Hey Trophy Hunters!
If you have been on any FB group, Reddit, or Discord then you’ve likely seen that there are a list of cards banned from competitive play, and a whole heap of cards that are restricted. You can find the full list here.
This article will assume you know these cards well so please take a look.
THESE ARE INITIAL REACTIONS AND EXTREMELY LIKELY TO CHANGE.
I’VE PLAYED ONLY TWO GAMES UNDER THESE NEW RULES.
EXPECT A BETTER ARTICLE AT A LATER DATE.
100% on board with the banned cards. They were too good and felt like legitimised cheating. I’m happy they have gone. All players are in the same boat so their removal opens up three new ploy spaces to fill. Super interesting for deck building and lets some cards that are objectively good but didn’t quite make the cut a welcome addition. *resleeves Distraction*.
The Restricted List
It’s going to be an interesting few weeks whilst the meta finds it’s feet after having the proverbial rug pulled from underneath it. Who’d have thought a random Wednesday at 5.40PM would have been the day that the old world collapsed?
Of the restricted list I don’t think I’ll be able to leave home without Change of Tactics, Ready for Action, Fired Up, and Extreme Flank. They’re just too good. Which leaves me with a lonely spot to pick a remaining restricted card, it’s probably going to be a 2 glory objective Escalation or Alone in the Darkness. Why? Because ultimately this game is about scoring glory and those objectives allow me to score whilst doing other objectives.
- Advancing/Defensive Strike: Both very easy to score as it just has to be your warband. There are lots of ranged damage gambits and spells now making these very reliable.
- Alone in the Darkness: With the removal of Great Concussion this isn’t as easy to score as it once was. I personally don’t think this needed to come into the restricted list.
- Change of Tactics: Possibly the most reliable Score Immediately in the game. Yes this should be here. Don’t expect it to disappear though.
- Escalation: Perfectly named because it was probably the very first ‘auto-include’ objective and it cemented it’s place in every deck. A rightful place on the restricted list.
- Extreme Flank: Answer the FAQ better and it doesn’t make it onto this list. As it is, yes this is on this list.
- Fired Up: Yes, it’s super easy to score for some warbands. BUT it’s an end phase card and is only one glory. This didn’t need to be on here.
- Loner: What even is this doing here? It seems so out of place! I guess it’s removing non-interactivity but this only benefits the low model warbands.
- Perfect Planning: As above. This wasn’t really an issue previously because Defensive Decks would likely be forced to Quick Thinker away because you could one-shot their models stopping them scoring a bunch of other passive objectives.
- Precise Use of Force: Again. It’s popular but still takes some upgrades or set up to pull enough. Don’t think it deserves it’s place here.
- Earthquake: With Great Concussion gone I suppose the devs were concerned about everyone running this again. Placing it on here prevents that. Objective decks will run it though.
- Illusory Fighter: Removes some of the non-interactivity from Charge then zip back. I really liked this card but it didn’t make the cut for a LOT of decks this feels like someone with influence got it added because they didn’t like it against them.
- My Turn: Another strong card that only the multi-wound models could really take advantage of. The lower wound count warbands will be glad to see this gone! Does it deserve it’s place? I don’t think it does really.
- Pit Trap/Trap/Twist the Knife: Hidden damage cards are never nice. Sort out their timing sequence and I think they’re just fine to be normal. As they are then yes they deserve their place.
- Ready For Action: This is still going to be in almost every deck. It’s inclusion in this list simply means less upgrades on the list will make it into decks.
- A Destiny to Meet/Slumbering Key: These deserve their place on this list as they could hugely swing a game. They deserve their place.
- Awakened Weapon/Helpful Whispers: We have so little dice manipulation in this game. Seeing these on here makes me very sad because I believe it will drive people away from taking risks on attack actions and charges. Especially when they’re competing with the objectives that these help complete.
- Incredible Strength: Seems kind of redundant as Gloryseeker and Great Strength exist – this hasn’t removed any kind of combo play and actually encourages more ranged play. I don’t think this needed to be on here especially with the removal of the…
- Shadeglass Dagger/Hammer: The Dagger I’m in full agreement with. The Hammer feels like it’s been lumped in with it’s naughty friend and is getting punished by association.
- Soultrap/Tethered Spirit: With basically all the reliable damage and accuracy modifiers removed I think the developers HAD to put these on the restricted list. Personally, just Tethered Spirit would have been enough as Soultrap leaves you in danger (if you’re still around).
What is sad is that the upgrades on this list will largely be dropped from the game. At their heart they are enablers to help achieve your more difficult Objectives, with some of ‘the easier’ objectives in this list getting the Glory engine running is going to be incredibly difficult. Upgrades are already the ‘weakest’ card and competing with not only Gambits, but also Objectives leaves them sorely behind.
It’s truly a shame that Helpful Whispers and Awakened Weapon are in the list as I fully expect to never see them in truly competitive lists anymore. Things like A Destiny to Meet and Slumbering Key are replaced by Hero’s Mantle and some in-faction upgrades for glory. The Shadeglass Dagger deserves to be in there but the poor Hammer didn’t feel like it should have made it’s way in, I reckon we’ll see these upgrades ditched entirely or replaced with the Kingslayer and Shadeglass Darts.
We’ll have to see over the coming weeks how the competitive meta settles after this huge shake up.