A Warhammer Underworlds Blog & Podcast

Card Review: Harrowdeep Grand Alliance Cards

Hello Gloryseekers,

Jonathan here, with a review of the newest type of cards to be released in Warhammer Underworlds: Harrowdeep – Grand Alliance Cards! These are a new type of quasi Universal cards that can be used to build decks in various formats of the game.

Games workshop was kind enough to send me a copy of the Harrowdeep box to preview, so I hope you enjoy the review.

____________________

What are Grand Alliances?

If you didn’t know previously, all of the warbands in the game fall into one four Grand Alliances in the Warhammer Age of Sigmar lore. These Grand Alliances are Order, Destruction, Chaos, and Death. These groups do not always mean the warbands are true allies, but they tend to have the most in common with one another, and would be more likely to gang up with each other vs another another Grand Alliance given the right motives.

In Underworlds, Grand Alliances are basically Universal cards, except that only about 1/4 of the warbands can use them. This puts them somewhere between faction cards and Universal cards in my head.

The newest fighter cards from the Starter Set and Harrowdeep have the Grand Alliance symbols on them, but the other warbands still count as being in one or the other (shown below).

____________________

Card Review

The Harrowdeep box includes 9 cards for each of the three Grand Alliances.

I will review these cards here, and give each a rating from A to D.

These are general ratings based primarily on the Championship format, and here is how I think about each one:

  • A – These cards are the best at what they do, and should be expected to see will see a lot of play.
  • B – These cards are solid at what they do, and work well for specific strategies.
  • C – These cards have very specific effects that might see some play in the right deck, but I don’t expect them to be common.
  • D – These cards have either very weak or the most specific effects, and I would be surprised to see them at all.

It’s worth noting that in the deck building formats (Rivals is a bit different), the best 100 or so cards that are legal at a given time tend to rise to the top of the pile and see the most play, while the rest don’t see a lot of play. This fluctuates as more cards come out, or as the best cards join the Forsaken and Restricted list, but it’s pretty normal in the game’s history for most cards to be fairly weak or somewhat situational. In this review, I will focus a lot of if I think a card can make the cut in a top tier competitive deck in the Championship format, but I do think that in other formats or game modes some may be more worth playing (Alliance uses a larger of cards number across teams, for example) than I give them credit for.

____________________

Order:

In addition to Xandire’s Truthseekers and the Storm of Celustus, the following warbands are a part of the Order Grand Alliance:

____________________

Order Cards

Elimination Order: This card is decent if you have fighters that start as Assassins, but there are none of those in the game right now. Otherwise, I think it’s too hard to be reliable.

My Rating: C

Path of Order: I like the design of this card, and I think some of the Order warbands like Starblood Stalkers, Profiteers, or Chosen Axes might want to take it, but in general Order doesn’t tend to like holding objectives, so I’m not sure how useful the others will find it, and it’s probably a little worse than Path to Victory.

My Rating: B

True Grit: This card seems very hard to score for most warband, Order included.

My Rating: D

Arcane Bulwark: Mass Guard tokens could be decent for warbands like Purifiers or Cursebreakers, but this isn’t the easiest spell to cast. Overall very specific to the deck you are building.

My Rating: C

Cautious Manoeuvre: Possibly worth considering for Hunter warbands like Wild Hunt, Starblood, and Soulraid, if you want to move up an extra fighter, or move a fighter that already charged. I don’t put much stock in the Guard condition.

My Rating: C

Drilled Determination: I don’t think it’s ever really worth it to heal (1), so I’m not a fan.

My Rating: D

Castellan: Actions are too valuable for this to be worth using in most situations, and you can never count on having it at the right time, I think.

My Rating: D

Drill Sergeant: Possibly a decent accuracy card for Profiteers, but that’s about it, and I think there are better options.

My Rating: C

Perfect Stance: I think this is a decent defensive upgrade for tough, 2 block fighters. The immunity to stagger is nice, as is having support, but it’s not as good as some of the obvious cards like Great Fortitude.

My Rating: C

____________________

Overall Thoughts on Order:

Sadly, the order cards are probably the weakest of the bunch. So far, the Order theme seems to be Guard, which I think is a generally weak mechanic for Objectives and Gambits, though it can be okay on some Upgrades.

____________________

In addition to the new Kunnin’ Krew warband, the following warbands are a part of the Destruction Grand Alliance:

____________________

Cards

Easy Come, Easy Go: I think card is scorable for most warbands, but not as good as other 1 glory options.

My Rating: C

Scant Rewards: I think the viability of this card will depend on the other cards we get in this season. Right now it is pretty hard to remove all of the feature tokens from your territory unless you are Hrothgorn, but it’s possible that there will be more ways in the future. The second condition is just hard to ensure, especially in a best of three if the opponent knows what you are planning after the first game.

My Rating: C

 

The More the Meaner: This card is very solid for both Gitz and Kunnin’ Krew, but probably not worth taking for the rest of the Destruction pack.

My Rating: B

Shattering Blow: This is a cool tech card to have available for “voltron” (lots of upgrades on powerful fighters) metas, but even then you have to have it at the right time, and land an attack.

My Rating: C

Stupefy: I think the anti-Illusion effect is too niche to take for that reason, but I think the stagger ability is decent, so if you want that, then the Illusion ability might be useful from time to time as well.

My Rating: C

Tremendous Roar: This is a lot of staggering! Overall I think Destruction doesn’t have enough wizards to get good use of this one. I’m also not sure if i think staggering is worth a power card.

My Rating: C

Spitemaul: I don’t think this is worth taking over other weapons. It’s always better to get kills than to remove upgrades, so these cards are hard to make room for in most metas.

My Rating: D

Troggoth’s Blood: I think this a very strong card because it allows you heal up by stacking other upgrades on a fighter, balanced only by the 4 wound restriction at the time of equipping it.

My Rating: A

Visage of Destruction: A solid Illusion Upgrade for leaders, I think this is quite good for big leaders like Hrothgorn or Mollog. Even if it ends up being removed via cards or attacks, it’s still probably worth it for the time it isn’t.

My Rating: B

____________________

Overall Thoughts on Destruction

I think Destruction has a few nice cards, mostly Troggoth’s Blood but also The More the Meaner and Visage of Destruction. Their flavors seem to be upgrade removal and stagger, and I’m not sure I really think either of those are worth taking cards for, so we will see how the rest of the cards pan out.

____________________

The following warbands are a part of the Chaos Grand Alliance:

____________________

Cards

All to Real: This might be worth taking in decks with a lot of weapons for warbands like Spiteclaw’s Swarm or Despoilers, and does get better if we see some solid Illusion weapons.

My Rating: C

Path of the Gods: This card seems solid for the larger chaos warbands like Spiteclaw’s Swarm or Godsworn Hunt. For the rest, it’s probably a little risky with only 3-5 fighters and no ability to bring fighters back.

My Rating: B

Pawns of the Gods: A very easy card for most warbands to score, but only one glory.

My Rating: B

Agonizing Bolt: A decent damage spell, this card could see some play in an Eyes, Wurmspat, or Ravager deck.

My Rating: B

Chaotic Paths: A solid disruption card for killing or getting fighters off of feature tokens. It would be better in a meta with lethal hexes, but I think it’s still pretty good.

My Rating: C

Desperate Bargain: I think this happens too rarely, and is too out of your control to be worth taking.

My Rating: D

Devoted Curse: This card could be decent for aggro warbands as an anti-hold objective measure, and it seems fun to play with, but sadly there are probably better options.

My Rating: C

Gifted Bulk: This is a great card! It’s basically Great Fortitude, but will sometimes be free. Expect to see a lot of this one.

My Rating: A

Phantom Pain: Oof, this card is bad, haha.

My Rating: D

____________________

Overall Thoughts on Chaos

The Chaos cards so far seem…okay. Gifted Bulk is great, and Path of the Gods and Agonizing Bolt are worth keeping in mind. It’s hard to tell what the theme is, but if it’s free upgrades, then I’m excited to see more.

____________________

Death

In addition to Drepur’s Wraithcreepers, the following warbands are a part of the Death Grand Alliance:

____________________

Cards

Coup de Grace: A solid aggro card for pretty much any warband.

My Rating: A

Death’s Champion: Great for leader centric death warbands like Reapers, Wraithcreepers, and okay for the rest.

My Rating: B

Lurking Death: An interesting card in general, and I think it’s pretty good as far as 2 glory cards go, though perhaps not as good as some we’ve seen before like Dominant Position or Path to Victory. The damage part is interesting, but probably still worth it.

My Rating: B

Partial Resurrection: Wow, this is an amazing card. Even though they come back with one health left, and you can’t rez the leader, we are going to see a LOT of this one.

My Rating: A

Reborn In Darkness: Maybe a decent card for Sep Guard if end up making a cover deck of some kind, but I think there are likely better cards.

My Rating: C

Swooping Shadow: Pretty good for fighters with Flying or Hunter, such as Crimson Court, and perhaps Grymwatch as well. Otherwise pretty average.

My Rating: B

Fatal Scheme: An interesting ability, but I can’t see it being worth the Action.

My Rating: D

Lifeseeker: A solid accuracy card for Assassins. Otherwise pretty average.

My Rating: C

Shade Leach: Okay, this one is pretty bad.

My Rating: D

____________________

Overall Thoughts on Death

It’s pretty clear that Death has the best cards so far, with Partial Resurrection being one of the single best cards in the game, and Coup de Grace, Swooping Shadow, and Lurking Death being solid as well.

____________________

Overall Thoughts

Well, there we have it! 9 new cards for each Grand Alliance, of varying quality. I think it’s obvious that the power has not been distributed very evenly to start with, with Death seeming to get the most, and Order the least, but there are some interesting and flavorful effects in there.

Personally, I find the release of Grand Alliance cards a little strange from a meta and balance perspective, since the warbands in each Grand Alliance don’t really have that much in common, and the assortment of card effects and power levels seems fairly random. It will be interesting to see how more Grand Alliance cards effect the available card pool, but right now it just feels like a few new cards for the warbands that happen to both be in the Grand Alliance and mesh well with what the cards have to offer.

____________________

Final Thoughts

If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed my review!

Let me know if you think I missed anything, or could do something better the next time.

Thanks for reading,

Jonathan

 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Related Articles

Aman

Blogger, Podcast Host

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

Favorite Warband: The Farstriders

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

Our Favorites
Sponsor
Explore