We all have that problem: we need a great artefact for our army. We know that there was something useful in one of those realms, but we cannot be bothered to scan through all of those filler items again.

This rundown of the artefacts is my attempt at ranking the items. For me, this is useful to more quickly find different combos of warscrolls, command traits and artefacts that I like (also known as “builds” for your heroes).

A note on the tier system and colours


To make the breakdown of the artefacts more readable, I have categorised them in different tiers with different colours.

I have decided to go with the colours used in World of Warcraft for ranking the different items. It is the colours that I most easily can associate with a ranking (too many WoW and Hearthstone hours) and my guess is that this will be a very common way of thinking (since quite a lot of people have played wow at some point).

The tiers and their colours are:

1. Poor

2. Average

3. Good

4. Excellent

Ghyran (Realm of Life) Weapons


A funky dude from the realm of Ghyran. The image is used as part of a rundown of the artefacts in Malign Sorcery.

1. Entangling Blade: Poor

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. If you hit at least one time on an enemy Hero or Monster, they get -1 on hit until the end of the phase

Minus to hit can be really powerful, but this one is weak. You have to be in melee, you have to attack before you target and it must be a hero or monster.

2. Jadewound Thorn: Poor

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. If the hit roll is 6+ you inflict 1 mortal wound in addition to the normal damage.

So this is on the hit roll, making it okay. If you have ways of buffing your hit modifier, you might be able to bring this up to being Average instead of poor (as you will get more mortal wounds). In the base state, you are probably only going to add 1 mortal wound per attack, so not really worth your time.

3. Blade of Hammerhal Ghyra: Average

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. Add 1 extra attack on that weapons.

On some characters, this can be really bad, but if you got a really big and mean dude with a few attacks that hit like a truck, this might be worth it to add some damage. That said, better options exist for adding damage.

4. The Sunderblade: Poor

In your shooting phase, roll a dice for each enemy unit within 9″ of the bearer. On a 6+ you deal d3 mortal wounds to that unit.

17% chance of dealing d3 mortal wounds to a few units? Not really worth your time.

5. Ghyrstrike: Good

Pick a melee weapon. Add 1 to hit and wound rolls with that weapon.

If you have a weapon with good damage and good rend that hits on +3/+3, this can be an excellent option. Damage is good!

6. Arboreal Stave: Poor

Start of combat phase select an enemy hero within 3″. Roll a dice and on 5+, that hero cannot pile in (but he can still attack if he has the reach).

This could actually be pretty fun. You put this on a dude that has 3″ range on his attacks, and you watch as your enemy cannot attack you. But, this only a low chance it odds are you need to charge him to make it work (he could be in range with his own attacks just from the charge move).

Ghyran (Realm of Life) Relics


1. Hypersnare Seeds: Poor

In your opponent's shooting phase select a unit within 8″. Roll a dice and on 5+ that unit cannot charge in the following charge phase.

This can turn game on its head, by denying a charge from a big unit in a key moment of the game. But you only have 33% chance of getting it to succeed and it is situational, so I think you are better of finding something else to put on your dudes. But, it is a potential meta breaker against big monsters/heroes/deathstar stuff. 

2. Verdant Mantle: Poor

The bearer can attempt to dispell one endless spell in your hero phase. Note that this has nothing to do with unbinding, so this is first when you the spell is on the board.

Are you really that desperate to get rid of some endless spell? If that is the case, bring a cheap wizard. Too situational and not strong enough.

3. Jade Diadem: Poor

Each time you roll an unmodified save roll of 6+, you heal 1 wound (has been changed in errata).  

If you got anything to add pluses on your save roll, we might have something here. But as it stands you have better options than healing 1-2 wounds in a game.

4. Greenglade Flask: Average

Once per battle you can use the flask in your hero phase. The hero heals d6 wounds.

Healing wounds can be very powerful on the right character.  On average you will heal 3-4 wounds, and that can be a lot of mileage on a very tanky character.

5. Ghyrropian Gauntlets: Good

The hero can pile in an extra 3″ (so 6″ in total).

Piling in 6″ can be a devastating ability. Park your dude 5.9″ away, eliminate the chance of failing the charge and get a semi-always strike first ability. Also, because you do not have to charge, you can retreat from combat and pile in 6″ in another combat later that turn.

6. Wand of Restoration: Poor

In your hero phase, select a model within 6″. Heal 1 wound on that unit.

Healing 1 wound a turn can be okay, but you need to couple it with other items or spells to make this worth your while. I would rather have something that heals a chunk of wounds at the same time.

Ghur (Realm of Beasts) Weapons


Some Ironjawz messing about in the realm of Ghyr (Beasts!). The image is used as part of a rundown of the artefacts in Malign Sorcery.

1. Stonehorn Blade: Poor

Pick one melee weapon the to be the Stonehorn Blade. If you inflict any wounds with the weapon, roll a d6. On a 5+ you can deal d3 mortal wounds to a unit within 3″

So if you deal any wounds, you have a 33% of dealing d3 mortal wounds. Next.

2. Anraheir's Claw: Average

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. If the wound roll for that weapon is 6+ you add +2 damage on that attack.

So your opponent still gets to save, but +2 damage is not that bad. If you have some good ways of adding plus on the wound roll and have a weapon with a lot of attacks, this could be worth your while.

3. Amberglaive: Poor

Select one of the bearers weapons. That weapon gets +1 on range and you +1 on hit rolls for that weapon.

Range can be good, extra on hit can be good, but you will just have better options for your weapon,

4. Blade of Carving: Poor

Select a weapon. If the hit rolls for that weapon is 6+ you automatically wound.

Auto wounding can be good, but 6+ on hit is not good enough.

5. Rageblade: Average

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. Add 1 extra attack on that weapons.

+1 attack is okay. We have seen this before.

6. Rockjawz: Poor

In your shooting phase you can select a unit within 8″. On a 3+ you deal d3 mortal wounds.

66% chance of dealing d3 mortal wounds. If the range was better, this might be okay.

Ghur (Realm of Beasts) Relics


1. Beastcaller's Bones: Poor

At the start of the combat phase, roll a dice for each Monster within 3″. On a 5+ that monster cannot attack in that phase (the hero can still attack).

The ability is powerful and I really want to love this artefact. But the 33% chance of pulling this off just kills it.

2. Drakeforged platee: Poor

Reroll save rolls of 1 against attacks that have variable damage (d3 as an example).

A bad bonus only happening in a very specific situation? Not really worth your time.

3. Gryph-feather Charm: Excellent

-1 on hit rolls against this model and you can add +1 on your own movement.

There is a reason why you are seeing this so often. It is just that good. A static, non-circumstantial -1 on all hit rolls is damn powerful. Movement is generally good, so that extra bonus really puts it over the top.

4. Gargant-bone Dice: Average

On time use. Used in the hero phase. Roll 3d6. For each 5+ you deal d3 damage to all units within 6″.

This is a fun item that might be really good in a few games. You can position your hero blow himself up well? Can you also roll enough damage to be worth your while?

5. Shardfist Pelt: Average

Each time you roll a 6+ on your saves, the attacking unit get 1 mortal wound.

I could imagine a few builds this could be good on. You need a tanky character, reroll on saves and some kind of plus on your save.

6. Tuskhelm: Poor

Roll a dice for each enemy unit within 1″ after you make a charge. +4 and you deal 1 mortal wound to that unit.

How many mortal wounds can you make with this in a game? 2? 3? Not good enough.

Chamon (Realm of Metal) Weapons


A funky metal-dude from the realm of Chamon. The image is used as part of a rundown of the artefacts in Malign Sorcery.

1. Aiban's Hidden Blade: Poor

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. If the hit roll for that weapon is a 6+ it gains +1 on the damage for that hit.

Sort of weak, unless you can stack a lot +hit.

2. Flowstone Blade: Poor

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. If the hit roll for that weapon is a 6+, you add +1 on the wound roll.

Really poor item. Just bad.

3. Rune Blade: Average

Your selected weapon becomes rend -3

That is a lot of rend. I can see weapons/heroes where this might be useful in certain matchups.

4. Crucible of Molten Silver: Poor

One use, used in your shooting phase. Pick a point within 9″ and draw a straight  1mm line to it from this model. Each unit in the line takes d3 mortal wounds.

The range is too short for a one us item. What is this really? One use deal 1.5 mortal wounds to two units? Not really that good.

5. Charmonite Darts: Poor

In each shooting phase you can select a unit within 8″. Roll 6 dice and for each 6+ you deal 1 mortal wound.

So about 1 mortal wound pr. shooting phase in range 8″. Not really impressive.

6. Argentine's Tooth: Poor

You reroll hit rolls of 1 for the weapon.

I can see a few dudes where this can be good, but overall not great quality.

Chamon (Realm of Metal) Relics


1. Gildenbane: Excellent

Artefacts cannot be used while within 3″ of the Gildenbane.

Holy diggity. Shutting down your opponents big-hero build can be game-winning. You have to set this up to make it work, but you can effectively zone your opponent's big dude where you want it.

2. Argent Armour: Average

-1 on melee hit rolls against this mode.

-1 on hit is good, but only on melee attacks. Why would you take this if you can get -1 on all hits? I guess there are other reasons to take Chamon realm, so this might be your only option then.

3. Hydroxskin Cloak: Good

The hero can fly. If you move over units in the movement phase, you deal d3 mortal wounds to 1 of the units that you moved over (was multiple units before errata).

Fly is great, and dealing some extra mortal wounds while flying is extra great. Before the nerf this was very good.

4. Godwrought Helm: Poor

When you allocate a wound to this model, you negate it on a +6.

Negating wounds is good and all, but +6 is really hard to make. I think you are better off with something you can count on.

5. Bejewelled Gauntlets: Average

At the end of the combat phase pick a unit within 1″. Roll a dice and on 3+ you deal d3 mortal wounds.

The chance 66% is okay and it is at the end of all combat phases. Not too shabby.

6. Alchemical Chain: Poor

The bearer can attempt to unbind 1 spell in your enemy's hero phase.

Your artefacts are really important. Spend some points on extra wizards if this is important to you.

Aqshy (Realm of Fire) Weapons


Flame guy from Aqshy (realm of fire). The image is used as part of a rundown of the artefacts in Malign Sorcery.

1. Ruby Ring: Average

In the hero phase, pick the nearest enemy unit within 18″. On a 5+ you deal d3 mortal wounds to that unit.

This is only average because of the range. In fact, if your opponent knows how to avoid it, this is poor. But – if you can manage to snipe some mortal wounds on an important buff hero, it can help you win some tight games.

2. Magmaforged Blade: Poor

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. If the wound roll is 6+ you inflict 1 mortal wound in addition to the normal damage.

We have seen variations of this a few times. Still bad.

3. Magmadroth Blood Vials: Poor

In your shooting phase pick a unit within 8″. On a +4 the unit suffers 1 mortal wound. 

50% chance to deal 1 mortal wound with a short range… in your own shooting phase? Pass.

4. Purefire Brazier: Poor

In your shooting, phase roll a dice for each unit within 9″.  On a +5 that unit suffers d3 mortal wounds.

The chance is too low and the range is short. Filler artefact.

4. The Sunderblade: Poor

In your shooting phase, roll a dice for each enemy unit within 9″ of the bearer. On a 6+ you deal d3 mortal wounds to that unit.

17% chance of dealing d3 mortal wounds to a few units? Not really worth your time.

5. Onyx Blade: Poor

Pick one of the bearers melee weapons. Add 1 to the wound rolls for that weapon.

Not worth an artefact slot for such a weak bonus.

6. Exile Torch: Poor

Use at the start of the combat phase. Pick an enemy Hero within 3″. On 6+ he suffers 1 mortal wound and cannot attack in the following combat phase.

If the chance was not 16% this could be totally good. If you know you can always roll a six, this is gold.

Aqshy (Realm of Fire) Relics


1. Essence of Vulcatrix: Poor

Once per battle used at the start of your hero phase. Roll a dice. On a 1 the hero suffers d3 mortal wounds. On +2 he gains +1 to hit and +1 to wound until your next hero phase.

The bonus is actually decent. BUT we have an artefact that straight up gives you +1 on hit and +1 on wound. Granted, that item (Ghyrstrike) will only work on one weapon – but heroes will usually only have two anyway (neither works on the mount). Also, you have to use this at the start of the hero phase. This is a point in time where you still do not know if you get the charge in or not.

2. Thermalrider Cloak: Excellent

+4 movement and the bearer can fly.

Got a big hero with decent damage? Is he very immobile and clunky to move around? Not anymore. The only downside is that it is not a magic carpet (much easier to make a cool conversion).

3. Smouldering Helm: Average

Each time you make a save roll on a 6+, the attack unit is dealt 1 mortal wound.

I am getting a deja vu here. Okay item if you can make a build takes advantage of it.

4. Ignax's Scales: Good

You can negate mortal wounds on 4+.

Can be really great for a big tanky build (which is otherwise the bane of big armour dudes). 4+ is not bad odds.

5. Crown of Flames: Average

You can add +1 bravery on units wholly within 9″

I am putting an average on this, even though it is not that good (but it is great to see something a bit different). This is obviously meant for an army with bad bravery. The hard part will be to get more than one unit wholly within 9″.

6. Cleansing Brooch: Poor

Once per battle used at the start of your hero phase. The hero heals d3 mortal wounds.

For a once per game this has to heal more. Why not take the version that heals d6 wounds?

Shyish (Realm of Death) Weapons


Very evil dude from Shyish (the realm of Death). The image is used as part of a rundown of the artefacts in Malign Sorcery.

1. Blade of Endings: Average

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. If the wound roll for that weapon is 6+ you add +2 damage on that attack.

We have seen this before in the Anraheir's Claw. +2 damage is not bad, at  least if you have ways of adding a bonus on to wound rolls to make it more consistent, 

2. Banshee Blade: Average

Select one of the bearers melee weapons. On a hit roll of 6+ roll 2d6. If you roll equal to or more than the unit you are attackings bravery, you deal d3 mortal wounds to that unit.

Trying to beat the bravery of a unit is always dicey, but if you are consistently playing in a meta with low bravery units, this might have some damage potential.

3. Lifebane: Poor

Add +1 to wound roll with the weapon.

Boring and not really good bonus.

4. Sliver Decrepitude: Poor

If you allocate 1 or more wounds to a hero or monster in the melee phase, you reduce that units movement by 2 for the rest of the game.

I like the flavour of this, but is it really that competitive? You can only reduce the movement by -2 each phase. so you need two phases before you can cripple the enemy hero/monster. Why not just kill that unit instead?

5. Wraithbow: Average

Select an enemy unit within 18″ in the shooting phase. Roll 6 dice and for each 6+ you deal 1 mortal wound to that unit.

How many times do you need just one wound on something very important? This bow might come in use. The damage is low but the range is good enough to make it useable.

6. Splintertooth: Poor

Pick a unit within 8″ in the shooting phase. Roll 3 dice. If two have the same result on it deal d3 mortal wounds. If all of the dice have the same result deal d6 mortal wounds.

Short range and a low chance at dealing any mortal wounds, let alone d6 mortal wounds. Not worth the gamble.

Shyish (Realm of Death) Relics


1. Cronehair: Poor

Add or subtract 1 on the result for Shyish Realmscape feature.

Fun idea, but really not worth it in a competitive view.

2. Ethereal Amulet: Good

You ignore any modifiers to your save rolls

Powerful ability if you put it on a big dude with +3/+2 armour. Most of the time you cannot get cover enough, and mystic shield rerolls still works.

3. Sepulchral Plate: Poor

When you allocate a wound to this model you negate it on 6+

Negating wounds is generally powerful, but the chance is just too low here.

4. Amethyst Blindmask: Poor

When the hero is slain, roll a dice for each enemy unit within 6″. On a 3+ that unit is dealt d3 mortal wounds.

I like the idea of a hero that explodes just before death and takes the enemy down with him. How many mortal wounds are you going to get? Not enough to make it viable.

5. The Ragged Cloak: Average

One use. Used at the start of your opponents shooting phase. When used the bearer cannot be selected as a target in that phase.

Good ability if you really want to ensure that your dude gets to combat. It is also very flavourful. I think you are better of just making your guy more survivable overall, since shooting is not that heavy in AoS right now.

6. Goblet of Draining: Poor

If you hero deals one or more wounds to an enemy hero, roll a dice. On a 5+ you heal d3 wounds.

Vampire abilities are fun as heck, and this has some uses. You can do this in the shooting as well as melee attacks. Sadly, you can only roll once per phase instead of rolling for each wound you do.

Ulgu (Realm of Shadow) Weapons


Some sort of... stuf from Ulgu, the Realm of Shadow. The image is used as part of a rundown of the artefacts in Malign Sorcery.

1. Miasmatic Blade: Good

-1 on hit rolls against the bearer.

-1 to hit is super powerful. You can get the Gryph-feather charm which is strictly better though. 

2. Blade of the Thirteen Dominions: Poor

If you deal wounds to a unit, subtract -1 from that units hit rolls for the rest of the phase.

Why would you ever pick this instead of, say the weapon just above?

3. Blade of Folded Shadows: Poor

Add +1 on hit rolls for this weapon.

A boring ability and you can find items that are strictly better.

4. Blade of Secrets: Average

If you deal damage to a wizard in the combat phase, you can pick one of the spells that wizard knows. The wizard can no longer attempt to cast those spells in the battle.

Actually not a bad weapon. As always, why not just try and kill the wizard you are in melee with? But, AoS do have some very big wizards.  In those cases, denying them to cast a critical spell for the rest of the game can be devastating.

5. Dimensional Blade: Average

Your selected weapon becomes rend -3

We have seen this before. Lots of rend can be lots of good.

6. Sword of Judgement: Good

If the hit roll for this weapon against a monster or hero is a 6+, deal d6 mortal wounds and the attack sequence ends.

Damn, d6 mortal wounds is a lot! If you have something a weapon with lots of attacks and some way to add +2 to hit, this weapon can absolutely kill some big things!

Ulgu (Realm of Shadow)Relics


1. Spellmirror: Average

If a friendly unit within 6″ is affected by a spell roll a dice. On a 5+ the unit is not affected by the spell. On a roll of 1, this item cannot be used more that game.

The chance is a bit low and the range is also very short. But, this can save you bottom in same cases. Not bad.

2. Trickster's Helm: Poor

Wizards within 8″ must reroll successful casting rolls.

Very powerful ability, but the range is just too short to be of real use.

3. Wristband of Illusion: Poor

When you allocate a wound to this model, you negate it on a +6.

Negating wounds is good and all, but +6 is really hard to make. We have a duplicate of this before.

4. Doppelganger Cloak: Excellent

Once per battle. Used at the start of the combat phase. When you use it, the bearer cannot be selected as the target of attacks before he himself has attacked.

This is good because it acts as protection on your melee hero. Does your opponent charge him? Well sure, I will just use the item, attack first and destroy whatever you charged him with. Was broken before it was errataed to become once per battle.

5. Betrayer's Crown: Good

One use. Used at the start of the combat phase. Pick an enemy unit within 3″ with two or models. Roll a dice for each model in the unit. For each 5+ you deal 1 mortal wound.

Flavourful item and not bad. If big hordes become very big in AoS, this will be very useful. Against a unit of 60, dudes you will deal about 19 mortal wounds.

6. Talisman of the Watcher: Average

If the bearer is not within 3″ of an enemy unit, you can pick a unit within 9″. That unit can reroll save rolls of 1 for that phase.

A free mystic shield is not bad. To bad the wearer cannot cast it upon himself when he is in combat.

Hysh (Realm of Light) Weapons


Light stuff from the realm of light. The image is used as part of a rundown of the artefacts in Malign Sorcery.

1. Blade of Symmetry: Average

Add +1 on the damage of the weapon.

A bit bland, but not bad from a gaming perspective. Add +1 damage on something that has 6 attacks? Sounds good enough.

2. Gleaming Blade: Average

If you inflict wounds on an enemy in the melee phase with this weapon, you heal 1 wound. 

Healing can be good, but good will 1 wound pr. combat phase really be for you?

3. Luminary Rood: Poor

One use, used in your shooting phase. Pick a point within 9″ and draw a straight  1mm line to it from this model. Each unit in the line takes d3 mortal wounds.

We have seen this before. Poor range, not enough damage.

4. Sunblade: Poor

If you deal damage to a hero or a monster with this weapon, that hero/monster gets -1 on hit rolls for the rest of the phase.

Come on, you can find a better artefact than this.

5. Crystalline Blade: Poor

Add +1 on wound rolls for the weapon.

Next.

6. Prism Amyntok: Poor

Shooting phase, pick a unit within 8″. Roll 4 dice and each +6 is a mortal wound.

Repeat after me: short range, low chance, not enough mortal wounds.

Hysh (Realm of Light) Relics


1. Aetherquartz Brooch: Good

Each time you spend a command point, roll a dice. On a 5+ you get that command point back.

In the right army, command points can be very devastating. Any chance of getting them back is a chance at getting access to more of that valuable resource. Pretty good.

2. Lens of Refraction: Good

This item triggers once per round, the first time a friendly unit within 6″ suffers mortal wounds. You roll d3 and reduce the number of mortal wounds with that. 

Before it was errataed, this was probably broken. Now it is just good. Even with the once pr. round, I have still negated so many wounds on important units with this.

3. Mirrored Cuirass: Average

You negate mortal wounds on a 5+. If you roll a +6, you can pick an enemy unit within 6″ of the bearer and deal a mortal wound to it.

Negating mortal wounds is strong. Dealing some extra damage back is also quite good.

4. Lightshard: Poor

When the hero is slain, roll a dice for each enemy unit within 6″. On a 3+ that unit is dealt 1 mortal wound.

We have seen this earlier, but only in a better version. Not enough damage.

5. Guardian's Coronet: Good

One use. Used at the start of your hero phase. Until your next hero phase, you negate all wounds on a 4+.

It is debatable how good it really is, but a 50% chance of shrugging off all damage for a battle round (your turn and your opponents turn) can help you win the game.

6. Sash of Ten Paradises: Poor

+2 movement.

I do not get this. We have an item that gives you +4 movement and fly? We have an item that gives you +1 movement on -1 to hit against the bearer. Filler item if ever I saw one.

Related questions


How come there are so many very bad and duplicate artefacts?

I have no clue, but it is really annoying to sift through all the junk. My best guess to the reason is that they wanted artefacts for each realm, they wanted a set with weapons and one with relics and they wanted 6 in each set (so it is possible to roll at random). In my view, they should have made 6 artefacts for each realm, made them better and more unique. We too many bland items that do nothing of note.

Can I have Artefacts from the realms and from my Allegiance/army set?

Yes you can! You can also have more than one artefacts from the realm (as long as it is from the same realm).

Are the realm Artefacts part of matched play?

According to GW, yes they are.

Seems like you enjoy what you are reading?

Join my mailing list to receive exclusive content and updates on new resources!

The newsletter magic worked!

Thanks for leaving a comment!

I always try and answer back. In the meantime, would you mind joining my mail list? It is member like you that I really want to keep in contact with

You are now totally joined!