Chapter Approved Analysis – Craftworlds

An article by    Gaming Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

As we covered last week Chapter Approved is here, ringing in a whole bunch of changes for a whole bunch of factions. My beautiful Space Elves, my first and greatest 40K love, are no exception. We’ve already looked at the big winners and losers from each faction, but now it’s time to go a bit deeper and see what this means for some current top lists and if any new ones about to emerge. Behind the scenes I am corralling the disorganised rabble that is the Goonhammer writing team to try and get everyone else lined up to cover their factions of choice, but as you might have expected (since it was the only one we did last year) Craftworlds is going to be first out of the gate because I can just slam this bad boi out. I’ll very likely be picking up Necrons too, so look forward to that next week.

The way we’re going to do this is as follows:

  1. Look at what our baseline – pick out some recent, successful lists and identify how many more or less points they have now.
  2. Tour through the most significant units that changed and what impact that might have on strategies.
  3. Come back to the lists we covered and examine how we might change them based on the update.
  4. See if there are any whole new lists that might arise thanks to the changes.

How easy that is to do is obviously going to vary by faction, but for Craftworlds we’ve got a wealth of stuff to play with, so let’s get started!

Current Lists

We’re going to look at three current lists, two successful ones we’ve already talked about recently and one winner from a recent GT. As ever, we’d like to thank 40kstats for the hard work they do curating data and lists – it makes writing this kind of analysis so much more practical, and is great for the community as a whole.

The lists we’ll be looking at are

  • Tomas Christensson’s Shining Spears and Fire Prisms list from the Alliance Open
  • Colin Sherman’s Combined Arms/Dark Reapers from the Stumptown Stomp
  • Gaz Jones’ Expert Crafters from the Element Grand Slam

Tomas Christensson’s Shining Spears

Shining Spears

Shining Spears. Credit: Wings

Army List - Click to Expand

Tomas Christensson
Gaming Club: Go Go Harambe Rangers
Total Points: 2000p
Total Command points: 10 CP (3+5(Battalion)+1(Airwing)+1(Spearhead Detachment)
ITC Faction: Asuryani

Detachment 1: Battalion (Asuryani - Craftworlds - Alaitoc) - 718
HQ - Farseer Skyrunner - (130), Witchblade(0) - Twin Shuriken catapult (2) [7PL 132pts] WARLORD (Seer of the
Shifting Vector), Relic (The Phoenix Gem).

HQ - Warlock Skyrunner - (65), Witchblade (0) - Twin Shuriken catapult (2) [4PL 67pts]

HQ - Warlock Skyrunner - (65), Witchblade (0) - Twin Shuriken catapult (2) [4PL 67pts]

TR - 5x Rangers (60) - [3PL, 60pts]

TR - 5x Rangers (60) - [3PL, 60pts]

TR - 5x Rangers (60) - [3PL, 60pts]

FA - 8x Shining Spears (192) 7x Laser lance(56), Twin Shuriken Catapult(14),- Exarch Upgrade(0) Exarch wargear: Laser lance (8), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) Shining Spear Exarch power (Skilled Raider) - [14PL, 272Pts]

Detachment 2: Spearhead (Asuryani - Craftworld - Alaitoc) - 586
HQ - Autarch Skyrunner (95), Banshee Mask(0), Laser lance(8), Twin Shuriken catapult (2) - [6PL, 105pts]

HS - Fire Prism (155), Twin Shuriken catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix(5) - [9PL, 162pts]

HS - Fire Prism (155), Twin Shuriken catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix(5) - [9PL, 162pts]

HS - Fire Prism (155), Twin Shuriken catapult (2) - [9PL, 157pts]

Detachment 3: Air Wing Detachment (Asuryani - Craftworld - Alaitoc) - 693
Flyer - Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), Two Starcannons(26), Crimson Hunter Exarch power (Hawkeye) [9PL, 161Pts]

Flyer - Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), Two Starcannons(26), Crimson Hunter Exarch power (Hawkeye) [9PL, 161Pts]

Flyer - Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), Two Starcannons(26), Crimson Hunter Exarch power (Hawkeye) [9PL, 161Pts]

Flyer - Hemlock Wraithfighter (200), Spirit Stone(10) - [10PL, 210pts]

Point Changes

  • Increases:
    • +45 (Crimson Hunters)
  • Decreases: 
    • -10 (Warlock Skyrunners)
    • -32 (Shining Spears)
    • -45 (Fire Prisms)
  • Total: -42

Starting off strong – this list ended up as best Aeldari at a massive major, and it gets cheaper. 42pts obviously isn’t a tonne, but if nothing else it fills that Shining Spear squad out to a ninth model and buys a star lance, which is far from nothing.

Colin Sherman’s Combined Arms

Dark Reapers

Dark Reapers. Credit: Wings

Army list - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [20 PL, 357pts] ++ 
Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots

+ HQ [11 PL, 199pts] +
Farseer Skyrunner [7 PL, 132pts]: 0. Smite, Shuriken Pistol, Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts], Witchblade
Warlock Skyrunner [4 PL, 67pts]: 0. Smite, Shuriken Pistol, Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts], Witchblade

+ Troops [9 PL, 158pts] +
Dire Avengers [3 PL, 55pts]
. 4x Dire Avenger [44pts]: 4x Avenger Shuriken Catapult [12pts]
. Dire Avenger Exarch [11pts]: Avenger Shuriken Catapult [3pts]
. . Exarch Power: Bladestorm

Dire Avengers [3 PL, 55pts]
. 4x Dire Avenger [44pts]: 4x Avenger Shuriken Catapult [12pts]
. Dire Avenger Exarch [11pts]: Avenger Shuriken Catapult [3pts]
. . Exarch Power: Bladestorm

Storm Guardians [3 PL, 48pts]
. 8x Storm Guardian - Chainsword [48pts]

++ Air Wing Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [27 PL, 483pts] ++ 
Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masters of Concealment

+ Flyer [27 PL, 483pts] +
Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 161pts]: Two Starcannons [26pts] . Exarch Power: Hawkeye
Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 161pts]: Two Starcannons [26pts ]. Exarch Power: Hawkeye
Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 161pts]: Two Starcannons [26pts] . Exarch Power: Hawkeye

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [64 PL, 1,159pts] ++ 
Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots

+ HQ [6 PL, 132pts] +
Autarch [4 PL, 77pts]: Craftworlds Warlord, Forceshield [6pts], Star Glaive [6pts]
Warlock [2 PL, 55pts]: 0. Smite, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Fast Attack [3 PL, 68pts] +
Swooping Hawks [3 PL, 68pts]
. 4x Swooping Hawk [52pts]: 4x Lasblaster [28pts]
. Swooping Hawk Exarch [16pts]: Hawk's Talon [10pts]
. . Exarch Power: Swooping Barrage

+ Heavy Support [37 PL, 681pts] +
Dark Reapers [13 PL, 345pts]
. 9x Dark Reaper [306pts]: 9x Reaper Launcher [198pts]
. Dark Reaper Exarch [39pts]: Tempest Launcher [27pts]
. . Exarch Power: Rain of Death

Night Spinner [8 PL, 112pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]
Night Spinner [8 PL, 112pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]
Night Spinner [8 PL, 112pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]

+ Dedicated Transport [18 PL, 278pts] +
Wave Serpent [9 PL, 139pts]: Twin Shuriken Cannon [17pts], Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]
Wave Serpent [9 PL, 139pts]: Twin Shuriken Cannon [17pts], Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]

Point Changes

  • Increases:
    • +45 (Crimson Hunters)
  • Decreases: 
    • -5 (Warlock Skyrunner)
    • -10 (Warlock)
    • -30 (Dark Reapers)
    • -4 (Autarch)
  • Total: -4

This is extremely a list after my own heart. I’ve been down on Dark Reapers since the rise of Whirlwind/Thunderfire meta so it’s encouraging seeing someone make them work, and the rest of this is exactly the style of list I like to play (and continues to demonstrate exactly how right I was about the Night Spinner last year, just saying). However, it’s also the least affected on aggregate by the point changes, ending up only the teeniest bit in the green.

Gaz Jones’ Expert Crafters

Army List - Click to Expand

Player: Gaz Jones
Craftworld Attribute: Asur Brotherhood – Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots
Warlord: Autarch
Warlord Trait: Fate’s Messenger
Warlord Relic: Faolchu’s Wing
Psychic Powers: Warlock Skyrunner #Smite/Destructor #Protect/Jinx

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [43 PL, 677pts] ++

+ HQ [4 PL, 77pts] +

Autarch [4 PL, 77pts]: Forceshield [6pts], Shuriken Pistol, Star Glaive [6pts]

+ Heavy Support [39 PL, 600pts] +

Support Weapons [9 PL, 120pts]: 3x Support Weapon [3 PL, 40pts]: Vibro Cannon [15pts]
Support Weapons [9 PL, 120pts]: 3x Support Weapon [3 PL, 40pts]: Vibro Cannon [15pts]
Support Weapons [9 PL, 120pts]: 3x Support Weapon [3 PL, 40pts]: Vibro Cannon [15pts]
War Walkers [4 PL, 80pts] : Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts]
War Walkers [4 PL, 80pts] : Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts]
War Walkers [4 PL, 80pts] : Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts]

++ Air Wing Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [27 PL, 483pts] ++

+ Flyer [27 PL, 483pts] +

Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 161pts]: Two Starcannons [26pts] #Hawkeye
Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 161pts]: Two Starcannons [26pts] #Hawkeye
Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 161pts]: Two Starcannons [26pts] #Hawkeye

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [55 PL, 838pts] ++

+ HQ [4 PL, 67pts] +

Warlock Skyrunner [4 PL, 67pts]: Shuriken Pistol, Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts], Witchblade

+ Heavy Support [51 PL, 771pts] +

Falcon [9 PL, 132pts]: Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]
Falcon [9 PL, 132pts]: Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]
Falcon [9 PL, 132pts]: Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]
Wraithlord [8 PL, 125pts]: 2x Aeldari Missile Launcher [40pts], Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult
Wraithlord [8 PL, 125pts]: 2x Aeldari Missile Launcher [40pts], Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult
Wraithlord [8 PL, 125pts]: 2x Aeldari Missile Launcher [40pts], Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult

Point Changes

  • Increases:
    • +45 (Crimson Hunters)
  • Decreases: 
    • -5 (Warlock Skyrunner)
    • -4 (Autarch)
    • -15 (War Walkers)
    • -45 (Support Weapons)
    • -15 (Wraithlords)
    • -10 (Warlock)
    • -30 (Falcons)
  • Total: -79

And finally, our biggest winner. I think testing was already starting to show that this style of list was potentially the best tuned for marine meta, and it wins big from these changes even before we start tuning it. Falcons and Wraithlords on top of the meta, what a time to be alive – 12 year-old me is delighted.

Unit Changes

Crimson Hunters

Crimson Hunter Exarch

Crimson Hunter Exarch. Credit: Wings

Let’s get the big negative one out the way first – Crimson Hunter Exarchs caught a decent point hike just at the point where Space Marines and their superior re-rolls had started making them look merely “OK” at their old cost. They’re still not a bad unit, especially after the addition of Hawkeye but you’ll have noticed that all three of the lists above just auto-included three, and I think the mix of the point hike, cuts to other things and Marine meta probably puts the nail in that particular coffin. That’s probably no bad thing for the health of the game, as having a unit be an auto-include 3-of in most competitive lists for a faction isn’t a great look, but it’s going to be a tough adjustment, at least initially. I’m certainly intending to at least give my two a go in some armies (especially as wow do you need a lot of models to fill out the Expert Crafters lists) but I wouldn’t be surprised if they ebbed away. This is further motivated by two facts:

  • Nightwings went down (I missed this in my initial pass, I thought their two lances were separate, not a twin) and are great in the Crafters builds.
  • Choosing to run with no fliers at all means you can profitably use Prepared Positions, meaning you can take Masterful Shots as your second trait and still have cover T1 in the matchups where it actually helps.

Crimson Hunter Exarchs have had a good run but I think it’s finally time for them to have a little bit of a break. We knew about this in advance thanks to GW’s previews, and a lot of Eldar players were a bit worried it was going to get dunked and everything else left alone. Luckily that largely wasn’t true – the only other hike was a modest 10pts on Eldrad, and we can move on to the winners, starting with…

Pretty Much All the Gun Platforms

It is chunky and heavily armed? Chances are it went down in points. All of the following got cuts:

  • Falcons
  • Wraithlords
  • War Walkers
  • Fire Prism
  • Vypers
  • Vibro Cannons

That’s a whole lot of cheaper ways to hold a big gun – and right at the time when a newly emerging archetype wants to go wide and low with a bunch of units with a few good shots.

Falcon Grav Tank

Falcon Grav Tank. Credit: Wings

Out of this stuff, Falcons jump to just being a straight up mainstay – I ran one a few times last year at 125pts for a starcannon one and it was like, fine, and a ten point cut plus Expert Crafters is enough to tip it into being near ubiquitous in good lists. It’s also not irrelevant that it’s packing transport capacity – if every list has three and you decide you need the CP from a Battalion you can just sprinkle some Dire Avengers on in there, no questions asked. I thought I was done with painting Falcon chassis with my final Serpent but apparently not.

Vibro Cannons are the other one on here where the rate really is kind of eye-watering now. Being able to put 9 of these on the table with Expert Crafters for 315 points is extremely pushed, and I think the sheer brutality of starting a list out with those and the three Falcons for only 660pts is going to push this archetype towards being the default.

Fire Prisms are the last one where I look at the new price and really raise my eyebrows. I think there is a possibility that the pre-ponderance of Expert Crafters means they simply aren’t needed and you’d rather go lower and wider, but three of these for 426pts is, again, an attractive price especially as they were being made to do work beforehand. If top lists exist that don’t want to go in on Crafters expect to see Prisms in them, as they provide the reliable ability to just murder something at pretty much whatever range that pretty much every army needs at the moment.

The rest of this stuff I think you basically do need to be in on the Crafters plan to be worth looking at. Wraithlords and War Walkers were already seeing play and thus will almost certainly continue to do so. The poor Vyper looks better at the new cost but still has its perennial problem that unlike all these other options it can only mount one heavy weapon, and is likely to be at the back of the queue behind all of the other toys because of it, but I guess it’s better than it was for anyone who bought Blood of the Phoenix (which looks like a way better deal now, why didn’t they just put all these changes in Phoenix Rising?!?!).

Cured Ynnari Hangovers

Look, we all know it happens. You get drunk sign up to some weird death cult on a dare and next thing you know you’re drunk on necromantic energy and rampaging unstoppably across the metagame until the authorities arrest the ringleaders, declare the party over and send you all limping awkwardly back to your old friend circles.

What I’m trying to say is that a bunch of the nerfs on Craftworld units targeted at pre-Index Ynnari have finally been partially undone, making these units a lot better in normal Craftworld lists. This includes:

  • Warlocks, Warlock Skyrunners and Spiritseers (because cheap Rune of Battle casters were way too good with pre-nerf Ynnari Spears)
  • Dark Reapers
  • Shining Spears

This doesn’t massively change the evaluation on the casters, just gives some free points back to most lists (rather like the twin shuriken catapult cut last year) but Reapers and Spears are much more interesting.

Both of these units have recently picked up some buffs and (as you can see above) have been seen in top lists. Of the two, my gut feel is that the Spears change is more significant. Ghostwalk and Expert Rider out of Phoenix Rising are both huge buffs for the unit and you really want the full nine when you run them, so getting a 4ppm discount is a big deal. They’re now an insanely reliable and deadly threat out of Deep Strike that comes in at a decent price and can “shields up” to something that’s legitimately tough for even Marines to shift at range if they don’t manage a wrap.

One_Wing’s painting plans, late 2019, colourised

Dark Reapers have been good for me every time I’ve taken them out recently, but that was before Marine players realised that no, there really isn’t ever a reason not to just max on Thunderfire Cannons. Now the picture is more mixed – they’re clearly still good (and boy does firing a Guided squad at a Doomed target feel great) but if your opponent manages to smash the Wave Serpent they’re hiding in and kill them turn one it’s a complete disaster, and all the gun platform cuts give you shooty options that aren’t as vulnerable to artillery. Much like the Fire Prisms, I’d expect these to see more game if lists that eschew Crafters in favour of Alaitoc continue to exist, most likely with a newly discounted Warlock riding shotgun to tag Conceal on them as well as Protect, because -3 to hit is where even some of the Marine stuff starts to have issues.

Everything in this section is, ultimately, straight upside – it’s either free points or making a couple of units that were performing in well tailored lists even better. I strongly suspect that these units, working together with Fire Prisms, will be propping up the non-Crafter lists on the top tables.

Melee Bombs

Two entries here – one that’s seen occasional play up till now and one that’s all new thanks to the changes. Both Warlock Skyrunner Conclaves and Axe/Shield Wraithblades got biiiig cuts, now rocking in at 500pts (or 550pts with Spears) and 350pts for units of 10 respectively. They share the upside of being able to come in from Webway Strike, immediately pick up Protect for a 3++, slam into something with Ghostwalk  and then demand your opponent do something about them.

While they’re more expensive, I think the Warlock Conclave is the more likely breakout here, as lists running them as a full on death star already existed and saw moderate success (most notably a high finish at the BAO). There’s an undeniable attraction to the Wraithblade option (notably because they’re cheaper and T6 means they aren’t just dead if you miss the Protect cast) but I think the Skyrunners have a shot at being the real deal – they’re fast, absurdly tough to shift once buffed up and can engage a much wider variety of targets. The only real question mark is whether the fact they bring some of their own buffs makes them better enough than just bringing a full stack of Spears, as the old reason they were superior (using Nimble Escape to hit and run behind ruins) isn’t as relevant now there are Thunderfires everywhere.

Other Aspects

Banshees, Scorpions, Fire Dragons and Warp Spiders all picked up cuts too. In the nicest possible way, the problems of Fire Dragons and Warp Spiders very likely needed bigger cuts than this to solve, and I can’t see myself trying out either in a serious capacity (especially with the big cut to Wraithguard).

Banshees and Scorpions are a bit more interesting. I’ve taken Banshees out and enjoyed having them in my lists before so having 10pts knocked off the MSU is certainly nice, if not making me cry out to go deep in on them.

Scorpions are a weird one. I found them a bit underwhelming the last time I took them out but damn they are cheap now at only 9ppm. 99pts gets you a full squad with a claw Exarch and that’s pretty interesting for being relatively durable and surprisingly OK at chewing through elite infantry between the claw and souped up mandiblasters with Scorpion’s Sting. I’d wonder about bringing such a squad along in the same list as a Spear or Skyrunner bomb, as they similarly want Ghostwalk to get them in the turn they land. Having them as a “second wave” while your big bomb is off causing havoc has some potential in my mind.

More Wraiths

We already looked at Axe Wraithblades, but Wraithguard picked up big old cuts as well, with the wraithcannon build going to 33ppm and the d-scythes to 37ppm. D-scythes probably still launguish in relative unplayability thanks to their short range and inability to be used out of Deep Strike, but I’m interested in trying the cannons. I’ve taken cannon Wraithguard out at casual tournaments and they’ve almost always overperformed – they hit like trucks and need real attention to put down. Given they’re also a good unit to run with Expert Crafters and pretty well tuned against some popular metagame options, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if some sort of dark horse build leaning in on them turned out to be OK.

Wraithknight

Not going back in the box just yet. Credit: Wings

I would also be remiss, of course, if I didn’t mention that my largest robot son, my hero, my big tall boi etc. etc. got some hefty drops. The sword build is down as low as 330pts now and while that’s still too many, and I wouldn’t totally rule out some of the Expert Crafter lists being able to get some mileage out of him as a distraction carnifex. The Wrathcannon build is down by a more modest 30pts, but come on, you all know I’ll be taking him out again at some point. Both of these options plausibly work well with the Crafters builds – the sword is probably the wrong early target for the opponent but they kind of have to deal with it on a tight clock, while shooting the Wraithcannon option probably is a good call but not being a vehicle makes it inefficient for some popular lists. Neither option is, realistically, superior to just taking 3 more Falcons or Night Spinners, but whatever, those are for cowards.

Forge World (Deep) Cuts

Finally for the stuff that actually matters, a couple of notable Forge World units picked up relevant changes:

  • Shadow Spectres (5ppm down)
  • Hornets (10ppm down)

Both of these push full units of these into things I want to seriously look at. Shadow Spectres are nasty, at least decent against almost all targets and can be stacked all the way to -4 to hit in Alaitoc. That latter point is pretty relevant, because it doesn’t matter how many re-rolls BS3+ stuff has – at -4 it ain’t hitting you. They can still get hit by Thunderfires, but at that point you’re operating in the region of 1-2 killed per Chapter-Mastered Thunderfire, which isn’t the end of the world as it’s drawing real firepower from the opponent’s army to even make a dent in them.

Hornets still aren’t cheap, but the ability to run them in a unit of three makes them interesting. A full squad with hornet pulse lasers and CTMs is now 315 points, which is pricy but might be worth it. HPLs are ideal guns in Marine land, having high range to allow you to control engagements and going through Primaris for days. With a full squad being able to squeeze loads of benefits out of Guide, Fortune and Lightning Fast Reflexes I’m not going to count them out till I’ve given them a go.

Tweaking the Lists

So, with that in mind, how do we see the lists above potentially evolving?

We’ll start with what’s probably the easiest in Tomas Christensson’s list because I think there’s a decent argument that the answer here is “not a whole lot”. Obviously you spend the extra points you get but this list has proven power and is probably one of the better routes to take if you still want to run Alaitoc. The only question I might start asking myself, looking at it, is whether I wanted to cut my third CHE and substitute in a couple of Night Spinners It does open the list up do being double tapped on MFD/Big Game Hunter in ITC, but it also adds some no-LOS shooting that can help a lot in some games and spreads the threats a bit wider. However, I’d be pretty happy at least trying it out effectively unchanged, and it’s certainly in the pile of things I’ll be experimenting with for LVO.

For both Colin Sherman and Gaz Jones’ lists I think we want to got a bit deeper. Both are trying to pack in a whole bunch of efficient options, and I think that sadly means the Crimson Hunters get the chop in favour of going wider. Both are effectively trying to pack so much firepower that they can still win after going second in a go-first metagame, so being able to use Prepared Positions profitably is a huge boon.

You do start to hit a real concern when updating Colin’s list that we’re potentially going to start seeing some very homogeneous lists going forward, because the honest answer to how I would tweak this list is “make it look more like Gaz’s”. With just under 580pts to play with after cutting the CHEs, by far the easiest way to tune up the list is with a couple of Falcons and 9 Vibro Cannons. That adds enough transport capacity that no one has to foot slog, maintains a high shooting capacity and still keeps this list a little bit its own thing by maintaining the Reaper blob. Reapers basically are the best at what they do, and I think one big squad probably is the best way to run them, especially as it means you can Webway Strike with them if you look at a matchup and calculate that the risk of starting them on the board is just too high even in a Serpent.

Iyanden Wraithseer with D-Cannon

Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Finally, we have Gaz’s list. I already had this down as probably the most promising list for a Marine metagame, and goodness me do these changes only make that more true. Like Colin’s I think this quickly loses the planes, and immediately backfills just under half the points it has floating at that point with three Night Spinners. From there you’ve got real choices for how you spend the rest. I think my default option for most of it would be to consider a couple of Wraithseers with heavy weapons and adding some sort of screen (be that Dire Avengers to ride in the Falcons or some Swooping Hawks) to shore up the horde matchup given the list has large-based models that don’t want to be tagged. Wraithseers share most of what makes Wraithlords good at the moment, fill a more useful slot and have an invuln, so have a lot to recommend them. You could also go lower to the ground with some Hornets or Vypers carrying more guns, but I think I prefer adding the slightly tougher option that the Wraithseers represent. They also work with the Wraithlords to create a formidable counter-charge component.

Realistically – if you want the safest route to succeeding with Eldar from here on out, built from this army. Falcons and Vibro Cannons are just outrageously cost-effective, and being able to present a wall of armour that still has some counter-charge and mobility options is just really, really good. I’m dreading painting 9 Vibros and 3 more Falcon chassis but am rapidly coming to the conclusion that this is where the action is.

Another Route

So, just how many of my principles would I be willing to sacrifice to avoid painting so, so much stuff for LVO? Would I be willing to cross the resin rubicon?

Damn right!

This is a list I want to give a real workout to see if it can get there. It’s a riff off of the Christensson list using what I think is one of the sleeper hits from Chapter Approved, Shadow Spectres, and looks a bit like this:

Army List - Click to Expand

Battalion – Alaitoc – 950pts

Farseer 110
Yvraine 115
Bikelock 62

10 Shadow Spectres w/Prism Rifle Exarch 234

Dire Avengers w/dual gun Exarch 58
Dire Avengers w/vanilla Exarch 55
Storm Guardians 48

Wave Serpent w/scatters 134
Wave Serpent w/scatters 134

Spearhead – Alaitoc – 488pts

Bikelock 62

Fire Prism 142
Fire Prism 142
Fire Prism 142

Air Wing – Alaitoc – 562pts

Crimson Hunter Exarch w/starcannons 176
Crimson Hunter Exarch w/starcannons 176
Hemlock 210

Realistically, I expect the Crafters lists to turn out to be top dog, but I think this list has the distinct practical advantage of being something a lot of Eldar players are going to be able to pivot to much more quickly. It makes just about the best use of the (still powerful) Alaitoc trait possible for those leaning into that, and has a large amount of mobility on the board. While it probably isn’t as good against Marines as some of the Crafters lists, I think it does have the advantage of being pretty good against some of the stuff gunning for marines. It also looks like a blast to play, and I’m intending to book myself an afternoon with some resin aspect warriors and various blue, purple and grey contrast paints in the near future.

Wrap Up

All things considered it’s a good time to be a craftworlder, and while I slightly despair at the fact that Chapter Approved has once again bequeathed me with a massive painting queue, I’d much rather that than be left with an underwhelming faction! This should hopefully be only the first of many faction explorations, and we’re also going to start the process of updating our existing suite of Start Competing guides for Chapter Approved, so stay tuned to Goonhammer for all your tactical needs. In the meantime, if you want to tell me what I’ve missed, scream “take the Wraithknight to LVO coward!” or provide any other form of feedback, hit us up at contact@goonhammer.com or via our Facebook Page.

 

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