All factions are capable of winning an Event and we’re in a really good place for Game Balance. The warbands in the Mid-Tier are warbands that I see as having an inherent weakness but their strengths can overcompensate for this.
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What are Magore’s Fiends inherent weakness?
Magore’s Fiends suffer from a seemingly one-dimensional playstyle, though with the additional Nightvault cards that have come around they are definitely finding new ways to earn Glory besides taking skulls.
Eyes wild with murderous fury behind the vision-slits of their helms, the Blood Warriors barge through the midst of combat. Their axes run red with the spilt gore of their foes, while their enemies’ attacks clang from the thick plates of their armour.
Their Inspiration mechanic is extremely thematic; when they land a successful attack they Inspire! With their Inspiration they gain additional movement and damage on their attacks. Whilst Riptooth also gains an additional Dodge dice. Inspiration is BIG deal for Magore & Co as it allows them to accelerate their game plan. You are, however, entirely at the whim of the dice to allow you to Inspire. Unless you bring along their in-faction Inspire card to extend your threat range and hit harder!!
How did the BAR List impact Magore’s Fiends?
The Banned & Restricted List (BAR List) has both blessed and cursed the Blood Warriors. The Ban List has only helped these frenzied warriors by removing Great Concussion & Quick Thinker, now their charges are all the more likely to succeed!
However, the Restricted List has definitely hurt Aggressive warbands. In terms of objective cards; Precise Use of Force, Advancing Strike, Change of Tactics and Escalation would all have been firm favourites of Magores. Now I’d expect to see Escalation, Extreme Flanks, and Change of Tactics taken from instead. The new Nightvault objective ‘What Armour?’ is an almost auto-take for this warband as Magore has Cleave printed onto his card.
Gambits & Upgrades
For Gambit Ploys the loss of damage modifiers is a double edged sword – it keeps the Blood Warriors fighting for longer but reduces their pre-inspiration lethality. I’d be expecting Ready for Action and My Turn to round out their five Restricted Card slots.
Finally, upgrades are once again left entirely alone. Instead these are now largely filled with the new Nightvault upgrades like Faneway Crystal, Potion of Rage, Potion of Grace etc. I really feel sorry for so many of the upgrades on that Restricted list. That being said, the effective removal of Soultrap & Tethered Spirit is good for the Fiends though as they have more access to their Score Immediately kill cards.
Magore’s Fiends boast some brilliant Faction Objective cards for the aggressive minded player. Rivers of Blood combos so well with Shardgale to slap a wound on every fighter and at some point you’ll score two Glory because of it, whilst Show of Strength grants you an immediate glory for Magore taking a model out of action.
This Faction has some very strong Ploys, though you will still likely load up on Neutral cards to pad these out:
Reckless Inspiration – Getting Magore & Riptooth Inspired is very important. Take Inspiration Strikes as well for good odds of finding at lease one card in Turn One.
Daemonic Resilience – We’re seeing very little damage mitigation in this new meta so being able to shut down an Activation is just strong.
Finally, the Faction Upgrades aren’t really anything to write home about but they can certainly help out!
Trophy Hunter – Getting two Glory per kill can seriously bring your Glory total up, especially versus the larger warbands like Zarbag’s Gitz, Sepulchral Guard & Thorns of the Briar Queen.
Gory Visage – An often overlooked Upgrade I would expect this to become popular in a game without Soultrap and Tethered Spirit. Ard’ Ead’ has the same effect for Orruks but it’s restricted to Hakka & Basha aka the ones that don’t matter. Wheras Gory Visage ensures that Magore keeps on fighting.
Magore’s Fiends have always been popular and will likely continue to be so. In their initial marketing spiel they were ‘as tough as Orruks and as deadly as Reavers’ which previously wrote those two factions out of competitive play. I still believe that if you want to play Orruks or Reavers you’ll have an easier time of it with Magore’s Fiends.
The Fiends will continue to struggle versus purely defensive warbands that are able to starve their bloodthirsty passion, but in a straight up fight they certainly compete for top dogs.
Do you think Magore’s Fiends deserve to be placed in the mid-tier? Where would you put them in relation to the other warbands? Let me know in the comment section below.
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Hey pals, Bryce again, back to interrupt your usual schedule of warband rankings and ‘good content’ from Jamie with another tournament report written in my normal eclectically awful style.
So I actually went to two tournaments this weekend, one last Friday at Games Workshop Warhammer in Stoke, and one on Sunday at Rebel Base Gaming. Friday was an attempt to steal glass with Skellies just so I could say I’d done it. Largely stole a deck Giblin’s been trying for a few weeks and made some changes literally on the morning, but turns out best of 1 events are kind of a crapshoot. Got two wins and a tie, the two wins were when I got 3 objectives, the tie I got 2 objectives and also then my opponent rolled three single die crit defences in a row. Boo.
Defeated, I ritually buried my Skeleton models at a secret location somewhere in the UK and over the coming months will steadily reveal clues in order to guide YOU, the loyal readers of this blog, to find them. The winner gets to keep them, cause tbh I ain’t touching them again (alright I give up, they’re under John Rees’ pile of glass. It was the safest place I could think of).
Joking aside, Sepulchral Guard are hard. And while things like Martyred and resurrecting people help them against aggro, weirdly it feels like they struggle most against other objective decks. Lose three objectives and uh…good luck, I guess? They’re not trying to kill you, so you ain’t scoring Martyred or getting anyone inspired, which means you’re slow, which means getting them off their objectives is TOUGH. Bleh. IDK I just couldn’t click with them. My positioning is also poor for objective play, since I’ve pretty much ignored objectives barring shoving people off them since I started the game.
BUT I didn’t let Friday’s defeat get me down, and only got a little bit blind drunk and danced appallingly to Queen on Friday night. Following Saturday’s brutal hangover, I showed up at Rebel Base Games on Sunday with a Magore’s deck in hand, and a keen eye for Shadeglass.
I’m not really gonna go into the deck, I basically stole Michael Carlin’s deck (which is here) since it seemed to work, and modified it to suit my playstyle. Particularly I dropped Ghoulish Pact since I don’t like it, and Shattering Terrain for the same reason. Swapped in Mischievous Spirits cause screw objective play, and Last Chance, which is a card I’m swiftly growing to love. A 2/3 chance of stopping the doggo dying out of nowhere seems real strong. (Hot Take: Last Chance is the new Quick Thinker, fight me irl.) (Not quite, but certainly for warbands with models with Dodge that are likely to be in the middle of things it’s damn close. Skritch and doggo love it, probably Reavers too.)
Rebel Base is a lovely venue, it’s situated in this like country village alongside a really pretty café, and you’d never guess that there’s a gaming venue there if you didn’t know. It’s real lovely though, and does a pretty mean burger.
There were six of us on the day, myself and Giblin included (I had to borrow his models cause I left mine in the office cause I’m bad), and we had some good chat with folk before getting the round going.
Round 1 – Martin – Cursebreakers
So this whole ‘writing things on the internet’ thing is bad because if you write good things, people will steal your good things and use them against you. Martin was running my Cursebreaker deck that I posted here last week which at least meant I knew what everything did.
These games were pretty chill. I got to see how the deck does against Magore’s (turns out not great), and Magore and Riptooth are SO much fun. I’d only played one game of Magore’s prior to this weekend, so getting to revel in chopping people up and setting the dog on them was great.
Martin had awful dice in the first game, and really struggled to get Inspired, which came back to haunt him in later turns. When he finally got inspired, Magore handily took Stormsire’s head off before he could do much else.
The second game was a bit more even, and Martin played much more conservatively, but the end result was the same, with Magore and Riptooth proving themselves to be the bestest murderpals and killing a whole bunch of shiny spellboiz.
Giblin, myself, and a lad called Ed got through round 1, and I waited to see who I would get!
Round 2 – Ed – Thorns
Ed’s a lad I’ve seen at quite a few tournies recently. He’s always good chat, and a solid player! We’d actually run into each other on Friday at the Games Workshop Warhammer event in Stoke, where we’d played round 1. He’d been using my Cursebreakers deck (gotta stop giving that tech away), and thankfully had rolled badly enough that I’d managed to beat him with Skellies.
Two days later and it was a completely different match up, Thorns into Angryboiz. I was pretty happy about this match up; he has a lot of spooky ghosts that I can kill and score glory off of. It can be a problem if the Briar Queen gets inspired and starts killing people back, but pretty much I think the match up is fine.
Game 1 I got three objectives, nice, so he was gonna have to come to me if he wanted to score pretty much anything. He ran at me, I started charging and getting kills. Zach and Gary (those are their names now, deal with it) stayed on the edge hexes to score Extreme Flank early, and I think even they started getting involved once ghosts got close enough. After three turns of hard choppin’ I won this game pretty convincingly.
Game 2 I got three objectives again and Ed sighed audibly as a result. He played more aggressively, pushing the Queen and folks up into my half to try and go for my objectives, but killing ghosts is pretty easy and I scored a tonne of glory. Bonus points go to Magore getting Trophy Hunter on turn 1, which ended up being worth three glory over the game. Spectacularly failed to kill the Queen this time, and almost ruined myself by charging Gary off of Extreme Flank scoring position to hit a ghost, but caught myself just in time. Scored 17 or so in the first game and 21 in the second game. We’re into the final.
Round 3 – The Giblin King – Chosen Axes
So Giblin and I, as we’ve mentioned, play a lot. We play Lunchspire™ on most of our lunchbreaks, so we have a good feel for how the other plays. He’s been playing Skellies lately, and I’ve been pinging between Cursebreakers, Skellies, Thorns, and one game of Fiends. For this tournament he’d brought the Chosen Axes, since we both think they’re pretty damn solid these days. I didn’t really know what was in his deck, since he pretty much wrote it the night before the event, whereas he knew most of my (Michael’s) Fiends deck, so he had a bit of an advantage there. However, I played nothing but Dwarfs for six months when I first got into Shadespire, so I have a pretty good handle on how they play, and what they don’t like to see. Going into the final our total games played with our respective warbands were 5 for me and 4 for him, so in terms of experience we were neck and neck.
For the first game, he won three objectives, and I was unsure whether he’d got any hold objective stuff in his deck, so had to figure that out. Turn 1 I had change of tactics and Furious Inspiration and Shardgale in hand, so the plan was to go on guard with Magore then charge in, whack Grimnir for three damage, and then Shardgale to kill him, since I had last activation. This plan worked right up until he used Piercing Stare on Magore right before my last activation. This was extremely rude and I think Giblin should apologise. Not to panic, I Inspired Riptooth, dropped Spectral Wings, and went for the same play minus scoring Change. It worked and Grimnir went down on the bottom of one!
I got no objectives, however, and he scored a couple. Turn 2 opened with me going on guard with Riptooth to finally get Change, however, an Inspired Tefk decided he was the real captain now, and charged over, rolling 2 crits and a hit and smashing the poor doggo into the ground!
The game went poorly for me from there, I didn’t hit a single attack for the rest of the game (Magore tried but ended the game uninspired despite making a whole bunch of cleave attacks on dwarfs) and lost hard. I think it was 16-4 in the end.
Alright. Early loss out the way, I’d at least figured out some of his deck. No objectivey stuff, just passives and kills. Time to focus in. Got Change again and went for the exact same play as turn 1, only to get Piercing Stared before my last activation again. Boo. Hiss.
I actually can’t remember this game super clearly, was in hyper focus mode, but managed to bounce around, score some objectives, and finally got in and started eating some squishy dwarfs. Pro play of the game was Grimnir charging doggo, so I used Last Chance, stopping a Scion of Grimnir and preventing Giblin’s turn 2 glory train rolling. Giblin scored good passives, but I managed to actually roll some dice this time and ended up with a 17-12 win.
Alright, game 3, all to play for.
I had to dump my opening objectives (Rivers of Blood, Chosen Champion, and Show of Stength) cause I couldn’t reliably score any of them.
Drew into Change AGAIN on turn 1, whoop, and having learned from the two previous games, put Dark Darts on Magore with Spoils and charged, doing one damage to Maegrim. Grimnir walked onto an objective. End of the turn Giblin Deathly Fortitude on Grimnir and I got Heroslayer on Magore and Great Strength on Riptooth, who were both covering the midfield in charge range of Grimnir. I also scored Escalation, Master of War, and Shining Example.
Giblin got the first activation and spent a lot of time hemming and hawing. At one point he said ‘you’ve put me in check’. Since both Magore and Riptooth were out of range of Grimnir post Deathly Fortitude, but in range of him and all the other dwarfs, he felt he couldn’t safely do anything in case Magore charged then Ready for Actioned and killed Grimnir, so he decided to back off one hex with Grimnir. I think this was a big mistake, if I’m honest. Keeping Grimnir safe only matters if you can achieve stuff with him. Force me to make the play and take the risk of it failing, cause moving Grimnir away means you probably lose anyway. Jamie – I was struck by Analysis Paralysis and I actually had a correct play to make but got too caught up in keeping Grimnir ‘safe’. I should have gone on Guard and equipped Grimnir’s Fortitude and sacrifice my Ready for Action (I only had 1 unspent glory). This would have given me 2 dice on Dodge versus Magore and 2 dice with Block & Dodge versus Riptooth. Thus allowing me the opportunity to strike back if I survived. It would have been a bit of gamble but it would have force Bryce to commit Magore for the best opportunity to kill Grimnir and prevent my other fighters from being brutalised.
Regardless, he did. Riptooth killed Vol, and then Grimnir Ready for Actioned over and took her head off, while Magore killed Tefk, scoring What Armour?, drawing into Strong Start which I also scored. I also played Shardgale this turn.
At the end of the turn I scored Extreme Flank and Rivers of Blood, leaving me with only Superior Tactician in hand going into turn 3, which I’ve never seen before.
Turn 3 Magore made a number of attacks and I think finally killed Maegrim after like four attempts? Grimnir was hamstrung cause Giblin had put Faneway on him and I’d moved all my models away from the objectives.
This game ended as 18-12 in my favour. Amusingly, over the three games, Giblin beat me on Glory Diff (40-39) despite losing the round.
Got my sixth glass! Think I’m going back to Cursebreakers now to practice for the Grand Clash in January, but I actually really enjoyed my foray into the world of angryboiz.