It’s time to look at a summer tier list for Kill Team!
Today’s Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team articel is a new tier list! This is based upon the past 3 months of play along with my own experience in tournaments, the balance dataslate and worldwide tournament stats. Who will shape up as the winners and losers over the most recent period of play? Have elite kill teams finally taken dominance of the meta and how much does the grenade change affect the game? I also have a bonus Into the Dark tier list as I try to predict the future as well!
If you want, I’ve done a more in-depth video on the subject which you can watch here:
Explaining the Tiers
So the tiers are pretty simple:
S Tier – A super strong kill team, one you’re very likely to see at a tournament that will definitely make the top cut and/or win an event too. Debateably broken but just the best team(s) to play and only really lose to other S Tier teams match-up wise.
A Tier – A very strong kill team. Very likely to be seen in a tournament that will make a top cut and even win the whole thing. Not as strong as a S Tier kill team but one you have to definitely keep in-mind for when aiming to play competitively.
B Tier – A strong kill team. Likely to be seen in tournaments and can make a top cut. Could win as well but not reliably. Definitely a team you need to remember for when playing in events.
C Tier – An average kill team. Usually should be able to go 2 wins 2 losses in a 4 round tournament. May make the top cut but unlikely to win. You may need to remember these teams for events but it’s not a necessity.
D Tier- Bad kill teams. Weak due to either poor rules or mechanics. Unlikely to win with, commonly going 1 win and 3 losses at an event.
E Tier – Just…bad. Like a D Tier but worse. Desperately need buffs. You may not win games, but you’ll win the hearts of your opponents.
As a side note, I will not be including kill teams which have been replaced as per the balance dataslate. This may upset some people but this tier list is mainly for competitive play.
Also tiers do not represent skill. Someone who has spent a long time playing the same lower tier kill team is likely to beat someone hopping onto a higher tier one for the first time. This is just a general guide for players trying to find what the best kill team is for them to play or to watch out for at tournaments.
The Q2 Tier List
So here’s what it looks like now. The S Tier remains unchanged but A and B tiers have moved around a bit. I’ll go over the changes within each tier. The change to grenades massively effects the game but it’ll still take some time for it to settle and see how it actually interacts with the meta. It would have been easier if the Q2 balance dataslate dropped mid June instead of end of June but seeing how the meta evolves will be an interesting watch.
Noviates: No nerfs, grenade change is a buff thanks to blinding aura so they’re even harder to shoot now. You still have lots of acts of faith to easily manipulate dice rolls, almost eliminating the need to roll dice in a sense. 10 operatives, free ceaseless on multiple operatives that hit on 2s, good Tac Ops and security. Just hard to beat.
Veteran Guardsmen: Going from 3 to 1 krak grenades hurts but they’re still the best 14 operative kill team in the game. Play the missions well, got security, strong operatives and combos. You still have the Spotter’s unchanged ability of flipping almost anyone’s conceal order for you to shoot apart. GA2 krak spam is gone but you can still krak and Frag etc. Very good kill team.
Void-Dancer Troupe: Despite the balance dataslate changes, Jest still shuts down operatives who don’t have access to lethal 5+ or re-rolls, you still get 1 extra CP from completing your Saedeth and everyone has a +4 invun, fly and APL3. Best faction Tac Ops in the game, arguable the most efficient Tac Op scoring team in the game. Fast, strong, flexible and still have lots of rules to ignore core parts of the game. Also love the grenade change as facing 1 krak grenade is much more tolerable than 2 or 3.
Pathfinders: Still the best shooting kill team in the game. Anyone with 3 markerlights makes even a normal Pathfinder a deadly attacker. You have 13 operatives and are the only 10+ kill team in the game that can do 13 singular activations to ensure you activate last etc. Even with the changes they received in Q1, they define the game and are a real hard counter to any elite team in their current form.
Legionary: I was being mean last time and should have put them in B instead of C but Legionary are definitely A Tier. While people argue they should be S, which is a little understandable from their winrates, Legionary will still struggle against a lot of the S Tier, especially while most of the missions are 6 objective ones. However, pure Nurgle is now arguably the best way to go with them with the grenade change. Possibly too strong and we could see a potential nerf in Q3 if Legionary outperform everyone (they were the best performing KT in July). Still, a great kill team with 6 operatives that can all function independently while tanking a huge amount of damage.
Hunter Clade: I was actually going to put them in B Tier originally but considering how everyone else is putting them in S Tier, I feel A is a good compromise for now. Has this kill team been over-buffed? Most likely, yes. The change to imperatives is great and the unlocking of all 3 gunners would be enough on its own. Adding an extra operative as well is highly questionable considering Hunter Clade were hitting 40% winrates for May and June. Still, they have weakness with not being that great at scoring recon (not the best but not the worst either) and poor faction Tac Ops. I can see why people think they are so strong/overpowered now but I’m not sure their winrate will jump as much due to the high money cost to make this kill team. Bottom line: very good now, likely too good but time will tell.
Voidscarred Corsairs: Probably should be in B Tier but I still think this Aeldari pirates have what it takes to work in A Tier. Tac Ops aren’t great but you can be really fast and aggressive with this kill team. Great at playing the missions and doing burst damage. I’d love to see them get an extra warrior or the ability to take both gunner and heavy gunner.
Warpcoven: Warpcoven are still a very strong A Tier team. Great board control with their ability to effectively shutdown the bonus movement from dashes and charges while also having 3 great Psykers and a deadly Soulreaper Cannon. Still fearful of the S Tier teams but it’s not so bad now. The main weakness of the team is how much practice and preparation you have to put into them which isn’t really a bad thing at all.
Wyrmblade: A team that had tons of popularity which dropped off quite soon after release. They’re still a strong team that will catch out unprepared opponents. Even prepared ones won’t have an easy battle. Great shooting with super powerful cult operatives. Needs careful planning but you can do some great board control with this kill team.
Ork Kommandos: Sadly Kommandos have dropped down from A into B. While still really good and having respectable tournament results, overall the kill team has taken quite a hit in performance. They like the grenade change but they’re fighting against a lot of good teams who have received no nerfs. I could see them performing better in Q3 but Kommandos are still a great starting out team for new players while also having lots of sneaky tricks to make them a real threat.
Astra Militarum: Compendium Guard are actually really good, mainly due to how Scions work now. Security, flexible and strong. Although they don’t like the loss of krak spam. However, still a very threatening team that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Hive Fleet: Tyranids are strong and could arguably be in A Tier now with the grenade change. Fast and even more resilient to shooting, who will especially love if the meta shifts to an overall melee focus. The only difficult question is how you do your roster.
Drukhari: Drukhari are solid B Tier, missing only a few rules to make them a full bespoke team. They can make a dominating shooting team with 2 blasters and a heavy weapon or mix it up with Wyches. Fast, oddly resilient at times and just good.
Grey Knights: Still a really strong Space Marine team thanks to relentless bolters and all effectively having power weapons. Sparse boards are their dream. Have psychic powers to boot.
Phobos Strike Team: They’re good but they’re the main team that loves and hates the krak grenade change. With only 1 krak, I can’t see how they can beat Legionary which is now probably the worst match-up in the entire game. Sure, no one can spam kraks at them but overall their ranged damage is 3/4 and their best shooting damage is from the Saboteur. Yeah, Phobos Strike team has a lot of great strategies and synergies but a single mistake can cost you the game.
Death Guard: So these guys are in a weird spot for me. Depending on the mission and how well your Disgustingly Resilient rolls go this team swings from B to D tier. I think C is a fair middle-ground. They’re definitely more of a team you take if you can see the missions upfront for a tournament but they’re tough with decent Tac Op selections. Hope your Disgustingly Resilient rolls are hot and you play on missions with 5 or less objectives.
Talons of the Emperor: Shockingly dodging getting 4 APL back (which is a good thing, personally), Talons are middle of the road currently. Not bad but not great either. With the grenade change you might perhaps see more of them but I feel the A and S Tier kill teams can safely handle them for the most part.
Ecclesiarchy: Sisters are still a decently powerful kill team. Can’t be underestimated but not the best either. No real change.
Traitor Space Marines: Basically in C Tier because you can take 8 Cultist with 3 CSM. They give some great board control along with forward deployment tricks. Legionary are still better but compendium Chaos aren’t a bad pick at all.
Scouts: They’re so different from Space Marines that they need their own place. Great shooting, 10 operatives, surprisingly flexible. Just a solid kill team.
Brood Coven: Wyrmblade are just better but compendium GSC are still a solid shout thanks to access to Acolyte and Metamorph Hybrids.
Craftworlds: They still hang into C Tier, just. Going from 5 plasma grenades to 1 probably kills the faction but it was a meme build anyway. They not terrible but they’re not the best either when Corsairs and Troupe offer much better tools and tricks.
Orks: I forgot them last time but they’re C Tier. Kommandos are better. If you can take 18 Grots then they probably go to B Tier due to meme status but until then, C Tier.
Deathwatch: Could see these in B Tier and I know some players even argue that they’re better than Phobos Strike Team. You have very unique operatives that do shooting and combat pretty well. A very nice kill team that I can see rising in power with the grenade change.
Blooded Kill Team: The worst bespoke kill team in the game. Originally I would have said they were one of the best B Tier kill teams. Now that they’ve gone from 4 krak grenades to 1, they’re…not good. A melee team with no movement tricks and a slow trickle of blooded tokens. At least running up with 4 kraks and the Ogryn etc was actually quite a threat. Just such a shame to see them nerfed so hard so quickly after release. I know a lot of people have now abandoned the kill team due to the Q2 balance dataslate. They do need buffs but if they get buffed like Hunter Clade, maybe it’s better if they stay as they are for now? Also just play Veteran Guardsmen instead (sorry).
Chaos Daemons: They’re solid and if it was a compendium only meta, they’d be C Tier. Bespoke teams and overall strength of shooting just pins them down too much.
Space Marines: Just play Phobos Strike Team instead. We can dream that 5 Heavy Intercessors will someday become meta again but those are foolish dreams! Hopefully we get a White Dwarf Intercessor team though.
Necrons: I love Necrons and they have some of the best shooting in the game. However when your movement is 2 white and going to 3 white costs a CP while limiting your ability to do mission actions AND you can still get injured to go down to 1 white movement…there’s just only so much a player can do. Hopefully they get a bespoke team soon.
Hunter Cadre: Just play Pathfinders. Stealthsuits are okay and won’t get 3 APL (probably because they’d be too strong with it). Outclassed in every way by their bespoke version.
Cadre Mercenary: Kroot are still not in a good spot but fear not! The new Kroot team is likely to be great and they look amazing. Let’s just all combine our power and hope for a plastic Krootox for them too.
Into the Dark Tier List
This is just entirely for fun and assuming Into the Dark season will play very close to Arena from Kill Team 2018 (basically heavily melee focused). Needs some work and would probably split the S Tier in half to move everyone down a tier. Still pretty close. Obviously all melee teams will be super strong here, even compendium ones. Blood also get a boost due to being almost impossible to shoot apart first. Novitiates are slightly worse due to their weakness of melee but are still decent. Fear 4 Custodes with Storm Shields though.
Tier List Overview
That’s pretty much it. A more reserved take on my end, using mainly tournament stats to help shape my findings on top of my own in-game experience. I could see Legionary and Hunter Clade rising in power but only time will tell as the grenade change will force a lot of players to play Kill Team entirely differently. Still, I feel the current top teams are defendably unchanged. As I said with the stats, it will be interesting to see how the next quarter plays out and overall the game is pretty balanced.
So until next time, no matter what the tiers say, you can always roll a crit!
3 thoughts on “Kill Team Q2 2022 Tier List”
Great article but you forgot thousand sons compendium team
They’re removed from Competitive Play as per the balance dataslate