Deck: Aggro Wild Hunt
Hi fellow community members, today I'll be sharing a Skaeth's Wild Hunt build that I've found, in my opinion, to be the optimal way to play them. It's an updated version of the deck I won the Las Vegas Open Friday Grand Skirmish.
In this article you can expect a deck list, card breakdown, and play strategy.
The hunt begins!
I wanted to start things off with sharing the deck I ended up winning the LVO event with. Interestingly, I took the warband because I made a pact with Jonathan Davis (Well of Power, Path to Glory) and Tony Field (The End Phase) where we swore we'd take something "less meta" and "more fun" to the first event of the convention weekend. To make things more interesting, we all had to take Skaeth's Wild Hunt because someone jokingly mentioned they were like the Godsworn Hunt of Beastgrave (sorry Tom).
There were no restrictions on how we built the decks and upon arriving at the event, we found that we had built three different types of lists! Jonathan had opted for more of a objective/aggro flex build while Tony leaned heavily into control via some Katophrane Tomes.
I decided to play an all out aggro list. The idea was simple, charge, eliminate fighters, charge some more, maybe hit things, hopefully score glory, and then charge again for good measure.
Here's that list:
As you can see, I went with a no nonsense, pure aggro strategy. I focused on cards that helped me hit things hard and rewarded me for eliminations. Thankfully, it worked! I ended up winning the Friday Grand Skirmish after 6 single game rounds. I played into Stormsire's Cursebreakers, Mollog's Mob, Magore's Fiends, Steelheart's Champions, Mollog's Mob again, and Rippa's Snarlfangs. I ended up winning all of those games except for the single tie I received in the second round against Mollog's Mob.
When Hrothgorn's Mantrappers and The Wurmspat released, I knew I had to update the list as those sets included some great cards. Using the aforementioned deck as a blueprint, I came up with the following:
As you can see, not too many changes but solid ones. For the gambits, I swapped Frenzied Search and Mirror Move for Nightmare in the Shadows and Unnatural Truce. On the upgrade side, I dropped Larval Lance and subbed in Amberbone Spear.
I think there is an argument to swap Kurnoth's Snare for Unexpected Pitfall but I like the fact that I don't have to eliminate an enemy fighter to score the former. Keep in mind, you can also score Kurnoth's Snare by using a power card to push a fighter into a well placed lethal hex at any point in the game for an easy glory token.
Calculated Risk: One of the best surges in the game and pretty convenient to score as well due to the warband's high movement. Generally, I tend to use Lighaen via a bait charge but it really works with anyone.
Kurnoth's Scare: I'm a big fan of this card. As an aggro warband, you are going to be hyper aware of lethal placement and how you can best utilize them. By simply knocking an opponent into one, you get a quick glory token. The ideal situation is you draw this and one of your enemy push cards in your opening hand. Since everyone usually has their own version of Calculated Risk, they're generally near lethal hexes. If you happen to eliminate a fighter via the push, that's two glory - not bad.
Run Down: Perhaps the perfect card for this warband in terms of theme and synergy, especially when you consider their inspire mechanic. Charge someone and take an enemy fighter down - pretty simple and effective.
Run Through: This is another card that gels well with the innate strengths of the faction. While it does rely on Skaeth to get the job done, he's your most survivable fighter and should be well protected.
Brought to Bay: Since you're playing an aggro build, you're going to be entering your opponent's territory often while trying to take their fighters down. Pretty straightforward.
Gathered Momentum: Prior to inspiring, Lighaen and Skaeth can score this for you off the bat so in theory, you should have a fighter who should be able to score this for you at all times. It also adds synergy as you'll be charging a lot. Might as well score as much glory as you can before the dice determine your fate.
Combination Strike: Due to the lack of strong aggro end phase cards available and the overt power of glory multipliers, this card finds its way here. Yes, it is draw dependent but when it goes off, it's a great feeling. This can easily be swapped out for Great Gains if you are not a fan.
Keep Chopping: Aggro warbands love to charge and attack, in fact - I generally spend the first four activations of every game charging into my opponents forces. This card is a no-brainer and very welcome, solid 2 glory end phase card.
Opening Gambit: Another pretty reliable end-phase glory multiplier. You could maybe take Frugal instead but I like spending those upgrades pretty quick.
Solid Gains: Again, a similar card in concept as your other glory multipliers. It's fairly easy to score as you really only need an elimination or two coupled with a surge.
Hunt's End: You're probably only ever going to score this card for the former requirement. Most of the popular warbands (and well performing) have at least one four health fighter aside from the Gitz. You've got enough damage packed into the deck to take our Mollog and Hrothgorn - you should be good.
Safety in Swiftness: An ofter overlooked card but one I find to be quite reliable with the warband. Since the game plan is to charge often, you should be able to score this pretty often, especially in the first action phase. Just be careful of who you are charging and the hex placement - you need 3 out of the four to live.
Haymaker: When your strategy lives and dies on how often you can hit your opponent, this card is a must have. Ideally, you use it in the fourth activation so your fighter can mitigate the defensive penalty imposed.
Pit Trap: A very, very useful card that allows you to finish off those 3+ wound fighters, especially when the game starts. Picking off a 2 wound fighter with Althaen, or in desperate times with Lighaen, can be super useful as well.
Inspired Attack: Accuracy and damage? What's not to like. Keep in mind, this can only work with an inspired fighter so don't be afraid to ditch it in your opening hand if it's looking iffy as you won't physically be able to inspire until round 2 anyways.
Hunt in Concert: The only in faction gambit that I could fit, and probably the only one you need. Being able to adjust the positioning of your fighters can make or break charges, especially with two versions of Distraction running amuck.
Nightmare in the Shadows: Speaking of distractions, here's the first one. This card will help you move enemy fighters in to charge range, push them off objectives, and perhaps even send them to their doom via lethals. Great versatility and probably one of the best universals, ever. You get to take two!
Restless Prize: This is your only anti-objective deck, aside from Distraction and Nightmare in the Shadows. Use it wisely and you should be able to stall out opposing strategies. My favorite is playing it right after your opponent plays their copy.
Snare: See the entry for Pit Trap. Keep in mind that you can use both of these in quick succession if you can get an early hit on a particular juicy target like Duke Crackmarrow or the Briar Queen.
Unnatural Truce: Originally, I had Frenzied Search here but I found it to be a bit constrictive in terms of movement and placing. While there is a clear downside to giving your opponent a power card, it might not matter as you can just take them out. Plus, I think this deck relies quite heavily on the additional accuracy and power that the power deck has built in to win the day.
Distraction: See the entry for Nightmare in the Shadows.
Spectral Wings: Yep, we're a super fast warband but it doesn't hurt to add a bit more threat range, especially when facing those pesky, turtle builds. This card can win you games by giving you that extra hex or two you need to brutalize your target.
Gloryseeker: While the warband's attack profiles are nothing to slouch at, you need ensure that when you hit, it's enough to get the job done. This card helps you do that - it's also great versus Hrothgorn.
Potion of Rage: Speaking of hitting, we need to be bale to maximize key charges in order to score the many surges that rely on eliminating enemy fighters. This helps you do that - it's why it's in almost every deck ever.
Tome of Offerings: The final restricted card and one that this warband sorely needs. Objective and control strategies can score ridiculous amounts of glory so being able to keep up in pace with them, without having to change your game plan, is huge.
Amberbone Spear: It's similar to its cousin, Nullstone Spear, which is why it is such a good weapon upgrade. The extra range can be rather useful and the additional glory is pretty neat when you take someone out. It's a great weapon to give to Althaen as well as it can give her some additional lethality later in the game as people tend to prioritize Skaeth, Sheoch, and Karthaen.
Great Fortitude: If you're going to be brawling for three rounds, you need to stay alive. This staple here will improve your survivability - especially for the 3 wound fighters.
Great Strength: See the entry for Gloryseeker as the concept still applies. We need to be strong when we smack things.
Sting of the Ur-Grub: See the entry for Great Strength. Keep in mind of its range limitation - it won't work with the spear.
Eye of Kurnoth: Again, we need to be able to hit things so getting a permanent buff to any fighter's attack actions for the rest of the game is huge. Interestingly, you'll get ensnare when you fight opposing Quarries (read: fighters with Survival Instincts equipped).
Hale Charm: Probably one of the best defensive upgrades out there for an aggro warband. This makes sure you heavy hitters like Skaeth and Sheoch have a better chance of lasting into the later rounds of the game so that they can potentially score you those big glory eliminations.
Trophy Belt: See the Tome of Offerings entry. Keep in mind, you can stack these both on one fighter to unleash maximum carnage. The most obvious target is Skaeth, but Sheoch and Karthaen are great backups. Lighaen can also be kitted to both with the right damage upgrades (more on the cat later).
If you win the board roll of, I would take the board setup over placing 3 objectives 90% of the time. Thorns, Grymwatch, etc. will have the means to reach those objectives anyways so you might as well have them stay in their board edge and go to town by charging the best targets of opportunity.
The only time you're ever not going to take the board set up is when you are facing an aggro warband that needs eliminations just as much as you do, if not more. Think Rippa's, Magore's, etc. Counter-charging with the Wild Hunt is just as lethal and viable. Plus, by taking the objectives, you could trick your opponent into thinking you're playing more of a flex build which will increase their sense of urgency aka make more mistakes.
When facing Mollog and Hrothgorn, don't be afraid to focus them down early. If you can hit enough attacks and take them down early, you don't really have to worry much about the rest of the warbands, except for perhaps Thrafnir. Once the big guys are gone, the rest of easy pickings.
When you know you are going to start a game/round off with a charge but don't want to commit too heavily, start with Althaen. She's got a threat range of 7 and is decently accurate. As mentioned earlier, with the help of a lethal hex, Pit Trap, or Snare she can also net you an early elimination.
Tome of Offerings and Trophy Belt are what helps you stay in those high glory games. Ideally, you put both of them on Skaeth (who also has Great Fortitude and Hale Charm) so that you can get 3 glory eliminations at minimum. Sheoch and Karthaen are also a great back up for this with his inspired profile. However, don't focus on that strategy every single time. It's okay to split up those upgrades around the board to maximize your actions and, more importantly, threat. While "VOLTRON-ing" a fighter is super cool, it doesn't always work.
Don't throw away Lighaen. I know, I know - I too wish that he had better stats. Instead of getting a hyper aggressive version of Mufasa, we got a baby Simba. 🤦♂️Despite the cat's many shortcomings, he can still be there when you need him. I've won games with Lighaen as he can get pretty accurate once inspired. Giving him a damage buffing upgrade can make him a decent threat too. I once won a game against Mollog who had taken down Althaen, Karthaen, and Skaeth in the first round. Sheoch managed to take down the big man before succumbing to a teleporting doom shroom (don't ask). A fully kitted out Lighaen ended up charging the squigs and went to town scoring me like 5 glory, which gave me enough to win the game. He's also a great candidate for Gathered Momentum too.
Skaeth's Wild Hunt are my favorite Beastgrave warband and it's primarily because they are perhaps one of the most well balanced. They do tend to be a bit flimsy but can really unleash their offensive power with the right timing and target prioritization. Plus, they look freaking great!
While the strategy is fairly straightforward, it does require some finesse to play correctly. Deployment is huge and ensuring your opponent can't focus down a single threat before it's too late is paramount.
I look forward to people trying out this deck and perhaps making their own improvements upon it. It has served me well and I hope it serves you well in the coming future.
If you have any feedback, comments, and/or questions please do let me know. I love talking about the Wild Hunt.