My longtime friend and fellow 40K CCG player Gregory Vettese is back with his second article on Chaos. Enjoy! –Dave
My previous article examined the general principles of Chaos deckbuilding. This article will delve deeper into my experiences with individual Chaos cards. Chaos units overall are not as tough as Space Marine units, but they hit faster and harder. Chaos has and needs few pure support units. Chaos’ best extra BA cards were banned, but there still are a few good ones. Chaos decks should avoid purely shooting decks because its best infiltration cards require assault units. My strategy is to shut down your opponent’s rolls and 👏Always 👏Be👏 Reacting.
Obligatory Chaos units for any vanilla Chaos deck:
Chaos Space Marines: Space Marine stats, die roll 5, and -1 to enemy rolls as both a static ability and command line. That’s it, that’s the unit review.
Renegade Space Marines: 1/2/3 with Assault 4 is okay on the battlefield, but their die roll of 5 and fantastic command line seal the deal. Being able to charge a unit in response to an opponent’s charge means no blocker can protect an Avatar/Vindicator/Greater Daemon from a spoiling assault. Also, it works on locked units, so the command can be saved until late in the battle against assault decks for maximum efficiency.
Traitor Space Marines: Same stats and die roll as Chaos Space Marines, but they rally more than a populist party. Shooting multiple times with the same unit is how you put the fear of the Dark Gods into your opponent! Pair Traitor Space Marines with other units that react when friendly units die to create difficult choices for the enemy, like the next card…
Khorne Bloodletters: the reaction to infiltrate an assault unit from hand whenever the enemy destroys a unit is priceless. It is a must-kill unit for the enemy and two Khorne Bloodletters are even better. The command line is occasionally useful to deny victory to an opponent at a marginal sector. If Slaanesh and Khorne put aside their rivalry the Emperor’s Children’s reaction can refuel your command hand.
Tzeentch Flamers: this game has a lot of rolling, so a unit that self-charges on enemy rolls is amazing. It is even better when you force your opponent to roll, like for invulnerable saves, armour saves, Bunker Complex, or even Great Unclean One. Assault D6 against infantry is good in a deck that can consistently roll 3+, and vehicles can be dispatched unexpectedly with the Juggernauts of Khorne’s command line.
Discs of Tzeentch: What if a Predator drone swore allegiance to Tzeentch? It would be a high firepower, high speed unit with a chance to rally when opponent fails a test. Squad Faustus and their ilk will never be safe from the Discs of Tzeentch!
Nemamiah: (Goodfellas voice) Your opponent thinks he’s smart for playing a high-rolling deck against Chaos? Opponent plays the wrong command? Fuck you, rally. Opponent rolls too high? Fuck you, rally. You kill a high die roll unit? Fuck you, rally. Also, if your opponent refuses to roll, you can always modify your own roll to lock Nemamiah.
Bunker Complex: You can shut down your opponent’s shooting at a sector when Bunker Complex is combined with one or two cards that reduce die rolls. It also forces the opponent to roll, triggering reactions from Tzeench Flamers and Nemamiah. Its command line is always a nasty surprise for the enemy.
Units I want to try:
Great Unclean One: when combined with one or two roll-modifying units like Chaos Space Marines, Plague Marine Terminators, or Perdition’s Fury, it can clear the battlefield singlehandedly. Without die modifiers, its effectiveness depends a lot on your opponent’s deck construction. For extra fun, pair them with Tzeentch Flamers to get a free charge or Nemamiah to rally your units if your opponent rolls high.
Death Guard Space Marines: dark alternate timeline Squad Faustus. Good outlet for unusable command cards to take down tough units. Chaos Bikers become a shooting threat to any infantry unit with Death Guard Space Marines to back them up.
Doomrider: A hard-to-block shooter and a way to neutralize your opponent’s most threatening unit. Under the right circumstances, I can 2-for-1 by shooting first and using its BA next to drag away your opponent’s Avatar.
Fabius Bile: I am Ghazghkull’s Waaagh.
Fiends of Slaanesh: They can 2-for-1 in assault, punish BA commands with infiltration, and they have a better command line than Khorne Flesh Hounds. Fiends of Slaanesh does not have a high die roll, but at least it can pass its own tests!
Units I want to like more:
Dark Stalkers: 3/1/3 with an event that destroys an enemy unit presents a tempting 2-for-1 card advantage. Their die roll of 1 and speed 1 probably gets them blocked by units real Devastator Squad units would be able to blast through.
Vyridion, Plague Bringer: All his abilities seem good for a balanced deck, but he has had little impact on the battlefield in practice.
Dark Reavers: I want to like their “E: if your enemy has more flags, move this card to another sector”, but it never works out. Either this 0/3/2 unit does not survive a termagant’s sneeze, or you win the sector with your inferior Chaos Bikers.
Khorne Flesh Hounds: Would it kill them to have a flag and a die roll higher than 2?
Sadism and aggression are the driving forces of a Chaos deck. Savour the despair of your opponent failing test after test. Delight in their frustration as you react to their every move. Finally, shred their units with Hellblade and bolter. If your favourite (or most disappointing) Chaos card is not included in this article, please tell me about it in the comments.