Warcry/Tactics/Cypher Lords

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Cypher Lord Tactics


Faction Overview[edit]


  • High Movement-Cypher Lords all have a base movement of 5", which is above average and makes them the all-around base fastest Warband in the game. They also have a number of abilities that complement their high movement.
  • Fantastic Board Control-In addition to their high movement, they have a number of abilities which allow them to get wherever they need to be on the board in an instant (literally). They can get in and out of combat rather effortlessly.
  • Good Damage-Most of their fighters deal high crit damage and tend to have higher attacks per cost than similar Fighters in other warbands


  • Low Durability-Like with most other core Chaos warbands, they aren't the most durable of Fighters for their price tag and only have one ability which enhances their survivability (although admittedly it's a pretty fantastic one).
  • Lack of Ranged attacks-They do have an ability which lets them throw ninja stars, but it's honestly kind of a meme. Apart from this, they have no ranged attacks.

Abilities Overview[edit]

  • [Double] Throwing Stars and Chakrams: Pick a visible enemy fighter within 6" of this fighter and roll 2 dice. For each roll of a 4-5, allocate 1 damage point to that fighter. For each roll of 6, allocate a number of damage points to that fighter equal to the value of this ability. (Faction-wide ability)
    • Ability Commentary-A relatively weak ability which won't do much in the large scheme of things. While it is nice to have at least some type of ranged attack option, this ability is incredibly underwhelming considering it is only a 34% chance to deal a MASSIVE 1 damage or a 16% chance to deal value damage. Even with a double value of 6, it's unlikely that you'll roll the necessary 6 to trigger ability damage. If you're looking to burn a [Double] you'd be better off going with the next ability or simply using your wild dice to make it a triple for that sweet, sweet, Shadowy Recall
  • [Double] Acrobatic Leap: This fighter can fly when making move actions until the end of their activation; however, when flying, they cannot move vertically upwards more than 3". (Faction-Wide ability)
    • Ability Commentary-A movement ability which lets the fighter essentially ignore vertical movement costs up to 3". If you're playing with Official Warcry Terrain© this means that you'll mostly be able to move over anything on the table. A solid Faction-wide ability that you'll use often.
  • [Double] Low Sweeping Blow: Roll 1 dice for each visible enemy fighter within 2" of this fighter. On a 4-5, allocate 1 damage point to the fighter being rolled for. On a 6, allocate a number of damage points to the fighter being rolled for equal to the value of this ability. (Mirrobound w/Glaive; Mindbound w/Double-bladed sword ability)
    • Ability Commentary-A solid AoE/Chaff clearing ability. While you won't typically be dishing out huge amounts of damage, the 2" range and the universal targeting of this ability makes it a pretty useful for putting some damage on low-wound models. Use this if you need to clear out an objective which is held by a bunch of low-cost fighters. While not as universally useful as [Double] Acrobatic Leap it can come in handy for damaging fragile fighters enough that they can easily be taken down within 1 attack activation, even by your own low-cost Fighters.
  • [Triple] Shadowy Recall: Pick a friendly fighter with the Minion runemark that is within 12" of this fighter. Remove that fighter from the battlefield and then immediately set them up anywhere on the battlefield within a number of inches of this fighter equal to the value of this ability. (Thrallmaster and Luminate Ability)
    • Ability Commentary-This is THE Faction-defining ability for this warband. It is incredibly powerful and cement Cypher Lords as the undisputed masters of board control. Mechanically, only Fighters who have the minion runemark can be targeted by this ability. In your warband, this means that every other model BESIDES the Thrall master or Luminate can be targeted. Also, since you are removing the target from the battlefield and then setting them back up this is NOT considered a move action and, as such, any debuff which prevents move/disengage actions do NOT prevent targets of this ability from completing the teleport. This means that you can target minions who are effected by immobilizing effects (such as nets) and still teleport them around the battlefield. The uses for this are almost limitless. Below are some common ways to use this ability:
      • Teleport a minion within 1" of an enemy to maximize 2 attack actions for the fighter
      • Teleport a minion onto objectives
      • Teleport a minion OUT of a dangerous situation and back to relative saftey
      • Teleport a minion directly next to you to counter-attack any fighter which threatens either your Thrallmaster or Luminate
      • Teleport a minion onto, beyond, or behind terrain.
      • Teleport a minion directly behind an enemy fighter who is directly engaged with your Thrallmaster or Luminate to trap them in place
      • Move a minion into position to threaten an objective/target, force your opponent to respond to the threat, and then teleport them to another point/objective/fighter which your opponent left abandoned attempting to respond to the apparent imminent threat.
    • Its uses are wide, varied, and can be completely game-changing. This will undoubtedly be your most used ability and is the one ability that defines this warband. You could probably do without it in Round 1, but any other Round, you should be saving Wild Dice to turn an doubles into triples.
  • [Triple] Shattered Gloom Globe: Until the end of the battle round, subtract 1 from the Attacks characteristic (to a minimum of 1) of the attack actions made by enemy fighters while they are within 6" of this fighter. (Thrallmaster ability)
    • Ability Commentary-A powerful defensive ability with a surprisingly large effect bubble/aura. While you'll mostly be using any triples you get for [Triple] Shadowy Recall this can come in handy if your Thrallmaster suddenly finds himself surrounded by multiple enemies. It can also be used as a measure to protect your other fighters. It's best used when you can effect multiple enemy fighters. It is wasted if there is only a single enemy fighter, as if you need to get away from a single enemy, you can simply move or disengage+move if they are in your face. Acts more as an "Oh shit"-button than an ability you plan your tactics around.
  • [Quad] Spinning Somersault Strike: This fighter can fly when making move actions until the end of their activation; however when flying, they cannot move vertically upwards more than 3". In addition, this fighter makes a bonus move action. Then, they can make a bonus attack action. (Universal ability)
    • Ability Commentary-Combines [Double] Acrobatic Leap with [Quad] Rampage. Again emphasizing this warband's great movement capabilities, this ability essentially lets you ignore vertical movement cost while granting you a bonus movement and attack action. If you plan on using [Quad] Rampage, you might as well use this instead. A very powerful ability.

Fighter's Overview[edit]



  • Stats: Movement 5"; Toughness 4; Wounds 20; 205 Pts.
  • Weapons:
    • Fist-Range 1"; Attacks 5; Strength 4; Damage 2/6
  • Fighter Commentary-He is the only choice for a leader this Warband has so you MUST take him. As far as pure Chaos warbands go, he's one of the more lethal. 5 Strength 4 attacks at 2/6 damage is nothing to sneeze at, and given the ease with which this Warband can get across the battlefield, his 5" movement make him one of the more mobile Leaders in Warcry. Generally speaking, you'll want to have him near the center of the battlefield to maximize the effectiveness of [Triple] Shadowy Recall. Between himself and the Luminate, the rest of the fighters in your warband should almost always be in range to be targeted by [Triple] Shadowy Recall. He isn't the toughest of Fighters, so any prolonged combat will see him taken down. As discussed above, he can use [Triple] Shattered Gloom Globe if he finds himself in a bad situation he can't simply move out of. Given his high crit damage value, it can be worth it to give him either [Double] Onslaught or [Quad] Spinning Somersault Strike if you really need an important target taken out.



  • Stats: Movement 5"; Toughness 4; Wounds 15; 175 Pts.
  • Weapons:
    • Spear-Range 2"; Attacks 5; Strength 5; Damage 2/5
  • Fighter Commentary-A solid statline with above-average attacks and crit damage. She's very well-costed given her points value. She's the only other Fighter who can use [Triple] Shadowy Recall but with 5 less wounds, she needs to be a little more careful regarding positioning and engagement choices. Her 2" reach on his spear assists in this regard, granting her an extended reach and the ability to stay out of the crucial 1" range for retaliation and disengage/move options. Like the Thrallmaster, she should be played relatively close to the center of the board to maximize the potential of [Triple] Shadowy Recall. A good strategy is to separate the Thrallmaster and Luminate into separate Battlegroups and have them divide up the board between them with the intent to keep most of your other fighters in range of either the Thrallmaster or the Luminate to be able to [Triple] Shadowy Recall at all times. Keep Mindbound and Mirrorblades in front of her to screen and provide chaff while she is parked safely behind them poking enemies with her spear. Another solid choice for either [Double] Onslaught or [Quad] Spinning Somersault Strike. She is a high value target given the fact that she is weaker than the Thrallmaster but can still use [Triple] Shadow Recall. Smart players will do everything they can to take out the Luminate and Thrallmaster first, so play defensively and allow your other Fighters to get into combat first.

Mirrorblade with Duelling Swords[edit]

  • Stats: Movement 5"; Toughness 3; Wounds 10; 115 Pts.
  • Weapons:
    • Duelling Blades-Range 1"; Attacks 5; Strength 4; Damage 2/4
  • Fighter Commentary-The first of two Mirroblade variants. This one is only 5 points less than it's Glaive-wielding brother. He has 1 more attack with a lower damage profile. Interestingly, he does not have have access to [Double] Low Sweeping Blow, unlike the other variant. He also has one less inch of range. He misses out on some valuable utility in exchange for one more attack. While he can dish out some great damage, he is generally overshadowed by the glaive-weilding variant. A good tactic is to have at least one of each variant on the battlefield. This variant will put out more attacks, while the glaive-wielding variant can offer utility with increased reach.

Mirrorblade with Glaive[edit]

  • Stats: Movement 5"; Toughness 3; Wounds 10; 120 Pts.
  • Weapons:
    • Glaive-Range 2"; Attacks 4; Strength 4; Damage 2/5
  • Fighter Commentary-This second variant of the Mirroblade brings much more utility to the table than his Duel-wielding counterpart. For a mere 5 points more he gains an additional 1" of range, an additional point of crit damage, and access to [Double] Low-Sweeping Blow. He does sacrifice 1 attack, which does diminish his damage output, but the utility offered by increased reach offset this single disadvantage. His increased threat range and 2" attack will allow him to park behind other fighters and poke away at enemies while staying out of the crucial 1" bubble which would otherwise force disengage actions should the need arise (though you can always [Triple] Shadowy Recall him away if you really have to). His slightly higher crit value makes him slightly more dangerous vs. high-wound fighters. While [Double] Low Sweeping Blow isn't the most flashy--or even reliable--ability, it does offer a decent zone control option in a pinch.


  • Stats: Movement 5"; Toughness 3; Wounds 10; 75 Pts.
  • Weapons:
    • Paired Blades-Range 1"; Attacks 4; Strength 3; Damage 1/3
  • Fighter Commentary-Your standard list-filling chaff. They have an above-average attacks characteristics at 4 with a standard damage profile at strength 3 and damage 1/3. They share a similar option choice with their mirroblade cousins in that the two variants feature either more attacks or increased range. A 5 point reduction compared to the glaive wielding variant isn't going to factor too much into your list building decisions. Given the fact that every additional attack is a precious commodity in Warcry, where there is a single roll for both hits and wounds (as well as no save rolls), his main appeal lies in his increased attack. Again, mix and matching Glaive and Sword variants will see the most success.

Mindbound with Glaive[edit]

  • Stats: Movement 5"; Toughness 3; Wounds 10; 80 Pts.
  • Weapons:
    • Glaive-Range 2"; Attacks 3; Strength 3; Damage 1/4
  • Fighter Commentary-Like its brother, this fighter acts as a budget version of the Mirrorblade with Glaive. It's larger threat range and higher crit damage make it slightly more valuable that the blade-wielding variant. Similar to the Mirrorblade with Glaive, it can also use [Double] Low Sweeping Blow in a pinch. Overall, he offers more utility than the standard Mindbound for only 5 Pts. more.

General Tactics[edit]

Maximizing your inherent movement advantages is the key to establishing board control. Given the prevalence of movement enhancing abilities, this shouldn't be an issue. Since Warcry is played on a pretty small board (22"x30") almost all models should be in range of either your Thrallmaster or your Luminate at all times to be in range of [Triple] Shadowy Recall. Cypher Lords are a classic hit-and-run warband. They deal significantly higher damage than most other Chaos warbands and can get into and out of combat with ease but will most likely die within two or three attack actions if they remain exposed. Liberal use of [Double] Acrobatic Leap and [Triple] Shadowy Recall allow them to escape over, around, behind, and beyond terrain, which should always be exploited to your advantage. A strong understanding of terrain, LoS, and cover and how it applies from board to board will see you running circles around your enemies. Above all, you need to be very careful with both your Thrallmaster and your Luminate, as any smart opponent will do everything they can do take them out as quickly as possible (particularly your Luminate). While you can easily teleport all of your other minions out of danger if you must, this luxury is not afforded to either the Thrallmaster or the Luminate, meaning that playing conservatively with them is doubly important. Stay behind terrain and out of LoS to minimize any potential ranged attacks against your fighters until you are within range to go in for an attack. Remember that [Triple] Shadowy Recall can be used to pull fighters out of dangerous situations in a pinch. You have no inherently defensive options apart from [Triple] Shattered Gloom Globe, which can be very powerful but competes with [Triple] Shadowy Recall for ability dice.

For battlegroups, the following pairings work well together:

  • Thrallmaster+Mindbound+Mirrorblade-The increase in attacks as well as the 1" reach on weapons make it very easy to swarm opponents and trap key targets. The Thrallmaster can use [Triple] Shattered Gloom Globe to minimize damage to both himself and his fellow fighters in combat, mitigating the loss of some reach. Best used in either the Dagger or Hammer.
  • Luminate+Mirrorblade w/Glaive+Mindbound w/Glaive-Emphasizes the increased reach of weapons to stay out of striking distance and force your opponent to make some hard activation economy choices. Stay at range of your 2" weapons and force enemies to waste an action on a move to get within 1" while your other fighters poke it's asshole. Best used in the Shield or Hammer.

Minions, Thralls, and Allies[edit]

Choosing Minions, Thralls, and Allies should have you looking for fighters that either synergize with your already inherent strengths (High movement, High damage) or offset some of your weaknesses. For Cypher Lords, you could really do with some strong defensive Allies who can hold objectives and soak up damage, as your defensive capabilities are almost non-existent. Allies with solid ranged attacks are welcome as well. As a Chaos Warband you can only ally with Skaven, Slaves to Darkness, Beasts of Chaos, Khorne, Tzeentch, Slaanesh, and Nurgle. Below are some interesting options:

  • Chaos Sorcerer Lord: He offers a solid ranged attack and a surprisingly high amount of wounds for a caster(25). His [Double] Daemonic Power grants a target within 8" +1 to Strength and Attacks until the end of the battle round. You can combo this with [Double] Onslaught or [Quad] Rampage to increase your already high damage potential.
  • Slaughterpriest with Wrath-Hammer and Hackblade: A beefy fighter with a strong damage profile. He also has a boatload of wounds (32) and can be used to sit on objectives. But the real reason we take him is for his two abilities. [Triple] Bloodbind targets an enemy in 14" and then forces them a number of inches equal to this ability directly towards the Slaughterpriest (it "pulls" the target closer to him). This ability can set up the rest of your fighters for some absolutely ridiculous combos. Combine this with [Triple] Shadowy Recall and you can completely flip an objective point (pull an enemy fighter off an objective and then teleport one of your minions onto it and you can completely flip who holds an objective with two activations). Use it on a 5-6 and you can effectively isolate a high-value target and kill it before help arrives. It's uses are varied and it synergizes well with our other movement and board control abilities. [Triple] Bloodboil is an awesome straight damage effect which targets an enemy fighter within 14". Roll dice equal to the value of this ability and for each 4+ deal d3 damage. He does what the Chaos Sorcerer Lord does, only better. Save a wild dice and use it to turn a double 5 or 6 into a triple and you can reduce fighters to half health or more if the dice go your way. He also has access to [Double] Blood for the Blood God which grants himself a bonus move or attack action after taking down an enemy fighter. Situational, but it can be useful.
  • Aspiring Deathbringer: If you're looking for a Fighter who can just sit on objectives and kill anything that dares challenge him for it, look no further. This dude packs in a massive 5 attacks at strength 5 for a 2/5 damage profile. He has a load of wounds (30) which means he's going to stick around for a while. What makes him even more ridiculous is his ability, [Quad] Slaughter Incarnate which grants half the value of the ability (rounding up) to all damage points from both hits AND critical hits to ALL fighters within 8" of him. Turn a 4+ Triple into a Quad and combo this with [Double] Onslaught and you can potentially one-shot most mid-cost Fighters and severely cripple others within one activation. He is pricey at 200 pts., but he fills the tank role your other fighters can't fill while offering a powerful aura ability.
  • Lord of Blights: A Toughness 5, 35 wound fighter will a decent damage profile. If you want a beefy tank, this is your guy. He also has a voodoo-doll like ability in [Double] Thrice-ripened Death's Head (roll a dice for an enemy in 6"; on a 4-5 deal 1 damage; on a 6 deal ability value damage). For 200 points he's not cheap, but if you need a solid tank, this is your guy.

Other Helpful Tips[edit]

Example Builds[edit]

Warcry Tactics
Grand Alliance: Chaos
Grand Alliance: Death
Grand Alliance: Destruction
Grand Alliance: Order
Monsters & Mercenaries