A Warhammer Underworlds Blog & Podcast

LVO Meta Predictions

Well, it’s been a while. 

Since Mark took over the blog, I haven’t felt much need to write an article. The blog has been doing quite well in his very capable hands.This delineation in duties has given me the time to devote myself further to the podcast which has been bearing the fruits of that labor through ramping up our quality, production, and number of episodes. Interestingly, I wanted this article to be a podcast episode but due to schedule’s misaligning, namely due to myself currently being in New Zealand, an article will have to do. 

Still, there is nothing like writing an article that gets the creative juices flowing. There is an alluring charm to it. As such, happy to be back writing again, even if it’s for a short one. 

In today’s article, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the upcoming Las Vegas Open (LVO) Grand Clash, specifically on which warbands I expect to see and which ones I believe have the best chance of winning the whole thing. Keep in mind that this will be through the lens of the nemesis format, though the concepts can apply to the other formats as well. 


I would be remiss if I didn’t start by mentioning the recent errata and its impact on the meta. While the intent of the update was to certainly curb the performance of Domitan’s Stormcoven and Ephilim’s Pandaemonium, it didn’t really shake up the meta too much. Prior to the changes, the nemesis meta was reasonably diverse and this change simply leveled the playing field in terms of certain matchups. 

Yes, the nerf to Stormcoven hurts. It fundamentally changes the way a pilot has to play the warband. Namely, it opens up the warband to being forced into poor situations depending on which fighters are still on the board. For example, a canny opponent can now sometimes force you to give up that coveted two bounty for Domitan. 

Does it mean the warband isn’t good anymore? Absolutely not. When paired with Force of Frost (FoF), this warband can still emulate the success they experienced at the World Championships. They can still 100% win a major event. The biggest thing is that their tougher matchups just got a bit more tough: Dromm, Headsmen, and Hexbane’s. 

Ephilim’s Pandaemonium also took a hit but I think the change is a minor one. Your opponent pushing your fighter isn’t going to come up much as you’ll probably lose a changer in round one. The warband still packs a punch and has one of the best power card suites this game has seen. They’re not going anywhere. 

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about which warbands we think will make a showing at LVO and which warbands have the best chance at winning the thing. 

I’ll immediately reiterate that Domitan and Ephilim are still very much entrenched in the meta-game. We’ll be seeing them often. Interestingly, there may be lower numbers of the former at this upcoming grand clash simply because the nerf to them, and Force of Frost, seems to be a bigger deal than it actually is. The loss of an early Abasoth’s Avalanche is noticeable but you don’t need it to win the matchups where it used to shine. You were already favored. And in the matchups where you weren’t the beatdown, you weren’t using it anyways. 

Prior to the changes, I’d have recommended players to play Gorechosen of Dromm, The Headsmen’s Curse, and Hexbane’s Hunters – in addition to the aforementioned warbands. After the changes, this doesn’t really change much. 

Dromm is a natural counter to Domitan (rightfully so due to Khorne) given their larger health pools, access to healing, and solid amounts of passive glory. The matchup is only stronger now and levels the playing field to a true 50-50. If you’re planning on running them, I’d expect either Tooth and Claw (T&C) or Voidcursed Thralls (VCT). The latter also helps them against Ephilim’s and Hexbane’s – two other major contenders. With 3 fighters, they are susceptible to dice both offensively and defensively however so keep that in mind. VCT does require significantly more brain power which is a blessing and a curse. T&C offers a simpler, yet perhaps equally powerful experience, but it is predictable. 

Headsmen’s was already solid into Domitan and now they may be slightly favored. They’ve got great damage, solid scoring, and the changes to The Sharpener’s tokens means they get more consistency when taking those big swings. The matchups into Ephilim, Dromm, and Hexbane’s feel solid as well. I genuinely don’t think they have any bad matchups when paired with VCT, I wouldn’t recommend pairing them with anything else at the moment. They’re not a meta-buster per say but they definitely feel good and a strong pilot can ensure they have the edge in a lot of those 50-50 matchups. 

Hexbane’s is perhaps in the strongest spot right now. They’ve got great fighters, reliable objectives, and powerful power cards. They also have the versatility to pair with any of the top rivals decks right now, which makes them hard to plan for. Mark has convinced me that VCT is the strongest pairing when played optimally. As hinted at earlier, the concern with playing VCT is that it is highly punishing when played incorrectly. The misplays hurt. Bad. Which is why I expect to see other pairings with them, namely Fearsome Fortress (FF). However, if played optimally this warband is terrifying. They have all the tools, they just need to watch out for scything attacks. 

Speaking of scything, I imagine we’ll also see Gnarlspirit Pack (GSP) paired with T&C. It’s an iconic pairing and is always going to be a contender. GSP just feels like a warband that can always win games, even when they’re losing. Playing against them is playing on a razor’s edge. You just never know which way the knife is going to cut until the game is over. The downside of course is that they’re predictable. They’re always going to be the beat down and are susceptible to hard counter punches. 

Hedkrakka’s Madmob is also an interesting choice. They’re beefy, have great defensive tools, and Wollop is their secret weapon against elite fighters. I think the optimal pairing is Daring Delvers (DD) followed by FoF. You can do some really cool things with both decks. I know some people like playing them with FF but it’s not as flexible as the other two aforementioned pairings. Their biggest strength is primacy which often nets them 2+ glory every game. 

Crimson Court is another great choice. They’re 4 stat-balls that pair great with T&C, DD, VCT, and Breakneck Slaughter (BNS). They’ve also got solid cards in both the objective and power deck. Nemesis is interesting because you rely even more on warband stats and these guys are pretty reliable in that regard. 

The newest contender is a bit of a dark horse but one that is gaining popularity and respect: Gryselle’s Arenai. They can do some absolutely nutty things with BNS. Elathain’s Soulraid paired with Toxic Terrors is another fast aggro choice. Rippa’s Snarlfangs, too. They were both surprisingly absent from Worlds and always have game. I do believe they’re outclassed by GSP and Arenai at the moment. Oh, and let’s not forget Looncourt. While they lack the ability to consistently tangle with most of the warbands here, they aren’t to be slept on either. 

Since I am in New Zealand, I won’t be making the event. However if I were to go, I’d probably have played Hexbane’s Hunters paired with VCT. And if not them, Ephilim’s Pandaemonium with FoF. I think both of them have the best shot of winning the event. Aside from Ephilim’s into Domitan, both warbands have a 50-50 matchups at worst into everything. What I especially like about these warbands is they can always follow their game plan. It doesn’t matter what your opponent is trying to do if you just do what you need to do. Both of them can also unleash a ton of damage off the rip, which helps them win some matchups quickly through sheer attrition. If I had to pick a third option, it would be The Headmen’s Curse paired with VCT for the same reasons listed above. 

As mentioned previously, it’s a pretty diverse meta. While we all wish we could have even more diversity, 8-10 warbands with multiple deck pairing options makes it fairly healthy. Anyone one of them can win though I’d be surprised if it’s not one of the top five warbands (in no particular order): Domitan’s, Dromm, Ephilim’s, Headmen’s, and Hexbane’s. However, this is Underworlds and anything can happen. I’m excited to see how it shakes out. 

Obviously I am rooting for Zach (Path to Glory) and good friend of the show, Derek. However, I would be content if any American won and beat back those pesky Canadians, eh. 

Till next time, best of luck on YOUR Path to Glory!

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Competitive player who loves to attend events and theory craft. Always chasing the next piece of shade glass. Creating Underworlds content since 2018.

Favorite Warband: The Farstriders


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Enjoys playing Death warbands in particular and enjoys the competitive spirit the game brings. Is always down to discuss Underworlds.

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Loved to discuss all aspects of the game, especially events. Enjoyed the data behind the game and is also competitively focused. Retired from Underworlds in 2021.

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