Vanguard: Idoneth Deepkin – Beginner’s 1,000 Point Army

Everybody Do The Wave

Have you heard the call of the Ethersea? Do you steal the souls of sentient creatures to prolong your own life? Do you like to move fast and hit hard while looking fishy and fabulous? Then Idoneth Deepkin is the faction for you!

The obvious place to start collecting an army of watery aelves is the Vanguard: Idoneth Deepkin box, available from Games Workshop or your favorite local game store.

The box is great value. Here’s what you get:

  • 10 Namarti Thralls. The backbone of virtually any Idoneth Deepkin army, these Battleline units hit like a truck but are relatively fragile. The kit has only one weapon option with a few different visual choices.
  • 3 Akhelian Guard. These ultra-fast flying cavalry can be built as either Morsarr Guard (spears) or Ishlaen Guard (swords). I highly recommend building them as Morsarr Guard, as the offense-oriented eels are more widely usable in a variety of different lists.
  • 1 Akhelian Allopex. Think of it as a flying gun platform that can also bite people. Very fast and decent at both shooting and melee. Comes with a choice of harpoon launcher or net launcher. Build your first shark with the harpoon, as the net is more situational.
  • 1 Isharran Soulscryer. The Deepkin’s only Priest character. While he’s nobody’s first choice of hero, “Mister Pointy” still has his uses, especially in the 2022 Matched Play season.
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Alternative Starting Points

If you can find it, the old Start Collecting: Idoneth Deepkin box is a little cheaper but still provides good value. You’ll get the same 10 Thralls and 3 Akhelian Guard, but you’ll miss out on the Allopex. In place of the Soulscryer you get the Isharran Soulrender, arguably a much better hero. If you’re starting out with the Soulrender, consider choosing the Mor’phann sub-faction to get the most out of him.

If you can find the 2022 dual-faction box Fury of the Deep, the Idoneth Deepkin half comes with 10 Thralls, 10 Namarti Reavers (mobile ranged battleline) and one Akhelian Thrallmaster (a buffing hero that improves Thralls). This might be a good option if you’re splitting the box with a Fyreslayers player, or if you plan to focus on Namarti and avoid the eels and sharks.

Fyreslayers face the fury of Idoneth Deepkin
Fire, meet water

Your First 1000 Point List

Here’s how to build your first 1000 point Idoneth Deepkin list:

Allegiance: Idoneth Deepkin
– Enclave: Ionrach
– Grand Strategy: The Creeping Gloomtide
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Isharann Soulscryer (150)*
 Artefact: Dritchleech
 Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse
Isharann Tidecaster (150)*
 General
 Command Trait: Teachings of the Turscoll
 Lore of the Deeps: Counter-current

Battleline
10 x Namarti Thralls (130)*
10 x Namarti Reavers (170)*

Units
1 x Akhelian Allopexes (165)*
 Razorshell Harpoon
3 x Akhelian Morrsarr Guard (195)*

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Total: 960 / 1000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 2
Allies: 0 / 200
Wounds: 50
Drops: 1

This list can do something in every phase of the game. While fragile, it has access to two Isharran rituals (Creeping Mist during Low Tide and Deepsight during High Tide) that can keep you safe from shooting and protect your Namarti, respectively.

We’ve chosen Ionrach for our enclave as it’s a good all-rounder that doesn’t rely on any specific units to be effective. Use it to retreat-and-charge or run-and-charge with your eels or shark whenever you need an extra boost of mobility.

A typical deployment would be to set up defensively behind your Gloomtide Shipwreck and keep the Soulscryer off the board, accompanied by the Reavers, the Allopex or even both. With your one-drop battalion, you’ll usually want to give away first turn to force your opponent to come closer (allowing you to hopefully grab the double turn). Based on your opponent’s army and deployment, decide whether to use Teachings of the Turscoll to reverse the order of the tides to your benefit.

The game plan is to whittle down your opponent with shooting before charging in with your eels, shark and Thralls. Deep-strike the Soulscryer and friends in at an opportune time to grab an objective or harass the opponent’s backline. Use his Curse prayer along with Namarti shooting and melee to hopefully break even the largest enemy unit.

If you want to embody an Idoneth general, start practicing your satisfied smirk

Want more infantry? For an alternative list, lose the Tidecaster and add 10 more Thralls, bringing that block up to 20. You’ll have more bodies and more presence on the board, but you’ll be missing any form of magic.

Looking for something that’s high risk/high reward? Lose the Soulscryer and Tidecaster and add an Akhelian King. You’ll have no magic (unless you give him Arcane Tome and Flaming Weapon, which you absolutely should), no rituals, and you’ll be spending a quarter of your points on one very fragile hero. On the other hand, he’s extremely deadly and he buffs your Akhelian units. While amazing in a larger game, he may not be the best choice when you’re just starting out.

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Pricing It Out

So how much will this list cost you?

BoxUSDGBPEURAUD
Vanguard: Idoneth Deepkin$130£80€105$190
Namarti Reavers$55£32.50€42.50$84
Isharran Tidecaster$32£18€23$40
Gloomtide Shipwreck$60£35€45$84
Battletome: Idoneth Deepkin$55£32.50€42.50$84
Total$332£198€258$482
Purchasing from eBay or your local game store can drop these price by 15-20%

Let’s talk about the ur-kraken in the room: The Gloomtide Shipwreck. It’s currently out of stock on Games Workshop’s website and very expensive on eBay. Your best bet is to scour local game stores in search of one.

This is an important model for your army, but you can make do without one if you’ll be playing casually at first. My advice is to use a template or proxy model until you find one or they come back in stock online.

Next Steps

So you’ve played a few games at 1000 points and you want to expand your army. What’s next?

First things first: grab yourself an Akhelian King. The Slap-King, as he’s known, is a fantastic finesse piece which can reliably delete the enemy’s biggest threats and almost guarantee you the This One’s Mine! battle tactic. Just be careful with your positioning and watch out for Unleash Hell and Stomp.

I strongly recommend at least another 10 Namarti Thralls. They may be eye-less but they’re not harmless, as their 2″ reach and surprising damage output can chew through most enemy units.

To support your Thralls and Reavers, you could consider investing in heroes such as the Isharran Soulrender, Lotann or the Akhelian Thrallmaster. The Soulrender is a particularly good choice, as he unlocks the popular Mor’phann enclave.

Waving to his fans

Now we’re getting into the big centerpiece models. The Eidolon of Mathlann is a huge support hero that comes in either Sea (spellcasting) or Storm (combat) flavors. The Eidolon of the Sea is currently your best bet for a reliable spellcaster in the entire faction, and it also brings along a massive bravery buff and an excellent warscroll spell. Definitely a worthwhile investment.

Finally, the Akhelian Leviadon is a hefty model with a hefty points cost (and price tag), but as the faction’s only monster he doesn’t disappoint. The titanic turtle is a shooting, fighting, tanky monster that protects and buffs your Namarti. If you happen to choose the Nautilar enclave, the Leviadon’s attacks become truly terrifying against heavily armored targets.

Good luck harvesting the souls of your enemies! If you have any questions or want to share your ideas for starting an Idoneth army, dive into the comments section below.

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