Winners and Losers of 7th Ed: Tyranids

nidsShorereaper here, and as the token Nid player, I guess it falls to me to write up this Winners and Losers article. Now I have to start with the fact that the new Tyranid codex was probably written with 7th edition in mind. And with all of the changes, I honestly think the Nids broke even. Yes, there are some serious cons (snapfire after jinking), but even those I think make the game better.

Starting with some of the Pros, the night fighting rule actually helps. Everything gaining stealth regardless of distance makes the Venomthrope so much better. Everything within that 6-inch bubble gains shrouded on top of the stealth and any other cover you can give them. A Tyranid player can easily give a large portion of his army 2+ cover saves if they plan correctly. I usually field just one, and while the venomthrope can easily give up first blood, he provides a solid cover save. And this comes at the expensive cost of 45 points.

The new Jink rules make the hive crone a little more survivable. Now their cover save and their armour save are 4+. It’s not a lot of help, but it is some help. Of course, jinking makes the flyers snapfire, but one can work with that. Since Vector striking happens in the movement phase, Flying MC’s can still vector strike. And yes, I know the new vector strike was greatly nerfed against tanks and skimmers, but the Hive Crone is still a fantastic anti-flyer.

One con I have to admit hurts is the new rule that swooping MCs cannot charge on the same turn that they change from swooping to gliding. That gives opponents a free turn of shooting them. However, even when I use the flying hive tyrant, I try to keep him in the air, so I would probably never want to use him in close combat anyway.

The psychic phase is both a negative and a positive. First, I find it a lot harder to get of my psychic powers, and the shadows of the warp are not nearly as effective as it used to be. That being said, a -3 to your opponent’s psykers leadership is not a small thing.  The reduced leadership makes periling results more likely to result in entertaining outcomes. Also, the rules don’t say -3 during the psychic phase; it is -3 throughout the game, providing the psykers are within 12 inches of each other. And since I am on the psychic phase, all Nids gaining their primus power of Dominion is fantastic! Every psyker, including the broodlord, gains 6-inches to their synapse range, which can come in very handy.

Wounds carrying over in close combat make the Swarmlord an even bigger beast in close combat. Sure, he is still killable when you are trying to get him into close combat, but once he get there, he can kill almost anything (except for that darn Moloc).

Yes, tanks don’t explode as often, but they are still pretty easy to wreck. The move through cover rule is nice and easy to remember.

Overall, I honestly believe that the Tyranids broke about even. Like I said though, I believe that this codex was written specifically for 7th edition. I know some of my fellow bloggers would rank the Tyranids lower, but I would list them as the 5th best Army, which is where I would have put them in 6th Edition right after the new codex came out. It’s a job to win with them, but it is very doable.

4 thoughts on “Winners and Losers of 7th Ed: Tyranids

  1. We lost:

    Only 1 Smash attack
    Vector Strike Nerf (only 1 against ground targets)
    Assault after changing flight mode
    SOTW has no affect on enemy casting
    Single characters in a challenge can now be attacked be the opposing unit (So swarmy can now be hit by all of the damnable powerfists/crack grenades and not just by the guy he’s challenging)
    Powers like Catalyst and Onslaught are now much harder to get off

    We Gained:
    Only one grounding check AT THE END OF THE PHASE – makes FMC’s MUCH harder to kill
    +1 Jink
    Wounds spill over in combat
    Everyone got Dominion (but hardly ever have enough dice to cast it after trying to get the good powers off)
    Vector strike is now AP2

    The new night fight rules do not help at all, how often were things actually within 12″ on T1 anyway? (the minimum distance to lose stealth)
    You can’t vector strike if you jinked the previous turn as its an attack that does not roll to hit, which you can’t snapshoot

    In summary ‘nids have come out of 7th very badly indeed, the “Positives” are all situational and not massive boons, whereas the negatives have nerfed a good chunk of our best units.

    Tyranids (Without the skyblight crutch) were around the 3rd or 4th worst army in the game, i’d say that right about now we’re the 2nd worst. You can still play and win with them of course, the gulf isn’t so wide that it’s impossible to win, but it’s very tough.

    • I did forget about the 1 Smash attack. I actually prefer the night fighting rules. In the old rules, if you were 24-36 inches you had shrouded. You got a better cover save with the thrope being in that 12-24 range. Now, it’s a three up all over.
      As for the vector strike, it would depend on who you talk to. I would make the argument that snapshots effect shooting attacks in the shooting phase, the vector strike takes place during the movement phase and is not a shooting attack. That being said, if any of my opponents disagreed, after a discussion, I would not fight them. But, again, the vector strike is not a shooting attack.
      But, this is just my opinion, I cannot fault you for your disagreeing with me. You do make valid points.

  2. Harpy and crone weapons are nearly all templates. If you jink you cant shoot. This limits a 155 or 135pt model to a single vector strike. Useless.

    • OK, the Harpy I would agree with you on. However, I hated that unit anyway and never used it. The crone though only has one template weapon, granted a very good one, that he would lose. And a S8 vector strike isn’t something to ignore. Yes, it is better against flyers and flying MC with D3 hits, but an AP2 S8 hit against armor, even with only 1 hit is not something your opponent can ignore.
      And if he does, S6 template weapon can be very effective to. From my experience in 7th, I have had a lot of use out of my crones. Even if they have to jink.
      Again, I do agree with you on the Harpy, that is a somewhat useless unit, but it was in 6th too.

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