The Haruspex has been largely ignored until Psychic Awakening: Blood of Baal (BoB) was released. It just didn’t have the accuracy to consistently kill infantry and was too costly for what it brought to the table. BoB changed the game by giving us 3 beautiful ways to improve the lethality of the Haruspex and 1 fantastic way to make it more survivable so it can hopefully live long enough to regenerate those wounds! Chapter Approved 2019 was generous enough to also throw in a 20 point drop in the overall cost. All of these benefits make the Haruspex worthy of consideration and now, finally, it has the potential to gobble up infantry by the handful, just as the Great Devourer intended.
On its own, an un-buffed Haruspex will only eat around 4 guardsmen or ork boyz on average. We have several tools, however, that bump this up quite a bit. Here are the options available to make it better.
Codex Stratagem “Voracious Appetite” – Re-roll wounds
BoB Stratagem “Feeding the Hunger” – Re-roll hits
BoB Behemoth Psychic Power “Unstoppable Hunger” – +1 to wound
Adaptive Physiology “Murderous Size” – +1 Str, +1 damage, improve AP by 1
Let’s have a look at how all of these abilities increase the effectiveness of a Haruspex.
The Haruspex gets SIGNIFICANTLY better at mulching hordes with these updates. Re-rolls help a lot and anywhere Tyranid players can get them, they should take them. Re-rolls are hard to come by in a Tyranid army. In particular, the re-rolls to wound act in funny ways. They make the Haruspex MORE effective at killing certain units when it does NOT have the Murderous Size Adaptive Physiology! Super weird, right? But that’s okay because we are about to see why we might want to give it a different Adaptive Physiology anyway.
The killyness is clearly improved but it’s nowhere near shock and awe levels of effectiveness. 150 pts of Genestealers will kill more infantry than a Haruspex will, even if it’s buffed. BUT it is now sufficiently killy that your opponent can’t afford to ignore it. Therefore, we now have a reasonable distraction unit to fill the void of the Distraction-fex from past editions! It is sufficiently killy. It is a huge and intimidating model. It’s very durable and solid for its points. It can regenerate wounds when it kills something in shooting or melee. And, beyond that, we have several options for making it even more durable/regenerative.
Codex Stratagem “Rapid Regeneration” – Regain D3 wounds
Adaptive Physiology “Dermic Symbiosis” – 5++ and counts as double wounds for damage track
Adaptive Physiology “Accelerated Digestion” – Regain 1 wound for each model killed (3 max)
Note: There are also several Hive Fleet Adaptations that can boost its performance Such as Prey Sight for +1 to hit but we aren’t looking at those today.
These options give us several ways to mitigate damage without losing any real combat ability. Let’s look at a couple of options below.
One build brought up on the Tyranid Facebook group by a member named Kieran is designed to make it as regenerative as possible. Here’s what he came up with:
The “Smashfex” (As named by Kieran.)
Hive Fleet Adaptation “Prey Sight” – +1 to hit in melee
Hive Fleet Adaptation “Metamorphic Regrowth” – regain 1 wound each turn
Adaptive Physiology “Accelerated Digestion”
This build can regain up to 6 wounds each turn before even using Rapid Regrowth for another D3! If you can’t kill this thing in 1 round, you will probably never kill it the whole game as long as it has infantry to munch on! I think this build will be particularly good in smaller point games where there just aren’t quite enough heavy weapons to vaporize the Haruspex before it reaches combat with an ideal target. I would absolutely include the “Smashfex” in games of 1500 pts or below.
If you want to build an extra durable Haruspex then you want to take Dermic Symbiosis. I recommend this in games of 1500 pts or higher. I feel like this will really cause headaches for your opponent as if they fail to kill it, it will start regenerating once it hits combat. Not as well as Kieran’s Smashfex, mind you, but still enough to make your opponent worry nonetheless. Hopefully, your opponent will overcommit resources to killing this thing allowing the rest of your monsters to go unharmed. If you also have a Malanthrope and a Maleceptor nearby this guy will really start tanking some damage!
The Haruspex is a strong contender in Tyranid armies now. It makes an affordable distraction that can cause problems if it is ignored. I feel like it definitely has a place now, especially in nidzilla armies that don’t have a lot of crowd control built in.
How do you plan to run your Haruspex? Please comment below with your favorite new combos and be sure to like us on Facebook to see more articles like this.
As always, thanks for reading!