Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki
Total War: WARHAMMER Wiki

Runelord is a Dwarfs melee infantry lord unit. The greatest of Runesmiths rides into battle atop the Anvil of Doom, smiting all foes with magical fury.


Runesmiths work spells in with their hammercraft, binding the Winds of Magic into mighty runes of power. They are a suspicious lot who jealously protect the secrets kept in their anvils and hammers, guarding the knowledge that allows them to make magic items - weapons, armour, rings and talismans - of greater potency than those wrought by any other mortal race. In times of great need, the most powerful Runelords bring an Anvil of Doom to battle - the most ancient heirlooms of the entire Dwarf race. They are the very anvils upon which the rune weapons of legend were forged, and were, perhaps, the very creations of the great Forgefather Grungni. They are specially made to attract and hold the Winds of Magic, arcane powers which can be captured and subsequently unleashed by a Runelord. Separate runes struck in the right order can call upon the different Ancestor Gods - Valaya for loyalty, Grungni to boost the power of arms and armour, and Grimnir to unlock the energies of fury.


  • Armoured: Armoured units can block damage from any source apart from Armour-Piercing damage.
  • Runic Magic: This unit can bind the Winds of Magic into powerful runes which can be activated during deployment or battle.


WHI Abilities[]

WHII Rune Spells[]

With The Hammers & Herdstones Update the Rune system was changed to be more akin to the magic and spells of other races, tweaking many of the abilities above and adding new ones.

Items (MP)[]



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WHI: If the Runesmith is the equivalent of a wizard then the Runelord is the same with every spell being overcast. The Master runes are generally upgraded versions of the standard runes and most of the time significantly more effective. A runelord is a very valuable leader on the battlefield and should be paired with a thane to provide a melee expert to support the runelord.

Notably, the Runelord is not a very strong fighter and lacks significant armour-piercing values. He can go after casters or deal with mid tier units, but should stay away from melee characters or elite units.

The Anvil of Doom mount is very useful and although it makes the Runelord a bigger target, also provides some mass to push past enemies. The mount gives 25% Physical resistance, and the Locus of Power ability, to discourage and damage enemy spellcasters in range.

The Runelord is one of the most common lords chosen in multiplayer. This is because of the utility they bring to the battlefield. With six runes, they can influence the battlefield even if they are not directly in combat. Due to the slow speed of the Dawi, this allows the player the ability to make up for their lack of mobility with strong buffs placed strategically.

WHII: With the reworked Rune Magic system, you'll have to use your Runelord a little differently than what you're used to.

  • The Rune of Oath and Steel is more or less the same, by making your dwarfs even tougher with +30/60 Armor, albeit with almost double the duration and targetable AOE. Most useful for low-armor units like Rangers and Slayers or assisting your non-Dwarf allies. Of course, this doesn't help at all against AP damage.
  • The Rune of Wrath & Ruin is now an Explosion spell, so it's good for blobs of infantry. It does fire damage, so use accordingly. Overcasting does increased damage.
  • The Rune of Speed increases... Speed and Melee Attack. Useful for getting your Dawi where they need to be or if they need some extra killing power.
  • The Rune of Slowness is also one of the few tools that the Dawi have for massively slowing down an enemy. Very effective against cavalry and chariot units.
  • The Rune of Breaking grants Armor-Sundering and increased Weapon Strength. Great all-around ability when fighting light or heavily armored infantry, especially if you lack AP damage.
  • The Rune of Negation is still mostly the same by giving +20/40% Damage Resistance, except only for a single unit instead of AOE. Use this when facing heavy AP.

The items he brings are interesting on paper, but not super useful. The belt gives 33% damage resistance when the unit is below 20% health, the problem is that at such a low amount of health, it is likely that the unit will rout from all the damage they have taken. The Rune of Grungni is useful for giving missile resistance, allowing your units to better weather a storm of arrows. Niche, but can be useful against missile heavy factions like Wood Elves or Vampire Coast.