Hey guys Cavalier here, commission painter for Frontline Gaming and co-host of Splintermind the Dark Eldar podcast. After a long, long time of playtesting I thought I’d share my five favorite units to use with the new Ynnari.
As mentioned above I was involved in the playtesting process for Ynnari. It was a long and extremely interesting journey. While the majority of the internet thinks Ynnari are dead, I’ve found in extensive playtesting process that they are far from dead and can be extremely effective when leaning on the right units.
I’ve had an extremely good run with Ynnari and won almost every game throughout out playtesting and since. When supported by standard Eldar fare like Wave Serpents, Ravagers, Hemlocks and my favorite the Warp Hunter Ynnari combat units become exceptionally deadly. Yet you do have to dive into the Eldar tool box to get the job done. Hopefully this list will help jump start some list building ideas. Lets dive in!
Top 3 Units
My number 1 go-to unit throughout playtesting has been Wraithblades. They bring toughness, volume of wounds and great offense that benefits immensely from Strength from Death. I tried both varieties in my games and both were excellent. The +1 WS on the charge and the high volume of Str 6 attacks from the Wraithblades are perfect for mulching infantry. With a little support they also get very good staying power with Shield of Ynnead for a 5++ and healing/resurrection from Word of the Phoenix. The +1 WS is also a huge deal for the Axe + Shield guys as they essentially get the Enhance spell from the Runes of Battle for free when Strength from Death is in effect. With multiple routes for re-roll wounds (not just the one off Doom spell) these guys become a lot more deadly in a Ynnari host than in a Craftworld detachment.
Always fighting first with these guys is likewise fantastic as it adds just another layer of toughness to their already great armor, tougness, wounds and Invuln saves (whether inbuilt or granted from spells).
Strats and Psychic Powers- The strat I found myself using again and again for these guys was Inevitable Fate. This is basically auto-Doom though it works only in combat. Using either style of Wraithblades with re-roll wounds represents a massive increase in offensive effectiveness. Hitting on 2’s with dual swords, 3’s with axes, re-rolling 1’s to hit with the Visarch (or an Autarch) nearby allowing Wraithblades to punch way above their weight class.
In terms of psychic powers Word of the Phoenix to heal or ressurect was massive. It kept this unit grinding away all game in almost every game I played during playtesting. Unbind Souls for re-roll 1’s in combat was great too, but I found myself using the stratagem more than the spell. Shield of Ynnead is the other huge winner for the dual sword variety. Access to a 5++ for these guys is a bit of game changer for the dual swords guys and with Yvraine casting it on a 6 its fairly reliable.
Unit Combinations- Ynnari demand a double battalion because their stratagems while very good are quite expensive. Yvraine and the Visarch were my go-to’s and they work extremely well with Wraithblades for a number of reasons. The re-roll 1’s in combat from the Visarch are essential. With the Visarch nearby the Ghost Sword variety are out 20 Str 6, AP-3 Dmg 1 attacks, hitting on 2’s re-rolling 1’s with easy access to re-roll wounds via psychic powers. Axe and Shield guys are chucking out 15 Str 7 AP-3 Dmg D3 attacks hitting on 3’s re-rolling 1’s This is fantastic offense that doesnt need any psychic support if you manage your CP well. They also get incredible staying power when you combo them with Yvraine who is healing and resurrecting them on a 4+ with Word of the Phoenix and giving the Wraithguard with Dual Swords a 5++ with Shield of Ynnead.
The other unit that really pairs well with them is Wyches. I used Wyches with Shardnets and Impalers to trap enemy units in combat and keep my opponents from falling back so as to shoot the Wraitblades in their own turn. This combo really forms an anchor point for a Ynnari battle line and with so many armies trying to benefit from aura abilities I found it very easy for the Wraithblades and Wyches to target multiple units simultenously and with the help of the Wyches stay stuck in combat. I found the Axe and Shield guys worked best with this approach since they have less attacks and tend not to overkill units but both combinations worked very well together.
The Wave Serpent is a must for these guys. A single unit of 5 with a Serpent with Vectored Engines (advance on T1 to get a -1 to hit) was really great. The Serpent is also great for just jumping out, assaulting units like tanks and the like to shut down return fire in subsequent turns. Also it can be used to help trap units in combat without support from the Wyches.
Banshees were an essential tool for me in playtesting, more so for their tactical uses than their offense. They key thing is their ability to ignore Overwatch, which is why I favored a 10 girl unit, so I could string them out and shut down as many targets as possible or possibly wrap + trap especially with their Wave Serpent (which was mandatory for me). Shooting armies are the biggest threat to Ynnari, but when loaded in Wave Serpents in Venoms, and using a big unit of Banshees to shut down gun lines, or deadly tanks (alongside their Serpents which operate in the same way) you can really counter those shooting armies.
Their ability to easily make combat also goes a long, long way. Banshees can advance and charge and get a +3 to charge when they do advance (always advance). When getting out of a Wave Serpent they get 14 + D6 inches of movement making it very easy for them to get to those high priority targets.
The other key ability for Banshees is War Shout which gives them a -1 to hit in the Fight Phase so long as the Exarch remains. I slated my Banshees as go-to units for Lightening Fast reactions meaning they are -2 to hit in combat meaning they can go up against even really scary combat threats and survive quite easily, especially with a little psychic support.
Their offense is also very good. I’d love to see them go up to 3 attacks each like Incubi, but 21 power sword attacks hitting on 2’s (re-rolling 1’s with the Visarch or Autarch) when Strength from Death is active even at Str 3 is nothing to sneeze at, especially with easy access to re-roll wounds through psychic powers and stratagems.
Yet like I said, shutting down overwatch and their potential -2 to hit in combat is what really proved their worth time and time again.
Strats and Psychic Powers- I know I’m repeating myself, but Inevitable Fate for re-roll 1’s is huge when you are going in for the kill with Banshees, or even trying to rack up an extra bit of damage if you are going against something above the Banshees weight class. Yet more than that its Lightening Fast Reactions. Getting the girls to a -2 to hit in combat is more important than putting wounds most of the time, since I typically sent the Banshees out to trap units in combat and take away shooting in subsequent turns.
The key psychic power is Shield of Ynnead to give them a 5++. Since this is an aura effect spell it can really benefit multiple units. I found myself giving this spell to Farseers even if Yvraine had it as well, just in case she died I had someone else to cast the spell. Banshees are a fantastic recpient for this, as again, using Lightening Fast Reactions to get the to -2 in combat, with a 5++ really gives them a ton of staying power.
Unit Combinations- Most of the time I used my Banshees as lone operators who would just go out and shut down multiple units in combat, using their masks to ignore overwatch. The one requisite unit for Banshees is a Wave Serpent. Banshees will get shot to pieces without them. Yet the Wave Serpent is also perfect to assist Banshees in simply tying units up in combat. A Wave Serpent is a massive model and can easily tie up multiple units in combat. Its tough enough to survive combat as well and can also give the Banshees a bit of shooting support (and your army in general). Using the Serpent Shield to blast out some mortal wounds is also good, especially if the Banshees are in combat with a real combat monster that mitigates their potential -2 to hit in combat (a WS 2+ unit or the like) so that with either Unbind Souls or Inevitably Fate (both re-roll wounds, psychic and strat respectively) they can weaken or take the beasty down .
Wyches are also a great tag-team with Banshees as Banshees can shut down Overwatch and the Wyches can get in with their Shardnets and trap units in combat.
Wyches were also an essential tool for my Ynnari. I found them occupying many roles, often within a single game. The Sharnet and Impaler (MANDATORY) are prefect for trapping units in combat, especially in multi-assaults with units like Wraithblades so that you can prevent return fire on not only your Wyches but units like Wraithblades (or whatever) they are assisting. Also their high number of attacks, even at Str 3, are perfect for dealing with hordes, especially since when Strength from Death is in effect they are hitting 2’s re-rolling 1’s when the Visarch, an Archon or Succubus is nearby. Combat Drugs gives them a ton of versatility allowing you to tailor them a bit to whatever you may be facing in combat (bonuses to strength, toughness, movement etc.). Access to re-roll wounds is also huge when you need them to kill something as opposed to merely trapping it with Shardnets.
On top of that they are troops so can help you fill up your troops selections for the all important battalion.
A sort of side benefit is that you can load them up into Venoms which give you a -1 to hit transport that provides blistering anti-infantry fire support which is so essential to thinning hordes and allowing you to go after choice targets instead of just wading through a sea of enemies.
Strats and Psychic Powers- I found Wyches to do fine without psychic and strat support, but both re-roll wounds strats and psychic powers are useful when you need to kill something (but hardly necessary). The strat I found to be pretty useful is a Taste for Death. When you kill something with a ranged attack you add1 to hit rolls for attacks made with melee weapons. This sounds odd but allow me to explain how this works. So say your Wyches are locked in combat with 2 units… say a character and another unit. You could pump all your Splinter Pistol and Blast Pistol (which I highly recommend in a Ynnari build) into the character and killing him. This essentially gives you the +1 to WS that you would get on the charge. A designers note would’ve been handy on that one as I didn’t understand it until recently (different rules in playtesting made me look at this differently). Its only a 1 CP strat but it can very handy to keep the offense flowing at max efficiency.
Unit Combinations- Wyches give a lot to other units. Like I mentioned near the top of the article, Wraithblades LOVE Wyches. The Ghost Bois get a lot from their Shardnet wielding sisters as they can be used to keep the Wraithblades in combat (getting healed and ressurected) and free from return fire. Wraithblades are the core melee tool for Ynnari and Wyches do a ton to keep them in the game on top of their already great toughness.
Yet beyond that taking them in Venoms is huge. The anti-infantry is essential for horde clearance. The -1 to hit is likewise huge and using the Venoms to go into combat to tie units up on their own, or to help trap with Wyches.
So these are my 3 lynch pin combat units for new Ynnari. I lost only a single game in playtesting with my Ynnari and these units featured in every one of those lists. If you guys are interested I’ll detail my favorite Ynnari list and how it worked in games if you are interested.
I know most people think Ynnari are dead, but with the right combination of units they are right up there with the better Aeldari subfactions. They may not be as obvious as Black Heart or Alaitoc but if you can get the hang of Aeldari assault they very very deadly and can be infuriating for your opponent with insane accuracy of their offense, fights first and re-roll wounds all over the place.
If you are interested in more Ynnari discussion check out our podcast: Splintermind for exclusive Drukharii and all things Aeldari news and discussion. We’ve already done our solo break down of the new rules, but have an episode just waiting to release with Lawrence Baker from Tabletop Tactics and Wes from D6 Evolution coming up that features an in-depth breakdown of Ynnari highlighting all our favorite combinations and units. If you are interested in following my painting exploits check me out on Instagram! Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
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