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!!
Time to take a closer look at the poster child of Age of Sigmar, The Stormcast Eternals. Sigmar’s Chosen Warriors for order and civilization.
My name is Jarrad and I have been playing Age of Sigmar since shortly after the very first Generals Handbook. I started playing when I heard about it from a household of buddies that all got into it together. My first army was actually Sylvaneth but Stormcast followed just a little while later. I have played with near half the armies in the game and against a variation of almost every army as well.
Around since the very beginning of Age of Sigmar, the Stormcast Eternals are the largest army and have seen the most releases and updates. However, they have found themselves at the middle or bottom of many tournaments as of late. With a few specific builds having success in the meta and large amounts of model range going unused; the new book in Age of Sigmar 3.0 really appears to have revitalized the army.
There are a few reasons you might choose to play Sigmars Chosen. One reason is you like the heroes chosen to protect humanity, the “good guys.” The Stormcast Eternals have some of the longest most interesting lore written in the mortal realms. Maybe you like the look of full stylized plate armor.
Another reason to play the army is play style. Stormcast Eternal armies are elite in nature. Having fewer smaller units that are stronger and more durable than most armies. With an average save between 3 & 4, they are very tough. And almost every weapon now has rend.
Before the launch of 3.0 and Dominion, the Stormcast already had almost 3 full armies.
The first release of the warrior chambers, followed by the Vanguard Chambers, then in the aftermath of the Necroquake the Sacrosanct Chamber was set loose on the realms. The Warrior chamber was the backbone of Sigmar’s force; the hammer and anvils. The Vanguard was full of hunters and scouts to add more speed to the forces. Sacrosanct brought the magic of the storm to the battlefield. Now with the Age of the Beast and the storms of Chaos wreaking havoc on Sigmar’s forces he and Grugni have sent forth the Thunderstrike chambers.
Normally the shiny new units of Stormcast far outclass the older classic units. This is not quite the case with the release of this Battletome (the fourth?) for Stormcast Eternals. The new units are better in many ways than older units. However, with the new structure and warscroll updates, there is a very strong case to be made for building armies out of the Stormcast you may already have.
Stormcast Eternals saw a points cost increase on most units like everyone else. Unlike the other armies, the battletome saw the existing units (many of them anyway) increase their number of attacks, rend, and/or gain mortal wound output. One of the most interesting changes, and in my opinion the most needed, was the changes to the stormhost abilities. All stormhosts still have a unique army ability. In addition, many of them gained unique battleline units. Hammers of Sigmar, for instance, can now take any Dracothian Guard unit as battleline. This change has opened the door for a wider variety of army compositions you could not previously use.
Be aware that all Stormcast models now have the ability to mortal wound you upon death as their souls explode back to Azyr. You roll dice equal to the Wounds characteristic of the model and on 6+ (5+ for Thunderstrike units) deal a mortal wound to a unit within 1”.
Previously, you saw almost exclusively Anvils of Heldenhammer, for their command ability to shoot or fight in the hero phase, or Hammers of Sigmar utilizing Gavriel Sureheart for guaranteed deep strike charges. Now I have been playing an army from Hammers of Sigmar as a Stormkeep allowing my single unit of redeemers to count for extra models holding objectives but also I can run a unit of 4 Dracothian Guard Concussors as a battleline alongside my Judicators and Sequitors.
Link to the full army list below.
Judicators while now 200 points for 5 models more than doubled their damage output with 2 attacks and 6s to hit now cause a mortal wound. Instead of chipping a hero or unit, they can eliminate it. Especially when combined with my unique enhancement command to shoot in the hero phase once per game. Astreia Soulbright combos extremely well with the 2 units of Evocators on Dracoline with her ability to bestow a free +1 to armor every combat phase and her warscroll spell providing a -1 to hit for all units within 6” of her. With movement 12” and a warscroll charge reroll these cats get across the now smaller board with ease.
Don’t forget about the Concussors though. At 440pts for the 4 models, they are the most expensive unit in the list. However, they hit the hardest and are also the hardest to kill. Boasting 6 attacks per model at a -2 rend and a base 3+ armor save I have had opponents focus their entire army into them and fail to kill them. A megaboss on Mawkrusha bounced off them and was killed in return. Through the combination of mystic shield, celestial blades, and a command point for all-out attack; This unit can move 10”, breath lightning mortal wounds another 12”, and charge in on a 2+ save, attacking with 24 attacks (half of which can generate mortal wounds) at 2+/2+/-2/2. They are an absolute menace on the table. I also haven’t mentioned that the ability you gain in Hammers of Sigmar is a 6+ ward save while wholly within 12” of an objective.
I do believe that it would be beneficial to swap the Sequitors for Vindictors who have a 3+ armor and mortal wound output. Since the army already gets a 6+ ward, having a 5+ ward during the combat phase does not seem as beneficial. They also would boost the range on the general’s warscroll spell which could be valuable in certain situations. The other reason is they cost 10 points less, opening the door for a triumph or just preventing your opponent from having one.
Below you can check out another army build that recently went 4-1 at the Michigan GT created by Palmer Middlekauf.
“So basically, liberators are 115 points and REALLY good, so every hero you take you to have to ask “is this better than 5 liberators” often the answer is no, so my Stormcast lists have very few heroes. In this hero package, the Lord-Relictor provides that ever-important translocate to make sure the raptors are where they need to be. Note that you can translocate and holy command shoot in the hero phase in whichever order works best for that turn. The knight-vexilor is there to pick up dead raptors if your opponent kills any in shooting, he can usually pick up 3 of them which makes him super worth it. The Castellant does castellant things self-explanatory. It is also nice to have all 3 heroes have totem so if I need to, all commands are getting issued with 18” range. The raptors are basically the only damage output, which means this list’s output is pretty sub-par. Turns 1 and 2 castle with the raptors safe behind all the redeemers, and the redeemers try to stay within 9 of the raptors so if they get charged raptors can unleash hell. Also not aetherwings +1 to hit aura is in all phases, so you can get +1 to hit in your hero phase shooting, and cancel unleash hell’s -1 to hit. Because the raptors are your main damage output, you want to unleash hell as much as possible to really get the max effectiveness.”
This list takes huge advantage of the new rule for Stormkeep armies. While you lose the deep strike flexibility of the Scions of the Storm, your redeemer units count as 3 models holding objectives in your territory. Turn 3 and after they count as 3 models on objectives anywhere on the board.
One change Palmer is considering is replacing a few redeemer units with a unit of 4 Dracothian Guard Fulminators. With -2 rend and 3 damage each on the charge this unit is capable of breaking most tarpit units and even toppling a Mega-Gargant.
I hope this has given you some insight into how you can look to build a Stormcast Eternals Army or what you might see from them in the future.