Competitive Innovations in the Mortal Realms: Chasing Low Drops

We’re starting to see a trend reader – more and more armies are foregoing Bounty Hunters because there’s less Galletian Veteran units running around, and trying to stack up Battle Regiments in order to outdrop and thus dictate control of the Proving Ground and try and queue up double turns. I suspected this and even wrote about it in this column early in the battlepack, so it’ll be interesting what comes next… more on that in the wrap up.

Smite Club Open 2022 AoS

45-player, 5-round Grand Tournament in Mesa, AZ, US on September 10 2022. All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission –

Thomas Guan – Cities of Sigmar: Hallowheart: Freeguild bodies, Hallowheart casting and some Stormcast/Incarnate beef
Army List - Click to Expand


Army Faction: Cities of Sigmar
– Army Type: Hallowheart
– Grand Strategy: Mighty Beachhead

LEADER

1 x Battlemage on Griffon (255)*
– Mount Traits: Soaring Guardian
– Spells: Crystal Aegis, Elemental Cyclone, Warding Brand
– Bonding: Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur

1 x Freeguild General (100)*
– General
– Artefacts: Arcane Tome
– Spells: Ignite Weapons, Sear Wounds, Warding Brand

1 x Battlemage (100)*
– General’s Adjutant
– Spells: Ignite Weapons, Sear Wounds, Warding Brand

BATTLELINE

20 x Freeguild Crossbowmen (200)*
– Marksman
– 2 x Standard Bearer
– 2 x Piper

10 x Freeguild Guard (85)*
– General’s Retinue
– Sergeant
– Standard Bearer
– Drummer
– Freeguild Sword and Shield

20 x Freeguild Crossbowmen (200)*
– Marksman
– 2 x Standard Bearer
– 2 x Piper

BEHEMOTH

1 x Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur (400)*

ENDLESS SPELL

1 x Soulscream Bridge (80)

1 x Purple Sun of Shyish (70)

1 x Ravenak’s Gnashing Jaws (60)

OTHER

10 x Protectors (450)*
– Protector-Prime

CORE BATTALIONS:

*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: (2000/2000)

Created with Warhammer Age of Sigmar: The App

vs.

Noe Aquino – Lumineth Realm-Lords: Zaitrec: Teclis-less (Tecless?) combined arms
Army List - Click to Expand


Army Faction: Lumineth Realm-lords
– Army Subfaction: Zaitrec
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumphs: Indomitable

LEADER

1 x Scinari Cathallar (110)*
– Spells: Total Eclipse, Overwhelming Heat, Protection of Hysh,

1 x Scinari Enlightener (165)*
– Spells: Overwhelming Heat, Lambent Light, Solar Flare,

1 x Vanari Lord Regent (155)**
– General
– Command Traits: Fast Learner
– Artefacts: Gift of Celennar
– Spells: Overwhelming Heat, Speed of Hysh, Total Eclipse
1 x Hurakan Windmage (120)**
– Spells: Guiding Flurries, Overwhelming Heat, Transporting Vortex,

BATTLELINE

10 x Vanari Auralan Wardens (145)*
– High Warden
– Spells: Speed of Hysh, Overwhelming Heat

10 x Vanari Auralan Wardens (145)*
– High Warden
– Spells: Speed of Hysh, Overwhelming Heat

5 x Vanari Bladelords (145)*
– Bladelord Seneschal
– Sunmetal Dual Blades

30 x Vanari Auralan Sentinels (495)**
– High Sentinel
– Spells: Overwhelming Heat, Lambent Light

ENDLESS SPELL

1 x Umbral Spellportal (70)

TERRAIN

1 x Shrine Luminor (0)

OTHER

5 x Alarith Stoneguard (120)*
– Truestone Seneschal
– Diamondpick Hammer

20 x Vanari Auralan Sentinels (330)**
– High Sentinel
– Spells: Overwhelming Heat, Speed of Hysh

CORE BATTALIONS:

*Battle Regiment

**Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: (2000/2000)

Created with Warhammer Age of Sigmar: The App

Thoughts

Let’s start with the CoS army – 10 Protectors can be flung up the board using Soulscream Bridge, a feat made much easier by the fact that that both Battlemages will get an innate +2 to casting between Battle traits and being Ghur spellcasters in Ghur. Add on the +1 for the Incarnate & Arcane Channelling for another d6 bonus and you have an army capable of really leaning into endless spells, and Thomas has!

The reason I am leading with the spellcasting bonuses and what it may mean is because Noe’s Lumineth have hit a snag in seeing these folks in the final – a lot of what makes his army effective is predicated on getting HIS spellcasting through. He still can of course as some of the bonuses Thomas has is only for spellcasting, not unbinding… but it may be difficult for Noe to make any headway offensively if Thomas can shut down Power of Hysh on the two key units of sentinels, effectively blunting his offensive output.

Thankfully the Lord Regent can effectively get a second chance at getting the powered up mortals through Greater Power of Hysh, which may help him bypass his spell defences by simply overloading the number of Unbinds Thomas has at his disposal. He can also rather easily lift the Battlemage on Griffin even if Soaring Guardian gives him an 87% chance of reviving once per game – Sentinels are after all quite long range and there’s only so much board space the Griffin can hide in. Victory for Noe rests on efficiently disposing of the Incarnate without losing too many pieces, and picking apart the Protectors at range.

Victory for Thomas is a little simpler – shut down Power of Hysh and kill the Sentinels before he loses the Incarnate.

Result

Cities of Sigmar: Hallowheart Victory – 89 – 28

Thomas Guan – Cities of Sigmar: Hallowheart – 1st Place

Empire Crossbowmen. Credit: SRM

The List

See Showdown

Archetype

Hallowheart buffs applied on efficient bodies

Thoughts

It’s pretty straightforward really – Hallowheart grants a 5+ spell/endless spell shrug that can be empowered through a spell to become a 4+ : great in the current spellcasting metagame. The many bonuses to cast encourages Thomas to take advantage of endless spells: Purple Sun is of course here to make the Crossbowmen very efficient shooters, but Jawz also makes an appearance – a quietly brilliant endless spell overshadowed by the giant Sun it has to compete with normally.

Incarnate does Incarnate things to apply fast pressure and allow the rest of his forces to do their thing largely unmolested – what’s known in 40k as a Distraction Carnifex. The Protectors will happily take Warding Brand as a buff to allow them to dump 50% of all wounds they take in melee back to the attacker in the form of mortal wounds. Crazy good spell.

The Best of the Rest

Let’s round out the top 8 who were all 4-1. They were:

  • 2nd – Colt Hegardt – Flesh-eater Courts: Bounty Hunters really breathed new life into FEC – 15 Horrors here see the main benefit. Incarnate? Yes.
  • 3rd – Camaron Hallbrand – Sylvaneth: Gnarlroot means a Spellsinger Warsong Revenant for tree spellcasting shenanigans, with the main body of the force made up of bug calvalry. Incarnate? No.
  • 4th – Aaron Newborn – Kruleboyz: Big Yellerz boltboyz backed up by a whole lotta Hobgrot bodies for screening purposes. Oh and Incarnate? Yes.
  • 5th – Noe Aquino – Lumineth Realm-lords: See showdown
  • 6th – Gregory Brewer – Bonesplitterz: Drakkfoot & Savage Big Stabbaz? Yes. Incarnate? No.
  • 7th – Matt Nguyen – Beasts of Chaos: Drogors & Enlightened on Discs make up the main hammers of this mixed summoning list. Incarnate? No.
  • 8th – Kyle Calip – Nighthaunt: Emerald Host herohammer. Incarnate? No.

Bathurst GT

33-player, 5-round Grand Tournament in Bathurst, New South Wales, AU on September 10 2022. All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission –

Terence Voller – Sons of Behemat: Kragnos and the bois
Army List - Click to Expand


Allegiance: Sons of Behemat
– Tribe: Breaker Tribe (Fierce Loathing: Shiny ‘Uns)
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Kragnos, The End of Empires (720)
Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant (525)*
– General
– Command Trait: Extremely Bitter – Bossy Pants and Clever Clogs
– Artefact: Vial of Manticore Venom (Universal Artefact)
Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant (525)*
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon

Battleline
1 x Mancrusher Gargants (170)

Core Battalions
*Bosses of the Stomp – Magnificent

Total: 1940 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 100
Drops: 4

vs.

Dalton Copeland – Bonesplitterz: Icebone: Mortal Wound spam with Incarnate
Army List - Click to Expand


Allegiance: Bonesplitterz
– Warclan: Icebone
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Wurrgog Prophet (150)**
– General
– Command Trait: Master of Magic
– Artefact: Mork’s Boney Bitz
– Universal Spell Lore: Levitate
– Krondspine Bond
Wurrgog Prophet (150)**
– Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
– Lore of the Savage Beast: Glowy Green Tusks
Wardokk (80)**
– Lore of the Savage Beast: Gorkamorka’s War Cry
Wardokk (80)***
– Lore of the Savage Beast: Gorkamorka’s War Cry

Battleline
5 x Savage Boarboys (140)**
– Chompas
5 x Savage Boarboys (140)
– Chompas
5 x Savage Boarboys (140)
– Chompas

Units
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)***
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)***
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)***
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)***
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)***
5 x Savage Boarboy Maniaks (145)*
5 x Savage Boarboy Maniaks (145)*

Behemoths
Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur (400)***

Core Battalions
*Bounty Hunters
**Warlord
***Battle Regiment

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1970 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 139
Drops: 9

Thoughts

The SoB list has lots of high quality attacks but it’s gotta hate this matchup – lots of bodies so it’s going to be hard to get to the true threat that Dalton has – two Wurgoggs who will heavily punish any melee engagements that Terence initiates. Adding onto the issue is that all those Big Stabbaz are going to be throwing mortal wounds back on the Gargants when they die… yikes.

Result

Bonesplitterz: Icebone Victory – 26 – 16

Dalton Copeland – Bonesplitterz: Icebone – 1st Place

Maniaks by Matt “chimp” Ward

The List

See Showdown

Archetype

Icebone Mortal Wounds

Thoughts

Man… BS got such a glowup from the battlescroll huh? No longer needing numbers in the unit to get exploding 6s has done wonders for MSU cav units and Big Stabbaz, all of which now more consistently enjoy a sizable bonus to their damage output.

By embracing the Incarnate he also has something fairly resilient to act as his frontline, and about all this army is missing is complete magic domination and long ranged attacks. Mork’s Boney Bitz helps with the former, granting a bonus to casting/unbinding for every nearby enemy monster to the Wurgogg, which can range from useless to absolutely amazing depending on the matchup.

The Best of the Rest

There were 5 more players on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd – Terence Voller – Sons of Behemat: See showdown.
  • 3rd – Sam Bradbury – Lumineth Realm-lords: Sentinel spam with some Bladelords and 2 units of Dawnriders for mobility.
  • 4th – Jarrod Baker – Daughters of Khaine: Norathi! Still lots of Snakes for fight on death but the points saved means more utility like Heartrenders for battle tactics and Witch Aelves for bodies.
  • 5th – Jacob Strachan – Disciples of Tzeentch: Double chicken that skips an Incarnate for more bodies and heroes for generating summoning points.
  • 6th – Alex Bradbury – Maggotkin of Nurgle: Befouling Host summoning with a GUO, and a mix of daemons/mortals.

Wrap Up

I do wonder if we start to see more armies opt for Expert Conquerors strategies as we see the rock papers scissor metagame coagulate: If there’s less BH running around, suddenly there’s a compelling case for using GV heavy builds to really take advantage of the Board Control benefits they provide.

Ellarr also has his own Youtube channel to cover other aspects of competitive Age of Sigmar which you can find here. If you have any questions or comments leave one down below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.