The 40k FAQ Update Hot Take: September 21, 2022

Another Codex, another updated FAQ. This time we’re once again returning to the Imperial Armour Compendium, this time updating the datasheets for the forces of Chaos with new rules to reflect the recent Codex: Chaos Daemons release. As always, we’re here to talk about what changed and what it means for your games.

The Changes

Rules Updates

Daemons in the Compendium lost the Daemonic Ritual rule, which no longer did anything, as well as the Daemon Lord rule that gave them a 4+ invulnerable save. Likewise, An’ggrath lost Unstoppable Ferocity, Aetaos’rau’keres lost Ephemeral Form, Zarakynel lost Quicksilver Swiftness, and the Nurgle daemons lost Disgustingly Resilient. Scabieathrax gets a bit of a consolation prize here in that he’s now Toughness 9, reflecting the changes to other Great Unclean Ones gaining a point of Toughness.

This is theoretically a big loss for the non-Tzeentch daemons; on the one hand, these rules no longer did anything, so you could argue they haven’t lost anything, but the reality is that An’ggrath and Zarakynel are just worse in melee. Scabieathrax may also be worse on the balance, but whether it’s better to have a 5+ ignore wounds roll or be T9 is a bit more nebulous and will depend on the opponent. It’s closer to a wash.

Daemon Saves

To replace their invulnerable saves and bring them in line with the new Daemons, the Index crew get Daemonic Saves now:

  • An’ggrath – 4+/4+
  • Aetaos’rau’keres – 5+/3+
  • All the other Greater Daemons – 5+/4+

This is a much-needed change as the Leagues of Votann loom large with yet another “no invulnerable saves allowed” weapon ready to gun down anything over 18 wounds. The net effect is probably the same on Aetaos’rau’keres, and An’ggrath gets to continue on as though nothing changed, while the other daemons kind of get screwed by only having a 5+ save in melee instead of the 4+ they used to enjoy.

Keyword Adjustments

Finally we have some keyword adjustments for the big daemons. They all gained LEGIONES DAEMONICA, so they can actually be played as Daemons, and each of the four named greater daemons gained the GREATER DAEMON and WARP LOCUS keywords (Cor’bax does not get these). The latter is the biggest deal, since it means you have another warp locus alternative to the likes of Skarbrand and Kairos in your armies and potentially gives them a little more play as a conduit through which your daemons can manifest. This is particularly interesting on Aetaos’Rau’Keres, whose 18″ Movement value lets them get to a lot of places very quickly.

Credit: Macathu

What This All Means

Honestly? Not that much. These changes mostly make the Forge World daemons playable, and most of them are functionally worse – An’ggrath didn’t get any increase in deadliness to make up for his loss of +1A/+1S on the charge, and Zarakynel likewise just lost the ability to fight first with little in exchange. The only real upside to them now are that they have WARP LOCUS and can better shrug off Railguns and Magna-rail cannons that don’t allow invulnerable saves which isn’t nothing, but it’s also not likely to be something you’ll want to pay an extra 200 points for, particularly when those points no longer buy you a big increase in wounds over the other Greater Daemons – they still have more than their smaller counterparts, but the gap is much smaller now that normal Greater Daemons have 20+ wounds each.

And that’s really the biggest issue – the standard greater daemons have all improved compared to these, to the point that taking these is really more of a fun novelty than anything else. Of the lot, I think the strongest case you could make is for Aetaos’Rau’Keres, as the extra wounds and WARP LOCUS keyword still get you something and having a 3+ DSv against shooting is on par with the pre-codex performance and being able to fly 18-24″ around the table as a Locus has some real value.

We rarely saw the Forge World daemons before the new Codex and it’s likely we’ll see them even less after, save for the occasional more casual player interested in bringing one for the paint score value or the occasional mad genius “hear me out” style list trying to take advantage of a Warp Locus. As-is, the prospect of paying an extra 200 points for one of these over a standard greater daemon just got much worse.

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