I was back at the Battlezone Dubai (they run WHU evenings every Tuesday now) for another tournament. Since the last event I worked on an Eyes of the Nine deck. I changed it every single day without even playing it once.
Eventually I came up with this decklist. It main purpose is gathering base glory (check Tony’s article on “base glory” in case you missed out) while shooting with Vortemis and the Blue Horror. Since both do not deal lots of damage most of my gambit cards will deal additional damage.
This article contains both the decklist as well as a shortened tournament report.
Easy to score: Well-Guarded, Keep them Guessing, Change of Tactics, Calculated Risk, Eyes of the Master
All these objectives can be accomplished without rolling dice (or at least it does not matter if your rolls succeed or not). Keep them Guessing is easy to score with The Eyes of Nine escpecially when the Blue Horror has not been summoned yet. Well-Guarded is attractive as I would try to place Vortemis and K’charik adjacent to each other due to their inspiring condition. Eyes of the Master turned out to be less easy to score, but mainly because I always had better ones to score. I would still keep it in my deck.
Holding objectives: Supremacy, Our Only Way Out, Bind the City
The Blue Horror is actually one of the best characters in game to hold objectives. Why? You spawn him anywhere so he can even reach the other edge of the board. When he is on an objective and someone tries to hit him down this is what usually happens: it dies and you turn around the card to spawn the Brimstone Horrors. The great thing: they will not be not pushed, which means the objective is still being held.
Reason enough for me to put the three high scoring objectives into my deck (and it worked just fine).
Shooty objectives: Master of Magic, Rising Inferno, Death from Afar, Sorcerous Scouring
I figured if I made attacks in the games to come it would mainly be spells cast by Vortemis or fireballs shot by the Blue Horror. Turned out these are really easy to score! I kept away from the objectives which require four or more successful spells per round though.
Did someone say “one damage”?: Reflected Injury, Shardgale, Trap, Abasoth’s Withering, Encroaching Shadow, Pit Trap, Sphere of Aqshy, Stand and Shoot
These are a lot of cards which spit out single damage points. Keep reading to see how a single wound attack killed a full-grown Stormcast Eternal.
The other two: Transfixing Stare, Haymaker
Haymaker is simply wonderful especially when used with the last activation. As it does not specify “attack-dice” it can be used with Vortemis as well. Transfixing Stare is a good counter if most of your warbands can attack from range 2. I only used it once in my games though and might replace it with another damage dealing spell.
Staying alive: Acrobatic, Deathly Fortitude, Champion’s Fortitude, Sudden Growth
I used two restricted slots to make sure Vortemis and the Blue Horror pull through all three rounds. Acrobatic and Champion’s Fortitude would support this task.
Giving +2 health to the Blue Horror creates a mollogesque 7 wounds monster (as both sides of its card get +2 wounds). I did not dare to give him +4…
We need more damage: Empowered Sorcery, Gloryseeker, Blessing of Argentine, Archer’s Focus, Well of Power
While Empowered Sorcery and Gloryseeker add one damage to your damage dealt, Archer’s Focus and Well of Power make sure you hit in the first place.
Blessing of Argentine is a wonderful card and one of my favourites in Nightvault in general. It might look useless against characters using ranged weapons, but that is not 100% true. If you charge them first and stay adjacent they can a) attack you and take the damage, b) do not attack you or c) move away before attacking. Which makes the blessing a strong card for board controll. This especially works fine with cards like Shardgale, Reflected Injury, Encroaching Shadow, etc. Against characters with range 1 this card is bonkers.
You might ignore a model with Argentine’s Blessing, but not if it is the one holding the only objective in your range which will score the opponent objectives like Supremacy.
For the LOLs: Duellist’s Speed
Well… I understand that this card is not considered strong by many players. But given the fact that 4 out of 5 characted in Eyes of the Nine have a range 3 attack and many warbands in WHU have characters with movement 3 (or even below), this card gives you the possibility to shoot and move out of range. Or shoot and move into range for the next target (I used both ways during the tournament).
Apart of that it is a lovely combination with Stand and Shoot (David Hayes called it “Poor man’s Quick Thinker“! I liked the idea a lot and had to steal it!). I had a dream about combining Haymaker with Stand and Shoot and Duellist’s Speed. Never happened though.
Running the Deck
To summarise the weekend tournament: my deck left without a loss thanks to the many damage dropping gambits.
My board choice was Forbidden Chambers and I placed Vortemis adjacent to two other fighters. He has a great threat range to attack if required (4 movement + 3 range) and from there it is almost impossible to escape him. On the other side he can not be easily charged by multiple characters. That being said: if you are up against Mollog or other aggro warbands you might take him to the back of your board.
I used to drop Shardgale as early as possible before summoning the Blue Horror deep in opponent’s territory and holding one of the objectives there.
During the first match I encountered Skaven and Shardgale worked like a blessing against them. Each gambit card used resulted in a kill and a glory to a point I felt bad about what was going on.
In the final I was up against defensive Stormcast Eternals and it turns out the deck copes with defensive play quite well. I closed the second round with a combination of Shardgale, Reflected Injury, a three crits ranged attack by Senior Le Bleu for one damage and Encroaching Shadow killing Brightshield in full health. For the record: It was the first time I rolled 3/3 crits.
It was a wonderful afternoon at the Battlezone and I look forward to the next tournament and Tuesday’s WHU nights. Not sure yet which warband I will take up now, but I might choose something with beards. Stay tuned!