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Card Review: Direchasm Universals

Hi everyone, Aman here!

In this article, I will be reviewing the 12 universal objectives, 10 universal gambits, and 10 universal upgrades that are included in the Direchasm box set. Jonathan may also comment some of his thoughts on these cards in (Jonathan – bold). Keep in mind, all of these card are brand new – there are no repeats or generic cards like previous seasons.

Also, for those of you who were hoping to see glimpses of the yet unannounced warbands for this season – I am sorry to disappoint. All of the card art features warbands from Shadespire, Nightvault, and Beastgrave. I will say that the art quality is fantastic. It’s the best I’ve seen yet from this game and it’s been nice to see some old favorites looking great on the new cards. Plus some of the matchups shown are super cool – Krushas smashing into Guard and Reavers ripping into Grymwatch looks amazing.

Thank you to Games Workshop for sending me this review copy. Honored!

For more information on the contents of the Direchasm box and the season in general, check out our other articles here:

Okay, okay enough of that. I know a lot of you have been waiting for the good stuff so let’s get right into it!

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.

For the purposes of this article, I am making the assumption you know what the Primacy token is and how it can effect the game. If not, check out our Direchasm Season Update article for all the details. 

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Universal Objectives:

Absolute Dominance: After being starved for an entire season without decent aggro end phase cards, this card is a sight for sore eyes. It’s not the best card but it’s certainly possible and geared for aggro. I like it but there’s always risks when it comes to dice.

[Jonathan – I like that it is a much more scorable version of Annihilation – very cool design place and may see some play.]

Rating: C

Aggressive Display: Speaking of aggressive end phase scoring, this one screams aggro. If you’re playing an aggro deck, you’ll probably include this in your deck. The other condition is a good backup, if a bit inefficient, since everyone loves Amberbone weapons.

Rating: B

Awesome Predator: If you’ve got the primacy token, you’re already scoring 1 so this is effectively score 2 for owning the token. Not bad and pretty efficient. The other condition is pretty solid too, especially if you are playing Krushas or Mollog – which both LOVE primacy.

Rating: A

Dominant Position: A solid card for the warbands who rely on objective based scoring. You could even surprise your opponent with this if you manage to hold 1 while they hold none. I think this cards slots right into Lady Harrow’s and Grymwatch.

[Jonathan- I actually think this card really good, will see tons of play in lots of decks, and shape the meta quite a bit because you always have to be aware of it – I am a big fan if you can’t tell, lol.]

Rating: B

Hungry for Victory: If you are playing a Hunger build, this card makes sense. I find it a bit of an underwhelming reward though, especially given how difficult it can be at times to get Hunger counters at this time.

Rating: C

Intimidating Display: This is a great card for high wound warband like Mollog, Hrothgorn, and Krushas. Even 4 wound warbands can potentially score this fairly often. The other condition is solid for aggro too. It’s a weaker version of Conquest but it’s rewarding you for what you want to do anyways.

Rating: B

Predatory Spell: Eliminate an enemy fighter specifically with a spell attack action. It’s quite limiting but probably a good card for Stormsire, Vortemis, Ylthari, and perhaps even Myari. Don’t forget, in Cursebreakers, you can build redundancy via spell attack action upgrades in case Stormsire goes down.

Rating: C

Savage Exemplar: Take somebody out with your leader and score an additional glory point. Awesome but keep in mind that if your leader dies, this becomes a dead card. It pains my heart to see Mollog and Hrothgorn get even more useful tools as this card is GREAT for them.

Rating: B

Successful Hunt: A free on kill surge for Hrothgorn, tricky for everyone else. As we can even more Hunter and Quarry cards, we should be able to see this interaction more often. Till then, it’s an average card for everyone except the ogre and maybe Wild Hunt.

Rating: C

Surge of Aggression: Another easy to score card. If you have any Primacy cards in your deck, you are bound to score this eventually, doubly more so if you are playing aggro and one shot enemy fighters. Also, another great card for Mollog, Hrothgorn, and Krushas…

Rating: A

Treasure Hunter: If you can manipulate it to where you can hold two objectives in enemy territory, then this can be an amazing early or mid game score. Could be devastating for your opponent. However, that’s a tall order and with Direchasm putting the onus on aggro – it’s even harder.

[Jonathan- I plan on trying to make this work with the more aggressive objective warbands, the 3 glory is too much to pass up!]

Rating: C

Winged Death: So if you eliminate an enemy fighter with a 3+ range attack, you get a glory point. Not too shabby. The second condition is a combination between Gathered Momentum and Cover Ground. A bit harder then both but if you load up on speed, that could be 3 easy surges for you.

[Jonathan – I’m still not sure that you want to load up on enough movement ploys to take all three, but I’m sure we will see it from time to time. Outside of ranged warbands, I think the value is a bit limited due to the sometimes trickiness of actually charging 6 hexes away in the second and third round)

Rating: A

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Universal Gambits:

Dauntless Aspect: A single channel spell is always nice to see. Getting a guard token though seems like a cheap reward. If Purifiers have a guard build, it could be neat. Seems corner case to me though.

Rating: D

Ferocious Blow: So +1 damage in the next activation historically isn’t that good because you can always miss. Having Hunger counters can potentially make you more accurate when targeting blocking fighters. Eh.

Rating: D

Ferocious Lunge: More speed is good as the slower warbands need them to keep up. More often than not, you’ll be getting +1 move from this. I don’t think you take for the Hunger stuff because Spectral Wings exists and it is just an objectively better card. You’re only taking this as a backup, or even second backup, for movement purposes.

Rating: C

Ferocious Resistance: Statistically if your fighter has 3 wounds, and no Hunger counters, you’ll probably heal a single wound. This card gets exponentially better when playing Hunger. I suppose there is additional value if playing Guardians as well – though probably not as much since 3 of them rarely inspire.

[Jonathan – I think the true value here is for warbands like Mollog or Hrothgorn that might soak a lot of wounds, and then roll a lot of 50/50s to heal some of it back. The new Healing Potion]

Rating: C

Hungry Advance: Solid card – essentially a Sidestep that gives you a Hunger token. The downside of having to be towards the closest enemy fighter isn’t too bad either. Smart players will position it to where it won’t matter and aggro strategies don’t care either way.

Rating: B

Hungry Bolt: Cast a spell, which you could fail to do, to scatter 3 and IF you manage to hit anyone, deal a damage to them and give them a Hunger counter… Don’t bother with this one folks.

Rating: D

Hunting Season: Pretty neat card that opens up a lot of possibilities for a lot of warbands and what cards they can use and score. I think this will be fun to try out but ultimately won’t be a competitively viable. It’s always easier to build upon a warband’s strengths rather than try to give them new ones.

Rating: C

Hypnotic Aspect: Amazing card. Easy to cast and then distract your opponent away. A magic specific Distraction is fantastic though we might have too many versions of it now…

Rating: A

Slickrock: This card is insane in terms of power. Not only does this mess with enemy positioning and objective capturing, it can cancel an opponent’s charge action. Restrict immediately!

[JonathanI think this card is a negative play experience more than anything else. Yes, you can always just avoid moving or charging onto an objective if you think the opponent has it…but not really for the entire game. I’m not sure if this card is broken overpowered as much as it is disruptive to the way the game is usually played, and simply not fun to have around. I guess we will see how popular it is, but I wish it was never printed.]

Rating: A+ (yes, this card broke the scale – it’s that strong)

Thrill of the Hunt: Solid card, even if you didn’t care about the Primacy token. Healing your recently victorious fighter or pushing them in a better position is ace.

[Jonathan– I don’t think I’m as sold on this card but I do think it is useful specifically for Primacy builds that need to gain the primacy token from killing bigger fighters, since the one-shot condition can be tricky in some match-ups. In my opinion the Heal/Push is cool, but too conditional on getting the kill to be worth much by itself.]

Rating: A

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Universal Upgrades:

Earthing Staff: I would have loved this card when Well of Power was in rotation, sadly it is not. Still, it’s a neat effect and if you plan to go spell heavy, it can help you stay alive longer.

[Jonathan- Also worth noting that is a Quarry card as well, so might be another option for some Absolute Stillness builds.]

Rating: C

Fearsome Trappings: I just don’t know if this makes the cut given how awesome the upgrades are in Beastgrave. If it made you a Hunter and did something else, okay that’s fine but having to have a Primacy token as well is harsh.

[Jonathan – I agree, especially because you lose the primacy at the end of each round and then have to re-gain it in order to activate this ability.]

Rating: D

Formidable Defence: Trading a bit of offense for some defense. I dig the trade off and can see why this could be useful in control and/or Lost Pages builds.

Rating: C

Hungry Armour: This card loses value the longer you take to draw it and the reward is not powerful enough to make you risk deck/draw inefficiency either.

Rating: D

Master of Spoils: Makes it easier to nab the token as you don’t have to one shot them anymore. A bit redundant but could be clutch in warbands who struggle with damage output.

Rating: C

Preyskin Mask: A very interesting way to de-buff the enemy, and the first upgrade you can give to the other player’s fighters. Problem is, I still won’t take it. Neat idea though.

[Jonathan – This one is kind of like a new Crown of Avarice, in that it makes the fighter you give it to very annoying to kill with a powerful fighter. I am not sure if it’ll see a lot of play, but I love the design space!]

Rating: D

Savage Speed: I like this card for warbands like Magore’s Fiends and Godsworn Hunt. Getting the speed bonus is nice and, most of the time, they don’t suffer the penalty. Maybe this can allow those warbands to tap into Hunter stuff?

Rating: C

Savage Strength: Again, another great card for non-Hunters and even Hunters alike. Single defense models like Magore, Mollog, Grundann, Morgok, and Ironskull don’t care about the penalty. It is effectively another Great Strength with a Hunter bonus.

Rating: A

Soultooth Bow: Looks like we know what Direchasm’s weapon theme is going to be. Punishing fighters who already have move and/or charge tokens seems okay. I suppose Mollog suffers the most from it, in theory. Range 4, 2 smash is not bad and it makes you a Hunter.

Rating: C

Soultooth Spear: I generally think spears are amazing in this game. The threat range it provides is great as you can avoid charges via some push shenanigans, etc. It’s a decent weapon and if the Hunter thing is relevant, or thee re-roll, then go for it.

Rating: B

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Closing Thoughts:

Man! This starter box is jam packed with some awesome content. The decision to add 32 brand unique cards as opposed to reprinting basic cards was a Masterstroke! Not only do these cards look amazing, there are some amazing rules and effects sprinkled in here as well. To see so many applicable cards in the starter set warms my heart as it bodes well for the future of this game.

There’s plenty of support for aggro and it looks like Hunter is going to be accessible this season which was sorely needed last season. My only concern is that some of these cards look abusable by Mollog and Hrothgorn. If we can stay on top of those guys, we should have a great start to the season. Aggro is back baby!

There are some good cards in here. Go on and get yourself a set when you can – you won’t regret it.

If you would like to pre-order, head on down to your local Warhammer Store or gaming store. If you prefer to shop online, check this out here. I hope you enjoy your experimenting with these cards over the coming weeks. Look out for more content coming out in regards to them over the next couple days.

Cheers,

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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