- Playing as Malus Darkblade and Hag Graef requires owning The Shadow and the Blade paid DLC.
Malus starts the game in control of the mighty city of Hag Graef, while also in command of an expedition force supported by a Black Ark on the other side of the world.
In the opening stages of this campaign, the player is faced with a dilemma to either retain control of Hag Graef or give up the city in return for a hefty sum.
With an offer Darkblade will find difficult to refuse, you’ll need to choose between two distinct campaign starts, juggling the machinations.
"I am Malus! Malus Darkblade! Kill me if you dare! Kill me if you can!"
- —Malus Darkblade, the Tyrant of Hag Graef[9a]
Malus Darkblade was always ambitious, even by the lofty standards of Hag Graef's warring families. For long years, he played the Dark Elves' deadly game of politics and assassination and played it well, but finally his thirst for power led Darkblade into the clutches of a being darker even than he. Rumours of a great power hidden in the distant north set Darkblade on a quest that led him deep into the Chaos Wastes.[1a]
It is a testament to Darkblade's determination that he not only survived his journey but at last came before the temple of Kul Hadar, in which his prize could be found. Alas for Darkblade, the great power within the temple was something not easily bent to mortal will.[1a]
Long centuries ago, the Greater Daemon of Slaanesh Tz'arkan had been bound within Kul Hadar, and Darkblade now unwittingly presented it an opportunity for escape. Blinded by avarice, Darkblade was possessed by the Daemon. In that instant, his life and soul were forfeit.[1a]
He had but one way of escaping his fate -- to find five artefacts of power that would fully free Tz'arkan from his ancient prison and thus see Darkblade's soul restored. He had only a year to succeed, or else remain in the Daemon's thrall for eternity.[1a]
Though the search took every waking hour of the allotted year, and even forced Dark blade to kill his own father to obtain one of the artefacts, Darkblade finally succeeded in his quest. Upon the eve of his doom he returned to Kul Hadar with the artefacts, and performed the ritual that would set the Daemon free.[1a]
But Tz'arkan had tricked the Dark Elf -- upon escaping from Darkblade's body, the treacherous Daemon stole his black soul. From that moment on, the fates of Darkblade and Tz'arkan were forever intertwined.[1a]
In the years since, Darkblade has become legendary in Naggaroth, as a great warrior and leader whose hatred can overcome any opposition. Wielding the Warpsword of Khaine, the only surviving artefact from that long-ago quest, Darkblade has hacked a path of bloody ruin across the frozen north, drawing upon Tz'arkan's power when needed, but relying first and foremost on his own dark determination and limitless reservoir of hate.
- Transformation: This unit can change its form, altering its stats and attributes in the process.
- ↑ Armour-Piercing: The damage of armour-piercing weapons mostly ignores the armour of the target, making them the ideal choice against heavily-armoured enemies. They are often heavier and attack at a slower rate though, making them less efficient against poorly-armoured targets.
- ↑ Armoured: Armoured units can block damage from any source apart from Armour-Piercing damage.
- ↑ Melee Expert: Melee Experts might have a very strong melee attack or melee defence, or high values in both. Some also have melee-focused skills like Charge Defence. Use them to counter other strong melee units. When facing them, it is best to take them out before they can enter melee.
- Hide (forest)
- Causes Fear
- The Blood Price
- The Daemon's Curse
- Bloodstorm (Tz'arkan only)
- Reaper of Souls (Tz'arkan only)
- Stand or Die!
- Deadly Onslaught
Additional starting units
Additional starting units in campaign mode:
Eye of the Vortex
Malus is a very unique lord with the ability to transform, giving him full health and new abilities, at the cost of slowly losing health over time. Malus by himself is a proficient duelist lord. On his mount he provides a strong amount of armour piercing damage while being mobile. He is useful for riding with other cavalry units or paired with some supporting elements to protect him if he gets surrounded. Should your enemy focus him, resist popping his transformation until the last possible moment. Once you do, Malus has a timer on his health that will expire. Many enemies will force the transformation then kite Tz'arkan until he falls and then reengage. Use Tz'arkan's abilities effectively, one of them steals health from nearby enemies and gives it to him which can help Tz'arkan last a bit longer. It is a good idea to bring one or two extra mobile units that can hunt enemies down and stop them from kiting Tz'arkan.
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