The Disciples of Tzeentch know powerful secrets that can end empires–and the Curseling brings out some of the best that Tzeentch has to offer.
If you like magic, fire, playing mind games with your opponent, or giant blue birds, you should definitely check out the Disciples of Tzeentch. An army of worshipers of the Chaos God of magic and change, the Disciples have a wide of array of colorful (sometimes literally) and characterful heroes. One of my personal favorites, not just from the DoT but from all of Age of Sigmar, is the Curseling, a mighty Lord of Tzeentch with a magical conjoined twin whispering dark secrets into his ear. It’s certainly no Lord of Change, but it can bring plenty of hurt to the table, and it has a bevy of tricks to make your opponent think twice about letting it live very long.
Being at his base a big hefty Chaos Lord, the Curseling is certainly a beefy contender in the Combat Phase, even if it isn’t his forte. He has 7 attacks total, 3 from his Blazing Sword, 3 from his Threshing Flail, and even 1 from the Staff of Tzeentch carried by his shriveled conjoined twin. The sword hits on 3+, wounds on 4+, has a -1 rend, and deals one damage, which isn’t bad for a footslogging hero not focused on combat. The flail switches the hit and wound values and has no rend, still only dealing 1 damage so it’s a little sub-par but decently balanced on a hero that is, again, not really built for close combat.
His staff has a much harder time, with only 1 attack hitting on 5+ and wounding on 4+ with no rend, but if it goes through it deals D3 damage, so it’s still not the worst thing ever. Since this guy is primarily a spellcaster, consider giving him the Infusion Arcanum spell to make him even beefier, since it will add 1 to ALL his hit and wound rolls until your next hero phase. Not only does this make him much stronger in the combat phase, but it will add to your Fate pool, allowing you to summon some juicy fire daemons. For added punch, give your Curseling the Wicked Shard, which allows it to re-roll 1s to wound with the selected weapon, upgrading to all failed wound rolls if the user cast or unbound a spell earlier in the turn. Since the Curseling can unbind and cast 2 spells a turn, this will almost always be the case, and re-rolling all failed wounds, especially after a successful Infusion, could lay down some heavy damage.
The Curseling is surprisingly tough, especially in an army of fragile wizard heroes. It has standard 5 wounds, which is pretty stock for a footslogging hero, but it also has a relatively high 4+ save. Thankfully, Tzeentch provides several options to boost the Curseling’s survivability, albeit with a twist. First is the Spiteful Shield, which returns a mortal wound to anyone who successfully hits the bearer on a 6+. Of course that does mean that the Curseling actually has to get hit first, but it could deter heroes on their last legs or units with low bravery that can’t risk the mortal wounds back. Another booster is the Paradoxical Shield, which feels like one of the most “Tzeentch” artefacts in the book. The shield boosts the wielder’s save by 2, but all successful saves must be re-rolled. This brings the Curseling up to 2+, which is insane, but it all increases the chance that the save roll will fail, especially against an attack with rend of 2 or more. Of course, against massed infantry that has no rend it makes the Curseling super hard to move, and could possibly make him tarpit a big unit for a while. If you want to add a little extra insurance, and your Lord of Change isn’t your general, give this guy the Blessing of Tzeentch command trait, giving him a 6+ FnP save.
Like every other hero in the DoT (with the exception of the Fatemaster), spellcasting is the Curseling’s bread and butter. With 2 casts and unbinds, it is actually an especially strong wizard, and it’s abilities make it even more powerful. First, its signature spell Glean Magic, which casts on a 3, is not only a great way to farm Fate points, but also allows the Curseling to yoink a powerful enemy spell and use it himself. Really like the Knight-Incantor’s Spirit Storm spell? Just cast Glean Magic and then beat a 7 on 2d6 and now you know the spell! The real power of Curseling comes from the Vessel of Chaos ability, which states that any spell the Curseling unbinds, it can then immediately attempt to cast, and if it succeeds it can’t be unbound. According to the designer commentary, this DOES include endless spells, and there’s not much quite as satisfying as interrupting a super powerful spell and then turning it back on your opponent. For added fun, give your Curseling the Alchemical Chain, which allows him to unbind an additional spell, potentially making your Curseling an endless Fate Point battery.
What are your favorite Tzeentch heroes?