The Horus Heresy: Legions
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Horus Heresy: Legions is a card game for mobile released by Everguild. The card game focus in each of the 30K Space Marine Legions and their conflict through the Age of Darkness (though you have a few Imperial Army Commanders, Mechanicum and Deamons in here). The card game can be surprisingly strategic, and not as RNG focused as say, Hearthstone. The game uses a basic resource called energy, with a max of 10 per turn and has a standard competitive ladder (named after different planets and battlefields of the Heresy), practice modes, and "Events" - narrative themed challenges with a selection of 3 sealed format decks per 4 warlords (though this has been changed to a 'draft' selection where you pick 3 cards ten times. This can lead to funny situations where you have more than the average limit for one card), which are occasionally ones that cannot be acquired in the main game (although some are introduced after being balanced) and let players try out Warlords they wouldn't normally have access to. Some Events will have unusual rules or conditions, like playing as Titan's or Super Heavy Tanks with exaggerated health and abilities. More recently a "Campaign" mode has been added, providing a cosmetic reward for completion.
Everguild have also put a lot of effort into trying to make the legions thematically fluffy with appropriate game mechanics, along with a decent effort at creating competitive balance. It's also fairly clear that at least part of the developement team are fans of the fluff, given some of the subtle dialogue changes when certain warlords fight eachother. This said, the artwork for the cards is taken from a mishmash of different sources, with some being incorrect, some being taken from 40k era artwork, and with a few being made specifically for the game itself (and giving certain characters an appearance they never had before).
The game has gone through several expansions, primarily for filling out the Faction rosters, along with periodic updates and additional cards to the neutral factions. Various factions have also been retooled to remain viable with the inevitable power creep and meta drag or nerfed as necessary. The 3 Year "Let the Galaxy Burn" expansion will be adding new mechanics for each faction, along with expanding the existing card roster for factions too.
- 1 Warlords
- 2 Legions
- 2.1 I Legion: Dark Angels
- 2.2 III Legion: Emperor's Children
- 2.3 IV Legion: Iron Warriors
- 2.4 V Legion: White Scars
- 2.5 VI Legion: Space Wolves
- 2.6 VII Legion: Imperial Fists
- 2.7 VIII Legion: Night Lords
- 2.8 IX Legion: Blood Angels
- 2.9 X Legion: Iron Hands
- 2.10 XII Legion: World Eaters
- 2.11 XIII Legion: Ultramarines
- 2.12 XIV Legion: Death Guard
- 2.13 XV Legion: Thousand Sons
- 2.14 XVI Legion: Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus
- 2.15 XVII Legion: Word Bearers
- 2.16 XVIII Legion: Salamanders
- 2.17 XIX Legion: Raven Guard
- 2.18 XX Legion: Alpha Legion
- 2.19 Adeptus Custodes
- 2.20 Orphans of War
- 2.21 Daemons of the Ruinstorm
- 2.22 Defenders of Caliban
- 2.23 Knight Houses
- 2.24 Sisters of Silence
- 2.25 Agents of the Sigilite
- 3 Neutral Decks
- 4 Card Attributes
- 5 Getting Started and Getting Cards
- 6 Places to check
Warlords are your center characters of the game, with each possessing special abilities that differentiate them from each other. Each factions have their own unique commanders, along with each Legion faction having their Primarch or similar. Most 40 HP warlords differ from other warlords by having an alternative form (such as Daemon Primarchs, getting angry, going mad, or some other fluffy thing) as a card that can only be played (or reduced in cost to be playable) under certain conditions, like having a certain number of troops die, being reduced to one health, or triggering a certain number of effects per game. They then heal a set amount of health and are buffed in some way, along with their special ability changing.
Warlords also vary in terms of starting hp (25, 30, 35, and 40, with some Warlords having Survivor to buff up the number)and their initiative (Very Low, Low, Medium, High, and Very High) which defines who goes first. If both Warlords have the same initiative, then it becomes a 50/50 chance. The Warlord going second gets a faction specific Counterattack card as a consolation prize. Despite the apparent advantage of higher hp, lower hp Warlords will often have more useful abilities, higher initiative, or additional advantages like starting with extra cards, extra energy, having unique cards, or other abilities like Relentless or Battle Honour (discussed later) to compensate, so having a Primarch with 10 extra HP isn't an automatic I WIN button. It should also be noted that unlike several other card games (Hearthstone springs to mind) your Warlord can always deal damage and - in the case of some Legions (like World Eaters, Night Lords, white scars, or Custodes) - will depend on them as part of their overall strategy - Angron and Sevetar are built around this, for example.
Each legion have their own "shitck", as it should be, and some special abilities. The factions are as follows;
I Legion: Dark Angels
- Warlords: Nemiel, Corswain, Farith Redloss, Lion El Johnson.
The Lion's LOYAL lapdogs. Many troops in their deck are assigned an additional "Wing" type (albeit just Deathwing, Dreadwing, and Ravenwing), with other cards having additional synergies with them. They also have unique "Quest" troops, where you secretly select a task which creates an effect when completed, and will make an opponent wary about triggering certain actions around them. Their deck is focused on stat-buffing your troops or using their buffed stats as a qualifier for other bonuses, which combined with their Wing and Quest Mechanics, heavily insentivises having as many Legion cards as possible, and minimising the number of Neutral Cards.
Their LTGB update didn't change much, giving some more focus on Wing selection and even more troop buffing abilties.
III Legion: Emperor's Children
- Warlords - Saul Tarvitz, Fabius Bile, Lucius, Marius Vairosean, Fulgrim
Fulgrim's Prancing Peacocks. Their main skill is "Perfection" which activates if you spend the rest of your Energy on that card it triggers some special effect (drawing a card, for instance). Have lots of ways to reduce cost of cards. They also have a lot (but not all) of "Battle Honour" cards, which trigger an effect when a unit with it kills another. Their playstyle relies on timing effective combos and ensuring you can trigger as many Perfection effects as possible to gain the advantage, which you'll have to do because their troops are average if you don't. They also depend on breaking the "curve" of energy costs and getting more powerful units into play ahead of time. The LGTB update gave them some more standard units to play outside of Perfection, as well as some random fun to fuck around with the opponent.
IV Legion: Iron Warriors
- Warlords - Narik Dreygur, Forrix, Barban Falk, Kroeger, Perturabo.
Perturabo's Bitter Bombardiers. Lots of front line, bunkers, barricades, and Siege, an ability to "prepare" for one turn, and allowing you to use it whenever you want. Said abilities are usually proportionately strong - one card has the ability to deal 15 damage to the enemy warlord. The disadvantage is that the enemy will usually have at least two turns to eliminate a siege unit before they can do something but this can be used as a soft front line. This said, they now have the ability to remove the turn long wait, as well as mitigating siege by adding Bloodthirst if both are on the aforementioned card, then you win/are fucked. They have lots of front line troops as well as lots of ways to do damage to and destroy front lines and vehicles. Also have a theme of damaging/destroying their troops for buffs, buffing cards in your deck ahead of time, and generating new troops and recycling cards back into their deck. The LTGB update gave them MORE siege units as well as other means of getting them ready to fire faster.
V Legion: White Scars
- Warlords : Tartugai Yesugei, Qin Xa, Hibou Khan, Jaghatai Khan
Jaghtai's Jinking Janissaries. Lots of flank, fast and rally (obviously), combined with the ability to add themselves back to the deck. Combined with their expansive abilities to draw cards, you should aim to have a constant rota of buffed speed demons running at your opponent. They also have a fairly large number of vehicles for a legion deck, giving them some nice synergies with various neutral cards. However, they can really struggle against enemies that can outlast them. Frontline and Survivor can cause some real problems, and a lot of their units are, appropriately enough, glass cannons. They get quite a few cards that buff or heal their warlords in some way, as well as fairly large number of damage cards. They originally didn't have any unique mechanics but as of the LTGB update, several of their cards get "Streak" which provides bonuses for playing multiple cards per turn, putting additional emphasis on their card draw and deck return abilities. Obviously, you'll want to playing as many cards as quickly as possible but you can really risk milling yourself. Beware the Alpha Legion.
VI Legion: Space Wolves
- Warlords - Othere Wyrdmake, Geigor Felhand, Bulveye, Leman Russ.
Russ's Space Corgis. Very aggressive cards that rely on having lots of board control to maximise utility. Have two unique mechanics ; "Ward" makes a troop or warlord unable to be targeted by enemy tactics or abilities (random or blanket targeting still works). "Pack" triggers beneficial effects when allied units attack and unlike many other abilities, this can activate the turn the unit comes into play. Have a fair number of Berserk and Bloodthirst cards too. Appropriately, they are rather effective against the Thousand Sons, with Ward providing cover for many of the Thousand Son's tactics and unit abilities. A powerful unit with Ward is incredibly hard to deal with without drowning it in troops, so keep some blanket targeting or cleave troops handy.
Their LTGB update added some additional ability to put troops in play, along with some more flanking troops, namely as buffers to give Pack troops and Warlords some more options in addition to incentivizing EVEN MORE aggressive play.
VII Legion: Imperial Fists
- Warlords : Alexis Pollux, Sigismund, Camba Diaz, Rogal Dorn.
Dorn's Dependable Defenders. Their unique mechanic is Bastion, which effectively gives units with it an additional health total (to the value of whatever number Bastion is on the card) when being attacked. The Bastion "health" will be depleted first in this case. Note that this does not count when the card itself attacks. They would naturally suit a defensive playstyle but Bastion means that your enemeies can break themselves on you and leaving you with enough health to counterattack (albeit with less chance of surviving). Your warlord can also have Bastion, which is is very useful as they are more likely to be on the defensive than troop cards. They also focus on structures, frontline, and more general troop buffing.
In terms of overall deck strategy, you NEED board control as quickly as possible. Most of your troops are also badly costed for their non-bastion buffed stats, so you picking your moments to go on the offense is crucial. Playing the long game is also very much in your favour, both in terms of getting your better cards out but also grinding down your opponent before a counterattack.
Their LTGB update gave them some much needed options for going on the offence.
VIII Legion: Night Lords
- Warlords : Mawdrym, Sevatar, Malcharion, Konrad Curze.
Curze's Spoopy Skeletons. Their big thing is Terror. Troops won't take damage when the enemy has less attack than them, which synergises well with their plentiful debuffs for enemy attack power. They also get the ability to stop enemy troops from attacking, which you will need because your troops can't take as much of a hit as other legions. Lots of flank, unstoppable, conditional fast, and stealth, as well as situational abilities when the enemy doesn't have any troops, further egging on the bullying theme. However, they are very very dependent on their legendary cards for utility and have been rather left behind in terms of retools.
The LTGB update (and slight retool) gave them more emphasis on Terror abilities, along with more ways of decreasing enemy attack power and boosting your own.
IX Legion: Blood Angels
- Warlords : Meros, Azkaellon, Raldoron, Sanguinius.
Sanguinius' Heavenly Heamatophages. They have a lot of flank, drop pod, berserk, bloodthirst and unstoppable. Their unique mechanics are Requiem and the rather prosaic sounding Landing. Requiem creates effects when an adjacent troop to the Requiem holder dies and Landing is an additional effect attatched to Drop Pod that triggers an additional effect if the 2 hp drop pod isn't destroyed before the next turn. They are a troop heavy legion that relies on, if not outright board control, then a consistent stream of troops in play at all times, as well as the expectation of deliberately losing troops to get the most out of Requiem. Their tactics are orientated around buffing their troops, as well as giving them a little bit more survivability. You will want Front Line units to screen your Requiem and Landing units as much as possible. They also uniquely get the ability to make their drops pods tougher, potentially up to 4hp, meaning that your glass cannons will have a greater chance of actually doing something or Landing activating without a hitch. The LTGB update has put a bit more emphasis on their Requiem abilities.
X Legion: Iron Hands
- Warlords: Shadrak Meduson, Amadeus Ducaine, Gabriel Santar, Ferrus Manus.
Ferrus' Stubborn Soldiers. Focused on Relentless cards, which activate an effect - usually a stat buff - at the start of each turn. Also have tons of healing and board clears as well as some powerful vehicles which can be created by Captured Forge. Their game plan is typically to either use their healing and board clears to outlast the enemy before dropping heavy units in the late game or to build a board of relentless buffing troops whose stats snowball out of control. However, you really need to keep your troops alive in order to get the most out of them, and you're going to feel every loss a lot more acutely than other legions. Have now had a retool that makes them super focused on their Relentless abilities, as well as giving you several means of triggering said abilities yourself, in exchange for some toughness and healing abilities.
The LTGB update gave them more vehicles (along with synergies) as well as more general buffing abilities for their troops and tactics.
XII Legion: World Eaters
- Warlords : Ehrlen, Shabran Darr, Kharn, Dreagher, Angron.
Angron's Angry Aggressors. Their gameplan is to hit the opposing warlord in the face every turn and kill him quickly. Have a lot of units with abilities that proc when damaged. Also have lots of board clears that damage themselves and the enemy. Their unique mechanics are Berserk (which forces the troop or Warlord to attack each turn which can be lethal against high end front line troops) Rage, which triggers an effect when the unit takes damage, and they have a lot of cards with Bloodthirst, which lets a unit act twice. As a result, the World Eaters also have a lot of cheap tactics that inflict damage, as well as tactics that buff damaged troops. Stun and strong Frontline is their kryptonite. The only one of the base set legions to remain consistently competitive throughout. It wasn't uncommon for World Eater decks at all levels of play to compromised almost entirely of tactics, as they frequently don't need troops at all. Have now had a retool that nerfed a few of their overused cards and buffed their troops, along with making triggering their own Rage cards a more viable strategy. Their LTGB update further emphasized this, along with giving some Flank and healing options.
XIII Legion: Ultramarines
- Warlords - Aeonid Thiel, Marius Gage, Remus Ventanus, Roboute Guilliman.
Roboute's Rule-abiding Rangers. They're a generalist deck (appropriately enough) with an emphasis on buffing, card draw and adaptability ; many of their troops, tactics, and warlords do 2 different (usually mutually exclusive) things, giving them some flexibility in how they're used. Their unqiue mechanic is Courage, which activates an additional effect if the opposing player has more units than you. Their tactics are also labelled as Theoreticals and Practicals ; several of their regular tactics and unit abilities either generate them or draw them from your deck. The gist is that an Ultramarine deck ought to have the right card for any situation but their playstyle relies on being reactive rather than proactive, in addition to relying on an enemy having more board control in order to get the best out of your deck, which is pretty hard to justify. They also really depend on their Courage mechanic, otherwise their troops are badly costed for what they do. Roboute is also much closer to Julius Caesar than to our Spiritual Liege, using strategy from behind the lines but joining them as soon as he deems it needed, and even if they have all been slain, he is still capable of overturning the whole situation by himself.
Have now had a retool giving several of their Courage troops a degree of utility even if you don't trigger the effect itself, lessening the burden of allowing your opponent to outnumber you at every point. Their LTGB update upgrades their troop card draw and general buffing, giving you options to either play dynamically with Courage effects or just reliably with general Troop board control.
XIV Legion: Death Guard
- Warlords - Nathaniel Garro, Durak Rask, Calas Typhon, Caipha Morarg, Mortarion.
Mortarion's Hazardous Hardcases. They focus on poison (kills enemies in the following turn), high health front line troops, and healing themselves. Also have a lot of troops with backlash - abilities that trigger on destruction of the troop. Deathshroud is an 8/8 troop whose backlash ability spawns another Deathshroud! WAIT NO I DIDN'T MEAN THAT KIND OF SPAAEARRGH They also have a smattering of Chaos synergy, along with self healing troops and the odd Nurgling. Have been rather left behind with power creep and other legion's more dynamic playstyles, although they have recently recieved a retool that emphasises their Poison abilities, along with ways to instantly destroy units that have been Poisoned. Not long after had another retool that further emphasised their poisoning abilities, as well as giving more units backlash abilities and heals. The LTGB update gave them more poison options, as well as giving them some ability to enhance their troops innate survival as well as giving them some ability to deal with immediate threats.
XV Legion: Thousand Sons
- Warlords - Phosis T’Kar, Ahriman, Amon, Magnus.
Magnus' Magical Musketmen. All their Warlords and a few of their units generate Psychic Power per turn ; an additional resource a bit like energy that you can use to play tactics or unit abilities. The upside of this is that if you manage your energy and psychic energy well, you can unleash all of the mind bullet dakka - do it badly or lose your crucial generating troops and you'll be forced to play like a more conventional legion (and lose). Their other mechanics include precognition, which stops friendly units being attacked (tactics and abilities are still bueno) and Reflection, which allows tactics to be cast as many times in the same turn as you have energy / psychic power to cast it. Because they got released in Yin-Yang with the Space Wolves, Precognition is a useful counter for the Space Wolves' aggressive troops. Were horrifically broken on release, to the point that most TS deck strategy was to survive until they got 10 energy, and then just unload all the psychic power they'd stockpiled (or more sadistically spam a 4 energy/damage card that returned to hand if there are no troops on their side). Have now had a slight retool giving a general buff to a few of their troops and altering some of their tactics / psychic powers to be more useful, along with making Warlords generate 1 Psychic Power by default.
Their LTGB update gave their troops more buffs (usually for generating Psychic Power and making their innate abilities more useful) along with more means of keeping you in useful psychic tactics.
XVI Legion: Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus
- Warlords : Garviel Loken, Abbadon, Tarik Torgaddon, Tybalt Marr, Horus.
Horus's Heretical Honchos, and the first deck you get with Loken as its center Warlord. A jack of all trades faction with a focus on drop pods, direct damage, and card draw, with a smattering of Chaos synergy on the side. All of their warlords' abilities do direct damage, draw a card, or both. They certainly aren't bad but power-creep has very much come into play, and their lack of a unique play dynamic can leave them sidelined. They recieved a minor retool to give them more Chaos synergy, buffing several key troops, and creating more focus on doing massive burst damage. The LTGB update puts emphasis on the Chaos synergy, providing more incentives to generate Chaos Marks and with additional troops to take advantage of it.
XVII Legion: Word Bearers
Warlords : Argel Tal / Raum, Erebus, Lorgar, Zardu Layak.
Lorgar's Fundamentalist Fellows. Have lots of synergy with Daemons (along with specific buffs with the UNNAMEABLE BEASTS), Sacrifice cards, and wholesale buffs to troops. Their unique mechanic is Daemonhost (which is genuinely OP at times), which confers random buffs on a unit. They also have a lot of cards that benefit from sacrificing (not the keyword) other troops to either deal damage, buff your own troops, or summoning daemons. Much like their tabletop counterparts, you'll benefit from having sufficient chaff to act as a screen (or offerings) for your Astartes. They have a lot of synergy with the Chaos neutral deck, including one of their warlords taking an alternate form if half your deck consists of Chaos cards. Another unique feature is that some of their troops have dual troop types, meaning they can get buffs that apply to both. They also get the ability to mitigate maintenance costs for Daemons.
Their LTGB update gave them some more "destroy your troops to gain X" benefits.
XVIII Legion: Salamanders
- Warlords : Artellus Numeon, Cassian Vaughn, Nemetor, Vulkan.
Vulkan's Pyromaniac Pillar-Men, focused on fire (several of their troops have abilities that damage enemies), "Survivor" (which allows it to survive and heal a set amount of health when it has its health reduced to 0 by damage), and Sacrifice (when they are reduced to 0 health while attacking an enemy, an effect is triggered, hopefully activating "Survivor" and bringing the unit back where they can potentially activate their Sacrifice ability again). They are a slow faction and lack fast or flank units and only have 2 direct damage tactics, both of which only do 2 damage per target. You'll want to put as many troops with Survivor on the board as possible, along with balancing keeping your troops alive with the advantages that Sacrifice will give you (which ties in nicely with the fluff of Salamanders being enduring and self-sacrificing at the same time). Have greatly benefitted from the readjusted Sacrifice mechanic. The LTGB gave them a lot of synergy with Imperial Army troops, which is both useful with the new Solar Auxilla card type and a nice way of showing the fluffy bro-tier Salamanders we're used to.
XIX Legion: Raven Guard
- Warlords : Vincente Sixx, Agapito Nev, Nykona Sharrowkyn, Corax.
Corax's Furtive Fusiliers. Focused on Stealth (making the unit untargetable), Sneak Attack (causing damage on attack without taking it back), Flank (allowing a troop to attack another troop immediately when summoned) and their own special skill "Sentence" (additional damage caused to a unit that is marked as sentenced). Have lots of tactics that deal damage (usually smaller amounts) to separate targets or multiple times separately, so as to maximize Sentencing damage. Can be insanely difficult to beat if you don't have stealth revealing and blanket or random targeting.
Their LTGB update doesn't rock the boat too much, giving them some more sentenced options, albeit with slightly varied conditions and consequences.
XX Legion: Alpha Legion
- Warlords : Alpharius, Alpharius, Alpharius, Alpharius (Armillus Dynat, Ingo Pech, Exodus, Alpharius, Omegon, Alpha Legionaire)
Alpharius' Alphariuses. They have special tactics like Orders, that target enemy units and forcing them to use certain abilities and traps, which insert cards into the opponents deck and cause negative effects when drawn. Play very different from other factions and currently the only faction that can mill the opponent's deck and use fatigue damage as a win condition. Many of their units have stun abilities or abilities that harm the opposing player when they play cards. In short, they are fucking annoying to play against, which is kind of the point. All their Warlords also start each game as an 'anonymous' Legionary (who isn't actually a bad warlord in any case) which can then be revealed at any point by the Alpha Legion player, along with healing the difference in health at the same time, thus simulating the "I am Alpharius" thing. They also have a tactic that allows them to become a different Alpha legion warlord. This tactic can be copied by opponents using certain cards like Jubac Starsight. This means that a warhound titan can transform into Alpharius. They have the widest number of ways to play their deck (seriously, you can stunlock, tactic damage, trap spam, mill, or deal damage with card draw) but this leaves them open to more direct attack from more focused legions. They also favor the long game as it gives more of their traps time to work, so canny opponents will try to kill them quickly. The LTGB update gave them more options to delay attacks or to punish an opponent for doing so.
- Warlords : Arascid Nassau, Vettranio Shapura, Amon Tauromachian, Constantin Valdor.
Daddy's Real Favourites. Soft focus on front line units, with lots of flank, and disproportionately high stats for their energy cost. Many of their troops also get "First Strike", where they don't take any retaliatory damage if they kill an opposing troop while attacking. A few of their warlords have it too, giving them a lot more utility than other warlords who have to be kept safe. The downside is that many of their units have the Sentinel ability, meaning that you cannot draw a card the beginning of your turn whilst the card with sentinel is in play. A lot of their tactics and unit abilities revolve around card draw and troop generation, so you need to keep your hand full or you'll lose. It's also worth noting that they have a unique Custodes troop type, which can affect how cards in the neutral decks work (or don't) with them. They also have a lot of ways to boost their warlord's damage and survivability.
Orphans of War
Warlords: Atesh Tarsa, Endryd Haar, Ulrach Branthan, Nerat Kirine
Everyone's Exiled Echelons ; they form a Blackshield fighting force that gets access to the unique abilities of almost every legion (albeit at the time of their release). Their tactics are highly effective at messing around with the enemy, including mass copying and
(uniquely) STEALING (not since Nerat's debuff) Pirate Raid still lets you do this) cards from the opponents deck, and their wide use of Stealth and Survivor means that they are surprisingly difficult to put down (again, thematically appropriate). However, they aren't so much a jack of all trades as a middling 9 and their lack of a consistent play dynamic can cause problems against a focused legion deck. They also rely on quite a bit on RNG in several of their units and tactics, making them more a gamble than most other legions. Several of their cards also generate troops and tactics from other decks, but again, this is randomly determined. Card stealing is also dependent on your opponents deck, although it's worth it to deprive the enemy of their trump card or wombo strategy maker.
Daemons of the Ruinstorm
- Warlords : Kyriss, Cor'Bax Utterblight, Samus, Ka'Bandha
Those nice boys from over the road. They are unique for a legion deck in that they can't take cards from the Imperial Army or Mechanicum neutral decks, which limits some tactical options. But as you can imagine, they get a lot of synergy with the Chaos neutral deck. The majority of their cards, which are classified as Daemons, don't have maintenance and you have a few ways to mitigate maintenance for the neutral daemons too. Mutation is their unique mechanic, playing similarly to Deamonhost (natch). Their cards are also fairly strong for their cost, making them the traitor equivalent of the Custodes deck. Have a surprisingly large number of frontline troops, although they typically have high attack and low health, or berserk to weed them out. Other units buff your daemon troops wholesale or generate more on the field, leading to a tide of readily buffable units at even early stages of a game. Their tactics focus on buffing and generating more daemon cards, along with a lot of buffing for the warlord. Speaking of which, unlike every other legion deck, their legendary warlord
doesn't have an awakened form, although Ka'Bandha really does not need one OH FUCK HE DOES NOW.
Defenders of Caliban
- Warlords : Zahariel, Lord Cypher, Luther, Merir Astelan.
Luther's Left behind Legionaries. Their unique mechanic is Duplicitous, which means the enemy warlord cannot attack said unit or target them with an ability until the unit attacks or acts. Their deck relies on putting large numbers of comparatively weak but readily buffable troops in play early, using Duplicity and frontline as a screen before their enemy can react. They also have lots of tactics that rely on having board control to remove enemy troops or deal damage to the enemy warlord. They're pretty vulnerable to hard troop removal, other spam decks, and other abilities and tactics that randomly or blanket target.
Oh, and no 40hp Warlord awoken form, for some reason. Whether Luther will eventually get one like Ka'Bahnda remains to be seen, but he could really do with one. Luther now has both 40hp and completely broken "Arch-Betrayer" form that makes enemy unit change sides on board for a fraction of its cost (now only works on units with 5HP or less).
- Warlords : Questoris Knight, Cerastus Knight, Acastus Knight / Alsahr Orhlacc (House Orhlacc), Elsbet Vorr (House Vyronii), Markan Hrotham (House Makabius)
The Mechanicum's Marauding Mechs / Aristocracy's Ambulatory Arbalests. Okay, buckle up, this one is a doozy. The Knight Households have a very unique playstyle and mechanics. First things first, you pick a Knight Chassis ; this forms the base health of your warlord, along with their passive ability and initiative. You then select a pilot, which determines cosmetics options and your warlord's active ability, giving you a competitive degree of flexibility. There also isn't an awakened form for their 40hp warlord, go figure.
Each Knight Chassis generates Plasma, an additional resource used in much the same way that Psychic Energy is used for the Thousand Sons. Much like them, you'll need to keep generating it or you'll lose. Plasma is used to pay for Weapon abilities, which are a unique card type for Knights. You "equip" them onto your Knight with regular energy but then pay for their use with Plasma. Uniquely, you can use Weapon abilities the turn they come into play. Weapons cannot be interacted with in any way by the enemy. They have health values, but this is tied to damaging the Warlord equipped with them. Deal that much damage to the warlord and the weapon is destroyed. Healing your warlord also heals your weapons. The Weapon slots also take up two spaces on your board, regardless of if they're filled, so you're limited to having 4 other units in play.
The rest of their deck is made up of support units that heal, Front Line, or generate plasma, along with cards that buff the warlord in various ways. Your biggest advantage is how much damage your warlord can quickly put out, thanks to their weapons, but you'd do well to not neglect troops in your deck. As of the 2.0 update, Stun will stop you from using any of your weapons, so plan accordingly
Sisters of Silence
The Bitches who Can't Bitch (out loud). They don't have any unique mechanics but have a focus on high attack power, Jamming, and buffing their troops. However, many of their buffing tactics and abilities also buff their warlord too. Several of their tactics also deal more damage to units with Psyker and Deamon type troops, which feels a little unfair to Thousand Sons, Chaos, Word Bearers and Ruinstormers but fuck them. Additionally, most of aforementioned buffs and effects are used as Rally (immediately upon playing), and the rest of the troop can be then conveniently sacrificed to one of few effects that eat your own units to activate.
Their playstyle depends on grinding down your opponents troops with buffed weaker troops before getting out your big nasty guns, something very much helped by the large amount of flank you have in the deck. The Sisters also have lots of methods of blanket fucking over enemy troops with board wide clears, jams, stuns, and damage all over the place. In short, they are a reactive faction, with answer to everything enemy can put on board. And once it is clear, they go for the kill.
Agents of the Sigilite
Malcador's Men in Black (grey). Unique mechanic is Seals, which denotes a unique type of tactic exclusive to the deck. Each seal cost 3 energy with a powerful effect, but when they are generated they are shuffled into the deck first to prevent them from being total game breakers. Malcador’s forces are a mix of Knight-Errants(Space Marines who act as Malcador’s agents), guardsmen, and temple assassins.
You have a few sneaky tricks like setting traps (not like the Alpha Legion card, mind) when your enemy draws certain cards, a fair smattering of stealth and some very leftfield abilities to thoroughly dick with your opponent. However, you do really need to get some seals in play to get an edge and your enemy is going to be canny enough to make sure you don't. Quite a few of your trick cards also rely on correctly predicting which card an enemy will use on their next turn or have their utility based on when an enemy card is played, so you are subject to a lot more RNG and general luck than any other deck outside the Alpha Legion.
Imperial Army, Mechanicum, and Chaos are included here. Whilst Legion Warlords can take cards from any of the Neutral decks (except for Daemons of the Ruinstorm ; see above), the Neutral Warlords can only take cards from other Neutral decks, which is a pretty big handicap. To compensate, Neutral Warlords typically have more immediately powerful abilities and attributes than Legion Warlords. Their 40 hp warlords also don't have an awakened form, for some reason. And yes, you can have Chaos cards in Loyalist Warlord decks, move along..
Warlords: Colonel Ornatov, Lucretia Elunnirai, Lotara Sarrin, Thaddeus Fayle, Callidus Assassain, Sergeant Cork.
Lots of Frontline, cheap infantry, expensive vehicles, and structures - usually with buffing effects for troops or ways of generating more troops. No unique mechanics or focus but almost every deck will benefit from them, especially their Front Line stuff. Several cards have the Solar Auxilla type, giving additional Synergies.
Warlords: Kelbor Hal, Caleb Decima, Tacitus Proctor, Myrmidion Destructor, Anacharis Scoria
Varied troops and vehicles with a variety of buffs, debuffs, and other effects, as well as healing for vehicles and structures. Big focus on vehicle support. A few of their units and commanders generate mechadendrites - cheap buffs with a variety of effects. Have unique card Death of Innocence that makes every Mechanicum troop receive Mark of Chaos upon being put on the board, which gives strange synergies with other Chaos mechanics.
Warlords: Ingethel, Canis Vertex, Captured Mandragorax, Chaos Spawn OHGODNOIDIDN'TMEANARRRGHGHGLGPGP.
A variety of aggressive unit types, debuffs and damaging effects, usually with an indiscriminate or random targeting / damage. Their main shtick is Chaos Marks and Daemons. Chaos Marks are random but cheap buffs (one per Chaos god). If you manage to get all 4 on a non-daemon troop (you won't get the same twice, so you'll only need 4), they turn into one of the greater Daemon cards, which can be pretty powerful if you can get them off early. Daemons are (generally) pretty powerful units for their cost but they all have maintenance, which subtracts a given value from your total energy pool, which can be a handicap mid/late game. A few commanders and units can reduce maintenance or circumvent it completely. Also have access to (possessed) Titan warlords rather than the Mechanicum, for some reason..
Some cards have the Cultist keyword, granting additional synergies.
Whilst various legions specialize in a few unique abilities, this doesn't necessarily mean only they will have them. Blue abilities cost energy to activate. Grey Abilities are persistent. Red abilities are Siege - an (almost) Iron Warriors exclusive - and works a bit like a regular Blue ability, except that it takes a turn to charge and then can be activated at the controllers discretion. They're usually a lot stronger than most unit abilities and your opponent will try to murder them first. Purple Abilities are Psychic abilities and can only be activated with Psychic Energy. They're Thousand Sons exclusive. Some abilities will also cancel out the effects of others ; you can apply Stealth to a Front Line unit, but then Front Line won't work until the unit is unstealthed. Troops are also designated a type such as Astartes, Infantry, Vehicle, Custodes, Daemon, Structure etc, that affects how they interact with certain other cards and abilities (such as Chaos Marks only being usable on non-Daemon cards).
In addition, some troops from the neutral decks will have an additional identifier, like Cultist or Solar Auxilla (or Wing if you're playing DA), which enables synergies with other like cards.
- Backlash : Triggers an effect when the troop dies.
- Battle Honour : Does something when one unit defeats another, although it has to actually survive too.
- Berserk : Unit has to act every turn. World Eaters have a lot of these. Doesn't necessarily mean the unit has to attack ( Warlords could use their ability, for example) but most cards with it are just beatsticks or glass cannons.
- Blood Thirst: Unit can act twice per turn. World Eaters, Space Wolves, and Iron Warriors love these. Usually on cards that don't have lots of health as a check. As with Berserk, it doesn't have to be used for attacking twice. Seriously - fuck this attribute.
- Can't Attack : Self explanatory, usually on Structure type troops but occasionally an applicable debuff. Night Lords like this a lot. Still lets abilities be used though.
- Cleave : Deals a set amount of damage to the units on either side of the unit attacked. Good at circumventing Front Line.
- Courage: When your opponent has more troops than you (including their warlord) this activates additional effects. Ultramarine's unique attribute.
- Daemonhost : Word Bearer's unique attribute. Confers a random attribute buff from a list onto the troop. They can stack and if you get all of them, any additional Daemonhost counters will just add +2/+2. However, you'll have a hard job keeping the troop alive long enough to do so. Also adds the Daemon troop type to the unit.
- Drop Pod : Gives the troop a 2 hp shield until their next turn after being played, giving cheap or fragile cards a chance to do something. The Blood Angels get ways of adding additional HP to Drop Pods, as well as Landing to compliment it.
- Duplicitious : Defenders of Caliban unique ability (unless you count Outraged Noble. The prick). A unit with this can't be attacked by the enemy warlord or targeted by their abilities until the unit attacks or Duplicitous expires. Blanket targeting or random targeting are still fine.
- Fast : Troops can attack the moment they come into play. Usually on glass cannon cards.
- First Strike : Custodes almost exclusive. You won't take damage attacking if you kill the opposing troop (and technically the Warlord but that's a very rare scenario to avoid drawing).
- Flank : Like fast, but can only attack other troops out the gate. They can also activate any abilities they have, which is often just as useful. It is worth noting that despite its name, it does not allow you to circumvent front line troops (or warlords). Fairly common, in contrary to Fast.
- Front Line: Troops with this have to be attacked first before attacking the warlord or non-frontline troops. You will need them in your deck.
- Jam : Gets rid of any buffs, malus', or special abilities on a card. Using it on your own units can result in some fun things, like buildings attacking or getting rid of Maintenance on Daemons..
- Landing : Blood Angels signature attribute. Attached to Drop Pod units, it triggers an additional effect if the 2hp Drop Pod survives till the next turn.
- Mark of Chaos: Gives the (non daemon) troop one of four random Mark of Chaos buffs. Get all 4 on one troop and they'll turn into a greater daemon card.
- Maintenance: Daemon exclusive - subtracts a given amount of energy from your total pool whilst the deamon card is in play. Can be really bad news if your opponent is able to stun that unit, rendering it useless, and hobbling your energy supply. Can also be applied to other troops in very rare circumstances.
- Meltdown : A card attribute applied to Titan Weapon cards for Warlords. Killing the individual weapon will deal a substantial amount of damage to adjacent units - usually the other Titan components. Only applies to one warlord in the main game but the special event warlords have random titans more often.
- Mission : A new type of card debuting in the 3 year expansion update. If you achieve a specific goal (giving 6 chaos marks to your troops, for example) you'll get an additional benefit like giving your warlord more abilities.
- Mutation : Ruinstorm signature ability. Gives a daemonic buff - always good - AND reduced maintenance for Daemons. Nice synergy with the Neutral daemon cards too.
- Pack : Space Woof unique ability. Activates an effect whenever another friendly unit attacks. With board control, this is incredibly powerful.
- Perfection : Emperor's Children signature ability. Causes additional effects if the card being played uses all the remaining energy from your pool.
- Plasma : Generates x amount of Plasma for your Knight to pew pew with. Knights only, obvs.
- Poisonous : when applied to a troop, makes it's attacks kills the affected troop at the end of the controllers next turn. Usually used to prompt the affected player to throw that troop away, as it's going to die anyway. Death Guard have most of these but a few other decks have cards that can remove the effect.
- Psyker : Thousand Son's exclusive. Generates x amount of psychic energy per turn, which is used by the TS's to pay for tactics and unit abilities. You will want a lot of it.
- Precognition : Thousand Son's unique ability, with few exceptions. Units with this (usually a buff, but a tiny number of units have this PERMANENTLY) cannot be attacked by other units. Kill them with abilities or tactics instead. Good against Space Wolves.
- Quest : Dark Angel's signature ability. On playing a card with Quest, you'll be given a choice of 3 tasks. Achieving it will then trigger additional effects. You can leverage these against a negative result happening to the unit, like having it be killed but then triggering it's Quest effect.
- Rage : Triggers an effect when directly damaged. World Eaters have most of these.
- Rally : Does something when the card is played out of the hand. Nice and easy.
- Relentless : Iron Hand's favorite. Triggers an effect at the beginning of every turn AFTER the card is played. Kill them quickly before they snowball out of control.
- Reflection : Thousand Son's unique ability. Usually a base part of their tactics but some of their troops can confer this on other cards. It lets you cast a Psychic Power tactic as many times in that turn as you have Psychic Energy to cast it. A few neutral cards have this, with regular energy being the cost instead.
- Requiem : Blood Angel's signature ability. A unit or warlord with this will trigger a specific effect when an adjacent troop dies. Notably easier to use than Sacrifice as this would work regardless of whether it's your turn or not.
- Resolution : The opposite of Relentless ; an effect that takes place at the end of each turn. This means that it will activate the turn the card is put into play.
- Sacrifice : Salamanders and Word Bearers exclusive - originally activated an effect when a troop died whilst attacking another unit. Now works when a troop dies during their turn, enabling you to trigger the effect yourself. Synergies nicely with Survivor.
- Secret Order : Alpha Legion exclusive. Applied to an opponents troops, and triggers negative effects under certain conditions, like playing another troop, or attacking a warlord. The kicker is that you don't know which trap Secret Order was played until you activate it's condition. Have now been heavily nerfed by only taking effect once when triggered but are all now equally reduced in costs.
- Sentenced: Raven Guard exclusive - applies a malus to enemy units to a given value. Attacking that unit then causes additional damage to the value of how many Sentenced markers are on the target. Usually only a debuff for one turn but a few cards can apply it permanently to enemy troops.
- Sentinel : Custodes exclusive. The only flatout negative effect in the game so far. If a troop with this is in play, you won't draw any cards at the beginning of each turn. You'll want to find ways to get around it.
- Shield: Nullifies the first source of damage - no matter how high - an applied unit takes, then disappears. Useful on those glass cannon troops.
- Sneak Attack: Attacking doesn't damage you back.
- Stealth: The unit is untargetable until it attacks or the duration specified expires. Doesn't prevent random or blanket targeting though and there are a few cards that are specifically designed to reveal stealthed units.
- Streak: New ability for the White Scars (at the moment). It creates additional benefits for playing multiple cards in a turn whilst having a Streak card on the board. You'll want the ability to either generate more cards or recycle existing cards back into your deck or you'll risk milling yourself.
- Stun: Self explanatory, lasts till your next turn and also stops units from using abilities. They'll still deal damage if attacked though.
- Survivor: Keeps the troop (and irritating warlord - looking at you, Vulkan) alive after being destroyed, to a set value of health. This doesn't trigger effects that are conditional on killing an enemy unit, like Battle Honour.
- Terror : Night Lord's signature attribute. Attacking units don't take damage if their attack power is higher than their opponents. Does not apply to attacking the warlord. Thematically appropriate for the Night Lords.
- Trap : Alpha Legion exclusive - these are shuffled into the opponents deck and cause a negative effect when drawn - one forces you to draw more cards, so you can mill your own deck or get caught drawing more Trap Cards. As with Secret Orders, they aren't identified when initially played ; you'll know a trap was played but not which one. They also all draw another card for the opponent, which is hilarious when it daisy chains even more trap cards.
- Unstoppable: Allows troops to circumvent Front Line troops. Usually represented by assault marines, which is a nice thematic touch.
- Ward : Space Wolf exclusive (unless you count Pyramid of Photep). Makes the unit untargetable by enemy abilities and tactics - as with Stealth, random or blanket targetting will still work. Good against Thousand Sons. Wordbearer Demonhosts and demons can get Wards as well, and their's have a different look.
- Wing : Dark Angels exclusive. It doesn't actually do anything itself, but a unit with it will trigger various synergies with other cards from the Dark Angel's deck.
Getting Started and Getting Cards
The game provide a few ways for getting cards. First, the currencies are gold and gems. Gems only come from crates (card packs) and card duplicates, while gold can be purchased in the store. You can also get tickets for Events, which are focused on pre constructed decks used against each other.
Most of the games rewards are the "crates" that can give you gold, gems and obviously, cards. The few ways you can earn them:
- Doing the Daily Mission which can be done in both Practice and Ranked modes by winning games. This one guarantees one challenge ticket.
- Challenge, also daily, usually dictating some specific kind of unit, deck or type of action that you have do it many times (like hitting an enemy Warlord with your own). If you do it enough times, you can get a better crate. Some of these are simple, like attack the enemy warlord, while others are extremely specific, like winning a match without putting troops into play.
- Free Crate that shows up each 6 hours (though its obviously not as good as the other crates, it can give some good rewards).
- Events Wins. For every two wins you can get a better crate with better rewards while doing Events. Events used to have pre-made decks, but now you instead choose premade packs of three cards to complete your 30 card deck. Great way to get new cards and play with new factions. Most notably reaching 12 wins grants you a golden chest with guaranteed challenge ticket along with guaranteed epic card!