Faction Focus: Grey Knights

Today’s faction focus, courtesy of the Warhammer-community team, shines a ligh on how Grey Knights will function in 9th ed 40k!

Behold the Emperor’s Gift, as today’s Faction Focus stars the indomitable Grey Knights. Advising us in all things Daemon-slaying is playtester and honorary Purifier Jesse Sell, who will be discussing how to bring the Emperor’s judgement upon those who consort with the dread powers of the warp in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. Ready your Nemesis weapon of choice and prepare to purge some neverborn!

Who Are They?

The Grey Knights were founded in secrecy to be the bane of Daemons. From their hidden moon of Titan, they are trained harder and more strictly than any other Chapter of Space Marines, for they must face the deadliest foes of Mankind in battle time and again, often against seemingly impossible odds. What’s more, the Grey Knights recruit exclusively from psykers, so must be adamantium in mind as well as body. Though the ferocity of this training leads to an appalling fatality rate among its aspirants, its effectiveness is beyond reproach, for not a single Grey Knight has ever fallen from grace and given in to the temptations of the Dark Gods.

The Grey Knights are clad in power armour laced with a psychic matrix called an aegis, which helps to protect them against the perils of warp-born sorcery. They wield deadly Nemesis weapons, individually crafted for each warrior to help them channel their own psychic abilities into devastating attacks that tear their targets apart from within. The Grey Knights also learn to wield their powers as one, with each squad forming a deadly brotherhood of Space Marine psykers that can blast their foes with righteous flame or augment their formidable physical abilities further still. Though few in number, they are the Imperium’s only true hope against the dark powers of the warp.

How They Play in the New Edition

Playtester and tournament veteran Jesse Sell has been deep in prayer, psychically communing with the Emperor for guidance on how to dominate the battlefield of the 41st Millennium with the Grey Knights in the new edition. Here’s what was revealed to him.

Jesse: Hi all! Jesse here, one of the Warhammer 40,000 playtesters from sunny California. Grey Knights have been a favourite of mine for a long time – participating in every phase of the game means more fun out of every turn. You should expect to see plenty of Grey Knights armies at your local events since they’re super-strong coming into the new edition. There are plenty of ways to play Grey Knights, and they’ve improved in every area!

The change to army composition and Command points does so many favours for the Grey Knights that your head will likely be spinning from the possibilities, as they have one of the strongest sets of Stratagems available to any army. This would often lead to the first couple of turns eating up most of your CPs, but with the new baseline of 12 CPs in Strike Force games and the stellar Troops options for the Grey Knights, you’ll be able to keep the pressure up for the whole game!

The ability to participate in every phase of the game means you pay a premium in points for your Grey Knights, so it’s essential to make use of every unit diligently. Misplacing a squad or vehicle means you’ve wasted a much larger portion of your force than those of your opponents. Keep in mind that almost every unit you field should be casting a power, shooting, and fighting, so position them accordingly. In that same vein, pick your targets wisely. Sending your Grand Master into a swarm of cultists certainly looks cool, but won’t get the job done – not when your Strike Squad can mow them down in a hail of storm bolter fire instead.

Strong Grey Knights lists will rely on solid positioning and overlapping buffs from Litanies of Purity and psychic powers. Your Characters are each terrifyingly efficient in combat and will help you hold any spot on the board you’ve claimed. However, it’s important to coordinate the abilities of your units appropriately to make sure you get the most out of them and to avoid giving easy kills to your opponent. With half of your powerful psychic powers being exclusive to Characters, it’s even more important to have the right number to support your strategy. With the right buffs at the right time, you can turn a strong unit like Terminators or Paladins into an immovable force.

Key Units

Looks like the Grey Knights are well prepared for the new edition, then! However, if you’re after some guidance on which units to add to your collection in readiness to purge some Daemons, here are our top picks.


Jesse: Paladins are great for serving as the buffed-up anvil for your army while your Strike Squads or Interceptors nimbly engage or contest far-flung enemy units and objectives. Their 3 Wounds really take the edge off those ever-popular 2-Damage weapons, and you can limit their impact even further with the Redoubtable Defence Stratagem. I’ve found my opponents are constantly surprised by the amount of effort it takes to bring down a Paladin unit.

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight

Jesse: These guys have always been amazing, but remember your Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight can now move and fire without penalty, and he won’t need to Fall Back to make use of his expensive heavy weaponry. And if you want to really dish out some pain, you can give him an extra Attack and loads more re-rolls with the Overwhelming Assault Stratagem!

Grand Master Voldus

As Jesse mentioned earlier, the most powerful of the psychic powers available to the Grey Knights are only available to their Characters. Grand Master Voldus can attempt to manifest three of these powers in each of your Psychic phases (with a +1 bonus to the psychic test after the first if you activate Empyric Surge), so if you’ll never be short of options with him in your army!

Thanks, Jesse! What are your favourite units with which to bring the wrath of the Grey Knights upon your enemies? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook pageInstagram and on Twitter using #New40K.

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One Response to “Faction Focus: Grey Knights”

  1. Alec C June 30, 2020 2:55 pm #

    From a playtesting perspective, are the any insights into how units with larger bases handle the new coherency-morale rules?
    Paladins liked being taken in large units to protect all the characters and maximise benefits from psychic powers and strats. But now these large units might become a bit unwieldy if they need to clump up more. Also applies to units like Grotesques, Bullgryn.

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