Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Unit Analysis - Canoptek Wraiths
When I first read the new Necron codex the first thing that struck me as being very powerful was the Canoptek Wraiths. They no longer have We'll Be Back or Reanimation Protocol as it is referred to now but that is the only downside and their many inherent advantages heavily outweigh that one loss. To me they are the best unit in the codex - I like them so much I'm redesigning my army into a Wraithwing. They are obviously very good in close combat and I think their new rules make them currently one of the best melee units in the game. I prefer assault to shooting so I tend to keep up on these kinds of things.
Canoptek Wraiths are very fast and ignore terrain - that combination throws a lot of people off... As a result they can make mistakes which you can then capitalize on in a big way. For example I was recently playing a game versus Imperial Guard and my opponent deployed a squad of veterans on the second level of a ruin thinking they were safe up there... Nob bikers and Thunderwolves could never touch them. I moved up my Wraiths ignoring terrain tests and easily reached the guardsmen during the second turn wiping them out on the charge.
Whip coils are also very powerful which I knew since I also play Tyranids - I'm a big fan of the lash whip... If you play it right Wraiths are always essentially striking first in melee which negates I2 - it's a huge advantage coupled with lots of S6 rending attacks. I have fought WolfStar to a stand still over the course of a game which says a lot - they are really just that good. Push come to shove I'd have no problem charging them into a squad of assault terminators.
It's important to note whip coils only work against enemy models in base contact and the Nemesis force halberd means a Grey Knight in base contact with a Wraith armed with a whip coil will strike at I3 - before any of the Wraiths - this is the type of situation where the 3++ invulnerable save is pure gold.
Wraiths' one major weakness is T4... They are prone to instant death so you have to be smart and not unnecessarily throw them in harm's way. Their 3++ invulnerable save is about as good as it gets but still you should protect them as for example a salvo from missile launchers coupled with some poor saves could easily deplete a squad.
One of the nice things about Necrons is if you make a mistake it's not the end of your world as is often the case with dark eldar and Tyranids. Necrons are resilient which is one of the reasons why I like them so much... It can and does alleviate stress.
Currently I'm running two full squads of Wraiths and one squad of ScArabs... This seems to be the right balance to me for a Wraithwing army. Who would have ever thought there would be an army where fielding three Fast Attack slots is so powerful ? I like to deep strike one squad of Wraiths and either bring the other unit in from normal reserve or start them deployed on the table. I've found that it is hard for most opponents to deal with two units. Combine this with a ScArab horde and you can punish mechanized armies. There are a few bad matchups such as dark eldar but this can be mitigated through good deployment and using ScArabs to cover a lot of the tabletop.
Wraiths have two wounds apiece so you can field semi complex multi-wound units which pays off over the course of a game as you start to lose a couple of models in each unit. I am a big fan of the particle caster as the S6 AP5 shooting attack can damage light armor and it's relatively easy to target side armor versus enemy transports (e.g., Chimeras). The Transdimensional Beamer is also kind of interesting as it is good at picking off T3 enemy models such as Vect or an IG heavy weapons team - I'm not sure but I think it's classed as a heavy weapon which if this is the case then it's not really worth taking since you'll rarely ever get to fire it.
Here is a list of the major advantages for Canoptek Wraiths (in no particular order):
— Jump Infantry (fast and immune to JotWW)
— 3 base attacks per model
— S6 rending
— Always strike first in melee
— 2 wounds apiece and can be semi complex
— Ignore terrain
— 3++ invulnerable save
That's seven major advantages which is a lot for just one unit. They have decent shooting as well which makes the Wraiths more versatile and less dependent on support from other Necron units. That's why I'm redesigning my current army into a Wraithwing - I think it's just that good.