So how do you play Warhammer Underworlds on a budget? Whether you’re cash strapped or simply can’t get a hold of certain warbands because no-one happens to stock them where you live, playing Underworlds competitively is achievable. This Myari’s Purifiers deck will demand respect from your opponent, but the best part is you won’t even need most of the expansions to build it.
A new Forsaken and Restricted list is always a welcome sight for deck builders on a budget. Cards on the restricted list reduce the need to access to them to compete.
A lil’ background.
I started playing Warhammer Underworlds just before Nightvault first came out, and it didn’t take long before I started joining local competitions. Initially I didn’t even want to play the game, I just saw the Spiteclaw’s Swarm minis and wanted to paint some cool looking ratbois.
With such a massive card pool, how do you even consider competing without going out there and buying all the cards and expansions?!
Turns out it is possible. The first Shadeglass I won with [Magore's Fiends], with only cards from Nightvault, Magore’s Fiends, Spiteclaw’s Swarm and Farstriders. With a bit of luck I managed to do it again with [Steelheart's Champions].
Why do I mention this? It’s not entirely about self bragging (ok it is a little), but the more important message is it is possible to compete without a full collection. Increasing the size of your collection gives you options, but once your collection reaches a certain size, more expansions doesn’t help your ability to win much.
Back to the modern world. Direchasm and Beastgrave has upped the average power level of their warbands by a notch (compared to the old Shadespire warbands). This small power creep over time makes entering the hobby easier. You absolutely do not need to go buy all the old warbands. Most of the Direchasm warbands are powerful enough.
Building on a budget does change what we can do. In order for us to compete, we may need to substitute greedier objectives or cards with narrower functions. We want to pick a warband with already powerful faction cards, which minimizes our reliance on the Universal card pool, and therefore reduces the number of expansions we need to buy.
Warbands to avoid
If you’re playing on a budget, you want to avoid certain types of warbands. Warbands with a dependency on seasonal mechanics or combination of cards for glory swings (such as Hunger, [Feed the Beastgrave] or Primacy), require a broad card collection to play efficiently. This unfortunately rules out [Crimson Court] and [The Madmob].
Warbands and playstyles that are aggressive and have strong faction cards make good candidates. For example [Morgok] and [Rippa] have strong fighters and most of their faction cards already reward an aggressive gameplan. Even if some of their faction cards are restricted, it means you won’t need access to as many restricted cards from other sets to play on even footing.
Warbands with fast scoring faction objectives and flexible fighters also make good candidates. Both [Myari's Purifiers] and [Dread Pageant] fit this bill. Both of these warbands can be built for a flexible gameplan. They can be played aggressively or defensively, and have strong faction cards (which means you don’t need to swap as many universal cards).
So you want to compete without breaking the bank. How do we start? Regardless of which warband you want to play, you should be prepared to purchase at least:
- Direchasm Core set.
- Essentials pack (or if you an old school returning player with Shadespire / Nightvault / Beastgrave, you can probably skip this).
- 2-3 expansions for extra cards
Money for Myari
Lets build Myari’s Purifiers on a budget. There’s a whole host of ways to play the Purifiers but the way I like to make them work is the flex style, sometimes known as “hold 2”. In short the warband aims to hold down two objectives while eliminating enemy fighters in the process. You can see this style played on Tabletop Sydney (decklist in video description), although the deck I’ve used is an aggressive variation.
Of course the deck we build won’t be exactly the same as we are working with limitations and we will be substituting cards out. Here’s the base Myari deck.
The goal is to stay flexible, allowing the warband to both score from holding objectives and from combat. When deckbuilding, I like to start with the objectives and then select the gambits and upgrades accordingly.
We add the following cards from Direchasm / Essentials pack
- [Winged Death] – with 2 ranged attackers, we will find ways to score this. We can add in some movement ploys to easily score the 6 hex charge condition too.
- [Dominant Position] – The perfect card for flex warbands.
- [Path to Victory] – Solid 2 glory objective for holding down 2 objectives and taking out a fighter.
We take out our hardest to score objectives.
- [Patience of the Mountains] – Not a bad card if we were playing the defensive variant of Myari’s, but that deck is difficult to build on a budget.
- [Perfectionists] – While not hard to score, if we draw it early it incentivizes us to waste Aetherquartz tokens, which is something we don’t want to do.
- [Diamond-bright Souls] – Inspiring all fighters is not easy with this warband.
The deck is looking a little better but at this point it still needs a bit of refinement and we will need to pull in cards from other sets.
This does mean we need to add Morgwaeth’s Blade-coven and Khagra’s Ravagers to our shopping list.
We take out our hardest to score objectives.
- [Vaunted Speed] – Unless you are fighting dwarves, you will have a hard time scoring this without committing alot of cards to it.
- [Seal the Beastgrave] – Supremacy is a good card, but it’s the hardest one to score with this warband. [Perfect formation] being a surge objective is much easier by comparison.
On the ploys and upgrades, we basically switch out anything that doesn’t help us capture objectives or eliminate enemy fighters.
- [Malkyn Grace] comes in because it allows us to capture far away objectives and score [Winged Death]. There is a downside with temporarily losing a wound, but you can play around it (such as playing it in the last activation). I would look into upgrading this with [Outrun Death] or [Spectral Wings] when possible.
- [Sidestep] is a card you’re almost never sad to have in your hand. There are better options, but for now this will do.
- [Duel of Wits] unrestricted card draw, great card.
This leaves us to drop the following ploy cards:
- [Lambent Light] – too hard to cast.
- [Channel the Mountain] – A bit narrow in it’s use
- [Untouchable pride] – if you like healing effects, you’re better off taking [Healing potion] from the essentials pack.
For the upgrades, we drop almost all the fighter restricted ones apart from [Mountain Stance], which is just too good to drop.
- [Great Strength] is flat damage boost for all our fighters except [Senaela].
- [Great Fortitude] a flat wound boost, useful in a warband that starts with few wounds in the first place.
- [Gloryseeker] This is how you make [Senaela] a threat (also good on everyone else). Give her this upgrade and she can start seriously threatening 4 wound fighters. 1 damage base, +1 for Gloryseeker +1 if she rolls a crit… and if they happen to be near a lethal…
- [Fighter’s Ferocity] isn’t a flat damage upgrade, but it does work on all fighters in this warband, including the range 3+ attacks.
- [Dominant Defender] keeps your fighters on objectives, occasionally it takes primacy too.
- [Scavenged Armour] keeps you alive, and keeps you on the objectives you’ve just taken from your opponent.
This is the final deck. Here’s the underworldsdb link. In summary this deck was made with cards from: Direchasm Core set, essential pack, Khagras Ravagers and Morgwaeths Blade-coven.
Could you improve this deck? Of course. Is it good enough to take games and matches at local tournaments? Sure is.
As you grow your collection, there are a number of better gambits we can switch in. [Distraction] is one of the best push gambits out there. [Show of force] is a solid upgrade in most warbands, and would be a good include even with it’s restricted status. [Unsullied Hands] is something we want to eventually swap out as only half our fighters can score it. [Tight Defence] and [Survival Instincts] that give you effectively permanent guard, help keep you alive and sitting on objectives. [Heeded instinct] is a better version of sidestep, especially if you have other cards that grant quarry.
Good luck out there!