The Goonhammer Kill Team Meta Analysis: 2Q 2024

Attention Troopers: We are back in business! With another two months of tournament data available, it’s time to analyze some events, and build another classic TIER LIST. So let’s see which teams are proving the most popular, which are rising to the top most often, and which are sinking into the depths of the meta (and, by extension, the galaxy).

There are two key tools we’re using for this: Goonhammer’s own Dataslate tool, which collects tournament stats from multiple systems, and the Stats from the Tableau dashboard that KTstats put together. 

Methodology

I took a deep look at the events of the past two months (after the most recent Dataslate), with a focus on events with 16 or more players and 3+ rounds. This data cutoff is helpful because it can reveal which teams dominate at mid-table in shorter tournaments. To analyze the totality of the Kill Team meta, I combined this data with the podiums and with the analysis of key 30+ person, 4+ Rounds events. These larger events are interesting because they both feature longer periods of sustained success but also a sort of selection bias – these are the events to which players bring the factions they believe give them the best chance of winning. A combination of these two datasets should give us a more solid picture of the current state of Kill Team.

I combined this data and my own personal play experience to build a tier-list. While the data here is very real, there’s a lot of nuance to what it means. That said, any analysis is going to add bias and subjectivity to the process, especially since regions and maps have a huge effect on the data, so take this commentary with a grain of salt.

With that out of the way let’s get into the night and see what teams are bringing nightmares to the game.

Fellgor Ravagers. Credit: Fowler

Kill Team Win Rates

Let’s start by looking at broad win rates for each Kill Team. While win rates don’t tell the whole story, they do represent a very good starting point, especially when we have a healthy amount of representation for each team. We can also look at how these have changed since the Q1 dataslate dropped.

There’s a lot here, with a lot changes to process. Let’s start with the top of our standings, where we have four clear winners, each topping 55% win rates at our sample of 16+ player, 3+ round events:

  • Fellgor Ravagers
  • Blooded
  • Gellerpox
  • Wyrmblade
  • Warpcoven

The Fellgor Ravagers’ dominance here continues, and they’re the only faction which averaged a 60%+ win rate in our last analysis to continue following the dataslate. They’re joined at the top by Blooded, Gellerpox, Wyrmblade and Warpcoven, with the latter having had a meteoric rise following the dataslate – they had a 41% win rate in our previous analysis of the meta.

Meanwhile bringing up the rear in our analysis are Scout Squads, Exaction Squads, Intercession Squads, Legionary, and Hearthkyn Salvagers (bad days for the “Squad” teams). Not great newsi fyou’re a player, though worth noting that this time around none of the teams in our analysis had a win rate below 40% (last time Farstalker Kinbands were sitting at 39%). More on that in a moment.

The release of Kill Team: Nightmare caused a bit of a shakeup: Mandrakes seem well positioned out of the gate with a 54% win rate, and the same can be said for Nemesis Claw teams, which have put up a similar percentage despite being one of the game’s most-played factions at the moment. Of course these are new teams with a lot of hype so we’ll have to revisit their performance when the dust settles in a month or so.

In any case, it seems that at this lower, broader level of play the game has leveled out to a fairly solid spread: Of the game’s 30 playable teams, 21 fall into the 45-55% win rate band we’re shooting for, and only two fell outside the 40-60% band. It’s a pretty good time to be a Kill Team player, regardless of your faction preference!

The other part of the story here is pick rate:

Kommandos remain the game’s most popular kill team, with Legionary and Intercession Squads right behind them. That said, it’s not great news for Kommandos – typically larger player counts push a team toward the 50% win rate unless they’re really busted or terrible, so Kommandos at 48% suggests they’re a bit underpowered, while Intercession and Legionary teams at sub-45% says those teams really need help.

An Event Study

As always I have made a study of several events across the world; thanks to the fact that Kill Team has been in constant growth over this time I have a very solid number of events to select from even when narrowing the sample to events with 4+ rounds and 30+ players. The sample here includes the United States, United Kingdom, France, Poland, Spain, and the Czech Republic. For these events we’ll be looking exclusively at players and teams finishing in the top eight. This gives us a different lens to look at, focusing on which teams perform best and most consistently in the hands of top players, when played against other top players.

United States: 

  • Kill Team GT US Open Dallas (42 Players)
  • Bay Area Championships 2024 (35 players)

Czech Republic: 

  • Kill Team Tournament – Ogří Doupě (29 players)

England: 

  • Kill Team – Can You Roll a Crit? (39 players)
  • Notts Kill Team – Easter Eggstravaganza (62 players)
  • King In The North – The Resurrection (40 players)

France

  • Linounette Paris Tournament III (40 Players)

Poland:

  • Kill Team: Broken Planet (35 Players)
  • Blunt Force Beatdown (38 players)

Spain: 

  • Campanas de la Plaga (80 players)
  • I Cruzada del Sur (60 Players)
  • VI Major de Madrid (56 Players)

The Results

This is a smaller sample, but we have a few (not-charted) notes from this narrowed focus:

  • Our sample of eleven Majors gives us at least one Top 8 showing for 29 out of the 32 non-Compendium teams. There’s some over-representation here: The numbers very much favor Blooded, Mandrakes, Kommandos, HC and Fellogor Ravagers, while Novitiates, Nemesis Clar and Corsaris are following them very closely. 
  • This creates a little discrepancy with what we saw in our win rate analysis for broader events. Blooded and Fellgor Ravagaers have a solid performance in both sections, whereas Kommandos, Mandrakes, and Hierotek Circle tend to make top eight listings more often than their overall win rates would suggest. Likewise Gellerpox Infected underperform their win rate expectations, only making the top eight cut twice in our sample despite one of the game’s highest win rates. 
  • On the other hand only three teams have not obtained any representation in these top-cuts: Wyrmblade, Chaos cults and Strike Force Justinian. This is particularly strange for Wyrmblade, which had one of the higher win rates in our sample.

Overall, the current Kill Team meta seems very healthy, with the kind of solid balance that makes nearly every team a potential contender – most of our factions within that desirable 45-55% win rate bucket, and almost every faction appears capable of making the top eight of an event (we assume Wyrmblade are just an anomaly here in that regard).

The Tier List

Note: My tier list is designed with mixed environments in mind. That is, playing events with a 50/50 mix of Open and Into the Dark Terrain.

Disclaimer: In my opinion this tier list should be tier S/A+/A/A-/B representing that the step is not as big as it seems, particularly in the first four groups. But many readers have asked me to make the tier list with better differentiation between steps. So please dear reader, keep in mind that for me tier S are the teams which dominate tournaments, Tiers A and B are those factions which can win tournaments but will have more difficulty, and C D are those factions that need a player of superior skill to win a tournament.

Now let’s take a look at the tier list:

  • I think the S tier was pretty clear; these are the factions with a high overall win rate and good presence in the top eight of the big tournaments. This shows that hordes are pretty dominant in the current meta. Fellgor Ravagers is still the most dominant faction in my opinion with a very high WR and several tournament wins. Inquisition have come in strong and is perhaps a step behind the other two according to the data but it is a very strong counter to several factions that are in the current tops.
  • For tier A, Mandrakes and Nemesis Claw are two teams that have won several tournaments and have a more than acceptable win rates… but the top players are still adapting to them. On the other hand we have several old acquaintances like Gellerpox, Kommandos, and Veteran Guard who are still in high positions and have the tools to face almost everything especially if they manage to dodge some key matchups.
  • In tier B we have several mid-range teams with many options such as Elucidian and Hunter Clade. Although perhaps they suffer against several factions in the higher tiers, it seems that players are already adapting gradually to the changes of Blades of Khaine as their WR and Top 8 rate has dropped after the last month.
  • In tier C we find again several elites that have an unfavorable meta. Navy still suffers a lot against Inquisition and Fellgor maybe that’s why it still has an extremely low WR. Karskin and Void Dancers barely have presence in the Top 8 of the big tournament.
  • And finally we have the factions that need some help. Scouts are not finding their place as well as Exaction Squad, and Chaos Cult has gone from being a preeminent faction to being completely missing from the Top 8.

Final thoughts

Kill Team is in a good place – we have one of the most fun metas we’ve had in a long time, with a pretty tight band for win rates and pretty much every faction being able to make the top eight, without one clear winner. While we’re still getting used to the factions from Nightmare we also have the new Kill Team: Termination box and those factions are likely to cause some major shake-ups in the meta as well. There’s a lot to track and we’ll be keeping our eyes open for how things change over the next quarter.

See you in a few months!

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.