Tyranid Codex Review – HQ: Neurothrope

Hey all, Danny from TFG Radio here, and after a long, forced hiatus (work, kid, life, those old chestnuts), I’m back and oh boy, do I have a lot of Tyranid reviews to catch up on. With no further delay, let’s dig into it! The Neurothrope is custom built to do several jobs exceptionally well, and perhaps it is not surprising that our cheapest HQ choice is also one of our best in just about any list.

***This article has been updated to include Chapter Approved 2018***

Equipment and Biomorphs:

  • Claws and Teeth – basic melee weapon. Make use of that 1 attack!

Special Rules:

  • Shadow in the Warp: -1 to psychic tests within 18″. Does not affect TYRANID units.
  • Synapse: Fearless bubble of 12 inches.
  • Spirit Leech: Each time a Neuro kills a model with Smite, you can heal a wound on friendly Zoanthrope within 6.
  • Warp Siphon: You can reroll 1’s on psychic tests for friendly Zoanthropes within 6.
  • Warp Field: A 3+ invulnerable save.
  • Psyker: You get 1 powers plus smite, can cast 2 powers and deny 1. (Thanks, dear Readers!)

Ok, so yes, the Neurothrope doesn’t have much in terms of customization, but it really doesn’t need it to be the swiss-army knife of the Tyranid hordes.That’s a lot of special rules there.  You have the standard kit of SitW and Synapse, which are never, ever bad, so even just stopping there, the Neurothrope isn’t a bad choice for a minimum HQ choice.  Spirit Leech is cool but rarely comes up, but it can help in the super late game when maybe you only have a few Neuros running around.  The real money is of course Warp Siphon for just that extra help getting powers off and of course Warp Field for that awesome save.  A 3++ is amazing because well, you can just get lucky and end up tanking anything.  For 70 points, getting 2 powers and 1 deny is a good deal, especially with all the other benefits.  The special rules are really what makes this bug shine so bright.

The Neurothrope did get a little bit of a hit in Chapter Approved 2018, but still, for 90 points, you get 5 wounds with a 3++ that can hide behind a screen.  Yes, a Neuro dies easy to any concentrated fire as T4 isn’t tanky, but you have to isolate them first, and with that 3++, Neurothropes can tank a lot of high quality shots and prove frustrating.  Why is this their key feature?  Well, by being so survivable and cheap, you are given a lot of flexibility.  Need frontline synapse control that isn’t easily sniped? Need a cheap battalion for CPs? Want an extra smite?  Want to catch enemy psykers in Shadows of the Warp or the Kronos strategy? Need synapse babysitting for Hive Guard? All of these questions are answered by the humble Neurothrope.  A Tyranid Prime is a cheaper, better baby sitter though, but still, in the very late game, having a reliable source of Smite can really help.

Any of the Hive Fleets work here as well.  Kronos is ideal simply for having a relatively hardy and disposable unit to put up field and keep the aura of “let me neuter one psychic test” handy, but really, they fit well in any of the Hive Fleets. A Leviathan Neurothrope gives out that sweet 6+ Feel No Pain and has it itself, making it 16% more survivable on top of an already strong save.  As a bonus, since they Fly, they can charge/heroically intervene into a fight to help trigger the Leviathan strategy, a play that is easy for an opponent to miss.  Kraken Neurothropes are also plenty fast to ensure that your forward lines are still in synapse when they are rocketed forward.  Yes, a Hydra Neurothrope gets no bonus at all, but then, even without a Hive Fleet trait, they are still well worth their points.  Plus, if you are rocking Hydra for that sweet, sweet Gant-wall army, having cheap Synapse isn’t bad.

Don’t forget that they are also still capable of throwing out two psychic powers per turn, rerolling 1s, and denying a single power.  If you want pure offense, the one-two punch of smite and psychic scream is going to do 2d3 mortal wounds (or even d3+d6 mortals), which, if you position well, can snipe out an enemy character like a Smash Captain.  You can use them as a front-line buffing tool with Catalyst or Onslaught, or you can even use The Horror to help tone down a big target like an infantry blob or even a Knight.  If you are heavy on other psykers, Neurothropes make ideal late phase Smite spams as the reroll 1s just helps even out the penalty just a bit.  This is not to say they are totally reliable, simply that they are the best option when you are on your 3rd or 4th Smite.  They also can be late game meat shields, tanking any melee character that relies on a few high powered shots.  If they do, well then they die, but better the Neurothrope than a 200+ point Hive Tyrant.

Is there a downside to the Neurothrope? Well, they are utility pieces for the most part, so unless you get lucky with a Smite, they are not going to cause big damage, so don’t expect them to hold a flank themselves.  They die to anything that can pump out a volume of fire, and they are inherently slow, so sometimes you just get a bad advance roll and they are out of position.  None of the Tyranid Relics really matter, maybe a Norn Crown if you are low on synapse, but that’s about it. These are minor quibbles. Really, their biggest weakness is that you can only take 3 of them and if you really just want a cheap battalion for CP, 2 Primes save you 40 points.

89/100. An absolute must have for any competitive player as they open up cheap battalions, provide easy Synapse, and can still throw out a little bit of mortal wounds, all for what is still a reasonable deal. Yes, they are more expensive than they used to be, but they are still awesome and still going to be stables of many a list.

Thanks again for reading, and don’t worry, from now until we’re done, there will be a Tyranid codex review every Sunday! See you all on the interwebz and maybe LVO!

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




About Danny Ruiz

Long-long time 40K player, one of the original triumvirate of head 40K judges at LVO, writer, educator, tyranid-enthusiast, disciple of Angron, man about town, afflicted with faction ADD.

12 Responses to “Tyranid Codex Review – HQ: Neurothrope”

  1. abusepuppy September 30, 2018 3:02 am #

    FYI, Neurothropes only know one power (and Smite), though they can manifest two each turn. It’s a common mistake.

    • CaptainPants September 30, 2018 10:44 am #

      Looking tat the book right now.

      “A Neurothrope knows the Smite psychic power and one psychic power from the Hive Mind discipline (pg 121).” page 87 in the codex.

      • Danny Ruiz October 2, 2018 6:36 am #

        Yep. I mistyped and didn’t catch it. Thanks and the article has been updated (with shout out).

  2. Reecius September 30, 2018 10:31 am #

    Nice review Danny, the Neurothrope is extremely good, probably a bit undercosted, honestly. However, what an exceptional tool for the Nid player.

    • Hiveminded October 2, 2018 4:09 pm #

      I would argue the neurothrope is costed appropriately.

      The reason you see them in every list isn’t because they are too cheap…it’s because there are no other low cost HQ options for tyranids.

  3. Cambior September 30, 2018 4:28 pm #

    3+ inv save. That’s gonna be tough to deal with….

    • Dakkath September 30, 2018 8:14 pm #

      It’s only t4, so it dies to bolters.

      • abusepuppy September 30, 2018 10:53 pm #

        Presuming that the Bolters can shoot at it, anyways, since it will almost always be hiding behind a screen of Gaunts or the like.

  4. Yarium October 1, 2018 5:23 am #

    Like much of the Tyranid arsenal, the Neurothrope is good because it is absolutely functional. It’s not overpowered, it’s not terribly strong or tough, boosts a very specific unit rather than a variety of units, and has a minor (if consistent) rate of damage per turn through Smite plus Psychic Scream. It’s probably undercosted, but the 3-of limitation plus inability to cast multiple Psychic Screams (and increasing difficulty on Smite) means that this undercosting naturally doesn’t lead to spamming.

    In short, it’s a pretty well designed Tyranid HQ. Enough of a thorn that it’ll cause damage over the course of a game, but not enough of a thorn or lynch-pin to focus too much into dealing with it.

    • Danny Ruiz October 2, 2018 6:37 am #

      I love it, but with the rule of 3, it is not overly broken or too good. When you could take 10, they were definitely too good, but as they stand now, they are just essential to building really competitive lists for cheap CPs and cheap smites.

  5. Brakhal October 1, 2018 5:31 am #

    The Neurothrope is the only option that finds it’s way in a 100% of my lists (and I think in every Tyranid list I find since the 0-3 dropped). Really good, but fair (but I agree with Reecius in the bit undercosted, it probably should be 80). Any list that doesn’t have 2-3 neuros, have 3 flyrants and 1 neuro (but that also speaks about the balance of other HQs in the codex).

    Anyway, I found Neurothropes are pretty useful beyond the psychic phase, used in group to contain some nasty melee units (reaching turn 3+, as they don’t get that close in the first rounds) while more ofensive broods wreck havoc on juiciest targets.

    • Danny Ruiz October 2, 2018 6:38 am #

      Oh yah, I always have at least 1 Neuro if not the full 3 in my lists. I love Neuro’s for tanking melee characters like Custodes or Smash Caps, and in more than a few games, I’ve had a Neuro protect my Hive Guard by just getting in the way essentially and absorbing hits.

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