Start Competing: Sylvaneth

Credit: Robert "TheChirurgeon" Jones

It’s time to head back to nature and explore the wilds of Ghyar with the Sylvaneth. These hybrid of elves and treefolk led by the Everqueen, Alarielle protect the wooded areas of the Realm of Life from the encroaching scurge of the Chaos god Nurgle. Do you have the strength and conviction to take command of these wardens of the woods and fight the encroaching corruption?

Faction Overview

Sylvaneth are the closest successors to the Wood Elves of Warhammer Fantasy. The Wood Elves were a combination of your traditional skulky tree-flavored elves mixed in with dryads. Sylvaneth take it a step further, with an army composed of Dryads and elves who have been fused with dryads, to make a very tree-based army. On the table, Sylvaneth are a pretty adaptable force, they have access to some good wizards, decent archers and respectable front line melee units

Strengths

  • Nowhere is safe – Thanks to your terrain piece you have a strong advantage in your ability to plant yourself almost anywhere on the field and warp units around the table. Combine that with some really high movement characteristics and there’s nowhere an opponent can go that you won’t be able to reach them
  • Flexible – You have access to solid frontline, ranged and wizards, allowing you to adapt to many opponents.
  • Gorgeous models – Many of your models are newer, created for End Times and Age of Sigmar, as such they are some of the better looking models in the line with lots of options for paint schemes. Is it a bad thing that we’re praising the models in Faction Strengths? Well…

Weaknesses

  • Failure to excel at anything – While your army checks off many of the boxes needed to make a functional army few of them are truly great at their role and fall short of armies with a more specialized strategy.
  • Costly – The army can be expensive to get into, money wise. Your terrain piece involves linking 3-6 Citadel Wood models into a circle, just to make one, and you might need more than one set to fill out your army, before even getting into the models themselves.
  • Wyldwood Nerf – While it’s still good, the Wyldwood terrain took a bit of a hit in effectiveness and it now requires a lot more skill and luck to set up properly.

Competitive Rating

Weak. While not the worst army, Sylvaneth struggle to really establish an identity. Their units are largely very “so-so” at the roles they are meant to serve. For example, many of your units have 4+ to hit as a base characteristic which isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, except that your units also cost a bit too much and as a result you don’t have nearly the numbers you need to overcome that level of accuracy. GW has attempted to reduce the points costs of a few Sylvaneth units to alleviate this problem but it really isn’t enough to help the mediocre statline. If you play Sylvaneth it’s probably going to be because you like the models and lore. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s good to know where the army stands going in.

 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Army Abilities

Forest Spirits

The Sylvaneth deep strike mechanic: You can place up to half your army in reserve during setup and at the end of any movement phase, warp them in wholly within 6″ of an Awakened Wyldwood but more than 9″ from the enemy. As a result you should be careful not put your first Wyldwood too far up; if your opponent is smart they will park a unit nearby and lock it down. As usual, if you start turn 4 with units still in reserve, they are instantly killed so don’t put too many in reserve and don’t leave your Wyldwood where your opponent can easily block their entry.

Navigate Realmroots

Sort of an extension of Forest Spirits, while you only start with one Wyldwood, some of your Heroes have mechanics to help spawn additional woods. With this ability your units that are wholly within 6″ of a Wyldwood can warp to another, returning to the field within 6″ of the other forest, but still outside 9″ of enemy units. Can be tricky to set up, as its not too hard for your opponent to lock both of them down. If you spot an opening, go for it, it can make all the difference if its all that stands between you and an objective.

Places of Power

After choosing deployment but before deploying units, pick a piece of terrain (except one your opponent placed as part of their army) and mark it. Your units do not have to make battleshock tests when wholly within 6″ of this piece of terrain. Naturally, pick a piece of terrain that is close to an important objective. It can help keep your bigger hordes alive as they cap objectives.

 

Credit: BuffaloChicken

Glades

You get a whopping 7 different Glades here, which is sort of surprising for how few units are in the book. At least you have a lot of variety, most lists on the competitive circuit tend to look at Winterleaf first, and Gnarlroot as a secondary option for those who prefer a more magical bent.

Oakenbrow

Oakenbrow is aimed toward people who want to take lots of big trees. It’s not quite like other “big monster” factions like Sylvaneth Thunder Lizards, as it doesn’t make them Battleline or anything, but accents running Treelords with a few small forces to accent them.

  • Army Ability: Our Roots Run Deep – Subtract 2 from the wounds counter when consulting the degrading statline on Treelords or Spirits of Durthu.
    • Rules like this have come along later that are better, and 2 wounds may or may not be able to make the difference. When it does, it’s clutch though.
  • Command Ability: Yield to None – At the start of the Battleshock phase you can pick one Hero and all Dryad units wholly within 16″ of that Hero do not make Battleshock tests.
    • Dryads are your cheap battleline and if you have 2 or more clumped together this can be a very cost effective way to save them, it’s rather difficult to set up in practice though.
  • Command Trait: Regal Old-Growth – Add 1 to the wound characteristic of the general.
    • Boring, but not bad given you’re running a lot of big trees.
  • Artefact of Power: Dawnflask – 6+ feel no pain roll for the bearer.
    • Combos nicely with the command trait to make your general extra hardy.

Gnarlroot

The requisite “magic heavy” faction. It’s gaining some popularity, because while you only have one spell lore, it’s an effective one, filled with nice heals and buffs.

  • Army Ability: Shield the Arcane – Reroll hit rolls of 1 for attacks for units wholly within 12″ of a friendly wizard.
    • Decent buff, as you should have a few wizards supporting your army.
  • Command Ability: The Earth Defends – Pick a friendly unit at the start of the combat phase that is within 12″ of a friendly hero. That unit gets a 6+ FNP for the phase.
    • Notably this is only the combat phase but that is where a lot of your damage is going to come from anyway, just make sure to use it intelligently since you may not have the CP to go around if you spend it too generously.
  • Command Trait: Nurtured by Magic – If this general casts a spell and it is not unbound, a unit wholly within 18″ of the General can heal D3 wounds.
    • Since you’re likely leaning in on magic to play this, not a bad deal. Notable rule here is that rules like this usually establish if your General is a Wizard you have to take this, and it doesn’t say that. So no getting around it.
  • Artefact of Power: Chalice of Nectar – When casting or unbinding role, roll 3D6 and drop whichever die you want (Probably the lowest, but it doesn’t mandate that).
    • Actually really good, no limitations on use which is very surprising. Give it to your best caster, just a shame that Alarielle can’t have artefacts.

Heartwood

The abilities here are a bit of a grab bag, they seem to accommodate a more varied list. It overall favors an aggressive attack style that leans on Kurnoth Hunters in particular and is pretty decent if not for Winterleaf stealing its thunder.

  • Army Ability: Courage for Kurnoth – Add 1 to bravery for units wholly within 12″ of a Friendly Hero.
    • Kind of a weak ability, particularly useful for Dryads if you run them in larger groups, but otherwise they probably won’t be big enough to matter.
  • Command Ability: Lord of the Hunt – At the beginning of the combat phase, pick an enemy unit that is within 12″ of one of your Heroes. All your units get to reroll 1s to hit and to wound against it.
    • Phenomenal, and almost good enough on its own to justify Heartwood, focus fire down that unit that’s being a real pain in the ass to make sure it never bothers you again.
  • Command Trait: Legacy of Valour – If your General is slain, pick an enemy unit within 1″ of them and roll a die. On a 2-5 that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds, on a 6, D6 wounds.
    • This is underwhelming compared to other things as I’m not a big fan of something that relies on your General dying to get it, and then can do nothing if the dice turn against you.
  • Artefact of Power: Horn of the Consort – Reroll hit rolls for Kurnoth hunters within 12″ of the bearer.
    • Recently, Kurnoth hunters have taken a bit of a staring role as more elite infantry and being able to reroll all hits with no limitations is pretty nice, especially when greatswords are combined with the command ability.

Ironbark

A defensive subfaction, Ironbark is largely about being able to gain ground and stay there. If you play Ironbark you want to use your defensive position to move up to objectives and keep anyone from knocking you off or to lock down enemy units and keep them from going anywhere as long as possible

  • Army Ability: Stubborn and Tactiturn – You may re-roll battleshock tests for units wholly within 12″ of one of your heroes.
    • This doesn’t jive well for Sylvaneth because you’re rarely running very large units, relying on your heroes or smaller elite units. It can have an edge case use for Dryads, who are sometimes fielded in groups of 20 or more.
  • Command Ability: Stand Firm – In the combat phase, before anyone is nominated to fight, pick a friendly unit who just charged that turn and then an enemy unit within 1″ of that unit. Roll a die and on a 2+ deal D3 mortal wounds.
    • Not bad for softening a unit up before attacking them proper.
  • Command Trait: Mere Rainfall – Reroll all saves for ranged attacks at your General.
    • Really good defensive ability, between this and Look Out, Sir! Your opponent likely won’t even bother attacking your general unless they have a lot of attacks.
  • Artefact of Power: Ironbark Talisman – Add 1 to wound rolls for melee weapons by the bearer.
    • +1 to wound rolls are hard to come by, savor them.

Winterleaf

As of this writing, Winterleaf is far and away the most popular tournament glade. It has a very aggressive playstyle that benefits a variety of units as most of the perks apply to everything in the army.

  • Army Ability: Winter’s Bite – When rolling to hit for melee attacks, on a 6, deal 2 hits instead of 1.
    • This applies to all unit’s melee attacks making it very versatile, especially with dryad spam or Greatsword Hunters.
  • Command Ability: Branch Blizzard – During your shooting phase you can nominate an enemy unit within 12″ of one of your Heroes and roll a die for each model in the unit. On a 6+ deal a mortal wound.
    • Naturally this is better against big hordes. 12″ is a bit close but you can get yourself ready for a charge and lead with this to soften them up first.
  • Command Trait: My Heart is Ice – When your general takes a wound from a melee attack, roll a die and on a 5+ deal a mortal wound back.
    • Not worth relying on but it’s a nice perk when it works.
  • Artefact of Power: Frozen Kernel – Once per battle you can nominate a friendly unit wholly within 18″ of the bearer, and they can attack a second time.
    • This can be clutch if you didn’t quite kill something you needed dead. Put this on an Arch Revenant or another melee buff but to help them finish the job.

Dreadwood

An interesting faction, favoring Spite-Revenants and granting ability to relocate and deep strike. Paired with the Wyldwoods, you have a lot of power to jump around to different parts of the board with reckless abandon. If you want a skirmish heavy playstyle of moving around it might be worth looking at Dreadwood.

  • Army Ability: Malicious Tormentors – Reroll hit rolls of 1 for Spite-Revenants, who are a cheap fodder option.
    • Not bad, but you’ll need a ton of them to get a lot of out of this.
  • Command Ability: Sinister Ambush – Once per turn, at the end of the movement phase, you can pick a friendly unit that is wholly within 18″ of one of your heroes and relocate them with usual deep strike rules of more than 9″ from enemy units.
    • As stated before, combined with wyldwood you can relocate much of your force every turn if you’re smart, keep an eye out for openings in your enemy’s line.
  • Command Trait: Paragon of Terror – Force your enemy to reroll successful battleshock tests when within 6″ of your general.
    • Kind of iffy, as a mirror to rerolling battleshock for your own guys, its going to depend if your opponent has a horde to exploit this on. If they do, it can pluck a few more models off.
  • Artefact of Power: Jewel of Withering – -1 to wound rolls against the bearer.
    • Make your melee heroes a bit tankier, not bad.

Harvestboon

Another aggressive charging faction. The buffs tend to help with units with a lot of attacks so they tend to favor fielding large groups of units in a swarm, to get the most out of rerolls or additional attacks.

  • Army Ability: Vibrant Surge – Reroll hit rolls of 1 for units that charged this turn.
    • Decent buff, make sure you get to make the charge.
  • Command Ability: Fertile Ground – Pick a friendly unit within 12″ of hero and add 1 to the attack characteristic of that unit.
    • Good for buffing large groups, but an extra attack is always appreciated.
  • Command Trait: Seek New Fruit – After your General is finished attacking he can move 6″, but he must end his turn more than 3″ from the enemy.
    • Can be a bit tricky to set up but useful when it works. If you’re locked with a foe you cant hope to beat, or are just being tarpitted, fallback and move on, but dont leave yourself exposed unless youre willing to gamble on going first next round.
  • Artefact of Power: The Silent Sickle – +1 on melee attacks for the bearer.
    • Sweet and simple and synergizes well with the other abilities here.

Sylvaneth Spirit of Durthu. Credit: Mike Bettle-Shaffer

Command Traits

Like most command traits in other books its a shame you don’t often see these, since you can’t take them with a Glade. If you decide to make the brave choice of not using a pre-made glade, here you go.

Aspects of War

  • Dread Harvester – Re-roll hit rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by this general if they made a charge move in the same turn.
    • Like many armies in Age of Sigmar, getting the charge is important. This is helpful for your warrior characters like Treelord Ancient, especially in Harvestboon. B-
  • Gnarled Warrior – You can re-roll save rolls of 1 for attacks that target this general.
    • Not exciting but keeps them alive. B
  • Gift of Ghyran – In your hero phase, you can heal 1 wound allocated to the general.
    • You have access to a lot of healing but any healing done on your General for free, frees up healing for spells and artefacts. B-
  • Lord of Spites – You can re-roll wound rolls of 1 for attacks made by the general.
    • Bonuses to wound rolls are often hard to come by so these are appreciated B+
  • Warsinger – Add 2 to charge rolls for friendly units wholly within 12″ of the general.
    • Similar to Dread Harvester, this is a great combo with Harvestboon, who really want that early charge. B
  • Wisdom of the Ancients – Add 1 to the Bravery characteristic of friendly units while they are wholly within 12″ of this general.
    • Eh. Your Bravery stats are pretty decent, and the 1 probably wont make the difference C

Aspects of Renewal

Only wizards can take these.

  • Arcane Bounty – This general knows 1 extra spell from the Lore of the Deepwood.
    • If you have the opportunity to take this it can be valuable, as Sylvaneth has a really solid lore. Combines well with Spiritsong Stave to get an extra cast in as well.
  • Mystic Regrowth –  At the end of your hero phase, if this general successfully cast any spells in that phase that were not unbound, you can heal D3 wounds allocated to this general.
    • Combined with Throne of Vines spell you shouldn’t have any issues doing this consistently. B
  • Voice of Warding –  Your general can attempt to unbind 1 extra spell per turn.
    • This can be iffy since you need to know if your opponent is casting a lot of spells or not. In a tournament setting you probably want something more consistent. D
  • Glade Lore – Add 1 to casting rolls for this general while it is wholly within 6″ of any wyldwoods.
    • A lot of your casters gain buffs from being near a Wyldwood anyway, like the Branchwraith so this incentivizes what you were doing anyway. B-
  • Spellsinger –  Add 6″ to the range of all spells this general casts.
    • This is a nice one. Most of the Lore is healing and Buff spells and making sure your friendlies are never too far away is always handy. B-
  • Radiant Spirit Each time this general is affected by a spell or endless spell, you can roll a die and ignore the spell’s effect on a 4+.
    • These can either be a life saver or worthless, if you don’t know how caster heavy your opponent is. Probably too niche to really recommend. D

Artefacts

Weapons of the Glades

  • Daith’s Reaper – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons and improve the Rend characteristic by 1.
    • Straightforward but effective. B
  • Greenwood Gladius – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons and add 2 to the Attacks characteristic if the bearer made a charged in the same turn.
    • Nasty when combo’d with something like Treelord ancient’s Massive Impaling Talon, which beg to allow you to fish for as many hits as possible for those 6s. Otherwise just having more hits is always appreciated. B+
  • Autumn’s Ire – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons and they can re-roll hit and wound rolls of 1 for attacks made with that weapon while any wounds are allocated to the bearer.
    • Good on bigger guys like Treelord Ancients who have wounds to spare. B+
  • Winnowstaff – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons and you can re-roll hit rolls for attacks made with that weapon that target a unit with a Wounds characteristic of 1.
    • Good for dealing with hordes, put it on something with a lot of attacks or high damage B
  • Ancient Barkblade – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons and add 1 tot he Damage characteristic of that weapon.
    • Like the Daith’s Reaper its simple but does the job, put it on something with a lot of attacks. B
  • The Darkest Bough – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons and if the unmodified wound roll for an attack made with that weapon is 6, that attack inflicts D3 mortal wounds on the target in addition to any normal damage.
    • Again, pick something with a lot of attacks so you can fish for those 6s.B-

Boons of the Everqueen

  • The Oaken Armour –  The bearer can re-roll save rolls of 1.
    • Boring but useful. B
  • Briar Sheath – Subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks that target the bearer.
    • Stacks with Look Out Sir making them a real pain to hit. B-
  • Glamourweave – 5+ Feel no pain on mortal wounds.
    • Pretty ok, the fact its only on mortal wounds sounds limiting but chipping Heroes with Mortal wounds is a favored strategy. C+
  • Lashvines – Roll a dice each time a wound inflicted by a melee weapon is allocated to the bearer and not negated. On a 6+ the attacking unit suffers 1 mortal wound.
    • If you didn’t play winterleaf but want the trait. There’s so many better options when you can pick though C-
  • Silken Snares – If the weapon used for an attack that targets the bearer has a Rend characteristic of -1, change the Rend characteristic for that attack to ‘-’.
    • Your opponent will likely try and come at your Heroes with high rend, but you have better options to keep them protected. C-
  • Nightbloom Garland – The bearer is invisible to enemy models that are more than 12″ from the bearer.
    • This ones interesting, especially in a meta that favors ranged attacks from Khadaron Overlords. Worth keeping your more vulnerable heroes safe. B

Verdant Treasures

  • Seed of Rebirth – The first time the bearer is slain. roll a dice. On a 1, the bearer dies. On a 2+ the bearer is not slain, you can heal up to D3 wounds on them.,
    • I’m not a fan of Artefacts that require death to be useful, but between all of the healing Sylvaneth have its possible to bring them back up to a decent health after their unceremonious demise. C
  • Wraithstone – Subtract 1 from the Bravery characteristic of enemy units while they are within 10″ of the bearer.
    • A good combo with Dreadwood, who rely on bravery debuff stacks to be most effective. B+ for Dreadwood, for everyone else.
  • Everdew Vial – Add 2 to run rolls and charge rolls for the bearer.
    • Alot of your Heroes are warrior-wizards who want to get in the fight, this can help guarantee a turn 1 charge. C
  • Lifewreath: In your hero phase, roll a dice. On a 3+ you can heal D3 wounds on each friendly unit wholly within 10″ of the bearer.
    • Another way to keep your Kurnoth hunters and Treelords alive when things get tough, just note it doesn’t bring back dead models B
  • Crown of Fell Bowers: At the start of the combat phase, pick 1 enemy unit within 6″ of the bearer. You can re-roll wound rolls for attacks made by friendly units that target that unit in that phase.
    • Give it to an Arch-Revenant supporting a melee squad and watch them tear a unit to shreds. B+
  • Etherblossom – The bearer can fly.
    • May not seem exciting but the ability to fly is often underrated, especially for your more delicate characters C+

Relics of Nature

Only wizards can take these.

  • Acorn of the Ages –
    Once per battle, at the start of your hero phase, you can set up an AWAKENED WYLDWOOD wholly within 12″ of the bearer, obeying all other rules.

    • If you don’t have many other ways to generate a Wyldwood, this is a surefire way, it’s good to have at least one other ready to go if you can due to the tactical flexibility it grants. B
  • Spiritsong Stave – The bearer can attempt to cast 1 extra spell in your hero phase.
    • A very popular take because all of your Heroes (Except for Aladrielle) can only cast one spell. It doesn’t give you another spell but it’s a chance to get an endless spell or Mystic shield off. B+
  • The Vesperal Gem – Once in each of your hero phases, when the bearer attempts to cast a spell from the Lore of the Deepwood, instead of making a casting roll you can say they are using the Vesperal Gem. If you do so, that spell is automatically cast and cannot be unbound. After the spell is completed, roll a die. On a 1, the bearer suffers D3 mortal wounds.
    • When you absolutely, positively need a spell to go off. A lot of your spells are healing spells, and if an important unit is on the verge of death you do not want the opponent mucking it up. This is a pretty good trump card to keep. B+
  • Luneth’s Lamp – Add 2 to the roll when the bearer attempts to unbind or dispel an endless spell.
    • A defensive option for your casters, but since without modifiers you can only unbind one spell per turn on most Wizards (Alarielle excepted, but she’s a Named character) this may not be as useful as it seems at first blush C+
  • Hagbane Spite – If the bearer successfully unbinds a spell, the caster suffers 1 mortal wound.
    • A nasty little surprise, though potentially, maybe dealing 1 wound a round isn’t exactly the most exciting prospect. C-
  • Wychwood Glaive – Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons. Add 2 to the damage inflicted by that weapon for attacks that target a WIZARD.
    • You have a few Warrior-Wizards in your roster so if you feel like going Wizard hunting this is worth considering, but you’re probably better keeping your Wizard focusing on casting, or take a different weapon relic. C-

 

Gladewyrm. Credit: Mike Bettle-Shaffer
Gladewyrm. Credit: Mike Bettle-Shaffer

Spells

You only get one lore but it’s filled with fantastic buff spells that would make many other armies generous. Often the challenge is having enough Wizards to cast what you’d like.

Lore of the Deepwood

  • Throne of Vines – Casting value 5. Add 2 to casting rolls for the caster until they are moved. Excellent spell, almost mandatory to take on a Branchwraith, since you want them for their Unique spell. Cast this on the Branchwraith, then sit comfortably all game spitting out new Dryads. Awesome. A-
  • Regrowth Casting value 5. Pick a friendly unit wholly within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. You can heal up to D6 wounds allocated to that unit. Healing is always good to have, and if you even brought Alarielle, her D3 wounds healed per round may not be enough. Defintely give this to someone as there’s always someone who needs a bit of touching up, whether it be a bulky Treelord Ancient or a multi wound model unit like the Koruth Hunters. B+
  • The Dwellers Below Casting value 7. Pick 1 enemy unit within 10″ of the caster and visible to them and roll a number of dice equal to the number of models in that unit. For each 6+ that unit suffers 1 mortal wound. As usual for these kind of spells, hit a large unit with it, its not worth a lot for a smaller unit or character. This gets a lower rating due to competing with a lot of good spells and you have access to many abilities that do the similar “roll a die for each model” thing. C+
  • Deadly Harvest – Casting value of 6. If successfully cast, each enemy unit within 3″ of the caster suffers D3 mortal wounds, rolling separately for each unit. Can be good on one of your many, many warrior-wizards who don’t mind getting into combat, but can be hard to set up. C+
  • Verdurous Harmony – Casting value 7. Pick 1 friendly unit wholly within 18″ of the caster and visible to them. You can return 1 slain model to that unit. If you picked a unit of DRYADS, TREEREVENANTS or SPITE-REVENANTS, you can return up to D3 slain models to that unit instead. Excellent spell to combo with Regrowth, as Regrowth can’t bring back dead Dryads. The fact it can still worth on Kuroth hunters make this spell incredibly flexible. A-
  • Treesong – Casting value 7. Pick 1 enemy unit within 16″ of the caster and within 6″ of an AWAKENED WYLDWOOD. Until the end of the turn, you can re-roll hit and wound rolls of 1 for attacks made with melee weapons that target that unit. Can be hard to set up but with clever placement your opponent may not be able to avoid your Wyldwoods forever. The buffs is powerful, but its competing with a lot of good options. B+

 

Endless Spells

All of your endless spells are very good, since you dont have to worry about them hurting you. It can be tough to find room, but they each have useful niches.

Gladewyrm

Casting Value 7. A predatory endless spell which moves 8″. After it has moved, it deals D3 mortal wounds to enemies within 1″ on a 3+, and heals Sylvaneth for D3 wounds on a 3+. This is notable because it cant harm you like a lot of predatory spells and in fact, helps. The fact it requires a 3+ is pretty dicey, but manageable. At only 30 pts, its worth trying to fit in if possible.

Spiteswarm Hive

Casting Value 7. At the end of your hero phase you can choose to either use Vital Venoms which grants a +3″ to move and charge rolls for friendly units within 8″ if you roll a 2+, or Shielding Swarm which grants a rerolls on 1s to saves on a 2+. In both cases, roll for each unit.

Really good, the buff requires units to get pretty close to it, but you can spawn it early, use vital venoms to get your squad moving and then dispel it and drop it again later. It’ll be a major headache for your opponent and at only 50 pts its worth considering.

Vengeful Skullroot

Casting Value 7. A predatory endless spell which moves 8″. After it has moved, any enemy units it passed over take D3 mortal wounds, or D6 if they’re within 6″ of a wyldwood. In addition, enemy units that fail battleshock tests within 3″ of the model lose D3 additional models. Neither ability affects Sylvaneth.

A little beefier in cost at 40 pts but still has some really good effects. Dreadwood probably will get a lot of mileage from it due to wanting as many bravery effects it can get.

 

Sylvaneth Arch-Revenant. Credit: Mike Bettle-Shaffer

Battalions

Wargrove

  • 1 Lords of the Clan battalion
  • 3 Household battalions
  • 3 Forest Folk battalions
  • 1 Free Spirits battalion
  • 1 Outcasts battalion

Add 2 Wyldwood into your list instead of 1. Really good but same problem as any Mega Battalion, impossible to field in any reasonable point list.

Free Spirits

  • 1 Spirit of Durthu
  • 3 units of Kurnoth Hunters

When a unit from this battalion runs, you may run 6″ instead of rolling for it. Not a bad one. It’s not great since it doesnt let you run and charge but it can help get the hunters into prime position for sniping with bows, charging next turn, or just getting them somewhere safe behind cover.

Lords of the Clan

  • 2-4 Treelord Ancients
  • 1-3 Treelords

In your shooting phase, if an enemy unit is within 6″ of 2+ units from this battalion roll a die. On a 2+ deal D3 mortal wounds. The ability isn’t…awful but its expensive with the requisite units and a pain in the ass to set up consistently. If it didn’t need so many Treelord ancients maybe we’d look at it differently.

Household

  • 1 Treelord
  • 1 Branchwych
  • 1 unit of Tree-Revenants

Enemy units within 3″ of units from this battalion cannot fallback. A good harassment technique, letting you lock down enemies that might be a problem if allowed to wander.

Forest Folk

  • 1 Branchwraith
  • 3 units of Dryads

Units from this battalion can fall back and charge in the same turn. Many lists use this as they will use units in this battalion already, and its a great way to stay nimble, either to jump to another target or to fall back and charge for bonuses such as running a Harvestborn list for the +1 to hit.

Outcasts

  • 3 units of Spite-Revenants

If an enemy within 3″ of a unit in this Battalion fail a battleshock test they lose D3 additional units. This battalion can make Spite revenants worth it. On their own they’re pretty so-so, but with enough bravery debuffs, which Sylvaneth have in spades, it can be a different way to help cut down on large units. They don’t cost a ton so it’s an easy way to get an extra CP and artefact, too.

 

 

Sylvaneth Treelord. Credit: Mike Bettle-Shaffer

Units

Leaders

Alarielle the Everqueen

Easily one of the most gorgeous models in the Age of Sigmar, and it holds up even against new models. Boy that points cost, though… 600 points. Ouch. The upside is that those 600 points gets you quite a lot. To start, Alarielle is one of the best casters in the game, being able to cast and unbind 3 spells per turn, a rare trait, especially within the faction. Her unique spell, Metamorphosis, is pretty solid, having you roll a number of dice equal to the cast roll and for each 4+ that unit takes a mortal wound. Even better, it spawns another Wyldwood if it kills the last model in a unit, which can give you some decent odds of setting that up. So you can use it either to seriously cut down a large unit, or possibly give yourself a wyldwood if you’re able to pick off a depleted unit with it.

As you might expect, Alarielle comes with a full suite of other abilities. She can heal D3 wounds on every friendly Sylvaneth unit within 30″ every turn for free, and she makes for a suprisingly effective melee combatant. Unlike many Heroes, she herself isn’t the draw here, but her mount who gets 9 attacks between its weapon options, with the talons doing D3 mortal wounds on 6s to hit and the antlers hitting on 3+ against groups of 5 or more, and they do 5 damage at max health. with her 3+ save she’s surprisingly combat capable, so she can really mess with the enemy on top of a being an excellent mage, just don’t get too cocky. Enough focus fire can and will wear down even a 3+ save.

As a nice final perk, her Command Ability really rocks, giving reroll wounds of 1 wholly within 14″ of her.

So is she worth the cost? She absolutely can be, but at over a quarter of your list you’re losing a lot of possible units when you add her so if you do your army really needs to be built around pushing and supporting her. In the tournament scene she’s often overlooked and it’s understandable why.

Drycha Hamadreth

Your other unique, something like a named Treelord ancient, she’s a battle wizard. Her unique spell is very so-so, allowing you to roll 2D6 and if you beat a unit’s bravery score, it takes D3 mortal wounds. This hits every enemy unit within 10″, which means it can be devastating against something like Gloomspite Gitz but if you get stuck against Daemons or Undead, forget it. At least it’s a warscroll spell.

Her attacks are very unique. She has a ranged attack of Flitterflies, which deal 10 attacks at 4+/3+ and -1 rend and a similar melee attack of Squirmlings, which also does 10 attacks, though it has a degrading statline to hit. If either of these gets an attack roll of 6, it becomes a mortal wound, and with that many dice, you’re guaranteed to get a few. Especially with Mercurial Aspect, which allows you to select one of the two attacks to have an attack characteristic of not 10, but 20. She’s a really versatile and powerful combatant who can fit in many lists. She saw a slight point cut and may still cost a bit much at 300 but she’s competitive with an Spirit of Durthu now.

Spirit of Durthu

This guy is a popular option for a Hero since despite what you might think by the name, he’s not a Unique and therefore can make an excellent General or Artefact bearer. He has a decent attack profile, can force an enemy unit to fight last, does D6 mortal wounds if he gets a 6 on his Impaling branch (Sadly, only one attack a round for that one) and becomes more powerful near a Wyldwood. With a 3+ save he’s a deceptively scary foe to face and either him or Drycha will show up in many lists.

Treelord Ancient

Your generic Warrior Wizard and has a lot of similar abilities to Spirit of Durthu, but is a caster instead. He’s one way of setting up a second Ancient Wyldwood pretty reliably, which can be important and worth considering for this power alone. His unique spell isn’t bad, dealing Mortal Wounds if enemies get too close to Wyldwoods which can help clear out foes to make deep striking easier, and finally his command ability can grant rerolls to saves. The problem is that he is competing with Spirit of Durthu and Drycha for similar role and point cost, so you’re often picking one, maybe 2 of the three at most.

Arch-Revenant

Now we’re getting into the more elf-y parts of the Sylvaneth. The Arch-Revenant is an almost auto take in many lists due to its low cost at 100 points and utility in buffing Hunters, your primary elite troops. He can be pretty nasty in a fight, with his glaive doing 3 3+/3+ hits, -2 rend and 2 damage, and free rerolls of 1 to hits or saves, your choice, each turn.

He can fly, which comes in with a built in shield for his mount to take one wound for him. This causes him to lose fly, so save it for when you’re locked in combat and don’t need to worry about moving. Finally he can grant +1 to attack characteristic to a friendly unit within 9″ (12″ if he’s the general) which really helps Hunters when he grants them a free reroll 1s to hit Aura. Kuroth Hunters will be your elite soldiers so bring one of these guys to keep them supported.

Branchwych

A discount warrior-wizard who gets +1 to hit when close to a wyldwood, and gains 2 attacks when injured (be careful though, at 5 wounds and a 5+ save that might not last long). The unique spell is a bit swingy, letting you roll a die equal to the casting roll of the spell, and deal a mortal wound on a 6. It does hit every enemy unit within 9″ though so if you have a lot of units around you it might work. Overall not bad for its point cost but you have so many Warrior-Wizards.

Branchwraith

This is more like it. Both cheap as a Branchwych at 80 points and a far more useful spell to boot. It summons 10 Dryads in, no limitations and at a 7+ casting roll it’s actually fairly reliable to cast, especially with Throne of Vines. The only limit is you need to be near a Wyldwood, but with a free Dryad squad a turn the Wraith will justify its meager point cost very quickly.

Ylthari and Ylthari’s Guardians

Oh boy an Underworlds Warband. As usual, these are bad. A straight wizard instead of a Warrior-Wizard, costs too much for what it gets. The reroll 1s to wound is sort of baffling on something that should not get close to the front lines and the unique spell is not good. Having to bring along a pretty useless band with her makes the whole thing wasted cost. Dont bother.

Battleline

Dryads

Your standard rank and file, and the cheapest option (per model) you have at 100 points for 10 and 270 for 30. They’re actually pretty good for being the default option. While they have 2 attacks per model with a 4+/4+, they have a few other neat tricks. Opponents take a -1 to hit if they’re within 6″ of a Wyldwood, so if you can place a Wyldwood near an objective they can do a decent job of holding the ground. They can also join with your heavier hitters, as Enrapturing Song will give +1 to hit for all friendly units against a target unit. Many of your units have mediocre To Hit so this gives the boon they need.

Two squads of 10 are often used to help fill battleline, with the third being another Dryad squad or some Tree-Revenants. If you can get squads of 20 or 30 going, it’s worth considering as their saves improve to a 4+ with 20 or more models. Just be prepared to work around their a morale, as a less than stellar 6 they can flake fast if caught out in the open.

Tree Revenants

Technically cheaper at 80 for 5, but per model cost more. Tree Revenants put up a real good argument to be put up aside Dryads, though they cost more which can impact room for your bigger guys. With a 2 attacks at 4+/3+ and -1 Rend they can do some damage. They can deep strike themselves anywhere else at any time, which is very handy. Finally they can reroll one die per phase for hit, wound, save or battleshock tests. Only one die won’t make all the difference but as a free buff it can help save a model, or guarantee you kill an extra enemy model There’s a good argument for these over dryads, and a healthy mix of them can make a good battleline.

Spite Revenants

The last of the Battleline choices, these guys struggle to show much promise outside of Dreadwood lists. They get 3 attacks at 3+/3+ which is a notable improvement over Dryads, but lacks the rend of Tree Revenants. Their only ability is -1 to enemy units within 3″ and forces your opponent to reroll successful battleshock tests. Worth it for Dreadwood, or if you want to use the Outcasts battalion, otherwise your other Battlelines do their job better.

Other

Kurnoth Hunter

This is just your “Kurnoth Hunter” slot, which come with 3 different datasheets, differentiated by their weapons, otherwise their abilities remain large the same. All three Kurnoth hunters are good, there’s a good argument for all for all of them. In each case you generally can stick to squads of 3-6, and choose based off which role you need. Swords and Scythes are both excellent, with Bows being less good but filling the useful role of ranged harassment. Choose based off what your list needs.

To avoid repetition, these abilities are shared among all 3 Kurnoth:

  • Envoys of the Everqueen – Allow you to use your Kurnoth Hunters as a “node”, where friendly units wholly within 12″ of them are within range of any command abilities used by Heroes. This can be invaluable if you have to divide your forces, remember it applies to the unit itself, too!
  • Tanglethorn Thicket – Activate in your charge phase, it basically makes the unit immobile (They can only make 1″ pile-ins) but reroll all save rolls. Incredibly important for keeping them alive as long as possible.
  • Tramble Underfoot – At the end of the combat phase you can nominate one enemy unit within 1″and roll a die for each model in the unit. For each 4+ deal a mortal wound. A 4+ for a free ability like this is pretty nasty.

Now what weapons should you take? In general these are the rules:

  • Greatbows have an obvious utility as a ranged weapon. A whopping 30″, though with the D3 damage and 2 shots per model, it can be a bit swingy. Still it’s probably far beyond the range of what most enemies can fire back with. Trample underfoot becomes significantly less useful of course, but not needing to move into melee makes Tanglethorn Thicket simple enough to use.
  • Greatswords vs Scythes – Greatswords get 1 more attack, and do 2 damage, but less rend. Scythes do D3 damage but get -2 rend. Going half and half is usually wise, swords are good for dealing for more delicate targets while scythes can cut through armor better. Keep yourself ready for any kind of opposition.

Behemoth

Treelord

Another large tree! Treelords are much weaker ancients, as one would expect. They lost a lot of the same powers and mostly just focus on the combat aspect. If your goal is just to fit in another heavy hitter, it’s worth it but the abilities of an Ancient, Durthu or Drycha really make it hard to let this guy shine. Your Behemoth slots are often getting crowded so if you have the leftover points and really need another behemoth, you can do worse.

Scenery

Sylvaneth Wyldwood

Arguably the OG terrain piece, and the only one you can spawn multiples of, the Wyldwood is key to your strategy as Sylvaneth. It has a lot of abilities which make it an incredible defensive tool. At its most mundane, it functions as LOS blocking cover, which can help you get into position easier. If a Wizard (any wizard) casts a spell within 6″ of one and it goes off, every enemy unit within 1″ of the Wyldwood takes D3 Mortal wounds on a 5+. Similarly, enemy units will take D3 mortal wounds on a 6 if they end their charge phase within 1″ of it. Many units warscrolls heavily synergize with being near a Wyldwood, so try and put it near important objectives or choke points which will allow your units to hold the ground better.

A Wanderers/Sylvaneth warband
A Wanderers/Sylvaneth warband. Credit: richyp

Army Lists

William Nygren’s Winterleaf List

Allegiance: Sylvaneth
- Glade: Winterleaf

LEADERS
Arch-Revenant (100)
- Artefact: Frozen Kernel

Branchwraith (80)
- Artefact: Spiritsong Stave
- Deepwood Spell: Throne of Vine

Spirit of Durthu (300)
- General
- Command Trait: My Heart Is Ice

Drycha Hamadreth (300)
- Deepwood Spell: Regrowth

UNITS
10 x Dryads (100)
10 x Dryads (100)
5 x Tree-Revenants (80)

OTHER
6 x Kurnoth Hunters (380)
- Scythes
3 x Kurnoth Hunters (190)
- Greatswords
3 x Kurnoth Hunters (190)
- Greatswords

BATTALIONS
Free Spirits (140)

ENDLESS SPELLS
Balewind Vortex (40)

TOTAL: 2000/2000
LEADERS: 4/6
ARTEFACTS: 2/2 ENDLESS SPELLS: 1/3 ALLIES: 0/400

WOUNDS: 117
BEHEMOTHS: 2/4
ARTILLERY: 0

This list was used by William at Quarantine Fanatic II in November 2020 and went 2-1-1. It shows a lot of consistent traits of Winterleaf lists, with Winterleaf being the most popular competitive format.

William put a lot of work into buffing the Branchwraith, giving her Throne of Vine and the Spiritsong Stave. He also added Balewind Vortex as well, to put her on it. While you don’t need all 3 its common to use 2 of these tools to guarantee the Branchwraith’s unique spell cannot fail, as summoning more Dryads can be key to winning, and if you can get the spell off every turn that’s an additional 600 points worth of models at no cost to you. Otherwise the other noteworthy inclusions are a mix of Kuroth Hunters with varying melee weapons (with an Arch-Revenant to lead) and both Spirit of Durthu and Drycha. While it’s rare to include both, they both serve important roles.

Paul’s Gnarlroot List

Allegiance: Sylvaneth
- Glade: Gnarlroot

Leaders
Alarielle the Everqueen (600)
- Deepwood Spell: Regrowth
Spirit of Durthu (300)
Treelord Ancient (260)
- General
- Command Trait: Nurtured by Magic
- Artefact: The Vesperal Gem
- Deepwood Spell: Verdurous Harmony
Branchwraith (80)
- Artefact: Chalice of Nectar
- Deepwood Spell: Throne of Vines

Battleline
5 x Spite-Revenants (60)
5 x Spite-Revenants (60)
5 x Spite-Revenants (60)

Units
6 x Kurnoth Hunters (380)
- Scythes

Battalions
Outcasts (100)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Spiteswarm Hive (50)
Balewind Vortex (40)

Total: 1990 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 90

This list was used by Paul Boutelle at Gateway Gamers September 2020, where it went 2-1. I like caster heavy lists so this caught my eye, especially because it uses Alarielle, who sadly is underutilized due to her cost. This is a much more Herohammer heavy list than others, as the battleline is the absolute bare minimum point cost possible, and the Kurnoth Hunters are doing only so much lifting. We do see the Branchwraith again with Throne of Vines and Balewind Vortex, so he relied heavily on Dryad reinforcements to keep the bodies coming. The list only barely fits into 2k but he appears to have made it work.

Thomas’s Dreadwood List

Allegiance: Sylvaneth
- Glade: Dreadwood

Leaders
Arch-Revenant (100)
- General
- Command Trait: Paragon of Terror
- Artefact: Jewel of Withering
Drycha Hamadreth (300)
- Deepwood Spell: Regrowth
Branchwraith (80)
- Artefact: Spiritsong Stave
- Deepwood Spell: Throne of Vines

Battleline
30 x Dryads (270)
10 x Dryads (100)
10 x Dryads (100)

Units
6 x Kurnoth Hunters (380)
- Greatswords
6 x Kurnoth Hunters (380)
- Scythes

Battalions
Forest Folk (140)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Spiteswarm Hive (50)
Extra Command Point (50)
Awakened Wyldwood

Total: 1950 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 130

One final list because Dreadwood is an interesting subfaction. Thomas Berg used this list in Invasion AOS in September 2020 where he went 3-2. That branchwraith is back, trhis time with Spiritsong Stave and Throne of Vines. Otherwise hes got, again, a mix of Kurnoth hunters. The surprising twist is using Dryads instead of Spite revenants, which seem tailor made to Dreadwood. One of which is a pretty frightening squad of 30! With Drycha and the Spiteswarm Hive rounding it out he has a lot of ways to go after low Bravery armies, granting Dreadwood a unique playstyle around morale manipulation.

 

Time to Make Like a Tree

Well we ventured into the Woods of Ghyran and came out the other side, more or less intact. You have been granted the knowledge to lead the Sylvaneth to fight against the forces of Chaos, will you answer the call and push Nurgle back? If you’re looking to start Sylvaneth or are a long time general looking for additional insight or to share feedback please let us know by emailing us at contact@goonhammer.com or reaching out ot us on social media to tell us your story!