WU:Online - Post-Thorns
This is a deck guide for my current iteration of Steelheart's Champions in Warhammer Underworlds: Online. I won the previous Path to Glory monthly final with this deck and thought people might like a breakdown on how I went about it.
This deck lends itself to a heavily defensive/control play-style with a bit of aggro flex. The main priority for this to work is keeping your fighters alive for the entire game. This is of course, easier said than done. These types of control decks tend to make the game feel more like chess, with each move being calculated to a tee. If this style appeals to you, then read on!
(you can click the image for a deck builder link)
WUOnline Deck Code (If Applicable):
deck building guide
These cards are centered around passive and easy to score objectives that allow you to beef up your fighters with upgrades so that you can reach your big score at the end of the game with Eternals and Complete Victory. Cards such as Consecrated Area, Sigmar's Bulwark, and Bloodless are great first round objectives as they are extremely easy to score early since your opponent will have a hard time reaching you that early on. In the event that your opponent closes the distance and starts getting attacks off, you can definitely retaliate and try to score cards like Precise Use of Force, Defensive Strike, and Change of Tactics. Some styles of this like to run "hold objective" cards since they are generally easy to score, but doing that can place your fighters in harms way and that's the opposite of what we're trying to do with this deck.
The ploys focus, not only on survivability for your fighters, but also as a means to manipulate the board state. Against aggressive warbands you have plenty of options for getting your fighters out of danger such as Illusory Fighter and Hidden Paths. You also have Invisible Walls and Shardfall to try and hinder their advances. When facing an objective heavy warband like Thorns or Skaven you have tools like Distraction, Peal of Thunder, and Shardfall to deny or delay your opponent from scoring anything from objective tokens. Be wary though, these cards need to be played at the correct time to have the maximum effect. Shardfall is proactive so you need to use it early and intelligently. Distraction and Peal of Thunder are reactive, but should be held until the final power step of the round to ensure the highest chance of impact.
For upgrades I basically just went with every defensive option I could find. The idea behind this is that at any stage of the game almost all of these defensive stats are useful and help you achieve your big scores at the end. A Destiny to Meet and Formless Key are staple upgrades in this deck (and most decks nowadays) as they allow for some extra passive glory at the end.
For board setup I like Shyishian Stardial as it allows you a strong defensible position at the back of the board. If you get to set the boards diagonally then you're in a very advantageous position as most warbands can't reach you. A strong secondary board is Katophrane's Reliquary since almost any setup your opponent goes for, you can still set your fighters a decent distance away. I believe the board setup is extremely important for this style to be successful; however it's not game over if it goes against you.
As for how you should mulligan, having the three early objectives listed above is quite important for getting off to an early lead. If you happen to draw Eternals and Complete Victory in your opening hand I would hesitate to drop them (definitely not both) as they are your main win condition. In all my practice with this deck I have won many games while keeping Eternals/Complete Victory from the very start of the game; therefore, I think the only time you should get rid of them is if you think your opponent has a good way to deal with this strategy.
From this point on, the name of the game is drawing cards. And yes that sounds boring, but it's the right move. You want to have as many tools at your disposal for when your opponent starts to make moves for their objectives. Don't become impatient and go for kills and objectives when you can't guarantee the safety of your fighters afterwards. This game is all about mitigating risk and never more so than with this deck. Trading out objective cards and putting fighters on guard is also very important for the flow of the game. If you want to see how I played this deck in a competitive setting then you can find the vod of the tournament here.
Ultimately this strategy is highly effective, easy to learn, and hard to master; however, mastering it could lead to some very easy victories. I realize that the vast majority (myself included) like playing aggressive play-styles and that this can come across as boring or noninteractive, but it's certainly a different head space you find yourself in when trying to map out the game and how to win it. I hope this helped some people who may not have understood how strong this style truly is, but to those of you coming here looking for tips on how to beat it, just remember that nothing's invincible :)
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