Event Review: I Put a Spell On You

Hi pals, it’s Bryce again (I won some glass with Dwarfs like six months ago, so I’m super relevant in the community), back today to write about the Shadespire Underworlds tournament at The Game Forge in Manchester this weekend.

I’ve been playing Cursebreakers since the Great Restrictening, largely because I think they still function very well without all of the BAR cards and also I’m a sucker for playing the Good Guys. Giblin and myself have been smashing out games in our lunch breaks aka Lunchspire for a couple weeks now, and so I felt I had a pretty good handle on my deck in the short time since the BAR got dropped.

The Deck

Restricted Cards:

  • Change of Tactics
  • Escalation
  • Extreme Flank
  • Ready for Action
  • My Turn

Objectives:

  • Harness the Storm: This card feels like cheating legally. A sickeningly easy to score objective, and it’s a score immediately. I’m not sure I can ever go back to a faction that doesn’t have this card.
  • Change of Tactics, What Armour?: Easy score immediatelys, always good.
  • Sorcerous Scouring, Measured Strike: Get a kill with a spell (Fulmination yo) and in faction precise use of force. Very easy to score.
  • Shining Example, Extreme Flank, Magical Supremacy, Escalation: Good passives you can easily score with little to no interaction from your opponent if they decide to sit back.
  • Master of War: Tonne of score immediately cards make this very easy.
  • Victory After Victory: Have tonnes of score immediately cards, score them, get extra glory for scoring them. Went back and forth on this card a bit, but over the day I was glad I included it.
  • Superior Tactician: Auto include for any kind of aggro/aggro hybrid deck. Wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up on the restricted list next time.

Gambits:

  • Ready for Action: Duh. The best ploy card on the restricted list.
  • Abasoth’s Withering: Extra spell for Magical Supremacy/Harness, super easy to cast (89%ish), and also it’s effectively a damage buff. Yes please.
  • My Turn: Last restricted card. With so many damage cards now on the restricted list, 4 health is actually super relevant again. Being able to move away can stop a charge/damage/upgrade/Ready for Action to kill one of your dudes. Also, free attacks with all of the good attack profiles I have are great. Nothing quite like scoring objectives off a free attack off My Turn.
  • Shardegale: Non-restricted damage card. Triggers My Turn for some jank. Overall probably not worth it, if I’m honest, too many situations where I can’t safely drop it cause it drops my spellfolk into 3 health one shot territory.
  • Inspiration Strikes: Easiest and safest way to inspire Stormsire.
  • Hidden Paths: Auto include for movement jank + Extreme Flank.
  • Spectral Wings: Sometimes you need to go a bit further.
  • Sidestep: Super generic card, it’s almost never game winning, but equally it’s almost never useless.
  • Lightning Assault: Reroll an Attack if it misses. Action economy makes your important attacks more likely to hit.
  • Mischievous Spirits: My super-secret tech which is now not so secret. This card will win you games against objective decks. If you’re struggling with objective decks, put this card in your deck. Trade off is that it’s dead against aggro (although it can be cute shifting an objective for you to Faneway onto and kill someone) but the meta currently seems to be objective based and hot damn this card is good.

Upgrades:

  • Great Strength: Punch things harder
  • Deathly Fortitude/Sudden Growth: Moar wounds is more better. Hidden Paths/Faneway/Spectral Wings/Sprinter/Fulmination get around the downside.
  • Sprinter: Sometimes you just need to go a bit further.
  • Hero’s Mantle: Free Glory if your leader makes it to the end of the game. Replaces Slumbering/Destiny.
  • Formless Key: Free Glory for being on an objective at the end of the game. Not actually worth it in this deck, I think, there are usually better ways of spending end of game actions.
  • Potion of Rage: Now Helpful Whispers and Awakened Weapon are dead, this is one of the few ways to make attacks more accurate. Auto include.
  • Gloryseeker: Wanna do 3 damage with Fulmination? Here’s how! Functionally just better than Incredible Strength and non-restricted.
  • Faneway Crystal: Movement is good. Jumping across half the board is real good.
  • Tempest’s Might: Wanna do 4 damage with Fulmination? Here’s how! Weirdly this card is incredible on paper and I don’t think it was ever relevant over the weekend, largely due to Shardgale/Gloryseeker/playing a tonne of warbands with 2 and 3 HP models.

That’s the deck rundown, so onto the tournament. We had 14 people at the Game Forge, which is a pretty strong number! The Forge is a great venue, well lit and with plenty of space. Giblin was TO and had intended to play but given there was an even number of players he heroically stepped back so as to ensure there would be no bye (sad music). When I showed up, I noticed that Tom Bond and Michael Carlin of Steel City Underworlds fame (or infamy) were in attendance. While they’re sweet guys, they’re always in competition for any glass that’s around, so it was gonna be a tough field!

Round 1 – Farstriders – Mark

I pretty much forgot all of my opponent’s names cause I’m a s***head, so apologies in advance [Editor’s Note: I am not a s***head so have added them in] First up was Farstriders, a band I wasn’t super keen on seeing given my love of having lots of little dudes to kill and score my glories, but the draw lies where it lies.

I got board placement all three games this round, which is REAL good against Farstriders. Set up with 3 hexes across in all three games, so he never got a model inspired without using Inspiration Strikes over all three games.

First game was a bit of a steamroller for me, he set up quite far forward, I spent my first turn getting all my dudes inspired cause spells and then ended by Ammis using Knockback to do 3 damage and smash a Strider back into a lethal hex for the last point of health. Managed to wipe out his whole warband by the end of turn 2, so got to cycle through and figure out how much glory I could get, which was a lot.

Second game he set up far back, my deck didn’t come out in quite such a kind order, and he played keep away very effectively. He eventually got me by a score of 13-11.

Game 3 he also set up quite far back, but my deck was much kinder this time. Managed to get everyone inspired and dodge quite a few attacks, including a charge from Farstrider that would have let him kill Stormsire and get into the game. Because he missed that charge, I got to kill off two models in two activations, and that sort of ended the game pretty hard. I got a lot of glory and won handily here.

Round 2 – Thorns of the Briar Queen – Ben

I’ve played against these guys quite a lot, and I’m pretty comfortable in the match up. We only managed 2 games this round due to the round timer being 1hr 15mins. He was playing a pretty standard Thorns list, with their in faction easy scores, but mainly going for objective play. Mischievous Spirits helped me out in the first game, as did some kind dice, and it ended up pretty brutal at 17-3.

The second game was a lot tougher, he got three objectives and Mischievous Spirits hid in my deck, meaning he got to score a lot of glory off of Supremacy etc. The game was super tight, but he managed to eke out a small win over me. However, given that we only had time for 2 games, it went to glory diff, which I won due to the absolute brutality of game 1.

Round 3 – Sepulchral Guard – Rob

Feeling a touch lucky to have got through to round 3 having 3 out of 5 games so far, I drew Skellies. Thankfully, this is what Giblin’s been playing in our games of Lunchspire for the last few weeks, so I was pretty comfortable in the game. He ‘lost’ the roll two out of the three games, meaning he had three objectives, which meant I was up against it since I could guess he was running a heavy objective deck.

Fortunately, Mischievous Spirits helped me out here in both games, moving objectives around and just slowing his game right down. Skellies are easy to kill and Stormsire loves being in the middle of the Skelly board firing his Fulminations are everyone. I won pretty handily in game 1, but had an absolute trainwreck of a game 2, where I failed to inspire Ammis and Rastus four times, and then thought we were on turn 2 when we were on turn 3, so made some real poor decisions.

Combination of bad dice and then making one enormous mistake meant this game was one of the worst I’ve played, and I’m a dumbass who deserved to lose it hard. Thankfully I found both of my braincells and got them pointed in the right direction in time for game 3 and won the round 2-1. One funny point in game 3 was Ammis getting attacked by the Champion, trying to score What Armour?, and she was inspired and rolled that dodge like an absolute boss. Literally the only time in 4 rounds that rule came up, but hey, that’s still pretty cool.

Round 4 – Thorns of the Briar Queen – Tim

In the final! I’d watched the tail end of Tim’s game against Tom Bond the round before, and he won narrowly. Taking down one of the Steel City guys is quite something to be proud of, so I was wary going into this game.

Tim’s Thorns deck was nasty, focused on a huge amount of movement and objective play. I actually lost the first game, Mischievous Spirits was the very bottom card on my deck, and he got three objectives. Despite Stormsire and Rastus getting right up in his face on turn 1, and killing off a lot of his spookyboiz, I couldn’t quite steal the game.

Second game, he got three objectives again, but thankfully, Mischievous Spirits showed up and shut down his turn 2 hard, denying him any objectives. While he scored Our Only Way Out on turn 1, the other objectives largely remained beyond him. While I came to loathe the Briar Queen over the three games, since she spent all of her time bouncing around like a march hare, his deck didn’t have a tonne (any, possibly) of cards that scored off of killing. Therefore, it didn’t matter QUITE so much if my fighter started going down, since they could often kill a good number of ghosts first. Managed to win the second game comfortably.

Third game I dumped my starting hand for both, since I’d drawn hard to score turn 1 objectives and 4 upgrades (but lost My Turn ☹). The game was super tight, and some unlucky defense rolls from Stormsire saw him go down at the start of turn 2. Ammis whiffed a five dice Potion of Rage charge to kill the Briar Queen, and in return the Briar Queen whiffed a five dice Potion of Rage charge to kill Rastus. Mischievous Spirits again kept me in it though (seriously this card against objective decks, it’s like having Great Concussion all over again).

I’d been scoring passives and killing some toys, so it was very close going into round 3. I’d dug through my entire deck for Ready for Action (literally the bottom card, btw), and had What Armour, Superior Tactician and Measured Strike in hand. Glory was super tight. Rastus goes, charges the Ever Hanged, hits him for What Armour?, and then I upgrade Ammis and Ready for Action her. She doesn’t let me down this time and smashes the Briar Queen rather successfully, scoring Measured Strike and a kill. Drew up into Victory after Victory and Change of Tactics. The Ever Hanged kills Rastus in return, and we go on guard/draw cards for a bit cause we’ve gone longboards and not much is in range to punch. Ammis then charges, scores Change of Tactics, and kills the Ever Hanged, putting me well up on glory. He scores some objectives at the end, but I have Victory After Victory and Superior Tactician, ensuring I’m too far ahead to catch!

So, I won my fifth piece of glass, and my first with not-Dwarfs. I love Cursebreakers, and I’m prolly going to practice them pretty heavily before the Grand Clash in January. Genuinely not sure I can ever go back to a world without Harness the Storm, like goddamn, I think that’s the best objective card in the game. The event overall was super fun, and the Forge is a cracking venue. Thanks Giblin for hosting (and also letting me write this), and sorry you couldn’t play!

Cheerio troops, catch ye’s in a bit!

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