I admit that I overlooked Vyridion when I first dug him back out of my collection. I never used him in any iteration of my Chaos deck, but when I was flipping through my extra cards I decided to give him another look.
Vyridion’s command line and die roll are pretty solid, even by the elevated standards of Chaos. A 5+ save is definitely on the tougher side for characters, and both his battlefield abilities are useful. Orks would kill for a solid character like Vyridion, especially at common. The question is, can Chaos make use of him?
Vyridion’s lock ability is clearly useful, but I find Chaos rarely requires firepower boosting because all of their most common shooters are so good. Chaos staples like Chaos Space Marines, Traitor Space Marines and Discs of Tzeentch all come with 3 FP in addition to their other abilities, and so most opposing units are generally killable save for the hard targets like Avatars and Titans. If you’re looking for a FP booster, you may find more value out of a repeatable support unit like Xanthus, Chaos Predator.
The Plague Bringer’s locked ability is also worth discussing. +1 armor can be immensely useful for the amount of assault units Chaos can bring, but I find the majority of the most useful Chaos assault units are demons with armor 2 (e.g., Khorne Bloodletters, Slaanesh Daemonettes). Jumping from armor 2 to 3 definitely helps, but many units are quite capable at shooting an armor 3 unit. I expect the armor bonus to be much more useful for already-tough targets like Greater Daemons, in which case a whopping 5 armor will make them almost impervious to damage. Of course, a charging armor 4 Kharn the Betrayer is nothing to sneeze at, either!
So, what’s the verdict? Overall, I’d say Vyridion is good but not insane. It would hardly be a gross misstep to include him in the average Chaos deck, but I think he would offer much more value in an assault-oriented deck, where his command line and locked ability will make more of an impact.
The main challenge is to decide whether or not to play Vyridion over one of the absurd non-flag units Chaos can access. Despite this, I’m testing a couple in my own Chaos deck for the high die roll and the firepower bonus versus tough, mass-destruction units like Jainan and the Avatar.
The worst part of Vyridion, though? He’s a Plague Bringer and has no Nurgle-related abilities! Where’s the commitment to fluff, guys?!