This Week in the ITC 9-13-18: 4 Months from the Las Vegas Open and the End of the Season.

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!

We are about 2/3 of the way through this season, and the Las Vegas Open, the end of the ITC season, is coming up! There are still a few tickets left, by the way, thanks to FLG expanding the event this year! With the season entering its final stages I thought this would be a good time to look back at the evolution of the top ten in the ITC, for how long I have been doing these articles and maybe add few a predictions for how it all could shake out!

A little while back someone commented on one of these articles that they would love to see me post up the different top tens throughout my time writing these articles so we can see how the top 10 has ebbed and flowed. I began writing these articles for Reece and Frankie in March, a month after we had put LVO in the books and the season was just getting underway. If you’ve been reading these you’ll know I have done a lot of different versions, one was close to 4000 words I think because of the interviews. Some have been light on commentary and heavy on the charts. Below you’re going to find the different top 10s in picture form.

March 15

April 5th

April 19

May 3

May 10th

May 17

May 24

May 31

June 8

June 14

June 21

June 28

July 5

July 12

July 26

August 2

August 9

August 23

September 13

Looking through those standings from the past 5 and half months or so it’s an impressive gathering of 40k heavyweights. Many of the big names have been on almost the whole time, notable Matt Root, Josh Death, and Geoff Robinson. Other big names have come and gone, then some have come back again! At one point both the Bowmans were in the top 10, Don Hooson has been on and off the list, Nick Rose, Daniel Olivas, Daniel Sansone, Anthony Bellm, Mitch Pelham, Nick Gower, TJ Lanigan, John Lennon, Bruce Merker, Jared Friedman, and many more players. There’s even been a healthy spread of armies in the top 10, played with great success by several players. At one point there was even Index Tau being played in the top 10! Custodes, Chaos Marines, Chaos Daemons, Death Guard, Astramilitarum, Imperium, Aeldari of all stripes, Dhrukhari, Tyranids, Index Necrons, the list goes on in this regard too.

Looking at all these standings I can’t help but feel like the big picture, and long-term view, of the Competitive 40k meta, gets lost a lot. Particularly on the echo chamber susceptible corners of the internet. If you look at several of the faction specific Facebook Groups you might be led to believe, after spending a bit of time in their particular echo chamber, that they’re faction is much maligned and simply not good competitively. That their codex is an untenable mess, handed down by poor playtesters, or fallen to the whims of the capricious gods of the independent tournament missions. That simply isn’t true for the most part when you look at the ITC as a whole. It’s a massive amount of information to look at, but if you judge the health of the game by the variety of armies played by the best players in the world each season then I must say the diversity in the top 10 consistently throughout the season thus far indicates the game, and it’s competitive meta, is quite healthy. We see fluctuations in the meta from event to event, and some armies might run hot and cold for a month or so at a time, but no single army has been able to completely dominate the top 10 in the ITC.

The last top 10 posted above is the most current. There have been some big shifts lately. Most notably Nick Nanavati shooting into the top spot with a hefty 755.16 points on the back of a strong NOVA showing, and a number one at Wargames Con. Mike Porter and Trent Northington continue to have a stronghold in the top 5 along with Matt Root. All of whom are either over 700 points or within 9 points of that feat. The remainder of the top ten is now players of fame within the Competitive 40k community. As the season begins to wrap up and the final push is coming from the best of the best to get the title we now have Archon Skari (not his real name), Josh Death, Nick Rose, Geoff Robinson, Nick Gower, and Don Hooson finishing the top 10. Going forward it will be interesting to follow the top 10 into LVO. I don’t know how many of the top 10 have big events left on their calendars this season nor which of these players will make the Las Vegas Open. The scores are close enough right now that if any one of them were to play in the Las Vegas Open and win it, they would also take home the ITC 2018 Season Champion title. It’s going to be exciting the next few months!

As usual let me know what you though, and if you have any ideas of what you’d like to see me write up about the ITC season I welcome the advice! This article is a direct result of feedback I got in the comments of one of these articles!

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.

14 Responses to “This Week in the ITC 9-13-18: 4 Months from the Las Vegas Open and the End of the Season.”

  1. Davis Centis September 13, 2018 6:40 am #

    A lot of people complain and cry out that things are broken, but really, it’s pretty far from broken. Knights + Slam Captains + Loyal 32 have come, but can they keep the top spot? When I think back about the number of “OMG, This is so Broke, Nerfbat Please!” winning lists over just the past year…

    #1 – Smite Spam.
    #2 – Imperial Soup.
    #3 – Assassin Spam.
    #4 – Poxwalker Blossom.
    #5 – Guard Mortars raining untold death.
    #6 – Alaitoc Dark Reapers.
    #7 – Custode Bikers + Loyal 32.
    #8 – Agents of Vect.
    #9 – Aeldari Soup.
    #10 – Knights+Slam Cap+Loyal 32

    Like, really, this has been about 1 a month. That’s fantastic. Sure, some of these did get hit by nerf-bats, but really, that’s still 8 very different lists that were “the top list”. That’s not to even mention the ones juuust below that, like Bash Bros, Daemon Prince spam, Tyranid hordes, Flyrant spam, Deathwatch, Coldstar Commander spam, Gulliman leading Ultras, Alpha Legion Zerkers, etc.

    40k meta is very healthy, if swingy. Right now, if GW is seeking to improve, it should be on play experience. Like, personally, I don’t like Knights dominating the scene, because I don’t like Epic 40k being Standard 40k. That’s it. It’s totally a personal preference, and nothing to do with whether or not that’s actually health for the environment. I prefer to see infantry on the ground, and they’re getting fewer and fewer again because other stuff keeps getting better. I would like to see Command Points looked at, because obviously the Loyal 32 showing up in every Imperial army due to being better strategic geniuses than Gulliman hurts the Ultra brand. These are minor things in the grand scheme of things. The tournament scene, meanwhile, is very healthy. You really need to do well against a wide arrangement of opponents to claim the top spot. There’s no single unbeatable list.

    • SaltyJohn September 13, 2018 6:42 am #

      Exactly, well put.

    • Ujayim September 13, 2018 7:27 am #

      This. The meta is amazing right now, and Knights are still flavor of the month. We saw the same over saturation when Custodes first came out.

      They’re relatively cheap to add, army wise (Especially after Knights Renegade, where you got 2 knights for the price of one) and easy to get built and painted.

      I’m fearing a dramatic overswing from GW, as we’ve seen a few times, but only time will tell.

      • SaltyJohn September 13, 2018 7:49 am #

        I’m hoping the playtesters who help them understand, and are taken seriously enough when it comes to the FAQs that any overswing can be mitigated. We’ll see.

        • Ujayim September 13, 2018 7:58 am #

          Well, it seems like there’s been lots of community backlash from some of the “ovearreach” we’ve seen, so hopefully they do start to take them more seriously.

          • rvd1ofakind September 13, 2018 11:01 pm

            The problem is that top players who play the list admit that they do not like it (the Castellan list) and that it is really gamebreaking (CP farm, 3++ T8 28W, smashcaptains always killing 3x over their points). That’s what I’ve gathered from listening to podcasts and interviews.

          • rvd1ofakind September 13, 2018 11:12 pm

            The only reason they are not more vocal about it is because, in their opinion, without that list Imperium cannot compete against team eldar and team chaos (to a lesser extent).

          • Zweischneid September 14, 2018 12:13 am

            Not true. Custodes and pure Ultramarines all made it into the Top Bracket of Nova without the Castellan.

            That’s more non-Castellan Imperium in the Top than Team Eldar.

            And even so. The Castellan list can remain a viable option as long as it’s balanced against all other books, incuding Eldar and Chaos as well as Grey Knights or Deathwatch or Harlequins.

            “Balance” doesn’t mean there’s one or two counters. Balance means it’s a, given roughly equal skill of players”, toss-up match against ALL books out there.

          • rvd1ofakind September 14, 2018 12:40 am

            I’m just saying what top players have been saying on podcasts… /shrug

            Also top 3 was the same Castellan list so…

    • Kevin Lantz September 14, 2018 12:51 am #

      In other words
      evil imperium
      evil imperium

      • abusepuppy September 14, 2018 6:30 am #

        Thanks for listing the factions in the game for us.

        • Dakkath September 14, 2018 7:36 am #


  2. Reecius September 13, 2018 12:18 pm #

    Going to be an exciting finish to the season! Still have some big events to come including SoCal Open which will throw up some big scores.

  3. Nick W September 14, 2018 10:35 am #

    After Adepticon I think listed all factions and average placement, and they did the same thing with NOVA, BAO, and some others. Regarding Space Marines, they did terrible at BAO but have otherwise been just mediocre. Maybe the worst problem they have is being boring?

    They did barely above average at NOVA, a bit bellow average at Adepticon, a bit above average at WZ:Atlanta, well bellow average at BAO.

    I think that GW generally wants that. A bunch of armies in the big fat middle. So when nerfs come, I expect highrisers to get more Nerfs than for mediocre armies to get buffs. Once the highrisers are nerfer, if armies like Necrons are still struggling then the buff bat comes out.

Leave a Reply