The Goonhammer Review: The 10th Edition Thousand Sons Index (2024)

The Goonhammer Review: The 10th Edition Thousand Sons Index (1)

The Thousand Sons first broke out as a separate army in late 7th edition with the release of Magnus (the first 40k primarch!) and a host of new models which marked them as a standalone army. Since then they’ve weathered ups and downs, most recently having a bit of a resurgence in 9th edition as part of combined forces with Tzeentch Daemons. As we head into Tenth edition they’re in an interesting spot with the changes to Psychic powers, poised to take new steps into an edition where they can potentially be much more reliable.

In this article we’re going to take a deep dive into Index: Thousand Sons, talking about their army rules, their units, and how they’ll play in tenth edition.

Before we begin we’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a review copy of the Index.

Army Rule: Cabal of Sorcerers

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Let’s start with the faction’s main rule, which will be conceptually familiar to Ninth edition Thousand Sons players. If your army is Thousand Sons, then at the end of your Command phase, each model from your army with the Cabal of Sorcerers ability (excluding those which are battle-shocked) generates you Cabal points equal to the number in its ability. These become your Cabal points pool and can be spent on sweet effects called rituals. Your unspent points are lost at the start of the next Command phase, and each ritual can only be used once per phase. There are five rituals, and they’re all pretty damn good, to the point where you’ll be making some tough decisions with them. They all have the [PSYCHIC] tag.

  • Weaver of Fates (2 Cabal Points) – Use at the start of any phase. Once during that phase, when a saving throw is failed for a friendly Thousand Sons model whose unit is within 18” of this PSYKER, you can re-roll the save. This is a bit situational in that you have to plan for it before the phase, but the 18” radius lets you pick a central unit and cast it outward. It’s also pretty much always going to be relevant.
  • Temporal Surge (5 Cabal Points) – Use at the start of your Shooting phase. Pick a friendly Thousand Sons unit within 18” of this PSYKER; as long as they aren’t in Engagement Range of enemy units, they can make a normal move. They can’t charge after doing this. This is massive, and a great way to surge forward and either take objectives or get into cover or a killing position. You’ll be using this one a lot.
  • Echoes from the Warp (6 Cabal Points) – Use at the start of any phase. Once this phase, you can pick this Psyker’s unit as the target of a Stratagem for 0 CP, even if you have already used that Stratagem this phase. This is fantastic and has a ton of value. It’s great for getting off a free Rapid Ingress with your Scarabs or, if you want to go for broke, dropping two in the same round. It’s also fantastic value for popping Warpflamer Overwatch twice in the same phase – just remember that you have to do it after you pay the 1 CP to Overwatch, and you have to do both in the same phase.
  • Doombolt (7 Cabal Points) – Use at the start of your Shooting phase. Pick a visible enemy unit within 18” and roll a D6; on a 1 they take D3 mortal wounds, on a 2-5 they take D3+3 and on a 6 they take D3+6. This is an insane amount of mortal wounds and just incredibly good value. It’s one of your most potent anti-tank tools and needs to be in your consideration every turn. It’s also one of the most reliable ways to kill a Lone Operative who otherwise can’t be targeted.
  • Twist of Fate (9 Cabal Points) – Use at the start of any phase. Pick a visible enemy unit within 18” and until the end of the phase, armour saving throws can’t be made for models in that unit. This one is also bonkers good, and whether you’re better off doing this or Doombolt to a unit will depend on its size and what you can throw at it, and the subject of a future Hammer of Math article.

Note that most characters give you 2 Cabal Points and Rubrics and Scarabs give you 1 so on average expect to have around 10-15 Cabal points per round to play with, depending on how you’ve built your army. These rules are insanely good, and all of these effects have their uses. It’s a powerful set of effects to build around, and one of the stronger army rules in the 10th edition indexes.

Secondary Army Rule: Master Sorcerers

In a similar fashion to Death Guard with their plague weapons having LETHAL HITS, Thousand Sons have an extra bonus mechanic to their army – most of their Psychic attacks do not have the HAZARDOUS keyword. Instead they’re mostly single mode or, you could argue, already on max power. This is a fun way to reflect the fact that they’re the unparalleled masters of the empyrean among the astartes. It makes them more reliable as casters and helps shore up their lack of heavy weapons.

Detachment Rule: Cult of Magic

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Detachment Ability: Kindred Sorcerery

In your Command phase, you can pick one of the abilities below to take effect until the start of your next Command phase:

  • Malevolent Charge – Psychic Weapons equipped by Thousand Sons models from your army have LETHAL HITS
  • Psychic Maelstrom – Psychic Weapons equipped by Thousand Sons models from your army have SUSTAINED HITS 1
  • Wrath of the Immaterium – Psychic Weapons equipped by Thousand Sons models from your army have DEVASTATING WOUNDS

This is another fun Hammer of Math problem waiting to happen but all three of these are good in different situations. It’s important to remember as well that PSYCHIC shows up on melee weapons as well as ranged ones, so it may sometimes behoove you to pick something to improve your melee strikes with Magnus or a Daemon Prince. Most of the time you’ll be looking at boosting ranged attacks, though. This is very solid, but you’ll want to track what powers your army has before firing it off, since many of your ranged psychic attacks already come with Devastating Wounds.


Six Stratagems here to work with – two of them are defensive, with Destined by Fate being something you’ll use primarily on Magnus and Dominion being mostly for going up against Grey Knights – while the other four combo with each other and turn your army’s basic shooting into devastating psychic attacks.

  • Psychic Dominion (1 CP) – Use in any phase after an enemy unit picks targets. Until the end of the phase any attacks made against your unit with Psychic Weapons gain the HAZARDOUS tag and your models all get a 4+ Feel No Pain ability against Psychic attacks. This is a fun way to punish psychic attacks but it’s going to be very, very matchup dependent.
  • Destined by Fate (1 CP) – Use when you fail a Saving Throw with a PSYKER Model. You can change the damage of that attack to 0. This is great for Magnus in particular, as with other characters you’re likely to be embedded in a unit of non-psyker models. It’s also great for dodging Precision blows on your squad leader.
  • Devastating Sorcery (1 CP) – Use in your Shooting phase on a PSYKER unit that hasn’t shot yet. Until the end of the phase, when that unit makes a Psychic attack, you can re-roll the hit roll and wound rolls. This is solid but most of the time it’s going to be limited to two models for a unit – the squad champion and the psyker leading the unit. Could be good to fish for mortals on Devastating Wounds, though and works on Magnus. The clear combo here is with Ensorcelled Infusion, where you can just turn an entire unit’s attacks PSYCHIC.
  • Ensorcelled Infusion (1 CP) – Use in your Shooting phase on a Psyker Unit that hasn’t shot yet. Until the end of the phase all of their inferno bolters/pistols/combi bolters/combi weapons gain PSYCHIC and are S5. This one is huge, and combos well with Devastating Sorcery to produce a very nasty volley of firepower. Add in the detachment rule bonus and you could make some insanely strong volleys with this.
  • Sorcerous Might (1 CP) – Use in your Shooting phase on a Psyker unit which hasn’t shot yet. Until the end of the phase add 9” to the range of their Psychic weapons. Quirky but fun, and strong when you need it. Works well with Ensorcelled Infusion to give your unit 33” bolters.
  • Warp Sight (2 CP) – Use in your Shooting phase on a Psyker unit in your army and one visible enemy. Until the end of the phase when you target that unit with psychic attacks your attacks have INDIRECT FIRE and IGNORES COVER. This is another solid ability, letting you just light someone up through a wall. Again, something to combo with Ensorcelled Infusion.

There’s some cool stuff here but there’s a real question as to how much you’ll use it given the strength of the Fire Overwatch Stratagem – Thousand Sons in particular have strong overwatch thanks to warpflamers, and you’ll likely want to be firing overwatch every turn if you can. That doesn’t leave a ton of CP, but you can also get one of these for free per round if you need.


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The Cult of Magic has four Enhancements to pick from and while only two require the character you give them to be a Psyker, I don’t see any non-Psyker characters in the Index to make that matter.

  • Lord of Forbidden Lore – The bearer can use a ritual even if another Psyker from your army already used that one this phase. This has some very specific uses, and most of them are either getting double Temporal Surge or double Doombolt per round but if you want to be incredibly stupid about it you could use this to fire off Echoes of the Warp twice and do three Rapid Ingresses in the same turn for 2 CP. Which seems hilarious.
  • Athenaean Scrolls – In your Command phase if the bearer is on the battlefield and not battle-shocked, you generate 1 additional Cabal point. The value of this will depend on the cost but generally this is solid if it gets you to 15+ points, or above another key threshold.
  • Umbralefic Crystal – Once per battle in your Command Phase, you can remove the bearer’s unit from the battlefield. If you do, in the Reinforcements step of your next Movement phase, set that unit back up anywhere on the battlefield more than 9” horizontally away from all enemy models. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is still amazing and likely to be a must-include in armies. It’s particularly good for reacting to secondary objectives that require you to move across table, and as a threat it’ll force your opponent to screen defensively until you pop it. Sometimes the best tricks are the ones you don’t have to use.
  • Arcane Vortex – Add 1 to the Strength and Damage characteristic of the bearer’s Psychic weapons. This is primarily going on a daemon prince, where getting a 2-damage S7 sweep is very, very good, and having a S9 4-damage strike is equally solid. It’s also pretty good on a Terminator Sorcerer – where having a 3-damage Coruscating Flames is very good – and it’s downright funny on an Infernal Master, where popping off 2D6 S7 Screamer Invocation Shots at 2 damage each is sick as hell.


The Thousand Sons don’t have a lot of datasheets, which makes it possible to write about all of them here. I’m going to break them up into the categories that make the most sense, starting with Magnus.

Magnus the Red


The Goonhammer Review: The 10th Edition Thousand Sons Index (5)

Magnus is an absolute beast. At T11 and 16 wounds he’s just as tough as before, but also comes with a 2+ armor save and most importantly, he doesn’t have the TOWERING keyword, meaning it’s possible to hide him behind ruins. Magnus moves 14” with FLY and has the ability to boost that as needed. On that note – Magnus can pick one of three abilities each battle round to have:

  • Impossible Form (Psychic) – Reduces incoming damage by 1
  • Treason of Tzeentch (Psychic) – Pick a visible enemy unit within 24” at the start of your opp’s shooting phase – that unit’s ranged weapons gain HAZARDOUS for the phase.
  • Time Flux (Aura, Psychic) – Add 2” to the Move characteristic of friendly Thousand Sons models within 6”.

Time Flux and Impossible Form are the big winners here and I think you’ll mostly alternate between those two depending on whether you need the movement buff (and 7” footslogging terminators which can double move 14” with Temporal Surge or 12” land raiders are both great options here). Come to think of it, you could just double move the land raider 24”, though the timing on surge means you can’t get out after you move the second time (it’s in the shooting phase). Still, having Land Raiders and Rhinos which can move 24” and regular infantry who can move 12-14” is pretty damn good and immediately makes the Thousand Sons one of the most mobile armies in the game.

On top of Magnus’ three Crimson King abilities he also has his Lord of the Planet of the Sorcerers (Aura), which gives friendly Thousand Sons PSYKER units within 6” +1 to their hit and wound rolls on Psychic attacks. This is an incredible boost and combos very well with Ensorcelled Infusion, and the fact that it’s an aura means you don’t have to take one big unit of Scarabs to make the most of it. Good stuff.

I could gush about Magnus’ force multiplier abilities all day but he’s got some great offense as well – He has two Ranged psychic attacks, Gaze of Magnus and Tzeentch’s Firestorm, both with 24” range. Gaze does 3D3 attacks at S9 AP-2, 3 damage with Devastating Wounds and is just a solid attack. Firestorm on the other hand does D6+3 Blast Attacks at S5 AP-2, 2 damage. Both are solid attacks to throw out and both benefit from Sustained Hits 1. In addition to his ranged attacks, Magnus has his blade, which makes PSYCHIC attacks. The Strike mode gives you 7 attacks at S16 AP-3, 3 damage with Devastating Wounds and is your army’s best anti-tank option, while the sweep gives you 14 attacks at S8 AP-1 1 damage. In total is a great suite of attacks to play with.

T11 and a 2+ were already a huge improvement but that hideability pushes him over the top and makes him playable in competitive play. He brings a ton to the table and there’s so much value between his auras and attacks that I’m liable to start most list-building conversations by including him.


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The Thousand Sons don’t have a ton of units but they have a good roster of characters. Unless otherwise noted, the Terminator armor units can join Scarabs and the rest can join Rubric Marines.

  • Ahriman comes in two flavors – on Disc and off, and I cannot imagine you’ll ever pay for his disc. It gives you 10” movement and FLY plus an extra wound, but as he’s joining a unit with 6” movement the extra movement means very little so if you can save points by having him on foot, that’ll be the play. Otherwise, Ahriman gives his Rubrics +1 to Wound and once per battle he can use a Ritual for 0 Cabal points (he gives you 3 per turn), which is a solid way to throw down Twist of Fate or Doombolt. In terms of Psychic attacks, Ahriman is a bit less impressive – His Psychic Stalk attack goes 18” and throws out 1 attack hitting on a 2+ at S6, AP-1 D6 damage with Precision. It’s a fun way to potentially snipe someone, especially combined with the Devastating Wounds boost from the Cult of Magic, but not super reliable. His Black Staff gives you 5 attacks that hit with S7 AP-1 3 damage, and that’s not bad, either. He’s good, but nowhere near the “best unit in the game” powerhouse he was for two editions.
  • The Thousand Sons Daemon Prince continues to be a way for Thousand Sons to get some melee power. In a trend we’ll see continued across every Chaos faction, the Daemon Prince comes in two varieties – Winged and On Foot – and as with those, the foot version ends up being significantly better thanks to having better abilities. Both have T10, a 2+ save, and 10 wounds with a 3-damage psychic sword that can trade in its 6 strike attacks for 12 sweeps. But the foot version can give a unit of Rubrics or Scarabs within 6” [PRECISION] once per battle for a phase and has an aura to give nearby friendly Thousand Sons the Stealth ability, making himself more durable. By contrast the Winged version is more a solo melee monster, doing mortal wounds to units it moves over. Though the winged prince’s Aetherstride is interesting – at the end of your opponent’s turn you can pick the winged DP up and deep strike him back onto the table during your next Movement phase. The big advantage to Thousand Sons DPs is that they have PSYCHIC melee attacks, which means you can significantly improve their output by giving them DEVASTATING WOUNDS.
  • The Exalted Sorcerer comes in two varieties – Disc or no Disc – and unlike with Ahriman, there’s something to like about both versions. On foot the Exalted Sorcerer’s best tricks are the 4+ invulnerable save he gives to his unit and the ability to return dead rubrics to his unit. His Astral Blast psychic attack is also appropriately nasty, throwing out D6 S6 AP-2 D3 damage shots with Blast and Devastating Wounds. On disc the Exalted Sorcerer still hands out a 4+ invulnerable save but trades his ability to bring back rubrics for the ability to halve the move characteristic and advance and charge rolls of enemy units. He also swaps out his power for Arcane Fire, which has the same statline but with the Ignores Cover and Torrent keywords. He’s pretty good, and that 4+ invulnerable save and ability to bring back dead Rubrics is going to be hard to beat.
  • Thousand Sons Sorcerers give you 1 Cabal Point and a couple of neat abilities to work with. While they lead a unit, that unit gets LETHAL HITS and can’t be targeted by ranged attacks unless they’re within 18”. They make solid leaders for bolter Rubrics.
  • Thousand Sons Sorcerers in Terminator Armour are so good they get their own entry here. They’re your leaders for Scarab Terminators and come with two abilities – Empyric Guidance gives their unit LETHAL HITS, while Marked by Fate lets you pick a visible enemy within 18” in the Shooting phase and get re-roll 1s to hit against it, both great abilities to have when you’re about to dump out a bunch of inferno combi-bolter shots. His Coruscating Flames attack is also excellent – this 18” power gets 3 shots at S4 AP-3 2 damage, and has Devastating Wounds with Anti-Monster 4, Anti-Vehicle 4. It’s a great power to have with SUSTAINED HITS 1 from the Cult of Magic.
  • The Infernal Master retains a couple of his chaplain-like effects from 9th with Malefic Maelstrom – which gives his unit SUSTAINED HITS 1 – and Glimpse of Eternity, which lets you turn one hit, wound, damage, or save roll for this model into an unmodified 6 per turn. That’s not as useful as you’d like it to be given this model’s psychic attack doesn’t roll to hit and as part of a unit he’ll rarely need to roll saves. He’s only really an option for leading bolter rubrics. His Screamer Invocation is the faction’s lone Hazardous psychic attack, with a focused witchfire version that does 2D6 hits instead of 2D3. Otherwise it’s an 18” Torrent weapon that hits at S6 AP-2, 1 damage. He’s a weird character who feels like he wants to join Warpflamers but his abilities don’t line up with that.
  • Finally we have the Tzaangor Shaman, who can join either Tzaangor Enlightened or Tzaangors. He comes on a Disc of Tzeentch which gives him a 10” FLY move (you want to put him with Enlightened), and he gives his unit a 5+ Feel No Pain ability and +1 to their hit rolls, both huge upgrades. He gives you 1 cabal point per turn and comes with a nice little psychic attack – Mutating Orbs does D6 shots at S9 AP0 1 damage with Devastating Wounds. The Shaman is good enough on his own that I can see him being half the reason you take Enlightened, who as we’ll see are much more interesting in 10th.


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  • The lone Battleline unit for Thousand Sons is Rubric Marines. These come in units of 5-10 and come with inferno boltguns – bolters with AP-1. The unit’s sorcerer provides 1 cabal point and the unit’s inherent ability is that they re-roll wound rolls of 1 or all wounds if they’re targeting a unit in range of an objective marker. The sorcerer’s psychic attack is warpsmite, an Anti-Infantry 4+ Pistol attack with Devastating Wounds that fires off two S4 AP-3 shots. As with 9th edition however the real fire (pun intended) with these guys is in taking a full unit of Warpflamers, S4 AP-1 flamers with Torrent and Ignores cover. Doing so turns them into Overwatch machines and makes them insanely good at area denial. You’ll want an Icon of Flame for the unit, which gives them an extra AP on critical wounds.

Other Infantry

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  • Scarab Occult Terminators aren’t battleline and they’re OC 1 but they now have T5 and a 4+ invulnerable save to make them more durable plus their Implacable Guardians ability gives incoming attacks -1 to wound if they have a strength greater than the unit’s toughness as long as there’s a psyker model in the unit. Their champion has the same warpsmite as Rubrics, and the unit can take 1 missile rack and one warpflamer or soulreaper cannon per five models. The Soulreaper cannon is probably the play for these guys given their other guns but the heavy warpflamer does hit at AP-2 and S5.
  • Cultists are your cheap chaff unit, though notably in Thousand Sons they come with a 6+ invulnerable save. Whenever they destroy an enemy unit or are destroyed you roll a D6 and on a 2+ you get 1 CP, which is a neat little refund.
  • Tzaangors also come in units of 10-20 and are your slightly less cheap chaff unit, since they have T4 and the same 6+ invulnerable save. They’re better in melee, and now hit at S5 AP-1 with tzaangor blades. The real value is their add-ons: A Brayhorn lets them re-roll advance and charge rolls, while a banner lets them re-roll battle-shock tests, which is very helpful given they have Ld 7+. They can also get you extra cabal points – every Tzaangor unit on an objective marker gets you a cabal point on a 4+.
  • Tzaangor Enlightened got one of the edition’s biggest glow-ups. These come in units of 3-6 and have 10” movement with FLY on their discs of Tzeentch, plus a 6+ invulnerable save and OC 2. The reason you take them are their Fatecaster Greatbows, 2-shot S5 AP-1 2-damage weapons with Lethal Hits and Precision. These really shine when paired with a Tzaangor Shaman, which will have them hitting on 3s. Lobbing out 12 of these shots may be enough to snipe weaker characters out of a squad and if Magnus is around you can sweeten the pot there to wound more easily. I like these guys a lot.

Monsters and Beasts

  • Chaos Spawn come in units of 2 and in Thousand Sons they get a 5+ invulnerable save, making them immediately much more durable. They also have a 5+ feel no pain ability and they regain D3 wound each command phase. They’re still going to disappoint you in melee while they hit on 4s (but again Magnus can help with that), but they’re fast, surprisingly durable units which can nab objectives ahead of your army or annoy an opponent.
  • The Mutalith Vortex Beast got a bit of a preview on WarCom and it’s worth talking about in full. 10” move, T10, 13 wounds and a 4+ save with a 5+ invlun and a 5+ feel no pain, this guy has some real staying power on the table. He’s got some solid 4-damage melee attacks which he can trade off for 15 weaker ones and his ranged attack comes in three varieties, as previewed. What wasn’t previewed was the Mutalith’s unit abilities. Mutating Vortex is an Aura which can do mortal wounds to every enemy unit in the movement phase and forces battle-shock tests on every enemy unit within 6” – whether they take mortal wounds or not. The Immaterial Flare Aura lets you double the range of cabal abilities done within 6”.


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Thousand Sons armies have access to vehicles. You’ll want some for transports but largely the biggest problem with the offensive vehicles is that they don’t have PSYCHIC weapons and so can’t benefit from your army-wide buffs.

  • Helbrutes are different in every Chaos Index and the Thousand Sons Helbrute comes with a 5+ invulnerable save the others don’t have. He also comes with the Arcane Knowledge Amidst Babbling Insanity Aura, which lets you get 1 Cabal Point back every time a Psyker within 9” uses a ritual. This makes the Thousand Sons Helbrute more of a backfield shooting unit than a forward melee unit. With the right planning, he can net you an extra ritual per round.
  • Land Raiders are the same here as in the other Chaos factions, and as with those the real value here is having a relatively fast, durable transport for your terminators with Assault Ramp. They’re a pretty fast mover with the +2″ movement bonus from Magnus.
  • Predators are in here too, and they’re OK, I guess. They don’t seem to have enough firepower per model, though the destructor autocannon is pretty solid.
  • Vindicators give you a compact, T11 2+ save, 11-wound body with a Demolisher cannon. The cannon itself fires off D6+3 shots with Blast, S14, AP-3 and D6 damage and if you take a siege shield you can fire it while in engagement range, so there’s no tying up the tank with melee threats.
  • Thousand Sons Rhinos are the same here as in other factions, except they inexplicably do not have the Firing Deck 2 rule. This is likely a typo, but it sucks to see. Rhinos aren’t as necessary for Thousand Sons since you don’t need them to tank Hazardous attack wounds, but they’re still powerful ways to give your army more mobility and durability.
  • Forgefiends are tougher than before (T10) and give you a pretty mobile shooting platform, though neither of its guns are much to write home about – the Hades Autocannon is just 6 S8 Ap-1 2-damage shots, while the Ectoplasma cannons are D3 Blast shots at S10 AP-3, 3-damage.
  • Maulerfiends are one of the lone melee units in the army and they’re still filling that role. Their coolest ability is Prophetic Hunters, which lets them Heroically Intervene for 0 CP, and even if you’ve already used the Stratagem that phase.
  • Defilers are back as well, combining more reliable shooting (D6+3 shots on their BLAST Defiler cannons) with some high-damage melee attacks (5A, AP-3, D6+1 damage). They’re decent all-rounders but their lack of psychic attacks probably keeps them out of your lists.
  • Finally, let’s talk about Heldrakes. My precious idiot son looks surprisingly playable in 10th edition, thanks in part to his ability to Hover. On the battlefield the Heldrake has a couple of interesting quirks that make him potentially playable to deluded bastards like myself. First there’s Flame-Wreathed, which lets it remove the benefit of cover from one unit it moves over per turn. Second its claws have ANTI-FLY 2+ and DEVASTATING WOUNDS, which makes him surprisingly good at tearing jump pack and hover tanks out of the sky in melee. And his baleflamer isn’t bad. Whether he’s playable will depend a lot on how much he costs but I’m already convincing myself he can be rehabilitated.

The Five Coolest Units

  • Magnus. The big guy is absolutely a monster in 10th edition. He’s an incredible force multiplier on a body that’s pretty durable with some nasty ranged attacks. He’s absolutely going to see play, both for his auras, his damage, and his sweet cabal points contribution.
  • Rubrics. With all the different characters who can join the unit there are a ton of different ways to play Rubrics and get value out of them.
  • Thousand Sons Sorcerer in Terminator Armour. Scarabs need one of these guys and he’s a huge improvement on the unit.
  • Tzaangor Enlightened. Take a unit of these with a Shaman and use them to pick off weak leaders and frustrate opponents.
  • Heldrake. I’m doing it. I’m making this happen. My big flying idiot son is going to fly again in 10th edition, just you wait.

The Four Biggest changes from 9th

  • The Psychic Phase is gone. Now? Our powers just work. Insane, I know. We can focus more on what we’ve always wanted to do – zipping around the table and getting the drop on opponents.
  • A shift from psychic damage to shooting… kind of. Psychic attacks are still around and a big part of the army, but they’re not the massive number of mortal wounds they used to be. You’re going to be relying more on attacks which roll to hit, though a lot of your strategy will still likely revolve around causing Devastating Wounds, either with your psychic attacks, or through combos on your bolters.
  • Rituals are more important. Rituals were powerful in 9th but not necessarily a mechanic you needed to have to win games. That’s no longer the case – these are powerful effects which you’ll need to effectively manage every turn in order to get the most out of your army. Being about to double up on some stratagems and execute any Stratagem for free are huge in their own right, and the ability to turn off saves is also massive for taking down big targets.
  • Less Durability. Your Rhinos and Land Raiders no longer have a 5+ invlunerable save but they’re still just as important now that All is Dust is gone. On the balance Scarabs are a bit more durable thanks to shrugging off more heavy firepower, but generally not getting +1 to save against 1-damage attacks makes you more vulnerable to lots of small firepower with your Rubrics.

Ultimately Thousand Sons are shaping up to be one of the stronger factions in 10th edition. They have a ton of mobility, decent durability, a good mix of ranged attacks at different strengths, and some absolutely insane tricks they can pull off. They’re flexible enough to work well in the Tempest-like mission format while hitting hard enough to take out most of the enemy targets they’ll come up against. Their ability to get easy access to Devastating Wounds means they can challenge pretty much any target in the game, and it’s easy for them to pivot to Sustained or Lethal hits as needed.

Final Thoughts

Of the Chaos Legion rules, Thousand Sons are by far my favorite. They’re fast, flexible, and have a ton of really cool tricks to play with and there are several ways to build and use Rubrics and Scarabs. They’re the army I’m most excited to play of the Chaos groups in 10th so far, and I’m looking forward to giving them a spin competitively later this year.

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The Goonhammer Review: The 10th Edition Thousand Sons Index (2024)
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