Following in the wake of Tom Bonds sexual Slaanesh review, Steel City have our hot take on the other warband found in the Direchasm starting box, Myari’s Purifiers, written by the far superior troll in command. I have managed to crank out quite a few games with the shiny aelves and I think that at this point I have a decent grasp on their strengths and weaknesses.
I’ve also been contemplating what aspects of a warband to focus on in our reviews, picking out what elements are important to their success or failure at a competitive level. My current conclusion is that above all else the fighter stats are absolutely the stand out feature that determines how successful a warband will be. As an example, The Wurmspat only have a couple of viable warband cards that ever see play and yet have been doing fantastically recently while at the other end of the spectrum the warband that in my opinion has the most powerful cards ever released, the Mournflight, have never actually won a major tournament.
It’s obviously not a binary either you have good fighter stats or you have good cards and we have examples of some warbands that have combined the two to great effect, The Grymwatch and Hrothgorn are recent examples, it’s also important to note that a good spread of warband cards probably helps said warbands viability at the beginning of a season when the universal card pool is much smaller.
For this review I am going to dig a bit deeper into my analysis of the fighter cards, the warband specific mechanics presented on those cards and the inspire condition of the fighters. I will still talk about any objective and power cards that I think are relevant but I’m going to skip over the ones that I don’t think will make the cut in most decks. I’m also going to try and be as honest with you guys as possible, if I think the warband is bad or busted powerful I’ll be letting you know.
The first and possibly most important stat that stands out is that Myari is a level 2 Wizard. Level 2 is where single channel and just about single focus spells are reliable enough to cast without needing any extra investment. Myari couples his level 2 powers with a range 3 spell attack action that hits on a focus, starting on 1 damage and going up to 2 damage when inspired. This is generally considered the gold standard offensive package for Wizards, it’s the kit that Ylthari, Vortimus and Stormsire all come with and they have been decent fighters ever since release.
Myari is the only Wizard in the warband, though, and with 3 wounds it can be dangerous to pack too many spells into your deck. I know I have mentioned Ylthari twice already but the comparison is very similar, Guardian decks focusing on magic often suffered because opponents knew to always prioritise killing her and that could be a weakness here if you rely too much on magic. We are also living in a post Nightvault rotation world now, a lot of the most powerful magic has left the game, making Wizards a little less valuable then before. For my money Blind Hunger, Hunting Bolt and Hypnotic Aspect are the go-to staple spells that magic warbands should consider when deckbuilding and they are good enough cards that there is a decent edge to be had from having access to them but it’s not much.
With the way the inspire condition for this warband works, more on that below, you are encouraged to pack some spells in as every cast could potentially see your leader inspiring, being able to burn an aetherquartz counter for a magic dice re-roll also potentially means that you can take a two channel spell if you really want.
The range 2 staff attack, notice how all male spellcasters get a range 2 staff while the ladies have to do with range 1 #equalstaffritesforwizards, being a measly one smash uninspired is actually a blessing in disguise as it gives you good odds of inspiring if you really need to. Other than that, it’s a method of utilising any Great Strength style cards which you might want to pack in the deck.
Four move, coupled with a range 3 attack does give you not only a good amount of mobility but also a large threat range with which to control both boards. Bold Conquest is very easy to score with this warband and you have another fighter with a good ranged attack so it’s an effect you can build around. With objective tokens mattering so much to most players right now it’s a very efficient activation to charge onto a token yourself while attacking an enemy fighter on another token and potentially killing them or pushing them off. Four move is also the threshold that lets us utilise surge objectives like Gathered Momentum/Cover Ground/Winged Death as long as we pack some +2 move cards into our deck like Spectral Wings/Malkyn Grace.
Having 2 dodge right off the bat is nice, it certainly makes going on guard quite valuable as it really increases the chances of stopping an attack but even without guard your opponent has to either stack some accuracy effects or get lucky in order to hit you. In a pinch you can also re-roll one of those defence dice to effectively be rolling 3 dodge into an attack – making you Snirk levels of hard to hit.
I have mentioned above how only having 3 wounds makes building a deck focused on the spell casting abilities of Myari a potential trap but I just want to reiterate here that it is by far the biggest weakness with the fighter. Most warbands/decks are built to reliably deal 3 damage, spiking to 4 in order to take down some of the most important fighters in the game. They will almost always be able to one shot your leader if they manage to land an attack. You can go down the route of stacking wound upgrades but you will always be starting on the back foot in an arms race, while you equip Great Fortitude your opponent equips Great Strength etc. This makes any upgrades placed on your leader much more susceptible to simply being destroyed, its hard to invest into a fighter that can die at a moment’s notice.
On balance I think Myari is a solid leader that averages on the slightly weaker side for stats but somewhat makes up for it with Wizard levels.
Bahannar, also known as Bananaman, has been the most frustrating fighter for me in practice games. In 90% of the games I have played he has died in the first round, once in the very first activation of the game to a 2 fury Gristlewell charge. I’m going to try and remain calm, ignoring Tom’s taunting voice as he rubs his nipples while rolling another crit, and give a fair assessment of how Bahannar ‘should’ work, without straying too much into salt over how useless he has been in my games so far.
The most important stand out part of Bananaman’s fighter card is his two-block defence. This guy is one of the hardest fighter’s in the game to hit when uninspired and this is coupled with the inability to be driven back when missing a move or charge token. I really wish that we didn’t have the move/charge token restriction, for my first activation in a game I often want to move this giant yellow fruit (or is it a herb?) onto an objective token but if I do that then I feel like I am losing part of the power budget on this fighter. What the drive back immunity does do is let you deploy Bananaman in front of the most assessable lethal hex to your opponent’s warband, forcing them to spend a Distraction when they inevitably hit with a 1 fury – 2 damage attack in the first activation. On paper the two block really should make this guy harder to hit and over enough games those odds will play out, with the best chance of avoiding an attack I almost always recommend deploying this kids superhero the farthest forward in your warband. We still only have 3 wounds though and you are going to be clenching your butt cheeks every time a random attack is thrown towards your ‘tank’ because if it connects, he is almost certainly dead.
The biggest let down with Bahannar’s (ok I’ve run out of Bananaman energy now) fighter card is that his movement is only 3. With the rest of the warband sitting pretty at a tasty 4, Bahannar becomes not only your least mobile fighter but also a weak link in scoring any of the speed objectives I mentioned above.
This isn’t all doom and gloom, we have some good news for the stoic aelf in the form of a range 2 attack that pumps up to 3 damage when inspired. A range 2, 2 smash and 3 damage attack is honestly what you expect out of a good leader so to see it on your second in command is pretty nice. It’s unfortunate that the uninspired side loses a damage but not the end of the world. Despite my bad luck with the early game I do legitimately think there is a lot of value to be had in forcing Bahannar into the fray pretty early as every defence or attack roll can get him inspired.
If there was a fighter in the warband that you wanted to Voltron up, this is the guy to do it. A range 2 attack that hits for 3 really lets you go to town and kill multiple enemy fighters in one round, with the right upgrades and dice rolls, its just hard to recommend that strategy when said fighter still dies in one hit.
Ailenn, The Minds Edge
Ailenn is low key my favourite fighter in the warband. Uninspired she isn’t much to look at, 4 move, 1 block, 3 wounds with a bog-standard range 1, 2 smash for 2 damage attack. Oh god, I have just realised that she actually ties for highest damage stat in the warband when looking at the sides of the uninspired cards, that’s an er interesting fact…
What I love about Ailenn is how much she gains from inspiring. We go from 1 block to 2, making her just as hard to hit as our main ‘tank’ Bahannar but the real juice is that her attack goes from 2 smash to 3 and gains the tasty keyword cleave. A 3 smash with cleave attack is one of the most accurate in the game and generally means that you can count on Ailenns attacks hitting when you need them to, something regular Steel City readers will know that I value very highly. That range 1 attack means you can potentially pack range 1 specific upgrades like Sting of the Ur-Grub into the deck if you want to as well.
Being able to re-roll your defence dice against range 3 plus attacks is certainly a nice bonus that helps with inspiring but honestly, it won’t come up in many games.
The general way to play Ailenn that I have found most successful is to place her mostly out of the way, usually off to the side on board deployment. When I need an attack that hits for a bit more then one of my ranged fighters I throw her into the fray and hope she inspires. If I have Channel the Zenith in hand she is often my first choice to inspire and I will burn that card just before launching her attack.
Is it just me or does she look a bit like Natalie Dormer?
Here is the real MVP of the warband, the fighter that everyone looks at and has a bit of a wtf moment. Before I get into the reasons to get excited about Senaela I’m going to have a mini moan about her bad points. 1 Dodge with 3 wounds. Your most interesting fighter not only falls over to a stiff breeze but also gets smacked in the face by a passing leaf because literally anything can be expected to hit her. A basic 2 smash attack has a 59% chance to hit her and with the same wounds as the rest of the warband that generally makes her go from high elf to dead elf pretty fast.
Ok now the good news.
Uninspired Senaela has a ranged 4 attack coupled with a movespeed of 4, for a total threat range of 8, it is next to impossible for a control or hold objective warband to hide fighters from her. Our avid archer is also the only Hunter in the warband, giving us access to tasty cards like Snare or even Hunter’s Talisman. The secret recipe for success here is that her range 3 attack has both cleave and it inflicts +1 damage on a crit. If you are either rolling a bunch of dice or are just lucky on your attack roll that’s a 2 damage ranged 3 attack right out of the gate, Sanson Farstrider eat your heart out.
When inspired her defence goes to a much more respectable 2 dodge and her range 4 attack increases to a monstrous 5 range. Honestly, while the range 5 attack looks amazing on paper, I find that I very rarely use it, focusing on the extra damage and accuracy of the range 3 version. So her inspired side practically doesn’t gain much. On the other hand she is the easiest fighter in your warband to inspire, being able to make attacks from such a distance gives you more chances to roll those success dice, which brings me neatly onto my next section.
“This fighter’s attack, defence or casting roll only contains successes”
Inspiring is a fairly big deal for most of the fighter’s in your warband. Bahannar gains + 1 damage on his attack, sexy sword lady gains +1 smash and cleave on her attack while bumping her defence up by 1 block, Senaela gains an extra dodge and increased range on her longest range attack and finally your leader gets an extra damage on his spell attack action. For some of those fighter’s that’s effectively two upgrades worth of stats, for your leader its instead the perfect increases in stats that you actually can’t get from an upgrade.
So how much control over that inspire condition do you actually have? Honestly not much, you can rig the odds in your favour by increasing the amount of times you roll attack, defence (this one is risky though) or spell dice and you can even burn your aetherquartz counters just to try and force the issue but, with one exception that I will mention in a moment, its always going to be down to dice. The other way to look at this is that there is not much your opponent can do to deny your inspire condition, they will genuinely be weighing up the benefits of sending odds off attacks your way as it could cause you to inspire, not only wasting their activation but giving you a power boost. This semi random inspiration condition really does add to the skill requirement of the warband, not only are all our fighters very unique but they also inspire individually, you are going to have to adapt your plan on the fly as different fighters inspire in each game you play.
The one constant method of inspiration that we do have access to is a tasty card that I’m actually going to review here instead of the more traditional later spot, Channel the Zenith:
Here we have a way to either inspire a fighter for the round or the option to remove an aertherquartz counter to make the effect permanent. Either effect is super powerful, the amount of stats you gain from inspiring is very nice, as I said above. Generally I choose to not remove the counter as its quite a powerful tool in it’s own right, the general exceptions to this rule are:
- I need to score Elemental Blessing and this is the only Elemental card in my hand
- I’m choosing to inspire Ailenn early and get her actively involved in the fight
- A specific extra stat on a fighter is going to be very important for the rest of the game, like the extra damage on Bahannar’s attack into an elite matchup e.g. Krushas
This card should be in every Purifers deck right now, the only time I would skip it is if we are at the end of a season and the universal card pool is full of crazy powerful cards.
Like almost every other facet of this warband, inspiration is a hard but rewarding effect that good players will be able to get a lot out of.
“At the start of the game give each friendly fighter one aetherquartz counter”
“Reaction: After this fighter’s attack, defence or casting roll remove one aetherquartz counter from this fighter and re-roll one dice in the next roll.”
This is the real power in the warband. The inherent ability to re-roll an attack, defence or magic dice might not sound like much but its a massive edge that will leave your opponent wanting to flip the table in frustration. Let’s start with an example that will happen in a lot of games, Bahannar is deployed up front and your opponent decides to charge in, hoping for a lucky kill on your low wound tank. Not only does your opponent have to beat that powerful 2 block defence but they also have to deal with a potential re-roll, effectively making it a 3 block defence when it really matters. On top of that is the issue that they can actually inspire Bahannar as I mentioned above. These two factors combined acts as a big deterrent, your opponent really has to assess if it is worth a wasted activation when the odds are so low of hitting, let alone the fact that you can fight back more easily in the next activation.
The trick to using your aetherquartz is that you only get one go with each fighter, blow an early re-roll trying to turn an unsuccessful attack into a key hit and suddenly your fighter is a lot easier to hit for the rest of the game. These re-rolls are going to be more powerful the more intimate with the odds you are, knowing that you have a 1/3 to roll a smash + a 1/6 to roll a crit lets you know that there is a 50/50 chance of turning that attack dice into a success, especially useful if you are burning the re-roll to fish for an early inspire. Generally speaking I don’t think its worth fishing for an inspire, yes its nice if it happens but the true power in these counters is to turn a failed attack or defence roll into a successful one. On the other hand, if you are rolling 2 smash for an attack and get one hit and a miss, well using a re-roll on the dice that didn’t land can not only net you a potential inspire but it also makes the attack more likely to hit.
Of course we have another use for the precious aetherquartz, warband specific cards that give you an advantage for discarding your counter. These cards are an interesting design, forcing you to use part of your warbands power budget for a potentially bigger upside. I’m not going to review those cards in this section as literally the next one is the card review but its important to be aware that these counters have an intrinsic value above the simple re-rolls they can provide.
It’s almost impossible to go through each and every use case for these counters, they are as myriad as the multitude of games you will play. I will give you one general piece of advice that I have found quite useful though, save them for when it is essential, especially if you pack cards into your deck that need you to discard them. The worst that can happen is you used all of your counters in round 1 and have about 5 power cards left in your deck that are useless.
Just to reiterate, I am only going to rate and discuss the cards that I think are relevant for this warband. If I miss a card then it’s because I don’t think it will see play.
With this card the Purifiers tick the box of having a warband specific very easy to score surge. This is the type of power that has helped Cursebreakers, Thorns and Hrothgorn and highly contributes to the success of a warband. When stacked against all of the previously mentioned options Elemental Blessing probably comes up a tad short, it’s restriction of forcing you to take specific cards in your deck, combined with making your aetherquartz counter management a bit more tricky does mean it has a legitimate cost. Elemental Blessing isn’t restricted though and if my guess about GW balance is correct it won’t ever be unless the Purifier’s start becoming overrepresented at the top of competitive events. If you are taking 3 Elemental cards then this is a very good objective, if you take that same number of cards alongside some card draw then this is an amazing objective.
Force of the Avalanche
This objective is only just good enough for me to discuss. If we see a meta where horde warbands that contain 2 wound fighters is prevalent then you maybe take this, even then you will need to stack as many strength upgrades as possible due to the potential of matching into an elite warband. Uninspired your fighters deal 2 damage maximum, your inspire condition is also hard to control, this is a very unreliable objective unless you opponent is serving up low wound fighters to you on a plate.
At the other end of the meta call is an objective that is fantastic into elite warbands but complete rubbish into hordes. Being able to score 2 glory automatically against something like the Krushas is quite attractive but I don’t think you can reliably kill enough ghosts or goblins to make this an objective you want to take to a tournament. We do have some fantastic ping damage options with the warband though, potentially if this season introduces a few more we could see this warband reliably kill enough low wound fighters in the power step that this becomes viable against all comers. Right now I’d personally give it a miss.
Patience of the Mountains
There is a build involving Purifiers that focuses heavily on the guard mechanic. We have some power cards that support the playstyle alongside fighter stats that benefit greatly from being on guard. Guard also increases our chance of inspiring when we roll defence dice which is a nice bonus. Here we see a surge for getting all of our fighters equipped with a guard token, which with 4 fighters is quite tricky. If you take Buried Instinct, Hunting Band, Tight Defence and Dauntless Aspect alongside the in faction cards that I will mention in a bit then I think you can reliably pull this off with the expectation of taking between 1 and 2 activations per round to achieve this. For most general strategies I would argue that this isn’t worth it, but if you couple this surge with Abundance of Caution, take a few draw cards and maybe some end of game glory like the Lost Pages – basically what I am saying is that I can see a possibility of a hard control build here. I haven’t played it but I’d love to see some proper control do well, my suspicion is that right now its not very strong into the rest of the field.
Temporary Victory is one of the best hold objective surges ever printed and it is restricted for a good reason. To see a warband copy that isn’t restricted is certainly quite exciting. Practically for this warband holding 3 tokens is a lot harder then it is for say Thorns of the Briar Queen or even Sepulchral Guard, we only have 4 fighters and there is no inherent ability to move multiple fighters onto tokens in a single activation. The high range on two of our fighter’s does give us the double efficiency of being able to charge onto tokens while still having plenty of targets to attack which somewhat alleviates our activation efficiency issues.
There is a potential Purifier deck here where you pack Perfect Formation alongside Temporary Victory, Hidden Purpose and Swift Capture and focus your warbands attention around maintaining control of those precious tokens. I have played this exact deck against multiple opponents and honestly, it wasn’t good. Some games you will get to place three tokens and draw two Temporary Victories in your opening hand and you will feel like this is the most stupidly powerful way to play the game. Other’s, your opponents will pack Mischievous Spirits/Distraction/Slickrock/Restless Prize and you will literally see your entire deck brick while being unable to score a single objective. With Dominant Position being one of the best objectives in the current meta (spoilers for our universal card review) you are always going to care about tokens to some extent, either to deny your opponent scoring or to enable your own, how far down the hold objective rabbit hole you want to go is up to you. There is a balance where you go too far and you probably shouldn’t be playing an elite warband like the Purifiers in that case but the other extreme is trying to ignore all of those good cards which I don’t think you can do with the card pool being so small at the beginning of this season. Right now I am confident that most decks either take Perfect Formation or at least heavily consider it.
Once players get wise to the fact that this objective exists they will use all of their disruption cards like Distraction, of which we have far too many right now, to make sure your leader specifcally never ends a round on a token. You can play the arms race against this with friendly push cards like Sidestep but with Nightvault rotating those friendly pushes are thin on the ground and you will more often then not lose that war.
Pursuit of Excellence
Loaded with Plunder is one of the reasons that Rippa’s have been the best aggro warband during Beastgrave, in a meta that lacked decent aggro end phase objectives we saw a 2 glory reward for simply stacking some upgrades onto one fighter. This is an absolutely amazing end phase objective that is probably at it’s weakest right now, when we lack many of the super powerful surges. So there is potential for it to brick in round 1. Every round thereafter though this is as close to free as it gets, sure your opponent can kill your tooled up fighter but if those upgrades are defensive in nature it could be pretty hard to do.
Seal the Beastgrave
I’m genuinely not sure why GW print supremacy style cards for small fighter count warbands. We saw this card in the Wurmspat and its almost as bad here. Perfect Formation is just about good enough with a small card pool for this warband, I don’t think Seal the Beastgrave is worth taking even now. Maybe in a Grand Alliance environment where cards are super thin. If we didn’t have the preponderance of disruption cards that I have already mentioned in this meta then maybe maybe this is worth it, unfortunately we do so it isn’t.
A solid surge that can work with two of your fighters. If we see some more support for ranged attacks this season, maybe something like Gloryseeker coming back, then I can see a build focusing around Senaela that takes this. It’s a bit too tricky right now in my opinion.
If you build around this then it’s a fairly reliable end phase objective. Unfortunately one of the best enablers for it, Savage Speed, is not a card I’d recommend taking with this warband as you don’t really want to lose a defence dice on one of your fighters. Still we have a lot of surges that reward you for going fast, maybe this gets better later in the season with more support?
Channel the Mountain
If you are running that fabled guard build that I talked about above then this card is absolutely one of the best ways to give all of your fighters a token. This is also an elemental card so it’s a nice trigger for Elemental Blessing. The basic effect of just giving one of your fighters a guard token is not to be underestimated either, they all either start at two defence dice or inspire to it so it really decreases your chances of being hit. I think this is the weakest elemental ploy card but it’s still a good option.
Channel the River
With Centre of Attention, Two Steps Forwards, Irresistible Prize, Duellists Speed, Quickening Grieves and Mirror Move all rotating alongside Nightvault the value of a friendly push has gone up immensely. The only universal card we have that does a ‘good’ job is Sidestep. Channel the River at worst is a copy of Sidestep, at best its Sidestep on steroids that also scores you Elemental Blessing. I can’t emphasises enough just how insane a 3 push effect is, Commanding Stride was a card that on its own gave warbands focused around a leader a massive edge in mobility, and that was restricted to only your leader and to starting hexes. This card should be in all but the most specialist of Purifier decks.
Channel the Wind
The hands down best elemental ploy. Ping damage is a very strong effect, it’s also one that works well with this warband because we lack damage on our main attacks. The targeting restrictions here are very minimal, choose an enemy fighter within two hexes of any friendly fighter. The ability to burn your aetherquartz counter to target two enemy fighters is so good that it becomes one of the main reasons to pick this warband. I have had a game where I killed Vasillac and Slackslash together with this one card, literally winning me the game based off of a single power card.
Ping damage cards are a bit light right now in the early Direchasm meta, Hunting Bolt, Collapse and maybe Snare are your best options. If we see a few more good sources as the season progresses then I can see the Purifiers becoming an S tier warband simply based off being able to combine them with this monstrosity of a card.
Flicker of Light
Dark Destiny has given me many moments to contemplate my continued friendship with Tom Bond, seeing a copy of it in the Purifiers brings back some unhappy memories… Practically this is a weaker card then Dark Destiny as you have to burn one of your aethquartz counters in order to use it, those same counters can also be used to re-roll one of your defence dice. Situations obviously come up where this gives better odds then simply re-rolling a defence dice but we are starting to get into the niche territory here. I think Flicker of Light is a must take card if you are not packing many other ways to burn your counters, but this is competing against some utterly amazing effects and I don’t think it quite cuts the mustard next to them.
A moderately versatile card that I initially skipped over. I can honestly see this making it’s way into some decks, obviously a staple in any guard focused one.
A great offensive option for your leader that doubles up on making any spell build more reliable while also helping you to inspire.
This is effectively a +1 wound upgrade, arguably its actually slightly worse when you start with 3 wounds as you can legitimately die from a combination of lethal hex and ping damage which this offers no protection against. If you are planning on stacking as many wound upgrades as you can into your deck then this is absolutely worth a slot, personally I would skip it as your opponent will generally pack +1 damage upgrades and still always be able to one shot you.
Another super powerful way to spend aetherquartz counters. The ability to get attacks without having to use activations is always very strong, when you have a fighter with a range of 5 its easy to pop this on her and threaten this attack against pretty much any enemy fighter if they dare to make an attack against your warband. The obvious counterplay is for your opponent to try and kill the fighter that has this upgrade equipped before you get to use the reaction, depending on positioning and upgrades that can be easier said then done though. The +1 move is icing on the cake and really pushes this card to an autoinclude in most decks.
A re-roll that works on any of your fighters attacks no matter what range it is.
This helps us hit our attacks, inspire and just generally be dickish elves to our opponents. Only in very specific situations should you consider using the seocnd part of this card, its generally not worth burning an aetherquartz counter for the effect and it means you lose this amazing re-roll on your future attacks.
That’s fine though, I’ll take this re-roll every day.
Savage Strength is unfortunately not a good card for us, once again losing defence dice is not ideal for this warband. That leaves us with Great Strength and Sting of the Ur-Grub if we want to boost the damage on our attacks, with Sting only working for Ailenn. So right now Mountain Stance is a legitimate option if you want to hit for some extra damage. It’s not a good option though as you have to somehow position to get the attack without moving or charging, Channel the River says hi. The extra ability of stopping Cleave on a 2 block fighter is decent, combined we have a card that’s just about takeable.
More guard related goodness. We really to have the support to go in on guard tokens, I wonder if we will see more synergy with objectives as Direchasm progresses. Honestly even if we don’t this is a solid pick, pop it on your leader early on and watch your opponent reassess if it’s even worth attacking Myari.
Speed of Hysh
You take this if you want the speed objectives of Gathered Momentum, Cover Ground and Winged Death in your deck and its hard to argue against such a strong combination of surges. With your already high movement and long range attacks I don’t think it is quite worth it on its own though, maybe nice for Ailenn to get an unexpected attack out but that’s about it.
Example Deck and Final Thoughts
If you are super brave and want to experiment with this deck then you can here
So I’ve played almost 20 games with this deck. At this point my best advice is: do not play this deck. I’m actually quite happy with the power deck, the combination of ping damage and board control really works well with the Purifiers, what I’m less happy about is the objective deck. As you can see I went hard on the hold objective playstyle here and there are times where it can work really well, i.e. you draw Temporary Victory and Perfect Formation early, there are also times where those cards sit on the bottom of your deck and you only draw them when 2 members of your warband are dead, yikes.
As the season progresses I can see this general playstyle of the Purifiers getting stronger, its a flex between the hold objective and aggro playstyles that allows you to fully abuse the long threat range of your fighters. What this playstyle really needs is some safer surges and maybe even a couple more reliable end phases as well. I don’t want to take these crazy risky objectives like Temporary Victory but with the card pool so small at the beginning of the season I can’t see any better alternatives.
I’ve tried the ‘Yolo Speed’ package of surge objectives, combining Gathered Momentum, Cover Ground and Winged Death with a bunch of triggers but I’ve found that it really dosn’t suit the playstyle of this warband, if you charge your fighters in then you lose some of the advantage that your long range attacks give and your fighters often end up dying quite easily in response with those low wound characteristics.
My current assessment of this warband is that they are strong when piloted by a very skilled player but not amazing. If I had to put them somewhere on a tier list from S to D it would probably be in the B range. There are some circumstances where I think these guys could legitimately become powerhouses later in the season:
- We get a few more powerful ping damage cards that you can combine with Channel the Wind, Hunting Bolt and their in built long range attacks to pink enemy fighters off easily
- A reusable upgrade that strongly benefits ranged attacks, e.g. Gloryseeker, comes back into the universal pool
- More support for a control/guard based build comes out, we are not far off from it being viable already
- An upgrade or 2 that works well with their defensive stats, like Spectral Armour comes back
If any of those conditions are met then these guys will become a strong part of the Direchasm meta. Even if they aren’t then I think the Purifiers are a decent enough warband that will see play from time to time.
As a final note, I just want to say that I am super happy with the overall design philosophy of both the Purifiers and the Dread Pageant. Both of these warbands feel like a tool box that lets the players build and play them how they want. In Nightvault it was very obvious how we were supposed to play warbands like Thorns of the Briar Queen. More of this please GW.
I’m kind of hyped for this season already.