Reviewing the new core set for Warhammer Underworlds!
Welcome to my review of the Warhammer Underworlds Wyrdhollow box set! I cover both new warbands, new rules, what’s inside as well as all the new faction and universal cards. Check out how the newest core set and rival decks shape up! Before we go further, thanks goes to Games Workshop for giving these to review for free. As always, I aim to be honest, impartial and constructively critical.
If you want, I’ve done a YouTube review which you can watch here:
What’s in the Box
The contents of the core set fit into the standard load-out. You get: 2 warbands, the core rules, building guide, 2 double-sided game boards, 2 faction decks and 2 rival decks, all the dice and tokens needed to play.
I’ll now go over the rules changes with this new core set. Not much has changed overall but we do have a few new rules.
Deck-building has changed slightly, namely for Championship play. The plot restriction has seemingly been removed now. If this is reflected when the Organised Play document updates, then that’d be awesome! Just a nice change that fixes a restriction that didn’t really make much sense in the first place.
Hexes remain mostly the same except for Snare hexes. These just stagger you when you enter them. They’re alright although I fear what hexes we’ll get in the next core set as we already have quite a lot now.
Stun and Barge are 2 new actions for everyone. Stun just staggers someone next to you. Barge is a move and stun action combined, like a charge action. These are alright, giving more use to 1/2 dice 1 damage attack fighters.
Delve remains and we get Salvage. This lets you swap out magic/fighter-specific cards during the power step to draw new ones. A nice workaround to these cards when they become “dead” cards in-hand. Would have loved this rule way back when.
In Wyrdhollow you get 2 new warbands for the game: Domitan’s Stormcoven and Ephilim’s Pandaemonium. I’ll quickly go over each.
Ephilim’s Pandaemonium are a very unique 5 fighter warband. You have Ephilim the leader and their 5 daemoic familiars. They are quite fragile but offer an impressive magic and range threat as well as embodying all of the tricks that represent Tzeentch.
Ephilim is a level 1 wizard which goes to a level 2 while within 3 of 2 or more other friendly fighters. 2 dodge with 4 wounds is nice but the 2 ranged profiles are great to have, especially the range 4 Changebolt. Ephilim Inspired becomes an effective level 3 wizard which is amazing as well as the Warpgorge reaction that helps with great card draw. Plus Warpstaff becomes 3 smash.
Flamespooler is a weird Tzaangor. Fast but fragile. Warpsplash is alright and makes Flamesplash even more threatening. It also counts as a magical spell attack which helps with objectives and power cards. When inspired, they go to 2 dodge and hit on channels instead of focuses, nice.
Spawnmaw is your main melee threat. movement 5 makes it fast with a decent melee attack and some nice ranged threat which is also a magical attack action. Chomp helps vs 5 wound or greater fighters too. Inspiring gives more defence and more accuracy.
Kindlefinger comes with 2 dodge bases and takes -1 damage from attacks. Warpflames is alright and interestingly does +1 damage when targets are adjacent. Inspiring just boots accuracy.
Apo- Your floating starfish daemon of doom flies. It also does +1 damage with it’s attack action if it has no move or charge tokens, which makes it surprisingly damaging. Hypnotise is also some great push tech. Inspiring gives +1 dodge and technically more of a chance of rolling a crit.
The plot card of this deck is very interesting. Basically after initiative you: inspire a fighter, stagger one, give one a guard token and push another. These apply to Changers so not your leader. You also have to resolve each in order, only stopping when you don’t have any fighters to apply the affect. This means if you had 1 Changer out of action, you’d stop at step 4 and so on. I like how staggering is at step 2. A great use of a plot card for a warband. Thematic and powerful.
The power deck is great overall. Lots of powerful objectives and power cards. Having their own faction Temporary Victory and other easy to score yet high glory objectives is great. Power cards are pretty much all very useful, providing great buffs, positional tools or ping damage.
Domitan’s Stormcoven are a 3 fighter warband. They’re all wizards, although not as oppressive as Stormsire’s Cursebreakers.
Domitan, like your other fighters, aren’t leaders until they inspire. He’s a level 1 wizard but I like how they made Azyrite bolt 2 channel dice and not based on wizard level, very nice. Harness the Aether is a shared reaction for the warband. Domitan Inspired becomes a level 2 wizard, becoming much better overall with damage output. Aethershock is also kinda alright. Oddly no 2 defence when inspiring.
Leona can fly. Her staff also isn’t a bidet. She is fast-ish too. Inspired, she goes to 2 block, gives everyone +1 move and flying although it will basically only apply to her.
Sarpon is alright. Your melee guy but only slightly. Inspiring, he goes to 2 blockand gets nice push tech with Aetherforce. He also goes to effectively 3 damage while adjactent to targets with Stormbound Weapons.
Overall the deck is mostly okay. Some good cards but not as powerful or as interesting when compared to Ephilim’s Pandaemonium. Not that it’s a bad thing, they’re just averagely solid which will be great for new players.
I’ll now cover the 2 rival decks you get in the Wyrdhollow box. Remember, these are both 32 card decks that can be used on their own or merged with faction cards depending on the game format.
Toxic Terrors is alright but the poison cards don’t feel as great as the ones we got back in Beastgrave/Direchasm. It’s an alright deck but no plot card feels like a bit of a letdown. It’s a good deck for aggro and still has some great cards but it does the confusing thing all rival decks do and includes a small number of cards that are seemingly there just to fill space with no synergy for the deck. Freezing Venom is cruelly powerful though.
Seismic Shock is the first magic-based rivals deck. Once again, no plot card sadly. Instead of being ping-damage: the deck, it focuses more on aggressive objective control while also being in the enemy territory. It’s an interesting take and kinda benefits Domitan’s Stormcoven and other aggressive magical fighters. There is some ping damage here but it’s very rare but that’s not really a bad thing.
Overall, Wyrdhollow is an interesting core set. I think it’s one of the best we’ve had recently, although nothing tops Direchasm for me. Generally everything is pretty good, although I’m finding the many rules and keywords hard to keep track of unless you’re regularly playing the game every week. Domitan’s Stormcoven are fine but Ephilim’s Pandaemonium are the real winners despite being hard for new players but great for veteran players.
- Everything you need to play the new season of Warhammer Underworlds
- Two great looking warbands, especially Ephilim’s Pandaemonium
- Ephilim’s Pandaemonium offer a great gaming experience and challenge for experienced players
- Two balanced magical warbands that do well to show-off the mechanic without being broken
- Just the general con over having to buy a core set every 6 months if you want to stay competitive
- Ephilim’s Pandaemonium are tough for new players, which may skew things for out-of-the-box games
So would I recommends Warhammer Underworlds Wyrdhollow? Yes! I think it’s great for both new players and veterans alike. I feel veterans will really like Ephilim’s Pandaemonium. They’re a complex warband that looks great and requires a lot of thought to use while also having powerful and synergistic cards. It’s what draws me to them too! Domitan’s Stormcoven are also great for new players too, as all Stormcast warbands generally are.
If you want to pick up the Warhammer Underworlds Wyrdhollow, you can find them in Warhammer Underworlds Gnarlwood which you can pre-order it directly from the Games Workshop website or use my affiliate link at Element Games to net you a 25% to 15% discount at no additional cost to yourself while helping to support me and my work.
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So until next time, no matter what magical threats you face in the Underworlds, there’s always a chance to win as long as you can roll a crit!