40K: Top 5 Dark Angel Stratagems

The Dark Angels are roaring with stratagems – Come check out our top 5 favorites!

We’ve been putting the Dark Angel’s Codex through it’s paces on our Twitch channel this week. We’ve also covered their Warlord Traits and their Psychic Powers. The Dark Angels have 25 Stratagems to chew through and you can check those out as well, but we’re distilling them down to our 5 favorites for easy reference. Let’s dive in:

Weapons From the Dark Age

Who loves Plasma!? “Vampires!” Wait…wrong type of plasma there guys. I’m talking about the Dark Angels, of course! This stratagem amps up their Plasma weapons and increases their damage by 1 for the remained of the phase. That’s going to pair very nicely with Hellblasters (which is funny cause their weapons aren’t exactly the old models of plasma, but whatever). Regardless, this is one of our favorite for the Dark Angels and folks are going to want to know they are carrying it in their playbook!

Speed of the Raven

Ravenwing want to Advance for their special Jink rule. When they do advance, they get a lovely +4 invulnerable save. And when they Advance, they can’t fire non assault weapons…but now they can! Speed of the Raven allows them to fire and also charge in the same turn when they Advance. Note: The Jink save is only vs shooting attacks (so no 4+ invulnerable in Close Combat).

This does open up a question about bypassing the Advancing/shooting restrictions. Oddly enough, from our interpretation, Heavy Weapons and Assault Weapons still have a -1 to hit rolls, but Rapid Fire weapons do not. That’s going to be great for Ravenwing Bikers!

Fortress of Shields

Time to make those Deathwing Terminators EVEN TOUGHER to kill. This is better than increasing their toughness by 1, this reduces opponent’s to-wound rolls by 1! The down side is that it only applies during the Fight phase – otherwise this thing could break entire turns of shooting.

Deathwing Assault

Deathwing Terminators can pack a punch with the ranged firepower – depending on how you load the up – so why not take an extra round of shooting with them! I like this ability to get a “double tap” with their guns. It’s expensive, but it’s a withering hail of firepower with the right unit.


They might not be Ultramarines, but they can (almost) be as cool with this 2 CP stratagem! It’s expensive, sure, but it can save the day. Falling back and still getting to shoot can be incredibly powerful when used on the right unit. Think about it – that Deathwing Terminator squad that you just dropped in is a “shooty” build so the opponent thinks “oh I’ll just assault them with my speed bump unit and prevent them from shooting me all game.” But now those shooty Terminators can fall back and use their more effective shooting to clear that out (that’s provided they don’t just Power Fist their way out first).


Bonus: Lion and the Wolf

Oh man. This Stratagem…We had to include it in our list because it’s probably one of the most flavorful stratagems ever written. However, it’s also not super likely to get used in competative, matched play. We’d LOVE to see it used in a Narrative/Open environment however. And that’s why it’s our bonus for our favorite Dark Angel Stratagems!


That’s our list of our favorite Dark Angel Stratagems – Do you have a favorite that didn’t make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Kabal1te

    They are correct on speed of the raven. Strict rules as written interpretation assault and heavy weapons would have the -1 to hit still but rapid fire weapons would not. I expect this will be changed in the FAQ probably.

    • Rasheed Jones

      IMO, It’d be fine if they just removed the -1 for assault weapons, the -1 to heavy seems fair, but hey if they want to remove that I wouldn’t object.

      • Kabal1te

        They will probably (knowing their rule writers) either make it where none of the weapons get the -1, most likely, or where all of them get the -1

        • Rasheed Jones

          true, they do like to keep it…simple.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      Why would it change? What would it change to?

      Seems, to me the ability is very clearly worded. The stratagem only gets rid of the restriction of shooting after advancing. It does not make any mention of removing any of the other restrictions that affect shooting attack. It the same stratagem as the White Scars Born in the Saddle. It would say if other penalties were lifted.

      • Andrew O’Brien

        The wording is very clear and it currently does not remove the penalty. This is why it would change. It does not make sense to allow shooting of non-assault weapons at normal ballistics while assault weapons are still penalized. I imagine it will change to, the unit may advance and still shoot and charge as if it had not advanced this turn.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Its the same stratagem as the White Scars Born in the Saddle. Presumably it is entirely intentional as the White Scar one would have been FAQ by now. I would hazard it remains represent that Assault type weapons are meant to be fairly indiscriminate attacks. Whereas Rapid Fire type are meant to be, generally, more accurate.

          • Andrew O’Brien

            Oh, I did not realize there was precedent that suggested this was intentional. Personally I disagree with it as I believe a stratagem that allows one to advance and shoot normal weapons at normal ballistic should neutralize the impact of advancing for assault weapons. But as we all know, it only matters what the designers think and the bandwidth that they have for FAQing.

  • Bakvrad

    I feared these are the best…

    • Dovydas Bulanavicius

      Are you seriously implying they’re lackluster?

      They make DA have the best shooting
      Make their mobility almost on par with White Scars
      Make them survive on par with the best of them
      Make their Assault happen more likely than almost all other marine chapters
      Give them utility close to Ultramarines
      Make their Melee close to that of Blood Angels

      Their literaly almost as good as every chapter is at their best thing and they can do them ALL unpike every other chapter

      I’m afraid of the incoming nerfs cause the codex looks a bit too good so far

      • Drpx

        You’ll probably have a good 3 months at least. Remember that space marines are on the weak side this edition and also happen to be GW’s bread and butter.

      • Bakvrad

        That’s actually what I implied.
        Almost as good as the others at the cost of command points. So they are not as quite as good and only if you have the points to make them better and if playing matched games (and I hear others saying: there are other ways??? Heresy!!) only one unit can perform as wished.
        This makes them lackluster, yes.
        But I will play them anyway, like I always did ^^

        • Dovydas Bulanavicius

          They have the most tools out of all marine chapters.

          Meaning you can always play on your opponents weakness.

          If you take any marines and strip all chapter traits/strategems – they’re still best, because of superior unique units, like the Talon Master

          If you count chapter traits/strategems – they’re still the best

          Because you can ditch captains (bring more lieutenants) and have more reroll hit/wound than any other chapter, only Ultramarines with Bobby don’t need to be envyous of you.

          But they will be envious, because you can shoot twice with your Land Raider/Dred or Terminators AND you have the best shooty unit – Plasma Inceptors

          This is the only codex that has 0 weakness

  • m3g4tr0n

    I thought their best stratagem was “Running Away.”

    • adamharry

      Actually – it’s “Pretending to be Loyalist.” 🙂

      • AntonisLak

        What is this smell? Should i..?… BELIAAAL

  • piglette

    Deathwing Assault seems overpriced.

    • Orkimedes

      It is, if you just consider it a double shooting deep strike. The timing is important though; since the shooting occurs immediately after you deploy the unit. You can use it to clear a buffer unit (like scouts) and then deep strike something else into the hole on the same turn.

      • petrow84

        A 5 Terminator with AC is mathematically not enough to clear off even a minimum unit of Scout in the open. Plus it eats up the strategem you can use in the Movement phase,

        • GravesDisease

          that’s not how strategems work.

          • petrow84

            Did they remove the 1strategem/phase restriction in matched play?

          • Bakvrad

            It’s just one of the same, but you can use as much as you like per phase

          • petrow84

            Oh, thanks.

    • HeadHunter

      Dig this: Beam in, shoot, then the shooting phase starts. Shoot again. If you’re charged, fight, fall back, shoot again (with the other stratagem). What’s going to remain to oppose you? 🙂