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Warhammer 40K: Imperial Guard And The Other Best Armies For 9th Edition

6 Minute Read
Jun 25 2020
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Let’s take a look at the armies poised to do well in 9th Edition.

Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition is just a few weeks away. Around the world players are waiting to get their hands on the new rules. 9th promises to bring in a whole host of rule changes, some of which are more controversial than others. With more updates on the new rules coming out every day players and increasing wondering what armies will be good (“meta”) in the new edition, and how their favorite faction will stack up. Today let us take a look at the five armies I think will be do best in 9th.

N.B. This is pure speculation based on what we know so far, anything could change, especially when points get run down, but that doesn’t we can’t have fun guessing right now. 

5. Orks 

Orks are an army that’s always “almost” been there. They’ve come close to being really great, but always just fallen a bit short. While the new blast rules will hurt them, potentially a lot, most of the others benefit them. The new vehicles rules will improve the host of new kits they just got. Reductions in overwatch can really help them out, so I think Orks could be poised to make a nice play for a top spot in 9th.

4. Tyranids 

Nids as an army have had their ups and downs. In 8th it was mostly downs, with a short moment of glory when Flyrant lists were a thing. Since that point they’ve lingered as a lower tier list, out down by their urban cousins in the GSC. However 9th looks poised to hopefully be a good Edition for them. Massive Reductions in Overwatch, smaller tables, and better cover/terrain rules all look to benefit assault armies, of which Nids can run some powerful builds. Even the newly announced flanking rules will help them, allowing their units more flexibility. Plus as an army that doesn’t rely on soup, the new CP rules won’t hurt them there one bit.

Now, admittedly some of the new rules aren’t great for them. In particular the changes to blast weapons will hurt their large squads, and not being able to stop tanks from shooting will be a bummer as well. Yet the new bonus to tanks also apply to monsters, of which the bugs have one or two. No longer taking penalties to moving and shooting with heavy weapons, and most importantly being able to fire into their own combats is a nice buff. Overall Nids seem to be poised to take advantage of a number of the new changes, and we just might see a comeback for Big Bug lists.

3. Sisters of Battle

Sisters of Battle have had a bit of an unlucky run. They were the last Codex to come out of 8th, but despite having a great range and some powerful rules, they never really made a splash in the meta. This was due to two main factors. Firstly they were overshadowed by the massive dominance of Space Marines, with Iron Hands just starting to sweep the meta as people got their hands on the new book. In addition their book, and most of their models, didn’t get a full release until the start of this year… just in time for every event to get canceled before people could really start getting their full Sisters armies out there. As a book apparently designed with 9th in mind, with some solid rules and with Marines nerfed, I think Sisters are poised to do well in the coming edition.


2. Imperial Guard

I’ve already written a whole article, here, about why I think Imperial Guard are going to be fire in 9th. In short they really benefit from a ton of the new rules. New morale and cover makes their infantry stronger. While all of the new vehicle rules, and the new blast rules, are poised to make their tanks super good. All of this comes together to take an army that was already really great and put it over the top into top tier territory.

Bonus: No Necrons?

By now you might be wondering, where are Necrons on this list? As an army features in the new box set, and getting a whole ton of new models/units surely 9th is going to be their Edition? Look, I’d love to tell you that it will be, but right now I can’t. Necrons are a pretty low tier list right now, and they’ll need a lot of help to get good. Maybe their new units, and the sure to come quickly new Codex will do it for them. But we just don’t know enough about the units, or whatever changes are coming in their Codex to guess. Moreover… it’s not normally all that great to be the first codex of a new edition. The initial book has a rack record of being a more tame underwhelming one. Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong, but right now we can only have the highest hopes for the metal menaces.

1. Space Marines 

Yes, sigh, Space Marines. The current dominant kings of the Meta (as much as there is one right now) will likely only be getting better with the new edition. These boys are already so powerful, that they’ve been running the show for nearly a year now, since last August, without really looking like they’ll get dethroned, despite having been nerfed several times. Marines now have a whole host of new units and options to look forward, which even if they aren’t uber, can’t make the army worse, so the Astartes only have potential benefits. On top of that a lot of the changes look to make Marines even better than before.


They were already running mono-codex books, so thats no issue. Their tanks, and their dreadnoughts, which have been showing up a lot, will only be getting better.  They are an army that runs great MSU, indeed they don’t ever have to take a unit larger than 5 men, so they won’t be hurt by the new blast rules but will get to benefit from them. Meanwhile, Knights, T’au and Eldar, some of Marines competitors all get nerfed a bit by the new rules, so it should only help them out more. Unless we get major point nerfs for Marines, I’d expect to still see them on top in 9th. 

Let us know what you think of these predictions, down in the comments! 

Author: Abe Apfel
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