Total War: Warhammer 3 – Thrones of Decay: Tamurkhan and Nurgle rework details

Here’s what the DLC is changing for the Daemons of Nurgle
Creative Assembly / Sega

Fans have been very happy with the reveal of Thrones of Decay, the next expansion coming to Total War: Warhammer 3all new units for the Empire, Nurgle, and Dwarves look stunning. In its effort to be transparent regarding the DLC’s content, developer Creative Assembly wants to provide full details on the faction reworks as well as the new additions ahead of launch.

These reveals – awaited with much excitement by the community – have begun with Nurgle’s followers. Find out what Tamurkhan brings to the table for the Daemons of Nurgle and which mechanics will be overhauled in the coming update.

TW: WH3 – Thrones of Decay: Tamurkhan

Tamurkhan alias the Maggot Lord – he’s literally a baby-sized maggot that inhabits corpses, so that nickname checks out – is a beast on the battlefield. He’s incredibly tanky, thanks to Nurgle blessing him and his use of an Ogre Tyrant’s corpse as his current flesh suit. Likewise, this is where his great strength in melee combat comes from – wielding a great ax, Tamurkhan deals high armor-piercing damage. He can ride his unique Toad Dragon, Bubebolos, to cut an even more fearsome figure on the battlefield.

Should Tamurkhan be near death, his unique ability – Feast of the Maggot Lord – will sap the HP of units around him to provide him with another chance at life. Nurgle’s Favoured Son grants him additional melee defense and ward save to increase his toughness, while Rotting Host is a new passive ability decreasing the weapon strength and leadership of enemies inside a 35m radius around the Maggot Lord. Owing to his host body, Tamurkhan can also use Arsebelcher to even further reduce enemy leadership.

His item ability, Black Cleaver, grants him magic attacks, more armor-piercing, and boosts the base weapon damage of all allied units nearby.

Total War: Warhammer 3 Thrones of Decay screenshot of Tamurkhan.
Tamurkhan is big and angry. / Creative Assembly / Sega

TW: WH3 – Thrones of Decay: Tamurkhan’s Chieftains

Tamurkhan’s Chieftains is his primary campaign mechanic and revolves around Tamurkhan gaining the loyalty of powerful followers of Chaos, uniting them under his banner, and thereby obtaining powerful units and bonuses.

Tamurkhan gains Dominance by winning battles, which he can invest into cultivating the loyalty of chieftains, activating their abilities, and unlocking their special units for his recruitment pool.

A second resource, Fealty, is obtained by executing actions certain chieftains approve of – if you want to win over a Chaos Dwarf chieftain, you best fight their natural enemies. Fealty is crucial to Tamurkhan’s plans, as it allows him to deepen his ties with these chieftains and unlock a series of quest battles to connect their fates with his own cause for good.

Total War: Warhammer 3 screenshot of Tamurkhan's Chieftains.
Tamurkhan wants to catch them all. / Creative Assembly / Sega

TW: WH3 – Thrones of Decay: Kazyk the Befouled

Kazyk is the Legendary Hero accompanying Tamurkhan. He, too, is a tanky melee beast thanks to the powers of regeneration bestowed on him by Nurgle. His passive ability, Corrupted Flesh, provides him with additional ward save as long as he’s above a certain HP threshold.

Being mounted on a Rot Beast, Kazyk is perfect for leading your army’s charge thanks to the Befouled Charge passive, which provides additional speed and charge bonus to himself and allies. It also reduces enemies’ charge defense against large entities, which further enhances the impact of Kazyk’s assault.

He comes equipped with the Sword of Filth, which lowers the melee defense and armor of his targets.

Total War: Warhammer 3 screenshot of Kazyk the Befouled.
What a smile. Don't follow Nurgle, kids. / Creative Assembly / Sega

TW: WH3 – Thrones of Decay: Nurgle rework

Creative Assembly has completely overhauled the Plague system for all Nurgle factions – it won’t feel as static anymore, as the ability to min-max Plague effects has been removed. 

Here’s what the developers have planned:

  • Plague symptoms now exist within a web, with certain symptoms connected to each other, letting you combine 3 of them to create a plague. 
  • The UX has been redesigned to better showcase how this plague will affect both Nurgle and Non-Nurgle factions; positive for Nurgle, negative for everyone else. 
  • The symptoms’ location within the Plague web will shift with every 3 plagues. So, your first plague may allow for a connection between symptoms granting Casualty Replenishment, Growth, and Recruitment Health, but on the next cycle, those symptoms could be nowhere near each other, and you’ll have to conjure new plagues from what’s available to you. As a result, special combinations have been removed.
  • We’re introducing a new type of symptom: Blessed Symptoms. These are assigned randomly and change with every plague cycle, and a symptom, while Blessed, has its effects doubled.
  • Plagues can now be mutated with increased effects; increasing the Spread Chance, extending the Duration, and much more. 
  • Plagues now have an immunity period, so that those on the receiving end of being Plagued aren't constantly under its effects and have a respite between bouts.

Another unique Nurgle mechanic, cyclical buildings, is getting adjusted as well:

  • Military buildings are still cyclical, but all remaining buildings are now static like the other factions in the game.
  • Military buildings now cost Infections instead of treasury, to help with managing the choice between improving infrastructure and recruiting forces.
  • We have done an economy pass on the buildings following this change to help with Nurgle's difficult financial situation, allowing players to choose the "Treasury" building rather than having their economy gain split between all chains.
  • Resource buildings have had an effect overhaul. 
  • Cult buildings have undergone an effect pass.
  • The remaining Cyclical buildings can now be rushed by spending Infections.

Recruitment will be made less punishing:

  • Recruitment Cost and Recruitment Health are now tied to the Nurgle corruption level of the province that the military force is recruiting in:
  1. 30% health at 0 corruption.
  2. 60% health and -50% recruit cost at 100 corruption.
  • With the addition of rushing construction, Cyclical buildings should help with filling up recruitment pools in the early game.

The tech tree is being decoupled from Ku’gath’s Realms of Chaos campaign:

  • Nurgle's technology tree is now split into 2 distinct groups: one focused on Military and the other on campaign Faction bonuses.
  • The layout has also been reworked to make it clearer and easier to progress through the technology tree.

Finally, army abilities have been taken a second look at as well:

  • Nurgle now gains a passive income of army ability points for every enemy unit in the Battle map that is currently being affected by a negative effect or debuff. 
  • This plays into Nurgle's playstyle of spreading debuffs and contact effects, and makes them even more desirable for both Campaign and Battles.

Given the hint from this blog entry on Tamurkhan – “And, just maybe, there’s one more Legendary Lord of Nurgle waiting in the wings, ready to be unleashed in Update 5.0.” – it looks like Epidemius will be the free Legendary Lord coming alongside the DLC. Grandfather Nurgle keeps winning.

Marco Wutz


Marco Wutz is a writer from Parkstetten, Germany. He has a degree in Ancient History and a particular love for real-time and turn-based strategy games like StarCraft, Age of Empires, Total War, Age of Wonders, Crusader Kings, and Civilization as well as a soft spot for Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail. He began covering StarCraft 2 as a writer in 2011 for the largest German community around the game and hosted a live tournament on a stage at gamescom 2014 before he went on to work for Bonjwa, one of the country's biggest Twitch channels. He branched out to write in English in 2015 by joining, the global center of the StarCraft scene run by Team Liquid, which was nominated as the Best Coverage Website of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards in 2017. He worked as a translator on The Crusader Stands Watch, a biography in memory of Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka, and provided live coverage of many StarCraft 2 events on the social channels of as well as DreamHack, the world's largest gaming festival. From there, he transitioned into writing about the games industry in general after his graduation, joining GLHF, a content agency specializing in video games coverage for media partners across the globe, in 2021. He has also written for NGL.ONE, kicker, ComputerBild, USA Today's ForTheWin, The Sun, Men's Journal, and Parade. Email: