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Rules Focus: Balance changes June 2024

Updated: Jun 17

Together with the upcoming release of the Umbral Veil, both the Chosen of the Spirit tree as well as the Silver Line will receive a few balancing updates. You can find the updated unit cards as always on the "Rules & Resources" page.

Let’s start with the changes affecting all unit cards.

Changes to all unit cards:

Design changes to unit cards

With this update you will notice that ability triggers, especially of reactive essence abilities and certain passive abilities, are now marked in bold on the unit cards. This should make it easier to recognize these triggers also during a heated battle.

HP value reduction of units with 1 model

Throughout both the Silver Line as well as the Chosen of the Spirit Tree all units with 1 model, often called Solos, lost 1 HP to bring their power level more in line with bigger units. 

Changes to common passives

The following common passives were updated:

  • Duelist: now only grants +1 DEF against melee attacks instead of +2 DEF.

  • Regeneration: now is not canceled by the “Burning” condition anymore

The following common passives were added to the rule book:

  • Brawler: Units with this common passive ability receive‭ +‬1‭ ‬ARM against enemy melee attacks‭.‬

  • Brutal Strike (X): Each model in this unit may reroll‭ (‬X‭) ‬blank(s‭) ‬in each melee damage roll‭.‬

  • Cleaving Strike‭:‬‭ ‬When a model in a unit with this common passive ability hits an enemy model with a melee attack‭, ‬after the attack is concluded‭, ‬this model may immediately make another melee attack targeting a different model‭. ‬Attacks generated by this common passive ability cannot generate further attacks‭.‬

Moving out of melee

Movement abilities now don’t automatically allow you to move out of melee from an enemy model. Therefore some, but not all, movement abilities now grant the common passive “Parry” in addition.

Changes to unit cards

Chosen of the Spirit Tree change overview:

  • First Servant of the Spirit Tree

    • Loses one yellow essence 

    • - 1 ARM value

    • + 1 DEF value (offset by change to common passive ‘Duelist’)

    • -1 point (29 points)

  • Nekari

    • received a major overhaul to her kit

  • Serene Dragons: 

    • Change Attuned to: Until the beginning of this unit’s next activation, models in this unit gain the following common passive ability ‘Cleaving Strike’.

    • Change Cunning Leap to: Choose a model in this unit. Place another model in this unit, that is within 2” of the chosen model, within 1” of the chosen model. Each model in this unit may only be placed once each activation due to this ability.

    • +1 DEF value (offset by change to common passive ‘Duelist’)

  • Windrunners: 

    • Change Attuned to: During this activation this unit may use its active essence ability ‘Windrush’ or its active essence ability ‘Storm’s Embrace’, without paying its essence cost.

    • +1 point

  • Stormcallers: 

    • Parry added to active essence ability “Lightning Reflexes”

  • Brewmaster: 

    • -1 HP value (5)

  • Lirana:

    •  -1 HP value (3)

  • Beastbane: 

    • -1 HP value (5)

    • -1 point

  • Razhu and Chaku

    • Received completely new unit cards

We are quite happy with how the Chosen of the Spirit Tree perform on the table as well as how their faction mechanic creates a rewarding gameplay experience, when executed well. Still two units, the First Servant of the Spirit Tree as well as the Serene Dragons, were consistently overperforming and had to be changed adapted. Still we also saw that especially the Serene Dragons, as a more expensive unit in the Chosen of the Spirit Tree, consistently struggled heavily into low damage shooting. So their base DEF value went up to 5, while reducing the bonus against melee attacks from the common passive ‘Duelist’ to +1.

The flexibility of the First Servant of the Spirit Tree remains its strongest asset

The biggest change for the Chosen of the Spirit Tree is for sure the split of Razhu and Chaku, the two legendary beast hunter bear brothers, into two separate units. While they were not particularly under- or overperforming, this Character unit just didn’t accurately represent the power these two legendary hunters should represent on the tabletop. Each of them can now also be taken separately, but they will only be able to unfold their true potential when they are fielded together. Together their points have gone up by a whopping 6 points, with their power level also going up significantly.

While both models can be picked separately now, their full potential only unfolds when fielded together.

Silver Line change overview:

  • Changes to faction mechanic

    • Most orders may now affect GOBLIN units

    • All COMMANDER units may now issue all 3 generic commands listed on the faction card

  • Count Wealton Adamant, the Third: 

    • ‘Parry’ added to reactive essence ability “Fall back”

  • Major Byron Kildare, Master of the Armoury: 

    • Leadership now only affects melee attacks

    • -1 Point (30)

    • Damage roll of reactive essence ability “Vent steam” increased to YYGG

  • Bladewardens:

    • -1 point (28)

  • Riflemen 

    • + 1 point (24)

  • Phalanx:

    • Intercept changed to now only affect arcane and ranged attacks.

  • Brawler

    • -1 point (25)

  • Defiants: 

    • Taunt cost updated from R to A/ R

    • Gain new reactive essence ability “Intervene”

    • Lose active essence ability “Locked in”

    • +1 point (26)

  • Katheryn: 

    • -1 HP (3)

    • -1 point

  • Goblin Scouts: 

    • Cost of reactive essence ability “Slippery” changed to Y

    • -1 point (9)

  • Goblin Bomb Squad:

    • Cost of active essence ability “Bring out the big one” to A+ RY 

    • +1 point (12)

  • Aelius: 

    • -1 HP value (3)

    • -1 point (16)

    • ‘Parry’ added to active essence ability “Arcane Swiftness”

    • Loses common passive “Immunity (Essence starved)”

Also the Silver Line plays on the table as intended, focusing more on their on average better profile values when compared to the Chosen of the Spirit Tree. Still overall when compared to the Chosen of the Spirit Tree or the upcoming Umbral Veil, especially their faction mechanic felt a bit too restrictive. You may now target Goblin units with most orders and all Commanders may now issue the generic orders you can find on the faction card.

On the other hand the leadership of ‘Major Byron Kildare, Master of the Armoury’ was a bit too efficient when combining the tough Silver Line front line units with their highly accurate shooting units. We therefore limited his leadership to only affect melee attacks. 

The Guardian Defiants, while extremely challenging to actually damage, didn’t create enough threat on the table to ever force the opponent to engage them. They therefore gained a new kind of ability, enabling them to intercept melee attacks for friendly models.

Lastly the power- as well as the low point difference led to the Goblin Scout Squad consistently not being taken in favor of the Goblin Bomb Squad. With the Goblin Scout Squad going one point down and the Goblin Bomb Squad going a point up, as well as the cost of the ‘Bomb’ manifestation being increased, the choice between these two selections should become a bit harder.

Mercenaries change overview:

  • Clynt from the Eastern Forest

    • Change essence value to "Grey"

    • -1 HP (3)

Last but not least our favourite gunslinger Aiyani received a nerf to his essence value, bringing him more in line with his lore and reducing his overall power level.

Clynt's essence value was brought in line with his lore ;)

Quite a few changes which together with the upcoming release of the Umbral Veil core models will for sure stir up the meta quite a bit and as always if you find anything that breaks the game, get in touch with us!

The Gamebreakers


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