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Card Review: Harrowdeep Universals

Hello Gloryseekers!

Jonathan here, with a review of the 48 Universal cards found in the Harrowdeep box. Games workshop was kind enough to send me a copy of the Harrowdeep box to preview, so I hope you enjoy the review.

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Card Review

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.

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Objective Cards

Competent Conjuror: Sadly I think this is going to be one too many spells no matter how many Wizards you have in your warband.

Rating: D

Contest of Equals: I need to do the math on this, but it seems seasonably likely to happen. It does make the other player roll defence dice because it works on zero successes, which is sort of annoying.

Rating: B

Fallen Titan: This one is too matchup dependent for most warbands to consider, and doesn’t reward enough IMO.

Rating: D

Fearless Seekers: I think these types are cards are hard to pull off, though Feature Tokens might be easier than Objective Tokens…still seems hard, though.

Rating: C

In Cold Blood: This happens a lot, so I like this one even if you aren’t an assassin.

Rating: B

Inseparable: Pretty easy to do for 1 glory, but there are probably better cards to take.

Rating: C

Lead from the Front: Hard for most warbands, unless the leader is doing most of the heavy lifting (Hrothgorn), then it’s okay.

Rating: C

Lead from the Rear: Applicable to more warbands than Lead from the Front, but about the same power level.

Rating: C

Looming Threat: I find this is actually kind of hard to do in the end phase, though I would like it as a surge (Impending Doom).

Rating: C

Lost In Shadow: I might be rating this a bit low, but I’m just not sure how to force the other player to be in cover. If that’s something that everyone is just doing, then it’s probably a B.

Rating: C

Out for the Count: That is a lot of staggering…probably too much to try this.

Rating: D

Reckless Swing: I think this surge is quite good, especially for faster warbands. The attack is a bit less likely to go through, but I think the glory is worth it.

Rating: A

Risky Business: This seems too hard to plan for.

Rating: C

Scion of Shadow: This has too many requirements for one glory.

Rating: D

Unequal Contest: The chance of this happening is actually pretty low compared to similar cards like Branching Fate.

Rating: C

Sinking Feeling: A one glory version of Dominant Position, but for feature tokens? Yes please!

Rating: B

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Gambit Cards

Audacious Move: +2 move, but only for moves? Ehh I’m not really a fan, and there are better versions of this that do allow charges.

Rating: D

Brave Companion: This is a decent reaction push in general, and even better for companions. I think Countercharge is generally better, though.

Rating: C

Call of Fate: I think this fails too often to be worth taking outside of the Mollogest of Mollog decks.

Rating: D

Elite Advance: Not terrible for Hunters like the Rippa’s or the Crimson Court, but I generally do not feel like Guard tokens are worth gambit slots.

Rating: C

Illusory Transference: Time will tell if Illusions are worth building for or against, but this is pretty niche. If the Godsworn Hunt can pull of a double inspire with it, though, more power to them!

Rating: D

Live for the Fight: An average accuracy card that is situationally very nice for Brawlers with Scything attacks (inspired Dhoraz being the only one we have right now)

Rating: B

Not Lost: A pretty cool teleport I think will see play in objective/feature token style decks once the more obvious push cards are taken.

Rating: B

Penumbral Falls: A very cool design, but I think it’s a little bit too hard to rely on in most situations.

Rating: D

Quintok’s Query: I think this effect is very cool, but probably isn’t worth a power card.

Rating: D

Rising Waters: This could be a big deal in some matchups, so is probably worth keeping in mind as a bit of control tech.

Rating: C

Shadow Lure: This is a very solid card for anyone that is able to score off feature tokens/cover.

Rating: B

Sic ‘Em: A decent push card in general, and even better for Beasts.

Rating: B

Too Close: I don’t like that this kicks in after the attack vs before it.

Rating: D

Unfair Fight: I like this quite a bit, because the reroll from stagger also helps to trigger the extra damage from crits. You just need supports, meaning it’s great for the Kruleboys.

Rating: B

Whetted Blades: I like this a lot for Assassins, but otherwise I think it’s pretty average.

Rating: C

Writhing Shadows: Possibly good for warbands that want the objective hexes to be showing so they can score surges (Harrows, etc), or as an anti-cover deck card build?

Rating: D

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Upgrade Cards

Blunt Force Master: An interesting version of knockback without being knockback, and stagger, I can’t help but feel this card doesn’t quite do enough.

Rating: C

Cagey Fighter: I would rather take an upgrade that helps me hit.

Rating: D

Dark Insight: Pretty cool, but probably not worth an action (pretty much nothing is).

Rating: D

Heroic End: A nice upgrade but I think it’s too hard to ensure you will ever have anyone vulnerable.

Rating: C

Master of Shadows: A solid accuracy card that makes you pay attention to cover. I like it, but there are some better option at the moment with things like Augmented Limbs.

Rating: B

Mazzig’s Magefish: I don’t think this does enough to be worth taking, but it might find a place in a Cursebreaker or Eyes deck?

Rating: D

Penumbral Dirk: A decent attack action weapon upgrade.

Rating: C

Phantom Fathomer: A decent attack action weapon upgrade.

Rating: C

Pilfered Prize: A very cool card that I definitely want to play with, but probably isn’t that good, haha.

Rating: C

Searing Ink: Too telegraphed for my liking.

Rating: D

Shademark: A solid defense upgrade for the dodge warbands.

Rating: B

Shadow Seeker: An interesting upgrade for ranged fighters, but probably a little too limiting to see much play IMO.

Rating: C

Terrifying Shadow: A very nice way to keep minions alive, and pretty decent for others as well. I still don’t know if I think the defensive Illusion upgrades are worth it, since I do feel like there is a good chance they get removed by cards, and they don’t last through the round.

Rating: C

Unfazed: A nice card for Brawlers, but otherwise pretty hard to get much benefit from.

Rating: D

Waterlogged Map: A throwback to the old Hero’s Mantle, but a little harder to score.

Rating: C

Withering Blade: A solid weapon upgrade with stagger. I like it, but there are a lot of similar weapon options.

Rating: C

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Overall Thoughts

Phew, that was a lot of cards! Overall, I think this is a fairly average set of cards from a power perspective. There are a few obviously strong cards in the set, but I would say that these cards are mostly of medium power and general utility, which seems nice for the initial balance of the season. With Beastgrave presumably rotating, there are definitely some holes in my decks, and I think some of these cards can do a good job taking their place. As far as starter sets go I think I like this one the most so far. It is only the second starter with all unique universals, and although a few of the Grand Alliance cards are VERY strong, I do not think we will have anything like the balance issues of last season with Ferocious Resistance, which is a very good thing.

Overall I think the meta these cards points towards is a mix of aggro and hold objectives/feature tokens/cover hexes, which seems healthy enough, and should be interesting to figure out in the coming months.

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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

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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: 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

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