Warband Review: The Dread Pageant

The Dread Pageant

Direchasm has burst onto the scene this week with the first starter set to feature a matchup between rebellious angsty teenagers and their disappointed parents. I’m reviewing the warband featuring the Big Daddy Sexy Monster, and boy are they are a breath of fresh air. Their fighters have a range of profiles and uses, their cards facilitate multiple play styles. Their cow demon has a lobster claw. Let’s get HYPE!

Note: I occasionally reference non Slaaneesh cards – jump on underworldsdb and look them up if you’re not sure what they do!

I was supposed to do an edit and add comments to this article the night that it went live but I got distracted getting drunk and fighting battle Roomba’s in a pen and paper RPG game instead – so for those patient few who are looking at this article the day after its release you can see some comments inserted by me – mike

Fighters

We’ll look at the inspire condition after the fighters. I’ll also update this article when the inspired sides of the the fighters that aren’t private fantasies of mine are revealed. Good old Slakeslash, get enough of the snip-snip action myself.

Vasillac the Gifted

The Dread Pageants luscious leader is so damn sensual he had his whole bloody wrist pierced to see if it felt good.

It didn’t, but he can hold an extra coat with that arm now. How neat is that?

Vasillac sports a respectable uninspired profile with an accurate and reasonable damaging attack. Crucially this attack is two range, which in my book is a huge boon for any fighter you want to invest aggressive upgrades in. Having 2 range on an attack action allows you a much greater chance of being able to make attack actions without charging, and also allows you to trap opponents for more accurate attacks. Our gifted gladiator’s defensive profile is an old standard for leaders, with 1 block and 4 wounds. 4 move being a particularly welcome sight, as speed allows access to enemy backlines and makes it much harder for enemies to escape your spear.

Vasillac’s fighter card so far is, well, fine. But he is the leader of the Hedonites, a cult of things you kinda like but are a little bit scary. We want a little extr…oh, what’s this tasty text over here on the right?

We can heal after every successful attack action. Nice! There are a few things to drill down into here, so lets get cracking.

  1. Your attack needs to be successful – if you miss you skip the deal damage step so you do not have the window to activate this ability
  2. This will be interrupted by any other after the deal damage step reactions – Eg: Abasoths Auto-Immolation, Outrageous Fortune – so keep an eye out
  3. Healing is hard to come by because it is strong, if you get enough wounds on Vasillac to prevent him being one-shot, you can heal up to make him deceptively tanky. Imagine an effect like this on a fighter that already had an exceptional number of wounds (*Sounds of distant lobster mooing*)

You can also hurt yourself with this reaction to aid your inspire condition and combo with some of your gambits and upgrades. Without seeing the inspired sides this is currently difficult to recommend. In general wounding one of your strongest fighters immediately before your opponent’s activation (presumably also after having just committed said fighter to an attack) doesn’t seem like a good idea. I expect the self-wounding option to be a niche use of this ability to be used sparingly, the heal will be the primary reaction here.

So we have a decent baseline on our leader with solid potential to get stronger with upgrades. Inspired we get 3 damage and cleave! Bang on Great Strength and you have a decently accurate elite killer with the potential to activate multiple times. There’s a nice cheeky side of healing in there too. Everyone in the warband goes up to 5 move as well, so Gathered Momentum is definitely worth considering. This fighter is definitely a target to tool up and send at the enemy.

Slakeslash

Don’t question it. Seriously. Just accept that alongside your three scantily clad humanoids with piercings you also deploy some bizarre hybrid of Lovecraftian horror mixed with Greek mythology. At least the Slangoor has a nose ring and eyes, these are things we can relate to.

So Slakeslash’s base attack profile is OK, its standard, it will do. 4 move is nice, this will also do.

5 wounds is delicious. We need wound counters to inspire and Slakeslash can hold a few for us. Maybe we can ask the opponent to chop the claw off so I can feel more comfortable looking at this monstrosity.

We also have the tasty heal reaction previously seen on Vasillac, but this time on a fighter with 5 wounds. Bang on Great Fortitude, bang on Deserved Confidence, bang on Mandibles of the Ur-grub. Laugh as you heal two every time you hit, and you have 7 wounds to begin with!! Now being unkillable doesn’t actually score you any glory, and you do only have a range one attack so activating Slakeslash multiple times a turn will be tricky. There is no doubt however that the Cow-ster is a very interesting piece in your warbands toolbox, one that has definite strengths you can build on.

Tucked away just underneath Slakeslash’s name is an Underworlds first, not only is our Lobs-cow a Hunter, he is the first innate Quarry in the game. Ahead of the Hunt looks like a tasty objective for Dread Pageant. Even Absolute Stillness could be a thing if you’d rather your cow has a little sit down. Maybe its about to rain?

Slakeslash is the only inspired fighter that has been spoiled currently, and his attack becoming 4 fury is potent, as the crit-fishing potential makes the Slaangor much more accurate. An extra move is also a welcome addition to improve the threat range of your giant but speedy monstrosity. With a couple of damage boosting upgrades you’ll be snipping and clipping Crackmarrow from across the board.

Just as an aside I lied earlier about the unkillable thing. Being unkillable with Avatar upgrades on does score you glory.

Don’t tell Mike.

Due to the reaction for healing happening during the attack action you still have the after window. Combo weapons could be a fun option to try here – two attacks that can potentially heal you on a body that is very hard to kill – Mike

Gillette  Glissette

We move to the danglebros, and this warband continues a Beastgrave trend of containing two wound fighters that you care about! Gille Glissette (goddamnit) is the best a man can get. She has a 2 range 2 damage attack, which on a danglebro is unheard of. The dice characteristic of two fury is a little more par for the course. The real treat however, comes in her defensive profile.

“WHAT?” (I imagine I hear you yell from a safe two metre distance), “SHE ONLY HAS TWO WOUNDS, WHAT DO YOU MEAN HER DEFENSIVE PROFILE IS A TREAT?!?!?”

Well calm your recently pierced nipples my Slaaneeshy subjects. Glissette has the single best printed defensive characteristic of any fighter in the game to date. Seriously it’s statistically better that Snirks.

2 delicious on guard dice.

Not only does that mean even a 3 smash attack is now odds off to hit her, she also cannot be driven back! Pop her on an objective and comment off-handedly to your opponent about how much you miss Lethal Ward now it’s rotated out. Then equip Spectral Armour. Note that Spectral Armour is rotating out of the Championship card pool when Direchasm starts – of course we already have a juicy replacement in the start box – we’ll get to that in our universal review – er soon – Mike

Inspired Gillette’s attack action becomes worth using. She also gains an scything attack on her inspired side! This wont be used regularly, but you might be able to catch you the odd horde player with this one.

Balls I did it again. Stupid shavers.

Hadzu

Our final fighter and remaining danglebro is the least powerful fighter in the band, but still has some interesting uses. First off we have a three range attack to rival the Farstriders. The 4 move again is nice, although admittedly this has become much more standard since beastgrave. 1 dodge and 2 wounds is definite danglebro territory though, there are no on guard tricks to be seen here. Hadzu is one vulnerable archer, but maybe he likes that.

Hadzu has two unique things going for him:

  1. He is a Hunter, bringing our total up to two and potentially allowing the Pageant to invest in some Hunter tech
  2. His tasty attack action – Arrows of Desire

So instead of knocking back Hadzu pushes an enemy fighter one hex. Lethal hexes are your friends. Unfortunately Snare isn’t your friend, as you don’t actually drive fighters back ever, you only push them. Goddamnit Hadzu, you had one job!

We inspire and get an extra range on Hazdus attack action,which is useful because if by some miracle he has survived this long he will be able to snipe the enemy from the objective he is hiding on. There’s also an extra dodge dice thrown in there to make him a slight challenge to connect attacks against.

Overall Hadzu is going to (mostly) hold back, hold an objective and hope Skaeth is distracted by the sexy cow thing.

Those Arrows of Desire are nasty – they look like a great way to ping damage onto enemy fighters with lethal hexes – except against ghosts – Mike

Inspire

Now for the inspire condition itself. The Dread Pageant would like six wound counters to be on fighters. These fighters will need to be alive as all counters are removed from fighters when they die. The fighters can be enemy fighters or your own.  Now there are downsides to spreading wounds around your opponent’s fighters, the main one being none of them will be dead. This makes us sad. Its also very hard to spread wounds around 2 wound enemies without killing them outright, as you only have 1 attack that deals 1 damage. So inspiring against hordes means gunning for their tanky and often (though not always) protected fighters, with the over-arching goal of the enemy fighter not dying.

Hmmm… not great.

Fortunately the enemy will probably hit Vasillac and Slakeslash and add some wound tokens to your total, and you can use ping damage/lethal hexes to prop up the tokens too. So inspiring is doable, its just sometimes at odds with how you would normally play the game. The inspire kinda wants the Slaaneesh player to tickle everyone a bit and then decapitate them once Vasillac gets a little overexcited. Definitely thematic, but this will require some deck-building forethought to make happen reliably.

You have a much easier time inspiring into tanky fighters, as you probably wont be one shotting them anyway. This makes it easier and less counter-intuitive to rack up the wound totals on them. You’ll probably inspire on the way to taking down your first Orruk or taking down your first gross prolapse-spear-man-thing.

I joke, Sepsimus is beautiful. Best Butt 2020.

So now the fighters are somewhat dissected (kinky), lets have a look at the cards.

Faction Cards

Rating System

5 – Best in class effects that should go in basically every deck that can take them (Calculated Risk, Temporary Victory, Distraction)

4 – Powerful or versatile effects that are extremely strong in a particular archetype or pretty good in any deck (Tome of Offerings, Gathered Momentum, Spectral Wings)

3 – Solid effects that will find a place in many decks (Great Fortitude, Supremacy, Sidestep)

2 – Limited effects that might be useful in some specialised decks (Imbue with Life, Regal Vision)

1 – Just plain bad cards (Headlong Charge, Our Powers Combined)

All right, that’s all the boring stuff out of the way, let’s dive into the cards themselves.

Objectives

Beautiful Deaths

What an opener. Six Glory. Six!!!! And it looks bloody doable too!

Taking a step back, 6 glory puts this objective in the realms of cards like Infestation, Khorne’s Champion and Total Annihilation. Essentially objectives that were fun, interesting to try and build around, but certainly not reliable.

Beautiful Deaths is worth more than 2 of those cards, and is definitely much more achievable.

I don’t want to get carried away – having to keep three of your fighters alive when two of said fighters only have two wounds is not an easy task, especially when you need to buy time to kill three enemy fighters. You are also hampered by the fact you have no attacks that dish out three damage immediately, so tanky warbands are not going to drop fast.

But its 6 glory.

This feels like a Slaaneesh is saying a big old F*** you to all the horde warbands you struggle to inspire against. You might not be able to stack wounds on them – but get three kills and you can have 6 glory to play with! Against slow moving tanky elite warbands this essentially becomes a third end phase card – tricky but still scorable. The real challenge is against warbands like the Blade Coven and Skaeths Wild Hunt. They can fly straight at your weakest fighters and brick this objective by the end of round 1. Stupid horse man.

Did I mention it’s 6 glory. It could happen!

2

Calvacade of Madness

I’m not as keen on this, inspiring is going to be very tricky into some warbands, and risky whoever you play against. I mentioned that the hardest thing about Beautiful Deaths is keeping 3 fighters alive while you achieve the other part of the objective, and the same goes here.

This one isn’t 6 glory either.

My gut feeling is this wont make the cut at all, but this card could become more reliable if more cards arrive that make inspiring more reliable.

1

Endless Revel

This surge fits under the group of warband specific objectives this warband has that support a more aggressive style of play – that was a mouthful – mike. Charge everyone and you will score this, there is nothing your opponent can do. Hell just move everyone and score this (and maybe even Team Effort as well).  The more models you have dead the easier this is to score, as there’s no lower limit on the number of fighters you need to have alive in order to cash in this glory.

This cards downfall is if you are voltroning up Vasillac or Slakeslash, you might want to activate them multiple times. Also, if Glissette (nailed it) and Hazdu are already on objectives, you might not want to move them off just to score this. That’s why I feel this card fits better in aggressive decks, but you could still take this surge in a more flex deck too.

3

Excess of Avidity

A reprint of Nexus of Terror which is a solid card for the Mournflight. This card could fit well into flex decks flexing more into the hold objective side than the aggro side of the game.

DIVERSION!!!!

I just want to make a point about rotation and hold objective play here, because the Dread Pageant has a couple of objectives that require you to hold objectives. You have one main in faction push gambit (we’ll get to it) and one weird push gambit that can be helpful if you really lean into holding objectives. You have one fighter restricted upgrade that gives you a push too. In real terms you have one card that will have a sidestep effect in this faction. Now that rotation has happened, what other universal sidestep cards do we have?

Sidestep.

That’s your lot.

Centre of Attention has gone, Irresistible Prize has gone, Two Steps Forward has gone. Quickening Greaves has gone as well!

So what’s left?

You have a couple of roundabout pushes in the game that exist like Blindside and Desperate Flight. Downwind is a push specifically for Hunters that requires you to move toward an enemy fighter, and you do have the new Gauntlet of Command as well. Finally we still have Restless Prize as a restricted slot (which I expect will see another rise in play because of the lack of friendly pushes).

On the other side of the coin, there are two distractions and mischievous spirits still in the game. Gauntlet of Dominance (HOT TAKE: JUST RESTRICTED) gives you Distraction on a stick to combat Gauntlet of Command. Restless Prize can be used against you. The Dread Pageant also have two cards faction cards that can work as Distractions. That’s not even including cards like Invert Terrain, Lethal Snares and Hrothgorn’s in faction objective destruction.

Stoneform might become more important for objective holders to prevent all this enemy pushing going on, especially since the friendly push cards could struggle to keep up. Hidden Presence is also useful, but doesn’t protect you against the Gauntlet of Dominance.

Its going to be tricky to push fighters onto objectives early in Direchasm.

Pipe down Varclav.

And we’re back!!

So with the aforementioned in our heads, Excess of Avidity could be harder to score than it has been in prior seasons. However against warbands not playing around objectives this can be a cheeky two glory that Hazdu and Glissette can secure for you.

3

Excess Of Carnality

Getting two friendly fighters close to one enemy is tricky, but actually there are a couple of pushes that still exist in the game that are better suited to this kind of objective than the hold objective ones, namely Blindside and Bonded Bodyguard (we’ll get too this one). You can also use your ample supply of enemy pushes to help draw in the opponents to your double team endeavours. Even so, this aggro positioning surge is still a tricky one to engineer, especially if your fighters start to drop.

If an enemy charges you and misses, this card is suddenly very straightforward. Just charge them back with a different fighter and don’t push them.

Just crit defend. Easy.

Remember to use protection – is that Slaanesh’s new catchphrase? – mike

2

Excess of Gluttony

Charge Slakeslash between two enemy fighters and score this. Then let them hit him to inspire your warband.

I mean it doesn’t sound like a terrible idea…

The issue is if your opponent doesn’t have fighters positioned correctly for you to pull this charge off then you have to start pushing them around. There are cards to do this, but do you want your deck to be full of pushes and not accuracy, damage or speed?

The honest answer is maybe, there may be a deck where you ping the enemy around your models in order to score positioning surges and then inspire as the opponent whales on your fighters wondering what the hell your game plan is. We’ll have to give this a go and see if you can tool up and inspire quickly enough for a counter attack, or whether you just die after you’ve devoted all your positioning tools on creating the perfect gang bang diceless surge strategy.

2

Excess of Indolency

I’ve said my piece on what hold objective play might look like at the start of Direchasm, so I won’t labour the point. I think there is a solid Slaaneesh deck that plays this card, Excess of Avidity, Hidden Purpose, Path to Victory and maybe even Uncontested. You could then focus on holding two objectives with the danglebros and go hell for (black glossy) leather with your big boys that can heal.

This a solid objective but does require some building around. You also need to protect your weaker fighters well.

Offset the board!

This card also has an alternative scoring condition, if the enemy has no move or charge tokens you can also have your two glory. I feel like the only time your going to score this card this way is if you have annihilated your opponents warband, but the fact that this card is Hybrid is good for other reasons.

Ooooh, a cliff-hanger…

4

Excess of Paramountcy

This is essentially Plant a Standard with an alternative condition that will occasionally happen (Bold Conquest is a thing). The main boon of this objective is that it is Hybrid, helping you score Adaptive Strategy and Set The Tango Tempo. As more and more Hybrid and Dual cards surface it will be worth keeping an eye on the cards that snowball off of them.

You can stop hanging on that cliff now.

3

Excess of Vainglory

This I’d argue is a more interactive version of Show Of Force. If you have this in your hand and you have a fighter with 3 upgrades, just attack. Bingo, you’re so vain. If you’ve already charged with that fighter when you draw this card then you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle, so that’s worth being mindful of.

In addition to a pseudo Show of Force condition, you also have a tasty alternative scoring condition for taking out an enemy with two upgrades on.

Check for another Hybrid objective too!

4

Godseekers

Conquest is an old standby in Underworlds, a two glory third end phase card for running your surviving fighters into enemy territory. Godseekers is the same condition, but you can score this in any end phase. On the surface this feels excellent, a lot of warbands would kill for this card. Warbands like Rippa’s Snarlfangs or the Wurmspat love diving into enemy territory and mixing it up.

The question is, do the Dread Pageant like pain that much?

Well, maybe. It really depends on the deck. If you are playing a full aggro style, maybe with Excess of Gluttony and Endless Revel (or even Excess of Carnality), you might just want to run in and get cosy. Grab yourself a couple of surges for not being as socially distant as you should, and then get two glory afterwards for making the dive deep into enemy territory. The issue is you have two very squishy fighters and you are not that accurate. You are very vulnerable to getting splatted on the counterattack.

I think an aggro deck running this card could work, it would just require careful positioning, timed aggression and a well built deck.

3

Grisly Tableau

Tableau: a group of models or motionless figures representing a scene from a story or from history; a tableau vivant – Living Picture.

Well it wont be a living picture if you’ve just killed then enemy on the objective. Bloody ridiculous name.

You don’t have a huge amount of control over whether your opponent is on an objective, and using a precious push to move them on (especially knowing you could miss your subsequent attack) can be costly. However into some warbands this card will be free. I’d probably miss it though as there are more reliable surges available to this warband.

At least we all learned what a tableau was.

2

Scintillating Sadism

Shardgale, where are you??

Here boy! Here shardgale!

*Rivers of Blood cries in the distance*

There is no Shardgale.

1

Gambits

Bonded Bodyguard

This card works along the same lines as Countercharge and Blindside, in that it is a push in reaction to an action. Unfortunately this is only usable if both Vasillac and Slakeslash are alive. It doesn’t have to be Vasillac that made the move, but Slakeslash has to be pushed within two hexes of the Pageants leader.

This card can be used to help score Excess of Carnality, or even Scrum. It can help get supports on attack actions, and help bring Slakeslash into range of a fighter (which is super helpful given he is range 1). It may see a bit of play whilst friendly pushes are scarce, but honestly I think there are better cards to include. This card does have its uses though.

Also I keep reading this as Boned Bodyguard.

2

Cruel Pangs

Mwahahaha

That ward is still Lethal!

Reliable ping damage that synergises with your inspire condition. Lethal Ward was a great card and now Slaaneesh gets to play with it forever.

Not you Fecula, find your own ping damage.

I honestly wish Lethal Ward wasn’t rotating – its actually my favourite ping damage card. If we see more ping damage support in Direchasm the simple fact that this warband has such a good in faction version might make them very good – mike

4

Dark Desires

This card is pretty interesting, but honestly, I think it’s a bit worse than it looks. Best case scenario is you play this on an enemy aggro fighter who has yet to charge. Your opponent will choose to let you push that fighter. Cool.

Say you want to push someone off an objective with this card. Well your opponent will take a move token instead. This is still nice, as if you knock them off with an attack they cant move back on, but it’s not going to help you prevent Supremacy in the final power step of a round.

If an enemy fighter has already charged and you want to push them into a lethal, they’ll take a move token. No use there.

Essentially this is a slightly worse Distraction. Maybe even a moderately worse Distraction. I’d probably take Distraction and Lure of Slaaneesh (It’s sick, trust me) , then consider Nightmare in the Shadows before taking this one.

2

Deadly Embrace

A 50/50 to revenge attack at your killer provided that the damage was dealt by the attack itself, and not a cheeky Snare or Collapse post drive back. They also need to be in range. I don’t like it. Best case scenario is you get a return kill because you lost a fighter that you had tooled up. I’d rather take a card that kept the fighter alive to begin with.

1

Enervating Perfume

So cards like Inspired Attack were very good. Given the lack of Twist the Knife and Trap, other +1 damage cards like Baying Hatred were seeing occasional play. Being able to reduce damage and keep a fighter alive is a strong effect, but timing is so key for this card. Play it too soon, and your opponent will just wait to attack next turn (assuming their damage is coming from an upgrade rather than a gambit lasting only one turn).

This card could, I think be taken by a small number of players who are aiming for a more controlling style of Slaaneesh. The fact it is difficult to use effectively due to the careful timing it requires prevents me rating it too high though.

Also, if Vasillac is dead you cannot use this. Only Vasillac smells good. Turns out the perfume is what he was Gifted.

1.5

Fuelled By Sensation

Nothing wrong with a cheeky heal. Plus if you just need one more wound counter to inspire I’d consider using the alternative effect. It’s probably not a strong enough effect to be worth a slot unless it turns out healing is really what makes this warband tick.

2

Lure of Slaaneesh

The Chosen Axes for a long time, for all their flaws, possessed the most versatile positioning gambit in the game. The Dread Pageant have taken The Earth Shakes and sprinkled their own brand of pain all over it.

You can still push a friendly or an enemy fighter one hex. That’s a given, have that on the house. Already this card is a 5.

But wait, there’s more.

Instead of pushing a fighter one hex, you can push a fighter 1 hex for every wounded fighter you have. No direction specified. Ping enemies in and out of lethal hexes, chuck Slakeslash into The Briar Queens face. Hop back onto an objective that was Restless Prized away.

Love it.

(Just to clarify, if you have no wounds on your fighters, you can still push any fighter 1 hex.)

This card is absolutely bonkers – if you have three wounded fighters you can push an enemy fighter into a lethal hex – out – and then back in again – or just move them 3 bloody hexes in the wrong direction – I need this in my life – mike

5

Rush of Sensation

This is essentially a worse version of Kunnin’ Brutality. This card is helpful for making a charge and then either getting the hell out of dodge or onto an objective. Hell maybe you do both. This issue is you need to secure a kill to do it, which means turn 1 this can be a bit tricky. As soon as you get enough upgrades on to start one shotting fighters this is a really good effect, especially if you don’t have to charge to get the initial attack off.

This may find a place in Vasillac focussed decks, as it helps him reposition after attacks to cause as much carnage as possible. Please combo with Vision of Glory for maximum pain.

3

Shared Pain

This card is incredibly thematic and immensely versatile. Has an enemy fighter rushed your danglebros in order to get an early kill? Nah turns out they just tickled Slakeslash, and now he wants to hit back!

This card can deny opponents objectives, leave models out of position and just generally force your opposition to rethink their turn. The fact you can redistribute wounds onto models that can heal is brilliant.

Equally, has your opponent just landed an incredibly buffed up attack on Vasillac to take out your kingpin? As long as Hazdu is close enough, it turns out he died instead. Vasillac is unharmed, and the buffed up enemy is sat with a charge token in front of one of your most deadly fighters.

Whilst Martyred and Crown of Avarice have rotated out of the game, if any similar effects return in Direchasm that incentivise your own models dying, this card is also a lovely way to trigger them.

I think this is an auto-include, because your opponent is always going to be afraid that their next attack won’t land where they think it will. Just be careful about isolating your models, as you can only redirect the damage within three hexes. That’s my only reservation about this card.

5                                                    

Vicious Barbs

Another situationally decent card. Un-inspire Mollog, Sepsimus, or Hrothgorn for a turn and suddenly their stats absolutely fall off them. This card is easier to trigger than similar cards like Cruel Taunt and Maddening Cackle, but unlike the aforementioned cards, its effect is only temporary. If the fighter you use this on is inspired at the time of usage it is excellent. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother.

This card gives you a turn to focus down key fighters before they get angry and inspired again. Its prevalence will depend heavily on the meta, so it is difficult to score. Given that currently we are seeing a lot of big fighters getting voltroned up, I expect this might see a bit of play to help bring the big bois down.

If the Dread Pageant don’t have the tools to take down the enemy fighters in the one round window however, this card might not be useful even if inspired elite fighters are prevalent.

Play around with it and see what you think. It’s getting a non-committal 2 for now.

2

Upgrades

Cruel Volley

Worse than Fast Shot and for a squishier fighter. I don’t see this getting played.

I disagree with Tom a bit here – I still don’t think this card is good but I think its playable – I’d give it a cheeky 2 myself – mike

1

Dance Without End

A bizarre twist on Duellists Speed, in that you can push this fighter after another fighters move. Not a terrible effect but restricted to a 2 wound (albeit a very tanky two wound) fighter. Could be good for making sure she stays on objectives without activating her but I think you’ll struggle to find a slot for this.

1.5

Distracting Ostentation

I like this, -1 dice is a huge accuracy debuff and there are a lot of range 1 fighters that cannot avoid this. Equally, if you move adjacent to a range 2 fighter you force them to charge away to avoid your Ostentatiousness.

No one wants to be distracted by an ostentatious demon cow lobster. No one wants that.

3

Mark of The Dark Prince

This card lets your take a damage for an accuracy buff, restricted to Slakeslash. Slakeslash can heal on a successful attack. See where we’re going with this?

Combo’d with Strength from Pain, this card can be a clever little way to proc a wound at the only time you want it, then heal it up again. If you’re heading down an aggro crab cow route then I’d give this card a look.

Especially if you are an Avatar crab cow – then you get cleave and ensnare, and double heal.

Lets go full crazy and make an Avatar + Combo crab cow – mike

3

Sadistic Goad

I’d consider this if it was four fury, but even then it’s not reliably damaging. Currently with all the Amberbone weapons there are just more consistent weapon upgrades you can take.

1

Sickening Resilience

Your Broken Demon Slashy Monster avatar cow is more unkillable. This will only proc 1 in 3 times, so its worth putting on a tankier fighter so you get more chances to reduce the damage.

Please note all of the upgrades mentioned as being good for the cow can also be applied to Vasillac but the cow is prettier.

3

Soporific Musk

So this card can be excellent as a protect your backline card. If you are holding two objectives with the danglebros in the back, and one of your big boys is blocking the choke with this equipped, you’re living the dream. You might even end up denying cards like Cover Ground or Gathered Momentum!

This one might be a bit better than it looks when used in certain flex decks. I certainly want to test it out.

3

Strength from Pain

With Gloryseeker rotating we now have Great Strength and Sting of the Ur Grub. We also have some tanky but low damage fighters that sort of want to be wounded. This might be a good third damage boost to more reliably hit that four damage threshold. As I mentioned before it also combos well with Mark of the Dark Prince.

3

Swift As Desire

If you plan on running Gathered Momentum or Cover Ground, this card is a cheeky little boost that is strictly better than Great Speed. If your aren’t running those cards you might give this a miss.

There is a juicy new universal in the core set that also works well with this – speed decks look like they might be strong in Direchasm so having in faction support is great – mike

3

Sword Shatterer

In a Voltron meta destroying upgrades is powerful, but you only get a 1 in 3 chance to do it and you need your opponent to target you and not kill you. Plus your opponent will see you have this equipped. Not for me really.

1

Overall Card Impression

It is difficult to rate the Slaaneesh cards based on prevalence in decks, as there are so many playstyles you can index into with this warband. I think we will see a huge variety of decks for the Dread Pageant, each one using a different selection warband cards (and Lure of Slaaneesh). I actually really like this selection of cards, it’s thematic, relevant but not overtly broken.

I love the new direction Games Workshop have taken with warbands – it feels like they are giving players a tool box and then letting them do what they want with it – unlike in Nightvault days where it was obvious which way you were supposed to play a warband – mike

Speaking of playstyles, how do we want to play our tasty new warband?

Playstyles

I’ve touched on a couple and these are all theoretical, but here are a few ways I think you can play the new Slaaneesh warband.

Note: These decks have been adjusted for the latest FAR

  • Hold 2 Objectives

The idea with this deck is to throw your big boys unceremoniously at the opponent to protect the danglebros at the back you score you some glory. Theres a good amount of disruption to mess with objective players or aggro players that want to get to your backline. Shared pain helps spread the wounds between Vasillac and Slakeslash, hopefully getting you inspired so you can continue your assault. The upgrades are mostly about kitting out whichever big boy lives ling enough, while cryptic will hopefully add to your glory total.

Theres not a huge amount of accuracy in here, nor is there any big Voltron upgrades. This is because you’re putting your elite models at risk from the get go. Having said that, Slakeslash can get pretty big with Bloody Axe, Great Fortitude and Deserved Confidence.

I think you could get Beautiful Deaths into here somewhere too, I just think the aggro element of the current iteration isn’t good enough.

  • Aggro + Avatar

We no longer care about the danglebros living, they are merely the first wave. Run at the enemy, swing and miss. Youll get glory from Endless Revel, Gathered Momentum, Show of Force and Bold Conquest. Team Effort and Godseekers further supplement your end phase scoring that cares not about your dice.

Churn through your deck and create the ultimate aggro cow. 7 wounds, heals 2 every attack and has a chance to reduce any damage to 1.

You may have noticed there are only 9 gambits (because the decks all red, subtle I know). I have included in this deck a spoiled universal Direchasm gambit, Hunting Season. This is mainly because Slakeslash is a native quarry and I really wanted to include The Hunter Hunted. With Hunting Season in the deck it’s a little more reliable!

Feel free to bang in Unexpected Pitfall and a different gambit if you find you’re allergic to fun.

UPDATED DECK

Hold two objectives, but better than before

https://www.underworldsdb.com/shared.php?deck=0,DC51,DC39,DC41,B301,B295,B263,B366,DC53,DC46,B328,B363,A23,B396,DC272,DC478,B306,B282,DC36,B342,B429,B398,B404,G1,G14,DC37,B430,DC405,A28,A37,DC57,DC45,B317&deckname=Slan%202%20obj%20-%20consider%20revel

So this is the current deck I’m working with. In this iteration I am much more liberal with Slakeslash and Glissette, and aim to voltron Vasillac. Glissette can hold your furthest forward objective, Hadzu the furthest back. Slakeslash and Vasillac counter attack as your opponent invades you territory and stack wounds for an inspire. You use gambits and upgrades to ensure objective related dominance, and then once you have inspired you send the big boys in for clean up.

Simple.

Just hope no one lands a lucky hit on Gillette.

I’m Done

There are so many ways to play The Pageant and I’m tired. I can’t wait to experiment with these bad boys and make some wacky and wonderful decks. Please let me know if you try anything like what I’ve suggested and you manage to actually make it work, I would be very grateful for the help.

For now though, I’m signing off. Mike can do the Lumineth. I just couldn’t resist the…

Lure of Slaneesh

Cheers

Tom

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