Event Review: Healing the Glades
As part of the past release weekend, I was very keen on trying to win a piece of glass with both Thundrik's Profiteers and Ylthari's Guardians early on. As fate would have it, there was a local tournament on the actual release day, Saturday, and the next day as well, on Sunday. The Sunday tournament was held at Games Workshop Royal Oaks and I figured I'd try my luck with the Guardians. Again, like the Profiteers, the tournament itself was the first time I'd be piloting the Sylvaneth warband. I find playing in a competitive environment the best way to learn, especially when you get your butt kicked.
As you can tell from the photo above, I was able to win the local event with Ylthari's Guardians.
In this article you will find a deck breakdown, summary of games, and my final thoughts on the event.
Note: If you are looking for my thoughts on the warband as a whole and a deeper dive into their fighter cards, check out one of my previous articles here.
While building the deck, I knew I wanted to focus on a couple things. In addition to adding in the right amount of healing cards for inspirations purposes, I figured I would focus on Gallanghann and Ylthari the most. Stat-wise, they are the most powerful and I was really interested in seeing what they were capable of. Furthermore, I wanted to try out a lot of the new spell gambits and really punish my opponent from a distance before, in theory, finishing them off with my melee fighters.
The objectives are fairly straightforward. I love score immediate cards so the deck is littered with them. The others are fairly strong in their own right and can help gain some early glory should combat elude me early on.
The gambits are a mix of healing and damage cards. I wanted my fighters inspired as soon as possible while also taking advantage of the large repertoire of spells now available. I also have some anti-objective tech as well.
Finally, the upgrades focus on enhancing my warbands potency and survivability.
Change of Tactics is a great score immediate card that allows you to score a glory token without rolling any dice. Although it can be pretty telegraphed, it's great for these guys and in general. Escalation is almost an auto-include at this point. You and your opponent will naturally play objectives throughout the course of the game. Might as well get rewarded even further for it. Masterstroke was taken for the fact that this warband has some unique reactions that deal damage to your opponent's fighters. Just don't forget about them! Also, Trap and Ready for Action can aid in its scoring as well.
Victory After Victory is a great force multiplier in your deck, especially with Superior Tactician restricted. You have eight score immediate cards in the deck, this is pretty easy to score as a result. Lithe Spirits allows you to gain a glory for making two reactions in a phase. In addition to your innate reactions and a couple power cards, scoring this card is almost but certain. I really like Reclaim the Lamentiri. You can essentially score this off deployment if you set your objectives right. Even if you have two objectives on your side of the board, it's still fairly doable. Keep in mind that this does get harder to score as the game progresses.
Songs of Hatred is great. It's pretty easy to cast two spells with in this deck as you have four spells plus Ylthari's spell attack. Strike Swiftly gives you a glory for eliminating an enemy fighter off of a charge - something that usually occurs in the game. You can use some upgrades to help in its scoring. Calculated Risk is just busted. As long as you got a lethal hex on the board, you can almost always score this. Plus since this warband, in theory, heals a lot, the con is easily dismissible.
Combination Strike is taken because again, you have eight score immediate objectives. As long as you are able to score most of them, which some of them are really easy to do, you'll get a nice two glory boost. Scorched Earth is a solid card in general due to the relative ease of casting Abasoth's Unmaking. With the inclusion of Leech Power, the chances of you scoring this reliably went through the roof. Sorcerous Scouring is pretty decent due to the fact that you can score via Ylthari's ranged attack, and a couple gambits like Pangs of the Great Lack and Sphere of Aqshy.
Healing Potion is pretty much an auto-include for this warband. You need to heal to inspire and what better card to do that than this. Hidden Paths allows you manipulate your movement in order to either get to a fighter that's out of reach or to get one of your fighter's out of a poor spot. Ready for Action, in my opinion, is the best universal gambit in the game. You should always take this card. You are now playing with thirteen activations instead of twelve - that's huge!
Trap gives you a bit of a damage boost and plays into your reactions a bit more. Your fighters aren't one shotting the tougher fighters but this helps with that. Healing Amphora is pretty much inspire Gallanghann. Should he already be inspired, it essentially inspires any fighter adjacent to him. Last Guardians allows you to put a fighter on guard without spending an activation to do so. Always use this with Change of Tactics for maximum efficiency.
Leech Power allows you to inspire your leader and score Scorched Earth. That's pretty good considering Ylthari has high movement. She can get to objectives fairly easily and ruin opposing objective based play as well. Pangs of Great Lack deals a damage to any enemy fighter within five hexes. That's crazy. It's a bit harder to cast than channel spells but with two dice, you should be hitting this often. Abasoth's Unmaking also ruins opposing objective play and aids in the scoring of Scorched Earth. It's also another spell which helps with Songs of Hatred.
Both of these spells effectively deal a damage to opposing enemy fighters. Chip damage is awesome and these both combo well with other objectives in your deck as well. Keep in mind that you can't score Sorcerous Scouring with the first card.
Constant Growth gives you plus one wound which is kind of important since three of your fighters have three or less health. Warding Stance bumps Gallanghann's defensive roll to three block. That's perhaps the most powerful defensive stat in the game. Even if your opponent's fighters have cleave, you still have a good chance of rolling a crit. Archer's Focus gives Ahnslaine and Ylthari some great accuracy which can be important during key moments of the game.
Fated Blade is an interesting card. The temptation to hit an opposing fighter for up to five damage is strong. It is however, unlikely. It's probably better for high model count warbands with weaker fighters. I took it to give Ahnslaine a bit of an offensive boost. Gloryseeker and Great Strength just make it easier to take down higher wound fighters, something this deck isn't the best at. I almost always take both of them.
Potion of Rage is great for ensuring key attacks hit when you need them to. Although I have had a bit of poor luck with it, when it works it's golden. Sudden Growth helps you keep a key fighter in the game longer than they should. That's important since again, your fighter's wound characteristics aren't the best, aside from Gallanghann. Well of Power is a fun card that makes casting spells pretty much a joke. Sure you have a higher chance of miscasting but Ylthari negates that through her innate reaction.
Blessing of Hydragos: This is a pretty sweet card. You can charge or make an attack, and then move your fighter offensively or defensively. That's pretty strong and helps you do what you need to do without sacrificing positioning.
Tome of Healing: I'm a bit iffy on this card. Spending an action to heal, and therefore inspire, a fighter may not be worth it. If you don't like it, put in Tome of Vitality.
Note: If you want to cut the deck to 10 power cards and 10 upgrades, I recommend dropping Tome of Healing and Hidden Paths.
Games Workshop Royal Oaks Event:
GW Royal Oaks is located just outside the loop in the Houston area. Brian, the store manager, is very kind and knowledgable.
This store in particular has perhaps the weakest following of Underworlds in the Greater Houston area. 40K rules this place with Age of Sigmar being fairly popular as well. We had a total of four players show up. A bit on the lower end but enough for quorum, at least to Brian's standards.
The warbands brought were: 2 sets of Thundrik's Profiteers, Zarbag's Gitz, and my Ylthari's Guardians.
Due to time constraints in regards to other more popular events, the format was three rounds of best of one. Interestingly, it was mandatory for players to cut each other's decks.
Round 1: Zarbag's Gitz
First game of the day was against a buddy of mine, Steven. We played the day before in the final and it was close! Today he brought out the Gitz and I had no idea on how he was going to play them!
Board Roll: Aman
Deployment Roll: Steven
Initiative Roll: Aman
S1: Stikkit moved to objective 5.
A1: Drew a power card.
S2: Dibbz moved up, Red Kap scurried too. I played Pangs of the Great Lack and dealt one damage to Gobbaluk. Ylthari inspired because I rolled a crit. Steven played Encroaching Shadows on Skhathael, dealing a damage.
A2: Ylthari moved up a hex. I played Abasoth's Withering on Gobbaluk and eliminated him. I scored Songs of Hatred.
S3: Drizgit charged Gallanghann but I critically blocked.
A3: Gallanghann hit Drizgit for two and pushed him back, I followed up with Trap to eliminate the opposing fighter. I scored Masterstroke. I put Tome of Healing on Ylthari and Steven played Sneaky Step on Bonekrakka.
S4: Bonekrakka charged Gallanghann but missed. Transfixing Stare was played onto Gallanghann and I put Potion of Rage on him.
A4: Gallanghann swung at Bonekrakka with the potion but it was critically blocked.
Steven: Ploymaster and Mad Scurry.
S1: Bonekrakka attacked Gallanghann but missed. Steven played Great Fortitude on Bonekrakka and followed up with Ready for Action. This time, Bonekrakka hit for two and drove Gallanghann back. My fighter took another damage due to Trap. I played Healing Amphora on Gallanghann which healed him for one and inspired him.
A1: Gallanghann hit Bonekrakka for two damage. I played Healing Potion on Gallanghann and healed him for two wounds. Great Strength went on Bonekrakka.
S2: Bonekrakka charged Gallanghann and missed.
A2: Gallanghann went on guard.
S3: Drew a power card.
A3: Gallanghann charged Bonekrakka and eliminated the squig. I scored Change of Tactics while Steven put Mutating Maul on Prog.
S3: Snirk moved up and reacted in order to inspire. Steven played Invisible Walls.
A4: Skhathael moved to objective 1.
Aman: Reclaim the Lamentiri.
S1: Prog charged Skhathael and Stikkit scurried up a hex. The attack was critically blocked. Zarbag tried casting Jealous Hex but failed. Steven played Spoils of Battle into Tome of Offering on Zarbag.
A1: Ylthari moved to objective 4. I played Leech Power, destroyed the objective, and scored Scorched Earth. Skhathael went on guard via Last Guardians. Sudden Growth went on Ylthari.
S2: Red Kap charged Skhathael but I blocked it. Dibbz scurried.
A2: Drew a power card.
S3: Zarbag charged Ylthari and dealt two damage. Ylthari cast Sphere of Aqshy at Zarbag and dealt a damage.
A3: Ylthari attacked Zarbag but missed.
S4: Snirk used his action and hit Ylthari for two damage.
A4: Drew a power card and played Blessing of Hydragos on Gallanghann.
I won 11-3.
Round 2: Thundrik's Profiteers
In the second round, I played against my local rival, Raymond and this time he was trying out the Profiteers. Last time we played at this location, he beat me in our Mollog mirror so I was looking forward to our rematch!
Board Roll: Raymond
Deployment Roll: Raymond
Initiative Roll: Aman
R1: Drew a power card.
A1: Drew a power card.
R2: Ironhail moved to objective 1.
A2: Drew a power card.
R3: Lund moved to objective 2. I played Pangs of the Great Lack and dealt a damage to Lund. Raymond played Healing Potion and healed Lund back up.
A3: Skhathael charged Lund. Raymond reacted with Stand and Shoot but missed. My fighter's attack was critically blocked.
R4: Khazgan charged Skhathael and dealt two damage. I played Healing Potion and my fighter was healed for two and inspired.
A4: Ahnslaine charged at Lund via objective 3 but this attack was critically blocked.
Aman: Reclaim the Lamentiri. I played Constant Growth on Skhathael.
R1: Dead-Eye fired at Skhathael and dealt a damage. Raymond scored What Armour? and promoted Khazgan. Raymond then played Potion of Rage on Khazgan and followed it up with Ready for Action. Khazgan eliminated Skhathael.
A1: Ylthari went on guard.
R1: Khazgan charged Ahnslaine but missed. Augmented Buoyancy went on Khazgan.
A2: Ylthari charged Lund but missed. I scored Change of Tactics.
R3: Ironhail shot at Ylthari but I critically blocked.
A3: Gallanghann charged at Ironhail and eliminated the enemy fighter. I scored Strike Swiftly and played Great Strength on Gallanghann.
R4: Bjorgen fired Ylthari but missed. I played Fated Blade on Ahnslaine.
A4: Ahnslaine charged at Bjorgen but we tied on combat. I drove the enemy commander back and played Trap which dealt a damage.
Raymond: Fired Up, Escalation, and Victory After Victory.
Aman: Escalation and Victory After Victory.
R1: Bjorgen fired at Ahnslaine but I critically blocked. I cast Sphere of Aqshy on Bjorgen which dealt a damage. I also cast Abasoth's Unmaking which scored me Songs of Hatred. I put Blessings of Hydragos on Gallanghann.
A1: Gallanghann moved up via a lethal hex to score me Calculated Risk. I put Sudden Growth on Gallanghann. Raymond played Toxic Gases and I took the damage on Gallanghann. Faneway Crystal and Archer's Focus went on Dead-Eye.
R2: Dead-Eye used his upgrade to charge via objective 3 at Ahnslaine. He dealt two damage.
A2: Gallanghann attacked Bjorgen and hit him for three, eliminating the enemy commander.
R3: Khazgan shot at Ahnslaine and missed.
A3: Ahnslaine charged at Khazgan with the Fated Blade but only dealt one damage... Raymond reacted with My Turn and eliminated my fighter.
R4: Khazgan charged at Ylthari but missed.
A4: Cycled an objective.
Raymond: Versatile Fighter and Live by the Code.
I won 12-10.
Round 3: Thundrik's Profiteers
In the final round, I played one of our community veterans, Paul. He has been playing since the game's release so I knew we were in for a good game!
Note: I tossed my power card hand. I drew four objectives and Ready for Action. I tossed the hand and, wait for it, drew another four objectives with Trap...
Board Roll: Aman
Deployment Roll: Paul
Initiative Roll: Aman
P1: Tossed an objective and drew another one.
A1: Drew a power card. Paul played Spoils of Battle into Swordbreaker onto Garodd.
P2: Dead-Eye moved to objective 3. I attempted to cast Pangs of the Great Lack but failed.
A2: Ahnslaine charged via objective 2 and hit Dead-Eye for one damage.
P3: Ironhail went on guard.
A3: Ylthari moved to objective 4. Paul played Ambitious Attack.
P4: Ironhail charged at Ahnslaine but the attack was blocked. Paul did score Change of Tactics which promoted Khazgan.
A4: Skhathael charged Ironhail but the attack was also blocked.
Aman: Reclaim the Lamentiri. I put Potion of Rage on Gallanghann and Constant Growth on Skhathael.
A1: Ylthari fired her spell attack at Ironhail and dealt a single damage. I drove the fighter back and followed up with Trap which eliminated the duardin. I cast Abasoth's Unmaking which removed objective 3 and scored me Songs of Hated. I put Skhathael on guard via Last Guardians.
P1: Khazgan charged at Skhathael and dealt two damage. Paul followed up with Toxic Gases and Skhathael was pushed two hexes away. Prepared Position put Khazgan on guard.
A2: Skhathael charged Khazgan and dealt two damage. I scored Change of Tactics. Paul played Distraction on Skhathael and pushed him to the right. Paymaster went on Bjorgen.
P2: Dead-Eye fired at Skhathael and dealt a damage.
A3: Ylthari charged at Khazgan but missed. I put Sudden Growth on Skhathael.
P3: Dead-Eye fired at Skhathael again and dealt another point of damage.
A4: Gallanghann charged Khazgan and with help from Potion of Rage eliminated the opposing fighter.
P4: Bjorgen charged Skhathael but it was critically blocked. He scored Concerted Attack and promoted Bjorgen.
P1: Dead-Eye charged onto objective 1 at Skhathael but missed. Inspiration Strikes was played on Dead-Eye. I played Healing Potion on Skhathael which healed him for two and inspired him.
A1: Skhathael charged at Dead-Eye but it was critically blocked. I successfully cast Abasoth's Withering on Bjorgen. Paul played Second Wind.
P2: Dead-Eye hit Skhathael for two.
A2: Ahnslaine charged Dead-Eye but it was blocked.
P3: Bjorgen fired at Skhathael but missed.
A3: Ylthari moved to objective 2. I played Leech Power and scored Scorched Earth. Great Strength went on Gallanghann and Tome of Healing went on Ylthari. Paul played Champion's Fortitude on Dead-Eye.
P4: Bjorgen fired at Skhathael and my fighter finally went down.
A4: Gallanghann charged and eliminated Garodd which scored me Strike Swiftly.
Paul: Fired Up.
I won 11-3.
I will have to say, Ylthari's Guardians pleasantly surprised me. I wasn't sure how they'd stack up, especially against Profiteers and objective based warbands. However, if you are cognizant about board selection and are aware of your positioning, I think you'll be quite alright. Your fighters, as befitting of aelves, are very fast and have some insane threat ranges. If you take advantage of that and avoid protracted combat activations, you'll be quite lethal with them.
Ylthari is a fantastic fighter. Sure, she has only three wounds but you really only want her to cast spells, at least initially. Once she's got some upgrades on her, she's pretty much a faster Stormsire.
Gallanghann was also awesome. I didn't really get to take advantage of his superior defensive statistics much but he was certainly the cornerstone of the warband.
Also, shoutout to Skhathael for being significantly more useful than I though he'd be. He can definitely hold his own in combat and if you roll enough criticals, he can finish opponents off quite regularly too.
Ahnslaine is your, comparatively, worst fighter. I'm sure you can take advantage of her insane ranged four attack but she's pretty much good for nabbing advantages and maybe plinking foes of their held objectives. She was my Fated Blade caddy.
All in all, I am happy to cross this warband off the list. I think they're a fun hybrid warband that I will revisit quite often. Plus, they just look so damn cool!
At the time of this writing, I have five warbands left to go on the Underworlds Challenge - Ironskull's Boyz, Spiteclaw's Swarm, The Chosen Axes, Eyes of the Nine, and Godsworn Hunt. The article for my recent win with Steelheart's Champions is overdue and should be up in the next couple of days.