40K: Eldar in 7th Edition

Hey Folks! NoName1 here from Warhammering to talk about possibly the most polarizing army in 40k at the moment: Eldar!

Eldar have been, for a while now, probably the single most hated army on the 40K Tournament scene – for several reasons, but most notably the ridiculousness that is the Wave Serpent and the Jetbike Seer Council.

But! What changes have we gotten from 7th edition I wonder? Well, let’s take a look:

The GOOD –
So, let’s talk about what’s improved.
First off, while casting Psychic Powers has become less reliable, all of our Psykers now have the same likelihood to pass a Psychic test. That is, it’s a number of 4+’s equal to the difficulty of the power regardless of your Psyker’s Leadership, so a Ld. 8 Warlock passes just as easily as a Ld. 10 Farseer (they’re just more vulnerable to Perils).

On the same vein, now with an entire Phase devoted to Psychic Powers, the Eldar are one of the top 3 armies on Psychic Defense (next to Daemons and Grey Knights). The number of Psykers we can bring to the table (in a Battle Forged army no less) grants us a reliably large pool of Psychic Dice. That, combined with access to Runes of Warding, gives Eldar a nice healthy boost to Psychic Defense (which can now target enemy Blessings). Sweet!
While we’re talking Psychic phase – the Farseer’s wargear is *brutal* now. The Spirit Stone of Anath’Lan, which allows the Farseer to reduce the cost of any Psychic Power by 1 Warp Charge, is a tool no other army comes even close to. I’m half tempted to roll a Farseer with Sanctic Daemonology and the Stone just to see what happens.
Of course, then there’s the ever wonderful Ghosthelm. Which, as the rules are written now, allows any Eldar army that’s reasonably stocked with Warp Charges ignore the heck out of Perils on Farseers.

In other news, the changes to Vehicle rules (i.e. making it more difficult to be destroyed outright) is a boon to our dear Wave Serpents – making them even tougher than they were before. And, Jink saves may now be taken turn 1. Take that, Alpha Strike!

Also, with the new Transport/Battle Brothers rules, Eldar armies who choose to build Unbound lists (can you weather the scorn?) may now take Dark Eldar Transports as their own. Why would you do this? Because Dark Eldar transports are nearly all Open-topped, allowing their occupants to fire out of them, but also making them all Assault Vehicles – something Eldar armies have had zero access to for too long.

Last, but not least, the Eldar have long had arguably the best Troops choice in the entire 40k universe: the Guardian Jetbike. And now, those Jetbikes can get Objective Secured and snipe “held” Objectives all over the table.

The BAD –
News is not all good, however.
The biggest hit is the changes to Jink. While it’s now a 4+ save (3+ with Holofields or Skilled Rider), it also is no longer guaranteed just for moving and, if you choose to Jink, forces the unit to fire Snap Shots in the following turn. This is the same as it was for Flyers, but it now applies to Bikes, Jetbikes, and Skimmers. So Wave Serpents (etc.), Autarchs/Farseers/Warlocks, Guardian Jetbikes and Shining Spears all take a hit.

This is especially noticeable on Wave Serpents which, up to now, were laser-spewing terrors on the field. Even TL Scatter Laser Serpents will feel this one keenly. Single-shot Fire Prisms will be hit hard as well.

However, on the plus side, it also means that it’s less difficult to choose between saving that Shield for defense or firing it, making for faster decisions in-game. It also makes Crystal Targeting Matrices actually worth paying some points for!

Also, a unit can’t choose to cast the same Psychic Power twice. So if you have one Warlock in a Jetbike council fail to cast Protect (or a Farseer fail Fortune) you only get one shot, even if another model has the power as well.

All of that said, I think these are all good changes, because most all of those units were overpowered (especially with the free cover save) and the combination of an improved Jink and a cost for taking it makes for much more interesting games. And, decreasing the reliability/recast-ability of some of those Psychic powers means we’ll be seeing more varied armies from Eldar players than we have been.

and,

The UGLY –
There are a few things almost no one is happy about, top of that list in my book is that Jetbike Seer Councils can still be built. Worse than ever, in fact, because an Unbound player could take more than one of them (with only one Baron Sarthonyx of course, but still).

The changes to Psychic Powers make them less durable (harder to cast, one cast attempt/power, chance for Blessings to be Denied), and the changes to Jink at least force Singing Spears (etc.) to be fired as Snap Shots, but that just means fewer players will be taking the Jink Cover save (which is an improvement in and of itself, really).

It stills seems twisted to me that the Dark Eldar’s Grisly Trophies would *ever* help Eldar Warlocks re-roll Psychic Tests. If anything, it seems like it should do the opposite. This is also something that was not addressed in the most recent Dark Eldar FAQ (a glaring omission, I think).

Think I’m crazy? Know any that I’ve missed? Think 40K is lame and I should go back to Chess? Let me have it in the comments! 

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