Goonhammer Competitive Tier List April 2021

An article by    Competitive Play Goonhammer Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

It’s that time again folks!

COVID causing a renewed bout of shutdowns across the world has delayed us hitting the point where we felt we had enough information to update our 9th Edition competive tier list, but between the continuing stream of data from those lucky folks down under, some events starting up again elsewhere and a wealth of data provided to us by our friends over at the ITC Battles App we’re ready to throw down some rankings. It’s a great time to do it as well, as it gives us a good baseline for where various factions are sitting as people start to be able to get in person games under their belts again (local conditions allowing).

It also lets us take a look at how some of the changes since the previous list have shaken things up – and even with some apparent delays to GW’s planned release schedule there’s quite a bit. Let’s start by reminding ourselves what those changes are.

What Has Changed Since the Last Tier List?

A number of factors can influence faction rankings, mostly coming under three headings:

  • New Rules: Games Workshop releasing new books or rules changes can increase or decrease a faction’s power.
  • Innovation: Players come up with a new angle on a faction that substantially changes its fortunes.
  • Metagame Shifts: Even if a faction’s rules stay the same, shifts in popularity of other armies can impact on its performance if it has strong or weak matchups against them.

The second and third factors here are somewhat subjective, and we’ll dig into them as we go through the factions later on in the article. In terms of rules releases, since the last tier list was published Games Workshop has released the following rules:

  • January FAQ – Mission and rule changes.
  • January FAQ – Point changes
  • Codex Supplement Blood Angels
  • Codex Supplement Dark Angels
  • Codex Death Guard
  • Codex Drukhari*
  • Book of Rust*

Drukhari and the Book of Rust get an asterisk here as these books are new enough that they haven’t really had time to impact where things are sitting. Drukhari, in particular, we’ve taken the decision not to rate them in this list. They’ve been in a very odd place for the last few months thanks to getting their new points costs ahead of their new rules, which has lead to multiple strong builds centred around interactions that (now) no longer exist. They’ll get a rating as normal next time around. Our expectation is that they have a strong chance of landing in Tier 1, and are extremely unlikely to be anywhere below Tier 2, and where that has factored into the list a little bit this time is deciding where marginal cases fall, because we expect Drukhari to be a matchup that players need to be able to win to succeed at the highest level.

How the Tier List Works

Good news – our process is now almost stable, so if you’ve read through this last time, you don’t need to go through all the details again. The only changes for people familiar are:

  • This time around we have roughly tried to order the factions within each tier. We didn’t do this last time. It confused a lot of people. We’re very sorry. It’s also lets us express which factions are either chomping at the heels of the next tier up or at risk of relegation.
  • Because of that, we’re not flagging all the things we voted on behind the scenes in the list itself – the cases where our team were split on things now manifest by those factions ending up at the top or bottom of tiers.
  • We’ve got a new way of visualising our data behind the scenes that helps us decide on marginal cases. You may have seen the various ratings Dexefiend has been putting together for our meta reviews – these are tremendously helpful as they let us see trends in faction performance over time – and this time around in particular a few armies have swung hard either up or down in the last 30 days.

You can see a handy visual representation of this below:

Credit: Dexefiend

Here, the blue line shows the Glicko ratings that factions have built up over the course of the whole edition, while the yellow shows the faction’s win rate for the last 30 days. While the scales are different,  if factions were performing the same as they had been up till now, you’d expect both lines to follow the same trend. That means that the 30-day score spiking significantly above the rating line tends to mean that performance has improved, while it dipping below suggests a drop-off in success.

Now remember, we are not ranking factions purely on this data. A high win rate in the wider data set doesn’t always translate to consistent top-table performance in actual events, and high skill-ceiling factions with a low win rate can still cruise to victory in the right hands. However, in terms of cross checking whether trends we think we’ve identified in tournament results have some backing in what’s going on more widely, it’s been a tremendous asset.

The rest is as before, so expand the drop down below to remind yourself how it works, or skip ahead to the ratings.

Full Details - Click to Expand

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Now that we’re going to be producing this regularly, we’ve been codifying the process of how we pull it together to make sure we’re consistent publication to publication, maximising our ability to look at trends over time. 40K is a game with a tonne of factors at play, so we might occasionally need to revise this, but we’re expecting this to stay largely the same from now on.

What the List Rates

The tier list aims to rate factions based on their tournament winning capability. If a strong player picks up a well-tuned list from this faction, is it acting as a major boost to their chances of winning an event overall, or might it be holding them back?

Obviously strong players can win games and events with lists drawn from almost any faction, but when you go through the top four results from larger events it’s clear that some factions are showing up on the podium again and again, whereas others tend to break through only rarely and only in the hands of the best of the best. The goal of this list it to try and rank where factions fall on that spectrum.

When talking about a faction, we are talking about lists where:

  • That faction makes up the substantial majority of the points spent – at least 2/3rds.
  • The qualities that faction brings to the table are what is driving the success of those lists.

For many factions, this means “pure” armies, but for forces like Knights and some flavours of Chaos using a small “soup” component doesn’t usually disqualify a list from contributing towards where we rate a faction on this scale. For the smaller faction in such a list, or soup lists that wouldn’t function at all without their smaller component, we’re more likely not to “count” it.

To address some common questions and feedback we received last time we published the list, here are some things we aren’t doing when we rate factions:

  • We’re not basing this on win rates alone. Thanks to our friends at 40K Stats and ITC Battles, plus assistance from friendly TOs, we have access to extensive win rate and scoring data that you’ve seen us put to work in our meta reviews. This data is used to inform the placing of factions on this list, particularly when fine tuning borderline cases, but factors such as consistency and skill ceiling can cause the win rate for a faction to be at least somewhat unrepresentative of their actual tournament winning ability.
  • When we rate a faction in one of the lower tiers, we are not saying it’s impossible for a good player to win an event with them, just harder. 9th’s missions are very rewarding to skilled players, and there are angles to succeed with the vast majority of factions. While there are still factions that notably struggle, we do feel like the gulf between tier three and tier four has substantially shrunk thanks to the accumulated changes.

The Tiers

The criteria for going into each tier breaks down as follows:

Tier 1 – Premium Factions

The cream of the crop – the factions that take tournament trophies week in and week out, and where the best builds provide a substantial boost to a player’s chance of winning an event and can generally take on all comers.

Tier 2 – Contenders

Strong factions with powerful builds available that can comfortably take a player to the top, but with the odd weakness such as a bad matchup that keeps them from being among the very best.

Tier 3 – Capable Factions

Factions that can put together a perfectly serviceable list that can win events, but where there are generally better versions of the same strategy available in tiers one and two.

Tier 4 – Hard Mode Zone

Factions where a mix of outdated rules, skewed rosters or being poorly adapted to the 9th missions start to really hurt your chances. Building winning lists here requires very careful use of the Codex, and you’ll often still be at the mercy of a run of misfortune against stronger factions.

Trash Tier

The bad place where win rates go to die. Factions with the same problems as the tier 4 ones that are, for whatever reason, getting kicked by them even harder and just aren’t winning anything at all.

How the List is Compiled

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The list has been put together using the following process:

  1. I took the previous tier list and made an initial proposed set of updates to it based on my impressions from doing my weekly review of top competitive lists as part of writing Competitive Innovations, plus the headline figures from our data.
  2. We circulated this among the Goonhammer competitive writing team, and reviewed it based on the team’s recent experience. Where this produced a strong consensus that a faction should move up or down, we made the change.
  3. Where the group couldn’t come to a full consensus on a borderline case, we had a vote on which tier the army should end up in.
  4. We hashed out an order within the tiers, then compared our draft list to Dexefiends Glicko score tracking.
  5. We made some final adjustments based on that.

Who Makes This Possible?

Just before we go into the list itself, we’d like to thank the following groups/organisations:

  • The ITC Battles App: The premier tool for tracking your games in and out of tournaments. Working with the team at ITC battles has given us access to an unparallelled dataset for tracking trends as competitive players around the world play test games and throw down in events.
  • Best Coast Pairings/Down Under Pairings: The best tools for running events out there, and a great tool for subscribers to be able to see what lists are succeeding in events.
  • 40K Stats: If you want to dig in to high quality, granular data on what’s going on at tournaments, 40K stats is the place to find it.
  • The Goonhammer competitive and stats teams: It’s a sign of how healthy the metagame is right now that the placings for this iteration of the list were heavily debated internally, and the diverse experience and faction mastery of our team has helped us put together what we think is a very robust list, especially with the backup our stats team have provided.

The April 2021 Tier List

Key

⇑ – Rank increased from the previous list. One rank per arrow.
⇓ – Rank decreased from the previous list. One rank per arrow.
= – Rank unchanged from the previous list.

Rankings

Unrated:
Drukhari (predicted T1/T2)

  • Tier 1
    • Sisters of Battle =
    • Death Guard ⇑⇑
    • Harlequins =
    • Dark Angels =
    • Chaos Soup =
  • Tier 2
    • Adeptus Mechanicus =
    • Daemons ⇓
    • Tyranids ⇑
    • White Scars ⇓
    • Black Templars =
    • Custodes =
    • Aeldari Soup (New)
    • Imperial Soup (New)
    • Space Wolves =
    • Orks =
    • Blood Angels =
    • Raven Guard =
    • Iron Hands =
  • Tier 3
    • Imperial Knights =
    • Necrons ⇓
    • Grey Knights ⇑
    • Ultramarines ⇓⇓
    • Salamanders ⇓
    • Chaos Knights ⇑
  • Tier 4
    • Craftworlds ⇑
    • Astra Militarum =
    • Chaos Space Marines =
    • Deathwatch ⇓⇓
    • Imperial Fists ⇓
    • Genestealer Cults ⇓
  • Trash Tier
    • Thousand Sons =
    • Tau =

Implications

Having compiled this list, I’ve got a few high-level takeaways, some of which are very positive while a few cause me a bit more concern.

The Good

  1. The metagame is very healthy and diverse overall. While there are some clear standouts, the Tier 1 factions don’t feel like they’re miles ahead of Tier 2, and Tier 2 is massive.
  2. Recent releases and the January updates have had some major impacts near the top of the rankings. Death Guard and Dark Angels are making some big waves, while Tyranids have absolutely rocketed up the rankings off the back of a bumper crop of improvements.
  3. The changes have also had a more subtle positive impact further down. While there hasn’t been as much movement in the rankings, the drop-off in quality as you head into tier three and four feels less severe than it did last time around. I’ve been back on a Craftworlds kick recently, and playing with them feels substantailly less painful than it did pre-January.

The Bad

  1. The Necron and Marine Codex (outside of Dark Angels) both appear to be on a downward trend, which is somewhat alarming given how early in the edition we are. Both are still functional and putting up some good results, but seeing first codexes start to slide this early on is far from ideal.
  2. Forge World is a massive crutch for factions that haven’t received their books yet. All of Tyranids, Knights, Custodes, Craftworlds and Guard are very reliant on powerful options from the Compendium for the improvements they’ve seen recently (or in Custodes case, for the best builds that are maintaining their position). This represents a real balance minefield going forward as new rules start to interface with these already strong units.

Overall

Fundamentally, the “good” points here are massively positive while the “bad” points are closer to nitpicks (and are easier problems to solve than a stagnant metagame would be). Unless Drukhari completely torpedo things once they’re unleashed (and while they’re excellent, I think several factions have builds that can effectively push back), it looks like we’ve got a pretty great period of highly diverse play coming up. You love to see it folks.

Faction Breakdown

Tier 1

Adepta Sororitas

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Right now, Adepta Sororitas are the faction to beat, pretty conclusively taking what was previously a contested crown, and unlike almost any other faction in history I imagine most of what players are hoping for from the book that’s probably coming soon (given how many new units we’ve seen) is “minimal changes”.

The strength of Sororitas is just how easy it is for them to make any given list “good” at a certain task. Both their ranged and melee damage dealers are very cheap for what they can do (and have trivially shrugged off small nerfs from the January update), and using Acts of Faith allows them to operate far more reliably and consistently than almost any other army. Anchor all of that with incredibly cost-effective and durable troops (now with free banners why not) and you have a fantastic all-rounder army, something 9th heavily rewards. Their array of nasty tricks is also considerable, allowing them to surprise unwary opponents and tip the game in their favour when given the smallest of openings.

It’s not even really the case that there’s one dominant build here, either. Almost every list packs Retributors, but there are several successful options for building around them. Pure Bloody Rose, Bloody Rose in combination with Valourous Heart or Martyred Lady and pure Valorous Heart have all seen success, and even within those you see some builds packing the named characters, some not, some packing Mortifiers, some not, different combinations of melee threats, really the works – and that flexibility means the army can adapt to trends rapidly.

This dominance likely isn’t going anywhere for the next few months either – assuming GW don’t just decide to troll and not give the Palatine a cost at all until the new book, the army has just picked up an Lt. equivalent that it in no way needed given its existing strength, so gets even better. The army tends to play a pretty interactive game, so regularly matching up against it ins’t the most painful thing in the world, but if you’re serious about winning events make sure you know exactly what this faction is capable of – you’re going to be seeing it a lot.

Sample List – Nick Nanavati

This list won the Tables and Towers GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

Bloody rose battalion

HQ

Cannoness- extra relic beneficence, null rod, extra wl trait righteous rage 50
Cannoness- blessed blade: extra relic ardent blade 60
Triumph of st Katherine 195

Troops

5 Sisters- simulacrum 55
5 Sisters- simulacrum 55
5 Sisters- simulacrum 55
5 Sisters- simulacrum 55
5 Sisters- simulacrum 55

Elites

9 Repentia 144
8 Repentia 128
5 Repentia 80
9 Zephyrim 162
Preacher 35
Imagifier WL- indomitable belief, book of at Lucius, tale of warrior 45

No Slot

2 Crusaders 32

Fast Attack

5 Seraphim- 2 hand flamers, 2 inferno pistols 87

Heavy Support

5 Retributors- 3 multi meltas, 1 simulacrum 140
5 Retributors- 3 multi meltas, 1 simulacrum 140
3 Mortifiers (one anchorite) 185

Dedicated Transport

Rhino 80
Rhino 80
Rhino 80

Death Guard

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Death Guard have landed on the scene extremely hot, with numerous tournament successes and a frankly eye-watering win rate in our early data. That latter point has started to drop off a little, but not enough for them not to deserve a Tier 1 spot as things stand, especially considering that they’re enough of a target that they’re causing ripples in the metagame around them. Now that everyone knows they’re a force to be reckoned with, they may dip down to Tier 2 over time, but we’ll want to see that to believe it.

While initial excitement was heavily focused on Mortarion, the book has proven to support a reasonably diverse range of builds. Numerous different Plague Companies have seen use, with The Inexorable, the Ferrymen and Mortarion’s Anvil all showing up across numerous lists, while a wide range of the units are also performing. Deathshroud Terminators and a Revolting Stench Vats Blightspawn appear to be the must-have units, teaming up to provide a very hard to shift mid-board anvil, but outside that there’s a lot of diversity. We’ve seen Blightlord builds, Plague Marine builds, Daemon Engine lists and a fair smattering of Poxwalkers, all in different proportions, and even though Mortarion is excellent he’s not in every list. More recently, combining Volkite Contemptors with the Ferric Blight out of the Inexorable has started to prove popular to add some additional firepower, and taken together the faction has a reasonable amount of flexibility to lean on.

That makes knocking the army out of contention entirely is going to be tough to do, and we’ll see how well the metagame adapts to trying to deal with both the incredible durability of Death guard and the outrageous offence of Drukhari at the same time.

Sample List – Courtney Thomson

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [81 PL, 4CP, 1,510pts] ++

+ Configuration +Death

Plague Company: The Ferrymen

+ Stratagems +

Gifts of Decay [-2CP]: 2x Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Lord of Contagion [6 PL, -1CP, 125pts]: 5. Rotten Constitution, Ferryman’s Scythe, Manreaper and orb of desiccation, Plaguechosen

Malignant Plaguecaster [5 PL, 95pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 4. Putrescent Vitality, Bolt pistol, Plague Skull of Glothila

+ Troops +

Poxwalkers [5 PL, 85pts] . 17x Poxwalker: 17x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

+ Elites +

Blightlord Terminators [20 PL, -1CP, 290pts] . Blightlord Champion: Balesword, Champion of Disease, Combi-bolter, Plaguebringer
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Flail of corruption
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Reaper autocannon
. Blightlord Terminator: Balesword, Combi-bolter

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 155pts] . Deathshroud Champion: 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 155pts] . Deathshroud Champion: 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Foul Blightspawn [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: 3. Hulking Physique, Plaguechosen, Revolting Stench-vats, Viscous Death

Tallyman [4 PL, 70pts]

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger

++ Supreme Command Detachment +3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [25 PL, 3CP, 490pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Plague Company: The Ferrymen

+ Primarch | Daemon Primarch | Supreme Commander +

Mortarion [25 PL, 490pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 5. Curse of the Leper, 6. Gift of Plagues, Warlord

++ Total: [106 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

Harlequins

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Last time around, if we’d had to hand out a crown for top faction it probably would have gone to Harlequins, so merely being in the middle of tier 1 is a bit of a downgrade for them. Our data suggests they’re still performing effectively, but the rate at which they’re taking top fours down has diminished quite a bit, and the lists that are succeeding have seen a bit of a shakeup.

Other shifts at the top have probably driven this – Harlequins rely on being able to blitz whatever they choose to attack, and both Dark Angels and Death Guard stomping around on the top tables that’s a taller order than it was previously, and very high risk. We’ve generally seen two shifts players have tried to adapt to that – going wider with diversely loaded foot Troupes, or going down the soup road and adding Craftworlds units, which we’ll talk about in a bit.

The foot Troupe option works for a number of reasons. It increases the number of extremely high-damage threats the lists have, ensures they have something suitable for any target and increases their redundancy on the table, meaning they can afford to make bold plays when needed. Foot Troupes are also the best users of some of the tricky stratagems the faction got from their Psychic Awakening, letting them meddle very effectively with heavy infantry based lists on the table.

These adapted builds perform well enough that right now, we still believe Harlequins deserve a Tier 1 place in their own right, but it’s plausible that they’ll be trading places with Aeldari soup next time around – especially with Drukhari (and the Cult of Strife in particular) turning up as a powerful new ingredient.

Sample List – Haydn Korach

This list took first place at the Lakes of Blood event.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [87 PL, 1,534pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Masque Form: The Frozen Stars: Hysterical Fury

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Enigmas of the Black Library (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ HQ [14 PL, 261pts, -2CP] +

Shadowseer [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: 6: Player of the Twilight, Domino Shroud, Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher, Miststave, Shards of Light, Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, Smite, Stratagem: Pivotal Role [-1CP], Twilight Pathways, Veil of Illusion, Warlord

Troupe Master [4 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: Choreographer of War, Darkness’ Bite, Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Stratagem: Pivotal Role [-1CP], The Twilight Fang

Troupe Master [4 PL, 76pts]: Choreographer of War, Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades

+ Troops [54 PL, 918pts] +

Troupe [10 PL, 170pts] . Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [10 PL, 170pts] . Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [10 PL, 170pts] . Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [9 PL, 162pts] . Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [10 PL, 176pts] . Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 20pts]: Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 70pts] . Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. Player [1 PL, 14pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

+ Fast Attack [15 PL, 275pts] +

Skyweavers [15 PL, 275pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts]

+ Dedicated Transport [4 PL, 80pts] +

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [24 PL, 465pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Masque Form: The Soaring Spite: Serpent’s Blood

+ HQ [6 PL, 115pts] +

Shadowseer [6 PL, 115pts]: Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher, Miststave, Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, Smite

+ Troops [10 PL, 190pts] +

Troupe [5 PL, 95pts] . Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades

Troupe [5 PL, 95pts] . Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades

+ Dedicated Transport [8 PL, 160pts] +

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon

++ Total: [111 PL, 7CP, 1,999pts] ++

Dark Angels

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Dark Angels had a slightly slower start than might have been anticipated, but at this point they’ve started to conclusively hit their stride as the Marine flavour to beat. The reasons for this aren’t massively complicated – if you’re building around Deathwing or (especially) Ravenwing your units get a massive array of desireable bonuses just for showing up, and some already decent units get pushed over the top into being outstanding. Attack Bikes, Assault Terminators and the humble Bike Squad are the standouts here, and adding in powerful unique options like Talonmasters, Ravenwing Apothecaries and Deathwing Command Squads as well lets you build incredibly potent lists. The most successful builds tend to either mix Deathwing and Ravenwing or just go purely with the latter, and it’s worth noting that pure or very heavy Deathwing seems to be a bit more of a trap (and players going for that route first may have driven the slower start).

The free invuln on already aggressively priced units seems to do just that much more than the Deathwing bonus does, ObSec on basic bikers is extremely useful, and having a good array of Ravenwing damage dealers unlocks the exceptionally powerful Death on the Wind secondary, which can often just be free points. Death Guard also seem to do pure tarpit play a bit better, but adding in the flexibility of Ravenwing’s durable damage dealers around some Terminators give Dark Angels their winning angle.

Now that successful builds have started racking up top fours they’re going to spawn plenty of imitators, so make sure you’re ready to deal with what the Unforgiven are packing going forward.

Sample List – Jordan Berresford

This list took first place at the West Australia Iron Man.

Army List - Click to Expand

cp 12-3-1-1-1=6cp

Faction: Dark Angels

Deathwing Vanguard Detachment -3CP

HQ

Ezekiel [7 PL, 125pts]: 1) Mind Worm, 2) Aversion, 5) Engulfing Fear

Elites

Bladeguard Ancient
[5 PL, 85pts]: Pennant of Remembrance

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Deathwing Sergeant: Lightning Claw (Pair)
. Deathwing Terminator w/THSS

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Deathwing Sergeant: Lightning Claw (Pair)
. Deathwing Terminator w/THSS

Terminator Assault Squad [18 PL, 385pts]: Teleport Homer
. Assault Terminator Sergeant w/THSS
. 4x Assault Terminator: 4x Storm shield, 4x Thunder hammer
. 5x Assault Terminator: 5x Lightning Claw (Pair)

Ravenwing Outrider 0cp [58 PL, 1,245pts]

HQ

Lieutenant(s) [16 PL, 320pts] . Ravenwing Talonmaster
. Ravenwing Talonmaster: Arbiter’s Gaze (-1cp), Rites of War, Hero of the Chapter (-1cp)

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts]: Litany of Faith (Aura), Canticle of Hate (Aura), Master of Sanctity, Warlord, Wise Orator

Elites

Ravenwing Apothecary [6 PL, 115pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Hero of the Chapter(1cp)
. Black Knight Bike: Astartes grenade launcher

Fast Attack

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 165pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 110pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 110pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Bike Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . Biker Sergeant: Lightning Claw
. 2x Space Marine Biker w/Chainsword: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Twin boltgun

Bike Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . Biker Sergeant: Lightning Claw
. 2x Space Marine Biker w/Chainsword: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Twin boltgun

Bike Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . Biker Sergeant: Lightning Claw
. 2x Space Marine Biker w/Chainsword: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Twin boltgun

Total: 96 PL, 2,000pts

Chaos Soup

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Chaos Soup has been strong all edition, but it’s really come into its own recently thanks to two main changes. The arrival of Mortarion has turbo-charged monster mash builds, as he’s a terrifying wrecking ball and doesn’t need any support from the rest of the Death Guard to be fantastic (as long as you make him your Warlord), while the exceptional discount Chaos Space Marine Terminators received in January has made them an excellent brawler unit to include alongside Daemons. That latter strategy has proved so successful that it’s knocked pure Daemons off their Tier 1 perch – they’re still very good, but right now we think soup builds incorporating Terminators (or in some cases Noise Marines) are just a better way of playing a similar strategy.

It’s likely that as the edition progresses there will be some changes to this, as every book we’ve seen thus far has had some sort of mono-faction incentive. Equally, however, Mortarion has proven that new books can provide powerful soup tools, and given that Chaos has always been the soup faction, expect to see plenty more strong performances from it yet. Both monster mash and the Daemon/CSM builds are strong enough to justify a tier 1 placing, so make sure you know what Mortarion’s tricks are and the stratagem suite around Emperor’s Children Terminators.

Sample List – TJ Lanigan

This is the list TJ played at the Las Vegas Nopen. Variants on it have been seen afoot in the wild at a number of events. Note that not all events allow the Warlord setup here (Mortarion in the Auxiliary but still Warlord), as whether it works is hotly debated, but as recently as last weekend a variant putting Mortarion in the Supreme Command racked up a top four, so even without the hyper optimisation of getting access to the Thousand Sons legion trait on Magnus the build still functions.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Daemons) [46 PL, -3CP, 995pts] ++
+ Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided Detachment
Command Cost [-3CP] -1 Cp Exalted Random
-1 Cp Relic Impossible Robe

+ HQ +
Exalted Lord of Change [14 PL, 270pts]: Bolt of Change, Boon of Change, Infernal Gateway, Smite, Staff of Tzeentch, Impossible Robe

Poxbringer [4 PL, 75pts]: Balesword, Smite, Virulent Blessing

The Changeling [6 PL, 105pts]: Gaze of Fate, Smite, The Trickster’s Staff

+ Troops +
Horrors [12 PL, 215pts]: Daemonic Icon, Smite . 25x Pink Horror: 25x Coruscating flames Nurglings [2 PL, 66pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth
Nurglings [2 PL, 66pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth
Nurglings [2 PL, 66pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth
Nurglings [2 PL, 66pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth
Nurglings [2 PL, 66pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

++ Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [25 PL, 490pts] ++

Lord of War +
Mortarion [25 PL, 490pts]:Gloaming Bloat 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 2. Gift of plagues, Attendant’s claws and teeth, Phosphex bombs, Silence, Smite, The Lantern, Warlord

++ Supreme Command Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [24 PL, 465pts] ++
+ Primarch | Daemon Primarch | Supreme Commander +
Magnus the Red [24 PL, 465pts]: Doombolt, Smite, The Blade of Magnus, Warptime, Weaver of Fates

++ Total: [95 PL, 4CP, 1,950pts] 50 points reinforcement

Sample List – Matt Morsoli

This list won the Adelaide Uprising Major.

Army List - Click to Expand

Chaos Daemons Patrol -0CP (Warlord Detachment) = 686pts
Mixed

HQ

Lord of Change – 270 Exalted Lord of Change -1CP (Exalted Trait: Aura of Mutibility)
Bolt of Change, Gaze of Fate
Relic: impossible Robe
Warlord Trait: Incorporeal Form

Elites

Beasts of Nurgle x5 = 175
Beasts of Nurgle x5 = 175

Troops

3 Nurglings =66

Chaos Daemons Patrol -2CP = 550pts
Slaanesh

HQ

Keeper of Secrets – Exalted Keeper of Secrets -1CP ( Exalted Trait: Blessing of the Dark Prince), Shining Aegis – 10 = 240
Hysterical Frenzy, Pavane of Slaanesh

Keeper of Secrets – Exalted Keeper of Secrets -1CP (Exalted Trait: Roll 2 & Apply Both), Shining Aegis – 10 = 240
Hysterical Frenzy, Symphony of Pain

Troops

10 Daemonettes = 70

Chaos Space Marine Patrol =760
Emperors Children

HQ

Chaos Sorcerer In Terminator Armor, Combi Bolter, Force Stave, Mark of Slaanesh = 105
Prescience, Delightful Agonies

Troops

10 Cultists, Autoguns =60

Elites

10 Chaos Terminators, Combi Bolters, Lightning Claws, Mark of Slaanesh, 2 Reaper Autocannons, Icon of Excess = 300
10 Chaos Terminators, Combi Bolters, Lightning Claws, Mark of Slaanesh, 1 Reaper Autocannon, Icon of Excess = 295

Total = 1996

Tier 2

Adeptus Mechanicus

AdMech went quiet for a bit, but are suddenly knocking on the door of Tier 1 because they deal extremely effectively with some of the other top lists. Many factions in 9th are very dependent on melee to do damage, but this is hugely risky when going in to Dark Angels or Death Guard Terminators. AdMech can line up the diversity and quantity of ranged threats to crack open pretty much any static tarpit, while having enough decent choices for board control and counter-charging to keep them flexible.

All of the old classics have been on show recently, but a couple of units have stood out. We’ve seen a successful build down under leaning on a massive brick of Mars Kataphron Destroyers, which is pretty much the ultimate sanction if you’re worried about enemy Terminator blocks because of the number of mortals Wrath of Mars represents. Elsewhere, Archeopter Fusilaves have been seen doing strong work shutting down opposing auras, switching off key defensive protections out of Sororitas that might allow the enemy to absorb AdMech’s firepower and also letting you totally ruin the day of anyone relying on Rites of War to score Stubborn Defiance.

How AdMech are going to play out from here is a bit of a mystery, as they’ve both seen a recent major upgrade to a less used Forge World from the Book of Rust and are next in line for a new Codex. We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out for them, but until then they’re definitely a real contender, and honestly were close enough to being handed a Tier 1 spot that they might have locked it in if we’d compiled this a few weeks later.

Sample List – Mark Hertel

This list took second place at the Tables and Towers GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [108 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice
. Forge World: Stygies VIII

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Inquisitor [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 1) Terrify, 6) Castigation, Blade of the Ordo, Combi-melta, Malleus – Psychic Mastery, Ordo Malleus, Power sword, Psyker, Stratagem: Arbiter of the Emperor’s Will

+ HQ +

Tech-Priest Dominus [5 PL, 80pts]: Macrostubber, Volkite Blaster, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Engine War): Divinations of the Magos

Tech-Priest Manipulus [4 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: Mechanicus Locum, Relic: Anzion’s Pseudogenetor, Transonic cannon, Warlord Trait (Codex 6): Prime Hermeticon

+ Troops +

Skitarii Vanguards [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Skitarii Vanguard: 4x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

Skitarii Vanguards [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Skitarii Vanguard: 4x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

Skitarii Vanguards [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Skitarii Vanguard: 4x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

+ Elites +

Corpuscarii Electro-Priests [6 PL, 140pts] . 10x Corpuscarii Electro-Priest: 10x Electrostatic Gauntlets

Fulgurite Electro-Priests [8 PL, 136pts] . 8x Fulgurite Electro-Priest: 8x Electroleech Stave

Fulgurite Electro-Priests [8 PL, 136pts] . 8x Fulgurite Electro-Priest: 8x Electroleech Stave

+ Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Serberys Raiders [2 PL, 48pts]: Serberys Raider Alpha
. 2x Serberys Raider: 2x Cavalry Sabre, 2x Clawed Limbs, 2x Galvanic Carbine

+ Heavy Support +

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts]: Command Uplink

+ Dedicated Transport +

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 100pts]

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 100pts]

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 100pts]

++ Total: [108 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

Daemons

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Daemons still have a whole bunch of very competitive options, but have dropped down to tier 2 because their pure builds are currently straight up outclassed by Daemon/CSM soup setups. Player numbers have correspondingly dropped significantly, and if you want the very best Daemon themed builds Chaos can give you, soup is the way to go.

If you are sticking on the warpspawn straight and narrow, the only recent trend of note is towards more Bloodletters in lists – people seem to have remembered that a unit or two of these is a very valuable asset, and high volume attacks with good AP attached to horde bodies is a good place to be right now. Other than that, the stuff we’ve seen performing all edition is, in fact, still good – Big Bird, Beasts, Nurglings, Furies and most of the Slaanesh roster all have their place.

Sample List – Travis Kirke

This list took seventh place at the Objective Secured Perth GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment (Chaos – Daemons) [67 PL, -2CP, 1,346pts] ++
Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided
+ HQ [24 PL, -1CP, 495pts] +
Lord of Change [14 PL, -1CP, 275pts]: Staff of Tzeentch, Baleful sword [5pts]
    Warlord: Incorporeal Form
    Relic: The Impossible Robe
Exalted Lord of Change [-1CP] (RANDOM)
Psychic Powers: Flickering Flames, Gaze of Fate, Infernal Gateway
Be’Lakor [11 PL, 220pts] Psychic Powers: Death Hex, Infernal Gaze
+ Troops [24 PL, -1CP, 449pts] +
Bloodletters [8 PL, -1CP, 185pts]: Banner of Blood [-1CP], Daemonic Icon [15pts], Instrument of Chaos [10pts]
. 19x Bloodletter [152pts]: 19x Hellblade
. Bloodreaper [8pts]: Hellblade
Nurglings [6 PL, 88pts]
. 4x Nurgling Swarms [88pts]: 4x Diseased claws and teeth
Nurglings [6 PL, 88pts]
. 4x Nurgling Swarms [88pts]: 4x Diseased claws and teeth
Nurglings [6 PL, 88pts]
. 4x Nurgling Swarms [88pts]: 4x Diseased claws and teeth
+ Elites [15 PL, 312pts] +
Beasts of Nurgle [2 PL, 35pts]
. Beast of Nurgle [2 PL, 35pts]: Putrid appendages
Beasts of Nurgle [2 PL, 35pts]
. Beast of Nurgle [2 PL, 35pts]: Putrid appendages
Beasts of Nurgle [2 PL, 35pts]
. Beast of Nurgle [2 PL, 35pts]: Putrid appendages
Flamers [9 PL, 207pts]
. 8x Flamer [184pts]: 8x Flickering flames
. Pyrocaster [23pts]: Flickering flames
+ Fast Attack [4 PL, 90pts] +
Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Tzeentch
. 5x Fury [45pts]: 5x Daemonic claws
Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Tzeentch
. 5x Fury [45pts]: 5x Daemonic claws
++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [28 PL, -5CP, 530pts] ++
Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh
+ HQ [24 PL, -3CP, 460pts] +
Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, -2CP, 230pts]: Witstealer sword, Living whip, Snapping claws,
    Exalted Keeper of Secrets [-1CP] (BLESSING OF THE DARK PRINCE)
    Relic [-1 CP]: The Forbidden Gem
    Psychic Powers: Symphony of Pain, Hysterical Frenzy
Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, -1CP, 230pts]: Witstealer sword, Living whip, Snapping claws,
    Exalted Keeper of Secrets [-1CP] (RANDOM)
    Psychic Powers: Delightful Agonies, Hysterical Frenzy
+ Troops [4 PL, 70pts] +
Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts]
. Alluress [7pts]: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette [63pts]: 9x Piercing claws
++ Total: [95 PL, 5CP, 1,876pts + 124 Reinforcement Points] ++

Tyranids

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

What a turnaround this is! Tyranids started the edition down in the dumps of garbage tier, and while highly tuned lists managed to pull that up a little, it was still tough going for the bugs early on.

No more – pretty much everything has gone right for the forces of the Hive Mind since then, and now they’re a real force to be reckoned with. Some outstanding Forge World options, extremely generous point changes and the changes to Bring it Down and Abhor the Witch have left Tyranids bashing their gigantic claws against the gateway to Tier One, and over the next few months we’re going to find out if the double Dimachaeron builds that everyone has been thinking terribly seriously about can add enough podium positions to their scoreboard to take a coveted top spot.

The Dimachaeron is the poster child for the bugs’ recent improvements, going from a terrible waste of points that no one cared about in 8th to an aggressively costed nightmare killing machine in 9th, able to rampage around the battlefield at exceptional speed thanks to the Swarmlord and various Kraken abilities and tear most targets apart. Backed up by discounted Hive Guard and Hive Tyrants, and with the lists now having access to a potent anti-horde flex choice in cheap devourer gaunts, Nids can put down some exceptionally mean setups, and John Lennon’s lists below is definitely an army to study right now.

It isn’t even just the Dimachaeron though – a second powerful strategy has emerged of combining Hierodules (another massive Forge World glow up) with Hive Fleet Jormundgar and various defensive buffs to set up some incredibly hard to kill mobile wrecking balls. It’s a little bit vulnerable to heavy terrain setups (whereas the Dimachaeron laughs at such foolish concepts) but extremely potent on lighter boards, and benefits from all the same improvements to the supporting cast as the Dimachaeron lists. While the best builds are using Forge World, across the board improvements do make lists without it way more competitive as well, and Exocrines and Tyrannofexes with the spray have been throwing their weight around, usually with a higher number of Hive Tyrants in tow.

After a shaky start to 9th it’s now a great time to be a bug – so if you’re a fan of absorbing biomass, get those armies back onto the table.

Sample List – John Lennon

This list took first place at the Salt Classic GT

Army List - Click to Expand

Hive Fleet Kronos patrol

HQ

Neurothrope (symbiostorm) 95

Troops

3x Ripper Swarm 36
10x Hormagaunts 60

Elites

6x Hive Guard (Enhanced resistance, Impaler Cannons) 270

Heavy Support

Exocrine 170

Hive Fleet Kraken Battalion

HQ

The Swarmlord (Catalyst, Paroxysm, Warlord: Adaptation) 270
Hive Tyrant (Wings, Adrenal Glands, Rending Claws, Devourers, Onslaught, Psychic Scream, Resonance Barb) 210

Troops

10 Hormagaunts 60
20 Hormagaunts 120
30 Termagants (30 Devourers) 210

Elites

Lictor 37

Fast Attack

Dimachaeron (Accelerated Digestion) 230
Dimachaeron 230

White Scars

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

White Scars held a pretty clear crown as best Marines for a while, but they’ve hit a very rough patch in the last few months, with substantial drops in usage, win rates and top table performances. Given the heights they were starting from that hardly leaves them in a terrible spot, and they’ll still take unprepared players to pieces in skilled hands, but we’ve seen enough to bump them down a rank.

Most likely Death Guard are driving that, as Revolting Stench Vats and the Gloaming Bloat tank the army’s damage output even harder than they do for most opponents, as White Scars need to be charging to turn on their superdoctrine and Kor’sarro’s buff, and tend to lean heavily on lightning claw VanVets (who look a bit embarrassed when they try and murder stuff without wound re-rolls) and Plasmaceptors. At the point where you can’t rely on your key damage dealers to roll through stuff the attraction of playing Scars diminishes, and other strategies like Dark Angels and Black Templars go up in value, as they can build some dedicated tarpits to anchor around while their ranged threats chip away much more effectively.

If you’re taking Scars out, you should tune to try and mitigate these weaknesses, and that tends to mean more tools that can help you deal with nasty tarpits and Mortarion. Get those melta Attack Bikes out and start blasting.

Sample List – Josh Brodie

This list took second place at the Battle in the Bush GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

+ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – White Scars) [52 PL, 11CP, 1,038pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: White Scars

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus [5 PL, 85pts]

+ HQ +

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [6 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: 2. Catechism of Fire, Benediction of Fury, Chogorian Storm, Litany of Hate, Rites of War, Stratagem: Tempered by Wisdom, Warlord

+ Troops +

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

+ Elites +

Company Veterans [3 PL, 47pts] . Company Veteran: Bolt pistol, combat shield
. Company Veteran Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Storm shield

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 285pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Power fist, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 110pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 275pts]: 4x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – White Scars) [46 PL, -3CP, 963pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: White Scars

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Chapter Master [8 PL, 150pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Chapter Master, Jump Pack, Teeth of Terra

+ Troops +

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts] . 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 298pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Storm shield, Thunder hammer

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 110pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 110pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

++ Total: [98 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

Black Templars

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

At this point it’s clear that Black Templars aren’t just a flash in the pan – despite having the fewest tools of any of the codex Marine chapters right now, the extreme power of what they do have means they can go toe to toe with the best, and they’ve been seen rampaging across top tables across the globe.

The three key assets they have are:

  • Devout Push – it’s any or all of advance/charge, fall back/charge or sometimes “charge in your opponent’s turn”. This is, obviously, extremely good.
  • Buffed up melee blobs – Their extra litanies let you make your crucial melee units super nasty, and you can use Tenacious Assault to trap people with them.
  • Double Double Chaplains – Grimaldus isn’t a Master of Sanctity, he just walks and quacks like one, which means you can double up on super Chaplains.

Templars end up with an extremely narrow focus (buffing and controlling the game with melee bricks) but they’re better at that than any other Marines and that’s such a very good plan in 9th that it makes them seriously competitive. The fact that people aren’t even bothering to build around what are essentially 75pt Tactical Squads because there are better options is wild.

Sample List – Luke Pearce

This list took fourth place at the Adelaide Uprising major.

Army List - Click to Expand

2000Pts Black Templars
12-7 = 5 CP Starting

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Adeptus Astartes – Black Templars) [90 PL, -4CP, 1,570pts] ++
Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics

+ HQ +

Chaplain Grimaldus [5 PL, 95pts]: 3. Exhortation of Rage, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Litany of Hate

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts]: 1. Litany of Divine Protection, 5. Fervent Acclamation, Ancient Breviary (-1CP), Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Litany of Hate

+ Elites +

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

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

Terminator Assault Squad [18 PL, 233pts]: Teleport Homer
. Assault Terminator Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. 2x Assault Terminator w/THSS: 2x Storm shield, 2x Thunder hammer
. 3x Assault Terminator w/x2LC: 3x Lightning Claw (Pair)

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 257pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Power fist, Storm shield

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 265pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Power fist, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack +

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 220pts]: 3x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Black Templars) [23 PL, -3CP, 430pts] ++
Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics

+ HQ +

Captain on Bike [8 PL, -1CP, 140pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Chapter Command: Chapter Master, Master of the Codex, Stratagem: (-1CP) Hero of the Chapter, (-1CP) Teeth of Terra

Lieutenants [4 PL, -1CP, 75pts] . Lieutenant in Reiver Armour: Rites of War, (-1CP) Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Crusader’s Helm (Free relic)

+ Troops +

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

+ Elites +

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, 95pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Warlord

++ Total: [113 PL, -7CP, 2,000pts] ++

Custodes

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Custodes continue to maintain an exceptional win rate outside of tournaments and put up a steady clip of good finishes within them. At points they’ve looked more like a gatekeeper list, but right now they look like a genuine high end faction. The Forge World Compendium brought an absolute abundance of riches for the Golden Host, with particular standouts being improvements to Venatari and Sagittarum (giving some excellent mobile killers and core troops) and a set of changes to the Telemon that seems to have shaken out to positive as long as you’re willing to use them aggressively. Combine that all with access to a top end tarpit unit (shield Custodians) and some great Characters and you have a roster that’s narrow but very good at what it does, and at least a couple of different valid builds (mostly “Telemons” or “not Telemons”). The Shadowkeepers are essentially the only game in town for the very top end builds at the moment, but other Shield Hosts have popped up enough over the edition that it wouldn’t be totally surprising to see more appear if someone found the right shell.

I’d also say that the outlook for Custodes is positive – they match up well against several of the current top lists, and the Telemon builds in particular feel like they’re potentially a bit of a nightmare for Drukhari. This is another faction where you do need to be willing to pay the resin tax to get access to the best builds, but even if you don’t there’s still power here, and if your heart belongs only to plastic make sure to check out the recently discounted Vertus Praetors, who would probably be getting more airtime if the FW stuff didn’t exist.

Sample List – Aaron Cook

This list took second place at the Free State GT

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [99 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

+ Stratagems +

Open the Vaults [-1CP]: Open the Vaults: 1 Extra Relic

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Culexus Assassin [5 PL, 100pts]

+ HQ +

Shield Captain in Allarus Terminator Armor [6 PL, 115pts]: Castellan Axe, Praetorian Plate

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 175pts, -1CP]: Auric Aquilas, Captain-Commander, Salvo Launcher, Superior Creation, Unstoppable Destroyer, Warlord

+ Troops +

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 150pts]: Sagittarum Custodian, Sagittarum Custodian, Sagittarum Custodian

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 150pts]: Sagittarum Custodian, Sagittarum Custodian, Sagittarum Custodian

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 150pts]: Sagittarum Custodian, Sagittarum Custodian, Sagittarum Custodian

+ Elites +

Allarus Custodians [15 PL, 375pts] . Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe

Prosecutors [3 PL, 60pts]: Sister Superior
. 4x Prosecutor: 4x Boltgun, 4x Psyk-Out Grenades

+ Fast Attack +

Pallas Grav-Attack [5 PL, 95pts]

Pallas Grav-Attack [5 PL, 95pts]

Venatari Custodians [16 PL, 275pts] . Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler

+ Heavy Support +

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, 260pts]: Iliastus Accelerator Culverin
. Telemon Caestus

++ Total: [99 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

Aeldari Soup

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Two whole new entries on the list this time around, as recent shifts have left two more of the soup flavours as enough of their own thing to get a spot on the list.

In Aeldari land, three spins on this concept have been popping up recently:

  • Harlequins + Craftworlds – Asuryani shooting from Lynxes, War Walkers, Wraithseers and Hornets help Harlequins deal with targets that are risky to charge.
  • Wrack spam + Craftworlds – Probably dead as of the new Drukhari book, but old Prophets of the Flesh Wracks plus Craftworld shooting was an effective combo.
  • Whatever Sean Nayden is up to this month – man is an Aeldari machine.

While the Wrack builds go away, Cult of Strife detachments provide another enticing soup ingredient thanks to the Book of Rust, and we expect to see experimentation with them in various shells. Harlequin builds with shooting backup also aren’t going anywhere, as lists featuring targets that are very risky to deal with up close continue to proliferate, meaning that packing tools to soften them up can help a whole bunch. Finally, given Sean was literally packing Hellions before they were cool it seems extremely likely that he’ll be back with some new nightmare concoction featuring deadly Drukhari toys in the near future. I’m certainly cracking my knuckles and getting ready to trial some soup builds right now, and I’m sure plenty of other players are as well.

Sample List – Harlequins/Asuryani – Michael Mientjes

This list took first place at the Brisbane Open.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [45 PL, 915pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Craftworld Attribute
. Custom Craftworld: Expert Crafters, Hunters of Ancient Relics

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Farseer Skyrunner [7 PL, 135pts]: 0. Smite, 3. Fortune, 4. Executioner, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Heavy Support +

Note: The unit cost for the Wraithlords should be 140, but the list as written comes out at 10pts under, so adding 5 to each of these still leaves the army legal and I assume they were added in as a way to blow the last 10pts at the last minute. Put down the comment pitchforks.

Wraithlord [7 PL, 135pts]: Flamer, Flamer, 2x Starcannon

Wraithlord [7 PL, 135pts]: Flamer, Flamer, 2x Starcannon

Wraithseer [8 PL, 170pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Protect/Jinx, D-cannon

Wraithseer [8 PL, 170pts]: 0. Smite, 5. Quicken/Restrain, D-cannon

Wraithseer [8 PL, 170pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Protect/Jinx, D-cannon

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [54 PL, 1,073pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Masque Form: The Midnight Sorrow: The Art of Death

+ Stratagems +

Enigmas of the Black Library (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Shadowseer [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, Stratagem: Pivotal Role, Twilight Pathways, Veil of Illusion, Webway Dance

Troupe Master [4 PL, 65pts, -1CP]: Choreographer of War, Darkness’ Bite, Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol, Stratagem: Pivotal Role, The Twilight Fang

+ Troops +

Troupe [5 PL, 109pts] . Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 109pts] . Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 109pts] . Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 94pts] . Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol

+ Elites +

Death Jester [3 PL, 50pts]: 6: Player of the Twilight, Death is not Enough, Warlord

Solitaire [5 PL, 102pts]: Blitz, Cegorach’s Rose

+ Dedicated Transport +

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Total: [99 PL, 1,988pts, 6CP] ++

Sample List – Other Soup – Sean Nayden

This list won the Clutch City GT.

Note: This list will obviously need revising now that the Drukhari Codex is out, but unlike mainline Drukhari builds it wasn’t leaning on any old stratagems or faction traits to work, being as it is Ynnari. The units that potentially are on the chopping block are the beasts, Court of the Archon and maybe Ravager now that it can’t get re-rolls from the Archon.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [50 PL, 1,025pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masters of Concealment

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Avatar of Khaine [12 PL, 235pts]

Farseer Skyrunner [7 PL, 135pts]: 0. Smite, 2. Doom, 4. Executioner, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Heavy Support +

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 105pts] . 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 105pts] . 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 105pts] . 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: Reaper Launcher
. . Exarch Power: Rapid Shot

Wraithseer [8 PL, 170pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Protect/Jinx, D-cannon

Wraithseer [8 PL, 170pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Protect/Jinx, D-cannon

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [56 PL, 971pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Ynnari

+ No Force Org Slot +

Beast Unit [2 PL, 12pts] . Razorwing Flocks
. . Razorwing flock

Beast Unit [2 PL, 12pts] . Razorwing Flocks
. . Razorwing flock

Beast Unit [2 PL, 12pts] . Razorwing Flocks
. . Razorwing flock

Court of the Archon [2 PL, 32pts] . Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

Shrine of the Whispering God [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 70pts]: Huskblade, Splinter pistol, Walker of Many Paths, Warlord
. Hungering Blade

Yvraine [6 PL, 120pts]: 1. Gaze of Ynnead, 5. Shield of Ynnead

+ Troops +

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts] +2 move
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii blade, Splinter pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii blade, 4x Splinter Pistol

+ Elites +

Beastmaster [3 PL, 40pts]: Agoniser +1 toughness

Incubi [8 PL, 128pts] . 7x Incubi: 7x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [11 PL, 255pts] +1 attack
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 14x Hellion: 14x Hellglaive, 14x Splinter pods

+ Heavy Support +

Ravager [8 PL, 155pts]: Disintegrator cannon, Disintegrator cannon, Disintegrator cannon

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance

++ Total: [106 PL, 8CP, 1,996pts] ++

Imperial Soup

Mix-and-match fun isn’t just for elves and daemons, oh no – the Imperium has been getting in on the action too.

To a significant extent, this has been driven by one unit – Retributors. These are so outrageously good at killing stuff at range that their use hasn’t been restricted to Sororitas alone, and a couple of soup builds providing them with alternative support have emerged. These are:

  • The “Shieldwall” build popularised by Tank Roberts at the LVNo, using shield Custodians and characters as an anchor for Retributors and Repentia to work around.
  • The Death Korps Pony Club, which floods the board with Death Riders. This clogs up the board with cheap wounds (that even get some extra synergy from Celestine) while, again, Sororitas damage dealers get things done.

Both of these builds continue to look viable as things stand (especially with the Palatine arriving), but the 9th Ed. Sisters codex could nuke them depending on how things go, so it’s tough to predict where this will land next time around.

The other dark horse here is AdMech/Knight builds – the Book of Rust does something very unusual in giving you a specific incentive to build this exact soup pairing (between Raven and Metalica) and on paper it’s got at least some appeal. If that lands, or if something from the new AdMech book is particularly appealing those provide other angles for Imperial soup staying relevant. Right now – it’s pretty good, and if you have Sisters and Custodes in particular, knock yourself out giving the combination a go.

Sample List – Tank Roberts

This list won the Las Vegas Nopen.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment  0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [61 PL, 0CP, 1,108pts] ++

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ HQ [6 PL, -2CP, 95pts] +

Canoness [3 PL, 50pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Null Rod, Relic: Litanies of Faith, Warlord, Warlord Trait: 4. Beacon of Faith

Missionary [3PL, 45pts]

+ Troops [12 PL, 165pts] +
Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts]: 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, Sister Superior [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts]: 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, Sister Superior [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts]: 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, Sister Superior [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword

+ Elites [14 PL, 308pts] +
Death Cult Assassins [1 PL, 26pts]: 2x Death Cult Assassins [26pts]: 2x Death Cult power blades

Death Cult Assassins [1 PL, 26pts]: 2x Death Cult Assassins [26pts]: 2x Death Cult power blades

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 128pts]: 8x Sisters Repentia [128pts]: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 128pts]: 8x Sisters Repentia [128pts]: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Heavy Support [21 PL, 380pts] +
Retributor Squad [7 PL, 130pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts],
2x Retributor [28pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades,
Retributor Superior [14pts]: Bolt pistol, Combi-flamer [10pts] Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta
Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 130pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts],
2x Retributor [28pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades,
Retributor Superior [14pts]: Bolt pistol, Combi-flamer
Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta
Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 120pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts],
2x Retributor [28pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades,
Retributor Superior [14pts]: Bolt pistol
Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta
Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [34pts]: Multi-melta

+ Dedicated Transport [8 PL, 160pts] +
Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts] Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [41 PL, -5CP, 888pts] ++
Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

+ HQ [19 PL, -2CP, 368pts] +

Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 190pts]

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, -2CP, 178pts]: Auric Aquilas [-1CP], Captain-Commander [-1CP], Hurricane Bolter, Indomitable Constitution, Misericordia [3pts], Superior Creation, Ten Thousand Heroes [-1CP]

+ Troops [22 PL, 520pts] +

Custodian Guard Squad [11 PL, 260pts]: 5x Custodian [225pts]: Sentinel Blade [10pts], Storm Shield [25pts]

Custodian Guard Squad [11 PL, 260pts]: 5x Custodian [225pts]: Sentinel Blade [10pts], Storm Shield [25pts]

1996pts, 7CP

Sample List – Jordan Berresford

This list took third place at the Objective Secured Perth GT (which, confusingly, was a major).

Army List - Click to Expand

Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Death Korps of Krieg) [33 PL, 675pts, -3CP]

Regimental Doctrine: Death Korps of Krieg

HQ

Death Rider Squadron Commander [3 PL, 45pts]: Chainsword, Laspistol (-1cp kurovs Aquila)

Death Rider Squadron Commander [3 PL, 45pts]: Chainsword, Laspistol

Fast Attack

Death Rider Command Squadron [3 PL, 60pts] . 4x Death Rider Veterans: 4x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 4x Laspistol, 4x Savage claws

Death Rider Command Squadron [3 PL, 60pts] . 4x Death Rider Veterans: 4x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 4x Laspistol, 4x Savage claws

Death Rider Command Squadron [3 PL, 60pts] . 4x Death Rider Veterans: 4x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 4x Laspistol, 4x Savage claws

Death Rider Squadron [6 PL, 135pts] . 8x Death Korps Death Riders: 8x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 8x Frag & Krak grenades, 8x Laspistol, 8x Savage claws
. Ridemaster: Death Rider Hunting Lance, Laspistol

Death Rider Squadron [6 PL, 135pts] . 8x Death Korps Death Riders: 8x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 8x Frag & Krak grenades, 8x Laspistol, 8x Savage claws
. Ridemaster: Death Rider Hunting Lance, Laspistol

Death Rider Squadron [6 PL, 135pts] . 8x Death Korps Death Riders: 8x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 8x Frag & Krak grenades, 8x Laspistol, 8x Savage claws
. Ridemaster: Death Rider Hunting Lance, Laspistol

Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [64 PL, 1,325pts]

Order Convictions: Order: Valorous Heart

HQ

Canoness [3 PL, 65pts]: Blessed Blade, Inferno pistol, (Relic: Mantle of Ophelia ), Warlord, (trait: rightoues Rage)

Celestine [8 PL, 170pts]

Troops

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Elites

Celestian Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . 3x Celestian: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Celestian Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword
. Celestian w/ Multi-melta(20)

Celestian Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . 3x Celestian: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Celestian Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword
. Celestian w/ Multi-melta (20)

Imagifier [3 PL, 45pts]: (-1cp Heroine in the Making), (-1cp Relic: Book of St. Lucius), Tale of the Stoic, (-1cp Trait: Indomitable Belief)

Heavy Support

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, boltgun, chainsword
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, boltgun, chainsword
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, boltgun, chainsword
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta

Dedicated Transport

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]: Storm bolter

Total: [97 PL, 2000pts]

Space Wolves

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Space Wolves have some powerful tools, but in terms of top-end strategies they’ve ended up looking very narrow. The one they have is pretty good, however – Redemptor Dreadnoughts got a huge uplift to become one of the best all-rounder units in the 9th Edition Marine book, and Wolves provide the best support for them, sufficient to create a valid strategy. Being able to shield them via Storm Caller and Cloaked by the Storm lets them get up the board in safety, and once they’re among the enemy the 6″ heroic provided by Counter Charge makes them almost impossible to avoid. With the option to back them up with Hunter as well for even more mobility, and other units able to comfortably handle horde-clearing duties (thanks to the abundance of extra hits from Savage Fury), this is enough to keep Wolves in Tier 2, but bear in mind that if you’re on other plans (such as ThunderCav) you’re likely to find it tougher going.

Sample List – Rob Triplett

This list came fifth at the Tables and Towers GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Space Wolves) [104 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Space Wolves

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Bjorn the Fell-handed [10 PL, 175pts]: Heavy plasma cannon

Primaris Librarian [5 PL, 95pts]: 2. Murderous Hurricane, 5. Storm Caller, Rites of War, The Armour Indomitus, Warlord

Primaris Techmarine [5 PL, 100pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Master of the Forge, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Armour of Russ, Warden of the Ancients

+ Troops +

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts] . 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. Incursor Sergeant

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 130pts]: Helix gauntlet
. 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 130pts]: Helix gauntlet
. 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts] . 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts] . 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Wolf Guard [7 PL, 140pts]: Jump Pack
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard Pack Leader: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Wolf Guard [7 PL, 140pts]: Jump Pack
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard Pack Leader: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack +

Cyberwolves [1 PL, 15pts]: Cyberwolf

+ Heavy Support +

Eradicator Squad [14 PL, 250pts]: Heavy melta rifle
. 4x Eradicator: 4x Bolt pistol
. Eradicator Sgt

++ Total: [104 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

Orks

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Orks continue to trukk along as a decent faction. The Goff horde lists have dropped off a bit (and would probably hover around T3 on their own), but Deathskullz shooty buggy builds continue to be very effective, and a spicy brew themed around Grot Mobz was recently unleashed on the Clutch City GT to great success. Orks are among the best in breed at going extremely wide with shooting threats thanks to the power of Smasha Gunz, Scrapjets and various other cheap and cheerful hulls, and everything except Smashas on that list works exceptionally well as Deathskullz. Add in the effectiveness of the cheap objective utility units that the Skullz can put on the table and the terrifying wrecking ball that Ghaz represents, and you have a faction that can tangle with the best and thoroughly overwhelm the unprepared.

Sample List – Dan Sammons

This list won the Free State GT

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Orks) [70 PL, 10CP, 1,320pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Deathskulls

+ HQ [6 PL, 115pts] +

Warboss on Warbike [6 PL, 115pts]: Brutal but Kunnin, Da Killa Klaw, 2x Dakkagun, Power Klaw, Warlord

+ Troops [2 PL, 50pts] +

Gretchin [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Gretchin [50pts]: 10x Grot Blaster

+ Elites [6 PL, 90pts] +

Kommandos [3 PL, 45pts] . 5x Kommando [45pts]: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [3 PL, 45pts] . 5x Kommando [45pts]: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack [15 PL, -1CP, 330pts] +

Megatrakk Scrapjets [15 PL, -1CP, 330pts] . Kustom Job [-1CP]: Korkscrew
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 110pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 110pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 110pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

+ Heavy Support [21 PL, -1CP, 360pts] +

Deff Dreads [12 PL, -1CP, 190pts] . Deff Dread [6 PL, 95pts]: Kustom Mega-blasta [5pts], Kustom Mega-blasta [5pts], Kustom Mega-blasta [5pts], Kustom Mega-blasta [5pts] . Deff Dread [6 PL, 95pts]: Kustom Mega-blasta [5pts], Kustom Mega-blasta [5pts], Kustom Mega-blasta [5pts], Kustom Mega-blasta [5pts] . Kustom Job [-1CP]: Sparkly Bitz

Kannonwagon [9 PL, 170pts]: 3x Big Shoota, Supa-Kannon

+ Flyer [16 PL, 310pts] +

Burna-bommer [8 PL, 155pts]: 2x Burna Bomb, 2x Supa Shoota, Twin Big Shoota

Burna-bommer [8 PL, 155pts]: 2x Burna Bomb, 2x Supa Shoota, Twin Big Shoota

+ Dedicated Transport [4 PL, 65pts] +

Trukk [4 PL, 65pts]: Big Shoota

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Orks) [39 PL, -2CP, 680pts] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Goffs

+ HQ [15 PL, 300pts] +

Ghazghkull Thraka [15 PL, 300pts]: Gork’s Klaw, Mork’s Roar, Stikkbombs

+ Troops [2 PL, 50pts] +

Gretchin [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Gretchin [50pts]: 10x Grot Blaster

+ Elites [3 PL, 65pts] +

Painboy [3 PL, 65pts]: ‘Urty Syringe, Power Klaw

+ Heavy Support [15 PL, 200pts] +

Mek Gunz [15 PL, 200pts] . Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun
. Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun
. Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun
. Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun
. Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun

+ Dedicated Transport [4 PL, 65pts] +

Trukk [4 PL, 65pts]: Big Shoota

++ Total: [109 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

Sample List – Clifton Russell

This list took second at the Clutch City GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Orks) [107 PL, 1,580pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs
. Grot Mobs

+ HQ +

Big Mek W/ Kustom Force Field [4 PL, 60pts]

Warboss on Warbike [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Brutal but Kunnin, Da Biggest Boss, Da Killa Klaw, Power Klaw, Warlord

+ Troops +

Gretchin [4 PL, 100pts] . 20x Gretchin: 20x Grot Blaster

Gretchin [4 PL, 100pts] . 20x Gretchin: 20x Grot Blaster

Gretchin [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Gretchin: 10x Grot Blaster

+ Elites +

Kommandos [3 PL, 45pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. 5x Kommando: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack +

Grot Mega-tank [10 PL, 130pts]: 3x Big Shoota, 2x Two Kustom Mega-blastas

Grot Mega-tank [10 PL, 130pts]: 3x Big Shoota, 2x Two Kustom Mega-blastas

Grot Mega-tank [10 PL, 130pts]: 3x Big Shoota, 2x Two Kustom Mega-blastas

+ Heavy Support +

Mek Gunz [18 PL, 240pts] . Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun

Mek Gunz [18 PL, 240pts] . Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun

Mek Gunz [18 PL, 240pts] . Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun
. Gun: Smasha Gun

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Orks) [20 PL, 420pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Bad Moons

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ +

Weirdboy [4 PL, 75pts]: 3. Da Jump

+ Troops +

Gretchin [6 PL, 135pts] . 27x Gretchin: 27x Grot Blaster

+ Heavy Support +

Lootas [10 PL, 210pts, -2CP]: Klever Spanner
. 9x Loota: 9x Deffgun, 9x Stikkbombs
. Spanner: Kustom Mega-blasta

++ Total: [127 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++

Blood Angels

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

We’re now heading into the T2/T3 borderline here, and on the Tier 2 side of that divide we have a trio of Space Marine Chapters that are unified by having One Weird Trick to Make You Play Them. We’re past the point in the edition where the power of “being Space Marines” will carry you by itself (as we’ll see in tiers 3 and 4), so you need something unique going for you to keep you operating at the higher tiers.

Blood Angels are first up to the plate on that regard, and what they bring to the table is the ability to play an extremely effective MSU-skewed melee game. Thanks to the absurd power of their Chapter Tactic and superdoctrine (the latter of which they have very easy ways to switch on early), small units of Blood Angels melee specialists can punch up more effectively than pretty much any other Marine Chapter, with only Wolves really coming close. Having two unique jet pack melee units (Death Company and Sanguinary Guard) pushes them ahead of Wolves if you want to go in on this plan, and that there is your key reason for playing Blood Angels. Some of the named characters are also extremely good, but as you’ll see from the sample list they’re much more optional – the draw here is the fact that you pack more killing power into a flying five-model package than anyone else. That’s reflected in the armies that are doing well – previously we saw builds running 3×10 Sanguinary guard, but in the newer successful lists you tend to see one full unit at most, with lots of smaller trade-up threats being the core of how they operate.

The Blood Angels Chapter Tactic is so good that it would honestly be borderline impossible for them to ever crash below tier three, and the mostly-MSU builds are definitely operating above that, but make sure you’re focusing on their strengths rather than trying to do something other chapters can do better.

Sample List – Josh MacMillan

This list won the Battle in the Bush GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Blood Angels) [111 PL, 2,000pts, -5CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Blood Angels

+ Stratagems +

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

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

+ No Force Org Slot +

Company Veterans [3 PL, 48pts] . Company Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Company Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield

+ HQ +

Captain on Bike [8 PL, 150pts, -1CP]: Astartes Chainsword, Chapter Command: Chapter Master, Rites of War, Storm shield, Stratagem: Angel Exemplar, soul warden Warlord

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts, -1CP]: 2. Catechism of Fire, 6. Canticle of Hate, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Wise Orator

Primaris Librarian [6 PL, 120pts]: 2. Unleash Rage, 4. Blood Boil, 6. Wings of Sanguinius, Chapter Command: Chief Librarian, Tome of Malcador 3) Null Zone (Aura),

+ Troops +

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts] . 4x Incursor
. Incursor Sergeant

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator
. Infiltrator Sergeant

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Bolt rifle
. 4x Intercessor
. Intercessor Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword

+ Elites +

Death Company Marines [8 PL, 145pts]: Jump Pack
. Death Company Marine: Bolt pistol, Power fist
. Death Company Marine: Bolt pistol, Power fist
. Death Company Marine
. . Bolt pistol and chainsword
. Death Company Marine
. . Bolt pistol and chainsword
. Death Company Marine
. . Bolt pistol and chainsword

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, 95pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

Sanguinary Guard [17 PL, 240pts] . Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword

Sanguinary Guard [17 PL, 150pts] . Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 147pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Relic blade, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 165pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 110pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Inceptor Squad [7 PL, 165pts]: 2x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

++ Total: [111 PL, -5CP, 2,000pts] ++

 

Raven Guard

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Next up for unique Space Marine nonsense we have Raven Guard, or really “Raven Guard”, because for high-performing builds you’re essentially always looking at Successors, either Hungry for Battle/Whirlwind of Rage for builds leaning on using Strike From the Shadows with Centurions or Born Heroes/Whirlwind of Rage for power fist VanVet lists. The Raven Guard book remains unparalleled for forcing powerful melee units right into the opponent’s face, and that’s still a very powerful play. CORE or not, Assault Centurions are priced to move in the current book, and when you can Deep Strike full units of them they’re a big old problem for many opponents. High flat damage that doesn’t use re-rolls is particularly strong right now because it cares a bit less about aura and re-roll shutdown effects, and a whole bunch of flamer shots in Tactical Doctrine straight out of reinforcements is very scary for a lot of lists. Assault Centurions are honestly just good at their price tag as long as you can deliver them, and single units have started popping up elsewhere, but Raven Guard use them so effectively that if you want to go deep on them this is where to do it.

They’re not quite the only trick mind – Master of Ambush remains supremely powerful with some of the better melee threats, and packing that alongside Aggressors, Bladeguard or power fist VanVets in Born Heroes/Whirlwind of Rage builds for a nightmare knockout punch has also seen some success. Generally we’d suggest that the Centurions are a more powerful unique draw, but running one strong unit that can be MoAed alongside them is a good plan, and while they’re a bit quiet on the event scene, Raven Guard have a surprisingly strong win rate in the ITC battles data.

Sample List

This list took second at the Hobart GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Raven Guard) [116 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

**Chapter Selection**: Hungry for Battle, Raven Guard Successor, Whirlwind of Rage

+ Stratagems [-2CP] +

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

+ HQ [12 PL, 235pts, -2CP] +

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts, -1CP]: 1. Litany of Faith (Aura), 4. Mantra of Strength, Absolver Bolt Pistol, Benediction of Fury, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity [1 PL, 25pts], Crozius arcanum, Frag & Krak grenades, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Master of the Trifold Path [-1CP], Swift and Deadly, Twin Bolt rifle, Warlord, Wise Orator

Primaris Librarian [5 PL, 95pts, -1CP]: 1) Veil of Time, 3) Null Zone (Aura), Bolt pistol, Force sword, Frag & Krak grenades, Master of Ambush, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter [-1CP], The Armour Indomitus

+ Troops [15 PL, 295pts] +

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts] . 4x Incursor [84pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. Incursor Sergeant [21pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Occulus bolt carbine, Paired combat blades

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor [80pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant [20pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Tactical Squad [5 PL, 90pts] . 4x Space Marine [72pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Sergeant [18pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades

+ Elites [85 PL, 1,360pts, -1CP] +

Aggressor Squad [12 PL, 240pts]: 2x Flamestorm Gauntlets, 5x Aggressor [200pts], Aggressor Sergeant [40pts]

Centurion Assault Squad [18 PL, 285pts] . Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion Sergeant [65pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Meltaguns [10pts]: 2x Meltagun [10pts]

Centurion Assault Squad [18 PL, 285pts] . Centurion [65pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Meltaguns [10pts]: 2x Meltagun [10pts] . Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion Sergeant [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer

Centurion Assault Squad [18 PL, 285pts] . Centurion [65pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Meltaguns [10pts]: 2x Meltagun [10pts] . Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer
. Centurion Sergeant [55pts]: Centurion Assault Launchers, Siege drills
. . Flamers: 2x Flamer

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, 95pts, -1CP]: Absolver Bolt pistol, Artificer Armour, Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary [1 PL, 15pts], Frag & Krak grenades, Reductor Pistol, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter [-1CP]

Vanguard Veteran Squad, Jump Packs – 170pts
4x Vanguard Veterans with lightning claw/shield
1x Vanguard Veteran with astartes chainsword/shield
1x Vanguard Veteran Sergeant with power fist/shield

+ Fast Attack [4 PL, 110pts] +

Attack Bike Squad [2 PL, 55pts] . Attack Bike [2 PL, 55pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [10pts], Twin boltgun

Attack Bike Squad [2 PL, 55pts] . Attack Bike [2 PL, 55pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [10pts], Twin boltgun

++ Total: [116 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

Iron Hands

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Closing out Tier 2, Iron Hands currently hit the double threat of being the best “generically good” Marines and being the best place to explore whatever perverse resin-based urges reading the Forge World Compendium awakens in you. While you only get one turn of it (prior to spending for strats anyway), the Iron Hands superdoctrine remains extremely good, and combines effectively with multi-melta Attack Bikes for a good first strike out of the gate. Army-wide 6+++ without needing to spring for an Apothecary is also extremely handy, and that plus the doctrine give you enough momentum in your games to ensure that Iron Hands are always at least OK.

The reason to actually play them however, is that they have by far the best support if you want to toy around with vehicles. The Ironstone remains extremely powerful when layered on top of a high quality hull, and March of the Ancients is great on most flavours of dread (and here RelCons now being 9W is actually a huge help). If you want to pull out something like a Fire Raptor (as in the sample list below), RepEx, or even a Gladiator, Iron Hands are the place to do it, as you won’t get bonuses like this anywhere else.

Combining some generically good army-wide rules with being (if we’re honest) the only good users of a whole swathe of Marine options means Iron Hands have a very easy time treading water at this particular tier borderline. Rights now they’re still on the right side of the T2/T3 divide, and currently we’re not seeing any seismic shifts that will knock them off that spot.

Sample List – Paul Gurney

This list came 4th at the Brisbane Open

Army List - Click to Expand

Starting CP : 8

Faction : Iron Hands

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Iron Hands) [101 PL, 1,999pts] +
+ HQ +

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, -1CP, 140pts]: 3. Exhortation of Rage, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Benediction of Fury, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Litany of Hate
Free WL Trait : Wise Orator
Second WL Trait -1CP : Student of History
Free Relic : Benediction of Fury

Techmarine [4 PL, -1CP, 70pts]: Boltgun, Omnissian power axe, Servo-arm
Extra WL Trait -1CP : Adept of the Omnissiah
Extra Relic -1CP : The Iron Stone

+ Troops +

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. . Infiltrator Sergeant

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 130pts]: Helix gauntlet
. . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. . Infiltrator Sergeant

+ Elites +

Centurion Assault Squad [18 PL, 330pts] . . Centurion: Centurion Assault Launchers
. . . . Flamers
. . Centurion: Centurion Assault Launchers
. . . . Flamers
. . Centurion: Centurion Assault Launchers
. . . . Flamers
. . Centurion: Centurion Assault Launchers
. . . . Flamers
. . Centurion: Centurion Assault Launchers
. . . . Flamers
. . Centurion Sergeant: Centurion Assault Launchers
. . . . Flamers

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 289pts]: Jump Pack
. . Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. . Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. . Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. . Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. . Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. . Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. . Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. . Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. . Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. . Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Storm shield, Thunder hammer

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 165pts] . . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. . Attack Bike: Multi-melta

+ Heavy Support +

Devastator Squad [8 PL, 175pts]: Armorium Cherub
. . Devastator Marine Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. . Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. . Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. . Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. . Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta

+ Flyer +

Fire Raptor Gunship [22 PL, -1CP, 400pts] . . Two quad heavy bolters: 2x Quad heavy bolter
. . Two twin hellstrike launchers
Relic Tax -1CP

+ Dedicated Transport +

Drop Pod [4 PL, 70pts]: Storm bolter

Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]

Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]

Tier 3

Imperial Knights

Credit: TheChirurgeon

Now, technically Imperial Knights haven’t changed Tier, but this is one of those places where ordering stuff within them matters. Last time they just scraped into a Tier 3 slot, but this time if we were going on theorycrafting and hype alone they’d get a Tier 2 place. What’s keeping them at the top of Tier 3 instead of that is that the amount of hype around them hasn’t quite translated to tournament table performance just yet, and what’s going to be interesting to see is whether the (undeniably good) builds players are proposing turn out to be consistent enough to win.

The drivers behind this are pretty clear – cutting the costs on Armigers makes it much easier to get a critical mass of models on the board to actually compete on Primaries, while the Knight Magaera is, fundamentally, broken – at least if you measure it against the rest of the Knight range. With hyper-flexible ranged weaponry, a built-in melee invuln and a vastly superior sweep attack, Magaeras are just plain better than any other Questoris-tier knight on base rate, and really the only reason to ever take any other flavour is for weapons or to shave some points.

It turns out that “broken” when measured against all other Knights starts to give you the power you need to compete when you’re packing a low model count list in 9th’s missions, and the Magaera’s influence is sufficient to put Knights back into the competitive conversation. On some level it’s kind of a shame for Knights that Mortarion has shown up, because prior to his arrival a lot of players were skimping on Lord of War killing firepower, and that could potentially have left the metagame wide open for them. As it is, the considerable power of the Magaera means your lists are genuinely frightening again, and Knights could break into Tier 2 if things go right for them.

Sample List – Paul McArthur

This list came seventh at the Tables and Towers GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Super-Heavy Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Imperial Knights) [101 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Household Choice: Questor Mechanicus
. House Krast

+ Stratagems +

Exalted Court [-1CP]: Exalted Court: 1 Extra Warlord Trait

Heirlooms of the Household [-1CP]: Heirlooms of the Household: 1 Extra Heirloom

+ Lord of War +

Armiger Helverins [16 PL, 310pts] . Armiger Helverin: Heavy Stubber
. Armiger Helverin: Heavy Stubber

Armiger Warglaives [14 PL, 280pts] . Armiger Warglaive: Meltagun
. Armiger Warglaive: Meltagun

Knight Warden [23 PL, 450pts]: Character (Knight Lance), Heavy Stubber, Heirloom: Sanctuary, Ironstorm Missile Pod, Thunderstrike gauntlet, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Landstrider

Questoris Knight Magaera [24 PL, 480pts]: Character (Exalted Court), Warlord Trait: Knight Seneschal
. Hekaton Siege Claw and Twin Rad-Cleanser

Questoris Knight Magaera [24 PL, 480pts]: Character (Heirloom of the House), Heirloom (Krast): The Headsman’s Mark
. Hekaton Siege Claw and Twin Rad-Cleanser

++ Total: [101 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

Necrons

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Oof, this one hurts. Much like Marines, the power of the Necron Codex is already starting to dwindle a bit compared to other things that have been released, and unlike Marines Necrons don’t have ten Codex Supplements to dip into when things start looking a bit awry.

To be clear, Necrons aren’t back to the nightmare that was 8th Edition just yet – there’s still a reasonable amount of power in the book. Warrior-heavy Novokh builds give you some great flexibility on the table (especially with the Silent King), Eternal Expansionists still provides some decent skew threat, and a surprise recent success with shooty Necrons suggests that there are still unexplored gems to unearth here. In less good news, however, if Drukhari do turn out to be good Necrons are going to get absolutely demolished by them, because their ability to rove around the board and just evaporate whole units is going to be a big old problem.

Plenty of players are still using Necrons and achieving much more with them than in the last edition, but a proper, consistent Tier 2 build just hasn’t been found, leaving the poor spooky skeletons in a slightly rough spot.

Sample List – Novokh – Craig Sumpton

This list came 6th at the Objective Secured Perth GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

-DETACHMENT 1-
Necrons Patrol Detachment ( 2CP – 1550PT )
SUB-FACTION: Novokh

No Force Org Slot
Chronomancer (105) Entropic Lance
Cryptek Arkana: Hypermaterial Ablator

HQ
Lord (100) Resurrection orb
TRAITS: Thrall of the silent King
RELICS: Voltaic Staff
STRATAGEMS: Dynastic Heirlooms, Rarefied Nobility

Chronomancer (80) Entropic Lance
RELICS: Veil of Darkness

Troops
Necron Warriors (260) 20x Necron Warriors: Gauss reaper

Necron Warriors (260) 20x Necron Warriors: Gauss reaper

Elites
Lychguard (280) 10x Lychguard: Hyperphase sword, Dispersion shield

Canoptek Reanimator (80)

Fast attack
Canoptek Scarab Swarms (135) 9x Scarab Swarm

Ophydian Destroyers (105) 1x Reap-blade, 2x Thresher

Dedicated Transport
Ghost Ark (145)

-DETACHMENT 2-
Necrons Supreme Command Detachment ( 0CP – 450PT )

SUB-FACTION: Szarekhan

Lord of War
WARLORD: The Silent King (450) 1x Szarekh, 2x Triarchal Menhir
TRAITS: The Triarch’s Will

Total Command Points: 13/18
Reinforcement Points: 0
Total Points: 2000/2000

Sample List – Shooty Necrons – Sebastian Zalek

This list came second at the West Australia Iron Man

Army List - Click to Expand

Necrons – Strikeforce – Grand Tournament ( 7CP – 2000PT – 0PT )

Necrons Spearhead Detachment ( 3CP – 2000PT )

SUB-FACTION: Mephrit

HQ

WARLORD: Catacomb Command Barge (180) Resurrection orb
TRAITS: Enduring Will
RELICS: Voltaic Staff

Catacomb Command Barge (155) Warscythe
TRAITS: Merciless Tyrant
RELICS: Voidreaper
STRATAGEMS: Dynastic Heirlooms, Rarefied Nobility

ELITES

C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer (370)
POWER S: C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer – Gaze of Death, Sky of Falling Stars

Triarch Stalker (150) Twin heavy gauss cannon

HEAVY SUPPORT

Annihilation Barge (125)
Annihilation Barge (125)
Annihilation Barge (125)

Doomsday Ark (190)
Doomsday Ark (190)
Doomsday Ark (190)

FLYER

Doom Scythe (200)

STRATAGEMS
Rarefied Nobility (1CP)
Dynastic Heirlooms (1-3CP)

Total Command Points: 5/12

Reinforcement Points: 0

Total Points: 2000/2000

Grey Knights

Yeaaaaah so maybe don’t expect this one to last, but – as long as Purifiers retain the ability to get a 2++ in melee (via warding staves, Sanctuary and Untained and Unbowed), there’s some real play to Grey Knights, and builds leaning on this have seen some decent success.

Basically, Grey Knights normally struggle to get quite enough “alpha” units on the board to get things done, and many builds can be knocked over by a stiff breeze. Once you’re starting to get a 2++ melee unit in at the Purifier price tag, however, you can get just enough stuff onto the table to look like a real army. Given that Grey Knights do have some powerful tricks in their arsenal, once they’re actually showing up meaning business they can rack up some wins, and lists leaning on this trick are doing much, much better than anything we’ve seen from the Knights of Titan previously.

As far as we can tell, pretty much anything that lets you get a 2++ in 9th ends up on the list of things doomed to be bonked by the nerf bat, so enjoy this while you can, but for now Grey Knights do have what it takes to field lists in this tier.

Sample List – Stuart Trainer

This list came third at the Adelaide Uprising major.

Army List - Click to Expand

Army Faction: Grey Knights

Detachment 1: Battalion- Warlord Detachment 0cp
Chapter tactics: Grey Knights (Brotherhood of Psykers)

HQ
Warlord: Librarian – 105 pts
Psychic Power: 0-Smite, Warp Shaping, Armored Resilience, Empyrean Domination
Warlord trait: Lore Master =free
Relic: Artisan Nullifier Matrix = free

Chaplain=113pts
Litanies of Purity: Litany of hate, Recitation of Projection, Invocation of Focus
Psychic Power: 0-Smite, Edict Imperator
Relic: Sanctic Shard = -1 Cp

Lord Kaldor Draigo = 190pts
Psychic Power: 0-Smite, Astral Aim, Sanctuary

Elites
10x Paladins, 5x Nemesis Warding Stave, 5x Nemesis Force Halberds, 4x Psycannon= 528pts
Psychic Powers: 0-Smite, Gate of Infinity

8x Purifiers, 8x Nemesis Warding Stave, 8x Storm Bolter = 160pts
Psychic Power: 0-Smite, Sanctuary

4x Servitors, 4x Servo-arm = 28pts

Troops
5x Strikes, 5x Nemesis Force Halberd, 5x Storm Bolter = 100pts
Psychic Power: 0-Smite, Gate of Infinity

5x Strikes, 5x Nemesis Force Halberd, 5x Storm Bolter
Psychic Power: 0-Smite, Vortex of Doom

10x Terminators, 6x Halberd, 4x Warding stave, 10x Storm Bolter = 380pts

Heavy Support

5x Purgators, 1x Nemesis Force Halberd, 1x Storm Bolter, 4x Psilencer = 108pts
Psychic Power: 0-Smite, Astral Aim
5x Purgators, 1x Nemesis Force Halberd, 1x Storm Bolter, 4x Psilencer = 108pts
Psychic Power: 0-Smite, Gate of Infinity

Dedicated Transport:
Rhino – 80pts

Total: 2000pts

12-1 = 11cp

Ultramarines

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Yikes. Straight out of the Marine Codex Ultramarines saw an strong upward spike, as builds leaning on their powerful Named Characters saw big success. That has near-completely evaporated in the last few months, and the sons of Guilliman have plummeted down the rankings as a result.

A few things seem to be driving that. Crucially:

  • They don’t have any major melee specialists, which is a big downside in 9th.
  • They are the most aura and re-roll dependent of all Marine flavours, and 9th seems to be playing much more with the design space of screwing with that, which hurts them.

Bobby G, Tigurius and Victrix Guard are all still great units, which keeps the Ultramarines from falling even further (for now), but it’s been a tough few months if you like marching for Macragge, and if we’re honest the prognosis doesn’t look fantastic going forward.

Sample List – James Beal

This list came 25th at the Adelaide Uprising major.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Ultramarines) [80 PL, 1,620pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Ultramarines

Gametype: Matched

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Callidus Assassin [5 PL, 100pts]

+ HQ +

Chief Librarian Tigurius [7 PL, 135pts]: 2) Might of Heroes, 3) Null Zone (Aura), 6) Psychic Fortress (Aura)

Primaris Techmarine [5 PL, 100pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Master of the Forge, Seal of Oath, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Warden of the Ancients

+ Troops +

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . 4x Assault Intercessor: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol
. Assault Intercessor Sgt: Astartes Chainsword, Heavy Bolt Pistol

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Bolt rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword

+ Elites +

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Victrix Honour Guard [3 PL, 70pts]: Victrix Honour Guard, Victrix Honour Guard

Victrix Honour Guard [3 PL, 70pts]: Victrix Honour Guard, Victrix Honour Guard

+ Fast Attack +

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 275pts]: 4x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

++ Supreme Command Detachment +3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Ultramarines) [19 PL, 380pts, 6CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Ultramarines

+ Primarch | Daemon Primarch | Supreme Commander +

Roboute Guilliman [19 PL, 380pts, 3CP]: Warlord

++ Total: [99 PL, 2,000pts, 14CP] ++

Salamanders

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Salamanders are another casualty of the core Marine Codex looking a bit less stellar compared to new books – they were “generically good” Marines, and that just isn’t cutting it any more, leaving them languishing towards the bottom of Tier 3. Unlike Ultramarines they actually do have a few melee tricks, with Adrax Agatone providing a powerful aura and some of their herohammer tricks being strong, but fundamentally when you’re picking Salamanders right now you’re leaving better Chapter options on the bench.

Sample List – Jay Hansen

This list came 10th at the Adelaide Uprising major.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Salamanders) [62 PL, 1,375pts, -3CP] ++

**Chapter Selection**: Salamanders

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Chaplain [7 PL, 130pts]: 2. Catechism of Fire, 5. Recitation of Focus, Boltgun, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Jump Pack, Litany of Hate

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 210pts] . 5x Bladeguard Veteran: 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 5x Master-crafted power sword, 5x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 210pts] . 5x Bladeguard Veteran: 5x Frag & Krak grenadesk, 5x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 5x Master-crafted power sword, 5x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Inceptor Squad [7 PL, 165pts]: 2x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 330pts]: 5x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 330pts]: 5x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Salamanders) [31 PL, 625pts, -2CP] ++

**Chapter Selection**: Salamanders

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ +

Captain on Bike [6 PL, 120pts, -1CP]: Forge Master, Power fist, Rites of War, Storm shield, Stratagem: Exemplar of the Promethean Creed, The Salamander’s Mantle, Warlord

+ Troops +

Intercessor Squad [10 PL, 200pts]: Bolt rifle
. 9x Intercessor: 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 210pts] . 5x Bladeguard Veteran: 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 5x Master-crafted power sword, 5x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, 95pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

++ Total: [93 PL, 2,000pts, -5CP] ++

Chaos Knights

Give they get the same set of Forge World tools as Imperials and the Moirax/Infernal interaction you’d expect these to rampaging around at roughly the same level as their loyalist counterparts, but they just aren’t quite doing it. Even more than the Imperials, the theorycraft here hasn’t quite translated to real-world success, and we want to see that before pushing them any further up. It would appear that nothing the Questor Traitoris have quite equals the combination of the House Krast trait and access to the Machine Spirit Resurgant stratagem, so if you want to compete with big stompy robots, Imperium is your first point of call. If the call of heresy is too strong, your big assets are being able to use Infernal Power on lightning locks, the Khornate Target turning a Knight into an ultimate YOLO killing machine, and Infernal Quest being a fantastic warlord trait for offsetting the faction’s drawbacks – so make good use of them!

Sample List – Nick Argent

This list came 8th at the Brisbane Open.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Super-Heavy Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Knights) [48 PL, 915pts, 12CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Dread Household: Custom Household, Frenzied Attackers, Hate-driven Charge

+ Lord of War +

Chaos Questoris Knight Magaera [24 PL, 480pts]: 1. Infernal Quest, Character (Traitoris Lance), Khornate Target, Warlord
. Hekaton siege claw

War Dogs [8 PL, 140pts] . War Dog: 1. Forsaken, 3. Volatile Reactor, 4. Knower of Profane Secrets, Dreadblade, Meltagun, Pacts and Damnations, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

War Dogs [8 PL, 140pts] . War Dog: Meltagun, Thermal spear and Reaper chain-cleaver

War Dogs Moirax [8 PL, 155pts] . War Dog Moirax
. . Graviton pulsar
. . Siege claw

++ Super-Heavy Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Chaos Knights) [56 PL, 1,085pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Dread Household: House Vextrix

+ Lord of War +

War Dogs Moirax [24 PL, 465pts] . War Dog Moirax: Character (Traitoris Lance), 2x Lightning lock
. War Dog Moirax: 2x Lightning lock
. War Dog Moirax: 2x Lightning lock

War Dogs Moirax [24 PL, 465pts] . War Dog Moirax: 2x Lightning lock
. War Dog Moirax: 2x Lightning lock
. War Dog Moirax: 2x Graviton pulsar

War Dogs Moirax [8 PL, 155pts] . War Dog Moirax: 2x Graviton pulsar

++ Total: [104 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

Tier 4

Craftworlds

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Now, obviously the natural home of Craftworlds is sitting at the top of Tier 1 laughing at all the other factions, so their continual presence towards the bottom of the rankings is an grotesque insult, but it’s fair to say that things have gotten a bit rosier for the Asuryani in the last few months (as you can see from their upward spike in their 30-day win rate). A mixture of gaining some excellent tools from the Forge World Compendium, seeing point cuts on literally every Troops option in the January change and winning big from mission changes means that when you play pure Craftworlds you’re fielding an army that almost feels “OK” rather than actively hateful to utilise.

The big assets here are the original staples of Shining Spears, War Walkers and psykers alongside the newer toys of the Lynx, Hornets and Wraithseers. The January FAQ also unlocked another powerful tool by confirming that yes, really, Reapers can Fire and Fade into a transport now, making it much easier to keep this powerful but fragile unit safe.  Add in some heavy Troop discounts and you’ve got at least a workable toolbox, and with use of Expert Crafters and the stratagem sheet (the main part of the Codex that holds up) you’re back to being able to prey on the unwary. While the biggest Craftworlds successes have been alongside Harlequins (and are likely to involve Drukhari going forward), if you’re as much of an elf enthusiast as I am you can definitely win games with the army on its lonesome. As well as the more well known standouts, my own testing strongly suggests that the Guardian bomb is currently significantly underutilised in the wider world, and there’s a reasonable number of “nearly there” units that the right build could bring to the fore.

Fundamentally the Eldar book needs an overhaul and until that happens they’re unlikely to rise much higher than they are now – but at least they function.

Sample List – David Horne

This list took second at the West Australia Ironman.

Army List - Click to Expand

Craftworlds custom battalion, expert crafters and master of concealment

HQ

Autarch Skyrunner (105) laser lance (5) twin shuriken catapult, warlord seer of the shifting vector, relic shimmerplume of achillral 110pts

Farseer (115) singing spear (5) shuriken pistol relic (-1cp) falchous wings
Powers: smite, guide, doom

warlock skyrunner (65) shuriken pistol, witchblade, twin shuriken catapult
Powers: smite, protect/jinx

Troops

4 dire avengers (44) avenger catapult, plasma grenade, dire avenger exarch (11) two avenger catapult
Exarch power: shredding fire 55pts

5 Rangers (65) ranger long rifle, shuriken pistol 65pts

5 Rangers (65) ranger long rifle, shuriken pistol 65pts

Fast Attack

2 hornets (160) 2x hornet pulse laser each (20) 180pts

2 hornets (160) 2x hornet pulse laser each (20) 180pts

4 shining spears (140) laser lance, twin shuriken catapult, shining spear exarch (35) star lance (5) twin shuriken catapult
Exarch power: expert hunter, withdraw (-1cp) 180pts

Heavy Support

Lynx (220) starcannon (5) crystal targetting matrix (5) lynx pulsar 230pts

Lynx (220) starcannon (5) crystal targetting matrix (5) lynx pulsar 230pts

9 dark reapers (315) reaper launcher, dark reaper exarch (35) tempest missile launcher (10)
Exarch powers: crack shot, rain of death (-1cp) 360pts

Dedicated Transport

Wave serpent (130) twin starcannon (30) twin shuriken catapult 160pts

Total 2000pts

Astra Militarum

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Even after the powerful pony infusion that the Forge World Compendium brought, Guard are still really struggling. We’ve seen a slightly increased number of decent finishes as people deploy the most pared down, optimised builds you can get out of the book, but to be clear – at no point in this edition have Guard picked up a single TiWP point at a GT or larger event. TiWP is one of the metrics 40KStats uses, and counts the number of times that a list from a faction enters the final round of a tournament in a position where it could win the event (generally meaning that they’re undefeated). This hasn’t happened for pure Guard. Not at all. Not once.

And that’s really rough! Some of the tanks are great, Scions  and Death Korps ponies are very powerful, but all of these tools can be used vastly more effectively in soup builds than pure AM, and realistically Guard are in the club of waiting for a new book to give them a proper lease of life.

Sample List – Joshua McGowan

This list took second place at the Brisbane Open.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment -0CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Regimental Doctrine: Regiment: Vostroyan

+ Stratagems +

Tank Ace

+ HQ +

Tank Commander: Lascannon, Multi-meltas, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

Tank Commander: Lascannon, Multi-meltas, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

Tank Commander: Lascannon, Multi-meltas, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

+ Troops +

Infantry Squad
. . 9x Guardsman: 9x Lasgun
. . Sergeant: Laspistol

Infantry Squad
. . 9x Guardsman: 9x Lasgun
. . Sergeant: Laspistol

Infantry Squad
. . 9x Guardsman: 9x Lasgun
. . Sergeant: Laspistol

+ Elites +

Platoon Commander: Laspistol

Special Weapons Squad [Legends] . . 3x Guardsman: 3x Lasgun
. . Guardsman W/ Special Weapon: Demolition Charge and Lasgun
. . Guardsman W/ Special Weapon: Demolition Charge and Lasgun
. . Guardsman W/ Special Weapon: Demolition Charge and Lasgun

Wyrdvane Psykers: Gaze of the Emperor
. . 6x Wyrdvane Psyker: 6x Laspistol, 6x Wyrdvane Stave

+ Heavy Support +

Malcador Defender: 2 Heavy Bolters

Manticore: Full Payload, Heavy Bolter

Manticore: Full Payload, Heavy Bolter (-1cp)

+ Flyer +

Valkyries
. . Valkyrie: 2x Heavy Bolters, 2x Multiple Rocket Pods, Multi-laser

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Regimental Doctrine: 55th Kappic Eagles, Astra Millitarum

+ HQ +

Primaris Psyker: Nightshroud, Psychic Maelstrom

Tempestor Prime: Hot-shot Laspistol
Relic distraction charges

+ Troops +

Militarum Tempestus Scions
. . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. . Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions
. . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. . Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions
. . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. . Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions
. . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. . Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Chaos Space Marines

Credit: Robert “theChirurgeon” Jones

Rack another up for “has some strong tools, but much better in soup”. Chaos Space Marine Terminators are a genuinely exceptional unit post-January, especially as Emperor’s Children, but that isn’t enough to make you want to play the army by itself when Chaos has a massive range of powerful soup choices that are right there. Word Bearers also throw up a couple of relevant things, with Possessed being pretty great as that legion and soulburner Decimators backed up by buff characters looking strong, but both of those tend to want some sort of soup backup to really stand out, and fundamentally playing pure CSM right now is putting yourself on hard mode for no real reason.

Sample List – Liam Hackett

This list took second place at the Adelaide Uprising major. It is not a pure CSM build, but has a relatively minimal Daemon component so it’s one of the better options to show.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [86 PL, -4CP, 1,685pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Legion: Word Bearers

+ Stratagems +

Gifts of Chaos (2 Relics) [-3CP]

+ No Force Org Slot +

Dark Disciples [1 PL, 10pts]: Mark of Nurgle
. 2x Dark Disciple: 2x Close combat weapon

+ HQ +

Dark Apostle [5 PL, -1CP, 80pts]: 4. Master of the Union, Apostle of the Dark Council, Benediction of Darkness, Epistle of Lorgar, Mark of Khorne, Soultearer Portent, Warlord, Wrathful Entreaty

Master of Possession [5 PL, 95pts]: Cursed Earth, Infernal Power, Mark of Tzeentch, Mutated Invigoration, The Malefic Tome

Sorcerer [6 PL, 90pts]: Baleful Icon, Bolt pistol, Delightful Agonies, Force sword, Mark of Slaanesh, Warptime

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 60pts]: Mark of Khorne
. 9x Chaos Cultist w close combat weapons
. Cultist Champion: close combat weapons

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 60pts]: Mark of Khorne
. 9x Chaos Cultist w close combat weapons
. Cultist Champion: close combat weapons

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 60pts]: Mark of Khorne
. 9x Chaos Cultist w close combat weapons
. Cultist Champion: close combat weapons

+ Elites +

Possessed [20 PL, 410pts]: Icon of Excess, Mark of Slaanesh
. 20x Possessed: 20x Horrifying Mutations

Possessed [20 PL, 410pts]: Icon of Excess, Mark of Slaanesh
. 20x Possessed: 20x Horrifying Mutations

Possessed [20 PL, 410pts]: Icon of Excess, Mark of Slaanesh
. 20x Possessed: 20x Horrifying Mutations

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [15 PL, 310pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh

+ HQ +

Syll’Esske [11 PL, 230pts]: Delightful Agonies, Hysterical Frenzy

+ Troops +

Daemonettes [4 PL, 80pts]: Alluress, Instrument of Chaos
. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

++ Total: [101 PL, -4CP, 1,995pts] ++

Deathwatch

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Bad Space Marines can now drop as low as Tier 4, and both the supplements in this section are bad. They see very little top table success, their win rates in the ITC battles dataset are atrocious, and there are generally just vastly better things you can be doing with your time.

For Deathwatch, that’s honestly somewhat surprising – the Supplement gives a huge amount of flexibility in how you can load your armies out, and in some ways is following pretty close behind Space Wolves in how effectively it supports Redemptor Dreadnoughts. That flexibility just doesn’t seem to be translating to competitive success though, and removing built-in Special Issue Ammunition across a bunch of Primaris options seems to have been far too cautious a move. Given the sheer depth of different builds the book gives you, it doesn’t feel like it’s impossible that someone will unearth a list that gives Deathwatch a boost, but right now both directions you can go (Redemptors, hilarious mix-and-match Kill Team lists) are being tentatively explored, and aren’t achieving results beyond “respectable”.

Sample List – Veterans – Dineeth Liyanagama

This list came 18th at the Adelaide Uprising.

Army List - Click to Expand

Faction: Deathwatch
Team: The Normal Blokes

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Deathwatch) [117 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++

+ Configuration +

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Captain [6 PL, 130pts, -1CP]: Jump Pack, Storm shield,, Warlord, Xenophase blade
– Stratagem: A Vigil Unmatched (double WL trait)
– WL trait 1) Castellan of the Black Vault: Master-Crafted Weapon
– WL trait 2) The Imperium’s Sword
– Relic: Dominus Aegis

Librarian [7 PL, 140pts, -1CP]: 1. Premorphic Resonance, 2. Fortified With Contempt, 5. Mantle of Shadow, Boltgun, Force sword, Jump pack,
– Chapter Command: Chief Librarian
– Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter – Psychic Mastery
– Relic: The Beacon Angelis

+ Troops +

Indomitor Kill Team [19 PL, 415pts] . Heavy Intercessor Sergeant: Hellstorm Bolt Rifle
. 4x Heavy Intercessor w/ Hellstorm Bolt Rifle: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hellstorm Bolt Rifle
. 5x Inceptor w/ Plasma Exterminators: 5x 2x Plasma Exterminators

Proteus Kill Team [18 PL, 305pts]: Jump Packs
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Vanguard Veteran: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Vanguard Veteran: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Heavy Thunder Hammer
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield

Proteus Kill Team [18 PL, 265pts]: Jump Packs
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield

Proteus Kill Team [18 PL, 265pts]: Jump Packs
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield

Proteus Kill Team [18 PL, 265pts]: Jump Packs
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield

Spectrus Kill Team [8 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

+ Elites +

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, 95pts, -1CP]:
– Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary,
– Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Selfless Healer,
– Relic: Vhorkan-Pattern Auspicator

++ Total: [117 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

Sample List – Redemptors – Robert Hortin

This list came 16th at the Objective Secured Perth GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

+ Pre Game Stratagems [-5CP] +

2x Relics of the Chapter [-2CP] (Chaplain, Librarian)

2x Hero Of the Chapter [-2CP] (Chaplain, Librarian)

1x A Vigil Unmatched [-1CP] (Captain)

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP ++

+ HQ [19 PL, -3CP, 375pts] +

(Warlord) Captain [6 PL, 130pts]:
Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Jump Pack [1 PL, 25pts], Xenophase blade [10pts], Storm shield [10pts] WT: The Imperium’s Sword
A Vigil Unmatched WT: Castellan of the Black Vault: Master-Crafted Weapon (Xenophase Blade)
Relic: The Tome of Ectoclades

Chaplain [7 PL, 130pts]:
Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity [1 PL, 25pts] Bolt pistol, Crozius arcanum, Frag & Krak grenades, Jump Pack [1 PL, 25pts] Litanies: Catechism of Fire, Recitation of Focus, Litany of Hate (aura)
Relic: The Beacon Angelis
WT: Wise Orator

Librarian [6 PL, 115pts]:
Boltgun, Force stave, Frag & Krak grenades, Jump Pack [1 PL, 25pts] Powers (Librarius Discipline): Smite, Might of Heroes, Psychic Fortress
WT: Paragon of their Chapter (Ultramarines: Adept of the Codex)
Relic: Vhorkan-Pattern Auspicator

+ Troops [35 PL, 601pts] +

Intercessor Squad [10 PL, 220pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle
. 9x Intercessor [180pts]: 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant [40pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Thunder hammer [20pts]

Spectrus Kill Team [17 PL, 261pts] . 4x Eliminator w/ Bolt Sniper [8 PL, 120pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Bolt sniper rifle, 4x Camo cloak, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Incursor [1 PL, 21pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Occulus bolt carbine, Paired Combat Blades
. 4x Infiltrator [4 PL, 96pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant [24pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Marksman bolt carbine

Spectrus Kill Team [8 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator [4 PL, 96pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant [24pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Marksman bolt carbine

+ Elites [18 PL, 370pts] +

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod [5pts], Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon [5pts], Redemptor Fist

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod [5pts], Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon [5pts], Redemptor Fist

+ Fast Attack [28 PL, 550pts] +

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 275pts]: 4x Inceptor [180pts], Inceptor Sergeant [45pts], Plasma Exterminator x2 [50pts]

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 275pts]: 4x Inceptor [180pts], Inceptor Sergeant [45pts], Plasma Exterminator x2 [50pts]

Additional to Force Org:

+ Agents of the Imperium [5 PL, 100pts] +

Callidus Assassin [5 PL, 100pts]: Neural Shredder, Phase Sword, Poison Blades

++ Total: [105 PL, 7CP, 1,996pts] ++

Imperial Fists

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Imperial Fists are the much less surprising bad Marines. Their superdoctrine was hilariously busted in late 8th, where go-wide hull lists were everywhere, but even in its original form it would be mediocre in 9th’s metagame, and the massively nerfed 9th Edition version is, sadly, a complete joke. Given that it was the doctrine and their Specialist Detachment making Fists worthwhile in 8th, they’ve essentially got no unique draw in 9th at all, and players are just going to have to hope that re-doing the 8th Edition supplements is on the GW roadmap somewhere.

If you really, really love Fists, the units to go for are plasma Redemptors and vengeance launcher Whirlwinds, as those at least let you get something out of the superdoctrine, and you get OK synergy with things that mount massed heavy bolters, but really you’re grasping at straws.

Sample List – Matthew Bunting

This list won the ‘Ere We Go Again Ladz RTT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Imperial Fists) [101 PL, 6CP, 1,985pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Imperial Fists

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Captain on Bike [8 PL, -1CP, 160pts]: Chapter Command: Chapter Master, Master of the Codex, Master-crafted boltgun, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Primarch’s Wrath, Thunder hammer

Primaris Techmarine [5 PL, -1CP, 100pts]: Chapter Command: Master of the Forge, Hand of Dorn, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Eye of Hypnoth

+ Troops +

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant

Intercessor Squad [10 PL, 220pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle
. 9x Intercessor: 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Thunder hammer

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 145pts] . 3x Bladeguard Veteran: 3x Frag & Krak grenades, 3x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 3x Master-crafted power sword, 3x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Neo-volkite pistol

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, 95pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, The Armour Indomitus, Warlord

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 150pts]: 2x Twin volkite culverin

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 150pts]: 2x Twin volkite culverin

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 135pts] . Attack Bike: Heavy bolter
. Attack Bike: Heavy bolter
. Attack Bike: Heavy bolter

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 135pts] . Attack Bike: Heavy bolter
. Attack Bike: Heavy bolter
. Attack Bike: Heavy bolter

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 270pts]: Assault bolter x2, 5x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant

++ Total: [101 PL, 6CP, 1,985pts] ++

Genestealer Cults

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Literally just before we compiled the last edition of this list GSC had a sudden burst of success, and looked like they had some amount of value against a metagame that wasn’t really ready for them. That has not lasted, and the outlook for the faction has shifted back to being pretty dire. The Codex is still a headache-inducing mess that will prey on the unwary, but the advent of multiple high-tier factions that will absorb an Acolyte charge with nothing more than a shrug is disastrously bad for the cults’ chances of success, and if you love the Hive MInd you should be sticking to Tyranids right now.

If you do want to play GSC, the outlook is largely the same as it ever was, with the only notable change being that point cuts to the Goliath Rockgrinder makes it genuinely worth packing as a unit that can start on the table and make an objective play out of the gate.

Sample List – Joe Mak

This list came 8th at the Free State GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Tyranids – Genestealer Cults) [33 PL, 550pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Cult Creed: None (Mixed Detachment)

+ HQ +

Jackal Alphus [4 PL, 75pts]: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Jackal Sniper Rifle

+ Troops +

Acolyte Hybrids [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cultist Knife, 4x Rending Claw
. Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Cultist Knife, Rending Claw

Acolyte Hybrids [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cultist Knife, 4x Rending Claw
. Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Cultist Knife, Rending Claw

+ Fast Attack +

Atalan Jackals [8 PL, 120pts] . Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun

Atalan Jackals [12 PL, 240pts] . Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Jackal: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun
. Atalan Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Demolition Charge, Shotgun

Cult Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 35pts] . Cult Scout Sentinel: Multi-laser

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Tyranids – Genestealer Cults) [80 PL, 1,450pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Cult Creed
. Other: Armour-piercing Ammunition, Workers Arisen

+ HQ +

Acolyte Iconward [3 PL, 60pts]: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Rending Claw

Jackal Alphus [4 PL, 75pts]: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Jackal Sniper Rifle, The Gift from Beyond, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Alien Majesty

+ Troops +

Acolyte Hybrids [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cultist Knife, 4x Rending Claw
. Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Cultist Knife, Rending Claw

Acolyte Hybrids [6 PL, 130pts]: Cult Icon
. 5x Acolyte Hybrid: 5x Autopistol, 5x Blasting Charges, 5x Cultist Knife, 5x Rending Claw
. Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Heavy Rock Saw
. Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Heavy Rock Saw
. Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Heavy Rock Saw
. Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Heavy Rock Saw
. Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Cultist Knife, Rending Claw

Neophyte Hybrids [4 PL, 80pts] . 7x Neophyte Hybrid: 7x Autogun, 7x Autopistol, 7x Blasting Charges
. 2x Neophyte Hybrid (Seismic): 2x Autopistol, 2x Blasting Charges, 2x Seismic Cannon
. Neophyte Leader: Autogun, Autopistol, Blasting Charges

Neophyte Hybrids [4 PL, 80pts] . 7x Neophyte Hybrid: 7x Autogun, 7x Autopistol, 7x Blasting Charges
. 2x Neophyte Hybrid (Seismic): 2x Autopistol, 2x Blasting Charges, 2x Seismic Cannon
. Neophyte Leader: Autogun, Autopistol, Blasting Charges

Neophyte Hybrids [4 PL, 80pts] . 7x Neophyte Hybrid: 7x Autogun, 7x Autopistol, 7x Blasting Charges
. 2x Neophyte Hybrid (Seismic): 2x Autopistol, 2x Blasting Charges, 2x Seismic Cannon
. Neophyte Leader: Autogun, Autopistol, Blasting Charges

Neophyte Hybrids [4 PL, 80pts] . 7x Neophyte Hybrid: 7x Autogun, 7x Autopistol, 7x Blasting Charges
. 2x Neophyte Hybrid (Seismic): 2x Autopistol, 2x Blasting Charges, 2x Seismic Cannon
. Neophyte Leader: Autogun, Autopistol, Blasting Charges

+ Fast Attack +

Achilles Ridgerunners [12 PL, 210pts] . Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber
. Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber
. Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber

Achilles Ridgerunners [12 PL, 210pts] . Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber
. Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber
. Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber

Achilles Ridgerunners [8 PL, 140pts] . Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber
. Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber

+ Heavy Support +

Goliath Rockgrinder [6 PL, 95pts]: Drilldozer Blade, Heavy Mining Laser, Heavy Stubber

Goliath Rockgrinder [6 PL, 95pts]: Drilldozer Blade, Heavy Mining Laser, Heavy Stubber

+ Dedicated Transport +

Goliath Truck [4 PL, 75pts]: Heavy Stubber, Twin Autocannon

++ Total: [113 PL, 2,000pts] ++

Trash Tier

Thousand Sons

Thousand Sons have quite a bit to offer various soup builds, but just do not function as a mono-faction army right now. Scarab Occults and Rubrics are both OK-ish on rate, but the faction as a whole can’t properly support them, and when you try and build lists you end up with some decent looking units floating in an army with basically no plan to win games.

If you really want to do this to yourself, make sure to bring Magnus and Ahriman (both great models) and at least a decent sized Occult unit, but you’re going to need all your wily Tzeentchian tricks to avoid getting destroyed.

Sample List – Alexander Danaford

This list came 27th at the Objective Secured Perth GT.

Army List - Click to Expand

Thousand Sons – 2000pts

Patrol Detachment (Cult of Duplicity) – 2cp

HQ:

Ahriman on Disc of Tzeentch – 170 9PL < Doombolt, Glamour of Tzeentch, Tzeentch’s Firestorm>

Sorcerer in Terminator Armour (105) w/ Familiar (10), Force Stave (0), Inferno Combi-Bolter (3) – 118 6 PL Relic: Dark Matter Crystal, <Magister (-1cp): High Magister> <Weaver of Fates, Prescience>

Elite:

Scarab Occult Terminators x10 (300) w/ 8x Inferno Combi-Bolter (24), 2x Soulreaper Cannons (20), 2x Hellfyre Missile Racks (30), 9x Power Swords (45), 1x Force Stave (0): 419 20PL <Infernal Gaze>

Troops:

Rubric Marines x20 (360) w/ 2x Soulreaper Cannons (20), 10x Warpflamer (80), 7x Inferno Boltguns (0), 1x Force Stave (0), 1x Inferno Bolt Pistol (0): 460 24PL <Temporal Manipulation>

Tzaangors x23 (207) w/ Brayhorn (10): 217 12PL

Flyer:

Heldrake (130) w/ Baleflamer (20): 150 8PL

Sub-total: 1534, -3cp

Supreme Command Detachment: (No Cult) +2cp

LOW:

Magnus the Red – 465 24 PL Warlord: Lord of Forbidden Lore <Death Hex, Gaze of Fate, Infernal Gateway, Warptime>

Sub-total: 465, +2cp

Total: 1999

Starting CP: 11CP

Tau

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

There’s honestly a plausible argument that Tau should be above Thousand Sons, but perpetually keeping them right down here is funnier, and the difference is small enough that we’re going to do just that. Tau are still terrible. The January FAQ and Forge World Compendium were, honestly, pretty kind to them. It has not helped anywhere near enough. Having no angle to compete in melee at all is an absolute deathknell for a 9th Edition faction, and the fact that plenty of places are still ruling that Mont’ka doesn’t allow Fall Back/shoot (which helps when it’s live) is just another kick in the teeth.

If you want to play Tau, Farsight and custom Septs are the main game in Tau’n; Crisis Teams, Hazards and Broadsides are all pretty well priced, and Devilfish give you something to contest the board with. Good luck.

Sample List – Namon Allen

This list won the King of the Bluegrass March RTT.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (T’au Empire) [90 PL, 9CP, 1,996pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves

+ Stratagems +

Emergency Dispensation (1 Relic) [-1CP]

Veteran Cadre (4+ models) [-2CP]

+ HQ +

Commander Farsight [7 PL, 130pts]

Commander in XV8 Crisis Battlesuit [8 PL, 174pts]: 2. Through Unity, Devastation, Advanced targeting system, 3x Cyclic ion blaster, Warlord, XV8-02 Crisis Iridium battlesuit
. MV4 Shield Drone

+ Troops +

Breacher Team [3 PL, 75pts] . Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol
. 2x MV4 Shield Drone: 2x Shield generator

Breacher Team [3 PL, 70pts]: MV36 Guardian Drone
. Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol
. MV4 Shield Drone

Breacher Team [3 PL, 75pts] . Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol
. 2x MV4 Shield Drone: 2x Shield generator

+ Elites +

XV104 Riptide Battlesuit [19 PL, 340pts]: 2x Smart missile system, Amplified ion accelerator, Counterfire defence system, Ion accelerator, Velocity tracker
. 2x MV84 Shielded Missile Drone: 2x Missile pod, 2x Shield generator

XV8 Crisis Battlesuits [33 PL, 822pts]: Reactive countermeasures, Veteran Cadre
. Crisis Shas’ui: Advanced targeting system, 2x Cyclic ion blaster
. Crisis Shas’ui: Advanced targeting system, 2x Cyclic ion blaster
. Crisis Shas’ui: Advanced targeting system, 2x Cyclic ion blaster
. Crisis Shas’ui: Advanced targeting system, 2x Cyclic ion blaster
. Crisis Shas’ui: Advanced targeting system, Airbursting fragmentation projector, Shield generator, XV8-02 Crisis Iridium battlesuit
. Crisis Shas’ui: Advanced targeting system, Airbursting fragmentation projector, Shield generator, XV8-02 Crisis Iridium battlesuit
. Crisis Shas’ui: Advanced targeting system, Airbursting fragmentation projector, Shield generator, XV8-02 Crisis Iridium battlesuit
. Crisis Shas’ui: Advanced targeting system, Airbursting fragmentation projector, Shield generator
. Crisis Shas’vre: Advanced targeting system, 2x Cyclic ion blaster
. 18x MV4 Shield Drone: 18x Shield generator

XV9 Hazard Battlesuits [10 PL, 230pts] . 4x MV4 Shield Drone: 4x Shield generator
. XV9 Hazard Battlesuit: 2x Fusion cascade, Shield generator
. XV9 Hazard Battlesuit: 2x Fusion cascade, Shield generator

+ Fast Attack +

Tetras [4 PL, 80pts] . 2x Tetra Scout Speeder: 2x High intensity markerlight, 4x Pulse rifle

++ Total: [90 PL, 9CP, 1,996pts] ++

Wrap Up

That brings the list to a close for this month. Unless a new wave of COVID shuts everything down again we’ll try and get back on updating this every 2-3 months, which means the next edition will land in June – just in time to set the scene for the promised re-opening of the UK. We’ll see you then, and in the meantime if you have comments, questions or suggestions, hit us up at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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