Competitive Innovations in 9th: Advent Annihilation

Only a few days before Christmas, but a last few lists to unwrap first as we close out the year. That’s not the only present I’ve prepared for you – as promised last week, the Competitive Innovations Archetypes page has now been fully updated, bringing in new builds empowered by recent releases or the balance dataslate, and retiring some now non-functional or otherwise irrelevant builds.

Check it out here.

Is there a good chance of this being immediately invalidated in the new year as fresh books and (maybe) points changes arrive? Sure, but at least it means I’m ready to hit that at a run, and I think it’s useful to have a snapshot of where things stand at the end of the year. The good news is that there are far more additions to the list than removals, highlighting the fact that quite a few new builds have come into their own recently, and that although Drukhari are fairly clearly still a bit too dominant, there’s far wider scope for what can take a swing at them.

That feels like a pretty good place for the year to wrap up, and I’m very excited to see where things go once tournaments start up again in January, pending finding out how many countries end up in Omicron jail (which I’m sure must be the name of some sort of Inquisitorial establishment in the 41st Millenium). Check out our last batch of lists, and as ever players who went into the last round undefeated but didn’t win are marked with a ✪.

Lists of the Week

This section highlights two lists from Best of the Rest sections that are particularly unusual or innovative.

Russell Tassin – Chaos Space Marines – Rise of the Emperor GT – 6th Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [95 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost

Legion: Black Legion

+ HQ +

Abaddon the Despoiler [11 PL, 220pts, 2CP]: 6. First Among Traitors, Warlord

Chaos Lord in Terminator Armour [6 PL, 105pts]: Angelsbane, Chainfist, Combi-bolter, Mark of Slaanesh

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: No Chaos Mark
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Shotgun

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: No Chaos Mark
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Autogun

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: No Chaos Mark
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ autopistol and brutal assault weapon: 9x Autopistol, 9x Brutal assault weapon
. Cultist Champion: Brutal assault weapon and Autopistol

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: No Chaos Mark
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ autopistol and brutal assault weapon: 9x Autopistol, 9x Brutal assault weapon
. Cultist Champion: Brutal assault weapon and Autopistol

+ Elites +

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, 215pts, -1CP]: Hellforged cyclone missile launcher, No Chaos Mark, 2x Twin lascannon

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, 215pts, -1CP]: Hellforged cyclone missile launcher, No Chaos Mark, 2x Twin lascannon

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, 200pts, -1CP]: Graviton blaster, Hellforged cyclone missile launcher, Hellforged Dreadnought chainfist, No Chaos Mark, Twin lascannon

Chaos Leviathan Dreadnought [13 PL, 235pts, -1CP]: Grav-flux bombard, 3x Hellforged hunter-killer missile, Leviathan siege drill and meltagun, No Chaos Mark
. Two heavy flamers

Decimator [9 PL, 180pts]: No Chaos Mark, 2x Soulburner petard

+ Fast Attack +

Warp Talons [5 PL, 115pts]: No Chaos Mark, Warp Talon Champion
. 4x Warp Talon: 4x Lightning Claw (Pair)

+ Heavy Support +

Obliterators [15 PL, 315pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. 3x Obliterator: 3x Crushing fists, 3x Fleshmetal guns

++ Total: [95 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Excellent early anti-tank damage from re-rolling dreadnoughts.
  • All-purpose mid-game spike from double-shooting Obliterators.
  • Terrifying melee capability from newly enhanced Abaddon.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Given that Russell has (dis)loyally stuck with Chaos Space Marines through most of 9th so far, it’s no surprise to see him experimenting with builds in the wake of the Balance Dataslate, deploying his avoured Black Legion to strike out against the servants of the corpse Emperor. Abaddon was already one of the unique draws that Chaos had, able to provide full hit re-rolls in an aura to a broader set of toys than loyalists are allowed these days, and that’s on show here with the ranged punch of the lascannon Contemptors and Decimator out of the gate, plus the ever-valuable beta strike of Obliterators going full ham with re-rolls and Endless Cacophony. So far, so in line with how Chaos has been operating up till now, but while this army packs relatively few units with Death to the False Emperor, the main place that it lands is outrageously good.

First Among Traitors has gone from being a bit of an albatross around Abaddon’s neck to being one of the spiciest Warlord traits in the faction, as a model so terrifying getting access to exploding hits on 5s (plus providing the same for any nearby buddies) is incredibly strong, especially in concert with full hit re-rolls. One of the points in this army’s favour is that the metagame is relatively “heavy” right now – hordes aren’t a huge factor, and Drukhari have skewed significantly towards builds sporting at least some slower, higher value targets. That reduces the number of different plans you need to tech for, and makes explosive output like Abaddon’s melee or double-shooting Obliterators quite a bit more valuable. The latter aren’t good at taking out Talos, but will cheerfully strip away whatever flanking tools the Drukhari have brought along with them, allowing Abaddon and his two melee dreadnough buddies (the most metal kind of bodyguard) to rock in and pulverise a mid-board CORE.

Add in sufficient Cultists to handle Actions and make an emergency play for objectives at a crucial moment (potentially in concert with Let the Galaxy Burn) and you’ve got a list that has some real angles of attack, providing an entertaining alternative to the Emperor’s Children and Iron Warriors that dominate most CSM builds. Excellent work from the faction’s current #1 player.

Brad Chester – Craftworlds – Sunken City GT – 6th Place

Eldrad Ulthran in an Imperial ruin
Eldrad Ulthran by Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [80 PL, -3CP, 1,401pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Autarch Skyrunner [6 PL, 110pts]: 4: Fate’s Messenger, Laser Lance, Warlord
. The Phoenix Gem

Warlock Skyrunner [4 PL, 65pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Protect/Jinx, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Elites +

Fire Dragons [6 PL, 100pts]
. 4x Fire Dragon: 4x Fusion Gun, 4x Melta Bombs
. Fire Dragon Exarch: Fusion Gun
. . Exarch Power: Crack Shot

+ Fast Attack +

Shining Spears [10 PL, 180pts]
. 4x Shining Spear: 4x Laser Lance, 4x Twin Shuriken Catapult
. Shining Spear Exarch: Star Lance
. . Exarch Power: Skilled Rider

Swooping Hawks [4 PL, 80pts]
. 4x Swooping Hawk: 4x Lasblaster
. Swooping Hawk Exarch: Lasblaster
. . Exarch Power: Herald of Victory

+ Heavy Support +

Dark Reapers [9 PL, 138pts]
. 3x Dark Reaper: 3x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Tempest Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Dark Reapers [9 PL, 138pts]
. 3x Dark Reaper: 3x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Tempest Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Night Spinner [8 PL, 135pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 135pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult

War Walkers [8 PL, 160pts]
. War Walker: Bright Lance, Bright Lance
. War Walker: Bright Lance, Bright Lance

War Walkers [8 PL, 160pts]
. War Walker: Bright Lance, Bright Lance
. War Walker: Bright Lance, Bright Lance

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [28 PL, 10CP, 595pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Craftworld Attribute: Ulthwe: Foresight of the Damned

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ +

Eldrad Ulthran [8 PL, 155pts]: 0. Smite, 2. Doom, 3. Fortune, 4. Executioner

Warlock Skyrunner [4 PL, 65pts]: 0. Smite, 5. Quicken/Restrain, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Troops +

Dire Avengers [2 PL, 55pts]
. 4x Dire Avenger: 4x Avenger Shuriken Catapult, 4x Plasma Grenades
. Dire Avenger Exarch: Avenger Shuriken Catapult
. . Exarch Power: Battle Fortune

+ Elites +

Striking Scorpions [3 PL, 70pts]
. 4x Striking Scorpion: 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Scorpion Chainsword, 4x Shuriken Pistol
. Striking Scorpion Exarch: Biting Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. . Exarch Power: Sustained Attack

Striking Scorpions [3 PL, 70pts]
. 4x Striking Scorpion: 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Scorpion Chainsword, 4x Shuriken Pistol
. Striking Scorpion Exarch: Biting Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. . Exarch Power: Sustained Attack

+ Fast Attack +

Warp Spiders [4 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Warp Spider: 4x Death Spinner
. Warp Spider Exarch: Death Spinner
. . Exarch Power: Web of Deceit

Warp Spiders [4 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Warp Spider: 4x Death Spinner
. Warp Spider Exarch: Death Spinner
. . Exarch Power: Web of Deceit

++ Total: [108 PL, 7CP, 1,996pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Strong artillery to grind the opponent down over time.
  • Excellent objective support from Warp Spiders.
  • Just enough small units to feed out into battle over the course of the game.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

I didn’t do a full look at the US Open finale a few weeks back, but luckily Brad has taken the most interesting of the builds from it out for another spin, giving me an excuse to talk about it. Like Chaos Space Marines, Craftworlds are a faction that’s consistently struggled through the course of 8th, suffering a triple whammy of an older codex with some dire warlord traits and relics, an over-harsh set of point changes at the edition start, and not really having any high quality units for durably holding on to primary scoring, making it difficult to stand up to more up-to-date factions.

Despite all that, they aren’t completely without assets – Expert Crafters is a wildly good faction trait when combined with either Masterful Shots or Hunters of Ancient Relics, artillery units like Dark Reapers, Night Spinners and Shadow Weavers are very strong, and Warp Spiders are one of the strongest Action units in the game between their ability to redeploy or move an average of 21″ and still perform activities on a whim.

Brad’s list takes these strengths and aims to patch up the weaknesses with a go-wide game plan, packing lots of small units that can either reliably get to where they need to be (the Spiders, Hawks, Scorpions) to lock in Engage or Action points, or have a reasonable chance of at least trading up on the turn that they commit (Fire Dragons, bright lance War Walkers, bike Autarch), and while the opponent is dealing with that the artillery grind (plus Eldrad’s formidible psychic onslaught) is going to rack up its toll. The final piece of the plan is a having one unit dedicated to flipping the Primary scoring on a key turn in the form of the Shining Spears – the list can drop Fortune (very reliable from Eldrad) and Protect on the unit then Quicken them into place, smashing something off an objective and then having a single turn of being functionally impervious to shooting. Mortal wounds are a problem (though at least for Psychic Eldrad is around to Deny), melee is a threat, but if this precision tool is used correctly it can give the army the foothold on the scoring that it needs to pull just slightly ahead on Primary, and since it will reliably be locking in max out Engage and ROD, that’s often all it needs to secure a victory. Ulthwe providing just that bit of extra durability on the objective units is very nice too, as it gives the army lots of chances to spike a unit staying alive at a crucial moment.

It’s a bold plan, and clearly one that Brad has been deploying to quite a bit of success between the US Open final and this event. It does, as ever with such builds, run the risk of slamming face-first into something that can match it’s pace and just steamroller it off the table, and that’s what looks to have happened in its loss here, getting taken out by Grey Knights. Even there, however, Brad ran the score very close, and while Craftworld players shouldn’t have too much longer to wait for a new book, this list is a fantastic choice if they want to tide themselves over (and haven’t given in to the temptation of Drukhari like me).

Rise of the Empire GT

All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

Sean Nayden – Drukhari – 1st Place

The completed Drazhar. Credit: Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [80 PL, 1,513pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power, Realspace Raid, The Prophets of Flesh: Connoisseurs of Pain
. *Custom Cult*: Stimulant Innovators, Test of Skill

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Alliance of Agony [-1CP]

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ No Force Org Slot +

Court of the Archon [5 PL, 68pts]: As Detachment (Kabal)
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul: As Detachment (Kabal)
. Ur-Ghul: As Detachment (Kabal)

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 95pts]: As Detachment (Kabal), Blast Pistol, Hatred Eternal, Huskblade, Overlord, The Djin Blade, Warlord
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

Haemonculus [5 PL, 90pts]: As Detachment (Coven), Stratagem: Alliance of Agony WLT, The Vexator Mask, Twisted Animator
. Alchemical Maestro (Prophets): Alchemical Maestro

Succubus [3 PL, 80pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug), As Detachment (Wych Cult), Precision Blows, Stratagem: Alliance of Agony WLT, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive

+ Troops +

Haemoxytes [8 PL, 85pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. 7x Haemoxyte: 7x Wrack Blade
. Haemoxyte Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts]: As Detachment (Kabal)
. 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Wyches [3 PL, 60pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug), As Detachment (Wych Cult)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Incubi [4 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [7 PL, 170pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), As Detachment (Wych Cult)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 9x Hellion: 9x Hellglaive, 9x Splinter Pods

Hellions [7 PL, 170pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), As Detachment (Wych Cult)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 9x Hellion: 9x Hellglaive, 9x Splinter Pods

+ Heavy Support +

Ravager [8 PL, 135pts]: As Detachment (Kabal), 3x Dark Lance, Shock Prow

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [6 PL, 120pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal of the Black Heart, Shock Prow

Raider [6 PL, 110pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal of the Black Heart

Raider [6 PL, 110pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal of the Black Heart

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [25 PL, 485pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]

+ Heavy Support +

Cronos [4 PL, 85pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex

Cronos [4 PL, 85pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex

Reaper [9 PL, 170pts]: As Detachment

++ Total: [105 PL, 6CP, 1,998pts] ++

Archetype

Drukhari Goodstuff

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Speaking of the temptations of Drukhari, Sean closes the year by taking down yet another event with the dark kin, triumphing with the same build he took to the New Orleans open last week. It’s got powerful shooting from the Ravager and Reaper, flexible Engage or support pieces in the two solo Cronos, and an absolute blow out mid-game power play from two big units of Hellions with the Test of Skill/Stimulant Injectors combo, ready to bury pretty much any target without damage reduction in a nightmare volley of attacks. It’s fast, it’s deadly and it can adapt to pretty much any matchup, and while it got hit way harder in the Balance Dataslate than Talos builds did, the value of being highly mobile is sufficient to keep Goodstuff builds like this real contenders, especially when you find some extra spice like the Cult trait that Sean is using here. Congratulations to Sean by finishing the year on a high.

The Rest of the Best

Six players finished the event on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd – Connor Haugen – Dark Angels: A thick slab of Deathwing Terminators with support Character backup – not surprising at this point, but still pretty effective, especially as out-ObSeccing Talos builds is a very viable way to beat them.
  • 3rd – Josiah Cook – Tyranids: Kronos/Leviathan Hive Guard spam, going for the fill three units alongside one squad each of flurrygants and Genestealers in the Leviathan detachment.
  • 4th – Colin McDade – Harlequins: Soaring Spite bikes and boats, surely in contention for the single most enduringly relevant 9th Edition build at this point.
  • 5th – Georg Bobkov – Chaos: Very nearly a pure Emperor’s Children build, breaking it solely to sneak a Tallyman into a mixed detachment as a CP battery. Otherwise, lots of dakka from a Fire Raptor and big Noise Marine blob, and a neat flexible drop pod setup of blender Chosn and Havocs.
  • 6th – Russell Tassin – Chaos Space Marines: See Lists of the Week.
  • 7th ✪ – Shawn Prosser – Tyranids: More straight up Hive Guard spam, running as pure Leviathan here with more board control backup rather than further alpha units.

MTL 40K

All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

Mathieu Boutin-Bastien – Space Wolves – 1st Place

Credit: Kevin Stillman

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Space Wolves) [100 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Space Wolves

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems +

Strategem: Relics of the Chapter [-2CP]: 2x Number of Extra Relics

+ HQ +

Lieutenants [4 PL, -1CP, 80pts]
. Primaris Lieutenant: Aura of Majesty, Bolt pistol, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Armour of Russ
. . Special issue bolt carbine and Master-crafted power axe: Master-crafted power axe

Primaris Captain [5 PL, 100pts]: Rites of War, The Vox Espiritum, Warlord
. Plasma Pistol and Power Fist: Power fist

+ Troops +

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 115pts]
. 4x Assault Intercessor
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Heavy Bolt Pistol, Thunder hammer

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 115pts]
. 4x Assault Intercessor
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Heavy Bolt Pistol, Thunder hammer

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 115pts]
. 4x Assault Intercessor
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Heavy Bolt Pistol, Thunder hammer

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 115pts]
. 4x Assault Intercessor
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Heavy Bolt Pistol, Thunder hammer

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 115pts]
. 4x Assault Intercessor
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Heavy Bolt Pistol, Thunder hammer

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts]
. 4x Bladeguard Veteran
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Judiciar [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: Hunter, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Wulfen Stone

Veteran Intercessor Squad [6 PL, 110pts]
. Auto Bolt Rifle
. 4x Veteran Intercessor
. Veteran Intercessor Sergeant: Power sword

Wolf Guard [7 PL, 145pts]: Jump Pack
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist
. Wolf Guard Pack Leader: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist

Wolf Guard [7 PL, 145pts]: Jump Pack
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Thunder hammer
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Thunder hammer
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Astartes Chainsword
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard Pack Leader: Astartes Chainsword, Thunder hammer

Wolf Guard [7 PL, 105pts]: Jump Pack
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Astartes Chainsword
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Astartes Chainsword
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Astartes Chainsword
. Wolf Guard: Astartes Chainsword, Astartes Chainsword
. Wolf Guard Pack Leader: Astartes Chainsword, Astartes Chainsword

+ Fast Attack +

Cyberwolves [1 PL, 15pts]: Cyberwolf

Cyberwolves [1 PL, 15pts]: Cyberwolf

Cyberwolves [1 PL, 15pts]: Cyberwolf

+ Heavy Support +

Eradicator Squad [14 PL, 290pts]: Melta rifle
. 3x Eradicator
. Eradicator Sgt
. Eradicator with MM: Multi-melta
. Eradicator with MM: Multi-melta

Eradicator Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: Melta rifle
. Eradicator
. Eradicator Sgt
. Eradicator with MM: Multi-melta

++ Total: [100 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

Archetype

Space Wolves

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Somewhat similar to a build we highlighted last week, this build showcases something Wolves do better that most Marines, which is an infantry go-wide strategy, though this time as straight up first founding Sons of Russ. Access to the Counter Charge stratagem means that it’s far more difficult to play the primary around a Space Wolves army than you’d normally expect, and their ability to stack buffs means that almost any unit is threatening in a pinch – here the presence of a thunder hammer on each Assault Intercessor unit means that the squads will do real damage on the charge, and that’s especially true from turn three onwards once it’s superdoctrine time. Wolves also continue to benefit from getting what are essentially cheaper VanVets than anyone else, and having Advance and Charge on these once Hunter goes access plus two different sources of Fight Last gives them lots of ways to dominate the table.

That gives the army answers to most things but not everything – heavy duty damage reduction bricks like Talos might pose an insurmountable challenge for the melee toys alone. Mathieu’s build packs an answer to that in the form of a fully tooled Eradicator unit, ready to blow Keen Senses and then consume even the heftiest of targets in a nightmarish volley of melta shots (and with the flexibility to Combat Squad the big unit in matchups against opponents with more of a go-wide plan). Having the looming threat of total annihilation forces opponents to be a bit more cautious in how they address the rest of the list, giving the Wolves more scope to pull ahead on Primary, and with Cyberwolves getting in their Engage and Oaths value, this list is going to consistently nail its secondaries too. It adds up to a very objective-focused all-rounder build, exactly what Wolves excel at, but using some slightly different units here than the standard. Congratulations Mathieu.

The Rest of the Best

Four players finished on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd ✪ – Vincent Koopmans – Iron Hands Successors: Redemptor, Devastator and VanVet heavy Iron Hands, with some extra board control choices on top of that like a small Eliminator unit, and running with the standard Born Heroes/Whirlwind combo.
  • 3rd – Dominique Carette – Salamanders Successors: Another Born Heroes/Whirlwind list, but going with the Salamnders book to lean extra hard on melta and bring a bit of herohammer.
  • 4th – Bruno Choquette – Grey Knights: Swordbearers/Prescient Dreadknights and Interceptors, adding an Invocation of Focus Chaplain to really try everything possible to nail key Gate casts.
  • 5th – Franck Lortie – Adeptus Mechanicus: A Ryza Veteran Cohort that aims to push lots of Vanguard plus some melee nasties into the opponent’s face via Terrax Drills and Duneriders.

Polhammer 40K

Pairngs for this event can be found in Tourneykeeper, and the lists are in Google Drive. This event was using 20-0 scoring.

Michael Duda – Chaos Knights – 1st Place

Armiger Warglaive
Armiger Warglaive. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Seconday Objectives
Bring it Down: 23VP
Assasinate: 7VP
Titan Huner: 4VP
To the Last: Magaera, 2×3 War Dog
Thin their ranks: 0VP
Abhore the witch: 0VP

=== Super Heavy Detachment == Iconoclast Custom Household Xirtxev (-0CP)
Custom Household Bonds: Infamous Heridity, Abominable Constitution

SH1 Knight Magaera [480p]
— WARLORD (Infernal Quest)
— Free Relic: Khornate Target
SH2 3x War Dog with Thermal Spear and Reaper Chain-cleaver, 3x Melta Gun [420p]
SH3 2x War Dog with Thermal Spear and Reaper Chain-cleaver, 2x Melta Gun [280p]

=== Super Heavy Detachment == Infernal Household Vextrix (-3CP)

SH4 3x War Dog with Thermal Spear and Reaper Chain-cleaver, 3x Meltagun [420p]
SH6 1x War Dog Moirax with Volkite veuglaire and Lightening Lock [155]
SH7 1x War Dog Moirax with Volkite veuglaire and Lightening Lock [155] – CHARACTER

Total 1910pts
Reinforcements 90pts
CP 9

The Standout Features

  • Maximum go-wide value from having (at least) a single re-roll on every War Dog via Vextrix or Infamous Heredity.
  • ObSec army-wide thanks to Infernal Quest on the Magaera.
  • One shot turbo-dunk from Khornate Target.
  • A single Character Armiger can summon some friends.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Both Chaos and Imperial Knights have been extended a definite lease of life with the Balance Dataslate, and this build showcases some of the spicier things that Chaos bring to the table. The way the Armigers are split here leverages the powerful Iconoclast and Infernal superfaction traits, with the majority of the melee push models getting the bonus attacks and AP from Iconoclast, but the Moiraxes having the Infernal option to turbocharge whichever of their guns is best for the situation, and the other three War Dogs having the clutch option to try and hold on through destruction via Pact with the Dark Gods, potentially game-changing now that the returned model has ObSec. The list also uses a custom Iconoclast trait to ensure that every model has access to a hit re-roll when it attacks, and the Vextrix ones get a wound re-roll as well. Given that the latter presumably a second wave, aiming to skirmish on mid-board objectives while the Iconoclasts form the tip of the spear, this lets them rack up plenty of value over time while deploying their ranged weapons.

Good mixes of supporting traits for War Dogs is one Chaos Knight asset, and the other that this build shows off is that there’s very good trait and relic support for the first big Knight you put in your list. Infernal Quest for very easy access to ObSec has always been an upside for Chaos (Imperials having to jump through a few more hoops), while the Khornate Target is a very good relic in the heavy metagame – nothing that leans on its invuln is going to survive a Magaera going absolutely sicko mode with Trail of Destruction, so it provides a reliable way of evaporating the opponent’s best toy, and something that’s a real pain to play around.

Finally, Chaos Knights can summon – they’re Chaos CHARACTERs, and the extra use of Knight Lance from the second, War Dog only detachment provides a good place to trigger this. 90pts could buy a couple of units of Furies for objective play, or the Blue Scribes to be a massive headache against psychic-heavy lists. Both good options, and I’m sure there’s more lurking in the depths of the Daemon unit list, and they provide a pure Knight list a way of getting access to various toys they otherwise wouldn’t (and the flexibility is particularly good in 20-0 as it can help shore up weaknesses). A very cool winning list from Michael here.

The Rest of the Best

As ever with 20-0, cutting this isn’t a perfect science, but including five more players gets everyone who went 4-1 or better, so let’s go with that:

  • 2nd – Jakub Falkowski – Adeptus Mechanicus: Updated Mars/Lucius that, I’m going to say, still looks pretty ferocious, with three big Skitarii blocks, a couple of Stratoraptors and a decent helping of Ironstriders.
  • 3rd – Krzysztof Morzyc – Orks: Speed Mob with the Evil Sunz/Freebooterz mix that looks increasingly standard, though not actually leaning on Fasta than Yooz.
  • 4th – Tomasz Baczewski – Hive Mind: Leviathan/Kronos double Hive Guard, plus a patrol of Twisted Helix GSC for blips (and I must confess I cannot quite work out why they’re not 4AE).
  • 5th – Piotr Burda – Drukhari: Double Trueborn goodstuff with a single large squad of Cronos to anchor things.
  • 6th – Michał Gogi Cieślik – Adeptus Mechanicus: Plane-free Mars/Lucius, running lots of Ironstriders instead.

Sunken City GT

All the lists from this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

Tom Ogden – Black Templars – 1st Place

High Marshal Helbrecht. Credit: SRM

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Black Templars) [64 PL, 1,217pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Chapter Selection: Black Templars

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ +

Chaplain Grimaldus [7 PL, 140pts]: 1. Litany of Divine Protection, 4. Fires of Devotion, Litany of Hate

High Marshal Helbrecht [8 PL, 160pts]

+ Troops +

Primaris Crusader Squad [20 PL, 247pts]: Bolt Pistol and Astartes Chainsword
. 5x Primaris Initiate w/Chainsword & Heavy Bolt Pistol: 5x Astartes Chainsword, 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Heavy Bolt Pistol
. 8x Primaris Neophytes: 8x Frag & Krak grenades
. Primaris Sword Brother: Heavy Bolt Pistol, Power axe

+ Elites +

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, 115pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, The Aurillian Shroud, Warlord

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

+ Fast Attack +

Inceptor Squad [15 PL, 375pts, -1CP]: Plasma Exterminator x2, The Crux Obsidian
. 5x Inceptor
. Inceptor Sergeant: Champion of the Feast

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Black Templars) [45 PL, 782pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Chapter Selection: Black Templars

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ Stratagems +

Strategem: Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics

+ HQ +

Primaris Chaplain [5 PL, 85pts]: 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Litany of Hate, The Crusader’s Helm

+ Troops +

Primaris Crusader Squad [20 PL, 247pts]: Bolt Pistol and Astartes Chainsword
. 5x Primaris Initiate w/Chainsword & Heavy Bolt Pistol: 5x Astartes Chainsword, 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Heavy Bolt Pistol
. 8x Primaris Neophytes: 8x Frag & Krak grenades
. Primaris Sword Brother: Heavy Bolt Pistol, Power axe

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 180pts]
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

+ Heavy Support +

Eradicator Squad [14 PL, 270pts]: Melta rifle
. 5x Eradicator: 5x Bolt pistol
. Eradicator Sgt

++ Total: [109 PL, 1,999pts, 8CP] ++

Archetype

Black Templars

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Another excellent showing for Black Templars as out least featured list of the year, showcasing both that the codex is pretty strong, and that there are multiple ways you can build with it. Familiar to other builds we’ve looked at, Helbrecht stands in command with several Chaplains backing him up, but rather than going super hard on Redemptors as most builds have (just one here), this build explores the strong support for elite infantry.

Combining a best-in-class Chapter master, access to invulnerable saves (5+ all the time from Uphold the Honour of the Emperor, a 4+ at a key time from the Aurelian Shroud) and multiple ignore wound auras for full coverage makes Templars a very attractive place to bring high-quality Gravis units and Attack Bikes, both of which make the cut here. You can also further amp up these using Relic Bearers upgrades, and putting the Crux Obsidian and Champion of the Feast on Plasma Inceptors is a particularly nasty use of this – it makes them extraordinarily resilient to the kind of D2 firepower that normally scythes these down, and as long as the unit chills out with the Apothecary, the ablative sergeant can be revived again and again to continuously and repeatedly die for the glory of the Emperor. I bet he’s loving it.

Plasma Inceptors with Chapter Master are absurdly lethal into anything that doesn’t have damage reduction, and honestly still OK there, because they can jsut fire D1 shots without worrying about re-rolls – which can go on either of the big melta units instead. This list is brutal at range, and the tools it’s using for that are just that much harder to drop than they would be in most Marine lists, maximising the chance of them living through to get the Apothecary’s attention. They can also, sometimes, make use of Devout Push for a very narrow Fire and Fade style effect to get back behind cover if an objective is conveniently placed.

All that’s shooting, so the list needs tools to contest the table to round it out, and finds them in Primaris Crusader squads. Specifically, it’s leveraging the fact that Primaris Neophytes are the most cost efficient source of Primaris-statline Wounds and Astartes chainsword attacks to maximise how far the points it has left go, creating two blocks that are pretty difficult to clear out when stacking Transhuman and the various invulnernable save/wound ignoring options. They’ve also got the sheer volume of chainsword attacks (especially with Fires of Devotion) to clear out anything up to mid-quality targets, can trap stuff with Tenacious Assault, and provide plenty of ground coverage to exploit combat movement with Canticle of Hate.

This build looks very powerful and very cool overall, and shows that there’s more to the Templars book than just spamming Redemptors – it’s deep. Great stuff from Tom.

The Rest of the Best

Five players finished on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd – John DeFrank – Orks: Goff Pressure with Kill Rigs, Trukk Boyz Meganobz and Squighogs, plus the extra tech of multiple Nobz on Smasha Squigs as a way to spike down characters or vulnerable elite units with Mortals.
  • 3rd – Brenton Weiss – Adeptus Mechanicus: Mars Veteran Cohort updated for the new price points, with some mid-sized Ironstrider units ready to obliterate the enemy and Fusilaves to run disruption.
  • 4th ✪ – Colton Long – Imperial Knights: Moirax/Warglaive Armiger spam as house Taranis, aiming to maximise durability while controlling the board. Using Blessed by the Sacristans on a Moriax lightning lock is a pretty cute trick for some extra murder too.
  • 5th – Jake Sindelar – Drukhari: Drukhari Goodstuff with a bit of everything. Note: as far as I can tell this includes a Legends datasheet for Trueborn.
  • 6th – Brad Chester – Craftworlds: See Lists of the Week.

Wrap Up

…and that’s it for the year. I hope you’ve enjoyed this column throughout 2021, and we’ll be hitting the ground running for 2022 either on the 5th or 12th of January, depending on whether anyone is hungry enough for hams to run a tournament on New Year’s Day. Huge thanks to all my readers, everyone who has commented or sent us feedback on each week’s edition, anyone who has provided me with hot tips about events taking place on far-flung shores, and of course the ever inventive cast of players breaking out their spicy new builds each week, without whom this column wouldn’t be possible. Comments, questions and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com as always, and see you in the new year.