LPG - Grymkin

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This article is part of Warmachine University's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which is "Intermediate Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
(See also Basic Training and Advanced Training.)

The Grymkin Faction was released 2017, with the Wicked Harvest event. The Hordes faction introduced the Arcana, a malleable type of feat that can be tailored to each match. The faction works exactly as a Hordes faction should, with Warlocks, Warbeasts, units, solos, and battle engines.


Arcana Core Rules

Instead of feats, Grymkin warlocks have Arcana cards. Arcana cards can be played at any time during a game in accordance with the rules on the cards. Each of a warlock’s Arcana cards can be played only once per game. A warlock can play only one Arcana card per turn.

There are two types of Arcana cards: regular Arcana cards and Trump Arcana cards. Each Grymkin warlock has one Trump card that can be assigned only to that warlock. The remaining Arcana cards can be assigned to any Grymkin warlock.

Before either player’s deployment at the start of the game, a Grymkin player assigns each of his warlocks three Arcana cards and reveals those cards to the opponent. One of these three cards must be the warlock’s Trump card. The other two cards can be any non-Trump Arcana cards, but each card can only be assigned to a single warlock in the army once. In other words, no duplicate Arcana cards are allowed within an army.

Regular Arcana

The warlock can play this card when ... What it does


... a friendly Faction model with a corpse token is damaged by an enemy attack while in the warlock's control range. While in the warlock's control range, enemy models lose incorporeal, tough, and undead, and cannot have damage removed from them. Additionally, enemy non-warbeast models lose Construct while in the warlock's control range. Accursed lasts for one round.


... an enemy model ends its Normal Movement in the warlock's control range. Centre a 4" AOE on the enemy model. You choose whether the AOE is an acid bath, burning earth, forest, rubble, or shallow water terrain. You can choose to remove the AOE from the table at the start of any of your turns.

Fortune's Path

... an enemy model misses a friendly Faction model in the warlock’s control range with an attack. For one round, friendly Faction models gain +1 to attack and damage rolls against enemy models in the warlock's control range.

Ill Omens

... an enemy model destroys a friendly Faction warrior model in the warlock’s control range. For one round, enemy models suffer –1 to attack and damage rolls.


... an enemy model advances and ends its movement in the warlock's control range. For one round, enemy models beginning their activations in the warlock's control range suffer –2 SPD that activation.


... an enemy non-warcaster, non-warlock model issues an order while in the warlock's control range. The model’s unit is not affected by that order. Warlock and warcaster units are not affected by Pandemonium.


... an enemy model targets a model in the warlock's control range with a spell. The spell does not take effect, but is still considered to be cast and its COST remains spent. Additionally, all enemy upkeep spells in the warlock’s control range expire.


... an enemy model destroys a friendly Faction model in the warlock's control range. After the destroyed model is removed from the table, you can remove all damage points from each friendly Grymkin model in the warlock's control range.


... a friendly Faction model is destroyed by an enemy ranged attack while in the warlock's command range. For one round, friendly Faction models gain Stealth while in the warlock's control range.

The Shadow

... an enemy model advances into and ends its movement in the melee range of a smaller-based friendly Faction model in the warlock's command range. Immediately add to play a Faction heavy warbeast to the warlock's battlegroup, placing it anywhere completely within 5˝ of the smaller-based friendly Faction model. The warbeast cannot advance. The warbeast is removed from play after one round.

Trump Arcana

Refer to individual warlocks for their Trump cards, and any associated rules clarifications.

Arcana Strategy

To maximize your Arcana, you need to understand what your opponents army can do, or more importantly wants to do, and pick the Arcana that will stop that. Do they want to sit back and shoot? Shroud will probably help you. Do they want to get the alpha strike and charge you? Labyrinth will be handy.

In more general terms, it used to be a simple flowchart:

  1. Is Sacrifice good in this matchup (aka, do I have a lot of beasts I can reasonably expect to survive their first round in melee)?
  2. If not, then does my opponent have a powerful spell I need to stop with Ruin.
  3. If not, then does my opponent have an elite unit I want to mess up with Pandemonium?
  4. If not, just take Ill Omens.

However, as of mid-2019 the meta is shifting towards Constructs and medium base troops (as well as the re-emergence of the stand & shoot gunline thanks to Crucible Guard & the Colossals that have been reworked). This has opened up the other Arcana as viable options.

  • Fortune's Path is really good into lists with minimal defensive tech, namely those stand & shoot gunlines and most of the medium-base infantry lists.
  • Shroud is obviously excellent in very specific gunline matchups, especially with long threat range lists under the Child or Wanderer.
  • Accursed forces Construct-heavy lists (especially Skorne Exalted) to play fair, although it can be difficult to use in Bump in the Night due to the weird trigger.

There are a further two arcana that have become very useful due to the release of the Clockatrice in early-2019:

  • Labyrinth was never good enough by itself to justify taking it over one of the original four. However with the Clock's animus, you can get a very mobile & difficult to remove -4 Spd bubble over most of your opponent's army. Even into prepared opponents, that is a timewalk which will score you points or set up an alpha.
  • The Shadow finally has a beast worth summoning in the form of the Clock. Time Stutter still works (I know right!) and the Paralysis spray really shuts down what kind of maneuvers your opponent can make with their heavies (this is obviously more relevant into Hordes when running Bump, due to the triggering requirements & how Paralysis works).

Unfortunately Desolation is still mediocre.


Rules Clarifications

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification: Arcana     (Edit)

  • Normally Arcana can only be triggered during the enemy turn. However, sometimes a free strike will allow you to trigger an Arcana during your own turn.
    • This can potentially lead to having two Arcana active at the same time.
  • Arcana can be triggered/used while the warlock is knocked down.
  • Any given warlock can't have duplicates of the same Arcana.
  • In a multi-warlock game, each warlock can't have duplicates of the other's Arcana.
  • In a Steamroller tournament:
    • You choose your Arcana cards before the start of each game.
    • You choose them on your clock. ie during your deployment time.
    • In a Grymkin vs Grymkin mirror match, one player chooses on his clock, then the other on their clock, then both reveal, then deployment starts.

The Child - Wrath   [Show/Hide]
  • Determine which warbeasts are currently in The Child's CTRL range before increasing her CTRL range. (Infernal Ruling)
  • You can trigger this if The Child herself is damaged.
    • Say you have a warbeast at max fury that you want to transfer to. You cannot have The Child suffer damage, then trigger Wrath, then transfer the damage to the now-not-at-max-fury warbeast. Because, as per Appendix A Timing Sequence, damage transfer occurs at step 9g, but damage to The Child that lets her trigger the Arcana occurs at step 10a.
  • You can trigger this if a warbeast out of your CTRL range is damaged (although they won't get the benefit).
  • When your FURY stat drops back down to normal, any excess fury tokens are discarded.
The Dreamer - All Fall Down   [Show/Hide]
  • Once triggered, there is no range limit to which models can be affected. An enemy model could be fighting a Grymkin model on the opposite side of the board from the Dreamer, and it'll still get knocked down.

The Heretic - Reckoning - None yet

The King of Nothing - Taste of Ashes   [Show/Hide]
  • There is no range limit on who gets damaged. If the nearest model(s) is 48" away, it'll get damaged anyway.
  • The warbeast that you trigger the Arcana on will also cause d3 damage to d3 models. It's not just "from then on".
  • You roll a separate d3 damage for each damaged model.
  • If multiple warbeasts are killed by a single attacker (such as with an AOE) you resolve the "d3 damage" sequentially, one warbeast at a time.
    If the original attacker is destroyed by this damage, the rest of the "d3 damages" fail to trigger because the attacking model is no longer in play. (Infernal Ruling)

The Wanderer - Divergent Path - None yet

  • Note that The Shadow and the Shroud Arcana have the trigger tied to your lower CMD range.
Accursed   [Show/Hide]
  • Enemy models can regain the abilities they lost. For instance, having Zombify cast on them.
Ill Omens   [Show/Hide]
  • Note that there is no range limit on the effect of Ill Omens.
Ruin   [Show/Hide]
  • For Ruin, refer to the clarifications on Arcane Vortex. It's essentially the same in-game effect and has the same clarifications.
Sacrifice   [Show/Hide]
  • Kreuger1's feat puts AOEs in play which causes damage immediately, then damages anyone walking around in them later. Sacrifice can be triggered by the damage when the AOEs are first put in play, but not from damage taken when walking around in the AOE. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Sacrifice can be triggered from damage taken the Sunhammer spell. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Sacrifice can be triggered from stuff like Electro-Leap and Chain Lightning. (Infernal Ruling)
  • If your warlock transfers damage and that kills a warbeast, it doesn't count as the enemy destroying the warbeast and Sacrifice can't be triggered. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Sacrifice can be triggered from a Steamroller objective, or can be used to heal an objective. (Infernal Ruling)
The Shadow   [Show/Hide]
  • The model that is advanced into must be smaller-based than the enemy model doing the advancing.
  • The only restrictions on the new warbeast are what are stated. You can cast spells on it, force it, give it corpse tokens, whatever you like.
  • You cannot trigger this by taking control of an enemy model, because it's not an enemy model while under you control.
  • If you trigger it during your opponent's turn, the warbeast will be in play for the remainder of your opponent's turn, you can activate it during your next turn, and it'll expire at the end of that turn.
  • If you manage to trigger it on your own turn (an enemy model got an Admonition move, or something) then you can activate the warbeast this turn, and it'll expire at the end of your opponent's next turn.
  • Whether you need the actual physical model for something that is only in play for one round, or whether you can use a marker instead, is a decision that must be made by the Event Organiser. A PP event will always require the correct model. (Infernal Ruling)

Grymkin models

Grymkin Logo.jpg       Grymkin Index       (Edit)

The Child - The Dreamer - The Heretic - The King of Nothing - The Wanderer - Old Witch 3
Warlock Attachment: Baron Tonguelick


Lesser: Crabbit

Light: Frightmare - Gorehound - Rattler

Heavy: Cage Rager - Clockatrice - Skin & Moans

Gargantuan: Slaughterhouse

Units, Solos, & Battle Engines

Dread Rots - Hollowmen - Mad Caps - Malady Man - Murder Crows - Neigh Slayers - Piggybacks - Twilight Sisters


Baron Tonguelick, Lord of Warts - Cask Imp - Defiled Archon - The Four Horseymans - Glimmer Imp - Grave Ghoul - Gremlin Swarm - Isiah, Dread Harvester - Lady Karianna Rose - Lord Longfellow - Trapperkin - Weird Wendell - Witchwood

Battle Engines Death Knell
Theme Forces Minions
Dark Menagerie - Bump in the Night Refer to Category: Grymkin Minion
This index was last updated: 2021.08