Posted 05/02/2018

Warband Focus: The Chosen Axes

An ancient city filled with treasure. Terrors too awful to name. Packs of blood-hungry killers – and worse. Sounds like a job for the Fyreslayers!

The Chosen Axes are coming to Shadespire – a warband of slow-moving, offensive juggernauts who lack the sheer resilience of Stormcast Eternals but make up for it with a powerful leader, nifty cards and an unusual Inspire condition…

The Fighters

Fjul-Grimnir is, not to put too fine a point on it, a beast. Before he Inspires, this ferocious fighter possesses superb durability and respectable offensive power, while afterwards, he’s one of the most fearsome combatants in the game, boasting a 4 damage Attack with Cleave – enough to obliterate most enemy fighters.

Tefk Flamebearer is another superb combatant. Before he Inspires, you’ll be able to choose between a strong Attack and a weaker but more reliable one, while after he Inspires, both Attacks are combined into one particularly deadly option. Like all the Fyreslayers, Inspiring Tefk is key to making up for his limited mobility.

Vol Orrukbane bears a great axe and is a similarly brutal combatant, gaining Knockback when he Inspires – effective for pushing anyone off an objective you want to claim!

Finally, Mad Maegrim is arguably the warband’s weakest fighter, but nevertheless matches up well against his counterparts in other warbands.

Play Style

The most distinguishing feature of the Chosen Axes is their Inspire condition – both one of the easiest and the trickiest to achieve in the entire game. Play correctly around objectives, and you’ll be able to Inspire your fighters risk-free. Get outflanked or fail to draw out enemy pushes, and you could easily get left behind.

In the first turn as Fyreslayers, it’s crucial to pick which two or three fighters you want to Inspire – or if you’re willing to risk not Inspiring them to bring the fight directly to your foes. Manage to Inspire your fighters, however, and you’ll be rewarded with an extra Wound and some devastating Attacks, meaning that your opponent will be dealing with a considerable amount of pressure! Cards that let you move and swap objectives, like Shardcaller and Shifting Shards, are invaluable in a Chosen Axes deck, while the Hold Objective cards work well by allowing you to score points when you empower your fighters.

Of course, what would a warband be without its deck? The Chosen Axes deck features a host of cards that open up a variety of ways to play.

The Earth Shakes is an invaluable push card that helps the Fyreslayers move around a bit more and essentially allows you to add another Sidestep to your deck. Whether you’re extending your threat range or looking to grab an objective at the last minute, it’s a very solid pick.

Defiant Strike makes attacking Tefk Flamebearer a risky prospect – especially when combined with Great Strength!

The Chosen Axes deck features several upgrades designed for bolstering Fjul-Grimnir, and you’ll find that building decks around empowering this brutal character can be very rewarding. Between Grimnir’s Fortitude, Grimnir’s Speed and Grimnir’s Blessing, woe betide those who fail to deal with this fierce Fyreslayer:

You’ll find the Fyreslayers most rewarding when played as a hybrid deck, spending the early game Inspiring your key fighters and gaining glory before sweeping the opponent in the latter half of the game with powerful upgrades.

The Warscrolls!

Should you want to field the Chosen Axes outside of Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire, you’re in luck – you’ll be able to do so with not one, but two new warscrolls! Fjul-Grimnir is so powerful, we decided that treating him as a unit leader didn’t do proper credit to his skills, and so, you’ll be able to use him as a Hero in your games. On the tabletop, Fjul-Grimnir behaves much like an Auric Runefather, with the added benefit of an additional 5+ save when he stays near his Chosen Axes.

The Chosen Axes themselves, meanwhile, may have somewhat smaller numbers than a full unit of Vulkite Berzerkers, but as well as providing additional durability for Fjul-Grimnir, they’ll be able to wound foes more easily while they stand near him. Handy!

The Chosen Axes will be available to pre-order next week – in the meantime, you can check out the Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire Core Set and other expansions in a store near you or online right now.

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