Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Shadow & The Blade FAQ - Total War (2024)

The Shadow & The Blade is the latest Legendary Lords Pack for Total War: WARHAMMER II. Introducing Malus Darkblade and Deathmaster Snikch, each Legendary Lord will be bringing their own unique faction mechanics, quest chains, legendary items, skill trees, units, and campaign narratives to both the New and Old Worlds.

Tz’arkan, the Drinker of Worlds, escaped from his eternal prison within the Chaos Wastes, only to end up bound inseparably with the very being who freed him, the violent and cruel Malus Darkblade. Sensing the potential of this Daemonic entity, the Nightlord of Clan Eshin has dispatched his most trusted assassin, Deathmaster Snikch, to track down the Daemon and uncover its true power.

The Shadow & The Blade includes:

  • Two richly themed and unique Legendary Lords leading their own factions:
    • Malus Darkblade leads Hag Graef for the Dark Elves
    • Deathmaster Snikch leads Clan Eshin for the Skaven
  • Powerful new units and Heroes for both the Dark Elves and the Skaven:
    • Lethal chariots and pain-wracked Medusae for the sad*stic warmongers of Hag Graef
    • Cunning stealth magic, warp-infused weapon teams, and deadly covert infantry for the assassin-inspired units of Clan Eshin
  • New elite Regiments of Renown with which to lay catastrophic waste to your enemies

For full details on everything you’ll get in The Shadow & The Blade, head over to the Steam page to read more as well as get 10% off the launch price if you pre-order.


When will The Shadow & The Blade be released?

The Shadow & The Blade will be released on the 12th of December 2019.

Is there a pre-purchase discount?

You’ll get a 10% discount if you pre-purchase The Shadow & The Blade via Steam before its release.

Do I need to start a new campaign?

If you want to make the most of the recent plethora of changes then yes, we’d advise that you do start a new campaign.

Can I keep my mods?

We advise that you remove all mods until their respective creators have updated them in alignment with the update.

Steam is not installing the DLC or the Free-LC – what’s happening?

Be patient. If there’s an issue with the DLC, we will communicate this via our official social channels. If you don’t see anything there, you should clear your cache and restart Steam.

Additionally, make sure you are not currently opted in to the public beta.

I don’t want to start a new campaign or have the free content

If you don’t want all the free content and improvements that are part of the The Potion of Speed Update right now, you can opt in to the public beta by following the below instructions:

  1. In Steam games library, right-click Total War: WARHAMMER II and select Properties
  2. In the Properties window, select the Betas tab
  3. Select public_beta from the Select the beta you would like to opt into: drop-down box
  4. Total War: WARHAMMER II will then update to version 1.7.2

You can find the The Potion of Speed Update patch notes here, and you can find the master feedback thread here.

Will the new Legendary Lords be available in both the Eye of the Vortex and Mortal Empires Campaign?

Yes, The Shadow & The Blade will be available to play in both the Eye of the Vortex and Mortal Empires Campaign, and can also be used in campaign, custom, and battle modes.

What new units will be in The Shadow & The Blade?

The Shadow & The Blade features the following new units for the Dark Elves: Scourgerunner Chariots, Bloodwrack Medusas, and Bloodwrack Shrines.

It also includes the following new units for the Skaven: Eshin Triads, Poisoned-Wind Mortars, and Warp-Grinder Weapon Teams.

For the full details on these units as well as new Lords, Heroes, and Regiments of Renown, head over to The Shadow & The Blade Steam page, and to see them in action pre-release make sure to keep an eye on our YouTube and Twitch channels.

What new mechanics will Malus Darkblade bring to The Shadow & The Blade?

Malus Darkblade will bring with him the following brand-new mechanics:


In order to counteract his possession by Tz’arkan, Malus must continually drink an elixir that slows the Daemon’s influence over his mind. While the elixir is costly to consume, his master Malekith will gladly provide him with the recipe – but only if he helps him in his bid to control the Vortex.

Despite the obvious danger in allowing the Drinker of Worlds to take control of his mind, there are situations in battle when Malus might benefit from letting the possession overcome him momentarily, greatly amplifying even his legendary viciousness. However, managing such an addiction to seemingly endless power confronts Malus with desperate challenges throughout his campaign as he seeks to wrest back control of his very soul.


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.


Malus Darkblade is the embodiment of hate and ruthlessness, qualities spurred by the evil brutality of the Daemon Tz’arkan. As Malus struggles in a constant inner fight with the Daemon, it will attempt to influence him to perform acts of unthinkable slaughter and cruelty. As part of a new mission system, Malus can follow the Daemon’s dark whispers in return for unique and powerful rewards in the form of items, followers, and other treasures.

Now that you have transform abilities in game, will you be revisiting Transformation of Kadon?

We did consider this. However, transformations are permanent in battle. We were not confident that losing a Lore of Beasts caster for a Feral Manticore was a good trade off that fit within the current meta of the game, and so decided to maintain the current implementation of that spell.

What new mechanics will Deathmaster Snikch bring to The Shadow & The Blade?

Deathmaster Snikch will bring with him the following brand-new mechanics:


Deathmaster Snikch and his agents are the most feared secret operatives in the world, capable of subterfuge actions that few others possess. Using any of their Eshin characters, Clan Eshin can perform numerous Shadowy Dealing actions against their rivals on the campaign map with 100% success, but at the cost of having these agents unavailable for further use in the campaign for a number of turns while they recover. Actions have a wide range of outcomes including the simple theft of items or money all the way to spying, inciting rebellions, and assassinations. The Deathmaster himself is even able to burn down entire cities!


Skavendom’s unseen leaders are forever seeking to disrupt and backstab each other on the Council of Thirteen. When a problem arises that needs serious attention, the Greater Clans approach Clan Eshin to do their dirty work. These Clan Contracts allow Clan Eshin to receive money, food, and increased reputation with the issuing clans, thus granting bonuses and reducing the cost of the Greater Clans’ specialised units.

Will there be an Old World update released with The Shadow & The Blade?

As we mentioned back in the latest development blog, we will not be releasing an Old World Update this time. However, will have a patch, which we’ll provide more information on closer to release.

What’s the free content that will be released alongside the DLC?

The Shadow & The Blade will be accompanied by the release of the Free-LC Legendary Lord for Bretonnia Repanse de Lyonesse – more information will be released soon.

When will the free content be available?

On the release day of The Shadow & The Blade – the 12th of December 2019.

Will The Shadow & The Blade be released on macOS and Linux?

This will be coming shortly after the release of The Shadow & The Blade – stay tuned!

Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Shadow & The Blade FAQ - Total War (2024)
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