Review: Morgok's Krushas - Faction Cards
Finally, my brothers and sisters, the final two warbands of the Beastgrave season have been revealed to the public! The first warband previewed is Morgok's Krushas - a trio of orruk brutes who are here to krump all who stand in their path.
In this article, I will be deviating from my normal review format. The Warhammer Community Facebook page dropped all of the faction cards as well as the universal cards that come with it. As such, I will be discussing the information they have released already. Due to an embargo date I cannot disclose anything that comes in the box aside from what has already been revealed by Games Workshop. That means I will be reviewing the models, dice, and sleeves this weekend.
In order to get out my reviews out to you in a timely manner, in this article I will be covering the warband's fighters and their faction specific cards. I will cover the universals in a later article.
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 get to krumpin'!
Before we get into the individual fighters, I wanted to talk about the Waaagh! counters - the brand new mechanic introduced specifically for this warband. These counters are gained whenever a fighter makes one or more attack actions during an activation. That last part is important as it clearly states that you won't be able to cheat this during out of activation attacks.
Don't worry though, they are cards that also give you these counters as well, and that is for good reason. Each of the fighters get a pretty nifty special ability that revolves around these counters.
Furthermore, they are integral to their inspiration. Managing these counters is of the utmost import as you gain and spend them to ensure maximum carnage (read: success).
For those who you who bought the Underworld Beastgrave Counter Set, the Waaagh! counters are the orange ones with the glowing orruk skull in the picture above. The look pretty damn cool and will complement the models' green skin quite nicely.
The brute warlord known as Morgok is the boss of this rowdy triumvirate and boy is he worthy to do so. He's got a melee attack that hits for a fairly decent 2 smash and does a whopping 3 damage off the bat. The best part is, that's not even the best part. This guy has got 5 wounds! Rounding out his stats, we've got a very basic 3 move with 1 block for defense.
The boss man's got a pretty nifty ability in which he can spend a Waaagh! counter to push each friendly fighter up to 2 hexes. This is actually quite powerful as it slightly offsets the slower movement this warband has so you can get to your opponents, or those objectives, more efficiently. Interestingly, it's more of a kunnin' ability rather than a brutal one.That explains why Morgok is the leader of the bunch.
Once your leader is able to get 2 or more Waaagh! counters, he flips over to his inspired side. Here, his attack profile changes to 3 fury but still hits for 3 damage. It is exactly how Draknar's (Grashrak's Despoilers) attack action changes between his inspired and non-inspired side. Furthermore, he gets bumped up to movement 4.
The best part is that you get Boss Choppa special rule which allows you to re-roll one dice in each of his attack rolls. It's functionally the exact same to Gurzag's (Ironskull's Boyz) special rule on his inspired side as well. Looks like regardless of size, all green skin leaders get better at hitting things.
Interestingly, out of all the fighters I think you "need" to inspire Morgok the least. He already has an above average attack profile and while slower than most warbands these days, he can still get in there with a good board setup or via gambits. Spending those precious Waaagh! counters to ensure his boyz can get in position may outweigh the need to inspire him. That may not be always true, but is something to look out for. In function, he is a bigger and scarier Varclav (Thorns of the Briar Queen).
Next up we have 'Ardskull - he's the guy who likes to smash things (more so than his compatriots) and whose favorite holiday is Halloween. As you can see though, while his melee attack does do a massive 3 damage, it's not very accurate with 2 fury. He's reminiscent of Gristlewel (The Grymwatch) in that he's got the same attack profile as that club wielding crypt ghoul. The rest of his characteristics match up exactly like his boss' with 5 wounds, 3 movement, and 1 block.
His inspiration is also the same, he needs two Waaagh! counters. Once inspired though, things become a lot deadlier for your opponents. First off, his basic attacks becomes a bit more accurate as it jumps to 3 fury. Additionally, he gains a scything attack which is 2 fury, 2 damage. While that's not the most exciting attack profile, if you've got a way to boost the accuracy, it can be pretty deadly in certain situations. The 4 movement is nice too.
'Ardskull gains a cool ability that relies on Waaagh! counters as well. For every counter you remove from his fighter card, before you roll any attack dice, you can add an additional point of damage to your 3 damage attack. Yep, that means you just need 1 Waaagh! counter to one-shot most enemy leaders in this game. Brutal.
This ability is also amazing because you don't need to worry about giving 'Ardskull Great Strength or Sting of the Ur-Grub. You can gives those upgrades to your other two fighters, who don't have many ways to cheat out higher damage. Very cool concept.
Rounding out this jolly lot is Thugg - he looks kind of grumpy but honestly, I would be too if I was named thug with two G's. His attack profile is actually the most accurate of the bunch with a melee attack that hits on 3 fury. However, he's the only one who doesn't hit for 3 damage as his Smashas attack only deals 2 damage. That's probably another reason as to why he looks so moody. Poor guy.
Like his buddies, he has 5 wounds, 3 movement, and 1 block on defense. Once inspired, Thugg gains a bump in movement but his attack profile stays the same. Man, they won't give this a break.
The greenskin does gain a nifty Waaagh! counter ability as well. For every counter you remove from his fighter card, before you roll any attack dice, you can add an additional die to the attack roll. So, if you remove two Waaagh! counters, you are rolling 5 fury. This makes Thugg perhaps the most accurate orruk in Underworlds history! He may not krump the hardest, but he's probably krumpin' the most often. I knew there was something special about this guy.
Similar to 'Ardskull, Thugg's ability allows him to not rely on accuracy gambits and upgrades as much as his compatriots. This allows you to buff up their two dice attacks and hopefully hit with them more consistently.
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.
Avalanche of Aggression: So this one kind of seems tough. Most of the popular warbands in the current meta generally consist of 5+ fighters. With only 3 fighters in the warband, you're going to have a considerable amount of work to do in order to score this card. While I think the mob can do it, a payout of 1 glory is certainly not worth it.
Brute Triumph: This kind of falls in the same vein as the card above. While I don't doubt that these orruks will be butchering their way through opposing models, wiping an entire warband consistently seems quite difficult. And once your opponent gets wind of this card in your deck, you best believe they will do everything they can to keep at least one fighter alive, and as far away from you as possible.
Brutes is da Best: This card is similar in concept to Victorious Duel and the Grashrak's Despoiler card, Proven Superiority. While Morgok does have 5 wounds, he is certainly not invincible and focus fire can take him down faster than you'd expect. If you decide to run this card, it's best to run an aggro deck and for Morgok to be leading from behind rather than the front. You'll probably want to take down the opposing leader anyways so it's a nice to score for simply playing your game but I feel like there are more efficient options out there.
Called to Waaagh!: So score this immediately as long as there are a total of 6 Waaagh! counters spread out across your fighters. It's not bad, but I don't think the objective is good either. I believe the key to this warband's success is knowing when to save your counters and knowing when to spend them. If you hoard them for too long, you might miss out on using them at the opportune moments. Plus, you could lose a fighter and their counters along with them. That'd be a waste.
Good Day's Work: Essentially kill more than half the enemy warband and you get two glory in an end phase. It's alright. If you are starved for end phase scoring, you can definitely take it and you probably might in an aggro build. At that point though, you're putting a lot of reliance on dice rolls going your way. While that is aggro's bread and butter, it seems a bit too much of reliance on the variables.
Got It, Boss: I think this is a great card for the warband. Whether you are playing hyper aggressively or cautiously advancing, this card is solid. And because it's score after an activation, you can score it quite reliably - preferably off a charge. You can even use Morgok's special ability or power cards in the phase before to guarantee this.
In Their Element: Another decent card that could see some play. The goal is to obviously inspire your fighters so that they can better at bashin' the enemies face in. The challenge is that sometimes it is hard to get those Waaagh! counters on, and keep them. Due to that lack of consistency and the fact that this could clog up your hand, I would say look elsewhere.
Might of the Orruk: So I am on the fence on this one being good or not. On one hand, it seems like a pretty simple thing to do. The challenge is that it requires another card, whether upgrades or a gambit, to consistently hit at 4 damage. I guess it easy enough to do with 'Ardskull should he have a Waaagh! token handy. But, he's the least accurate of the bunch. Hmmm. I think I do like it but I do have some reservations. I may be rating it a tier too high but I got a good feeling about it.
Now Wot?: A faction mini version of Temporary Victory. Not bad. Actually, it is pretty good. Two objectives is easy enough to hold, regardless of warband size. I mean Stormsire's Cursebreakers play Focal Formation to decent success. Plus, it is after an activation so you can kind of game it via the power step. I think you take it, especially if you are running a control build.
Orruk Kunnin': Play 3 gambits during a round for 1 glory? This card is an auto-include. Take it and literally score it every game.
Proppa Rumble: This card is similar to some of the first couple of cards we discussed above. While I think this is certainly doable, I don't think the payout is worth it. 1 glory for all that work seems lackluster. And if half of those fighters out of action happen to be friendly, then you're probably too behind anyways for this to help you come back.
Waaagh! Unleashed: This card seems good on paper but in practice, it's actually pretty hard to pull off. Furthermore, it is dependent on other cards and isn't great in your opening draw. I'd say look somewhere else.
Berserk Strength: This is basically 'Ardskull's Waaagh! counter ability but available to use for anyone. It's a solid way to get some additional damage out and perhaps even surprise opponents with Thugg since he deals the least damage out of the three.
Berserk Fortitude: This card is insane. As long as you have Waaagh! counters, you can probably survive anything, even a buffed Mollog attack quite reliably. Damage mitigation for a warband that consists of 5 wounds a piece is extremely powerful.
Brawling: A way to generate Waaagh! counters without having to make an attack action is nice. The limitation is that you need to be next to an enemy fighter, which means you've probably charged. Still, can be useful when your foes charge you, which I am sure they will eventually given that this is an arena combat game, for the most part.
Brutal Attack: Generally, I don't like cards that give +1 dice in the next activation because there better options out there that do more. However, this is a solid card for this warband because after your fighter makes an attack, you gain a Waaagh! counter which essentially inspires your fighter, as you get one for making the attack anyways. Take it for sure.
Brutal Kunnin': Keeping in theme with the race of greenskins, this card is a carbon copy of the Ironskull's Boyz card, Kunnin' but Brutal. This card is great as you can ideally move next to an enemy fighter who has a move or charge token on them already and then keep attacking them after the round is up. It's great for a 3 man warband. This can also potentially combo with nabbing objectives, and perhaps using Jealous Defense as well. Food for thought. Either way, solid card.
Brutal Reprisal: This is an in-faction My Turn, but better because you can't get driven back and because you get to make an out of activation attack action. What's better than krumpin' you ask? Even more krumpin'. Wow this is unnecessarily good for this warband. Take it!
Eager Advance: So essentially Sidestep but also get a Waaagh! counter for it. Solid card as it can get you closer to enemies, and on top objectives. Could perhaps even inspire a fighter. Great card.
Kunnin' Brutality: A great way to move around the board and contest objectives. Really improves the orruk's threat range too. Ideally, you take an enemy fighter out of action and then play this to get next to another one, or at least close enough for charge range. I dig it.
Power of the Waaagh!: A cool concept and healing is always appreciated. The challenge with healing in general in this game that if there is a way to do it too consistently, it becomes too powerful. As a result, you have to make it less certain for balance purposes - I get that. With that being said, this card is too random to use reliably, for me. I'd rather go with health upgrades. Could be useful in a control build, though.
Waaagh! Energy: An interesting card, one that makes you think for sure. On a 50% chance, you can gain a Waaagh! counter. In, theory if you have 3 fighters, 1-2 should get a counter. Again, a bit too random for my liking personally.
Berserk Whirl: Thematically, it makes sense. 'Ardskull is swinging his weapon around with such force, that he kind of stumbles around a bit himself. Cinematic? Yes. Playable? Nope.
Brute Charge: A nice permanent accuracy buff, especially for 'Ardskull. You're expected to land a hit on each dice you roll, 66.6% of the time without any supporting fighters.
Brute Swing: Knockback is nice to have when it is free but not a priority when there is a cost associated with it. This card is not worth the space in your deck. There are better options out there.
Incredible Bellow: Generally, upgrades that contain an action on them have to be pretty powerful for you to take them. They not only require a slot in your deck, but a glory to equip, and then one of your 12 activations to use. Pushing all adjacent enemy fighters up to 2 hexes doesn't seem worth all that trouble. Pushing all friendly fighters up to 1 hex is better. Not sure if you can fit in though, and/or still worth it.
Inured to Pain: This type of effect is already pretty powerful on 3 and 4 wound fighters. Putting this on a 5 wound fighter is amazing for you and terribly inconvenient for your opponent. A very strong card and already something I expect to be a Restricted candidate.
Keen Choppa: Cleave is another one of those situations where it is nice to have but not necessarily worth an upgrade slot for it alone. I suppose in a meta where there are a bunch of Krushas mirrors happening, it could be considered. Still, I don't think I'd take it then either. Great for carving up Stormcast though!
Seething Hatred: Giving re-rolls to your most accurate fighter seems a bit redundant. I mean, it's not bad and certainly useful but the requirement of you having to hit an enemy with 4 or more wounds tanks this card for me.
Vengeful Glare: Slap this on your most dangerous fighter and it will do one of two things: either you will have a field day with that fighter and their Waaagh! counter ability or your opponent will not attack that character in fear of feeding them counters. Either way, seems pretty decent. Keep in mind this can block enemy reactions like Snarlfang attacks and the like.
Vessel of the Waaagh!: Aside from confirming my suspicions that 'Ardskull is the insane one, I don't think this card is worth it, especially late in the game when your fighters are potentially spread out. Not good early game either when you want those counters, too.
Waaagh! 'Eadbutt: A very thematic card and cinematic for sure. It's a decent attack profile with 2 damage and 2 smash. For every Waaagh! counter you spend, you can up the damage level a point. While I like the idea of it, you warband can already kind of do this via 'Ardskull and gambit cards. Probably not worth the slot. I'd invest in accuracy instead.
Morgok's Krushas are definitely are very interesting and powerful warband. They are everything people wanted the Ironskull's Boyz to be, if not more. They are tanky, hit like trucks, and can amplify their ability to krump, bash, and 'eadbutt their opponents quite often.
The Waaagh! counter mechanic is super neat and allows a lot of player agency and choice when it comes to utilizing them. Again, I believe gaining and spending these counters efficiently is the key to their success.
In fact, my favorite part about the warband are their Waaagh! counter related abilities. 'Ardskull clearly hits the hardest, but he is the least accurate. Thugg is the most accurate, but hits a little softer than his mates. While that seems "fair," it's actually a great thing. You don't really have to worry about giving 'Ardskull damage buffs because he's going to hit hard anyways due to his Waaagh! counters. Just make sure he gets accuracy buffs instead. Conversely, you don't have to worry about hitting with Thugg so you can focus on getting him to hit harder. I think that idea/mechanic is neat and makes some of your decision making so much easier.
These guys also have some of the best gambits I have ever seen. That coupled with their high wounds and damage potency is an aggro player's dream come true. I do think they suffer from a slight identity crisis with their objectives but again, options are great in a way. If aggro isn't for you, there are plenty of cards that can help you create a more control/aggro build.
So, should you buy the Morgok's Krushas expansion for Warhammer Underworlds Beastgrave?
I definitely think so, and we haven't even covered the Universal cards that come with them yet!
If you would like to pre-order Morgok's Krushas, head on down to your local Warhammer Store or gaming store. If you prefer to shop online, check this out here.
I hope you enjoy your experimenting with this warband over the coming weeks. Look out for more content coming out in regards to them over the next couple days.