September is basically in the books and with a new Dataslate out, it’s a good time to look back on the last month or so of events and see how the Kill Team meta is doing overall. Last time around we looked at the results from the start of July through August 10; this time we’re picking up the time period between August 11 and this past weekend (9/26). In that time we’ve picked up some new kill teams and an entirely new way to play. Let’s run through the headlines:
Kill Team Picked Up Steam in the Back Half of the Summer
We remarked last time around that Kill Team didn’t seem to have quite the traction we wanted to see from an events standpoint. The good news is that after that, things picked up substantially. In our prior sample we had 2,362 games to look at. In this new sample we had a whopping 3,486 games to look at, an increase of around 28% when you account for the number of days in each sample. That’s very promising, and fitting for a game as fun as Kill Team. If you haven’t given the game a shot yet, I’d highly recommend it – it’s a blast and, as we’ll see, one of the most balanced games GW makes.
The New Teams are Making a Big Splash
While it’s still too early to deliver a verdict on the new teams from the Annual or Into the Dark – though results look promising – we now have enough data to talk more about the other teams that debuted in the back half of 2022.
- Blooded Traitors improved the most from their July-August showing, jumping to a 59% win rate with three tournament wins. Not the most by any stretch, but an impressive showing on a relatively small sample of games – only 71 total.
- Intercession Squads likewise showed a 55% win rate over a very short period of time following the release of their pdf. In this case we get the benefit of marines just being a super-popular faction driving a ton of games very quickly.
- Gellerpox Infected and Elucidian Starstriders both have very small sample sizes but so far appear to be doing alright, with the former even having won a larger event in the past few weeks. Breachers also appear to have some play, and it’s much, much too soon to say anything about Farstalker Kinband teams.
Chaos Space Marines continue to be the most popular faction
At 149 players and 538 games, the competition wasn’t particularly close – Legionary Kill Teams have become the game’s most popular team – and it doesn’t help that they’re also fairly strong. Despite making up 16% of the field they maintained a 51% win rate, and 10% of the larger event wins, marginally better than expected.
The Balance is Pretty Solid – if you aren’t a Compendium Team
On that note, it’s pretty easy to see that there’s a relatively strong level of balance among the game’s teams, especially those who aren’t dependent on Compendium rules. The worst among them are currently the Phobos Strike Team and Warp Coven teams, though those both received small buffs in this week’s Kill Team Q3 Dataslate update, which should help them compete more. Otherwise the majority of the game’s factions appear to be sitting between a 45% and 55% win rate, which is relatively ideal. Hopefully we’ll see that band narrow with the changes from the dataslate. Blooded are worth keeping an eye on as well, but it’s not yet clear whether that’s just a result of small sample sizes.
The meta has been pretty dynamic
If we compare these results to those in our last update, we can see some important shifts. Blooded got the biggest jump but again, they’re going from only 63 games to 71 and represent the smallest faction in our sample of non-Compendium teams. Warp Coven gained some ground and will hopefully gain more with the updated Strategic Ploy, while Phobos Teams lost a lot of steam but will also hopefully make that up, and if they don’t well, Intercession Squads are right there to keep Space Marines in the game.
The rest of the movement – usually within 4 percentage points, up or down, shows that there’s plenty of room for minor movements as the meta shifts and new teams are added. While most of the Compendium teams have now clearly fallen behind we’re also sitting on a whopping 16 “modern” teams with full support and another 4 on the way in the announced Into the Dark expansions. There are only a few 40k factions that still don’t have 40k representation in Kill Team yet and we expect we’ll see something for Tyranids, Necrons, Drukhari, and Death Guard before too long.
The Unknown Impact of Into the Dark
If there’s one big question mark in our data, it’s the impact of Into the Dark and games set in the space hulk killzone. We haven’t seen much in the way of events running this… yet, but we know it’ll be in play at the GW Chicago event in two weeks. We’re pretty sure that close quarters combat will have a massive impact on how teams play and which teams compete, so if you’re running an event or you participate in an event that that uses Into the Dark’s new killzone rules, let us know so we can take note of it in next month’s meta review.
Next Time: The Boys of Kill Team Summer
That wraps up this look at the Kill Team meta but join us next week when we take a look at all of the incredibly sick kill teams you put together for #killteamsummer. And if you haven’t finished your team yet, there’s still time – get a photo of it and send it to email@example.com so we can see it and maybe include in next week’s article!