The Top-10 Most-Improved Aeldari Units are…


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!


20 Responses to “The Top-10 Most-Improved Aeldari Units are…”

  1. David Alastair Hayden April 11, 2017 1:43 am #

    You will need to take an awkward formation to get Imriam’s Specter.

    Take a Death Jester or Shadowseer along with WWP Succubus and your Wraithguard won’t get tied up.

    • Fuhrmaaj April 19, 2017 9:04 am #

      I don’t think it’s true that you need to use Inriam’s Spectre in a Formation.

      Inriam’s Spectre’s Faction of Harlequins is described on p.28 and by the symbol at the top-centre of his Datasheet. His battlefield role is given as Elites by the symbol on the top-left of his Datasheet. He also has a special rule on p.28 which allows him to be taken in any Harlequin Formation that lists “Death Jester” as part of its composition using the rules described.

      I think what you’re thinking is that he can only be taken using his Formation rule on p.28. If that were the case then Roboute Guilliman or Grand Master Voldus could not be taken in any CAD because the only other way they can be taken is in the Formations described in Rise of the Primarch.

      This interpretation is also what allows Harlequin armies to play a CAD with Yvraine or the Visarch. They have a special rule which allows them to be taken in Harlequin armies but their Battlefield Role is only described by a symbol.

  2. Davis Centis April 11, 2017 4:40 am #

    Death Jesters really do get amazingly more powerful, but not because of their BS5 S6 sorta-rending guns with Death is Not Enough. The secret sauce for them is their Haywire Grenades. It’s just mean to be throwing endless numbers of these grenades. Normally vehicles are a bit more difficult for Harlequins to deal with, but jam these guys into your lists and you just vomit up huge numbers of these attacks. My turn? Haywire Grenade. Charge? Haywire Grenade. Something died on my turn? Haywire Grenade. Something died on your turn? Haywire Grenade.

    Best part is, as a T3 unit with 2 wounds, it dies very easily!

  3. Donthemagnificent April 11, 2017 7:58 am #

    You forgot the biggest winners in any codex. The shining Spears became ridiculous.

    • David Alastair Hayden April 11, 2017 9:17 pm #

      He mentioned it in #2, lumping them in with Skyweavers and Reavers, who are both really good now. People just aren’t seeing the potential for Shining Spears, but boy is it there.

      With the Aspect Hosts, you can easily create an army of Shining Spears. If I understand the ITC limit on duplicating formations, you should be able to get 27 Shining Spears into an army in groups of 3. They can outflank if needed. Add 9 Scatbikes, a Farseer and an Autarch on a bike and a Wraithknight, and you’re good to go.

      • abusepuppy April 11, 2017 11:31 pm #

        Shining Spears are an interesting choice, definitely, but I question just how effective they actually are- without Hit and Run, they’re very reliant on getting good damage on the charge and the unit only has seven attacks going in. Also, while they are pretty good at killing MEQs (so long as they aren’t in cover, as the Spears lack grenades) they struggle a lot against many other things and if charged themselves are in an even worse position.

        • Lokust April 12, 2017 11:15 am #

          They really need an Autarch with them to provide volume of attacks at good WS, and also the protection of a banshee mask.

  4. Happy_Inquisitor April 11, 2017 11:21 am #

    In play so far I have found the scat bikes not so hard to deal with – spread your shooting out across the units until you have weakened a couple. You should then be able to “break the chain” of scat bike units for only a moderate cost in return fire. After which finishing off the weakened units has no cost because you are both creating gaps in their line and dealing with units some of which have already taken their Soulburst action.

    Yes they get some “free” shooting but if you are careful it should not be a crippling amount. Unlike ObSec Eldar scat bikes you can afford to go round leaving one bike alive in each unit, they no longer have the ability to zoom across the table and just steal all your objective candy. Scat bikes are still good, too good, but the improvement from Ynnari rules largely comes from not being very vulnerable to failed morale rather from all the supposed free shooting that only in practice happens in serious volumes if the Ynnari player is outplaying and out-thinking their opponent.

    The assault units when in open-top transports are pretty scary for any shooting army. If you just wreck them instead of exploding them you get an out of sequence charge that can shut down your units in the middle of your own shooting phase. For the record Grav can only ever wreck vehicles.

    • WestRider April 11, 2017 11:56 am #

      Trying to Pod in and pop a Wave Serpent or Falcon full of Fire Dragons or WraithGuard at close range also just turned from risky to “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”, with the Passengers able to return fire immediately if you just Wreck the thing instead of Exploding it.

      • abusepuppy April 11, 2017 1:02 pm #

        And your odds of Exploding a Wave Serpent with shields up are slim to none.

        • Davis Centis April 12, 2017 6:54 am #

          Yeah, that’s the most incredibly deadly thing about the Wave Serpent with Fire Dragons in it now. They come out and just fry you. A friend’s Knight killed my Wave Serpent, and the Dragons just got out and destroyed it in return!

  5. Threllen April 11, 2017 12:09 pm #

    Step 1: Charge a single strong model (like a vehicle or MC) with Wraithknight
    Step 2: Kill it
    Step 3: Use soulburst to charge a different unit
    Step 4: Use your stomp attacks on that target
    Step 5: profit

    • Beau April 11, 2017 2:33 pm #

      I have to admit I am confused now about the way initiative works for combat with strength from death… I always resolved combats 1 by 1 instead of by intiative across the table. Or does this simply mean WK used his melee attacks to kill something, then soul burst charges, then cannot melee attack again this combat because he already did, but can use his stomp because he had not used that in the previous combat?

      • Odras April 11, 2017 4:02 pm #

        You can still resolve your combats one at a time. The only thing you have to remember is that unit you are charging into a second combat continues it’s initiative steps from the previous combat.

        I am still not sure if this works, but with a wraithknight (or anyone without grenades) can you.
        1: Charge first unit and kill it at Ini 5
        2: Charge second unit through cover.
        3: At Ini step 1 both attack again and stomp.

        • abusepuppy April 11, 2017 11:31 pm #

          Should work just fine, presuming that you can meet the conditions of killing your original target at I5 (harder than it seems, in many cases) and finding another combat to join at I1.

          • Grizzyzz April 12, 2017 3:06 am

            That has been our groups interpretation. And since it is harder to pull off then you think, no one has tried to call anyone out on it.

            Just remember that if you fire a shoulder weapon on a WK you limit what you can charge by the units you shot at. So its better to not bring any guns, so you don’t limit yourself.

  6. Grizzyzz April 12, 2017 3:08 am #

    Another group i really like in Ynnari is the Dire avenger shrine. Being able to pop your assault 3 turn and potential fire twice is devastating.

    • Lokust April 12, 2017 11:17 am #

      Cool combination that I hadn’t heard of! Going to have to play around with that.

  7. RonSwanson April 17, 2017 12:51 am #

    I laughingly await the day when this is all invalidated by our GW overlords at the beginning of 8th edition. The nonsense rules like soul bursting eldars and splitting horrors needs to die a painful agonizing death.

    • Happy_Inquisitor April 17, 2017 7:18 am #

      Honestly the most fun game I have played recently was against Ynnari Eldar. Positional play is everything with them and finding ways to unravel them was a blast.

      If my opponent had been able to out-position me I would have had my butt kicked; as it was he made one positional mistake and one target priority mistake and it was the Eldar that got wrecked. I would be quite happy to keep playing games like that and am not keen to see any of it invalidated.

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