Hybrid Decklist – Spiteclaw’s Swarm

During the last four weeks I attended a couple of tournaments with Spiteclaw’s Swarm. Yesterday was the last clash and as the dust settles I am starting to review all events.

I am starting off with my decklist which I did not change during these 4 weeks. Players usually tend to either go for full aggro or objectives when piloting Skaven, but I decided to run a hybrid deck. So here’s the list and I am going to explain the decisions behind it right after.


Ploys (10):

  • Musk of Fear
  • Earthquake
  • Great Concussion
  • Hidden Paths
  • Illusory Fighter
  • Quick Thinker
  • Ready for Action
  • Sidestep
  • Time Trap
  • Quick Advance

My ploys mainly cover three aims:
1) Contain the keyword “choose” to inspire my warband. These cards are: Musk of Fear, Hidden Paths, Illusory Fighter, Ready for Action, Sidestep, Time Trap, Quick Advance (7 in total).

2) Push/move my skaven. Cards to do this: Earthquake, Great Concussion, Hidden Paths, Illusory Fighter, Quick Thinker, Ready for Action, Sidestep, Time Trap, Quick Advance (9 in total).

3) Grant actions (or there results) without activations. And this is done by: Musk of Fear, Hidden Paths, Illusory Fighter, Quick Thinker, Ready for Action (5 in total).

Most of these ploys fulfil two or even three of my criteria. Quick Advance for example inspires two skaven and probably pushing them on to objectives which saves me two activations.


Upgrades (10):

  • Sneaky Stab-stab
  • A Destiny to Meet
  • Acrobatic
  • Awakened Weapon
  • Great Fortitude
  • Great Strength
  • Deathly Fortune
  • Incredible Strength
  • Total Offence
  • Zealous Defender

While the main purpose of these upgrades is to transform Skritch into a weapon of mass destruction, sometimes this is not possible as he has been transformed to a skaven-kebab before. So all of these upgrades can be played on any of the skaven.

Most of these are already very famous so I am just explaining the three of doubt here:
1) A Destiny to Meet? Either put it on an unkillable Skritch in late game or put it on one of the three minions who can be revived in any corner of the board when convenient (out of reach for the enemy of course). As my glory threshold is not too high this one glory actually wins games from time to time plus you can use it to distract your opponent by making a useless uninspired minion interesting to attack.

2) Total Offence? Sounds bad as you can not activate afterwards? However: You can still use Time Trap or Ready for Action to get free attacks and guess what? You can again use your four dies to attack. Also it is always good for the last activation. This is one of the most important cards in this deck (upgrade-wise).

3) Zealous Defender? Why not Helpful Whispers you ask now! This deck wants to hold objectives which means the opponent will usually try to kick your skaven down from those. Zealous Defender grants the support in both attack and defence which I believe is a big advantage. Having Skritch sitting on an objective in late game with this upgrade is really nice…


Objectives:

  • Arm’s Length
  • Skritch is the Greatest, Yes-yes
  • Alone in the Darkness
  • Shining Example
  • Change of Tactics
  • Escalation
  • No Remorse
  • Our Only Way Out
  • Plant a Standard
  • Ploymaster
  • Precise Use of Force
  • Supremacy

The objectives follow three directions:
1) Skritch must live and kill! Mainly or exclusively aimed at Skritch: Arm’s Length, Skritch is the Greatest, Yes-yes, Shining Example, No Remorse, Plant a Standard, Precise use of Force (7 in total).

2) Holding objectives. As holding specific objectives (1-5) is a pain in the youknowwhat this deck is only working with unspecific objectives to hold. Supremacy and Our Only Way Out need to fulfil the same criteria in order to get scored. If you are lucky this means five glory in one round. Our aim is to achieve this in round one, but it can also save the day in round two or three. Plant a Standard is not that easy to achieve, but having Skritch in the back of your opponent’s force sitting on an objective is not too bad (e.g. through Hidden Paths or Illusory Fighter plus movement).

3) Easy to score and score immediately. While Shining Example, Escalation, Ploymaster and Alone in the Darkness (4 in total) usually can be scored passively by just going with the game’s flow, Change of Tactics, Precise Use of Force, No Remorse, Arm’s Length, Skritch is the Greatest, Yes-yes (5 in total) will be scored immediately helping you to faster crawl through your objectives-deck.


Strategy:

Most important: Don’t aggressively bring Skritch to the front in the early game. If he is gone skaven-kebab in round one you most certainly will lose that match. Hold him out of reach until he is all tuned-up. Also consider that your opponent might jump the board with Hidden Paths to kill Skritch in early turns. Don’t let that happen!

You must be able to score some glory in round one without killing anything. If your cards do not allow that go for a Mulligan. Before that: If you win the roll for board placement select longboard and keep your enemies on distance. If you lose the roll you have the three objectives on your side which is in your favour as well. Place them as far away from any enemy model as possible.

Best thing to happen: Great concussion in round one! Us it to increase the distance between the opponent’s models and your’s by placing the marker in the  middle of the board. If you made the right set-up you can now place skaven on objectives at the same time.

However should you play against Farstriders or Eternals you might face a defensive deck. In the first match do not place long-board against them. If they play defensively you are in a very bad place otherwise as you will simply not reach them.

That’s it for today! I will post the tournament battle reports one by one soon – stay tuned!

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