40K Rumors: Is The Lion The Next Primarch

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There’s a veritable tidal wave of Dark Angels rumors flying around. Grab a grain of salt, and let’s tuck in.

From the Massive Grain of Salt Files, a bunch of Dark Angels rumors are making the rounds. Spotted on the Interwebs, Facebook, forums, and other corners of the webs, here’s what people are saying we might see in the Dark Angels codex. Before we go too much further, bear in mind, this isn’t nearly as “verified” as the Tyranid Codex leaks last week, but those did bear out to some truths. Maybe, with any luck we’ll get one true thing beyond “There will be a Dark Angels codex.”

via The Inner Circle Facebook Group

Here’s a big rumor list.

So the Codex is finally announced and a good friend of mine has given me some juicy tidbits.

Preorder on the 2nd of December
Available on the 9th of December

A few changes in a couple of units. Points moving to match the vanilla codex.
No Sammael in Sableclaw in the codex
Black knights and deathwing terminators may now be upgraded to a command squad (1 per army) this basically gives them the bodyguard ability.

Now the juicy stuff

And they shall know no fear

Inner circle
This unit automatically passes morale checks. In addition it may reroll at to hit rolls against Heretic Astartes and all to hit and to wound rolls against Fallen in the fight phase

If this unit moves it gains a 6+ invulnerable save to all shooting attacks. If it advances it gains a 5+ Invulnerable save to all shooting attacks

Grim Resolve
All UNFORGIVEN units may Overwatch on a 5+ and will only lose one model to a failed morale test

Have the same space marine stratagems as vanilla marines with the exception of
Masterful marksmanship
Cluster mines
Tremor shells

Also access to these unique stratagems

Fury of the First
Use this stratagem in your shooting phase. All plasma weapons may use the supercharge weapon template but ignore any mortal wounds that would be caused by a roll of 1.

Repent for Tomorrow You Die
Unforgiven Stratagem
Use this stratagem before overwatch, the UNFORGIVEN unit may fire overwatch at full BS.

Teleport Homer
Unforgiven Stratagem
Play at the beginning of your turn. Any DEATHWING unit may deepstrike from reserve within 9″ of an enemy unit as long as it is within 6″ of a RAVENWING UNIT

Deathwing Assault
Unforgiven Stratagem
Play at the beginning of your turn, any DEATHWING unit entering by deepstrike may fire twice or add 3″ to a charge roll this turn.

Same standard space marine Warlord Traits as vanilla marines with the following unique ones.

Hold at all costs
Your warlord and UNFORGIVEN units within 9″ of your Warlord may roll a D6 for every wound sustained, on a 5+ it is ignored.

Unforgiven Courage of the First Legion
UNFORGIVEN units in your army may use your Warlords Leadership for morale checks.

The Hunt
Any enemy Character that your Warlord slays in the fight phase grants one victory point

Rapid Manoeuvres
Your warlord and any RAVENWING units within 6″ of him may add 2″ to all move, Advance and charge distances and add +1 to all JINK rolls


Sacred standard
Only one sacred standard can be taken per army

Standard of Devestation
All UNFORGIVEN units within 9″ of the standard may fire twice in the shooting phase and automatically pass morale checks.

Standard of Retribution
All UNFORGIVEN units within 9″ of the standard may attack twice in the fight phase and automatically pass morale checks.

Standard of Fortitude
All UNFORGIVEN units within 9″ of the standard when suffering an unsaved wound may roll a D6 on a 5+ the wound is ignored and automatically pass morale checks.

Mace of Redemption
S+3 Ap-3 D2
If a unit suffers damage from this weapon reduce WS by 1 until the end of the next fight phase.
Against Heretic Astartes weapon is AP -4

Lion’s Roar
When attacking with this weapon, choose one or both of the profiles below. If you choose both, subtract 1 from all hit rolls for this weapon-
Boltgun 24″ Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP0 D1
Plasma 24″ AssaultD3 S7 AP-3 D1

Foe Smiter
Rapid fire 3 S4 AP-1 D1

Monster Slayer of Caliban
S+2 AP-2 D d3
If this weapon causes at least one unsaved wound roll a D6 on a 6 the model is removed from play. Does not effect models with the VEHICLE keyword

Shroud of Heroes
The shroud of heroes confers a 4+ cover save and for each unsaved wound roll a D6 on a 6+ the save is ignored

And finally the biggest news in my opinion

Lion El’Jonson
M 8″
WS 2+
BS 2+
S 6
T 6
W 9
A 7
Ld 10
Sv 2+

Hope Melee Melee S+2 AP -3 D 2 If you roll a wound roll of 6+ for this weapon, it inflicts Mortal Wounds instead of its normal damage.

Despair 18” AssaultD3 S8 AP -3 D3 If a unit suffers any damage from this weapon, roll a D6 on a 6 the unit suffers D3 Mortal Wounds
And they shall know no fear

Master of the First – If your army is battleforged, you receive an additional 3 CP if Lion El’Jonson is your Warlord.

Armour of the Order – Lion El’Jonson has a 3+ invulnerable save. In addition all UNFORGIVEN units within 8” receive an 5+ Invulnerable save.

Blade Master – For every unsaved wound Lion El‘Jonson causes in the fight phase he can immediately make an additional attack. This ability can only be used once per fight phase.

Master Strategist- each time a stratagem is used roll a D6 on a 4+ the CP for that stratagem is not spent

I Primarch – You can re-roll any failed hit and wound rolls for friendly UNFORGIVEN units within 6” of Lion El’Jonson

So, the Lion might be coming back–I can see the case being made for that. These rules are maybe misremembered at best though. That Standard of Devastation is too good, and as he’s statted out here, Lionel Johnson is basically Bobby G but better, but many of the others seem like they could ring true.

A stratagem serving the function of the Tau homing beacon isn’t the most out there thing ever. So take a look, dig in to the rumors, and let us know what you think.

  • DoctorBored

    Pretty sure this is a wishlist. Lion El’Johnson looks like a carbon copy of Guilliman and I think that different primarchs are going to have different abilities.

    Besides, we’d have heard about the primarch model well ahead of time if this codex is dropping in the next month or so.

    • frank

      It be kinda a great slap in the face for Blood Angels players if they dont get some crazy new stuff with their codex and then the Dark Angels get their primarch haha.

      • Kyle Johnstone

        We wouldn’t be suurprised… Were usually the left out Red ones… 5th edition was too good to us and now we reap the rewards 😰😰

        • frank

          Like Icarus they simply flew too close to the sun. haha

    • I_am_Alpharius

      “Besides, we’d have heard about the primarch model well ahead of time if this codex is dropping in the next month or so.”

      Why? If GW want to keep a release secret they can keep it secret. All these “leaks/rumours” and such are generally things GW want to be let slip. Hell, back 5-10yrs ago, there was literally a studio staff member who job remit included starting and quelling rumours/leaks on the web.

      • Fergie0044

        Doubt it. We saw both Magnus and Morty before GW wanted us to. Can’t remember if G-man was leaked or not.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Didn’t those “leaked” images all come people receiving early copies of WDs? Not exactly what I called leaked, just unfortunate timing on the part of the WD distributor – like how the Oct 2017 WD was shipped a week early after a muck up by the distributor used for Subscribers.

          • Doc Noble

            We had pictures of Morty 8 months before his release

          • I_am_Alpharius

            True, there were those tiny images doing the rounds. That sort of thing tends to be few and far between.

          • Bakvrad

            Magnus’ Box was found in the litter 😀

          • Fergie0044

            Naw, someone got a pic of Magnus from a GW HQbin and there was a really tiny and poor quality photo of an unpainted Morty doing the rounds way before he was announced.

        • Bakvrad

          Roboutes model did not leak, but he was a rumor engine.
          Lion could also be one of the unresolved.
          But right now I am not sure what I should think about the primarch, except: this list up here is a whole lotta wishlisting (some points not even good formulated) and so is probably him. But if he gets released at any time sooner or later he will be build and painted in approximately 24h after official release (or before If i get lucky)

          • Paul Wesley Pratt

            There have been a couple “lion” themed rumor engine posts that have gone unresolved as of yet.

          • Joel Fowler

            At least one of those was the shoulder pads of the Stormcast hero(ine) from the latest AoS Box Set.

    • LankTank

      It seemed pretty solid until the primarch. some htings I coukd imagine changes like he monster blade doing mortal wounfds on 6 instead of remove from play. It will be interesting if the codex really seperates unforgiven, inner circle, ravenwung and deathwing.

  • Lord Chopper

    I think Russ is more likely to come back considering he is still fighting around the eye of terror leading the space wolves 13th company.

    • Harthelion

      Russ is not leading the 13th company. The 13th are the wulfen that already came back actually.

      • Seta8967

        We know that the Wulfen aren’t all of the 13th. Also in Fall of Cadia there was a 30k SW ship in orbit.

        • BrianDavion

          that doesn’t mean much, most of the space wolves ships are proably that old.

    • Ronin

      Like my friends said, it would be cool to see Russ as a giant Wulfen.

      • Spacefrisian

        I rather see him as a Odin figure instead.

        • Jared van Kell

          Comparatively speaking that is Logan Grimnar.

      • LordKrungharr

        I could see that happening, or maybe they’ll have a transforming model like Bran Redmaw was? That would set him apart from other loyalist Primarchs for sure!

    • Mike Forrey

      As a DA player i am more inclined to believe Russ is the next primarch to be released. That being said if Russ isn’t completed chaos tainted it will be utter BS.

      • LordKrungharr

        The Canis Helix makes them less taintable doesn’t it? ie. Wulfen.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    This feels like fan theory.

  • Alun Bridges

    Does look like a wish list to me, and also what the hell is a 4+ cover save on the shroud of heroes ?

    • Emerson Sullivan

      Its a cover save for the fallen he’ll be leading

    • The14th

      Basically he was reading old Codices, as that is what that did previously. These “leaks” are total bunk.

  • Marcet

    I find Monster Slayer of Caliban somewhat hard to believe, roll a 6 after an unsaved wound and remove a model from play? Unlikely, not to mention that some folks might argue about the wording and interaction with things like DR which aren’t technically saves.

    • Koen Diepen Van

      Not to mention the standard of devastation. All units within 9 inch may fire twice? Sure why not. It’s not like that would break the game……….

      • Marcet

        Yeah, good catch, that standard would do what a single noise marine squad can do for 2 cp’s…and instead of a single unit it would be all units within 9″. The retribution one is at least somewhat believeable with berserkers in the game.

      • LankTank

        Possibly 3″ at best.

      • The14th

        That’s the version of the Standard of Devastation from 6th Edition minus the word “Bolter”

        • Koen Diepen Van

          Yea but this ain’t 6th edition even whit the word bolter it would still be pretty broken

          • The14th

            My point was this guy just copy-pasted these “leaks” from old codices.

    • BrianDavion

      yeah that’s EXTREMELY unlikely given that 8th edition removed all those rules.

  • Wolf-Assassin

    if GW follow “my” prediction of 3 months between primarchs, December is time for the next loyal, and if Blood Angels and Dark Angels gets their new new codex around this thime their primarchs are the most likely, unfortunately for the BA Sanguinus is dead. Also if Belisarius Cawl could wake upp Guilliman he can wake upp El’Jonson

    • Randy Randalman

      Yvraine had more to do with it than Cawl. Cawl just had a plan; but yes, it sets a precedent whereby anybody dead/asleep/whatever can come back. Including Sanguinius since they have his body.

      • palaeomerus

        I assume the reason they call Sanguinius dead is that while his body works as a blood filter during recruiting it hasn’t healed and doesn’t function without mechanical help. Thus his body is probably a component of a kind of reliquary servitor. So if Sanguinious comes back it will be as a warp daemon aspected to the Imperial religion instead of chaos or as a clone that somehow houses the warp ego of Sanguinious or part of it.

  • Joshua Gregory

    God forbid they bring out some models for a chapter that isn’t the ultramarines, Blood angels, space wolves or dark angels. The other chapters may as well not exist. 1 strat, 1 tactic, 1 character. Don’t get me too excited!!!!

    • Randy Randalman

      I am glad they don’t do more than 4-5 chapters (and 4-5 Legions) total. This isn’t Horus Heresy. There has to be a semblance of balance for all of the Xenos armies. More chapter/legion stuff means more options for the already extremely diverse and powerful Imperium and Chaos factions.

      • Joshua Gregory

        It’s not a tabletop argument, it’s a hobby one. Im stating that new models would be interesting for factions that haven’t been explored, as oppose to revamping the range and only supporting the wolves and the blood and dark angels. Why does it have to be the dark angels supported? Why not try something new.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Forge World has a bunch of characters already made for a bunch of other chapters and is now releasing new characters every few months for other chapters as part of its Character Series.

      • Dennis J. Pechavar

        Sadly still missing Alpharius, Omegon and the Lion.

    • Mike Forrey

      So you want GW to just abandon the entire range of models from the DA, BA, wolves and Ultramarines and tell all those players that have those models to “go pound sand”? Clearly you don’t know how to run a company and keep your customers happy.

      There’s also nothing saying that once they have all the main codex printed that they cannot go back and work on new races, craft worlds and marine chapters.

    • LankTank

      Dont forget power armour armies make ip half of all the factions though and then about 75% of all sales (not definitive figure. Literally just guessing about who I see with them)

      • Joshua Gregory

        Yeah, good point.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Very skeptical about these. For starters, I’d be surprised if Samael in Swiftclaw is dropped since the modelling parts to make him are one the plastic Ravenwing sprue you get with standard bikers.

    As for the prospect of another Loyal Primarch. That is semi-given, when you consider the background published during the Gathering Storm and in the 40K Rules Book. It would seem evident that at minimum (although I think, in time, all will return) of the Loyal Primarchs: Lion’el Johnson, Leman Russ and Sanguinius high on the list. I mention in another thread that it honestly won’t shock me if 40K gets a surprise twist at in December with one or even two new Primarch kits being released right at the 11th hour (on Sat 30th December) – it would even be a opportunity to release Guilliman and Cypher separately; who knows Cypher, and the Fallen. could even make an appearance in Codex Dark Angels to add more shades of grey to the Chapter….

    • Gorsameth

      Ehm, I don’t know how to tell you this but…

      Sanguinius is dead, and has been for 10.000 years.
      He aint coming back.

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Guilliman was also practically “dead” yet he returned. If you read the background the inference is Sanguinius soul is still floating around the Warp waiting to be re-incarnated in the, as prophesied, Blood Angels ‘time of need’. With Baal getting a right old kicking by the Tyranids and the Chapter in dire straits – seems a little like a ‘time of need’ to me. His body is on Baal combine with some Eldar-y magic and the such or just Sanguinius psychic might and hey presto! Resurrection!

        • william timonen

          No, Guilliman was frozen exactly before he died.

          It was practically “Yeah, he isnt doing anything. But not dead! Remember that he isnt dead, can still come back! Still come back…”

          • I_am_Alpharius

            *sigh* hence why I the used of the phrase “practically dead” and just not dead….

          • The Basement Gamer

            Is that like being almost pregnant?

          • Scott Staten

            So, what you are saying is that he was only MOSTLY dead?

          • David Smith

            There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.

          • palaeomerus

            He was in stasis. I think it’d be funny if the Lion comes back but he looks really old because he rode out the 10K years without any stasis tech.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Space Marines and Primarchs don’t age. Sometime their hair may go grey but that’s about it. In addition as far as is know they are immortal.

          • palaeomerus

            Iacton Cruz was feeling old 200 years after being recruited on terra.

        • Spacefrisian

          He was already slowly healing, that means he wasnt dead, not even practically

      • Tirelion

        There is a provision in the lore leaving room for him to be reborn through the Sanguinor. Just as they helped Guilliman, I am sure the Ynnari will be there to help, as they seem to have been created by GW as a plot device just for this sort of thing.

      • Fergie0044

        I really hope he doesn’t. Kinda ruins the drama of the HH ending if he does.

        • Ari Varey

          I’ve heard this tired old argument a tbousand times. Question: why aren’t you complaining about the living saints? They are dead, yet come back in times of need. Why aren’t you complaining about it cheapening their sacrifice?

          Your arguement is over done and cheap. Forget the HH, this is 40k. We need more Primarchs to fight for the Emperor.

          • phobosftw

            Living saints?! Lol, do you even 40k bro? They got nothing on my boy Sanguinius, NOT. A. THING.

          • Ari Varey

            I don’t think you understand my statement. Sanguinius can come back. The living saints come back to life constantly. Why can’t Sanguinius? No reason, he will return, and I will buy him like everyone else.

          • phobosftw

            Point is you are acting like a total heretic comparing silly saints with my boy Sanguinius his part in the main storyline is over 9000, saints are like in the lower 50s..
            Noone care about their sacrifice, they arent really part of the main story.

            The lore is a big part of why people are drawn to this game, cheapening it by bringing back will not go over well.

            And of course you will by him, even if you hate the look of him you will still cash out, if only to spite the rest of us, the warp has clearly overtaken you..

          • Fergie0044

            I’m sorry the who? Are they the sons of the emperor, mankind’s greatest generals and warriors, literal supermen that inspire awe and wonder wherever they go? Titanic gods of battle whos will shaped the lives of billions?
            Ok I’m being tongue in cheek here, but my main point is there’s a massive difference in the importance of the Primarchs and the living saints in both the fluff and fanbase. I doubt many fans could name more than one saint yet could easily rattle off the names and general personalities of most of the primarchs.
            And the fluff of 40k is important and why many stay with a game system that isn’t as robust as its competitors. And to cheapen the fluff does the entire game a diservice. This is just my opinion, but Sang, Manus, Horus and Curze should all stay dead. To bring any of them back undercuts their own story. Use the other 14 instead.

      • Rafał Pytlak

        Never say never when $$$ is in play for GW. Ynnari could “reverse back time” ressurect him just like the Rubric Marines. We even have his entombed body on Baal. No biggie…

        • DJ860

          This times a thousand.

          Eventually, if it’s the biggest revenue opportunity, the fluff will adjust to suit the business.

      • LankTank

        Entirely possible that instead of sanguinius they make “sanguinor emergent” or something, basically yhe last shreds of sanguinius powering up due to the BA time of need. Lets them bring him back but also stay dead

      • palaeomerus

        His body is dead right now.

    • Mr.Gold

      I would bet that if that is the case they would release them on the 24th December without Pre-Order for all of those last minuite xmas sales…

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Naaa GW don’t do that. The use of pre-order windows allows GW to let the cogs of their promotional team talk about the releases and build the hype. If it were to be both Primarchs, then it would be more likely GW may give it a two week pre-order window. GW generally never have anything substancial be released in the last 2 weeks before Xmas Day; it tends to be Black Library Novels, Jan WD and the such.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      Sableclaw was made a poor choice ever since they made Sam on a jetbike. This from a man who started this game because of the Dark Angels and in particular the Ravenwing. When we got the speeder in 3rd it was amazing! Looked cool and was fun while not in anyway game breaking. Looking at the stats and cost for it in the index I can’t see why I would ever field it. Cost is higher than the jetbike and you can target it? Other than pure fluff why would I ever take it? I do love me some Dakka but he’d die as soon as my opp could target him. Other than that tangent I agree with you on the return of the Primarchs.

      • Mike Forrey

        Speeders in general though just suck to no end. I’m not even sure what they were thinking when they were making those data sheets for speeders.

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          As a proud owner of 9 regular speeders and 3 tempest you have no idea how much I agree! Speeders have been lowering in survivalist for awhile but this edition I don’t think they even tried to make them good. My Ravenwing fields maybe 2 other than the floating church, maybe. Bikes and more bikes are the name of the game.

          • Mike Forrey

            100% agree and i feel your pain i own a whole case of them numbering a dozen and i just cannot stomach fielding them. Maybe the Ravenwing Speeders will get a boost in the codex but i am not holding my breath.

    • James Regan

      I still think Corax, Khan and Vulkan are pretty likely compared with the definitely, totally killed by Horus Sanguinius. I mean Corax literally just wandered off. Plus a load of the blood angels actual rules and models are based around Sanguinius being dead (death company are a direct result of having been spitted on horus’ glove), so I reckon they should leave him dead- they’ve also already had a s6, t6 character with mephiston’s old statline, so if they were desperate, I’d go for a new mephiston model with a primarch statline instead of resurrecting a guy, who, given how much damage horus did to the emperor’s soul, is about as alive as your average kitchen table.

  • john korpik

    It can be a foresight thing. In another book forgeworld put out something that mentioned it works with the emperor of mankind so even if the model is not out yet or with its codex, it could be making sure the rules are there for the future.

  • mreindl

    That’s great, but which LOYALIST Primarch is out next? 🙂

  • It doesn’t matter if Sanguinus is dead; I have a feeling they are bringing him back in some form. There is that gold avenger character as I recall. Hell it doesn’t make sense at all, but what makes sense is that GW brings back the Primarchs of the Big Four, the Smurfs, Knight Angels, Vampire Angels, and Werewolf Vikings, all of which have their own codexes. Being a die-hard Salamanders, Dragon Warriors, and Scars, Space Mongols, fan, I’d give anything for one of the new Primarchs to be Vulkan or the Khan, but don’t think it’s happening. Fluff-wise it makes the most sense for either of those two to come back in lieu of Sanguinus, especially Vulkan who we know is an eternal.

  • Fraser1191

    This is fake go sho

  • Steve L Duelist

    The release date, and army rules seem believable, most are a reasonable update from the 6th/7th ed rules

    But the return of a primarch is doughfull for December, GW has marketing focus on the Shadeshire and Nercomanda, and tyranids. Still thinking Russ is next, with the Wolves and thousand Sons both missing codexs this year. Probably a new battle of ultarmar event next year centered on Russ vs Magnus

  • Tushan

    Wonder why the loyalist primarchs are pussies with nice auras and the chaos primarchs are 18 wound combat machines that delete 2 landraiders per turn.

    • Mr.Gold

      That is what they gain from worshiping chaos and becoming deamons…

  • Spacefrisian

    3 days ago it was Fulgrim, 2 days before that it was Angron, do we get them all 3 in 1 go?

    Or do we get 1 of the missing 2, now i waana start a wish rumour.

  • ZeroTheHero

    pretty possible he might be a suprise release for Christmas.

  • eMtoN

    Load of BS. Everyone knows we are getting plastic sisters for Christmas.