Eldar Review: Lord of War: Wraithknight


Clover362 here to give you the review of the Eldar big boy, the Wraithknight.  Eldar players love him, Eldar opponents fear him, and everyone in 40k seems to have an opinion on him!

Whether or not you think the Wraithknight is under costed or bad for 40k, you need to be prepared to deal with them as you will see Wraithknights at almost every single tournament you enter.   For more reviews and tactics articles make sure to check out Frontline Gaming’s Tactics Corner.

While the Wraithknight itself was controversial at the time of the Eldar Codex release, going from a monstrous creature to gargantuan and gaining access to the D for almost no point increase, by now there should be no controversy that the Wraithknight is one of the best units in the game.


You Think You’re So Tough!

So what makes the giant of the Eldar Wraith-Constructs so good?  His stats, rules, and price of course.  The Wraithknight is BS/WS 4, S10, T8, W6, A4, I5, LD 10 with a 3+ save.  He is a Jump Gargantuan creature giving him all of those special rules as well and as will be detailed below. He gets either ranged or close combat D.  So this costs like 400+ points right?  Wrong!  You get all of that for a base cost of 295 pts. Nasty good!


The Wraithknight comes stock with two heavy wraithcannons (36″ Assault 1, D weapon).  You can sub out the Heavy Wraithcannons for a Ghostglaive and Scattershield (Close combat D weapon and 5++ that causes blind tests for enemies within 6″ when you successfully make one or more saves) or for a Scattershield and a Suncannon (48″ S6 AP21 Heavy 3 blast) for free.  For options you can purchase up to 2 of either Scatter Lasers (15 pts each),  Shuriken Cannons (15pts each), or Starcannons (20 pts each).

Personally, I prefer the shooting D version with at least 1 scatter laser (so you can take advantage of the Gargantuan creature rules that let you shoot your D weapons at a unit other than that you might want to charge).  This version clocks in at 310 points and will absolutely murder all vehicles and still hold up in close combat against everything but D weapons (though high initiative and S10 gives him a chance against imperial knights).  The close combat version is also decent for bombing up the field and wrecking face with some close combat D, plus the 5++ helps a ton to keep them survivable in a world of ignores cover grav weapons.

Special Rules

Special Rules

Ancient Doom- This gives your Wraithknight hatred against Slaanesh with none of the normal down side as he is fearless.  Nice but doesn’t come into play all that often.

Gargantuan Creature-  Because the Wraitknight is a Gargantuan Creature he gains the following special rules: he can fire all his weapons at different targets (under ITC FAQ), Feel No Pain, Relentless, Fear, Fearless, Hammer of Wrath, Move Through Cover, Stomp, Smash, Strikedown, and Unstoppable.

Whew, that’s a lot of Special Rules to remember.  The important one to remember are Unstoppable which makes Instant death wounds only do d3 wounds as opposed to removing him from play and poison and snipers only wound him on 6+.  Feel no pain gives him a 5+ roll to ignore wounds that aren’t caused by d weapons or that have the Instant Death Special rule.  Stomp which makes him even more devastating in close combat,  and Fearless so he will never break or be run down.


Possible Formations

Wraith-Constructs –  This isn’t an actual formation but an auxiliary choice in the Eldar War Host detachment. It can be composed of a single Wraithknight.  It doesn’t give you any special rules but as an auxiliary formation for an Eldar War Host detachment, it fulfills the requirement for that detachment to be fielded in addition to Core formation.  What’s important to know is if taken as part of a War Host Detachment the Wraithknight will always run 6″.  Also in tournaments that don’t limit the number of Lords of War you can have in your army, expect this formation to be used to add multiple Wraithknights to lists.

Wraithhost- The Wraithhost formation requires a Wraithknight along with 3 units of Wraithguard or Wraithblades, a Wraithlord and a Spiritseer.  This is an expensive formation but one you’ll see if you have any Iyanden fluff players in your area or if someone just thinks these models are cool.  If taken as a part of this formation the Wraithknight gains the Battle Focus rule and can re-roll To Hit rolls while within 18″ of the Spiritseer.  That is really good.  In this formation the Wraithknight can be set up for a turn 2 charge without sacrificing any shooting turn 1.  Re-rolling your shooting and close combat attacks while within 18″ of the Spiritseer makes his shooting more powerful and close combat murder.



So how do you play with this bad mother and how do you defeat him?  Playing with a Wraithknight is pretty simple and straight forward.  If you have gone with the shooting D version,  stick him in your deployment zone (preferably in cover) and rain Ranged D death on your opponents.  If and when your opponent get’s close you can charge pretty much anything in the game and feel like you have a decent chance to kill it or tie it up for a few turns with 5 S10 ap2 attacks on the charge and d3 Stomps.  The Wraithknight will go down to close combat D (that will get to strike) or buffed up close combat units if your stomp rolls and FnP roles are bad,  but against most other things you should at least give as good as you get.  Also, don’t forget this guy can jump on a midfield objective for you late in the game and likely survive a turn or two in the open.

If you are running the Close combat version, just point him and go.  He will wreck most units with five I5, D attacks on the charge and a 5++ and feel no pain roll on a T8 model makes him pretty durable.  He will still go down to the D of anything that can mass hits that ignore his high toughness (like Bladestorm, Grav or scarabs, etc.).

So how do you deal with the Wraithknight?  Whichever version of the Wraithknight you are up against, Grav, Fleshbane, Entropic Strike, Bladestorm, high strength ap3 or better, and Rending is your friend.  D weapons will also down the Wraithknight pretty quickly.  If your army does not have access to type of weapons and rules it’s trickier to deal with the Wraithknight.  If you can’t down him it’s best to just ignore the shooting version of the Wraithknight.  His D will obliterate vehicles but only kill 1-2 models a turn at the most.   If he is charging at you with the shooting version or close combat version of the Wraithknight, feed it fearless or cheap units.  If the Eldar player does not role well for his Stomps you can tie him up for a couple of turns and focus on the rest of the Eldar army and mission.



24 Responses to “Eldar Review: Lord of War: Wraithknight”

  1. Avatar
    Colinsherlow December 21, 2015 6:17 pm #

    I love my wraithknight! He usually performs really well minus the odd dud game or when centurions wink at him.

    Yes I think the wraithknight is undercoated like the masses, but I don’t think by much of taking the sword or suncannon version. I think the D shots should be am additional cost.

    The stormsurge cost a li

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 21, 2015 6:20 pm #

      You prefer the Sword and Board or Heavy Wraithcannons?

      • Avatar
        Colinsherlow December 21, 2015 6:26 pm #

        I tend to prefer the cannons, but sometimes I really love the sword and board. The 5++ really help.

        I am curious to see how I will end up running the new corsair Wraithknight. The melta blast seems interesting, but the torrent/7″ blast monofilament seems nice. Not sure if it would be better to take one gun and a 5++ or two guns since he has the option.

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 21, 2015 6:49 pm #

          Yeah, the Corsair Wraithknights are ridiculous! So crazy.

          I usually go with the Heavy Wraithcannons but in my Footdar I run the Sword and Board. He provides some much needed mobile counter assault.

          • Avatar
            Zyekian December 22, 2015 4:40 pm

            There is no Corsair Wraithknight. Corsairs can’t take the Saskath.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy December 21, 2015 8:27 pm #

          The Skathach Wraithknight (which, to be clear, is NOT available to Corsairs) is really good. The ability to teleport a bit further than a normal WK moves, to jump into reserves if needed, and the gun upgrades are all very nice.

          The monofilament weapons aren’t actually Torrent, “just” Hellstorm, but they have the alternate 7″ blast firing mode for targets at longer ranges. Likewise, the melta aren’t blast weapons but rather d3+2 shots each, which means they will typically be superior to the Str D shots except against high armor values and when outside of double-pen range.

          • Avatar
            Colinsherlow December 21, 2015 9:58 pm

            Oops! I meant hellstorm

          • Avatar
            Variance Hammer December 22, 2015 11:57 pm

            Posted a breakdown of this here: http://variancehammer.com/2015/11/21/breaking-down-the-new-wraithknights/

            I love the melta-variant of the new Wraithknight. It performs *very* similarly to the standard Wraithknight on average, but the distribution of its results is entirely different. I’d take it to do the same duty as the double-D cannon Wraithknight, but hopefully with less complaining by opponents, as it’s less likely to just ruin everyone’s day on a string of 6’s.

          • Avatar
            X078 December 25, 2015 3:11 pm

            What i understood from the new rules they can take a normal CAD or the Corsair Fleet Raiding Company. So Skathach should fine as a Corsair LoW.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy December 29, 2015 3:26 am

            >So Skathach should fine as a Corsair LoW.

            I don’t believe this is correct- the listing for Corsair Eldar units is different from the listing of Craftworld Eldar units, and I don’t believe they have access to the units that are otherwise designated as “Eldar” units. (Otherwise, what would be the point of printing things like the Phoenix twice in the same book.) Corsairs ONLY have access to the units listed in their section, regardless of whether you take them in a CAD or in one of their special formations.

    • Avatar
      Colinsherlow December 21, 2015 6:22 pm #

      The surge cost a little more than the wraithknight, and the surge has way more fire power than a wraithknight. And can rock D shots with a little markerlight support.

      I think of the sword or suncannon knight cost about the same nobody would really complain unless they are super bitches ;-). Maybe an extra 40-50pts for the D shots

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy December 21, 2015 8:32 pm #

        I think you’re underestimating the Sword/Shield Wraithknight and the power of Stomp- I absolutely would still take a Suncannon Knight for 295pts because it is still an extremely fast melee platform with unprecedented survivability. Stomp alone will take car of many, many type of armies. The Ghostglaive version is a brutal counter to other superheavies as well as to melee deathstars, since the combination of Str D and Stomp will put an end to them very quickly.

        At 350pts, the Wraithknight would still be a game-changing unit. At 400pts, it would merely be a solid Lord of War choice on par with the Stompa/etc.(Remember, Eldar still have access to Fortune, Invisibility,and Shrouding in these scenarios, so a single Wraithknight can still kill most of an enemy army by itself.)

      • Avatar
        NotreDameGuy December 21, 2015 8:49 pm #

        A little more? Stormsurge properly kitted out costs 435 points, thats quite a bit more lol

        • Avatar
          TexBlade December 22, 2015 6:01 am #

          Even more than 435, which is right around what I run, when you add in the mandatory and fragile marker light support.

  2. Avatar
    westrider December 21, 2015 7:58 pm #

    As the owner of a Hierodule, the WraithKnight makes me very jealous.

    Also, the Eldar Dex is one of the few I don’t have. Is the Wraith-Constructs option actually a Formation (with a Formation Datasheet), or just a Choice within the Warhost Detachment?

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy December 21, 2015 8:28 pm #

      It is a choice in a Warhost. The only proper formation with a Wraithknight is the Wraithhost.

      • Avatar
        westrider December 21, 2015 9:04 pm #

        That’s what I thought. Otherwise, I figure I’d have seen random single WraithKnights showing up in non-Eldar Lists, like Imperial Knights do.

  3. Avatar
    Maeglin December 22, 2015 3:22 am #

    Suddenly just occurred to me that dropping a Wraith Knight in the Construct formation into a Harlequin army would be a great way of giving them some backbone.

    • Avatar
      AbusePuppy December 22, 2015 4:14 am #

      Wraith-Construct is not a formation. It cannot be taken independently of a Warhost.

      • Avatar
        Maeglin December 22, 2015 4:50 am #

        Well that’s just giving out misinformation 😛 Thoroughly disappointed now. I’m not a Craftworld player as you may have guessed.

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 22, 2015 9:12 am #

          The author accidentally said formation, I’ll fix it shortly. Sorry for the confusion.

          • Avatar
            rihker December 26, 2015 7:57 pm

            The codex calls Wraith host a formation though, several times and states on pg94 that you can include any of the formations in a battleforged army. So, are you saying I cannot slot wraith hosts in as a formation beside any CAD, but can only include one as part of the Warhost detachment? If so, is this a house rule or is there GW evidence to support it? I just got the codex so may have missed something. Cheers

          • Avatar
            rihker December 26, 2015 8:00 pm

            Oh, i see, Wraith Constructs does not have a formation data slate, but wraith hosts does. i follow now. silly me

  4. Avatar
    Pascalnz December 22, 2015 12:50 pm #

    just a little nitpick about the wraith host formation as mentioned in the article.
    The formation gets re rolls against enemy units that are within 18 inches of the spirit seer. Not[as was mentioned in the article] If members of the wraith host are within 18 inches of the spirit seer.

    Its super nasty to have the spirit seer rolling in a wave serpent with a unit of d scythes granting rerolls with a larger and far more mobile foot print.

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