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D.R.A.I.C.H.- Magic Items Summary 
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Magic Weapons Summary

An important thing for any aspiring Druchii General is their choice of Magic Items. This summary gives a comprehensive description of all our magic items and what situations they are best used for.

Magic Items
These are listed in the same order as the book with Common Items at the end. Each item has a rating out of 10 to reflect the items usefulness and are colour coded appropriately.

0/10- This item is more than useless, if anything it makes your hero worse than he was to start off with
1-2/10- This item is pretty dodgy, most likely highly situational with only little effect
3-4/10- This item is clearly sub optimal, but perhaps could be used as a novelty now and again. Most likely situational and/or overpriced
5-6/10 This item is mediocre and pales in comparison to other items but wont earn you stunned looks of surprise if you take it to a tournament
7-8/10 This item is a good choice and greatly improves your hero but isn’t exceptional and wont cause dark looks of envy. Often taken once the great items are used up on other heroes
9-10/10 This item is fantastic and a must have in any army if at all possible

Temple of Khaine
Rending Stars 7/10- with Manbane 9/10Rending Stars are very useful but only with the right builds of Assassins. With a range of only 12” they aren’t much good if your Assassin is deployed in a large block of Infantry especially if you want him hidden until the unit gets charged. The rending star assassin is best suited for a unit of Shades where he can nicely complement their shooting abilities. Whilst the stars are good on their own with Manbane they are absolutely lethal as due to the GW FAQ they give the Assassin S7 allowing him to pop chariots in one go as well as easily slicing thru things that had heavy armour like Knights

Dance of Doom 4/10
There are two reasons why not to take this item.
1. If you take Dance of Doom you reduce the amount of killy items you can take on your Assassin or Hag and this isn’t good as their main purpose is to kill things.
2. With no other armour whatsoever a 5+ ward will often not save you. Against S5 or more only 5 attacks are usually needed to completely kill you Hag or Assassin, with a 5+ ward this increases to 7.2 wounds. Against Infantry with 2 attacks like Swordmasters or Warriors of Chaos they will easily kill you in 1 turn regardless. Against enemy infantry with 1 attack it will take them multiple turns.

Touch of Death 7/10 with Black Lotus 8/10
Great for killing enemy characters and heavily armoured troops. However this does conflict with the Assassins innate poison attacks. This can be made up for by swapping to Black Lotus to increase the chance of a killing blow.

Rune of Khaine- 10/10
There is no reason not to take this on your assassin or Hag. The extra attacks are cheap and efficient. Well worth the points.

Witchbrew- 6/10
A somewhat unconvential item that is situational. The witchbrew offers 2 advantages, you can ignore being flanked or being outnumbered. This isn’t really that great as if you are flanked you still lose your rank bonus and will most likely lose combat by a lot anyway. Ignoring outnumber can be helpful but why not just take the Warbanner, for the same points you always get +1.

Hand of Khaine- 3/10
Simply put you won’t have to worry about attacks back from the enemy if you kill them all in your turn first. Plus this wont work on any ITP models which drops its effectiveness even further.

Cry of War- 5/10
It would be a lot better if it reduced the opponents WS to 1, rather than by -1. Often by -1 won't change anything depending on what troops you are using.

for instance give this to a Witch Elf hag in a unit of witches. Being WS 4. Cry of War only makes a difference if the enemy has WS 2, 4 or 5. Otherwise nothing happens and you have wasted your points. Plus you can't take any other magic items for hags. Could win a combat single handedly but rather situational.

Manbane- 9/10
A very common and good item seen on Hags and Assassins although it does have its drawbacks. It removes your normal poison attacks which is a pity. Also on a Death Hag or Assassin it has no effect against T3 or less troops. So it only has minimal use against Elves, Men, Goblins, Demons and Undead troops. For a normal Hag this is a great buy as it really lends the unit a little bit of punch.

Black Lotus- 7/10 with Touch of Death 8/10
Useful but takes up points and means you cant have Manbane. Like Manbane this means you lose your poison attacks which sort of lowers the advantage considerably.Combined with Touch of Death this uis a great way to increase your chance of killing blow.

Dark Venom- 2/10
Once more you lose poison for a very situational item. If you take this then you need to change your tactics around it substantially. To get full advantage you need to be able to kill your opponent while in a challenge. Having your assassin attack a unit champ is a bit of a waste and trying to take on a Character may fail to completely kill them which in turn will end up with a dead assassin instead. Great if you can manage to challenge a Sorcerer Lord but usually they will have something to defend themselves.

Venom Sword- 4/10
A very situational weapon, this means your assassin will only be able to complete 1 task in a battle and even still he wont be that great at it as he has t manage to wound his opponent and then hope he fails the toughness test. Meanwhile your opponent will be taking steps to avoid your assassin at all costs.

Cloak of Twilight- 7/10
Firstly this item should only really be taken in a high magic army as otherwise it will just be dispelled. Secondly if you use the cloak you have to reveal your assassin prematurely which is always a bit of a waste. Third when alone assassins are very vulnerable and slow. Finally assassins can’t take on much when alone due to a lack of static combat resolution. This is great though for getting rid of war machines, weak archers and cheap support units.

Enchanted Objects
Deathmask- 4/10
With Dragons, Manticores and Hydras, terror isn’t that hard to obtain and all of these options will be a lot more effective. From what I can see the best way to make use of the Mask is to give it to a Master on pegasus and then fly around causing panic tests, however this is a very expensive option and prevents the Master from taking any Magic Weapons or Armour and will easily be shot down if your not careful. Also many armies such as Vampires, Tomb Kings, Demons and Some Warriors are ITP and wont care.

Hydra’s Teeth- 2/10
This gives you 5D6 WS2 S3 Close Combat attacks which initially sounds good but translated on average it will give you 17.5 attacks, 8.75 hits, 4.375 wounds and then your opponent can still make armour saves and that’s for T3 troops. Not much good for the princely sum of 40 points. Its only redeeming save is that it can be used to snipe characters which would be useful in some situations but getting your Hero close enough could be trcky if your opponent knows you have it.

Crystal of Midnight- 3/10
Again very situational. It might remove a spell from a wizard but then again it might not and there’s 35 points wasted. One good point is as an enchanted item it can be taken with arcane items. If you are set on using it then look for Lv 1 wizards with low leadership such as Goblins and Skaven as then the chances of nulling your opponents magic is pretty good.

Black Dragon Egg- 5/10
This item has awesome fluff and I want to include it just for that reason. However battlewise it has 1 major flaw whilst it gives two effects only one can be used and it only lasts for a turn. This can be useful on a fast moving hero in case you either get trapped and need some added defence or find yourself next to a long line of troops that are in need of a good roasting.

Potion of Strength- 7/10
Situational but you can easily create the situations where it is extremely useful. Combine this with a Lance and all of a sudden your opponents facing 4 S9 attacks which will gouge a hole in almost anything with ease. However you have to time when you want to use it and if you challenge a big nasty and don’t kill it in one turn you will be back to S4-6.

Gem of Nightmares- 7/10
Theres only one unit that will benefit from this and that’s Spearman as they have the numbers to make full use of outnumbering and also are not ITP or cause fear themselves. The only problem is you have to give it to a character in the unit for them to benefit which makes the unit pretty expensive for just warriors. Interesting combos can be found with a Sorceress with the Gem and the Sacrificial Dagger, although often the Pearl of Infinite Bleakness is taken instead.

Guiding Eye-3/10
It’s effect is not particularly exciting, it can only be used once and requires a character to be assigned the task of baby sitting a unit of RXB or RBT just for this purpose. Too situational for the points value.

Magic Weapons

Executioners Axe- 6/10
This weapon could be brillant but it’s use is severly reduced by the fact that it can only be used by a Model on foot, Strikes Last with both hands. All up this means your Lord is in high danger of being killed before he can even use it. Also he will have difficulty managing to get close to anything large and tough which will be avoiding him. Against many armies he will be stuck using S6 for the huge price of 80 points, not great and again situational.

Sword of Ruin- 5/10
Another item that sounds good initially but when you think about it a simple lance is usually just as effective for 45 points less. The main difficulty is the fact you remain at S4 which means you wont get enough wounds to compensate the lack of armour saves. If you know you are playing Brettonians or Warriors of Chaos then this is an absolute must, in general though don’t bother.

Web of Shadows- 0/10
Perhaps the most useless item I have ever seen. There are few situations this could ever be used and a mundane weapon is always a better option. The Web of Shadows will on average give you 7 hits, 3.5 wounds against T3. However it can only be used on 1 model, no normal warrior is worth a 50 point, one use item and any character is going to have some defences, most likely a 2+ Armour Save plus a Ward meaning the Web wont even do a wound.It would be possible to kill off Mages, however this could be done just as easily with a normal 3 S6 attacks. The only possible combination perhaps would be to boost your character with Killing Blow from the Cauldron however this is even more expensive and still unlikely to be successful

Chillblade- 4/10
A complicated way to explain that this sword doesn’t really do anything exceptional and that there are cheaper and better weapons available.
Reason to use Sword of Ruin: Your chance to wound is higher.

S4 against T3 wounds on a 3+ (failing T test is a 4+).
S4 against T4 wounds on a 4+ (failing T test is a 5+).

The Chillblade is nice against characters, most likely, but against units it's definitely weaker.

Heartseeker- 5/10
Why take an item that allows you to re roll hits when you have hatred? Really this just allows you to re roll to wound. Perhaps useful if combined with killing blow however once again you are restricted to S4 which really weakens your character

Hydra Blade- 6/10 with Potion of Strength 7/10
Rolling more dice is always fun and its cheaper than in 6th edition so this is all good however all your attacks are S4 which sucks. Potion of Strength can remedy this nicely but it is then very expensive for a one use of lots of moderate strength attacks.
Being optimistic and saying you get the full 3 attacks with Hydra Blade.
If we look at a Dreadlord vs Ws 4, T3 5+ Armour
Total 7 attacks, hit on 3's 7.26 hits
wounds on 3's, 4.84 wounds
6+ armour 4.04 dead models

With Lance
Total 4 attacks, hit on 3's 3.56 hits
wounds on 2's 2.97 dead models.

So the Hydra Blade will kill on average 2 more standard troops than a lance and can be used in secondary rounds of combat. Although this assumes the Hydra Blade gets 3 attacks.

However against Ws 4 T5 4+ AS the story is very different
Hydra Blade
Hits on 3's 7.26 hits
Wounds on 5's 2.42 wounds
5+ Armour 1.61 wounds

Hits on 3's 3.56 hits
Wounds on 3's 2.37 dead models

Here the lance does a lot better and for a good 25 points cheaper.
So this is really situational depending on your opponent.

Caledor’s Bane- 6/10
A slightly more powerful lance for a lot more points. However this does grant you that magical S7 allowing you to auto destroy chariots which can be fantastic. Also this can be cmbined with potion of Strength for a total of S10 which while not really needed is sort of cool.

Dagger of Hotek- 5/10
Again a restrictive and situational item, ASF is nice but whats the point when you only have 5 S4 attacks? Instead take the Banner of Hag Graef for just slightly more and make your whole unit ASF and free your Character to use other magic weapons.

As a side note this would be a fantastic weapon for a Death Hag as they cant be mounted and can only carry hand weapons anyway but sadly this cant be done.

Lifetaker- 7/10
I really like Lifetaker, especially on a flying mount however it’s points cost is very restrictive as there are few 20 point items in our list. This means if you give it to a hero level character they often can’t take a killy sword, special armour or arcane items for Sorceresses. Sadly it can no longer be combined with Blood Armour as only wounds from CC will improve your save.

Lifetaker can be useful for a hero on Dark Steed however remeber that heroes aren't fast cav and so can't march and shoot. However Flying Models can make a full flight move and shoot however they are more open to enemy fire.

Crimson Death- 10/10
Sure it wont win many games outright, and is unlikely to Slay Dragons and kill Vampires but this is perhaps the most popular item in our book and for good reason (The Pendant and the Ring are also high up there as well). High Strength all the time is something that is desperately needed in our army and this gives it to you for a ridiculously low points cost and with almost no restrictions aside from being two handed. Being so cheap you can easily fit in a lot of defences for your Hero as well.

Deathpiercer- 8/10
Considering we think Touch of Death is a good deal for 30 points it should come as no surprise that Deathpiercer is well liked as it is also a lance. S6 Killing Blow for just 25 points count me in! However it often loses out to crimson death as your Strength will drop in subsequent rounds of combat which will seriously reduce your heroes combat abilities. Still worth considering.

Whip of Agony- 6/10
Similar to the Sword of Might but also armour piercing. It can also be combined with a shield to get the parry bonus. Reasonable if the more popular choices have been used up, perhaps for a master on foot.

Soulrender- 7/10 with ASF Banner 8/10
Useful for a character on foot however striking last really sucks for Elves and charging reliably is considerably harder when on foot. It’s also considerably more expensive than a great weapon and not really that much better. One good point about Soul Render is that if the character is in a unit with ASF then the main disadvantage is reduced and this weapon becomes a lot more useful

Magic Armour
Armour of Living Death- 1/10
It may be a lot cheaper than last edition but it’s still not worth it despite the awesome fluff. T4 and an extra wound is just not worth the points. Plus now it can cause stupidity as well.

Armour of Eternal Servitude- 9/10
A cheap effective defence for any hero. However it must compete against the Armour of Darkness. As a simple rule of thumb AoES is better if you have a 2+ save such as being on a Cold One with full mundane armour. Otherwise the AoD will end up giving you a better save. People might not believe me here so I will write out the calculations.

Armour of Eternal Servitude with mundane armour giving a total 3+ Armour Save and Regen
Vs S3
Fails 1/6 of the time
Vs S4
Fails ¼ of the time
Vs S5
Fails 1/3 of the time
Vs S6
Fails 5/12 of the time

Armour of Darkness- 1+ Save
Vs S3
Fails 1/6 of the time
Vs S4
Fails 1/6 of the time
Vs S5
Fails 1/3 of the time
Vs S6
Fails ½ of the time

As you can see AoD is better against S4 and equal against S3 and S5 but loses out against S6 or higher. Whilst being overall a lot cheaper as the AoES has to take Mundane armour as well. It’s also important to note that the AoES is defeated by fire but AoD is defeated by armour ignoring spells and weapons.

Armour of Eternal Servitude with mudane armour giving a total 2+ Armour Save and Regen
Vs S3
Fails 1/12 of the time
Vs S4
Fails 1/6 of the time
Vs S5
Fails 1/4 of the time
Vs S6
Fails 1/3 of the time
If you have the better armour then Regen is well worth it although this is considerably more expensive as well.

I’ll quickly sketch out which situations should take which armour
Lord on Dragon- AoD
Lord on Pegasus- AoD
Lord on Dark Steed with Lance or similar- AoES
Lord on Dark Steed with Crimson Death or similar- AoD
Lord on Cold One- AoES
Lord on Foot- AoD

Cloak of Hag Graef- 3/10
Situational, doesn’t give any protection to the unit the hero is in with so only really useful for Heroes on their own. If that’s the case other armour of the Pendant is a better idea.

Armour of Darkness- 9/10 with Pendant 10/10
In any case where full mundane armour can’t be taken this is a great way to get a very tough save and when coupled with the Pendant of Khaeleth for high strength attacks you have a hero who is virtually unkillable.
It will take 144 WS4 S3 attacks to reliably kill him even more astounding it will take 216 S4 or S5 attacks!
Just beware of attacks which ignore armour saves such as Killing blow. Also the AoD is wasted on a Hero mounted on a Cold One as they can get 1+ saves with just mundane armour.

Shield of Ghrond- 4/10
Taking this means you don’t have AoD or AoES, it also clashes badly with the Pendant and isnt particuarly exciting. In effect it makes your hero T4, for a lot less than the Armour of Living Death which is ok but there are better things to spend points on.

Blood Armour- 5/10Sadly it is no longer effected by shooting which means you have to risk getting into combat with a Hero with low armour, not such a great thing. By the time you rack up enough kills to make it effective there wont be anyone left to make saves against. Simply taking a Shield and Cloak is a cheaper way t get a more immediate effect.

Black Amulet- 6/10

If we didn’t have the Pendant or the Ring this might get used more often as it is a fairly decent item. A great way to kill enemy heroes such as Bloodthirsters or Dragons but is otherwise situational. If your opponent knows you have it they are unlikely to attack you in the first place.

Ring of Darkness- 8/10
A great way to defend units from enemy fire. Often seen on a Manti Master or in a Deathstar unit such as Shades or Black Guard as it’s pretty expensive.

Pendant of Khaeleth- 11/10
There is no real reason not to take this ever, its fantastic and way underpriced. Most of the time it gives at least a 4+ Ward Save for just 35 points which is ridiculous however against S5 or more it gives a 2+ Ward Save allowing your hero to simply ignore Cannon Balls, Bloodthirsters whatever.The Pendants real weakness is the fact that while your Lord may be unkillable his mount or escorting unit aren’t and without care he might just run off and get cut down so don’t think you can just send him straight into Greater Demons and expect to win.

The other problem with the Pendant is that people are taking it when it is not really needed and just using it as a crutch which doesn’t make you a very good player. For instance full mundane armour, AoES and the Pendant is overkill, just Mundane armour is often enough for your general to survive the battle, not taking the pendant will also greatly increase your army composition and people will look more favourably on your list. However if you are just out to win don’t let this stop you.

Seal of Ghrond- 4/10
This used to be seen a lot in 6th ed but with a 5 point increase and better items introduced its rarely seen as there are few 20 point items to combine it with. 2 Null Talismans or the Ring of Hotek for instance would also be seen as a better deal.

Pearl of Infinite Bleakness- 7/10 with Sacrificial Dagger 8/10
This has one fairly good use and that’s on a Sorceress with Sacrificial Dagger in a big unit of Warriors so you can butcher them as much as you like and they wont panic and run. Most of our other units either can’t get it or don’t need it.

Ring of Hotek- 8/10 with no magic 10/10
The ring is awesome for its psycological effect on your opponent as they struggle with whether to attempt casting or not and can blow apart wizard Lord for just 25 points. Gold! However it also affects your own wizards. With one Sorceress this can be managed okay but with 2 it will become increasingly difficult to still get off the spells you want. However if used carefully with Sorceresses on Dark Steeds or Dark Pegs this can completely shut down enemy magic.
The other best thing is that it can be given to a Cold One Knight Champ allowing your main heroes to take other Items.

Null Talisman- 7/10, 2 Null Talismans 8/10, 3 Null Talismans
Great for any deathstar unit or mega expensive Lord choice however with a MSU army your opponent can easily avoid it. Note these can be stacked onto the one hero for maximum effect however multiple heroes with Null Talisman's do give a cumulative effect. Also there is no point taking 4 as the maximum magic resistance is 3.

Arcane Items
Black Staff- 8/10Can only be used on a Supreme Sorceress but can easily amp your magic phase to huge levels. As this goes off without needing any dice your sorceress can be using up to 13 dice per turn just by herself! It gets even better if you have more sorceresses to run your opponent out of DD first.

Focus Familiar- 8/10
Perfect for a Sorceress on Dark Pegasus so they can hide from the enemy while still zapping them to death.

Darkstar Cloak- 8/10
Cheap and simple, great for supporting spellcasters.

Sacrificial Dagger- 8/10 on a Lv 4 9/10This can grant you between 3-5 PD per turn for just 25 points! However you have to judge this against the cost of killing off so many warriors. Even if the unit doesn’t break and run for the hills if you cut them below half in effect you are giving away around 75 points.

Tome of Furion- 7/10
Good but with so many other awesome Arcane items is not widely seen. Also as we now have Power of Darkness our sorceresses have more spells to cast anyway. This is good for those who want more control over spell choice.

Magic BannersBanner of Nagarythe- 4/10
Brilliant fluff but sadly this banner is next to useless. If you do want to take it, it requires revolving your whole army around it to attempt to make full use of the extra cmbat res and unbreakable. The main difficulty is the fact that your BSB will get killed losing the banners effects. This has led some people to come up with crazy ideas of facing the unit backwards and some such to avoid this but at best you will get a draw. The other difficulty is that if you put the banner in a large enough unit to benefit from being unbrakable other units wont be within 12” to benefit from the extra combat res. Best used in a huge unit of spears and just hope your BSB doesn’t get killed.

Hydra Banner- 4/10 with Cold One Knights 8/10
Aside from the Cold One Death Star this just isnt worth it, the Cauldron can do the same thing but has greater versatility. With Cold Ones this banner becomes incredibly nasty especially if also boosted with the Cauldron but you will still have problems with stupidity and armour ignoring attacks.

Dread Banner- 3/10
A nice effect but who to give it to?
Cold One Knights cause fear already
Black Guard are already ITP
Witches are Frenzied so ITP
Executioners could have it but they need ASF banner a lot more
Warriors aren’t elite enough to deserve it
Generally the Gem of Darkness could be more useful.

Standard of Slaughter- 8/10
Great but you have to ensure you get the charge otherwise take the Warbanner. Best on Cold One Knights

Standard of Hag Graef- 9/10
There are four units people have decided to give this to and I will mention each separately.
Black Guard- Perhaps the most obvious choice, allowing your elite infantry to strike first is great however a clever general shouldn’t need this banner here.
Witch Elves- Perhaps not the most optimal choice in the Army but it is brilliant from the Witches perspective as it means they can be drawn out of line due to frenzy and still happily take charges from any direction and rip things to shreds.
Executioners- They get the most benefit out of this banner as it means they no longer strike last. This makes for a truly horrible death star unit, however if the Hag dies you are in major trouble.
Cold One Knights- A more unusual choice but it can have some advantages. Its brilliant when playing against High Elves or Slanneesh demons. General opinion is though that it wastes the Cold One Knights awesome charging abilities.

Sea Serpent Standard- 8/10
If you are taking Corsairs than this is the best banner for them for two reasons. First and foremost they become Immune to Pysch and secondly they get an extra attack. This makes them very similar to Witches but with armour. Nice!

Banner of Murder- 8/10 on Witches, 6/10 on other units
Best used on Witches as they have more attacks and will make the best use of this banner. Can also be used on Knights or Warriors but I feel this is sub optimal compared to other banners. Knights don’t need to pierce armour most of the time and Warriors would make better use from a Warbanner

Banner of Cold Blood- 7/10 but only ever on Knights
A good way to ensure the passing of 1 stupidity test, depends on your personal playstyle to be honest.

Common Items
Sword of Striking- 2/10
We don’t really need a better chance to hit with high weapon skill and hatred

Sword of Battle- 2/10
1 attack is useless if it means you are stuck with strength 4

Sword of Might- 8/10
This is quite useful however a Halberd does have the same effect for less points.

Biting Blade- 5/10
If you have the spare points you can put this on a Sorceress otherwise another weapon would be a better option.

Enchanted Shield- 5/10
Considering Heavy armour and a shield will give you a better save for less points the enchanted shield isn't great. Also the enchanted shield can't be taken with Crimson Death, Executioners Axe or Armour of Darkness. The only reason I can see to take it is to get a -1 Save vs shooting on a Dreadlord on Cold One. Or perhaps to get a better save for a hero on monster mount, however again why not spend the extra 15 points for AoD which gives you a 1+ save?

Talisman of Protection- 3/10
Unless you roll a disproportionate number of 6’s this isnt the best defence you can have.

Staff of Sorcery- 6/10
Nice but other arcane items are cheaper and better

Dispel Scroll- 8/10
Always useful, except against Dwarves.

Power Stone- 6/10
I have rarely seen these used, especially as we can generate PD so easily. Only really needed if you are going OTT.

War Banner- 10/10
It doesn’t matter who you give it to this banner is well worth it.

The following is a list of item combinations which various people have used.

Master with Lance, Sea Dragon Cloak, Cold One/Chariot, Shield, Null Stone and Armour of Eternal Servitude. While he does have a weakness to fire, most flaming attacks are Magical (Lore of Fire), which he has a minor protection against in the form of the Null Stone. The Armour of Eternal Servitude is now more useful; first, it's cheaper, and second, it's Heavy Armour. A 2+ Armour Save and his Regeneration Save for cheaper than a Ward Save, the only drawback being the aforementioned vulnerability to fire. He will also suffer from a Cold One's stupidity. As a Master, he has a 1/6 chance of suffering from Stupidity, so, statistically that's one turn out of six that he'll spend smelling daisies. It's a gamble, and it isn't all that cheap, either, coming to 160/240 Points, but I believe the advantages of this character outweigh the disadvantages.

Now, this is plainly not a general kind of character. I'd deploy him on a flank with his Cold One Knights/Chariot, and have him counter attack into the flank, or have him and his bodyguard go off and scare light cavalry away and run into warmachines. While he comfortably compliments a Chariot or a unit of Knights, he just isn't what I'd consider to be General material.

Master, Dark Pegasus, Ring of Hotek, Deathpiercer, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Shield, Lance, Pair of Repeater Handbows. Okay, so this is 210 Points of character that, again, isn't general material. He is, simply put, someone who hunts down warmachines, mages, skirmishers and light cavalry, and yet can make a supporting impact when used in combination with other units. He can more effectively shut down an opponents magic phase with the help of the Ring of Hotek, potentially shutting it down entirely for a turn, and can marchblock (albiet, less effectively than Harpies, Shades or Dark Riders). While he has a number of uses, just like the previous character he is not a general, and more importantly, he has no special kind of save to help him out in drawn out combats where high strength opponents will maul him.

Master, Dark Steed, Lance, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Lifetaker. 149 Points of character who, again, isn't a general sort. He's unfortunately not Fast Cavalry, but in a Dark Rider unit with Shields and Repeater Crossbows, and possible a Standard Bearer, he becomes part of a medium cavalry unit that can comfortably take on light cavalry, skirmishers, smaller units, warmachines, and mages. In the long run, he's as well armoured as he would be on a Cold One, and he saves the 8 additional Points that would take up. To me, that's another Warrior. Not only that, but because he isn't riding a Cold One, he doesn't suffer from Stupidity and thus doesn't risk that 1/6 chance of becoming stupid. While his bodyguard only have a 4+ save, there's likely to be other threats hanging around that cause enough threat for enemy shooting to target, with some luck. With the Lifetaker he also becomes a mobile shooting platform, to an extent, and can assist the Dark Riders in targetting those units that need one more loss to be panicked.

Master, Armour of Darkness, Crimson Death. 130 Points, simple, and designed to lead a unit of infantry, such as Warriors, Corsairs or, even better, Black Guard. While he can only deal so much damage, he's also what I'd use as a General, keeping at the centre of the army to support leadership. He has 3 WS6 S6 attacks with Hatred at I7, which can help tip the balance of the combat in your favour when without flanking support, and in case of loss of combat, his healthy LD9 will help most units from breaking and running. In the case of Black Guard, his LD9 is less of an issue for his own unit, but for the surrounding units it becomes an incredibly important factor. If you combine him with a Battle Standard Bearer somewhere nearby, then the chances of your units running can drop by a healthy proportion.

Master, Battle Standard Bearer, Banner Of Nagarythe, Cold One, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak. You're probably wondering why the Cold One? If not, well done, give yourself a cookie. If not, it's because it gives him an additional +2 to his Armour Save, which makes him more survivable, and he can still reside in an infantry unit without being singled out (I believe that you need to be US5 before you can be singled out by shooting). In a unit of Black Guard (Champion with a Null Stone, preferably), maybe the same unit that your General's in (Or maybe the unit next door. Depends on how you like your eggs). This gives a wide-round bonus to Combat Resolution that can be extremely useful, combined with his unit being Unbreakable. What's more, if the General does just happen to be in the same unit of Black Guard, there's nothing wrong with putting a Banner of Hag Graef in there. So long as this unit isn't flanked on both sides, or rear charged, it shouldn't have a problem. Sure, this is a good 258 Points worth of Battle Standard Bearer, along with the cost of the Black Guard and the General, so if you're a bit worried about them surviving, there's always the 200-250 Points you could pay for a Cauldron of Blood to give them a 5+ Ward Save while they're brawling. Or make everyone gain an additional attack...
Okay, maybe I thought those last two over just a wee bit too much, but still, the idea has merits...
The sad thing is that you can fit 30 Black Guard, with Kouran, the Banner, the Battle Standard and the Master with AOD/CD, a Death Hag with a Cauldron to support it (And a Rune of Khaine on top), have a War Hydra, and then still have room for the bare minimum core in a 1,500 Point list...
I'm so going to play that list.

Anyway, let's continue.

Sorceress, Tome of Furion, Crystal of Midnight. A slight alternative to Magic. Don't want to spend the points on a Level 2, then a Level 1 is good enough. The Tome of Furion, while not a personal favourite, will help with Magical Diversity, hopefully to ensure that at least one spell isn't going to be useless. The Crystal of Midnight, however, has long been a toy I've liked to take every so often. Sometimes it can really screw a Mage up, sometimes it gets rid of the spell that they never, ever use, and either way, I think it's a brilliant item, regardless of it's cost having gone up by 10 Points. Then again, with this combination even if the price hadn't gone up, right now you could afford zilch.

Sorceress, Focus Familiar, The Guiding Eye, Level 2. Don't feel like taking part in the battle? Lean back with a Sorceress in a Crossbowman unit, maybe a large one, and have her set her Focus Familiar for best effects to blast at enemy units. The Focus Familiar is possibly going to become one of my favourite items, getting taken more and more often, mainly because I'll be able to hide a Sorceress in a forest somewhere, and then start blatting stuff from within it, regardless of the trees. She could join a Shade Unit also, and at a critical moment they could, potentially, kill what's needed because of the Guiding Eye. Mounting her on a Dark Steed and putting her in a unit of Dark Riders could also become effective with some sneakiness.

Death Hag, Rune of Khaine, Manbane. This one's simply. Put in Witch Elf Unit. Charge it into Enemy. Poison them lots with 6-8 Poison Attacks from the Death Hag herself, hopefully at a pretty high Strength. Laugh.

Master on a Cold One, BSB. Hydra Banner, Shield, HA, SDC. Toss him in a unit of 5 CoK's, you have 15 S6 attacks and 12 S4 attacks on the charge, with the Hatred rerolls. That's enough to break ranked infantry on the charge as long as they aren't Stubborn.

Lastly, the unkillable* anti-character Dreadlord. Mount on a Cold One, give him the Deathpiercer, Armor of Eternal Servitude, and Pendant of Khaeleth. Charge him into a character and watch as he eats him alive. For bonus points charge a unit and challenge the character you want to kill. Supporting him properly is necessary, either with multiple charges or a CoK unit, but he'll eat up pretty much anything you can throw at him. Enough KB attacks to slaughter most characters and on the charge he can seriously threaten monsters. But mostly, it comes down to the fact that against almost any geared character, he's got a 1+ armor save, effectively a 2+ ward save (assuming they have 5 strength, you need to roll 5 or less) or maybe a 3+ if they're only S4, and Regeneration for another 4+ save. Chances are that as long as his unit isn't wiped out, he'll live long enough to kill pretty much anything. Against S5 he can survive a whopping 432 attacks! However this is perhaps over the top.

There are many hundreds of other builds and if anyone has one in particular I would be more than happy to add them in.

How Many Items is too many?Eveeryone has their own personal preference on the number of magic items and it really depends on your army’s build and playstyle. I would like to just point out though that there is no requirement for taking as many magic items as possible and taking items simply for the sake of it is not a good way to make a strong list. Many of our items are simply not worth taking or only taking in specific situations so try to avoid feeling tempted to simply use up spare points by taking highly situational items.

Recognition of Tactical Brilliance

- I’d just like to recognise that all of the above is not entirely my own work but includes the thoughts of others, who put a lot of time and effort into adding their own ideas. So I’d just like to say thanks to No One, Darmort, Calisson, Dalamar, Moon Blade, Mordru, Dyvim Tvar, Quinn and many others.

"I will embrace death without regret as I embrace life without fear"

Last edited by Bounce on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:52 am, edited 3 times in total.

Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:47 pm

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First of all, great summary from what I can tell. I agree on most things but just for the sake of argument or maybe expading view, I'd argue about your point about Soulrender.

All your description really needs (in my humble opinion) is about (8-10) if given to a hero on foot in a unit with Standard of Hag Graef. Altough I feel this is self explanatory, I'll elaborate a bit further to nail it home.

My Dreadlord frequently camps in my unit of 20 Black Guard and for a unit of 20 Black Guard, there's really only one banner viable. Aside from t4 1+ armour save blokes, against which Sword of Ruin MAY do a bit more (I'm too lazy to do the math hammer here, sorry) it's better then any other item out there. Str 6 with armour piercing will wound most things on 2+ and enforce a -4 armour save on them, which is something few things will survive. For 15 points! The only weapons that come close to this performance may be the good old Crimson Death (which I give to the same unit's champ, because he benefits from +3 str instead of +2 on Dreadlord), which in this case is worse because it's not AP and costs 10 points more and maybe a mundane great weapon. But while the great weapon is almost as good in most regards, it's sometimes good to have a magical weapon. Ethereal things, Forest Spirits and certain armours to name a few.

In conclusion, I think that while situational, it is clearly can be one of the best options. Also, I hope this reply won't unleash an avalance of opinions about people's favourite items getting too low scores because I feel this is not something to discuss. So please feel free to remove my post if you think it doesn't belong here, just take into consideration the point I (hopefuly) made. :)


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Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:33 pm
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Great summary!
Brilliant colour-code, clear comments, and the overall result is short and efficient.
Thanks a lot!

Link to further discussion:
Higher Point Weapons, what is worth it to take?

Some suggestion:

SoS great with shielded DR (but whoever takes any?), Manti or CoC!

BoCB has been used to guarantee the charge with Execs on fear-causing foes. Useful when facing VC and Demons.

I believe you should include the common magic items useful combos in your descriptions.
Sword of battle + Dragon egg, available for a Master when the Hydra Blade + Dragon Egg is not, for similar effect.
Soulrender or Sword of Might, for a PoK BSB, is nice.

Lord combo:
Dreadlord /w Executioners Axe and Blood Armour in a unit of Black Guard with Banner of Hag Graef - Messy!

Master combo:
I find my “unkillable” BSB very valuable, if the PoK is not used on another character.
BSB, mundane set, horse, PoK and soulrender (you don't care striking last, they won't hurt you!).
He eats cannonballs for breakfast, he's not afraid to lone charge when required and is helped with his +1SCR.

Assassin combo:
Touch of Death with Black Lotus and Rune of Khaine- and don't forget about the additional weapon.
Totals 171 pts, for 5-7 KB, ASF, hatred, reroll-1-to-wound attacks. Very reliable, although it still can fail, and challenges will not prevent him from loosing to SCR. Best can opener.

Rending Stars with Manbane and Cloak of Twilight assassin costs 171 pts, including AHW. Best chariot hunter in a magic-heavy army,

However, how would you compare these to a hydra at 175pts?
The cheaper assassin, with just Rune of Khaine and AHW, for 121 pts, has 5-7 poisoned, hatred, ASF, S4 attacks. Often enough!

Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}

Last edited by Calisson on Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:02 pm
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Yeah, I also like the color sheme, makes the list very clear. :)

But I have the impression, that you (Bounce) actually did not concider many combos, or better on the other hand: Forgot about missing senseful combinations for some items.
Example: How do you use the Pearl of Infinite Bleakness without the dagger, which unit needs it and does not already have frency or at least cause fear (which means that the pearl only helps against panic)?
Mainly warriors.
Same for Gem of Nightmare but there you wrote it. But there the unit needs a character and has to win the battle (not just be many) and this is not that easy with warriors.
Both items you gave 7/10.

The web of shadows is useless unless combined with the cauldron KB blessing making 1,17 avarage KBs. Very situational and still mostly useless but you have to mention it.

More thought later. :)

Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:58 pm
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Ok, I have updated some of the errors above, thanks for pointing them out.

About Arcane Items- these are definitly open to debate and I am not sure how best to reflect this.

About combos- It's not that I havent considered them or forgotten them, it's more that I dont know about them.
There are hundreds of combos possible and I have only tried a few.
The trouble is I want to have a concise summary that doesnt require trawling through many pages of combinations.

However I am open to suggestions, I am happy to simply include all combinations mentioned. I am also happy to add in descriptions of how these combos work and where they should work.

I considered while writing this to add in the effects of each item on different sorts of hero, i.e Sorc on foot, Sorc on Horse, Sorc on Black Dragon, Master on Manti etc, etc.
Would this be useful?
Perhpas add more about just the more common items?
Do you want a more positive account of items or a more negative account?

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Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:43 am
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Looking good bounce, however I think you have forgotten the Enchanted Shield in the common items section. that's all the critic I have atm.

'with hatred all things are possible' -Malus of Hag Greaf-

"3/4 of games are won by deathstars. Copy this into your signature if you still use real tactics to win"

Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:43 am
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IMO, soulrender needs to be 7/10. It is foot use only BUT it can add some real anti armour to a spear unit or BG unit. Bearing in mind most knights have T3 or 4 and a 1+ save, this is useful for receiveing a charge, when you will strike last anyway.

Also, you might want to make a note that PoK still his a 1/3 chance to fail, aseither a 1 or a 6 is an automatic fail. (uless it has been FAQ'd)

all in all, great article

10/10 from me.


Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:10 pm
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Here's an idea: why don't you set up another topic (?), one where people can put their combinations, then link it to this page? That way, you save space on this page but still
be able to help people with combinations.

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Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:17 pm
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rosac wrote:
Also, you might want to make a note that PoK still his a 1/3 chance to fail, aseither a 1 or a 6 is an automatic fail. (uless it has been FAQ'd)
Yes, it has been Faq'd and no, it doesn't fail. ;) To quote the DE FAQ: 'a 1 is always a success'.

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Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:56 pm
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How come it's called "Magic Weapons Summary' when you are covering mroe than just weapons? ;)

Anyway, great job! Nice summary of Armor of Darkness v Eternal Servitude. I see lots of people take Armor of Eternal Servitude automatically when Armor of Darkess is better on a montrous mount. It is also worth mentioning that Armor of Darkness is cheaper in terms of points (especially since you don't also need to get a cloak and shield) and allows you to us a weapon that takes two hands without any sacrifice in protection.

I could take issue with a few minor points, but they are just that -- minor -- so I won't bother. Who cares if I give the Web of Shadows a "2" instead of a "0"?

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Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:33 pm
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The combo of giving a master lifetaker and a dark steed etc... you mention putting him in a DR unit. Just be aware that he is not fast Cav so when the unit marches they may be able to shoot but he cannot. This makes that combo less effective.

Good, bad, I am the guy with the reapter bolt thrower.

Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:45 pm
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First of all, great article! This is nicely balanced between hard facts and personal experience. I do have a couple of suggestions to make. Please note that these are all minor notes, but they should help flesh out the following entries.

Dark Venom- 2/10

I'd add that combined with Touch of Death the practicality of this goes up as you increase your chances of winning the challenge, especially with Rune of Khaine. Due to the circumstantial use, maybe a 5 for the combo?

Heartseeker- 5/10

I like the ranking, but you may want to mention that the reroll to hit helps in prolonged combats/challenges as hatred runs out after the first round. Combined with Pendant, or just a strong armour, you can hold yourself in place while providing an enduring, repetitive, barrage of accurate blows.

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My motto: Whether I win, lose, or draw the game; I win as long as my opponent has pulled their hair out by the end of the game. :twisted:

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Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:22 am
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Bounce wrote:
Magic Weapons Summary

Crimson Death- 10/10
Sure it wont win many games outright, and is unlikely to Slay Dragons and kill Vampires but this is perhaps the most popular item in our book and for good reason (The Pendant and the Ring are also high up there as well). High Strength all the time is something that is desperately needed in our army and this gives it to you for a ridiculously low points cost and with almost no restrictions aside from being two handed. Being so cheap you can easily fit in a lot of defences for your Hero as well.

Soulrender- 7/10 with ASF Banner 8/10
Useful for a character on foot however striking last really sucks for Elves and charging reliably is considerably harder when on foot. It’s also considerably more expensive than a great weapon and not really that much better. One good point about Soul Render is that if the character is in a unit with ASF then the main disadvantage is reduced and this weapon becomes a lot more useful

2 things I have issue with in the crimson death description, its good I agree, buti I would like to put some points forward.

1: strength is not too much of an issue for dark elf armies IMHO, as we have: shades w/ great weps, WE's with poison attacks, sins w/manbane, executioners, COK, COC, RBT, hydras, manticores, dragons.

2: strength of the CD can be negated by law of gold, obby armour etc, which turns it into a 30 point halberd. This is still FAR better than the executioners axe or the magical hand weps (especially chillblade/blade of ruin) but can be irritating if you NEED the str 6. This is why the soulrender(for chars on foot) or magic lances (for mounted chars) can be better against armies employing anti magic weapon abilities.

And, a point about the Execs axe, I think you should put a seperate rating in for it when used w/ ASF BG.

still 10/10, just me being extremely picky :P


Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:18 pm
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Personally I find Strength really lacking in DE armies, yes we have several strong monsters however our infantry blocks are almost all S3 and this really doesnt cut it against Warriors of Chaos, Lizards, even Empire swordsman are tough to kill. Execs, Knights, Shades and Chariots are only really strong for one turn of combat. While CD can be used for multiple turns.

It can be negated by magic spells and what not but I think this is a waste for a 25 point item. If your opponent is casting spells on CD than they arent blasting your troops to shreds.

Soulrender strikes last and is substantially more expensive than a normal great weapon anyway and can also be negated by magic spells.

The magic lance only lasts for one turn of combat, if you think only one turn of combat is ensured def go for it however I have found my heroes tend to get stuck in protracted combats,

About exec axe what score should it get for being with ASF BG, its still 80 points meaning if you dont kill your opponents your toast

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Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:32 am

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I would say 8/10 with ASF banner. With double strength you should be able to hack that treeman down in no time, but if in combat too long you are in trouble.

Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:06 am
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Exec's axe:

7/10 with asf banner in bg.
7/10 with blood armour (highly unlikely you won't do a single wound)
8/10 with both of the above.
9/10 with both and support shadow sorceresses for steed of shadows.

Also, soulrender becomes more effective when combo with the pendant, as striking last is suddenly not such an issue
anymore, while the magic armour piercing attacks will help out tremendously.

Banner of murder on knights ensures they can take out your opponents toughest units on the charge, as chaos knights with a 1+ save prove otherwise too hard to kill.

Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:35 am
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EbonyPhoenix wrote:

Heartseeker- 5/10

I like the ranking, but you may want to mention that the reroll to hit helps in prolonged combats/challenges as hatred runs out after the first round. Combined with Pendant, or just a strong armour, you can hold yourself in place while providing an enduring, repetitive, barrage of accurate blows.
And helps with killing blows from the cauldron and/or avoiding the dreaded '1' to wound when buffed by the potion of strenght. Personally I'd rank the heartseeker above the hydra blade for this reason.


Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:42 pm

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Good description of our magic items and their worth bounce, I only have a few thoughts to contribute.

I really like using the banner of murder in my exec unit. Perhaps the -4 armor mod is excessive in many situations, but it can be useful against knights and heavy infantry. To me it really shines if the execs are in danger of getting stuck in CC, then hand weapons have -2 mod and KB and they won't strike last.

I also prefer soul render to crimson death. Crimson death is nice for a BG champ, but on a hero I always go with soul render since it's the same strength, much cheaper and gives you AP. The striking last has never really been an issue, even on foot I generally get the charge, plus I like to run Soulrender with armor of darkness on my master, so if things go south he will still probably live to strike.

Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:32 am
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sulla wrote:
EbonyPhoenix wrote:

Heartseeker- 5/10

I like the ranking, but you may want to mention that the reroll to hit helps in prolonged combats/challenges as hatred runs out after the first round. Combined with Pendant, or just a strong armour, you can hold yourself in place while providing an enduring, repetitive, barrage of accurate blows.
And helps with killing blows from the cauldron and/or avoiding the dreaded '1' to wound when buffed by the potion of strenght. Personally I'd rank the heartseeker above the hydra blade for this reason.

same. Bearing in mind most peeps arent above t4 for elite infantry, rerolling wounds can be very handy. It also effectively gives the hero the black guards special rule.


Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:47 pm
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