Who are the Cypher Lords?
The Cypher Lords are a secret Chaos cult. Worshipping the dark gods and combining their gifts with their natural agility.
The Cypher Lords are not very tough, or able to dish out much damage. But they are incredibly fast and agile and have some great trick options with teleportation.
Cypher Lords Fighter Types
The Cypher Lords have access to the following fighters:
- Thrallmaster - The Thrallmaster, with his stats alone makes them quite solid in combat. A toughness of 4 and 20 wounds means that they can be taken out, but with 5 move, and 5 dice for combat with 6 crit damage, they can deliver some punishing hurt on the unwary enemy. Their real power comes from the Shadowy Recall rune, that lets them take any fighter with the minon runemark (which is all the Mindbound and Mirrorblades) within 12 inches of them, and move them to within the value of the triple spent in inches away. This can be used to move your minion’s in and out of combat, to grab objectives, or to better position the following turn. The Luminate also has access to the Shadowy Recall rune, so even with a triple in play, your opponent will have no idea which minion will be moved. This gives a huge amount of flexibility and power to the Cypher Lords.
- Luminate - The Luminate is a slightly cheaper Thrallmaster, with 5 fewer wounds, no leader rune and a 2 inch ranged attack that has 5 attacks and 5 crit damage. They are perfect for setting-up behind a wall of minions and attacking over the top. They, like the Thrallmaster have access to the Shadowy Recall rune, so keeping them separate from the Thrallmaster, but within 12 inches of minions gives them a huge amount of flexibility and dynamic movement. Taking 2 is an option, but with a Thrallmaster, it would be nearly half of your points for your warband, but it would give you some serious options if you were to get 2 triples.
- Mirrorblade with Duelling Swords - Both Mirrorblades have move 5, toughness 3 and 10 wounds, making them agile, but easily taken out. The Duelling Swords option has 5 attacks at strength 4, dealing 4 crit damage, so they can dish out some damage.
- Mirrorblade with Glaive - As with the Duelling Swords Mirrorblade, the Glaive weapon option has move 5, and toughness 3 and 10 wounds, but for 5 more points, they get a range 2 attack. This means that they can be positioned just out of combat, so any enemy with a range 1 attack has to use an action to move into combat with them. This gives them an edge well worth the 5 points over the Duelling Swords option. They do roll 1 less dice and get 1 more crit damage, but the extra range really helps. They also have access to the Low Sweeping Blow rune, which can hit every fighter within 2 inches of them and having access to that as a double, makes them a much better choice.
- Mindbound - The Mindbound follow the same pattern as the Mirrorblades with their weapon options. At 75/80 points, they are the cheapest of the Cypher Lords fighters, but still expensive compared to other warbands. Both options have 5 move, 3 toughness and 10 wounds, the same as the Mirrorblades, meaning that they can be taken out in a single lucky hit by most enemies. The cheaper 75 point option for the Mindbound has 4 attacks, with strength 3 and 3 crit damage, but only 1 normal damage. This makes them only really useful for harassing the enemy, tying them up in combat and then being thrown across the board with Shadowy Recall.
- Mindbound with Double-Bladed Sword - The Mindbound with Double-Bladed Sword, like the Mirrorblade, has a range 2 attack, that rolls 1 less dice and does 1 more crit damage. The range 2 attack makes them far superior to the 75 point option and the addition of the Low Sweeping Blow rune even more so. They are easily taken out, so using their range to make their sacrifice is essential.
How to build out of the box
The Cypher Lords are available in their own boxed set, which is available to purchase from Goblin Gaming here.
The Cypher Lords only have 4 fighters types, with 2 armament options for 2 of them. Each box lets you build one of each fighter type (and armament type) with an additional choice for the Mirrorblades.
The sprues let you build.
- 1x Thrallmaster
- 1x Luminate
- 1x Mirrorblade with Glaive
- 1x Mirrorlbade with Duelling Swords
- 2x Mindbound
- 1x Mirrorblade with Glaive or Dueling Swords
- 1x Mindbound or 1x Mindbound with Double-Bladed Sword
The Cypher Lords are fast, have the teleportation rune and also have several options for a 2-inch or more attack.
They all also have access to 3 generic Cypher Lord runes abilities, 2 doubles and a quad. For a double, they can fly for the duration of their activation, which means 2 fly moves. For a double, they can also throw small weapons at an enemy fighter within 6 inches, which lets them roll 2 dice, doing 1 point of damage on a 4-5, or the value of the ability on a 6. But the most standout ability is the quad. Available to all Cypher Lords Spinning Somersault Strike lets the fighter fly until the end of their activation, then make a bonus move and then attack action. This means that you can move, then possibly attack 3 times and if you use a fighter with a 2-inch attack, your opponent will still have to use one of their activations to move into combat with you before they can attack.
The Thrallmaster and Luminate's Shadowy Recall is what really gives the Cypher Lords their edge and you should be looking for at least 1 triple a turn in order to keep your opponent on their toes.
One on one, the Cypher Lords will suffer in a fight, so use their movement and abilities to make your opponent come for your fighters, then pull them away to gang up on an enemy, or steal an objective.
For this section, we're only looking at the balanced options for each of the decks. Using all the cards is harder to predict and plan for, but great for open friendly games.
Using only the balanced deployment cards, Shield is deployed 15 times out of 18 on the table. You want to have at least your Thrallmaster or Luminate in Shield, protected by a couple of minions to get everything moving to start with and also drawing your opponent's fighters towards you. It's not as essential with the Cypher Lords to have a lot of fighters in Sheild, as their movement flexibility means that they can really hammer the enemy late game if they come onto the board turn 2 or 3 in Hammer/Dagger.
Hammer appears in Round 2 onwards 10 out of 18 times and Dagger 8 of out 18 times. Having a scalpel of the Luminate and 2 Mirrorblades with Glavies come onto the board and driving towards where the enemy is weakest can be very powerful. Keeping your minions within 12 inches of the Thrallmaster and Luminate and always having at least 1 triple will means you opponent will never know where you are going next.
The Cypher Lords need to be deployed together in small packs, as that's where they hunt best. Shielding your range 2/3 fighters by engaging with the cheaper Mindbound will give you the freedom to engage fighters at will, while they either have to remove or disengage. This gives them a lot of choice in deployment, but make sure you keep working groups together. Putting the Luminate and Thrallmaster in the same group is never a good choice unless you're planning to defend hard.
Out of the 18 balanced missions, 6 are combat based, requiring removing either the leader or different deployment groups. 9 are objective-based and 3 are mixed, movement/survival-based. Taking objectives and stopping your opponent from taking them is where the Cypher Lords excel. Taking out choice fighters as well can also be very easy for the Cypher Lords to position and then attack. Taking out whole deployment groups can be a struggle though, as your opponent will know you are coming, but using the runes to give your warriors fly and teleport them into advantageous positions is essential. The Cypher Lords have lots of attacks, but low wounds, so making sure you're not hit back in key. Don't be afraid to hit and run and make your opponent work for their kills.
Do you play the Cypher Lords? What's your standard Warband composition? Who is your favorite fighter? Let us know in the comments below.
The copies of the WarCry products used to produce this article were provided by Goblin Gaming.