Welcome to Vanguard Tactics! Today, we’re diving into the hot takes from Matt Lorah, our Vanguard Tactics coach and the winner of the Las Vegas Open 2024. Recently, Matt made a remarkable transition from Necrons to Tyranids, securing an impressive 9th place finish at the ACO 2024. Known for his innovative use of Barbgaunts, Matt shares his insights on the recent balance dataslate and its impact on the Tyranids.

Synapse and Strength Boosts

The recent balance dataslate has given Synapse a significant upgrade with a +1 Strength aura. This change is particularly beneficial for units like Warriors, Lictors, and S9 monsters, pushing them into the next strength bracket and making them more formidable on the battlefield. The added strength helps these units hit harder and break through tougher enemy defenses, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the Tyranid army.

Shadow in the Warp

The -1 Leadership for Shadow within 6” of Synapse is a nice touch, but it’s situational. While it won’t come into play frequently unless specifically targeted, it can be a game-changer in the right scenarios. Strategic positioning and planning are key to maximizing this ability.

Neurotyrant Leading Zoanthropes

The concept of the Neurotyrant leading Zoanthropes is intriguing, albeit a bit janky at the moment. It’s a cool idea, but there are likely to be FAQs or event-specific rulings that will clarify its usage. For now, it’s something to watch but not fully rely on until there’s more consistency in rulings across events.

Rupture Cannons

Rupture Cannons have finally become somewhat reliable, offering a viable anti-tank option. Including one or two in a list can provide much-needed firepower against heavily armored targets. This change addresses a previous gap in the Tyranid arsenal, making these cannons a solid choice for lists that require robust anti-tank capabilities.

Exocrine’s Strength Increase

The Exocrine’s increase to Strength 9 is a mixed bag. While moving from an odd to even strength is beneficial against T8 targets, it doesn’t have the same impact against targets where the strength was already effectively even. Nevertheless, the boost makes the Exocrine a more reliable choice for dealing with specific threats.

Neurolictors and Synapse

Neurolictors gaining Synapse and going up by 10 points is a good trade-off. The added Synapse capability, along with the +1 Strength aura, makes Neurolictors more versatile and valuable on the battlefield. Despite the point increase, their enhanced utility is a net positive.


Biovores continue to be effective, particularly for positioning secondaries like Engage on All Fronts and Behind Enemy Lines. If your list lacks Lictors, Biovores can fill the gap and provide strategic advantages by helping to secure key objectives and control the battlefield.

The “Snakes” with Vanguard

The most exciting changes are with the “snakes” (Raveners, Trygons, and Mawlocs) gaining Vanguard. These units can now advance and charge, have Lone Operative at 18”, get +1 to hit, perform the “uppy downy” maneuver (Mawlocs!), and come in turn 1 with two units from Seeded Spores. This versatility makes them formidable and highly adaptable in various tactical scenarios.

Raveners: The biggest winners, Raveners benefit from the +1 Strength from Synapse, advance and charge with a base move of 10”, and can move through walls. They are incredibly versatile and can shred enemy units with ease.

Trygons: While still on the pricier side at 170 points, Trygons are now more usable thanks to their enhanced abilities. They are not the standout, but they have their place in a well-rounded list.

Mawlocs: Mawlocs thrive with the “uppy downy” maneuver, making them a flexible and disruptive force on the battlefield. Their ability to pop up and cause chaos is invaluable in many tactical situations.

Final Thoughts

The recent balance dataslate has significantly improved the Tyranids, making them more competitive and versatile. These changes open up new strategic possibilities and enhance the effectiveness of various units. As we move forward, it will be exciting to see how these adjustments shape the meta and influence tournament play.

Stay tuned to Vanguard Tactics for more insights and strategies as we continue to explore the evolving landscape of Warhammer 40K!

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