Claim the city
Tabletop - Post HM/Wurmspat
So, after listening to the Path to Glory episode about the sepulchral guard (SG), I decided to present you the SG deck I am currently playing. I highly recommend this Path to Glory episode (called Skills unforgotten), as it covers in details all the specificities of the warband, and it does so very well. The only point I disagree with is that I am not a fan of the harvester, as his whirlwind attack is not reliable enough. In 90% of my games, the champion does the heavy lifting. Anyway, I will not cover the warband itself and highly recommend listening to this episode ; building a deck guide about SG seemed quite complementary.
I have been playing underworlds since the beginning of season 1, and while I played most of the available warbands, the SG is the one I always kept coming back to. My track record is about 100 games with them ; as far as tournaments go, I only attended 2 local tournaments with them (winning glass on one of those). So, my experience is mostly on a « friendly competitive » environment, and not to Grand Clash standards. I don’t think that SG can win a Grand Clash (well, unless they chain crit defs of course) but they definitely are competitive at a local level.
(you can click the image for a deck builder link)
WUOnline Deck Code (If Applicable):
deck building guide
Before going into the specific of the deck, one you have to remember about the SG is that they have a unique specificity : they can bring back one of their most powerful fighters (the champion). Actually, you even want your champion to die, in particular if he charged earlier in the round as he will lose his charge token. This means that stacking upgrades on a single worthy fighter makes sense, as sniping him will not help your opponent. No other warband can do that (ghouls and rats are not « worthy fighters » by SG standards !). The whole aggro side of this deck is based on that.
So now, about the deck itself. It is mainly objective-oriented, with some parts of control and some parts of aggro. I have tried full-objective in the past, but it bleeds too much glory. I have also played SG more offensively in the past, but objective play is now too strong to be overlooked. So, this deck seems to me to be the right balance at the moment.
- Supremacy, Temporary victory, Path to victory, Scrum, Swift Capture : obvious choices for any horde warband playing objectives. Your movement ploys/upgrades and objective manipulation will help here.
- Solid Gains : simple gain more card. You should gain > 3 glory on every round. You could consider switching for Hoarder, but I hate 3rd round objectives. Technically Hoarder is not in that category but you understand my meaning.
- Martyred, Fired up : usually one of your guys will die early on (preferably the champion) for Martyred and come back exalted for Fired Up. If not, blazing soul can help.
- What armor : super reliable aggro score immediately. Your champion will hit stuff.
- Branching fate : once inspired, you have a lot of 3-dice attacks. That being said, I find this objective not very reliable, and could consider switching it.
- Coveted spoils, Uncontested : playing both can seem controversial ; however, with the amount of push tech and objective manipulation you have, it makes sense. I have scored both in > 50% of my games. However, don’t be afraid to ditch one or the other if you think you will not be able to score it. The deck has enough glory potential to allow it.
- Frenzied search : probably the best non-restricted card in the game for objective play, and the reason why I have 22 power cards.
- Terrifying screams, Distraction, Nightmare in the shadows : triple distraction. Hold on to them as much as possible. They should mainly be used to move enemies in (for Coveted spoils or Shifting Reflection) and out (for glory denial, Uncontested or Faneway Crystal) of objectives.
- Restless dead, Necromancer commands : no-brainers for any SG deck
- Transfixing stare : the nemesis of this deck is elite warriors with tome of offerings / trophy belt. This gives you some element of control on those. You have enough bodies to make sure that one of them will be close enough to the foe. This card won me a number of games.
- Shifting reflection : super useful to get this objective far behind enemy lines, and to give you a free kill (chainrasp in the middle of your horde, or your champion in the middle of theirs…). Combos with the key. Could consider switching with Sidestep, but I recommend trying it ! The amount of push tech and objective manipulation makes it shine in this deck.
- Two steps forward : better than Sidestep for non-aggro warbands, and your only answer to mischievous spirits. I recommend holding on to it as much as possible as an insurance policy.
- Restless prize : for objective combo/power plays… or just to counter the opponent’s restless prize
- Spectral wings : a much-needed mobility boost. Primary goal is to grab an objective in enemy territory.
- Other ploys to be considered :
- Sidestep : would be very good in this deck, I just wished there was enough room for it.
- Mischievous Spirits : sounded good in this deck, but after trying it, I didn’t like it. In turn 1 it can be good, but after that it disturbs your plans more than anything.
- Frightening speed, Faneway cristal : mobility boosts to get objectives (and to a lesser extend to do unexpected charges)
- Great strength, Sting of Ur Grub, Gloryseeker : go to the Champion in 75% of games. The rest of the time, Harvester or Warden. 2 of those make the Champion super scary.
- Potion of rage : same as above.
- Crown of avarice : goes to any of your skeletons that is the most likely to be targeted. Not core to the deck and could be switched for another Key, but Crown on a resurrecting fighter is really efficient.
- Key, Cryptic companion : synergizes well with the gameplan and objective manipulation.
- Blazing Soul : the SG gains a lot by inspiring ; however, their inspire mechanic is highly predictable for your opponent (if they don’t kill you, you don’t inspire). Well, not anymore ! Goes to the Champion in most games, or to the Warden. Can also be used as a simple +1 move on any of your skeletons if needed.
- Quickening Greaves : somewhat balances the lack of Sidestep
- Other upgrades to be considered : tome of offerings ; used to play with it but didn’t have the restricted slot after the last FAR list.
The general playstyle is the following (to be adapted, of course) :
- Deployment and board : against anything except Grymwatch, go full offset with as many distance and lethal hexes between you and your opponent. Never pick a board with lethal hexes (because of your high model count and low move). Deploy your Champion as aggressively as possible, with your Harvester and Prince second line. The Petitioners should be in the back, ready to jump into objectives. Your Warden should be at the back to, but he is more resilient than Petitioners.
- Turn 1 : your goal is to get all your petitioners to objectives thanks to the Warden action, and then to charge with the Prince. He is a bait ; either the enemy kills him (and you can resurrect him and charge again) or he will be ready to hit/charge further into the lines next turn.
- Turn 2 and 3: you will start bleeding glory. Your goal is 1/ to score your objectives and 2/ limit your losses. The best way to limit your losses is to kill the threats with Champion or Warden. Once you get to the last activations of Turn 2, the Warden can be put at risk (losing him is not so bad anymore). If inspired, his attack profile is really good.
- The worst matchups are big guys : Hrothgorn and Mollog. Even a boosted champion will have trouble killing them. Transfixing stare is here for them. Your best bet is to try to keep them away from your objective-holding petitioners as long as possible.
- Against other aggro, the technique is similar, excepted that you probably can kill their big threats with Champion or Warden. You will lose some of your skeletons. But make sure that the enemy always has to charge you in order to do so.
- Against objective warbands, you should have enough pushes and objective manipulation to deny them glory. Hold to Coveted Spoils, be ready to ditch Uncontested. Grymwatch is not that bad, just make sure to send Champion and Harvester in their board to prevent them from inspiring and kill stuff.
Having played SG since it came out, I think that they are now better than they have ever been. While they will not win a Grand Clash, they have some great objective holding potential, and good aggro and control too. This deck is a mix of all of that. SG is not easy to play, and this deck requires to be tested a number of times to be really effective, but if you love SG, I hope you will give a try !
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