Underdark Toolkit


And now we have a second installment in the toolkit series, also by Moraturi. This time, we delve down into the darkest depths of the earth, looking for the most fearsome creatures to build a warband with...

The Underdark Toolkit
by Moraturi
The following lists are intended to be used for 200 point competitive play (assault format).
In keeping with previous toolkit formats, the creatures will appear in one of six categories: Champions, Titans (the focal piece for a band. A titan will usually have very high AC, good attacks and damage output. In all likelihood, if the titan in a band falls, then the band will typically lose), Hitters (these are the main melee damage dealers in a band. They usually range in points from the mid-twenties up into the 60 point range in cost, although there are notable exceptions), Artillery (these are high damage dealing ranged attackers), Tech (these are best thought of as support pieces or creatures that bring synergies to a warband. It is worth noting that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between this category and the others, particularly the Champions and the fodder), and Fodder (low point, usually filler pieces
Some creatures might conceivably show up in more than one category, but in the interests of brevity, each creature will only appear once in the following list (but in the text notes may be mentioned for the other categories).

The list of creatures that follows is derived from a few sources. I looked over warband lists from the Championships over the last 4 years, as well as the Vassal Championships, my own lists of over 500 warbands across formats, general perceptions of a creature’s abilities and my own personal favorites. You are welcome to add or delete from this list as you see fit, but what follows should be relatively representative of the most competitive creatures.

For the Faction of Underdark, after reviewing a number of warbands, most bands seemed to fit into one of three major competitive themes: Undead, Shadow, or Drow. Notable exceptions to this are Underdark warbands that through some mechanic (like Warband Building) bring in creatures from other factions (like Dispater or the Death Knight).

Champions
(A number of these Champions can also function effectively as Tech in a warband, or after using up their Champion powers, as Hitters or Fodder.)

Black Dragon Lurker (Demonweb 24/60 (also Dragon Collector's Set), Rare, 32 pts, C2) The Lurker is a little weak on Hit points, but the ability to boost damage from all acid sources is incredibly powerful, even if it costs a few Victory Points to do it. In a warband with either Digesters (below) or other Dragons, the Lurker is a solid choice for a Champion, especially considering the point cost to bring it into a warband.

Deathpriest of Orcus (Against the Giants 3/60, Uncommon, 79 pts, C2) The Deathpriest is almost a Titan and is probably more useful in 500 point play, but can have a significant impact in 200 point play. It has good defenses, high hit points, good Champion powers, and a solid damage output. It will be most effective in bands in which you can exploit the synergies with Undead or Demons.

Delver Sergeant (Night Below 5/60, Common, 15 pts, C1) It should be noted that this creature has been updated (twice) by the DDM guild. In addition to being a low point cost Champion, one of the overlooked Champion abilities is to get an extra Power from your other Champions in the band. Look over this list of Champions and see if there are any from which you might want an extra use. Also, keep in mind that in order to use this Champion power, the Delver doesn’t have to be one of your Victory Areas. Any of them will work, which means you can usually get the effect by the second round, and possibly attack any Point grabbers your opponent might have, as well. The Illuminator over 6 squares can often pay for the point cost by itself against the right opponent.

Drow Blademaster (Desert of Desolation 46/60, Common, 22 pts, C2) The Blademaster is primarily a cheap Champion that can bring a boost to allied Drow creatures. The Blademaster can be a little difficult to play because he needs to be close to the allied Drow creatures, but he works very well with Drow ranged attackers like the Draegloth Favored One or the Drow Assassin (both below).

Drow Wand Mage (Dungeons of Dread 50/60, Uncommon, 50 pts, C2) The most useful Champion power for the Wand mage is the re-rolled attack for Cold or Necrotic. With 2 Wand Mages in the same band, they can affect each other. Once you close into range, you can deliver a lot of high damage attacks using the Icy Ray, and then recharging it.

Duergar Cleric of Asmodeus (Legendary Evil 12/40, Rare, 48 pts, C2) The Cleric is most notable for the ability to bring Dispater, Iron Duke of Hell (Lords of Madness 10a/60, Very Rare, 77 pts) into the warband, as well as other Devils for Fodder and support such as the Grinning Imp (Demonweb 5/60, Uncommon, 9 pts) and the Infernal Armor (Demonweb 6/60, Common, 7 pts).

Foulspawn Seer (Legendary Evil 19/40, Rare, 55 pts, C3) The Seer is a very good choice for a Champion 3. The Seer brings a number of Tech options to the battlefield. While most people will play the Seer for the Teleportation, don’t overlook the Damage boost. The Seer also has a powerful attack in the Distortion Blast, but once you close to Melee, the Seer probably won’t last very long, considering its low Defenses and below average Hit Points.

Kuo-toa Whip (Night Below 55/60, Uncommon, 25 pts, C1) The Whip is listed here primarily because it shows up in a Competitive warband which features basically other Whips. The warband in question will use between six to eight Whips. They will provide attack boosts and Champion ratings to each other while firing off lots of Lightning Bolts. The warband is very map dependent (you will want a map with Forrest terrain). A good variation of the band can substitute in a Windsoul Genasai Paladin (below) to bring your own Obscuring Mist, in order to hide the Whips as your creatures advance across the battlefield.

Large Deep Dragon (Underdark 52/60, Rare, 67 pts, C2) The Deep Dragon is an expensive Champion, but with the ability to boost Drow, it will frequently be the core of an Underdark warband. Even after using the Champion powers, the Deep Dragon makes a strong Hitter, with good attacks and damage, and a very high AC. The Deadly Hunter, Snake Strike, Blindsight and the slightly above average hit points (85 can make a huge difference compared to 80) all combine to make the Deep Dragon useful in a number of melee situations, and easily worth the cost in points. Note that the Deep Dragon will also boost creatures with the Stealth Keyword, which can influence the choices of other creatures in the band, particularly the Fodder.

Large Shadow Dragon (Night Below 57/60, Rare, 48 pts, C2) The Shadow Dragon is a useful creature in two big ways. It has synergies with itself, so multiple Shadow Dragons are often run in the same warband, and it has the Shadow keyword, so it will work effectively with Shadow-themed warbands (for example with the Nightwalker Sinister, below). While the Hit Points are a little low, that disadvantage can be offset by the Conceal and the allied Champion power to make it a higher Conceal 11. The Shadow Jump can be used in a number of strategic ways, both offensive and defensive. The Enervation effect from the Shadow Breath with a save ends from the Champion power can cripple an enemy band if the breath hits enough creatures or they make bad rolls.

Mind Flayer Lich (Night Below 38/60, Rare, 63 pts, C2) While the Lich’s use has fallen off in recent years, the Mind Flayer Lich is still effective at taking away Champion powers from enemy warbands. The statistics are good with high Defenses, and 85 instead of 80 hit points. The one use of Black Tentacles can lock down important enemy creatures for a round.

Skull Lord (Demonweb 27/60, Rare, 41 pts, C3) The Skull Lord is probably one of the most versatile and (relatively) inexpensive Champions in Underdark. It is a solid Champion 3. It fits into almost any Warband containing Undead creatures. Warband building allows it to utilize some undead not found in Underdark (for example, the Death Knight (Deathknell 33/60, Dungeons of Dread 7/60, Rare, 65 pts), which brings its own synergies to an Undead warband). The Skull Lord’s Champion power which moves hit points around can be strategically very useful for keeping creatures alive. It is exceptionally useful when applied to Insubstantial Undead (for example, the Shadow (below), the Wraith (Harbinger 53/80, Rare, 29 pts), the Lurking Wraith (Against the Giants 31/60, Uncommon, 31 pts), the Banshee (Feymire 2/15, na, 48 pts), among others). Use the Skull Lord's Champion powers while also using its ranged attack. Try to keep the Lord near the back of your warband to protect it as long as possible from the disadvantage of Shattered Skull. Some other Undead which become more useful in bands with the Skull Lord, which are not explicitly listed in the Underdark Tool Kit include: Ravenous Ghoul (Desert of Desolation 54/60, Uncommon, 8 pts), Skeletal Archer (Angelfire 50/60, Common, 5 pts), and Zombie White Dragon (Deathknell 60/60, Rare, 37 pts), among others.

A few other Champions of note:

Adult Purple Dragon (Savage Encounters 2/40, Rare, 60 pts, C1) The Purple Dragon is most interesting in a warband that can exploit its Champion power for auto damage. Otherwise, it is an average Hitter. If you can maintain a few of the ongoing damage or effects, the Purple Dragon is much more effective.

Drow Infiltrator (Players Handbook Heroes, Series One 6/18, Fixed, 16 pts) or Drow Sergeant (Archfiends 50/60, Uncommon, 16 pts, C1) The same creature with two names, the Infiltrator/Sergeant is an option instead of the same point cost Drow Enforcer (see below). The Disguise Self is probably the most useful ability, and should allow the Infiltrator/Sergeant to survive to use one of its Champion Powers, most likely the damage boost.

Duergar Slaver (Unhallowed 38/60, Common, 26 points, C1) The Salver is most useful for the single use of Invisibility, but the Champion power to add damage can make an otherwise weaker damage output much stronger.

Kobold Sorcerer (Aberrations 37/60, Uncommon, 20 pts, C1) The Sorcerer is a cheap point cost Champion most suitable for either Kobold or Dragon keyword themed bands.

Large Black Dragon (Unhallowed 55/60, Rare, 44 pts, C1) The Large Black Dragon is mainly used as an extra Hitter and Tech creature to augment warbands utilizing the Black Dragon Lurker (above). A slightly better choice is the Digester (below), but some players will just like to have the Dragon keyword theme for the warband.

Mind Flayer (Harbinger 50/80, Rare, 35 pts, C2) The Mind Flayer is a decent mid-range point cost Champion. The Flayer can be fun in theme bands if you try to create synergies using the Champion power with the Stunned condition. The re-roll on a missed attack is also quite useful. Otherwise, The Mind Flayer is a pretty fragile creature.

Tiefling Captain (Harbinger 76/80, Uncommon, 21 pts, C2) A good low cost Champion that can sometimes get another creature to critical if you get lucky on the attack roll. The Captain comes with one use of an auto miss in the Luck Rune Amulet.

Tiefling Blademaster (War Drums 58/60, Uncommon, 27 pts, C2) The Blademaster is a good choice for a way to get a damage boost to your warband, although maybe just a bit high in point cost for that ability.

Troglodyte Captain (Underdark 40/60, Uncommon, 53 pts, C4) The Troglodyte Captain is worth noting as the only Underdark Champion with a rating of 4.

Vampire Vizier (Dungeons of Dread 28/60, Rare, 51 pts, C2) The Vizier has a good attack and Damage output, but would most often be used for the chance to cancel an enemy Champion effect.

Titans
(Titans are difficult enough to play as it is in the current metagame, and Underdark is not known for its Titans, but there are a few notable creatures in high point ranges worth discussing.)

Arachnomancer (Feymire 1/15, no rarity, (for use with the Drow Arachnomancer, Underdark 46/60, rare) 99 pts) The Arachnomancer brings a lot of abilities to bear, but at the cost of half your warband. The Defenses are solid at 29, and damage output is consistent with a creature worth this many points. The high hit points and the synergies with other Drow-affecting creatures can make this an interesting creature to play.

Aspect of Hextor (War Drums 28/60, Rare, 75 pts) The Aspect is worth noting for the damage output alone. With the high speed, high hit points and the possibility of doing 120 hit points of damage without boosts in a turn, it can potentially kill any creature (or more than one) in a single activation with some good to hit rolls.

Aspect of Nerull (Deathknell 31/60, 81 pts) While possibly not technically a titan, the AC 33 on this creature alone for this number of points can make it worth playing, not to mention the 25 damage output. Additionally, the Aspect can critical on rolls of 19+. With good support, or possibly even using two Aspects together in the same warband, this creature is an obvious threat when it hits the board.

Blackroot Treant (Against the Giants 53/60, Uncommon Huge, 135 pts) A little weak for a titan (for example, compare the stats to the Voracious Ice Devil for a few more points that comes from the same expansion set), but an interesting piece given the synergies with Undead like the Vampire Vizier (above) or the Death Knight (which can be brought into Underdark using the Skull Lord, above, in 500 point warbands).

Cadaver Collector (War of the Dragon Queen 27/60, Rare, 103 pts) I debated adding this creature to the list, but since Underdark is low on titans, I thought it could fit here. The defenses are a little low for this number of points. The real threat from the Collector is the Paralyzing Breath, which can be recharged if it is set up properly. Notice that it does not have to be an enemy creature that is destroyed. Keep your own creatures near, and try to force the fight into the Collector.

Draegloth Abomination (Lords of Madness 11/60, Rare Huge, 124 pts) Like the Arachnomancer, this creature will benefit from a number of support creatures for the Drow keyword. The problem is you won't have a lot of points to bring many into the warband and you will want to have them in sight of the Abomination to avoid the confusion. Having the extra attack (Slashing Claws) and the once-rechargeable burst (Unholy Burst) are both useful abilities for a titan in the thick of melee.

Fomorian (Giants of Legend 69/72, Uncommon Huge, 119 pts) The Fomorian is probably not the best choice for Underdark, but worth mentioning for the high AC 34. It has a decent, if not a little low, damage output for this number of points. I have not seen this creature show up in any competitive bands.

Ghost Beholder (Beholder Collector's Set, 4/4, 111 pts) Who doesn't love beholders? From the Beholder Ultimate Tyrant on down, each one presents a host of abilities and options. The Insubstantial will offset the low hit points, and there are a number of synergies with Undead boosting creatures.

Huge Fiendish Spider (War of the Dragon Queen 46/60, Uncommon Huge, 142 pts) The Fiendish Spider is the highest point cost creature which is legal in a 200 point warband for Underdark. The defenses are a little low for this many points, but that is offset by the damage output. The Spider will work most effectively against other titan type builds, but will not work as well against high activation bands where most of the Spider’s damage potential will be lost. At 142 points, this creature is the band, so try to include support creatures that can keep it alive or that can have an impact on the battle in order to pull some focus away from the Spider. Use the Quick Webspinner as a minor action as much as possible to lock down enemy creatures.

Lady Vol (Nigh Below 36/60, Rare, 98 pts) Lady Vol is in this category instead of the Champions because of her point cost. A solid creature all around, Lady Vol has some good limited use attacks and Champion abilities, particularly in conjunction with expendable fodder, if you can time it correctly.

Neogi Great Old Master (Lords of Madness 33/60, Very Rare, 112 pts) For the point cost, the Master has solid all around defenses (AC 32, defenses 30-31) and good attacks and damage. It also has a high speed and good hit points in order to help it stay alive. The ranged capabilities will help to do some damage as you close the distance to enemies. This is a creature in search of a good group of support creatures in the warband.

A few other creatures of note:

Aspect of Lolth (Archfiends 46/60, Rare, 75 pts) More of a strong hitter or tech creature, the Aspect of Lolth is a very potent threat in 100 point games, and is easily one of the best titans in that format.

Fettered Dracolich
(Lords of Madness 17/60, 64 pts) This Dracolich has an incredibly high AC for its points, and it can slowly regenerate the few points it will lose. Other than the Breath Weapon, the damage output is below average for this number of points (most players won’t Flank it until they can kill it in a single attack). It would be on the low end of Titans in a 200 point format, but is easily one of the best Underdark Titans in a 100 point format.

Nightwalker Sinister (Savage Encounters 26/40, Rare, 70 pts) While not technically a Titan, this creature is in the right point range and has major synergies with Shadow creatures. It is sometimes played as a cross between Tech and a secondary Hitter in Shadow themed warbands. It has seen play in some top level competitive warbands, based on those synergies.

Hitters
Ambush Drake
(Deathknell 30/60, Rare, 58 pts) One of the biggest threats that Underdark can field. The Drake could easily be listed in the Tech category for its battlefield disruption strategies. Opponents will have to keep track of their own creatures, distances from the Ambush Drake, and lines of sight. The Drake could also be listed as an Artillery creature, even without a ranged attack, given the way it is typically deployed as a targeted threat from up to 18 squares away. The Drake is probably best used as a Hitter, with the one big hit in the Ambush Strike (you will be unlikely to get more than one Strike off against a skilled opponent, barring interactions with other creatures using Invisibility or Movement effects). The Drake comes to the field with above average stats across the board. It has high defenses, good attack damage, flight, it doesn’t grant combat advantage, and it even has a potent breath weapon. The biggest threat is the Ambush Strike for 40 damage. After using the Strike, the Drake becomes a solid Hitter on its own, even if it doesn’t recharge the Strike. Note that the Ambush Drake has the Keyword Stealth, which means it can be boosted by the Large Deep Dragon (above).

Blackspawn Exterminator (War of the Dragon Queen 42/60, Uncommon, 39 pts) The Exterminator is an all around solid Hitter in this point cost range. It has decent defenses, good speed, and a useful movement ability in Ghost Step. The Stealth Keyword has synergy with the Large Deep Dragon (above). The Exterminator can also work well in the Civilization faction.

Digester (Night Below 16/60, Uncommon, 39 pts) A solid Hitter in this point range. The biggest threat from the Digester is the Acid damage which can be dramatically increased when it is paired with the Black Dragon Lurker (above). After using the acid attacks, the Digester has good attacks at +18 to hit for 20 damage, and it has a high AC and good speed.

Drow Adventurer (Demonweb 11/60, Uncommon, 22 pts) The Adventurer comes with a few options that make it a little more versatile than the Drow Enforcer (below). The Adventurer doesn't have quite the damage output, but does have a ranged attack as well as a single use of an auto miss in Parry, and the possibility of making an enemy creature helpless. Most people will tend to play the melee threat of the Enforcer, for slightly fewer points.

Drow Enforcer (Night Below 51/60, Uncommon, 16 pts) The Enforcer is probably the best low point hitter in Underdark, with a straight up 20 damage output. It is only made better by the ability to hit enemy creatures in melee, on your opponent’s turn, with Riposte, and it can be augmented by Champion powers that affect Drow. The Enforcer is practically an auto-include in any Underdark, Drow keyword themed warband, and when it shows up in a warband it is usually in multiples.

Eye of Shadow (DDM Guild Release for Beholder Collector's Set 2/4, Fixed, 55 pts) The Eye is included here, primarily because of its point cost and battlefield disruption capabilities. It could just as easily be included in the Tech category. The ability to Blind, as a minor action, is the biggest weapon the Eye has, limited primarily by its range. The range can be increased or modified with Equipment (Beholder Eye Mastery), and the Eye synergizes incredibly well with other Shadow creatures, like the Nightwalker Sinister (above). Keep the Eye near a wall so that it stays Invisible in order to optimize the use of the Sneak Attack.

Foulspawn Mangler (Legendary Evil 18/40, Rare, 28 pts) The Mangler is a very efficient hitter for only 28 points, once it gets into melee. You can use its Hide ability to advance, while making ranged attacks, and then the Dagger Dance once it engages in melee. The weaknesses for the Mangler are its low defenses and low hit points. The Mangler will synergize very well with the damage augmentation from the Foulspawn Seer (above).

Jaraxle, Drow Mercenary (DDM Guild Release for the Legend of Drizzt figure Jaraxle Beanre, Drow Mercenary, Fixed, 58 pts) The defenses for Jaraxle are easily comparable to those of the other Hitters in this point range. Jaraxle can also produce a high, consistent damage output, and easily fits into any Drow themed band, bringing useful abilities synergies, especially as the main Hitter in a Drow warband using the Large Deep Dragon (above).

Legion Devil Legionnaire (Savage Encounters 24/40, Common, 18 pts) The Legionnaire is a solid, low point cost hitter. The AC is very good for this number of points, especially adjacent to another Devil. It will most likely appear in a warband containing Dispater, Iron Duke of Hell (Lords of Madness 10a/60, Very Rare, 77 pts).

Shadowdancer (Blood War 22/60, Uncommon, 28 pts) The Defensive Roll is quite useful. Anything that can turn a hit into a miss is not to be overlooked. The base 15 damage output, coupled with the Sneak Attack can deal out a lot of damage, and can do even more in a warband with a Nightwalker Sinister (see above). The Shadow Jump just adds to the selective targeting for the Shadowdancer. The Shadowdancer is a little low in Hit Points, but very useful in a 28 point cost package.

Yochlol Tempter (Legendary Evil 40/40, Rare, 63 pts) The Tempter has very good AC and Defenses, and the ability to make 4 attacks in a round. Boosted (as a Drow) by other creatures in the warband, it can easily deal out up to 80 points of damage (or more) in an activation, and it can do it with Reach 2. The extra abilities of the Tempter really make it a threat. Amorphous Form and high speed can position it well, and the Maddening Web can really disrupt enemy strategies.

A few other creatures of note:

Drow Demonbinder (Demonweb 12/60 Rare, 34 pts) While the Demonbinder looks at first to be a powerful creature with 6 attacks, the 5 damage on each attack really mitigates that. Damage output can be increased using Drow boosting Champions (like the Large Deep Dragon, or the Drow Blademaster, both above), but even then the Demonbinder is questionable. The Demonbinder is much more useful in lower point formats like 100 point play. The Ranged attack is useful, but the low defenses and low hit points make this creature more of a liability than an asset.

Onyx, Glistening Death (DDM Guild Release for Dragon Collector’s Set 2/5 or Demonweb 24/60, Fixed, 66 pts) A highly technical Hitter, capable of doing targeted damage and increasing the acid damage from other creatures in your warband. Decent stats overall, but given the disadvantage of Sociopathic, the question becomes: would you want this creature or the slightly cheaper Ambush Drake (above) as the main Hitter in your warband?

Shadow (Night Below 60/60, Uncommon, 17 pts) The Shadow has use as a secondary hitter (or a high point cost fodder) in a band with either the Skull Lord or the Nightwalker Sinister (both above). The 17 point cost and Insubstantial, along with the Shadow keyword, makes this a useful creature in the right band.

Shadow Flayer (Demonweb 21/60, Rare, 40 pts) The Flayer could easily be considered as a Tech creature, but I put it here because of its ability to deal out high damage to select targets, using its Invisibility and Sneak Attack damage, coupled with its high speed in order to maneuver to optimum battle positions. It has the Mind Blast attack to Stun as well, of course. It has a huge weakness in its low hit points, though, and without the Invisible, it can be easily taken out. For 40 points, it has to be played very well in order to be useful.

Spectral Panther (Dungeons of Dread 59/60, Uncommon, 32 pts) The Panther is of note because of the highly situational damage output, usually in the 30 to 40 point range, depending on which ability is used. It is difficult, but not impossible, to get the damage up to 50 in a single attack, and it can be higher with boosts from Champions. The low hit points and the loss of the activation when the Panther Fades out, make this a potentially sub-optimal creature for the points (for example, you could run 2 Drow Enforcers, above, for the same cost). There are some synergies with Shadow themed warbands.

Artillery
(In general, Underdark does not have a strong set of Artillery pieces, but there are a few really outstanding creatures in the following list.)

Astral Stalker (Desert of Desolation 26/60, Uncommon, 45 pts) The Stalker is probably best used from Hide as an Artillery piece, but can also easily fall into the role of Hitter once melee is engaged. The Stalker has a very good ranged effect, and when used in multiples, Stalkers can work well off of each other, getting multiple attacks and using the Sneak Attack if they are optimally positioned.

Caller in Darkness (Unhallowed 49/60, Uncommon, 53 pts) The Caller is a little expensive for Artillery at 53 points, but the damage output potential is high with the Concussion Blast and the Death Urge and the possible auto damage using the Steal Essence. Insubstantial is always useful in keeping hit points. The Caller is especially useful when paired with the Skull Lord (above).

Draegloth Favored One (Demonweb 19/60, Rare, 41 pts) The Favored One was one of the more commonly used ranged attackers early on in the Version 2 rewrite. The Favored One has a good area attack that does high damage and as well as an effect, and the Favored One has a very high to hit for its melee attack (although only 15 damage). Use the Burning Sting at every opportunity. With only 65 hit points, you won't get to use it if you wait.

Drider (Desert of Desolation 45/60, Rare, 26 pts) This is a possible Tech (Faerie Fire, Wall Walker and Conceal 6) creature, but with the Lightning Bolt, and the other ranged attacks, is probably best played as a ranged attacker. Overall, the Drider has a diverse ability set that makes it quite versatile and efficient for its point cost.

Drow Assassin (Demonweb 20/60, Common, 7 pts) The Assassin fits better as a ranged attacker when it uses Hide than as a Fodder piece. The Assassin is a staple low cost ranged unit that can deal out a lot of damage before it gets based by a larger Hitter or it gets caught in a blast. Be cautious using the Assassin because of the low hit points. The only comparable ranged unit with similar abilities is the Kenku Sneak (Deathknell 56/60, Common, 6 pts) in Borderlands/Wild.

Solamith (Demonweb 16/60, Rare, 58 pts) It should be noted that this creature has been updated by the DDM guild. Even in its current form, the Solamith is a force to be acknowledged. A 25 damage ranged, area attack is always useful, and the 30 damage Soulfire Retort will punish any creature adjacent in melee that hits. The Solamith only becomes stronger once it is Bloodied, with Inferno.

Soulknife Infiltrator (Blood War 44/60, Uncommon, 24 pts) The Infiltrator is an often overlooked creature, but it is capable of a couple of very high damage ranged shots in the right circumstances. Within range 10, and from Hide, the Infiltrator can do 30 damage, twice, at a respectable +16 to hit. That can go to +18 for 40 under the Large Deep Dragon's (above) Champion power. That is impressive damage from only a 24 point creature.

Soulrider Devil (Demonweb 17/60, Uncommon, 34 pts) The Soulrider is worth noting for the area and blast attacks which are capable of re-use, but be cautious. The Soulrider does not have a lot of starting hit points to fire off too many ranged attacks. The Soulrider is probably most efficient in a Sealed environment, but does see occasional use in 200 point play.

A few other creatures of note:

Arbalester (Dangerous Delves 2/40, Uncommon, 12 pts) The Arbalester is a useful, low point ranged attacker, which can, in the right situation, deal more damage than its point cost would indicate using the Protect Objective power.

Tech
(While Underdark is known for its Technically useful creatures, most of the Tech abilities come with the Champions, or are powers on creatures better listed in other categories, so many of them will be listed elsewhere in this ToolKit)

Duergar Guard (Legendary Evil 13/40, Uncommon, 19 pts) The Guard is most useful for its Mordai Guard bodyguard ability, coupled with the 50 hit points to soak up more than one attack, unlike the more commonly used Merchant Guard (Desert of Desolation 12/60, Common, 8 pts) in Bordelands/Civilization that can usually only Bodyguard against a single attack before dying.

Hellwasp (Against the Giants 55/60, Uncommon, 9 pts) While the Hellwasp is probably more efficient in a Wild warband when it is paired with the Xen'drick Champion (Underdark 31/60, Rare, 23 pts), the ability to avoid Opportunity Attacks is useful in any skirmish, especially on only a 9 point creature.

Hoard Scarab Larva Swarm (Legendary Evil 26/40, Common, 21 pts) Another often overlooked creature, the Larva Swarm has a number of incredibly useful abilities. It can score Victory Points from almost anywhere, which is why it is in the Tech category (by the rules, it is adjacent to its own square, so it only needs to be within 5 squares of one of your Victory areas to score points). It is a Swarm, so it only takes half-damage from melee and ranged attacks. For only 21 points, this can give you effectively an 80 hit point creature. Finally, it has an automatic 10 damage melee attack. It can move and then Charge for an auto 10 damage from 16 squares away and then Infest on the next turn doing 20 damage a round (10 on its activation and 10 from the Swarm Attack).

Rot Scarab Swarm (Desert of Desolation 32/60, Common, 19 pts) The Scarab Swarm has two uses of an automatic Stun effect, once it Infests an enemy creature. The ability to remove one of your opponent's main pieces for two rounds can easily shift the game. 35 hit points on a Formless creature is also bargain at only 19 points.

Roving Swordmage (Players Handbook Heroes Two 3/18, Fixed, 28 pts) The Swordmage is a very useful, often overlooked creature. The Swordmage is most useful for the Swordmage’s Transposition as a battlefield movement effect and for the Aegis of Stealth in order to hide key creatures at the opportune time. General attacks and Defenses are about average for a creature of this cost.

Shadar-Kai Witch (Lords of Madness 43/60, Rare, 26 pts) The main use of the Witch is to prevent your warband from being targeted at range. Note that in order to protect the Witch as well, you will typically need to run at least 2 Witches, or some other similar mechanic. The added use of a ranged Shadowbind to blind and the short distance teleport to then recharge make this a good choice in this point range.

Spectral Magelord (Dungeons of Dread 46/60, Rare, 26 pts) The Magelord is in the Tech category because of the Wandering Monster ability. If the Magelord doesn’t randomly end up on one of your Victory Areas, it has Phasing to get it quickly to where it needs to be. While the Magelord is a little expensive for a Point grabber, the Insubstantial, Phasing and decent ranged and area attacks will keep it alive long enough to do other things besides just sit in a Victory Area.

Stirge Drone (Demonweb 56/60, Uncommon, 6 pts) The Drone is a better fit here than as Fodder, primarily because it is a cheap source for an automatic 10 damage as a strategically targeted effect.

Windsoul Genasi Paladin (Players Handbook Heroes Two 8/18, Fixed, 34 points) The primary usefulness of the Paladin is to provide the moving wall of smoke (Obscuring Mist) to hide the advance of your own creatures. It is incredibly useful with Kuo-toa Whips (see above) as they can fire their Lightning Bolts through the mist.

A few other creatures of note:

Shardsoul Slayer (Demonweb 15/60, Uncommon, 15 pts) The Slayer can be a fun creature to play, using the Disorienting Aura (watch your own creature's positioning), and the Death's Release when used in multiples. The problem with it, though, is the low hit points. Don't expect the Slayers to be around long.

Trapped Chest (Lords of Madness 51/60, Uncommon, 10 pts) The Chest can be a useful way to get extra Victory Points if you can protect it long enough. The low defenses and low hit points means that it will be an easy target (especially against enemy ranged attacks). Watch your own creature's positioning as the Trapped Chest ability does not discriminate allies from enemies.

Fodder
(Fodder creatures are traditionally low point cost creatures that are used to fill out the remaining points of a band. You want to get the most efficient use out of these points as possible, though, so some are better fits in specific warbands than others.)

Blue (Giants of Legend 29/72, Common, 5 pts) If this creature were used in the Civilization faction, it would be an Artillery piece. In Underdark it is commonly used to fill out warbands. It is one of the most efficiently costed creatures in the game. The Blue is an incredibly solid creature in Underdark as fodder, but over-the-top exceptional in a Civilization, Goblin themed warband (as artillery) when used with boosts to Goblin attacks and damage. The Psionic Ablation just gives it more hit points in most circumstances (which it will need, because it has some of the lowest Defenses in the game).

Darkmantle (Night Below 15/60, Common, 6 pts) The Darkmantle is almost a Tech creature given the Hide ability and Wandering Monster. It will most commonly be used to get Victory Points, or attack your opponent’s creatures in order to deny Victory Points to your opponent.

Deathjump Spider (Dungeons of Dread 54/60, Common, 11 pts) The main use for the Spider is the Death from Above attack, which can deal an effective 20 damage to an enemy creature. The use of the Spider will largely depend on how many activations you want to trade in the Fodder category in exchange for the 11 points.

Dire Rat (Giants of Legend 30/72, Common, 4 pts) The Dire Rat is a slightly stronger version of the Ravenous Dire Rat (below) for 4 points, and even better when used with other rats.

Fiendish Snake (Blood War 50/60, Common, 5 pts) The Snake is a very good use of 5 points for an automatic 10 damage against a creature taking ongoing poison damage. With the right creatures in the warband, it would be quite efficient to run multiple Fiendish Snakes.

Kobold Miner
(Underdark 38/60, Common, 3 pts) The Miner is always a good choice for a remaining few points in a warband. The possibility of gaining Victory Points, while your opponent doesn't score any for eliminating the miner is a commonly used strategy.

Lolth's Sting (Underdark 53/60, Common, 7 pts) Ghost Step and the Skulking Strike can provide a single use, high damage attack. The real question is do you want that one attack, or would your warband be a better fit for the Drow Assassin (above) for the same cost?

Mongrelfolk (Aberrations 40/60, Common, 3 pts) The Mongrelfok has a possible 15 damage attack, but at only a low +3 to hit. It also has Wandering Monster. All around a decent creature for only 3 points, but there are usually better options for that point cost in Underdark.

Ravenous Dire Rat (Against the Giants 57/60, Common, 3 pts) No real abilities to speak of, and only 5 hit points, but a cheap activation and with speed 6, it might get you some Victory Points.

Skeleton (Harbinger 55/80, Lords of Madness 45/60, Common, 4 pts) The main use for the Skeleton is to use up two attacks from your opponent, instead of just one with the Reassembling Bones. It is also Undead and will have synergies there.

Skeletal Legionnaire (War Drums 39/60, Common, 4 pts) Adding +2 AC on a more powerful creature will usually pull an attack onto the Legionnaire just to get rid of it as a nuisance. It is also Undead and will have synergies there.

Twig Blight (War of the Dragon Queen 58/60, Common, 3 pts) Depending on whether your map has Forrest terrain or not, the Twig Blight can be a decent use of 3 points. Also, it has Stealth, so it works well with the Large Deep Dragon (above). A 3 point creature hitting for 20 damage will make your opponent notice.

Warrior Skeleton (Archfiends 43/60, Common, 3 pts) The Warrior Skeleton is one of the better low point options for an Undead at 3 points. Starting off the Battlemap will help it to avoid any Alpha strikes into your start areas.

A few other creatures of note:

Deep Legionnaire (Night Below 4/60, Common, 7 pts) On most maps, the use of Stonestep can get the Legionnaire into a Victory area in round one. The Conceal 6 might help it stay there.

Small Black Dragon (War of the Dragon Queen 53/60, Uncommon, 11 pts) A little high in points for Fodder, but the Small Black Dragon has a high speed and good attacks for its value, especially when combined with the Black Dragon Lurker (above).

Equipment
(There are a number of useful Equipment items which could be discussed, but for this ToolKit, only the Equipment that is specifically usable by the Underdark faction will be discussed. General items which are broadly usable, like the Healing Potion, will not be addressed here.)

There are only 3 items that are specifically limited to use by Underdark creatures:

Shadow Web Cloak (usable by Drow, min 6, max 15, 8 pts) While Invisible is quite powerful, given the 8 point cost, you would probably be better off with an extra Drow Assassin, instead. The Assassin already has Hide, anyway.

Ring of Phasing (usable by Arcane, min 5, max 15, 6 pts) Good abilities for the points, but limited by the Keyword Arcane. There are only 17 creatures that can benefit from it, and most won’t be in competitive warbands except for possibly the Drow Wand Mage, Roving Swordmage, or Shadar-Kai Witch (all listed above)

Darkmages Disguise (min 1, max 20, 4 pts) Probably the most useful item in this category. Not so much for the Keyword removal, but for the ability to start a creature out of the start area, in order to get a little extra movement, or avoid the Alpha strike, and it only costs 4 points to add it to almost any creature in your warband.

Comments

Sirohk's picture
Member since:
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Excellant article. Underdark is a very cool Faction with lots of options for warband building.

Some of my favorite pieces are in Underdark:

Mind Flayer Lich
Large Shadow Dragon
Eye of Shadow
Umber Hulk
Ambush Drake

I think the new BANSHEE, and the NIGHTMARE and SHADOW FLAYER are all pretty decent pieces worthy of mention.

Cheers.

Cool

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nice work! hope 2 C more soon. Wink

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