Daemons : Infernal Tetrad: The Care of Feeding of your Infernal Tetrad
Hey there all, my name is DeeJay, and I’m here to share my tips and experiences with the Infernal Tetrad. If you find this post informative and helpful, you can learn more in the Tactics Corner!
Have you thought about running a list with a few giant monsters? Have you thought of starting a daemon army with a very low dollar investment? If the answer is yes, this article will tell you how to do it using an Infernal Tetrad, where the strengths of the list are, and where the weaknesses are.
What is the Infernal Tetrad?
The Infernal Tetrad is a new formation in the GW release “Curse of the Wulfen”. This formation takes the sub-standard daemon prince, and turns them into a powerhouse. The formation requires that you bring four daemon princes, one from each of the ruinous chaos powers. These princes compliment each other into a face wrecking force.
The biggest advantage of the Tetrad is that the flexibility and variety of the formation. Given your ability to pull from multiple psychic trees, your ability to roll rewards, and the warlord trait — each game will play out slightly differently. Given the nature of the unique weapons and hell-forged artifacts, some princes will always play out in a similar way, but even there there will be a lot of variety.
For example, you might play a game where you spend most of your time swooping around shrieking your opponent off the board. You might glide up and just wreck face. You might keep your princes in a group to destroy an enemy death star, or split them apart to wreak havoc across the board.
The Tetrad requires that you bring four deamon princes, one from each of the chaos powers. As more princes are alive, the each gain specific cumulative benefits.
|Prince Alive||Benefit Gained|
|2||Reroll failed ‘to hit’ rolls of 1|
The Tetrad also lets each prince share a single warlord trait. This combines very well with the new traits from the “Curse of the Wulfen Book”.
I use an excel sheet to print my army list, and I include cells for lesser rewards, greater rewards, and psychic powers for each prince. It costs me one sheet of paper per game, but it makes it easy to record who has what.
Building your Tetrad : Khorne Prince
The Khorne Prince is your beatstick prince. While sometimes you will want to swoop with him, the majority of the time he will be gliding. I’ve had this prince wipe deathstars off the table. He is a complete beast.
I’ve found the best upgrade for him is the Armor of Scorn for 30 points. This gives the Khorne Prince an effective +1 toughness, Adamantine Will and a 3+ armor save. Given that this prince will never get ‘Iron Arm’ it helps to give a decent bonus to durability.
My standard layout for this prince is to grab one lesser and two greater rewards. The lesser reward is always swapped for an “Axe of Khorne” to give him an ID option on a roll of a 6. Unless I roll two rockstar greaters, like +1 W, IWND and 4+ FNP, I will also grab the “Blade of Blood”. The Blade of Blood gives Rampage and is another specialist weapon. This means the Khorne Prince will be swinging with 8-10 attacks (5 Base + 1 Charge + 1 Dual Specalist + d3 Rampage) against most targets. If the Khorne prince is fighting something solo, the Axe of Khorne will give the ID options.
Occasionally, you will want to swap out for a “Greater Etherblade” over the Axe of Khorne. If you need to be STR 8 every round of combat, this is something to consider. This would be if you are facing lots of T4 units you need to double out.
Skullreaver vs Axe of Khorne
Instead of the Armor of Scorn, you can grab Skullreaver. On 6’s with the Axe of Khorne you are ID‘ing on 6s, and with Skullreaver you are throwing a D hit on 6’s. Lets compare the three cases.
* If you are hitting a target without EW and is not a GC, then one wound will kill the model outright with the Axe of Khorne. Skullreaver will only be doing D3 wounds unless another 6 is rolled after the first (1/36) In this case the Axe of Khorne is better. This includes things like IC’s, Riptides, Etc.
* If you are hitting a target that is a GC, then the Axe of Khorne will be doing d3 wounds, just like the Skullreaver, unless another 6 is rolled after the first (1/36 chance)
* If you are hitting a target with EW, then Skullreaver is better. Considering how few models have EW, this is usually a minor boon.
In most cases, the Axe of Khorne will do the job as well as Skullreaver (since you have a 1/36 chance of getting 2 sixes in a row). In some cases the Axe of Khorne will do better, like against a D-Thirster.
The best thing about the Axe of Khorne is that it’s 10 points, and you still can bring 2 greaters AND the Armor of Scorn. It’s a win-win.
I usually wind up getting the Axe and Blade on the Khorne prince, since 25% of the time will I get two defensive rewards. This means in assault he has 5 base + 1 extra specialist weapon + d3 rampage attacks + 1 charging = 8-10 attacks on the charge. He completely wrecks units he runs into.
Building your Tetrad : Tzeentch Prince
This prince should be your army warlord, as ⅚ of the warlord traits are excellent. This prince is also your most durable of the princes, and has the highest STR before “Iron Arm.” This means often I will put the Tzeentch Prince out in front to draw fire, daring my opponent to shoot at him.
You always want to take the “Impossible Robe” with this prince. This Hellforged Artifact gives a 3++ save, with the caveat that if you ever fail a save you need to make a leadership test or be removed from play. This should not be a large concern, as the prince should rarely take wounds.
The reason for this is that the prince has multiple ways to lower the invulnerable save to a 2+. Cursed Earth cast will cause this bonus. The warlord trait that gives you +1 invulnerable save gives this trait. The warp storm roll of a 10 provides this. In most of my games, with very little effort I’ve kept a 2+ on him the majority of the time. Even if you can’t get that +1 to the save, you are still rerolling 1s, making the chance of saving ~74.9%
I always give this prince one lesser reward and at least one greater reward. The lesser reward will be the “Staff of Change” which gives the prince a +2 strength weapon, with the added bonus of exploding characters and monstrous creatures. With the Infernal Tetrad tier three bonus in effect, this prince will be swinging at STR 9 — enough to hurt most vehicles. If I need to trim my tetrad down to 1250 points or less, I’ll take just one greater on him — however if you can swing the 20 points — have two is much better.
Depending on the other greater rewards, sometimes I will also give this prince a “Greater Etherblade” to gain the extra attack from dual specialist weapons. This ups the princes attacks from 5 to 6 base, making him a little more deadly in assault. If I am already wounding on 2’s I’ll swing with the etherblade to allow me to pick up a single 2 missed on the ‘to hit’ roll and reroll it with master-crafted.
As 2/3 of the greater rewards are defensive in nature, the other rewards can greatly improve his durability. Rerolling that 3++ save will help if you can’t get a +1 modifier. 4+ FNP effectively doubles the durability of the prince when not hit by stomps or D. +1 W, IWND is another great reward. Hellfire Gaze can be useful if you are going to be doing a lot of swooping, though in most cases I convert it down to a ‘Greater Etherblade’. In this case, you don’t care about a 3+ armor save, and can freely swap that trait. Fleshbane/armorbane might be used if you are facing a lot of high armor vehicles.
Building your Tetrad : Nurgle Prince
The Nurgle Prince has become my ‘Go To’ for special operations. Since he comes built in with ‘shrouding’ he can always rely upon a 2+ jink, meaning that he has less of a need to stick near the other princes to gain advantage of ‘Shrouded’ or ‘Cursed Earth’. Remember that this prince also cannot run, nor sweep — so taking down enemies close to the table edge is ideal.
There are no ‘auto take’ hellforged artifacts that the Nurgle Prince needs to take. I have tried ‘Corruption’ before, but found it was not worth the point investment, since the prince will usually be wounding on a 2+ anyway.
Likewise, I usually skip the Lesser Reward on this prince and just go with two Greater Rewards. I sometimes take a lesser reward to grab the ‘Plague Flail’. The plague flail and the Balesword are both specialist weapons, so it can give you +1 attack if you get the Balesword as well. If you are not using the balesword, the flail still gives +1 STR.
With the greater rewards, they are all useful to some degree, save for the 3+ armor save – which I will swap out for a ‘Balesword’. I will often swap out Hellfire gaze for a Balesword as well, depending on the matchup.
I usually take Warp-Forged Armor with this prince for a 3+ armor save in higher point games. I’ve found that there are enough times my prince is taking wounds from scatter lasers to make this worthwhile. If my meta consisted of a lot more gravitation weapons than scatter lasers, I would leave the armor off. You will need to tailor this to what is in your general area. However, this prince can also jink for a 2+ save so it’s not critical. In many games I’ve left it off and did just fine.
Balesword: This is a great upgrade for a Nurgle Prince. It is what will give him a fighting chance against D-thirsters, Wraithknights, riptides and other multi-wound enemies. It’ll also work great against the Stormsurge. It does D3 Wounds on any failed saves and they don’t get their FNP‘s. He may actually kill a SS in 1 turn of combat! Give him Warp Speed on top of that and the chances of him killing the Surge in 1 go is really good. Definitely highly recommended against more elitist armies, especially the ones with multiple multi-wound models. -jy2
DeeJay here again. I can also attest to the Balesword and being completely awesome. If you are facing a D-thrister you can use it to ID the thirster before it can get into assault. It also lets the prince walk through models like riptides. In one game I got warp speed off with the balesword and wiped out a huge chunk of a wolfstar, going through through 3 librarians in the killing swath. ID ignoring FnP is a huge boon.
Building your Tetrad : Slaanesh Prince
The Slaanesh Prince is usually the most vulnerable of all my princes, and the first one killed. When people find out the Khorne prince is effectively T7, the Tzeentch prince is rocking a 2++ rerollable, and the Nurgle prince is jinking for a 2+, all sights are set on the Slaanesh prince. As such, I try and start it near the back of my force, relying upon it’s fleet to help catch up with run moves.
The rending is something else with this prince that you do not want to forget, as it can help with vehicles. STR 7 rending is no joke when hitting walkers. It’s the difference from barely scratching the paint on a AV13 walker to wrecking it wide open before it can swing.
After many games, I’ve found that Soulstealer is the best sword to add onto this prince. The ability to gain wounds back is huge, and killing enemy models is extremely easy for a DP. This 20 point upgrade is the difference between your Slaanesh prince getting whittled away in a grind through 10 flesh hounds, or coming out at full health. Your opponent will be dismayed when your prince that has taken 3 wounds assaults a squad of scat bikes only to heal back up to full after they are swept.
Like the Nurgle prince, I take Warpforged armor on this prince. Given the amount of fire he draws, I’ve found it to be worthwhile. Unlike the nurgle prince, he can’t jink for a 2+ cover, so the armor is more useful on the Slaanesh prince. In games that are 1250 points or less through, this is one of the things that get’s dropped.
For rewards, I usually give the prince two greater rewards. Given that Soulstealer is not a specialist weapon, Witstealer does not grant the prince an extra attack. If I get a greater reward that will not benefit the prince, I swap it out for the Lash of Despair. This weapon uses the princes STR of 7 for 2d6 shots. If you picked up “Iron Arm” then your prince can do those attacks at STR 10! Since each prince rerolls 1’s to hit — for both ranged and melee attacks, 35/36 of those attacks will hit. When combo’ed with ‘Iron Arm’, you will, on average throw 4/3 of a wound on a Wraithknight. Lash’s best job, however, is to crack open vehicles such as a razorback so the prince can eat up the marines inside.
Do not fall into the temptation to have your Slaanesh prince with Iron Arm swoop around and lash everything. It’s a poor use of the points, and the prince is better off on the ground laying the smack down with the other princes.
Playing your Tetrad : Order of Operations
When building out your Tetrad, there is an order to help give you the best advantage. How your powers, traits and rewards are generated greatly impact the way you play.
The first thing you should roll is your warlord trait, and it should be rolled on the Tzeentch table. 5 of out of 6 of the Tzeentch traits are exceptional, which is a higher margin than the other warlord traits. The Nurgle tree also has some great traits, with ⅔ of them being good, so if you are sick of Tzeentch, going Nurgle is a good alternative. The Slaanesh and Khorne traits fall flat, with only a few in each tree being worthwhile.
Your warlord trait will impact what psychic powers and rewards you take. For example, if you get the +1 invulnerable save power, Cursed Earth becomes incredibly good and is worth diving. If you rolled the trait that lets you harness on a 3+, then powers with larger cast values become more attractive.
Next, roll your psychic powers. This will impact what rewards you will want to take. Normally I start with the Tzeentch prince, then the Nurgle prince, followed by the Slaanesh prince. The first trait I roll for is on Telepathy, then Daemonology, followed by Biomancy.
On Telepathy I want either Shrouded, Invisibility or Psychic Shriek. If I roll either of those first two powers, I’ll skip the Biomancy on the first prince who got them to grab Psychic Shriek. Psychic Shriek is one of the best one warp dice powers you can throw and is worth having on every prince.
Under the Daemonology tree, I am going for ‘cursed earth’. Occasionally I will wind up casting ‘Incursion’ or ‘Summoning’, but what I really want is ‘Cursed Earth’, as it gives the Tzeentch prince that 2++ rerollabe, and buffs the other princes down to a 4++.
For Biomancy I’m looking for Iron Arm, Warp Speed or Endurance. Iron Arm is the big winner here, and when a prince is swinging at STR 10 and is Toughness 9, they can walk over nearly anything in the game.
Finally, you will want to roll your rewards. This will impact what weapons you replace rewards for. For example, if you get Iron Arm on your Slaanesh prince, then Lash becomes a much more attractive option.
Playing your Tetrad : Beating Face
In most of the games, it’s more advantageous to stay in gliding mode to beat the face out of your opponents. If one of your princes got ‘Shrouding’, or you took Be’lakor, then every prince can jink for a 2+ save if desired. If you rolled enough 4+ FNP, Reroll Saves, and +1 W, IWND rewards your princes can withstand huge amounts of firepower. Rerolling Invuln saves gets dramatically better the better your invlun, so Cursed Earth can be really clutch here.
In assault, all four princes throw out a tremendous amount of damage. Each prince has between five and ten STR 7-10 attacks, depending on weapons and psychic powers. I have yet to meet a typical deathstar that can take that kind of punishment.
Even one prince can do a great deal of damage, especially if you got ‘Iron Arm’ or ‘Warp Speed’. In one game, I had the Nurgle Prince with ‘Iron Arm’ up assault a C:SM Chapter Master wielding a Thunder Hammer and Shield of Eternal joined by three Assault Centurions. In the assault the chapter master was ground into fine red paste, and in my opponents turn the prince doubled out all three centurions — consolidated and proceeded to run 2 more Riptides off the board before the game ended.
Since princes are initiative 8, they will almost always be swinging before your opponent, and will sweep with ease. Unfortunately they do not have assault grenades and will swing last when you are going through cover to assault.
They also have a weapon skill of 9, meaning that any targets with a WS of 4 or less will be hitting them on a 5. This helps to reduce the amount of incoming damage they will take. That is why units like Assault Centurions are much less dangerous. They might wound on 2’s, but they will be hitting on 5’s and you will get a invuln save. If your prince got greater rewards of a 4+ FNP or ‘Reroll Invulns’, then even STR 10 hits are not much threat.
With this strategy, I usually keep 3 of the princes close together and split off the Nurgle prince to find his own targets. Sometimes I will separate all of the princes, if they are survivable enough and there are enough small threats on the board to make it worthwhile. If there are multiple small threats, I’ll also split the princes apart — like if 3 drop pods landed near my princes. You style of play will depend greatly on your opponent.
While you are gliding in to engage, do not forget to use your psychic shrieks on units that you are not going to assault to maximize the damage output. Once you are stuck in, if you rolled any debuffs like ‘Enfeeble’, then you can use them on the units you are engaged with.
Playing your Tetrad : Flying Circus
This is the less desirable way to play your Tetrad. Firstly, there is no real value to swooping your Khorne prince, so it will likely die quickly. If you will be swooping , consider either deep striking the Khorne prince, or casting Invisibility on him every round.
The idea with this version of the Tetrad is that you fly around and psychic shriek everything you possibly can. Instead of rolling on biomancy, you want to roll on your daemon table for more damaging powers.
After you have softened up your opponent’s army to the point where you won’t be completely shot off the board, switch to glide mode and then beat some face.
Don’t forget to vector strike when doing this. I loved watching my opponent’s face when I would vector strike a squad of 3 bikes and cause them to take a morale test. If you force 3-5 morale tests a turn, they add up!
This strategy is best employed when you are facing a fragile army with tremendous firepower, such as 30+ scat bikes. It’s also the best way to handle opponents like Tau bringing double stormsurges. There are also times where you want to swoop to avoid a huge alpha strike. If your opponent, for example, has a Skyhammer Annihilation Force formation and you got turn one, swooping for a turn to negate much of the firepower is a solid tactic.
Remember, your princes are the most deadly when assaulting, so while it’s tempting to stay in the air and just blast with psychic powers, it’s not the best strategy in most games.
Playing your Tetrad : Deep Striking
Don’t forget you can also deep strike your Tetrad if you desire. If your opponent has a null deployment army with a huge alpha strike, and you think your supporting units can live through it – such as being deployed in a bastion – deep striking your tetrad is not a bad idea.
The difference of deep striking vs swooping turn one to close on your opponent is that you cannot be targeted if you are going second. It also lets you get any psychic buffs up when you deep strike, so while you still have to eat a round of shooting, you can be buffed up for it.
Playing your Tetrad : Tarpit Units
Try and avoid tarpit units if possible. A squad of 20 flesh hounds from the Khorne Daemonkin codex can take multiple turns to grind out. In one game I had 2 princes who spent their entire game killing 25 flesh hounds and one herald of khorne instead of destroying many more valuable units. Other tarpits to avoid are renegade zombies, IG blobs, or really anything that can tie your daemon princes up for 3+ game turns.
If a tarpit has STR 4 or greater, a prince with Iron arm is your best bet. The enemy unit will not be able to hurt your prince and it can slowly grind away the tarpit. If the enemy unit is STR 3, then your Khorne prince will do the job wonderfully as it STR 3 cannot wound his effective tougness 7.
Playing your Tetrad : Psychic Powers
The Tetrad list is not overflowing with psychic power dice. While some armies can boast 20+ dice, the Tetrad list has 9 dice from the princes, plus whatever else is in your army. This means your psychic powers should be 1-2 cast costs when possible. These are usually the ones I try to use.
- Iron Arm
- Warp Speed
- Cursed Earth
- Psychic Shriek
Normally I will avoid trying for level 3 powers, due to the number of dice they take from my pool. You might find a time when casting ‘Incursion’ is worthwhile, but it’s not a regular strategy.
Remember that if two princes are still active, your army gets to reroll missed ‘to hit’ attacks, which means your psychic shriek will hit 35/36 of the time instead of ⅚ of the time.
Daemon princes also get the primaris in their specific god’s tree. This means that you are effectively getting another free power to use, which gives more offensive power to each prince!
Adding to your Tetrad : Be’Lakor
Often when playing, I will add Be’Lakor to the army. He is more fragile than the daemon princes, since he only has a toughness of 5, and a 4++ save. In every game that I have brought Be’Lakor, he has died before any of the princes.
Be’lakor does let me skip diving for shrouding or invisibility, which is a nice perk. He also is another level 3 psyker, giving 12 levels total to the Tetrad, and another shriek.
The other advantage that Be’Lakor has is his stat line is that of another Daemon Prince, so he can do some damage when he gets up close. He also sports armorbane/fleshbane and a mastercrafted weapon, so his damage output is decent.
Adding to your Tetrad : Fateweaver & Grimoire
Normally I would highly suggest bringing Fateweaver, but this unit actually takes away from the Tetrad’s effectiveness.
Fateweaver, given the right psychic support, can completely wreck face. He can throw out four powers a turn while spending the entire game swooping around. There are many lists where fateweaver can do the majority of the damage output for the army, such as in warpflame lists where you are feeding fatey 20+ psychic dice.
Tetrad lists, however, need all of their psychic dice to use powers such as ‘warp speed’, ‘iron arm’ and ‘psychic shriek’. This does not leave many dice for fateweaver to use, and puts a strain on the number of psychic dice available.
Grimoire: Is it necessary in a Infernal Tetrad army? That depends. It is useful against armies that can ignore cover (i.e. Tau, Centstars), armies with strong assault elements (i.e. D-thirsters, Imperial Knights, Wulfen, Canoptek Wraiths) and deathstar armies. In essence, it is always useful especially in competitive play because most competitive armies will include aspects of their army where the Grimoire can be useful against. Worst-case scenario, you can run around with 2 near-invincible units as opposed to only just 1. Is it absolutely mandatory? No, but I definitely recommend it, even for an Infernal Tetrad build. Also, consider taking Fateweaver if you plan on taking the Grimoire. In additional to being just a great all-around force-multiplier, Fateweaver also makes the Grimoire much more reliable. – jy2
Adding to your Tetrad : Tallyband
If you wanted to skip bringing Be’lakor, you can take a Tallyband. A tallyband with one herald, 1 squad of plague bearers and 6 squads of nurglings, and 5 furies will come in around 550 points. If you keep your princes around 1300, this will fit into 1850. With this idea, you are basically trading punch for durability, in addition to unlocking the nice benefits of the Daemonic Incursion.
The Herald of Nurgle can also take the ‘Doomsday Bell’, which combines very well with ‘Psychic Shriek’! Slap a lesser reward on him for an AP2 weapon and then he becomes a lot more scary if somebody drops a squad next to your objective holders.
The nurglings and plaugebearers are still good objective holding units, especially if they are all getting FNP form the Herald of Nurgle’s Greater Locus of Fecundity. You can also double down in Malefic daemonology to try for sacrifice — a great power that lets you pop out more heralds.
Adding to your Tetrad : Renegade Knights
I tried 7 games using two knights with the Tetrad in a ‘pacific rim’ style of list. The knights were extremely lackluster. In 6 out of 7 games, my opponents had exactly the right tools to take them down. Doing 6 HP to AV 12 is just not that hard. Most armies have the tools to complete this.
While a D sword sounds good, 4 attacks is just lackluster when your hitting on 4s. The stomps are nice, but not guaranteed.
Because the knights died so easily, every game was an uphill battle. If I had something like a burning skyhost instead, I could have applied pressure and had a lot more units to score with. As such I do not suggest bringing two knights with a Tetrad.
Adding to your Tetrad : Bastion or VSG
If you don’t go first against a shooty based army, your tetrad might be in trouble. In one game against an Eldar gunline, he tabled me on the top of 2. Not going first, combined with the wrong rewards just was horrible.
It has started me to think about using a bastion with a comm-relay on top. This would allow a squad of horrors to stay in the building and a squad of nurglings to stay on top holding the comm-relay. You could then deep strike your 4 princes in on turn 2, and then get your psychic defenses off. Since you can now deep strike in swooping or gliding mode, you can then only risk one turn of fire before assaulting.
Keeping it Organized
The table really worked against me in the past — and is a big problem for daemon players without proper mitigation. In three games in a GT the warp storm table screwed me by either hurting or killing a prince, or lowering my save seriously weakening my army. An incursion would have helped to mitigate that issue greatly.
An incursion at 1850 is really hard to pull off, with a tallyband being your only real option. At 2k or 2500 this becomes a feasible option.
How Good Is It?
The tetrad will wreck complete face on many lists out there. I have played the Tetrad to great effect against Necron, Eldar, Marine, and Chaos armies. The Tetrad list is a hard counter to warp spider spam that wounds daemon princes on a 6+. In one game my opponent shot my nurgle prince with 20 warp spiders and did not do a single wound.
However, it has an extremely hard time dealing with stormsurges. In one game I had a double stormsurge list stomp 3 princes to death. In another game with only one stormsurge I had it stomp two princes to death. Given the 4++, FNP and 8 wounds, stormsurges are more threatening in assault than wraithknights!
With the Terad list having a hard counter that is fairly common, you will not see Tetrad lists take large events like LVO or NOVA. You might see them win some brackets by luck, but the more common the double stormsurge list becomes in the bracket, the less Tetrad lists you will see.
You will also just have bad games where the dice completely fail you. For a 3 round tourney, this is not such a problem. It’s quite possible to not have that ‘bad game’ over the course of 3 rounds. If you are playing 5 or 6 rounds, the chances of getting knocked out of the running drops dramatically.
For casual games, it does not matter. You can have a bad game 1/4 of the time. Winning in 3/4 of your games might seem like the list is kicking ass.
This is why I rate the Infernal Tetrad list as tier 1.5 It’s better than a tier two list, but will not be something you see take over the meta. Depending on your local store, you might do great with it in local tournaments. This past weekend I took first in a doubles tournament in New Hampshire with a Infernal Tetrad list.
Finally, one of the best things about the Infernal Tetrad list is it’s low dollar investment. You will need four daemon princes, two units of troops, and possibly another FMC to put it all together. To make this investment even less, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.
If you have any input or comments, please add them below!