Well met! I hope everyone had a wonderful, and safe, New Year’s celebration. Jonathan and I are looking forward to this year as we continue to pump out quality content across this blog and our podcast. Your continued support has been throughly appreciated and we hope to continue to meet, and exceed, your expectations.
Today’s article will focus on what I think will be the upcoming meta for the online event being hosted by a certain Discord community. Signups are still open if you are interested in participating.
Keep in mind, these are predictions so take them with a grain of salt. I’ve been playing a ton of games with my practice group and based on the strategies and combos I’ve seen there, I’ll be sharing some brief thoughts. Essentially these are the top 4 warbands I think will do very well at the upcoming event.
Let’s jump in!
1. Mollog’s Mob:
My first meta call out probably shouldn’t be a surprise. With the rotation of Nightvault, Mollog lost a lot of tools including his two favorite surge objective cards: Burst of Speed and Longstrider. The future seemed clouded for the troll but those doubts were quickly expelled with the universal cards that were introduced with the Direchasm game set. Namely, the greater accessibility to the Hunter keyword has propelled the terrible troggoth to extravagant levels of power.
As you are most likely aware, pilots of the warband tend to VOLTRON (stacking multiple upgrades on a single fighter) Mollog as he is the only (99% of the time) source of threat and glory generation in the faction. If he goes down too early, the controlling player generally loses. Thus, making him extremely accurate and survivable are two tried and true methods of maximizing his output.
So what makes Mollog so good? There are a couple ways. You’ll see Mortis Relics which is a fairly popular and powerful synergy. Gauntlet of Command allows Mollog some more movement, Gauntlet of Dominance brings his prey closer to him and hurts objective strategies, and The Crown of the Dead help draw those upgrades faster to slam onto the big guy. Use any two in conjunction, mostly likely the gauntlets, and Mollog gains an extra wound and damage. The re-roll off the Crown is nice too.
Also as mentioned earlier, the Hunter keyword is now much more accessible to non-Hunter warbands. Savage Strength and Savage Speed are obvious choices here as they make Mollog hit harder and have an insane threat range of 7. This allows him to gain access Hunter’s Talisman which propels him to 3 smash on his already formidable attack. He can also get Trophy Belt which makes him glory generation double. Vision of Glory also allows him to get more attacks in so why not.
If you also plop on Great Fortitude, Great Strength, Blooming Spores, Strength of Terror, and Deserved Confidence then you’ve got a 9 wound fighter that hits with a range 2, 4 smash attack that deals 6 damage with a single re-roll when inspired. Two re-rolls if you are hitting a Quarry. And again, don’t forget that movement of 5 with an option to make a Scything attack as well. Oh and when the upgrades start stacking, then the bonuses from Deserved Confidence get much better too. We’ve already taken the extra wound into account but we haven’t mentioned that he can’t be driven back nor the the fact that he gains an innate smash and fury in the end game. This makes him a shoe-in for Primacy as well.
So you’re probably thinking, well I just take down Mollog right? You are correct but it is a lot harder than it seems. See, Mollog also uses a card called Ferocious Resistance. Essentially, if he’s taken a bunch of damage he can then heal up for roughly 3-4 wounds on average depending on the wounds he’s taken. You can make this a bit more reliable with Hungry Advance, which you should take, to make the heals even stronger. Lucky Escape also works great for this guy.
Given the fact that Mollog already can decimate warbands with above average rolling, once you stack speed, accuracy, and even more damage it becomes very hard to escape his wrath, let alone eliminate him. For the reasons mentioned above, I believe Mollog is in the number 1 spot right now. He’s the guy to beat but man, is it hard. My advice, start packing Rebound. It’s worth the restricted slot nowadays.
2. Morgok’s Krushas:
Our second meta call should also not come as a surprise. With the introduction of Primacy, and the rotation of some powerful cards, the Krushas are now sitting near the top of the totem pole. A lot of this has to do with the fact that they’ve each got 5 wounds to start and two of them are hitting for 3 damage un-inspired. That’s pretty nasty. However, they struggle with accuracy initially and Morgok ends up doing a lot of the heavy lifting early on. They’re also slow with a movement of 3 across the board. Where this warband does shine is their access to some powerful faction objectives, namely their surges. Now Wot?, Got It, Boss, and Orruk Kunnin’ are fantastic.
The idea here is pretty similar to Mollog in that this warband is tough and hit like a semi-truck. First off, players can overcome their slow movement with cards like Spectral Wings, Malkyn Grace, and Savage Speed. If you lean into the Hunter cards, you also can use Tracking as well somewhat reliably. Second, keeping your fighters alive comes fairly naturally to this faction. They have the ability to mitigate damage fairly well in the form of Berserk Fortitude and Inured to Pain, which is the worth the restricted slot. You can also stack wounds with Great Fortitude and Deserved Confidence as well. Don’t forget about Ferocious Resistance as well. While it may not be as powerful on them as it is on Mollog, it can still keep your Orruks alive to win the game. Lastly, you can improve their accuracy and damage with Great Strength, Hunter’s Talisman, Savage Strength, Sting of the Ur-Grub, and Strength of Terror as well should you desire.
What makes these guys especially good is the fact you can reliably VOLTRON two fighters. Like Mollog, they also have the ability to wipe opposing warbands if they start rollin hot early. By using their great faction cards, they can take full advantage of the Mortis Relics and/or Ur-Grub Aspect upgrades as well. In fact, I’ve seen someone run both to great effect.
With multiple threats, I think your best bet is to either hit them hard and fast or try to play keep away as long as you can. Inevitably, you will have to fight them so stack up on that damage. Interestingly enough while they have similar strengths and weaknesses to Mollog, they are actually a great counter-pick into him. He can’t get to 5 damage that quickly, at least consistently. With that being said, Rebound is your friend here as well if you are expecting to brawl with these guys.
3. The Grymwatch
Yep, they’re back! Well to be fair they never really left but with the new card pool, their faction cards are now reliable more than ever. Really it comes down to how reliably they can score glory via holding objective tokens mid-game and during the end phase.
Due to cards like Hidden Purpose, you don’t often need to hold 3 objectives to score through your objective deck. In fact, a big reason why these guys are on top is because of Dominant Position. This naturally provides synergy with their faction card, Incomprehensible Scheme, as well as cards like Path to Victory and Uncontested. If you throw in Swift Capture, Pervasive Delusion, and Shifting Madness you’ve got some pretty solid, and perhaps even easy, glory generation. You can then top it off with movement synergy via Cover Ground, Gathered Momentum, and even Winged Death. Your ghouls move fast and with a majority of them being Hunters, Spectral Wings and Tracking make these cards trivial.
This warband can fight too. Duke Crackmarrow is a monster and Gristlewel can also be a big threat should he get a bit of accuracy help. Since their inspire condition is pivotal to their success, you have to eliminate enemy fighters and Amberbone weapons offer a fantastic choice. You can overcome the lack of damage and accuracy some of your weaker ghouls have and get double glory per take down. The Duke’s ability to automatically bring fighters back also makes it easier to nab objectives in opposing territory as well as create threats to your backline.
Now Mischievous Spirits can damper their plans for sure, but they’ve probably got their own copy to help the recover. Additionally, Sidestep, Distraction, Pack Advance!, Confusion, Gauntlet of Command, and Gauntlet of Dominance can help them well dominate the objective control as well. Generally, the Duke will get VOLTRON’d and be fairly tough to take down thanks to Impervious Delusion.
To fight this warband, I recommend loading up on some of the tried and true counters to objective play such as Distraction and of course, Mischievous Spirits. Speed can also be your ally here to help deny the inspire. Really, you have to commit early and hard. If things don’t go your way, you may be in for a rough time as the ability to cycle through their deck so efficiently can be absurd at times.
4. Lady Harrow’s Mournflight
If you are curious as to why this warband is doing well right now, I recommend you check out Jonathan’s article dealing his recent win at the ‘Straight Outta Shadespire’ webcam event not too long ago. The TL;DR though is that this warband is survivable, fast, and excellent at scoring off holding just two objective tokens. That means regardless of board roll-off, they can still execute their game plan.
The share some general weaknesses as the Grymwatch as well. Specifically for this warband, if you can take down two of their fighters early, the warband has to pick between fighting you and scoring. It’s a good place to be in. You just have to get past that 2 dodge…
The Dark Horse:
So we’ve detailed what I believe to be the top dogs in the meta right now. Naturally you’re probably thinking of a magical answer to combat these potent threats, right? Well, I think I have a solution. While it certainly won’t be an auto-win, I think the following warband can give each of these warbands, and more, a run for their money. They hit hard, can move fairly fast, and don’t care of they lose fighters too much. That’s right, you know what time is is….
…IT’S GODSWORN HUNT TIME!
No, this isn’t a joke. Just hear me out. As I mentioned, they hit hard, got a ton of speed, and can score a bunch of glory charging. Here’s a deck list I put together recently (shoutout to one of our Patrons for bringing up the conversation in our PTG Discord):
The idea here is to generate early and hard hitting threats to immediately put your opponent on the defensive. Really, it works because you can get Theddra and Grundann to 4 damage fairly reliably and quickly due to the way the warband inspires. Once you equip either one of them with Savage Strength, Great Strength, Chaos Boon, or Sting fo the Ur-Grub they gain the ability to threaten almost any fighter on the board. And don’t forget, Jagathra dealing two damage off the bat with that nasty javelin can literally open doors to victory.
The challenge here is accuracy. You do hope to high roll a bit but this is offset by the fact that you literally have 5 bullets (sorry Grawl) that you can fire into your opponent. Once the bullet is fired, hopefully it does it’s job. You really don’t care about them after that. If they happen to survive, then that’s great. That’s a free reload for you! That being said, Sitting Target could probably go in for Hunting Season. I just like the latter as it combos well with Triumphant Hunt.
The deck isn’t perfect but it has served me well. I’ve got a winning percentage into 3 of the top 4 warbands I detailed above. Mollog is the tough one as it really just comes down to who can critically defend better than the other. Also Spiteful Lunge is more of a deterrent than anything. It’s for fun and I completely agree you can swap it out for something better. I did take out an opposing Morgok with it the other day which was hilarious. Rebound is obviously in here as well. Don’t underestimate the power of crits!
Oh, and this warband has Path to Glory. If that isn’t a reason to play them alone then I don’t know what is. Ha! 😉
So there you have it! My meta picks for the upcoming competitive season, at least until Khagra’s Ravagers drop. Honorable mentions go to Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers, The Thorns of the Briar Queen, Magore’s Fiends, and The Wurmspat. They’re all doing fairly solid as well and I just couldn’t pick between them for the 5th spot.
Again, this is just my opinion on what I think is best given my current games and practice group meta. The actual meta could shape out to something entirely different. Still, I think I’m batting above .750 here.
Let me know what you think! Do you agree? Disagree? Will the Godsworn Hunt be our saviors? Probably not for that last one but it’s worth a shot. As always best of luck on YOUR Path to Glory.