40k: Should Grey Knights Get Primaris Marines?

The Grey Knights and some others cannot use Primaris marines – but how much longer will that last?

Primaris Marines are GW’s new golden boys – the Stormcast Eternals of the Grimdark.

But guess who can’t take Primaris units:

  • Grey Knights
  • Death Watch (well, they can now post FAQ)

We’re going to find out next week if GW has any surprises in store for us from the boys from Titan.

Why No GK Primaris?

GW so far is drawing a clear line between the use of Primaris marines by the non-standard chapters. Even really divergent ones like the Blood Angels and Space Wolves can access Intercessors, Hellblasters and their brethren. But these chapters are still fundamentally classic space marines. They have chapters, they wield bolters – they use generic marine vehicles, they kill generic bad-guys.

It’s easy to just give these chapters the Primaris Marines as they are just better marines.

But Grey Knights are fundamentally different. They are ALL psykers. They use different equipment, have very different rules and specialized vehicles like the Dreadknight.  More importantly, they are super-dooper secret and have a secret purpose of fighting Chaos. Adding in the standard Primaris units would go against the theme of the Grey Knight list and pull them closer to a standard marine list.

Why Should There Be GK Primaris?

But on the other hand, while I think the specific Primaris units we’ve seen so far should not be given to Grey Knights, the concept of Primaris Grey Knights could be explored. If GW were to make some new Primaris models in Grey Knight armor, and have new datasheets for specific units with Grey Knight equipment and Primaris stats – I don’t see anything wrong with that.

If Guilliman and Cawl knocked on the Grey Knight’s door on Titan with a set of 100 psychic Primaris aspirants in stasis vaults – would the Grand Masters turn them away?  I have a feeling they would keep them, and come up with some new ways of smiting Chaos with their 2-wound charges.

I wouldn’t dream of visiting Titan…

The Final Excuse

GW was asked on their FB page about Grey Knight Primaris marines and said there were not enough psykers in the Primaris aspirants to make them useful to the GKs.  This is odd as they already make a Primaris librarian model.  Let’s be honest – it’s a thin excuse and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them show up one way or the other in time.

The Dark Whisper…

Of course all of this is academic to the real question.  As of now no Primaris marine has fallen to the honeyed whispers of Chaos.  I have a funny feeling that will change in time…

~What’s your opinion on Primaris units in the Grey Knights (or CSMs)?

  • Ravingbantha

    Death Watch can take Primaris Marines

  • SilentPony


    • petrow84

      TL, DR: Do we need more revenue? SURE WE DO!

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    Dude, Death Watch can take Primaris Marines

  • Mike X (Official)

    No, but even 40K as a whole shouldn’t have gotten Primaris Marines…

    • Emerson Sullivan

      I second that

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      Did you know Primaris Marine is an anagram of ‘Mars mini repair’ and ‘repair Mr Simian’? Just saying…

  • Lord Chopper

    They have 2 wound terminator troops and 3 wound terminator elites (paladins). They don’t need 2 wound 3+ marines.

  • highwind

    Chaos should get Primaris, too!

    Hell, EVERY ARMY should get Primaris!
    Tyranid Primaris!
    Ork Primaris!
    Tau Primaris!!!
    Primaris are super-duper-uber-hyper, everybody totally loves them!

    /sarcasm off

  • Craig Archer

    There is a lore wise answer as to why they shouldn’t and why handing them a bunch of primaris psykers wouldn’t work. The grey knights gene seed does not come from standard geneseed stock or even the primarch stock, it was developed in secret supposedly from the emperor’s own genetic material to make them incorruptible.

    The sole supply of that gene seed is on titan, secretly kept away in their own vaults. Belisarius Cawl never had access to that in his 10,000 year research project and it would be very unlikely the grey knights would just hand some out for fear of what might happen and who might get hold of it.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Plot Twist: it’s Thousand Son geneseed, gathered at the height of the Heresy, from those Legionaries that weren’t on Prospero during the Chastening.

      • GnomesForge

        Nah, that’s super lame. Especially since they never fell to Chaos and Magnus sons can’t stop throwing themselves at it.

      • Jack Boland

        yeh thats incredibly lame

    • SacTownBrian

      Plus that whole circumnavigate Titan and kill a demon thing before you get to be a grey knight…

  • Tshiva keln

    The Grey Knights codex has 32 data sheets in it whereas the index has 17. Make of that what you will. The only new unit confirmed is the Grand Master in Dreadknight.

    • Steve Szabo

      The extra 15 data sheets are things like ven dread, dread, 3x land raider, rhino, razorback, I can’t remember if the lib had GK librarians, servitors, etc. I don’t think that leaves enough room for primaris.

      • Tshiva keln

        Good point. I didn’t look at what was in the index, just a quick count.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By


        It is probably the index GK units, all the vehicles, the Librarian, the Triumvirate GK model and the new Dreadknight

        • Jonathan Turcios

          grey knights are getting stormhawk interceptor and stormtalon as well

  • Arthfael

    I don’t think GK will get Primaris, but it needs a better excuse, such as they don’t trust the new geneseed organs, they fear this would compromise their purity, etc… we could even have a latent schism from this in the Imperium, or even strife within GKs as Voldus supports Guilliman against other Grand Masters… Just think of the narrative opportunities!

    • Moonsaves

      The thing is, they want people to buy the Primaries Marines, so so far they’ve avoided most interesting conflict about them. They’re slowly becoming the Poochy of 40k. Wasn’t there something in the new lore saying like 95 percent of chapters have already fully accepted them? In comes across as “look guys, your favourite Chapter has accepted them with no argument or hostility, why don’t you buy some?”

      • Arthfael

        Then again, if you don’t like them, you have two choices: either set your battle prior to the introduction of Primaris Marines in the time line, or if not possible (e.g. your opponent fields them), you can always be a battle force that does not include them, or more radical a splinter faction that decided to reject them.
        My Black Templars will eventually include a primaris force – that is, if I take them this far, my massive Saim Hann/Corsair/Harlequin eldar force takes priority. As much as I don’t like everything about their lore, I think it’s just clumsy, far from unsalvageable, and I just love the models.

      • GnomesForge
    • SacTownBrian

      Like the schism on Mars over Cawls tinkering…

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    I’ma give this a soft No. If the codex writers decide sure, why not, I’d just roll with it, but I can’t really get excited about an army I’ve never played. As for Chaos, it’s a bit early, but if a certain left-field prediction of mine comes true, there might just be more mileage out of the new kits. Of course, no one would play that option anyway, and if they do as I predict, there will be deafening cries of “pushing models,” and, “I came for the Legions, not some rando Chapter no one’s ever heard of.”

  • Tushan

    Gk should be given terminators that arent crap, rules that dont make their librarians useless and psycannons that reflect their fluff and insane point cost.

    When even orks laugh at the GK anti tank ranged options then its bad.

    • benn grimm

      Orks laugh at everyone’s anti tank ranged options. Orks laugh at most things.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      GW does not want you to run pure armies any more. You can sub in SM or AM into your GK army to cover the holes the GK have.

      • Tushan

        So thats why we will soon get another codex GK+friends instead of codex gk?

        Funny enough codex SM works just fine without allies.

  • euansmith

    So some dodgy xenos and a near heretical Ad Mech turn up with a big lunk who claims to be Guilliman; and people accept this at face value? Trust is the first step on the path to betrayal!

  • benn grimm

    I hope Cawl does turn up on Titan with a bunch of the new guys and Draigo’s butler smites him good for the heretic he clearly is.

    • Xodis


      Dont lump him in with the more respectable Chaos Heretics lol

      • benn grimm

        Haha, yeh, good point 🙂

    • Jack Boland

      agreed, would absolutely love it if someone killed crawl, finally ending the endless stream of ex machinas

  • pokemastercube .

    well guiliman and crawl wouldnt have put the primaris marines through the extenctive tests that the GK put any recruit through to make them resist chaos

  • BloodAngel

    Since they have said that existing marines can also become primaris marines, the excuse that there isn’t enough psyker stock doesn’t hold water.

  • Spacefrisian

    Off course they should, and Minarus Marines as well, (AoS Dwarves with a boltgun using regular marine rules)

  • Neal Laxman

    Thing is, I don’t like the primaris and how they will eventually nullify my existing SM forces unless I go out and spend hundreds on new models.

    I would have been fine if Primaris = codex astartes chapters only.

    The divergent chapters could be a great place to keep SM armies unique, aside from space vampire, space ware wolf etc.

    Grey knights will still need a power boost somehow to keep them a more elite army then boggo SM’s in primaris, otherwise they are potentially going just be silver marines who are good against demons.

  • Werent Grey Knights made post the start of the project? Do they even tithe their geneseed?

    Personally I cant see Cawl making an entire army of Psyker primaris.

    • GnomesForge

      Why? The characters have zero personality and consistency now. Cawl might be an ardent anti psyker one day and cheerfully pop out Primaris Grey Knights. There’s no rules now but the board room.

  • ZeeLobby

    They shouldn’t, but they will, because they’re bada$$…

  • Xodis

    After the spanking they got from Grimnar, they probably need some Primaris to thicken the ranks. Does it make sense? Not really, but its nothing new. I would say the safe bet is expecting Primaris Grey Knights in the new Codex.

  • Keith Wilson

    As a GK player and SM player in my opinion GK should not get primaris period …. no question. The day will come when the scale change happens and the space marines are all primaris sized and no longer referred to as primaris, but that will take an edition or two. When that happens GW should just rescale the GK models

  • axs041

    Maybe after a few primaris chaos marines appear we’ll also get the go ahead on the remaining 11 legions primaris marines for the imperium.

  • Admiral Raptor

    I hope that the GK, DA, BA and SW all get unique Primaris squads that fit with their style. Primaris purifiers and Death Company please!

  • GnomesForge

    Primaris are a lame action figure replacement for a classic that didn’t need to be updated.

  • Richard Mitchell

    Kind of a tease article. We all know that in 2 years no one will even remember what classic space marines were. So are Grey Knights getting Primaris? Of course, if I was a majority shareholder I would be busting the CEO’s butt to get those in production. It would be a missed sales opportunity and dumb business move not to.

  • Deathwing

    Some logical explanations:
    We know that “standard” space marines can be “upgraded” to primaris marines and as such that is a viable explanation as to why there are primaris librarians running around already. They were not made from scratch
    Primaris marines are at their core still made from a genetic template from one of the primarchs. You can immagine that the zygotes for the added organs are chapter specific. We can also assume that the ready made stasis primaris were all from one gene stock- that of RG himself. As such many of the other chapters we are seeing “aquire” primaris marines are either upgrading existing marines or have had time in the 100 year indomidus crusade to make them from scratch. How long does it take to properly train a Grey Knight, and more importantly how long does it take to make suitable GK arms and armor to equip a new primaris marine that wouldnt be able to use anything pre-existing in the chapter?

  • Heinz Fiction

    There wil be Primaris GK as soon as GW starts to update their GK-Line. No sooner no later.

  • piglette

    Just re-do all SM kits and lines to Primaris size, then retcon the fluff back to normal. Win win.

    For CSM, just size creep as you re-do kits.

  • edmundblack

    Game-wise, what are Primaris Marines? Marines with 2W and a slightly longer range gun. GKs already had the wounds with Paladins (now with added beef) and Storm Bolters do just fine with the weight of fire. So they’re doing fine.

  • unamused

    individual primaris aspirants aren’t any good for any chapter. Even if they could divert all the psykers they had in tubes all that time to the GK they’d probably have less than half a company. More likely is that those librarians (and the GKs themselves) would use the uplifting technology. But then again, cawl probably didn’t know about their geneseed, and it may not have been factored into the process. So unless they do what they did during the heresy and entirely transplant the gene-seed from existing primaris psykers with that of the grey knights, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing any large number of them.

  • Josh Felstead

    No, I don’t think Grey Knights should get Primaris Marines.

    However, I do think ‘regular’ SM chapters should get Primaris Primaris (4-wound Marines, standing at 5m tall) because honestly Space Marines just don’t get enough new minis and options so it would be good to see them get some love </3

  • sawag

    Fluff master here. The rulebook said that Belisarius Cawl made the Primaris Geneseed from some artifact that had the Emperor’s original samples of the Primarch’s geneseed.GK “gene-seed” derived from the Emperor. Questions?

  • Greg Verzosa

    Simple. It’s because they don’t have Primaris kits with Chaos or Grey Knight iconography ready for release yet and would prefer to sell you one ready to go rather than have us convert things for counts as. Whenever you think about why something isn’t out yet, just accept that it’s probably because in the grand scheme of things it’s not going to be the most profitable for them so it’s not going to be made a priority.

  • Jack Boland

    NO! it would make zero sense fluff wise and not to mention, primaris are absolutely terrible.

  • IronGryphon

    “GW was asked on their FB page about Grey Knight Primaris marines and said there were not enough psykers in the Primaris aspirants to make them useful to the GKs.”

    I don’t think it’s a thin excuse. Remember, these are grey knights, they’re like Jedi – trained early on, made to forget their childhood, etc., learn great magic powers and fighting skills. Primaris marines have only been around a couple hundred years, Those that Cawl already developed probably couldn’t be worthy enough psykers or have the time to train to become worthy. You all know what happened to Anakin Skywalker, yeah? Existing grey knights might become Primaris, i suppose, but that would come down to how the grand marshals feel about it. And if there aren’t enough worthy, well there aren’t enough worthy.

  • archangeleong

    No. In fact just get rid of primaris altogether. Retcon the fluff and resize all old marine factions. I may then return to my 30 year hobby which I’ve recently given up in disgust…