Part One: High Elves versus Lizardmen Standard Elf Package: All elves have Always Strike First, herein referred to ASF. High Elf ASF is identical to the BRB version. In the previous edition they had a special rule that Always Strikes Last never applied to them so even great weapon troops got rerolls to hit against most opponents. Now High Elf great weapon troops merely strike on their normal initiative order. Elves have Initiative of at least 5, so we never get strike first unless we use magic. Elves fight in an extra rank, not just the spearmen anymore. Non-horded Elven spearmen fight in four ranks. All other elf units can have three ranks when not in hordes, even cavalry riders (but not their horses). Elf archers can shoot in three ranks (and ranks farther back are still eligible for volley fire). EDIT: Elves get re-rolls for Panic, Fear, and Terror tests against Dark Elves but this doesn't matter for us outside of weird team up games. All Elves have toughness 3, even characters. That means on the whole we don’t need to load up on high strength attacks to a great extant. High Strength helps overcome the high armor save of a strong minority of HE units though. Also, the Elves support monsters tend to have decent toughness scores. All Elves have M5 so they are slightly more mobile than most armies’ infantry. The real mobility issue is their mounts. Elf steeds have M9 even when barded or pulling chariots. The Elves have lots of flyers. Most Elves have Strength 3 but some have 4. Special weapons are the norm not the exception so most elves hit at a strength harder than their base Strength would entail. All Elves have WS and BS4 as a bare minimum. That means elves will hit us a lot. They have a mix of high strength and low strength attacks so make sure you are aware of what can threaten your Saurus and what cannot. Keep in mind that everything the Elves have will wounds Skinks on a 3 if not a 2. High Elf army lists are often built around large blocks of elite infantry, large number of cavalry, and/or large numbers of shooters. Most lists are more balanced and have mix of the basic types. Numbers Inflation: Special characters are all over the place, some going up in price, some going down. Everything else went down except for Dragon Mages, Silver Helms, Spearmen, and Great Eagles. Most things only got a little bit cheaper. If you were used to facing High Elves before, the armies will get bigger, but not overwhelming so. Chariots and Bolt Throwers got significantly cheaper rather than slightly cheaper, so they may show increased use. I find it unlikely that the size of the average HE army will go up in volume. The new units tend to be on the expensive side. The new army book also encouraging playing Herohammer. This will eat up the cost savings from the regular troops. Elite No More: High Elf armies no longer have the option of fielding double the Rares and Specials of other armies. Mainly this means we no longer need face four single Eagles per army. I confirmed this on the Ulthuan forums. That’s not as official as from GW, but I trust the Ulthuan people to have gone over their new rules with a microscope. Small Arms Fire: The Lore of High magic no longer has a spell that augments shooting, but every shooting unit got cheaper. There are now two units of elite archers with BS5, something unheard of in the last book. Repeater Bolt Throwers are 30% cheaper and many of the new HE units are powerful shooters. Sorry Wood Elves, you seceded from Ulthuan and now you have nothing to show for it. Core The new High Elf book revitalized Core more than any other category. While the stats have not really changed for the Core Units, High Elves can take mounted Core now. That means we will be seeing a greater variety of army builds in the future. EDIT: Some of my educated guesses were refuted by a visit to Ulthuan. Spearmen are not the backbone of HE Core anymore. There is no backbone, there is variety. Spearmen: High Elf spearmen get an extra rank of supporting attacks versus the spearmen of other races. This means lots of attacks. ASF means lots of hits. The hits are S3 so they don’t score a lot of wounds, particular against units with good saves. If you are fighting these guys try to support any unit fighting them if you can, but they are on the whole probably a minor threat related to the rest of the units on the list. Toughness 3, AS 5, means they die fairly easily against most things north of a skink. A single unit of spearmen per army can take a magic banner up to 25 points, the only Core that can do so on the High Elf list. Archers: Basic elf stat line with long bows, light armor option. Missile fire is less threatening in 8th edition than in previous editions, but their shooting cannot be ignored by particular given how squishy our Skinks are (Sauri are relatively unimpressed by archers though). High Elves have a special power that let the front three ranks of archers fire. The ranks further back still get volley fire. That’s a lot of shots. At BS4, that’s a lot of hits too, even against skirmishers. When you are so concerned with the elite infantry it’s easy to let the archers you’ve been ignoring all game get a flank charge on one of your engaged units. I’ve seen them kill more in close combat than with shooting. They still have WS4 and ASF, so they can fight nearly as well as spearmen despite the fact that you won’t be expecting it (and you’ll have your hands full fighting the more elite threats by the time the archers join in attacking an exposed flank.) Lothern Sea Guard: Are spearmen and archers too dull for you? Try a hybrid! These guys have spears and bows! Sea Guard were viewed as a subpar Core choice in the old book. Archers are cheaper and shoot slightly farther (long bows versus bows). Spearmen are cheaper and don’t have to buy the shield as an add-on. Three things have changed that might make Sea Guard show up in greater numbers. First they are cheaper by a point, and spearmen have not gotten cheaper so now there is a smaller opportunity cost of filling one’s Core with Sea Guard. Second, Sea Guard have the same ability to fire in three rows that archers get. This means Sea Guard can take deeper ranks while forgoing fewer shots. Finally there is a character called the Lorthern Sea Helm with a special ability to allow a unit to reform as a charge reaction so a widely dispersed Sea Guard unit (or archer unit in theory) can deploy wide to get lots of shots early game, then coalesce to have deep fighting ranks mid game when close combat starts. The opportunity cost is that the reform means no stand and shoot, so I don’t see the think Sea Helms on foot well be very popular. Ellyrian Reavers: Fast cavalry. They can have spears, bows, or spears with bows. These were an unpopular choice in the last book, but now they are cheaper and count as Core. Already, the forumites on Ulthuan are talking excitedly about taking multiple small units of Reavers on their lists as a near mandatory selection. Generally Reavers are seen as war machine hunters. Against us, Reavers suddenly become Skirmisher hunters. The change in the Core landscape means we are going to have be extra careful to make sure our skirmishing units aren’t ran down by Reavers. Given how fast Reavers move and how short range our shooting is, the only way to counter Reavers short of magic is to be better at positioning troops than your opponent is. Silver Helms: Silver Helms are now Core. On the whole, these knights are pretty vanilla: 2+ AS (though shields are theoretically optional making them 3+ under a very cheap skate general), M9, S3 (5 on a charge). Like most other cavalry if you can deny them the charge they are a lot less threatening. EDIT: the numbers of Silver Helm users seem to have exceeded my expectations so be prepared for these knights. SECOND EDIT: Without the armor piercing bonus we used to have, Salamanders will not seriously threaten these guys anymore. Special In the old book the true power of the High Elves shines in their Special choices. Even with the slight improvements to Core and Rare, this holds true under the 8th edition book too. All units have become slightly cheaper than they were before. Both the chariots are now significantly cheaper than they were before so they are likely to become a more common sight on the battlefield. Every Special (or Rare) unit that can take standards may take magic standards up to 50 points. Any Special unit that can take champions can equip their champion with a magic weapon up to 25 points. Dragon Princes of Caledor: The same as Silver Helms in most respects with a few bonuses. They have higher Initiative scores and double the attacks of their Core counterparts. They have a 2+ Ward save versus flaming attacks so they are a Salamander pack’s worst nightmare. A fast unit that easily catch them and is virtually impervious to their attacks. You should also think twice about giving your elite units the Banner of Eternal Flame because Dragon Knights normally point themselves at whoever the most elite enemy is. I thought that Dragon Princes going down a point a model was practically the same as raising the price on them since everything else went down proportionally more. Dragon Princes got a small boost to make up for that. Dragon Armor now bestows a 6+ Ward save now, so the strongest unit on the High Elf list just got slightly better. Tiranoc Chariot: Vanilla chariot. M9 like all elven horsey units. One of the few things on the HE list with T4. Like most chariots, when it’s not charging it’s not a threat. At a mere 70 points each, they only really need one good charge to earn their points back. Lion Chariots: White Lion chariots are like Tiranoc Chariots only they have M8 instead of 9 and Cause Fear. Both the riders and the mounts hit at higher Strength though the impact hits are the same. Even on the receiving end of the charge, these units aren’t pushovers. They are also Stubborn, so you have to kill them or they’ll stick around. You can’t count on your ranks alone to beat them with static CR like you can with an Elyrian chariot that lost the charge. Lothern Sky Cutter: A flying chariot. They can be optionally be equipped with a S5 24 inch bolt thrower. I think the idea of a bolt thrower flying for a perfect sideways rank penetrating shot is pretty scary. However, a chariot that is lining up to shoot you in the flank is a chariot that isn’t making long range charges on you and scoring impact hits. Also they have to give up a crewman and cough up 25 points to take the bolt thrower. I see this as a glass half full situation. They have a 4+ armor save so they are difficult to shoot down with Skinks. When joined by a Lothern Sea Helm, they gain a 4+ Ward save too making them nigh impossible to shoot down with Skinks. Fortunately Sea Helms are fairly expensive. Another half full situation. They only fight a tiny bit better than Tiranoc chariots, so close combat is the way take these things out sans magic. An unorthodox strategy would be to charge them with Terradons. That’s suicide if there is a Sea Helm on board, but they should hold their own on a character-free flying chariot. Charging Sky Cutters becomes even more useful when the Skycutter is packing a bolt thrower. 1) you prevent them from firing their specialty weapon and 2) they have one fewer crewman to fight back with. Rippers are very well suited to taking down HE chariots but you risk a clever opponent redirecting your frenzied flyers away. Fortunately, HEs are expensive enough it's hard for them to field a lot of expendable redirectors. Sword Masters of Hoeth: Even with the minor nerfing that their special ASF has received, these guys are nasty. They are priority one to bring down with LM shooting . At toughness 3, AS 5 they drop pretty easily to Salamanders and poison shooting. If you can get them down to a maneageble size, they won’t butcher your infantry and dinosaurs. All elf troops outclass Saurus troops in terms of WS but these guys have WS6 so they can challenge Saurus characters. They have a special ability now called deflect shots. They get a 6+ Ward save against non-magical non-template ranged attacks. This means they still have zero protection against Salamanders, but they are slightly harder for Skinks to shoot down. Even with the fancy new save, it’s probably still a good idea to shoot them with Skinks if possible, Sword Masters are still far easier to kill with shooting than in close combat. White Lions of Chrace: White Lions are nearly as dangerous in close combat as Sword Masters. They only get one attack, but their one attack is at S6. They are also Stubborn and have Forest Strider. Most important for a LM player’s view, their lion pelts plus their heavy armor gives them an armor save of 3+ versus shooting attacks. They are thus harder to whittle down via shooting than Sword Masters. Forest Strider means our skirmishers have to work harder to force them to take dangerous terrain tests. Prioritize your offensive spells on these guys unless some other foe is clearly more pressing, unlike their DE equivalents, their fancy pelts do not give them a bonus save versus magic. That way you can concentrate your shooting on the enemies that are susceptible to shooting. Note, the white lion cloaks do not bestow any extra protection against close combat attacks, but don’t forget that close combat is a White Lion’s meat and drink. Pheonix Guard: Pheonix Guard hit at S4 (thanks to their Halberds), have a 5+ AS and WS 5 like the two elite infantry units proceeding them. What sets them apart is that they cause Fear and have a 4+ Ward save. The ultimate anvil, they are very hard to kill. When equipped with a Razor Standard their killing power is pretty good and they become an omni-unit capable of dominating offense and defense. With the various ways specific characters can boost Ward saves of units they are joined, I’m guessing Phoenix Guard will become the go-to character wizard bunker of choice. Shadow Warriors: In the previous edition, all High Elves had Hatred: Dark Elves. Now only the Shadow Warriors do. They refuse to let the Ulthuan Civil War die. Just smile and nod whenever they shout “the North will rise again!” A few minor tweaks have considerably improved Shadow Warriors from the lowly status they languished under before. They are two points cheaper rather than before one point cheaper like most other Special units. They also are one of the very few units to get a stat increase in this book. They have BS5 now. Add this to the fact that you can have three ranks getting their full shots (that means they have more flexibility when changing formation), these skirmishers are suddenly far more useful. Point for point, they can hold their own in a shooting contest against Chameleon Skinks though the battle would probably not be very dramatic: Order of the Stick Metaphor While the High Elves Scouts have moved from “marginal” to “good” in an all comers list, Shadow Warriors don’t bring much to the table against LM. We don’t have any war machines or similar targets to hunt. Sure WS5 and BS 5 with a 24 inch range will be nasty to our Skirmishing troops, but Shadow Warriors are less threatening to our skirmishers than Reavers and Eagles. Shadow Warriors should probably be a low priority target for us. Rare Sisters of Avelorn: I am very impressed that GW has finally managed to make a female unit that is pretty without being fetishized. While they aren’t the scariest thing on the High Elf list, but they are not to be trifled with. 24 inch range and inflicts S4 magical flaming attacks. Unlike the Shadow Warriors S3 hits, the Sisters have a reasonable chance at taking down Salamander packs (and pretty much anything else we have that skirmishes). What they have in power, they lack in mobility though. They don’t have Skirmish. Note they also gain Armor Piercing against Forces of Destruction units, not that it applies to us. What does apply to us is that the shooting is magical so a Slann with Higher State of Consciousness will not be able to evade the Everqueen’s servants. Great Eagle: Eagles are very versatile. They aren’t just for hunting war machines. To go over all the nasty things Great Eagles would do could fill a Tactica threat by itself….and here it is! Many of these same tricks work for Terradon riders, so it’s worth boning up on. Despite being a rather old Tactica, it all applies today and will give you a greater understanding of the finer points of positioning in Warhammer. Unbelievably Good Eagle Tactica As mentioned before, High Elf armies can’t include four solitary eagles in a regular game anymore. When one door closes, another opens. Eagles can now be fielded in larger numbers if their players choose. They can also be upgraded to have Always Strikes First and/or Armor Piercing. A larger unit of Eagles can go hunting Skirmishers safely. A small group of Eagles with the combat upgrades can become a potent flankers even against Saurus blocks. Fortunately we have a very easy counter for Eagle based mischief. With three wounds and no AS, Eagles fall prey to poisoned shooting fairly easily. They also are vulnerable to the Lore of Heavens. Flamespyre Phoenixes: Phoenixes provide something the High Elf army is lacking, a unit with a high Strength and Toughness. Like most big flying Monsters, Flamespyre Phoenixes cause Terror. Even more unsurprisingly they have Flaming Attacks. They also have a 5+ Ward Save. Every High Elf magic phase, the controller looks at the highest die they rolled for Winds of Magic. If the highest die is a 1 or 2 the Phoenix gets a small trait penalty. If it’s a 3 or higher they get a small trait bonus. I’d prefer to just boost the base traits slightly as opposed to looking at a chart every turn but I didn’t write the book. Phoenix Reborn is enough special rules for any unit I’d think. The signature power of phoenixes of legend is that they come back from the dead. Naturally GW phoenixes have something along those lines. When a phoenix dies you put a counter on the table where they died. At the end of every round you roll a d6. On a roll of 1 or 2 the counter (and the Phoenix’s spirit) goes away. On a roll of 3, 4, or 5 a large template is placed over the counter inflicting all models (not units, models) touched by it with S4 flaming hits. On a 6 the phoenix comes back with d3+2 wounds (which could mean it comes back and full). A roll of 3-5 means the counter stays in place so the phoenix token could explode again next turn, or worse spawn a new phoenix. This puts us in an awkward position. If we kill the phoenix early, it may end up causing more problems dead then it did alive. If we choose to avoid this by giving a phoenix a free pass until the last round or two that means we are giving a nasty monster a free pass. Not good. Flamespyre Phoenixes create two oddball situations. As long as a token in on the table the Phoenix might come back. If only the tokens are left when the game is over, you (the LM player) gets the victory points for beating the phoenix. If the token spawns a new Phoenix before the end of the game, no victory points for you. Second oddball situation. If a Flamespyre Phoenix has a character mount and dies, the character disappears too. If the phoenix is reborn, the character comes back at full (unless the character died before the phoenix did). If the phoenix doesn’t come back you got a free dead character for your victory point tally. Frostheart Phoenix: Frosthearts have better WS, Strength and Toughness than their flaming counterparts. They don’t get to come back from the dead though so when they die they stay dead, so killing them is far less complicated. EDIT: They also have an armor save of 5+ in addition to the Ward Save 5+ which makes it even more important to send high strength attacks against them. Enemies units in base contact with Frostheart Pheonixes gain Always Strikes Last (that means next to nothing against LM). They also give a -1 Strength penalty to enemy units in base to base contact. The latter hexing effect is a serious problem for us since Frosthearts are Toughness 6 already. With a strength penalty these guys are very hard to wound. Eagle Claw Bolt Throwers: No unit has changed more since the last book (apart from the brand new units of course). The stats are the same as they used to be, but they had a 30% drop in points cost. They also are the only High Elf unit with elite treatment so a High Elf army can take double the number of Bolt Throwers than usual for Rare slots. That means you can potentially face a large battery of Eagle Claws. Even at 70 points apiece I doubt many High Elf players will take more than one or two of these per list since High Elf players need to squeeze every point given the relatively high points cost of their army book choices. They can fire one ordinary bolt thrower shot or six S4 armor piercing shots. In most cases players are better off using the six lesser shots unless you expose a flank of Cold One Riders to the fire arc of one of these in which case a conventional bolt thrower shot will be very painful. Whether your facing one Eagle Claw or eight, Chameleon Skinks should be able to take them out pretty quickly as they only have two wounds apiece. Lords Prince: A Prince on foot is quite unremarkable, particularly since they can’t keep their ASF while wielding great weapons like in the old days. Like all elves they have T3. They have Ld 10 and WS 7 though with a base strength of 4, they need a great weapon or a magic weapon to have a decent chance to wound. I doubt you’ll see many Princes slumming with the infantry on foot. Princes have seven different mount options. An old favorite is to put a Prince with a hard hitting weapon in a bus of dragon knights. They can also be a lone agent of destruction on one of their many mount options. Expect lone Princes to be wearing white lion cloaks to protect themselves against Skink shooting. Expect Princes in units to be wearing dragon armor to give them a Ward save without a single magical item. Archmage: Your standard wizard lord, level three or level four (so you know, level four 99% of the time). They can choose any of the eight BRB lore or High magic. If they choose High magic they get +1 to cast their spells. High Elves don’t have a magical item that makes them nigh invincible anymore so you should try to charge Archmage’s bunkers and single them out in close combat as soon as practical. Anointed of Asuryan: Anointed of Assuryan characters can rider either type of Phoenix but I see little incentive to do so. You aren’t going to see many Princes on foot because Anointed Lords are probably the best infantry support character the High Elves have. They have 4+ Ward saves and cause Fear like the Phoenix Guard they are based on, but that’s not what makes them powerful. What makes them powerful is that they provide MR2, Immune to Psychology, and a 6+ Ward save to any unit they join. They have the same base stats as Princes to boot so they are tough to kill in close combat. Against other armies, the obvious thing to do is to put maximum attacks into their buffing characters. Against Anointed, that tactic loses some luster since Anointed of Asuryan lords have defensive bonuses up the wazoo Ward Save and magic resistance. If they have magic armor too, killing them becomes a real uphill battle. Fortunately they cost 210 points base. Loremaster of Hoeth: I expected these guys to be level four wizards with Loremaster. They are something completely different. They are only level two casters but they have eight spells. They have every signature spell in the BRB. This means a Loremaster that’s not engaged in close combat can burn your Skirmishing units with Shem’s Burning Gaze and Fshireball, roast Stegadons with Searing Doom, and knock out characters with Spirit Leech. A Lore Master in close combat can perform battlefield control via Wyssan’s Wildform, Iceshard Blizzard, Earthblood, or Mystifying Miasma. Fortunately with only +2 to cast, you opponent can’t cast ALL those spells, but a flexible opponent can cast ANY of those spells. Why are Loremasters of Hoeth the most expensive non-SC on the High Elf army list? On top of everything I mentioned they have three attacks at S6 and wear heavy armor (thus meaning they can take magical armor). Thus they are a lot less fragile than archmages. Heroes Mages: Level one or level two casters with the same +1 bonus to cast if they take High Magic that the archmages get. They can only ride Elven Steeds or Tiranoc Chariots, that’s pretty sparse options for mounts by High Elf standards. Noble: Basic mini-me of the Prince. They can do most things a Prince can do except ride a dragon. They can also serve as a BSB. Dragon Mage of Caledor: The biggest reason to take these guys is to take two dragons in one list in a 2000-2500 point game. One with a Lord and one with a Dragon Mage. If you ignore the Sun Dragon, Dragon Mages differ from their vanilla Fire casting counterparts in several ways. First, the first spell they take is automatically Flaming Sword of Ruin (someone should have suggested to the editors that Cascading Fire Cloak would be more directly beneficial to a lone fighting mage but I wasn’t consulted on this book). Second, they can wear dragon armor. Because they can wear dragon armor, that means they can buy any magical armor as well. Finally they get an additional +2 to cast Fire spells but they get no bonus to their dispel rolls at all. Lothern Sea Helm: These guys are like nobles with limited equipment and mount options. What they lack in personal ability they make up for in synergy. First they can be BSBs. Second they can let infantry they join do a reform as a charge reaction (as mentioned in the Sea Guard entry) and second they add a 4+ Ward save to Skycutters (as mentioned in their entry). Handmaiden of the Everqueen: A character with a magical bow and BS7 is an interesting change in pace from conventional characters. Were it not that they can only take light armor (unless they buy magic armor) they would be the equal of Nobles in close combat too. Like the Sea Helms, Hand Maidens true strength is their synergy. They provide Quick to Fire to a unit of Sisters of Avelorn. You’ve seen how Quick to Fire helps out lowly Skinks. Imagine what it can do when paired with BS 5 magical S4 shooting at 24 inch range? In my opinion a unit of Sisters without a Handmaiden is almost like a Slann without disciplines Mount Options Horses: With so many options an Elven Steed isn’t anything to sneeze at. Cavalry buses work for most armies. Elven steeds are Movement 9, even when barded. Most characters can ride them. Lookout sir’s do not matter a lot versus LM, so tailor made anti-LM lists may end up putting mounted HE characters inside infantry blocks. Tiranoc Chariot: The chariots may be light, but they are naturally really nasty with a character riding them if properly equipped. While not the most powerful special mount, they are pretty cheap at a mere 70 points. Most HE characters can opt to ride these chariots. Great Eagle: Being boosted to Toughness 4 and enjoying two extra Strength 4 attacks isn’t bad. Great Eagles can take ASF and/or armor piercing as an add-on (like the Rare units), but a player with an Eagle mounted character generally just wants a flyer and they aren’t too interested in frills. Princes, Archmages, and Nobles can ride Great Eagles. Griffons: Griffons are basically Eagles that are Monsters instead of Monstrous Beasts. That means they can’t pass their Toughness on to the Elf rider and that the rider cannot pass his armor save onto the Griffon. That means Skink shooting will take a Griffon down (you want to avoid close combat with a griffon if at all possible!). Griffons can be upgraded to have ASF and/or +1 Strength on the charge. Princes and Nobles can ride Griffons. Sun/Moon/Star Dragons: While the High Elves have three dragon choices, they are all pretty similar. They all have a Scaly Skin Save of 3+ and a S4 flaming breath weapon. The difference is pure stats. Each upgrade of a dragon type boosts the WS, S, T, Wounds, and attacks up by one. Princes and Archmages can ride any type of dragons. Dragon mages only get to ride the weaker sun dragon. Dragons (especially Moon and Star Dragons) are very expensive but since LM don’t have cannons, we may see our Elven friends pulling dragons on us just for sheer novelty factor. Phoenixes: Phoenixes were already covered in the Rare section. Only Annoited of Asuryan characters can ride Phoenixes. High Elf players have relatively little incentive to take these as character mounts when they can take them as a stand alone Rares and still have Rare points left over for a bolt thrower or two. Lothern Skycutters: Only Lothern Sea Helms can ride Skycutters. They also displace two crew rather than one and a Skycutter with a Sea Helm cannot take a bolt thrower (they do get a 4+ Ward save though which is better). Lore of High Magic The lore attribute synergizes perfectly with High Elves (they learned from the Slann well ). Each spell successfully cast boosts the Ward save of the wizards unit by one point till the start of their next magic phase. That means a block of Phoenix Guard with a wizard in it would be nigh invincible. If your opponent is trying to spam spells to make his units invulnerable you need to make sure to single out the wizard ASAP. The GW writers wanted to emphasize that High Magic is a combination of all the eight basic lores so there eight spells rather than seven. High Magic has two signature spells so the player can swap any spell rolled for either of them. He can swap two of his spells and take both should he be so inclined. Drain Magic is the first signature spell. It’s an Augment or Hex depending on which unit its cast on. It snuffs out Remains in Play spells on the targeted unit. Bad news for Life Slann. Here’s the kicker though, Drain Magic doesn’t just remove RIP spells. It dispels “until the start of your next turn spells.” That’s pretty brutal for most lores, especially Light. Ironically I believe the creators of the new High Magic wished to try to link Drain Magic to Light magic since all the other spells have a fairly obvious tie in one of the BRB lores. Soul Quench is the other signature spell. It’s pretty vanilla magic missile, but it's deadly to our skirmishing units. 2d6 S4 hits at 18 inch range with an augmented spell version that inflicts 4d6 hits. This spell is thematically linked to the Lore of Death. Apotheosis heals a target model of a single wound and makes the model cause Fear. An augmented version lets the model heal d3 wounds. This spell is thematically linked to Life. They don't have many multi-wound models to heal so they probably won't get the mileage out this spell that we will. Hand of Glory is an augment spell that works just like Meloth’s Mystifying Miasma but in the opposite direction. This spell is thematically linked to Beasts. Since HEs already outclass us in most of these categories, the HEs will probably not get the mileage out of the spell that we will. Walk Between Worlds is an augment that lets an unengaged unit gain a free out of sequence 10 or 20 inch move gaining ethereal for the purpose of the move. This spell is thematically linked to Shadow. It's as deadly when used against us as when it is used by us. Tempest uses a large template to inflict S3 hits on those it touched, S4 if the target flies. Targets hit get -1 to hit until next magic phase or lose their shot on a 4+ if they don’t need to roll BS to shoot This spell is thematically linked to Heavens. This will naturally be nasty against Skinks and our Skink flyers. Arcane Unforging is a direct damage spell that targets a single model and inflicts a wound as a Lore of Metal spell would. If you are playing with secret lists, that player then has to reveal what magical items that model has if any. Then he randomly determines a magical item from that model to be destroyed (if any). This spell is thematically linked to Metal. Beware if your strategy depends on specific magical items. Fortunately disciplines are safe. Fiery Convocation: This 19+ remains in play direct damage spell inflicts a S4 Flaming hit on every model in a target unit as long as it remains in play. This is thematically linked to Fire. If you don't dispel this by at least the second phase, you basically signed the death warrant for your unit. For a very in depth analysis of the lore: Try the Hoodling's Hole: http://hoodlinghole.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/lores-of-magic-lore-of-high-magic.html Magic Items The High Elves have gotten in stronger in almost every respect from the previous book. The one place they took a hit was in magical item choices. They don’t have as many ueber items as they used to have. They still have more options than any other army that has an eighth edition codex so far. Also, High Elf magic items stand out from other recent army books in that they have a wide selection of relatively cheap items. The Blade of Leaping Gold: +3 attacks, on a roll of 6 while wounding it ignores armor saves. Not bad, but not worth 70 points. Star Lance: The magic lance is only useable on a successful charge. +3 to strength and ignoring armor saves. I ask you, what is the point? A normal lance gets +2 on the charge. All elf fighty characters have S4 so that’s S7. That’s a 4 point armor save penalty already, adding “ignores armor saves” is mostly a formality. EDIT: One unique thing about the Star Lance is that since it's only used on the charge, a character with the Star Lance is allowed to take a halberd or great weapon as a back up weapon, usually such a move is disallowed with a magic weapon. Reaver Bow: Not as fancy as it used to be, but it’s cheaper now. The bow adds +1 Strength to damage and has multiple shots x3. A potent item for Handmaidens and their BS7. With a Potion of Strength they can take down bigger game. Armor of Caledor: Provides the bearer with a 2+ armor save that can’t be improved. It also counts as Dragon Armor so it comes with a 2+ Ward save versus flaming attacks and a 6+ Ward save versus everything else. This is a very potent item for Dragon Mages, Handmaidens of the Everqueen, Chosen of Asuryan, Loremasters of Hoeth, and Sea Helms. All five of those characters are potent in their own way but lack decent armor saves. All five can legally take this item. Shadow Armor: It provides no protective bonus beyond heavy armor but it lets a character deploy as a Scout (and therefore join a unit of Shadow Warriors). Shield of the Mermyrm: This shield gives the bearer a 4+ Parry save and it’s cheap. The downside is most elf characters can’t use it since they usually use a non-hand weapon or ride a mount or can’t take magic armor. For those who can take it, it’s very handy. Taking a magic weapon does not prohibit using this save. The army with very few parry saves has a shield with a boosted parry save, go figure. Golden Crown of Atrazar: Cheap one use item gives a 2+ Ward save against the first wound suffered. Not a huge bonus since pretty much every character gets a Ward save from something. Moranion’s Wayshard: It’s expensive at 50 points but it’s potent, particularly in the hands of an Anointed. It gives a character on foot Ambushers and lets them bestow ambushers on a unit of archers or spearmen up to 30 models strong. Fortunately LM are not generally prone to dig in their heels in their own deployment zone so this doesn’t affect us much. Khaine’s Ring of Fury: EDIT: 25 points for 2d6 S4 hits on a bound spell. Since it can be used evvery magic phase it's not too bad, but with all the shooting the High Elves have at their disposal, this Ring is useful but not a must-include item. Gem of Sunfire: A marginal item for most characters. It’s a one use item that gives all of a character’s spells, shooting, and close combat attacks and mount attacks +1 to wound for one turn providing the attacks count as Flaming Attacks. In the hands of say, a Dragon Mage, this item is actually useful. Imagine what one of these guys could in close combat after casting Flaming Sword and then unleashing with the dragon’s breath weapon. Cloak of Beards: I hoped this tacky fluff item wouldn’t have made it from the old army book. The bearer causes Fear and gains a bunch of anti-dwarf bonuses. Book of Hoeth: This potent item lets an Archmage or Loremaster of Hoeth reroll a single die on a casting or dispel roll every round. It can’t re-roll sixes so the Book can prevent a failure but it won’t prevent a miscast. Banner of the World Dragon: The Banner gives a unit a +2 Ward save against all spells and magical attacks and makes all dragons (even enemy dragons but sadly not Carnosaurs) within 12 inches Stubborn. EDIT: This has become the most hated element of HE power armies. Before you plan to egg Mat Ward’s house for giving High Elves this unbeatable magical item, remember we have two ways to work around this. First, this does nothing to protect against Salamanders. Second this does not protect the unit against Hexes or stop your units fighting them from being buffed. EDIT: If you take a Slann with High Magic, you can nullify this with Arcane Unforging even if you fail to wound. Special Characters Teclis: Teclis has been nerfed substantially from the uebermensch he once was but is probably still unquestionably powerful. Teclis gets lore mastery in any one lore (he gets +1 to cast if it’s High Magic). He has a sword that always wounds on 2. He counts as level 5 caster. He has a one use dispel item that has a one in three chance of causing the enemy caster to forget a spell for the rest of the game. He has a one use arcane item that makes him a 7th edition Slann for one turn. In other words: he can add a free power die to every spell cast that turn. It comes with a small cost. Using the item docks his Strength and Toughness down to 1 for the rest of the game though. Teclis has Strength and Toughness 2, 1 if he uses his staff. That means if you get a unit in to attack Teclis, Teclis will not last very long. Tyrion: Tyrion might be more dangerous than his brother now. Tyrion has WS9 and thanks to his magical weapon inflicts S7 flaming hits. He has a S4 breath weapon from his sword as well. Equally strong on defense, Tyrion has a 1+ armor save, 4+ Ward save, MR 2, and gets a special ability to come back from the dead with one wound left on a 2+. Being as he is the Chuck Norris of High Elf kind, he has an 18 inch command radius as general. Eltharion the Grim: He rides a griffin and gets some bonuses against Orcs and Goblins. He has decent saves and hits at S6 ignoring armor saves. He also counts as a level two wizard with a BRB lore. That makes him a multipurpose character. Because he has good saves, he doesn’t suffer the problems of most multi-class SCs. Alith Anar: Alith Anar has Scout and can deploy with his Shadow Warrior buddies. He provides Shadow Warriors (or theoretically a non-Shadow Warrior unit) with a -1 to hit bonus making them like pointy eared Chameleon Skinks. He also bestows Swiftstride on any unit he joins. The most impressive arrow in his proverbial quiver is his literal arrows. His magic bow counts as a S7 d3 wound bolt thrower made even more potent by the fact that a skirmishing Scout can set up very nice rank penetrating shots quite easily. With the penalty to shoot at his unit and the close combat prowess a swift stride charge arc gets you, the LM response to Alith (in the unlikely event we should see him) is to blast his unit with magic missiles. With his 4+ Ward save and look out sirs, Alith himself will probably survive such an attack, but he should be manageable in close combat if forced into isolation. Alarielle the Radiant: Her base stats aren’t anything to write home about but she has many special abilities (generally situational though). All models in her unit have magical attacks and are immune to Fear and Terror. She has Heroic Killing Blow against Forces of Destruction. She has a 5+ Ward save against non-magical attacks that extends to any unit she joins. She can heal a single wound on a friendly character within 12 inches once per turn. She has a one use item that lets her cast a spell she already cast that turn (or failed to cast). Her most unique ability is her magic. She is a level four caster and can pick her spells from the lore of Life, High Magic, or Light. The player has to choose how many spells before rolling though so a player can’t start with Life, stop once they get Throne of Vines then move on to other Lores. If she is included in an army, the High Elf player has access to two additional magic items. A BSB can take the Banner of Avelorn for 40 points. As long as Alarielle is alive, all friendly Light and Life wizards get +4 when casting spells on the BSB’s unit. A Hand Maiden can take the Horn of Isha at no cost (but it preempts taking other magic items). The Horn is a one use item giving the Maiden’s unit +1 to hit in shooting and close combat. While potent elsewhere, Alarielle can’t fight in close combat very well. She doesn’t fight much better than Teclis in fact, her fancy anti-Force of Destruction ability not applying to us. Korhil: The captain of the White Lions has unimpressive saves relative to other elf characters, but gets 4 S6 Killing Blow attacks and immunity to Poison. He is the only HE character that can ride a Lion chariot which easily trumps a character in a Tiranoc Chariot. Caradryan: The statline of a Noble with the basic powers of the Phoenix Guard. Also he has MR 1 and his attacks are S5 flaming, D3 wounds. If he is slain he inflicts D3 automatic wounds on the unit that killed him (or the model if it was in a challenge). For an extra 250 he can ride an especially potent Frostheart Phoenix.