Age of Sigmar Fourth Edition Points Overview – Death

Goonhammer has received some of the launch content, via Games Workshop, to create this review and overview. Over the coming weeks, and with the benefit of having played dozens of games, we will be having faction experts provide insight into how they are building and running lists with these factions. For this overview we’re looking at what stands out for the faction, how much has changed, and how we would approach dealing with some of the common threats that are present in all wargames.


Credit: Swiftblade

We can’t talk about Death without talking about Nagash. In the new edition Nagash is really four separate warscrolls each locked into the Nighthaunt, Flesh-eater Courts, Soulblight Gravelords, and Ossiarch Bonereapers. While he starts at 880 points in each faction it’s entirely possible that his points value could change in e.g. Nighthaunt compared to Flesh-eater Courts as the game is balanced and adjusted. As a nine cast wizard that can continue to cast after a miscast he is really good at bringing manifestations on the field. Between Hand of Dust, a 5+ Ward, and being keyworded to each death faction (so he can counts as an Ossiarch Bonereapers Hero for relentless discipline abilities) most death players are going to want to play around with him and I’d expect to see him come out early in this edition.


More Nighthaunt

From a points perspective Nighthaunt are a tale of two outcomes. First, a big positive is that many of the commonly taken non-hero units like Chainrasps (100) or Spirit Hosts (130) haven’t seen a change in points like other factions have seen. Hexwraiths (160)might hit and wound on 4s but they have an extra health and do two damage on the charge. Even powerful units like The Black Coach (260) have stayed the same point value. Dreadscythe Harridans (150) remain the same. Pyregheists (130) are big winners from a points perspective as well.

On the other hand, some of the hero units have seen massive increases in points. The Knight of Shrouds (140), Scriptor Mortis (140), Reikenor the Grimhailer (210) and Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed (180) have all seen big points increases. Others, like Kurdoss Valentian (200) or Lady Olynder (300) have seen more modest increases in points.

Overall, and compared to some of the other factions that saw increases in unit and hero points, Nighthaunt feel like they have benefited a lot in this edition now that points have come out. A lot of the “anti” weapons increase rend making them useless and Nighthaunt had already felt a strong resurgence when some units received 2″ reach. Compared to what you played last edition there will feel like there are more Nighthaunt on the field and changes to the army mean they won’t all be bunched up against a Kruleghast Cruciator (150).

At the present pointing you’re going to see a lot of Black Coaches, Hexwraiths, and reinforced units of Harridans and Reapers with one or two heroes picked for a specific buff or control debuff. Lady Olynder feels efficient considering her impact on control scores, and the number of bodies you can put on other points and the lower cost of units means that including Nagash doesn’t leave you without bodies.

Flesh-Eater Courts

Flesh-Eater Courts heroes
Flesh-Eater Courts heroes. Credit: chimp

So here is some good news – points are very similar to what you currently have with most units being within 10-20 points of the current values. Even better, both versions of the Ghoul King on (Royal Terrorgheist/ Royal Zombie Dragon) are 380 points and Ushoran (470) didn’t receive as big an increase as some other unique Mortarchs.

Best of all who covet Noble Deed Points, the Abhorrant Cardinal (110) saw a decrease in points. His Rousing Oration is available in any hero phase to add Noble deed points to activate all of the fun abilities. One of the biggest issues is going to be managing drops as  heroes like the Marrowscroll Herald (120) and the Royal Decapitator (110) are attractively priced as vessels to hold noble deed points for recursion – though with its built in defensive ability we imagine the Marrowscroll is going to win out most of the time.

So who are your heroes bringing back? Serfs like Crypt Ghouls (170) saw a slight increase but pack 20 bodies, Cryptguard (120) are cheap and die quickly with a 6+ save, and Royal Beastflayers (120) are all attractively pointed damage sponges that can get on objectives and waste enemy attacks as your heroes stack up noble deed points. Your basic Ghoul is still probably the best bang for your buck serf if you’re pursuing them for damage, but Cryptguard are much better at protecting your heroes now and Beastflayers retain a suit of anti-monster abilities for which your mileage may vary. Knights like the Morbheg Knights (170), Crypt Horrors (150), and Crypt Flayers (170) are also pointed in a tight range as well. With Morbheg Knights up to 4 wounds and a better save and damage output than the other Knights, they seem to be comfortably on top.

It’s a little hard to pick out a set of “losers” from this crowd as they are pointed compared to some other factions. Crypt Flayers are likely going to lose out because of the smaller objectives when being teleported by an Abhorrant Gorewarden (160).

Overall the level of pointing on these models is pretty good considering some of the increases we’ve seen in other factions. Probably the best thing is that if you spent a few months putting together a Flesh-Eater Courts army the construction and points haven’t changed too much invalidating all of your hard work.

Ossiarch Bonereapers

Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis and leader of the Ossiarch Bonereapers. Credit: Magos Sockbert
Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis and leader of the Ossiarch Bonereapers. Credit: Magos Sockbert

The most elite of Nagash’s forces have seen points increases to multiple units. A precious few, like Kavalos Deathriders (180), Necropolis Stalkers (180), or Immortis Guard (200) have seen a points decrease. Having staple units like Mortek Guard (130) and Katakros (500) dodging an increase feels like a minor victory.

One big winner is the Teratic Cohort (140), part of the unreleased Briar and Bone set announced in March. With the elite prices that everyone else in the faction has getting a unit that can deepstrike for this low of a price should help out on several maps.

There are more losers than winners overall with Morghast Harbingers (270), Gothizzar Harvester (230), and Morghast Archai (270) seeing a big increase. With a Battle Formation that allows “up to 3” Morteck Crawlers (280) get +1 to hit I know some people wanted to run them en masse but you’re only 40 points away from taking big daddy Nagash and who is going to do more work?

Deathriders and Mortek Guard feel like they should be a big part of any list just to have bodies on the field with a few of the expensive units. Another advantage that Ossiarch Bonereapers have is they can easily be made to fit into a low drop army allowing you to dictate the pace of the game.

Soulblight Gravelords

Slaves to Darkness vs. Soulblight Gravelords. Credit: SRM and Oscar Lars

Soulblight are a popular army that were near the top of the meta multiple times in third edition. In an edition change that have seen points go up for many factions you can expect most units to have gone up 10-30 points with some notable increases to certain units. Once you dig a little deeper many of the units that received a decrease in points also have a significantly worse warscroll.

Despite going up in points Black Knights (160) come out as winners because they’ve gained an extra wound and only went up 30 points. Fell Bats (90) also feel like winner as a screening unit that can cheaply go after manifestations. Mostly, you’re having units that received points decreases having worse warscrolls. Deathrattle Skeletons (100) lost some power but are a cheap unit has a purpose. Graveguard (140) are slightly cheaper but their merging of equipment options has resulted in them being stuck with the loadout nobody ever used and their damage is cut in half. Dire Wolves (140) might still have two wounds but feel like a loser since they’re stuck at 1 control. Mannfred Von Carstein (410) has a completely different warscroll.

Units with the biggest points increases include the Vyrkos Blood-born (150), Cado Ezechiar (180), Sekhar (260), and Radukar the Beast (350) that feel just a little too expensive for what they do when you’re looking for points to make up for other increases.

Fans of the old Kastelai playstyle should take heart that Blood Knights (230) are much the same as they ever were, and the perennial Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (400) still feels competitive, especially with Prince Vhordrai (480) going up a good chunk.

Should Soulblight players despair? Maybe, but most of these changes feel pretty in line with what other armies have received. You’re still able to build an army using models that you were playing at the end of third with a unit or two less on the field. Even with larger objectives in third edition players were marching blocks of zombies to physically prevent the other player from being able to contest the point. That’s still going to be a viable strategy with the smaller physical profile of objectives.

Putting It Together

As factions compete for Nagash’s favor the initial combination of points and rules looks positive for Flesh-eater Courts and Nighthaunt and less so for Soulblight Gravelords and Ossiarch Bonereapers. However, death armies have a large number of regiments of renown to compensate for a weakness or take advantage of a hole in the meta.

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