Zyekian here, taking a look at the jolt the Ynnari rules sent through all three space elf ‘dexes. The Strength from Death rule brings new potential to a wide array of units, bringing some formerly second-rate units into the spotlight as well as adding more juice to the top meta units. Read on to see which units take the biggest strides forward as they try to claw their way into your list. And be sure to check out Frontline Gaming’s Tactics Corner for more tips and tricks to make your army hum!
Ynnead’s Boon: Strength from Death
The Ynnari Strength from Death rule allows an Ynnari a Soul Burst action: an additional move, turbo-boost, shooting attack, or charge whenever a unit within 7″ is destroyed. Vehicles cannot take advantage of this action, however they count as a destroyed unit for the purpose of triggering SfD. Note that both friendly and enemy destroyed units trigger this amazing power. The Ynnari Warhost detachment allows up to two units to trigger Strength from Death off a single destroyed unit in range. Also hugely important is that as long as the detachment has seven units, no morale checks are triggered for taking 25% casualties.
Ynnari units lose Battle Focus and Power from Pain on their dataslates and they have no access to objective secured. These are real trade-offs for most but not all units. Ynnari players are probably to try to just kill everything and make obsec not matter.
What this does is force the opponent stop trying to just kill everything. Rather they need to pause and do some hard thinkin’ about what to try to kill and in what order in an attempt to out-clever the Ynnari player. Mistakes against this faction will be costly. Folks will end up getting their own units destroyed in their own psychic phase and at other odd times.
To be fair there are many FAQs needed for this rule. When Games Workshop finally gets them hashed out they could impact parts of this list for better or for worse. We’ve seen GW move quickly on the last few FAQs so we should expect clarification soon.
#10: Scourges – 120 points for five Scourges sporting four 24″ haywire blasters. Clustered together with other Ynnari, Scourges will give opponents serious target priority problems as they envision having to lose a vehicle on their own shooting phase. Blasters are another option for a few more points but be prepared to have to advance your bat-elves up the field a bit to bring them into firing range. Soul Bursting Scourges will also be able to make a 12″ jump to safety move after destroying a nearby unit, opening up the Heat Lance as a more viable choice.
#9: Warp Spiders – Warp Spiders picking up extra shots will be a nightmare for Battle Company and MSU transport lists. Spiders don’t rank higher on this list though because they lose battle focus which is key to their short-range hit-and-fade tactics and that is a substantial loss. Being within 7″ of an enemy and not having Battle Focus to scoot back leaves Spiders more vulnerable to assault. Additionally it’s often undesirable to cluster this unit near other Eldar which is what’s needed to make full use of Strength from Death. This is a meta-dependent gain though some players will prefer Craftworld Spiders for their reliability while others will exploit their offensive boost.
#8: Howling Banshees – Just thirteen points per model for a flurry of power swords immune to overwatch with +3″ charge and run range. As a bonus the Exarch subtracts -2 Ld from anyone locked in combat with the unit. Strength from Death triggering their roughly eleven-inch reliable assault threat bubble boosts their utility tremendously. Unfortunately per the FAQ Banshees cannot deploy inside Raiders, however they can embark turn one to quickly jet off to where they need to be. Soul bursting will also see them excel at countering drop pod lists. Most opponents will want to prioritize other targets with their pod attack rather than cheap Banshees, a trade-off that could see them up to their gills in angry aspect warriors.
#7: Warlocks, Spiritseers, and Shadowseers – Each of these ML1/ML2 psykers picks up the Revenant discipline in this release, and that means potentially being able to activate Soul Bursts with a psychic test. Maybe. Gotta roll for it. Needless to say though being able to trigger an extra action brings utility and power to a list, and will put a bullseye on the psyker’s back whenever you roll it up. There’s also a nasty WC1 nova power in there that ignores cover and armor as well as other goodies to explore.
#6: Death Jester/Inriam’s Specter/Shadowseers (again) – The grimmest Harlequin character comes with a BS5 shuriken cannon and the Death is Not Enough rule, forcing enemy units to make a Ld at -2 whenever they lose at least one model, or fall back in the direction of the Harlequin player’s choice (including fleeing off the side of the map). Jesters will force opponents to worry about breaking morale at weird times such as their own shooting or psychic phases. Inriam’s Specter is a unique shrouded Jester for virtually the same cost that happily attaches to any friendly unit. Need shrouded Wraithguard? Not a problem. And they all bring hit-and-run to whatever Aeldari you wish without having to take awkward Harlequin formations.
#5: Beastpacks – I recently wrote a piece reviewing these critters that now have a chance to shine with the Strength from Death rule. For just ten points Khymera are quietly one of the most underrated units in 40k with four S4 attacks on the charge at an impressive initiative 6. They’re a solid T4 with a 5++ demon invuln save and will cross the map in a hurry with their 12″ beast type move. They’re potent enough that they cannot be ignored while also being cheap enough to be run as a suicide Soul Burst trigger. Beastmasters can even have just a single model, a ten point unit just daring opponents to kill it. You heard it here first, Khymera will show up in competitive lists in 2017.
#4: Wraithguard and Fire Dragons – Now they get to auto-delete two units which will be no problem emerging from a webway portal. Used in this role it’s hard to argue against taking the distortion scythes for the extra points.
Opponents will counter-assault to lock them up for the rest of the game, usually sacrificing a low-cost unit to trip the wall of death in the process (which you can use to Soul Burst), so consider kitting out their Archon for melee to see if you can hack your way free. Then after you break out you can get the Archon killed off to get another move or distortion shot off with them.
Expect to see a few more Fire Dragons hit the table in a similar role. Dragons gain a bit less however as they’ll miss Battle Focus and retain utility in a Craftworld detachment.
#3: Wraithknights – Wraithknights could previously be somewhat ignored by MSU armies that could afford to sacrifice cheap units while focusing on mission objectives. That’s now a less effective strategy as Ynnari players will manage to pack in extra shots and assaults to get a lot more work done. Expect them to broom up entire sections of the table all by themselves especially with stomp attacks being at I1, making them easy to use for assault-phase Soul Burst charges on lower initiative steps.
#2: Reavers, Skyweavers, and Shining Spears (in that order) – The lesser-seen Aeldari jebikes surge in potential with the Strength from Death rule. Each one of these units not named Shining Spears are already solid in their codex forms as both shooting and assault threats, able to use their high mobility to threaten an extremely wide array of enemies. Nobody wants a bucket of S6 rending Hammers of Wrath dumped in their lap while enhanced jinks really help these bikes reach their targets, especially during night fighting. Soul Burst will see these things cross the map and wreck face harder and faster than ever before. Expect them to give opponents fits as they turbo boost off to claim or contest objectives out-of-sequence. MSU is the way to go here so Reaver fast attack slots will be tight in the Reborn Warhost while Aspect Hosts and Faoluchu’s Blade have the other ‘bikes ready to roll.
#1: Scatbikes – The best unit in 40k got a huge boost in power, pulling even further ahead of the rest of the codex. Already seriously undercosted, Scatbikes gain the potential to multiply their already overwhelming S6 spam and target a second unit while they’re at it. They couldn’t use Battle Focus in the first place, therefore the balancing “tradeoff” Games Workshop videos described doesn’t even exist. Expect every competitive Ynnari list to include trios of three Scatbikes each, hoping one unit will be destroyed and trigger 24 S6 shots from across the map. Ynnari units lack objective secured but in the end it really won’t matter much. Along with the strong buff to Wraithknights we’re likely to see competitive Eldar lists as cookie-cutter as ever even as the 40k community takes further steps to counter them.
What are your thoughts on the the Top Ten Most Improved Ynnari Units? Are any units missing? Comment down below! And remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day and will buy your used models for cash or store credit!