Competitive Innovations in the Mortal Realms: Going Super-Nova

Two events this week but one of them is the biggest of the year – Nova! Let’s dive in.

Nova Open Age of Sigmar GT

135-player, 8-round Major in Arlington, VA, US on September 02 2022. All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission –

Nicholas Walters – Ironjawz: Bloodtoofs: 30-50 Feral Hogs
Army List - Click to Expand

Army Faction: Orruk Warclans
– Army Type: Ironjawz
– Army Subfaction: Bloodtoofs
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumphs: InspiredLEADER

1 x Orruk Warchanter (115)

1 x Fungoid Cave-Shaman (95)

1 x Megaboss on Maw-krusha (480)**
– General
– Command Traits: Mega Bossy
– Boss Choppa and Rip-toof Fist
– Artefacts: Armour of Gork
– Mount Traits: Fast ’Un

1 x Orruk Megaboss (140)**
– Artefacts: Destroyer

1 x Orruk Warchanter (115)**

BATTLELINE

6 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (340)*
– Gore-grunta Boss
– Jagged Gore-hacka

6 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (340)*
– Gore-grunta Boss
– Jagged Gore-hacka

3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)*
– Gore-grunta Boss
– Jagged Gore-hacka

3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)**
– Jagged Gore-hacka

CORE BATTALIONS:

*Bounty Hunters

**Warlord

TOTAL POINTS: (1965/2000)

Created with Warhammer Age of Sigmar: The App

 

vs.

Kaleb Walters – Disciples of Tzeentch: Hosts Duplicitious: Chicken Control
Army List - Click to Expand

Allegiance: Tzeentch
– Change Coven: Hosts Duplicitous
– Mortal Realm: Ghur
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumphs: InspiredLeaders
Lord of Change (400)*
– General
– Bound To The Incarnate
– Command Trait: Will of the Phantom Lord
– Artefact: Brand of the Spirit Daemon
– Lore of Change: Treason of Tzeentch
Kairos Fateweaver (435)
– Lore of Change: Bolt of Tzeentch
Changecaster, Herald of Tzeentch (140)*
– Lore of Change: Tzeentch’s Firestorm

Battleline
10 x Kairic Acolytes (120)*
– 10x Cursed Blade & Arcanite Shield
– 3x Cursed Glaives
10 x Kairic Acolytes (120)*
– 10x Cursed Blade & Arcanite Shield
– 3x Cursed Glaives
10 x Tzaangors (175)*
– 4x Savage Greatblade
– 6x Savage Blade & Arcanite Shield

Behemoths
Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur (400)*
– Allies

Endless Spells & Invocations
Ravenak’s Gnashing Jaws (60)
Umbral Spellportal (70)
Purple Sun of Shyish (70)

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 400 / 400
Wounds: 73
Drops: 2

 

Thoughts

Let’s start off by touching on the high speed antics of the Ironjawz list. By taking Megabossy on the Maw-crusha, Nicholas can issue the same command to 5 units, meaning he can push forward all four units of Gore Gruntas AND the Mawcrusha turn one. Fueling this command spam is the Cave Shaman, who gives an extra CP on a 4+ each of your Hero phases and is still useful for throwing out Mystic Shield on top of that. That sort of speed, combined with the Bloodtoofs faction ability Hunt & Crush, which lets Gore Gruntas that have fought that phase to make a pile in move if still in combat, or a charge if they are no longer in combat. It’s a tempo play that can help them push back initial screens and get to the juicy innards, with the basic idea being to remain in combat the whole game if able, relying on Smashing and Bashing to set up powerful activation chains on your opponent’s turn as well as your own.

If Ironjawz is mono-red aggro, Tzeentch is Blue-Green control. Kaleb wants to sit as far back as he can and concede early game control in order to keep his chickens protected, using the Incarnate to act as a sticky speed bump while he gets the summoning up and running. His damage output overall is very poor, but what he *does* have is very precise mortal wound output between Pink Fire of Tzeentch, Bolt of Tzeentch, Gift of Change & Infernal Gateway – all of which throwing out mortal wounds at range. This matchup will likely come down to a simple question – can Kaleb keep the core of the IJ force at arms length long enough to dismantle it’s core pieces like the Warchanters and the Maw-crusha. I favour the Ironjawz list here slightly just because that is a lot of beef to chip through.

Result

Disciples of Tzeentch: Hosts Duplicitious Victory – 19 – 1

Kaleb Walters – Disciples of Tzeentch: Hosts Duplicitious – 1st Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

See showdown.

Archetype

Chicken control

Thoughts

Putting forth a triumphant performance with an army that had fallen out of favour in the meta is very impressive, and I suspect the secret spice that has brought them back to prominence is the Incarnate. Horrors aren’t as impressive as they used to be because of Bounty Hunters, so the Incarnate takes their place as an anvil highly likely to stick around at least two battle rounds; perhaps longer if the Chicken Artillery can take out the units that can truly threaten it.

It also helps that they can really take advantage of the season’s improved Endless spells, and Jaws/Sun/Portal all feel like natural inclusions in a control army that’s not lacking in spellcasting but does somewhat lack in damage output.

Nicholas Walters – Ironjawz: Bloodtoofs – 2nd Place

Megaboss on Maw-Krusha
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha Credit: Keewa

The List

See showdown.

Archetype

Pig aggro

Thoughts

Not too much to say outside of what was covered in the Showdown – it’s fast and very punchy. That’s not to say it’s simple, as speaking from experience this army lives and dies on it’s movement phase and it can be somewhat tricky to actually navigate.

The Best of the Rest

8 Round tournament meant we cut to a single elimination format for the top 8. The rest were:

  • 3rd – Gavin Grigar – Seraphon: Thunder Lizard goodstuff
  • 4th – Jiwan Noah Singh – Beasts of Chaos: Khorne DP adds a control element to this beat stick list
  • 5th – Jacob Brandon – Skaventide: Oh hey, no Thanquol *or* Stormfiends. Double Verminlord list with 15 Gutter Runners and 6 Jezzails.
  • 6th – Bill Hennessey – Sylvaneth: Heartwood beat-down with 6 Scythe Kurnoth and a Durthu… and 10 Phoenix Guard?
  • 7th – Jeremy Veysseire – Daughters of Khaine: NORATHI LIVES
  • 8th – Marcella Helu – Daughters of Khaine: MORATHI LIVES… AND SO DO HER BOW SNAKES

MIDTCON GT – EFTERÅR 2022

28-player, 5-round Grand Tournament in Denmark/Viborg/Mønsted/Østfjendshallen on September 03 2022. All the lists for this event can be found in Tabletop.to.

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission –

Martin Hansen-Nord – Soulblight Gravelords: Mortarch beat-down
Army List - Click to Expand

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
– Lineage: Kastelai Dynasty
– Grand Strategy: Vampiric Conquerors
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty
Leaders
Mannfred von Carstein, Mortarch of Night (380)
– Lore of the Deathmages: Fading Vigour
Neferata, Mortarch of Blood (365)
– Lore of the Deathmages: Decrepify
Vengorian Lord (280)**
– General
– Command Trait: Rousing Commander
– Artefact: Fragment of the Keep
– Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Battleline
10 x Deathrattle Skeletons (80)**
10 x Deathrattle Skeletons (80)**
10 x Blood Knights (390)*
– Reinforced x 1
5 x Blood Knights (195)*
5 x Blood Knights (195)*
Core Battalions
*Bounty Hunters
**Battle Regiment
Total: 1965 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 114
Drops: 6

vs.

Casper “Goldenboy” Karlsmose – Stormcast Eternals: Freaking Palladors and a Stormdrake
Army List - Click to Expand

Allegiance: Stormcast Eternals
– Stormhost: Astral Templars (Scions of the Storm)
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumphs: InspiredLeaders
Celestant-Prime, Hammer of Sigmar (325)*
Lord-Celestant on Stardrake (500)*
– General
– Celestine Hammer
– Command Trait: Master of Magic
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Mount Trait: Scintillating Trail
– Spell: Thundershock
Slann Starmaster (265)*
– Allies

Battleline
5 x Vindictors (130)**
3 x Vanguard-Palladors (215)**
– Boltstorm Pistols and Starstrike Javelins
3 x Vanguard-Palladors (215)**
– Boltstorm Pistols and Starstrike Javelins

Units
3 x Vanguard-Raptors with Longstrike Crossbows (240)*

Endless Spells & Invocations
Everblaze Comet (90)

Core Battalions
*Warlord (extra holy command)
**Bounty Hunters

Additional Enhancements
Holy Command: Call for Aid
Holy Command: Thunderbolt Volley

Total: 1980 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 265 / 400
Wounds: 79
Drops: 7

 

Thoughts

The Soulblight list is typical of what we see from the army – a core of powerful heroes with some filler that can get buffed to lofty heights by said heroes. In this case, the play is likely to make the big unit of Blood Knights ethereal and +1 to hit and wound thanks to Vigour of Undeath from Manny and Dark Mist from Neferata. It’s a list that can hit hard, but may struggle on a wider objective battleplan as this list ideally wants to scrum in the middle.

The Stormcast on the other hand is delightful madness. The Prime, Slann & the Stardrake’s Everblaze Comet all dump AoE Mortal wounds from long range to punish castle style lists and elite forces, while the Palladors are quietly pretty compelling in Bounty Hunters as they throw out a large number of high quality attacks. It’s the sort of list that may struggle against Nurgle fly lists and other high durability grindy style armies that can weather the initial storm of Mortal Wounds, but it loves punishing synergy style armies where heroes are the key compone-Oh.

Result

Stormcast Eternals Victory – 4 – 5

Casper “Goldenboy” Karlsmose – Stormcast Eternals – 1st Place

Credit: Matthew Herrington

The List

See showdown.

Archetype

Mortal wounds – all of them

Thoughts

The Stardrake gives a +1 buff to cast and unbind to nearby Wizards… which does wonders for the Slann who would otherwise miss the lofty spellcasting heights accessible to them in their own Battletome. It’s a fun little overlapping of synergies that is typical of Order armies, who are capable of leveraging their deep Allies roster better than other Grand Alliances who are usually keyword locked and garbage.

Anyway, it’s fun to see such a different take on Stormcast, with a light touch of Longstrikes and no Stormdrakes or Fulminators or even Paladins. The book may not be perfectly internally balanced but it’s fun to see something different rise to the top.

The Best of the Rest

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

  • 2nd – Kristian Møller – Maggotkin of Nurgle: Yes this is technically something I’d normally cover in more detail but it’s just Pusgoyles, Blightkings and Maggoth lords.
  • 3rd – Jannick Teige – Ironjawz: Maw-crusha and pig spam.
  • 4th – Kasper Agdal – Nighthaunt: Bladegheist spam.
  • 5th – Martin Hansen-Nord – Soulblight Gravelords: see showdown
  • 6th – Martin Dietz – Soulblight Gravelords: like Hansen-Nord’s list, but with less Blood Knights and 20 Grave Guard in Legion of Blood.

Wrap Up

With the battletome schedule well established by Warhammer Community we can expect to see Lumineth and Tzeentch before too long – it’ll be interesting to see two historically competitive darlings see a facelift, and I hope it shakes things up nicely. See you next week.

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.