More Restrictions, More Creativity – Changes in the February 2019 Restricted List

While I was writing my article on choosing restricted cards last week I had a constant worry in the back of my head that Games Workshop would immediately release an updated list as soon as I’d finished it, meaning it would immediately be obsolete. I convinced myself I was worrying for nothing, though – surely it was too early? Mollog’s Mob and the Godsworn Hunt had only just been released, and there hadn’t yet been any big events yet to give an idea of how they’d shake up the meta.

As it transpires, I was wrong. Almost immediately after I’d scheduled the article to publish, an updated Errata, Designer’s Commentary, and Banned and Restricted List were uploaded to the Warhammer Community site. Just my luck.

Rather than leave you with now out-of-date advice, I’ve quickly written this follow-up article. Below you can find updated comments on the cards that have been effected by the February 2019 Banned and Restricted list (and a few points from the other FAQs), although I’ve avoided going into to much depth on my opinions on these changes. Note that this is an addition to the previous article, so you’ll need to read that as well unfortunately – blame Games Workshop and not me…

Restricted Objectives

With the first new ban, as well as the restriction of yet another top-tier objective, this category has seen the most change from the February update.

Extreme Flank (BANNED)

RIP Extreme Flank, October 2018 – February 2019. This is the shortest tenure yet of an Underworlds card, but the writing was on the wall since the banned and restricted list was first introduced – it’s so much better than any other positioning objective.

This makes the other restricted two glory passive objectives (Alone in the Darkness, Escalation) better choices as they’ve got less competition, as well as freeing up Fired Up or some of the score immediately objectives depending on your warband,

Superior Tactician (2.5)

Superior Tactician is a great objective, letting you turn a close game into a solid victory or even closing the gap just enough to recover from what would otherwise be a defeat.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t do enough when stacked up against the rest of the cards on the list. It’s almost always going to be a better idea to take the lower-scoring but more reliable restricted objectives
(Alone in the Darkness, Change of Tactics, etc) instead of spending a slot on a late-game objective.

You could consider other round 3 objectives like Contained and Denial if you still want an endgame spike (depending on your warband) or possibly spend some upgrade slots on keys for a similar effect. Solid Gains, Great Gains, and Victory after Victory all have a similar multiplicative effect but they are a lot riskier. Maybe it’s time to start experimenting with Acolyte of the Katopranes too?

Other Changes

Cover Ground now works with effects like Faneway Crystal and Inescapable Vengeance, meaning it’s a lot easier to score and making it an even better alternative to Change of Tactics for an easy to score immediate objective. You should also take a look at the clarifications on when you can score immediate objectives when picking your alternatives here too

Also, while its not explicit, the ruling that Scurry counts as “an action on a fighter card” for Keep Them Guessing makes that objective better for any warband with reactions (e.g. Magore’s Fiends), although I don’t think any of them are quite as good as the Gitz.

Restricted Gambits

No changes! Yay! To be honest, I’m really surprised not to see Hidden Paths here given that it has appeared in pretty much every tournament deck since it was released. I’d put good money on it being in the next update

Restricted Upgrades

Death is now even more certain in the Nightvault, with the two best unrestricted defensive upgrades joining Soultrap and Tethered Spirit on the restricted list.

Deathly Fortitude and Sudden Growth (2)

While both of these cards were pretty much auto-includes before, I’d only recommend them now for warbands that depend on keeping a specific fighter alive – Mollog’s Mob and the Thorns of the Briar Queen for example.

Going from Great Fortitude or Tome of Vitality’s +1 wound to +2 wounds just doesn’t seem like it’s worth it or most decks – try running them instead, or running something like Trusted Defender or Acrobatic (although the higher variance makes them a bit weaker).

Tethered Spirit (3)

Conversely, Tethered Spirit is now a lot better. With the best alternatives now also restricted, a 50% chance of avoiding any lethal attack or gambit starts to look a lot more attractive as a way to spend one of your restricted slots.

Like the +2 wound upgrades it’s still only really great if you have a specific target to keep alive, but at least worth considering for any 3-4 model warband too.

Soultrap (1)

For some reason Soultrap now no longer works against attacks when you’re trapped (although last chance does)? Combined with the existing weakness against gambit spells, Lightning Whip, Lethal Hexes and so on, I just cant recommend taking this card any more. If you want this effect, take Tethered Spirit and live with having to teleport away (which, to be fair, is usually a benefit) or use a gambit slot for Last Chance.

So, that’s about it from me for now. With an updated Banned and Restricted List, two new warbands, and new clarifications and rules changes in the Errata and Designer’s Commentary this is an interesting time for the meta. It’ll be cool to see what people bring to the next clashes and grand clashes after this shake up – if you’re going to an event soon (and also if you’re not), then good luck and have fun!

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