-By: Richard Brown

thagThis is my favorite legion caster, he has a game plan that is not flashy or exciting he will not wombo combo someone.  He is an attrition caster. We will go over his special ability spell lists feat and good options to play with him, examine his playstyle and have a sample list.


Special rules

Death Shroud

Thagrosh’s aura Death Shroud, is a minus 2 STR to his enemy models within his command of 10 inches. This is his, imho, most powerful feature. Essentially you are giving all of your beasts +2arm while they are within 10 in of him . This is a huge deal for Canvian chassis that has a fairly poor base defensive stat line of DEF 11 arm 18 with 30 boxes.  With Thagrosh, Carnivians can become easily 11/22.


This rule allows him to fill up to fury 7 every turn even if enough wasn’t on the board, this is a good rule, not one you will use often but can allow him to play into the late game if your heavies have been destroyed.


His feat is his most memorable feature as you return a heavy ( large or smaller base no bringing back gargantuans any longer)  to play that had been killed earlier. It can not make a COMBAT action that turn but it can still walk etc. With his feat he essentially plays ~20 points up but its delayed. This is a huge huge benefit.   The way I play the feat is simple you use typhon ( best feat target as it’s the most expensive beast legion has also most likely the most powerful.) I will use typhon to kill a heavy, or a unit of infantry with his sprays maxing him out on fury in the process.  Your opponent kills typhon thus giving you a heavy in range of your other peices and you kill it and feat typhon back and are up the initial heavy or unit that typhon killed and the heavy they killed typhon with and have lost essentially nothing.   This is a best case senario but it is still fairly common.


Now if we look at his base stats of 14/16 with tough that is nothing to write home about its actually fairly poor, when we put all of his pieces together however he will be most likely a 14/20 18 box with 4 transfers. In melee and 14/18 from range. This is achieved by his ability to cast an animus for free usually spiny growth or excessive healing. You cast spiny growth when you want to simply prevent damage from 1-2 sources as the high arm helps there.  You will cast excessive healing when you believe someone is going to commit to kill him and you have several transfers. Excessive healing will heal 1d3 after he is damaged. Due how transfers work even when he transfers he has in games terms for that attack “ suffered damage” this means that say someone attacks thagrosh and deals 4-6 points of damage and you ahve 3 transfers you take the damage and they attack you again and they would deal 10 damage, you elect to transfer that damage to a beast and then heal for an average of 2 from healing. This may seem minor but it adds up over a  number of attacks.  This makes his survivability quite high as he has a good stat line when all said and done and he  usually camps at least 3 fury but often 4 or 5.


Spell list.


Draconic blessing

+2str buff and immunity to fire This spell is the best on his list and one of the main reasons you take him. As he ups units and beasts with a high number of initial attacks to an absurd level of output.  The immunity to fire is nice and often doesn’t come up however it is relevant against fire type range attacks mostly from the mirror and menoth.

Fog of war

Concealment within his control area. This is a spell you will almost always cast and it will result in a few attacks missing where they wouldn’t have this is not the best spell with a large beast brick however it is excellent with infantry options such as swordsman and my favorite hex hunters as it will trigger their prowl ability giving them stealth.


An expensive nuke from a caster, cost 4 range 10 pow 15 aoe 5.  As far as nukes go this is a pretty decent one, as it has a good range a high base pow and is an aoe 5 so it can potentially kill a good number of single wood models. That being said you will not cast it 9/10 games.

Twisted form

This is his signature spell and is odd, it is cost 2 range 8 against an enemy warbeast it is -2 fury it can’t have damage removed from it and it can’t be transferred to. It  lasts 1 round and can only be cast once a turn.  This is a very very rarely used spell. One of the best uses it to put it on an enemy typhon so excessive healing won’t trigger. This spell is mostly a trap as it is a low range and puts him close to an enemy heavy. This spell goes up several points if you have multiple arc nodes in your list.  This is his worst spell.


This is the live dream spell this is rarely used to good effect and is 99.99% of the time a tactical trap and is a last ditch effort. That being said it is a chance to get a victory you other wise wouldn’t have.  It is cost 3 range 8 pow 12.  If Thagrosh is the origin of the spell ( no using arc nodes) and it boxes an enemy model you may replace the model with the spell caster, the caster can not advance after.   This is the last ditch effort assassination spell you will target a low defense low armor enemy model ( usually support in the back) and then put Thagrosh in range of their caster to melee them.

His spell list is above average I would say not amazing but solid, it has a damage buff and a way to protect against shooting.


Play style

This  depends on the list you take but he plays best in a melee brick that takes the center and holds it and grinds the opponent out with strong survivability and pieces that force your opponent into coming closer to him.


Personal output

He is a mat 7 rat 5 with 2 melee initials one a pow 16 rng 2 and the other a .5 pow 12, his ranged attack is a sp8 rof1 pow 12 fire type.  If thagrosh is in melee it is very very late game. He is not a melee caster, he should not be in melee if it can be helped. What he is is a late game piece that can be a mat 7 pow 18 2in range anchor to your game plan.

List building ideas

Beast options


A great beast with him. They go to a high level of survivability and output, I would always play at least 1 with him.


Our best Beast, its is best feat target, almost always play Typhon with Thagrosh 1 its as simple as that.


underdog-story-warmachine-hordes-legionThis is another survivable piece of Thagrosh while having a large threat range as his lists tend to be slow this is a great thing, Thagrosh also can fix his problem of hitting like a wet noodle.

Infantry options


They are mat 7 weapon master he has a str buff for them and can give them concealment on the way into the fight a good solid option.

Hex hunters

This is my favorite infantry option with him as he will give them stealth thus greatly increasing survivability and hex hunters excel at killing other infantry models something that his lists can struggle with.


This is one of if not the most powerful piece in legion at the time of this writing his death shroud aura giving the maw effective arm 20 in melee makes it even harder to remove that way. You should take these period.

The moment you have all been waiting for a list.  This is my thagrosh 1 list that I have been playing since mark 3 came out I have had a great deal of success with it.

  • Thagrosh 1
    • Carnivean
    • Carnivean
    • Typhon
  • Max raptors
  • Hellmouth
  • Hellmouth
  • Strider deathstalker
  • Strider deathstalker.
  • Spell martyr
  • Shepard
  • Shepard

The basic game plan is the beasts and Thagrosh move up the center of the board upkeeping Draconic Blessing and fog of war. the raptors flank very hard to a side and harass a infantry unit with the death stalker.  The hell mouths control the middle of the board and threaten a drag. Make sure to have Thagrosh in a position to dominate a zone on turn 2 even if you don’t end up doing it make sure after your turn 1 movement it is an option if you can to score some control points.

All in all, Thagrosh 1 is my favorite caster he has a slow inexorable play style that I enjoy, has some good survivability and an amazing attrition feat. I hope you have enjoyed the article; it is my first time writing one so please be gentle in the comments.