40K: Chaos Psychic Powers Overview

The Dark Hereticus have their own Psychic Disciplines to call on – let’s take a look at them and see how they stack-up!

Chaos has some really great powers and also the biggest pool to choose from (so far) depending on your list and how you want to construct them. Now, normally we’d rank them but seeing as how there are 9 powers and their usefulness can vastly change based on the chaos list/faction you’ve sworn allegiance to, we decided it’s best to just talk about each one in order and discuss some interesting things about each one. That said, let’s dive in!

Infernal Gaze

Infernal Gaze is a lot like Smite – only different. Really, it does pretty much the same thing, only you are rolling more dice. It’s cheap/easy to cast and it’s up to 3 Mortal Wounds. Not much else to say about this one!

Death Hex

Death Hex can be used for a brutally effective way to take out those pesky units like Assault Terminators with Storm Shields, Thunderwolf Cavalry with Storm Shields, Grey Knights with Sanctuary up, or really anything that you need dead. If they are units that rely on that Invulnerable save (looking at you Genestealers) to survive shooting, then Death Hex is well…deadly! This power might not be high on your list of powers to use – but if you’ve got a spare slot you might want to keep it in your back-pocket.

Gift of Chaos

What’s better than killing an enemy character? Getting a free Chaos Spawn when you kill an enemy character! Now, this one isn’t super effective vs MEQ characters – most of them have a toughness of 4 and you have to roll OVER that (so you need a 5 or 6). Still, it’s not too terribly difficult to cast. But this power really shines when you are hitting T3 Characters in armies like Aeldari or Astra Militarum. Having a wild spawn appear in your back line (or front line I suppose) is never pleasant!


Prescience is up there on my priority cast lists. Adding 1 to all you hit rolls is HUGE. It’s not just for shooting, either – that applies to the Fight Phase(s) your unit might be involved in. Toss this on a Pack of Berzerkers and watch them go to WORK! And one last thing – don’t forget about your “Death to the False Emperor” ability with this power – those stack! Suddenly all your 5+ are generating extra attacks. If you happen to have a Black Legion Warlord, those attacks are triggering on a 4+ when you’re within 6″ of them… Be sure to mix in some re-rolls from other support units like Dark Apostles or Exaulted Champions for added kick!

Diabolic Strength

If you can manage to find a way to boost your the target of Diabolic Strength’s strength stat even more (like with specific weapons or artifacts) then you’re going to have a powerhouse in the fight phase. Oh, and add in that extra attack for kicks!


Okay, let’s just get this out of the way: Warptime ROCKS! You can use it to get a unit out of a jam, or more importantly, you can use it to get a unit into charge position! Just remember that if you advanced during your turn you can’t charge later that turn…unless you’re playing Chaos Renegades! Then again, a double move is still a double move! Used on the right unit and you can really surprise your opponent.

Weaver of Fates

Weaver of Fates is the Tzeentch specific power. It allows you to either improve an invulnerable save by 1 or grant an invulnerable save of 5+ to a unit that doesn’t have one. It can be pretty useful for improving your survival rates. It only needs a 6 to go off as well…not too shabby!

Miasma of Pestilience

Nurgle’s special power is Miasma of Pestilence and it helps to shut down shooting. If you REALLY want to avoid getting hit, combine this with the Alpha Legion trait for some extra shenanigans. Be sure you play U Can’t Touch This when your power goes off.

Delightful Agonies

We’ve all seen how good the new “Feel No Pain” style rules are and Delightful Agonies is just one more way to get that on a unit. It’s not something you want to build your list around, but it’s a nice safety net when you need it.


Well that’s all the Chaos Psychic Powers – Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Richard Mitchell

    Love some of those Chaos powers, looks like the GW focus on Imperium vs. Chaos is really giving the CSM faction some real flavour and character on the tabletop.

  • Johaad

    Biggest difference between infernal gaze and smite is infernal doesnt have to be the nearest unit.

    • Aidan Clarke

      Yeah can’t believe they missed that when writing the article

      • gordonshumway

        Yeah, super hard to believe that a BoLS contributor missed something glaring obvious in the rules…

    • gordonshumway

      Yup, and being psychic it can target Characters too! But of course it’s basically the same as smite… groan

    • Simon Bates

      Yep, it’s actually very different from Smite because:

      1) It doesn’t have to target the nearest unit;
      2) It can snipe characters
      3) It has a drastically inferior damage curve. Smite will do 1, 2 or 3 mortal wounds, with equal probabilities of each. Infernal Gaze will do 0-3 mortal wounds, with 0 and 3 equally (im)probable and 1 or 2 both three times as likely.

  • el_tigre

    Really digging the new approach to psychic powers, strong but not insane, often requiring at least a little nuance to use correctly. Balance seems much better.

  • Xodis

    Lots of ideas with those powers, and the urge to beef up some Warp Talons and have them decimate their target.

  • delobius

    Cast Diabolic Strength on a Death Guard Foetid Bloat-Drone – boom, S8 flamers! Hopefully DG gets access to Dark Hereticus…

    • vebepede

      Well spotted. The Bloat drone being written as Strength: As user means it would benefit from this ability.

    • GrenAcid

      >Hopefully DG gets access to Dark Hereticus
      As far as Im awere they have their own list so if you play matched play(the worst way) you cant use that on your plague sorceror, if you play narative/open mix those powers.
      Also nice catch on that drone, but still only d6 hits 🙁

      • Adam Murray

        Each plaguespitter has D6 so it’s 2D6 hits… The contagion discipline is currently a bit underwhelming but I’m sure come the DG release it’ll be just as good. In the index Chaos under DG it allows you to take ordinary sorcerers who can use dark hereticus powers. Hopefully that’ll stay.

        • Deacon Ix

          As they both have the CHAOS faction keyword you would be able to take an unmarked sorc with a DG army

          • Simon Bates

            Precisely this. Even if DG lose direct access to Dark Hereticus, they can still take allies with it.

    • YetAnotherFacelessMan

      As of right now, a Daemon Prince or Sorcerer could do it. Both are on the DG list and neither is forced to use the Blightcaster psychic power list.

  • Deacon Ix

    Have I got this right?
    Drop in Squad of Raptors at end of movement phase (9″ away from enemy)
    Cast Warptime
    Raptors can then move 12″ as per a normal move
    Raptors can then charge?

    My interpretation is that you can get deepstriking units very close to the enemy on the turn they have come in.

    OC you have to have the sorc within 3″ but if on a bike, JP or Disc that shouldn’t be too hard.

    • Johaad

      Yes, it was confirmed in one of the FAQs

    • Simon Bates

      Yep. Easiest way is a jump pack or terminator armour, so the Sorcerer can just turn up right next to the Raptors, Warp Talons, Mutilators or Terminators. Terminators with Meltas or Flamerss seem like the most deadly possibility.

  • kiabasa

    Gift of chaos is not just a character killer. It causes mortal wounds which according to the rule book (page 181) continue
    To be applied after the original target dies. I can use this power on a T3 IG, and kill up to 6 models in the unit. I can also use it against a character and potentially get a spawn ( which I would pay for as a summon). People are missing a trick here.

    • Simon Bates

      Good point, as this averages much more damage than Smite when you pass that T roll (and as it’s a single pass or fail roll, it’s particularly easy to use a CP to help out).
      Again, Aeldari seem like the best target for this, as they tend to have high value low T models, often with good armour or invulnerables. Gift of chaos is particularly horrible against Harlequin characters and units. As is Death Hex.

  • Ravingbantha

    Magnus being effected by Weaver of Fates means he’s sporting a 3+ invulnerable save with rerolls of 1s. Casting Warptime on him also all be ensures he’s in CC turn 1

    • Simon Bates

      Also, once he’s safely in CC range without Warptime, cast Diabolic Strength instead and he’ll mince up pretty well anything.

      • Ravingbantha

        Death Hex would be a better option. Magnus is already hitting at Str 14 7 times. The only thing really slowing him down would be invulnerable saves since his AP is -4. Give him the Hatred Incarnat warlord trait and your looking at basicly 7 guaranteed hits and wounds, each doing 3 damage with very little to stop it.

        • Simon Bates

          Not really, it totally depends what he’s attacking. Against a Land Raider he’d be better off boosting his S to 16 so he wounds on 2s, and getting an extra attack while he’s at it. Against anything with a halfway decent invulnerable save Death Hex is a no brainer. The only reason not to use it would be if it was better used somewhere else that turn. But most things don’t have invulnerable saves and some things are T8 and still don’t have invulnerable saves. Against those targets Diabolic Strength is the better option, again assuming nobody else has a better use for it that turn.

  • Brad Parks

    The Chaos Spawn isn’t free, you have to pay for it unless the rule states otherwise.

    • phobosftw