Top Cards Post BAR List
Updated: Dec 14, 2018
Man, what an exciting couple of weeks! With the introduction of the BAR (banned and restricted) list, I have been playing and enjoying Underworlds more than ever. Its been an absolute joy playing against some fresh strategies and builds. I have spent my fair share of time theory crafting as well and have been pleasantly surprised by some of the cards that were usually overlooked. Now that the BAR dust has settled, some of these fresher cards are starting to shape the meta and I wanted to share my thoughts on the top cards being played. More specifically, the top 5 neutral cards per sub-category.
Restricted Cards: Top 5
Let's start with some of the more controversial, and yes, probably favorites cards in your collection.
As it may come at no surprise, four of the five cards are objective based. Naturally, this makes sense as this is a game that determines the winner by glory tokens. Extreme Flank, despite its debatable wording, is quite the easy card to score - especially if you have a larger warband. Change of Tactics is another easy to score card, specifically because I think putting a fighter on guard holds more value nowadays. Escalation and Fired Up are extremely easy to score as well as upgrades are an integral part of a winning strategy, and inspiring a fighter is quite easy if you are playing to your warbands strengths. The last card, Ready for Action, is perhaps touted as the best gambit in the game. As I have said before, being able to attack twice is disgusting and even game winning in many instances.
Gambit Cards: Top 5
Next up, we have our gambit cards. I tried to focus on some of the newer cards, however the oldies are still quite relevant and good.
Regal Vision, aside from its fantastic artwork (can't wait for the Sylvaneth warband), is a card I have seen a lot, especially in objective based decks. Inspiring a hero early in the game is huge and, as I am sure you know, quite beneficial. (I would like to point out that Inspiration Strikes is a better card, but my goal is to bring light to some of the newer cards from Nightvault.) One of the more interesting cards, Mischievous Spirits, is a card that probably would have never seen the light of day prior to the BAR list. It can mess with an objective based deck and can completely wreck your opponents game plan while delaying their glory token generation. Hidden Paths is another great card that allows you to surprise/sneak attack your opponent. Opposing players often keep their more valuable or susceptible fighters far away from you and this helps warbands, especially aggressive ones, in ensuring they get those key attack activations. Rebound, a personal favorite of mine, can give a specific fighter more survivability. Plus, seeing the look on your opponents face when and if it successfully goes off is priceless (bye-bye Magore). Lastly, Quick Advance, is fantastic in that it allows you to re-position your fighters offensively or defensively. In a meta in which movement is now more crucial than ever, this can be a boon.
Spell Cards: Top 5
This selection was probably the hardest for me for two reasons: one, there isn't a large neutral selection to choose form and two, they aren't as good as their faction counterparts.
Again, Sphere of Azyr, keeps in theme with punishing objective based strategies. One damage is underwhelming but its really nice if a successful cast removes an enemy fighter from action. Sorcerous Insight can be quite the sleeper in that it allows you to re-use a gambit that you have already used or can retrieve a card that you were forced to mulligan due to a bad starting hand. It is harder to cast, but if you can get it off, it can spell (teehee) doom for your enemies (think of using Shardgale twice against low health warbands). Healing Pulse is particularly good for high health, low model count warbands. If you are playing aggressively, this can really help your fighters live longer every turn. Abasoth's Withering is probably the best neutral spell card released thus far. It effectively deals one damage to a minion. For example, if a fighter has a wound charectristic of two and has alresdy taken a wound, a successful cast of of this spell will remove that fighter from action (doublchecked the FAQ to make sure). Arcane Shield can be used for damage mitigation and since that is harder to do lately, I think its worth the mention.
Again, this particular selection was difficult to narrow down. I would love to hear your thoughts on other spells that I may have overlooked or ones you think are just plain better.
Upgrades: Top 5
Last, but certainly not least, we have our upgrade cards. These cards not only make your fighters deadlier, but they can truly shape the outcome of a game whether by action or passive glory.
Sudden Growth, is fantastic for improving your fighter's durability. Yes, their is an obvious drawback but the gains usually negate the loss of movement. Putting this card and its cousin, Deathly Fortitude, on your fighters can make them nigh unkillable. Gloryseeker is just what you need when facing high health warbands. This can aid in taking down those pesky Stormcasts, Dwarves, and Fiends. Hero's Mantle is the poor man's version of A Destiny to Meet and The Slumbering Key (RIP). There is a specificity in the card in that it is restricted to your leader but that fighter is usually well protected and hopefully, alive at the end of the game. Faneway Crystal is similar to the gambit card, Hidden Paths, and can further aid in reaching those hard to reach enemy fighters. Furthermore, it can help secure a victory either through aiding in the accomplishment of an objective, or ensuring you have more objectives than your opponent in the event of a rarely seen tie. Lastly, Potion of Rage, is the card you need when you need to make sure an attack needs to land. Rolling more dice can (usually) result in a greater chance of success.
All in all, I think the cards mentioned above are not only worth consideration when deck building, in most cases, they are staples. I use a majority of the aforementioned cards in most of my decks and the players in my community, and even on the internet, have reinforced my opinions. Keep in mind, when building your decks, always keep your strategy at the forefront of your thoughts. While some of these cards are fantastic, they might not align with your game plan.
As a reminder, this is my opinion and although I'd like to think I know a thing or two about this game, I am not all knowing. I know that some might disagree with my choices and I welcome the ensuing conversations/debates.