Eldar List Construction in 9th Ed

Let’s have a think about Eldar list construction in 9th ed.


Currently, my favorite way to run Eldar is to soup them up. Eldar, specifically Harlequins, want a lot of command points to pull of tricks. 

I usually find myself taking three detachments (two battalions and a specialist detachment) to get a bevy of command points, and also so I can have different Craftworld and masque traits for flexibility and power. In particular, I want a lot of HQ and elite slots for characters (I really love eEdar characters.) In ninth, with new command point regeneration and the tax for taking detachments, I have a few thoughts on how this will affect my army lists.


Now that we just get CP for free, the biggest choice will be about souping and taking different Craftworld traits. In eighth, detachments cost you troop taxes, but gain you CP and attributes to buff your units. In ninth, They cost you CP, but you start with more CP overall, and don’t have to pay for troops as much, letting you take more power units. But, you lose out on things like HQ slots.

For example, If I have a detachment of Shining Spears, I want them to have traits like reroll ones to hit in combat and +1 attack within 3 of objectives. If I have a detachment of Nightspinners, I want them to ignore cover, so that’s two detachments right there. Granted, Craftworld Eldar don’t want CP as much as Harlequins do, but I’m also considering the impending vehicle rush into the tournament scene. Skorpius disintegrators were already great, now they are incredible. People will be busting out Tank Commanders, Hammerheads (shouts out to Mech Tau players,) and even more Eldar tanks like Falcons and Fire Prisms. So, for my style of play I want Skyweavers, who need CP and suck up a detachment, which is going to take away those precious Command Points. 

So, now that army construction has been inverted, what do we do? Without knowing how much something like an outrider will cost, it is a bit hard to say, but I’m going to assume that an outrider will cost less CP than a battalion. So, now I’m thinking, what Craftworld Attributes synergize the most with my style of play, the units I like to take, and the units that are good?

I’ve always been a big combat fan, and with the smaller board and changes to overwatch, I want combat units that are hard to kill and hit reasonably hard, and I want some scary characters hiding behind them. So, I’m looking at some combination of Wraithblades to  bully the mid-board, a Guardian Bomb to screen out other enemy combat units for a turn, and Shining Spears and Skyweaves to harass the enemy, with the Skyweavers specifically going for enemy vehicles, and probably spending a turn or two using Fire and Fade to keep them alive and shooting.

Cavalier is a painting beast

My big thoughts going into 9th for list building is that I’m going to have to be more specialized. Before, I could take three detachments for three different benefits and be stacked to the gills with characters. Now, I’m probably taking two detachments, getting more CP, overall, and taking fewer troop tax units, but I’m not going to have as many units with a set of Craftworld traits I’ve picked just for them. Overall, I think the good outweighs the bad because I can take a battalion and get my troops to screen with, and one specialist detachment to take my toys. Much of what I select will be base on the meta and how points changes shake out. Until then, I’m just hoping for a surprise announcement about a new line of Eldar models. One can only hope.

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4 Responses to “Eldar List Construction in 9th Ed”

  1. Avatar
    Rob Butcher June 20, 2020 11:25 pm #

    Premature to write an article until we see the rules book?

    We don’t know what “tax” we’ll pay for detachments from multi-Codexes.

    Meta ?? which one – there is no ONE meta – so much depends on the rules / missions packs being used.

    Troops are needed to score in at least one mission per Chapter Approved, with others needing characters or even vehicles. Let’s read the book first.

  2. Avatar
    Charles Lowry June 21, 2020 3:16 am #

    My builds from late last year and early this year had three detachments. There will be a cost to detachments of some sort and a lot will depend if I want Harlequins in the army. If I do, I may want to run a Harlequin Battalion supported by a single Craftworld detachment. If units have to sacrifice shooting/assault to garner VP and potentially be exposed, the Harlequin Troupe (current points) appear well suited for this role: invulnerable save, great movement rules, ability to have a penalty to be hit and wounded. I also don’t feel like I lose too much if I lose a 5 strong Troupe at 55 points.

    If I don’t want Harlequins, then I may not be quite as concerned about my CP. Ive played quite a bit of pure Craftworld and the way I play them do not rely on as many CP and 3 detachments may be viable. Will I need a third Craftworld in the list is the question I think you are also asking yourself (IE: specialization).

    Another factor will be the continued utility of the Crimson Hunter Exarch. Without needing Hawkeye, but losing the ability to throw LFR on them is really up in the air (as well as points). But, they can gain a 5++; is that enough of an offset to the to hit stacking going away?

    I have a smallish event next month and uses an odd points cap: 1776. However, building s list out with these points kind of shows me what my current army could look like in 9th. Not as big a loss as I would have thought.

    What has been made available for the terrain riles is significant. For those who do not play ITC styled terrain, non LOS shooting will likely become more important. Without ITC, the tables I played on become shooting galleries. With ITC, I require units such as Nightspinners, Dark Reapers with Tempest Launchers, and even Shadow Weavers. Locally, ITC terrain rule usage is pretty standard, but that may not be the case in other areas.

    While there is not enough information available yet to flesh out an army, I am definitely reviewing my Aeldari collection and have been painting quite a bit more. I intend to have enough flexibility to play a variety of units/builds. It’s all a bit of speculation, but I have not had much opportunity to actually play, so this speculation has been a bit of a substitute.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy June 21, 2020 7:42 pm #

      With regard to Crimson Exarchs, I know that some players had already been running them with the 5++ trait in non-Alaitoc craftworlds. Give them the cover bonus outside of 12″ and reroll one hit/wound and suddenly your unit is hammering most stuff really hard and is surprisingly tough thanks to 2+/5++. It could have some real value in a detachment, although obviously there’s a lot we still don’t know.

      • Avatar
        Charles Lowry June 22, 2020 3:29 am #

        Having a built in cover save was great, until I had multiple opponents building ways to negate cover in their lists. Centurions, Imperial Fists, and Iron Warriors (?) usage increased so I needed to find my own workaround.

        We shall see in 9th.

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