The Great Devourer has been released at GenCon and spoilers are now floating around the internet, so I thought that I would take this opportunity to have a look at the fourteen non-Tyranid cards contained within. For fun as well I am going to give them a rating between 1-5, just so that I can look back on this article in the future and laugh about how wrong I was!
Thanks to Team Covenant for the photos!
Veteran Barbrus: This guy is obviously going to be compared to Klaivex Warleader as they have similar effects. The restriction on his ability (not being able to target Space Marine, Chaos or Astra Militarum units) whilst thematic (the Deathwatch are alien-hunters), is perhaps too restrictive to be consistently useful. That being said, for his cost he is actually quite reasonable, it’s just that when compared to the borderline-broken Klaivex Warleader he does not look great. Probably would use this guy at one copy for now.
Vengeance!: My initial reaction was that this card is strong. Readying cards is a powerful effect (cards like Nazdreg’s Flash Gits, Cato’s Stronghold, etc), particularly as in battles people typically attack the ready units, sometimes ignoring hard-hitting exhausted units as they can deal with them later. This card will allow you to mess with people’s combat tactics and attack with a unit that they did not expect.
Seraphim Superior Allegra: The Astra Militarum have got loads of decent support cards, so being able to ready one every time she attacks is definitely going to be useful. Her stats are acceptable/good for her cost (they are the same as Tankbusta Bommaz), so I can definitely see her being played alongside supports like Catachan Outpost, Staging Ground or the next card on this list, Holy Fusillade.
Holy Fusillade: This card basically allows you to initiate another ranged phase in rounds after the first. This works really well in combination with Preemptive Barrage as those units targeted will be able to attack with Ranged again. To get the most out of this card you will need to play Ranged units (well, duh!), but ones like Ratling Deadeye and the combotastic Cadian Mortar Squad usually find their way into Astra Militarum decks anyway. The only real downside to this card is that it telegraphs your intent, so opponents will prioritise your Ranged units first in battle.
Boss Zugnog: Yet another four-cost Ork unit, yay! Sarcasm aside, this guy looks promising. A solid four attack with an ability that reinforces the Ork Tellyporta shenanigans, I see no reason why Zugnog won’t find his way into Ork decks (at least one copy anyway).
Ork Landa: It’s hard to find a reason to like this card; high cost, unique, encourages you to play only Ork cards and is not guaranteed to do anything. It also doesn’t even work if you reveal a copy of itself off the top of your deck. Binder-fodder.
Roghrax Bloodhand: Khorne Berzerker is a great unit and this guy is like one of them but better! With Brutal and Bloodthirst this guy has the potential to reach twelve attack! Twelve! He is going to appear in nearly every Chaos deck, and he will definitely be the go-to hard-hitter for those eschewing daemons (I’m looking at you, Ba’ar Zul).
Ecstatic Seizures: At first glance you’ll probably be thinking, “Wow! Shadowsun is f****d!”, and you’d be correct. Against a Shadowsun deck this is going to be devastating, but she makes up a very small percentage of Conquest decks. A more practical use is to strip away all attachments so that you can Warpstorm with impunity, or get rid of a pesky Tempest Blade or Plaguefather’s Banner. It will also remove negative attachments from your units; Heavy Marker Drone, Suffering, Dire Mutation, etc. I’m looking forward to using this.
Solarite Avetys: This has a built-in Repulsor Impact Field against non-Flying units, and since Flying units are so uncommon, that means basically everyone. The ability being a reaction means that you have to survive the damage being taken (boosting it’s HP with something like Rune-Encrusted Armor would be quite nasty), but it will dish out a lot of damage before it dies. Will probably see one copy in most Dark Eldar decks (Syren Zythlex will always take up more deck space; she’s so good!).
Dark Possession: I really want to like this card, but it seems over-costed and of very limited usefulness. It’s obviously intended for Urien decks, so those players will have some fun with it, but until the card pool becomes larger this one will probably stay in my binder.
Autarch Celachia: A flexible unit and the first Eldar one to have Area Effect. Another Eldar unique is always welcome as it’s another that can be used to Nullify (and one step closer to getting Spiritseer Erathal out of our decks!), but you don’t really want to be paying four resources just for a nullifier. The ability to have Armorbane, Mobile or Area Effect is great, but it does cost one resource to do this. Adding in the four resources you have already invested in this unit makes it an expensive proposition. That being said, I will definitely be including at least one copy in most of my Eldar decks.
Subdual: Nearly everyone’s first thought when looking at this card will be that it doesn’t get rid of the problem permanently. That is true, but it that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s no good. Removing a key attachment (Tempest Blade or Plaguefather’s Banner) or support (Orbital City) even just for a round can help you win important battles. It’s a bit pricey at two resources, but when you have no other options for attachment/support removal you’ll have to take what you can get.
Pathfinder Shi Or’es: Decent, punchy stats for three resources, with an ability that can ready itself; looks great! This will be great in Shadowsun decks (loads of attachments to discard and reuse) and Aun’shi decks (Armorbane goodness) alike. Would probably run at two copies.
Repair Bay: This card seems amazing to me. Being able to reuse good cards is a great ability to have. Currently there are four Pilot cards (all the battlesuits plus Vash’ya Trailblazer) and five drones. Both of these traits are likely to be common Tau ones going forward, which makes Repair Bay even better. A Shadowsun deck with this card will be capable of massive amounts of recursion.
The overall winners seem to be Chaos and Tau, with the Dark Eldar and Orks getting the short end of the stick. My favourite three cards are Roghrax Bloodhand, Vengeance and Repair Bay. The real stinkers of the pack seem to be Ork Landa and Dark Possession. Obviously, these are all my snap judgements, so take them with a pinch of salt.