The Big FAQ 1 has shaken up the meta and armies have risen and fallen. Let’s take a look at how it affected each army.
At the start of this week, Goatboy took a look at the “winners” and “losers” of the FAQ, noting that gun lines got better for instance. Due to all these changes, some armies got a lot better, while others suffered. Today lets take a quick look at how each army was affected by the FAQ. We’ve covered a bunch of armies already in Part 1, so strap in, turn up the Electric Boogaloo, and get ready for Part 2.
Despite coming out right before the FAQ, the old Dark Eldar took a pretty big hit from it. As an army that can do a pretty good amount of Deep Striking, the limit to the first turn drop locations is a bummer for them. Since a pretty good portion of the army is assault oriented, anything that hurts the viability of assault hurts them. Still, they do have ways of getting off first turn assaults, so if people start to they are safe versus that tactic, it could help the Drukhari.
More than assault changes the Rule of 3 is upsetting for them. They are already an army that is divided into three big sub-factions that don’t always work well together, so limiting them more hurts. Players who for instance wanted to run a pure Kabal army are in trouble as they only have a single HQ choice. In general, the rule is going to force Drukahri to run mixed faction forces. Also while increasing the amount of CPs you get from a Battalion didn’t hurt the army, it does make the Raiding Force rule next to useless. Lastly, GW failing to answer the questions around Agents of Vect… is interesting.
Verdict: A Loss of Flavor and Flexibility if not much in overall power.
Craftworld Eldar are actually in an interesting place in the wake of the FAQ. A couple of their big tactics did get nerfed, Reaper Spam is dead, Reapers in general cost more, and Shining Spears dropping, moving and charging with Yannari is dead as well. With a couple of big blows to their major lists, you would think Craftworlds was in big trouble, yet the opposite seems to be true.
Craftworlds are a big old army and have a lot of options in it. Due to this, the Rule of 3 has very little effect on the army. In fact, it’s one of the armies that I feel it works as intended on. In Craftworlds the rule does limit spam, but the army has enough choices and options that you can build around it and still fill out things as wanted. Other than going up in points Reapers didn’t get nerfed, so a big unit of 10, using Fire and Fade and buffed with powers and Word of the Phoenix, will still be super deadly. More CPs are also very welcome in this army. More than anything though, the nerfing of many of the couple of lists that have been countering Eldar lists in big events will only help them out.
Verdict: A Big Winner
While word of the Phoenix got harder to cast and can’t be used a unit that deep-struck overall the army didn’t change much. They are still going to be an integral part of most high-level Eldar lists. For more see above.
Verdict: Slight Loser, But Comparative Winner
We’re aren’t seeing a ton of pure Daemon lists these days, but overall the army isn’t going to change much with the FAQ. Restrictions to Deep Strike aren’t the end of the world for the list but do hurt it a bit. In fact, anything that hurts assault hurts the list. Not being able to deep strike Nurgle Trees in front of my forces is a bummer, but OK overall. The rule of 3 may hurt people who are trying to build mono-god lists, as each god normally only has one option per slot, but multi-god forces will see little effect. Daemon’s also still have good ways of getting off first turn charges and did get the ability to summon named Daemon’s back after they’ve been killed, so that’s cool.
Overall the I think the FAQ is pretty good for Codex Marines. While these lists aren’t winning a lot of events, they are still widely played. As the first Codex the Space Marines really don’t rely on a bunch of tricks, so they had little to get nerfed. Raven Guard units can still use Strike From the Shadows to get close on turn one, and it now feels special rather than just paying points to Deep Strike. Guilliman went up in points, but not enough to matter much. Moving to more mixed builds with less spam is kind of what Space Marines like, so it’s overall going to play in their favor.
Verdict: Minor Winner
Blood Angels have been pretty popular for their crazy first turn assault, dropping hordes of troops into the enemy ranks and ripping them up. All that is over now. While they can still get a few units into combat on the first turn, they won’t be able to get the needed characters up to them, severely hampering their effectiveness. Outside of that, they’ve got enough units options to work around the Rule of 3, but I think the heyday of the Space Vampires may be at an end.
Verdict: Big Loser
While Dark Angels may not rely on deep striking assaults like Blood Angels do, the Rule of 3 cuts them pretty deep. As an army with some large sub-factions, they often want to spam some units. In particular playing a pure Ravenwing or Deathwing force got harder, as they have very limited options. Plasma/Hellbalster heavy lists did gain more time to gun down the enemy, so that all may balance out in the end, but I don’t expect the Totally Not Traitors Marines to show up more than they have been.
Verdict: Got their Wings Clipped
While Grey Knights got better, they still aren’t really good. The Rule of 3 hurts them a bit as they don’t have a massive number of units to chose from. On the other hand, it looks like both Gates of Infinity and Teleportshunt work like normal on turn one, giving them a lot of good options. Lastly, they get to escape from the smite spam, making their mini smites OK again. Overall the army is a winner, but none of the significant problems that have hurt it got fixed.
Verdict: Winner, but still a bad army
Well, Shield-Captain spam is dead, we can all breathe easy. Honestly, as fun as running ten Captain on Jetbikes could be, it was a pretty dumb army, and for the game’s sake, I’m happy its dead. Outside of that Custodes are expensive enough that the Rule of 3 won’t hurt them much. With few units able to Deep Strike, those restrictions also aren’t huge, and this gives you more time to get your Vexilia in position. Also that Astra Militarum battalion you were almost certainly taking now gives you 5 CPs and that’s pretty big. Overall the army came out pretty good.
Verdict: Minor Winner
More to Come
Ok, guys, that’s it for part two, next time we will go over the remaining armies, which should just be the Index ones and see how they have fared with the FAQ. As I said last time, even the armies that got nerfed are still good and will have to get creative to build top tier lists again. See ya’ll next time.
Don’t agree with my assessment? Let us know, down in the comments!