Shadespire Decks on Display

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With the Grand Clash for Shadespire in the bag, here’s a look at a top Ironskullz deck!

Shadespire is one of the most well-balanced games that GW has made, and they’ve had one of their inaugural big competitive type events where the top four spots were occupied by various factions–pretty cool for a first outing. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what a ‘competitive’ Shadespire deck looks like.

via Warhammer Community

The first ever Grand Clash saw a range of decklists, with every top 4 slot being occupied by a different warband! Today, we’re checking out the top Ironjawz deck from the event, a highly aggressive deck based around attacking out of sequence and boosting the durability of Ironskull’s Boyz:


  1. 89, Biggest an’ da Best
  2. 90, Call of the Waaagh!
  3. 92, Dere’s More of Us
  4. 93, Get Da Boss
  5. 94, Good Scrap
  6. 95, Punch-up
  7. 236, Annihilation
  8. 247, Conquest
  9. 253, Denial
  10. 281, Plant a Standard
  11. 293, Swift Advance
  12. 305, Victorious Duel


  1. 97, ‘Avin’ a Good Time
  2. 98, Brutal But Kunnin’
  3. 100, Gorkamorka’s Blessing
  4. 101, Kunnin’ But Brutal
  5. 102, Last Lunge
  6. 103, Leadin’ By Example
  7. 104, More Choppin’
  8. 318, Distraction
  9. 330, Healing Potion
  10. 360, Sidestep


  1. 111, Crush and Cleave
  2. 115, Unkillable
  3. 116, Waaagh!
  4. 375, Army of One
  5. 382, Daemonic Weapon
  6. 389, Great Fortitude
  7. 390, Great Speed
  8. 391, Great Strength
  9. 393, Helpful Whispers
  10. 420, Soultrap

The main strength of Ironskull’s Boyz is their wound total. With a Block defensive characteristic and the highest total wounds of all the warbands, these Ironjawz are hard to shift. You can use this to get stuck into the enemy, swarming them with fighters who are difficult to kill, and still have great damage output. This deck is designed to get all your fighters into enemy territory and win a war of attrition, keeping all enemy fighters bottled up or killing them.

Gurzag Ironskull is one of the best fighters in the game, as well as being survivable, which means once he has a couple of upgrades on him, he becomes a great hunter of enemy leaders. Objective cards such as Victorious Duel, Get Da Boss and Biggest an’ da Best all support this plan of action, as well as this approach helping to contribute towards Punch-up, Good Scrap and Call of the Waaagh.

This decks allows a single activation of a fighter to contribute to scoring multiple objectives simultaneously. Making plenty of charges and attacks also gives you lots of opportunities to drive enemy fighters back (including a bonus bit of knockback from Basha if he can get a critical hit). I like to try and herd my opponents into a small area and prevent them from controlling board areas. The extra attacks generated by ‘Avin’ a Good Time, Last Lunge and Leadin’ By Example all help contribute to this too, meaning you can potentially make 6 attack actions in a single action phase!

I think I’ll go suspire in the shadespire before I expire, so call an umpire.

  • Aaditya Rangan

    Thanks for reporting this!
    Amazing that there are already tournaments for this game!
    I’ve got no excuse not to paint my team now!

  • Angry Panda

    Ty for the card report; I too have a Orruk team promptly named the ogrelords.

    I converted my Orruk team into naked green ogres holding onions and shrocks. I’ve also converted my cards to have Shrek propaganda by painting the artwork into Shrek-themed Shreksual encounters.

    Each time I field my deck, I get as hard as a fully bloomed onion. Prepare your bodies tornament organizers, for the shrekoning is coming for your neckbeards.

  • EnTyme

    It’s interesting to me that the “Capture Objective X” cards seem to be absent from top decks. I would think these would be more important to a winning strategy, but I guess with the short game length, it’s just not worth it when there are other objectives that give multiple points.

    • James N. Fishwick

      Yeah, single point objectives that stop your models from being involved in killing people… That said, I don’t think the top Khorne deck has been shared yet? With the most models and the fastest force, objective grabbing is more do-able.

    • Drew

      The biggest thing for me as a Stormcast player is that I’ve only got three models and they really perform best when they’re tight and supporting each other. I think maybe the Sepulchral Guard and Skaven factions could have more success with objectives with their higher model count (and the SG at least have a couple models who really aren’t particularly good at actually fighting).

      • EnTyme

        I love the Stormcast playstyle! Gives me a sort of “Last Stand of the Glorious 300” vibe. I’m still working out decks, but Stormcast definitely do best with “no one took any damage” and “no enemy models in your zone” type objectives.

    • rtheom

      Yeah, so far with the cards that have been released, you pretty much want to build either objective capture or kill the enemy team. Trying to mix the two is just spreading your force out too much with only 4ish fighters and 12 total activations to do it.