Fresh or Frozen: Zondara's Gravebreakers & Rimelocked Relics Review

Thank you to Games Workshop for sending us an advance copy of Zondara's Gravebreakers and Rimelocked Relics for review!

In this blog, we provide our Rivals and Nemesis level review of Zondara's Graverbreakers and the Rimelocked Relics rivals deck. We highlight the cards you want to see early in the game and give you a basic run-down of strategy and new player rating.


This Release's Reviews

Zondara's Gravebreakers

View all the cards in the Card Gallery.

This is another five-fighter warband, but largely unlike anything we've ever seen. We all agree that this is probably the most thematic warband in Warhammer Underworlds, where a sorceress is trying to find the relic to cure the curse on her love and wields dark Death and volatile Beast magic on her quest.

Zondara Rivenheart & Lost Ferlain

It's a tale as old as time. Woman loves man, man turns into beast, woman seeks any measure to cure him. Let's start with the Tragedy ability, where either of these fighters can effectively "Salvage" Objective cards in the power step, discarding any cards that name any fighter that is out of action. Discarding objective cards is typically frowned upon, but if anything ends up completely unscoreable, this gives helps you avoid clogging up your objective hand. Additionally it opens the opportunity for you to bring 13 or even 14 cards in your objective deck.

Speaking of tragedies, either fighter inspires when the other has two or more upgrades (other than Illusions). Note that once one fighter goes out of action, the other cannot Inspire (more on that later).

Zondara is a tough, level 2 wizard, with a fair attack action. When Inspired, her defense improves and her attack gets more accurate. The real gem on her card is the Stolen Knowledge spell reaction that lets her heal someone within 3 hexes or deal 1 damage to an enemy within 1 (giving her a pseudo damage 3 attack).

Ferlain is a beast, both in terms of combat capability and rules-wise. His biggest changes when he Inspires are going to Move 5 and flat 3 damage. It's a shame that he can't take attack action upgrades or hold objectives though (or can he?).

Toyle, Pikk, and Cracktomb

All zombies, all fueled with Shyishian and Ghurian magic, this trio is Zondara's toolkit. At Move 3 and 2 Wounds, they aren't super tough and they don't have great attacks, but what they do have is a particular set of skills. With Gravebreak, you can shuffle feature tokens around and unearth to search for Gravebreaker upgrades and put them in your hand or exhume to Raise a fighter from the dead (assuming Zondara is alive). Unfortunately, as beasts, the can't hold objectives or take Attack Action upgrades (or can they?).

Key Objectives

  1. Dreamers' Respite - Easy enough to score early (easier than the similar Fates Entwined) and fails hard as soon as either of the two lovers is out of action.
  2. Ever Searching - Great Surge and doesn't even require different feature tokens like...
  3. No Stone Unturned - Easiest done early when you have the minions to spare to push out into danger.

Key Gambits

  1. Atavistic Creativity - This window falls after the Gravebreak reaction, so you can search for an upgrade and then apply it for free. Very helpful in the early game.
  2. Bond Unbroken - Take advantage of the fact that both fighters are alive and make Ferlain a little more vicious and Zondara a little tougher.
  3. Driven Lurch - You'll likely use this to set up Gravebreaks or avoid attacks, but you want this early when you can take the most advantage of it.

Key Upgrades

Okay, we can't always pick 3, plus with Gravebreak letting you find the upgrade you need, it's easier to pick 4!

  1. Amberbone Infusion - Make any of your fighters a lot harder to hit (barring any rude Cleave attacks).
  2. Broken Heart - As much as we love a happy ending, it's likely that either Ferlain or Zondara will be out of action at some point during your games. Take advantage of the broken heart.
  3. Cursed Flesh - This was the bubble card, but we'd be remiss if we didn't include a +1 Wounds upgrade. Interestingly, this one breaks when the fighter is taken out of action, but that kind of makes sense because the minions gain a wound when inspired.
  4. Excavated Bludgeon - An Attack Action upgrade that you can give to a beast. Turn Pikk, Toyle, or Cracktomb into a mini Caitha/Gristlewel/'Ardskull/Jedran.

Play Style

This is a flex (positioning + aggression) warband. They want to be moving to the right place to Gravebreak, but they also need to take the enemy fighters out of action.


Choose boards that allow for mid-board starting hexes plus plenty of room to place feature tokens (meaning avoid hazard hexes).

Playing Against This?

Plain and simple, kill Zondara (you monster).

Nemesis Pairing

We like Voidcursed Thralls to support the passive/control play, while both Daring Delvers and Tooth & Claw support a more aggressive playstyle.

New Player Rating

Silver+ The fighters and cards are strongly themed and rarely at odds with each other. The complexity of the warband holds them back from being pure Gold.


Rimelocked Relics

View all the cards in the Card Gallery.

Our last Rivals deck (as far as we know) of Deathgorge has a plot card and the theme of the deck revolves around powerful relics that must be thawed before they can be used.

The Plot Card

Any of the Rimelocked upgrades that you want to use will require 3 full activations before you can use them. Note that this continues beyond the end of the round.

Key Objectives

  1. Icebound Defenders - A coveted 2 Glory end phase objective; it will take some positioning but certainly helps to set you up for rounds 2 and 3.
  2. Icy Grip - A decent Surge, especially if you have a way of keeping your fighters from being driven back or pushed.
  3. Shattered Defences - Another Surge that plays into our first two objectives. It's the hardest of the 3, but still better early than late. 

Key Gambits

  1. Cool Heads - Critical for scoring Icy Grip, would also persist through the end phase into the next battle round, if needed.
  2. Glacial Advance - A great option for pushing fighters onto objectives. The choice to give a Move or Charge token helps score some faction-specific objectives and lets you play around with the "Charged out" rule.
  3. Sudden Thaw - A nice way to get Thaw counters out faster and take advantage of the Rimelocked upgrades.

Key Upgrades

  1. Leyfrost Conduit - Rimelocked - Reducing defense dice for ALL attacks is a big deal. Supporting each friendly fighter while on an objective is just icing on the (ice cream) cake.
  2. Rimewyrm Skin Boots - Stopping pushes from only the enemy warband is really powerful and helps to score the objectives in this deck. 
  3. The Arctyc Crown - Rimelocked - It's really cool to see a card come back out that forces an Inspire. We like the fact that the Inspire isn't permanent (thinking about Soulraid or Cyreni), but it lets you play around different mechanics. The "holding" means you can't use this to Inspire a beast, but there are some beastly fighters that will love this card (Blackpowder, Mir Kainan, Vexmor).

Play Style

This is a flex (hold objectives + aggro) deck. Not recommended for pure aggro or beast-heavy warbands.


Whatever boards fit your warband, plus leaving room for flexible objective token placement.

Playing Against This

Stand on or keep fighters off of objectives. Kill fighters with un-thawed upgrades.

Nemesis Pairings

Any warband that already wants to hold objectives (and plays well in that style). Sepulchral Guard come to mind, as do Sons of Velmorn and Grymwatch.

New Player Rating

Bronze. There's some complexity here that's hard to overcome but we're excited to see what people do with this deck!