Posted in Garrek's Reavers, Warhammer Underworlds

Garrek’s Reavers: Holding the Pyramid

Welcome Trophy Hunters! As part of my Faction spotlight series I’ll be looking at Garrek’s Reavers today. All factions are capable of winning an Event and we’re in a really good place for Game Balance.

The warbands in the Bottom-Tier are warbands that I see as having a weakness that the loss of cards on the Banned & Restricted List has enhanced. 

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Garrek's Reavers Art

Garrek’s Reavers Weaknesses

Garrek’s Reavers are the original bottom tier warband. If you played them in the Core Set versus Steelheart’s Champions you could feel their weakness. Poor stats for the most part (dodge & fury) and a do-or-die playstyle. They became popular with the advent of Twist the Knife & Trap as these cards compensated for their initial low damage output. Not so much nowadays.

Advancing upon their foes in a great, howling mass, the cannibalistic Bloodreavers make up the bulk of Khorne’s mortal hordes. These savage tribesmen hack and stab until they are covered from head to foot in the enemy’s blood, fighting desperately to win the favour of their dark god.

Their Inspiration mechanic is VERY Khornate and fits their theme nicely, which is always good to see in the design of a warband. When any three fighters are out of action the entire warband Inspires. This can lead to some strange occurrences where you really want your opponent to kill one of your own models to get Inspired. Obviously, this leads you to bleeding Glory as it can be expected that a fighter dying will typically be followed by a Score Immediately Objective.

Garrek's Reavers Painted

Garrek’s Reavers and the BAR List

The BAR List hurt all warbands. However, Garrek’s Reavers felt it especially hard as a lot of their tricks that dragged them up from the bottom tier to the top tier were in the Restricted List. Gambits such as Illusory Fighter, Twist the Knife, Ready for Action, Trap, Pit Trap and My Turn were extremely popular. Similarly, four of the simple kill oriented Score Immediately objectives are on the list, as well as the Shadeglass Dagger/Hammer and Helpful Whispers and Awakened Weapon.

When a warband is designed around killing and being killed removing their tool set to do the killing just leaves them with dying. Which isn’t a great plan.

Which five cards would I take?

Honestly, this is such a tough question! I’d likely take Change of Tactics and Extreme Flanks as my Restricted Objectives. Pass over Upgrades all together and take Ready for Action, Twist the Knife and My Turn from the Gambit Ploys. 

Garrek’s Reavers benefit a lot from My Turn jank due to their in-faction cards and similar damaging ploys. Ready for Action is an auto-pick, and Twist the Knife secures the Saek Turn One kill. Whilst Change of Tactics doesn’t require a kill and Extreme Flanks is too easy to pass up.

Related Article – Mid Tier Factions: Magore’s Fiends

Garrek's Reavers Shatter

Garrek’s Reavers: Faction Cards

One of the postitive aspects of the Banned & Restricted List is that it truly promotes more of the unused Neutral cards, or more faction cards. The Reavers have some spicy cards that I’d expect to see in any Reaver Deck I face.


  • It Begins – This card rewards you for killing and being killed. It is likely that after Saek charges in he dies so scoring because your even on kills puts you ahead.
  • Khorne Cares Not – Score two glory when any five fighters are out of action. This is extremely scoreable in Turn Two & Three due to the weakness of your own warband and the potential kills you gather.

Gambit Ploys

  • Blood Offering – Take one damage to roll two extra dice on your next attack. Combo with My Turn for maximum effectiveness.
  • Insensate – Stopping your fighters from dying for an activation is a neat trick to have up your sleeve and can seriously scupper some end of Turn One plans.
  • Khorne Calls – Rolling an extra dice with no penalty is a strong boon and with Haymaker now part of the card pool there are lots of accuracy options.
  • Fuelled By Slaughter – Make an Attack Action with a friendly fighter after you take a fighter out of action. This can be the same fighter so effectively it can allow a model to attack twice. This is ideal for Karsus to kill multiple models with his range two attack!


  • Bloodslick – A Bloodslick Garrek is not a tempting target, which frees up Acrobatic to go onto another fighter!
  • Grisly Trophy – This upgrade makes those kills with Garrek all the more terrifying & satisfying.
  • Frenzy – Whilst this can only be used on the Charge getting an extra dice on top of all those additional extra dice from Ploys means your Charge Actions become very accurate and worthwhile.

What is the highest number of attack dice Garrek’s Reavers can roll?

Haymaker (2) + Blood Offering (2) +  Khorne Calls (1) + Determined Effort (1) + Total Offence (2) + Potion of Rage (2) + Rising to the Challenge (1) + Army of One (1) + Tome of Warfare (1) + Karsus’ Chained Axe (3) =  16 Attack Dice!

Let me know in the comments if I missed any buffs!

Garrek’s Reavers: Board Choice

Chosen Axes Aggressive Board

When You Win the Roll…

…the board above is a very enticing board! It has fighters deployed at the rear of the action to score Extreme Flanks who can still move up to threaten or if you need to play it safe for a turn you can keep four fighters away from the fight whilst you score simple passive objectives to get your warriors upgraded.

When You Lose the Roll…

…the above board gives you a good footing when playing lengthways, and when playing square on or at an angle gives you a nice middle of the board deployment. Again – you can score Extreme Flanks without having to Move if the opportunity arises.

Garrek’s Reavers are by no means uncompetitive and can totally claim Shadeglass Trophies and go toe-to-toe with other warbands. However, their previously unbridled fury and carnage has been held in check by the BAR List. Most notably it is the lack of damage cards that they suffer from.

The response to this is to load up on additional Attack cards and to roll as many dice as you can to ensure that your Attacks hit! Abilities such as Aggressive Defence are also worth considering as your defence is so bad anyway that if your opponent missed you get another swing!

How do you find Garrek’s Reavers post BAR List? Do you see them being used at events? Let me know in the comments below, and if you think you can roll more than 16 dice in a single attack tell me how!!


Community Manager. Nerd. Tabletop Games are my jam.

4 thoughts on “Garrek’s Reavers: Holding the Pyramid

  1. Hi Jamie, Love the blog and love the insight both you and the other guy articles on here. Just reading this one late as I must of missed it when it went up. The fuelled by slaughter card can also be played to one of your own guys dying which means you can force decisions out of your opponent. I played Reavers since I got into the game a year ago and dropped them recently to play Skaven but now BAR is around I’m going to go back and re-look at them with a new take. See you at the brand clash in January?

    1. Hey! Thanks for the comment, yeah I’ll be at the Grand Clash!! How’re the Reavers postBAR treating you?

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