Goatboy’s 40K: Best Units in 8th

Goatboy here with another quick and dirty list. Today we talk about the best of the best in 40K right now.

I am currently coming back from the ATC hopefully with some good stories and some more opinions about the current state of extreme Competitive 40k.  With that in mind lets look at some of the best units we have right now in 40k.  They run the gamut of amazing Characters, extremely offensive vehicles, and even a return to form of one a favorite Imperial Assassin.

#10 – The Eversor Assassin has finally come into the light and will take all your candy.  This guy is so cheap and moves so fast there is no way you won’t get your initial investment back.  In fact if there is something that will make me want to play the good guys it would be this assassin.  For those not understanding, this guy pops up 9 inches away, charges 3d6, does a decent amount of damage, and if he dies he explodes and takes people with him.  This guy is great, lets you answer pesky characters by appearing and running around “bubble warp” and still doesn’t hurt your point limit.  Be prepared to see a few of these in more TAC lists in the future.  I don’t expect him to change much in any new edition of rules so he will always be useful.

#9 – FAQ’d Chaos Daemon Prince – This guy got a decent boost by becoming a hideable character in the latest FAQ.  Sure he lost some wounds but having the ability to hide means you can easily mix some of these Daemon Leaders into your massed “horde” armies and have a portable Smite/CCW engine as needed.  I like the Warp Bolter as it seems to always hit with the reroll 1’s ability.  I wish the Chaos Space Marines got some of the Daemon rules but here is hoping we see them get some more love when their “real” rule book comes out.

#8 – Khorne Berserkers – Wow do these guys put out a ton of damage.  The ability to “attack twice” is huge and lets you put out a ton of damage.  If you throw a Dark Apostle nearby (who got a nice boost as well) you end up having a murder machine in the making.  I have been messing with 3-units in my more fun army and have not complained once when they move in and bring Skulls to the Skull Throne.

#7 – Ork Boyz – These guys got a heck of a lot better with a return of the Mob Rule and the ability to get some extra movement and a large amount of attacks on the charge.  These guys are much better and with a Codex coming down the pipe I can expect them to get even stronger with Ork Clan rules.

#6 – Lord of Skulls – This guy went from terrible to actually pretty good.  It hits pretty hard, can get access to Warp Time, and has a large amount of wounds.  I ended up getting one and have loved throwing him on the table ever since.  I do think he looks goofy – but don’t tell that to his face.

#5 – Razorwing Flock – I hear chatter a nerf bat is coming for these guys.  7 points for 4 wounds is extremely cheap – especially when you add a big base, movement abilities, and access to an ultimate aura from the Avatar of Death herself.  These guys are going to be a pain until they are “fixed”.  If they don’t just expect a ton of “counts” as models representing some birds pooping all over you Rhinos.

#4 – Storm Raven – The ugliest flyer to hit the table top is having a resurgence as of late.  A lot of wounds, a huge damage profile, and access to some amazing Auras makes this a rough unit on the tabletop.  My list for ATC had 3 lead by the best model in the game right – who will show up at Number One in a bit.

#3 – AM command squads – While they did get a bit of a nerf by always needing a “leader” you can still easily fit 8+ in an army.  Mix this with the way to get cheap Plasma gun and you have a murder machine ready to come and take all your candy in their creepy wizard van.  If you hit as well as a Marine then you should pay the same amount as a Marine.  You still cost less so it comes out a win in the AM side of things.

#2 – FAQ’d Purestrain Genestealer – Wow did these guys get fixed with a simple point change.  You know a player with a ton of Genestealers from the Nidzilla days so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see 80+ pop up on the table top back up by the AM they have swayed into their thrall.  These guys will chew through so much stuff and are a truly effective horde army.  Cult ambush can set up some pretty rough options for players when they pop up, get close, and start to murder through your bubble wrap.  Bonus usage of Mortars and other massed wound options from AM helps clear an easy path to your vital tidbits.

#1 – Roboute Gulliman aka Robootie Girlyman – This guy is undercosted and turns your lowly bolter weapons into murder machines.  I am currently playing him in my army list and he is just a beast.  He can effectively hide, amp up all bullets that are shot, and can murder things the gets in close with.  This guy does it all and most likely does it for a way too cheap of price.  You compare him to Magnus and he just murders his face – no matter how many wounds the giant Daemon prince has.  Heavy Bolters start to act like Missile launchers.  I am just glad Devastators from Marines can’t take Autocannons as they would be a pain in the butt.

Of course this list isn’t in order of what I think is the best.  All of these things seem to be good and if you look at the majority of army lists you see a heavy return of the flyer pain mixed with abuse of the best “auras” in the game.  The Imperial Knight didn’t make it up there because while it is good – it isn’t like it is better then it was before.  It is just different and really needs to have support to be usable.

~Comment on what you think is actually the best too?  I really think Sisters of Battle got a big boost right now with a ton of cheaty moves that break the current order of the game.  Plus the Saint is just way too mean.

  • CrisLander

    Kastelan robots, the shooty version. S6, FP -2 and ignores cover, 9 shots per robot in a two-robot unit that can be doubled with a change in protocol for a total of 36 shots per round, as a minimum. I’ve seen them mow down Termies, huge mobs, small vehicles and even Dreads. And if you use 4 robots and put them next to Cawl it basically creates a 36″ bubble of death to the sound of 74 shots per turn that repeats every miss. Nothing survives it.

    Sure, it can be a big investment in points, but it will wipe out nearly everything on board that is within Range.

    • Majere613

      I had the misfortune to run into a couple of those things the other week. Stayed on Aegis and just rolled 5+ all day on the saves- I had two Demolishers with plasma sponsons practically kill themselves with rebounds trying to get rid of them.

    • Brettila

      No offense to you, but gee, that sounds fun. Sure glad GW did all that playtesting so we wouldn’t see death units anymore.

      • CrisLander

        None taken. Do keep in mind that we are talking about a 750 point investment, and the robots cannot move so anything with a range over 36″ can wreak them without fear of retaliation. It is not by any means an invincible unit.

  • Alun Bridges

    *cough* Razorwing not Ravenwing *cough*

    • orionburn

      I thought my Dark Angels suddenly gained bird friends overnight 😀

      • deris87

        You mean besides Tzeentch daemons?

        • bobrunnicles

          Ouch! lol

  • Seienchin

    You know – pre 2000s in always looked like GW simply got their point values per dice throw leading to all around senseless point values (well in reality they probably internally used some tables like 3rd edition had which didnt reflect reality at all). Since the 2000s though most point values are pretty spot on which makes me really wonder why they still have many obviously severely undercosted units in all their editions? I know people accuse them of making people want to by specific sets of miniatures but still. Come on GW you can do better than that.

    • Karru

      It seriously is just GW wanting to drive sales. They throw the “balance” word out a ton, but really they just do whatever they want to make sure people buy the stuff they want.

      • ZeeLobby

        What’s funny is I don’t even know if they really plan it though. You’d expect new units to have a slight edge, but releases like bullgryn we’re pretty meh. It’s almost like they just stumble around to be honest.

        • Karru

          Not really, it is just the case of bias with GW. Marine releases are pretty much always rock solid, but that is because they properly test those out because one can assume that the everyone in the Design team has a Marine army and/or knows them inside and out so they know how to make rules for them while at the same time wanting to make sure that their army has the best toys to use.

          This has been the case for a very long time. I can’t remember a kit that GW has released for SM that could have been considered bad. Assault Centurions were bad but the same kit came with the Devastators. Assault Marines and Devastators were meh, but got one of the most broken formation in 7th edition at their new launch.

          When it comes to new releases for other armies though, it is a shot in the dark. Again, the chances are that the Design Team lacks good/proper players for other armies so they don’t really test them that much. They just go “that looks and sounds cool” without doing any real testing because they can’t be bothered and isn’t really required from them and then just release the rules.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. That sounds valid. They do seem to dart board costs for other factions, which is a real shame. I’ll be most impressed when they make an adjustment which will reduce sales but improve the game. I doubt we’ll ever see that, but it’d be a new sign of wanting to fix issues in 8th.

          • Brettila

            You can create a point system for building units a friend of mine published a game called Armies of Arcana that has one. However, it is impossible to point things like reroll bubbles. Remove that stuff, and they could create balance.

      • My problem with this is that if you look at what is most overpowered, most of it is old models without anything new coming out. Look at warp spyders, and to a lesser extent jetbikes. Sure the wraithknight was undercosted but that was not new to this last book. Wave serpents were around since 3rd edition(I got mine from FW haha). Almost all fliers that were new were meh on launch at best. People say it is to drive sales but more often than not the most powerful things in any given book are not necessarily new.

        • Karru

          Ever heard of wanting to sell old stock? When they see there is a kit that isn’t selling very well and just seems to gather dust in storage, they can just release some rock solid rules for it (ie broken af) and suddenly it stops gathering dust.

          That is the reason why they do “forced meta shifts”. 4th and 5th editions where the age of vehicles. People bought transports for basically every single unit that could take one. 6th edition was the opposite after nerfing vehicles to the ground and shifted focus more towards Infantry. That way they drive the sale of their Infantry stock while Vehicles are not the main focus anymore.

          It is extremely simple tactic. They want to drive sales of all their products. The best way to do this is to “force” sales by shifting rules every now and then to make sure people buy the right products.

          For example, Guard turned from Vehicle heavy to Infantry this edition. If you got massed vehicles, you will find yourself outmanned and outgunned. If you go with full Infantry, you will laugh as your opponent just doesn’t have the firepower, numbers or manoeuvrability to win against you. Guard Infantry sales increase, thus they get rid of their old stock, possibly before they release some new Infantry kits of Guard and GW is happy while the customers praise GW for “balancing” the game for them.

          • Sure, but that is an inherent part of attempting to balance things. Things that sold really well before because people were chasing the meta need to be toned down, which means other things will replace them. It only drives sales if people are chasing the meta. For collectors like me it doesnt really change things much, I may buy 1-2 things that were worthless before(see Corvus) but other than that its not a huge sudden investment that I need to make for this edition. I find that its more there are things I want to buy because they might actually see the table top and there are so many options in what I feel like I can bring to the table and have fun with. If that also drives sales I am happy to participate.

          • Karru

            As a fellow collector, I understand what you are saying, but the fact is that GW isn’t doing this to “balance” things. They just shift the meta so they can drive sales. Whenever they release new set of rules, they want to make sure that people armies “have” to change as much as possible so people that do chase the meta and wish to remain competitive are forced to either try to make do (which they mostly never do) or just buy the stuff GW wants them to.

            While many say that the “competitive crowd isn’t the target demographic of GW”, it isn’t completely true. The truth is that GW knows collectors will buy neat things, youngsters will by “cool” things, but the competitive players will buy whatever is the most powerful at the time, and they will buy as much of it as possible. A youngster won’t be buying 3 Wraithknights or Imperial Knights because they look cool. Collector won’t be doing the same either, at least not at once. Competitive player will buy 6 because that is very powerful and they wish to be the most powerful.

            When it comes to “balance” changes, GW makes sure that they are drastic enough to make competitive players basically redo their entire army while the majority of players are happy because they have more options now. They will never fix the game completely, because if they did that, it would be impossible to drive sales without angering a massive section of your customers.

          • Except it is in their best interest to have relative balance with moderate changes because then MORE things can be bought and people will use. I personally hold no grudges for a company that needs to sell models to try and sell models to stay salient. I honestly think that they are really trying with 8th edition and are trying to make a game that players are happy with. They have a ways to go but I think they are trying to turn this ship around. We see that with the erratas and rapidfire FAQs. It will be interesting to see how they use player feedback to update the points and be better with wording over the next few months.

          • Karru

            You say that, but then I just take a glimpse at the SM armoury in the Index and their point costs and notice so many artificial buffs that makes no sense while comparing to other armies in the game.

            They are making an effort to make sure that people are more content with GW decisions. They even make it look like people have actual input on things. Sure, GW releases FAQs and such in a rapid rate, but the real deal breaker will always be the points and rules themselves, and these are the things the customers will have no control over at all.

          • Sure, and I am open to the possibility they will mess up. But then you look at the FW FAQ for example. For the decimator engine if they didnt FAQ it they were going to sell HUNDREDS of decimators with the soul petard. However they FAQed it within a week and now it is not broken and people might take 1-2 instead of the 6+ they were talking about taking. For Deathwatch they ORIGINALLY said they could not take anything from FW. Their original decision limited their sales. However based on community feedback they allowed people to take them instead. Once again I totally understand your perception. I am coming in with cautious optimism and assuming good intent instead of malice.

    • ZeeLobby

      Probably $$$. I’m not sure it ever started as intentional. But once Imperial Knights and Wraithknights started selling like hot cakes, they definitely weren’t about to raise their points cost.

      • Which is funny because so many of those things that were crazy broken before have actually been appropriately points costed.

        • ZeeLobby

          Well, you can only sell OP units for so long before they hit saturation. It was probably financially beneficial for them to hit the reset button. What will be more telling is how they handle balance going forward.

          • Just because it is financially good for them does not necessarily mean it is bad for the players. I think they are aiming to make those changes sooner rather than later.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean anytime money influences balance it’s bad. I mean sometimes it might align with what should happen, but if we’re at a good place now, any monetary influence on balance is only going to be bad.

        • Brettila

          Not sure more than 500 points for 1, count it, 1 gun is quite necessary for a Wraithknight. How many guns/shots does a big Tau get for those points?

  • DJ860

    I normally try to appreciate that some things just aren’t to my taste, but man the lord of skulls is just plain ugly.

    • Crevab

      What do you think of the Kytan?

      • AircoolUK

        Just as ugly and horribly proportioned.

        • orionburn

          I remember the first time a guy I play with brought a Kytan to a game. I couldn’t help but think to myself it’s a shame you paid all that money for something so horribly fugly…lol

          • karloss01

            Aye it’s one of those models that should’ve stayed in Epic.

    • Carey_Mahoney

      It’s Chaos. They’re generally not expected to be beautiful.

    • deris87

      I have a soft spot for it. It’s delightfully unsubtle, like a Dr. Wily’s Castle boss. Just seems fitting for Khorne.

  • AircoolUK

    All that will change in two weeks with the release of the Space Marine Codex, and then likely every two to three weeks for the rest of the year.

    I do find it amusing that everybody’s least favourite Primarch and Chapter are now the top dogs.

    LoS blocking scenery should be at the top of the list.

    • Zhan

      LoS blocking terrain does not really help vs flyers. In fact it helps the flyer only lists even more.

      You pretty much always got turn 1. But even if you opponent siezes it doesnt matter. Simply deploy the flyers behind terrain. On your first turn it doesnt really matter how far back you had to place them. The 45” move pretty much guarantees you will be in a good position to shoot from.

      • Spacefrisian

        LoS block terrain but not super high, problem solved.

        • Zhan

          While i understand what you’re saying. I still feel like the outcome of a game shouldnt depend that much on how lucky you got on the terrain.

          • ZeeLobby

            It’s a gamblers fix to the game, and I hope isn’t their final answer to it’s current issues.

  • Carey_Mahoney

    Stop picking on the Storm Raven. That thing looks awesome.

  • Defenestratus

    Not a single Eldar model listed.


    • Karru

      I mean, Eldar got balanced this edition so there is very little to mention about them on a list about the best units available in 8th edition.

      I am more surprised that the “best unit” from Guard was the Command Squad while I’ve noticed that Infantry Squads with Commissar support have been far superior in my games. That or Heavy Weapons Squads which are brokenly cheap this edition.

      • Defenestratus

        And by “balanced” you mean that once again:

        50% of the codex is ineffective while the other half is balls out awesome.
        and our troops choices are once again rubbish.

        It feels like 4th edition all over again!!!

        • Karru

          After playing multiple games with my Eldar, I’ve found them more enjoyable as no longer do I have to face an opponent who watches me with eyes of disgust when I say I’m going to bring Eldar.

          There is also the fact that my army no longer just sweeps over my opponent and I didn’t even play Jetbikes in the last edition, nor this one for that matter. My usual Troop choices are still very fun and effective, at least in my hands, this edition. Guardians and Rangers with Warlock/Farseer support.

          Again, Eldar are now balanced compared to the last 2 editions where they were stupidly broken unless you purposefully gimped yourself so hard that you lose just because of your list.

          • Defenestratus

            I did purposely gimp my list. I didn’t take scatterbikes (scatter lasers on jetbikes is just wrong IMO) and I never took a Wraithknight in 7th edition until the very last game. I always took the warhost detachment with min units of guardians or bikes. I played the game to have a good time, and made sure my opponent did likewise.

            When the 7th ed codex dropped, I got out all of my old, unpainted pewter minis. All of a sudden I had a reason to take guardians, and heavy weapons platforms (d-cannons!!!). I was going to take my rogue trader era guardians with no arms, put CCW on them for storm guardians (never got around to it)… but now??

            Now there’s really no reason to take any of those units. Before with the warhost formation they were required, but also worth taking – they had a defined role in the army – but now, it’s VERY difficult to make the case that I should take those units. They don’t really play a role that can’t be better played by another, better, more fun unit.

            Oh well.

          • Brettila

            I don’t agree with losing my army’s schtick (secondary movement) while getting nothing in exchange. Tau lost the movement, but gained a toughness, a wound, exta guns per suit, and pinpoint land where you want destroy before it can act placement. Eldar stuff just got worse/more expensive.

      • Chad Underdonk

        If by brokenly cheap you mean easy to pick out and kill with anything that has range I guess you have a point?!?!? Yeah, they can dish some damage (50% of the time) but they damn sure can’t take it!

        • Karru

          Looks like someone hasn’t been spending all their points on Infantry then.

          My base Guard list is running around with over 100 Infantry, averaging between 120 and 180 models depending on what I want. That is just the Infantry Squads and Conscripts. For my Heavy Weapons Squads, I usually run between 4 and 8 Squads.

          That is an 1850pts army. Sure, I lose maybe 20-40 models if my opponent has a very shooty army. Once my turn comes to light up and the opponent is running any kind of vehicles, after that shooting phase they will have none unless they went heavy on them in which case I am almost guaranteed to win because Vehicles lack the damage output and survivability that my army has. I win through firepower or attrition. Why? Because my Guard Infantry is stupidly cheap and with Commissars making sure I can never lose more than one model to Morale, my opponent has a hard time killing off my army.

          Each Infantry Squad is equipped with a Missile Launcher or an Autocannon. Considering that I am running around with 8-12 of those bad boys, my Infantry Squads alone dish out more fire than your average SM list in terms of volume and, with the help of my Company Commanders, firepower.

          I still have a 100% winrate even after roughly 30 games with this list style. I am not playing against bad opponents, of course I do not face hardcore tournament players that much either. I can safely say that the Guard Infantry needs to be toned down. Price nerf and give them something to improve their saves. Better fortifications/cover rules would help them a lot. Their price does need to go up a bit (not too much of course) and their vehicles need a heavy price drop.

          • Chad Underdonk

            I play an all infantry Valhallan assault army. Yeah, I can throw out a lot of bodies. But that only carries you so far against so many opponents. I’m guessing you haven’t fought an ork infantry horde? Or a Tau gun drone line? Blood Angel jump army?

            Their points are definitely commensurate with those of other armies. Yes, you can spam units to give yourself advantage. But the minute other armies start fielding lists designed to face that flavor of army (infantry spam, armor, etc) you begin seeing that there is no one list to rule them all.

            I was also specifically talking about heavy weapon squads in my initial reply. They are cheap, but they only survive in infantry squads, and then only thanks to the addition of 24 warm bodies and a commissar…which makes them not so cheap as heavy weapons…though obviously more survivable.

    • ZeeLobby

      Which is funny, because my friend whose been playing locally still cleans up. The amount of firepower with their mobility is still really impressive. Honestly I think this is a case of playing with old armies on the shelf. I’ll wait for a significant quantity of actual event results to come in before claiming something is good or not.

      • deris87

        He didn’t say they had no good units, he said there was no consistency, which is pretty true. The troops are terrible to mediocre, but the Hemlock and Wave Serpent are bonkers.

        • ZeeLobby

          Whose this “he”, lol. I was just responding to Defenestratus with my friends personal experience. I just haven’t seen Eldar to be in a bad place, at least locally. I have seen a lot of bandwagon Eldar players go back to their original factions which were trash in 6th/7th. Probably too early to tell much.

          • deris87

            “He” is Defenstratus, in this thread. And again, no one said they have no good builds, the issue is they have a lot of crap and a lot of stuff that’s too good, and very little in between.

          • ZeeLobby

            Right. My point was just that his second response didn’t exist when I wrote my first.

          • Brettila

            I’ve seen Eldar played twice. Both players got annihilated and no one else is even considering playing them.

          • ZeeLobby

            Right, which is why it’s too early to tell. All the strong players I know who played them just decided to play something else to start.

        • Heinz Fiction

          True the troops are so terrible it’s not even funny and then there are some overpowerd/undercostet stand out units. But this means 80% of the choices are rather well balanced. That is not to bad for a preliminary army list.

    • deris87

      I agree with your point below that Craftworlds got a really uneven treatment, but it seems like a glaring omission to not include the Hemlock. That damn thing can easily pick out high priority targets and make back well more than it’s points-worth in a game.

      • Defenestratus

        The hemlock is truly broken – I consider it the new Wraithknight.

    • Commissar Molotov

      Razorwing flocks are “Aeldari,” aren’t they?

      And I feel dirty for using that stupid term…

  • majbjörn

    Doomsdak Ark…….?

    • davepak

      naa…it has lame toughness and only a 4+ save, and no invul.

      if you can’t kill that….

      • majbjörn

        It has Quantum Shield tho, i bet a mass Doomsday Ark list can crush a mass Stormraven list if it goes first.

  • Horus84cmd

    I sure a top ten list of best units is going to change rapidly at the moment. It seems far too early, after only 4 weeks, to draw any balanced conclusions. I feel there are a hell of lot of synergy combination that have yet to be explored; with a full codex being published every couple of weeks, up until xmas, that is only going to further muddy the waters. GW have really done well to create a massive sandbox to play around in with the release of 8th ed.

    • Fergie0044

      Yeah – it really won’t be until this time next year that a solid meta has settled.

      But in other news – I don’t care!!! I’m just going to go shove a whole pile of plastic on the table and have fun. 😀

    • Karru

      That’s for sure, but making these types of lists is a good thing because it allows for GW to maybe fix points for many of the overly undercosted units. Take Guilliman for example, nigh unkillable and buffs up all units near him for stupidly low price.

      • ZeeLobby

        So next they’ll remove his unique restriction and will let you buy 2 :D.

        • Karru

          Don’t forget the price drop as well as the fix needed for his mega buff to work for ALL models and not just Ultramarines!

  • CallofDoobie

    Emperor’s Children Hellbrutes with 2 blastmasters, doom siren, and missile launcher seems absolutely filthy. Haven’t got to play test them since the FAQ made it possible though.

    • I am not bothering with a doom siren and missile launcher on mine. Its just too many points. If you think about it a missile launcher is 2 points less than a blast master, no contest IMO. Doom siren is 21 poiints….it needs to be closer to 17 or so. I understand its pricing compared to a heavy flamer but still. I am taking a power scourge instead. 7 attacks in CC combined with two blast masters? Crazy good for the points and versatile.

    • Bodhizafa

      I’m looking at the FAQ and don’t see anything about Hellbrutes and blastmasters etc. Where did you see this change?

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    Stormlord, because that much dakka is criminal.
    Goliath Rockgrinder, because single-use weapons suck.
    Purestrain Genestealers, because they don’t pay through the nose to get potential alpha strikes, and make an excellent bubblewrap unit.
    Tech Priest Dominus, because he can heal infantry now, unlike other Tech-priests, so even Vanguard Stars can beat face and shrug off damage.

    • Keith Wilson

      vanguard are 1W models ….. he doesnt revive dead stuff …. just repairs multi-wound things

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        The Detachment, not the unit. Surround him with Sicarians, or run Spearhead for Dunecrawlers or Kastelans, even Kataphrons are better with him around.

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    So, anybody see the Ravenguard CTs yet? Frontloaded stealth and CP-based outflank look spicy.

    • Karru

      Looking real good for Raven Guard. With the ability to Infiltrate a good amount of their units right next to the enemy while getting re-rolls to charge distances for their Jump Packers, Raven Guard will be extremely aggressive Marine army. The +1 Cover when over 12″ is also nice for them.

    • Dave

      Was looking at building a Primaris Raven Guard army before this hit, but the CTs pretty much sealed the deal for me

  • Last time someone predicted things this early it was a clear blue test

  • Chad Underdonk

    Point for point it is hard to compare to the luverly yet ‘umble IG Mortar Squad. While not so special, they become much more fearsome in multiples!