FAR and wide, time to check out the new card balance update!
Greetings and welcome as today I go over the new erratas as well as the updated Forsaken and Restricted (FAR) list for Warhammer Underworlds which was released in June 2021. If you prefer video content, this has also been done as a YouTube video which you can find below:
As previously mentioned, Games Workshop dropped new updates to the errata, Championship document as well as the FAR list for Championship play. I’ll be going over all of these changes in-depth, covering the effects these will have on Warhammer Underworlds in general as well as cards you may want to run instead to replace those newly restricted and forsaken cards.
Championship Document Update
Nothing too big here. The Essential Card Pack has been officially recognised for Championship format along with the Silent Menace cards. The boards from the Starter Set have been made legal too. The only oddity is no Penitent’s Throne despite the Ambertrap Nest being an exact re-colour of it.
The real mystery is the lack of a Vanguard format update. This means that Games Workshop intended for the Essential Card Pack to not be legal for Vanguard format as well as the Starter Set warbands. This also means that Vanguard format has no FAR list, which is a much worse outcome. TO’s may want to at least adopt the current FAR list for Vanguard but it is strange this document saw no update at all.
To begin with, the first set of changes are with the erratas to 2 warbands. Mollog has a huge change with his inspired ability being reworked entirely. Before, Mollog Inspired could make a charge action even if he had a charge token. Being able to double charge was always ridiculous and compiled on what made him such a huge problem to deal with. The new errata alters Mollog’s inspired ability to still allow the Troggoth to make a move or charge action If he has a single move token but while Mollog has a charge token, he cannot make superactions.
This change completely stops Mollog Inspired from making 2 charges in a single action phase as well as stopping him from making his Whirling Club attack action. While this attack action does not have the Scything keyword, it still is 2 or more actions during a single activation which makes it count as a superaction. Although having an FAQ to clarify this would be great.
Overall, this is amazing. Mollog loses a tone of pressure he didn’t need. It means the Mollog player has to play slightly smarter with the Troggoth and makes him less oppressive to play against. He is still a monster while inspired but no longer game-breaking.
The next errata is a beta rule. This is for Khagra’s Ravagers. It changes their inspiration mechanic from needing 3 Desecration tokens to 2. While nice to see Games Workshop addressing the balance of under-performing warbands, this change does nothing to address the main issue of Khagra’s Ravagers: the fact that their Desecration mechanic actively hurts the warband. The better change would be to allow them to hold objectives that have been Desecrated. All this change will do is result in Khagra’s Ravagers players making very un-optimal decisions in order to guarantee inspiration via digging for the Desecration faction gambits as well as leaving Razek and Kragan back on objectives to Desecrate at the end of a round.
However, the main interesting point of this change is that Games Workshop are trying to buff underperforming warbands. Will we see the same for older Shadespire and Nightvault warbands for example? Personally, I doubt it as this is likely only being done because Khagra’s Ravagers are a new Direchasm warband and this change could be a result to improve sales for the warband as there is no real financial benefit to improve warbands Games Workshop doesn’t sell anymore. I could be wrong here and it is all just guess-work on my part, yet I don’t think we’ll see errata buffs for older warbands sadly.
Forsaken and Restricted List June 2021
Now we come to the big topic: the new Forsaken and Restricted list! 23 cards hit will leave huge ramifications for Warhammer Underworlds’ competitive balance. This is doubly so considering this is one of the largest FAR hits in recent memory but this makes sense when you consider that it has been slightly over 6 months since the last FAR update.
First up is our new forsaken card: Ferocious Resistance. If you weren’t aware of my thoughts and feelings on this card in my previous tier list ramblings with Mollog’s power, Ferocious Resistance is a card that lets you roll a magic dice for each wound counter that chosen fighter has as well as 1 additional magic dice if that fighter has a Hunger counter. For each roll of a channel, heal 1 that fighter. This potentially could heal Mollog, for example, from 1 wound all the way back up to full health. It was bonkers on fighters with more than 4 wounds. Utterly broken and glad to see it gone. The healing potential from the card was just too good and made warbands, like Mollog’s Mob, feel absolutely broken.
Another big takeaway from this is that even core set cards can be forsaken now. This is breaking new ground for Warhammer Underworlds as it means nothing is safe when it comes to balance. Could we even see faction cards banned if the need arose?
Now we look at the 22 other cards that have been restricted. First I will go over the universal cards then cover the restricted faction cards.
First up is Cover Ground. This is a Surge you score for moving 6 or more hexes during a move action. Despite having to move 6 hexes, you can score this card by moving effectively 1 hex and running around in a circle, meaning you don’t need to actually move 6 hexes away to score Cover Ground, only that your move action resulted in your fighter moving 6 hexes. This is different to how Gathered Momentum and Winged Death score for movement purposes. With all the +2 movement cards in the game right now, it is very easy to score Cover Ground without actually needing to get close to the opponent and was the likely reason why it was hit.
Show of Force is another Surge which you score for having 3 or more fighters in enemy territory or having a fighter with 3 or more upgrades. What caused this card to be restricted is the latter scoring condition. Way too easy to score without needing to interact with the opponent or giving them the right to respond and interrupt.
Surge of Aggression is another Surge and Hybrid which you score via either succeeding with an attack action that is doing 4 or more damage or you gain the Primacy token. This was likely restricted to tone down Primacy as well as Mollog. Cards that give the Primacy token for free also made Surge of Aggression problematic as well.
Mischievous Spirits is a card that allows players, taking in turns starting with the controller of the card, to move each objective token 1 hex. The reason this was restricted was because it basically killed hold objective play. Aggro players could easily slot this card in to shut down the end phase of a hold objective player as it takes 2 to 3 push cards for the hold objective player to counter Mischievous Spirits. Great to see it finally restricted.
Slickrock is a Trap card with the reaction of after an enemy fighter’s move action that ends on an objective token. Scatter that fighter 1 hex. This card messed up Bold Conquest and hold objective Surge objectives. Honestly, this is a strange hit. No one was really using this card and Slickrock is easy to recover from. Hurting Surge hold objectives is actually a good thing. Mischievous Spirits was the big problem, so I feel this restriction is overkill.
Amberbone Sword is another odd restriction. This upgrade is range 1, 3 smash and 2 damage. On a successful kill, you can discard this card to gain an additional glory. Amberbone Mace being restricted is good, this card being restricted is just strange. I can see why it may need to have been hit but this wasn’t really a problem card.
Crown of the Dead is a Mortis Relic which lets you spend 1 glory after an activation to draw 2 power cards then discard 1. Plus if you have 2 or more equipped Mortis Relics¸ it has an Awakened Weapon effect. This card was restricted because it is a silly Mortis Relic in addition to having an amazing card draw effect.
Deserved Confidence is an upgrade from Arena Mortis. This card has varying cumulative effects depending on how many upgrades the fighter has. For 3+ that fighter has +1 wound and cannot be driven back, 5+ give +1 move and 9+ grant innate smash and fury. The stacking effect is crazy good and the first option gives way too much. Especially to Mollog.
Gauntlet of Command is another Mortis Relic which has a reaction that lets you spend 1 glory after the equipped fighter’s activation to push an enemy fighter 1 hex. It also grants +1 wounds for having 2 or more Mortis Relics on a single fighter. Both effects are too strong currently and resulted in it being restricted. Gauntlet of Command is basically Distraction and Great Fortitude rolled into a single card after all.
Geomancer’s Gauntlet grants an action to flip all feature tokens within 1 hex. Thanks to cards that move feature tokens, a fighter could flip 2 or more at once. This upgrade made Feed the Beastgrave far too efficient so I can see why it ended up being restricted.
Haughty Resistance is a reaction that gives you the Primacy token after an attack action targets this equipped fighter or discard the Primacy token if you already have it to reduce damage taken by 1. Once again this was amazing for Mollog and any other durable fighter. A reliable way to get Primacy as well as built-in damage negation too.
Hunter’s Talisman is a Beastgrave upgrade which gives +1 dice for a Hunter. You also get to re-roll a single dice against a Quarry. Crazy with Hrothgorn but Hunter’s Talisman is amazing aggro accuracy that wasn’t needed in an already strong aggro meta.
Proud Runner gives +1 move and grants you the Primacy token after a move action of 5 or more hexes away from where you started. If you have no move or charge tokens on this equipped fighter at the end of an action phase, discard the Primacy token. This upgrade basically was way too easy and reliable for getting the Primacy token, especially considering it did not have to be charge action and most fighters are movement 4 base.
Savage Visage makes the equipped fighter a Hunter and lets you re-roll 1 dice for range 1 attack actions for each instance that the equipped upgrade has the Hunter keyword on it. Once again more accuracy for range 1 aggro warbands as it is very easy to get re-rolls for 2 or more attack dice in Direchasm.
Sting of the Ur-Grub is an Ur-Grub Aspect card which gives +1 damage to range 1 attack actions and can turn your equipped fighter into the Avatar of the Ur-Grub if they have all 3 Ur-Grub Aspect cards. This was restricted to also tone down the power of range 1 warbands as Warhammer Underworlds currently has a surplus of +1 damage upgrades.
Substance Siphon changes the fighter’s defence characteristic to dodge and the value to the round number. The defence characteristic cannot be modified or re-roll, however, you can still benefit from being on guard. This is another odd hit which seems to be due to Mollog again who only has a single defence die. Geeze, Mollog really did upset somebody. Poor Wurmspat though.
Restricted Faction Cards
Fleeting Memories is a faction objective for Lady Harrow’s Mournflight which is a Surge that grants 1 glory after a move action where a fighter entered 2 or more objective hexes. This basically hits more of the un-interactive Surge glory that the Mournflight can easily farm at the back of the board alone.
Cruel Hunters is a Dual objective for Rippa’s Snarlfangs which gives 2 glory for having 2 or more enemy fighters out of action and 1 or more friendly fighters in enemy territory. This is a very good faction upgrade for Rippa’s Snarlfangs but I’m still a little surprised this was restricted. Either way, it helps tone down the power of this warband in terms of its reliable end phase glory.
Arm of the Everwinter is a Surge objective for Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers which is scored when your warband removes or flips a feature token. Another odd hit, mainly to damage Feed the Beastgrave builds for Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers but that wasn’t the most optimal build for the Mantrappers anyway. Feed the Beastgrave should have been restricted instead but it is what it is.
Got It Boss is a Surge objective for Morgok’s Krushas which gives them 1 glory for holding an objective in enemy territory. This was the wrong objective to hit. Now Wot? (which is faction Hidden Purpose) is the more problematic card and at least Got It Boss forces the Krusha’s player to engage AND place an objective in enemy territory. This was likely restricted to tone down the warband’s hold objective build which sat back and relied on passive cards and easy Surges.
Berserk Fortitude is another Morgok’s Krushas card that is a reaction which reduces damage taken by discarding WAAAGH! counters. Surprise damage negation on 5 wound base fighters is too good. Glad to see it restricted to help mitigate the amazing durability that Morgok’s Krushas already has.
Foul Temper is faction Awakened Weapon for Mollog’s Mob. Mollog loses even more accuracy and this will make piloting him far more difficult, on top of all the new universal card restrictions.
Cards That Should Have Been Hit
Now I’ll cover cards that should have been restricted. Thankfully there aren’t many at all but there are still some that are worth mentioning.
The biggest one is Gathered Momentum. This is a Surge and Hybrid objective you score by either making a charge action of 5 or more hexes further away from where you started or by scoring your second or subsequent Surge objective this phase. This is equally as bad as Cover Ground and a lot of warbands don’t even need card investment to score this. This is not even to mention its other also very easy scoring condition. Still baffled how Gathered Momentum has survived over 2 years without being restricted.
Feed the Beastgrave is 5 glory for having no objective tokens on the battlefield. Note, I would have still kept the feature token flip cards that have already been restricted but it is odd that the card which causes this playstyle to become a problem in the first place was not touched. You could have even prevented Arm of the Everwinter from being restricted too.
Great Strength, +1 damage to range 1 and 2 attack actions. Now hear me out, yes this is an Essential Card Pack card but Daylight Robbery is restricted too still (lol). Restricting this upgrade would be more beneficial than hitting faction Great Strengths as well as similar cards such as Savage Strength which has an actual downside. Restricting Great Strength would just be so beneficial for the game overall, especially as cards like Gloryseeker are back in-use.
Punching Up. It chooses the fighter with the lowest wounds characteristic and grants them +1 dice and damage to range 1 and 2 attack actions in the next activation. This was likely not restricted due to being released after this FAR was finalised in May 2021. Still, this is a future card that will cause problems. It’s already amazing in Kainan’s Reapers and just offers too much of a buff with 2 wound fighters. Punching Up gets pretty crazy on their Nadirite attack actions as well as with general universal upgrades such as Soultooth Dagger.
Universal Card Replacements
This FAR list has been one of the most extensive we have had in a long time with 23 being hit in total. Now I’ll briefly go over some cards that will serve as good replacements in the meantime while the dust settles.
First up is Gathered Momentum. I’ve already explained why this card is so strong so just run it if you’re missing out on Cover Ground being restricted. Winged Death is also a good replacement as it still meets the 6 hex requirement, although with the same wording as Gathered Momentum for scoring purposes.
Healing Potion doesn’t need much explaining. This Shadespire classic still offers reliable healing, especially for players who are now missing Ferocious Resistance.
Augmented Limbs is a great replacement for range 1 aggro players. This upgrade makes you a Quarry and gives +1 dice to range 1 attack actions. Use it while it remains unrestricted!
Errata and FAR Overview
Overall I really like this new FAR list as well as the new errata. Sure, there are some stuff that still need to be hit but most of the problematic cards and warbands have been hit. This new FAR is way better than the last one we had back in December 2020. Plus praises for Games Workshop must be given as they did not wait for rotation to try and fix things like they did with the end Beastgrave.
People upset at cards being hit while not being able to use them is understandable but there are a lot of people who are playing again and have been playing Warhammer Underworlds over the past 6 months, like via online such as with webcam format. It does suck a bit for people who have been unable to play but at least we can take from this that Games Workshop still cares about Warhammer Underworlds’ balance.
Big losers from the changes is Mollog. This Troggoth got hit hard, maybe a little too hard. Either way Mollog definitely isn’t S Tier anymore. Thankfully, the fearful effect he has had on Warhamemer Underworlds is now toned down. He isn’t menacing the game but will still be a problem you need to keep in-mind instead of constantly worrying about.
Sadly some warbands also suffer from the fallout of the new restrictions. These are namely the weaker range 1 aggro warbands like Elathain’s Soulraid and other warbands like the Wurmspat who cry at the restriction of Substance Siphon. A shame to see but sadly these kinds of eventualities always happen post FAR update.
Upgrade stacking has also been severely hit. Pretty much all the Arena Mortis upgrades which were good have been restricted. For now, cards like Savage Soldier and the Silent Relics remain untouched but the question may be for how long?
Primacy and range 1 aggro has taken hits too in terms of consistency and damage. Not enough to tone them down completely but still sufficiently to make these not so free to run without a cost. You’ll probably still likely take Proud Runner but Augmented Limbs will likely take the place of cards such as Savage Visage if they haven’t already.
The largest oddity is the lack of an accompanying FAQ. A balance update is amazing to have but there are still a lot of important questions that need answering like the order you gain the Primacy token after an activation as well as fighter and card interactions. For example, I expect Mollog Inspired with a charge token and making his Whirling Club attack action to cause a lot of arguments.
One last thing was the lack of Vanguard format update. No one will know the truth outside of Games Workshop but it is strange to see silence on this new format. Although, it is fair to say that Alliance format saw no update either.
Big winners are hold objective players. Now they have a chance of actually standing on objectives in the end phase and scoring Supremacy. Hopefully we can see this playstyle rise up to relevance again after being overwhelmed with Direchasm aggro love.
So there we have it for the June 2021 FAR list and errata update for Warhammer Underworlds. As I have said previously, a great change for the game. There were a lot of upsets for multiple players, playstyles and warbands. Exactly how a typical FAR update should go. The only thing I want now is a new FAQ. Please Games Workshop, you’re our only hope.
So until next time, remember to update your card folders and keep rolling crits!