Double Stormsire and Beyond
Tabletop - Post HM/Wurmspat
This is a deck guide for my current Stormsires Cursebreakers deck with a walkthrough of build, playstyle and tactic.
The deck is a spells matter build, also known as a magic build. Personally, I would categorize the deck as flex, as it can adapt to the opposing warbands gameplan and strategy without much trouble.
If you like elite fighters, not to bleed glory, keeping your opponent second guessing themselves, consistency, a controlling playstyle and magic in general, then this might just be a deck for you.
(you can click the image for a deck builder link)
WUOnline Deck Code (If Applicable):
deck building guide
The objective cards are either centered around casting spells or being easy to score. The beauty of this objective deck is, that it can be scored whether you are the aggressor or the defender. Though the objectives do synergize more with being the aggressor.
The cards Harness the Storm, Rising Power, Arcane Expertise, Strange Demise, Arcane Arrest, Overpower, Magical Supremacy, Magical Storm and Fired Up all care about casting spells and are relatively easy to score with a spell based ploy deck, Averon´s spell attack and Ammis´ and Rastus´ empower mechanic. Some of these objectives have restrictions though, as they require that you cast spells in a certain context.
Strange Demise and Arcane Expertise, which are almost the same card, requires that you kill a fighter with magic (spell gambits or spell attacks), which obviously is a little easier against warbands with 2 health fighters. But with the cards in our ploy deck it should not be too hard.
Arcane Arrest is probably the most risky and meta based card in this deck. It requires that your opponent has a Hunter or Quarry in their warband, which is pretty common at the moment. And against those warbands Arcane Arrest is basically Harness the Storm number two. The addition of cards like Survival Instincts and Cryptic Companion does, that Arcane Arrest can still be a live card against the pre-Beastgrave warbands.
Rising Power requires that you attempt to cast a spell with three or more dice, and it can be as easy to score as Harness the storm, IF we draw one of three specific ploy cards: Sphere of Ghur, Potion of Rage or Well of Power. Now you might say "but what if Averon dies?" and that is true, if Averon dies, we can´t score Rising Power with only one of those ploy cards, but we can with two! You can combine Arcane Savant and/or Jared´s Spirited Sphere with Sphere of Ghur, Potion of Rage or Well of Powerin five different ways on either Ammis or Rastus and build a fighter, that can score Rising Power. Strong synergy is strong.
Overpower is of cause 100% luck based, but with the amount of spells this deck tries to cast and with the cards that gives additional dice, it is not really a problem to score on average.
Harness the Storm, Magical Supremacy, Magical Storm and Fired Up are all trivial to score. You just cast your spells and they will score themselves. I count Fired Up as a spell objective because Cursebreakers all inspire when they cast a spell, so it´s kinda like a Magical Supremacy that only needs one spell. Magical Storm can be a little troublesome to score in the third round, if you have already used most of your spells, but if that is the case, you are probably ahead on glory, so it often isn´t that big of a problem. Personally, I use a regular dice to keep track of the number of succesfull spells I´ve cast in a round, keeping track of your spells can get a little confusing at times.
Opening Gambit and Team Effort are the easiest and safest end phase objectives I have found. Team Effort is so good in three fighter warbands. Nothing but love for that card.
Now why would I put Perfect Match in a deck, that is all about consistency and synergy!? Easy answer: Because I like the card. I can´t justify playing this over something like Combination Strike or whatever, and I won´t tell you to do it either. Perfect Match is a new exiting card and I want to give it a spin, and if this isn´t the deck for Perfect Match I don´t know what deck is. Play Combination Strike.
At the moment Cursebreakers have access to so many good and playable objectives that it actually is a little hard to build a deck for them! What a first world problem to have, right? So if you don´t like some of the objectives that I play there are more than enough choices to pick from to replace them with, be creative. Here are a few examples of alternative objectives: Measured Strike, Sorcerous Volley, Strong Start, Unexpected Pitfall, Death From Afar and Solid Gains.
Ploys and gambit ploys:
The ploy deck is filled with gambits, that lets you score your objectives consistently while also dealing direct damage to enemy fighters, and upgrades, that lets you more consistently cast your spells successfully and take advantage of magic synergy.
The Gambit ploys consist of seven gambits spells and three normal gambits. The reason for not playing ten gambit spells is, that ten are not needed to score your objectives and that there really isn´t ten gambits spell, that are good enough to play. Also, the three normal gambits are in my opinion too good to not play.
Abasoth´s Withering, Sphere of Aqshy, Sorcerous Riposte, Seggut´s Salvo and Cry of Thunder are all spells, that deals damage to enemy fighters and helps you fulfill the requirements for scoring Arcane Expertise, Strange Demise and Arcane Arrest. Abasoth´s Withering does not deal damage, so you can´t score Arcane Expertise, Strange Demiseand Arcane Arrest with it, but the card is still A+ at reducing enemies wound total and combined with one of the other damage spells it lets you score the before mentioned objectives. Sorcerous Riposte is a little conditional, but is worth it. Two damage for a single spell is the real deal and it also counters a lot of combat reactions, because you have "priority" to react before your opponent, when they attack you.
Sphere of Ghur helps scoring Rising Power as mentioned, but it can also help secure your next kill. Sometimes I just use it to inspire Averon and follow it up with a three dice magic attack.
Abasoth´s Unmaking is a solid combination between an easy to cast spell and a meta control card. Being able to remove one of your opponent´s objectives, even before they get their turn, and slow down any Grymwatch or Thorns player is pretty good at the moment.
Distraction and Nightmare in the Shadows are perfect in this deck. They can act as counters to objective based warbands, finish of two health fighters with the help of a lethal hex or a damage spell and increase the threat-range of Ammis and Rastus.
Lightning Assault is in my opinion too strong to not play. It is basically only bad when all your attacks are successful, and who cares if it is a dead card then. It also helps secure those important Averon spell attack charges that is going to score you five glory.
Eye of the Storm, Blessing of Vytrix, Arcane Savant and Well of Power is the glue, that makes this entire deck´s consistency stick together. Spell slinging at this level would be too risky, without this amount of spell resolution support. Well of Power is insane on Averon, as it lets him attack and cast spells with three dices. Arcane Savant and Well of Power can also be used to build Averon number two, whether you just want two of him or the first one died.
Jared´s Spirited Sphere, Lightning Whip and Tempest´s Might can be combined to build a ranged spell attack on Ammis and Rastus. Jared´s Spirited Sphere in itself gives some well needed reach to Ammis´ and Rastus´ threat-range, and the ensnare isn´t too bad either. Lightning Whip and Tempest´s Might can be used to make Jared´s Spirited Sphere a two-damage attack or to pump up your fighters´ normal attacks.
Potion of Rage is by no means a bad card, but it is only in the deck because I wanted a third card to help score Rising Power.
Lara´s Instant Shield is insane on Averon. It is the only survival card in the deck, which is a welcomed effect, but it also has the added bonus of letting you cast ´free´ spells. It is so good.
Tome of Offerings gives the deck a well needed glory boost. This deck is not a hold objective deck, so the deck needs some extra glory to keep up with those objective decks. Tome of Offerings also has a convenient interaction with spells: If the caster of a gambit spell, that kills a fighter, is upgraded with Tome of Offerings, it still gives you an extra glory, as it is the caster of the spell that killed the fighter!
The fighters and their roles:
Stormsires Cursebreakers consists of three fighters. All three fighters are what you would call elite fighters, they are few in numbers, but they hit hard and are hard to kill. What separates Stormsires Cursebreakers from other warbands is, that they all three are wizards. No other warband has more than one wizard and Stormsires Cursebreakers have three. This deck is all about exploiting the fact, that this warband has three wizards.
Averon Stormsire is the leader of the warband and the centerpiece of this deck. Averon is a level two wizard and has a ranged spell attack, this makes him very capable of casting spells and of scoring all the spell based objectives in the objective deck. Averons spell attack is in itself an impressive attack with its range of three and two damage, but when it also counts as a spell towards scoring your objectives, then you really get something out of your activations. It is almost trivial for Averon to cast spells, but the ploy deck is nonetheless filled with upgrades, just to make sure that casting spells is almost foolproof. The entire objective deck has been build around Averon, he is therefore this decks main tool to scoring its objective cards. This of course makes Averon very valuable to the decks gameplan. To protect him, you should basically never charge with Averon before he is inspired and preferably as late in the round as possible. When inspired Averon has a defense characteristic of two shields, which makes him pretty durable and almost impossible to kill, if he is upgraded with Lara´s Instant Shield. I usually only charge with Averon if I am certain, that he will not die or if the pay off is worth the risk. All in all Averon is this warbands best and most important fighter both early and late game so play him as such.
If this warband only had one wizard, then this kind of heavy magic build would be too risky to play competitively. Ammis and Rastus act as backup wizards, if Averon dies, that can score the spell based objective deck. Ammis´ and Rastus´ empower mechanic is also perfect for this spell based strategy, as the empower mechanic is a resource of free spells, that can be used to score the spell based objectives. Early in a game you often use one or more activations on activating the empower mechanic, it might seem like a underwhelming activation, but it does everything this deck wants to do. If you manage to empower Ammis or Rastus you also get to re-roll one attack dice each time they attack for the rest of the round, this makes an offensive charge even more reliable.
Ammis Dawnguard is the muscle of the team. Ammis´ uninspired attacks are relatively consistently and can be used early on, as early as in the first activation, to pressure the opponent. Ammis can be used to secure a early kill and get you that needed glory for the spell related upgrades. This is why he often is the first fight I charge with, which can put him in a dangerous position, but that is okay, losing Ammis is not a problem. After he inspires his new attack becomes the bane of elite fighters. Three damage combined with a knockback push into a lethal hex or a damage from a spell gambit is scary for any fighter.
Rastus the Charmed is the teams back up wizard. Rastus' attack is pretty good and becomes very accurate, when he inspires. Rastus can be offensive and be used to secure kills, he is by no means a backline hugger, but he often ends up being in the back. This is because you often charge with Ammis before you charge with Rastus, due to Ammis´ superior attacks. Rastus is therefore often further back than Ammis on the board, and Ammis also often dies before Rastus as a result of him being further ahead on the board. Therefore Rastus often becomes the back up wizard if Averon dies. Beyond improving Rastus´ capability of casting spells the spell upgrades also combines nicely with Jared´s Spirited Sphere, that increases Rastus´ threat-range. These upgrades would often be wasted on Ammis, as he is already within threat-range.
How to play the deck:
In my opinion the deck plays as a flex deck, as it can either go on the offence or stay on defence and still score its objectives consistently. Against swarm warbands (5 or more fighters) and objective based warbands I like to be the aggressor, as the deck can feed on the glory bleed of low wound fighters while simultaneously disrupt their "stand on objective game plan", as the fewer fighters they have, the harder it is for them to stand on multiple objectives at the same time. Against elite warbands (3-4 fighters) and aggro warbands I usually play a little more defensively and wait for them to move their fighters into reach of Ammis and Rastus, as I can use those activations, where they don´t come closer, to empower and inspire my fighters.
In general, I place my fighters more or less as close as I can to the opponent´s board, as Ammis´ and Rastus´ threat-range of 3 (3 move, 1 range) is a considerable restriction to your activations. If you place them too far in the back, you can risk that they will not be able to get in threat-range before round 2 and sometimes not all game. That is also why Jared´s Spirited Sphere is so good in the deck. My go to default board is The Mirror Well, as its starting hexes are placed such that I can place my fighters reasonably, no matter how the boards are placed. I often save The Mirror Well for when my opponent gets to place the boards. And when I place them, I usually choose a board that lets me place my fighters as aggressive or defensively as I like to.
Some might call this kind of deck for "Double Stormsire", which is a reference to the deck being able to build a second Averon. In the past Cursebreakers lost a lot, if not everything if Averon died, which was more or less the case. And you could easily think that losing Averon is not that big of a problem now, because of that potential second Stormsire, this is not so. It is true, that losing Averon is not as devastating as it once was, but it can still be a big problem. This is mostly the case early in the game, because you need to make some glory before you are able to play such upgrades as Eye of the Storm, Blessing of Vytrix, Arcane Savant and Well of Power and make a second level two wizard, and you kind of need Averon to consistently score that needed glory. It is by no means impossible to score that needed glory with a level one wizard, but the odds are so much worse than with a level two wizard. Therefore, be very aware of where you place Averon, when you place your fighters. This I feel is the hardest part of playing the deck, as you have to take board placement, lethal hexes, your cards, your opponent´s cards, your opponent´s gameplan, your opponent´s fighters and whether they will go for Averon or not into consideration. That is a lot to consider. Most of the games I have lost with this deck is because I have misplaced Averon and suddenly he was dead. And then I just looked at my perfect hand, that suddenly became useless. I haven´t always lost when this has happened, as Ammis and Rastus can tag-team their way to victory, but some of those times I didn´t even understand how I won. Warhammer Underworlds is a game of chance after all.
All in all it´s a solid deck with a certain feeling of satisfaction when played correctly. The deck plays a little as a combo deck because of all the synergy. This kind of build is going to get hit hard, when Nightvault rotates out of the championship format, as most of the good magic cards are from Nightvault, so either they have to print the hell out of magic in the next releases, which it actually seems like they are doing, or the Cursebreakers have to cast a little less magic. Personally, I have a backup plan, if magic gets nerfed, but that is a story for another time.
If you have questions, suggestions or anything else you are welcome to hit me up.
And thank you for reading this wall of text.
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