Tabletop - Post FAR3.0
I have often seen Condemnors labeled as "bad" or "lower-midtier" and I wanted to proof otherwise. You'll probably need loaded dice (or 2 very lucky consecutive days) to actually win a Grand Clash but I think Ironsoul and her 2 friends can play with the big boys.
They are tanky, have a bigger Toolbox than it looks like, are fairly accurate and god do they bring the hurt. On the other hand they are slow and face the same problems most other 3-Model Warbands face: 3 Charges on 4 activations and losing 1/3 of your power with every death. But I think all of these things can be worked around.
(you can click the image for a deck builder link)
WUOnline Deck Code (If Applicable):
deck building guide
I'll go over all cards in the moment but first a few words about the general idea of the deck.
As mentioned above there are 3 hardships we have to deal with:
- low Mobility
- 3 Models for 4 activations
- Dying is bad
To counteract those I play a lot of Pushes and Mobility Cards, as well as a lot of Defensive Upgrades.
Another thing Condemnors can sometimes struggle with, is inspiring, as it's luck dependant, so we'll have some additional ways to increase our chances to inspire as well.
Condemnors have very good profiles, with everyone hitting on 2 or 3 Hammers and 2 Fighters having 3 damage, Brodus even uninspired. Because of that there's no Great Strength or Sting, as those are wasted a lot of times; instead we use a lot of Ping Ploys.
Strong Start - Strong Start is a good objective for beefy 3-model Warbands. It's annoying to draw into it, but it's still a relatively reliable Surge.
Martial Prowess - This is one of the harder to score objectives, but with Brodus' Scything Attack, Improvised Blow and their generally good accuracy you can still more often than not score it.
Get Thee Hence & Forceful Banishment - Those are the Knockback package. Brodus and Tavian can score them instantly, Ironsoul after Inspiring. Get Thee Hence is a bit harder to score as you actually need to do a 2-hex Knockback. Tavian is good to score them early against objective stuff like Gitz or Grymwatch, and Brodus can score it against other 3-Models like Rippas or Cursebreakers.
Unexpected Pitfall & Against the Wall - There are 3 Power Cards that can score Unexpected Pitfall, 2 of which need edge hexes anyways, and also lethal hexes that are easily abusable with that much Knockback. Those Cards and attributes all go well together and you can often score both at once.
Solid Gains & Great Gains - Ol' reliable Glory Multiplier. Solid Gains is easy to score, Great Gains can be trickier. You often need Tome of Glory or a good 2 Glory Objective to score it, but it's still worth it in my opinion. Keep in mind that you can score it after scoring Denial which often makes it easy to score in Turn 3.
Vengeance Satisfied - You have to kill more than half your opponents warband, it's like Annihilation, except not a dead card in half your matches. This you can score this in Turn 2 most matches. It's annoying against Grymwatch, but at least they come back at the beginning of the round not before the end.
Fired Up - Although the Inspire Condition is a bit random, you can still score it most of the time. It's easy accessible Glory that needs no additional work.
Team Effort - This may get hard to score in the last Turn if you lose too many fighters, but you essentially score it by doing what you do anyways. Another low Effort, low profit objective.
Denial - Third End Phase Objectives have a bad reputation but Denial has been very good for me. You want to be in your opponent's face so he most often has to actively work to deny your Denial. It's also a way to punish more passive players and in the "worst case" it's a lower point Annihilation. Can be used with Vengeance Satisfied and Great Gains for a massive 7 Glory Swing in Turn 3 if you manage to have your opponent dead by then.
## The Power Cards mainly divide into 3 categories: Ping, Accuracy and Mobility. ##
# Ping #
- Those 3 are the main Pings that are used to finish fighters and to help score Against The Wall and Unexpected Pitfall. Knock The opponents into an edge hex and go to town. Brodus can oneshot 4-Health fighters in Turn 1 this way, Tavian can score aforementioned Objectives against 2 Health fighters. Keep in mind that Pit Trap activates after the Knockback, so you can score Get Thee Hence/Forceful Banishment and then play Pit Trap.
- Improvised Blow is an outlier as it's less of a Ping and more of Utility Tool. You can use it to setup Plays as it allows you to Knockback (you can use it as a kind of Distraction against adjacent Targets). It has many uses and is a very versatile card, but in the and it's mainly there to be an additional tool to Inspire (~43% chance) or to score Martial Prowess.
# Accuracy #
- Those are easily explained. Aggro's biggest weakness are bad dice and these try to counteract this. You need to be careful with Haymaker but it's always useful in the last activation and you can also use it to bait your opponent into a bad position and to screw up their target priority. Determined Effort is just an easy +1 Dice, which works very well with our 2/3 Hammer Attacks but it's replacable.
# Mobility #
- Condemnors are one of the lucky Warbands that still get to comfortably use Double Distraction. They are useful for nearly every situation: Closing 1 hex gaps to attack without charging, increasing your Threatening Range by 1, putting fighters into a position where they can be knocked into a Lethal Hex or Edge Hex, Pushing fighters into Lethal Hexes, and many more.
- Spectral Wings are a double-edged sword, but still mandatory. You need them against more passive or objective focused warbands. But they can also help for better positioning and surprise attacks against more aggressive folks. Also, nothing beats Spectral Winging Brodus to oneshot Crackmarrow or Thundrick Turn 1.
- Countercharge is a rarely seen card but it helps with connecting more attacks without spending a charge actions, and most often you keep your fighters close enough to each other to use Countercharge. Be careful Countercharging Range attacks, as they can Knockback you afterwards.
## Upgrades can be split roughly into 4 categories, but they are less distinct than the Power cards: Survival, Mobility, Accuracy, and Utility ##
# Survival #
- Those are there to help you stay alive longer. +1 Wounds can help you survive another attack or Ping. Sanctified Armour, especially with additional Wounds, makes you that much harder to kill if you get it going on Brodus or Ironsoul before they are hurt too much. Champions Fortitude is nice as it's essentially a worse version of Spectral Armor, but it's another shot at rolling Crits to inspire.
# Mobility #
Blessing of Hydragos
- Another not so commonly seen card, but it really helps with repositioning after getting a kill.
- This is such an underrated card. First of all it's obviously a Reach increase, but it's also a survival tool, essentially another hitpoint to any fighter that's standing next to a Lethal Hex. Put this on an inspired Brodus and you have Lady Harrow running around, but with A BFHammer instead of a lame knife.
# Accuray #
Potion of Rage
- Not much to be said. Prized Vendetta is especially nice for our 3 Smash attacks and it can help you to inspire. Potion of Rage is obviously a Must Have and works especially well with Brodus. A 4 Smash Cleave Attack is nothing to be taken lightly.
# Utility #
Tome of Offerings
- Against hard scoring objective Warbands, like Gitz, Thorns or Grymwatch you really need Tome to keep up. But a Tomed Brodus with Scything can go ham on badly positioned Goblins or Ghouls.
- Our Inspire condition is swingy and this helps with that. Also a reliable way to score Fired Up if the dice fail to do so. But there's also a lot surprises you can pull of with a targeted Inspire before an attack. Some use cases:
- Brodus Move increases to 4, so you can use this as a Pseudo-Spectral Wings.
- Brodus gets Scything when inspired, so you can catch an opponent off-guard.
- Gwynne goes to 3 damage and gains Knockback, important for some Objectives and very good into 3-model warbands.
- Tavian gets 2 Damage on his Knockback-Attack but more often than not that's actually a Drawback. Still, might be useful one day.
The general Gameplan is fairly simple, you're basically an aggro Hunter in the early Hearthstone Lifecycle: "They play Taunt, me still go face".
Your goal is to kill as many enemies as possible while scoring Objectives on the way. Ideally without dying.
Sounds simple enough. The difficulty lies in the smaller things: Positioning, Card and Target Priority and also rolling some crits. You have to bring a scalpel to a hammer fight sometimes.
While the deck is not overly reliant on comboing I still consider it very important to know your deck well. Undrawn Cards are a resource as much as the cards in your hand and it's really important to keep track of how many Pings you have left, how many Mobility/Pushes you have left, and so on. This makes or breaks a lot of efficiency with the deck.
I don't think there are many reasons to not go second for placing the board. It may sound tempting to deny an objective Warband those 3 objectives, but they are usually fast enough to get them anyway while denying you good Turn 1 charges. It's much better to place an offensive Board and just kill them here and there. Faster Aggro Warbands like Rippas can easily deny you a good positioning as well and abuse their speed advantage.
If you are forced to go first there are 2 good general boards imho.
- The first, my go-to "solution for everything" board is the Mirror Well. It has good forward positions in every direction, whether your opponent goes aggressive, longbaords you, or offsets you, even with the Molten Shardpit. They are not the best positions you can have but it works well in all directions, which is useful if you don't know what your opponent's up to.
- Katophrane's Reliquary: It's rather bad if your opponent longboards you, but it has similar forward positions to the Mirror Well and also does okay when offset.
If you can go second it depends on a lot of factors. I generally go for very offensively oriented boards here, the more "long edge" hexes you have, the better.
Of course everything depends on your opponents warband and board choice, but I tend to prefer the follwing boards:
- Molten Shardpit: 3 edge starting hexes. If your opponent plays an aggressive warband that comes to you (think Rippas) you can also abuse your Knockback for double-lethal shenanigans.
- Penitent's Throne/Shyishian Stardial: Both have 2 edge starting hexes and one in second row. They mainly differ in being left/right-heavy. They are good if you want to give objective warbands a harder time to come to you (for example for scoring Swift Capture) as you can offset them a little to give them less room to maneuver.
- Shrine of the Silent People / Living Rock: Same as above, 2 ege, and 1/2 in the second row, which allows for a bit of flexibility.
Lethal Hex positioning is a bit trickier with Condemnors, you cant just put it behind a starting hex and call it a day. Ideally you want it in an accessible edge hex, so you can immediately score Against The Wall or Unexpected Pitfall.
I don't think there's a recipe that fits all, but some guidelines.
- Tavian is both your most expendable fighter and the easiest scorer of Knockback Objectives.
- Brodus is your Heavy Hitter and it's important to keep him alive, depending on the matchup.
- Gwynne mostly ends up as the most flexible to position. She only begins to shine after inspiring (She's literally the worst of the 3 pre-inspire)
In the end I wanna say I feel like Condemnors are in a great spot for a aggro warband in the current meta. Not S-Tier, obivously but they can compete with everyone.
Condemnors benefited heavily from the FAR list; not only were they not really hit besides Blazing Soul (and the stuff that hit everyone like Opening Gambit), a lot of threats were removed.
The biggest thing is restricted Survival Instincts. Guard is our biggest enemy and it's great seeing this card less. Also the general down-toning of objective Warbands obviously helps us keeping up.
A few words about matchups:
- I think Rippas are one of the best matchups for Condemnors, as you can often kill them before they get going (even Rippa, if you're lucky). A lot of attacks also make inspiring easier.
- Going into objective-focused Warbands is really dependant on getting Tome of Glories going and them not getting everything in perfect order. If you can snipe something like Crackmarrow with Brodus early on, go for it.
- Thorns and Banshees are tricky as they ignore lethal hexes which makes our life unnecessarily harder.
If you found this guide useful, click the glory token to increase it's rating!