Space Wolves Codex Review #2: Relics of the Fang

Hey everyone, Reecius here again with another Space Wolves Codex review! In part 1 we covered their Special Rules, this time we’ll be looking at the Relics of the Fang. Be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews.

The Sons of Russ are here, awooooo! Let’s take a look at what they have to offer. And remember, you can get all of these items at a nice discount from Frontline Gaming in our web-cart with FREE shipping for orders $99 and up!

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.

The Space Wolves have some very solid Relics, some of which are strand-outs.

Relics of the Fang

  • Krakenbane Sword:  Replaces the model’s Frost Sword with the following profile: Strength +1, AP-4, 1 Damage.
    • This weapon falls into the good but not great category. If you use it, you will be happy with it but there are more efficient choices, IMO. If you take a pair of Wolf Claws you lose the AP but gain another attack and don’t use your relic. However, the sword does allow you to also take something like a Storm Shield. Efficient.
  • The Armour of Russ: Gives the model a 4++ and you may choose one enemy unit within 1″ at the start of the fight phase and make them fight last.
    • The always fight last/first abilities are very underrated. They allow you get so much more mileage out of the fight phase. Slap this on a Wolf Guard Battle Leader or Rune Priest (as they lack an invul save) and go into melee with your other units and you can now stop the scariest unit your opponent has from swinging until you have. Likewise, if a unit charges you, you can slow their momentum quite a bit. For an army that gets stuck in in most games, this is a great choice for a relic. Competitive.
  • Black Death: Replaces a Frost Axe with the following profile: Strength +2, AP-2, 1 Damage, +D3 attacks.
    • Again, good but not great. If you choose to use it you won’t be mad you did but there’s just better or similar weapons that don’t take up a relic slot. Further, I’d rather have the Krakenbane Sword if I were looking to take one of the relic weapons. Situational.
  • The Helm of Durfast: You can re-roll failed hit rolls for this model’s ranged attacks and you ignore cover.
    • Not bad. Not great, either and certainly the weakest of the relics, IMO. There’s just not a lot of units that can make really good use of this and those that do already generally hit on 2’s re-rolling 1’s to hit so it isn’t likely going to be seen often. Situational.
  • The Wulfen Stone: The bearer has a 3″ +1 attack aura that impacts Infantry, Bikers and Cavalry but not Wulfen or units affected by the Wulfen bonuses.
    • This one is amazing and it in conjunction with some of the other bonus such as Saga of the Wulkin, you get some crazy bonuses in melee. This is an all-star Relic and will be by far the most commonly taken. Competitive.
  • Frostfury: Replaces a model’s Storm Bolter with the following profile: 24″, Assault 4, Strength 4, AP-1, 2 Damage.
    • As far as the shooting relics go, this is a really good one. The potential damage output is very high and on a Wolf Lord, also going to be very accurate. Not at all a bad choice although you may think twice about it if you have to spend CP to take it or choose between it and the Armour of Russ, for example. Still, a very solid weapon. Efficient.

Hope you enjoyed this review! We’ll back back soon with more Space Wolf articles!


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



About Reecius

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

Man, the Helm of Durfast got nerfed hard. Even leaving aside the various ways the changes in the system have hurt it (Ignores Cover is less powerful, etc.), losing the ability to also Re-Roll CC Attacks knocks it way down. More like the Helm of Derp-fast now.

I can see using any of the rest, tho, at least in fluffier Lists, and like you say, the Armour of Russ and the Wulfen Stone are great.

3 years ago

I really, really dislike the fact that all of the melee weapons do only one damage, which means they are only useful if you’re trying to take out basic troop models. Being practically useless against vehicles, monsters, and enemy HQs is an incredibly bad place to be for a melee army, and it means that SW are 100% reliant on Thunder Hammers (admittedly a really good weapon) for all of their HQs.

3 years ago
Reply to  abusepuppy

Seems like because that because they gave all of the special characters multiple damage weapons (except Canis) they ran out when it got to the relics!

3 years ago

Toss the Armor of Russ on a Land Raider Excelsior and enjoy your well defended dad tank.

3 years ago

Hi Reece, great to see you writing articles for Marines again, whatever their colour. So I am already grateful.

I think you made a little mistake i.e. forget something. The Krakenbone sword has an implemented re-roll to wound. You probably meant to say it hence the comparison with wold claws, but it’s missing.

I generally thought that the SW relics are really lackluster. Probably among the weakest relics from all the codex books. I cannot fathom any reason atm which make you wanna take/spend cp on other stuff than the Wulfenstone or the Armor of Russ.

Btw: I’m totally looking forward to thursday so we can finally see your Astartes list you brought for the nova invitational. Can you give us a hint? 😉

3 years ago

The Helm of Durfast could be cool on the Forgeworld Chaplain Venerable Dreadnought. Can Space Wolves thake those?

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