t care.
I think nearly all of these changes are bang on point, and I’m happy to say that I think this is one of the best changes to the game for quite some time. These changes are going to cause a massive mix up to the current meta, which with any luck will remain unsolved until we see the release of Morgwaeth’s Bladecoven and Morgok’s Krushas (god let it be soon…. Please….) I think the changes on the whole are going to blow a little more than a breath of fresh air into the game. I super excited for the upcoming period and I can’t wait to see what the community comes up with ( and to show of some of my glorious creations!!!!).
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