New Eldar Codex 6th Edition Review Warhammer 40k - Phoenix Lords
Welcome back! Murphy, here, and I'm ready to delve into the long awaiting Phoenix Lords!
The Phoenix Lords
The Phoenix Lords are the original founders of the Aspect Warrior shrines, sort of like America's Founding Fathers . . . or the Beatles for you British folk (I kid, I kid). They each represent an aspect of the Eldar war god, Khaine. In a sense, they are immortal because their souls were bound to special spirit stones, and when a new generation of Exarch takes over the mantle of Phoenix Lord, his or her mind and soul merges with that of the original Phoenix Lord.
All the Phoenix Lords have unique wargear, abilities, or a combination of Warlord Traits or Exarch Powers. Each is a deadly warrior or capable leader on its own, however, every Phoenix Lord shares somethings in common: a statline and basic wargear:
- WS and BS of 7
- Strength and Toughness of 4
- 3 Wounds
- Initiative of 7
- 4 Attacks base
- 10 Leadership
- Phoenix Armor: 2+ armor save
- UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED: Ancient Doom, Battle Focus, and Fleet
Asurmen is the oldest of the Phoenix Lords, called the Hand of Asuryan, and is the founder of the Dire Avengers. He is the ultimate commander and represents the organized dedication to fighting wars and winning battles.
- Phoenix Lord stats and armor (see above)
- Twin-linked avenger shuriken catapult
- Counter Attack
- Eternal Warrior (important and rare in 6th edition)
His special abilities:
- Hand of Asuryan - He must be your Warlord and he rolls d3 traits, re-roll duplicates.
- Battle Fortune - 4+ invulnerable save
- Shield of Grace - gain a 3+ invulnerable in a challenge in exchange for reducing to a single normal attack.
- Sword of Asur - Melee, +1 Str, AP 2, master crafted, Soulrazor: enemy must pass a LD test for every unsaved wound or be removed from play.
Asurmen is great for a few reasons. First, run him with some Dire Avengers and they become Fearless. He also has d3 Warlord traits, which can be anything from re-rolling To Wound rolls for a turn, to the Warlord re-rolling failed saves of 1. These traits will either make him more survivable or make your army more effective, or a combination of both.
With his sword, he has a chance to take out enemy characters in a challenge, even enemies with Eternal Warrior because if they fail a leadership test, they are "removed from play".
Be careful, though, as he does not have any assault grenades. This is strange, considering his Dire Avengers do.
Jain Zar is the founder of the Howling Banshees and is known as the Storm of Silence by enemies and allies alike. Like her Banshee followers, Jain Zar is an agile creature of death, both at short range and in melee. She featured in the Night Lord's novel, Void Stalker, as the chief antagonist to Talos of the 10th company.
- Phoenix Lord stats and Phoenix Armor
- Warlord Trait - Falcon's Swiftness: Warlord and unit add +1 to Run distance
- Acrobatic - adds +3 to Run distance (for a total of +4)
- Eternal Warrior
- Disarming Strike - roll-off versus opponent in a challenge (+1 if Jain Zar's WS is higher). If you win, then one weapon is treated as a normal close combat weapon for the rest of that turn. Then attack as normal.
- Silent Death - two profiles:
- Ranged: 12" Str user AP 2, Assault 4
- Melee Str user AP 2.
- Blade of Destruction: melee, Str user AP 2, Shred (re-roll failed To Wound)
- Mask of Jain Zar - on a charge, all enemies in unit suffer -5 to WS and Initiative until the end of that phase. Doesn't stack with normal Banshee Masks
I've always loved Jain Zar, and I don't really know why. I think the image of a lithe battle mistress leaping across the battlefield is just cool. She will be fast, possibly the fastest non-jump infantry model in the game. She will move 6", and then run d6+4" re-rolling because of Fleet. Unfortunately, she still can't charge after running, but it will be great to get closer to set up a next-turn charge, or to leap from cover to cover.
She has no invulnerable save, so she is going to need to be in a squad to eliminate being hit by heavy weapons. She can probably take care of herself in challenges, though due to her Disarming Strike and the -5 to WS caused by her Mask. Most enemy characters only have a single special weapon at AP 2, but she may not win this roll-off every time. Still, I high initiative with AP attacks might mean she will kill others before they get a chance to strike her anyway.
Downside? She has no grenades, and neither do her Howling Banshees. Trust me, this is a sore point for a lot of Eldar players. Their banshee masks reduce Initiative by 5, but it means they attack simultaneously rather than first. Still not great. Don't charge into cover, folks, save that for other units.
Known as the Shadow Hunter, Karandras is the leader of the Striking Scorpions. With his scorpions, he stalks the battlefields of the 41st millennium, hunting greater and greater prey. Capable of taking down even monstrous creatures, he is quite the beast in combat.
- Phoenix Lord stats and Phoenix Armor
- Scorpion chainsword: +1 Str if using it
- Scorpion's Claw: x2 Str, AP 2 (not a specialist weapon!)
- The scorpion's claw can also fire as a shuriken catapult
- Plasma Grenades
- Warlord Trait: Ambush of Blades - One Use. Warlord and units within 12" may re-roll failed To Wound rolls for that phase.
- Eternal Warrior
- Move Through Cover
- Night Vision
Whew, that's quite a list! He has two Exarch Powers:
- Monster Hunter: re-roll failed To Wound rolls versus monstrous creatures and flying monstrous creatures.
- Stalker - In a challenge, roll off versus your opponent and add 1 if Karandras' Initiative is higher. If you win, he may re-roll failed To Wound rolls that phase.
He only has one special wargear:
- Scorpion's Bite: At Initiative step 10, inflict a single Str 6 AP "-" hit on an opponent in base.
Karandras is a badass! First, he has grenades, so he can actually charge through terrain. He has Move Through Cover, so he likely wont be slowed down. He has two close combat weapons, so he will be throwing 5 dice in combat, 6 on the charge, plus his Scorpion's Bite. What's more, those attacks are at Initiative 7 and are Strength 8 at AP 2.
So where does he fall down? Well, he has no invulnerable save and any surviving character or monstrous creature will likely be eating through his 2+ armor save. Thankfully he has Eternal Warrior, so one hit wont kill him!
A little trick for you? Run him with a squad of Striking Scorpions with an Exarch and Scorpion's Claw of his own. Now, when you get into charge range, you can either:
- Split Karandras off on his own during the Movement phase, and charge him at a different unit than the scorpion squad. Because he can challenge, he should do so and then eat the other character alive. The other troops will just stand there, waiting for Karandras to eat them on your opponent's assault phase.
- Keep Karandras with the squad, and let your Exarch make the challenge. He will still likely destroy the enemy character and let Karandras go to town on the remaining squad.
It will also be neat to see him take down monstrous creatures, too! Re-rolling Strength 8 wounds, will make him nasty indeed!
Also note that he has Infiltrate. If he is attached to a unit for deployment, then that whole unit now has Infiltrate, even it normally does not. Thus, any infantry unit in the Eldar army can infiltrate with Karandras. Wraithguard jump into mind . . .
Which Phoenix Lord so far is the most amazing?
On to the Rest!
I've covered the first three Phoenix Lords and I have three more to go! So far, I've been impressed! I like all three for very different reasons, and if I had to choose an "themed" aspect army, I'm not sure which one I like the most. Maybe covering the other three Phoenix Lords will give me an idea?
As always, thanks for reading! Murphy Out!