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40K: Tyranids – Adapt & Overcome

5 Minute Read
Nov 6 2017

Tyranid Players get ready to do whatever the heck you want!

Let me just get this out of the way: It’s good. I’m excited about the Tyranid Codex. Having spent the weekend flipping through the book and creating army list after army list I’m super pumped about this Codex.

Tyrands – Do What You Want

The New Tyranids are an army that can do pretty much whatever the heck you want to do in terms of army design. Do you want to run a ton of Big Monsters across the board? You can do that! Do you want to run a massive swarm of little ones to bog down everything? Yep – you can do that! What about a spread of medium sized bugs that fit somewhere in the middle? Absolutely. If you want to get really whacky and mix it altogether you can – and it ALL works how you want it to work! Shooty Tyranids, Close Combat Tyranids, Mid-range, Anti-infanty, Anti-tank, Anti-psyker – you name it and the Tyranids have an answer.

Overwhelmed By Choice

In fact, I had a bit of analysis paralysis going on when I sat down to work on my first list. Seriously – I didn’t know where to start! But it really was a matter of just getting the first couple ideas down on paper before the rest starting flowing. I probably made about 10-15 lists, all of them different and focusing on different things. Not only are old favorite lists back with a vengeance, thanks to the Stratagems and Hive Fleet Adaptations, there are more army lists that stand a real chance at being contenders in 8th. Here are a few simple combos to get you thinking:

Flyrant + 2xDevourers + Rending Claws/Scything Talons + Adrenal Glands: Flying Hive Tyrants can now “Deepstrike” instead of deploying normally. This means you can drop in on your turn, use your Psychic Powers, Fire, and charge. I know a lot of folks have Flyrants with Double/Quad Devourers and my first reaction was to go with a Quad Devourer load-out. But don’t discount Rending Claws or Scything Talons for some CC Punch. Rending claws in particular will rip armor to shreds. Basically, don’t ignore the other two phases these can participate in (Psychic and Close Combat). They are an investment but they are totally worth it in your army. Recommended Fleet: Behemoth for the re-roll charge or Kronos (for the Warlord trait/Deepest Shadow Stratagem).

Dakkafexes –  I don’t REALLY need to go over this one again, do I? Quad Devourers, Enhanced Senses, Spore Cysts. Unload. Recommended Fleet: Jormungandr for the bonus armor.


Tyrannofexes w/Fleshborer Hive: Yeah, THOSE Fleshborers Hives. It’s 20 str 5 shots, double that if you don’t move. What makes them extra nasty is the Stratagem Scorch Bugs which adds 1 to their to-wound rolls. Then there is also Pathogenic Slime stratagem which increases the damage by 1. So let’s say you’re shooting at Primaris Marines – you’re firing 40 shots that are str 5 but wounding on 2’s and EACH shot is two damage. Or say there is a Tough 8 vehicle around, that’s 40 shots wounding on 4s and each failed wound is 2 damage. Or…well, you pick. Oh and Rupture Cannons are now 3 shots, or 6 if you don’t move. Recommended Fleet: Kronos – hey, you’re not moving anyways! Why not get re-roll 1s.

Venomthropes Squads of 3 or more – Ok, lots of folks were running these already. Now, if you have a squad of 3 you can ALSO impact Monsters. If you have 6, you can extend the range to 9″ – which is a extremely large foot print. These are great for gunlines or if you just want to move-up behind your more aggressive large bugs (Haurspexes, Toxicrenes, etc.) – Recommended Fleet: Take your pick, depends on what else you’re packing.

Genestealers + A Trygon buddy – Genestealers are already rediculously fast. You could run them across the board (especially with a Swarmlord). However, if you’re a gambler run them with a Trygon/Trygon Prime and have them BOTH pop-up at once. If you want to cause problems for your opponent have these two show up in a flank or backfield and force them to turn around and deal with it. I recommend at least 15 stealers. For the bonus attacks. Recommended Fleet: Behemoth – re-roll the charge ftw! For added fun use a Spore Pod with a Broodlord to drop in, too.

Neurothrope Smite Smashing – Neurothropes are the “new” HQ choice and they are cheap and deadly. They can manifest two powers, get to re-roll 1s for Psychic Tests, have 5 wounds and a 3++ save. Plus they are also characters so are even tricker to target. And for added fun they have Shadow in the Warp and Synapse – both things are helpful. If you want to try to defend against Psykers, these guys are a must have.

There are SOOO many other things in the book. Many of these are things from the Index days, but they are just plain BETTER now thanks to Hive Fleet rules and Stratagems. Not to mention Warlord Traits or Relics…

No “Wrong” Choices

If you’re a Tyranid player, you should be excited. They were already fun to play with the Index. And now with the Codex, they really feel like they can do anything. I would encourage you to experiment with your lists. I’m sure that folks out there have already decided what the “ultimate list” will be – but forget that noise. I want to try it all, figure out what I like, and play that! There are lots of things in this book to be excited about and limiting yourself to what some random post on the internet says is not my idea of fun. So get out there and try somethings! You might stumble upon a new favorite build/list/combo and if you like it, that’s all that really matters…this is a game after all!


We’re going to be playing with the Tyranid Codex all week on our Twitch stream – pop over and check it out in action. I’m going to be playing and I’ll be using 3 different lists through out the week to change things up and see how they each play.


I hope you’re as excited as I am to test out the Tyranids this week!

Author: Adam Harrison
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