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PlayerJ

Let's chat: Katophrane decks

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Starting the discussion on Katophrane relic decks and the best way to achieve them.

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It's always hard finding room in one's Power Deck to hold all the Ploys we want, but considering how strong an Artifacts deck can be, I have to say that Shattershard will definitely be one card I have in every single deck I build from now on, it's a potential game breaker against a Katophrane deck and can be relatively useful against anyone else too, overall more disruptive, in a way, than earthquake or concussion.

That said, I think the warband best suited to a Katophrane deck definitely is the Guard; revives could prove invaluable, since they let you take full use of the early RR bonuses without risking losing your artifacts if the model gets killed.

Regarding your deck, I fear Masterstroke is one card you'll never be able to score; you only have two cards in there that can possibly trigger an attack as a Reaction (Ceaseless attack and Necromancer Commands), so your chance of scoring a kill on either of those two attacks while holding the objective are slim to none. I'm unfortunately unsure what to take instead, maybe Ploymaster as its a relatively easy one to score...

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8 minutes ago, Spinsane said:

It's always hard finding room in one's Power Deck to hold all the Ploys we want, but considering how strong an Artifacts deck can be, I have to say that Shattershard will definitely be one card I have in every single deck I build from now on, it's a potential game breaker against a Katophrane deck and can be relatively useful against anyone else too, overall more disruptive, in a way, than earthquake or concussion.

That could really ruin your day as a Katophrane player. Will we be seeing Katophrane decks making room for Forceful Denial and/or Misdirection (though you'd need another upgraded fighter to misdirected Shattershard onto) to guard against this somewhat? 

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I agree with all that's been said, will be adding more to this post once I get testing under my belt.

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Here's what I'm currently thinking for my Skaven:

https://www.underworldsdb.com/deck.php?deck=0,167,164,396,397,398,399,400,401,374,427,310,311,320,321,323,329,341,347,348,359,362,429,426,373,263,264,265,266,267,270,278,282,292,296,297,257

I've taken out every ploy that requires a roll, apart from Flickering Step.  I've found that hinging a plan based on even a 50/50 leads to failure, so my deck is all about movement, counter-pushes, and objectives.  I've thrown a few keys in there to attempt to distract the opponent, or to give me something to fall back on if I'm unable to complete the Katophrane set.

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I'm curious if you'll be able to get set out in time with 24 cards and only duel of wits.

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42 minutes ago, PlayerJ said:

I'm curious if you'll be able to get set out in time with 24 cards and only duel of wits.

Possibly not - it depends on the draw.  If I can get 4 on a rat I can start drawing an additional 2 power cards after they perform an action.  I feel like I need the ploys in order to counter whatever could be thrown at me.  At the end of the day, I've still got to get 6 glory for the full set, and the ploys help me do that.

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57 minutes ago, PlayerJ said:

I'm curious if you'll be able to get set out in time with 24 cards and only duel of wits.

As Changer said above, once (if) you manage to get 4 artifacts on a single rat, you'll *quickly* draw the hell out of your deck. At 2 cards per Action, a charge nets you 4 power cards, a charge by a Black Hunger'ed Hungering Rat could easily net you more if he can swing on multiple fighters... The only issue is actually getting those first 4 artifacts down.

While I think the rats could do well with an Artifacts deck, I think they'd be way too swingy for me. If you draw a bad first hand, you can't mulligan if it includes any artifact, which can really cripple your game. I dunno, it's worth giving it a try, but I think they'll fare far worse than the Guard would...

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I hadn't considered that charges do count as making a move then an attack action,  good strategy to get cards immediately.

But I don't know if a multi-swing attacks would net you more draws, I read it as being treated like multiple attack actions, not count as.

Edited by PlayerJ

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17 hours ago, BigT said:

[Shattershard] could really ruin your day as a Katophrane player. Will we be seeing Katophrane decks making room for Forceful Denial and/or Misdirection (though you'd need another upgraded fighter to misdirected Shattershard onto) to guard against this somewhat? 

Surely "Frozen in Time" would be a better, more widely applicable solution? If the Katophrane figurine can't be activated or damaged for the full second phase, they would lose so much momentum and probably a lot of resources defending the remaining figurines.

If you can freeze them for the third phase, you've probably won the game given how "all eggs in one basket" the strategy is. They really have to make the Katophrane figurine to be their main beater so taking it out at the right time would be devestating.

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2 hours ago, Zimagic said:

If you can freeze them for the third phase, you've probably won the game given how "all eggs in one basket" the strategy is. They really have to make the Katophrane figurine to be their main beater so taking it out at the right time would be devestating.

Good point - frozen in time would in many situations be a better overall counter to a Katophrane deck than Shattershard, for the reasons you've described.

I think I'd always run misdirection in a Katophrane deck - as the best counter to frozen in time and a solid counter to Shattershard (providing you have a second fighter with upgrades on them), it's a very good card for guard and Skaven now in general I think - Katophrane or not - as it can also counter the possibility of having the Warden/Skritch frozen out for a phase.

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15 hours ago, PlayerJ said:

I've been running something almost identical and likewise having pretty good results so far. I was sure that Misdirection (or if not Forceful Denial) would be must haves in the deck to counter anti-Katophrane ploys but I've not been running either and over the course of my games not felt that on average either was needed - though that may change with more games under my belt.

I've not been taking Improvisation as with just the 10 ploys and 10 objectives with duel of wits I've found that I've been able to get to all the Relics when I've been in a position to use them, and if I am holding a relic in my hand that I don't have the glory to play then I couldn't play improvisation as I'd lose it. Though with a good early haul of glory Improvisation could let me get the full set out earlier. How have you found Improvisation?

As for different ploys I've been taking Great Concussion and Hidden Paths - Great Concussion mostly to either create distance against aggro warbands or to move onto/back onto objectives, and Hidden Paths to get onto objectives in enemy territory if the opportunity arises, deny Denial, or to teleport to safety - usually with the Warden or my Katophrane model (so that they can rack the glory up unmolested).

You can still rack up respectable glory and win games without getting Katophrane glory, and your Katophrane model can often pull it's weight just by being a distraction to the opponent that has to be accounted for. It gives an objective deck an extra dimension  and I've enjoyed how it lets you work dual strategies in parallel.  

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I think is a great discussion and so far have not tried this type of gameplay.

As a complete noob to this concept and strategy, how do you guys feel it holds up to a competative standard?
Do you feel it's cool for casual games?
Or do you feel it's an amazing and strong way to play the game?

Thanks for your replies!

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Yea definitely need more testing to see if misdirection/forceful denial is needed.

Improv in my games so far ive needed as i dont usually do draw actions.

2 hours ago, Killax said:

I think is a great discussion and so far have not tried this type of gameplay.

As a complete noob to this concept and strategy, how do you guys feel it holds up to a competative standard?
Do you feel it's cool for casual games?
Or do you feel it's an amazing and strong way to play the game?

Thanks for your replies!

Still need to do more testing to see if it is competitively viable, but so far so good!

In casual it becomes a little game of "Can you stop my ascension?"

Still needs more testing.

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I played a best of 3 game against Magore's Fiends this afternoon using the following deck:

https://www.underworldsdb.com/shared.php?deck=0,244,235,257,263,264,265,266,267,278,270,282,292,359,323,331,332,360,362,347,348,329,320,164,341,167,373,374,429,426,427,396,397,398,399,400,401

I won 2-0, with the first game ending 7-6, and the second game ending 25-10.  Needless to say, I think you can see which game I managed to get a full set on.

With the first game, I spent a few activations pulling power cards, but I was unable to get through the deck quick enough before the Fiends starting ripping into my warband.

The second game worked much better, I chose a different board, was able to castle up, and pulled the relics in a decent manor.  By the end of the second action phase it was 8-6 to my opponent, but I had Skritch with 4 relics.  Before the third action phase I was able to draw the last 2 relics and have 2 unspent glory in my hand.  I spent the entire last action phase scoring 16 glory just from Skritch.

 

The main problem I've got with this deck is if I don't score enough glory by the end of the second action phase, there is no way of me pulling 6 relics.  I've got a few games tomorrow night where I'm actually going to drop Hold 1-5 and run something like this:

https://www.underworldsdb.com/shared.php?deck=0,244,235,257,278,270,282,292,359,323,331,332,360,362,347,348,329,320,164,341,167,373,374,429,426,427,396,397,398,399,400,401,252,154,274,296,297

What do you guys think?

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Changer said:

I really like the core of your lists - a lot of good movement ploys and all the score at the end of the third action phase glory being shifted to your upgrades in a destiny to meet and the keys. A lot of scoring opportunities across the list, and it plays to the Skaven's particular strengths. Are you finding that only having duel of wits to cycle with is sufficient to get to the relics across 24 power cards?

I can see the logic behind switching things out to get more score immediately objectives in there to have more opportunity at glory within the third phase, the tactical supremacy cards free up room though you may miss the consistency of easier scoring with the hold objectives cards - perhaps making the deck a bit more hit or miss than it currently is, depending on how the objectives fall. An interesting change and we'll worth trying out.

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1 hour ago, BigT said:

I really like the core of your lists - a lot of good movement ploys and all the score at the end of the third action phase glory being shifted to your upgrades in a destiny to meet and the keys. A lot of scoring opportunities across the list, and it plays to the Skaven's particular strengths. Are you finding that only having duel of wits to cycle with is sufficient to get to the relics across 24 power cards?

I can see the logic behind switching things out to get more score immediately objectives in there to have more opportunity at glory within the third phase, the tactical supremacy cards free up room though you may miss the consistency of easier scoring with the hold objectives cards - perhaps making the deck a bit more hit or miss than it currently is, depending on how the objectives fall. An interesting change and we'll worth trying out.

Duel of Wits isn’t really enough. I’m definitely using activations to pull cards; although it really depends on what I get in my first power hand.

I’m not really sure what I’d drop to add more cycle to the deck. I feel like I’ve got just enough push cards to counter being pushed off my objectives. Any ideas?

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14 hours ago, Changer said:

Duel of Wits isn’t really enough. I’m definitely using activations to pull cards; although it really depends on what I get in my first power hand.

I’m not really sure what I’d drop to add more cycle to the deck. I feel like I’ve got just enough push cards to counter being pushed off my objectives. Any ideas?

It's tough because you'll sacrifice something either way - either the cycling ability to get to the relics more consistently, or some of the deck's ability at getting back onto objectives.

It's quite meta dependent - I don't feel like I need that high a number of movement ploys in my guard deck as most decks I've been coming up against  aren't running many ploys that can push me off objectives, with heavy aggro decks being very popular I've found that a lot of players aren't loading up on cards to disrupt objective decks because they aren't facing them that often. 

It depends on what synergies you play for, and I could be suggesting you take out a card that you have a particular use for that I'm not seeing, but if you wanted to make room for a cycle card I'd look at dropping one of the following:

Flickering Step - I personally don't like it because you can't reliably plan around it. This is the push card that I'd lose. I've lost a game by holding this in place of sidestep and not rolling any Crits.

Hidden Paths/Illusory Fighter - Not sure that both would be required? At a pinch Illusory fighter with Skaven's speed can get you pretty deep into enemy territory at short notice if needed. Though I could see that having both could play into scoring making a statement.

Ready for Action - Great card but superficially at least not as indispensable as a lot of the other cards in your deck.

 

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16 minutes ago, Skellisquad said:

The UK Grand Clash winner was Relics plus Steelhearts Champions

https://warhammerunderworlds.com/deck-guides/

The glory differential through the rounds was something like +113

+113 and +101 at end of Swiss for the 2 finalists on SCE Relics. 3rd place was something like +50 difference

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12 hours ago, Skulltula said:

+113 and +101 at end of Swiss for the 2 finalists on SCE Relics. 3rd place was something like +50 difference

I came 7th with my Skaven with a +54.  I would have come third if I hadn't lost that last game.

Here's my deck.

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Yeah, it’s kinda funny to some extent looking at some of the standing and thinking ‘what if’ from how GW do tiebreakers at grand clashes.

congrats on 7th, how did you find your deck overall and what would you change going forward?

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1 hour ago, Skulltula said:

Yeah, it’s kinda funny to some extent looking at some of the standing and thinking ‘what if’ from how GW do tiebreakers at grand clashes.

congrats on 7th, how did you find your deck overall and what would you change going forward?

I think the deck is good overall, I'd probably look at changing out some of the objectives to something a bit easier to achieve.  If I really think about it I just need to make sure I get 5 glory and cycle through the power deck by the end of the 2nd turn and I can get 16 glory in turn 3; meaning all of the 'Hold Multiple' objectives aren't really required.

In my last game I played Farstriders (they came 6th in the end).  In the first game I won 26-10, but then the second and third game I just couldn't pull the ploys I needed to stay on the objectives; and my opponent outmanoeuvred me in both the placing of objectives and throughout the turns.  I think a lot of that is to do with my inexperience playing against Farstriders, and bad luck with both the draws and the dice.

Going forward, I'm going to play with a different warband.  Unfortunately, the Kataphrane deck isn't a 'fun' deck to play with.  Yes it's competitive at the moment, but I do think that even by the time the next Grand Clash occurs at Warhammer Fest; people will be wise to the decks and have some decent counters in place.

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