Posted in Top Tips, Warhammer Underworlds

End of Season Tier Ranking

Now, before we get into this let me preface it by saying that EVERY WARBAND CAN WIN ANY GIVEN GAME! However it is an undeniable fact that the warbands are not equal, and some have a far easier time on the competitive scene. I also enjoy tier lists as a topic of discussion so be sure to drop a comment below if you agree or disagree.

This tier ranking is based on the two factors listed below:

  1. Personal Experience – I have won a Grand Clash, won multiple Store Events, play against a fellow Grand Clash winner almost daily, and have consumed so much content that I have a deep understanding of the game. My personal experience was my initial groundwork for ranking the warbands.
  2. Best Coast Pairings – Upon initially writing the tier list I then reviewed it against the Best Coast Pairings data analysed by Wigglehammer; specifically the win percentage and games played. However, due to the recent influx of cards, and two new factions, I have had to weigh in more on my personal experience as the win rates mentioned in this article do not include the latest cards.

The win percentage on the whole for Warhammer Underworlds is incredibly tight and all bar Eyes of the Nine and Ironskull’s Boyz fall between 40-60%, which is damned good for a game with 16 factions, and further presses the point that ANY FACTION CAN WIN GAMES.

I will be revisiting this list after the two upcoming UK Grand Clashes, the final Banned and Restricted list is published, and maybe if we get to see the Dreadfane warbands too! Then we’ll get a well rounded view of the end of Season Two.

S Rank

Stormsire’s Cursebreakers: This warband exists in a league of its own. With the full array of Gambit Spells available to them Stormsire’s Cursebreakers are the ultimate flex warband, able to be built to play aggressively. defensively, or relatively uniquely as a Magic heavy build. With on-card Magic Spells and some of the most powerful in-faction cards this warband stands head and shoulders above the rest. (55% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing).

Mollog's Mob

A Rank

Mollog’s Mob: This gigantic Mushroom has caused major ripples in the game. You cannot build your deck without this lumbering guffant in mind. He will steamroll you if you don’t have the tools to defeat him. An unapologetic aggro build that goes all-in on Mollog is the definitive way to play this warband. (55% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing).

Magore’s Fiends: A solid choice. They do what they do well and will kill you if you let them. With a strong aggro game, and a decent mid-range deck they can go on the defensive and score passively if they need to. With lots of in-faction damage reduction they can outlast all but the hardest hitting fighters. (47% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

Thorns of the Briar Queen: These spooky bois can play a variety of styles; aggro with the Queen of Thorns is a strong front runner which is complimented by their in-faction objectives and strong Gambits. However they most recently claimed a Grand Clash win with a Hold Objective playstyle thanks to their efficiency in movement and flexible build style. They are also one of the only warbands that can run the dreaded Katophrane Relics effectively despite the two Glory cost. (49% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

Zarbag’s Gitz: The greenskin horde! This may be a surprise for some players to see them so highly rated but they score Glory extremely consistently, and an aggressive Snirk Sourtounge can rip through fighters at an alarming rate. Their Katophrane Tome end-game is strong as is their ability to play with the Keys to rack up their end game Glory.. (51% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

B Rank

Thundrik’s Profiteers: The latest Duardin expedition to the Mirrored City brings a lot of powerful ranged firepower that gives them a truly unique play experience. With generally low health pools, until Promoted, the Profiteers can struggle into a high tempo aggro warband. I’m expecting these to be a popular choice at upcoming events. (No recorded data).

Ylthari’s Guardians: The first ever Aelves to grace Shadespire! With their strong in-faction Objectives, Gambits and Gambit Ppells they are a force to be reckoned with, however with their difficult Inspire condition they struggle to get all their warband at peak performance. (No recorded data).

Sanson’s Farstriders: The Farstriders have climbed highly in my estimation. They can play a very aggressive playstyle utilising their Gambits to do unavoidable damage and with the neutral objectives focussing on ranged attacks released with the final wave their deck building has become far easier. They miss out on A Rank as Mollog still has a field day against them and they don’t really have an answer for him bar a few corner case Gambits and combos. (41% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

Artwork from Warhammer Underworlds Online

C Rank

Godsworn Hunt: I wanted to put these higher in the ranking as I’ve piloted them to good success, but generally they are on the slightly weaker side due to their base stats and deck management can be difficult with them as Upgrades tend to have to go on certain fighters to score certain objectives. (49% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

Steelheart’s Champions: The original boys (and girl) in blue have had a popular resurgence of late, but their main playstyle (Control/Defensive) seems to be being written out of the game, and whilst their Aggressive playstyle is decent there are simply far superior choices. (49% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

Eyes of the Nine: No longer are these worshippers of Tzeentch condemned to the bottom rank! Their Librarian Blue Horror build is a decent (if predictable) end game, and with the full array of spells Vortemis can earn his keep. However, their let down is that Vortemis’ difficult Inspire Condition and a meagre single Dodge dice on his uninspired side doesn’t get you very far nowadays! (39% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

Garrek’s Reavers: Having played with this faction extensively since Mollog was released they definitely have the ability to win games. With slightly outdated cards in-faction they struggle to keep up with the newer releases. This has been compounded by the most recent banned and restricted list hurting their ability to keep their fighters alive and relevant with both Sudden Growth and Deathly Fortitude being restricted. (46% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

Spiteclaw’s Swarm: Skritch Spiteclaw himself is a force to be reckoned with. This faction gained a lot with the latest releases… however you know how everyone is equipping themselves with the tools to stop Mollog? Well, they also work on Skritch and if you’ve leant too heavily into aggro then you’ll be punished far and wide. If you’ve gone hold objective…there are warbands that do it better. Skritch is an unfortunate casualty of the Mollog meta. (43% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

Sepulchral Guard: The Sepulchral Guard have a soft spot in my heart. They didn’t overly benefit from the most recent set of releases as they don’t typically deal well with ranged fighters, and there are now a plethora of ranged warbands in the game. Losing Extreme Flank to the banned list, Tome of Offerings existing, and the Warden being potentially the most vulnerable leader in the game yet also the linchpin of the warband leaves them in an odd spot competitively. (41% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

D Rank

Ironskull’s Boyz: Awful in-faction objectives, all but one upgrade is character locked, ploys are sub-par. Hakka and Basha are just bad fighters. Bonekutta is fine but feels like he should have Cleave printed on his card – just look at the size of that axe!! Gurzag needs to do most of the killing but you know that whole Mollog meta thing I mentioned earlier? Well it hurts Gurzag just as much. (36% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

The Chosen Axes: The controversial one! There always has to be one! These chaps have fallen from grace. They seriously struggle against ranged warbands knocking them off objectives and we now have a LOT of ranged warbands. Grimnir’s still an absolute unit when Inspired..but the anti-Mollog tech is popular and it stops our naked loon too. (41% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).

Posted in Top Tips, Warhammer Underworlds

Top 5 Tips for Board Placement

Placing boards is a huge topic and the actual placement of fighters and board choice has so many variables; Which warband are you fighting? Who is placing the board first? Which board have they chosen? What is your Objective Deck? What is their likely Objective Deck? How did the previous game go? etc. and it would be nigh impossible to go through all options available as we now have ten boards to choose from giving us 100 permutations of board pairing, and then followed up with how to align those boards – it’s just too much. So I’ve tried to create some ‘rules’ to help you through this incredibly important part of the game:

  1. If you’re choosing the board layout, consider what style of deck the opponent is playing and try to frustrate their options. Force aggro warbands to deploy as far away as possible whilst keeping defensive warbands as close as possible.
  2. If you’re placing the first board, try and pick one that plays to your strengths. If it gets rotated how will it impact your deployment? For example, this Shadespire Board is ideal for Skaven as it gives them good deployment options regardless of orientation.

    Shadespire Brown.jpg
    A fantastic choice for Spiteclaw’s Swarm regardless of playstyle
  3. Consider the option of the long board deployment. If you choose to go longboard does it benefit your opponent of you more? Contrary to popular belief long board isn’t as bad for slower warbands as you can focus you movement forward and backward rather than wide, with the high number of movement shenanigans in the game you can cover a lot of ground very quickly.
  4. Will you be in a place to score your objectives? If you have Well Guarded, Alone in the Darkness, Extreme Flank etc then how many actions will it take you to score these? Ideally you want to be as efficient as possible so having models deployed on edge hexes or near your leader is ideal. This Nightvault board is great for high model count warbands that have a multitude of positional objectives.

    Nightvault Clear.jpg
    Try to ensure that only one model is deployed adjacent to the opponent’s board and you’ll want to think about pulling them back to the mid-board in turn 1 activation 1.
  5. How do the Blocked or Lethal hexes impact yours and your opponents game? Board with lots of Blocked hexes can frustrate warbands that want to engage from range such as Farstriders or Eyes of the Nine due to the awkward line of sight rules, whilst lethal hexes are a boon for Orruks to control their Inspire Condition & Thorns of the Briar Queen to take advantage of.

    Board Pack Caludrons.jpg
    A great choice for Orruks and Magores as the central four deployment hexes allow you to rush into your opponent’s territory in Turn 1.
Posted in Top Tips, Warhammer Underworlds

Top 5 Tips When Making Your Deck

20180902_185814Are you attending a Grand Clash? Want to win the delicious swag? Perhaps you’re taking your first leap into Warhammer Underworlds? Follow these five rules and you won’t go too far astray. Whilst you’re here check out my Top 5 Tips for Competitive Play too!

Jamie’s Top 5 Tips for Building Your Deck

  1. Identify what your chosen Warband WANTS to do – It sounds simple enough but typically a warband is steered a certain direction by the Game Developers to be good at a certain thing. Try to identify what that is and build into your strengths.
  2. Start with your Objective Deck – Gambits are cool! Who doesn’t love spells and ploys that do incredible things on the table? But without knowing what your Objective Cards are how can you build a deck tailored to completing those objectives? Pick an archetype or theme and build your Objective Deck around it.
  3. Pick Gambits relevant to your Objectives – Try to pick Gambits that feed into your overarching playstyle. For example, you’ve picked all the Hold Objective cards. How will you score them? Obviously by Moving onto them. But when your opponent drops Great Concussion and moves all your fighters, how will you recover? Push cards of your own will help here!! Similarly gambits that boost the Damage or reliability of attacks help Aggressive Warbands
  4. Upgrades are important! – Choosing your upgrades is just as vital to success as your Gambits. These will typically come into effect in Round 2 & 3 so you’ll want upgrades that aid with your Objective Deck. For example if you’re running an aggressive deck then cards such as Great Strength or Helpful Whispers will make your Attacks hit harder, or be more accurate, whilst a Hold Objective deck may want to max out on Key Upgrades to ensure a windfall of Glory in the final turn!
  5. Hone your Deck – It’s very unlikely that you’ll get a Grand Clash winning deck right first time. Every player finds something they would personally change in any deck off the internet, and that’s because it might not work for you. I love Spoils of Battle for a cheeky turn one upgrade, but my regular opponent dismissed it because they don’t like a card effect that a point of glory achieves.

Honourable Mentions

Some Neutral Objectives and Netural Gambits go hand in hand, and if you include one then you should probably include the other.

  • Alone in the Darkness & Great Concussion
  • Change of Tactics & Inspired Command (or a faction specific Guard Card)
  • Supremacy & Quick Advance
  • Bloodless & Quick Thinker
  • Blooded & Shardgale
Posted in Top Tips

Top 5 Tips for Competitive Play

20180305_085615

Are you attending a Grand Clash? Want to win the delicious swag? Nothing can replace practice, but these 5 Tips will improve your play!

Jamie’s Top 5 Tips When Playing Shadespire

  1. Ask yourself “How am I scoring Glory this turn?” – Don’t be tempted to go and hit someone just because you can. You have 12 activations in which to score Glory. Make every single one count!
  2. Don’t be afraid to throw ‘good’ cards away or use them in ‘sub-optimal’ circumstances. A terrible mindset in any game is to hold onto your shiny ability/power because you haven’t met the Goldilox conditions. Use it, gain immediate benefit, force your opponent to react or discard it to cycle your deck quicker to get a more beneficial card.
  3. As a rule of thumb, you want to go Second in Turn One, First in Turn Two, and Second in Turn Three. This gives you:
    • Control over the engagement in Turn One i.e. your opponent will move into your range if they have any intention of hitting you.
    • Back to back activations to assassinate a key piece at the start of Turn Two.
    • The final activation of Turn Three; you have a final view of the battlefield – are you in a place to stop Denial/Contained by simply moving into their territory
    • You may want to keep going first if you’re playing an Aggro-deck that requires kills to gain glory to ensure you can begin applying Upgrades.
  4. Learn which board suits your warband playstyle and how you’ll deploy if the opponent rotates it against you – Practice that board and become well versed with it. When is it worth allowing all hexes to meet or bottlenecking? How will you play going short edge to short edge?
  5. Remember what is in your deck!! The discard piles are open information. By Turn 3 you should have a pretty clear idea of what objectives, ploys and upgrades you’ll have remaining – don’t cycle your objectives in Turn 3 looking for something you discarded in Turn 1.