New Battletome Idoneth Deepkin 2022 Review Warhammer Age of Sigmar 3rd Edition
While the races of the Mortal Realms wage their wars up on the land, another force stirs beneath the waves. Stalking out from deeps of the ocean, the Idoneth Deepkin venture out to the world above to steal the souls of the land-dwellers in order to fuel their own existence. A magical illusion crashes over their pitiful armies like a tidal wave as the deep aelves go to war.
Today, Order Battletome Idoneth Deepkin goes up for pre order (alongside Battletome Fyreslayers) and gives these aquatic elves an updated book for the 3rd edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar with new profiles and rules updates to refresh the old battletome and bring it up to date!
Massive thanks to Games Workshop for sending us a copy of the new Idoneth Battletome a little early to review and share with you guys! If you would like to support the site then why not order your copy through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself some money too!
Would you rather watch this review than read it? If so check out our full review video and look through just below or over on YouTube!
Still with us? Well let’s dive beneath the waves, and remember – We got no troubles, life is the bubbles, under the sea!
Order Battletome Idoneth Deepkin Review
The previous Idoneth Deepkin Battletome was one of the oldest current books for Age of Sigmar, coming shortly before the second edition of the game – and a lot has changed since then! Mechanics, abilities and Battletomes themselves have come a long way and sadly the Idoneth had been left behind a little bit. During the Broken Realms series the Idoneth got some great updates to give some of their units a new lease of life, and now we finally get a full update for the army in their 3rd Edition battletome! First things first, this is a refinement of the Idoneth not an entirely clean slate – a lot of the army mechanics stay the same and work in much the same way, while units get some tweaks and adjustments. Anyone expecting a massive reboot of the army will be disappointed, however the book rewards players who wanted some of the rough edges sanded down and offers a lot more list building in a range of new battle line options!
So what is contained within the pages of this new battletome? Let’s take a look!
Lore and Art
As with all of the recent Age of Sigmar books, Battletome Idoneth Deepkin is a gorgeous volume filled with both old and new artwork that really captures the juxtaposition of how graceful yet deadly the aquatic aelves are, while also showing the unnatural magical seas in which they live. From a usability point of view, all of the 3rd edition battletomes are well designed with colour coded side bars making identification of the right section much easier when mid-battle! It’s also worth pointing out here that the 3rd edition books contain a code that unlocks their content within the Age of Sigmar app – giving the books a digital counterpart on your phone!
From a lore point of view we actually see some advancement of the wider Age of Sigmar story with some interesting takeaways! Firstly the alliance between the Idoneth and the Daughters of Khaine is a secret to the rest of Order, something Morathi has done in order to ensure she still has an ace up her sleeve she can play at a later date. We also learn that due to the magic of the regrown Oak of Ages Past has caused something in a growth spurt in the sealife that the Idoneth use as mounts and living weapons, leading to a renewed respect and interaction between the two Aelven races. We also find out that Be’lakor’s storm of chaos has had an adverse effect on the oceans, causing mutations and corruptions within the deep. Broken Realms was a fantastic series and it’s great to see the aftershock of these events echo on through this new generation of Battletomes.
For the most part the Allegiance Abilities of the Idoneth Deepkin are exactly the same as they were in the previous book. Forgotten Nightmares is still here meaning that you can only shoot at the closed Deepkin unit, giving your army a little bit of control over what units get taken out first from the considerable shooting power now out there in the game at large!
The Tides of Death rule is also still in the book and has not changed (Outside of the strike first effect of High Tide now referencing the core rules regarding “strike-first” as a clarification to spell out exactly what the ability does). While some might be disappointed that we haven’t seen any changes here, personally I am glad as felt this was a particularly flavourful part of the army!
What has changed however are the Isharann rituals. Rather than being used like a prayer or a one use buff, these are now a series of 4 abilities that can be unlocked just by having an Ishrann unit within your army. In the first battle round just before the first turn the Idoneth player picks which of the 4 abilities they want to be active that game (And there are some ways of activating 2 with certain upgrades available to the army) All of these abilities essentially make the Tides of Death better in some way, and can be tailored to your play style or army very well!
Ritual of the Creeping Mist – This is an amazing ability that means that Idoneth units cannot be targeted at all by shooting attacks unless they are within 12″ of the shooter. This is a great way of giving your units a free turn without being shot – particularly good if you are going second against a decent ranged army! They will have to get within threat range of your already fast units if they want to shoot you first!
Ritual of the Surging Stream – This gives units in the Flood Tide +1 to run and charge rolls, allowing your units to cover decent distances in the second battle round.
Ritual of the Deep-sight – This ability gives your Namarti units a 5+ ward save during the High Tide, ensuring that anything that does survive your turn of striking before them has to chew through tougher targets with an impressive ward save (Especially if you back them up with Leviadon support to make their base saves better too!).
Ritual of the Spiteful Riptide – This ability causes your units to have a 4+ chance of dealing D3 mortal wounds to each unit within 3″ of them when they fall back in the Ebb Tide! Charge multiple targets, full back dealing mortal wounds with your sharks and eels then charge in again to finish off whatever is left standing!
I really like how all 4 of these abilities are useful and based on how the table looks you can choose to lean into one of them at the start of the game rather than having to build your list around a specific one – that said some do favour certain builds, and combined with the ways to take multiple rituals opens up some fresh tactical options for the Idoneth!
Idoneth Command Traits have now been split over 3 each for Akhelian, Isharann and Eidolon heroes, giving you some more variety in your list building.
Akhelian heroes can pick from the ability to heal all wounds allocated to them at the end of each battleshock phase on a roll of a 6! This is really cool in that it also triggers in your opponents turn too, giving you another chance of healing to full health each turn! Alternatively they can gain a 12″ ignore battleshock bubble, or finally Unstoppable Fury has returned, but now gives +2 attacks for each enemy unit within 3″! If you are feeling partially brave then with a good charge you could give him a lot more attacks!
Isharann heroes can have the ability to cause D3 mortal wounds to enemy heroes within 3″ on a 3+ at the start of the combat phase, allow hits of 6 to automatically wound their target or to reverse the order of the Tides of Death, potentially offering you a way to counterstrike against alpha strike armies.
The Eidolons also get a trio of traits, the first which can be taken by either always makes hits of 1 or 2 fail when targeting them, the Aspect of the Storm gets the ability to do monstrous rampages and the Aspect of the Sea can pick the ability to cast an additional spell whenever he casts one on a 7+
Artefacts of Power
Likewise, the Artefacts are split between the same three hero types.
Akhelian heroes can cause mortal wounds to nearby heroes with a chance of taking wounds themselves – this is quite fun as the target can choose if they want to push their luck, do they want to just take a single mortal wound on a 3+ or do they risk taking D3 mortal wounds with the knowledge that the bearer may have to take the same. Might be nice comboed with the ability to heal at the end of each turn. Alternatively they can take a potion that increases attacks, to hit, to wound, run and charge rolls by 1 for an entire turn, but causes D3 mortal wounds the following turn – nice one to swig in the final turn as a turbo charged second finest hour! Finally they can choose the ability to ignore the effects of enemy effects that trigger on hits of 6 – have him lead the assault and laugh as sentinel’s mortal wounds bounce off him!
Isharann relics include a 18″ -1 to cast bubble, the ability to summon a second Gloomtide Shipwreck during the battle and a relic that has a chance of giving a target enemy hero -1 to hit for the rest of the game!
The Eidolons also get the traits, one strangely has the exact same effect as one of the traits, making hits of 1 or 2 fail against them, a 1 time chance of giving an enemy hero the strike-last ability or hilariously a way to release the kraken – this is a very swingy 1 use item that can in theory slay a model with a wounds characteristic of 10 or less, but is just as likely to cause the bearer D3 mortal wounds. On average it will cause the target D3 mortal wounds. Personally the Akhelian and Isharann ones are much much better!
Each Idoneth army gets to pick a Deepmare and a Leviadon and give them both a mount trait, which is a nice 2 for 1 deal!
The Sea Horse gets a choice out of the chance for D6 mortal wounds with it’s horn, adding additional attacks for its fangs and talons or giving it a -1 to hit aura, which works really nicely with some of the Akhelian abilities on a combat character!
The Turtles get to ignore rend of 1, make weapons with a damage of 1 -1 to wound against it, or increase the range of its void drum to 15″
Lore of the Deeps
The Lore of the Deeps is back in condensed form with 4 spells to pick from!
Steed of Tides – this is much the same, pick a friendly hero and teleport it anywhere on the board outside of 9″ of enemy units, no longer has a maximum teleport range of 24″!
Counter Current – This is a nice debuff that halves a target units run and charge rolls
Pressure of the Deep – No change – pick a model, roll over its wounds characteristic and it’s dead! Nice for taking specific models out of a unit such as banners or models that trigger specific abilities.
Arcane Corrasion – Completely different, this now worsens the rend of a target unit.
Like with the previous book we get 6 Enclaves to pick from and for the most part these are all completely different! Some of the Enclaves also affect what units are battle line, allowing you to make armies of Leviadons or Allopexes if you so wish!
The Ionrach gain a special Heroic action that turns on the Flood Tide or Ebb Tide in addition to any other tides in effect. Great way of getting your units where they need to be quickly
Nautilar – Unlocks battle line Leviadons
As the Leviadon specialists they unlock a special monstrous rampage that turns the rend of fins and jaws to -3 which makes those flying turtles quite scary indeed!
Same as it used to be, adds 3 models to the number returned to a unit by a Soulrender
Fuethan – Unlocks battle line Allopexes
In addition to allowing you to take units of Allopexes as battle line, it also grants you access to a special unit, the Bloodthirsty Shiver – this is essentially a “unit” of 3 Allopexes who count as seperate units for rules purposes, but each turn a single nominated shark from the Shiver does exploding hits on 6s which turns to 3 hits on 6s when nearby another shark from the same shiver! If you are going all in on sharks then this is the faction to do it with!
Dhom-Hain is an interesting faction that benefits Namarti units – if you take the first turn in a battle round then any Namarti unit who was in combat during that phase can can charge another unit and fight again as long as there are no models within 3″ of them! Alternatively if you go second each Redeploy order affects 3 units! Think this will be a go-to choice for infantry heavy armies.
Again this is much the same as the previous incarnation, allowing 3 units to travel with a Soulscryer, however this is now within 12″ rather than 18″ as in the old book (Though the base range has reduced to 9″ too)
Grand Strategies and Battle Tactics
As with the other 3rd edition Age of Sigmar books we get some unique Grand Strategies and Battle Tactics for the Idoneth Deepkin. As you would expect these all revolved around their units and playstyle.
For the Grand Strategies there’s one that involves 3 Akhellion units being in enemy territory at the end of the game, which should be achievable with these fast units, one that you get if the game ends with no enemy units within 3″ of your Gloomtide Shipwreck, One that you win if the only monsters left are Leviadons and a final one if you have 2 or more Namarti units within 3″ of enemy units (which works really well with Dhom-Hain) or if the only battle line left on the battlefield are Namarti
As for Battle Tactics we get a total of 6 including fun stuff such as killing a nominated unit with a shark, retreating then charging with 3 or more units (Which fits the tides well) or killing a hero or monster with a Namarti unit.
So on to the warscrolls themselves! First of all, outside of the new character added in the Fury of the Deep box we have no new profiles here which is a little bit of a shame as there’s lots of potential for cool stuff they could add like units of crabs or Krakens! Also some of these profiles recently got updated in the Broken Realms books so some will have no changes since then.
Eidolon of Mathlann Aspect of the Storm/Sea
Both of the Aspects are much the same with very minor changes – the Aspect of the Storm now has the Totem keyword, and the Aspect of the Sea changes nearby friendly units to bravery 10 rather than a +3 modifier. His ranged weapon now also only has a range of 12, but other than that these are much the same!
Volturnos / Akhelian King
Volturnos has had quite a revision, his sword has dropped to 4 attacks, but now has -2 rend and a damage of 3! the -5 rend on 6s is no more however! His mount also gets a little more damage output with a characteristic of D3 on the fangs and talons! Some of his abilities have changed with him now giving nearby Akhelians +1 to hit. He (and the Akhelian King) now have bravery 10 too!
Speaking of the generic King they now have more reliable damage on their weapons with damage of 2 rather than D3 and like Volturnos now gives +1 to hit to nearby units! His Lord of Tides ability has changed instead allowing nearby units to count as being in the High Tide once per game (Which can interact with Volturnos’ giving them +1 attack, making taking the two of them now useful)
The Tidecaster has had a complete overhaul from the old version, now being used in order to pick 2 rituals at the start of the game rather than 1! This is brilliant and allows you to maximise which of those you can pick from!
Lotann, everyone’s favourite Aelf with a pet octopus has also changed somewhat, becoming a bit of a power house! He now grants a +1 to wound aura to all Idoneth within 6″ in addition to granting one unit access to a single different ritual once per game. Really good pick and I can see a lot of people including him for the to wound boost!
The Soulscyer works much the same way, allowing him to enter a board edge with some friendly units. Likewise the Soulrender still acts a way of returning slain Namarti models!
Elathain’s Ill-Fated also get a unit, he basically acts as a named Soulrender with the advantage of having a little body guard enterage!
All of these support characters are bravery 8 and all have a 5+ ward save!
The Akhelian Thrallmaster is the new unit added in the book and he can choose to either make Namarti units reroll hits of 1, make every hit of 6 into 2 hits, or give an aura to reduce wound rolls against Namarti by 1! Potential for taking multiple here to take advantage of the different auras.
Akhelian Ishlaen Guard / Morrsarr Guard
Once the go to unit for the Idoneth, the Eels have had some revisions but not massively so – the Eels themselves now have a consolidated profile for their weapons with 3 attacks with damage D3, however they only have a range of 1 meaning they will only be able to fight in a single rank. Other than this they are much the same, apart from the Biovoltaic Blast of the Morrsarr triggering on a 4+ rather than a 3+ (But you now add one to the roll if the target unit has more models than your eels)
One of the winners of the book are the Sharks! While not having many changes to their profile (Expect for harpoons now having a damage of D3) they get a big boost in the fact they can now be taken in units (With one model in the unit becoming an Alpha with +1 to hit!) and can be taken as battleline in a Fuethan force!
The big turtles dont get many changes, but a big one is the fact that their harpoons are now damage D3! Their Crushing Charge is now a better version of the Stomp monstrous rampage rather than impact hits. Oh and you can take them as battleline in a Nautilar force!
Namarti Thralls / Reavers
Both flavours of Namarti have had some decent improvements! The Reavers now have damage 2 when attacking units with 3 or more wounds (used to be 4!) and the Reavers now have a single profile with 2 shots each but hit and wound on 3s with -1 rend! What’s more they now get +1 to hit if the target is within 9″, making them the best blind archers in the Mortal realms! Both units have also gone up a pip of bravery now sitting at bravery 7!
This has changed a little bit, they can still be placed as either 1 large or 2 small pieces, but no longer cause mortal wounds to enemy units – instead they give Idoneth units without a mount a 5+ ward save. They can also now be garrisoned.
Path to Glory
Like with the other recent Age of Sigmar 3rd Edition battletomes, the Idoneth Deepkin also get their own Path to Glory section with some unique mechanics that work around the army lore and playstyle. Essentially the Deepkin are trying to capture souls over the course of a Path to Glory campaign and can use these in order to fuel the lifeforce of their kin, giving them a way of mitigating the effects of models and units being lost between game. I really like this as it gives them a nice scrappy vibe as they try and gain the souls to fuel their existence. Again we see some unique upgrades, quests and a pair of cinematic battleplans that can be unlocked over the course of your campaign!
So what do I think of the new Idoneth battletome? While not going back to the drawing board and restarting the army afresh, the new Battletome takes the best parts of what worked to give the Idoneth their own personality and way of war and enhances it further by giving new options and tricks to use in your battles. Expanding out the battleline options is a great call as this lets players put together the army they want, whether it be an infantry heavy force with lots of units with great synergy or an elite army of sealife, or anything in between! With the new abilities and changes to warscrolls it gives the Deepkin loads more options and I feel we will see a nice variety of army lists for the force!
My only disappointment is the lack of new units outside of the new hero, and I really hope this is something that we see expanded in the future.
Now, where did I put those Allopexes? I have a sudden urge to build some…
Games Workshop provided Sprues & Brews with a free copy for review purposes. Order Battletome Idoneth Deepkin is up for pre order today and is released Saturday 12th March
One of my desired projects is a Vampire Coast army using the Deepkin rules, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book so I can start to work out what this army might look like. Just waiting to see the points now!