New Hammer Wych Cult Units

With a several games and a GT under my belt, it is time revisit the Drukhari. In my previous articles, I worked from the various updates from the Warhammer community page. As many have experienced, the depth of the new Warhammer is not in the rules but on the table. It is time share some of my findings with you. Check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!


The new Warhammer is all about characters buffing nearby units that share critical keywords. The Drukhari have three paths for you to follow using this list building logic. We will look into each of these and those units that can be effective in any of the three.

We will start with the Wych Cults.

Wyches featured prominently in Frankie’s article prior to the release of the Xenos 1 index. His assessment created a ton of excitement for the fan favorite unit, then left many players scratching their heads after the reading the dataslate. This is a microcosm of the new rule sets as the layering may not be as obvious at first glance when compared to the vision of someone with several games of practice. Wyches primary role is both as a screen from potentials assault based units, the anvil for assault units, and objective grabbers. They need to get into assault quickly as most of their magic happens in the fight phase and have limited protection from shooting. Luckily, on turn two Power from Pain allows all Drukhari to reroll advance and charge rolls so take risks on long charges.

Once within 1” of an enemy unit they can use their numbers to wear down your opponents units holding objectives. Their poison pistols thin the herd in the shooting phase and their 4+ invulnerable save stacking with the Power from Pain ability to ignore wounds on a 6+ makes them surprisingly resilient. Having been on the receiving end of a unit falling back out of combat so another unit can blow me away, I can tell the No escape ability to hold units in combat is essential.

Where Wych Cults shine is the ability to buff one another. On turn three, the Power from Pain ability grants +1 to hit in the fight phase, so perhaps being fashionably late is back in vogue. The Succubus and her named counterpart Lelith supply a reroll 1’s to hit in close combat bubble. The gives wyches and Bloodbrides a 2 up re-rollable to hit in the fight phase. Nevertheless, the real power is that you may choose your combat drugs, allowing you to tailor your wych cults to the opposing force. For example, against conscript hordes +1 attack helps overcome the mass unit sizes, but against an elite small model count army of T4 +1 Strength might be your best option to increase the number of wounds generated from all those hits.

Because you must use each drug only once until all other have been dispensed, and player with the most models near an objective wins the prize, it is best to use larger units of 10 or more than several 5 model units. Once the unit is over 10 models, you may add up to 3 wych weapons for some extra punch. For me hydra gauntlets to augment to wound rolls are my go to choice.

Although a Coven unit, the Cronos supplies a reroll all 1’s to wound bubble to all Druhkari units in the fight phase. For best use, have the Cronos charge first and absorb the overwatch with its T6 3+ save and have the wyches charge the same unit.

Hellions provide a similar role as wyches, sacrificing the 4+ invulnerable save for 14” move and the fly key word. Additionally, Hellions Hit & Run allows then to charge the same turn the fall back.  Initial inspection shows this to be an unfavorable trade off as the Succubus has limited options to keep up with the hellions. Where hellions shine is they to benefit from combat drugs to tailor to your opponent, such as +1 to hit the fight phase, and their stock Helglaives hit harder than any of the specialty wych weapons.

Reavers are may be too expensive for the screen role, but they excel at objective harassment and linebreaker, especially in Maelstrom style missions. They are the only 2-wound model among the Wych cults outside of characters and come T4 stock, so you can use combat drugs to buff other abilities since +1 T may be better on one of your wych screens. As the lore would indicate, Reavers are wicked fast, with a stock 16” move and additional 8” when they advance. With combat drugs you can add another 2” to the base movement. Both the heat lance and Blaster are assault weapons so you can rev up to 24” and still shoot hitting on 4’s with high strength guns. Cluster Caltrops I found to be good for character hunting, as a single mortal wound on a 4+ does not scratch a gaunt horde. The more versatile grav talon is a better option for dealing out mortal wounds on targets that barely survived your heavy weapons.

A closing note on combat drugs: if you are using the +2 Leadership drug, use it on a unit you think that will die early or is a bait unit for your opponent. On turn 5 Power from Pain gives all Drukhari to ability to automatically pass all morale test, reducing the effectiveness of the drug.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

 secondhandhsop

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About Tactical Terrain Eric

Longtime gamer who never saw a piece of foam he didn't like, Tactical Terrain Eric looks to push the boundaries of terrain making while still keeping the balance of being suitable for competitive play.

20 Responses to “New Hammer Wych Cult Units”

  1. Bluthusten August 5, 2017 9:45 am
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    Do you think a wych-cult is competitive playable? Can they face a maxed out marine list or Imps with superheavys, for example?

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 6, 2017 10:46 am
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      I think so! If you use all of the arena units like Hellions and Reavers and such.

      • C-Stock August 7, 2017 6:17 am
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        No way. All these units die ultra easily to all the over-the-top shooting in 8e.

        Reavers are especially trash, costing a comical load of points and being crazy easy to kill. In 7e they used to get a 3+ jink, 2+ jink with night fighting. Now they get a 4+ armor save minus whatever AP is being shot at them. It doesn’t matter if they’re 2W, they’re a joke.

        Did I mention they cost a comical load of points?

        • cayesq August 7, 2017 3:21 pm
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          I dunno, they’re so fast I’ve basically never *not* gotten a first turn charge with them whether I go first or second, and Bladevanes smoke 1W power armor or worse. Add blaster shots and cluster caltrops and I’ve even taken down Dreadnoughts. I always give them +1T to make them more resilient to small arms fire. T5, 2W and 6+ FNP make them pretty hard to down with bolters. Yeah they’re a little too expensive and yeah they still die like wimps to anything stronger than bolters, but I still like them. A lot better than Wyches and Hellions, anyway.

  2. Majere August 5, 2017 1:02 pm
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    For me, the biggest disappointment with the Wyches is the Wych Weapons. The re-roll to wound with Hydra Gauntlets is good, but the other two are borderline useless- the re-roll to hit on the Razorflails is nowhere near as useful on units hitting on 3+ or 2+, and the Impaler’s profile doesn’t justify the extra cost (its the most expensive option for some reason) and the loss of an Attack. Shardnets don’t do anything at all!

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 6, 2017 10:46 am
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      You take the Wyches to lock units down in melee, IMO. The weapons are just a bonus.

  3. Painjunky August 6, 2017 2:21 am
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    Wych cult are for fluff lists only.
    They are not great and I’m being kind here.

    I would love to see Frankie play a competitive game with wyches, hellions and reavers.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 6, 2017 10:47 am
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      Wychs are there to pin units down, at which they are awesome. Damage output is OK. But again, that is not their purpose.

      • C-Stock August 7, 2017 6:19 am
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        Damage output is a joke. Two S3 attacks with no AP? At least last edition they got three on the charge.

        Wyches just bounce off everything.

        Painjunky is right, they’re dismal.

        Their fluff has them as deadly duelists, so why don’t their rules reflect that?

    • Jason Brown August 6, 2017 4:49 pm
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      Someone hasn’t faced Ultramarines yet. Spoiler alert, they can fall back and shoot. They can also get CPs back, you will see them a lot.

      • Jason Brown August 6, 2017 4:49 pm
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        Whoops, posted this in the wrong sub thread.

      • Reecius
        Reecius August 6, 2017 5:01 pm
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        They can’t fall back if them Wyches grab ’em!

  4. Colin Sherlow August 6, 2017 8:22 am
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    For the wyches No Escape rule does opponent straight up have to roll higher than the wyches to win? Meaning even if the opponent ties with the wyches they will be unable to run?

    The no escape rule seems different than the rolling if rule in the brb where you have to reroll ties

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 6, 2017 10:51 am
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      Well, pardon my snark, but the only way to win the roll off is to roll higher than your opponent =) And yes, the BRB tells us how to handle ties in a roll off, you reroll until one player wins.

  5. Cayesq August 6, 2017 9:45 pm
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    In 7th I loved my Reavers and hated everything else. In 8th, I love my Reavers and found Wyches to have one use: tarpitting small units of powerfist/thunderhammer terminators. The invulnerable save and the cheap cost of wyches makes them great at forcing your opponent to waste his points killing 2-3 Wyches a turn. Unfortunately, they suck at killing anything and Bloodbrides are no better, really. Hellions…I mean, the models are still good! Their best use I’ve gotten out of them are as Ork boy horde sweepers. The 2 damage means the Painboy that’s babysitting them can’t save them as easily. Otherwise, nah. Perhaps the Codex will provide some new tricks for Wych themed armies, but from a competitive perspective, shooting Blasters and Dark Lances as much and as many as you can is the way forward!

    • C-Stock August 7, 2017 6:21 am
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      I agree, Bloodbrides are bad. Paying +4 points just to get another S3 AP-0 attack that doesn’t do anything is a bad deal.

  6. Tactical Terrain Eric August 7, 2017 1:34 pm
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    There will be follow up articles once the codex is released. And if the codex is anything like the first three we have gotten there should plenty of new options

    • Silas7 August 10, 2017 5:03 pm
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      (is this a hint for codex drop?)

      Good to hear we’ll be seeing more about the army down the road, but i guess there isn’t much more to talk about until the codex hits?

  7. Edd Vert August 11, 2017 1:26 pm
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    You’ve missed the fact that wych don’t get their dodge from pistols in combat.
    Dodge only protects in in the fight phase. Pistols are fired in your opponents shooting.
    Hopping this is a rules oversight. And hope it’ll get faq’d though.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 11, 2017 1:36 pm
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      That is indeed, pretty damn punishing.