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Eldorath Starbane Deck Thread


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#1
steinerp

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What the eldar don't have a thread yet, for shame people.

 

Thanks to whoever wrote the Octgn platform for Conquest, I've gotten in a good number of games with Mr. Starbane.  Some good, some bad.  I'm in a good mood today, so let's start with the bad.

 

The eldar as a rule don't hit very hard.  Most hit for 1, a couple for two and a few for 3 or more.  If you can get someone's big unit exhausted the signature squad can hit them for an impressive 6.  No AOE attacks makes hordes a problem. Otherwise you are just pinging them slowly.  The eldar also die fairly easily.  This means that in a fair fight, they are probably going to lose, and if the opponent has a Dreadnought, watch out.

 

However do have some good things as well.  Namely they don't fight fair.  That dreadnought is going to be exhausted round 1 thanks to the warlord.  Mobile (and mobility) allow your key units to avoid the enemy warlord (or join yours).  Their warlord gets to be two places at once and they have enough command icons to ensure they have plenty of resources (hopefully).  Cards like biel-tan guardians and eldar survivalists combined with mobile untis to keep the pressure on planets 4 and 5 are great.  The warlord can go to a planet, exhaust the opponent breaking a tie and foresight over to planet 1 or where he wants to fight, claiming that planet as well.  But if you fall behind on the command battle you will struggle, the only race that I've found that can really compete at this are space marines.

 

Rather than a decklist, here are few cards that I consider core (and why)

 

Warlord and signature squad (obviously)-  The key cards here are mobility and foresight.  The council is great as it give you some hitting power and the support allows you to work nicely out of HQ for all important 1st round of combat.  Foresight is huge and would 3 of if allowed as in most cases you are going to want him at planet 1, but you may need him somewhere else to win a command struggle first by exhausting the opposition.  Or you are setting up a doom so you want your HQ units on planet two but still want him at one.  Or maybe you want your forces at 1 but want a combat somewhere else to make future command struggles easier.  Lots of options for creating an unfair fight.

 

Biel-tan Guardians and Survivialists- Great command control but little else, still 3 of all the time

 

Falcons and windriders-  Both are nice.  I tend to go with the cheaper falcon but the windriders have a better stat line and unless you are playing vs. a twisted lab, a better ability.

 

Rangers- a 2,2,2, for 3 with ranged, I'll take it.  Especially if you ally in Tau.  Not as good with dark eldar allies

 

Wraithguard give some nice hitting power but are fragile.

 

Swordwind farseer gives a great search effect, no limits, no reveal.  Just a great card

 

Spiritseer is solid but out of the uniques one of the weaker ones as most things get one shotted in the game (unless playing vs. eldar)  He does power nullify however which is a great card.

 

Superiority:  Seems like it should be solid but I tend to use it more for the shield than the actions, not sure why.

 

Doom:  One of the best, if not the, best resets in the game.  This is how you get rid of those pesky dreads.

 

Nullify: It is usually worth losing your warlord for a round to cancel something, just choose wisely.

 

Some cards I tend to avoid:

 

Wraithfighter: too expensive.  If paying 6 for something it needs to hit for more than 3

 

Craftworld Gate:  Can be very good but a little too much of a corner case to make most decks I think.  Really only combines with doom or to piss off space marines.

 

Finally allies: Both Tau and Dark Eldar bring some firepower to the table.  Tau do it with ion guns and units like carnivore pack and swarms, and command options like the trailblazers.  Dark Eldar primarily help with their events to rout key units (ideally to be doomed later) and possibly the Colosseum fighters to recur the events.  The dark eldar lack of command icons hurts the inclusion of their units.  Lately I've been more a fan of the Tau allies (primarily for their gun) as attack 7 armourbane wraithguard or rangers or stringwings at attack 5 or 6 with ranged will scare off most enemy warlords

 

Banshee Sword: +1 attack isn't worth it, nor is discarding cards.  If you could do this as a reaction to shields being used, great but having to do it before, not so much.


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#2
MotoBuzzsawMF

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Since I was subject to you slapping me in the face with doom on OCTGN to kill both my Fire Warrior Elite and Crisis Battle guard who were loaded with attachments, I am keen to see more of this vaunted Eldar I hear of. 

 

By the way, I am still crying from that move.



#3
steinerp

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Doom is really an auto-include in Eldar decks because as of now, once something big hits the table (or something small beomes big thanks to lots of attachments), we can't deal with it in combat effectively.  Fortunately Doom doesn't care how big you are, only if you are unique and at the HQ.  

 

So your lesson is don't ever, under any circumstances send your units to planet 1 and if planet 1 comes to them move them away, that way they never go to HQ.  :)



#4
Christars

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Interesting. After playing around a bit with the Eldar, I too have lately gotten a better impression of them. I guess I held a bit of a dimmer view on them since I prefer Tau and Tau don't really need to import much from them (and Space Marines have some kinda-equivalent cards). That said, many Eldar units seem to go better in, well, an Eldar deck; may be worth exploring!

 

Is Swordwind Farseer really worth it? Yes, searching for a card is really good, especially if you need this particular card right the heck now. But in the end, I still would rate the ability to be worth what, 1.5 resources? In a pinch, 2? That would make him comparable to something like a 10th Company Scout, I guess, paying maybe a bit extra for another point of health; worth it? (Also, of course, worse as tempo, but Eldar is fancy like that)

 

Superiority has always been a bit hard for me to swallow, but I can see its appeal with Survivalists; if they've countered you with a two-hammer guy, pay one resource and a card to gain one resource and a card, gain the planets command benefits and deny them to your opponent. Not bad; but I feel like Survivalists tend to get Warlord-hunted a lot. May be wrong, though.

 

DEldar seems like an iffy alliance, Archon's Terror is really great, though, but the other cards are lacking. I think Colliseum Wytches are too cost-inefficient to be worth it. In some theoretical world, Haemonculus Tormentor could really explode at the end of a really heavily controlled, resource-heavy game, but I think that's too much of a pipe dream.

 

Doom is awesome, but people will start having to play around it, and not overcommit - but I definitely see the issue here, since if one only goes in with a single big unit on the First Planet, Eldorad can just show up, exhaust and bop the sucker. I feel like I want to play more against Eldar and suffer a few miserable tragedies myself, so I'll be able to better assess the power of that card...

 

Edit: I see you referencing Ranged Wraithguards, is there a way of getting this that I don't know of? Although even non-Ranged, a 7/2 Armorbane is rather terrifying, if extremely fragile.



#5
sparrowhawk

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Great idea starting this post.

Farseer and the Signature cards are indeed good reasons to play Starbane. But what about the other Loyal cards?

I am surprised you skipped what I suspect is one of their best units, Silvered Blade Avenger and their ability to stunlock an elite (with Initiative) to retreat back to their Doom (aided by Dark Eldar control events). Also Shrouded Harlequin has some great tricks for its cost.

Have you experimented with the synergy of...

1. Getting a Wraithfighter as top Eldar unit in your discards via Banshee Sword (or Warp Spiders milling yourself, purifying your draws)
Alternatively a Wildrider Squadron if there will be battles in 2+ adjacent planets this round
Alternatively just a dead Farseer (that you couldn't pre-empt save with Craftworld Gate)

2. Gift of Isha on it
The Wraithfighter is disgusting card advantage in a prolonged battle, wise opponents may retreat to avoid critical card loss
If Wildrider, move it 1 down to an adjacent battle before the battle ends
If Farseer, trigger it for more card advantage

3. Return it to hand via Craftworld Gate before the Gift expires to power your Sword (or deploy if Farseer)

Rinse and repeat.

Craftworld Gate also works well with Colliseum Fighters (recurse Gift of Isha) and other enters play/leaves play units in Dark Eldar/Eldar/Tau. As well as the Doom synergy that you mention.

The Spiritseer is there to heal Starbane (7/6HP for a reason) but also, if not involved in a battle, for your NULLIFY = your best Event (as 3 factions have access to Doom but only Eldar can counterspell). He who can deny an enemy's Exterminatus or Warpstorm (they pay its cost) whilst herding him to his Doom (via Archon's Terror etc) is surely the one who is truly in "control"?

Having studied the Eldar and their pool, they can either go aggro-control with Tau (obvious Ion synergy etc) or they could attempt the high finesse play of true control with Dark Eldar. I suspect the latter build is a thing of beauty to behold when it has "gained control", the opponent holding 2 of each sympbol in planets - but having taken it to the edge, now you are going to win all the rest and the game.

It's a bit late here in the UK for another long post from me but hopefully others will contribute with some deck lists?

Eldar is the faction of Pure Control for the "artiste", for the Shaper in all of us who want to win in style (alas I'm a Spike/Jaime player who is perfectly happy to win ugly). It's every Johnny Combo's wet dream but also probably the highest skill faction in the game (there goes the usual control player arrogance). I currently think its design aims seem overly ambitious, that the Tau are marginally better. But that's also because playing the Eldar well has the steepest learning curve. For once we learn and get there, I can see the Eldar being a control powerhouse, exhilarating to play and win with such fragile, weak attack units.

I think here we have 2 very different philosophies on how to play the Eldar, based on their alliance. It will be very interesting to see competing lists for each alliance. Hopefully, I can contribute with a control list (and explanation) tomorrow evening.

Once again good work with opening this thread and I liked the open-ended "stimulus material" approach - like a facilitator opening a brainstorm.
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#6
steinerp

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Lots of good comments, I'm going to respond the them in seperate posts, first up Christar

 

I haven't explored Eldar as allies as I don't really care about how to help the lesser races.  But I would tend to agree on the surface, Eldar don't have a lot to offer other races due to our week stat line.  Maybe guardians and doom but Tau already do decent on control with drones.  

 

Is Swordwind Farseer really worth it?  I think he is.  Probably not a game winner unless you are searching for doom with the right setup but solid enough.  I don't know that you need 3 and if they get better units down the line he can easily be cut.

 

Superiority has always been a bit hard for me to swallow.  My thought is it costs 1 and 1 and if it gains you a planet for 1 and 1 it pays for itself.  If you have an enhancer it can pay off 2 and 2 for 1 and 1. But like I said this is less common than I would have thought. 

 

Doom is awesome less because of its ability but more so because of how it forces your opponent to make decisions and change playstyles.

 

 

I'll clean up the wraithguard reference, they are 7/2 armourbane not 7/2 ranged.  The rangers can be 5/2 ranged which is pretty solid as well. 

 



#7
Tofubones

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Don't under estimate using superiority to screw with your opponent's resources.  They may be counting on the resource or card draw that a planet may provide them.  


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#8
steinerp

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What about the other Loyal cards?  As said I tend to leave the wraithfighter and gate at home.    Gift is ok but hard to use sometimes, I think I touched on all the others.

Silvered Blade Avenger and their ability to stunlock an elite- I haven't found them that useful.  You warlord can hit the the big guy to stun them and they are so expensive and they still only hit for 1.

 

As for the gift combos, yes those all work but I tend to avoid combo and I don't think the combo effect is powerful enough to justify the weakness of the cards outside of the combo

 

I should have meantioned that one of the spiritseers best abilities is to power nullify.

 

Here is my current decklist.  It is far from perfect and has a few cards in there that I want to work (but don't - looking at you carnivore pack).  I will add some more comments tomorrow 

 

Starbane and his 8 friends

3 Biel Tan Guardians

3 Altansar Rangers

3 Eldar Survivialists

3 Soaring Falcons

3 Wraithguard

3 Swordwind Farseer

2 Spiritseers

1 Void Pirate

2 Rogue Traders

1 Carnivore Pack

2 Stingwing Swarm

2 Vash'y Trailblazers

2 Promotions

3 Ion rifles

2 Superiority

2 Doom

2 Gift

2 Nullify

1 Corsair Trading Post



#9
Christars

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Starbane and his 8 friends

 

Hm. One thing that leaps out at me is the absolute absence of AoE. I've assumed that Eldar tend to have to forego early planets and then control more at the end of the game; Doom is nice, sure, but if the opponent waits to swarm you until the last world he needs to win, how do you deal with it?

 

What's the story with the one Pirate and two Rogues? Getting a mix of resources is a thing, but a split like that looks a bit, hm, inconsistent? Very dependent on which cards you draw. I guess Farseer is a thing, though...?

 

The one Carnivore Pack is strange, yeah. It's been suggested that the Carnivore is more suited to go for early planets, since it's a big body and you either win the planet (yay!) or do some damage with the Carnivore then get back your investment (decent). I'm not sure it's what this deck needs.

 

How about a couple Fire Warrior Elites? Soaking some damage for the fragile elf boys sounds like a worthwhile cause.

 

Is Gift really worth it? You have basically no expensive Eldar units as is - I feel like Gift's time will come later, when some big Eldar beefers are released (Avatar of Khaine, Wraithlord, etc.)



#10
MotoBuzzsawMF

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Gift is very worth it. I am on my mobile so I can't elaborate to much but it saved my game by getting my silver blades back out after a homonc. Discard. It is much more versatile than reserving for heavies.

I also hope khaine is a warlord and not a unit.

#11
Tofubones

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The simplest reason gift is a a strong play is it lets you put an unexpected unit into combat.

After you sneak a Starbane's Council in to hit your opponents exhausted Warlord, they won't think of Elgar quite as weak anymore. Rangers and wraithgaurd are other good targets to help swing combat.

#12
steinerp

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Tofubanes hit it on the head with gift.  Also it is Eldar's only 2 shield card (I believe).  As for the pirates rogues and carnivore pack, see my note about this deck including a number of testing cards (like what does it need more resources or cards- answer seems to be resources).  I had three packs in there, but then found the swarms which I think I like better, but not fully prepared to give up on the pack.  As for the lack of AOE, that is an issue that needs to be played around.  Unfortunately Eldar have none, tau won't loan out their gun drones, if you bring in dark eldar they can offer it.  However because eldar is soft control you really are more reliant on getting early planets rather than waiting until late game when they have built up more than you can control.  If they get to the point where they are swarming on you are in trouble.



#13
VonWibble

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I think you are really underestimating Craftworld Gate.

It gives the following benefits

- Retreat a unit you don't want to lose in combat. After hitting the opponent with it and maybe taking a hit back of course - Fire Warrior Elite seem like a natural target for such a strategy, Starbane's Council also look OK for it.

- Get multiple uses out of a unit with a comes into play/leaves play ability. Granted, there aren't many yet, but it will only take 1 or 2 to be released across Eldar / Dark Eldar (non loyal) / Tau (non loyal) to make it a powerhouse. Already we have Swordwind Farseer for a draw engine and Coliseum Fighters for repeatable event recursion. Maybe Earth Caste technician if you go for a fair number of supports also (obviously not all 3 at once though!).

- Nice combo with Gift of Isha, return a guy from discard to a planet (maybe where there is fighting to get a hit in for free), then use Gate to return it to hand to be able to play next turn, getting round the disadvantage of Gift.

- Simply move a unit away from a planet where it is doing no good. An Eldar Survivalist deployed against Tau Recon Drones for example.

- Oh, and the stuff you already mentioned!

#14
Christars

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Huge derp; for some reason I thought Gift of Isha was a Deploy action (which would, hilariously, make it almost completely useless).

 

Seen as "the cousin of Infernal Gateway", though, it really looks good. I still think that having at least a low amount of higher-end units could make the card better, but I have to agree that it is plenty include-worthy as is.

 

And yeah, the Avatar of Khaine will probably be a warlord, not an army unit, silly me  :P



#15
steinerp

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Gift ducks if it is a deploy action. I totally agree. As for the gate, you could be right. I just don't think the unit is worth it now, give us some better units or more enter play effects and it has value. I think it is a great card in the arsenal longterm, unless it scares designers from giving good play effects. My comments are based solely on the current card pool, long term I think all our cards COULD be excellent

#16
Kingsley

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Gift of Isha is a definite three-of in my opinion. I find effects that let you put units into play unexpectedly are very strong, and Gift also provides 2 shields. Drop Pod Assault is an amazing card, and while Gift is slightly worse IMO, "slightly worse than amazing" is still a great place to be at.



#17
sparrowhawk

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Journal: Day 10 (post-Conquest conversion)

"The quest for the elusive Pure Control deck continues. I am so close that I can smell success. I feel like Ahab sighting his quarry, Heathcliffe finding his lost love, Hamlet plotting his revenge. Like the alchemists of old, I toil to create the perfect formula. Soon, the secret will be mine!"

- The Tragic Obsession of Sparrowhawk

 

So here is the latest concept. It needs fine-tuning...

 

 

STARBANE + DARK ELDAR SPLASH (Core x3)

 

Eldorath Starbane: 1-7 (1-6); after commit, exhaust non-warlord unit there

 

Army Units: 30

3x Biel Tan Guardians (1): 2-1-1

3x Void Pirate (1): 1-0-1, +1 card

3x Rogue Trader (1): 1-0-1, +1 resource

3x Eldar Survivalst (2): 1-0-2, +1 card, +1 resource

3x Soaring Falcon (3): 2-1-5, mobile

3x Swordwind Farseer (3): 1-2-2, enter: search top 6 cards and pick 1

3x Lyanden Wraithguard (3): 1-4-2, armourbane

2x Spiritseer Erathal (3, unique): 2-2-3, attack: heal another unit here

4x Starbane’s Council (3): 1-3-3, +2ATK vs. exhausted units

3x Silvered Blade Avengers (4): 1-1-4, attack: exhaust non-warlord target

 

Events: 14

2x Foresight (1/1): after commit, commit to another planet

3x Gift of Isha (2/2): put top Eldar unit in discards into play, discard it end of phase if in play

** 3x Archon’s Terror (2/1): rout target non-unique unit

3x Doom (4/1): destroy all non-unique units in both HQs

3x Nullify (0/1): exhaust own unique Eldar to cancel an event

 

Attachments: 1

1x Mobility (0/3): gain mobility (skill)

 

Supports: 5

1x Alatoic Shrine (1): exhaust to ready an Eldar unit moving to a planet

1x Corsair Trading Port (1, unique, limited): exhaust to reduce Eldar unit cost by 1

3x Craftworld Gate (1): exhaust to return own army unit to hand

 

 

Basic Strategy (varies by terrain, initiative and match-up)

 

Identify X = the earliest planet you would lose the game if you lose all planets up to there.

You deploy your combat forces at bastion planets = X and X+1 if possible at start (else X-1).

 

Win the Command Struggle (38 command icons)

Falcon - always deploy 1st planet to lure deploys/warlord to beat command then mobility to 2nd.

Survivalist - always place on bastion planet X and X+1 (X-1) where forces are being collected.

Pirate/Trader – place at different planets starting furthest from 1st planet, not bastion planets.

Usual safety – avoid adj. to Chosen targets, place with enemy units vs. Orks, not adj. to Atox etc.

Craftworld Gate a naked Pirate/Trader to hand after command struggle if a battle will start there.

Don’t stack naked Pirates/Traders without equal Gates (stack 2 with 2 Gates and 3 with 3 Gates).

Wraithguards make good guards at planets with attractive battle actions to deter warlord sniping.

Use Starbane to snipe at opponent’s command for battle actions with Foresight tricks if drawn.

Shrine allows him to ready when committing (after Nullify perhaps), Mobility on Spiritseer ideally.

 

Farseers are essential to find Doom which you trigger on turn X and Nullify to counter their reset.

After Doom, all your ready combat forces and superior economy win you the game at 7th or earlier.

Craftworld Gate used to save units from Doom, from being discarded by Isha or if about to be killed.

If a Farseer doesn't find the required event, the next best choice is another Farseer to dig 6 deeper.

Farseer recursed with Isha and Gates to help find Doom (and Nullify vs. Exterminatus or Warpstorm).

Gift of Isha to ambush in Warithguard to target Warlord in battles (or Council if warlord exhausted).

With initiative, Avengers can take on any single army (after Terror rout) and synergise with Council.

Spiritseer is most valuable for Nullify or to heal Starbane, use Archon’s Terror the turn before Doom.

 

Honorable Mentions (cards that failed the cut)

 

Promotions – too much self-bounce, Nullify against Warpstorm, creates a target for opponent's sniping.

Incubus Warrior – dislike spending 2 for 1HP unit, reveals alliance for minimal gain, too pricey to bounce.

Colliseum Fighter – lack of command and poor stats, telegraphs event in hand, rejected even with Gates.

Shrouded Harlequin – the only way to exhaust a warlord for an ambush, this suits a future hunter build.

Promethium Mine - only joking (I considered it for a second then regained my senses, had a funny turn).

 

 

So this looks promising... The strategy seems coherent and plausible with the units available. Or am I fooling myself?

 

I'd very much appreciate any feedback on how to improve this strategy. Before I make a fool of myself unleashing it on the world...

 

For the love of God, you've got to tell it to me straight, doctor!



#18
3AcresAndATau

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In my amateur opinion, looks like a solid setup. I might drop the Rogue Traders in favor of Sybarite Marksmen x3, but that would leave the deck slightly weaker in the command phase in exchange for the offensive capability, and is more of a preference point than anything else, I suppose.

 

If one had Taullies (Tau-Allies) instead of DE the Fire Warrior Elite Would seem a wise choice to protect weaker command units like Biel-Tan Guardians on secondary planets.



#19
Etaywah

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Don't under estimate using superiority to screw with your opponent's resources. They may be counting on the resource or card draw that a planet may provide them.

It's my honest opinion that a well-placed superiority (not to mention more than 1) can be the decisive force in a game. I will very typically place a 1 command unit against a two command unit and just let them believe they are playing against an idiot. It sounds like a "1 for 1" scenario, but when you gain a planets resources while simultaneously costing them the planet they have now 1) lost the cost of the command-centric unit 2) lost the opportunity cost of the military unit they would have played otherwise, 3) lost the card the would have drawn, 4) and/or lost that last resource they needed to play (insert important event card here).

It's undervalued in the meta and I guarantee it will climb in popularity as the game matures.

#20
HoopJones

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This thread has inspired a deck article that I will be writing for my (our) site.

 

Thanks yall

 

I hate eldar IRL but man do they have some good cards.