Chaos Space Marines Points Update: The Goonhammer Hot Take

Chaos players are chomping at the bit to start using their new Codex, and as is now standard the updated points for the book have arrived on Warhammer Community, just ahead of the street date on Saturday. What does this mean for servants of the Dark Gods? Let’s find out.

If you need a reminder as to what the Chaos Space Marines can do with the new Codex, check out our review here.

The Changes

To our mild annoyance, the changes in the latest Munitorum Field Manual are shown relative to the Codex itself rather than the last Field Manual. Most people (including us) have been testing lists based on the previous Field Manual points, so we’ve gone through and pulled out what the actual changes from that are, which fall out as follows:

  • Abaddon -15pts
  • Accursed Cultists -20/40pts
  • Chaos Bikers -5/10pts
  • Chaos Lord -5pts
  • Chosen -5/10pts
  • Fellgor Beastmen -10pts
  • Forgefiend -10pts
  • Master of Possession -10pts
  • Maulerfiend -10pts
  • Obliterators -10pts (and now capped at two models)
  • Possessed -5/10pts
  • Noise Marines/Lucius confirmed unchanged in points.

In addition, all the Pactbound Zealots Enhancements keep their Codex costs of 15pts rather than their old Index costs, and while they have also changed a bit, that gives a delta of:

  • Eye of Tzeentch -25pts
  • Orbs of Unlife -10pts
  • Talisman of Burning Blood -5pts

The good news for Chaos players is that these are all reductions, so most lists are going to have a few more points to play with to squeeze in an extra Enhancement or some Cultists. This is also an area where looking at the last MFM really matters, since a number of listed “drops” in this new update aren’t, and some listed increases are actually drops! Some of these changes are obviously going to matter more than others though, so let’s dig in deeper.

The Impact


Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Abaddon being cheaper is obviously great – even though he no longer buffs up Cultists or gets multi-Mark bonanza in Pactbound, he still has one of the most impactful auras in the game, is a lethal killer in his own right, and saw a bunch of the stuff he works well with go down as well. If you want to run a gunline with lots of Forgefiends and Obliterators you’re now getting a big enough discount for a whole additional scoring unit, while the new option of running Abaddon and Chosen as a nightmare brawler unit is more attractive as well. Good stuff.

Accursed Cultists

The biggest change of the lot, and a very welcome one. The previous price on Accursed Cultists was a legacy of how well they combo’d with the Index for overwhelming pressure builds, and with the removal of their respawn and interaction with Abaddon, was just too much. At the new price you might consider one block with a Dark Commune as some volume shock troops, and there could be a bit of utility in a small unit just as screening Scouts, especially in a pressure-heavy metagame. Hell, maybe a T5 brick with Bile is now worth at least looking at. You could also try them in Renegade Raiders, where you can give a Leader Scout to go with them, but they’re probably a decent way down the queue.

Finally, of course, if you want to do a Chaos Cult meme list, you functionally now have 120pts more to work with. Love that for you. This better not awaken anything in the metagame.

Chaos Bikers

Chaos Bikers received a bit of a side-grade in the new Codex, losing their ability to leave the table and outflank in favor of getting +1 Strength for their melee attacks on the charge, changing their roles a bit. They’ve received a small point drop – 5 points for three models/10 for six – making them a cheap option for a fast unit which can capture objectives/do actions early and still scrap when it needs to. I suspect there’s still a place for Chaos Bikers in modern lists as they both have solid benefits in Renegade Raiders and they’re very cheap for their speed, output, and durability.

Chaos Lord

Chaos Lords and Chosen in Rhinos – still good, now slightly better.

Chaos Lord with Jump Pack

We now have an official cost for this unit. And at 90 points, he’s cheaper than he was in the Codex, which is a good thing. Raptors need all the help they can get from a damage output standpoint.


Chaos Lords and Chosen in Rhinos – still still good, still now slightly better.

Fellgor Beastmen

Being able to arrive from Strategic Reserves turn one does provide a small niche for exactly one unit of these, and being cheaper makes that more likely to happen, though 85pts is probably still too many points for that to be really worth it. It would be less surprising if someone found a place for a unit now though.


Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

I mean what do you want from us here – these have been okay to great all Edition, every time they go down in price it’s good news for Chaos. This definitely helps Soulforged specifically, but basically any Chaos Space Marine list can run these, so gets a few points back. The reason for the drop here is that they haven’t been seen in lists recently, and the new changes to both Pacts and Marks in Pactbound Zealots make them a little less useful (and more likely to blow themselves up before they shoot). That said, this is bad news for Meganobz.

Master of Possession

Definitely needed a points drop after losing the Feel No Pain in the Codex, and now in a Thousand Sons-heavy metagame it feels like you could still go with the old standby of swapping in one instead of a Lord for a Chosen unit, particularly if you need to save a few points.


The Maulerfiend just saw a 10-point drop in the last MFM, and now has another one in this new update, dropping to 130 points. Someone at Games Workshop really wants these guys to see play, and I don’t blame them. At 130 points the Maulerfiend is now priced to move, and deserves heavy consideration in Soulforged Warpack lists, where its combination of speed, durability, and the number of attacks goes well with it suddenly being the same cost as a Predator or Helbrute. If anything, this is a devastating blow to the Helbrute, who at 130 points now looks a bit overcosted. Expect to start seeing these guys on the table, and often.


Chaos Space Marines Obliterators
Chaos Space Marines Obliterators. Credits: That Gobbo

If you want to build a gunline these are still a nice tool for it, and Abaddon going down as well only makes that more appealing. The loss of four-model units does take away an option for buff stacking, but you saw plenty of these in 2s anyway, so cheaper is good news. They also provide a decent tool against Green Tide lists – their D2 Blast option actually ends up with more shots than their D1 mode into 20-model horde units, and helps bypass a Painboy if you need it.


Possessed took a pair of brutal hits in the new codex, losing both the 6+ Feel No Pain from the Master of Possession and having their ability to throw out Devastating Wounds limited to once per game. The good news is they saw a small point drop, coming down 1 point per model. That’s not going to make you feel a whole lot better about running ten of them, but it does provide some consolation and they’re still plenty nasty as melee threats generally – being able to throw out AP-2 attacks with them in Renegade Raiders is a big help (especially as a Master of Possession to hold the Scout Enhancement also got cheaper).

Pactbound Enhancements

Of these, the Talisman of Burning Blood already saw some use, so being cheaper is free real estate. Eye of Tzeentch gets a gigantic drop but is also worse in its new incarnation and ends up fairly…eh. Where you might get value on this is on a unit with an icon that you don’t care about that much, so you could fish with a re-roll – but are you actually running any Tzeentch units you want to Lead? Feels like too many hoops to jump through. Finally, the Orbs of Unlife got a lot worse, and if this effect was going to see serious use it would have already. Nurgle is for shooting units.


I mean, it’s all discounts – so yeah it’s good. There’s a decent mix of stuff here that gives you just a few more points to play with in every list and some drops on units where, post Codex, they were a little hard to justify. It probably doesn’t get all of the latter into lists, but might help them be role players in specific detachments.

Chaos Space Marines weren’t bad following the Q1 nerfs, but they weren’t in a great place either, and this week’s Competitive Innovations doesn’t paint a picture of them as major players in the current meta. These drops buy them a little extra breathing room to build with and broaden their pool of playable units – though with the current focus on horde pressure lists we’re likely to see Vindicators and Predator Annihilators in high counts all the same.

We’re excited to see this new book hit the metagame soon, so make sure to stay tuned to Goonhammer for all the hot analysis once the results flow in. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, hit us up at