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Disciples of Shadow: The Complete Guide to Playing Disciples of Be’lakor

An ancient evil has returned to the tabletop. This time, he’s brought Knights.

One of the hardest parts about writing at Warphammer is choosing what army to write about next. Do I choose a middle tier army that needs guidance more, like Red Corsairs or Death Guard, or do I choose a top tier army like Thousand Sons or Disciples Of Be’lakor that I can help push over the top?

Okay, admit it–you were surprised to see Disciples Of Be’lakor mentioned right there. And that’s exactly why this guide is coming out.

“Hi kids! Do you like violence! Do you want to see me stick my Blade Of Shadows through each one of those Tyranids?”

Disciples Of Be’lakor are an amazingly deep toolbox that has been completely overlooked. They’re not as easy to play as going first and shoving a bunch of hard to kill Greater Daemons in your opponent’s face, but I don’t think hardcore Disciples players would want it any other way. If you want an army that will really reward understanding your army and getting in reps, you’ve come to the right place.

Despite all of that, I wasn’t going to put finish this guide and put it out just yet. I’ve had Word Bearers and Thousand Sons on the mind a lot, and have half-finished articles about them just waiting for a burst of energy to publish. But then I saw a few comments in various places lately basically saying Disciples are dead and unplayable. New players asking about the faction were told to not bother with Disciples. My favorite army has gotten pushed completely to irrelevance by the Chaos fanbase.

Wait, people actually think Disciples Of Be’lakor are bad? That’s it. It’s time to put an end to this slander.

This one is coming out with a chip on my shoulder.

Welcome to the official Warphammer guide to Disciples Of Be’lakor.

Reasons to Run Disciples Of Be’lakor

One of the impressions many people have about Disciples is that you have many restrictions, and not many benefits. I couldn’t disagree more. The restrictions you have are relatively minor, and the benefits you gain are huge. Let’s talk about the reasons that you should consider running Disciples Of Be’lakor over a usual Daemons list.

Greater Daemons Are Dead, You Just Don’t Know It Yet

We’re about to enter a brutal shooting meta. Votann and Guard are jumping straight into the top tier, and both armies just dice check Greater Daemon heavy lists off the board. Guard in particular are going to be a huge issue for the big Daemon lists everyone is running. I can’t think of anything I’m going to want to run less over the next few months than very tall un-obscurable melee units.

To stay competitive, Daemons are going to have to shift towards my personal favorite style: Go heavy on the lesser Daemons, and play a more trading and mission-oriented style.

Enter Disciples Of Be’lakor, an army built around synergies for your lesser Daemons and playing the mission. By building a Daemons list focused on fast units that can hide, you become much less vulnerable to shooing lists and able to play at your own tempo.

“But Mike, don’t you still have to bring a big un-obscurable monster in Be’lakor?” Yes, but that’s less of an issue in Disciples. Be’lakor in Disciples is less of a hammer, and more of a synergy piece that can still become a hammer if the opponent tries to fuck around and finds out. Be’lakor is tough to shoot down, because he can easily be -2 to Hit and his -1 Damage rule triggers against ranged attacks. Easy access to -2 to Hit (combining his Shadow Form rule with the Descending Shadow 3 Warpstorm Point ability) wasn’t that important when the codex came out, but is actually huge vs Guard and their ability to spam Turret weapons with +1 to Hit. He’s also happy to start on the backline and then teleport forward when it’s the right time. A lot of the weapons that would threaten to pick him up–like Retributors with rerolls to wound from Morvenn Vahl–will never be in range of Be’lakor until they’re dead, or it’s late in the game and you no longer care.

And worst comes to worst, and you fail a save against a Railgun? You have a Disciples Of Be’lakor specific stratagem to change the damage of one attack each phase to 0.

ObSec Nurglings

Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite tiny daemons with a huge impact. First, let’s talk about how your Nurglings get ObSec. Nurglings normally don’t get ObSec in a Daemons list. The Daemons detachment rule reads, “Troops units (excluding SWARM units) in LEGIONES DAEMONICA Detachments gain the Objective Secured ability.” Notice that this doesn’t prevent Swarm units like Nurglings from gaining ObSec, just that they don’t intrinsically get it. The Benefits section of Disciples Of Be’lakor says, “All Troops units in your army gain the Objective Secured ability.” Nurglings are Troops, and thus gain ObSec in Disciples Of Be’lakor. This is in contrast to the Blue Horrors with their “Capering Horrors” rule, which states that this unit never gains the Objective Secured ability.

This is a subtle point, but one that has huge implications for Disciples Of Be’lakor. ObSec Nurglings are a MUCH bigger deal than they seem. Remember, Disciples are all about establishing tempo. No unit does that better than Nurglings. And now that Nurglings are T3 (so -1 to Wound against S3-S5 compared to being T2) and are always -1 to Hit (with easy access to -2 to Hit at range), they are much swingier for your opponent to allocate attacks to. This is an issue for your opponent now that a random Starweaver can’t contest an objective against your Nurglings.

There’s also a few armies that can have devastating first turns they can forward deploy, teleport freely turn 1, or pre-game move. Blood Angels Death Company, Votann Bikers, and Kasrkin with the Born Soldiers wombo combo are a few units that immediately come to mind. Any army incentivized to take Nurglings, like Disciples, will do much better into those matchups as a result.

A Free Knights Superheavy Auxiliary… With Benefits

All of your units gain the Disciples Of Be’lakor faction keyword. In Nephilim, you can bring one Superheavy Auxiliary detachment for free (in terms of CP, you’re still paying points obviously) as long as it shares a Faction keyword with your Warlord’s detachment. Because both Be’lakor’s detachment and your Knight auxiliary have the Disciples Of Be’lakor faction keyword by definition in DOB, your Knight unit is free.

And the warp fueled fun doesn’t stop there. Normally, Superheavy Auxiliary detachments don’t get any detachment abilities. Fortunately for us, Be’lakor views the core rules of 40K with the same disdain with which he views the Chaos gods. Your House Korvax SHA explicitly gains full House Korvax detachment abilities in Disciples Of Be’lakor. This means you gain access to the Forged In Terror rule, giving your House Korvax Knights access to an ability from the Harbingers table even though you aren’t running a pure Chaos Knights army. You also gain access to some of the strongest stratagems in the entire game… but we’ll save that discussion for the Knights section later in this guide.

In general, DOB has a lot more CP to play with than most Chaos lists these days, and you feel like you have noticeably more options as the game goes on as a result.

Non-Core Chapter Master Rerolls

In a normal Daemons army, Be’lakor can only give Command Phase hit rerolls to Core units. In Disciples, he can be unleashed to his full potential. The only restriction on his rerolls in Disciples is that he doesn’t give rerolls to Vehicles.

Time to unleash the Beasts

While most units you want to give full rerolls to like Fiends and Flesh Hounds and Screamers are already Core, there is one unit in particular that becomes wildly more effective in Disciples Of Be’lakor: Beasts Of Nurgle. They do 2 Mortal Wounds for every unmodified 6 to Hit, but are limited in effectiveness in a normal Daemons list because they can’t get any rerolls to hit. In Disciples, Be’lakor can give them full hit rerolls in the command phase. This means you can reroll every hit roll that’s not a 6 into tough targets, and end up averaging 11 Mortal Wounds every time they fight in addition to a bunch of AP2, 2 Damage attacks.

Access to Thematic and Powerful Spells and Stratagems

Access to the Noctic Discipline on any of your Psykers really adds a lot of flexibility in-game. The issue with Be’lakor having your only source of Shrouded Step in a normal Daemons list is that often wants to get close to the enemy to do damage or Warp Locus other units in, meaning he’s often getting denied. Being able to put Shrouded Step and Wreathed In Shades on a cheap Psyker far away from the opponent means those powers become way more reliable in practice.

You also gain access to 6 stratagems. Most of them aren’t really important, but there are 3 stratagems in particular–Legions Of Shade, Draught Of Terror, and Blessing Of Be’lakor–that really elevate how your Daemons play.

Legion Of Shade is just wild. For 1CP, any of your Disciples units can just move through enemy units in the movement or charge phase. Let me put this another way: For 1CP, basically any of your units can get a combat wrap off whenever they want. This is really strong against shooting armies, or when you want to go through a screen to contest an objective.

Draught Of Terror underwhelmed me at first, but has felt really strong as I’ve played Disciples more. It returns a wound to one of your Daemon units for each enemy model that flees in a nearby unit, returning models when you don’t have any models left below full health. Considering all the leadership and attrition debuffs you can provide and how hard it is for opponents to spend 2CP to autopass morale these days, this has been very valuable. Spending 1CP to put 4 or 5 wounds back on Be’lakor feels amazing. But the real winner of this stratagem is Beasts Of Nurgle. They have a unique rule to heal to full at the end of every of every phase. If a single model flees, you can return a Beast Of Nurgle to the unit which will immediately heal to full health.

And Blessing Of Be’lakor–change the damage of a failed save to 0 once per phase–is really valuable when you need it. Note that it isn’t locked to Daemon units. While you’re most likely going to use it on Be’lakor, it’s also really valuable for keeping your War Dogs on the field against Railguns.

Lastly, don’t forget that you can still take spells and use stratagems from the main Daemons codex. One of the most powerful tools in your toolbox is being able to spend 1CP to teach Be’lakor all of the Nurgle Daemon spells. This means he can walk into a swarm of Eldar or Sisters and absolutely shower those low toughness units with d3 or d6 mortal wounds. He’s also a Slaanesh Daemon, meaning that for 1CP he can become trans-hit in melee. Combine that with his innate rule to turn off hit rerolls against him, and he can become a real problem for opponents like Custodes to try to kill in melee.

Issues with Disciples Of Be’lakor

Disciples Of Be’lakor, like all armies, have some issues. Given that we’re a Chaos army in a GW game system, we’re going to have more rules issues than most. Let’s take a moment to go over these so we’re aware of the impact they’ll have on our army.

Chaos Space Marines Break Your Secondaries

This one really rubs me the wrong way. It seems like the point of the army is being able to run your Daemons and Chaos Space Marines together without losing major rules. Losing access to your Daemon secondaries–especially Reality Rebels–means that competitively, Chaos Space Marines are DOA in DOB.

The good news is your House Korvax Knights gain the Agents Of Chaos keyword, meaning you can bring a unit of them and still keep your Daemon secondaries. That’s why realistically, every DOB list I write is going to be Daemons + Knights, rather than DOB + CSM. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you’re just playing Crusade with your friends and not using Secondaries, so our less competitive friends can still have some fun with CSM in their Disciples.

But here at Warphammer we are for the people, and I understand that some people just want to run Chaos Space Marines in their Disciples, Secondaries be damned. So here’s my favorite trick: Combine Shrouded Step with a Master Of Possession’s ability to resurrect models with Pact Of Flesh for easy charges. You can either teleport a unit that has lost a model, or kill a model with your own Master Of Possession after your unit has teleported. You have to set up 9″ away, but will have 6″ or 5″ charges because you can place the resurrected model close to the enemy.

Your Knights May Break Leadership Deepstrike

This issue made my eyes roll out of the back of my head when I heard about it. A unit of Chaos Knights in a Daemon list doesn’t break your Manifestation rules… but there is an argument that adding a House Korvax Chaos Knights unit to a Disciples Of Be’lakor army breaks your Manifestation rules. “But Mike, the Disciples Of Be’lakor rules say your Knight gains the Agent Of Chaos keyword! The Chaos Knights codex explicitly says Knight Agents Of Chaos don’t break any rules that require army-wide keywords like Legiones Daemonica. It’s very clear that your Knights don’t break Manifestation”, I hear you say. And those are all excellent points. But technically, the Chaos Knights rule says Dreadblade Agents Of Chaos don’t break army-wide rules, and your Disciples Knights replace the Dreadblade keyword with House Korvax in DOB.

If you’re in some hellscape where the TO has a personal vendetta against you and your House Korvax Agents of Chaos aren’t treated like Dreadblade Agents Of Chaos, don’t sweat it. It doesn’t really change anything for Disciples. Your Daemons are basically all starting on the board, and you still have Be’lakor to act as a Warp Locus for 6″ deepstrikes. The only thing that changes is instead of running 3 units of Bloodletters, you’ll only run 1 or 2 Bloodletters and add some Flesh Hounds for more on-board mobility instead. You can even get spicy and run some Skull Cannons (so underrated!) to fill out your Khorne quota. Everything will be okay.

How to Get the Most From Your Knights

Being able to add a House Korvax Superheavy Auxiliary to your Daemons is what takes Disciples Of Be’lakor to the next level. Let’s go over how to use these incredibly versatile units to maximum effectiveness.

“Be’lakor’s wish is my command.”

The key lies in the fact that your Knights still get treated like they’re in a full House Korvax detachment. This means you have access to the incredibly powerful stratagem Knights Of Shade, which lets 1 big Knight or 2 of your War Dogs move through models and terrain. This basically gives you the Fly keyword, but an even better version of Fly that also works on terrain in the Charge Phase.

Don’t forget that your War Dogs still have ObSec and count as 5 models, and gain access to the Daemonic Surge ability. This means you can gain +3″ of movement whenever you want.

So let’s put this all together: You can have ObSec War Dogs that move up to 17″ and go through terrain and enemy models. This is the kind of thing that gives you a chance in tough matchups, and blows close games wide open.

This is just absolutely wild, right? You’re probably itching to go play Disciples right now and try this out for yourself. Well go ahead and sit your Daemonic ass back down, because guess what… that’s not even the best part about your War Dogs in Disciples!

Chaos Knights have an unassuming stratagem called Ravenous Pterrorshades. This stratagem lets you select a unit within 12″ and roll 2d6, making them suffer a mortal wound for every point by which your roll exceeds their leadership to a maximum of 6 Mortal Wounds. Most Chaos Knights players saw this once, thought “oh, that’s kind of cool”, and moved on.

Now let’s look a little bit more closely at the stratagem in the context of Disciples Of Be’lakor, because this is just outrageously powerful.

Here’s what you have in Disciples Of Be’lakor: Endless leadership debuffs. Here’s what the stratagem doesn’t have: Any restriction on the kind of unit you can target. Here’s what else the stratagem doesn’t have: Any restrictions on visibility.

Let me put this together for you: You can often 12″ non-Line Of Sight snipe 4 or 5 wound Characters behind walls.

And it’s even better than that. Because it delivers targetted MW in either player’s morale phase, it can blow through screens after your opponent moved them into place. It can also be used before they roll for morale to nearly guarantee they fail, healing your models through Draught Of Terror or earning you Nourished By Terror points. It also gives you the threat of out-of-phase damage. If you can hit Abaddon with Phantasmagoria first, with some hot but reasonable dice you can chip away a lot of his wounds in 2 separate phases.

Don’t forget that Daemons have a painfully pathetic selection of stratagems Daemons don’t require a lot of CP in-game. This means you’ll have plenty of CP to spend fueling your War Dogs shenanigans. In addition to Knights Of Shade and Ravenous Pterrorshades, you can go for auto-exploding, standing your Blessing Of The Dark Master Knight back up on a 4+, -1 damage in melee, or all sorts of well-priced shenanigans.

Don’t forget that your free Harbinger ability from being House Korvax doesn’t have to be used round 1. The additional leadership and attrition penalty is great, but there are some very powerful abilities coming up in later turns. A particularly potent one to keep in mind is Gheist Storm starting from round 2 to reliably halve charges or alter their targetting with all of the leadership debuffs you can provide. My personal favorite is Paralyzing Insanity, which comes online in round 4. This gives all of your War Dogs a 12″ aura of no-ObSec. This is just outrageous. In missions like the Scouring, keeping one War Dog alive to hit multiple objectives with this aura late game just blows close games wide open.

Did I mention that these ObSec War Dogs with no-ObSec auras can move 17″ through walls and enemy models?

Brigands or Karnivores in Disciples Of Be’lakor are the best kept secret in the entire game. They’re a finesse unit that plays differently in every game, but an unparalleled tool in an experienced player’s hands.

One thing to note: I’ve only talked about War Dogs in this section. That’s because they just work so much better than a big Knight in Disciples. The key issue is that there is no way to make any of your House Korvax Knights into a Character, so you can’t give them any relics or warlord traits. And without relics or warlord traits, the big chassis are hard to justify. I don’t think an Abominant or Desecrator or Magaera with Blessing Of The Dark Master is bad per se, but you’re going to want to bring War Dogs and lean into the “fast obscurable units with shenanigans” theme of Disciples.

Secondaries

One of the biggest strengths of Disciples Of Be’lakor competitively are their secondary play, so let’s explore that here.

Let’s start with Reality Rebels. You’re going to start every game by penciling in Reality Rebels as your first secondary pick, as its one of the best secondaries in the entire game. Being able to score 2 or 3 points every turn without having to leave your side of the field means you can rack up points both early and late. It also puts pressure on your opponent to stop it, and plays into the whole establishing tempo theme of Disciples.

But where Disciples takes it to the next level is being able to play Nourished By Terror very well. This secondary gives you a point for every enemy model that flees, as well as giving you a point for every enemy unit that dies if you roll 2d6 and tie or exceed their leadership. Disciples can farm Nourished By Terror points so easily. You’re going to bring 3 War Dogs with indirect fire Havoc Launchers, and have access to the cheap Khorne warpstorm to randomly drop d3 mortal wounds across the board. This gives you a chance to keep triggering random leadership tests off low leadership units anywhere on the board.

While the 2d6 leadership part of Nourished By Terror only triggers off units killed by a Daemon unit, even units that run because of non-Daemon units still count towards your Nourished By Terror tally.

Disciples can also easily stack leadership and combat attrition modifiers to absurd levels. Not only does Be’lakor’s -1 Leadership and -1 Combat Attrition aura stack with all Daemon’s aura for -1 Leadership and -1 Combat Attrition, but your Knights also can give off -1 Leadership and -1 Combat Attrition since you gain access to the Harbingers table. And then you also use the Ravenous Pterrorshades stratagem to kill models in the morale phase and make their leadership check harder, or Phantasmagoria to lower their leadership even further.

You know where else those leadership debuffs are very powerful? Psychic Interrogation. If your casting roll ties or beats the leadership of any enemy Characters within 24″, you get an extra CP. Disciples armies will often gain 3 or more additional CP over the course of the game when taking Psychic Interrogation. You can also use Shrouded Step to farm Psychic Interrogation safely. You can run a Tranceweaver or Changecaster or Poxbringer forward to get within 24″ of a Character far away, have them do the psychic action, and then teleport them back to safety with Be’lakor or another psyker behind them.

Banners is also very strong in Disciples. When paired with Reality Rebels, it gives you a strong core of passive Secondaries. If your enemy doesn’t rush you, they’re likely going to lose on the scoreboard. And if they come towards you, you can hit them incredibly hard. Despoilers Of Reality is also more viable in Disciples than normal Daemons armies because you can use Wreathed In Shades to protect units doing the action.

And while you won’t plan around killing Secondaries, Disciples can play Grind Them Down and No Prisoners reasonably well if needed. It varies by opponent and mission, but a secondary gameplan of Reality Rebels and two choices from Nourished By Terror/Psychic Interrogation/Warp Ritual/Banners/Despoilers Of Reality gives you an extremely strong and flexibly scoring gameplan.

How to Write a Disciples Of Be’lakor List

One issue we haven’t discussed yet is the nerf to Warpstorm access we received a few months ago. Since Be’lakor in a Supreme Command detachment doesn’t grant access to God specific Warpstorms anymore, we’re going to have to get creative to integrate access to any of the God specific Warpstorms into the list.

You can still do this by bringing a pure God detachment and putting the rest of your Daemons in a mix detachment. Remember that the requirement to balance out the number of God units is at the army level, not the detachment level.

The downside is that you’ll have to pay 2 or 3 CP to bring your Daemons in 2 detachments. The great part about Disciples is that you get your 3CP Knight detachment for free, meaning you’re still breaking even or coming out ahead in terms of army construction costs.

Since you can only bring 1 God specific detachment, the question then becomes which God’s Warpstorm do you want access to the most. In Disciples, you’re going to gain the most value out of having access to Khorne’s Warpstorms. The Warpstorm to fish for d3 Mortal Wounds across the board helps with Nourished By Terror and softening up Characters, and +1 Attack helps push your Bloodletters into dangerous territory. But the most important reason to build access to a Khorne detachment into your Disciples is for access to the Warpstorm to prevent opponents from falling back. While it’s not reliable for you, only working on a 4+, it means you always have an out even versus the most brutal shooting matchups. Don’t forget that Be’lakor himself is a Khorne Daemon too. If you charge Be’lakor into a screening Kroot unit and then tag another unit with your consolidation and prevent it from falling back, you can just instantly win the game versus T’au. The Warpstorm also works very well with Legion Of Shade, as your Bloodletters can go through a screening unit to touch multiple soft units behind. If you touch 2 or 3 units, suddenly you’re preventing fall back the vast majority of the time.

Since none of the Khorne HQs that you can bring in Disciples are worth their points (Skulltaker, Daemon Princes, and Bloodthirsters are all great, but locked out of DOB), you’re probably going to bring a Patrol with Be’lakor and some Bloodletters, and then shove the rest of your Daemons in a Battalion or Vanguard. I actually prefer a Vanguard, because you can bring 3 units of Nurglings without having to pay for any other Troops. A Battalion with lots of Nurglings is very pricey since you can’t use your Nurglings to fill mandatory Troop slots. A Vanguard on the other hand costs you an equal 3CP, but gives you 3 Troop slots to fill with Nurglings without requiring any other units. And then you can still bring 2 HQs for Psychic Actions while loading up on your powerful Flamer and Fiend units in the Elite slots.

Myself and my Warphammer partner Wallace O’Donnell have spent lots of time discussing various lists, and playtesting some Disciples concepts against a wide variety of strong armies piloted by great players. Here’s one thing we’ve found: The exact DOB list doesn’t matter that much. I like running lots of Bloodletters, but Flesh Hounds and Skull Cannons are very strong too. I’m running 3 units of Flamers, but if you want to run 2 units and bring some Screamers or a Fateskimmer to add some variety to your Tzeentch units, that’s totally fine. I am running Karnivores as my War Dogs currently, but Brigands are totally fine too, the list just plays differently. You can even make arguments for units like Soul Grinders and especially Beasts Of Nurgle if you want to run a variety of Nurgle units. If your list doesn’t exactly match mine, that’s not an issue. It’s better to choose units you’re comfortable with and confident in, since the whole idea of Disciples is to load up your toolbox with a variety of options.

Here’s one final topic we’ve managed to avoid talking about so far: Flamers. They’re currently one of the best units in the game, and you’re going to want to run lots of them in almost any list that can bring them. Disciples (and Daemons that don’t spam Greater Daemons) can really lack for damage output outside of Flamers. Don’t get too cute and overthink it. You’re going to want either 2 or 3 units in any Disciples list, depending on whether you want your 3rd Tzeentch unit to be a Changecaster, Fluxmaster, Fateskimmer, or more Flamers.

I really don’t like feeling handcuffed if I’m not running Flamers, because there is so much variety in the viable options for every other God. I really hope Flamers get bumped to 30 or 35 points and lose Core, and we get points drops on other iconic but hard to justify units like Plaguebearers and Screamers and Bloodcrushers. But I don’t make balance decisions, so until that happens, you’re going to want to run lots of Flamers. Tzeentch works in mysterious ways.

Sample List

This list is incredibly fun and powerful, and gives Daemons our best shot to take on both the wildly powerful shooting armies out there and still beat melee matchups. Want to get a Disciples list built from the models you have, and support the best resource for Chaos players out there? Check out https://www.patreon.com/Warphammer and join the Warphammer team!

  • Khorne Daemon Patrol
    • Be’lakor: Shrouded Step, Pall Of Despair
    • Bloodletters
    • Flesh Hounds
  • Daemons Undivided Vanguard
    • Tranceweaver: Phantasmagoria
    • Tranceweaver: Shrouded Step
    • 3 Nurglings
    • 4 Nurglings
    • 5 Nurglings
    • 5 Flamers
    • 6 Flamers
    • 6 Flamers
    • 3 Fiends
  • House Korvax Superheavy Auxiliary
    • Karnivore: Havoc Launcher, Blessing Of The Dark Master
    • Karnivore: Havoc Launcher
    • Karnivore: Havoc Launcher

Final Thoughts

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I love Disciples of Be’lakor so much. Disciples capture everything I love about Daemons, and Warhammer in general. The idea of a horde of Daemons appearing from the shadows is everything I want in an army. I’ve never been a fan of armies that just beat people’s faces in. I love digging deep into the codex to uncover new synergies, battling for every point, and out-thinking the opponent instead of out-dicing them. When your Disciples list is clicking and you’re noticing all the available plays in-game that this army is capable of, there’s no better feeling in the game. And I’m sure that lots of Chaos players feel the exact same way.

The exciting content at Warphammer doesn’t end here! Coming up next will be our long-awaited guide to playing the mysterious Thousand Sons or the devout Word Bearers.

Interested in learning from a successful tournament player who loves your faction as much as you, or getting your fluffy list reviewed to add a bit more bite? Sign up at https://www.patreon.com/Warphammer and join the team! Whatever you want to run, we can make it work. Thank you for supporting the best resource for both Chaos and 40K fans available online!

As always, have fun, stay safe, and may the Dark Gods bless your rolls!

18 replies on “Disciples of Shadow: The Complete Guide to Playing Disciples of Be’lakor”

Great read! I was on the fence about getting Belakor but this seals the deal.
Crying shame about CSM breaking secondaries. Seems like there are lots of cool lists you could build if that opened up. I wonder if there is any chance GW will fix it?

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Great article. I am still a little on the fence about the harbingers of dread ability in dob. I was very excited for it when the aor first dropped then became uncertain if we actually get any part of it.

This is because it is a pure faction rule. As such don’t all the knights lose the ability that would allow them to use it?

My thinking is all those abilities queue off of that ability and so even if we get the ability to choose off the dread table we don’t have the ability to use it.

Maybe I am thinking too deep about it.

That said I have just tested dob without knights and used beasts of nurgle in their place and have really loved them. Losing out on the pterrorshades strat is rough but knights make reality rebels harder since they don’t count for it to my knowledge.

One last thing. I noticed your list makes the gods perfectly even. 3/3/3/2. Idk if this is on purpose but the new wording for disciples once you hit 2 of every god you can kind of go nuts and do what you want from there. It’s a small change but unlocks some more free list building.

Thanks again.

Liked by 1 person

Justin, great question. You don’t get access to the full Harbingers table. But House Korvax’s trait, which you do get, is that you get one item from the Harbingers table during the game even if your army isn’t Chaos Knights. Got to give GW credit, it seems they planned House Korvax being used mainly as support in DOB quite well.

What I might actually consider is running 2 Karnivores, and using the points for the 3rd + dropping the big unit of Nurglings to buy 3 Beasts. Lots of fun ways to experiment with this army!

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really interesting read and certainly make the DOB much more appelaing than I thought it would be

One thing that I keep seeing is the belief that your other pyskers can only take noctis discipline spells if its in the army of renown. In the first section of the book of warp there is a bit about the noctis discipline , where either your using the army of renown or you have be’lakor in your army, for both criteria it says models in your army can be given additional spells from the discipline. unless I’m misreading or that wording means it doesn’t allow it, that should mean you can take them regardless of army of renown or not.

Either way great read and will be trying out DOB as my especially friend is going to be playing a lot of gaurd now.

Liked by 1 person

It’s a bit of a grey area since the wording allowing psykers besides Be’lakor outside of DOB is in the table of contents page for the Undivided section, not the rules section. I’ll say you can play it in good faith either way.

Good luck with your DOB! Send those Emperor worshipping souls straight into the Warp!

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Great Article! I have been playing Disciples locally mostly as a Mono-Daemon army so far. Glad to hear I am not alone in finding it powerful.

Curious if you had given any thought to War Dog Stalkers at all? You mention Karnivores and Huntsmen, but any love for the mixed pterrorshades unit?

Thanks!

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Nice article! Only have one question, does the Knights get the -1 to hit if beyond 12″? Or being Korvax stops them from getting it? Because they do get the disciples keyword.

Thanks!

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Thanks for the DoB guide! A request for the future: can you please update this guide after Arks or Omen and dataslate patches, as there’s probably bound to be nerfs to Flamers etc? As this guide is rather fresh still and the DoB army of renown is very unique and you’ve made some really good points on its viability. I was in the reddit lurker club who thought this AoR just plain sucks ass, but you’ve made me a believer. Thanks for your great content!

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In your sample list, what is doing actions if you have to take them as secondaries? I only see the bloodletters as viable targets for banners. Or maybe a herald if you bodyguard them.
I struggle with actions in general with the new daemons codex, all the cheap units cant do them, then I feel I have to overload on damage troops like daemonettes and letters, just so I have enough units to attack and do actions.
What’s your gameplan when it comes to actions?
Thanks for enticing me back to DoB, I had felt down about it due to its seeming nerf vs the 8th rules.

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Played 2 (casual) games using the advice from this post, had a good time, and now Ark of Omens is here to take away the Khorne Warpstorm table 😦 That was one of the best parts of the list in my two games lol.

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How about Feculent Gnarlmaw instead of nurgling?

Cons – no obsec, 15 more points
Pros – extremly durable, fit nicely with Realy Rebels, has Warp Locus/aura for Beasts of Nugles. Maybe we can add plaguebearers for further option.

It seems promising to me but I can’t see ppl mentioning this.
How do you think about this?

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