Dawn of War 3, the latest in Relic Entertainment's rendition of Games Workshop's gothic military sci-fi setting, introduces some interesting new mechanics for RTS fans to get to grips with. One of the coolest new elements of DoW3 are the Elite units.
Unlike its predecessor, #DawnOfWar3 doesn't have persistent RPG elements or wargear that carries over from one mission to another. However, there are special units that gain experience as they rack up kills across the campaign and multiplayer. These are the Elites—devastating units that can often turn the tide of battle.
Watch the Space Marines, Orks and Eldar duke it out in the gloriously grimdark trailer for Dawn of War III:
Elite units gain experience as they kill units in single player and multiplayer games. The XP unlocks new doctrines that can be equipped, which often provides a specific buff to a single unit or class of units once they're on the battlefield.
Each of the three factions—Space Marines, Eldar and Orks, have different Elites with abilities that complement the fighting style of their race. Let's break down the Elites available to the ancient warriors of the Craftworlds, the Eldar.
'Dawn Of War 3' Eldar Elite Units
Aside from their formidable battlefield prowess, Elites in Dawn of War 3 also enable Doctrines, which are buffs to particular units that can modify their abilities or grant new ones. The 'Command' type Doctrines, upon reaching Level 8, become unlocked as Army Doctrines.
All Eldar units, including their Elites, benefit from the 'Fleet of Foot' ability, increasing their speed near Webway gates. In addition, each posses unique abilities that will determine the overall strategy of your force. Let's break down the options:
Farseer Macha returns to lead the Eldar in Dawn of War 3. Her powerful ranged psyker abilities are adept at controlling the battlefield, and vary in effect depending on whether she is holding or has thrown her spear. Significantly, her Presence Doctrine allows you to rescue your defeated Elites.
- Singing Spear: Macha hurls her spear to the target position. It pierces any units it passes through, causing damage and knockback. The spear remains where it lands, doing increasing damage in a circle.
- Psyker Blast: Emits a blast of energy around her spear that causes AoE damage. If Macha is holding her spear, she deals more damage and suffers less. If the spear has been thrown, then this applies to friendly units in a circle around the spear.
- Temporal Weave: Channeled ability that traps areas around Macha in stasis, or if the spear is thrown, creates a temporal wall between Macha and her spear that causes stasis to enemies.
- Macha's Command - Enhanced Battle Focus: The Wraithguard enter a state of enhanced battle focus that increases attack speed but drains shields.
- Macha's Presence - Last Chance: When Macha is deployed, Elite units do not die, but instead enter stasis and heal.
Another returning character for the Eldar faction in Dawn of War 3, Ronahn is another ranged specialist capable of taking down groups of enemies as well as individuals.
- Long Shot: A powerful shot in a target direction that passes through units, dealing damage to enemies and providing vision. The shot ends if it collides with a vehicle, stunning them. Charges increase while Ronahn is in stealth cover.
- Shadow Step: Ronahn teleports to the target position in stealth cover.
- Snapfire: Passive ability that activates when Ronahn uses Long Shot or Shadow Step, he no longer has to set up to fire and has faster attack speed for a duration. The duration is increased each time an ability is used.
- Ronahn's Command - Shadow Step: Ronahan teleports to the target position in stealth cover.
- Ronahn's Presence - Sensor Interference: When Ronahn is deployed, Sensor Beacons create a patch of stealth cover at the target position. Sensor Beacons are available for use while Ronahn is deployed, even if they have not been researched.
Phoenix Lord Jain Zar
Jain Zar is a legendary figure in Warhammer 40K lore, an immortal warrior who lends her incredible close combat prowess and blinding speed to the Eldar faction in Dawn of War 3. She is the Phoenix Lord of the Howling Banshees, and as such functions as a souped-up version of that unit's abilities.
- Battle Scream: When charging into melee, Jain Zar lets out a psychosonic scream that slows enemies around her.
- Critical Strike: Jain Zar delivers a powerful blow every 6th melee attack, reducing her ability cooldowns.
- Silent Death: Jain Zar throws her bladed Triskele in a direction, dealing damage to all enemies in its path before returning to her hand.
- Dash: Jain Zar will dash to the target position. If any enemies are in her path, she will leap over them and do damage in an area.
- Jain Zar's Command - Swift Vengeance: When Wraithblades die they create stacking bonuses to surviving squad members that increase damage and speed.
- Jain Zar's Presence - Stealth Ambush: When Jain Zar is deployed, Howling Banshees become stealthed if they enter stealth cover. Stealth is removed if they attack or capture.
The Striking Scorpions are Eldar aspect warriors that specialize in melee, and in Dawn of War 3 they are counted among the army's Elites. Able to detect enemies at a distance and ambush them, these assault troops excel at quick surprise attacks.
- Hunt: The Striking Scorpions shroud themselves in smoke, entering stealth. While in this special stealth cover they can detect enemies beyond their normal vision, even in fog of war, stealth cover, or high ground.
- Leap Strike: Striking Scorpions jump to target position, causing damage and slow in a circle. The range of the leap increases if in stealth cover, or if Hunt is active.
- Mandiblasters: When not in melee, Striking Scorpions periodically fire their mandiblasters, inflicting damage and slow upon enemies.
- Critical Strike: Deliver a powerful blow every 6th melee attack.
- Striking Scorpions Command - Vyper's Sting: Vyper missiles explode upon impact, slowing and damaging enemies in a circle.
- Striking Scorpions Presence - Hunters: When Striking Scorpions activate hunt, the benefits are also extended to Howling Banshee squads around them.
One of the giant mechs that play a defining role in Dawn of War 3, the Eldar Wraithlord serves as a powerful tank with a focus on crowd control.
- Critical Strike: Every fifth melee attack, the Wraithlord deals bonus damage.
- Glaive Charge: The Wraithlord charges forward, knocking away enemies in its path. If the ability is activated again, or at the end of its charge, the Wraithlord deals damage and knocks away all enemies in a sweeping arc.
- Ethereal Wall: Creates a wall that temporarily blocks enemy fire. Units that pass through it are affected for a short duration—allies receive a speed increase and enemies are slowed.
- Wraithlord's Command - Improved Webways: Webway Gates regenerate health and can relocate in Tier 1. Relocate is cast faster and with a shorter cooldown.
- Wraithlord's Presence - Wraith Recall: Teleports all owned Wraithguard and Wraithblades to the Wraithlord's location.
The fallen Farseer Taldeer from Dawn of War: Winter Assault returns in Dawn of War 3, her spirit preserved in the huge mechanical body of a Wraithknight. Taldeer's new form gives her powerful melee abilities to use as well as her psychic powers.
- Jump: Jumps to target position. After landing, the Wraithknight will continue to slide forward for a distance, causing damage and knockback in a circle.
- Scatter Shield: Taldeer raises the Scatter Shield in the target direction, and absorbs shots that pass through it. After a delay it triggers a cone of psychic energy, causing Stasis.
- Eldritch Slash: Taldeer projects a ghostly image of herself in target direction. It pierces, doing damage and causing Stasis to enemies it passes through.
- Eldritch Curse: Taldeer can break Stasis with her attacks or abilities, applying a curse to the affected targets that causes percentage damage, slows enemies and temporarily reduces their damage output.
- Critical Strike: Delivers a powerful blow every 6th melee attack that causes damage in a circle.
- Taldeer's Presence- Wraith Slumber: Wraith units temporarily enter an ethereal state, granting Stasis.
- Taldeer's Command - Reflecting Strike: When Howling Banshees trigger Quick Strike, they become invulnerable and reflect projectiles.
The standard Wraithknight of Dawn of War 3 is powered by the souls of Eldar twins and is more shooting focused than the sword-wielding Taldeer.
- Jump: The Wraithknight jumps to a position. After landing, the Wraithknight will continue to slide forward for a distance, gaining increased weapon fire rate.
- Distortion Rift: The Wraithknight creates a distortion rift at a target position. The rift expands in a radius over time, pulling enemy infantry into it. Vehicles hit are slowed.
- Focused Beam: Fires a broad, long-range energy beam that deals damage to all enemies in a direction.
- Wraithknight's Presence - Improved Recall: Soul recall on Wraith units does not consume charges while Wraithknight is on the field.
- Wraithknight's Command - Teleport Beacon: The Dark Reapers place a temporary, attackable beacon at the target position which they can teleport back to.
Autarch Kyre is a new Eldar character in Dawn of War 3, where he appears as the leader of the Biel-Tan warhost. Kyre is highly mobile, able to hover above the battlefield and use his abilities for damage and crowd control.
- Skyleap: Kyre leaps into the air and starts flying, acting as a Skimmer. While flying he cannot use his weapons but increases speed and passes over obstacles. Skyleap forces cyclones to return to Kyre, knocking back enemies that they pass through on the way and stunning them when they reach his position.
- Eldritch Winds: Creates a cyclone that travels to the target position, causing damage over time and slow in a circle.
- Plasma Grenade Barrage: Drops grenades directly below Kyre, causing damage in a circle and increasing Kyre's speed.
- Critical Strike: Delivers a powerful blow every 6th melee attack, which causes shield regeneration in a circle.
- Kyre's Presence - Plasma Grenades: When Kyre is deployed, Dire Avengers gain 2 charges of plasma grenades.
- Kyre's Command - Improved Skimming: Shadow Spectres gain increased speed while shields are up. Does not stack with Fleet of Foot.
This classic and much-beloved Eldar unit returns in Dawn of War 3 as a powerful Elite choice. Their mighty weapons and ability to teleport through space-time make them a considerable battlefield asset.
- Teleport: Warp Spiders teleport to target position, leaving a portal at the entrance and exit. Other units can follow through the portal and gain bonus damage. If Warp Spiders have 4 charges, teleport causes slow in a circle around the target.
- Slow Mines: Warp Spiders teleport to target positions and plant a proximity mine that damages and slows enemies that trigger it. Cooldown is reduced for each mine not planted.
- Warp Spiders' Presence - Teleport: When Warp Spiders are deployed, the Fire Prism teleports to the target position and gains bonus damage temporarily.
- Warp Spiders' Command - Temporal Mine: The Vyper plants a proximity mine that causes slow in a circle.
The Wrath of Khaine
These are the top tier units that Dawn of War 3's Eldar can muster against the enemies of the Craftworlds. Like the baseline army, these Elites are highly mobile and specialized, requiring careful management of their powerful abilities. In contrast to the Space Marines and the brutal Orks, Eldar Elites are not as durable and must be managed more carefully.
The Elites you choose will play a big part in determining army strategy, as their presence and careful use of their abilities, adequately supported, will be the focus of the decisive actions on the battlefield.
Which of the Eldar Elites are you most looking forward to using?