Welcome back to The Breakdown. Happy Valentines Day everyone! Today’s format is going to be a bit different than what we’ve done so far with this series. With spoilers slowly starting to come out regarding Savagery (Set 3) I figured now would be a good time to predict what the new set might bring for us.
We’ll be referencing the previous Breakdown series articles when discussing Major and Minor Mechanical themes and each Alliance’s Tribes. If you haven’t had a chance to skim through them now would be a great time! Without further ado, let’s start by talking about…
What We Already Know
Before we start making our predictions, however, we should take stock with what we currently know….
Compared to Onslaught, set 2, Savagery is a bigger by approximately 24 cards (128 vs 152ish) and contains only 1 new Realm (Ghur) as opposed to 2 from the previous set (Aqshy and Ghyran). This means that each Alliance is getting more cards in general, and more dedicated specifically to them and not in general. This means Savagery is a bit more able to expand on each Alliance’s mechanical themes and tribes more than Onslaught was able to.
New Tribe: Sylvaneth
Spoiled already, the biggest new addition thus far is the introduction of the new Sylvaneth Tribe for Order, including the . With the 3 cards spoiled we can see a clear mechanical theme emerge: card selection & tutoring, combined with a Discard Matters theme as seen with the new Unit. The Unit released so far seems decently aggressive, but is unremarkable outside of “previewing” Discard Matters as a potential theme of Sylvaneth, but has implications beyond that which we will discuss in our predictions.
UPDATE: As I was writing this, a new spoiler was printed. Roused to Wrath is thematically tied to Sylvaneth but otherwise seems like a generic (large) damage Spell that encourages “going wide”/swarm tactics which Order is already very adept at doing.
New Realm: Ghur
Only a single card spoiled this time. Ghur is the “Realm of Beasts” but the card itself is just a generically powerful card draw Blessing with small upside for non-Ability actions. Outside of the name of the Realm itself, and (if you squint really hard) MAYBE a pro-non-Ability nod, there isn’t a terribly large amount to go on since so little of it spoiled.
Chaos God: Nurgle
Joining Chaos Gods Khorne and Tzeentch-inspired cards, Nurgle has joined the fray with a few very flavourful spoilers. Rotigus and Pusgoyle clearly point to a more attrition-based style of gameplay, probably centered around healing (a Minor Theme predicted way back in the Chaos Breakdown article), card advantage and incidental damage prevention. Disease-Ridden Demise seems to open up an avenue not currently prevalent in anything outside of Death: hand disruption, another control tool (that also feels VERY Chaos).
UPDATE: As I was writing this, a new spoiler was printed. Virulent Discharge seems solidly aimed at supporting the burgeoning Chaos Wizards archetype, along with actually being a solid boon to Wizard Questing for Chaos in general.
Death only has the two three spoilers as of writing this article, both of them being Risen Champions that are interesting for 2 very different reasons. Arkhan is a pretty powerful new Wizard Champion that clearly reinforces existing recursion Major Themes. Brittle Skeletal Champion on the other hand is probably an acknowledgement that Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead costs way too much and hoping to open up Champion lineup options for Death in general and Risen in specific.
UPDATE: As I was writing this, a new spoiler was printed. Curse of Years is generically powerful, but seems like they may have had Grasp from the Grave in mind as a possible Spirit option.
In an interesting twist, so far both 2/3 of Destruction’s spoilers have been Wizard-based and Grot-themed. Grots are one of the nearly-developed Tribes in Destruction that just needs a few more Units to fill out the archetype, so it seems like they are signalling a push for the (actually fairly decent) All/Mostly Wizard archetype in Destruction and maybe completing the collection of Grots, along with whatever else they decide to further support.
UPDATE: As I was writing this, a new spoiler was printed. Exotic Maneater seems like a well-costed, aggressive filler-Unit for someone like Frostlord Vorgrun Loshar, along with a utility Exhausted trait that could be relevant in edge cases.
NOTE: Spoilers Thus Far
All spoilers that have been published so far can be found on the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions Facebook page.
Okay, now that we’ve gone over what we already know, we are able to make some more educated guesses. Obviously, these are all merely speculation and any or all of them could be wrong. Let’s get to Wild Mass Guessing!
Let’s start with Order, as they probably have one of the more interesting new additions: Sylvaneth. Now, from what we’ve seen there is a theme of Discarding for value (both passive effects that look for Discards, a Heroic Act that allows for a Discard-to-Tutor and Metamorphosis, a spell that Discards to both Tutor and Recur a Unit back to hand). This naturally leads me to believe there will be other forms of soft Card Advantage: cards and effects that result in either keeping more cards in hand or gaining value from cards leaving your hand (Discard Matters effects). Card and Action advantage is one of Order’s weak spots currently, so these cards would be an ideal place to introduce some form of it into the Alliance.
Another prediction is based around the pervasively amounts of tutoring. This leads me to predict that Sylvaneth will be powerful, but narrow. Outside of a few stock Units, I suspect that Sylvaneth will have powerful effects that have niche applications or work best with specific timings. This would give Sylvaneth an interesting niche, mirroring Ogor’s niche in Destruction as powerful cards with Discard Matters effects.
Aside from that, I am expecting a few pure-Beast Units (or maybe Sylvaneth/Beasts) to fill out that archetype, considering Ghur is the Realm of Beasts and Beasts can be an interesting avenue to “bridge” the disparate Tribes within Order.
Lastly, and this is confirmed by Jacob, lead Set Designer for Savagery….yes, it’s finally happening. Knight-Questor will finally be able to Quest (without a Namarti Soul Feeder).
Chaos looks to be expanding outwards, introducing an entirely new archetype to the Alliance: Chaos Control. Rotigus is a card that clearly wants the game to go long, as the amount of “swing” he provides (whether by damaging the opponent or healing) ticks away every turn. Combined with Pusgoyle providing defense, health gain, card advantage and only a tiny bit of damage means it’s clearly aimed at slowing the game down.
Disease-Ridden Demise also points towards another angle of classic Control-style decks: discard/hand destruction. Demise also plays into Chaos’ already existing archetype: Last Stand and Sacrifice for Value. I suspect we’ll see some more non-standard Last Stand effects in the coming set, maybe based around Life Gain or pseudo-Card/Action Advantage.
I also predict we won’t see a lot of aggressive Units or high-damage Abilities in general, as that archetype is already well fleshed-out. All-Wizard Chaos on the other hand is currently a meme but has a good foundation/plan to succeed, so wouldn’t be surprised to see that be given some more powerful tools to bring it into the metagame.
Lastly, to support the new Nurgle cards, we’ll probably start seeing more Champions that want Healing in their quests.
Approaching Savagery, there is one thing I think we can conclude: Risen and Spirits still need help. Especially after the changes to the Stacking rule earlier this month, Risen and Spirits have an issue with a lack of good “base” Stacking Units and payoffs for that stacking. My prediction, influenced slightly by Warbands/Briar Queen being a solid addition, is that Spirits and Risen will more fleshed out/pumped up.
Ideally, we’ll see good base-Units for Stacking Risen and Spirits, since they now have some really good Champion support in Arkhan and the Briar Queen respectively. Brittle Skeleton Champion is also a Champion that helps make more lineups possible ala Arrogant Grot Boss from Destruction.
Since they are pushing Spells/Wizards in general as the sets go on to help reduce the disparity between them, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Risen/Spirit “pay-off” cards take the form of Spells to better support Arkhan, Nagash, the Briar Queen and Olynder.
Lastly, we’ll likely see a few scattered Vampire cards to help seed that Tribe as well, since they are currently low on “filler” Units for their archetypes, even though they have plenty of Champion support. On the other hand, Mordants, being already the most competitive and best-supported Tribe within Death, probably won’t be getting much, or anything, this set.
Finally, we come to Destruction. I think Orruks at this point have reached a density of Units and Abilities that care about Orruks that they likely won’t receive much in the way of support this set. What will likely see support is their Set 1 cousins: Grots.
PlayFusion is pushing Wizards harder than ever this set it feels like, and Grots make up the vast majority of the Wizards in Destruction. Combined with that, Grots are still missing a few key utility Units and almost no Blessing/Warrior Champion support to make them a real force. This means they are an easy guess as targets for filling out.
More Ogors also feels like a safe prediction. Ogors were introduced in mild numbers in Onslaught, so it only makes sense to follow through and fill out their massive curves. Firebelly seems to be getting a lot of attention now in the meta, so it’s possible more Discard Matters cards like Feed the Maw (being an Ogor theme) will make their way into the set, and Frostlord Vorgrun Loshar hasn’t found a real home yet, so more 2-3 corner Ogors without conditions would certainly be appreciated it.
Lastly, and most obviously, All/Majority-Wizard lineups appear to be a focus this set, with 2/3rds of Destruction’s spoilers being aimed in that direction so far. The All-Wizards Destruction deck is already playable to a certain degree, but better support like we are seeing could see it join the other high-tiered Destruction decks that exist.
Overall, I think Savagery will aim to do a few key things. One, it will seek to fill out the missing pieces of the major Tribes in each Alliance. Two, the card pool has finally expanded to the point where each Alliance can handle another archetype or two to diversify play-styles. Third, the continued trend to increase the playability of Wizards in general, and majority or Warrior-parity Wizard lineups.
If Savagery can manage to do most or all of that, I think we’ll see a major shakeup in the meta. The errata to Skarbrand and the change to Stacking has already seen the meta open up significantly, reducing the gap between tier 1 and the rest of the field. By supporting the underserved Tribes and archetypes/play-styles, we could see a massive shift in how the game is played both casually and competitively. Personally? I’m excited.
Will they hit those goals though, or am I way off in my predictions? Have your own predictions about Savagery, and what it’ll do to the meta? Leave a comment below!