40kccg strategy

Theoryhammer 40K: Dark Eldar & Da Kult of Speed

This week we respond to a reader email by building decklists for Kult of Speed and Dark Eldar!

This week’s article is in response to Alejandro, a reader who sent the following:

“I want to do a deck about the Kult of Speed and Dark Eldar but I don’t like my ideas. Do you have a decklist for these two decks? Thanks for your time.”

Thanks for the email, Alejandro! While I personally don’t have physical decks built for these two factions, I’ve done some good old theorycrafting and I wanted share my thoughts about how I would build these decks.

Dark Eldar:

Upon first glance, it’s clear that Dark Eldar is a race that needs to be played with extreme care. While you are essentially playing with a 3-card command hand at each battle (there’s very little reason not to infiltrate a card), you are always the defender in games, and if you fight two battles each turn, you have a pseudo-First Wave of 2 with the added benefit of choosing your “First Wave” deployment from four cards each battle. 

That being said, Dark Eldar units are just as fragile as Eldar units (if not more so), and don’t seem to have as clear stat advantages as races such as Space Marines. They have high speed units but relatively low base firepower, which means they need tactic support. Their assault units are reasonably strong, but need to survive the charge in order to do damage.

So, on paper, it appears as though Dark Eldar will need to utilize some extra tricks to compensate for their medium stats. Luckily, a couple unique themes are apparent:

  • Abilities that trigger unless your opponent hurts themselves
  • Units that destroy themselves for extra advantages

The decklist I put together focuses on the above themes, as well as:

  • Firepower boosting from several sources
  • Taking advantage of infantry/vehicle hybrid units for firepower/armor boosting
  • Combining self-unit destruction abilities with Chapel of Blades


This decklist is quite firepower-heavy, and so it relies on your high speed units being able to win shooting wars, while the Raider squad cards like Kandelri and Azaaq destroy themselves after shooting to bring in new reinforcements. These self-sacrifice abilities also synergize with Chapel of Blades to drastically reduce your opponent’s command hand options.

Da Kult of Speed:

If you’ve read my Ork Fleet Card Review, you’ve gotten my initial thoughts on how Kult of Speed might play best. Contrary to Dark Eldar, this fleet card is a pretty straightforward signpost on how to build a Kult of Speed deck that takes advantage of its strengths. 

Simply put, you need high speed units, and ways to boost their firepower – which you’ll notice resembles my strategy for my Dark Eldar list. Similar to Dark Eldar, you are not reliant on faction-specific cards, so you have some amount of flexibility in choosing your units. 


This list is highly focused on shooting, with some minor assault support from Storm Boyz-type units. I opted not to use Ammo Grotz or Looted Demolisha because I didn’t think the deck used enough infantry units – and plus, I wanted a more “fluffy” take on Kult of Speed that required the usual suspects in my other Ork decks.

Alejandro, hope these decklists give you some ideas on how to build your own decks! For my other readers: what cards in these factions have worked well for you? Are there any that you would add? Let me know in the comments!

8 replies on “Theoryhammer 40K: Dark Eldar & Da Kult of Speed”

Strategically, vanilla Dark Eldar should avoid trading sectors to maximize the number of deployments they make, right? Also do Dark Eldar have any otherwise good cards with very bad command lines?

Better keep the Kult of Speed away from The Red Terror too.


To combat cards like Red Terror, it might be a good idea to bring a pair of Acid rain fortresses. Reduce the speed of all non-vehicle units to 1.


Dark Eldar would love Monitoring Station. In fact, I would consider it a staple for Dark Eldar, because it makes their otherwise fragile fast blockers super tough.


Hello guys,

I have a question about kult of speed’s fleet card.

In the manual the way “counterattacking” works is explained. And it is said that if a unit having the counterattacking capabilities is attacked and then is ” outright destroyed”, then the counterattacking unit doesn’t counterattack at all.

The given explanation is an assault that destroy and doesn’t deal any damage.

So… I am embarassed. Because if the meaning if this rule is that counterattacking unit need to survive a shooting or an assault before counterattacking, then it is kinda a useless capabilitie. A capability that is only useful on great armor unit. But most orks doesn’t have any great armor especially when the units have great speed.

So can you give me an anwers ? Here for example.




Hi Leodrick,

I believe the rule you are referring to is here: “Counterattack has no effect if your card is simply destroyed outright (by a unit that says
“Assault: Destroy one enemy unit,” for example). Also note that a unit is not locked as a result of using counterattack.” (page 33, Delos V)

You are interpreting it slightly differently than intended (understandable because a few of the rules are not worded very clearly). A counterattack unit does not need to survive the attack to deal counterattack damage. The intended rule is that if a counterattack unit is destroyed by an assault ability with no value (for example, Jainan or Kharn), then it cannot counterattack. If it is being targeted by a shooting or assault BA with a numerical value, then it will always counterattack.

Hope this helps!


Thank you very much!
I played during all my gamed with a player who convinced me that if my speed kult ork units died after a shoot or an assault, then no counterattack was permitted.

So I was really embarassed. I loosed all my games. Because there was so many conditions to win.

First my units had to be faster, it have to survive the shot and the counterattack had to dealt enough damage. So it happens like once in 5 games.

(I was playing against Imperial Gards)

I think that it would be good to write an article about that. And about unclear rules.

Thank you very much for the reply 🙂

Best regards,



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