Let’s take a look at some of the deadliest guns in the game.
Warhammer 40,000 is a deadly universe and game. We’ve taken a look in the past at some characters that really can put out a stupid amount of damage. Today I want to take a gander at some guns that are crazy deadly, to show off just how ridiculous 40K has gotten. These are going to be ranged weapons, with a weapon profile (not special rules, etc.). In addition, I’m going to look at weapons that are not tied to a unique character and at only base stats that the model would have, no crazy combos here. Let us take a look at what are likely the 5 deadliest guns in the game.
The Deathstrike is a legendary weapon in 40K and surprisingly easy to take. Its base weapon attack is OK, doing 3d6 shots that if they hit do mortal wounds. That’s not bad at all but wouldn’t get it on this list. The big thing kicking up the Deathstrikes damage is its extra rule. After you do the base damage to the enemy unit you get to a role a die for each unit within 6″ of the original target and on a 4+ that unit takes d3 mortal wounds. Now since there is no cap to this, and it is within range of the whole enemy unit, theoretically this gives you unlimited damage, a big enough enemy unit with enough other units near it could make a Deathstrike just go crazy.
Despite potentially unlimited damage, the Deathstrike is held back on the list for a few reasons. First off it’s limited to one-shot a game, meaning it can only do its unlimited damage once. It can also only do D3 to each unit beyond the first, mean that it does cap out at 18 damage on a single target. The missile is also hard to fire, and normally will get killed before it can even get a shot off. All these things really hold the Deathstrike back.
Theoretical Max Damage: 1 infinity of damage.
Da Souped-Up Shokka is a staple of Ork lists and as far as I know the infantry weapon with the highest pure damage output in the game. This gun, found in Vigilus Defiant is a pretty crazy weapon. It gets 2d6 shots each doing d6 damage. That’s great on its own. However, if you roll an 11+ for its strength each hit also does d6 extra mortal wounds, really giving it some extra kick.
Now also remember that Orks naturally get to make an extra attack on shooting hit roll of a 6, so with perfect rolling, you would be looking at 24 hits, each doing 9 damage. That puts us at 216 damage from on attack with an infantry model- which is pretty dang crazy! If you want to go crazy, you would be a Snakebite and get to fire twice- putting you up to 432 damage, but that breaks the rules of this list so we won’t count it. Now given Ork BS and just how random the gun is, you’re never going to see anywhere close to its max damage, but it is still an extremely deadly gun.
Theoretical Max Damage: 216 with one shot. (2,592 damage firing twice a turn for 6 turns, 5,184 damage firing twice a turn on its turn and twice a turn for overwatch over 6 turns.)
3. Sunfury Plasma Annihilator
It almost doesn’t feel fair to bring Titan weapons into this, but here we are. Warlords can carry some amazingly powerful weapons, but one stands out among the rest. You might at first glance think it’s the Bellicosa Volcano Cannon, with flat damage 12 (double against some targets by the Macro rule) this is a gun that can destroy a knight with a single hit. While the Bellicosa may often be the best choice it actually maxes out its damage output at a mere 144 damage, putting it well below Da Souped-Up Shokka (laugh’s a Big Mek). The Mori-Quake-Cannon Gets up there with 216 damage- matching the Orks. The impressive Reaver Laser Blaster can also throw out 216 damage but it doesn’t take the cake here either.
The prize goes to the Sunfury plasma annihilator, the deadliest Titan weapon if the most random. From its base attack, you can a staggering 288 regular damage per shot. Like the Deathstrike however, it also has the change to do splash damage to a theoretically unlimited number of targets, again pushing this guns damage up to the infinity +288 damage per shot range, though again, after the first target it is limited to d3 damage per target… This is an impressive showing for sure. As the Sunfury is mounted on a Titan its also pretty survivable, so quite likely to get at least one shot off, and it’s also very accurate. Out of the weapons we’ve looked at so far the Sunfury is most likely to come close to actually reaching its max damage in a game. Downsides include that it’s on a Warlord Titan, it can’t fire overwatch and its damage is halved against non-building/non-titanic targets. It’s almost not great at killing large mobs of infantry.
Theoretical Max Damage: 288 damage +1 infinity in a single shot (1,728 + 6x infinity over 6 turns of shooting).
For killing large mobs of infantry we are jumping down to something you’ll actually see on the tabletop. The Grav-Flux is one of the weapons that the Relic Leviathan Dreadnought can carry and boy is it a doozy. Now the Grav-Flux Bombard is at base a pretty solid weapon, but the real kicker here is that for every 5 models in the enemy unit, it gets an extra d3 shots.
Now if you’ve been paying attention so far you know where this is going. That’s right, given a large enough target the Grav-Flux can do infinity damage. Unlike the other weapons with no damage cap we’ve looked at the Grav-Flux does all it’s damage to a single target, meaning not only does it have a high max damage output, but it can kill the most enemy models in a single unit, infinity (though amusingly despite doing infinity damage to a single target it can never kill the target as the target will always have more models than it has shots. Math.) Also, the Grav-flux can fire more than once and fire overwatch! This gives it the highest damage output of any weapon we’ve seen.
Theoretical Max Damage: 1 infinity (12x infinity over 6 turns of shooting and overwatch.)
What does it even mean to be deadly? We’ve looked at some weapons with crazy high damage output, but if we want to see what weapon is really the deadliest, what weapon has killed the most enemies, I posit we need to look no farther than the humble lasgun. Not only is this the most points efficient weapon in the game, one that can wound a Leviathan Dreadnought or a Warlord Titan with equal ease but no gun is so widely used. Across the history of 40K, it is the Lasgun that has racked up kill after kill. Truly no other weapon can match is overall output. All fear, and all hail the lasgun, deadliest weapon in the game.
Theoretical Max Damage: Unlimited.
Let us know what you think of these deadliest guns, down in the comments.