This article will describe in detail the Seraphon army starting from its lore, describing the main units and their roles, how the army plays and finally our personal opinion of the army.
For a complete run-down of the different armies available in Age of Sigmar, consult our army overview article.
In this article we will refer often to Matched Play and other technical terms like allegiance abilities, command points, army roles in building a list, core battalions, Endless Spells/Invocations, etc. We assume the reader will be knowledgeable with those terms, otherwise please refer to the relevant guides for more details.
If you ever dreamt as a kid to play with dinosaurs riding dinosaurs, shooting laser beams and travelling with spaceships, then look no longer: Seraphon is the army for you. Age of Sigmar 3.0 has been so far kind to the monsters of this army, giving them more purpose and ductility than in the previous versions.
Basically, most aspects of the army are now perfectly playable in both friendly and more competitive games. The gameplay varies from charging head down with your strongest units, to shoot from afar with your powerful spellcaster and shooting units. The army itself suffers from mortal wounds and lacks a bit of rend, but is highly competitive.
There are two main ways to play the army: Coalesced represents the most bestial aspect of the army, with Saurus and big dinosaurs leading the charge, strong in melee and powerful in defence, while the Starborne are those more magic-attuned, able to summon on the battlefield fresh units to shift the balance of the battle.
Seraphon’s history is older than the Mortal Realms and hidden in the fog of time. An entire race created by the mysterious Old Ones, great beings whose existence was entirely devoted to fight the Chaos Gods, continue their purpose even long after their creators disappeared.
During the End Times and the destruction of the World-That-Was, the Lizardmen (as they were once called) left the world in ruin through their giant spacefaring vessels and reached the Mortal Realms to continue their fight against the Chaos Gods. They follow the “Great Plan”, an overall strategy that allows them to hit in the most important moments in history disregarding all other minor events to prevent Chaos to get an advantage. This often results in the other races questioning if they are friends or enemies.
At the top of the Seraphon society there are the Slann, bloated toad-like creatures gifted with incredible magic powers. The most revered of them is actually being dead long before the end of the world and the creation of the Mortal Realms: Lord Kroak. His spirit is so powerful that is still lingering around his mummified body and is able to communicate telepathically and send showers of meteors against his opponents.
Every Seraphon sub-specie is particularly versed in specific jobs. The Skinks are nimble creatures adept in more intellectual jobs like priests, scholars, etc. However, if required they are great warriors experts in skirmish tactics.
The Saurus represent instead the warrior chaste. These lizards are powerful fighters and are spawned specifically to battle the Seraphon enemies. The heavy labour is left to Kroxigors, giant biped crocodilians that compensate lack of intelligence with brute strength.
During the Age of Myth, the Seraphon kept fighting Chaos directly from their temple-cities floating in space, being teleported on the battlefield in a flash of light and disappearing equally quickly. This led to the credence that Seraphon were actually incorporeal beings dreamt to life by the Slann.
Instead, they are so imbued with energies from Azyr that they may appear as magical entities. Those with strong links with the Realm of Heavens, still living in the space vessels are called Starborne.
Those instead that started settling in the Mortal Realms are called Coalesced and are now more brutal and primordial than their space-faring cousins. The temples that descended on the ground started terraforming the surroundings to resemble the Seraphon original jungles that they now protect as their own habitat.
During the Realmgate Wars the Seraphon aided Sigmar forces where necessary and when this benefitted the Great Plan, creating a fragile unspoken alliance with the Stormcast Eternals. In reality the Seraphon are more interested in maintaining order in a complex geomantic web of lines called Astromatrix that they believe will be crucial to defeat the Chaos Gods.
During the Age of Sigmar and the following Necroquake, some Seraphon groups (called Constellations, led by a Slann Starmaster) created embassies in the cities created by the followers of Sigmar, understanding those civilizations could be useful in the right circumstances.
It was the Seraphon that destroyed a Silver Tower, hampering Tzeentch plans badly but also allowing Be’Lakor, the First Daemon Prince to damage the Astromatrix and summon the “Cursed Skies”, a curse that severs the link of the Mortal Realms from Azyr preventing the Stormcast Eternals to return home on their death.
And it was Lord Kroak, together with the ancient Draconith Princes, that in the Age of Myth fought and imprisoned Kragnos, the living Earthquake, deep beneath Twinhorn Peak in Ghur. The Draconith gave the last of their eggs to the Seraphon so that they could protect and breed them. They have now hatched and the Dragons are back in the Mortal Realms, taking advantage of the Stormcast link to Azyr to create a powerful alliance with Sigmar best warriors.
Now that Teclis, the elven God of Light, undid the Necroquake and Alarielle, the goddess of Life, took advantage to free life magic in all realms, primal and bestial energies have been unleashed, especially in Ghur. Kragnos is now free and the Seraphon closer to Ghur are now rampaging uncontrolled. More than one city-temple succumbed to self-destruction caused by those beasts and some spawns had to be eliminated before they could cause any harm. Despite all odds, the Slann are continuing their relentless war against the Chaos forces.
It is, indeed, the Age of the Beast.
Seraphon army rules can be mostly found in the Seraphon battletome from 2020, however some updates are available in later publications. So keep an eye on the FAQ that brought them to the new edition and White Dwarf 469 that clarified some matched play rules and added faction-specific core battalion, grand strategies, battle tactics and Path to Glory.
The first choice you have to make when selecting a Seraphon army is if they are either Coalesced or Starborne.
Coalesced are the more monster-focussed and Saurus based army, increasing the damage output and resistance of your units.
Starborne instead are your Azyr-based armies, focussing on spell casting and summoning abilities.
This decision will greatly influence your next choices, including sub-factions or Constellations, and which battle traits are relevant to you, although there are some generic like the ability of Slann to change spells they know each battle round.
Coalesced can choose between Koatl’s Claw and The Thunder Lizard sub-factions, the first providing some bonus to the Saurus units, including a chance to get back the command points used, while the latter boosts monsters including allowing your Bastiladon to double shoot.
Coalesced biggest change in Age of Sigmar 3.0 is in the Primeval Domain battle trait (White Dwarf) that now adds the Mystical (6+ ward for Seraphon units) and Deadly scenery rules to all terrain within the Coalesced starting territory. The rest of the rules favour the use of Saurus and big monsters that are definitely on a surge in the new edition.
Starborne can choose between Dracothion’s Tail and Fangs of Sotek sub-factions, with the first providing bonus to casting and the ability to place in reserve units to be summoned mid-game (or for alpha striking 9″ from an enemy), and the latter providing bonus to Skinks (including the ability to shoot a charging unit and then retreating) and some extra command points.
Starborne concentrate on the ability to collect Celestial Conjuration Points to be used to summon new units in later turns. They also have less problems with bravery (all units are treated as if they had a bravery value of 10) and can get few bonuses for spellcasting really favouring the use of Slann and Skinks.
Seraphon Endless Spells are now just a bonded version of the generic ones available in Malign Sorcery and Forbidden Power. Bonded Endless Spells can be moved only by the summoning wizard, but are removed as soon as the wizard dies.
They also have access to a faction terrain that allows, when garrisoned by a Wizard or a Priest, to shoot mortal wounds to units around other terrain features.
Seraphon have access to the Lore of Celestial Domination and the Lore of Celestial Manipulation, available exclusively to Slann and Skinks respectively.
Apart from command traits and artefacts of power, Seraphon have now access to Universal Prayer Scriptures for their Priests (Heal and Curse) from the core rules, and mount traits for Stegadon, Troglodon and Carnosaur from the White Dwarf article:
- Beastmaster, available only to Coalesced, allows once per game a monster to run and charge or run and shoot, or to add +1 Attack until the next hero phase.
- Celestial Destruction, available only to Starborne, allows one extra Monstrous Damage that is a more powerful Stomp with an area of effect.
Units and their roles
Heroes can perform Heroic Actions, in addition to the other abilities they can perform. You do it in the hero phase and you can only do one heroic action. Here is the list:
- Heroic Leadership: a chance to get a command point only that hero can use.
- Heroic Willpower: one non-Wizard hero can attempt to dispel or unbind a spell for one phase like he was a wizard.
- Their Finest Hour: once per game improve save and wound rolls for one hero.
- Heroic Recovery: a chance to heal some wounds to a hero based on his Bravery characteristic.
Seraphon have a long list of heroes, starting from the Slann: the Slann Starmaster and Lord Kroak. They are powerful casters with an innate +1 to casting, dispelling and unbinding (but this can be further increased), the ability to cast from a nearby friendly Skink Wizard or any friendly Oracle and the fact that they can change one spell each battle round.
They can cast up to 3 (4 for Lord Kroak) spells per turn, including the Comet’s Call that can splash mortal wounds around the battlefield.
They can also generate extra command points (up to 2 for the Starmaster and up to 3 for Lord Kroak) in addition to the different other ways this army has to generate extra command points.
Slann are almost mandatory in Starborne armies, but seeing their ductility and magic power, they are also really useful in Coalesced armies as support units.
Lord Kroak warscroll can be found in the new AoS app or in Broken Realms: Kragnos and makes him extremely hard to kill: at the end of each phase, you sum the number of wounds allocated to him plus the roll of 3D6 and if you score 20 or more you slain the model, otherwise all wounds are healed.
After the Slann there is the priesthood class of the Skinks. The Engine of the Gods represents a Skink Priest on top of a giant Stegadon (Triceratops anyone?). His special ability allows him to roll 2D6 (or 3 if there’s a Slann nearby) and then consult a table for a chance to summon 10 Saurus Guards or another bonus to the army. In Thunder Lizard you can even use this ability twice and for Coalesced the ability to re-roll battleshock tests for Skinks becomes handy as the otherwise unchangeable Bravery of 5 or 6 can be punitive. As a priest (look at the FAQ) he can now be given universal prayers like Curse or Heal.
If you prefer a more combat oriented version of this monster, then you can mount the Stegadon with a Skink Chief and it obtains the Hero keyword. In that case you have the ability to increase the melee attacks of a friendly Skink unit with his command ability.
Another wizard on an enormous mount is the Skink Oracle on Troglodon, with some of the benefits of the Slann (like +1 bonus on casting and the spell Comet’s Call) added to a more ferocious combat profile.
Skinks are also available on “foot”, although the Starseer floats with his char… The Skink Priest is actually the only priest of this small list, since the others are wizards. While the priest is there to mostly boost your Skinks, the Skink Starpriest and the Starseer can boost all Seraphon or use their spells to debuff enemy units. As wizards they can be used by a Slann to extend the range of his spells and they also have the ability to generate extra command points.
At the top of military hierarchy instead there are Saurus commanders. The mightiest of them are the Saurus Oldblood that can be found on foot or on top of a Carnosaur. As most Saurus leaders they have exploding attacks (for each natural 6 on a hit roll, you hit twice and roll separately to wound). The Carnosaur is a veritable beast but is not immortal, at the current price a Saurus Scar-Veteran on Carnosaur works better, giving exploding attacks to a nearby Saurus unit. The heroes mounting the Carnosaur come both from the same kit that can also make a Skink Oracle on Troglodon.
The Scar-Veteran can also mount a Cold One for a cheaper profile.
The Saurus leaders include also the Sunblood and the Eternity Warden, the first buffing wounds rolls of Saurus, the second the hit rolls of Saurus Guards. Both buffs can be easily found elsewhere and since in Age of Sigmar 3.0 they cap on that bonus is +1, they are quite redundant.
The Saurus Astrolith Bearer however is noteworthy as it provides a bonus to casting and 6+ ward to nearby units.
Other leaders are the Ripperdactyl Chief and the Terradon Chief that are Skinks mounted on top of these flying beasts that we are going to discuss further down.
From Warhammer Underworlds side game, you can find the warband Starblood Stalkers that contains a new model for a Skink Priest or that can alternatively be used as it is: Kixi-Taka the Diviner, nothing much to add. Interesting enough his companion Klaq-Troq is a hero but not a leader.
Monsters can perform special abilities called Monster Rampages at the end of the Charge phase. Each action can be performed only once per phase therefore only up to 4 monsters can perform one at a time. Here is the current list:
- Roar: a chance to prevent an enemy unit to issue or receive orders in the following combat phase
- Stomp: a chance to do D3 mortal wounds to a unit
- Titanic Duel: + 1 to hit rolls against another Monster
- Smash to Rubble: a chance to demolish a terrain feature, disabling it’s scenery rules
Above we have discussed some heroes mounting monsters: Saurus Oldblood on Carnosaur, Saurus Scar-Veteran on Carnosaur, Skink Oracle on Troglodon, Stegadon with Skink Chief and Engine of the Gods.
This leaves us with the Bastiladon and the normal Stegadon.
With the General Handbook 2021, the Bastiladon has been split in two different warscrolls: Bastiladon with Ark of Sotek and Bastiladon with Solar Engine. The Ark of Sotek is more melee oriented with 18 attacks (at the top bracket) doing mortal wounds on a 6 while the Solar Engine is more missile oriented , able to do 3 damage per hit to Chaos Demon units. But what you are here for is the 1+ save roll at top bracket. With save stacking abilities in Age of Sigmar 3.0, you need mortal wounds to bring down this beast…
The Stegadon is an alternative model of the Engine of the Gods set and if equipped with a Skink Chief becomes a leader. There are different missile weapon options to choose from, making the Stegadon a valid option, furthermore being a conditional battleline in a Thunder Lizards army.
As an added bonus we include the Dread Saurian. He can be bought only from ForgeWorld website and is an amazingly huge model. With the resurgence of monsters in the third edition, he is also a good centrepiece with the potential of quite some damage. Despite being a FW model not present in the Seraphon battletome, it is a legal model in AoS and his updated warscroll is available in the Monstrous Arcanum FAQ.
Seraphon have 4 main battleline options, 3 of which are Saurus as you would expect from a military caste. The Saurus Guard are not the best option available, but they can redirect to themselves wounds otherwise destined to a Slann. Lord Kroak for example can really become immortal if in the first rounds a group of Saurus Guard can spare him some mortal wounds. Saurus Guard can be further boosted by a Saurus Eternity Ward.
The Saurus Knights are a favourite option for the higher mobility and wounds, especially in MSU (minimum size unit) with Saurus Warriors trailing behind. All Saurus battleline have an Alpha model with an extra attack, a drummer that allows to re-roll charge rolls and an icon bearer that reduces bravery of nearby enemy units. Having a champion, they can also issue command abilities to themselves. Saurus Scar-Veterans can buff all Saurus by making exploding 6s on hit rolls. They are good units that can make a difference when rightly buffed.
The final battleline is perfect for Skink based armies. They have all sort of weapon options but you are going to take them in group of 10 with melee weapons as chaff to sacrifice at the first occasion or, reinforcing twice, in group of 30 with Boltspitters and adequately buffed.
Above 15 models per unit, they all have 1 extra attack, Fangs of Sotek adds some extra movement on the first round, they can run and shoot (on a 3+ through the Skink Priest), a Starpriest can make their 6s to wound add mortal wounds to the damage and a Skink Priest can give them +1 to Hit.
It costs a command ability and the use of other smaller heroes, but you can work on it. Sure, they are not the dreaded unit that scared many players in the second edition, but they are not to throw out of the window either.
The only conditional batteline in Seraphon is the Stegadon in a Thunder Lizard army but it cannot be reinforced (he is Single). Remember that if he is battleline, he loses the behemoth profile allowing to field more behemoth for a really monstrous army.
Wizards and Priests
The priests available to this army are the Engine of the Gods, Kixi-Taka the Diviner and the Skink Priest.
The Seraphon wizards instead are: Lord Kroak, Slaan Starmaster, Skink Oracle on Troglodon, Skink Starpriest and Skink Starseer. Remember that Slann can use other wizards to extend the range of their spells staying safely in the back lines.
Chameleon Skinks are here not for the damage, but to harass the enemy and to be used strategically. Their ability to be placed in reserve and be deployed in the enemy board at a later stage can be extremely useful to score battle tactics like Savage Spearhead (have at least 2 units wholly in your opponent’s territory) or to grab undefended objectives or even to force your opponent to not over-extend to avoid those situations.
Kroxigor are an old model, they can do some damage opportunely buffed but they are not on forefront of most lists because of their cost/damage output ratio. If you are facing a horde the Moon Hammer is a good option, but for reliability the Maul will give you the same number of attacks all the time.
Salamanders have been the terror of many armies in Age of Sigmar 2.0. They are now better priced, you can only have 2 in a unit (reinforcing once, but consider the 3 handlers per salamander adding 3 extra wounds to the model) but they still do some damage particularly with their high rend and mortal wounds on a 6 to hit. They also have the Skink keyword so they can receive many bonueses in particular from the Skink Priest.
As the Salamander, also the Razordon Hunting Pack comes with 3 Skink Handlers. They are a good model but can be reinforced only once and while they have a primitive Unleash Hell ability (they can attack a charging unit completing the charge next to them) with a -1 rend attack, it is random how many attacks they perform and the damage output is overall low. To run some quick stats, with no buff, a Salamander on average would do 4 damage against a 4+ save, while a Razordon just above 1 when shooting normally, or less than 1 when being charged despite the rend.
Last but not least we get to the flying Skink units. Let’s put things in perspective: you take them more for their speed and ability to fly, to grab objectives or harass isolated units. For this reason, the Ripperdactyl Riders just don’t to enough damage to justify their cost. You can increase their attacks using a Ripperdactyl Chief, but that is a lot of points for not much effect.
Terradon Riders on the other way have a shooting attack and the chance to do once per game mortal wounds to a unit they fly over. They have two missile options with bolas slightly better than javelins but a much shorter range. Considering their low defence, the further they are from the enemies, the better it is. A Terradon Rider Chief can make more reliable the mortal wounds ability, but again, not worth his cost.
Both kits, and the chiefs, come from the same box, meaning that if you assemble the chiefs you will be left with 2 models while the unit size is 3. Be prepared for some kit bashing if you want all options…
The final unit is a Warhammer Underworld warband: The Starblood Stalkers. Not much to see here, although Kixi-Taka the Diviner is an alternative Skink Priest model and Klaq-Troq an alternative Saurus Oldblood.
Endless Spells, Terrain and Start Collecting
The Seraphon don’t have their own Endless Spells, but can use the generic ones available in Malign Sorcery and Forbidden Power. When they do cast one, it is Bonded, meaning that it can be moved only by the summoning wizard, but are removed as soon as the wizard dies. It becomes useful to avoid certain predatory endless spell to become wild and risk to backfire towards you.
The Seraphon have a faction terrain: the Realmshaper Engine, that finally can be deployed in their own territory quite reliably. Refer to the FAQ for the final warscroll. It can be garrisoned and if a wizard or priest is on it, it can shoot enemy units close to any terrain feature.
The Seraphon have 2 Start Collecting boxes, representing the two sides of the army: Saurus (named generically Seraphon) and Skinks. The Seraphon one is an odd one: while on one side contains an ever-interesting centrepiece model with 3 assembly options, probably the best MSU unit Seraphon has (the Saurus Knights) and some chaff in the name of the Saurus Warriors, it does come in odd numbers.
While there are 8 knights and 12 warriors in the box, the unit size is 5 and 10 respectively, forcing you to buy multiple start collecting boxes or multiple units’ box just to minimize the unused models. Note that if you use the Carnosaur with a Saurus leader, you have enough pieces left to assemble a Skink Starpriest as an added bonus.
The second and newest Start Collecting is dedicated to Skinks, and while a Bastiladon is more common in Coalesced armies (focussed on Saurus and monsters), it is also a nice addition on Starborne armies. Again, the Skinks come in packs of 12 with a unit size of 10 and the flying units may not be the best units that you can use, but they can help to start collecting a Seraphon army and give you multiple assembly options: the Bastiladon can be assembled as Engine of the Gods and the Terradon/Ripperdactyl have plenty of alternatives including a single leader (Chief).
Tactics and Final Verdict
Seraphon is really more than one army. There are at least 2 main ways to play: Saurus focussed or Skink focussed, that are roughly corresponding to Coalesced and Starborne. However there are so many more variants to it that the line blurs quickly.
Add to the mix the fact that you can literally play only with big monsters (you may suffer in controlling objectives but surely you and your opponent will have a lot of fun!) and you see that deciding in which direction to go can be daunting.
Monsters are really important in the third edition of Age of Sigmar, so a balanced approach is probably the best, hinting slightly towards Coalesced armies. But Starborne are also doing well, where they can summon the units they require provided they can keep their casters alive long enough to collect those points.
But the real problem of Seraphon is given by the age of the model range. Most models are almost 10 years old and some in metal are even older! We can see what GW can do with current techniques looking at Lord Kroak latest model (released in 2021 as part of the Broken Realms campaign) or the Skinks in the Starblood Stalkers warband for Warhammer Underworlds. An update to the model range is long overdue, in saying that it does not seem to be planned anytime soon so if you do like what you see now, it should be safe enough. And the added bonus is that their price has not increased considerably so you can obtain most models at a much lower price than newer models.
The other issue with Seraphon is that there’s so many models to choose from that it can be difficult to select your army. The best way is to understand what you want to play and the Start Collecting boxes are a good introduction.
On top of that, you can almost be sure to benefit from a Slann and a Skink Priest. Little tip: you can obtain a Skink Priest from the Stegadon kit if you don’t assemble it as an Engine of the Gods, as you can obtain also a Skink Starpriest from the Carnosaur kit if you don’t assemble it as an Oracle on Troglodon. Warhammer Underworld warband can also provide some alternative kits for the Skink Priest and the Saurus Oldblood.
The Skink Priest is probably your best cheap hero and is present in most top tables list, especially if you need to buff Skinks. And don’t forget: all types of Stegadon and Bastiladon have the Skink keyword and can be buffed by the priest or the starpriest.
Your subfaction choice will greatly depend on what type of army you want to bring to the table: Saurus armies go for Koatl’s Claw, monster armies choose Thunder Lizard, skink or mixed armies use Fang of Sotek and spellcasting armies can use Dracothion’s Tail. Add some Slann and Starpriest in a Koatl’s Claw army with a Scar-Veteran on Carnosaur as general and you can generate an insane amount of command points and recycle them through the general.
Once you have the core of your army, there are some points where you can expand. The Chameleon Skink, especially used in MSU (minimum size unit) are great harassing units that can pop up anywhere in the battlefield keeping your enemy always on their toes. It is true that you can still teleport units or Starborne armies can summon them, but Chameleon Skinks are more reliable and cannot be stopped. And can be used to achieve battle tactics.
The Saurus Astrolith Bearer is another good investment to give your Seraphon an after-save ward (so far only Coalesced have it and only near or on terrain features in their territory) and some welcome bonus to your casters.
And finally if you need to do some damage, then there are few hammers opportunely buffed, Salamanders and Dread Saurian for example. But also Saurus Knights and of course Stegadon and Bastiladon can dent the enemy army.
It remains the most important question that every army is posing right now in this meta: can you kill a Mega-Gargant in a round? Also called DPS check, a term from video-games meaning damage per second and meant to represent the offensive potential of a weapon or unit, is a problem for many armies as a Mega-Gargant has 35 wounds and an easy to achieve 3+ save. The answer is: there’s nothing in a Seraphon army that can reach that amount at the same point cost.
The solution is often coming from Gotrek Gurnisson, the most famous (or infamous depending on the point of view) Dwarf Slayer of all times (literally as he is was active well before the End Times). He may still not be enough to take down a Mega-Gargant, but with some other missile firepower, shouldn’t be too much of a problem. But this means not using a pure Seraphon army and ally Gotrek in.
In summary: Seraphon are a fun army to play, all-round with plenty of options. They have some of the coolest monsters you could field on the battlefield today, but they do have an outdated range that in some models (see Kroxigors and some Saurus leaders) really feels the age.
They are not too difficult to learn and there are some good starting boxes that allow to start playing with a small investment. They are also cheaper than other ranges despite the presence of several monsters and many units.
Thumbs up from us. If you want more information about Seraphon you can follow Caleb’s YouTube channel.