Prince Yriel

Yriel is an Autarch from Craftworld Iyanden, and brings some impressive assault power to the table. He comes with all the standard autarch gear, including the ability to alter your reserve rolls by 1, but also carries the Spear of Twilight. This is basically an AP3 singing spear, and it means that he can carve through most targets. He’ll pretty reliably damage anything without a 2+ save. He also has the Eye of Wrath, which allows him to center a S6 AP3 blast on himself once per game. That’s not amazing, but it will likely save him if he’s isolated in combat against a numerous enemy.

The downside of Yriel is that he’s cursed, meaning that he has to re-roll all saving throws of 6 in close-combat. Not a huge problem, but I imagine that it will probably cause him a wound in most games.

Finally, Yriel automatically has the very useful Ambush of Blades warlord trait, allowing Eldar units within 12” to re-roll 1’s to wound in a single phase of the game. Overall, Yriel isn’t an amazing choice but he is certainly worth his low points cost. If you want an assault character but don’t have the points for a Pheonix Lord, Yriel is a good choice.

Illic Nightspear

Illic is a new addition to the Eldar codex, a master sniper from Craftworld Alaitoc. He certainly fits this role with BS9, an AP2 Distort sniper rifle, and a warlord trait that gives him Split Fire. Of course, his sniper rifle still only wounds on a 4+, but on a 6 it causes instant death or an automatic penetrating hit, so he has a chance to take out any target. Finally, all of his shots are precision shots, allowing him to knock out important enemy models. As always, this is better at killing squad upgrades than characters because you can avoid Look Out, Sir! rolls.

He also comes with Shroudedand can deploy anywhere he wants as long as he’s not 1” from the enemy. Friendly outflanking Rangers can arrive within 6” of him rather than moving on from a table edge. This all sounds great, but he and Rangers are long-ranged sniper support. You’ll generally be deploying them in cover somewhere in your backfield, so these deployment shenanigans won’t be much use.

Finally, he allows you to upgrade your Rangers to Pathfinders, which more than doubles their points cost. However, they get Shrouded, which, along with their natural Stealth, gives them a healthy +3 to their cover saves. In addition, all of their shots become precision shots too. I haven’t used them yet, but a unit of snipers with a 2+ cover save that can always choose what models it wounds sounds pretty ridiculous. Sure they’re expensive, but they will reliably remove any upgrade models from a unit and can force enough wounds to get around Look Out, Sir! rolls on characters.

Illic hardly looks like a power gamers choice, but he seems solid for his points and allows you to play an Alaitoc style list with elite Pathfinders. For that reason alone, I’m happy he’s in the book.

NB: I know there’s some controversy now about whether Illic can infiltrate another squad with him at the beginning of the game. Right now, the rules seem like they can be argued either way. However, in my mind, there’s only one way GW can FAQ this: it doesn’t work. Having Illic infiltrate D-scythe Wraithguard and annihilate any enemy unit on the first turn of the game doesn’t make sense, either from fluff or game balance.