Ironskulls Boyz: Control Like A (War)Boss
Tabletop - Post Snarlfangs
My name is Andrea, and I'm writing this guide for all the Warboss out there.
I play Ironskull's Boyz (and only them) since the beginning, and I passed all kind of times.
There was the Relic's time, the Lethal Hex time, the Magic Time and now that it's Control time, after a lot of Good Scraps, Gurzag is having it's Kunning (AND BRUTAL) revenge.
Tired of losing against Tier 1 Decks? If you want to be like an Orruk, you have to think like an Orruk.
Every blow that hits you, every defeat (and there have been A LOT of them) it's a funny way to learn things. The more they hit you hard, the more you learn. And I learned A LOT in these years.
Now IT'S MY TURN about 'Aving a Good Time!
And remember: "Orruks are a weak band, but they don't know it so they win the same."
And so you'll do, starting from this deck.
(you can click the image for a deck builder link)
deck building guide
I came out about this deck because I always had a way of playing Ironskull's Boyz (Orruks from now on) with 4 Golden Rules in mind...
1) "You don't have many strong racial cards, but one thing you have for sure, TOUGHNESS: if you wound yourself to Inspire you lose your only strenght point."
So I started to get out self-damaging cards like GHOUL PACT, or I never walked on Lethals to inspire myself (so when the FAQ hit me, I was prepared).
2) "A 2 Dice Attack and a 1 Dice Defence is not enough, so they're not useful: play around them."
I never boost my Defence, only my Hit Points. I never attack with 2 dices, only if it's needed and Gurzag is preferable. If I do, I never complain if I miss, or if I get parried, because it's normal.
Same thing about Defence rolls: it's just one dice, so with all those Cleaves and 3 dice attacks around better keep it just a funny possibility.
3) "You play around General cards, so you'd better know that your deck will be limited: Orruks are stronger near the end of a Season, like da BAD MOON your power rise as more General Cards come out." So be prepared to change your deck, keeping in mind the first 2 Golden Rules.
4) "NEVER CHARGE with anyone in the first or second activation of the first turn if it's not mandatory: he will die. ALWAYS give the first activation to your opponent in the first Turn, you can stand a blow, and you'll be the last to strike." Go for your 4th activation Gurzag charge hoping he's wounded and Inspired. Then hope to win initiative for a devastating invasion after you equipped extra wounds on him whenever he's wounded!
So returning to our deck, the Meta is Control now. And I thought: "What could happen if I play for Supremacy just like my opponents main decks, but I place a 5 wound unmovable Orruk on the third Objective?"
So I started with Objectives. Always let your objectives guide you wisely, so choose them with a common purpose.
CALCULATED RISK: obvious choice, we can stand a wound and get also Inspired. Always PLACE A LETHAL HEX, and place it far from your opponent, in front of one of your fighters Starting Hexes (prefere Hakka, Basha or Bonekutta if you want to scare your opponent with a 3 Damage output) BUT 2 hexes far from the objective, so that you can just score it with a 3 hex Movement and finish on the Obj. Put a +1 Wound equip on your fighter as soon as possible if your opponent is in a position to one-shoot him.
SHORTCUT: remember, if your opponent uses Confusion, or Shifting Reflection on one of your models, you can score Shortcut IN HIS TURN. You have those cards in your deck as well so use them wisely. Remember: can't score it with Faneway Crystal (just for you to remember).
SCRUM: hey, it's easy to score with all those control models around lately (yes, your opponent count) but be careful not to kill your 4th model with a charge. Another OBJ you can score at the end of an opponent's activation.
SWIFT CAPTURE: easy to do on your first charge if you use BRUTAL BUT KUNNING, or DUELIST SPEED. Even if you charge an occupied obj, you only need a push to occupy it in time for the end of the activation. If you push the model on the obj during the opponent power phase, you can easily score this objective just existing. Remember: you can score this even after an opponent's Activation.
STEADFAST DEFENDER: place a Guard token, use Aggressive Defence, equip GRIM TENACITY or SURVIVAL INSTINCT, you'll score this in a moment or you'll force your opponent think twice before attacking your Orruks while on objectives. Whitch kind of game we were playing? Control? Good luck, my Orruks can stand your worst blow while scoring.
Oh, and if you want a last chance, use REBOUND: on your 33% you'll stay right where you are.
FIRED UP, FRUGAL, SOLID GAINS, PATH TO VICTORY, TEMPORARY VICTORY: Easy to score Objectives, they speak for themselves just read them ;)
SUPREMACY: your motivational objective.
COVETED SPOIL: they score Supremacy? You need only to control your 2 Objectives to counter it with another 3 Glories.
Everything that pushes you, is your friend. Some AGGRO bonus is welcome when you come to your mission about killing that one fighter or just let your opponent drown in fear.
RESTLESS PRIZE: this card WIN MATCHES. Use it on the first turn to score a last activation Supremacy, To put the last objective under your enemy's feet to score COVETED SPOILS or to win a draw because you control more objectives than your opponent with that last ploy: be Kunnin'!
BRUTAL BUT KUNNING: use it to push Gurzag on that objective after the Attack Action! Use it to avoid being killed if you charge too soon.
KUNNING BUT BRUTAL: dare your opponent to charge you after you have moved.
AGGRESSIVE DEFENCE: you have a useless 1 Dice defence, but a priceless 3/4 damage output with half your band. Your opponent will sweat every time. Remember: Aggressive Defence stops you from being pushed back, stops reactions that happens before dice are rolled, like POTION OF RAGE and you can use it also agaist ranged attack just to avoid the eventual push (even if you lose the Attack Action).
SHIFTING REFLECTION: use it to score SHORTCUT and to bring mayhem on your opponent. You have to kill that leader? Try to move the objectives under its feet and shift position during his power phase. Remember to leave an angry Bonekutta or Gurzag just there for the attack (better Gurzag Inspired, or you'll broke the 2nd Golden Rule).
CONFUSION: score Shortcut or swap place on that objective with an opponent fighter on Guard.
TWO STEPS FORWARD, SIDESTEP: push you on objectives during the power phase, use Tome of Glory with just one activation while scoring other "end of activation" objectives for a spectacular Glory Rain.
JEALOUS DEFENCE: attack after SHIFTING REFLECTION, or in your enemy power phase, but remember: DON'T CHARGE!
REBOUND: hey, so you want to one-shot my 4 wounds Orruks? You'll get Rebounded!!! (I hate this card but as someone said: I f you can't beat them...).
DUELIST SPEED: Kill things (or not) then push into objectives or the next target. Or move away from the middle, attack one fighter then go back defending that objective!
FANEWAY CRYSTAL take that Objective in your opponent's board, but be careful: ALWAYS EQUIP IT AT THE END OF THE ENEMY POWER PHASE, after he passes. If all the objectives are occupied, you'll be blocked!
SURVIVAL INSTINCT, GRIM TENACITY: that objective IS YOURS. Move that 7 Wounds Orruk from it. Keep some pushes if someone push you away or move the objective from behind you.
SUDDEN GROWTH, TOME OF VITALITY, GREAT FORTITUDE: pump up your Orruks if they get wounded or risk to be one-shotted! Keep Gurzag alive long enough to win the match while your opponent tries to stop him losing time and resources!
TOME OF GLORIES: keep scoring, even if it's just a third turn glory you draw at the 3rd activation.
GREAT SPEED: movement 3 is not enough, but movement 4 will make your opponent jaws drop every time.
GREAT STRENGHT: your 4 damage option, but remember that HAKKA & BASHA inspired can reach 3 damage with a 3 dice roll if you fight goblins ;)
GOOD AND BAD MATCHUPS
There's nothing you can't handle, but there's something everyone hates at the current meta:
Grymwatch score things damn easily: go in with Gurzag AND Bonekutta in your 3rd and 4th activation to prevent them to Inspire.
Rippa's is a pain in the *** against Control: punish him at the first CALCULATED RISK he scores an place Lethals so that you can use them to your own advantage. Place Bottleneck maps and put that lethal in the righ hex, but remember to score YOUR Calculated Risk if it happens.
Thundrick: remember DON'T DON'T DON'T go in before the 3rd, 4th activation of the first round, or you'll make them inspire quite for everything they do or they don't. They need your help, so don't give them the possibility.
Cursebreakers, Condemners, Stormcasts: deploy the long way board, or better the bottleneck, and AVOID to be on border hexes, they love those 1 damage cards.
Godsworn Hunt: they have 2 supremacy, so you'd better have that RESTLESS PRIZE on your first hand. If you don't you have 2 options: mulligan your hand and cross fingers or go the Aggro way.
Always go second if you can, be the last to activate, if you don't have the opportunity to shut down half his band with a good Gurzag hand of course.
Zarbag's Gits: be careful to the Fanatic, place blocked hex boards and well placed lethals and if you could die, attack the fanatic with Inspired Gurzag. Two hammers with a reroll can beat a 3 dice defence. Push one model deep in his board, with a bit of luck he could try to kill him instead of using fanatic to push you away from objectives (yes, the Fanatic pushes you even if you're on guard).
Thorns: just move well and don't put lethals where you could damn yourself, remember they're immune. If it happens you have a Varclav around after a Push or a ShiftingReflection, CHOP HIM DOWN and Turn Off their engine.
That's some of the main meta out there, Mollog probably has found his nap in Beastgrave.
Never charge Mollog without a plan that consider a second attack in the power phase: he has range 2.
I'll eventually return on this guide if new races comes out somehow dangerous.
Be careful to Grashnack's buffs: if you see that your Gurzag is going to be shotted by a 4 damage attack that push him on a trap, push him away if you can.
Don't lose your mind, and don't go AGGRO if you can score differently.
Score those Surge as fast as you can, ALWAYS mulligan if you have 4 Equip, and when you'll be veteran enough, Mulligan even if yu think your hand is not optimal against your opponent.
I know, it's a tough one, but you'll eventually learn.
Feel free to ask me anything I might have forgotten.
I'm going to probably change COVERED SPOILS with a mere OPENING GAMBIT.
Another Change could be going for COVETED SPOILS having PILLAGE in the deck: helps against Grymwatch as well, shooting down their objectives: hey I can't score Supremacy? You neither, while Coveted now only needs 4 Objectives to be scored, and you can score Temporary Victory just before the Power step! ;)
Distraction and Mischievous Spirits, united with Rippa's Meta made this Objective Card a bit situational: better score 1 more point than nothing.
Waiting the next expansion of course ;)
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