Dark Eldar: Good Or Bad?

Most interesting man in 40k

Hello everyone Frankie here to talk a little bit about the new Dark Eldar codex. I’ve been hearing a lot of negative things about Dark Eldar and for some reason a lot of people think they got nerfed? Anyway, let’s dive in. As always, check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!


So first we have the HQ’s. We unfortunately did lose two key characters in the book. The first one we lost which was by far the most popular Dark Eldar Character in the book, was The Baron. I think he was probably the biggest disappointment for the 40k community. He was so cheap and was probably the the greatest ally for the Eldar codex. The other key character they lost was Vect, by far my favorite. He was so much fun and helped me to win so many games. Now the HQ’s in the book are a pretty big let down. They are not beat sticks but instead boost other units. The best HQ in the book would have to be the Haemonculus. He can take the webway portal which is game changing, especially allied with Eldar. Just imagine 10 Fire Dragons deepstriking without scattering. He also increases the power from pain by one while in a Dark Eldar unit. Over all I think they did lose a bit in the HQ slot.


Now for the Elite slot. Not a whole lot changed in this slot. Grotesques are about the same but gain a lot from “Power from Pain.” Wracks unfortunately cannot be take as troops anymore but why would you now that you have to pay for 5 and they are for sure worse. Incubi went down in points but now have no way of getting Grenades, it’s too bad because the models are amazing. Mandrakes got a pretty big boost now that they automatically get their shooting attack, and also have stealth and shrouded. I don’t think you will see them in very many armies but at least they got better, right?


Fast Attack is where this book gained a lot. Raiders and Venom’s technically didn’t change much except for moving to this slot. But in all of my armies they got cheaper since you no longer purchase night shields. I am not saying night shields are bad I just don’t personally take them to try and save a 2 hull point, armor 10 vehicle. So now that you can take the transports in the fast slot and as transports you can field way more vehicles with massive firepower. Reaver’s got a huge boost gaining skilled rider and getting a crazy upgrade to their hammer of wrath. I would for sure take a little 3 man unit if I ever had an extra 48 points. They would be great to run around and pick up maelstorm points. Hellions are pretty bad. Now without having access to the Baron they are just not worth there points. They did go down in points but still not worth it for what you get. Scourges and beast packs changed a bit. Both got cheaper and have a variety of different options. I love the choices they give you in this book. Scourges have a use with some haywire blasters, my only concern is that their save sucks and they are still pricey. The Beast pack now only has to take one beast master which is how they got cheaper. But again without access to the Baron I do not think they are worth it. Now the real gem in this slot the Razorwing Jetfighter. Worth every point and is always a game changer in my games. It isn’t very expensive for the amount of damage it puts out. I always buy the splinter cannon on this beast so that it has extra punch and to help kill FMCs.


Troops. Haha unfortunately they found a way to make Wyche’s worse. A Wych unit can only take one haywire grenade…haha! And other than that they stayed the exact same. So lame because a Wych cult army would be so much fun. Kabalite warriors got better, which is crazy. They went down 1 point each. So not only did their transports get cheaper but they themselves went down some points. CRAZY!! They were already really good.


In heavy support we have the Talos, which is an amazing unit. It’s like having a bunch of Arnold’s running around. I think you need to run at least two in a unit so they can survive some shooting and you always give them the ichor injector. The Talos are cheap and pack a huge punch, especially with their twin-linked tail guns. Cronos on the other hand I am really unsure of, I want to take one to walk next to my Talos but I just think that would be a waste of points. It does make the Talos much more survivable but would just be target number one for opponents and likely give up first blood. Ravagers did go up about 10 points but are still worth their points. They pack a big punch for their point cost and give you some long ranged anti vehicle shooting. The Voidraven Bomber is a little rich for my blood. I do like the strength 9 lances, but I just don’t think it would ever make its points back.

So that is a break down of most of the units in the book. Overall it does look like Dark Eldar lost which is why I think people are saying they are bad. But if you look at the Formations and Detachments they gained from both books the possibilities with this army are endless. You can do Venom spam much better than you ever could before. You can field an air force army which would be really good. You can do a monster mash list with a bunch of Talos, would be fun but maybe not the best. You can take a bunch of units you wouldn’t before and do very well with all of them. In my opinion my Dark Eldar got way better and are a lot more fun. I take the Corpsethief Claw which is probably the best formation in the Haemonculus Covens book. It gives you 5 Talos in a unit with scout, and any unit they kill in close combat gives you 1 victory point. I of course give them all the Ichor Injectors which make them Fleshbane and instant death on a 6. I keep the twin linked splinter cannon on their tail and it works really well. Anyways I love Dark Eldar and I am so happy they got a boost. Let me know what you guys think of the new dex.


About White925

Frankie is the greatest 40K player on the planet. Nuff Said.

33 Responses to “Dark Eldar: Good Or Bad?”

  1. iNcontroL December 8, 2014 12:44 pm

    I like the new DE. I think they are still very spammy and venom oriented but with a few more options you can really see some diversity out there. As allies they are still baller with that WWP too.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 8, 2014 12:48 pm

      The new DE make we want to bust out the Footdar again.

      • Cavalier December 9, 2014 3:52 am

        You and Frankie should have do a bat-rep his DE vs your Footdar!

        • White925 December 11, 2014 10:03 am

          Well get some Dark Eldar Battle Reports up soon. Just getting my army fully painted.

  2. cicero December 8, 2014 1:35 pm

    Scourges have a pretty good save, with 4+/6++ iirc? I haven’t played much with the new book but when I have I found a minimal deployment deep striking raider list to be a lot of fun. No one seems to notice that all the vehicles got deep strike added for free.

    • AbusePuppy December 8, 2014 4:42 pm

      T3/4+ isn’t very good protection- ask Fire Warriors how that works out for them.

    • White925 December 11, 2014 10:04 am

      Yeah the deep striking vehicles is a lot of fun and gives you a lot of different options.

  3. Greggles December 8, 2014 1:51 pm

    My DE buddy loves loves loves the new codex. It’s got so many freaking options in it. He’s pulling all sorts of crazy stuff with those new reavers…they are RIDICULOUS. They wipe out whole units just from the hammer of wrath hits.

    He pulls this move where he keeps them on the outskirts, then jumps a talos or another unit to catch the overwatch…then assaults with the reavers.

    He took out a destroyer lord and four wraiths in one of the last games with that maneuver. (wiped the entire unit, and the lord didn’t get back up)….

    I think one of the things we have to stop doing is looking at a codex vs it’s old self. Stop doing that. Look at the codex compared to the codexes that have been updated since 7th edition came out. Compare them that way, and it’s a lot less frustrating.

    It’s my hope that by this time next year, we’ll all be on similar playing fields, and maybe we can find something new to complain about, like flying imperial knights on drop pod dinosaurs fired from super voltron.

    • White925 December 11, 2014 10:05 am

      Thats awesome I am happy to hear that the Reavers are working for your friend. I will have to give them a shot.

  4. Archon-Kalifex December 8, 2014 2:18 pm

    I think the Scourges on turn 3 are a pain to kill. 4+armor and 4+ FnP means only 25% casualties from wounds.

  5. Underdark December 8, 2014 2:26 pm

    I still bring my DE to the table top, but they came out worse with this codex IMO. The majority of your rundown seems to agree and then does a 180 degree turn saying they came out better…so…umm…opinions right?

    • winterman December 8, 2014 7:57 pm

      As mentioned at the end of the article it’s all about being a 7ed dex in a two source environment (meaning they just got double the FOC slots in current tournament rules). Dark Eldar have always been MSU and having more slots to work with and the good units getting cheaper means they did get better despite a number of nerfs.

  6. Jonathan December 8, 2014 4:21 pm

    Thanks for the run down, Frankie. I’ve been looking forward to some DE batreps since the book dropped but the internet has been a little… stingy. Are you having to rebuild your army? Still working out the kinks of the new book before doing a battery? It’d be great to see them hit the table top with some of these new formations and whatnot. I already have Raven Guard SM and Orks, but it was the DE models that wooed me into 40k and I’ve been on the edge for months now about staring a DE army.

    • AbusePuppy December 8, 2014 4:40 pm

      The reason no one is doing batreps for DE is that the army is pretty mediocre. I’d love to see it otherwise, but that’s the hard truth of it.

      Pretty models, though. They make for great Eldar conversions.

      • White925 December 11, 2014 4:58 pm

        Id have to disagree I really do believe that DE are an amazing army and can win games no problem.

  7. AbusePuppy December 8, 2014 4:40 pm

    > Reaver’s got a huge boost gaining skilled rider

    Reavers had Skilled Rider before this. Also, remember that their new HoW thing is at the expense of their old “flyby” attacks, so I think to say that it, at best, a wash. (The drop in price is nice, of course.)

    I’m not sure why you think the change to Warriors is so crazy- them being cheaper is certainly an advantage, but they’re still a resoundingly mediocre troop choice overall. A Raider full of Warriors is still pretty close to the same overall cost it was before- you save a small number of points if you keep the Disintegrator over the Lance (probably a mistake) and the Warriors themselves save you a few more, but you’re still paying basically the same price for 10 dudes + transport that a Space Marine player is, so it’s not exactly something to write home about.

    The problem isn’t so much “did DE get better or worse”; to ask that is to miss the point. DE was an old book that was suffering badly in 7E (and 6E, really) and it needed a real shot in the arm to solve the problems it had and make them new and interesting again- and let’s be fair, during 5E the army was a real terror and could hang with the best of them in when played by a good general. After waiting so long for a new book, getting a sidegrade codex is an insult; if this is all they’re going to do for the army, why even bother updating it? Why not just let it keep liming along on the old codex, which would’ve been no worse than what they have now? it’s a waste of time and money for everyone involved.

    • White925 December 11, 2014 5:02 pm

      The lowering of the points to warriors is awesome. Because it saves you points for other units plus warriors are great. 5 warriors in a venom = massive firepower. Except for against vehicles but that is why you take ravagers ;D. I dont think DE side stepped at all. They for sure took a large jump forward. I will agree that they are still a glass hammer but are easily top tier if you know how to play with them.

  8. Prindlehaven December 8, 2014 5:13 pm

    Been expecting this article since the book dropped. I love the new book and I’m glad the greatest 40k player in the world isn’t talking a bunch of smack like some sectors o the internet. Looking forward to some batreps.

  9. Dash2021 December 8, 2014 6:28 pm

    Pretty much agree with the assessment. So many people crying about how bad the codex got because this and that got worse. But, FA slot more than makes up for it. Razorwings, Reavers, Scourges are good options, you can’t really go wrong with any of em.

    Currently running Reaverstar and loving it. Using Eldar primary because Farseers are amazing and the DE HQ slot is borderline awful, but I could run either or as primary by dropping a farseer. Went undefeated in a recent local tourney, and the Reavers always hit way above their points cost.

    DE air is going to surprise a lot of people I think. 6 Razorwings coming in at the same time you DS all your twin-linked warrior raiders/venom spam in your opponents face is just to much for most to handle. This actually makes taking wyches a not-gawd-awful idea, as they’ll be WAY down on the priority list.

    All in all, I’m loving the new DE codex. It doesn’t have any face-roll builds anymore, but it has a much larger quantity of viable builds. I think the people complaining about it are missing either missing the little changes, or simply haven’t had time to think of all the crazy combos that the codex makes possible.

    • White925 December 11, 2014 5:04 pm

      I totally agree Dash and I am happy to hear that you are doing so well with Reavers.

  10. Cavalier December 9, 2014 3:51 am

    Nice article Frankie. I totally agree. The DE are fantastic and mine having been totally rocking it. I think a lot of people doubting the army don’t play it… which is confusing since their outrage was so over the top. Anyway….I know everyones down on the Archon… but I gotta say though my Archon has been SHREDDING dudes in CC. He’s got a blaster, agonizer, SF, and WWP (too expensive I know) with a tooled up Autarch with standard Wraithguard giving them majority T6 and they are crushing it on the tabletop. Wasting tanks in CC, and then annihilating all the infantry that has to rush in to CC and try and stop them.

    Anyway the big question is….when are you gonna rock a bat-rep with them!? I miss the seeing the Greatest 40k Player in the World rockin and reeling with his DE on bat-reps!

    • White925 December 11, 2014 5:06 pm

      Just waiting for my army to be finished. It is currently being painted. Thats awesome that your Archon is kicking butt haha. Hopefully the rumors of Vect coming back are true.

  11. DCannon4Life December 9, 2014 6:18 am

    My Eldar still whomp my guy’s Dark Eldar (he has Eldar allies and I have Dark Eldar allies). He goes in for the Fire Dragons in a Raider with a Succubus wearing the Armor of Misery accompanied by a Farseer with Psychic Shriek. It’s not bad, and he did well at the Renegade Open (top 16), but it still doesn’t match up well against Eldar. In particular–the absence of S6 and S7 shooting in the Dark Eldar codex is a weakness.

    • jy2
      jy2 December 9, 2014 9:27 am

      Once a glass cannon, always a glass cannon. They still have the traditional weaknesses that they used to have and against the same armies as well. That much hasn’t changed much.

      • DCannon4Life December 9, 2014 11:50 am

        I haven’t seen a Dark Eldar list with flyer spam yet (formation), nor have I seen a list spamming those crazy T7 gribblies. They might hold some surprises, but I have to agree: Dark Eldar are still a glass cannon, and their latest codex puts them right back into the same tier (maybe a LITTLE bit better) that they were in with their previous codex.

    • Cavalier December 10, 2014 4:13 am

      CW Eldar have traditionally been a bad matchup for DE. But they can be beaten… you just gotta use your speed to the max to beat these armies, and outmaneuver them. Use Ravagers, flyers and deepstrikers to force hull points and jinks and you can keep em on their heels and whittle em down.

  12. Jason Brown December 9, 2014 1:56 pm

    I think you need to look at reavers a little closer my man. They are a distinct threat to invisible units. I like a nine man with three caltrops. The autohit on HoW and the volume that you can unleash is pretty amazing, only chumps need nades.

    I hear you on the incubi, I still end up playing some if only due to the amazing models; 180 for a venom and five guys with a klaivex isnt a terrible investment and they have done a very good job late game for me. At the GC7.5 both my opponent and I where laughing at how many marrines they killed.

    Totally agree on the razorwing, two just isnt enough. Scourges have also been pretty tight for me. I tend to deploy in ruins and not deepstrike. I use 2HL and 2 blasters per five man and its been super effective. With enough other threats on the board they tend to be forgotten.

    All I have to say is that the dex has been out how long? Where the hell are the damn batreps bro?

  13. Evil Space Elves December 9, 2014 9:59 pm

    Totally agree with most of the article aside from Grotesques: The same point cost as the last edition, no crappy rule needing to check if they batshit and explode if not escorted by an IC, AND they have flesh gauntlets standard. A poisoned weapon at strength 5 that gets re-rolls against anything T4 or lower? Yes please! I liked them before, I now love them in all kinds of inappropriate ways.

    And yes, more batreps!

  14. Stormwolf December 10, 2014 7:12 am

    The main change is that DE stopped winning tournaments. There are no primary detachment winners, and not even allied detachment winners. Before you could find primary or allied Beastpacks taking 1st place from time to time. Now it is all gone.

    Blood Angels having 2 Lords of War and DEldar none is humiliating.

    The Covens Supplement on the other hand is a whole new army. For the first time DE are not glass at all. Talos, Cronos & Grotesques along with the Formations could be very powerful provided that you have money to buy 6 finecast Grotesques and 7 Talos/Cronos sets (Corpsthief/Dark Artisan) minimum.

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 11, 2014 5:50 pm

      Well, the book has only been out for a little while, give it some time before declaring DE aren’t winning tournaments =)

  15. AquaDraco December 11, 2014 11:22 pm

    I have a 62-3 W/L record with DE this year. I won 30 straight games since the release of 7th edition that was only recently broken. so, 2 losses with DE using old codex under 6th (both were at LVO 2014…first big tournament for me) and none in 7th; 1 loss using new codex in 7th. I dominate local tournaments in the Phoenix area. And you can bet that I am returning to the LVO in 2015 with a vengeance.

    DE are a *very* capable army. Underestimate it at your peril.

    • AquaDraco December 12, 2014 12:03 am

      It was said previously, “the people whining don’t play the army”. I cannot imagine anyone who has been successful with this army using the previous rules would be willing to knock the new codex. Some things improved, some things unnecessarily nerfed, just like the article stated, but overall the new rules provide more of everything that works well for less points. I am thoroughly shocked people haven’t been whining “it’s broken,” but perhaps that’s because the lists aren’t being spammed at the top of national tournament charts? 🙂 Fine by me.

      None of my opponents have whined about DE being “underpowered” or “nerfed”.

      “Insane”, “relentless”, and “suffocating” tend to be most common responses and that’s an indication you are playing them as intended. 🙂

      DE are not a beginners army, nor an easy army to transition to, and are especially difficult to learn if you *think* they suck. Power from pain could not be more fitting, endure.

      • MikeB2198 January 19, 2015 9:43 pm

        I am new to 40k in general and love the fluff and look of DE. Any advice on what works for them would be very appreciated