Phoenix Rising: Charge!

Hey guys Cavalier here, co-host of Splintermind the Dark Eldar podcast and commission painter for Frontline Gaming, this time here to discuss bonuses to charge rolls and my favorite units Asuryani units to use in conjunction with them!


While Drukhari are IMO the clear winners on additional rules, there a couple of very helpful additions to the Asuryani aresenal, my favorites being the various bonuses to charge rolls.

In playtesting the Headstrong Craftworld trait has been my go-to when fielding a detachment with custom Craftworld traits. I typically use this detachment as counter-attacking melee wing in support of an Alaitoc detachment. But lets take a look at the 2 units I think make the most of this trait, especially with an eye on dealing with Marines.

Shining Spears

Shining Spears may have fallen out of favor with the changes to Ynnari, but I still really like them. Especially with the rise of the Primaris. Most people still have Iron Hands first foremost in their minds- and for very, very good reason. Yet IMO equally deadly are the Chapters/Legions to come: in particular Imperial Fists.

Shining Spears still excel in slaying Primaris Marines and with the new supplement you can minimize damage and get them into combat very quickly with using the Headstrong Trait and the new Shining Spears Exarch Power: Swooping Dive, which gives you +1 to charge. So with that and the Headstrong Craftworld trait which grants you an additional +1 to charge that gives you a +2 to charge alone, when you stack the Ghostwalk (WC6) psychic power (which I recommend dotting throughout your army) on top of that you are +4 to charge!

So in regards to minimizing damage you can either start them on the board and out of LOS if your opponent doesn’t have the range to touch them and you can use this and Quicken to get them into combat Turn 1- or you can drop them out of the Webway requiring only a 5 inch charge to make it into combat.

If you are going after Primaris Marines this means you might still have to deal with an Auspex Scan which is a problem but with all the bonuses to charge you can drop them out of LOS, or just use Lightening Fast if you feel like you are going to take a lot of firepower (knocking them down to -2 to hit when Auspex Scanning).

I’ve played using them starting on the board and coming out of the Webway both to great results. I’ve found this really takes a lot of pressure of units like my Alaitoc Dark Reapers to answer all my Primaris problems both of the vehicle and infantry variety and also beats them back maintaining board presence. The damage denial possibilities and the offensive precision of using Webway Strike to get them right where you want them has been very handy. You may have to set it up a bit by taking out screening units, but even still with a +4 to charge and a re-roll on standby if you are at extreme distance should ensure you get right where you want to go. I really like what this does for Shining Spears and they are now featuring heavily in my lists again after a long hiatus.



The other unit I really like in this role is Wraithblades. What I love about these dudes is that unless you are dealing with Hellblasters they really dont care about Auspex Scan. And if you are playing against anything but Eldar they can drop in with immunity. Now they dont have the additional +1 to charge from the Exarch power that Shining Spears have, but +3 to charge with a command re-roll is extremely good. You can use this to tie up vehicles, charge large bricks of infantry (again Primaris) or really anything. Their durability especially if you rush a few nearby seers to give them Protect and Fortune in addition ensures that even after their charge, they’ll be there to stay.

These bonuses circumvent the major issue I’ve had with running them, getting them into position at full strength. I’ve never like running only 5 in a Serpent and this enables you to really take them in large units to blend units in the middle of the board, take pressure off your shooting units.


This approach is not an auto-win approach, but another tool in the tool box for Asuryani players. Unless you are running flyer spam, Asuryani have been in a challenging position for quite awhile. Not a bad place per se but you really have to coordinate your psychic powers, strats, buffs and unit combinations just to approximate what other armies do naturally. In my experience Ghostwalk and the Headstrong trait are a big part of that, as they give you counter-attacking melee options with the reach they need and the damage denial required (when using Webway Strike) to push armies back and keep your guns firing.

Let me know your own impressions of these powers in the comments section below.If you are interested in Aeldari discussion check out our podcast: Splintermind for exclusive Drukharii and all things Aeldari news and discussion. If you are interested in following my painting exploits check me out on Instagram! Thanks for reading and stay tuned!


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





About Cavalier

Commission Painter for Frontline Gaming + Co-Host of the Splintermind: The Dark Eldar Podcast

15 Responses to “Phoenix Rising: Charge!”

  1. Avatar
    Shad October 12, 2019 9:32 am #

    Love some choices there. Like -1 to ld or mortal wounds in close combat for Dark Reapers, or giving them more shots or re-rolling Tempest.

    Certainly I am going to make my Exarch punch some skulls.

    • Avatar
      Cavalier October 12, 2019 11:53 am #

      lol… yeah some of the “2nd edition in-jokes” felt a bit superfluous to put in kindly lol

      • Avatar
        Shad October 12, 2019 1:20 pm #

        I mean if you’re giving me some firefisting, then my FD Exarch should have actual firefist or fire axe.

        Also I certainly thought about one playtester/article writer when reading all the extra bonuses in close combat for near everybody!

  2. Avatar
    Blight1 October 12, 2019 9:45 am #

    Interested in why you think the Dark Eldar came out on top with this update. Are there custom obsessions that are clearly better than the codex ones?
    Personally thought the exarch powers were the biggest change in the book.

    • Avatar
      Cavalier October 12, 2019 12:03 pm #

      Some of the stuff with Wych Cults is pretty ridiculous. Acrobatic Display for a 3++ in combat is phenomenal. Anyone whose bothered putting in reps with Wyches and Shardnets is gonna lose it over that. Test of Skill for +1 to wound on models with 10+ wounds is very, very good because it works in shooting as well (at least at present). So that means all your heavy weapons on flyers and raiders are extremely good against vehicles. Hell even splinter weapons are wounding vehicles on a 5+. Obviously they’ll shred monsters too on a 3+

      • Avatar
        Shad October 12, 2019 1:22 pm #

        Test of Skill seems like FAQ material to me. I am not sure the intention to take Wytches riding on top of Razorwings ala bring me close I want to hit them with my shardnet.

        • Avatar
          NinetyNineNo October 13, 2019 7:53 am #

          I’m wondering more about Covens. Venom spam wounding on 2s with D2 seems like it could actually have legs competitively.

  3. Avatar
    AlamoMelt October 12, 2019 7:52 pm #

    Is there anything in the new rules that makes the Falcon and Vyper tax for the new models in the box set appealing?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 13, 2019 3:12 pm #

      Unfortunately not, haha.

      • Avatar
        AlamoMelt October 13, 2019 3:57 pm #

        That’s hilarious. Maybe a Chaplin on a bike will be included in the Space Marine’s Psychic Awakening box.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 13, 2019 4:26 pm #

          Lol, or for a change of pace: a Primaris Lt.? haha

    • Avatar
      Shad October 14, 2019 8:32 am #

      Yes. For example, Salamanders-like trait is quite useful for a Vyper with heavier gun. Or you can run Vypers with -1 ap on Shuriken within 12″. You can run Falcon with Shuriken as well, re-rolling shot and wound for Pulse laser, getting -1 AP for Shuriken, with some Dire Avengers inside, with Exarch with -3 AP on 4 shots (re-rolling hit and wound of one of them) and -1 AP within 12″.

      That’s some basic stuff, Vypers already could use Vigilus to get -1 AP. And they’re fairly cheap, with minimum price clocking at 52 points (55 with Starcannon).

  4. Avatar
    grosir songkok president October 13, 2019 2:17 am #

    I like writing your article, this good blog really helped me as a beginner blogger

  5. Avatar
    R3v0lv3r October 15, 2019 6:29 am #

    Had unit of 4 shinning spears attack the enemy captain, he used stratagem for 2 CP and i could not kill him.I lost spears in my own turn because of the stupid after death shooting aura. Yea maybe if i had fortune and some spells, but i was reluctant to put them in danger becase of the Exterminators(yea nice to have 50-60 pts model for 25 pts). New marines are just dumb, i`ll try mech list with the new traits, since allaitoc nerf will hits someday. Will probably add some avengers, but aspect scan is to good and wraithblades are expensive and too squashy without the powers. Banshees still overpriced and not good enough even with the meh update. Cant win single ETC game vs that BS, since the marines control the board to good and punish you for every mistake. Character on the open or to close, it`s gone, tank with LOS it`s gone, wrong charge well you eat +1 extra attack(shocking assault should be only when you charge btw). What will CWE players do if/when flyers are nerfed i don`t really know, since melee don`t seem like real option.
    Wish you luck with your amazingly painted spears, wish i could paint as good as you.

  6. Avatar
    Voiders November 15, 2019 9:08 am #

    I like the new custom craftworld traits – I have been building out a Custom Melee Craftworld mix with Harlequins – silent shroud. In the Craftworld I have 7 wraith blades with axes, 5 shining spears, 5 Scorpions – and 3x 5 rangers (to get the battalion CP) with farseer skyrunner(doom and executioner), warlock farseer (quicken/restrain and Ghostwalk) and a spirit seer(Protect/Jinx – ghostwalk if I have the wraithblades in webway strike). Picked Headstrong and children of the prophecy as custom Craftworld traits. Still waiting to play the first marine army with this list — …

Leave a Reply