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Card Review - Beastgrave Wave Four Universals

Updated: Aug 16

Welcome to my review of the Universal cards found in the upcoming warband releases, Morgok's Krushas and Morgwaeth’s Blade-coven.


If you’d like to see my reviews of the box contents or the warbands themselves, you can read about them here:

For this review, I will be combining the cards from each set and grouping them in the order of how relevant they will be in the meta. I will note which set they come in with an (MK) for Morgok's Krushas or a (MB) for Morgwaeth’s Blade-coven after the title of each card, though.


I will also rate rate the cards from 1-4 with the following thoughts behind each rating:

  1. I can’t think of a good reason to ever include this card in a deck

  2. I think this card may see play in a very specific deck, but won’t be common.

  3. This card may be common, but might not be in every deck.

  4. This card should be very common.


The Best (ratings 4 and 3):


In my opinion, these are the cards that will have the biggest impact on the new meta:


Objectives:

Hidden Purpose - Surge: Score this immediately after an activation if your warband holds two or more objectives. 1 Glory. (MB)


Wow this is an easy card to score. The power of this card makes it an auto include for basically every warband (poor Mollog) and you should expect to see a lot of it, and probably a Restriction in the future. My Rating: 4 (it's really a 6 or a 7 but i'll stick to my system lol)

Master of Battle - Score this in an end phase if one surviving friendly fighter took three or more actions in the previous phase. 1 Glory. (MK)


The main weakness of this card is that fighter has to survive the round, but it's still quite playable for warbands with good fighter card actions, ranged attacks, scything attacks, or few enough models to take a guard action, in a card pool without very many good end phase cards. My Rating: 3


Show of Force - Surge, Hybrid: Score this immediately after an activation If: Three or more friendly fighters are in enemy territory Or: One or more friendly fighters each have three or more upgrades. 1 Glory. (MK)


A great card for any warband that is comfortable being aggressive and moving into the enemy territory. The first condition is card to score in the first round, but the second one is very easy, so you should be able to score it one way or another. My Rating: 4

The Avatar Risen - Score this in an end phase if a surviving friendly fighter has the Avatar of the Ur-grub upgrade. 3 Glory. (MK)


With the current amount of card draw in the game, this card is great for warbands that have tough enough fighters to keep them alive long enough. It's not very likely that you will score it in the second round, but the times you do it will feel great. I think we will see a fair amount of this card in Krushas, Mollog, Hrothgorn, and similar decks. My Rating: 3


Gambits:

Dulling Dart - Poison. Choose one enemy fighter adjacent to one or more friendly fighters. -1 Dice (to a minimum of 1) from that enemy fighter's Attack actions. This effect persists until the end of the round or the enemy fighter is taken out of action. (MK)


I think this card is very useful in a lot of match-ups, though i'm not sure yet exactly how often I will be able to fit it into decks. It is SO good vs 2 smash fighters, that I think this one will see some play, though it might end up not being quite as good as i think it is. My Rating: 3 (may really be a 2, though)

Glorious Triumph - Reaction: Play this after a friendly fighter's Attack action that takes an adjacent enemy fighter out of action. Your warband is considered to hold one more objective than it holds. This effect persists until that friendly fighter is taken out of action or until the start of the next around. (MB)


Probably my favorite card of this release from a mechanic perspective, this card is very cool because I think it allows for smaller warbands to spring for objective holding parts like Path to Victory, Supremacy, and so on that might have been a little bit too hard to do otherwise. It is also very good for scoring surge objectives like Temporary Victory, Hidden Purpose, and similar cards. Note that the fighter itself does not actually count as holding the objective, the warband does, so this card does not stop your opponent from scoring cards like Uncontested. My Rating: 3

Quick Search - Play this only if your warband holds one or more objectives. Draw up to 2 power cards. (MB)


Just because this is a slightly worse version of Frenzied Search doesn't mean it's a bad card (for those wondering about the card draw math, I rate having 3 new cards and losing one of my choice a lot higher than simply getting 2 cards, not to mention how much better Frenzied Search is for To the End). I think it replaces Unnatural Truce in a lot of decks, and Frenzied Search (because FS is restricted) in others. My Rating: 3


Upgrades:

Amberbone Mace - Attack Action: Range 1, 2 Smash, 2 Damage - You can re-roll any number of dice in the attack roll. If this Attack action takes an enemy fighter out of action, discard this card and gain 1 glory point. (MB)


Wow this is a good weapon. Any deck that was using Amberbone weapons before simply replace the Axe or Hammer with this one and keep on smashing. If you weren't taking Amberbone weapons before, now you think about it. If you have any kind of +dice cards, the re-rolls on this make it very silly. My Rating: 4

Amberbone Sword - Attack Action: Range 1, 2 Smash, 2 Damage - If this Attack action takes an enemy fighter out of action, discard this card and gain 1 glory point. (MK)


Slightly worse than the Amberbone Mace, but barely! This is an amazing weapon that will see tons of play. My Rating: 4

Claws of the Ur-Grub - Ur-grub Aspect. This fighter's Range 1 Attack actions have Ensnare. (MK)


If this was not a Ur-Grub Aspect, I probably wouldn't like it as much, but I do think that Ensnare is usually better than cleave when it comes to buffing attack profiles, since there tend to be a lot more double dodge warbands than double block, and single block is usually not that hard to get around with +dice. I also feel like a lot more fighters have Cleave innately, and having both Cleave and Ensnare on a fighter can be very powerful vs the few warbands with mixed defense profiles (Hrothgorn, etc). It is of course also a part of the Avatar combo, which i think is quite good for the high wound warbands. My Rating: 3

Cursed Blade - Attack Action: Range 1, 2 Smash, 3 Damage - +1 Move. You must activate this fighter in your first activation each round. At the start of this fighter's activation, deal 1 damage to them. After their activation, give them one Charge token. (MK)


3 Damage and 2 Smash on a weapon upgrade is so good, you really don't care what else the card says. +1 move is also very nice. Most of the time, you will apply this upgrade to a small fighter with bad stats, make a charge, and then simply not care what happens afterwards. If you do somehow still have that fighter alive at the start of the next round, I think you will be happy to activate them to charge again. My Rating: 3

Hunter's Talisman - +1 Dice to this fighter's Attack actions. If the target is a Quarry, you can re-roll one attack dice in the attack roll. (MB)


This card is great for hunters, and amazing for Hrothgorn. +1 dice on an upgrade is already incredible, and also gaining a re-roll vs quarries is amazingly strong. My Rating: 4 (6 or 7 for Hrothgorn lol)

Prescient Blow - Attack Action: Range 1, 1 Fury, 1 Damage - This Attack action's Dice characteristic cannot be modified. Reaction: During an Attack action that targets this fighter, before the attack roll, make this Attack action. (MK)


This card is pretty mediocre by itself, though it can be annoying the 25-ish percent of the time the attack hits and cancels out a range 1 attack action. I'm not sure it's really worth taking in a deck with combo, since there are better combo starters, and if you are going to take the combo finishers, you need the starter to hit. So, it's a big risk/reward card by itself, and not really the kind of card I like. You may start seeing it a lot, though, because it combos amazingly with Duellist's Speed in that even if the attack misses you can still push with Duellist's Speed, canceling out any range one attack action. It also has a strange interaction with itself if both players have this upgrade and attack each other, they can both react forever...so I expect it to be FAQed at some point. My Rating: 3

Strength of Terror - This fighter is a Quarry. If this fighter is a Quarry, +1 Dice to this fighter's Range 1 and Range 2 Attack actions. (MK)


This is an amazing upgrade for basically any warband. Expect to see a lot of this one. My Rating: 4


The Rest (Ratings 2 and 1):


In my opinion, these cards will see play here and there, or not at all.


Objectives:

Absolute Stillness - Dual: Score this in an end phase If: A friendly Quarry is holding an objective And: That fighter has no Move or Charge tokens. 2 Glory. (MB)


This objective is fairly hard to score without having 3+ upgrades that make you a quarry, AND some push cards to get you on the objective. It's possibly something you could build for, goes great with Cryptic Companion, and would be very annoying for your opponent when you do score it, but I'm not convinced we'll see a lot of it. My Rating: 2

Abundance of Caution - Surge: Score this immediately after an activation or power step if all surviving friendly fighters have one or more Guard tokens. 1 Glory. (MB)


I think this card is playable, but only in a deck with 2-3 ways to go on guard, and less than 3 fighters. Possibly Rippa's or Steelheart's could take it, and maybe you could take some other objectives that reward you for being on guard (Stand Firm, Duck and Parry, etc), but I suspect there are some better options. My Rating: 2

Ahead of the Hunt - Score this in an end phase if there is at least one surviving friendly Quarry. 1 Glory. (MB)


If you have at least 2 quarry upgrades anyway, I think this card may be probably worth considering, but even though it's a free score VS Hrothgorn, I don't think it's something you just take. My Rating: 2

Change of Fortunes - Surge: Score this immediately when a feature token is flipped in a hex that contains a friendly fighter. 1 Glory. (MK)


I think this card is playable for Hrothgorn if you want three rewards for flipping/removing, but I'm not sure it's needed either. The only universal flip cards we have right now are: Invert Terrain, Unexpected Peril, Lethal Snares, and Mass Upheaval, so I don't think it's better than Leave Nothing to Chance+Unmaking+Scorched Earth for magic warbands (Reavers and Ironskull's as well), and they do not overlap like Scorched Earth and Arm of the Everwinter, and the in hex requirement makes it worse as well. My Rating: 2

Feed the Beastgrave - Score this in an end phase if there are no objective tokens on the battlefield. 5 Glory. (MK)


You can definitely put this in a deck, but you will have to REALLY build the deck around it. Probably best for Hrothgorn, Reavers, Eyes, and Ylthari's. My Rating: 2

Master of Hazards - Surge: Score this immediately after you flip a second or subsequent feature token in this phase. 1 Glory. (MB)


I think this is too hard to score in most games, even if you do have 3+ ways to flip the objectives. My Rating: 1

Master Poisoner - Score this in an end phase if you have played two or more Poison gambits. 1 Glory. (MK)


If you really like poisons and have 3+ of them in your deck, I would probably take this. Otherwise I would not. My Rating: 2

Meticulous Strategy - Score this in an end phase if you have scored 3 or more dual objective cards. 2 Glory. (MB)


There are 29 cards with the Dual cards in the game right now, but many are warband cards. Harrows have 5, Condemners 4, Despoilers 2, Hrothgorn 2, and Wild Hunt, Wurmspat, Rippa's, and Morgwaeth’s each have 1. The most common universals are Path to Victory, Dug In, Brought to Bay, Swift Capture, Team Effort, Uncontested, and Bold Conquest. Personally, I would want to have 4 of these in my deck to take this card, which will only work for a few decks. My Rating: 2

No One is Safe - Surge: Score this immediately after a second or subsequent enemy fighter is taken out of action by damage dealt by a gambit in this phase. 1 Glory. (MK)


Sort of decent for decks with lots of ping damage, but perhaps even then it might not make the cut because it is very matchup dependent if you can get two kills in one phase at all, let alone with Gambits. My Rating: 1

Over My Dead Body - Surge: Score this immediately after an enemy fighter's Attack action that targets a friendly fighter, if the friendly fighter was holding an objective at the start of that action and is still holding that objective. 1 Glory. (MK)


Basically another Steadfast Defender, so not a bad card for warbands that are likely to be on objectives a lot. There are just so many good surges in the game right now, it will likely be a bit overshadowed until we get another Restricted List. My Rating: 2

Set the Tempo - Dual: Score this in an end phase If: You have scored 2 or more dual objective cards and 2 or more hybrid objective cards And: You have scored 6 or more objective cards. 3 Glory. (MB)


I think this card is too hard to do unless you have a lot of these cards in your deck already, probably 3 of each not counting this one. Most of the time I think there will be better cards, so I don't expect to see too much of this one unless your deck just happens to have those cards already. My Rating: 2

Test of Courage - Score this in an end phase is two or more friendly fighter are standing in lethal hexes. 2 Glory. (MB)


Possibly a good card for Thorns and Harrows, but it does sort of work against their objective holding goals. My Rating: 2

The Hunter Hunted - Surge: Score this immediately after a friendly Quarry's Attack action takes an enemy Hunter out of action. (MB)


Too situational to see much play, I think. My Rating: 1

Trading Blows - Surge: Score this immediately after a friendly fighter's Attack action made as a reaction during or immediately after an enemy fighter's Attack action. 1 Glory. (MK)


Very situational, as not many warbands have reactions attacks other than Magore's Fiends, and those are not very reliable when it comes to controlling when they happen. A few warbands do have have reactions attack gambit cards (Rippa's, Krushas), but I think you need more than one way to score this, so i don't think it will see that much play. My Rating: 1


Gambits:

Blind Hunger - Gambit Spell (Channel): If cast, pick one opponent and randomly determine one power card in their hand. That card is discarded. (MK)


Good for warbands that can score glory by casting spells (Cursebreakers, Eyes of the Nine), and annoying when it takes a very important card like a piece of the Ur-Grub or Distraction, but not good enough to take in just any magic warband. My Rating: 2

Bloodscent - +2 Dice to the first Attack action in the next activation if the target has one or more wound tokens. (MK)


I think you only take this card AFTER you've already taken Haymaker (and perhaps Inspired Attack for some warbands), and I am not sure if i'll have room to fit it, but it's not a bad card by any means. There are just so many other good accuracy cards right now. My Rating: 2

Closing Jaws - Play this only in a power step following your activation. At the end of the next activation, choose one enemy fighter in an edge hex. The chosen fighter is dealt 1 damage. (MK)


A neat card, but I think there are much better ping damage cards, and this is very match-up dependent since to ensure the damage, there need to be 2 fighters on edge hexes. My Rating: 1

Euphoric Dust - Poison. Choose one enemy fighter adjacent to one or more friendly fighters.

-1 Defence from that enemy fighter (to a minimum of 1) until the next power step. (MB)


Even if this card lasted the whole round, and I'm not sure I would take it, but because it only lasts until the next power step, i think it's better to just take +dice cards instead. My Rating: 1

Go to Ground - Choose one friendly fighter with no Move or Charge tokens. Place the chosen fighter on a starting hex in your territory, or if that fighter is a Quarry, place them on any hex in your territory instead. Give the chosen fighter one Charge token. (MK)


A nice teleport card, but very restrictive. I think it might see play at some point, but I'm not sure what deck I would actually put it into. My Rating: 2

Headlong Flight - +1 Move for the first fighter to make a Move action in the next activation. +2 Move instead if that fighter is a Quarry. (MK)


A decent move card that is probably better for the non-hunter warbands than Tracking is if you need another movement card after Spectral Wings. My Rating: 2

Honest Scrap - Players cannot re-roll dice until the end of the next activation. (MB)


Much too situational to see play. My Rating: 1

Hunt as a Pack - In the first Attack action made by a friendly fighter in the next activation, each friendly supporting fighter is considered to be two supporting fighters. (MB)


Much too situational to see play. My Rating: 1

Hunting Bolt - Gambit Spell (Focus): If cast, choose one enemy fighter within 3 hexes of the caster. That fighter is dealt 1 damage, or 2 damage if it is a Quarry. (MB)


A pretty balanced magic damage card that may see some play. Particularly nice when you can punish a Quarry upgrade, but unfortunately not that easy to cast compared to Sphere of Aqshy and Abasoth's Unmaking and unable to be aided by innate Channels. My Rating: 2

Malkyn Grace - Choose one friendly fighter to have the following: +2 Move, -1 Wounds (to a minimum of 1). This effect persists until the end of the round or that fighter is taken out of action. (MB)


Another second card to take if you can't use Tracking and already have spectral wings. The downside is fairly large if you play it too early, but you can probably play around it a lot of the time as well. My Rating: 2

Punch-Drunk - Reaction: Play this during a friendly fighter's Range 1 or Range 2 Attack action that succeeds, before the drive back step. Instead of driving the target back, Scatter 3 from the target's hex and push them along the chain to the end hex. You cannot push them into a blocked or occupied hex. The target cannot be trapped. (MK)


This card will probably knock people into lethal hexes now and then, but I think it's better just to take a Distraction or another push card, so i don't see it making the cut. My Rating: 1

Scavenged Defences - Choose one friendly fighter. +1 Defence to the chosen fighter in the first Attack action in the next activation. (MK)


Generally, I do not think this effect is worth a ploy slot. My Rating: 1

Spiteful Dart - Reaction: Play this after an enemy fighter's Attack action that drives a friendly fighter back, if the friendly fighter is not taken out of action. The enemy fighter is dealt 1 damage. (MB)


A fairly situational ping damage card that happens to block Pit Trap. Because you want to survive the hit and be driven back, this tends to be better for the smaller, tougher warbands. I could perhaps see considering it for a warband like Snarlfangs or Krushas since they are fairly low damage, and are likely to survive a hit, but in general reactionary ping damage isn't worth it compared to the more direct ping cards since they harder to control. Maybe Farstriders with ALL the ping damage will like this one? My Rating: 2

The Ground Shifts - Pick one lethal hex token and push it 1 hex into an empty hex that is not a lethal hex and does not contain a feature token. (MK)


I think this card is neat, but too situational to see play. My Rating: 1

Victimise - +1 Dice to the first Range 1 or Range 2 Attack action made by a friendly fighter in the next activation. In that Attack action targets a Quarry you can re-roll any number of attack dice in the attack roll for that Attack action. (MB)


This is a card I think will see a fair amount of play in Hrothgorn decks, but other than that I am not sure. We do have a fair number of solid Quarry cards now with Strength of Terror and Cryptic Companion, so I think some warbands might take this as a second haymaker. My Rating: 2 (might end up as a 3, though)


Upgrades:

Abasoth's Auto-immolation - Lost Page. Spell Reaction (Focus): Use this during an enemy fighter's Range 1 Attack action that deals enough damage to take this fighter out of action, after the deal damage step. If cast, roll a number of attack dice equal to this fighter's Wounds characteristic. Deal 1 damage to their attacker for each roll of Smash or Critical success. (MK)


If you are doing a lost page build, this is probably one of the ones you take, otherwise, I would not probably not bother with it. My Rating: 2

Bloody Axe - Attack Action: Range 1, 3 Fury, 2 Damage - If this fighter has 2 or more wound tokens, double the Damage characteristic of this Attack action. (MB)

This one is tricky because it's not bad, but it's not anywhere as good as the Amberbone Weapons much of the time, and it can actually be a little tricky getting two wounds on a lot of fighters to get the double damage bonus, and a lot of higher health fighters have attacks that are pretty close to this one already if you minus one upgrade. I think Rippa's are probably one of the warbands that will like this one the most, but it's one of those cards that I think will see some play at first, but eventually slow down. My Rating: 2

Greedy Gauntlet - Reaction: After this fighter's activation, deal 1 damage to this fighter and place one Sacrifice counter on this card. +1 Damage to this fighter's Range 1 or Range 2 Attack actions for each Sacrifice counter on this card. (MB)


This card is interesting, but i think you only take it if you really think you need damage, after taking cards like Sting of the Ur-Grub, Great Strength, and Gloryseeker. It's a slow card, because you have to apply it, activate the fighter to get the counter, and then gain the buff for later. I think Mollog is the most likely to use this one since he tends to make a lot of activations, but do not see a lot of use for it outside of that. My Rating: 2

Hunter's Will - Reaction: After a Quarry moves or is pushed from an adjacent hex, push this fighter by the shortest route so that they are adjacent to that Quarry. If you cannot, this fighter is not pushed. (MK)


Basically a card only Hrothgorn can use, and I don't think he can fit it in his decks. My Rating: 1

Keila's Choking Coil - Spell Attack Action: Range 3, - Focus, 1 Damage - On a critical hit, this Attack action has +1 Damage. Restricted: Wizards. (MB)


If you are taking a Lost Page deck in a warband without a range 3, 2 damage attack, you might consider this. Otherwise, it's not that great. My Rating: 2

Predator's Trinket - This fighter is a Quarry. If this fighter is a Quarry, this fighter's Range 1 or Range 2 Attack actions have Cleave. (MB)


I usually do not find Cleave to be worth upgrading for. My Rating: 1

Shadeglass Band - If there are one or more Critical success in this fighter's attack roll, place a Potency counter on this card. While there are one or more Potency counters on this card, you can re-roll one dice in this fighter's attack and defence rolls. (MB)


This card might be an okay investment for large fighters that plan to be making a lot of attack actions such as Mollog or Hrothgorn, but it is a little slow to activate and might not see that much play for that reason. My Rating: 2

Soulward Shard - Reaction: After an enemy wizard casts a spell, before it is resolved, pick one: this fighter is dealt 1 damage and the spell is not resolved, or this fighter is not dealt damage when the spell is resolved. Then discard this card. (MK)


This card is too specific to see much play. My Rating: 1

Stealthy Blade - Attack Action: Range 1, 2 Smash, 2 Damage - Players cannot use reactions during this Attack actions. (MK)


A neat effect for shutting down cards like Buried Instinct, Rebound, and similar card effects, but not a great weapon on it's own, so probably won't see much play. My Rating: 1

Vortex Stone - Reaction: After this fighter's activation, choose an enemy fighter within 3 hexes and push the chosen fighter up to 2 hexes. This push must bring the chosen fighter closer to this fighter each time the chosen fighter leaves a hex. Then discard this card. (MB)


A neat piece of tech but probably not something that makes the cut very often. My Rating: 1

Warding Companion - When this fighter is the target of an Attack action, they are considered to have one more supporting fighter than they do. (MK)


A decent defensive ability for fighters with multiple defence dice. Combos well with Spectral Armour, and probably the best for Warband's like Rippas. My Rating: 2


Meta Thoughts:


Wow, these are some good cards!


It's still a bit early to say, but I think the big impact cards from this release are the Avatar build for aggro and control builds, Hidden Purpose and Glorious Triumph for Hold Objective builds, and a big boost to accuracy across the board with +1 dice cards and the new Amberbone weapons.


I know I am definitely looking forward to playing with these cards, trying out new builds, and waiting for the next FAQ and FAR to re-balance everything :-P


Thanks for reading!

If you liked this post, great!


If I made any mistakes, missed anything, or could do something better next time, let me know!

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