Kill Team Dataslate Q2 Hot Takes!

State of the Meta

Over the last 3 month period of play an encouraging trend has emerged, with mixed ranged teams coming back to the forefront. Between Blooded, Heirotek Circle, and Fellgor resurgences the meta has been in a somewhat healthy spot. However Octarius terrain being the standard has definitely shifted things towards a somewhat more melee horde focused environment. Fellgor in particular have trended towards a 55+ win rate, while maintaining high win rates.

Just looking at this last week we can see Novitiates, Fellgor, and Brood Brothers all in the top slots. With many other teams showing some legs. Which means going into this slate we would expect smaller changes, and that is what we’ve received. For anyone excited to play come by the Goonhammer Open next weekend (July 6-7)!


Imperial Fist Scouts. Credit: Jack Hunter


Receive one more operative, finally using the entire box contents, and melee operatives move from 3/5 damage to 4/6!

HappyRaccoon: Getting an operative is generally a huge shift for any team, and I expect no less from the Scouts. I always did find it weird that the team was forced into 9 operatives when teams like Kommandos were allowed to go to 10 or 11. The extra damage will absolutely help especially when looking at opposing 10-wound teams, and I expect this helps Scouts breakthrough their absolutely terrible win rates.

TheArmorOfContempt: The tenth operative makes sense, although I understand why they went with nine initially. Unfortunately, this team’s ploys simply lack the durability of other mid-sized teams like Hearthkyn, nor do they provide the flexibility available to Eldar teams like the Hand of the Archon. Upping the knife damage makes sense for the normal damage, giving these guys the ability to handle 7 and 8 wound enemies more reliably, however upping the critical damage to 6 seems a bit much. Not in the sense that it is game breaking, but more that we find ourselves in a situation where Scout Combat Blades are nearly as deadly as Power Swords.

CYRAC: This is a very lazy change. Scouts needed a buff but this just breaks the theme and balance of the team. Instead of giving gunners cumbersome and adding more scouting points, bam, extra operative and power weapon scouts. Went from maybe the worst team to now being everyone’s problem. Just wild.

Exaction Squad member by Craig “MasterSlowPoke” Sniffen

Exaction Squad

Gunners always get a reroll when using Terminal Decree. Dispense Justice now gives reroll one type of result instead of balanced.

HappyRaccoon: Another slate another small change for Exaction. Will these be the ones that push them over? I suspect not, but it does push the reliability up for the team once more. Shooting on 4s always hurts, and balanced won’t help that much. Reroll one type in melee however does look like it’ll be quite helpful on the shields, so maybe this will move the needle.

CYRAC: I’ll take even more re-roll buffs but it’s disappointing we got no changes for the arresting mechanic as well as buffing batons so they at least match the damage of fists, instead of being weaker.

Trans-Hyperion Alliance Hearthkyn Warriors – Leagues of Votann. Credit: Colin Ward

Hearthkyn Salvagers

Operatives within 2 inches of an objective reduce damage of a single melee hit per combat by 1 to a minimum of 3, and the Theyn has a once per game negation of a single 4 damage or higher attack.

HappyRaccoon: Hernkyn and Hearthkyn now hit the toughness point of 3-attacks to kill when being charged. Taking them all to new levels of durability. The Theyn in specific can now be used as an aggressive piece fairly reliably, able to take a charge or send it with initiative. I do somewhat expect that this will push the sometimes playability of the Salvagers to new levels as the team has been performing fairly well these last three months.

TheArmorOfContempt: The first buff is nice as it helps to prevent Hearthkyn from being two shot by teams such as Felgor who were one of the worst matchups, while the Theyn was apparently getting a little jealous of his Yeagir cousin. Neither of these changes are game breaking, and serve to make the team slightly more durable. The trend with our Votann teams seems to be a push to avoid situations where operatives are vulnerable to being killed in two attacks without raising their wound count to Space Marine levels.

CYRAC: While I love these changes that came from nowhere, pour one out for the Yaegirs as Salvagers remain faster, stronger, and now tougher. Just so weird.

Kill Team Word Bearers chaos Legionary


Rosters are now uncapped for Marks. Selected kill teams must still respect the Mark exclusivity.

HappyRaccoon: One of the largest changes in the dataslate that should help to elevate legionary for competitive tournament play. The mix up possibilities to play non-nurgle for your flex matchups is incredibly powerful. Letting you pivot between Implaccable or 4++ Invulns based on the match up. I fully expect this to help, but 6-activation teams will still face massive structural issues with how they can approach the board.

TheArmorOfContempt: I will likely be playing my Legionnaires more in the future thanks to this change, however they still missed The Butcher, or combining the double fight/shoot ploys.

CYRAC: A great change that was long-time coming. Would have liked a Butcher buff too but finally we can take Tzeentch and Nurgle rosters!



Heirotek Groupshot credit Lumpy

Heirotek Circle

Reanimation Protocols and Living Metal are now split up once again. Meaning that a freshly rezzed Necron comes back with 3-5 wounds, and doesn’t get the 2 wounds from Living Metal.

HappyRaccoon: This one is going to basically remove Necrons from the free form use they’re seeing now. Coming back injured 100% of the time in 1-shot range is not the spot you want your semi-elite 8-operative team to work on. The Technomancer does have a legit reason for play now, but I suspect most competitive players will stop playing the team with this level of unreliability.

TheArmorOfContempt: Personally I like this change, having your enemy return with full health and suffering no consequences was very annoying. That being said, I think at this point it would’ve been fair to simply remove the Reanimation Protocol roll and make it an automatic success.

CYRAC: I’m liking this change more and more as time goes on. Hierotek now have to play more carefully instead of rushing your front lines. Trades healing for reliability. Great.

Fellgor Ravagers. Credit: Fowler

Fellgor Ravagers

All non-leader operatives down to 10 wounds. While the leader keeps his 11 wounds! Relentless flatly changed to Ceaseless for all operatives. Reckless Determination can no longer be used for a double retain while getting shot, as it no longer works when you have cover.

HappyRaccoon: Overall these changes bring down the high points, and make Fellgor easier to learn against. Having 3 random models on 11 wounds was powerful, and let the team bully the other 10-wound teams. Now you need to choose between re-roll everything (Violent Temperment), or ceaseless, instead of re-roll everything or relentless. Which is a meaningful change. The team now also cannot rely on double retained saves early to tank shooting, which should also help trim some of the difficulties for shooting teams.

CYRAC: While nice changes, GW could have just changed how Frenzy works. Regardless, these changes slightly knock down Fellgor a bit. Still a powerful team but have to setup charges more.


Recon Drone, down to Balanced, over Relentless. Recon Sweep locked out of tp1. Forward deployments on ITD and BD brought in line with other teams.

HappyRaccoon: Not surprised the team got tapped, especially not surprised that the free Recon Drone got touched. As long as boards move towards more room for visibility, then the team will remain good. Markerlighting to push yourself to rerolling twice, on 3s remains important. While the weirdness of ITD has been trimmed on the forward deploy. The big change is on recon sweep’s turn 1 capabilities, which means you can’t hit people on the opening move in their deployment. You can still however threaten most midboard positions. So it’ll be a big skill differentiator.

CYRAC: Why was the Recon drone just not changed back to how it was before? It’s still an auto-pick. The drone forward deploy doing 3 different things depending on whether you play on open, ITD, or BD is just weird. Locking the drone to conceal TP1 would have been better. The recon sweep change is fine. A slight knock to PF power, but not a huge one.

Blackstone Fortress Chaos Ogryn by Craig “MasterSlowPoke” Sniffen


Ogryn can only use Heavy, or operatives with 15 wounds to conceal.

HappyRaccoon: A little standardization goes a long way when trying to learn the game. Blooded were doing fairly well in this dataslate week to week, so a small touch seems fair. The Ogryn still remains a wrecking ball, but one that will need to huge heavy cover.

TheArmorOfContempt: A logical change given this operative’s size, which really only leaves big dudes from the Compendium like Tyranid Warriors or Custodes still able to shield themselves behind a pebble.

CYRAC: Not really a nerf and more of a clarification/standardisation. Just have to be slightly more careful when moving up the Ogryn. I forgot he never had this rule in the first place, I thought he always had it!

Just Another Killteam Podcast with Orion W


HappyRaccoon: With Hernkyn and Brood Brothers facing some newly changed teams, this slate drops us into a fairly fresh meta. One where Fellgor and Kommandos are no longer the stat checks they once were, and many old shooting teams are taking a hit. Mixed range teams have been doing well, and nothing in here has really changed that. One notable meta shift is the Scouts, with their new 4/6 flat melee profile which can gain balanced, and crit retains. Shooting teams may struggle to manage all the 10-wound, 2-tap, 10-wide teams running amok through the system. I’m looking forward to seeing where things lie and hopefully we’ll see some more people at the Goonhammer Open next weekend (July 6-7) to find out!

CYRAC: If this is the last Balance Dataslate of the edition then I’m content. The changes are actually all pretty much okay. The only big issue is the Scout Squad change which not only potentially breaks the meta, but also the narrative of Scouts. 5 shotgun and 5 knife scouts are a genuine threat. You can have 2 to 3 scouts rushdown the same number of Space Marines and come out victorious! Feels really wrong from a narrative standpoint alone.

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