The new season begins on Monday, the 15th of April.

Greetings, Citizens,

As we leave the mastery of technology and warfare of the T’au behind, we dive straight into the martial prowess and determination of the Custodes, the mightiest of humanities warriors.

As with the previous Shadowsun Season, this season sees the introduction of the latest Supreme Commander, Ghazghkull Thraka?! The Waaagh! cannot be stopped, and Ghazghkull is already on the loose, getting ready for a good krumpin’ before the Season has even started! Can the Guardians of the Golden Throne withstand this onslaught? Could there be a Commander of Supreme proportions ready to save the day? We’ll have to wait and see.

With the Waaagh! already in full swing and humanity’s finest engaged in the front lines, let’s head straight into the balance changes!

Balance Changes

Servants of the Emperor

Kavalanera Brassanas – Sisters of Silence Witchseeker
+5 Cost, +45 Wounds, +20 Range
Upgrades: Level 4, Wounds -> Range
Trait Change: Precision Shot -> Barrage

Having a Sister of Silence as one of the cheapest cards available to SoE has always felt a bit off, so Kavalanera is seeing a significant glow-up and increase in points to match her status. While still cheap enough to fill a support role, her increase in wounds and range should mean she makes far more of an impact. Also, we’ve taken the limiter off her witchseeker flamer, which has changed her trait from Precision Shot to Barrage. All the better to toast pesky psykers.

Custodian Heracal – Adeptus Custodes Vertus Praetor
+10 Cost, +40 Wounds, +20 Range, +20 Melee

Following a similar theme, the Vertus Praetor is getting a big jump in points and a significant increase in all stats. It’s always seemed strange that bringing a bike gives you a discount compared to the other Custodes, so Heracal now fits in with where he should be in the roster. He delivers much more punishing attacks and has the benefit of being a potent all-rounder now in any list, but especially useful in the normally melee-focused Custodes.

Captain Adronitis – Adeptus Custodes Shield Captain
+3 Cost, +20 Wounds, +8 Range, +25 Melee

Despite being a Shield Captain Adronitis has felt like one of the most junior of the available Custodes, being one of the lowest cost options, and with fairly underwhelming stats. With a bump in cost, to cement the feel of seniority, he gets a massive increase in stats, mainly into his primary melee attack, to make him feel and hit like a Custodes Shield Captain should.

Dalat Hap-Uramedes – Adeptus Custodes Allarus Custodian
+10 Wounds, +10 Range, +10 Melee

Arguably the most correctly priced of all the current Custodes Dalat, as a terminator equivalent, sits at the right place in the roster, but he could certainly hit harder. And now he does! All the Custodes now feel like a threat on the field.

Trajann Valoris – Captain-General of the Adeptus Custodes
+5 Wounds, +10 Melee

It would be a shame to leave out the main man himself, and so we haven’t! While Trajan hasn’t struggled perhaps as much as the rest of the Custodes line up, he certainly hasn’t been at the front and centre, often being overshadowed by other options. Well, no longer, with this significant increase in Melee, he should be much easier to reach for when building Melee SoE decks.


With the arrival of the Ghazghkull we’re having a look over the Ork faction as a whole. While the Orks have never struggled with big-impact, high-cost cards, often, the smaller or midrange cards get squeezed out and struggle to compete. Now that Ghazghkull is back and on the rampage, he doesn’t care if his cards are big or small, only that they are green, mean, and ready to scrap.

Sneaky Grok – Goff Clan Ork Boy
+5 Wounds, +5 Range, +5 Melee

While just a simple Ork Boy, even the lowliest of the Orks should feel like a threat. No longer just cannon fodder, Sneaky Grok is cannon fodder that will hit you hard enough to make you remember him.

Goff Rocker – Musical Oddboy
+5 Range, +5 Melee

The boyz are back in town, but this is no backstreet boy! The Goff Rocker wants to be right up in the action for all the boyz to hear! Despite being one of the cheapest Inspiring Presence options available he often gets passed over. A good bump in offensive stats to complement his large wounds total should give him a lot more threat and make him much more appealing.

Hakka Buzzkill – Goff Clan Nob
+5 Range, +5 Melee

Hakka’s ranged attack has always been irritatingly small, not even being able to take out an Acheran bodyguard. Well, no longer. And while we we’re here, we made sure his axe dealt a bit more damage. It is as big as he is, after all!

Brikkfist – Goff Clan Stormboy Nob
+10 Wounds, +3 Range, +5 Melee

While the Stormboyz are a staple in any Zagstruk deck, you barely see them anywhere else. Well, with a bit more fuel in the jetpack, he should hopefully be much more at home in a lot more decks

Gorzag Gitstompa – Nob Outta Time
+20 Wounds, +3 Range, +5 Melee

The displaced Nob from Gorkamorka is now available to everyone but may seem somewhat underwhelming. He has to take a lot of flak given his taunt trait, so he adds some more wounds to his impressive pool and given that while Berserk is going to help, after taking a couple of rounds of Taunt damage, he’s going to have a very short window to deliver value, an increase in offensive output always helps.

Stompachompa – Snakebites Clan Squiggoth
+10 Range, +10 Melee

For those who have been watching the balance changes of the past few seasons closely, you’ll recognise the pattern here. As once one of the premium Berserk cards, the trait has not quite kept up with the increased lethality of the current meta. Giving the Stompiest and Chompiest squig a bit more bite and dakka is overdue and helps keep this fan favourite going!

Before diving into the other factions, we know that with the arrival of Supreme Commanders, some of the existing warlords may seem to have lost some of their shine, and while the massive difference in cost will always separate them, it’s only fair to revisit some of the classics. While not a full overhaul, which some may want or deserve, they are getting a meaningful glow-up with each other faction getting a buff to an older or lesser-used Warlord.


Zephyrblade – Craftworld Saim-Hann Autarch
+20 Wounds

While a warlord with a fixed value rule, Zephyrblade still competes well in the early and into the mid-game. At that point he begins to falter, and so a good buff in Wounds should help him last out in those key stages of the game where every Wound matters.

The Visarch – Blade of Ynnead
+10 Wounds, +10 Melee

Where Yvraine goes, the Visarch follows. And with her recent buff, it’s only fair that her loyal bodyguard gets the same treatment. Often touted as too expensive for his role as a Taunt card, 20+ cost Taunt cards are coming into vogue, and we want to make sure his blue fur collar keeps up with this latest fashion trend. He’s never been a slouch in combat, but now should be absolutely devastating whether he survives two turns or not.

Prismatic Paradox – Harlequin Voidweaver
-2 Cost

Keeping up with 30+ point barrage cards can be difficult as a premium slot, and rather than compete with options in that bracket the Harlequins have fallen back to shine on a different stage. Offering barrage now at a more efficient price point without stepping on the toes of the cheaper infantry options should see them take centre stage.


The Corpse Lord – Sautekh Dynasty Overlord
Repair Protocols:
When one of your friendly cards Readies, they gain +10 -> +25 Wounds

While again in the camp of fixed-value Warlords, the Corpse Lord has always struggled, even among others. While not a full rework, this significant increase in his regenerative powers should at least give him a chance to shine brighter.

Implacable Vanguard – Sautekh Dynasty Immortal
+5 Range

Given the increase in success of a number of smaller Barrage cards that have been seen buffs, focusing on the glass cannon high-impact role for this Necron classic makes sense. Increasing damage output is always valuable and the Immortal will surely see the same benefit as others have.

Vengeance of Sekemtar – Sautekh Dynasty Destroyer Lord
+10 Wounds, +5 Melee

Another classic Berserker getting a bit more help. More wounds are always great, and a better melee helps it start strong out the gate.


Commander Farsight – Leader of the Farsight Enclaves
-2 Cost, +5 Range

Being one of the most expensive T’au Warlords, his cost has left his build options a bit more restricted. And while 2 points isn’t going to make an enormous difference to list varieties, it does give a bit more flexibility while also taking him out of Big Game Hunter range. Additionally, we’ve increased his range a bit, too, if that massive melee attack doesn’t close the job, he isn’t left quite as high and dry as before.

Shas’vre Kel’dai – Vior’la Sept XV9 Battlesuit
+5 Wounds, +5 Ranged

Shas’vre Kel’dai is a good card but always struggles when it comes to performance. I think that comes down to being quite such an all rounder. Not quite punchy enough for the top tier burst damage decks, not tanky enough for the resilient decks, with better options for either of those two roles available at the same price point. Hopefully an increase to both damage and resilience means Kel’dai get a bit more of a look in for either playstyle.

Kor’el Kai’naar – T’au Sept AX-5-2 Barracuda
-2 Cost

The Barracuda is another good card, but over the last year or so has seen a steady decline in play. Looking at the cards that have taken its place, when introduced the Barracuda was the supreme slot for maximum firepower. Since that time, other cards have been released that outstrip it in raw performance, particularly with some of the Lords of War which offer far more for only a comparatively small jump in price. By the other token, relying on one key piece can often set you up for a fall, and so T’au decks often now usually diversify into 2-4 key pieces. This has left the Barracuda slightly stranded in the middle. While a small cut in points should help this issue, any further points decrease without a cut in stats is hard to justify, and so this will be one that will continue to be watched.

Space Marines

Grand Master Voldus – Grey Knights Grand Master
-6 Cost

Next up is Voldus. His stats have always been fantastic, and his rule is and has always been strong. The key issue, however, is how to make the most of it. Since there’s a reliance on a fuller deck, and unlike many factions, Space Marine psykers don’t come cheap, this is where he’s fallen down. A big drop in points should take a huge shackle of his rigid deck builds, give players more chance and freedom to experiment, and has the added benefit of taking him out of Big Game Hunter range.

Brother Varrian – Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard
+30 Wounds, +5 Melee

It’s always been an uphill struggle to compete with Brother Baran as a Taunt piece in Space Marine decks because of his cost. So, instead of slashing Varrian’s points (which wouldn’t suit an elite Sanguinary Guard anyway), he is now trying to stand out as a more premium piece to justify his cost. He now offers more wounds, more melee and a secondary attack type vs his direct competition, and so that increase in price should now feel much more worth it.

Epistolary Tantus – Ultramarines Primaris Librarian
-2 Cost, +10 Wounds, +5 Psychic

Tantus has been the baseline for Space Marine psykers since the game was launched, but that boundary has shifted over time with updates and new releases. A reduction in cost means Tantus should get more play and picks beyond just being more available than other potential options.


Ahriman – Arch-Sorcerer of the Thousand Sons
Bolt of Change:
Heal/damage value: +/-1 or +/-20 -> +/-5 or +/-30

While keeping the core of the unpredictability, this meaningful buff means even the weakest trigger can pop injured cards more reliably (especially Acheran cards), and the highest-value triggers make a significant impact that feels meaningful. Given there’s no knowing or control on when or where it’s going to hit, increasing its value seems only fair. Ahriman has always been a strong card in his own right, but his rule could often be unnoticed come the end of the fight. This should put that straight and make the dicing with fate each battle feel more real and impactful.

Takrath Kulus – Crimson Slaughter Raptor
+10 Wounds, +5 Melee

Despite cheap access to fear normally being really strong, Takrath just doesn’t seem to be popular. Added to the fact that a large number of Night Lords have just dropped, he may have to fight even harder for that role, it’s only fair to give him a bump up.

Phrenyx Shatterhowl – Noise Marine of Slaanesh
-3 Cost

Chaos Ranged builds have always been the third choice for most players, and the Noise Marine as a mono-ranged card struggles because of that. Making him significantly cheaper should make that normally very tempting, powerful barrage into a more serious contender.


The Parasite of Mortrex – Hive Fleet Leviathan Winged Parasite
Explosive Infestation:
The first time an enemy bodyguard is attacked by a friendly Melee attack it deals 60 -> 110% damage and the target becomes infested. When an Infested card dies it deals 40% its base Wounds as damage to adjacent cards

The Parasite’s rule is one that we’ve always held back on, given its got such a powerful upside with the exploding death of cards. However, realistically, that caution has meant that the Parasite has always felt a bit lacking. Well, gloves are off (do ovipositors need gloves?), and instead of that initial attack slowing down play, it should now be the key alpha strike moment. Tyranids mainly have a slower attrition playstyle with most of their Warlords (excluding Zimot), so changing the Parasite into a much more aggressive playstyle should feel fresh and give more variety to the faction.

Specimen: LV-167-RS-Eta – Hive FLeet Leviathan Barbgaunt
+5 Range

As per the earlier commentary on cheap barrage cards, a lot of players are reaching for them with underwhelming results. Shaping these cards into much more high-impact damage dealers for a turn, rather than trying to get them to compete on durability, makes the most sense.

Specimen: LV-852-NC-Theta – Hive Fleet Leviathan Venomthrope
+10 Wounds, +10 Melee

While anti-infantry is seeing a much higher win rate on cards than poison did, the uptake of them has been very cautious. The Venomthrope is a good example of this, and while not originally overly popular, it’s taken a step back further with its trait change. Its win rate has stayed the same, but a buff should make it a bit more tempting and hopefully let more players give it a chance.

Leagues of Votann

With the small roster of cards and the not-too-long past Season’s focus, Votann is in good shape. We’ll keep reviewing them each season, but it’s unlikely that they will be getting a pass every Season until their next wave of releases.

Cawl Me Maybe?

As covered in the recent Q&A the correct solution for Cawl is something we are trying to get resolved at the moment. Due to the nature of how his rule interacts with attacks, there is a fair bit of praying to the machine spirits involved to get a meaningful change to his mechanics. The key issue, and the one that is driving his meta builds, is the interaction with AoE traits like Psionic Blast and Barrage, and this specific interaction is what we would like to address. However, it is the most difficult to change and has the widest implications that could break or interfere with other existing mechanics. So, while we aren’t able to commit to a timeline currently for a fix in that direction, it’s very much on our radar.

What we can do in the meantime is remove him from PvP, given this is the key problem area, and we will be increasing his cost by 10pts. The intent will be to roll both back if another solution is rolled out. While not a wonder cure, as an in-between, it should remove him from his most problematic area whilst a more permanent fix is found.

And now, here we are at the end of the changes! There’s a lot going on this season, one new Supreme Commander (so far…), updates for a large number of Warlords along a number of impactful bodyguard changes. So this Season, it’s all to play for and lots to try!

Happy krumpin’ in defence of the Golden Throne!