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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eldar Phoenix Lord Review: Irillyth Phoenix Lord of the Shadow Spectres

A quiet weekend on this side I'm afraid. I've been doing some site updates consisting around re-organising the in-site links and adding new pages. Also, most of the e-mails I have in my inbox are Necrons and I don't want to jump into all of them super quickly. I hope you'll be patient in this regard!

So boring stuff out of the way... Forge World has released some new models and rules as it usually does and this includes the Phoenix Lord Irillyth of the Shadow Spectres which were reviewed before. The rules for Irillyth can be found here with pictures of the model as well. Irillyth has the usual Phoenix Lord statline and a hefty cost of 225 points... Let's break it down then.

The best thing about Irillyth is his gun. For many armies having the option of an HQ with a pretty decent big gun would be fantastic and Irillyth has that with a Heavy 3 S7 AP2 gun. Um, yes please? Add in Relentless from the Jetpack Irillyth has and the effective range of this gun is 30" with JSJ options. Not worth 225 points but certainly a very nice option for an HQ to have - Maguan Ra was a great buy in the 3rd ed codex for a reason. Irillyth's weapon also counts as a power weapon in close combat which means Irillyth can at least beat through Tactical Squads relatively easily. An Executioner would be nice though...

Irillyth also comes with an invulnerable save (finally for Phoenix Lords) but it's a point too low. Phoenix Lords in the next codex should all be coming with 4++ invulernables as standards with Irillyth's Holosuit increasing this to a 3++ beyond 12". As it is currently the 4++ is fine but not being available in combat or within double-tap range means Irillyth's durability isn't as high as it should be. Like all other Phoenix Lords though he does come with Eternal Warrior so Power Fists aren't instant-gibbing him (not that he wants to be in combat).

Irillyth also comes with both the Shadow Spectre Exarch powers of Withdraw and Cynosure. Withdraw is great as it provides Irillyth and any unit he joins with Hit & Run. Being Eldar this means they are pretty reliable in getting away and gives Irillyth the ability to jump between backfield squads if he ever gets there. His lack of speed and preference for ranged fire-fights mean this is generally a defensive ability though and allows shooty squads to escape combat if they survive the first round. Cynosure makes the Ghostlight option of the Shadow Spectres a more reliable choice but you're still sacrificing a lot of firepower for one non-AP1 shot. Waste of points when it misses, inefficient when it hits and this even more so when using Irillyth in the Ghostlight (I'd rather three S7 shots please).

Irillyth also comes with the usual Fearless, Fleet of Foot, Independent Character and Acute Senses rules which don't make a huge difference. Acute Senses ensures Night Fight impacts Irillyth's gun minimally. Being an IC also allows Irillyth to join other units which is actually a nice boon for the Eldar Troop units as it provides them with a good wound absorber, a very nice ranged weapon (which rarely misses btw) and some combat presence. Oddly enough, putting Irillyth with Shadow Spectres doesn't really do all that much though they are obviously the only ones to benefit from Ghostlight and one of the few units Irillyth can use JSJ with.

Overall...well Irillyth is just too expensive. There are a bunch of nice abilities which combine well to make Irillyth a nice character with gun option with some backup combat ability and that's about it. An increase in his invulnerable save, a points drop (to around 200 points?) and making Shadow Spectres scoring would be a much better package. An improvement in Shadow Spectres would also be in order as discussed in the previous post. In the end, it's not the worst thing in the Eldar codex but like most of the Phoenix Lords, Irillyth does too little for the army and costs too much.

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