New Eldar Codex 6th Edition Review Warhammer 40k - Part-9 - Special Characters and Phoenix Lords
Welcome to Part 9 of my New Eldar Codex Review! Murphy, here, and this time I will be your guide through the special characters and Phoenix Lords of the new Eldar codex for 6th edition for Warhammer 40k! If you'd like, follow me on Twitter for quicker updates and game activities by clicking here @BenMurphy.
If you haven't read the other parts of my review, you can start at the beginning by clicking one of the links below. The first link covers the new Eldar army rules, including Warlord traits and new psychic powers, while the second link skips right to the generic HQ choices so you can compare them to these special characters.
- New Eldar Codex Review 6th Edition Part 1 - Army Rules
- New Eldar Codex Review 6th Edition Part 2 - HQ
So who are the special characters of the Eldar codex? They are some of the most famous characters in the 40k universe, representative of the most powerful psychics, the bravest heroics, and the most deadly combatants. Their names have graced the pages of 40k fiction for decades, including some recent novels.
The Phoenix Lords are the physical and spiritual leaders of their particular Aspect cults. Each Phoenix Lords dons ancient armor embedded with the spirit stone of the original Lord, which merges with the personality and memories of the current bearer. Thus, the original Phoenix Lords are, in a way, reincarnated again and again, with the passing of the armor to each new warrior. Excited? Let's check them out!
How can you go wrong with a 10,000 year old psyker? Eldrad is the most powerful of the Eldar psykers, which translates to being one of, if not the, most powerful psyker in the game. He and Ahriman would have an interesting battle, to say the least. I know what you're thinking . . . Isn't Eldrad dead? Didn't he sacrifice himself during the 13th Black Crusade?
No, my friend, he did not! At least not in the new codex. Nothing is mentioned in his entry about the Black Crusade or his timeless sacrifice. If you read the new Chaos Space Marine codex, the 13th Black Crusade is still in progress, an none of the characters have met their fates . . . yet. So Eldrad lives; let's check him out!
- Basic character stats . . . of note, he only has 1 base Attack.
- Armed with shuriken pistol and Witchblade - melee, fleshbane, armorbane
- Ghosthelm - expend a warp charge to ignore a wound caused by Perils of the Warp
- Runes of Warding - Once use - grant an additional +2 to Deny the Witch, which usually means will have a 2+ Deny the Witch.
- Runes of Witnessing - One use - re-roll a failed psychic test, including Perils of the Warp.
- Access to Divination, Runes of Fate, and Telepathy
- Master Level 4
In addition to this he has the following:
- Warlord Trait - Eye on Distant Events - One Use. In enemy's Shooting Phase, Warlord and all friendly units within 12" have Stealth.
- The Path Beyond - After Scouts redeploy, you may also redeploy 1d3 + 1 units anywhere in your deployment zone.
- Armor of Last Runes - 3+ invulnerable save
- Staff of Ulthamar - Melee, AP 3, Fleshbane, Force, and Spiritlink (see below)
- Spiritlink - When you past a psychic test, roll a d6, and on a 5+ you regain 1 warp charge.
It should be noted that psykers do not need to generate all their powers from the same discipline. Thus, Eldrad can take powers from any or all three of his disciplines. Might I make a suggestion?
- Runes of Fate - Primaris - Guide: Friendly unit within 24" re-rolls missing in Shooting.
- Divination - Primaris - Prescience - Friendly unit within 12" re-rolls all To Hit rolls.
- Roll on Runes of Fate - try to get Doom - 24" re-roll failed To Wound rolls on target unit.
- Roll on Runes of Fate - try to get Fortune - 24" re-roll failed saving throws or Deny the Witch
With 3 rolls on Runes of Fate (exchanging 1 for the Primaris, you should get something that you want, plus an offensive spell. This is just 1 of many builds, which turns Eldrad into a buffing machine. Two units every turn should be re-rolling misses, possibly re-rolling To Wound rolls, as well. This is absolutely brutal on a single target unit. A well placed unit in cover should also be re-rolling failed saves, which will help you keep the pain-train rolling.
An outcast from craftworld Iyanden, Yriel became the leader of the most dreaded fleet of Eldar Corsairs the galaxy had ever seen. Despite his vow to never set foot in Iyanden again, Yriel returned to save the dying craftworld from a Tyranid invasion from Hive Fleet Kraken, dooming himself in the process by wielding the cursed Spear of Twilight to kill the hive leader.
Yriel is a fan favorite, but will he stack up to expectations? Let's see.
- WS and BS of 6
- 4 Wounds
- Initiative 7
- 4 Attacks base and a 3+ armor save
- Path of Strategy - Add 1 or Subtract 1 to Reserve rolls.
- Warlord Trait - Ambush of Blades - One Use during your Shooting or Assault Phase. Warlord and friendly units within 12" re-roll failed To Wound rolls.
His big weakness is his Toughness of 3 like most Eldar. Strength 6 hit can insta-kill him. Yikes! What about his wargear?
- Forceshield - 4+ invulnerable save
- Plasma grenades
- The Eye of Wrath: One Use, when not in melee but not a Challenge. Instead of attacking, center a large blast over Yriel which does Str 6, AP 3 hits to friendly and unfriendly units/models (not including Yriel). Wounds count towards combat resolution.
- Spear of Twilight: Melee, AP 3 with Fleshbane, Armorbane, but Cursed - which means in combat, Yriel must re-roll saving throws of 6.
I'm not quite sure what to think. His Autarch and Warlord abilities can definitely be useful. His Fleshbane, AP 3 melee attacks are nice, and his Eye of Wrath can take out an entire enemy squad if it needs to (but make sure he's alone!). I think his only issue is that he's competing with other HQs that are either amazing psykers, HQ's that open up Wraithguard or even Pathfinders as troops, or Phoenix Lords which can be pretty special on their own.
I will give Yriel a try because I think he has spunk, but I don't think he's the most competitive of HQs to take.
Illic Nightspear is the most renowned ranger from craftworld Alaitoc, wandering the stars for thousands of years. He has become a master of the Webway, appearing where he chooses and when, and with him he brings his best rangers, the Altaitoc Pathfinders. Illic is a new character to the Eldar codex, and he is the only way to open up Pathfinders now. Let's see what he has.
- BS of 9 . . . wow!
- 3 Wounds
- 5+ armor save
- Warlord Trait - Mark of the Incomparable Hunter - gives him Split Fire!
- Hatred (Necrons)
- Preferred Enemy (Necrons)
- Shrouded (+2 to cover saves)
- Sharpshot - ALL hits are Precision Shots - except snap shots.
- Walker of the Hidden Path - Illic can Infiltrate, but he can set up anywhere that's not in Impassible terrain, no matter the proximity to enemies. Any Rangers or Pathfinders that are in reserve and outflanking, can arrive via deep strike within 6' of Illic and they do not scatter.
Speaking of Pathfinders, here's how they work. If you have Illic, any number of Ranger units can be upgraded to Pathfinders for 13 points per model. Pathfinders have everything Rangers have, plus extra, which means:
- Stealth (+1 cover save)
- Move Through Cover
- AND THEY GAIN
- Shrouded (combined with Stealth means +3 cover saves)
- Sharpshot - all hits are Precision Shots!
I can barely wrap my head around all of that. I'm pretty sure it means that Pathfinders in basic cover are going to have a 2+ cover save, and will be Precision Shooting everything they hit: banner bearers, sergeants, heavy weapons, special weapons, etc. Of course, the Pathfinders are 25 points a model now, but still.
Back to Illic. One last thing I have to mention is his weapon.
- The Voidbringer - 48" Str X (sniper 4+), AP 2, Heavy 1, Distort, Sniper
Illic is pretty cool because he changes the Eldar army. Pathfinders are pretty damn good and they are scoring troops with a 2+ cover save. With his Split Fire rule, he can hide in a unit of Pathfinders and still snipe at a different target. She will hit most of the time, with a 4+ to wound most things at AP2, and Wound rolls of 6 are Instadeath. Odds are, he will not one-shot that terrifying enemy character on turn 1 . . . but he could.
Which special character are you liking so far?
On to Phoenix Lords
So these are all the special characters that are not Phoenix Lords. Of the three, I think Eldrad is the powerhouse. There are not many Mastery Level 4 psykers in the game (Ahrimen and . . . ?) and especially ones that can buff and debuff multiple units every turn.
Still, Yriel could be a fun character to run in an Iyanden themed army, especially since the new Iyanden supplemental codex lets you field 5 Spiritseers as a single HQ choice. With that many Spiritseers, an Iyanden army might use a powerful autarch like Yriel.
Illic Nightspear can make for a great themed army, running Rangers and Pathfinders, which can be dead-hard to shift with 2+ cover saves. You will set your opponent on edge when he feels that every character or special model in his army is in danger every time you pick up the dice.
All that said, we know that the Phoenix Lords are the heart and soul of the Eldar special characters and I can't wait to dig deeper into them! Click below to read all about them!
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- New Dark Angels Codex Review 6th Edition
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