Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Dark Eldar (9E)

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This is the current 9th Edition's Dark Eldar tactics. 8th Edition Tactics are here.

Contents

Why Play Drukhari[edit]

Drukhari are steeped in ancient and unnatural evil. They have chosen this path for themselves, and revel in their own cruelty, drawing physical sustenance from the infliction of pain. They inhabit an insidious portion of the webway known as Commorragh, the Dark City, an impossibly vast stronghold from which they launch piratical raids across the length and breadth of the galaxy. The Drukhari live to inflict misery and death; what happens to the captives they bring back to Commorragh is best left undescribed. They are vain, devious and utterly self-serving, with no respect for any living creatures except themselves, though each individual Drukhari typically views every other member of their race with uncaring contempt.

The Drukhari have a diabolical appeal. They are the evil kings and super-villains of the 41st Millennium, and they have all the right tools for the job. They are completely unapologetic and over-the-top in everything they do, be it turning themselves into sentient beams of light and flying across the galaxy just to gloat to the lesser races about their accomplishment, or using acid-filled rivers and daemonic chasms as obstacles for their insane death races. Stealing away entire celestial bodies? Just another day at the office. In fact let's go capture a Tyranid-infested planet and put in orbit over Commorragh, I hear among the nobles that sewing bits of Tyranid into your daily outfit is becoming high fashion. What about technology so ludicrously advanced it looks all the world like fucking sorcery? Take a black hole, put it in a box, send it to your political rival for shits and giggles. Turn up to an Imperial planet and dab on the local Guard regiment from the safety and comfort of the bathtub you installed in the bridge of your sleek, deadly battlecruiser while being pleasured by a pair (no, a trio!) of concubines. Or go down and get stuck in! And big deal if one of the primitives gets a lucky shot with their crude meltagun and lights you up like a Roman candle, you had the good sense to leave a toe with the Haemonculi. You'll be back next week, hungry for more.

The Drukhari are very fast-moving, have lots of firepower, and boast some of the most lethal close combat units in the game. However, because they conduct their raids at lightning speed, the Drukhari lack any real heavy armor and are hence quite fragile - it takes guile and cunning to use them well. If you possess the skill, though, your Drukhari army can run rings around its opponents, leaving them shell-shocked, terrified and utterly defeated. Best of all, the models in the Drukhari range are truly jaw-dropping examples of the sculptor's craft. In just about every way, the Drukhari are an army for the true connoisseur! Consider yourself warned, playing Drukhari is Warhammer 40K on hard mode.

Pros[edit]

  • Blistering fast army with massive firepower. Infantry moves at least 7" and Vehicles move in excess of 14".
  • Our unique Power From Pain ability grants cumulative buffs to the army as the game progresses.
  • Combat Drugs can now be chosen, and you've got free reign on what units get what, duplicates are allowed!
  • Gorgeous, highly detailed models that are cross compatible for conversions. It can't be overstated, this army looks really cool and stands out nicely against a sea of power armor.
  • You can now viably take standalone Covens, Cult, or Kabal armies, and mix them together in a Realspace Raid detachment.
  • You share the AELDARI keyword with Craftworlders, Harlequins and Ynnari, meaning you get to cherry pick the best toys from your kin within the same list, and still remain Battle-Forged! Just remember to take separate Detachments for each ASURYANI, DRUKHARI, HARLEQUINS and YNNARI detachment if you want to keep Obsessions, and stay Battle-Forged.
  • Plenty of ways of getting around your baseline Strength 3 for combat units, and plenty of ways to get around armour up-close too. Combine with massive numbers of attacks in close combat, it puts Drukhari up there with Orks and Chaos as the most devastating face-punchers in the game.
  • Almost everything has FLY, or can be shoved inside something that can fly which means easy traversal of terrain.
  • The Blaster is now one of the most points effective guns in the game. It sucks you only get 1 in a Kabalite Warrior kit, but you can easily convert splinter rifles into Blasters by chopping the barrel tips off of unused Disintegrator weapons.
  • Poisoned Weapons are a guaranteed 4+ to wound on all non-vehicles; so your rapid fire infantry will always be effective at piling on wounds.
  • As a rarer army, people don't build their lists to fight Drukhari. This means you can take people by surprise when they find out just how fast you can engage with them.
  • A truly vast amount of options when it comes to army-building. Using the Raiding Force special rule, you can build an army composed entirely of patrols and save a large amount of CP by refunding the normal cost, while picking Obsessions from left and right, neatly sidestepping an issue other armies face. It helps that nearly every Obsession is competitive and powerful.

Cons[edit]

  • No native access to Psykers so we miss out on an entire turn phase. Though, there is a relic (see below) that can combat filthy Psykers, and we share the AELDARI keyword with some of the best Psykers in the game so it's not all bad.
  • Almost every unit in the army is extremely frail and has trouble surviving against even the humble lasgun. You must learn to carefully exploit the army's supreme mobility to keep your distance, stay in cover or out of enemy line of sight whenever possible. Bolt weapons will effortlessly turn your elves into a fine red mist.
  • Almost everything in the army has FLY and our transports all fly, so we are extremely vulnerable to enemy units with bonuses against units with the FLY tag.
  • While there are no outright bad units or weapons in the army, some weapons have a very specific role or niche so they won't see much use in a "Take All Comers" list.
  • No native Lord of War units. But you can ally with our Asuryani cousins if that's really a concern.
  • As with all tournament play, the army gets pretty bland when distilled down to spamming the best units.
  • As a "glass cannon" army, almost every game will be decided by turn 2, you'll either crush your opponent or be crushed. Don't expect close matches.
  • Most poisoned weapons have no AP. Enemy units will likely get to make their full armor save and common units like Space Marines in cover are almost impossible to kill with splinter weapons alone.
  • Even combining all three sub-factions, very limited unit options compared to other Xenos armies with an uncomfortably high proportion of discontinued and Finecrap models. GW hasn't even bothered to update most of the range to the new-ish packaging and instructions, and only a handful of third-party manufacturers have offered up anything for Deldar.

Faction Keywords[edit]

The overall keyword is DRUKHARI. You share the AELDARI keyword with Craftworlders, Harlequins and Corsairs, meaning you can combine them within any detachment. In addition, the FAQ states that "If your army is Battle-forged, YNNARI units can only be included in Detachments in which all units have the Ynnari keyword." So you can't mix within the same detachment and stay Battle-Forged, but you can add a separate Ynnari detachment to your army in addition to your Drukhari/Aeldari Detachment. This allows you to keep things like Power From Pain or Rising Crescendo and doesn't lock you out out of the <COVEN> units, Mandrakes or Drahzar. Just remember that only the units actually in the Ynnari detachment can actually benefit from Strength From Death.

In addition, you have multiple keywords to keep track of. There is <KABAL> for all your vampire space elf pirates, <WYCH CULT> for all your crazy gladiator ladies and <COVEN> for your Haemonculi Coven freakish genetic experiments. Note that Incubi, Mandrakes, Scourges and all the beasts have the Blades for Hire keyword and as such do not profit from buffs for these factions, including auras and faction specific obsessions unless specifically listed. This split creates several complications with list building, and even in a "pure" Drukhari list featuring only DRUKHARI, you're still going to have HQ auras that are focused more on a single unit or two rather than supporting the larger force. It's for this reason that they focus more upon the Realspace Raider configuration, a unique force that allows all three subfactions to work together without stepping on each other's toes.

Keyword Quick Reference[edit]

Units in italics are CORE

Battle Role <Kabal> <Wych cult> <Coven> Blades for Hire
HQ Archon Succubus Haemonculus Drazhar
Elites Court of the Archon Beastmasters Grotesques Incubi, Mandrakes
Troops Kabalite Warriors Wyches Wracks
Fast Hellions, Reavers Scourges, Clawed Fiends, Khymerae, Razorwing Flocks
Heavy Ravager Cronos, Talos
Reaper (FW), Tantalus (FW)
Dedicated Transports Raider, Venom
Flyers Razorwing Jetfighter, Voidraven

Special Rules[edit]

Detachment abilities[edit]

Because they're akin to three armies in one, Drukhari have several additional rules that affect how you build your detachments, either souped, separate or all-in-one. Going step-by-step, you have to:

  1. Make a "battle forged" detachment. That is, one that follows any of the Force Organization Charts. But in the Dark Eldar's case, it also means all kabal units in the detachment are from the same kabal, all wych cult units are from the same wych cult, and all Haemonculus coven units are from the same haemonculus coven.
  2. Weakling Kin: You cannot include Drukhari and Non-Drukhari Aeldari units in the same detachment unless they all have the Ynnari keyword. So no splashing in Yvvraine for some psychic defense: you either are a druhkari detachment or you are not, and you stop reading here.
  3. Now that you have decided you are a Dark Eldar detachment, one that is battle forged, then you have to nominate what kind of detachment it is:
    • kabal units in a Kabal Detachment gain their kabal's Obsession, and have access to their relic, WT, and stratagem. It doesn't say anything about all units needing to be Kabal units, meaning you can bring wych and coven units inside a kabal detachment and it WON'T BLOCK the Kabal from getting its Obsession. But those wych and coven units wouldn't get their obsessions, WT, relics or stratagems, not in a Kabal detachment.
    • wych cult units in a Wych Cult Detachment gain their cult's Obsession, and have access to their relic, WT, and stratagem. The same restrictions and benefits apply here.
    • haemonculus coven units in a Haemonculus Coven Detachment gain their coven's Obsession, and have access to their relic, WT, and stratagem. The same restrictions and benefits apply here.
      • Since you don't actually need a Haemonculus as an HQ to nominate a detachment as a haemonculus coven (same for Kabal and Wych Detachments), you can bring Drazhar at the head of a "Haemonculus Detachment", without having to actually buy any Haemonculi, yet Wracks in that detachment would still get their trait and coven stratagem.
    • If your force has one Archon as the warlord, and also at least one Succubus, one Haemonculus, one unit of Kabalite warriors, one unit of Wyches, and one unit of Wracks, then instead of nominating a detachment into either a Kabal, Wych Cult or Haemonculus detachment, that detachment can be a Realspace Raid detachment:
      • Realspace Raid: A Realspace Raid with an Archon designated as the Warlord, a Succubus, a Haemonculus, and at least one unit of Wracks, Warriors, and Wyches will grant all Kabal, wych cult, & haemonculus coven units (but not Blades For Hire) in the detachment their corresponding Drukhari Obsession. The units in that detachment will also be able to use Wych Cult and Haemonculus Coven relics despite the Warlord not being from either of those factions, and the Archon's Overlord ability's benefits will be extended to all Core units in the detachment.
  4. Raiding Forces: When fielding multiple detachments, if every detachment in your army is a Drukhari Patrol Detachment, then they don't cost CP to field: their CP cost and Command Benefits (for your Warlord being in one) both become 0.

Unit Upgrades[edit]

  • Lords of Commorragh: If your army is battle-forged and includes any Drukhari detachments, one Archon, Succubus, or Haemonculus per detachment can be upgraded to be a master version of the same unit for a small point cost. This grants new abilities as well as access to a new relic and warlord trait. If you have a Realspace Raid, you can choose one of each HQ to be upgraded, though your army can only include one of each.
  • Favored Retinues: If you army contains a Master Archon, a Master Succubus, or a Master Haemonculus, one unit of Warriors, Wyches, or Wracks respectively can be upgraded to an improved version for a small point cost. This lowers the squad cap to 10 and conveys 3 upgrades: +1 Ld, +1 to WS or BS or Saves depending on the unit, and a third unit-dependent upgrade.

General Abilities[edit]

  • Blade Artists: A new rule found on nearly everything in the army, including vehicles. Unmodified 6s to wound in melee gain an additional -1 AP that stacks with any other AP a weapon may currently have.
  • Combat Drugs: Found on almost all (Lelith doesn't do drugs) of your non-vehicle <WYCH CULT> units. You can either choose a drug (and now you can repeat the same drug on as many units you want!), or roll for two random drugs, re-rolling the entire roll if you get duplicates. Numerical order can matter - e.g. there's a Cult trait that lets you roll 1d3 on this table and do the drug in addition to your already-present drug(s).
    1. Adrenalight: +1A on a charge or heroic intervention. Always good.
    2. Grave Lotus: +1S. Consistently the best against T3 (GEQ), T4 (MEQ), & T6-7 (light vehicles) targets. Also known as "targets". This is because all your units are S3. Except Hellions, which still reach the important S5 value (but they may be interested in other drugs). Usually useless against T5 or T8+, and of course useless with poisoned weapons. Has diminishing returns the higher your base S that you're hitting at - so bad on power swords and worse on hydra gauntlets, and so on.
    3. Hypex: +2M. Pairs very well with Hellions and Reavers. With Cult of the Red Grief's obsession mixed in, a first turn charge is almost guaranteed.
    4. Painbringer: +1T. Great on Reavers and Hellions, as both are T4 W2, up to T5 with this.
    5. Serpentin: +1WS. One of the weakest, since it only really matters in turns 1 and 2. Most games are decided in turns 1 and 2, though. Could be useful against armies that rely on -1 to be hit to survive.
    6. Splintermind: +1Ld and +1BS. Good for Beastmasters, massed Hellions, and special weapon Reavers.
  • Insensible to Pain: Grants a 5+++ FNP save. Found, in practice, on all non-vehicle <haemonculus coven> units.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Weapons with this rule now always wound on an unmodified die value, usually 4+. This ignores any modifiers to wound, but notably not the Transhuman Physiology Marine stratagem.

Power from Pain[edit]

Thanks to your army consisting of a bunch of sado-masochist freaks, you gain bonuses according to the turn number as long as you have a pure Drukhari army. Note that these bonuses are cumulative.

  1. Inured to Suffering: 6++. Many units have special rules on their own datasheets that overlap with this, so this benefit is often wasted - e.g. Wyches. The old 6+++ was arguably better.
  2. Eager to Flay: You can charge after advancing. Most of your units were already speedy to begin with, and now they can get stuck in even faster. Some units already have only a blade and no guns, so it's a net benefit.
  3. Flensing Fury: +1 to melee attack hit rolls. Units with the Vehicle or Monster keywords no longer take penalties for firing Heavy weapons at units engaged in melee with them. Combined with the very high WS most Dark Eldar units enjoy, this can make most of your army hit on 2+. It's amazing for Coven units, allows your Kabal units to defend themselves in melee, and frees up a drug choice for your Wych Cult units.
    • Your vehicles want to be in melee with their target, especially enemy non-Dread vehicles & common troops, as that prevents others from shooting at them. A Ravager in melee with another vehicle can fire its dark lances point blank while the enemy vehicle has to fall back to fend off the attack, which often disables it better than actually making it use their lower stat brackets: there are more "Shoot at full stats" stratagems than there are "fall back & shoot" stratagems affecting vehicles.
  4. Mantle of Agony: The invulnerable save is upgraded to 5++. Still not going to save you, but it's something.
  5. Emboldened by Bloodshed: Automatically pass Morale tests, and models with statlines that degrade with damage count as having twice as many wounds for the purpose of determining their characteristics.
    • Morale isn't a big deal for Dark Eldar given their high Leadership values, but the second effect can do wonders for an army that relies on transports. Or one with lots of aircraft.

Drukhari Obsessions[edit]

Your chapter tactics equivalents. Kabals, Wych Cults, and Haemonculus Covens all get their own bonuses, which are now listed in the corresponding sub-faction entries below. As usual, anyone not listed there can pick from the choices available to their corresponding faction.
You can also make your own custom obsession by combining two of the custom ones below, unless it's listed as an "All consuming" obsession, in which case you can't combine that with something else.

Kabal Obsessions[edit]

  • Black Heart - Thirst for Power: Treat the current battle round as 1 higher for your units with Power from Pain; this also affects Blades for Hire. All units with this obsession gain +1 Leadership and may re-roll one hit roll in the shooting or fight phase.
  • Flayed Skull - Slay from the Skies: Add 2" to the movement value of your units that can Fly (transports and Ravagers). Enemies do not get the benefit of light cover against these units, or against units embarked on them.
  • Poisoned Tongue - Serpent's Kiss: Your poisoned weapons are all improved by one (4+ to wound becomes 3+) and if your poisoned weapons kill any models in an enemy unit, they suffer a -1 penalty to combat attrition checks. While you still won't be able to shift marines, you now have a slightly easier time gunning them down.
  • Obsidian Rose - Flawless Workmanship: Range of your Assault, Rapid Fire, and Heavy weapons is increased by 6", excluding relics. Units with this obsession may re-roll one wound roll when shooting or fighting. Never underestimate a flat 6" range increase on nearly all your weapons. Excellent when taking Shredders and Blasters for that extra bit of range, as well as keeping your Ravagers as far away from the enemy as possible.
Custom[edit]
  • Dark Mirth: Gain a 12" aura. Any time an enemy movement dares start a move inside this aura, be it walking, advancing, falling back, or charging, they suck a Mortal Wound on a 5+.
  • Disdain for Lesser Beings: Units with this obsession add +1 to combat attrition checks.
  • Merciless Razorkin: If a model with this obsession rolls a nat 6 to hit with a splinter weapon, you score another hit, equivalent to +1 BS except it stacks with being BS2+. Pairs well with Torturous Efficiency.
  • Mobile Raiders: Any model with this obsession that has the FLY keyword gains +2" movement. You're Dark Eldar, movement is key to your army, so this is always worth considering.
  • Torturous Efficiency: If a model with this obsession rolls a nat 6 to wound with any gun, you improve the weapon's AP by 1. Aka it only triggers once every 9 shots (base), so about 1.11 shots per 5-elf squad, which goes up as the unit gets more accurate; more relevant for stacking with Merciless Razorkin is that it applies to 1 in 3 successful wound rolls with a Splinter Rifle or Splinter Cannon. Still, not like Merciless Razorkin can be combined with anything else, really.
    • Once every 9 shots assumes BS3+, no buffs, but your accuracy can effectively be BS2+ (Trueborn or Razorkin) or BS1+ (Trueborn Razorkin) and you can apply an Archon, so that comes out to this many procs per 5 elves shooting splinter rifles:
      1. Base: 1.111 (1 every 9 shots)
      2. Archon: 1.296 (1 every 7.7 shots)
      3. Trueborn or Razorkin: 1.389 (one every 7.2 shots)
      4. Archon + (Trueborn or Razorkin): 1.620 (one every 6.2 shots)
      5. Trueborn + Razorkin: 1.667 (one every 6 shots)
      6. Archon + Trueborn + Razorkin: 1.944 (one every 5.1 shots)
    • Toxin Crafters is better than Merciless Razorkin + Torturous Efficiency if you want to focus solely on poison guns, but Torturous Efficiency affects other guns (Shredders) and Toxin Crafters doesn't.
  • Soulbound: Models with this obsession gain a 5+++ against mortal wounds. Kind of not great unless you're going against Smite spam and Tau rail weapons.
  • Twisted Hunters: Models with this obsession get +1 to hit characters - but Haemonculus Covens get sniper rifles, you don't, and Wych Cults are much better at melee than you are.
  • Webway Raiders: Whenever the Webway Portal stratagem is used on a unit with this obsession, the stratagem costs 1 CP less. Since the strat can only be used once, this is equivalent to spending half your obsession on 1 CP.
All-Consuming[edit]
  • Deadly Deceivers: Units with this obsession can shoot after falling back, but suffer -1 to hit when doing so. This costs you two traits and is worth only 1, and hence is best avoided.
  • Toxin Crafters: Models with this obsession get to re-roll 1s to wound with poisoned weapons, and if they score a nat 6 to hit with a poisoned weapon, the poison value is set to 2+. Yeah, this is the one you want if you just want to go all-in with splinter weapons: because you're ws/bs3+ (the ability applies to 1 in 4 wound rolls), the net effect on Poisoned 4+ weapons (when the effect applies, it's a 5/3 multiplier on wounding) is another 7/6 multiplier that stacks with the 7/6 this comes with to wound and the 7/6 to hit an archon provides for 343/216 total (1.167, 1.361, and 1.588, respectively). Worth considering if spamming Kabalite warriors, as only the 5th, 9th, and 10th elf in a squad may wield special guns, and that 10th elf can just take a Splinter Cannon.

Wych Cult Obsessions[edit]

  • Cult of Strife - The Spectacle of Murder: Models fight first if within engagement range of any enemy models at the start of the fight phase. Add +1 to charge rolls against unengaged enemies.
  • Cult of the Cursed Blade - Only the Strong will Thrive: +1 Strength and unmodified save throws of 6 cause a mortal wound against enemy attacking models in the fight phase.
  • Cult of the Red Grief - The Speed of the Kill: Models can re-roll charges and add +2 to advance rolls. Vroom! Take this to go fast and try and kill anything before it kills you.
Custom[edit]
  • Acrobatic Display: Models with this obsession can consolidate through terrain and other models.
  • The Art of Pain: While a unit with this obsession and the power from pain special rule is engaged with an enemy unit, they treat the current battle round as one higher.
  • Precise Killers: Models with this obsession trigger Blade Artists on a nat 5.
    • Best on Bloodbrides, obviously, and while it makes Grave Lotus marginally less bad - Precise Killers does nothing if you don't wound on 5s - it's not enough to save it. Naturally, it makes the weapons Blade Artists discourages even less enticing - never take a power sword on a model with this, for example, even if costs change and they stop being strictly worse than agonisers.
    • The reason to take this over Berserk Fugue is, presumably, to combine with Test of Skill, if you want your Wyches to suck even less at chopping a vehicle or monster to bits.
  • Slashing Impact: After a model with this obsession finishes a charge move, pick a non-vehicle enemy unit within engagement range and roll 1d6. On a 6, they take a mortal wound.
  • Stimulant Innovators: Once per game, you can trigger this and make every unit with this obsession rolls 1d3 to add an extra drug that lasts for this turn only.
  • Test of Skill: Gain +1 to wound when attacking Monster and Vehicle units in melee. The removal of the Wound limitation opens it up to a good deal more enemies for tying up, but the loss of shooting robs the Raiders.
  • Trophy Takers: When an opponent takes a morale test for a unit that lost at least 1 model to a melee attack from a unit with this, they must roll 2d6 and discard the lowest.
All-Consuming[edit]
  • Agile Hunters: Models with this obsession add +1 to hit when attacking an enemy with Fly. It also improves Hypex to add +3" rather than +2" to movement. Really, this is going to be worth more to Reavers and Hellions than anyone else. Plan on focusing on them? Then go ahead.
  • Berserk Fugue: When resolving a melee attack by a model with this obsession that charged, was charged, or made a heroic intervention, an unmodified hit roll of 6 causes 1 additional hit (which acts like +1 to hit, except that it works on WS2+ models and stacks with actual +1 to hit). It also applies a 5+++ FNP that only works against mortal wounds.

Haemonculus Coven Obsessions[edit]

  • Prophets of Flesh - Connoisseurs of Pain: Urien's cronies. Wound rolls of 1, 2, & 3 always fail against these guys unless the weapon is S8+ (remember that most poison weapons have a low strength value). In addition, characters, grotesques, and monsters regenerate a single wound each in the command phase.
  • Dark Creed - Distillers of Fear: Obligatory Leadership bomb. Enemies get -1 to their LD and -1 to combat attrition when within 6" of units with this ability. If that wasn't enough, you also get +1 to hit in melee against foes with a lower leadership than your dudes.
    • A vehicle with grisly trophies now applies -3Ld to close enemies. Combine with poisoned tongue for extra attrition negatives, and spam phantasm grenade launchers/incubi to have a truly terrifying list. For the poor troops witnessing their demise, at least.
  • Coven of Twelve - Butchers of Flesh: These units can shoot while doing actions and all melee weapons get an additional -1AP. Doesn't apply to Artefacts.
Custom[edit]
  • Dark Harvest: After charging, select one non-vehicle enemy unit within engagement range and roll a die; on a 5+ the targeted unit takes a mortal wound.
  • Enhanced Sensory Organs: All attacks ignore light and heavy cover.
  • Experimental Creations: All models with this obsession gain +1S.
  • Hungry for Flesh: Models with this obsession can re-roll charges.
  • Master of Mutagens: When resolving a melee attack with a poisoned weapon against a non-vehicle non-titanic unit, an unmodified hit roll of 6 automatically wounds. Does not apply to relics.
  • Mass Torturers: When the Torturer's Craft Stratagem is used, it costs 1 CP instead of 2.
  • Obsessive Collectors: When an enemy unit is destroyed by a melee weapon wielded by a model in a unit with this obsession, you can select one model in the unit that did the deed to regain 1d3 lost wounds. If the unit was a unit of wracks, you can restore 1d3 destroyed models to the unit.
  • Splinterblades: Units with this obsession score an extra hit whenever they roll a 6 to hit in melee.
All-Consuming[edit]
  • Artists of the Flesh: -1 damage from all enemy weapons, to a minimum of 1. Sadly won't apply to any vehicles you bring.
    • The January 2022 Dataslate has nerfed this one too, as now it won't work an anything Strength 8+. Heavy artillery like the Basilisk remain just as capable of pulping your wracks, though this will still help against most infantry gunlines.
  • Dark Technomancers: When the unit shoots, you can choose to enhance any or all of their ranged weapons. Such weapons gain +1 to wound rolls and +1 to their damage characteristic (which is why it does nothing for phantasm grenade launchers, as they don't deal damage based on their characteristic), but cannot re-roll to hit. If an enhanced weapon rolls any unmodified 1s to hit, the model carrying it suffers a mortal wound (note that the bearer suffers 1 mortal wound even if it rolls multiple 1s). vehicle and monster units eat d3 MWs instead. Doesn't work on Liquifiers or Twin Liquifiers.
    • This was absurdly good; the new codex has taken the nerf bat to it, and moving to unmodified die results has rendered a lot of the covens' favourite guns pointless. Then the June 2021 FAQ kneecapped it even further by making it unable to affect liquifiers. Such a shame, because those were such good guns.

Stratagems[edit]

  • Cruel Deception (1/2 CP): A friendly unit can fall back and either shoot or charge. The uses here are pretty plain to see, and don't discriminate on faction. Upped to 2 CP if you choose to both shoot AND charge.
  • The Great Enemy (1 CP): Re-roll failed hit and wound rolls in the fight phase for one of your units fighting a Slaanesh unit. Copypasta'd from the Craftworlders, but still a pretty big help against Emperor's Children and Slaanesh Daemons.
  • Hunt From the Shadows (1 CP): Use if a unit in cover is targeted by a shooting attack, increase bonus to their armour saves by 1. Warriors, Scourges and Reavers in cover will go to 2+ saves.
  • Lightning-Fast Reactions (1CP): Use when a Drukhari Infantry, Vehicle, or Biker unit (except for <Haemonculus Coven> units or Urien) is targeted by a ranged or melee weapon. For the rest of the phase, subtract 1 from hit rolls made against that unit for the phase. Same as their Craftworld cousins, but no less annoying for your opponent.
  • The Torturer’s Craft (1/2 CP): Used before Urien or a <Haemonculus Coven> unit from your army fight. You can re-roll failed wound rolls for that unit. Costs 1 CP when used on a character or a unit of wracks with 10 or fewer models, otherwise it costs 2 CP.
  • Pray They Don't Take You Alive (1 CP): If you slay the enemy Warlord in the Fight phase, the entirety of the enemy army takes a -1 to combat attrition checks for the rest of the game. Tricky to pull off, but a permanent debuff on every enemy unit makes it worth it.
    • All three Eldar factions have units that synergise extremely well with this and it can set up some great Leadership Bombs in Soup Lists.
  • Alliance of Agony (1 CP): Used before the battle. If the Warlord is an Archon in a Realspace Raid Detachment, pick 1 generic Haemonculus and 1 generic Succubus. They both gain a Warlord Trait. It's like having three Warlords for the price of one, and the Raiding Force rules were already encouraging you to take detachments from multiple sub-factions. The Archon is the only one who counts for things like Slay The Warlord, though.
  • Prizes from the Dark City (1 CP): The generic "another character gets a relic" stratagem, which you'll absolutely be using alongside Alliance of Agony. Use once in a Patrol battle, twice in a Strike Force battle, and three times in an Onslaught battle.
  • Tolerated Ambition (1 CP): The generic "another character gets a WT" stratagem, for when you're not taking a Realspace Raid detachment. Use once in a Patrol battle, twice in a Strike Force battle, and three times in an Onslaught battle.
  • Deadly Rivals (2 CP): Use during the command phase. Pick a unit of Reavers and a unit of a unit of Hellions who are within 12" and visible to each other. Both units add +1" to their movement and can re-roll to hit in melee.
  • Eviscerating Fly-By (1/2 CP): Used when a <Wych Cult> unit with the Fly keyword moves or advances. If you move over an enemy unit with this move, roll a D6 for each model in your unit, adding 1 to the result if the enemy unit you picked is Infantry. On a 5+, the enemy unit takes a Mortal Wound. Upped to 2 CP if the unit has over 5 models. Note that only one model has to move over the unit to trigger this.
    • Imagine this on a 20-elf squad of hellions flying over a character that thought it was safe surrounded by other units...
  • Murderous Descent (1 CP): When a transport is set up during the Reinforcements phase, any units inside that transport can immediately hop off so long as they also obey the restrictions of deep-striking. Venom/Raider Drop Pod!
  • Never Stationary (2 CP): One unit that isn't Aircraft can move up to 7" right after shooting. This makes them unable to charge, making it more worthwhile to kabalite warriors.
  • Pain Syphon (1 CP): Whenever a unit kills an enemy unit while within 6" of a Cronos, that unit will automatically max out their perks from Power from Pain. Pretty damn wicked when it works.
  • Prey on the Weak (1 CP): Use whenever a Drukhari Core unit shoots or fights. Until the end of the phase, whenever they target a unit that's below full-strength, they can re-roll hit rolls of 1. If the target is below half strength they can re-roll all misses instead.
  • Screaming Jets (1 CP): As Webway Portal, but with a Drukhari Vehicle and doesn't cost extra for transports. Totally not a copy pasta of the Craftworld stratagem Cloud Strike. Honest.
  • Swift Outflanking (1 CP): One Drukhari Transport that's within 9" of the table edge can hop right back into reserves. Do I smell "Shove Raiders up the enemy's Backside?"
  • Webway Portal (1/3 CP): One use only. When deploying, you can set up either 1 (for 1 CP) or 2 (for 3 CP) Drukhari Infantry, Biker, or Beast unit(s) in the Webway, which can deep strike at any time in the game following the usual rules for deep striking.
    • The uses for this are all quite delicious, from a sudden reinforcement to dropping those Incubi to a location they absolutely need to be.
  • Crucible of Malediction (1 CP): Use during one Psychic phase. Roll a d6 for each psyker within 12" of a haemonculus; on a 4+, the psyker eats d3 Mortal Wounds. It's pretty much your only defense against psykers, so pray it actually kills someone.
  • Enhanced Aethersails (1 CP): Use when a Raider or Ravager advances. Add a flat 8″ to their move instead of rolling for it.
    • When combined with the Kabal of the Black Heart, this stratagem can allow a raider to pull of a first turn charge, potentially preventing a unit from shooting and setting up a Wych unit for a second turn disembark. Attempt at your own risk.
  • Haywire Grenade (1 CP): Used when a Drukhari Haywire Grenade unit is chosen to shoot an enemy vehicle within 6". Make a single hit roll, if it hits, it deals D3 mortal wounds.
    • Useful for finishing off a badly damaged vehicle or dropping it a damage tier.
  • Hyperstimm Backlash (2 CP): During the Command phase, choose a <Wych Cult> unit with the Combat Drugs rule. Until your next Command phase, the benefit of Combat Drugs is doubled. This can't be used on a model with the Phial Boquet relic since it could be considered double-dipping.
    • The risk of pain is gone, so hurray! Let's see this get abused!
    • Do I smell a Stimm Addict Succubus with rolling for drugs using this? 4 doubled drugs!
  • Potent Metallotoxins (2 CP): Use during either the shooting or fight phase. Select one unit; whenever this unit uses a poisoned weapon, that weapon is no longer subject to the limitations that make these weapons ineffective against non-Titanic Vehicle units. Congratulations, your Raider full of Trueborns might be able to pop a fucking Land Raider through the splinter rifles alone!
    • Don't forget the use in melee for things like the tryptych whip.
      • Do forget about it, those super toxins only work for non-relic weapons.
  • Shock Prow (1 CP): Used when a Drukhari Shock Prow unit makes a charge. Select an enemy in engagement range: If that unit is a Vehicle, they suffer d3 mortal wounds on a 2+. If they aren't, roll a d6 for each model within engagement range with this unit; on a roll that exceeds the model's Toughness, the model takes a mortal wound.
    • Commoragh drift that sucker into those hordes!

Secondary Objectives[edit]

You can pick three of these to score more points in a game, some thoughts on each of 'em are below. You can only take one from each category. Also keep in mind that these are only the generic ones, there are a few mission-specific ones too.

These ones focus on killing specific things. Put some thought into these when you actually see your opponent's army.

  • Assassinate: 3 VP for each Character you kill. Theoretically easy points against armies that rely on 'em, like Guard or Craftworlds. Outside of murdering the units around your opponent's characters, your best bet is to use your speed and exploiting their positioning. For Kabals, you could cram a Venom full of Warriors and speeding it up to be within range to unload their shots into whatever character. Normal rifles will work fine for this given most characters tend to have invuln saves, though a blaster that gets lucky can easily score this in one shot for you. Melee is where this shines though, so long as you aren't up against marines. Cults and Covens should be able to blend through anything that isn't a dedicated melee unit and if a character heroically intervenes, they're an eligible target too. Some other prime candidates include Incubi, Mandrakes and even a razorwing if you can find a gap behind a character.
  • Beasts for the Arenas (Drukhari only): At the end of the battle, gain 3 VP for each enemy monster, cavalry, or beast killed by a <wych cult> unit with a melee attack. If it was a Titanic, gain 5 VP instead.
  • Bring it Down: 2 VP for any Monster or Vehicle you kill with 10 or less wounds, 3 VP for any with over 10 wounds. Kabals have it easiest here, with their access to Ravagers and being able to stick a blaster in every venom, though Reapers are a good candidate for the two other subfactions too. Scourges and Taloses can take haywire which will certainly aid in this, and Cults can give their Hekatrixes blast pistols, which will certainly help.
    • Works nicely with the 'Test of Skill' custom wych obsession.
  • Take them Alive! (Drukhari only): Score 3 VP per battle round for destroying a Character or Monster unit with a melee attack, down to 1 VP if it isn't a Character, Monster, or Vehicle (so 0 for vehicles). Avoid this against Vehicle spam.
  • Titan Slayers: 10 VP if you kill one Titanic model, but you max out at 15 if you kill more than one. Pretty niche but almost an auto-take against knight lists. A lot of the previous applies here, especially haywire.
  • Slay the Warlord: 6 VP for killing the warlord. Straightforward, though most tend to keep their warlords wrapped in groups of infantry or out of sight. Unless they've only got one character, which is quite unlikely, you're likely better off taking assassinate.

Loss-based, essentially. Focuses on having less stuff destroyed than your opponent for scoring, or destroying more depending on your perspective.

  • Thin Their Ranks: Essentially 1 VP for every 10 models you kill, or 1 for a model with 10 wounds. Ideal for horde armies, like Guard or Orks, blows ass against elite armies like Custodes. The sheer amount of poison you can crap out should make guardsmen easy pickings, though for full points your opponent needs at least 150 models, minus ten for however many 10+ wound ones they have.
    • Perfect against Orks. Raiders with splinter racks can melt through those boys.
  • Attrition: At the end of each turn, you win 4 VP if you have killed more enemy units then the enemy killed your units. Heavily dependent on your list as well as theirs. Probably not a good pick, given you're likely focused on the number of bodies you have and t3 5+ units are easy pickings for just about everything. However, Covens being obscenely tough could get some use outta this.
  • While We Stand, We Fight: Select the three most expensive models in your army, counting all the wargear options. For each of these models that remains at the end of the game, you earn 5 VP. Likely gonna be some of your bigger skimmers, though those are still pretty fragile and are likely to take some serious fire. Probably a pass.
  • First Strike: 5 VP if you kill an enemy unit during the first turn, adding 3 more VP if you kill more enemy units than they kill your units during the first round. Ehh... you give up 7 possible points just by taking this, so you probably wanna pass.
  • Fear and Terror (Drukhari only): Score 1 VP at the end of each Battle Round for each model that fled from an enemy unit during that battle round.

Movement-based stuff, here we go! You should probably auto-take one of these.

  • Engage on All Fronts: Score 2 VP if you have units totally within 3 table quarters and more than 6" away from the center of the board. You instead get 3 VP if you have units totally within each quarter and more than 6" away from the center of the table. Should be relatively easy to score, what with the abundance of Venoms and whatnot if you're running pure Drukhari.
  • Linebreaker: 6 VP at the turn's end if you get 2+ units (excluding Aircraft) in the enemy deployment zone. Easy enough to get there, though staying alive is more the challenge. A raider full of Grotesques may be a decent pick for one of these but for Kabals and Covens, it'll definitely be hard to score unless you're content sacrificing units.
    • Can work with mandrakes and scourges. Even a venom that has dropped off its cargo (e.g. incubi on an objective) and has nothing to do. Needs planning around in list-building but not unrealistic.
  • Total Domination: 3 VP if you own more than half the board's objectives. Similar to the previous, easy to get to, harder to hold onto. Covens are a good bet for holding these but for Cults, send your transports to grab 'em after they've unloaded their cargo. Kabals meanwhile tend to have pretty decent range, making them good candidates for holding backline objectives, so a pure Kabal list probably won't want to take this one.
  • Herd the Prey (Drukhari only): At the end of each battle round after the first, you score 2 VP for each table quarter that your opponent does not have a unit wholly within.
    • This gives your opponent control over your points, but against gunlines and DG, it can be fun. Especially if you can lock them in melee so they can't move up the board.
A lot of these are action based. They each have their own rules but all universally share some traits. You can't perform them if you've advanced or fell back with the unit you want to do it with or are within engagement range of an enemy unit. Character auras don't work while they are doing this, and the action fails if your unit does basically anything - moves, advances, charges, falls back, shoots, casts a psyker power, or heroically intervenes.
  • Investigate Sites: Your Infantry units (excluding Character) gain a new action each turn. If they move within 6" of the table center and end the turn with no units (excluding Aircraft) within 6" of them, you win 3 VP. Again, Coven units will be good for holding these for multiple turns, especially since this is exclusive to infantry.
  • Repair Teleport Homer: Your Infantry units (sans Character) gain a new action each turn. If they move so they're totally within the enemy DZ and have them survive until your next command phase, you win 5 VP. Mandrakes can do this for you if they are in a secluded corner behind cover with their inherent deepstrike and are a prime candidate to do so, given you cannot deepstrike until turn 2 nor score secondaries until turn 2 either. However, speeding a venom up there and dropping off a cheap unit into the corner might not hurt either, especially if they're behind some piece of terrain.
  • Raise the Banners High: Your Infantry units gain a new action each turn in an attempt to emulate Dawn of War. When they move next to an objective that isn't within range of an enemy unit (excluding Aircraft), they can choose to plant a flag at the start of your next command phase so long as they still aren't threatened. At the end of every Command Phase and at the end of the game, you score 1 VP for each flag you have on an objective. Be sure to guard your objectives, as the enemy can immediately rip down your flags when they control your objectives. Keep in mind that this is done at the start of your turn, so you can freely advance onto objectives in the previous turn and do this just fine.
Only one of these is relevant for scoring for you, unless you're souping in some other army with yours. See their articles for commentary on scoring those. Otherwise, this is your only real choice if you're running pure Dark Eldar.
  • Abhor the Witch: You can't take any Psyker units for this, not that you can anyway. You gain 5 VP for any Psyker Character you kill and 3 VP for any other Psyker units killed. As most psykers tend to be characters, assassinate tactics will likely be similar to this. Otherwise, you can use the Helm of Spite to aid in this. As with any non-psyker army, if playing against Thousand Sons or Grey Knights, automatically pick this.

Armies of Renown[edit]

Coteries of the Haemonculi[edit]

Just like in 7E, the Haemonculi gain another focused variation to their army. This particular version bolsters their durability a fair bit more in place of any custom obsession.

  • Restrictions: You can only take <Haemonculus Coven> and Blades for Hire units. You must take a Haemonculus as a warlord.
  • Benefits: Alongside the Coteries of the Haemonculi keyword given to all units, you replace your obsession with a 4+++ FNP against mortal wounds (though it works on any wounds when a unit is below half-strength) and the ability to charge after falling back.
  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Calculating Gaze: Core units within 6" can re-roll 1s to hit.
  2. Schemer Supreme: Whenever the enemy spends a CP for a stratagem, you can siphon off that CP on a 5+.
  3. Artist of Dark Alchemy: Once per turn, you can make one Core unit within 6" of the warlord re-roll randomized hits, such as for the ever-trusty Liquefiers.
  • Relics:
    • Transfixer of Excruciation: Replaces an ichor injector. A hit not only deals a mortal wound, but it also deals a -1 to WS, BS and Strength, crippling that enemy for the game.
    • Mask of Torment: At the start of the Morale phase, pick one enemy within 12" of the bearer - that enemy takes a -4 to Leadership for the phase, practically guaranteeing a broken unit.
    • Stinger-Engorger Pistol: Replaces a stinger pistol. Now fires an insane FIVE shots and scoring at least one wound degrades the target's save by one step for the turn, softening them up for the rest of your toys.
    • Biotargeting Orb: Pick one enemy unit at the start of the game. The bearer gains a 6" aura that lets Core and Character units gain +1 to hit, but only when firing at that chosen foe.
  • Stratagems:
  • Art of Poisonry (1 CP): One character improves a 4+ poisoned weapon to 3+.
  • Mercies of the Harmon (1 CP): One character boosts their auras and command abilities by +3".
  • Wealth and Power (1 CP): Pick one Core unit. Any guns they have gain +1 to strength.
  • Brutal Vivisection (1 CP): Triggered when a unit kills at least one enemy model in the fight phase. The next time that enemy fights back, they suffer -1 to their wound rolls.
  • Mercies of the Haemonculus (1 CP): After wiping out an enemy unit in combat, the victorious unit gains a 4+++ FNP for the rest of the game.
  • Protect the Great One (1 CP): Whenever a Haemonculus is hurt, your Core units can re-roll charges against the enemies responsible and re-roll to hit and wound them.
  • Visions of Butchery (1 CP): At the end of the charge phase, roll a 2+ for a unit engaged with your army. On a 2+, that unit loses ObSec for the turn.
  • Venom of Agonising Atrophy (1 CP): When a non-vehicle unit is hurt by a poisoned weapon, they each model in that unit loses 1 attack for the rest of the turn.


Psychic Powers[edit]

Dark Eldar do not have native access to psychic powers but can include Ynnari or Craftworld psykers to fill the gap at the cost of many of the army's unique rules, including Power from Pain. That said, if you have a mixed list only Executioner and Mind War will do anything for your Dark Eldar due to the April 2019 FAQ nerfing Runes of Fate/Battle debuffs. Oh, and Smite. See the Craftworld Eldar Tactica for more information on the Psychic powers Craftworlds units have.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  • Ancient Evil: During the fight phase, select one enemy unit within engagement range of the warlord. That unit fights last.
    • Remember, you can Heroically Intervene when you get charged, then use this. Especially funny if they charged, say, a unit of 10 bloodbrides.
  • Hatred Eternal: Changed from Chapter Approved to reflect the Archon's new aura. Re-roll ALL failed to wound and hit rolls for the Warlord. Drazhar has this.
    • Deliciously sadistic if you use this on an Archon with a splinter pistol relic, since it's one of the few things that allows you to re-roll with a relic. Or just a Blast Pistol for that matter.
    • Obviously worse on a Black Heart Archon with the Writ of the Living Muse, due to overlapping buffs.
    • Pair this with Poisoned Tongue/Poison Weapons for lolsy 2+ re-rolling to hits and wounds.
    • Can turn an Archon with Djin Blade into an unholy character-murdering monstrosity.
  • Soul Thirst: Get +1A. Additionally, slaying a model in the Fight phase restores one wound.
    • Remember, this heals you for every model you kill. Even if you don't wipe a unit, you can whittle them away to keep at your best.
    • Only problem with this one is why has your archon taken wounds he needs to heal? If his shadowfield is down he's as good as dead without backup. Possibly MWs could do this, but don't sacrifice a warlord trait on the off-chance that your enemy could deal MWs.
  • Master Artisan: Your warlord adds +1 to Toughness and Wounds. Probably the best suited for a tanky haem that isn't prone to being in the front and not part of the Prophets of the Flesh.
  • Master Nemesine: In the fight phase, re-roll 1s to wound. You don't take a Haemonculus for melee, pass.
  • Master Regenesist: The Warlord restores 3 wounds instead of d3 when using the Fleshcraft ability. Sadly you can't use Fleshcraft on yourself.
    • Worth a look if taking a grotesque- or talos- heavy list.
  • Quicksilver Fighter: +2 Attacks, something you'll never regret having.
  • Precision Blows: Hit rolls of nat 6 inflict a number of mortal wounds equal to the damage characteristic of the user's weapon, and the attack sequence ends.
    • If you pick this you want to pick a relic that maximizes your A*D (always pick the Attacks drug with this WT), since you'll deliver 1/6 of that as MWs, usually. For example, a real pro move is Razorflails + the Dark Lotus Toxin relic from Red Grief, which on an Attacks Succubus will get you 28 A*D, i.e. 4.67 mortals dealt each time you attack. If you don't want that Cult, the Triptych Whip on the same Succubus will get you A*D 20, i.e. 3.33 mortals dealt. Accuracy buffs can absolutely help - e.g. if you can re-roll 1s to hit due to being near an Archon who's running a Realspace Raid, your mortals dealt will get the same 7/6 multiplier as the rest of your melee.
  • Stimm Addict: Your warlord rolls an additional 2d6 for drugs, re-rolling any 6s or duplicates. All 3-4 drugs are now in effect! Hooray!
    • The probabilities involved here are weird, not least because you'll need to keep your dice separate, as the Stimm Addict dice re-roll 6s, but the final result is that if you go for quadruple drugs, your odds of rolling the WS drug are 70%, which does nothing on a Succubus, dropping you down to only having 3 drugs anyway, meaning your total expected drugs that impact your game (assuming your Succubus is carrying a pistol, in case she rolls the BS drug) are 3.3. If you instead pick a drug that isn't the BS drug - e.g. the Attacks drug - then your odds of rolling the WS drug are 50/50, giving you a total expected real drug count of 2.5.
    • You can dial this up to memetastic levels with the Cult of Strife via the Phial Bouquet relic for a 5th random drug that changes every round and stacks with the 3-4 you have, or the custom Cult Obsession "Stimulant Innovators" for having 1 round per game of having a random stacking drug which is rolled on 1d3 rather than 1d6, or with the Hyperstimm Backlash strat to double the impact of your drugs. All three options are mutually exclusive.

Armoury[edit]

  • Blast Pistol: 6" S8 -4AP D6 damage. Since you can fire Pistols in melee, these might actually be worth taking on your Hekatrixes, Succubi and Archons. It's kind of like an Inferno Pistol without the melta effect but with better availability and just as hilarious when you vaporise your opponent's special snowflake character with a single shot. Also, unbelievably cheap. 5pts at current.
  • Blaster: Same profile of the pistol but Assault and with three times the range. The 18" S8 AP-4 combination will plow through most tanks and D6 damage for every wound will add up fast. It's a shame they don't have the same "roll 2d6 pick highest" rule as their Imperial cousins, but they're cheap, have better range than a meltagun, and and they're much more easily spammed in most lists. 24" if Obsidian Rose means that it's also generally difficult to charge the unit with the Blaster for all but the fastest of units. Generally will be your Workhorse as far as Special Weapon options go.
  • Dark Lance: The good shit. Similar to a Blaster but Heavy, with 36" and far more reliable D3+3 Damage. Remember that you don't compromise their accuracy when mounting them on paper boats, though infantry units that use them lose some though, so keep that in mind if taking one for a squad in a Raider. Like the more portable Blaster, this will be your workhorse Heavy Weapon for your vehicles and generally your default choice. Unless all you face are 2W marines, then the Disintegrator might be a better choice.
  • Dark Scythe: 3 Heavy Blaster shots with +6" of range and at flat Damage 2. Pretty useful for sniping characters or taking out heavy infantry, but overshadowed by the buff blasters got. Voidraven exclusive.
  • Plasma Grenade: Frag grenades with S4 and AP-1. Fun when softening infantry up before a charge, but little else. The AP means they will do more damage than a Splinter Weapon if something is close enough (unless against something with a higher toughness than 4). Remember to toss one out for Overwatch if your opponent is charging from 6" away.
  • Disintegrator Cannon: Now costing 5 pts per gun, which boosts a triple Dissie Ravager up to 145 pts. A frankly terrifying statline of Heavy 3, S5, AP -3, Damage 2, so it has lower base than the Dark Lance but with a high enough rate of fire that it's still decently effective against light vehicles while also scaring the living hell out of all kinds of infantry. The only downside is that you are usually trading away a Dark Lance to take one, so make absolutely sure that you have enough Anti-Vehicle weapons before taking one as nothing is more expensive than regret. A Dark Lance will score 1.55 Wounds against T7, 4+ vs 1.33 per Dissie so Dissies can still do work against Tanks from the sheer volume of fire.
  • Haywire Blaster: Haywire was once the most reliable anti-tank gun in the game, specifically on the Harlequin jetbikes, they're now in an... odd spot. The Codex has this one at Heavy d3, blast, S3 AP -3 and Dd3, dealing d3 Mortal Wounds on a 6+. Each hit auto-wounds a vehicle on a 4+. Gone are the days of raping your way through knights and their invuln saves, though now the actual wounds they deal will hit much harder, given their boost to AP.
  • Heat Lance: Almost the same stats as a Blaster except it's Heavy, which might make it seem like the inferior option at first. Then you notice its Damage value is an eye-watering D6+2. Dark Technomancer Talos Pain Engines and Reavers with Splintermind Combat Drugs will make good use of them. You can also take these on Scourges - don't worry about the -1 to Hit when moving too much. After all, Scourges are your easiest source of getting a bunch onto the field. You can also use a Black Heart Archon with the Writ of the Living Muse relic in an RSR detachment to let them re-roll 1s on both to Hit and to Wound, which will help shore the penalty up. That's enough to reliably kill a Rhino with one mobile squad.
  • Hexrifle: A good Sniper Rifle, with Heavy 1 S6 -2AP 2 damage. Can shoot at characters and has a tiny chance of inflicting a mortal wound in addition to normal damage. The fact that both the Acothyst and the Haemonculus want to get into melee sucks, though if you've got your squad of Wracks babysitting a point that aren't engaged in melee, it's not a terrible option for those cases where they're sitting and shooting into stuff a bit further out than the range of your Ossefactors.
  • Liquifier Gun: Assault D6 auto-hits with AP-2 at S4. Nice. Can shoot out of deep strike or reserves with the 12" range - and fun with Dark Technomancers.
    • Twin Liquifier Gun: Shockingly, this is the same as above but with 2D6 shots.
  • Ossefactor: One shot, Poisoned 2+, AP-3, D2. Will kill a single marine if lucky.
  • Phantasm Grenade Launcher: D3 shots with blast, for each hit roll 2d6. If it beats the leadership, then they take a single MW. With a dark creed vehicle with grisly trophies you get a -3ld, and then a couple of these can start to rack up over the game.
  • Pulse Disintegrator: Found only on the Tantalus. Assault 6 S8 AP-3 D2. A Dark Angels player's wet dream, this thing is essentially a beefed up disintegrator or an overcharged Plasma Cannon, but with a cooling system that actually works and the rate of fire of an Assault Cannon... Oh, and the Tantalus comes with two of them. Marine death. You couldn't catch a bus back to 'overkill'.
  • Razorwing Missiles: The Jetfighter is equipped with all types of missiles by default, which is awesome. Even more awesome is the fact that they don't go away after being fired once. Rather, you choose one type of missiles in a shooting phase and use their profile. Also all of them got the Blast Weapon treatment!
    • Monoscythe Missile: Assault D6 Strength 6 and no AP value but Damage 2. Force 'em armour saves, the enemy will hurt when they fail them. Better than shatterfield against multi-wound models with lower toughness and lower saves (break even at T5, 4+, 2W, for example)
    • Necrotoxin Missile: 3D3 shots that wound non-VEHICLEs on a 2+. You are looking at an average of 3 Wounds per missile against non-VEHICLE units, 4 if you use the Flayed Skull Stratagem on non-VEHICLE units with Fly. Solid choice.
    • Shatterfield Missile: Assault D6 S7, AP-2. Edges out the other Razorwing missiles against most vehicles, and all 1 wound models. Less true for the Voidraven.
  • Shredder: Coming in at Assault D6, S6 AP-1, shredders are cheap and chew through GEQs, hurt MEQs and can even threaten light Vehicles. The shredder's range is shorter than that of Splinter Rifles at 18", this means your unit is pretty vulnerable, because being too close to the enemy is usually a death sentence to Kabalite Warriors. Obsidian Rose's Obsession alleviates this somewhat, as does putting them on Scourges to hit-and-run with Fire and Fade. All told it is a good gun; a clear upgrade to a Splinter Rifle or Shardcarbine, but it competes with the Blaster for your Special Weapon slots. Further benefits from Blast, and is perfectly suited to take out Ork Boys.
  • Splinter Weaponry: All of the following weapons have a low Strength score (typically S2, Splinter Cannon has S3). Instead, they successfully wound on an unmodified 4+, except for VEHICLEs and TITANIC units. If you're desperate, you can still unleash a torrent of Poisoned shots at that Land Raider and hope something sticks, particularly if you've got 2 CP to spend on the Potent Metallotoxins Stratagem. Some Kabal Obsessions can also improve their mediocre baseline.
    • Splinter Pistol: Pistol with 1 shot and 12" range. Don't forget to use it in melee.
    • Splinter Rifle: Rapid Fire 1 with 24" range. Stock on Warriors and Trueborn. You know it. You love it.
    • Twin Splinter Rifle: Shockingly twice the above at Rapid Fire 2.
    • Splinter Pods: Assault 2 18" range so your Hellions can shoot something.
    • Shardcarbine: Assault 3 18" as a stock gun for Scourges and Sslyth.
    • Splinter Cannon: The big'un. 36" Heavy 3 AP-1 D2. Makes monsters weep and vehicles laugh, pick your targets carefully.
  • Spirit Syphon: D6 auto-hits with nice S5 AP-2, and a chance of doing extra damage.
  • Spirit Vortex: Exchanges the auto-hitting of the Spirit Syphon for 6 more inches of range and Blast.
  • Stinger Pistol: Buffed up Splinter Pistol wounding non-VEHICLEs and non-TITANIC units on an unmodified on a 2+. It also only costs 5 points!
  • Stinger Pod: 2D6 S5 shots. Would be far better if the Talos had a better BS. Like the Shredder, it's useful in those situations where the Strength score on your gun matters (which is a lot actually).
  • Storm Vortex Projector: The big gun exclusive to the Reaper. Features two selectable modes: either 2D6 shots at S6 AP-1 Blast, or D6 Dark Lance shots. Remains accurate when fired on the move, enjoy!
  • Void Lance: Same stats as a Dark Lance but with improved S9. Voidraven exclusive.
  • Voidraven Missiles: You can equip the bomber with missiles for 15 points; they don't go away after using them once anymore. Simply choose one type per shooting phase and fire away.
    • Implosion Missile: Exclusive to Voidraven: D3 shots at S6 AP-3 D2 with Blast.
    • Shatterfield Missile: Same as the Razorwing's. Strong, but you better roll well with that D6.
  • Agoniser: 4+ Poisoned, wounds VEHICLEs on a 6+ and has AP-3. Good stuff. Edges out the Power Sword against non-VEHICLE models with T5 or greater.
  • Archite Glaive: S+2, AP-3. Sounds like a dream right? Now it really is, as the hit penalty got removed from the profile. Revel in bloody glee as your succubus rips through tough guys without a worry.
  • Bladevanes: These come stock on your vehicles and Reavers, for a little extra melee clout. S+1 AP-1. Surprisingly effective on Reavers if you left one or two enemies alive.
  • Chain-Flails: Grants 2 hit rolls for each attack allocated to this weapon. Nice if you want your Talos to do anti-horde duty.
  • Demi-Klaives: Must take on the Klaivex, as it's a straightforward upgrade to the standard Klaive. Allows choosing between either S+2 and AP-3, or S+1 AP-2 and two additional attacks. Both profiles feature delicious Damage 2.
  • Electrocorrosive Whip: An Agoniser tweaked to counter light infantry, with AP-2 but 2 hit rolls for each attack made with the weapon.
  • Flesh Gauntlet: Come stock on Grotesques. S+1 fists that deal a MW on a 6 to wound. No AP but you have your cleavers for that. Instead, you use this against units that hide behind Invul saves like Daemons and Crusaders.
  • Glimmersteel Blades: Mandrake CCWs with AP-1. A small but welcome change from previous editions.
  • Haemonculus Tools: The quintessential poisoned weapons for, shockingly, your Haemonculus. Poisoned on 2+.
  • Hekatarii Blade: Grants AP-1 and an additional attack. Makes your Wyches scary.
  • Hellglaive: S+1, AP-1 and Damage 2. Oh dear lord, send those Hellions at multi-wound models and watch the opponent devote all his shooting to killing them.
  • Huskblade: AP-2 and flat Damage 2, rejoice! Huskblades are good again! Makes your Archon great for murdering characters and swarms with all of the Multi-Wound damage they can do, especially with a Blast Pistol. The usual go-to for an Archon unless you're penny-pinching.
  • Hydra Gauntlets: S+2, AP-2, and an additional attack. Can put some hurt on MEQ. Hilariously, it has the potential to become S7 with the right combination of drugs and Obsession. Imagine a rank-and-file Wych punching holes in tanks and dinosaur-sized monsters.
  • Ichor Injector: Only one attack can be made with this weapon, but this attack immediately deals a MW on a hit, making it a welcome surprise of a killing blow. That said, you absolutely shouldn't be throwing your Haemonculus into melee like you would a succubus.
  • Klaive: Strength +2, AP-3, D2. The basic weapon for your Incubi, which makes them a strong anti-MEQ option.
  • Macro-Scalpel: Strength +1, AP-2 and Damage 2. Also, if you have 2, you make one additional attack with it. Cheap and effective. Come stock on the Talos and still a decent weapon. Experimental Creations Coven Obsession boosts them to respectable Strength 8.
  • Mindphase Gauntlet: AP-1 and Damage 2, can be wielded by an Acothyst. Poses a moderate threat against MEQ, but don't expect it to do wonders because of its low Strength.
  • Monstrous Cleaver: Stock on Grotesques and damn good. AP-2, Damage 2 and lets you make an additional attack with it. Use it to kill GEQs and MEQs in the droves.
  • Power Lance: Basically the same as a Power Axe now. S+2, AP-2. Nice, but kinda wasted on the Solarite.
  • Power Sword: S+1, AP-3 can opener. Somewhat improves your awful Strength stats. Everyone who can take one can take an Agoniser instead, and for the same price. Do that, unless you expect to run into light infantry.
  • Razorflails: The horde-sweeper option with AP-1 and 2 hit rolls per each attack made; use these if you want to chew through GEQs or deep strike a big 20 elf unit. Has some interesting interactions with certain Warlord Traits and Relics when taken by a Succubus.
  • Scissorhand: Poisoned 4+ with AP-2 and two additional attacks. Decent on an Acothyst if you don't want to give them an Electrocorrosive Whip.
  • Shardnet and Impaler: AP-2 and Damage 2, plus an extra attack and a bonus to the No Escape ability. Renders enemy MEQ units even less likely to walk away alive from the BDSM session with your Wyches, especially when combined with Grave Lotus drugs and/or Cult of the Cursed Blade for some additional Strength.
  • Spirit-Leech Tentacles: S:User, AP-1, unmodified wound roll of 6+ increases Damage to 2. Available to the Cronos.
  • Stunclaw: Like the Hellglaive, it is S+1, but only does one damage. However, 6+ to wound with this weapon does a mortal wound in addition to other damage. Keep your Hellglaive.
  • Talos Gauntlet: S+2, AP-3 and D3. For when you need to smash T7≤ vehicles and monsters, as it outperforms macro-scalpels even when the -1 modifier to Hit and 1 less attack are taken into consideration. Costs +5 points, though.
  • Talos Ichor Injector: Bigger and badder version of the one wielded by Haemonculi. Works exactly the same, but deals D3 mortal wounds instead of 1.
  • Venom Blade: Poisoned 2+ weapon at AP-1. Better than the Agoniser against light infantry and units which rely on invulnerable saves, although less likely to benefit from some Obsessions.
  • Chain-Snares: Add +3 attacks for the model, which is more worth it on Venoms than Raiders since the latter loses attacks as it goes down the wound track and is slower.
  • Dire Scythe Blade: Because your warlord just has to have the biggest blades on their floating death catamaran. Unique to the Tantalus and similar in form to the Prow Blade, but isn't limited to just one attack and hits at S7 AP-2 D2. Useful to finish off anything that you didn't quite manage to completely annihilate with the Pulse Disintegrators.
  • Grisly Trophies: Adds a 3" aura that deals -2 to enemy Leadership. Combine with Incubi to shatter unit morale.
  • Prow Blade: The Reaper's scythe, grants one additional melee attack at S6 AP-2 D2. Make sure to paint some blood on it.
  • Shock Prow: Adds the Shock Prow keyword to a vehicle equipped with one, for use with the relevant Stratagem. Steersman, ramming speed!
  • Splinter Racks: Raiders only. Any models embarked on this Raider with Rapid Fire weapons now count all targets as being within half the weapons' range. Kabalites will love 'em.
  • Tantalus Aethersails: Tantalus exclusive. Instead of rolling a die, Tantalus simply adds 12" to its movement value when it Advances. A movement value of 16", by the way.
  • Animus Vitae: One use only. 6" grenade that deals d3 mortal wounds if it hits. If it kills a model, anyone within 6" of the bearer counts their Power from Pain bonus as 1 round higher for the remainder of the turn, which stacks with similar effects (e.g. Kabal of the Black Heart's Obsession).
    • Don't force yourself to get into a situation to take advantage of that second effect. You have d3 mortal wounds in any one shooting phase, and if you get a bonus in the following fight phase that's just icing on the cake.
  • Dancer's Edge: Master Succubus only. Improved Archite Glaive crafted by Mandrakes. AP-4 D2 is nice, and so is ignoring invulnerable saves on unmodified wound rolls of 6. When combined with Cult of the Cursed Blade and Grave Lotus, it becomes S7. Have fun.
  • Djin Blade: Replaces a Huskblade, making it Archon only. Gains an extra AP and damage, and you can make 2 extra attacks with this weapon. However, after combat roll a D6, on a 1 suffer a mortal wound.
    • Mortal wounds can't burn out your Shadowfield, because you don't get to use it in the first place...
    • Great on a beatstick Archon, shame about it occasionally eating their souls.
    • Give it to an Archon with Soul Thirst to heal that mortal wound.
  • Helm of Spite: Auto-include for next time you're fighting Thousand Sons or the like. Allows you to attempt to deny like a psyker. If successful, the enemy psyker suffers Perils of the Warp automatically. Nice.
  • Nightmare Doll: Haemonculus only. Improves FnP to 4+++. Good shit if your meta is full of snipers or if for some reason you keep hurling your Haemy into melee even though I keep telling you not to.
  • Parasite's Kiss: Replaces a splinter pistol; is an upgraded stinger pistol - +2 to wound rolls against non-vehicles (i.e. 2+ usually, 4+ against just titanic). +1ROF, -2AP, +1D, and when it kills an enemy model, the bearer gains a wound back.
  • Poisoner's Ampule: Master Haemonculus only. Once-per-battle 9" attack which deals D3 MWs on a 2+ to one enemy unit within range, as well as shuts down any Aura abilities cast by and upon that unit until the start of your next turn.
  • Soulhelm: Master Archon only. -1 to enemy hit rolls and FnP on a 5+. Stacks nicely with the built-in Shadowfield for much improved survivability.
  • Triptych Whip: Succubus only. An improved Agoniser with Poisoned 2+, D2 and +3 attacks. Combos well with Adrenalight drugs and a couple of WTs, such as Precision Blows.

Unit Analysis[edit]

Kabals[edit]

"Normal" dark eldar. Apparently they are the only ones in the Dark City who wear armor, and they are half of your sources of cool guns. As such, whether you are using Raiding Forces or Realspace Raid, they'll be the core of your army.

HQ[edit]

Your warlord more often than not since he is the only HQ that can lead more than just his subfaction, as his re-roll 1s to hit aura for kabal core & incubi becomes re-roll 1s for all core when leading a Realspace Raid detachment. His unique 2++ cannot be re-rolled for any reason and shuts down after the first fail, leaving him with the usual 4+ kabal armour save. Starts with a splinter pistol that can be swapped for a nasty blast pistol, and his power sword can be exchanged by either a venom blade, agoniser or huskblade. With okay weapon options the Archon is a decent fighter, but any serious plans for melee should be left to a Master Archon.

  • One of the things an Archon can do that a Master Archon would be wasted at, however, is using that aura to buff your ranged units, especially your Kabalites, which requires him to leave the safety of a transport. You can use Index options to give him a Blaster and/or Phantasm Grenade Launcher and contribute to firefights/drive-bys. His invuln can protect him from snipers, and he's got a Court bodyguard unit that is cool and also has nice guns.
  • The blaster is better than the blast pistol, if you can afford it and you're okay with taking an index option, as pistols are usable in melee only during ongoing combats that happen during your turn.

Akin to a Chapter Master upgrade, you can upgrade an Archon to Master Archon, unlocking one unit of Kabalite Trueborn warriors and an exclusive relic and warlord trait. His place is in melee, with Splintered Genius allowing him to fight twice once per game.

  • Relic - Soulhelm: All attacks against the Master Archon take -1 to hit, and he receives a 5+++ FNP. Unlike other relic armours that basically don't exist up until your 2++ fails, the Soulhelm works in tandem with the Archon's abilities: the -1 to hit helps preserve the invuln against most things, as fewer hits equal fewer chances to fail (except vs already unwieldy weapons like fists). Additionally, the FnP helps protect against MWs that would normally pass unfiltered.
  • Warlord Trait - Consummate Weaponmaster: +1D for the Master Archon's non-relic melee weapons, fixing his main problem: a lack of multi D blades with good to-wound rolls. This frees the Archon to take a non-blade relic, like the Animus Vitae or Soulhelm. Otherwise you'd NEED the Djinn Blade for his melee to be relevant at all.

Upgrading to a Master Archon is ubiquitous if you're seriously considering sending him into melee at the head of his henchmen. The basic power sword is fine vs GEQ, the agoniser is fine vs armored infantry, and the venom blade is good against things that don't rely on armour saves, like harlequins. All of those can be upgraded to D2 to kill marines with the WT. Meanwhile, the huskblade's natural D2 is wasted on S3; swap it for the Djinn Blade if you can afford it, turning your Archon into something comparable to a named character.

Ynnari note: A thing to keep in mind with an Ynnari Archon is you get a quality of life bonus. Simply put, your re-roll 1s bubble will not only affect your Kabal units, but your other Ynnari Drukhari too! Kabalites, Wyches, Incubi, etc. This opens up a wide variety of opportunities, so be mindful of the tricks you can pull that the others can't.

Troops[edit]

  • Kabalite Warriors: Your only ranged troops in your entire army, now with base 2 attacks and 4+ armor! Placing them inside transports turns them into mobile firebases, but do keep in mind that in cover they are 3+ save models that cost only 8pts. Their sybarite sergeant can swap his splinter rifle for a pistol and/or get a melee weapon, but you shouldn't really bother. Do consider the phantasm grenade launcher, which stacks with the serge's rifle, meaning for 5 points you get some mortal wound output from every unit.
    • They can take one blaster or shredder for every 5 models, and a dark lance or splinter cannon for every 10 models, but shredders and splinter cannons are bad. Notice these are separate lists, meaning a 5-elf unit can have 1 special gun + 1 grenade launcher, but a 10-elf squad squad gets 3 + 1 launcher (and a 20-elf squad gets 6 + launcher). Heavy guns are locked to big squads. Ordinarily, the best loadout a squad can take will be either 5 elves with grenade launcher and blaster or 10 with grenade launcher, 2 blasters, and 1 dark lance. Also keep in mind that none of those weapons share the Rapid Fire 24" type of their splinter rifles, being either Assault 18" or Heavy 36".
    • Kabalite Trueborn: For each Master Archon present, one Warrior unit in that Master Archon's detachment can be upgraded to Trueborn. With BS 2+, improved LD, and the ability to ignore all modifiers to their BS and hit rolls, but a unit size cap of 10, they're the ideal choice for your heavy weapon (singular) wielders (i.e. if you take a Trueborn unit, it should be the 10-elf type with 2 blasters, a dark lance, and a grenade launcher). They're valuable and often times you only get one of them, so either keep them in cover or give them a Raider as a dedicated flying firebase.

Not Elites[edit]

Because they are Elites but can only be taken when there's an Archon, which makes them use no actual slots. So, "not elites".

  • Court of the Archon: Rather than being a bunch of solo models these guys are back to being a unit (which foils Ynnari shenanigans).
    • Lhamaean: A lady with a poison 2+ blade that does a mortal wound in addition to the normal damage on a 6+ to wound. So, once every 9 attacks. She has 2. So much for the only Blade Artist of the court. If she's in the squad, the Court gains an aura that makes <kabal> Archon & Kabalite Trueborns' poison weapons automatically wound the target on a nat 6 to hit. Only problem is, you usually get only one unit of Trueborn, 3 of them will probably be using special weapons instead of splinter rifles, and the Archon is probably not wielding a Venom blade. Plus, this actively makes Venom Blades worse against some Sv2+ targets: autowounding on 6 to hit isn't a big step up from 2+ wounding, but the aura is mandatory and shuts down Blade Artists.
    • Medusae: Their eyeburst is back to being a warpflamer/liquifier at Pistol d6 S4 AP-2, autohits. Good against any infantry that gets too close.
    • Sslyth: With good stats: T3 W3 5+/5+++ and 3A WS3+ S5 AP-2 as well as Shardcarbines (& pistol), they are the general combat members of the squad. They're also the only actual bodyguard models of the court, as a unit without a Sslyth wouldn't be able to stop snipers from targeting the Archon. But they no longer take the actual wounds for him, though.
    • Ur-Ghul: 16 Points and a crapload of S4 attacks for a single model, particularly on the charge, and the new codex grants them AP-1. It has no access to Power from Pain, though. That said, 3W and a 5+++ does make them excellent Smite shields to protect a more important character.
      • The new 40k Warhammer Quest game comes with 4 plastic Ur-Ghuls. There may be separate rules for those, but at the very least it'll be easier to get some models without having to buy the old resin model separately.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Ravager: Raider gunboat, with +1W and triple the cool guns. Disintegrators for heavy infantry, Dark lance for bigger stuff. Many armies would like to have the guns and mobility this boat has. This mobility makes melee an option worth considering. If you are in range, do not hesitate charging either a vehicle or a ranged troop:
    • Enemy vehicles are either forced to fire at the 5++ Ravager at -1 to hit (no blast weapons allowed) or fall back and be disabled even worse than being damaged down to their worst bracket, as vehicles can sooner have strats for ignoring damage than to be able to fall back and re-engage.
    • Ranged troops often cannot deal with vehicles, certainly not in melee, yet the Ravager is the one of the few non-dread vehicles in the game with melee options. Six S7 AP-1 attacks and nine Disintegrator cannon shots you can fire in melee. No need to use all that on a squad (unless?), but it does highlight the options you have.

Wych Cults[edit]

The lightning fast past of the melee half of the faction, Cult units have incredible movement speeds and bring death by a thousand cuts. The embodiment of a glass cannon, however, they are basically naked and can't really take being fired at.

HQ[edit]

  • Buff Vector for your <wych cult> units and a decently priced melee beatstick. Comes with 6 attacks by default, with so many ways to make the most of what she can do. She lets her girls re-roll 1s to wound in melee, which is a sore sight better for them; only problem is ensuring she's nearby to provide her 6" aura, as the Wyches may sometimes charge out of range of it. The Succubus herself comes stock with an Archite Glaive, which lost its hit penalty while remaining just as deadly, and can be paired with a pistol or an agoniser. Her 4++ Dodge Save (that works outside of close combat now! Double yay!) will also keep her safe that much longer and don't ever forget about her drugs. All in all, this codex maintained what the Succubus needed to truly shine as a badass leader for your Wyches!
    • Succubi can (and maybe should) swap the Agoniser for a Blast Pistol, which can deal with the heavily armored targets they struggle with in melee. No Escape does make it more likely you'll find yourself in a situation where you want to fire a 6" pistol.
    • You can also replace both the glaive and agoniser with a wych cult weapon. The razorflails make her a bigger whirlwind of pain, but Hydra Gauntlets can also be nice to make sure your attacks have a better chance of wounding, and the shardnet & impaler are definitely the best of the three against anything with more than one wound.
    • At all times, bear in mind that a Succubus + Wyches have an uphill battle in front of them trying to compete with Drazhar + Incubi. One of the ways you can do that is by leaning into Objective Secured, but another is No Escape. When in doubt, bring more shardnets.
  • Indeed, there is also an upgrade for Succubi despite the lack of one historically. Cool!
    • Show Stealer: Your mistress can consolidate an additional 3" and does not need to move towards the closest enemy when doing so. Now your Succubus can engage in Harlequin style shenanigans by jumping in and out of combat while ignoring all return hits. Feel free to combine with the Red Grief unique strat to get back into your transport!
    • Relic - The Dancer's Edge: Pretty fierce for a melee weapon, S+2 AP-4 D2 and any 6 to wound bypasses Invulns.
    • Warlord Trait - Whirlwind of Death: Turn your succubus into a horde-blender! Before consolidation, you can improve their attacks to 3+however many models there are within 2".
    • Hekatrix Bloodbrides: They're back too. Whenever you grab a master succubus (or Lelith), you can make a pack of wyches into Bloodbrides. They get 2+WS and +1Ld, and any time they trigger Blade Artists, they improve their AP by 3, enough to gut space marines.

Ynnari note: A thing to keep in mind with a Ynnari Succubus, you get a quality of life bonus. Simply put your re-roll 1s bubble will not only affect your Wych units but your other Ynnari Drukhari too! Kabalites, Wyches, Incubi, etc. This opens up a wide variety of opportunities so be mindful of the tricks you can pull that the others can't

Troops[edit]

  • Wyches: The fast melee option. They took a bit of an abnormal price hike but far less than warriors suffered, though not without good reason. 11 points per model and you get a unit that comes with 3 attacks by default, one bonus from their weapons and plenty of ways to boost this number up. Like all wych cult units they get combat drugs which can let you tweak 'em to fit whatever targets you're going up against, but who are we kidding, you'll pick Adrenalight. They excel at tying up infantry units, with their 6++ increasing to a 4++ against melee attacks, alongside No Escape and all of the weapon options you can take being pretty anti-infantry focused as well. You should also just about exclusively stick to infantry with them, too. Relatively low innate strength combined with the fact that vehicles and monsters now have Big Guns Never Tire, which lets them shoot into them while in engagement range, their 6++ won't help all that much against even basic bolters crapping their rapid fire shots into them. Also remember that you have Grenades! If you are charging from within 6" then always toss a grenade before charging. For alternative models, look at Blood Vestals from Raging Heroes.
    • Hekatrices (Hekatrixen?) can take blast pistols for 5 points, which is a shockingly reasonable upgrade given No Escape increases the chances you'll be in melee long enough to shoot a pistol, but the points cost is quite steep given its optimal targets are what Wyches are worst at fighting. You can also swap the melee weapon out for a power sword, which is an agoniser but worse, or an agoniser, which is ok. You can also take a phantasm grenade launcher, which is generally a much stronger upgrade than the blast pistol.
    • Pro-tip: After disembarking, charge their Raider or Venom into combat first! Dark Eldar vehicles are actually not too bad in melee, unlike lumbering Imperial vehicles, and your Wyches will thank you when the enemy can't blast them off the board on the way in.
    • Hekatrix Bloodbrides: If you take Lelith or a Master Succubus, you can upgrade one pack of Wyches, improving their WS to 2+, their Ld to 9/8, and changing Blade Artists to add -3 to AP when they roll a nat 6 to wound. This won't change much about your loadouts, but it will make your base wyches a lot more dangerous when they get lucky.

Not Elites[edit]

Because they are Elites but can only be taken when you have Beasts, which makes them use no actual slots.

  • Beastmaster: Little more than a buff vector for all the beasts. If they stick close to him, they reroll 1s To Hit and can use his Leadership, plus he can make a pack of them charge in the Command Phase even if they advanced. Now comes stock with an Agoniser for melee, but he is hardly spectacular in a fight, even with combat drugs and obsessions. Same ranged weapon as Hellions too, just in case you wanted to fly around harassing infantry.
    • The Beastmaster doesn't take up a slot if you have any beasts, but you can't take a Beastmaster unless you have at least one Beast in the detachment (why you'd want to do that is a mystery). Also, it can't get Warlord Traits. Make sure to double check if whatever you're playing in is using Legends rules or not, because if they are you can give him back his now free Beastmaster's Scourge, letting you use that 4 points elsewhere.
    • A Note About Drugs: Always, ALWAYS give the Beastmaster Splintermind. The +1Ld makes his ‘shared leadership’ Aura much more potent, and he’s not really ‘fighty’ enough to justify any of the other Drugs.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Hellions: Junkies on hoverboards, now with T4 and 2W and 3 attacks base. Their glaives have been upgraded to -1AP, which stacks with Blade Artists. At 17ppm they're great at getting into melee and the bane of 2W units but, they're still tall, wide, and a squad of them has a massive footprint on the table. Don't expect their new stats to save them from bolter fire, they're still rather easy to kill but they're now actually viable.
    • There's really no bad combat drug combination for them as all of them improve a stat they can use. Best advice is just roll randomly for 2 effects.
    • As far as cult obsessions, you can't go wrong with any of them. Cursed Blade is probably the most obvious choice as it takes them to S5 before combat drugs, making them even more horrific for space marines.
  • Reavers: Junkies on bikes. By Drukhari standards, Reavers are indestructible juggernauts with T4 2W and a 4+ save. They combine decent shooting (Splinter Rifle and Splinter Pistol) with decent melee (S+1 AP-1 Bladevanes). They can also take either a heat lance or a blaster for every three models in the unit, each for 10 points. The difference comes down to whether you prefer assault S8 AP-4 DD6 (Blaster) or heavy S8 AP-4 DD6+2 (Heat Lance). Finally, they can take either Cluster Caltrops or a Grav Talon, at a rate of one per three models for 5 points. The difference is, the former can deal Mortal Wounds when the Reavers Fall Back while the latter can deal Mortal Wounds when the Reavers charge. Your choice.
    • Given that it turns these guys into T5, 2W models with a 4+ save, Reavers are the best candidate for Painbringer, and it should really be your default Drug of choice. A big group of these with Cluster Caltrops is one of the best tarpits in the army that your opponent really doesn't want to fall back from.
    • With the Eviscerating Fly-By strategem, Reavers have regained their old wonderfully fluffy tactic of simply flying over something and causing damage! A unit of 9 bikes will reliably put a mortal wound or two on something which can be a nice way to soften up a target before a charge.
    • Agonisers and power swords are only 5 points so consider them on your Arena Champions if you have the spare points.
    • Remember with the 'Hunt From the Shadows' strat these guys have a 2+ save in cover.
Beasts[edit]

As of the new Codex, you can only take 3 Beasts per detachment, and the detachment itself must contain at least 1 Beastmaster. Not actually CULT...but they need a Beastmaster who is, so, they're in the CULT section.

  • Clawed Fiends: Horrifying but overlooked. Lots of Wounds, high Toughness and lots of attacks at high strength and AP-2 D2. Its only weakness, the 4+ WS, is remedied by the Beastmaster granting it rerolls.
  • Khymerae: Decent harassers with a 5++. Basic stat line of a marine but much cheaper and 3 cc attack, able fill up small hole in your deployment zone to deny alpha attempt.
    • Alternate Models: Dire Wolves work pretty well as a cheaper and plastic alternative. Just green stuff the undead bits and add in spikey bits and job done.
    • Alternate Models: Necrohounds from maxmini.eu make an excellent dark city style alternative.
    • Alternate Models: Displacer Beasts from D&D Nulzu's miniatures are dirt cheap, comes with a 40mm base, and they come pre-primed. Did I mention they're a dime a dozen?
    • Alternate Models: Warcry Raptoryx comes in sets of six and basically requires no conversion other than putting on 40 mm round bases. Scary birds and come with some Some Furies.
  • Razorwing Flocks: Horrible Strength and Toughness of 2, but with Instant Death being a thing of the past, all you can see are the 4 wounds per flock and no longer have the insane attacks from the codex, but a fluffy -1 AP with 4 attacks each. For best results, throw them at big stuff like Wraithknights. You'll wound most things on 6+ anyway so might as well make those 6s count. 48 wounds for a maxed out unit and 48 attacks for 144 points (if I'm mathing right and not totally retarded) is great for a throwaway unit. These will either be ignored or shots will be dedicated to stopping them. Plus how badass would you feel if your Archon could just summon murders of murder birds to the field? Be sure to use these things like a tau shield drones, let your bird bois soak those lascannon shots so your raiders can nice and close. Then charge the birds in to soak the flamers in overwatch. Saves your Raider the trouble from losing out on his juicy dark lance by charging in.
    • Alternate Models: These things are disgustingly overpriced IRL. So if you aren't running tourneys and want a cheap alternative use the Murder of Crowz from zombicide. The model looks a little janky, but it might mean that you can actually afford these guys.https://youtu.be/WAvzmqw8qxI you could also get the new Ravening Direflock endless spell from AoS, which gives you 3 bases
    • Bird Block: With 4 wounds each, and insane mobility for the cost, the best uses I have found for them is to use the birdies to soak smites or send them to form a wall to stop an enemy unit moving onto an objective. Units of 4 are best for this imo. Seriously though, play GK or TS and watch their now incrementing smites need 4 casts to kill a single unit.
      • Bird Block Prime: Dropping a Razorwing Bomb into a Ynnari detachment and slapping the Yncarne down nearby lets you buff their defence with a 5++/6+++ and Morale-Immunity aura - not exactly the best use for the Yncarne, but with 3 units of 12, that's some 144 wounds to chew through! If you want absolute board control, accept no substitutes.

Haemonculus Covens[edit]

HQ[edit]

  • A nasty little support character for your <haemonculus coven> army. On the one hand, he's a buff vector that flat increases your <haemonculus coven> Core unit's Toughness by 1 within 6". This makes Grotesques all but immune to small arms fire and is generally nice, plus you can also heal your grotesques and other monster units for d3 wounds per turn, with the usual restrictions. However, the Haemonculus is also an okay combat character. Like all <haemonculus coven> units he comes stock with a 5+++, so combined with his 6 Wounds and the PFP invuln save he can survive quite a bit. But he also has 4 attacks and access to all the nasty poisoned weapons you could want. His tools wound on a 2+, though with no AP it means you'll struggle to actually kill anything with a decent save. Conversely, the scissorhand doubles the amount of attacks you can make and gives a decent -2 AP, though it needs a 4 to wound. His ichor injector allows you to deal a mortal wound if it hits, not a whole lot but it's still practically guaranteed with his 2+ WS. Just don't send him after Vehicles.
  • Haemonculus Ancients are back too! That said, they're more costly than their (dubiously) more sane kin at 20 points.
    • Alchemical Maestro: Haemonculi can now cheat death! Once per game when the haemy dies, you can roll a d6 and resurrect them with d3 wounds on a 2+.
    • Relic - Poisoner's Ampule: Once per battle, your haemonculus can pour this stuff. One enemy unit within 9" takes d3 MW on a 2+ and loses all auras for the turn, as well as being unable to benefit from any. This is pretty evil, but has limited use on armies less dependent on auras (not to mention being useless against the Death Guard's contagions).
    • Warlord Trait - Twisted Animator: You ever wonder why your Fleshcraft ability does nothing for your wracks? Those guys who will almost always be the first to get cut down? This allows your haemonculus to raise d3 models in a <Coven> Wrack unit within 3" during the command phase, allowing them to last a bit longer.
  • Haemoxytes: Indeed, to keep all bosses on level, the Haemonculus Ancient (or Urien) can now elevate a pack of Wracks. These guys now add +1 to their Sv, Invuln, and Leadership on top of being to nullify the damage of their first failed save once per phase. YMMV whether this means that you can just stonewall the entire fucking attack (since some attacks don't rely on damage to screw you), because that could make these guys far and away the most broken retinue of the game. Bear in mind a canny opponent will shoot you with bad guns first to use up the nullification, then bring the big bad guns to bear.

Troops[edit]

  • Wracks: The thick melee option, only by virtue of a lack of competition. T4 with a 6+/6++/5+++ isn't gonna make them pull off miracles but it's a lot better than what Kabalites/Wyches can provide, making them your go-to objective sitters. Luckily the new Codex buffed their offensive power up a notch, so now their melee weapons are AP-1 and 4+ Poisoned with Blade Artists added in. While Wyches are still gonna have them beat in terms of raw damage output due to their sheer number of attacks and special weapon options, Wracks can now at least expect to kill stuff in melee. The squad leader, the Acothyst, has access to a variety of melee weapons. This also means you can field 2 Liquifiers in a 5-elf unit, or 1 Ossefactor and 1 Liquifier or Hexrifle.
    • For the Acothyst's melee weapon, most of the choices you're offered are a waste of time: either stick with the base Wrack Blade to keep the unit cheap or buy an Electrocorrosive Whip - the other melee weapon choices are either strictly worse than the whip or better than it in cases so rare they can be safely ignored.
    • The Stinger Pistol is a waste of your time. The Acothyst should either take a Liquifier (if your gun-elf took a Liquifier), a Hexrifle (if you plan on staying far away and want to take pot-shots), or nothing (if you want to keep the unit cheap).
      • Hexrifle is an interesting choice combined with Dark Technomancers for 3 damage and +1 to wound. Makes it an actual threat against T8 models since you won't be wounding on 5+.
    • They can get one Ossefactor or one Liquifier per 5 Wracks. The Ossefactors are one-shot assault weapons meant to give the wracks a chance to kill one Space Marine per shot, but they're bad at it - an Ossefactor deals fewer wounds to MEQ than a Liquifier. It does more wounds per point if you only look at the cost of the wielder, but if you think of it as wielded by 5 elves at once, it goes back down to fewer wounds per point. Skip the Ossefactor - take a Liquifier or nothing (if you plan on spending all your time in melee or far away) on the gun elf.
    • Note that if you take Experimental Creations, while Wracks will benefit from the part of the trait granting the +1 Strength, it has little effect given that a good number of the weapon options available are Poisoned weapons. Only Grotesques and Taloi really benefit from this.
    • Wracks from the Prophets of Flesh Coven are the toughest objective secured troop unit in a pure Drukhari list. Combine with a nearby Haemonculus and you have both a decent anchor for controlling an objective and a simple patrol detachment.
    • Haemoxytes: If you grab Urien or a Master Haemonculus, you can upgrade a pack of up to 10 Wracks. These guys improve their save and invulnerable save by +1 (invuln to a max of 4+) and add +1 to Leadership. In addition, they can negate their first failed save once per phase, which might potentially be giga-cheese unless they're focus-fired to death.

Elites[edit]

  • Grotesques: Massively scary. They have an impressive statline complete with A4 WS3+ S5 and T5 W4 Sv6+/5+++ for 35 points and you can take 3-6 per unit. For armament they come stock with a Flesh Gauntlet - S+1(6) AP0 D1, nat 6 to wound is +1 MW - and a Monstrous Cleaver: A+1 SU(5) AP-2 D2 (and of course they have Blade Artists, so nat 6 to wound improves AP by 1) . The Cleaver does very well indeed against T4 and less while the Flesh Gauntlet does well against T3 and high invulnerable saves units with W1. Can also take Liquifiers by swapping out their Cleavers and paying points.
    • As a general rule, anything Grotesques would do in melee, Incubi do better, even when you perform fancy tricks that require your coven. Problem is, they're far too expensive as Liquifier platforms now that Dark Technomancers won't make it worth the effort. You can apply The Torturer's Craft strat to Grotesques if you're Prophets of Flesh, and Incubi have no strat that's remotely as good, but it's a whopping 2CP. That's just about the only way to make Grotesques worth taking, though.
      • Alternate take: Grotesques at T5 (T6 with a Haemonculus nearby) are far more resilient than Incubi. If you need to look down a board quarter against some Necron Wraiths, look to Grotesques to tarpit their tarpit. For roughly the same points as 5 Incubi a MSU of Grotesques give you twice the wounds at twice the toughness.
    • If you dislike the models or failcast resin, or aren't made of money, the Crypt Horrors and Stormfiends from AoS are nice plastic alternatives.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Cronos: The support Engine. The Cronos comes stock with a spirit syphon, an Assault heavy flamer with AP-2 that does +1 damage (2 total) on 6s to wound. For 10 points you can add a spirit vortex that does nearly the same but without the auto-hits, in exchange for being Blast and having extra 6" of range. More importantly, it can also take a spirit probe for measly 5 points. This lets DRUKHARI CORE and DRUKHARI CHARACTER units within 6" re-roll 1s to wound in melee, which makes your Grotesques even scarier. In addition, each time it kills any model in melee with its spirit-leech tentacles, you can choose one DRUKHARI CORE unit within 6" to either heal 1 Wound or restore a lost model at 1 Wound. A4 WS4+ S5 AP-1 per model (so A12 for a full unit, since you only need 1 probe for the whole unit) isn't that bad, but the Cronos won't exactly blend entire hordes into spirit-juice. Still, it can resurrect a Wrack if you're worried about it falling below half-strength.
    • Dark Technomancers: Because Dark Technomancers doesn't work on Liquifiers (Twin or not), the Cronos is the best use you have for Dark Technomancers: the base gun can't cause any mortal wounds but works with the Obsession, and you can add a second gun for a decent price - plus, you have immediate access to healing any wounds you do suffer by murdering things in melee.
  • Talos: The killy Engine. Can serve both as an anvil and a battering ram of your army, with more emphasis placed on one of these roles depending on the choice of Obsession and wargear. The standard load-out of 2 macro-scalpels and 2 splinter cannons offers decent MEQ-removing capability thanks to multiple D2 attacks. However, each arm and the tail weapon can be swapped for a variety of anti-infantry and/or anti-armour tools depending on its designated role. Only the Talos gauntlet and twin liqufier gun cost any additional points.
    • Melee weapons: Chain-flails grant each Talos 10 S6 attacks, which sounds nice until you notice AP0. This amounts to hitting enemy units with big, heavy pillows, although that is indeed a lot of attacks to potentially proc Blade Artists with, for what it's worth. The default pair of macro-scalpels can do some solid work against heavy infantry as well as light vehicles and monsters, especially if you boost their Strength. However, despite some disadvantages, the Talos gauntlet is a superior weapon; for +5 points it can easily destroy Gravis marines and crack some big, tough targets. The Talos ichor injector is also an interesting option to add some mortal wounds to the damage output. All in all, the macro-scalpels shouldn't disappoint, but if you want to send your Taloses against the most durable foes, gauntlet + ichor injector is worth considering.
      • 1 Melee Weapon + 1 Twin Liquifier: There's a strong argument to be made that a twin Liquifier will do more work than an extra scalpel. They got buffed during the codex update to S4 AP -2, making them a bit killier than they were, and +1 attack from having a second Scalpel is unlikely to have the same impact as on average seven autohits from the liquifiers. You will be dishing out 15 extra points for the privilege, however. Unless you're doing this to keep the unit as cheap as possible, you should still always shell out to upgrade the 1 melee weapon you do have from a Scalpel to a Gauntlet - the Twin Liquifier will do plenty to murder hordes, you'll want the Gauntlet for punching anything heavy.
    • Choosing tail weapons: Pain Engines suffer from BS4+, so their shooting weapons should be chosen with care depending on what role you want your big bois to play. Luckily, with the new Codex they're now all free! Splinter cannons give them some extra anti-infantry firepower, but reduce their effectiveness against vehicles. Haywire blasters are effective against vehicles: a squad of three Taloi puts out 6D3 S3 AP-3 D1d3 shots which successfully wound vehicles on 4+, and on 6+ cause additional D3 mortal wounds. The odd inclusion of Blast makes them not-terrible against most infantry, but be mindful of the low Strength. Heat lances are basically super-blasters that grant the ability to pop units that are big and sturdy from afar (or up close, you can shoot in melee now). The stinger pod is probably the worst choice out of all, potentially giving your Talos the most shots per gun (2D6) if you roll well, but with a worse statline compared to its closest competitor: the twin splinter cannons.
      • You can turn these fellows into nice DISTRACTION CARNIFEXES by giving them an Ichor Injector, Talos Gauntlet, and Haywire Blasters. A jittery imperial with his Knight Crusader will shoot at it until this thing is totally dead, giving your real units all the time they need to move in.
    • Artists of the Flesh: The anvil. With native defensive stats of T6 W7 Sv3+/6++/5+++, the Talos is durable for a Drukhari unit. Nearby Haemonculi can and should boost the Toughness to 7. As for Obsessions, the Prophets of Flesh are not quite what they used to be: regenerating 1 Wound per unit at the start of your Command Phase is underwhelming, and the defensive buff against weapons that are below S8 is useless to a boosted Talos. Pick Artists of the Flesh if you intend to rely on the big guys as the damage sponges in your army: reducing incoming Damage by 1 (to a minimum of 1) will increase their survivability a great deal - they will attract lots of high-damage attacks, only to laugh them off a lot of the time.
    • Experimental Creations: The battering ram. S8 macro-scalpels become significantly more effective against vehicles and monsters, and the Talos gauntlet also enjoys S9 against some of the hardest opponents. This is merely half of the build, though, because you pick another custom Obsession to accompany this one. Hungry for Flesh provides a useful re-roll to charges; Master Torturers reduces the CP cost of the Torturer's Craft stratagem (re-roll melee wounds) to 1 CP; Splinter Blades generates an additional hit for each unmodified hit roll of 6, which is +1 WS but better since it stacks with round 3+ Power From Pain. In fact, if you were serious about being good at melee and took a Talos gauntlet, Splinter Blades is better than Experimental Creations in practice against almost everything in the game - you can take both, or you can just go with Splinter Blades + Hungry for Flesh.

Blades for Hire / Any faction[edit]

HQ[edit]

  • Drazhar: The baddest motherfucker in an army of bad motherfuckers remains an uncontested badass. Pretty tanky with a 4+ invuln and the ability to reduce any damage taken by 1. He still has his amazing Phoenix Lord tier (probably a little bit better than some, most of them actually) stat line and his aura gives +1 to wound for all Incubi units within 6 inches. Shit just got real and heads will roll. He also packs tormentor, pick a unit within engagement range of him and roll 2d6. If you beat the unit's LD, then they cannot fight until every other eligible unit in your army has done so. Drazhar sports the Executioner's Demiklaives which offers the same single/double version with S+2 AP -3 and a flat D3 on the single profile while the paired profile drops the S and Damage by 1 in exchange for two more attacks. In addition, he can also fight twice in a turn, which makes him even more of a menace.
    • Dual-Blades offer 7/14 S5 AP-3 D2 attacks for hacking down hordes and space marines. Sheer number of attacks suggests this will likely be your go-to mode.
    • Single-Blade gives you 5/10 S6 AP-3 D3 attacks for hacking down anything T5 or higher.
    • Probably best to take this guy in a transport with his incubi friends as they all lack ranged weapons, try out a venom or if you've got money to burn, a Tantalus. Just keep in mind that he will always will be a big and scary target and needs support to get him in the front line where he is best. Watch out for units with good charge distances as he is massively hamstrung when he can't get that meaty charge.
    • Remember that his +1 to wound also applies to himself. If you want more Aura nonsense a Archon's overlord ability gives him re-rolls of 1 to hit because he has the Incubus Keyword. This goes away if you give your Archon the Raid Mastermind ability because he doesn't have the Core Keyword. The Writ of the Living Muse will also affect him thanks to the Incubi keyword. Drahzar and his best friend Archon.

Elites[edit]

  • Incubi: These guys are our exclusive edgy Aspect Warriors armed with giant cleavers. Incubi are excellent in melee, each dishing out 3 Attacks at S5, AP-3, D2. The Klaivex enjoys an improved statline (4 Attacks, 2 Wounds) over its fellows, and can swap its Klaive to a Demiklaive at no additional cost. There is literally no reason not to do this, as this weapon has 2 profiles - "Single Blade" is identical to a regular Klaive whilst "Dual Blades" trades away a point of Strength and AP for +2 Attacks, giving you some extra versatility against hordes. They also have the Tormentors ability, which gives you a chance to make a unit in base contact Always Fight Last if you beat its LD on 2d6, even if you've been charged. SWEET. Take 5 in a Venom and go hunting high value targets, a practical choice, or take two units of 5 in a Raider and go drown a unit in an unholy number of S5 AP-3 attacks. For maximum murder take a squad of 10 in a Raider with Drazhar - that +1 to wound aura lets this unit punch well above its weight.
    • Also, Executrix squads from Raging Heroes make excellent female Incubi.
  • Mandrakes: Pretty damn fine units. They can pop up more than 9" away from the opponent and shoot with Assault 2 S4 AP-1 attacks with a chance to do Mortal Wounds in addition to the damage on a 6+. ANY attacks targeting them take a -1 To Hit penalty and they have a 5++ as well as the PFP save to keep them alive, and if their Baleblasts don't quite do it, their 3 S4 AP-1 attacks per model should damn well make sure. Y'know, assuming they get the charge off.
    • 9E gave them a bit of a buff by allowing them to vanish and redeploy using the same rules once per game, which might be helpful in screwing with the enemy's expectations.
      • The flexibility of this redeploy should not be underestimated given the importance of secondary objective scoring in 9th. Mandrakes can pull of a backfield action Turn 1 only to redeploy Turn 3 in the opponent’s deployment zone and repeat the same action or score any of the various movement-based objectives that Drukhari excel at.
    • If you dislike the models or failcast resin, the Idoneth Deepkin Namarti Thralls from AoS are nice plastic alternatives. They also have ten models for $60 compared to five for $45, which is a nice little bonus.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Scourges: Heavy weapon squads with wings, which somehow aren't in a Kabal, despite their fluff in the same book establishing that they used to be Kabalites and still work for the Kabals. Their stock weapon is a Shardcarbine, which is already a very nice gun, but let's be real here, you take Scourges for the clusterfuck of heavy weaponry they can schlep with them. With how specialized Haywire Blasters have become, Blasters and Dark Lances may be your best bet for general use against vehicles, but Heat Lances have received a point reduction that makes them by far the most effective anti-tank option. Splinter cannons have dropped 5 points each, and are cheaper than individual scourges. Shredders also received AP -1, so both are now valid weapon options to kit out scourges! Also don't be afraid to mix weapons as you can split your fire. The Solarite in charge of the unit can't ditch his weapon for something you'd like better, so if you're not sticking with Shardcarbines, consider him an ablative wound.

If you do want to take a Melee weapon on the Solarite - and you really, really don't need to - all the weapons perform about the same given the number of attacks the model has, with the Lance being best due to it actually being a Power Axe and the wielder being S3, and you should always expect to have to fight MEQ.

  • Scourge Weapon Analysis - Short Version:
    • Shardcarbines: The cheapest option and the one that gives the most mobility, at 18" Assault 3.
    • Shredders Decently cheap and the exact same gun Kabalites can take, Assault d6 S6 AP -1 D1, blast. Better against GEQ and other light targets (like Tzeentchian Horrors) than a normal shardcarbine with the exact same range, though of course being d6 shots means a bad roll can fuck it over. Aim it at hordes to avoid this and it'll work wonders, though. The strength on it also allows it to chip off the odd wound on lighter vehicles and bikes, too, though those will usually have better saves to shrug off its minimal AP.
    • Blasters, Dark Lances, and Heat Lances: The weapons for fighting Heavies.
      • Blasters: Good if you plan on moving a lot, you can move and shoot with them at no penalty, though with the downside of d6 damage, meaning you could roll a 1 and wind up tickling your target. Broadly inferior to Heat Lances against heavy targets, but provided you're moving, your best choice for fighting MEQ and TEQ.
      • Dark Lances: are 36" Heavy but deal as much maximum damage as blasters, with a minimum d3+3 damage. Combine that with near double the range and it's an option between if you want your bird elves to have the mobility of a blaster or sitting back and enjoying the safety of sniping tanks with these. However, you pay for the range - they're worse than Heat Lances against pretty much everything, even if the Heat Lance takes a -1 penalty to hit and the Dark Lance doesn't, so you're reliably better off taking Heat Lances and just moving into range.
      • Heat Lances: Almost a weird middle ground between blasters and lances. Heavy, with the same basic statline but with the possibility of even higher damage output to a maximum of 8(!) and a minimum of 3 (D1d6+2). Will outperform a Dark Lance even if it moves and the Dark Lance doesn't. Will likewise outperform a Blaster even if the Heat Lance moves and the Blaster doesn't, but only against targets with many wounds - against TEQ or weaker, the Blaster will outperform a moving Heat Lance (the Heat Lance will still win if it doesn't move). Should be your default choice for Scourges if you want to murder hard targets.
    • Haywire Blasters and Splinter Cannons: The weapons for fighting targets that specifically are or aren't Vehicles.
      • Haywire Blasters An interesting option, to say the least. 24" puts them between blasters and lances in terms of range, Heavy d3 shots means more possible damage than the others, while retaining the move penalty. Against vehicles, it auto-wounds on a 4+. They aren't mortal wounds any more but they've got a respectable AP of -3 and d3 damage, with 6s to wound doing d3 mortals in addition. Against non-vehicles, it's S3 while retaining the -3 AP and d3 damage. This makes it... questionable against other targets but the odd wound it might land will still hurt. Unfortunately, can't compete with a Heat Lance against most vehicle targets that exist, although thanks to the fact that 1/3 of your shots that hit deal 1d3 mortals on top of 1d3 damage, against vehicles with good invulns and/or good T (e.g. a Knight), it will win out. You should usually avoid this.
      • Splinter Cannons Heavy 3, meaning you're taking the penalty to move and shoot with them while gaining -1 AP and D2. Better against marines than shardcarbines and shredders, but worse than Blasters, even if you don't move. You do, however get the same range as a Dark Lance, so in theory you could use these as an option for scourges that wanna sit back and pick off infantry units. Avoid these in general.

Your safest defaults are a Shardcarbine/Power Lance Solarite (though why the fuck you would want them in melee I'll never know) with 4 Shredders for hunting light targets or 4 Heat Lances for hunting heavy targets.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Reaper (Forge World): The One Big Gun alternative to the Ravager with 2 firing modes. Unfortunately, has little value - if you have the points to spend on a Reaper, you have the points to buy a triple Dark Lance Ravager with chain-snares, which will outperform a Reaper at both ranged and in melee per point (the Reaper hasn't got Blade Artists). Plus, the Ravager can then buy a Phantasm Grenade Launcher to become even more efficient. Hard pass.
  • Tantalus (Forge World): Dark Eldar Superheavy. No, really. 18 Wounds at T7 and 3+ armour is insane for the faction's standards. Two Pulse Disintegrators fire a total of 12 shots at 36" range, with S8 AP-3 D2. In close combat, it's got 6 S7 AP-2 D2 attacks which hit at 4+ (without Blade Artists), and on the charge it inflicts D3 mortal wounds on a 4+ roll to each enemy unit within Engagement Range. When the Tantalus Advances, you simply add 12" to its movement. Combine that with an open-topped transport capacity of 16 to complete the most powerful model in the army. The price for that is your wallet, your soul, and a hefty points cost. Nevertheless, consecutive 9th Edition changes make it significantly more attractive than before, now that it costs only 250 points (about as much as 1.72 Disintegrator Ravagers instead of exceeding the cost of 3 as it used to).
    • Given its size, strength, and points cost, Tantalus is a prime target for heavy enemy firepower. Using the Lightning-Fast Reactions stratagem on it may well be the difference between being reduced to a smouldering wreck or laughing in the face of that unlucky Shadowsword gunner.
    • Black Heart Tantalus: Want a first turn charge? Total 28" of movement and then charge on a model with Fly.
    • Cursed Blade Tantalus: Your melee attacks have got a Strength of 8.
    • Dark Technomancers Tantalus: Fire 12 S8 AP-3 D3 shots with +1 to Wound at the cost of suffering D3 MWs for each gun that makes a hit roll of one, for a genuine Drukhari-style sadomasochistic volley of death.
      • Remember, you only have two guns. The odds of a gun inflicting mortals on you is slightly less than 2/3 (66.51%), so on average you'll suffer 1.33 mortals from the first gun and the second, totaling 2.66 for firing twice.

Dedicated Transports[edit]

WE GOT 1 MORE SLOT ON THESE TO LOAD CHARACTERS INTO, LET'S FUCKING GO!

  • Raider: A big cardboard boat costing 20 points more than a Venom, with either a Dark Lance or a Disintegrator Cannon for 5 points more. Can also take a Shock Prow if you're feeling lucky. The Raider is decently tough (especially as Kabal of the Black Heart, or as part of a Coven) and might even survive until it's discharged its melee cargo or while ferrying a Kabalite squad for a few turns. Can hold 11 Infantry models (Grotesques take 2 slots each). Zoom across the table at full speed (14") and shower the enemy with hails of poisoned splinters unabated. Use that to either close in to that Cultist or Scout squad on an objective, or to keep your distance from approaching melee units as you gradually wear them down. They won't appreciate that. Or pick up some splinter racks to grant your Kabalites rapid fire at full range!
    • The Raider is a pretty damn good option for both anti-horde and anti-vehicle shooting. Cram it with a squad of 10 Kabalites, 7 of which are normal ones and a Sybarite and two with blasters, alongside one with a dark lance and point at the nearest Land Raider. If instead you need to deal with a mob of 30 Boyz, swap the blasters for shredders and the dark lance for a splinter cannon, toss in splinter racks and have at 'em.
  • Venom: A small paper boat with a Splinter Cannon and either a Twin Splinter Rifle or a second Splinter Cannon. Costing a minimum of 65 points, you can take a second splinter cannon in place of the rifles for 10 more points. Slightly faster than the Raider, it's ideal to ferry MSUs of Wracks and Wyches up the table, or boost a 6-man of Kabalites into rapid fire range. With an innate -1 to be hit, this thing will survive longer than you may expect it to, though concentrated fire will still take it down. Grotesques can't fit in it, even if it isn't a full squad.

In addition to their own strengths, both transports have Night Shields, granting a 5++ invuln against shooting, and are open-topped, which lets units shoot out of them, perfect for drive-bys with poison. They can also both take chain snares for 5 points, which grant 3 additional attacks (not too terrible, Dark Eldar vehicles aren't bad in melee), and grisly trophies for morale shenanigans.

Transports are mandatory if you're taking the Kabal of the Flayed Skull, as they are the only ways for Flayed Skull infantry to benefit from their obsession. Not only that, but it makes them even faster and boosts their accuracy while negating cover.

Flyers[edit]

  • Razorwing Jetfighter: A very solid option, clocking in at 150 points by default. It always has access to all three types of missile (but can only fire one each turn). Vehicles don’t suffer a -1 to hit when moving and firing, so it will hit on a 3+ most of the time. Getting out of sticky situations or into the enemy's face is no problem either with a move of 20-72". The Razorwing comes equipped with Disintegrator Cannons for ruining the day of any MEQ squad, or can opt for Dark Lances for 10 points less to go after vehicles and characters. Also comes with a Twin Splinter Rifle that you can upgrade to a Splinter Cannon for 10 points. With Kabal of the Flayed Skull, it's just plane evil. Also has a 5++ thanks to night shields.
    • Razorwing Missiles: A mixed bag, you can only fire off one though. All of them are blast too, which is nice.
      • Monoscythe: Assault 1d6 S6 AP0 D2, Blast (average shots 3.5/4/6). Shitty, but you can at least try and force saves. Shatterfield and Necrotoxin are both better at hurting MEQ on average dice.
      • Necrotoxin: Assault 3d3 S2 AP0 D1, Poisoned (2+), Blast (average shots 6/6/9). Only good for units with T4 or better and not better than 5+ armor. At T3 the Shatterfield wounds on 2+ anyway and the AP will help a lot more than 2 more shots on average.
      • Shatterfield: Assault 1d6 S7 AP-2 D1, Blast (average shots 3.5/4/6). The "best" missile against pretty much everything, but still not great. 1d6
  • Voidraven Bomber: Behold, one of the most durable and powerful models in the army! 12 Wounds at T6 combined and a built-in 5++ mean that for Drukhari standards, this is one tough son of a bitch to bring down. First of all it is a bomber, and a bomb it has. Once per battle you can drop a tactical nuke on a single spot the Voidraven has moved over. Then, you roll 1D6 for each unit within 6" of that location, subtracting 1 if its a character. For each roll of 4+, the unit in question takes d6 mortal wounds. Probably worse than its previous version but now that this doesn't have a hard limit of only one squad, dumping it on top of some character in the middle of your opponent's castle is probably the best use of it for maximum rape. The Voidraven is also equipped with two Void Lances, which are +1S compared to the Dark Lances. You can switch these out for Dark Scythes which are Heavy 3, S8, AP-4, 2 damage. Both options are good for doing work after you have dropped the Bomb, they will definitely help with stripping the last few wounds off a Knight or Tank. You can take the missiles below for 15 points, but you probably shouldn't, as both flavors are mediocre at best.
    • Voidraven Missiles Like the Razorwing, you can only fire one of these off at a time despite the plural name, and both of them are blast. Unlike with the Razorwing, they're optional - you have to spend points on them and they don't come stock - but if you're taking a Voidraven anyway, the missiles are worth the cost (15 points). Don't bother throwing either at hard targets (T8+) unless you're desperate.
      • Shatterfield: Same as the one the Razorwing has (Assault 1d6 S7 AP-2 D1, Blast) and just as unimpressive. Worse than the Implosion Missile against the majority of targets, but better against GEQ.
      • Implosion: Assault 1d3 S6 AP-3 D2, Blast. Less potential shots than the Shatterfield but even better AP and D2 (giving it better A*D - 4, rather than 3.5, on average). This makes it better than the Shatterfield against any target with W2+ outside of specific niche cases where the extra penetration won't matter but the extra toughness will (e.g. against a T6 target with a 4++).

Legends[edit]

Basically Corsairs (rip), Favoured retinues back when they were elites instead of a troops upgrade and an airplane.

Troops[edit]

A way to actually make a full Blades for Hire only army, actually. Rip Corsairs though.

  • Corsair Reaver Band:
  • Corsair Skyreaver Band:

Elites[edit]

  • Kabalite Trueborn: Want to hear something scary? How about a Venom + 4 Blasters deepstriking 17.99" away from your frontline? With the new Screaming Jets Strategem, Blasterborn are crazy good now. Warriors with an additional attack and point of Leadership, and the ability to get 4 Blasters into a 5-Elf Squad. Sounds awesome, so why does nobody use them? Well, you are putting all of your eggs in one basket. Drukhari run on redundancy and not presenting a target that is objectively better to attack than any others. All your opponent needs to do to remove 4 Blasters from the table is to destroy one Venom. Compare this to having to shoot down 4 separate Venoms to get at your Blasters.
    • Pretty much superseded by the new codex giving you a pack of Trueborn by including a master Archon and sparing you an elites slot by using one of your stock warriors. The only thing you're missing is the ability to pile on the blasters.
  • Hekatrix Bloodbrides: Take ten, give them as many Hydra Gauntlets as you can, give them Adrenalight, and stuff them in a Raider. Then bury something in an even unholier number of attacks. Just keep in mind the cost when bringing them over Wyches. Everything that has been said for Wyches is relevant to these. 5 in a Venom make an awesome MSU hunting unit. 10 in a Raider is a Tarpit that will eventually kill something due to the sheer number of attacks. Have received a +1 Attack boost as part of their Legends update, placing them once again above regular Wyches.
    • Again, the new codex brings them back, though they no longer eat up an elite slot.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Corsairs Cloud Dancer squad:

Flyers[edit]

  • Raven Strike Fighter: Take a Razorwing, drop the missiles and replace the Twin Splinter Rifle with the Splinterstorm Cannon, 36" Rapid Fire 6 AP-1 1D. Actually making it decent for murdering hordes (not that DE need help there), and not a bad buy overall since you're still packing the best part of the Razorwing (Dark Lances), and get the potential for 12 Ap1 poison shots at 18" instead of the dogshit missiles.

Fortifications[edit]

  • Webway Portal: For 95 points you can take this giant arch. Fluffwise, it is the very reason for Eldar trolling where they suddenly appear somewhere where they completely shouldn't be. Crunchwise, it is still a giant arch with T8 W14 Sv3+/5++ which helps you to deep strike your units. It is set up anywhere on the battlefield more than 12" from enemy deployment zone and their units during your deployment and, of course, is immobile after that. What it allows you to do is to be able to set some of your AELDARI units in the Webway (like a Necron style Tomb World), but, aside from 1 unit per gate (like 1 unit per Night Scythe) restriction, you also must be 9" away from enemy, just like for normal deep strike, and completely within 3" of the gate. Of course, if the gate is destroyed, all units, that were in the gate's Webway (the Webway from the Webway Portal stratagem is not the same one, so that doesn't count) are slain. On the one hand, it does let you save some CP for not using the aforementioned Webway Portal strat, and furthermore allows you to deep strike your Vehicles. Still, the restriction for model placement (9" away from the enemy and within 3" of the gate itself) poses a large threat that your opponent just bubble-wraps your nice and large gate with an infantry blob, thus making actually using the gate a bit of "Risk-Reward" tactics, if not even a bit of a doubtful one. The model is very nice though, so don't restrain yourself from using it as a piece of terrain.
    • Keep in mind that to use Webway Gate specific Stratagems from the Harlequins Codex you need to have a small detachment of these deadly murderclowns (and pray to any god of your choice for this to be FAQed and Labyrinth Laughs and Webway Ambush to be accessible to all AELDARI, as it actually affects all of them).

Subfactions[edit]

Kabal of the Black Heart[edit]

Vect's very own, and the top dogs in the city of Commorragh. You can also find them as the box art of any Kabalite units.
On the tabletop, they are taken for Agents of Vect, their obsession affecting blades for hire, and the relic + warlord trait in that order.

Special Rules

  • Obsession - Thirst for Power: +1 to the turn on the Power from Pain table, which also applies to any Blades for Hire if you run a Realspace Raid formation. Your units also gain +1 to Leadership and can re-roll one failed hit roll every time they shoot or fight.
    • Not much going for actual kabalite warriors besides a 5++ a turn earlier. Use MSU to get more re-rolls.
    • The second and third Power From Pain buffs affect melee, and Kabals are a primarily ranged force...yet your army does have melee elements. Melee that travels on transports that carry druhkari infantry rather than "KABAL". load your Incubi, Wyches or Wracks in Black Heart transports and rush them at anything in range: using Enhanced Aethersails, a Raider can move 14" + 8" = 22", starting the charge just 2" shy off the enemy deployment zone.
  • Warlord Trait - Labyrinthine Cunning: While your warlord is on the field, roll a d6 each time you or your opponent spends a command point to use a stratagem. On a 6, you gain one command point. It may not be original, but that's never stopped it from being useful. Pair it with Agents of Vect to win on the stratagem game.
  • Relic - Writ of the Living Muse: Archon only. Allows friendly Kabal of the Black Heart core units within 6" to reroll 1s to wound, affecting Blades for Hire too in a Realspace Raid detachment. Rare for an Archon to be a team player, but getting twice the auras is twice the buffing value. Such an Archon can usurp a Succubus' place and give re-rolls of 1 to wound to the wyches himself. And Incubi that reroll 1s to hit and wound (and they can do both on a 2+ often times) can be outright scary, worth giving up the Djinn Blade for.
  • Stratagems - Agents of Vect (0 CP): Once per game, whenever the enemy uses a stratagem that isn't Command Re-Roll, you can trigger this. Any time the enemy wants to use this stratagem again, they need to spend an additional CP. It's a far cry from the straight-up middle finger last edition gave you, but it can prove just as inconvenient if your enemy is trigger-happy with their stratagems.

Tactics:
The thing I said about transports, and the other bit about the archon being a captain & lieutenant all in one.

Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue[edit]

Lady Malys' personal Kabal, and some of the biggest shitbird bastards Commoragh has ever seen.
On the tabletop, they give a boost to poisoned weapons in general, which you've got no shortage of and a few obnoxious tricks that mess with leadership and positioning.

Special Rules

  • Obsession - The Serpent's Kiss: Attacks with poisoned weapons increase the Poisoned Weapon trait by 1, up to a maximum of 2+. Additionally, units that have lost a model from an attack made by a poisoned weapon equipped by a model with this Obsession will take -1 to their Combat Attrition tests.
  • Warlord Trait - Towering Arrogance: The warlord gains a 5+ FNP. They also gain a 6" aura that lets friendly Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue units to roll combat attrition checks without penalty
    • The 5+ FNP isn't bad on its own, and can definitely help when your archon's shadowfield inevitably fails on you.
  • Relics - Soul-Seeker : Archon only, upgrades a splinter pistol with 2+ poison, +6" range, +1 shot, -1AP, changes D from 1 to 1d3. This baby also ignores cover and can snipe enemy characters. Still a pistol, though. Very useful for character hunting, which isn't out of place for an Archon.

Stratagems

  • Insidious Misdirection (2 CP): Use before the first battle round. Allows you to redeploy 3 Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue units. If your mission has strategic reserves, they can also be placed into it for no extra cost.
    • Just amazing, savor the look on your opponent's face when you redeploy your ravagers far away from any units that threaten them.

Tactics'

Kabal of the Flayed Skull[edit]

In the tall aeries of the Dark City, death comes from above

Flayed Skull are the air force of the Drukhari, obsessed with aircraft to the point their archons get offended when they even see other races flyers. Interestingly, they gained most of their popularity from the citadel painting suppliment 'Raiders of Commoragh', where the archon, Malidrach Vrasque, was shown to be a cool conversion which almost every drukhari player follows given how shit the current archon model is, easily improved by slapping a jetbike helm instead of the head. They also have one of the coolest colour schemes in all of 40K. Red armour with elite units like Incubi having pristine white with red helms. Fuck yeah.

On the tabletop, the Flayed Skull are the epitome of mechanized warfare, fielding mobile transports that deal inescapable death to those below. Apex raptors, they'll fire merciless broadsides on anything that dares leaving the ground.

If you want to raid entire planets without touching the ground then take off with the Flayed Skull and terrorize the shadowed skies

Special Rules[edit]

  • Obsession - Slay from the Skies: +2" movement to all Vehicles. Models with this obsession that can Fly, or that embarked on a transport that can fly, ignore enemy cover. Powerful but expensive mechanized list, as everything must ride a transport lest it finds itself without any benefit.
    • If you want to use this kabal you SHOULD very much use Ravagers: If you don't use Ravagers, then you're better off combining Mobile Raiders with Torturous Efficiency. If you aren't using transports, then you aren't considering Flayed Skull in the first place: Famed Savagery & Obsidian Veil are very much alternatives to Consummate Weaponmaster & Soulhelm.
  • Warlord Trait - Famed Savagery: Get +1A and +1S to the Archon, who will totally be a Master Archon fighting twice with the Djinn Blade.
  • Relics - Obsidian Veil: 4++ for when the Archon's 2++ fails. It does mean giving up the Djinn Blade, but you could combine it with his trait and use a Husk blade, which is still good in the hands of a Famed Savagery archon.

Stratagem - Masters of the Shadowed Sky (1 CP): Gives a Kabal of the Flayed Skull unit +1 to hit when shooting at a unit with Fly, upping to a +2 when shooting a unit with Aircraft. Perfect for negating the hard to hit rule on most aircraft, and since the Flayed Skull specializes in flyers themselves it'll help their Razorwings dominate even further. Also gives you a hilariously Drukhari way of shooting out Jump Pack equipped characters as well.

Tactics[edit]

Not unlike the Black Kabal, +2" movement for vehicles can also benefit your non-Kabal units if they're being transported in a Flayed Skull transport, though not as easily: Without the advance & charge benefit of turn 2 PfP you'll need a character with the Animus Vitae relic and use Never stationary (2CP) on a transport carrying that character. Move 16-18", shoot with the transport, then move another 7". That's a 23-25" move that is enough to get the 6" animus vitae grenade into range. That transport won't be able to charge, but the rest of your +2"M transports will be able to advance and charge.

  • For Venoms that's (16+2)" movement + 3.5" average advance + 7" average charge = 28.5" average threat range turn 1. That's 4.5" inside the enemy's deployment zone. It would be 2" less for a Raider, however...
  • ...For one Raider using Enhanced Aethersails (1CP) that's (14+2)" + 8" + 7" = 31" guaranteed threat range, or full 7 inches inside the enemy's deployment zone.

Kabal of the Obsidian Rose[edit]

The finest gunsmiths and arms dealers in the Dark City, the Kabal of the Obsidian Rose specialize in creating the best guns available to the Drukhari. Their Flawless Workmanship Obsession provides an extra 6" range for all Assault, Rapid Fire, and Heavy weapons used by members of this Kabal, including their transports and support vehicles. (Notably, the extra 6" range does not work on Blast pistols, but does work on Blasters and Shredders.) The extended range of their weapons lends itself fairly well to a classic gunline tactic, which seeks to punish the enemy at range rather than get close.

Special Rules

  • Obsession - Flawless Workmanship: +6 to the range of all assault, rapid fire, and heavy weapons. Does not apply to relics.
    • 24" Blasters and 42" Dark Lances? Put a unit of 10 Warriors with 2 Blasters inside a Dark Lance Raider to obtain a Ravager Lite with some anti-infantry firepower to boot.
    • Remember that this will also increase the Rapid Fire range of your splinter rifles (15"); while this may not seem big on paper, remember that every inch you can put between you and your opponent is potentially -1 to the likelihood of them making that charge.
    • Also note that this buffs the range of your Shredders, making them the same range as unbuffed blasters, making them a fair bit more viable.
  • Warlord Trait - Deathly Perfectionist: The Warlord's weapons gain +1S. Does not affect relics. Really only worthwhile when fighting other flimsy guys, but this does make the blast pistol extra cruel and the power sword more worthwhile.
  • Relic - The Armour of Misery: Archon only. Grants a 3+ armour save, and enemies have a -1 to hit in the fight phase. Gives your Archon a good amount of protection after his Shadowfield has burnt out (which we know will definitely happen at the worst possible time - aka the 1st time).
  • Stratagem - Failure is Not an Option (1 CP): Use when a Kabal of the Obsidian Rose unit fails a combat attrition test. Any models that flee can still make a swing or shot before they run for the hills. If this causes even a single enemy model to be slain, none of your models flee. Maximum sized units can turn what might have otherwise been a devastating loss in the morale phase into an unexpected gain thanks to this, taking an extra chunk out of your opponent's army without actually losing anybody. (Keep in mind that from turn four onward, any unit with the Power From Pain rule becomes Emboldened by Bloodshed, making them automatically pass their Morale tests, rendering this Stratagem worthless.)

Tactics

Cult of the Cursed Blade[edit]

Your goth gym rat wyches who like to backstab, moreso than their typical kin. They may not have the flash and finesse of some of the other cults but they know that a blade through the spine can kill someone just fine.

Do you need mortal wounds? In an army with a lack of psykers to smite, that answer very well could be yes. With succeded saves on your units dealing a mortal wound whenever you get a 6, a relic and warlord trait that also crap out mortal wounds, you sure won't be hurting for them by any means.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Obsession - Only the Strong Will Survive: All models get +1S. In addition, whenever they roll a 6 on their saves in melee, the enemy who hit them suffers 1 MW.
  • Warlord Trait - Treacherous Deceiver: Each unmodified save roll of 4+ made by the Warlord in the fight phase causes the attacker to take a mortal wound. Essentially a buffed obsession.
    • Suicide Succubi anyone?
  • Relic - Traitor's Embrace: Succubus only. If the bearer is slain in the Fight phase, the unit that killed it takes 3+d3 mortal wounds on a 2+.
  • Stratagems - Venomous Shardbombs (1 CP): When an enemy charges a unit of Cult of the cursed Blade Wyches, You can make overwatch before the charge is rolled, chucking up to 5 plasma grenades with 2+ poison so you can shove middle fingers at the fools.

Tactics[edit]

Cult of Strife[edit]

The Cult of Strife is to Wyches what the Kabal of the Black Heart is to Kabals: poster boys, good all rounders, and led by a named character that you can field. Lelith Hesperax got a rules rework this edition and is Drukhari exclusive despite having run off with Yvraine in the fluff.

These guys run well as minimum strength units with a shardnet and impaler that can jet around in venoms and tie up valuable units or use their extra attacks to clear chaff. Their strategem of fighting a second time can be absolutely silly on large blobs but still relies on getting that blob into combat intact. Blood dancer becomes very good after battle round 3 when you're generating multiple hits on a 5+. Slap that on a succubus with the Triptych Whip and watch your model with 4 base attacks do 8 wounds or watch Lelith Hesperax chew through a smash captain then attack again and skewer a lieutenant.

Did I also mention they got their own supplement?

Special Rules[edit]

  • Obsession - The Spectacle of Murder: Always fight first and adds +1 to charge rolls if they target an enemy unit that isn't already engaged with another unit.
    • Strictly worse than Red Grief for successfully charging.
    • A considerable downgrade from last edition, but this does drive home how important using the nets will be.
  • Warlord Traits
    • Blood Dancer: When rolling a nat 6 to hit in the fight phase, that attack counts as 3 hits instead of 1, which is equivalent to +2 WS with full stacking with other rules. Lelith Hesperax has this, and boy, does she benefit from it.
    • Competitive Edge: Each time this warlord fights, if all of its attacks target one enemy unit, after resolving all of those attacks, it can make a number of additional attacks against that enemy equal to the number of attacks that did not reach the inflict damage step.
    • Unparalleled Agility: Attackers suffer -1 to hit and wound against this Warlord.
    • Master Executioner: The warlord can re-roll all wound rolls.
  • Relics
    • Phial Bouquet: Gain the effect of a random drug every round, in addition to the currently selected drug. If the randomly chosen drug is the same as the one the bearer is already under the effects of, the bonuses stack.
    • Morvaine's Agoniser: Replaces an Agoniser. SU AP-3 D1, Poisoned 4+. After all attacks have been resolved, select one enemy unit that was hit by an attack made with this weapon. Until the start of your next turn, that enemy cannot fall back. Cannot affect vehicles or monsters. Ties into the obsession pretty nicely, though pretty much just a big shardnet.
    • Garland of Spite: Provides two benefits. At the start of the fight phase, select one enemy non-monster non-vehicle model within engagement range. Until the end of that phase, halve that model's attacks characteristic. In addition, each time a melee attack is made by the bearer, that attack automatically hits the target.
    • Glaive Exquisite: Replaces an archite glaive. S+2 AP-5 D2, +1 to wound against enemies with Ld8 or more. Take a mortal wound if used against any other unit. Weak, almost useless against guard. Strongest against high leadership armies like marines or custodes. Fun fact, a surprising number of tanks have leadership 8.
    • Dark Lotus Toxin: +1 strength and damage to all melee weapons the bearer is equipped with, simple but efficient.
  • Stratagems
    • No Method of Death Beyond Our Grasp (2 CP): Once per turn, at the end of the shooting or fighting phase, a Cult of Strife unit can fight or shoot again. Not nearly the nonstop rollercoster of murders, but you can use it to guarantee that a unit actually dies.
    • Art of the Kill (2/3 CP): (Battle Tactic) Use in the fight phase. Until the end of the phase, the unit can re-roll wound rolls. Costs 3CP if there are 11 or more models in the unit
    • Dance of Death (1 CP): (Battle Tactic) Use in the movement or charge phase to move over enemies units as if they weren't there. Parkour ninja elves.
    • Invigorated by Evisceration (1 CP): (Battle Tactic) Use after an infantry or bike unit destroys an enemy unit in melee. Models in that unit gain a 4++ until the beginning of your next turn.
    • The Blade Well Placed (2 CP): (Battle Tactic) Use in the fight phase when a unit is chosen to fight. All models in the unit improve the AP of their weapons by 1.
    • Deadly Exemplar (1 CP): (Epic Deed) Use after your succubus kills a monster or character. Until the end of the battle, all Cult of Strife units can re-roll 1s to wound as if they were in the succubus's aura. Literally no reason not to use this if you manage to get it off (unless you're out of CP I guess).
    • Flawless Approach (1 CP): (Strategic Ploy) Use in the charge phase, select one infantry unit. Opponents cannot overwatch, set to defend, or hold steady against them.
    • Pick Them Apart (2 CP): (Strategic Ploy) Use in the movement phase when a Cult of Strife unit falls back. They can still shoot and/or charge.
    • Hekatrix of the Crucibael (1 CP): (Requisition) Upgrades one of your Hekatrices (aka Wych cult sergeant) to have one of the following relics: Dark Lotus Toxin, Garland of Spite, or Morvaine's Agoniser.
  • Special Characters
    • Lelith Hesperax: The Queen of the Arena. Instead of doing drugs, she simply chooses between either being able to charge despite charging/falling back or being able to fight again after killing someone. Quicksilver Dodge grants a 4+ invuln that works outside of melee with a bonus -1 to being hit, and she still has bucketloads of attacks that will basically never miss. Natural Escape grants her the bonus of a free shardnet. Even things with Storm Shields might not be able to count on their invulnerable saves protecting them from all of her attacks.
      • And does she ever have attacks,coming in with 7, her blades granting +1S AP-3 D1 while proccing extra hits on 6s. Clearly more suited to hunting footsloggers, her main objective is to bury enemies beneath attacks, with (a substantially low but still theoretically) possible 14/28 attacks if you opt to use her ability to fight twice in a phase. This goes of course double for Characters, what with her innate re-rolls of both failed hits and wounds against them, meaning she does an approximate average of 3/6 wounds to a space marine captain per fight phase. Making her your warlord (which you should 100% do, or at least pay to give her one) and those 6s will do an additional 3 hits too.

Tactics[edit]

Cult of the Red Grief[edit]

Fast, fast, extra fast. These guys are the speed demons of the arena, only touching the ground when there's a kill to be had, sometimes not even bothering to stop.
Red Grief is a Reavers best friend. It turns them from fast and dangerous to ludicrously fast and dangerous. A 38" charge threat on flying models can get them from your deployment zone to an enemy's back line potentially doing eviscerating flyby damage on the way. The Blood Glaive and Hyper-Swift reflexes are both good on Succubi and let her put out some absurd damage for her points cost. Don't forget this applies to your transports too, giving your venoms and raiders turn 1 charges as well. Alas, Red Grief does little to augment the survivability or damage output of Wyches and most improves the overcosted Reavers, so they mostly appear in non-competitive lists.

Special Rules

  • Obsession - The Speed of the Kill: Re-rolls on the charge and add +2 on advance rolls.
    • At first, the re-roll on the charge seems to only matter if you are trying to launch a first turn charge, since PFP will give this naturally on turn 2. However, it also allows your vehicles to join the fun. You can reliably charge with EVERYTHING in a Red Grief raiding party turn 1.
    • The Deep Strike rules have killed off Alpha Strike lists in favour of Gunline lists, so this is one of the only competitive choices.
  • Warlord Trait - Hyper-Swift Reflexes: Any rolls to hit on a 1-3 will absolutely never hit. Ever. Just the thing to piss off any hero-killers.
  • Relic - Blood Glaive: An Archite Glaive with D3. Not much else to say but take it and engage blender mode!
  • Stratagem - Athletic Aerialist (1 CP): When consolidating after combat, you can move a Cult of the Red Grief unit 6" towards the nearest transport, allowing them to embark on it as if it was the Movement phase - even if they already disembarked from that transport on the same turn.

Tactics

Prophets of Flesh[edit]

The coven poster boys they are led by notable sick fuck Urien Rakarth, inheritor and exemplar of the fine Aeldari traditions that gave birth to Slaanesh. When it comes to making flesh monsters these guys are simply the best there is. Closely allied with Vect and masters of the cloning technology that keeps Commorragh running the Prophets of Flesh are the most influential and powerful coven.
Pre custom obsessions from 8th edition, if you saw coven units on the tabletop it was these guys. 4++ on everyone? Incredible. Diabolical Soothsayer to make Alliance of agony better than free? Incredible. Vexator Mask for no overwatch and being able to slap always fights last on something? Incredible. Urien Rakarth, unkillable and bumping your already great monsters even more? Incredible. Black Cornucopians to bring back a depleted unit of wracks or teleport one to an opposite table edge? Incredible (if a bit situational). A big downside is it sets up a rather predictable strategy of cluster your heavy hitters around a haemonculus or two and run it at the enemy. Not a bad strategy and fits well with a lot of Drukhari armies, but a bit slow and inflexible. The custom obsessions let coven units fill some different roles but Prophets of Flesh will still give you a tough core with a few neat tricks, even after being reworked these guys are still plenty fine.

Special Rules

  • Obsession - Connoisseurs of Pain: Your units will ignore any attacks that roll a 1-3 to wound unless they're at S8. In addition, all Characters, Monsters and Grotesques can heal a wound each turn. Not as powerful as the old obsession but it still bolsters their staying power.
  • Warlord Trait - Diabolical Soothsayer: WheneverThe first time this model is set up, you can choose to adding +1 to either Toughness and Wounds or Movement and Attacks for the game, letting you change just how he can serve his army. Urien Rakarth has this.
  • Relics - Vexator Mask: No overwatch against the bearer. At the start of the Fight phase, choose a unit within 3"; that unit fights last. Definitely nice if you don't want your 20 man of wracks to be eaten by a squad armed with flamers.
  • Stratagems - Sins Writ Large (1/2 CP): Use at the start of the fight phase. Select one Prophets of Flesh Infantry unit within 6" of their haemonculus. Until the end of the phase, this unit can re-roll all hits. This is upped to 2CP if you picked a Grotesque pack. A solid boost to a unit's kill potential.

Special Characters

  • Urien Rakarth: Dead hard, and awesome in all the ways a Haemy is awesome. T5 (Possibly T6 depending on how you use your WT), and halves damage; this dude will take a lot of firepower to bring down. However, being equipped with only a meh Ichor Injector and some bog-standard Haemonculus Tools (on top of a single-use Casket of Flensing for a weak flamer), he is none too scary in melee. He can inflict mortal wounds on enemies in front of him on a 6+, though, which can act as a deterrent against enemy charges.
    • He now buffs Prophets of Flesh Core units' Strength and Leadership too. Wracks won't notice much, but your Grotesques and Pain Engines will. See your opponents' faces as your menagerie drills a hole through their army.
    • Did I also mention, that even as tough as this bastard is to put down, he can also resurrect once per battle on a roll of 2+ with d3 wounds remaining?

Tactics

Dark Creed[edit]

This coven likes to court its pain and bring you the wagyu of suffering rather than the McDonalds buffet that the Prophets of Flesh provide. They massage their prey's fear, let it graze wild, and harvest it at its most nourishing.
These guys are fun and fluffy but don't quite make the competitive cut. As part of an Aeldari list they can set up great leadership bombs. The relic can help turn your haemonculi into a mortal wound dealing monster. Unfortunately they suffer from a lack of synergy and the unreliability of morale bombs. You don't have shooty enough units for the stratagem to be worth it (it's funny on a Tantalus or a Reaper, but so are most things) and the units most likely to fail from a morale bomb will either be valuable enough to auto-pass or cheap enough that they were supposed to die anyways. Save the elaborate maneuvers for your wyches, let your coven just slap things around.

Special Rules

  • Obsession - Distillers of Fear: Models in this army gain a 6" aura that deals -1 Ld to enemies and -1 to combat attrition checks. In addition, anytime your units attack an enemy unit that has a Ld score lower than their own, you add +1 to hit.
  • Warlord Trait - Fear Incarnate: At the end of the Movement phase, roll 3d6 for each unit within 9" of the Warlord. If the result is higher than that unit's highest LD, that unit can no longer perform actions and loses ObSec. Not quite as useful as before, but it will be painful when objectives become the bigger deal.
  • Relics - Spirit Sting: A 3 shot stinger pistol, AP-3 that negates all invulns. It's a literal tube of FUCK YOU towards things like storm shields.
  • Stratagem - An Esoteric Kill, Delivered From Afar (2/3 CP): Allows a Dark Creed Core/Character unit to shoot at enemy character even if they are not the closest. Coven units are not exactly known for their shooting, but this stratagem can allow a Talos with Heat Lances to snipe a character. Try not to miss. Has good synergy with the Dark Creed relic pistol, 3 shots hitting on 2s, wounding on 2s, ignoring almost any save is pretty menacing and gets really dangerous to even tough characters as the game goes on and they start losing wounds. Ironic, given the "From Afar" part of the stratagem's name if used on a 12" pistol. Increased to 3CP if used on a Talos.

Tactics

Coven of Twelve[edit]

These fine gentleman pride themselves on being the best of the best. Constantly circle jerking/attempting to murder each other, the twelve (eleven, since Urien never actually shows up) are in an endless game of one upmanship to make the fanciest toys out of their living captives.
The extra ap from their obsession doesn't hurt, but it doesn't help enough to take these guys typically. Sure you can shoot into combat and maybe kill some of your own guys which is fun and may be how you want to play a game, but very situational. The warlord trait is less good than just taking the -1 damage custom obsession and the relic is mostly useful against characters in melee, which isn't usually where you want your haemonculus to be.

Special Rules

  • Obsession - Butchers of Flesh: All melee weapons improve their AP by 1 (0 ap becomes -1), which does not apply to relics. Helps compensate for the generally poor ap of coven melee weapons and turns agonisers into poisoned power swords. They can also shoot despite doing some other objective like capping objectives, which is less useful in most cases.
  • Warlord Trait - Scarlet Epicurean: Reduce incoming damage by 1, down to a minimum of 1. Usually better than Master Regenesist in melee, but if you're trying to survive sniper rifles, remember that it won't reduce incoming mortal wounds at all, unlike Master Regenesist (if you live long enough to roll to recuperate).
  • Relics - Flensing blade: Replaces Haemonculus Tools. -2 AP, d3 D which maxes out against enemy characters.
  • Stratagem - A Most Inventive Demise (1 CP): Whenever your Coven of the Twelve haemonculus consolidates, select an enemy character that isn't a Monster or Vehicle and roll a d6. On a 2-5, they eat d3 MWs, but on a 6 they take 3+d3 MWs. A funny way to shiv a fucker before you can even fight them.

Tactics

Ynnari[edit]

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In the grim darkness of the far future, there is hope that death may be the final salvation.

Ever since the rebirth of Yvraine in the heart of Commorragh the Drukhari have had a mixed relationship with the reborn. Lelith Hesperax immediately flipped to the Ynnari after seeing someone reborn in front of her and brought a good chunk of wyches with her. Vect was mad that Eldrad had out dicked him and that someone had stolen Lelith away from him, but other kabals saw promise and hope in rebirth and fell in line. The Covens will have none of this feel-good hopeful nonsense and are quite happy to keep doing what they're doing.
Crunch wise the Ynnari can bring Wych Cult and Kabal units in an Asuryani and Harlequins detachment, giving the Ynnari keyword with Strength from Death taking the place of your obsession. Psychic bonuses from Yvraine and the Yncarne make wyches tougher, faster, and stronger and do even more for beast units turning razorwing flocks into iron walls. The Ynnari tend to have huge potential but expect your opponent to go hard the support characters that make your army extra dangerous.

Ynnari have had a BIG revamp with the new codex. Rather than being a standalone army with their own mediocre knockoff rules, Ynnari now function as something of an unusual Asuryani army that willingly undergoes certain restrictions to gain other key benefits.

When you designate a Detachment as Ynnari, it can include Harlequins, <Kabal> and <Wych Cult> units as well as Incubi and Scourges (with some caveats, see below) alongside Asuryani units in the same detachment. Just as long as you have an Asuryani unit in the same battlefield role for each non-Asuryani unit you intend to take. These Detachments are, for all intents and purposes, considered Asuryani detachments and all <Kabal>, <Wych Cult>, <Saedath> and <Craftworld> keywords all get replaced with the Ynnari keyword.

Restrictions[edit]

  • Ynnari Harlequins can no longer take Pivotal Roles and Ynnari Drukhari can no longer take Lords of Commorragh or Favoured Retinues (so no Ynnari Trueborn or Hekatrix Bloodbrides). You also can't take any Phoenix Lords (despite Jain Zar's sponsorship being a major plot point), no corsairs, no Avatar of Khaine (even though the Ynnari have one in lore) and no Solitaires.
  • You lose the Runes of Fate discipline on your Asuryani psykers. No Fortune, no Mind War. Fortunately, it gets replaced by the new Revenant discipline, which is a really good selection of powers. You still get to use Runes of Fortune too.
  • If you elect to take Incubi or Scourges then you see a points increase: +4pts per model for Ynnari Incubi (which leaves them in a questionable spot) and +2pts for Ynnari Scourges (which might just about still be worth it).
  • Though you can mix units from other armies in the same Detachment, your dedicated transports can only hold models of their army type - so you cannot, for instance, have Wyches riding around in Wave Serpents or Dire Avengers riding around in Venoms. The exceptions are Yvraine and the Visarch, who can hop into any transports.
  • Finally and perhaps most importantly, while your mixed detachment counts as an Asuryani detachment which gives your troops ObSec and the Leaders of the Warhost rule, not every unit in your army will have the Asuryani keyword despite being drawn from the same "Craftworld". This will mostly matter for things like Strats due to how Dark Eldar don't share the same keywords aside from Ynnari.

The old Ynnari-exclusive Relics, Warlord Traits and Strategems are mostly gone too, but you get to use the Asuyrani ones from the new book. The Relics and WTs are a big loss as many of them were very nice, but hardly anybody is going to weep for the Strategems.

Special Rules[edit]

  • All troops gain Objective Secured, regardless of which army they came from.
  • Strength from Death: Fights First applies across your entire army, and +1 to-hit for both melee and range attacks if the unit has taken any casualties. This special rule effectively optimizes many of your close combat units by allowing them to punch and counterpunch enemies to death with WS+2, but also offers something for your shooters too. However it works best on large squads that won't be wiped by a single volley of shooting, that or Wraithblades.

Warlord Traits[edit]

Due to the way Ynnari detachments now work, so long as a named Ynnari character is in the detachment, you may take it as a Ynnari detachment and name any generic HQ as your warlord if you so wish.

  1. Warden of Souls: Ynnari get a single Warlord Trait, and that’s this one, which heals your warlord for a single wound in each of your Command phases and gives them +1 to their Strength and Attacks whenever they’re within engagement range of an enemy unit that’s below Starting Strength. This also happens to be Yvraine's trait.

Ynnari Stratagems[edit]

Like the other Craftworlds you only get one stratagem.

  • Inevitable End (1 CP): This gives a unit that’s shooting or fighting +1 to wound if it targeted a unit that was below Half Strength. This is a much better bonus than the +1 to hit, since it’s a lot easier to control how many models are in an enemy unit than your own. And +1 to wound is pretty much always useful, since the times you’ll be wounding on 2+ are pretty rare, particularly in melee. The big downside is that your target has to be below Half Strength to use this Stratagem, so merely cutting a unit of 10 down to 5 won’t get you there. That makes this far more situational than we’d like, but in the right situations it’ll be money for finishing off an enemy unit – Custodes jetbikes spring to mind as something where letting one of your weaker units finish off the final model could be worth it.

Revenant Discipline[edit]

Ynnari Psyker units replace either their access to the Runes of Battle or Runes of Fate disciplines with this one. These powers allow them to play both a supportive and offensive role for army, and are probably the single most compelling reason to bring Ynnari besides the Yncarne. None of these powers are locked behind a Core word, so you can use them to buff any Ynnari you bring along.

  1. Gaze of Ynnead: Essentially a simplified Smite, this WC 6 power lets you choose the target, and deals mortal wounds based on a D6; a roll of 1 results in 1 mortal wound, 2-5 causes 1d3 mortal wounds, and a 6 results in 1d6 mortal wounds on the target; the total expected mortal wounds is, accordingly, 25/12, or slightly more than 2. Unchanged from its previous incarnation, apart from the fact now that the D6 roll takes a -2 penalty if targeting a single model, so this power is a bit impractical for sniping characters - a shame.
    • With the nerf to casting Smite (specifically each individual psyker only being able to attempt to cast it once per turn), this is your next best source of direct mortal wounds for Farseers and Warlocks dedicated to offensive roles. Spiritseers are better off just casting Smite since they only have the one cast.
    • The math changes for both Yvraine, Farseers, and for any other buff you can come up with to casting the power. However, any buff that increases the casting total, like Yvraine's, tends to make Gaze worse, not better: Yvraine's Gaze deals 1.74 mortal wounds, but her Smite deals 2.08. In other words, normally Smite does 19% more mortal wounds than Gaze, but for Yvraine, it deals 20% more. The difference is negligible, but will accumulate as you incorporate more buffs, like spending CP to re-roll her cast. It can be a solid offensive tool in the hands of Yvraine, but you'll ideally pick it up mid-battle when some of her warlock meat shields get chewed up rather than starting out with the power.
  2. Storm of Whispers An AoE aura attack, this WC 6 power lets you roll 3d6 per enemy unit within 9" of the caster; every roll of 4+ deals a mortal wound to the unit in question. This is a large improvement from the last iteration of the power, which was statistically inferior to Gaze of Ynnead even in optimal circumstances.
  3. Word of the Phoenix: WC 6, this power allows the targeted Ynnari Infantry or Ynnari Biker within 6" to bring back a single model at full health, or D3 Troops. Cannot be used on Wraithguard or Wraithblades. Still a strong power that allows you to restore a high-damage squad of elves - Scourges, Fire Dragons, Warp Spiders, Dark Reapers, etc.
  4. Unbind Souls A WC 6 debuff to any enemy unit within 18" that means any melee attack against them auto-wounds on unmodified 6s. As the last version of this power allowed rerolling wounds, this might represent a nerf. However with the lack of native Doom, this is your next-best option.
  5. Shield of Ynnead A WC 6 power that grants one non-Titanic Ynnari unit within 12" of the Psyker a 4++ invulnerability save. This works for absolutely anything now, from Wraithguard to Warlocks and even aspect warriors despite any pre-existing invulns, though you've lost the bubble wrap ability.
  6. Ancestor's Grace: This WC 7 buff grants the targeted friendly Ynnari unit within 18" a +1 to-wound roll in melee. Extremely scary if you manage to cast this on a Wraithknight or some Ghostaxe Wraithblades.

Perhaps the two most worthwhile powers here are Word of the Phoenix and Shield of Ynnead; to give you a good example of them working together, if you supply a unit of Blaster Scourges with both, they go from a 4+/6++ to 4+/5++, and every time you bring a dead Blaster wielder back, you're bringing back 36 dead points. Plus, they need Ancestor's Grace, since they're allergic to Archons.

Relics of Ynnead[edit]

  • The Lost Shroud: Your one unique relic, and thankfully it's a damn good one. Each time an attack is allocated to the bearer, that attack is -1 Damage, and you get +1 to your save roll if it was D1. This is basically Disgustingly Resilient and All is Dust all rolled into one, and it goes beautifully on a bike-bound Autarch or Farseer that you really need to keep alive.

HQ[edit]

  • Yvraine: The Emissary of Ynnead herself, and she gains the Asuryani keyword this time. For 135 points you get a goth girlboss with a Phoenix Lord-esque statline and Kha-vir, the Sword of Sorrows, a magic sword with a S+1 AP-3 D2 damage profile that also inflicts 2 MWs on an unmodified roll of 6 (and ends her attack sequence). She has a runesuit that gives her Transhuman Physiology (wound rolls of 1-3 auto-fail) and a 4++ invul. She can cast two powers from the Revenant Discipline to begin with (likely going to be Word of the Phoenix and Shield of Ynnead) and gains more in mid-game, which is nice given how powerful these spells are, and her familiar allows her to reroll psychic tests. Rules-wise she retains her Herald of Ynnead ability to hitch a ride in any Ynnari transport she desires, but also has Battle Focus and Strands of Fate now. A very lovely support character, a bit on the pricey side but you definitely get what you pay for.
  • Visarch: Our resident pointy-eared Jorah Mormont to Yvraine's pointy-eared Daenerys Targaryen, long struggled to be anything other than a bad Autarch, but there is a lot more incentive to bring him as something other than a tax HQ choice in a Ynnari patrol this time. The Visarch has got himself a substantial upgrade for his magic Choppa, the cronesword Asu-var the Sword of Silent Screams, which now has a S+2 AP-4 D2 profile and also negates invul saves on any wound rolls of 4+. The Visarch is quite tough as Eldar units go, with a 2+ armour save, a 4++ invul, 6W and the Champion of Ynnead rule that allows him to regain wounds (and also pick up extra attacks if a character eats it) if any friendly Ynnari models near him die. He hands out a reroll 1s to-hit aura (melee and range) for every Ynnari Core unit within 6". He now acts as a Bodyguard for Yvraine, so if you have her in your detachment, you can bring him then he takes up no HQ slot. Unfortunately though, he's gone up to 95 points and he still might lose out to an Autarch just through their sheer superior customisation options despite his beatstick profile. If you have the points to spare then there's nothing wrong with bringing him.
  • The Yncarne: Oh boy, here they come killin' again. The Yncarne has seen a big points cost drop, 250 points (down from 290). And Jesus Christ, what a character you get for that. The Yncarne is the Ynnari answer to the Avatar of Khaine, and has the epic cronesword Vilith-zhar, the Sword of Souls, with two brutal profiles: either a piercing strike (S+4 AP-4 DamD3+3 that ignores invuls) or a sweeping anti-horde strike (SUser AP-4 D1 Ax2), plus a new Soul Energy 6" magic flamer that licks enemies with S7 AP-2 D1 auto-hitting EVERY enemy unit within range. And they're not just a monster on offense, either; the Yncarne is very hard to kill with T7 W12 and halving all damage (rounded up) with a 4++ invul for good measure. The Yncarne starts out knowing all of the powers from the Revenant discipline, has Battle Focus and Strands of Fate, and has a 12" aura to allow friendly Ynnari infantry to ignore combat attrition modifiers (not that this matters). On top of all that, the thing can not only fly over terrain but also set up in waiting off the board and appear within 1" of a just-wiped unit, friend or foe, though it cannot do so within engagement range of an enemy unit and it cannot charge or heroically intervene in that turn. All of this adds up to a ridiculously powerful deathstar/character assassin with a monstrous threat range and pretty much any enemy squad dies within a single round of it getting within arms-reach.
    • Note: The Yncarne can't charge after arriving in this way so you ideally want him popping up on your opponent's turn. You also want to be exploiting the ability to redeploy when anything dies as a mobility/escape tool. If anything else The Yncarne popping up somewhere unexpected can divert a ton of fire away from your other units, though you might want to leave the DISTRACTION CARNIFEX role to something like a Succubus or Venom.

Tactics

Army Building and Tactics[edit]

Army Building[edit]

  • Overall: The Drukhari are extremely potent with their 9th edition codex. Their absurd firepower coupled with high mobility coupled with smart positioning makes them extremely strong. The Meta is bound to shift as more Codexes come out but as of right now your access to lots of very good Anti-Infantry and Anti-Vehicle weapons is allowing the Drukhari to at the top of the tier list.
  • Unit Spamming: Your units are rather reasonably priced, allowing you to field dozens of Kabalites, Wyches and so forth to to grant you a fair amount of board control and also plenty of redundant stuff for your enemy to shoot at. What's it matter if your Venom full of Wracks goes down and you lose one or two turn one when you've got four more to back it up?
  • Keep your Allies Lesser Kin you aren't currently scheming against close...: Remember you aren't just a Drukhari army, you are an Aeldari army. You can cherry pick the best units from the Craftworlds, Ynnari, Harlequins and Corsairs lists. While you do have a Mirror to most Craftworld units, there are some things that cover what you lack. Keep in mind you do lose power from pain if you do soup in allies.
    • The most notable and fluffy unit you can bring are Rangers, which provide something that you lack: access to an okay sniper unit without most of the unit wanting to be crammed into Melee.
    • An allied Farseer sounds odd given it can only Buff Asuryanni units but Smite and Executioner are a reliable source of Mortal Wounds that can be tossed around against harder targets or smaller squads of infantry, as the situation demands. It also gives you an answer to enemy Psykers as spamming Haemonculi is not efficient.
    • Warlocks are another cheap source of Deny the Witch and various debuffs.
    • Swooping Hawks are good against GEQ's, who your poison would normally struggle against, and outrange Shredder Scourges, and can have the Alaitoc trait so they can tank light fire and kite enemy melee units. Never mind being another source of mortal wounds.
    • Harlequin Troupes are another fluffy pick. They are much more offensively oriented than Wyches, packing the ability to freely move over terrain and more AP. Plus Shadowseers bring along more Smite and Deny the Witch.
    • Of course Wraith units are a very powerful addition to any Drukhari force. Heck, you could even paint them in Kabal colours and say your Archon captured a bunch. Plus your only Lord of War options are in the Craftworld List. Though just how your Archon managed to get their hands on a Wraithknight is another thing entirely...
    • Corsairs are one last Fluffy option. For 60 Points you can get a unit of 5 Pirates with Shardcarbines and Jet Packs! Plus one of them can swap out their gun for one of several heavy or special weapons including Flamers, Fusion Guns, Shredders, Shuriken Cannons, Dark Lances, Blasters, and even Aeldari Missile Launchers! Best part? With their rules, you can include them in Kabal detachments without eating your obsession or power from pain.

As for actually building your army, the new combat patrol box is an excellent start for a Kabal. It'll fill out a single patrol detachment and is designed to be a solid starter force if you opt to expand. The Piety and Pain box or the old start collecting box (discontinued, good luck finding one) will also do great if you're looking to start Wych cults instead. As for Covens, you'll have a hard time. There aren't any boxes that'll get you a solid collection to start with so if you do want to get into them, you'll have to buy them separate.

Detachments and CP[edit]

  • Detachments and You: The Dark El-- I mean Drukhari have an interesting little rule. You can take patrol detachments for free, so long as you only take patrol detachments. This honestly makes other options a little irrelevant, unless you want to take a realspace raid detachment or are planning to go mono-faction and want to cram all your units into one battalion. In both cases, so long as you just take the one detachment you aren't losing any CP. This rule is otherwise unique as of the time of writing this.

Tactics[edit]

  • Drukhari Soup: With the way the codex is, you effectively have three mini armies in one book, you have a lot of options. A lot of options - more than the Drukhari have ever had, in fact. It's easier than ever to field units from subgroups that you don't want to invest a whole lot into, with no CP loss. Raiding party was a gimmick back in 8th, and now you are free to take as many patrols as you wish or cram a battalion or brigade full with realspace raids. It's a good time to be a sick fuck space elf pirate slaver from a twisted city in the webway!

Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each group: Kabals are ridiculously shooty, but they have trouble holding objectives due to their unfortunate tendency toward dying if looked at crosswise; Cults are screamingly fast, hit like a metric ton of spikey bricks in close combat, and can keep your enemy's most valuable units perpetually tied up in combat, but have almost no ranged weaponry to speak of and suffer from the same objective grabbing issues as their Kabal cousins; Covens are the toughest units in our army (and can be made to be even tougher), can dish out the pain in close combat, and can camp objectives like nobody's business, but suffer from a lack of any reliable ranged weaponry. So, combining all those strengths together - and peppering in Scourges/Mandrakes/Incubi to taste - gives you a tremendously versatile army that can do basically anything you need it to, whenever you need it to. To boot, you can buff your already great HQ choices into CC murder machines and/or megatanks that double as force multipliers and character assassins for just a few CP.