Want to know the best units in the Chaos Daemons codex? Then take a butchers below.
* These units are not ranked in any particular order
The Bloodthirster is the ultimate bad ass and taker of names. The big red dude rocks with a typical monstrous creature profile and brings a mighty WS10, BS10, W5, I9 and A6 - this dude is seriously laying down the hurt.
The Bloodthirster comes with a 3+ armour save, lash of khorne (S6 AP2 pistol) and axe of khorne (wound of 6+ is instagib). As the 'Thirster is a daemon of khorne it gets furious charge, S7 smashy.
Bloodthirster has options of daemonic rewards; best taking a couple of greater rewards as they give survivable buffs. If you take the normal greater reward, which is the blade of blood, then the Bloodthirster gets the rampage special rule (+D3 attacks if out numbered in close combat) and would get +1 attack because is armed with two specialist weapons - you could get 11 attacks on the charge!
As the Bloodthirster is pretty survivable and the blade of blood isn't mandatory, you could take an exalted reward and use the grimoire of true names or the portalglyph.
In a nutshell
The Bloodthirster is the ultimate killing machine. If you want something dead then the Bloodthirster is your guy and gets it done the old fashioned way.
The bad side of the Bloodthirster is all it is good at is smashing face. It can allow you to take Daemon Princes of Khorne as heavy support, but that's about it.
2. Herald of Slaanesh
At the first glance the Herald of Slaanesh looks a bit meh, though when you take a deeper look things start to get interesting. Like anything Slaanesh, the Herald isn't mega tough, but does bring WS7, S4, I7 and A4 to the table.
The Herald has a fair few options; various rewards, psyker levels, loci, steed and chariots. All these options make the Herald extremely flexible.
Out of the options I favour a mastery level 2 Herald with locus of beguilement, a steed and depending on points a lesser etherblade.
The Herald would roll on the telepathy table and hope to get invisibility, this gives stealth and shrouding (applies to unit as well).
The locus gives re-roll to hit (applies to unit as well) as well as challenges cannot be refused from the Herald.
Steed is just so the Herald can go with Seekers.
Etherblade is just for points, but it will give AP2 for 10 points and master crafted, though master crafted is a waste thanks to the locus. You could pay an extra 10 points (so 20 points in total) and get the greater etherblade which is +1 strength so the Herald would be S5, though I personally do not think it is worth it due to points cost. Keep in mind the Herald has rending claws.
In a nutshell
When tooled up correctly the Herald is extremely deadly; re-roll to hit is just evil and those challenges cannot be refused, so the Herald will mash some face. If you roll well on the telepathy table then a unit with the Herald (Seekers) would be extremely tough to kill. If on a Seeker the Herald is going to move 12" and then 6" auto run as a Daemon of Slaanesh.
Downside to the Herald is only T3 so can be instagibbed by S6 or above. Another note is only LD8, so those psychic tests may not always go off, however average 2D6 is a 7. You may also want to look at locus of grace as Seekers take dangerous terrain tests when going through terrain, which is a big problem. The locus gives move through cover, extremely helpful, plus the Herald and Seekers hit on a 3+ so is the locus of beguilement needed for those re-rolls?
3. Herald of Khorne
The Herald of Khorne is much like the Herald of Slaanesh; good at choppy and brings some good unit benefits to the table.
HoK (Herald of Khorne) has choice of daemonic gifts, loci, juggernaut or a blood throne.
I wouldn't bother with any of the rewards to be honest (except greater for portalglyph or grimoire) as the lesser and greater rewards do not add much which is worth it for a two model which is going to be hiding in a larger squad. I guess the etherblades might be an interest, though keep in mind the Herald's hellblade is AP3, but the etherblades do bring AP2 and master crafted. Instead stick with the loci; locus of fury gives the rage special rule while locus of wrath gives the hated special rule.
Doing the same trick as the Herald of Slaanesh, give the HoK a juggernaut and locus of wrath and throw into a unit of juggernauts or even Flesh Hounds - not that the Flesh Hounds will give the HoK scout.
In a nutshell
The Herald of Khorne is like a cheaper and slightly tougher version than the Herald of Slaanesh, though doesn't bring so many buffs as lacks psychic powers. If you want a pure Khorne force with smashy face power, then the Herald might be an option for you. Keep in mind that the HoK is T5 if taken on a Juggernaut, so would need S10 to instagib.
As the Herald lacks an armour save you will find could get beaten up easily is not issuing challenges or not possible, a 5+ inv or 6+ armour isn't going to help and T5 won't save you that much. You could add a greater reward, but due to the randomness you may not get something with that much use.
4. Herald of Tzeentch
The Herald of Tzeentch is a ball of buffing destruction. The HoT (Herald of Tzeentch) maybe the weakest of Heralds, but do not let that scare you off.
The HoT adds a more supporting benefits than anything, though gets the usual options of daemonic rewards, psyker mastery levels, loci, disc of tzeentch and burning chariot of tzeentch.
I would probably leave the daemonic gifts at home, though exalted maybe useful for the same reasons as previously mentioned. Do not be fooled by the attractive greater and lesser tzeentch daemonic magic weapons; they do not suit the HoT as the Herald is not combat based.
There's only one locus which is worth taking and that's the locus of conjuration; this gives +1 strength to all hits caused by psychic powers. If you take flickering fire then you're talking S6 shots and on the bolt of change and infernal gateway you're talking about S9 - not too shabby.
If you have the points it is worth boosting the HoT up a few mastery levels, the HoT is already mastery level 1 psyker. You could make mastery level 3 and then pop with a unit of Pink Horrors and also take the grimoire (exalted reward) - this way you could switch one mastery level for divination (looking prescience here) and use the other mastery levels for extra flickering fire shots; would generate 3D6 shots. Depending on how many Horrors you take, you could be pumping out 6D6 S6 shots with re-roll to hit! Ooosh!
In a nutshell
The Herald of Tzeentch I feel is the best supporting Herald out of the lot; you get some good powers on the divination table (prescience, perfect timing, precognition and misfortune are all nice powers) and then boost up the units fire power with practically double more shots.
As earlier mentioned, the Herald of Tzeetch is the weakest Herald and is only T3, this means S6 shots will blow the HoT to pieces. Also you do have the options of funky close combat weapons, but leave these to the big Tzeentch monsters.
Karanak is Khorne's favourite doggy and a postman's worst nightmare. Karanak is basically a S5 T5 multi wound tooled up Flesh Hound who has a few tricks up his paw.
Karanak has the greater locus of fury which gives the rage special rule and also has hatred rule; that's a unit/Karanak getting +2 attacks for charging and also re-rolling to hit in the first round of combat. In addition can also scout.
In addition Karanak can pick a 'prey' model (enemy character) and Karanak re-rolls failed to hit and to wounds against that model.
Now we all know Khorne doesn't like psykers, well neither does Karanak. If a psyker takes a psychic test within 12" of Karanak and rolls a double, then the psyker will suffer perils of the warp.
You get all of the above for 120 points, which isn't bad, but Karanak takes a HQ slot and I do not like that idea. Would be better as an upgrade character like before.
What you can do is plonk Karanak into a unit of Juggernauts, Karanak will give them scout, rage and hatred and can take some of the S8 shots coming towards them; evil.
In a nutshell
Karanak is a great little HQ unit which seriously increases the damage output of a unit. Like a better Herald and if you was thinking of taking a Herald to put with Juggernauts then I would consider Karanak as you get a lot more for your points.
Bad thing about chief daemon dog is takes a HQ slot, you don't want this guy for your warlord so you would need to take something else which has a higher leadership value.
6. Seekers of Slaanesh
The Seekers are one of two of my favourite fast attack units, the being Flesh Hounds and still now I have trouble deciding which is the better of two units. You can find an X vs Y post here: X vs Y: Flesh Hounds vs Seekers
Basically Seekers are Daemonettes in cavalry form and costing a few more points than normal, considering things i.e hammer of wrath move 12" etc that's not too bad at all. Lets also not forget that the unit gets acute senses special rule (re-roll which side appears) and outflank and also that Slaanesh cavalry models get an auto 6" run - if Seekers start 12" from the table edge and move 12" and auto run 6" that's a 30" move!
You can add a Heartseeker to the unit (squad leader) who can take lesser and greater rewards. Personally I wouldn't bother and use these points to contribute to a Herald of Slaanesh who can benefit the unit so much better.
The unit can also take an instrument and icon, the special icon is the rapturous standard. The standard does -D3 weapon skill to enemy units, though it doesn't effect anything Slaanesh. Keep in mind that the banner is only single use, Seekers hit mostly on a 3+ anyway and also the banner costs a total of 30 points.
In a nutshell
The Seekers are basically fast killy Daemonettes, they can chop anything up from basic infantry to monstrous creatures to vehicles - those multiple rending attacks slice up things nicely. If you throw the Herald into the unit and the Herald has invisibility power and also locus of grace which will stop Seekers taking dangerous terrain tests (cavalry take dangerous terrain tests when in terrain) and the invisibility power will make the Seekers extremely hard to kill. Do not forget cavalry also get hammer of wrath, though S3 isn't mega bad ass.
Seekers maybe uber destructive, but they do not like taking punches back. They are only T3 and have a 5+ inv save, so if you're not in terrain then a fresh round of bolter fire is really going to ruin the Seekers' day.
7. Flesh Hounds of Khorne
The Flesh Hounds fight with Seekers over the fast attack slot and there's a good reason for it as both as damn good units. Where the Seekers offer more punch power the Flesh Hounds offer more survivability.
The Flesh Hounds are S4, T4, W2 over the Seekers, though they get less attacks and initiative, but they do get a might 6+ armour save!
What Hounds do get is scout and furious charge. Now f.c isn't as good as rending, but that S5 can take apart monstrous creatures, basic infantry and vehicles in a single attack. Scout will allow you to move up and get a bottom end turn 1 assault in.
Hounds also get psychic defence in the form of collar of khorne, basically gives them a 4+ deny the witch.
As the Flesh Hounds lack that killing blow you could throw in a Herald of Khorne on a juggernaut, this will give some AP3 attacks (unless take an etherblade) and maybe give rage or hatred. The Herald can also bounce S8 shots off as will be T5 thanks to the Juggernaut.
In a nutshell
The Hounds are a wicked unit just like Seekers. They bring more durability to the table and can get into the fight real quick. As they are beasts they do not have to worry about terrain tests, but unlike Seekers, they do not get hammer of wrath, not that S3 hammer of wrath is scary.
Unfortunately Flesh Hounds do not bring anything serious with them and just rely on weight of attacks and wounds to do the business. If they cannot finish a unit off, then they will drop down to S4.
Notable Mentions Soul Grinder
The Soul Grinder isn't a too bad unit though it can get pricey quick. Often people look at skyfire and think it is a must have unit and is awesome, well it only fires 3 shots and is BS3 so it isn't that good. Another issue is the phlegm which is ordnance, so you will have to snap fire the harvester if you fancy firing the phlegm as well. If the Soul Grinder has an extra shot for the harvester then it would be cooler.
The Skull Cannon is a great synergy unit, is pretty damn tough and has excellent shooting abilities. The cannon is handy in an assault army as any unit hit by the skull cannon has a marker placed by it and any Daemon unit which charges an enemy unit with a marker by doesn't suffer initiative penalty when charging through terrain.
It's all good, but the Skull Cannon is confused. It is S8 so wants to be hurting vehicles, but initiative doesn't matter against vehicles unless going against walkers. It also has a high AP so it isn't going to be destroying stuff, but primarily you want units to survive so daemons can bite some face. It also has the gorefeast rule which makes it S7 for hammer of wrath. Basically the Skull Cannon is trying too much to be a jack of all trades.
The Prince is an expensive beasty and can get very expensive quickly. Unfortunately it is the only real air support Daemons have in dakka dakka form and then that shooting attack is 2D6 assault 12", hardly long range and laying down some serious fire power. Unreliable, I think so.
Burning Chariot of Tzeentch
The Burning Chariot picks up the booby prize for Daemons. Why on earth does the rider of the chariot fire heavy weapons? If the chariot moves then one weapon is snap firing and the flamer weapon isn't firing at all. Not cool G.W, not cool at all. Get it FAQ'd!
What are your favourite units in the Chaos Daemons codex? Do you agree with this assessment?