Praise be to Sigmar! We’re kicking things off today by reviewing the first faction from Harrowdeep: Xandire’s Truthseekers. They’re a 4 man warband comprised of 3 Stormcast Eternals and their trusty aetherwing (bird) companion.
I know what some of you may be thinking, “oh great, another stormcast warband.” That criticism may be fair to a certain extent but Stormcast Warbands are the Space Marines of the Age of Sigmar universe. They’re the poster boys and girls and as such, they’ll be featured more often than not. Overtime I have just come to appreciate them. In fact, I’ve grown to love them – especially the newest line of miniatures. They are very cool and these latest miniatures are certainly no exception.
In today’s article I’ll be covering everything you need to know about Xandire’s Truthseekers. This includes the lore, fighter cards, 32 faction specific cards, and the miniatures themselves.
A special thank you to Games Workshop for providing me with this review copy ahead of time for free.
Time to seek the truth!
Xandire’s Truthseekers are a band of Stormcasts-errant who have been sent on a mission by Sigmar himself. Turns out, fleets sailing out of an Ulguan port-city, Misthavn, have been going missing. Upon investigating these mysterious disappearances, the Truthseekers found a cursed whirlpool and decided to jump down it (of course). Not sure how this helps them solve Sigmar’s issues but sometimes everyone needs a proper side quest.
Leaping down a whirlpool is a pretty brave thing to do but for one Stormcast in particular, it was especially brave. Calthia Xandire, the leader of the warband, who has been suffering from night-terrors (visions) for a long time. She believes the shadows are coming for her. She hopes by facing her fears, she can banish these concerns from her mind forever. But just in case, she brings a lantern that has the ability to banish any darkness with her – you can never be too careful.
She is accompanied by Dhoraz Giant-Fell, who I assumed has felled a giant, a former Ghur chieftain who likes to talk a lot and swing his big hammer. Luxa Stormrider, who doesn’t say much, is also part of the crew. She is wickedly accurate with her bow and loves hanging out with her animal companion, Taros.
This goes without saying but these miniatures are gorgeous. They’re probably some of the best Stormcast miniatures I’ve seen in a long time – to be fair the whole revamped range is amazing. The miniatures were molded in that classic Stormcast blue and fit together quite easily. I always glue my miniatures but you don’t have to. The fits are quite snug.
My only challenge with the miniatures is with Xandire’s head. I feel like it doesn’t live up to the beautiful box art – which might just be an unrealistic comparison. Still, I plan on replacing it with spare head from a Sisters of Battle kit my friend had laying around. Aside from that, the miniatures are filled to the brim with detail. My favorite bits include the string on Stormrider’s bow and the different animal heads adorning each fighter’s armor. It’s a nice personal touch.
Fighters and Inspiration:
Calthia Xandire is the leader of this fearsome quarter and she’s rocking a pretty standard Stormcast profile. We’ve got 4 wounds, 3 move, and a single block. Her weapon profile, Broadsword, is a range 1 attack that hits on 3 smash and deals 2 damage. While the overall profile isn’t particularly exciting, she’s pretty damn accurate. She’s also a wizard which allows her to tap in magic should you choose to do so. Keep in mind, it won’t be too reliable given the fact that she can only roll a single dice due to her wizard level of 1.
Her inspire, that she shares with Ghoraz and Luxa, is quite interesting. When a Stormcast gets taken out of action the rest of the Stormcast inspire. This is actually a pretty big deal as this allows you to play riskier with your fighters and offsets a core issues Stormcast warbands have been plagued with since this game has begun – dropping down from 3 to 2 fighters (sorry Taros).
To sweeten the deal, upon expiring Calthia can use her Blazing Purity reaction to heal (2) another fighter. If you plan on playing offensively, you can play aggressive with your leader, perhaps even use her as bait in order to do as much damage with her as you can before she goes down. Hopefully, her death reinvigorates her melee partner Ghoraz to keep smashing away with his hammer. Canny opponents can play around this by solo’ing her down before attacking anyone else. But this opens up many tactics and avenues of play and counter-play. I like it a lot.
If Calthia ends up inspiring due to someone else’s sacrifice, she bumps up to movement 4, 2 block, and gains cleave on her attack. That’s a solid set of improvements. She retains her Blazing Purity reaction which is also sure to come in handy in mid to late game scenarios.
Dhoraz Giant-Fell is the melee beat-stick of the group and he rocks the Brawler keyword in case you doubted him. Similar to Calthia, he sports 3 movement, 1 block, and 4 health. His weapon, a Great Hammer, is a range 1 attack that deals 3 damage and hits on 2 smash. As befit of his stature, Ghoraz also staggers any enemy he damages. He reminds me of Obryn a lot from Steelheart’s Champions. He’s the muscle of the group and he can do a lot of damage very quickly.
He’s got the same inspire as the rest of the group as well as a reaction. Blazing Force allows you to choose one fighter (including enemy fighters) within 2 hexes of him and push that fighter up to 2 hexes. The sudden reposition can be a boon on certain board states. You could move a fighter onto a feature token offensively or defensively, jump into melee range, or make a tactical retreat. Lots and lots of options.
If Giant-Fell manages to inspire, he gains that second block which is crucial. Unfortunately, his movement stays the same but he does gain a second attack action. The Whirling Hammer attack is a scything 2 smash, 2 damage swing. That’s pretty nice and can wreck bunched up fighters. Like his leader, his reaction stays too which is great.
Luxa Stormrider is the ranged asset of the group which rightly allows her to bear the Hunter keyword. Again, we see the 3 move, 1 block, and 4 wounds standard to Stormcast Eternals. Her ranged attack, Stormcaller Bow, is pretty solid – its a range 4, 2 smash attack pinging foes for a single point of damage. And really, that’s all she does on her un-inspired side.
If she goes down in a game, her Blazing Reprisal reaction allows her to make another attack action before being removed from the table. A parting shot for her enemies, it’s pretty thematic.
Stormrider really gets into her own if and when she inspires. Like her mates, she gets the second block. Her Stormcaller Bow gains cleave and ensnare and bumps up to 3 smash! Yes, it’s just like Kyrae’s – which is perhaps the most accurate ranged attack action in the game. But that’s not even the best part. She also gains a second reaction called Quick Volley. If Luxa take an enemy fighter out of action during her activation, she can react and shoot again. Mhm, I agree – it’s quite good.
She also gets a range 1, 2 fury, 2 damage attack but I doubt you’ll ever be using it with her. Do yourself a favor and equip her with [Gloryseeker] and [Fighter’s Ferocity], then watch the fireworks as she melts down your opponent’s fighters.
Rounding out the warband, we’ve got Taros who is shares a bond with Stormrider through the Companion keyword. This is also the first time we see the Flying and Beast traits on a fighter card. For those of you unfamiliar, Flying means this fighter can move through occupied and lethal hexes and not take damage. Beast means this fighter cannot hold objectives or use attack action upgrades.
This aetherwing has a movement of 5, 2 dodge, and 2 wounds – makes sense for a bird. Taros uses his Beak to attack foes with a range 1, 2 fury, 1 damage attack. Again, makes sense for a bird. These stats aren’t nothing to write home about but what’s cool is Taros has a cool ability to where if he’s within 2 hexes of Stormrider, then she counts as supporting him. It’s a very thematic ability as Taro’s is Luxa’s eyes in the sky and she watches his back. It’s a nice accuracy boost early game but may not be used often.
He also has a reaction that allows him to push himself up to 3 hexes, after Stormrider has made a move action, as long as he is placed within 2 hexes of her. Great synergy with the first reaction mentioned above.
Taros inspires when Stormrider is inspired. The only thing that changes on his fighter card is that his attack becomes 3 fury and gains the grievous key word allowing him to spike into 2 damage roughly half the time.
Note: As per our 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.
Banish the Dark: Essentially charge an enemy fighter and either eliminate them or drive them back. I feel pretty confident that most people can pull this off, as long as the dice abide. You should be loading up on pushes as well so a timely gambit can help you score this as well. You can also just charge with Stormrider.
Bearing Sigmar’s Light: Another pretty easy to score card as you can plan for this by slapping a feature token in no one’s territory. More often than not, you’ll be playing somewhat aggressively with this warband so you could do this fairly decently. I think it requires a bit too much thought for a single glory card but it’s not bad – not at all. Just be sure to delve to land on the objective side.
Blaze of Glory: First surge! I like this card a lot as every single fighter in the warband has an innate reaction. You can also pad your power deck with reactions as well if you feel the need to.
Brave the Darkness: This card can be a bit of a trap as you also have to charge with Taros. If you don’t mind doing that, or he’s already out of action, then this can be a pretty decent card to score. Just make sure you plan your activations/charges out in advance. I think it’s a decent fit for playing an aggressive strategy. Plus it’s a surge, albeit one thats better in the earlier stages of the game.
Equal to Anything: Take down the enemy fighter with the highest wound characteristic can be a tall order in some matchups. Even against their box mates, Da Kunnin’ Krew, you’ll have to take down Mannok who is 5 wounds. Despite this being a surge, I don’t like the reliability behind it as you can get boned in some matchups – not to mention the dice can crap out on you, too.
Fearless Advance: First 2 glory card and one that I think you can do fairly decently. You’ll need movement and push support to fulfill the criteria from time if only because you might get a slightly unfavorable board setup. Even then, these guys do aggro well and you can build a deck that rewards them for being in enemy territory anyways. Earlier in the game is better for sure as you will take attritional losses, and then it may cause you to rely on Taros – who is a liability.
Righteous Blows: Take down more than half style cards have been around since the beginning of this game and they’ve been pretty hit or miss depending on your outlook. For me, they’re usually a miss if only because you can’t ever predict what you’re going to be facing in competitive environments. Some warbands can be notoriously resilient and this can lead to moments where you may be relying on the dice a little bit too much.
Sigmar’s Chosen: Here is a card that creatively rewards you for playing aggressively. The earlier you draw this, the better as you only have to have 1 enemy fighter out of action in round 1. If you struggling to find a cheap, decent end phase card than this could work for you. Even if you draw this later, the kill stack so it works but does technically get harder as the game goes on.
Stalwart Few: The inspiration for this warband is pretty much a global inspire so this could be something decently reliable for 1 glory. If there is ever a game in which you can’t score this card, it’s either going incredibly well for you or very poorly. I’m not sure if it makes my final list but I wouldn’t judge you for taking it.
Stubborn Yet: So get attacked and hope to survive while specifically being vulnerable. I think this is certainly attainable but one that gives your opponent a bit too much agency for my liking. Once they are aware of this card being in your deck, they also might just try to one-shot you the whole time.
Unquestionable Might: 3 glory is a lot of glory and we tend to be willing to do a lot in order to get those big payouts. In this case, wiping an enemy warband out is too tall of an order. Even taking down 4 enemy fighters against the larger warbands can be quite difficult. Plus, it’s just kind of super matchup dependent. Unquestionably not going in my deck. If you manage to score this, you’ve already won the game. Just overkill at that point.
We Suffice: Now this, this is a good 2 glory end phase card. Very scorable and you can do it quite early in the game. It also pairs nicely with scoring via invading enemy territory.
Advance as One: Starting strong, this is an awesome card. They’re a slower warband so the positioning assistance helps.
Blaze of Light: Because Xandire is a level 1, this isn’t the most reliable card but it’s still a 66% chance to go off. I like how it presents both offensive and defensive options as well. The problem is when you compare it to other accuracy cards, specifically ploys, the fact that there is a chance to fail at all makes me step away from it.
Blazing Arrow: Oh baby, this is a good one. Even if you don’t go Stormrider heavy, it’s just a good card because inspired she can hit at 4 smash and most likely crit into that extra damage. Un-inspired, that’s a 3 smash attack with a 42% chance to crit. Not bad.
Called Strike: This is okay, I think it being available for a warband who wants to hit things makes sense. And sometimes, this card can be the difference – I just think there may be better universal options out there.
Crushing Momentum: I get the reaction synergy, which is nice. This could help with getting rid of a guarding fighter, but Dhoraz has stagger so I feel there is some unnecessary redundancy here.
Drilled Efficiency: Usually, I am not a big fan of guard cards but I think this is pretty okay for them due to the fact that once they inspire, 2 block on guard is pretty good. I don’t think this makes most championship decks but I think you’ll appreciate it if you run it.
Flawless Strike: This is warband who likes to roll a lot of dice but it’s just not very reliable. I feel like you’re quite literally gambling with this card as it’s not really up to you when it comes to playing it.
Meteoric Blow: This is a bit of a gamble, as you have to play this before the dice are rolled. Not sure if this makes the championship format but I am fairly confident it will help you win games in the rival format. It’s cool and thematic but the timing throws it off for me.
Sigmarite Wardens: So I like this one a lot better than the previous guard card. If the goal is to dive into enemy territory, this can be a huge help. One card for multiple fighters going on guard will always be better than a card only giving the token to one fighter.
Walk it Off: I think the effect if pretty powerful, I just don’t think vulnerable is going to come up as often as the game hopes it does. 4 wounds isn’t what it used to be and with the current tool set, it is pretty doable to one-shot a 4 wound fighter. If this does happen to go off, it is a bit of a power play – especially in rivals.
Flight of Darts: Thematically, a very cool fan of knives style card. I don’t think I am taking this in championship though given the low damage output. Sure, there is splash damage, but its pretty situational. Does remind me of [Lightning Blast], though.
Grip of Serenity: I like the fact that this is an illusion, I don’t like the fact that you have to be vulnerable.
Indomitable Will: This reminds me of [Potion of Constitution]. Looking at the combat chart, it looks like your opponent hits you for 2, then you heal 1. So your fighter would survive per the current iteration of the rules. Had to check with Jonathan to make sure it worked like that, which he concurred it did. This is pretty good.
Keepsake: Accuracy in all forms helps, this is solid for your big 3.
Kinetic Lodestone: I like the fact that Dhoraz can’t be pushed. Reminds me of [Mountain Stance] from the Purifiers. But the crazy part to me, is that if someone wants to attack you at range 1, they get staggered and a charge token. I plan on building my deck around Dhoraz and Stormrider so I am seriously considering this. I think I might want this to be better than it actually is but I am high on it for now.
Light of Azyr: I don’t really like spell actions in general solely for the fact that there is percent chance of failure.
Raptor’s Eye: Cool card, thematic. I don’t think this is worth it because Stormrider is already super accurate. Also, is Taros going to survive long enough in a game for you to benefit from this often? No.
Staggering Charge: Essentially, this is a range 1, 4 fury attack with knockback and stagger. This is kind of cool but I don’t think any fighter gives it up their current attacks to use. I can see it coming up in rivals, but not in championship.
Tempered Sigmarite: Seem alright, kind of a common/classic Stormcast card. Depending on the meta, or even how you plan on piloting these guys, I think it can be solid. There might be better upgrades out there in the universal pool, however.
Unfaltering Stride: I wish this worked the way I wanted it to on Stormrider, but it directly conflicts with her Quick Volley in terms of windows. I guess you could use this as a [Duellist’s Speed] style card. These guys don’t necessarily want to be on feature tokens though.
From a Rivals format perspective, I think this deck competes fairly well with the Direchasm warbands. The 4 surges does put them at a slight disadvantage when compared to previous seasons but it still feels pretty well rounded. The deck does synergize well, especially with a number of reaction cards. When compared to Da Kunnin’ Krew, I think this deck is the weaker of the 2, but I do believe the Truthseekers can win that matchup roughly 50% of the time.
(Jonathan here – I give their Rival’s deck a B, in the rating scale found in this article)
Overall, I thought this warband was pretty solid – I like them. The inspiration mechanic is what really sells it for me – the tactical nuances that it unlocks is quite deep. If you want to build your strategy around 1-2 fighters, you can definitely do that which I find to be super neat. I look forward to trying to get my opponent to kill the Stormcast I want them to while protecting the fighters I want to last. Seems like a lot fun!
Looking at their objective deck, I find that Banish the Dark, Blaze of Glory, and We Suffice to be the most interesting to me. I like the idea of conquering enemy territory while also being aggressive via attacks and reactions.
For gambits, I like Advance as One – it’s just such a good card. Additionally, Blazing Arrow, Called Strike, and Sigmarite Wardens stand out to me. In terms of upgrades, I like Indomitable Will, Keepsake, and Kinetic Loadstone. As you can see, they’ve got enough solid faction cards in the deck which allows them a core for which universal cards can be built around.
This warband wants to play aggressively, which also makes them a bit straightforward in some way. I think they are well positioned to do fairly well given the fact that they like to be running up the board and taking the fight to the enemy. I feel like they’re exactly what you’d expect from a core box warband – they remind me, in terms of power level, to Myari’s Purifiers and Dread Pageant. They showcase the new mechanics quite well and seem good early own.
I am concerned about how much damage is running out there in the wild. Being a 4 wound fighters isn’t the greatest thing in the world anymore. I think their worst matchups come from warbands that also want to be aggressive but are faster. Still, I’m confident these guys can hold their own – especially into hordes and other 4 wound fighter warbands. Stormrider in particular stands out to me. She can be a horde and big boy annihilator.
Xandire’s Truthseekers can be played fairly simply, but like Underworlds itself, there is a lot of tactical depth to them. While you won’t figure out all their shenanigans off the bat, if you stick with them, I think they could potentially be one of the most fun Stormcast warbands to date. I mean, it already feels like they’ve borrowed a little bit from their predecessors in terms of fighter identities. We’ve got the wizard, the ranged hunter, and the brawler. If you stuck Ammis, Obryn, and Eagle-Eye in the same warband, I am not sure they’d operate much differently.
If you think this warband would make an excellent addition to your collection, be sure to head on down to your local Warhammer Store or FLGS to order yourself a copy of Warhammer Underworlds Harrowdeep. If you prefer to shop online, check this out here this Saturday.
As always, best of luck on YOUR Path to Glory.