Ahead of the release of the much-anticipated Stormcast Dragons, Games Workshop has decided to give them a points FAQ. That’s right, the models aren’t out and are already being updated. There’s been a lot of concern in the community about what the dragons are going to do to the meta. They practically shit out mortal wounds and can Alpha Strike from across the board to do sufficient damage to murder many units that aren’t properly protected (and even some that are).
Since they count as Monsters, they count as 5 models a piece, so board coverage isn’t even an issue as it might be with some elite armies. They’re fast enough that they can get almost anywhere, and they get a free move with a potential charge once per game. In short, they can do it all and through many test games in the community with proxies it’s hard not to see that there are going to be a lot of problems. The question of course is: Will it be enough?
Well, the points and that’s it. But by how much?
For reference the old point values are:
- Stormdrake Guard (2) – 285 (+55 Points)
- Knight-Draconis – 255 (+45 Points)
- Stormdrake Guard – 145 (+30 points)
Is it enough? Not…really? It’s going to cut the cap off a bit, instead of 6 units of 2 with a captain you can now get 2 Knights and 8 riders, which is still a pretty significant number to deal with.
What Needs to be Changed?
I don’t believe reducing the number of dragons is going to cut it unless you can price them out of viability, which I don’t really want either. They’re cool models, they should be used but the problem is less their cost and more the warscroll in general. There’s certain combos that just make them super nasty to deal with and tweaking one or more of these could change things.
- Move and Charge – The ability to get a free move in the Hero phase and then get a guaranteed charge is pretty busted with such a fast move speed (not to mention FLY). Even at once a game it’s just a bit too good when you do Mortals on the charge. You can very easily stop an opponent from even moving out of the gate. So what to do? I think a positive change would be to add “One Unit with this ability” so it can’t be spammed.
- Ignore Spells – Stormdrake ignore spells on a 4+ which is probably a bit too high. Ignore spell “wards” aren’t as good as mortal wounds but at a 4+ it removes one of the only ways to counter a model with such a high save. Cut it to a 5+ or even a 6+.
- Mortal Wound Breath – The breath is a bit too powerful. D6 wounds on a 5-6 adds up when they’re being spammed. Maybe 2-5 deals a Mortal Wound and 6 deals D3. That may be too much of a cut but as it stands now they’re capable of dishing out far too many when brought en masse.
There are other things that make them powerful but I wouldn’t necessarily change them. Being Monsters (and counting as 5 models) is fine, for example. There just needs to be some work done on certain parts when brought in large numbers.
The simple solution is a hard unit cap but I don’t want to go there. 40k has done this in the past and I don’t like it as it feels like a very clumsy solution when it feels better to take a delicate touch and adjust the problematic unit itself. Hard capping copies of a unit just feels like admitting defeat.
RagnarokAngel: I do appreciate Games Workshop taking the initiative before release. It genuinely shows growth that they paid attention to the community and actively attempted to make a change. COVID woes may be a problem but it did grant them extra time to listen and do something about it, rather than let resentment fester while Stormcast racked up top slots at tournaments.
While I may not think this is enough of a change to save it, it’s in the right direction and I will give them that.
JoeK: I’ve been playing 12 for the last month, and have a GT this weekend with my scratch built dragons where the new points will be used. After some practice games, even handicapping myself 600 points for one of them, the points changes are 1: Not enough, and/or 2: Isn’t the right move. I believe they need a warscroll update, not different points. They’re worse than pink horrors until that change happens. More on my thoughts next week after my tournament.
Bair: It’s a step in the right direction overall but it’s definitely just not enough. What they are able to do is what makes them oppressive. At the same time you don’t want them to go so far up in points that they become useless either. They’re going to need a new Warscroll to really make them ok. I mean, it’s not like Stormcast are in a bad spot without them!
Liam Jordan: Ok, so due to the Covid Pandemic and it’s knock on effects we have a scenario where somethings been FAQ’d prior to model release in as long as I can remember, and it’s a good thing. But let’s be clear on this: 2 Dragons over an entire list doesn’t change the scenario a lot, they’re still good for that points cost. Like really good. If you want an offensive Stormcast list (opposed to a defensive reactive one) they’re still the unit you’re going to spam. If you want one or two quick offensive units to react to your opponents in a static list you’re still only investing around the 500pt mark, so only ¼ of your army to do that. Overall it’s certainly a set in the right direction, but I think we all feel this doesn’t go far enough in increasing their cost enough for their abilities.
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