Fantasy Fisticuffs #26: Over and Under (Maggotkin of Nurgle)

A struggling army received a shot in the arm with Wrath of the Everchosen. So what are the winners and losers of Mortal Nurgle 2.5?

This week, a request from a reader meant that I needed to dust off some exceedingly dusty models, and see what I could learn from revisiting the Maggotkin. A once tough army, its age as one of the first second edition Battletomes had been really showing. Thankfully, Wrath of the Everchosen has brought new options to the table, and with them come a couple opportunities to be a bit better.

Still an army that will struggle competitively, the friendship of excellent supports from outside their book has done wonders for some units while others have proven competitively irredeemable.

Over-Performer: Putrid Blight-Kings

A perennial favorite of Maggotkin players, Blight-Kings have proven to be costly, but reliable purchases. Though an expensive purchase in real-world funds, large numbers of these models were once the dominant way to play this army competitively. While the army’s power has faded, these models again find themselves the best option players can muster.

This fairly durable unit has a distinction of being particularly suited to receiving buffs. Whether in the form of a hero with Witherstave adding to their heartiness, or their new BFF the Contorted Epitome from the Hedonites of Slaanesh (which brings efficient casting, and a 50% chance of letting well positioned Blight-Kings fight before their opponents) Blight-Kings simple get a lot of value out of buffs.

Inevitably a Maggotkin army will be low on volume of models, meaning each has to contribute as much as possible. The Blight Cyst Battalion dramatically increases the damage output of Blight-Kings, especially when combined with a Lord of Affliction. Both should be prioritized whenever possible. Likewise, when run as its Everchosen sub-faction the Blessed Sons, challenges with limited mobility are significantly reduced. A free 6”+1” run, with the ability to run and charge so easily available, makes for a shockingly speedy army, for an army with such abysmal base movement.

These models are about as far from EZ-mode as can be in a competitive environment, but they will be your best bet at holding your own.

Under-Performer: Beasts of Nurgle

I try extremely hard to find something positive to say about even the silliest of units. That is really difficult with a unit as worthless as Beasts of Nurgle. At 80pts for a seven wound model, I am genuinely unsure of what its role is.

At a glance, one might think this unit is chaff. Its abilities imply tarpitting and discouraging enemy charges or retreats. That might almost make sense if the unit wasn’t incredibly slow, and if it wasn’t so paper-thin in its defense that even the most meager units will just kill it versus retreating from it (rendering one of its abilities unlikely to ever even happen). With no rend, and inconsistent attacks, its sole chance to perform adequately requires proximity to a hero. That is a lot of real-world execution required to raise a terrible unit up to the level of, “I guess it isn’t the worst thing ever.”

Nurglings are everything you WANT this unit to be, but with far superior mobility tricks due to their deployment options.

When competitive list building, most times your choices are about maximizing efficiency, meaning decent units are not taken over better options. A rare class of unit, is actually wasted points, where every point spent creates negative efficiency. This is one such unit, so outside of fun games, I would say avoid this at all costs.

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

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About Mark Gottlieb

Writer, Game Designer, and owner of Fortunate Sun Studios, I have always tried to lead a life in some way built around paying back to gaming, and the gaming community. This hobby, and everyone in it, saved my life on more than a few occasions, and now I get to put my heart into helping it thrive for everyone!

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