Requizen here, back again with the next part of the Battletome: Stormcast Eternals review! Today we’ll look at the main Artifacts that you can give to the Heroes of your Stormcast army.
In our last article, we looked at the Battle Trait and Command Traits available to the chosen of Sigmar, and much like those options, these are only available to armies that are purely selected from Stormcast Eternals models. There are three(!) Artifact tables that you can choose from or roll on, giving you a lot of choice in how you customize your Heroes, either from a strategic perspective or from a narrative viewpoint. Let’s take a look!
The first table you see focuses on weaponry and making your Hero more deadly than he or she already is. Do note that you cannot apply these to the mounts, so no rerolling Stardrakes. And sadly, they only affect melee weapons, making the Knight-Venator jealous! However, outside of those restrictions, this is a really good table for making your heroes smash face!
- Strife-ender: One of your Hero’s weapons has +1 attack, or +2 against Chaos.
- This is a reasonably solid upgrade, since it’s probably the most reliable. An extra attack means the Lightning Hammer from your Lord-Celestant on Dracoth or Stardrake has 2 more potential MWs. More dice is usually best, so this is a nice default if you’re not sure what to go for.
- Blade of Heroes: The weapon rerolls hits against Heroes or Monsters.
- Pretty specific in use. A fairly solid choice for a mounted Lord-Celestant, since they are pretty good at dueling, but oftentimes you will want to hunt Monsters or Heroes with Paladins, Dracothian Guard, or your shooting, so this will not always come into play.
- For Narrative games, this is a great upgrade for Heroes that like to engage in pitched one-on-one duels!
- Hammer of Might: Wound rolls for 6 or more with this weapon deal double damage.
- A great option if you like gambling! We have lots of Heroes with multi-damage weapons – the Lord-Veritant, Lord-Castellant, mounted Lord-Celestants (though not foot ones), Lord-Aquilor, and Drakesworn Templars – so the potential for damage 4 or damage 6 attacks is pretty reasonable! Less consistent than the Strife-ender, but potentially devastating.
- Fang of Dracothian: Reroll wound rolls of 1 for this weapon.
- Since it doesn’t require a specific target type, this is a pretty reasonable choice, especially for the Lord-Celestant on Dracoth’s Tempestos Hammer which wounds on 2+. Math will probably put it slightly below the Strife-ender, but rerolls are always welcome.
- Obsidian Blade: Improve the Rend of this weapon by 1 (Rend – becomes Rend -1, Rend -1 becomes Rend -2, etc).
- Another killer option! Again, looking at the list of Heroes with multi-damage weapons, getting the ability to have a Rend -2, Damage 2 (or d3) weapon is quite tasty. The usefulness of it depends a bit on the opponent – it’s functionally useless against Ethereal units like the Mourngul or Spirit Hosts, and overkill against 5+ or 6+ units, but against 3+ Heroes or elite units that need to die that Rend is almost invaluable. Choose this one at your own discretion.
- Gift of the Six Smiths: In each turn, you can reroll one Hit, Wound, or Damage roll from this weapon.
- Now that’s a good item! While only once per turn, sometimes that one attack will be the decider between a kill and a loss. And since it’s based on the turn, you get a reroll in both your combat phase and your opponent’s, meaning that quick units that get stuck in early (like mounted units) can take advantage of it quite nicely.
- From a Narrative standpoint, the fluff for this item is that these legendary weapons are given to Heroes that die valiant deaths and then are reforged, so if you lose a Hero in an epic moment and want to show that the next time you use it, this Gift could be a great way to show that!
So six really good weapon options! I think the best choices overall are Strife-ender, Obsidian Blade, Fang of Dracothian and Gift of the Six Smiths, they will be overall the most reliable options from this table. Hammer of Might is nice if you like big swingy 6s, and Blade of Heroes is good for a hunter, though those are more situational and can be less good if you’re going to a tournament where you have to choose Artifacts beforehand.
My personal choice from this table is Obsidian Blade on either a Lord-Aquilor or one of the mounted Lord-Celestant options. Fast models, and now they’ll have multi-damage attacks with Rend -2! The Castellant and Veritant can also make good use of it, but they’re mostly support and are a lot slower, and I like to get my punches in fast and early.
The next section focuses on Armour and defensive options for your Hero. A great section if you want to help keep your leaders alive and in the fight, which is important for buffing/debuffing Heroes, especially when fighting armies that are good at sniping off specific targets.
- Armour of Destiny: When you suffer a Wound or a Mortal Wound, ignore it on a 6+.
- Your very own Death save! Only on one Hero, sure, but it’s a small bump in keeping them alive. Again, we have a very reliable option right off the bat.
- Armour of Silvered Sigmarite: Enemies are -1 to Hit this Hero in melee.
- Not bad at all! It’s only in combat and only when targeting this Hero, so slightly worse than Death’s Cursed Book, but it can be quite good at staying alive against punchy armies, especially those that have procs on 6+.
- Drakescale Armour: Reroll saves of 1 against weaponry with Damage greater than 1.
- Situationally quite good. Getting the reroll is very good, especially when Stormcast Heroes are 3+, easily boosted to a 2+. Multi-wound damage is very scary for Stormcast and Heroes in general, so getting a bit of a boost against it can be quite good. However, it does nothing against Damage 1 attacks, so it’s very hit-or-miss depending on what you’re facing and what you get attacked with.
- Mirrorshield: Enemies are -2 to hit this hero during shooting.
- Wow! -2 is a great debuff, and makes you much more survivable against certain armies like Tzeentch, Skaven, Free Peoples, Sylvaneth, etc. However, shooting isn’t super-prevalent across all armies (effectively none in Death other than some Monsters and Tomb Kings), so the usefulness of this Armour depends on the opponent. It can feel overpowered or do nothing, so be careful in choosing it!
- Spellshield: The Hero can unbind a single enemy spell like a Wizard.
- Unbinding is reliable, and much like the Mirrorshield, the usefulness of this one depends heavily on your opponent’s army. Still, if you’re going to be in the thick of things, stopping something like Sayl’s ability or a powerful Mortal Wound spell can be a big deal.
- Narratively, this is a great option for a Hero who hates evil Wizards and desires to hunt them down.
- Featherfoe Torc: Enemies that can Fly have to reroll successful hits against this Hero.
- This seems to be the only real stinker in the list. Not only is it unreliable since they can just hit again, but it’s also so limited. The amount of things that can Fly is pretty limited, and while it sometimes means you can mess with Archaon, it’s usually not worth taking over other options.
So two rather good options, three situational picks, and only one that feels pretty under-performing. Not a bad table at all! Armour of Destiny and Armour of Silvered Sigmarite feel like the ones that will come up the most often in the game, and will likely be the ones you see most in competitive lists. However, Mirrorshield and Drakescale Armour are good “hate picks”, nice options if you specifically dislike being shot to death or multi-damaged down. Mirrorshield specifically might see a lot of use if the meta shifts towards shooting, or if that’s popular in your local meta.
Personally I like Armour of Destiny as a general go-to for units that you don’t expect to rock in combat. A Lord-Relictor or Lord-Celestant on foot are pretty good combatants, but not super killers like the mounted Heroes, so oftentimes getting an extra save to keep them alive and buffing or debuffing can be bigger bonus than hitting harder with the first table.
The final section are Artifacts that don’t really fall into the first two lists, and are just generally “magical”. These are often a bit more utilitarian or specific, but there are a couple very interesting options in there.
- Talisman of Endurance: Add 1 to this Hero’s Wounds.
- Not bad, an extra wound is never a bad thing. Technically, it’s statistically worse than most of the Armour options, but a 7 Wound Lord-Castellant or -Veritant, or an 8 Wound mounted Lord is quite interesting. Straightforward, but effective.
- Obsidian Amulet: When this Hero is affected by a spell, ignore it on a 4+.
- Another “wizard hate” item. There aren’t that many debuff spells in the game, so this is mostly to ignore MW spells like Arcane Bolt. Quite good in those situations, but again, depends on your opponent having a Wizard and using his spells on this specific Hero, which he likely won’t in order to deny you the roll. Which, I suppose, keeps him safe in and of itself, so that’s up to your discretion.
- Luckstone: Once per game, change a Hit, Wound, Damage, or Save roll to a result of your choice.
- A great item! Situationally. However, it has the bonus of working well in conjunction with the Knight-Venator’s once-per-game ability, Star-fated Arrow, either ensuring the damage goes through, or pushing that 9 damage Arrow if it gets through their armor. On other Heroes, it’s nice, but Gift of the Six Smiths is often better for attacks and the Armours are often better for saves, as they aren’t once per game.
- An awesome Narrative item for a Hero who goes super lucky in previous games and wants to show it off!
- Seed of Rebirth: In each Hero Phase, heal a lost wound on a 4+.
- If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the Phoenix Stone from the Order Artifacts, but you have to roll to get it off. This seems much weaker than most of the Armour options or even Talisman of Endurance, since preventing damage is better than healing it later.
- Sigmarite Pendant: When your Hero is slain, roll a dice. On 4+, deal d6 Mortal Wounds to the offending unit.
- Way too situational for most games – your Hero has to die and then win a coin flip, and then roll high on the MW damage. Can be funny for a suicidal unit, but the failure state is relatively high and not great for what you’re trading it for.
- Quicksilver Draught: Once per game, you can pile in and attack before anyone else chooses to.
- A copy job from the Order Artifacts, but a good one. This is a solid pick, allowing you to counter charges with a powerful hero, or even get two activations before your opponent in your own turn. This is a good all-arounder choice, while not as offensively oriented as some of the weapons, sometimes it’s just preferable to swing before the model gets taken out.
I think this is the weakest of the three tables you can choose from as a whole, but the Luckstone and Quicksilver Draught stand out as very solid picks. The rest are either unreliable or very situational, either of which makes them less interesting from a competitive standpoint. However, for Narrative players, this table probably has the most character for giving your Hero his own personality, which is great if you’re in a campaign or just want to make your dude stand out from the rest!
My pick from here is the Knight-Venator with the Luckstone. Star-fated Arrow is still a one-off that can fail horribly, but every so often you’ll get through that 9 damage shot onto a Hero or Monster, effectively crippling anything he pops it off at. A great way to cut down a Thundertusk or Mawcrusha before they get to smashing you up, and maybe even softening them enough for your Judicators or Raptors to finish them off.
So there you have it, the standard Artifacts for a force with Stormcast Eternals Allegiance. A lot of very good and flavorful picks there, giving competitive players a way to optimize their builds, or Narrative players a way to add character to their favorite Heroes! Feel free to leave your favorites down below!
That’s it for part 2, but next time we’ll be talking about some of the specific options you can take on certain Heroes. If you want to pick up a Stormcast Hero to deck out in any of the above equipment, remember that Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day! Frontline Gaming will buy your used models for cash or store credit!