Today we’re going to talk about the spectrum of Eldar lists. The Eldar meta has changed quite a bit since psychic awakening (it’s not just planes now.)
We are going to go over what I call the two poles of Eldar lists. On one side you’ve got bikes, and on the other side, you’ve got mechdar. There is some crossover appeal in the middle of these two extremes, but let’s talk about a couple of from LVO to represent each side of the spectrum.
On the bike side, you’ve got lists like Matt Schuchman and Sean Nayden. Schucman ran 27 Shining Spear and 9 dark reapers for fore support. Nayden ran 14 Shining Spear and 14 Skyweavers. They both had some fun flavorful characters in their lists, but the core of the builds is bikes.
The Eldar bikes are incredibly fast, hit incredibly hard, and can be durable to a point. Shining Spears can be buffed to ungodly levels of toughness, at best being -2 to hit with a 2+ invulnerable save to shooting with two ways to reroll a fail (exarch only) and a 5+ feel no pain. All of this requires significant investment; say 272 points for 9 Shining Spears, 110 points for a Farseer, and 132 points for a Spiritseer and Warlock Skyrunner. That is no small chunk of change, but those Spears can kill just about anything in the game, and survive a Marine shooting phase.
As for Skyweavers, their defensive buffs are easier to use, but not as effective. They only need CP to become -2 to hit and a 3++, so having both of those units on the board poses a serious threat overload to your opponent.
On the other side of the coin, we have mechdar. Take Colin Sherman’s LVO list for example. He ran three Crimson Hunter Exarchs, three Nightspinners, and a big unit of Dark Reapers. This list makes use of the highly efficient combination of Master Crafters (hit and wound reroll) and Masterful Shots (ignore cover.)
So, on one side of the spectrum, we have overwhelming speed and dynamic punch, and on the other, we have efficiency and durability. So what is in the middle?
You can take an LVO list like Trent Northington’s. He merges the two concepts, taking two Crimson Hunter Exarchs, three Nightspinners, and two units of Shining Spears.
And this brings me to the odd duck of the Eldar: The Seer Council. Now, it is still bikes, so it leans to that side of the spectrum, but it is a 500 point unit with nine models in it. It has a bag of tricks to be sure, but is vulnerable to bad dice like almost nothing else in the game. That being said, one brave man, Jack Harpster, went 5-1 at LVO with a Seer Council and Harlequin Infantry.
So the Eldar meta rests between these two extremes; players take a bunch of bikes, a bunch of vehicles, or a little of both. Or you go off the deep end and run a Seer Council and Harlequin troupes (which I have practiced with and found to be utterly nasty.) Personally I gravitate towards the bikes. I’ve never been a fan of running vehicles in general, and the bikes are too damn cool not to take en masse.
In general, Eldar still have a tough time against the same faction as everyone else: Space Marines. Until then, try out some of these concepts or cook up your own and blow our socks off!
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