Welcome fellow disciples of change to the new Tzeentch. It was a rough start there with our bad rep for spamming Skyfires and never fully being able to explain pre-game just how flexible a Changehost was. I was there from the start, I heard all the same complaints that Destiny Dice are “broken”. Since then things have appeared to have gone downhill with all our heroes and horrors getting a hefty points hike in the GHB 2018. Do not despair, for I am here to tell you that all is not lost, we’ve not been forgotten, our army has just changed… and change is how we will conquer the mortal realms!
Tzeentch in its new form is one of the most tactical armies in the game at the moment and the breadth of units at our disposal offer us multitudes of opportunities to adapt to the current “meta” and to really feel accomplished after a well fought game regardless of the result. This army plays like a reactive gunline sending forth an onslaught of spells and witchfyre into the foe if they get too close whilst having the threat range to reach out and deal devastating blows to the enemy from the very first turn.
I’ve had a lot of success with this army since its inception and it has only slightly changed since the new handbook came out. I hope by sharing it with you I’ll be able to spread the hope of the Great Conjurer to battlefields worldwide.
Masters of Destiny
Destiny Dice are perhaps the most powerful allegiance ability available to any army in Age of Sigmar. They provide you the ability to take luck out of the equation on key dice rolls in your game which any gamer would recognise is a great tool. You start the game with 9 of these dice which you can replenish by casting Glimpse the Future with the Magister. Each dice can be used in place of a roll from the following list: Hit, Wound, Save, Damage, Casting, Unbinding (not Dispelling FYI), Run, Charge and Battleshock. 1s and 2s are great for battleshock, 3s, 4s and 5s I generally use for one dice from a casting roll or charge roll and 6s are fantastic for use with the Skyfires’ ranged attacks turning each shot into a 24” range D3 mortal wounds. I will usually use around 3 Dice per turn, replenishing 1 each turn to give me 4 turns of guarantees but some games the first few turns are more pivotal so I’ll use them at a faster rate.
Summon Daemons of Tzeentch
The Tzeentch summoning mechanic is based off spells being successfully cast which is why I’ve stacked my hero slots with wizards and multi-spell casters. Before using any abilities this list casts 7 spells a turn which gives you a good spread of options for summoning from turn two onwards. The units you summon must be set up within 12” of a Tzeentch Hero and more than 9” away from enemy models. I find the Tzaangor shaman is a great asset for setting up for summoning during the movement phase- with his 16” movement you can summon units 28” away from where he starts the movement phase. Generally the units I summon will be Blue and Brimstone horrors in the early game to create screens or add bodies to my home objectives and then Pink Horrors or Flamers in the late game to add some replenished firepower or spellcasting. I would say there are going to be very few instances where saving up your points to summon another Lord of Change will be useful so don’t be afraid to use these points up early.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
Command Trait: Magical Supremacy
This command trait on the Lord of Change gives you a great deal of magical defence allowing you to unbind enemy spells at 42” rather than 30”. Combine this with his Mastery of Magic ability changing the lowest unbinding dice to the highest and your destiny dice and you can essentially choose which spells to let through and which are worth more to you as Fate Points (I’ll often let through a Mystic Shield as the majority of my damage output is through mortal wounds).
Artefacts: Mark of the Conjurer
This artefact combos wonderfully with the Lord of Change’s Mastery of Magic ability meaning that any spell you cast with your Lord of Change gains you 2 Fate points rather than only 1. This brings your Fate points up to 9 per hero phase.
Artefacts: Wellspring of Arcane Might
Definitely my favourite Artefact in the book granting you rerolls of 1s to cast from any Tzeentch Daemon wizards within 9”. You can take this into account when using your destiny dice to cast a spell with such a wizard. Say for instance you wanted to cast Infernal Flames from the gaunt summoner, thanks to his familiar you only need a 7 to cast it and can therefore use a 5 from your Destiny Dice for one of the dice rolls safe in the knowledge that if you roll a 1 and therefore fail the spell you can reroll it.
Command Abilities: Beacon of Sorcery
Nice and simple- adds to your casting rolls for Tzeentch Daemon wizards within 18”. A point of note is this can stack so if you save up a turn when your spells are going to be less influential you can then unleash your command points all at once to provide a nigh unstoppable hero phase.
Command Abilities: Core Rules
These are less useful to you as you can mostly use destiny dice to create the same effects. Sometimes I will turn the Tzaangor’s run into a 6 though as they can run and charge.
The Lord of Change is a powerful spell caster with Infernal Gateway on his warscroll which deals on average 6 mortal wounds to an enemy within 18”. Combine this with Beacon of Sorcery, Magical Supremacy and Mark of the Conjurer and this guys starts to become almost vital to the core workings of your army. In my list I kit him out with the Rod of Sorcery because you want to avoid over-committing him and risking being dragged down in the heat of combat. Keep him safe behind a screen of Kairic Acolytes to begin with then late game summon some horrors to follow him around and your opponent will find it very difficult to catch him in combat (watch out for threat ranges from shooting armies though). I’ve given him Bolt of Tzeentch as it’s a difficult spell to cast needing an 8, he makes this much easier needing only one 4 on either of the casting dice to succeed. Also worth noting is whenever he unbinds an enemy spell on a 9 or more he learns that spell for the rest of the game, this can be great for taking debuff spells off your opponent or spells which can affect multiple units if your opponent has no lynchpin unit that needs focus fire to bring down.
Gaunt Summoner with Chaos Familiars
The Gaunt Summoner is another 2 spell caster who brings along with him 4 free wounds in his familiars. His warscroll spell Infernal Flames will clear out a large unit in the blink of an eye and his potential to Auto-kill an enemy model can be game changing in the right circumstances. Don’t get me wrong- you don’t want to be charging this guy headlong into combat lightly but it can sometimes help. I’ve given him Unchecked Mutation to provide him some focused magic in case your opponent is running smaller units which does D3 mortal wounds with the potential to do more if you’re really good at rolling 5+. Sit him near Arcane terrain if you can so that with the Lord of Change’s Beacon of Sorcery he will have +3 to cast.
This guy is a beast, literally. 8 wounds with a 5+ save and healing 1 wound every hero phase makes him relatively durable for a Tzeentch hero. I’ve given him Infusion Arcanum for +1 to hit and wound making most of his profile 2+s. As hes only a 1 spell casting wizard you’ll be choosing between this and Fireblast- his warscroll spell. Fireblast does D6 mortal wounds which for every mortal wound caused allows you to set up a brimstone horror within 3” of the unit he cast it on. This can be fantastic for tying up shooting units or forcing an awkward pile in when you hit the other end of the unit in combat. As he’s not a Daemon he won’t benefit from Wellspring of Arcane Might or Beacon of Sorcery so send him forwards to buff your Tzaangor unit and take the fight to the foe.
The Tzaangor Shaman should be following your Tzaangor Enlightened around essentially. He also buffs the Skyfires but you can use destiny dice for them since they are high quality low quantity shots. Casting Shield of Fate onto your Enlightened gives them a 5+ save rerolling depending on the number of Destiny dice you have left. If it’s 6 or more they reroll 1s 2s and 3s which is great. His spell is another source of D3 mortal wounds which can return slain Tzaangor to your unit. He can also drink a Sorcerous Elixir once a battle to reroll his casting attempts and cast an extra spell bringing your first turn Fate point potential to 10. Not to be sniffed at in a fight he wields his Disk of Tzeentch just as well as any Skyfire, sometimes I’ll use him to hunt out enemy wizards.
The magister is a fantastic cheap (for Tzeentch) wizard who has a D3 mortal wound warscroll spell that can summon a Chaos Spawn if it kills any enemy models. Again this is great for tying up shooting units or tagging ends of large units. I gave him Glimpse the Future to keep the Destiny Dice flowing and to give all my casters a useful spell for the first turn hero phase if you go first. He can potentially cast extra spells if he rolls a double on the casting roll- you can use destiny dice to make this happen if you need 1 more spell for your summoning or otherwise it’s a nice bonus.
The chaff. These guys are nice and cheap but take up a large amount of board space to create screens for your valuable wizards to hide behind. Their 18” shooting attack is a nice little bit of poke that can clear out a screen for you or just chip away a few wounds a round.
Tzaangor are a very resilient combat unit at 20 wounds with a 5+ save and a 6+ damage prevention roll. They are most effective when you have 9 or more models in the unit giving them an extra attack with their melee weapons. The greatblades are where the damage comes from but if you lose 4 wounds before these guys get to fight you’re better off removing those blades and keeping the weight of attacks from the paired weapon Tzaangor. They can run and charge which combos nicely with the Forward to Victory command ability from the core rules. Also their Banner bearer has a mortal wound output if the unit is within 9” of wizards so try and start the game with as many of these guys in range of your wizards as possible.
Tzaangor Enlightened on Discs
These guys are just fantastic value for their points offering a speedy combat unit that creates an awkward decision for your opponent when it comes to combat. They gain rerolls to hit and wound if any enemy unit within 3” has activated before them that phase. This means that unless your opponent brings down 2 of the 3 in one go you’re actually better off fighting last with these guys. Sit them behind your screen to discourage Alpha striking armies or use them to fill gaps in your deployment zone against alternate deployment armies.
Skyfires have a reputation in large units but a small unit of 3 is still a great sniping unit and can dish out a fair amount of damage if they strike first in the combat phase. Use these guys to take out key heroes at 40” threat range and then as a one two punch with your enlightened into the same enemy unit in the combat phase.
This battalion consists of the 2 units of Acolytes and the Tzaangor Enlightened. It allows the Kairic acolytes to shoot in the hero phase as well as the shooting phase doubling down on the value you get from your chaff battleline units and reducing your drops to 8 (not a small number but can be all the difference).
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
This extends the range of your Lord of Change’s Infernal Gateway to just over 36”! This endless spell allows for you to not mind going first in the battle as you have always got something to Gateway.
Thanks to some tricksy shenanigans you can extend your Gaunt Summoner’s threat range to around 30” by casting this then setting it up in front of him (through your screen using the small familiars) then setting the familiars up 1” in front of the vortex base. This usually allows you to catch a horde unit off guard and force an early use of a command point to Inspiring Prescence them. It also gives you an extra spell taking the final turn 1 Fate Points to 11 assuming you don’t roll a double with the Magister.
Gives you a flexible source of another D6 mortal wounds and you can sit it in front of the unit you want to kill meaning they take damage in between turns too. This was a late addition to my list since the Beasts of Chaos book brought down the cost of Skyfires and Enlightened but it can be very useful.
Armies you are good against
This army is great against any low model count enemy as the sheer quantity of mortal wounds ignores any regular defence these armies tend to have. You can also deal with almost any match up thanks to the Gaunt Summoner burning off hordes and some cheeky summoning tricks with the Magister and Ogroid keeping you choosing the favourable combats.
Armies you aren’t good against
Sylvaneth. Since their woods block line of sight all your damage is restricted to your opponent making mistakes. You can still catch people with the Lord of Change and Skyfires thanks to Fly but you won’t be able to draw visibility through the spellportal unless it’s on the other side of the woods as the portal doesn’t fly. You may also struggle against shooting heavy lists but I am yet to play many of these since the new edition has dropped.
Good and bad scenarios
This army is fantastic in Places of Arcane Power and Relocation Orb due to the sheer quantity of Wizards. It fairs well in most other scenarios with good movement and the ability to burn the enemy off objectives before you get there. It’s worst scenario by far is Better Part of Valour as this scenario can be decided on the first turn if your opponent is fast enough with enough models. In the past I’ve tried to counter this to varying success by going first and burning 5 objectives forcing my opponent to castle up on one allowing me to focus my force on clearing that objective out.
Some good Hidden Agendas for this army to tray and achieve are:
- Secret Mission: summon a herald and send him off on the mission for you
- Terrify: between the Gaunt summoner and the one two punch of the Skyfires and Enlightened large units can often be caused to battleshock off.
- Invade: summon some horrors at the end of the battle
- Defend: with 18” range on most of your damage you can sit back and burn anything that crosses that center line
- Slay: generally you’ll be able to achieve this turn 1 or 2 with your Lord of Change, Gaunt summoner’s Unchecked mutation and Skyfire shooting.
- Attrition: this army dishes out a lot of hurt, if you play well most games should see you achieve this no problem (I’ve gotten 2k kill points off Hag Narr Daughters of Khaine, Nagash, Archaon etc.)
- Sacrifice: Your opponent will want to kill the Gaunt summoner and the Tzaangor shaman so depending where their damage comes from this one could be easy to achieve.