All Warhammer Underworlds Rivals Decks Compared

If you’re a fan of Warhammer Underworlds you’ve most likely heard of Rivals. Unlike the other formats in Warhammer Underworlds, Rivals only uses either a warband’s faction cards or a pre-made Universal Rivals deck, making it great fun for new and old players alike. The Rivals decks are also used in Nemesis format (mixed in with your warbands faction cards). At this point there are a number of Rivals decks available to choose from.

“Okay… but which one should I use?”

This is a question I’ve found myself asking in the past. While the deck names are often thematic, they’re also not incredibly helpful at telling you how they play. It’s hard to know without diving in and reading up on each card, or even testing them out through trial and error.

We’ve attempted to put together a quick guide to each Rivals deck including a brief summary of how they play, which types of warbands they might work best with and a few important cards. Hopefully now you can see what each deck is good at doing with just a glance, so you can jump straight into a game.

Latest update: We’ve updated the deck list order to reflect ‘legal’ decks in line with the updated Gnarlwood Rivals Format Rules document.

Jump to:

  1. Tooth and Claw Rivals Deck
  2. Daring Delvers Rivals Deck
  3. Deadly Depths Rivals Deck
  4. Illusory Might Rivals deck

Decks not currently legal in Rivals format:

  1. Vainglorious Raiders Rivals Deck
  2. Patient Lurkers Rivals deck
  3. Maze Breachers Rivals deck
  4. Silent Menace Rivals deck
Tooth and Claw icon

Tooth and Claw Rivals Deck

ReleaseGnarlwood core set
SeasonGnarlwood

General goal

With Tooth and Claw you want to be aggressive towards your opponent, pushing into their territory. You even have some cards at your disposal to punish your opponent if they aren’t aggressive in return.

This deck also uses a unique ‘Savage’ keyword. A fighter is considered Savage when they have one or more charge tokens, is staggered or has two or more wound counters. In addition when using this deck you can choose to stagger friendly fighters at the start of their activation. There are plenty of objectives that require fighters being Savage, and a number of Power Cards that make Savage fighters more powerful.

With 6 surge objectives and a total of 18 glory, you should be racking up glory in no time.

Which warbands work best?

This deck is obviously suited to aggro warbands, but you’ll also want an aggressive leader. You’ll also want to stick to warbands with a maximum of 4 or maybe 5 members if you want to be able to score cards like Move or Die or Embraced Savagery.

Khorne warbands such as the Gorechosen of Dromm, Magore’s Fiends and Garrek’s Reavers will have a slight advantage with this deck thanks to the Goreswamp card. The Beast keyword also pops up a few times, so warbands with this keyword may fit well too.

The two Mutation upgrades (which are applied for free if a fighter takes an opponent out of action) may be a great choice for The Godsworn Hunt who need upgrades in order to inspire.

Rippa’s Snarlfangs seem another great option with their aggressive leader, and perhaps even Mollog’s Mob (although you’d have to work a little harder to ensure your fighters are all in enemy territory).

Key Cards


Daring Delvers icon

Daring Delvers Rivals Deck

ReleaseGnarlwood core set
SeasonGnarlwood

General goal

Daring Delvers asks you to chase feature tokens, while pushing a into enemy territory.

This deck makes use of a unique ‘Exploration count’ mechanic. Your Exploration count increases by 1 when you place a feature token during a round, for being on a feature token in enemy territory at the end of a phase, and for each friendly ‘Explorer’ (another unique keyword) in enemy territory. Note that you also lose 1 if you have a fighter on a feature token in your own territory at the end of a round.

This mechanic will work even better in multiplayer games with plenty of other boards to go for.

There are 6 surge objectives (although some are a little more difficult to score than others) and 18 total glory available to score across all objective cards.

Which warbands work best?

A fast moving warband is going to be essential to capturing your opponent’s objectives, and warbands with abilities to make multiple moves at once like the Sepulchral Guard and the Exiled Dead should rack up a quick Exploration count.

Cards like Enshrouded Shot (a decent range 4 attack) and Flame Wisps (which is more likely to land if used with a wizard) both help this deck to seem a potentially interesting fit for Eyes of the Nine.

Khagra’s Ravagers may also enjoy this deck, as they want to push forward and capture objective tokens anyway.

Key Cards


Deadly Depths Rivals Deck

ReleasePackaged separately
SeasonNethermaze

General goal

Deadly Depths is all about taking out enemy fighters while in (or near) cover hexes.

There are a couple of cards which rely on specific positioning such as being in enemy territory, so you’ll probably find yourself spread out across the board a little. Most of the power cards in the deck are designed to help you out with this, interacting with objective tokens and enhancing attacks.

The objectives only contain 3 surges, but there’s a potential 19 glory to score (not including additional glory from Seeking the Deep Truths) which is pretty decent.

Which warbands work best?

This deck is suited to aggressive warbands, but you’ll want to avoid a low model-count, as you’ll need to be spread across multiple feature tokens.

The deck is ideal for The Shadeborn as their fighters already love cover hexes. Another good shout may be The Dread Pageant, as taking wounds from cards like Call of the Dark and Seeking the Deep Truths will help you move towards inspiring.

Key cards


Illusory Might Rivals deck

ReleasePackaged separately
SeasonHarrowdeep

General goal

The theme of Illusory Might is definitely it’s unusual playstyle.

It leans heavily into illusion upgrades – temporary upgrades which don’t cost glory – which means you have more options at the start of the game. A real gem in this deck is Phantom Retrieval which gives you the chance to gain back two illusion upgrades you’ve already used if you discard two in your hand, meaning you don’t have to be scared about using them too early.

There are 6 surge objectives which is great, but they aren’t really needed to get the ball rolling for this deck. In total, there’s 16 glory available from objective cards.

Which warbands work best?

Illusory Might aims for a bit of a flex playstyle. I feel like this was Games Workshop’s attempt at making the deck usable by as may pre-beastgrave warbands as possible. There’s not a large reliance on Keywords either, apart from a single mention of Assassin.

Some cards want you to be on objectives and/or in enemy territory, so warbands with push mechanics such as Thorns of the Briar Queen or Zarbag’s Gitz may enjoy this deck. Kainan’s Reapers and The Shadeborn could also do well with this deck.

Just make sure to avoid The Godsworn Hunt and Rippa’s Snarlfangs, whose inspire conditions have been updated to exclude illusion upgrades.

Key cards


Nethermaze icon

Vainglorious Raiders Rivals Deck

ReleaseWhite Dwarf (consists of multiple card sets)
Uses cards fromHarrowdeep core set

Nethermaze core set
SeasonHarrowdeep / Nethermaze

General goal

Vainglorious Raiders is about pushing aggressively into enemy territory, focusing attacks on some of your opponent’s toughest fighters. It rewards being aggressive with your leader and aiming to take out the enemy leader.

With 5 surges and a potential 19 glory to score from objective cards, you should be racking up glory easily.

Which warbands work best?

This deck suits aggro warbands with decent movement, but at the same time you want to avoid any fighter having a particularly high wound count to score Fallen Titan.

A few cards in the deck reference the Hunter, Assassin, Brawler and Beast keywords, so warbands who have lots of these keywords will be at a slight advantage.

This could easily work for a lot of warbands. Skittershank’s Clawpack would likely do well with this deck due to their focus on enemy leaders, while The Grymwatch and Drepur’s Wraithcreepers are warbands that already rewards being in enemy territory. Hexbane’s Hunters reward being aggressive with your leader and also have a lot of the keywords that appear in this deck..

Key cards


Patient Lurkers Rivals deck

ReleaseWhite Dwarf (consists of multiple card sets)
Uses cards fromHarrowdeep core set

Blackpowder’s Buccaneers expansion

Illusory Might Rivals deck

The Exiled Dead expansion

Nethermaze core set
SeasonHarrowdeep / Nethermaze

General goal

Patient Lurkers rewards a more defensive playstyle, letting your opponent come to you before counter-charging them. There are some cards requiring you to be on feature tokens, but more importantly also some which you can score if your opponent is.

There are only 3 surges, but as you’ll be playing more defensively you should have no issue with a slower first round. With 15 glory (but additional ways of scoring such as Glory from Encrusted Key and Waterlogged Map), this is on the lower end for Rivals decks, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the gameplan.

Which warbands work best?

This warband works well for naturally defensive warbands, but also has a few nifty ways of making weaker fighters a little more useful, so could work well with higher model-counts.

There are also a few references to the Assassin and Brawler keywords. Warbands who have these keywords will be at a slight advantage.

It could be interesting to see this played with a warband like Eyes of the Nine who naturally want to stay away from the enemy, but could also do quite well for The Exiled Dead (although note that a lot of their fighters can’t hold objectives) Spiteclaw’s Swarm, Morgwaeth’s Blade-coven or Thundrik’s Profiteers due to cards like Lead from the Rear that reward being cautious with your leader.

Key cards


Maze Breachers Rivals deck

ReleaseWhite Dwarf (consists of multiple card sets)
Uses cards fromHarrowdeep core set

Blackpowder’s Buccaneers expansion
SeasonHarrowdeep

General goal

With Maze Breachers you want to get into enemy territory and wreak havoc. Expect to spend a lot of time up close and personal with your enemies.

The majority of the cards are very aggressive, hitting hard and accurately, with some great options to boost defence like Unfazed.

The deck has 4 surges, which is decent enough, and a potential 16 glory to score from objective cards.

Which warbands work best?

Bottom line is that any aggressive warband who can hit hard and stay alive have a good shot with this deck. As a bonus, there are a few cards with the Hunter, Brawler and Companion Keywords.

This deck seems an ideal match for Xandire’s Truthseekers, who have all of the keywords already, as well as the durability to survive the game.

Other tough, elite warbands like Morgok’s Krushas or Ironsoul’s Condemners are strong choices, but this could easily be played with more rounded warbands who can make use of the keywords such as Skaeth’s Wild Hunt or Blackpowder’s Buccaneers.

Key cards


Silent Menace Rivals deck

ReleasePackaged separately
SeasonDirechasm

General goal

Silent Menace is a pretty straightforward aggro Rivals deck, but with some interesting attack upgrades and control mechanics.

You’ll want to spend a lot of time supporting fighters and focusing your attacks to give your fighters support and take enemy fighters out of action. You have a few power cards in the deck to help you achieve these objectives by increasing the reliability of your attacks and to heal your fighters. But more interestingly there are cards like Maddening Drone, Hypnotic Buzz and Extruded Snare that give you ways to mess up your opponent’s game plan.

There are a total of 5 surge objectives to score, and 16 glory available from objective cards. But the goal with this deck it to take out enemy fighters.

Which warbands work best?

As with Illusory Might, Silent Menace seems designed to appeal to as many warbands as possible. The varied attack action upgrades (some of which allow re-rolls) are great for warbands who don’t have the most reliable attacks, but it might be helpful to have a fighter with a range 3+ attack action to score Stinging Strike without having to rely on those upgrades. Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers come to mind, but perhaps Grashrak’s Despoilers or Kainan’s Reapers.

Warbands who benefit from supporting each other such as Da Kunnin’ Krew are also at a definite advantage with this deck. If you fancy a challenge, perhaps even Sepulchral Guard could work, given the attack action upgrades and their movement shenanigans to get in and support.

Key cards


Have we overlooked anything? Are there any warbands that are just perfect for a specific Rivals deck? Leave us a comment and let us know! If you enjoyed this article then be sure to check out the rest of our Underworlds content.

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