With the rise of the Warhammer Underworlds Rivals format it’s now easier than ever to pick up and play with any warband. The Exiled Dead dropped on to the battlefield as the final warband from Harrowdeep, and have a very interesting playstyle.
So start raising your minions, because we’re about to talk you through how to win with The Exiled Dead.
How they play
The Exiled Dead are a horde warband with a definite aggressive focus. For long-term Underworlds players, the best way to describe them is like the Sepulchral Guard on steroids.
The Sepulchral Guard’s leader had an action to move up to two fighters, and an alternate actionto reanimate a friendly fighter. The Exiled Dead’s leader, Deintalos, has the ability to either move or attack with all 5 of the warband’s conductive fighters (which includes himself) and reanimate a friendly conductive minion, all in one action. If that wasn’t enough, Prentice Marcov has allows himself and Regulus to both make any action and then reanimate Regulus if needed.
These two actions alone mean there are endless shenanigans you can trick and trap your opponent with, and are feel very unique next to most other warbands. From our experience The Exiled Dead can certainly be one of the more tricky warbands for your opponent to counter.
Interestingly, you’ll notice that the 5 minions all start the game inspired, and un-inspire after they gain a raise counter. This means your warband starts strong, so you’ll want to capitalise on that towards the start of the game.
Deintalos and Prentice Marcov have different inspire conditions both based around the rest of the warband being aggressive. Deintalos inspires when a minion takes a fighter out of action, while Marcov’s inspiration is much closer tied to his own personal minion, Regulus, landing a successful attack.
Deintalos is the warband leader, and absolutely the most important fighter you have access to. As mentioned, Deintalos has his Danse Dynamic action which controls multiple fighters including himself. The best way to use Deintalos is to always keep him behind a line of his minions, casting his ranged spell at opponents. When choosing to use Danse Dynamic to make an attack, always choose to attack with Deintalos first, because applying the Stagger keyword to an opponent will give each of your inspired minions +1 damage each. With a successfully set up turn (and perfect dice), you can theoretically use this to deal up to 10 damage to an opponent in a single activation. That’s enough to take out Mollog.
Coyl, Bault, Vlash and Ione are your 4 conductive minions, which will be relying on Deintalos’ input. As far as stats go, they’re mostly all fairly similar with the exception of Coyl having 2 damage on his main attack, Bault having Cleave and Vlash having Knockback. In most games this means that it’s often best to upgrade Coyl or Bault before the other fighters, as they have the most potential. When inspired, all 4 fighters’ attacks have Overload which gives +1 damage to a staggered opponent. When uninspired, they lose Overload, but each gain a second attack with Arks, which gives +1 dice for each supporting fighter.
Prentice Marcov and Regulus are your final two fighters. Marcov has the Puppeteer action which controls himself and Regulus in a similar way to Deintalos’ Danse Dynamic action, except it’s not restricted to a move or attack, and they can instead both individually make any action (just be aware that if Marcov charges then he can’t use the action again until the next round). This gives you some great options to play with. I’d personally suggest keeping Prentice and Regulus towards the back of the board, ready to execute any secondary gameplans, or sweep in to take out any stragglers who escape your main horde.
Key Cards and How to Use Them
Danse of Deintalos, Alternating Strikes and Appalling End
Making multiple activations with Deintalos’ Danse Dynamic action is key to doing well with The Exiled Dead. That’s part of the reason that Danse of Deintalos is, in my humble opinion, one of the best cards the warband has access to, because it essentially allows you to make that action again in the power step. I would always consider re-drawing power cards if it’s not in your starting hand. While it’s not the easiest to cast, when it does go off it’s a game changer. I’ve had games before where I’ve used Danse Dynamic to advance, and then cast Danse of Deintalos before the opponent has a chance to react, crippling the opponent’s gameplan from the start.
While you’re not always going to be getting that perfect situation, Danse of Deintalos can still help you score cards like Alternating Strikes and Appalling End quickly, giving you options to move and attack in close proximity, or to follow up with a second attack if you need to finish an enemy fighter off.
Dynamic Stabilizer and Unfeeling Fortitude
Your undead minions might be useful, but they’re also pretty weak. Thankfully The Exiled Dead’s faction cards contain a few ways to buff your minions. Dynamic Stabiliser is an upgrade for either Deintalos or Marcov which reduces damage on any minions within 2 hexes. If you keep Deintalos close to your zombie swarm, then this essentially means that a 2 damage attack is no longer able to one-shot those minions.
Unfeeling Fortitude isn’t something new. It’s essentially just a restricted version of Great Fortitude (which is a better option if playing Championship format), but having this in your Rivals deck is a great way to buff up a zombie. You’ll probably want to put this on Coyl or Bault, however Regulus might be the better choice, depending on how your game is going.
Sudden Lurch and Dread Puppetry
While Marcov & Regulus aren’t part of your ‘main’ group of fighters, they can be incredibly useful for picking off stragglers, especially towards the end of the round if your other minions are preoccupied.
These two cards both work well if you’re a little more aggressive (or even reckless) with Regulus. Sudden Lurch can be used as a counter to your opponent’s attack, to get regulus up close for support. Especially handy when Marcov is under attack.
Dread Puppetry gives you a nice easy glory when Regulus taken out of action. While you might not want to intentionally kill Regulus, it eliminates the advantage your opponent thinks they get for killing him, wasting your opponent’s activations while you keep chipping away at them.
Meat Locker and Necrotic Curse
When playing as The Exiled Dead, Meat Locker will be one of the hardest to score, but if you can correctly set things up in advance, that 3 glory can be a game changer.
If you get a choice when setting up the board, it’s usually best to place them slightly staggered to create a choke point, placing your minions as close as possible. In the first turn or two you should be able to create a wall of minions to stop your opponent crossing to your territory.
But what do you do if the opponent manages to sneak behind you, and you want to keep your minions in enemy territory? You’ll need to consider your use of Deintalos and Marcov to take them out, and if you’re lucky enough to have Necrotic Curse in your hand, then you can try to cast for 1 damage and stagger, at the cost of 1 damage to the caster.
Follow the tips here and you might just be able to guide your shambling minions to victory.
How are your games using Skittershank’s Clawpack going? Have these tips helped you find success? What advice would you give to someone struggling with these sneaky Skaven?
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