Decked Out Articles: Total War – A Khador Showdown Deck

I’ve heard too many people complain that the Showdown Format is bad for Khador. I wholeheartedly disagree. Khador has so many powerful cards with zero VPs. I actually think Khador is one of the stronger factions in Showdown, and I figure I’ll prove it with a great deck. This is one in particular brings the normal power that you expect from Khador, but with just enough finesse to keep it at 30 VPs, while also making the deck more consistent. I call this Deck “Total War,” in honor of Karchev’s feat and the heavy Warjack design.

The Deck

Kharchev The Terrible {Red}
~Kommandant’s Authority x1
~Supply Convoy x1
~Behemoth x3
~Marauder x1
~Decimator x2
~Great Bears of Gallowswood x1
~Iron Fang Uhlans x1
~Iron Fang Pikeman Kompany x2

Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Prince {Blue}
~Kommandant’s Authority x1
~Behemoth x2
~Marauder x2
~Kodiak x2
~Great Bears of Gallowswood x2
~Iron Fang Uhlans x2
~Iron Fang Pikeman Kompany x1

Koldun KommanderAleksandra Zerkova {Purple}
~Kommandant’s Authority x1
~Prikaz Chancellery Initiative x1
~Decimator x3
~Drago x2
~Assault Kommando Kompany x3
~Greylord Arcanist Korps x2

Winds of War: Castle of the Keys

Locations: Faith and Fortune Base Game

The Detachments

Red: This detachment is the core of the Khador deck. If you could take this exact list of cards 3 times, you absolutely would. Two good resources, six Jacks, and four warriors; this is the perfect balance. But the foundation is all about the Behemoth. It is one of the best Warjacks in the game. The Behemoth rushes for 10 War, with 3 Power and 7 health, while being worth 2 VPs. Armor Piercing is a great ability which allows it to destroy a 5 Health card by its lonesome. But on top of all of that, It resources for 3 War or 3 Command, which makes it a great resource card too. Red is truly the color of Khador.


Blue: I already said that we would take Red three times over if we could. Blue basically brings everything that Red does, but you get a couple Kodiaks instead of Decimators. This is why many decks start with these two colors if you want to represent the Motherland. Five Behemoths? Yes, Please.


Purple: This one can easily be seen as an odd choice. Purple doesn’t really bring something as powerful as the Behemoth, and there isn’t a single card that screams “Bring Purple!” I decided to include this detachment because it fills the gaps of Blue and Red. The 3 Decimators and 3 Assault Kommandos are really solid choices to round out the deck. Decimators provide a cheaper Rush options for your War resources, and the Kommandos can actually help protect you from discard effects. Additionally, you get two copies of Drago and the Kolduns, which are both nice options for the deck without increasing your VP count.


The Warcasters

Vladimir Tzepesci, The Dark Prince: Vlad is almost the exact same card as Kraye, Borka and Vyros but with one small change. Vlad rushes for 2 Command instead of 2 War. So with a feat that makes all of the War in your hand more valuable, it is great to not be forced to use it to rush Vlad. Just think about this for a moment: when you have Vlad as a location, Behemoth rushes for 7. Marauders rush for 6. Kodiaks and Decimators rush for 5. Drago rushes for 4. Those numbers are crazy when you really think about it.


Karchev The Terrible: This warcaster comes right out and hits with 5 power. That in itself is great. But he also reduces the purchase and rush costs of all your cards by 1 War. Sometimes this can fix your math and get your out of a tight spot. But don’t hesitate to use Karchev just to break up a location.


Koldun Kommander Aleksandra Zerkova: She is one of the few Warcasters that can return a card to your opponent’s hand. While this ability may not seem amazing at first glance, it can easily turn the tables on your opponent. She can be used just to stall a capture by returning a card. She can be used both offensively and defensively at the same time; by returning a card before combat it creates a situation where your opponent lacks the power to destroy any of your cards, while simultaneously making it very easy to destroy your opponent’s position.


Playing this Deck

This deck has strong resources, excellent hitting power, and an above average amount of health. But it still has a few tricks worked in. You can deploy a Marauder to bounce an Elementalist Sorcerer back to your opponent’s hand. Assault Kommandos can protect you from the Ornery ability on Ghetorix. Additionally, Greylords can trigger some discards for your opponent. Some games you will win just on the sheer power and health, but in others those little tricks will turn around games for you.

The optimal rush combo for this deck is Behemoth paired with Iron Fang Uhlans, but that isn’t a consistent option until you build up the economy of your deck. In the meantime you can rush Decimators or Kodiaks to apply early pressure. This deck also has zero cards that resource for more Command than they do War. This means the deck will be ready for a great Vlad turn at any point. Generally, you want to build up your resources and thin the deck until at least the mid game to make sure you get the most out of Vlad.

Refreshing Cards

This deck has 14 Warriors in it; you will rarely ever need that many. If you need to refresh cards, I strongly recommend targeting the warriors first. Most of these will get deployed from your hand later in the game for deck-thinning purposes, so you really don’t have to fear sending a few to the bottom of your deck to dig towards other cards.

When it is comes to Warjacks, I find that I rush Behemoth and the Decimator the most. If you end up with too many Warjacks and you need to refresh one, I tend to target the Marauder, Kodiak, or Drago first. But you don’t want to refresh many if you can help it. Additionally, you need to gauge how reliably you can rush Behemoth or the Decimator. If you think you may need a cheaper option like the Kodiak, that will change your decision.

Beating the Trolls

Trollbloods have one of the strongest decks in either format. This means you want to have a plan against them. Behemoth and the Marauder are your saving graces. If you face Trollbloods, you want to make sure you get multiple copies of these cards into your deck if possible. You can deploy the Marauder to return the Sorcerer to your opponent’s hand and then start rushing cards. While Behemoth can’t do that, he can still be deployed, kill the Sorcerer, and can’t be killed by just Mulg + Sorcerer because they have a combined power of 6 versus 7 Health. So Behemoth can stay at the location and potentially kill another Sorcerer during your opponent’s turn. Bank these two cards whenever possible so that you can be ready to break the combo if needed.


Potential Changes

Winds of War: Khador can potentially run any Winds of War. I tend to lean towards Castle because it is a personal favorite. But the Hordes base game and Faith & Fortune are both strong options. Khador doesn’t mind the early redirection in Faith because it can buy another resource. Hordes has the card that reduces the purchase price of all cards by 1 War, which is great for Vlad. But both of these have plenty of draw effects which help with the above average Rush cost. Castle is better for early pressure and deck thinning; Hordes is better for the slow-building grind; Faith is very consistent, and Final Reckoning protects you from the dreaded late game double capture.

Old Witch: I have considering Old Witch as a replacement for Zerkova. I definitely prefer Zerkova, but I can see the argument if you want to up the discard effects in the deck that it may be worthwhile to fit in the Witch.

Destroyers: These are great Jacks, but I decided not to include them because the Behemoth rushes for 10 War too. I didn’t want the deck to have too many cards with Rush costs that high; otherwise the deck wouldn’t have a consistent early game. With all of that said, I can still see fitting in a couple. If you try this deck and you want to include Destroyers, you should ask yourself: how often am I rushing a Decimator or Marauder with a warrior, and still have enough that I could have rushed a Destroyer in place of one of the other jacks? They key is that you still want to be rushing two cards whenever possible.


This deck can easily be modified to work in your standard 1v1 format by adding a couple Conquests and Marauders/Destroyers while dropping a few Warriors. But I think this deck is honestly better in Showdown. This has so much power in its 0 VP cards that you want to run them anyway. If you love representing the motherland and have been reluctant to try showdown . . . try this.

You will not be disappointed.


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One Comment;

  1. Rob Carpenter said:

    Very similar to what I used on Saturday at Lock and Load. I will try your version of it and see if I have any luck!

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