Competitive Innovations in 9th: Drukhari and the Dallas Open

An article by    Competitive Play Goonhammer Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

Last week we went wide, this week we’re going tall. The Dallas Open was a huge showcase for the game, with over 170 players starting, and eight rounds to ensure that the finest lists had a chance to emerge from the pack and compete for the crown, with the event sized to ensure that only one undefeated champion would reign supreme.

Given the scale of the tournament, and the fact that it was the only big one firing this weekend, I’d already been planning to shake up the formula for the writeup a bit, tentatively intending to cover the top eight lists rather than the top four. Unfortunately, if you’ve been paying any attention to the competitive scene at all you’re probably aware that there’s a bit of an elephant in the room regarding the results here. Drukhari followed on their astounding breakout performance last weekend with another absurdly dominant set of placings in Dallas, with pure Drukhari lists taking five of the top eight spots, and a Drukhari-featuring soup build taking another of them. There are only so many times and ways I can write “elves good”, especially as several of the lists are similar to last week or copies of one another, and it’s important to get a wider view of what’s nipping at the heels of the top dog as well. Now that we’ve had the Drukhari FAQ and another weekend worth of results, I also have Opinions, and will be putting up a bonus editorial covering what I think GW need to do to fix the Drukhari problem.

With that in mind, we’re going to cover three things in this article:

  • The five Drukhari lists from the top eight finishers, as a batch.
  • The five other lists from the top ten finishers in the normal writeup format.
  • The remaining 6-2 lists in the Best of the Rest format.

…then check back tomorrow for an editorial covering:

  • My views on what GW should do about the Drukhari menace.

One last thing before we get into it – I’d like to compliment the Dallas Open organisers for sticking to their tough mask mandate even though parts of Texas are no longer under them. The policy is nice and clear on their website, and by all accounts from the ground the TOs took things very seriously. Keep it up!

Anyway, time to dehumanise ourselves and face to Drukhari.

Dallas Open Top 10 – Drukhari Lists

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The Lists

John Lennon – 1st Place

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [16 PL, 260pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts]: Competitive Edge, Dark Lotus Toxin, Razorflails, Warlord
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych

Wyches [6 PL, 85pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael, Morvaine’s Agonizer
. 7x Wych: 7x Hekatarii Blade, 7x Plasma Grenades, 7x Splinter Pistol

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [23 PL, 470pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts] . 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade
. Nightfiend

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [77 PL, 1,267pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ No Force Org Slot +

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 136pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 136pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 65pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Power sword, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Helm of Spite

Archon [5 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: Blast Pistol, Hatred Eternal, Huskblade, Overlord, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Splinter racks

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

++ Total: [116 PL, -6CP, 1,997pts] ++

Anthony Vanella – 3rd Place

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [54 PL, 939pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 140pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

Incubi [8 PL, 144pts] . 8x Incubi: 8x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Fast Attack +

Scourges [5 PL, 60pts] . 4x Scourge w/ shardcarbine: 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Shardcarbine
. Solarite: Shardcarbine

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Splinter racks

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [28 PL, 520pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Precision Blows, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 140pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Splinter Pistol
. 7x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 7x Hekatarii Blade, 7x Plasma Grenades, 7x Splinter Pistol
. Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Razorflails: Razorflails
. Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [7 PL, 170pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 9x Hellion: 9x Hellglaive, 9x Splinter Pods

Reavers [9 PL, 225pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug), 3x Grav-talon
. Arena Champion: Heat Lance
. 6x Reaver: 6x Bladevanes, 6x Splinter Pistol, 6x Splinter Rifle
. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models): Heat Lance
. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models): Heat Lance

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [22 PL, 450pts, 2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]: Hatred Eternal, Warlord

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Grotesques [6 PL, 135pts] . Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun

++ Total: [104 PL, 1,999pts, 10CP] ++

Nick Nanavati – 4th Place

Army List - Click to Expand

+ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [16 PL, 260pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts]: Competitive Edge, Dark Lotus Toxin, Razorflails, Warlord
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych

Wyches [6 PL, 85pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael, Morvaine’s Agonizer
. 7x Wych: 7x Hekatarii Blade, 7x Plasma Grenades, 7x Splinter Pistol

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [23 PL, 470pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts] . 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade
. Nightfiend

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [77 PL, 1,267pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ No Force Org Slot +

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 136pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 136pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 65pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Power sword, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Helm of Spite

Archon [5 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: Blast Pistol, Hatred Eternal, Huskblade, Overlord, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Splinter racks

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

++ Total: [116 PL, -6CP, 1,997pts] ++

James “Boon” Kelling – 5th Place

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [38 PL, 14CP, 775pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]: Hatred Eternal, Warlord

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Grotesques [6 PL, 135pts] . Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun

Grotesques [6 PL, 135pts] . Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Chain-snares, Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Chain-snares, Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [15 PL, -2CP, 285pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder (Restricted)

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, -1CP, 75pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, -1CP, 135pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Blast Pistol, Morvaines’s Agoniser, Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael
. 8x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Hydra Gauntlets: Hydra Gauntlets

+ Elites +

Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts] . 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade
. Nightfiend

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [50 PL, -2CP, 940pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Poisoned Tongue: The Serpent’s Kiss

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: Ancient Evil, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Poisoned Tongue): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 140pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal, Splinter racks

Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

Venom [4 PL, 85pts]: Kabal, Splinter Cannon, Splinter Cannon

++ Total: [103 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

Axel Johnson – 8th Place

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [16 PL, 315pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ [7 PL, 135pts] +

Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]: Hatred Eternal, Warlord

+ Troops [9 PL, 180pts] +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst [18pts]: Liquifier Gun [10pts], Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon [18pts]: Liquifier Gun (10pts)
. 3x Wracks [24pts]: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst [18pts]: Liquifier Gun [10pts], Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon [18pts]: Liquifier Gun (10pts)
. 3x Wracks [24pts]: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst [18pts]: Liquifier Gun [10pts], Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon [18pts]: Liquifier Gun (10pts)
. 3x Wracks [24pts]: 3x Wrack Blade

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [60 PL, 1,125pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration [10CP] +

Obsession: Kabal of the Obsidian Rose: Flawless Workmanship

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City (-1CP)

+ HQ [5 PL, 90pts, -1CP] +

Archon [5 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Blast Pistol [5pts], Huskblade [5pts], Overlord, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition [-1CP], The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Obsidian Rose) [1 PL, 15pts]: Splintered Genius (1 PL, 15pts)

+ Troops [8 PL, 135pts] +

Kabalite Trueborn (8 PL, 135pts)
. 6x Kabalite Trueborn [60pts]: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon [25pts]: Dark Lance (15pts)
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon [20pts]: Blaster (10pts)
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon [20pts]: Blaster (10pts)
. Trueborn Sybarite [10pts]: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites [8 PL, 160pts] +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi [64pts]: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex [16pts]: Demiklaives

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi [64pts]: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex [16pts]: Demiklaives

+ Fast Attack [5 PL, 60pts] +

Scourges [5 PL, 60pts] . 4x Scourge w/ shardcarbine [48pts]: 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Shardcarbine
. Solarite [12pts]: Shardcarbine

+ Flyer [9 PL, 200pts] +

Voidraven Bomber [9 PL, 200pts]: Kabal, Voidraven missiles (15pts)
. Two void lances

+ Dedicated Transport [25 PL, 480pts] +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher (5pts)

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher (5pts)

Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher [5pts], Shock Prow (5pts)

Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies [5pts], Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher [5pts], Shock Prow (5pts)

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [27 PL, 560pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP] +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Dark Lotus Toxin, Razorflails, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition (-1CP)
. Show Stealer (Strife) [1 PL, 15pts]: Show Stealer (1 PL, 15pts)

+ Troops [8 PL, 130pts] +

Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 130pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix [12pts]: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Hekatrix Bloodbride [96pts]: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Shardnet and Impaler [22pts]: Shardnet and Impaler (10pts)

+ Elites [3 PL, 75pts] +

Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts] . 4x Mandrake [60pts]: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade
. Nightfiend (15pts)

+ Fast Attack [12 PL, 280pts] +

Reavers [12 PL, 280pts]: 20 Points – Not-English Codex, 6 – Splintermind (Combat Drug)
. Arena Champion [30pts]: Heat Lance (10pts)
. 8x Reaver [160pts]: 8x Bladevanes, 8x Splinter Pistol, 8x Splinter Rifle
. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models) [30pts]: Heat Lance (10pts)
. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models) [30pts]: Heat Lance (10pts)
. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models) [30pts]: Heat Lance (10pts)

Points of Interest

Five top ten lists, including the lion’s share of the top four, and going through them pretty quickly highlights a lot of similarities. The following features show up in all five of the lists here:

  • Triple Patrol.
  • 5+ Raiders.
  • At least three units of Dark Technomancer Wracks with liquifier guns.
  • Drazhar.
  • The Cult of Strife.
  • At least one unit of Incubi.
  • At least one Succubus and Archon.
  • A unit of Kabalite Trueborn.

That’s really quite a lot of uniformity, and this is the hard core that’s driving Drukhari’s success. There’s also a bunch more features that are common to multiple lists:

  • All but one have a specific, tuned plan for While We Stand We Fight, comprising either three units that can hide in Raiders with equal or just higher than Drazhar’s price, or two such units and a plane in Axel’s case. The units used for this are Trueborn and either two units of 3x liquifier Grotesques or two of the Art of War tarpit Court of the Archon build.
  • All but one use one of the Kabals that gives a single re-roll when shooting, and dumps their Raiders in this detachment. Only our boy Boon stuck to his guns and went with Poisoned Tongue, for the reasons we covered when looking at his list last week (he’s swapped out the Raider for another TechnoGrot squad this time).
  • Most use the Competitive Edge warlord trait on the Succubus, including two on the Dark Lotus Toxin build.
  • Most use Mandrakes, one of the better units in the game for objective utility play.

There’s generally 400-500pts of “flex units” left after the core and the highly common stuff is done, and even here there’s not that much variety on show – some lists go a bit out there, adding things like Venoms, Voidravens, Hellions or Reavers, but some players just spend points on buying more Succubi/Archons, more Incubi and filling out with additional basic Kabalites and Wyches.

What that means is that while the exact configuration of tricks and toys available to each build differs, their capabilities end up pretty uniform. Drukhari armies can deploy the majoroity of their force encased in fast, durable transports, and will usually start the game on track to score 15pts from While We Stand, We Fight if the opponent doesn’t devote significant effort to wiping out some of these and killing the unit that falls out, which can be pretty durable in its own right. Drukhari have enough units that they can afford at least a few turns of sacrificing a drip feed of Raider-ferried models to dominate mid-table objectives, and this can be very hard to disrupt because even if you pop the transport, the units that come out are often ObSec.

Drazhar, the Master of Blades

Drazhar, the Master of Blades. Credit: Corrode

In terms of damage output, Drukhari are lethal in general, but spike in three particular ways that you, as an opponent, need to watch out for:

  • The guns attached to Raiders are extremely good at picking off a few vehicles without invulns, and don’t particularly care about -1D. There isn’t the firepower here to reliably chew through a wall of T8, but lists with a few T7 vehicles are going to have a very rough time.
  • Once you get within mid range, you’re going to catch a volley of Technomancer boosted liquifier guns. On a key turn, expect to be catching 20+ autohitting S4 AP-2 D2 shots.
  • They do outrageous damage in melee if not stopped. Drahzar, Bloodbrides, killer Succubi and Incubi are all extremely lethal (Hellions too in the lists that have them), and on the turn they engage watch out for your units getting made to fight last by the Tormentors that Drahzar and the Incubi have (in combination with Ld sapping Grisly Trophies). Here you need to particularly watch out for overcommitting with a high value unit – if you let yourself get charged by multiple Incubi units/Drazhar at once, the Drukhari player gets multiple goes at beating your leadership to make you fight last, and you’re also vulnerable to just getting detonated by Bloodbrides or Hellions with full wound re-rolls.

All this together means that Drukhari players get to force you to engage without taking on nearly as much risk as a lot of factions, then when you do, counterattack you into oblivion with lethal melee and short ranged shooting.

Does all of that sound horrible? It is! The overall game plan here is just too consistent and too effective, and while there are things you can do to improve your chances against the Drukhari menace my opinion at this point is that only some nerfs are going to get anywhere near dealing with this. However, that’s tomorrow’s topic – today we’re talking about lists, and if you want to give yourself the best chance against the elf menace, your key goals are:

  • Bring volume firepower dedicated to destroying Raiders. Despite what increasingly nervous Drukhari players might assure you, there are very few guns that are outrageously good at this, but there are definitely weapons that are better at it. Autocannons and equivalents (S7, AP-1, multi-damage) are the best at this, so Helverins and AdMech do well here, while S6 multi-damage stuff is at least pretty good, especially if you can load up wound re-rolls. The Volkite Contemptor was already the hottest new meta choice for a bunch of factions, but they’re now even better, and there’s a reason that the best performing Marine list here maxed out on three. If you can shoot this from out of LoS, all the better.
  • Bring a small amount of spike firepower. When you get a chance to take out one of the WWSWF Raiders, you need to be ready to take it. Having one or two units you can pop out and reliably eradicate a transport with when it’s out of position is golden.
  • Don’t put too many eggs in one basket. Drukhari have a lot of tools that will allow them to turbo dunk one large unit in melee through most kinds of defences, so if your plan relies on a massive melee tarpit, think very carefully about whether it’s still viable. You also don’t usually need that much killing power to take out their key units if you can get the drop on them, so go wide rather than tall, especially if your faction has cheap, trade pieces you can field. Also, if your plan uses a small number of vehicles with no special defences, maybe reconsider it, as you’re asking to give up huge value to Dark Lances.

You can see these factors at play in some of the other lists that did well, and if you don’t play one of those factions, hopefully these guidelines give you something to think about when browsing through your own books.

On that note – let’s take a look at the rest of the top 10.

Dallas Open Top 10 – Other Factions

Sean Nayden – Aeldari – 2nd Place

Night Spinner

Night Spinner. Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [34 PL, 680pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 75pts]: Ancient Evil, Blast Pistol, Huskblade, Overlord, Warlord <Khaine’s Blood>

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts, -1CP]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug), Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive <Strife> competitive edge

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 65pts] . Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip, Liquifier Gun
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 65pts] . Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip, Liquifier Gun
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 65pts] . Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip, Liquifier Gun
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 65pts] . Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip, Liquifier Gun
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [25 PL, 438pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Ynnari

+ No Force Org Slot +

Shrine of the Whispering God [-1CP]

+ HQ +

The Visarch [5 PL, 85pts]

+ Troops +

Wyches [3 PL, 55pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Blast Pistol, Hekatarii Blade
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

+ Elites +

Incubi [8 PL, 128pts] . 7x Incubi: 7x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Wych Cult

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [46 PL, 880pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots

+ HQ +

Irillyth [7 PL, 140pts]

+ Heavy Support +

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 105pts] . 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 105pts] . 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 105pts] . 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Falcon [8 PL, 135pts]: Bright Lance, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 145pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 145pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Total: [105 PL, 5CP, 1,998pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Drukhari and friends – also good, it turns out.
  • Incubi, but with access to re-rolls and Fight FIrst, turn out even spicier.
  • Night Spinners and Irillyth provide good anti-Raider chip damage and reliable WWSWF.
  • Dark Reapers provide spike damage.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Yeah, sorry, we’re not quite done with Drukhari yet. Surprise. Sean’s list here takes the most outright broken things about Drukhari (Raiders, Technomancers, keyword trickery) and teams them up with Aeldari of other flavours. Incubi are, of course, fantastic on base rate in the Drukhari book, but making them Ynnari has some definite appeal. The Visarch provides them hit re-rolls attached to a mean killer, they can turn on wound re-rolls on demand via Inevitable Fate, and having Fights First on from Strength Fron Death combines with their own Tormentors to make them incredibly hard to engage. The large unit here can blender almost anything when fighting alongside the Visarch, and while I don’t exactly think Incubi need the help, having a unit that’s you can throw into nearly any situation and expect to win is certainly good.

Craftworlds, meanwhile, provide a substantially broader long-ranged shooting setup than pure Drukhari can muster. Night Spinners remain a bit overcosted in 9th, but they’re ideally statted for killing Raiders and that certainly ups their appeal into the current metagame while Falcons are just basically efficient when you have good stuff to range out front. 3×3 Dark Reapers, meanwhile, provide that reliable spike damage factor we talked about – getting a hit and wound re-roll on each of these small units means that two units have a reasonable shot at trashing a Raider when you commit them, and adding the third will definitely get it done. While the traditional reason for not taking these in this setup is that they die instantly, against Drukhari if you’re dismounting them into cover after trashing a few Raiders it’s often the case that they won’t have a great immediate answer, especially if you can stay out of range of the melee threats. Certainly a set of units worth another look as thing stand for Craftworlds players.

Irillyth rounds the list out. On rate, he’s firmly a “nearly there” kind of unit, but in this list the fact that he can sit in the third While We Stand slot alongside the two spinners massively increases his value as he’s going to be almost impossible to kill without serious dedication, especially if you’re willing to go in on Fire and Fade. He also provides a neat scalpel to take the last wounds off a unit that’s been softened up by the other shooting, which can be handy to avoid overcommitting.

The way this all comes together gives a list that does somewhat dial back on the expendable stream of Raider-bound objective grabbers compared to the pure Drukhari lists, but has better and broader long-ranged attrition in tradeoff, which can change the dynamics of matchups quite considerably. Sean only played one Drukhari list, but he did take the win there, which is an encouraging sign for the list’s performance – but the flipside is that his loss was against the next build we’re going to cover, where I suspect being a bit thinner on units to commit to the mid board cost him. This list is obviously extremely potent, and has a strong plan for playing into Drukhari builds – but it may turn out that it’s more vulnerable to “counter Drukhari” lists than Drukhari themselves, which I think would cap its enduring effectiveness. Still, an excellent performance by Sean, and at least he made it so the top four wasn’t technically a Drukhari sweep!

Mark Hertel – Adeptus Mechanicus – 6th Place

Skorpius Disintegrator with Voltaic Belleros Energy Cannon. Credit: Rockfish

Skorpius Disintegrator with Voltaic Belleros Energy Cannon. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [108 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice
. Forge World: Stygies VIII

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Inquisitor [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 1) Terrify, 6) Castigation, Blade of the Ordo, Combi-melta, Malleus – Psychic Mastery, Ordo Malleus, Power sword, Psyker, Stratagem: Arbiter of the Emperor’s Will

+ HQ +

Tech-Priest Dominus [5 PL, 80pts]: Macrostubber, Volkite Blaster, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Engine War): Divinations of the Magos

Tech-Priest Manipulus [4 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: Mechanicus Locum, Relic: Anzion’s Pseudogenetor, Transonic cannon, Warlord Trait (Codex 6): Prime Hermeticon

+ Troops +

Skitarii Vanguards [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Skitarii Vanguard: 4x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

Skitarii Vanguards [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Skitarii Vanguard: 4x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

Skitarii Vanguards [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Skitarii Vanguard: 4x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

+ Elites +

Corpuscarii Electro-Priests [6 PL, 140pts] . 10x Corpuscarii Electro-Priest: 10x Electrostatic Gauntlets

Fulgurite Electro-Priests [8 PL, 136pts] . 8x Fulgurite Electro-Priest: 8x Electroleech Stave

Fulgurite Electro-Priests [8 PL, 136pts] . 8x Fulgurite Electro-Priest: 8x Electroleech Stave

+ Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Serberys Raiders [2 PL, 48pts]: Serberys Raider Alpha
. 2x Serberys Raider: 2x Cavalry Sabre, 2x Clawed Limbs, 2x Galvanic Carbine

+ Heavy Support +

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts]: Command Uplink

+ Dedicated Transport +

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 100pts]

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 100pts]

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 100pts]

++ Total: [108 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • An innocuously balanced-looking AdMech build that came agonisingly close to taking their crown.
  • Skorpii provide unparalleled Raider-killing power.
  • Fulgurites and Corpuscarii are excellent shock troops. Haha. Shock.
  • Ironstriders can spike Raiders from the sky, and are a mild pain to shoot back at.
  • Going heavy on Duneriders ensures minimal chip damage at range.
  • Inquisitor shuts down liquifiers.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

For seven rounds Mark carried the hopes of the viewing public on his shoulders, as we all willed him to pull a massive upset and deny Drukhari the top prize. In the end, it wasn’t quite to be, with a nailbiting 6pt loss against John Lennon in the finals, but with three other Drukhari lists and Sean’s build left in the dust on the way there, it’s clear that this is one of the best anti-Drukhari builds out there right now.

So what makes it work? Happily, a lot of the factors we discussed above. First and foremost, this list has the right weaponry for the job. Skorpii are exceptional across a wide range of matchups, but firing into Drukhari in general and Raiders in particular is pretty much ideal for them. Lots of S6 and 7 multi-damage weaponry, the ability to do the bulk of their damage from hiding (amped up by Divinations, and genuinely relevant stubber shots to pick up INFANTRY stragglers or chip the last wound off a tank in an emergency is exactly what you want from a vehicle in this matchup, and I imagine most AdMech players are crossing their fingers that these are largely unchanged in the new book. They’re also valid While We Stand targets in this list, which lets the army beat Drukhari at their own game in terms of making that hard to stop.

Another way this list gets some of the same energy going is in the target profile it presents. Assuming that either the Skitarii are hiding or the Corpuscari go in strat reserves to free up a bus, almost everything this list presents to an opposing first turn is a hull with -1 to hit, and no single one of those is a disaster if it dies. Putting up a few valuable T7 hulls is bad against a bunch of Dark Lances, but lots of relatively expendable ones is kind of fine, especially with the -1. Because Duneriders have 12W, this actually moves the dial enough that even with Black Heart re-rolls it takes all six of the Dark Lance shots the conventional Drukhari build is putting up to cross the threshold of three wounds going through, which is the point at which one definitely dies – and if you add Shroudpsalm, you might get lucky and shrug a wound off. The list isn’t immune to Drukhari’s firepower, but if the two armies stay at arm’s length and blast away the AdMech are going to come out on top, and that forces the elves to commit. The Archeopter also helps with this, as it gives the list a way to reach out and score Engage on an early turn that many Drukhari lists don’t have great answers too – at least certainly not if they also want to deal with the main wall of tanks. It’s also excellent in a wide variety of matchups where opponents rely more heavily on auras, as can tilt a key turn in the AdMech’s favour with Electrofilament Countermeasures.

When it does, this list has spikes up its sleeve. I really like the 2×2 lascannon Balistarii here, as they hit a real sweet spot of pretty reliably taking out a Raider between them the turn they commit, but are small enough squads that hiding them is sometimes going to be possible, and it’s not a disaster if the opponent reaches out with a melee unit and swats one. Don’t forget that as Stygies the list also has their special Canticle in the back pocket, letting these fall back and shoot, which is handy for when an opponent manages to bump them with something expendable.

Finally, when things get close, this list has melee spikes of its own to draw on. Terrify from the Inquisitor clears the way for squishy Fulgurites to charge safely, then they messily evaporate whatever they’ve gone into thanks to the boost from Prime Hermeticon. Mixing in mortal wounds with their regular damage really helps against things like Bloodbrides, while going up to a 3++ as a reward for wiping out a tiny, pathetic Drukhari unit means they at least take a modest amount of killing once they’ve taken their first swing. They’re probably still not super long for the world against concerted attention, but like everything in this list they’re cheap enough that they can be used as a trade piece when needed, and their presence ensures that committing to a big melee isn’t a costless exercise for the opponent. The Corpuscarii provide another angle for a short ranged spike, and their ability to operate reliably out of Strategic Reserves lets you force a bit of caution from the opponent – definitely helpful.

I realise I’m mostly covering how this plays into Drukhari, but it’s got the flexibility of threats and the durability to challenge almost anything. Against some opponents, the option of gunning the engines and swooping a bunch of the boats forward right out the gate with Forward Operatives can exert powerful early pressure, and having lascannons rather than autocannons (which math out as slightly better against Raiders) on the Ironstriders means the army has a way of bursting down T8 hulls it runs into. Finally, as already mentioned just having a Fusilave can constrain a bunch of plans, allowing this hyper-efficient list to avoid being blown out by some angles of non-sense.

Ultimately, that’s what Mark has built here – a hyper efficient take-on-all-comers list that happens to be especially good against the current meta hotness, meaning that with the amount of practice he has under his belt, he very nearly pulled off a surprise win. Commiserations on getting liqufiered out of contention at the last, but congratulations on getting so close.

Jony Velazquez – Death Guard – 7th Place

Credit: TheChirurgeon

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [105 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Plague Company: The Inexorable

+ HQ +

Death Guard Sorcerer in Terminator Armour [6 PL, 115pts]: 4. Putrescent Vitality, 5. Curse of the Leper, Combi-melta, Force axe

Lord of Virulence [6 PL, 120pts]: 5. Rotten Constitution, Warlord

+ Troops +

Poxwalkers [5 PL, 100pts] . 20x Poxwalker: 20x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

+ Elites +

Blightlord Terminators [20 PL, 245pts] . Blightlord Champion: Balesword, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Balesword, Combi-melta
. Blightlord Terminator: Balesword, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Balesword, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Balesword, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Balesword, Combi-bolter

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Hellforged cyclone missile launcher, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Hellforged cyclone missile launcher, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 155pts] . Deathshroud Champion: 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 155pts] . Deathshroud Champion: 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 75pts]: Revolting Stench-vats

+ Fast Attack +

Foetid Bloat-drone [7 PL, 135pts]: Fleshmower

Foetid Bloat-drone [7 PL, 135pts]: Fleshmower

Myphitic Blight-haulers [7 PL, 140pts]: Myphitic Blight-hauler

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger

++ Total: [105 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Go-wide Deathguard with a bunch of hard to kill units – something of a theme developing here.
  • VolCons on full display – turns out you don’t even need the Ferric Blight to make them good.
  • Relatively minimal support character loadout – getting more units on the table is the priority.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Given how different the factions are, there’s a surprising amount of alignment on show here between Mark’s AdMech and this Death Guard build. The best trick Death Guard have to play into the current meta is their ability to go wide with tough to shift Daemon Engine and Terminator units that can operate relatively independently. Having high toughness, -1D and an invuln everywhere means that they’re never trivial to kill, and the move to base 3+ BS/WS for the engines in the new book means they don’t really need babysitting any more. Many of these choices are also packing weaponry that’s very potent against popular factions, with the Fleshmower on the Bloat-drones being standout into Drukhari, AdMech hulls and Vanguard Veterans alike. Those having the ability to pull a 6″ heroic when ignored with Dark Cravings is particularly good, as constraining where fast opponents can afford to launch surgical strikes is very helpful.

Clearly, however, Jony didn’t think that was quite enough elf-annihilation, so those units are joined by a couple of Volkite Contemptors, going in on the missile launcher hats as well as the arm guns. These are great at killing Drukhari anyway, but cross over to being outstanding in a list that can use a Bloat-drone or Poxwalkers to drop Nurgle’s Rot on a bunch of Raiders – drop them to T5 and these start cleaning up. Sit them in the Lord’s aura and they can pop a whole T5 Raider each, a vastly better rate than almost anything else out there gets. Add shots from the PBC and Blight-Hauler too and the amount of attrition this list is inflicting starts to look mean, again forcing opponents to commit when they might not otherwise choose to. The list may not have as many Terminators to take an opposing charge as some others, but between Ferric Miasma making it harder to gank them and the omni-present Revolting Stench Vats backing them up, they’re still a real speedbump for a damaged army to try and overcome.

I think the final key thing to draw attention to here is the way the characters are set up. Death Guard have a lot of nifty buff tricks they can pull, but other than the Blightspawn (who is so good you can’t really pass on him) this list skips them, and even when filling out its HQs it makes sure to take characters that can contribute to a fight in their own right – the Lord of Contagion is a nasty brawler with that Warlord trait, while taking a Terminator Sorceror instead of the more conventional Plaguecaster gives you a model you’re more willing to commit to a fight and that you can strap a combi-melta to the arm and go to town. Generally, this is a trend you start seeing when there are armies in the metagame that are too efficient on multiple angles, as players trying to compete with them want to minimse the risk of any given unit being dead weight in those matchups.

The fact that Death Guard have a good suite of tools for this kind of plan and their considerable durability to ensure they get to at least participate in most games puts them in a strong position to go down this route, and Death Guard are, in fact, the most highly represented faction across the 6-2 or better lists other than Drukhari. The rapid pivot to these go-wide lists has given them a shot in the army, and congrats to Jony for putting in the best showing with one.

Oliver Smith – White Scars – 9th Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – White Scars) [99 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: White Scars

+ HQ +

Kor’sarro Khan [6 PL, 110pts]

Primaris Techmarine [4 PL, -1CP, 80pts]: Hunter’s Instincts, Plume of the Plainsrunner, Rites of War, Stratagem: Tempered by Wisdom, Warlord

+ Troops +

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts] . 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. Incursor Sergeant

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword

+ Elites +

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Cyclone missile launcher, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Cyclone missile launcher, 2x Twin volkite culverin

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 150pts]: 2x Twin volkite culverin

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 280pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 280pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 280pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [2 PL, 55pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta

+ Dedicated Transport +

Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]

Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]

++ Total: [99 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Tell me you’ve got the memo about Drukhari without telling me you’ve got the memo about Drukhari.
  • Three VolCons, three full blocks of claw Vets that can combat squad for flexibility, ready to ruin days across multiple phases.
  • A battalion of troops, minimal HQ support and some objective grabbers finish things off.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

I mean, it’s not complicated, but it looks pretty terrifying. At first glance the fact that this list has full VanVet squads might seem wildly out of line with the suggestion that you want to go wide rather than tall, but the key thing to remember is that once you hit that 10-model count, the option of using Combat Squads to split into two smaller units is on the table, and that’s big here. There are certainly going to be matchups where you want the full-fledged horror that is a maxed out unit of these killers, but when you find yourself up against a go-wide army with lots of squishy but deadly unit, having that option to both spread out and reduce the impact of any one unit getting kicked or liquified in is gold dust. Because they can Advance and Charge natively (as Scars) once they do start spreading out it’s also really tough for an opponent to fully play keep away, putting them in the unpleasant position of having to actually engage with melee Scars units – never ideal.

The other unit that turns up in triplicate here is, unsurprisingly, the VolCon, even backed up by a Primaris Techmarine to allow one to get pumped up (perhaps in conjunction with Adaptive Strategy for some AP). While Marines don’t have access to a way to tank the enemy’s toughness, what they do bring to the table is the option of using Wisdom of the Ancients to turn one of them into a temporary Lieutenant, helping squeeze that extra bit of damage out of the firebase. At 1CP a turn it’s absurdly cost efficient when you’ve got three of these, and I imagine that button was slammed a lot over the course of the event. Don’t forget that if one needs to go just that little bit further to line up a shot, Hunter’s Fusilade is an option too. The Techmarine himself using Hunters Instincts to turbo charge his bolter shots into enemy Raiders is also pretty funny. Like the Death Guard army this list goes pretty light on characters, with the supreme power of Kor’sarro being the only other one that makes the grade. That’s not massively shocking given that his aura is exceptional and he’s no slouch in combat, and it’s noteworthy that the speed of White Scars means he can still get where he needs when backing up units as fast as VanVets.

The list fills out with a minimal-ish Battalion’s worth of troops and some Storm Speeders. If you want something to hang back on a home objective the humble Intercessor is actually kind of fine in a Drukhari world – they don’t die efficiently to the shooting, and the power melee stuff probably want to go elsewhere. Storm Speeders simply remain the cheapest fast unit in the Marine book, and give this list a way to either put out early bait, secure early Engage or both.

The speed and flexibility White Scars can muster may not quite equal what Drukhari have, but if you’re looking to at least give them a run for their money this is the chapter to go for. Congratulations to Oliver for putting in the best finish from a Marine player.

Jack Harpster- Adepta Sororitas – 10th Place

Arcoflagellants

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [105 PL, 1,999pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ Stratagems +

Open the Reliquaries [-2CP]: 2x Additional Relics of the Ecclesiarchy

+ No Force Org Slot +

Arco-Flagellants [3 PL, 75pts]: Endurant
. 4x Arco Flagellant: 4x Arco-flails

Arco-Flagellants [3 PL, 75pts]: Endurant
. 4x Arco Flagellant: 4x Arco-flails

Arco-Flagellants [3 PL, 75pts]: Endurant
. 4x Arco Flagellant: 4x Arco-flails

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: Stratagem: Arbiter of the Emperor’s Will, Xenos – Psychic Veil

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, 55pts]: Chainsword, Inferno pistol, Null Rod, Relic: Beneficence, Warlord, Warlord Trait: 5. Indomitable Belief

Palatine [3 PL, 50pts, -1CP]: Heroine in the Making, Plasma pistol, Relic: Litanies of Faith, Rosarius, Warlord Trait: 4. Beacon of Faith

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword

+ Elites +

Preacher [2 PL, 35pts]: Chainsword, Laspistol, Relic: Book of St. Lucius

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 128pts] . 8x Sisters Repentia: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 128pts] . 8x Sisters Repentia: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 80pts] . 5x Sisters Repentia: 5x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Fast Attack +

Seraphim Squad [4 PL, 83pts] . 2x Seraphim: 4x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Hand Flamers
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Hand Flamers

+ Heavy Support +

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Hand Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Simulacrum

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Hand Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Simulacrum

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 140pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol, Chainsword
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Simulacrum

+ Dedicated Transport +

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 85pts]: Hunter-killer missile

++ Total: [105 PL, 8CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Rhinos for days aims to confound early shooting.
  • Arco-flagellants put in a rare appearence as powerful trade pieces.
  • Retributors and Repentia are as lethal as ever.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Sisters is a fitting faction to round out the top 10, as until the arrival of Drukhari they were sitting pretty on top of the metagame. Some of their strengths definitely lend themselves to trying to compete in a Drukhari world, and while this build did end up picking up both its losses against Drukhari, the margin against Nick Nanavati’s build was close enough that it feels like there’s something there.

Sisters are great at putting down powerful, expendable trade pieces that will do their job very reliably on the turn they strike, sufficient that if you lose them afterwards it isn’t the end of the world. Retributors are still the most potent and reliable concentration of tank killing power you’ll get in the entire game, and now that Palatine’s exist, there’s a genuine prospect of a unit that pops Storm of Retribution blowing one Raider out of the sky with its opening six shots then nuking another with the shots from the Cherubs. There’s simply nothing else that threatens spikes like this, and Sisters can accumulate such massive value swings in their favour as they trade off their killer units that opponents have nothing left to chew through the durable bodies they put down.

This list leans in even harder on the trading and durability aspect than most Sisters builds, once again sacrificing some of the normal contingent of characters to free up the points to do so. Arco-flagellants don’t tend to get much of a look in when Repentia and Zephyrim are available, but they’re ideally statted for elf killing and a unit large enough to get the job done into fragile units comes in way cheaper than the Zephs do. You do, of course, need to get them into battle, and that’s where the Rhinos come in. Many Sisters builds run a couple, but this list goes for a massive five, giving it enough slots to have two Repentia units and all the Retributors and Arco-flags on the table, in busses when the situation calls for it. Sure, a Rhino with an HKM costing the same as a Raider with a dark lance looks a bit ridiculous, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and a wall of hulls and power armour is enough of a pain for Drukhari that it’s worth it. Also a pain for armies relying on T3 melee units is the fact that, thanks to the exceptional Bloody Rose Conviction, all these basic Sisters units can do at least some amount of damage in return, and with all the melee shock troops lined up as a second wave, there’s always going to be risks involved in tangling with it.

Kyria Draxus is the last standout here, blending the ability to mess with Fight Last and leadership shenanigans via her Paralysis Grenades and Unquestionable Wisdom with the option to do some wonky stuff around parking her on an objective with impunity using Psychic Veil and Clandestine Operation. I must admit, I feel like the list has enough objective play that I might just prefer taking Terrify, because the idea of charging Repentia into liquifiers is terrifying, but it definitely opens up some unique plays that can come in handy in a few games. Outside of the Inquisitor, this is another list that’s light on character investment, and the Canoness is sporting Beneficence to ensure she too can muck in to a fight.

Sisters are definitely one of the factions people will be trying to find an anti-drukhari angle from, and I think what Jack’s got here is definitely hitting the right buttons while clearly not sacrificing strength against the rest of the field, since it was undefeated against non-Drukhari lists. Strong work.

The Rest of the Best

Ten more players achieved 6-2 records at the event. They were:

  • 11th – Ken Knox – Drukhari: Oh don’t worry, we’re not done with Drukhari yet. This build leans even harder into the Technomancer Wrack setup, using a mighty six units across two detachments, but still sneaking an Archon in with the keyword trickery seen in Nayden’s list. Slightly less ranged shooting punch as a result, but even more vicious at close range as a result.
  • 12th – Colin McDade – Harlequins: As we covered last week, Colin is a fantastically experienced Soaring Spite player, and put in another excellent performance here, even managing to take one game off one of the Drukhari lists in the top 10 (but picking up losses to Nayden and one of the others).
  • 13th – Kyle Malmborg – Blood Angels: It would appear that if you want to play Marines right now, being able to tackle Drukhari on their own terms by flying around the battlefield and kicking the stuffing out of things is a key requirement. Here, we’ve got two units of Sanguinary Guard (perfect for both beating things to death and gunning down stragglers), a large VanVet unit and some Death Company for a surgical strike. A big unit of Eradicators, some buff characters and a Whirlwind round things out, and this list certainly looks like it can at least engage with the new menace.
  • 14th – Mark Aescht – Death Guard: Some unusual choices here that result in a powerful looking skew build. Three bulked up units of Inexorable Deathshrouds provide an anvil (with a Stench Vats/Gloaming Bloat Blightspawn in an Aux backing them up to shut down enemies), while three Plaguebursts  and a VolCon back them up, with Poxwalkers ranging out front for early board control, and Plaguecasters and buff characters charging units up. Looks highly effective, but is definitely not a magic bullet for Drukhari, as that’s where both the losses came from.
  • 15th – Cory Schulz – Necrons: Cory’s weird and wonderful Necron build, featuring every tool designed to give the opponent a splitting headache, puts in another good performance. The use of the Void Dragon is something I’m a particular fan of in the current meta, as Drukhari are an extremely target rich environment for what the model is throwing out.
  • 16th – Don Hooson – Death Guard: Goonhammer contributor Don was also on the go-wide plan, deploying a list that’s nearly all hulls (including three units of two Blight Haulers, a unit that feels underexplored since the Codex). This puts up a very uniform target profile that can be tough to crack, with enough broad damage of its own to grind opponents down with attrition. The defences here do shut down some Drukhari tools very effectively, and it amplifies my feeling that go-wide hull builds are where Death Guard want to be right now.
  • 17th – Nick Gower – Drukhari: Even heavier on the hulls than the rest of the Drukhari builds, this list combines a mighty seven Black Heart Raiders with two Ravagers for a whole bunch of Darklight, and surprising amount of melee chip damage by sticking chain snares everywhere.
  • 18th – Patrick McAneeny – White Scars: A go-wide White Scars list with multiple Bladeguard units, a small VanVet squad and Attack Bikes in support. Avoids putting too many eggs in any one basket, and has real staying power in the Bladeguard, though does trade out some melee mobility around the board to get there. Land Speeder Storms shore up the Engage on All Fronts and objective game.
  • 19th – Russel Tassin – Chaos: Russel teams up the current Chaos Space Marine hotness of Emperor’s Children Terminators and Noise Marines (here riding a Terrax Drill) with the psychic dominance of Magnus and Ahriman. Has the big upside of being tough to interact with early on for armies that can’t kill Magnus at range, and being very good at the thing it’s best at (killing people with its mind).
  • 20th – Jarod Coulter – Drukhari: We’ll finish as we started with a final Drukhari build, this one combining some additional Black Heart shooty hulls with a squad of melee Grotesques, one of the many, many units in the book that’s probably pretty good but hasn’t been super explored yet thanks to the dominant options.

Wrap Up

That’s it for the event, but just like last week that’s not all you’ll be hearing from me – tune back in tomorrow as I kick off yet another Discourse inferno with my take on the hotfixes that Drukhari need, and on Friday the competitive train will continue hurtling down the tracks as the meta analysis team bring you their latest update. Comments, questions and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com as ever, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

 

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