[Top 10] Warhammer 40k Best Armies

Warhammer 40k Best Armies
A Grey Knight battles a Daemon of Chaos

What are the best Armies for Warhammer 40k 9th edition?

With the coming of Warhammer 40,000's 9th edition and the meta shift that it brings, some armies are standing out in tournament play. Discover the best performing armies, capable of taking advantage of the emphasis on objective holding and cover mechanics, and much more!

10. Adeptus Mechanicus

Adeptus Mechanicus lead their Skitarii and Castellan Robots against a Tyranid host.

The Adeptus Mechanicus are a society of tech-priests based on Mars, believing that flesh is weak, and technology is strength. They worship the Omnissiah, or the machine spirit, and spend their time in search of relics of the past so that they might possess more technologies. They are looking to be one of the top choices to play as in the 9th edition of Warhammer 40,000 due to their durability and high mobility.

Adeptus Mechanicus Strengths

  • Durable units across the board and vehicles will often have a nearby HQ available for repairs
  • Almost everything in your army has high mobility, with benefits such as movement ranges of 8” or 12”, ignoring movement penalties for heavy weapons, or the ability to deep strike or pre-game move.
  • Once per turn, you can activate a Canticle of the Omnissiah for benefits such as being allowed to reroll 1s during the shooting phase.
  • Access to useful Stratagems such as Machine Spirit’s Revenge, allowing you to make a friendly vehicle that has lost its last wound explode, damaging nearby enemy units.

What the Adeptus Mechanicus excel in

  • With their durable units and high mobility, they are strong objective holders, which has become even more important in the 9th edition.
  • Fighting against other armies with a lot of machines in their roster is an advantage, due to Stratagems such as Dataspike, allowing you to roll to mortal wound a nearby vehicle after fighting an enemy Character.

Adeptus Mechanicus details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Adeptus_Mechanicus_(9E)

9. Blood Angels 

Blood Angel Astartes engage Tyranids with furious resolve.

The Blood Angels are a noble space marine legion, composed of savage beauty and appreciators of the arts. Beneath their noble exterior, though, they are tragic heroes, cursed to fight against the madness of their genetic flaw, the Red Thirst. The Blood Angels are shaping up to be another strong option to play for the 9th edition, largely due to their status as one of the best melee factions of the current iteration of Warhammer 40,000.

Blood Angels Strengths

  • New chapter-specific rules
  • Access to Space Marine rules
  • Access to psychic powers and litanies of battle. 
  • The Red Thirst is an iconic Blood Angel rule, allowing you to add 1 to the wound rolls, advance rolls, and charge rolls after making a charge, being charged, or performing a heroic intervention.
  • The Black Rage allows you to add 1 to the attacks of a unit that charged, as well as roll a d6 after every wound, ignoring the damage on a 6.

What the Blood Angels excel in

  • Close-quarters combat due to their many related bonuses, and abilities such as the Red Thirst or the Black Rage. You can cripple any army that is overly focused on shooting by getting in their face.
  • Due to their melee focus, the Blood Angels are another strong candidate for holding objectives.

Blood Angels details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Blood_Angels_(9E)

8. Dark Angels 

Dark angels train their plasma weapons on incoming enemies.

The Dark Angels are a monastic knightly order of space marines, believing in the means justifying the end, and as a result, are willing to do anything necessary to preserve the Imperium of Man. They have a troubled past, having originated from a chaos-corrupted world damaged by infighting. The Dark Angels are going to be another strong contender for the top spots in 9th edition, due to their ability to hold objectives with powerful overwatch shots or counter charges.

Dark Angels Strengths

  • Access to Space Marine rules
  • Access to Psychic Powers and Litanies of Battle
  • Access to the new Deathwing Terminator unit, a very durable unit with access to unique wargear
  • Grim Resolve allows units that have not moved during a turn to add 1 to all hit rolls, making them superior defenders of objectives, a common trend for the 9th edition as we’ve seen so far.
  • The Weapons From the Dark Age Stratagem allows you to add 1 to the damage characteristic of plasma weapons. This can be particularly devastating when used on, say, a full hell blaster squad.

What the Dark Angels excel in

  • Like most of the top factions for the 9th edition, they excel in objective holding. Grim Resolve will make units standing on objectives much deadlier, making it very risky for your opponent to attempt to charge those objectives.
  • Their excellent Plasma weapon bonuses make them good choices against vehicle-heavy armies.

Dark Angels details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Dark_Angels_(9E)

7. Death Guard

Deathguard march to spread Nurgle's pestilential influence.

The Death Guard are a space marine traitor legion, having betrayed the emperor during the Horus Heresy. They worship the Chaos God Nurgle, and in return, he bolsters their armor with disease and pestilence. Although some rules are yet to be fleshed out and properly tested, the Death Guard thus far seem to be doing well in tournaments, performing in some of the top spots. The Death Guard prove to be a formidable foe with their resilience and deadly arsenal of Blight weapons.

Death Guard Strengths

  • Access to Chaos Space Marine rules
  • The Disgustingly Resilient rule allows the Death Guard to roll and ignore a wound on a 5+, making them tough to bring down.
  • Blight Bombardment Stratagem allows a full Death Guard squad to throw blight grenades at once, instead of the usual 1 unit limit. 
  • Blight haulers have good mobility and are a great option considering the Multi Melta buffs in 9th edition. 
  • You have a particularly large amount of stratagems to choose from.
  • Many Death Guard units have alternative ways of dealing mortal wounds.

What the Death Guard excel in

  • Yes, you guessed it, holding objectives, seeing a trend? The Disgustingly Resilient rule makes the Death Guard hard to kill and as a result, prime candidates for holding objectives. 
  • Killing units with invulnerable saves is easier for you due to many alternative options for dealing mortal wounds available to Death Guard units.

Death Guard details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Death_Guard(8E)

6. Adeptus Custodes

Warriors of the Adeptus Custodes meet the charge of a host of Orks.

The Adeptus Custodes are the noble defenders of the Emperor himself, tasks above all else with the emperor’s safety. They are proud golden warriors of towering intellect, capable of far more than even the Astartes. The Custodes have remained a solid army for a large part of their career, but are looking particularly promising with the release of the 9th edition.

Adeptus Custodes Strengths

  • Resilient units with excellent close combat capabilities
  • The Sworn Protectors rule allows for an army-wide OBSEC (objective secured), making it easier to dominate objectives, especially if you, say, deep strike some jet bikes in.
  • Powerful Stratagems like Victor of the Blood games, which allows you to choose a character before the game starts that will be able to reroll 1 hit, wound, or save roll per turn. This can make an already-hard-to-kill Custode a serious threat to your opponent. 
  • A single Custode can rival an enemy captain.

What the Adeptus Custodes excel in

  • Because of the high point cost and high power of Adeptus Custodes units, they do well in battles with fewer, higher point units, because they are able to outperform many enemies in small engagements. 
  • They are versatile fighters that can perform well in both ranged and close-quarters combat.

Adeptus Custodes details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Talons_of_the_Emperor_(9E)

5. White Scars 

White Scars fire a fusillade of bolter rounds from their weapons.

The White Scars are a Mongol-like Space Marine chapter, famed for their mastery of close-quarters combat, blinding speed, and their deadly charges. They are performing particularly well lately due to their focus on fast and brutal strikes and how conducive that is to capturing objectives.

White Scars Strengths

  • Access to Space Marine rules
  • Melee and mobility-focused chapter 
  • Access to strong assault tools like the new Primaris Outriders

What the White Scars excel in

  • Due to the fast and brutal nature of their attacks, the White Scars are good at capturing objectives and can dominate the map if this advantage is properly capitalized on. 
  • Their strong melee options allow them to contend with the many other melee focused chapters, while their mobility allows them to close distance on the more shooty army lists, making them a versatile option to fight against almost any army. It is no surprise that they are so highly regarded in tournament play right now.

White Scars details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/White_Scars

4. Chaos Daemons 

Chaos Daemons manifest from the warp into reality, seeking carnage.

The Chaos Daemons are the manifestations of malevolent intellects from the warp, where the ruinous powers, the Gods of Chaos, reside. They are also a high-performing army in the 9th edition of Warhammer 40,000. Due to their difference in playstyle from most other high-performing armies, they are an interesting counter to many otherwise dominant strategies.

Chaos Daemons Strengths

  • They have an army-wide 5++ save, meaning that the widely used armor penetration stat is much less effective versus your Chaos Daemons.
  • Many different playstyles due to the four different Chaos Gods and many unit types to choose from. Your opponent will never know fully what to expect on the first match! 
  • The changes to the 9th edition have made Chaos Daemons better objective holders. For example, Nurglings can deploy onto objectives with the Mischief Makers rule.

What Chaos Daemons excel in

  • They are excellent objective holders due to their off-meta horde units and rules like Mischief Makers.
  • A lot of commonly used stats like armor penetration due to the current meta are less effective versus Chaos Daemons.

Chaos Daemons details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Chaos_Daemons_(9E)

3. Salamanders

Astartes of the Salamanders incinerate Orks.

The Salamanders are a space marine legion that are master craftsmen and act as selfless defenders of the Imperium. They are dragon-themed warriors that favor the use of fire-based weapons like flamers and melta guns. They one of the top performers in the 9th edition so far due to their powerful Stratagems and the effectiveness of their flame weapons with the new rules.

Salamanders Strengths

  • Access to Space Marine rules
  • The Multi Melta buffs in the 9th edition are particularly useful for the Salamanders when their ability to inflict +1 wound with melta or flamer weapons is taken into account. 
  • They have powerful Stratagems like Crucible of battle, which allows you to add 1 to the wounds for a unit selected to shoot or fight, or Born Protectors, which allows one unit to For the Greater Good overwatch for a friendly unit within 12”
  • Access to solid psychic powers

What the Salamanders excel in

  • The salamanders are a very well rounded army, able to succeed in most endeavors. 
  • They are particularly good at taking down vehicles, due to their aptitude with Multi Meltas in addition to the recent related buffs.

Salamanders details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Salamanders_(Chapter)

2. Adepta Sororitas

Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas engage Eldar forces in battle.

The Adepta Sororitas, or the Silent Sisters, are psychic nulls (anti-psykers) in service of the Emperor, tasked with controlling the Galaxy’s psyker population and dealing with dangerous psychic scenarios. They are one of the very best performing armies in the current iteration of 9th edition, taking the top spot(s) tournaments all over!

Adepta Sororitas Strengths

  • Because they are a particularly complex army, there is a lot of room to outmaneuver your opponent if you are so inclined. 
  • Strong melee threats allow for good objective capturing options, while there are also good ranged options.
  • They have received many wargear updates in the 9th edition.
  • Miracle Dice allows you to make game-winning plays if timed well. 
  • Sacred Rites allows you to pick 1 or roll for 2 special rules to be had for the entire game.

What the Adepta Sororitas excel in

  • They are some of the best objective holders in the 9th edition right now due to them being a versatile and well-rounded fighting force with powerful options to deal with almost any situation.

Adepta Sororitas details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Adeptus_Ministorum_(9E)

1. Harlequins

Eldar Harlequins engage Deathguard forces with grace and finesse.

Harlequins are the Eldar followers of Cegorach, the Laughing God. They are partaking in the arts, like theater, users of powerful psychedelics, and opposers of the Chaos Gods. They protect some of the last vestiges of Eldar knowledge and are brutal fighters. The Harlequins are fast, effective, and elusive fighters that are currently taking the number one spot on tournament lists all over.

Harlequin Strengths

  • Units are fast with the ability to ignore terrain and models combined with 8” movement. 
  • A base of 4 attacks in melee means your units are going to be hitting very hard in close-quarters engagements. 
  • Many high armor-piercing weapon options.
  • Many players are unfamiliar with fighting against Harlequins, and their rules are more complex than some other factions. This, like the complexity of the Adepta Sororitas, can be taken advantage of if you so choose. 
  • Shadowseers can Shield From Harm, removing 1 from wound rolls made against affected harlequin infantry units.
  • Units with the Rising Crescendo ability may Advance and Charge during the same turn. They can also Fall Back and still shoot and /or Charge during the same turn. 
  • Access to fast transport vehicles with movement ranges of 16”

What Harlequins excel in

  • Because of abilities like Rising Crescendo, you can be choosy with your engagements and attack enemies without having to commit too much. 
  • Because the current meta is so focused on objective holding, the “hit-and-run” combat style of the Harlequins is highly effective because of all the stationary targets.

Harlequins details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Eldar_Harlequins_(9E)

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