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Take Five: Did Tyranids Get WAY Better?

5 Minute Read
Jul 4 2014

What if Tyranids aren’t as nerfed as we thought? What if Tyranids actually got better in 7th edition?

 Hello everyone, Jifel here, Tyranid veteran. For more Battle Reports, reviews, and tactics, feel free to check out my blog at Knighthammer 40k.

Our first thought every edition is to look at what armies have been improved, and what armies will be worse in the new edition. Plenty of people have thought that Daemons would be broken, or that Eldar will be unstoppable, and that Necrons have also improved wildly. Not once did Tyranids appear on that list! I myself, reading the new rules, thought that Tyranids had taken a sideways step at best, and that’s a lot more optimistic than most people. The rest of this article will be based on a set of data published by Torrent of Fire. Please note that I am 100% unrelated to Torrent of Fire, I have never worked with them or their program. However, everything I have read indicates that they have a relatively large set of data to work with. If you don’t want to follow the link above, the most important part is the graph below:

This is pretty interesting as, despite some fluctuations, it shows who the top armies have been in the last 6 months. But, only the last month is representative of 7th edition. Looking at June, we see that Tyranids have the top winning percentage at 64.4%, which is above the next closest army (Tau) by about 4%. They also have the most improved winning percentage from May to June, about a 14% increase! Now, these results aren’t perfect, and they don’t represent every Tyranid player or every Tyranid army. For that reason, I do not believe that these results suddenly make Tyranids the best army in the game. I still think that Eldar are the best stand alone army at the moment, but I think that the results above can’t be an accident. Somehow, we have completely missed the fact that Tyranids have gotten better. A 14% increase is no joke, and that can’t be the result of pure chance alone. Something has fueled it! Now, here are my reasons why I believe Tyranids have gotten better in 7th edition! 
1. The rules favor shooting FMCs:
This is obvious due to assaulting nerfs, but people are complaining about it for some reason. All it does is force Tyranid FMCs into the role that they are best at. Crones and Harpies are meant to shoot, while Flyrants are just better at it than their other roles. I don’t believe Tyranid FMCs have been nerfed at all, because they can’t drop down and charge units. By staying in the air, they are much harder to kill and can deliver their potent firepower for multiple turns. Every Tyranid Monstrous Creature that flies comes with multiple guns, or (like Flyrants) can be upgraded to have multiple guns. Take advantage of this, and buzz around shooting for as long as you can! 5 turns of Twin linked Devourers is much more damaging than two turns of Devourers, one assault, and then being killed. 
2. Our Objective Secured units are tougher than other armies:
 Seriously, if we try hard we can kill a Tactical Squad or a Rhino, but there are some armies that just can’t take out a Tervigon in one turn. 30 gant blobs and other fearless troops are harder to remove, and are large enough to fully grab objectives without leaving room to contest. Objective Secured is perhaps the best special rule in the game, and we have some of the most durable troops choices in the game. Not the fastest, to be fair, but we are really good at camping objectives. 
3. Hull Points are more important:
 In 6th edition, almost all of our anti-tank methods represented hull point removal, not going for a single Explosion result. Dakkafexen, Flyrants, and Haywire weapons rely more on Glances than Pens, so I feel we are relatively unaffected by the nerf to the Vehicle Damage table. Tyranids also have a huge amount of access to Haywire weapons. Flyrants, Crones, Tervigons, Tyrannofex and Hive Guard all have access to weapons with Haywire. All of the above are great to decent units, so we can fit a lot of Haywire into our lists if we want to. 
4. Formations are more tolerated: 
Now that they are in the main book, more people are allowing formations. Even Codexes, like Orks, are getting their own formations!  Seeing as we have more Formations than the other armies put together, we benefit a lot from this naturally. If Formations are allowed, Tyranids go from a flavorless army to benefiting from several awesome potential lists. The Skyblight Swarm, the Endless Swarm, and Living Artillery Node are all very good formations that all revolve around very different styles of play, which is great for Tyranids as a faction. More variety and better units sounds good to me! 

5. Maelstrom of War: 
The new maelstrom of war mission emphasizes armies that can move faster, and claim objectives. Between flyers and Deepstriking, we are a more mobile army that hates to stand still as a gunline. We are almost always advancing, and so better suited to the Maelstrom missions than, say, Tau armies. Tyranids benefit a lot from the new rules because we have often have a lot of durable models that are very hard to clear out before turn 5. Turn-by-turn scoring fits the Tyranid playstyle of a slow advance with Monstrous Creatures very well, or the horde of fast units we can bring. Either way, Maelstrom of War is very difficult for immobile armies or armies that rely on a late game grab of Objectives.

And there we have it! Do you think Tyranids have become a surprise good army in 7th edition? What other armies do you think have slipped under the radar? Let’s hear it! 

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