In Defense of Ynnari: Part 1, the rules

It has been about a year since Ynnari got a total redux of their rules, taking them from a feared powerhouse to an internet laughing stock overnight. Whilst a much more niche army, there is still a lot of viability in them. Read on to take a look at how they can play. For more awesome tactical content, check out the Tactics Corner!

When Ynnari first, first came out in 7th edition, I loved the concept. The idea I could have my Dark Eldar (Drukari for you new kids) Raiders zipping around in the same detachment as my Craftworld Wraithlords was quite appealing. 8th edition did away with multi-codex units in the same detachment, and every time they revisit the rules I keep hoping this will come back.

Speaking of the rules, lets take a look through what we are working with.

Army Specific Rules

Keywords and restrictions

First off, any Eldar detachment may be made into a Ynnari detachment by including one of the Triumvirate. When they do so, they change their keywords from Craftworld, Kabal, Cult, or Masque to Reborn Asuuryani, Reborn Drukari, or Reborn Harlequin respectively.

This effectively stops any stratagems or powers etc from their base codex from impacting them. It does have the interesting consequence of letting an Archon or Succubus to have their auras impact units it normally would not.

This stopped a lot of the mechanics that helped make Ynnari so powerful.

Second restriction is that no named characters may be taken (other than the three Ynnari ones – getting to that in a moment). Furthermore, the Solitaire and the Avatar of Khaine may not be taken, nor can any mandrakes or Coven units. This kinda hurts. I get that they are playing this more to lore reasons, but even in the lore there are some named characters who follow Ynnead. This rather limits the list building, and not from any combinations that would have been overly game breaking.

The third and final limitation revolves around characters at well. Namely that in order to make a detachment a Ynnari detachment, it must include at least one the named Ynnari characters. While they have come down in price a bit, this does mean you must really plan to utilize and build around these characters, and it makes taking three detachments of Ynnari a quite hefty HQ tax.

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at what they gain.

Strength from Death

This ability is very different from the original concept, so much so that if you know how Ynnari used to work, forget it now.

It triggers when a unit dies. Does not matter whose unit or when it dies, but from that moment onward Strength from Death (SFD) is active until the end of that player turn. Whilst active, units that benefit from SFD get to fight first in the fight phase. If they already would have fought first, due to charging or an ability etc, then they get to add +1 to their hit roll in close combat.

There is a bit to unpack here, but first and foremost, the units that may benefit from SFD are all units in your list except for Beasts, Scourge, and Incubi. I am not sure what the Dark Eldar players did to get picked on so, but only Incubi really feel the lose there, and they can get in on the fun with a strat – more on that latter.

So, lets go over the three parts of SFD.

  1. The Trigger: Getting a unit to die is very easy, and can often catch your opponent off guard. A prime example of this is when you have a few ongoing fights, and your opponent charges and kills a unit of yours. Now, they were planning to get to fight first in the upcoming ongoing fight, but you get to interrupt with all your units for ‘free’. The fact there is no range consideration is also very nice. 
  2. The Primary Benefit: You get to fight first in the fight phase. This does not seem to big of a deal at first glance, until you see it in action a few times. Yes, you must build your army to take advantage of this. But even so, having units all getting to swing before your opponent reduces their return damage, and, with some careful play, can allow you to maneuver and tag things you may not otherwise have been able to. It is a very subtle and niche ability, but it can be used to great effect, with practice.
  3. The Icing on the Cake: If you were already fighting first for whatever reason, then you may add one to the hit roll. This can give some units a much needed boost in combat power, especially wraith constructs. Being able to hit on 2’s, re-rolling 1’s makes your attacks very reliable. 

Another thing to note, is that when becoming Ynnari, armies no longer lose their innate traits. Harlequins keep Rising Crescendo, Craftworld keep Battle Focus and Dark Eldar keep Power from Pain. This helps make taking Ynnari a lot less painful then it was before. Think of Ynnari as a specific Obsession/Masque/Craftworld, with its own set of unique powers, strats, etc. Speaking of, all psychers have to pull from the Ynnari psychic tree instead of their own (with the exception of the Wraithseer – which is a pity as he is about the only model that would really want to).

Ranking System

  • Competitive: This is a codex entry (unit, stratagem, item, etc.) that has a place in essentially any competitive list built with this faction regardless of unit choices or is the source of a significant force multiplication effect for other units.
  • Efficient: This is a codex entry that can stand on its own merit in a matched play list but works best when combo’d up with other units or in specific situations to become very powerful but may not always be seen.
  • Situational: This is a codex entry that may not pass as competitive on its own merits but can be made effective in a creative list, as a meta-buster, or in a specific combo or scenario where it ratchets up in power to potentially very high strength but otherwise will not be seen very often.

The Triumvirate

One of the following three must lead each detachment you wish to be Ynnari. It is also important to note that they may join an Eldar Detachment and not make it Ynnari, nor stop it from gaining its usual detachment bonuses. This makes them a great supplemental choice for a few armies.

Yvraine

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8″2+2+335496+/4++

Wargear

Kar-Vir, The Sword of Sorrows: This sword adds one to Yvraine’s strength, is -3 ap and d3 damage.

Special Rules

Herald of Ynnead: When a friendly Aedldari model within 6″ is slain, on a 4+ Yvraine regains a wound lost previously. If that slain model was a psycher, you may immediately gain a new power from the Revenant discipline tree.

Gryinx Familiar: Yvraine adds 1 to any psychic test or deny the witch test taken.

Revered Figurehead: This model may embark on any Aedldari transport, regardless of that transports restrictions.

Psycher: Yvraine knows smite and two powers from the Revenant Discipline. She may cast two per turn and deny one.

Warlord Trait – Warden of Souls: Whilst this model is benefiting from SFD, add one to it’s strength and attacks characteristic.

Yvraine is an interesting character. No wargear save her soul and her mind, she neverless is rather good. Being able to get up to 5 str 5 attacks is not too terrible, although I would probably not take her as the warlord, simply because that trait can be better used elsewhere. Her stats are fairly on par with the Eldar stat line, although her save of a 6+ can hurt if anyone has a way to shut down your invul. Her biggest draw though is her powers. Ynnari powers range in casting value from 5 to 7, and that plus one she gets makes them a good deal more reliable. Five of the six powers are fairly decent and have a place in a list that builds for them too. She can also try to combo get a super smite with her +1 to casting ability, but it can certainly be worth taking a risk on sometimes. Her ability to deny as well at +1 makes her a welcome addition to almost any Eldar force, but Dark Eldar especially welcome her coverage. 

On a Final note, I have used her in about 30 games now, and never had her make use her Herald ability. Not for any of the Triumvirate actually. They tend to either be dead, or untargetable. Her ability to hop into a transport on the other hand can be quite useful, even if just for hiding her from snipers turn 1 etc. For 120 points, she is Competitive

The Visarch

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8″2+2+335493+/4++

Wargear

Asu-var, the Sword of Silent Screams: This sword is +2 str, -3 ap and d3 damage. In addition, a unit which loses one or more models by this sword are -1 leadership until the end of that turn

Special Abilities

Champion of Ynnead: When another Aedldari model is slain within 6″, on a 4+ regain a wound lost previously in battle. In addition, if that model was a character, add one to your attack characteristic.

Way of the Blade: Ynnari units with a model within 6″ may re-roll 1’s to hit in the fight phase.

Warden of Yvraine: If Yvraine is within 3″ of the Visarch, and she would lose any wounds (i.e. she failed her save), then on a 2+ per wound, the Visarch may take those on himself as a mortal wound instead. This is per attack – so a Lascannon that did 4 damage if she failed her save, the Visarch would, on a 2+, take all 4 damage as mortals.

Revered Figurehead: This model may embark on any Aedldari transport, regardless of that transports restrictions.

Warlord Trait – Master of Death: Any unmodified hit roll of a 6 in close combat counts as two hits.

The Visarch dropped in points down to 80 total, and as such he is still about 100 points over costed. Vs a 5 man intercessor unit with Thunderhammer, he losses more than he wins, picking up a bout two of the squad to his own death. As I mentioned before, the regen ability of the triumvirate almost never comes into play, which means he also does not get the bonus attacks he would want. His ability to re-roll 1’s is limited to only the fight phase, which makes him worse than an Archon or Autuarch, although on par with a Great Harlequin. I am not sure he is worth it for them though… especially as they will most of the time be hitting on 2’s already. Finally, his bodyguard trait is not that good either. Without some kind of Feel no Pain save, and preferable a 5+++ at that, any bodyguard ability seems like a bit of a waste. How to fix him? Give him the full re-roll aura in combat, not just 1’s. Give him flat two damage on his sword, and give him the ability to gain +1 attack per Aeldari unit that dies within 7″. Now he is viable for 80 points. As he is, he is at best Situational. 

The Yncarne

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8″2+2+669693+/4++

Wargear

Vilith-shar, The Sword of Souls: This sword strikes at user strentgh, ap -4 and d6 damage. You may also re-roll the wound roll when using it.

Special Rules

Inevitable Death / Summoned by Death: (Note: These are two different rules that operate very similar. For ease of concept and reading I have joined them here). Yncarne may start off the board, and elect to arrive via a special kind of deepstrike. Alternatively, if on the board, s/he may also make use of this move. When any unit dies, she may elect to teleport to as close to the position of the last model pulled. S/he must be more than 1″ away from enemy models when s/he does so, and may not charge this turn (although nothing stops her from heroically intervening). There is no limit to the number of times this may be done, even within the same turn or phase.

Blessings of the Whispering God: Ynnari units within 6″ get a 6+++ Feel no Pain

Ynnead Stirs: Frielndly Ynnari units within 6″ auto pass morale tests

Avatar of Ynnead: When an Aeldari model within 6″ dies, on a 4+ this model regens a wound lost earlier in battle.

Psycher: The Yncarne knows smite and two powers from the Revenant Discipline. S/he may cast two per turn and deny one.

Warlord Trait – Fear of the Grave: Enemy units within 6″ are -1 leadership. If this unit has slain any units this turn, they are -2 LD instead.

So, first off, this unit is Fun. There is a definite amount of skill and practice to get the most out of her. I used her a lot before her points came down, but now that she is a much more reasonable 280, she is a lot easier to slot into lists. Unlike Yvraine, who can join most any list, the Yncane needs to have the list built with her in mind. I personally like to start her on the board knowing as a character she can not easily be targeted and she can bounce around fairly well as needed. 8″ move and the fly keyword help a lot in that regard, as well as her own abilities. I like to use her though to give units a Feel no pain which otherwise would not have them. It helps just a little, but often times that little bit can really make a difference.   

Morale and regenerating wounds never really comes into play, but her ability to use psychic powers along with her bouncing abilities can be quite a treat.

I said it before, but it bears repeating; this takes a lot to get used to. And it also requires your opponent to be familiar with and know how to counter her abilities for them to mitigate it. Order of units dying matters a lot. I like to use a smite or other power if I can to drop a unit, bounce her up the board, and set her up to smite a unit that previously thought it was safe. Shooting can see you remove a different unit and bounce him back to relative safety. Another fun trick is to play off the always-fight-first part of SFD. Let the Yncanre fight first vs a tough target that you want to do some damage to but could threaten him back. Then fight first with another unit that picks up a smaller unit of your opponents, and bounce her out of combat over there to be safe from retaliation. 

Another ‘trick’ that I find her very useful for, is when your opponent removes a small unit from an objective. Bounce him over to claim it, and they cannot target her now due to him being a character. Things like this all make her a very tricky unit for both you and your opponent. That being said, your army must be made with his unique abilities and play style in mind, which is why I rate this as an Efficient unit, especially at her price point.

Psychic Powers

(Almost) Any psycher that is in a Ynnari detachment must choose their powers from the Revenant Discipline instead of their normal one. The only acception is a Wraithseer, whose powers are bad enough to actually want to change them out. For every other psycher, this is pretty much a downgrade. A few of the powers are decent, but overall they are fairly lackluster.

Gaze of Ynnead: This is a rather interesting power, and one of the two worth taking on Yvraine when she is adding into a non-Ynnari detachment. It is a Warp Charge (WC) 6 power, that requires you to select an enemy unit you can see within 18″. You roll a d6 and on a 1, you do 1 mortal wound, 2-5 is d3 mortals, while a 6 is d6 mortals. It is a slightly harder cast than smite, but it is target-able, and if used by Yvraine has the same warp charge. Between this and smite, it allows a fairly consistent and reliable bit of mortal wound output. Competitive

Storm of Whispers: This WC 6 power is reminiscent of previous editions nova powers. It effect all enemy units withing 3d6 of the psycher. Roll 3d6 for each unit, and for each natural 6 you roll, that unit suffer a mortal wound. The first thought for this is on the Yncarne. Kill a unit and pop her in the center of your opponents army, then explode mortals on a chunk of it. In practice, this is much, much harder than it sounds. You need to kill a unit in either the movement or psychic phase first, so that you can bounce her up. A max of 3 mortals, and more likely, at most 1, makes this a very unreliable power. I have yet to find a time when this was a good power to use. Situational

Word of the Phoenix: Seeing as Soul Bursting is no longer a thing, it is no wonder this power got completely revamped. It is now WC 5, and allows one Ynnari Infantry or Biker unit within 18″ to regain d3 wounds lost previously. If no models in that unit have lost any wounds, it instead can revive a model on a 4+. Basically this is an 18″ apothecary ability. Depending on the army composition, this can be quite helpful, especially as it does not need line of sight. In a full Ynnari detachment, this power plus Gaze above are my go-to powers for Yvraine. As an add in to another detachment, I typically won’t bother with this power as it would only be able to be cast on the caster themselves. Even then, I find that it rarely has a huge impact on the game. Most times units are so over killed that adding one model back or a handful of wounds to a unit that has already taken casualties is not going to save it. But it can turn the tide on occasion, especially if it starts bringing back larger modes, such as a Wraith Blade. Efficient

Unbind Souls: Doom, but only in melee. WC 6, pick an enemy unit within 18″ and visible. Until the start of your next turn, Ynnari units may re-roll the wound roll (not failed wounds, any) in close combat with against that unit. Certainly not a bad power, but melee is already a bit hard to pull off and making this only in melee, especially in an army that often would have access to doom already, just makes this power pail in comparison. Again, it is not bad, just not amazing either and certainly not worth a farseer giving up doom for. Efficient

Shield of Ynnead: This power grants the caster a 6″ aura of a 5++ save to all friendly Ynnari units. Quite a nice power, in certain builds. Wraiths of all flavors love getting this, as do many of the craftworld units. I personally love throwing this on a Hemlock, as it grants itself the 5++ and can move around fairly easy to tag other units. The only real downside is the WC of 7, which can make it fairly unreliable. Efficient

Ancestor’s Grace: Another WC 5 powers, this one is cast onto a Ynnari unit within 18″. It allows the re-rolling of 1’s to hit until the start of your next turn. Shooting and close combat. So a worse guide. Not bad, but seriously, why do Eldar Psychers forget how to really buff / debuff a unit simply by following the Dead God? Efficient 

 

So almost none of those powers are bad really, but none are really that good. Especially when you compare them to the other three psychic trees you could have had access to. I would much rather, as an example, be able to make a unit of Harlequin Troupes -1 to hit, then to be able and bring one dead model back.

Stratagems

Overall Ynnari strats are fairly decent. They are lacking some key ones you might expect, probably as punishment for their wilder days. There is no double anything type of strat; no double fight, no double move etc. Instead, most seem to be focused on the fight phase and making you more efficient there.

1CP – A Taste for Death: Used in the shooting or charge phase, this strat may be activated when an enemy unit is slain due to shooting attacks. Until the end of the turn, that unit may add one to it’s hit rolls in close combat. This is a very, very niche ability. You need a unit that (a) is able to do decent enough shooting to slay a unit in the shooting phase (b) then wants to charge into combat and (c) can benefit from a +2 to hit at that point. There is exactly two models that I have found which can make use of this, and do so fairly well. A bracketed WraithKnight or WraithSeer. Both start out hitting on a 3+, and move to 4+ and 5+ respectively. If you can have them deal the finishing blow, then charge, going back to a 3+ or even 2+ to hit with their attacks can make them much more of a threat than most people would expect. Outside of those two units, it is hard to justify this strat. Situational

2CP – Whispering Spirits: Use this strat when an enemy unit is about to take a morale test and is within 1″ of a Ynnari unit. That enemy unit takes the test at an additional -2. This is an interesting strat, although not one I would rate as 2CP worth. That -2 can really catch some people off guard. Seeing as Eldar have a number of ways to drop LD, it can be combo’d with a good number of effects, but overall, morale shenanigans are so niche. Situational

2CP – Ynnead’s Net: Select a Ynnari Biker unit at the start of the charge phase. That unit may still charge even if it advanced this turn. Seeing as Harlequins don’t lose Rising Crescendo, only Reavers, Wind Riders, Shinning Spears, and Skrunner HQs can make use of this strat. Of all of those, the Shinning Spears are the obvious pick. Being able to do so without needing to be Saim-Hann is nice. It allows you to include Spears without losing the advance and charge they often rely on.  Competitive

2CP – United in Death: At the start of the fight phase, selecet one Reborn Drukari, Craftworld and Harlequin unit. Until the end of the phase, those units add one to their attack characteristic. This stratagem is so, so close to being good. Since the wording is, “select one” of each unit, instead of “select up to one” this means you must take 3 detachments, one of each Eldar race. That means you are immediately taking the full 475 point Triumvirate to make all the detachments Ynnari. That hurts. What also hurts, is that in all the Ynnari stratagems, we have to look at the opportunity cost of not being Ynnari. Dark Eldar can already boost their melee focused wyches number of attacks in two ways – drugs and obsession. Harlequins can do the same with a Masque form. As such, those unit which really want to make use of this typically can and do so easier. Situational

2CP – Inevitable Fate: At the start of the fight phase, select an enemy unit. Friendly Ynnari units may re-roll wound rolls. Doom, but auto pass on the casting and fight phase only. This is also re-roll all wounds, which in an age of Tran-Human is very, very good. I am not sure this should be worth 2CP though. That being said, when you need to use it, it is very helpful, allowing Ynnari units to punch well above their weight class, especially when combo’d with the +1 to hit from SfD. Efficient

1CP – Acolyte of Ynnead: Use this strat before a psycher casts a power from the Revenant discipline and an enemy unit was already destroyed this phase. Add +3 to the casting of that power. Being able to have Yvraine cast this on a 4+ is fairly reliable, but otherwise most of the powers don’t really need this. If it was a +3 on any power, there could be some play to trying to get a super smite off, but as it is and with the powers available, it is not really needed a lot. Efficient

1CP – Reborn Together: Use this strat at the start of the Morale Phase. All Ynnari units within 6″ of another Ynnari unit adds 2 to their Leadership. Leadership is so very rarely relevant, and there is always the 2CP auto pass strat. This is cheaper for sure, but also requires another unit nearby. The times this will be the right call to make are few and far between, but when you do need it, great. Situational

1CP – Shrine of the Whispering God: Use this strat at the start of the battle. Select up to 3 units of Incubi, they may now benefit from SfD. So, on the one hand, this is great as Incubi love being Ynnari. They cannot benefit from obsessions, and are not giving up Power from Pain, so this is a straight up win for them. On the other hand, Drazhar cannot join them in this detachment (although his aura effect friendly Incubi, not obsession locked – so he can still benefit them) and you have to pay CP for them to get it… I  like the idea of running Ynnari Incubi, but DE as a whole actually don’t gain much from Ynnari – which makes your choices either Vanguard of triple Incubi (overkill and expensive) or a unit of them added into a DE Ynnari force….

It is not a bad strat, but honestly, Incubi (and named characters, and even Covens) should not be restricted from being Ynnari. That all being said, Incubi do like the fight first that Ynnari gives them for any prolonged fights, as well as the ability to bring models back via Word of the Phoenix. Efficient

1CP – Artifacts of Death: This is your standard 1CP for a relic strat. However, like the Space Marine versions, this is not limited to how many times you may use it, and Ynnari actually have some very good relics! If I have the CP, I will often take 3 if not 4. Competitive

1 / 3CP – Webway Ambush: Here is your Eldar Trickery at work, deepstriking a bike, infantry or beast (why would you take Ynnari beasts?) for 1CP. If you want to deepstrike two such units, it will cost you 3 CP. As always, reserve abilities are very strong, and Ynnari like having access to this. Also, since the name of the strat is different than in other Eldar books, you may use it in conjunction with them even thought he effect is the same. Competitive

1CP – Exalted of Ynnead: Once per game, you may select a Ynnari Character that is not your Warlord and give it a Warlord trait. This is  dependent on how good the WL traits are, and there are some fairly good ones in there making this Competitive

2CP – Back from the Brink: I really, really, really want to like this one. Use when Ynnari Infantry or Biker Character (sorry Yncarne) is slain. On a 4+, that model is returned as close as possible, but more than 1″ from enemy units and with d3 wounds left. This sounds pretty good, until you realize you are gambling 2CP on a 50/50. I cannot tell you the number of times I have had to use a CP re-roll and still failed this. It also is often a feel-bad for either player. Either you feel bad burning 3CP with nothing to show, or your opponent feels bad that they worked hard to kill a character and it just pops right back up. I really do not like these strats, and they are in a few books now. To me though, this strat is rarely worth the 3CP you seem to always need for it, although there are a few times it can be worth it. Situational

1CP – The Great Enemy: Use in the fight phase vs a Slannesh unit – you may re-roll the wound roll with your designated Ynnari unit. By its very nature of being only vs a single faction, and that there is another 2CP strat version of this – it just kinda feels like the writers got lazy. Situational

1CP – Fire and Fade: Use after a Ynnari unit has fired in the shooting phase, it may then move up to 7″ as if it were the movement phase. It may not advance nor charge this turn if it does so. This is a staple Eldar trick that is very effective. Even with the focus on Close Combat (CC) by Ynnari, they will need some fire support. Dark Reapers moving out to shoot then scurry behind cover is tried-and-true tactic and those CC units can appreciate the SfD activation by the reapers. Competitive

2CP – Deadly Misdirection: A unit may use this when they fall back, allowing them to charge and shoot still this turn. More Eldar trickery! Very useful, and gives a lot of flexibility to your play. Competitive

1CP – Souls of the Strongest: Use this strat when the enemy warlord is destroyed. SfD is permanently activated till the end of the battle. Rarely is this something you build a plan around, and SfD is often not too hard to activate already, but it can be a nice bonus to throw on. Especially in latter turns, when there is not necessarily a lot left to be killed on the board, this can be quite handy. Efficient

2CP – Lightning Fast Reactions: Everyone and their grandmother should know this one by now. Eldar players dream of it with a smile on their lips. Any Infantry or unit with the Fly keyword can, when chosen as the target of an attack, make themselves -1 to be hit. Competitive

Very few of the Stratagems that Ynnari bring to the table are really ones to build a strategy around. They have the typical Eldar ones, but their specific strats are a touch lackluster. That being said, their two best are ones that let them take more relics and more Warlord traits. Being able to advance and charge with bikes and re-rolling wound are also top tier, but the former is quite limited in which units want to make use of it while the latter is a bit costly at 2CP.

Relics

Ynnari have a handful of relics, but a lot of them are quite good. They combo well with the Warlord traits as well, which is why these are going first

The Hungering Blade: Eat your heart out Visarch. This sword is better than any that the Triumverate get… which is odd from a lore stance but great from a rules one! This sword can replace a power sword, star glaive, or husk blade, and is +3 strength, -3 AP and a flat 2 damage. Any natural 6 to wound also does a mortal wound. Autuarchs, Archons,  and Troupe Masters all love this. Sadly a Succubus can not take it, as then you could kick it up to Str 8 – but even so, it is an excellent weapon. Competitive

Song of Ynnead: This relic replaces a Shruiken Pistol and has a range of 18″ at str 5, ap -1 and 1 damage and 3 shots. Any wound roll of a 6+ counts as AP -3, and if any models are slain by it, the enemy unit is -1 LD.  This one slipped by me when I was looking at all pistol weapons in Much Ado about Pistols. Neverless, it suffers the same as most other pistols. This one is not bad in and of itself, having decent range and shots as well as str 5. However, there are already a lot of other good relics, that this one gets overlooked a bit. Efficient

Mirorgaze: The bearer is -1 to be hit. Not bad, but often times the character is relying on not being targeted over minuses to be hit in order to survive. The fact this is also in CC means you can throw them against some harder targets with a bit more impunity – and things like thunderhammers will shudder to fight this, especially as you can still Lightning Fast as well. Efficient

Soulsnare: Why do some of the coolest sounding names have some of the worst rules? This relic is a once per game grenade with a rage of 6″. Honestly, at this point in reading the rules, I am thinking this thing needs to do a ton of damage or something… otherwise its a hard pass. What it does, is have you roll a d6. On a 1, it fails, sorry, your once per game relic just did nothing. on a 2-5 it does d3 mortal wounds… so a smite. Also, any mortals done, heals the character by the same amount up to their starting wounds. On a 6 it does d6 mortals and the character fully heals. Healing is an ok mechanic, but often times cannot be really used as most characters are either not targeted, or targeted down in a turn. Situational

The Lost Shroud: This relic gives the bearer a 5+++ and halves any damage it takes from an attack. Halving damage is powerful, as Space Marines recently demonstrated to everyone. Being able to tack on a 5+++ feel no pain is just icing on the cake as well. This relic on a Wraithseer makes him able to tank hit better than a Knight, although he still lacks the same offensive power. Still, this relic can really up the defensive power of its bearer. Competitive

Corag Hai’s Locket: A very interesting and fun relic – the bearer adds one to their move and attack characteristic every time they slay a unit. Put this on a Skyrunner Autuarch, advance and charge across the field, and you can easily stack up a number of attacks. It works for shooting kills as well as melee, so with proper targets and a bit of luck you can push him up to 7 attacks by the end of turn 1. Competitive

40k’s version of Romeo and Juliet

Warlord Traits

Ynnari have 6 warlord traits, which makes less than most other books. That being said, 5 of their 6 are at least good, while three are excellent.

Lord of Rebirth: The Warlord gets a 5+++ save and regenerates a wound at the start of each battle round. A lot of Eldar units are rather squishy, but this can certainly help mitigate that. A Wraithseer with this though, and the Lost Shroud relic makes for a mean unit to bring down. Competitive

Warden of Souls: Whilst the Warlord is benefit form SfD, add one to the attacks and Str characteristics. Another one that with good wargear can really hit hard. A Huskblade Archon, or a Kiss Troupe Master will really appreciate the str boost. Competitive

Walker of Many Paths: The warlord may, once per turn, re-roll a hit or wound roll. In addition you may regen a CP on a 5+ for each CP you spend, to a max of 1 per battle round. Re-rolls are always nice, and CP regen can be quite handy, especially in Eldar armies that tend to burn through them quickly. Competitive

Fear of the Grave: Whilst the warlord is within 6″ of enemy units, they are -1 LD. If the warlord destroyed any units as the result of an attack, they are -2. A DE warlord could get this up to -3. Sadly, LD does not matter much, and until it does, this is Situational.

Favored of Ynnead: The Warlord may Consolidate up to 6″ instead of 3″. Assault moves are very powerful. A canny general can make good use of this, especially since you can have it on your secondary WL so you don’t throw them away and give up free points. Being able to tag artillery or other units that don’t really want to be in combat can be quite a good play. Competitive

Master of Death: Any unmodified 6’s to hit in CC count as two hits. The Eldar HQs do not tend to spam a ton of attacks, and don’t have to many ways of boosting them, which rather limits the utility of this trait. Efficient

And there you have the Ynnari rules. Overall they bring a bit of a unique set of special rules and abilities. A purely Ynnari army will probably struggle to be super competitive, however as a detachment to add a bit of a punch to another Eldar army they can offer quite a lot. I believe that is where their true strength lays, in supplementing a force and shoring up its weaknesses.

Next article we will dive into what combinations and units they can use to do this.

Thanks for reading, and happy Wargaming!

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

secondhandhsop

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14 Responses to “In Defense of Ynnari: Part 1, the rules”

  1. Avatar
    Zweischneid April 12, 2020 12:26 pm #

    Even if the rules were functional in making a viable Eldar close combat army in the days of Disco Lords, Sanguinary Guard, Possessed Bombs and Knight Gallants (which they aren’t), the Ynnari rules clearly fail at bringing the actual lore and background to the table (e.g. see the recent Chapter Tactics on the importance of rules reflecting background and lore).

    Hell, the entire Psychic Awakening: Phoenix Rising storyline was about Jain Zar, Lelith and the Midnight Sorrow Solitaire joining the Ynnari, yet the rules don’t even allow you to field them. They are literally at odds with straight-up suggestions for army-composition in some of the narrative games at times.

    Not to mention that the entire spirit of the army of combining Aeldari forces (and the ways the army was visually represented originally in White Dwarfs, articles, etc..) is no longer viable as you’re now forced to effectively still play a Craftworld or Drukhari or Harlequin detachment.

    A keyword change to the units does not undo the thematic and visual annihilation of the concept of the army, clear proof that GW simply doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the (by Chapter Tactic’s estimation 80% or so) fluff and lore players, given how they are willing to throw all these under the bus simply to appease a tournament scene where a few WAAC Sociopaths abused a badly worded rule here and there.

    • Avatar
      Ohlmann April 12, 2020 1:32 pm #

      I believe you give GW too much credit. I don’t think GW have a policy consistent enough to count as throwing under a bus ; rather, the Ynnari got the wrong end of the random rule generator, and no GW executives wanted to sell Ynaris anymore, since it’s so last year.

      In particular, I don’t think they really get what want the tournament crowd, or realize that their players are interested in balance. They may say they are, but I think at a fundamental level they don’t understand the concept.

    • Faitherun
      Faitherun April 12, 2020 5:47 pm #

      The rules are indeed at an odds with the lore, and not in any way that really would have stopped any overly powerful combos. That being said, there certainly is still a place for a Ynnari force, albeit not necessarily as the main force.

      I would love to see their rules revamped (again) and us given a more balanced and lore-appropriate set of rules. I do not, however, see that occurring any time soon.

      • Avatar
        Zweischneid April 12, 2020 11:51 pm #

        “There certainly is still a place for a Ynnari force, albeit not necessarily as the main force.”

        That’s not really any “defense” of the rules though.

        A year ago, people were running Guilliman with 3 Knights. That doesn’t mean the 1.0 Space Marine rules, pre-shock assault, bolter discipline, etc.. were all good and fine.

        Cutting-edge-competitive-Art-of-War peeps like Mark Perry is running a couple of Foul Blightspawns in his Emperor’s Children / Thousand Sons Chaos soup. That doesn’t mean Death Guard rules are all good and fine and they would be ok with a Ynnari-style-nothing treatment in their upcoming PA.

        Etc…

  2. Avatar
    Vipoid April 13, 2020 12:58 am #

    “Not bad, but seriously, why do Eldar Psychers forget how to really buff / debuff a unit simply by following the Dead God?”

    “So almost none of those powers are bad really, but none are really that good. Especially when you compare them to the other three psychic trees you could have had access to.”

    I think these two statements are basically Ynnari in a nutshell.

    It’s not necessarily that their rules are bad in and of themselves, it’s that the opportunity cost for taking them is far too much:

    – Why are their psychic powers objectively worse than those of Harlequins or Eldar? Compare Unbind Souls to Doom, or Ancestor’s Grace to Guide or Storm of Whispers to a blank page. Or, hell, just ask a harlequin player how much use Shield of Ynnead is for their army.

    – In fact, why do they seem to have 0 synergy with *any* of their component factions, and even anti-synergy with Dark Eldar? It’s like every single buff has been purpose-built to be as useless as possible. The Yncarne grants everything around it a 6+++ . . . in spite of the fact that DE have that by default. Their main army bonus is +1 to hit. You know, the thing all DE models already get from turn 3 onwards.

    – Hell, why is SfD so abysmal? You could have both effects (the +1 to hit and the Always Strikes First) active all the time and it would *still* be awful. Why? Because, once again, it has no synergy with anything it’s supposed to be helping. Eldar are a primarily shooting army, for which Ynnari is completely useless. And DE and Harlequins likewise employ a significant number of ranged elements, which again this does nothing for. Not only that but DE are also barred from using their best melee units (Coven and Mandrakes), and most of their second- or third-tier melee units (Beasts, Incubi) are arbitrarily excluded from the rule. Oh, and let’s not forget that this rule is worthless on just about every HQ – including the 3 Ynnari characters themselves. Because that just screams good design. Lastly, though, even the actual melee units get minimal benefit from SfD because very few of them actually care about bonuses to hit. With Eldar having almost universally low strength scores, what they really need are bonuses to *wound*.

    – Why does being Ynnari have to entail giving up all the best stratagems for the individual factions, in exchange for a bucket of garbage Stratagems which, outside of a few copy&paste ones, were clearly scrawled on a beer-mat at the last minute.

    However, for me the worst thing by far is the requirement that every Ynnari detachment contain one of the special characters. Why? For what possible reason is their requirement necessary? It’s like they went out of their way to stomp out even the merest hope of people building flavourful armies with these rules. I’m already shooting myself in the foot just by using Ynnari over the regular army rules, why do I also have to cut off one of my hands for the privilege?

  3. Avatar
    Rob Butcher April 13, 2020 2:57 am #

    Some good points spoilt by including the datasheets and details of all stratagems. That’s not fair use (10% is). Commenting is good, including IP that isn’t yours is poor journalism. It also stops me even clicking on advertisers here, which is the main purpose of any article.

    Ynarri had to be tamed as gameswise they were over powering. We’ve also only just started to learn more details of their Lore etc. Other bits will be added.

    Fighting first is powerful. Planning an army to take it on board is beyond most players. A shorter article focusing on that would be better than this. So characters and units to take, strats to use etc.

    • Avatar
      Ohlmann April 13, 2020 4:16 am #

      Including the whole stratagems is perfectly fair, and you seem very confused, in general, but also about what IP is and what GW care about.

      The concept that “they will be fixed later” is the laziest point anyone could say about that. Yes : you happened to be even lazier than GW with Ynnari.

    • Avatar
      Zweischneid April 13, 2020 9:17 am #

      Not really.

      Ynnari was already done by the time the White Dwarf hit.

      Alex Harrison had a small Ynnari detachment in a Flyer-spam army, but all other former Ynnari-tournament-abusers had long abandoned them at the 2019 LVO 3-4 months before the White Dwarf.

      Added to that Assassins coming in an sniping away Yvraine, etc.. and it was basically a C to maybe B- tier army in the spring just prior to GW deciding to flip all Ynnari fans for the sake of a few tournament a-holes that hadn’t been playing the army for a good year or so anyhow.

    • Avatar
      Zweischneid April 13, 2020 9:20 am #

      Not to mention nobody ever won anything in the hey-day of Ynnari with Ynnari-Drukhari or Ynnari-Harlequins.

      Ergo, nothing about the Ynnari-rules themselves was overtly powerful. Most Imperial Guard armies have more free actions with double-shooting Leman Russ and Move! Move! Move! Guardsmen in a turn than even the most egregious Index-Ynnari armies could manage in a game.

      The problem was specific Craftworld units and spells and stacking them (which is just the same issue again with these same units now in Seer-Council lists or Spears-lists, without Ynnari even playing into it).

      They nerfed the part that wasn’t even the problem.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy April 13, 2020 7:40 pm #

      Basically no good points spoilt by incoherent grammar and incorrect spelling. Misuse of the rules of the English language is not creative if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong (not even 10%.) Responding to the topic is good, attempting to write above your knowledge level is poor craft. It also stops me even clicking advertisers here, which has nothing to do with any of this but I’m filled with spite.

      This faction clearly doesn’t understand even the most basic aspects about copyright law, as nowhere in the rules does it specify 10%. You’ve only just started to learn details about fair use, acceptable commentary, Plagiarism, etc. Other bits should be added.

      Access to a dictionary and grammar-checker is powerful. Sentence fragments and word-salad commentary are beyond comprehension by most players reading this. A shorter comment that focused on making at least one true point would be better than this. So basic classes on writing to take, the meaning of infringement etc.

  4. Avatar
    NinetyNineNo April 13, 2020 11:27 am #

    Generally, GW’s rules writing is hit or miss, with the hit rate going up significantly with time since 8th dropped. The Ynnari index is one of the very few times I’ve felt actual vindictiveness from GW (FW recostings aside). Not only was this supplement written with the explicit intent of stopping Ynnari from being tournament viable, it was made with the absolute minimum of effort necessary to get it to print. Or maybe it did take effort, it’s honestly kind of impressive how thoroughly they stamped out any hope of either fluffy OR strong rules — the worst of both worlds, that takes some doing. And the best part is that when they had a chance to fix it with Psychic Awakening, they straight-up reprinted it. The fact that this flaming pile of garbage was released in the same series as the Grey Knights or Tau supplements is honestly hilarious.

    This supplement was nothing short of a hit job, and it succeeded spectacularly. Hats off to GW.

    • Faitherun
      Faitherun April 13, 2020 5:28 pm #

      For the most part I agree – however, I do believe there is a place for them. A limited place, but certainly one. I plan to cover this in more depth on my next article. Covering what they can do is, imo, foremost. How they can use that is then next

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy April 13, 2020 7:43 pm #

        We’ve seen people including a handful of Ynnari models in Aeldari armies (such as a one-off Yvraine), and some of the more experimental players have included small Ynnari detachments, but I don’t think anyone has really found anything that they are truly useful for that can’t be filled more easily by one of the other types.

  5. Avatar
    Jordan Holmes May 28, 2020 3:35 pm #

    Im trying to figure out the Ynarri rules, its very confusing, mainly two questions:

    this article states

    “(Almost) Any psycher that is in a Ynnari detachment must choose their powers from the Revenant Discipline instead of their normal one. The only acception is a Wraithseer, whose powers are bad enough to actually want to change them out. For every other psycher, this is pretty much a downgrade. A few of the powers are decent, but overall they are fairly lackluster.”

    however Wahapedia states

    “When an AELDARI PSYKER become Ynnari and gains the Ynnari keyword, do they also gain access to powers from the Revenant Discipline?
    A:
    No. Only Yvraine and the Yncarne generate their psychic powers from this discipline.

    and

    Q: Do YNNARI Wraithseers generate psychic powers from the Revenant discipline?
    A:
    No. Wraithseers can only use the psychic powers detailed on their datasheet.

    so which is it?

    also concerning Battle Focus/Power from pain this article states :

    Another thing to note, is that when becoming Ynnari, armies no longer lose their innate traits. Harlequins keep Rising Crescendo, Craftworld keep Battle Focus and Dark Eldar keep Power from Pain. This helps make taking Ynnari a lot less painful then it was before

    while the index Xenos states

    If Yvraine, the Visarch or the Yncarne is included in a
    Detachment, all Aeldari units in that Detachment gain
    the Ynnari keyword. These units cannot use any of the
    following abilities, and are not considered to have them:
    Ancient Doom, Battle Focus, Rising Crescendo, Power
    From Pain

    which is it? and where do I find the updated rules .

    Thanks for the help

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