Welcome to our Closer Look series. We are digging into the changes for each faction in Age of Sigmar 3.0. Join us moving forward as we bring on different authors to give insights into their favorite factions!!
Welcome back to Poppa’s garden!!
We are back with the second part of looking at the new Maggotkin of Nurgle. More playtesting has occurred, which means I have successfully tried more lists. This article will dive more into the Daemon side of things. We are still waiting on an FAQ to determine what the trees do. I was hoping by waiting a bit to put this out; GW would clarify the tree giving you one “CP” for one tree or each tree giving you 1 CP for each tree on the table. Unfortunately, no clarification has come out, so we will continue the rule as written. As written, one tree gives you 1 CP, two trees give you 4 CP, and three give you 9 CP. As is, this makes taking the Befouling Host sub-faction great!
You start the game with two trees on the table. These can give you some backline summoning and stack up some “CP” for summoning later in the game. I have found that playing this book has allowed me to push forward very aggressively, knowing that I can continue to summon some Plaguebearers behind me on objectives. I have built a summoning concentrated list that I really like. It leans into the Daemons, which can be fun to play in this army. The list also plays a Horticulous Slimux to give you the 3rd tree at the start of the game. This lets you maximize your summoning giving you 9 CP to start the game just off trees alone. I will go into the list and the units in more detail and my thoughts on each.
Units and Heroes: Part 2
I want to go over Orghotts due to the sheer hammer that this model gives you. Nurgle does not have access to many hammers, making this model one of the cheaper heroes we have access to. With an 8″ movement that doesn’t bracket until he has taken seven wounds and a 7″ shooting attack, it is possible to get in range to one-shot a support hero or soften a unit before charging in. The other important feature on his weapon profile is the Rotaxe’s with seven attacks for two damage and the Claws with five attacks for three damage apiece. I have seen this guy with support takedown. Mega-Gargant before being killed by another the next turn. The 3+ save is excellent, stacked with his ability to give himself all-out defense for free once per turn. His ward saves also bounces mortals back onto a unit within 3″. This is an excellent change to the rule as if you are in combat with two units, you can stack wounds on the unit that has not fought yet. Overall this unit can be your cheap Surgical knife. Take him where he is needed and set him up on the opposite side of a hero you want to take out. You can start him off the board with Gutrot Spume as a bonus.
This version of our Maggoth Lord is more of a tank. You will not have the same output of damage, but the ability to heal half of the wounds you have taken is fantastic. On a 3+ save and auto-healing half wounds taken in battleshock, you are here to stick around. Using Morbidex with a unit of 6 Nurglings by the side will be hard to remove. Morbidex brings back 1 model of Nurglings at the start of your hero phase if they are within 7″. The thing I love about this model is the fact that there is no variance. You are guaranteed to heal half wounds, and you are guaranteed to bring back a model of Nurglings within 7″. There is no rolling on these abilities and that draws my attention. You are still looking at five claw attacks and five reaper attacks, so the damage is also there. If you decide to play this model, keep a unit of Nurglings nearby for support and bring models back. I will be summoning more Nurglings within 7″ when I can to keep stalling units from objectives. I have read many comments bashing this model as the worst of the three, and it is if the damage is the main thing that you care about. In a game of strategy, having this guy on the table makes it very hard for your opponent to remove, and the amount of healing you can throw his way is something not to be taken for granted. He is the perfect unit to get across a table and stall out a unit until he chews through them and still has decent damage output.
Beast of Nurgle
Oh, happy day!!! Beast of Nurgle has never been so relevant in AOS, and I am excited. Anyone who plays 40K will tell you how great Beast of Nurgle are in 40K, but in AOS, they have always been fun to play without much else. They are only 110 points but are very resilient to do a good number of mortal wounds. The run or retreat and still charge are great in the current meta. If you take three to start the game, you can get your battle tactic for running all three then charging right after. They can also stack an extra disease by retreating and charging back in. They are even slightly faster than most units in our army with a speed of 5″. I feel pairing them with Horticulous will help you get in that extra damage you need with +1 to hit and rerolling charges. I will say this will be one of my favorite units to summon off of Horticulous continually. This will let them go for a charge immediately and reroll it.
Finally, the days are back where you can run Horticulous. As a long-time Nurgles Menagerie player in 1.0 and some of 2.0, I am happy to get him back on the table. He is a fun model that brings with him an extra tree at the start of your Hero Phase. We are building for summoning, paired up with the sub-faction that lets you start with two trees on the table. Getting a Beast of Nurgle each turn or some Nurglings is a solid plan. He doesn’t have the best attacks, but you are paying 225 points for extra “CP” from the tree he brings in. You will also want to continue to retreat from combat to do his D3 mortals summon in a beast then charge in the beast. I feel like this is a fun way to play with him as he does only has ten wounds on a 4+ save.
Plaguebearers are here to stay! I mean this literally and figuratively. They are not moving off the table. They have gone to a 6+ save and lost -1 to hit in melee but have gained one wound. Being at two wounds a piece with a 5+ ward save is okay in my book. Some people have written them off, but I am not one of them. Our ability to cast Fleshy Abundance on them to make them three wounds a piece is nuts. They will continue to tar pit on objectives and be hard to remove from the board. When you get a chance to summon, you want to go for a Sloppity right behind a unit of them on turn one every game you can.
Then use Sloppity to stop units from piling in, and they will never make a dent. It is not about damage with these guys. You will be fishing for 6s while putting Disease counters on units just remaining in combat. You will want a beast ready to flank whatever unit is stuck into combat with these guys. I believe units of 20 are the way to go in my list. I can’t imagine playing a unit of 30. They still get -1 to hit in the shooting phase, which is fantastic. But at the end of the day, I rather have them shot at instead of my heroes. I would suggest people try one or two blocks of 20 and see how they like them. In a recent game, I had a unit of 20 with three wounds apiece tank 43 damage and left 6 in combat to keep 4 Gargants in combat.
My list: Summoning Competitive
Here is my list that I am currently using for summoning. As it stands, unless an FAQ, our summoning is one of the strongest in AOS, and you have an opportunity to lean into it. This list is a 3-drop list that almost guarantees you a triumph at 1960 points. The synergy in this list makes it a blast and very fun to play. You start the game with three trees on the board, gaining you 9 “CP” then 3 “CP” for being in your territory, one or D3 “CP” for the bell, and 1 “CP” for no one in your territory. You are looking to start the game at 14 CP. This gives you your turn one Sloppity Bilepiper. I am almost always going for this play on turn one. This will leave you some CP to add for your next turn when Nurglings get into their territory. You will want to place the Nurglings on the table where you can get Morbidex up to them if you can. This will start the never-ending battle of Nurglings on one side of the board. Take your Great Unclean One up the center with 20 Plaguebearers. Then you can use Horticulous and a best of Nurgle to the other flank. Once you get going with summoning, you will want to keep summoning on the flank with Horticulous, whether that’s Beast of Nurgle every turn until you want Flys or to save for another Great Unclean One with Sword and Flail. This can easily be accomplished with this list by turn 2 or 3, depending on if you bank all your points and no one shuts down your trees.
The great thing about this list is having your General being your GUO who will be at a -1 to hit and the Tome of 1000 poxes giving you an extra spell, Gift of Disease. This army is not very hard-hitting but will survive as you chip away at your opponent’s units. You are almost guaranteed to have some Plaguebearers standing at the end of the game. By taking Hold the Line, it’s tough to miss your Grand Strategy.
If you are thinking about running a heavy summoning list, I would suggest something in the realm of this list. Try your own combos of models you like. I feel like you can work this list to what you like. The main parts are the GUO, Horticulous, and fill in what you have or want to try. I have just found this to be the best for me. I find a unit of 6 Nurglings bringing a model back has been just way too hard for opponents to get through. In my recent game using this list, I summoned a GUO on turn two vs. Gargants. I was able to bring around 850 points to the table, summoning turn two GUO, turn 3 Beast of Nurgle, and turn 4 Plaguebearers onto an objective for the win. From a competitive standpoint, as the rules are written, this is the strongest build that we have access to. The sheer number of points you can bring onto the board makes it a hard list for any army to get through.
Overall, I believe this book is in a good place for daemons. Although they do seem a bit weaker than the mortal side of things, they are a lot cheaper. It is not an S-tier army by any means. But it is precisely where all books should be around a 50-55% win rate from what I have seen. I believe all books moving forward should be around this mark. I could easily see some 5-0 finishes in major tournaments in the hands of a player who knows how to play this army well. There has never been a game I felt I did not have a chance to win. This book has us in a perfect spot moving forward with losing the Amulet of Destiny’s 5+ ward and healing in combat. We are now the faction that has a 5+ ward save army-wide that can still heal in combat for all our units on our turn. Even if an FAQ comes out and says that we only get one CP per tree, we are in a good place. This list is still very strong to compete with others. I do feel that an FAQ is not coming for the trees as it would not make much sense to summon a tree for 9 CP when you are only going to get 3 CP in return or less. They are also able to be turned off fairly easily. But that is nether here or there. I’m sure at some point we will get clarification but until then the only thing we can do is talk to our opponent and let them read the war scroll l. If they heavily disagree roll a dice and play it the way of the winner. This is the rules from the FAQ comity. Other then that have a blast! Have fun and spread those diseases!!!!
Let the dice flow through you!
Disclaimer: (This was written without an FAQ regarding the trees and how they function. This was written with the rules as written in the new book)