Heralds of Nurgle are promoted Plaguebearers who have done well in their service to the Lord of Filth. Now instead of just being called a “herald”, they get a fancy specific name of “Poxbringer”. Poxbringers possess gifts above and beyond the gifts normally bestowed on the average plaguebearer – namely responsibility for leading a Tallyband and psychic powers. This gift-receiving changes them physically as well, causing them to grow larger than the average plaguebearer and to emit an aura of filth (above what the normal decaying and disemboweled Plaguebearer would emit, I guess). This results in them being very good lieutenants for Nurgle and deadly to face as well.
On the tabletop, Poxbringers are an HQ choice and a single model unit.
Poxbringers attack with their Balesword (melee S[User] AP-3 D1, reroll all failed wound rolls).
- Disgustingly Resilient (DG)
- Daemonic Ritual
- Can be summoned
- Locus of Nurgle
- Add 1 to the Strength of all <Nurgle Daemon> units within 6″ of this unit.
The Poxbringer knows smite and 1 power from the Nurgle psychic discipline.
At first look, the Poxbringer seems a bit one dimensional and doesn’t have a lot of special rules. However, what it does do, it does exceptionally well and as a result is a must-take if you’re running Plaguebearers (which if you’re running Daemons at all, you should be taking Plaguebearers). Let’s start with the abilities on the data slate. It adds 1 to the strength of all <Nurgle Daemon> units within 6″. To be clear, this isn’t just daemon units form the daemon codex but also includes units like Plagueburst Crawlers, Death Guard Daemon Princes, Obliterators, Lords of Discordant, etc.. Having the Plagueburst Crawlers hit with their 2D6 shot auto-hit S8 AP-1 D1 spewers (S8 thanks to the aura from the Poxbringer) is scary for any opponent. Of course, it also applies to Plaguebearers who then are swinging at S5 instead of S4, which means they wound most infantry in the game on 3’s (rerolling due to their ability) which can turn them from dangerous to outright deadly.
The Nurgle Discipline is overall decent with one that really stands out, Miasma of Pestilence, which gives a friendly Nurgle Daemon unit within 18″ -1 To-Hit until your next Psychic Phase for a warp charge of 6 (target doesn’t need line of sight). This is what you’ll be taking 90% of the time (maybe even more often). It stacks with Plaguebearer’s Cloud of Flies special ability (-1 To-Hit for the duration of any phase in which they start that phase with 20 or more models) for a total of -2 To-Hit. This can absolutely wreck armies that don’t have a way to reliably combat this or that rely on their shooting primarily (both Astra Militarum and T’au can have a difficult time with this). It is disadvantageous for all other armies, to say the least. Again, because it targets Nurgle Daemons, it can be used on, for example, Death Guard or Chaos Space Marine units that are both <Nurgle> and <Daemons>, which happens to include some powerful units. Since you cannot cast both the Daemon and Death Guard version of Miasma of Pestilence in the same turn (they have the same name and are treated as the same power for casting duplicates purposes), keeping this in mind can come in handy even despite the fact that you’ll almost always be targeting Plaguebearers with it.
It’s a <character> so can be hidden, which is great because you’ll want to be casting Miasma of Pestilence basically every turn you still have plaguebearers left. That’s the primary reason you’re taking the Poxbringer, is to enhance your excellent Plaguebearer screen. However, if you find yourself in the position of trying to make a cheap Daemon battalion with Nurglings and Poxbringers, look into the Shriveling Pox (subtracts 1 from the toughness of a visible enemy unit within 18″) and Virulent Blessing (adds 1 to Wound rolls in the fight phase for a Nurgle Daemon unit within 18″ of the psycher with 7+’s To-Wound causing double damage, doesn’t need line of sight) psychic powers.
At just 4 wounds, snipers stand a decent chance at being able to eliminate a Poxbringer over a turn or two, depending on the volume and quality of the sniper shots. A savvy Daemon player will conga-line the plaguebearers the Poxbringer is buffing so that the Poxbringer can remain safely out of line of sight for a long as possible. If you get the first turn against a daemon player playing with the buffed Plaguebearer screen, take the opportunity to whittle units of plaguebearers down to at least sub-20 so that even with the Miasma of Pestilence buff, they’ll only be -1 To-Hit. Once your opponent runs out of Plaguebearers, there’s not much left for the Poxbringer to do other than smite. If you can deepstrike behind the screen or find another way to get into combat with the Poxbringer, it won’t be able to put up much of a fight either, relying on it’s 5++/5+++ to save any damage. Even though it’s attacks are S6 AP-3, they’re only D1 and it only has 3 of them so it won’t be able to put up much of a fight in combat. If you can get into denial range of the Poxbringer, try to in order to combat Miasma, as well.
The Poxbringer turns an already formidable unit (Plaguebearers) into the best screening unit Chaos has access to, currently by making them -2 To-Hit. This relies on a relatively easy to get off Psychic power that, if undenied, can prove to be a huge thorn in your side. When attending an event, expect to see this unit accompanying any Daemon detachment with plaguebearers and know how to handle it accordingly.
Do you have any tips or tricks for playing with or against a Poxbringer?
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