Mastering the Dark Master: The Guide to Winning with Disciples of Be’lakor

An ancient evil has returned. He returns with an extremely weird set of limitations on what else can be included in his army, sure. And he returns at a time when AdMech and Drukhari are oppressively standing head and shoulders over every other faction, sure. But Chaos players are used to fighting uphill battles, and now we have an extremely cool new set of tools to fight them with.

By now you know who I’m talking about. Be’lakor is back, and today we’re going to take a dive deep into how to make the most of his Disciples of Be’lakor.

“Where we’re going, we don’t need Daemon Engines”

I specifically waited a while to write an article on the Disciples of Be’lakor. When the rules first became publicly available, there were a smattering of quickly conceived hot takes and then people immediately turned their attention to shinier and more mechanical armies. Disciples of Be’lakor (DOB from here on out) is an army that is going to be underrated right out of the gate because it’s not an army that plays itself. Having had the chance to play lots of games with the new rules over the past week, I think people are going to really enjoy playing this army once they have the chance to get some actual games in.

This guide assumes you know the general basics of what’s included in this army. If you’re new or need a refresher, I highly recommend checking out the great Goonhammer overview, available here.

One note: I’ll be honest, I’ve had to step back from 40K discussions online lately because of the absurd amount of monotonous negativity. If you want to complain about the list-building limitations, or that the army isn’t as powerful as AdMech, or that Chaos Space Marines still have one wound, I really can’t really help you with that. It is what it is. While I agree with most of the complaints, I would rather focus on making the best of what we have. Whether your army is bottom or top tier, you can always control improving your skill as a player and bringing a positive attitude to the tabletop. I’m aware there are a couple of potential RAW issues with list writing. We’re going to assume Daemons and CSM can be included in detachments together. That assumption doesn’t change anything in the article, and I’m even going to provide a sample list at the end that separates neatly into Daemon and CSM detachments if that’s how your TO rules. Just wanted to address this at the start to avoid getting any angry comments later. With the caveats out of the way, let’s dive right in.

General Tactics

At a very high level, DOB is an anti-shooting melee army. DOB immediately enters the scene as one of the most durable armies in the game against long-range firepower. The improved Daemonic locus to turn off ranged hit rerolls and give -1 to hit from 12″ is a seriously huge defensive force multiplier, and can be combined with some innately very tanky datasheets. People that haven’t played against Beasts of Nurgle before just can’t understand how tanky they are, and that was before the massive defensive buffs from being in DOB. This flew under the radar, but you absolutely should not be able to take a 9 man Beast of Nurgle unit and combo Warp Surge for a 4++ invuln, turn off Hit rerolls, and give it -1 to Hit. That is just filthy. There are many armies in the game that legitimately will never be able to flip an objective once you get a big unit of Beasts of Nurgle on it.

The best part about this locus is that it’s not God locked. Previously, Nurgle was the only God that could consistently get -1 to Hit on key units at range. Now that all four Dark Gods can join in on the -1 to Hit fun, our idea of which units are durable is going to expand.

The way you want to structure your Be’lakor lists is by building a castle that is extremely resistant to long-range shooting, and then sending units like Bloodletters and Screamers and Flamers out to do damage and play the mission. Go ahead and splash in some Chaos Space Marine units for firepower and to bring in a different damage profile, and take advantage of a few synergistic stratagems. The key to success with Disciples of Be’lakor will be not in bringing the exact right list, but in understanding exactly how to apply damage to best deny them primary and keep your own damage dealers safe. You have very few units that will actually threaten the opponent. It’s not inconceivable that your only shooting over 12″ is a single unit of Havocs, or you only have 4 or 5 units across the entire army that can do actual damage in melee. Turn 1 teleporting Bloodletters are great, but if the opponent hasn’t taken Banners then it’s much less important to get those bodies across the board and physically touch their objectives on turn 1.

The ability of the Shrouded Step psychic power to place a unit anywhere on the board 9″ from your opponent on any turn opens up a few interesting angles for Daemon players. We can now “deepstrike” on any turn instead of just turns 2 and 3. This means you can now start a max unit of Bloodletters on the board, hide them out of range, and then teleport them into charge range on a convenient turn instead of spending 2 CP to deepstrike them. This also gives you the chance to apply pressure from the very first turn. What I would do is run 3 units of Bloodletters, placing one or two in deepstrike. Throw waves of Bloodletters at them to start doing damage, but more importantly use Fight phase movement to work those ObSec bodies into their deployment zone and mess up Banners and their Primary scoring. People care way too much about trading point values. Once the game starts, the points are completely irrelevant. You don’t get a takeout box at the end of the game to gather up your remaining points on the table and add them to your next game. Starting a unit of Bloodletters on the board can also be a strong play because it gives you a chance to punish them if they push towards you early. Don’t be afraid to spend the CP upgrading every Bloodletter unit you have with the Banner of Blood. There are few better ways to spend CP in the game. Shrouded Step also works extremely well with Havocs, as you can get angles easily and threaten backfield objectives late game. When running Shrouded Step and Wreathed in Shades (the power to make a unit un-targetable), cast Shrouded Step first so you know will every unit will be and can cast Wreathed in Shades as protection with full information.

This army railroads you into running mostly Daemons with Chaos Space Marines splashed in. This is because it’s really, really hard to find CSM units that are worth their points without access to Legion specific stratagems. I love Cultist blobs in CSM lists with a Dark Apostle for the invuln, but that is basically just a worse version of Horrors in DOB once you factor in the points for the Dark Apostle. I’ve seen people ask if DOB can be run as a CSM focused army. Frankly, that’s not going to be a thing. A unit of Warp Talons would have been a very interesting tech choice, but without any of the EC/NL/WE charge bonuses they are way too unreliable in a DOB army.

DOB have a stratagem to autopass morale checks with a roll of a 1. This synergizes extremely well with Horrors, or any unit that can take a Banner to return models on a morale roll of a 1. This strat has become referred to amongst my friends as the “spicy autopass” (well… no one else says that yet, but I’m trying hard to make it a thing). The catch is that you have to be within 6″ of a CSM unit to use it. A great setup to take advantage of this is a unit of Havocs made un-targetable behind a blob of Horrors, with the Horrors screening the Havocs and the Havocs triggering the strat for the Horrors. Note that the CSM unit can be a Character, so something like a Master of Executions hanging around to counter-charge could serve in that role well.

Damager dealers? Screens? In Disciples of Be’lakor, Horrors can finally be both

Daemons continue to be inexplicably weak casters. Unless you’re running the Contorted Epitome, you’re going to have no bonuses to cast. Relying on casting WC6 and WC7 powers is not a good place to be. Start every list you write with a Changecaster so you have access to the stratagem to auto-cast a psychic power on a roll of a 9. Do note that the Disciples of Belakor explicitly exclude psykers from knowing powers from the Noctic Discipline and any other disciplines, so you can’t use the Endless Grimoire to have a Changecaster know some Noctic powers and also something like Gaze of Fate. Honestly, doubling down on Changecasters wouldn’t be a bad play. Belakor with Shrouded Step and Pall of Shadows, a Changecaster with Shrouded Step and Wreathed in Shades, and a Changecaster with Gaze of Fate and Infernal Gateway seems like a very strong selection of psychic powers with a lot of flexible options. Remember that each Changecaster knows two powers even though they can only cast one, and you have access to a 1CP stratagem for a Changecaster to cast again at the end of the psychic phase. Having Infernal Gateway in your list is great because the mere threat of a mortal wound explosion forces your opponent to move differently to avoid it. Most turns, that second Changecaster will be farming Gaze of Fate instead of spending the stratagem to cast again.

Secondaries you’ll want to take are Engage On All Fronts, Stranglehold, Retrieve Data, Raise Banners, and Warp Ritual. I really wouldn’t build too hard towards To The Last, that seems very much like a trap. Be’lakor is durable, but he’s no Mortarion–and even Mortarion isn’t that durable these days. You’re often going to have to sacrifice Be’lakor to achieve something during the game, and I’m not seeing two slam dunk To The Last choices after him. I think a DOB list could consistently score 5 on To The Last, but 10 and 15 would be a stretch in many matchups.

Unit Analysis

In this section, I’m going to go through all the units that deserve consideration in a DOB list and provide an explanation of why you would include them in your list.

  • Changecaster (9/10): You’re bringing a Changecaster for the ability to know two DOB powers and the stratagem to autocast a power with a roll of a 9. With your strategy built so strongly around teleporting or concealing a unit, anything that adds some reliability to that process is a key piece of your list.
  • Contorted Epitome (5/10): The Epitome is a really cool unit, and you’ll have games where you keep trapping Be’lakor in combat with enemy units to prevent him from being shot and feel unbeatable. The issue is that the Solar Flare relic (and other items or strats like the Veil of Darkness) has made combat trapping gameplans much less reliable. I also find that once I start including the Epitome alongside the mandatory Be’lakor, my lists quickly run out of points before I’ve brought enough “stuff” to fill out a reasonable army besides those two HQ’s. Much prefer the Epitome in a Slaanesh Daemons army.
  • Bloodmaster (7/10): Any unit that can hold the Crimson Crown and synergizes with Bloodletters has a place in the DOB. Speaking of which…
  • Bloodletters (10/10): Bloodletters are still a great unit, and DOB gives Daemon players the tools to fully unleash them. Here is a very typical turn one for a DOB list: Be’lakor gives full hit rerolls in the command phase to a unit of Bloodletters, then in your psychic phase you teleport them in front of the enemy lines to kill something and move those sweet ObSec bodies into your opponent’s lines. Because 15 Bloodletters with Chapter Master rerolls hit as hard as 20-25 Bloodletters previously, you have a lot more freedom to experiment with smaller unit sizes and save some points. If you want to run three units of Bloodletters, try grouping them into something like 15/15/30 to have some throwaway squads and then one brutal hammer. Honestly leaning hard into 4 or 5 Bloodletter squads is a good play, but you’ll have to be very careful to balance out your list with at least 3 or 4 units from other gods in that case if you want to spam one unit.
  • Screamers (7/10): Screamers hit like a truck (S6 AP3 2D is a great statline), but have been held back by hitting on 4’s and a high points cost. DOB can’t help you with the exorbitant points cost, but Be’lakor can give Screamers hit rerolls to get around that WS4.
  • Beasts of Nurgle (10/10): Beasts of Nurgle were already an incredibly obnoxious unit to remove. This locus takes it entirely to the next level. Plague Drones are honorable mentions with a similar profile, and you can’t go wrong with running either.
  • Nurglings (8/10): Nurglings have access to a 1 CP stratagem to reanimate on a 5+ if the squad isn’t wiped out. I honestly don’t want to be the opponent trying to clear out 9 Nurglings in one go with this locus active. At the very least, bring one unit of 3 Nurglings just in case you face a matchup where you need to forward deploy for defensive purposes.
  • Horrors (8/10): Just like with Beasts, giving an already durable and tricky unit a huge durability boost is a good thing. Big blobs seem fun, but I really want to experiment more with lots of MSU Horror units. A bunch of 10 model Horror units with splitting points and the locus will be a complete target allocation nightmare for your opponent. With -1 to Hit and no rerolls, you’re going to have a ton of rounds where your opponent way underkills or overkills your Horrors units. The splitting mechanic will punish them whenever they under allocate or their dice roll cold by keeping you on objectives far longer than expected. Horrors also do a ton of damage with full hit re-rolls and a Changecaster to make them S4, throwing an incredible volume of dice at lightly armoured targets.
  • Lord of Change (0/10): Just messing, but can you imagine a Lord of Change with that locus? Sigh.
  • Skull Cannons (8/10): Don’t laugh. They were already sneaky durable due to their half damage strat and contribute non-negligible shooting.
  • Exalted Seeker Chariots and Soul Grinders (6/10): These are definitely “Hardcore Daemon fans only” deep cuts, I admit. But Exalted Seeker Chariots give you a cheap and deep pool of T5 Wounds, while Soul Grinders with the Mark of Tzeentch/Nurgle become very durable with the locus. I wouldn’t rush out and buy them if you don’t already own them, but you can put them on the table in DOB and not feel bad about it.
  • Furies (10/10): Already an amazing unit, the ability to play around the God limitations with marked Fury units makes these near mandatory.
  • Flamers (7/10): With so few options for damage in a DOB army, fitting a unit of 5-9 in your list is a great idea. You’re also always bringing a Changecaster in your list, and getting Flamers to S5 is a very nice boost.
(Artwork Credit: Karl Kopinski)

On the Chaos Space Marines front, there aren’t nearly as many units to be excited about in a DOB army. Let’s quickly run through the viable ones, and why they fit well in a DOB list:

  • Havocs (8/10): They’re overpriced but worth considering just because they give you something different. They’re definitely a scalpel in Be’lakor lists. Keep them safe early, then use them to clean up the board late in the game. Go with either the autocannons for cheap dakka, or chaincannons for the best all-around option.
  • Obliterators (5/10): You’re already going to be running super thin on points in a DOB list. It’s going to be hard to justify Obliterators at 300+ points, when they are ridiculously prone to whiffing outside of Iron Warriors specific builds. If you’re hellbent on running Obliterators, a cool idea could actually be running a unit of two marked as Khorne. Spending 1 CP for Veterans of the Long War to proc exploding 5’s to Wound from the Crimson Crown gives you a cheaper shooting base that can still spike hot with much less investment than a full unit and 2 CP for Endless Cacophony. That feels like the sweet spot, until Daemons get some points drops and we’re not sacrificing so much “stuff” to bring a full unit of Oblits.
  • Cultists (7/10): Tide of Traitors remains a great way to get bodies into different table quarters whenever an opportunity presents itself.
  • Shooty Vehicles (7/10): Since Vehicles will also benefit from the -1 to Hit outside of 12″ Legion trait, Dreadnoughts (particularly Contemptors with Volkite or a Leviathan with the Grav Bombard) become a very interesting addition. Note that basically every single synergy in this army excludes Vehicles (including Be’lakor’s command phase rerolls and reroll 1’s aura).
  • Master of Executions (6/10): Cheap little counter-charger that can hang around your Daemons to proc any stratagems that requires a nearby CSM unit. I honestly don’t hate spending a CP to buy him the Talisman of Burning Blood or the Elixir for Advance and Charge or +1Strength/+1Attack.

Key Relics and Psychic Powers

  • CSM Relics: Since you’re limited to core CSM codex relics that don’t require you to have a CSM Warlord (so the relic Nurgle power fist isn’t allowed), your two main choices will be the Talisman of Burning Blood or the Intoxicating Elixir to beef up a Character. Realistically you won’t bring either since it will you a CP to buy it since your free relic from Be’lakor has to go onto a Daemon, but keep in mind that buying one of these is a tool you have available. There are far worse things you could slap into your list than a Greater Possessed with the Intoxicating Elixir to become a mini smash captain.
  • Daemon Relics: The choice here is easy: There really isn’t any choice. Without Greater Daemons, the selection of relics becomes truly meager. The standouts are the Forbidden Gem or relic claws if you are running a Contorted Epitome, or the Crimson Crown on a Bloodmaster. If you’re really desperate, the -1 leadership bubble on a Poxbringer could help proc some Morale shenanigans. But at that point we’re just struggling
  • Psychic Powers: We’ve already stressed the importance of Wreathed In Shades and Shrouded Step, so I wanted to quickly go over the remaining psychic powers.
    • Pall of Despair: Anything that messes with opposing ObSec is potentially strong, but the fact that you have to cast on a 7 and then take a 3d6 LD check makes it extremely unreliable.
    • Penumbral Curse: Giving -1 to Wound to an opposing unit in melee is nice, but I really wish this power was WC6 instead of WC7. It’s pretty funny that Daemons have access to a power to reduce incoming AP, when AP is almost literally irrelevant to an army with invulns and no saves.
    • Betraying Shades: Sneakily good into Wyches and Troupes, where you’ll average 3-4 Mortal Wounds. Unfortunately it is just a worse smite against the vast majority of units. Really no reason to ever have this in your list in a TAC list.
    • Voidslivers: The rules writers keep trying to make “draw a line to a point and damage everything underneath” powers a thing. They appear surprisingly often across a wide variety of codices. Much like in those other codices, this “draw a line” power is going to be completely ignored. Don’t ever bring this, just double up on a power you actually want in case one of your Psykers dies.

Sample List

Single Detachment Disciples of Be’lakor List

(If you don’t like that it’s one detachment, the CSM units can neatly separate into a Patrol and you still have a legal list with 2 fewer CP. I would drop the Elixir on the MOE in that case to get a CP back and reduce the detachment hit)

  • Be’lakor (Shadow Step, Pall of Shadows)
  • Changecaster (Shadow Step, Wreathed in Shades)
  • Master of Executions (Intoxicating Elixir)
  • 9 Nurglings
  • 15 Bloodletters (Icon, Instrument, Banner of Blood)
  • 15 Bloodletters (Icon, Instrument, Banner of Blood)
  • 10 Cultists
  • 9 Beasts of Nurgle
  • 9 Flamers
  • Contemptor with twin Volkite
  • 2 units of 5 Furies (Slaanesh)
  • Havocs with Reaper Chancannons

Don’t be afraid to experiment with the Disciples of Be’lakor yourself. They’re going to be a solid mid-tier army that can get plenty of wins if played well. As always, have fun, stay safe, and may the Dark Gods bless your rolls!

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Published: July 18th, 2021. Last Updated: July 18th, 2021.

30 thoughts on “Mastering the Dark Master: The Guide to Winning with Disciples of Be’lakor”

  1. I’m interested in your opinion on fiends in DoB. Seems like a cheaper way to lock down combats, but the loss of advance and charge is rough.

    1. Steven, sorry for the slow reply–didn’t get the comment notification for some reason! I think you’re exactly right on Fiends. Losing advance and charge is huge, but the ability to charge and move through models will really create some awesome trapping plays.

      I often end up taking some just because they’re one of the only Slaanesh units I like in DoB. Give them a try!

      1. Could you not have a DoB detachment and then a Slaanesh Detachment and then broadcast Advance + CHarge to the DoB Fiends?

  2. I’m wondering what your take is on including terminators in a DOB army? And would the master of possession have a role with cursed earth? Or does this not work under the new rules?

    1. Had a 1500 point game using DOB – Belakor, 30 bloodletters, 20 horrors, 3 fiends, 6 plague drones, 9 flamers and a unit of havocs. Vs. Raven Guard. Belakor was gunned down by eradicators eventually but took a bloody toll on the opposing army before dying. The strat of passing morale with an automatic 1 was stellar (used it on the drones and the bloodletters). As was the psychic power to teleport the flamers to a far flank and roast a bunch of marines on objectives with the mortal wound strat. It’s easy to run short on points with the big guy taking so much, but there are some really effective combos in these three pages that are well worth a look. Thanks again for your great review – which helped alot in preparing for the game!

      1. Jack, really glad to hear you had a good game (apologies for missing the comments at first!)

        Raven Guard seem like a tough matchup because they counter Belakor’s -1 to Hit and Wound, but sounds like you played him smart and used him as a distraction while everything else got into place.

        Teleporting Flamers seems like a really potent tool. Keep it up!

    2. Do the new rules make all the units including daemons under the same ? Would that allow say, the greater possesed to apply his +1S to the daemons too?

      1. Hey Tom, unfortunately not. CSM units in DoB keep their keyword, it just doesn’t do anything besides make them targets for buffs like Dark Apostle buffs on units or Greater Possessed giving units +1 S

  3. Doesn’t the changecater have to use the Locus of Shadow instead of Locus of Tzeentch? Or am I reading that part wrong?

      1. Yeah the Changecaster has the shadow locus and the +1 strength aura (he doesn’t have the Locus of Trickery detachment rule for pure tzeentch daemon detachments… which is no great loss!)

  4. 8pointedshuriken

    Hi Mike, i was wondering for your opinions on the dreadclaw drop pod for DoK? I ran two the other day, (couldn’t paint my bikers in time) each containing a helbrute with a scourge and multimelta it was probably the best matchup i could possibly have asked for in IG and there was quite the player skill disparity, so the results for my match are relatively null i think. The game plan was to use the contorted epitome to throw 20 bloodletters with a banner into the face of the player right alongside those two drop pods which happened, and from there it was a struggle for my opponent to leave his deployment zone as i seized the midboard with a unit of horrors. The list i ran was: 1 battalion.
    Belakor w/ Wreathed in shades, pall of dispair
    Tzeentch Termi-Sorc w/Prescience and Death hex
    Contorted epitome w/ shroued step, Wreathed in shades,
    29 horrors w/ 1 iridescent, Banner, Instrument
    20 Bloodletters w/ Bloodreaper, Icon, instrument
    5 Nurglings
    Greater Possessed
    2 x Dreadclaws
    2 x Helbrute with scourge and multimelta
    i had 240pts spare, and with me i had a changecaster, 10 blue horrors and about the same pairs of brimstone. When he hammered my horrors i split them and then used the 2cp strat for morale check of 1 to grow the unit yet further.
    Sorry for the essay but Looking for an experienced player’s outlook. Used to wargaming, new to Mass battle warhammer.

    1. 8PS, I think the Dreadclaw definitely has merit but you want to make sure you stuff it with shooting units instead of melee units because we have no charge bonuses in DoB. I’m not a fan of Helbrutes but they’re cheap enough that they’re not bad either. Something like Havocs could be very cool!

  5. What are your thoughts on the whole debacle of DOB not being a faction and just a keyword. Which prevents you from doing the whole army in a single detachment. I mean you could go mono Marine or Daemon but the point should have been to be able to mix them into a single detachment together.

    1. William, I think Warhammer is a fun but horribly written game that requires good faith give and take by both players. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter because I’m very frustrated by all the grey areas of RAW vs RAI in this army. Hopefully we get an FAQ that clears this up, so we can put it all behind us.

  6. I played an DOB army vs Sisters last friday when I just had gotten the be’lakor model. I just used stuff I had and borrowed some horrors from a friend. I ran:

    Sorcerer with warptime
    Contorted epitome
    30 horrors with banner
    20 slaanesh possessed
    10 bloodletters
    5 nurgle furies
    3 nurglings
    3 slaanesh obliterators

    It was a slaughter, I tabled the sisters turn 4 while only losing 9 bloodletters, 11 possessed, 3 furies and 13 wounds off of be’lakor. The end score was 85-47 (mostly because I had picked a bad secondary). What really won me the game was that I could trap a unit with the epitomes ability and only in turn 3 could he really target be’lakor at all

  7. Hey Mike. Love your posts. Do you see any weaknesses in the following DoB list, and if so, ideas on how to best address them?

    Be’lakor (warlord) – wreathed in shades, pall of despair
    Changecaster – wreathed in shades, shrouded step
    Fluxmaster (endless grimoire) – flickering flames, gaze of fate, infernal gateway

    Bloodletters (20) – banner of blood, daemonic icon, instrument of chaos
    Bloodletters (20) – banner of blood, daemonic icon, instrument of chaos
    Bloodletters (20) – banner of blood, daemonic icon, instrument of chaos
    Horrors (30) – daemonic icon
    Nurglings (3)

    Beasts of Nurgle (2)
    Beasts of Nurgle (2)
    Beasts of Nurgle (1)
    Fiends (1)
    Fiends (1)
    Flamers (9)

    Furies (5) – mark of slaanesh

    67 reserve points for splitting horrors

    The idea is to use Horrors, Bloodletters, Flamers, and Belakor to bully the mid-board and my opponent’s front line while screening out the back with the Beasts and Fiends. Or alternatively, using the Beasts to bring out my opponent, which would then let me wrap and/or trap them with the hordes and fiends.

    1. Paul, that’s a really cool DoB list. Like it a lot

      The main thing I notice is that anything you’d want to Shrouded Step for damage is a really big unit, you can’t flip an objective or pounce on a weak unit without making a real commitment. I love small Bloodletter units, even MSU for this. Maybe downgrade a 20 BL unit to a 10 man to give you one throwaway piece, and then use those 80 points to bump the Fiends to 2×2. Units of 2 Fiends actually play a role instead of Slaanesh tax. They can actually tag things like a small unit of Intercessors or a weak HQ in combat without worrying about randomly dying

      Good luck mate!

  8. hmmm looks as though with the FAQ, GW confirmed that Disciples of Belakor is indeed not a faction, so because of chaos not being a soupable keyword it appears we cannot mix daemons and csm in the same detachment?

  9. I’m interested to know what your thoughts are on running a Blood Throne in place of a Bloodmaster for being a Crimson Crown caddy. It’s about twice as expensive, but is much more durable for carrying one of the only relics you really want. Or does Wreathed in Shades make durability less important for HQs traveling with blobs of Bloodletters?

  10. In the article you talk about pall of despair as a tool for messing with obsec. Which part of that spell switches off obsec? Does obsec count as an action?

    1. Tom, you’re completely correct–Pall Of Despair doesn’t mess with ObSec. Got it mixed up in my head with the Necron HQ that has a similar type of effect

      Pall of Despair turning off a unit’s aura could be very useful for turning off a Rites of War character giving your Marine opponent ObSec though!

      1. aw, you had got my hopes up…I still take it in my list, too much of a utility. Got slightly bummed out when I realised my friends DG contagions wern’t auras though.

  11. Hey Mike, big fan of your articles and work with chaos armies! I’ve read and re-read this article a few times in building this army and am going to field my first 2k game with it soon! I’m most interested in how I can get value out of the epitome as both a great psyker and combat trapping melee powerhouse. Should I protect it in the castle or run it up midfield and charge from cover like turn 2?

    All the best,

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words Nick!

      The mirror is definitely a tricky unit to get the most value out of.

      The “best” situation for her is getting ABC unit of yours trapped with XYZ unit of your opponent, and having the Epitome within 3″ of enemy unit XYZ that is being trapped. That way the mirror is protected from being shot by ABC trapping unit, and then you can heroically intervene into XYZ enemy unit in their turn and kill it with your flurry of attacks and free the mirror and unit ABC up for your turn

      Generally it’s moving toward the midfield and staying screened turn 1, and then exploding outwards to get the traps going turn 2+. Main exception is if the opponent has forward deployed units which you can start grabbing right away. But varies game to game.

      1. Hey Mike!

        Thanks so much for the extremely helpful advice!

        Game was an absolute blast, very uh, casual pace at my friend’s place. Got up to turn two and he was well ahead on killing my models with his Dark Angels Inner Circle army, however if things had been able to keep going I was still very in with a chance – ahead on board control and threatening a lot of units. All my heavy hitters were at full strength and spending a CP to revive nasty, nasty Bloodletters is super clutch.

        Back on topic though! Didn’t get to use the Epitome! I deployed very conservatively and kept her in cover. My opponent’s strong, strong guns and ability to shoot back in combat made trapping much less viable, I feel? I think I will hide her in a ball of demons to move up much sooner and just get in there next time, consequences be damned. Same goes for Belakor. I am still probably going to hide him for later turns to do more decisive strikes and get the most out of re-rolls. Facing Ad-Mech this weekend so will hopefully chop up a few tanks in the process.

        Bloodletters moved and made a 13 inch charge which was absolutely mint too. Really love the options that taking the banner gives you.

        I went in with this list and am looking to tune it up by dropping to 10 horrors and investing in a leviathan dread with gravis guns to punch through some armor.

        ++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [81 PL, 10CP, 1,557pts] ++

        + Configuration +

        Army of Renown – Disciples of Be’lakor

        Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

        Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

        Detachment Command Cost

        Gametype: Matched

        + HQ +

        Be’lakor [18 PL, 360pts]: Pall of Despair, Shrouded Step, Warlord

        Contorted Epitome [11 PL, 210pts]: Delightful Agonies, Hysterical Frenzy, The Slothful Claws

        Fluxmaster [6 PL, 105pts]: Shrouded Step, Wreathed in Shades

        + Troops +

        Bloodletters [8 PL, -1CP, 145pts]: Banner of Blood, Bloodreaper, Daemonic Icon, Instrument of Chaos
        . 14x Bloodletter: 14x Hellblade

        Bloodletters [8 PL, -1CP, 145pts]: Banner of Blood, Bloodreaper, Daemonic Icon, Instrument of Chaos
        . 14x Bloodletter: 14x Hellblade

        Horrors [8 PL, 185pts]: Daemonic Icon, Instrument of Chaos
        . Iridescent Horror
        . 19x Pink Horror: 19x Coruscating flames

        Horrors [8 PL, 115pts]: 10x Blue Horror, 9x Pair of Brimstone Horrors

        Nurglings [3 PL, 66pts]
        . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

        Nurglings [3 PL, 66pts]
        . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

        + Elites +

        Flamers [6 PL, 115pts]: Pyrocaster
        . 4x Flamer: 4x Flickering flames

        + Fast Attack +

        Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
        . 5x Fury: 5x Daemonic claws

        ++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [22 PL, -4CP, 441pts] ++

        + Configuration +

        Army of Renown – Disciples of Be’lakor

        Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

        Legion: *No Legion Trait*

        + Stratagems +

        Gifts of Chaos (1 Relic) [-1CP]

        + HQ +

        Master of Executions [4 PL, 65pts]: Intoxicating Elixir, Mark of Slaanesh

        + Troops +

        Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: No Chaos Mark
        . 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun
        . Cultist Champion: Autogun

        + Elites +

        Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 150pts]: No Chaos Mark, 2x Twin volkite culverin

        + Heavy Support +

        Havocs [7 PL, 176pts]: No Chaos Mark
        . Aspiring Champion: Chainaxe, Plasma gun
        . 4x Havoc w/ reaper chaincannon: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Reaper chaincannon

        ++ Total: [103 PL, 6CP, 1,998pts] ++

        Thanks again and let me know what you think!

        – Nick

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