Greetings, Citizens,

From the beacon of hope that are the Custodes, we now find ourselves in the dark with the master of despair, the Night Lords!

First of all, I wanted to start with a quick reflection on last season and the changes made to a large number of lesser-played and/or less successful Warlords. It’s amazing to see, even in one season, the impact this has had, and all of the adjusted Warlords have headed straight to the middle of the pack, or better. The stand out is, of course, the Parasite of Mortrex, who has seen more than double the previous seasons’ playrate! 

With this success, we’ve got a few more Warlord adjustments, but the main focus is going to be on the adjustment to three traits. Since the traits affect all factions and a wide range of cards, the general changes are a bit lighter on the bodyguard side, but there should be plenty to play with this upcoming season. I’m sure with that mentioned, you’re keen to see what’s changed, so let’s get straight to it:


Chaos has quite a broad spectrum of viable cards in every attack type and at most point values. For this season’s balance, we’ve touched on a little bit of everything, giving something for Melee, Psychic and Ranged. As just mentioned, there are some trait adjustments this Season, and all three traits getting a buff feature heavily in the Chaos line-up, so the faction will be getting a much wider buff than just the listed cards!

Gloguthrox the Foul – Death Guard of Contagion
+10 Melee
Ready: Melee Debuff -> Ranged Debuff

Gloguthrox has a niche where he has a lot of success, but it’s quite a narrow one. This isn’t helped by the fact that he struggles a lot once on the field. While having good Wounds and a good defensive trait, that doesn’t stop the fact that he struggles to deal the final blow with his melee only profile. As such, he’s getting a substantial increase to his base Melee, and swapping his readies over from Melee Debuff to Ranged Debuff, which should help protect him better against his main threat.

The Faceless Blade – Dark Commune Blessed Blade
-1 Cost

There are quite a few cheap Deathblow options for Chaos. The Faceless Blade stands out as the most expensive. Competing most closely with the Jakhal, they have similar melee, with the Blade having twice the wounds. While this means getting in an extra attack or two before triggering, it’s not enough to justify the cost, so he’s coming down a bit.

Korbadash – Khorne Berserker
+5 Wounds, +5 Melee

Another lower-cost option that Chaos have plenty of is Berserk. However, despite being a Berserker, he isn’t the best Berserk option at his price point, which would drive anyone Berserk. So, a bit of a stat buff to cement his more comfortably between the next options above and below should help. Hopefully now this berserk berserker will be less bereaved and now begrudgingly bear the banner for berserkers everywhere.

Ygethmor the Deceiver – Black Legion Sorcerer
-2 Cost, +10 Psychic

It wouldn’t be a recent Chaos balance update without a psyker. Another classic card that has since been out paced in recent times, he sports the lowest pick rate of any Chaos psyker in the 20-40pt range. This reduction in cost and increase in damage output should make him a much better pick. The increase in damage is particularly valuable given his Warp Surge trait since this value needs to be high to compete with the other similar Thousand Sons options who, with Psychic Link can easily outstrip him on overall damage potential.

Khargos the Hound – World Eaters Lord on Juggernaut
-2 Cost, +10 Range

While a relatively new card, Khargos is a bit behind a lot of other similar cards in his price range. Additionally, he’s paying a slight premium for his secondary ranged attack, but it’s so low that it provides very little value. A decent bump in range means that the secondary attack has some noticeable value and makes him feel different enough compared to mono melee cards.

Abomination – Black Legion Heldrake
-6 Cost

Abomination was an absolute staple of yesteryear when Fear ruled the roost. However, as the pool of cards have expanded, Fear on a great stat line isn’t enough, especially given that there isn’t the breadth of tools available to a Chaos ranged deck. At such a high cost, and with many other good Chaos Range cards also being pricey it’s hard to build around. So a significant decrease in cost should give a lot more flexibility and also make Abomination a much better choice in all-rounder decks too.

Trait Updates

The three traits we’re looking at this time round are the three fixed-value traits: Poison, Regeneration and Berserk. While we aren’t converting them to a %-based system or doing a significant rework in effect, we are making a rework to the scaling. 

With these rules, in particular, there’s a concern with them becoming % based due to the wide range of attack and wounds values cards can have, and as a result, a healthy % balance for lower cost cards would be broken for the top end, and at the other scale a balance top end % would be meaningless for the rest.

There’s also been an issue with these rules and fitting in with Secondary Traits. With the lower levels being fine for a card just starting out, as a mid-level or even later-level upgrade, the values fall a bit flat, which is where we have the new scaling. Where previously, the Ranks had been a fixed increase based on the first level, these traits are now going to have a much heavier weighting at Rank 1. This means these traits will have a much larger impact from the start, and getting even a single level feels worth it, rather than having to push to Rank 3 to feel a payoff. 

For those who like a bit of stats, on average a Level 1 card roughly doubles in attack power and wounds total by the time it reaches max level. Of course, that’s not a hard and fast rule, with plenty of exceptions, but as an overall view, that’s where the numbers land. With that in mind, the fixed value traits all started at a ¼ of the max power, so it’s not hard to see why they often feel like they fall short. With that all covered, let’s look at the changes:


Poisoned cards lose [4 / 8 / 12 / 16] -> [10 / 15 / 20 / 25] Wounds at the end of each player’s turn.

Poison has been, for a long time the worst-performing trait, often something that is actively sought out when running Berserk cards. As a result the overall damage value of Poison is being significantly increased and will now start at 10 damage a turn, scaling up to 25, gaining +5 each Rank. This should make it considerably more threatening and a much more viable option in any deck.


Regeneration cards gain  [4 / 8 / 12 / 16] -> [8 / 12 / 16 / 20] Wounds at the end of each player’s turn.

Regeneration has overall been a more successful trait, but overall still tracking at the lower end of winrate. Gaining passive Wounds is always great, and the new totals make it much more viable for smaller cards to get good value out of it. We’ve also set the rate a bit lower than Poison so that it can deal a small amount of damage through Regen, rather than just cancel it.


Whenever a Berserk card takes damage, it increases all attack stats by [3 / 6 / 9 / 12] -> [6 / 8 / 10 / 12]

Berserk is a great example of the 50% scaling of attack over a cards life cycle where the +3 feels underwhelming, but the +12 is very strong. Berserk cards overall aren’t overly struggling so the cap is staying the same at +12, but now every stage of Berserk will feel significantly more impactful on the way to max level.
A final note on the Trait changes, there are a number of bodyguards below with the anti-infantry trait which either have, had or would suit Poison, so there’s a bit of common shuffling going on there. As we’ve covered it off here, I won’t give a deep dive on them case by case and instead quickly list them now:

Xagor – Drukhari Wrack Acothyst
Trait Change: Anti-Infantry -> Poison

Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus – Lord Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos
Trait Change: Anti-Infantry / Poison -> Poison / Anti-Infantry

Kattorax Vorthire – Death Guard Lord of Virulence-Trait Change: Anti-Infantry / Poison -> Poison / Anti-Infantry

The Black Lance – Genestealer Cults Sanctus
Trait Change: Anti-Infantry / Poison -> Poison / Anti-Infantry

Specimen: LV-852-NC-Theta – Hive Fleet Leviathan Venomthrope
Trait Change: Anti-Infantry -> Poison

Specimen: LV-Zeta-40291 – Hive Fleet Leviathan Toxicrene
Trait Change: Anti-Infantry -> Poison

That just leaves the mentioned Warlord changes, and here they are:


Ulthakar – Szarekhan Skorpekh Destroyer Lord
Hardwired for Destruction: Hardwired cards increase their attack stats by +15 -> +20.

Another classic case study of fixed trait rules, Ulthakar could use a bit more in the tank. While this makes him significantly potent in the early game, Necrons have always been strong at that point, so it doesn’t stand out as concerning. We will still monitor it, of course. In the mid to later game it should be enough of a bump to help compete with other options.

Servants of the Emperor:

Magos Dominus Ivasnophon – Adeptus Mechanicus Tech-Priest Dominus
When a friendly card is destroyed, your currently deployed cards gain +20 -> +30 Wounds.

Along with The Corpse Lord, Ivasnophon was the butt of many jokes. However, with the Corpse Lord’s recent glow up it’s hard to make those same jokes. Therefore, it seems only fair to do the same for the Magos. This added durability can be combined with the improved Regeneration (which falls mainly on Mechanicum cards in Servants) to make a thematic and durable deck that can withstand the upcoming punishment of increased Poison and Berserk.


Ghosar – Genestealer Patriarch
– 5 Cost

Ghosar is a tricky one to get right, as upping his rule can quickly spiral based on it being a turn played and affecting all the cards in a deck. So rather than adjust the rule, we’ve addressed that despite being priced as a mid-level duelist, he doesn’t quite deliver in that role. By bringing his points down rather than upping his stats, there should be much more flexibility in deck building and leave more room for the big monsters, which Tyranid lovers everywhere would rather bring more of.

Specimen: LV-199-SA-Zeta – Hive Fleet Leviathan Trygon
-150 Wounds

Talking of big monsters, we have to put our hands up on this one and admit a mistake where the Trygon was not supposed to go out with this many Wounds. It should have been corrected much sooner, so I apologise for that. While most players will not have the card at a high level given its age, we want to avoid pulling the plug when it’s more problematic and widespread and more players have invested resources into it. It’s already a noticeable roadblock in max-level campaigns and explorations, and we want to set it straight to its intended stats.

That brings us to the end of this Season Balance Changes! Quite a lot to digest here, and a slightly more irregular one, but it should be a new and exciting Season once again with plenty for people to try out!

Go out and sow terror this Season, and not because that’s what the Chaos Gods want you to do, but because you like doing it, in true Night Lord fashion!