The Biggest Takeaways From The Nephilim Point Changes

Man, this is a lot to unpack but let’s talk about the recent point changes and what were the biggest takeaways for it.

Aeldari

Matthew Green (Headstrong): Fucked. The combination of being forced into a single battalion from the new GT pack losing a lot of fast attack slots, the loss of strangle and TTL, the potential of hail of doom nerf, the points were the final nail in the coffin. Aeldari will slide into a B or C tier army as they take a lot of skill to pilot well, but now lose so much power and easy points.

Stephen Corrales (XPZ): I felt that Eldar got some more “universal” changes but I think that taking the universal point increase approach for them could really impact them. Things like spiders and scorpions may not have needed this.

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): Craftword Eldar saw points increases across the board. Not a single unit had their points decrease. Every character, with the exception of Eldrad and Illic, saw point increases from 5-20 points each. Dire Avengers, Fire Dragons, Howling Banshees, and Striking Scorpions all went up one point per model. While Swooping Hawks and Warp Spiders went up two points per model.

Falcons, Fire prisms and wave serpents saw a minor point increase as well. Lastly, both flyers and some of the exarch powers also went up. Overall, there are lots of losers from the Craftworld Army. The big winners would have to be units that didn’t go up, such as Shining Spears, Vypers, Windriders, etc. I would like to say that some of these units would become more playable. In reality, they will see less time on the table because the units that still perform well will be taking up the points in the list, making them less likely to be taken and will make the chopping block sooner.

Matthew Castro (DiceCheck): Give them more nerfs. Realistically though, lots of point increases and with the new Dataslate out changing Fire and Fade and Matched Agility this is a pretty big nerf to Eldar but a positive for everyone else to get to play the game and not just feel like you’re just rolling your saves.

Chaos Space Marines

Wyatt Turk (Jack of Clubs Painting): The new Chaos Space Marines points have also been revealed in CA Nephilim. CSM is shaping up to be a somewhat points expensive, but very potent book. Even though most units are going to start at approx. 100 points or so. Legionnaires, Raptors, Bikers, Chosen, and Terminators are looking great.

Chaos Daemons

Stephen Corrales (XPZ): I was also a little confused at the fact that Daemons got absolutely 0 attention. Hopefully that means that their book is eminent, but they needed SOMETHING going into nephilim.

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): My beloved daemons saw no point changes at all (except for the Forge World lords of war that dropped 50 points each and mostly remain unplayable). I would like to think we are close enough to our codex that we won’t see anything for them until its released. It would have been nice to have banners and instruments free for our units, but I guess that’s just wishful thinking.

Matthew Castro (DiceCheck): Stop being cowards GW. Give Daemons something. Sincerely, Exalted Daemon gang.

Custodes

Matthew Green (Headstrong): Just stop, they are dead already. Unless the data slate reverses some nerfs Custodes will continue to drop down the rankings.

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): Custodes saw three point changes. The Achillus and Galatus dreadnoughts went up 10 points each, while Trajan saw the one of largest points increase with a whooping 40 points!!! Is he unplayable now? I would say no, he is still an absolute beat stick in combat and a force multiplier when surrounded by other custodians. While he did go up quite a bit, I think we will still see him in almost every Custodes list.

Death Guard

Wyatt Turk (Jack of Clubs Painting): Death Guard points changes are particularly interesting. Reductions all around mean that units like Plagueburst Crawlers are back to being useful, even though the mortar is much less potent unless you have direct sight. Myphitic Blighthaulers are down to 120, a much more reasonable cost from the past fluctuations of 100, to 140, to 130. A unit of 3 is very hard to take down with its datasheet abilities and stratagem access. The biggest bonus is that Plague Marines apparently have free wargear now. Meaning that each squad is more efficient in base cost, and can roll strapped with special weapons, and their powerful melee upgrades. I expect lists that include new Abaddon, a good grip of newly obsec terminators, and LOTS of plague marines. 

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): Death Guard saw a host of points drops from the Plaguecaster, to blight haulers, to plague burst crawlers. Even both terminator variants saw point drops. Mortarion saw a 40-point decrease making him much easier to field. The biggest winners here are easily the plague marines that now have access to free war gear upgrades. I would expect most Death Guard lists to now have an extra 100-150 points to play with in their lists. I know my daemon engine spam list freed up 145 points. I would expect we will see a lot more MSU Death Guard lists very soon.

Joel Wilson (XPZ): Death Guard struggled in the last grand tournament pack meta. Largely due to their lack of mobility, and having been on the receiving end of unwarranted points increases which were responding to a meta long past. Now many of those changes have been reverse and Plague Marines have made it out like criminals with a haul of free wargear. And in combination with the obsec which the terminators gained in the last dataslate update, Deathshroud and Blightlords are looking very powerful at their reduced cost.

The Deathshroud and Blightlords, at 50 and 40 points respectively, retain some of the most potent synergies in the Death Guard codex. With the help of characters such as the Foul Blightspawn for a fight last to blunt counter strikes, and the Biologus Putrifier, which allows the terminators to deal mortal wounds in melee, the Death Guard terminators are looking to make a come back. And now that their accompanying troops have been boosted Death Guard will be hard to pass over in the new Mission Pack.

Grey Knights

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): Not much moved here. The biggest thing we saw was a drop by 5 points to every Wisdom of the Prognosticars. A local player was telling me that his Grey Knights army saw a combined total of 5 points that his list is now saving. I wouldn’t expect many Grey Knight lists to move much at all.

Harlequins

Matthew Green (Headstrong): Made out like bandits, only DJ receiving a points bump which only a few people took now. If no rules changes in the data slate, they will be a top 3 army. (Spoiler: they got rules changes in the data slate whomp whomp)

Matthew Castro (DiceCheck): Why the Death Jester? I don’t understand who at GW fought against some mad lad running 3 DJ’s and sniping their captain off the board but a 15pt. increase on the guy is weird. It doesn’t change much though if at all. For the love of god GW change the points on the Voidweavers to be on their weapons and not on the model.

Imperial Guard

Scott Lafountain (Chapter Tactics): Imperial guard characters saw some minor improvements by giving them free war gear upgrades. Scions, veteran squads, special weapon teams, command squads, heavy weapon squads, and scion command squads got the infantry squad upgrade from the last dataslate making most of their war gear free as well (except for meltaguns and plasmaguns). Armoured and scout sentinels saw most of their war gear become free while increasing the base cost by 5 points. Still a net gain for those two units. The big winner for the guard is every lord of war. Each on saw around 0 points or more being cut from them. With the auxiliary support detachment costing 0 CP soon, I would expect we are likely to see these returning in some lists.

Necrons

Matthew Green (Headstrong): Death Guard and Necrons both got similar points drops, which makes both factions more interesting. The main issues is the better armies in the game deal alot of mortal wounds which is their main weakness, however having more stuff might combat this.

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): Every Necron character dropped by 5-15 points except for the Skorpekh Lord who stayed the same. Every standalone C’tan model dropped 50 points! I would like to think we will be seeing more of them but limiting the number you can take by detachments will severely hurt them even more than before with the CP decrease. Almost every unit saw a point drop and even the Cryptek Arkana dropped by five points each.

Overall, this is a huge bump up for Necrons. However, being that they were one of the earliest codices from this edition, they are still suffering from rules before every codex came out that was dialed up to 11. These changes will help put more living metal on the table, but I don’t think it will be enough.

Joel Wilson (XPZ): Necrons are a faction which have languished near the bottom of the warhammer competitive ladder for a long time now. However a pattern has emerged over several balance updates where necrons are one of the main beneficiaries of GW’s points drops. After one of the most sweeping improvements yet, necrons in the nephilim competitive season are going to come out swinging well above their weight class.

Some of the most stand out units for the necrons going into the new grand tournament season are the Silent King, Lokhust Destroyers, and the shard of the Void Dragon. Szarekh and his anterage are very aggressively costed at 400 points and serve as a serious force multiplier. He especially bumps the output of the lockhust destoyers which fill an essential roll of efficient antitank for the necrons. Lastly the Void Dragon dropped a woping 50 points in a meta which will host many vehicles of all sizes, from knights to hammer heads. The perfect game for the Dragon to hunt.

Sisters of Battle

Matthew Green (Headstrong): Sisters already felt like they were on the rise with AoC and now gaining miracle dice in each players turn, making their faction specific secondary much easier to score. Now with points reductions on alot of units they’ll have even more pieces to trade with, as well as increasing the unit size of Zephyrim to 6 for easy scoring on RND probably letting them slide into the top 3/4.

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): The triumph of Saint Catherine dropped 20 points which will help to make more palatable to include in lists. Celestians saw a single point drop while sacresants, zephyrim, and seraphim dropped by two points per model. Some vehicles dropped from 5-15 points, while retributors are paying 5 points for their simulacrum again. Overall, nothing huge in the way of point changes, but should give Sisters players a few more points to play with.

Space Marines

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): A handful of space marine vehicles saw minor points drops. Assault squads now have free war gear. Other units like outriders, scouts, and eliminators saw a minor point decrease either to their weapons or model cost which could help them see the tabletop again soon. The big winner in space marines is the point drop to sanguinary guard and death company, both of which dropped by two points per model. These units are the staples of a Blood Angles army and reducing their price can give way to almost 100 points in some builds. The oddest part of space marines is the drop to special characters (Azreal, Ragnar, Marneus, etc.). These models saw a handful of 10-20 point drops. I wonder if this will have anything to do with the next dataslate (scheduled to be released tomorrow as of writing this) and/or the new chapter approved CP reduction. Perhaps they are getting cheaper because they no longer get their warlord traits for free?!?

Matthew Castro (DiceCheck): Sanguinary Guard go brrrr. AoC go brrrr. Death Company go brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Is it cold in here because everything goes brrrrrrrrrr.

T’au Empire

Matthew Green (Headstrong): Tau got neutered a bit with the changes, it was nice kroot didn’t get points increases so they still have some secondary play. However they will be reduced to max 2 crisis bombs reducing their over all output and make trading more risky.

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): T’au saw nothing but point increases. Drones went up a bit for both shield and gun drones. Commanders saw a 10-point increase per model, except for shadowsun and commander Farsight. The humble ethereal also jumped 20 points firmly sitting as 80 points now. Crisis suits saw a point hike of 10 points per model, while crisis bodyguards only went up five points. Both units now cost the same 40 points per model. Airbursting fragmentation projectors saw a point increase ensuring most people will stay away from them like the plague. Plasma rifles that many crisis suits were running 2 or 3 per model went up 5 points for each one on a model. This means they now cost 10/15/20 for each one. Just to punish crisis suits a bit more, taking an iridium battle suit will now cost 10 points instead of five. Broadsides increased 10 points per model even after losing the core keyword. Finally for the largest point jump of any single model… the stormsurge is now 70 points more expensive. Lets be honest here, there is no real winners besides hammerheads and Longstrike that went untouched. The losers here are plenty; Crisis, Crisis bodyguards, commanders, drones, plasma and airburst weapons, broadsides, etc. Does this mean that T’au is unplayable? No, not by a long shot. It just means that T’au players need to get back to the drawing board, crack open that codex, and find good units that aren’t so overpowered to fill the gaps in their lists.

Matthew Castro (DiceCheck): Man these are some heavy handed nerfs to T’au. 10 points extra for Crisis suits is nuts that’s like 400 points or something for a fully decked out unit. I feel like Crisis Suits could have still been fine at their points cost if things like their stratagem for Fire and Fade wasn’t just 1cp and you can take an Ethereal to always get 2cp on your turn. However I am totally okay with this change instead albeit a bit harsh. Hammerheads didn’t get changed which is strange and the Stormsurge going up to 400 points is a big LMAO. Guy costs as much as the Silent King now and is vastly worse.

Tyranids

Matthew Green (Headstrong): Oh boy where to start, all the points changes were pretty much warranted however the only one which was probably over nerfed is the Maleceptor. At 220 he won’t be taken anymore which is sad, but he died for his pre faq sins. Most of the other Tyranids good units just go minor increases, but most of the changes are pushing nids to Levithan warrior spam as it’s the most efficient. The changes to points won’t push nids out of the number 1 spot, but maybe in combination with the secondaries changing they could drop in win rate.

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): The bugs got the same treatment as the T’au. Anything that changed was a point increase. Nothing dropped in points. Tytants of all types jumped 20 points. Old One-eye and other carnifex models went up 15 points each. Warriors and raveners saw a healthy 5-point increase, but I still think it could have been more. Deathleaper and the maleceptor saw 25 and 50 point increases respectively. I think that could be the death of both of them for a while until they are released from the points penalty box. The exocrine also saw a large jump going up 30 points. The acid spray on the tyrannofex going up from 5 points to 20 seems like a strange jump. This was not a very common weapon being taken, so to see it jump 300% of its original cost doesn’t seem right. The harpy went up 15 points while each heavy venom cannon went up 10. This is a total of a 35-point increase which may be too much for it to still see the table. I have said for a while now that almost everything in the Tyranid book was undercosted. I think this is a move in the right direction. I think for units that have already been hit by the nerf bat in their FAQ this may have gone too far on a few specific models. Overall, I am happy with the changes, while some may need to be adjusted further.

Matthew Castro (DiceCheck): These point increases make 0 sense to me. Lots of blanket nerfs for the sake of what I assume is clarity to nerf all Hive Tyrants including Swarmlord and all Carnifexes including Old One Eye? Why did the Thornbacks go up in points? Do people even know what their stats are off the top of their head? Maleceptor getting mega nerfed into oblivion is laughable. The guy already had one foot out the door with most lists already off the last FAQ so this just solidifies it. Warriors are still a steal at 30 points. Why put points on the model and not the weapons doesn’t make sense either. Exocrine went up 30, that’s fine I suppose. If you increase points on everything else people might just pivot over to an Exocrine heavy build and so I get it…but the Harpy is still good at it’s point value. Would still run 1 or 2 of them.

A lot of the point changes for Tyranids was warranted, but I feel like they could have targeted things better. Also would have hoped that units like Termagants and Hormagaunts would get a decrease in points but alas. One day the gant carpet will return and it will be glorious.

Closing Thoughts

Wyatt Turk (Jack of Clubs Painting): With some of the dominant factions getting commiserate points increases and adjustments, there is a good chance that other factions that have been dominating the mid-field will come out swinging.

Stephen Corrales (XPZ): The things that stood out as great to me were first Ork point decreases. They got pulverized by nerfs before but I don’t like to see any army crushed out of viability. I think that I also think that Dark Angels saw some cool tweaks weve been praying for for a long time in knights (of both flavors) getting some love. I think this is a great step to seeing diverse representation across the top of tournaments rather than the usual suspect.

Scott LaFountain (Chapter Tactics): The big winners here are Necrons, Space marines (mainly Blood Angels), Thousand Sons, Death Guard, and Adapta Sororitas. All these armies saw point decreases to key units allowing them to bring more models and in some cases units to the table. These armies are receiving a shot in the arm, and I would expect to see all of them besides Necrons performing much better. Necrons are still sitting in an odd spot where point changes won’t be enough. They need rule changes to fix this army. The big losers are easy to spot. Go look at any recent GT or major and look at the top eight. Those are the armies that likely got beat down with the nerf bat. Eldar, T’au and Tyranids got hit the worst. These armies are still very much in contention at tournaments. Do not count them out or they will bite back on the tabletop. Most of the point increases that we saw were warranted. Some still need to be adjusted, either up further, or down to a playable level.

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

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About Matt Castro

Matt, also known as MagikarpUsedFly, is a video game and 40k youtuber and streamer. Based in California, Matt has been playing 40k for over 3 years and has been making content for the game for a little over 1 year now.
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