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Card Review: Hedkrakka’s Madmob Universals

Oi, ya gits! As we await the impeding Waaagh! that will be generated by Hedkrakka’s Madmob, I wanted to share my thoughts on the 30 new universal cards that will be added to the season. Thankfully, these have been previewed by Warhammer Community.

In this article, I will be reviewing the 10 universal objectives, 10 universal gambits, and 10 universal upgrades that are included in the Hedkrakka’s Madmob expansion. If you prefer to listen to this review, check us out over here on Podbean. If you prefer to watch, then check us out on our YouTube channel.

Note: As per my previous articles, I’ll be using the following rating system.

  • A score of “A” means that the card is very powerful and should almost always be included in your deck builds.
  • “B” means that the card is strong and will usually be included, but not always.
  • A score of “C” means that card can be good in certain situations but will usually require extra support.
  • Lastly, a score of “D” means the card is on the weaker side of things. It doesn’t mean that it is inherently bad but perhaps can be considered hard to use or counter intuitive to your game plan.

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Universal Objectives:

Feast and Famine: As with most Hunger cards, this is most viable with the Crimson Court. However, it does seem a but hard to do, even with some of the passive Hunger builds running around. I definitely think it is doable in maybe an aggro Hunger build though not sure hoe often we’ll see that. Good option to have if you want to do that though.

Rating: C

Fleeting Primacy: A balanced Temporary Victory?! Jokes aside (though not sure myself if I was entirely joking) this is an interesting card for hold objective strategies. I think holding 3 is tough in this meta but then again, I’ve seen it happen often enough with the Starblood Stalkers. Still, Mischievous Spirits and flip tech can make it a nightmare. The second condition combos well with Treasure Hunter so if you are looking to hold objectives in enemy territory then I think this may be worth your while. Keep in mind the Primacy Token might be hard to come by given the fact that you’ll be playing a larger warband so run Underdog and Proud Runner to help.

Rating: B

Lie in Wait: I’m a big fan of this card. The first condition is a weaker Supremacy and further limited by the Hunter requirement. Grymwatch and Starblood Stalkers don’t mind that though. The second condition is what we are here for. There is some great Quarry tech in the game right now like, Absolute Stillness, Cryptic Companion, and Silent Helm so if you are already rocking that strategy this is a natural fit. It will be significantly easier if you have a warband with an innate Quarry like the Dread Pageant and Starblood Stalkers. I think Lady Harrow’s like this one a lot, too.

Rating: B

Magic Morsel: There are candidly too many requirements on this card for it to ever be efficient in a game. Obviously it works best with Crimson Court but they’ll have some Surges they prioritize over this card for sure. It’s just hard to do consistently.

Rating: D

Moment of Glory: Hard to do unless your entire warband procs (Programmed Random Occurrence) off a global inspire. You want a warband with at least 4 fighters so that you can still score this if you lose 1. Interestingly, most warbands with 4 or more fighters don’t have global inspires that target everyone. And the ones that do, well they require fighters to be eliminated. I find this to be tough to do consistently. Might be good for Grymwatch, Mollog, or perhaps even Rippa’s.

Rating: C

Myriad Incantations: *laughs in Cursebreaker* If you are running a wizard in your warband, this could be a cheeky way of scoring some easy glory. In the current meta, the only warband that is taking more than 1 spell on average is Stormsire’s Cursebreakers. I can see maybe Myari’s Purifiers and Eyes of the Nine running this as well – perhaps even Crimson Court. It’s draw dependent but with Duel of Wits in almost every deck, this could be some solid passive glory.

Rating: B

Primal Display: Pretty solid for Madmob as they’ll be getting Primacy a lot due to the fact that they don’t have to one-shot to get it. For everyone else, if you are tapping into Primacy already and like stacking elimination Surges then this is pretty solid. You get the elimination, gain the Primacy Token, and then score this card. It’s a lot like Surge of Aggression but you scoring it off eliminations. Good card.

Rating: B

Primal Supremacy: The only way you are playing this card is if you already have Supremacy in your deck and you are doubling down. That’s a terrible idea by the way. Supremacy is too slow for this current meta and it will be even harder score as we get more flip tech.

Rating: D

Show No Fear: Aside from being free against Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers, this is really hard to do. You could score this off Hunting Season as well but that’s not efficient here, especially if just for 1 glory. Maybe if you have a large Quarry strategy? Even then, not sold.

Rating: D

Wasteland: If you plan on going for Feed the Beastgrave then this is a nice card to score along the way there. It is only 1 glory so there might be better options out there but as long as you draw the power cards you need to flip/destroy objectives then you’ll probably score this. There is slight brick potential though.

Rating: C

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Universal Gambits:

Claim to Domination: I really like this card – it works with any warband that is seeking to be in enemy territory. Aggressive strategies also love Surge of Aggression and Awesome Predator which this can tee you up for. Madmob loves this too as this inspires a fighter quite early and then you have options to spend it. Strangely enough you can go first, charge into enemy territory, and then claim the Primacy Token off the bat, as long as your opponent doesn’t charge one of his fighters in your territory. I also think this could be a counter to Proud Runner. Opponent’s try to end rounds with sneaky Proud Runner plays but if you play this in the proceeding power step, you would just get the token back from them if you meet the condition.

Rating: A

Cunning Paths: This card is very strong for Feed the Beastgrave and other disruption strategies. Most of the time, you’ll get to flip 1 feature token. When you start adding cards like Outrun Death and Spectral Wings, you can possibly get to 2, maybe even 3. Fighters that move through enemy fighters can also literally flip objectives right underneath their opponents. Keep in mind that you can use this to flip a token back to the objective side as well. Overall, this probably works best with Starblood Stalkers due to Otapatl being an innate Quarry. On a side note, I feel like Starblood Stalkers are now probably the best at Feed the Beastgrave now given their tools and more ready access to Quarry.

Rating: B

Fury Barbs: Quite an interesting defensive ploy. Mathematically, turning 2 smash into 2 fury is like taking a dice away. However, if you use this on a 3 smash attack then swapping it to 3 fury doesn’t change much.

Rating: C

Heeded Instinct: Having another Sidestep in general is amazing for both objective and aggressive based warbands. The bonus for being a Quarry is very nifty and can help you over a Restless Prize of Mischievous Spirits to score Absolute Stillness, among other things like Lie in Wait. Very good card.

Rating: A

Horrific Aspect: Kind of a cool effect, pretty good if you are trying to score off stacking upgrades on a fighter. So you could in theory cast this towards the end of a round, or game, and then deny an opponent’s charge on your prized fighter. If you aren’t doing that, this could be a delay tactic to keep a friendly fighter safe for one more activation or even force a ranged attack depending on the scenario. I do like the applications behind this card in terms of potentially being able to protect your fighter. I do find it quite niche though. Also, this requires a focus which sometimes never shows up when you need it to, even on 2 dice.

Predatory Impulse: Outrun Death and Spectral Wings are just straight up better. The only time you consider this is probably for Spiteclaw’s Swarm as they start off at 5 so they only really need the +1.; more importantly it chooses one of them, allowing a fighter to inspire.

Rating: C

Primal Power: It’s actually a pretty decent accuracy card for spell attack actions if you have the Primacy Token. I guess from a magical perspective, this is a solid option and could help with gambit spells as well – which I assume you are taking at least 1, if not 2.

Rating: B

Savage Contest: This is essentially a Pit Trap and it can stack with Snare. You pretty much play this in a warband where you have a bunch of Hunters and/or a Quarry and hope you roll into another warband rocking at least one of those 2 keywords. I think the current meta does have a lot of Hunters in it so this could actually come up more often than not. Obviously you can use Hunting Season to guarantee this but as always, that is inefficient. Funny thing to note is that this will always work with and against Hrothgorn. I want to rate this higher but there will be times where you can’t use this against an enemy Hunter and/or Quarry and then it’ll be a dead card.

Rating: C

Suffocating Heat: In a way, this kind of is an anti-Crimson Court card – super situational as it makes Hunger counters worse. If your opponent isn’t playing Hunger, I guess you could debuff them for every time they move…but I guess you stack those debuffs too…

Rating: D

Too Hungry to Care: Essentially this is a free half support for a Crimson Court fighter. It’s not a bad accuracy card if you have 1 Hunger counter. If you have 2 Hunger counters, then it’s pretty good.

Rating: C

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Universal Upgrades:

Amber Realmstone: It’s a realmstone – whatever that is! Cards that provide cumulative effects are always something to consider but I find this to be slow. Getting eliminations are solid for sure, but after a while, it hurts you. This leads me to believe that this card is probably taken on big boy fighters as they afford to lose a wound if they ever end up getting to 3 amber counters.

Rating: C

Armor of Confidence: Another interesting one. +1 defense is pretty solid but the reliance on a Primacy Token does throw me off a bit. There are a lot of aggressive warbands who like to, and usually do, get Primacy often. Again, I see this to be great on the bigger fighters in this game. Mollog and/or Morgok on 2 block seems pretty solid. Hrothgorn on 3 seems scary. Even Hedkrakka and Toofdagga jumping onto 3 dodge seems pretty good. Just make sure you keep control of the token!

Rating: B

Biting Axe: This is a pretty solid attack profile and is great for warbands who want persistent weapons for their weapon caddies. As it stands, Soultooth Dagger is just better and if your fighter doesn’t return to the board often after going down, you might be better off with amberbone weapons. The propensity to crit is low but it feels good when it happens. Don’t rely on it though.

Rating: B

Famine’s Ferocity: I do think Cursebreakers and Eyes of the Nine can tap quite heavily into Hunger if they want to but this card isn’t very good considering Stormsire and Vortemis have better built in attack actions.

Rating: D

Hunger for Success: I think I like this one for the Crimson Court. You could maybe even throw this card on Mollog, Rippa, or Hrothgorn as well since they make a high volume of attacks. If you get this out early enough, you could probably get 1-2 re-rolls a game which is neat. Going back to the vamps, I like the idea of being able to get a re-roll if you are tapping into the Hunger side of things. Ironically, Crimson Court are better at aggression when inspired. I suppose this should go without saying but this is obviously best for them.

Rating: C

Hunger Siphon: I think this works really well when you want to consolidate a bunch of Hunger on a single fighter, or at least friendly fighters. This obviously works very with the Crimson Court. If you combine this with Glutton for Gore, you can get 2 Hunger counters every time you gain 1. This could potentially push your passive Hunger generation through the stratosphere. It’s niche but when you see it, it works pretty well.

Rating: C

Savage Agility: If you put this on someone, there is a small chance they could get ignored. I find it to be pretty situational to be used on standard fighters but I think it starts improving in value when you equip it to fighters with a high wound pool or strong defensive stats – think Mollog, Hrothgorn, Glisette, and Otapatl. It is particularly juicy on the big boys as often you are trying to eliminate them. You get further punished for missing…

Rating: C

Silent Sword: From a straight weapon stat perspective, this is a fantastic weapon. A melee attack with 3 smash and 2 damage is great, its prime weapon caddie stuff. I do like how there is a small chance for this to bump up to 3 damage when in no one’s territory. Making you a Quarry is neat. Ensnare for stacking Silent Relics is okay but nothing that I care too much about. Overall, it’s a solid weapon.

Rating B

Soultooth Net: You get one shot to slap a charge token on somebody. When you compare this to Barb-laden Net, this is more accessible because this make you a Hunter rather than being restricted to only Hunters. I think if you are taking one of the nets, you probably take both. Being able to shut down a key fighter twice or two separate fighters once can be game wining. 3 fury is accurate but it’ll definitely feel bad if you miss as it just gets discarded. Even then, it’s worth the risk because the reward is nuts.

Rating: B

Spiteglass: Super telegraphed but could possibly act as a deterrent, maybe. I like how interacting with enemy upgrades is slowly becoming more of a thing. Unfortunately, I can’t imagine this making it into your deck right now as the upgrade slots are insanely competitive. Perhaps in the future meta we see this more.

Rating: C

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Closing Thoughts:

Looking at the entire set in this expansion, I find that there is a recurring theme here with the universals. There are so many different strategies now that even when there are a bunch of good, or even playable, cards it still feels like a mixed bag. One of the cool things is now that we’ve got full access to the “Hunger warband” (Crimson Court) and the “Primacy warband” (Madmob) we can evaluate each card more accurately. Both of these mechanics are rife in this kit as they should be. We also see additional support for holding objectives, flipping tokens, magic, and aggressive play. There are some cool weapons, too!

I said this in the last universal card review and it still rings true – the majority of the Hunger cards we’ve seen since the Direchasm core box, if not all of them, only seem viable when piloting the Crimson Court. It really does feel like an extended pool of cards just for them. While that may seem like an advantage, ironically it is not. A lot of those cards are too niche for most vampire builds. I do wonder how consistent the passive Hunger control build might become now with some of those additional tools like Hunger Siphon.

We see some magical support trickling in as well which is pretty neat. If you are a fan of spell-slingers, I think there is enough support now to make them competitive enough. Jumping to Primacy, there are some cool options here. While there is a similar phenomena in that they Primacy cards feel like an extended pool for Hedkrakka’s Madmob, it’s not as keenly felt as there are a bunch of warbands who love the mechanic.

In regards to the objectives, I really like some of them, in particular – Lie in Wait, Primal Display, and Myriad Incantations. The rest of the cards do seem playable, except maybe for Feast and Famine, but are quite niche. I’m looking forward to more Quarry shenanigans.

There are some crazy power cards in this set though. For gambits, Claim to Domination, Heeded Instinct, and Primal Power seem particularly fun. On the upgrade side of things, Armor of Confidence, Silent Sword, and Soul-tooth Net look to be the winners.

In terms of the meta, I don’t know if there is going to be a huge shakeup but I do like how every play style received some kind of support. That is important and what every expansion should do. I look forward to seeing how the community experiments with them as warbands, and cards, rise and fall over the coming weeks. We’ll definitely see the stock of some of these cards rise with the advent of a new FaR list so be sure to revisit your collection when that (hopefully) drops in the near future.

Thank you to Games Workshop for providing us with preview copies. Be sure to head on down to your local Warhammer Store or FLGS to order yourself a set. If you prefer to shop online, check this out here on Saturday. I do think this set is must buy in order to stay competitive. Plus, the miniatures look amazing. 

As always, best of luck on YOUR Path to Glory.

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Aman

Blogger, Podcast Host

Competitive player who loves to attend events and theory craft. Always chasing the next piece of shade glass. 

Favorite Warband: skaeth's WIld Hunt

Jonathan

Blogger, Podcast Host

Loves to discuss all aspects of the game, especially events. Enjoys the data behind the game and is also competitively focused.

Favorite Warband: Spiteclaw's Swarm

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