Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground — Stormcast Eternals Guide
It's a tough life for a Stormcast Eternal in Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground. Reforged after death by Sigmar, the god of lightning, you are clad in gold armor, launched into battle via thunderbolts, and expected to battle the deathless minions of Nagash and the corrupt forces of Nurgle in unending combat. You'll likely need some tips and strategies to come out triumphant.
Attaining victory against these odds is no mean feat, but this Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground guide aims to answer the questions you may have about the Stormcast Eternals. What do my units do? Which are my key units? What upgrades should I be taking? Before we get to specifics, though, the best thing to do is start with some of the game's basics.
Storm Ground Mechanics: The Basics
One of Storm Ground's sticking points is that it doesn't really explain some of its key mechanics. The most important thing to remember is that you will die before you beat a campaign.
As a roguelike, you are expected to fail and try again using the gear and skills you've picked up. When this happens, it is important to remember to select two units from your roster to carry forward before you start the first mission. For this reason, it's best to always focus your attention on upgrading two units as you progress.
Similarly, as you level up your units, they will gain more slots for skills and equipment. These will improve your units, letting them deal more damage or withstand more blows, but it also means that units cost more Aether to summon. Due to the time it takes to save up Aether, it can leave your hero and less powerful units feeling exposed. There's no perfect balance, but it's good to aim for around 4-7 Aether Points per unit, and only stretch to 9 for one extremely powerful unit that you can drop to change the game state.
Defense in Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground is interesting. While a pip of defense will negate a pip of damage from an enemy, it also gives you a cumulative chance to avoid damage altogether. If you have the chance to buff health or defense, you'll nearly always want to take gear or skills that increase your defense. Two or more pips offers over a 25% chance to negate all damage, which cannot be ignored.
Stormcast Eternals Playstyle
Of three playable Storm Ground factions, Stormcast are the most well rounded. This faction has solid defense and attack, with an uncomplicated set of mechanics and a lot of scope for turning units into solid, unbreakable formations that can methodically cut down enemy forces.
All units are summoned adjacent to your hero, or at the initial spawn points on the map. With the initial hero, Freya, you will do your best work by staying in a close-knit formation and drawing out weaker enemies. Every so often, you'll need to trade units to make this happen, and the flimsier Prosecutors and Vanguard Hunters are ideal for this as they can strike out faster than other units.
Upgrades for Stormcast tend to focus on improving their defense and ability to shrug off charges. They can also slightly diversify their attacking options. There's not much nuance here, but on the field, a few units with extra defense or the ability to push their adjacency bonuses further are a real boon.
Stormcast Unit Breakdowns
Freya Skyhelm is a Lord Celestant, and the basic hero you start the game with. Freya is a tank rather than a frontline fighter, though early on, she has decent damage output. However, it's still preferable to stack defense for her. Challenge is her unique ability, and it forces a selected unit to charge her, which lets her bait enemies into compromising positions.
Paired with the Deflect skill, which gives her a stack of Deflect when she is summoned, allowing her to negate one instance of damage on a charge, she can use Challenge with no danger of reprisal. Keep an eye out for weapons with Divine Edge, a cheap 1 energy attack that does 4 damage and ignores 2 pips of armour. Useful for shifting tanky units or bosses.
Basic Stormcast infantry with shields and hammers, Liberators are your bread and butter unit. They have decent defense and poor attack, but their main use is their adjacency buff, which lets them give units in hexes next to them an extra 1 defense if they also have a shield. This is a total game-changer for Stormcast; two units of liberators plus Freya with a shield creates a tough nut to crack.
Liberators also come with hammers that let them knock units back 1 hex, which is good for manipulating enemy placement or pushing Mymourn Banshees out of their AoE death splash range. Their unique ability is Protect, which sees them sacrifice 2 armor to give a selected unit 2 armor. It's situational at best, so only use it when another unit is really hurting.
Basic Stormcast ranged units, Castigators wield Thunderhead Greatbows, which let them deal damage from a 3 hex range or channel Indirect Attack for their whole turn to deal 3 damage at 4 range. The latter skill is invaluable as the enemy will tend to move to avoid it. Move Castigators to high ground, and make sure they have Liberator support to buff their weak armor.
As the AI also has little self-preservation, and melee units will often move into marked hexes near your own units, so planning where to aim Indirect Attack in advance of an enemy charge can net you easy damage.
Key skills and upgrades to watch for are Overwatch, which causes Castigators to fire when enemies move through a zone, and Skirmisher, which removes penalties to attack high ground and stops high ground from blocking line of sight. Increased weapon damage is always handy too, and you'll want to aim to have at least one fairly buffed unit of Castigators for the end of a campaign.
Stormcast Scouts with crossbow pistols and handaxes, Vanguard Hunters are one of the weaker links in a Warband. Their ability to deal ranged damage is great, but it's on a two-turn cooldown.
Their greatest purpose is placing Bear Traps in front of your shield wall - to get free damage - then waiting off to one side to nip in and use Thunder Cleave, which is a two damage stun that disables units for one turn.
Extra damage or defense turns them into a threat, but you'll probably either want more liberators or a stronger fast-attack unit.
Flying assault units, Prosecutors are an odd proposition for Stormcast Eternals. They're best used to change the flow of battle in the short term, but they're flimsy in the long term. Basic Prosecutors come equipped with Reinforce, which adds 1 armor to adjacent allies when they are summoned. This eventually wears off, unless you pick up a skill that makes it permanent, which is a healthy buff.
Call of the Storm is a great attack that deals 2 damage before creating a storm on that hex which deals 1 damage and ignores armor. Fly is good on paper but unless the enemy has ranged units hanging around a long way away, 10 hexes seems excessive and the inability to move after is rough.
There are other Skills that convey effects on summoning, and this makes them powerful later game units for breaking stalemates.
Stormcast Advanced Units
It's unlikely these advanced Stormcast units will show up in the first campaign, as they are rare rewards from missions and chests. As such, you'll likely only get them at the very end of the campaign, so I'll just touch on their key points.
Stormcasts riding Gryph-chargers, Vanguard Palladors are shock cavalry that do extra damage when charging from a distance. They are quite flimsy for their cost, and their teleport ability is quite situational with a big cool down.
Stormcast heavy assault infantry, Retirbutors have big defence and deal big damage. They can cast two types of overwatch: one that calls thunder down on units at move, and one that deals damage to enemies that step adjacent to them. These are absurdly powerful with the right buffs, but ranged units will pick them off easily.
Stormcast Eternals: Best Strategy on the Field
In battles, you'll want to approach conflict by turtling behind Liberators and waiting for enemies to come to you. Castigators are for softening tanky foes with their reliable ranged damage, and Freya should draw units in and counter-attack with her armor-piercing weapons.
When battle lines meet, especially for wave two of combat, bring down Prosecutors equipped with recharge health skills or in order to give your lines a bit of pep before a new conflict. When selecting missions, try and prioritize missions that reward you with Artillery and Tank classes as the Scout class is just Vanguard Hunters which are quite weak.
With these Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground tips for the Stormcast Eternals faction, you should be able to make decent headway into your campaigns. Remember to experiment with load-outs and abilities, and drive your aether costs too high: careful positioning and use of skills on cheaper units is far more important than everything being upgraded to high cost.