The last few spoilers for Decree of Ruin are out so it’s time for me to do a quick rundown of the non-signature cards (for warlord reviews, go here for Broderick Worr or Commander Starblaze), give them a rating between 1-5 and then have that held against me in the coming months. I’m going to make these Quick Look articles a regular thing, so watch this space for more!
Requires Black Templars and a battle won at a blue planet. That’s some major hoops to jump through! This card is clearly made for Chaplain Mavros, and even then I’m not sure if it’s better than using Primal Howl. I could see this being useful if you want to forego command at planets with lots of card draw as rewards and instead rely on your events to go through your deck, but sounds a bit niche. However, the potential to draw a lot of cards in one go (most likely in a Mavros deck) means that this card cannot be completely ignored. 2/5
This gives a Tyranid unit what is basically super-Armorbane. Your opponent will be unable to use card effects like Indomitable, Unstoppable or Kustom Field Generator against the damage from the attached unit. Sounds great on paper, but it comes at too much of a cost in my opinion. You are most likely going to want to attach this to an elite unit, and for one more resource I’d rather have Heavy Venom Cannon. I can’t rate this card as totally unplayable, because the ability is ‘good’, but I don’t think it’s one that I’ll be slotting into my Tyranid decks unless Chaplain Mavros and his Unstoppable marines because pervasive. 2/5
My first reaction upon seeing this was wow! After a bit of reflection I’d be inclined to agree with that initial reaction. This support card is loyal and unique, but even with those drawbacks(?) this card is going to be worth putting at least two of in a Baharroth deck, and worth considering in both Eldorath and the newly-spoiled Talyesin. Although the effect cannot be used against elites, it could be used to exhaust a cheaper ranged unit or other threat. With warlords like Gorzod on the near horizon, cards like Assault Valkyrie or Mordian Hellhound may start seeing play and this card is a cheeky slap in the face to them. You could even use something like Wildrider Squadron to trigger the effect and exhaust a Klaivex Warleader that has just killed one of your guys. 5/5
The main use I could think of for this is to try and snag your opponent’s signature unit, since that’s the unit that they have most of in their deck, but I think a better use might be to snipe one of their economy units (such as Rogue Trader or Void Pirate) and attempt to choke them. This card will be one that might become better as the game progresses (more chance for them to draw into the imprisoned card), but I think that this is competing with too many other good cards (Archon’s Palace & Twisted Laboratory spring to mind) to justify many deck slots. 2/5
More Space Wolves for Ragnar! Decent statline for the cost and while his ability does require that you exhaust him, you could use it to move him to a planet just after the opposing warlord has attacked and killed one of your solo command units in an attempt to bully them into retreating. Not a game-breaking ability, and certainly not an auto-include, but definitely another solid three-cost Space Marine unit. 3/5
Immune to enemy events sounds powerful, but how good is it really? Well, it makes you able to ignore things like Archon’s Terror, Suppressive Fire and Tzeentch’s Firestorm, as well as the ‘board wipe’ cards like Doom and Exterminatus. So if any of those cards are giving you grief then this is probably worth it. Definitely going to be handy if you like using any Ork elites. 3/5
More deck manipulation; Urien decks will be interested in using this card. As for other decks that can use it, discarding shield cards off the top of your opponent’s deck means that upcoming battles may go a bit better for you due to lack of shields on their behalf. Not sure that this justifies inclusion in every deck, but the Psyker trait means it will see play. 3/5
Mediocre statline for its cost. The ability to ping some extra damage off after its attack is very nice, and Zarathur is going to love this unit. The other Chaos warlords may also find a use for it. 3/5
I absolutely love this card! Three attack for one resource! OK, it has no command icons, but not every unit needs them. This unit obviously works best when partnered up with another unit (Enraged Ork is probably going to be his best pal), but that’s not much of a drawback in an Ork deck. Cheap, expendable and hard-hitting for its cost. 5/5
Terrible statline for its cost. The Unstoppable ability isn’t bad, but because it can be triggered by any damage you run the risk of having +2 attack for the deploy phase rather than when you probably want it in the combat phase (cards like Dakka! Dakka! Dakka! or Rotten Plaguebearers can trigger it). While those are fairly niche examples, another way to look at this card is to compare it to Blood Angels Veterans. They also have a damage prevention ability (but it requires them to be ready) but start with three attack and also have an extra HP. They do cost one more resource but I think they are a much better choice. Righteous Initiate may see play in a Mavros deck in order to help enable Accept any Challenge, but it’s not great. 2/5
I can see this card being either totally useless or utterly devastating. The added restriction of only working at blue planets stops it being outright ridiculous. Time will tell in the Planetfall cycle as to how much of a limitation particular colour planets really is. For those experimental deck-builders out there this may find a home in a Throne of Vainglory deck, since you’ll be playing a lot of 3+ cost units already. At the moment I’m thinking that this card is not going to be very good, but I suppose even if it only kills a Warlock Destructor at a planet you want to win the battle at then its probably been worth it. 3/5
Five attack on a three-cost unit seems too good to be true, and it kind of is. This unit basically cannot attack warlords or fresh army units, but can quite happily munch through tokens, synapse and damaged army units. This may limit your options a little bit, but I can definitely see this being played in Chaos, who have ways to deal damage outside of attacks (Ba’ar Zul’s Blood for the Blood God!, Warpstorm, Tzeentch’s Firestorm, Rotten Plaguebearers, etc). This isn’t a brainlessly powerful card, but in the right deck it will be brutal. 3/5
Whenever an effect allows you to ready a unit, you have to give it a serious look. Luckily, this one is attached to what is objectively a quite well-costed elite unit. Striking Ravener’s effect is very similar to Area Effect; it’s slightly worse in one regard because your opponent has ‘control’ over whether or not you can trigger, but on the other hand it’s slightly better because if you have any other kind of effect on this unit (Venom Cannon, etc) then you can leverage that boost. 4/5
Has one more attack value than a standard two-cost unit but no command icon (not the end of the world). Has two relevant traits; Drone (Earth Caste Technician can search for it) and Spirit (doesn’t get exhausted when Mighty Wraithknight shows up). Recurring things from the discard pile is a powerful effect, and the cost in the case is the rewards from the command struggle at a green planet. You don’t only have to play it from your discard pile, you can play it from hand as well (you may have just drawn it in a previous command struggle). Personally I think this card is great as it gets more bodies on the ground, particularly at the tri-colour planets where you had to give up very little to get this into play. 4/5
So I rated two cards at the prestigious 5/5 rating; Rickety Warbuggy and Deathly Web Shrine. I really do think that those are the stand-out cards of the pack. I didn’t rate anything 1/5 as I genuinely believe that none of the cards here are totally unplayable (although Holding Cell was borderline for me).
Overall Eldar came out the best here, with three really good cards. Arguably Space Marines got the worst pick, with two mediocre cards and one that has potential.
Obviously this is all just my opinion. There has been some recent discussion on the AGOT 2.0 forums about the credentials of people giving out opinions and whether or not ‘unproven’ players can contribute anything meaningful (it’s a potentially volatile discussion which I won’t go into here). Well, I haven’t won any major tournaments for Conquest (unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the UK National event and there’s no way I could attend Worlds), but I did finish as runner-up at a well-attended Regional (28 players) if that counts? At least you can read or dismiss my opinions from an informed position now!
Anyway, hope you enjoyed my rambling.