Which Imperial Assassin is the Best?

Hey everyone, Reecius here with a tactica on Imperial Assassins! Which one do I think is the best of the bunch? Read on to find out.

Imperial Assassins have been all the rage lately due to their awesome new rules, generous pricing and the flexibility with which they can be added to an Imperial army for 1CP and 85pts left off of your list. Plus, the models are amazing, their lore is on point and they’re a lot of fun to use. However, there’s been a lot of debate as to which Assassin is the best to pick. While that will ultimately depend on your personal preference, list, play-style, opponent and the terrain you find yourself playing on, let’s dig into my top pick and why.

For reference, I typically play with the execution force as I really enjoy using all of the Assassins. However, by playing with all four on a regular bases I really get a feel for which of them consistently performs the best.

Popular Opinion: Vindicare

The Vindicare is easily the most popular of the Assassins among general consensus. It’s easy to see why, he’s got a lethal long range weapon that ignores invul saves and he’s hard to kill. However, in my experience he’s still very swingy. In a dozen games he’s killed an enemy character in a single shot 3 times. In most games, he only shoots a character a few times as my opponents stay out of line of sight. Plus, when he doesn’t have good targets he just doesn’t do a whole lot, maybe kill an infantry model a turn. Vs. targets that are not Infantry you have to rely on a lot of luck to get any damage out of him. And, pro-tip: the Bike Smash Captain (who is a beast) is not Infantry! You’re wounding them on 4’s or even 5’s in some cases. Any model with a 2+ save also is going to have a 5+ save which with a re-roll bumps up to a roughly 55% chance to stop damage.

So is he bad? Not at all, he’s a great deal for the points and if you find yourself facing lots of squishy characters such as GSC, Astra Militarum, 4 wounds Marine characters, etc., the Vindicare is a great choice. However, when I only can take 1 Assassin, he’s typically my last choice.

Popular Opinion #2: Eversor

The second most popular Assassin I see spoken of is the Eversor. And he’s a beast, no doubt about it. His ability to walk through hordes makes him very appealing and if you find yourself facing Boyz, big units of Guardsmen, Bloodletter Bombs, etc. then he’s a great choice. I really enjoy using my Eversor and he’s typically my number 2 choice for an Assassin when only taking 1. Ironically though, he’s not always that good at killing enemy characters unless they’re quite squishy, he’s more of a supplement to your list for clearing hordes out. Often my lists don’t need that role filled from an Assassin as other units check those boxes, but if you do find yourself needing extra crowd control he’s an awesome choice.

Wildcard: Culexus

The Culexus is so good but often not the best fit in a list, particularly when only taking a single assassin via the stratagem. However, in the right context this is a beast of a model and can really swing the game in your favor if played correctly. When I take the Execution Force, even with no obvious targets the Culexus is amazing for holding objectives and tar-pitting scary units for a few turns. In all: I am never sad I brought her but only choose her if I am facing a psychic heavy army and am only bringing one Assassin along.

callidus assassin 1

Reecius’ Pick: Callidus

The Callidus is my hands down favorite and the Assassin I most frequently take. Why? She consistently kills the most enemy characters in my experience and has proven to be generally the most useful of them all. Now, YMMV of course but in a lot games I find she consistently outperforms the others. The ability to increase CP cost for your opponent cannot be undervalued but really it’s the ability to pop in very close to enemy units, making it almost impossible to screen her out, and then deal serious damage in melee that I find so useful. She can easily kill things like a Smash Captain in a single round of combat. Squishy targets like Astra Militarum characters stand almost no chance against her baring fluky dice, and cannot hide behind walls, etc. as they can vs. a Vindicaire. She’s also no slouch vs. large units. I’ve had her singlehandedly defeat a unit of 15 Bloodletters as just one example. Popular melee units that rely on an invul save and/or FnP such as Genestealers, Ork Boyz, Plague Bearers, etc. find themselves stopping little to no damage from her due to her ignoring invul saves and overcoming FnP with 2 damage per wound.

Plus, the turn after she arrives and typically smokes her target (earning you a CP), she can leave combat and still charge, which is great, or advance and charge, giving her a big threat radius plus it also boosts her melee defense with a -1 to be hit. Her pistol consistently deals mortal wounds to help chew through tougher opponents. Generally speaking she’s my go to girl and I have never been disappointed when I choose her as my solo Assassin. When I take the Execution Force, she’s usually my most impactful of the four. Lastly, she’s also the least CP reliant of the Assassins. She tends to require minimal investment on my part to get maximum results.

Which of the Assassins is your favorite?

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

10 Responses to “Which Imperial Assassin is the Best?”

  1. Jason Wolfe April 8, 2019 5:25 pm #

    If we believe in markets, then the market says that the Callidus is indeed the best. They only very recently got back on Ebay for within $10 of MSRP. They were 3x MSRP for a while there while all the other assassins were available.

    • Reecius April 8, 2019 8:16 pm #

      Once again, I predict market trends =P

  2. Rob Butcher April 9, 2019 12:41 am #

    Using the 1CP you can “take all four” and then deploy what you need according to the enemy faced and mission played. I’m loving that ability as it means I don’t lose a detachment slot.

    • Reecius April 9, 2019 6:48 am #

      Right, it is awesome. That was the idea of the article is which one do you pick? I find myself taking the Callidus most frequently.

  3. nairul April 9, 2019 7:50 am #

    Can Callidus stratagem for -1 to hit be used on the same turn she comes in from deepstrike?

    • Reecius April 9, 2019 8:20 am #

      I believe so, it just says to use it in the movement phase.

      • Schmuvness April 10, 2019 2:19 am #

        It does not work!

        Check out BRB FAQ page 5 top left.

  4. icoop April 9, 2019 1:02 pm #

    I’ve been using the Callidus lately. Mostly I’ve found my opponents not using stratagems on turn 1, and then her failing to kill something T2. At 5As, generally I miss 1, and wounding most enemies on 4, I connect with 2 wounds leaving my enemy standing. The one guy I killed successfully, Yarrick, got back up after she killed him! Her gun is awesome though!

    The Culexus, I’ve had that dude withstand knights on objectives! It’s so cool to watch him go full Lorgar on a knight’s foot.

    • Reecius April 9, 2019 2:29 pm #

      Yeah, Pablo says the same thing: that his Callidus tends to be underwhelming. Mine has been outstanding and with a judicious CP reroll find she tends to kill most things in melee handily, particularly if they’re T3.

      The Culexus is a fantastic Tarpit. I had him hold up a unit of 10 Paladins in one game, lol, it saved me from getting crushed.

  5. Kevin Lantz April 10, 2019 1:19 am #

    I miss the days of having assassins with my tau /cry Imperium gets all the super fun toys.

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