What's up folks! In my continuing re-embrace of 40k, I'm going back to the Character, the visionary General, the cool dude who got me into Eldar in the first place: Eldrad!
In 7th, Eldrad suffered as a competitive choice. He was powerful, but he was slow, had no real Transport options, and didn't have a great choice of units to be a part of, was fragile, and expensive.
So, has anything changed? Let's look at his shiny new Datasheet (sorry about the picture quality):
So his to-hit is now the stellar 2+, meaning those 2 CC Attacks are more than likely to hit. He loses an Attack effectively, because while he can still use that Shuriken Pistol in Combat, it's nothing compared to his Staff.
Speaking of the Staff though, effective S5 at -2 Rend and D3 Damage is no joke. That will carve through a lot of enemies very easily. Especially with the improved to-hit.
He also keeps T4 and his 3+ Invulnerable Save which are nice boosts over other Eldar Infantry and Farseers/Warlocks respectively.
He gets a 7" Move, and gets a bump to 6 Wounds. Being a Character with fewer than 10 Wounds, he can be insulated by other Units without having to be a part of them. Nice!
Note the changes to the Ghosthelm. It's similar to what it was in 7th, but now applies to *any* Mortal Wound. While it's not quite as reliable against Perils as it was, having the save against other Mortal Wounds is awesome. Plus, you can use it against Perils more than once in a turn, in case you're just that unlucky ;)
Eldrad also knows all of the new Powers without rolling, and can re-roll one Psychic Test per phase, once to Manifest and once to Deny. And he can Manifest three powers/turn (each Asuryani power once) add 1 to the roll if he passes the one before, and Deny two each turn.
Now here are the updated Farseer Psychic Powers:
Guide is exactly the same, unchanged for at least three editions now. WC7 makes it actually fairly difficult to pull off, and you can only cast it once per turn, but it's still a handy tool to have in the box.
Doom is also the same, and assuming "you can re-roll" refers to any shots from the controlling Player, it's also the only one of these powers that can affect non-Asuryani Aeldari. So it's a huge boon for Dark Eldar or Harlequins, if you happen to have them in your army.
Fortune is completely re-worked, now acting exactly like old-school Feel No Pain, granting a 5+ "Save" against unsaved Wounds. Which is straight-up amazeballs. It's especially better on chaff units like Guardian blobs, whose base Armor save is bad and vulnerable to Rend.
There's also just a little bit more - the new Aeldari Rules:
Ancient Doom is more or less the same, I think it's a little bit better, but not much. The downside is nastier with the changes to Morale, but overall there's very little difference.
Battle Focus on the other hand is quite a bit different. It still grants your Asuryani units a little bit of extra shooting/maneuverability. But you lose on the ability to shoot, then move *after* shooting. It's a good change, but a bummer if you were used to the old 7th edition hijinx.
Advancing already doesn't keep you from casting Psychic Powers, so Eldrad gains very little from this one.
You do also have the option to drop Battle Focus for Strength from Death by taking him in an Ynnari Detachment. The extra Actions may be useful to a Pysker of Eldrad's power, or to give him twice as many Attacks in Combat each turn.
At the end of the day though, Strength from Death is better, but you're likely to get limited use out of either with Eldrad, they're not really what he's for.
He also rolls in at 180 points. He just keeps getting a little bit cheaper in each edition, and now he has a nice price savings over a Farseer Skyrunner, with quite a bit of extra utility (and durability with the 3++) over the Skyrunner as well.
Now, my confession here is that I was going to run him anyway. Because, come on! It's Eldrad! So I'll be able to tell fairly quickly if he performs better on the table or not. But, with the cost savings, increase in durability (especially with Character rules) and hitting quite a bit harder with that 2+, I think his rules have taken several strong strides towards being worth taking.
Let's try it!