Welcome to my new series of articles, Building On a Budget. The goal of this series is to help players wanting to start a new faction to quickly build different tournament viable lists for less than $101 while still giving you the option to play the master you desire. The pricing is based off the Wyrd store site pre-tax, so no special online discounts. Additionally, I do include some of the general upgrades in the crews which you’ll need to buy the generalist upgrade packs for the cards and those costs aren’t included in the pricing.

In these articles I’ll be breaking down my purchases into bundles with 4 tiers of recommendation. My tier 1 bundles are, in my opinion, the best place to start a new faction. The tier 2 bundles are fine places to start, but usually are limited in options. The tier 3 bundles are not the best place to start a crew, but if you really want to play a given master, it gives you a place to start. Finally the 4th tier is limited to the masters that you can’t make a decent crew while staying within my price point.

As an additional note, I purposely avoid spending money on models that can be found in another master’s box, as I believe it to be wasteful spending if you are planning on eventually buying that other master’s box. Also I want to give a big thanks to both Adam Piotrowski and Filip Bagiński who helped out with the list building for this one.

So with that all cleared up, let’s get underway with the Neverborn.

Tier 1
Masters: Lilith, Lynch, Titania

Bundle 1: Lilith and Lynch  ($96)

The majority of Neverborn boxes tend to operate fairly independent of each other, but these two masters you can merge to make a two decent crews.

  • Mother of Monsters (Lilith Box) – $45
  • Dark Debts (Lynch Box) – $40
  • Doppleganger – $11

(1)Lilith — 7ss
+Beckon Malifaux – 1ss
+On Wings Of Darkness – 1ss
+Aether Connection – 1ss
(2)Cherub – 3ss
(3)Barbaros – 10ss
+Fears Given Form – 1ss
(4)Doppleganger – 7ss
+The Mimic’s Blessing – 1ss
(5)Terror Tot – 4ss
(6)Terror Tot – 4ss
(7)The Illuminated – 7ss
(8)The Illuminated – 7ss

(1)Jakob Lynch — 7ss
+The Rising Sun – 2ss
+Woke Up With A Hand – 2ss
+On Wings Of Darkness – 1ss
(2)Hungering Darkness – 0ss
+Addict – 1ss
+The Mimic’s Blessing – 1ss
(3)Doppleganger – 7ss
+The Mimic’s Blessing – 1ss
(4)Terror Tot – 4ss
(5)Terror Tot – 4ss
(6)The Illuminated – 7ss
(7)The Illuminated – 7ss
(8)The Illuminated – 7ss

While Lilith can get into the opponents face and have some protection because of Barbaros, I think she will serve you better spending her turns rooting enemy models and hiding behind her illusionary forests. She can also use tangled shadows to isolate and kill enemies, but don’t rely on this as it is only a CA 5 and your opponent can cheat above this if the target has good WP. The illuminated and Barbaros are your primary damage dealers and point holders for this crew while your terror tots are avoiding combat and scheming. The doppleganger fills the role you need her to by “borrowing” abilities like sprint off the tots or attacks from your harder hitting models.

The Lynch list is designed around throwing Huggy (Hungering Darkness) into your opponents face to tie him up and take out key models. When he dies, then you bring him back by using the Pay For Blood + Final Debt combination to kill something (or wait for an illuminated to die). You will need to play careful with Lynch though as he dies quite easily if you give you opponent access to him. Otherwise, the rest of your crew plays the same way as they do in the previous Lilith list.

Bundle 2: Titania and Lynch ($95)

While I wouldn’t recommend starting the game with Titania since she is a bit complicated, I think she pairs well enough with Lynch to make two decent mid-range crews.

  • The Queen’s Return (Titania Box) – $50
  • Dark Debts (Lynch Box) – $45
  • Mr. Graves – $11

(1) Titania – 7ss cache
+Aether Connection – 1ss
+An Audience With The Queen – 1ss
+Behold My Glory – 1ss
(2) Mr. Graves – 8ss
+Malifaux Provides – 1ss
(3) Illuminated – 7ss
(4) Illuminated – 7ss
(5) The Claw – 7ss
(6) The Thorn – 7ss
(7) The Tooth – 7ss

(1) Jacob Lynch – 4ss cache
+The Rising Sun – 2ss
+Woke Up With A Hand – 2ss
(2) Hungering Darkness – 0ss
(3) Mr. Graves – 8ss
(4) Illuminated – 7ss
(5) Illuminated – 7ss
(6) Illuminated – 7ss
(7) The Thorn – 7ss
(8) The Tooth – 7ss

This Titania list is designed to be durable while dropping lots of scheme markers in the middle of the board. Titania herself will often be “taunting” enemies with her Behold My Glory upgrade while keep herself healed up when other models are placing scheme markers around her. She can also place enemy models next to her if you need to isolate targets. Graves and the Illuminated are your tougher damage dealers and the Autumn Knights (Thorn and Tooth) can also help tie up models while drawing cards and placing schemes. Both knights also have short range lures to try and pull out models in the enemy crew.

The Lynch plays the same as mentioned in the previous bundle, but gains the Autumn Knights which will help him grow his hand size (Thorn) and drop markers (Tooth).

Tier 2
Masters: Lilith, Pandora, The Dreamer, Zoraida

Bundle 1: Greg Piskosz’s Lilith Lite ($92)

This list is based off of the former UK #1 Greg Piskosz’s fixed Lilith list which I covered on the podcast for Lilith’s Master Spotlight. This list is missing a couple of pieces, but plays very similar.

  • Mother of Monsters (Lilith Box) – $45
  • Nekima – $25
  • Doppleganger – $11
  • Mr. Graves – $11

(1)Lilith — 7ss
+Beckon Malifaux – 1ss
+On Wings Of Darkness – 1ss
(2)Cherub – 3ss
(3)Barbaros – 10ss
(4)Doppleganger – 7ss
(5)Mr. Graves – 8ss
(6)Nekima – 13ss
(7)Terror Tot – 4ss

The goal of this crew is to pick off models with Nekima while making it hard/impossible to retaliate against her. So turn 1 your often using Mr.Graves to get Nekima up the board quickly while Lilith is protecting her with illusionary forests and rooting problem models. Then end of turn 2 Nekima typically charges in and kills something. This is followed by doppleganger winning you initiative which allows Nekima to either continue killing or retreat to safety (or use Lilith to protect her). Lilith’s primary focus is to continually protect your other models and occasionally isolate and kill key support models (ideally things with low WP). The doppleganger has plenty of strong attacks to mimic if more damage is needed or can sprint along the terror tot if you need another scheme runner.

Bundle 2: Solo Pandora ($80)

This Pandora bundle focuses on what is called “Brawler Pandora”, which is dealing a lot of damage by forcing WP duels. While it can be a powerful crew, it is left in tier 2 because it does have some bad matchups (primarily blasters like Sonnia, Raspy, Wong)

  • No Shelter Here (Pandora Box) – $45
  • Insidious Madness – $24
  • Iggy – $11

(1)Pandora — 7ss
+The Box Opens – 2ss
+Aether Connection – 1ss
+Fears Given Form – 1ss
(2)Poltergeist – 5ss
(3)Candy – 9ss
+Fears Given Form – 1ss
+Best Behavior – 1ss
(4)Iggy – 5ss
+The Mimic’s Blessing – 1ss
(5)Insidious Madness – 5ss
(6)Insidious Madness – 5ss
(7)Sorrow – 5ss
(8)Sorrow – 5ss

The key to this crew is to force as many WP duels as you can on the enemy crew while they are within your misery auras. This forces your opponent to be “pinged” to death 1 damage at a time or to start wasting cards to start passing duels. This crew also has multiple instances of Incite which allows you to heavy control your opponents activation order and stop them from playing the game they want to play. Candy is designed to stand in the middle of the enemy crew and and force them to deal with Fears Given Form. Iggy can either help run schemes or just help keep your sorrows alive with his ability to take damage for them. The Insidious Madness are solid all purpose models that can tie up enemies, scheme run, or help disrupt the enemy.

Bundle 3: Solo Dreamer ($97)

The Dreamer is stuck in tier 2 simple because you need a bigger budget to make him a true nightmare on the board (aka Summoning Dreamer). This version of him is called Chompy Dreamer since you are focusing on trying to transform The Dreamer into Lord Chompy Bits.

  • Hide and Seek (The Dreamer Box) – $50
  • Lelu & Lilitu – $18
  • Teddy – $18
  • Doppleganger – $11

(1)The Dreamer — 7ss
+Restless Dreams – 1ss
+Tantrum – 2ss
+Aether Connection – 1ss
(2)Day Dream – 2ss
(3)Day Dream – 2ss
(4)Day Dream – 2ss
(5)Coppelius – 8ss
(6)Lilitu – 7ss
(7)Teddy – 11ss
+On Dreaming Wings – 2ss
(8)Doppleganger – 7ss
+Retributions Eye – 1ss

The Dreamer’s goal in this crew is to crank up his Waking condition quickly to transform him into Lord Chompy Bits. The upgrades Restless Dreams and Tantrum are designed to do just that by quickly increasing his Waking through his attacks. This also allows you to abuse the WP debuffs the crew has (daydream auras) to allow Dreamer to paralyze models he attacks. Alternatively, he can surround a model with other nightmares to do some impressive damage with his attacks. Once Lord Chompy Bits is out, the goal is to deal as much damage as you can before he dies and shifts back into The Dreamer. As for the rest of the crew, Teddy is your your other damage dealer, Lilitu will be messing with the enemy’s positioning, Coppelius can run schemes or be a general purpose model, dopplegagner can fill whatever niche you need her too, and the Daydreams will be pushing your other models around with lead nightmare.

Bundle 4:
Solo Zoraida ($86)

Zoraida is stuck in tier 2 because she is a bit on the weaker side of the Neverborn crews and harder to have success with at a more competitive level.

  • The Swamp Hag (Zoraida Box) – $50
  • McTavish (Gremlin box) – $18
  • Waldgeist – $11

(1)Zoraida — 7ss
+Tarot Reading – 2ss
+On Wings Of Darkness – 1ss
+Hexed Among You – 1ss
(2)Voodoo Doll – 3ss
(3)Bad Juju – 8ss
+Eternal Fiend – 2ss
(4)McTavish – 10ss
(5)Silurid – 7ss
(6)Silurid – 7ss
(7)Waldgeist – 6ss

Bad Juju with Eternal Fiend allows you to run him into the opponents face to tie up his models for a turn or two and when they do finally “kill” him, he comes back to life. This allows you to really slow your opponent down (especially if a waldgeist charges in soon after Juju dies) and prevents them from getting somewhere specific on the board. In the meantime, McTavish will be dealing some pretty nasty range damage over and over because Zoraida will be obeying him with her ap early on. Any big threats to McTavish or Zoraida can be dealt with through obeys and the Voodoo doll. Finally, the two silurids will be taking care of all you scheme runner needs for the game.

Tier 3
Masters: Collodi, Lucius

Bundle 1: Solo Collodi ($90)

Collodi makes tier 3 since the list takes several out of faction models that you won’t be using in your other Neverborn crews.

  • Master of Puppets (Collodi Box) – $50
  • Arcane Effigy (Arcanist model) – $11
  • Brutal Effigy (Guild model) – $11
  • Lazarus (Outcast model) – $18
  • Widow Weaver – $11

(1)Collodi — 6ss
+Strum The Threads – 1ss
+Bag Of Props – 1ss
+Threads Of Fate – 1ss
(2)Marionette – 3ss
(3)Marionette – 3ss
(4)Marionette – 3ss
(5)Marionette – 3ss
(6)Arcane Effigy – 4ss
(7)Brutal Effigy – 4ss
(8)Lazarus – 11ss
+Retribution’s Eye – 1ss
(9)Wicked Doll – 4ss
(10)Widow Weaver – 8ss

The goal of this crew is to turn Collodi into a 5ap killing machine. This does require a little bit of setup to get the “engine” online. The marionettes typically go early in the turn and spend their ap to walk and focus/go defensive. Then the arcane and brutal effigy buff Collodi with their 0 actions (arcane gives Collodi burning on attacks and brutal allows Collodi to heal when he does damage). Once this is all setup, Collodi will take 2 damage to go fast (from Strum The Threads) and proceed to take focused attacks (stealing focus from the marionettes) which should heal him back up to full wounds. Collodi’s 5th ap is gained from Lazarus using his (0) Assimilate action to copy My Will and then using it back on Collodi to take an action. The rest of the crew is either running schemes, debuffing targets for Collodi to kill, or in Lazarus’ case assisting in the killing of enemies.

Bundle 2:
Solo Lucius ($101)

Lucius falls into tier 3 for a couple of reasons. The first problem is that he is arguably the worst master in the game and I wouldn’t recommend him to anybody starting up the Neverborn faction. The second problem is his box is primarily a Guild box which leaves you with a less then idea start for the crew. In order to make up for this, I’ve included a second Neverborn master box (Lynch) in the bundle. That said, Lynch gains literally nothing from the Lucius box so this isn’t a two master bundle.

  • Bound By Law (Lucius Box) – $50
  • Dark Debts (Lynch Box) – $40
  • Doppleganger – $11

(1)Lucius — 7ss
+Surprisingly Loyal – 1ss
+Secret Assets – 2ss
+On Wings Of Darkness – 1ss
(2)The Scribe – 2ss
(3)Doppleganger – 7ss
+The Mimic’s Blessing – 1ss
(4)Guild Lawyer – 6ss
(5)Guild Lawyer – 6ss
(6)The Illuminated – 7ss
(7)The Illuminated – 7ss
(8)The Illuminated – 7ss

Lucius will be spending most of his turns either obeying the illuminated to take extra actions while buffing them with his Elite Training aura, attacking beater models to debuff them with the Red Tape condition, or shifting models around/dropping scheme markers with What Lackeys Are For. The lawyers are fine general purpose models that can run schemes or debuff enemies, the Illuminated are you damage dealers and point holders, and the doppleganger fills the role you need her too.


So overall I think the Neverborn have plenty of decent starting options for most masters and some great ones for a couple of masters.

So think you have some better lists then the ones I presented? Then post them here and give me the breakdown on why they are better. If I like them then I’ll add them to the list and change the current option.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article. Also if you really enjoy my work, check out the S&S podcast here and my new Patreon site here.