Eldrad in the last edition, was the undisputed king of the Eldar Codex. Without Eldrad, it would have been far less competitive than it was. Whether it was even viable as a primary detachment would even have been a good question, especially in non-Forge World events when we couldn't just break out our Warp Hunters, etc and call it a day. So, it Eldrad still the monster that he once was?
|Ok, so this one kind of looks like crap. He isn't finished yet.|
As for Runes of Warding, I have mixed feelings on the matter. I liked it being too good as an Eldar player, I loathed it being too good as a Space Wolves player. So overall I'm happy it's not ridiculous now. Instead of making opponents cast psychic powers on 3D6, the unit with the Runes in it gets a +2 boost to a Deny the Witch roll once per game. Which isn't too bad.
The biggest hit to Eldrad really is that he can no longer guarentee Fortune to make him and those around him hard as nails.
So, that's it for Eldrad's hits. Now how has he improved? Well:
He is 5pts cheaper than he used to be, which isn't Earth shattering but nice. Additionally, he is now Mastery Level 4, so he can cast 1 additional power. His powers can be picked from the Divination, Telepathy and Runes of Battle trees, which I shall come onto later in the Farseer section.
It gets better, he has a statline improvement. My 4th ed Eldar Codex is eluding me as I write this so from memory I believe he now has +1 to his WS, BS and Initiative. Which again is useful but not awesome.
What I do like Eldrad for however is some of his wargear changes. He still has his 3+ save, it's his staff and helm that have changed. Starting with the Staff. It's not as much of a beat-stick (pun intended) in close combat, it still wounds on 2s, and although it is a Force Weapon, Eldrad only gets 2 attacks with dual close combat weapons. However, it has spirit link. Every time Eldrad passes a psychic check, on a 5+ he gets another Warp Charge point, meaning that on average he can cast 5-6 powers. The problem is that he can't cast many powers more than once, all it really does is guarentee him Force Weapon activation and make it harder for him to perils. This will make more sense when we come to the Ghosthelm.
The Ghosthelm has changed, rather than allowing you to ignore perils of the warp on a 3+, it guarantees you
to ignore it by expending a Warp Charge point. Especially on Eldrad, this is an improvement due to his Staff, during the last game of my first Throne of Skulls my opponent's Eldrad died to a perils due to failing this roll and him only having 1 wound left.
Eldrad still comes with his redeploy shenanigans, but also has a specific Warlord Trait. What it does is allow him, once per game, to give everything within 12" of him Stealth for a phase. Nice, especially when combined with an Aegis Defence Line or Warlocks, as their Primaris Power is conceal. Finally, his Warlord Trait gives all Eldar units within 12" Stealth for a shooting phase once per game. Pretty nice, Aegis Defence Lines seem to be a good buy for Eldar at the minute.
So where do we see Eldrad now. I wouldn't say that he's been hit with the nerf bat to be honest. True, he doesn't guarentee you a brick whereby you can just stomp up the field with 10 invisible Wraithguard, pick up the Relic and wander off (I'm avenging the first time that happened to me at a tournament in just over a week by the way). He is still exceptionally likely to do it, but it's hard to get Fortune into the mix too.
He still has access to Divination, and combined with taking the Primaris Power from the Runes of Battle effectively has 2 Presciences, turning your gunline from decent to lethal. Especially when you have 9 Shadow Weaver Support Batteries (I love all barrage weaponary). Plus even when you have those powers you still have 2 more rolls. More on the psychic trees in the Farseer post however.
To be honest I think that we will see less of Eldrad. He's still the monstrous psychic badass that he always was, although not for his combat ability. The only reason is, level 3 Divination access psykers for 100pts? Rune Priests, bring it on.