Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Common Magic Items for Skaven - Revisited

In December last year I blogged on what I thought the best Common Magic Items were for a Skaven army. The Top 6 were (in reverse order):

6. Ironcurse Iron

5. Obsidian Amulet

4. Banner of Eternal Flame

3. Earthing Rod

2. Talisman of Preservation

1. Dispel Scroll

Looking back at them I think I got it pretty right and certainly wouldn’t change too much. The Banner of Eternal Flame is a great item but there are only three possible carriers – BSB, Stormvermin and Plague Monks. Placed in this context it is normally virtually impossible to fit in, given the Storm Banner and a Monk-specific banner (Underempire or Plague). I have never had the opportunity to include it and find that if I can have a third Magic Banner I’m likely to opt for the Standard of Discipline. To a very real extent this reflects the Skaven way….you don’t necessarily want to be fighting things you need the flaming banner for, and also with the advent of the cheap 10 point flaming attacks, a lot of regeneration has disappeared (to be replaced by fire resistant armour it seems). So for me it is too situational.

The Ironcurse Icon costs 5 points and I try to fit it in if I can. While a 6+ Ward Save is not wonderful it is value for the cost. I used to include the Amulet when I was worried about Death Magic but again it seems to have fallen by the way a bit with the rush to Shadow, Light and Fire. Still worth considering but a nice to have rather than essential.

Numbers 2 and 3 remain in the Top 3 if you are running a Grey Seer. There is a case to not use them with no Level 4 but I’ll leave those shenanigans to Clan Mors and Clan Skrye. A Seer needs the best possible Ward he can get, given his importance to the army and the Earthing Rod gives him the ability to at least partially control his future.

The Dispel Scroll is a non-negotiable for me. No list is better for its omission.

Of the other items that are commonly seen in lists, there are a few potential inclusions. The Armour of Destiny is a good choice however I generally don’t use fighty characters in my lists. However for a non-BSB Chieftain I can see it being useful (with potential for a BSB if you have other avenues for the Storm Banner). The Charmed Shield is also a very good option but is restricted to non-Magic using Skaven.

One item I have started to use is the Opal Amulet which gives you a one-off 4+ Ward. At 15 points it is very good value reducing the chance of taking damage from miscast by half on a two wound character.

So given this, how do I rate the Common Magic Items for Skaven now? Well not too different:

6. Ironcurse Iron

5. Opal Amulet

4. Standard of Discipline

3. Earthing Rod

2. Talisman of Preservation

1. Dispel Scroll

However it is good to revisit these things from time to time to challenge your reasoning.

What are your thoughts?


  1. For the way I play Orcs and Goblins (badly at times lol)...

    1) dispel scroll
    2) Talisman of preservation (usually on Black Orc Lord)
    3) Armor of destiny (makes BSB a little safer)
    4) Ironcurse Icon (big Units of NG just too tempting for most artillery)
    5) Crown of Command (stubborn combat lord very handy at times)
    6) Flaming banner

    the main reason I don't take the earthing rod, is the the Savage Orc Shaman's shrunken head item (plus 1 to warpaint save for him and the Sorc unit he is with) paired with whatever MR item I can afford boosting wards vs magic is a better outcome...

  2. I can't see a dispel scroll and the Talisman of preservation not being in most armies top CMI choices... Armor of destiny will depend on combat v magic lord choices (although I use it on my Orc BSB).

    I do wonder about the ironcurse icon sometimes but maybe that has more to do with my dice rolling rather than the actual icon itself.

    The flaming banner is mainly for clearing buildings (ie watch tower) and I think that is the main reason for it's inclusion.

    My Lords are leadership 9 so bumping that up to a 10 is usually at the cost of flaming banner, and the difference in the points value has meant I don't grab it... which I might have to reconsider....

  3. Here's one for you Pete - assuming GW are vaguely consistent with the new army books - how many magic items will Skaven get, what will they be, and what's your stab at pointing them correctly?

    100pt Fellblade looks likely.

  4. I always take Skalm on my Seer as well. 30 points to be able to get all your wounds back seems like a fair deal to me.

  5. 8, I hope Dave.

    Assuming same rules as now.

    Fellblade (50)
    Blade of Nurglitch (10)
    Warpstone Armour (30)
    Warp Energy Condensor (25)
    Skavenbrew (30)
    Plague Banner (30)
    Storm banner (30)
    Blade of Corruption (25)

  6. I'm definitely not as familiar with the items as you are but I would hazard x2 in price? Haven't seen the Ogre Kingdoms book but was under the impression that most of the OG/TK items were 50-100pts? (part of the reason you would almost never take them?)

    Storm Banner for example - an easy 100pts. Skavenbrew - 50pts. Plague Banner would be a 50-75pt item. If (and this is a big IF) GW are consistent I imagine you're looking at a small list of high pointed items that would rarely be taken.

    You asked me what I thought :-)
    Not sure whether you are pricing items or where you think GW will price them. My storm banner pricing is a typo - it's meant to be 50 points as it is now. The thing with Storm Banner is that it is enemy dependant how effective it is - great vs. Elves, not so great vs. TKs, useless vs. WOC. I think 50 points is fair.
    Plague banner is very overrated. You get one turn of hitting hard and then - nothing. If you win you overrun and get smashed back T4, I3 no AS or Wd lasts about 2/10ths of f-all. Tried it really don't like it. See it as giving 300-400 points to enemy.
    Of the other items there only the Condenser is taken. The weapons all have downsides.
    From my own point of view the only things I'd consider on list are SB and WEC - otherwise I'm happy with Common Magic Items

  8. I do wonder about GW keeping items like the Doomrocket and Brass Orb. There's some classics in there that have gone the distance over I don't know how many editions of the Skaven book!