Warhammer 40,000 8th has shaken-up the pecking order in the Tyranid Army – which units went from Zero to Hero? Let’s chat!
With all the armies and units getting updated all at once, it’s no surprise that folks are scrambling to figure out how things work again. What was once a “Go-to” unit might not be and auto include any more. Plus units that were considered absolutely terrible are now becoming Rockstars in their own right. With that in mind, I wanted to talk about a handful of Tyranid units that I think are the most improved in the army.
Yes – I can’t believe I’m saying this either: Pyrovores are by far the most improved unit in the Tyranid Codex. I’ll be the first to admit, they were pretty much a joke in the last couple of editions. Most of the time, if some one was fielding the model it was as a stunt-double for Biovores. I don’t think that will be the case any more. So why are they the most improved? Well when you’re at the bottom even a little boost can help you out a bit but let’s talk numbers.
Flamespurt is now a 10″ range, Assault D6, Str 5, AP -1, Damage 1 weapon that auto-hits. Each Pyrovore also comes with 4 wounds, Volatile and Acid Blood. What does that mean? Well for starters, if you drop a unit of these into combat using a Tyrannocyte then you can deploy them within 9″ of an enemy. Unlike most other units with flamer-type weapons, they are going to actually be in range to shoot on the turn they come down. 3d6 shots that auto hit with Str 5, AP -1 is enough to make most light-to-medium infantry shudder.
On top of that, you do not want to ignore this unit now. They can run and gun with virtually no penalty and once they get into combat…well, remember those Acid Blood and Volatile abilities? Let’s just say damaging them is a lot like hitting yourself.
The Tyrannocyte is another unit that I think has improved greatly from last edition. Why? First off, thanks to the changes in “deepstrike” you just place this model anywhere more than 9″ away from an enemy model. Secondly, this model pumps out the shots like crazy. 5 Barbed Stranglers means it’s doing 5D6 Str 5, AP -1 shots. Or Venom Cannons are 5D3 Str 8, AP -1. Or the Classic Deathspitter is still 15 shots at Str 5. AP -1. Keep in mind you draw Line of Sight from the model (for now) so those guns can all plaster the same unit. I prefer the Barbed Stranglers personally. Why? Because when you are shooting at a unit with more than 10 models, you get a +1 to hit. It’s only got a BS of +5 so everything helps.
The Trygon/ Trygon Prime have been MVPs in almost every game I’ve used them in. They take a beating and keep kicking and their tunnel is FINALLY useful! Delivering a payload of 15-20 Genestealers where you need them is fantastic. Plus your opponent has to make some tough calls – who do they shoot? the Genestealers or the Trygon? What about the rest of your army crossing the board? For added fun, I like to drop them inside cover if at all possible.
The Tervigon got a couple of big improvements in my book. First off, it can create 10 termagants every turn. No roll required and no chance of burn-out. “But in matched play, you have to spend reserve points on them!” Yes, I’m aware of that. Alternatively, you can also use those 10 ‘gants to re-fill an already existing unit back up to their max starting size. I’ve been running a squad or two of mixed Devourer-gants/regular gants. The spawned termagants can only have Fleshborers – so with the way wound allocation works, I just remove fleshborer gants first. When the Tervigon goes, BOOM, the squad gets 10 more. I don’t really lose any fire power and my opponent starts to feel like shooting at them is a futile endeavor.
Also, when the Tervigon dies, each unit of Termagants within 6″ only loses D6 models now. That’s not too bad! Oh and did I mention that friendly gants within 6″ get to re-roll 1s in the shooting phase? Because they do and it’s great!
Holy cow did the Haruspex get good all of a sudden?! Short answer: Yes. Long answer: It regens, gets extra attacks, is a threat to infantry, vehicles, and other “big” kits, and looks bloody cool! Okay, well that last one isn’t really new – but now you have a reason to take one over the Exocrine. It’s Ravenous Maw gets D3 attacks and every time it kills a model with one of those attacks, it gets free swings with it’s shoveling claws. Those Claws range from Str 14 to 10 depending on how many wounds it has, AP-3 and they each do D6 damage. It’s Grasping Tongue also allows it to shoot within 1″ of an enemy AND if slays a model with it, it gets another wound back. The down side is this is one of the most expensive models in the army (both in points and power level) now. But it’s a elite slot still…
Stealers are back and they are vicious and deadly! Rending Claws gives them a reliable way to tear through enemy armor and infantry. If you run them in groups of 10+ they also get a bonus attack bringing their base from 3 attacks to 4. I don’t think there is much in the game that can go for more than a round or two with 20 Genestealers swining at them. They are also SUPER fast because they can advance AND charge in the same turn now. Oh, and they have a 5++ save now, too! For added fun run with a Broodlord within 6″ – adding 1 to their hit rolls is just icing on the cake!
I wasn’t really sold on these guys until a buddy mentioned something silly: Spinefists. Spinefists are only str 3 but they are pistols and can be fired within 1″ of an enemy. They move 12″ and have 4 attacks. If you run them with two sets of talons and spinefists that means a squad of 3 can generate 12 shots and 15 attacks in close combat. They can also “Deepstrike” 9″ away from an enemy unit, too. That might not sound like much, but when you run a squad of 9 that can pop-up and unload 36 shots and 45 attacks in close-combat it starts to get scary. Plus if they are stuck in combat they can still shoot you with those pistol attacks. That’s a LOT of dice so if you’re fishing for 6’s you’re going to cause some damage.
There are lots of units that have had some big improvement in the Tyranid book but that’s our list of units you might want to give another look at. What units in the Tyranid list went from Zero to Hero in your mind?