Magic is a very important, fluffy and epic part of Warhammer Fantasy (40k now gets to taste some of it, sort of. Psychic powers + sheer epicness = Warhammer Magic).
Fluff-wise, magic is a wind, which flows from great Chaos Rifts on Warhammer World's poles. It flows out as dark and chaotic Dhar wind, but later splits into eight winds, each of which governs a certain aspect. Greatest wizards in the world (namely, High Elves, Wood Elves and Slann) can then weave the winds back into a single force - Qhaysh, or High Magic. The winds are fickle and their flow may wax and wane multiple times during the same battle. The winds are unpredictable and hard to control, so wizards trying to harness too much power at once tend to invite unpleasant surprises; the rampant energy can burst outward, incinerating allies, scar the mind and soul of the wizard (robbing him of magical power), or just obliterate the wizard outright. Magic is a powerful and dangerous force. The winds now constitutes the eight realms of the Age of Sigmar.
Crunch-wise, each magic phase a player rolls 2d6 to determine the strength of the winds, gaining that many dice to cast his spell. His enemy also gains the highest of the two dice to try and "dispel" (i.e. counterspell) the spell. Each wizard also may "channel" for additional dice, rolling a die and adding a die to the pool on a roll of 6. Number of dice in either pool may not exceed 12 at any point. Casting the spell basically involves rolling a deliberate amount of dice from those available to try and beat the casting value of a spell, with wizard's level added to the roll result. Dispelling involves rolling dice to try and beat the caster's result. Rolling two or more 6's on casting attempt results in the wizard drawing upon too much power at once, which goes out of control, causing Irresistible Force and Miscast. The spell goes off no matter what, but the wizard (or those nearby, or every other mage in the army) suffers pretty unpleasant consequences. Almost all lores have a lore attribute - a passive effect or an active component that is added to each successful casting of that lore's spells. In some cases (ahem, Life, ahem) lore attribute is so powerful it makes the actual spells matter not so much.
There are 8 "Lores of Battle Magic", which are common among most races, though most have some limitations (Bretonnian Prophetesses cannot draw upon powers of Death, Vampires, abominations against nature, cannot draw upon Life and so on). Many races have certain racial magics, such as Necromancy of the Vampires, Skaven Lores of Ruin and Plague and the like. Most of them won't be covered here (instead they are covered on their respective race pages). However, certain racial lores are shared by multiple races (notable example being High Magic), so I'll describe them.
All spells are divided into following types:
- Magic Missile - basically, shooting attacks, with all shooting restrictions (need line of sight, no firing into melee, no firing in combat, etc), which hit automatically and distribute hits as per shooting.
- Direct Damage - has no such limitations, but generally has shorter range. Direct damage spells usually target models as opposed to units and make great character killers. Template damage spells are also in this category.
- Hexes and Augments are basically non-damaging spells that either help or hinder their targets (buffs and debuffs or boons and conditions, if you are into vidya). They can deal damage, but it is mostly conditional.
- Magical Vortices - round templates, that move across the battlefield in certain direction, RAPING up things they touch. Are among the costliest and the most powerful spells in the game.
All damage dealt by spells counts as magical (yeah, some people had doubts about it). Armour saves can be taken against spell damage, unless stated otherwise. Magic Resistance (X) improves unit's Ward Save by X when saving against spell damage (even if just one model has it, whole unit has it; it only works against damage and instant death, like any other save - it has no effect on hexes/augments; it only works against spells, and spells alone - it is useless against regular magic attacks; if the model has no ward save, it creates one).
Lastly, each regular wizard generates a number of spells, equal to his level (1-4) from his selected lore. He can swap any spell for the "signature spell" (the first spell after attribute in every lore). Loremaster just knows all spells from his selected lore. No two wizards may have the same spell in a single army, unless it is a signature spell or it is just granted to the wizard (due to a special rule or Loremaster rule).
Magic plays a big role in the Storm of Magic expansion, where you can wield even bigger and deadlier magics. More on the subject can be found on that page.
With the third books of The End Times out, magic has undergone a notable revamp, with what are presumably new rules (such as all wizards knowing all the spells for their lore instead of randomly generating) and the addition of End Times Spells.
Age of Sigmar backed off from the eight Lores of Magic, instead granting most factions their own unique spell lores. The Malign Sorcery expansion reintroduced the classic lores; however, they are only accessible if you're playing a game within their corresponding Mortal Realm. This is justified in the fluff as the Arcanum Optimar allowing wizards to easily draw upon the dominant wind of their Mortal Realm.
- 1 Endless Spells
- 2 Classic Lores
- 2.1 White: Wind of Hysh, Lore of Light
- 2.2 Gold: Wind of Chamon, Michael Jackson's favorite lore, Lore of Metal (and Alchemy)
- 2.3 Jade: Wind of Ghyran, Lore of Life
- 2.4 Celestial: Wind of Azyr, Lore of the Heavens
- 2.5 Grey: Wind of Ulgu, Lore of Shadows
- 2.6 Amethyst: Wind of Shyish, Lore of Death
- 2.7 Bright: Wind of Aqshy, Lore of Fire
- 2.8 Amber: Wind of Ghur, Lore of Beasts
- 3 Uncommon Lores of Magic
- 4 Unique Lores of Magic
- 5 Historical Lores
- 6 Appearing only in Total War: Warhammer
A new addition for Age of Sigmar's second edition. Nagash's plans in Malign Portents have fundamentally altered the nature of magic. Normally most spells dissipate on their own after a time, but now a small handful of spells take a life of their own, roaming the realms and growing increasingly powerful. These spells have their own models and remain on the board to cause whatever effects are associated with them unless dispelled successfully by a Wizard.
Endless spells are moved at the start of each battle round after determining who gets the first turn, with players taking it in turns to pick a spell to move, starting with the player that has the second turn that round. The catch? Endless spells can be moved by either player regardless of who cast them, which means a damaging (or "predatory") endless spell can easily be turned against its caster.
White: Wind of Hysh, Lore of Light
Kinda egyptian/semitic in flavour, with Light Wizards often wielding snake-headed staves and wearing pharaoh-like headdresses. In fluff this lore is also associated with geomancy for some reason, but this isn't reflected in any of the spells. Once was a signature lore of the "good guys", but now Tomb Kings, Dark Elves, Vampires (with certain gimmick) and Wood Elves (whoever calls them "good guys" gets a tainted arrow in the gut) can use it. A great support lore, best used to augment slow (whether in I, WS or M department) units or annihilate "tainted" creatures. It is worth noting, that most augments in this lore can be boosted to affect all allied units in certain radius, so Light mages often stand in the middle of their forces, like shining paragons. Take this lore if you run a lot of slow heavy infantry or play against Undead/Daemons.
Available to: Empire, Vampires with Forbidden Lore, Tomb Kings, Lizardmen (Slann only), all Elves, Bretonnia (Fay Enchantress only).
- Lore Attribute: Exorcism: The cleansing power of the Light is especially damaging against Daemons and Undead. (Tomb Kings, Vampire Counts, Daemons of Chaos, and select things from Beastmen and Warriors of Chaos), causing damaging spells to deal 1d6 more damage to them. Take it if you are playing against those aberrations and troll away.
- Shem’s Burning Gaze: A holy fireball which can pumped with more casting dice to have a very far range and deal more damage. Not bad especially, for a signature spell. Against Undead or Daemons it's a fast moving middle finger that'll crush what it hits most likely. Has flaming attacks, so is kinda cool against Tomb Kings.
- Pha’s Protection: Summons the image of some kind of diving thing to protect the wizard and the people around it. You are less likely to get hit in fight and even by cannons, and you can spread that in a lovely 12 inch bubble of cannon freedom. This would be really great for Warriors of Chaos Knights, but that's the drawback to eating babies and raping flowers I guess.
- The Speed of Light: You know these Ogres/Saurus which have really nice stats but a shortcoming in WS and I? You know High Elves hitting you on a re-roll 3? If you said yes, you will LOVE this spell. MAX WS and I for one Unit or everything in 12 inches, turning a re-roll 3 into a not re-roll 5, easy one of the best buffs in Warhammer magic. Just hope those pointy-eared bastards didn't take it too.
- Light of Battle: Ethereal-style happy thoughts straight from the Warp and gold colored. Making one unit Unbreakable is not always what you want, but most times what you need. Also it makes the target instantly rally if it's fleeing. Basically a butt-saving spell for dire circumstances.
- Net of Amyntok: Summon a giant sparkly magic net woven by a god. Makes the enemy unit test for S when moving, shooting, casting, going to the toilet, everything except close combat. Failing the test, the unit can't do that AND takes some damage. Neat. Cast this on a unit with Teclis and see how well he can cast with his S2 (bear in mind that the unit makes the test, not the model, so it'll probably be at S3- but still good odds). Or cast on a Necromancer and laugh as his casting attempts incinerate him with Exorcism.
- Banishment: Shem's Burning Gaze, but cranked up to the max. It's a magic missile that deals 2d6 S4 hits with an additional 1S for each spellcaster with Lore of Light nearby (yours or your enemy's). In addition, the target must re-roll ward saves it passes so you are looking at the ultimate daemon killer, which its name of course implies.
- Birona’s Timewarp: The top spell in Light, makes the laws of time stop applying for a short amount of time (it's magic, that isn't supposed to make sense). Makes your Unit or for increased casting value everything in the 12 inch bubble move Matrix-style. The units double in speed, get ASF and one more attack so cast this whenever you feel like it, and whenever you can muster the power dice. Cast this on Saurus Warriors and have a little skirmish with those elves.
Gold: Wind of Chamon, Michael Jackson's favorite lore, Lore of Metal (and Alchemy)
Yep, alchemy; turning whatnot into gold and stuff, a shame it can't buy you additional points with said gold but never mind. Mainly deals with high-armour target and is pretty much a lore to murder enemy elite units. Take it against Warriors of Chaos, Empire, Lizardmen and Dwarfs.
Available to: Empire (Balthazar Gelt only), Chaos Warriors (unmarked or Tzeentch) and Daemons (Tzeentch only), Vampires with Forbidden Lore, Lizardmen (Slann only), all Elves, Bretonnia (Fay Enchantress only).
- Lore Attribute: Metalshifting: All (read: both. There's only two) of your damaging spells are flaming attacks and have no strength - instead they wound the enemy on his armour save roll, with no armour saves allowed. Virtually useless against armourless enemies. And yes, Scaly Skin counts as armor for all purposes. Logic? Bleh.
- Searing Doom: Shoot little white-hot slivers of metal out of your hands. Standard 24 inch range magic missile causing d6 hits, but does 2d6 if you bump up the casting level. This is the reason why solo Lords carry around a Dragonbane Gem. This spell alone will decimate heavily armored units.
- Plague of Rust: Better than fielding a Rust Monster, disintegrates the enemy's armor reducing a specific model's armor save FOR THE REST OF THE GAME by one point. You can CONTINUE CASTING THIS ON THE SAME MODEL to further reduce their armor. Even when said model is in combat! Because there's nothing funnier than a naked Archaon running from a unit of Skaven Clanrats for dear life (Skaven can't take the Lore, so how would this happen? Warlord with wizard hat (he's fun, try it!)). Keep in mind, it makes target more resistant to your own spellcasting (it does not, as Metalshifting explicitly uses the target's unmodified armor save).
- Enchanted Blades of Aiban: Wizard magically sharpens the weapons of everyone around him. Target unit gets +1 bonus to hitting with shooting or melee attacks for a turn. Makes them magical AND Armor Piercing. Pretty nice spell when you're running big units, or your favorite unit is meeting its equal on the battlefield.
- Glittering Robe: Caster makes everyone who's his friend some really gaudy magic cloaks of pure metal. Gives a unit, or all friendlies in a 12 inch bubble if boosted, a serious hard scale armor (Scaly Skin (5+)). Probably useless if you play Lizardmen of course since that's like putting alligator skin clothing on an alligator, but +2 to your armor save is fantastic for literally anything else.
- Gehenna’s Golden Hounds: Caster whips a gold whistle out of nowhere and two giant robot dogs appear and kill the fuck out of whatever the caster points at. Spell deals d6 hits to the chosen model, but it gets a Look Out Sir! roll. Basically, it is inferior to Searing Doom, unless the target receives no LOS (e.g. a mounted Chaos Lord in a unit of Chaos Warriors or a Hydra). Against regular characters in units, signature is better.
- Transmutation of Lead: Makes the enemy's weapons and armor much heavier for a short time. 24 inch range hex, target model has a -1 to WS, BS, and armor save for a turn. Powered up version has a 48 inch range. Lets you cripple an enemy by a bit. Unlike Plague of Rust it's a one-turn effect, but also unlike Plague of Rust this spell makes them hit weaker too. Good for a dangerous model already in close combat or firing at your troops. Good deal to make elite things mediocre and normal things weak.
- Final Transmutation: Here you have it, transforming things into gold and living things on top of that. Choose a unit within 18 inches. Roll a d6 for each model in it, for things with 1 wound on a 5+ it instantly dies. More than one wound only a 6 will kill it. Turning 1/3 of an enemy unit into gold without any kind of save is not bad, and you can even kill enemy heroes with luck. Oh, and the next round every enemy unit within 12 inches of the one that was hit has to test for stupidity on the next turn to avoid running for that unit to carry some of their dead friends away to pawn. It is the most unconditional of all the kill spells, not relying on a characteristic test or anything and disallowing any saves at all. Granted not the BEST of the final spells in the lore choices, but there's just something really fun about using it. If you're really an asshole you can buy some models that you know the opponent has, dip them straight into the gold paint well, and bring them along to put on the field as casualties (unless it's a Dwarf player at which point they'll probably already have said models).
Jade: Wind of Ghyran, Lore of Life
The first druid lore. It is a sort of D&D druid, tree-hugging hippie gardener, who calls upon the power of daisies to smite the baddies. This is the most commonly used Lore by lord level mages, and probably most common lore at all. Ideally, you need 4 level or Loremaster at best because you need the third spell, the Throne to really rock with this Lore and of course other spells so that they can grow stronger. This Lore will make your units tough as hell, is easy to cast and is indeed eco-friendly. Incredible defensive lore, but mighty boring.
Available to: Empire, Lizardmen (Slann only), all Elves, Bretonnia.
- Lore Attribute: Lifebloom: Whenever a spell from this lore is successfully cast, a single model within 12 inches of the wizard may regain 1 wound (doesn't raise dead though). Incredibly awesome attribute, often making it worthy to take/keep/cast a useless spell just for some healing. It is often useful to have a level 1 Life wizard stuck in some tarpit, spamming Earth Blood just to heal nearby Dragon/Lord/Monstrous Infantry.
- Earth Blood: 5+ regeneration (4+ if Throne is in play) for the mage's unit makes it kinda weak, but is sometimes useful on Slann (a regenerating horde of Temple Guard is something that will not die under nearly any circumstances), Damsel or Branchwraith. In any case, it is a nice cheap spell to spam for the attribute.
- Awakening of the Wood: Make trees grow so fast they punch the enemy in the dick. It's crap as long as it's not buffed by Throne AND the enemy is hiding in the woods. Still, it's even cheaper than signature and can be used to spam attribute heal.
- Flesh to Stone: Classic "Stone Skin" spell, grants a unit a big bonus to toughness. Cast this on elves so that they are hard as Stone, cast this buffed up on heavy cavalry to make them as hard as diamonds, get an ally cast this on a Necrosphynx to... oh my god...
- Throne of Vines: One spell to buff them all, one spell to ... oh wait wrong universe but hey, this spell gives the whole Lore its meaning by seriously buffing most of the other Life spells (except Dwellers). Oh and you get a special 2+ save negate any miscast effects. Less explosions so less fun but probably safer for your 500+ point Slann or the likes. Incredible spell.
- Shield of Thorns: Looks really bad in this incredible lore, but not so bad on its own. Target unit deals some S3 hits to enemies in base contact. Still, has its uses, easy to cast and can be taken on your level 1 healer if his unit has no use for Regen.
- Regrowth: While your attribute can only heal, not resurrect, this spell does right that. Target unit regains wounds, reviving dead models. Do not forget to wear your biggest trollface when you unleash a buffed version on your nearly-dead elite unit.
- The Dwellers Below: Here is your one-spell-solves-all-problems-spell. Cast it on a unit and see everything taking strength test, and when they fail they are dead without any save, because little Dwarves crawl out of a hole in the ground and take them with them. Yes those badass mages, and those funny Commanders (which get +3S while attacking) are all for naught and their unit with them. Easily one of the most devastating spells.
Celestial: Wind of Azyr, Lore of the Heavens
A mixed bag lore, it contains some pretty good buffs/debuffs, some nice damage and good utility, but excels at nothing. A good lore, but often outshone by other lores. Can be good if you want a monster/lone character-hunting mage, but don't want to go Death.
Available to: Empire, Ogres, Vampires with Forbidden Lore, Lizardmen, all Elves, Bretonnia. (Aaaand Warriors of Chaos through Sayl the Faithless(forgeworld mage) worth a mention too)
- Lore Attribute: Roiling Skies: Spells targeting enemy flying units deal bonus damage to them, not super-useful, but not bad, especially with the rumors of new flier rules in the next edition and most races getting some sort of fliers.
- Iceshard Blizzard: Blinding your enemies with snowflakes, making him fail more often (includes a 50/50 chance of a targeted cannon not firing), because he can't see. Oh and he can't see his pals so his LD is taking a little dump. Not the most devastating spell, but for a cheap price and a signature spell really working well.
- Harmonic Convergence: You know how you have these super-awesome-heavy-cavalry-rapetrain-unit? You attack and only roll 1s and you need only 2s? That is no problem. This spell let you re roll every 1 your unit rolls for a turn, so give it to your elite units and don't fear the ones.
- Wind Blast: A magic missile which pushes enemy units around. Ultimate when you have a Mage on flying mount to mess up the enemy movement phase, but worth it every time, though not terribly competitive. Use against Goblin Fanatics, commence trollface.
- Curse of the Midnight Wind: You read the Harmonic convergence? This is the other way around. The enemy unit has to re-roll all 6s it rolls, so no poison or killing blow, or even wounding your monster with T6 while having S4. Everything is fine with this and it comes with a bubble version.
- Urannon’s Thunderbolt: Calls down a bolt of lightning dealing a few high-strength hits. Use it on enemy monsters, lone characters or very small, very elite units (e.g. Blood Knights).
- Comet of Casandora: Perhaps the most damaging spell out there, it calls a comet at target spot, dealing somewhat random damage in somewhat random radius after somewhat random number of turns. Very unreliable and easy to dodge, but with right planning it can be utterly devastating. Useful for area denial- you see your opponent's battle line marching toward you? Drop this in their path and force your opponent to make a tough decision. Also, one of the few means to deal S10 damage in the game. Can be boosted to obscene levels.
- Chain Lightning: THIS is how you play Palpatine or Thor or any other kind of crazy thunderbolt thrower, potentially shooting a thunderbolt at every freaking enemy unit on the field. Perhaps you should say something like "come to the dark side or perish" while you do this, even if you play high elves. Basically, it is Thunderbolt which makes you roll a d6 after it hits - on 3+ it hits another unit, rinse-repeat until you roll less than 3 or run out of units to hit (can only hit a unit once per casting). Due to a low number of hits and high cost, it is not as powerful as it may seem, but still awesome. Wipe whole armies' worth of MSU in a few casts, it can.
Grey: Wind of Ulgu, Lore of Shadows
Shadow Magic is a great support lore, rivaling even Life. Where life is defensive and reactive, Shadow is versatile and proactive, afflicting an enemy with a variety of hexes and debuffs, softening an enemy up and making him weaker all round. Damage spells are just a little bonus and aren't why you are taking this lore, but they are powerful in their own right. They are basically templates with Initiative tests, making them extremely powerful against slow units (wiping out hordes of ghouls or entire units of temple guard) and they scale really well with signature spell.
Available to: Empire, Beastmen, Chaos Warriors (unmarked or Slaanesh) and Daemons (Slaanesh only), Vampires, Lizardmen (Slann only), all Elves, Bretonnia (Fay Enchantress only).
- Lore Attribute: Smoke and Mirrors: When a Shadow spell is successfully cast, the wizard may swap places with another friendly character (of same unit type) in range. Useless most of the time, but can be useful to escape close combat, while bringing a melee powerhouse into the fray. Especially fun when your level 2 Chaos Sorcerer teleports away so a beatstick Chaos Lord can take over...
- Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma: Signature Spells are bound to be good most of the times and this one truly is. It reduces one or all (if boosted) of the following: M,WS,BS,I of a enemy unit for d3. Incredibly useful and versatile. Even better when used in conjunction with the damage spells in this Lore. It is often worth it to take a level 1-2 Shadow wizard just for the sake of spamming this spell.
- Steed of Shadows: Casting your own shadow Horse, you'll probably feel like the Ghostrider or something. Sadly its not as useful as it was in previous editions.
- The Enfeebling Foe: Making your enemy weak. Really, really weak, with a bit of luck. This spell is so nice to reduce the danger to your units and it even stays in the game, so your enemy has to waste power dice dispelling this or decide to never make a kill with this unit.
- The Withering: Other way around, making your enemy not weak but less tough until even a gnoblar can club him down. Like his counterpart staying in the game so your enemy will have to dispel this and don't have the dice to do the same to you in his magic phase. A must-have spell for S3 units, ESPECIALLY archers with S3 bows, ESPECIALLY Wood Elf archery lists.
- The Penumbral Pendulum: Swinging a big, albeit almost invisible, pendulum into the enemy lines. First damaging spell, it hits all models in a line. Line is of random length, so consider exploiting lore attribute to quickly get in range, fire it off and blink away. BTW, it is a use for the Steed of Shadows!
- Pit of Shades: Second damaging spells. Small (or large, boosted) template of DOOM!. It scatters and stuff, but against hordes of Saurus or Undead it is just brilliant. Ogres and other low I, high cost units will cry.
- Okkam’s Mindrazor: The greatest buff (if not the greatest spell) in the game. Basically, target unit uses LD for wounding instead of Strength. See even Dragons and Chaos Knights falling like flies before you. Does not stack with S bonus so no great weapons, but hey, if you are in general's bubble, you likely have Ld 9-10 anyway! Tip: cast it on swarms. Their S2 becomes S10!!!
Amethyst: Wind of Shyish, Lore of Death
Focuses mainly on single character or monster slaying, although it has some nice support spells.
Available to: Empire, Beastmen, Ogres, Chaos Warriors (unmarked and Nurgle) and Daemons (Nurgle only), Vampires, Tomb Kings, Lizardmen (Slann only), all Elves, Bretonnia (Fay Enchantress only).
- Lore Attribute: Life Leeching: Basically, you get power from killing. For every wound caused by your spells, you have 33% chance to gain a power dice. Meaning you have to roll a 5+ for each unsaved wound caused by a single spell in order to get said power die.
- Spirit Leech: Both caster and target a D6 and add their unmodified leadership values. For every point the caster wins by the target loses a wound, with no armor saves allowed. Generally not the most reliable character-sniping spell, but great against monsters and warmachines. Bye bye Stegadon.
- Aspect of the Dreadknight: Grants the target Fear, or Terror (when boosted). Incredibly cheap and can be used to make a unit ignore enemy's Fear/Terror.
- The Caress of Laniph: Summoning a ghost gurl that wants to know the enemy target a bit better (winkwink), and while she's at it she steals his life force ... So pretty much just like any other woman. Target suffers a number of hits equal to 2D6 minus his own strength. Hits from this spell cause a wound on a 4+ with no armor saves.
- Soulblight: Your mage slaps the shit out of the soul of the enemy making him less strong and tough. When boosted, it works in a freaking 24 inch bubble so it can hit the whole enemy army, making even Chaos Knights into mere humans (at least on S and T). Very good, but often loses to more specialized Shadow hexes. Still, not a bad substitute to Withering when dealing with high-toughness foes. This effect lasts until the caster's next magic phase.
- Doom and Darkness: Cast this on the enemy general to take the LD bubble away. Specifically to give said enemy a -3 on their Leadership. Make sure to cast on enemy with Okkam's Mindrazor and have them flip a table. Combine with Spirit Leech by rolling dice with one hand and holding out the FAQ with the other as a shield for incoming fury.
- The Fate of Bjuna: The last sniping spell and it's the strongest as the target suffers hits equal to 2D6 minus it's Toughness. The bastard is gonna laugh until he explodes (and if it miscasts the casting player may laugh until he explodes...) If target survives they get teh stupid for the rest of the game.
Cegorach'sLoec's favourite spell, I bet.
- The Purple Sun of Xereus: Also known as the Purple Sun of Prepare your Anus, the Purple Sun of Xereus is a big purple ball of FUCK YOU that floats around on the battlefield semi-randomly, and anything that touches it takes an Initiative Test or DIES. Period. Just like that. Very difficult to cast, but when you pull it off correctly it can murder entire armies of Lizardmen, Dwarfs or Orcs; this spell will make Ogre players (what few there are) consider quitting the game. Cast with your last dice and laugh maniacally as it refills your dice pool with lore attribute! If you're a girly elf player, take 2 units of warlocks, take Khaine magic rules, take vanguard, take as many power dice as you can muster, take double purple sun down the enemy's line from both ends in turn one, take shrugging off pesky miscasts, take your opponents tears and DRINK DEEP (then take the extra power dice you generate and try it again for lolz).
Bright: Wind of Aqshy, Lore of Fire
You know these D&D mages always throwing fireballs at everything? You wanna be one of them? This is your chance. A pure damage lore inflicting tons of firey hits on pretty much anything.
Available to: Empire, Chaos Warriors (unmarked only), Vampires with Forbidden Lore, Lizardmen (Slann only), all Elves, Ogres, Bretonnia (Fay Enchantress only).
- Lore Attribute: Kindleflame: All of the Lore's spells are considering "flaming" (no shit, right?). Each subsequent damaging Fire spell cast
sets your Amazon Kindle on fireat the same unit in the same phase is easier to cast. Not great, but if you plan on destroying a big fat horde per turn - can be nice.
- Fireball: Your one-for-all damage spell goes from "easy to cast and not so hard to hit" to "hard as hell to cast and roasting a mammut ... herd". You always want this spell, because you can use it against nearly everything. From flaming a little flanking unit or flaming away this regeneration from this Hydra to turning entire Swordmaster units to ash or softening up this big big horde of core units. When you want Fire magic you want it because of this spell. Also, keep a level 1 Fire wizard. If your Wizard Lord somehow dies, pump all your useless dice into super-fireball each turn.
- Cascading Fire-Cloak: A defensive spell only working on the mage and his unit. Not really worth it, since you don't want your mage in combat, except perhaps for Firebelly or Dragon Mage.
- Flaming Sword of Rhuin: The second best spell in this Lore, because it helps your little, weak elves/humans/anything to wound better and by the way ignore the regeneration of the enemy, especially good for all elves, but generally not a bad spell. One of the few spell to help archers overcome their S3 bow weakness.
- The Burning Head: Your Mage throws a burning and screaming head on the enemy. Mediocre damage in line and causes Panic... which is kinda weak in the current edition.
- Piercing Bolts of Burning: Fancy fireball, with number of hits scaling off target unit's ranks. Basically a spell to annihilate Goblins, Skeletons, Skavenslaves and Zombies.
- Fulminating Flame Cage: So now you imprison your enemy in flames and if he moves, he is toast. Again against really big units its great against heavy cavalry its lame. But it's always funny to see a light flanking unit destroy itself in the charge because of this spell, or not flanking, so that you can win against the enemy in front. Note, this is a hex, so doesn't work with lore attribute. If you're a mega-douche, cast it on a unit in combat and then issue a challenge. Oh, you accept do you sir, good show! Now comecloser, move into base contact with me.. that's right.... BAM, whole unit counts as moving! (yeah I know it's weird but check the FAQ). Take those hits baby! Take 'em. Oh I see... wise to it now are we? Refuse the challenge then... go on... move to the back. BAM!
- Flame Storm: Yeah big plates to throw, but only S4 and not really with sniper precision, so no thanks. Still, the name is cool.
Amber: Wind of Ghur, Lore of Beasts
The second druid lore. This is a kind of druid/shaman with sacrificial knife, covered in pelts, horns and skulls of sacrificial victims. The Lore for everyone who wants to buff his units, especially the heroes. The Lore Attribute will mostly affect you if you play Beastmen or Bretonnia, but even then it's not so much of an effect.
Available to: Empire, Beastmen, Ogres, Vampires with Forbidden Lore, Lizardmen, all Elves, Bretonnia.
- Lore Attribute: Wildheart: Basically, your spells are easier to cast at cavalry, warbeasts or Beastmen. Can be nice if you are playing Beastmen (duh), Bretonnia or run a cavalry High or Wood Elf list. But still sub-par.
- Wyssan's Wildform: The signature spell and WHAT a spell this is! It will make your measly humans go and win against other units and it will make your Bestigors or Minotaurs go rapetrain against nearly everything for one round. Another spell it is worth taking level 1 wizards for.
- The Flock of Doom: Yeah doom sounds nice, but it's only doom if your enemy is afraid of birds. It is like a new episode of hitchcocks "the birds" with a few crows pecking on the enemy unit, good enough to make this stupid harpies go away but there are better options. Useless spell. It's one of the cheapest spells in the game, and has a decent range (and range is boostable). Sure, S2 is terrible... but 6s always wound. Can be cast on one die (don't forget the Wildheart bonus when applicable) to deal with annoying chaff units. With some lucky 6s, you could even destroy a cannon. That said, you're still probably better off dropping this for Wildform.
- Pann's Impenetrable Pelt: Make one or more heroes harder to wound, it won't save your unit, because the enemy can hit something else most times, but if your hero is currently challenging a dragon or so this spell will make his chance to survive go over the 0%.
- The Amber Spear: Magic, auto-hitting bolt thrower with pretty good damage. Can be boosted to start with S10 doing D6 wounds. Awesome? Yes. Use in any situation you would normally use a bolt thrower (monsters, elite units, etc).
- The Curse of Anraheir: Making your enemy stumble over roots and die, is one funny thing to do, especially against these tree-loving wood elves (except that they have Forest Strider so they don't take Dangerous Tests from forests...). Also it makes your people harder to hit, what more do you want? Awesome spell.
- The Savage Beast of Horrors: Yeah now we're talking. Giving one or more heroes way more strength and attacks and he will rip entire units in two. Really if you have a lot of cheap heroes and can make this spell hit them all at once its good-bye for your enemy. Especially awesome with the new end times rules: build an army out of characters, have one person cast panns impenetrable pelt and the Savage Beast (And stack wildform if it is a unit) and you will just win. Everything. 100% of the time. ++ for casting on the Incarnate host.
- Transformation of Kadon: What was that about more strength and attacks? Forget it, this will turn your mage into a fricking MONSTER, what do you want? A Hydra? A Dragon? A Chimaera? Everything is possible. Ok it prevents your mage from casting (and also temporarily negates any gear carried- so byebye Talisman of Preservation!), but you will only ever cast this in cc so who cares? Just remember - it can be dispelled, possibly leaving your mage in close combat, and all wounds are carried over - two wounds may not seem a lot for Chimaera, but will kill a hero-level mage. Oh and it can be boosted, in case you want a statline that informs a star dragon it can fuck off and die.
Uncommon Lores of Magic
Qhaysh: all eight winds woven together, Lore of High Magic
Previously a High Elf-only lore, it is now available to Wood Elves and Lizardmen also. It is a nice, balanced lore, with enough support, defense and damage spells. Notably, it has separate attributes for each race and it has two signature spells (you can choose either or both).
- High Elf Lore Attribute: Shield of Saphery: Successful High Magic spell casts grant the wizards and his unit +1 to ward save (caps at 3+). Stacking. Stick a mage into a phoenix guard unit and they will never die.
- Wood Elf Lore Attribute: Ancients' Protection: Successful High Magic spell casts grant the wizard's units a protection token. When an unsaved wound is taken by the unit (or wizard), discard the token to prevent that wound. It's like proactive Life attribute!
- Lizardmen Lore Attribute: Contemplation: Successful High Magic spell casts allow the wizard to forget the spell he just cast and roll for a new spell from any allowed lore (including High Magic; yeah, he can just pick a signature instead). Very interesting and versatile option. You can start with High Magic Loremaster and quickly learn all the cool signature spells you want!
- Drain Magic: The first signature spell. An interesting spell. It dispels all active spell effects from the target unit (friend or foe) and can be boosted into a bubble. Pretty nice against high-cost spells, which are hard to dispel conventionally or to clear away the mess that Shadow wizard dumped upon your elite unit.
- Soul Quench: The second signature spell. A most basic magic missile, 2d6 S4 hit, but can be boosted to 4d6 S4 hits, which should cause some concern for your target.
- Apotheosis: Now we're talking. Restores 1 wound to the target (d3 wounds if boosted) and is extremely cheap (even when boosted). Also grants the target Fear, but who cares about that?
- Hand of Glory: Basically, reversed Melkoth's Mistifying Miasma. Boosts WS/BS/M/I or all four by d3. Nice, cheap, etc.
- Walk Between Worlds: The target gains Ethereal and may immediately move 10 (20, boosted) inches. Not the worst spell ever, but overshadowed by almost everything here.
- Tempest: Large round template, S3 hit, S4 against fliers, scatters d6 inches. Also, the target gains -1 to hit with all attacks and template weapons need a 4+ roll. Not bad, though nothing special.
- Arcane Unforging: Wounds like Lore of Metal spells (roll on armor save), hits a single model, causing single wound. What is best, if it hits, one of target's magic items is randomly destroyed on a roll of 2+!!! Ghal'maraz, Banner of the World Dragon (if the initial hit gets through the ward save, that is), Armour of Destiny, any of Archaon's or Teclis's gimmicks - anything!
- Fiery Convocation: If you thinks you've seen horde-killing spells already, think agains. This beauty (or horror, depending on your perspective) causes a S4 flaming hit on every. single. fcking. model. in the target unit. And it will hit again at the end of every. single. fcking. magic phase, until dispelled- and it has a pretty steep casting value, so your opponent's gonna be using a few dice. Cast it at the unit of Skavenslaves or Goblins and make sure that person will never ever play against you again.
Dhar, the raw Wind of Magic, Lore of Dark Magic
Technically, it is the same magic Vampires use in their lore, but different spells. Despite the fact it has two hexes and even an augment, this lore has just one purpose - to blast the almighty freaking crap out of anything and everything. Once it was only available to Dark Elves, but now Wood Elves learned it too. Like High Magic, it too has separate lore attributes and two signature spells.
- Dark Elf Lore Attribute: Spiteful Conjuration: Successful Dark Magic spellcasts cause 2d6 or 3d6 bonus S1 hits to the enemy target if the casting roll contained any doubles or triples. Not bad. More damage is always nice.
- Wood Elf Lore Attribute: Wrath of the Wood: Successful Dark Magic spellcasts put a vengeance token on the target. Damaging Dark Magic spells cast at the target consume these tokens to increase number of hits inflicted by d3. Not only does it simply boost damage, it also acts a sort of deterrent - the enemy may think twice before moving his precious elite unit with vengeance counter into your wizard's range.
- Power of Darkness: The first signature spell. Awesome name, awesome effect. First of all, it grants the mage and his unit +1S, which is just a fluffy bonus - what the hell is your mage doing in melee? (although it may be nice with Sisters of the Thorn and their javelins). Secondly, it generates d3 dice. If 3 dice are generated, the wizard takes a wound with no armor save. Now, on levels 1-3 it ain't easy to cast it with 1 dice (casting value 8), but on level 4 it is always worth a try. It is always nice to get more dice
and get your sorceress killed. Always take it on level 4 wizard.
- Doombolt: The second signature spell. Every magic missile's big brother. It deal 2d6 or 4d6 S5 (!) hits and is capable of wiping entire units outs. Pure DOOM! Though it ain't cheap for a signature.
- Chillwind: A weak (S2), cheap magic missile. Nice part is - it gives the target -1 to BS. Cast it with your last dice at those Waywatchers or Maiden Guard and laugh.
- Word of Pain: By Sigmar's balls, oh the horror! First of all, this cheap monstrosity gives the target -d3 to both BS and WS for 1 turn. Secondly, it can be boosted (for a minimal increase) to give -3 to S and I! It basically turns absolutely any killing machine into a hamster for 1 turn. And now imagine dropping elite unit's WS to 1 and then slapping them with Bladewind...
- Bladewind: Every model in the target unit must make a WS test or take S4 AP hit. Don't bother casting it at elves - use it on gobbos, slaves or undead and watch them get ripped to bloody shreds by a storm of flying swords.
- Shroud of Despair: Target of this hex cannot benefit from general's or BSB's bubble, and any leadership check it fails causes a -1 penalty Ld for 1 turn. Not brilliant, but cast it on greenskins or beastmen and watch the fun! (And no, Skaven don't care for their general so much, they get their LD from their ranks. They love BSB though...)
- Soulstealer: A small plate of S2 hits with no armor saves. Seems useless? Wait for the nice part. For every unsaved wound inflicted, this spell grants the wizard a wound on a roll of 4+, up to a maximum of 10. Now you can spam Power of Darkness all you want. In melee, if you want. Against enemies with multiple wound weapons, if you want. Vampires wish they were so immortal.
- Arnzipal's Black Horror: To quote another member here "Oh baby. This thing is crazy. Like warpstone-laced cocaine." It is basically the Purple Sun from Lore of Death, with all the gimmicks - remains in play, moves randomly, etc. Starts with small template, can be boosted to large. There is one major difference with the Purple Sun. PSoX tests I, which has most variable values among different units. ABH tests Str, which has low variance (though few units have S lower than 3). Generally, ABH is more reliable.
Lore of Undeath
Introduced with Nagash and now oficially FAQ'd into BRB.
Spells in this lore all have pretty short range (12 inches). Summoning spells summon units from Undead Legions. Note that summoned units can take any upgrades listed in their army books (apparently, including any magic banners, magic items, mounts, etc.), but are still limited by unit size (no summoning 3 Blood Knights, for instance). Under new undead rules, there's no more crumbling from dead general, so summoned undead are safe. However, they have to be within 12" of the general to march (unless they're vampiric).
- Lore Attribute: Raising the Dead: Basically, every time you successfully cast a spell from lore of Undeath, you get a counter. When casting summoning spells from this lore, you can choose to consume any number of counters to increase the point value of the summon by 10.
- Ryze - the Grave Call: Cast on 9+, this spell summons a unit of infantry worth up to 50 points. Boosted version summon has a 100 point limit and requires 12+ to cast. Even more boosted version summons monstrous infantry, has 150 points limit and requires 16+ to cast.
- Morkharn - the Breath of Darkness: Cast on 6+, restores 1d3+1 wounds to the target undead unit and if its not in combat, it can make a normal move. Pretty nice spell to both replenish forces and provide mobility.
- Sulekhim - the Hand of Dust: Coming back from the dead (hah!), this spell is cast on 7+ and affects only the casting wizard. While under its effect, he can forgo making all of his attacks, instead making a single attacks, which automatically wounds if it hits, causing multiple wounds (1d6) with no armor saves allowed. If this spell kills a character in a challenge, the player gains 1d6 Raise Dead counter. Take it on high-WS vampire lord and watch the fun! You can even one-shot a Chaos Lord, if you are lucky!
- Khizaar - the Soul Stealer: Cast on 8+, this spell makes you roll 2d6+2 and compare the number to target's leadership. For every point the roll exceed the Ld, the target takes 1 wound with no armor saves allowed - this is basically Casket of Souls in spell form. If at least one wound is caused, you gain 1d3 counters for the lore attribute. With low casting value, it easy way to ramp up some counters for summoning, though this is offset by its short range.
- Razkhar - the Abyssal Swarm: Cast on 10+, this spell summons 75 points worth of Warbeasts or Swarms. Boosted version summons Monstrous Beasts (only), has point limit of 150 and requires 16+ to cast.
- Kandorak - the Harbinger: Cast on 10+, this spell summons a character worth up to 65 points. Boosted version summons a single Monster, Chariot or Warmachine costing up to 200 points, requiring 24+ to cast.
- Akar'aran - the Dark Riders: Cast on 16+, this spell summons a unit of cavalry, monstrous cavalry or chariots, with a maximum cost of 150 points. Not boostable.
Lore of Tzeentch
The lore of the God of Hope. Followers of Tzeentch - both daemon and mortal - are able to harness spells from this lore, although each with different attributes. Despite Tzeentch's apparent inclination towards subtlety and planning, all but one spell from this lore is dedicated to devastating enemies with multicolor lightning bolts and brightly-hued firestorms.
There are a few things to note about spells from this lore. All the damaging spells (i.e. magic missile and direct damage) have the Warpflame special rule. This rule causes a toughness test to be made on the unit a spell has wounded - if the unit fails, they take d3 wounds with no armor save; if they pass, they get a Regeneration save of 6+ or +1 to their existing Regeneration save. Keep in mind however, that you take a characteristic on the highest value within the unit, so be mindful of where you are aiming your Tzeentchian fires. Also, you take the Warpflame test at the end of the phase and not for each spell cast.
Warpflame is also not flaming, so it won't negate the regeneration you're giving your target. This means that Tzeentchian damaging spells are generally best against smaller units that can be cleared out quickly or simply devastated past the point of usefulness rather than big blocks that can take some casualties and happily gain regeneration for everyone else on top of that.
- Warriors of Chaos Lore Attribute: Boon of Magic: When a spell is successfully cast, for each 6 rolled on the power dice, the wizard gets to add a power dice to his pool. Kinda useless considering if you roll multiple 6s, you are miscasting (and will probably lose more dice than you gain, not to mention the other effects...).
- Daemons of Chaos Lore Attribute: Fires of Change: Each wound caused by a spell from this lore has a chance to add models to a nearby unit of Pink Horrors (on a roll of 4+) or Screamers (on a roll of 6) near the caster, even going beyond their starting number. These extra models do not grant extra victory points.
- Blue Fire of Tzeentch: The Tzeentch signature spell. A 24" magic missile that deals d6 strength d6 hits. Can be upgraded to 48". Very random, so it could either be destructive or ineffective. It has a very low casting cost (even the upgraded version), so your Pink Horror units can feasibly get this off on one or two die. Good against low toughness chaff (e.g. Goblin Wolf Riders, Ellyrian Reavers, etc.).
- Treason of Tzeentch: This is a very potent hex that targets the enemy's leadership. This forces the hexed unit to use the lowest Leadership value and prevents the unit from using the General's Inspiring Presence or the BSB's Hold Your Ground! special rule. Could be used to great effect with Terror charges with all the monsters Chaos has access to. Still effective against Undead and Daemon armies, because of crumbling and Daemonic Instability respectively.
- Pink Fire of Tzeentch: A teardrop template that has d6 strength and goes a distance equal to a roll on the artillery dice. Arguably better on a highly mobile caster, such as a Lord of Change or a Sorcerer on a Disc, than a footslogger, because you really need a flank to maximize the damage on this spell.
- Bolt of Change: A direct damage spell that acts much like a bolt thrower, but imagine it shooting energy that causes spontaneous mutations on the enemy. Like a bolt thrower, it penetrates ranks, ignores armor, and does d3 multiple wounds. It however has a strength value of d6+4, so it is strictly more reliable than the other spells from this lore. This is a valued spell as it answers the question of highly armored units.
- Glean Magic: You and an enemy wizard roll off, adding your wizard levels to the result. If you lose, aside from being disappointed, nothing really happens. If you win (or draw) you get to punch the wizard with a strength 3 Warpflame hit, he loses a wizard level (along with a random spell that wizard knows), and your caster gets to steal that spell. Tactically speaking, target your opponent's lower level wizards to ensure you win the roll-off- especially if it's a token Fire mage, so you can steal a fire spell and negate the regeneration caused by Warpflame.
- Tzeentch Firestorm: Rain fabulous fire on your enemies. Uses the blast template and scatters d6". Could be upgraded to the larger template, in which case it scatters 2d6". Be very wary of casting this on large high toughness units. You really don't want to cast this more than once on the same unit, as you run the risk of giving them resilience in the form of 5+ or lower Regeneration saves.
- Infernal Gateway: The wizard opens a portal to the Realm of Chaos, exposing the target to the very face of magic itself. It is a direct damage spell that deals 2d6 strength 2d6 hits. If you roll an 11 or 12 on the strength, the hits become 3d6. This is a very powerful spell that ruins large units and utterly destroys small ones. It is also a very potent monster killer. Do not be discouraged by its variable nature as rolling average means that you're still doing 7 strength 7 hits. Keep in mind that it is a direct damage spell, so you only need your target to be not in combat. Aim at warmachines hiding behind units and watch those stone throwers and cannons melt.
Lore of Slaanesh
The lore of the God of Obsession and Excess. Daemons and Mortals who follow Slannesh are able to harness spells from this lore, although each with different attributes. The spells of Slannesh focus heavily on Hex spells and befitting a god of temptation a lot of the spells use the enemies leadership value when determining if it works or not.
- Warriors of Chaos Lore Attribute: Bliss in Torment: For every unsaved wound caused by a spell roll a D6, on a 6 the wizards WS, I and A are increased by 1 till your next magic phase. Not great as you won't be able to get him into close combat before your next magic phase unless you expect his unit to be attacked by an enemy unit next turn first. Where this really shines is on a Daemon Prince, especially if he can charge a unit and fire off the boosted Cacophonic Choir to hit multiple targets...
- Daemons of Chaos Lore Attribute: Born of Damnation: Each wound caused by a spell from this lore has a chance to add models to a nearby unit of Daemonettes (on a roll of 5+) or Fiends (on a roll of 6) near the caster, even going beyond their starting number. These extra models do not grant extra victory points.
- Lash of Slaanesh: The signature spell of Slaanesh. A 24" inch direct damage spell were a line from the wizard to a point 24" away is drawn and any model in between takes a strength 3 hit with armor piercing. Not the best as it is limited by the number of models it can hit and its low strength. Would be better if it could be upgraded to 48".
- Acquiescence: Hex with a range of 24". Can be upgraded to 48" Gives the unit the Always Strikes Last rule and Random Movement (D6) for a turn. Useful against high speed units like elves as it takes away their Always strikes first and units that are looking to set up a charge; also bear in mind that Random Movement will force a Move or Fire unit (such as a cannon, or a unit dwarf thunderers) to move, meaning they can't fire. Less useful against slow enemies with large weapons. Overall pretty good.
- Pavane of Slaanesh: Direct Damage with a range of 24". Can be upgraded to 48". Targets a single model that has to take a leadership test with 3D6 and if failed takes a would with no armor save. Decent sniping spell but since most characters have high leadership it will still be difficult to wound them. Good to target command models with.
- Hysterical Frenzy: A unique spell that is really two spells in one. You can use it as a Augment or a Hex spell depending on who you target. Both have a range of 24". As an Augment spell the unit gains the frenzy special rule that can't be lost if the unit is defeated (if the unit already has Frenzy, then the Frenzy gives +2A instead of +1). Cheap for a spell that grants an extra attack and Immune to Psychology but does come at a cost as the unit takes D6 strength 3 hits at the end of the casters magic phase. Not bad though but less useful for Daemons as they only get the extra attack. As a Hex spell it also grants the unit the Frenzy rule (including the +2A if they are already Frenzied) and does D6 strength 3 hits at the end of each magic phase. It would be a bad idea to give frenzy to those Black Orcs over there but as a hex spell it is more useful to target units that specialize in long range attacks like archers so they won't be able to shoot at you (assuming they fail their Ld test to restrain- and in the current edition, it's usually pretty easy to pass).
- Slicing Shards: A Magic Missile with a range of 24". Does D6 strength 4 hits with armor piercing. Right after however the unit must then take a leadership test and if failed the unit takes another D6 hits with the same rules and must continue this until a leadership test is passed or the unit is wiped-out. Not good against high leadership units like elves and dwarves but can destroy the lower leadership hordes of goblins and undead out there.
- Phantasmogoria: A hex with a range of 24". Can be upgraded to hit all enemies in 24". the target unit must use an additional D6 with ever leadership test and discard the lowest for a turn. Kind of like a reverse cold blooded and very useful if used in conjunction with one of the other spells that use leadership or if you got a big monster with terror.
- Cacophonic Choir: The caster seems to channel the noise marines as the caster unleashes a sonic scream for this one. A hex with a range of 12". Can be upgraded to hit all enemies in 12". Acts as an upgrade to Acquiescence as the target unit takes 2D6 hits that wound on a 4+ with no armor saves allowed and if just one wound is made the entire unit has the Always Strikes Last rule and Random Movement (D6) for a turn. Works better as a direct damage spell with the 50% chance to wound and no armor save (but remember as a hex it can be targeted at enemies in close combat) and if you want to slow the enemy Acquiescence works better. Works really good if you can get the caster in the middle of a bunch of enemies and have magic dice to burn.
Lore of Nurgle
The lore of the God of Despair it is fitting that most of the spell are about spreading the sickness around. Daemons and Mortals who follow Nurgle are able to harness spells from this lore, although each with different attributes. The spells of Nurgle focus heavily on Augment spells and most of his damaging spells focus on the enemies toughness.
- Warriors of Chaos Lore Attribute: Bloated with Disease: Every time a wizard successfully casts a spell it rolls a D6. If a 6 is rolled the wizard's toughness and wounds are permanently increased. Really useful if you can spam a low cost spell and especially useful with a Daemon Prince.
- Daemons of Chaos Lore Attribute: Children of Nurgle: Each wound caused by a spell from this lore has a chance to add models to a nearby unit of Plaguebearers (on a roll of 5+) or Nurglings (on a roll of 6) near the caster, even going beyond their starting number. These extra models do not grant extra victory points.
- Stream of Corruption: The signature spell of Nurgle. A direct damage spell that uses the teardrop template. Models under the template take a toughness test and if failed take a wound with no armor saves. The spell has potential but a lot is holding it back. It has very short range as the template must touch the wizard and doesn't move forward and once you get a wizard that close they are vulnerable and the wizard or unit should be getting into close combat. Another major problem is that high toughness is pretty common in many armies so it will be harder to wound with this spell and as a direct damage spell it can't target units held up in combat. This spell would be much more useful if the wizard could use it like a breath weapon in close combat.
- Miasma of Pestilence: An unusual spell in that it is an augment spell that acts like a Hex spell. Any enemy units in base contact with the augmented unit lower their WS and I by 1 for a turn. The upgraded version lowers WS and I by D3. Useful in that as an augment spell the enemy until does not need to take any characteristic tests to see if they are effected, they just need to be in base contact with one of your units.
- Blades of Putrefaction: Augment with a range of 12". For a turn the units attacks are poisoned and if they already have poisoned attacks they now auto wound on a 5+. Good spell for little pay. One of Nurgle's best. Ironically, is probably best used on a unit like daemonettes, which have a lot of attacks (and probably ASF for rerolls) but poor S.
- Curse of the Leper: Like Slaanesh's Hysterical Frenzy this spell can be used as either an Augment or a Hex. Range of 18", 36" when upgraded. As an Augment it increases the targets toughness by D3 for a turn. As a Hex it decreases the targets toughness by D3. If you are planning to use your Nurglite wizard offensively this spell is basically a must have.
- Rancid Visitations: Magic Missile with a range of 18". Target takes D6 strength 5 hits. And right after must take a toughness test and if failed takes another D6 strength 5 hits and so on until it passes or is killed. Really good against low toughness units but less against those with toughness 4 or above.
- Fleshy Abundance: Augment with a range of 18". Can target all units within 18" if upgraded. the unit gains regeneration 5+ for a turn. Really good for Warriors with their high armor saves and toughness but useless for Daemons unless they got a greater locus of Nurgle.
- Plague Wind: Like Stream of Corruption this spell has potential but is held back too much. Works like other vortex spells but when it passes over a model it must take a toughness test. Unlike the Purple sun or ABH the model just takes a single wound with no armor saves. So once again good against goblins and such but against Ogres and such not so much.
Lore of Khorne
There is just one spell in the lore of Khorne - whack that enemy with anything sharp or heavy. Very effective.
Also during a Storm of Magic if a caster screws up one of the super spells from one of the other Chaos Gods Khorne throws a brass skull onto the battle field aimed at the offending wizard. Not a real spell but the closest there is for him.
Unique Lores of Magic
While the main flavours of Warhammer magic comes as those above and you will most likely face an average wizard using one of them, many races have their own unique lores as well. A few spells are not given any lore. Lord Kroak's only spell is descrbied in detail in the Lizardmen army book, but is not given a specific flavour. If it had, it would probably be High Magic or some unknown Lore of Ancient Doom and Cheese.
Lore of Da Big Waaagh
Used exclusively by the orcs. Orc spells are loud, brutal and unsubtle (just like the caster) and get stronger the more orcs are stuck in da fightin'.
- Lore Attribute: Power of Da Waaagh!: Any spells from Da Big Waaagh! with a Strength value (or granting a Strength bonus) gains +1 Strength if there are more friendly units in combat (anywhere on the table) than there are fleeing.
- Gaze of Mork: The signature spell. A Direct Damage spell that draws a line 4D6” (8D6” when boosted) from the caster’s base. Any models touched by the line suffer a Strength 4 hit.
- Brain Bursta: A Strength 5 hit on a single model within range. A basic character-sniping spell.
- Fists of Gork: Gives the Shaman +3 Strength and +3 Attacks, and a 6+ ward save. Remains in Play.
- The Hand of Gork: Moves the target unengaged friendly unit up to 3D6" (5D6" when boosted), though cannot be used to charge.
- 'Eadbutt: Targeting an enemy wizard within 4D6" (8D6" when boosted), inflicts a Strength 4 hit doing D3 wounds and ignoring armour saves. The second sniping spell, though more restricted since it can only target wizards.
- 'Ere We Go!: An augment spell that affects all Orc units within 2D6", and grants rerolls to hit in close combat for one full turn.
- Foot of Gork: Uses a unique foot-shaped template, and scatters D6". Models touched by the template suffer a Strength 6 hit, doing D3 wounds. If boosted, Foot can stomp multiple times. Rolling a D6, on a 1 the opponent can choose one of your units to be hit, on a 2-3 the spell ends and on a 4+ an enemy unit is hit.
Lore of Da Little Waaagh
Used exclusively by the goblins. Goblin spells are much sneakier and spiteful, focusing on bringing the enemy down to the goblins' level for a good backstab.
- Lore Attribute: Sneaky Stealin': Upon successfully casting a spell of da Little Waaagh and resolvin it, roll a 1d6. On a 5 or 6, you steal a dispel die from the opponent and put into your possession.
- Sneaky Stabbin': The signature spell. It gives Armor Piercing to one unit's close combat attacks until the next Magic Phase. This unit also re-rolls all to-hit and to-wound rolls when in close combat against an enemy unit's flank or rear.
- Vindictive Glare: Blast the enemy with 2d6 S3 attacks from your shaman's eyes. Can be boosted to make 3d6 hits, but this makes the spell harder to cast.
- Gift of the Spider-God: Gives Poisoned Attacks to one unit's close combat attacks until the next Magic Phase. If the model already has Poisoned Attacks, it can now trigger on a to-wound roll of 5 or 6.
- Itchy Nuisance: An enemy unit suffers -1d6 to their Movement and Initiative (Units with random movement take -1d3 to their rolls) as they start developing rashes.
- Gork'll Fix It: An enemy unit must re-roll any to-hit or to-wound rolls of 6 in the shooting and combat phases until the next Magic Phase.
- Night Shroud: The caster and any unit they're attached with now count as being in soft cover until the next Magic Phase. Anyone that tries to charge them must test for dangerous terrain. This can be augmented to cover anyone within 12" of the caster, but this is more difficult to cast.
- Curse of Da Bad Moon: Summon a small pieplate sized vortex that moves 4d6" (3d6" in later turns) in a single direction. Anyone the vortex passes over must test a randomized characteristic test (1-2 Strength, 3-4 Toughness, 5-6 Initiative) or take a wound. This can be augmented to make it summon a large pieplate blast and select what characteristic to cast, though casting it becomes harder in this case.
Lore of Hashut
Used exclusively by the Chaos Dwarfs. Has a good variety of spells that range from an augment granting Hatred, hexes that reduce Ld and cover the enemy in burning ash (with penalties to hit with missile weapons and movement, may only cast spells on itself, and becomes Flamable), and numerous ways to light things on fire.
- Lore Attribute: Killing Fire: Magic Missiles and Direct Damage spells from this lore gives +D3 to cast against Flammable units.
- Breath of Hatred: The signature spell. Range 12”, Augment, Remains in play, Unit has Hatred. Can be boosted to a 12" bubble.
- Burning Wrath: A short-range, high-strength Fireball.
- Dark Subjugation: A Range 24” Hex, take a Leadership test at -3 or permanently lose 1 Leadership.
- Curse of Hashut: Direct Damage, target single model (can be in a unit), 2D6-Toughness hits, which wounds on 4+ with no armour save allowed. A good sniping spell.
- Ashstorm: Hex, affects target unit until start of casters next magic phase, -1 to hit in close combat, -2 to hit with shooting, can’t march, fly or charge, takes dangerous terrain test if moving, Wizards cannot cast spells unless on themselves, and the unit is Flammable. The most powerful spell in the lore, useful in nearly every situation.
- Hellhammer: In a straight line like a cannonball, direct damage with 3D6 range. Each model takes a S6 hit with Multiple Wounds (D3), if the unit suffers a wound, take a panic test.
- Flames of Azgorh: Direct damage like a stone thrower. Small round template, scatter D6, every models touched suffers a S6 hit with Multiple Wound (D6). Model directly under the hole takes a Toughness test at -2 or is slain outright without any saves. Can be boosted to a large template.
Lore of Nehekara
Used exclusively by the Tomb Kings, raises dead, buffs for your units, debuffs for the enemy, and a generic vortex.
- Lore Attribute: The Restless Dead: Any time an augment spell from the Lore of Nehekara is cast on a Nehekaran Undead unit, that unit recovers 1d3+1 wounds worth of models. Animated Constructs can only recover one turn each turn.
- Khsar's Incantation of the Desert Wind: All unengaged Nehekaran Undead units within 12" can make a free move. This can be augmented to let all Nehekaran Undead units within 24" move.
- Djaf's Incantation of Cursed Blades: Bestow Killing Blow on one unit's close combat attacks. If the unit already has Killing Blow or Heroic Killing Blow, they instead trigger on a 5 or 6. This can be augmented to target a unit within 24".
- Neru's Incantation of Protection: One unit within 12" now has a 5+ Ward save for this turn. This can be augmented to grant a Ward save to everyone within 12".
- Ptra's Incantation of Righteous Smiting: One unit within 12" gains +1 attack and gains the Multiple Shots (2) rule if they have bows or greatbows. This can be augmented to grant this to all Nehekaran Undead within 24".
- Usirian's Incantation of Vengeance: One enemy unit suffers -d3 to Movement and now counts as always under dangerous terrain for the turn. This can be augmented to increase the range.
- Usekhp's Incantation of Dessication: One enemy unit suffers -1 to Strength and Toughness. This can be augmented to instead inflict a penalty of -1d3 to Strength and Toughness.
- Sakhmet's Incantation of the Skullstorm: Summon a small pieplate using an artillery dice. If it rolls a misfire, it's centered on the caster, otherwise it moves that direction multiplied by the caster level while a direct hit sees it not move from where you put it. After this, it moves using the artillery dice, though a direct hit sees it stay where it is and a misfire destroys the vortex. Any model the vortex passes over takes an S4 hit. This can be augmented to summon a large pieplate vortex.
Lore of Plague
Used exclusively by the Skaven to inflict disease, crumble buildings, and topple empires. Mainly a Clan Pestilens thing, but Moulder occasionally dabble in it.
Lore of Ruin
Used exclusively by the Skaven to inflict disease, topple buildings and crumble empires. Most of the spells are extremely cheap, and with the Warlock Engineers being so cheap too you can really pump out spells.
- Lore Attribute: No Lore Attribute. This is an older lore which wasn't updated for 8th edition. So no lore attribute and no boosted casting values.
- Skitterleap: One of the signature spells for the Grey Seers. Targets a friendly infantry character within 12”, target is immediately teleported anywhere on the table, although not into combat. Can be used to get characters out of combat and to safety, or to move a character into a position to attack. A very cheap spell with potential.
- Warp Lightning: The signature spell for Warlock Engineers. A D6 S5 magic missile. On the role of a 1, the caster takes the hit instead. Super useful spell, especially when you can guarantee to get it.
- Howling Warpgale: Affecting the entire battlefield, it forces Flyers to use their ground movement, and adds a -1 penalty to enemy shooting that rolls to hit. Mostly going to use it for the shooting debuff than the grounding Flyers, its usefulness depends on what army you're up against and if you have high-value shooting targets.
- Death Frenzy: Affects a friendly unit within 18”. The unit gains Frenzy, except that the models get +2 Attacks instead of the normal +1. The unit takes D6 wounds with no armour saves at the end of each friendly turn. The spell remains in play until the unit loses combat the same as Frenzy. Balance between choosing high-strength units that don't want to lose D6 wounds or lower strength but more numerous units.
- Scorch: Place a small blast marker within 24”, and everything touched by it taking a Strength 4 hit. If the unit takes an unsaved wound, it must take a panic test. A good damage spell, for taking out units that aren't good targets for Warp Lightning.
- Crack's Call: Draw a line out 4D6” from the caster, models touched by the template must take an Initiative test or be removed. War Machines and Chariots must roll a 5+ or be removed. If a building is touched by the line, on a 5+ it collapses and all models contained within must take an Initiative test to avoid being crushed.
- Curse of the Horned Rat: A unique signature spell to Grey Seers and Verminlords, it's not really a part of either Lores of Ruin or Plague. Targets an enemy Infantry unit within 24" and within line of sight. The caster rolls 4D6, and if that number equals or exceeds the number of models in the target unit, the whole thing (characters and all) is removed and replaced with Clanrats under the control of the casting player. If the number rolled is less than the number of models in the target unit, it instead kills that many models outright, with no saves of any kind possible. The only bad thing about this spell is it needs 25+ to cast. Yes, this the most powerful and ridiculous spell in the game. No tests or saves, just gone. All players should watch out for this spell and try at all costs to dispel it.
Lore of the Great Maw
Not really traditional magic, Gut Magic is the magic of the shaman/religious figures the Butchers of Ogre society. They channel the power of their god the Great Maw into acts which produce effects just like magic.
- Lore Attribute: Bloodgruel: Successfully casting a spell using the Great Maw's magic is both rewarding, and fraught with danger. Roll a D6, and anything but a one, your ogre Wizard just gained back a wound and adds +1 to the next casting or dispel attempt. Frickin' sweet. What about rolling a 1? Take a S6 hit, loser.
- Spinemarrow: The signature spell. It's... okay. Cheap, and makes a unit Stubborn. Boost it for cheap to reach out further to help. Helpful since Ogre units tend to have crummy leadership and thick skulls.
- Bonecrusher: Just like everyone else's first magic missile option, it is cheap, and does a lot (2D6) of weak (S2) hits. No armor saves, since it snaps your bones, but you can reach out and touch someone across the board if you boost it. Make hordes less big with this. Ogres love pre-tenderized snackies.
- Bullgorger: Ogres are big on making themselves better. And stronger. Make a unit stronger by +1, or if you pump it up, make everybody in 12" stronger. As if your Mournfang Cavalry with Great Weapons really needed to be nastier. Or throw a bunch of S4 Gnoblars at your enemy that you buffed with Wyssan's Wildform, and watch their mouth go slack like they choked on a bone.
- Toothcracker: Minotaurs got you down? Keep augmenting your lads by making them even tougher. Since everything but the Gnoblars is at least T4, you can make your units tough nuts to crack. Boost it and make everyone around you tougher. A T7 Stonehorn is a crime against nature. Perpetrate some crime.
- Braingobbler: Not as cheap as the buffs, because Ogres aren't good at getting in people's heads. Their own are so empty, it's hard to tinker with what you lack. Make units Panic from across the board if you boost it, but Immune to Psychology puts the kibosh on it. Take Spinemarrow unless you've got some low leadership hordes you want to send stampeding through their own lines.
- Trollguts: This is the Ogre money shot. Cream your Gonblar-flavored twinky if you get the boosted version off. Everyone inside a foot regenerates. Having a single regenerating Death Star of Iron Guts for a 12+ cost, though? Say goodbye to whatever was in their way.
- The Maw: Might as well call on their God directly and feed it once in a while. Slap down a template and watch it hurt everyone it hits, whether they pass the initiative test or not. S3 hits aren't bad, but if you get a big, slow target, that S7 hit with Multiple Wounds (D6) is going to chew them up and not spit them back out. Just don't misfire, or you opponent gets to slap that template on you. Go big, and buy the large template for extra gnashing of teeth. Lizardmen and Dwarves ought to fear this more than any Thundertusk.
Lore of the Wild
Used exclusively by the Beastmen, essentially a corrupted version of the Lore of Beasts. Summons various monsters and tides of venomous insects. The single word to describe this lore is situational. There are no hexes and only 1 augment, with a focus on close range damage spell.
- Lore Attribute: There is no Lore Attribute for the Lore of the Wild
- Bestial Surge: The signature spell. It allows all friendly units within 6" to move D6+1" towards an enemy unit, or straight forward if there are no visible enemy units. Units cannot charge with this spell. A very situational spell, can be useful if you are facing a gun line and you need to quickly close the gap or if you want rush a unit forward to block an enemy charge.
- Viletide: A magic missile, 5D6 S1 hits. Since you'll be wounding most units on 6s anyway, targeting high toughness and low armour units is the best use. Great for taking out war machines.
- Devolve: All enemy units within 12" take a leadership test and lose wounds equal to the amount they fail by. Useless against high leadership armies, and made worse if the enemy general or BSB is nearly. Has its uses, but very situational.
- Bray-scream: A friendly character within 12" to make a S3 breath weapon attack, ignoring armour saves. In the right circumstances it could be good, but getting a character into a good position will be difficult.
- Traitor-kin: A very unique and hard to explain spell. Targets all enemy models (not units, but the individual models within those units) within 12” of the caster, provided that they have mounts of some kind. Also affects chariots and monsters with handlers. The mounts attack the riders, with as many automatic hits as the mount has attacks, and wounds with its base Strength. The rider or crew do not get any save bonuses from the beast or any barding it may be wearing against these attacks. Best used when there are strong mounts about, for example Demigryph Knights or Lords mounted on monsters.
- Mantle of Ghorok: My personal favourite spell of the lore. A character within 6" gains D6 Attacks and Strength (rolled separately). If either of the dice rolls a 6, the character also takes a wound with no saves. Turns weak characters into decent fighters, and medium to strong characters into combat monsters.
- Savage Dominion: Summons a Giant, Ghorgon or Jabberslythe, which is placed anywhere on a board edge. Every time the beast suffers a wound the Shaman must take a Toughness test or suffer one as well, with no saves allowed. The shaman cannot cast any other spells once the monster is in play, and the monster vanishes if the Shaman dies. As you can probably guess, it's situational. Gaining an extra monster is always useful, but you'll have to decide if losing control of your shaman is worth it and if the possibility of them failing their Toughness tests is too risky.
Lore of Vampires
A corrupt version of the wind of death used by necromancers and vampires. This lore is what makes the undead powerful and is all about raising hordes of minions to fight for you and stealing the souls of your enemies. Crunch-wise, it is about summoning and buffing with some moderate direct damage spells (vortex, magic missile).
These lores were squatted, either alone or with their respective army books.
Lore of Athel Loren
The magic of the Wood Elves, using the power of the forest of Athel Loren itself. The spells were about creating advantages for the wood elves, often in forest conditions (make sure to have some tree scenery then wood elf players!). Got replaced with High and Dark magic, and the signature Tree Singing was turned into a most useless magic item ever.
- Tree Singing: Allows you to target any patch of woods within 18" and move them D3+1" in any direction, although it stops when it touches an enemy modal. If an enemy unit is in said forest, instead of moving it deals D6 Strength 5 hits. This cannot be cast on an enemy unit in combat though.
- Fury of the Forest: Direct damage spell that targets an enemy unit within 18". Deals D6 Strength 4 hits, or Strength 5 hits if they are within 6" of a wooded area. With all the trees you should be getting, this can be at full strength a fair amount of the time.
- The Hidden Path: Allows a unit to ignore terrain and non-magical missile attacks for a turn. This augment breaks if you enter close combat, but by then it shouldn't matter. Good for getting your shooters away and into safe territory, with the added bonus of ignoring many shooting and magic attacks.
- The Twilight Host: An augment that gives a unit Fear, or a Fear-causing unit Terror. Not terribly exciting.
- Ariel's Blessing: An augment that gives a unit Regeneration. Depending on what you are facing, this is either a decent augment or largely useless. If your opponent has a bunch of flaming attacks this is a waste, but if not giving an entire unit Regeneration can greatly increase your saving throws in combat.
- Call of the Hunt: Another augment that does one of two things. If your targeted unit is in combat, it gives each model an additional attack. If they are not in combat, they move 2D6" towards the nearest enemy, which can only react by taking a hold action. If the unit comes into contact with the enemy, it counts as a charge. Very useful, essentially giving you an extra 2D6" in charge distance for a unit. Very good for close combat as well, giving each unit an extra attack.
Lore of Ice
Used exclusively by the people of Kislev, it is described as the magic of their land. Had some interesting spells, but got cut along with Kislev army book. A shame, really. The most annoying thing about this lore, however, is that Kislev didn't have generic ice mages, so the only unit in the game who could take it was Tsarina Katarin.
- Shardstorm: Standard direct damage spell causing 2D6 Strength 3 hits. The flavor of this one is a rain of ice shards set upon your opponents.
- Freezing Blast: This one is a break from the norm. It can be used to freeze any body of water, treating it as normal terrain, or can be used on an enemy unit to make it treat all movements as difficult terrain. If an enemy unit happens to be in a body of water you target, each model in the water takes a Strength 2 hit with no save allowed. To top it all off, this one doesn't require line of sight.
- Form of the Frostfiend: An augment spell that transforms the caster into a mythical Kislev ice beast. You lose all effects from your magical items, but gain Fly and becomes Strength 5 with 4 attacks. This would've been nice if you had a level 1 wizard, but has a very limited use since you only have one wizard in the army.
- Invocation of the Ice Storm: Summons an ice storm anywhere on the table. You nominate a spot on the table and roll the artillery dice, doubling the result. Everything within that many inches of the spot must pass a leadership test at -2 to shoot until next turn. If you roll a misfire, then it affects the entire table. It also cannot be dispelled.
- Midwinter's Kiss: Strength 5 breath attack, although it cannot be cast in combat. It does cancel out all armor saves though, so it can be quite useful. If you have this and Form of the Frostfiend you can breath attack a unit getting too close and then transform for fun and excitement.
- Glacial Barrier: Allows you to place a 1" x 5" ice wall within 24" of the caster. This does require line of sight. Once placed, the ice wall is considered impassable terrain and blocks line of sight. Units can charge it like a building and it is automatically hit and destroyed by a Strength 5 attack or any Flaming Attack. Units that do so, however, cannot overrun, making it a great way to stop a unit within charge or shooting range from getting any closer.
Lore of the Serpent
Magical lore used by the Amazons of Lustria. Appeared on a single unit from White Dwarf 307, the Amazon Serpent Priestess, back in Sixth Edition.
- Singing Wind: Strength 3 breath attack. Fairly weak considering most breath attacks are Strength 4.
- Serpent's Strength: Augment spell that grants a unit +1 Strength until the start of your next turn. Decent and somewhat useful, if not terribly exciting.
- Wendala's Maelstrom: An augment that can be cast on the priestess. It prevents any missile attack from being made on any Monster on the same side of the board as the priestess and reduces the movement of all such monsters by 1.
- Shield of Thorns: An augment that can be cast on the priestess only. It gives her a form of Blazing Body, causing a Strength 4 automatic hit to any modal that comes into base contact with her. Good to use when on the defensive and expecting a charge.
- The Living Jungle: Direct damage spell that deals 4D6 Strength 2 hits. Likely will produce more hits then most any spell, although at Strength 2 you're not wounding much. Can be useful against weaker, horde forces, but otherwise not very useful.
- Siren's Dream: Hex spell that reduces the Strength and attacks of an enemy unit by 1, to a minimum of 0, until your next turn. Probably her best spell.
Appearing only in Total War: Warhammer
Lore of The Deep
Created specifically for Total War: Warhammer II's Vampire Coast, the lore is centered around dealing damage, disruption, augmenting, and summoning. There are no rules for it for tabletop (since it's exclusive to Total Warhammer II). Not to be confused with the Lore of The Deeps used by the Idoneth Deepkin in Age of Sigmar.