40K: The Best Stratagems – So Far

Stratagems are the new hotness for maximizing your army’s power. Lets take a look at some of the best ones in the first five books.

Stratagems are one of the major advantages that Codex armies have over Index armies. With five codices and more than 100 stratagems released, it can all be a lot to keep track of. Today lets take a look at some of the best stratagems across all the current books. These are the stratagems you need to keep an eye out for – both to use them and defend against them. Now lets dig in.

Note: We’ve Combined Some Stratagems that do similar things into one entry for ease

Tide of Traitors/Fresh Converts

Both of these powerful abilities allow you to “heal” a damaged unit back to full strength and as a bonus redeploy it. While not cheap, the ability to in effect teleport units across the table is almost as good as bringing them back to full strength. Fresh Converts is most likely the more powerful, allowing up to a free 20 CPs, but Tide of Traitors is by far the more common to see.

Chapter Master

While this is an expensive stratagem, upgrading the captains from re-roll 1s to hit to re-roll ALL misses is a huge upgrade. In the right army this can really up your power.

Flakk Missles/Hellfire shells/Daemon Shell

While all of these are slightly different the end result is the same. Make one attack with a certain weapon and, if it hits, the enemy takes d3 mortal wounds. These are all cheap abilities at 1 CP and a great way to put out some mortal wounds. Expect good players to use these utility damage stratagems.

Veterans of the Long War

This is a super amazing stratagem that both CSM and Death Guard get. The ability to add +1 to wound to a whole units attacks is pretty awesome and can really tip the scales of any engagement. It’s cheap at 1CP it can really pay off on those 20 Man Chaos units. This ability can also be combo’d with any thing that has special effects on wounds of 6+ to really maximize the effect.

The Dead Walk Again

This might be my favorite stratagem in the game. It’s super cheap at 1 CP and it allows you to add models to your Poxwalkers whenever infantry within 7″ are killed – this is totally amazing! In the right list, it can give you a crazy huge Poxwalker unit (or two) and really pays off vs big horde armies. The dead fight for you and what could be better?

Cloud of Files

Man, the Death Guard really have some great Stratagems. This is another super powerful and cheap one that you can except to see used anytime Death Guard are on the table. Preventing the enemy from being able to shoot at your linchpin unit is such a good tactic. Death Guard especially need this to make up for their short range and slow movement.

If you were wondering how to get a 20 man unit into grenade range, this is stratagem should answer that question.

Honour The Chapter/Fury of Khone/Endless Cacophony

Almost every army has one of these available to them to either let them shoot or fight again. I don’t think I need to say much about this stratagem other than acting twice means twice the kills.

Protector/Conqueror Doctina Imperative

These two Ad Mech Stratagems combine to allow a unit of Skitarii to get +1 or +2 to hit in either the fight or shooting phase. This is a super powerful and relatively cheap combo that meshes well with weapons that do bonus hits on +6s. Simple, but effective.

Auspex Scan/Infosalve Skull

These identical Space Marine and Ad Mech stratagems allow a unit to shoot out of turn at an enemy unit arriving as reinforcements. This is another super powerful stratagem that lets you counter those devastating sudden strikes. Enemies may think twice about trying to land near you when you can shoot them off the table first.

Loads More

There a ton of amazing stratagems out there. While we’ve only scratched the surface so far, we think these are the most generically useful ones. Many other stratagems may not have made this list but are still very useful depending on the situation. I, personally, can’t wait to see what new ones we get in the upcoming books. Maybe something involving tanks and close combat?

Thats all for today folks! Let us know what your favorite stratagems are, down in the comments. 


  • Maitre Lord Ironfist

    one of the best, imo is: Reroll 1 Dice – That might be the most used Stratagem for me negating all those odd ones that show up if they do not need them x)

  • MarcoT

    The infiltrate one of the Raven Guard is insane imo. For a single CP you get to ‘deepstrike’ a unit, but with movement (and not triggering that auspex strategem either). Damn.

    • gordonshumway

      Agreed, was extremely surprised to not see the RG/AL one on this list. Super powerful effect for its price.

    • Richard Clark

      Ditto for the admech teleport. While you don’t get to move, TPing in some skitarii or electro-priests or even kastelans for 1cp is a pretty big deal for admech given the lack of transports.

      • Dan Orchard

        Agreed. This Stratagem is what makes me want to build some melee Kastelans, which is pretty cool. They look balling, so having them maybe become viable is really cool, and it goes really well with the 12″ flamer they carry, as that will be within range instantly.

    • FCBullsht

      it also doesnt count against your tactical reserve limited of 50% and can be used as often as you have CP (because it isnt used in a game phase and therefore not limited)

      with a little bit of planing you can infiltrate one half of your army and deep strike the other half

  • Dan Orchard

    The whole sentence written for Tide of Traitors/Fresh Converts is a hot mess. First of all, it states “Fresh Converts is most likely the more powerful, allowing up to a free 20 CPs” which it of course doesn’t, it allows to revive a unit that is no more expensive than 20 power, which is what I assume the writer was thinking of when he wrote it. Second of all, that costs 3CP, and will be a unit of six Kataphron. Not exactly a unit that many people run, although we can hope that they will be a little more common after the codex release. But third, and worst of all, he mentions that “the ability to in effect teleport units across the table is almost as good as bringing them back to full strength” Except only Tide of Traitors lets you do that. While ToT is within 6″ of any table edge, if you were to actually read Fresh Converts, it can only reinforce from your own deployment zone.

    So as it stands, I’d say ToT, which is on a unit that basically no one leaves at home at the moment, is the clear favourite of the two.
    That said, the ability to revive a big unit of Kataphron will be worth 3CP, if they’re low, even if you have to redeploy them in your own zone… just have to hope they don’t get completely wiped. It’s easier to have a few units of cultists to make sure that plan goes through, than a few units of Kataphron.

    • Charon

      Disagree as cultists are a minor nuisance, that can basically only sit on an objective. The cost of 2 CP would equal 10PP AdMEch while it is a maximum of 9CP in cultists (more likely 6CP). In both cases it is a quite situational Stratagem whith more potential power on the AdMech side.

      • Dan Orchard

        2CP is only 3 kataphron, which is 220 points for 9 wounds with a 4+ save. They’re not incredibly hard to completely delete in a round to deny the Stratagem completely. And they can’t be sent across the table like the Cultists, they can only be set up in my own zone again. That’s a huge difference. Cultists are amazing at holding points, and a big unit is incredibly hard to shift in a round.

        • Charon

          Depends on the opposing armies. IG for example has absolutely no issues to obliterate cultists in one turn while staying at the same or even lower points.
          So in the best circumstances, your 2 CP bring back 220 points of massive firepower while the 2 CP of the CSM bring back up to 160 points that need to be set up around 6″ of some morale boosting character or any army can gut them in 1 turn dure to their low ld

          • Dan Orchard

            You’re really bending things aren’t you? First of all, 40 cultists is 12PP. So 2CP for optimally 12PP, not 9. And 160points is without any kind of equipment. 40 wounds is a hell of a lot harder to delete than 9. Even with 1 better save and 2 more T.

          • Charon

            *sigh* again for the slow learners.
            Wile 40 cultists (the absolute maximum) is 12PP it is still less points than your 10PP in Kataphron (even if you factor 4 special weapons in).
            40 wouds with ld6 T3 and a 6+ is only harder to delete, if you did not bother to bring any anti horde weapon.
            These are not imperial conscripts backed up by a commissar.

          • Dan Orchard

            Ok, hit me with the best weapon for deleting that unit.

          • Charon

            Anything from imperial mortar teams, wyvern and flamers for the same cost.

          • Dan Orchard

            Ok, so a Wyvern quad mortar does about 3.88 wounds to that unit on average. In order to delete it in one round, you need to do at least 25 wounds to it. And this is by your words one of the best weapons in the game for dealing with this huge unit. You’ll need at least 7 wyverns to make this happen. Don’t come and tell me it’s easy to take out a 40 man cultist unit when you have no idea what you’re talking about. Any weapon with multiple damage statlines can oneshot a Kataphron. They’re considerably easier to focus down. “*sigh* when you have to school the slow learners.”

          • Charon

            Your math is WAY off.
            14 shots on average equals 7 hits, you wound on 3 and reroll your wound rolls. You are around 6 unsaved wounds per wyvern and you get roughly 3 of them per fully equipped cultist squad.
            That is 18 wounds on average which results in another 11 dying to battleshock in the best circumstances for them. Leaves you with measy 11 of them still standing which is neither a threat for the rest of your army nor an issue to mob up with some leftover unit that has to get close to the objective anyways.
            Or you pick up an equally big unit of conscripts, move close and order them around. Should be around 22 unsaved wounds too.

          • Dan Orchard

            It doesn’t need to be a threat to your army, only one needs to survive to make the Stratagem work. The discussion was if it was more or less viable than managing to survive with a unit of Kataphron. It still is much more viable than the kataphron, the fact that conscripts are better was never anything we were talking about, and if they get the same stratagem they will CLEARLY be the better choice for it.
            If you manage to get that much attention on your cultists, you’ve already won that round too. Not to mention that you have several ways to mitigate that damage, from Alpha Legion to just standing in cover.

          • Charon

            Only if you are able to use it.And there is still the question: Why would you ever shoot cultists over nearly everything else. They have no firepower, they are not a threat to anything. All they can do is sit on objectives and keep you away from important units which autamatically fails if you use the stratagem to remove them from their location.

          • Dan Orchard

            Oh god, this is just getting stupid. Of course they have more jobs than one, not to mention that there can be different things you might want to camp on, and moving them off might be great. You’re asking me to justify every possible scenario that might come up during a game for why I’d want to remove cultists from an objective or why they might want to move. This is silly. The Stratagem is powerful as hell on them, but situational. If I could get mine on my Vanguard or Corpuscari instead and be able to go to any table edge I would in a heartbeat. They’re much better targets for it than Kataphron. And Servitors aren’t even worth talking about. They’re literally the worst unit in the game at the moment. I wrote a whole thread at one point on why they’re not good for any job and cost about 6 times too much.

  • Arthfael

    So that is where the Chapter Master was! I had only taken a cursory look at the book and wondered why they had removed this guy.

  • mhtsaropinigitakis

    is i use 3 cps and i ahve a devastator squad with 3 heavy bolters can i use 3 times hellfire rounds in 1 shooting??

    • Marcet

      No, because you can’t use the same stratagem more than once per turn. (In matched play)

      • FCBullsht

        once per phase(!!!), not per turn!

        • Marcet

          Herp, yes, once per phase, you’re right I probably was distracted. Doesn’t change the outcome: can’t use the stratagem 3 times in one round of shooting.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Can’t agree that there is a “best” stratagem(s) per-sae. The range of effects/abilities gained from the various one available is vast. I feel the selection of a stratagem is hugely dependant on the: build of the army list in question; and the tactics that someone is planning to use in a game. For sure, there are some standout obvious ones that can easily considered useful; the rest are simple less obvious or nicher, which does not fundamentally make them poor/useless.

    • LankTank

      Agreed. Although you can have your favourite. Mine is the grenade happy one from DG. It did 30 wounds to magnus thanks to some character support. 30 wounds! And he was rocking 3++.

  • Carey_Mahoney

    Interceptor is back with a new name.

  • Dyemor

    Endless Carcophony in the CSM codex is amazing. 2CP at the end of your shooting phase allows a CSM Slanesh Infantry or Biker unit to shoot again. Awesome with a unit of 20 Noise Marines with Sonic Blasters… that’s 120 bolter equivalent shots at 24″ from one unit.

    More useful is on Iron Warrior Obliterators. If you’ve rolled well for the fleshweapon stats, and you still have a priority target, have another 12 of the shots.

    • FCBullsht

      Endless Cacophony on 10 Combi-Plasma Terminators with with Presience cast on them and a Lord/DP aura bubble in range => 40 overcharged Plasma shots with a 97% chance to hit and zero risk on suffering mortal wounds

      Follow up with Warptime and a charge and they are quite likely to make their high point costs back

  • Mr.Gold

    AdMech have a few nice ones:

    Elimination Volley (2 CP): Use in the Shooting Phase if a
    Kataphron Destroyer and a Kastelan Robot with the same FORGE WORLD keyword are within 6″ of each other; they both add 1 to hit that phase.

    Machine Spirit Resurgent (1 CP): Use at the start of your turn. A vehicle or Knight can use the top row on its damage chart until the end of the turn.

    Ryza- Plasma Specialists (1 CP): use during the shooting phase.
    Pick a unit and add 1 to the wound rolls and increase damage inflicted by 1 for all plasma weapons. (on a Kataphron Destroyer unit that is generally wounding on 2+ with Overcharged Damage of 3 per shot…)

    Lucius- Legio Teleportarium (1 CP): During deployment, use this Stratagem to set up a LUCIUS unit in reserves instead of deploying; at the end of any of your Movement Phases you can deep strike it within 9″ of an opposing model.

  • FCBullsht

    Not a very good list imho…

    The Ravenguard/Alpha Legion specific stratagems are totally amazing especially in combination with the Raptors/Faceless characters from Forgeworld
    The Slaanesh specific one is borderline broken if combined with Plasma, Warptime and a captain/DP aura bubble

    The chapter master stratagem is too expensive at 3CP, taking a named chapter master (or Guilliman) is usually the much better choice
    Same goes for the “fight again” stratagems, 3CP is too much, 2CP would be more reasonable

  • Marco Marantz

    Tide of Traitors: Overpriced compared to its counterpart though you do get to ‘outflank’ – unless you can link up with the right character though they will quickly cease to be a threat.
    The Alpha Legion/Raven Guard deepstrike one is very powerful.

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    The Dead Walk Again in gonna be a must-use for Nurgle Soup lists. My Ogryn, Wolf-rats, and Plague-Bearers are gonna have loads of fun with that.