Today’s article will probably be a long one, as we’re going to take a deep dive into every single Daemons unit that received a points drop in this Chapter Approved.
Daemons are an army that has struggled really hard as a mono-faction lately, with Drukhari and AdMech being particularly bad matchups. There are a lot of very cool units in the Daemons codex that are a points tweak away from becoming interesting, so I was excited to see what this points update would bring. I was expecting point increases to the Lord of Change and Keeper of Secrets, but I was also expecting accompanying drops to horribly overcosted units like the Hellflayer, Skarbrand, and Burning Chariots.
Now that we have the full Daemon points revealed, let’s dive into all the changes and see the impact this wide array of points changes will have.
Lord of Change Up 20 Points
No amount of Tzeentchian cunning could hold off a Lord of Change nerf forever. While going up 20 points hurts, the Lord of Change is still a great centerpiece in a mono-Daemons list. You just have to drop the sword or staff upgrade if you were paying for it. Until the Impossible Robe/Incorporeal Form/Exalted Trait stacking gets removed, 290 points remains very fair for the amount of value a Lord of Change provides.
The Lord of Change nerf will be felt most in soup lists. As he creeps closer to 300 points, other options become more appealing. Bringing a Thousand Sons Daemon Prince provides a similar amount of psychic utility while also leaving you 100 points for other options and doesn’t require being your Warlord.
On the other hand, lists running Mortarion/Magnus/Daemons Battalion with Lord of Change and Nurglings simply have to drop a single Nurgling base to pay for this “nerf”. Your Lord of Change will be just fine.
Wait… what? We only covered a single points change so far. How are we in the Closing Thoughts section already?
By now you’ve realized that there were no Daemons point changes besides the Lord of Change nerf. This is frustrating, to put it bluntly. Daemons players wouldn’t have even minded Keepers of Secrets also getting a slight bump if other beloved units went down in exchange. The points for units like Skarbrand, Changecasters, and Plaguebearers just make no sense. A Fluxmaster is basically the same cost as a Primaris Bike Chaplain, one of the tankiest and most impactful characters in the game. It’s just complete and utter nonsense. And that doesn’t just apply to Daemons. GW figuratively and literally skipped a ton of factions in this balance update. This update is not nothing, but it’s as close to nothing as they can get while still selling the points update with a straight face.
It’s definitely understandable that the Lord of Change went up because of how often he was used, but by that token the Bloodthirster should have received a whopping points drop. And don’t even get me started on units like the Hellflayer.
As a quick aside, I have a confession. I run the main Daemons website out there, have done well at plenty of tournies with Daemons, and own at least 10,000 points of Daemons. And despite all that, I honestly don’t even know what a Hellflayer looks like. I just googled it. It looks really cool. I should get one someday.
Oh, and here is the hilarious part. If you google “Hellflayer Chariot Slaanesh”, the first image result is actually a Seeker Chariot. I guess not even Google knows what a Hellflayer is.
We are also basically a year into 9th Edition, and the <Chariot> keyword still has no interaction with any core rules. An Exalted Seeker Chariot, a 12 Wound T5 unit on a massive base, still doesn’t provide Look Out Sir protection to nearby Characters going by RAW or give up Bring It Down points.
We’re also still waiting on Belakor’s rules. We know his points cost will be 360 points. While 360 seems like a bargain, I’m going to wait and see more rules on how he is included in an army (and his psychic tree) before getting too excited. With how harshly I criticized GW’s half-assed Chapter Approved update earlier, I do want to acknowledge that the supply chain issues GW has experienced are much more real than many people realize. I’m not frustrated that we don’t have Belakor’s book yet. Similar things have happened to much more important industries than Warhammer rules too.
9th Edition started promising but it’s quickly going off the rails. Let’s hope for a digital FAQ adjusting points before too long, so we can forget this embarrassment of a balance “update” was ever published.
The changes to Secondaries are much more interesting, so we will be giving them a serious deep dive and discussing strategies for maximizing your score later this week. As always, stay safe, have fun, and may the Dark Gods bless your rolls!
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Published: May 30th, 2021. Last Updated: May 31st, 2021.