While we await the FAQ – we did get some new 40k Slaanesh rules and a preview of the new Ynnari rules. The rules are not the most spectacular – they are pretty dang interesting.
I feel for the Ynarri players… wait – no I don’t feel for them at all. Those guys have been a pain since release, and anything to keep some of the nonsense at bay will be helpful. That dang cat lady has gots to go, as does the Castellan. But we’ll see if the FAQ does all we hope for, and bring us some caviar dreams. Enough of that – let’s talk about the rules.
So Long Ynnari
The Ynarri change that showed up in the new White Dwarf preview from GW. The blurry picture seems to show the following big nerfs – first, if you go Ynarri you lose all your craft world/cult/masque. This is huge because it removes a lot of the weird stratagems etc. that people loved to abuse (and forget to use) at the right times in big money games. On top of that, you can’t even use some of the Eldar powers on Ynarri units anymore. Those Protects and other buffs no longer work from a pesky, not death obsessed, Farseer. On top of that, you can’t make any of the named Characters Ynarri as well – so while Eldrad likes to wear black, he can’t decide to join the new Death Cult.
The next big thing is that Soulburst is no longer the same thing we had before. Gone are the days of double activations. Instead, we get the ability that if a unit dies the army automatically gains first strike. If they already had first strike, they also get a +1 to hit – which means even when assaulting they would gain a +1 if something died earlier. This is a huge nerf, and a rough one. Losing powers, stratagems, and Soulburst might mean the death of Ynarri. Or it will just morph into something else that isn’t so death star back breaking – like the current iteration is. This also seems to mix into the thought that some of the Eldar powers are only going to be able to be used by the Asyurani instead of all their pointy eared cousins. Stuff like Doom getting kicked in the teeth is what I am talking about. We’ll see if FAQ Tuesday ends up lining up with the rumors.
Beyond those things, the other big release is the new Slaanesh stuff. Finally, we got some named characters for the god that always thirsts. Whether it’s Moutain Dew, Le Croux, or sweat – Slaanesh finally got some love in a few new characters. We’ll start with the big ole bad Greater Daemon: the Keeper of Secrets. I think the model is ok and if things like the Castellan and double shooting Dark Reapers get nerfed, it means this monster gets to survive a bit longer. It moves super fast (14+d6), hits pretty hard, and seems to do decently when fighting in close combat. It has some weird wargear in the shield that gives them a 6+ basic FNP unless it is against a mortal wound when it goes to a 5+. I do like the model because it’s pretty cheap and fast, which we all know is something I love for 40k. I plan on painting one live on stream this upcoming Wednesday – you should check it out on Twitch.
After the big Keeper of Secrets, the next neat thing is the combo Daemon Prince/Herald of Slaanesh – Syll’Esske. This guy is pretty dang cheap; it sits right in the range of a walking Daemon Prince mixed with a Herald of Slaanesh. Sitting on eight wounds with eight attacks it can double attack as well buff up nearby Slaanesh units. Beyond just giving a +1 to strength and reroll ones, it lets them reroll their leadership check as well. This is mixed in with its always Strike First ability – this guy is gonna hit once, consolidate, and smash someone aside again. In my current army builds using Slaanesh Daemon Engines, this guy will fit in perfectly. Granting some Rerolls, bonuses to strength, as well as the ability to advance and charge if need be will be huge. Throw in a nicely timed Locus of Grace, and this guy starts chaining a good deal of extra attacks. Heck, if they are stuck in combat they can throw a spell that lets a Slaanesh unit fight again, too. I think this guy is pretty dang impressive for a bit over 200 points. It does feel bad they can’t fly, but with 9 inches and a d6 advance – this monster will get where it needs to be.
Next up we have the weird mirror thing – the contorted Epitome. There aren’t any points for this model (really weird because all the others have points) so it is hard to judge how useful they will be. It has a lot of wounds and a lot of attacks. This single model comes in with ten attacks, eight of which have a chance to get a -4 AP value. All of the damage values are at minimum two with the dang thing having a base strength of 5. This model is also another locus of Slaanesh which makes it a flat six so it is pretty dang nutty. Throw in 2 psychic powers a turn, +1 to cast/deny, and a random 2+ save versus mortal wounds, and you got a friggin nutty little model. All of these things sound good, and it even has another power that makes it where models can flee unless they roll under the highest leadership in the unit on a 3d6. This can be very handy because you can bring things up, getting your Slaanesh Daemons locked in combat, and then maybe cast a spell to attack in the psychic phase. This model sits at ten power level, which is one less than the cool double-double daemon prince. I think this model is pretty dang neat and could be a staple for upcoming Slaanesh armies. The fact it isn’t a ‘unique’ character means they can easily show up on the battlefield. It also moves 12 inches, which is kind of bonkers.
The last new thing is the named Keeper of Secrets – Shalaxi Helbane. This model isn’t too bad; and while I think the regular Keeper of Secrets works out better as it is cheaper, this model can do a number of any character it gets ahold of. This killing machine does have a bit more close combat protection, but it will still probably die to things. The -1 to wound is pretty powerful as its Toughness 7 makes things wound her on a 6+ most of the time bar some powerful close combat weapons. She still has the default -1 to hit in close combat all Keepers have, as well.
I am excited to see the new Ynarri rules. It will mean the end of double moving Shining Spears. They are probably nerfed too much, but that is what I suspect when an army has a bullseye on them for so long. I am wondering if we’ll see Chaos get some more nerfs on their Daemon Troops – they are still some of the best troop options in the game. A way out of morale issues, invulnerable saves, and powerful Aura characters make for a lot of strong choices. No matter what anyone says, a cheap troop choice with a large unit size is a powerful thing. Look at the newest Chaos God – Jim Vesal – and his roving band of chaos goodies doing hot with some powerful wins this year. Sixty bodies with a default -1 to hit and two saves is a compelling choice in this current metagame. Look for another quick article whenever the FAQ does come out this week. I’ve got a Keeper of Secrets list coming this Friday. Chaos should stay the same.
~What do you think of the nerfed Ynnari, & Slaanesh rules?