It’s time to look at the winter tier list for Kill Team!
Today’s Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team article covers my Winter 2022/23 tier list! Once again I rank all the teams in the game based off my game knowledge, stats and the latest balance dataslate. I also have the separate Into the Dark tier list 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. Possibly broken but in realty just the best team(s) to play and only really lose to other S Tier teams match-up wise, ergo having very few to no bad match-ups.
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. Commonly finishes a 4 round tournament with a 3-1. 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 Has more bad match-ups than the S and A tiers.
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. These have all been charted by me based on the above factors as well as my tournament experience with the game and the global Kill Team stats by Hotsauceteddy.
Q4 Winter 2022/23 Tier List
The new tier list has had quite a bit of change. S tier has changed a lot while more teams have risen up in other tiers, all thanks to the balance dataslate. Remember, this is for open play and not combined boards or with Into the Dark. Global tournament stats have also dictated some places for me despite general perceived power as well as the new Critical Operations changes.
Pathfinders: Still the best shooting kill team in the game. Losing an operative hurts but you can still spam 5/6 high intensity markerlights. You just have to be more careful. Recon has overall been buffed for larger teams like Pathfinders so that’s another win there. If HIML went to 3EP, then I could see them being A tier.
Gellerpox Infected: (Ross)Gellerpox Infected are still a super strong team. While the range reduction on technocurse hurts, coupled with mutants going down to a 6+ DPR, Gellerpox still are the hardest team to deal with when in your face. Rust Emanations is still amazing and you can potentially get 4 free CP via your leader. An odd opposite of Pathfinders. Plus they get Seek and Destroy as well as Security for some reason.
Imperial Navy Breachers: Breachers are probably the best team in the game right now and it’s bizarre they entirely dodged the latest balance dataslate. They have (deep breath): damage reduction, +1 wounds for 1EP, 12 bodies with +4 saves, immunity/resistance to blast-like attacks, auto hits, super re-rolls for free, auto crits, easy access to +1 APL, GA2 on anyone, unreactable EMP nuke, as well as Security plus Seek and Destroy. They have a lot more but the gist is this kill team has several strong factors that most kill teams have only a part of, yet combined into a single team. They’re not super easy to play but are still very forgiving. I will not be surprised at seeing Breachers dominating the game for the next 3 months.
Hunter Clade: Suffering the biggest changes from their earlier over-buffs, Hunter Clade now sit an interesting position. The team is still strong but no longer intimidatingly so. The team now basically has 3 compositions: 10 operatives with 5 Skitarii comprising of 2 gunners and 5 assassins, 11 operatives with 7 Skitarii and 2 gunners then 4 assassins or 8 Skitarii with 3 gunners and 3 assassins. They still mince elite teams and the Tac Op buffs help them tons too. You just gotta be smart with how you build your kill team each game now.
Wyrmblade: Still a very strong kill team that struggles with S tier mostly. The changes to Tac Ops help them a lot as well as the new missions. Still need to be very good with them and basically make no mistakes as you’ll basically lose if your Cult Agents go down early.
Legionary: Being carried hard by Mark of Nurgle but a strong kill team regardless. No real change here, forgiving to use and tough to face with great Tac Ops. Plus they love fighting Intercession.
Blooded: A good kill team that now loves the Seek and Destroy changes. Not undefeatable but overall has a lot of good matchups into most of the meta now.
Void-Dance Troupe: Harlequins still rock out in A tier, they’re just naitively strong. Domino Field change doesn’t hurt too much with the extra CP and while they can only pick 1 faction Tac Op, all their other archetypes have basically been buffed.
Elucidian Starstriders: Probably S tier now but playing it safe. Got the required buffs the team needed and then the bizarre decision to make all support assets hit on 3+. If it was just the lance strike, I think it would be fine but the blast blue attack hitting on 3+ is way too much. Still, a very good kill team with lots of tricks. Wouldn’t be surprised if they end up getting a crazy winrate for the next quarter.
Intercession Squad: While their chapter tactics may need some tweaks, the most popular kill team in the game remains solid A. Intercession are a big wall for a lot of teams, only shyly missing out on S tier due to the S tier themselves as well as more kill teams getting tools to deal with tanky opponents such as these Primaris marines.
Farstalker Kinband: While the Kroot got some craaaaazy buffs, they’re still a solid A for me. They remain with flaws like no high burst damage, relying on consistent mid-damage via GA2 etc. The team now has so many tools and love the extra CP plus Tac Op changes. Very viable and should have been like this on launch. Just watch out for anyone with damage reduction.
Deathguard: No real change. Live and die based off their DPRs but solid nonetheless.
Hive Fleet: Tyranids remain the same as always, a Xenos toolbox that just wants a bespoke update. Love the new Tac Op changes.
Imperial Guard: Strong as always and dodged the balance dataslate erasure. So basically, the bane of all Kasrkin.
Kommandos: Aged but solid, these Orks remain unchanged too. Would like to see some buffs but remain a respectable kill team.
Veteran Guardsmen: Probably more for A tier with all the game changes but putting them here for now based mainly on their global winrate. Vet Guard are still an incredibly good team but you have to be very practiced with them to do well. Still, never underestimate them.
Novitiates: These nuns-in-training remain solid B. Still got the best dice manipulation in the game but the rise of more hard counters hurts a little too much.
Warp Coven: Probably still the most complex team to play. The Rubric buffs remain good but the kill team just lacks something for open play. Also those darn Pathfinders still exist.
Corsair Voidscarred: These Aeldari pirates remain perfectly balanced, as all things should be. While I want them to get buffed, I think any buff could break them. Recon got hurt a lot for them but their hyper-aggro Seek and Destroy style got buffed far more. Ignore Light Fingers, command re-roll is where it’s at.
Talons of the Emperor: Still solid. Just give Custodes 4 APL.
Sisters of Battle: Remain exactly the same too, a very solid kill team.
Heretic Astartes: Honestly thought these would get removed now we have Legionary and Blooded but still solid. 3 CSM and 8 Cultists still has some play.
Grey Knights: I’ve been convinced by Chaos Gate Daemonhunter that these guys need a bespoke update now. Still good, especially on more open boards.
Deathwatch: Should also be their own bespoke team, remains very solid.
Scouts: 10 Scouts will always be a very balanced kill team.
Aeldari: With the extra body rule, all Eldar kill teams still remain good. Just not as powerful as their bespoke alternatives.
Drukhari: Living on 10 Kabilites with 2 Blasters and a Splinter Cannon. Wyches flex for melee threat too. One day we’ll get a bespoke team.
Phobos Strike Team: Honestly, I guess they’re C tier now? I can see D tier arguments but placing this team any higher still feels wrong to me. Lack consistent damage and any sort of damage reduction makes them cry. Oddly, Phobos are the best kill team at ensuring scoring Seek and Destroy Tac Ops due to their delay ability.
Hierotek Circle: Look, I love Necrons but these guys are just playable now. Still struggle to play against the other bespoke teams due to basically having the Crytpek carrying 5 other Immortals while 2 Plasmacytes cheer you on. They get a lot of needed buffs in the last balance dataslate but still need more.
Kasrkin: Boxed in by how elite points work, Kasrkin sit in this weird middle-ground. They do well against elite teams, especially Intercession, but struggle vs larger team. Also lost the reliability of their faction Tac Ops now that they can only select one.
Chaos Daemons: Even with 12 Daemons, they struggle against a lot of the bespoke teams. Their shooting just isn’t as good as it was due the state of shooting power currently.
Space Marines: Just play Intercession.
Genestealer Cults: Even if you love the more monstrous mutants, Wyrmblade are just better.
Orks: Yeah they have some meme builds but Kommandos are just better.
Tau: Just play Pathfinders. Stealth Suits aren’t going to be a thing, stop trying to make them a thing. Oddly Breachers are quite fun on ITD.
Kroot: Time to retire this golden kill team for the Farstalker Kinband.
Necrons: Despite how Hierotek are, they’re still better than Compendium Necrones. Well, except in melee.
Into the Dark Tier List
Here’s my third ITD tier list. Compared to open play, the S tier is much further apart from the A and other tiers. The change to forward deploys mean Hunter Clade and Commandos drop out of S tier. A tier is a little more packed but a lot of compendium teams are more viable in ITD. Phobos are strictly worse on ITD but that’s more due to how this game mode works than them. Daemons become much more viable as always while Startriders kinda laugh through games with their support assets (support assets should not work for ITD unless it causes everyone to die as the killzone collapses on everyone). Farstalker Kinband are actually weaker on ITD but still remain in A tier. Warp Coven are also much better here now, they love ITD.
Q4 Winter 2022/23 Tier List Overview
Another year and another tier list come to an end. Overall, the game is in a really healthy spot currently. The only real outliers are the S tier (especially Breachers) and probably Starstriders with their support assets all hitting on 3s. Still, the new missions and re-balanced Tac Ops make for a very interesting upcoming 3 months of Kill Team. For open play, tiers are very close together for the most part and player skill is still a huge factor for winning. With tons of major events happening in Q1 for 2023, I’m excited to see how the game evolves!
Before I go, feel free to check out my Discord as well as my Patreon if you want to give me some more support!
So remember, until next time, no matter what the tiers say, stay away from tier 15 and you’ll always be able to roll a crit!