Codex Drukhari Review Part 2: Drukhari Stratagems

Hey everyone, Reecius here with more Drukhari coverage! Check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews and articles.

In part 1 of this series, we covered army wide special rules. This time, we’re digging into the generic Drukhari stratagems. As you will see from the wash of red ink in this article, Drukhari are spoiled for choice with their stratagems. As such, you are going to want as many CP as you can get to really leverage them. Frankie tends to play with a minimum of 2 Battalions to get where you want to be, I prefer 3 myself. At any rate, let’s dive in and take a look at them!

Rating System

I rarely ever see units as “broken” or “garbage” which is the typical binary judgement in internet hyperbole. Even the worst unit can win you the game if it is in the right place at the right time. Units are all simply more or less efficient based on the current situation of any given game. So with that in mind, here is the shiny new rating system:

  • Competitive: This is a codex entry (unit, stratagem, item, etc.) that has a place in essentially any competitive list built with this faction regardless of unit choices or is the source of a significant force multiplication effect for other units.
  • Efficient: This is a codex entry that can stand on its own merit in a matched play list but works best when combo’d up with other units or in specific situations to become very powerful but may not always be seen.
  • Situational: This is a codex entry that may not pass as competitive on its own merits but can be made effective in a creative list, as a meta-buster, or in a specific combo or scenario where it ratchets up in power to potentially very high strength but otherwise will not be seen very often.


  • Webway Portal: 1 CP/ 3 CP: You can put either 1 Infantry, Biker or Beast unit in deep strike style reserves for 1 CP, or 2 for 3 CP.
    • Phenomenal strat, and one you will likely use in nearly every game you play. The ability to keep units off of the table is solid gold. We have found it to be particularly useful with units of 20 strong Kabalite Warriors. Competitive.
  • Alliance of Agony: 1 CP. If your Warlord is an Archon, choose up to 1 Succubus and up to 1 Haemonculus from your army. They each get a Warlord Trait.
    • Again, an amazing stratagem and one you will likely use every game as their Warlord Traits are very strong. Competitive.
  • Architects of Pain: 1 CP, pick a unit at the start of the battle round and treat its Power form Pain as being 1 turn higher than the actual game turn.
    • Solid strat that will come in handy particularly when you need a boost in melee, to increase the odds of a charge going off or most frequently in our experience, to ignore a potential Morale test. Efficient.
  • Haywire Grenade: 1 CP. Used when a Drukhari model throws a plasma grenade at a Vehcile unit. Roll a single hit die, if it hits, it deals D3 mortal wounds.
    • A useful strat when the opportunity arises. Luckily, many Drukhari units carry Plasma Grenades so when you need to finish off a Vehicle or just dent a tough one, it should be pretty easy and reliable to do. Efficient.

  • Lightening-Fast Reactions: 2 CP, used when a Drukhari Infantry, Vehicle, or Biker unit (excluding Haemonculus Coven units) are targeted with a ranged or melee weapons. That unit is -1 to be hit.
    • Another outstanding strat and one that will be used very frequently. At this point in the game we all understand how good -1 to be hit is. Competitive.
  • Prizes from the Dark City: 1 CP/ 3CP: your standard “get more relics” stratagem. 1 CP buys you 1, 3 CP buys you 2 additional relics.
    • Everyone gets this strat and it is as good as the relics it unlocks. Luckily for Drukhari players, the Artefacts of Cruelty are seriously boss and you will very frequently find yourself taking at least one additional relic. Competitive.

  • Eviscerating Fly-By: 1 CP: used when a Wych Cult unit with the Fly keyword advances. If you move over an enemy unit with this move, roll a D6 for each model in your unit, adding 1 to the result if the enemy unit you picked is Infantry. On a 6+, the enemy unit takes a Mortal Wound.
    • This is a very useful strat and a steal for only 1 CP. It works especially well with Hellions who with the Hypex Combat Drug upgrade and the Cult of the Red Grief obsession can be deadly. Often, with smaller units of enemy Infantry, you will wipe them out completely. Reavers likewise are very strong with this strat and while their unit size is smaller, they are faster. Competitive.
  • Fleshcraft: 1 CP, Used at the end of the movement phase on a Haemonculus Cover Monster that is within 3″ of a Haemonculus. That Monster regains D3 lost wounds.
    • Most similar strats cost 2 CP in other armies. This is a real value and quite good for your Talos and Cronos when it kicks in. For the low cost, you will find yourself using it often. Competitive.
  • Fire and Fade: 1 CP, allows a Drukhari unit to move up to 7″ after shooting but cannot charge that turn.
    • Incredibly good. Eldar have the same strat and it is just incredibly powerful, particularly if you play on a table with good terrain coverage as often you can shoot and them move out of LoS. Competitive.
  • Cruel Deception: 2 CP, used if a Drukhari unit in your army falls back. If it does so, it may still shoot and charge this turn.
    • Another winner! Notcing a trend here, lol? For some of your highly mobile units like Reavers that cannot be pinned down in melee easily, this is solid gold. You can charge your opponent, trap a model to prevent them from falling back, stay safe from shooting, then leave combat, shoot and still charge. That is just one of the many incredible uses for this powerful strat. Competitive.

  • The Great Enemy: 1 CP, Re-roll failed wound rolls in the fight phase for one of your units fighting a Slaanesh unit.
    • Great when it is applicable, but not typically going to be applicable. Situational.
  • Release the Beasts: 1 CP, Used at the start of the charge phase. Choose a Beastmaster, your Drukhari Beast units within 6″ of him can re-roll failed charge rolls for that Charge phase.
    • This is a very solid stratagem is you use Beasts and obviously is not if you do not. Efficient.

  • Hyperstimm Backlash: 2 CP, Used on a unit with Combat Drugs at the beginning of a turn. For that turn, the unit’s Combat Drugs effect is doubled. At the end of the turn, roll a D6 for each model in the unit, on a 1 the unit suffers a Mortal Wound. If the model has the Stimm Addict Warlord Trait, both of their Drugs effects are doubled but they then take D3 Mortal Wounds at the end of the battle round.
    • This is an awesome strat for a turn you need to deliver a hammer blow to an enemy unit. You suffer damage as a result, but if you really need to deliver a serious karate chop, then this can greatly help you do that. For example, you can get a unit of say, Hellions or Wyches up to 5+ attacks per model with this strat and the Cult of Strife obsession! Competitive.

  • Screaming Jets: 1 CP, used during deployment to allow a Drukhari Vehicle to deploy in deep strike style reserves. If it is a Transport, all of the units embarked within can remain inside and deploy with it.
    • An incredibly powerful strat and one you will use most likely every game. Again, keeping units off of the table to avoid being alpha struck and to then appear where needed later in the game is absolutely top notch. Competitive.
  • Freakish Spectacle: 1 CP, used when an enemy unit fails a Mroale test within 6″ of a Haemonculus Coven unit in your army. One additional model flees from the enemy unit.
    • A very situationally useful strat but quite good when it kicks in. If you find yourself facing say, Bullgryn who fail a Morale test, the ability to destroy one more of them fore a measly 1 CP will be well worth it. Situational.
  • The Torturer’s Craft: 2 CP, used before a Haemonculus Coven unit from your fights in the fight phase. You can re-roll failed wound rolls for that unit.
    • A solid stratagem when you need it, particularly powerful with Grotesques and TalosEfficient.

  • Pray they Don’t Take you Alive: 1 CP, used if a unit in your army slays the enemy Warlord in the Fight phase. For the remainder of the battle, every enemy model in the enemy army subtracts 1 from their Leadership.
    • Extremely strong when it kicks in, but not a strat you will always be using. Some melee armies though will really suffer to this. Situational.

  • Soul-Trap: 1 CP, used when an Archon from your army kills an enemy Character in the Fight phase. Increase the Attacks, Strength and Leadership of the Archon by 1 for the rest of the game.
    • Very similar to the above strat, this is awesome when it kicks in but may not always be a viable option. Situational.
  • Enhanced Aethersails: 1 CP, Used when a Raider or Ravager advances. Add 8″ to their move instead of rolling for it.
    • This can be great when you need to get your units into an important position such as delivering a Raider to a point on the table where the unit inside can charge out of it the next turn, to grab an objective, etc. Not always going to come in to play but solid when you need it. Situational.

  • Onslaught: 1 CP, Used when an Incubi unit fights in the Fight phase. Unmodified rolls of a 6 to hit cause 2 hits instead of 1.
    • A great, cheap strat that really ramps up Incubi. As it can’t be modified in any way outside of re-rolls to hit it isn’t crazy good, but when you want a solid boost in melee from your Incubi, for only 1 CP you will certainly be using this strat. Efficient.

  • Crucible of Malediction: 2 CP, used in the psychic phase. A Haemonculus from your army can once per game inflict D3 Mortal wounds on every Psyker within 12″ on a 4+.
    • When it is applicable, say against a player with a bunch of light psykers like Warlocks for example, it can be amazing. However, it won’t always be applicable. Situational.
  • Torment Grenades: 1 CP, used before a model fires a Phantasm Grenade Launcher. If an enemy unit is hit, in addition to the usual effects roll 3D6. If the result is higher than the enemy unit’s highest Leadership characteristic, it suffers D3 Mortal Wounds.
    • A fairly solid strat although it does have multiple failure points. These are offset by the multitude of ways you have to lower enemy leadership, making it fairly reliable. It can be quite good for finishing off units with Mortal Wounds that you really need gone. Efficient.

And there you go! Some seriously awesome stratagems and we haven’t even covered the sub-faction specific ones, yet! Which is your favorite? Next up: Drukhari Artefacts of Cruelty.


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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

8 Responses to “Codex Drukhari Review Part 2: Drukhari Stratagems”

  1. Spera April 4, 2018 7:09 pm #

    I was waiting to see “Agents of Vect” on this list. If it would get any grade but [color=#EBCE17]Pure gold[/color] I would be disappointed.

    • Reecius April 5, 2018 8:21 am #

      That gem is in the Kabal review coming up very soon =)

  2. Cayesq April 4, 2018 8:47 pm #

    Thanks Reece! Hellions have Hit and Run rule and Fly so Cruel Deception stratagem above doesn’t actually do anything for them (unless they lost both those rules in codex??) Potentially useful on Reavers if they need to fall back and charge, but seems like best used on warrior blobs that got tied up in combat, like maybe after their transport got popped and the enemy consolidated into them. Definitely has potential!

    • Reecius April 5, 2018 8:31 am #

      They do! Thanks for the reminder. Edited.

  3. Robin Wilkins April 5, 2018 6:13 am #

    Couple of questions. So is the intended rule that you cannot use Webway Portal and Screaming Jets in the same game? RAW seems to indicate you can use both but only if you use Screaming Jets first (since then you have technically not used Webway Portal this battle… Yet). Seems like it’s intended that you can only use one or the other though?

    Secondly. Can Alliance of Agony be used more than once? I can’t see anything that would specifically stop you from from doing so and getting even more warlord traits for extra HQ’s? This theoretically would then allow for people to spam certain Warlord traits (like the one that then gives D3 CP). I feel like this probably wasn’t the intended rule but I can’t immediately see anything that stops you doing it?

    Apologies if there are obvious answers to these that I am missing.

    • Reecius April 5, 2018 9:39 am #

      As with Eldar, the two are mutually exclusive. One of the other.

      Count on it being once per game for Alliance.

      And no worries, happy to help!

  4. GreenInk April 5, 2018 8:36 am #

    Someone mentioned that in the leaks, Alliance of Agony doesn’t have the wording to make it one-use only, meaning you could technically get more than 3 warlords. Some people were coming up with some crazy combos abusing this (especially surrounding taking multiples of the Warlord trait for extra command points – pay 1CP and get D3 back. Not sure if Warlord traits can be duplicated?).
    Not sure if this was intended or an oversight, but I thought I’d mention it here.

    • Reecius April 5, 2018 9:38 am #

      Count on it being once per game.

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