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Blight Kings - No Plaguebearers


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Hi all - my brother and I are diving into AoS together (after playing lots of other games, including 40k), and he's thinking about doing Nurgle, but isn't interested in hordes of Plaguebearers. Is it feasible to run a list relying on Blight Kings as your battleline? We're aiming to start at 1k, and here's the list we've been looking at for his stuff:

Gutrot Spume (General)

Lord of Blights

Lord of Plagues

Putrid Blightkings x5

Putrid Blightkings x10

Nurglings x3

It's 1000 points exactly. Gutrot, one unit of BKs, and the Nurglings all start off the board, mitigating some of the slow speed of this list. Lord of Blights, L o'Plagues, and the big lump of BKs would stick together, picking up buffs and enabling ranged attacks. 

Any thoughts about this list? In general, is it feasible to do Nurgle without Plaguebringers, or is that just madness? Thanks!

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Blight kings are great, but they're low model count units. If you rely entirely on blight kings you may find it hard to capture objectives. Of course, for some scenarios that's not a big deal so it's a risk you have to weigh up the pros and cons of yourself. If your bro isn't a fan of plaguebearers, there are other battleline options with higher model counts that he could consider - specifically Skaven Pestilens Plague Monks and Slaves to Darkness Marauders or Chaos Warriors.  However at the end of the day you should play what you want to play not what you feel forced to play, so if he likes blight kings, get a bunch of blight kings and go nuts! They have some great synergies with the Rotbringer heroes and the models look amazing and varied.

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Thanks Dreadmund, I really appreciate it! We're not looking to go win tournaments or anything, I just don't want to see him invest in a list that could never possibly win. Seems like they're solid enough, especially with multiple rotbringer heroes and some of their battalion options, so maybe we can make it work! Appreciate the feedback.

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Blight kings are amazing.

At 1000 points, they'll be even better. 

Their hard counter are elites with great saves, they struggle to punch through. Saves of that kind should be scarce at that point level.

What they bring to the table is a great mix of semi-elite and horde killing potential, resilence, a decent amount of speed, and board control.

With Gutrot, they're able to turn one drop in and charge (on an 8" due to banner) any back lines that the enemy has left exposed. I've used this to grab objectives early.

They dish out a ton of attacks. low save units will be shredded by them. Even vs some high save units, the weight of attacks can do some real harm.

4 wounds. + 1 for the champ! That's a darn good amount. to have 21 wounds sitting on an objective with a save (eh) and that can hurt people?  You can't budge them lightly off a point, the opponent will have to commit.

With the 'tree', their +1 to charge AND run (see tree), and the potential for the nurgle cycle / movement, they're surprisingly fast.


These guys are a great anvil. You can hold people on them and grind them down through attrition. You will still need a hammer.

I've done well with a PBK heavy force. Buffing them helps, but don't get carried away; spending more than 1 CP or one character dedicated to them is more than enough. Try to find something fast and hard hitting. You're gonna need something that can 'reach out and touch' those stray models or objectives.   Maybe drop a lord and nurglings for the Affliction fly bro? Knights? Some fast moving ally? 

I'd change your general away from Gutrot, that way you can get artifacts/ abilities on them.

Enjoy, have fun, and make sure to use the mobility of PBK.

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It is possible, maybe even preferable, to play Rotbringers without Plaguebearers (in your starting list)
1. Rotbringer heroes generally only buff mortals, so plaguebearers are really just bad synergy
2. Blightkings are great (best) as units of 5. so taking 4x5 fills your battleline easily, and gives you plenty of board presence 
3. You will get contagion points. Use this to summon plaguebearers.  (yes you still need to own at least 20 in ANY Nurgle army, just for summoning).  These groups of 5-10 plaguebearers are used to tie up enemy units (lock up archers or fast moving units for instance)  or go after objectives. 

The only Daemon i play in my nurgle lists is Great Unclean One, because of his bell buff 

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I actively avoid plaguebearers (hate the models) and only use them when summoning. @swarmofseals crunched the math and found that Chaos Marauders outperform plaguebearers anyway. 200 points for 40 models on 25mm bases, meaning they can stack in combat. Throw Blades of Putrefaction on the little barbarians and they're a force to be reckoned with. Use a Lord of Blights to give them the plaguebearer Lord of Flies defense boost, or a Harbinger to give a 5+ save-after-save.

Putrid Blightkings + Marauders is bestest list.

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13 hours ago, Clanan said:

I actively avoid plaguebearers (hate the models) and only use them when summoning.

This is a good point actually. Plaguebearers can be summoned, and that's huge - especially in low point games. Even if you want to focus on blight kings, it's worth having some plaguebearers on hand to reinforce in the mid game.

I love plaguebearers personally. They're incredibly hard to shift. In an objective based game where model count matters, 30 Plaguebearers with mystic shield and/or the harbinger buff is one of the thickest tar pits you can get. The comparison with Marauders always seems a little odd to me since they serve different purposes. Very much an apples and oranges situation. Plaguebearers shouldn't be used to deal damage or charge into the fray: they should be used to zone out areas of the board, tie up important enemy units, guard your important units... Between a couple blobs of Plaguebearers and feculent gnarlmaws, you can exhibit amazing board control even in the first round. But hey, that's just my preference!

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4 hours ago, Dreadmund said:

30 Plaguebearers with mystic shield and/or the harbinger buff is one of the thickest tar pits you can get

Unfortunately, the Harbinger Morbid Vigour command ability only affects NURGLE MORTAL units. Otherwise plaguebearers would have two 5+ ward saves, which would be insane. In that math post I linked, he actually found that marauders are slightly better defensively per-point, even without Harby's Morbid Vigour. The better offense is icing. I do expect them to take a hit points-wise in the next GHB because the option to field 120 marauders for a lower price than 60 plaguebearers is just weird.

@sorokyl Haha, good point. I actually use converted poxwalkers and Blood Rage barbarians for my marauders.

@ierthlingWhat sort of list are you playing? One thing your bro should consider is whether he'll face -1 hit debuffs. -1 hit deactivates the Blightking exploding 6s and turns them into putrid paperweights.

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while you can't use the harbinger buff, you can use the Lord of Blights (one of the only mortal heroes that buffs PBs) 

The abilities have different names, but have the same effect, they stack.  So with Cloud of Flies + Plague of Flies, your 30 PBs have:

-4 to hit when being shot (means only natural 6s will hit them)
-2 to hit when being attacked in combat

With a 5+ save and disgustingly resilient, and the iconbearer, they will be extremely hard to kill.   But in reality, I don't think that buff is necessary, they only need to survive a few rounds, and they will do that anyway (if your enemy is throwing everything they can at plaguebearers they are going to lose anyway) 

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Hey all - thanks for all this feedback! I hadn't realized the thing about summoning plaguebearers, so I'll watch out for that. I'm glad to hear the combos with blight king leaders and troops seem effective. @Clanan, I'll be playing Flesh Eater Courts, so I don't think he'll need to worry about debuffs with me, but I think he'd also like to play locally since we don't get to see each other as often we'd like, so an army that will at least function against most enemies is what we're looking for. 

Beyond Plaguebearers, Blight kings, and the blight-king-themed heroes, are there particular models in the Nurgle list that would be effective in a BK heavy list? Nurglings, Beasts of Nurgle, etc.? @Blackspine, I like the idea of working in some of the flying knight dudes, that seems like it would provide some needed mobility and still keep the theme. Thanks everybody!

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