Budget decks for Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm!
Today I’m covering a highly requested topic, budget decks for Warhammer Underworlds. While the game is fairly cheap when compared to other tabletop and competitive games, people don’t really want to buy every product to have a good time with the game, plus yearly prices rises haven’t helped either. So today I’ll be going over my budget decks for Warhammer Underworlds in relation to Direchasm. It’s not that similar to the Gloryseekers blog (who have done their own budget deck series you should check out) but basically has the same end goal, affordable Warhammer Underworlds decks!
I’ve also done this as a YouTube video which you can check out here:
What is a Budget Deck?
A budget deck is something commonly used in competitive card games (CCGs). It’s basically trying to play competitively/competently without having to shell out lots of money to play with the meta decks. In regards to this, budget decks are decks compiled of cheap cards that are strong and competitive, although still not on the level as the super competitive cards (which are usually also rare too such as with foil cards). For Warhammer Underworlds, this is a much easier prospect as you are always guaranteed what cards you get in each expansion and you can only use a maximum of 1 of each card, meaning you don’t need to pay for doubles, triples and so on.
So when it comes to budget decks for Warhammer Underworlds, I have 3 following conditions:
- A budget deck should comprise of at least a core set and the Essential Cards Pack with no more than 1 warband expansion
- Core sets and warband expansions should all be from the same and latest season, to minimise the impact of rotation
- While the budget decks won’t be super competitive, they should at least be fairly competent to play with
The recommended items corelate to my How to Collect Warhammer Underworlds article. The reason I’m focusing on the Direchasm season is because the core set has amazing universal cards and faction cards are very reliable and competitive, which reduces the reliance on powerful universal cards to function well. Plus with a core set, the Essential Cards Pack and a warband expansion, a player will have enough cards and warbands to play around with as that gets you 3 warbands with just over 200 cards at your disposal.
Core sets and warband expansions should all be from the same and latest season. The reason is because of rotation. As I covered in my article and video on Beastgrave Rotation, rotation is where the previous season has its universal cards rotate out of competitive play when the next season starts. Remember, the goal with a budget deck is to get the most time out of your purchases so it feels pretty useless to buy stuff from Beastgrave now, for example, as the universal cards from that season could be potentially rotating out very soon.
While warbands and their faction cards from older seasons are still usable, it’s still not a great feeling when 30 of the universal cards from that expansion become effectively useless to you post rotation. Now, rotation isn’t too much of an issue if your local play group ignores it but rotation is something that should always be kept in-mind when building and buying towards any kind of deck in Warhammer Underworlds.
In regards to competitiveness of budget decks for Warhammer Underworlds, decks should be playable but are obviously not going to be competing with the most competitive decks using cards from multiple expansions. The aim should basically be able to play well with friends and should do evenly when it comes to results if you decide to play said budget decks in tournaments.
Now the skill of the player can always elevate any deck and warband in Warhammer Underworlds. Stuff like the fundamentals of positioning and card knowledge will always elevate you when compared to players who lack those but in general, budget decks are likely for players new to Warhammer Underworlds as a whole.
The bottom line is, don’t expect to run over tournaments and everyone you meet with these decks. People with more cards and more experience will likely be able to beat you, but budget decks are a great basis to get used to Warhammer Underworlds with and play good games with your friends.
Without further ado I’ll now talk about 5 budget decks I’ve made for your use in Warhammer Underworlds. I’ll go over their playstyles, downsides, expansions used, costs and even some additional purchases you may want to make after for some more improvements. Remember, all decks are linked in the episode description if you want to use them yourself.
Prices will be in £ and based off from the Games Workshop store. Remember, you can make savings depending on some 3rd party stores who give discounts on Games Workshop products like Element Games! Check out my affiliate link if you’d like a 15-25% discount at no additional cost to yourself while also helping to support the channel!
Dread Pageant Deck
Playstyle: Flex (Aggro and Hold Objectives)
Expansions Used: Direchasm Core Set and Essential Cards Pack
This Dread Pageant deck combines the strengths of the warband’s faction cards, the powerful Direchasm core set universal cards and the strong cards from the Essential Cards Pack for a decently performing flex deck which focuses on aggro and hold objectives.
Your objectives reward you for holding 2 or more objectives, notably holding more objectives than the opponent. Thanks to Dominant Position and Excess of Avidity, you get 4 glory via just holding 1 more objective than the opponent. Excess of Indolency is 2 glory for basically holding 2 or more objectives and then Path to Victory just requires you getting a kill that round. Your Surge objectives are basically all aggro related ones, involving moving up and attacking. Surge of Aggression unlocks Primacy for you while having fairly easy triggers and Branching Fate is surprisingly reliable. Intimidating Display is actually quite reliable due to Slakeslash being 5 wounds base although Winged Death will be a bit trickier to score. Hadzu can trigger it off a kill with his bow but the movement part requires your movement upgrades to score which may cause Winged Death to brick quite a lot.
Gambits wise you have a lot of push cards at your disposal thanks to the faction cards of the Dread Pageant. Dark Desires, Lure of Slaanesh and Mirror Move can all push enemy fighters (with the latter 2 working on your own fighters too if needed) with Hungry Advance and Sidestep acting as friendly push cards to get on and stay on objectives. The deck also has some decent ping damage with Cruel Pangs and Lethal Ward to aid with inspiring and killing. Determined Effort is more attack accuracy buffing but also helps towards scoring Branching Fate when used on your 2 attack dice base fighters. Duel of Wits is easy card draw and then Shared Pain is your amazing surprise damage negation that your opponent won’t be able to prevent as long as you have friendly fighters within 3 hexes (namely Slakeslash).
Upgrades basically focus on damage output. Great Fortitude provides a nice source of +1 wounds while Distracting Ostentation is great enemy dice de-buffing. Strength from Pain, Savage Strength, Great Strength and Gloryseeker are all basically +1 damage cards making it quite easy to score Surge of Aggression and Awesome Predator. Swift as Desire and Savage Speed are your +2 movement cards for objective grabbing and Winged Death. Mark of the Dark Prince is just an amazing and flexible upgrade for Slakeslash while Duellist’s Speed is useful for using it as a push to get onto an objective or put on Vassilac to make him dance around the board with his range 2 attack action.
Overall the deck is pretty solid. The main cards that will likely be the weak points are Winged Death, Surge of Aggression and Awesome Predator, although the latter 2 will brick not so much. Still, at least with Winged Death you can fallback on Hadzu to try and get a kill with his bow as I mentioned earlier. You just have to remember the basics of being aggressive with Slakeslash and Vasillac while using Hadzu and Glissete to capture objectives or finish off weakened targets.
If you want to refine the deck a bit more without breaking the bank, consider buying the Starblood Stalkers as you will be able to use Outrun Death to help make Winged Death less unreliable. You’d also get access to really good cards like Proud Runner for more consistent Primacy scoring and even Savage Visage if you wanted to make your range 1 fighters more threatening.
Myari’s Purifiers Deck
Playstyle: Hold Objectives
Expansions Used: Direchasm Core Set and Essential Cards Pack
This Myari’s Purifiers deck focuses on hold objectives while also maximising the use of guard tokens and Aethequartz counters.
Objectives have a big hold objective element. Dominant Position is your hold objective staple, Perfect Formation is faction Temporary Victory, then Seal the Beastgrave and Supremacy each give you 3 glory for holding 3 objectives. Path to Victory is your last but also requires you to kill that round. Purifying Light is easy glory but needs your leader alive to score it. Unsullied Hands and Winged Death have the same trigger from kills with range 3 attack actions, Elemental Blessing is easy glory for discarding an Aetherquartz Counter or casting your 2nd spell. Pursuit of Excellence is basically unstoppable win more glory. Patience of the Mountain kinda bricks a bit but it is a Surge for having all surviving friendly fighters on guard. Force of the Avalanche is more matchup dependent but it’s still alright.
Gambits are a mix of Aetherquartz Counter effects and push cards. Sidestep, Hungry Advance and Channel the River are your main push cards with Tectonic Force focusing on Bahannar. Channel the Mountain and Untouchable Pride are quick ways to gain Guard tokens, namely for Patience of the Mountains, but also to just be on guard in general as your fighters have multiple defence dice. Flicker of Light is surprise saving from death with Duel of Wits being your standard draw tech. Channel the Wind is also just some nice ping damage.
Upgrades aim more towards durability and staying on objectives. Great Fortitude, Heartstone Amulet and Champion’s Fortitude are all for durability. Mountain’s Gift is more guard. Quickening Greaves is to make sure 1 of your fighters always stays on an objective. Speed of Hysh is your +1/+2 movement upgrade with Great Strength for damage. Heightened Senses is basically faction Awakened Weapon with additional effects if you discard an Aetherquartz Counter and Heightened Reflexes works in a similar vein with +1 move then the ability to attack after being attacked at the cost of an Aetherquartz Counter.
Overall the deck is solid and recent changes to the game make hold objective in general more reliable to play. You still run the risk of being 1-shot on every attack but you have lots of access to easy guard and multiple defence dice. Plus your ample selection of push cards means staying on objectives should be an easy task. Patience of the Mountains and Force of Avalanche are the weakest parts of the deck but not so much that they always hold you back.
If you wanted to add a boost, I’d actually suggest buying the Khagra’s Ravagers expansion. Dominant Defender is more amazing guard AND Primacy tech plus Scavenged Armour allows for aggressive hold objective grabbing. Underdog is also an option too if you don’t want to tech into Primacy at all.
Drepur’s Wraithcreepers Deck
Expansions Used: Warhammer Underworlds Starter Set and Essential Cards Pack
Now we come to a pure aggro deck, with probably the best aggro warband in the game at the moment. This time with a focus on the most limiting yet still powerful selection.
Objectives are heavily aggro slanted. Dread Harvest and Scythed Down give you glory for just killing enemy fighters. The Hunt Pursues and Conquest reward you for just running into enemy territory. Deathly Blooms isn’t amazing but not terrible, plus it doubles down on being in enemy territory as long as your hold an objective. Your Surges are all super easy to score, with only Piercing Blow requiring setup via inspiring Sire Haqfel or with the use of power cards. Branching Fate is super easy due to Drepur Inspired.
Gambits are basically all aggro and movement based. Horrifying Shriek is a limited faction Distraction whereas Drifting Death and Sidestep give you easy push pressure outside of Deathbeat. Commanding Stride is just on Drepur to make him able to attack even more without needing to move or charge. Mirror Move is a flexible push card and Heart-Piercer helps score Piercing Blow. Determined Effort also helps you to score Branching Fate without having to rely on Drepur. Deadly Vengeance is busted revenge attacking, remember that you don’t even have to target the enemy fighter that killed you if another target is in range!
Upgrades mainly focus on damage output. Bitter Strength, Great Strength, Murderpact and Gloryseeker are all sources of +1 damage. Duellist’s Speed is for Drepur to make him truly a pain to deal with as he dances around the board. Dark Darts is mainly for the Patrician but also helps with Branching Fate and Piercing Blow. Great Fortitude and Deathly Vigour are your +1 wound cards. Pall of Fear is the best negative dice upgrade in the game which can go on anyone, although you’ll likely put it on Drepur. Finally the Point of Death allows for more accuracy when charging, specifically when trying to score Unstoppable Death.
This is probably the best deck out of the bunch, thanks to the amazing faction cards and fighter cards of Drepur’s Wraithcreepers, while being the cheapest too! Simply charge forwards into enemy territory and crush the opponent with endless and accurate pressure. You still have to worry about being overwhelmed by early aggro pressure but overall the deck should perform admirably. Conquest is probably the weakest link in the deck and your glory total is fairly low but your aim is to get more glory from killing the opponent and wiping them out.
If you wanted some improvements, I’d actually suggest picking up the Silent Menace Universal Deck. Advancing Swarm is a good swap for Deathly Blooms, Demolish the Opposition is a much better swap for Conquest, Untouchable Swarm is a good choice if you can get the Patrician into charge range, Hypnotic Buzz is an extra Distraction, Membranous Wings for extra movement on a charge and the Silent Ring for draw tech via your upgrades. It’s also only £12.50, so half the price of a warband expansion too.
Starblood Stalkers Deck
Playstyle: Flex (Aggro and Hold Objectives)
Expansions Used: Direchasm Core Set, Essential Cards Pack and Starblood Stalkers
This is another Flex aggro and hold objective deck, using the powerful tools available to the Starblood Stalkers in order to excel at both aspects.
Hold objective cards are once again Dominant Position and Path to Victory. Balance the Cosmic Equation fulfils both of your aggro and hold objective elements. Heralds of Annihilation is fairly doable as any fighter in your warband can score it. Instinctive Tactics is super easy to score due to all the reactions in the warband. The Great Plan is your true end game though. Remember you need a good balance of Dual and Hybrid objectives to reliably score this which has influenced the deck. Awesome Predator is another Hybrid but is easily scored by Klaq-Trok. Same for Surge of Aggresion. Winged Death is fairly easy for this warband too due to your high movement and multiple range 3 attack actions. Branching Fate is only scorable by Otapatl but becomes easier once the warband inspires. Path to Victory is your other Dual objective which may cause the Great Plan to brick if it is drawn far earlier than Path to Victory. Will of the Slann is also easy 2 glory as long as you can hold an objective in enemy territory as well as in your own. Astromatrix Alignment is iffy but at least your leader can score it reliably.
Gambits are once again full of push tech, positional cards and reactions. Duel of Wits is easy draw tech and reaction too for Instinctive Tactics. Burst from the Shadows, Huanchi’s Device, Hungry Advance, Inspired Command, Mirror Move and Sidestep are all of your many push cards. Lords of Space and Time is amazing redeployment that you can play even after charging. The Great Drake also adds +1 dice to your friendly range 1 attacks for the round to add more aggro pressure. Finally, Outrun Death is solely for Winged Death but allows for distant objective grabbing too.
Upgrades are mostly speed and damage. Great Fortitude and Unfeeling Resilience are there to add extra durability. Great Strength, Gloryseeker and Savage Strength all add extra damage with Guardian Glaive is there for more reliable damage output as you want to be on objectives anyway. Savage Visage allows for a very accurate Klaq-Trok while Unhesitating helps score Winged Death. Proud Runner does this too but it also easily gets you the Primacy token.
Once again you have another really solid flex deck. It does well at holding objectives while being aggressive at the same time. You have to be careful about being overrun by early aggro but if you can survive their push, you should be able to turn things around into a victory. Just remember to keep track of the warband’s reactions and effects. Your weakest link is still Astromatrix Alignment as that basically takes 2 activations to score along with The Great Plan Bricking if you draw it before scoring Path to Victory. Everything else is still a good mix however.
For improvements, I’d oddly suggest Elathain’s Soulraid, namely for Everything to Prove. It is an easy Surge objective which can swap for Astromatrix Alignment. Impressive Bulk is also another nice upgrade you can add but outside of that, there’s not much to gain from that expansion. The weird thing is you’ll need universal cards from multiple warband expansions for the best impact. However, for the single best warband expansion to boost the deck, Elathain’s Soulraid wins out with Everything to Prove.
Kainan’s Reapers Deck
Expansions Used: Direchasm Core Set, Essential Cards Pack and Kainan’s Reapers
The final budget deck is another aggro build focusing on Kainan’s Reapers and the swarming pressure they put out.
Again, you have lots of objectives that rewards you for attacking and killing. Created for War is a better faction Keep Copping and Nagash’s Will rewards you for kills. Gruesome Certainty is the best because it rewards you for rolling crits. Pride of the Emissarian cast is an easy Surge objective for holding an objective in enemy territory with your leader and then Tithemasters rewards you for killing a 4 wound fighter or gaining 2 Tithe counters during an action phase. Walking Mass Graves is easy 1 glory thanks to Mortek Advance. Awesome Predator and Intimidating Display are easily scored by Kainan, along with Savage Exemplar. Surge of Aggression and No Remorse can be scored by your whole warband thanks to Nadirite. Dominant Position is just there as some backup glory via sending out-of-range Mortek fighters onto objectives.
Gambits focus mainly on positioning and dice modifying. Ceaseless Advance, Centre of Attention and Commanding Stride are your push cards. Eternal Chase and Never Falter help with mobility. Duel of Wits as standard. Dire Ultimatum helps keep your Mortek alive. Exceptional Efficiency and Lethal Accuracy help make your Morteks even more deadly.
Upgrades focus on damage buffing mainly. Great Strength, Gloryseeker and Savage Strength are your general +1 damage cards with Empowered Nadirite being locked-in on Mortek fighters. Aura of Shyish is good enemy dice de-buffing and Hatred of the Living is an amazing card for Kainan. Unnerving Synchrony allows for even more Mortek attacks, especially when equipped to Binar Khenta, plus Witchlight Glimmer helps buff a specific Mortek early.
The deck performs pretty well thanks to how powerful Kainan’s Reapers are. You have to watch out for enemies with Scything attacks and super-hard aggro but otherwise you should still do well. Dominant Position can feel a bit out-of-synch but it makes sense once you practice more with the deck. You’re also heavily reliant on your leader to score objectives, so try and keep Mir Kainan alive until you’ve scored all objectives related to him.
If you wanted to add some slight power then I’d recommend getting the Crimson Court expansion. This is because of Punching Up and how powerful it makes your Mortek fighters. You can also take the Silent Helm to make Mir Kainan or another fighter slightly more difficult to kill. Outside of that, Kainan’s Reapers have a Starblood Stalkers problem where you ideally need the odd universal card from multiple expansions for maximum efficiency. Still, if you’re determined then Punching Up will be the main reason, +1 dice and damage for a fighter with the lowest wounds characteristic is just too good on your Mortek fighters thanks to Nadirite.
Direchasm Budget Decks Overview
So there are my 5 budget decks for Warhammer Underworlds. Out of all of them, I feel the Drepur’s Wraithcreepers deck is the best while also being the cheapest too! It just works out so well thanks to the innate power of the warband and their faction cards. It’s also really cheap to boost in power too. Still, the other budget decks are all great choices for new players. If you go with the order of the Direchasm core set, Essential Cards Pack and then either Kainan’s Reapers or the Starblood Stalkers, you still get the Myari’s Purifiers and Dread Pageant decks too. In the end, it all comes together.
Once you’re comfortable with the decks, you can then decide to branch out if needed. However, if you’re only playing with friends then that may not be necessary. It just depends on what you want out of Warhammer Underworlds as a whole in terms of either competent decks for casual play or a solid foundation to then start playing competitively from.
Regardless, the selection of budget decks generally offer a wide selection of playstyles for you to test out as well. Although, what did you think of my budget decks? Do you like how I’ve approached them in terms of minimal costs and season selection? Also, it is worth noting that none of these decks are technically legal for Vanguard Format as that only allows cards and warbands from the chosen season it is set in. Just something to be aware of.
But yeah, that’s pretty much it for my Direchasm Budget decks. I hope you find them useful or know someone who will. Price of entry isn’t something that’s usually talked about for Warhammer Underworlds but hopefully this helps with people who are interested in dipping their toes into the game without the fear of needing to buy everything. Just remember, no matter your card collection, nothing can affect your potential to roll a crit!