The core magic Lores in the Warhammer rulebook are a lot more useful, and hence see a lot more play, with the changes in 8th Edition. If you’re unfamiliar with the lists, it can be difficult to know which Lore to take, especially for you lucky souls that can choose all 8. In this series we look at each Lore, analyse the spells, give tips on use and advise when each Lore should be used. In this post we’re looking at the Lore of Fire.
The Lore of Fire is, unsurprisingly, focussed on delivering large amounts of fiery death to your opponent’s troops (or “dudes”). Most of its spells are direct damage, which is not necessarily a bad thing if that’s what you want.
You should also remember that because Fire spells are counted as Flaming Attacks, due to an FAQ ruling a Fire Wizard will cause Fear in Cavalry etc, as if he had Flaming Attacks.
Lore Attribute: Kindleflame
The Lore Attribute of Fire makes it easier to cast your Fire spells at targets that you’ve already shot with Fire spells. This is… alright. It’s not amazing, but every little bit helps and if you really need to pummel a single unit then, well, cool.
Signature Spell: Fireball
A simple direct-damage spell. It is a solid spell, and can do a fair bit of damage. Its best feature is being able to double or triple the range and number of hits by boosting the casting value, making it very versatile. A strong Signature Spell.
1: Cascading Fire-Cloak
This is an augment, and very simply is a way of casting a direct damage spell into combat: all it does is cause hits on units touching the target unit. It remains in play, which is nice but not really the point, and it’s easy for the opponent to dispel it in their turn. Not bad, but not as versatile as Fireball.
2: Flaming Sword of Rhuin
A very nice augment spell. It grants Flaming Magical attacks… which should be enough, but you get +1 to Wound thrown in as well: even for shooting! Turn any unit into Hydra-slayers! Obviously most useful against armies with Regenerating / Flammable / hurt more by Magic units, but still not terrible against others.
3: The Burning Head
The Burning Head is like a S4 Flaming cannonball… which is not that great. It causes Panic tests with any wound, which is nice, but in this day of BSBs everywhere it’s not likely to do much. In an optimal situation you might cause more casualties than with Fireball… but only maybe.
4: Piercing Bolts of Burning
A bit of an odd direct damage spell: it does more hits the more ranks the enemy unit has. It’s… a bit lousy. With the Horde rules, units are more likely to have fewer, wider ranks, and at the casting value the target needs about 4 ranks just to break even with a Fireball. It also is useless for targeting independent characters, monsters, war machines, and so on. The rules specify that the ranks need to be at least 5 dudes across, but as Firebelcher pointed out in the comments, there’s a technicality in the monstrous infantry rules which means it still works fine against them, for at least 3 dudes in a rank. That’s far from enough to redeem it, though: overall, worse the Fireball.
5: Fulminating Flame Cage
An interesting control spell. Whilst it does a bit of damage upfront, its main ability is to punish the targeted unit for moving. This gives you some control over the opponent’s movement phase. You can also just try to use it for its damage capabilities: note that it triggers if the target moves for any reason, including Fleeing or whatever cheese you can dig up.
6: Flame Storm
Not much to say about this: small or large template, boom. It’s the blunt instrument of the Lore of Fire. Far less powerful or interesting than some of the top spells of other Lores, but it’s got a fairly low casting value and against the right armies a giant explosion is exactly what you need.
The Lore of Fire is pretty much a fairly simple direct-damage Lore. Low casting values and the strength of its Signature make it a strong Lore for Levels 1 and 2 Wizards. Its simplicity also makes the Lore of Fire a solid choice for beginners.
Apart from Flammable and Regenerating targets, the Lore of Fire is strongest against those armies with little or no armour, since all the Fire spells allow armour saves. Such armies include all the Elves, plus Skaven, Orcs and Goblins, Beastmen, Ogres, and Daemons of Chaos.
If you have no other ways of handling Hydras, then taking the Lore of Fire against Dark Elves is probably a good idea, considering how popular Hydras are these days.
The Lore of Fire is possibly the best one to use against Wood Elves, due to the combination of low Toughness, no Armour, Forest Spirits whose Ward Saves are negated by Magic, and Flammable Tree Kin and Treemen.
Hits: Fireball, Flaming Sword of Rhuin
Misses: The Burning Head, Piercing Bolts of Burning