BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

40K: Death Guard Psychic Powers

4 Minute Read
Sep 13 2017

Mortarion might hate psykers but that doesn’t mean his tactics ignore their potential! Let’s talk Death Guard Psychic Powers.

We been putting the Death Guard Codex through the wringer this week on out Twitch Channel. In doing so we’ve seen some of the nasty things this book is capable of and one of the many tools in the arsenal of the Death Guard are their custom Psychic Powers. Much like the CSM, Space Marine, and Grey Knight books before, the Death Guard have their own unique set of Psychic Powers and we’re going to talk about each one.


The Contagion Discipline

Miasma of Pestilence

This power is a really solid defensive ability. Only needing a Warp charge of 6, it grants one friendly Death Guard unit some much appreciated “cover” by subtracting 1 from all opponent’s hit rolls that target the “blessed” unit. Keep in mind that there is no restriction on shooting or fight phase – it lasts until the start of your next psychic phase! We seen this used to great effect to keep Poxwalkers charging forward into the guns of the enemy. We’ve also seen Mortarion use it on himself to go toe-to-toe with units in close combat and laugh as attacks whiff. Good times.

Gift of Contagion


This one is for all you fans of random charts out there. It requires a 7 to go off – however your results may vary. You target a visible enemy unit with 18″ and they get either -1 to their Attacks, Strength, or Toughness. Note: this cannot reduce that stat to less than 1. You can see how this one could be very hit or miss. Are you in close combat with a unit? -1 one to their attacks sounds good – unless they only have 1 to begin with. Or -1 Strength? Well if you’re a Plague Marine most stuff is already wounding you on 5 or 6’s – I guess it could be nice to drop a unit from Strength 3 down to 2. Now, nailing a unit with -1 Toughness is good across the spectrum vs most Infantry. Going from Tough 4 to Tough 3 can be a game changer. And going from 3 to 2 is downright deadly. Overall, this power just doesn’t seem to be that reliable unfortunately. If it was just a straight -1 Toughness however…

Plague Wind

Are you having an issue with a horde of troops? Well the Plague Wind has your back. For only needing a 5 on the old Warp Charge Meter, you could potentially cause quite a bit of damage to a horde unit. Every model in the unit has a 1-in-6 chance of taking a mortal wound. Obviously, your odds go up the bigger the unit is. Against a unit of 30 Ork boys, for example, on average you should get 5 mortal wounds. That might not sound like much, but that’s better than a regular Smite, and you could always get really lucky…

Blades of Putrefaction

Does +1 to wound in the Fight Phase sound good? Because that’s what this power does! On top of that if the unit is using Plague Weapons any wound rolls of 7+ also generate a mortal wound in addition to any other damage. So that means all of your 6s to wound get bumped up to 7s and that equals “free” mortal wounds! There is a nice Stratagem called Veterans of the Long War that can add an additional +1 to all your wound rolls in the fight phase, too. Oh and don’t forget Plague Weapons re-roll wound rolls of 1…With a unit of Plague Marines I’ll take those odds all day!


Putrescent Vitality

Manipulating Toughness is a theme of the Death Guard Army and for the low price of a 6 Warp Charge, you’ll be able to buff a friendly Death Guard unit with both +1 Toughness AND Strength. Stacking this on a unit of Poxwalkers with Typhus around can make them very resilient – not to mention downright deadly! Or for added fun toss this on a Character or Plague Marines – as long as they are Infantry they can benefit from this one.

Curse of the Leper

This power stacks really well with all that Toughness stat manipulation. If you can get a target unit’s Toughness down, you could generate up to 7 mortal wounds pretty easily. Combine this with Mortarion’s Toxic Presence ability and now you’re nailing marines on a 4+ vs a 5+ or you’re killing T3 (down to T2) on a 3+. Just remember that the roll has to EXCEED their Toughness.


That’s all the Powers in the Contagion Discipline – which ones do you consider your “go-to” powers?


Author: Adam Harrison
  • 40K: Night Lords Continue to Evolve