Total War: Warhammer III – Shadows of Change | The Changeling Faction Guide

In this guide, we will discuss The Changeling, the latest addition to Tzeentch, and see his crafty gameplay mechanics such as Schemes and Trickster Cults, and see if this cunning Daemon of Tzeentch is truly the greatest mastermind of the world.

Total War Warhammer III - Shadows of Change The Changeling Faction GuideTotal War: Warhammer III recently announced its latest DLC, Shadows of Change, and many new things await the players within Patch 4.0. One is The Changeling, Tzeentch’s ultimate schemer with unique gameplay mechanisms to help you sow discord among many factions within the game. Today, we will discuss The Changeling Faction’s strengths and weaknesses in this guide. Let’s begin.

Total War: Warhammer III is available on Steam for $54.99, while the Shadows of Change DLC is available on Steam for $19.99.

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Total War: WARHAMMER III - The Changeling Gameplay Showcase

The Changeling Faction Lore Overview

Let’s start this guide with The Changeling’s lore and how he controls his Trickster Cults. He is the Changer of Ways’ latest Daemon of Tzeentch, and perhaps the most cunning. His true form is lost to time, with only Tzeentch recalling his actual appearance. This nightmare’s commitment to meddling allows him to mirror other Legendary characters in appearance, personality, and mannerisms.

As a lover of conflict, confusion, and discordance, the Changeling uses warfare as a distraction, for those warmongers are susceptible to deception. And when realization finally dawns, it will almost certainly be too late.

Since he’s a powerful and cunning Daemon of Tzeentch, his faction mechanics follow around The Changeling’s unique traits. Moreover, The Changeling has two new abilities that set her apart from other Legendary Lords: Trickster Cults and Schemes, which we will discuss later on.

The Changeling.

The Changeling.

The Changeling’s New Gameplay Mechanics

As stated before, The Changeling arrives on Total War: Warhammer III by bringing two unique systems that will support his faction: Trickster Cults and Schemes

Trickster Cults

Let’s begin with Trickster Cults first. The Changeling cares not for settlements of his own – indeed, he outright refuses to capture any. Instead, he infiltrates already-established settlements and plants his cults deep within their city walls.

After triumphing over a settlement in battle, The Changeling has the option to either sack or raze the conquered territory or take a more covert approach by infiltrating with his cults. Now ruling secretly from within, The Changeling has two options: he can either construct Parasitic or Symbiotic buildings within a settlement for a variety of benefits, achieving a delicate balance for long-term gain, or indulging in short-term chaos.

Symbiotic buildings can increase the settlement’s main income, upping how much treasure can be siphoned from it and spread propaganda to improve diplomacy and turn factions against one another. Alternatively, Parasitic buildings are designed to cripple the host settlement, they promote the spread of corruption throughout the infiltrated region, create vulnerabilities for Daemon armies to exploit and ravage the settlement, or enable internal plundering without the need for a full-scale siege on the city walls.

In short, Trickster Cults replaces the regular settlement mechanic for The Changeling, where he can plant his influence deep within the settlement’s walls, both beneficial or detrimental for the regions that are unfortunate to have succumbed to The Changeling’s influence.

Creating a Trickster Cult.

Creating a Trickster Cult.


For the next part of The Changeling Faction guide, we will discuss his Schemes’ mechanics. The Changeling’s worldview is rather unique, as he sees them as a series of Theaters – battlegrounds of wits in which he can enact Schemes that sew discord, gain rewards, open rifts, and continue onwards along the path to the Grand Scheme. 

The Deceivers can start Schemes multiple times within a Theatre, and enacting enough of them can open a pathway to a Grand Scheme. This triggers a mighty set-piece battle that, when victorious, showers The Changeling with special rewards and campaign-changing consequences. The Changeling doesn’t simply play chess – he flips the board.

The Changeling must enact Schemes on multiple Theatres before generating the Ultimate Scheme, The Changeling’s campaign victory’s final battle. That is why you should try to employ Schemes that will be beneficial for your final battle.



New Units

Apart from Trickster Cults and Schemes, The Changeling also introduced many new units that will bolster both his faction and other Tzeentch factions. They are Tzaangors, Cockatrice, and Mutalith Vortex Beast.

For starters, we have Tzaangors. Tzaangors are unnatural Beastmen now serving the Lord of Change and their animalistic savagery combines well with their keen and cruel intellect. Combined with their Vanguard Deployment trait, the Tzaangors are perfect fast flankers with a penance for a hit-and-run style of combat.

Following the Tzaangors, we have Cockatrice. Soaring through the sky as a monstrous offensive disabler, the Cockatrice can use its Petrifying Gaze to slow enemies, bringing their charge to a crawl, before dousing them with Acidic Vomit to apply heavy poison and striking with its mighty claws.

Lastly, among the new units, the Mutalith Vortex Beast is the most unsettling creature on The Changeling’s roster. As a monster of raw magical destruction, the Vortex Beast uses its Aura of Mutation passive hex to deal direct damage over time to the area surrounding it. Moreover, with the Gift of Mutation, nearby friendly units gain increased offensive bonuses, and with the Tides of Transformation passive, the Vortex Beast can activate a Matter Explosion, a self-activated detonation that inflicts magical damage and severe knockback, with the survivors suffering from Disorientation.

However, the cream of the crop among the new units is definitely the new Legendary Hero, the Blue Scribes, spell masters ready to wreak havoc across the battlefield. With their Spell Syphon and Scrolls of Sorcery abilities, they unleash devastating spells from the Lord of Change, albeit sometimes they do that randomly… and poorly.



Strengths and Weaknesses

After assessing The Changeling’s new gameplay mechanics and units, it’s time to take a look at The Deceivers’ strengths and weaknesses. We have curated them in the table below:

The Changeling’s The Deceivers Overview
Strengths Weaknesses
Schemes are the direct way of achieving campaign victory, culminating in an epic final battle against The Empire Trickster Cults are double-edged swords, as the more you build your cult within a city, the chances of the host finding the cult rises, prompting you to hold back on building beneficial structures 50% of the time
The Changeling’s starting position allows him to freely choose his targets without much repercussions
The new units are incredibly deadly in battles, with the Vortex Beast taking the crown as the best new unit Schemes’ benefits, although great, are only really impactful for the final Scheme, the Ultimate Scheme, where you must battle a combined army from different factions and races
Trickster Cults are unique since we can look at the settlements in a different and new light, making us think smarter if we want our ‘pranks’ to go unnoticed

Final Verdict

As one of the three brand-new Total War: Warhammer III factions, The Changeling arguably has the most interesting mechanics and campaign system among the three new Legendary Lords. Both Trickster Cults and Schemes bring unique opportunities whenever you control the game as his faction, giving us multiple avenues on how we achieve campaign victory.

And so, to close The Changeling Faction Guide, we will hand out a verdict about his faction. In short, The Changeling is a welcomed addition to the game, since his faction’s mechanics and playstyle are distinct and new, unlike anything we’ve seen in previous Total War: Warhammer titles. However, although Trickster Cults and Schemes are very fun to use, they do have some weaknesses that you should be aware of whenever you’re playing as The Changeling.

Therefore, to conclude this guide, we rate The Changeling with a score of 9 out of 10.

The Blue Scribes.

The Blue Scribes.

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