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Warhammer 40K: These Are The Three Worst 9th Edition Codices

5 Minute Read
Sep 7 2021

9th Edition has some really powerful books, but a few don’t quite measure up. Lets take a look at the losers.

Warhammer 9th Edition has been out for just over a year now.  In that time 13 Codices, or Codex Supplements have been released. In addition, there have been 2 War Zone books. In general, the 9th Edition books are really good. They’ve often managed to mixed powerful and interesting new rules with ideas that make the armies play in a manner that fits their nature in the lore. It’s even gotten to the point where 8th Edition armies are having trouble competing.  Some of their books might even be too good. However, some of the 9th Edition books have also been duds. Today let’s take a look at the worst of them.

3. Space Wolves

Space Wolves are a classic 40K army and they were early on the list of 9th Edition books. As a supplement to the Marine Codex they technically are made up of TWO 9th books. Now Space Wolves are, arguably, the best of the three armies on this list, and even occasionally show up in the meta placing at events. They are not an unwinnable army. On the other hand, compared to the other Marine supplements for 9th they seem clear losers. At the Orlando Open for instance, despite being a popular army, they had a worse win ratio than Deathwatch, Dark Angels or Blood Angels. In the meta, they normally perform worse than not only those Marine factions, but also 8th Ed supplements like White Scars, Ultramarines and Iron Hands. On top of the performance issues, they also simply feel a bit uninspired and even boring.

I think the big reason for this is that Space Wolves used a lot more divergent units than pretty much any other Marine sub-faction. They have a ton of unique units and none of them were Primaris. With the recent push for Primaris units GW didn’t give a lot of love to the classic Space Wolf units, often even toning them down. This is rather in contrast to Dark Angels who got major buffs for their Firstborn units. Overall this left the Wolves of Fenris with a roster of outdated and often underpowered unique units. You can either try to play Wolves like any other Marine chapter, which isn’t fun or optimal or play them more like Wolves, and have over-costed units.

2. Grey Knights

Grey Knights are a brand new Codex, and I fully admit I could be jumping the gun here. Maybe, I hope, I’ll turn out to be wrong and some people will find combos for them others have seen yet. But so far the reviews of this book haven’t been great. Right off the bat Grey Knights got a new codex with only a single new model, after not really getting any in 8th. These leaves them with a roster that hasn’t seen much updating in a while, and that feels a little left behind. Their new book overall feels a little underwhelming and in some cases boring. Many players have pointed out that certain units and aspects have actually seen major nerfs since the last book, not a good sign for a codex that was already one of the worst in the meta.

Coming out alongside the Thousand Sons hasn’t helped either. Thousand Sons is an army whose playstyle is fairly similar to Grey Knights, and yet they have a much more interesting and seemingly powerful book with some real innovation and cool ideas. If I had to sum up Codex: Grey Knights in one word it would be uninspired. Maybe this book has a good list or two, but they are very restrictive to get them.  Overall this just doesn’t seem to be a good book in any sense of the word right now.

1. Necrons

Necrons were one of the first books to come out in 9th, releasing during the initial launch of the edition. There were a lot of high hopes for the book. In 8th the faction had been pretty subpar, but 9th promised a major makeover complete with a ton of new units. The new models of course were beautiful and the army as a whole looks great. The book however was a letdown. What Necron players got was a complicated, hard-to-play army, that is overall overcosted and underpowered. It has the complexity of say Ad-mech, but none of the raw power.


This is a book that has failed to really perform since day one. It’s clear that when it was written the designers still hadn’t gotten full hold of what 9th is, it lacks a certain… feeling or vibe some later books have. It has some powerful units yes, but it never really comes together as a synergistic whole. It, and the new units, did make Necrons a popular army, it was well represented at Orlando for instance, but it underperformed as a whole. It’s also a tricky army for new players, despite being in the starter boxes. Overall I don’t think there is much debate that Necrons are the worst army to get a book in 9th, and could really use a do-over, which they are unlikely to get soon – despite their amazing miniatures range.

Let us know what you think the worst 9th Edition Armies are, down in the comments!


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