Navigating the Realms: Magic City

After a short hiatus I’m back to talk about Sigmar’s magic city, otherwise known as Hallowheart.

It has been a couple of months since the Cities of Sigmar battletome has hit the streets, and certain builds are starting to rise to the top. While most of the cities, and many of the individual units, can hold their own in tournament play, I think that Hallowheart is the clear choice for players looking to compete with the current meta heavyweights.

The biggest reason for this is that Hallowheart is able to best leverage what I believe to be the Cities’ best allegiance ability (endless spells are always considered empowered). Hallowheart wizards can each cast an additional spell and have easy access to multiple casting buffs, the city is built to sling endless spells all over the table.

I recently had a chance to play a game with a Hallowheart list that I would not consider optimized and my opponents army was quickly overwhelmed as the battlefield was covered in endless spells after turn one. With that game in mind, the following is my current best attempt at a competitive Hallowheart build.

  • Allegiance:  Cities of Sigmar
  • Extra Command Point:  No
  • Realm:  Aqshy (required for Hallowheart)
  • Stronghold:  Hallowheart
  • Leaders-
    • Lord-Arcanum on Tauralon
    • General, Command Trait:  Famed Spell-Hunter (+3 to dispel)
    • Artefact:  Ignax’s Scales (4+ to ignore mortals)
    • Spells:  Sear Wounds (heal D6 wounds to friendly unit within 18″)
    •     Crystal Aegis (increase ignore spells to a 4+ within 12″)
    • Lord-Arcanum on Gryph-Charger
    • Artefact:  Thermalrider Cloak (+4″ movement and fly)
    • Spells:  Warding Brand and Crystal Aegis
    • Battlemage 1
    • Spells:  Crystal Aegis and Roaming Wildfire
    • Battlemage 2
    • Spells:  Ignite Weapons and Elemental Cyclone
    • Battlemage 3
    • Spells:  Sear Wounds and Warding Brand
  • Battlines-
    • 4×10 Freeguild Guard (sword and shield)
  • Other Units-
    • 1×6 Demigryph Knights (lance)
  • Endless Spells-
    • Everblaze Comet
    • Aethervoid Pendulum
    • Umbral Spellportal
    • Emerald Lifeswarm
    • Quicksilver Swords
    • Purple Sun of Shyish
    • Suffocating Gravetide

The basic idea of the list is to throw as many damage dealing endless spells toward your opponent (dispelling and recasting as needed). It sounds fairly simple in theory, but due to the phase order (hero phase comes before movement phase) it can be tricky.

As built this list can be as few as six drops, which means you will have choice of first turn order sometimes, but it is by no means guaranteed (odds could be improved by combining one unit of 10 Freeguild into a unit of 20). In most matchups I believe going second with this list is ideal. You have enough bodies to screen against alpha strikes and the closer the enemy is, the more endless spells you can get in range (the list also has more endless spell than casters, so the double turn is nice).

Even if your opponent forces you to go first, however, you can still do some damage with your endless spells. With a 46″ threat range, there should be a target for the comet and the empowered spell portal also ensures that at least one more of your damage spells (likely the pendulum or the purple sun) will also be able to do some damage.

The Demigryph Knights will be the target of most of your buffing spells, I think that they are the best combination of tanky and killy in the Cities book, the spells augment them very well. They are also a good target for the lifeswarm since the empowered version has a 50% chance of returning a slain Demigryph (just be careful not to let your opponent use this spell to revive their own models, it is predatory).

The battlemages are perfect spell batteries, the ability to multi-cast with bonuses for 90 points is an absolute steal (the Sorceress is good as well, but I like the various buffing spells that the Battlemages have access to via their warscroll).

Finally we get to the Lords Arcanum. The Tauralon option is a great candidate for the Hallowheart command ability (choose a wizard to take D6 mortal wounds and all Hallowheart wizards wholly within 12″ get a matching casting bonus). Ten wounds, along with the 4+ mortal wound save from the Ignax’s Scales, make him an ideal choice for this role. The Tauralon also puts out some decent damage and has a 3+ save. The Gryph-Charger option is there for the warscroll healing spell, and when equipped with the cloak he can really scoot. (Don’t forget the two Arcanums can also heal each other for a wound per turn as long as they stay close to one another.)

I think that there is some real potential with this list (or at least for Hallowheart in general), it can dominate most other armies when it comes to casting and can deal a large amount of mortal wounds. It also has a good hammer/anvil combo unit in the Demigrphys, and some fairly good characters. You will need to play cagey, as the list does not have a ton of bodies, so if wizards start to die early things could go south quickly.

Next week I will talk about a couple of games I have recently played with Hallowheart and I will discuss some potential changes to the list.

Let me know below if you have had any success with Cities of Sigmar.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Matt S

Matt is a Midwest based gamer that dabbles in many systems (most often 40K, AoS, and Infinity). He enjoys attending and organizing events and travels to as many tournaments as time allows.

One Response to “Navigating the Realms: Magic City”

  1. Liam November 26, 2019 9:31 am #

    What’s the best way to make duardin work in hollowheart? Or are they just too slow and innefficient?

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