Trollkin Runebearer

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Please help review these models from 12+ months ago: (and/or the rest) (Edit)  

Trollblood Logo.jpg Trollkin Runebearer

Trollblood Solo - (Warlock Attachment)

Some of the most learned trollkin runescribes choose to accompany their leaders into battle. Carrying the sacred tablets of their kriel, runebearers are capable of amplifying the Dhunian gifts of trollkin warlocks. The glyphs glow as the runebearer speaks them aloud, easing their warlock’s use of their fury-driven prayers and sorcery.

Basic Info

Trollkin Runebearer
Missing Info
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Warcaster 0
BASE Medium
STR {{{str}}}
MAT {{{mat}}}
M.A. 6
DEF 12
ARM 14
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
HP 5
F. Field N/A
WJP {{{wjp}}}
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
FA 1
Warcaster 1
the Statblock
  • Attached - Before the start of the game, attach this model to a friendly Faction warlock for the rest of the game. Each Faction warlock can have only one model/unit attached to it.


  • Tough symbol.jpg Tough
  • Arcane Repeater - While this model's warcaster/warlock is within 5" of it, that caster's control range is extended 2".
  • Magic Ability [ 6 ] - This model can cast spells. Normally this uses up the model's Combat Action and as such is limited to one spell per activation, but exceptions do exist.


  • Unarmed - This model has no weapons.


Harmonious Exaltation

(★ Action) CMD - - (★) -
Target this model's warcaster/warlock. If it is in range, once this turn when the warcaster/warlock casts a spell, reduce the COST of the spell by 1.
Spell Slave (★ Action) or (★ Attack) Stats vary every time

This model must be in its warcaster/warlock's control range to make the Spell Slave special action. When it does, it casts one of the spells on its warlock/warcaster's card with a COST of 3 or less. This model cannot cast upkeep spells or spells with a RNG of SELF or CTRL. When casting an offensive spell, Spell Slave is a magic attack. Use this model's Magic Ability score when making magic attack rolls.

Theme Forces

Recent Changes


  • Point drop to 4 (-1)

Thoughts on the Trollkin Runebearer

Trollkin Runebearer in a nutshell

The Trollkin Runebearer basically gives any warlock a free Fury and 2 inch extra ctrl - always nice especially when it means you can load the Krielstone that much better turn1 and play your warbeasts that much further forward. Although he can do more than just this and is possibly the best warlock attachment in the game.

With average stats and only support abilities your desire to include one will often depend on what warlock you are bringing, but at the time of writing almost all casters will be interested in what he has to offer.

Combos & Synergies

  • Every troll warlock wants him. Some warlocks (Gunnbjorn1, Grissel2, Borka2 and Calandra) only want him only for the +2ctrl and -1 spell cost, others really need him as a key part of their game plan, either to let them load the Krielstone turn1 and get spells out or for 1 extra cast of a utility spell.
  • Dhunian Knot - Magic Ability 6 is at the level where you will probably miss unless you can boost or reroll an attack. They can be free in Power of Dhunia too, so the support bloat is not that much of an issue.

What’s best to cast...

Offensive spells are risky, as they often expose the Runebearer to an attack. It's best to cast something defensive, or a buff if possible. Here are a list of possible spells, and a brief discussion on the merits of casting one spell over another.

  • Borka2 - Frost Hammer is your only option, but is a risky offensive spell.
  • Calandra - Befuddle and Misfortune are both offensive spells that present some board control options.
  • Doomshaper1 - Stranglehold is your only option, and is an offensive spell.
  • Doomshaper2 - Hex Blast is your only option, and is an offensive spell that can remove upkeeps.
  • Doomshaper3 - Stranglehold, if you are positive you can damage something, or Repudiate if an upkeep is annoying.
  • Grissel1 - Boundless Charge for free - yes please! Rift is also handy, but often exposes the Runebearer. Grissel 1 does have Hoof It, so the Runebearer can walk back if he needs.
  • Grissel2 - has no spells that the Runebearer can cast.
  • Grim1 - Mantrap and Return Fire are your only options. Casting Return Fire is the safest option. Mantrap is high risk high reward, as it is an offensive spell.
  • Grim2 - You can only cast Mortality and the enemy will likely kill the Runebearer after casting it. But it’s such a fantastic spell it’s often a risk worth considering.
  • Gunnbjorn1 - you can’t cast anything for Gunny1.
  • Gunnbjorn2 - you can't cast anything for Gunny2.
  • Horgle2 - the only thing he can cast is Consuming Flames - which may do something when setting up a feat turn or if you really need a free charge, but it is a risky offensive spell.
  • Jarl Skuld - cast Magic Bullet as often as you can. It’s your only eligible spell, but it can be cast safely.
  • Kolgrimma - Cursed Fate, Hunters Mark, and Winters Tide are all eligible. They are all offensive spells, and are risky. If the Runebearer is unexpectedly alone, Winters Tide is the best of the three, because it could take out a threat on its own.
  • Madrak1 - Guided Hand is your only eligible spell to cast, but it’s a good one. Cast it on Trollkin Champions, or a warbeast with a critical effect so that Madrak can focus on Even Ground and animi.
  • Madrak2 - Eruption is your only eligible spell here. It’s worth activating the Runebearer last, in case the cloud gets in the way of your feat or melee infantry.
  • Madrak3 - Battle Lust is eligible, and is a powerful buff.
  • Ragnor - If you have nothing else to do, cast Earth’s Sanctuary on himself or another model who needs protection. Shockwave, or Hex Blast are both risky offensive spells.

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • In most cases, don't bother casting offensive spells. The Runebearer will only die. There are certain warlocks, like Grim, that might want a Runebearer to cast something like Mortality, but that's a rare case.
  • Borka1 isn’t allowed him as he already has an attachment.
  • He's pretty much an auto-include in most lists, so inevitably you will encounter support bloat in your list building.
  • Average Defensive stats (for a Troll) he can be removed pretty easily if left exposed.

Tricks & Tips

  • Keep him safe.
  • Death, Slams and Pushes on the Runebearer can effect Arcane Repeater. Leaving friendly models on the ctrl edge out of essential auras like Even Ground and Star-Crossed as well as risking a frenzy or two.



Trollkin Brew Bearer, Mini Crate exclusive

Other Trollblood models

Trollblood Logo.jpg       Trollbloods Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar

Borka1 - Borka2 - Calandra - Gunnbjorn1 - Gunnbjorn2 - Grim1 - Grim2 - Grissel1 - Grissel2 - Doomshaper1 - Doomshaper2 - Doomshaper3 - Horgle2 - Jarl - Kolgrima - Madrak1 - Madrak2 - Madrak3 - Ragnor

Warlock Attachment

Trollkin Runebearer

Lesser Warlocks

Horgle1 - Madrak0

Light warbeasts

Ice Troll - Night Troll - Pyre Troll - Slag Troll - Storm Troll - Swamp Troll - Troll Axer - Troll Basher - Troll Bouncer - Troll Impaler - Winter Troll

Heavy warbeasts

Dire Troll Blitzer - Dire Troll Bomber - Dire Troll Brawler - Dire Troll Mauler - Dozer & Smigg - Earthborn Dire Troll - Mulg the Ancient - Rök

Gargantuan Glacier King - Mountain King - Sea King
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines

Dannon Blythe & Bull - Boomhowler1 - Dhunian Knot - Kriel Warriors - Stone Bearer - NK Bears - NK Fire Eaters - NK Raiders - Pummeler Crew - Pyg Burrowers - Pyg Bushwhackers - Pyg Lookouts - Sons of Bragg - Scattergunners - Thumper Crew - T Champions - T Fennblades - T Highwaymen - T Long Riders - T Runeshapers - T Scouts - T Sluggers - Warders
Special WA: Trollkin Sorcerer


Boomhowler2 - Boomhowler3 - Braylen Wanderheart, Trollkin Outlaw - Bumbles - Dhunian Archon - Fell Caller Hero - Fennblade Kithkar - General 'Thunderstone' Brug - Horgle1 - Horthol, Long Rider Hero - Janissa Stonetide - Ledfoot & Tredz - Madrak0 - Northkin Shaman - Pyg Tank - Stone Scribe Chronicler - Troll Whelps - Trollkin Champion Hero - Trollkin Skinner Valka Curseborn, Chieftain of the North

Battle Engines Hearthgut Hooch Hauler - War Wagon
Theme Forces
Band of Heroes - Kriel Company - Power of Dhunia - Storm of the North - Vengeance of Dhunia
Minions that work for the Trollblooods
Refer to Who Works for Whom and/or Category: Trollblood Minion
This index was last updated: 2021.10

Rules Clarifications

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Unarmed      (Edit)

  • Since this model has no weapons it does not have a melee range.
    • This means it can't engage other models, declare charges, or make free strikes
    • Also it can't gain abilities that require a melee range (such as Ragman granting this model Dark Shroud).
  • However, other models that do have melee weapons can engage this model. So this model can still gain the "target in melee" shooting bonus.

Rules Clarification : Tough - None yet. (Edit)
Rules Clarification : Arcane Repeater - None yet. (Edit)

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Attached      (Edit)

  • Attached models are not (normally) part of the warcaster's/warlock's battlegroup. (Infernal Ruling)
(You need the Companion rule to become part of the battlegroup).
  • Thus, attachments are not affected by battlegroup-only effects such as Energizer (unless they're a Companion).
RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification : Magic Ability      (Edit)

  • Combat Action
Nearly all Magic Ability spells require the spellcaster to use their Combat Action to cast the spell. As such it is not an "at any time" ability (like it is when warcasters/warlocks cast spells). This means ...
  • You must complete your movement before you use a MA.
  • A model in a unit cannot use its Combat Action to cast a spell until all members of the unit have completed their movement. (Infernal Ruling)
  • You cannot make initial ranged or initial melee attacks on the same turn you use a MA.
  • You cannot buy additional melee/ranged attacks after using a MA special attack. Refer to the core rulebook, "Special attacks listed as a rule of the model itself are neither melee attacks nor ranged attacks. The rules for these special attacks indicate the nature of any additional attacks that can be made afterward, if any."
  • You cannot use a MA on the same turn you charge. Because a charge must (almost always) be followed by a melee attack.
  • Non-Combat Action
There are a few models that can use a Magic Ability without using their Combat Action. These models get around all the restrictions listed above.
  • Models with Geomancy or Necromancy can use a Magic Ability at "any time" just like a warcaster/warlock.
  • Models with Battle Wizard or Necrophage can make melee attacks then get a bonus "free" spell.
  • Models with Combat Caster can cast a spell before charging, then do a normal charge + melee attack.
  • Note that Battle Wizards, Combat Casters, etc have the option to use their Combat Action to cast a spell. Their special rule is in addition to the normal spell casting, not instead of.
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Rules Clarification : Harmonious Exaltation      (Edit)

  • If the warcaster/warlock is affected by multiple COST-altering abilities (such as Lamentation which doubles cost) then follow the math rules: double/halve before adding/subtracting. (Infernal Ruling)
    • For example, a warcaster with Harmonious Exaltation and Lamentation casting a COST 3 spell would pay [3x2] - 1 = 5 focus.
  • Harmonious Exaltation can, in fact, lower the COST to zero. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification:  : Spell Slave      (Edit)
(Click Expand to read)

Explanatory Note

This Rules Clarification is very similar to the ones for Necromancy and Geomancy (since all 3 are very similar abilities). Where Spell Slave is unique, the text has been coloured blue.

Who does the casting

  • It is the model with Spell Slave that does the casting, not the warcaster. (Infernal Ruling)
    • It's not anything simple like "the warcaster gets an extra spell" during the warcaster's activation.
    • Nor is it the "Spell Slave acts like an arc node". (On that note, Spell Slaves can't use arc nodes).
    • Any buffs/debuffs currently on your warcaster/warlock are completely irrelevant to the Spell Slave's casting.
  • For stuff that interacts with spellcasters (such as Witch Hunter) it is the location of the Spell Slave that matters, not the location of the warcaster.
    • If the Spell Slave is within an area of "models cannot cast spells within this area" effect, it cannot cast spells. Regardless of where your warcaster is.
    • If the warcaster is within an area of "models cannot cast spells within this area" effect, that has no effect on what the Spell Slave can do.

When/how does a Spell Slave cast

  • Spell Slaves use their Magic Ability to perform either a (★ Attack) or (★ Action).
    • Because you use your Combat Action to do (★ Attack) or (★ Action) you must complete your movement before casting a spell (unlike warcasters).
    • Typically, you cannot cast a spell after charging, because instead you must use your Combat Action to make a melee attack.
    • If you forfeit your action, or are affected by a enemy abilities that prevents you using your action, you will be unable to cast spells.
    • After casting a spell, a Spell Slave's activation ends (unlike what happens when your warcaster casts spells) because it has now completed both its move and its action.
  • Spell Slaves do not pay the full cost of a spell, so are unaffected by stuff which changes the COST of a spell; such as Lamentation. (Infernal Ruling) or Scaverous's feat (Infernal Ruling)

What spells can they choose to cast

  • A Spell Slave cannot cast spells with a range of SELF or CTRL or with a COST more than 3, or that are an UPKEEP.
    • In addition to this, a Spell Slave is heavily limited by the definition of 'Spellcaster'. Specifically:
      1. Spell Slaves can't cast spells that use the phrase "Spellcaster's battlegroup" because (most) spell slaves aren't in the battlegroup.
      2. Spell Slaves cannot benefit from anything that occurs in the 'Spellcaster's CTRL area' because they don't have one. (Infernal Ruling)
        For instance, a Spell Slave that casts Excarnate will not be able to summon a new grunt.
      3. Spell Slaves cannot benefit from spells that give the caster Focus. Such benefits are limited to models with the 'Focus Manipulation' rule, which only warcasters have.
        For instance, a Spell Slave that casts Siphon Bolt would still take focus from the enemy, but won't gain any focus itself.
      4. Sometimes a Spell Slave can cast a cast a spell, but they will miss out on some of the benefits of the spell (as described above)
    • A Hordes Spell Slave cannot cast animi, because they're not "spells on the warlock's spell card".

How can they boost the spell

  • You can not use focus that is on the warcaster to boost spells that the Spell Slave casts. (refer rulebook section on using focus to boost: only the model with focus on it can spend it, and only during its own activation)
  • Spell Slaves can only boost if they have a special rule allowing them do so - for instance, the Skarlock Thrall can spend soul tokens on spells via its 'Strength of Death' ability.


  • The Spell Slave doesn't gain any buffs/abilities that are on your warlock/warcaster (such as True Sight).
  • The Spell Slave cannot channel spells through arc nodes. You can only channel through nodes in your CTRL area, and none of the three models have a CTRL area.
  • The Spell Slave can use spells like Annihilation to gain enemy souls. But generally they will be unable to use the soul tokens so they will stay on the Spell Slave for the rest of the game (doing nothing). (Infernal Ruling)