How Good Are The New Tyranid Warlord Traits?

Tyranid Nature's Bane Warlord Trait

Since yesterday, I’ve been flipping through the new Tyranid Codex. I’ll freely admit that – thus far – Nids have been something of a blind spot for me in Warhammer 40K.

That Tyranids cannot be allied with other armies also makes them more difficult to collect in 6th Edition. There are simply fewer options to just build … say … 300 pts. to try with another army to see how it goes. Kill Team might be a way to get a few Tyranid-minis on the table.

That said, no time like right now to learn more about the Great Devourer!

Let’s start with the new Warlord Traits…

#1 – Why Are The Warlord Traits Interesting?

Why start with Warlord traits?

Originally, I was playing around with a “5 things I like about the new Tyranid Codex”-type of blog-post. The Warlord Traits likely would’ve made that list, first and foremost because of the first one – Nature’s Bane – which struck me as an incredibly fun idea.

Nature’s Bane allows your Tyranid Warlord to turn a piece of forest-type terrain into a Carnivorous Jungle each turn, if in range. Mental images of trees turning “tyranid” to gobble up Catachans or Kroot hiding in the woods immediately came to me.

Admittedly, it’s a very situational trait, which depends a lot on terrain and the opponent. Still, it’s “cinematic” done right IMO.

But I digress…

I had a closer look at the Warlord Traits and, baffled by the question of how “potent” it is (or isn’t), turned to blogs more knowledgeable in these things than me. The answers seem to cover the entire spectrum.

Woo. This is, almost without a doubt, the worst Warlord table yet.


The Warlord table is pretty good. The first result is obviously junk if you don’t have any woods on the table, but the others are solid.


I guess the only consensus is that my personal favourite among these Warlord Traits is junk ;)

#2 – The New Tyranid Warlord Traits

So.. without a tactical assessment, here’s what Tyranid Warlords got.

  1. Nature’s Bane – Turns a single forest or jungle within 12″ of the Warlord into a Carnivorous Jungle at the start of the movement phase (the Carnivorous Jungle, in turn, hands out Str. 5 AP- hits in the shooting phase to things in the forest).
  2. Heightened Senses – Night Vision for the Warlord and nearby units.
  3. Synaptic Lynchpin – 50% more range for the Warlord’s synapse.
  4. Mind Eater – Extra victory points for eating enemy Independent Characters in a challenge.
  5. Digestive Denial – Another terrain-specific trait, allowing the Warlord to reduce cover saves granted by one piece of terrain on the board (though not for Fortifications bought with an army).
  6. Adaptive Biology – A small Feel No Pain for the Warlord after (!) he (it?) suffered an unsaved wound.

They all sound fun and flavourful, though there is no straight-up “re-roll all 1s on saving throws” or “deep-strike without scatter”, as some previous Codexes have seen.

#3 – Thoughts?

Not one but two terrain-specific traits really push the point that Tyranid Players should bring terrain, lots of it, which, arguably, they should do anyhow (and more terrain tends to make prettier tables). Than again, players may be unable to do so in organised play.

None of these traits may be “game-defining” in the way a flawlessly deep-striking Farsight Bomb might. Or could they? Are these traits a “failure” or merely modest about their potency?

I’d be grateful to get a few opinion on these new Tyranid Warlord Traits. If you’ve had a look at them, let me know what you think in the comments below!


Image: Amazing Vegetable Carnivores by mystuart


I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at
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  • DarkStarSabre

    Actually, two strike me out as incredible. The Synapse Lynchpin helps in a world where Synapse is even more important…and the FNP buff. It’s not ‘small’. FNP is 5+ now (Trust me, I’m a Nurgle player) and Tyranid warlords tend to have multiple wounds. The fact it persists…and you can get Regeneration to regain a wound on a 4+ – well, it’s free FNP on a combat monster!

  • Trentat

    Garbage. The most useless Warlord Traits table yet.

    1. IF there is a forest on the table and IF the Warlord is in 12″ it can inflict some extra hits. But if you’re that close to use it you’re probably close enough to charge.

    2. Oh goody, you mean I can ignore Night Fight with my guns that don’t have range to reach you because it’s turn 1?

    3. The one useful Trait. Sure hope you get it!

    4. Extra victory points if your Synapse creature, which you must keep safe and alive AT ALL COSTS, can kill an IC in combat, without dying yourself…with that invulnerable save and 2+ armour that you don’t have (and have no way to get).

    5. Does nothing to an Aegis Defense Line, Bastion, Skyshield or Martyr’s Wall. USELESS.

    6. A basic FNP after you’ve already lost wounds. Gee thanks. Sure hope you can roll a lot of 5+’s!

    The BRB Personal & Strategic Trait table are better in ever conceivable way. You would be daft to choose this inferior table over them.

    • Trentat

      Fortunately, The Swarmlord comes with the Synaptic Lynchpin trait automatically and can substitute one of his psychic powers for the default Dominion power combining to give him a 24″ Synapse range.

      If you don’t mind paying the hefty points for him and can keep him alive he goes a long way towards creating a broad synapse web.

  • Orlando the Technicoloured

    Probably not great if you’re playing in a tournament or store with random/limited terrain as 2 of the results are useless without the right stuff on the board, and 2 more are not great (eat an IC and heightened senses) with the remaining 2 being worth having
    At your place where you can ensure there are forests and other relevant things on the board it’s probably about as useful as the BRB

  • Hive Senteniel

    I have mixed feelings about this, I love extending synapse and adding a FNP after taking a . Mind Eater is a big IF you can kill an IC but it’s definitely useful. Heightened Senses are kind of meh but in a world of potential NF rules I can see how it’d help. Digestive Denial and Carnivorous Jungle don’t really seem that great, it’s cool and very tyranid fluff-like but is it really that useful?

  • NagaBaboon

    heightened sense is pretty much junk too, unless your playing a monstrous creature with heavy venom cannon heavy army then so few nid units can fire beyond 24″ anyway that night vision becomes useless

    • petrow84

      How about a NV lord behind a defense gun emplacement?

      • NagaBaboon

        Yeah I suppose. The idea of taking fortifications with ‘nids really does bother me in the first place.

    • disqus_I1VIVQiPZK

      It also protects from blind