A Warhammer Underworlds Blog & Podcast

Card Review: Silent Menace Deck

Lately Warhammer Underworlds feels like the gift that keeps on giving. We’ve got 4 warbands and a ton of cards over the last 6 weeks, and we still have so much more to go! Speaking of cards, Warhammer Underworld’s first ever “pre-constructed” deck, Silent Menace, goes up for pre-order tomorrow.

There are 12 universal objectives, 10 universal gambits, and 10 universal upgrades included in the deck and were previewed over 0n Warhammer Community on Friday morning (USA time). The expansion is named after the Silent People – a race of intelligent insectoids who are in deep hibernation within the depths of the Direchasm. As such, the warbands in the setting are constantly coming across their treasures. Naturally they keep what they find (read: loot).

In this article, I will be reviewing the 12 universal objectives, 10 universal gambits, and 10 universal upgrades that are included with the expansion. When Jonathan is back from his travels, we will have our podcast and video review up – we’re shooting for this coming Monday.

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.

 

Shhh, we’re in the silent section now…

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Universal Objectives:

Advancing Swarm: I think this is a solid, reliable card for aggressive warbands. Whether the goal is to just smack face, invade enemy territory, or both. Direchasm has a lot of fighters who want to be aggressive – I think you’ll find this to be quite reliable. Wild Hunt also love this card, at least in the early game.

Rating: B

Brutal Attrition: These kind of conditions are kind of hard, dice dependent, and matchup dependent. You actually probably wont’ score this until later in the game as well and holding on to a 1 glory card not only clogs your hand but also is terribly inefficient.

Rating: D

Cold-Blooded Killers: Similarly to Brutal Attrition, this card is definitely matchup dependent. Rolling into a warband consisting of 2 (or more) high wound fighters could brick this card in your hand quite hard. Also I don’t think you’re scoring this until the mid-game, at the least, so another reason as to why the 1 glory investment isn’t worth it.

Rating: C

Demolish the Opposition: This card is a hard counter to the whole rampage into enemy territory strategy that seems to be so prevalent right now. There’s a lot of that going on so you could say the meta is ripe for this kind of counter, especially if you are playing a deck that wants to stay at home and score passively, or objectives (though the latter is more dependent on a board role). While extremely meta dependent (which can change on a moment’s notice) I do think you could score this often enough. There is brick potential though.

Rating: C

Forbidding Strike: Way too many conditions on this card to be taken seriously in a competitive format. Even the first condition alone is extremely draw dependent. It being a Surge does slightly overcome that downside but trying to line this up every game seems like a nightmare – even for 2 glory.

Rating: D

Impending Doom: We’ve seen cards like these before and they weren’t ever popular in previous seasons. However, this could see some play since we’ve got a lot of strategies that involve around charging and taking the fight into enemy territory. Furthermore, a lot of the warbands this season are comprised of fighters who want to get aggressive but only have range 1 attacks. You could finagle this but there is risk. If you do run this, take push cards to supplement your game-plan.

Rating: C

Killing Strike: Similarly to Forbidding Strike, this seems kind of hard to line up over the course of many games in a competitive setting. Don’t get me wrong, this happens a lot in games but is it going to happen when you have this card in your hand? And what if you do have this in your hand but you can’t land an attack? You only have 3 chances to score this. I’ll take my chances elsewhere.

Rating: D

Martial Adept: First condition is inefficient, not worth mentioning too much. (Though there is a part of me that thinks you could stack this, Bristling with Weapons, and Aggressive Display. Maybe? Idk.) The second condition is essentially Singled Out – not terribly exciting but definitely reliable. Come to think of it, this and Bristling with Weapons are identical except for the Hunter requirement on Bristling.

Rating: C

Orchestrated Kill: I don’t mind this card at all as taking down fighters with support happens from time to time. Some warbands like Gitz, as the image implies, can do this quite naturally. Others will need to game it a bit via some power card assistance. I don’t think this is bad nor unplayable. However, I do think there are better options out there.

Rating: C

Promise of Destruction: First off, sick art. I like that we are seeing some support for playing persisting gambits and warbands like Wurmspat and Starblood Stalkers have natural synergy with it. While it is only  1 glory, if you are playing a more cagey play-style (looking at you, Wurmspat) then I think this could be a solid, passive score. Even if your warband of choice doesn’t have any faction gambits that persist, I’m sure you easily find 1-3 of them that work for you. Just draw it, play it, and score.

Rating: B

Stinging Strike: Again, this first activation stuff is really holding some of these cards back. However for warbands like Farstriders and Profiteers this could be something that happens enough to warrant this cards inclusion in your deck. Especially if you are going second, you can make it more accurate with some gambits or upgrades as well. Still, there is risk which is why I don’t rate this higher (even though I think this is the best one out of the first activation score cards).

Rating: C

Untouchable Swarm: So first off, you’ve got to have at least 4 fighters in your warband which makes the second condition significantly harder. Furthermore, you have to have most of your fighters, if not all in some cases, alive and with a charge token. Seems kind of hard despite the fact that this card does tempt me. Unless you have an amazing board set up and turtle in the corner, I just don’t see this happening. Furthermore with so much charging going around right now, I don’t see you keeping everyone alive consistently past the first round (and even then, that is hard). I would love to be wrong here, though.

Rating: D

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Universal Gambits:

Acidic Strike: This being a Reaction makes this significantly more viable than any other card that has an upgrade breaking effect. In theory, you could hit someone, and then finish them off by forcing an opponent to discard a wound inducing upgrade. This could knock off cards like Cryptic Companion as well which not only stifles their glory generation but also completely negates 1 of their 3 restricted cards. Lot’s of cool applications here. Even though I don’t see this card being taken too often, I find the ease of how it can be played and its power to be quite compelling.

Rating: B

Hidden Sting: This is an offensive version of Grievous Riposte theoretically. Obviously this is dice dependent but I think over the course of the game, if you are planning on making a lot of attacks, you will eventually roll a critical success, or 2. I ran Headshot in every Profiteer deck I ever played and I scored it a lot more than not so I think this is probably has a pretty decent chance of going off – especially if you are stacking the dice (which is very possible right now). If you like ping damage and roll a lot of dice, this could be a nice way to pop an enemy fighter suddenly. I think warbands with a lot of melee fighters hitting off 3 dice will love this – Reavers, Godsworn, Despoiler, Harrow’s, Wraithcreepers, etc.

Rating: C

Hypnotic Buzz: It’s a Distraction with a range limitation. It’s still amazing, especially for objective disruption and ending lives prematurely via lethal hexes. It kind of functions similar to Centre of Attention in terms of application. People, including myself, like that card, I think this could be better in some cases. You just have to get close! Or perhaps even let them come to you, that’s happening a lot lately.

Rating: B

Maddening Drone: I love cards that force your opponents to make inefficient decisions. I think often times, especially in the early game, your opponent will take the un-inspired option as their fighter will auto inspire at the end of the round. I think you’re going to get the most out of this card in late stages of the game. You know, when your opponent has lost a couple of fighters and is investing a lot of resources into one particular one. When you play it then, this becomes a much harder choice for your opponent. Do they take the move token and lose an activation, potentially, with their fighter? Or do they un-inspire and potentially lose out on offensive/defensive efficiency? If you time this right, this could be gold for you. I do think in some games, this will just inspire an enemy fighter though and that will feel bad.

Rating: C

Membranous Wings: Great card, solid backup for Outrun Death and Spectral Wings. Those are better because they can be used on a move but I can see people running all 3, especially if they are trying to get deep into enemy territory. The redundancy can be very nice.

Rating: B

Spiritcomb: Oh man, another heal card. As if they big boys needed any more help… Mollog, Hrothgorn, Rippa, Morgok, Klaq-Troq, Gorath, etc. all love this card. If your game plan revolves around keeping one fighter alive throughout the course of the game, take this. With Healing Potion, this, Haughty Resistance, and Ferocious Resistance the big boys will get even bigger.

Rating: B

Strength of the Swarm: 9 times out of 10, you are playing this to get the +1 dice on the supporting attack. And for that effect enough I think this could be worth considering, especially for medium to large warbands. I think if you want to, you can line this up quite often. The +1 damage might come up every once in a while but that is just icing on the cake for me. Keep in mind, there is no range limitation on the attack so warbands with ranged fighters can also benefit quite nicely. Oh you charged my buddy? Well now I get an extra dice and supports count. Boom, headshot.

Rating: C

Swarming Advance: Pretty solid card with lots of benefits. Whether you trying to get into enemy territory, set up supports, move onto objectives, or away from lethals this card can help you do all of that. This is going to be in a lot of aggro decks and even objective players will use it in a way similarly to the way Thorns players use Drifting Advance.

Rating: A

Swarming Strike: A support fighter pretty much equates to +.5 dice in the next attack action. The more dice you roll, the more this pops up in your favor. I don’t think card is bad, not at all. I do think however that there are better options in the universal pool right now.

Rating: C

Symbiote’s Call: A objective based Sidestep or flip a token next to you? Seems pretty good to me. This can even be used to counter-flip someone who is trying to flip all the tokens. Solid card and will see objective play if players want to double, or triple, up on Sidestep. Though I think the primary function is to anti-flip feature tokens. And then of course, this is excellent in disruption and Feed the Beastgrave decks. It is starting to seem so trivial to score it…

Rating: B

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Universal Upgrades:

Augmented Limbs: This is essentially Strength of Terror but for range 1 fighters which means this card is very good. This is pretty much a free restricted card to range 1 fighters like Rippa, Klaq-Troq, Prince Duvalle, etc. It also assists with Quarry based scoring and tech. Wow.

Rating: A

Chitin Scimitar:  A 3 fury, melee attack hitting for 2 damage with Cleave is nothing to scoff at. That is an inspired fighter’s attack profile in a lot of cases. While it is a decently accurate attack, attacks are bound to fail from time to time (or a lot). Getting the consolation re-roll does feel nice. Often it won’t do much but when it does, you’ll certainly appreciate the effect a lot more. Even Jonathan can’t hate on this this card (fun fact: he thinks Cleave is useless 99% of the time).

Rating: B

Chitin Spear: Pretty run of the mill characteristics for a spear weapon in this game – range 2, 2 smash, 2 damage. I like the re-roll if you miss like the scimitar above. As far as attack action upgrades go, this is pretty solid. Nothing to write home about but competes with the Soultooth and Amberbone variants.

Rating: B

Collector: Every time you get an elimination, you get a free upgrade. I guess this is good on high output fighters like Hrothgorn, Rippa, Mollog, etc. But if those fighters are getting take downs then you don’t need this card as you should have enough glory to stack the upgrades you need. Seems like overkill to me. It’s not even that good for Godsworn as they usually want to inspire so that they can get an elimination, not after.

Rating: D

Extruded Snare: Another net! This one gives your target a move token which isn’t too shabby. It is also the net with the most range with a whopping range 3. The 3 fury and 1 damage seems standard across the board. If you plan on taking nets, then take 2 of ’em. If you don’t have any Hunters, then you take the Soultooth Net. If you have Hunters, I think the Bard-laden Net is better because you get more than one shot. You could also just yell YOLO and take all 3. Either way, this is great for shutting down key enemy threats and fighters who tend to excel when making multiple actions.

Rating: B

Regenerative Cycle: A heal with a cost – in fact it is probably the most balanced heal in the game. I don’t care if you healed 5 damage off your fighter if you discarded your entire hand. That is fair! Sadly, for that reason, it is the worst heal in the game in terms of efficiency. I love the design of this card, truly. However, if you are looking for healing, look elsewhere.

Rating: C

Savage Solider: This card is very, very good. +1 dice alone makes it worthy for restricted status. If you happen to get 4 upgrades, which you can if you want, forcing your opponent to only roll critical defenses (and sometimes supports) to evade your offensive onslaught is insane. Imagine a fully kitted out Hrothgorn, Krusha, Rippa, or any other beat-stick fighter with this card. Yeah I am running to my mother, too.

Rating: A

Silent Armor: We’ve seen the Helm and the Sword already and now we see the armour. Like the rest of the armor set, it makes you a Quarry. The built-in reaction seems okay – very rarely is it going to do much, let alone make a significant impact. I think the real reason you take this is if you are needing an extra wound and are tapping into Quarry strategies. Alone, this card is meh. With another Silent piece, which you should have in your deck, this card becomes pretty solid.

Rating: B

Silent Ring: Can’t have an armor set without some bling! Now this is a cool reaction. If you are spending your power cards often, this could be an amazing way to cycle through your deck to retain your level or resources. This makes scoring To the End even easier and may even replace Unnatural Truce in your power deck (you would just take Duel of Wits and then either Quick Search or The Crown of the Dead). If you have a second Silent item on, you become a lot more accurate too. I think this is tied with the Helm for being my favorite Silent armor piece. Oh and great with Quarry stuff like the rest of the set. I really like this card.

Rating: A

Swift Solider: A cool card in terms of design, I guess. I just think Outrun Death, Spectral Wings, Proud Runner, and even Membranous Wings is better. There are too many good upgrades in the game to be wasting a slot on this card – at least in this meta.

Rating: D

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Closing Thoughts:

First off, I am just happy we’re getting new cards. I know you are, too. Secondly, I am impressed by the level of power the power cards in this deck expansion have. Like I think this is one of the best, if not the best, ratings per card average, for gambits and upgrades, I have given to any release before this. Now that’s not to say that all these cards are absurd or super strong – far from it. I just think that most of them have potential and can be situationally fantastic. Obviously there are some strong cookies in there, as expected, but I’m happy with how viable this pack feels as a whole.

This was the first time a pre-constructed deck has been released for the game. Now from a synergy level, if you were to run this expansion as a deck, I think it may have slightly missed the mark. There are some great cards in here but it is not competitive at all holistically. But there are some individual pieces that shine which is why I think this deck is worth it if you like to play competitively.

I’ll go ahead a shout out some of my favorite cards, ones that I think you should keep an eye out on, too. For objectives, I think Advancing Swarm, Promise of Destruction, and perhaps even Stringing Strike are potentially going to see the most play. I know I said the overall contents of this deck were great but the objectives are definitely the weakest link. This is also why this release struggles as a pre-constructed deck.

For gambits, I’m a big fan. There is plenty of good packed in here such as Acidic Strike, Hypnotic Buzz, Swarming Advance, Symbiote’s Call just to name a couple. I see these cards slotting into a bunch of decks and will add to the power level of existing strategies. On the upgrade side, there are some juicy ones in here, too. Augmented Limbs, Extruded Snare, Savage Solider, Silent Armor, and Silent Ring are all pretty nice cards. These cards I also expect to see immediately impact the meta.

So do you think you should buy this? Absolutely – it’s a must have for competitive play moving forward in this season. There are some nutty cards in there!

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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 (later today). I look forward to seeing how your decks evolve with these cards augmenting them. 

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

Aman

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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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