Deck Guide: Zack's Crimson Court from World Champs '23

Welcome to our first community deck guide (and what hopefully turns into an ongoing series). We'll kick things off with Zack Newcome's Crimson Court + Voidcursed Thralls deck that he took to the World Championships of Warhammer 2023.

Here's the deck if you want to follow along Zack Newcome's WCW Voidcourt

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Zack's Crimson Court

What inspired you to pick this combination? What's the overarching play style? What is this deck/warband combo attempting to achieve?

First of all the Void Cursed Thrall’s skull on the art card is a Vampire. Enough said.

Since Void Cursed Thralls came out it's been one of my favorite Rivals decks to play and build decks with. It works with a variety of different warbands and play styles. It has damage, damage reduction, an extra attack, and TONS of movement shenanigans. The other very nice advantage this pairing gave me was the defense reduction of my opponent with the added advantage of negating that range 3+ attack.

Crimson Court has cards for a couple of different styles of aggro play. I chose to take advantage of some of their more positional objective cards that would enable me to score passively while being aggressive. This playstyle affords me the opportunity to play a “counter-punch” strategy into heavy aggro warbands and slower to advance aggressive play style into more passive builds. Coming to a large event with several different warbands and style of play I wanted to be able to keep my options open on how to deploy and what my first round would look like based on my opponent.

What are the three objectives you want to see in your opening hand? Why?

Spirited Attempt is one that I want to see in the first round of every game. You’re likely going to take an attack from someone early, you might as well get a glory for it.

Unceasing Imperatives is one that I do want to see in round 1, it is very much an auto score as long as there is at least 1 void cursed fighter on either side of the board.

Death’s Domain is one I do want in round 1 in most matchups. Against fast aggro that 2 glory usually really does help get the ball rolling with upgrades. It also allows you to do something nonaggressive to bait in those first couple of move actions or charge actions if they can reach you.

Honestly, the other cards that you want in your opening hand depends on what ploys you draw into to match your objectives. Cards like Lashed into Motion, Threatening Presence, Unwitting Guardians, and Surrendered Will are all GREAT objectives to get a game started if you have the movement and push tech to be able to slink into position in that last power step or activation.

What are the three gambits you want to see in your opening hand? Why?

Reshaping Snare. This card is oftentimes the key to victory all in itself, especially against a very passive opponent. If you can manage to draw this and Surrendered Will in your first hand it is a great way to get the game rolling. Plus this card helps you to work towards Uncounted Cost. It can also help you get Involuntary Interdiction or Unceasing Imperatives off of your opponent's fighters.

Mighty Strike. This card is often a big surprise for your opponent. +1 damage to an attack is huge in a meta where there are commonly 3 - 4 wound fighters up in your face quickly. If you can drop one of them in 1 swing or set them up for some Unbearable Energies. It is a GREAT start to the game. I usually save this card for a supported attack from Ennias or Duvalle.

Quicksilver Advance or Forced Movements. These cards are some of the best cards in the deck. You can set up supported attacks, move yourself onto objectives, set up attacks once all of your fighters have charge tokens, or score you Lashed into Motion. These cards have a high skill ceiling as well because if you use these at the right time you can score yourself a lot of glory from being in the right position and also catching your opponent off guard because “That fighter isn’t doing anything till next round he has already charged”. It also allows you to move your fighters up into a better position if you are playing one of those pesky passive builds.

An honorable mention for ploys you’d like in your first hand is Blood Vial. You can’t play it till you’re wounded, but it will inspire the fighter that you’ve used it out for the next round. Oftentimes healing 1 wound off a fighter means that your opponent has to spend 2 more activations trying to put them down. Also erases the effect of ping damage on a fighter.

What are the three upgrades you want to see in your opening hand? Why?

Singular Reshaping. Much for the same reason as Reshaping Snare this allows you to curse your opponent which opens up the scoring of several of your objective cards.

Refashioned Reactions and Priorities. This deck is all about being able to move where you need to. These allow extra actions to position your fighters to score objectives and to stop your opponents from being able to hold objectives. Plus who doesn’t love a game of leapfrog? Since these cards trigger off of “another fighter’s move action or attack action” you can trigger these with Quicksilver Advance and Forced Movements or Voidcursed Assault to cover some ground all in a power step.

Blood Chalice. This deck does not have any spells in it, however, it does have some useful spell actions. Goarth can be a very useful fighter later in the game being able to heal friendly fighters and damage your opponent. This card also inspires someone for the next round.

Are there any other objectives, gambits, or upgrades of note?

The first cards I will mention here are Involuntary Interdiction, Surrendered Will, Unceasing Imperatives, and Uncounted Cost.

These cards are your bread and butter because these cards you can score with your opponent’s fighters. If you do your job of getting 1 or more of your opponent's fighters cursed you will score these cards even if you are 100% tabled.

Because Uncounted Cost requires dead fighters and dead Voidcursed fighters you tend to want to be a little more aggressive with your
Voidcursed fighters. If they die, they die. You’ll score Uncounted Cost at some point.

Vampiric Might and Surging Power works with Void Cursed Assault. That’s right you can do 3 damage if you crit your Void Cursed Assault attack if you have these 2 upgrades.

Von Marusi Armor and Unnatural Resilience. Here is a very nasty combo if you put it on 1 fighter.If you are Inspired it is either -2 damage from Range 1 or 2 attacks or if you are Bloodthristed Unnatural Resilience reduces a 2 damage attack to one damage and then Von Marusi armor negates the damage. Also if you have a Bloodthirsty fighter with Von Marusi on you are 100% immune to single damage pings. Take that Domitan!

What boards did you pick? Why? (Optional) how do you deploy?

This is a very very matchup dependent topic. First, you need to ask yourself, is my opponent coming to me? Or am I going to them?

Glacial Tomb and Frost-wracked Ruins are 2 of my favorites regardless. The starting hexes are evenly spread around the board and it's even pretty good if you think you’re getting long boarded.

For a more defensive bait-in board, I like The Mistmarsh Tangle and an old Classic Soul Refractor.

If you are looking to take the beat down to them fast there are no better boards than Katophrane’s Reliquary and Shattered Tower. You’ll need to place the boards on these though.

What do you do to beat this deck?

Honestly, the way to beat this deck is to kill the Voidcursed fighter last. Target all of the vampires that are NOT Voidcursed. Use ranged attacks and range 2 attacks to avoid that reshaping demise. Stay off objectives until you NEED to be on them or your opponent uses Reshaping Snare. This deck needs to spread the curse before fighters die to be able to score a lot of their deck.

Be very careful about the refashioned cards, they can use them if you charge adjacent to the fighter that has it. If you do charge with a ranged attack they can simply just move out of range.

New player rating? How easy is this deck to pick up and play?

New Player Rating: Bronze
There is a LOT of stuff going on in this deck. There are reactions everywhere, you have to remember what they are and you have to have a bit of experience to figure out how to best use the fact that you can make extra move actions all over the place. You also have to know when do I hold back and score Death’s Domain or do I sally forth into your enemy.

There is also a point with this deck that you’ve done enough killing and it's time to run away. You can score Death’s Domain with 1 fighter as long as you’ve delved the other objective in a player territory, then use Refashion Priorities to jump onto the other one or one of your other movement shenanigans.

Another thing with this deck is you need to be VERY careful where you put those objectives. Ideally, if your opponent will allow you to do so, you want one objective in your territory. Most of the time you’re going to get 2. Make sure to either delve one or leave enough fighters to hold 2. You also need the option in the aggro matchup to run into their zone past them to hide on one of their objectives.

Card draw is moderately important for this deck. You don’t want all of your void curse tech like reshaping snare on the bottom of your pile and you don’t want Surrendered Will until you draw your Reshaping Snare or Singular Reshaping. You also don’t want Lashed into Motion while you don’t have any of your movement ploys or upgrades. So make sure you shuffle well!!!

Most of the cards in this deck flow pretty well as long as your important cursing the enemy cards aren’t on the bottom. Cards like Gravelords, Recovered Poise, Unwitting Guardians, and Unceasing Imperatives can really keep your head above water without much effort and help you cycle your deck to keep things moving.

In conclusion, this deck is AMAZINGLY fun to drive. It rewards good positioning and using those crazy movement combos and fighter features to your advantage. The look on your opponent’s face when your fighter sprints 8 hexes across the board to take the fight to them is one of the many reasons to play deck.