Eyes of the Nine

Change comes to the Mirrored City.

Warband review returns! Today I’ll be looking at the new Tzeentch warband: the Eyes of the Nine. How will one of the most potent magic users in the background fair? Read on to find out.

Narrative

Since Shadespire was dragged into its dimensional limbo, the Tzeentch warband has spent hundreds of years trapped within the mirrored city. Their goal to open a portal to connect Shadespire to one of the many Silver Towers and the 9 Gaunt Summoners that master them.

They have failed many times to achieve this task but with the influx of magic from Nagash’s Necroquake, this change brings them much opportunity. Now seeking to use Shadeglass relics as magical beacons, their goal of bringing the Realm of Chaos flowing into this trapped domain through the Silver Towers for Tzeentch’s total control.

Miniatures

Eyes of the Nine contain 6 miniatures, all of varying shapes and sizes as befits the god of change. Now while none of the models are exactly new, we do get a female Kairic Acolyte as well as a new Magister. The only problem is they don’t feel too exciting which isn’t helped by the Brimstone Horrors being a simple copy/paste from their own box. The Blue Horror and Tzaangor are unique but just don’t feel that way due to how similar they look to their individual box set releases. Overall, I still like the warband. Great miniatures with very nice magical bases as well.

The miniatures also come in a nice shade of light blue coloured plastic. Thematic of their patronage while also able to standout from their blue Stormcast counterparts. They go together very well, showing Games Workshop’s advancement with their push-fit technology. Just be careful with the Blue Horror’s tongue.

The Fighters

Vortemis is the warband’s leader. A powerful magister in his own right, he stands as their only wizard. He mirrors Averon Stormsire but lacks the said fighter’s defensive stats or superior inspire mechanic.

Let’s talk about the inspire mechanic, it’s not good but it does give him 2 dodges as well as damage 2 Bolt of Change. While not so tough, it really should be just casting a spell successfully or doing damage via any spell. As it stands, it’s tough to achieve but the rewards aren’t amazing to begin with. Maybe if it made him a level 3 wizard, it would be tempting.

His real strength comes from being able to summon a Blue Horror on any starting hex. It really opens up a lot of options for tactics but I’ll expand upon it more when talking about the Horrors.

Overall the movement 4 is great but keep him away from combat at all costs. Even keeping him in range with his Bolt of Change is dangerous due to how fragile Vortemis is. I would have preferred it if he was a level 3 wizard or casted his Bolt of Change on channels instead of focus.

K’Charik, the faithful Tzaangor and Saek mirror. He’s great, honestly. Being 3 wounds with a single block is not. I would have preferred 1 dodge going to 2 when inspired but at least he does get a free re-roll. Speaking of, once again he has an easier inspire mechanic than the other fighters in the warband but really doesn’t gain much from it.

You ideally want to keep him adjacent to Vortemis. While amazing in combat, the Tzaangor is the ONLY fighter in the warband good it. Sending him in alone or with the 2 acolytes is a combination for disaster. Keep him near to deter your opponent from mindlessly charging in.

Our Kairic Acolyte pair who are secretly trying to kill each other. I’m going to be blunt, they make Arnulf and Targor look amazing. The inspire mechanic is terrible for these guys due to their really bad ranged attack. With a 56% chance to roll a single hit, it’s almost not worth using but once again they don’t get anything from inspiring. Sure cleave with a 3 fury ranged attack and a 3 fury damage 2 attack are nice but not worth going out of your way to unlock.

Ah the Horrors. The first fighter(s) who cannot inspire at all. These daemons are the saving grace of the warband. A Blue Horror instantly splits into a Brimstone after dying and does not give your opponent a glory, meaning they have to successfully kill the fighter twice which is not guaranteed. They are even better shots than Narvia and Turosh!

The fact they can appear on any starting hex is huge. While they can’t be given any weapon upgrades, they take other ones just fine. The perfect sneaky annoyance.

The Cards

As in my previous review, I’ll be going from the cards I’m not a huge fan of to those I consider good starting with the faction specific cards. Once again these are just my personal views and opinions on the cards based upon my long experience with the game as well as how I approach it. This isn’t the gospel truth and could change in time.

Faction Objectives

Agents of Change: A very tough requirement for 2 glory. 4 successful spells is very hard to pull off and in some cases won’t even be doable without a magic-heavy card hand.

Eyes of the Master: Doable with movement 4 and the Blue Horror but quite risky to do as it brings you close to the enemy.

Chosen by Destiny: More of a narrative card than anything.

Harness Knowledge: A reprint of Determined Defender. Not a fan as you cannot score it in phase 1.

Rising Inferno: Doing 4 damage with spells in a single phase is actually quite difficult. Would have preferred if this was an instant or 2 glory objective.

Ultimate Change: Once again I’d run this if it was an instant objective. As it stands the objective isn’t worth enough glory and is hard to achieve with the low damage output of the warband.

Faction Objectives – Top Picks

Bind the City: A reprint of Our Only Way Out. Having another version of that card is just amazing. Potential to score 7 glory in a single phase when combined with Supremacy.

Master of Magic: Would have preferred this if it was a single spell but I’ll take what I can get. A must for the Nine.

Summoner: Another instant. You can score this in a single phase if you are able to summon the Blue Horror on your 1st and 3rd activations. Keep in mind this card keeps a track over multiple phases so you could summon a Blue Horror in phase 1 then again in phase 2 and score this objective.

Faction Gambit Cards

Ravenous Flame: Cast on a single focus but the scatter can hurt your fighters as well as enemy ones. Too risky for my liking.

Malicious Flames: Not bad but requires opponents killing Brimstone Horrors which they may just ignore.

Eidetic Memory: Only works on K’Charik but he re-rolls an attack dice when inspired. Would love it if it worked for any fighter in the warband.

Driven by Ambition: The no charge limit on this card is rough. Just use Spectral Wings instead

Faction Gambits – Top Picks

Wracking Change: 2 channel makes this rather hard to consistently cast without an innate. Very good range with the potential to do 3 damage if you can roll crits 😉

Stolen Fate: Re-roll any dice in an attack action. Great for Vortemis to make his Bolt of Change more reliable.

Shield of Fate: A single focus and the persisting effect makes this a strong card.

Blessing of Tzeentch: A free innate let down by the fact it’s only usable in one of your activations.

Bound by Fate: Confusion but with more range, very good.

Deceitful Step: A ploy that acts like a spell. A 50/50 chance to appear either on any starting hex or an objective. What you want from it varies on your gameplan but it’s still a great card.

Faction Upgrades

Arcanite Shield: Ethereal Shield does this but can be put on any fighter if you really want to defend on blocks.

Bizarre Capering: I prefer Acrobatic plus I don’t feel it’s worth putting upgrades on the Horrors.

Fateward: Once again Trusted Defender does this and can be put on any fighter.

Piercing Bolt: 1 damage cleave is not worth it. Your inspired Bolt of Change is still better

Silver Tether: Faction reprint of the Formless Key, I prefer the Forgotten Key or A Destiny to Meet.

Faction Upgrades – Top Picks

Strength of Arrogance: +1 damage is great, especially when you could make K’Charik damage 6.

Sorcerous Adept: Free channel innates are always great.

Empowered Sorcery: Damage 2/3 Bolt of Change? Yes please!

Fiery Blessing: Make her ranged attack decent or stack with Shadeglass Darts for a 4 fury attack with a 52% chance to crit.

Scroll of Dark Arts: 4 range firepower is very strong. Makes your harassment game even stronger.


With all the Eyes of the Nine cards out-of-the-way, I’ll now cover the neutral cards that come in their expansion.

Neutral Objectives

Sorcerous Retort: There is currently only a single Gambit Spell Reaction in the game outside of Ready for Action and My Turn with Spell Attack Actions. This card is far too specific to trigger regularly.

On a Roll: A somewhat risky objective card to score. While I’m know for pulling off 4 to 6 objectives in a single phase, not even I can do it consistently enough for this.

Loner: Potentially good for control warbands but suffers due to high mobility cards like Hidden Paths.

Great Gains: Another strange “win more” card. 5 glory can be more achievable than scoring multiple objectives but once again it comes down to you.

Acolytes of the Katophranes: Has potential but currently only 1 tome is really good with another being alright. May get stronger as time goes on but currently not interested.

Charmed Life: Very doable for Skaven and Orruks but leaving kills on the table is far too much of a risk for 2 glory.

Finish Them: MORTAL KOMBAAAAT! I mean, great for Farstriders and other mass 1 damage warbands.

Tempting Target: Better as the game goes on but terrible in phase 1. Also sucks when your target has a Soul Trap or Tethered Spirit as one of their upgrades because it will be discarded before you score this card.

Neutral Objectives – Top Picks

Fired Up: Look at Shining Example, now look at me. Seriously an amazing card. Easily usable by most warbands, especially my lovely Skaven muahahahaha.

Tactical Supremacy 1-4: I like the tactical supremacy cards and adding another won’t get any complaints from me.

What Armour?: SEPULCHRAL GUARD BUFF! Your Champion loves this card. Also great for Magore’s Fiends who start off with cleave too.

Neutral Gambit Spells

Sphere of Azyr: 1 focus makes this card easy to cast. The effectively unlimited range helps counter balance the requirement. Will be better depending on if Hold Objective play makes a resurgence.

Soul Drain: This is currently the only Gambit Spell reaction in the game. Just run Healing Potion.

Imbue with Life: Scattering a token isn’t too bad, scatter 3 would have been nice.

Neutral Gambit Spells – Top Picks

Abasoth’s Withering: I like this a lot. Easy to cast and a great effect too. There are arguments going around saying it can kill fighters on 1 wound but I feel the opposite due to the minimum of 1 specification. Still, wait for the FAQ.

Arcane Summoning: Persistent spells are going to be more common and this is a great counter to that. While useless to non-magic users, you can take away the persistent effects some opponents will rely on.

Sorcerous Insight: Are you a bad enough dude to Shardgale twice? Realistically very hard to cast consistently without innates, the effect is still incredibly strong.

Neutral Gambit Ploys

Power Surge: While the crit nature of this card calls out to me, the self damage does not. Good for Wracking Change at least.

Countercharge: If only Quick Thinker was worded like this. Alas that card kills this one. Potential for Skaven due to inspiring a fighter but not really worth the risk.

Confusing Reflection: Destroy the rarely played scatter spells.

Gambit Ploys – Top Pick

Irresistible Prize: Pulling fighters out of position is great and I see many uses for this card. Thorns of the Briar Queen love it and you can use the card to stop Alone in the Darkness.

Neutral Upgrades

Tome of Diseases: Spend a glory to do 1 damage. Or. Just attack.

Binding Shard: Potentially good but I’m not sure it’s worth the investment.

Gallant’s Courage: A strange one. Lightning Reflexes is far superior.

Nullstone Hammer: Not damage 3 like its Shadeglass counterpart. Knockback is okay but it should be damage 3 instead.

Shifting Map: A Destiny to Meet does a far better job.

Potion of Clarity: Not bad for a casting re-roll but a shame it has to be discarded in order to do so.

Seeking Stones: Why must all dodge ignoring attacks be damage 1? Just too weak to he effective.

Ritual Dagger: Alright but Shadeglass anything is better.

Neutral Upgrades – Top Picks

Sudden Growth: ANOTHER Deathly Fortitude! Amazing. So many uses and now you can run 2!

Arcane Familiar: After the casting roll is very important. Helps save your wizard from double crit power.

Decklists – Nightvault Only Cards

It’s DECKLIST TIME!

As in previous articles I’ll go over a decklist for people with Nightvault only cards and this who have the entire collection. While these aren’t decks I would run (I make stuff to suit how I personally play), I’ve made them in such a way that it should be a good basis for those new to the game or the Eyes of the Nine.

I decided not to make a deck with cards from only the Eyes of the Nine expansion and the Nightvault starter set because it’s not very optimal and too much work.

Before going into the deck building section, please read my article on the subject: here. It’s how I approach deck building and will give you a solid basis to start from.

To start with, here’s my decklist for Nightvault only cards –

Objectives (12)

N59 – Agents of Change

N60 – Bind the City

N62 – Eyes of the Master

N64 – Master of Magic

N66 – Summoner

N317 – Extreme Flank

N319 – Fired Up

N340 – Keep Them Guessing

N342 – Loner

N371 – Sorcerous Scouring

N374 – Supremacy

N376 – Tactical Supremacy 1-4

Gambits (10)

N68 – Blessing of Tzeentch

N69 – Bound by Fate

N75 – Shield of Fate

N77 – Wracking Change

N389 – Abasoth’s Withering

N394 – Arcane Shield

N395 – Arcane Smothering

N400 – Centre of Attention

N422 – Imbue with Life

N436 – Pit Trap

Upgrades (10)

N80 – Empowered Sorcery

N82 – Fiery Blessing

N84 – Scroll of the Dark Arts

N86 – Sorcerous Adept

N473 – Arcane Familiar

N499 – Faneway Crystal

N506 – Great Strength

N539 – Slumbering Key

N543 – Sudden Growth

N546 – Tome of Glories

The basic idea behind this deck is to go for objectives and to upgrade Vortemis with his upgrades. There are also plenty of gambit spells to either damage or de-buff enemy fighters. Just remember to keep K’Charik close to Vortemis so that he gets inspired early.

Decklist – Shadespire and Nightvault Cards

Objectives (12)

235 – Alone in the Darkness

243 – Change of Tactics

252 – Defensive Strike

257 – Escalation

278 – Our Only Way Out

284 – Precise Use of Force

292 – Supremacy

N60 – Bind the City

N64 – Master of Magic

N66 – Summoner

N317 – Extreme Flank

N340 – Keep Them Guessing

Gambits (10)

329 – Great Concussion

331 – Hidden Paths

347 – Quick Thinker

369 – Trap

L42 – Quick Advance

N70 – Deceitful Step

N75 – Shield of Fate

N77 – Wracking Change

N389 – Abasoth’s Withering

N422 – Imbue with Life

Upgrades (10)

384 – Deathly Fortitude

410 – Shadeglass Dagger

412 – Shadeglass Hammer

424 – Tethered Spirit

N80 – Empowered Sorcery

N86 – Sorcerous Adept

N473 – Arcane Familiar

N499 – Faneway Crystal

N543 – Sudden Growth

N546 – Tome of Glories

With the whole collection I’ve added Our Only Way Out and staples like Great Concussion and Quick Thinker. The Shadeglass weapons help add a needed punch and Quick Advance gives you extra pushes to counter enemy pushes.


Final Thoughts

Now I love Tzeentch, I have a huge Age of Sigmar army for it. I must say that this warband suffers quite a bit currently. The fragile fighters and low numbers make you think you have to play them like control/turtle but in reality they can only commit in combat once they have the tools to kill. Don’t rush in with them and expect to win. Instead you must plot and plan, waiting for the right time to strike. Just like the great changer of ways.

The warband is not easy to use but fun once you get a hang of it. Use your 4 bodies to help control deployment and never forget about the Blue Horror as there’s so much to be explored with it. Just don’t focus on trying to inspire, only Vortemis really benefits from it. They’re a warband that really depends on you being good with your movement and positioning.

It’s another recommended buy from me as even if you don’t enjoy the Eyes of the Nine, they come with some great cards to buff up your collection.

Tune in next time for mushrooms, Grotz and crits 😉

5 thoughts on “Eyes of the Nine

  1. I love those deck lists! Are you really running that much self heal on Skaven that you feel Charmed Life is relevant?

    Like

  2. Awesome. I’m going to the test the list with a friend now. And also waiting for the goblins review. Good job.

    Like

  3. Blue horror with either deathly fortitude or sudden growth seems incredibly annoying to deal with. Or better yet use both! A single fighter who is 6+5 wounds seems pretty rediculous. Albeit it would be a stationary fighter, could still push him thoigh

    Like

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