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riddlesworth

Let's Chat: Ylthari's Guardians

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Previews are out:

https://canyourollacrit.com/2019/04/20/yltharis-guardians/

https://katophranerelic.com/2019/04/20/yltharis-guardians-first-look/

https://www.warhammer-community.com/2019/04/16/warband-focus-yltharis-guardians/

 

Hella excited for the Treeple warband. They've got a unique way of playing and disrupting the objective game, with access to a faction specific objective removal card, and 2 faction specific objectives based on objective holding. Great faction specific passive scoring (Lithe Spirits, Song of Hatred), a solid in faction gambit spell for a "death of a thousand cuts" style, negating their low on card hitting power (Pangs of Great Lack) and with the release of well of power, really reliable long range hitting power from 2 models. I think they can play a control/defensive style very well but have the speed and range to go after defensive warbands themselves.

 

I can see some struggles with hyper aggro warbands like reavers and magores as they are pretty brittle in the health department but they'll be solid against skritch, mollog and gurzag (i.e. the warbands relying on 1 fighter) due to access to Curse of the Dwindling.

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With medium starting health (3), medium damage (2), high movement (4), two different ranged attackers, only 4 models, and a great wall unit, they're a really unique jack of all trades warband.

I predict their mobility and medium stats will lead to strong matchups against Skaven, Thorns, Gitz, Reavers, Guard, Profiteers, and Eyes of the Nine.

I think they will have roughly even matchups with Steelheart, Godsworn Hunt, Ironskull, Chosen Axes, and Magore, since they have the speed and range to take engagements on their own terms but their base stats aren't good enough to get OHKO reliably and it opens them up to devastating counterattacks.

Weak matchups will be warbands that start with 4+ wounds and have easy access to 3+ damage with a good threat range - Cursebreakers, Farstriders, and Mollog come to mind.

This warband will be all about finesse and the deck building needs to precise.

I think this might be the only warband that could run both Keep Chopping and Keep Them Guessing, since there's a reasonable chance you can get both in the same turn because their Reactions after attacks count towards KTG.

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Theory crafting I would agreement with that assessment. Farstriders got some love with this expansion so expect to see more of them.

 

This is the basis of the deck I'm going to start with.

6 score immediately objectives but only 2 rely on killing the enemy so can play defensive and dictate the engagement

3 ways to score lithe spirits plus warband reactions

2 ways to score scorched earth

5 gambit spells for hatred and to compensate for their medium damage (withering, sphere, pangs plus trap)

Solid end phase glory, either easy (shining example) or 2 scores (escalation, ktg, reclaim)

Upgrades to get 3 dice on ylthari, rerolls on bow boy and potion of rage for when I need the tank to do some work. Fighters ferocity so the danglebro can hit 4 damage on a crit if needed but could pump ylthari to 3 damage when well of.power is applied. Defence dice and wounds for the tank so he can play distraction carnifex and 3 ploy cards that can inspire but have other utility.

 

https://www.underworldsdb.com/shared.php?deck=0,257,N365,272,L24,N340,330,348,369,N388,N389,N476,N503,N268,N269,N266,N309,N271,N274,N282,N290,N557,374,N276,243,N451,N272,N504,N506,N482,N265,320,N529,N501,291

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Quick list of the cards that can Inspire via healing and usefulness. Gambits first:

  • Healing Amorpha: Solid, but limited. Basically Inspiration Strikes+ for Gallaghann or adjacent, but stops if he dies.
  • Leech Power: Good for Ylthari, but again limited due to positioning. Fairly easy to pull off, and also works with Scorched Earth as discussed.
  • Healing Potion: Best card. If/when Shadespire rotates, this will be well missed.
  • Tainted Vitality/Lifesurge: Difficult to setup but probably worth including just for the potential swing. Even if you only heal/inspire one fighter with it, it's better here than on any other warband. Could potential bring Shardgale as well.
  • Hidden Reserves: It's Leech Power but without the positioning requirement, but also without the removal effect.
  • Emboldened: No
  • Empathic Exchange: Difficult to get off, only transfers wounds instead of straight up ignoring them. Bad.
  • Healing Pulse: Potentially multiple heals, potentially none. Bad.
  • Soul Drain: Actually not bad. You could end up running XYZ and getting both an Inspire and an Objective, but there are easier ways to buff Ylthari.
  • Vital Surge: Excellent. Hard to get off, but if you do, it's one of the top ways to inspire a Fighter and heal. Blessing of Vytrix, if you go Gambit Spell heavy, perhaps?
  • Sphere of Ghyran: It's literally a worse Vital Surge in every way. 

And Upgrades:

  • Blessed Armor: Not a great use of an Upgrade slot (as it'll often do nothing), but you do have 3 fighters with 2 Defense dice, so it's not terrible? Pretty good on Gallaghan since he has the most wounds, but underwhelming.
  • Regeneration/Regenerative Charm: These are pretty much only good if you get them in round 1 and equip them to Inspire for Turn 2. It's... bad.
  • Vampiric Weapon: The Guardians aren't particularly killy, put slapping this on Gallaghan or Skathael is fine. There are better ways to inspire, though.
  • Tome of Healing: Action: Inspire a fighter. If it didn't take a whole action it'd be worth considering, but in the end it's not quite worthwhile.

So other than Ylthari's on-card reaction, that gives 17 cards that can Inspire fighters. Of those, I'd say ~7 are playable.

How many is too many to have in a deck? You don't necessarily want to have more than 4, but that means you have to draw all of them (again, discounting Ylthari's reaction) to Inspire everyone. On the other hand, Healing effects are fine... except the Warband is very light on Wounds overall, so healing can be iffy. It's already an iffy effect for Warbands with 4+ Wounds, and now we're talking a Warband with mostly 3 Wound Fighters.

Then the other question is, how many need to be inspired? You want Skathael and Ylthari inspired, probably, but the latter can inspire herself potentially. Gallaghann only gets marginally better when inspired, but he also is the best target for healing since he's hopefully going to be tanking everything. Ahnslaine might not need to be inspired to poke, but the range and defense dice are solid boosts. 

Healing Potion, Healing Amorpha, Leech Power, and probably Vital Surge are all worth running. Tainted Vitality/Lifesurge are interesting but unreliable. Hidden Reserves is nice but has some anti-synergy with Leech Power and Ylthari's Reaction, so maybe not. So 4 cards that will probably go in, meaning you're likely to get at least one in your opening hand, especially if you Mulligan. Is that enough, or is it worth running ones that are less good? 

I don't think this is going to be the end-all part of Ylthari deck building, but it is heavily worth considering since an inspired Skathael goes from "fine" to "very strong", and relying on the Reaction for Ylthari is just asking for trouble. 

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Gallaghann never needs inspiring. A 2 fury AOE attack is meh and he gets literally nothing else. He may get inspired by accident just because as the tanky one, he'll have the wounds to heal.

 

Ylthari is a priority for 2 reasons: 2 damage on the spell attack and well of power for 3 dice. Relying on  her reaction isn't the way to get it done but leech power plays into a synergistic objective. The inspiration part is a bonus

 

Much like Chisen Axes, I think the priority for inspiration number 2 depends on who your opposition is. You can set up horrific double kills with Ahnslaine against the swarm warbands using gambit spell damage and her having more range makes that more viable. Against the stormcasts and magores of this world, Skathael ples fighters ferocity, concealed weapon or plain ol great strength is a terror.

 

Inspiration strikes is a staple in a lot of decks with tough inspire conditions. If all Healing potion does is get an inspiration it's worth it. At minimum I'd run healing potion and leech power. I've also taken healing amphora as insurance.

 

On vital surge - until you get an upgrade on Ylthari, it's a 44% cast that's not what I want to rely on.

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Inspiring doesn't do much for most of this warband, at least no more than a regular card effect would do.  The only one worth inspiring every game is Ylthari, followed by Ahnslaine/Skhathael.

The only healing cards worth running are Healing Potion and Leech Power. The problem with most of the healing cards is that Ylthari is the only one that can inspire off gambits, and she may just passively inspire from casting them in the first place. I think the trick will be to load the decks with damage ploys to deal with 4+ wound fighters and pick your battles very carefully.

This warband has to attack in almost every activation They are vulnerable to most attacks and only have 4 models so they can't handle a lot of pressure from aggressive warbands. You need to be putting out more pressure than you take, and that fits perfectly with their objectives like Strike Swiftly and Lithe Spirits.

Song of Hatred is a strong enough objective that you want to run 2-3 gambit spells, and I prefer Abasoth's Unmaking, Abasoth's Withering, Sphere of Ghur, and sphere of Aqshy. All of these spells are a single channel to cast, which makes it tempting to put Tome of Incantations to make them guaranteed casts. With the Tome I can see a lot of value in Curse of Dwindling.

Is Vengeful Blow worth taking? Skhathael can do a lot of damage if 2+ fighters are out of action.

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44% isn't too bad, especially if you can get Ylthari upgraded with Well of Power, Blessing of Vytrix, or Tome of Incantations. There's enough good neutral Gambits to make taking maybe 2 of those fairly reasonable.

Including just 3 is a pretty low chance to get them Inspired early. As you say, Gallaghann probably isn't a big deal if he never gets hit, but the other three you'll want at least one buffed up before too long. At the very least Vital Surge is another shot at early Inspiration. 

Gonna fiddle with some decks and see how it fits either way. I'm not sure how to play these guys - they don't really seem to play into any particular archetype. Not very killy (requiring Inspiration/Upgrades to get more punchy), they don't want to play Supremacy/OOWO/Keys (especially with Leech Power), and while they can play the passive game, they're not really better at it than any other warband. It feels like you'll end up playing a lot of flex objectives and play more denying your opponents their objectives than taking a bunch of your own.

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Requizen said:

Gonna fiddle with some decks and see how it fits either way. I'm not sure how to play these guys - they don't really seem to play into any particular archetype. Not very killy (requiring Inspiration/Upgrades to get more punchy), they don't want to play Supremacy/OOWO/Keys (especially with Leech Power), and while they can play the passive game, they're not really better at it than any other warband. It feels like you'll end up playing a lot of flex objectives and play more denying your opponents their objectives than taking a bunch of your own.

My first impression is that they are very aggressive but it's a very finesse form of combat, and they rely on ploys to get kills. Feels like how an aelvish(ish) faction should play.

They're like the Farstriders, but with a 4th model instead of 4 wounds.

This is my first attempt at a deck:

Ylthari.PNG

Edited by PJetski

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22 minutes ago, PJetski said:

My first impression is that they are very aggressive but it's a very finesse form of combat, and they rely on ploys to get kills. Feels like how an aelvish(ish) faction should play.

They're like the Farstriders, but with a 4th model instead of 4 wounds.

Much like farstriders in shadespire, I think the blend of defensive/control objectives and aggressive power deck is the way to go.

55 minutes ago, PJetski said:

Inspiring doesn't do much for most of this warband, at least no more than a regular card effect would do.  The only one worth inspiring every game is Ylthari, followed by Ahnslaine/Skhathael.

The only healing cards worth running are Healing Potion and Leech Power. The problem with most of the healing cards is that Ylthari is the only one that can inspire off gambits, and she may just passively inspire from casting them in the first place. I think the trick will be to load the decks with damage ploys to deal with 4+ wound fighters and pick your battles very carefully.

Leech power is worth running because of scorched earth, reclaim the lanentiri and song of hatred. The fact that it inspires as well is bonkers.

Of course, noone is talking about just running inspiration strikes. That and healing potion works just fine - doesn't hurt magores any to run 2 inspire cards and you have roughly a 1 in 2 chance of drawing one of them in your first hand. I agree though that 2 inspirations per game is all you're really looking for so you could get away with Leech and potion.

 

Absolutely on board with loading up on the damage ploys. Upgrades are too pricy to rely on. The deck I posted above has 3 gambit spells and 1 ploy for just such reasons.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Requizen said:
  • Empathic Exchange: Difficult to get off, only transfers wounds instead of straight up ignoring them. Bad.

I don't think it works. That spell says "take 2 wounds", when for inspiration you need to "remove a wound". Just like in skavens, where you need to ploy to have "choose fighter".

Edited by Reggi

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16 hours ago, Reggi said:

I don't think it works. That spell says "take 2 wounds", when for inspiration you need to "remove a wound". Just like in skavens, where you need to ploy to have "choose fighter".

Hm, the token is still being removed from the fighter card, though, so I would argue it would inspire, even if the wording doesn't use the phrase "remove". Either way, it's a bad spell.

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On 4/24/2019 at 11:36 AM, Requizen said:

Healing Potion: Best card. If/when Shadespire rotates, this will be well missed.

The day an older set rotates is the day I quit the game and consider leaving GW entirely.

This is not zero-investment Hearthstone.

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24 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

The day an older set rotates is the day I quit the game and consider leaving GW entirely.

This is not zero-investment Hearthstone.

There's a post in another thread detailing why a rotation should happen and the proper way to do it. I personally think there will be one for a few reasons and will be more than happy when it does. 

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I just can't believe/accept that all the money and time I put into the game/painting would be tossed aside after only a few years. 

As much a Underworlds is GW's first dedicated competitive-focused game, it's still GW, and that means models are priority #1. This is a hobby, not just a silly little card game.

Rotating out dozens of painted models would feel, to me, like a betrayal of my "partnership" with GW.

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11 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

I just can't believe/accept that all the money and time I put into the game/painting would be tossed aside after only a few years. 

As much a Underworlds is GW's first dedicated competitive-focused game, it's still GW, and that means models are priority #1. This is a hobby, not just a silly little card game.

Rotating out dozens of painted models would feel, to me, like a betrayal of my "partnership" with GW.

Not the place to talk about it, but first, nobody knows what the rotation will look like, and second, nothing prevents you from playing with whatever you want at club night, likely the format will only be for tournaments/events.

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Sure, but even in my AoS games nobody wants to play in any other way than as prep for the next tournament.

In Underworlds it's even more focused. Already in our group everyone uses the BAR list. If any warbands get killed, nobody will want to let me use them even in basement games.

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21 minutes ago, Sleboda said:

Sure, but even in my AoS games nobody wants to play in any other way than as prep for the next tournament.

In Underworlds it's even more focused. Already in our group everyone uses the BAR list. If any warbands get killed, nobody will want to let me use them even in basement games.

This is the thread for discussing Ylthari's Guardians, I have created a new thread to discuss potential rotations:

 

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Darn, I was going to start this topic! Good job at beating me to it, I haven't gotten them yet but am very excited.

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1 hour ago, Requizen said:

This is the thread for discussing Ylthari's Guardians, I have created a new thread to discuss potential rotations:

 

My bad. For whatever reason I thought we were in the general thread.

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So - getting this all back on track...

 

Played my first set of games today. First was me playing magores I to my buddy's guardians (hes running a very similar deck to me) and then my guardians into his objective control eyes of the 9 (complete with all the tactical supremacies)

Thoughts:

- hyper aggro magores cause problems for guardians because they are on you fast and guardians tend to crumple.

- Spring seed step is a card I cannot get the hang of using.

- gallaghann with great strength and warding is a legitimate terror. Hard to put down, hits like a bus. Has 2 dice syndrome though - haymaker, potion of rage et al will be real important for him.

- despite the potential ease of scoring with reactions, keep them guessing is still a really restrictive card to and stops you doing other things

- a magical play style is entirely possible. I ran 4 gambit spell (unmaking, withering, aqshy and curse of the dwindling). Will play around with spellcasting objectives and other gambit to see if this can work

- noone has rated healing amphora particularly highly. But having only healing potion and leech power in the deck feels limiting without other ways of inspiring. Tome of healing or vital surge is a possibility but gallaghan usually being front and centre and a high wound pool means you will get a chance to use it

 

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Keep Them Guessing can make for some suboptimal plays but it also enables a more passive approach, which is crucial in a long deployment defense against aggro warbands.

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It's situational but it is possible to score 3/4 of Keep Them Guessing off of 1 activation with Ahnslaine. Charge (kill someone) + Action on a fighter card (her reaction) + Attack action at someone else.

It suits my playstyle so I like keep them guessing for any warband that isn't pure aggro, 

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I dont think their reactions count as actions on a fighter card

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In the Faq they say Scurry (which is a reaction) counts as an action on a fighter card. Somewhere in the rulebook it says 'reactions are a special type of action' which I believe is how its ruled. 

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Posted (edited)

This is correct (Goblin FAQ on Scurry). So there's the potential to set up Ahnslaine for a kill with a charge, make her reaction for an attack to get 3 of the 4 needed actions for KTG. Ylthari's reaction on something like Abasoth's Unmaking is also a nice way of ticking one of those boxes.

 

With the amount of Passive Score Immediately available, my playgroup has done some deck refining and come up with something more like the deck from @PJetskiand very close to the deck that Aman from hexes and warbands won glass with on opening weekend. It's a flex control/aggro deck that much like Fyreslayers and Cursebreakers, scores passive glory in turn 1 then equips upgrades to counter the aggro turn 2:

image.png.04471c7dd4ac2ff06075f510a42be5a8.png

Ahnslaine's massive threat range makes change of tactics a no brainer. Likewise Ahnslaine and Ylthari can score Death from Afar. If Ylthari does this with one of the gambit spells, even better for sorcerous scouring. 2 sources to score Scorched Earth. 4 card based reactions plus the character card reactions for Lithe Spirits. Only 3 objectives based on actually killing the enemy and only 4 based on engaging.

I had a restricted slot free so upgraded Great Fortitude to Sudden Growth meaning Ylthari goes to 5 wounds (i.e. 2 shot territory against everyone but Mollog). With her access to healing that should be grand.

I bit the bullet on Calculated Risk. It's so darn easy. Penitent's Throne, Arcane Nexus and Ruptured Seal are all solid boards for 4 fighter control play so it's not that limiting.

 

Now, I'm a 10/10 power deck guy, for consistency. But Grand Clashes have been won with 11/11 and even 12/12. So cards I'm considering:

- Duel of Wits - it's a reaction, so Lithe Spirits does not rely on crits. It helps mill through the deck as with many score immediately cards and the amount of burnable gambits, i'll be emptying my hand often and having those extra two draws would be good. Improvisation is a better draw but isn't a reaction

- Last Guardians - score change of tactics in a single activation. Give Gallaghan the option of being very aggressive and being on guard with 3 dice

- Sphere of Ghur/Strength of the Burgeoning - The strategy here is to upgrade Gallaghan and Ylthari to carry the load but also have some of those upgrades be usable on Ahnslaine or Skathael (gloryseeker, potion of rage, archer's focus). +1 dice or +1 damage. The Sphere is probably more valuable given that I'm looking for Gallaghan to do work. Also helps score Song of Hatred. Speaking of...

- Awakened Weapon - If Gallaghan is going to do work, I don't trust 2 dice smashes. I just don't. I don't have the restricted slot for awakened weapon, but I would consider dropping sudden growth back to great fortitude and taking awakened weapon as an 11th upgrade.

- Last Chance - over half of my gambits and 2 of my objectives are unusable if Ylthari dies. In my game vs Guardian's this weekend, I drew Spectral Wings, Inspiration Strikes and Determined Effort in my opening hand. Riptooth proceeded to make Ylthari an expensive chew toy. I cannot have that happen to me in this deck. It's also a reaction...

- Fighter's Ferocity - Ylthari, Ahnslaine and Skathael can make use of this at all ranges. More damage is nice.

- Tome of Offerings - because it's Tome of Offerings. Even 1 kill with this equipped will make a difference

Edited by riddlesworth

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