Slaanesh are fast, summon a ridiculous amount and have loads of tricks and shenanigans. Sounds like a perfect list? Read on.
I’ve tried my absolute best to really refine this Slaanesh list, to counter some of the Meta that is currently floating about. There are so many synergies in this list that people don’t account for, don’t realise or don’t grasp how well they work together. They can with a little practise really be a defensive, fast, killing machine.
The way the army generally works is around knowing when to strike with the exalted keeper and capitalising on her abilities for maximum damage, if the enemy gives you an inch you take a mile, and realising the defensive capabilities of the units you have.
Battle Traits –
One of Slaanesh’s battle traits is the ability to pick a host while creating your lists (although this it says that you pick it after setup, FAQs have amended this). There are two main hosts that can be used and can be effective. Pretenders synergise with my list very well, but I can see Seekers having potential.
Pretenders allows your general to take two command traits rather than just one and luckily for us there are some really nice command traits available.
Devotee of Torment –
Devotee of torment is almost an auto pick, it allows your general (In my case the exalted keeper of secrets) to pile in when within 6” rather than 3”. Due to the wording on this ability it means you can pile in 6″ and doesn’t specify that you can’t use it after running or retreating. This command trait makes for an amazing situation where you can move 14″ base, run up to 6″ and then pile in 6, giving her a potential guaranteed threat range of 26″. After which she can boomerang off other units for another 6″ which I will explain more later.
Allure of Slaanesh –
Allure of Slaanesh gives the general -1 to hit base in the combat phase, my list builds around the ability to stack minuses to make it incredibly hard to take down key units. This make it very easy to keep your keeper at -2 or -3. (Making most units hit on 6s). It also gives the ability to reroll ones to hit if the squad has 10 or more models (which very rarely happens, and Daemonettes have reroll 1s on their warscroll).
The seekers allegiance ability, give your units +1 if they are below 10″ movement and +2 if they are above 10″ movement characteristic and charges of models. Bear in mind if they are in charging distance of a model they have to attempt to charge.
Depravity Points –
Depravity Points are Slaanesh’s summoning mechanic, to try and keep it as simple as possible you gain a depravity point when
* One of your heroes takes a wound which isn’t a mortal wound and isn’t your last wound remaining.
* One of your heroes deals a wound to an enemy that isn’t its last wound.
* And infernal enraptresses gain one per hero phase each.
This means for every herald or Enrapturess summoned, they cost 6 points and when they die you gain 5 points, the summoning is hugely effective.
Units have to be summoned outside of 9″ of an enemy but within 12″ of a hero, but you have the ability to summon heroes. With this you can chain summon to either get bigger squads on the board or extend summoning range.
The summoning is hugely effectively and can be exploited; my max summoning being 1240 points and it is surprising how fast they add up.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
Command Traits –
As explained above
Command Abilities –
Within Slaanesh there are a couple of command abilities that are pivotal to the army’s success.
Excess of violence (Keeper of Secrets) –
This command ability is used in the hero phase and allows the keeper of secrets to select a unit within 12” to fight and pile in twice in the combat phase.
Exalted Excess of violence (Exalted Keeper of Secrets) –
This command ability allows the exalted keeper of secrets to select a unit in the combat phase wholly within 18” who after fighting for the first time can immediately pile in and fight again if they are within 3” of an enemy unit.
The thing to be aware of are that if the keeper of secrets command ability is used on the exalted keeper of secrets she can pile in 6″ then 6″ again if she is within 6″ of a model. Where as if she uses her own command ability she can pile in 6″ then pile in 6″ again if she is within 3″ of another model.
This make for various really effective situations for example –
-You can put the exalted keeper of secrets into two units, pile into one from outside 3 but within 6 (meaning they can’t attack you first) then pile in immediately into the second unit after.
-You can pile in 6 from outside 3 into a large hero, not kill it and pile around it and attack a different unit behind.
-Or use the keeper of secrets ability of the exalted, pile in 6 into a unit, kill it, then pile in 6 into another.
This means that the exalted can be a threat from a large amount of range away and really catch people off guard.
Dimensional Blade – This artefact gives her claws -3 rend, which creates a situation where any 4+ save unit does get a save. Making it hugely effective vs most units.
Exalted Keeper of Secrets –
The exalted keeper of secrets is an absolute powerhouse, with her -3 and -2 rend she is built to tear through low save models. With her threat range being so high as explained above she is a threat across the whole board. On top of which her command ability is incredible, being used in the combat phase means you can use it defensively and offensively. Piling in 6 makes her a threat in so many situations.
Keeper of Secrets although potentially a little expensive, is a good killy unit, bringing more depravity and another threat to the board. It’s also mainly included and vital for casting spells and scoring objectives on battleplans like places of arcane power.
Infernal Enrapturess –
Not only is the list built around minus to hit denial but there is an element of spell denial as well. The infernal Enrapturess make enemy spell casters reroll successful casts within 24″, combined with maelstrom, and an unbind you can quite easily make the enemy reroll successful casts, followed by two unbind attempts. It is key to have these in your inventory as there shooting is incredible also. Their summoning points are very low, they can be summoned to the table and shoot on the same turn with -3 rend. By the end of most games I will have the 3 on the board and they, on various occasions have won be games.
Daemonettes are a core part to this list, doing most of the leg work. What people don’t realise is not only do they hit incredibly hard but if used in the right situation, which you will do a lot with this list, can be a brilliant defensive unit.
Daemonettes on their base warscroll, have a 5+ save, hit and wound on 4s, 6s are extra attacks, if they are above 20 models 5s are extra attacks, do -1 rend, are 1 damage, and enemies reroll hits of 6 when they are wholly within 9 of a hero. When written out doesn’t sound too deadly but when synergies come into play become absolute monsters.
* When Hellstriders are sat behind Daemonettes, they become -1 to hit. When within 9 of a hero enemies have to reroll 6s to hit. When combined with Geminids, they are -2 to hit. This means that very easily Daemonettes can be -2 to hit rerolling 6s, meaning that anything hitting on 4s (Grimghasts, zombie dragons, Etc.) are hitting on 6s rerolling 6s.
* As the list is at 1940 points often you will have a triumph, meaning if you’re lucky you can be rerolling wounds or hits, and if combined with an exalted keeper you can have them piling in twice. Due to the extra hits being unmodified it means they aren’t hugely effected by debuffs either, There isn’t much that a squad of Daemonettes would struggle to kill, or tank if the situation arises.
* Running and charging on their base warscroll combined with cogs means they have a huge threat range, and can be a pest on objectives and far units without a struggle.
Hellstriders are very important and their job is very simple. They are simply there to give as many models as possible -1 to hit and leg it for objectives when appropriate. They move crazy fast, if they are in combat get them out and plonk them as close as possible to as many models as possible, their -1 to hit aura is within 6″ from models in the unit and is a huge asset to the army.
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
Magic overall is a bit of an issue for Slaanesh, we don’t have a spell lore so we struggle with spells to cast as the warscrolls spells on our wizards.
This list is built around not being in the realm, so the three endless spells give something to cast. The endless spells synergise really well with the list and can be hugely helpful. Realm spells just add a bit of depth and choice.
Cogs add a large amount of diversity to the list and really give choice and helps in different areas. Generally this will be cast by the exalted keeper and this will give her the option of reroll saves, which you would generally use if you see a gap to take and throw her into the enemy army. Or the other option is +2 to move and charge which you would take if you see the chance to throw the rest of the army forward.
Maelstrom is a very low cost spell at only 20 points, but it potentially adds so much. As previously said spells aren’t huge for Slaanesh, so what this allows you do is throw this into the enemy army, run you’re exalted forward inside 24″ range of enemy casters. This would mean you can quite easily make enemy’s reroll successful casts (from the Enrapturess), unbind once (from a friendly wizard) then unbind again from the maelstrom, this makes it incredible difficult to get any spells off unless you have big pluses.
Although many people don’t like Geminids due to the threat of it coming back at you I think it’s incredible. The general tactic with Geminids is to throw it past a unit in the enemy’s army or across key pieces. This allows you to make them -1, with the exalted keeper already being -1 and Hellstriders giving an extra -1 to a large area, it puts a situation where it’s very easy to achieve -2 to hit. What it also adds is a situation at the turn change that the enemy has to either decide to be at an additional -1 to hit again or give you the turn, so either way you’re in an advantageous position.
Deployment is always very similar for Slaanesh, but can be adjusts based on battleplan and the army you are facing.
Generally you want you Daemonettes deployed so they are wholly within 9 of a hero so enemies are rerolling hits of 6 and have the Hellstriders behind to give anything that hits them -1 to hit. You want to mimic this on either sides of the board and or based upon objectives for battleplans.
Most of the time you will want you exalted keeper of secrets within 6 of the Daemonettes and the Hellstriders so she is at -2 to hit and can pile in where appropriate. You want to make the enemy think they can kill her and debate whether it’s worth going at her turn one, but you want to put her close enough that she can get into the enemy herself and potentially boomerang into something vital.
Then depending on the battleplan and deployment of the enemy you either want your enrapturess up front and centre ready to charge and make the enemy reroll successful casts or being behind Daemonettes ready for the enemy to hit them.
General Tactics –
I generally follow the phrase if the enemy gives me an inch take a mile, this army is all about knowing when to hit and what you can achieve.
You need to balance out what you think you can get through in your turn or if you should hold out and play cagey and wait for the opportunity later. It takes practise and a few test games, but it’s about realising what your army can achieve what they can go through, which is all based upon distances to the enemy and the buffs / debuffs that have gone off. People are normally all too happy to throw everything forward with Slaanesh but this list is designed to take a hit and capitalise off the back of it.
Armies we will struggle against –
This list will always struggle with armies that have multiple single units or shooting heavy armies. We can absolutely tear through big monsters and big units, but when faced with 4 squads of 20 clan rats or a really shooty it becomes a real struggle if the enemy knows how to screen well or pick units to shoot efficiently.
Generally in these situations, I try to boomerang the exalted into multiple units to try and force battleshocks.