Hello Champions, Zerris from ThunderPals here and as “team mom”, I approve the following message… Season 2 is drawing to a close. I found myself asking the question “can I do more as a Heraldor?” The answer is most certainly yes. And as if by some sort of divine providence (Gork be praised) I was assisted in my goal to improve my “Heralding” when the dry spell of communication with Playfusion ended last week. Those announcements included the introduction of Warband packs, Set 3, Organized Play updates, and a changed to Ranked Season. The last bit is part of the reason I am writing this article and want to get it out ASAP. For those of you that do not know, for the month of February ranked season 3 will only be a month long. So why is this article so important that I had to absolutely get it out to you readers before season 3? Well I want to do my part as a Heraldor and a self proclaimed “Rules Lawyer” to provide a boring rules update (or clarification depending how you feel about it). Most importantly, it’s an inside scoop you can read hopefully before they make the change, and the ranked season 3 begins.
That’s right readers, I said inside scoop. Before we get ahead of ourselves let’s back up a bit to paint the picture; after I hit master I played casual specifically to play the cards I wanted to test that do not appear to be great competitively. Those cards mainly included Surround 'Em and Ancient Skeletons. I had identified these cards from their reveals that they seemed to be powerful and fun to mess around with. I craved cards that interacted with the stack since I understood stacking from my first play through. Stacking itself is a great mechanic for this game, it’s pretty powerful, can be complex, and provides a great lore bonus as it gives an appearance of “overwhelming your opponent with units”. It only felt natural that abilities like Surround ‘Em and Ancient Skeletons should be added. From a game play perspective, the reason I felt these cards were so powerful is because of a rule that already existed. Rule 2.14.4d. The rule that was even updated for Onslaught to be clearer.
In short, when you deploy a stacking unit on the top of a unit the unit below it returns to their first corner. So, when I deploy Ancient Skeletons onto a Zombie Dragon, the Zombie dragon will return to its first corner – X – if the Ancient Skeleton is removed (and not on it’s own X corner). I also asked in the Discord for clarity regarding how the stack worked in regards to a top unit. I was told the bottom of the stack rotates along with the top of the stack by a Playfusion representative. I considered that response in my initial work… I went to my mad scientist lab and created an idea of abusing Loud-mouthed Megaboss with Surround ‘Em. Why Megaboss? Because I wanted to be able to instantly make use of the unit at the bottom of a stack when I moved a stacking unit over. After countless hours of testing, I found that just being able to re-use Waaagh! Chanter and Big Stabba Crew my deck was pretty dangerous, but it was incredibly action dependent.
I ended up putting in blessings that mostly drew cards and my loadout looked like Commando Green: Frenzied Charge, Renewed War-lust, Ushering of the Waaagh!, and Cruisin' for a Bruisin' (because if you play Orruks you play Cruisin’). At first I did all Orruks. I began using Surround ‘Em and I noticed something huge throughout my games. What I was told about the bottom stack rotating was incorrect. Even if I used Surround ‘Em when the Brute Smashas was on its last corner, I would end up with a “restarted” bottom unit.
When I noticed it was not working how I was told I reported it as a bug. After a debate on the rules with players (not PF reps), I changed my deck almost completely. I switched my deck now to include Surprising Skulkers, because I couldn’t be bothered with early stack removal before I was able to abuse Surround ‘Em. I also swapped in Prophet of the Waaagh! because my Orruk numbers were starting to dwindle a little bit (Cruisin’ could stay though, because it didn’t dwindle enough to not want 12 damage in almost a single turn). Unfortunately (or fortunately) the story didn’t end with me creating this new amazing deck that can take on the world. Instead it ends with an upcoming rule clarification/fix.
When a Playfusion support team first saw the request of a bug (and I assumed scrolled through pages worth of back and forth between my teammates, myself, and a few other Heraldors), they opened up an investigation regarding this specific interaction. It had to be less than 12 hours later, they got back to us saying that this was in fact a bug. They would be taking the necessary precautions which will include a clarification to the official ruling in the rule-book, as well as fixing the app to address the bug. Meaning, that the bottom of the stack should rotate with the top of the stack, and will be updated to do so. While crushing my dreams of this deck becoming an abuse of the power provided by a rule, I really appreciate their quick turn around time! As I could imagine interactions like this would pose a problem in physical play as well, where the app can’t do everything for you. So Champions, as Season 3 rolls around the corner keep these upcoming changes in mind. Any of you who may have stumbled upon this interaction with Ancient Skeletons or Surround ‘Em are in the same boat as myself. One day, you may find this interaction doesn’t quite work the way it used to, especially if you don’t keep an eye on the patch notes they provide. Until then, go ham and enjoy the broken combo while it lasts!
Alright Champions, that’s rule clarification and bug fix is all I’ve got for you today. Thanks for reading. Be on the lookout for some articles giving some spoiler reviews for Savagery and the Warband product. If you’re in the North East I hope to see you at Toywiz Sunday, January 27th for the first of the NE Circuit, along with a good portion of the ThunderPals. Stick around after the tournament to check out us testing some rules with Matt (Cronik) for “drafts” perhaps a seat may be available!