friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Army Build Power Rankings, Volume 1


    Hey all, Matthew DeFranza here on behalf of Team SG with the first of Team SG’s series: Army Build Rankings!

    As gamers, we are inclined to want to rank everything; it’s hard to ever talk about the meta without trying to “tier” every list. Even in forum discussions and blog posts, 40k players and fans have referred to a non-existent “tier ranking” when describing the power of a certain army build. Well, what classifies a tier? What makes one army build better than another? We at Team Stomping Grounds set out to try to answer that question. Welcome to the first TSG Power Rankings!

    Before we get into what the actual tiers mean and where your favorite armies fall, we would like to give a little bit of a disclaimer. This first month of initial rankings is based solely off our testing, our conversations about the meta and our communications with other play groups. As we continue to update our rankings in the months to come, we will use more empirical data by looking at actual tournament results and ToF data (the same data you can get access to with a Hero subscription, wink wink). Another thing to keep in mind is that we understand that with the new ally matrix, there are way too many potential combinations for us to mention them all, so for the purpose of keeping the article from being a short novel we are going to give generic builds for the armies, and we will mention some of the potential allies, but we are not going to give each primary/ally combination its own spot in a tier. Lastly, mission packets GREATLY define the strength of an army. In light of this, we will be looking at these builds in relation to GT formats at large, but we may also talk about what kind of mission types will change an army’s ranking.

    The first step in ranking armies is to define what makes up each tier. We are defining Tier 1 as builds that you’d expect to win a GT and which you will frequently see at top tables. Tier 2 are builds that you would not be surprised to see win a GT; you will likely see them in top brackets and they will likely win some of the top brackets. Tier 3 are solid builds that are well thought-out; however you would be surprised to see these win a GT. They will likely roam in the middle tables of a tournament and will do well at your local RTTs. All other builds we are putting in Tier 4, which we really aren’t going to get into.
    Well, the wait is over―let’s see where the builds fall!

    TIER 1

    Summoning Daemons: Everyone on the Internet has heard the complaints about their opponent summoning almost an entire additional army. This army has a ton of strength because it has a great toolbox in being able to summon whatever it needs at a given time, and being a reasonably durable army at the same time, not to mention the load of Warp Charge dice it can generate.
    Centurion Stars: This list will come in a lot of shapes with different allies, but primarily with Grey Knights they come to the table with some of the top numbers of Psychic dice and an invisible Gating Star that can put out as much offense as any other unit in the game. Having a great MSU backup as well, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
    AM Blob: In an edition where objectives are king, having large durable units that can put out decent shooting make this army a strong choice. On top of Blobs’ pure strength, they are also cheap and can serve well as either a primary or ally (Knights, Psychic-heavy armies, various Stars and MSU builds).

    TIER 2 (in no particular order)

    Necron AV 13: By gaining Objective Secured and a general buff to jink saves, particularly in that the units inside can still fire as normal, the Ghost Ark becomes a premier transport. Complement that with hyper-efficient Annihilation Barges, and beat-stick Catacomb Command Barges with the new chariot rules, and you have an intimidating list.
    MSU Space Marine: A list that can easily be tier 1 or 3 depending on the packet. If you are in a heavy Kill Point packet, the strength of the list goes down greatly with having Marines and transports. In the same manner, in a light Kill Point packet the army gains a lot of strength, being able to bring lots of combat-squading Marines with their OS transports either as Drop Pods or Rhinos. Obviously there are a ton of ways to craft this list, so gamers delight with the choices!
    MSU Tau: OS is big in this edition and Tau can spam it reliably with Devilfish and Fire Warriors, or Crisis Suits in Farsight armies. They can shell the army with lots of options, Broadsides, Suites or Formations.
    Farsight Bomb: You have a high damage output Star that can hit multiple units at once. Having Hit and Run and Jump-Shoot-Jump gives the army some durability as well.
    Serpent Spam: Wave Serpents are still at the top of the transport lists, and coming out of arguably the strongest independent codex you have tons of options of what to bring along with the army. Lots of damage, durability and mobility all on an Objective Secured platform.
    Beast Pack: This Star still has a lot of durability with the buff to Invisibility, and having one of the biggest footprints in the game it gives you a lot of board control.
    Necron Air Force: 40k is even more so a game when a lot of top armies can’t deal with Flyers. This build got a tier 2 spot because of its ability to play spoiler to some top lists that simply can’t interact with them.
    Imperial Knights: Another army that just can’t be dealt with sometimes. Ignoring the natural strength of these giant robots, you will simply win games against armies that can’t deal with you. This army has a ton of options both as a main or ally; there are just too many to mention.
    Skyblight: Having fast units of Gargoyles that can come back from the dead and have OS makes this the best of the Tyranid builds and gives the bugs a chance to interact in the tournament scene.
    DCA bomb: You are a strong offensive threat to begin with, and with transport options of either Land Raiders or Stormravens, you can reliably get across the field. You then have the strong reliable Psychic support that pushes the list to the next level.

    TIER 3warhammer-power-rankings-2

    AM Mech: This build is very different from Blobs. It will consist of small units and lots of Leman Russ squadrons. There is a lot of strength to the list but having low armor transports with weak troops it makes a lot of the high-strength shooting in the higher tiers a big problem.
    Marine Bike: With Bike cover saves causing them to have to snap fire, it makes a lot of the Bike-based armies much weaker. The Grav Bikes took a huge hit to their offense.
    Land Raider Marines: As much as Objective Secured Land Raiders can be great, you are still sinking a ton of points into few models. If someone is prepared for it, you are simply out of the game.
    Gunline Tau: Massing Broadsides, Pathfinders, and Fire Warriors may put out some of the highest shot counts, but you have troops that will be exposed and are somewhat flimsy. You can often see this as a hybrid with an MSU Tau build that could move it up the rankings.
    Seer Council: An army that is going to be defined by a mission packet. In a heavy Kill Point packet it is great since the Council itself is VERY durable, but losing the ability to contest objectives late-game because of OS makes the army lose a lot of its finesse options.
    Iyanden: This list can come either as a Wraithguard Star or a Serpent Spam Wraithguard list that frankly has a huge chance to move up. We need to get a few more good looks at the options to see if going normal Serpent Spam isn’t just better.
    MSU/Mech Dark Eldar: Objective Secured Venoms/Raiders are fantastic, and this is an army that has seen a huge benefit from the jink change. But AV 10 vehicles still struggle in this meta with so much high-strength shooting.
    Green Tide Orks: Arguably one of the better Ork builds, as many armies can’t deal with 180 OS Ork bodies and simply won’t be able to kill them fast enough, but the armies that can will make short work of these little green men.
    Bike Ork: Another great Ork option and a Bike option that doesn’t care about having to jink because it honestly doesn’t make that BS 2 shooting much worse.
    Mech Ork: Trying to mass transports is another great option for Orks and has a lot of potential, but the mob rule makes it so all of your Boyz units are in a bad spot with 10-man units that still aren’t very durable.
    FMC Daemons: One of the most dominant lists of the last edition probably doesn’t even deserve a spot in tier 3 but we still want to talk about it. Early on, everyone loved the change to grounding checks. But not being able to charge the turn you come down puts a big damper on the punch of this army.
    CAV Daemons: Having a large potential dice pool for Invis and fast units that can get in your opponent’s face and STILL have some summoning backup makes this Daemons list a viable option.
    CSM Rush: Spawn are probably the most reliable unit out of the CSM books, and assuming you aren’t facing high-strength shooting, especially nothing that ignores cover, these types of builds have a chance to cause some problems.
    CSM Zombies: Despite their clear lack of mobility of any kind, you have cheap, fearless OS units that have several options to add on either from their codex or as an ally.
    Thunderwolves: Potentially the most reliable Space Wolf list that isn’t Drop Pod (covered with MSU Marine), you have the potential for a Star to counter Invis by having the ability to auto-hit on three models.
    Necron Wraiths: Wraiths take a hit to small arms fire and anything else that will kill troops easily. They are still just two-wound Marines as they move across the field and often with AV 13 or Flyers in the list it gives people things to shoot at.
    Nidzilla: As much as ‘Nids are on the downswing, you are still Monstrous Creatures and people are still going to have a hard time dealing with Flyrants while having Tervigons making troops on the back end.
    Horde ‘Nids: Similar to Green Tide, some people just won’t be able to deal with that many bodies.
    MSU Grey Knights: Simply Razor Spam with a lot of Henchmen units and some minor Psychic powers. Whereas this is the shell for lots of Stars, without a strong unit to dump Psychic dice into this list just doesn’t put out enough offense.
    Draigo Star: As much as it is a relic of 5th edition, OS Paladins can’t be overlooked!

    As we said, these rankings are based off our views, testing and conversations within the community at large, and we look forward to updating and moving armies around as we move through the GT circuit and finally start getting some good results to look at!
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