Traitor’s Hate Review: part 3 – Psychic Disciplines

Chaos Space Marines new Psychic Powers
Chaos Space Marines new Psychic Powers

It’s time to get down to actual meat and potatoes of Traitor’s Hate – the new rules and stuff. Last time we took a look at the Dataslates and found them solid albeit a bit lack-lustre. This time I’ll try and guide you through the four new psychic disciplines in the book. Yes, they are the same as the Emperor’s finest got in their Angles of Death book but you know what – I’m pretty cool with that. Since I don’t have the Angles of Death their all new to me and the uses of them will differ a bit since Chaos Space Marines play a bit different from the loyalists. 

I go through them – discipline by discipline, spell by spell. First up is:



Primaris Power – Warpshock (WC1)

A half range, six shoot heavy bolter. Decent witchfire power. Not game breaking but you should be able to put a wound or two on most anything using this. 

1. Empyric Shield (WC1)

The psyker and only the psyker gains a 3++ inv save. Having the Sorcerer in mind my first impression was – well this is a bit meh, if I want a beat stick Sorcerer I’m rolling Biomancy not Ectomancy. But then I started thinking of the Daemon Prince, especially a Tzeentch one. 3++, re-rolling ones? Yes please!

2. Daemonshriek (WC1)

It’s a 9″ Haywire nova. Move up, explode, repeat. Solid. 

3. Coruscating Blaze (WC2)

Another witchfire power and again a half range heavy bolter. Only 1d6 shots but enemy units within 6″ of the original target take d6 heavy bolter hits too. I don’t know, for two Warp Charges I expect more. 

4. Infernal Claws (WC1)

The Psyker gain +1 Strenght and Attacks and each hit in close combat generates two S5 Ap- hits. Again inferior to Biomancy for a Sorcerer but solid for Daemon Prince. 

5. Ghost Storm (WC2)

This 18″ blessing gives the target unit a bonus move of 18″. Unfortunately you can’t charge after the Ghost Storm but a great way of moving you special weapon Havocs or Obliterators into the critical kill range or claim objectives and so forth. Great power. 

6. Soulswitch (WC2)

This power is actually kind of broken. It’s a 24″ blessing that allows you to change places with Psyker (and his unit) and another unit. You can charge after the Soulswitch and more importantly you can Soulswitch directly into close combat. Pretty brutal. 



Primaris Power – Rockmaw (WC2)

The power targets an enemy unit within 18″. All models take an Dangerous Terrain check with no armour saves. Not great especially for WC2.

1. Ley Leech (WC1)

18″ blessing, the target regain d3 wounds and gain It Will Not Die. Yeah, this is awesome. 

2. Rupture (WC1)

A malediction that causes some damage, a S5 Ap4 hit for each unit within 6″ of a target point and the ground becomes dangerous terrain. Naw, this isn’t the reason to roll on this discipline. 

3. Torturer of worlds (WC1)

If you want to slow your opponent down look no further. This malediction targets all enemy units within 18″. They move as in difficult terrain and cannot run, turbo boost or move flat out. Decent power. 

4. Earthly Anathema (WC1)

This blessing allows a unit within 24″ to Ignore Cover and Line of Sight. Say what? This is crazy good. 

5. Profane Ruination (WC1)

A 24″ witchfire attack that target a building or ruin. A building takes a glance on 1-3 or a pen on 4+. Units in ruins take a little damage on a 4+. Not that great. 

6. Worldwrithe (WC3)

Ok, it is kind of hard to pull this one off but when you do you break the game. The Psyker can move a terrain price within 24″. You can move it 24″. If you have units on the terrain piece they take dangerous terrain tests. Once you land the piece you change. Cool concept but no thanks. We are already talking about excluding this power and replacing it with a free pick of another power in the discipline or something. 



Primaris Power – Corrupt Machine (WC1)

The potential of this power is pretty good but there are quite a few obstacles to pass before you get there. It’s a malediction with only 18″ range. Pick a weapon on a vehicle and roll off against the opponent. Lose and nothing happens. Draw and the weapon can only snap fire. Win and you can fire the weapon. 

1. Boon of the Iron Beast (WC1)

Bless a vehicle within 24″, that vehicle ignores stunned and shaken and gain Power of the Machine Spirit (!). Decent no doubt but this one certainly doesn’t feel very Chaos. 

2. Scrapcode Curse (WC1)

Focussed witchfire attack, 18″, target takes d3 s1 ap- Haywire hits. Short range but good. 

3. Dark Invigoration (WC1)

24″ blessing, target recover 1 hull point or fix one destroyed weapon or become un-immobilised. This is awesome. My Maulerfiends love this spell. 

4. Fleshmetal Hide

Another 24″ blessing. Target unit get either +1 to all armour values or get +1 Toughness. Just imagine Murderpack with AV13 or a beat stick Lord protected by T7 Nurgle spawn or … yeah, pretty much anything. Awesome. 

5. Electromortis (WC1)

This is an 18″ Haywire beam. Oh my!

6. Flayerstorm (WC2)

Another 18″ shooting attack, focussed witchfire. Target lose d3 HP and for each HP an unit within 12″ takes d6 s4 ap6 rending hits. An alright power but nothing spectacular. 



Primaris Power – Fury of the Gods (WC1)

Man, 18″ is the new black. Witchfire blast, S5 Ap3. Pretty good. 

1. Warp Fate (WC1)

Blessing, psyker and his unit get to re-roll failed saving throws. You want this. For sure. 

2. Empyragheist (WC1)

This is a 20″ beam with s6 ap4 pinning, not bad but not spectacular. 

3. Armour of Hatred

This blessing target the psyker. All friendly units within 12″ gain Fearless and Adamantium Will and a 4++ against all witchfire attacks. Gaining Fearless is infinitely better for Chaos Space Marines than for Loyalist Marines as it solves a lot the morale issues the CSM have. 

4. Diabolic Strength (WC1)

The psyker gain +2 Strength, Toughness, Initiative and Attacks. Great improvement of the stat line but if you want a beat stick roll on Biomancy. But if you run a Prince …

5. Warp Lure (WC1)

24″ malediction that targets another psyker, you roll 2d6+your mastery level and the target psyker rolls 1d6+ML. Lose and nothing happens. Draw and the enemy takes a wounds, no saves and can only harness warp charges on a 6+. Win and the enemy also forgets a power. A decently effective way of shutting down enemy psykers. Sure they can still attempt to deny but with WC1 you should be able to pull it off. 

6. Death Hex (WC2)

This malediction is brilliant. If you pull it off the target unit have to reduce its invulnerable save by -2. Ripped Chapter Masters with storm shields will learn to fear this. Great against Imperial Knights too. 

Final thoughts

The four new disciplines open a world of new opportunities and solve quite a few inherent problems that CSM have – like mobility and leadership. Chaos Psykers are great, the spell familiar is still one of the best ways to spend 15 points and being ML3 means that you are more likely to get the spells you really want and need. 

The biggest problem still remain though, a marked psyker need to roll on the not so great God specific tables. It’s a shame. Seriously does anyone mark their Sorcerers? I can’t remember the last time I did. 

Ectomancy is a great discipline. Almost every power is good especially for a Daemon Prince. I can see myself rolling on this table if I bring a Daemon Prince or on one one of the Sorcerers in a Cyclopian Cabal. I would go for another discipline if I bring a single Sorcerer. 

Geomortis is really hit or miss. The good powers are crazy good. The other powers (the ones I’ll probably roll each and every time) are left wanting. Would I risk rolling on this table with a single Sorcerer? Yeah, I could probably do that. The rewards are just so great!

If you know you will be facing a lot of vehicles (or at least a few) then Heretech is absolutely an option. The spells are solid to great. A mobile Sorcerer or two could absolutely ravage an armoured Astra Militarum army. 

Last but not least, Sinistrum offers a couple of great powers that easily could prove game winning, like Warp Fate or Death Hex. But the discipline is a bit all over the place and lacks focus. I believe it would worth rolling on the table if have more than one psyker in your army but not if you only run one. 

What’s your take on the new psychic disciplines?

9 thoughts on “Traitor’s Hate Review: part 3 – Psychic Disciplines

  1. Great summary dude – some of those look bloody terrifying… Am I reading Wordwrithe correctly? You get to move a feature 24″ – anyone on it takes a DT test, and then (assuming they pass), they can charge? Nuts! Heretech looks nasty too… :-/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Evening Thomas, good summary bud. It’s a shame they’re pretty much a copy of the Angels of Death powers, not because they’re bad but it’s just less characterful. It would have been cool to see a ritualism discipline where sacrificing models (sorry cultists) gives you benefits; perhaps like… Rain of Blood (reference) sacrifice X number of models from one of your units for WC 2 where X adds a bonus to a units cover save or some such. Or perhaps forced (d)evolution where you can turn models in to spawn, hounds or whatever. Tangent over. Great review bud, I recently picked up the ‘dex and was going to do a review but you’ve covered the bases really well! I might just do a tiny TLDR as I feel I need to justify my purchase 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks glad you liked the review. It was very useful for me to go over all the powers. I feel I have a better understanding of them now.

      I know what you mean regarding having the same powers as the loyalists. Hopefully will the God specific tables be fleshed out in the new codex. There is so much you could do. I liked both examples you gave.

      You should do a write-up. I would love to read it. Your reviews of the Crimson Slaughter and Black Legion were ace.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The disciplines I’ve played around with most are Heretech and Sinistrum. As you said, Heretech is great when facing vehicles, but also if you have vehicles you want to support. It’s less amazing in a support role, but still useful.

    Sinistrum I have started to come to love. Every power in there is useful. The least useful is Empyragheist, and Warp Lure situational (need an enemy psyker), but it’s great when there is. Warp Lure is far easier to work than it seems at first, and getting the enemy psyker to harness only on 6’s, and maybe lose a power, is pretty great.

    In my latest game, my Sorcerer rolled on Sinistrum, and he got into a challenge against a Marine Captain. Not a challenge I wanted to be in, but that’s Chaos, right? Anyway, I cast Diabolical Strength, Death Hex and Force. Being at I6 let me string first, then S6 wounding on 2’s; not bad. My only issue was I didn’t realize at the time he had Artificer Armor (2+), so he didn’t care about my AP3 Force weapon. It was a good idea in theory, just wrong target. On the plus side, he needed 6’s to wound me, being T6 from Diabolical Strength, so that worked out.

    Anyway, overall I just feel that Sinistrum has a good synergy.

    Liked by 1 person

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