Chapter Approved: Drukhari Edition

What are the masters of fear afraid of? FAQs and points changes, mostly. But sometimes it ain’t so bad. Check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews.

Chapter Approved this year saw some factions with a lot of changes, but others with not so many. Drukhari were one of the factions that got only a handful of tweaks, which is unfortunate in the sense that some of their units could’ve used a bit of help, but they also didn’t see any big losses, which was potentially in the cards, so as a whole it can be considered a fairly acceptable result. There were, however, a few pieces of good news, so let’s go ahead and start out with those.

The Good

The Archon, long considered to be a bit overcosted by most players, came down 15pts- nearly a quarter of its price. Considering this is the mandatory HQ for one of the subfactions and your source of rerolls, that is some very good news. Of course, Legends deprived them of the Blaster option, which is unfortunate, but at 57pts for a 2++ and a reroll aura you’re not doing too bad overall.

Just as importantly, Drazhar came down 20pts, clocking in at an even hundred. I was a little middling on him at his previous price, but at 100pts he is a monster in combat that can wound virtually everything on a 4+ or better (including Knights) and can easily throw down enough attacks and enough damage to put the fear into bigger targets, so he makes a perfect 4th or 6th HQ when you’re running multiple battalions. He’s not quite an auto-include, but he’s one of your strongest melee options.

Incubi are also down two, and although I doubt it will be enough to sell them it’s a nice little bump that moves them towards usability. Even running in concert with Drazhar I just don’t feel they are good enough, although with the preponderance of Marines we may see that shift, but I don’t think it’s terribly likely overall. Lacking any benefit from subfaction traits is a big hit to them, as it denies them some otherwise useful options.

Similarly, Mandrakes are down a point as well; their built-in -1 to be hit and invuln as well as a shooting attack that can do mortal wounds is pretty nice; however, they are very vulnerable to anti-infantry shooting and that leaves them in a rough place against the current meta, but we have seen some success with them so it’s possible that will continue.

Reavers came down three points, but I think they are simply far too fragile to expect to accomplish anything, either in shooting or in melee, which doesn’t do them many favors. They do have the advantage of being insanely fast, but when a single unit of Intercessors can scoop you off the table without thinking twice that simply isn’t enough.

The other vaguely-notable change is that Dark Lances came down to 15pts, making them on par with Disintegrators in terms of cost, and thus a much more viable option- especially as we’re seeing a lot more heavy vehicles. I still think the Disintegrators will be the go-to choice in most cases due to other factors (e.g. the availability of buffs), but you can at least consider using them more often now. It also benefits Kabalite Warriors if you decide to equip them in that fashion, as hiding a heavy weapon behind eighteen expendable bodies isn’t a shabby plan.

The Bad

So, fortunately this list is actually quite small- which is something of a relief, given many of the rumors that were flying around. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most Drukhari lists won’t be significantly affected- the extra points spent here will mostly be balanced out by those gained from the above units, in essence leaving you even (or at worst token number of points down, which can easily be absorbed.)

The Ravager is the first of our two losers, with the base price of the chassis going up 15pts. Given that it was a mainstay of virtually all Drukhari lists this isn’t at all surprising, and the change is small enough I doubt it will be the difference between using it or not in most cases. The Dark Lance version actually stayed the same price overall thanks to its weapon change, but its popularity remains to be seen.

The Razorwing also saw a price jump, although slightly smaller at 10pts. This still leaves it as a very excellent gun platform, albeit a vulnerable one, considering the effects of some of the new subfaction traits it can benefit from. Given that the six-flyer list is well and truly dead, we’ll probably see the Razorwing continue to show up by ones and twos in various mechanized armies.

The Unchanged

So, let’s take a moment to consider the third category: things that didn’t get anything in Chapter Approved. Now, this might seem a bit of an odd subject to discuss, but it’s especially relevant to Drukhari because there were a ton of candidates in their book that could’ve been in the running to get a price hike, but managed to escape unscathed.

The far and away most obvious choice here is the Venom. It is fielded in significant numbers by most every iteration of Drukhari list, almost regardless of other factors, and it isn’t at all uncommon to see “spam” lists that field 8+ of them. Moreover, they have been extremely successful at a variety of tournaments and it’s long been assumed that they would be on the radar, but with two years running of Chapter Approved with no changes (though their chances of getting anything in the first one were quite low), I think we can safely say that GW is happy with where the Venom is at.

Talosii and Grotesques also got away unscathed, despite a lot of assumptions. Along with the Venom they were some of the most common features in Drukhari or Aeldari lists, so it wasn’t unreasonable to expect them to get some kind of nerf, but with neither of them featuring consistently in lists that dominated the top 4s, it isn’t too surprising overall.

Lastly, we should talk about the Drukhari troops. Now, this is a little bit more of a mixed bag; while Warriors were certainly a very efficiently-costed option, Wracks are somewhat less so and Wyches still strike me as being slightly on the expensive side, as you don’t see much of them outside of Sean Nayden’s lists. So, all three of them staying where they are obviously doesn’t hurt the faction any, it also doesn’t help some of the underutilized stuff- which is a problem for units like Scourges and the like as well.

All in all, the Drukhari codex comes out of things essentially unscathed. Of course, a lot of other factions got significant buffs in at least a few areas- even including other types of Aeldari, but the Drukhari codex is widely considered to be one of the more overall-balanced books and sat fairly near the top of the pack overall, as it didn’t strictly rely on any single unit or gimmick to work and could easily run a number of different tricks.

With GW’s overall goal being to bring most books to this standard- that is, to give them multiple builds, multiple effective subfaction choices, and a good smattering of stratagems to help them play in the fashion they want, it’s not much of a surprise that they ended up being the measuring stick that other codices were matched up with. I think their stratagem pool could still use some work, but aside from that, Drukhari are left in a pretty good place- and with both of their potential allies being shored up in a variety of ways, they actually made some significant gains on the side.

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About abusepuppy

AbusePuppy is the one who has been ruining 40K for everyone this whole time. He is also searching for the six-fingered man and is one of the three people who know the secret recipe for coke (not the soda, the illegal drug.)

16 Responses to “Chapter Approved: Drukhari Edition”

  1. C-Stock December 18, 2019 7:14 am #

    I really wish GW did something with Beast units and the beastmaster. And the Court of the Archon. They’re so, so bad.

    My only explanation as to why they didn’t is that they don’t remember they even exist?

    • abusepuppy December 18, 2019 8:49 am #

      Yeah, and it’s extra-weird because they went to all the trouble of giving them new models but still left them with absolutely terrible rules.

  2. Matthew Q Wells-Putz December 18, 2019 7:37 am #

    R. I. P. 11 point liquifiers and 5 point stinger pistols.

    Other than that, DE made out pretty well

    • abusepuppy December 18, 2019 8:50 am #

      The Liquifier: “It’s exactly as bad as you would expect a gun that shoots your blood at people to be!”™

  3. sultansean December 18, 2019 8:24 am #

    The points increase to Ravagers was unnecessary in my opinion. It was a mainstay of most Drukhari list because it is literally the only long range heavy support option, and one of the few sources of shooting over 24″.

    I understand that for a while the Ravager spearhead was seen in Aeldari soup/Ynnari lists, but that was a long time ago.

    • abusepuppy December 18, 2019 8:52 am #

      I definitely wouldn’t have called it _necessary_, but compared to the other shooting options the Ravager was a tad overdominant. Back when it could take advantage of Doom/Jinx I would’ve said the unit was a bit too strong, but now? Yeah, didn’t really need the change, because the actual problem is that Drukhari struggles to find effective AT shooting platforms. Splitting their units between three different “factions” within the same book definitely hurts them in some ways.

    • Zweischneid December 19, 2019 3:12 am #

      Well, Dark Lance Ravagers stayed the same and the Archon dropped. A Dark Lance Ravager plug-and-play-spearhead actually got cheaper 😉

      And in a full Drukhari army, drops on the Archon and Drazhar, etc.. alone pay for the Diss-Integrator Ravagers.

      It’s still weird in the light of armies such as Tau and Chaos, that did far better in the pre-Marines summer, actually going down.

      But it’s also not GSC-levels of bad where you list suddenly goes up 200+ points

  4. The Traitor December 18, 2019 11:21 pm #

    Also for some reason the shardnet & impaler went up 3 points… Just in case someone was thinking about taking a wych detachment in their army, lol.

    • abusepuppy December 19, 2019 3:41 am #

      The Shardnet is _super_ good, but Wyches themselves are not, so yeah, it’s a weird choice. I don’t think 6-9pts will deter anyone from taking them, but it’s unfortunate in the overall context of things.

      • R3v0lv3r December 19, 2019 6:21 am #

        On ETC Sean Nayde and Russian captain used alot of wyches.
        Bot of them did not drop single game, not everything is done sorely for ITC.

        • Reecius December 19, 2019 6:57 am #

          I don’t think he was making that argument? I think Wyches are extremely useful in any format. Anything that can hold you in melee is amazingly useful.

        • abusepuppy December 19, 2019 7:21 am #

          When Wyches work out, they are extremely powerful. Sean Nayden has made extensive use of them for the style of armies he prefers to run; I can’t speak to the Russian gentleman, but I would presume he has as well.

          But broadly speaking, Wyches have not performed particularly well- in the ITC or in other formats.That isn’t to say they are bad, but they are probably the least-popular of the three Drukhari troops and the ones with the most obvious weaknesses.

        • Venkarel December 19, 2019 8:32 am #

          I love Wyches but sadly they are not the troops you want in a space marine heavy meta. Foot Wyches get shot to pieces before they get there. Deep striking Wyches have never been that strong, as they only have a 9″ rerollable. Venom Wyches seem ok but a 5 man Wych squad is highly unlikely to kill a 5 man Interssesor squad and can easily die from the counter-punch.

          • Venkarel December 19, 2019 8:36 am

            One thing I want to add is there might be a place for Cult of Red Grief as the ability to advance and charge can be used to play tag in this meta. Although I would probably use venoms and reavers for the roll not wyches.

          • abusepuppy December 19, 2019 10:34 am

            Yeah, definitely. T3/4++ just isn’t enough to fight Marines when they’re getting 3-5 attacks per dude and you’ve gotta eat overwatch on the way in.

            In a meta heavy in more-fragile shooting units (e.g. Guard, Tau, Eldar) that don’t wanna be in combat Wyches have a lot of potential, but they have some significant uphill to work against right now.

  5. R3v0lv3r December 20, 2019 12:55 am #

    Well it`s clear the CA is created mostly after the ETC, so the changes should not surprise as. It`s sad that after SM update so many units got invalidated, but that happened before with the Castellan, so its not nothing new.

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