Posted in Garrek's Reavers, Warhammer Underworlds

Garrek’s Reavers: Khorne Sees Me!

Hey Trophy Hunters! After winning Shadeglass with the Godsworn Hunt, I’ve moved on to Garrek’s Reavers! Why am I punishing myself you ask? Well, I want to try and get some Shadeglass with the “weaker” warbands whilst I have the time before the Kharadon Overlord and Sylvaneth warbands take over my life! I believe that warbands like: Mollog, Magore, Farstrider, Thorns etc are strong enough that they’ll still be relevant when the new cards are released but I’ve found a deck that works NOW for the Reavers and feel this is their moment!

Garrek's Reavers - Targor faces down Gobbaluk!
“Let’s see if there is a skull inside that bouncy…thing”

If you’ve been following along on our #Lunchspire adventures on Facebook you’ll know that I’ve been playing Garrek’s Reavers a whole bunch (and not doing too poorly with them either!) In my quest to claim Shadeglass with all the available warbands, this particular bunch have been that high on my lists of priorities. After the original BAR List came out I was rather harsh on them, placing them in the bottom tier of warbands.

Garrek's Reavers - Arnulf faces down Progg da Netter
“FIGHT ME COWARD!”

Since then, there have been multiple releases and BAR 2.0. Which I believe has brought them up into the middle of the pack! This rise through the ranks can be attributed to the restriction of Sudden Growth & Deathly Fortitude, therefore increasing their killing potential due to less 6 Health tanks roaming around!

Garrek's Reavers - Saek Charges Drizgit!
Saek readying himself to claim another skull!

Garrek’s Reavers’ Deck List

The deck I’ve used for Garrek’s Reavers is essentially a copy-cat of my Godsworn Hunt deck (I think I was the first player to win Shadeglass with that warband?). Essentially it boils down to consistently scoring around about 15-17 Glory whilst preventing your opponent from doing the same by putting a bloody big axe through their skull.

Garrek's Reavers Deck List by Katophrane Relic

Objectives

Cover Ground, Change of Tactics, Blood for the Blood God, Martyred: Score Immediately cards that do not rely on dice to succeed and require minimal interaction. My favourites.

Advancing Strike, No Remorse:
Score Immediately cards that do rely on dice to succeed. Why No Remorse? Because Mollog has some squishy friends that I’d like to introduce to my axe, and there are plenty of two wound fighters out there!

Solid Gains, Master of War, Victory after Victory, Superior Tactician: Force multipliers that gel seamlessly with the score immediately build.

Escalation, It Begins: Easy to score and naturally happen throughout the course of a game.

Gambits

Haymaker, Blood Offering, Fuelled by Fury: Give me crits of give me death! Accuracy boosts are always welcome in a faction that relies on relatively small dice pools.

Ready for Action, Hidden Paths, Spoils of Battle, Spectral Wings: The bones of any aggressive deck build. I love all of these, and they tend to help score Objectives too!

Last Chance, Forceful Denial, Lethal Strike: Tech pieces to help deal with Mollog and high tempo aggressive warbands.

Upgrades

Potion of Rage, Tome of Offerings, Light Armour, Shadeglass Darts, Great Strength, Gloryseeker, Challenge Seeker: Aggression is part of the gameplan and these tools enable to warband to effectively put out the pain.

Great Speed, Faneway Crystal: Gotta cover ground and reach the opposition if you wanna kill them!

Bag of Tricks: Enables some of the combo play or to find a Speed Boost if the opposition is cowering away from you.

Deck Playstyle

Given the Gambits and Upgrades you’d be forgiven for mistaking this as an aggressive warband. Much like the Godsworn Hunt deck this is not an overly aggressive build as only two Objectives award killing. However, due to the in-faction cards this is definitely MORE aggressive than Godsworn Hunt.

Garrek's Reavers Playstyle
You’re forgiven for believing this is how Garrek’s Reavers must play…

There is a tool for every job, make sure you pick the right fighter to score whichever Objective you’re attempting to score. At times you may even be better off simply holding back, drawing a card, and waiting to increase your accuracy to ensure the Attack lands. Just like the Godsworn Hunt – your defence is essentially non-existent so don’t throw life away cheaply.

Board Selection

Ahh the ever growing collection of boards…which ones did I find most useful? Well, firstly five fighters gives you a lot to think about. For a general overview on getting better at board placement check out the Battlecast’s Board Placement 101 Video.

When you win the roll off (2 Objectives)

My favoured board against warbands I think I’ll be more aggressive than was The Ruptured Seal. Which board is that? I hear you think. Well it’s the one you probably never really see…

Garrek's Reavers Board Choice - The Ruptured Seal
Ka-pow!

The lethal hexes get placed at the back of the board and allow you a great place to put your two objectives – right next to lethal hexes! It also gives five starting hexes nice and close to your opponent to ensure you can score Blood for the Blood God in Turn 1!

If I’m against a more aggressive warband than myself then I’ll probably want somewhere to hide out and score some reliable objectives whilst Arnulf & Targor get beaten up.

When you Lose the Roll Off (3 Objectives)

This is a bit trickier as you MAY get longboarded so you need a good all round board, enter please Arcane Nexus! Providing you with a place to hide from early aggression AND a good number of starting hexes near the short sides! This also works well if you think you may be against an aggressor as you can sit back and let Arnulf & Targor get butchered BUT the opponent will likely be near one of those lethal hexes for you to take advantage off!

How did the Deck Perform?

It was alright. It came second at a small local event (5 players) and over three rounds played Mollog’s Mob, Magore’s Fiends, and Eyes of the Nine. The deck worked perfectly against Mollog and the Eyes and was pipped out by Magore’s Fiends (though Richard was rolling crits for days with the Shadeglass Darts). I’ll be sticking with these loons and have made considerable changes to their deck in an attempt to lean into the blood for the blood god mentality.

Stay in the loop on Lunchspire as Bryce picks up a new warband, and I decide if my new deck is better than this one or not!

Second place aka First Loser!
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.

Objectives

  • 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!

Upgrades

  • 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!!