[Top 10] Warhammer 40k Best Space Marine Chapters

Warhammer 40k Best Space Marine Chapters
A Blood Angel Astartes leads the charge!


What are the best Space Marine Chapters for Warhammer 40,000 in 2020?

With the switch to new 9th Edition rules in 2020, the meta game for Warhammer 40,000 is shifting. If you like to play Space Marines, you're going to want to know which chapters are standing out among the others so that you can pick one, and dominate the tabletop scene!

10. Black Templars

A zealous Black Templar Astartes moves to end a heretic stronghold.

The Black Templars are a successor chapter of the Imperial Fists. True to their origin chapter’s stoic nature, they are a group of warrior-knights and pious champions of the Emperor, unusual in their worship of the Emperor as a literal god. On tabletop, they function as a strong melee-focused chapter with rules and stratagems aiding their charges.

Black Templars Strengths

  • A melee focus allows them to dominate many close-quarters battles. 
  • Aggressive Stratagems like Oaths of Honor or The Emperor’s Will make their charges and as a result their ability to hold objectives, particularly effective.
  • They have defensive stratagems like Shock and Awe that make them more resilient during the above-mentioned charges.

Pick The Black Templars If You Like…

  • Being a zealous purger of heretics and witches
  • An aggressive playstyle that will leave your enemies reeling during 
  • Keeping those foul psykers at arm’s length

Black Templar details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Black_Templars

9. Imperial Fists

An Imperial Fist Astartes fires a fusillade of Bolter rounds to obliterate his target.

The Imperial Fists have remained steadfast defenders of the Imperium since the time of The Great Crusade. Their determination to see the Emperor’s dreams realized is matched by none. They are masters of siegecraft, both in attacking and defending, matched by few others, save perhaps the Iron Hands.

Imperial Fists Strengths

  • They are masters of siegecraft, with access to Stratagems such as Sappers or Bolster Defenses for attacking or defending, respectively.
  • They are strong objective holders with access to Stratagems such as Shield Unwavering.
  • They have access to a Stratagem called Siege Masters, allowing them to resolve a ranged attack on a target that is in cover as if it were not.

Pick The Imperial Fists If You Like…

  • Being stubborn and Stoic like their Primarch, Rogal Dorn 
  • Playing as Chaotic Good in Dungeons & Dragons
  • Destroying enemy strongholds, or creating your own impregnable base.

Imperial Fists details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Imperial_Fists

8. Iron Hands

A contingent of Iron Hands Astartes assaults a stronghold with heavy siege equipment.

The Iron Hands are a loyalist Space Marine Chapter like the imperial fists, yet these two chapters share a rivalry between themselves. Similar to the Imperial Fists, the Iron Hands are masters of siegecraft, yet they differ in philosophy. They believe flesh to be weak and seek to replace their decaying organic matter with the strength of machines. This is viewed as extreme by most other Chapters. On the tabletop, they function similarly in some ways but different in many, having access to Stratagems and rules that revolve heavily around machines.

Iron Hands Strengths

  • Like the Imperial Fists, the Iron Hands are masters of siegecraft, able to topple the mightiest of strongholds with calculated precision. 
  • They have access to powerful Stratagems like Calculated Fury, allowing them to move and fire heavy weapons with no hit penalty. Along with other stratagems and rules, this makes them powerful siegers. 
  • They have powerful buffs to their machine units like the Blessing of The Machine God.

Pick The Iron Hands If…

  • You believe flesh to be weak and crave the certainty of Iron.
  • You like using powerful technology to lead devastating siege campaigns.
  • You are headstrong like Ferrus Manus, shooting first and thinking later.

Iron Hands details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Iron_Hands

7. Space Wolves

Space Wolves lead their mighty beasts into war.

The Space Wolves are a misunderstood Chapter. They are widely viewed as simple savages that revel in the slaughter. Yet their culture on their home planet of Fenris is surprisingly complex, and they are noble in their acceptance of their role as the Emperor’s executioners. Regardless of what you believe, the Space Wolves are a formidable chapter capable of devastating attacks with their chainswords and chain axes when combined with their rules and stratagems.

Space Wolves Strengths

  • They are a heavily melee focused chapter that can outperform many other melee-focused armies in close quarters combat, with access to rules like Savage Fury.
  • They have access to brutal offensive Stratagems like Orbital Bombardment, which speaks for itself. 
  • Access to powerful HQ characters.

Pick The Space Wolves If…

  • You like Nordic Culture and seek to walk the path of the noble savage. 
  • You prefer an aggressive, melee-focused playstyle on tabletop.

Space Wolves details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Space_Wolves

6. Raven Guard

Two Raven Guard Astartes perform reconnaissance.

The Raven Guard is a more subtle chapter than many of the others, preferring to use sabotage, guerrilla tactics, and precisely targeted strikes to utterly destroy their enemies. If the Raven Guard are engaging you in open combat, it’s already too late for you.

Raven Guard Strengths

  • They are able to employ stealthy tactics, like Shadow Masters, allowing them to be treated as being in cover regardless of location when they are firing weapons from a distance. 
  • They can choose a threat and make precise strikes against them with Stratagems such as Surgical Strikes.
  • Access to Stratagems like Infiltrator or Strike from the Shadows allows you to easily out position your opponent, meaning more often than not engagements will begin in your favor.

Pick The Raven Guard if…

  • You prefer to win your battles with subterfuge and calculated precision attacks. 
  • You are the tall, dark, and handsome type.
  • You think Corax is a badass like I do.

Raven Guard details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Raven_Guard

5. Ultramarines

Ultramarines advance on their foe.

The Ultramarines are the Imperium’s poster boys. They embody what it means to be Adeptus Astartes. Acting as beacons of nobility and honor, the Ultramarines strive to impose order on a chaotic galaxy in the Emperor’s glorious name. Masters of tactics, the Ultramarines will leave your head spinning with their superior positioning.

Ultramarines Strengths

  • Able to fall back and fire simultaneously for tactical repositioning with abilities such as the Codex Discipline legion tactic, allowing you to fire after making a Fall Back move. 
  • They can be precision shooters, with access to Stratagems like Martial Precision.
  • Access to many powerful HQ characters

Pick The Ultramarines If… 

  • You like playing as Lawful Good in Dungeons & Dragons
  • You want to be daddy’s favorite
  • You are an appreciator of Roboute Guilliman’s tactical genius

Ultramarines details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Ultramarines

4. Dark Angels

Dark Angel Astartes prepare to defend a stronghold.

The Dark Angels were the first legion of Astartes. They are a knightly order, merciless in their attacks and stubborn in their defense. Their noble appearance is shadowed by dark secrets, kept from even most among the Dark Angels themselves. They are a strong chapter for taking and holding objectives with merciless resolve.

Dark Angels Strengths

  • Access to the new Deathwing Terminator units.
  • They are powerful objective holders, employing special rules such as Grim Resolve, awarding a hit bonus to units that did not move during the previous turn.
  • Access to powerful Psyker abilities
  • Stratagems such as Fortress of Shields allow for superior resilience while holding a point.

Pick The Dark Angels If…

  • You like wearing a Knight’s tabard and a hood and acting mysterious and noble. 
  • You think Lion El’jonson is the most epic Primarch.
  • You enjoy holding your ground and devastating charging enemies

Dark Angels details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Dark_Angels

3. Blood Angels

Blood Angel Astartes lead a furious charge into a host of Tyranids.

The Blood Angels are a beautiful chapter with a terrible flaw. They are one of the noblest chapters, striving to protect the weak and vulnerable. They are appreciators of the arts and aesthetic beauties, but they are plagued by a flaw in their gene stock, the Red Thirst. The Blood Angels are a powerful melee chapter with many methods of quickly getting into close quarters to press their advantage. 

Blood Angels Strengths

  • Red Thirst gives powerful bonuses to charging/charged/intervened Blood Angels units in melee combat
  • They have many ways to get into close combat safely, such as Descent of Angels Stratagem
  • The Black Rage also provides significant bonuses in close quarters combat and charges

Pick the Blood Angels If…

  • You think Sanguinius is a beautiful bastard and you miss him dearly. 
  • You enjoy playing a chapter that has superior melee capabilities and the means to use them. 
  • Your favorite color is red.

Blood Angels details: https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Blood_Angels

2. White Scars

White Scar Astartes go toe-to-toe with warriors of the Tau.

The White Scars are a chapter of furious hunters, heralded by the roar of engines and the scream of jump packs during their charge. They are known for their speed and brutality in close combat and stay true to that reputation on the tabletop.

White Scars Strengths

  • Their focus on speed and close-quarters combat make them excellent for taking objectives and breaking up enemy strongpoints. 
  • Access to tons of melee bonuses like the Devastating Charge chapter doctrine
  • Stratagems like Ride Hard, Ride Fast make it safer to move into close quarters to press your advantage. 
  • Access to psychic powers.

Pick The White Scars If… 

  • You want to play the fastest melee-focused chapter.
  • You like Genghis Khan. 
  • You’re a fan of motorcycles.

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

1. Salamanders

Salamander Astartes incinerate a host of Orks, leaving only ashes in their wake.

The Salamanders, like the Blood Angels, see themselves as defenders of the weak and vulnerable. Yet their approach is much different, choosing to employ fire-based weapons like Flamers and Melta Guns to achieve victory. They are warrior-craftsmen that aim to preserve the glory of the Imperium of Man. On tabletop, they are formidable indeed, able to quickly take down vehicles with their prowess with the Melta Gun or incinerate horde armies with their flamers.

Salamanders Strengths

  • They have powerful defensive capabilities, like the Forged in Battle rule, letting you reroll a hit roll and a wound roll on overwatch shots. 
  • They get bonuses to flame weapons like Promethean Cult, making devastating weapons like the Melta Gun even more dangerous, or the Flamecraft Stratagem, boosting the effectiveness of fire weapons further. 
  • Access to psychic powers.

Pick The Salamanders If…

  • You fancy yourself a defender of the weak and the downtrodden. 
  • You prefer to purge your enemies with fire. 
  • Your favorite color is green and you like dragons.

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

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