Product Review: Gift Pack
Hey everyone, here today to drop a quick review about the Gift Pack release. As you can see, the gift pack comes with 32 cards (12 objectives, 10 gambits, 10 upgrades), a playmat, and 3 tokens to mark your rounds.
For anyone who is wondering what the Gift Pack is, it is a special release that re-releases some of the cards that were rotated out in the Shadespire universal set. The cards in this pack contain a combination of older cards (with newer artwork) and brand new cards designed specifically for Beastgrave.
All cards included in this pack will be legal in both the Championship format and the Alliance format.
I would like to thank Games Workshop for sending me a copy to review early so that I could share this awesome information with you all.
Let's check it out!
Playmat & Tokens:
The playmat included in this set is an absolute beauty to behold. It's got a vibrant red background with clearly defined spaces for your objective deck, power deck, discard piles for both, and a space for the objective cards you successfully scored.
Additionally, there are spaces for your activations tokens and the top of the mat has spaces for your glory tokens as well.
The standout feature is the end phase counters. The gift pack also includes three tokens that designed to be placed in the big, numbered circles on the right hand of the mat. Now players can keep track of what turn it is to ensure they play their game correctly.
The tokens themselves are great quality and quite sturdy. They feel and weigh very similarly to poker chips. Again, they too have a vibrant color palette and the logo on them looks crisp.
Note: As per my previous articles, I'll be using the following rating system.
A score of "A" means that the card is very powerful and should almost always be included in your deck builds. "B" means that the card is strong and will usually be included, but not always. A score of "C" means that card can be good in certain situations but will usually require extra support. Lastly, a score of "D" means the card is on the weaker side of things. It doesn't mean that it is inherently bad but perhaps can be considered hard to use or counter intuitive to your game plan.
Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions. You might rate these cards differently.
Bold Conquest: This is pretty easy to score and can be done pretty reliably as well. Ideally, you want to do this at the end of the turn so you don't keep your leader exposed to retaliation for too long. Solid.
Concerted Attack: Gang up on an enemy with three different fighters. Honestly, that seems like too many resources dedicated to doing on thing. Furthermore, most fighters can't withstand more than two attacks.
Cover Ground: This card is soo good, especially for the Beastgrave warbands as they all, so far, have some high movement. Furthermore, it's passive glory! You are going to see this everywhere.
Finders of the Way: This is probably doable for most larger warbands as long as you get draw into your keys. Seems hard to do though. For those of you wondering, Cursed Keys are the keys from Shadespire. They all just go under that naming convention umbrella.
Guardians of the Way: This is hard to do, especially in Beastgrave. Objective tokens matter so much, there's always someone on them and expending the resources to try to score this seems pointless.
Plant a Standard: This is a decent card. Ideally, you don't want your leader holding an objective in opponent's territory as they are more prone to getting hit by multiple enemy fighters. In Beastgrave, your leaders are more important than ever and exposing them like that doesn't seem prudent.
Steadfast Defender: So, the only way you can realistically score this is if your opponent misses the attack or you have a fighter on guard who will survive the damage dealt to them. Too many variables for my liking.
Tactical Genius 1-3 & Tactical Genius 3-5: Bringing these cards back seems fine. Generally, I think they are too hard to score consistently as you never really know where those objectives are going to end up.
Victorious Duel: This card has always been fun and challenging when it comes to scoring. Overall, some warbands find it easier to score than others.
Tactical Supremacy 1-2 & Tactical Supremacy 3-4: Now that these are back in the mix, you won't be able to reliably anticipate which objectives tokens your opponent is going for. In an objective warband meta, they seem pretty strong, especially since you only need two objectives tot score two glory.
Daylight Robbery: It's a 50/50 to steal an opponent's unspent glory. Early on it can be pretty harsh for your opponent. Would I take it? Probably not - I don't think its worth a spot.
Distraction: This card is very strong, especially in an objective meta. More ways to push fighters off things or closer into your threat range is brutally effective.
Forward Planning: This is an interesting card. If you know you aren't going to move a fighter or are playing for Keys or Tomes, then this might be a pretty decent card for you. Otherwise, I think the penalty is too high.
Harnessed Power: This would have been great back in the Shardgale days but in this current meta, I don't see it's usefulness too much. Healing is always nice but the restrictions seem a bit too high.
Jealous Defense: I really like this card. If an opponent is within range of one of your fighters, you pretty much get a free attack as long as your fighter doesn't have a charge token. Keep in mind, your fighter can have a move token. It's solid.
Mischievous Spirits: In this current iteration of the game, this card is very powerful. Some might argue it is too good. It can effectively shut down your opponent's objective play for a whole turn and waste all the activations/gambits they spent trying to get their fighters on those objectives tokens in the first place. Ouch.
Misdirection: At this time, I don't think the meta is taking too many cards that specifically target individual fighters. Sure, there is Transfixing Stare but it's going to be really hard to misdirect that anyways. If targeting gambit cards rise in popularity, then this card will see resurgence.
No Time: I've always enjoyed this card and in Beastgrave, where pushes and upgrades are more important than ever, this card can really throw a wrench in your opponent's game plan. Playing against Cursed Keys? Just play this in the third end phase and ruin your opponent's game plan.
Rebound: Boy, do I have a lot of things to say about this card. Aside from it being very polarizing and eliciting a negative play experience, this card will win you games 33% of the time. 66% of the time however, it will just cause your opponent to tense up for a second and then do nothing. Again, when it works, it works well.
Spectral Wings: This card is awesome and a huge buff to aggro play styles. Unfortunately, this card will also be used by objective based warbands to jump onto objective tokens. Gaining a temporary +2 to your movement whether you want to charge or move is huge. Use it offensively or defensively, it's going to be clutch.
Grim Tenacity: Interesting upgrade. I suppose you can use it offensively to ensure your opponent can't push you out of their zone or our of your threat range. Defensively, this is solid for holding objectives.
Guardian Glaive: This is an amazing weapon. Objective based warbands can give their fighters a solid and very accurate attack. If you are going to be using it offensively, plan your charge path out well. I think you are going to see this a lot.
Lender's Lockbox: This is pretty cool in the fact that you can recycle a key upgrade, especially a restricted one like Sudden Growth or Tome of Offering. However, I don't think it's worth a slot in your deck as you just might not draw it in time. And if you get it too early, it's pretty much a dead card.
Shardcaller: When this card first came out with the Sepulchral Guard, it was pretty darn powerful. In this current meta, while I do think there is a place for an upgrade like this, I don't see it being too impactful, if at all. I guess if you are going for certain objectives for Tactical Supremacy scoring or even Cursed Keys, it could definitely work.
The Blazing Key, The Dazzling Key, & The Formless Key: One thing to notice off the bat is that all of the key upgrades have the "Cursed Key" keyword. I like grouping them all into a group as it's easier to refer them. In terms of play, I think they are very solid end game, glory multipliers. If you are able to land those keys on the right fighters, you can go from losing a game to wining it pretty convincingly. We've all be on the receiving end of those - it's brutal and can sneak up one anyone.
The Fractured Key, The Hallowed Key, & The Shadowed Key: See above.
Overall, I think the Gift Pack is a pretty nifty idea! The playmat is gorgeous and those tokens are awesome. The quality on those is higher than I expected!
In terms of the cards, I really like the new artwork for all of them. Seeing some of the older cards with fresh faces brought about a bit of nostalgia but also some excitement as well.
Reviving some of the older cards to bring back some of the utility generally seems fine. I do question some of the choices made in regards to card selection. The pack seems heavily weighted in the direction of objectives which is a bit alarming considering the meta is so heavily dominated by that play style. Conversely, cards like Distraction and Mischievous Spirits do help counter objective play so perhaps it's a wash.
There are some hidden gems in the pack in regards to some of the newer cards. Guardian Glaive in particular is a very cool upgrade that I foresee getting a lot of play.
Keep in mind that if you have any of the older cards, you can use those cards in the Championship and Alliance formats. However, the wording has changed on some of the cards so be cognizant of that. You will have to play them per their most updated versions.
So, should you buy the Gift Pack?
Well, I'll put it like this:
The playmat and tokens are great quality and offer plenty of utility to help you manage your game. There are about 10 cards in the set that are brand new.
So, if you are a collector and/or want some high quality gaming aides, then this set is definitely for you. If you don't really care about the play mat and tokens, and aren't too impressed by the new cards - well then, you could probably skip out.
If you are on the fence, then I genuinely recommend buying it. The new cards are awesome and some of them will be integral pieces of future meta decks. Plus, that new artwork is sick!
If you would like to pre-order the Gift Pack, head on down to your local Warhammer Store or local gaming store. If you prefer to shop online, check this out here.
I hope you enjoy your games with the cards from the Gift Packs over the coming weeks. Look out for more content coming out in regards to them over the next couple days.