Fester and Hunger Compounded
Tabletop - Post Power Unbound
So firstly a disclaimer – I was involved somewhat in the deck's initial design, and by somewhat I mean dropping past and providing input and ideas. In my opinion, this version of the F&H (aptly named by Madskullz) far outstrips the previous iteration due to the compounding options provided by the Win more Objectives.
As this is an extension of Madskullz initial Deck design you can read his article here: https://wellofpower.com/userdeckguides/Fester-and-Hunger
For the purposes of this deck, I will be assuming you are familiar with the general intent of how the deck works, and instead below, I’ll break down where my choices differed and why. This deck focuses on denying your opponent glory, whilst also snowballing your potential glory very quickly. I recently won a 12 person event with the below deck, going 3-0 over 3 rounds (2-0, 2-0, 2-0) with a glory differential of +54. The TO ended the event early, as the players in contention believed it unlikely that they would be able to gain a +23 glory differential against the deck and force it to lose.
Prior to the event I had played 3 games with the deck, in order to tweak the objectives.
(you can click the image for a deck builder link)
deck building guide
As I mentioned I was involved somewhat with the decks initial design, but all props go to Madskullz for the original idea and utilization. When the deck was initially discussed I looked at the majority of the glory cards and made the decision that I really wanted to capitalize on how Crown of Avarice interacts with your opponent. The idea behind this was to pile in as many ‘win more cards’ as possible, and focus on the glory snowball effect from removing you own rat from play. As such, some of the decisions you make when playing the deck are completely different to those that Madskulls recommends. Likewise with your placement of Expendable and Crown of Avarice on which rats.
Master of war was subbed for Solid Gains (Ridiculously easy to score in most decks, and I vastly prefer it to Master of War, especially as you choose the order in which to score cards), Advancing Strike for Burst of Speed – Allowing you to save on a Restricted Slot and utilize that on Superior Tactician, and due to the fact that you will be returning the CoA / Expendable rat constantly its very easy to score. Great gains and Victory after Victory are fairly straight forward regarding their interactions.
Notably, you can see the Gambit & Upgrade decks are basically the same, barring the fact that I have elected to stay at a 10/10 deck, and didn’t elect to take Musk of Fear & Sneaky Stab-Stab. The reason for this is two fold – I don’t like cards that automatically put you on guard, and typically I hate going on guard anyway, this is the first deck where I have proactively gone on guard in every activation phase until I have scored Keep them Guessing. Regarding Sneaky Stab-Stab, due to the decks design and play style, this upgrade was obsolete and the easiest to drop.
Keen readers will notice that I have elected not to take Nullstone Sword (for the black hunger) and have taken Fighters Ferocity instead – whilst this is personally a play style choice, I found that the vast majority of the time I was going to slap Fighters ferocity on the Festering Skaven and utilize the black hunger as a distraction piece.
Ok, here is where things get interesting. Due to the nature of your Objectives, and the win more cards, you really need to have a thorough understanding of what you can potentially draw into with your score immediate objectives, whilst this is typically the case with every deck and too be completely honest, fairly obvious, it is entirely integral to the decks design that you do not waste a single Activation. No drawing power cards if you have score immediately objectives in hand, which may prevent you scoring Keep them Guessing… This is very important. Smart activation play will win or lose you games with this deck. Especially with Keep them guessing always being a possibility. Further below I’ll run through two games and give you an example of what I mean.
The following is an upgrade guide for the rats:
Festering Skaven - Nullstone Spear, Great Strength, Festering Blades, Crown of Avarice
Hungering Skaven – Black Hunger, Expendable, Concealed Weapon
The final 3 objectives can be spread across depending on your opponent and needs, If you’re fighting Stormcast / Magores / Guardians I would give the Festering all 3 where possible. Against Swarm warbands, you swap expendable & Crown of Avarice to the other rat and give the Hungering Skaven ToO = profit. Against everyone else it’s personal choice.
Main Play style choice:
Always be mindful of lethal hex placement for your two rats. Prioritize taking out fighters who can threaten your Skritch positioning as losing Skritch in most games means your potential glory is going to take a hit. A lot of how the deck works is about recycling the Festering rat and benefiting from Crown of Avarice (in order to reduce the glory you need for Solid Gains / Great gains). Basically you want to Attack / Charge with the Festering Skaven primarily and use the Hungering Skaven as the bait for your opponents charges.
In nearly all cases you are going to charge through a lethal hex, and then use one of your ploys to remove the Festering Skaven from the board. In most cases you will gain at a minimum 3 glory (One for a kill, One for Tome of Offerings & finally one from Crown of Avarice), in some cases you will also score Change of Tactics, Calculated Risk and or Burst of Speed.
Typically your activation phases look like thus: Guard, Move / Charge / Return rat from the dead – Move / Charge (which ever you didn’t do. Also, note you can utilize Ready for Action to also make an attack action prior to dealing damage to your CoA rat with a ploy to satisfy Keep them Guessing's action requirement).
In conclusion, if you would like to play with an engaging deck (for you) where your decisions will highly reward or punish you, more so than in other Underworlds decks, than I thoroughly recommend you give this a whirl. Just don't be surprised if your local gaming group decides to not play friendly matches with you.
The deck obviously has one very key weakness, and that's assassinating Skritch early & quickly. Doing so will mean the deck will not gain the benefit of returning the Crown of Avarice rat multiple times. This will in turn reduce the deck reaping continual glory, however in my experience, losing Skritch wasn't the end of the world, and you as the driver, and can typically find a way to pull out a win. It will usually be a close affair.
If you want to touch base with me I am pretty active on the Underworlds Discord or flick me a message on the forums.
Best of Luck!
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