I’m bringing you my first Harrowdeep article by doing something different today; walking you through my initial deck build on my chosen warband for the season: Xandire’s Truthseekers. The recent article regarding Warband Relationship Theory was very inspired by a conversation around finding a warband to sink yourself into. Well, this season, I’ll be Stormcast all the way! I’ve been playing them from an Age of Sigmar stance and they are the reason that I ever picked up a GW product. With the way design has changed over the last couple of years, I have a good hope that these golden lions can be a competitive warband. Will I be right? Only time, blood, sweat, tears, reps and practice will tell…
I’ll go through the warband to look at the strengths and weaknesses and get a general sense as to my playstyle and the type of cards that will work for the deck. Then, I’ll add all of my potential cards to the pool (first glance, definitely may be missing some stuff) and cut down from there.
I’m not going to go through each fighter and review the overall warband as I really want to get to the deckbuilding. In broad terms, you’ve got three fighters with the standard Stormcast profile (three move, one block that goes to two when inspired and four wounds). Taros is a bird that is speedy, has two dodge and two wounds. Inspiration happens when one of the three Stormcast are taken out of action. Each of them gets a dying reaction (a heal, a push or an attack). Two of them are melee focused warriors, reminiscent of Brightshield and Steelheart in my mind, with a third who’s effectively a Stormcast version of Ahnslaine from Ylthari’s Guardians, except with Kyrae’s attack profile. Spicy.
Looking at both the fighters and the cards, I’m going to want to play them aggressively. There’s great attack actions and some cool synergy for being in the fight. I think damage (other than Dhoraz) and mobility will be their issue from a stat stance. So, expect me to be focused on shoring up those stats in the power deck.
Well, this is worrisome. I’ve identified only 14 objectives that I might want to take. At least I’ve got 6 surges. For me, this is a big indicator of warband strength right here, and I know I’ve got an uphill battle to climb. But, it’s also early in the season and I have yet to see how the new rules will change the game.
For surges, I’m actually pretty happy. Savage Exemplar is the only card that requires a kill. Surge of Aggression I think is pretty doable with Dhoraz and will probably come up in the course of the game. Both Branching Fate and Unequal Contest are cards that have to do with the way the dice go, but I’m fine with them because I’m planning to roll a number of attacks. And Stormrider makes it so I can shoot at four range over and over trying to score these. Brave the Darkness is great at the end of the round (similar to Endless Revel). Blaze of Glory means I should build some reactions into the power deck but it should be trivial. And Contest of Equals is a good way to take advantage of a failed attack. I’ve decided to get rid of Unequal Contest for now as I think that would only really be consisten on Dhoraz.
In the end phase cards, I’ve gone decently aggressive. Really, the deck will push me to charge into the enemy territory and make some kills. Bold Deeds, We Suffice and Fearless Advance all benefit from that playstyle. Banish the Dark is easy with Stormrider or by making a kill. I’m going to try Stalwart Few to see how inspiration actually goes. I’m skeptical that it will be easy, but we shall see. Really, this came down to Clean Kills versus Underdog, both of which I don’t like here. One requires a lot more investment in damage and lack of ping (but I’ve got an archer…) and the other is the standard anti-Primacy (but scorable off Taros’ inevitable death). I’m going to keep Underdog because I’m worried the deck won’t be consistent anyway, so I may score it off of the secondary condition of the opponent having scored three or more cards than me.
So, here’s where we ended up. 16 glory and a pretty aggressive game plan. Let’s see what the other decks can bring.
My initial choices were leaning into accuracy, movement and reactions (for Blaze of Glory).
Ok, let’s start with the cards that I won’t take out under any circumstance. Outrun Death and Membranous Wings are essential for a deck that wants to get into the enemy’s territory and be aggressive. Duel of Wits and Countercharge are both reactions, one of which helps with my deck and the other is a good movement trick. Initially, I had added Hypnotic Buzz for a Distraction effect, but I switched it out for Mirror Move since it’s also a reaction. Advance as One is one to four Sidestep cards in one. So, I’ve got six spoken for, now to figure out what the last four are.
I think I’ll take out Acidic Strike and Your Blade is Broken. As much as I like both effects and they are reactions, I think they’re just too limited. Cautious Manoeuvre seems cool, but actually will stop me from scoring Brave the Darkness, so it’s got to go. I think I’ll keep Flawless Strike, as I’d like to try it. Which also means that a reroll would be nice in Called Strike. I’ll ditch Live for the Fight and keep Inspired Attack for now as I’d like to see how easy inspiration is. And for now, I’ll keep Crushing Momentum to see if that’s going to be relevant. So long, Claim to Domination.
My upgrades will further shore up weaknesses and make sure I can stay in combat. I’ll start in the same vein as the gambits. What cards can’t I give up? Well, there’s the very easy trio of Fighter’s Ferocity, Gloryseeker and Great Strength. Gotta have the damage. Silent Ring is a card draw engine that’s also a reaction so I really like it. Keepsake is a great card giving a fighter single support on attacks and Indomitable Will will help keep my fighters alive.
With the plan to be in enemy territory, I’ll keep Scavenged Armour over Great Fortitude. I think that Savage Soldier will take the place of both Augmented Limbs and The Seal of Primus. This one came together quick after this. I ended up adding Preyscent, which is a great way to keep Xandire or Dhoraz in the fight late game, as well as having a reaction.
I think I should explain Berserker Rage. It’s a card that can make Dhoraz truly scary early on in the game. But why would I want that, if the opponent can just easily kill him? Because, if I can convice an opponent to kill him or Xandire because they’ve got this one, I’ll inspire the warband. Seems worth it to me in theory.
Xandire’s Truthseekers V1
So, I don’t think I have to go through the deck overall, but I wanted to link and show you the final one I’ve built to start. I’m pretty excited to try this out, but I definitely think there are weaknesses. Speed and mobility will be an issue throughout each game. Having the damage to take care of other brawlers could also be an issue. And the biggest to me is a concern about scoring glory effectively.
My plan is to start playing this as soon as I can. Expect to see an article soon going through some of my experiences and a V2 deck build as I’ve seen what’s been working and what is not. What are your thoughts? What did I miss? If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to me at email@example.com or on the Underworlds Discord channels as Matt ~ Set The Tempo. Take care and set your own tempo!