Lady Harrow's Mournflight
Tabletop - BG Pre-Season
Since the release of Beastgrave, objective play has seen a resurgence in the form of Surge objectives that reward you for holding objectives at the end of an activation. The hold objective playstyle is primed and ready for a strong push into the Meta of Underworlds. But who does it best and what warband offers ways to capitalize on this playstyle and at the same time offer a way to counter your opponents attempts to score these objectives as well? This was the question I wanted to answer, and after some playtesting I would like to introduce my objective holding/denying Lady Harrow’s Mournflight.
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deck building guide
Branching Fate: This card works on attack rolls and defense rolls. Spectral armor boosts your defense rolls to 3 dice, allowing you to potentially score this in your opponents turn off one of their attacks. Your leader, Lady Harrow rolls 3 attack dice uninspired, while The Anguished One and The Maiden roll 3+ dice once inspired.
Shortcut: The Mournflight are one of a couple warbands with a way to score this card via a fighter card ability on inspired Widow Catha making it a very reliable objective because you don’t always have to top deck the right card or use your swap ploys when you don’t want to. Also scorable using confusion and shifting reflection or if your opponent swaps one of your fighters with their confusion, etc.
Dominion of Death: A great third end phase card that can help you take the lead, works even if your entire warband is out of action. It’s worth considering going first in the third round if you have the option, since you’ll score objectives first and this gives you a better chance of having scored more objectives than your opponent.
Fleeting Memories: Another reason it’s important to pay attention to your objective placement during set up. You’ll want your objectives to be the minimum distance apart and next to a starting hex. Your banshees start with 4 move, so 1 hex to get on the first objective and 3 hexes to get to the second will score you this card and set you up for your other objectives.
Inescapable Hunger: Make sure your board includes at least one blocked hex, preferably one of the new boards with several single blocked hexes. Great to score during a charge when trying to also score branching fate. Bonus points if you land on an objective that’s also next to a fighter. If you get to arrange boards, keep this objective in mind with your opponents blocked hexes. You have no ranged attacks so benefits you to keep their blocked hexes close to your deployment.
Nexus of Terror: Synergizes with your other objectives, written in a way that you may only need you hold one objective to score. Be aware of fighters that do not count towards holding objectives (squigs, grawl, etc.)
One Will: Holding an odd and an even by the end of an activation is very easy, especially if you chose to place your board second, giving you the ability to place 3 objectives in your territory and great odds at having an odd and even on your board. If the objective you need is in your opponents territory, then use your tools like confusion and shifting reflection to swap onto it before the turn you want to score that objective, since it’s at the end of an activation. Alternatively you can use Widow Catha’s ability once inspired to teleport over to an objective that’s hard to reach. You also have tools like swooping dive and soaring spite to reach deep into enemy territory. Just try to wait until the end of the round to dive deep or else you set yourself up for multiple attacks.
Coveted Spoils: This objective has a great payout and is included with the expectation that your opponent will be running hold objective cards as well. If your opponent has gone full agro and shows no sign of sitting on objectives, don’t be afraid to use your push enemy fighters cards to put them on objectives at the end of a round and use restless prize to slide the objective underneath their fighter.
Supremacy: This card will be more difficult now with the contention for objectives to sit on, but this deck has enough push tools included that you should be able to win the supremacy battle.
Dug in: This is rewarding you for scoring supremacy back to back. It doesn’t have to be the same 3 objectives and it’s not like you’re trying to leave the objectives anytime soon.
Path to Victory: There will be opportunities during the game to take out an enemy fighter or two. Especially once your fighters get inspired. Pick on the easiest target and take the greatest odds of getting the kill.
Swift Capture: This has the same principal as One Will, and the same tools should be at your disposal, especially Widow Cath’s teleport ability and shifting reflections.
Alternative Objectives: Keep them guessing, Loner, Fired Up.
Regal Vision: The Mournflight get a massive boost from inspiring, particularly widow Catha should be your target early on to allow you to utilize her teleport ability and go from 2 to 3 wounds, helping her avoid lethal damage from early attacks until you get more health on her. This card is great because you’re likely going to be on objectives anyway.
Shifting Reflection: As mentioned before this card helps you swap your fighter to the other side of the battlefield to help you claim One Will and Swift Capture. Just be aware of who you’re moving into your territory (Mollog, Stormsire, etc.) and make sure you’re sending your tankiest girl over to the enemy’s zone. You can set this card up with your push enemy fighter ploys and restless prize.
Call of the Grave: One of two faction specific push enemy fighter ploys, these are very valuable in the hold objective Meta. The fighter just needs to be pushed towards and friendly fighter so you need at least one alive. Use this to set up shifting reflection or knock your opponent off an objective. Ghartok and fighters on Guard are not immune to push ploys, just being driven back.
Frightful Aspect: Same as above, but a second faction specific push enemy fighter is exactly why Mournflight excel at this playstyle of denying enemy objectives.
Chilling Scream: This card is incredible. The key here is that it stops your opponent and only your opponent from playing POWER cards, that’s ploys, spells, upgrades, everything. But it doesn’t stop YOU! Play this first in the last power step of a round and shut down your opponents ability to A) push you off objectives B) react to you pushing yourself onto objectives C) react to you pushing their fighters off objectives and D) slipping in a last minute upgrade or spell. Take over the final power phase of a game and change the board state at will! This card is a game winner, use it wisely.
Enervating Sorrow: This card is a forceful denial of sorts. It only works on ploys, but 50% of the time you prevent your opponent from using a powerful ploy that may interrupt your objectives or the other 50% of the time you force them to discard another powerful gambit or upgrade in order to get off their effect. Keep an eye in how many power cards your opponent has in their hand. The less the better, because the more cards the more choices they have to make, and the higher the odds are the card they discard isn’t important to their strategy. If they choose not to discard a card and they still have 1-2 cards in your hand, this should tell you that whatever cards they’re holding onto, they believe are very important to their goals, so use this information when you determine whether you should or should not play Chilling Scream.
Soaring Spite: Doubling the move of a high move warband is great value, and the restriction on not being able to charge does not hurt this deck’s playstyle. This offers a great way to dive deep to enemy territory to snag an objective and also to score Fleeting Memories, Inescapable Hunger, Swift Capture and One Will.
Confusion: Swap onto an objective your opponent is sitting on, swap an opponent into a lethal hex if you need the kill/ have the opportunity and also scores Shortcut.
Restless Prize: Such a cool card. Can be used for denying your opponent’s hold objective, setting up shifting reflections, moving an objective within move range of your fighters, putting an objective in your opponents territory (Reclaim the Lamentari/Swift Capture) just all sorts of utility.
Sidestep: Simple card with limitless potential. Can help you get back on an objective you were pushed off. Put you in/out of range for an attack. Just don’t use it without absolutely needing it. Because if you use it too early, you’ll find a better way it could have been used later. Try to save for the end of round power step if at all possible.
Alternatives: Maddness Dart, Two steps forward, Irresistible prize
Crown of Avarice: I highly suspect this card will be restricted by the first FAQ of Beastgrave. It’s just too much value in its current form. It either nets you a +2 glory differential (you gain one glory that your opponent would have gained) or it’s a massive deterrent for killing a given fighter, which means it has the greatest value on smaller warbands due to the limitation of other viable targets. Both of these scenarios you’re good with.
Sudden Growth: The Harrow’s biggest strength is movement and their greatest weakness is low health, trade strength to cover weakness and make your fighters more difficult to remove. Ideal for Widow Catha, she has the lowest health pool and the ability to teleport, making the negative almost negligible for a +2 wound gain.
Tome of Glories: You’re going to be one objectives anyway, why not get what is essentially a 1 glory surge in exchange for a charge token. Most warbands take a charge just for the chance at scoring a surge off a kill or successful attack with that charge, with this you get the guarantee and you can use it round after round.
Tome of Vitality, Great Fortitude, Veil of Grief: Health, health and more health. Your greatest weakness in this warband is health and you can’t hold objectives if you’re dead, well the ghosts are already dead, you know what I mean. With reduced lethality in Beastgrave due to the loss of season one cards, having 4 or 5 health can make the difference in being killed in one action or taking multiple actions. And with the ghosts being immune to lethal hexes, this just makes them all the more difficult to get rid of.
Blazing Soul: Inspiration gives you so much in this warband and it can be hard to come by naturally with this playstyle, so having an upgrade to get you inspired is huge value. Use it on the Widow Catha or the Anguished One and it’s also a pseudo Great Fortitude due to their health increase they gain.
Spectral Armor: Lady Harrow’s is the only warband that starts with 2 dodge from the get go, and spectral armor just cranks that up to 11 by giving you 3 dodge defense. This also allows you to score branching fate off a defense roll, which happens more often than you would think it would.
Swooping Dash: Movement is already the strength of this warband so you may wonder what value +2 move really adds, and that is that it gives you a lot of options. With +2 move on an inspired fighter that’s a move total of 7, meaning you can really hang back until you need to go in and do it from a long distance while also allowing you a way to get inspired on those long charges by helping you get over an enemy fighter. If a fighter was 6 hexes away, a 5 hex move would only get you adjacent, but a 7 hex move gets your fighter through them and over them to get you inspired after the move/charge.
Survival Instincts: Survival is the name of the game. Putting a fighter in this warband on perma guard means you crank that 2 dodge up to a 2 shield/dodge AND you can’t be driven back off an objective. This is amazing for this warband and combined with spectral armor you have a whopping 3 dice shield/dodge fighter holding an objective like a boss. This comes with the added caveat that you become a Quarry but that doesn’t seem terrible considering the payoff And there currently are only a handful of warbands that can take advantage of it.
Alternative upgrades: Faneway Crystal, Stoneform, Quicksilver Greaves
Playstyle: I tend to think that decks in this game are capable of playing themselves. Once you know what your goal is and you get some practice seeing the cards, it’s not too difficult to come up with solutions to make plays. The goal of this deck is to capitalize on scoring objectives that reward you for outmaneuvering your opponent, reducing casualties suffered while also denying your opponent glory from hold objective cards and killing your fighters.
What I will speak to is the fighters themselves. These fighter cards have a lot going on and the bonus effects they gain from inspiring can be forgotten as the game goes on, particularly lady harrow. But keep in mind who you’re playing and what you want to do with the board state. For this particular playstyle, Widow Catha is priority number 1 to get inspired. She the most utility from her teleport ability and she is the easiest fighter in your warband to kill. 2 damage is not hard to come by, but once you inspire her to 3 wounds, she becomes significantly more survivable in terms of opponent action economy. Not many fighters can do 3 wounds from the start, and make sure you’ve set her up in the back of your board.
The second fighter that needs to inspire (if you have regal vision and blazing soul in your hand) should be Lady Harrow if your opponent is playing aggressively, so you can take advantage of her push mechanic and let her loose on a charge, or the Anguished One if you’re playing a defensive warband, so you can gain the extra wound and movement.
Going on Guard: In Beastgrave, having a fighter on Guard prevents that fighter from being driven back. Meaning for this warband, the only way to move them off an objective is by a gambit or killing them outright. The deck includes 4 health upgrades to make the death more challenging, but Guard gives this particular warband so much more than others. Gaining Block as a success on your dice rolls increases your survivability significantly and prevents you from taking bonus damage from Pit Trap or Snare. When you have no other actions to make that will give you any significant value or score an objective, seriously consider putting a fighter on guard, because it will drastically increase survivability. This is also what makes Survival Instincts amazing on this warband.
Mistakes to Avoid: Don’t blow all of your push ploys just because you have them in your hand. This deck takes the finesse approach rather than the all-out aggressive approach. Too many players will burn through their ploys because they’re used to the smoke em if you got em mentality of damage ploys. It’s much better to hang onto your push ploys for the end than to burn through them in the beginning. Sometimes that means you won’t cycle through all 5 of your power cards in a turn and that’s OK!
This deck has plenty of room to evolve as Beastgrave moves forward. With only 1 restricted card in this whole deck, its likely the core cards will stay the same even after the next wave of restricted cards. The inclusion of so many quality faction specific cards also tells you that this warband does what no others can do and plays with a lot of flavor.
Give the deck a try and let me know how it goes, I hope you’re able to make the most of it and tweak it to your liking. Let me know any lessons learned and please share your success/failures so we can learn together. ALao let me know if you think another faction can accomplish the same goal in a better way.
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