This Week in the ITC 6-8-18

Hello, fellow Warhammer 40k fans! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio, and one of the Las Vegas Open Head Judges, here to bring you a wrap up of this week in the ITC!

This week for my article I wanted to focus on a few unique items that I haven’t really covered in detail before. I have some photos of armies from the new ITC Hobby Tracker! Provided by people on the list. I also have some information regarding what the Canadian Region is like in the ITC from a loyal Canadian reader who offered to give me some info on that region. Before that though, let’s start as we usually do with a look at the top 10!

It’s been pretty amazing seeing the top 10 develop and change. There’s quite a gap developing between the players in the top 5 with Matt Root now well ahead of Mitch Pelham in 5th and 60ish points ahead of Josh Death in 2nd. It’s going to be an exciting sprint to the finish this year at LVO 2019, which is already sold out for 40k Championships by the way!

I spoke to Paul Mckelvey recently about Best Coast Pairings and all they’ve been working on lately. If you’re not aware they now offer more tracking than just Age of Sigmar, 40k, and Hobby Tracker for the ITC. They have multiple game systems supported now and they’re even working on integrating Magic the Gathering. Head over to their site and check out all they’ve been working on!

First up here is a look at the ITC Hobby Tracker Top 10 as of today.

Here are a few armies from high ranked players on the Hobby Tracker. First up we have Anthony Cedeno, or Deno, and his beautiful Gold Necrons that are putting my GoldCron project to shame!

Next up we have a beautiful Aeldari submission from James Kelling.

Thank you to Devin Kruchio for responding to me regarding getting information on the Regions in the ITC I am not as familiar with. It is one thing to discuss who is winning which regions and what they’re playing but it’s another thing entirely to discuss it outside a vacuum by looking at it with relevant info about the region itself.

Top 10 in the Canadian Region

According to Devin:

So Canada. Let’s start off with the fact we don’t have nearly as many RTTs, GT’s or Majors. I have attended almost all the ITC tracked events in my area and south of the border since January and I still have only gone to 4 events. Canada is hurting for more events and hopefully with the rise of 8th more places will be willing to register in events. Even with a small pool to gather from one thing is clear, there were a few common similarities to the States. We take strong units with good synergies but most lists I have seen usually add a bit of unique flair or an attempt to move towards a new meta with a unit that tries to GOTCHA your opponents. Most top lists were PRE FAQ were usually Eldar using the shining spears and dark reaper shenanigans with a VERY strong back bone of Imperial soup lists. Most Soups ran a battalion of guard for cheap CP and replenishment tied in with either Custodes or Blood Angels. One Tau list got second at Wet Coast major using the good ol‘ drone soak trick and blasting away its opponents. But also some Space Marine lists topped in pre FAQ as well with Guilliman gunline and an interesting Black Templar mix focused on limiting secondaries for their opponents. 
Post FAQ was definitely a huge change. Im sure this wont come as a surprise that Drukhari and Necrons were running rampant. On the west side a huge surge of these lists are coming out. Doomsday arks, venoms, wyches OH MY! Lets not forget Tesseracts as well too…Most of the lists spam these units. I’d definitely say picking efficient units opponents find it hard to score against is pretty common on the west coast of Canada for sure. I had to travel down to the states to get into an RTT . This was deep into Mugu Legion territory where skilled players Mitch Pelham and Jean Paul Mawet thrive. I’d say the meta wasn’t all too different from our own. Most people cut the flavour but added in multiple units that were efficient. I would say that the main key difference is less spammy and more focused on units that do a crap ton of damage before they roll over. Canada loves its spam just as much as the EU though. Got a unit that scores objectives and can dish out some damage? Lets use a bunch of those instead of unique situational units that play cagey. Another thing Canada and USA has in common is it’s lots of the same armies dominating both our meta’s. Drukhari, necrons, eldar, and custodes are definitely up there. Deathguard… not so much anymore post FAQ. Similarily, most armies are either gunlines, or mass assault ones that have some unique way to get 1st turn assaults.. I am looking at you Tyranids!
So that leads up to Deathguard. How I ran pre FAQ was mostly a bunch of Plagueburst Crawlers and Foetid Bloat drones with some hammer type unit like a tzaangor bomb. It served me quite well as it helped me get 3 Wins at an RTT in Mugu legion territory and undefeated streaks in the north after my first major- Wet Coast where i went 4W1L. Thannnnnn boom. FAQ drop. Only allowed 3 PBC’s now.. okay no problem. Only allowed to deepstrike aggressive turn 2 with Tzaangors or Blood letters.. Okay slow down a bit. You can’t warptime a unit after it has deepstrike… yeap my whole list pre FAQ got smashed. Not the only one who got hit with the nerf bat but what is a poor oldeathguard guy to do? I mean even our pox farm got smacked down; however, the biggest thing that deathguard is good at is.. well… not dying or dying so slow your opponents would want to gouge out their eyes. 
So not a bad start but the deathguard faction has a huge pitfall, it is VERY slow. Like Glacier. Like your grandmother with a busted hip could walk faster than those deathguard units trying to move up the field. So I find deathguard in conjunction with daemons to be quite a nice fit. I have considered an airwing detachment of Helldrakes for mobility. The only thing really holding me back is that if you can’t fit your base on a top deck of ruins.. you can’t charge a unit up there. So dark reapers or banner backed missile launcher spacemarine spam is annoying to deal with even with Helldrakes charging first turn with their nifty 30″ movement. Units that have traits that give them -1 to hit… plagueburst crawlers mortars already hit on 4’s without moving so if you move then mortar you will need 6’s. Daemons though. These guys are just as annoying as deathguard especially if nurgle. Moving forward I have found 5-7man groups of nurglings are hard to budge and make your opponents over commit to bump them off objectives. Plague drones are an absolute STEAL for the point cost and they are useful for tying up stuff, scoring recon or even behind enemy lines if you got the list to do it. Most of all, blood letter bombs are definitely one of the most effective ways to get deep into your opponents lines if they are careless and are amazing at stealing objectives because of their amount of bodies. Most games Blood letters pull a maneuver that help my primarily deathguard army pull ahead. 
TLDR; plagueburst crawlers are still good, foetid bloat drones are still good, but you need faster units to help compliment your slow stuff. Using infiltrators and plague drones with the fly keyword really move up fast enough to make the difference. BL bomb to help add some AP really gives a nurgle bro a boost. I plan on trialing more until I get more comfy with the meta but I expect to see at least some of these units in most deathguard lists. Deathguard is in a tough place right now, we don’t have that many high AP guns worth the points and we are slow, poxwalkers are still nice to have to sit on objectives but unless you take 19 or less in a unit you are handing over Reaper points on a silver platter. 
I imagine in the future that deathguard players take some of these units: 3 PBC, 2-3 foetid bloat drones, 2-3 Daemon prince of Nurgle, Hellforged Leviathans, poxwalkers, blight launcher plaguemarines, Hellforged Termites, or Foul Blightspawns. Why hellforged termites? They are kind of similar to the PBC spam as there is no limit to them and you can dish out some mortal wounds when they Deep Strike in or with auto blowing them up stratagem for each unit within 2D6″ suffers D6 mortals. Leviathans and butcher cannons are actually not bad, just dont over invest.. 1-2 tops! They can hide behind a building and pop out on your turn to dish out damage without heavy weapon move penalty (thanks DG trait). Foulblight spawns are extremely undervalued. For dirt cheap you have a guy with a nasty flamer. If you can move him up into midfield somehow in either a termite or rhino.. he might catch a few opponents with their pants down. 
That was a lot of really great information Devin took the time to provide us all with regarding Canada and the successes he has had with Death Guard so far this season! Thanks for taking the time!
I have had a few responses from top-ranked ITC players, thank you for reaching out to me and providing feedback! If you’re ranked in the top 10 or in the top spot for your faction or Region please contact me! I want to hear from you and let the readers know a bit more about you and your success in the ITC so far this season! You can contact me via the SaltyJohn Facebook page or my personal email.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

2 Responses to “This Week in the ITC 6-8-18”

  1. Reecius June 8, 2018 12:19 pm #

    Great article, John. It was awesome to see some of those hobby track armies! I hope to get more of those as we go as I love seeing how people get creative with their armies.

    And cool to read up on the Canadian scene, too. Hopefully we get more reports like this from other parts of the world.

  2. GreenInk June 9, 2018 2:55 am #

    Great to see a write up on Canada and photos from the hobby track. Would be great to see an article on the UK now that the scene is finally starting to kick off. There’s even a UK team in the top 5 now!

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