Once upon a time, the Lizardmen were a faction of fantasy Aztecs living in the definitely-not-South-America part of the Warhammer world. With the chaos of the End Times and the destruction of the World-That-Was, the Lizardmen transmogrified into the Seraphon, and now they’re… maybe real? maybe dreams? maybe both? It’s up to you! Although the basic concept of the army changed a bit the model range is the same and they still have their old aesthetic, so you still got your dinosaurs riding dinosaurs and such. The battletome released earlier in 2020 includes a bunch of cool stuff and brings Seraphon firmly into 2nd edition Age of Sigmar.
To sum them up: Aztec lizards riding dinosaurs. Seraphon are the creations of the Old Ones, beings from even before The World That Was in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, let alone the Age of Sigmar. The civilization (and the army itself) is divided into 3 classes: The Frog-Like Slaan who function as dream interpreters and rulers over the civilization, the chameleon like Skinks who function as priests and scribes, and the Saurons who function as the warrior caste. Being so ancient has given them time to hone their craft. As a result theyre one of the few armies who can be excellent front-line warriors and fantastic casters.
- Wide model selection – One of the few armies to survive from Warhammer Fantasy Battles intact, you have a ton of units to pick from which allows a diversity in playstyles
- Top tier casting – Some of the best spellcasters in the game and the ability to throw out endless spells that don’t come back to wreck you is super important.
- Lots of ways to gain Command Points – You have access to tons of relics, traits and warscroll abilities to generate CP. And you’ll need them!
- Horde options – Skinks are one of the cheapest units in the game, allowing you to field an overwhelming army.
- But also, monsters – You also get some of the best Behemoths in the game, like the wonderful Bastiladon.
- On the expensive side…mostly – Very much a Herohammer or Behemoth driven army, your Heroes and Behemoths are on the expensive side but make up their cost. Skinks exist, who are some of the cheapest units in the game
- Slow – Your movement speed isn’t fast on just about anything. You make up with a lot of ranged attacks and spells with very long range, and skinks have a pretty impressive 8″ movement.
- Old Models – Seraphon got shafted on new stuff, only getting a new terrain piece and nothing else. So a lot of your stuff is old plastic that sticks out like a sore thumb, or even worse, resin.
Top-tier. In a post-Tzeentch and Slaanesh nerf world, Seraphon remain one of the strongest armies in the game right now and offer some solid flexibility. The “best” lists have oscillated in the short time since the book came out. Thunder Lizards packed to the gils with Bastiladons started as a strong choice and the meta has since shifted to a herohammer and skink heavy list using the Fangs of Sotek. These perform admirably and consistently top the charts.
Seraphon have a bunch of allegiance abilities, helping to define the character of the army. Many of them are nested – Warriors of the Stars and the Realms lets you pick from two keywords, which can then further unlock two Constellations, all with consequent ability changes. There’s a lot going on.
Warriors of the Stars and the Realms
Seraphon are weird. This isn’t a subfaction in the traditional sense (those come later), it’s really two armies that share a unit roster. When Seraphon first launched, they had some really odd lore about how they were the dreams of dead gods or whatever. This didn’t go over great and Games Workshop made the concession of allowing both. Starborne represent the 1.0 lore while coalesced represent a bit more grounded lore choice. Neither one affects which units you can take, all of the units in the book are open to both factions, but they do affect which constellations (subfactions) you have access to which tend to favor certain units or playstyles.
- Cold-blooded Ignore modifiers (positive or negative) to Bravery for COALESCED units. Your bravery is decent, usually around 6 or 7 (Though skinks have a mediocre 5)
- Predatory Fighters +1 attack for Jaws weapons used by COALESCED units. Most Saurus and Monster units have these.
- Primeval Domain If a terrain feature is partially or wholly within the territory of a COALESCED army, then any Damned, Arcane, Inspiring, or Mystical scenery rules only apply to COALESCED units, while any Deadly or Sinister rules do not apply to them.
- This will give you much stronger control over terrain but only functions in your own territory. So while it can help you defend your side of the board it will not help if you push the offense.
- Scaly Skin -1 to damage rolls for attacks that target a COALESCED unit (to a minimum of 1).
- This here is the good stuff and why coalesced draw a lot of attention. D2 weapons are fairly common in AoS and this cuts their damage right in half
- Coalesced Constellations If your army is COALESCED, you can (but don’t have to) give it the KOATL’S CLAW or THUNDER LIZARD keyword. All COALESCED units in your army get that keyword and gain the listed abilities for that Constellation.
- Unfeeling All Starborne units have Bravery 10. It’s bravery 10, which will make them a lot tougher to affect with
- Celestial Conjuration You can summon STARBORNE units if you have enough ‘celestial conjuration points’ (CCPs). The battletome includes a table listing all the appropriate costs. At the start of your hero phase you generate d3 points if your general is a SLANN or STARSEER and is on the battlefield, and d3 if there are one or more friendly SAURUS ASTROLITH BEARERS on the battlefield. In your hero phase, you can (before attempting their first spell) declare that a SLANN or ORACLE will carry out a celestial conjuration. If you do so, you get d3 more points, but they can cast 1 fewer spell. If you have 6 or more points available at the end of your movement phase, you can summon a unit – the unit has to be set up wholly within 12″ of a friendly SLANN, ORACLE, or SAURUS ASTROLITH BEARER and more than 9″ from any enemy units.
- This is similar to tables used by Chaos armies. It used to be a lot better in the past, but the point cost went up with the introduction of the book so you won’t get to use it quite as often as you’d like.
- Lords of Space and Time At the end of your movement phase, you can pick 1 friendly STARBORNE unit anywhere on the battlefield to do the time warp. If you do so, they can be remove from the battlefield and set up again anywhere more than 9″ from any enemy unit. Very important for keeping them where they need to be or snagging empty objectives.
- Starborne Constellations If your army is STARBORNE, you can give it the DRACOTHION’S TAIL or FANGS OF SOTEK keyword. All STARBORNE units in your army get that keyword and gain the listed abilities for that Constellation
Which one is better?
It depends on playstyle. If you want an “objective” answer as of this writing, Starborne have become more popular because of the Fangs of Sotek subfaction. That, however, relies on Skink swarms, and you’ll need a lot of Skinks to do this right. If you’d prefer a list with giant dinosaurs, Coalesced are superior for the Thunder Lizard constellation. You can explore a ton of middle ground here but in terms of competitive options those are your two big choices
Contemplations of the Old Ones
At the end of your hero phase, you can pick 1 friendly SLANN and replace a spell from the Lore of Celestial Domination table with a new spell from that table. You can either choose or roll (and can re-roll if you get one you already had). A really handy bit of flexibility if you need something for a match-up that you didn’t start with.
At the start of your hero phase, you can pick for one of three effects to be in play until the start of your next hero phase:
- The Great Drake – In the combat phase, pick 1 friendly SERAPHON HERO to get +1 attack with melee weapons
- The Hunter’s Steed – Add 1 to run rolls and charge rolls for friendly SERAPHON units
- The Sage’s Staff – In the hero phase, pick 1 friendly SERAPHON WIZARD. You can add 1 to casting or dispelling rolls for that wizard if it is your hero phase, or 1 to unbinding rolls in the enemy hero phase
Obviously, all 3 are solid and you can pick whichever one is most important in that moment.
Standard subfaction stuff: You are not required to pick a constellation, but if you do select one of the ones above then you gain an ability and a mix of command ability, command trait, and artefact of power (though not all of the above for all of them). As outlined above, you can only pick the matching Constellation for each keyword. For the artefacts given here, the first HERO given an artefact must use the one from the faction.
Koatl’s Claw (The Coalesced)
- Ability: Savagery Incarnate – Add 1 to hit rolls made by friendly KOATL’S CLAW SAURUS units that made a charge move this turn.
- Pretty solid, makes Saurus Warriors hit on a respectable 3+
- Command Ability: Controlled Fury – You can use this at the start of the combat phase. If you do so, pick 1 friendly KOATL’S CLAW SAURUS unit wholly within 24″ of a friendly KOATL’S CLAW SAURUS HERO. That unit counts as having made a charge move this turn for the purposes of the Savagery Incarnate ability.
- If you get stuck into combat and need that +1 to hit, pop this.
- Command Trait: Dominant Predator – A KOATL’S CLAW SAURUS general must have this. Roll a dice each time this general is used to issue a command to a friendly KOATL’S CLAW SAURUS unit. On a 4+, you receive 1 extra command point.
- Not bad, choose a non-Saurus leader to get around this if you think you’d prefer something else
- Artefact of Power: Eviscerating Blade – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons. If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made with that weapon is 6, that attack inflicts 2 mortal wounds on the target in addition to any normal damage.
- 2 mortal wounds instead of the usual one on these types of artefacts is quite nice.
Saurus spam. Saurus aren’t as popular as Skinks because they cost a bit too much for what they do while Skinks are priced to move. It’s not to say they’re worthless. They serve their purpose you just don’t want to build a list around them. Still if you want to play them regardless of that fact, here they are.
The Thunder Lizard (The Coalesced)
- Ability: Mighty Beasts of War – Add 2 to the Wounds characteristic of THUNDER LIZARD MONSTERS
- Makes the tanky beasts even tankier, no complaints here.
- Command Ability: Trove of Old One Technology – You can use this at the end of your shooting phase. If you do, pick 1 friendly THUNDER LIZARD BASTILADON or ENGINE OF THE GODS that is wholly within 18″ of a friendly THUNDER LIZARD HERO. A Bastiladon can shoot with its Solar Engine even if it has already done so. An Engine of the Gods can make a cosmic engine roll even if it has already done so. Once per phase.
- The Solar Engine hurts like hell so use this when you can and the Engine of the Gods buffs aren’t bad if there’s no Bastiladons around to aid.
- Command Trait: Prime Warbeast – A THUNDER LIZARD general with a MONSTER mount must have this. Add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of the weapons used by this general’s mount.
- Solid take and you won’t mind having it.
- Artefact of Power: Fusil of Conflagration – In your shooting phase, you can pick 1 enemy unit within 12″ of the bearer and visible to them and roll a dice. On a 1, the artefact cannot be used again for the rest of the battle. On a 2-3, nothing happens. On a 4-5 that unit takes d3 mortal wounds. On a 6, that unit takes d6 mortal wounds.
- A bit of a dud. A bit dicey to get working, requires close range and has a 1 in 6 chance of just fizzling out. Luckily the rest of the subfaction is good enough to make up for it.
Big dinosaur spam. The other popular subfaction and it’s not hard to see why. Bastiladons are terrifying, we’ll discuss more in-depth why in their unit entry, but this lets you utilize them to their fullest potential. Something mentioned in the Pitched Battle profiles but not directly in the Thunder Lizard entry is you can take Stegadons as Battleline, and you will appreciate this. If you want to just run Bastiladons, Stegadons and an Engine of the Gods, then absolutely start here.
Dracothion’s Tail (Starborne)
- Ability: Appear on Command – Instead of setting up a friendly DRACOTHION’S TAIL unit on the battlefield, you can put it in reserves. You can reserve one unit for each friendly unit already set up. At the end of your movement phase, you can set up one or more of the reserve units anywhere more than 9″ from any enemy units and wholly within 18″ of a friendly DRACOTHION’S TAIL SLANN. Any reserve units not deployed before the fourth battle round are slain.
- As this doesn’t cost a command point you can really set yourself up for something good here. Many armies have at least one subfaction like this and it’s pretty powerful here for all the strong units you can hide. Put a large unit of Saurus Warriors or a Bastiladon in
- Command Trait: Ancient Knowledge – A DRACOTHION’S TAIL SLANN must have this trait. The general knows 1 extra spell from the Lore of Celestial Domination. In addition, you can re-roll 1 casting, or unbinding roll for this general each hero phase.
- Not as great as it could be since Slann can change their spell each turn, and Kroak cannot take the trait anyway. You can circumvent this by appointing a non-Slann as general
- Artefact of Power: Godbeast Pendant – The first time the bearer is slain, roll a dice before removing them. On a 1-3 they die. On a 4-6, they do not die, all wounds allocated to them are healed, and any wounds that currently remain to be allocated to them are negated.
- Clutch on a Hero you have to expose to dangerous situations like a Carnosaur or Cold One.
Not a bad choice honestly. It’s pretty jack-of-all trades, giving a little something for everyone without leaning too far in to one list. While it’s not as popular as Fangs of Sotek or Thunder Lizard, it does have its fans.
Fangs of Sotek (Starborne)
- Ability: First to Battle – In the first battle round, add 3″ to the Move characteristic of FANGS OF SOTEK SKINK units.
- Free bonus that’s pretty decent. 3″ doesn’t sound like a lot but with some smart manuevering you can get yourself behind cover and closer to an objective.
- Command Ability: Parting Shot -You can use this command ability at the end of the enemy charge phase. If you do so, pick 1 friendly FANGS OF SOTEK SKINKS unit from the Skinks warscroll, or friendly FANGS OF SOTEK CHAMELON SKINKS unit, that is wholly within 18″ of a friendly FANGS OF SOTEK HERO. That SKINKS or CHAMELON SKINKS unit can shoot. After you have resolved all of that unit’s shooting attacks, roll a dice. On a 4+ that unit can make a normal move; if it does, it must retreat but cannot run. A unit can’t benefit from this ability more than once per phase.
- Skinks lost their ability to do this for free, pre-battletome so now its a command ability. It’s a tough sell now as a CP because it only has a 50% chance of working but if you have the CP and are trapped in a bind, might as well give them an out because they will not last in melee.
- Command Trait: Old and Grizzled – A FANGS OF SOTEK SAURUS general must have this. If this general is part of your army and on the battlefield at the start of your hero phase, then on a 3+ you receive 1 extra command point.
- Not a bad option but you can circumvent this by making a non Saurus unit your General if you want something else.
- Artefact of Power: Serpent God Dagger – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons. At the end of any phase, if any wounds inflicted by that weapon in that phase were allocated to an enemy model and not negated, and that enemy model has not been slain, roll a dice. On a 5+, that enemy model is slain.
- Good stuff. While it doesn’t directly affect damage the fact you can one shot a monster or tankey hero is huge.
This has become the defacto faction. Less so for what it does and more for the fact that skinks are quite powerful in large enough quantities. The Army Trait and Command Ability serve to directly benefit Skinks, and the Command Trait can be easily circumvented for something else. Artefacts not bad either.
There’s 3 tables of Artefacts available to Seraphon – a big table of 6 options for Slann only, and then a Saurus and a Skink table with 3 artefacts apiece.
Treasures of the Old Ones (Slann)
The problem with a lot of these artefacts is Kroak is so overwhelmingly good that you often won’t bother with an unnamed Slann. These ratings assume you decided to bring a second guy along anyway.
- Zoetic Dial – After set up is complete but before the battle begins, secretly record the number of a battle round. At the start of that battle round, reveal the information and then heal all wounds allocated to the bearer; during that battle round, you can re-roll save rolls for attacks that target the bearer
- A cute trick, obviously this is useless if it occurs too early and too late might never give it a chance to work, or come in too late to help. It’s a bit too unpredictable but if you really wanna use this, round 3 or 4 is likely your best bet. C
- Light of Dracothion – Once per battle, you can automatically unbind 1 spell cast by an enemy WIZARD within 15″ of the bearer, or automatically dispel 1 endless spell within 15″ of the bearer
- A solid pick, though the reduced range of normal unbinding to 15″ is pretty rough. B
- Prism of Amyntok – Once per battle, at the start of any phase, pick 1 enemy unit within 12″ of the bearer and roll a dice. On a 1, that unit suffers 1 mortal wound. On a 2-5, that unit suffers d3 mortal wounds. On a 6, that unit suffers d6 mortal wounds.
- Bit too swingy, you have to jump through too many dice rolls and it’s likely you’ll only get 1 or 2 wounds out of it. C-
- Itxi Grubs – At the start of each hero phase, you can heal 1 wound allocated to the bearer. In addition, in your hero phase you can re-roll 1 casting or dispelling roll of the bearer, and in the enemy hero phase you can re-roll 1 unbinding roll for the bearer.
- Your opponent will gun for your Slann if they can so giving them a little survivability never hurt, plus it makes their casting or unbinding more reliable. B
- Plaque of Dominion – In your hero phase, you can pick 1 enemy HERO within 12″ of the bearer and visible to them. Until your next hero phase, that HERO fights at the end of the combat phase. In addition, if that HERO is a WIZARD, until your next hero phase subtract 1 from casting, dispelling, and unbinding rolls for that HERO.
- You have to get dangerously close to make this work but with proper screening this can be clutch. It can shut down both melee and magic heroes so it’s a versatile artefact. B
- Throne of the Lost Gods – Add 4″ to the bearer’s Move characteristic, and 1 to the bearer’s Wounds characteristic
- Slann move really slow so extra movement and wounds with no restrictions is pretty good. B
Celestial Relics of the Warrior (Saurus)
- Blade of Realities – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons. Improve the Rend by 1. In addition, add 1 to the damage when that weapon targets a HERO
- The fact that the rend part is universal makes it better than many of these “Hero Hunter” weapons. Definitely worth considering. B
- Sigils of the Prime Hunter – Each time the bearer fights, after all of the bearer’s attacks have been resolved, you can pick 1 enemy unit within 1″ and roll a dice. On a 1 nothing happens. On a 2-5, that unit suffers 1 mortal wound. On a 6, that unit suffers d3 mortal wounds
- Damage is really swingy but it procs each fight phase so it will probably do something C
- Bloodrage Pendant – Add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of the bearer’s melee weapons if the number of wounds allocated to the bearer is equal to or greater than half of the bearer’s Wounds characteristic
- Bonus attack is nice, but only at half health is less great. Give this to a mounted hero so they can survive the initial onslaught and not put themselves at too much risk. C
Vestments of the Priesthood (Skink)
- Incandescent Rectrices – The first time the bearer is slain, before removing them from the battlefield, roll a dice. On a 1-3 the bearer is slain. On a 4-6 the bearer is not slain and all wounds allocated to them are healed, and any wounds remaining to be allocated are negated.
- A decent emergency button, but could potentially do nothing and waste a valuable artefact slot C
- Cloak of Feathers – Subtract 1 from hit rolls that target the bearer. In addition, add 4″ to the bearer’s Move characteristic, and the bearer can fly.
- Stacks with Look Out, Sir!. additional 4″ move and fly is also incredible. This is pretty close to an auto take A
- Sacred Stegadon Helm – Add 1 to save rolls for attacks that target the bearer. In addition, add 1 to the Damage characteristic of melee weapons used by the bearer if they made a charge move in the same turn.
- You don’t typically want skink Heroes getting in too close. A Skink Oracle on Troglodon might see some use from this but really, leave the melee to the foot soldiers and Saurus. C
Like the artefacts, there are separate command trait tables for each of Slann, Saurus, and Skinks. Each one has 3 options.
- Arcane Might – You can re-roll 1 casting, dispelling, or unbinding roll for this general each hero phase
- Dice can be cruel and screw up a surefire cast at the worst time. Help make sure this doesn’t happen. B
- Vast Intellect – This general knows 1 extra spell from the Lore of Celestial Domination
- Might seem useless with Contemplation of the Old Ones but having 2 spells to draw from and being able to swap one out at a given time is still useful. B-
- Great Rememberer – If this general is part of your army and on the battlefield at the start of your hero phase, roll a dice. On a 4+ you receive 1 extra command point
- You have a lot of ways to generate CP. What’s a little more? B
- Disciplined Fury – You can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for attacks made with melee weapons by this general
- Solid all around buff, can’t argue with that. B
- Thickly Scaled Hide – You can re-roll save rolls of 1 for attacks that target this general
- Same as discipline fury, solid buff that will keep them alive longer. B
- Mighty Warleader – If this general is part of your army and on the battlefield at the start of your hero phase, roll a dice. On a 4+ you receive 1 extra command point
- More command points? Don’t mind if I do. B+
- Master of Star Rituals – Add 1 to casting rolls for this general if they are a WIZARD. If they are not a WIZARD, then once per battle round they can use the Herald of the Old Ones command ability from the Skink Priest warscroll without a command point being spent.
- Skinks don’t usually get bonuses to casting so this is worth keeping in your back pocket. B+
- Nimble – Add 1″ to this general’s Move characteristic and add 1 to save rolls for attacks that target them
- Skinks are often very delicate, and can use any defensive buff they can find. B+
- Cunning – At the start of the combat phase, you can pick 1 enemy HERO within 3″ of this general and roll a dice. On a 4+, that enemy HERO suffers 1 mortal wound
- A bit too swingy for my taste, stick to something more reliable. C+
Like for everything else, Seraphon have two lores – one each for Slann and Skinks. Lovers of the small lizards will be glad to know they get a full lore of 6 spells.
The Lore of Celestial Domination (Slann)
Important note to remember, Slaann can switch their memorized spell at the end of their hero phase so ranking them is a little more difficult. Just because a spell has a “lower” grade doesn’t mean it’s useless, just niche. Unlike most armies that’s not a problem because you can just switch to what’s best for that moment.
- Celestial Apotheosis – Casting value 5; pick 1 friendly unit wholly within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. Heal 1 wound allocated to that unit. In addition, until your next hero phase, subtract 1 from the Bravery characteristic of enemy units while they are within 3″ of that unit. If the casting roll was 10+, heal up to d3 wounds instead of 1
- It’s ok, on a casting roll of less than 10 the effects aren’t earth shattering but are nice regardless. d3 wounds on a 10+ is a little better but swingy, use it to keep your heroes topped off. B
- Walk Between Realms – Casting value 6; pick 1 friendly unit wholly within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. Until your next hero phase, that unit can fly
- Great stuff. Has good range and will make it easier for your melee units to get in close, or escape from a bad situation. B
- Mystical Unforging – Casting value 7; pick 1 enemy HERO that bears an artefact of power within 12″ of the caster and visible to the caster. That hero suffers d3 mortal wounds. On a 5+, that hero no longer bears that artefact of power
- Normally I’d consider this spell too niche to be taking up a slot, but the fact you can swap it in at just the right time means you just might get a chance to use this. The close range makes me less comfortable than I’d like but if they break in to close quarters, then take the shot. B
- Celestial Equilibrium – Casting value 7; until your next hero phase, add 1 to casting, dispelling and unbinding rolls for friendly WIZARDS other than the caster
- If you need to make sure a clutch spell goes off, sure. You likely won’t have that many caster’s to go around, especially when Kroak can guarantee one other guy’s spell goes off already. C+
- Stellar Tempest – Casting value 8; pick 1 enemy unit within 24″ of the caster and visible to them. Roll 1 dice for each model in that unit; for each 5+ that unit takes a mortal wound.
- Common spell seen across many battletomes and still good when you come up against a big unit. Most lists will have at least one “large” unit so this helps. The absurd range and Kroak’s bonus to casting make the high casting value a less bitter pill to swallow. This will be your goto when none of the more niche spells have value in the moment. B+
- Drain Magic – Casting value 9; if successfully cast, all endless spells within 24″ of the caster that are not BOUND are dispelled
- Not great even with the free swap. High casting value and you will almost never get caught in a situation where you’re surrounded by tons of Endless Spells you can’t just unbind normally. Use if you gotta but I feel confident in saying you never will. F
The Lore of Celestial Manipulation (Skinks)
- Celestial Harmony – Casting value 5; pick 1 friendly unit wholly within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. Until your next hero phase, do not take battleshock tests for that unit. If the casting roll was 10 or more, pick all friendly units within 18″ of the caster and visible to them instead of only 1.
- Can be useful with Coalesced, practically useless with Starborne. B-
- Hand of Glory – Casting value 6; pick 1 friendly unit within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. Until your next hero phase, you can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for attacks made by that unit.
- Pretty much the reason you’ll take a Skink Wizard in the first place. Rerolling 1s on any unit, decent 18″ range and a low casting value this is the whole package. Take this before anything else. A-
- Extend Astromatrix – Casting value 6; pick 1 terrain feature wholly within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. Any Damned, Arcane, Inspiring, and Mystical scenery rules for that feature only apply to SERAPHON units, while any Deadly and Sinister rules do not apply to SERAPHON units
- Opposite of Celestial Harmony. Potentially useful to Starborne, Coalesced already get this for free. C
- Fiery Convocation – Casting value 7; pick 1 enemy unit within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. Until your next hero phase, at the end of each phase of a turn, roll a dice for that unit. On a 6, that unit suffers d3 mortal wounds.
- A bit swingy for my taste but can potentially do a lot of damage if you’re lucky. C-
- Bind Endless Spell – Casting value 7; pick 1 endless spell within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. Until your next hero phase, that endless spell has the BOUND key word.
- Most people don’t use predatory Endless Spells so stealing them away will not come up enough to blow a slot on this D
- Tide of Serpents – Casting value 8; pick 1 enemy unit within 12″ of the caster and roll a number of dice equal to the number of models in that unit. For each 5+, that unit suffers 1 mortal wound.
- Shotgun blast version of Stellar Tempest. Most Skink priests aren’t as solid casters and are delicate so getting within 12″ is iffy. Still, it can do a ton of damage and make your opponent wary of getting too close, just keep the caster screened. B
Bound Endless Spells
Seraphon did not get their own endless spells. Instead they got Bound versions of the Endless Spells included in Malign Sorcery. These cost 10 points more to cast and in return, only Seraphon players are allowed to move them which is a pretty nice bonus for only 10 points. The reason few use Endless Spells is the fear of having them turned back on them, which is a very legitimate concern. The tax is less useful on non-predatory spells, such as the Balewind Vortex. While it does keep an opponent from stealing it from you, through relics or obscure command abilities, this is a rare case and you’re better off saving the 10 points when possible.
Seraphon have 10 Warscroll Battalions to pick from. That sounds like a lot, but the Coalesced/Starborne thing comes back into play here – 5 are only available to the Coalesced, and 5 are only available to the Starborne. 2 of them are super battalions, meaning they can be safely ignored.
They pull a bit of a trick here, both Coalesced and Starborne battalions have the same unit requirements, but the benefits are quite different making them more in line with their respective allegiance. This kind of backfires because many units are so married to their “ideal” subfactions that what is kinda useful in one allegiance becomes useless in the other, regardless of effect. In most cases you can safely ignore these.
Eternal Temple-Host (Coalesced)
- 1 SLANN, Skink Starseer or Skink Oracle on Troglodon
- 1 Eternity Warden
- 3 Saurus Guard units
- 2+ Sunclaw Temple-hosts
- 1+ Firelance Temple-hosts
- 2+ Shadowstrike Temple-hosts
- 1+ ThunderquakeTemple-hosts
The effects of Primeval Domain apply to all terrain pieces, not just your own territory. This would be really nice if it wasn’t impossible to build this in any normal game.
Sunclaw Temple-Host (Coalesced)
- 1 Saurus Oldblood or Saurus Sunblood
- 3 Saurus Warriors units
Improve rend of Jaw attacks by 1. Quite good in a Koatl’s Claw list but outside of that you’re not likely to want to take many Saurus.
Firelance Temple-Host (Coalesced)
- 1 SCAR-VETERAN
- 3 Saurus Knights units
Add 3 to run and charge rolls for Saurus Knights within 18 inches of the Scar-Veteran. Again, potentially quite good in a Koatl’s Claw list but outside of that you’re not likely to want to take many Saurus.
Shadowstrike Temple-Host (Coalesced)
- 1 Skink Starpriest or Skink Priest
- 2 units of Skinks or Chameleon Skinks
in any combination
- 1 unit of Terradon or Ripperdactyl Riders
In the Hero phase pick an enemy unit visible (no range) to the Skink priest/Starpriest. The other units in the battalion get +1 to hit that unit until the next turn. I like this one, but anyone running this many Skinks are likely Fangs of Sotek and therefore, Starborne.
Thunderquake Temple-Host (Coalesced)
- 1 Engine of the Gods or Stegadon with
- 2 Bastiladons or Stegadons in
- 1 Kroxigor unit or HUNTING PACK
In the Hero phase you declare if this battalion is “Swift” or “Savage”. If swift, the units in this battalion can run and charge in the same turn, if savage they gain 1 attack for melee weapons. While the Kroxigor/Hunting Pack is a bit of a tax for the subfaction, this is tailor made for Thunder Lizards lists if you can fit it in.
Eternal Starhost (Starborne)
- 1 SLANN, Skink Starseer or Skink Oracle on Troglodon
- 1 Eternity Warden
- 3 Saurus Guard units
- 2+ Sunclaw Star-hosts
- 1+ Firelance Star-hosts
- 2+ Shadowstrike Star-hosts
- 1+ Thunderquake Star-hosts
Recieve D3 summoning points if the slann, Skink Starseer or Skink Oracle on Troglodon is on the field. Pretty lame bonus even if you could field this.
Sunclaw Starhost (Starborne)
- 1 Saurus Oldblood or Saurus Sunblood
- 3 Saurus Warriors units
Improve rend of Celestite weapon attacks by 1. You will probably never field this many Saurus in a Starborne list
Firelance Starhost (Starborne)
- 1 SCAR-VETERAN
- 3 Saurus Knights units
If any models in this unit roll a 6 to wound with their Celestite weapons, they deal an additional mortal wound. Again, you will not field this many Saurus units in a Starborne Army.
Shadowstrike Starhost (Starborne)
- 1 Skink Starpriest or Skink Priest
- 2 units of Skinks or Chameleon Skinks
in any combination
- 1 unit of Terradon or Ripperdactyl Riders
You can (optionally) choose to set any of these units in reserve. Chameleons can already do that so don’t waste them here. While the Terradon/Ripperdactyl riders are a bit of a tax, this is a pretty great boon to the rest of the units here.
Thunderquake Starhost (Starborne)
- 1 Engine of the Gods or Stegadon with
- 2 Bastiladons or Stegadons in
- 1 Kroxigor unit or HUNTING PACK
Can heal 1 wound to each unit in this battalion, D3 wounds if it is wholly within 18″ of a SLANN. Again, I like this but nobody is taking this many Bastiladon and Stegadons without being Thunder Lizards.
Lord Kroak is the named Slann Starmaster. His hype is huge and not overstated. There is no list he doesn’t work in and there’s virtually no scenario you won’t take him. He’s the best caster in the army, with 4 casts and unbinds per turn. He has two unique spells, both of which are prety solid damage spells. Comet’s Call has no limit to its range and Celestial Deliverance can be cast up to 3 times per turn, breaking the usual rules for spells. He sports a +1 to casting, unbinding and dispel rolls. He also gets to ignore typical range restrictions on unbinding and dispelling opponent’s spells, able to do both from anywhere on the field.
These powers alone would make him worth taking but it keeps going. He gets to roll 3 dice each turn and on each 4+, gain a CP and he has a 4+ Feel No Pain save making him hardier than his 7 wounds would have you think. He also has a command ability, Gift from the Heavens which grants fly to a unit within 18″ and gives them +1 to saves from missile weapons. His only “weapon” is pretty decent, able to hit all enemies within 3″ though regardless, you want to keep him safely in the rear guard when possible. He has effectively unlimited range on a lot of his abilities, take advantage of that and don’t expose him to too much risk.
Seriously, even at 320 points this guy makes up every point you spent on him. He’s the first thing you should add to every list.
Sadly it’s hard to recommend a second Slann. Kroak is so good at his job it makes the generic version look sad by comparison. In many armies, named versions of Heroes are side grades or have some drawback for their power. Not so for Kroak, anything these guys can do, Kroak just does so much better. Because of the ability to swap spells each turn, you rarely need a backup Slann caster and these guys cost too much for that. 260 is still too much for these guys on top of Kroak.
Your generic beast stick hero. Doesn’t see as much as play as you’d think, despite a fairly impressive statline. Largely due to his command ability only benefiting Saurus units, which you will not be using a lot of. At the very least he has a ton of weapon options, making him pretty customizeable.
Saurus Oldblood on Carnosaur
Saurus Oldblood on a mount. Recently got a price cut, but 230 might still be too much. It’s a nasty behemoth, granting a ranged attack that does extra damage to Chaos Daemons. The Carnosaur’s ability to run and charge if it kills a model for the rest of the game and a +1 to hit against units with less than 7 wounds make it a decent crowd control or for dealing with humanoid sized heroes but it’s a pretty big investment when you have cheaper options of dealing with both.
Another beatstick, very similar to the Oldblood but of the two I think this edges out the Oldblood. The reason why is while he only has one weapon his command ability is a +1 to wound instead of to hit, and those come along a lot less often. If you’re running a saurus heavy list though, bring both.
Saurus Eternity Warden
Holds a dual purpose as a body guard for Slann, taking wounds in their place, and a buff bot for Saurus Guards. A decent niche, though costs a bit much for that. Kroak is pretty resiliant so he doesn’t need the backup, even if he does guards serve that role just fine. If you want +1 to hit for Saurus Guards, take an Old Blood as that’s not limited to just guards.
Scar-Veteran on a Cold One
Strangely, no foot version of this one. The cold one is a cheaper, cavalry option, the command ability grants the “On a 6 to hit, turn 1 hit into 2 hits” from other Saurus Heroes except onto a unit. Saurus units generally aren’t big enough to get massive benefit from this making the ability not quite good enough to heavily consider.
Scar-Veteran on Carnosaur
Scar-Veteran on cold one but more expensive. While the Carnosaur is just as nasty as it was on the Oldblood and is cheaper at 210 you just have so many better options.
Saurus Astrolith Bearer
OK hold up! I can actually talk about this one. If it seems like I’ve glossed over Saurus Heroes it’s true, they’re all pretty mediocre and compared to their Slann and Skink comrades don’t shine nearly well enough to discuss at length. This guy kinda sorta makes it though. He’s an odd one, while not a Wizard himself he makes your wizards better and they need the help. His passive ability extends spells for 6″ and adds 1 to casting rolls, and also gives a 12″ 6+ Feel no pain bubble.This doesn’t help Kroak as he already has a better 4+, but it helps everyone else. He’s fairly cheap at 140 points so if you can find room feel free to include him, as his buffs will help the whole army. If it comes down to it he’s competent in melee, too.
Our first Skink and a popular pick. In Fangs of Sotek lists you’ll often want one of these guys. He has a decent ranged attack but his utility is where it counts. He can generate a CP each turn on a 4+, help units charge from 18″ away with a 3D6 and his built in spell, Control Fate is both a -1 save debuff or +1 save buff depending whether it targets friend or foe, making him insanely flexible. Definitely worth a look and practically a must take in Fangs of Sotek lists.
Functions a similar roll to the Starseer, though a little cheaper. He’s better in close combat but try not to get him there. His unique spell lets him inflict a -1 to hit on an enemy unit within 18″ which means he doesnt step on the seer’s toes and in fact they compliment each other very well. Both are worth taking in a Fangs of Sotek list.
Skink Oracle on Troglodon
Our last caster. This skink is less popular, due to the mount giving him a very inflated point value. GW has given him a discount, though he’s probably more at home in a Thunder Lizard list than a Fangs of Sotek list. He’s not bad, really! He gains +1 to casting, unbinding and dispel rolls, without needing to rely on Kroak for fire support and the Troglodon has pretty reliable regeneration making him beefier. His spell is pretty good, dealing mortals to a few different units. All around a decent package, it’s just that he’s better in a Thunder Lizards list where the Monster keyword can be most taken advantage of, while giving you a skink caster if you need those spells. Even then I might consider a Stegadon with a Skink Chief first.
Priced to move, at only 70 points this is one of the cheapest heroes in the game. It’s not uncommon to take 2 in a Fangs of Sotek list. While not a caster he can on a 3+ grant a nearby unit of Skinks the ability to run and shoot and/or charge in the same turn and a +1 to their saves. He also has a command ability to give them +1 to hit. He makes your skink hordes more deadly so if thats your game plan, bring one or two of these guys.
Awful. Even if you use Terradons, this guy doesn’t do much to help them. His command ability lets them deal D3 mortal wounds on a 2+ instead of a 4+ but is that really worth a command point, even if you often will have them to spare? Probably not. He has a frankly embaressing 6+ save andonly has a -1 for enemy non flying units. Bin this guy.
He’s…better. 5+ save with exploding 6s to hit, and a command ability that adds 1 to attacks of nearby Ripperdactyls. You probably will not use Ripperdactyls however, making this guys role pretty useless.
Engine of the Gods
We close out on a banger. This guy can be a bit of a toss up, as he’s expensive, but he can make up every last one of his points. A pretty nasty beast in combat, you’re bringing him in for his Cosmic Engine, a table of random effects ranging from good to incredible. There is one bad outcome, where if you roll snake eyes or a 3 the Engine of the Gods suffers D3 mortal wounds. This will only happen approximately 8% of the time though so it’s a worthy consequence for all the other things it can do. These range from things such as healing D3 wounds on all friendly units within 12″, a free squad of Saurus Warriors or if you get really lucky literally stop time letting you reroll charges and doubling attack characteristics for friendly units within 24″. A bit random to be sure, but as most of the results are good you’re not taking a huge risk.
This is probably better placed in a Thunder Lizards list where it can benefit from the traits of the subfaction, but it’s a pretty good all around unit. It does have the Skink keyword (the guy riding him) and lets Skinks reroll battleshock tests, so it can serve a role in a lot of lists.
Stegadon with Skink Chief
The Stegadon is interesting because it’s one of the only times the mounted and rider-less versions share a warscroll. This is mostly because the Skink Chief will just add the Hero keyword, add an extra javelin attack and gives a decent Command Trait of +1 attack to a skink unit within 24″ of him.
So what does the Stegadon do? It’s a pretty tough little beast, sporting one of two different ranged attacks. A bow that does 3 attacks with -1 rend and deals 2 damage per shot. Take this to deal with enemies with poor saves, the sunfire throwers are better on enemies with better saves, dealing mortal wounds to all enemy units within 8″ on a 5+. The bow is often better because it’s not quite hardy enough you want to get in the middle of so many units that the sunfire thrower gets to deal more attacks. Otherwise he’s a decently tanky individual that does a lot of attacks in melee. Sometimes worth bringing one in a Thunder Lizards list to gain another Hero and get the most out of the Stegadon.
Frustrating anyone trying to read this book, there is the Skink keyword and the Skinks unit, which we have here. The humble skink will be the backbone of many lists, especially Fangs of Sotek where they get to really shine. At first they don’t seem too impressive, none of their three weapon options seem all that great, possessing no rend, only one attack each and below average hit and wound chances. They have a laughably bad 6+ save (5+ with a shield) and 5 bravery. No, their real strength is how you get an absolute shitton of them. At only 60 points for 10, these are one of the cheapest units in the game. For an army with expensive Heroes, having a real cheap horde unit is a welcome respite when it comes time to build lists. Don’t be fooled by their basic stats either, many units have ways to buff them to make them more deadly, such as the Skink Priest or Oracle. Your opponent will underestimate them but you will be ready.
Of the weapon options, a Boltspitter is a better ranged option. You want skinks to be able to hassle the opponent from range as much as possible and Javelin’s 8″ is much too short for that, it puts you in charge range. After that, you can either take the club or dagger and shield. I recommend the club for a large group, where you can afford the loses, and shields when you cant. Fangs of Sotek is Starborne, meaning you have bravery 10 which will go a long way for these guys. A 40 man group is great for everyone, while fangs of Sotek can go further and start with 40, adding other smaller groups along the way.
Your basic shock troops and the cheapest, at 90 points for 10 they’re not too expensive and definitely a bit hardier. The problem is they occupy this middle ground of not being as cheap as Skinks, particularly in large numbers, and not as elite as their guard and knight brothers. In a Koatl’s claw list they can function as your substitute for Skinks, cheap infantry to fill in the gaps.
Cavalry, though not as fast as other armies cavalary only rocking an 8″ movement. Still, these guys serve the role as fairly inexpensive objective holders and with a 4+ save and 2 wounds they can take a reasonable hit. I recommend spears for hit and run tactics, doing Damage 2 on the charge. You’ll probably take a unit or two of these guys to fill in holes in your army when you have points left over.
More elite Saurus Warriors. They’re good at holding objectives and can take hits for Slann (Including Kroak). They cost a lot more but serve a much stronger role than Warriors.
The Other category is an interesting grab bag of different units. Some useful, most downright forgettable.
An odd duck, not quite a Monster but seems to be trying to be one. They get 4 attacks at -1 Rend and D2, or they can swap their weapon for Moonhammer which makes the attack characteristic the number of models within 2″, making them better at hordes. With 4 wounds and 4+ saves they’re decently hardy, but they are neither a Skink nor Saurus, so they don’t benefit from as many buffs. They’re independent operators who can function alright without being babysat, but youre better off with something that synergizes better with your army of choice.
Useful in, you guessed it, Fangs of Sotek lists. These tricky bastards are like souped up skinks. At 90 points for 5 they’re a little expensive but bring some nice tools to the table like deep striking, a cover save of +3 instead of plus one (making them effectively a 3+ save as long as you can stay in cover) and their ranged attack does a mortal wound on a 6. Drop them on objectives or in cover far from combat and your opponent will curse your name. They serve a role and that role is being annoying.
Salamander Hunting Pack
Recently got a hefty price hike, they’re still pretty good because they have the Skink keyword. They move 8″ and have a nasty 12″ missle attack with 4 attacks per model, rend -2, and does D3 wounds (Mortals on a 6 to hit, with this many attacks that will happen quite a lot). They do the same in melee too, making them pretty flexible. Treat them as mobile harassment for the enemy.
Razordon Hunting Pack
A cousin to Salamanders and honestly much worse. The attack characteristic of 2D6 is nice, but the attacks are much worse, sporting no rend and Damage 1 (getting -1 rend if they roll a 6 to hit). They occupy a similar role to Salamanders, but just don’t quite measure up even if they are much cheaper.
Games Workshop seems to want these to be a thing and they’re not, really. Cheap, flying cavalry their damage is so-so. The potential for mortal wounds when flying over enemy units is nice. However, Fangs of Sotek lists, where these should ostensibly fit, are not starved for choice and these guys with their laughable 6+ save will get decimated the second they get close to the enemy.
Better than Terradons, the save is a little better and you can mark a unit once per game to reroll hits for that turn. Still it’s a one time trick and once it’s gone theyre not really pulling their weight. You can have some fun with these, but they’re not terribly competitive.
These dinos are surprisingly flexible. In a Thunder Lizards army they count as Battleline when they have no rider, allowing you to all but completely forego any tiny lizards altogether. We already discussed the Stegadon with Skink Chief in the Hero section but it is otherwise identical, it is just not a Hero and does not have a command ability.
The Behemoth to end all Behemoth. This is what makes other armies jealous of you. This guy doesn’t have serious tricks he’s just mean. First, lets look at his save. Yep, 1+, the only unit in the game to do that. This caused a lot of confusion when the book came out but GW ruled in your favor on this one. Rend modifies the save roll not the characteristic, so you can never roll under a 1. This means that even if you’re hit with Rend -2, and you roll a 2, you still pass because you rolled a 1. This makes him extra tanky early on and guaranteed to generate salt.
It’s not just tough, it hits hard too. Your real weapons are a choice between a ranged option or a melee one. The Solar Engine has a range of 18″ with Rend -1 and D2, D3 against Chaos Daemons. It gets 9 shots at full health. The melee option is a somewhat unimpressive at first glance Ark of Sotek, with a 4+ to hit and 6+ to wound with no rend and D1. But at full health you get 18 attacks, plus it deals a mortal wound on a 6, meaning on average 3 of those will be mortals. In general though stick to the Solar Engine, the Bastiladon’s crippling downside is how slow he is, so make it so he never has to move too close, and frustrate your opponent from afar. Plus, you get to shoot twice in a Thunder Lizards army with their command ability. Enjoy!
The Seraphon have their own unique terrain piece, the Realmshaper Engine. The Engine is an obstacle which can be garrisoned – the models garrisoning it must have a combined Wounds characteristic of 20 or less, and you cannot garrison with a unit at all if they are higher than this. Additionally it has the Power Unleashed rule, which means that in your hero phase, if this model is garrisoned by a friendly SERAPHON WIZARD or SERAPHON PRIEST, you can pick 1 terrain feature anywhere on the battlefield and roll a dice for each enemy unit within 3″ of that terrain feature, adding 2 if that feature is within 18″ of this model, and subtracting 2 for features more than 36″ away. On a 4+, that enemy unit suffers d3 mortal wounds.
There’s a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth because you have to set this up before setting deployment zones. Which means you might plant it squarely in their zone. The mortal wound damage isn’t good enough to justify that, and the enemy can garrison inside if it so happens to end up in their territory, being one of the only army terrain pieces that can help your opponent. I recommend planting it near the center or not bringing it.
As has been discussed in this article many times, you have two real options if you want to be competitive, waves of Skinks with the Fangs of Sotek, or all big Monsters with the Thunder Lizards.
Fangs of Sotek
Allegiance: Seraphon - Constellation: Fangs of Sotek Leaders Lord Kroak (320) - Spell: Stellar Tempest Skink Starseer (140) - General - Command Trait: Nimble - Spell: Hand of Glory Skink Starpriest (120) - Spell: Hand of Glory Saurus Astrolith Bearer (140) -Artefact: Serpent God's Dagger Skink Priest (70) Skink Priest (70) Battleline 40 x Skinks (240) - Weapon: Boltspitters & Moonstone Clubs 10 x Skinks (60) - Weapon: Boltspitters, Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers 10 x Skinks (60) - Weapon: Boltspitters, Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers 10 x Skinks (60) - Weapon: Boltspitters, Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers Other 3 x Salamander Hunting Pack (330) 5 x Saurus Guard (100) 5 x Chameleon Skinks (90) 5 x Chameleon Skinks (90) Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs Balewind Vortex (40) Bounds Geminids of Uhl-Gysh (70) Total: 2000 / 2000 Extra Command Points: 0 Allies: 0 / 400 Wounds: 136
Told you it was a lot of skinks! Lord Kroak leads the list, because you really do not want to leave home without a Slann. After that a lot of usual suspects for Fangs of Sotek lists are here. Skink Starseers, Starpriests (both with the Hand of Glory spell as it’s simply too good to not have a backup in play) and Priests serve the role of buffing the Skink units to make them much more fearsome than their small size would imply. The 40 man unit can become a truly terrifying force of nature, with enemies suffering -1 to saves and to hit and Skinks getting 41 attacks at 3+ to hit (rerolling all misses) if all the buffs go off just right.
The lone Saurus Astrolith Bearer hangs in the back makes our spellcasters better while the Salamanders and Chameleons are mobile harassment. Most things in this list are fairly mobile at 8″ movement, frustrating the opponent as they take potshots and then bolt. This is not a force that’s going to handle protracted fights but will drag the enemy into terrain on their own terms.
Want big dinosaurs? Course you do.
Allegiance: Seraphon - Constellation: Thunder Lizard Leaders Engine of the Gods (260) Lord Kroak (320) - Spell: Mystical Unforging Stegadon with Skink Chief (250) - General - Command Trait: Prime Warbeast - Artefact: Fusil of Conflaguration - Weapon: Skystreak Bow Battleline 5 x Saurus Guard (100) 5 x Saurus Knights (100) - Lances Stegadon (240) - Weapon: Skystreak Bow Stegadon (240) - Weapon: Skystreak Bow Behemoths Bastiladon (220) - Weapon: Solar Engine Bastiladon (220) - Weapon: Solar Engine Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs Bound Balewind Vortex (50) Total: 2000 / 2000 Extra Command Points: 0 Allies: 0 / 400 Wounds: 89
Saurus Guard and Knights break up the only Monsters we don’t have (not counting Lord Croak again, of course) as objective holders. The one important thing to remember about Monster heavy lists is that unless you have a special rule you will struggle on the objectives, so it pays to bring along some smaller units to shore up objectives against your enemies own sneak attack from behind. Skinks require more than the minimum to be truly effective so it is the one place where Saurus can be very useful. Otherwise the goal of this list is very straight forward, run in and cause a goddamn mess with your giant dinosaurs. Jurassic Park music optional.
There you have it! By taking your first step into the Seraphon, you inherit a legacy of one of the oldest people to ever have inhabited the Mortal Realms. Whether you field legions of Skinks, armies of martially skilled Saurus or just a mess of Dinosaurs you will hopefully have the tools to begin bringing honor to Lord Kroak and the Slann whether Coalesced or Starborn.
Are you a Seraphon player? What kinds of units do you like running? Let us know by Contact@goonhammer.com or on social media!