Edwin here. I know the Tryanids have gotten a rather bad rap since the codex dropped, but personally, I really love this book. Check out the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!
Each and every slot has a good unit, but the best part of this is that each of these “best in slot” units are not spammable. They are good as a single or maybe running two, but that is as far as they go. You can take a rainbow of units and be successful. Units don’t handle each and every situation in the Tyranids codex, so you have to spread the points out to be able to handle each threat. There are some bad units and some terribly written rules (which the Pyrovore conveniently fits for both), but overall, units are all good in their own way and usable. Some are good in a few situations *cough* Genestealers *couch*, but they still have their uses. I really want to talk about who I feel are the winners of this codex in each slot and why. Also, I want to talk about the hidden gems of each slot (they are pretty nifty)
|The Hive Tyrant|
|The hidden gem! Death Leaper|
The Venomthropes win this slot if only because they provide synergy with the rest of the army. Hide them behind a big creature and they have a 3+ cover save. Any unit within 6 inches will have a model that gets shrouded. Because shrouded says you only have to have one model with shrouded for the whole unit to have that +2 to cover, it is pretty good. The best part is that he is also cheap. 45 points is pretty good for what he gives you. Surprisingly, he is no slouch in melee. Lash whips give him I6 with 2 attacks with poison 2+. It can help kill some tough creatures who are hard to kill because of high toughness . He is WS 3, but a lot of the Tyranid book is surprisingly. These guys will die. The fire needed to kill these guys is going to be significant. It is fire that isn’t directed at the rest of the elite slot which is primarily AT units. Even in a meta that has alot of things that strip cover or ignore cover, you find that Venomthropes force people to make decisions on what they strip cover from. Watch for Precision Shots. They can kill the models with shroud and your unit will lose shroud.
|The hidden gem! Pyrovores…..|
The hidden gem is the Pyrovores…..hear me out. Volatile says “If the Pyrovore is slain by a wound that inflicted instant death, every unit suffers a S3 hit for each model within d6 of the slain Pyrovore” so plop 30 Gaunts within 6 inches of a Pyrovore and if it gets hit with ID, every unit on the board takes 30 S3 hits…….It is dumb, but pretty hilarious. People will probably commit horrible acts of violence if you honestly tried to play it that way, but it is good for a laugh when you read it. That laugh is all it is good for.
|The Tervigon wins for troops|
|The hidden gem! Genstealers|
Genestealers can be pretty lackluster at times. I find that I always want to run a single unit with broodlord to really try and pick people off or infiltrate onto an objective. They can do a lot. Outflank is nice. The Horror from the Broodlord is pretty nice when you want to try and lock down a unit and get ready to pounce on them the next turn. They can kill people pretty easily in melee. WS 6, I6, and 2 attacks is nasty. Ld 10 helps them stay stuck in combat if things don’t go well so they can tie up ranged units and the Broodlord is perfect for challenges against anyone that isn’t dedicated to melee combat. Fleet, Move Through Cover, and Infiltrate mean these guys are going where you want them Lack of Instinctive Behavior means they will not have to be baby sat by anything with synapse, so you can apply early game pressure. Unsupported , they die. Let them go after isolated units, and they will really start to shine. They offer a lot of options in how you play them.
The Harpy wins this slot pretty easily. The ability to swap between a Twin Linked Stranglethorn Cannon for killing infantry and taking a Twin Linked Heavy Venom Cannon for tank hunting is pretty good. It is pretty good at range. Combine this with special rules that really want you to get close and you find a support flyer that is just scary. you can Vektor Strike, but with the Spore Cysts, you may not want to. You can chose to drop a S4 AP4 Large blast that is also barrage onto anyone you fly over with reduced scatter. Useful for trying to snipe out heavy weapons or Leaders, it complements the Sonic Screech rule really well. Sonic Screech drops all enemy’s initiative by 5 that are involved in the combat the Harpy charges into. Get close doing damage and drop down and charge into melee to see all enemies strike last. All for the cheap cost of 140 points, and you have a great cheap unit that can do work. Combine him with the hidden gem and they really shine.
|The hidden gem! Gargoyles|
Often used as flying cover, Gargoyles have probably the nastiest melee ability in the entire Codex: Tyrandis. Ever wonder why we have never seen large unit style units with access to blind? This is why. 10 Gargoyles are 60 points. 10 melee attacks that for each hit require an Initiative test or you suddenly become WS/BS 1 for a turn.. Every single hit this unit does in melee with their blinding venom causes a blind check is nasty, but when you add this to the minus 5 Initiative that the Harpy uses when charging into combat, and you are going to see even elite melee units fail and be stuck in combat for a turn. Charge in with some slower units in the following turns or bring a Genestealer squad in to help and you can see a really expensive melee unit disappear very quickly. It may seem like a lot to throw at something, but 10 Gargoyles and a Harpy come in right around 200 points. They are really nasty.
|An Honorable Second! Biovores|