WHU Decklist Eyes of the Nine

Eyes of the Nine Tournament Win – Decklist and Strategy

I was back at the Battlezone Dubai (they run WHU evenings every Tuesday now) for another tournament. Since the last event I worked on an Eyes of the Nine deck. I changed it every single day without even playing it once.

Eventually I came up with this decklist. It main purpose is gathering base glory (check Tony’s article on “base glory” in case you missed out) while shooting with Vortemis and the Blue Horror. Since both do not deal lots of damage most of my gambit cards will deal additional damage.

This article contains both the decklist as well as a shortened tournament report.

The objectives

Easy to score: Well-Guarded, Keep them Guessing, Change of Tactics, Calculated Risk, Eyes of the Master

All these objectives can be accomplished without rolling dice (or at least it does not matter if your rolls succeed or not). Keep them Guessing is easy to score with The Eyes of Nine escpecially when the Blue Horror has not been summoned yet. Well-Guarded is attractive as I would try to place Vortemis and K’charik adjacent to each other due to their inspiring condition. Eyes of the Master turned out to be less easy to score, but mainly because I always had better ones to score. I would still keep it in my deck.

Holding objectives: Supremacy, Our Only Way Out, Bind the City

The Blue Horror is actually one of the best characters in game to hold objectives. Why? You spawn him anywhere so he can even reach the other edge of the board. When he is on an objective and someone tries to hit him down this is what usually happens: it dies and you turn around the card to spawn the Brimstone Horrors. The great thing: they will not be not pushed, which means the objective is still being held.

Reason enough for me to put the three high scoring objectives into my deck (and it worked just fine).

Shooty objectives: Master of Magic, Rising Inferno, Death from Afar, Sorcerous Scouring

I figured if I made attacks in the games to come it would mainly be spells cast by Vortemis or fireballs shot by the Blue Horror. Turned out these are really easy to score! I kept away from the objectives which require four or more successful spells per round though.

Gambits

Did someone say “one damage”?: Reflected Injury, Shardgale, Trap, Abasoth’s Withering, Encroaching Shadow, Pit Trap, Sphere of Aqshy, Stand and Shoot

These are a lot of cards which spit out single damage points. Keep reading to see how a single wound attack killed a full-grown Stormcast Eternal.

The other two: Transfixing Stare, Haymaker

Haymaker is simply wonderful especially when used with the last activation. As it does not specify “attack-dice” it can be used with Vortemis as well. Transfixing Stare is a good counter if most of your warbands can attack from range 2. I only used it once in my games though and might replace it with another damage dealing spell.

Upgrades

Staying alive: Acrobatic, Deathly Fortitude, Champion’s Fortitude, Sudden Growth

I used two restricted slots to make sure Vortemis and the Blue Horror pull through all three rounds. Acrobatic and Champion’s Fortitude would support this task.

Giving +2 health to the Blue Horror creates a mollogesque 7 wounds monster (as both sides of its card get +2 wounds). I did not dare to give him +4…

We need more damage: Empowered Sorcery, Gloryseeker, Blessing of Argentine, Archer’s Focus, Well of Power

While Empowered Sorcery and Gloryseeker add one damage to your damage dealt, Archer’s Focus and Well of Power make sure you hit in the first place.

Blessing of Argentine is a wonderful card and one of my favourites in Nightvault in general. It might look useless against characters using ranged weapons, but that is not 100% true. If you charge them first and stay adjacent they can a) attack you and take the damage, b) do not attack you or c) move away before attacking. Which makes the blessing a strong card for board controll. This especially works fine with cards like Shardgale, Reflected Injury, Encroaching Shadow, etc. Against characters with range 1 this card is bonkers.

You might ignore a model with Argentine’s Blessing, but not if it is the one holding the only objective in your range which will score the opponent objectives like Supremacy.

Blue-Horror_Eyes-of-the-Nine

For the LOLs: Duellist’s Speed

Well… I understand that this card is not considered strong by many players. But given the fact that 4 out of 5 characted in Eyes of the Nine have a range 3 attack and many warbands in WHU have characters with movement 3 (or even below), this card gives you the possibility to shoot and move out of range. Or shoot and move into range for the next target (I used both ways during the tournament).

Apart of that it is a lovely combination with Stand and Shoot (David Hayes called it “Poor man’s Quick Thinker“! I liked the idea a lot and had to steal it!). I had a dream about combining Haymaker with Stand and Shoot and Duellist’s Speed. Never happened though.

Running the Deck

To summarise the weekend tournament: my deck left without a loss thanks to the many damage dropping gambits.

My board choice was Forbidden Chambers and I placed Vortemis adjacent to two other fighters. He has a great threat range to attack if required (4 movement + 3 range) and from there it is almost impossible to escape him. On the other side he can not be easily charged by multiple characters. That being said: if you are up against Mollog or other aggro warbands you might take him to the back of your board.

I used to drop Shardgale as early as possible before summoning the Blue Horror deep in opponent’s territory and holding one of the objectives there.

During the first match I encountered Skaven and Shardgale worked like a blessing against them. Each gambit card used resulted in a kill and a glory to a point I felt bad about what was going on.

3D boards for Warhammer Underworlds with Eyes of the Nine & Spiteclaw's Swarm

Eyes of the Nine fight Spiteclaw’s Swarm

In the final I was up against defensive Stormcast Eternals and it turns out the deck copes with defensive play quite well. I closed the second round with a combination of Shardgale, Reflected Injury, a three crits ranged attack by Senior Le Bleu for one damage and Encroaching Shadow killing Brightshield in full health. For the record: It was the first time I rolled 3/3 crits.

It was a wonderful afternoon at the Battlezone and I look forward to the next tournament and Tuesday’s WHU nights. Not sure yet which warband I will take up now, but I might choose something with beards. Stay tuned!

Blue Horror holding objetive against Spiteclaw's Swarm

Blue Horror vs Skritch Spiteclaw in WHU

Make Holding Objectives great again!

Last weekend I participated in Dubai’s WHU Spring tournament taking place at my new home LGS “Battlezone Dubai”. I worked on my Thorns of the Briar Queen deck and thought about how to adjust it to the current meta and the fact that I am able to complete a full Bo3 game without rolling a single crit.

Eventually I came up with this deck.

The main strategy is not being attacked by your enemy while trying to sneak onto objectives through movement shenanigan ploys at the end of each action phase. Apart of that I included five objectives which are easy to score and only need very little interaction with your opponent.

As in round 2 or 3 the opponent will be after you anyhow I included some ploys which allow you to hyper jump onto the other edge of the board. Let’s take a look at the deck.

The objectives

Easy to score: Escalation, Perfect Planning, Well-Guarded, Fired Up, Keep them Guessing

Perfect planning works smoothly with the nighthaunt as Varclav’s ability gives you mobility without movement. Well-Guarded is easy to score especially in early game as there are simply so many minions hanging around which can be pushed adjacent to the Queen with a single action or ploy. Fired up can be scored with a ploy at the end of your opponent’s activation without putting your character’s in too much danger.

Holding objectives: Supremacy, Our Only Way Out, Making a Statment, Take the City, Tactical Supremacy 1-2, 1-4, 3-4

Not going into the classics here which are a must-have in this deck, but we should take a look at Making a Statement and Take the City.
Making a Statement looks pretty hard to score as you need to invade enemy territory. That is true, but you will see that we have included some cards which let you escape to the other board edge making it easy to even move three characters over there in the last turn. Importat to remember: If you see that your opponent is placing all objective tokens into No-Man’s territory place one of yours to the far end edge of their territory. In that case you can simply rob the three glory whenever you draw that card.
Take the City is a bad card. Yes, it sucks. However in our deck it has its spot and can add a simple +1 while going for your main objectives.

Gambits

A gambit a day keeps the Mollog away: Invisible Walls, Baffling Illusion, Transfixing Stare, Howling Vortex

Transfixing Stare can win you a match if played well. Frozen in Time is a viable alternative, but again I do not want to rely on dice rolls. Invisible Walls and Baffling Illusion work nice to bring your minions to the safety zone if you need more than one actication to do so. Howling Vortex feels quite broken if you are able to pull it off. Pushing all of your opponent’s models one field is like a horrible version of Great Concussion (do you still remember that card? Back then when we were young…) as you can even push them towards No-Man’s territory from any direction.

Bazinga! Hidden Paths, Illusory Fighter, Quick Advance, Drifting Advance, Sudden Appearance, Earthquake

 

Hidden Paths and Sudden Appearance will do the trick if you need to switch boards. While Illusionary Fighter only lets you jump close to No-Man’s Sudden Appearance will take you to any starting hex on both boards. Drifting Advance requires you to get closer to your opponent which we actually do not want. However if you use it after the last activation to sneak onto objective tokens it is as good as Varclav’s super hero power. I usually use Earthquake to counter Earthquake and/or pushing the opponent off objective tokens (ideally while going onto it myself).

Upgrades

More Bazinga! Shardcaller, Inescapable Vengeance, Faneway Crystal

With Faneway Crystal and Inescapable Vengeance we add two more options to our deck jumpin to where no sun is shining. The beauty of the Faneway Crystal allows us to directly move onto an objective token. With Inescapable Vengeance you need to push your queen at least one more hex. Shardcaller is a nice card, but I tend to forget I equiped it until I realise “Hell, it could have scored me two glory!”.

The Key to Success is Keys: The Blazing, Dazzling, Formless, Fractured, Hallowed & Shadowed Key, Tome of Glories

These will bring in what it takes to crush your opponent end of round 3 even if you were far behind. Obviously try to either equip these at late as possible or use one of them as Red Herring to redirect your opponent towards a worthless minion in a lonely irrelevant corner of the board.

How to…

Place the boards adjacent on the short edges if you win the roll. This way you can split up your team 4:3 on both boards leaving the opponent with three viable targets or the option to split up their warband as well.

If you lost the board placement roll: no problem! You have three objective tokens to place in that case. Make sure you have at least two objectives in hand which you can score round one otherwise you will be screwed.

Should you intend to attack back: go for the Ever-Hanged (Cleave) and your Queen who are already strong without any upgrades. Just make sure to get them inspired before attacking. You will need Varclav for his special power – do not lose him!

Read my upcoming battle report to see how my spooky squad managed this new deck!

 

Ploy Time Trap in Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire

Cheap Combos 2: Trapped in Time

Time Trap is a great card. Especially since the FAQ confirmed that even after a charge that character can use Time Trap for an additional attack.

I want to point out some of the best combos to trigger along with Time Trap and some tactics to make it work in the best way.


The charge: We want to make sure that we are actually able to hit a target with our first charge. Keeping in mind that Quick Thinker might always screw us if we charge only one character, we try to end our movement in range of two possible targets. If you are not playing a character with range 2 this means your opponent will get the support, but that’s better than not being able to attack at all. Why this? A charge consists of two actions – a movement and an attack. Quick Thinker can only be played as reaction to a movement. Which means if your opponent plays Quick Thinker on one of the two models in range you are still able to attack the other character in range.


After the charge: As we moved in range to two possible targets with the charge we might have three different situations now.
1) Still two models in range (you did not kill the target, enemy did not react with a movement)
2) One model in range (either you killed your first target or you did not, but your opponent used Quick Thinker)
3) No models in range (you killed your first target, but your opponent Quick Thinkered away with the second model)

Let’s take a look at 1) and 2) first:
You have the priority of playing cards now. Playing Time Trap right now will not allow the enemy to move away. You will simply have a second attack. However it is a sweet moment to play an upgrade onto your attacking model (if possible of course) should you currently hold Ready for Action. After applying the upgrade your opponent holds priority to play a reaction-ploy, but currently there is no real threat to be afraid of (in terms of available cards). I would try to pull off Ready for Action before using Time Trap simply because dealing three attacks in a row is freaking awesome.

Even though your character charged before this card allows you to hit once more. If there is still a target left after Ready for Action – now is the time to use Time Trap.


After all possible attacks: In the best case you just knocked out three characters and there is no threat left to hide from, but experience says there are bloodthirsty enemies nearby ready to bring on revenge big times. So what we want to do know is: get the f*** away!

My favourite way: You have never been there to start with! Simply return to your board-side with Illusory Fighter. As this is not considered a movement you can add it to your combo after charging.

Illusory-Fighter

Possible option with Skaven: Stay there, but be prepared by playing Musk of Fear which allows you to go on guard even after charging without using an activation.

Musk_of_Fear

Of course there are other options to get you out of range or keep the enemy from attacking you, but consider that your opponent will have two activations in a row. Any good cards to add to this combo? Let us know in the comments below!

Khorne does not care

After crawling on the floor for a while (Nurgle took his toll on me) I was able to eventually play against Andrej again.

Last time he crushed me with Magore’s – this time he was set to let even more blood flow by throwing Garrek and his rascals into the ring.

Since we both work full-time and fill our off time with diaper shot put we had just enough time to squeeze in one match.

Turn 1: I lost the first roll and had to place the first board. We both own the new lethal hexes boards, but did not dare to place them. I knew Andrej would try to get someone killed as quickly as possible, so my rats went to the backline. I had Supremacy on my hand as well as Alone in the Darkness, but was unable to score either of them. At least none of my guys hit the fan and we ended this turn 0:0. Strange thing: We both tried to score Alone in the Dark and were unable to pull it off!

Turn 2: Dropped Alone in the Darkness and another objective to obtain Our Only Way Out and Change of Tactics. Good hand, but I first had to aggressively get rid of these Khorne crooks. So turn 2 pleased Khorne more than I wished for. Andrej made kebab out of my lurking skaven during his first activation. My first activation on the other hand featured the glorious Scritch, a Time Trap and two dying Reavers. Unfortunately somehow this was also Andrej’s plan. Beside having all of his hoodlums inspired he was able to score multiple objectives end of turn 2 (and in turn 3). He further killed my other two baby-rats leaving me lonely with Krrrk and Scritch. Unable to score Supremacy and Our Only Way Out I used two activations to 1) position Krrrk on an objective and 2) to draw a card. I could have scored Change of Tactics which would have been much better, but missed that chance… One or two glory points down the gutter.

Anyhow, turn 3: Everything was well planned and prepared. I decided to let Andrej begin as I held Quick Thinker and was sure he would charge Krrrk with Garrek (which he did). As I had Great Concussion on hand as well, I moved Krrrk next to a new objective (right side of the board; right side of the objective). And that was when my downfall began. I placed the moved-marker on Krrrk’s card. And forgot about it.

Andrej was unable to charge any of my skaven, so I could easily follow my plan. First activation: revive the hungering skaven right beside the same objective Krrrk was waiting next to, but on the left side (see picture below for reference). Second activation: Scritch charged Garrek and sneaked next to my second objective… Still believing I was going to move Krrrk soon I placed Scritch on the left side of the objective (which was also on the left board-side). Yes… the left side. The wrong side. For no reason. Third activation: That was when I realised what a gigantic moron I am. Nothing I could do to score my objectives now. Since both Krrrk and Scritch already moved.

I lost this match by five (5) glory points. Exactly the amount I lost by not scoring my two objectives.

Lessons learned: Place tokens where you actually see them! Mine will be found next to the miniatures as off now. If you are able to score objectives immediately do it! Not only did I waste one glory point by not changing my tactics, but I also missed the chance of drawing a new objective card.

Cards from the Leader pack: I really tried to like them, but let’s face it. 90% of these cards are not usable in a competitive environment. Even those which are cool are strictly situational which means they might end up blocking your hand in most other situations.

The cool cards: Shining Example is one of the easiest objective cards in game and easily the best card from the Leader pack. Spoiler alert: I scored this one in the upcoming match again – a no brainer for most warbands. Quick Advance is my second choice. Inspire two skaven and move them one hex each? Hell yeah! Also interesting for other warbands without the inspiring magic stuff. That’s it for me. I saw Shining Example on Andrej’s side as well.

You ask if it is worth buying the pack? I can’t live without my Shining Example any longer. Therefore I do not regret the purchase. But basically I paid more than 10 bucks for two cards. Who knows? Perhaps some cards will celebrate a comeback with future releases…

I’ll get some sleep now and will be back with another battle-report soonish. Cheerio!

Reavers on picture painted by Andrej.

Easy glory in Shadespire

Cheap Combos 1: Glorious Charge

During my first match-ups I was mainly struggling for two reasons:

1) In Shadespire your attacks allow you to throw a small number of dies only. If you fail one or two attacks in turn one you might find yourself in a bad position – unable to score objectives – unable to equip upgrades – last but not least standing adjacent to enemy models ready to punch the crap out of your model.

2) My objectives mainly required my opponent to play along (e.g. let me hold specific objectives, let me kill his warband, etc.).

It is crucial to have a variety of easy-to-score objectives in your deck which do not require your opponent to fall for your battle-tricks. I will introduce a series of cheap combos allowing to do exactly that.

First one: the “Glorious Charge

This works best with Spiteclaw’s, but Change of Tactics works just fine with other warbands as well. Change-of-Tactics

The beauty of having Skaven pull this off is that Musk of Fear will let you go on Guard without activation while inspiring the chosen model (keyword: Choose).Musk-of-Fear

With Bodyguard for a Price we can score Change of Tactics without an Guard-activation as well.Bodyguard-for-a-Price

Even having Change of Tactics in hand without a combo-card wouldn’t be too bad. It is more or less a free glory-point scored immediately. True, the cost is rather high with two required activations. However having one of your frontliners on Guard and charging later on is not the worst thing to do.

Will keep you posted with the next cheap combo soon!