Neutering Ynarri – & Reviving the Other 3 Eldar Codexes

The Ynarri are overpowered – and destabilizing the entire Eldar faction. Here’s how to bring them to heel.

The Problem

Ynnari are a really cool idea.  The awakening of a new god is the biggest shakeup to Eldar society in 10,000 years and should have equally tectonic effects on the tabletop.

When they arrived in this year’s Fracturing of Biel-Tan (can you believe it has only been 8 months!) folks were freaking out by the possibilities of the unified Eldar armylist.  Of course once 8th Edition hit, Index Xenos I gave the Ynnari a clear upper hand over their Craftworld, Druchari and Harlequin brothers and sisters.

In the intervening months nothing has changed and if you hear competitive players talking Eldar at all – it’s Ynnari.  The faction is clearly overpowered and it does so at the direct expense of the other Eldar factions.

The Rules

Next let’s go over the Ynarri rules and see exactly why everyone out there is ignoring the subfaction Eldar codexes and only see them as units to be poached for Ynnari army lists:

There are three basic rules that place Ynnari head and shoulders above their brethren:

Army of the Reborn

The limitations to what Ynnari CANNOT take are tiny – and not enough of a burden to make anyone think twice before jumping on the bandwagon.  Losing the Avatar, and a handful of Dark Eldar isn’t going to dissuade anyone.  All the good stuff is still in there.

Strength From Death

Here is the beating heart of the army – a deep reservoir of Undead Eldar Acts of Faith that would make an Adepta Sororitas blush. It’s GOING to get kicked off many many times a game and is easy to use situationally to clear the path to your victory. Comparing Strength From Death to the Craftworld Special rules or Battle Focus is no contest.

Revenant Discipline

Nothing too crazy – except for the ability to fire off EVEN MORE Soulburst actions!

A Solution

My solution as always wants to be clean, concise and fitting the fluff.  It will be a quick minute alteration of the existing rules with the design goals of pulling the Ynnari faction into an equal 4th Eldar faction, while restoring the other three (Craftworld, Drukhari, Harlequins) to being unique playstyles.

Here is my two part solution and my rationale:

Army of the Reborn:

We need to see the overall list of poachable units from the other factions reduced both to give Ynnari less room to maneuver – but MORE IMPORTANTLY to keep the other factions distinctive.  My rationale is to have the most conservative, traditional and doctrine based segments of Eldar society turn back to tradition and let the upstart Ynnari carry on their quest on their own. Above all that means the isolated and ancient Aspect Warriors and their Incubi counterparts. These are highly rigid, almost monastic elements of Eldar society and not likely to follow the    whims of the moment. Let the inscrutable Harlequins, Kabalites, and Guardians follow their hearts – the professionals will be back home tending the hearth.

I propose updating Army of the Reborn as follows:

“With the Exception of <HAEMONCULUS COVEN>, <ASPECT WARRIOR> units Urien Rakarth, Drazar, Incubi, Mandrakes, Avatar of Khaine, any Aeldari unit can be part of an Ynnari army…”

Strength from Death:

The rule itself is great.  In fact the entire thing is fairly close to the Adeptus Ministorum Acts of Faith system. The problem is that the Ynnari player gets to use it all the time during a game. The Sisters Army soldiers on just fine with 1 Act of Faith a turn, plus others from special characters or rare units.  I propose an identical solution – limiting it to once a turn by default.

I propose updating Strength from Death as follows:

Once per turn, when a unit is destroyed within 7″ of one of more units with this ability…”

This accomplished two goals:

  • It lowers the power level of the army while keeping its playstyle distinct.
  • It makes the use of Ynnari psykers more critical as they can fire off more soulburst actions via Word of the Phoenix.

Revenant Discipline:

With the limitation of Strength From Death, we need to get some potent psykers access to the Revenant discipline: I would give the following units optional access to the Revenant Discipline: (you pick before the battle if they use their original or Revenant Discipline)

  • Farseer
  • Farseer Skyrunner
  • Shadowseer

I think it’s quick, clean and gets the job done.

~What’s your take?

  • Drpx

    “Ynnari are too powerful”

    Haven’t seen them in one “Unbeatable List from X tournament” article since the start of 8th. Hmmm.

    • J Mad

      They are not to powerful at all, i play them in harlequins and honestly i stopped b.c Rising Crescendo is just as strong, when i play Ynnari there are many times i wish i had RC, when i have RC there are many times i wish i was Ynnari.

      He is just mad b.c he got beat by them, after playing dozen’s of games with Aeldari, its not as strong as it seems, it is VERY easy to counter.

      Let me repeat, VERY easy to counter.

      • ZeeLobby

        Very easy to counter (echo)

      • Karru

        Very… easy… to… counter… (echo)

        But joke aside, I do agree that the Ynnari aren’t that powerful, but the main issue I had with them was just that there was basically no reason to play Eldar before the codex came out. If you played Craftworld Eldar, just go with Ynnari as you get benefits and no downsides.

        There is also the thing that I hate which is “super alliances” more or less. Basically the ability to pick the best units from two or more armies and then just go from there. One of the bigger reasons why I never enjoyed 7th edition.

        I like the Aspect Warrior change a lot though. Once they release the Codex for these guys, they could just easily price everything differently from the pure units or something like that. Then again, the Stratagems, Relics and Warlord traits will be the ones that will make the final decision if it is better to play pure army or Ynnari.

        • James Regan

          yeah, i think the aspect warriors thing makes sense- it doesn’t lower the overall power of the army too much, as they’d still have access to many of the DE equivalents (wyches, scourges etc.) but it would give the army more of a distinct feel. Maybe add in a Ynnari specific heavy CC/ranged unit, for added flavour, given you’d now banned about everything with a 3+ save. Possibly allow dark reapers to represent the slight corruption of khaine they already represent

          • Karru

            Yeah, I believe making Ynnari actually be their own faction would be a great idea. Like GSC basically, the idea is that they have some of their own models and units to use, but still uses loads of models from another faction.

            Releasing, say, 3-4 kits for them plus some generic characters would make them an army that stands on their own.

          • GWELLS

            I would even make sense, the current timeline is 100 years after they were founded. Eventually specialists would evolve within the faction.

        • J Mad

          I completely agree that there was no reason to play CWE over Ynnari, but lets see if the Codex will change that over nerfing it right away.

          • Karru

            Exactly. I don’t want them to suffer the fate that befell Commissars with Guard where GW goes completely overboard with the nerf, wait until we see the codex and then decide.

        • Kami

          One of the main Ynnari units is an aspect warrior though…

    • GWELLS

      With the loss of fleet they are technically now the slowest of the Eldar factions also, and these guys do not want to be in Transports.

    • Dulahan

      There was a recent one they made top 5. And early on they won a tourney, but then the Dark Eldar bird swarm things got a hard nerfbat because it was purely by spamming those they got it.

      Otherwise, I (through my totally non-scientific observation) think most people who think Ynnari are too powerful are facing people playing them wrong and letting units Soulburst more than once per turn. Either that or *I* am playing them wrong because I rarely get more than two soulbursts a turn, and one of them my psychic power if it goes off! And you’re darned right my opponent waits to deny that one if possible. CP re-roll in hand.

  • ruleslawyer

    Also the only units with Ynneads Will are Yvraine and the Visarch. Units exchange built in abilities for Strength from Death, nowhere does it say they gain Ynneads Will as well

    • Jup. But you didn’t expect BoLS to do their homework properly, did you? 😉

  • Make it once per turn and shelve the Ynnari. Doesn’t sound like a solution to me actually. But what do I know, I’m not even playing for years…

    • GWELLS

      Perhaps SFD would only work for individuals not within 1” of the enemy. Or perhaps lower the range of effect from 7” to 4”. One per turn is not enough really, but maybe tweaks to the rule is the answer.

  • Kabal1te

    There are two major issues with this article. First ynneads will is only available to Visarch, and Yvraine. No one else gets it. So no, dark reapers cannot use raiders. Try again. Further Yvraine and the avatar of Ynnead are the ONLY models that can use the revenant discipline. Other psykers from harlequins or craftworlds are stuck with their powers from their own factions, so changing soulburst with the idea that these two models cam compensate for the change really doesn’t work. Also given the story behind the Ynarri, removing incubi from their pool of models to choose from would make no sense fluff wise.

    • Dulahan

      Not to mention in Matched play only one model -can- use Gaze. Even if both have it. You can only use a power not called smite “once per turn” no matter how many models know it.

  • Charon

    “Want Dark Reapers blazing away off the back of Raiders – go for it!”
    Not anymore legal than Chaos Daemon Riding in Landraiders.
    Both keywords have to fit, only Yvrain and the Visarch can do so via Ynneads Will.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    Ynnari is only super powerful because none of the other Eldar factions had any army wide rules to counter Ynnari’s army wide rule. So why WOULDN’t you play Ynnari?

    Now Craftworld are getting their own Army-wide rules. The others will as well. You are now sacrificing something meaningful to gain access to the Ynnari rules.

    • AntonisLak

      “So why WOULDN’t you play Ynnari?”

      because i DESPISE the lore behind Ynnari and i don’t care about the powercreep .

      No matter how broken they are i will keep playing my super-fluff-aspect warrior-full Biel Tan army now with LD plus and rerrols1 to shurikens. Not something extremely awesome but i’m fine with it.

      • Heinz Fiction

        Nothing wrong about this but I guess he was referring to gameplay reasons…

        • ZeeLobby

          Psh. Gameplay. Who does that?!

          • euansmith

            I don’t even.

      • EmperorOfMankind

        I like having some Guardians because I hate myself I guess.

  • uatu13

    They don’t need a fix, and are fine the way they are.

  • David

    I get the distinctiveness fix as I agree there’s not much reason not to play ynnarii but give things a chance before nerfing them

  • Adam Richard Corrigan

    Only activating strength from death from Aeldari units is the best option. Aspects I actually agree with, they follow Khaine nd yes more psykers should be using Rev.

    • Dulahan

      Except at least two (possibly more, I just remember two name dropped for sure in Gathering Storm) Phoenix Lords are on the Ynnari’s side and bailed them out (Jain Zarr and Baharroth) – they don’t follow Khaine, the Jain Zarr book makes that clear when she’s getting pissed at an Avatar and talking to it. They emulate to help bring about the final battle. And turns out the Ynnari and Ulthruan may have a way to help the Eldar -win- instead of mutual destruction, which is in tune with the Aspects as well.

  • J Mad

    As someone with dozens of games with Aeldari, many Ynnari, they are not as good as you think they are, they have a clear way to counter them by doing 2 things:
    1) Dont be to close to other units so they cant gain Soulburst actions
    2) Dont over kill units, kill about 75-90% the unit and leave them for late game.
    3) Bonus! but not easy to do) Isolate units and kill them.

    Yes an extra action is strong, but its not as strong as your full army re-roll EVERYTHING. Aeldari units are almost not as strong for their points as they once were, Ynnari armies are normally small amounts of units, they try to get more out of the units with SFD, if you can deny that even once a turn you seriously hurt Ynnari.

  • DJ860

    I’m going to be that guy.

    You have spelt the name of the race incorrectly, in the title of the article. Come on.

    • ZeeLobby

      Hehe. Things will only get worse and worse as GW’s IP Protection Squad continues.

      • euansmith

        That is the YP Protectionator Squaeioud.

  • Heinz Fiction

    From my more narrative focused point of view, Ynnari lack identity and are therefore very uninteresting. If I wanted to field a combined Craftworlds and Dark Eldar army I could do this without a cat-lady and any special rules. They should either give this faction its own range of models or dropp it entirely.

    • ZeeLobby

      I imagine it’ll receive a Deathguard level of support sometime in the future.

  • Ak318

    Considering one of the big groups trhat follow one of the 3 named charaacters stopping aspect warriors and incubi makes no sense you would do better removing ghostwarriors as they are less fluff ties to the ynnari

    • mark

      Except in the fluff where they literally come through to help! Iyanden and Ulthwe are heavily involved in the Fracture of Biel Tan book

  • Rayna M. McCowan

    Hilariously the only faction that only really gains from the Ynarri special rule is craftworld eldar. Power from Pain and the Harlequin special rules both outshine the Ynarri one on their own. While yes Ynarri forces are spooky (appropriate for a god of the dead) it isn’t that great. Plus the keywords system changed it so no sharing transports anymore. Found that out when theory crafting mixing my existing dark eldar with my future craftworld eldar forces together. Sadly no Wraithlords riding in Raiders, but, that was admittedly a bit silly. Though I do hope they up Raiders to have 11 capacity so you can stick your HQ choice in them safely, would be nice, won’t happen though.

    • Arykaas

      “Wraithlords riding in raiders” …..
      Shieeeeet ….. Now I want a Wraithguard ridden Raider zooming through the battlefield with their spiritseer guiding them and a bonesinger for healing. If Ynnari make that a possibility, I’ll have to consider my allegience XD

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Well seeing as every Codex released so far has had plenty of tweaks and adjustments to it…..suffice to say I am sure the Ynnari will also get this treatment.

    Heck. I would hazard that they will become a fully fledged army in their own right. What I mean by this is GW will do away with them having access to pretty many of the units in the Eldar, Dark Eldar and Harlequin codices; I would imagine the only units they may retain will be the more specialised units.

    I can envision a premise where the Yncarne brings back ancient souls placed in soulstones, and we get a range of units designed in line with the aesthetic of the Visarch. They Ynnead buddies are also still seeking the other two (I think thats correct) Crone Swords; so thats two more characters that can be added to the army.

    I can even see justification for Ynnead to coax the Exodites out of hiding, as they may well see the Yncarne as a return to the Eldar of the past which they continue to emulate.

    • Arykaas

      Oh hell yes please exodites !
      GW ! Please do ! I’ll give money !

  • MarcoT

    Just turn off the rule in the opponent’s turn, that’d be enough. It seems silly to me that shooting something may lock another of your units that hasn’t even fired yet. Too gamey IMO.

    “Don’t kill a unit, just incapacitate it” is a nice workaround, but doesn’t help when many Maelstrom objectives are about killing, getting people off objectives, or making them drop a relic. You can’t always ignore a unit.

    • charlie

      I guess what they mean is you weaken the units around the one you want to kill first.

  • Uhhuh

    People just love to complain.

    • euansmith

      Oh, no we don’t!

  • James Allen

    Just make Soul Burst a Stratagem….

    • Spade McTrowel

      “…never really understood why these guys didn’t.”

      Um. It’s because they don’t have a Codex yet.
      No army without a codex has access to stratagems outside the basic three.
      Hope that helps clear things up.

      –Helpful Spade

  • BlooDeck

    Honestly I’m kinda expecting that Ynnari are probably going to become their own unique army over time.

    • zeno666

      Probably, because GW need more armies they can’t support

    • Arykaas

      I think it will go the way of how Genestealer cults interracts with Imperial Guard : if you take “” stuff via the Brood Brothers rule, Brood brothers replace the regimental doctrine. done.

      Here, the craftworld specific stuff (attribute, trait, staragems) would be replaced by Ynnari’s ones.

      Same for Harlequins and Drukharies (loss of cabal/cult specific stuff)

  • fenrisful2

    When the indexes dropped yes ynnari was strong, but it was not that the main problem, the problem was the overpriced weapons for CWE, whiched forced the CWE to go Ynnari to even be worthwhile playing at all.
    17p Avengers, a T3 unit with 4+ save with a 18″ gun
    Comparred to a
    13p tac marine T4 3+ save and 24″ gun.

    That was just ridiculus, cerainly another phase when something died within range is not OP, because dying was what the CWE did best.
    Sure Ynnari with the new CWE codex might be powerful, but not more so than pure CWE or other armies that got their codex.
    Personally I’m going to play pure CWE rather than Ynnari just because the game will run much smoother, and those stratagems has muchmore flavour than SfD.

  • Richard Palmer

    Wrong article!

  • Dan

    The other problem with this solution that I don’t think anyone has mentioned is that instead of adjusting teh rule you just scaled it’s implementation. Much like Sisters this just encourages people to take a small detachment to maximize the “one per turn” nature of the power. Likewise it means the efficacy of the power changes with teh size of the game played.

    Instead something as simple as “gets to take an extra action on a 3+” means there is a risk to relying on the power. You can’t neccessarily string extra aactions along in a chain you’re always risking failing to manifest the extra actions. The other advantage to this is that you can then manipulate that roll via buffs or whatnot. Maybe the Yvrrane makes it happen on a 2+ roll. Or maybe for the first three turns of the match its only on a 4+ so there is a natural rising tempo

  • Dulahan

    Barring them from getting Aspect Warriors is already anti-thematic, since at least two (Jain Zarr and Baharroth) Phoenix Lords have been fighting in support of the Ynnari since the Gathering Storm. Plus fractured groups from each Craftworld including Aspect Warriors.

  • Neil Burns

    I love it. Aspect warriors getting those benifits don’t make a heap of sense, but I’d also limit beastmasters and their animals from helping the Ynnari.

  • Jose Delgado

    Yes, blood of kitten show ynnari as the second best army. So they are overpowered but imperial guard are more broken by a huge margin

  • Alejandro Delgado Gonzalez

    if ynnari are overpower. imerium soups. guilliman ultras.chaos soups.morty death.imperial guard, what are? since aall those are overperforming ynnaris.

    in fact ynnaris are ok and eldars should have been brougth to their lvl but we got crapy stratagems. Useless relics and warlord traiths. Pretty useless powers( we have maybe 3 usefull of 18. Where is our anti horde eldrich storm?). Only 5 craftworlds rules when every codex had 8 or more different armys. And only 1 op traith with 4 bad ones.
    Like i was saying instead strong eldars only passives to make us as good as ynnaris. We got points buffs that only make bigger the gap betwen eldars and ynnaris

  • Yves Ewen

    „The Ynnari are overpowered.“ Wut?
    Did they win the smallest flower pot since release of 8th? So, any proof of this? I mean you are making a bold statement an deliver nothing at all to prove it.
    Also, i didn’t see any article saying so explicitly something is OP touching Guilliman, Chaos Demons soup lists, Conscripts (until a few days ago), AM and Imperial soup, or assassin superfriends lists. There were some criticisms about them, sure. But no one blatantly saying they were op. And those lists were actually winning tournaments.
    So, did you badly lose to an Ynnari list yesterday and are salty or what? This is completely uncalled for by anyone.

    Also i do believe that Craftworlds will now be able to compete because of their bew codex. The other Eldar factions will also be able to do so in time.

  • aargh00

    Strength From Death should be ” When an Aeldari unit is destroyed within 7″…” Makes no sense that they get a boost from the souls of other armies when the fluff is that they are absorbing their fellow Eldar’s soul energy into themselves (although perhaps I misunderstand their fluff?). This way it gets amped up too if it’s Eldar vs Eldar.