Warhammer 40K 10th Edition Competitive Faction Focus: Adepta Sororitas

On the heels of the latest dataslate, we’re updating (or finally getting around to) all of the faction focus articles for each army in Warhammer 40,000. In this series we’ll talk about each faction, what they have to offer, how they play, and talk about a few list concepts to consider.

Dive into the fierce heart of the Warhammer 40,000 universe with the Adepta Sororitas, the indomitable Sisters of Battle! Clad in sanctified armour, these fearless female warriors embody the Emperor’s wrath, purging the galaxy of heretics and Xenos with celestial fury and unshakable faith—join their sacred crusade and witness the power of true devotion!


Published: 2024-03-21

Why Should You Play This Faction?

Love serving prometheum-fueled judgement upon the heretics and non-believers? Look no further than the Adepta Sororitas, the militant arm of the Ecclesiarchy. From nuns with guns to hallowed processions to some of the prettiest vehicles in the game, the Adepta Sororitas offer something to every hobbyist and competitive gamer. As of the writing of this faction focus, the Adepta Sororitas are towards the top of the meta, with several large event wins and consistently high win rates.

Five Things You Need to Know

  1. Acts of Faith – These dice are going to be your bread and butter; builds focused around generating as many of these as possible are often the most successful. Being able to control dice variance with these is the army’s greatest strength.
  2. Dying Helps You – As mentioned above, miracle dice are the reward you gain from losing units. Having lots of little sacrificial units can put your opponent in the untenable position of denying you board position and then fuelling your other units.
  3. Combined Arms – The Adepta Sororitas have both potent shooting and melee options – giving them good answers to most armies in the current meta. Tailor your list to address the current powerhouses!
  4. 2+ Saves hurt – Most of your weapons are AP-1 or AP-2, so armies with access to plenty of 2+ saves and/or Armour of Contempt-style stratagems can be challenging to play into.
  5. Suffering and Sacrifice – Your detachment rule revolves around your units taking damage and becoming more powerful as they’re whittled down. Leaving an Adepta Sororitas tank alive on 1 wound is a terrifying prospect for every opponent!

What Are the Must-Have Units to Start This Faction?

While the Sisters Index is fairly deep, over the last nine months of 10th edition gameplay several units have emerged as winners. There are certainly some wrong choices, but you generally can’t go wrong with the units in this list.

The Triumph of Saint Katherine is a buff monster and aids you in your quest to bury your opponent under Acts of Faith-fuelled violence. She appears in many top-placing Adepta Sororitas lists, and for good reason. At a reasonable point cost, her Relics of the Matriarchs ability gives you additional tools to help you respond to your opponent. Her most vital buffs are the 6” auras provided by these, with the 6+ feel no pain, the ability to make every miracle die generated an automatic 6, and the ability to perform two acts of faith per phase on units within 6”.

Morvenn Vahl. Credit: Corrode

Morvenn Vahl and her requisite bodyguard Paragon Warsuits. This unit comes in at a slightly more pricey than most Sisters units, but it gives you a solid all-around unit with excellent shooting and decent melee. Vahl turns the unit up to 11 by providing them full hit and wound rerolls while leading the unit, and the Paragons themselves give the ability to fall back and shoot/charge so they never get bogged down!

The humble Palatine. She’s a melee beast, and powers up both Battle Sisters and Novitiates by giving them Lethal Hits on all their attacks. The Palatine’s Rapturous Blows datasheet ability gives her additional output in the melee phase, and when paired with a Dialogus, allows you to guarantee two wounds in every phase from her unit. Amazing when combined with Battle Sisters equipped with a Multi-Melta, and quite potent when she’s equipped with the Blade of Saint Elynor.

Arco-flagellants. These mind-scrubbed fanatics are essentially the Adepta Sororitas’ servitors, and they form the core of most competitive lists due to their unnatural durability and ability to punch up against most armies. Their 4+ Feel No Pain and 2 wounds mean they can be infuriating for many armies to chew through efficiently, giving your army valuable time to farm miracle dice and deliver a crushing counterpunch. Their Extremis Trigger Word ability allows them to really punch up, with each model then boasting 6 attacks at Strength 5 with Sustained Hits and Twin-linked, at the cost of their weapons becoming Hazardous.

From this point, you’ll want to bring along one or two Battle Sisters Squads – despite being Battleline, they aren’t seen in great numbers, but their ability to generate additional miracle dice for each objective you control with one or more of these units in range helps power your army up even faster.

To deliver holy retribution, your squishy T3 bodies need metal boxes to safely get in melta/melee range. Rhinos and Immolators both provide good options to achieve this goal, with the Immolator’s Fire Support rule providing full-ranged wound rerolls to a unit that just disembarked to get maximum effectiveness out of your Retributor and Battle Sisters Squads.

Adepta Sororitas Castigator Battle Tank - Order of the Gilded Cilice - Credit: Colin Ward
Adepta Sororitas Castigator Battle Tank – Order of the Gilded Cilice – Credit: Colin Ward

Finally, it wouldn’t be the Adepta Sororitas without a few ornate tanks! Exorcists provide you with excellent indirect fire to keep your opponent honest and force them to secure their backfield with more durable units. Castigators give you cheap but effective direct fire options, with the Castigator Battle Cannon dishing out holy wrath while boasting full hit rerolls against Monster and Vehicles (the Autocannon gets the same buff but against Infantry). The Castigator also gives you a way to trigger out-of-phase Battle Shock tests, allowing you to wreak havoc on your opponents plans both in your and their turn!

How Does This Faction Secure Objectives?

Mix of Battle Sister Squads, Arco-flagellants, and Rhino hulls. Many of their units can take something of a ranged punch due to the access to miracle dice, power armour, and Feel No Pain aplenty. Battle Sisters Squads want to be sitting on objectives in order to collect those extra miracle dice. Rhino hulls once empty provide an annoyingly tough means of securing objectives while your melee/shooting assets put pressure on the opponent.

Arco-flagellants. Credit: Richyp

As for “Tactical versus Fixed,” with excellent stratagems and a fairly mobile force, the Adepta Sororitas tend to prefer to play Tactical objectives for the occasional extra CP and higher score ceiling.

How Does This Faction Handle Enemy Hordes?

Arco-flagellants will rip through any big brick of models – be they Primaris Crusader Squads or Gargoyle blobs. A unit of ten of these has 60 attacks when you activate their Extremis Trigger Word. With access to +1 to wound through a stratagem, Sustained Hits, and twin-linked, their sole weakness is 2+ saves owing to their AP- attacks.

Other options available to them include flamers on Immolators, or Retributor squads with Ministorum Heavy Flamers (which gain a tick of Strength up to 6 over the normal 5 of a typical Heavy Flamer).

How Does This Faction Handle Enemy Tanks and Monsters?

Here is where the army shines in leaning on miracle dice – being able to push through multi-melta and hunter killer wounds on tougher targets then reduce the damage volatility on d6 weaponry makes them very scary for vehicle-heavy forces.

Retributors. Credit: Corrode

Multi-melta equipped Retributors hopping out of Immolators do serious damage, as does the Vahlgon brick. Even the humble Battle Sisters Squad with a Multi-Melta and Meltagun can put some serious hurt on with a few miracle dice at your side.

What Combos Should You Build Around?

My favourite combo to date is an attached unit made up of a Battle Sisters Squad & a Dialogus & a Palatine with the Blade of Saint Elynor sitting next to The Triumph of Saint Katherine. This combo doesn’t feel nearly as expensive as it should be for all the pieces and bonuses it gives you. Here’s the rundown:

  • The Triumph of Saint Katherine gives the unit a 6+ feel no pain, and once enough dice have been collected then turns on the Simulacrum of the Ebon Chalice, allowing units within 6” to perform 2 Acts of Faith per phase, as opposed to 1.
  • The Palatine gives the unit Lethal Hits, and has the Rapturous Blows ability to amp up her melee, dishing out an additional mortal wound for every successful wound she lands.
  • The Dialogus allows the unit to be targeted by stratagems even when it is battle-shocked, and also turns any miracle die used on the unit into a 6.
  • This results in every miracle die funnelled to this unit being automatic 6, which then automatically wounds through the Palatine’s Lethal Hits. Need to kill something in overwatch? You can have two Multi-melta wounds on demand for the low cost of two miracle dice!
  • The Palatine also punches up quite nicely with the Blade of Saint Elynor giving her an additional strength, attack and damage on her melee attacks. If she takes damage (read: is killed and you resurrect her via Divine Intervention with 1 wound), then she instead gets +2 to each of these stats. That’s 6 attacks at Strength 6, AP-2, and Damage 4! With access to +1 to hit and wound from your detachment ability, this is a very scary melee unit in a fairly compact and unassuming package.

A Missionary with Saintly Blessing is a very funny unit to put on an objective in range of the Triumph of Saint Katherine. When this disposably-costed model dies, it generates 1+d3 miracle dice, each of which would be a 6 if the Triumph has The Fiery Heart aura up. Resurrect with Divine Intervention and you’re soon swimming in 2+2d3 extra miracle dice!

A wall of 3×10 Arco-flagellants with 1-2 Castigators and 2 Exorcists behind them is truly terrifying for many armies to deal with. The Arco-flagellants put good forward pressure on your opponent while the tanks whittle down the ranged threats. If anyone puts wounds on a tank, for 1CP you just pop Light of the Emperor in your Command Phase and now it’s got +1 to hit (and maybe +1 to wound depending on your remaining wounds) while ignoring modifiers. Look out C’tan shards and Avatars!

What Detachments Are Available?

The Sisters of Battle are currently an Index army, with a codex expected Summer 2024 according to the latest codex roadmap. The guide to their current detachment, Hallowed Martyrs can be found here.

Final Thoughts

The Adepta Sororitas are well poised within the current meta, with a fairly deep toolbox allowing them to address the scariest meta threats. Go out and purge the heretic and suffer not the Xenos to live!

That wraps up our look at the Adepta Sororitas but there are a lot more faction focus articles on the way, so stick around to catch those! If you have questions or feedback feel free to drop us a comment, or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.