Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Heralds Arcane Change in the 41st Millennium

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Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Heralds Arcane Change in the 41st Millennium

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus heralds the new rules of Tzeentch’s favourite legion, which look mind-warping.

For the second-to-last Faction Focus of this week, Games Workshop showed us one of the premier Psyker army’s, the Thousand Sons’ new rules. This was one of the most anticipated Faction Focuses, as Warhammer 40k won’t have a Psychic phase in it’s 10th Edition, meaning that psyker-heavy armies will function very differently: some powers turned into ranged weapons, while some will be useable as abilities or auras in the next iteration of the most popular tabletop wargame in the world.

While we saw some glimpses of the new implementation of psychic powers, the Thousand Sons Faction Focus solidifies the new approach to magic in 40k – so without further ado, let’s look at the Faction Focus!

Faction Rules of the Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus

The universal rule of the Chaos Mages will remain the Cabal of Sorcerers, but it will function a bit differently in 10th. Thousand Sons will still generate Cabal points each turn, but in the Command phase rather than the Psychic phase. Moreover, instead of specific models giving an amount of dice, each unit received a Cabal of Sorcerers X keyword, giving X Cabal points at the start of each Command phase – for example, the showcased Ahriman gives 3 dice each round.

In the battle rounds, the Thousand Sons can spend Cabal points to initiate rituals, which can be used once per phase as long as you have sufficient Cabal points for it – which you can’t save for later turns, as they reset at the start of each of your Command phases.

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Cabal of Sorcerers Army Rule

Not every unit can perform rituals, only those with the Psyker keyword, and for good reason. The new rituals look very strong, so let’s take a look at them:

  • Weaver of Fates costs 2 Cabal points, and let’s a friendly Thousand Sons unit reroll their Save rolls if they are 18” within the Psyker casting the ritual,
  • Temporal Surge costs 6 points, but let’s units make a second Move at the start of the Shooting phase – but they won’t be able to charge in the same round. Still, this will be a small trade-off for certain units, and can be used to surprise opponents,
  • Echoes from the Warp costs 6 Cabal points, but let’s the Psyker’s unit use a Stratagem for free – even one that has been used this phase already,
  • Doombolt is a big Smite for 7 Cabal points, as it can deal up to 9 Mortal Wounds to a target within 18” of the Psyker initiating this ritual, which can take out most units in one cast if you get really lucky,
  • And finally, Twist of Fate turns off an enemy unit’s Armour Save for a turn near the Psyker casting it for 9 Cabal points – and even the God-Emperor won’t be able to save them if they don’t have an Invulnerable Save.

This Army Rule seems like one of the best ones showcased so far, as it is very flexible as fits the Psyker Traitor Marines very well.

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Cabal of Sorcerers Rituals


We also received the Detachment Rule for the Cult of Magic Thousand Sons Detachment, which gives the chosen of Tzeentch some extra tricks. This rule let’s you choose an ability out of 3 for your Thousand Sons units: either their Psychic weapons gain Lethal Hits, which autowound on a Hit roll of 6, Sustained Hits 1, which gives an extra Hit on a Critical, or the Devastating Wounds ability, which turns the damage of those weapons into Mortal Wounds, letting them chew through even the toughest enemy units. This just further improves the flexibility of the Thousand Sons, who will be able to find an answer to almost any problem on the battlefield.

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Kindred Sorcery

Unit Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus

While we didn’t get a showcase of the Daemon Primarch of the 15th Legion, Magnus the Red, we got the new datasheet for the Chaos Lord of the Thousand Sons, Ahriman himself. While the Arch-Sorcerer of Tzeentch have lost a Wound, he became a Leader, so his entourage will protect him for a while on the battlefield, along with his 4+ Invulnerable Save. His pistol lost an AP as per usual, but he gained a new ranged weapon called Psychic Stalk, which has the Precision keyword, meaning Ahriman can snipe enemy Leaders out of the ranks of their bodyguards.

The Chief Librarian also gives 3 Cabal points at the start of every Thousand Sons Command phase, while also giving +1 to each Wound roll him and his lead unit makes. He also received a new Arch-Sorcerer of Tzeentch ability, which lets him cast a Ritual for 0 Cabal points once per game, which can come in clutch at almost any point of the battle.

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Ahriman Datasheet

Ahriman will be able to live up to his full potential if he’s surrounded by a unit of Rubric Marines – which he turned into the soulless armours we see on the battlefield. The Rubric Marines kept their stats in most regards except the general AP-reduction, and gained a new ranged weapon called Warpsmite, which has the Anti-Infantry 4+, the Devastating Wounds and the Pistol keywords alongside being a psychic power. This means that while the ability is strong with it’s -3 AP, it cannot be shot alongside any other weapons that the unit is carrying.

The Rubric Marines Aspiring Sorcerer is also a Psyker, meaning that he can cast Rituals, while also giving 1 Cabal point at the start of the Command phase. The Bringers of Change ability of the Rubric Marines also let’s them reroll a Wound roll of 1 if they make a ranged attack – or the whole roll if they are trying to take an objective from enemy units. They can also improve their AP if they take the Icon of Flame, which will cost some points presumably. While the Rubric Marines lost their All is Dust ability, they gained a 5+ Invulnerable Save, which should make up for the survivability their +1 to Saves gave them in the 9th Edition of Warhammer 40k.

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Rubric Marines Datasheet

Weapon Spotlight of the Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus

While we didn’t receive the full datasheet for the Mutalith Vortex Beast, we got more info about this monstrosity than the previous Faction Focuses gave us. We got the new stats for the Warp Vortex ranged weapon, which will be a gun in the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k: it has the Blast keyword on the Blast profile, the Devastating Wounds keyword on the Beam profile, and the Ignores Cover and Torrent keywords on the Torrent profile. It also has pretty good stats with 18 Strength on the Beam mode, which can deal up to 12 Damage with a single shot at -4 AP – so you better stay out of the range of this weapon.

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Warp Vortex
Warp Vortex will become a fearsome ranged weapon!

The Mutalith Vortex Beast will also keep it’s Immaterial Flare ability, but it will turn into an Aura in 10th, letting Thousand Sons use Rituals at double range if they are within 6” of the Monster of Change – which should catch many opponents off guard (like almost everything in the Faction Focus).

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Immaterial Flare aura

Stratagem Spotlight of the Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus

After all the warp shenanigans, Tzeentch only blessed us with one new Stratagem of the Thousand Sons. The Psychic Dominion Strat makes all the Psychic Weapons of an enemy unit targeting a unit of your Thousand Sons Hazardous, meaning they can kill models if those models fail the hazard test, while also giving a 4+ Feel No Pain against Psychic attack for that unit of the Sons of Magnus. This makes squads of Rubric Marines extremely resilient against Psykers, so if you want to take them down, you are better off finding other methods of operation.

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus

Overall, the Thousand Sons Faction Focus might be the best of the separate Chaos Space Marines Faction Focuses. The Sorcerers of Tzeentch look very strong with some incredible flexibility, so any player who faces the Thousand Sons should think twice – or even thrice – about the approach they take on the battlefield. If you’re interested in the other Faction Focuses and news regarding the next edition of Warhammer 40k, check out our other Warhammer articles, and follow ESTNN for the latest reveals by Games Workshop!

Warhammer 40k Thousand Sons Faction Focus Heralds Arcane Change in the 41st Millennium
Bence Loksa
Bence "Atreus" Loksa is a freelance journalist and League of Legends shoutcaster, covering all things esports and gaming, also yelling loudly at big plays happening on the Summoner's Rift. While his main focus is Riot Games' hit MOBA, he also dabbles in Call of Duty, VALORANT, and as of recent, the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000 - where he looks to make some grudges with his Leagues of Votann army.