Tyranids after the April FAQ

Hey everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here, and today, let’s take a look at what that big April FAQ brought to us loyal automatons of the Hive Mind.   Of course, if you want to check out some in depth analysis on the other, not as cool factions, you should totally check out Frontline’s Tactics Corner.

So, what did that Big April FAQ get us? Well, nothing that specific for us, but a game like 40K is best thought of a delicate ecosystem, so a nerf to one codex can be another codex’s win, and that’s where we are! We really didn’t get any special attention, but by other units/codexes getting a bit of the nerf bat, our stock goes up by default.

Flyers –

Yes, flyers with a minimum move now no longer block movement, which is a win for the Kraken Genestealer rocket.  In general, Tyranids do not have many (just a couple really with varying degrees of success) really solid tools for taking out flyers, but we do have excellent infantry, and we can easily be fast enough to shoot the gaps and move under flyers and still end more than 1” away.  If you have been playing Kraken Rocket, this is a big boost as now it is easier to get to the juicy biomass on the ground.  If flyers are just a little less prevalent, it certainly helps any of our builds.  That said, the most common competitive build of ours does get better as Kraken Genestealers are more than fast enough to blitz through the planes and start killing whatever they have on the ground.   Flyers are a bit of a rough spot for the codex, so anything that makes them just a little less common in the competitive side of things is a win.


Castellan –

One of the biggest predators of the Tyranid codex has been the Castellan. Tyranids simply do not have the heat at long range to reliably deal with the Castellan, and even in melee, we have to get there first, and any of our big bugs is pretty much dead if a Castellan decides it.  Even if you go full horde, a Castellan is still going to kill things a turn, and without any real threats to it, it can even get bold and move forward to put on its dancing shoes.  With the 100 point increase, we get two things.  One, a lot of standard Net-Deck Imperial lists will move away from the Castellan as it is no longer the most efficient option, so we should see it a bit less.  Two, if you do see it, at least there is just a little bit less in your opponent’s army to handle on top of the Castellan.  Does this mean we are finally free? No.  Expect to see the Castellan, and expect to see Crusaders and plenty of other Knights.  You should be building lists with them in mind, but now, hopefully, you may be able to go more than a few games without running into a Castellan.  Your lists should always have some kind of answer to Knights, so don’t get too comfortable here and think the Knight meta is dead. Nope, Knights will always be somewhere, but at a Crusader or Gallant is still an easier threat to handle than a Castellan.


Lootas –

Yes, the change to Mob Up has really helped us too.  Lootas were just another nail in the giant coffin that most of our big beasties got thrown into as a full Loota star is pretty much guaranteed to kill 2 of our biggest beasties a turn.  The full 25 Loota star does 14.35 wounds on average to a T8 target with a 4+ save, so now that it is down to 15 with More Dakka and all that, our biggest beasties can actually survive the storm.  This is one less giant threat to our monsters, which makes them just a bit more viable for competitive play.  That said, this is also a mixed blessing as Orks players are about as die-hard as Tyranid players, so you won’t see too many Ork players jump ship.  Now, they may end up bringing more boyz, and an Ork horde is a good answer to our own hordes as the standard Ork Boy fights a lot better than anything we bring outside of Genestealers, and Ork Boyz tend to outnumber our Genestealers 2 to 1 at least. At least a horde on horde game is more enjoyable than watching one super unit delete things at range while protected by Grots.


Oh, how it hurts to get hit by Doom and Jinx.  While Ynnari proper wasn’t covered in the FAQ but rather the White Dwarf Index, even if Ynnari stayed the same, the loss of cross-Aeldari Doom is a big boost for us.  The standard Druhkari poison spam with an Eldar Farseer for Doom pretty much allowed your opponent to delete any unit a turn.  While Doom/Jinx plus Scatterbikes is still bad for our infantry and even our beasties, this new change does cut down on some of the other options that can kill big things and hordes at once.  Does that make the Aeldari matchup easier? In some ways, sure.  If someone is dedicated to the Craftworld route, then you’ll still see Doom and Jinx basically ensuring anything dies, but at least then there are less threat vectors associated with that (just Reapers, Shining Spears, Scat-Bikes, etc etc…too many etcs).  So this does help us, but don’t think it means that Eldar are gone forever. Be prepared to deal with it, but at least you won’t see Ynnari Dark Reapers getting to obliterate two units a turn.  Just remember: Craftworld Dark Reapers will still obliterate one thing a turn.


Deathwatch Special Ammo

This is another nice boost for us in terms of a common predator. Deathwatch are a great counter to any horde Nid list, so them losing out on Special Ammo and Bolter Discipline definitely gives us a little more time to close the gap. It was brutal to take the special ammo and double the shots from across the board. While they can still rapid fire us if close, there is at least one turn (depending on positioning/who goes first) where you aren’t eating double the shots and the special ammo.  While Deathwatch isn’t as uber-common as say Castellans or Aeldari, they are still there, and they are a tough matchup for us, so them losing just a little bit helps us.

Changes to Fly

This is a give and take for us.  The changes to fly to allow models with fly to jump units (but not terrain or buildings) definitely makes Flyrants better as they can pop over those pesky blocking units to get to the real meat, which is something Flyrants need as 4 attacks plus a tail is not usually enough to chew through a screen, but it can certainly harm weaker characters or more elite, smaller units.  If you still have Shrikes (yay Index), it also ups their stock as they can jump chaff to get into the gooey center.  If you love the long, long, long bomb of the Harpy/Hive Crone/Harridan missile with Swarmlord, then it gets better, able to jump units and hit the meatiest part of your opponent’s army, sniping out crucial characters or even locking up several vehicles to turn off a key turn of shooting.  Of course, this also means that other assault units that relied on Fly (or acted like it) got a boost, which means if you are using chaff lines to protect ranged bugs, you need to be much more cautious in your model placement to make sure there are no gaps to land, which can be hard against things like Smash Captains.  This goes both ways, so there is some good and bad in here for us.


The Tyranid FAQ:

There wasn’t anything hugely earthshaking here.  The Horror requiring Line of Sight isn’t that big of a deal as it is a nice power to have if you have the psykers handy to have it in their back pocket, but otherwise, it is not something that most players will miss on a consistent basis. With how big some of the changes were, no change really is a good thing for the swarm, so overall, I think we can chalk this one up as a win.

One change that impacts us that is in the main FAQ is how to do multiple advances in a turn.  If you get to move twice in a single phase and advance as part of it, you keep the same roll for that unit. If you move again in a later phase (like Swarmlord or Overrun), you have to roll a new advance roll for that unit.  Most people played it that way, but it is nice to see some clarification on it.

Overall, I think we cells in the larger beast of the Hive Fleets can be happy with the FAQ.  Some of our biggest threats got toned down a bit, and we were left more or less alone.  Now we just need to wait for our own campaign book with lots of cool detachments (and maybe a few new big beasties, hopefully).  Thanks as always for reading, and next week, I think I’ll do my top 10 favorite Tyranid model kits.

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.

14 Responses to “Tyranids after the April FAQ”

  1. Avatar
    Spera May 12, 2019 5:15 am #

    I don’t understand why they wouldn’t just increase armor for big bugs to 2+ and their T by 1 acros the board. Yeah, inv would be nice, but that would work to, and fits better with “big pile of claw and muscles that docent give a shit” lore. Getting t8 and t9 could really spike up their survivability while still being distinctive. No thing beside titan should have t9 and inv save, but without trusty 5++ i think bugs could get it on biggest contenders.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 12, 2019 7:32 am #

      Yeah, the lack of an invul save this edition really hurts. They need a 2+ or just more wounds, IMO.

      • Avatar
        Spera May 12, 2019 9:48 am #

        Yeah, more wounds also would be good, since >10 wounds mater only for charcters, upping their sv to 2+, T by 1 and 2- 6 wounds depending on model could go a long way. Especialy that they can give themselves FNP in few ways, and that always benefit more wounds. And that would be very distinctive for them. Tanking not by high armor but by sponging dmg. Antiarmour weapons would still hurt them a lot, but middle strength shots taken now to counter high inv targets would really bounce of.

        Seams like wish listing, but since they changed Havocs and obliterators, there is possibility that they may do that.

      • Avatar
        Brakhal May 12, 2019 11:18 am #

        I agree they need more W, but also more movement for the close combat ones. Tyranids have alwas been “fast and deadly” on the lore, but not that fast on the board (with Genestealers and Hormagaunts being the exception).

        Shooty big bugs only need a litle push, but the cc ones… They really need the speed to get somewhere.

        • Reecius
          Reecius May 12, 2019 12:34 pm #

          Yeah, I agree. Most Nids in general (baring things like Kraken Stealers) are too slow. I also really dislike the low WS many of them have, their meant to be deadly melee combatants.

    • Avatar
      winterman May 13, 2019 8:37 am #

      My issue with the big assault bugs is more what they can do when they actually get there. Not enough attacks to do much to basic doods, not enough S to do much against T7 vehicles.

      Their stats are tailored to kill MEq units or low T multi wound stuff and there in lies their biggest problem. If GW can ever figure out how to make marines great again (pun intended) then might be reasons to try and make them work.

      • Avatar
        Brakhal May 13, 2019 1:07 pm #

        To summarize, everything is against big melee bugs.

        Relatively expensive, slow, irrelevant ranged weapons, low ws, mediocre strength, low attack count, mediocre wound count, middling armour save, no invul/fnp, no support cappabilities, and not really good stratagems.

  2. Reecius
    Reecius May 12, 2019 7:32 am #

    “Even if you go full horde, a Castellan is still going to kill things a turn, and without any real threats to it, it can even get bold and move forward to put on its dancing shoes.”

    Lol, that line had my dying!

    • Avatar
      vybert May 12, 2019 10:19 pm #

      Only because you envisioned a Tervigon with a Michael “Billie Jean” outfit and hat on doing the ol’ soft shoe on the light up checkerboard. If you didn’t before, you do now 🙂

  3. Avatar
    Calbanite May 13, 2019 5:22 am #

    What do you think about the musings on TFexes being able to Overwatch twice if they didn’t move in their previous movement phase?

    The Base Rule Book got FAQ’d to say something along the lines of “overwatch attacks are treated as if they were your shooting phase” meaning all rules apply as such.

    If TFexes indeed get to double tap in Overwatch, would Acid Spray TFexes get bumped up a spot on the viability chart?

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 14, 2019 7:51 am #

      I don’t think that is the way the rules is meant to be read or will stand so, I wouldn’t get used to it. I could be wrong of course but I doubt that that was intent.

  4. Avatar
    Calbanite May 13, 2019 6:24 am #

    How do you feel about Tyrannofexes and their “new” ability to overwatch twice based on the current interpretation of the BRB FAQ about shooting phase rules in overwatch?

    If this is indeed true, would that bump Acid TFexes up a notch? Not caring about BS degradation and dropping to S5 at the lowest bracket doesn’t really affect their wound output based on T8/T4 targets.

  5. Avatar
    GreySeerRob June 23, 2019 1:06 pm #

    About keeping the same advance role when advancing twice in the same phase:
    Swarmlord’s extra move happens in the shooting phase so I don’t think you’d keep that role. I could be missing something however so I’d love to hear it if so. Maybe you meant turn, I didn’t see that in the FAQ.

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