Start Competing: Disciples of Tzeentch Tactics

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Do you feel stuck in your ways? Do you ever desire untapped arcane power? Does your ambition know no bounds but your boss is a jerk and keeps holding you back? Well say goodbye to the old boss and join a new boss, Tzeentch the Changer of Ways and The Architect of Fate is here and he loves you. At least, as long as you’re useful to him. If you’re willing to take the risks then come on and join your local magical cult. Don’t mind the extra limb growing out of your chest, it’s surprisingly useful.

 

Table of Contents

Faction Overview

Tzeentch is famous for the magic he grants in his followers and his overly complicated schemes that often blow up in his face (or do they?) and the army has mechanics to represent both of these aspects of the Changer of Ways on the table. The army is very ranged and magic-focused, with many mechanics that allow you to manipulate the battlefield and fate itself (dice) to your advantage. It can have a steep learning curve but it’s satisfying when a plan comes together.

Strengths

  • Some of the best casters in the game, with a lot of spell variety.
  • Access to a wide range of models over the history of the game, most of it in plastic. You can also dip into other chaos factions as allies.
  • Lots of ranged attacks with rend.
  • Play mind games with your opponent.

Weaknesses

  • Your units are pretty fragile, with some exceptions they have pretty below average saves. If you let your opponent break the distance between you they wont stand up in a straight up fight.
  • Lot of mechanics to track. The army is powerful but you have to know how to rig things in your favor.
  • You might get known as “that guy”, as Tzeentch is the current meta leader.
  • The most competitive lists mean painting up lots of horrors. I hope you like batch painting!

 

Competitive Rating

Top-Tier.

Bluntly put, Tzeentch is the top-tier army right now. Granted there are some caveats, as of this writing COVID-19 has put a moratorium on all major events, so the current book only got a very brief window to shine. Games Workshop put out a huge FAQ 2 weeks after it absolutely swept CanCon and Warhammer Open in January of 2020 so we didn’t get a ton of data to work with post-nerf. Even with the nerf though the army remains powerful. It came out at the ideal time, when Ossiarch Bonereapers looked like the new meta, and they came on the scene with a lot of ranged attacks with rend and mortal wounds, almost as if specifically designed to counter it.

Even outside of that particular match-up, ranged attacks are powerful in Age of Sigmar, and more rend and mortal wounds will help take down just about anything. The only thing holding you back is you need to sometimes be clever with the army’s special rules, as it can be a fragile force if you don’t.

 

Allegiance Abilities

Masters of Destiny

The most important ability you have access to. At the start of the game roll nine dice and set them aside. These are your “Destiny Dice” and they can be substituted for just about any d6 or 2d6 roll in the game. Specifically:

  • Casting rolls
  • Unbinding rolls
  • Dispelling rolls
  • Run rolls
  • Charge rolls
  • Hit rolls
  • Wound rolls
  • Save rolls
  • Any roll that determines the Damage characteristic of a missile or melee weapon
  • Battleshock tests

A couple of rules you should also be aware of:

  1. If the roll involves 2d6, such as casting or charge rolls you must burn 2 Destiny Dice.
  2. For the most part, these rolls are not modified. If you use a die to get a 6 on a to hit roll, its a 6, modifiers be damned, except:
    1. The Corollary: As of the current FAQ, 2 rolls are able to be modified: Armor saves are still affected by rend, and battleshock tests are still affected by models lost except:
      1. The Corollary of the Corollary: For Horrors, which regain models on a natural 1, a 1 on Destiny Dice still counts as a 1.

Got it? Good.

You have to utilize these as a precious resource. There’s very few ways to regain Destiny Dice throughout the game so you gotta be smart with how you use them. It fickle because you have to work with what you rolled as well. A bunch of 5s and 6s are almost always great in any situation. 1s and 2s are good for your Battleshock tests, 1s on Horrors especially. 3s and 4s are a bit tougher to manage. If you really need to get a spell off or if it is sufficient for a damage characteristic roll go for it, always be thinking of times you can use it. Sometimes, you have to make your own fate.

It’s also worth noting the psychological aspect it can have on your opponent. It can make them second guess you if you can take control of dice rolls at a whim. Make them question if they really wanna attack just yet if you have the power to deflect a critical roll.

Locus of Change

-1 to Hit a friendly TZEENTCH DAEMON in melee if it is wholly within 12″ of a TZEENTCH DAEMON HERO. Not too fancy but damned appreciated. Tzeentch units have pretty terrible saves on average so giving them that extra layer of protection helps filter out blows.

From the Crystal Labyrinth

Like other Chaos mono-god factions, Tzeentch’s followers can summon Daemons from the Realms of Chaos by completing a certain goal related to that god’s portfolio. In Tzeentch’s case, it’s casting magic. For each spell successfully cast (that is, not unbound) you gain one fate point. It doesn’t matter if you or your opponent did it, to Tzeentch all that matters is destabilizing the material realm. You’re not his only concern.

Once per turn at the end of your movement phase you can “Cash in” your fate points to summon a unit of Daemons. The value is subtracted from your total (So you do keep what is left over)

DISCIPLES OF TZEENTCH UNITFATE POINT
COST
1 Lord of Change30
1 Fateskimmer, Herald of Tzeentch
on Burning Chariot
24
10 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch20
1 Burning Chariot of Tzeentch18
3 Flamers of Tzeentch18
1 Changecaster, Herald of Tzeentch12
1 Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch12
1 Fluxmaster, Herald of Tzeentch
on Disc
12
10 Blue Horrors of Tzeentch10
10 Brimstone Horrors of Tzeentch10
3 Screamers of Tzeentch10

Now you might be looking at that Lord of Change and salivating. Well sorry, this isn’t old Slaanesh. Truth is Tzeentch’s mechanic is kinda unfortunate in that it punishes you for unbinding opponent’s spells and unless youre playing against something like Seraphon or Legions of Nagash your opponent wont be flinging nearly as many spells as you so the number just doesn’t get very high. This is more a way to call in some more cannon fodder to tarpit your opponent, unless the games really big and a lot of magic is going on.

Agendas

A unique mechanic to Disciples of Tzeentch. Each turn you may select an agenda from a list, you must tell your opponent which one you’re trying to complete. If you complete the agenda, the unit who completed it recieves a boon, which is a permanent buff for the rest of the game. You can only complete an agenda once per game, and a unit cannot have more than one boon at a time (if they gain a new one it overwrites the only one).

There’s no penalty for not completing one, and the rules say you can only complete each one once. Meaning if you try and fail, you can attempt again next turn.

Mass Conjuration

Choose a Tzeentch Wizard, if that Wizard can cast 2 spells in the same turn with an unmodified 9+ on the casting roll the wizard receives a permanent +1 to casting rolls. Only a few units can actually complete this, since it requires the wizard to cast at least 2 spells per turn and getting an unmodified 9+ twice is about 7% odds. A Lord of Change is uniquely equipped to handle this one since their Mastery of Magic ability lets them manipulate the rolls to give much better odds.

Ninefold Dismantlement

Pick an enemy unit with 9 or more models. If you can destroy it before the end of the turn, the unit that destroyed it gets +1 to hit with melee weapons for the rest of the game. Pretty great on a melee hero or unit. Just make sure they get the last hit in.

Overthrow Leaders

Pick an enemy Hero or Monster with a wounds characteristic of 9 or higher. If you can destroy it by the end of the turn the unit that destroyed it gets +1 to their saves. Really great, and benefits anyone given your generally poor saves. Just make sure you can do it that turn, because your opponent is likely going to circle the wagon around that Hero to stop you from killing it.

Reckless Abandon

At the start of your charge phase, pick a friendly unit that is 9″ or more inches from an enemy unit. If you successfully get into charge range and end a half an inch from an enemy unit, that friendly unit gets +1 Attack to all melee weapons. This is insanely good on a melee-focused unit but if you studied Goonhammer’s Patented Charge Distance Odds Chart (Patent Pending) you know 9″ is pretty daunting

Seriously

So make sure to give yourself all the advantages you can. Give bonuses to charging, hell burn 2 destiny dice if it really matters. On an Ogroid Thaumaturge or unit of Tzaangors this will pay dividends.

 

Tides of Anarchy

If a friendly Tzeentch unit with 9 or more models seizes control of an objective previously held by your opponent at the beginning of the turn, then every model in that unit counts as 2 models when seizing control of an objective. This one is a lot less practical than the others, but its not worthless, it just requires the right niche. You need to get this off early enough in the game when a unit is at full strength, but your opponent will be too, making them harder to dislodge. If you wait too long, the ability to seize objectives matters little if you’re already ahead by a lot (or way behind). Keep an eye out for opportunities to use this, but don’t make it a priority. Any of the other Agendas will pay off better.

 

Covens

Like most every current Age of Sigmar book, Disciples of Tzeench has access to 6 subfactions, here they are called Covens and they come with the usual stipulations:

  • Battle Trait, something all units in your army gain
  • Command Ability to spend CP on
  • Command Trait which has to be taken as your choice of Command Trait if playing that Coven
  • Artefact of Power which has to be the first Artefact you take

No special characters are part of any coven in this book, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll get a benefit from a coven. Although there’s no strict limitations on what units you can take in each coven, 3 are geared toward Daemons and 3 toward Mortals, so if you use a coven be sure to consider what kind of force you’re trying to run.

Daemon Covens

The Eternal Conflagaration

  • Coven Ability: Twisters of Immateriality – Improve Rend characteristic of Warpflame, Billowing Warpflame and Magical Flame attacks by 1. Short version is these are the ranged attacks of Flamers, Exalted Flamers, Flaming Chariots and Horrors. This is basically why you’re taking the coven as more rend will melt opponents quickly, especially if you dont have to get in melee to do it A+
  • Command Ability: Infernos of Mutation – Use this before attacking with any of the attacks affected by Twisters of Immateriality. If you get an unmodified 6 on any of the rolls, the targeted unit has -2 Bravery until the end of the turn. This would be pretty solid in any other army but in a Tzeentch army, if you absolutely positively need it to go off, you can burn a Destiny Die making it a bit more useful when you really need it. B+
  • Command Trait: Coruscating Flames – -1 to hit for a daemon unit wholly within 12″ of the general with ranged attacks. Combines pretty well with Locus of Change so you get -1 to hit in all situations. The bubble is kind of small so you gotta be smart with it but anything to protect your soft boys is nice. B Silks – The aura is a lot bigger if your general is a Lord of Change (which it probably will be)
  • Artefact of Power: Shroud of Warpflame – Anytime you assign a wound or mortal wound inflicted by a melee weapon to the wielder, roll a die. On a 3+, deal a wound to the one who attacked. You can’t burn a Destiny Die but 3+ isn’t terrible odds. However anything you have to take damage to use has to be used carefully and it has to be melee combat which Tzeentch is typicall ill suited for so you probably won’t get as much use out of this as you’d like. Possibly OK on an Ogroid Thaumaturge C

The Eternal Conflagaration is your best choice of all six covens. It’s the one used on all the tourney lists and for good reason. Additional rend on the majority of your army’s ranged attacks with no strings attacked is an amazing deal and even with a so-so artefact the rest of it isn’t terrible. Not much more to say, it turns your army of daemons into a blender so if you want to play with daemons this is probably your meal ticket. If you want to play with Mortals, keep reading.

The Host Duplicitious

  • Coven Ability: Ranks of Mischievous Mirage – Enemy units cannot retreat when locked in combat with a friendly unit. Horrors are pretty tanky so this ability seems geared toward using them as a tarpit while the rest of your army pelts them. It’s not an illegitimate strategy but for an army wide ability it only helps some specific units C
  • Command Ability: Impossible to Anticipate – Once per battle, when a unit of Horrors is wiped out, roll a die on a 5+ you can bring back the unit at full strength wholly within 12″ of a friendly Hero, but more than 9″ away from the enemy. This is just too risky to bank a CP on, especially when you only get one shot per game. Before you get any clever ideas, no you cannot use a Destiny Die to help the roll. If it helps you in a time of need great but Tzeentch will probably just laugh at you for having hope. D
  • Command Trait: Will of the Phantom Lord – Reroll casting and unbinding rolls within 12″ of the general. This is actually very good! Nothing sucks more than flubbing a casting roll so this will give you another shot. A-
  • Artefact of Power: Brand of the Split Daemon – +1 save to the bearer. Short, simple and apreciated. As stated many times most Tzeentch heroes have terrible saves so just about anyone can benefit from this A

This one is kind of all over the place. There doesn’t seem to be any particularly great synergy going on here and the coven and command abilities are awful. The artefact and command trait are quite good though so it’s not totally without merit.

The Hosts Arcanum

  • Coven Ability: Thieves of All Things Arcane – On each odd-numbered round, once per turn you can automatically unbind a spell instead of rolling. Pretty damn useful, a guaranteed unbinding is valuable. Do note that you probably shouldn’t use it with a Lord of Change if you want to steal the spell, since that requires a 9+ and this counts as no roll at all. B
  • Command Ability: Entourage of Sky-Sharks – Choose a unit of Screamers within 12″ of a Hero. Juice them up with +1 save and +1 rend until the end of the turn. Not bad, Screamers are pretty good now so load up on a few B-
  • Command Trait: Spell Hunters – Lets D3 units move 6″ before the first turn. Scout is always useful, whether its to get closer to your opponent for a turn 1 charge or to reposition yourself to psych your opponent out. Just note this is done before rolling for priority, so you could easily thrust your units 6″ out only to go second and leave them open to a barrage. B+
  • Artefact of Power: Fanged Circlet – Summon a unit of 6 screamers within 9″ of the bearer once per battle. It’s once per battle but free units is free units. B-

This is a solidly “OK” faction that in a book without Duplicitious Host would probably look a lot better. Screamers are better than they used to be and this faction makes them terrors. Guaranteed dispelling and scout rounds out the abilities with an all-around decent daemonhost.

Mortal Covens

The Cult of the Transient Form

  • Coven Ability: The Change-gift – Whenever a Kairic Acolyte dies in the combat phase, roll a die. On 2-5 it attacks once again before dying. On a 6, choose a Tzaangor unit within 9″ and add a model to it before removing the dead model. This is pretty solid. An extra attack on death is nice, and keep a Tzaangor unit nearby so you have somewhere to put that newly transformed acolyte. Overall though it’s a bit iffy, you rarely want your kairic acolytes in combat as thats not their strength, but this is nice if they get in there despite your best intentions. B-
  • Command Ability: Fate of Transmutation – Choose a unit of Kairic Acolytes, until your next Hero Phase add 1 to The Change-gift rules. Timed right this can be very useful. Essentially you can never fail to at least get a counter-attack in, and you get a free tzaangor 1/3rd of the time. This requires some setup though so use it on a unit you know is pretty much likely to get decimated within the turn before popping this off B-
  • Command Trait: Defiant in Their Pursuit – Add 2 bravery to units wholly within 12″ of the General. Tzeentch mortals have pretty mediocre Bravery so you could get worse. C
  • Relic of Power: Chaotica Amulet – +1 wound for the bearer. Meh. C

Decent all-around mortal faction. It allows both Tzaangors and Kairic Acolytes to have a place but the relics leave a lot to be desired. Keep your Tzaangors and Acolytes together so you an get the most out of the coven ability.

The Pyrofane Cult

  • Coven Ability: The Arrows of Tzeentch – Add +1 to Kairic acolytes shooting attacks (Making them a 3+ before other modifiers). This is already good but to add to that, at the end of the shooting phase, roll a die for each enemy unit that suffered a wound from Sorcerous Bolts. On a 5+ deal D3 mortal wounds. Incredible. Remember you can split fire so try and hit every unit you can, have a model or two fire at something else if it helps guarantee everything gets tapped at least once. The more dice you can roll the more likely you get a mortal wound. A
  • Command Ability: Immolate – Pick a unit of Kairic Acolytes wholly 12″ within a Hero. That unit can reroll all wound rolls for their ranged attacks until the end of the turn. This combos very well with Arrows of Tzeentch and a 3+ to wound is already pretty nasty. This will all but guarantee your hits go through. A
  • Command Trait: Shrounded in Unnatural Flame – -1 to ranged attacks to hit the general. This does stack with Look Out, Sir which can make them basically untouchable. Good stuff B+
  • Artefact of Power: Chainfire Amulet – If a ranged attack from the bearer hits on an unmodified 6, deal D3 mortal wounds instead. Make sure to give this to something with a lot of ranged firepower, like a Lord of Change. If you absolutely positively have to make sure something dies, burn a Destiny Die to get that 6. Also good stuff. B

Solid faction all around. If you want to play with Mortals I think this is the place to go. If Daemons weren’t so good I think this would see a lot more play but these guys aren’t slouches. If you want to play this faction you want to jam your battlelines full of Kairic Acolytes, but keep them in the back. You want a shield wall to keep things from getting too close.

Guild of Summoners

  • Coven Ability: Scions of the Exiled – Normally a Lord of Change costs a whopping 30 fate points to summon. With this coven it’s 9 for the first one, 18 for the second, 27 for the third and 30 from then on. This sounds really good on paper but then you start doing some math in your head. How many Lords of Change are you realistically going to get out of this? One is basically guaranteed but 2…maybe? After that you can basically forget it, maybe if you’re playing another Tzeentch player so spells are firing off constantly but you’re giving up a lot to play this coven. And that’s before the cost in actual real world money comes into play… stick to something more practical D
  • Command Ability: Will of the Arcane Lords – Pick a Wizard within 9″ of a Hero or 18″ of your General. Add 1 to their casting rolls for the turn. Solid, especially since most of your wizards are Heroes. Naturally you can only affect a Hero with this once per turn so no multiple buffs. B+
  • Command Trait: Prophet of the Ostensible – Roll a die on your Hero phase. On a 4+ get a command point. More Command Points are always good. B+
  • Artefact of Power: Brimstone Familiar – Do not take battleshock tests for units within 12″ of the bearer. This is real good, Tzeentch mortals have atrocious Bravery scores so being able to circumvent this is powerful. Try and keep the bearer in a good place to hit as many as possible. B+

Kind of a gimmick coven. The Coven ability just isn’t that great. Lord of Changes are so good you won’t mind just adding them to your list normally (in fact, once we get to the battalions you kinda have to) but its somewhat offset by a collection of decent goodies attached to it. I wouldn’t really run this unless you have a bunch of Lord of Changes you want to use and are playing a BIG game to get the Fate Points.

Horrors of Tzeentch. Credit: Beanith

 

Artefacts

Artefacts and Command Traits are both divided into 3 tables: MORTAL, ARCANITE and DAEMON. Arcanite is a sort of in-between. Mortals are Arcanites, Tzaangors are Arcanites but not Mortals (or Daemons) and Daemons are never Arcanites.

Mortal Artefacts

  • Wicked Shard – Pick a melee weapon on a model, reroll all wound rolls for that weapons attacks. Simple and efficient, slap it on an ogroid thaumaturge. A-
  • Changeblade – Pick a melee weapon on the bearer, if that weapon kills an enemy Hero, you get a Chaos Spawn. Free units is nice but it’s rare you’ll get to use this more than once or twice a game C
  • Nexus Staff – Pick an endless spell within 9″ of the bearer, it’s automatically dispelled. This is going to be heavily dependent on whether your opponent brings Endless Spells. Rules as Written you don’t have to choose an Artefact until after set up, but in a tournament setting you will have to declare your relic and general on your list 99% of the time making this kind of an iffy proposition. It’s probably a B- if you can see your opponent’s list first, but a C- if you can’t.
  • Timeslip Pendant – Once per battle, you can attack twice in the combat phase. Even at once per battle this can be useful in the clutch when you really need a hero or monster dead B
  • Daemonheart – Once per battle you can pick an enemy unit at the start of the combat phase and Deal D3 Mortal wounds. Much like Timeslip Pendant it can come in in the clutch to tap a Monster or Hero you’re not sure you’ll kill this round of combat. You only get one shot so make it count. B
  • Paradoxical Shield – A troll-y artefact and a personal favorite of mine. It adds +2 to saves but you must reroll successful saves for the bearer. Since your Hero will now probably have a 3+ or even a 2+ those are pretty good odds but youre still playing a dangerous game. As the rules seem to imply you can use a destiny dice if you don’t want to risk it, as Destiny Dice can never be rerolled. B

Arcanite Artefacts

  • Ambition’s End –  Once per game, pick an enemy wizard within 1″, deal D3 Mortal wounds to them and they cannot unbind any spells for the next turn. Only once per game and requires you to get close. There’s better artefacts for your melee focused heroes C
  • Secret Eater – Attach to a bearer’s weapon. If you roll an unmodified 6 you can roll a die and get another Destiny Die. Chances to get new Destiny Dice are few and far between so you should scoop these up when you can. A
  • Spiteful Shield – If an opponent rolls an unmodified 6 to hit the bearer, deal 2 mortal wounds to the attacker. That hurts but relying on one of your heroes getting hit is pretty iffy proposition, much less getting a 6. C

Daemon Artefacts

These are divided into 2 tables. 6 Weapons and 3 non-weapon artefacts.

  • Warpfire Blade –  Pick a melee weapon, on an unmodified 6 to hit, deal 2 mortal wounds in edition to normal Damage. It’s ok, but you don’t have as many good melee heroes as mortals do. C
  • Sentient Weapon – If you roll an unmodified 6 with any melee weapon when attacking a target with an Artefact, that Artefact shatters. It’s just gone, and if its a weapon, the weapon reverts to normal. This is probably worth slapping on a herald on a disc to hone in and hunt down a hero with a dangerous artefact, you can always burn a Destiny Die to make sure it sticks A
  • Blade of Fate – Pick a melee weapon, if you roll an unmodified 6 you can replace a destiny die with it, effectively letting you replace a lesser die with a 6. This is pretty good for getting rid of those 3s and 4s but probably wont proc often enough to help you C+
  • Souleater – Pick a melee weapon, if any enemy Heroes are killed with that weapon, add +1 to that weapons attack characteristics. It’s ok but requires a bunch of Hero kills to get a lot out of it which you probably won’t be doing by stabbing them C
  • Phantasmal Weapon – Improve Rend Characteristic of all melee weapons by 1. Same issue as other melee artefacts B
  • Pyrofyre Stave – Pick a melee weapon, if it deals any wounds to an enemy wizard that wizard cannot unbind spells for the rest of the battle. A suprisingly useful harassment tool on something like a Herald on a disc, like the sentient weapon. One good hit and get out of there. B+

Non-Weapon Artefacts. Overall these are much, much better than the weapons and probably better off taking all of them instead of a weapon

  • Aura of Mutability – Reroll all wound rolls for all Daemons within 9″. Ouch. A-
  • Wellspring of Arcane Might – Reroll all casting and unbinding rolls for the bearer. This is obviously good on its surface, and can really help guarantee you get the Mass conjuration agenda to fire off. A
  • Aspect of Tzeentch – Each time you spend a Destiny Die, roll a Die. on a 5+ roll another die and add it to your Destiny Dice pool. A little random, but chances to get Destiny Dice back are rare. On average you’ll get 3 Destiny Dice refunded a game A-

 

Command Traits

Now realistically these will almost never see use, because Covens force a unique Command Trait on your character, but I’m going to record them for posterity, if for some reason you really want to do your own thing:

Arcanite Traits

Solid all around choices. If you actually get to pick one there isn’t really a bad one in the bunch.

  • Arch-Sorcerer – Your general knows 2 extra spells from the lore of fate bringing up to 3. Nice versatility, just make sure to put it on someone who can cast a lot of spells. B+
  • Nexus of Fate – At the beginning of your turn, roll a Die. You may replace a Destiny Die with that roll. Good for fishing out useless 3s and 4s. B
  • Magical Supremacy – Increase Unbinding range by 12″. This goes great on a Curseling, allowing him greater control over the board (42″ in all directions) and giving him more power to steal spells. Otherwise, give it to someone with a bonus to unbinding B
  • Boundless Mutation – In your hero phase, roll a die. On a 2+ heal D3 wounds. Your heroes are pretty soft and so this will help keep them alive B+
  • Cult Demagogue – If you roll doubles the spell automatically succeeds, no matter the casting value. If the spell is not unbound you get 2 fate points instead of 1. Not bad but probably won’t come in the clutch when you need it. C+
  • Arcane Sacrifice – Deal a single mortal wound to a unit within 3″ of the general. The general can increase spell range by 9″. This is really good for keeping your general out of harms way, just keep a sacrificial lamb near him for bloodletting. B-

Mortal Traits

All Mortals are Arcanites so this is redundant but its some extra ones for non-tzaangors

  • Nexus of Fate – Identical to the Arcanite version. I’m not sure why this is here, theres no Mortals who couldnt take the Arcanite version. B
  • Soulburn – On a hit roll of 6 with a melee weapon deal an additional mortal wound. OK on a beatstick but you got better traits C
  • Illusionist – Subtract 1 from hits at your general. Gives them a bit of extra protection and stacks with Look Out Sir B+

Daemon Traits

  • Arch-Sorcerer – Copy of the Arcanite Version B+
  • Nexus of Fate – Copy of the Arcanite Version B
  • Magical Supremacy – Copy of the Arcanite Version B
  • Daemonspark – Once per battle, gain 3 fate points. Might help you get those last few for a crucial summon but its only once per game C
  • Incorporeal Form – Ignore a spell on a 5+. Good if you cant successfully unbind a spell and your opponent is trying to MW him to death, but it has a specific use C+
  • Aether-Teather – +1 to saves. Your saves are terrible on the whole so this is a nice reliable bonus A-

 

 

Spells

Tzeentch gets 2 spell schools for a total of 12 spells. The Lore of Fate is for Mortal/Arcanite Heroes while the Lore of Change is for Daemons. As is usual, each Wizard can pick one spell.

Lore of Fate (Mortals/Arcanites)

  • Bolt of Tzeentch – Casting Value 7. Pick a unit in 18″ and deal D6 mortal wounds. It’s ok but the damage is highly variable. At least you get to pick a target B
  • Arcane Suggestion – Casting Value 8. The casting value is kinda high but you get to target a unit 18″ away with one of 3 possible effects to choose from:
      • It’s Hopeless – Deal D3 Mortal wounds. Good for tapping off that unit with a few surviving models
      • Drop your Weapons – -1 to hit and wound. Good right before a charge
      • Kneel – -1 to saving throws. Also good right before a charge. Pick whichever one is better based on your current situation. If you think you can wipe out most of the unit first, choose Kneel. If you expect a counter-attack, Drop your weapons.
    • Overall it’s a pretty versatile utility spell if not for the higher than average cost it’d do better B+
  • Glimpse the Future – Casting Value 7. Roll a die and add it to your destiny dice pool. Basically someone in your army should always be carrying this A
  • Shield of Fate – Casting Value 6. Pick a unit within 18″ and get a boon depending on how many Destiny Dice you have left:
      • 7-9 Dice – On a 4+ ignore the effect of a spell or endless spell. Also reroll all saves.
      • 6-4 Dice – Reroll all saves
      • 1-3 Dice – Reroll Saves of 1
    • This got a bit of a bump from the first edition book but ultimately it still has the root problem, it encourages you to not use your Destiny Dice which is the opposite of what you should be doing. C-
  • Infusion Arcanum – Casting Value 5. Gives the caster +1 to hit and +1 to wound for the turn. Slap this on a good combat hero like Ogroid Thamataurge or Curseling before sending him in to battle. B+
  • Treacherous Bond – Casting Value 5. Pick a friendly Mortal unit within 9″. If the caster is hit within the next turn, on a 3+ you can pass the wound or mortal wound to the target. It’s alright to give a little extra protection to your soft wizards. B

Lore of Change (Daemons)

  • Bolt of Tzeentch – Identical to the Mortal version, same evaluation applies. Note that despite being in 2 different schools the book explicitly states you cannot cast it twice in a turn. B
  • Treason of Tzeentch – Casting Value 5. Roll a die for each model in a unit and for each 6, deal a Mortal Wound. If any models are killed as a result of this, that unit has -1 to hit for the turn. A much more streamlined version of the old spell and I’m a big fan of it. You still gotta be smart with it though. Cast it on large units with 1 wound models, don’t bother against a 5 man squad of Orruk Brutes, that won’t really do anything for you. A-
  • Arcane Transformation – Casting Value 6. Pick a Friendly Tzeentch Hero within 18″, and choose to either add +1 move and bravery to the model or +1 attack to their melee weapon. The former option isn’t great and the latter option is decent. It doesn’t require you only cast it onto a Daemon so it makes a great combo with Infusion Arcanum B+
  • Unchecked Mutation – Casting Value 6. Pick an enemy unit within 18″, and deal D3 Mortal Wounds. If a model is destroyed, roll a die and on a 3+ deal D3 more mortal wounds (This does not spill into more mortal wounds). It’s ok, it’s better than Treason of Tzeentch on smaller units but if they’re not 1 wound models it’s probably going to basically do nothing. There’s too many variables going on to get really good results. B
  • Fold Reality – Casting Value 7. Pick a Tzeentch Daemon unit within 18″. On a 1 the unit is destroyed. On a 2+ restore that many models (i.e. if you roll a 4, bring back 4 models). The “Getting destroyed on a 1” is pretty scary but if you save this for a unit that’s almost doomed anyway it can make a huge difference. B+
  • Tzeentch’s Firestorm – Casting Value 9. Pick an enemy unit within 18″ and roll 9 dice. For each 6, deal D3 Mortal wounds. I want to like this one but theres too many barriers to it being actually useful. First the casting cost is pretty expensive so to reliably cast it you need some bonuses to casting. Even if you cast it there’s a very wide variance in damage. On average youll deal about 4 mortal wounds. This of course could go lower or much higher if the dice are hot but after needing to roll a 9 do you really want to risk that versus a more reliable source of MW? C

Endless Spells

  • Burning Sigil of Tzeentch – Casting Value 5. Basically you roll a die which grants a random boon or bane and then select a unit to apply it to. Since you get to figure out the effect first it does at least prevent you from hurting your own guys (or benefiting your opponent) but random effects never seem to go the way you want when you need them (As Tzeentch prefers) and the low casting value means this can easily get swept off the field. Exceedingly cheap, at least, at 40 pts. C+
  • Summon Tome of Eyes – Casting Value 5. I like this one. It’s oddly worded but essentially whoever casts it carries the book with them and the book disappears if they die. It gives you two things, an ability Transfixed by a Thousand Eyes (You may reroll all casting rolls for the bearer, and on a 2 or 12 it automatically fires and cannot be dispelled but you take D3 mortal wounds) and another spell. The spells has a hefty cost at CV8 but it deals D3 Mortal wounds and reduces bravery. It’s worth it for the casting buff at least and at 40 pts you should take this if you have some leftover points. B+
  • Daemonic Simulacrum – Casting Value 7. The only predatory spell, it’s like a better Tzeentch’s firestorm. It’s not bad, but predatory spells come with a lot of drawbacks so I can’t really reccomend this. C

 

Battalions

Tzeentch Forces

Tzeentch Forces. Credit: WhiteOutMouse

Like most of the book the battalions are split up into Daemon and Mortal (Arcanite) variations. Nothing stopping you from mixing and matching of course, just another reason to consider leaning one way or another when building a list.

Daemon Battalions

As a bit of commentary my one complaint about the Daemon battalions is this obsession with the number of 9 (because it’s the number of Tzeentch you see) which causes them to be severely bloated and require way too many units that balloon the cost so you’re forced to stuff them with more units than you need. Except for one, one is actually bullshit and see if you can guess which one.

  • Warpflame Host – 1 unit of Exalted Flamers and 3-8 units of Flamers, Exalted Flamers or Burning Chariots in any combination – At the end of the Charge phase when any unit from this battalion charges, roll a die. On a 6 deal D3 mortal wounds. Exalted Flamers are awesome but they shouldn’t be getting up close like that. Stay in the back, stay safe. D
  • Multitudinous Host – 1 Changecaster and 8 units of Horrors – At the end of each turn return D3 models to units in the battalion. This looks so good on paper until you realize you need eight units of Horrors. The only way you can possibly afford this is by just buying all Brimstone Horrors and those aren’t going to do you much. C
  • Aether-Eater Host – 1 Fateskimmer and 3-8 units in any combination of The Blue Scribes, Fateskimmer, Fluxmaster or Screamers of Tzeentch – If a unit from this battalion ever unbinds a spell in your opponent’s Hero phase, it regains D3 wounds and a screamer unit can attempt to unbind a spell in the same phase. It’s not bad actually and probably would work really well in a Hosts Arcanum list where you have a ton of Screamers as battleline. B
  • Changehost – 1 Lord of Change and 8 units in any combination HORROR HEROES, Exalted Flamers, Horrors, Flamers, Screamers or Burning Chariots – This. This shit right here is the source of so much salt and I cannot blame a single person who got mad about it. The 8 unit requirement sounds steep until you realize it essentially covers every Daemon unit in the book, so you require no real effort to work around it. Some screamers and Flamers are cheap to fill in the rest once you got the bulk of your forces in. What does this get you? In the original release of the book it allowed you to reposition any 2 units in the battalion somewhere else (following the usual 9″ from enemy units rule). I severely underestimated this battalion when it came out because it really wrecked the game, you basically couldn’t engage with a Tzeentch player because they’d just remove anything you came into contact with. The FAQ has changed it so it’s only one unit instead of two, which still leaves it very powerful. I expect a price hike soon but until Summer that’s likely not going to happen, so for now it still gets a respectable A
  • Overseer’s Fate-Twisters – 1 Lord of Change and 8 units in any combination of HORROR HEROES, Exalted Flamers, Burning Chariots – With this Battalion you can roll up a new Destiny Dice each round and if the Lord of Change is still breathing you can replace one of your Destiny Dice with a new one that you roll up, which is a good way to get rid of those mostly useless 3s and 4s. This Battalion would be a lot better if you had more unit variety. Exalted Flamers are nice but that cost is going to add up fast. B
  • Omscient Oracles – Kairos Fatewaver and 3 Lords of Change – Everyone gets to reroll all hits, wounds and saves. Which would be incredible if it didn’t require you buy four Lords of Change. That’s almost 75% of your list in a standard game and a lot of your local currency before even getting to battleline. It’s legitimately good just severely impractical so I give it a C
  • SUPER BATTALION: Fate Legion – 1 Overseer’s Fate Twisters and 8 of the other battalions in any combination except for Omniscient Oracles – It’s impossible to rank these Super Battalions. They’re totally impractical and the point values, once tallied up, frequently get up in to the 10s of thousands. I’m not sure who they’re designed for but its unlikely you will ever play in an AOS version of Apocalypse.

Arcanite Battalions

The Arcanite battalions fare a bit better, being both more practical and no obviously broken ones

  • Arcanite Cabal – Any combination of 3-8 Magisters, Fatemasters and Tzaangor Shaman – 3 good Heroes that are worth taking on their own, and the ability is solid. Whenever spending a Destiny Dice, you may roll a die and on a 2+ you can replace one of your remaining dice. If you roll bad you don’t have to replace it so it’s a safe way of getting rid of those 3s and 4s that clutter up your Destiny Tray. B
  • Alter-Kin Coven – 1 unit of Tzaangors, 1 Unit of Kairic Acolytes and 1 unit of Tzaangor Skyfires – It basically works like Cult of Transient Form, which it synergizes with. Its a bit complicated but after a unit completes a charge, roll a die. On a 6, deal D3 mortal wounds and if any models are slain, you can add one tzaangor model to an existing unit. This requires way too much to set up and you dont really want any of these units charging except for Tzaangors and maybe Kairic Acolytes. C-
  • Witchfire Coven – 3 units of Kairic Acolytes and 1 unit of Tzaangor Enlightened – Nominate a unit of Kairic Acolyes in the Hero phase, they can shoot. This basically lets them shoot twice a turn. Which isn’t bad though 3 units of Kairic Acolytes can be a lot to ask. B
  • Skyshoal Coven – 2 units of Tzaangor Enlightened and 2 units of Tzaangor Skyfires – After a unit from this battalion moves over an enemy unit, roll a die. On a 2+ deal D3 mortal wounds. Nice and reliable source of mortal wounds. B+
  • Tzaangor Coven – 2 units of Tzaangors, 2 units of Tzaangor Enlightened and 2 units of Tzaangor Skyfires – In the Hero Phase, nominate a unit within 3″ of an enemy unit. They can attack or shoot. Not bad if you’re going a Tzaangor heavy list anyway B
  • SUPER BATTALION: Arcanite Cult – 1 Arcanite Cabal and 8 of any of the other battalions – Same as any Super Battalion. Wildly impractical, it honestly doesn’t matter what it does.

Units

The 4 mono Chaos armies are special in that they can take any unit as long as it has the Chaos God as a keyword, even if its not in the book. Effectively what this means is you can take many Slaves to Darkness Units in a Tzeentch list as long as you give them the mark of Tzeentch. This has a few stipulations that will keep you from this this regularly. Since the new book came out, many Slaves to Darkness Warscrolls were updated so many of their command abilities only help Slaves to Darkness keyword, so you’d have to bring more Slaves to Darkness units to actually boost something. Second, they do not gain any of the army abilities of the Slaves to Darkness book, but they can get the Tzeentch abilities (essentially Locus of Change for Daemons). Rather that exhaust every example I will name a few that have some benefit to being in a Tzeentch army.

Heroes

Lord of Change

Lord of Change

Credit: Silks

The Greatest of Tzeentch Daemons. The Lord of Change is very expensive, clocking in at 380 pts but he will earn every one of them. Lord of Changes have a few equipment choices: They can take a Staff and Sword, Staff and Talons or Staff and Rod of Sorcery. Realistically you will almost always take the Rod of Sorcery. The Sword has a decent attack profile and the claws aren’t bad either, but Lords of Change are not nearly as capable in close combat as a Bloodthirster or Keeper of Secrets, they will likely get pushed in against any decent combat character.

What you have them here for is their unparalleled magical abilities. Mastery of Magic allows you to, after rolling to cast, unbind or dispel, change the lowest die to match the highest die. So if you roll a 5 and a 2, you can change that 2 to a 5, giving you a total of 10. This combos well with Spell-Thief, an inherit ability that lets them steal any spell they successfully unbind if they roll a 9+, which doesn’t seem so unlikely if they can get a bonus to their unbinding rolls, which their absolutely incredible Command Ability lets them do! A nice little side perk is they can automatically dispel an endless spell once per turn without rolling, which is crucial if your opponent brings one but since it’s not a relic or anything, doesn’t hurt you if they don’t.

Most of the really good battalions in the book require a Lord of Change so you’re going to want at least one of these guys.

Kairos Fateweaver

A named variant of the Lord of Change. Clocking in at 400 pts he’s a sidegrade and because of that he’s tricky to recommend for a few reasons. First the bad: He loses spell thief, does not get access to a ranged attack and loses the incredible command ability. These are pretty crippling shortcomings, which can’t be understated.

The positives however are pretty compelling. He does keep Spell-Eater to auto-devour an endless spell and Mastery of Magic for reliable casting rolls. He also knows all the spells known by your Wizards within 18″ of him, which is good since he gets 3 spellcasts a turn. So you can utilize Kairos’ better casting odds for those high Casting value spells. His unique spell is a bit better than the normal LOC spell but it suffers the same issue that it gets worse as he takes wounds.

His best trait though is Oracle of Eternity which lets him modify a die roll (Applicable rolls are basically whatever you could substitute a destiny die for, so attack rolls, charges etc.) to whatever you want once per game. Once per game doesn’t seem that great until you realize it’s any player’s turn, including your opponent’s and that’s where the ticket is. It’s only one die, so if its a casting or charge roll you can only modify one die, and its once per game but if you can screw with a die roll at just the right moment it can drastically change the outcome. When you manage to make full use of this, it really makes you feel like a Disciple of Tzeentch.

Overall however, it’s hard to recommend Kairos over a normal LOC, the things he loses out on really make that extra 20 pts a hard sell. He works well in tandem with a LOC, but then you’re dumping nearly 800 pts on 2 models.

Exalted Greater Daemon of Tzeentch

The old Forge-world Lord of Change before the plastic one came out. It’s basically just a Lord of Change without the equipment choices and more wounds. Wouldn’t even consider it honestly.

Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch

Gaunt Sorcerer. Credit: Sulecrist

This guys unique in a few ways. He’s the only model who’s both a Daemon and Mortal (And an Arcanite), putting him in a very flexible position to work in both daemon and mortal lists. His unique spell is like a more damage heavy version of treason of Tzeentch, and he can cast 2 spells to boot. What makes it tricky to use is the shorter range, combined with his Warptounge blade you might be tempted to try and get close, but you shouldn’t do that on foot. He has a 6+ save  innately so for 20 points you can put him on a disc and get a 4+ in addition to being able to fly. Even though the book doesn’t contain it, it’s still a valid choice because of the TZEENTCH keyword, so don’t deprive yourself of it.

What makes him really good is while you are paying 240 points, a fairly high price, you are also getting the ability to summon lesser daemons once per game! Technically you can summon any lesser daemon but Horrors are currently the best anyway so you might as well stick with the Tzeentch theme. GW has confirmed that “10 Pink Horrors” does utilize the current Horrors warscroll, despite the name change. That’s a free 200 points!

Changecaster, Herald of Tzeentch

GW gave each version of the Herald a silly name but to be fair each one has some pretty unique abilities. The Changecaster can cast an extra spell whenever it rolls a 9+, so make sure to have the Changecaster cast their spell early. If you score a bonus casting you want to be able to fire off that Arcane Bolt or Mystical Shield, and it’d be a disappointment if it was already used up by someone else. Their unique spell is unfortunately a little too variable especially for the high casting value, though it’s possible to fire it off if you use their once a game ability. Changecasters are ok, but in general you’ll probably use them to fill up cheap slots in Battalions, since Horror Heroes are needed for many of them.

Fluxmaster, Herald of Tzeentch on Disc

Essentially identical to the Changecaster but with fly and better movement, but with a worse (but easier to cast) spell. Not worth it, generally unless you got an aura from an artefact or command trait, then the extra mobility will let you move into a better position. Otherwise just stay on foot.

Fateskimmer, Herald of Tzeentch on Burning Chariot

The last Herald, this one on a Burning Chariot. Interesting utility, its unique spell Tzeentch’s Firestorm (Which is in fact different from the Lore of Daemon’s one, strange) is quite good and has a reasonable casting value of 8, and you can harass opponents by flying over them and shooting at them from afar. The problem is the a lot of its abilities require you to get in fairly close to be effective and its still got just a 5+ save other heralds have. The only really interesting part is that Burning Chariots can count as battleline if this guys your general, which can be fun. In a serious game though, if you need a Herald, stick to the on-foot variation.

The Changeling

Sadly the Changeling has fallen far. In his original AOS incarnation he was a fun little character who could hide amongst the enemy ranks, copy their weapon and assasinate them. In order to simplify it, he’s been given a deep strike ability. Granted, it’s a really good one, as you can deep strike 3″ away instead of the usual 9″ but like every other Tzeentch hero he’s really delicate, sporting only a 5+ save and 5 wounds. His staff isn’t that good now that you can’t just copy an opponent’s weapons.

I don’t think he’s unusable though. He does get 2 spells and can steal spells from enemy wizards around him. It’s conceivable you could give him the right combination of buffs to do an early game assassination, if your opponent doesnt keep their general properly protected. If you don’t successfully kill them, don’t expect him to survive the counter-attack.

The Blue Scribes

Another character who had their rules streamlined from early AOS, unlike the Changeling they benefited from it. They can steal an opponent’s spell on a 4+ and while they can only cast one spell per turn, thats fine since they can choose to cast automatically on a 2+. Their unique spell is also a good utility spell, granted rerolls for casting in an 18″ aura. A solid utility character.

Magister of Tzeentch

Not so great. The issue with the Mortal characters is you have a lot of really good ones and the magister just doesn’t make the cut. Magic-touched and his spell are OK but Chaos Spawn are also that, merely OK. There’s not anything wrong with this guy exactly he just doesn’t have anything going for him the Curseling, Tzaangor Shaman or Gaunt Summoner can’t do better. If you got the Aether War box you can get him on a disc but better move doesn’t really save him.

Vortemis the All-Seeing

The leader from the Warhammer Underworld Tzeentch army. He’s basically a named Magister on foot, but his spell is worth considering. For a measly casting value of 5 you can can get a command point. It can only be used by Vortemis and only used to use At The Double, Forward to Victory or Inspiring Presence ability which does diminish its use a bit but you can probably find a use for this. I’d still say he’s competing against some stiff competition, but he at least comes out ahead of his generic magister peers. The problem is he must add his rather useless Eyes of the Nine warband with him ratcheting his cost up to 140, making him cost 40 more than a regular one on foot.

Curseling, Eye of Tzeentch

I love this guy. He’s a disruptive presence on the field which will really mess with your opponent’s casting. He can attempt to cast and unbind 2 spells per turn, reroll those unbinding attempts if they fail, and then immediately cast it back at the opponent. His unique spell also lets him steal a spell on a 3+, and with a casting value of 3 your odds are pretty reliable. Just note that you can only steal spells on an opponent’s warscroll, not disciplines from their battletome.

He’s also a solid beatstick. A 4+ save is pretty good for Tzeentch, and he has a lot of weapon attacks. Attach an artefact to his Blazing Sword, or cast Infusion Arcanum on himself.

Fatemaster

A tanky Hero and one of the few non-casters in the army, still has an important role to play. He has a decent 4+ save which becomes a 2+ as long as he’s not fighting a Monster or creature with fly. He’s not all that great in combat but his command ability lets all friendly units within 9″ reroll all attack rolls which is incredibly powerful. Hide him inside a large group of troops and tear them to shreds.

Ogroid Thaumaturge

Ogroid Thaumaturge. Credit: Sulecrist

Your primary beatstick on the field. With 8 wounds and an ability to dish out a frankly terrifying number of wounds, you want to cast Infusion Arcanum on this guy and go to town. However, you still need to be cautious.  If he takes wounds in a phase he will gain the ability to reroll all hits and wounds, so it can be advantageous to hold off on attacking with him, but his save is only a 5+ so you’re going to want to make sure you give him some protection by disrupting your opponent’s attack rolls or boosting his armor save. His unique spell lets him heal back some lost wounds so you have room for error, don’t send him into a fight he cant win.

Tzaangor Shaman

Tzaangor Shaman

Tzaangor Shaman. Credit Mike Bettle-Shaffer.

Practically mandatory if you bring any Tzaangors, he makes them all work better. Skyfires and Enlightened will hit better, and his unique spell can add models to a unit of the battleline variety. His sorcerous elixir is also a really good once a game ability, giving him an extra spell and rerolling the casting roll on the spell. Not much to say other than he’s a solid all around caster, bring him if you have tzaangors.

Archaon The Ever-Chosen (Slaves to Darkness)

Biggest model in Age of Sigmar right now, he has all 4 Chaos Gods as keywords, technically making him valid. He doesn’t have the same synergy as he would in a Slaves to Darkness Army and he is expensive, at 800 pts he’s only second to Nagash as the most expensive model in the game but damn if he doesn’t earn his points. He lacks ranged attacks but is an absolute meat-thresher, and tanky as 20 wounds with a 3+ save. The army lacks any model quite like this so it fills a niche you otherwise don’t have. As stated though, given the cost you must seriously build your army around him and you won’t have a lot of room left. Choose carefully

Chaos Lord (Slaves to Darkness)

Comes in several mounted variants that have different command abilities but if you take this you’re basically doing it for the same reason: If you take some Chaos Warriors it can help to take a Chaos Lord to aid them. That said, the Chaos Warriors are Tzeentch Mortals so many of your buffs will work on them, too. So you’re better off saving your points for something that can buff many units.

Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Manticore (Slaves to Darkness)

Hardier than most of your normal casters, his spell is really good. Casting it on a big unit, similar to Treason of Tzeentch can do some real damage with Mortal Wounds. The on-foot version isn’t quite as good because the spell is a utility spell that only benefits Slaves to Darkness Wizards and you have plenty of Wizards before you have to start recruiting from your more barbaric cousins.

Daemon Prince (Slaves to Darkness)

lot better than they used to be, they don’t occupy the same niche you’d think as a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch. They are not a Wizard, what kind of heresy is that? And their command ability only boosts Slaves to Darkness Wizards. What they are is a pretty solid beatstick, something you will struggle with. Give them a sword and since they have the Daemon keyword, a solid relic or spell buff and go to town.

 

Battleline

Horrors of Tzeentch

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

These guys have had an…interesting history. GW has always struggled with how exactly to portray them on the battlefield. The idea has always been that Pink Horrors, when killed, split into smaller Blue Horrors and then those will split into Brimstone Horrors. While it’s a simple concept it’s easier said than done to show this on the field. GW has experimented with a few different ideas and the current iteration probably leans towards the more overpowered part of the scale. In the past you would have to pay points for the Blue and Brimstone Horrors, which tended to mean people never really used them as intended. People would often just use Brimstone horrors for cheap battleline.

Now, you can’t really do that, Horrors now split for free, and create a mixed unit rather than just creating new units which drastically simplifies the process. You must start with all pink horrors to count as a battleline, so no scoring cheap battleline. At 200 pts for 10 they do the job. They have an OK ranged attack that wins out by sheer number of attacks (3 per model with pinks and 1 less after each split) and under an Eternal Conflagaration army, -1 Rend making it very good.. As long as theres 9 or more they also become a wizard that casts a really good spell that adds 1 to hit rolls to Pink Horrors. So when all is said and done you’re looking at 30-60 4+/4+ Rend -1 ranged attacks from a single unit. Ouch. You can get another +1 for having 20 or more models but you cap out at 20 so that boon will likely disappear in short order.

Even if they get locked into melee their poor saves are mitigated by a 6+ feel no pain save and the ability to split. They also can Blink if they roll a battleshock of 1 and bring back d6 units. This is where you want to use those 1s on your Destiny Dice!

About the only bad thing to say about them is their cost is 200 for 10 which is…a lot. Can’t say they don’t make up the cost though. You will probably fill your battleline with these guys in most cases

Kairic Acolytes

Largely a ranged choice. They’re not bad in melee, but as is a running theme with Tzeentch armies, the saves are not great and you want to avoid getting into close combat. They make a wonderful artillery piece in a Pyrofane Cult list, giving them a 3+ ranged attack. Similar to Horrors, they become wizards when they have 9+ models and their unique spell gives -1 rend to their ranged attacks, making their attacks serious business. So keep them in the back to pelt enemy armies with bolts.

You used to be able to mix weapons but that’s been heavily streamlined. Now you either choose shields or dual blades, and that applies across the whole unit. In most cases I run shields, since I keep them in the back I’d rather they have some extra cover. That said there’s no reason not to give as many glaives you can as special weapons (3 per 10) and keep them in the front in the event they do get charged.

Tzaangors

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

These are a more melee orientated battleline than the Kairic Acolytes and while theyre not any more durable (5+ save) they have the tools to be a real blender when they fight the enemy, they get +1 attack when they have more than 9 models, letting you overwhelm your opponent with attacks. Similar to Kairic Acolytes they can take a shield or dual weapons. In this case I prefer dual weapons, because Tzaangor mutants can get a bonus attack from them, but neither option is wrong. Just make sure to support them with a Tzaangor Shaman.

 

Behemoth

All the Behemoths are the Lord of Change variants except for one

Mutalith Vortex Beast of Tzeentch

Pretty decent monster with an OK stat block. It’d be far better if you didn’t have to roll for its aura, which is its only unique ability aside from the regenerating health. Take it for fun but don’t use this in a serious game.

 

Other

Burning Chariot of Tzeentch

Counts as Battleline if your General is a Fateskimmer these guys aren’t too bad on the surface. They make good crowd control, getting bonuses to hit if a unit is larger than 10 units (and an even bigger bonus at 20). The problem is Flamers do this stuff but cheaper so you probably don’t wanna load up on more than 1 or 2 of them.

Flamers of Tzeentch

Battleline in an Eternal Conflagaration list and as stated above flamers also get bonuses to hit against large targets. When paired with an Exalted Flamer they can hit on a 1+ when targetting units of 20 or more (1s cant hit, naturally, but it gives you some wiggle room when hit with negatives to hit). These guys are very popular in Eternal conflagration lists because they’re cheap and count as battleline. When paired with an exalted flamer within 9″ they get to reroll 1s so definitely consider adding one of those as well.

Exalted Flamer

A juiced up version of the Flamers, these guys have gotten a real glow up in the new book. They can potentially put out killer damage, dealing D3 damage with Rend -1 the math works out to being better than a squad of 3 flamers, and at a cheaper cost.

Screamers of Tzeentch

Counts as Battleline in a Hosts Arcanum list. Another unit gone from a joke to respectable. Screamers are cheap, at only 80 points for 3 you can field a lot of them. Individually they’re not very powerful but they get a lot of attacks for such a cheap unit, 3 wounds a piece and can deal mortal wounds for flying over opponent. Since it’s very easy to get left with only a couple of leftover points in AOS, these guys are a great goto for rounding out the list with filler that will actually do work.

Tzaangor Enlightened

Tzaangor Enlightened

Tzaangor Enlightened. Credit: muggins

These guys are deceptively good. Their stat block is impressive on its own but where they shine is their ability Guided by the Past. If the enemy you’re targeting has already attacked (doesn’t have to be the Tzaangor Enlightened, it can be another unit theyre locked in with), then you can reroll all hit and wound rolls. So hold off on selecting these guys to attack until later in the round. It’s smart to give them a boost to their saves so they can survive if they get attacked first, as their mediocre 5+ save might hurt them.

Thanks to the Beasts of Chaos book you can now save points by taking them off the disc. Discs grant an extra wound, in addition to the Fly and increased movement you might expect. If you have the points putting them on a disc is recommended, but if you have to shave off a few points these will still work.

Tzaangor Skyfires

The polar opposites of Enlightened. While Enlightened are skirmishers, Skyfires pick off enemy with their bows. Whereas Enlightened are given a boon for attacking enemies that already attacked, Skyfires get a bonus for striking first. Sadly they don’t quite measure up to their brethren in my experience. Guided by the Future only applies in the combat phase, and their close combat attacks are really sad. Their ranged attacks are actually decent, especially when backed up by a Shaman so in a Tzaangor heavy list you can do worse. They’re just forced to compete in an army that already has some of the best shooting in the game.

The Eyes of the Nine

With like, one exception, Warhammer Underworlds bands just aren’t worth taking. You have to take them with Vortemis and well…they’re basically a grab bag of 2 Kairic Acolytes, a Tzaangor and a Blue Horror. 3 Battleline units which occupy different rolls on the table, why put them together? There’s no reason to take these guys.

Chaos Spawn

Credit: TheChirurgeon

They’re…cheap? Cheapest unit in the book at 50 points you probably won’t take these in a list. They’re too random to be reliable, as you have to roll for movement and number of attacks. They’re here because you have multiple ways of spawning new ones in, from spells that change your enemies into them to a Magister casting gone horribly wrong you’ll probably wanna keep a few on hand

Chaos Warriors (Slaves to Darkness)

Chaos Warriors can be handy because they’re hardy in a way the your standard battleline aren’t. They have a 4+ save, 2 wounds and better shields than your Acolytes and Tzaangors. A squad of these guys can make a great shield wall to cover your ranged attackers, keeping them safe from harm, so give them all shields. They count as Battleline as long as you give them the Mark of Tzeentch. If youre not running any battalions consider these guys as a shield wall.

Chaos Knights (Slaves to Darkness)

Similar to Chaos Warriors, you lack a good cavalry piece. Chaos Knights are a wonderful solution to this. Tough, with a 4+ save, 3 wounds and chaos shields and they absolutely hurt when they charge in. Give them lances, charge in and let your softer Tzaangors rush in to clean up the mess. They are only battleline in a Slaves to Darkness Army so they gotta go in your other slot.

 

Allies

Allies aren’t as commonly utilized in Age of Sigmar but sometimes it’s useful. This time, it’s not. Your options aren’t great. Excluding the minor subfactions like Beasts of Chaos you have 2 options:

  • Slaves to Darkness (Except Nurgle) – Not really any need to do this. You can take Slaves to Darkness units as Tzeentch and there’s not any real benefit to you to take them as another god’s or even undivided.
  • Slaanesh – Slaanesh works best with Depravity points, which you won’t get as Allies. A Keeper of Secrets is pretty good though, it might be fun to bring for a change of pace.

 

Army Lists

Michael Magnusson’s Changehost list

Allegiance: Disciples of Tzeentch
– Change Coven: Eternal Conflaguration

Leaders
Lord of Change (380)
– General
– Trait: Coruscating Flames  
– Artefact: Aura of Mutability  
– Lore of Change: Fold Reality
Changecaster, Herald of Tzeentch (110)
– Lore of Change: Bolt of Tzeentch
Fatemaster (120)
– Artefact: Shroud of Warpflame  

Battleline
10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (200)
10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (200)
6 x Flamers of Tzeentch (240)
6 x Flamers of Tzeentch (240)

Units
1 x Exalted Flamers of Tzeentch (100)
10 x Brimstone Horrors of Tzeentch (60)
10 x Brimstone Horrors of Tzeentch (60)

Battalions
Changehost (180)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Balewind Vortex (40)
Umbral Spellportal (70)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 93

This was Michael Magenssun’s list, which came second place at Realm of Geddon in Borås, Sweden. It is pretty indicative of how lists were run shortly after the book came out and pre-nerf . The usual ingredients were:

  • Eternal Conflagaration
  • Changehost which include 2 pink horrors and 2 flamer units
  • Whatever else you needed to fill it up.

We haven’t see many tournaments after this (This was in early February right before the big nerf, and COVID-19 caused an end to tournaments worldwide) but it’s likely these lists won’t change a whole lot. The nerf hampered destiny dice abuse and made changehost a little less broken but none of those things became bad. So if you want to play to win, a list along these lines is probably still the way to go. Just don’t expect to make friends, you jerk.

 

Ash McEwan’s Mortal List

Allegiance: Disciples of Tzeentch
– Change Coven: The Pyrofane Cult

Leaders
Gaunt Summoner (240)
– Artefact: Aspect of Tzeentch
– Lore of Fate: Bolt of Tzeentch
Magister on Disc of Tzeentch (140)
– General
– Trait: Prophet of the Ostensible
– Lore of Fate: Arcane Suggestion
Ogroid Thaumaturge (160)
– Lore of Fate: Infusion Arcanum
The Changeling (120)
– Lore of Change: Unchecked Mutation
Tzaangor Shaman (150)
– Artefact: Brimstone Familiar
– Lore of Fate: Shield of Fate
Magister (100)
– Lore of Fate: Glimpse the Future

Battleline
10 x Kairic Acolytes (100)
– 7x Cursed Blade & Arcanite Shield
– 3x Cursed Glaives
10 x Kairic Acolytes (100)
– 7x Cursed Blade & Arcanite Shield
– 3x Cursed Glaives
10 x Tzaangors (180)
– 5x Pair of Savage Blade
– 4x Savage Greatblade
– 1x Savage Blade & Arcanite Shield

Other
3 x Tzaangor Enlightened on Disc (180)
3 x Tzaangor Skyfires (200)

Battalions
Arcanite Cabal (140)

Endless Spells / Command Points
Balewind Vortex (40)
Burning Sigil of Tzeentch (40)
Tome of Eyes (40)
Daemonic Simulacrum (50)

Total: 1980 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 99

This was Ash McEwan’s list from CanCon 2020, one of the first tournaments when the book premiered where he placed 5th. It’s an interesting take on mortals of Tzeentch, using Kairic Acolytes and Tzaangor Skyfires to lay fire on the enemy while Tzaangors and Enlightened charge in. This list is very Hero heavy, moreso than is usual for a Tzeentch list which gives a lot of casting versatility and potentially more fate points for summoning. The Pyrofane Cult is a natural choice for a list heavy in Kairic acolytes as well.

 

Wrapping Up

Tzeentch is about magic and manipulating fate. It’s a difficult army to learn but currently the winds of fate favor Tzeentch’s faithful. It could change, but there’s honestly nothing more that his followers would want. If you have any input or disagree with any of my assessments, please drop us a line at contact@goonhammer.com or check out our Facebook Page. May the changer of ways be on your side.

 

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