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AoS: Sweep the Leg! – Zainthar Kai Sub-faction Review

3 Minute Read
Nov 11 2020

The Murder Ladies of AoS just got more murdery with a new sub-faction, and any plucky 80s heroes should watch their ankles.

Broken Realms: Morathi is coming this Saturday, along with a host of new rules, boxes, and two brand new models. Among those exciting new rules is the Zainthar Kai temple, a new sub-faction for the Daughters of Khaine focusing on the Scathborn. I would be remiss not to point out the obvious joke about a faction heavily featuring snakes calling itself anything Kai, but all joking aside the faction is pretty incredible, and I think it will see a lot of play. Here’s my quick review of the upcoming faction and why I think it’s rad.

Khaine’s Essence

The subfaction ability is fairly simple, giving the Melusai and Khinerai in a ZK army +1 Bravery, but in a DoK army that can be pretty powerful. Since you need a Bloodwrack Medusa to take Melusai as Battleline, it’s likely that this army will include one, which means you’ll have access to some spellcasting, and thus the Mindrazor spell. This ability pushes your Bravery up to 9 for Blood Sisters, which means you’ll have higher Bravery than MOST of the enemies you’ll face, and as such your Heartshard Glaives will have -2 Rend and 2 Damage.

Power In the Blood

With the 3 attacks that each Blood Sister gets, that’s already pretty good, but if you factor in the Command Ability, which lets you increase the attacks of a friendly Melusai or Khinerai unit by 1, you could consistently dish out 80 wounds with the glaives alone, even more if you also brought Morathi. Since you’ll also get the Mortal Wounds from the Crystal Touch attacks increased, you can turn a simple unit of 10 snake ladies into a wrecking ball, to say nothing of the rest of your army. A unit of Khinerai Lifetakers, for example, would have -1 Rend and a whooping 3 damage on the turn they charge while under the effects of Mindrazor, and considering their insane speed they’ll almost always be able to get the charge off when they need to.

Vault of the First Brood

Your heroes will thank you for picking ZK as well, as their devotion to Morathi gives them access to an additional Artefact of Power. You have to choose from the Gifts of Morathi table, but they’re pretty fantastic so it’s no big loss. A personal favorite of mine is the Crown of Woe, since it messes with the Bravery of nearby enemies and will thus improve the likelihood of Mindrazor working.


In addition, your general has access to the Curse of the Bloody-Handed command trait, representing the powerful aura a true chosen of the (spoiler) newly risen Khaine can muster. At the end of the combat phase, you roll a d6 for every enemy unit within 3” of the general, dishing out d3 mortal wounds on a 5+. This makes your general a great hero killer, especially it’s a Bloodwrack Shrine Medusa, and will make your opponent think twice about trying to mob her.

Will you be pledging loyalty to the new temple?

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