Out of 557 there can only be 10!
With Nightvault recently getting all its cards released I thought it right to cover my top 10 cards from season 2. While rather soon, since playing Nightvault from launch I’ve had a lot of time go through all the cards available in theory as well as in practice!
There are a few stipulations however. Firstly I’ll only cover universal cards, check out my Nightvault Warband Reviews for my favourite faction cards. Secondly I’ll also be going over the strengths and weakness of each card as this is more of an in-depth review and I want to fully explain my choices. They’ll also not be in numerical order, that’s too much of a task even for me! The cards will just be ordered in terms of objectives, gambits and upgrades.
For starters I’ll go over my honourable mentions! Cards that were good but didn’t quite make the cut.
Master of Terrain is a solid favourite of mine. Normally lethal hexes generate you no additional glory from kills but this card turns it on your head! Not commonly used due to the prevalence of Thorns of the Briar Queen and lack of lethal hexes but Calculated Risk changes everything. It kinda acts as a nice counterbalance.
- Allows you to gain additional glory from lethal hex kills.
- Punishes opponents with poor positional skills.
- It’s a score immediately objective.
- Can’t be scored against Thorns of the Briar Queen and other fighters that ignore lethal hexes.
- Requires lethal hexes on the board to be scored.
Shifting Reflection is really interesting. Swap a friendly fighter and an enemy fighter holding objectives from anywhere on the board. A general thing is to swap a weak or buffed up fighter for your opponent’s leader or key fighter. Also hilarious to send over a friendly fighter then equipping the Earthing Stone. It doesn’t make the top 10 as it requires your opponent to be interaction with objectives so otherwise means you need to invest in setting it up.
- Swap fighters with no range restrictions.
- Pull in a key enemy fighter you need eliminated while sending a buffed up fighter of your own.
- Requires your opponent interacting with objectives.
- Not really useable against warbands such as Mollog’s Mob where only Mollog can hold objectives.
Sphere of Chamon is the epitome of a “tech” card. Changing a fighter to 1 block (before modifiers) is a really interesting mechanic. Snirk and his 3 dodges? That’s a block. Stormsire Inspired? That’s a block. The card has a short duration but it can make defensive characters very vulnerable while being easy to cast too.
- Turns any defence characteristic to 1 block before modifiers, meaning evening fighters with a native 2 block will be reduced to 1 block.
- Cast on a single channel.
- Can target any fighter including your own allowing a nice save for dodge fighters.
- 3 hexes is rather short range for a spell.
- Short duration, you only have the power step the card was played in and the following activation to get the most out of the card.
Potion of Rage. Since Awakened Weapon was restricted, this card shot to prominence. It’s good but being 1-use balances it out a lot.
- +2 dice to attack actions allows you to stack the odds for a crucial attack.
- No real downside when compared to other +2 dice cards such as Haymaker.
- Can only use it once so need to make it count.
Controversial time! Bag of Tricks is not in the top 10. It’s alright but I’m not a fan of draw mechanic cards. Still this is a very balanced card worth mentioning. Are you willing to spend a glory, spend an activation and sacrifice a fighter to draw a card while revealing that card to your opponent? For some yes and others no.
- Search any card you want from your power deck.
- Requires an activation and gives the equipped fighter a charge token.
- Less desirable for elite warbands.
- Reveals to your opponent what card is drawn, allowing them to potentially figure out and counter your plans.
Controversial pick number 2! Tome of Offerings is a really good upgrade, too good almost. Getting an additional glory for every kill is huge. It punishes horde warbands. Not as good against elite warbands. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really good but doesn’t add much to the game, mechanic-wise that is.
- Additional glory for every kill.
- Can go on any fighter.
- Not as great against elite warbands.
- You play Mollog’s Mob.
- Not good if you don’t play aggro.
You’ve seen the honourable mentions but now it’s time for the main event! This won’t be in numerical order as mentioned earlier.
I couldn’t start without arguably the best objective in the game. Move thorough a lethal hex for 1 glory. Simple and effective. The card does have its downsides but that doesn’t negate it from making the top 10.
- 1 activation for 1 guaranteed glory.
- Score immediately objective.
- Thorns of the Briar Queen can’t score this.
- Requires at least 1 board with a lethal hex meaning you need to be more careful with board placement and positioning.
- Makes the chosen fighter easier to kill.
- You need to move through the lethal hex and not end your movement in the lethal hex making it tougher for low movement warbands.
- You play Thorns of the Briar Queen.
Another simple card that ended up being restricted! Its value depends on how easy your fighters inspire but generally it’s a very reliable objective.
- Generally a very reliable card to score.
- It’s restricted.
- Needs at least 1 fighter alive.
- You play Eyes of the Nine.
Keep Them Guessing is really one of my all-time favourite objective. It’s simple yet so effective. Be rewarded for playing mindgames with your opponent! My main love for it is how it boosted warband that do more than kill and have extra mechanics such as the Sepulchral Guard. It breathed new life into old warbands as well as new.
- A rather reliable and difficult to stop 2 glory objective.
- Amazing for any warband with unique fighter card actions.
- Generally takes 4 activations to score.
- Not great for warbands without fighter card actions such as Steelheart’s Champions.
- Upgrade actions don’t count towards it.
What Armour? Exactly! Punish puny block fighters. With the prevalence of cleave on top of not even needing to kill the target, it just becomes an extremely solid objective for warbands that have easy access to cleave, like the Sepulchral Guard (this article is sponsored by Nagash).
- Just have an attack with cleave succeed, no need to kill!
- Great for warbands with built-in cleave to fighter cards.
- It’s a score immediately card.
- No cleave, no dice.
- If you only have 1 fighter whk has cleave, you’ll need to take redundancies such as Mutating Maul.
First for the gambit spells is Abasoth’s Withering. Since being released in the first wave of expansions, the card has seen almost universal use in every warband with a wizard. Lowering the wound characteristic is better than doing damage as your opponent can’t heal it back but this brings its own drawbacks. Still an amazing spell to have in your arsenal.
- Lowers a target’s wound characteristic which can’t be healed back by conventional methods.
- 4 hex range is very good.
- Cast on a single channel.
- Lowering a target’s wounds characteristic interferes with cards such as Gloryseeker and Giant-Slayer.
Sphere of Aqshy is another amazing gambit spell. That easy 1 damage stacks with so many objectives and really strengthens the magic archetype.
- 4 hex range for 1 damage.
- Cast on a single channel.
- 1 damage that bypasses defences line defence dice.
- You might fail the casting roll.
I really like Mirror Move, it’s such a well designed card. While it does require your opponent to push a fighter, this can be off of a ploy card like Sidestep or when a fighter is driven back in combat! As you match the push it’s great to counter cards such as Commanding Stride and even Snirk’s unique action.
- Push is dependent on the trigger, anywhere from 1 to whatever the trigger said.
- Is a reaction and can occupy reaction windows such as the one for Trap.
- Very strong for positional play.
- Requires your opponent to initiate the push.
- Has to target a different fighter than the one pushed.
Immobilise a fighter; the card. A reliable Frozen in Time. Welcome to Transfixing Stare. This card should have only been allowed to use against adjacent fighters or be a gambit spell bit it still does actually have flaws! Not great against warbands with range 2 or more attacks and you basically have to sacrifice a fighter to get it off but it’s still very solid.
- 2 hex range to give an enemy fighter a move token.
- Fighters with ranged attacks can play around the card.
- Have to commit/sacrifice a fighter to get the card off.
- Need to keep in-mind about enemy push cards.
Faneway Crystal was always going to be in. It boosts mobility while also securing objectives at the same time (Sepulchral Guard). Great for dealing with control play and now scores Cover Ground too!
- Unlimited movement onto any objective.
- Deal with people hanging back.
- Grab difficult to reach objectives.
- The equipped fighter’s next move has to use Faneway Crystal meaning you’re stuck if all objectives are occupied or removed.
Mutating Maul is my number one upgrade weapon. It’s reliable and versatile while helping to score objectives such as Martyred and Get Thee Hence. It even has a brave Gobbo wielding it!
- 2 smash and 2 damage make it reliable and hard-hitting.
- Gives you either cleave or knockback 1 on every attack action.
- Helps reliably score objectives such What Armour? and Get Thee Hence.
- 2 damage is solid but not likely kill tougher fighters from the getgo.
There ya go, my top 10 cards from Warhammer Underworlds Nightvault. Do you agree? Disagree? What are your favourites? Feel free to let me know in the comments! It was really fun going through all the cards for season 2 so I hope you enjoy the read. Officially my favourite card in Nightvault is Headshot, because, CAN YOU ROLL A CRIT?