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Warband Review: Morgwaeth's Blade-coven

Updated: Aug 16

Welcome to my review of the Morgwaeth's Blade-coven Warband! Most of the images here are sourced from the Warhammer Underworlds Facebook page, or the Warhammer Community website.


If you like snakes, aelves, and aggressive game-play, this warband might be for you!

Overview:


Morgwaeth's Blade-coven is an explosively aggressive warband with high speed, low wounds, and lots of ladies.


If you like playing Garrek's Reavers, Godsworn Hunt, or Wild Hunt, you may also enjoy this warband, as they share many characteristics of those warbands, with a few of their own tricks thrown in.


Their primacy strategy will likely always be aggressive, though their speed can also allow them to dabble into easy hold objective surges, and the explosive power they gain from upgrades may also encourage the use of card draw in some of their decks as well.


Some of their strengths are:

  • A very powerful leader.

  • Move 4-5 on all fighters.

  • Explosive lethal damage than can some from most of the fighters in the warband with the help of a few upgrades.

  • Very accurate attack actions on all fighters.

Some of their weaknesses are:

  • An inspire condition that can be very hard to achieve in some match-ups.

  • A number of very fragile fighters.

  • Some reliance on the leader's survival in the early rounds.

The Fighters:


Similar to some other leader-centric warbands, I think it makes sense to start with the leader when explaining how this warband functions.


Morgwaeth the Bloodied

Morgweath is a very solid 4 wound fighter, on a similar level to fighters like The Duke in the The Grymwatch and Skritch in Spiteclaw's Swarm.


Her base stats are quite solid with 4 Move, 2 Dodge, and 4 Wounds. 4 Move is great for getting around the board, 4 Wounds is enough to require a bit of investment in order to take her out, and 2 Dodge is a reasonable defence stat by itself, and has some great synergy with cards like Buried Instinct, Spectral Armour, and Survival Instincts. Her Glaive of Khaine attack action is Range 2, 2 Smash, 2 Damage with Cleave, which is a solid attack action.


Once inspired, her Move increases to 5, which is wonderful for her mobility and scoring Gathered Momentum. Her attack action also increases to 3 damage, on a similar level other leader's attack actions such as the Briar Queen.


These stats make her a powerful fighter that is able to cross the board quickly and reach important targets, and once in the middle of the enemy, use her range to attack multiple fighters without needing to make attack actions.


The very interesting thing about Morgwaeth is the inspire condition she shares with the rest of the warband, and her fighter card ability that allows her to bypass that inspire condition by promoting herself or another friendly fighter in a way reminiscent of Thundrik's Profiteers.


In most games, I don't expect the default inspire condition of "it is the third round" to come into effect in most games, but it is a nice backup plan in case you do end up losing Morgwaeth in the first or second round.


Ideally, you will instead inspire your fighters in the first and second rounds via Morgwaeth's card ability, which really encourages and rewards this warbands aggressive play-style. This does mean you will want to keep Morgwaeth alive if possible through the second round, and that losing her in the first round can make things much more difficult for you, so knowing when you inspire which fighter, including herself, and making the most of her stats while keeping her alive are keys to this warband's success.


Typically, I expect she will be inspired fairly early on in the game, and then used to make a surgical strike to make a kill and inspire someone else.


Kyrae

Kyrae is a powerful ranged fighter with what is likely the best 1 damage attack in the game with Range 4, 3 Fury and Ensnare.


With only 3 Wounds, she is not very durably, but 2 Dodge, 5 Move, and a Range 4 attack action will allow her to pick her positioning and ideally kill her enemies from far away.


Once inspired, her attack action changes from Fury to Smash and gains Cleave, making it very hard to miss this attack action. Her mediocre Range 1 attack also changes from 2 Fury 1 Damage to 3 Fury 2 Damage, which can certainly be useful in a pinch, or with the correct upgrade.


In match-ups against low health fighters, Kyrae is a great fighter for pinging low health fighters down (Fighter's Ferocity is your friend here) at range. I think she is a bit less useful against the higher wound warbands like Krushas, though Gloryseeker helps, and her melee attack action can do a bit more damage as needed.


Generally, I think Kyrae is somewhere in the middle when it comes to inspiration priority, as her bow attack is quite good when uninspired, and she doesn't get any faster or harder to kill.


Khamyss

Khamyss is the glass cannon, high risk, high reward fighter of this warband that will keep both low and high wound fighters up at night.


She has the basic stat-line for the smaller fighters of this warband: 4 Move, 1 Dodge, 2 Wounds. This is basically the same stat-line as the smallest ghost or goblin, and means that nearly any fighter in the game is capable of taking her out of action. Khamyss also uniquely (for this warband anyway) have the ability to not be driven back, which keeps her a bit safer 1 damage attacks into lethal hexes, and a tad better at holding objectives, but I don't think this is something that will come up that much.


Where she really shines, however, are the offensive stats. The Barbed Whip is a very good attack action with Range 2, 3 Fury, and 2 Damage, which is the same as the uninspired attack action of the Briar Queen, but it also has Combo!


In addition to being able to use Combo finisher attack action upgrades better than anyone else in the game, Khamyss also has a reaction that allows her to make her second attack, the Bladed Buckler (Range 1, 1 Smash, 1 Damage), after any attack action she makes that has Combo. Importantly, this reaction does not require the first attack action to hit or target the same fighter, making her very similar to the fighters of the Rippa's Snarlfangs, and giving her the potential to double shot large fighters and double kill smaller ones with the right upgrades.


Once inspired, Khamyss gains 1 Dodge defence dice and 1 extra damage on her Bladed Buckler, which also changes to 2 Fury. This makes her a bit harder to kill, and makes her double attack start to be a lot scarier with any accuracy or damage upgrades.


I think Khamyss is one of the fighters you probably inspire early on in the game, as she really spikes in power with a few upgrades, and the buckler damage and extra speed can be very useful.


Kyrssa

Kyrssa is one of the more straightforward fighters of the warband. Her main strength is that you don't really care if you inspire her or not, and her Range 1, 3 Fury, 1 Damage attack action fairly accurate. She also gains +1 Damage if her attack crits, which is nice, and means sometimes you will get lucky and do a bit more damage, and can fairly reliably use +dice on her and hope for 2 damage. If you do take weapons in this warband, she's also a solid candidate for those.


Lethyr

Lethyr is a lot like Kyrssa, except you do want to inspire her! She does not have any special ability uninspired, but once inspired she gains a very cool and powerful ability that allows her Sacrificial Knives to deal damage twice if she rolls two or more successes in a successful attack!


This means that she can do 2 damage with her base inspired stats, but also that any damage upgrade like Sting of the Ur-Grub counts for double, making it very easy to get to 4 Damage with this fighter.


The only main weakness of this ability is effects that reduce damage such as Eldritch Ward, Inured to Pain, and so on, which would reduce the damage of both dealings.


I think Lethyr is likely best inspired early on if you have the right upgrades in hand.


Cards:


The Warband's cards for Morgwaeth's Blade-coven are of varying power, but give them the tools they need to power up, zip around the board, and make their attacks count.


Below I will 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 will be common, but might not be in every deck.

  4. This card should be in every deck for this warband

Of course these are just my personal thoughts on these cards. If you think I got a rating drastically incorrect, or misunderstood a card in some way, please let me know why!


Objectives:


Overall most of the warband's cards are of decent quality and usefulness. There are not many that really stand out as amazing to me, but a number that function well enough to see some play. Part of the issue in the current card pool is that there are so many universals that are more powerful, but at the start of future seasons I would expect Blade-coven players to dip back into this card pool if the universal options are a bit sparse.

Blessings of Khaine - Score this in an end phase if two or more surviving friendly fighters are Inspired. 1 Glory.


This card is worse than Fired Up, and sort of unreliable in some match-ups due to how hard it can be to inspire this warband. My Rating: 1

Blood Rite - Surge: Score this immediately when a friendly fighter holding an objective makes an Attack action that takes an enemy fighter out of action. 1 Glory.


A bit too hard to do reliably for my taste, but not a bad card. My Rating: 2

Consecrate to Khaine - Surge: Score this immediately when a friendly fighter's Range 1 or Range 2 Attack action takes an enemy fighter holding an objective out of action. 1 Glory.


I like this one more than Blood Rite, as you can keep attacking the same fighter on an objective if you need to until you score it. My Rating: 3

Daughter of the First Temple - Score this in an end phase of two or more enemy fighters are out of action. 1 Glory.


This is a decent end phase card that is likely to be scorable in most match-ups. It's worst against the smaller, high wounds warbands like Krushas, and the best vs the larger warbands. My Rating: 2

Devoted Disciple - Score this in an end phase if one or more surviving friendly fighters have one or more wound tokens. 1 Glory.


Sort of like an end phase version of calculated risk, I think this card is fairly scorable, but there are probably better options. My Rating: 2


Perfect Kill - Surge: Score this immediately when a friendly fighter's Attack action deals exactly enough damage to take that fighter's target out of action. 1 Glory.


A nice surge card for this warband due their aggro focus and ability to do different amounts of damage. My Rating: 3

Proof of Devotion - Hybrid: Score this in the third end phase If: All enemy fighters are out of action Or: Your warband holds all objectives in enemy territory. 3 Glory.


This card is much too hard to score. My Rating: 1

Purposeful Strike - Score this in an end phase if a friendly fighter with one or more Charge tokens is holding an objective. 1 Glory.


An interesting card that is probably fairly scorable due to the mobility and range of these fighters, but for only 1 glory I am not sure it makes the cut. My Rating: 2

Ritualised Formation - Score this in an end phase if your warband holds three or more objectives. 3 Glory.


Much too hard for this warband to do. My Rating: 1

Swift Sacrifice - Surge: Score this immediately when a friendly leader or Kyrae makes a Range 1 or Range 2 Attack action that takes an enemy fighter out of action. 1 Glory.


A solid card for this warband given how likely Morgwaeth is to get kills. My Rating: 3

Torturous Death - Surge: Score this immediately when your warband makes a third or subsequent Attack action that targets the same enemy fighter in this phase. 1 Glory.


Good in some match-ups, and helped by Khamyss' ability to attack twice, but probably a little too much work, and bad in some match-ups. My Rating: 2

Triumphant Stance - Dual: Score this in an end phase If: One friendly fighter is holding an objective And: No other fighter is holding an objective. 2 Glory.


A slightly easier version of Uncontested for one less glory, I am not sure this warband is quite good enough at disrupting objectives for this to work, but it might see some play with the right tech, or if objective play is ever less powerful than it is right now. My Rating: 2


Gambits:


I think the Blade-coven's best cards are their Gambits. They have a few of the best cards that exist for other warbands, and some very cool new cards as well.

Bloodbane Venom - Poison. Reaction: Play this after a friendly fighter's successful Range 1 or Range 2 Attack action. Roll three attack dice. For each roll of Critical success the target of that Attack action is dealt 1 damage.


Are you feeling lucky? This is the only Warband poison we've seen so far, and it has a 57.8% chance to do nothing, a 42.1% chance to deal at least 1 damage, 7.4% chance to deal 2 or more damage, and a 0.4% chance to deal 3 damage. My Rating: 1

Carve a Rune - Reaction: Play this during a friendly fighter's Range 1 or Range 2 Attack action that succeeds, before dealing damage, if there was one or more Critical success in the attack roll. Gain 1 spent glory point.


I think this card is very likely to be playable in most rounds since this warband does throw a lot of dice, but I do not think a gambit slot is worth one spent glory. In most games, a spent glory doesn't really do anything for you unless you are trying to score Great/Solid Gains, or if the game is so close that you would lose by one glory. This card doesn't hurt your opponent in any way, or make you fighters better, etc. I think there will almost always be a better card to take. My Rating: 1

Catechism of Murder - Choose one friendly fighter. That fighter is Inspired. Restricted: Morgwaeth.


A key card for this warband as it helps them bypass their inspire condition and get the aggro ball rolling. My Rating: 4

Crimson Rejuvenation - Heal (1) each friendly fighter within 2 hexes of your leader.


Too weak of an effect to see any play. My Rating: 1

Drilled to Perfection - Choose one friendly fighter and up to one adjacent friendly fighter. Give each chosen fighter one Guard token.


Guard can be nice for this warband since they have a fair amount of double dodge, but I think Buried Instincts is better, and I'm not sure you take them both. My Rating: 2

Fanatical Faith - The first time a friendly fighter would be dealt any amount of damage in the next activation, that fighter is dealt 1 damage instead.


A great card for this warband as it helps them stay alive and dive safely into enemy back lines. Just make sure you aren't too close to any lethal hexes, as they can still hurt you if you are driven back into them. My Rating: 4

Headlong Fury - Choose one Inspired friendly fighter. The chosen fighter makes a Move action. Do not give the chosen fighter a Move token for that action.


A very cool and powerful card limited somewhat by requiring an inspired fighter. There are so many cool things you can do with this card that I think you take it, and just hope you can get that first inspire off. My Rating: 3

Incredible Agility - In the next activation, friendly fighters other than Kyrae treat lethal hexes as normal hexes and can move through occupied hexes, but cannot end their move in an occupied hex.


Not good enough to see much play. My Rating: 1

Perfect Precision - You can re-roll one attack dice in the attack roll of the first Attack action made by a friendly fighter in the next activation.


I do not think a single re-roll is worth a gambit slot. My Rating: 1

Zaelot's Rage - Reaction: Play this after a friendly fighter's Attack action that fails. That fighter makes an Attack action.


A great card that is similar to that of other warbands (Sep Guard, Thorns, Steelheart's, Thorns, Hrothgorn) with a the added benefit of the attack action not having to to be the same attack profile, or targeting the same target. I think you will usually want to target the same fighter, but being able to use another attack action is especially good for Khamyss, since she can miss with her buckler, then attack again with her whip, and then again with her buckler. My Rating: 4


Upgrades:


For me, the Blade-coven's upgrades are similar to their objectives, in that they are not all terrible, but there may be better universal versions of most of these cards, causing players to only use a few of them in the current meta, but perhaps dip back into them in the future.

Crimson Shard - You can re-roll one attack dice in this fighter's attack rolls for Range 1 or Range 2 Attack actions.


A very nice accuracy card for your leader, I just wish anyone could use it. My Rating: 3

Crone Blade - Attack Action: Range 1, 3 Fury, 2 Damage. Reaction: After this Attack action, if it succeeded, Heal (1) this fighter.


This is a decent attack action upgrade, but the healing ability is not very good, so there are much better universal options. My Rating: 1

Death Dancer - Reaction: After this fighter's Attack action (not during a superaction), push this fighter 1 hex.


A nice ability, but Duellist's Speed is basically the same/better. My Rating: 2

High Oracle's Butcher - After this fighter's Attack action that takes an adjacent enemy fighter out of action, gain 1 additional glory point. Restricted: Kyrae


A strange card for the best archer in the game, since she has to be adjacent. My Rating: 1

Invigorated Attack - +1 Dice to this fighter's Attack actions while this fighter is holding an objective.


A decent card, but not quite as good as some of the universal accuracy cards. My Rating: 2

Rapturous Defence - +1 Defence. Restricted: Kyrssa, Lethyr.


2-3 Dodge is great, and I do like Lethyr's double damage ability quite a bit, but this is just too specific to take, and Spectral Armour exists. My Rating: 1

Rune of Khaine - Reaction: When this fighter is taken out of action by an enemy fighter's Attack action or an enemy warband's gambit, before removing this fighter from the battlefield, each adjacent enemy fighter is dealt 1 damage.


I might like this a little more if it was a gambit, but as is I really do not think this is worth an upgrade slot. My Rating: 1

Rune of Slaughter - +1 Damage to this fighter's Range 1 and Range 2 Attack actions for each Critical success in the attack roll.


This card would be better if it also worked on range 3-4 attacks, but it's not bad. It's basically the same as Fighter's Ferocity, with the potential of being slightly better, but it doesn't work on ranged 3+, which is sadly a fairly big downside. I think this one might see a little bit of play, but not much as long as Fighter's Ferocity exists. My Rating: 2

Victor of a Thousand Duels - Reaction: During a Range 1 Attack action that targets this fighter and fails, before the Drive Back step, roll one attack dice. On a roll of Smash or Critical success this fighter cannot be driven back and can make an Attack action. It must target the attacker.


I don't love this card, since it is something like a 50% chance to miss the first attack, 50% to activate this ability, and then another 50% for the triggered attack to hit. So, about 12.5% to hit? My Rating: 2

Whirling Whip - Attack Action: Range 1, 3 Fury, 2 Damage, Scything. Restricted: Khamyss.


A very nice scything attack upgrade, but it sort of works in the opposite direction of what what Khamyss is otherwise good at, so I sort of wish it was for another fighter. My Rating: 1


Strategy:


The Strategy for this warband is an aggressive one. The raw stats of this fighter's uninspired attack actions are some of the best in the game, and their defensive stats are some of the worst. This means you need to power up quickly and kill the important enemy fighters before you can run out of steam.


The biggest issue the warband faces is inspiring it's fighters when it needs to in order to boost their stats and damage. Their play-style is very similar to Godsworn Hunt in that almost of the fighters can be very deadly and explosive, but dies to a still breeze.


Their best match-ups will be the larger warbands with easier to kill fighters, and their worst will be the smaller warbands that can hide from them easier, and avoid giving up kills before powering up.


Thanks for reading!


If you’d like to see how I would play this warband in the current meta, check out my initial deck guide for them here.


To see my review of the universals in this set, and my thoughts on how they will affect the meta, you can read my article on that here.

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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