Welcome back to a look at Ynnari. The previous article discussing what they bring to the table as far as rules generated some rather passionate comments. I believe Ynnari has a lot of potential, and there are a few things they can, in their current state, bring to an allied Aeldari force. Let’s take a look at that. For more awesome tactical content, check out the Tactics Corner!
So let us get this out of the way first.
Are Ynnari good?
As a standalone army, on their own merits and not comparing to lost opportunity costs, they are not. Add in what you are giving up when taking pure Ynnari, and the issue is further exasperated.
So stop doing that. Stop looking at the things Ynnari does worse, and look at what they do better.
It is not a long list, but I have played around with them a lot and I think I have found a few small parts that can work. Lets look at what they do offer:
- The ability to strike first in combat
- The ability to get +1 to hit
- A strat and a power to re-roll wounds vs a target in Close Combat (CC)
- A 5++ Ynnari unit bubble
- A healing spell
- A way to get Wl traits and Relics even when not made as the main force, and 1 CP per Relic
- Some excellent relics
Let’s also acknowledge the true cost of taking a Ynnari detachment, beyond what you are giving up – and that is the 115 points for Yvraine.
So, the next question then becomes, what units in any of the three codexs (1) do not have a lot of support otherwise, (2) can benefit from Strength for Death (SfD), and (3) can pickup the other few strengths Ynnari has to offer?
To me, all three of those are answered by Autarchs, and Wraiths. I will often try and do this via a Supreme Command or Spearhead detachment, both of Craftworlds.
Ynnari Supreme Command Detachment
First up is Yvraine. 115 point, and she will pick up Word of the Phoenix and Gaze of Ynnead. This is mainly because she is going into a wave serpent so the 5++ bubble is not as relevant. Why don’t I choose that more? Because it is dependent on her being able to keep up with the units she wants to protect, and with her getting first turn to cast it before you take any firepower. As such, I find more reliability in having her ride.
Next up comes the Autarch. He gets to pick up the Hungering blade Relic, replacing his star glaive. This is a straight upgrade. Compare these two weaposn, remembering that the Autarch is a Str 3, WS 2+ model.
It is the same strength, the same ap, and more reliable damage. In addition, there is no penalty to hit, and it has the change to do an additional mortal wound.
There are a few other builds for the Autarch that are fairly viable as well, and rather fun. The above however, is what I have found to be the most effective. I tend to not give him a Warlord trait either, as that is saved for the next entry.
Which would be the WraithSeer. This guy is a beast. He is taking a relic and a warlord trait, and there is some overlapping abilities in this. That being said, he is well, well worth it. He takes the Lost Shroud relic and the Lord of Rebirth WL trait. What this amounts to is a Toughness 8 model with 12 wounds, who has a 3+/5++/5+++ and halves all damage taken per attack. In addition, he regenerates one wound at the start of each battle round. For 100 points base, this guy is mean. He has tanked entire armies worth of firepower, and with 4 attacks hitting on 2’s (on the charge) that do d6 damage at strength 9 and ap -4… he is a serious threat. He can take a heavy weapon gun as well – I tend to opt for the wraithcannon as it is cheap and does not penalize him for moving. 110 points for the package (+2 cp for the trait and relic) and you have a walking distraction carnifex. It can not be ignored, as if it makes it to the enemy lines, 4 d6 damage attacks and one d6 damage shot can wreck big targets.
In additon, the WraithSeer is a psycher. He may not trade out any powers for the Ynnari ones. Typically he is a very sub par psycher, because everything he wants to do is done better by Craftworlds psychers. However, in a Ynnari detachment, he actually becomes viable.
He can cast one and deny one and has no access to smite. Of his three powers, only two are worth anything at all, even in Ynnari. The first power, Deliverance, is a Warp Charge (WC) 7 that gives a Wraithguard, Wraithblade, or Wraithlord unit (which I will now refer to as “Wraiths“) a 6+++. WC 7 is not that reliable, but it is nice to get off when you can. Typically this power is overshadowed by Fortune, but remember, we gave up access to Fortune when going Ynnari…
His second power worth talking about is Enliven. At a WC of 6, a unit of Wraiths may roll an additional d6 when advancing or charging and discard the lowest. Both of these powers are geared towards making Wraiths a touch better, which, as I stated above, are also made better by being Ynnari.
In particular, there is one unit of Wraiths I love to run, one that is not that good in Craftworlds but suddenly becomes rather good in Ynnari.
WraithAxes. A unit of 5 puts out 15 attacks on the charge (using Enliven above to be more reliable) and would typically be hitting on 4’s at strength 7 and d3 damage. SfD can push them back to hitting on 3’s, re-rolling 1’s from that Autarch we mentioned earlier. 2CP for Inevitable Fate can see their target being doomed in CC as well. Yvraine is also geared to try and use Word of the Phoeniex to help these guys stick around as long as possible. Having a potential 3+/4++/6+++ save and healing of wounds or resurrecting dead models, this unit can stick around for a good while and do a fair bit of damage. With the Drop in points for Chapter Approved 2019, this unit runs you 175 points for the 5.
Now, we could deepstrike the above, but I’d rather not spend the CP (and if I did, would probably run a large unit). Instead, they will take a Wave Serpent ride. This allows Yvraine and the Autarch to hop inside as well. The Serpent I run with just stock weapons to keep it cheap, as well as Spirit Stones if I have a few points left over.
All up, this detachment runs me 622 points. Not the cheapest (what Craftworld units are though), but it offers something a gunline Eldar army is often lacking; hard hitting, hard to remove close combat threats with good threat range and cannot be ignored.
I have use this above formation in many, many games. I have not been disappointed by them, nor have I felt that the points could have been better spent elsewhere. The closest comparable unit is Prophets of Flesh Talos.
This one is a lot more straight forward. Yvraine, running gaze and Shield of Ynnead. Three Wraithlords with Swords. 385 points. Yvraine uses Shield to give the Wraithlords a 5++, while all of them try to engage in CC, either offensively or as a counter attack force.
Again, being able to hit on 2’s makes the Wraithlords much more deadly, and the option to doom a unit in CC is quite nice to have.
I want to take a brief movement to address Inevitable Fate too. A lot of people view it as a worse Doom, and it is, if that is your only option…. but why not both? Doom a unit with your CWE Farseer and kill it at range (honestly, how often do you doom to kill in CC vs at range?), while your Ynnari unit can benifit on a second unit in close combat. Really, with the Unbind Souls Ynnari power as well, you can get three units Doomed; two for CC only and one for your CWE. This is a bonus, as in a Pure CWE army, you are only getting one doom off per turn.
Coming back to the Spearhead, this is a rather cheap detachment that again offers some good melee threat and is not the easiest to pick up. 30 wounds total, with toughness 8 and a 3+/5++ can be a bit of a bear to shift. The lack of healing hurts a bit, but it is not insurmountable.
Yup. The Wraithknight. Terror of 7th edition, laughing stock of 8th.
I have tried, all edition long, to make him viable. He is just not. He is decent. And Ynnari actually does help. Access to a 5++ save while still running the Wraithcannons makes him fairly deadly. No ability to regen wounds hurts a bit. Yes, I know he can take a CWE specialist detachment and get a 4++, but that removes it from the Spiritseer and costs CP. I don’t like that, especially in the new marine meta with eliminators being around. Being able to let him stomp on 2’s in combat is also quite nice. As he gets bracketed down, SfD helps mitigate that. In addition, there is a stratagem that he can use (and I can literally think of no other unit that would use this) which can catch an opponent by surprise. A taste for Death lets a unit add one to their hit rolls in CC if they killed a unit in shooting. A Wratihlord in the middle or lower bracket, that manages to kill a unit in shooting, can then charge and use this to be hitting on 2’s or 3’s again, turning a minimal threat into a large one.
That is so niche though, and in about 20 games with him, I managed it once. It was a great moment, and nothing to ever build a strategy around, but it is there. If you want to try him as well, he can slot into the aforementioned Supreme Command detachment.
Another build one could make, is to run the Autarch with his Glaive, and give him the Warden of Souls WL trait. This activates his Path of Command ability, letting you Regen CP, as well as allows him to, with SfD active, get 5 powerfist attacks off at str 8. With a charge and Sfd, he is still hitting at 2’s.
And there we have it. I did not mention any combos with Dark Eldar, nor with Harlequins, because Ynnari does not bring anything to the table for them that they cannot already do, and / or it is too much an opportunity cost. I also did not delve into incorporating the Yncarne as an add-on to an Eldar force, as that is another discussion altogether.
Hopefully those who wish to use Ynnari can find some value in this. Like all Eldar, they are still a finesse army and will require patience and practice to use well.
Thanks for reading, and happy Wargaming!
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