It’s time for new FAQs and a new FAR!
Welcome to another article, this time about the latest erratas, FAQs and FAR (Forsaken and Restricted List) released by Games Workshop for June 2020. It’s been a while which is understandable due to the COVID-19 lockdown. If you want to see the full article, check it out on the Warhammer Community site here. My favourite thing from this is seeing Dave Sander’s thoughts and reasoning behind the upcoming changes. It’s great community input and helps explain the choices made.
To start off I’ll go with the fixed card changes. First off Fecula is now a Leader when inspired. A clear misprint has been fixed. RIP the players arguing she wasn’t a Leader while inspired.
Next we have our first major change; Varclav! His push has been changed to only work once per round. It’s a great and deserved balance change. This will help tone down the power of the Thorns of the Briar Queen a lot.
Next I’ll be talking about the important clarifications within the designer’s commentary which contains all the FAQs. It’s not every FAQ, just those I think are most important to highlight.
The Do-over has been changed/clarified. I really love this change and makes the ambiguity over discard first clearer as well as less punishing to a player who wants to perform a do-over first (before you would basically do-over then player 2 could decided whether they would want to or not after checking your discarded cards).
Hunter and Quarry
Upgrades are confirmed to work while a fighter is out of action and fighters can have both the Hunter and Quarry keywords.
Inspiring during activations and reactions
Inspiration that happens during an action/reaction/activation is confirmed to happen after the entire action/superaction is resolved to stop any mid-inspiring during attacks and other weird instances.
Scything attacks are now clarified even more. You declare each target before step 1 of the combat sequence and then resolve each scything attack action individually.
LoS and Edge Hexes
Clarified that when a line drawn for Line of Sight (LoS) touches an edge hex, it doesn’t block LoS like it does when touching a blocked hex. Only when the line drawn goes through an edge hex is LoS blocked.
Ghouls summoned onto objectives via Muster at the start of the action phase don’t score you Dug In if it means you now hold 3 objectives due to the summoned Ghoul.
Valreek’s Hunter’s Nose works like Hrothgorn. While she is alive and equipped with it, all enemy fighters have the Quarry keyword, even if they are out of action.
Clarification on how Circling Hunter works. Remember it works after a superaction is completed. Scything attacks are superaction and Stikkit has a scything attack while inspired. Just means you can’t push him around the board during his scything attacks.
Loaded with Plunder has been clarified to not work with fighters that are out of action. What a surprise. Le gasp. Oh no, my plans are ruined etc.
Hrothgorn’s Quarry effect clarified like with Valreek. You’re a Quarry even while out of action while Hrothgorn is alive.
Bushwakka is immune to damage from his own Trap but not another enemy Trap. Trap.
The Trap is clarified again that it isn’t a lethal hex. Some of this is sadly quite clear already but a good thing made clear is that a hex continues to be an empty hex even if the Trap model is in it.
For sequencing, the Trap deals damage first then the lethal hex. I really like this as it’s very good and needed but also is sort of a nice balance change. Basically the Trap always is used first so sending in a 1 wound fighter won’t let you resolve the lethal hex first and “save” the Trap. It also means you can’t score certain universal cards with just the Trap. Overall I love it.
Mostly just reaction timing clarifications for their objectives.
Lady Harrow’s Mournflight
Lady Harrow’s reaction is shown to block Potion of Rage and Grashrak’s Ritual Counter effect. A nice clarification for those unaware of it.
Her reaction is also clarified how to work during enemy scything attack actions. Attack 3 other Mournflight? She gets pushed up to 3 hexes. Eeep…
I didn’t even realise Frightful Aspect is an even better Distraction.
One Will can…basically be scored any time the condition is met.
Just more clarifications to how they inspire with spells during many different timings within a game.
Thorns of the Briar Queen
Maddening Cackle. Fear it forever. Not even scything attacks are safe from it.
Drizgit’s unique Squig action is shown to be a superaction. Small but still necessary clarification.
Scurry now blocks Snirk inspiring. It’s in the rules but I fear it’s something Zarbag’s Gitz are gonna strongly dislike.
The Wardern’s action is a superaction.
Last Lunge cannot be played if you have no legal attack action to make.
More inspiring timing confirmations. Long but needed.
Make Hungering Skaven the Combo master it was born to be.
There Are Always More confirmed to inspire out of action Clanrats.
Blindside has to be a supporting fighter to push and cannot if supporting via Spiritbond.
Bold Conquest makes the already amazing Duellist’s Speed even better.
I wasn’t going to talk about questions like these but the Brought to Bay question…really?
Steadfast Defender has a nice scoring clarification.
Lucky Escape works with any damage that does 1 damage, even if it is 2 or more then modified down to 1.
Quickening Greaves is amazing and you should all use it like me.
Quintok’s Combative Cantrip is one of those few spells like Unfocused Blast which can be cast without a target.
Rebound is even better but is restricted so no one will ever use it.
Restless Prize cannot push an objective token through a blocked hex. Partly because it never states you can in the first place. Nice to finally have it cleared up.
Wildform needs doubles to cast. Thankfully innates do count towards it.
Forsaken and Restrict (FAR) List June 2020
Now we’re onto the juicy stuff. Let’s get the big stuff first. We have a new forbidden card!
Hunter’s Reflexes is gone, mainly due to its interaction with Hrothgorn and how it basically blocked every reaction after an activation. An unintentional and way too strong interaction.
Restricted Universal Cards
Next up are the restricted cards.
Combination Strike and Opening Gambit are now restricted. This is great to see as it cuts down on “win more” end phase objectives that an opponent can’t really stop. Hurts the efficiency of Surge objectives and allows more counterplay.
Blazing Soul is hit too. Inspiring is such a strong a mechanic and this basically guarantees it without being turned off. Great to finally see it restricted.
Cryptic Companion is restricted. Good to see but I think an errata to make it only work at the start of the round would have been more effect. Probably a card you’ll still see regularly as it grants you 0 to 3 extra glory every game.
Frenzied Search is restricted. As a draw card it’s just too good. Despite needing to control an objective token and discard a power card, drawing 3 more cards at any time is just too good. Should slow down the tempo of card draws and their efficiency.
Nightmare in the Shadows is restricted. Not really a fan of this but I guess it should be more positive for the game.
Restless Prize is FINALLY restricted. It should have been restricted back in January. A way too strong objective push card. Objective players will still have to run this but now at a cost.
Survival Instincts is no longer free. Deservedly restricted too. Being on permanent guard for free despite being a Quarry wasn’t too much of a draw back at the moment.
Trophy Belt is now restricted as well. Sad to see, especially for aggro Beastgrave warbands but it did lead to some crazy glory gains when combined with Tome of Offerings.
Faction Restricted Cards
We’re onto the big ones now everybody. That’s right, faction cards have now been hit!
In the Name of the King and Shifting Madness are both restricted. This is amazing news. I would have rather had them errata’d to be end phase objectives but this is still of great help for the health of Warhammer Underworlds.
One Will is restricted. Open wording allows it to be scored at basically any time. Once again I would have preferred it being errata’d to an end phase objective but also no Fleeting Memories. The Mournflight have so many good problematic cards so I would have liked to see more being hit. Still one is better than none.
Harness the Storm is restricted. Sadly Stormsire’s Cursebreakers are more broken due to their mechanics than just cards like Lady Harrow’s Mournflight. Would have liked to see Cry of Thunder hit too but this is better than nothing.
Sudden Appearance is now restricted which is honestly such a weird choice. Howling Vortex and Treacherous Foe are way more problematic cards. Still the Thorns have taken a massive hit to their mobility with this and the Varclav errata.
Unexpected Cunning and Toughened Hide are the last faction restricted cards. While great to see I’m just not sure they needed hitting considering Hrothgorn hasn’t won any major Grand Clashes repeatedly as well as most of his support cards being restricted now too. Personally it’s too early of a call but still good to see these cards hit. Hopefully I’m wrong on this in regards to Hrothgorn being hit too early.
But wait, there’s more! 2 cards have been unrestricted!
Sorcerous Flourish and Loner are now free for use again. While I’m against Loner being set free as it rewards and encourages turtle control play, it’s good to see Sorcerous Flourish free. That change should allow magic from all other warbands to rise in power a bit as it only really helps with killing.
That’s right! Before I leave you I thought I’d write up some decklists for the 5 restricted warbands to see how much effect it has as well as something you can all test out at home. It’s a fun little exercise so here’s what I’ve come up with. Just remember these were written before the FAR list was implemented which is why the decklist images will look off but the links will be fine!
Playstyle: Hold Objectives
Your standard Grymwatch deck with some minor tweaks. Double Temporary Victory and In the Name of the King is still there but Restless Prize eats up your 3rd restricted slot as it is essential to the deck. Other than that it’s standard Grymwatch really. Lots of aggro upgrades for all that glory you’ll have to spend and everything else dedicated to getting onto those objectives.
Lady Harrow’s Mournflight
Playstyle: Flex (Hold Objective and Aggro)
Lady Harrow’s Mournflight didn’t really lose much honestly. One Will is now dropped for Gathered Momentum. Temporary Victory, Restless Prize and Cryptic Companion are your restricted cards. It’s still a really tight and strong deck that does everything the Mournflight excel at. With Survival Instincts restricted, Grim Tenacity is in to keep you Banshees in place.
Stormsire’s Cursebreakers also came out of this pretty well but they’re more mechanically overpowered than cards. Harness the Storm, Sphere of Aqshy and Tome of Offerings are your restricted cards. The magic cards need no explanation but Tome of Offerings is to double-down on Stormsire or to go on any other friendly fighter for explosive glory gain. Sorcerous Flourish is back for surprise damage and helps score Unexpected Pitfall too.
Thorns of the Briar Queen
Playstyle: Flex (Hold Objectives and Aggro)
Thorns of the Briar Queen suffer a bit as Sudden Appearance has been restricted, their glory stream is completely fine though. Joining Sudden Appearance is Temporary Victory and Restless Prize for that Hold Objective Power. The rest of your cards are tooled around mobility and objectives with the upgrade deck being fully of juicy upgrade cards for some aggro power.
Playstyle: Flex (Aggro and Control)
Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers took quite a big hit, mostly due to the universal cards they relied on being hit. Unexpected Cunning being hit too along with Toughened Hide is a big loss. Yes they had a good control build but that mostly relied on universal cards which were pretty much all hit. Anyway, the deck revolves around aggro and controlling the opponent by denying their positioning as well as objective tokens. They glory base is low but most of the Surge objectives are aggro ones so duplicate off of kills. Calculated Risk, Nightmare in the Shadows and Tome of Offerings take up all your restricted card slots. Calculated Risk is for easy glory, Nightmare in the Shadows to help with positioning and Flush Them Out with finally Tome of Offerings to make all your kills even more important. Countercharge and Commanding Stride are great mobility cards for Hrothgorn to get that inspire condition easily as well as maximise his attack output.
Before signing out, remember that you can find all the game changes on the Warhammer Community site here.
Overall I feel that this is a really good FAR list update that tones a lot of things down and makes the tournament scene healthier for Warhammer Underworlds. There are a few glaring cards still missing like Two Steps Forwards and Gathered Momentum but there’s always give and take. Win more objectives have been hit as well as strong faction and universal cards that should allow the less commonly seen warbands to rise up in power. I’m really excited to play now and see what other people do with these changes. It might even help you roll more crits.