Spoiler Review – Covenant at the Bar

11/12

Good Evening All! As you’ve no doubt already guessed, I am DMG Twylite and in today’s issue of the Daily Spoiler, we’ll be reviewing Peachstate Hobby Distribution’s spoiled along with Team Covenant’s 6 spoilers. As a side note before we begin to sieve the treasures from the trash, I just want to throw out there that I was really impressed with how both entities unveiled their spoilers today. Teasing the text-heavy Bossy Orruk with multiple keywords blurred out was a stroke of genius while Team Covenant’s live play with proxied spoilers maintained the extremely high standards everyone has to come to expect from their content in Warhammer as well as previous games.

We all know my deep and abiding love for all things Chaos so let’s turn a critical eye towards the new Daemon unit in town.

When I first saw this guy on stream, I definitely had a way different idea of what he did. I thought he was a Khorne's Chosen with legs. He isn’t…..He’s much worse than that. So he doesn’t immediately affect the board due to that X corner. He affects both you and your opponent…..Oh, and only damage from units, not spells or abilities or heroic acts. And just in case you were on the fence, he increases our self damage as well.

Every card has a use, ……except this one. I am struggling to envision the time where I wouldn’t just play Starving Flesh Hounds or Blood Warrior Berserker instead.

I don’t have much else to say on this little engine who shouldn’t. It’s a shame because I really like his design of supercharging both adjacent lanes for both players.

We also have a new Unique Wizard Champion with a very powerful ability. I present The Changeling to you.

So when I first saw this Champion, I was kind of non-plussed. I mean, let’s be clear, I don’t think Wizards are good enough to play right now in general. Warrior-Wizards have some value at the moment and Kunnin' Grot Shaman has seen some play, but primarily based on the power of War Chant and an ability that is useful in the Destruction mirror match and vs. Cruisin' for a Bruisin' in specific. I’ve listed my concerns with their current viability in the meta in my previous review and don’t want to rehash them every single time. But the short version is that Wizards are overly punished by not being able to play abilities over spells, not being able to play units, the units that punish you for not having a unit in play such as Big Stabba Crew or Skybolt Judicator, and the mere existence of the first line of text on Gordrakk, Fist of Gork.

I was prepared to just write him off and move on, but I ended up raising my eyebrows over the interaction with Pain-Induced Fury that Team Covenant showcased on their stream. Specifically, spells that deal multiple small packets of damage raise this abilities impact dramatically. Unfortunately, the pool of cards that do that at the moment is limited to Pain-Induced Fury and the card they also revealed which I’ll cover below.

The Champion itself, however, is doing a lot of things right. It affects himself and both adjacent which is extremely intriguing. His corners are fairly easy to complete since X corners in Chaos don’t have quite the same uphill climb that other factions have…In fact, in set 1, every Chaos Wizard Ability removes one of your cards. His stat line is raising the bar as well, possibly due to his unique rule but compare him to Lord of Change(Who might be the Wizard you want next to him if a deck like that materializes). 0 health and 6 points with these corners and an objectively powerful ability.

The next card that was revealed alongside The Changeling is certainly an interesting one. I present to you a spell that has a very real Chaos feel. Treacherous Bond.

This card is an effect we haven’t seen before. It essentially reflects damage received on its blank corner to the opponent. And if this card was simply a one turn spell, I’d think it would be extremely good, actually. As it is, the 1 turn delay gives your opponent too much advance warning and they can just hold off 1 turn.

Now, it could be that making your opponent hold off on spiking damage in that turn is actually solid….but that still doesn’t make Wizards viable in my opinion. But a kind of sort of Mystic Shield isn’t enough when we actually need Mystic Shield or Blood Feast to mitigate the level of self damage that current iterations of Chaos decks are doing to themselves.

It has a few interesting interactions that I wanted to mention rather than panning it altogether, however. Firstly, it interacts well with The Changeling the way that we want it to since it deals multiple small packets of damage and that’s what we are looking for. Secondly, it creates a really interesting Chaos mirror match situation. It’s worth noting that this card doesn’t say damage to you, it simply highlights all the opponent’s lanes and says damage. So if your opponent has a Bloodfury Wrathmonger in play and you have this card active, it will deal 2 to your opponent when Wrathmonger hits you and then deal 1 damage to your opponent when the Wrathmonger deals 1 damage to the opponent. That’s interesting to note when it comes time to look at options during a pitched battle sideboard decision but likewise, your opponent might be taking a look at Scorn of Sorcery in their sideboard as well.

This card has use and I definitely like that it’s only 2 corners though I desperately wish it was only 1 since I want throughput on Champions to speed their completion. If Chaos ever gets a way to rotate spells forward, this card becomes much much better.

Let’s stay on talking about spells for a moment and use this to shine a spotlight on a new spell for Order. Here’s the extremely awesomely named Pyroelectric Blast.

When Team Covenant was playing with this card and reviewed it, the chat was extremely excited and so was I(because I’m overly excited to learn about any new card lol). And then I started thinking it about it more and more and gradually came back down to reality. Here is the question I posed that perhaps hammers home a lot of issues about both how good the current Destruction cards are in addition to how bad Wizards truly are at the moment.

How many times have you seen this card in Ranked play recently? Gaze of Mork. Once you compare this side by side to that spell, its limitations begin to really come into focus. 

Now, not everything is a 1 for 1 comparison and I acknowledge that. This card is, in theory, slightly better with  Aspect of the Sea which wants more corners on it’s spells. It can also complete 3 corners which is notable….except we don’t have any Wizards that have Spell, X, Damage in that order yet. The closest that we can get are the new Evocator-Prime(eww) which has X and then damage, and  Isharann Soulscryer which has Spell and then X for its last 2 corners. 

Don’t get me wrong, this card has uses. It’s not bad per se. It’s essentially  Stardrake spread out over 3 turns with no discard. And it’s not as if removal is bad or 5 damage isn’t significant. Except Wizards…..

So let’s continue to look at Order and their new Champion. Knight-Questor

Moar Champions! So let’s first talk about the first thing that sticks out to me on this card. That 3rd corner is about as awkward as possible at the moment. I absolutely have to assume that there is an ability or unit that this Champion can use in this set that allows him to complete that corner because as it stands Namarti Soul Feeder is the only way that exists for him to complete this currently. IF, for whatever reason, there isn’t a new card that enables that corner….this card is close to unplayable. 

So his value is hugely dependent on how good those cards are, because this is kind of a middle of the road Champion as it stands. His Heroic Act has value and can enable some pretty cool tricks that Order, in particular, can take advantage of . At +1 Health and only 3 points, he’s doing work for us on the stat line. Damage followed by Unit is obviously not the sequence we would prefer but it doesn’t necessarily break the cards chances at seeing play. Overall, he seems like a solid addition, not too powerful, not unplayable with an ability that has use but does shake the foundations of the faction either. So this entirely depends on how many new cards allow him to complete that 3rd corner and how good those cards are.

But I do really like how he can help us enable our best life which involves Swift Judgement on a disengaged lane, especially with plus health and only 3 cost.

Let’s talk about the final Order spoiler from Team Covenant and it’s pretty solid. Thundering Concussor.

 

The theme of Order boxing in your opponent’s options continues and it’s pretty solid. 4 damage on 3 corners is not the best possible but it’s still adequate. AND similar to the recently released Guided Vanguard Hunters, it deals damage to your opponent the turn it comes into play.

This Unit might be the final piece of the puzzle for the Order Lockdown Vorrus Starstrike deck to really evolve and grow. Disruptive Liberator does a lot of work at preventing your opponent’s from completing Unit Quest corners, but it’s still weak to removal. And at the higher ranked tiers, opponents are savvy enough to save their removal for these type of cards rather than your random Paladin Decimator or Strike Force Liberator.  This unit removes that possibility. And between this new card, Disruptive Liberator, and Hurricane Raptor we can really start to get into our opponent’s head as to their sequencing or when they will be able to play their cards in the future turns.

And that’s where I see the disruptive Stormcast Vorrus restart style deck going in the future, playing a style that involves stopping your opponent from questing while you slowly accumulate ground and value from your cards until you are too far ahead for them to recover.

Combine this with Tactical Formation or Beat Back or Knight-Questor and we can begin to pick and choose which Champions we want to stop from completing with a much higher redundancy in our cards to ensure that we are executing our game plan well.

I do have some unfortunate news for you all dear reader. I’m going to hold off for a day on reviewing Bossy Orruk. Along with Nivix and Cronik, we’ve been having a spirited debate about how this card interacts with the rules and what it allows and where it breaks existing rules. Playfusion is currently looking into it for us but I don’t want to put out incorrect information into the world so I am going to put a hiatus on him until I get official confirmation. But my first thought regardless, is that’s easily the best Destruction card spoiled so far and it’s probably much better than you think it is.

As these spoilers come sooner and with more cards per spoil, don’t be surprised if these reviews get a little shorter in the coming days. It’s been quite the endeavor but very rewarding so far but self-care is also a consideration so I’ll be doing the best that I can.

I’m DMG Twylite in game, [Heraldor]DMG Twylite on the Discord, and Kevin Lambert on Facebook! I’d love to hear your feedback and if you agree or disagree since talking shop about Warhammer is one of my favorite activities.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all on the battlefield.

 

#Biscuits&GravyTrain

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Author: twylite

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