Malifaux Ability Guide

The purpose of this page is provide players with advice, strategies, detailed explanations, and FAQ on the various common abilities in Malifaux. This does not need to cover every common ability in the game, as there are quite a lot of them. This is aimed at the commonly misunderstood, highly flexible, or frequently errata'ed abilities (such as Companion) and certain concepts (such as Simultaneous Activations). This is not meant to go into detail about model specific abilities even if they fit this bill (such as LCB's One Master), that belongs on the model's own page.

When writing an entry, please provide as many relevant quotes from the Rules Manual and link to rulings/discussions on the subject as possible. The goal is to be as clear as possible while providing your sources and leaving a trail that people can follow to prove the legitimacy of your words for themselves. If you are discussing an errata'd ability from the Rules Manual printing, please make sure to put the needed entry on the Errata and Clarifications Page. Please keep things in alphabetical order. If your not sure if something should be added, start a discussion on this page about it and we will talk through it.


The Companion Ability is thought by many to be one of the single most important abilities in Malifaux. Allowing models to break the alternate activation sequence can be very powerful. It is often an ability that people are confused by as well

Companion is an ability that allows two or more models to activate simultaneously. One model must have the Companion(Model or Characteristic) and the other model or models must be the model referenced by Companion or have the characteristic listed. For example Rotten Belles have Companion(Sybelle). The model with the characteristic and the companion model must be within 6" of each other as well

Companion is declared at the beginning of your current activation, before any models have been activated. You must then declare all the models you will be activating and can not add models later during the sequence. After you declare Companion on your models you then proceed to activate each of them one at a time, in any order. You must complete one model's entire activation before moving on to the next model.

Companion Chaining:

Companion chaining is the concept where you chain several models together in one massive activation. This is sometimes called an Alpha strike. Models with both Companion(Characteristic) and the characteristic mentioned are particularly good at doing this since any other model that has both items can activate off any other model with the characteristics if within 6". For example if Perdita is 6" away from Santiago and Santiago is 6" away from Nino, all three can activate using companion regardless of how far Nino is from Perdita.

Companion FAQ:

Q. Can you activate more then one model using Companion?
A. Yes, as long as each model has either the Companion(characteristic) or the characteristic listed by Companion, two or more models can be companioned

Q. Can I use more then one companion ability when I activate, IE If Perdita activates can she use Companion(Family) and still be companioned by her Totem?
A. Yes, companions can be stacked as long as every model is within 6" of a model that is a valid companion target. Expanding on the example above, Perdita can Companion Santiago who can Companion Nino. Her totem(assuming its within 6" of her) can companion her as well. If she was using Guild Hounds and if one of them were within 6" of her it could activate as well.

Q. What about models that have (0) actions that grant Companion abilities?
A. Prior to the Rules Manual and the V2 card update, some models had abilities that granted Companion during their activation. These abilities have been changed to fit the new way Companion works and no longer reference that ability.

Q. If Nino has poison tokens on him, can I Companion he and Perdita and choose to activate Perdita first, to remove the Poison tokens?
A. Yes(per this ruling), although the models can be considered to be activating simultaneously, they still activate one at a time. Poison causes wounds when the model starts its own activation. So Perdita can activate first in the sequence and remove the tokens before Nino takes damage from them.

Q. If several Guild Hounds activate via Companion, do they all gain the walk bonus or does the last model to activate not get the bonus if all the other dogs have moved to far away?
A. Yes, "if it activates" check when you create the Companion group and start the simultaneous activation (Ruling)

Q. Can a model that has been Incited or Pacify overcome those effects by using Companion?
A. No (ruling here)

Simultaneous Activations:

Simultaneous activation occurs when more than one model is allowed to activate at the same time. This generally happens due to Companion, but can also occur when models are replaced by several smaller models. When models activate simultaneously the player must first declare what models are activating. He then must pick one model to activate first and complete that activation. He then selects the next model in the group and completes its activation.

If in the course of a simultaneous activation another model gains an effect that allows it to activate immediately, it activates immediately after the current companioned model has completed its activation. For example, Player 1 has used Companion to activate Perdita, Santiago and Nino. She chooses to activate Perdita first and half way through her activation she kills The Dreamer. Lord Chompy Bits is placed on the field and gains immediate activation. After Perdita finishes her activation, LCB would then perform its activation. Then the rest of the companioned models, Santiago and Nino in this case, would be allowed to activate.