Total War: WARHAMMER III Tzeentch roster reveal
It is time to bring more knowledge into the world and unveil some secrets of the Chaos Realms. So it is decreed by the Great Deceiver, the god of Magic, and thus is shall be. Welcome to the roster reveal for Tzeentch, the daemons of knowledge, betrayal, and magic. Like our other Chaos factions, it’s daemon-heavy with a focus on what makes this God special – do check out our summaries of the Tzeentch campaign mechanics for more.
As always, the below represents a game in progress. We’re moving steadily towards our planned release in early 2022, but there’s still plenty of tweaking to do. We want to hear what you think, but don’t get bogged down in any numbers specifics – plenty of balancing due as of yet.
Now, let’s see what infinite machinations and plans within plans get to bring to war…
Tzeentch Legendary Lords
Kairos can see things that are hidden even to Tzeentch. His right head sees possible futures as clear as day. No scheme is hidden from its sight and the infinite possibilities of tomorrow crystallise into irrefutable fact. Kairos’ left head sees the past without the petty colourations of perspective and bias. Valuable as this vision is, it comes with a heavy cost. Both of Kairos’ heads are blind to the present; he cannot see time as it passes – only events that are to come or whose time has already lapsed.
Kairos as an entity has unsurpassed magical knowledge and capability. While unpredictable and quite, quite mad, he is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield, unleashing all manner of powers to crush his enemies. He naturally combines well with the forces around him to provide supporting fire and heavy melee damage.
He, along with every other unit in a Tzeentch army, also comes with Barrier. This is a damage shield that regenerates quickly outside of combat and protects against all harm, acting as effectively another health bar. It makes hit-and-run attacks with flyers (plenty of those, you’ll notice below) and cavalry particularly effective, along with allowing you to cycle out your standard melee troops if applicable. It’s also another area that can be buffed and altered through technology and skills, most of which are very powerful.
Unique skills and abilities:
- Fragments of Magic – allows Kairos to acquire and equip fragments of other spell lores, giving him access to several spells from that lore. Only one fragment can be equipped at a time.
- Staff of Tomorrow – Kairos’ powerful artifact allows him to reduce all his spell cooldowns in an instant.
- Gaze of Fate – paralyze a unit to prevent its movement and vastly drop their melee attack.
Exalted Lord of Change
A Lord of Change is hideously unpredictable and manipulative. Behind its gaze lies a curious and wreckful mind, deeply intelligent, yet as uncaring of consequence as it is fascinated by it. It is like a child playing upon some gigantic anthill, poking with a stick at its inhabitants and laughing at the hopeless antics of their defence. Nothing pleases him more than to see the world broken and made anew, to redirect the course of a life or even history itself, spilling hope upon the ground while raising the ambition of others up to an unexpected pinnacle of power.
As well as being fierce melee combatants, Lords of Change are powerful spellcasters. Casting spells in a Tzeentch army fuels your ability to call upon the powers of the God of Magic, special army abilities that are charged by the winds of magic seeing use. These are powerful effects that can blitz enemies from the field with ease – and with every lord and plenty of heroes, and even some standard units, having access to spells, are easy to exploit.
Tzeentch’s spellcasters specialise in either the Lore of Metal, with all the spells you’re used to, and the Lore of Tzeentch, which includes:
- Blue Fire of Tzeentch
- Pink Fire of Tzeentch
- Treason of Tzeentch
- Glean Magic
- Tzeentch’s Firestorm
- Infernal Gateway
This is a purely offensive school, with four spells that deal direct damage and the others debuffing enemies to their doom. You’ve now seen a selection of the new spell lores we have coming in Total War: WARHAMMER III – we’ll be actually detailing these schools and their spells very soon.
Herald of Tzeentch
As the magically fashioned slaves of Tzeentch, Horrors are considered automatons to be expended as part of a carefully wrought plan. Should a servant of greater power be required, Tzeentch will create a Herald, a more stable type of Horror. Such Daemons have enough consciousness to direct others of their kind without constant guidance from a Lord of Change, directing furious sorcery against Tzeentch’s enemies.
To mount-up, a Screamer must be transmuted into a new form before it can safely be used. These Discs of Tzeentch retain the flattened and manta-like shape of the Screamer, but their magical bodies are transformed into unlikely shapes and aspects as part of the binding ritual.
Heralds have little patience at the best of times, and none at all in training Screamers and Discs. They therefore consider ‘borrowing’ a chariot from an Exalted Flamer to be entirely in keeping with their status. Such a feat requires great cunning indeed if the Herald in question wishes to escape the Flamer’s wrath. However, all these trials and tribulations seem as naught once the Herald is free to swoop and dive across the battlefield on his new possession, cackling madly as he unleashes his fearsome Sorceries upon the enemies of his Dark God.
Spell lores: Metal or Tzeentch
Mounts: Disc of Tzeentch or Burning Chariot
Cultist of Tzeentch
Tzeentchian cultists are a unique group. Clandestine worship of their God is more common, especially in Cathay, than for other Gods, due to his secretive and manipulative nature. At the same time, interpreting their God’s wishes is more challenging than for the straight-forward Khorne or Slaanesh where copious amounts of bodily fluids are usually enough. Strange masks, complicated rituals, and endless scheming and plotting mark the Cultists. If anything, a chance to do the glory of their lord with a simple battle is preferable.
Growing their cults and spreading the ways of Tzeentch is massively important, however. His schemes require sacrifices, blackmail, bribes, and most of all knowledge. A cultist may work for years as part of a machine he barely understands, even being convinced of his own failure (and expecting the mutations that come with it) when the scheme succeeds on a wider scale he cannot understand.
They have unique access within the armies of Tzeentch to the Lore of Fire, making them a useful option for further battlefield damage and control. As they grow in power, they can also learn to summon daemons direct from the Chaos realms, including great Lords of Change themselves. While their time on the battlefield will be limited, their power is not.
Spell lore: Lore of Fire
Mount: Chaos Steed
Pink Horrors, collected magic as they are, can sometimes be granted capabilities beyond the norm, and the authority and sanity that comes with it. These Iridescent Horrors are masters of the magical arts and powerful combatants, proving the greater of even some champions. Their deadly skills are enhanced further with locus magics that allow them to greatly buff their allies at a moment’s notice, or summon more through portals to the Chaos Realms.
Lores: Metal or Tzeentch
Mounts: Disc of Tzeentch or Burning Chariot
Blue Horrors of Tzeentch
Blue Horrors are sullen and malicious, like evil-tempered children, and sneer and grumble their way through a battle. Once spawned, they add a deeper whining note to the incessant chortling of the group as they attempt to grapple with enemies and squeeze the life from them, before inevitably wandering off in search of fresh entertainment.
- While classed as melee troops as that’s where their proficiency lies, Blue Horrors are capable of vomiting up magical fire. This gives them an impressive first punch on a charging enemy.
- All daemons suffer from instability when their morale is low, making them begin to disintegrate on the spot, rather than flee from battle.
- Despite their pathetic stature when compared to more senior daemons, Blue Horrors are still a fearful sight for the mortals of the world, gibbering mouths and flailing, deadly limbs.
Forsaken of Tzeentch
Many Warriors of Chaos find that the rewards of the gods turn out to more closely resemble afflictions than blessings. In time, many Forsaken lose any capacity for rational thought, setting aside sophisticated weaponry in favour of jagged teeth and twisted claws. They have no intelligence glinting within their black eyes, for their minds churn with nothing more than thoughts of killing and devouring everything they can catch. These atavistic warriors often bear ever-twisting assortments of mutations, including writhing tentacles, chitinous claws, extra heads and hairy, grasping limbs that push out through their armour.
- One of very few dedicated, melee-only ground units in Tzeentch’s roster, and vital for holding early battles in campaign.
- The madness of the Chaos Realms and the infection of their bodies makes Forsaken immune to Psychology but liable to Frenzy.
- Given their high armour compared to almost everything else on the Tzeentch roster, you’re going to get a lot of use out of Forsaken – depending on your playstyle, anyway.
Tzeentch Missile Infantry
Pink Horrors of Tzeentch
Pink Horrors are identified by their luminescent pink skin and their squeals of high-pitched laughter. Spellcasting fills them with joy, and they emit especial merriment as eldritch energy screeches from their upraised hands. When wounded, a Pink Horror exhales a final lunatic cackle before rapidly decomposing.
- Vomiting burning hellfire spells magical, firey doom for most other low-tier units.
- Also boast greater melee capabilities than their blue cousins, making them a useful hybrid unit.
- Gibbering, delighted buffoons, which I personally feel a distinct connection with.
Exalted Pink Horrors of Tzeentch
Pink Horrors that have proven sufficiently powerful, cunning, or mad and survived many battles, not to mention the raucous, random happenings of their home dimension, may become Exalted. They wear golden trappings and consider themselves first among the lower servants of Tzeentch. Quite how much actual respect, or even knowledge, other higher daemons are paying to them is unknown, the ever-higher pitch of their excited squeals means, at least, they are having a good time.
- A further upgrade in all forms over the Pink Horrors.
- Their concentrated warpfire will out-damage even the Celestial Dragon Crossbows of Grand Cathay.
- Their delight at magic and desire to see it increases Winds of Magic recharge rate for the army, stacking with each unit.
Tzeentch Cavalry and Chariots
Chaos Knights of Tzeentch
Knights of Tzeentch are feared throughout the Old World and beyond as merciless butchers capable of turning the course of battle with a single charge. They are towering brutes atop immensely powerful Chaos Steeds, rider and mount clad in thickest plate, each section of armour crafted by a master Daemonsmith. A Knight’s greaves are jagged blades, well suited to slicing through the flesh of the enemy. Even the frightful reputation of the Knights of Tzeentch is a weapon in its own right, crippling those who would stand against them before a single blow is struck.
- Lack the massive-impact charge of standard cavalry, but are far more effective in a pitched battle.
- Heavily armoured, unlikely to flee, and fast to strike, causing fear with their thunderous charge.
- The addition of a Tzeentch barrier to the power of Chaos Knights makes them absolute tanks.
Doom Knights of Tzeentch
Doom Knights are some of the most powerful mortals the world has ever seen, taming Discs of Tzeentch, and thus consider themselves superior even to other champions of Chaos. Screeching through the air like few before them, they would be a wonderous sight to behold if their coming did not always spell death and, as is their namesake, doom. There is no escape from the Doom Knights, and they show no mercy.
Discs are the Daemonic steeds of Tzeentch. These bizarre creations are neither Daemon nor construction, but a nightmarish blend of the two. Coruscating with mystical force, Discs fly above the ground, skimming gently forwards upon the Winds of Magic. The Discs themselves are far from defenceless, lashing out around themselves with bolts of magical fire, or manifesting whirling tentacles and ripping claws to slash at enemies that approach too close.
- Flying shock cavalry that are more than a match for any foe.
- Trade their ground-borne cavalry allies’ armour and defense for vastly superior speed and power.
- The strongest melee-focused unit in Tzeentch’s arsenal.
Burning Chariot of Tzeentch
Burning Chariots of Tzeentch hurtle across the Realm of Chaos like incandescent meteors, bringing the Great Sorcerer’s chosen emissaries to every corner of existence. As they blaze through the heavens of the mortal world, Chariots of Tzeentch are commonly mistaken for comets, which are in turn interpreted as omens of great events and terrible wars. The Discs and Screamers which make up the bizarre chariot are drawn to raw magic like moths to a flame, and therefore to the Exalted Flamers, who exude tasty sorcery from every pore and wrinkle of their fungoid flesh.
- The ranged firepower of an Exalted Flamer, as is mounted on the Burning Chariot, is the strongest anywhere in the world – more than even siege weaponry.
- Such are the devastating energies being pulled from the warp by the Exalted Flamer, it will run out of power quickly, at which point it must contest with foes in melee.
- The combination of extremely fast, very powerful area attacks that can fly out of harm’s way with ease is potent.
Tzeentch Monsters & Beasts
Chaos Furies (Tzeentch)
Furies are yowling shards of malevolent energy – Chaos in its purest form. With little in the way of intelligence, they are utterly subservient to the whims of the Dark Gods, and shift in aspect and power as the balance of the dark pantheon alters. They are easily subjugated by other Daemons, whom they regard with a mix of dread and awe. Furies swarm at the edges of the battle, avoiding the thickest fighting if they can. Only when they sight a vulnerable victim do they descend, a wailing mass from which there can be no escape.
- These Furies trade the Frenzy of Khorne for the Barrier of Tzeentch.
- This makes them far more effective as hit-and-run units, and a natural first step before Screamers and Doom Knights can enter the fray.
- A cheap and effective unit for counter-attacks and flanks, especially given their vanguard deployment.
Screamers of Tzeentch
Screamers are glimmering sky-sharks that ride upon the Winds of Magic as a bird glides upon the breeze. They roam the tides of magic, preying upon the shadow-souls of mortal creatures, lone Chaos Furies and other unfortunate magical ephemera. Once the Screamers catch their doomed prey it is torn to pieces in an eye-blink, the gossamer shreds of its soul-stuff offered up as a gift to Tzeentch. So swift and agile are Screamers that they are highly sought after as steeds, however their instinctive nature swiftly proves calamitous should their controller’s attention wander.
- Lightweight and unarmoured, they are still powerful once locked in melee combat, acting as Tzeentch’s equivelent of early cavalry.
- Must be quickly moved in and out of combat to exploit the Barrier and their charge bonuses to its fullest.
- A giant, flying, blue sky shark that lets out a hearty scream at every opportunity. Who among us cannot identify?
Spawn of Tzeentch
A creature visited by too many gifts of the Dark Gods inevitably succumbs to madness and mutation, and becomes a Chaos Spawn. A once-humanoid form that has sprouted and burst into an obscene and monstrous anatomy, mutated almost beyond recognition. The eyes of the original creature peer out, a glint of its former personality barely perceptible amidst the fleshy ruin. Chaos Spawn are creatures of unspeakable horror, their twisted bodies sporting an impossible array of spines, eyes and mouths.
- Another of Tzeentch’s rare melee-dedicated land units, though trading armour for power.
- A low model count and lack of defenses make this a tricky unit to hold the line with, but their powerful blows and pure ferocity make them a unique part of Tzeentch’s roster.
- Sort’ve like a land-based screamer, psychologically. Same.
Lord of Change
As might be expected of a creature born of pure magic and bound to the will of the Master of Sorcery, a Lord of Change is a potent spellcaster. The Winds of Magic obey his every command, allowing him to summon whirling tempests of change and mutation, blast the enemies of Tzeentch with bolts of multicoloured fire or unravel the mind of an enemy spellcaster from the inside. Although a Lord of Change elects to use magic and trickery to further its ends, he is still a fearsome fighter. Countless heroes have underestimated these strange creatures, thinking their wiry frames and fluttering wings fragile.
- A fully-fledged spellcaster and devastating single-entity monster AND flyer all in one, handy, affordable bird-shaped package.
- Can gain even more and more powerful spells from various campaign technologies.
- Won’t go toe-to-toe with a Bloodthirster, but it still plenty powerful enough to lay waste to mortal formations.
Flamers of Tzeentch
Flamers are capable of a fair turn of speed, expelling gaseous ichor through the fungoid ‘skirt’ at their base to bound and leap across the ground with considerable mischievous gusto. A Flamer uses its blazing limbs to hurl bolts of magical flame at the foe. This is not fire in its truest sense, but a roiling cloud of Chaos energy. It does not burn, but warps reality. A Flamer’s victim might briefly feel invigorated, before collapsing into a writhing puddle of flesh.
- While not on the same level as the Exalted Flamers, ground-bound or mounted, standard Flamers still output a ludicrous amount of damage, and operate as small groups rather than solo.
- Much like Pink Horrors, will need careful placement to ensure maximum damage, but can annihilate when placed correctly.
- As a later-game, powerful monster unit, can still hold their own in melee combat, especially after applying a few burns to their victims. They also apply warpfire in melee, making any support fire very effective.
Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch
A Flamer uses its blazing limbs to hurl bolts of magical flame at the foe. This is not fire in its truest sense, but a roiling cloud of Chaos energy. It does not burn, but warps reality. A Flamer’s victim might briefly feel invigorated, before collapsing into a writhing puddle of flesh. The Exalted Flamers are able to channel magical flame to a far greater extent than their lesser brethren, and can conjure up great billowing sheets of Warp-magic, or hurl bolts of sorcerous change that make the very air sizzle with their passing.
- Likely to be the most powerful ranged attack on the battlefield, including siege weapons.
- Spray warpfire in a cone, making them extra deadly against formations or single entities. The Warpflame debuff increases damage taken from fire attacks, strengthening almost the entire Tzeentchian army against the target.
- Low ammunition means they will inevitably end up in close-combat – they don’t excel, but they will hold their own.
Soul Grinder (Tzeentch)
When a Daemon’s physical body is slain, he can surrender his true name to the Forge of Souls. The dark bargain thus sealed, his crippled essence is bound to a mighty Warp-metal hulk. Thus is he reborn as a Soul Grinder. A Soul Grinder’s clanking tread shakes the ground with every step, and it is devilishly fast for a creature its size, able to scuttle swift as a horse’s gallop, or even faster should the scent of battle touch its nostrils. Piston-driven legs thud home with sickening force, crushing to bloody paste those beneath.
- Compared to its Soul Grinder friends in other factions, Tzeentch’s hurls a long-range, anti-large set of magic spears at any targets.
- Magical attacks ensure maximum damage, alongside armour-piercing.
- Blue, which is a cool colour.
Force your will, enact your plan
As a God of change, manipulation, and magic, it naturally isn’t just your armies that make the difference for Tzeentch. Machinations enacted via his campaign mechanics are just as likely to ruin an empire as the death of their generals and heroes. Of course, when all else fails – or, more likely, just as planned – warpfire, claw, and fang to the soft underbelly of mortals is likely to work.